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The Futility Economy

     It’s the first business day of the new year and oil is trading above $80 a barrel, which means the price has re-entered the danger zone where it can crush industrial economies. This is a central element of the predicament we find ourselves in. The US economy is essentially a Happy Motoring economy.  During the whole nervous period since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, American gasoline consumption hardly went down at all, though so many other activities collapsed, from house-building to trucking. Yesterday, The Seattle Times published a story with the idiotic headline: Oil Touches $80 on US Economy, Demand Optimism.  Apparently, they think high oil prices are “a good sign.” 
     How much can a nation not get it? Would $100 oil ignite a new orgy of “consumer” spending and another round of investment in commercial real estate? Welcome to the Futility Economy. This is the economy where Nature and its material companion, Reality, punish us for our stupidity and fecklessness. This is the economy that will tear the United States apart, after it bankrupts us at every level, and mercilessly drives the population down by one-third through starvation, homelessness, violence, disease, and sheer political cruelty.
      Whatever you thought our economy was the past thirty years — whatever model of it you have in your head — that is definitely not what we are going back to. Like one of Dickens’s Yuletide ghosts, Reality is leading us by the hand into new circumstances. We resist like crazy.  We throw our hands over our eyes. We don’t want to look. We want to return to the comfort of our dreary routines — living in places that aren’t worth caring about, weaving endlessly in freeway traffic, drawing a paycheck at the air-conditioned cubicle, inhaling Buffalo wings by the platterful, with periodic side-trips to the state-chartered casino where there’s always a chance of scoring a lifetime’s income on one lucky bet. And at the end of the day, you can retire with a simulated prostitute on your laptop screen!  And not even have to fork over a dime — except perhaps for the Internet connection fee.
     Reality is taking us out of that familiar, if sordid, realm, whether we like it or not. Our destination is an everyday economy where you rarely travel far from the place you live, where you have to make provision for you own health, your own old age, your own income, your own diet, your own security, and your own education.  If you’re really fortunate, some or all of these necessities can be obtained in conjunction with your neighbors in the place where you live — but don’t expect an increasingly mythical federal government to supply any of it. Expect a new and different way of organizing households based on extended families and kinship groups. Be prepared for agriculture to return to the foreground of everyday life, where farming is back at the center of the economy. Think about how you will cultivate your best role in a social network so the things you do will be truly valued by the other people who know you. Learn how to make your own music and write your own scripts. Try to study history. Resist cults. Keep your mind clear and your senses sharp.
     Even if you have a dim sense that this is where we’re headed, most of you probably want to stay where you are. The investments we’ve made in the current mode of existence are so monumental that we can’t imagine letting go of them. This will be the theme of American life for the next couple of years as we struggle mightily to escape the confining armor of the Futility Economy and move closer to ways of life that have more of a future. Right now, all the power and authority in our culture has dedicated itself to remaining inside that old armor.    
     The Master Wish around the country, including among people who ought to know better, is that we can “solve” our economic problem by finding some other way to run all the cars. Even hardcore environmentalists yammer incessantly about hybrid and “plug-in” cars as the “solution” to our blues. One of Barack Obama’s first acts as president was to “save” the giant car companies. This is exactly the kind of signature behavior of a Futility Economy. It’s based on the idea that we have to continue driving cars all the time and for everything, at all costs.
     The religion of the Futility Economy is Techno-Triumphalism, which is the belief that an endless sequence of magic tricks performed by shaman scientists can defeat the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which rules the universe — which true scientists ought to know cannot be defeated. Their colleagues, the shaman economists believe in parallel magic tricks, such as the idea that increased borrowing can “solve” a problem of runaway over-indebtedness. These are the actions that currently engage the people in charge of things in our society.
     Given this current state of things, and the current course we’re on, my guess is that when the falsity of these ideas and actions are exposed, they will become evident not gradually but very rapidly and shockingly. The people in charge of things will lose their vested legitimacy in a flash, and the institutions they command will become irrelevant overnight. The process would be traumatic for all of us as routines we counted on for a thousand particulars of everyday life vanish or collapse. A Great Indignation will rise across the land over the perceived swindles involved. A lot of effort will go into avenging the swindles instead of rebuilding an economy out of the ashes of futility.
     Personally, I would like to see a different outcome. I’d like to see a new birth of intelligence, perhaps in the same way that President Lincoln invoked “a new birth of freedom” after an earlier convulsion in our history. The question is: do we have the resources of national character left to make that happen?
      

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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.

449 Responses to “The Futility Economy” Subscribe

  1. judetennessee January 4, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    The answer: its doubtful!

  2. Chris Lawrence January 4, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    I think he’s right about agriculture returning and becoming a lot more important. Especially when fossil fuels run out, we won’t be able to continue industrial methods the way we do now. Besides, industrial farming methods damage the soil and aren’t sustainable anyway. You get a better yield in the short term, but in the long term you’re screwed.
    This is one reason we should be expanding organic farming methods now in the US and Canada.
    http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/11/organic-myths-and-realities.html

  3. coyoteyogi January 4, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Jim, obviously you haven’t heard about the mothership waiting patiently for us on the dark side of the moon. Once the greys have been defeated by the Sirian Concil then the new technologies will allow us all live in splendor and delight.
    There. Now that wasn’t so hard was it?

  4. nothing January 4, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    But Jim, we will pay for everything with the new Google quarters!
    Get an advance look at http://www.thenothingstore.com

  5. nothing January 4, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    But Jim, we will pay for it all with the new Google quarters!
    Get an advance look at The Nothing Store

  6. nothing January 4, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Oops! Sorry for the double posts. –The Nothing Store

  7. Kickaha January 4, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Now let the criticism begin: Jim is wrong because he’s allways predicting doom and gloom that never happens.
    Yes, things now are just peachy-fucking-keen. We have double-digit unemployment, cities, counties, states, national banks and companies, and numerous households teetering on bankruptcy. We have oil at eight times its price when JK started wagging his finger at us ten plus years ago. We have a fourth of our children on “food stamps” and an indifferent plutocracy that has never been richer in either absolute or relative terms.
    Cue up Louis A. singing “What a Wonderful World.”

  8. Steve Knox January 4, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    Jim, as usual you make a clear concise point. What the Paul Krugmans of the world don’t see is the resource impact of their models. As you mentioned, $80 oil will stall, if not kill, any economic recovery. This fact gets lost on policy makers. Thus the scenario that a return to 3.5% annual growth will minimize all the debt isn’t even a wish. It’s absurd! We will need ongoing stimulus to stimulate a dead horse. Natural resource limitations will guarantee that. Keep those printing presses ready. What was it the Hirsch Report (2005) said, we will need 30 years before peak oil to make the transition. Good luck to all. Oh by the way Happy New Year.
    Steve Knox

  9. Freedom Guerrilla January 4, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Do we have the resources of national character left to make ["a new birth of freedom"] happen?
    I think the answer is yes, so long as we keep asking questions like this and challenging each other. The old paradigm is weakening, and people no longer assume we will be taken care of.
    http://freedomguerrilla.com

  10. Filipek January 4, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Considering the impending doom facing the USA, the question many Americans should be asking themselves is the same question many people in Central Europe were asking themselves in the 1930s: do I stay, or do I get out?

  11. SNAFU January 4, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Jim says “I’d like to see a new birth of intelligence”.
    It does not appear that intelligence is the panacea which will save the Earth’s flora and fauna. Current estimates of college educated in the USA hover about 30% today vice roughly 3% one hundred years ago. If one assumes, similar ratios world wide we are led to the astounding prospect that with the tripling of the Earth’s human population in the past one hundred years there are more than 33 times as many college educated humans today, 8 times as many 50 years ago and 16 times as many 25 years ago. If one assumes a college education is indicative of somewhat more “intelligence” then the numbers of intelligent humans on spaceship Earth increased exponentially along with college educations. Therefore the realization that the resources of the Earth being consumed exponentially were finite and once devoured by the exponentially increasing human population would obviously lead to unpleasant outcomes would/should have been obvious to these intelligent humans. It would appear no such en mass realization has been forthcoming and from my view it appears a diametrically opposed view has been subscribed to. If intelligence alone could have saved the Earth we would likely be well on our way to recovery rather than hell bent on grabbing as many of the remaining resources for our individual cliques as possible before they disappear. Therefore the answer to your question is, NO. SNAFU

  12. Zappnin January 4, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Once the Republicans regain control of the House and the Senate this fall, repealing your precious Second Law of Thermodynamics will be the first order of business.

  13. peakinterest January 4, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    I fundamentally in agreement with Jim regarding the consequences of peak oil, but I think a 33% reduction in population is a bit steep. That amounts to about 100 million people here in the good old U.S.A. Jim’s vision of the future assumes a total lack of character on the part of the average American, and that’s what the fate of the country will turn on, just like always, the average American.
    I don’t share Jim’s negative opinion of Americans in general. Sure, we are shallow, selfish, silly, and often stupid, but that is our common culture of shared values these days, pop culture. If the avarage American displays a lack of character, it is because our current way of living allows it, nothing more. When his predictions come true, whether quickly or slowly, most of us are going to do what is necessary, regardless of how inconvenient or difficult it may be, in the interest of our own self preservation.
    National character is not something that is readily apparent when things are going well, it reveals itself when things are not going well. To assume that Americans are going to miserably and inevitably fail the coming trials demonstrates a fundamental pessimism on Jim’s behalf.
    I’ve spent a lot of time around the average American, having worked in factories for some twenty years now. While a lot of them, myself included, display the negative character traits Jim focuses so much of his attention on, I never cease to be amazed at their resourcefulness when it is demanded of them. I don’t have children, or a wife, or responsibilities for the most part. That the people I have worked with are able to raise children and keep a roof over their heads on the same salary I draw is testament enough to that resourcefulness.
    I expect that as the coming challenges present themselves, people will learn to get by with the resources at hand, just like people have always done. I don’t see widespread famine in this country simply because there is still a ton of vacant land here suitable for farming. I don’t expect a popular revolt either, unless the government is foolish enough give property rights precedence over people doing what it takes to provide shelter, food, and water for themselves.
    As for people being resistant to letting go of the current mode of existence due to the huge investment we have in it, I think that once the shock has passed, there will be a general sense of relief. I went through a bankruptcy about ten years ago, and I was shocked, despondent and even ashamed for a while, but then I gradually realized that I was way better off without all that junk and the effort required to maintain it.
    Our current mode of living is really an aberration, historically speaking. Humankind has always ultimately had recourse to its own resources, cheap oil has just multiplied those resources for the past century, most notably the past fifty years. Peak oil really means a return to business as usual, at least in historical terms.

  14. Chainsaw January 4, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    For an eerily prescient analysis of where we are, how we got here, and where we may be headed, check out Patrick Deneen’s “New World Order” at http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/?p=7782.

  15. halifax40 January 4, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    I see that Paul Krugman wrote yesterday of the spectre of the situation from 1937 where the US government acted prematurely on signs of a rebounding economy, only to have the situation turn around and bite them on the ass.
    This got me to wondering if we would react in a similar way that people did during the Great Depression. Does our sense of entitlement make us less able to cope with a prolonged period of discomfort? The psychology of decline is an interest of mine, if anyone has suggestions on a solid overview of the Depression era please let me know.

  16. maineiac January 4, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    We all need to learn how to deny reality like this incomprehensible idiot.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704152804574628553686290942.html

  17. Bobby January 4, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Great post, Jim- Thanks
    As a recovering scientist – and I’ll likely never be fully recovered – I have come to view the attitude that we’ll get out of this mess by means of techno-solutions as patently absurd, because the truth is that our so-called smartness has resulted in the ever-quickening pace of resource (i.e. wealth) depletion, and consumption.
    The truest “smart” approach is what my fellow hippies were talking about way back when – a return to simple things and to abandon the world, as marketed by the plastic establishment. The Crosby, Still and Nash song “Wooden Ships” ca., 1970 says it all.

  18. Nurdle January 4, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    No…repealing the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics will not be the first order of business of the newly elected Republicans. The first order of business will be to appear to Punish the Democrats, for that is what they will have been elected to do.
    Just as the Democrats were elected in 2008 to Punish the Republicans.
    If more bubble material is discovered (the current hope of the uninformed) then the electorate will continue to punish one party with the other as it typically does.
    Most here suspect that no such bubble material exists.
    Few I talk to in person are willing to acknowledge upcoming difficulties. Everyone simply blindly gropes for the time when “things will return to normal”. Asking them to define “normal” in terms that don’t include profligate consumption, assumption of eternally increasing debt, and a distinctly religious expectation that our technological prowess will save the day if we would only apply ourselves.

  19. diogen January 4, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    In the interest of accuracy, Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to “closed” or “isolated” systems. Earth is not an isolated system because it receives energy input from the Sun (photoelectric, wind, tidal, hydro — all forms of solar energy), and the entire history of the Earth is a continuous decline of Entropy. Our predicaments are real, but they are not the consequence of the laws of nature, rather the consequence of our collective myopia.

  20. Keenan January 4, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Well, the labor economists at Harvard and BLS certainly are stuck inside their respective boxes. NPR reports the new jobs for the new decade:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122123729
    Top 10 according to these dim bulbs are:
    1. Registered nurses
    2. Home health aids
    3. Customer service representatives
    4. Food preparation and serving workers
    5. Personal and home care aides
    6. Retail salespersons
    7. Office clerks
    8. Accountants
    9. Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants
    10. Postsecondary teachers
    No one to make things, nobody growing anything.
    The post secondary teachers instructing classes in clerking, selling, food preparation ?
    Oh, yeah…for low skill, low education they say: Truck Driver
    No signs of recognition from these fools.

  21. popcine January 4, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Oh heck! And I thought this was a cult. People who read this column, I mean.

  22. Nurdle January 4, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    It is…but its a “good” cult, full of intelligent and non-violent people who are well prepared for the collapse. JK is talking about the other cults…full of pseudo-religious gun nuts. Resist those.

  23. diogen January 4, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    One of the definitions of a cult refers to “practices could be considered strange or sinister”. Hmm, seems to describe the mainstream reality all around the world…

  24. ithacaisdoomed January 4, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    If I have come to accept the impending collapse of civilization as my personal lord and saviour, does that make me a member of a cult?
    That list of jobs for the new decade as reported by NPR was brilliant, but they left out that those are all jobs that will only be available in China:)

  25. Dr. Moreau January 4, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    But doesn’t a rising oil price keep the value of the US dollar high since it creates a demand for US dollars because oil is priced in US dollars?

  26. rocky mtn January 4, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    good column. I like the writing tone, too. This one column gives a great overview of our predicament. The Long Emergency has definitely begun.

  27. asoka January 4, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    JHK said: “Resist cults”
    The word cult means something is alive and growing, as in cultivate, culture. Cults are positive happenings.
    The Oxford English Dictionary defined “cult” as:
    * “worship; reverential homage rendered to a divine being or beings”
    * devotion or homage to a particular person or thing.”
    This is the historical meaning of the word, but is rarely today heard outside of religious circles.
    In our popular culture, the word cult is often associated with cult films, cult bands, or cult TV programs. Here, the term “cult” refers to a small but devoted following of a movie, entertainment group or television program. Avid supporters of Star Trek may be referred to as devoted cultists.
    If you go back to the original, to the root of the word cult, the associations are only positive.
    It is only in a life-denying society, which spends half its budget on death-related “defense spending”, that a cult (something alive and growing) is seen as something negative.
    Now, sect or denomination, those have more negative connotations. Cults are positive phenomena related to life.
    JHK has a certain cult following … and that is also a good thing.

  28. Behaviorman January 4, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    JHK is my man. Very much want to meet him someday. People don’t take advice when is requires them to change daily habits at a cost in comfort. They would rather deny the necessity. I carry little hope for some great awakening and sudden change. What we all need to do is get specific about what daily habits we need to change, starting with the easiest. Graphing our odometer reading on a weekly basis and resolving to get it down one notch each week is a specific action. Setting up a calendar of goals toward selling our large home in the city and moving to a small community with farms near it is another specific action. There are many more and JHK would do well to list them because he has a following. Politicians will never solve the problem only specific practical personal actions will.

  29. wm2010 January 4, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Jim gets it right regarding the ” National Charachter : Its gone down hill in a big way. Its not about education ( some correlation ) I have met all form of people in this great nation who have ” class ” whatever their socio economic strata. They have not lost touch with reality.
    In many previous posts, Jim frequently talks about the tatood, TV watching ” lumpens “. I agree its a big problem.
    There has been a serious increase in the classlessness of people. Not based on education, race or ethicity. Massive rise in lumpen fools. Rude,clueless,manor less, easily manipulated by the Republican party, no good prospects for meaningful work. No social concience.Etc. Throwing money at them wont fix a thing. ( Welfare, housing,education, job training )Big problem for USA is their ranks are swelling.

  30. Tituspullo8780 January 4, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    FYI – $80 per barrel isn’t the point at which the economy starts to shrink. It’s actually $70 in the US.
    Amazingly, the folks on CNBC’s Fast Money developed some interesting charts that tracked consumer-spending variables against the first super price spike in oil. At the time of the segment, I believe that the price of oil was in the $120’s).
    They were openly discussing at what price point does oil start to choke economic growth in the US. According to a couple of their charts, apparently gasoline consumption stopped growing at $70 a barrel and same store sales went flat in that same quarter. I taped the segment, but could never find hard copies of the charts on CNBC’s web site.
    With 10% of the US workforce docked, remaining business might be able to straggle by at these oil price levels (for a while at least – 6 to 12 months of so-so growth). I think all those unemployed folks are saving are collective bacon at the moment – removing just enough out of the US and world oil demand budget to keep prices from escalating above $100 and into another moon shot. Unemployment may help cut the oil demand budget – but hypothetically – could also have the adverse affect of making the entire economy MORE price sensitive to oil price hikes.
    Frankly, it’s hard to tell and I think that economic data will become less reliable. We have entered in the economic equivalent of the “fog of war” (*thnx to the post for that nifty line), due to the government playing increasingly ridiculous games with the economic data it supplies the market.
    BTW, Happy New Year!
    TitusPullo.

  31. Sylph January 4, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    I quote: “If one assumes a college education is indicative of somewhat more “intelligence” then the numbers of intelligent humans on spaceship Earth increased exponentially along with college educations.”
    This assumption is false. College educations in the U.S. have little to do with the intelligence JKH is talking about, and much to do with another credit bubble holding millions of debt-ridden students with no hope of a decent job.
    Have you talked to some typical graduates lately? They are devoid of practical skills and intellectually vacuous. This prepares them for the cubicles, but those jobs are now scarce.
    Ironically, the illiterate subsistence farmer has the intelligence to survive peak oil, as does the wood cutter down the rode who dropped out of high school. You know the guy-speech impediment, dyslexia, ADD, rebellious. He lives on $30 a day, has the strength of a mule, and shacks up with an old gal with bad teeth who can garden.

  32. Lynn Shwadchuck January 4, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    CBC radio this morning had a green-shoots report on people’s perception that the economy is turning around. It’s as if there’s been something added to the water supply that makes people miss so much clear information to the contrary. Emotional depression makes it harder to function, so people choose not to concentrate on dire predictions. Naturally it’s difficult for us to imagine letting go of jobs and investment income while the money continues to flow. I remember quitting a publicly funded job around 1980 because I couldn’t stand the tension, waiting for someone to catch on that I was under-utilized and overpaid and fire me. As it turned out I could probably have retired on a pension, if I had been inclined to base my life entirely on that hope. I don’t think people are morons or knuckleheads for chugging along as best they can until the water actually touches the foundation of their house. I do believe people will mostly rise to the challenges as James Lovelock reminds us Londoners did in WWII.
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery budget

  33. suburbanempire January 4, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    And if high fuel prices don’t bankrupt the airlines our “need” for “security” absolutely will!
    Our nation is going to bankrupt its self by freaking out about terrorism…. something that kills 000.17 Americans a day……
    Maybe we need to be “saved” from the murderous “happy motoring”….. car accidents claim 115.86 people per day.
    The real threat to American Security??? Cars.
    http://www.suburbanempire.com/front
    The suburban critical, empire chronicle……
    Oversimplified opinion (because life is already complex enough)

  34. Cash January 4, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Jim is right, “we don’t want to look”. We willingly make symbolic changes to our lifestyle mostly to make us feel pure and holy but any subtantial changes we’ll have to have forced down our throats.
    Where I live stores have to charge you a nickle if you want a plastic bag to carry your purchase. This supposedly will reduce plastic bag usage and will have the effect of diverting waste from landfill. Five whole cents. Studiously ignored of course is the torrent of garbage that still goes into landfill of which plastic bags are a miniscule proportion. Pure hypocrisy and an exercise in absolute futility in my opinion.
    A while ago someone I know who worked for a real estate developer got the idea of people in the office recycling popcans. So every couple of days, like good environmentally concious little doobies employees trooped out to a nearby recycling bin with bagfulls of aluminum popcans. But of course they studiously ignored how much farmland and natural habitat they ripped up to build subdivisions…thousands of giant houses per year.
    If you tell the average suburban mom and dad that they will have to live drastically more modest lives in terms of physical and material comforts and that the minivan will have to go they will tell you to piss off, they need it to get the kids to hockey practice and that their kids’ interests come first. They want jacuzzis and granite countertops and they don’t give a shit about the huge holes we dig where the granite and metal come from.

  35. Tituspullo8780 January 4, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Snafu – I hate to agree with you on this, but you’re spot on about recent college grads. Most of them are lacking basic skills.
    However, I’m not sure it matters much that we’ve got a generation of semi-retarded college grads. If you haven’t already secured a seat at the gov. or corp. job table – it’s unlikely you’ll get a decent one now. It will go to a smart, hard working Indian (*at least in my biz).
    TitusPullo

  36. 1canuck January 4, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    Try Ten Lost Years by Barry Broadfoot. Real stories told by real people that lived through the depression in Cananda.

  37. Sylph January 4, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    This list is a lie, if you take it to mean that you might get one of these jobs. It is an example of the drivel/propaganda that journalists cut and paste from each other (must be that college education).
    Number one is almost always “RN”. Now, when I see this, I want to start throwing things. I left nursing school because I found out there is a huge glut of new RN graduates who can’t find jobs. Suddenly the $40,000 student loan seemed like a really bad idea. When I asked the nursing school about this glut they said, “Oh honey, when the economy comes back, there will be plenty of nursing jobs.” Ha!

  38. bproman January 4, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Will the fornicating human herd continue to breed itself into extinction?

  39. Smacktle January 4, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Who needs college? I never went to college and turned out ok. Didn’t even graduate from HS. I own my own business and make a good living. Commen sense is what you really need.

  40. Liberty Above All January 4, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    The answer to the last question depends on who is meant by we. If you mean the Baby Boomers, who currently control the country, the answer definitely no. Socialism and eventually some type of dictatorship is the answer for the majority of them. That way you don’t have to think.
    If you mean the generations coming up, the answer is maybe. If they revolt, return to the spirit of the founding fathers, and adopt libertarian ideals, some type of society has a chance.
    A gasoline/diesel fuel crisis is coming this decade to America so we will find out the answers soon.

  41. budizwiser January 4, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Gee -whiz Jim, talking futility? Yes, of course it is quite futile to sell any ideas that are counter to the vast conglomeration modern civilization encompasses.
    Like your forecast – you seem preoccupied with the notion that “reality” is going to offer up somekind of violent “bitch-slap” to America’s head.
    No, no, no. What you should be writing about is how insidious the “long emergency” really is.
    The little “financial credit bubble thing” is surely a marker, a valid sign post that the Long Emergency had begun – but in itself, and with the help of smoke and mirrors continues to mean nothing to most people.
    And that again – is my point – The “Long Emergency” isn’t the story for the day. It’s how well, and in what manner it is hidden from view.
    This finance thing, has proven to be a great safety valve – a massive check on the Peak Oil cliff. Now, as many of your peers have suspected comes the tumble down the mountain, but not the free- fall you keep hoping to materialize.
    When you talk about losing 30% of the population think, again.
    Here’s a more likely scenario. 30% of the US begins to shop at Walmart and Dollar Store. Then 30%, begins to go on food stamps and simply hardly shops – except at yard sales.
    And then 30% of the population realizes the life-style and energy foot print of lower-class Mexicans or some other third-world country.
    Meanwhile -the top 30% continues to spout “business as usual” – green shoots or other bullshit and anything else to disguise or endanger a rerouting of fair play and a government for ALL the people…….
    But I digress. The real story on the Long Emergency – is how our better-off countrymen continue to enlist our leadership to ignore and hide it from all….. Futile? Yes, but with a purpose of obfuscation.

  42. Tituspullo8780 January 4, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Smacktle,
    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT IDEA.
    I made the mistake of going to good college, and have done well since graduating (6 figure gig). However, I’m f@#ked when my corp. gig ends.
    No real skills aside from semi-decent critical thinking and a basic understanding of financial markets. (*sorry guys, but it’s time we start being brutally honest. First and foremost, with ourselves).
    I think about jumping ship daily to do my own thing. I just don’t have a good bead on what I can start that will do well in the face of peak oil (*aside from a farm, maybe).
    Anyway, I liked you’re comment….basic, but there is hard truth in it.

  43. MajorVector January 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    A word to the readers that are just graduating from high school or college: identify what your interests and skills are and try to make some type of a life road map such that within 5 to 10 years you will have acquired some kind of useful skill to provide. The big mistake that boomers made in the post-Reagan era, was that they were snookered to believe that their future would be made by a service economy.
    The free market capitalists will always be spinning this trope as being superior to government-run programs. But ‘Obamacare’ will not work because we are already 20 years into a service economy, and will take a while to turn back to a manual skills-based economy. But with the prospect of the Republicans taking over the Congress in 2010, sadly we will again be returning to free-market policies. Free-market policies aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Reagan really isn’t the bete noir that we make him to be. His ideas worked for that period of history, and did give people jobs and a future (I guess). But alas we have found that Reagan’s idea of America’s future is a Potemkin village–a movie set rotting in the sun.
    If I was 20 and wanted to study music or art or film (which are still avocations regardless of the era, and still popular vocations), I would pursue it as ‘dharma’ (as as Buddhists put it) and make it a noble life’s work, study its history and try to integrate all that into what we do as a society, rather than pursue cubicle jobs just because it was some president’s starry-eyed vision of the future. The illusion that presidents make our future is just that–an illusion. We should get over the idea that Obama (or his successor) control our future by merely voting for them. It has the potential for demagoguery.

  44. ozone January 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    ” If you’re really fortunate, some or all of these necessities can be obtained in conjunction with your neighbors in the place where you live — but don’t expect an increasingly mythical federal government to supply any of it.” -JHK
    …an increasingly mythical federal government…
    Perfect! Once again, a fine distillation of what’s a-comin’, maw. Seems to me, all the “government” is good at these days is extracting revenue by threat of imprisonment, and pretending to employ lots of folks in “useful work” (ostensibly for the commonweal). Better get them folks working on “food relief” right quick, because that’s where you’re going to have your first mob violence (which leads to other entertainment if those foodstuffs aren’t forthcoming). I’m sure the general impotence will be revealed beforehand, but if they’re unable to organize getting food to people, it’s all over but the pretending.
    As for all those troops… well now, that’s another matter, now ain’t it? (Talk about your “government dole”, jaysus h. cheese ‘n crackers.) Just how ARE they gonna get out of THOSE promises? “Umm, we’ll feed and clothe you and yer spawn, if you’ll oppress (and if need be, kill) yer neighbors for us.”
    Interesting times, indeed.

  45. hugho January 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Thank you Keenan for stealing my link. I’ll bet you were screaming at the morons on NPR as loud as I was:What are these people thinking?!!! These kind of jobs are the analogy or is it a metaphor of the spiraling economy that Jim keeps coming back to in post after post using the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Oh by the way, the 2nd law of thermodynamics is not applicable to just the earth. It refers to the entire universe. And if you have a nation who allows people to breed producing new bastard economists who belch and expel such blithering dimwitted comments like:the way to increase incomes in a field like home health aides is to educate them which of course will bring up their salaries……!god save us from these people. Here is a less than kind link showing you the present and the future if these microcephalics keep holding center stage:http://www.peopleofwalmart.com

  46. The Mook January 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Nice comment about cars killing way more Americans than terrorists. Then there are those killer telephone poles that kill plenty every year. Why is it still legal to erect them along the roadway? Also love those idiots that place those jagged rocks along the road to “protect” their lawns!

  47. wagelaborer January 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Well, I am a nurse, and I can tell you why they are constantly hyping nursing. To increase the demand and lower the wages of the profession.
    Where I work they are hiring new grads like crazy, and those of us who have been there for years and make twice as much as the new ones know exactly why they are being hired. Luckily, most of them quit pretty quickly. Nursing is, literally, a shitty job.
    But it makes for great stress and unpleasant working conditions to never know when the hand of The Man will come down and throw you out.
    Thank you to Slyph for pointing out that a college education is merely a way to further enrich the FIRE section.
    When Ronald Reagan (I spit on his grave) began the attack on the working class, first they came for the uneducated. And the educated watched in silence, for they had been to college, and were temporarily spared.
    Then they came for the educated. But the talking heads pretended it wasn’t happening, so people continued to borrow to go to college. And now millions are graduating with enormous debt and no way to repay it.
    I agree that 30% will not just die off, but slowly slide into deeper poverty.
    Don’t EVER expect NPR or any other corporate talking heads to acknowledge reality. That is not their job. Their job is to create a different reality for the people in the houses that they beam their stream to, and each isolated person who receives the propaganda is meant to believe that their problems are their own. That there is no collective solution, and that they should solve their problems on their own.
    And pay all their bills.

  48. Qshtik January 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Commen sense is what you really need.”
    ============================
    Clearly whatever business Smack is running does not require any Spelling Bee trophies.

  49. wagelaborer January 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I read a great book called “Eating Fossil Fuels”
    It talked about industrial farming and how dependent we are on it.
    It talked about what happened to North Korea and Cuba when the USSR was destroyed, and the oil subsidies stopped.
    North Korea continued on its military focused path, and many people starved.
    Cuba switched to organic farming, encouraged people to move to farms and gave them help in learning how to farm, encouraged community gardens, etc.
    Cubans went through 2 years of lean living and then the calorie count for person went up.
    The author of the book recommended that the US take the Cuba course. But pointed out that the US is the world leader in attacking land reform and peasant empowerment.
    So maybe not.

  50. george January 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Another excellent blog from the Most Reverend Kunstler. It’s ironic that just as the hype for the 2010 North American Auto Show begins to reach a fevered pitch here in the Motor City, the price of oil begins to climb into the high digits. Too bad we don’t have any mass transit in Detroit and the last Amtrack train left town back in the 80′s and hasn’t been seen since. To think of all the hype in the local media about the revival of GM and the Chevy Volt! Let’s hope Obama wises up and starts spending some of that stimulus money on something other than futile highway construction projects.

  51. not mommy January 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    “If one assumes a college education is indicative of somewhat more “intelligence” then the numbers of intelligent humans on spaceship Earth increased exponentially…”
    Well, numbnuts, that is a stoopid assumption. Hence all you have written after this assumption amounts to blah, blah, blah. Try thinking (I know its really, really, hard) before typing.

  52. not mommy January 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    ” Commen sense is what you really need.”
    Possibly, but Common sense comes in handy as well. (You fucking idiot!)

  53. wagelaborer January 4, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Last week Trip turned me on to a website that I found interesting.
    For those who think that cities will be unlivable, here is an article from someone who disagrees.
    http://patternliteracy.com/urban.html

  54. Kottan January 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler is right to note the current price of oil.
    I attended the 2009 annual ASPO Association for the Study of Oil and Gas conference in Denver in early Oct. I remember a presentation by Nate Hagens (known to many here as main contributor to the Oil Drum) that historical data shows if expenditures for oil exceed 6.5% of GDP then a recession will follow.
    According to Mr. Hagens the current threshold translates into “ca. $85″.
    One of the most significant social changes we will probably witness in the US in 2010 is the growing prevalence of “strategic” or voluntary foreclosures, ie. foreclosures induced by mortgage debt holders who can pay but choose not to. Research appears to indicate that negative equity (being “underwater”) by at least 15% is the trigger point to see accelerating voluntary foreclosures. Voluntary foreclosures were already the leading cause for foreclosures in California in 2009 – ahead of unemployment, itself no rarity these days in that state.
    There is a trail blazing study from Brent White about this
    Arizona Legal Studies
    Discussion Paper No. 09-35
    Underwater and Not Walking Away: Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis
    http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/real_estate/SSRN-id1494467.pdf
    California leads the nation by one year in the housing bubble / bust (peak in 2006l rest of nation in 2007, etc). If giving up on paying the mortgage becomes wide spread – if the “social control agents” (as White calls them) such as gov, banks, cnbc and – yes – many bank and gov-financed “consumer groups” loose their grip then we say another “unanticipated avalanche” of financial dislocation, write-off requirements and price decrease.
    The Washington Post in its Sat, Jan 2 edition “Real Estate Section” lectured its readers under the headline “Boom – Bust – Now What” that the bust is over, “green shots” (no kidding) and that 2009 saw a “boost” (their word !) to the housing market. In the eleventh paragraph the author mentioned that median prices nationwide were down 13% in 2009.
    Mr. Kunstler, please see the comment I received from a friend after I passed your 2010 Forecast to him:
    “A tiny majority is sufficient to start idiotic invasions of other countries.
    A liberal from Massachusetts can single-handedly force all banks to give money to people who cannot pay it back (Barney).
    A large majority is insufficient to health-insure all citizens of the richest country.
    Should we ask the tea-baggers to help with the consensus-building?
    What makes anyone think we can establish a consensus about what is happening and what we should do about it?”
    Happy New Year to all.

  55. Evelyn Victor January 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    JHK’s diatribes are the first thing I look forward to each Monday morning. He describes the symptoms of the problems well perhaps. He always produces an imaginative and colorful way to stir up words which regarded as a whole are best described as a singular minded mantra. It is a mantra something akin to a nuclear reactor that produces plutonium. In this case the plutonium is fear. It uses fear to produce more fear.
    We have no true understanding of what human consciousness is capable of producing. I go along with the problem his sees in man’s condition. His ideas about what the solution will be have no credibility. The notion that this nation of lard asses can sustain itself by using their own rakes and hoes is as comical as thinking the motor economy will survive. What we visualize as the collapse of civilization is already the condition of most of the rest of the world. For murika a hard rain is a coming. For the rest of the world, meh!

  56. Qshtik January 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    ” …..lumpen fools. Rude,clueless,manor less, …
    =======================
    I agree entirely. Not only will these lumpen fools not enjoy the ownership of a mansion on an estate they will never press the space bar following a comma.

  57. paranoia_agent January 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    A slow, gradual, inexorable decline–economically, politically, socially– is what is a much more likely outcome than a cataclysmic sudden convulsion. Check out the “Survival in Argentina” blog by “FerFal”, as he spends alot of time describing the experience of living in a country which has gone from a first-world country to a veritable third-world country in just under a decade. Very eye-opening, and many assumptions are turned on their head.
    Kudos to Jim for his rare grasp of the looming crisis of legitimacy and competence of the federal government in coming times. This is something that almost all other commentators seem completely blind to. The relentless expansion of the federal government, and its continuous usurpation of more and more of the powers and functions, heretofore the responsibility of local government and/or individual citizens themselves, has a direct relation to the growing reputation for incompetence and lack of responseiveness of the federal government. When the Roman Empire became to big and complex to be run by a central government, Emporer Diocletian split the empire in 2. The USA divided into more or less self governing entities with little or only symbolic allegiance to a central government? maybe this is the shape of things to come?

  58. wardoc January 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Answer: absolutely not; not a chance in hell.
    Just look around; we, as a society, don’t have the moral courage or intestinal fortitude to even think about or talk about any of our real problems. We pretend to have a news systems, while all know its nothing but whitewashed corporate pablum; we pretend to have a viable currency, while most, if not all, know that the $USDollar is in a progressive state of collapse; we pretend that we have superior moral values, while most go along with whatever it takes to get along, stay out of trouble and get a paycheck, regardless of who by our collective actions. Finally, we look the other way when the two most recent administrations have stripped the US constitution of any real, applicable meaning.
    We live in a third world nation with color TV and pretend we’re special, smart, wealthy and unique. WE ARE PATHETIC !!!!
    Here’s who we really are:






    Happy New Year,
    WarDoc






  59. Nicho January 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    I too believe in self-contained, walkable communities and dream about the US being a place where cars are unnecessary and all our resources are within easy reach.
    However, I tremble when I think of what would happen were the power that be in Washington able to grasp JHK’s message.
    For openers, we would turn the task over the corporatocracy — We have to privatize everything, you know, and can’t turn down the opportunity for them to make a profit. We don’t want to be “soclalists.”
    They would produce a country full of ticky-tacky, cookie-cutter gated communities on steroids — making the “village” about as appealing as Disneyworld (which, for the record always scares the crap out of me when I have to go there). People would be hauling ass over the walls like refugees from the old East Germany.
    I was invited once to the groundbreaking for a “planned community” that was supposed to bring back to the “old village” style of life. I looked at the mockup of the new community — with streets and stores and even a barbershop. After a few minutes, I turned to the flunky showing us the model and asked “Where is the gay bar?” You would have thought I had just taken a dump on the platter of Danish pastries.
    The flunky stuttered and stammered for a while, so I pursued. “Where is the battered women’s shelter?” She didn’t know. “Do you think there won’t be any gay people or domestic violence in your new village? How do you do that?”
    The corporatist villages won’t be, as this “village” wasn’t, organic. If left to the corporatists, they will be sterile, commercial Potemkin villages.
    I guess all I’m saying is that we have bigger problems to solve before we attack our living arrangement — and that’s the problem that we’ve pretty much become a corporate dictatorship.

  60. Wendigo January 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    “..population down by one-third through starvation homelessness, violence, disease, and sheer political cruelty ”
    It is amazing that JHK can make projections like this, but yet he continues to ignore that the population of the United States is increasing. The Census bureau is forecasting the United States will grow to 400 million or so by 2050.
    I’m entertained by JHK writings, and I agree with much many of his opinions, but he is completely deluded on this subject. He chooses not to recognize reality. Two weeks back, he posted about dismissing a person who questioned him on population growth at one of his speaking events. He then went on an idiotic tangent about state interference in procreation.
    Wake up to reality Jim. The western counties of the world can all choose to either stabilize, grow, or shrink their populations by adjusting their immigration rate.
    Its bizarre that JHK predicts starvation will decrease the population of the United States by one-third in the near future, but yet he still advocates for continued population growth now.

  61. not mommy January 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    ” Not only will these lumpen fools not enjoy the ownership of a mansion on an estate they will never press the space bar following a comma.”
    How many (oh, lord) fucking times is the spelling nanny going to chirp in, then get called out on her own mistakes and then declare, “Well we all make mistakes. Guess I’m just human.” ? Would you please shut the fuck up?
    It would be one thing if you were grammatically beyond reproach but you are not. You make countless (if one bothered to count) mistakes in your postings as do most people on this site. This is a run and gun grab and go format. Why not give us a break here and go and seek an editing position elsewhere? Oh, you don’t feel like being fired for incompetence? Never mind…FUCKTARD!

  62. Qshtik January 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    “Possibly, but Common sense comes in handy as well. (You fucking idiot!)”
    =========================
    This is called “piling on.” I already busted Smack’s balls for this (22 mins earlier).

  63. not mommy January 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    ” I already busted Smack’s balls for this”
    No, you drained his balls. There is a difference.
    And bringing up spacing is quite different than allowing the “commen” man know that he is not as “commen” as he may believe.
    Thats the thing about you Squish, you have absolutely no understanding of the subtleties of language or thought. Just a rudimentary understanding of the mechanics. A bean counter indeed. Not Shut THE FUCK UP as you have displayed enough ignorance for the entire week.

  64. antimatter January 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Remember the guy who said about pornography: “I don’t know what it is, but but I know it when I see it”?
    What Jim describes here will be recognized when it happens, but until then, most Americans won’t grasp the magnitude of what is coming, much less what has already happened. We barely recognize the effects of the hollowing out of the economy, our industrial base, and our massive personal debt. But wait. Soon, that car will be grounded because its repair costs exceed ability to pay, dental work will pile up, painting will go undone for ‘another year.’ And the concept of ‘creative denial’ will emerge—the idea that ‘some day soon’ it will all get better, the roof will be fixed, the car will be back on the road, etc.
    Anyone living in the small towns in upper Michigan, or in Upstate New York or the NY/PA border towns knows all about this, as industry moves out, 100 or 500 jobs at a time. It’s coming to America now.
    As a quote goes from the film ‘No Country for Old Men,’ — “This country’s hard on people. You can’t stop what’s coming.” This is what Jim is saying. Good luck to all, sincerely.

  65. Qshtik January 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Not Shut THE FUCK UP ”
    ====================
    Mommy meant to say Now.

  66. Qshtik January 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Remember the guy who said about pornography: “I don’t know what it is, but but I know it when I see it”?
    ==========================
    Yes Anti, that would be US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. I think he was a stutterer.

  67. Smacktle January 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    Was waiting for that. Always someone around who has to point out spelling errors. God forbid they add something to the current commentary!
    If you used that really smart brain of yours for good instead of having to denigrate somebody all the time (on the internet no less, where the cowards go to play)like the snob you are, we might actually be better off in this country.
    OBTW nitwit. I own the company I work for. How about you? Probably employed as a prof somewhere in the engrish dept. counting on “tenure”. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

  68. Smacktle January 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Another spelling terrorist. What would we do without you?!

  69. Desertrat January 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    US food grain production is about one-half for our consumption; the rest is for gasahol and export. IOW, we could feed ourselves with one-half the present liquid fuel usage. Some transition back to more pasturage for livestock and less feedlot use would also allow more grains for people. That’s why I rather doubt that starvation will be an issue–not from a production capability standpoint, anyway.
    I imagine that high gasoline/diesel prices will cause self-limiting of personal vehicle use, these next several years. If quantity becomes an issue, the government would institute rationing as it did in WW II. It would be multi-level as a function of one’s occupation. We had A, B, C and T, IIRC. The highest, T, was for farming and commercial trucking. Something like that, anyway; it’s been a few years…
    All the above becomes trivial, however, if the present monetary foolishness continues. Hard to buy anything when the currency is worthless or nearly so. Which gets us back to Jim’s “Recovery to what?”
    ‘Rat

  70. abbeysbooks January 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Oil prices have not so much to do with supply and demand as they do with Amjada’s (spelling?) ravings over there in Iran. They just went into Iraq oilfields and he says he is going to supply raw uranium or some such. Whenever oil goes down he raves or does something then the price goes back up. The oil Iranians are then happy.
    Just notice what he says, and if it’s bad fill your tanks up before it gets into the pipeline.

  71. asia January 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    kuck frugman!!!!!!!!!!!!
    One of my MIT corporate friends said [ in 09]
    ‘ tarps necessary and PK said it should have been more than a Trillion’

  72. asia January 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    according to radio;
    1 in 8 in USA is on Fs..and in some counties it is 1 in 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I live in socal….if 1 in 4 kids on FS they are mexicans helping to put food on family table..the fraud in Fs is in the billions and 1 billion in food bought by Fs goes to illegals!
    govt!!!!!!!!!
    VK..are you reading today?

  73. asia January 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    ‘ College educations in the U.S. have little to do with the intelligence ..’
    College education has to do with being middle class , IQ, desire to continue school and family [asians demand their kids go]..if you doubt walk round USC/UCLA….
    also see ‘ economic facts and fallacies’
    by tom sowell

  74. asia January 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    there was a story…last week? in LATimes..guy who owned a company..did half million a year…employed 20 people..it was in jewelery
    he now counts chips at a casino for 10$ an hr!

  75. Sololeum January 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Peakinterest et al – Jim is an optimist – always has been.
    Think about it – we have four times or more population than the last time we fed ourselves without oil – then we were skilled and fit had plenty of horse and oxen with associated implements – now obese and clueless on the non-diesel driven production of food with our farms laden with DEBT – THINK ABOUT IT!!!
    I don’t think we need to lose 76% of the population but the alternative is getting those fit and skilled young gals and guys out from Cuba to “Save America” – mate that just aint going to happen, nor will the rapid conversion of playing fields and parks into veggie plots.

  76. asia January 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    do you have a blog elsewhere?
    have you thought of going into the religion business?
    you are a born BS er……………….

  77. asia January 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    which depression?
    1930s? 2010?

  78. asia January 4, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    big article in LATimes about a guy in michigan whos sinking 30M into farming with in detroit!

  79. Mr. Purple January 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    JHK’s question:
    “do we have the resources of national character left to make that [a new birth of intelligence] happen?”
    My answer:
    Yes, but the process of rediscovering those resources will not be pleasant, easy or cheap.

  80. Susan Butler January 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    There is a “new birth of intelligence” going on in two complementary fields, as we speak. I don’t know if this work will come to enough fruition in time to prevent the worst things Jim predicts; but they might. The first new form of intelligence is permaculture, a design discipline which aims to harness ecological energies to provide human habitat while restoring ecosystems. The example I like to use to illustrate this is the contrast between two methods of pest control: One uses an airplane flying over monocrops spraying petroleum-based neurotoxic pesticides. The other uses polycultures of a wide variety of plants providing attractive niches for beneficial insects, birds and soil organisms which automatically control pests. The second method is intelligence dense and capital lite. The first method is the reverse.
    The other “birth of intelligence” thing that’s happening now is open source collaboration. Wikipedia is one example. A lot of software is open source now because it’s better than what the corporations can come up with. The most exciting aspect of this new type of internet-based collaboration is open source hardware. Using freely available digital instructions, any small mechanics’ shop can become a digital fabrication lab and produce sophisticated machines –a tractor, an airplane, electronics –just about any machine we might want using only local resources –dirt, sunlight, scrap metal and the internet. Check out the Global Village Construction Set at http://openfarmtech.org to see how 16 basic tools can underpin a thriving local economy without using petroleum and without going back to horse and buggy days.
    These two new ways of seeing and organizing things are like the little mammals running between the dinosaurs’ legs just before the astroid hit.

  81. Mr. Purple January 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    “National character is not something that is readily apparent when things are going well, it reveals itself when things are not going well.”
    This reminds me of a bit of narration from the movie, Conan the Barbarian:
    “Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one’s mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.”

  82. Mr. Purple January 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    “Americans will have to learn useful skills and trades and put behind them the tragic hoax of the college education-for-all being our salvation.”
    Yup, there’s a lot of people with degrees in communications and world studies today who would have been picking crops or working in a factory 100 years ago.
    At least we have a few vestiges of trade schools and apprenticeship programs left. Believe it or not, there are actually places to learn machining and welding in Southern California!
    For example:
    http://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/academic/manufacturing_technology.shtml (speaking from personal experience, one can learn to use manually-controlled mills and lathes there as well.)

  83. lawis4losers January 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    You guys should get a load of the rip-off that is law school. There are NO jobs for new lawyers and its getting worse by the day:
    bigdebtsmalllaw.wordpress.com

  84. trippticket January 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Here’s another link about the Cuban example of what MIGHT happen if/when the fan gets hit by flying feces:






    Cuba had some distinct advantages over the US though. They’re not the rugged individualistic knuckleheads that most of us are…

  85. lawis4losers January 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    http://www.bigdebtsmalllaw.wordpress.com for info on what a ripoff law school in the US has beocome for non- Ivy League grads

  86. keithishere January 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    JHK sez
    “The Seattle Times published a story with the idiotic headline: Oil Touches $80 on US Economy, Demand Optimism.”
    land of micro-deception
    The Seattle Times answers to a large patrician class of globalization landed gentry here. Lots of shipping in-sourcing and out-sourcing here, lots to hide. Plenty of Millionaires and billionaires all proud of personal small carbon footprints.
    The cheerleaders of the status quo must scream optimism and joy loudly here.
    There will be plenty to loose when the shit hits the fan.
    Nobody here wants to think about those small carbon footprints too deeply, we are all still screaming party on here. Truth might hurt.
    Seattle

  87. Crud January 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    “I fundamentally in agreement with Jim regarding the consequences of peak oil, but I think a 33% reduction in population is a bit steep. That amounts to about 100 million people here in the good old U.S.A. Jim’s vision of the future assumes a total lack of character on the part of the average American…”
    The only reason we have the population numbers that we do is because of oil. Once oil scarcity becomes a fact of life for the public the population will naturally decline.
    Oil is used in all aspects of food production. Not only to fuel the trucks that ship the fruits/veggies or the plane that sprays the nitrates and the pesticides but in the actual creation of the nitrates and the pesticides. It not only fuels those trucks but is used in the creation of the tires the truck runs on. There’s almost nothing owned anymore where oil does not play a significant role in its creation, including medicine. Not to mention heating/refrigeration/electricity.

  88. Qshtik January 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    “Always someone around who has to point out spelling errors.”
    I like to ruffle feathers. It’s my “shtik” (sic).
    Don’t be so sensitive.
    “(on the internet no less, where the cowards go to play)”
    Of course on the internet. If I didn’t have the anonymity of the internet to protect me I’d have been missing my front teeth long ago.
    “Probably employed as a prof somewhere in the engrish* dept. counting on tenure”
    I’m a retired bean-counter … never worked in the academic field.
    BTW your writing shows a definite contempt for people with higher educations.
    *engrish? Are you Chinese?

  89. Crud January 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    Everything you say is so true. The Cubans were told to grow food on every bit of arable land. They eat better and healthier than many.
    It’s eventually going to suck for me and the majority of this country who live in the cities.

  90. trippticket January 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Thank you, Susan, for the analogy of the little mammals running under the dinosaurs’ legs just before the asteroid hit. Brilliant.
    I’ve occassionally tried to get some airtime for permaculture on this blog for almost a year now. Just made some headway last week finally! I guess our time has come.
    Wagelaborer is also a permie; Asoka is interested; diogen too I think; stay away from Vlad. Biodiversity and Vlad do not get along.
    Welcome to the fold!

  91. 1canuck January 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    1930s

  92. asoka January 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    wagelaborer,
    Your comment: “Don’t EVER expect NPR or any other corporate talking heads to acknowledge reality.”
    I gave up NPR and switched to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, which I get through iTunes podcast, and listen to at my convenience.
    I cut the cable and have no TV now, and don’t miss it. I now have time to read books from the public library.
    I am glad you are here and hope you continue to post. I am enjoying your posts immensely.

  93. NaiveRealist January 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Your comment about Obama bailing out the automotive industry I think is a bit specious and does not address the political aspects. The fact is, he was bailing out GMAC, the financial part of GM, because the banks all were into GMAC. This also gives the illusion of giving money to the unionized working stiff and saving jobs, while it still was bailing out the bankers.

  94. trippticket January 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    I’m glad we’re talking about Cuba and their response to economic collapse following the fall of the Soviet Union, but I think your last statement is kinda contradictory.
    You’ve seen what Cuba did. You have that knowledge. Start growing food in the city. The sooner the better!
    Some photos of my urban permaculture garden:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/?start_tab=sets

  95. Vlad Krandz January 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Oh come on. I want to be a permie too!
    Just cuz I’m a Fascist doens’t mean I can’t. You can’t not make me.
    Now sir, I appreciate the aid rendered but please don’t distort my viewpoint. I’m not against biodiversity. I simply said that organisms (incuding people) compete. And that two species cannot exist in the same niche in the same ecosystem in a given locale. You didn’t answer-is it because you can’t?
    Mexicans and Blacks are tribalists, not American Nationalists. Whites are a tribe, if only by default because everyone else is. And the tribes will compete and unless Whites get real and get a grip on the real world, they will be dispossesed. They already are being dispossesed-it will only increase as resources diminish.
    Blacks are being dispossesed from Southern California by the Mexicans just as Whites are. They are going back to the South and Whites are going to the Rocky Mountain States and the Northwest. The latter is one of the largest movements of people ever in the United States. Of course, our “News” doesn’t say a word about it.

  96. Vlad Krandz January 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    They sell em like they’us money. Forgot to tell you last time: what started Ike’s roundup was the Mexican Gangs were jumping Sailors on leave in Lost Angeles and San Diego. A couple of sailors got stabbed; one or two died I believe. These punks were known as Pahucos I think.

  97. Vlad Krandz January 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Also they’ve brought in countless nurses from the Phillipines and now Korea to undercut native workers. Unrestrained Capitalism leads to its own destruction-and treating worders are just inanimate capital is pretty unrestrained. Thus Marx was all for free trade knowing its end result. Marxism hates reform of all kinds because it wants to destroy not fix. The destruction ushers in the Workers Paradise, except it doesn’t.

  98. Keenan January 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Hugho and Slyph:
    The “best job prospects” list drives me bonkers because there is not one on it which directly contributes to producing tangible, tradable goods. All of these jobs can only exist in support of an economy which produces real goods and real wealth. The prospects that the Harvard and BLS dolts propose, and which NPR trumpets, is a variation on the theme of doing each others laundry.

  99. Nudge January 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Looks like Jim’s predictions are starting to come true. You be the judge:
    Woman Arrested for Punching Out McDonald’s Window Over McNuggets
    http://food.rightpundits.com/?p=1709
    Melodi Dushane, 24, of Toledo, Ohio has been arrested for allegedly smashing a McDonald’s drive through window when she was denied chicken McNuggets.
    The incident occurred around 6:20 am New Year’s day when Melodi Dushane drove up to the window in her white Mercury and ordered the McNugget’s as well as other dinner items. When informed that dinner items were not available after 2:30 am, Ms. Dushane allegedly became upset and punched McDonalds’s employee Melissa Vasquez in the mouth. The night manager, Tia Walker, came to the window and Dushane supposedly took a swing at her and tried to pull her through the drive through window. When that failed, Dushane punched the window, breaking it and sending glass flying everywhere.
    Police were called and Melodi Dushane was arrested for felony vandalism and lodged in the Lucas County jail after being treated at a local hospital for her minor injuries. Her court date is January 28th and she has been ordered to stay away from that McDonalds.

  100. wagelaborer January 4, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Here, Crud, you may have missed this link.
    For another view-
    http://patternliteracy.com/urban.html

  101. trippticket January 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Vlad, you can be a permie too. Not only can I not stop you, I don’t want to! I just don’t think the racism will hold once you get it.
    But ecology is just my game. So to that. Competition is as much a part of nature as sunshine. I agree. It is another form of mutualism. Humans have a hard time with it because they assign value to individuals instead of to species. Predation of the weak and diseased is good for the species. I think part of our problem as modern humans is that we haven’t allowed anyone to die in a long time. Nature doesn’t work that way, and we are quickly getting reintroduced to her ways.
    Different groups of animals can occupy different niches, even if they are the same species eating the same things in the same location. Think breakfast vs. lunch. Conflict avoidance is hard-wired into all of us. Now that we humans are sedentary and soft, for the most part, I think we’ll avoid it even more. As we get poorer, I think you’ll see that there will be LESS fighting, not more. If nature has anything to say on the matter.
    I worry about my gold, but I don’t fear the turnip bandits. I have seeds and knowledge to share with them. Doing me harm would be like needing a loan and killing the banker. Theft is only a problem when there is concentrated, highly-portable wealth to be gained. I’m not sure my grapes qualify.
    Monsanto scares me a lot more than my “black and brown” neighbors do.

  102. wagelaborer January 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Oh, Vlad, you were doing so well.
    Two sentences of truth and then you veered into bloviating again, for three sentences.
    Your percentage improved, though.

  103. wagelaborer January 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Thank you for the link, Trip.
    I am in a group which shows documentaries every Friday night, in an attempt to educate people.
    This movie looks like an ideal candidate for the series.

  104. wagelaborer January 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Thanks, asoka, I appreciate your posts also.
    I watch Amy Goodman everyday, usually. My TV broke last week.
    We get Free Speech TV, which I find informative.
    I don’t watch a lot of TV otherwise. I find out what people are being fed by listening to people at work.
    That’s why I didn’t know about Tiger Woods or Balloon Boy until well after everyone else did. But it’s very easy to get up to speed quickly, because everyone really really cares about these subjects! And they all have opinions.
    Not so much on the things that I care about.

  105. georget January 4, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    There is something in the water in many communities and its flouride, which has the effect of making people more compliant.
    The Germans utilized this during the infamous Third Reich.
    If you want more information on this get a copy of the book The Flouride Deception.
    The compliant response to the outrageous events that have been orchestrated could be partially a result of the deliberate manipulation of the public psychology through the addition of flouride to water supplies and toothpaste.

  106. Donny-Don January 4, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    I’m with you, Wendigo. I get a great deal of pleasure out of Kunstler’s lively writings, but remain mystified by some of the specifics he subscribes to. Like his unwillingness to acknowlege the elephant in the room: exponential population growth.
    But of course it makes better copy to predict the imminent and catastrophic implosion of society as we know it. And perhaps Kunstler is correct that is what we will see in the coming year.
    But I highly doubt it. America will continue its generally gradual downward spiral — having to learn to travel less, live with less junk, borrow less money, save more, learn to live within its own means and by its own wits. We’re already learning those lessons, but unfortunately we’re taking down much of Mother Nature and most of the middle class with us as the spiral continues.
    I just hope we can survive that long downward spiral with some grace, rather than hand our fate over to a bunch of fascist pricks who will appeal to the Bubba in paranoid America. But I’m afraid I fear the latter. Just look at how popular bullying morons like Beck, Hannity, and Coulter are. Once those pricks are in positions of real power we might as well kiss all common sense good-bye.

  107. Crud January 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Wagelaborer,
    that was excellent! Thanks very much for an alternate view. We’ll see what we see…. no one knows what will be in any of these armageddon scenarios.
    Either way, great stuff. Thanks a lot!

  108. Zappnin January 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    JHK says, “Expect a new and different way of organizing households based on extended families and kinship groups.” Allow me to humbly suggest that extended family and kinship groups are vastly overrated. Just because you are related does NOT mean that you will share insight, outlook, or attitude toward the Long Emergency. In fact, based on my own years-long experience, you are more likely wasting your time and energy trying to convince anyone in your extended family/kinship group to share even your general vantage point. All you reap is family discord.
    Things may be different in some subcultures within the American experience, but my own white, Anglo-Saxon kin identify more with the national political parties and corporate fraudster/bankster/gangsters than they do with family. Don’t waste your time. Join together with like minded individuals, those who are intelligent enough to have already seen the writing on the wall, or those who are smart enough to grasp the situation with little explanation. If those few are already family, great, but if not, still good. Keep this in mind and you will save yourself a lot of grief and will be on your way to forming groups and allegiances you can rely on in the coming times.

  109. georget January 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Jim,
    Your desire for a “new birth of intelligence” is admirable, but alas empires rise and fall and this one is most definitely in the process of falling.
    It’s easy to see when the end of empire is near and that’s when there’s a massive grab to get whatever you can before the party’s over. We’ve seen this in spades over the last 18 months. Think bonuses, paid for by the good old American taxpayer.
    Intelligence isn’t something people give a damn about anymore. What they care about is how to get the goodies on someone else’s dime. Think OPM (other people’s money) and OPW (other people’s work).
    Unfortunately, but realistically the changes coming will be resisted to the end, as they always are when the empire falls.

  110. Donny-Don January 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    BTW, I while I hate to destablize Kunstler’s convenient end-of-the-world narrative with actual facts, I must point out that his following statement is, well, complete B.S:
    “During the whole nervous period since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, American gasoline consumption hardly went down at all”
    Just check out this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/business/energy-environment/24refining.html?_r=2&hp
    (Of course, that’s the NYT, and they are probably part of the flouride-in-your-water conspiracy that Lynn Scwadchuck has alerted us to. Paranoia continues to run amock in Clusterfuck Nation.)

  111. Crud January 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    I understand your comment but I wonder where I would grow fruits and vegetables. I live on the 7th floor. While there is some land around me to grow on, there are 1000s of people. These people do not represent a homogenous group whether you look at the situation from a racial, religious, political, ethical viewpoint. In other words, over in Cuba there was a Communist revolution where people were taught to work together, here we don’t have the same sort of cohesiveness and people are always looking for a leg-up. I doubt that sort of thinking will change overnight.

  112. Laura Louzader January 4, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Your post is spot on. Moving in with kin is the last resort.
    There are many adjustments and sacrifices we can make that would reduce our energy usage sharply without having to pack ourselves into overcrowded houses with our parents and/or siblings and their mates. Extended families do not make for harmonious relationships, and while it’s good to have your kin in the neighborhood, it is too much intimacy for anyone to have them in the same household except at great need. This goes triple for mothers and daughters. I believe that most people can make do without resorting to this extreme if they ditch their 2500 sq ft houses and three cars for 1400 sq ft condos or apartments close to a good rail or bus line. Or even 900 sq ft apartments.
    My mother and sister are the most lovable people that I know, but neither one wants to hear about any major departure from their suburban lifestyles. Or even MINOR adjustments. And neither one of them lives within walking distance of a decent bus or rail line, or retail, or jobs. If I were to move back to my old city, that I left over 20 years ago, I’d have to buy a car and I’d lose the dense network of friendships and associations I’ve developed in Chicago over the past two decades.

  113. Jimini January 4, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Although I agree with most or all of JHKs prognostications, the reality won’t be nearly so nice. We Americans are not going to go meekly into the night, swallowing our extravagant lifestyles without a burp. The resulting economic implosion won’t be pleasant for anyone, none more so than those who have “earned” the least (the middle class), while leveraging the most. The ensuing socio/economic firestorm is TRULY gonna be one for the ages. Cheers!
    JIMINI

  114. asoka January 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Laura said: “most people can make do without resorting to this extreme if they ditch their 2500 sq ft houses and three cars for 1400 sq ft condos or apartments close to a good rail or bus line. Or even 900 sq ft apartments.”
    Before the Long Emergency ends we will have to live in much less than 900 sf, especially those single folks not living with family.
    See this book:
    Put Your Life On a Diet: Lessons Learned from Living in 140 Square Feet (ISBN 9781423603177) by Gregory Paul Johnson
    http://bit.ly/6CuZCG
    In many third world countries, which is the direction we are supposedly heading as our empire collapses, new subsidized public housing units for low-income in the third world are about 300 sf. and that’s for a family of four.
    We need to drastically reduce our energy use and one way to do that is to reduce square footage of basic housing units, thereby using fewer materials in construction and less energy in heating/cooling.
    Where possible (especially in rural arid environments) housing should be like it is for one third for the world’s population now: housing made out of earth.
    Cob, compressed earth bricks, adobe, earth bags, etc. are structures which provide thermal mass, breathe naturally, and yet provide cooling & heating naturally, with very little external energy inputs. (We can learn from Egyptians like Hassan Fathy; we need to learn wood-free earthen construction of Nubian vaults, arches, and domes.
    See the book: Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt at http://bit.ly/7AuufD)
    I don’t think we are serious yet about conservation, downsizing, and simplifying our lifestyle voluntarily to house our increasing population, even decades after the Club of Rome report, though some immigrants may bring knowledge with them of earthen architecture that we can benefit from.
    Here a cult I recommend: The Simple Living Cult. We had better be about that task of cultivating voluntary simplicity, while we still have the opportunity.

  115. Smacktle January 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    If you want to mess with some peoples minds, then go to http://www.headshaker.com

  116. diogen January 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    >I live on the 7th floor
    I was in Japan a few years ago — they have incredible gardens on flat rooftops of tall buildings, as well as balconies. Also, in Scandinavian countries and Switzerland they have vast community gardens outside of cities and towns, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allotment_(gardening)
    Even in Brooklyn NY there’s an old community garden that folks take a bus to, and as far as i know there haven’t been problems with theft and vandalism. Also, check out the latest Organic Gardening, there’s a story about Fritz Haeg and his approach to lawns-to-gardens.
    It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing proposition. Even if you grow just some of the food you eat, that will be good for you body and soul (not to mention your budget :)

  117. piltdownman January 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Jim -
    You really scare me when your posts are concise, cool and calculated, as is this one.
    I was out in LA last week and, just for a moment, I stopped and looked around. I imagined the world you imagine; where the six laners are empty (save for Mad Max Motorists) and where food is scarce and poverty is rife and pain is palpable. I realized how quickly it could indeed happen. How a singular event in the Straits of Hormuz could turn LA and the 405 into a parking lot and beget a society out of control.
    While I do agree with some posters who say we’ll “rise to the occasion,” when the shit hits the fan, I only think that will work in areas which have a history of some normalcy. LA, and all of SoCal, have none.

  118. oakley January 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Tripp the link you posted to your permaculture pages on Flickr opens my own Flickr page. Can you post again please?

  119. Laura Louzader January 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    When I read of families living in 300 sq ft, I think of the importance of contraception and family planning.
    We wouldn’t need to talk about the die off of a third or more of our own population and 300 sq foot mud hovels for a family of four if we could keep our breeding under control.
    Is there a middle ground between the incredible waste and extravagance of American lifestyles, and a 4th world mud-hovel favella?
    One thing people might want to do by way of preparation for dire times ahead is get yourself sterilized while surgical sterilization is still available for a halfway reasonable price. This is one thing worth going into debt for. If there’s no room for you and me, there is sure as hell no room for our kids. A 50% reduction in the number of children born in any given generation would give those who are born a little bit of breathing room.

  120. Godozo January 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    Looking for bubbles?
    Look at the stock market. I’ll bet that half the $$$ that’s supposed to be going to “stimulus projects” is instead going into stocks to make things look like they’re getting better.

  121. k-dog January 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    “Oil trading above $80 a barrel”
    This may start the year but the first big story is about a nut ball African trying to bring down western civilization by attempting to blow up an airplane using ass chemicals.
    How a country obsessed with terrorist threats from ass chemicals can suddenly become interested in reality is asking way too much.
    We are all doomed.

  122. abbeysbooks January 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Just google intentional communities and you will find thousands to choose from. I can personally say that they are fine and diverse.

  123. trippticket January 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    No, I totally agree with you, especially about Cuba. But we will have to find a way to feed ourselves within a far more local economy. I worry about the real urbanites. I’m in a 1920s/30s suburb about a mile and a half from downtown. Close enough to walk, but enough land to grow a fair amount of food. Lots of open land in most cities will need to be opened up for agrarian purposes. You could help with that from your 7th floor flat!
    I don’t know, for me it’s been an issue of food quality for years now; peak oil/energy descent is just a motivator to get serious about laying the groundwork for feeding more than my family.

  124. trippticket January 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45300880@N05/sets/72157623134141548/
    Try this one.

  125. oakley January 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    Tripp the link you gave to the Flickr pages on your permaculture project opened to my own Flickr page. I tried to find you by searching PC but there were so many….Can you please link again?

  126. oakley January 4, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Thanks!

  127. CLOUDSHADOW January 4, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    I have been a witness to the american character having warked in factories for over 30 years now, and from what I have seen “we’re screwed”.
    In the event that the trucks stop rolling(by the way no one seams to be talking about electric semis to deliver well EVERYTHING) and there is no food do any of your comenters know how to grow anything. First you need seeds, a lot of seeds, and pray that they stop in early spring if not it takes a long time to grow anything and you will run out of time. Most importent is the fact that we are many generations away from growing, preserving and cooking with home grown produce.
    So to wrap it up you are an optomist with only 100 million dead. Your readers should read the book “Night” to find out about human character, because there is only humans in survival situations.

  128. willow January 4, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Am I crazy, or was my reading of Jim’s analysis of the population problem all screwed up?
    I could have sworn he opined that population was such an obvious elephant in the parlor, yet so impossible to mandate without Chinese/Nazi/Stalinesque statistic arabesques that he chose to concentrate his intellectual investment with words that might have a chance to stimulate rebellious minds among the ant nest population.
    Because let’s face it, we are ants. And our cozy nest just happens to be doomed. But read “Watership Down” for an accurate picture of what happens when a “Fiver” or Cassandra screams warning. The nest stays put, and any little ant that strikes out on his own needs all the encouragement he can get from his small band of brothers.

  129. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    For those of you who ARE experienced with a canning bath in September, keep in mind that the normal (e.g. Ball and Kerr) jars have lids lined with BPA that is just as dangerous as it is in canned goods from the grocery, plastic baby bottles, water bottles, etc.
    Here is a link to a reusable system developed by zee Germans. No metal lids to replace every year. The FDA doesn’t approve, so it’s probably really functional stuff.
    http://www.weckcanning.com/
    I should buy some Weck stock…

  130. jerry January 5, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    James, I agree, when the bottom falls out, it will be fast. In the meantime, it takes a strong and independently minded person to take charge of their life and adapt to a new paradigm.
    The American people are not good at adaptations. They prefer their lives to move along unchanged. To grow some of their own food, move to a real community, getting involved with neighbors and community other than barbecue party scene is foreign for most Americans.
    Parring down one’s life begins with a mind change and many Americans cannot do it. Most are stuck with their minds in dogma quicksand. Even those who are prepared may find it hard to adapt, but they will get it figured out sooner than most.
    2010 will be very interesting. We will see just who had it right and who did not.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  131. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    No doubt I’m a bit crunchier than your average American, but I’m with Asoka on passive solar, earth building techniques. Look how cute this thing is:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/permacultureplanet/3705820373/in/photostream/
    Wonder if it has a garbage disposal?
    Actually there are lots of beautiful earthen structures all over the world. Devon, England has many cob homes that have been continually occupied for 500 years, and they fetch a premium on the rare occassion when they change hands. Surely recycling and improving a building that already exists is more sustainable than anything new, and we have more than we need already, but I can’t wait to see our creative side shining through!

  132. asoka January 5, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Thanks, Tripp. The image many people have is that mud houses are fourth world “mud-hovel favellas” when in reality they are clean and healthy places to live.
    As you say, many have lasted for centuries, and when, and if, they do disintegrate they go back to the earth they came from without polluting the environment.
    Here is a picture of a wood-less roof structure:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubian_vault
    Earthen floors can also be polished with natural linseed oils to be very comfortable and thermal. Here is a linseed oil-treated mud floor:
    http://ilovecob.com/wp-content/files/linseedoiledfloor.jpg
    I think we have to change our mindset. Living in earthen structures is NOT equal to living in poverty and dirt.
    We need to live in harmony with the earth and not cover it over with concrete. Concrete is highly energy-intensive and will not survive in the Long Emergency as a building material.
    We need to think in terms of the seventh-generation and beyond. We need to think about how our living structures will affect the earth when they eventually disintegrate.

  133. Vlad Krandz January 5, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    Yah Komrade. Now we are begining to see eye to eye. Nature is red in tooth and claw. The weak go down and provide sustenance for the strong-and fertizlize the soil! The death of the cell is the health of the organism.
    But man, unlike other animals, is also a thinker and can consciously plan ahead, at least some can. The Leaders of the Rover Packs will realize that the food is running out and they have to either become farmers or the Lords of farmers. They will choose the latter of course. And who is better at farming than the Quakers? And who is more conveniently situated near a major metropolis? And completely unarmed, lacking a warrior caste to protect them-they are destined to become the serfs of Black Gangs coming out of Philedelphia.
    Hopefully White Patriots will be able to liberate these people at some point. But they will go through Hell first. Nature takes an exceedingly dim view of pacificism.

  134. Vlad Krandz January 5, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    The Brother is from another Planet. I complimented him on Sunday for his use of Paradox of the Cretan Liar (as a way to simultaneously express both his inferiority and superiority complex-pure genius) and he went off on me. I had simply suggested that he give up his attempt to become a fruitarian and he started raving at me that Blacks were ethically and physically superior to Whites. And that Whites were depraved but Blacks would show us how much they loved us.
    I think he’s a Racist! I think the movie Avatar unbalanced him and then I just pushed him over the edge somehow.

  135. Vlad Krandz January 5, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    Have you given any thought to my idea of us writing a series of feminist fairy tales featuring feminist female farm animal heroines?
    We could make millions, trust me-with you as the writer getting the bulk of it. You are a mad genius. If I can’t convert you, I’ll work with you to make dollars or “frogskins” as the Sioux call them.
    One scenario: Pippi Longstocking’s horse suddenly starts talking-tells her about the birds and the bees from Her Point of View! See? I’m an idea man, but I need you to provide the nitty gritty-what the Horse actaully says to Pippi. That can’t be faked. Let’s touch noses and shake paws over this.

  136. Ricechex January 5, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    OK. I could not get through all of these comments, as because as usual, the comments began to decompensate.
    The collapse is here and apparent in southern CA. Spent the weekend in Palm Desert, CA. Palm Desert is an endless mall of sorts from Indio to Palm Springs. Roads are 3 lanes in each direction. There is brand new construction of strip malls that are vacant. “Downtown” Palm Desert is a host of fancy designer clothing and art galleries, with every 4 stores for lease. Oddly, there is a sign for a brand new mall to be completed in 2010, but saw no signs of construction. Just who is going to buy Dolce and Gabbana anymore? Coachella Valley is likely the beginning of the fall for the unsustainable desert.
    JHK is spot on, and I appreciate the Monday blogs. Thanks JHK.

  137. Vlad Krandz January 5, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    “The American People will rise to the occasion”. What American People? There is no such thing-anymore that is. Now we’re just a huge collection of ethnic groups speaking two major languages and and dozen or so minor ones. Three major ones if you call Ebonics a language. Do the ethnic groups get along? No, they ignore each other for the most part and for now. Once things get bad, and the rule of Law weakens drastically, they will go to war. Don’t be near other ethnic groups if you intend to survive the Long Emergency. Empires always fall, like the polygot Towers of Babel they are. Don’t get caught behind enemy lines.
    East Asians and South Asians might seek to ally with Whites during the Emergency. That might be mutually advantageous-but not as a long term solution. Not in my new Country anyway. You all can do what you like in Ecotopia (northern California up the coast to Seattle, maybe) or New Israel (the East Coast from Washington to Portland Maine) New Africa will be below that and stretch to Texas through the Deep South. Aztlan to the east of that all the way to Southern California. White Lands will be in the middle and to the North.

  138. AMR January 5, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    This article about a couple’s return to urban living in Portland after a decade in rural Douglas County mentions several trends that I have observed during my time in Ashland, at the far southern end of Oregon. Like much of Oregon, the Rogue Valley, which includes Ashland, has a large population of idealistic and ideologically driven back-to-the-land types. Offhand, I think the Rogue Valley has a much higher concentration of these people than most of Oregon; what I can say with reasonable certainty is that it is absolutely swarming with people who affect a countrified persona but aren’t really living off the land as they purport to be doing.
    These back-to-the-land types hail disproportionately from the Bay Area. Many of them claim to be refugees from Bay Area traffic, crowding, social alienation, and other alleged urban ills that they usually blow greatly out of proportion. So they move into wood-heated cabins in the hills, chop and stack some portion of their own firewood and wax eloquent about how self-sufficient they are. Never mind their ten, twenty, thirty-some-mile commutes to jobs in town, or the fact that a great many of them grow little or none of their own food. They’ve brought with them political ideas that they acquired in the Bay Area but not the civic gumption that those left behind in the Bay Area have used to make government actually work; Ashland is more than a bit like Berkeley without BART.
    Hence, the politics of Jackson County is usually a dysfunctional mess dominated by partisan grandstanding and recrimination. It takes two to tango, of course, and there is plenty of mutual distrust and hostility between left-wing newcomers and right-wing oldtimers. Broadly speaking, much of the regional politics is an infernal culture war between these two factions, often over land-use planning. Regardless of the specific issue at hand, however, all sorts of extraneous wedge issues have a way of being introduced into deliberations about even the most basic matters. The resulting spectacles can be very entertaining for anyone interested in politics, but it is much less comforting to realize that all sorts of important policy decisions are being made in processes dominated by buffoons.
    Hence the near complete lack of leadership on public transit, something that one might expect the very noisy environmental community in Ashland to demand be improved. Instead, transit is an afterthought, for whatever reasons: maybe because poor whites and Mexicans ride the bus, maybe because buses seem like an affront to the Rogue Valley’s rural lifestyle–there are a lot of possible reasons, but the result is a desultory bus system.
    Then there are policy decisions that are made directly by buffoons, notably the Sheriff. Having declared himself “the sheriff of ALL of Jackson County,” Mike Winters has spent much of his tenure picking fights with the Ashland and Medford Police Departments. His narrow reelection over Tim George, a much more sensible man who was then a Medford Police Lieutenant, further calls into question Jackson County’s capacity for self-governance, especially since much of Winters’ campaign strategy was to smear Lt. George by smearing his department. My sense is that Winters eked out a victory by turning his reelection campaign into a microcosm of the urban/rural, liberal/conservative culture war. I’d say his campaign was analagous to Sarah Palin’s Vice-Presidential campaign. It was divisive, pseudoagrarian rightwing boilerplate, and unlike Palin’s, it didn’t backfire.
    Based on its recent history of political dysfunction, I posit that Jackson County will adapt very haphazardly and poorly to peak oil.

  139. Pangolin January 5, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    The smug people at the end of rural roads will discover that asphalt is oil, oil is money and the county is broke. That half-hour drive into town for a pizza will be an hour plus in a few years; if you can get gas. That’s all of Vlads, or fefe’s, too-proud white folks who will discover that town folk will remember their tea-party antics and not kindly.
    There wasn’t an Aztlan or anything like it in 1849 and there won’t be one in thirty years. The Constitution was written for a country of rural people living around small towns. The Federal government may be a name only institution but so was the Roman Empire for hundreds of years. There will be government even if the Sheriff’s men ride bamboo mountain bikes and the Sheriff is effectively the local king. Classical Athens was tiny compared to todays cities. We have Universities with larger populations.
    Things make suck for you but government is an itch humans always scratch.

  140. Pangolin January 5, 2010 at 5:46 am #

    About the ecology thing….if there is a permaculture operation anywhere in the U.S. that is paying the mortgage off with the sale of produce I’ve never heard of it. Like geodesic domes in the seventies everyone talks about it but nobody lives it.
    Straw bale, rammed earth and cob houses do fine wherever the frost doesn’t heave the ground. I’ve heard of straw bale houses in Nebraska and seen pictures. I’ve been in local rammed earth, and straw bale house’s and you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t looking carefully. They are far more comfortable inside than the usual, drafty, balloon-framed house. Thick walls make a huge difference.

  141. messianicdruid January 5, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    “Reporting from Washington and Las Vegas – A 66-year-old retiree apparently upset over losing a lawsuit related to his Social Security benefits opened fire in a federal courthouse lobby Monday morning, killing one person and wounding another in a chaotic shootout.
    The gunman, identified by law enforcement sources as Johnny Lee Wicks, died from gunshot wounds after fleeing across the street as court officers returned fire.”
    http://cryptogon.com/?p=12878#respond {video}

  142. Dark Fired Tobacco January 5, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Ran off a copy of JHK’s column at the hotel business center and read it while going up US 1 from Jacksonville through south GA to Macon yesterday. (I wasn’t driving at the time!) Looking at the landscape through Jim’s eyes I saw town after town with shuttered stores: a Chrysler dealership closed, numerous fast food joints vacant, bars, restaurants, and various service economy shops all with “For Lease” signs.
    US 1 is a four-lane divided highway with a grassed median, sort of a “poor man’s Interstate,” yet traffic was noticeably light. A railroad, CSX mainline, ran parallel to the road for miles, yet we never saw a train. (No passenger service has been in these parts since circa 1970). The Waycross downtown was something out of the fifties, with railroad tracks in every direction and a passenger depot falling down.
    We are in deep trouble, folks. There is no “small town America” left for which we can return. Even if we did, we would be trapped in a post-oil world with no sustainable transportation, low density development,little opportunity, and often very limited, freight-only rail service.
    Amtrak was close to capacity in the post-holiday period in our ride from JAX to south Florida and back. With five coaches, a snack car, diner, and three sleepers, the train was too long for many station platforms, yet Amtrak has no plans for a train from Florida to Chicago, or anywhere else the bankrupt states are not willing to fund.
    And this administration is trying to get us back to “normal.” Unfortunately, Normal is just a town in Illinois.

  143. Onthego January 5, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    NY Times columnist Bob Herbert makes two observations in his column for Jan. 5, 2010 that perfectly illustrate the difficulties we face as a nation: “This is a society in deep, deep trouble and the fixes currently in the works are in no way adequate to the enormous challenges we’re facing.” And “We’re not smart as a nation. We don’t learn from the past, and we don’t plan for the future.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/opinion/05herbert.html)
    Regardless of how (or on whom) one assigns blame, the current state of political affairs only exacerbates the situation regarding the lack of consensus on the dilemmas that face us and possible approaches toward mitigating the worst of the results (solutions are no longer possible). End of Empire days are often marked by this kind of thing.

  144. Mack184 January 5, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    I have been reading this blog for about a year now. As the current radio vernacular would put it..”Long time listener, first time caller”. I am in my mid-50′s and grew up in Upstate NY. Family farms were all around us, and as a teen I worked for a couple of the farmers and a milkman. While I would tend to agree with Jim about agriculture returning in a devolving economy & culture, so many of the people today between the ages of 12-40 don’t have any connection to family farms or agriculture of anytime. These are people who think that vegetables come from cans and that milk comes from the store. Most of those people think that small farms are “polluters” run by hicks and simpletons and nothing more. Never mind that more than a few of these “hicks” hold degrees from the Cornell Ag School. For agriculture to begin to localize, there’s a serious need for education about just what family farmers are about.
    As far as our culture pulling together in a crisis, I tend to agree with Jim, that we have become so selfish as a society that I am afraid that it will turn into an “every man for himself” scramble, and far too many people will be huddling in corners for safety as thugs roam around taking what they want. It’s not a comfy thought for anyone, musch less those of us working their way towards 60.

  145. wagelaborer January 5, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    As it happens, I tried building a straw bale building with cob walls. It also is very hard work.
    And the walls are full of hornet tunnels now.
    At an energy fair, there was a guy with styrofoam building blocks that you fill with concrete and leave the forms as part of the building. It made massive walls and looked pretty easy to do. I realize that styrofoam and concrete are not sustainable, but we’ve got them now and it might be better if you’re building a shelter.
    All this talk about going to smaller houses cracks me up. I grew up in a 900 ft house, and according to Google Earth, it’s still there, along with the other thousands of 900 ft houses around it. I’m assuming that families live there, the way they did when I was a kid. There was a front yard and a back yard in which some food could be grown, as long as the water keeps running, I guess.
    I now live in a 1400 ft house, which was a work shed at one time. Part of it is still a shed. It seems big to me, since I’ve mostly lived in smaller places. It’s not really that difficult.
    There may be a lot of people living in McMansions, but I’ll bet there’s a lot more living in shacks, trailers and small houses.
    I did work with Filipino nurses in California. They lived in extended families. They didn’t like it any more than anyone else. The mother-in-laws really bugged them.
    One thing the Filipinos did was have family banks. They loaned money to family members as distant as second cousins. Kind of like credit unions, but in the family.
    This made it easier for them to make it in America.

  146. Mr. Purple January 5, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    “far too many people will be huddling in corners for safety as thugs roam around taking what they want”
    At least some of the thugs will start working together. Some of the people huddling in corners will wind up making deals with some of the thugs. And the social contract is inked anew.
    Disclaimer: I know that sounds overly optimistic to some. The above scenario will only be reached after much suffering, and some people will never reach it at all.

  147. wagelaborer January 5, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    People are also living in small apartments, cars, tents in the woods and under bridges, of course.

  148. Mr. Purple January 5, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Speaking of food stamps and Bob Herbert, here’s a New York Times article about people with no income besides food stamps, referenced by Herbert in his column.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/us/03foodstamps.html?scp=1&sq=January+3+2010&st=nyt

  149. wagelaborer January 5, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Has no one here heard of the South Central Community Garden?
    The brown and black people of South Central created a lush 14 acre garden on unused land. Pay attention, Vlad!
    Then they were evicted by the LA country Sheriffs. The garden was destroyed and guards keep people from recreating it.
    Nothing was developed on the land.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Central_Farm

  150. wagelaborer January 5, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    A brief history of community gardens in New York. Landlords were allowed to burn buildings for insurance, but people trying to reclaim the vacant lots for gardens were harassed.
    http://www.notbored.org/gardens.html

  151. uncle doug January 5, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    As for Linclon’s call for a new birth of freedom lets just remember what that actually got us – after the Civil War we had almmost half a century of reconstruction, night riders, corrupt polititcs and the birth of the KKK in the South. We need to be careful what we wish for.

  152. Shaun H Kelley January 5, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    >do I stay, or do I get out?
    Get out? To where?

  153. anglo January 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    A general question from a non U.S. resident.
    The impression of Americans prevailing among most people I know and talk with is that of a largely untutored and brain washed mass of bigoted, violent and distrustful gun owning morons. Sky News (Fox over there) has a continuous unending spew of fear mongering lies and distortions that it offers as “News” which seems to be swallowed hook, line and sinker by you people. (Please tell me I am wrong )
    I discovered J.H.K’s column a couple of years ago and now try not to miss it. It gives the lie to the above stated impression insofar that his opinions appear to make him very aware of what is happening in the world today, further, the correspondence entered into by most (though not all) of his readers seem to reinforce this feeling. Wagelaborer for instance comes across as a straightforward and intelligent person, how does he/she stay sane in that environment ?
    Getting back to the question. Does anybody have any idea of the ratio between thickoes and normal sane people in your country ? It is very worrying to have such a powerful entity as the U.S.A. to be in such a sorry state.

  154. wagelaborer January 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Wow, thanks phucmegently.
    I have an opinion about the ratio. It is based solely on my observations.
    Around 5% of Americans are aware and decent people. 30% are total dickheads.
    The others fluctuate between decency and dickheadedness.
    Most Americans, though, are friendly and fun-loving. This is how I stay sane, because, really, humans are social animals, and as long as we can get along with each other, we have a good time.

  155. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    And here I was just thinking the Amish were entering their heyday as the instructing class!
    Maybe I’m naive, but I think more highly of my countrymen than this. They will be shocked when it hits them, no doubt, but then they will adapt. Urban farms like mine will be epicenters of activity in the coming years.
    If we all focused as much attention on preparation for that day as we spend debating the specifics of how it may or may not go down, we’d probably be ready for it…

  156. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    One thing concerns me, especially in the US, is the idea that we may be heading back to a wood-based economy. Which is obviously far more realistic and sustainable than one based on fossil energy. But when everyone starts cutting trees for construction, and firewood to replace all that electric and fossil heat, forests are going to take a massive hit at just the time we need them to be on the rebound.
    Earth building techniques will be extremely important, and will need to be dessiminated to the public rapidly.
    Personally, I think earth structures are superior to conventional in almost every way:
    http://www.lavoutenubienne.org/?lang=en
    Check out the video…

  157. wagelaborer January 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    The Amish around here use machinery powered by fossil fuels.
    I buy hay from them sometimes. It’s good hay, because, as they explain “We spray”.

  158. diogen January 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    >Around 5% of Americans are aware and decent
    wow Wage, r u pessimistic or cynical, or having a bad day? Even though I’m in my 3rd year of the age of disillusionment, things don’t look so bleak to me. I’d estimate that the vast majority of Americans are decent human beings who’re trying to minimize their existential pain and max their pleasure of being alive, and only a small minority are truly evil who intentionally mislead and cause pain and suffering. Yes, most of our fellow citizens prefer to live superficially and not contemplate the consequences of their choices, but this is human nature and the tragedy of the human condition in every corner of the earth…

  159. diogen January 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    I live near Holmes County in Ohio, the largest Amish area in the world (according to Wikipedia). Only about 10% of the Amish still farm around here, and most of them use (directly or indirectly) at least some fossil fuel and electricity for both/either farming or other purposes (they hire people to drive them in cars and trucks). Most of them depend on the “English” as they call us to make a living. They do have a smaller carbon footprint than most of us, but probably not much smaller everything considered. An Amish bulk food store nearby gets most of its bulk foods from Pennsylvania (where THEY get it is anyone’s guess :( They are probably better equipped to retool when the fossil spigot dries up because they do know how to care and use work horses and other farm animals, but they too will face harsh times if/when the moment of truth arrives….

  160. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    “Forcing people to buy something they already cannot afford is a truly idiotic idea. It’s like passing a law that tries to solve the homeless problem by making it against the law to not buy a house.”
    http://www.naturalnews.com/027870_health_reform_insurance.html

  161. asia January 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    yes..due to public radio I know well of this!
    they were evicted …BECAUSE THEY HAD NO MORE RIGHT TO BE THERE THAN I DO!

  162. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Between you and diogen, I stand corrected on the Amish. My vision of them is of the family Barbara Kingsolver visits and writes about in her book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.”
    I do order the occassional manual tool from Lehman’s catalogue, which supposedly serves the Amish community, but that’s about it. And those tools probably travelled many miles to reach his warehouse.
    I’ve never lived anywhere near them, so can’t speak plainly on their behalf, but we do have some Hudderites nearby that raise tasty chickens!
    When it comes time to make everything we need locally, it should be interesting! My advice: we should all think very hard about what tools we will need to conduct our daily business, and buy them now.

  163. asia January 5, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Even 15? years ago ‘they’ were predicting USA population at 400 mill to half bill or more….all due to the third world dumping its criminal unemployed unemployable ‘ unwashed masses’ [ sorry emma] on the usa…
    what of it..do you expect ‘ die off’ books to be on the cover of wash post?

  164. asia January 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    ?????????????
    please explain so i can understand

  165. asia January 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    what % goes to animals?
    pets?
    beef?
    dairy cows?
    fowl?
    any idea???

  166. asia January 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    a naturopath told me the same.
    long ago comedian dick gregory said theres a tie from the rockefellers to flouride..i asked the ND…he said
    ‘ the tie is alcoa aluminum’

  167. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Mack, I think you’d be surprised how many 20- and 30-somethings there are out there getting back into agriculture. I’d say a very large percentage of local, organic food is produced by this demographic.
    Are there many getting into conventional agriculture? Probably not, and maybe this disparity is leading to the misconception that generation X is completely lost outside.
    I’m sure that’s a fair assumption for the majority, but not for all of us. We see where the future is heading;)

  168. asoka January 5, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    tripp said: “Earth building techniques will be extremely important, and will need to be dessiminated to the public rapidly.”
    Agreed. And knowing how to construct Nubian vaults will be important knowledge. Africans know how to do this. Mother Africa, the civilization that will save us. (Hassan Fathy (from Egypt) came to the USA to teach the construction of Nubian vaults. You can still learn the technique at the Adobe College in New Mexico.
    Passive solar made possible by the thermal mass of earthen structures make it possible to heat without some much burning of wood in wood stoves, lessening the amount of particulate put into the atmosphere.
    As wagelaborer noted, straw bale has the disadvantage of being organic material that critters love to make their home in if the structure is not kept well-stuccoed.
    For my money adobe or CEB is the way to go.

  169. Qshtik January 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    “The impression of Americans prevailing among most people I know and talk with is that of a largely untutored and brain washed mass of bigoted, violent and distrustful gun owning morons.”
    =============================
    No Fuck Me, the impression you and your friends have is pretty much right-on and only slightly hyperbolic. We, over here, are, for the most part, a bunch of unemployed dolts who sit around all day eating chips, watching soaps and reality shows and flogging the ol mule when ever the libido tank refills. Certainly no one can afford a tutor or would have the slightest inclination to hire one even if they could … so, yes, we are way more than “largely” untutored. And if you call swallowing every utterence and image that emanates from the tube being brain washed well then yes, we are that too. “Bigoted, violent and distrustful gun owning morons?”: yes, yes and yesssss. As we sit pounding our puds we do so with a twelve guage across our knees in case a person of even a slightly different hue happens by and affords a target of opportunity.
    About half of us swallow Fox News hook, line and sinker. The other half swallow the “blue state” equivalent such as the NYT Op-Ed page (Krugman, Herbert, Dowd, etc) and other commie pinko swill. Ya know, the kind of assholes who think it’s a bad idea to be spending trillions fighting two wars on the other side of the world and itching to get it on in a third: Yemen.
    And don’t let this CFN blog throw off your perception … JHK is as full of shit as a christmas turkey as much as the rest of us … it’s just that he has a way with words as, inexplicably, do a lot of the commenters here.
    Wagelaborer is a she and a socialist of the first rank. Also a feminist who does her best to pretend she doesn’t hate men since she’s married to one, but all in all an intelligent sounding pleasant read.
    And as to your ultimate question: “Does anybody have any idea of the ratio between thickoes and normal sane people in your country?” the answer would be 99 “thickoes” to one “normal sane.” That one outlier on the bell curve is Vlad (the Impaler) Krandz, formerly Jaego Scorzne. Vlad is what passes for sane over here … if that doesn’t give you pause.

  170. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    We teach them permaculture to revitalize their tired landscapes; they teach us how to build a house without destroying ours.
    Vlad “the Sane” must be chomping at the bit to correct our misperceptions.
    Here’s an article written by a permaculture colleague here in Washington about another form of eco-friendly building you might enjoy:
    http://www.richsoil.com/wofati.jsp
    Also a video about permaculture’s contribution to the older, more worn out landscapes of the world:






    Cheers!

  171. asoka January 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Q said: “Wagelaborer is a she and a socialist of the first rank. Also a feminist…”
    Wagelaborer is one of the most compassionate, intelligent, and sane persons to post here, so it does not surprise me if she is a socialist feminist, and certainly doesn’t surprise me that she is “first rank”
    Of course, your whole post was tongue-in-cheek, so I suspect your socialist feminist labeling was not meant as a compliment.
    And, yes, spending trillions on wars halfway around the world is a bad idea. Bin Laden openly said, at the time of the 9/11 attack, that his goal was to draw the USA into land wars in Middle Eastern countries… and the USA was stupid enough to do just that, with the number of countries bombed and occupied growing.
    The Taliban want USA troops out of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda wants them in. Al Qaeda is winning.
    With our mass murders and torture we are doing Bin Laden’s recruitment work for him. I hope one day to see both Bush and Obama standing trial for their “pre-emptive” (i.e., unprovoked) crimes against humanity.
    And the individual soldiers who awaken children from their sleep, handcuff, and then murder them, should also stand trial.
    Support our troops? Hell no! Not when they are kicking down doors in the night and committing cold-blooded mafia-style assassinations.
    Western troops accused of executing 10 Afghan civilians, including children
    By Jerome Starkey in Kabul
    American-led troops were accused yesterday of dragging innocent children from their beds and shooting them during a night raid that left ten people dead.
    Afghan government investigators said that eight schoolchildren were killed, all but one of them from the same family. Locals said that some victims were handcuffed before being killed.
    http://bit.ly/8eha8x

  172. Tancred January 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    It’s not really about what fuels our cars, it’s about how people have ALWAYS travelled around: paths, roads, and trails. Even before cars and rail, paths, roads, and trails were the way people connected with each other and other groups in distant places. What we need to do is take our transportation out of the private, “oh look at me and my cool car” sector and invest in automatic pods that take us where we need to go at the touch of a button. No accidents, either. Where does the Luddite in HK come from? For a guy who is so invested in the Intar-Webs, I find it confounding.

  173. Qshtik January 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Vlad,
    On 1/3 @1:32 AM I replied to your post as follows: “Surely Abu Dhabi expects to receive something more than a return of principle on their recent $10B bailout of Dubai World even if it isn’t in the form of cash.”
    Our answer to what form the return would take arrived yesterday with fireworks: The Burj Dubai now has a new name: Burj Khalifa. Sheikh Mohammad ordered it renamed to honor Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the UAE president and emir of Abu Dhabi that recently saved Dubai’s bacon.

  174. Mack184 January 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Regarding the “Thickos & Louts”. In a sense, it’s not correct to call them “uneducated”. My youngest son (21) recently graduated from a community college with a degree in culinary & restaurant managment. While he was in school he was on the Dean’s list. Once he graduated, I was astounded as what he didn’t know (very basic knowledge) and how sort of willingly “know-nothing” he & his friends were, despite getting a reasonable bit of common-sense education from his mother and I. While I know not ALL people this age are like this, it’s not just the “unschooled” who think this way.

  175. Qshtik January 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    “a reasonable bit of common-sense education from his mother and I.”
    =========================
    A note to Smacktle,
    See now, above is one of those classic situations where I can’t stop myself from pointing out a needed correction. Mack184 is doling out some “common-sense education” to his son and in the very process makes the error of using I when it should be me. “Physician, heal thyself” comes to mind.

  176. diogen January 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    I’m afraid we’re indeed doomed. Ford is promoting the Mustang with a new 5.0-liter engine. And GM counters that Chevy Camaro will beat it, because Camaro was the most searched car for 2009 on Google.
    I just don’t get it (and neither do the geniuses at GM). My car has a 1.4-Liter engine, and it has more power than I really need (while getting 35 MPG). In Japan they have cars with .4-Liter engines that climb hills with no problems (and they have yellow license plates which reduce annual taxes greatly). Can anyone (Vlad, perhaps?) explain to me why we need cars with 5.0-Liter engines while our dependency on foreign fossil energy is literally killing us and enslaving us financially to the people we despise??? I’m sad and worried about my kids’ future…

  177. diogen January 5, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    >Earth building techniques will be … important
    While I do value well-insulated buildings, I’m doubtful that “alternative” building methods will become mainstream. First, how is that consistent with high-density urban architecture which is presumably our future? I do own and Earthshelter house that is very energy-efficient, but I also know that it’s on the fringe. Conventional North-American construction techniques can offer great improvements: my wife and i are building a cabin using conventional wood-framing techniques with a small twist: after the conventional 4″ wall was built, we put up a 1″ EPS panel inside, and then erected a non-loadbearing 4″ wall inside. This gives us an R-value of 13+5+13=31. We used a number of other fairly conventional energy-smart techniques at very low additional cost (less than the cost of granite countertops) to end up with a highly insulated cabin which uses NO fossil energy (OK, we are connected to the grid for now, but use very little electricity). My point is this: most people are skeptical of alternative types of housing, so to have a high impact conventional housing needs to be made more energy-efficient. In our next primary home we will replicate the same idea — we’ll build the additional inner/interior 4″ wall with inexpensive fiberglass insulation.

  178. Dr. Moreau January 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Another great post by JHK, an oracle of our times.
    It is fascinating how people’s modes and patterns of thinking become ossified over time, linked to the economic demands of the economic substructure.
    I suspect that perhaps one reason for the Holocaust and the Jews’ initially passive reaction to it was that the Jews simply couldn’t change their ways of thinking fast enough. They couldn’t comprehend the new dangerous reality around them and simply reacted in the old ways as they were programmed to do. Anyway, just a theory….

  179. diogen January 5, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Tripp, you mentioned that you have comfrey in your garden. Do you know if you can plant comfrey using seeds? Comfrey plants are rather expensive… How does comfrey compete with weeds in your experience?

  180. asoka January 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    diogen said: “after the conventional 4″ wall was built, we put up a 1″ EPS panel inside, and then erected a non-loadbearing 4″ wall inside. This gives us an R-value of 13+5+13=31.”
    That seems fairly labor intensive for an R31. If you are going to use wood, the fastest and most energy efficient form of construction is to use SIPS.
    http://www.kcpanels.com/
    The shell of the house can go up very quickly.
    But then you have a very tight, efficient space which does not breathe as adobe does, so you need a ventilation system.

  181. Vladmir Krappeshack January 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    You go away for a while and someone has to steal the best handle I’ve had for ages.

  182. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    If a plant exists that can outcompete comfrey, I haven’t met it yet. I’ve never grown it from seed because I always have one to split up, so can’t help you there. Thing about comfrey is, once you get one established you have comfrey for a loooong time. You can shave off the whole plant stump about an inch or two thick, bust it into pieces and plant it wherever you want it. You only need a piece about the size of a finger digit to get it going.
    It has a 10′ deep set of taproots that mine nitrogen (fix it anyway), potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and silicone, and store this mineral treasure trove in the aerial bits of a big, soft, precocious herb about 3 feet tall. Two to four times a season, depending on your climate, you can “chop and drop” it to fertilize and mulch other plants. I grow one with every major plant in my garden specifically for fertilizer.
    It’s one of the most useful plants I’ve ever come across. Buy one for whatever is being asked, let it grow in your garden for a season, then next year bust it into all the comfrey you want. You can’t kill it. The following season many more people you know should be gardening, and will benefit from your knowledge and foresight.

  183. JD Moore January 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    America’s economy has ridden has ridden on ability of the people to start new businesses, to add value to what is already there and selling the product to improve the qualities of our lives. There a lot of opportunity in a more local manufacture and distribution of goods. Who would have ever thought that the pigeon problem would ever be gone before someone got the idea of capturing all the live ones around to eat, just like chickens? No more all over the streets, not when it has acquired value. Trippticket, maybe that’s why I come upon one or two of those monstrous comfrey plants when I have been appraising the real estate.

  184. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    Did I mention that comfrey fixes nitrogen too??
    Maximillian sunflower, Goumi, Maypop, Comfrey, Mashua, and Bamboo. Just plant them, and then figure out all the uses. You can always dig plants up, or split them out, to move to a more appropriate place.
    In the same vein as comfrey, all the “weeds” are your allies too. Mother Nature despises bare and disturbed soil, so she throws a green bandaid out on them very quickly. The weeds that grow are the very weeds your soil needs. As an example, dandelion mines phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and silicone, as well as busts up compacted soil with its spike root. Then it has the courtesy to die and deposit all that good stuff in the upper layer of developing topsoil for more desirable plants to use.
    Although “desirable” is a loaded term in itself. All of the “weeds” are there to repair and enrich soil, and plants with that many nutrients flowing through them are pretty darn healthy food too. Common garden purslane is a summer salad green I wouldn’t be without.

  185. trippticket January 5, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Used to be a flowering quince and chickens in every yard too!

  186. asoka January 6, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    diogen, with SIPs you get R41. A 900 square foot building goes up in 12 hours (with a crane).
    I am in love with adobe. It is estimated that one half of the world’s population—approximately three billion people on six continents—lives or works in buildings constructed of earth.
    Dirt—-as in clay, gravel, sand, silt, soil, loam, mud—-is everywhere. The ground we walk on and grow crops in also just happens to be the most widely used building material on the planet. Civilizations throughout time have used it to create stable, warm, low-impact structures.
    The world’s first skyscrapers were built of mud brick. And they last for centuries. You can see photos of them here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil_marion/2558394140/

  187. Chad M January 6, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    As Jim wrote, “The investments we’ve made in the current mode of existence are so monumental that we can’t imagine letting go of them”, I would add that the Congress can’t seem to envision an end to massive federal deficits as well.
    For those who are dismissive of the national predicament, I’d like to see them draw out the consequences of removing about One Trillion in easy cash from the economy in the space of one fiscal year. For that year and all years going forward, except when there is a justification (ie a Declaration of War by Congress).
    Then we will see part of what Reality holds in store for the U.S. Difficult, yet this route must be chosen or it will be forced upon us as a Nation.

  188. georget January 6, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    An excellent video on flouride:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7984669833566646476#

  189. Chad M January 6, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    There are significant common themes between Mr. Kunstler’s post this week and:
    “The cause of our crises has not gone away”
    By John Kay
    Published: January 5 2010 20:13 | Last updated: January 5 2010 20:13, in the Financial Times (FT.com)

  190. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    One thing that should be mentioned I think is that earth building isn’t done with the good topsoil, but rather only with the mineral subsoil. Topsoil doesn’t stick together well, and obviously there are better uses for it.
    I bet those buildings in your picture are very pleasant on the inside, without the use of AC in the Yemeni desert. I bet a lot of the opposition to this architecture is the lack of necessity. Wood houses may be the cultural norm now, but they are material intensive, and require more energy inputs to regulate. These buildings just regulate on their own with annualized thermal inertia.

  191. georget January 6, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    It’s not a question of need.
    It’s the desire for freedom of movement, power and status/image.
    A person may live in a shack but when they climb into their new car (purchased on extended time payment plans), they can drive where they want and look as prosperous as the person in the car next to them.
    People may feel powerless (and a lot of people are feeling very powerless today)in their everyday life, but when they climb into that 5.0 Mustang they suddenly feel powerful.
    For the vast majority of people saving the environment or living sustainably doesn’t even make it into the trunk of their car, much less the front seat.

  192. asoka January 6, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    JHK says the government is clueless and it’s actions are “based on the idea that we have to continue driving cars all the time and for everything, at all costs.”
    This is grossly unfair. The current administration is a strong advocate of building more train infrastructure.
    Obama and Biden are most certainly not buying into the idea that it must be “cars all the time and for everything, at all costs.”
    But don’t take my word for it; Biden can express himself:
    “…my support for rail travel goes beyond the emotional connection. With delays at our airports and congestion on our roads becoming increasingly ubiquitous, volatile fuel prices, increased environmental awareness, and a need for transportation links between growing communities, rail travel is more important to America than ever before.
    “Support for Amtrak must be strong–not because it is a cherished American institution, which it is–but because it is a powerful and indispensable way to carry us all into a leaner, cleaner, greener 21st century.
    “Consider that if you shut down Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, it is estimated that to compensate for the loss, you’d have to add seven new lanes of highway to Interstate 95. When you consider that it costs an average of $30 million for one linear mile of one lane of highway, you see what a sound investment rail travel is. And that’s before you factor in the environmental benefits of keeping millions and millions of cars off the road.”
    –Vice President Joe Biden, Jan. 2010
    I don’t think you can read what Biden says, look at Biden’s 7,000 commutes on Amtrak over 35 years, and conclude that he is “cars all the time and for everything, at all costs.”
    Your penchant for generalization does an injustice to men who have dedicated their lives to support for public transportation infrastructure.
    And Obama didn’t just talk about it; he got the Economic Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 passed (with money for rail infrastructure) and signed it into law.
    The best is yet to come. Preventing an economic depression and reforming health care is just the beginning. Job creation is next up and rail transport infrastructure is an important element.
    It’s going to be a great decade!

  193. wagelaborer January 6, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    Well, gosh, I was blushing with the compliments until Asoka pointed out that maybe Qshtik didn’t mean socialist feminist as a compliment.
    Oh. Oh, well. I still take it as one.
    I was almost sold on the comfrey, Trip, till you pointed out that other weeds are just as good.
    I used to try every year to grow spinach until someone showed me what lambsquarters were. Are you kidding? They taste just as good and they grow all by themselves. All over the place. That was the end of my spinach growing attempts.
    I eat dandelions too, but that’s about it. I look at the pictures in the edible weeds books, but they don’t look like what I have. Once I knew what lambquarters were, I could kind of make out what the artist intended, but I never would have guessed without an actual person showing me the actual plant.
    Adobe is very labor intensive. I never did finish covering my straw bale structure. I lost interest.
    To see the US go and bomb the adobe buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan really pisses me off, because I know what kind of labor is involved.
    It’s like some brat kicking down someone else’s sand castle out of pure meanness. Except that the brat kills people also.

  194. Vlad Krandz January 6, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    Well maybe. Certainly the Mexicans know how to farm. Millions of them were ruined by NAFTA and have come here. But the Blacks…if it was just them, then the whole thing would be suspect. I would then suspect alot of White aid-both in the Planning and Administration and the sweat work. The Blacks would show up to pick the lettuce and get their pictures taken. As many have said, they are the custodial race. They exist to be helped as people like you exist to help them. A codependent match made in Hell.

  195. Vlad Krandz January 6, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Yes I am your teacher as you are mine. So Teach: how does one return bodies to the soil-road kill, hunting, meat from store etc? Should these have their own compost pile or should such remains be burned?
    Totally off topic question: East Asian plants, bugs, and fish are wreaking havoc in North America. Is this just a one way steet or have our species infected their ecosystems as well? If not, why not?

  196. abbeysbooks January 6, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    He got a tech degree not a liberal arts degree. Big difference.

  197. Vlad Krandz January 6, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    The Paradox of the Cretan Liar is an ancient one. Assume for the sake of argument, that all Cretans are Liars. So when a Cretan says “it’s raining”, you know for a fact that it isn’t. Great. But what about when a Cretan says, “I’m lying”. Is he? Or is he now just telling the truth? But how can he since he’s a lying Cretan?
    Just so, every now and then when the kitchen gets hot, Asoka will start saying what a complete idiot he is. And he always ends it by affirming that this is Asoka saying this. To my mind, either consciously or unconsciously, he is invoking the principle of the Cretan Liar, altho in a more indirect way. When an idiot calls himself an idiot, doesn’t that make him to that degree not an idiot? So Asoka gets to define himself, which is in itself a power-and to laugh at those who think him dumb. Also, simultaneously but on another psychological level, he gets too indulge in his masochism. It’s there: one time he freaked Dale out by saying that Dale could kill him if he wanted to.
    It’s very old and well known, wouldn’t be surprised if Wikipedia has an entry. Bertrand Russel treats it in his “History of Western Philosophy”. If I remember correctly he thought there was a solution to it from Set Theory: a set cannot be a member of itself.

  198. wagelaborer January 6, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    Custodial race? I don’t translate that as existing to be helped.
    Whatever do you mean?

  199. Vlad Krandz January 6, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Ah, honor-the fruit that dead men eat. But what fruit in this case. What a beautiful building-and twice as tall of the Empire State. I appreciate what Trip, Wage, and Asoka are talking about here, but I also appreciate great technical and architectural achievents. I hope that We can ultimately have both sustainability and things like this or more probes to Mars. Of course, sustainability should come first…

  200. zaxxon January 6, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    Yup…a nation of $600 cell phones and uneducated children. Sad

  201. diogen January 6, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    tripp, thanks for the info on comfrey, we were already planning to grow it and i was looking for info on the quickest and the least expensive way to get started with it. I agree with you on the “weeds”, the definition of a “weed” is an undesireable plant. If it’s not undesireable, it’s not a weed :)

  202. diogen January 6, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Asoka, we were aware of the benefits of SIPS, but it was more expensive, because after the shell was built (by Amish guys), I did the rest of the construction work myself putting up EPS/XPS sheets and framing the inner walls and insulating with fiberglass batts. I think adobe walls are great, but i have no skills or knowledge with adobe, plus not sure if it would do well in Ohio with high humidity and moisture. We’ll do a blower-door test to determine if we need additional ventilation (ERV/HRV). Another advantage of my technique (EPS/XPS plus interior framed wall) is that existing homes can be retrofitted reasonably easily and inexpensively to more than double the insulation value of exterior walls. Additional lumber used was minimal, because I framed the non-loadbearing walls on 24″ centers with a single top plate (top plate could even be ommitted, although having it will make drywall installation easier).

  203. anglo January 6, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    “Yes, most of our fellow citizens prefer to live superficially and not contemplate the consequences of their choices, but this is human nature”
    ……………………………………………
    It is not human nature to be utterly unaware and uncaring of the consequences of one’s actions. It is more the result of conditioning by the mass media. The overriding message is to “need” “want” “now” without any thought of the effect on others of massive and wasteful consumption. One wonders who is behind this selfish outlook on life (who in the end stands to gain ?). Even the most cretinous among us must realise the futility of this existence. It surely must eventually dawn on the dimmest that it doesn’t even bring happiness to one’s life.
    I despair.

  204. anglo January 6, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    I get the distinct feeling you are pulling my plonker.
    I don’t know, you ask a serious question and what do you get ?
    Or were you serious ?????

  205. diogen January 6, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    >It is not human nature to be utterly unaware and >uncaring of the consequences of one’s actions. >It is more the result of conditioning by the >mass media.
    Perhaps partly so. But this human behavior took place long before the mass media in every age and in every culture. I think it’s because most individuals, now and in the past, will not give up present/current security (or even comfort/pleasure) for future security. I guess this behavior is somewhat rational in the short term and enhances near-term survival chances (or pleasure), but can be disastrous in the long term. And it’s not limited to our time and our culture, it’s universal i think. Humans practiced environmentally and socially destructive behaviors forever, it’s just we’re so much better at it now and there are so many more of us to have much more dire effects…

  206. nuttymango January 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    Afghan government investigators said that eight schoolchildren were killed, all but one of them from the same family. Locals said that some victims were handcuffed before being killed.
    http://bit.ly/8eha8x
    I saw one report of the latest civilian massacre in a U.S. paper. The headline said “NATO” troops not U.S. troops

  207. anglo January 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    I don’t see the behavioral connection between conflict born out of survival or protection of interests as was practiced for thousands of years and that which is currently happening. i.e. the absolutely unnecessary and greedy waste involved in aquiring basically unrequired crap.
    I don’t think we as a species were that destructive of the environment for most of our existence, it has only really taken off in the last couple of hundred years. What makes it dispiriting is that it could quickly be reduced (the greed and waste) by a change in media output. Promote reasonable living and awareness of the effects of not doing on others and criticise the opposite.

  208. Cash January 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    I agree about the potential breaking up of the United States into smaller self governing entities. Beside the incompetent, overbearing federal government you have cultural divisions ie red state vs blue state. To me it seems that you guys are re-fighting the civil war. Territorially it seems the red states are mostly the old confederacy and blue states the old union.
    It seems to me Red staters can’t abide what they see as the superior, condescending, unpatriotic, blame-America-first, anything goes, godless, degenerates in the blue states and the blue staters can’t abide what they see as the obese, witless, toothless, church-going, trailer park dwelling, semi-literate, high school drop outs in the red states.
    I’m not crapping on the US. I think the world is better with the US than without it and I think it would be a calamity if one piece of the US declared independence. But nothing lasts forever.
    We have similar problems in Canada. Our French speaking province elects separatists to our federal parliament, our two resource producing western-most provinces are saying screw it and merrily going their own way with a variety of initiatives for their own residents, their own interprovincial free trade zone etc. There is a lot of East vs West and French vs English animosity. Plus, like yours, our Federal government is run by idiots. They can’t touch anything without screwing it up massively. But our provinces and municipalities are pretty well run in comparison. So how long before our country fractures?

  209. not mommy January 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    asoka-his-pants sez:
    “It’s going to be a great decade!”
    It may at that but it will NOT be due to any Obama contributions. OBama’s only contribution of worth will be the destruction of socialist policies.
    Dodd’s announcement today reflects the destruction underway of the Democrat Party. There is not a single area of governance, foreign/domestic than Obama and his crew have demonstrated anything other than pure incompetence.
    Unfortunately, if the decade ends up being a great one it will not begin to occur until the tail end of the decade. It will take that long to clean up the Obama mess.

  210. not mommy January 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    “Can anyone (Vlad, perhaps?) explain to me why we need cars with 5.0-Liter engines…”
    Need? Need…you ask? We don’t “need” cars with 1.5 liter engines either. A 5 to 10 hp go-cart will get you on down the highway quite nicely. However, when I’m fleeing the Mongol hordes, give me the the v-fucking-eight if you please.

  211. Jeremy_H January 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    “resist cults”…Resist cults?
    Well what the hell do you call this? A group of people of seemingly below average intelligence bowing down to a charlatan (or lunatic, I’ve not determined which) who is either too lazy or too ignorant to pay attention to advancements that are taking place right in front of him. Then he has the gall to dismiss actual scientists (you know, “educated people”) as “shamans”.
    Holy crap if that isn’t a cult then I’ve no idea what is.

  212. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    OK, teacher, the meat/roadkill question first.
    The only reason they say not to put meat, fat, bone, etc, in your compost pile is because it attracts critters than don’t get off on carrots and coffee grounds.
    It all breaks down into useful stuff. We all came from the soil and we will all return to the soil.
    And here’s one that Americans aren’t ready for, I can guarantee you: if we are to ever have a truly sustainable relationship with our ecosystem, ALL of our wastes must be returned to the soil that produced our food.
    Not exactly dinner conversation with guests in modern America…

  213. not mommy January 6, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    trippticket sez:
    “”Forcing people to buy something they already cannot afford is a truly idiotic idea. It’s like passing a law that tries to solve the homeless problem by making it against the law to not buy a house.””
    You mean you don’t follow the logic? When Frank and Dodd were insisting that banks make loans (with the coercion of Fannie and Freddy) to people who had not a prayers chance in hell of repaying said loans, they were in effect trying to eliminate the homeless problem. Fining the uninsured in order to force them to become insured is merely a continuation of the mindless logic employed by our corrupt, bloated, national government.

  214. diogen January 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    “We don’t “need” cars with 1.5 liter engines either. A 5 to 10 hp go-cart will get you on down”
    This is somewhat true, in Japan and Europe cars with as small as 0.4 liter engines are available, but the smallest one I could find in the U.S. in 2006 was a 1.4 liter engine. And go-carts are illegal on most roads.
    My point is U.S. automakers have not learned a thing from their brush with irrelevance, they continue producing the kind of cars that brought them to the brink. VOLT is still vaporware (and not a mass-market transport option anyway at $40K+), while the PRIUS is in its 3rd incarnation.
    I fear that the U.S. is just like GM — blissfully incapable of reading the reality and adjusting to it to save itself from collapse…
    “However, when I’m fleeing the Mongol hordes, give me the the v-fucking-eight if you please.”
    Wouldn’t you be the one chasing them?

  215. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    The invasive species question is an interesting one.
    What constitues “native”? Surely there’s some sort of a time frame inherent in this concept, or damn near everyone on this list ought to be eradicated from the North American continent.
    The volcanic island of Krakatoa, between Java and Sumatra, exploded violently in 1883, smothering and vaporizing its entire biota under several feet of a’a lava. Within 50 years, at least 1100 species of plants had crossed open ocean to recolonize the island.
    The evolution of birds followed the disappearance of the dinosaurs roughly 65 million years ago. Since then countless trillions of birds have migrated all over the globe, carrying “exotic” seeds in their digestive tracts and in the mud stuck to their feet.
    Where are the invasion biologists when you need them??
    Invasive species, or opportunistic species as I prefer, are only a problem because of human disturbance. Remove the disturbance and there isn’t an ecosystem on the planet that won’t settle into a balanced recombinant ecology.
    Purple loosestrife, the poster child of invasion biology here in the Pacific northwest, just so happens to be exceptionally good at removing nutrients from polluted water. Stop polluting the water, stop the loosestrife.
    But as always, it comes down to money. Herbicide makers are all too happy to create a problem that sells more of their solutions.

  216. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    So long as you mean on the part of BOTH parties, I’m OK with this line of logic…

  217. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Let me rephrasethe term “human disturbance” in my second post today to simply “disturbance.” The human aspect just tends to keep it disturbed longer than nature would.
    As in, every time you till your garden, you are starting ecosystem succession over from the beginning, and it takes an ass-load of energy to keep it from evolving to something it’d rather be.

  218. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    ‘WE’ ??????????????
    ask the red chinese..they buy more cars than us in the us!

  219. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    “Fining the uninsured in order to force them to become insured is merely a continuation of the mindless logic employed by our corrupt, bloated, national government.”
    Agreed. So explain to me why where we’re headed is such a god-awful thing.
    What I mean is, we tend to complain a lot about who screwed this up, and who screwed that up. How about just, populations in a growth pattern always overshoot their mark, must be brought into check, and energy descent is the antidote?
    Do you think humans are outside of nature, and her rules don’t apply to us?

  220. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    East Asian plants, bugs, and fish are wreaking havoc in North America. Is this just a one way steet or have our species infected ……
    Long ago i read a piece in the Times about a scientist who while in georgia noticed an eel in the woods…it could travel on land..its from south america…
    and there are the asian wood beatles etcetc
    Its been assumed that with global warming the northern latitudes are being invaded…leprosy as well..
    I dont know if american bugs are now in africa!
    also the airplane allows flu to travel worldwide in 24 hours
    the 1917 pandemic took 30? days to travel worldwide.
    there are new zealand snails that are so prolific they are born with 100? babies inside them…i believe they are all over usa.

  221. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    ‘The American People will rise to the occasion’
    some today believe archaic narratives!
    WHAT ‘AMERICAN’ PEOPLE??? us? who?

  222. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    But as always, it comes down to money
    Isnt it more a question of latitudes and climate? cold weather species vs warm?
    I dont think much of jared diamond but he noted cows couldnt thrive in greenland/ iceland but the vikings tried to keep em.

  223. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    The current administration is a strong advocate of building more train infrastructure.
    sure..now that warren buffets bought in why not?

  224. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    : maybe because poor whites and Mexicans ride the bus,
    maybe because they dont vote or count much to transplants from berkeley!
    whats Bend like?

  225. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    We have similar problems in Canada….
    as a % of population canada takes more immigrants than any country.so canada is changing…how can it not change with that kind of demographic?
    that those in quebec [ where my ggrandparents were from] goes along with this is what i dont get

  226. asia January 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    eh pal ,
    if you think its CULTS are all a phenom of ‘others’ i got news for you!
    I in the 90s went to a MAFU meeting in LA…and a tony robbins meeting…cults can be white/rich/urban
    WELCOME TO THE NEW AGE..one woman at a meeting was snarling at me that
    ‘WERE IN A NEW AGE’..and the anger that i disagreed with her was palpible!

  227. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    “I dont think much of jared diamond but he noted cows couldnt thrive in greenland/ iceland but the vikings tried to keep em.”
    So how is that an issue? Are cows over-running the biota of Greenland? It takes a lot of effort to keep cows, originally from India, in a place like Greenland. As long as the energy output is worth the energy invested, it works. Or as long as the laws of nature aren’t violated, we can keep entering into wasteful energy contracts like keeping dairy cows in Greenland. When it doesn’t work anymore, the issue will disappear.
    Tell me this, how is an exotic species supposed to be better adapted to an ecosystem than the plants that evolved there? Sure, lack of natural predators is a possibility. But only a temporary one. Ecology isn’t static. Its stability is guaranteed by its constant motion. A species growing out of check is an abundant new food source. Like a corn field to corn earworms. Left to nature, corn wouldn’t stand a chance of occupying more than a tiny fraction of the land it has invaded in the US.
    Pest species are completely defined by humanity. If kudzu is an issue, it’s because it’s in our way, not because nature can’t bring it into check. Kudzu is a nitrogen-fixing pioneer species that thrives in forest edges. Who creates forest edges and degrades soil to the point that it needs help from nitrogen fixing pioneers?

  228. diogen January 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    what’s the human connection for garlic mustard and goldenrod?

  229. diogen January 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    ..and honeysuckle?

  230. Jeremy_H January 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Case and point.

  231. Qshtik January 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    “I get the distinct feeling you are pulling my plonker.”
    ===========================
    I didn’t think you even had a plonker.
    If your question was serious then my reply was serious.

  232. Qshtik January 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    The expression is Case in point.

  233. diogen January 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    hey qshtik, if the civilization and culture are going to collapse any day now, why worry about grammar, spelling and style? is it like re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic? :)

  234. Qshtik January 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    The fact that I concern myself with the small shit tells you something about what I think of all the hyperventilating that goes on at this blog.

  235. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Wage said:
    “Adobe is very labor intensive.”
    Yes, and I think labor is something we’ll have a lot more of than money to buy easier materials.
    I think the whole point of these weekly discussions is to collect ideas that might get us through radically different times. We might not be able to chat forever, so talk fast.
    If some kind soul gives you a piece of barren land to call home, probably best to have some housing and soil rehabilitation options in your mind that don’t require a Home Depot;)
    You didn’t finish you cob project because you didn’t have to.
    Moving to plants: comfrey’s still a great herb. You won’t get the same biomass out of anything else. And it mines soil minerals down much deeper than dandelions and mallow do. Varying the community composition of root structures in a garden is probably just as important as varying the aerial biomass.

  236. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I’m not sure I understand your question.

  237. asoka January 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Trip said: “And here’s one that Americans aren’t ready for, I can guarantee you: if we are to ever have a truly sustainable relationship with our ecosystem, ALL of our wastes must be returned to the soil that produced our food.”
    A few years ago I did bring this up and referenced a guide so people could put it into practice.
    It is a free e-book (3rd edition) and can be downloaded here: http://humanurehandbook.com/contents.html

  238. trippticket January 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Asoka, thanks for the (down)load! I was going to buy that one. Tough subject, eh? I use urine on my garden, fine nitrogen source and saves flush water to pee in a watering can, but uh…..I haven’t served up the poo poo platter just yet.
    All this bickering between liberals and conservatives, reds and blues, it really hits you sometimes just how utterly an entire culture can assume that something so inevitably mandatory is so wrong. Even I’m not really there yet….

  239. Dr. Moreau January 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    JHK wrote: “This is the economy that will tear the United States apart, after it bankrupts us at every level, and mercilessly drives the population down by one-third through starvation, homelessness, violence, disease, and sheer political cruelty.”
    Please clarify.
    Is it going to be the movie “Mad Max”, “Omega Man”, or “Soylent Green”?

  240. Dr. Moreau January 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    JHK wrote: “This is the economy that will tear the United States apart, after it bankrupts us at every level, and mercilessly drives the population down by one-third through starvation, homelessness, violence, disease, and sheer political cruelty.”
    In the dystopic future, does this mean that if one bites into a hotdog, one might really find a vein in it?! [If one bites into Obama...]

  241. Qshtik January 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    “Is it going to be the movie “Mad Max”, “Omega Man”, or “Soylent Green”?
    ===========================
    Those 3 plus “Children of Men” all morphed into one.

  242. Cash January 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    About 20% of Canada’s population is foreign born. And French Quebecers aren’t happy about the mix. There’s a vociferous debate going on there about reasonable accommodation of newcomers (culturally) with the vast majority of Francophones on the side of making newcomers adopt French Quebec culture and language or hit the road.
    Opinion is not as clear cut in Anglo Canada but here you have regional divides on the issue. The population is 33 million with around 100,000 to 200,000 immigrants per year, mostly non white and non European. Most go to large urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver. Most adapt OK, the kids are assimilated pretty quickly.
    It’s a melting pot as much as multiculti types hate the idea. If you want to make it here you need to be fluent in English and have marketable skills. There are ethnic enclaves and those immigrants that take refuge in an enclave don’t do as well. They limit their opportunities.

  243. asoka January 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Canadian immigrants make a positive contribution to Canada.
    In 2007, Canada received 236,760 immigrants. The top ten sending countries, by state of origin, were People’s Republic of China (28,896), India (28,520), Philippines (19,718), Pakistan (9,808), United States (8,750), United Kingdom (7,324), Iran (7,195), South Korea (5,909), Colombia (5,382), and Sri Lanka (4,068).
    The top ten source countries were followed closely by France (4,026), and Morocco (4,025), with Romania, Russia, and Algeria. each contributing over 3,500 immigrants.
    Canada is lucky so many people from all over the world want to contribute to the greatness of Canada.

  244. Qshtik January 6, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    “Canada is lucky so many people from all over the world want to contribute to the greatness of Canada.”
    ==========================
    Asoka is one of the most annoying spin-meisters I have ever encountered and the above sentence is a classic example of his handiwork.
    The motivations for people leaving their homelands and going to Canada are many and can probably be best summarized as “to seek a better life” but I would be willing to bet a large sum of money that not one of those 236,760 Canadian immigrants thought, much less spoke, the words “I want to contribute to the greatness of Canada.”

  245. messianicdruid January 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    “I want to contribute to the greatness of Canada.”
    If they had said this about their own home, the whole world would be a better place.

  246. not mommy January 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    squished-dik sez:
    “The fact that I concern myself with the small shit tells you something about what I think of all the hyperventilating that goes on at this blog.”
    Not really. It indicates that you concern yourself with small shit. Nothing more, nothing less.

  247. asoka January 7, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    Q said: “Asoka is one of the most annoying spin-meisters I have ever encountered…”
    I have said it before and I’ll say it again.
    If you cannot stomach optimism, and many people on CFN cannot, please scroll past my posts. Do not read them. Do not respond to them. Live is too short. Do not suffer for the words of a happy fool like me.
    Om, shanti … shanti … shanti

  248. Vlad Krandz January 7, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    The immigrants are diluting and thus destroying the culture of Canada. Past a certain point, a solution loses its ability to absorb any more of a substance. Likewise Canada, America, and Australia are at or past that point where they assimilate anymore people. As for the idea of multi-culturalism, it’s a non-starter. Why would you bring people into a country and then encourage them not to assimilate? Encourage them to set up their own de facto little Nations? It’s a completely self destructive course for a nation to take, but most of Europe has taken it. And that’s fine by the Muslims: they have never made any bones about not assimilating. They are willing to adapt not assimilate. Rather Europe must assimilate to them.

  249. asoka January 7, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Q said: “I would be willing to bet a large sum of money that not one of those 236,760 Canadian immigrants thought, much less spoke, the words “I want to contribute to the greatness of Canada.”
    Let’s do the thought experiment. Imagine a group of potential immigrants considering places to immigrate. They do some research. They are thinking about Canada. Which of these statements are they most likely to say?
    “Let’s go to Canada. I’ve heard it is a shitty place to live.”
    Let’s go to Canada. I’ve heard it is a great place.
    I’ll bet, in informal conversation among potential immigrants, the word GREAT was indeed used.

  250. Vlad Krandz January 7, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    A shocking revelation: Trip, our new hero, has feet of clay or adobe. He can’t deal with Shit. Wage is ahead of you my friend, she deals with shit everyday and isn’t afraid of it. As she said, she has a brown thumb. And the Unabomber used his own shit to feritilize his humble potato patch. Your assignment-play with some shit. Get your hands dirty.
    But you gotta give it time, yo. You don’t want your tomatoes tastin’ like shit-you know what I’m sayin’?

  251. asoka January 7, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    Jaego said: “Why would you bring people into a country and then encourage them not to assimilate? Encourage them to set up their own de facto little Nations?”
    Why would you want Irish neighborhoods, Polish neighborhoods, British enclaves, Greek neighborhoods?
    Why would you want Irish pubs, Polish sausage, British fish and chips, and Greek salads?
    Why multiculturalism at all?
    Wouldn’t it be better if everyone were exactly alike, with exactly the same thoughts, eating exactly the same bland, tasteless food?
    What is with diversity anyway? Wouldn’t it be better if we were all the same, with the same values, and the same skin color? Wouldn’t that be just the most interesting way to live?
    NOT.
    You have a serious problem accepting reality, Vlad Krandz, and a warped sense of what is desirable.
    But, as I said before, your kind is rapidly passing away… the new generations embrace miscegenation, and celebrate cultural differences, and seek out diversity, and don’t give a shit about skin color.

  252. Vlad Krandz January 7, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    You just completely contradicted yourself from one paragraph to the next. First you extoll the great diversity of cuisines and skin color but by the end you are extolling miscegenation-which is the end of all diversity.
    If White people are to survive, they can’t mix with Blacks or Asians. If Blacks are going to survive, they can’t mix with Whites or Asians. If Asians are going to survive, they can’t mix with White or Blacks. What could be more clear-except to you and your’s. The Elite seek to submerge all cultures into a hideous lowest common denominator of rap, welfare, sex and gay sex. Education is now nothing more than slogans and videos of Blacks and White babies together.
    Perhaps Blacks have nothing of their own worth preserving-and thus seek to raise themselves up with miscegenation. But it quite otherwise with Whites and Asians. Make up your mind whether you love diversity or hate it. Real diversity means separation for the most part. Of course, there can be tourism and trade. And border areas where two or more cultures meet. Such areas of very attractive to certain kinds of people-artists for sure. Many of the strictures of the home cultures are relaxed there and bohemians can enjoy the diversity of vices and many hued maidens. Gays also flock to such areas. But Asoka really now-the whole world can’t be such a carnival. It would destroy the very thing that you value.
    Fine by me if a few areas of the White Man are over run-like Southern Florida or Hawaii. We never contolled them much anyway. They were always borderlands. But all of our lands? That’s friendship? No Asoka, it’s hate. Even if you are confused about this, La Raza isn’t. Nor are the Muslims. They come to take everything we have if they can. Part of you knows this and exalts in it. You are a hater with no gratitude or respect whatsoever for the West. And why is it only the West that is being dragged down? Why not Japan and China? Because they would never allow such a shameful thing. They love themselves and intend to continue for another 5000 years. We’ll be lucky to see another fifty.
    And you “don’t give a shit about skin color” Yeah right. You are totally in favor of every quota and affirmative action law we have and want more. All that malarkey about “contents of a man’s character”. What a joke. King and his fellow travelers never wanted a color blind society but rather a society dominated by the dialectic of race-with Whites always in the wrong. And Michelle Obama had the hubris to say she always felt like a guest at Princeton, never really accepted. Of course she wasn’t-she’s a Quota Queen and everyone knew it!

  253. Vlad Krandz January 7, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    17 degrees last night in Tallahasie and 25 in New Orleans. 13 below in Poland, dozens frozen to death in Northern India. Global Warming at work. Al Gore dog paddles around his ice choked pool screaming about the heat as he collides with an ice floe. He climbs out with a bloody nose and lies down to sun himself like a beached white whale. He shivers in the sub freezing temperatures while his manservant applies coppertone to his shoulders. It’s so damn hot he exclaims. The manservant in his fur lined parka gravely and emphatically agrees. You can’t find such servants here in the US, you have to get them from South Asia. Such sincere obsequity is genetic and cannot be learned.

  254. Eleuthero January 7, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Some people think Jim is overly gloomy. Myself?
    I don’t see ANY way out because our populace is
    not only narcotized on football, cable TV, and
    SSRIs. They are also narcotized by their cellphones, their PDAs, and their video games.
    The loutish society we live in is full of people
    who can’t read, don’t read, won’t read, and who
    make me wonder why I teach computer science. The
    founders of CS envisioned computers as tools to
    run other machines … not as “Mesmer boxes” to
    get people addicted to text messaging and killing
    aliens.
    Jim … you’re doing a great service and if your
    screeds grow more and more disspirited I can only
    say, in Clintonesque fashion, that I “feel your
    pain” buddy. This is NOT sarcasm. I really
    think you’re not only correct but you’ve spared
    many parts of our miserable culture from a more
    severe analysis … especially the huge sector
    of our culture using computers and electronic
    gizmos and further reasons to retreat from civic
    engagement or, sometimes, any social life
    whatsoever.

  255. asoka January 7, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    Jaego said: “you are extolling miscegenation-which is the end of all diversity.”
    No, just like in the arctic where there are so many words for snow, after miscegenation there are increased numbers of shades of skin, and I love all the shades.
    I want them to all mix together and produce an even greater diversity of shades. Dozens of shades of black, dozens of shades of yellow, dozens of shades of red, dozens of shades of brown, etc. More diversity.
    You have it just backwards. Separation of the races into four or five groups is the end of diversity.
    Miscegenation turns four or five main racial groups into a rainbow of hundreds of beautiful skin tones. The delicious and colorful fruit of love between the races.
    Viva La Raza! Long live the human race!

  256. effee January 7, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Simple answer to: “Personally, I would like to see a different outcome. I’d like to see a new birth of intelligence, perhaps in the same way that President Lincoln invoked “a new birth of freedom” after an earlier convulsion in our history. The question is: do we have the resources of national character left to make that happen?”
    NO!

  257. messianicdruid January 7, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    “You just completely contradicted yourself from one paragraph to the next.”
    Asoka {internet persona} is a self-confessed contradiction. It has no praxis of consistency.

  258. diogen January 7, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Vlad, how do you feel about those people of other races and persuasions who join “mainstream” American culture — they speak standard English, adopt middle-class values (education, professions, etc.), look more or less like you in terms of their dress and behavior, do not enjoy rap with violent lyrics, etc., and generally share the “traditional” American values? (by “traditional” I do NOT mean “conservative”).

  259. budizwiser January 7, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    The other face of global climate change is often expressed by pressure gradients.
    The link below demonstrates increased atmospheric violence – which I suggest is a direct result of the build up of differential driven by increased C02 and water vapor…. Used to be once in a lifetime, now its every five years….
    The link is only current for 09:00 csdt
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/manualCategory?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=3970030&

  260. budizwiser January 7, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    MY bad : this is the link
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_con_pres.html

  261. messianicdruid January 7, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    (by “traditional” I do NOT mean “conservative”).
    Do you also NOT mean contemporary? IOW: What historical figures {recent or ancient} espouse the traditional values you are describing?

  262. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Live is too short.”
    ========================
    That would be Life.

  263. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    ” …please scroll past my posts. Do not read them. Do not respond to them.”
    ==========================
    No Soak, you’ll get no free ride from me. Your bullshit shall not go unremarked upon.

  264. Mr. Purple January 7, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    “If they had said this about their own home, the whole world would be a better place.”
    Yup. Makes you wonder what Mexico would be like without the safety valve of sending its surplus people to the U.S.

  265. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    There you go again Soak. I’ll leave it to other readers to decide if you have not done here exactly what I accuse you of … SPIN. You have taken the word “great” and constructed a new sentence with an entirely different meaning than your original.

  266. diogen January 7, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    “Do you also NOT mean contemporary? ”
    Partly yes, but there’re also some time-tested American “traditional” values that are still relevant and in my view worthy: starting a new life in a new place, love of freedom, intolerance of oppression (religious, political, etc.), certain inaliable rights, a rational balance of independence/interdependance and individual liberty/common good, “question authority” spirit, etc… I know some of these are controversial, but they’d pass a “reasonable man” test IMO…
    “IOW: What historical figures {recent or ancient} espouse the traditional values you are escribing? ”
    A whole bunch of worthy folks from Thomas Paine to Honest Abe to Gloria Steinem, and everyone in between and beyond :)
    I think there are some quintessentially American (and Human) values that Red and Blue states can (and should) agree on, and immigrants must accept if we are to remain a country and not a collection of clans…

  267. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    “The founders of CS envisioned computers as tools to run other machines … not as “Mesmer boxes” to
    get people addicted to text messaging and killing
    aliens.”
    =======================
    I can identify with what you describe. Take my eldest son who has a masters in CS. He turned 34 on Monday. We all chipped in for his must-have gift. I ran around for 2 days and finally purchased one of the two remaining PlayStation 3 systems left anywhere in the central to North Jersey region at BestBuy for the B-Day party his wife is throwing him this weekend. He’s 6’7″ and tips the scales near 300. I worry.

  268. Cash January 7, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    This is in reply to Diogen, Vlad, asoka, asia and others re assimilation, multiculturalism etc.
    In Anglo Canada there are constant debates about the nature of Canadian identity and culture (it’s like Orwell said, you can spend your entire life not seeing what’s right under your nose). I am a child of immigrants. At home there were the old language/ways, at school and on the streets it was another. To me the old country was poverty, backwardnesss, ignorance but Canada was prosperity, progress and knowledge. To me even as a kid there was no question as to Canada’s identity: it was and is an Anglo Saxon country/civilization.
    The thing is, Canada’s Anglo elites and opinion makers are self abasing to the point of absurdity (and self hating). They will not acknowledge what is hugely obvious to every immigrant and 2nd generation offspring: Canada (like the US) is a child of Britain, it’s language, literature, laws, political structures, basic values, in short it’s culture is Anglo Saxon. Instead, the political and cultural elite here try to drum into us that we are a multi-cultural nation. This is utter nonsense. I can tell you, regardless of the mutli-hued skin colours and foreign clothing you see in Canada’s cities, that we are not. If you want to make a go of it here you will assimilate. Like the Borg say, resistance is futile. If the first generation does not assimilate subsequent generations will and I think that goes for Muslims. It’s either get with the program or get out.
    A few years ago in Ontario we had the most surreal debate. Political correctness was running amock in our legislatures and academies and some of these boneheads tried to pitch to us the idea of a separate system of family law for Muslims in accordance with Sharia. This was under serious consideration but to his everlasting credit our Premier axed the idea. I can tell you there was a shitstorm of protest with the most vehement opposition coming from Muslim women and I don’t need to explain why.
    Then, as if they hadn’t learned a thing, in a provincial election our Conservative Party leader tried to pitch the idea of separate taxpayer funded Islamic schools. Again a shitstorm, most public opinion was dead against it and the Conservatives got hammered in the election with Islamic schools as the central issue.
    People generally come to this place to enjoy what our British forebears put in place. As much as they profess pride in their ancestral cultures, ask immigrants if they want to recreate their home cultures here and live in conditions of anarchy, despotism, poverty, injustice and oppression. There are some Islamic nutbars here that hate the British, the US and the Anglo world but mostly I think because of the success of its cultural/values model and because of the utter failure of Islamic ways.
    BTW I have no divided loyalties. I am Canadian, unhyphenated, much as our elites refuse to acknowledge that there is such a thing. I am telling you, regardless of what those moral degenerates and traitors tell you, that we exist.

  269. kulicUU January 7, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    You obviously don’t understand intelligence if you equate it with ‘college educated,’ which has become a joke, a credentialism racket, in large part producing only people stupid beyond belief but possessed of proven servility, cueable viciousness(attack on command), and tight, programmed skill-set routines. Kunstler’s obvious point operates on a more sophisticated conception of it. At the crassest level it might simply be taken to mean ‘not fucking-stupid.’ To make that rigorous is no simple task, these are ongoing issues which occupy philosophers, scientists and artists. For our purposes we can adopt a provisional pragmatic conception of intelligence(in the local context) as something like [the ability to discern reality to a high level of resolution(with nuance and precision)... the ability to discern problems and their potential solutions... the ability to model the field of realistic possibility (scenario building)... which relates to the ability to solve problems; as one can trace a space of world-lines as functions of relevant parameters] Something like that might work, provisionally, as a definition of intelligence; with stupidity as its absence. Kunstler’s obvious point then is clearly apt/correct. We definitely need more of that. Anecdotally, I mentioned this to an teacher of mine some years ago in a conversation not dissimilar to this one(his question roughly “what do you think the solution is?”, my answer roughly “more general intelligence and intellectual awareness in the population”); his reply: “[I paraphrase] intelligence wouldn’t save us, intelligence causes as many problems as it solves [an allusion to technology], and ‘all we need is love’[...]rather than intelligence” At that point I seriously wanted to slap the fucker(I am anything but violent), partly because I thought he was being maliciously sarcastic, and partly because I thought he was completely serious.
    There is something necessary in addition to intelligence. That is some degree of honesty. But that might be considered part of intelligence too, as if we consider our society as constituting a mind, then the aggregate measure of lying has analogous properties with a brain in which certain modules are systematically deceiving other modules, which would tend to correlate with stupidity, I would think.

  270. diogen January 7, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    “not as “Mesmer boxes”
    After the various advanced weapons and the automobile, TV and its variants (e.g. video games) is the most destructive technology to the human civilization. It’s sad, because it had the potential to enlighten human societies, bring millions out of isolation and deprivation, make them literate and productive… instead it became the medium for commercialism, materialism, dubious entertainment, astonishing waste of time, and a source of misinformation and propaganda…
    One of my 20-something sons can’t find the time to service his car or cook meals, but he does find time to watch TV and play video games :(

  271. kulicUU January 7, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    That’s a really stupid comment. Canada is Anglo, French, also native. And it’s got some pluralist tendencies, shared with the U.S. from the late 19th century. Some areas are heavily Scandinavian, there are large enclaves of Russians, West Indies(ians), and others.
    There is nothing inherently more peaceful or prosperous about Anglo culture. Maybe in your cartoon fantasy world jacking off to Braveheart or something (oh wait I got the wrong movie). Actually if I was interested in taking some kind of chauvinist pride in Anglo culture it would be the violence and amiability of Northumberland Vikings and people like Drake, Hume et al. I mean if, if, if… What that has to do with your retarded drivel I’m not sure…
    Canada is a multicultural country. Some of us call that pluralistic. Which is another complex subject.
    btw I am anything but PC…

  272. kulicUU January 7, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    My third comment, and last comment. I commence to comment on the nature of the comment thread: (I’ve done this exact comment before, I attempt to repeat).
    Something more sophisticated would be better, if the independent threads which arise in a particular comment thread could be sustained and linked-up with other instantiations of that thread (tagged? by subject?) in distant parts of the web. I mean it’s good to see people conversing here, but the organization or lack thereof is not helpful.
    Oh, with regards to race/misceg… It’s kind of like entropy, but race can be and is constructed and produced. On a basic genetic level that is slow and relies on some level of hermeticism/isolation of a group. On a higher genetic level(genetic expression rather than genetic content(there is a range)) and memetic level a race can be produced rather quickly.
    In another sense it’s not a well-defined concept. At the most general level it’s a kind of set theoretic construct of population. You can construct sets based on properties and call those sets races if you like. In the finest topology, each individual is a race unto themselves.
    Ethically/aesthetically, I see no reason for the compulsion to like or love every race. Consider the notional race of stupid, cruel, malicious assholes. I postulate such a race, and I am racist against that race. I do not like that race. Others as well.
    etc…

  273. Cash January 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    You’ve drunk too deeply of the multiculturalist koolaid. Scandinavian, Russian etc maybe for a while but not for ever and not for long. You sound either like a Toronto liberal elitist that try to push this multicultural baloney or maybe you don’t live in Canada or know the place at all.
    A couple points:
    1) the vast majority of Canada is neither French nor native
    2) my comments were about the nature of Anglo Canada, not French Canada which I hesitate to even count as part of this country. Maybe you haven’t noticed but French Quebecers have been electing separatists to our federal and their provincial parliament for more a generation now. They’ve turned ther backs on us, they don’t see us as fellow countrymen so I will return the favour.
    3) I am of Italian origin. I compared Italian culture and Anglo culture. I bought into Anglo culture because I looked at it with eyes wide open and there was no contest. I never claimed it to be perfect just that it’s better than the rest.
    4) there is a huge rate of intermarriage in this country, for example a huge proportion of women of Chinese origin here (I’ve read 40%) marry white men. This goes for almost all immigrant cultures. My own wife is non white. Our family gatherings have people of Italian, Chinese, German, Jewish, Anglo, Polish and other origins. Most families I know of are similar in their makeup. But what binds us is that we all speak English, abide by English common law, vote, work, pay taxes, go to English language movies… you get the drift.
    Maybe you’re one of those self hating, self abasing Anglos? Maybe you’re one of those oh so hip American liberal intellectuals? I don’t know but in any case try pulling your head out of your ass and wake up from your multiculti fantasy. It would do you and your country a world of good.

  274. messianicdruid January 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    “There is nothing inherently more peaceful or prosperous about Anglo culture.”
    You may be right, but it would seem that the immigrants and potential immigrants, who are very happy to assimulate, do not share your assessment of the culture. Maybe they just appreciate it more.

  275. kulicUU January 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Some un-composed notes (if you can make sense from them, good. If not, well… they are just notes, not a composition.)
    The PC enforcers/rigid ‘multi-culturalist’ crowd could in some sense be said to be constructing a template for a racial hierarchy, if race is understood in a novel sense, a very technical sense actually.
    (It is in here in this point that there is some confluence/intersection between my opinions and those (including on this board) who would be considered ‘racists’(in the classical sense of white people with non-PC attitudes towards ‘minorities’), although I don’t in general share their particular aesthetic sensibilities and quite often find them quite ludicrously dumb. )
    Aesthetically, I am very heavily invested in a multi-culturalism, but ethically can’t stand the despotic and infantitle nature of the socio-political community that surrounds it, especially in 1980s and 1990s liberal/academic/intellectual culture. Again, I say this as an avowed “””… not a neocon.
    What’s despotic about it? The entire ethics is mandatory. You must think and speak a particular way. It’s extremely codified, actually quite Victorian and conservative.
    There is some truth to the notion that the multiculturalists will destroy diversity by eliminating all barriers and subsuming everything and everyone into their oppressive lovey infantile embrace. If selection(racism, discrimination, hierarchy, isolation) is impossible, then diversity is in a continual process of destruction. This is the ‘melting pot.’
    I’m a pluralistic libertarian. So, the idea there is that communities can construct and maintain non-normative racial or ethnic identities without having to be subsumed into a dominant/despotic regime. In other words, common public education is out, replaced by a diverse field of competitive models, religious, ethnic, racial, philosophical, whatever.. Hippies go to hippy schools, yuppies go to yuppie schools, redneck muslims go to redneck muslim schools. Miscegenation is okay, so you have yuppie/hippie schools in various ‘shades’ in between.
    That’s radical pluralism as a political philosophy, sort of visualized. The difference with the PC multi-culturalists exists on several levels. One is that the multiculturalists bring cultures in but then overcode them with their particular ethic. So, they’ll invite the Taliban in, but overcode them so that the Taliban have been cleansed of non-PC attitudes (no wife beating, say). Kind of a melting pot thing.
    How much radical pluralism could a country survive without disintegrating? Could a country’s tolerance for an ethnicity’s alterity be tested? Sure. The Mormon’s polygamy is out. Very un-PC. Ironically, the current President of South Africa has several wives, just married another. That’s okay though, for some reason. I think the rigidly PC people are actually incredibly racist but couldn’t possibly face up to the fact on a conscious level without going into a nervous breakdown, so they invent all these condescending compensational mechanisms. It’s very strange.
    For such a pluralism to be consistent with libertarian principles, the right to discriminate would have to be reinstated. Does this constitute a repudiation of Martin Luther King? On a philosophical level, maybe. On a personal level, absolutely not. He took a people in the midst of hostile territory, subject to intense and continuous psychological warfare, and made them free. His ends justified his means, although his means too were almost entirely benign. Almost. On a level of pure jurisprudence, I don’t agree with a lot of what people take to be his message. Love everyone without discrimination (infantile and idiotic), etc, a complete totalizing rejection of the capacity for differentiation(of which hate is only the most extreme manifestation). However, I am extremely impressed with his project and his accomplishments. (Nuance continue…)
    On a level of pure jurisprudence though, people must have the right to free association, which includes the right to *not* associate with people they want not to associate with, for whatever reason. However stupid. So.

  276. trippticket January 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Or maybe, like a lot of Anglos, potential immigrants equate material wealth with peace and prosperity, and know that the US is the place to get it.
    But you don’t have to look far (scroll up a bit) to see that American material wealth provides nothing of the sort. It provides more, yes. More cars, more rooms to fill with stuff, more toys, more technology, more calories, but I’m not seeing a lot of peace and prosperity coming across in our culture.
    I’m not a liberal Democrat. I’m a 3rd party independent, wasted vote or not. I don’t think either major aristocratic party has a thing to offer. But I sure as hell understand the differences in the two.
    We’re all in the same predicament, and people like Asoka, Diogen, Wage, myself, and probably many others, are steadily working on realistic, lower energy, procreative solutions to a radically different world the right wingers on this list seem to comprehend, yet for which have only anger, blame, and violence to offer as “answers.”
    It isn’t hard to choose which world I’d rather be a part of. Unfortunately, this neat little MSM divide of blue and red states doesn’t exist. Every state in the union is a minimally variable shade of purple. More’s the pity. I’d be glad to let you guys have the southeast and midwest all to yourselves.
    Yes, yes, I’m sure yours is the “real” world, and mine is a dream, but that’s OK with me. At least I’m not consciously constructing a nightmare in my head.

  277. kulicUU January 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    My Canada includes Quebec. My Canada includes the fucking Metis, who will eat you with crackers and cheese and wine. My Canada includes First Nations, who were in fact raped quite systematically into the 20th century by Anglican priests. They are a fucking basket case to this day. My Canada includes Toronto, therefore Trinidad, most of Eastern Europe, India, much of West Africa. My Canada includes Kingston, which is composed largely of the race of meth-smoking ex-cons; is that Anglo? Scotch, French, Irish, native, slightly Viking also maybe, hardly /exclusively/ Anglo. My Canada includes Winnepeg and Edmonchuk, therefore Helsinki and Kiev. Oh, they speak English now. Yeah but not Anglo English. They speak Edmonchuk English. It’s not the same.
    Most of the above is me just basically joking.
    But yeah I get your point. You’ve all assimilated to a common culture, which you choose to call Anglo. That’s fine. It’s strange though, it’s actually not that different from the multiculturalist ethic, except maybe on the particulars of the dominant ethic. I think both you and the multi-culturalists want the same thing (a single dominant regime of signification with hegemony over the entire society (sorry for the expression, but it works)), but are in a minor squabble over the particulars of the code (moral, ethical).
    I’m a radical pluralist libertarian. A bit different. Very Liberal(classically, Jefferson, Voltaire, Nietzsche…), very un-PC.. I might actually be some of what you ascribe to the ‘multiculturalists’, whereas I maintain that for the most part they are not very pluralist at all, though they put up a front of it.
    The early US is a good example. The different states/colonies had radically different ideas about what constituted acceptable modes of life. It was pretty severe. The idea was that there could be a federation of such diverse communities that could and would survive and prosper. Given sufficient space, the federal/confederational whatever whatever could support an array of different sets of communities, ethnic groups, strange invented practices, whatever whatever. It’s a powerful idea, which I am not going to bother trying to articulate any better than that for now… Sufficient to say, I agree to disagree with you. Just consider using the word ‘pluralist’ instead of multi-culturalist. I think it’s more what you mean.

  278. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    “who are very happy to assimulate
    =============================
    Pretty sure you meant assimilate.
    I think you and several others here at CFN should start up the Mrs Malaprop society or MM for short. It could operate like AA with a 12 step program. Maybe at the first meeting some sort of honorary title could be conferred on my brother-in-law or on Norm Crosby if someone less obscure would be deemed more appropriate.

  279. diogen January 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    tripp said “…but I’m not seeing a lot of peace and prosperity coming across in our culture”.
    It’s all relative, isn’t it? For a Dane, A Japanese or a German today (they had violent episodes in their own pasts) this would appear to be true about America. But for peoples of the various Banana Republics and other “counties” ruled by psycopathic killers or incompenent baffoons America (and Canada and various other European sanctuaries) does offer both peace and prosperity. But human nature is a funny thing, many of the immmigrants to these prosperous and peaceful places bring their dysfunctional (at best) or brutal cultures with them. Anyone here read “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Eye-opening.
    As an immigrant to the U.S. myself from a non-Anglo-Saxon European country, I’m not anti-immigrant, but I do see a great peril to the positive aspects of culture and values of the Western civilization as practiced here, in Canada, Europe, Japan (although I don’t think they take many immigrants). My point is this — it’s not about race/ethnicity, it’s about culture and values. I see immigrants here in Ohio provided by the taxpayers with essential necessities of life (housing and food, as well as civil liberties and the rule of law), but so many of them feel arrogant and superior to the culture which accepted them and in many cases saved their lives…. go figure. I floated an idea that instead of foodstamps they should be issued seeds, tools and community garden plots to grow their food, but amazingly my fellow Ohioans yawned :)

  280. Cash January 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    OK kulic, you sound as if you have something interesting to say. Next time try to say it in composed clear English so it isn’t such a chore to read your posts.
    Re your comments:
    The PC enforcers/rigid ‘multi-culturalist’ crowd could in some sense be said to be constructing a template for a racial hierarchy, …
    …ethically can’t stand the despotic and infantitle nature of the socio-political community that surrounds it…
    You’ve expressed very well some of what bugs me about multi-culturalism, officially mandated, or not.
    People are essentially tribal in nature so you risk ending up with groups in cultural “silos” fighting for economic and political dominance with people in different “silos”. I do not want to end up with racial or cultural hierarchies or anything that looks like a caste system.
    And I don’t want to see inter tribal warfare. We have enough problems with inter-regional linguistic and economic conflicts as it is. Why is it in our interest to divide us up even more? Do we want no-go zones in our cities? I don’t want us to be a king sized Lebanon.
    As you say, you have PC enforcers that see themselves as more enlightened than the rest of us (ie they put themselves at the top of the hierarchy) and are prepared to ruthlessly suppress any expression of opinion that varies from those officially mandated. Have you heard of Canadian Human Rights Commissions? We have journalists in this country that pissed away torrents of time and money fighting sanctions imposed by these Commissions because they diverged from an officially approved script.
    Plus your comment:
    Aesthetically, I am very heavily invested in a multi-culturalism…
    So what is it that you find so aesthetically appealing about multi-culturalism especially since you can’t stand the despots and infants that surround it?

  281. Cash January 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    I see immigrants here in Ohio provided by the taxpayers with essential necessities of life (housing and food, as well as civil liberties and the rule of law), but so many of them feel arrogant and superior to the culture which accepted them and in many cases saved their lives…. go figure.
    I’ve seen the same type of thing here. I’ve had some real mudfights with immigrant co-workers that have said things like “Canada is just a camp ground and I want to go back”. This particular person was from a poverty stricken east African country that chased her and her family out because they were ethnic Indian. She had a good paying white collar job here and lived a middle class life. So as you say, WTF? I heartily encouraged her to get the hell out, please, if she so valued violence and misery over peace and prosperity.
    Another, whose parents were from Croatia, couldn’t talk about anything except Croatia. Every other word was Croatia, Croatia. So I politely asked her, why the fuck didn’t she go back? Apparently the town was extremely dangerous, (inter ethnic fighting) and you were dodging bullets all the time.
    Another was my ex-boss (who was not exactly under paid) who immigrated from Israel. Always it was Israel, Israel. So, very diplomatically I said, if Israel is all you think about after 30 years of being here why not go back? Apparently because he was worried about his two young daughters. Canada you see is a much safer place (no suicide bombings) and life is too good here to risk a move.
    So you wonder why these people don’t count their blessings and STFU. Really annoying.

  282. asoka January 7, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Very interesting comments, Mr. Radical Pluralist Libertarian Kulic Unitarian Universalist!
    You have made the best slam against Jesus Christ I’ve read in a while.
    Jesus Christ said: “Love your neighbor as yourself, love your enemies, love God, love, love, love…”
    KulicUU said: “I don’t agree with a lot of what people take to be his message. Love everyone without discrimination (infantile and idiotic), etc.”
    BabyJeeezzzus is infantile and idiotic!
    Martin Luther King was channeling BabyJeeeezzzus (as made explicit in MLK’s writings)

  283. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    “incompenent baffoons
    What are we aiming for here, baboons or buffoons?
    “I floated an idea that instead of foodstamps they should be issued seeds, tools and community garden plots to grow their food, but amazingly my fellow Ohioans yawned :)
    I didn’t yawn but my eyes did roll back in my head.

  284. Cash January 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    You’ve all assimilated to a common culture, which you choose to call Anglo….
    We speak English, read English lit, the Queen is our head of state, we have a Westminster style parliament, live under English common law. In my grade school days opening exercises were: line up in the gym, sing along with a scratchy recording of God Save the Queen, then Oh Canada, then someone would run up the Red Ensign and Union Jack and we would all salute.
    Most importantly, this country suffered hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded in two world wars in defence of the British Empire. Because in those not so far off days you were a British subject. On Nov 11, (Remembrance Day) our town would have a big parade (in which I participated as a Boy Scout) which ended next to the town war memorial. It was a small town and there were dozens of names engraved on that stone. Of course that stone did not include dozens more wounded. You see, the roots go deep.
    What would you call this common culture?

  285. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    “OK kulic, you sound as if you have something interesting to say. Next time try to say it in composed clear English so it isn’t such a chore to read your posts.”
    =========================
    Yes Cash, you’ve beaten me to the punch. I think what we’ve got here in Kulic is an intellectual with a penchant for the single massive paragraph containing multiple nested paranthetical asides (like (Russian) matryoshka dolls) and words of similar/dissimilar definition separated by forward slashes the reading of which can make one’s head feel like it does around 11AM on January 1st.

  286. asia January 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    thanks for this gem!
    ‘few years ago in Ontario we had the most surreal debate. Political correctness was running amock in our legislatures and academies and some of these boneheads tried to pitch to us the idea of a separate system of family law for Muslims in accordance with Sharia’
    reminds me of a short piece in a p buchanon book about canadian idealogue saying ‘ we finally are multi culultural’… AS THE MUSLIMS WERE PLOTTING BEHEADING THE PM!

  287. asia January 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    ‘ neither French nor native’
    I am both but have been called a ‘ racist’ here!

  288. asia January 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    To increase the demand and lower the wages of the profession
    a nurse told me thats what the filipinos did
    this is a quote
    ‘ they lie so, cant insert a feeding tube,have their own filipino nursing association..THEY HAVE RUINED THE PROFESSION’
    this woman worked at UCLA.

  289. asia January 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    ‘Canada’s Anglo elites and opinion makers are self abasing to the point of absurdity …’
    Follow the money..who do these peeps work for? do they work for you? the media? govt?
    do they aspire to be on the CFR?
    remember albright got clinton his seat there..they together i say were responsible for the war on x yugoslavia.

  290. televar@gmail.com January 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    This is my first offering to this forum. My comments are intended to stimulate further discussion and nudge us toward practicality.
    I am not qualified to address economics or politics or grand philosophical concepts affecting humanity. I am not eloquent. I am a practitioner of the applied sciences and have lived over 55 years respectfully attempting “to leave the woodpile higher”.
    We Americans live and express ourselves like spoiled, whining children. We have lost touch with reality and many of the factors that will benefit others. Each American generation lives more selfishly and more wastefully. Degradation is rampantly evident in our individual lives and in our American society. If we continue on this track we will destroy ourselves and our opportunities for recovery.
    We are not attentive and respectful of who and what came before us. This is evident in the loss of wisdom and practicality in our daily lives. We are losing the ability to “do”. The ability to do allow us to gain, sustain and give. I readily admit that the future generation could “do” so much more that our present generation. Think about it.
    Our moral compass needs to be re-magnetized. Our sense of compassion erodes as we become more selfish. Anger and impatience and destruction flourish in human hearts and lives, when our morality is self centered.
    My challenge to each of you is to build on the knowledge of JHK and be constructive in your comments. We will face chaos and degradation and problems upon problems, unless we seek and apply practical solutions as individuals and Americans.
    With that I will stop for now and look for your constructive comments to follow.

  291. trippticket January 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    I was waiting for Q to pipe up and correct your “immigrate from Israel” to “emigrate from Israel” but I guess he just handles spelling.
    I really don’t want to get drawn into this “my take’s more accurate than your take” craziness, but as an ecologist, I feel I have at least one finger on the pulse of natural law, which doesn’t care which party you vote for, or how you feel about miscegenation, or whether you eat meat or not.
    Nature only cares about a dynamic balancing of the biosphere. For those of us in the West, our ecosystem is now the entire planet. Since there is no plausible way to include any extra-terrestrial territory, our ecosystem now conforms to an island ecology. Island ecologies regularly experience overshoot and collapse of resident populations. For humans this is just our first global overshoot and collapse. Barring having our sorry asses completely wiped out by a passing asteroid, or similar fate, we will probably dance to this song again down the road.
    If nothing else, it’s a fascinating time to be alive! And if you’re reading this, your other choice is much darker.
    When I saw what was happening, I started studying, and took what nest egg I had left and began building an ecological garden around me. I assumed parameters like a lack of affordable fossil energy, bagged fertilizer, long-range supply chains, and potentially, running water. In response, I designed a seven story food forest that harvests and stores its own water, handles pests without my help, fertilizes itself, and will support my family’s basic needs if this scenario comes to fruition.
    No doubt we’ll lose some weight. (And none of us are fat.) But we’ll make it, and we’ll figure out how to wash clothes by hand, and do without a fridge. The only thing that worries me is folks like you guys, who assume the worst so fervently that you’re practically willing it to happen.
    Why are you so bent on death and chaos? Why not reinvest that energy into something procreative? Even if it’s a pie-in-the-sky daydream, at least it would improve our chances.
    Guns and MREs don’t create abundance.

  292. asoka January 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    “Political correctness was running amock in our legislatures and academies…”
    I would hope so! Who wants to be incorrect?
    When it comes to politics, where the power of the state includes nuclear weapons, I demand correctness.
    We don’t have time or resources to make politically incorrect decisions.
    Most of us want a civil society where dialog is possible and respect is given.
    We differ in language, ideas, policies, and behavior, so it is more important than ever to minimize social offense (in gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, handicap, and age-related contexts).
    Whether internationally or inter personally, political correctness is needed.
    We need to get communication right, and behave correctly, in order to all get along — and not blow ourselves up.
    Let’s hope for an increase of political correctness.

  293. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    “I was waiting for Q to pipe up and correct your “immigrate from Israel” to “emigrate from Israel” but I guess he just handles spelling.”
    ===================
    Don’t think for one minute that I did not give this some thought … but in the end I decided to drop it. Im and Em – migrate are unusual words whose meaning seems to be dependent on the location of the writer or where he visualizes where he is writing from whether he is actually there or not.
    So, in the case you brought up one might assume that there are two words not there but understood to be there as follows: “immigrate into Canada from Israel”
    And below is another subtle sense for the word immigrate that I picked up at Dictionary.com:
    To send or introduce as immigrants: Britain immigrated many colonists to the New World.

  294. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    “…in the end I decided to drop it.”
    =========================
    because I wouldn’t want to appear pedantic … God forbid ;)

  295. peakinterest January 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    I have been forced to reconsider my earlier posting concerning the character of the average American. I was in the grocery store during the daytime today for the first time in probably a couple of years. I prefer to shop at night because it’s faster, and it’s a habit from working the afternoon shift for several years prior to my layoff.
    I would say the grocery store offers a pretty good cross section of the population, and instead of my usual blitz through the aisles with my handy shopping list, I took the time, or was rather forced to take the time to pay attention to the shambling masses of depraved humanity that inhabits the landscape of this country.
    Apparently, I’ve been living in a bubble of sorts, and I have to offer JHK a sincere apology for stating that his view of the average American is negative and pessimistic. It would be more accurate to say it’s the truth. I would add that I now think his estimate of 33% of the population dying off is probably accurate, maybe even on the low side.
    Why the sudden change in my thinking? Well, it started when I was in the cereal aisle. Across the aisle from where the cereal is kept, there is a whole row of candy. I was standing there, waiting for someone to clear out so I could get to the Cheerios, when an electric cart driven by what appeared to be Jabba the Hutt with a dirty floral print tent-shirt and hot pink fat pants slammed right into the side of my leg, HARD.
    Naturally, I gave her (I think it was a her, but it had a spike haircut) a dirty look, only to see that she was scowling right back at me. I quickly got out of the way, and Jabba promptly floored it over to the 1 lb. bags of Reese’s peanut butter cups, grabbed two bags, and floored it again, narrowly missing someone else. Well, I got my Cheerios, and headed off to get some bread.
    I couldn’t get out of the aisle, because it was blocked by the carts of two women talking, one of whose children was standing upright in the shopping cart screaming bloody murder. Both women apparently regarded this as normal, because they kept right on talking, apparently oblivious to my presence. So, I reversed course and made for the other end of the aisle, shaking my head in disgust.
    I eventually got my bread, and the rest of the things on my list, and headed for checkout, which was jammed full. I perused the sordid tabloid headlines as I waited in line, and it was a long wait. The lady up ahead had to try 3 different credit cards to pay for what looked like $130 worth of groceries, and I eventually got out of there.
    I got outside and made for my van, narrowly avoided getting run down by some clown in a minivan plastered with NASCAR stickers, and walked all the way to the back of the lot where I had parked. I park waaaay back there so I can load up my groceries without being blocked in. Plus it saves time looking for a spot, and the exercise doesn’t hurt.
    I arrived there to find that some cretin had parked next to my van so closely that I couldn’t open the doors to put my groceries in. There is a whole paved parking lot moonscape, with empty spots for miles, and this meathead had to park right next to my van. How did they even get out of their car?
    I drove home and put my groceries away, and reflected on the whole experience for a bit. The lasting impression I get is of fat, shambling, rude zombies heavily medicated with anti-depressants, and oblivious to the world around them. I always knew they were out there, I just didn’t think there were so many of them.
    Well, that’s my two cents for today, reality check complete. I would like to close with something profound or witty, but I’m too numb to do that right now. Besides, I have to check my firearms to make sure that they are in good working order.

  296. Dr. Moreau January 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I’m afraid that I’ve been somewhat “out of the loop” for a while.
    I noticed that there’s at least one law school graduate posting on this list and a few teachers. What exactly are they teaching students now in US law schools, and schools, regarding the state of reality, and the US Constitution, in particular?

  297. Dr. Moreau January 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    I think that it was Fromm in his book, “A Sane Society”, who said that societies largely evolve by accident as a haphazard adaptations to threats and historical events. There has never been a case where a group of philosophers purposefully tried to create a sane, rational society.
    International capitalism and consumerism (in light of peakinterest’s post above) seem to have created in the US what could be described as “A Freak Show”. How is responsible parenting even possible under such circumstances? Here Johnny, take your Prozac.

  298. Eleuthero January 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Interesting comments, Qshtik. It’s maddening
    enough to have 10-year-olds become obese
    Asperger’s cases because they hole up in their
    rooms playing Grand Theft Auto but it’s
    positively Kafkaesque for this to be happening
    with people in their 30′s and older.
    Yet I, too, see this all the time. I know
    many people in their 40s and 50s who have
    changed over the decades from conversational,
    social, empassioned beings to “tech zombies”
    or 10-hour-per-day Cable TV junkies.
    This is one substantial reason why, in many
    parts of the USA, we have no communities, no
    neighborliness, and certainly no sense of
    “giving back to the community”. When the
    Long Emergency really gets legs, getting
    these people to do anything will be like
    “herding cats”.
    E.

  299. diogen January 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Qshtik said: “multiple nested paranthetical asides ”
    Oh my God!!! “parAnthetical”. I’m actually glad to discover that Qshtik is a real human, not a mechanical spelling device!!! I don’t think less of you for this, Q :)

  300. diogen January 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    Qshitk said “I didn’t yawn but my eyes did roll back in my head.”
    But why? These particular folks are from Somalia. They don’t work, so they have tons of free time. They had to grow their food back in their old country, so they know how to do it. There are vast abandoned lots of land with weeds and trash near the apartment complexes where they live, not to mention vast lawns. They could beautify the land around them and produce something of value instead of watching satellite TV and learning how to be dependent on the government and the food industry, and have better nutrition (and have less time to brood and read terrorist websites). This was a short list of the benefits of growing food instead of foodstamps. I could go on in that vein for a long time. So Q, why exactly did you roll your eyes back? You’d rather they remained consumers and freeloaders? Very curious.

  301. diogen January 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Dr. said “There has never been a case where a group of philosophers purposefully tried to create a sane, rational society.”
    Wrong. They did many times, and each time it was rivers of blood. Remember the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution? They thought they were creating “sane and rational” societies, but the results were huge meat grinders that consumed lives of real people. The only enduring success story I can think of is the American Revolution (unless you were a Royalist or a Cherokee :)

  302. Dolan Williams January 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    I have to agree with you about the current state of American behavior. I was at my local Costco a few days ago and my wife and I were just reaching down in our cart to place our items up to be checked out. This well dressed dude in a business suit simply moved in front of us and put his items ahead of us. This really ticked off my Italian-American wife but it really frosted me even more. She grabbed ahold of me because she knows about my temper. So I played it cool and simply asked him if he was from Manhattan Beach which is one of the neighborhoods close by famously known for snobby behavior on the part of its citizenry. He responded snidely and then proceeded to get out of our line and cut in front of the people in the adjoining line. I was stunned and so was my wife and I’m sure the folks who got dissed in the next line weren’t too happy either. Come the Long Emergency and somebody is going to ram a blunt object up the posterior of guys like that or maybe do something even worse.

  303. icurhuman2 January 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Yeah, I notice the same stupid business headlines here in the Australian press, the fact that oil is going up is supposed to be a sign of increased industrial activity – suuuure. The blinkers are truly attached with superglue, especially since there’s been no discussion among these “market gurus” about the IEA’s “top-level whistleblower” who said they’d been padding their energy forcasts so as not to “upset the Americans”, who, don’t want “market panic”. I say let us PANIC! Only by having a full-blown market panic will we see any reality added to any discussion or forecast.
    March will see the first signs of panic when 2009 fourth quarter numbers start to role out and May will see a wild mess in commodities with huge currency swings in the mix. China is in a metal panic-buyimg mode as of the most recent Bloomberg assessments (obviously their energy-buy-ups are in the same big boat) which should be an early warning that something is up – which would be the “jig”, whatever “a jig” might be…

  304. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    “parAnthetical”
    =====================
    OK, the test worked. People are beginning to pay attention to spelling. I make a deliberate spelling error and it’s spotted ;)

  305. Qshtik January 7, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    Dio said: “Qshitk said “I didn’t yawn but my eyes did roll back in my head.” And Dio asked: But why?”
    ==========================
    No no no Dio, you misunderstand the whole eye rolling thing entirely. Ya see this image of eyes rolling back in the head is my concept of a sane person’s natural reaction to seeing or hearing something that is very hard to believe or accept. In your case my eyes rolled because I thought “how can she (I’m guessing your a she based on a certain something in your style), how can she possibly believe these people are going to accept expending energy to get their food when they’ve been coddled on a something-for-nothing basis for so long … even though, in the abstract, the idea makes perfect sense?” Not to mention I got the impression your plan was going to treat the immigrants one way (grow their own food) and the non-immigrant Ohioans receiving assistance differently (free food). Obviously, human nature being what it is, this would never fly.
    BTW, I’ve used the eyes rolling back in my head image a number of times in my posts. For example, years ago when my daughter finally informed me that she had decided on a college major and it was “women’s studies” my eyes rolled back in my head and I blurted out words to the effect that a “women’s studies” degree plus two bucks would get her a ride on the subway. Then, just this past week, when I learned my 34 year old son’s must-have birthday gift was a PlayStation 3 system my eyes rolled back in my head. Note: I didn’t actually say this in my post but my eyes did, in fact, roll back in my head.

  306. Vlad Krandz January 7, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    No it doesn’t work that way-as you well know. Once Blacks mix with Whites, very fair skin is gone for good, along with blue eyes, red, blonde, and brown hair, and high IQ’s. Pretty much the same thing happens when Whites mix with Indians. You just get a Brazil-an incredibly ugly dangerous place anywhere this mixing has taken place. In Rio, they rich helicopter from one building to another-the streets are too dangerous. They all live behind gates-as all wealthy people here will in a couple of decades.
    There are peaceful, prosperous parts of Brazil-they are the White Parts in the South.

  307. Vlad Krandz January 8, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    Well I’m a White Nationalist, as were the Founding Fathers. So I would say to no to that personally. I admit it would be an interesting experiment-but I think it would turn out differently than you believe. There is a genetic aspect to our personality-the Chinese couldn’t have created Western Culture just as we couldn’t have created Chinese Culture. So even when they are trying to fit in, it might just be on the surface. When they become a power, then see how they behave. The Chinese are our intellectual equals but are notoriously bad assimilators. They have been going into Malaysia for centuries, but have kept separate from the Malaysians. They intend to the same in Canada. I agree that some among the first wave act just like Whites. But the ones who come later-and in great numbers? No.
    I think something similar will happen with the Hindus. And the Muslims obviously. As for the Africans and Latinos-nix. They are very alien and far less intelligent on average. Their natural culture is very different-emotional, macho, rhythm based, physcial, sensual etc. You get the picture. These aren’t just cliches but facts. Yes some are at the White Level of IQ and may be succesful. But most of these Blacks and Latinos will not choose to “go native” even though they could. But rather, they will use their abilities and positions to advance their own People and Culture.
    The White Man is the most creative type from what I can see. The East Asian may be our equal or superior slightly in raw IQ, but not creativity. Why dilute that? And in any case, we have the right to remain as we are or to evolve along our own lines. The Chinese ordered every White out of their country when they gained independence. Now they feel in control and have relaxed a little. But they jealously guard the right to self determination-as should we.
    As I said, I’m not against border areas. How they turn out will depend on what people are mixing. White/East Asian mixtures will be high IQ and sometimes quite beautiful. White/Black mixtures or Black/Asian will be violent with low IQ’s. A Peruvian friend once told me “White Countries are boring”. Some truth to that-we don’t have the beat. And plus we are not what we were a hundred years ago. He never saw us at our best. But-there are worse things than being bored, much worse. We’ve had enough trouble just getting all these White Groups on the same page. Why would we want to bring in groups even more difficult to assimilate? We just don’t have that kind of strength anymore if we ever did.
    The Elite are trying to dissolve Nations into Large Economic Zones as a precursor to World Goverment. There is a plan in the works to bring in fifty million North Africans into Europe. Australia is now considered part of Asia and they are being swamped with Chinese and Arabs. So the people in charge behind the scenes know its not going to “work” in terms of civility and culture. They don’t care. Nations have to be weakened and divided so they can be overcome completely. It’s a brilliant plan and it is working splendidly. The Zones will have to be Police States that’s all. And the Global State will be too-if they get that far. I don’t think they will but they will drag the world into WW3 in their attempt to do it.

  308. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    Q said (to Diogen):
    (I’m guessing your a she based on a certain something in your style)
    I got it! I found your other test mistake, dude. Sweeeeeet….
    (cue the music) One of these things is not like the other…come on now, you know the words….sing it with me, boys and girls!

  309. asoka January 8, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    “I got it! I found your other test mistake, dude. Sweeeeeet….”
    Tripp, Qshtik is not planting errors intentionally.
    He simply does not know how to write or spell.
    I have called him on this and even suggested he read THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White.
    His lame response: “I read it a long time ago.”
    He either doesn’t remember the rules or doesn’t know how to apply them.
    He thinks it’s not a big deal when he makes mistakes, but he enjoys pointing out other people’s mistakes.
    He is enjoying his retirement this way.

  310. diogen January 8, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    OK Q, I did misunderstand your “eyes rolling back” comment at first, thanks for the clarification.
    And no, I’m not a “SHE”, your writing style analysis clearly needs more work. My wife (a woman, btw) had a good laugh at that, thx :)
    English is not my native language, your writing style detector may be picking it up.
    Q said “Not to mention I got the impression your plan was going to treat the immigrants one way (grow their own food)”
    Well, I didn’t really have a plan, just an idea. And I think it’s a great idea for everyone to grow some of their food, but especially for the folks who’re getting food assitance from others (taxpayers, charities, etc.) My wife and I are comfortable economically, but we grow most of the vegetables we eat during the growing season (a small garden at that), give away some, and dry/freeze a lot as well. There’s a lot of rural poverty in South-Eastern Ohio (Appalachia), and driving thru little towns you see many signs of such poverty. You also see HUGE lawns freshly mowed around homes (often ramshackle), but you see NO gardens. Something is very wrong with this, especially because a very high portion of the population there receives various forms of food assistance. How is it that people believe that working in the garden is undignified, but being on the dole is dignified???
    As Q said in one of his postings, I worry.

  311. diogen January 8, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    tripp said “I designed a seven story food forest that harvests and stores its own water, ”
    so what do u grow in the seven story food forest, and on what amount of land? Here’s what we grow in our one-story garden: several different varieties of eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, cukes, radishes, carrots, beets, black radishes (these store well most of the winter), onions, leeks, scalions, lots of garlic, parsnips, turnips (use roots and tops which are actually more nutritious), many types of greens (lettuces, spinach, kale, beet greens, arugula, etc.), herbs, squash, brussell sprouts, green beans, dry beans, peas. This year will be adding potatoes and sweet potatoes in additional space in a local community garden plot. Plus my wife has a lot of native perennial flowering and decorative plants.
    My goal is to completely get rid of the lawn, except a narrow strip along the sidewalk.

  312. slg January 8, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    “The religion of the Futility Economy is Techno-Triumphalism, which is the belief that an endless sequence of magic tricks performed by shaman scientists can defeat the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which rules the universe — which true scientists ought to know cannot be defeated.”
    All such comments do is underscore your ignorance. Yes, all scientists, including those so-called “techno-triumphalists,” are perfectly aware of the laws of thermodynamics. They are also aware, as you evidently are not, that the thermodynamic laws are not qualitative mantras that you can intone against things you don’t like. They are quantitative relations that must be evaluated, mathematically, to determine the feasibility of physical proposals, including limits on human activity. E.g., “entropy” is not an epithet; it is a real physical quantity that can be (and _is_) calculated and measured, and can be looked up in standard references. If you actually (gasp!) do the numbers, you find the constraints set by the laws of thermodynamics are considerably more permissive than you imagine. In particular, the Earth is not a closed system–it sits between two very large thermal reservoirs at very different temperatures, the Sun and deep space–and so notions of entropy “accumulating” on the Earth are simply nonsense.
    This is, no doubt, not what you want to hear. But as you repeatedly note, reality doesn’t care what you think, and that includes your misconceptions or your “narratives.”

  313. wagelaborer January 8, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    I was computerless yesterday and missed a lot.
    There is a Canadian on my roof right now. He has a degree in History, but is doing carpentry. He likes America because it’s warmer than Canada, but is mostly here because his wife found a job.
    Which is why my grandparents came to America. And my grandma didn’t like it here either.
    I have brown eyes and my kids have blue (2) and green (1) eyes. My friend married a half Filipino guy and their kid had beautiful brown skin and green eyes. Genetics is more complicated than you think, Vlad.
    They already use human manure, Trip. The field next to me has sewage dumped on it every year. It stinks for a few days. When I walked across it to look for my dogs one day, the plastic tampons applicators were so thick it looked like they were planted. It says right on the package not to flush them. What does that say about American literacy? People also flush meds, poisons, and god knows what else. I know that the hospital I work at flushes radioactive materials, because they bragged about their special dispensation in my job orientation. So I am not happy with the manure spreading.
    You’re right, I didn’t have to finish my adobe project, so I didn’t. Plus, for the straw bale part, I had help from my husband and kids, but they refused to do the adobe part. Especially when I decided that it was too hard to mix straw, so I started using horse manure, which was basically digested straw, in much smaller pieces and easier to work with, so what’s the problem? Instant rebellion from my helpers!
    A lot of immigrants are clearer on American values than the natives. I complain about our eroding freedoms all the time, and many Americans accept it easily. The government spies on us? So what? I have nothing to hide. The government hides its actions from us? So what? National security means they have to lie.
    That attitude drives me crazy. Most of the immigrant doctors are clearer on American traditional freedom than Americans born here. Not so much uneducated immigrants.
    One of the things I like about Americans is that we queue up politely. I see film of other people trampling each other instead of lining up and disapprove. We take numbers and wait our turns, or line up patiently. I don’t like pushy people.
    Martin Luther King said that one day we would judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
    Exactly. He didn’t say that we couldn’t make judgements about people. He just said that it should be based on something more important than skin color.

  314. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    “Tripp, Qshtik is not planting errors intentionally.”
    =========================
    Soak, this is hardly a discovery on your part. I think I signaled pretty clearly with a winking-eye smiley face that, indeed, the misspelling was NOT deliberately inserted. There is a difference though between me and many others at this blog … I actually do give a shit about spelling, grammar and the overall presentation of what I write. I welcome a correction because it makes me less likely to repeat the same error. I doubt I’ll ever forget that the letter after r in “parenthetical” is an e not an a.
    But your assessment that “He thinks it’s not a big deal when he makes mistakes, but he enjoys pointing out other people’s mistakes” is pretty accurate. I particularly love to get Not Mommy all riled up. This is how I amuse myself in my retirement. I just wish I’d see it bear some fruit. I wish Asia would write US to indicate United States, not Us or us. I wish he’d write complete sentences and begin them with upper case letters. I wish he’d desist with the excessive ?????????? and !!!!!!!!!. I wish Vlad would stop creating unintended hyphenated words by misusing the dash (-). I have mentioned these things many times but I suspect pride is a factor.
    You should all consider yourselves lucky that this blog is written, not spoken because I can be incredibly anal about pronunciation. I scream at assholes on TV all the time.

  315. diogen January 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Vlad, I understand that your convictions are a part of your identity, and that won’t change. However, my observations are that most Americans identify with others based on culture and values, not necessarily on race alone. I’m white and I feel most comfortable with people who share my culture and values. Yes, some of this is based on the shared European ancestry, but there are many black, brown and yellow folks I know who adopted the values of the Western Civilization, and also some white folks who are culturally alien to probably both you and me. I’d bet that there are groups of white people you feel a complete disconnect with, what are you going to do with them in your White Republic?

  316. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    “(I’m guessing your a she based on a certain something in your style)”
    ===========================
    Your absolutely right Tripp.

  317. diogen January 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Before Q shoots me, I meant “adapted” in the previous post :)

  318. Vlad Krandz January 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    No, guns don’t create prosperity food or prosperity, but they sure help you keep what they have. You study Nature. Very good. But don’t limit yourself to flora and agriculture-only studying animals insofar as they effect those. That’s an incomplete picture. You have to study predators and predation. There are some great videos and you tubes out there showing what happens to weak vegetarians at the “hands” of strong predators. In contrast, I have a great video at home showing herbivores fighting off predators-moutain goat stands his ground and lowers his head against cougar. The cougar scratches him a few times but the he knows that the goat will throw him off the ledge if he really goes for it. Zebras and Buffaloes holding off Lions, males out front, females and calfs behind. Predators want to create panic, when the herd animals run they can pick off the slow and the weak. But all predators are afraid of large animals who stand their ground. Even if they can take one down, it’s not worth getting hurt. A lion isn’t going to enjoy its meal after it gets an eye knocked out by a horn or a hoof. And deep cuts are often a death sentence for animals in the wild due to infection. It’s not worth it. But the unarmed….Violent crime has soared in Britain and Australia since the citizens were disarmed a few years ago.

  319. Vlad Krandz January 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Yes dear-genetics is very complicated. But in general, White traits like light eyes, hair, and skin are very much recessive. High IQ as well. The Fillipino you mentioned may well have had Spanish Forbears-the upper class are a mixed people you know.
    I do judge by Character: by and large, Blacks and Mestizos don’t make it. Yes there are good Blacks, like Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas. They are loathed by other Blacks who don’t want the gravy train being dismantled. A swallow doesn’t make a summer. Likewise, a few Blacks who understand, appreciate, and can practice the American Way of sobriety, frugality, and self determination cannot overturn the multitudes who have no inclination at all in these directions.
    If Blacks were just White Men with good tans, I would be the bigot you imagine me to be. But they are not and I am not.

  320. Martin Hayes January 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    All comments concerning misuse of spelling and grammar should be welcomed. Consider them the last flickering acts of sentience on a dying strand of civilizational discourse.
    Note that above both Kottan and Keithishere have said “loosed” when they mean “losed”. Observers of such things will have noted how common this mistake is. Indeed, they will have noticed that, seemingly, a large proportion of humanity elected, as though obeying a signal, to use this mistake about a decade ago.
    Note that I say “use”, rather than “make”. They aren’t making a mistake; that’s what sovereign individuals do. No, they’re doing what everyone else is doing. Why is this?
    Well, conformity, of course. That’s a given. More germane is that people take their cue increasingly from their peers, rather than some vested authority such as their schoolteacher.
    I don’t think we need to worry too much about the particular mistakes (boring!), the fact that people are shivering conformists (was ever thus) or even that people are willing to blow their last chance at being themselves to please their equally ignorant, co-dependent peers (they’re also ignoring established authority, which is a good thing): no, what we should really be worried about is the blind rage that greets every attempt to correct people on their spelling or grammatical mistakes.
    This is the legacy of democracy: you don’t have the right! And as we go down the down slope, we won’t be able to get anything done, because you don’t know, you went to the same school as me, remember, you come from the same neighborhood. Permaculture? Intentional communities? What gives you the right?

  321. Cash January 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Man oh man. I’m not bent on death and chaos and I’m not willing it. But I’m not optimistic either because like Mr K I think we’ve been living in la-la land for a long time and soon we’ll find out, like Dorothy, that Kansas is going bye bye.
    Also, I don’t own guns or MREs. I’m an apartment dweller with almost no possessions. I make do and am content with very little.
    But I think that reality and facts are stubborn things. I think that asoka and kulic are well meaning and good hearted but I think they are too utopian.
    What I favour is intermarriage between people of varying racial/ethnic/cultural backgrounds and assimilation into a greater whole because you generally don’t kill or make war on your own kin and countrymen. What I do not want in the coming Long Emergency is us making war on each other ie neighbourhood vs neighbourhood, ethnicity vs ethnicity, race vs race… you get the drift. Maybe I’m the one being too utopian.
    A short personal anecdote to illustrate: my home town is a small out of the way place. Its students also score the highest academically in the province. So a national newspaper did a big article on this phenomenon. They interviewed the locals about what makes the place what it is. One fellow (I know the guy) said it was the “wovenness” of the society. I couldn’t have said it better. That’s what I want to see countrywide. Again, maybe I’m the one being too utopian.
    I vividly remember attending, as a boy, a Remembrance Day ceremony at the town war memorial. There was a huge crowd, as many townsmen had been killed or wounded and the wars were recent memory. I saw many of the locals wearing their medals, there were a fair number of outsiders, many in uniform and flags everywhere. I saw some good square men weeping into their handerchiefs. Nobody was happy that day except me. I stood there in my Cub Scout uniform and listened to the piper and bugler and I thought geez I like these guys and I want to be like them.
    The acceptance was mutual. We had moved into a very Anglo part of town a few years before and we stuck out like a sore thumb being short and swarthy with a funny surname. But the neighbours and schoolteachers were kind and the kids accepted me. To my surprise I didn’t get picked on. So, in turn, I did my best to fit it and so did my parents. Because of my own experience I do not see the necessity of a society divided up to fit some academic notion of “diversity”. In the coming Long Emergency I just see it as too dangerous. I see assimilation as a good thing.

  322. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    “I thought “how can she (I’m guessing your a she based on a certain something in your style)”
    ===========================
    Dio, I would never suspect that English is not your native language. The certain something in your style is (a) refraining from high testosterone verbal tearing of new assholes (for examples, reference any post by Not Mommy) and (b) the frequent use of emoticons which is primarily a female thing.
    There are other things that “real men” don’t do but, being invisible on a blog, they don’t come into play here: “real men don’t eat quiche” as we all know, and “real men” don’t use photos of their pet cats as wallpaper on their computer desktops at work.

  323. diogen January 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    martin said “you went to the same school as me”
    A purist like you should say “you went to the same school as I”.
    And “blind rage that greets every attempt to correct”?? Lighten up, friend, and go buy or rent a little sense of humor and good jest :)

  324. Martin Hayes January 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I’m not a purist and you’re not Diogenes.

  325. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    “Before Q shoots me, I meant “adapted” in the previous post :)”
    ===========================
    Not really … “adopted” was correct. “Adapted” would have been correct if it was followed by “to.”

  326. peakinterest January 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    The whole thing was just surprising to me. Now that I’ve had time to digest the whole thing, I realize that most of the people I worked with at my last job had been there 5+ years, so most of them “got it”. When I wasn’t at work, I was either spending my time around family (most of whom automatically get a pass), my close circle of friends, or at my community college finishing off my associates degree in electronics, which seems to be worthless here in Michigan.
    As much as I hate to admit it, I have been living in a bubble for about 5 years, in that I have been sequestered from the majority of the population.
    I suspect that when the Long Emergency begins in earnest, most of these yahoos will expend the 3 days or so worth of food they have at home, then start looking for those with a little better foresight to “requisition” things from.
    People that do have gardens, probably even those that have farms in the countryside outside the suburbs, are likely to see them stripped by hordes of these clowns. That’s the trouble with zombies. They’re not terribly formidable by themselves, it’s just that there are so damned many of them.
    That’s why I think people living in the country are going to be a bit better off at first. It’s not so much that country living is “better” than suburban or city living, it’s just that those people will get a little bit more lead time to wake up and see what’s going on.
    There is no impediment to growing food in a city or on a suburban plot of land, it’s just that those will be the first areas stripped. Then the starving hordes of shambling zombies will likely make its way further afield, and events will take their natural course from there.
    Hopefully, none of this happens, and the mythical federal government can conduct a sort of orderly, gradual, drawdown. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem very good at implementing anything closely resembling coherent, practical policy decisions anymore.

  327. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Note that above both Kottan and Keithishere have said “loosed” when they mean “losed”.
    ==========================
    Martin, please point out exactly where your reference to Kottan and Keithishere is located. I want to check out the supposed error you mentioned because on the surface it seems that “loosed” may be correct. The past tense of lose is “lost.” I don’t think there is any such word as “losed.”

  328. Martin Hayes January 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    On the news: The guy who tried to blow up the airliner to Detroit had “a weapon of mass destruction … in his underwear.”
    Said to the wife: “I also have a weapon of mass destruction in my underwear.”
    Wife: “You wish.”

  329. Martin Hayes January 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    I made a mistake. You couldn’t make it up, could you? Heh.

  330. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    “I’m not a purist and you’re not Diogenes.”
    ============================
    Martin, I don’t understand your reference to Diogenes – the dude who went about with a lantern searching for an honest man. Perhaps you meant Demosthenese – the great orator.

  331. wagelaborer January 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    OK, that was funny. You judge people by their character, not their skin color.
    And brown and black skinned people have bad characters. Too bad you’re serious.
    My friend’s husband had a white mother. It only took a generation for those recessive genes to pop out.
    Same with me. My Dad has blue eyes.

  332. Mr. Purple January 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Gee, it looks like American employers claims about a shortage of high technology workers are made up. Could it be that they just want to use H1B hires to depress wages?
    http://www.dpeaflcio.org/pdf/Gaming_the_System_Report_.pdf

  333. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Said to the wife: “I also have a weapon of mass destruction in my underwear.”
    Wife: “You wish.”
    ==========================
    And Martin to wife: No, you wish!

  334. diogen January 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Dolan, the scenario you described is a remote possibility. If it does happen and you possess a nice garden, your best chance to keep your food is dependent on how many other people among the urban/suburban hordes have their own gardens. So, it would be a prudent thing to do to promote home gardening among your neighbors, near and far. One option is to convert your front yard to a garden as a showcase of what’s possible. It seems to me that most people don’t realize that their front (and back) lawns are their security against uncertain future, and most people don’t realize how MUCH FOOD you can grow in a small amount of space, it’s really amazing…

  335. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    “My friend’s husband had a white mother. It only took a generation for those recessive genes to pop out.
    Same with me. My Dad has blue eyes.”
    ==========================
    Hold on here … I’m trying to follow this. Who’s white, who’s black, who’s brown? This sounds like a “Who’s on first?” routine.

  336. diogen January 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    sorry, the above reply was to PEAKINTEREST, not Dolan

  337. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Vlad said:
    “A swallow doesn’t make a summer.”
    I suppose it depends on what sort of swallow we’re talking about, and how lonely your summer was…

  338. jpfreemon January 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    What happens to any species when its population exceeds the resources necessary to support it?
    The population collapses rather quickly.
    Climate change, water and fuel shortages that can quickly lead to a food emergency; and a nation already bankrupt by endless wars and economic buffoonery, makes it almost inevitable.

  339. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Thanks, Asoka. My sense of humor apparently doesn’t come across very well in e-format.

  340. jpfreemon January 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    On the news: The guy who tried to blow up the airliner to Detroit had “a weapon of mass destruction … in his underwear.”
    Said to the wife: “I also have a weapon of mass destruction in my underwear.”
    Wife: “What, you crapped your pants?”

  341. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Diogen,
    I agree with your take on the seeds/tools/training dole instead of food stamps. Why growing your own isn’t a far more dignified activity is beyond me. In my opinion it’s one of the most rewarding things one can engage in, and probably the most dangerous too. For the corporations. Once you figure out that you don’t need to buy…their…
    Shit. That’s why. People growing their own food instead of being given money to buy it from the corporations doesn’t exactly light up an economy.

  342. asia January 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Jim K
    You said UK may be Siberia..well..according to the news some parts are NOW as cold as the south pole.
    VK here this week said ‘ baa’ to global warming..well I see climate change and global drying, both of which concern me and many others.

  343. peakinterest January 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Diogen, I agree that a lot of food can be grown in a small space. I’ve seen it first hand through my uncle. He and my mother’s whole side of the family grew up dirt poor in southern Ohio, and they fed themselves with their garden and whatever meat they could get through hunting/trapping. My uncle paid off an 80 acre farm on factory wages by continuing what he had learned growing up.
    The problem lies in that most people these days have grown up in a world where that isn’t necessary, and they perceive it as impractical. Most people I know don’t buy into the concept of peak oil, even when I explain the data relating to it.
    Rather than tending a garden, most people would prefer to pretend everything is fine, that the recovery is underway, and that they can keep up with business as usual until things go back to normal.
    I’m an apartment dweller, and gardening doesn’t work for me. Instead, I keep about a year’s worth of rice, oats, and beans on hand. When it nears its expiration, I give it to the local food bank, and rotate in new stock. I believe that my best chance of keeping my food is for others to not know I have it, to avoid others if things go bad, and to have firearms and the will to use them as an absolute last resort.
    Your suggestions are wise, prudent, and practical, which is exactly why most people will fail to implement them.

  344. asia January 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    when are you gonna shut the F up you old wind bag?

  345. asia January 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    ‘Asoka is one of the most annoying spin-meisters I have ever encountered and the above sentence is a classic example of his handiwork’
    thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  346. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    What do I grow? Thought you’d never ask.
    Because I have a small lot in the city — 1/7 of an acre including house and detached garage — I have to garden intensively. The 7 layers are high canopy, low canopy, shrub, herb, groundcover, root, and vine. Instead of seeing a bed for lettuces, I envision a possiblity of 7 different layers occupying that space.
    For the high stuff, I actually count my neighbors’ trees which are adjacent to my garden – maples, a birch, and a fir. I have a honey locust which fixes nitrogen and drops high protein pods for my 6 chickens, and I’m adding 2 dawn redwoods and 2 stone pines (pine nuts) this season. They don’t really count for much space since they will be up so much higher than the rest. Redwoods can get big obviously, but they grow very slowly, and make a world-class timber. I’ll plant them where I can harvest them without destroying the garden.
    On level 2 I have (all semi-dwarf) 2 cherries, 3 plums, an apple, a pear, 2 peaches, an apricot, bamboo, and a mulberry. They’re not very big yet, so I can still grow annual vegetables around them without much regard. I also have 3 hazelnuts and 2 almonds.
    Moving on down to shrubs, I have loads of blueberries, highbush cranberries, goumis (several Eleagnus really), serviceberries, raspberries, aronia, wolfberry (goji), sea buckthorn, currants, quince, weigela, Siberian pea shrub (for chicken fodder), and Potentilla.
    Level 4 – herbs – I can’t list them all. All the common culinary stuff with several varieties of each, asparagus, artichokes, cardoon, a growing medicinal and wildcrafting garden, yarrow, lupine, echinacea, comfrey of course!, lavender, chamomile, feverfew, borage, calendula, perennial aliums of all stripes, native geraniums…
    Level 5 – groundcovers – may overlap with the last layer. Loganberries, strawberries, thymes, clovers, etc.
    Level 6 – roots – I grow 5 varieties of potato, burdock, Jerusalem artichokes, and am working on establishing some desirable mushrooms, and increasing general biodiversity in this stratum.
    Level 7 – vines – I grow sweet grapes, wisteria, hardy kiwis, scarlet runner beans, Japanese honeysuckle, which has a tasty fruit, coral honeysuckle, wild roses, hops soon…
    Generally, I’m trying to emulate indigenous agroforestry, which clears an area, burns to add minerals and potash, and plants a mix of annual and perennial food crops. As the perennials take over, they shade out annual areas, but produce a lot more food per square foot. Annual veggie production just prepares the way for lower-energy perennial crops. Although I can’t replace them all. I grow most of the same veggies you grow.
    Sorry for the length of this post, but hope that answers your question!

  347. asia January 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    The Elite are trying to dissolve Nations into Large Economic Zones
    some of us have noticed!!!!! thats why we are here
    yr comments on brazil..ive heard that about S africa..so dangerous you cant go out.

  348. asia January 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    groups of white people you feel a complete disconnect with
    JEWS
    GAYS
    LEFTISTS
    college students yelling ‘ we want green jobs’

  349. asia January 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Of course ‘ they’ do!!!!!
    Gates at MS has been doing it for decades!

  350. asia January 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    in the era of ‘salad’ you buy wrapped in plastic at the market YOU WANT JOE 6 PACK TO GARDEN???
    some folks are so lazy they buy their raw vegis already chopped at the market.

  351. asia January 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    and today KCRW had experts/economists aghast that 85,000 jobs were lost….GEE THE EXPERTS JUST DONT GET IT.

  352. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    With permaculture, the difference is not so much WHAT I grow, but how what I grow relates to its neighbors. It’s about connections. A suite of shrubs, herbs, and vines all grow in association with a fruit tree to provide for each other’s needs. There’s no such thing as “the apple spot” in my garden. “The apple spot” also includes several species of perennial aliums, comfrey, native geranium, daffodils, yarrow, dill, bee balm, artichoke, clover, as well as some common “weeds” doing their thing.
    If I take the time to create a community for my plants, I don’t have to worry about drought, or insects, or disease, or fertilizer, because all that stuff has been designed in. I just walk in a few times each growing season, chop and drop the comfrey for mulch and fertilizer, harvest a basket of fruit and herbs, and walk out.
    No one ever fertilized an old growth forest. I’m just tweaking a natural system toward higher quality human food. Your lawn WANTS to be a forest; you have to WORK to keep it a lawn. But instead of letting it grow up with maples and privet, just steer it toward peaches and blueberries…

  353. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Asia, we ALL used to grow and hunt our own food and medicine. But it’s a loooooong road back, isn’t it??

  354. diogen January 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    thanks for the info trip, lots of good ideas for us to try. We just located a local source for Comfrey, the woman offered us as much as we want!!! But she warned us that it’s impossible to eradicate if we change our mind :) From your description of your p/c food forest, it would seem like too much shade might be a problem though… do your lower-tier plants get enough sun?

  355. asia January 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Do you eat the comfrey? or is it just for ‘ biodynamic’ aspect?

  356. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    I think in most situations plants that get more sun produce more flowers and fruit. So yeah, anything too deep in the shade isn’t going to max out. The question for me is more about TOTAL calories per square foot, and variety. In my polycultures you get about 20% more combined calories than you would out of a monocrop of any of the constituent parts.
    And of course I keep the tomatoes in full sun and the currants in the dark, not the other way around;)

  357. asia January 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    I went to a photoshop class this AM..some of the folks were in their…. 70s? 80S? one had her ‘seizure alert’ dog with her.
    WILL THE FEEBLE MAKE IT? NOT IN A BRUTISH HOBBSIAN WORLD.

  358. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    What about the old and infirm who can’t do the work? Who’s in charge of doling out the plots of land? What happens if all the land is doled out but along comes another 500 people needing land. Who provides security so the crops don’t get stolen or destroyed?
    The answer to me is to remove govt from the welfare business. If govt is involved there will always be an expensive political/bureaucratic nightmare. Let churches and other charitable organizations handle charity. It is their natural function … their reason for being. Have the govt announce that “the food stamp program is ending the first of next month. Plan accordingly.” You’ll be amazed how resourceful people can be.

  359. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Can I jump in on this one?
    Comfrey taken orally is hotly debated. Some claim enormous health benefits, others say it’s toxic. If it’s a question I say don’t do it.
    Topically, it’s hard to beat. An old common name for it was ‘knitbone.’ I can personally attest to its ability to relieve and clear up deep bruising. It’s an impressive medicinal in addition to its top-tier dynamic accumulator status.

  360. asia January 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    1/7 of an acre including house and detached garage
    an acre is about 210′ x210′
    70 yards square
    YOU HAVE A HOUSE AND ALL THIS ON 30 FEET BY 30 FEET?

  361. jpfreemon January 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    >a large proportion of humanity elected, as though obeying a signal, to use this mistake about a decade ago.
    …and that is how language evolves

  362. Qshtik January 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    This sounds like a Noah’s Ark for the land. Vlad wants to start a garden with all the exact same stuff … except for one thing … the Jerusalem artichokes … for obvious reasons.

  363. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Our lot is about 6500 s.f. Subtract the 1000 sf footprint of the house, another 400-ish for the garage, and we’re left with, let’s round it off to an even 5000 s.f. of garden space. I have 2000 sf in dedicated intensive garden, fenced in by all the vines I listed, and the remainder is in transition to food forest, and used for free-ranging chickens, including the wide parking strips that aren’t ours.
    But there’s no rule that says it all has to fit inside our property lines. Most of the trees will hang over the sidewalks, offering fruit to neighbors, and you can grow a TON of food in a 6′ x 100′ public parking strip. Consider how many things are growing under and on the periphery of each fruit tree, and you’ll see that I still have plenty of space to grow into!

  364. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    We should probably leave the Wandering Jew out of Vlad’s garden as well.
    Maybe, it is kind of an ark. The image I have of permaculture gardens all over the world is of pockets of preserved species richness, waiting to spread and connect to each other. I’m building 3 new ones this spring. Paid gigs, mind you!
    Compared to older Pc gardens, I’m just getting the shovel warmed up. One guy I know has over 400 species of perennials just in his vegetable garden!

  365. Martin Hayes January 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    It might not be obvious to everyone, so here goes.
    Jerusalem artichokes: if you haven’t tasted these, you’re really missing out.

  366. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    I’m always amazed at how resourceful people can be when it comes right down to it. But in the interest of public safety, let’s give the welfare folks a year to train up and get some crops going.
    I have an ecology and gardening background, and it still took me two years to get it together. Necessity might be able to cut that in half.
    Teachers and model gardens seem to be the problem. ‘Cause growing food the industrial way just isn’t going to work for long. Ask the Cubans.
    We need more time. I can’t get gardens going fast enough.

  367. Dolan Williams January 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Diogen, you were replying to PEAKINTEREST but that’s okay. I guess I can reply to both of you. I’m one of the few people I know who knows about farm life and suburban life. I grew up on my dad’s 350 acre farm in Mississippi in the 1950′s. One of my first memories was being handed a “toe-sack” by my mom and dad and then being told to start picking cotton like all the other folks who worked for my old man. What a way to start a young life! Picking cotton in the Mississippi summers teaches you a lot about endurance. The reason I’m blathering on about this is because I later got a chance to move to Los Angeles and attend UCLA and experience the true American suburban lifesyle.
    I believe that what you guys point out is a very dangerous possibility and Jim Kunstler mentions that in his book “World Made by Hand”, referring to these types of people as “pickers”, ripping off the locals and getting regularly executed when captured by honest townsfolk. I suspect that the only people who will survive this upcoming horror are those folks who are able to come to social agreement with their neighbors. My father had about 40 people who worked for him on a regular basis. My dad and my family worked alongside these neighbors, invited these workers to eat with us and paid them decent wages. As long as people treat others with respect, you could theoretically turn large numbers of suburban yards into mini-farms and people would defend their neighbors and themselves to the death. By the way, this is why I believe in owning firearms because I think we will all need them in the years to come.
    I currently live in a Los Angeles suburb and the people who live around me neither care for their neighbors nor have much respect for them. That’s only one of many reasons that I’m leaving California for good. Southern California would quickly turn into a living hell once the Long Emergency gets started once and for all. There is a valid reason that Los Angeles gets voted the most unfriendly city in the nation year after year. God help anybody who gets stuck here in the middle of a long-term crisis condition.

  368. trippticket January 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    “I went to a photoshop class this AM..some of the folks were in their…. 70s? 80S? one had her ‘seizure alert’ dog with her.
    WILL THE FEEBLE MAKE IT? NOT IN A BRUTISH HOBBSIAN WORLD.”
    If we see a Hobbesian world as the only option then probably not.
    I haven’t a clue what to do with the elderly of this age. Greed and growth, taking on diverse manifestations, alienated them from the families that should be taking care of them. I want to take care of my in-laws (we live almost 3000 miles from my folks), but they are royal F’in pains in the ass.
    I doubt it will be that way in an energy descent future. I’m hoping I have enough useful knowledge to make me worth keeping around when I can’t do the heavy lifting anymore. Like the families of old, the elderly were their internet and encyclopedia. We may get to serve that purpose again in the coming years.
    People my age who don’t have a clue about a lower energy way of life may be the ones who really get left out.

  369. Vlad Krandz January 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Quite right sir: Los Angeles is the most diverse place on Earth and is therefore the least friendly. The causality is clear even to Social Scientists like Robert Putnam of Harvard. His solution: suppress his own results for years so as not to give Conservites ammunition. Now he’s come out with it-but no change in his viewpoint on unlimited immigration. We have to change human nature not our policies evidently. He vows to keep working on it like a good PC Zombie must.

  370. asoka January 9, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    asia asked: “when are you gonna shut the F up you old wind bag?”
    This is a forum where both you and I can offer our opinions and perspectives on issues.
    This week, for example, I questioned JHK’s assertion that this administration supports “the idea that we have to continue driving cars all the time and for everything, at all costs.”
    I provided evidence that JHK is wrong about this, because this administration is strongly in favor of investment in public train transportation.
    I enjoy reading what you post to CFN, asia, though I often disagree with your positions. Nevertheless, I respect your right to express yourself.
    I hope you continue to post often and express your point of view. I am sure I can learn from you, and I appreciate that you are so willing to share what you are learning in your institution of higher education.
    Best wishes,
    Asoka

  371. Vlad Krandz January 9, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Great question Diogen, thank you. White Nationalists believe that culture is incredibly important-in it’s own way as important as Race. But we refuse to ignore the relationship between them. When Blacks act up, people say it’s cultural, or upbringing, nurture, etc. Or lack of those to express it in another way. But in that case, there should be Black Culture that is advanced and peaceful. There isn’t. So it isn’t cultural. Or to put it more accurately, sure it’s cultural, because it’s genetic first. That’s the kind of culture the Black Genotype, when left to itself, produces.
    As for Whites: I saw a White Chimp with hat askew and baggy pants chanting his rap war chant. My disgust was total. I want nothing to do with him or his kind. He has been destroyed by an evil culture that seeks the destruction of Western Man both Culturally and Genetically. One is the body if you will, and genetics the soul. Destroy the soul and the body follows. A few minutes later I saw the chimp with his headphones off talking respectfully to an older man-helping him get on the right bus. The older man was a Black. The kid is a convert to Black Culture.
    The people who funded rap records and gave it airtime have alot to answer for. As Plato said, a new kind of music is a thing of grave concern for the Elders of any Culture because it will change the people.
    For the sake of argument, lets say that I’m wrong in my claims of genetic essentialism. What then? Does it follow that you and the proponents of the proposition nation are correct? Not at all. Because the primary way a culture is transmitted is though the biological mechanism of the family. They get it with their mother’s milk as the saying goes. No citizenship classes, or intellectual appreciation can hold a candle to this. Nor can they really transmit the culture. A culture or soul or transmitted via the familial process. In other words, memes are transmited by genes. Even if we are all born blank slates when it comes to cultural predeliction, the acculturation starts immediately. And the earliest impressions are the strongest.
    I appreciate your courtesy and willingness to listen. This is the best of the old and vanishing Liberal Culture. The immigrants didn’t destoy it, we did it ourselves with alot of help form our friends in Media, Goverment, and the Great Foundations who finance both of these. But now, thus weakened do you really expect to transform all the new people? To something that’s already dying? Now you are correct: I’ve met foreigners who do really appreciate America and who will make great citizens. But they are the exceptions. Both most just come to get what they can for themselves and their people. And if they see a power vacuum, they will fill it. I can’t convince you of my genetic essentialism. You would have to study forbidden things to find out the truth of it. But the weak form of my argument, that memes follow genes, is strong enough in itself to carry the day against anything you said.
    Thus White Nationalists take into account both aspects of life, body and culture; nature and nurture. Liberals only take into account nurture and discount nature completely. Is their point of view likely to be correct, just on the face of it? Who has the open mind, White Nationalists or Liberals? This is the complete answer to your first question. Leftists, Liberals, Fake Conservatives are our greates enemies. Without them, we could deal with the non Whites in short order. Behind them is the money of the great Foundations and Trusts up to and including Rothschild. As for ordinary Whites-we preach and teach. If they don’t get our message, they are doomed to the destruction or degredation of being a White Minority in a Non White Culture where the non Whites are taught to see Whites as Evil. Do you know how they treat our people now in South Africa? In Rhodesia? And why isn’t that reported on the News? A thousand cars were burned in Paris by the Muslims on New Year’s Eve. Did you hear anything about it? White Girls in Europe have to put on veils in parts of their own Cities to avoid harrasment or assault. How do you feel about that? There are millions of Muslims concentrated in Michigan alone. Also they are preaching in the prisons-making many converts now among the Hispanics as well as the Blacks. The same things will be here soon, rest assured. And you think that the “Proposition Nation” is anymore than a fart in a tornado against what is coming? So why don’t we ban Muslim immigrants? Why indeed.

  372. Vlad Krandz January 9, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    HiHo my good fellow. A little levity leavens the mass of gloom. You really are a fine fellow. You are the Left Hand of God and I the Right. I am to the Right of Rush and to the Left only of God. If you go far enough Right, you get to Socialism. And if you go far enough Left, you get to Fascism. We are brothers hidden from each other by what you call Nature and I call God.
    When I die, I’m going to come back as a deer and eat your garden. Then, when my antlers are grown, I’m going over to Wage’s house. I think she needs to perform a sacrafice to fertilize her land. The Great Mother is always thirsty. She bleeds and must be replenished. Do you think a little menstrual blood would do it? Or maybe one of her “meat rabbits”? How do they feel about being called that I wonder.

  373. Vlad Krandz January 9, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    You had brown eyes yesterday, now you have blue. You are like the sea, always changing-but always a woman to me.
    Just wait till I dig up my Rod McKuen.

  374. asoka January 9, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    Vlad said: “There are millions of Muslims concentrated in Michigan alone.” … “So why don’t we ban Muslim immigrants? Why indeed.”
    First of all estimates of the current number of Muslims in the United States vary from as low as 1.5 million to as high as 6–7 million, the latter figure being accepted by major Muslim organizations.
    Second, there is no monolithic group of “Muslim immigrants.” The Muslim population in this country is ethnically diverse. Immigrant Muslims come mainly from the South Asian and Arab countries, with smaller numbers from Africa, Iran, Turkey, and Southeast Asia.
    There is also a growing population of American-born converts to Islam, most of them African Americans, making up perhaps a third of the total population of Muslims in the United States.
    Third, your claim about Michigan is way off. Michigan is not even the state with the most Muslims.
    The 10 states with the largest Muslim populations, in order, are California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, and Maryland, according to the United States Census.
    Fourth, the way you talk you make it sound sinister, like there is something wrong with being a Muslim. Once again you have trouble accepting reality. Muslims are here to stay: get over your trumped up, inflated fear.
    Islam is a growing religion. In the United States nearly 80 percent of the more than 1,200 mosques have been built in the past 12 years.
    And, just like only a small percentage of Christians are White Nationalist extremists, only a small percentage of Muslims are extremist fundamentalists.
    Vlad, you are full of fears about colored people, Muslim people, loss of White culture, etc. and your anger comes through.
    You need to chill, bro. It is what it is. Go with the flow and you’ll find things go easier.
    Ishq Allah Mahbud lillah
    Alhamdulillah wa shukr Allah
    May Allah bless you, Vlad, and grant you peace

  375. cowswithguns January 9, 2010 at 3:20 am #

    JHK-style doom-and-gloom is going mainstream. Check out some of Bob Herbert’s recent columns at the New York Times. Here’s one of them: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/09/opinion/09herbert.html?hp
    Last week’s was great.

  376. Eleuthero January 9, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    Nerd alert!! Mr. SLG, I suppose it never
    occurred to you that Mr. Kunstler is using
    the Second Law as a LITERARY DEVICE. So
    you spend the rest of your screed criticizing
    his physics and not addressing his idea that
    “techno-triumphalism” is or is not a cultural
    ethos at this time.
    I believe that techno-triumphalism is now a
    global secular “religion” i.e., that we will
    overcome all obstacles with just-in-time
    scientific inventiveness. Indeed, anyone
    who isn’t living in a bunker knows that,
    for example, the West isn’t even BEGINNING
    to deal with its water problems. Almost
    NO adaptations are being made at this time
    towards scalable oil replacements. Just
    tiny little “show-and-tell” replacements
    that nip away at the extreme margins.
    Instead of nitpicking at Mr. Kunstler’s
    physics and reading the “Second Law” stuff
    LITERALLY and then responding only to that
    and not to his main point, why don’t you
    try to read stuff as it is intended to be
    interpreted.
    If you read his piece as I believe he intended
    for it to be read, you’d have addressed the
    truth or falsehood of the idea of techno-
    triumphalism. He’s using “Entropy” merely
    as a METAPHOR but I guess you hard core
    science guys didn’t read much literature
    in your overspecialized university training
    so simile, metaphor, and irony are lost on you.
    By the way, I’m a “hard core science guy”, too,
    in case you’re ready to launch on me for fuzzy
    thinking. Learn to read metaphor as metaphor.
    Address the main points of his article. Don’t
    bog us down in your literalist stodginess.
    E.

  377. Dr. Moreau January 9, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    My reading of “The Federalist Papers” suggests that the Founding Fathers purposefully designed the US government structure to overcome the problems of democracy (i.e., demogogues) and to thwart European imperial efforts to divide and conquor the U.S. In the Federalist Papers, the Founding Fathers looked to the lessons of the Greek city states for instruction. In other words, Fromm’s thesis is still correct in respect of the US example in that the US government structure was also designed as a defensive structure in reaction to events, rather than directed at creating a sane society. The focus of the Founding Fathers as described in “The Federalist Papers” is the creation of a powerful country, not a sane society.

  378. powderrules January 9, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Just to prove Jim’s point about cluelessness of the leading class, I just attended a lecture by James Wolfesohn, former world bank president, who in the space of 15 minutes said that by 2035 China and India would have 50% of the worlds GDP (they have 15% now) and that Russia (the worlds 2nd largest oil exporter)has only an 18 year supply of oil and Gas. Talk about reality disconnect…..

  379. Qshtik January 9, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    “May Allah bless you, Vlad, and grant you peace”
    ============================
    Asoka, the blessing you call down on Vlad could not be more disingenuous. We know it and you know it. If there is anything more certain not to give Vlad peace it is a blessing from you.

  380. Qshtik January 9, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    “Talk about reality disconnect…..”
    =========================
    I don’t get it Pow … tell me more … what is the disconnect?

  381. trippticket January 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Eleuthero said:
    “I believe that techno-triumphalism is now a
    global secular “religion” i.e., that we will
    overcome all obstacles with just-in-time
    scientific inventiveness.”
    Amen. It’s going to be pretty shocking for these Zeitgeisters when they realize that plain old plants are the only efficient solar panels available.

  382. asia January 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Like radio yday ‘ econmists shocked by 85000 jobs lost’
    see:
    provided by
    James S. Chanos built one of the largest fortunes on Wall Street by foreseeing the collapse of Enron and other highflying companies whose stories were too good to be true.
    Now Mr. Chanos, a wealthy hedge fund investor, is working to bust the myth of the biggest conglomerate of all: China Inc.
    As most of the world bets on China to help lift the global economy out of recession, Mr. Chanos is warning that China’s hyperstimulated economy is headed for a crash, rather than the sustained boom that most economists predict. Its surging real estate sector, buoyed by a flood of speculative capital, looks like “Dubai times 1,000 — or worse,” he frets. He even suspects that Beijing is cooking its books, faking, among other things, its eye-popping growth rates of more than 8 percent

  383. asia January 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    One guy I know has over 400 species of perennials just in his vegetable garden
    ……………………….EDIBLE PERENNIALS?

  384. asia January 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Or DISinformation…as many here know the problems in part with the pseudo science Economics and the focus on growth over quality of life.
    makes it easier to get rid of the middle class while claiming whatever clinton or who ever has claimed as the us is disinvested and china is invested by the power elites that really run the world.

  385. asia January 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    1 in 8 in us on foodstamps
    its a 60 billion dollar a year growth industry!
    while 50? 80? years ago the whole Federal govt was run on less than that!
    in the rust belt in the worst areas its one in 3 or 4 on foodstamps
    there was a piece on NYT cover on ‘ no income but foodstamps…1 family in 50 in usa is in that boat’

  386. trippticket January 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    CONTRARIAN INVESTOR SEES ECONOMIC CRASH IN CHINA
    http://finance.yahoo.com/retirement/article/108534/contrarian-investor-sees-economic-crash-in-china?mod=retire-planning
    “Like Dubai times 1000…or worse.”
    Will someone please tell me what’s so hard to understand about all this? We’re 4 years beyond peak oil, 2 years beyond peak economy, and somehow we can just conjure up a perpetual growth pattern like the laws of Nature have been suspended by the gods on our behalf?
    Even my fellow permaculturists regularly get up in arms about deforestation and embarrassing extinction rates.
    Two choices exist (IMHO):
    1) Either we are outside of nature, ordained by a deity to have dominion over, or at least stewardship of, nature, and will be rescued and rewarded accordingly for our obedience to the commands of afformentioned deity, (i.e. we went forth and hella multiplied), OR
    2) We are part and parcel of nature, and must obey her laws. In which case “peak economy” means PEAK economy, (are you listening permies?), and the planet will begin to heal immediately from our shenanigans.
    And if that’s the case, how we choose to participate in the healing is in large part up to us.

  387. trippticket January 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    “One guy I know has over 400 species of perennials just in his vegetable garden
    ……………………….EDIBLE PERENNIALS?”
    A lot of them are edible to one degree or another. I have lots of flowers and weeds in my garden that are delicious, but might get overlooked by most. And there are probably edible plants in my yard that I don’t recognize yet.
    But no, not all edible. Some of them are there to bring in beneficials, chase off pests, gather minerals, create mulch, or to cut for your sweetie. But that’s all important for food production too!

  388. asoka January 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Q said: “If there is anything more certain not to give Vlad peace it is a blessing from you.”
    Vlad is a child of God, the fruit of millions of years of evolution. Just because I do not share his White Nationalist views does not mean I do not share his humanity and wish him peace.

  389. Qshtik January 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    “Vlad is a child of God”
    =======================
    As a non-believer, how can you make such a statement?

  390. Dr. Moreau January 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    They just changed the McDonald’s sign.
    Rather than reading “Billions Served”, it now reads: “Billions Dead or Missing”.

  391. asoka January 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Q asked: “As a non-believer, how can you make such a statement? ”
    If you read my statement carefully, I said Vlad is a child of God (something believers can relate to) and I said Vlad is a product of millions of years of evolution (something non-believers can relate to).
    I did not want to make a statement only for believers or only for non-believers, so I included both. I am large, I contain multitudes.

  392. Donny-Don January 9, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    In case anyone is paying attention, and cares: Kunstler was wrong (again) in 2009. He predicted the Dow would fall to 4,000. The lowest it got was 6,500, and it finished the year well above 10,000. So Kunstler was only off by about 150%.
    Of course, Kunstler also predicted a global Y2K meltdown in 1999.
    I guess we can’t be right all the time. But it would be more encouraging if Kunstler’s specific predictions were right … um … just ONCE.
    My predictions have been consistently more accurate. Just for the record.

  393. observer January 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Our tax dollars at work in Detroit (you have to see it to believe it):
    http://forums.finalgear.com/general-automotive/chevy-billboards-around-detroit-40946/

  394. Dr. Moreau January 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    The sign in front of the McDonald’s across town now reads: “It Ain’t Worth It.”
    Which, curiously, is the same message now appearing on the sign in front of the local Baptist church.

  395. observer January 10, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    Redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) may be the fastest-growing trees on the west coast–something like 7 feet a year. They might be beat by acacia baileana, which are leguminous (nitrogen fixing) but many people are allergic to the acacia flowers, so planting acacias can be considered antisocial. And the acacias have invasive roots. Be sure your redwoods are on the north side of the garden or you won’t have any sun in 5 years when they’re 30 feet high!

  396. robin January 10, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    This isn’t going to happen. The return to agricultural based communities is rather apocalyptic. If this happens the world as we know it is finished and it is unlikely any of us reading (or writing) this blog would know how to survive if they had to grow their own food in earnest (ie not pop to WalMart when the cabbbage patch didn’t turn out right). And with what tools are you going to dig the land? And who’s going to provide the fertilisers and pesticides? Because, I tell you, organic food is all nice and good but when it’s -20 outside and your organic crop only produced a 10th of what is required you won’t care less if the potato is going to kill you in 50 years time due to some weird unknown side-affect of pesticides which are, fataly, no longer manufactured.
    And who’s going to fight off the big hungry motherf*cker next door with an Uzi and belt full of grenades? Sounds too much like Mad Max to me.
    Sure we can’t go on as we are, but the change will be gradual and not apocalyptic. Change is always gradual when it comes to civilizations (relative to the average human lifespan – not to all of eternity).
    I can’t help feeling this blog is preaching to the converted so to speak.

  397. Vlad Krandz January 10, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    Thank you Asoka. I like certain aspects of Islam quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean it belongs here. In particular, I revere Ali, Mohammad’s cousin and son in law. Ali was a warrior saint. During on battle, he was holding someone down about to kill them and the man spat in his face. Ali released him and let him live. The man asked why and Ali said, because I got angry. In other words, his actions no longer had Divine Sanction and were just coming from the ego. So I hope if I someday have to fight, I can follow this principle. Truly, to kill with love is no mean achievment. Needless to say, Islam has nothing to do with what lefties call “peace”. Islam mean submission to God, from which come spiritual peace.
    Islam holds that all men are equal at the level of the soul. At the level of function in the world, they recognize hierarchy of indivduals and races. Blacks are considered in general to be servants and manual laborers. But again, there can be equality at the soul level. Billal was a Black Slave who was one of the first converts. He is revered to this day by Muslims and is part of the Initiatic Chain in some African Sufis Lineages.

  398. observer January 10, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Whoops, I see Trippticket said “dawn redwood.” Sorry. In California, according to my 1979 Sunset Garden Book, dawn redwoods grow 4-6 feet a year. And they aren’t as dense as the sempervirens, so provide less shade.

  399. asoka January 10, 2010 at 2:30 am #

    Robin said: “And who’s going to fight off the big hungry motherf*cker next door with an Uzi and belt full of grenades?”
    LOL! I’m surprised no one on CFN has come up with this solution: land mines around the organic permaculture garden.
    If you are in the USA, you have the added advantage that the United States has refused to sign the Mine Ban Treaty.

  400. asoka January 10, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Thank you, Vlad. If only more people had your understanding of Islam. You say:
    “Islam has nothing to do with what lefties call “peace”. Islam mean submission to God, from which come spiritual peace.”
    Yes, and I wish people would get the whole jihad thing right.
    The great jihad is a spiritual struggle, not a holy war.
    http://middleeast.about.com/od/religionsectarianism/g/me080122a.htm

  401. Vlad Krandz January 10, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Thomas Jefferson and his son were out walking when they were greeted most courteously by a Black Man. Jefferson took off his hat and bowed his head as he returned the greeting. Jefferson’s son was amazed and said why are you showing such respect to a Black. Jefferson replied, you must not let them be more courteous than you.
    Jefferson was a slave holder who felt that Whites were completely superior to Blacks. But does that mean they have no rights or we have the right to do anything we want to them? When Whites go against their higher nature, they hurt their cause greatly-as when those little Black Girls got blown up in the church. The streets has prevously been full of Whites protesting civil rights, after that they were empty. Whites were ashamed of what had been done-as opposed to Blacks who very seldom if ever feel shame and then only for something they personally have done.
    As you may know, the South fought as gentlmen during the war while the North fought as savages. The South could have done this too; they had elite guerilla troops like Mosby’s Raiders who could have spread terror into Maryland and Pennsylvania. But General Lee said no. Now as you probably don’t know, the savagery continued after the war with armed Blacks raping and killing at will while the carpetbagers oppressed the people. Both groups were protected by Union bayonets. So finally the Men of the South defended themselves with what is now known as the Klan. Funny huh? When the South fought as gentlemen they lost, but when they fought as terrorists they regained their dignity and honor. Even orthodox historians admit that they were being mistreated-disarmed and denied the right to vote. But the mistreatment went far beyond that. They were not able to get justice from the courts for their raped daughers and murdered sons. What does anyone expect them to have done?
    Nathan Bedfore Forest disolved the Klan after a few years. Apparently he knew that it was veering towards criminality. I hold no brief for any of the many Klans after this point. I would have to judge each case by case.

  402. Mr. Purple January 10, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    “Change is always gradual when it comes to civilizations”
    That’s a bit of an exaggeration. You should give Collapse by Jared Diamond a read. What seems like a stable system can fall apart with appalling speed under the wrong conditions. It is only when looking back with perfect hindsight and seeing the early warning signs (that do not produce an immediate result) that the change seems gradual, but the tipping point it can be sudden indeed.

  403. peakinterest January 10, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    This past summer, there was an electrical fire in one of the other units at my old apartment building. It was put out, but the electric company cut power to the building until a proper inspection could be carried out. This was in early August, the hottest, most humid time of year here in Michigan.
    I was without a car because mine had died two weeks previously, and being unemployed, I was forced to ride my bike and save up the cash to buy a workable one later (later wound up being December 10th). In a flash, I found that I could no longer use the stove to cook, the air conditioning to keep myself cool, the TV to keep myself entertained, or the shower to keep myself clean (I lived out in the country, and our water came from a well with an electric pump). The landlord was pretty apathetic about the whole situation, and stopped answering his phone.
    The other people living in the building went to stay with relatives, which was not an option for me, as I have no family nearby, and all my friends have small apartments. I suddenly found myself thrust upon my own resources. I went outside and had a look around, hoping one of the neighbors had a grill I could “borrow” until the power came back on, with no luck.
    I wound up riding my bike to the nearest store, where I bought a bag of charcoal, some candles, and a bunch of bottled water, which I hauled home in a backpack and a duffel bag hung over the top tube like saddlebags, which was very awkward on the ride home. It was a ten mile round trip.
    I used two spray bottles I had in the house to bathe, one mixed with dish soap to lather up, and one with plain water to rinse. I used an old pot filled with charcoal as a stove out on the front lawn, and I put my perishables into the freezer to help them keep longer. I read by candlelight for entertainment, and I saved as much used bath and cooking water as I could to flush the toilet once a day.
    The fire happened on Friday night, and the landlord had told me the power would be back on Monday. That didn’t happen, and it still wasn’t on by Wednesday, so I wound up getting a friend to help me move my stuff to the apartment where I live now. The landlord was so broke that I had to chase him for a month and a half to get a prorated return on my rent and my security deposit (the fire happened on the 7th I think).
    I have heard through the grapevine that the fire started because the woman living in the unit in question had her electricity shut off for non-payment, and the landlord had somehow or another cobbled up a way to get power to her unit, which started the fire.
    I can tell you from experience that thinking something can’t happen doesn’t prevent it from doing so. I can also tell you that if there wasn’t a functioning legal system and enforcement in place, I would definitely have done things to my landlord that he wouldn’t have liked very much.
    Once the everyday comforts most of us are used to go away, and doing even the small things requires planning and effort we are unaccustomed to, you find that you are capable of doing and contemplating things you never really thought possible. I was only exposed to “a world made by hand” for a few days, and I had plenty of canned food and dry staples on hand. Security was not really an issue, and neither was getting clean water. It was a valuable lesson for me, one most people never have to learn.
    Preparedness and resourcefulness are in all ways preferable to trusting someone else to prevent or solve problems for you. If the change is gradual, it will be no less shocking. The Soviet Union collapsed rather quickly, a real world lesson that it is a possibility. It is wise to be prepared, mentally, socially, and materially in the event that such circumstances arise.

  404. Qshtik January 10, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    “Thomas Jefferson and his son were out walking”
    ============================
    Well thanks for the history lesson Vladdy but what the frig does it have to do with the comment (of mine) referenced?

  405. Qshtik January 10, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    “The great jihad is a spiritual struggle, not a holy war.”
    ===========================
    Yeah … well tell that to the jihadists.

  406. Qshtik January 10, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Speaking of signs … did you see the sign in front of the Horizon Auto Center in Texas? It reads: FREE NOBEL PRIZE WITH OIL CHANGE.

  407. Qshtik January 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    “If you read my statement carefully”
    ==============================
    Asoka: Google Jockey, Spin-meister and master of the self-deluding rationalization.

  408. Cupid Stunt January 10, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    My concern is that by the time the politicians twig that a really awful amount has to be done very quickly it will be too late because of the lack of money (whatever that is) and physical resources. Transforming agriculture back to the way it was done in the 1830′s will be very expensive and will take many years to achieve, leaving aside the skills that have been lost that were built up over literally thousands of years.
    I enjoy your postings, Sir, and have been a regular reader for a couple of years now. I am certain that you are right, but as the Nuclear Physicist Niels Bohr once said, “Predictions are hard to make, especially predictions about the future”.I hope I quoted accurately.

  409. trippticket January 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    “dawn redwoods grow 4-6 feet a year. And they aren’t as dense as the sempervirens, so provide less shade.”
    It’s still pretty fast. I’ve since decided to plant them all out at our property instead. Too hard to harvest in town.

  410. trippticket January 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    “Because, I tell you, organic food is all nice and good but when it’s -20 outside and your organic crop only produced a 10th of what is required you won’t care less if the potato is going to kill you in 50 years time due to some weird unknown side-affect of pesticides which are, fataly, no longer manufactured.”
    Robin, you, like so many others, have a seriously warped idea of what “organic” means. Organic is how the world has always run; industrial agriculture is nothing more than a blip on the radar of human history. A very sad, destructive, toxic blip.
    I challenge you to produce more calories per square foot than I can organically…
    Although you might want to take a look at some of my photos before you commit:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/?start_tab=sets
    Pretty flimsy huh? And that’s before this year’s cycle of biomass settled in. (Pssst. Here’s the big secret the chemical companies don’t want you to know: organic methods make your soil MORE fertile year over year, not less, like chemicals do. Why do you think big ag uses twice the fertilizer and pesticides it did 50 years ago, but suffers twice the damage?)

  411. Qshtik January 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Correction: the sign said FREE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WITH OIL CHANGE.

  412. Vlad Krandz January 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Yeah that’s what a Muslim at the Muslim Table at my old collgege said. So I asked him why the Muslims conquered so much so fast. He said quickly and nerovously, “Oh, that’s just something they wanted to do.” In his famous and now banned in Saudi Arabia book, “Milestones” Seyyid Qutub poured scorn on this “ignoble” point of view, as if Muslims were just another race of conquerors lusting after spoil. No, he said. They conquered for Allah that all men might live under Divine Law. If the dhimmis then wanted to embrace Islam, more to the good. But they had the obligation to live under God’s Law whether the would or not.
    Now considering that the vast bulk of “missionary” activity in the world today is financed by Al Queda and thus by Al Queda Mosques; and considering his rushed delivery and nervous demeanor, I don’t believe the Muslim Kid believed what he was saying anymore than you do. I say to you what Anthony Quinn said in “Laurence of Arabia”: thank God that He gave you the face of a Fool, otherwise someone might take offence.

  413. Vlad Krandz January 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Well that even an enemy, an Asoka, deserves courtesy-it’s also good strategy. From there I got carried away. As Bilbo says in the Lord of the Rings, a road is a dangerous thing; it can take you anywhere. And truly, a thought is a road of a kind. It connects with other thoughts into lanes, steets, by-ways, roads, avenues etc.
    What is the proper use of the hypen anyway? Doesn’t it have a legitimate use in sentence structure? You seemed to be saying that it was only for a kind of compound word.

  414. Martin Hayes January 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Why must you have enemies, Vlad? Tell me, if you could destroy with one blow all that you say you hate, would you make that blow?

  415. asia January 10, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    ‘Jefferson was a slave holder who felt that Whites were completely superior to Blacks’
    hey Pal…have you ever heard of ‘ breeding farms’ ‘ child rape’…those were inflicted by whites on blacks…how could anyone subjected to that be an ‘ equal’?
    Its not all genes…its nuture too,,or in this case lack of it.

  416. asia January 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    whatever dimwit!

  417. Laura Louzader January 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    That’s what all the religionists of the world claim… that they only conquer so that the conquered can live under God’s rule…. the God of whatever religion is out to conquer.
    At least the Muslims are explicit in their intent to conquer and their desire to snuff out all infidels. Thus we know them for what they are: an enemy of our civilization.
    The Fundamentalist Christian crowd has less honesty. They pretend to gentleness and generosity and love for the “sinner”, while harboring the same hatred for heretics and the same bloody desire to conquer and destroy, that their Muslim brethren do…. and they occupy top leadership positions in this country, and have influenced our foreign policy for 60 years. It is they who pushed this country to intervene in southeast Asia and Indochina, and they, too, will stamp out every vestige of rational thought and advanced civilization if they prevail.

  418. Qshtik January 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    “What is the proper use of the hypen anyway? Doesn’t it have a legitimate use in sentence structure? You seemed to be saying that it was only for a kind of compound word.”
    =========================
    Vlad, my beef is that you frequently use the dash between two words with no intervening spaces and thus give it the appearance of a hypenated word. In most instances a comma would be the appropriate punctuation. Here are two examples of innumerable examples I could cite:
    (1) post on 1/8/10 at 12:29 agriculture-only
    (2) post on 1/8/10 at 12:42 dear-genetics
    In both cases a comma would have done nicely to create the desired pause.
    A legitimate hyphenation would be as in this sentence: “Bing Crosby was a singer-actor superstar in his day.”
    Here is a link to rules regarding hyphenation:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyphen

  419. scott January 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Yeah, resistance is futile…alot of the cornucopians want to believe in the status quo for example by refuting any argument that manufacturing has moved from the U.S.
    1)The U.S. leads the world in manufacturing based on total U.S. dollars through 2007
    2) housing is included in manufacturing data
    3) the bulk of U.S. manufacturing dollars is based on high ticket items such as Boeing aircraft, Caterpiller earth moving equipment, John Deere farming equipment, Satellites, munitions and other military applications, etc.
    Clearly the bulk of global manufacturing is outside the united States — even the manufacturing that is calculated as U.S. manufacturing is actually manufactured outside of the U.S. under the umbrella of a ‘U.S.” company. How much of Intels 9 billion quarterly profit is manufactured within the U.S.?
    The U.S. government including foreign manufacturing of U.S. company products in U.S. manufacturing data is the equivalant of the people of the United States blowing smoke up it’s own ass.

  420. messianicdruid January 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    “But they had the obligation to live under God’s Law whether they would or not.”
    Cutting off a man’s hand as punishment for theft is man’s law. God’s Law is based on restitution, NOT punishment.

  421. messianicdruid January 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    You are confusing the “Fundamentalist Christian crowd” with the people who deceive the fundamentalist christian crowd. These can repent {change their mind}; the others will not, IMHO.

  422. trippticket January 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Here here, well said, Laura! I’ll take open hostility any day over covert manipulation.

  423. trippticket January 10, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    Peak,
    Those rice, oats, and beans, are they viable for seed stock if the need arose?

  424. abbeysbooks January 10, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    O fug Q go read Joyce Carol Oates who holds a permanent professorship at Princeton. Lots of dashes. It all depends on what you are writing and for whom.

  425. abbeysbooks January 10, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    If they are not Monsanto. If they are not then you must dust them with anti fungus something. Not sure what that would be on the organic choices.
    If I were you I would get Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution and just do what he says. He is all for sensible, local and easy. Permaculture is great but labor intensive building it up.
    Or Ruth Stout’s Easy Gardening with straw bales.

  426. abbeysbooks January 10, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    As you can see I am all for easy. No sense making it hard like the Obamas did, but then they had built in slaves on govt payroll to the labor for them.
    Just another Obama dumb IMHO.

  427. Vlad Krandz January 11, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Oh come on Marty, everyone has enemies. You are known by the quality of your enemies. Stalin once said, Communism will not be established in America as long as Henry Ford lives. What better compliment has ever been said of any man?
    Also Christ said to love your enemies. He didn’t say that we wouldn’t have any, in fact He promised us that we would. And btw, loving your enemies doesn’t mean letting them win.

  428. Vlad Krandz January 11, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    Listen to you two Green Reds! If push comes to shove, you would ally with the Muslims against your own People just like your cohort in Europe has done. Such is your hatred.

  429. peakinterest January 11, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    I don’t think so, at least not where I live (Michigan). I keep enriched white rice, pintos, and quick oats. It’s more or less a way to have cheap, calorie rich food on hand until I can assess whatever the situation may be and plan accordingly.
    I’ve been spending quite a bit of time studying the wild edible and medicinal plants in my area lately, and I have some skill at hunting and trapping if needed. I’m probably also going to order and stock heirloom seeds good for growing a three sisters type garden as a supplement to that.
    My thinking is that the worst of a worst case scenario will pass within the first one to two years, so I’m really just looking to bridge that gap and find a niche in the society that emerges.

  430. Vlad Krandz January 11, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    No major Culture has been kinder to women than Christianity. Not the Hindu, nor the Chinese, nor the Japanese, nor the Muslim, nor the Native American, nor the African. And not the modern materialistic culture of Euro-America. This culture makes women into office drones who come home to lonely apartments where they cuddle little dogs instead of babies. And their chains are mind forged and therefore not easily broken. They think that men are the enemy and that since they have freed themselves from men, that they are liberated. Sure, liberated slaves, free to work in offices and cuddle little dogs.

  431. Vlad Krandz January 11, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    Jefferson was very hard on Blacks in his “Notes on Virginia”, but even he thought that they should be set free-and sent far away beyond the danger of mixture. He was even harder than me. For example, he says or seems to, that they have no aesthetic sense at all. Nor any pride in craft or workmanship. I would disagree with this. Their aesthetic sense is much more developed than their morality or thinking ability from what I’ve seen. And although they are not good employees for the most part, that doesn’t mean that they take no pleasure in their own crafts such as wood carving-an art that was was developed in many parts of Africa.
    I agree with Jeff: my hostility towards them will abate once there is an ocean between us. But my hatred of liberals-that’s forever. I cannot give up the hyphen-it’s sets up my slam dunks. It’s a graphic drum roll. It’s much more dramatic than the pleblian comma.

  432. Martin Hayes January 11, 2010 at 3:11 am #

    Geez, Vlad (Vladdy? Does that work?), you don’t strike me as evasive. More like an in your face kind of guy. So why didn’t you answer my question?