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The Jive Economy

     What started out as a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes now has America looking like the world’s biggest nudist colony, with everyone in the long chain of power and authority admiring each other’s splendid new (imagined) pimp suits. George W. Bush (remember him?) wasn’t kidding when he discounted the function of objective reality in our national life, saying, “we make our own reality.” This apparently hasn’t changed much with a new chief at the top.
     A nice example popped up last week with the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) index for the fourth quarter of 2009. The equation affects to measure the growth in economic activity and this particular release imputed that the US economy had expanded at an annualized rate of 5.7 percent. Wow, impressive! We must be digging a new Panama Canal or something.
     It turned out to be based largely on some jive about inventory “investments” — meaning, I guess, that the Ronco Corporation has laid in 1.7 million Dial-O-Matic food slicers and Showtime Rotisseries in the expectation that American stock market investors will enter 2010 creaming off their mutual fund profits to spend wildly on every infomercial prompt beamed at them over the graveyard shift at Fox News.
     Memo to nation: we’re not really growing, we’re shrinking. Is this necessarily a bad thing? I dunno.  Unlike, say, the stockholders of Toll Brothers I’m not so sure that “housing starts” represents my idea of a healthy economy — since it really means we’re destroying every cornfield and cow pasture left outside our cities, which will play havoc with our national life when the reality of our Wile E. Coyote agribusiness fiasco starts to hit home and we discover what cornfields and cow pastures were really all about in the first place. 
     Likewise, the standard processors of news media go orgasmic when they announce car sales figures of 11 million units annualized, or something like that. Isn’t that wonderful: more cars on the San Diego Freeway and the Cross Bronx Expressway. Ever larger parking requirements for the new WalMart. More trips-per-household to buy milk and Fruit Loops. Do you really think that more suburban sprawl makes this a better nation? When our soldiers bleed out in the sands of Central Asia, will their last thoughts be of the curb cut between the Best Buy and the Burger King?
     By the way, it is established fact that the GDP figure benefits from increases in medical services, meaning that the more obese, diabetic, two-pack-a-day cigarette smokers this country produces, the better off our economy is assumed to be. Bring on the Little Debbie Snack Cakes! Let’s turn up the dial on hospital admissions!
    But as I said, our economy is not really expanding, it’s contracting — and pretty swiftly. The question is how will we manage this contraction and what kind of nation do we become as this occurs.
     For the moment, we are a nation committed to sustaining the unsustainable, and because this is the case we invite grievous political mischief as it becomes ever more obvious that the populace is being swindled — and the populace becomes ever more ticked off about it. Thus, you get the Tea Bagger movement, and things like it, where the disenfranchised meld legitimate complaints with fantasies and conspiracy theories, and produce an incoherent agenda based on ideas like “keeping the government out of Medicare!” One can easily see a movement like this ramping up into full-bore corn-pone Naziism — and for a nice dramatic enactment of such a scenario I recommend my new three-act stage play Big Slide, which we’ve posted over at the podcast.
     The Republican resurgence now underway — or imagined to be, I’m not really sure — casts photogenic clods like Massachusetts’s new senator Scott Brown as heralds of a new free market Golden Age, in which WalMart will profitably manage every moment of daily life from grocery shopping to banking to medical care to the mortuary (and perhaps even war).  Little thought has been allotted to exactly what the role of citizens might be in such a nirvana. I suppose we’d become an endless chain of $8-an-hour “greeter associates” — which is at least a step above being a national feedlot of polled Herefords. But I wouldn’t want to be mistaken as a shill for the Democratic party, either, since the Obama team has opted for creating its own reality as much as its predecessor bunch did. The result will certainly be the election of countless maniacs to congress this fall, especially of the theocratic-despotic brand — creationists, alien abductees, economics professors from bible colleges, Sunbelt war hawks, Lyndon LaRouche acolytes, Nativists, Palinites, crusaders against the New World Order, anti-Bilderbergers… the whole appalling menu of thought-disorder cases now roiling in the breakdown lane of American history.
     They are our future, these yeast people and mudskippers, because the intelligent minority of this nation lacks the one thing that animates intelligence in the service of reality, and that is the courage to tell the truth. I suppose this is what galls so many former Obama boosters: that the “hope” vested in him would be enacted in truth-telling, which would lead to “change” in the choices we make about doing things. What we ended up with seems to be something like a false champion with a good line of talk. Mr. Obama may yet be pushed into a recognition of the reality he did not personally create, and this may occur as the US economy heads much more drastically south in the months ahead. Something similar might have been the case for Mr. Lincoln.  He might have coasted along through 1861 trying to sweet-talk Dixie — but the South Carolinians went apeshit on him from the get-go, and then there was no turning back from the ensuing conflagration.
     More probably, we’ll be dragged kicking and screaming into an epochal contraction of economy, something the industrial world hasn’t really seen before, something more severe even than the Great Depression we never stop chattering about (as though it was like The Hundred Years War). Instead of preparing for it intelligently by doing things like promoting small scale local farming, local networks of commerce, and rebuilt railroads (things, incidentally, which are within the powers of government to promote) we’ll squander our dwindling capital and political resources fighting over the table scraps of the twentieth century. Life is tragic, history is merciless, and societies don’t always make good collective choices. Visit Big Slide for a taste of what might be coming.

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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.

537 Responses to “The Jive Economy” Subscribe

  1. Joe February 1, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    First!

  2. nothing February 1, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Jim, such pessimism! You’re using old traditional logic and math. Get with the new program and learn Bernanke Math. You can even print some of your own Bernanke Bucks at http://www.thenothingstore.com
    The Nothing Store

  3. Chris Lawrence February 1, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Yes, considering we are already over the carrying capacity of the planet, the last thing we need to be doing is paving over more farmland and buiding new suburbs.
    http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/11/carrying-capacity.html
    Aren’t there already entire areas of suburb that are practically abandoned from the housing crisis? What on earth would we be building more housing and the accompanying sprawl at a time like this?

  4. Corey February 1, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Hey NOTHING Store:
    No one cares about your stupid website with your childish pictures of dollar bills.
    If you really think money is worthless, send it all to me please, so I can enter some poker tournaments.

  5. Corey February 1, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Hey Nothing Store, no one cares about your stupid childish drawings of Obama on dollar bills. Please stop wasting space.
    If you really feel money is worthless, you can send it all to me.

  6. Lynn Shwadchuck February 1, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    I just read Big Slide. Your wit is in fine form, Jim. This play is an inspiration for the creative thinker to begin looking at what other sorts of stories could capture the imaginations of those stuck in ostrich mode. At the opposite end of the budget scale of currently available doomer meditations is the movie Avatar. I came out pretty disappointed with how little such awesome power attempted, when the possibilities are wide open to affect attitudes. Someone over on Freedom Guerrilla directed me to Star Trek Insurrection as a good story about people coping in a low-tech post-contraction world, so I ordered the DVD. Here in the bush we’re nurturing a local economy, chipping away at skills exchanges and gardening. I liked the mention of lentils and black turtle beans in The Big Slide – right up my alley!
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill.

  7. WanderingOak February 1, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    The problem with telling the truth is that people don’t want to hear it. The ‘yeast people’ don’t want to know how much trouble our nation is in. That would make them worry too much. They want the cooked numbers because it makes them feel good. Given the choice between the ‘red pill’ to wake them up, or the ‘blue pill’ to go back to sleep, a large majority would take the blue pill. Most people would much rather be fat dumb and happy as opposed to lean, informed and !$#@ed off.
    If Obama told the truth, not even his own party would back him. He’d be replaced with somebody who would keep telling convenient lies that the knuckleheads wanted to hear. You’ve seen what happened in Albany when Patterson tried to tell the truth about the sad state of New York’s finances. The same thing would happen on the national level if Obama came clean and told America that the party was in fact over, and the petroleum bar was going to close shortly…

  8. Corey February 1, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Sorry to double post, just created an account today. Great Post JHK, I’ve been an avid fan and reader of yours for over a year now. I don’t know how you guys feel, but I have to say that I really look forward to Monday Mornings.
    Perhaps all discussions of GDP should be abolished from the media, as JHK points out what a fraudulent metric it is. I was having a conversation with a friend and we were talking about how if there are more car wrecks, then the GDP actually goes up, because people need to fix or buy a new car, go to the hospital to get patched up, etc.

  9. deacon-john February 1, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Heck I don’t know.
    This weekend saw us in Oneonta, NY and it didn’t look overly apocalyptic there in the upstate NY to me.
    Unlike some small NY cities which seems like welfare states, Oneonta had a nice thriving downtown, a college vibe, a lot of farmers mulling around and a packed Walmart store.
    Granted I can’t see how their car dealerships will flourish but life didn’t seem on the edge there yet.
    Besides you can count on Palin-Brown 2012 to get us over this speedbump known as peak oil.

  10. Onthego February 1, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    The Jobless Riots started last week – in Delaware. Ironically, the crowd borrowed a symbol from the Iraqi journalist who tossed his shoe at Bush:
    “A rally of out-of-work union members quickly turned tense Tuesday when protesters threw shoes on the steps of Legislative Hall, refused orders to leave the front of the building and began chanting loudly, prompting Capitol Police to call for assistance from city and state police. The rally ended after Gov. Jack Markell, scheduled for an appearance a few feet away, climbed onto the front of a state police SUV to address the crowd through a megaphone, promising to work to bring jobs to Delaware.”
    The next several job riots may be as tame, but sooner or later the angry villagers are not going to be bought off by a politician’s promise of jobs.
    Paul Volcker is back in favor at the White House these days. His essay on “How to Reform Our Financial System” over the weekend in the NY Times makes some valid points, but still…
    Too big to fail is an oxymoron of the first order. Really large, complex and highly interconnected ___fill in the blank___ institutions are destined to fail. Does the phrase “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” ring any bells here?
    But, how much of this is just Volcker coming back in from the cold? Nothing like outlasting your critics, especially when they were so wrong, but does that mean he’s now right? I can not conceive of a way we can actually do the work that needs doing with the very institutions needing to be trimmed having the deep pockets they have. Thanks, Supremes. You’ve set us up to fail even more spectacularly than we would have all on our own.
    One of the advantages of systemic failure is the ultimate realization that the system wasn’t any good to start with. Even going back to the banking regulations in place 60 years won’t help. We’re not in the same place we were then. This is a far more finite world that was the one then, and our place in that world is much diminished. And that is a fact that no one wants to acknowledge, much less articulate clearly and often enough to penetrate the mythological daze we linger in.
    The final capstone in the week’s news is coming soon from a review showing a dramatic shift in Pentagon’s “thinking.” CNN reports that “The new mantra for military planners will replace the almost 25-year-old combat planning style of fighting and winning two major conventional wars in two different locations in favor of a fighting force that is capable of protecting U.S. interests around the world from a range of threats, from terrorism to cyber attacks.” It also promises more drones for use in areas where every incident is revenge for the last attack and the excuse for the next one.
    But the real enemy in the Shape of Things To Come is climate. The review calls these climate change scenarios, “accelerant of instability” and suggests the military will have to plan on operations where climate (rising sea levels, reduced ice in the Arctic) would be a factor in planning. In addition to what climate change effects could bring in terms of the spread of disease, mass migration and a scarcity of resources.
    We ain’t seen nothing yet.

  11. suburbanempire February 1, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    My employer has us ask each customer if they would like to save 15% by applying for our credit card… (the 25% interest rate kills the discount) and we are each expected to “get” three new card holders a day.We are luck to to get three a year. I did the math… and should each employee reach their goal in just two years every man, woman and child in the county would have been approved for this crappy “offer”. Then exactly where are we supposed to find new applicants? Mars? I think this is the world politicians live in…. the same one as their corporate masters…. where there are unlimited lines of people rushing to get a card that charges 25% interest…..
    Meanwhile John Roberts and the Supremes handed our non person, non animal, non plant, non mineral “citizens” a dilly of a rights advancement this week….
    http://www.suburbanempire.com
    Occasional sponsor of (but not this week… too broke), but most often shamelessly freeloading on, the ClusterFuck Nation.

  12. Al Klein February 1, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Since our society has devolved for the most part into hucksterism, it’s not a surprise that we don’t have the guts and clear thinking to handle real challenges. Years ago I worked with a guy who was a zone manager for Chrysler. He told me a funny story about necktie salesmen who would go from dealership to dealership huckstering ties. The car salesmen were always avid buyers of these ties. I asked my friend (the zone manager) why the car salesmen were such easy targets for the purveyors of these ties, which were of dubious quality. He told me that he deduced that the car salesmen were reaffirming the notion of salesmanship by buying the ties. He told me that salesmen were easy targets for other salesmen – because of the need to Believe (notice the capital B). Given this insight, is it hard to understand what’s happening in the US? We’re all bullshitting each other. We have this idea that if we don’t call the other bullshitter’s bluff, then our own bullshit will not be challenged. The only problem with this quid pro quo is that is doesn’t factor in reality. of course, that’s the JHK message.

  13. Prelapsarian Press February 1, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    I’m wondering if the LaRouchites deserve inclusion in the current litany of nutjobs. Without having any particular brief for the bunch, I do seem to recall them being somewhat prescient about the shenanigans of the high finance world. We’re in a whole new world of lunatic fringe now, without any pretenses of intellect such as those favored by Larouche and his staff of researchers. It’s like the nation has been invaded and conquered by a bunch of ten-year-olds.
    I’ve always appreciated Jim’s word-smithery and devotion to the craft of writing. Last week he came up with a nifty pejorative — feculent — that I neglected to include in the e-book Words that Draw Blood. Little known fact about Jim — he wrote briefly for The American Spectator in the ’70s. I imagine he considers the magazine’s politics a bit puerile now, but probably still appreciates the masterful invective of its editor, Bob Tyrrell.
    http://www.lost-vocabulary.com

  14. kerry February 1, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    I’ve always believed that the technological revolutions of the last two decades happened so that we could give up on the mega metropolis and reimagine life at a smaller, local scale without compromising on the democratization of information.
    The point is, just because we have localize, doesn’t mean we have to be poorer.
    Spot on jim.

  15. James Howard Kunstler February 1, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Deacon-John–
    Happens that I made a road trip this weekend into the nether backwaters of upstate NY — to the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, headquarters of whatever remains of the Beech Nut Company. Oh..my…gawd, what a spectacle of desolation! Note: unlike Oneonta, this town didn’t have a SUNY campus to juice the skeletal remains of the local economy. We also toodled ten miles south to Sharon Springs, an absolute ruin of an old resort town, with the giant old wooden hotels still standing, mostly in utter decrepitation. We’re becoming HPLovecraft nation — a country where the sun rises twenty minutes later than any other place in the world… where the people all have eleven fingers… and scary things are creeping darkly up the soil pipes inside….
    –JHK

  16. MDG February 1, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    JHK:
    Great reference to H.P. Lovecraft. Makes me admire you even more.
    Two years ago the wife and I were driving back from Buffalo, New York to D.C. Our car was running low on gas in the Pennsylvania part of the return trip, and we repeatedly pulled off the highway at the signs that indicated gas stations, only to repeatedly find ghost towns with shuttered gas stations. It got to the point where I was actually worried we’d spend the night in our car off the main highway — in Pennsylvania, in December! Fortunately, we came across a still functioning town and gassed up.
    During our futile search for a gas station, I told my wife that what we were seeing was what you, JHK, were always warning about on your website.

  17. MDG February 1, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    P.S. For an entertaining film treatment of Lovecraft, check out “Dagon.” It really captures the look of those creepy New England towns filled with fishy characters.

  18. Cash February 1, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    You say:
    “Perhaps all discussions of GDP should be abolished from the media, as JHK points out what a fraudulent metric it is.”
    That would be a good start. Should also abolish economics in universities seeing as it has all the validity of astrology and alchemy.
    I majored in it and, while my degree opened doors, I realized by third year what a load of shit the whole field of study was. Hard to believe people would actually teach such nonsense with a straight face.
    Also, notice that two of the co-authors of this current financial crisis, Greenspan and Bernanke, are economists by training. If not for their pumping the money supply we wouldn’t be in this mess.
    With those guys everything needs a flood of liquidity. 1987 market crash? More liquidity. Asian financial crisis? More liquidity. Long Term Capital Management collapse? More liquidity. Y2K? More liquidity. Dot com bust? More liquidity. Telecom bust? More liquidity. 9/11 attack? More liquidity. Real estate bust? More liquidity. Banking crisis? More liquidity. More, more, more, more.
    Bernanke was recently re-confirmed as Fed boss. Should have been shown the exit. Too bad.

  19. Patrizia February 1, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Societies usually do not make choices, they love the ones who make choices for them
    Just like a frozen meal you put in a microwave.
    Everything is there: vegetables, meat, cheese, the right sauce.
    You can even choose among many tastes.
    No hassle to shop for, to prepare, to cook.
    Not even the need of a dish.
    It´s all there, a part for your stomach and what’s left for the garbage.
    We are used to it, the industry has spoiled us.
    They give us what we want: to survive without thinking, without deciding, without even living.

  20. jerry February 1, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    James, What we have is a president who is hellbent on increasing working class debt. The GDP figures is mostly based upon government spending, and manufacturers restocking depleted stock and materials. There is exporting of US goods due to a low dollar.
    Obama wants to spend nearly 3/4 of a trillion dollars on the war profiteers, who cannot make a dime in the private sector, other war stuff, and a nuclear power industry that cannot afford to build and insure their own plants without a stimulus package, too.
    Obama wants to infuse local banks with tens of billions to facilitate lending upon a nation of over-spent, and under-employed individuals. More Bubble Economics.
    The State Of The Union is not bad enough, yet. He is preparing the nation for a Republican win in 2010, which will be more Newt Gingrich Voodoo Gobbligook Garbage.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  21. Chad M February 1, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    For those worried by an ever expanding national debt, the documentary movie ***”I.O.U.S.A.”*** is an excellent introduction, and it reinforces many of JHK’s recent points. It provides the data and graphs that visualize the threat to the integrity of the U.S. Dollar that JHK so vividly describes in his weekly posts.
    I make this post partly because the Commission proposed by Senators Gregg and Conrad to reign in the federal deficits was recently undermined. Hopefully it will make a comeback soon.

  22. esperanto41 February 1, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Not fair to include alien abductees in the political lunatic fringe. There are many rational researchers and writers on this phenomenon, including Stanton Friedman, Whitley Strieber, Richard Dolan, and others.

  23. constitutionorslavery February 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    As a “tea bagger” in spirit myself I have to wonder what about the tea parties worries you so much Jim. I view it as a return to sound money (Gold?Silver?)
    Abolishing the Federal Reserve would be a great thing also. The dollar has lost 95% of it’s value since it’s inception. Would you favor abolishing the Fed?
    Maybe the thought of a smaller government scares you ? Do you think government is efficient and can solve most of our problems if they can just make the right choices?
    I agree with so many of your thoughts on rail rebuilding and small local economies/food production, etc. It makes me angry? or perplexed? that you would equate the “tea baggers” as the start of a Nazi type movement. I want us out of Iraq and Afganistan and end the bases in Japan, Germany, etc.
    Does ending all the subsidies to the lower end of the breadwinners scare you? I am one of those. It doesn’t scare me if we also had deflation instead of inflation.
    I agree we are at a crossroad where a party could rise to power and be a brutal dictatorship. I just don’t see the “tea baggers” as being that party.
    I think most of us are still in the “us against them” “dems against repubs” thinking. That is a dead end. We will have to somehow overcome this. Does that mean a new party or 2? Independent party being the third choice?
    Change didn’t scare us away from Obama. It’s just nobody really knew what change he stood for and now found out it was for no change at all. I wanted to have Bush impeached after the TARP was passed so I’m no loyal republican. We need a new direction and the “tea baggers” may not be the right one, but they have good ideas just as you have many good ideas.

  24. Al Klein February 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Patrizia, your simile of packaged food resonates. Our military is spending billions of dollars around the world to protect “our interests”. Just exactly what are those interests? One assumes these interests have something to do with our way of life, otherwise it would not justify so much expenditure. What way of life might that be, anyway? As you so elegantly point out, is our way of life really living?

  25. Bambini February 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Meanwhile in Sullivan County, NY….Several soccer moms who traded their minivans for bright and shiny SUV, in the cash for clunkers program, have had them repossessed…. a former wall streeter who spent his 3 million dollar bonus and rebuilt the falling apart town, I live in, has gone bankrupt and the towns mainstreet is now filled with empty buildings. ….he managed however to not default on his mountain estate which he sold to a gas drilling operation ….which when it starts drilling will polute our drinking water…nice…

  26. jammer February 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    You can wake someone who is asleep; but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to be asleep….

  27. Cash February 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Progressive infantilization is what you’re talking about. Making choices takes effort. WRT food: I’ll bet there are people that don’t even know what boiling water looks like. I’ve read that a large minority of people don’t even know their own take home pay. I’ve heard many people say they have no incentive to save. How about the prospect of an impoverished old age as an incentive? Helpless, witless, degenerate morons is what we’ve become.

  28. helen highwater February 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Corey, I find it really sad that your very first posting was to make a nasty remark to one of the other posters.

  29. The Mook February 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Glad to see Bambini’s comment about the gas drilling. Here in NW Pa. the trucks have begun to take a toll on the roads, the creek is being roobed, and the burn-offs at night make it look like a Kunstler description of post-bonus Hamptons. I went to Clearfield, Pa. this weekend and it was also very disressed looking. The gun store I went to however,(advertised as the biggest in the state), looked like Black Friday times two. Maybe that is where they are skewing their GDP figures. The rest of the town looked beat and when I asked where to get lunch they had two choices other than fast food or out by route 80. Are there any towns out there that contain both a JC Penney and a Peebles that don’t appear on their way out? If Clearfield were in New York the only thing missing would be an OTB.

  30. Jay February 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Jim; Good observations as always. You have a way with words. Your rants are always fun and interesting to read.
    There is a view of our economic condition held by many pundits, hopefully not you, that concerns me. It insures that nothing will really be done to truly prepare for our grim future. The Democrats blame the evil Bush. The Republicans blame the Democrat liberals as far back as Carter for demanding more sub prime loans. The political class seems to believe that there can be no solution to a problem until we find somone to blame for it. That prevents them from truly examining the situation to actually find the root causes. And yes, politicians can do something about the economy. But their actions invariably seem to make it worse. In my humble oinion they don’t understand the underlying cause of the worlds economic malaise.
    Now, hoping you don’t consider me a yeastie, or a thought-disorder case, I believe the world’s economic problem is caused by, yes, PEAK OIL. That is why there are 4 or 5 million fewer motor vehicles on USA roads this year, than a year or two ago. That is why the passenger traffic at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) has been declining steadily for 4 or 5 years. The age of cheap plentiful oil is over. This means that the economic model of “prosperity through growth”, that the world economy is based on, no longer works. Our leaders in Washington DC and the state capitols across the country seem not understand this. Their economic fixes, all of which seem to be based on more growth, will most likely not succeed. Most certainly not in the long run.
    The world economy is downsizing. There is nothing we can do to stop it. In a few years, Thomas Friedman will be able to write a new book titled, “The World Is Round Again”. A broke federal government throwing trillions of dollars from helicopters to try and soothe the populace will not work, and will only make the transition to the future more difficult. The 6 billion plus people in the world today may not be aware of it yet, but they are already experiencing permanet changes in their living standards. And not in a direction they will be happy with. Jim, it saddens me to say this, but I believe that your world made by hand is in our not too distant future.

  31. k-dog February 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Is the emperor wearing clothes? Guantanamo tells me no. Something that could have been done in forty eight hours is now more than a year long job. He still wants to play with trains apparently. Making America just and sustainable is a bit beyond his ambitions right now. IMHO

  32. asoka February 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    constitutionorslavery said: “Do you think government is efficient and can solve most of our problems if they can just make the right choices?”
    Ever use the post office? Efficient isn’t it?
    Ever drive on an interstate? Built by big government.
    Know anyone who receives a social security check monthly? Government is efficient. Deposits never fail.
    I’ll save listing you a hundred other ways big government is efficient and solves our problems.
    But I do not call for more efficiency when it comes to the way we deal with the rest of the world. I want change. Obama is being too conservative, continuing Republican-started wars, Gitmo, refusing to prosecute those who legitimated torture, etc.
    I just wish Obama was more liberal and would stop adopting so many conservative ideas like pay-go, deficit reduction, nuclear power, privatized health care, vouchers for privatized education, bailing out the bankers (a la Bush TARP).
    I wish Obama would instead get behind bigger government programs (a la FDR CCC/WPA). I wish he would repeal the Bush tax cuts that created this huge deficit, cut military spending in half, bring all our troops home, close the secret torture prisons, stop drone bombings that are creating more terrorists, etc.
    Instead spend more on creating employment, education, and public option health care (like the socialized Veterans Administration health care that provides for veterans; another example of big government providing good service.)
    Ultimately, it is not important whether government is big or small. It is not important whether it is efficient. It is important whether it works.
    Efficiency is important in the private sector where profit provides a single outcome measure of agreed upon importance.
    Efficiency should not be used to measure government performance.
    Government is constitutionally mandated, in order to form a more perfect union, to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare” of all the people, not just those you can sell to… to make a profit, and ignore the rest.
    Equity is inefficient. Due process is inefficient. Administration of justice and courts of appeals is inefficient. Federalism is inefficient. The existence of over 88,000 local government entities in the United States is inefficient. Government inefficiency preserves our liberty and rights.
    Government is about something much more important than being efficient or making a profit. Re-read the Constitution.

  33. silverdoctor February 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    I mean, “full-bore corn-pone Naziism” fills my imagination with truly endless and exciting possibilities!!!

  34. dale February 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    JHK,
    I just got around to reading your 2010 forecast. While I agree with “the trend”, as you outline it in broad terms, I think you once again repeat your character flaw of needing to be dramatic, and foresee catastrophic consequences occurring in short time frames, always a fatal flaw in the world of prediction. Perhaps that is why any backward look at your predictions always shows them to be just that….more catastrophic and dramatic then history is inclined to support.
    My forecast would suggest that the large deficit spending now underway will likely produce something like a “recovery”, at least in the short term, but only stave off the inevitable decline for another year or two. Then, the inexorable slide in middle class wages and life style will resume, with the political and economic powers hoping their efforts will produce effects similar to the proverbial frog on the stove, the declines being slow enough to be digested.
    It will be interesting to watch what happens in CA, always the sentinel during the years of prosperity, may now be the the bellwether of decline. A default there might well increase the frog’s discomfort considerably. One has to wonder who would buy real estate or move there now?, like buying a ticket on the Titanic after it sank.
    Peak Oil? While a favorite theme of yours, I think it will be shown once again, only a contributing factor to our economic karma. As the middle class disappears, so will many of their cars, particularly the big ones. Gasoline usage levels could plateau of decline slowly for years without dramatic effects, except in the RE values of the exurbs.
    Increased crime?…..likely. Crazy political effects?…..small, but interesting to watch. Stock market crash?….doubt it. Widespread apathy?…….probable. Continued corruption and corporate control of government?…..guaranteed. What to know what a corrupt and venal empire looks like in decline?…you’re living it.

  35. Grouchy Old Girl February 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Today’s entry from Jim serves to reinforce my own latest thinking; that one of the reasons we North Americans are in such a mess, and manage to be so oblivious to it, is that none of us were taught to think critically.
    Some of us don’t actually think at all. Instead, people turn to Fox News and all the other mainstream media, soak up the blather without any thought or analysis, and immediately start spouting it off almost word for word. So much easier than activating a few brain cells to make our own decisions on the validity of what is being shoved down our throats.
    When JHK calls us sheep he is absolutely correct. It’s like people are terrified of doing anything different from their neighour. It’s more than the old saw about “keeping up with the Joneses”. There is real fear of being different, of standing out, of not conforming to the picture created by our media to tell us who we are.
    If we don’t have that picture telling us who we are, and what we should do, we flounder, lost in a lonely wilderness all by ourselves. For sheep, this is very scary.
    We’ve got to start teaching our kids to think critically. If the educational institutions can’t do it (many teachers being sheep themselves), then it’s up to us as parents, mentors, relatives and friends, to educate the kids ourselves. Teach them not to believe every single thing they see, or hear, or read from the media; to analyse and evaluate every sentence against our own acquired knowledge. That is one way we can begin to overcome the sleepwalking unthinking malaise that guarantees disaster down the road.
    Do it now before the kids’ brains turn to mush. Tell them what they see on tv isn’t real, and why. Teach them to know the difference between fact and opinion, and that facts are what truly count. Tell them not to be afraid of being different, to be proud of their courage and independent thought. Isn’t that what you Americans used to stand for?

  36. taiwanjohn February 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Not to nitpick, but I think you misspelled “Froot Loops”[tm]… ;-)
    –jrd

  37. k-dog February 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    High speed trains from DC to Miami whizzing through tent cities. The blur of tents and starving inhabitants unseen by the bankers and fat cat politicians living off remaining scraps, on their way to vacation between hurricanes, zipping through the dark night.
    Say, JHK there might be a novel here. What do you think?

  38. Cash February 1, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    The corn pone naziism will be a reaction to the predations of supranational economic and political elites that refuse to be bound by any laws, customs, national allegiances or common decency…they want what they want and to hell with everybody else.
    Look at the serial disasters inflicted by the Wall Street gang (enabled by the Fed) and still the Wall Streeters argue strenuously and with a straight face against regulation of financial markets but take government bailouts without blinking. One thing you can be sure if is change is not coming. Not without massed pitchforks. Hope? Nope.

  39. The Mook February 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Taiwan John, The ones imported by Wal-Mart from China are probably Froot Loops. The ones from Japan are Froot Roops. The ones in Washington are just plain Fruits except for the highly popular Barney Fruit Loops.

  40. insanity shelter February 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    >nuclear power, privatized health care, vouchers for privatized education
    Asoka, you seem subscribed to the group thought that Grouchy is speaking of. I’ll bet you can’t articulate your objections to Nuke power or vouchers for privatized ed. As for Gitmo, where do you intend on putting them. If you put them in a federal prision in NY how is that really any different.
    >Instead spend more on creating employment
    Obama’s been trying to do this with the full weight of unlimited gov spending for a year already. Government can’t do this. It is not within their capacity.
    You’ve got a lot of talking points ricocheting around in your head.

  41. antimatter February 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    I still like the idea of the long emergency, and I’d recast it as the long slide downward. I’d add to this the idea of ‘phantom memory’ where it takes people some time to realize they’ve lost something important, or that reality has stepped away from their perception of it. In this light, I think Jim’s speaking about a 5 to 10 year horizon, and some of us of course are seeing the decline now, and feel it’s more rapid. I think Jim would be with those of us who sense the Oxygen is going out of the air, but not ‘right away.’ I agree with him that there is a massive shift and decline underway, and both are connected. A Chinese construction manager said in a BBC interview that he believed the U.S. would come to understand that it didn’t need to be a democracy, but just a military and capitalist society. We’ve certainly seen in recent years that finance and corporate power rule the country and that we do not, despite that we ceremoniously vote. I’m grateful that more and more individuals are waking up to this, but the momentum is very strong now in favor of corporate and banking power. Ask anyone who lived in a northern U.S. city that lost its major industry to find out how it feels to be cut loose, when the company shuts down. Many parts of the country are or will experience this sudden silence of activity, and then, look at the commerce that remains—that could be our national future except for defense contractors and the D.C. corridor. Apparently 150 million+ U.S. workers don’t matter that much since it seems we’re being rapidly deskilled and downsized—how can a greeter buy a new car or a house? So, there is more to this story, and I’m glad Jim is following what for many of us is still out there over the horizon.

  42. george February 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    “By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo.”-Windwood Reade’s “The Martyrdom of Man”
    When will Americans finally get serious about bringing back all of the “outsourced” manufacturing jobs? In 2008, total U.S imports of goods totalled $2.25 trillion while exports came to $1.29 trillion. While Wal-Mart imports 720,000 containers of manufactured products into the U.S every year, America’s biggest export via ocean container is 211,300 containers of waste paper. Forget about rescuing “The Global Economy” President Obama, focus on making your own nation self-sufficient even if it means defaulting on America’s national debt.

  43. Qshtik February 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    “As you so elegantly point out….”
    =========================
    eloquently

  44. wagelaborer February 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    The trouble with The Emperors New Clothes is that it is a fable.
    We are standing at the side of the parade screaming that they are all naked, but the parade goes on without interruption.
    Pretending that financial regulation or voting in a different corporate sponsored politician will solve the problem is like pretending that a higher hem would fix the Emperors Clothes.
    Robert Kennedy pointed out years ago that the GDP was a horrible measure of a society, and look what happened to him.






  45. Al Klein February 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Qshtik, no, I really meant elegantly. In the sciences and mathematics, an elegant solution or proof is one that is strikingly simple. Generally elegant proofs are very difficult to discover. In some sense, elegant is almost the direct opposite to eloquent. But both words have a positive connotation.
    Perhaps I should have chosen a different word.
    In any case, I meant this as a compliment to your straightforward style.

  46. Al Klein February 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Great statistics, George. Startling, actually.

  47. constitutionorslavery February 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Well I agree with your thoughts on slashing spending for the military and bringing our soldiers home, etc. But the post office efficient? I have a Uncle that works for the post office, and I can vouch that it is anything but efficient. Ever look at Amtracks books? Social Security has been looted by Congress and will not pay the benefits it says it owes. Medicare has huge waste.
    I guess that’s the main difference between our thoughts. You believe the government can spend money in a better way than the people can to care for the people. I believe individuals can spend their money better to care for themselves.
    The big problem I see is Congress has been bought by the big corporations and special interest groups and now spends our money on corporate giveaways in addition to their own personal jets and servants.
    Do you know Michelle Obama has a record 27 servants that see to her clothes, scheduling, etc. Millions of dollars spent on the First Lady. Nancy Pelosi has her own jet. I think the government has grown quite big enough….

  48. world awry February 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Have anyone noticed all our economic graphs go either straight up or straight down?
    Has anyone noticed our gov is totally dreft of reason?
    As we approach the “Davos Dip”, our leaders will will once again add another layer of cash to the deflation levee. Civil engineers say that for every foot added to a levee it expotentially increases the flood plain…. so get out your life raft my friends??

  49. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    JHK–
    Jive is pretty much all we see from DC.
    Trillions of dollars in debt = collapse
    Government should protect us with a miltary and get the f–k out of the way.
    Clint Eastwood said it best, we live in a pussy society. Lots of jive talkers, and cry babies looking to redistribute what I EARN.
    Prosperity can never be built on Jive and lies, as a small businessman you know you are out of business and won’t last if you deal in Jive. You can’t hide and pretend, you have to actually perform.
    Time to vote out the bad Eggs…

  50. Qshtik February 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    I considered that you might have actually meant “elegantly” since I could see that it would work as you used it ……. but, I was bound and determined to proceed with a ball bust which is, as you know, my shtick.

  51. abbeysbooks February 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    If you want to think critically start studying Foucault. For the last two months or so I have and now find everything here so yesterday.

  52. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Right on sir.
    Big government is a collection of elitist using us for their daily bread. Why work for a living?

  53. abbeysbooks February 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    See how racism crawls out from under the rug. The Jive Economy

  54. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst February 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    JHK,
    I still say that even if President Obama attempted to tell the American people the truth he’d be criticized, ridiculed, lambasted, and denounced as being un-American for saying that America cannot return to what it once was. Either way he will take the blame for the unwinding of the American economy – whether it’s his fault or not. He’s taken great strides explaining how things were already collapsing when he took office and still gets 100% of the blame.
    Not sure if telling the truth will benefit him or America one way or another at this point.
    Sad state of affairs.

  55. Qshtik February 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    “gov is totally dreft of reason”
    ========================
    Are you a speech writer for Sara Palin? Perhaps you were going for bereft.

  56. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    The definition of Jive—“to talk non-sense”

  57. km4 February 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Obama Speaks Transparency, Practices Subterfuge http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/01/obama-speaks-transparency-subterfuge/
    Bill Clinton was ‘slick Willie’ but Obama’s got him beat with his ‘shuck and jive’ transparency-subterfuge shtick?
    ‘shuck and jive’ = Not the whole truth; or manipulating something to get it your way.

  58. Jim from Watkins Glen February 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Great post. Indeed, the truth will get you voted off the island. Fewer voices of dissent on the inside increases the lockstep denial by our so called decision makers. Take heart! The game is changing so fast that some people in charge of contracting corporations and shrinking governments are starting to convince themselves they planned it all. Baby steps.

  59. Kurt Cagle February 1, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Jim,
    Creative and well wrought as usual. Your skills as a wordsmith continue to impress.
    We’re in the twilight zone now. Something that few people appreciate is that the 5.7% GDP increase was an annualized increase – the quarterly GDP was about 1.425% or thereabouts, with almost all of that being due to government-based stimulus moneys (mainly cash-for-clunkers and the mortgage rebates) rather than business related activity. Politically, the will for that is fading, especially as all kinds of stimulus are now being equated by the sheeple with the TARP bailout.
    Starting now, we are leaving the eye of the storm as sub-prime and alt-A mortgage resets for the most part have occurred but ARMs are about ready to balloon – the second half of the economic hurricane which will last until mid-2012 at the earliest. Add into this the massive CRE defaults, muni-bond defaults, the possible downgrade of both US and UK credit, the roiling debacles of sovereign defaults in Greece and the Balkans in Europe and California, Georgia and New York in the US, and the increasing scrutiny being paid to “back-door” bank funding, and it is very likely that by the time the winds finally pass there will be very little left standing.
    The interesting thing about hurricanes is that it is very seldom the first part of the storm that’s so damaging – it’s the second. The first weakens structures, but when they enter the eye, the buildings, trees, etc., don’t usually spring back. However, with the second part, weakened structures are stressed in the other direction, and the peak of the storm waters surge then withdraw. This second go-round is usually what causes weakened structures to be pulled off their foundations, turned into kindling, and otherwise demolished.
    We’re looking at 18 to 24 months of harsh economic winds and storm surges. My guess is that the Dems will lose Congress (and any ability to set the agenda) in 2010, meaning that it will become almost impossible for government to do much of anything, good, bad or indifferent, thereafter. This will mark the start of the real conflicts in this country.

  60. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Money doesn’t grow on trees to fund big government.
    It just gets printed at the Federal Reserve backed up by the fantasy that American Working People and their children, and their childrens children are going to put their nose to grindstone at pay for all the mismanagement.
    I hear the masses starting to rumble, and the natives are not happy!

  61. world awry February 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Bereft..sbsolutely…I decided to change words in the middle of the stream…and got my tang tonguled..thanks

  62. turkle February 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    “The result will certainly be the election of countless maniacs to congress this fall, especially of the theocratic-despotic brand — creationists, alien abductees, economics professors from bible colleges, Sunbelt war hawks, Lyndon LaRouche acolytes, Nativists, Palinites, crusaders against the New World Order, anti-Bilderbergers… the whole appalling menu of thought-disorder cases now roiling in the breakdown lane of American history.”
    Nice! I think you’re channeling Mencken on this one.

  63. Mike Moskos February 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Vermont Secession Movement
    I think this article sums up the coming mood in the country (from Time no less):
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1957743,00.html

  64. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    We are taking it up the ass now with the status quo. We can just bend over and continue the process or make some changes…

  65. turkle February 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    America still has a LONG way to fall. The standard of living and the infrastructure here are still good compared to most other countries. I doubt the country is going to take such a severe nose dive that it falls past any of the poorest countries in terms of average yearly wages or standard of living. The United States is entering a period of natural decline, but I don’t expect it to contain all that many bangs, more like a long series of whimpers. We will have to do more with less. People will lose their houses, their jobs, and maybe their lives. They will suffer and hem and haw. But will there be a massive societal revolution ending in a corn-pone Nazi dictator? I doubt it. Most modern Americans are not nearly as revolutionary and prone to internal political violence as you seem to think (though we seem to have no problem visiting incredible levels of violence on other countries). In fact, those types of revolutionary attitudes seem to more prevalent in places like Iran, these days. Americans seem content to stuff their faces, watch Fox, and play video games. I don’t see them “rising up” en masse for any productive political activity. Standing in the street with a sign that says “TEA” on it doesn’t count, either.

  66. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I love this!

  67. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    How does a government run with no money?
    We owe TRILLIONS!!!!
    It prints pretend money. Pretend prosperity.
    Pretend leaders, pretend it is all going to turn out nice…
    Are you willing to pay 90% of what you make to keep it afloat.

  68. asia February 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Jim:
    read John rappoport…THE GREAT BOYCOTT!
    ‘By the way, it is established fact that the GDP figure benefits from increases in medical services, meaning that the more obese, diabetic, two-pack-a-day cigarette smokers this country produces, ………..ETC’
    this has been going on for a long time. prisons. health care to illegals etc….its all factored in as ‘ positive’.
    in the 1970s in college i was told:
    AUTO THEFT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST INDUSTRIES IN THE USA.
    whats changed now is the suvs/trucks are stolen to mexico.

  69. asia February 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    ‘crusaders against the New World Order, anti-Bilderbergers… the whole appalling menu ..’
    Count me with them..read John Birch info on the UN / CFR!

  70. asia February 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    some fear their own..white and lawful..educated even.
    while doing what the pope told us to do while he trolled he:
    ACCEPT THE STRANGER…

  71. wle February 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Little Debbies
    I’m not sure you can blame it all on Little Debbies
    wle

  72. Puzzler February 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    If you want to know what “full-bore corn-pone Naziism” looks like, study Huey Long, Governor of Louisiana then US Senator late 1920’s to mid 1930’s.
    Soon the US will be ripe for a demogogue to lead us to salvation.

  73. turkle February 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    Its ironic that we all hem and haw about the way that the United States is run, but let’s face it, NONE of us here would have even close to the wealth or standard of living that we enjoy without all the financial, military, and societal shenanigans that accompany the running of the American Empire and the placation of its people. If it were all to go away tomorrow, it would be like getting the rug pulled out. So be careful what you wish for.

  74. Mr. Purple February 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    “With those guys everything needs a flood of liquidity.”
    Excellent observation. I am reminded of the old saying, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

  75. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    The standard of living is smoke and mirrors, if you spend more than you take in. The government is “THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER” and we my friedns are BROKE… you don’t need a MBA from Wharton School of finance to know that.
    In other words, the Mastercard bill still has a grace period…But it will need to be paid, maybe with a Chinese accent on the phone….

  76. turkle February 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    “Soon the US will be ripe for a demogogue to lead us to salvation.”
    It doesn’t necessary follow. Plenty of poor, overcrowded, backward countries like India manage to maintain a functioning representative democracy in the face of much worse societal and economic problems. The United States did so during The Great Depression, when there was 30% unemployment, collapse of the banking sector, and widespread societal discontent. No, our future decisions, good or poor, are going to be collective ones. I’m not really counting on us making the right choices. I’m not even sure there are right choices for us to make at this point.

  77. Puzzler February 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    I call “shenanigans” on Turkle.

  78. turkle February 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    “The standard of living is smoke and mirrors”
    Do you have indoor plumbing? Internet? Cable or dish tv? Running water? Cheap food? A reasonable job? Dependable, cheap electricity? An efficient car and cheap gas? Cheap rent? Safe, maintained roads between your home and the places you do business or work?
    I’d be curious to see how you deal with that particular set of “smoke and mirrors” going bye bye all of a sudden.

  79. asia February 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Jim..
    I have to share what i read in [business week?].
    with various for profit schools and the GI bill…well guess whos being scammed..GIs!
    one school offers an AA for soldiers..
    JUST TAKE ONE 5 WEEK ONLINE CLASS plus A GIs MILITARY TRAINING QUALIFIES THEM FOR A COLLEGE DEGREE FROM AN ACCREDITED SCHOOL.
    SOME MILITARY BASES EVEN LET THE SCAMMERS..i mean schools have offices on base.
    cost of 5 week online class..4000$ [ which just happens to be max of gi bill $].
    hows that for a scam?

  80. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Yes and they way we spend more than we have it will go away….
    Instead of you pay going to the internet bill, the utility bill, the food bill, the cheap electricity, the rent, it will go to a MONSTER government bill that we both have to pay back…

  81. turkle February 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    You simpletons actually seem to WANT some kind of American dictator, presumably so you could blame all the country’s problems on one person (George W. Bush redux?). Well, sorry Charlie, a gazillion collective decisions lead to the current situation: thousands of laws, trillions of individual choices, and years of excessive consumption. No one person or one action is to blame. Far from it, really. And whether America does or does not get the light version of a Nazi dictator will be virtually irrelevant in how things play out in the long run.
    Anyways, Puz, if you can eek out a living picking through seeds, composting, and planting rhubarb, more power to you. The idea of “dropping out” of the current system and becoming self-sufficient is an appealing one. But how do you pay for all the damn taxes? Where do you get affordable land? I guess you still need some kind of decent income or savings to float that kind of lifestyle, so dropping out of the system entirely is really not feasible at the moment.

  82. turkle February 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    “Instead of you pay going to the internet bill, the utility bill, the food bill, the cheap electricity, the rent, it will go to a MONSTER government bill that we both have to pay back…”
    You lost me there. Remove the tinfoil hat and try again, please.

  83. Smokyjoe February 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Nice post, JHK. As for these nare-do-well readers:
    Stop defending Little Debbies.
    My God but I loved those darn things in high school. Now they taste like chemicals.
    The Long Emergency will feature less food, chaos, starvation, fat men in silly hats calling themselves the American Napoleon but….
    NO MORE CHEMICAL CAKES. Yowza.
    Horde your cheese doodles now, America! They’ll keep.

  84. bproman February 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Let the games begin as this weird wacky world completely spins out of control towards the mass media events of the stupor bowl and the corporate Old limp pricks. The real sport being how many fans can consume as much solid and liquid substances as possible in the shortest period of time during an overpriced 30 second ad spot.
    The digital bombardment doesn’t stop at how many buffalo’s have wings because the show must go on in la la land.

  85. turkle February 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    “NO MORE CHEMICAL CAKES.”
    I, for one, am stocking up on artificial snack cakes while I still can. A fat sack of Twinkies and Little Debbies is exactly what I need for weathering the Long Emergency.

  86. Mr. Purple February 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    “Not fair to include alien abductees in the political lunatic fringe.”
    Yeah, they really aren’t very politically active.

  87. Nathan February 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    I remember Jimmy Carter telling the sheeple that deficits and credit cards would leave us in a position where we spoke of the great depression as the good old days. He also tried to push conservation and renewable energy and ended up one of the most disliked presidents ever. Obama probably knew where the truth would lead him.

  88. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    I will write it with my crayon.
    What percentage of you income goes to the government now. That would be taxes…
    Get ready for it to GO UP. You know more than you
    pay now.
    Am I going to fast…
    Now how are you going to pay for all those things
    you like. Cut back on the Lil Debbies…

  89. turkle February 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    “Get ready for it to GO UP. You know more than you
    pay now.”
    I’m sorry, but I don’t necessarily cringe like a bona fide TEA Bagger when I see income tax rates going up a few percent. There is a multi-trillion dollar government deficit, so simply cutting programs won’t be enough. The fact that there IS such a huge deficit suggests that taxes were too low in the first place for an extended period of time, now doesn’t it? In other words, we’re getting all these services and benefits from the government, and yet we refuse to pay for them completely.
    The possible solutions to the predicament are two: a) raise taxes and b) cut programs/spending. Given the magnitude of the problem, we will have to do both. And that’s exactly what you’re seeing from the Obama Administration these days. They are letting some Bush era tax breaks expire (big deal), raising rates on those who make more than $250k, and freezing government spending for the next year and a half.
    So what’s the problem, chief? What exactly do you want to happen? Or do you just like to bitch and moan about the big bad government?
    And, no you’re not going too fast for me, more like idling in the slow lane…

  90. Cussin' Jack February 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Jim —
    Listening to the radio the other day … “Oldies Hour” HA! Fade in to The Monkeys … “Pleasant Valley Sunday”. I thought immediately of the end of suburbia you have been ranting about for years. The end of Pleasant Valley Sundays:
    ——————————————-
    The local rock group down the street
    Is trying hard to learn their song
    Seranade the weekend squire, who just came out to mow his lawn
    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
    Charcoal burning everywhere
    Rows of houses that are all the same
    And no one seems to care
    See Mrs. Gray she’s proud today because her roses are in bloom
    Mr. Green he’s so serene, He’s got a t.v. in every room
    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
    Here in status symbol land
    Mothers complain about how hard life is
    And the kids just don’t understand
    Creature comfort goals
    They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
    My thoughts all seem to stray, to places far away
    I need a change of scenery
    Ta Ta Ta…
    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
    Charcoal burning everywhere
    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
    Here in status symbol land
    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday…

  91. Mr. Purple February 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    “America still has a LONG way to fall. The standard of living and the infrastructure here are still good compared to most other countries. I doubt the country is going to take such a severe nose dive that it falls past any of the poorest countries in terms of average yearly wages or standard of living.”
    Agreed. And other countries that depend on U.S. support, either directly (as in foreign aid) or indirectly (as in remittances from workers in the U.S.), will see a decline at the same time. When things are bad enough, foreign aid will be EASY to cut. Though, it’s largely a drop in the bucket, budget-wise. Unless you’re talking about military expenditures overseas, which brings me to my next point…
    “Most modern Americans are not nearly as revolutionary and prone to internal political violence as you seem to think (though we seem to have no problem visiting incredible levels of violence on other countries).”
    The violence we visit on others overseas is part of a process called “venting”. Once that gets called off (when maintaining overseas garrisons isn’t financially viable any more) there may be an increase in tensions within the U.S.
    Such a pullback would have other consequences overseas. NATO might not survive as an organization following a pullback of U.S. forces from Europe. What North Korea’s response to a U.S. departure from South Korea (and probably Japan) would be is anybody’s guess. Iraq without the U.S.? Probably just fine. Afghanistan without the U.S./NATO? Whew, I’m glad I don’t live in Kabul.

  92. Nathan February 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    Taxes up or Deficits (translation: tax plus interest for the crayon people) up.
    Your choice pay now or pay later plus interest.
    No one wants higher taxes or reduced public benefits so the system is doomed to crash based on math anyway.

  93. turkle February 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    “No one wants higher taxes or reduced public benefits so the system is doomed to crash based on math anyway.”
    Yup. This ^^^.

  94. turkle February 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Are you going to pay for your own health care out of pocket when you get old instead of accepting Medicare? Are you going to pay all the nursing home bills for your parents? Are you going to refuse Social Security payments? Are you going to not take federal unemployment insurance if available? Is your city or state refusing federal stimulus funds or are you advocating that it do so?
    If no to any of the above, then kindly STFU with your hypocritical, anti-government ranting.

  95. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Chief-
    Yes I don’t like big government spending the country I love into bankruptcy.
    I would like to see all government programs cut by 30%. Flat tax of 15% for ALL Amercians.
    I busted my ass and saved my money to create one of those businesses that generates $250K. I did it by being responsible and not spending more than I made.
    Taxes to low in the first place that is why our deficits are to big, so that means taxes were too low. Do you know how stupid a statement that is?
    Ohhh yeah you are in the fast lane…

  96. constitutionorslavery February 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    And so you keep sliding down this road of inflation, which forces you to accept ever more government help, while the Fed prints more money, and corporations ship more jobs to Asia. So the government taxes more to give you help and you need more help because your wages are not keeping up with inflation.
    So if your idea of Nirvana is to tempt people with handouts that they feel they must take, and this ends up making them dependent on government than pull your chair up and lick their boots when you get your free health care.
    We qualify for health care subsidies now but decline it and pay our own health insurance. Our “quality of life” isn’t as grand, but we are freer. Of course after ObamaCare passes and grants health insurers their grandest wishes, we probably won’t be able to afford it and feed our kids anymore, and be forced onto foodstamps.
    Bootlicker.

  97. turkle February 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    “I would like to see all government programs cut by 30%.”
    Congratulations, asshole, you just completely crashed what remains of the US economy.

  98. turkle February 1, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    “Bootlicker.”
    Simpleton.

  99. turkle February 1, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    “Taxes to low in the first place that is why our deficits are to big, so that means taxes were too low. Do you know how stupid a statement that is?”
    Um, no, genius, I don’t follow your “logic”. Why don’t you go ahead and explain how stupid I am because I think taxes should match expenditures.

  100. turkle February 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    “So if your idea of Nirvana is to tempt people with handouts that they feel they must take, and this ends up making them dependent on government than pull your chair up and lick their boots when you get your free health care.”
    You’re a paranoid moron.

  101. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    How about LESS Expenditures in the first place.
    Then you could pay less taxes…
    You must not have a job…

  102. turkle February 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    “Instead of you pay going to the internet bill, the utility bill, the food bill, the cheap electricity, the rent, it will go to a MONSTER government bill that we both have to pay back…”
    Hm, not sure why I’m conversing with someone who has the delusion that the US government wants to take over the food, electricity, housing, and internet industries to make one “MONSTER government bill” (whatever the hell that means).
    Guess I’ll stop responding. Bye!

  103. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    I was right you don’t have a job, and you don’t pay taxes…

  104. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    “How about LESS Expenditures in the first place.”
    I never argued that this shouldn’t be considered, but you want to save 30% by simply cutting government expenditures. Cutting that much simply by reducing budgets is unrealistic. Selected tax hikes are needed to. There was a reason that Clinton had balanced the budget by the time he left office, and it wasn’t primarily cutting government waste. They used new taxes or allowed tax breaks to expire. Anyways, have lots of fun thinking that it is possible to cut 30% from the Federal Government’s budgets without the American economy and society in general collapsing in a big heap. I mean, 50% or more of the GDP is driven by the government. What happens when you cut 30% of that? Waiting for your brilliant response on this…

  105. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    “I was right you don’t have a job, and you don’t pay taxes…”
    Believe whatever you want…I could care less.

  106. constitutionorslavery February 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Sorry turkle – that wasn’t directed at you – that was me signing my post as “Bootlicker”. And it won’t be a happy day for me. I like feeling independent. Self reliant.
    But I will do what it takes to feed my kids. If it means licking boots, then I will do that. If you are not scared about what is happening in our county right now then I don’t know what to say. I’m scared. Our government is lying to us in many different ways. Misrepresenting how new laws and programs will affect our lives. They are representing big banks and the insurance industries. Not us.
    Anyway keep an open mind to what is really going on in the world, not just what the main stream media is telling us.

  107. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    “And it won’t be a happy day for me.”
    Oh, I’m sorry. Down, Turkle, down!

  108. Cussin' Jack February 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Hey, ya lucky bastard … I was 3rd last week and I thought that was pretty good. Thanks for the chuckle! =)

  109. constitutionorslavery February 1, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    Does Jim ever reply to any of these posts at all or is it just the reptiles and constitution nut jobs. Not that the dance isn’t fun and all……

  110. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    The problem I have with the way some of you speak about these issues is the way you frame your relationship to the government, as if it is some kind of ultimate enemy. It does not make much sense to position yourself against the government like this in a democratic system.
    You DO have recourse to change how things work, as do all U.S. citizens. The problem is, we are much more concerned with leisure and lifestyles than having anything to do with the messy business of fully participating in a democracy. (I’m definitely guilty here, too.) We do not generally hold our elected representatives accountable for their actions and for the laws they vote for, and we let them make law according to the interests of powerful lobbyist groups. We have all ceded our representation to lobbyists, by default. In general, we have not been paying attention! All of a sudden, all these people have “woken up” now that Obama is in office, as if these problems are all of his doing. Frankly, its pretty absurd to blame Obama for much of anything.
    Hell, the average American male is far more concerned with such important matters as professional sports, driving the biggest SUV possible, and eating hamburgers and French Fries on a daily. Yet you blame “the government”. Fine. But since “the government” is a democracy, we are all part of it. There are countries run as autocracies like Iran, where you really don’t have any say and are not part of the government. But here, anyone may form a political party, run for elected office, vote, propose new laws, or challenge existing laws. You also have powerful FOIA laws for extracting information from the government and making it more transparent. You can participate, and you can make a measurable difference.
    But if your master plan is to rant on the internet until someone listens or go to a rally and hold up a sign that says “TEA” or “Down with ObamaCare”, then please don’t be surprised if absolutely nothing changes.

  111. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    “Does Jim ever reply to any of these posts at all”
    Once in a while…

  112. asoka February 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Are you willing to pay 90% of what you make to keep it afloat.

    What percentage are you willing to pay?
    Or do you just expect government services free of charge?
    Or are you an anarchist who wants no government at all?
    Or a militarist who only thinks government should exist to raise armies and kick ass? (and then act surprised when someone kicks back and twin towers come down)

  113. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    I bet $20 that Workingman1 owns a Government Motors pickup truck.

  114. Cussin' Jack February 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    Jay … the answer to your question concerning why the government and corporatists won’t do anything to prepare for collapse:
    Mike Rupert (of Crossing the Rubicon and http://www.fromthewilderness fame) tells the story of Dutch economist Martin Van Mourik who told the Paris ASPO Conference in 2003, “It may not be profitable to slow decline.”

  115. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Straw man. No one is being forced to pay a 90 percent tax rate, nor would this fly in the future. In the first decade of the income tax, the highest rates were around this level for the richest. But current rates are no where near that high.

  116. asoka February 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    What percentage of you income goes to the government now. That would be taxes…
    Get ready for it to GO UP. You know more than you
    pay now.
    ==========
    Actually, Obama has cut taxes. If you have a job, compare your withholding this year compared to two years ago under Bush. Bush cut taxes for the super rich, and only gave one-time refund checks.
    Obama reduced withholding taxes, a gift that keeps on putting money in your pocket with every paycheck.
    Obama’s compromise stimulus plan includes $282 billion in tax cuts over two years.
    According to the Wall Street Journal, Bush’s first two years of tax cuts amounted to $174 billion. A second batch in 2004 and 2005 cost $231. And those were thought to be bigger than the tax cuts offered by Reagan, Kennedy or others.
    Obama’s tax cuts are the largest in history.

  117. turkle February 1, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Oh, geez, asoka, now here you go with all these FACTS when I KNOW in my GUT Obama is the anti-Christ.

  118. Puzzler February 1, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    I think Vlad Krandz may have gotten himself banned again.
    I checked CFN this morning looking forward to my weekly dose of Kunstler, but dreading having to wade through Vlad’s endlessly blathering racist crap. Aren’t there enough white power, nazi or separatist websites that he could use instead of clogging up this one?
    Anyway, not one Vlad post yet! If he did get banned again he’ll no doubt resurface under a new name again as he has before.

  119. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Small government.
    Military that protects us, I don’t agree with being in two wars. Just a waste on all levels.
    Min. government services.
    Self-Reliant-non-pussy nanny state.
    I drive a truck.

  120. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    It is a Ford 150– 1994 model.
    I own it no loans…

  121. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    I am thinking you drive mom’s car…

  122. turkle February 1, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Yup, mom’s car is nice!

  123. Workingman1 February 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    This is all bullshit.
    I just enjoy rattling the cage of ultra liberal
    space cadets.

  124. Jeff Watson February 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Just a thought. We have the government we want and (yes) still have the power to change it at any time. We also have in place a flat-tax system which is currently being used to fund all the government that we are currently able to pay for without borrowing, it’s called ‘Social Security withholding’. Fewer than 10% of working taxpayers pay anything else. Extend the 15% witholding to all income, no matter how it is defined and all will be paid for. The well-to-do have done a masterful job of concealing this simple fact. Remove the $90,000 cap, apply the tax across the board and fund the government.

  125. Mike Hicks February 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Do you not have anything more intelligent to say than “first” ?

  126. michael February 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    As an outsider, outlander, the comments are as much fun as Jims blog, I do enjoy getting a feel for the temperature of the nation to the south. That said, I hope that the events that are forming on the horizon do not destroy the ability to improve in social intercourse, and stem the colourful dialogue here.
    Michael

  127. asoka February 1, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Workingman1 said:

    Small government.
    Military that protects us

    ==============
    Protects us from what? Did you hear the Soviet Union collapsed? We are the only superpower and I haven’t heard of any country making threats against us.
    The military cannot protect us against terrorists because they specialize in asymmetrical warfare and our military is too big. Kinda like trying to eliminate a swarm of gnats with a shotgun. Overwhelming power and completely useless.
    That attack on Bush’s watch in which we lost 3,000 citizens kinda proves my point. We had a strong military under Bush. The terrorists broadcast their intent. (“Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the U.S.” read the intelligence report prior to the attack). But we were attacked on Bush’s watch anyway. Worst terrorist attack on American soil in American history.
    Bin Laden openly declared war on us, and the military could not prevent the attack.
    The military is a waste of taxpayers’ money. We would be safer with a military that is half the size and not stationed in 140 countries. Bring them home.

  128. Mike Hicks February 1, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    The people do not want to listen to the truth about our situation. Because to listen and open their minds would mean the would have face the reality that change was coming, and no one wants to change.
    I’ve attempted to have numerous discussions with friends and co-workers about our current and future situation and have yet to have anyone honestly discuss it. What I usually get is either the deer in the headlights look or a list of reasons not believe. Such as the economy will fix, scientists are lying to us, technology will fix everything.
    It’s pretty sad.

  129. JD Moore February 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Thanks to those who gave stories of what’s happening in upstate NY & central PA. These are truly informative. I’ve been most of those places.
    Someone brought Jimmy Carter’s truth telling and his low popularity ratings. I guess everyone’s too young now to remember which president had the LOWEST Gallup poll ratings. Ask Grandpa or Grandma, if reading some history or looking around on the ‘net is too much work. He was also a no-holds-barred truth teller, but probably had to make the toughest decision a human ever had to make and heaven forbid ANYONE EVER has to make such a decision again.
    A little truth about the 90% income tax rate: It came as an “emergency measure” (this is also the reason why the feds withhold money out of your paycheck, too) during WW II to pay for the enormous expenses prosecuting that war. Cutting that to about half that was a key provision of the Kennedy tax cut in 1962.
    Please, more stories of what’s happening in your town (Thanks for telling what happened in Dover; I’ve been there, too) rather than material more fitting in letters to your Congressman.
    Peak oil’s going to happen; so will climate change (regardless of the cause). If people don’t get it together to build rail (the airlines are dead once jet fuel is $6/gallon) & electric lines soon (wind turbines are cheap to build but the windy areas are far from the cities), likewise invest in direct use of the sun’s energy (I’m not talking about expensive photovoltaic systems, either), we’re screwed: Big Time.

  130. Headless February 1, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    @thenothingstore
    Heard of denial of service attack?
    I dare you spam your shit here again next week.
    #000000

  131. turkle February 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    “I just enjoy rattling the cage of ultra liberal
    space cadets.”
    I was wondering how long it would take for you to use the “L” word in a derogatory fashion.

  132. michael February 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Lets face it war is expensive any way you cut it.
    Lives!
    Energy!
    Intellect!
    and what for?
    to avoid death by any other means.

  133. diogen February 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Let’s hear something positive for a moment.
    Who said we Americans are sleep-walking into the abyss? Read this:
    “At the locally owned Heirloom Seeds in West Finley, Tom Hauch is buried in seed orders. He runs the business with his wife, Barb, their daughter and one part-time person who works from home. “They say the economy is bad, but it’s not affecting us at all.” For the past 21 years, business has improved each year. The company now does business via Internet only. He sees lots of first-time gardeners and has noticed a dramatic sales increase in some of his package deals.His Complete Garden Packages are sealed in plastic with a silica gel insert. The seeds can be stored for three years are for people concerned about a complete economic meltdown. “They are either trying to save money by growing their own, or they are scared that something might happen and there might be shortages.”
    This is from http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09059/952202-47.stm#ixzz0eIAiOIjV
    Some Americans are clearly taking steps to start living a more sane reality. Instead of fretting, dreading and fearing, do something brave: convert your LAWN into a GARDEN. This may be a snowball that starts an avalanche. One of Ghandi’s revolutionary acts was to get the people to harvest free salt from the sea instead of paying for English manufactured salt.
    I challenge every doomer here: order some garden seeds and start a garden this Spring. I guarantee it will make you feel good. Trust me, the pleasure of working in your garden beats the pleasure of watching Office re-runs hands down. It’s almost as good as sex.
    Cheers and happy gardening.

  134. michael February 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I could not agree more!
    we are still eating the potatoes that we grew this summer as first time gardeners north of the 54th parallel.

  135. scmtneer February 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    The curb cut between Burger King and Best Buy – nice reference.

  136. asoka February 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Lets face it war is expensive any way you cut it.
    and what for?to avoid death by any other means.

    Nobody can avoid death …
    but we can avoid spending ourselves into bankruptcy through excessive big government military spending.
    Stop Obama’s wars!

  137. asoka February 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    The curb cut between Burger King and Best Buy – nice reference.

    This week’s writing by JHK was fine, indeed. Full of good metaphors. I liked this one: “breakdown lane of American history”

    creationists, alien abductees, economics professors from bible colleges, Sunbelt war hawks, Lyndon LaRouche acolytes, Nativists, Palinites, crusaders against the New World Order, anti-Bilderbergers… the whole appalling menu of thought-disorder cases now roiling in the breakdown lane of American history.

  138. messianicdruid February 1, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    “For the last two months or so I have and now find everything here so yesterday.”
    If you want to take the next step study Obadiah.

  139. NoMoreOil February 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Hi, I am from Michigan and I have been following this blog for some time now. While I don’t always agree with JHK or the way he says things, I believe that his analysis of the situation is right on. There are signs all around us–businesses closing or cutting back even to the point of shutting down “non-essential” buildings and production lines. A lot of it isn’t dramatic and doesn’t make the news but doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Listen to the grapevine, it’s there.
    I am originally from the Upper Peninsula which began its “Long Emergency” back in the 1950’s when the mining industry shut down. What is happening here downstate is a reprise of that situation, only the big difference is that downstate recovered from the Depression and the UP never really did. I was in Escanaba the day they announced that K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base was closing and it was almost like a funeral. One person said to me that if you wanted to see what a Third World country looked like, just look around. And this was in the 1990’s. I could go on but you get the picture.
    JHK, you might be interested in the fact that the little town of Bloomingdale has a (non-functioning) oil rig in the middle of town at its museum. Yes, once upon a time Southwest Michigan was OIL COUNTRY. Not any more. I hear that there is “still” oil but at the present time it isn’t considered worthwhile to drill for. Can’t compete with offshore oil–at least not yet. The sad thing is that everyone who is familiar with the history of Southwest Michigan’s oil agrees that the oil field was mismanaged and should have lasted a LOT longer than it did. If I recall correctly, production only lasted a decade or so. Now all that is left are a few forgotten rusting rigs out in the swamps and place names like Teapot Dome.
    So for those who say it can’t happen and that Peak Oil is a myth, I invite them to come to Bloomingdale, Michigan and see the oil rig. Meanwhile a group of us have banded together and are part of the Transition Town movement. Because this time when the oil runs out, there won’t be any from out of state or out of the country.

  140. thrill February 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Da mook, that was incredibly funny! Thanks for the chuckle! Somehow, a visual of Nancy Pelosi on a box of Fruit Loops appeared…..

  141. Vlad Krandz February 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Forget about Peak Oil – we’ll freeze in the dark before it becomes true. Gulf Stream gonna kick out any day now.
    http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com/2010/01/urgent-warning-on-possible-collapse-of.html

  142. cowswithguns February 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    I agree with you. We have an unprecidented standard of living that’s been built up through deficits because our leaders didn’t have the political will to raise taxes. And, yes, we need to both cuts programs and raise taxes.
    But, as far as Obama goes, his efforts regarding the former are weak for one simple reason: He refuses to cut the military budget.
    That’s what really matters. That’s where all the money is.
    And, by the way, let’s leave NASA alone.
    We are going to fuck up this planet so bad if we keep the unsustainable going — which Obama and crew appear to want to do — that we might want to ship out of here one of these days.

  143. Vlad Krandz February 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    I missed you too jerk off. I was at my weekly Bund meeting.

  144. cowswithguns February 1, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Obama is such a spin master, by the way, I expect his next move to be an announcement that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are going “green.” I can wait to see the ethanol-fueled war drones and hybrid hummers.
    And, I might as well add…
    All this proposing financial reform that is going to be discussed endlessly — until it’s too late — in Congress is starting to piss me off. Doesn’t Obama know that he has a justice department that can bust big Wall Street bankers for fraud? Doesn’t he know there are anti-trust laws on the books?
    Fuck sending shit to Congress. That’s weak. This is not the time to be messing around. This is the time to set the course for a sustainable future. Little tweaks to the steering wheel at this point will result in big turns — for better or worse –down the road.

  145. reniam February 1, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    To Joe, the douche that thinks it’s real fun to be the initial commenter with your lame and annoying First! post: Grow the fuck up.
    To the people that are using the comment section for your own marketing: Get the fuck out. No one gives a shit about the nothing store, the various conspiracy theory sites, or the twigs and berries diet.
    To the people that write two page comments: Get your own blog and quit ranting about your personal bullshit. You are just noise.

  146. constitutionorslavery February 1, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Good post. I agree. I first became aware that Congress doesn’t represent us when under BUSH the TARP was passed illegally. And yes I called and faxed and E-mailed my representatives. So did thousands and thousands of people. 90% were against it. But they passed it using a loophole in the process. The Senate defeated it on the first vote. So try to vote a different criminal in?
    What’s your opinion on abolishing the Federal Reserve? Do you think they are a legal entity under the Constitution of the United States?

  147. HeadlessRevolution February 1, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    $6 fuel
    Part I:
    People travel less
    Airlines fail en masse
    Mass layoffs of airline employees
    Mass failure of travel agencies
    Mass failure of rental car agencies
    Mass failure of all tourist-related goods manu’s
    Mass failure of CRE in airport areas
    Mass failure of American airplane manu’s
    Mass failure of …
    Part II:
    People travel less
    American car manu’s finally admit failure
    Mass layoffs of auto industry emp’s
    Mass failure of auto industry suppliers
    Mass failure of auto transport companies
    Mass failure of retail outlets within radius X
    Mass failure of CRE within radius X
    Mass failure of CRE outside radius X–comp’ rent
    Mass failure of …
    Part III (Please feel free to fill in the blanks):
    People eat less…

  148. Bustin J February 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    Em, not to be obtuse but
    “I just read Big Slide. Your wit is in fine form, Jim. This play is an inspiration for the creative thinker to begin looking at what other sorts of stories could capture the imaginations of those stuck in ostrich mode.”
    Has it not occurred to you that most people haven’t got imaginations to capture? At best they have attention spans. Live theater has not had a good track record of capturing attention spans. One must, I argue, have the attention span to gather new information to inform an imagination.
    On the other hand I love a good chorus line.
    No, live theater is a fringe. Every year the Vagina Monologues fly over like a diabolical comet to lay waste to the audiences and institutions that used to provide a singular form of entertainment. We must all, apparently, suffer the never ending lamentations of female bleeding. Somewhere some hack is sending up yet another rendition of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Little Shop of Horrors. That is a whole season.
    If the people had any sense of imagination they’d read Wilde, go Wild, and attend Wilde’s plays.

  149. observer February 2, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    Before making claims about things like “Pelosi’s jet, it’s a good idea to do some research. Snopes has a good piece on that topic at http://www.snopes.com/politics/pelosi/jet.asp
    Ditto with claims about Michelle’s “servants.”
    This is from Yahoo:

    Michelle Obama’s staff was actually no different than that of her predecessor, Laura Bush. “[W]e have exactly the same staff number as Mrs. Bush and our office organization reflects a similar staffing model, so insinuations otherwise are wrong,” she said. Lelyveld [M.O.’s press secretary] said that the White House’s “personnel records indicate” that there were 24 staffers for Laura Bush at some point. We were able to verify at least 18 staffers for Laura Bush, as of June 30, 2008, via the 2008 White House staff list published in The Washington Post’s White House Watch column. Sixteen people were specifically referred to as a “first lady” staffer, and Amy Zantzinger and Dorothy Thornton served as White House social secretary and deputy social secretary, respectively. It’s possible that someone with the title of “staff assistant” was assigned to the Office of First Lady as well, as is the case with Michelle Obama’s staff.
    The combined annual salaries for the 22 staffers we can specifically identify as working for Michelle Obama come to $1.6 million. For the 18 we could identify as working for Laura Bush in 2008, the total is $1.4 million.
    Dr. Myra Gutin, a professor of communications at Rider University and a first ladies historian, says that the first lady’s role has certainly “grown and evolved” since the 1960s, but generally speaking, the first lady’s “staff numbers about 14-16.” Gutin told us she recalled “some first ladies have had staffs of more than that.”

  150. observer February 2, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    This morning, here in N. California, I planted sugar snap peas, escarole, and arugula in pots next to the radiator in the living room to get a nice start before I set them out in the garden in a month or so. I was walking last week and saw some peas about 2 feet high in somebody’s front yard, and I said “Why am I not doing that?”
    Yesterday I pruned my grapes, moved a lemon verbena out of the vegetable garden, took out last year’s tomato plants, and picked a fabulous salad of arugula and red witloof chicory (belgian endive) which here does NOT have to be dug up and potted and blanched in a cellar. It does fine right where it’s been since last March. I planted it without fully realizing what a wonderful winter bonanza it was going to provide.
    No TV here. An occasional movie. (Thanks for recommending “The Garden” about the south Centeral LA Community Garden, I got it from Netflix. Bought my TV in 1972 and it still works fine, a Sony Trinitron. Lots of good music from the local NPR station and KCSM.org, commercial-free jazz. Good friends and neighbors, walking to a ceramics class at the local community college. Working part time. Life is simple and good.

  151. Vlad Krandz February 2, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    Michelle gives more attention to Black kids than to White – is that being a good First Lady/Queen?
    Also, I didn’t like the way she put her arm around the Queen Mum. It was disrespectful.
    Why do we even need “First Ladies”? In the 1800’s a bachelor could get elected as president. Does anyone think that could happen now? Me neither. As America becomes more and more chaotic and alientated from itself, the value of symbolism increases. And what is stronger than the image of a First Family? As the American Family falls apart, the First Family takes on a quasi divine status. Obviously, this situation is nothing but serial Monarchy. Caesar worship was not imposed from above – it grew from below.

  152. Mr. Purple February 2, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    When I think about where America will be as the scarcity of oil increases, I am both apprehensive and slightly encouraged.
    Apprehensive, because – duh – the energy that sustains so much of this society is dwindling. History is full of societies that faced changing conditions in their world and failed to adapt.
    Slightly encouraged, because I know life was possible before the Petroleum Age. Slightly encouraged, because I know a few people are planning ahead. Slightly encouraged, because as things get worse, I remember a quote from Dune: “God created Arrakis to train the faithful.”
    I suspect Vlad will appreciate that last one, but I’m curious to see who else understands what that’s about.

  153. Mr. Purple February 2, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    “Caesar worship was not imposed from above – it grew from below.”
    I am reminded of how the Russians view Vladmir Putin.

  154. Mr. Purple February 2, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    “Protects us from what? Did you hear the Soviet Union collapsed? We are the only superpower and I haven’t heard of any country making threats against us.”
    North Korea.
    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/06/24/north-korea-nuclear-standoff062409.html
    So now you’ve heard.

  155. Mr. Purple February 2, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Wow… finally something that makes living in Southern California seem like a good thing. Well, it’s happened before, but the human populations involved were minuscule to nonexistant. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  156. abbeysbooks February 2, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    Dune is one of my favorite sci fi’s.

  157. asoka February 2, 2010 at 3:45 am #

    North Korea threatened on Wednesday to “wipe out” the United States in the event of a new war on the Korean Peninsula
    Can you read?
    North Korea has our troops near its border and they are saying they will defend themselves if we start a war on the Korean Peninsula.
    So they are not threatening the USA. They are promising there will be retaliation, but only in the event of a new war on the Korean Peninsula
    So, I have not heard of any nation threatening the USA and the US military doesn’t even believe North Korea has the technology

    North Korea’s Taepodong 2 missile is designed to reach the West Coast of the U.S., but test launches to date have been partial failures.
    Analysts believe the Taepodong 2 is inaccurate and so far has failed to reach a third stage, a critical leap to be able to hit the United States.
    Cartwright said that in three to five years, the government in Pyongyang might be able to overcome its technical problems.
    But he said that time frame did not include development of a warhead.
    He did not estimate how long it might take the communist regime to develop a warhead small enough to put on a long-range missile.

  158. asoka February 2, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    Tea baggers complain about “more taxes” and “more deficits” … Hello? Do they not know how a deficit is measured, or do they not know where government revenues come from? Logically speaking, it must be one or the other.
    Speaking of taxes, how did we get into this deficit mess in the first place? Hint: Bush tax cuts for the rich.

  159. Shane February 2, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    “Slightly encouraged, because as things get worse, I remember a quote from Dune: “God created Arrakis to train the faithful.”… I’m curious to see who else understands what that’s about.”
    I’ve read “Dune” (several times) but I don’t know if I find it all that encouraging. The modern US population are not exactly Fremen. Aside from US elite troops, who could pass for Sardaukar, the Dune culture that modern Americans most resemble are the idiots of Giedi Prime wildly cheering for Feyd-Rautha.
    As for God, I don’t even want to think about that angle. If there is such a Thing, Being, or Force overseeing the world process, I can’t imagine It doing anything but closing our whole show down before we do any more damage to ourselves or the planet.
    When it came out in 1965, Dune was a pretty good metaphor for the Industrial World’s dependence on oil. As events have developed since then, the book has become more relevant not less. However I suspect the saga of our time is not going to end with a populist messiah like Paul Muad’Dib storming the imperial capitol. The aftermath of “God-Emperor of Dune” with Leto II’s empire dissolving into chaos and famine is probably a lot more like where we’re headed….
    “Slightly encouraged, because I know life was possible before the Petroleum Age”
    True enough, people did exist before the Petroleum Age, so the fall of this civilization will not be the end of Humanity, just the end of a chapter. As another epic novel said:
    “The road goes ever on…”

  160. Mr. Purple February 2, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    “Can you read?”
    Yes, and even better, I comprehend what I read. The threat was made. If you choose to ignore it, well, I’m honestly not surprised.
    “the US military doesn’t even believe North Korea has the technology”
    Though I’m a little surprised that you are taking the word of the United States military as a reassurance. Is that because you only do it when it’s convenient?

  161. Mr. Purple February 2, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    I am encouraged because Fremen were once slaves, who escaped to a harder but freer life.

  162. Shane February 2, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    “Let’s hear something positive for a moment… Who said we Americans are sleep-walking into the abyss?”
    Yeah, ordering seeds and starting gardens is one way to face the Abyss, a good sane peasant’s way. But other kinds of people have other ways. A student of Byzantine history should appreciate the significance of this:
    http://www.hardenedstructures.com/2050727/default.aspx
    Actually, what these guys are doing is a latter day version of the motte-and-bailey castles of the early Normans. The true modern equivalent of the Walls of Justinian are those giant bunkers the feds are digging throughout the west. To survive what? What do they know (or suspect) that they’re not sharing with the rest of the class?

  163. Shane February 2, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    “I am encouraged because Fremen were once slaves, who escaped to a harder but freer life.”
    For a certain kind of person the Collapse will be a liberation not a catastrophe. The kind of person who’s capable of being a Free Man, that is. If you’re one of them, or just suspect you are, then by all means give it your best shot.
    Me, I’m over 50 and childless; no tribe of Shane will inherit the post-apocalyptic world. But that doesn’t mean I’m not curious as hell to see how all this plays out. Besides I’m a stubborn celtic sort and I don’t believe in giving into anything gracefully. I have 18 months of food stored up, plus other preps as well. I intend to hang on to this mother as long as I can…

  164. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    Who is capable of being a freeman.
    My ansestors farmed in the country from before the American Revolution til WW2.
    Most lived in good health til their mid 80’s.
    They had real skills growing food, building shelter, and yes they could read and think.
    These were truly a tough and free breed of independent self-sufficient people.
    Would they be the same men, stuck in a cubicle, shuffeling paperwork, to sell meaningless products. What has that done to the soul of American men? A society of weaklings with lots of excuses… It has led to a devaluation of the individual, and a dependence on the system. Some of us still grow some of our own food, and love the peace that working the land brings to our soul. Mostly the independence of now having others control us. The ruling class doesn’t want us to be too independent, they want us to be good republicans and good democrates so they can use freemen for their daily bread. Some people on this sight actually are brainwashed into thinking that all the waste in governmet is fine, and are not offended by all the lies in both parties.
    What to do?
    Use your brain and your resourse to become a more independent man. Have some balls and don’t make excuses.
    Buy land- or partner with others to buy land.
    Grow some food
    Start your own business
    Don’t waste your resources-like your government
    Learn skills that will help you when money is worthless toilet paper.
    Learn to use a firearm
    Build a cistern or dig a well.

  165. Bobby February 2, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Turkle gets it. Asoka, too.

  166. whitehunter February 2, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    evidently anyone who is not mainstream is a “maniac”

  167. Jim from Watkins Glen February 2, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Some excellent observations here this week. Noteworthy is the self-assured and non-confrontational tone from those who have taken action like gardening, driving less, and crafting strategy with like-minded friends. These are the people who still know the difference between actually doing things and watching them happen on TV. May these rational souls hold sway when our big, national camping trip starts in earnest.

  168. Laura Louzader February 2, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Dear Vlad,
    About Michelle Obama’s putting her arm around the Queen. How can this be considered “disrespectful?” In case you don’t know, the spouse of the President of the United States at least slightly outranks the Queen of England.
    What disturbs me is when the President of the United States BOWS before another head of state. I was deeply disturbed at sight of Obama BOWING to the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and to the King of Saadi Arabia.
    We may be well down the road to being a 2nd tier nation or worse, but we don’t have to acquiesce to it yet. The President of the U.S. should bow to no one.

  169. Martin Hayes February 2, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Sorry, Laura, but you’re wrong.
    The Queen is an hereditary monarch and thus far outranks an elected head of state such as Obama, never mind his spouse. In international protocol, as laid down since the Treaty of Vienna, the Pope ranks first as Father of Kings, then hereditary monarchs in order of length of reign, then elected heads of state in order of length of service.

  170. Lost-in-North-Dakota February 2, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Hey….leave Little Debbie Snack Cakes out of this!!!

  171. wagelaborer February 2, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    We’re Americans. I don’t think that anyone outranks me. The Queen of England is just a descendant of those who beheaded the last royal family.
    Michelle is just the wife of a well-marketed politician.
    On the other hand, bowing is just polite,if that’s the custom of the country you’re in. Jeez.
    People don’t understand the 90% tax rate. That doesn’t mean your entire income is taxed at 90%, just the part above a certain level.
    Clearly, the rich don’t handle money well. They gamble and speculate. That would be OK, if you don’t care that they’re taking from the poor to get that money, but then they expect us to cover their losses.
    I am more irate that the rich can’t handle money than I am that a food stamp user also buys cigarettes.
    And someone is actually afraid of North Korean threats? Jesus, American men are wimps, you’re right.
    We need to cut the military budget drastically. Cut Homeland Oppression, also. And stop the bailouts of the rich. Tax them, instead.
    I don’t believe in living beyond my means, and I don’t think the government should either.
    We don’t need 700 bases. We don’t need to posture on North Korea’s borders. We don’t need thousands of nuclear weapons.
    Only wimpy bullies need all that.

  172. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    asoka-herself sez:
    “I wish Obama would instead get behind bigger government programs (a la FDR CCC/WPA).”
    Maybe if he gets real busy he could accomplish all your goals before you have him tired for “war crimes.” You do remember calling on him to be tried for war crimes?

  173. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    asoka-herself sez:
    “Ultimately, it is not important whether government is big or small. It is not important whether it is efficient. It is important whether it works.”
    Of course government doesn’t have to be efficient in asoka-land because in asoka-land the money grows on trees.
    Are you really this big of a FUCKTARD? Don’t you get the fact that when ANY organization is efficient . The breadth of your stupidity is absolutely breathtaking.

  174. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Should read:
    Are you really this big of a FUCKTARD? Don’t you get the fact that when ANY organization is efficient there ends up being more resources available to further the chosen cause. If the cause is feeding people, efficiency enables the proper storing and distribution to those needing fed. Without efficiency you have wastage from improper storage and those elbowing their way to steal what is not theirs. (Think Haiti)

  175. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Squished-dik corrects:
    “”As you so elegantly point out….”
    =========================
    eloquently”
    Hey dick-lips, there is nothing wrong with the phrase “As you so elegantly point out…”

  176. constitutionorslavery February 2, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Well color me stupid. I read the links you provided.
    Wow – Pelosi was happy just using 2 smaller jets and said she didn’t need the fancy new jet. What a miser. Saving costs using smaller jets. Chalk up a win for the green revolution.
    And Michelle only has 22 servants at a cost of 1.6 million dollars. Wow thanks for clearing that up. It’s all okay cause Barbara Bush came close to this all time record too. I feel better now when I sit down to eat my Mac and Cheese knowing how Michelle is really cutting back.
    Get a fucking clue.

  177. Visitor1034 February 2, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    I live in the pacific northwest but have been living here in a third-word country for the past few months, where I periodically come to visit family. Anyone concerned with a drop in “standard of living” would do well to leave the US for a while and see how the rest of the world lives, which is with surprising grace, humor and affection, despite the discomfort and inconvenience. Living a lower “standard of living” has its rewards in providing more of the things that really matter, which aren’t things at all, but this is hard to understand from the perspective of a consumer society, without experiencing it directly. It does take personal resolve and significant energy to live a full and joyful life in an environment where the ‘basics’ are minimal. Perhaps it helps to not have protect or to worry about alot of things one can never hope to have, such as a car.
    I implore all of you to refrain from complaining, blaming and criticizing each other, and instead, if you haven’t already, restore your sanity. Try it for a week, and also spend a little more time visiting with other human beings (or animals or plants, or even rocks) and less time in front of the computer.
    These problems (peak oil, etc) will not be solved by me talking about them, or by me being afraid but by me looking truthfully at myself and making fundamental changes in the way I perceive and function in my world.
    There are abundant resources, technology and capital available in the US but they will never be employed constructively until the US becomes a country of good will, where people, as sane human beings do, care more about each other than things. For everyone, every day, there are plenty of opportunities to make this change.
    Much thanks to those on this list that “get it” and are actively pursuing a life worth living.
    You are your own reward, as well as the reward of your friends and neighbors.

  178. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Turkey-lurkey sez:
    “I’m sorry, but I don’t necessarily cringe like a bona fide TEA Bagger when I see income tax rates going up a few percent.”
    My how telling. That is probably because you don’t pay income tax. 50% of our taxable population do not. Why is that? Why do 50% get to be freeloaders? (Could it have something to do with a Democrat party lock on the votes of the entitlement crowd?)
    So if 50% pay no income tax it could be that the 50% who do pay may be getting just a wee bit tired of shouldering the tax responsibilities for those who pay NO tax. Just a thought.
    And of course, people who are already feeling overtaxed, just love it when there has been no effort to make government spending cutbacks and their representatives look them in the eye and say, “Give me more…chump.”

  179. Qshtik February 2, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    “You do remember calling on him to be tried for war crimes?”
    ==========================
    Apparently you’ve forgotten — Asoka is large; He contains multitudes.

  180. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    asoka-himself sez:
    “Speaking of taxes, how did we get into this deficit mess in the first place? Hint: Bush tax cuts for the rich.”
    The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed the average federal worker’s pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector. This may have just a wee bit to do with our “deficit mess” you MORON.

  181. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Bobby sez:
    “Turkle gets it. Asoka, too.”
    Holly shit, we have another FUCKTARD in our midst. I think turkey-lurkey and asoka-herself have successfully bred. (As frightening as that may seem.)

  182. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    wagelaborer sez:
    “Clearly, the rich don’t handle money well.”
    Holy fucking shit!

  183. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Holy fucking shit. How do they qualify as “rich” if they don’t handle money well? Do you ever censor your thoughts before typing them out? (Rhetorical question. No need to answer. I already know the answer…MORON.)

  184. Qshtik February 2, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Abbey speaks of “studying Foucault.”
    Messianicdruid says we should “study Obadiah.”
    What’s with all this literary one-upsmanship? And what ever happened to simply “reading?” Why must we study? Answer: Knowing the sources as I do … it’s a form of academic elitism (in Abbey’s case) and religious elitism (in Messi’s case).

  185. Qshtik February 2, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    “Turkle gets it. Asoka, too.”
    =========================
    I’m starting a list titled “Big Government Lovers.” I have Turkle, Asoka and Wagelaborer on it and now I’m adding Bobby. Who (whom?) have I missed? Will all lovers of Big Gov please step out of the closet and identify yourselves.

  186. asoka February 2, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    “You do remember calling on him to be tried for war crimes?”
    ==========================
    Apparently you’ve forgotten — Asoka is large; He contains multitudes.

    Yes, for his foreign policy Obama should be tried for war crimes, in the Hague.
    For his domestic policy Obama should increase government spending a la FDR CCC/WPA.
    I can hold two opposing thoughts in my head at the same time. I praised Bush when he did something right. I criticize Obama when he does something wrong. I’m not an ideologue.
    There are some people who could not bring themselves to say: “I support Bush on xyz, and others cannot bring themselves to say: “I support Obama on xyz.”
    People who can’t hold opposing thoughts in their heads, or can’t recognize and support the good in policy proposals, regardless of who they come from are ideologues.

  187. Qshtik February 2, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    “Hey dick-lips, there is nothing wrong with the phrase “As you so elegantly point out…” ”
    =========================
    Hey poop-stain, this ground’s been plowed. See Al Klein’s post on 2/1 @ 3:07PM and my reply to it at 3:28PM. Try reading before you write.

  188. Cash February 2, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I think calm, rational souls are going to be in short supply. Survivors will have fertile patches of land and sources of water away from urban areas and guns and dogs to defend same. As for the ones that hold sway: think middle ages. IMO what’s left of society will coalesce around armed men promising to restore order for a price of course.

  189. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    “…this ground’s been plowed.”
    And most likely, plowed by your wife’s swinging dick. But I digress, my comment was MY comment. Your reptilian mind only saw the possibility of “eloquently”. No surprise there.

  190. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    “IMO what’s left of society will coalesce around armed men promising to restore order for a price of course.”
    You’re right. Now send me all your money and I’ll protect you. Honest!!!

  191. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    asoka-herself sez:
    “I can hold two opposing thoughts in my head at the same time.”
    soak, you’re going to have to trust me on this. You can’t hold ONE coherent thought in your head at the same time.

  192. asoka February 2, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    not mommy appear to be a blind worshiper of efficiency:

    Should read:
    Are you really this big of a FUCKTARD? Don’t you get the fact that when ANY organization is efficient there ends up being more resources available to further the chosen cause.

    To say that government may be well managed and that government may be efficient and economical still begs these questions: Well-managed for whom? Efficient for whom? To further what chosen cause?
    I don’t want efficient government that manages to put billions into bankers pockets, billions into defense (slaughter of innocents), billions into perpetuating injustice, billions to widen the gap between rich and poor…
    So far, under Bush and under Obama, I have seen too much efficient government for the wrong purposes.
    Use you noodle not mommy.
    Or, even better, read the United States Constitution. The founders of the country were not under the sway of corporate mindspeak, and did not use the words efficient or efficiency.

  193. Vlad Krandz February 2, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    As my old girlfriend said when I called her “Dear”: “Oh dear/deer, comparing me to large woodland animals”.
    Traditional men can sometimes charm liberal/leftist ladies. There was a famous case a few years ago in which a charming rogue of a Muslim Terrorist charmed his Communist Lady Lawyer into becoming an accomplice – a go between carrying messages to his group.

  194. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    “To say that government may be well managed and that government may be efficient and economical still begs these questions: Well-managed for whom? ”
    You are arguing POLICY. It is a separate issue. Efficiency does not care one whit about policy. Once policy is set it can be done efficiently or inefficiently. If you want to support inefficiency you go right ahead. Were you a government official you would probably be promoted for doing so.

  195. Vlad Krandz February 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Have you no romance in your soul at all? We need Kings and Queens, but good ones – not like the Obamas. Didn’t you dream of being a Princess when you were a girl? Or did you dream of carrying a AK47 and wearing a trench coat? Do you call your husband Comrade?

  196. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    “ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams will undergo heart surgery later this week in the United States.
    “He has gone to a renowned expert in the procedure that he needs to have done,” said Ms. Dunderdale, who will become acting premier while Mr. Williams is away for three to 12 weeks.
    Mr. Williams’ decision to leave Canada for the surgery has raised eyebrows over his apparent shunning of Canada’s health-care system.
    “It was never an option offered to him to have this procedure done in this province,” said Ms. Dunderdale, refusing to answer whether the procedure could be done elsewhere in Canada.”
    Full story here:
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2510700

  197. JED February 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Having a garden is wonderful if your suburban homeowner’s association will allow it. My neighbor complained to the HOA and nixed our pumpkin patch. I masked my herb garden amongst flowers of my butterfly garden behind the house. We’re out of that place…
    I have little hope that the government can fix this mess and think each of us will have to do our best changing our habits, practices and priorities.
    On teaching our kids — my 15 year old enjoys the humor, vocabulary and points made on this blog by JHK and others. Working on educating the next generation so they have a clue about the mess they’re inheriting!!!
    Louis Sullivan’s “Kindergarten Chats” written around 1900 is a good book. JHK’s thoughts parallel Sullivan’s but in different eras. (Sullivan — pre-automobile and suburbia) History repeats itself. Will anyone listen this time???

  198. not mommy February 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    HE WANTS TO BE YOUR “BACKDOOR MAN”
    “NEW YORK (Reuters.com) –The Obama administration’s plan to cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade relies heavily on so-called backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families.
    In the 2010 budget tabled by President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House wants to let billions of dollars in tax breaks expire by the end of the year — effectively a tax hike by stealth.
    While the administration is focusing its proposal on eliminating tax breaks for individuals who earn $250,000 a year or more, middle-class families will face a slew of these backdoor increases.”
    Full story here:
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100201/us/usreport_us_budget_backdoortaxes

  199. Vlad Krandz February 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Aye, Dune is relevant. As the olde poem says: “Galatian Girls will do it for pearls,
    And Arakeen for water.
    But if you want an all encompassing flame,
    Try a Caldinian Daughter.
    I have plenty of water…And food. Can’t wait for this nightmare called America to end. We the Free Men will then come into our own. We will hoist Ron Paul onto our shoulders and make him King. No, it wont be easy, but the Sadaukar will not be able to defeat our “desert power”.
    As another poster said, America is bad for people, both men and women. It makes men soft and weak, both in body and spirit. That’s one of the things that kept me out of the White Collar World – I didn’t want to associate with much less beocome one the these Metro-Sexuals. Now these people don’t control the higher levels of the business world, not yet anyway, but that whole thing is distasteful ethically. Truly as Society degenerates, the Elite and the Proles become more brutal, and the middle class more effete. The next step: the middle class dies and the Elite become more openly homosexual – as in Britain.
    Does this mitigate their brutality? Oh no, not at all. If anyone thinks that brutality and homosexuality can’t go toghether, you have alot to learn. Study ancient Rome and emperors like Caligula and Nero. Study the degenerative aspects of Early Nazism. Study the practices, which persisted for centuries, of British Boarding Schools. Watch those movies made about the Kray Brothers in England. Read domestic abuse statistics about Gays – particularly Lesbians. They have the higher rates than either Homosexuals or Straights. Ladies, watch out for those Fairy Hardcastles. Get a real man not a brutal imitation.

  200. Cash February 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Asoka You say re government
    “Well-managed for whom? Efficient for whom? To further what chosen cause?”
    Sometimes you ask really good questions. For whom? Wall Street. Look at this latest financial fiasco and look at how much money got drained away by those bullshit artists. They work under the protective umbrella of govt. For all of Obama’s fulminations about Wall Street’s excesses, Wall Streeters all know it’s just an act.
    And defence. How much money gets burned? A 1.5 million man army, nukes galore. For what? For defence companies. It’s useless, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a complete fubar, Obama declared defeat and is getting out.
    The Golden Rule: he who has the gold makes the rules.

  201. insanity shelter February 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    >Turkle gets it. Asoka, too.
    Asoka gets his ears pinned back and exposed as a sound bite thinker earlier in this thread, doesn’t even offer an attempt at defending himself, and you think he “gets it”.
    With as much craziness we see right here on JHKs site, why should we even be surprised that the average sheep are clueless.

  202. wagelaborer February 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    How do you get that I am a fan of big government?
    Certainly not from my post. I called for an end to Homeland Oppression, most of the military, and the bailouts.
    I could add to that the prison industrial complex, and the drug wars.
    I want the government to stay out of my body and I want it to quit killing other people.
    How do you get from that that I am a fan of big government?

  203. Laura Louzader February 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Martin, I cannot believe that the citizen of a Republic founded on the premise of self-government and ownership of the government by its citizens can POSSIBLY assert that a monarch who merely inherited her position and did nothing to earn it, can possibly outrank the legitimately elected Head of a democratic republic such as ours.
    As a thorough believer in the principals upon which our republic was founded, I cannot possibly recognize the legitimacy of a monarchy based on inherited privilege, and founded only on the ability to apply brute force. It makes me CRINGE to witness our leader bowing to a foreign head of state, whether elected, or by inheritance.
    I therefore place any legitimately elected leader of any Republic ahead of anyone who inherited his position, and I am deeply offended when my country’s elected leader pays obeisance to a hereditary monarch….. or any other head of state, for that matter.
    And, since our Republic is a secular nation in its inception and does not officially recognize the power of the Roman Church or any other, NO religious figure outranks our President or any other head of state.

  204. wagelaborer February 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    No. I didn’t dream of being a princess. Give me a break.
    But I am descended from Charles 1 and 2. Maybe that’s why I’m bitter about the beheadings. (Not).

  205. Grouchy Old Girl February 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I can see it’s time to stop reading the new comments. Already the crazies have taken over and started their weekly fights with each other, demonstrating again the distressing lack of knowledge, analysis, and tolerance that seems to prevail everywhere.
    Is serious discussion of the issues too complicated for you knuckleheads? Does it make your brains hurt? Or is it just not as much fun as slagging off anyone who disagrees?
    Either way you have again spoiled what could have been a good debate/discussion of what JHK wrote. Nothing of value here, thanks to you nutbars.

  206. Martin Hayes February 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I know, Laura, and I sympathize.

  207. Qshtik February 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    “How do you get that I am a fan of big government?”
    =======================
    You are a socialist. I equate socialism with big government — belief in the government’s ability to set and accomplish social goals better than individuals acting on their own behalf.
    If your dream to eliminate government involvement in our lives per your wish-list (most of which I agree with, not that that’s relevant) were to come true, what would you do with the money “saved?” That is the acid test.

  208. Cash February 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Here is something bad that happened to someone close to me that our supposedly crappy Canuck health care system fixed quite nicely:
    Follow the timeline:
    Aug 18/09: routine colonoscopy reveals growth in colon, growth could not be removed, biopsy is taken
    Sep 4/09: meeting with gastroenterologist: growth shows high grade dysplasia, very dangerous, surgery is required to remove ascending colon,
    Sep 25/09: surgery takes place: laparoscopic right side hemicolectomy ie 2 inches of small intestine plus 12 inches of colon taken out via small abdominal incisions
    Sep 29/09: hospital stay finished
    Oct 1/09: some discharge from wound, visit to family physician, diagnosed mild wound infection
    Oct 2 to Nov 2/09: physician arranged for nurse to come to apartment every day at approx 3pm to clean and dress wound, wound fully heals
    Oct 13/09: meeting with surgeon, pathology reports received, growth not cancerous, no cancer in lymph nodes
    Nov 13/09: final meeting with surgeon, no problems
    Wait time from examination to surgery: 5 weeks
    Out of pocket cost to patient: ZERO
    cost was covered by provincial health care plan every resident pays for in provincial taxes
    the US should consider such a plan

  209. Cash February 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Don’t be so grouchy. OK it can be rambunctious but there are some nuggets of insight. We’re no high-forehead intellectuals but we’re no better/no worse than the average. Why don’t you write something interesting or perceptive and see what happens.

  210. wagelaborer February 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    That’s not what socialism is to me. It is the ownership of the means of production by the people themselves, and controlled by the workers.
    It is deciding what we as a society need, and then dividing up the work necessary to provide those things.
    Money, to me, is a means of exchange. It should equal the hours of labor that people put into society.
    It shouldn’t be something of value in itself, to hoard or speculate with. So there would be no “savings” to redirect if we produced for use instead of profit.
    I think that everyone capable of working should work. And I don’t think that anyone should be left out of society’s abundance, no matter how personally objectionable I may find them.
    I think that much of labor that is considered valueless today, like childrearing, is important work for society and should be considered as such.
    I think that work which is overpaid in this society, like banking and insurance, would would not be needed in a better society.
    I see no need for an oppressive government listening to my phone calls and making me show my papers to enter its buildings.
    But I think that people are basically good, so I think that a cooperative society can work.

  211. asia February 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    JIM:
    From The Radio!:
    McCains got his ‘100 worst economic stimulus projects':
    1…solar powered shopping center
    2…130 million $ building in Oregon..its oregons biggest ES job. re doing a building so itll be ‘green’.
    ‘maybe the window washers can trim the vines’!
    They tried a ‘green building’ before at under a million $ and it failed.

  212. asoka February 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    belief in the government’s ability to set and accomplish social goals better than individuals acting on their own behalf.
    Of course the government can combine collective resources (tax revenue) and accomplish social goals better than individuals. That is just common sense.
    Or do you, as an individual, think you can monitor food safety, to give just one example? Or, you, as an individual, can whup Saddam Hussein’s ass in Iraq? Or create a national grid for smart energy? Etc.
    Get real, Qshtik. Your anti-socialist ideology is interfering with common sense.
    Examples we have of socialism include the military and Veteran’s Administration and Medicare. Socialism works.

  213. asoka February 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    The military is complete socialism. The own your ass… you are the means of production (war being the product).
    The military is complete mommy government. You are government controlled and the government provides you with everything: a haircut, your toothbrush, a bed, a pillow, all of your clothing, all of your food, training, transportation, etc.
    Mommy military tells you what time to go to bed and what time to get up. Complete government control. Complete dependency on mommy government. Complete ownership of the means of production: you! Socialism.

  214. asoka February 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Wagelaborer, I disagree a bit about socialism. You say:

    [Socialism] is the ownership of the means of production by the people themselves, and controlled by the workers.

    You are confusing two things.
    Socialism is state ownership of the means of production.
    Communism is ownership of the means of production by the people themselves.
    I detest socialism; I prefer local control by the local community (democratic communism).

  215. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Nice that Mommy was there at Normandy.

  216. mean dovey cooledge February 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    i’ve been reading here for a year now and this is my first comment. because of this site, and others, i have already shifted my way of living. i am really glad for it too. thanks to everyone in here who offered useful advice on self-sufficiency and sustainability.
    I live on a rural patch of land with a very clean rushing creek running out of the big frog wilderness. i started my first food garden and was shocked at how abundant the harvest was in spite of my mistakes. (note: plant less zucchini next year) ive got the chickens and my next goal is seeing if i can stock a fast moving creek with trout and convince them to stay with me! making a connection with what i eat has changed how i eat in a pretty significant way.
    i think what i want to say is i see a growing community of people like me who have turned away from the former economy and are embracing a more chill, low key life, with less stuff, more free time and no debt. my community is full of farmers, both neophytes like myself, and old school pros, some of which i met at the farmers markets last summer. i feel positive. i think theres more and more people who want to support local economies and avoid big box stores that ship our dollars out of the community and offer only a narrow choice of cheap junk.
    i dont know what to do about the cars/peak oil…rural life means miles from walking to a store of any kind..so jim’s walkable community is not going to happen here..or not anytime soon.
    i wish we could find ways to sell the beauty of a smaller economy based on real things with real value instead of just writing people off as yeast people who only live to purchase salad shooters and granite counter tops (blast from the past!)
    a friend said to me: you may not be able to change the world, but you CAN change your world. thats my game plan.
    thanks again jim, and all the commenters, for this weekly fun read. i look forward to it every monday.
    mean dovey cooledge (the now-deceased learning curve hen)

  217. messianicdruid February 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    “Knowing the sources as [you believe you] do…” based on a charge of “religious elitism” could only be convincing if I were misdirecting or misinforming you so as to profit by your ignorance or subseviance. If you cannot receive a gift, leave it for another.
    To those who are open to teaching [meekness], more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not [will not be] listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.

  218. asoka February 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    workingman1 said:

    Nice that Mommy was there at Normandy.

    My father was there. It was not a nice day for mommy military.
    Total allied casualties on D-Day are estimated at 10,000, including 2,500 dead.
    A pretty stupid, INEFFICIENT, and unnecessary day.
    People ordered to murder other people, and everyone stupidly following orders, like sheep led to slaughter. Nothing nice about it.

  219. asoka February 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Mean Dovey Coolege said:
    embracing a more chill, low key life, with less stuff, more free time and no debt.
    ================
    You nailed it. Welcome to CFN.
    Simple living and permaculture (and, for me, as a Christian roots pacifist, no guns). Off-the-grid if possible with passive solar adobe housing.

  220. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Should they have stayed in England?

  221. george February 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    The cultivation of cash crops like rice, sugar cane and tobacco were once the backbone of the Haitian economy. Today, the island nation imports almost all of it’s food and prosperous farms have been replaced by subsistence farming as all traces of Haiti’s productive agricultural economy has vanished. Is there a lesson for us in Haiti’s history?

  222. Martin Hayes February 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Oops. Dmitry Orlov doesn’t think much of JHK’s Big Slide.

  223. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    A military is necessary.
    A police force is necessary.
    I wished we lived in the world of ku-bye-ya.
    We don’t.

  224. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:
    154,000,000 employed Americans
    12 trillion dollars owed by the 154,000,000
    Your share-if you work– $77,667.89 and growing…
    A large percentage is owed to China and Japan.
    Doesn’t it seem insane to borrow and spend more in hope of getting out of this mess. Math principles don’t change no matter how big the numbers… Someone explain please.

  225. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    one other thing–
    the interest on this debt is
    253 billion
    6 times more than we spend on EDUCATION.
    Dumb and in Debt is no way to go through life.

  226. turkle February 2, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    “That is probably because you don’t pay income tax.”
    You’re a twit. Of course, I pay federal income tax.

  227. Qshtik February 2, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    To those who are open to teaching [meekness], more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not [will not be] listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.
    ==========================
    Well how didactic of you to inform me. Doesn’t the above require quotes and attribution though? Or did it come straight off the top of your head?
    The elitism charge has nothing to do with “misdirecting or misinforming.” It has to do with an attitude made evident by the word “study.” Where we clods simply kick back and read our “so yesterday” lowly drivel(possibly even with a muted TV on), you and Abbey, presumably, are hunched over thick, well-worn tomes — like rabbinical students, STUDYING.

  228. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    the 12 trillion will be $20 trillion in 10 years.
    The interest alone will be larger than the entire
    defense budget.
    These are sobering numbers, get along little doggies it is coming out of your hide…

  229. turkle February 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    “Should they have stayed in England?”
    I agree with Workingman on this one. Collectively, the Allies saved Europe from the Nazis, certainly one of the most abhorrent political organizations to ever exist. And the Normandy invasion made sure that Stalin wasn’t able to push through all the way to Paris like Alexander Great, as he wished. Unless you would consider it acceptable for the whole of Europe to be left to the whims of Hitler and/or Stalin, the D-Day invasion was a necessary evil.

  230. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Get ready to pay more Turkle

  231. asoka February 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Workingman1’s mantra says:

    A military is necessary.
    A police force is necessary.
    I wished we lived in the world of ku-bye-ya.
    We don’t.

    You don’t really wish we lived in a world of kumbaya. You don’t even believe such a world is possible.
    Although you don’t live in the world of kumbaya, I do… and have for six decades. Mine is a very pleasant and happy world. And it is not from ignorance of the world that I know kumbaya is possible.
    I have traveled around the world (37 countries) and have lived over a decade in the third world, where the monthly income is less than US$100. My experience of kumbaya is multinational.
    Militaries exist to break things and kill people. A military is not necessary.
    A police force is necessary, to preserve life and to keep the peace.
    But, as you drive your truck, keep on repeating your mantra since that is what you deeply believe.

  232. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Wow…
    I am sure you have some crime where you live, and you appreciate a sense of order and fair play.
    Where is this citidal of perfection?

  233. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    If you were a French woman in 1942, you would appreciated seeing some Yanks :) I can hear your words now—“No go away militaries are not necessary!”

  234. turkle February 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Workingman,
    I understand people have their own situations involving mortgages and family. I am single, make plenty of money, do not have a family, and I rent. I save a decent amount of money every month. I can afford to pay a bit more in taxes. I understand that different people have their own situations and that paying more money to the government is not anything that anyone enjoys (ever).
    However, some level of reasonable taxation is a necessary part of living in a society. You are not a cowboy on the western plains. It is not 1878. There is a HUGE amount of shared infrastructure and services run by the government. Unfortunately, instead of paying now, we do what we want and decide to “pay later” by running gigantic deficits.
    In Europe, the tax rates are close to 50% for funding government-run health care and other entitlement programs. We run not-so-different social entitlement systems on a far lesser level of taxation.
    So we, as a society, need to decide if we’re going to provide these things for people and make the tax rates appropriate to fund them, or if we will run a more minimalistic government with lower tax rates. The current system is the worst of both worlds, as it couples a liberal nanny state with the conservative ideology of “no new taxes”. This is a recipe for the fiscal shit storm we are in right now.
    I suspect that the solution lies somewhere in the middle. Most entitlement programs are not going anywhere, but they need to be managed more efficiently, particularly Medicare. The primary problem is not the 50% that pays “no taxes” (they are the poor who have very little money to pay in taxes anyways….fucking duh!). No, it is the absolutely HUGE, ballooning future costs of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. We have decided, collectively, that we want these programs. Both are very popular. Yet we refuse to make the necessary tax hikes to actually pay it. That’s called having your cake and eating it, too, and it doesn’t work so good, in life as in the political realm.

  235. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Even better if you were a German woman toward the end of the war you would have done everything in your power to meet up with the Yanks rather than the Russian military. Those evil Americans would have treated you a bit better.

  236. turkle February 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    There is so much hypocrisy emanating from the TEA Bagger crowd these days.
    The government is “bloated and inefficient” when it provides entitlements to others, but it is fine and dandy when Medicare pays for mom and dad’s nursing home, 10 prescriptions, and hip replacement bills.
    Here’s a suggestion if you want to put your money where your mouth is. Tell your parents to pay for their own medical bills, instead of using Medicare. Help them out if they need it. Then you can participate in the beautiful capitalistic medical system by spending all your disposable income there.
    No? What’s the alternative?
    Government health care for the elderly.
    How do we fund that?
    Taxes.
    And around and round we go….

  237. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    I don’t disagree with you.
    I just don’t think the system is sustainable.
    Look at the numbers.
    We will be forced to not have these programs.
    Those is power know that, I think…
    The math doesn’t lie, unless those giving us the figures are lying.

  238. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    We borrow more from China and Japan.
    Then we promise to pay them back.
    That is how we fund that…
    Truly a ponzi scheme.

  239. asoka February 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    A world without war is possible.






    “We don’t need no more trouble!”

  240. turkle February 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    not mommy,
    You continue to blather on about government inefficiency like a broken record, yet people in the US spend more on health care than in every other country on the planet. Yet we are no where near #1 in terms of outcomes. If capitalism was so much more efficient, shouldn’t the US health care system be far LESS expensive than government-run programs and produce better outcomes? Surprise, it doesn’t.
    People with universal health coverage in advanced countries generally pay much less overall and have better overall outcomes. And these are almost 100% government run.
    Your view of government is colored by the fact that you’re an angry, paranoid, distrustful moron. So sorry about that.

  241. asoka February 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    turkle, the hypocrisy is not just workingman1 and the teabaggers. Conservatives and Republicans of all stripes buy into the idea that taxes should be cut and government should be reduced, until it is small enough to be drowned in a bathtub (Grover Norquist).

    Tom gets up at 6:00 AM to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot with good, clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.
    He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.
    All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan. Because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Tom gets it too.
    He prepares his morning breakfast — bacon and eggs this day. Tom’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.
    Tom takes his morning shower, reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount that is contains because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and the breakdown of its contents.
    Tom dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree-hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.
    He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
    Tom begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards.
    Tom’s employer meets these standards because Tom’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Tom is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get worker’s compensation or an unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home to temporary misfortune.
    It’s noon time. Tom needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Tom’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some liberal wanted to protect Tom’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.
    Tom has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Tom and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.
    Tom is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards.
    He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.
    The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification (those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark).
    Tom is happy to see his dad, who is now retired. Tom’s dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Tom wouldn’t have to.
    After his visit with dad, Tom gets back in his car for the ride home. He turns on a radio talk show. The host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t tell Tom that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Tom enjoys throughout his day.
    Tom agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives.
    After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

  242. turkle February 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Workingman,
    Given that the US government currently runs large budget deficits, tax rates are obviously too low. We don’t pay fully for what we use, and like you say, we externalize a lot of debt.
    Of course, I am for better efficiency and accountability from government programs! But making up for the levels of annual deficit that the government produces ONLY with increased efficiency and cuts is quite unrealistic. Cutting 30% from government budgets would be a complete bloodbath, and it would crash the economy.
    Furthermore, what makes you think that drastic cuts will necessarily save society’s dollars in the long run?
    For instance, Johnny Ghetto’s after school program is eliminated. So John ends up in a street gang and, shortly thereafter, prison. Good job, you just cost the taxpayers more money in the long run to house Johnny for his 30 year three-strikes sentence instead of paying for a bit of after school tutoring.
    Of course, that’s a fairly contrived example. But I use it to show that government programs exist for various legitimate reasons. It isn’t all just bloat and inefficiency, like the simple-minded TEA Baggers would have you believe.

  243. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    You make alot of assumptions about what people think.
    I am just pointing to 12 trillion dollars that the American Taxpayer owes- 20 trillion in 10 more years. I am not a republican.
    All sane rational points:
    All programs will have to be cut.
    Taxes will go up.
    We need to stop spending.
    Be more open minded about people who drive trucks.

  244. asoka February 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    workingman1 said:

    Wow…
    I am sure you have some crime where you live, and you appreciate a sense of order and fair play.
    Where is this citidal of perfection?

    Did you even read what I said? Here it is again:

    A police force is necessary, to preserve life and to keep the peace.

  245. CaptSpaulding February 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Hi Turkle, you’re right about the pissant being angry, paranoid, etc. I’ve never seen anything but negativism and boorish behaviour come from him since I started reading this blog. With only his comments here to judge by, he seems to live a negative, joyless life. In a lot of ways, I feel sorry for him, and I thank my lucky stars that my life isn’t as miserable as his appears to be. Regards to you, The Captain

  246. DeeJones February 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Observer: Don’t forget to plant chard, its great. It sounds like you live in Sonoma Co. If you do your research, and plant the right things, you will have a veritable cornucopia of produce. Now, learn to can things so you can enjoy them in the winter and spring.
    “Visitor1034 | February 2, 2010 10:23 AM | Reply
    I live in the pacific northwest but have been living here in a third-word country for the past few months, where I periodically come to visit family. Anyone concerned with a drop in “standard of living” would do well to leave the US for a while and see how the rest of the world lives, which is with surprising grace, humor and affection,”
    I hear you man, just moved to Central America from Nor Cal. Its great here.

  247. turkle February 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    “I hear you man, just moved to Central America from Nor Cal. Its great here.”
    What do you like about it down there?

  248. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Turkle your financial life is going well.
    Lets say you decide to take out a very large mortgage of a new home(Bank of China),
    a heafty luxury car loan(Bank of Japan), go on a few really great vacations thanks to mastercard.
    Say you make $100K
    Your once comfortable frugal life goes to a life working to pay for these debts.
    Is the solution to spend more money because you love the lifestyle, and that is what you have become use to.
    Well my neighbor the Jones(Europeans) they live the same way. Meanwhile, you don’t save anything to maybe buy an investment property, you are tapped out on the mortgage.
    Debt crushes people just the way it crushes countries.
    Simple point. Complicated doesn’t make you special when it comes to finance. Simple 8th grade math will do…

  249. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    Just as the American Military in Europe did in the 1940’s.
    Just on a larger scale than your police force where you reside…

  250. turkle February 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    I look at the predicament of the US government as guns versus butter issue. We have all the guns with our out-sized military, but Americans want all the tasty butter, too. We can’t afford both. In Europe, they don’t buy many guns, so they have lots more butter. If the United States drastically scaled back its military budget, then more money could be spent on social programs. Having both extensive social programs and the world’s best military, like we do now, has resulted in multi-trillion dollar ballooning deficits. It isn’t sustainable in the long run. We’ll have to decide between one or the other.

  251. DeeJones February 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    You know, I was just reading something that reminded me on how we all got into this mess in the first place: The craze in business for MBA’s (Mighty Big Assholes)>
    Anyway, it started in the 80’s under Raygun when businesses started the whole outsourcing thing, but not because the products could not be made here at a profit, they were, but they were greedy and wanted bigger profits, which of course all went to those at the top.
    Meanwhile, a person with a good Union job was out of work and had to take a lower paying job. This was also the big start of the two-earner household, both adults in the home had to take jobs to replace the good paying Union jobs, and if they were lucky, they might have made a little more money. But the majority were losing income.
    So those at the top decided to keep the masses pacified, to open the credit card spigots en mass.
    Pretty soon everyone with a pulse had plastic in thier wallets, ofter many pieces of plastic. And so they could make up for the lost income with credit, which was easier and easier to get.
    But after awhile those at the top noticed that everyone was maxing out their cards. Viola, here comes the HELIOC to the rescue. Now Joe & Jane Sixpaq could pay off their CC’s and get even more money from the ATM that their home became. But not only did J&J do just that, they also re-Maxed out the plastic again.
    Hmmmm…. but to keep this game a-going, real estate values had to keep increasing. And homes had to keep selling.
    Well, we all know where this all ended, sometime in the mid-2000’s, the bubble burst.
    Now our credit is trashed. Whats going to happen next? TPTB either have to create a new bubble, or let the whole system collapse.
    So what new bubble is coming up? Could it be the Dreaded Inflation Monster? Who knows, who cares?
    Tune in next week, or month, or year for the
    Bubble of our Lives. Complete with Bubble Muzak by the Late Great Lawrece Welk.

  252. Workingman1 February 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Now you are talking sense.
    Less guns
    Less butter
    Not because we want it that way, just because reality of our situation.

  253. asoka February 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    So what new bubble is coming up? Could it be the Dreaded Inflation Monster? Who knows, who cares?
    ==============
    I don’t care. I’ve live through so much hype already, and I’ve lived in the third world in circumstances where outwardly people were poor but inwardly they were happy, so the Long Emergency is not a scary prospect. Welcome, actually.
    As for the Dreaded Inflation Monster… been there, done that. Bought a house in the 70’s with a mortgage at 19% interest. Ho hum.
    Deficits increase and people scream “the sky is falling”. Then deficits go down and people scream again. Unemployment goes up, unemployment goes down. Debt goes up and debt goes down. People always screaming, “but this time it’s different… this time it’s TSHTF.”
    Life goes on. Get a grip, people.

  254. asoka February 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Just as the American Military in Europe did in the 1940’s.
    Just on a larger scale than your police force where you reside…

    Our military doesn’t work anymore in a world of asymmetrical warfare. Ten years in Vietnam… lost that war. Communists are in power. World did not come to an end. Dominoes did not fall all the way to the USA as the scare mongerers promised.
    Ten years in the Middle East… lost that war. Taliban stronger than ever. Al Qaeda in sixty countries and nothing our military could do to prevent the biggest terrorist attack on American soil in USA history on Bush’s watch.
    Get rid of the goddamn military and use the money to invest in strengthening our country on the home front.
    Abolish the military, like Costa Rica did, and invest in a national police force… and health… and education… and energy… and mass transportation… and manufacturing, etc.
    Our military empire is killing us, pissing off the rest of the world, and is not making us safer. Just the opposite. Every drone bomb creates more terrorists than it kills.

  255. DeeJones February 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    “Sovereign default is a threat throughout Europe and especially in Greece and the United Kingdom. There are signs that the U.S. economy has started to implode. I will join my good friend, the brilliant James Howard Kunstler, in predicting a DOW at 4,000 in 2010.” Michael Ruppert, of From the Wilderness
    Wow, didn’t know they were buddies. I thought Jimmy always put Mike in with the “conspiracy freaks”.
    Live & Learn.

  256. messianicdruid February 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    “Where we clods simply kick back and read our “so yesterday” lowly drivel (possibly even with a muted TV on), you and Abbey, presumably, are hunched over thick, well-worn tomes — like rabbinical students, STUDYING.”
    This is not my assessment of this blog, the commentators or it’s readers. Your presumption is in judging motives {even abilities} based, too often, on a single word {sometimes a single jot or tittle}. Mine is in ascribing my own inclinations to others {but never to all}. I often find myself studying CFN stuff.

  257. asoka February 3, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (Buffy Sainte Marie)
    He is five foot two,
    and he’s six feet four,
    he fights with missiles and with spears,
    he is all of thirty-one,
    and he’s only a seventeen,
    ‘s been a soldier for thousands years.
    He’s a Catholic, a Hindu,
    an atheist, A Chein,
    A Buddhist, a Baptist and a Jew,
    and he knows, he shouldn’t kill,
    and he knows, he always will,
    care for me, my friend, and I will care for you.
    And he’s fighting for Canada,
    he’s fighting for France,
    he’s fighting for the USA
    and he’s fighting for the Russians,
    he’s fighting for Japan,
    and he thinks we put an end to war this way.
    And he’s fighting for democracy,
    he’s fighting for the Reds,
    he says it’s for the peace of all,
    he’s the one who must decide,
    who’s to live and who’s to die,
    and he never sees the writing on the wall.
    And without him, how would Hitler
    kill the people at Dachau,

    without him Cesar would have stood alone,
    he’s the one, who gives his body
    as a weapon of the war,
    and without him always killing cant gho on.
    He’s the universal soldier,
    and he really is to blame,
    his orders came from far away, no more,
    they came from here and there,
    and you and me ain’t brothers,
    can’t you see,
    this is not the way we put an end to war.

  258. asoka February 3, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    If you were a French woman in 1942, you would appreciated seeing some Yanks :) I can hear your words now—“No go away militaries are not necessary!”

    From D-day – The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor (Viking)

    American military authorities had taken over the Petit Palais and erected a large sign announcing the distribution of free condoms to US troops. In Pigalle, rapidly dubbed “Pig Alley” by GIs, French prostitutes were coping with more than 10,000 men a day. The French were also deeply shocked to see US soldiers lying drunk on the pavements of the Place Vendôme. The contrast with off-duty German troops, who had been forbidden even to smoke in the street, could hardly have been greater.

    War is legalized murder. War is terrorism. And, inevitably, some American soldiers engage in rape… in Iraq, in France, in Vietnam, in Okinawa, etc.

  259. anglo February 3, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    May lighten things up a little :
    In West London, a guy sees a sign in front of a house: “Talking Dog for Sale.”
    He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard.
    The guy goes into the backyard and sees a black Labrador just sitting there.
    “You talk?” he asks.
    “Yep,” the Lab replies.
    “So, what’s your story?”
    The Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I
    wanted to help the government, so I told the secret service about my gift, and in no
    time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with
    spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.
    I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. The jetting
    around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger and I
    wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some
    undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and
    listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a
    batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.”
    The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.
    The owner says, “Ten pounds.”
    The guy says, “This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him, so cheap?”
    The owner replies, “He’s a liar. He didn’t do any of that stuff.”

  260. Workingman1 February 3, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Hummm.
    Hitlter or the freedom the French have now.
    Thanks to brave men from different nations that defeated the Germans in WWI and WW2. They were terrorist? You are ridiculous.
    Was Hilter not a madman that had to be stopped.
    Do you just sit crossed legged and meditate reality of truly bad people away…
    Maybe in Kum-bye-Ya Land where you dwell.
    What ever you are smoking must be potent.

  261. Workingman1 February 3, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    I am not for the wars in Afganistan or Iraq.
    But we need a military for self-defense.
    It comes back to balance and common sense of what we need, and what we can afford.
    Currently 12 trillion dollars of crushing debt doesn’t leave alot of options except contraction of all services, more taxes to pay the debt off.
    Namaste

  262. dale February 3, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Thanks for providing one post worth reading in the daily screamfest. Kudos to you.

  263. diogen February 3, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    “ownership of the means of production by the people themselves, and controlled by the workers.”
    Wage, I understand your ideas regarding socialism come from a passion for a more just economic system, but let’s do a thought experiment:
    OK, the “workers” (does that include all employees?) now own the enterprise (how did they get it? expropriation?). Now, not all workers are equal. Some will run into difficulties (bad luck in Vegas, health problems, family problems, etc.) and will want to unload their shares in the enterprise. Other workers will get MBA’s and become managers. Yet others will get into political squabbles and will be ostracized. Many possibilites, same result — they will offer their shares to other workers. Gradually some workers will be more equal than others. many of them will have higher desires for wealth and power, and the most capable and/or ruthless will end up with the control. End of utopia.
    This can play out in many different ways. The Soviet Union is just one possibility of a failure, a very sobering one for anyone thinking of wide-ranging societal reforms.
    Capitalism is probably as good as it gets when you take Human Nature into consideration, at least in terms for a POTENTIAL system of fairness. Well-regulated Capitalism may be the only realistic option, just look at the Scandinavian versions of capitalism. Human rights begin with property rights, any society abolishing property rights does not stop there, soon other human rights are discarded un the banner of expediency and common good.
    Regulation introduces discipline, and protects those who play by the rules from those who have predatorial instincts. Of course, those who are prevented by regulation from taking advantage of the system don’t like it, and are often able to find a demagogue who will get the massess to see regulation as evil… we know this story very well.

  264. Tanner Brockwell February 3, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    in my recent poem ‘a soulless estate’ I wrote
    “the dark frames /
    will in weather /
    shift into the collapse /
    of follies and frivolities /
    gone but for gray foundation”
    I think that the writing is on the wall and it’s only a slow motion train wreck…

  265. Joe February 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    First!

  266. asoka February 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Workingman1 said:

    “Thanks to brave men from different nations that defeated the Germans in WWI and WW2. They were terrorist? You are ridiculous.”

    OK, I’m going to ignore the part about me being ridiculous. But, if you want to re-fight WWII… bring it on!
    You seem to have drunk the Kool-aid that WWII was The Good War, the Justified War, the Necessary War, like it was really not such a bad thing after all, when the truth is WWII was stupid and sadistic.
    About the French you keep talking about. The French suffered more from bombing by their American and British ‘liberators’ than from their German invaders.
    WWII specialized in ruthless destruction through air bombardment — especially area raids which were indiscriminate in that no specific target was aimed at. The assault on dwellings ranks as one of the great horrors of the war.
    When I say war is terrorism I am not being ridiculous. Terror and obliteration air raids were considered successful almost in proportion to the number of people who lost their homes.
    The cost of WWII in money terms was $4 trillion (in then-current dollars), but that seems OK with you, since it was a “necessary” war, right?
    The almost unspoken of cost, besides lives and money, is the moral cost exacted from America’s befriending the Soviet Union.
    As a human charnel house, the Soviet Union was indistinguishable from Nazi Germany. Joseph Stalin was responsible for a minimum of 20 million deaths resulting from the terror famine in the Ukraine, the purges, and the Gulag.
    By becoming Stalin’s ally, the United States gave Stalin a respectability he never could have earned, provided military assistance that may have saved his regime, and enabled his army to occupy half of Europe for 45 years.
    I can imagine folks in Eastern Europe who were not free in 1939 waking up after VE-Day (May 8, 1945) and asking, “What the fuck was that all about… we still are not free.”
    Namaste.

  267. Cupid Stunt February 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Interesting developments in the energy industry in the last week as reported in the UK newspapers. Firstly BP announces that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of gas baring shales in the US is a “game changer” that will satisfy the US gas needs at the current levels of consumption for another century. This would suggest at least a partial postponement of the Long Emergency. The drilling has caused environmental concerns over the potential pollution of ground water, but BP argues that at a mile deep there is no problem.
    …and in the same week Shell takes a completely different line. It expects its profits to decline by 40% this year and has decided to invest massively in biofuels (Brazilian Sugar Cane) if my understanding is correct.
    The interesting point for me is that two oil majors should take almost diametrically opposed views on what the energy future holds, or are they complementary? Are both overstaed?
    …and how will everything play out with China. Almost everything we touch in the West has been made by China. If the Chinese wake up one morning an decide that promissory notes denominated in Western Currencies are not worth wiping their bottoms on, then where will that leave us?

  268. diogen February 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Headless said:
    “Part III (Please feel free to fill in the blanks):
    People eat less… ”
    OK.
    -Incidence of diabetes goes down
    -Obesity and other chronic illness are reduced
    -As health improves, healthcare expenditures
    decline
    -Frankefood and industrial food corporations
    decline
    -People grow more food, don’t watch as much TV
    -Reduced TV viewership causes a collapse of commercialism
    -People are healthier AND happier
    This is within reach :)
    Also, in response to reduced mobility by car, perhaps we’ll get walkable and bikeable city streets and public transport.
    I know it’s difficult to be optimistic, but we have to be able to imagine desireable outcomes before we can work toward them, fellow Kunstler readers.

  269. Cupid Stunt February 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I know that it is off message but isn’t it interesting what the Chilcot Enquiry is throwing up in the UK. Probably the biggest jaw dropper of the week was the revelation that the inquest findings of the British Government scientist, Dr David Kelly, who knew that there was no WMD in Iraq and “committed suicide” in 2004, shortly after the invasion, has had an Official Secrecy order applied so the information will not be available to the public for 70 YEARS after his death. There is only one interpretation that I can see. So much for democracy.

  270. dale February 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Interesting comments regarding NG production. That’s something which I have aluded to here in the past, but usually to a lot of hazing from the doomer crowd.
    While I tend to think we will paddle harder to stay in one place, regarding meeting our energy needs, I’ve always suspected the benefits of technology are not over as of yet.

  271. Cash February 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Asoka,
    If you lived in the Americas and had an ocean between you and the German and Japanese war machines you could close your eyes and say it’s just another foreign war, nothing to do with us.
    But that wasn’t an option if you lived in Poland, Russia or China and German and Japanese soldiers were killing your family, friends and neighbours daily (especially Jews) on an industrial scale.
    Nobody disagrees with you that war is a monumental evil but sometimes people are faced with monumental evil and have to act. So to me, workingman and turkle are right, you need a fighting force, you have to be practical.
    But I agree with your points about massive waste in military spending. A much smaller, less expensive military would suffice.

  272. diogen February 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    “Western Currencies are not worth wiping their bottoms on, then where will that leave us?”
    Let’s see… the return of manufacturing to the U.S., re-employment and re-training of massess of American workers, drastically reduced energy waste of transporting finished goods from China, a new life for dying American towns and cities…

  273. Qshtik February 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    “Western Currencies are not worth wiping their bottoms on”
    ==========================
    Hmmm, interesting perspective Styoopid Cunt. I always think of the ass as being wiped with the paper but you’ve got it the other way around.

  274. Qshtik February 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    “….not over as of yet.”
    =====================
    Suggested wording from Strunk and White:
    “…..not over yet.”

  275. diogen February 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Q, the poster’s name is Cupid Stunt. Usually it’s not like you to insult other posters, especially for no reason, and especially in such a juvenile way…

  276. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    asoka, I don’t want to get into a word definition argument, so I’ll just quote Webster-
    socialism: “the theory or system of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community rather than by private individuals, with all members of society or the community sharing in the work and the products”
    You can redefine all you want, calling the military and the Soviet Union socialist, but calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
    Anyway, I don’t want to sound like a Christian, dismissing the Crusades and the Inquisition and the Holocaust as not “real” Christians, so I’ll drop it now.

  277. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Well, diogen, I agree that if you grow up under capitalism, you have a jaded view of human nature. As Marx said, the ideas of society are ever the ideas of the ruling class.
    After all, under capitalism, some live fabulously extravagant lives, while others live under bridges.
    A billion people are obese, while a billion more are starving. The environment is being stripped, polluted and destroyed for profit. Species are being driven extinct. What could possibly be improved?
    Shares in a corporation is a capitalist concept. Putting in labor and sharing the wealth does not involve stock ownership, so it can’t be sold.
    The idea that humans would consider it morally wrong to have some starve while others gorge is not part of our upbringing, I agree.
    I think that that is why there were more socialists in the 19th century in this country. People fresh from the farm or village were more appalled at capitalist values than those of us raised in them.
    So far, the attempts at socialist revolution have come from peasants, or recent peasants, not those of us taught from birth to submit to authority and live by selling ourselves to the rulers.
    I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
    Check this out.
    http://www.feasta.org/documents/feastareview/korten3.htm

  278. Qshtik February 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    “Usually it’s not like you to insult other posters”
    =================
    There was no insult intended. If anything it was praise/recognition of a clever nom de guerre. I suspect Cupid has been wondering when someone would “get it.”

  279. diogen February 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    “I suspect Cupid has been wondering when someone would “get it.”
    Perhaps you’re correct, although I woudn’t have thought so….

  280. diogen February 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    “some live fabulously extravagant lives, while others live under bridges. A billion people are obese, while a billion more are starving. ”
    All true, but this isn’t the outcome of Capitalism, all the ills you listed are an outcome of human nature. Virtually every attempt to build social structures based on any ideology to overcome the flaws of human nature have resulted in the rivers of blood (French/Russian revolutions, Nazi/Stalin terror, religious autocracies, etc.) One great advantage of Capitalism is that it’s not constrained by artificial theories and can change with time and with societal values. What do you think of Capitalism as practiced in Scandinavian countries, Switzerland?

  281. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Well, I think it is capitalism, not human nature, as I explained. You can call it human nature – that is part of your upbringing.
    Here’s a quote from the David Korten speech I linked to-
    “The distortions go far deeper, however, because an important portion of the output that GDP currently measures represents a decrease, rather than an increase, in our well-being. When children buy guns and cigarettes, the purchases count as an addition to GDP–though no sane person would argue that this increases our well-being. An oil spill is good, because it generates expensive clean up activities. When a married couple gets divorced, that too is good for GDP. It generates lawyer¹s fees and requires at least one of the parties to buy or rent and furnish a new home. Other portions of GDP represent defensive expenditures that attempt to offset the consequences of the social and environmental breakdown caused by harmful growth. Examples include expenditures for security devices and environmental clean up. GDP further distorts our reality by the fact that it is a measure of gross, rather than net domestic product. The depreciation or depletion of natural, social, human, institutional, and even human-made capital is not deducted. So when we cut down our forests or allow our physical infrastructure to deteriorate, there is no accounting for the loss of productive function. We count only the gain.
    Economists in the United States, the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia have adjusted reported GDP for their countries to arrive at figures for net beneficial economic output. In each instance they have concluded that in spite of substantial economic growth, the economy’s net contribution to well-being has actually been declining or stagnant over the past 15 to 20 years.
    Yet even the indices of net beneficial output are misleading as they do not reveal the extent to which we are depleting the underlying base of living capital on which all future productive activity depends. I know of no systematic effort to create a unified index giving us an overall measure of the state of our living capital. However, what measures we do have relating to the depletion of our forests, soils, fresh water, fisheries, the disruption of our climatic systems, the unravelling of our social fabric, the decline in educational standards, the loss of legitimacy of our major institutions, and the breakdown of family structures give us reason to believe that the rate of depletion of our living capital is even greater than the rate of decline in net beneficial output. This is represented by the sharply downward sloping line.
    The indicators of stock market performance and GDP our leaders rely on to assess the state of the economy create the illusion that their policies are making us rich–when in fact they are impoverishing us. Governments do not compile the indicators that reveal the truth of what is happening to our wealth and well-being. And the power holders, whose financial assets are growing, experience no problem. In a global economy their money gives them ready access the best of whatever real wealth remains. Those whom capitalism excludes have neither power nor voice.
    We are just beginning to wake up to the fact that the industrial era has in a mere century consumed a consequential portion of the natural capital it took evolution millions of years to create. It is now drawing down our social, institutional and human capital as well.
    As we watch the social and economic devastation that capitalism spreads in its wake across the globe the time has come for some serious truth telling, starting with the stark truth that unbridled capitalism is a disastrous failure.”
    Those fa market can function efficiently

  282. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I kind of agree with you, Asoka.
    Howard Zinn talked about how he bombed French villages, even when it was obvious that the war was already won. He said that the last time he bombed France they used a new product – napalm, the first time it was ever used.
    You know damn well they just wanted to see what it would do. There was no military reason for it.
    WWll was really about an international struggle over markets and land. America came out on top, but there were a lot of American capitalists who wanted to ally with Hitler, not fight him. It wasn’t easy for FDR to get the US into the war against Germany.
    Bush’s grandfathers were both investigated for their financial ties with Nazi Germany and its bankers.
    After WWll, the anti-fascists lost.
    The US set up the ratline, including letting Reinhard Gehlen into our new national security apparatus,(he also helped start the Green Berets) supported replacing Nazis back into power, used napalm on Greek freedom fighters, and allied with the Mafia against union organizers, thereby starting the heroin trade back up again (it was decimated by the war, and the number of addicts was almost none), and giving the new Wall Street populated CIA a funding source before its actual official starting date in 1947.
    http://greyfalcon.us/Reinhard%20Gehlen.htm
    Oh, yeah, the good war.

  283. diogen February 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    Wage, all the problems David Korten points out are indeed relevant, but they are not the result of capitalism. In fact, the Tragedy of the Commons results from the absense of private ownership of resources, which is the absense of capitalism. I don’t mean to condescend, but capitalism is essentially private ownership (capital, equipment, whatever), the right to sell your products in reasonably free markets, and individuals (not gov’t or other instituations or persons) owning the profits from their labor or investment. It’s this simple, and it’s a very beautiful, elegant and efficient way to organize economic and political life. Unregulated capitalism, along with coprorate capitalism, crony capitalism, etc… are just poor implementations of what’s basically a very good and humanistic idea: you the individual, not your masters, control your resources. Yes, it can be abused, but this is where the “well regulated” part comes in.
    With all the flaws of capitalism, can you point to any other *real* (existing now or at any time) socio-economic system which really works and is better at respecting the human rights and the Earth? Of all the -isms ever proposed or attempted, none improved on the good aspects of capitalism, don’t you think?

  284. thrill February 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    I loved that David Korten quote, and I think that anyone using their brain has figured out that all government reports are gamed to make the leaders and their agendas look better than they actually are. But telling the truth won’t get you elected, or re-elected. The politicians don’t have the exclusive on this either – corporations are even worse. All this data manipulation is why I think JHK’s basic premise of the stuff hitting the fan is a likely outcome, but his timing is way off.
    Think about it – the only reason for such an enormous amount of wizardry is exactly because things are fugly. Don’t like my generalities? Look at the most basic element of money – the NEXT crisis can be identified wherever there is the most leverage right NOW. The most leverage is found in the sovereign debt markets. Beautiful, just beautiful…. elected leaders all over the planet are over-leveraging their balance sheets to combat an over-leveraging crisis. Wage, I wish the voices you listened to were more prevalent but I think things are gonna have to get a lot worse before people will change their behavior. I would love to be wrong!

  285. asoka February 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    “I kind of agree with you, Asoka.”
    This is unusual! Not many people agree with me. I have a hell of a time because there is no political party to give me talking points.
    Thanks for your support.
    When people would take individual responsibility and refuse to fight in capitalist, socialist, or communist wars, that’s when wars will end. I know people who refused to fight in World War II and were imprisoned.
    But pacifists are in the minority. Most were gung-ho to go kick ass in theatre.
    It’s fairly easy for any government to whip up pro-war sentiment. Find an enemy (fascists, communists, terrorists, etc.), instill fear. This was acknowledged by Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering at his trial:

    “Why, of course, the people don’t want war? … But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
    The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

  286. thrill February 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Good captalism requires transparency, where a buyer and seller make informed decisions using similar facts. We kissed that goodbye a long time ago and are now mired in a global crisis that has just begun. How many speculators does it take to screw in a light bulb? 1,000,001 …. one million to trade it and one to put it in.
    Capitalism is the least-worst, but just barely nowadays. We will get a new -ism in the future.

  287. Workingman1 February 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    What is your point?
    Nobody disagrees that war is bad.
    Nobody diagrees that wasting too much on a bloated military makes no sense.
    Sometimes you have no choice but to fight, and that is life.

  288. Workingman1 February 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    If some banana republic army comes across the border and starts raping and pilaging in Costa Rica I think you would like a little protection.

  289. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Why, yes, I think, diogen, but I don’t think that nothing can improve on capitalism, no matter how many times you earnestly instruct me so.
    I think that capitalism is destroying the Earth, so of course I think there has to be a better way. Why would I want the my ecosystem to be destroyed, just because it’s profitable for a few people?
    That doesn’t make sense to me.

  290. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks, thrill, but it’s not really data manipulation. They are measuring money exchanges, which is what counts in our society. It’s not manipulation, it’s an honest accounting of what they consider worthwhile.
    They know the cost of everything and the value of nothing, so to speak.
    RFK talked about this also.






    You don’t get paid to parent your children, or take care of your parents, or volunteer to help your neighbor.
    Therefore, that is worthless in our society.
    Soldiers get paid to kick down doors and to kill people, tobacco companies get paid to sell cigarettes, paramedics get paid to scrape bodies off highways.
    Therefore, all that has value in our society.

  291. abbeysbooks February 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Well they tell themselves that if I don’t do it someone else will. You remember that ol line, don’t you?

  292. Martin Hayes February 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    “[C]an you point to any other *real* (existing now or at any time) socio-economic system which really works and is better at respecting the human rights and the Earth?
    I can. The way humans lived for most of the time they’ve been on Earth. The hunter-gatherer lifeway. Maybe it’s time you got better acquainted with primitivist thought, Diogen.
    I recommend John Zerzan’s Elements of Refusal and Running on Emptiness.

  293. Semper Infidel February 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    …And without him, how would Hitler kill the people at Dachau,
    without him Cesar would have stood alone,
    he’s the one, who gives his body
    as a weapon of the war,
    and without him always killing cant go on.
    He’s the universal soldier,
    and he really is to blame…
    You use words from other people to slam soldiers? You want a quote? How about this one from George Orwell:
    ” Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”.
    And apparently whether those peaceful, ‘peace-loving’ sleepers appreciate it or not.
    Sleep on, little one…

  294. abbeysbooks February 3, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    With all the flaws of capitalism, can you point to any other *real* (existing now or at any time) socio-economic system which really works and is better at respecting the human rights and the Earth? Of all the -isms ever proposed or attempted, none improved on the good aspects of capitalism, don’t you think?

    In terms of time this is what we have. Do you have any confidence that a better way can be figured out when the govt can’t agree about anything? They are mediocre idiots. The corporate cats won’t change it as it’s too good to lose.
    Go study Foucault about this. He is not necessarily negative about capitalism. It is meshed with power but it does produce positive satisfactions.
    I think what we have can no longer be defined as capitalism. But the Dominating Dialogue is that it is capitalism. That is what has to be changed. A difference has to be formulated and put front and center. You make a good start with your different kinds of capitalism. But you have included the word capitalism in each one. That has to change.
    And all this from an ex Randian. She may have inadvertently brought down capitalism via Greenspan. We will see.

  295. asoka February 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Sometimes you have no choice but to fight, and that is life.
    =================
    No, that way lies death.
    Those who live by the sword die by the sword.
    Fighting is not the only option.
    I’m trying to break the paradigm, break the cycle of violence.

  296. abbeysbooks February 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    The government is already in your body and has been since you were in the womb. Foucault’s The Obedient and Docile body concept.
    Did you sit at a desk in first grade almost all day long? Do you sit in chairs at home? And so on.

  297. asoka February 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    ” Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”.
    And apparently whether those peaceful, ‘peace-loving’ sleepers appreciate it or not.
    Sleep on, little one…

    I never asked anyone to do violence on my behalf. On the contrary, I am asking you to stop. Right now.
    People ought to own up to their own actions. Take some responsibility, instead of obeying orders and being manipulated like sheep to kill whoever they are ordered to kill.
    It is offensive that someone who wars “on my behalf” expects “appreciation”

  298. thrill February 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    With all due respect Wage, it is no longer an honest accounting of what they consider worthwhile. Did you know that if they still used the unemployment formulas that were used pre-Clinton, we would have “official” unemployment in the high teens? Each administration has massaged the formulas to fit their situation. An “honest” accounting of the unemployment in the US would be north of 20% if they included EVERYONE not working that would/could, regardless of their benefits situation, or if they went back to school, etc. Factor in builders that are usually building 5-6 houses that are now sheetrocking their neighbors’ basement, real estate agents that haven’t sold a house, car salesmen not selling cars, etc., and where do you think that figure would end up?
    That’s just unemployment…. look at GDP – they created a positive number when every city, county, state, and federal source of tax revenue is shrinking! What growth? And we are skeptical about the figures spewed out by China!
    I’m not a “buy guns and grow food” guy like JHK, but his scenarios are likely and I am being very careful here while I hope for the best. This cheerleading by gov’t and media about a recovery has made me nervous because I don’t see it anywhere but Wall Street.
    Don’t you ever ask yourself why the data manipulation is itself a bubble forming?

  299. Workingman1 February 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    I like the quote Semper.
    They only appreciate it when their comfort goes away. It is easy to talk about how pure your philosophy on life is when you ass is not on the line. Sleep on is right…

  300. asoka February 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    The quote needs a 2010 updating:
    “Men sleep fitfully in their beds at night because rough men stationed in 737 military bases are provoking blowback, like the Twin Towers attacks, and rough men are creating terrorists by their readiness to occupy foreign lands and do violence on the behalf of chickenhawk political leaders, like brainwashed mercenaries.” — Asoka

    The worldwide total of U.S. military personnel in 2005, including those based domestically, was 1,840,062 supported by an additional 473,306 Defense Department civil service employees and 203,328 local hires. Its overseas bases, according to the Pentagon, contained 32,327 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and 16,527 more that it leased. The size of these holdings was recorded in the inventory as covering 687,347 acres overseas and 29,819,492 acres worldwide, making the Pentagon easily one of the world’s largest landlords. — Chalmers Johnson, “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic” (Metropolitan Books)

  301. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    I totally agree with you about unemployment, and you’re probably right about the GDP as well.
    They also quit reporting the amount of money in circulation.
    And the stock market is probably being juiced by the Plunge Protection Team, as reported by Chalmers Johnson. (Or whatever they call it now)
    Yes, capitalism is being propped up by funny money, dishonest accounting and a massive military threat to all who would question.
    What could be better than this?

  302. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Yes, that’s why I want it out.
    And I never sat very still. Bad kid!
    Or, and I quote “She’s a hyper little shit”.

  303. wagelaborer February 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Or I guess it was Kevin Phillips who reported on the Plunge Protection Team

  304. Martin Hayes February 3, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Few people understand violence as well as does Arthur Silber. Anyone else you know who devotes an entire blog to this subject, writing to sometimes exhaustive length, teasing out every last wrinkle?

  305. thrill February 3, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    “What could be better than this?”
    Greece (and probably Spain) taking down the Eurozone and creating a bond market collaspe that effectively puts every city, county, and state in the US in default. Angry citizens vote out every incumbent, making Odrama the poster boy for “gov’t too big to fund” just because it happened on his watch. Never again are elected officials allowed to create money out of thin air. Traders and banksters have to learn how to create a tangible good/service of actual value or perish, nurses and teachers live in the mansions, and ballplayers have to get a 2nd job just to make ends meet. Sigh…. somewhere in a galaxy far, far, away!
    Not quite JHK’s vision, but close.

  306. messianicdruid February 3, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    “I’m trying to break the paradigm, break the cycle of violence.”
    Start with the aggressors.

  307. messianicdruid February 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    “It is offensive that someone who wars “on my behalf” expects “appreciation”.
    Does it count if they are federal employees sent to collect taxes to pay for your {or their}socialist agendas? Your government is at war with it’s citizens, at least the few of us who desire to be free. They borrow {on your behalf} what they cannot steal {on your behalf} because they know there would be blood in the streets.

  308. JB February 3, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    We’ve passed the point where reform is a reality, its only collapse that will cleanse our very corrupt and compromised system. I must say that while Mr.Kunstler claims not to be a shill for the DNC, his preference has been, and is, obvious to anyone who had read his blog on a consistant basis. I find it odd, that despite decades of centralized political economic/social planning in the US, there are those who still think it could work if, “we only elected the right kind of people.” Which is rather elitist and reminiscent of the fuhrerprinzip the German’s practiced when they put that rather nasty man with the little funny moustache into power. For those who still cling to the notion of central economic planning, I’d suggest you do a search for Einstein’s definition of insanity and ponder it a bit.

  309. Puzzler February 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    …the IRS seems to be stocking up for a more confrontational solution… According to a post on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the IRS is looking to buy shotguns:
    “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to purchase sixty Remington Model 870 Police RAMAC #24587 12 gauge pump-action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Division. The Remington parkerized shotguns, with fourteen inch barrel, modified choke, Wilson Combat Ghost Ring rear sight and XS4 Contour Bead front sight, Knoxx Reduced Recoil Adjustable Stock, and Speedfeed ribbed black forend, are designated as the only shotguns authorized for IRS duty based on compatibility with IRS existing shotgun inventory, certified armorer and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.”

  310. JB February 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    The current situation must be a prize of sorts for the central planners, declaring dead that which never was in the pursuit of confirmation bias. Orwell wrote decades ago on the bastardization of language, Joseph Campbell commented on the inherit difficulties found when communicating, even if both sides weren’t trying to gum-up the works. And yet, those who claim to be the holders of infinite knowledge (and if not them then someone they have in mind to be “our leader.” The king is dead, long live the king), end up validating the observations of both Orwell and Campbell.

  311. JB February 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    @ the scene.
    To all of you, please understand that none of us will “get it” unless we absolutely agree with Pangolin and his ilk. All thinking must be 100% compliant with the big giant head, lest we all fail to “get it.” 100% agreement seems rather doctrinaire and dogmatic, unless of course you belong to the politically correct team, hubris and all. Thank the gods there exist the right thinking people who “get it” to help save us all from the mistakes of our own making.
    Seems I’ve heard such prayers before and if you listen carefully to the echoes which travel down the corridors of time, you too will hear them.

  312. Pangolin February 3, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    I believe Asoka is right about the futility of a massive military complex although for different reasons. The first and second World Wars should have laid waste to the notion that political leaders fought for the well being of any people or any moral standard. All sides killed non-combatants in job lots for no other reason than to prove they could.
    The items to be found at your local RC model shop along with the computing power of an I-pod are more than enough to build military drones in a basement. A cheap and plentiful offense can overwhelm a sophisticated, but limited, defense. When this if finally demonstrated against an aircraft carrier the US will look mighty stupid. Where the US Air Force was on 9-11 is still a mystery not adequately explained. We really couldn’t protect the Pentagon? Who believes that?

  313. Pangolin February 3, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Ok dipshit, explain to us all how we grow the magic beans of capitalism back to the giants house without enough decent soil? Economies take resources even if a fat percentage is selling video games. They still require housing, pizza and Mountain Dew.
    If by “my ilk” you mean the scientists who tabulate how much resources are left and how long they will last then, yes, you don’t get it. We’ve got this one planet and most of that is useless rock. The good bits are getting hard to find.

  314. messianicdruid February 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    “didactic” have some:

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

  315. Semper Infidel February 3, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    “Men sleep fitfully in their beds at night because rough men …are provoking blowback, like the Twin Towers attacks, and rough men are creating terrorists … like brainwashed mercenaries.” — Asoka
    Live with integrity. Direct your life toward not living where such people issue from,and make sure that you in no way gain or derive any measure of security from the work of such rough men.
    I could not live with myself if I knew that such people as you describe above were doing such things ,or I felt my taxes were supporting them-in ANY way- and I did nothing real with this knowledge. Such ‘knowledge’ demands authentic action.
    Really, Asoka. To live with integrity, and true to your beliefs – it’s a good feeling.

  316. asoka February 4, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    Semper Infidel said: “Really, Asoka. To live with integrity, and true to your beliefs – it’s a good feeling.”
    Finally, we come to a point of agreement.
    I am living a life of voluntary simplicity, below the taxable income level, to avoid paying for the military dictatorship in the USA.
    I am considering a move to Costa Rica, a country that abolished its military in 1949 and decided to invest in infrastructure, health, education, and housing. A country dedicated to peace that put its money where its mouth is and abolished its military.
    So, yes, I agree with you: to live with integrity is a good feeling. My means of authentic action, because of my personal beliefs in the sanctity of life (I am pro-life), must be nonviolent. No government can force me to kill another human being.

  317. cowswithguns February 4, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    People are waking up. At a recent town council meeting in a nearby small town, a prominent member of the business community schooled leaders on peak oil and federal debt.
    A few years ago, the gavel would have slammed and he would have been laughed out of the room.
    Change is coming and the small-town politicians see it. Unfortunately, the federal-level guys like Obama are still forced to lie. They have that luxury — they can print money.
    The small-town politicians, on the other hand, see the war from the ground.

  318. cowswithguns February 4, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    What are you talking about? Most of JHK’s warnings deal with how our current economy is at an unreasonable scale. That is, it’s too big and we need to re-localize — in other words, solutions lie at the community level, he says.

  319. Pangolin February 4, 2010 at 5:47 am #

    The local alderman goes to his roads guy and asks him why the business district is so full of potholes. In about ten minutes he gets and education about how asphalt contains oil, the spreader burns propane, the trucks all want gas or diesel and workmen aren’t free. When the price of oil doubled the price of asphalt went up more than that and supply constraints became a problem.
    There isn’t a town council or county government in the US that isn’t chewing their nails as they watch oil prices rise. Every dollar added to oil prices means so many miles of roads that are going to degrade instead of being repaired and bad roads are bad for business which the Chamber of Commerce is only too quick to remind them of.
    Peak Oil isn’t some mystical theory down at the county seat. It’s as real as rain.

  320. diogen February 4, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    “Peak Oil isn’t some mystical theory down at the county seat. It’s as real as rain.”
    I’m continuosly surprised how many otherwise well-informed people have never heard of the concept of Peak Oil. Just last week my wife was giving a talk on home gardening to a group of mostly middle-age foks, not one of them was familiar with the concept. The week before we had distant cousins visiting, neither she (a judge, about 59-60) nor he (corporate pensions attorney/consultant) ever heard of the concept.
    The folks I work with think, when the topic of energy/emvironment comes up, that I’m on the lunatic fringe, and most of them heard of Peak Oil from me, and promptly dismissed the idea as nonsense. The other day one of them purchased a new Ford F150 that gets all of 15 MPG. I asked him what will he do when the gas is back to $4-$5 range, his answer was he’ll worry about it if/when it happens, why worry now when it’s $2.50. Does this guy need the truck for work? No, he wears suit/tie/white shirt to work. As my son says, it’s a “lifestyle and image vehicle”.
    As Pangolin says, sadly, the capital/financial markets may very well collapse before Peak Oil, so not much incentive for most folks to voluntarily seek a low-energy footprint lifestyle, they worry much more about mortgages, retirement savings, jobs, etc…

  321. diogen February 4, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    “Capitalism is the least-worst, but just barely nowadays. We will get a new -ism in the future.”
    The new -isms tend to come with messy revolutions and in virtually every case turn into some variation of a sinister totalitarian nightmare.
    Here’s a true example of pure capitalism: a number of years ago a young man with a passion for kayaking wanted to build a better kayak for himself. He did, and his friends wanted one just like that. One of them had access to a bit of start-up money, they began to build them in a run-down building and soon they were selling like hotcakes all over the West Coast. They bought the run-down building and rennovated it, expanded production, etc. They hired workers and didn’t exploit them, provided them with interesting and fairly paid work, and made a profit.
    Wage — what’s wrong with this? It’s pure capitalism: a) they own their “means of production” b) they take their products to free market without interference from gov’t or feudal lords c) they earn a profit on their investment of time, labor and risk allowing them to support their families and community (via taxes and support of worthy causes), and invest in improving the community (re: the formerly run-down building)
    What you’re objecting to is not Capitalism but many other things: imperial militarism, environmental idiocy, coproratism, various power centers (military, prisons, drugwar), monopolistic, plutochratic, oligarch power grabs, etc. All those things are separate from Capitalism, which is merely an efficient economic system very compatible with human nature.
    I think we beat this topic to exhaustion now :)

  322. Al Klein February 4, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Puzzler, your comment about the IRS ordering shotguns is quite interesting. One has to wonder why the IRS would need such an arsenal. If an IRS agent confronts a taxpayer who is threatening him with bodily injury, it would seem that is really a police action, to be handled by local police or perhaps federal marshals. One wonders why the IRS has decided it need its own police force, in other words. This raises another interesting observation, which is that more and more federal agencies are now allowed to carry firearms. So while the populace is progressively disarmed, or at least admonished regarding firearm ownership, the federal agencies are loading up on weapons. I think this is a very disconcerting and ominous sign.

  323. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    “People ordered to murder other people, and everyone stupidly following orders, like sheep led to slaughter. Nothing nice about it.”
    OF course allowing Germany to win and then having them establish Hitler’s 1000 year Reich would have been much, much better. (What a completely, MORONIC, FUCKTARD)

  324. diogen February 4, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    “I am living a life of voluntary simplicity, below the taxable income level, to avoid paying for the military dictatorship in the USA.”
    Asoka, allow me to point out a contradiction. In one of the earlier posts you (I think it was you) pointed out some of the positive things the governments accomplish. Since you aren’t paying taxes, you’re not pulling your weight when it comes to the things you believe in and value.
    With respect to war, pacifism is unfortunately not a solution to warfare. Pacifists living in peaceful societies are beneficiaries of other people willing to fight and provided a deterrent to agression. Ironically, it’s the horrible weapon of war, the H-bomb, which kept Europe and other parts of the world mostly war-free since 1945. It’s The Bomb that kept Russians/Chinese and Eastern Block/NATO from attacking each other.
    As someone said, if you want peace, prepare for war. Sad but true.
    We have a cousin who also dropped out from society, doesn’t pay taxes, literally lives under bridges in warm weather, in shelters when it’s cold, etc. But when he recently had an injury, he accepted a taxpayer-subsidized medical treatment, since he had no money to pay for it. And the bridges were built by taxpayers too. Even the water he drinks — someone paid for it. The only thing really free is the air, so if you use anything besides the air, somehow someone paid for it.

  325. asoka February 4, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    So while the populace is progressively disarmed, or at least admonished regarding firearm ownership
    FACT: Gun ownership is on the rise, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation
    FACT: The Obama administration says it has no plans to pursue additional gun control measures at this time. Obama believes in the Second Amendment right to own firearms.

    the federal agencies are loading up on weapons. I think this is a very disconcerting and ominous sign.

    What’s the matter? Don’t you believe in the right to bear arms?
    After all, if you are not guilty of any crime, what do you have to worry about, right?

  326. asoka February 4, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    As someone said, if you want peace, prepare for war. Sad but true.

    Oh, why didn’t I think of that? It obviously works… look how peaceful our world is!
    The opposite, of course, is the truth. When you prepare for war, live on a war footing, invest so much of your budget in war, then you have to justify it by going to war.
    Here is another quote for you:
    A. J. Muste said: “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.

  327. Semper Infidel February 4, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    “‘Semper Infidel said: “Really, Asoka. To live with integrity, and true to your beliefs – it’s a good feeling.’
    I am living a life of voluntary simplicity, below the taxable income level, to avoid paying for the military dictatorship in the USA.
    I am considering a move to Costa Rica, a country that abolished its military in 1949…” says Asoka.
    Considering? Why only ‘considering’? You are still part of something really, really bad, by your lights.
    You must spend a lot of time dodging flying glass in your glass house, Asoka.
    As I said, Asoka, live with integrity. Don’t be one of those people that just talk. Surely you are aware of such people; they come off as kind of, well, preachy. Even the Internet is protected by military interests.
    Do you use by any chance use that Internet thingy?
    Don’t just ‘consider’ integrity. Or just preach it. Live it.

  328. asoka February 4, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Pissant said: “(What a completely, MORONIC, FUCKTARD)”
    You really do like to repeat yourself don’t you. All of your replies indicate that you are taking the time to read and respond to the posts of someone you consider to be a completely moronic fucktard. How sad, pissant.

  329. asoka February 4, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Don’t be one of those people that just talk. Surely you are aware of such people; they come off as kind of, well, preachy.
    Don’t just ‘consider’ integrity. Or just preach it. Live it.

    Preach, brother, preach! I’m loving it!

  330. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    “All of your replies indicate that you are taking the time to read and respond to the posts of someone you consider to be a completely moronic fucktard. How sad, pissant.”
    Hmmm…And you are taking your time to “read and respond” to a pissant? And that makes you, what? Sadder then a pissant? How sad, dung beetle!

  331. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    “You really do like to repeat yourself don’t you.”
    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Pot to kettle, “Black.”

  332. wagelaborer February 4, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    I see nothing wrong with your example, Diogen. Actually, if you read the link I provided, worker owned co-ops are something that free thinkers support.
    But what happens when everyone who wants a kayak has bought one? What happens to the co-op?
    Do they try to expand into different parts of the US? That involves shipping.
    Less innocuous would be the traditional way of expanding markets. The US military shows up in some country and forces them to “open their markets” at gunpoint, selling your cousin’s kayaks and throwing local kayak makers out of business.
    Obama was just talking about expanding markets in his State of the Union address.
    Market expansion is one of the causes of wars under capitalism. War is also very good for business.
    Do not be surprised if the cure for US depression turns out to be war.
    They’re saber rattling at Iran right now.

  333. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Obama was just talking about expanding markets in his State of the Union address.”
    No. He declared he would DOUBLE exports in 5 years. Because he said so. Because he thinks that there are potential consumers out there just clamoring to buy our union-inflated, over priced goods. Sure there are. ;>}

  334. asoka February 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Do not be surprised if the cure for US depression turns out to be war.
    They’re saber rattling at Iran right now.

    Yes, war solves problems. Violence is the answer. The military is necessary.
    And we are not involved in enough wars right now. We have a war deficit. We are only in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. It only makes sense to add Iran and North Korea to the current hot wars we are waging.
    The more wars the better for our economy. We should spend more than half our budget, maybe three quarters of our budget on war.
    War is the answer to all our problems. Be sure to than the soldiers for their “service” … and never blame the soldiers for the war crimes they commit. After all, war is hell, you know.
    The soldiers are brave and should be given more medals and more G.I. benefits… for life… because they were so brave and put their lives on the line… for freedom, for our liberty, for justice for all, for our lifestyle.
    We can never thank the soldiers enough for their sacrifice, especially the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. For them, thank their families for raising such fine young people to be butchered in the war machine.
    And always condemn the free-loading cowardly pacifists who enjoy their freedoms at the expense of the sacrifice of our brave soldiers. They are idealists with their heads up their asses.
    The only thing the evil people of the world understand is violence and naked aggression. Our soldiers are dealing with pure evil. God bless and support our troops as they keep us safe from evil.
    NOT!

  335. wagelaborer February 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    When you quote corporate media without attribution, Asoka, it’s called plagiarism.

  336. thrill February 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Wage, I agree with you – the poor guys starting up a nice little kayak business can/will be wiped out by a financial crisis they had nothing to do with. Assuming kayaks are a discretionary purchase and not needed to outrun the new gun-toting IRS agents! The businesses that survived the so-called “recession” so far will be hammered by the coming sovereign debt crisis, many will not make it. It would take too long to go into the whole debt-to-GDP mess here, just remember when you read about it elsewhere that SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENTS ALL HAVE OFF-BALANCE SHEET ITEMS LIKE OUR OWN SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, ETC. The problem is much worse than they admit to – imagine that!
    Diogen, macro capitalism issues like creating money out of thin air are taking down your pure capitalism ideas every day. When the ugliness that JHK writes about has ended, then we will get our new -ism rising from the ashes, and never again will it include “adding liquidity to the system”. Government too big to fund will be dead.

  337. diogen February 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    “But what happens when everyone who wants a kayak has bought one?”
    Innovation. They design a better one (and hopefully recycle the old ones — I’m a big fan of the idea of requiring manufacturers to accept their products back at the end of their lifecycle).
    “The US military shows up in some country and forces them to “open their markets” at gunpoint”
    Ahh, but you see, this is Imperialism, not Capitalism. If you noticed, pure capitalism includes “free markets”, not the gunboat variety.
    I think our difference is truly semantic, much of what you legitimately condemn is the old-fashined imperialism, militarism, monopoly, etc.

  338. Cash February 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Asoka, You say war never solves anything. But it wiped Naziism and Japanese militarism off the map. You haven’t heard a peep out of Germany or Japan since 1945. That’s an excellent result considering their prior behaviour.
    Also, imagine if Lincoln allowed the south to secede. What would that have meant for slaves? The war solved the problem of secession.

  339. Semper Infidel February 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Cash,consistency is not Asoka’s strong suit. I’m still waiting to be told why Asoka is not living consistent with his/her ideals in only ‘considering’ a move to C.R. , instead of soaking up perceived ill-gotten resources.
    I couldn’t live with myself if I were living so falsely.

  340. asoka February 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    “I’m still waiting to be told why Asoka is not living consistent with his/her ideals…”
    You’ve caught me. I’m a hypocrite. I worked 42 years and paid taxes to build a military and have government medical care. Now I am living simply to not pay more taxes as a small protest, so that must make me a hypocrite… or human. Whatever.
    You keep preaching about authenticity though. I love how you preach.

  341. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    saoka-herself sez:
    ” We should spend more than half our budget, maybe three quarters of our budget on war.
    War is the answer to all our problems.”
    My, my. Some have said that on occasion war is unavoidable. (Germany, Japan) Your simple mind translates that into your cited quote. Rather moronic but true to form.

  342. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    asoka-herself sez:
    “Now I am living simply to not pay more taxes as a small protest, so that must make me a hypocrite… ”
    Yep. That about sums it up.

  343. asia February 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    He also noted that ‘ home values have eroded’ or some such prattle! No its just the bubble burst.
    Does he expect 2 billion poor chinese/ indians to buy US goods?
    Hes a brilliant manipulator.

  344. asia February 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Indeed…the locals call it ‘ miami rice’.

  345. asia February 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    ‘Tell your parents ‘….why , how old are you?
    what about tax breaks for individuals who pay for their own medical care? why should the govt control HC?

  346. asia February 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Thanks…when are you going to write a book?

  347. asia February 4, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    his MR link is worth reading,,,unlike yrs!

  348. asoka February 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    My, my. Some have said that on occasion war is unavoidable.

    “on occasion” Bwaaaaahahahahahaha!
    Try 5,000 wars in 3,000 years. All of them believed in by the participants.
    “War to end all wars, the good war, the just war, the necessary war, etc.”

  349. asoka February 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    “why should the govt control HC?”
    Read the preamble to the Constitution for the answer. Govt. is responsible for the common defense and welfare of the people. HC protects life. Govt. responsibility mandated by the constitution.

  350. asia February 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    yes…but here its the reverse..JHK isnt praising MR.

  351. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    “Try 5,000 wars in 3,000 years. All of them believed in by the participants.”
    Really? Would you care to list these wars? Then we can work our way through them one by one as to their justifications.
    Sometimes war is unavoidable. One war that comes to mind helped end slavery. Another saved us from German language lessons. There is a “cold” one I know of that freed hundreds of millions from the former Soviet boot of repression and its gulags that helped keep “dissenters” in line.
    Sometimes one is faced with going to war or becoming a slave. I have no doubt that asoka-herself would choose slavery.

  352. Qshtik February 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    “Govt. is responsible for the common defense and welfare of the people.”
    ====================
    Wrong Soak. It says provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. The difference sounds subtle, yet it is huge.

  353. asoka February 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Sometimes one is faced with going to war or becoming a slave.

    You have a black and white mind? Only those two choices are possible? What an impoverished mind you have!
    Have you faced the choice of going to war? I have.
    I took a principled stand against war, at the induction center, surrounded by dozens of other inductees, when I asked the staff sargeant a simple question: “What if you don’t want to go to Vietnam and kill people?” Let’s just say the staff sargeant was not used to having sheep talk back. But, since I had already been grant conscientious objector status, they shouldn’t have sent me the induction notice. Their bad.
    Did you volunteer for military service? Because if you have not taken a principled stand against war, and you have not volunteered to serve based on your own principles, then on what moral authority do you speak?

  354. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Hey asoka-herself,
    In your world the constitution says that your happiness is guaranteed. BWA HA HA HA, what a maroon!

  355. asoka February 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    “Wrong Soak. It says provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. The difference sounds subtle, yet it is huge.”
    Well, government does have a vested interest in keeping people alive. The citizens who are alive have more chance of paying taxes and fighting wars.

  356. thanasis February 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Another thought provoking piece!

  357. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    asoka herself sez:
    “You have a black and white mind? Only those two choices are possible? What an impoverished mind you have!”
    Riiiiight. After Hitler busted a move and Japan bombed Peal we had a choice? Sometimes things get a little blackie-whitey, you fucking simpleton. I know you seek a grey would but it doesn’t always break your way.

  358. asoka February 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    “Really? Would you care to list these wars? Then we can work our way through them one by one as to their justifications.”
    They were all justified, pissant. That’s the point. It is not hard to come up with justifications or find people to believe them.
    As Rumsfeld said: “They have weapons of mass destruction. We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”
    And for that lie, there are at least 95,289 documented deaths in Iraq. http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

  359. asoka February 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Pissant, did you volunteer for military service?
    Because if you have not taken a principled stand against war, and you have not volunteered to serve based on your own principles, then on what moral authority do you speak?

  360. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    “Have you faced the choice of going to war? I have.
    I took a principled stand against war…”
    Wow man. You applied for C.O. status and since the war was winding down you were granted such. Real brave man. It wasn’t like go to war or serve jail time. You filled out a form. My how principled. Like I said in a “fight or be enslaved” scenario you’d be da’ slave. Thanks for reinforcing my earlier statement.

  361. asoka February 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    “I know you seek a grey world but it doesn’t always
    break your way.”
    I suppose you would say, when I got the induction notice to go to Vietnam, that was it. Things are black and white. Orders are orders. Things weren’t breaking my way. Blacky-whitey. The army owns your ass now.
    Surprise! No blacky-whitey. Gray.

  362. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    “They were all justified…”
    Really? Well you keep trying to un-justify ALL of them. You are too stoopid to admit that there have been times in history where it was NOT POSSIBLE to sit on the sideline. For if we had sat out WWI or WWII we would have been enslaved. But you wanting “government” to provide all your wants and needs are fine with that. You don’t give a shit who provides for you, a NAZI, a Commie, or the tooth fairy. As long as ole asoka gets his. A real righteous dude, bro.

  363. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    “Surprise! No blacky-whitey. Gray.”
    Surprise! No blacky-whitey. Pink. The color of the panties you wore to you non-induction.

  364. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Hey, asoka-herself,
    Could one of these be you on induction day?






  365. thanasis February 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    There are many intelligent people, prinicpled liberals AND conservatives, who like JHK have been warning things are not sustainable. Yet, as JHK often states, our govt, which serves the corporate interests, continues to enrich those it serves by seducing the ignorant public with promises of a brighter future. Well it ain’t gonna happen. And the corporate media will continue to blind Americans to reality, whether it’s from Kunstler, or Bill Bonner at http://www.dailyreckoning.com or the folks at http://www.antiwar.com.

  366. asoka February 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    “Surprise! No blacky-whitey. Pink. The color of the panties you wore to you non-induction.”
    Interesting how you prefer insults and refuse to even speak about your not serving the country.

  367. asoka February 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    “You are too stoopid to admit that there have been times in history where it was NOT POSSIBLE to sit on the sideline.”
    So, of all the wars of the last 40 years, which ones did you not sit out?

  368. Workingman1 February 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Asoka – What would Europe look like today if
    Adolph was on the winning side?
    A clear logic answer please…
    I am waiting…

  369. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    “…times in history…”
    Are you asking if in the last 40 years have there been any crucial wars that we absolutely had to engage in? If so, I would say probably not. However, it appears that in the long term our involvement in Iraq will probably end up being a good thing for the Iraqis and the rest of the world.
    Now why is it you wanted to single out the last 40 years? My statement was that there have been times in history when sitting on the sidelines was not an option.

  370. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    “Interesting how you prefer insults and refuse to even speak about your not serving the country.”
    Interesting how you stated that you did not serve your country by seeking C.O. status and want to question my “not serving the country.” I had a draft number, nim-rod. It was never called. The war wound down, and dragged to a halt.
    “Why didn’t you volunteer?” is your next moronic question. I’ve been told by those who have served in the army that the first thing you learn is to NEVER volunteer. Guess I took the advice of the experts.

  371. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Futhermore, asoka-herself, I asked you a question. Is this a video of you on your induction day?
    http://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=JBNHJPYBK7Q

  372. asoka February 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    “Asoka – What would Europe look like today if
    Adolph was on the winning side?
    A clear logic answer please…
    I am waiting.”
    Workingman1 — What will the Middle East look like in 60 years if the USA is on the winning side?
    A clear logic answer please…
    I am waiting.
    P.S. There are no answers to “what if” questions nor are there crystal balls to foretell what the future will be or would have been, etc.
    The only thing you can answer for are your own actions, here and now. Do you support war as an instrument of foreign policy, or not? If you do, then you should be in Afghanistan right now.

  373. asoka February 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    “”Why didn’t you volunteer?” is your next moronic question. I’ve been told by those who have served in the army that the first thing you learn is to NEVER volunteer. Guess I took the advice of the experts.”
    Thanks for that honest answer. I have no more questions.

  374. Qshtik February 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Mommy, re your link, I’ll guess Asoka is the guy on the far right.

  375. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    “What will the Middle East look like in 60 years if the USA is on the winning side?”
    Hmmm. It’s pretty damn dry there. I’m guessing it will look like Phoenix or Sante Fe. Just a guess.

  376. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    “Thanks for that honest answer. I have no more questions.”
    You’re welcome. And thank you for sharing how you wussed out!

  377. asoka February 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Isn’t this fun, trading barbs and insults, while our Bush-created jive economy goes down the drain?

  378. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    “Do you support war as an instrument of foreign policy, or not? ”
    If we are attacked by a foreign country? Fuckin’ aye, you nancy-boy. You mean you don’t?

  379. asoka February 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    “You’re welcome. And thank you for sharing how you wussed out!”
    I have to admit it was worth it just to see the look on the sergeant’s face when I asked my question in front of all the other inductees!

  380. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    “Bush-created jive economy..”
    Oh but were we still practicing bush-o-nomics. We might have a chance for survival. O’slama has so turbocharged the Bush years that Bush is beginning to look like a fucking piker, like a dutch-fucking-treat, cheap date.

  381. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    “I have to admit it was worth it just to see the look on the sergeant’s face when I asked my question in front of all the other inductees!”
    I can imagine. That is something to reflect back on and find great pride in. You old jokester you. What a gas.

  382. Workingman1 February 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    You seem to have answers to all questions under the sun.
    Seems like you could give me an educated guess with all your superior intellect.

  383. asoka February 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    “If we are attacked by a foreign country? Fuckin’ aye, you nancy-boy. You mean you don’t?”
    What if, say, it wasn’t a “foreign country”? What if, say, we were attacked by a group of Saudi terrorists? Would that count? Would you volunteer? Why didn’t you since you believe in violence?
    See what I mean about how easy it is to fabricate justifications for war?

  384. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    “Seems like you could give me an educated guess with all your superior intellect.”
    That would indicate that she is educated. She is not. She is merely indoctrinated in all things FUCKTARD.

  385. asoka February 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    “Seems like you could give me an educated guess with all your superior intellect.”
    I never claimed to have a superior intellect. I’m not a mediocre public school educated midwesterner, who happens to refuse to kill other human beings.

  386. asoka February 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    “O’slama has so turbocharged the Bush years that Bush is beginning to look like a fucking piker”
    Right. What we should do is cut taxes on the rich. And get into some more wars. And eliminate all that regulation on banks and businesses. And bust the unions. That’s not all. I’ve got an idea: free-market capitalism and an invisible hand, more conservative than Bush. That will solve our economic problems. Not!

  387. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    “See what I mean about how easy it is to fabricate justifications for war?”
    No, not really. Your silly little scenario is a silly little scenario. Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito were not silly little scenarios. asoka-herself, however, is a silly little scenario.

  388. asoka February 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    “She is merely indoctrinated in all things FUCKTARD.”
    I am large; I contain many indoctrinations!
    (except the one that says it is patriotic to kill other human beings)

  389. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    “That will solve our economic problems.”
    No, what we need to do is spend more of the money that we do not have. Trillions and trillions more. And as fast as we can

  390. asoka February 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Asoka said:

    What if, say, it wasn’t a “foreign country”? What if, say, we were attacked by a group of Saudi terrorists? Would that count? Would you volunteer? Why didn’t you since you believe in violence?

    pissant said:

    Your silly little scenario is a silly little scenario.

    The families of 3,000 killed on 9/11 might differ.

  391. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    “I am large…”
    Uh, huh. A giant among women.

  392. asoka February 4, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    We are trying to spend as fast as we can. You know, like Cheney said, as Bush racked up record debt: “Deficits don’t matter.”

  393. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    “The families of 3,000 killed on 9/11 might differ.”
    So this gets you all wound up but Hitler doesn’t register on your radar? You are a weird little fucker. Strike that. You are a weird “large” little fucker.

  394. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    “…like Cheney said, as Bush racked up record debt: “Deficits don’t matter.”
    Cheney was wrong. Isn’t that what you believe? Well he was. And spending like Obama is spending is about to send us right off a cliff. And if this moronic congress does not put a stop it we will not recover from this insanity.
    You know you really are a moron. Did you think because you pull out a Cheney quote that you could fall back on that and that would justify what Obama is doing? You are dumber than a box of asoka-herselfs.

  395. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    Workingman1 asked asoka-herself:
    “Asoka – What would Europe look like today if
    Adolph was on the winning side?”
    Workingman1, asoka-herself, being a pacifist and a MORON (hey, you know, it just occurred to me they should remover the word “fist” from pacifist-much too aggressive) won’t answer your question. But I’ll give it a shot.
    I’m guessing Europe would have a whole lot of posters and statues of our old buddy Adolph in every nook and cranny. One thing you would not find in Europe, or anywhere else for that matter, would be people that think like asoka-herself. They would have been erased from the scene without a single scintilla of regret. Sad…truly sad.

  396. DeeJones February 4, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    “Asoka – What would Europe look like today if
    Adolph was on the winning side?”
    Who the hell cares? Its a mind game. Hitler LOST. The South LOST (and won’t rise again).
    What we really should care about is what the current world will look like in x years if we follow current policy, or try something different, like say, withdrawing from all those foreign bases, closing them down, and downsizing the US military budget. If you can’t get your mind around that, and instead want to dwell in the past, then go ahead, join the dinosaurs, who by the way, ARE ALL DEAD.
    And not mom, DROP FUCKING DEAD!
    DJ

  397. asoka February 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    “The families of 3,000 killed on 9/11 might differ.”
    So this gets you all wound up but Hitler doesn’t register on your radar?

    “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”
    Tip of the hat to John Donne

  398. SNAFU February 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    OEO,… ZZZZ, … not mommy, pissant says, “”Why didn’t you volunteer?” is your next moronic question. I’ve been told by those who have served in the army that the first thing you learn is to NEVER volunteer. Guess I took the advice of the experts.”
    I reckon those experts who advised you had about the same amount of intestinal fortitude/backbone/guts/balls as you do. Zero/none/infinitesimal/unobservable.
    You don’t even have the courage to state outright that you never spent one minute of your life defending the country that you so vociferously expound the virtues of.
    You sir, are the coward that you imply Asoka is, not he! I challenged you weeks ago to delineate to this group the extent of your service to the defense of this country; your response, not a peep.
    As an armchair general with no personal knowledge of what it is to have been at war, you sir, should learn to keep your ignorant ideas to yourself. If you think that reading a few books and watching a few movies is the equivalent of participation in a war, you sir are, delusional.
    I think it is time you take your own advice and STFU about things you know nothing of.
    SNAFU

  399. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    “And not mom, DROP FUCKING DEAD!”
    The only way that will happen is if you lick me to death. Now get started beeee-yatch!

  400. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    asoka-herself quotes:
    “Any man’s death diminishes me…”
    You, not being a man, may die now.

  401. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Reply to SNAFU (A-poop-poop-pee-do)
    And you madam, should learn not to use the phrase “you sir” three times in such a short missive. Now go back to your dolls and quit trying to see what is underneath, Ken’s pants.

  402. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    SANFU (poop-poop-pee-do) sez:
    “I challenged you weeks ago to delineate to this group the extent of your service to the defense of this country; your response, not a peep.”
    Oh my, you challenged and I didn’t peep? And in missing my peep you have in your own words carried this offense around for “weeks”. Earth to SNAFU: “Get a life”. Looser!

  403. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    “As an armchair general with no personal knowledge of what it is to have been at war…”
    And by the way who was armchair generaling? I merely said that some wars are unavoidable. Some can’t be walked away from without surrendering your freedom. I didn’t glorify war or in any way indicate wars should be entered into lightly. So go FUCK YOURSELF you stupid shit. (You sir are a “you sir”.)

  404. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    “I reckon those experts who advised you…”
    Don’t know if they were experts but they were all ex-servicemen.

  405. Qshtik February 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    SNAFU, I have to cut you off right here. You’ve grossly exceeded the allowable limit (in a single post) for the phrase “you sir.” Beyond once it loses all effectiveness as a pejorative due to the law of diminishing returns, just as MORON and FUCKTARD have long ago lost their sting.
    And BTW, with the past as guide, the accusation of “armchair general” would have resonated more strongly if you had mixed up the metaphor as in “armchair quarterback” or “monday morning general.” Not Mom used one of these a week or two ago.

  406. Pangolin February 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Asoka_You might as well start arguing with a monitor lizard for all the good it’s going to do you. The black/white, tribal and violent emotional response that pissant exhibits comes right from the brain stem and is not troubled by the information received from the frontal lobes. That critter wants to bite something and simply does not care what. How these keyboard commandos ever tear themselves from endless games of Doom is beyond me.
    That said, the damage done to the Vietnam vets I’ve met goes far beyond the mere physical. Demons ride their souls. In battle there are no true victors; only survivors.

  407. SNAFU February 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Not Mom, the depth and breadth of your rejoinders exposes the magnificence of your intellectual prowess for all to shrink back in awe of.
    SNAFU

  408. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    “Not Mom used one of these a week or two ago.”
    Well which was it nanny. One week or two?

  409. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    Wow man. The thought that some wars are unavoidable is really, really radical. Peace man. At ALL costs.

  410. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    “SNAFU, I have to cut you off right here. You’ve grossly exceeded the allowable limit (in a single post) for the phrase “you sir”
    Hey simpleton, I had already warned him of his “you sir” infraction. But thanks for butting in (once again).

  411. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    “Asoka_You might as well start arguing with a monitor lizard …”
    This coming from an anteater? Go figure.

  412. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Walwsa’s Warning to America
    “They were the giants of their age. Together, President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II and a little known shipyard worker named Lech Walesa stood up to Soviet communism and brought freedom to the captive nations of Europe.
    In a press conference, Walesa commented on an America that seemingly apologizes for everything these days, cajoles rather than confronts the thugs of the world and is embarked on a path to shackle beyond redemption the free economy that led the Free World to victory.
    He no longer thinks we are the last best hope for mankind.
    “The United States is only one superpower. Today they lead the world. Nobody has doubts about it, militarily,” the Polish leader said. “They also lead economically, but they’re getting weak.
    “But they don’t lead morally and politically anymore. The world has no leadership. The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations. There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States. Today, we lost that hope.”
    full story here:
    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=519897

  413. Pangolin February 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    I usually make it a point to ignore No Mommy’s posts but this one was last on the list.
    “But they don’t lead morally and politically anymore. The world has no leadership. The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations. There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States. Today, we lost that hope.”-Walensa
    The US used to stand up for human rights, fair play, hard work and innovation. We used to BUILD places other people wanted to come to.
    Today we have torture camps, corrupt bankers, homeless, and vacant suburbs. Shanghai has the worlds most advanced railroad, France has better health care, Denmark builds the wind turbines and Spain has the most advanced solar plants.
    The United States, we destroy shit!! Woo-hoo!!

  414. cowswithguns February 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    This is too fun. Check this out if you want to see Tim Geithner get bitch-slapped by a Democratic member of Congress. This guy must read CFN:






    Fraud is ongoing in plain sight. But no one cares. This Sunday, Superbowl Sunday, Ben Bernanke could print trillions of dollars to give to Goldman Sachs while filming himself raping an underage girl and strangling a kitten, and the American people wouldn’t bat an eye.
    There are too many cheese puffs to consume and big, sweaty, ball-chasing men to watch.

  415. cowswithguns February 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    You want to see Americans finally stand up for what’s right? Cut off the feed of the Superbowl on Sunday and blame it on Goldman Sachs.

  416. not mommy February 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    “I usually make it a point to ignore No Mommy’s posts …”
    Really? Well you just responded to two of them in fairly short order. Why not go back to your usual practice?

  417. jim e February 5, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    Hey Mom!

  418. Vlad Krandz February 5, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    At last, decency and commonsense about Haiti – and from a Black!
    http://www.rense.com/general89/brll.htm

  419. jim e February 5, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    @JHK – The big slide acts 2 & 3… released on the KunstlerCast on 02 04 2010 the day of the biggest stockmarket slide so far in 2010… Your timing is amazing and so is Raven.

  420. Vlad Krandz February 5, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    We are fighters by nature. We had to be or we wouldn’t have survived our evolutionary past. Primitive Man faced unspeakable terrors. Sure we have animals on the run – Now. But back then we were the ones who often had to run. There were Cave Bears twenty feet tall. Lions almost twice as large as the ones we have today. And Homo Erectus had to deal with the greatest Cat of All, the Saber Tooth. In one cave they found skeletons each with two holes in its skull. At first the scientists thought it was cannibalism. But then they found skeletons of the Saber Tooth and realized that at least one Saber Tooth was living off the Homo Erectus, the two holes in the skulls being where the Cat bit in.
    So the fighting propensity is there and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. We just have to make the best of it and ennoble it or sublimate it. Pacifism is not the way for most men. It’s fine for monks or religious however. If Asoka wants to be some kind of Eco-Monk that’s fine. That’s his Dharma. But he should not try to preach it to others. It’s just not a universal path as he mistakenly believes. Most pacifists are cowards as Gandhi said. They let the police do their fighting for them. But a regular man has to be willing to protect his home, wife, and children. If he’s not willing, then he should abstain from housholder life.

  421. Vlad Krandz February 5, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    There are so many books…Just think of how many people have been trapped or injured when their books fell on them? I know more than one. Does there need to be one more? My Brothers, my other selves are busy writing them for me. My job seems to be to read them and try to bring it all together. Or as Ramakrisna said, to weave a garland of Love and Knowledge to throw at the Mother’s feet.
    In a sane society, I would have been a pundit of some kind. But our Society ceased to be sane before I was born and our Civilization is rapidly coming to an end. As Bo and Peep (the Leaders of the Hale Bop UFO sect) said, the garden is about to be spaded over. When Destruction comes, flee North and West. Pray that your wife is not with child when it comes.
    If we can learn to read the greatest book of all, the Book of Nature, we might have a chance of surviving what is to come. Surely Grace will be given. He will want some survivors to rebuild – those who have learned from the mistakes of the past and who glory not in themselves but in Him.

  422. asoka February 5, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Vlad said: But he should not try to preach it to others. It’s just not a universal path as he mistakenly believes.

    Fine, Vlad, but it works both ways. Others should refrain from trying to make military service universal, and refrain from saying pacifists are getting a free ride when they are following their dharma.
    If you want to go the dharma route, respect has to go both directions, toward the soldier and toward the pacifist.
    As we have commented before, the level of honor and bravery among warriors has declined considerably from the days of battlefields of the Gita. In my opinion less respect is due.
    Doesn’t take much bravery to sit in a military facility in Nevada USA, in front of a computer screen, and send a drone bomber to take out a house and all of its inhabitants in Pakistan.

  423. jim e February 5, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    Vlad… The intelligence of the ancients may be overlooked…

  424. jim e February 5, 2010 at 3:31 am #

    But… the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and now here we are surrounded by mis´an`drist… I’m just syin’

  425. jim e February 5, 2010 at 4:02 am #

    And you can look to the East or you you can look to the West or whichever direction you like best. But the ‘Big Slide’ is apoun us!
    And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failng them for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

  426. jim e February 5, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    a pawn or upon…

  427. jim e February 5, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    castle move? “Castling is a relatively recent European innovation in chess, dating from the 14th or 15th century. Thus, the Asian versions of chess do not have such a move.”
    Jesus is a 400 year old name?

  428. jim e February 5, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    JHK, Thanks for the funin’ but in 1860 I’d be a gunin’

  429. jim e February 5, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    I bet you all missed this? “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua…”-Rick Warren @ the inaug…
    http://www.palibandaily.com/tag/inauguration/
    Can CHANGE be as simple as RIDING OUR BIKES, or changing his name to what it has always been?
    I do not like being called “JESUS SOAKED”. I would rather be called Yeshua Soaked, or a follower of the Nazarene sect. Screw the testimony.
    If those less gifted than me, or those who no longer have jobs, rode there bicycles some of the time… would it help? Would it not help in ones health care and our planet care? The reason you would not most likely would be in the perceived monetary failure of the practice (time is money, money is time).
    Millions of dollars would be saved and kept at home, if we would ride bicycles more often. Does not some of every gallon that is burned in combustion engines help our enemies? Most of us are guilty of burning more than we need, especially me.
    And what is wrong with Mr. Rico spreadin’ a little love?
    I need to learn. I learn much from you.
    Gotta go now, studyin’ for my GED. Earl, the dotted line southern dumb ass, from Alabama, high up on a hill, half way between the Creek and the land of the Cherokee.

  430. jim e February 5, 2010 at 5:12 am #

    their etc… studyin’ the correct use of the kings english… and hope one day…

  431. Workingman1 February 5, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    History doesn’t matter to people who don’t use all of their brain.
    Another wacko Hitler type will pop up like they always do in history.
    Do you put your head in the sand and pretend they don’t exist ? If you do you are in for a world of hurt. Nobody is glorifying fighting or war here.

  432. Jim from Watkins Glen February 5, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Cash:
    In my heart of hearts I believe you are right about brutal times ahead. I’m just not ready to buy barbed wire, switch from game loads to hollow points, and teach my gentle dog to go for the groin. If things deteriorate to that level I’m not sure I’d even recognize myself. I’m looking for some optimism that may bolster the forces of reason. Thanks for reminding me to take off the rose colored glasses more frequently and take that hard, unsettling look over the horizon.

  433. diogen February 5, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    “I’m just not ready to buy barbed wire, switch from game loads to hollow points”
    Jim, although I do see more difficult times ahead, I just don’t think that a descent into barbarism and chaos and a breakdown of law and order are foregone conclusions. There are small towns, as well as some cities like Detroit, across America that have been seeing the “brutal times” for some time now, but we aren’t seeing the Mad Max reality. I think other possibilities are possible, and perhaps plausible: when the hardships set in, local leaders will emerge (and people will be ready for real leadership), neighbors will pull together and seek and pursue community solutions, people will return to common-sense mentality, convert lawns to gardens, build sidewalks and bikeways, etc. Yes, I do think some people will attempt to prey on others, but we’re a well-armed society, and few people will be foolish enough to tresspass, especially when neighborhoods will be on a lookout for looters and burglars. Even I, a reasonably peaceful guy, have a stash of .357 and 12 gauge ammo and the means of using them if neccessary. I think our imaginations are hard-wired to conjure-up the worst-case scenarios, it’s a matter of self-preservation/survival. But we also have other instincts — tribal cohesion (Vlad, you hear this? :) and co-operation.
    So, don’t despair yet, the future may be more difficult than we soft-handed and soft-assed Americans are used to, but there will be joys to be had, and happy times even if we have to walk, work with our hands, and spend less time watching TV.

  434. diogen February 5, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Jim from Warkins Glen, one more thought. We need a healthy balance between hopeless pessimism and wide-eyed optimism. The hard-core survivalists are acting out adolescent fantasies of danger, manhood and glory. The danger with this pessimism is one of self-fulfilling prophesies. If this is the only possibility we imagine, that’s what we’ll end up with. We need to imagine other possibilities where our better instincts and inclinations take over, and then we’ll have a fighting chance of creating a reality that we’ll feel good about leaving to our kids/grandkids.
    I think it was Ernest Shackleton who said “Optimism is the ultimate courage”. Let’s stop being afraid all the time.

  435. Cash February 5, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    I’m not ready to buy barbed wire either. I live in an apartment in a big city. If we have serious breakdowns like food shortages I’m fucked. I can grow some veggies on the balcony but that’s it. Maybe Tripp has some suggestions. Tripp, you out there?
    Plus all of us have to contend with the criminal machinations of the banksters. Screwing around in securities is one thing but food is another. You don’t just eat in the long run, you have to eat every day. Every day they fuck with the supply and functioning of markets for commodities and foodstuffs with their wildassed speculation. They make hundred million dollar bonuses so they don’t give the slightest shit. They’re laughing in their mansions at our expense. Imagine the shnook living in a developing country. He goes from eating twice a day to once a day.
    Dio suggests stop being afraid all the time. Good thought because it wears you down.

  436. diogen February 5, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    The possibility of food shortages is extremely remote, especially in North America. There may be temporary distribution problems, but we still have an enormous amount of land relative to population. We may not be able to obtain foods imported from around the globe, and we may have to cut way back on meat, but to keep your soul in your body really doesn’t take that much food. I’d guess that Illinois or Indiana alone can grow enough grains and legumes to keep the population of north America nourished. Just grow and dry some herbs and garlic to keep it interesting :)
    BTW, we grow enough garlic in the 4×8 bed to last us the whole year, and enough is left for seed.

  437. Cash February 5, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    “Nobody is glorifying fighting or war here. ”
    Agreed. I don’t want to go to the front and kill putzes like me who were told by psychos to march into machine guns for the glory of whoever or whatever.
    But there are certain facts out there. Like what do you do about people like Hitler and the Nazis. They weren’t going to stop because we asked real nice.
    Same problem with gangs and drug dealers. They create mayhem, they kill and maim. Learned people say that poverty is the root cause of the dysfunction. Others say it’s the other way around, that dysfunction is the root cause of poverty. But either way, do you stick your head in the sand and let the gangs run rampant? Like the Nazis, they won’t stop because we ask politely. Sometimes you need to restrain people by force.

  438. ozone February 5, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Ahhhh-HA!
    Jive economy indeed… and jive everything else as well. There is a “crisis of confidence”. TPTB have overplayed their hand[s]; and all is not well. Only the duped and deluded will now follow the imperial diktats, and the [near] future will strain “official” credibility much further.
    Do a bit of research on the boxer-or-briefs bomber, and you’ll find the official story of: “failure to connect the dots.” Oops! Somebody in Intelligence told State not to revoke his visa. (Bigger bust on the way, don’cha know.) Hmmmm, really now, why the lack of confidence? “Somebody” was hoping for an air disaster to whip up the ol’ war/revenge fever (seems to be losing some of its’ heat lately, don’t it?).
    Bye the bye, Micheal Ruppert’s “Collapse” is on YouTube now. Watch it, and start erasing that bar code tattoo-ed on your forearm…

  439. Cash February 5, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    We do have enormous amounts of land but the thing is you can’t go without food for long and even small disruptions can cause a lot of suffering.
    In 2008 at the height of the commodities frenzy when the price of grains was skyrocketing you couldn’t get rice in major grocery chains where I live. What I heard was that the minute a shipment arrived on the shelves Filipino and other immigrants from poor countries would buy it and have it shipped to their families in the old country because of the shortages there. So then the groceries started limiting the amounts any one person could buy. That situation lasted a couple of months. Apparently there was real hunger happening overseas.
    With us for decades it was high tech this and fiber optic that and I think we collectively forgot that the most important function of an economy is to grow food.

  440. wagelaborer February 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Gang members are just small scale capitalists, fighting over markets. They mostly kill competitors, or people they suspect as informers. (And their accuracy is about as reliable as the suspects the US kills by drone attack.)
    For large scale killing, nothing beats the US military, commanded by the most psychopathic warlords the world has ever seen.
    For those who didn’t read the links I provided about how the US joined with ex-Nazis to rule Europe after WWll, you can continue to use the Hitler boogey-man to justify mass murder.
    There always has to be a boogey-man, from Hitler to Osama binLaden, to justify mass murder. If people are naturally so violent, why do they have to be goaded into a killing frenzy?

  441. wagelaborer February 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Also. Although I try to ignore not mommy, as to make him go away, he and qhstick both have a bad habit that truly annoys me.
    When they want to insult someone, they imply that that person is a woman. I don’t think that being a woman is an insultable offense.
    Pricks!

  442. Cash February 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Wage, I’m confused, are you condoning gang related crimes? There are parts of the city where I live that are really menacing, people have been hit by stray bullets just sitting and relaxing in their houses and apartments, one poor chap (a recent chinese immigrant with a young family) working at his vegetable shop was killed when two rival gangs started shooting at each other from cars, a teenaged girl got killed in the crossfire of two gangs shooting it out on a major street on boxing day. These are not benign organizations, these gangs are human refuse, people that don’t feel like holding down a nine to five because it’s for fools, people that are too cool for school, people that think being in a gang is exciting, there’s money, booze, chicks, respect…you know the drill. They are no way just small scale capitalists.

  443. budizwiser February 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    “I suppose this is what galls so many former Obama boosters: that the “hope” vested in him would be enacted in truth-telling, which would lead to “change” in the choices we make about doing things.” says JHK….
    Yes, this is true. Something I can’t understand has to do with the lack of any “Obama supporters” orchestrating any kind of nationally visible dismay or frustration. Where are the youth of this nation? And how can it be that they so little visible recognition of the failures of governing and lawlessness taking place.
    But I digress. The point of this electronic masterpiece of communication is to enjoin the masses and exchange pertinent information regarding the future qualities of our lives.
    In that regard, one singular activity outstrips all other concerns by exponential magnitude.
    Humankind must come to grip with the scope of itself and the global limits of using petroleum based products to fuel personal passenger vehicles of all types.
    And in this collective realization, humankind must find a method of disconnecting resource consumption from a strictly market-based, currency-backed distribution process.
    This is why the actions of a single person, or even a single nation can not save the status quo and qualities of life so many humans now afford.
    From the perspective of some omnipotent galactic traveler the Earth and its current civilization may be seen as a child playing with matches. (internal combustion engines)
    The future of this planet, may indeed include becoming a hot-house orb not so unlike Venus. How we currently continue to play with matches may determine whether this takes place in 50 years or 50,000………

  444. Qshtik February 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    A Black Journalist On The Haiti Earthquake
    =====================
    Vlad, if ever a piece was written that supports the views you’ve been expounding/espousing — this is it. The journalist, “Loose Canon,” makes his (and your) point in the clearest of language. The only thing to fear would be to learn that the gentleman is white, not black.

  445. diogen February 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    “Gang members are just small scale capitalists”
    Wage, you keep doing it. They are not capitalists, they are organized (kinda) crime, hoodlums. True capitalism operates within legal/regulatory framework, and within free markets. I’ll keep calling you on your mis-characterizations of capitalism :)
    “want to insult someone, they imply that that person is a woman”
    I agree with you, it’s pathetic attempts at propping-up their fragile sense of masculinity.
    Do these guys have daughters/mothers/sisters/wives?
    “how the US joined with ex-Nazis to rule Europe ”
    As distasteful it may have been, it turned out much better than de-Baathification, don’t you think? Defeated Nazi’s were were a lesser evil than triumphant Stalinists/Soviets, don’t you think?

  446. Qshtik February 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    “a pawn or upon…”
    =================
    It is posts like the above that make me think “jim e” might possibly be SEB, back from Kunstler’s siberia.

  447. wagelaborer February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    No, I’m not condoning gang activities. Weird that you would think that, but I can understand it.
    You, as a capitalism supporter, think that comparing gangs to capitalists must mean that I support gangs.
    I don’t support either, as I spent a lot of time yesterday explaining. I am just pointing out that people selling commodities have turf battles, and that they try to eliminate their competitors.
    And, diogen, it’s true that some capitalism operate under rules within their borders, but clearly not within international rules, as the US invasion of Iraq showed very recently.
    Not to mention the ongoing assassination by drone program, the meddling in the internal politics of Iran, the stealth attacks on Yemen, etc.
    Besides, he who has the gold makes the rules, or as Anatole France said:
    “Another reason for pride, that of being a citizen! For the poor, citizenship consists of supporting and sustaining the power and
    idleness of the rich. They must work for those goals before the majestic equality of the laws, which forbids rich and poor alike to
    sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.”

  448. wagelaborer February 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    We have problems with gangs in my city also. I don’t like them either. Nasty posturing macho creeps. A lot like not mommy, actually.
    To be clear, my point was just that their body count is nothing compared to the official US government body count. And that includes collateral damage, as the government calls those caught in the crossfire.
    http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/09/living-outside-green-zone.html

  449. diogen February 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    “as the US invasion of Iraq showed very recently. ”
    This is imperialism, not capitalism :)
    Capitalism is an economic system, not a form of government. It does appear that UNREGULATED capitalism has undue influence on our gov’t, but so do others (special interest groups, influential individuals, the various power-complexes, etc).
    Choose your words carefully, Wage, you will be more persuasive :)

  450. Qshtik February 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    “he and qhstick both have a bad habit that truly annoys me.
    When they want to insult someone, they imply that that person is a woman.”
    ======================
    Wage, it is possible I may be guilty of what you claim but frankly I’m unaware of it. Please quote an instance or two (date and time of post).
    Whatever it was I suspect was me noting some difference between males and females — the kind of differences that leave men scratching their heads (when the difference is viewed from the male perspective) and make women roll their eyes back in their heads (when some difference is viewed from the female perspective). A quick anecdote …..
    I have spoken before about a former co-worker who was so far left that Marx was well to his right. Well, this fellow, Chris, was in a constant agitated state of seeking female companionship with whom he could truly connect, physically, emotionally, politically. I would listen in disbelief (we lunched together frequently over a period of years) at his notions about women — notions that only a person on the far left could actually believe — that women are pretty much just men but with different plumbing. I would say “No Chris, you’ve got to realize that the differences between men and women are sooo vast that they may as well be different species.”
    Now I know, Wage, that you will find that remark infuriating but it’s like cats and dogs … which is better? The answer is they’re both wonderful but in vastly different ways.

  451. Pangolin February 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Ah, yes cats and dogs. With a cat you can have a nice meal for two but if you have a dog you can have a dinner party.
    The death toll of gangs in the US is tiny compared to the two-million plus people trapped in the ongoing Gulag prison system set up to insure the monopoly of pharmaceutical companies and alcohol distributors. Most murders are still of the “crimes of passion” or insane whacko variety. The gang narrative is promoted to keep the gulag going.
    The majority of prisoners being kept on some version of drugs charges. Even those on weapons charges are usually drugs plus guns legal vs. alcohol plus guns equals V.P. Dick Cheney shooting persons in the face and walking.
    It’s funny how those second amendment protections are contingent on skin color.

  452. asoka February 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Cash said:

    people that think being in a gang is exciting, there’s money, booze, chicks, respect…you know the drill. They are no way just small scale capitalists.

    This is so funny! Actually, the USA government funds gang activities through “defense contracts” Gangs paid for by the government are in no way just small scale capitalists. They are big gangs, and move a lot of money.

    In June 2009, an amended lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, alleging that Blackwater employees shot and killed three members of an Iraqi family, including a nine-year-old boy, who were traveling from the Baghdad airport to Baghdad on July 1, 2007. The suit also alleges that Blackwater employees used three company aircraft to kidnap Iraqi citizens from Iraq and further accuses the company of engaging in weapons smuggling, money laundering, tax evasion, child prostitution, illegal drug use and destruction of evidence. — Sizemore, Bill, “Lawsuit Now Accuses Xe Contractors Of Murder, Kidnapping”, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, July 2, 2009

    American tax dollars at work supporting big gangs… and providing them with weapons and security clearances to commit atrocities.

  453. wagelaborer February 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Please don’t make me reread 300 comments, qshtik.
    What I was referring to was the habit of calling men “she” or “girl” and the like, not someone implying that men and women are different.
    I’ll bet your friend would have liked me!

  454. wagelaborer February 5, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Drugs are very big business for international capitalism.
    I believe that JHK’s very good friend Michael Ruppert points out that drug money has helped keep the bank afloat.
    Alfred McCoy has written about CIA involvement in drug smuggling.
    As I pointed out earlier, the CIA and their mafia buddies helped restart the heroin trade after WWll.
    During US involvement in Southeast Asia, most heroin came from there, the Golden Triangle.
    Now that the US is in Afghanistan, heroin production has skyrocketed and Afghanistan is now the chief world supplier. Run into Europe by US allies in Kosovo.
    During the 80s, when the US was busy destroying the dreams and lives of Central American peasants, cocaine was the drug de jure.
    I do not think that these are tragic “coincidental” happenstances. I think that the US war machine is deeply involved in drug running, and the banks are in on it, also.
    I remember reading about George H.W. Bush standing outside a park and talking about how the government had thrown some low level drug dealers in jail and how it made the park safe. The article pointed out that actually drugs had not been dealt in that particular park, in an upscale part of town. But the park was surrounded by banks, including one that was heavily involved in money laundering. G.H.W.Bush didn’t mention that, banking scion that he is.
    US gangs are petty lower level free lance employees, with no benefits.
    As Pangolin points out, drug laws are used to target minorities to keep the gulag going. Jobs, you know. Where I live there were 2 prisons in 1980, and now there are 14!
    As Jesse Jackson put it when he visited, unemployed factory worker’s sons are guarded by unemployed farmer’s sons.
    Again, not so fond of capitalist society.

  455. not mommy February 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    “…you can continue to use the Hitler boogey-man to justify mass murder.”
    Boogey man? No, James Brown was THE boogey man. Hitler was a fucking monster. He was wagelaborer’s and every other person who ever lived, worst nightmare. And you are a FUCKTARD without equal to think otherwise.

  456. not mommy February 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    “I don’t think that being a woman is an insultable offense.”
    Neither do I…if one is a woman.

  457. Qshtik February 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    “What I was referring to was the habit of calling men “she” or “girl” and the like”
    =========================
    If it’s a habit you shouldn’t have a problem finding one or two examples.
    Several months ago I was on a mission to get rid of a poster who called himself Johnny Rico. I called him “Jennie” Rico and used a variety of insults — all totally justified — that likened him to a young teenage girl since that was how I perceived his on-line persona. There is nothing wrong with a young teenage girl acting like a young teenage girl but the sight of a grown man acting like a young teenage girl is revolting. Perhaps you disagree.
    I don’t recall any other example of me calling a man “she” or “girl.”
    P.S. If by some fluke I happen to cross paths with Chris again I’ll do whatever I can to hook you two up ’cause I’d bet my 401K he’s still single and searching. I can picture you two in bed cooling down after hot sex … him reading The Nation and you reading The People’s History … by Howard Zinn.

  458. asoka February 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    workingman1 said:

    Another wacko Hitler type will pop up like they always do in history.

    cash said:

    what do you do about people like Hitler and the Nazis.

    not mommy said:

    Hitler was a fucking monster.

    There have been repeated violations of Godwin’s law this week to indicate that you guys lost the argument a long time ago.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

  459. Puzzler February 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Asoka, only the first of your three examples is an example of Godwin’s Law — which involves not just a mention of Hitler or Nazis, but a COMPARISON to them. Again you should more carefully study the meanings of things you read.

  460. Cash February 5, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    Asoka, I asked what you would have done about people like Hitler and the Nazis. Enlighten me. Because this business about violating Godwin’s law just seems to have no relation to the discussion at hand.
    I don’t think there was anything hyperbolic in asking what you would do about people like Hitler and the nazis if you are saying that fighting them in WW2 was unnnecessary. You said that WW2 was stupid and sadistic. Wars tend to be that way. But what do you suggest as the alternative?

  461. not mommy February 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm