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The Moment of Convulsion

     A little ways off the curb on the Boulevard Henry IV here in Paris, you can see the memory of the Bastille outlined by a course of masonry in the pavement, in particular one of the bulbous towers of the old fortress-prison. It marks one of those threshold moments in history when things got out-of-hand – in the late afternoon of July 14, 1789 – and by the time a mob had detached the head of Warden Bernard-René de Launey from his shoulders and paraded it around on a pike, everyone in the city knew that they had crossed into the politically unknown frontier of Revolution.
     Seeing this residue of history put me in mind of a riddle that one of my college professors presented to us one day years ago: why did Achilles drag Hector around the city of Troy three times? We came up with dozens of reasons ranging from conjectures out of the text of The Iliad to lame bits of Hippie numerology, but nobody could furnish the answer that the prof was looking for, which was eventually revealed: Because he [Achilles] was just that pissed off
     This was the idea that dogged me in the winter twilight of Paris late on Christmas Day as I pondered the fate of my own country back across the cold cold sea. A lot of Americans are beaten down and discouraged these days. They’ve lost not only jobs, incomes, and houses, but also a sense of purpose, and perhaps faith in the essential fairness of the American venture – as the propane runs out, and families try to subsist on Froot Loops, and the re-po squad turns up to haul away the Ford F-150 Raptor. Meanwhile, in their last remaining refuge from harsh reality, TV, they glimpse the likes of Jamie Dimon, Chloe Kardashian, and Jay-Z emerging from limousines looking hopelessly bored with wealth beyond imagination. When will the folks out there move from shame and despondency to being really pissed off about the disposition of things?
     Isn’t that a question, though?
     The French Revolution arose first from a financial crisis that turned into a political crisis. The rule of law had been vested in a class of pampered imbeciles while the price of bread doubled, and sometimes there was no bread at all for the growing masses, or functioning law to govern the country. This was where the rising middle-class of the dawning industrial-commercial age stepped in to straighten things out – people such as Jean Paul Marat the itinerant physician (ahem), thief, sewer rat, and newspaper columnist, and Maxmilien Robespierre, lawyer. They had the example ten years earlier of the successful American Revolution, which Louis XVI had helped finance, and which helped bankrupt the French Treasury. But the new French political class botched the crucial part: a constitution that actually worked. The whole enterprise sank into a morass of absurd utopianism and, finally, paranoia. The guillotine turned out to be the perfect machine for that dark moment: efficient, elegant, and terrifying. The bloodthirsty competed with the incompetent for the soul of the nation until finally a twenty-eight-year-old artillery officer said (in effect), “Look here, fuckers! This will be quite enough of your shenanigans.” After Monsieur General Bonaparte entered the scene, that was all she wrote for the revolution….
     Which brings me to the subject of our own financial crisis, soon to mutate into a political crisis. There really is no “solution” to our problem of debt except to become a less affluent society. You can get there via the path of compressive deflationary depression (no money), or hyperinflation (plenty of worthless money), but the destination is the same. In the meantime we’re stuck with the extremely uneven distribution of hardship and luxury. Whole classes of formerly working people face the prospect of genuine ruin while an ultra-pampered class of celebrity clowns and professional swindlers fob off with whatever’s left on the national buffet table. The real politics of all this are so far from being sorted out that sheer contemplation of what lies ahead leaves the mind harrowed and feeble.
     The Jacobins of 1793 France were basically the Left. It took only five hundred or so of them to bully a nation of 30 million. The Jacobins of the USA in 2011 are basically the Right Wing, followers of Senator Jim DeMint, the mind-slaves of Rush Limbaugh and “students” of Prof Glenn Beck, and, of course, the worshippers of Sarah Palin.  Their brand of politics might be labeled Nostalgic Sentimental Paranoid Know-Nothingism. They’re proud and loud, pious and ignorant, so deeply insecure that they depend on flag lapel pins to remind them to care about their country, full of righteous anger about their own sexual impulses, the religious notions (or not) of other people, and the possible introduction of the rule of law in banking matters. They pretend to represent the folks freezing in their mobile homes who subsist on Froot Loops, but they’re really protecting the country clubbers, the corporate poobahs, the fraudsters on Wall Street, and every other racketeer in the land – including their own class of political grifters.
     The Obama Democrats, the putative Left Wing, are analogous to the pro-monarchy center of revolutionary France. Their ethical sanctimony is fake while they do everything possible to keep the rule of law out of money matters. They are most of all ineffectual and impotent, capable only of grandstanding hyped up Great Compromises that accomplish nothing, and probably doom the party to be chewed up by the machinations of their bloodthirsty adversaries on the right. It’s hard to shed a tear for them, their performance has been so purblind and wimpish.
      History has its own momentum and it is carrying the psychotic Right Wing into power. Fear not. After they stomp the moderates and the Left, they will themselves end up in an orgy of political cannibalism before somebody as yet unknown – perhaps some field brigadier just now in Afghanistan – steps up to say, “Look here, fuckers….” Meanwhile, America may have its own Bastille moment when something goes too far, some poor functionary at the Treasury Department gets scalped by a gang of 99ers, or a distressed physician goes after Glenn Beck in the student union of a Bible college, or… Gawd knows what.
     Meanwhile, you are sleeping and it’s morning here in Paris. I get the feeling that we’re at the end of the great era of tourism. Europe has been the world’s premiere tourist theme park for half a century. Given Europe’s bloody, riotous history, it’s been a remarkable period of peace and affluence. Since the 1960s, everything here in Paris got buffed up to perfection. Notre Dame’s white stone façade gleams in the winter sunlight. The Louvre, the Opera, the Conciergerie, the Tomb of Napoleon are all fixed, re-pointed, re-gilded. The café and restaurant scene operates like one great gastronomic machine, effortless and masterful. I’m already nostalgic for it.
     In the background, Europe’s money situation is disintegrating, and with it probably the easy order that has reigned in this period. They are going broke, too, just as surely as America is, and they are responding in pretty much the same way: a game of extend and pretend (with some prayer as the cherry-on-top). Meanwhile, the price of oil has breached the $91 dollar line. If it goes just a little bit higher, and the winter weather stays harsh, you can bet that some airlines will be going down the drain. Combine that with the vanishing disposable incomes of the middle class and you get an ill-fated recipe for the tourism business – with perhaps some home-grown mob action waiting in the wings around Europe, not to mention friction between age-old enemies.
     I was fortunate to see Europe at its bes
t in my time, and now we are entering a new time of great uncertainty and travail. I’ll be back home next week with the usual gruesome forecast for the new year. And yes, I am aware that the Dow Jones Industrial Average did not settle around 4000 points, as I predicted a year ago. Obviously 2010 was a year of fabulous prosperity in the USA – just ask the people running out of propane with their bowls full of Froot Loops.
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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.

548 Responses to “The Moment of Convulsion” Subscribe

  1. Jeff Gerritsen December 27, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    I’m reminded of an saying that was popular about 10 years ago, “… some people are only alive because it is ILLEGAL to kill them!”
    Fast forward about 10 – 20 years, many common folks may not care about the legality of certain actions, especially when 10’s of millions of people are starving to death and the Power Elites think they are safe behind their hedge rows in the Hamptons.
    Only time will tell.
    However, if violence does come to the PE’s I will not shed one tear, nor have one ounce of pity, nor once of compassion for these bastards, which I hold in the highest of contempt.
    However what I do fear is, if we drink of the intoxicating beverage of violence we will destroy our own soul and nation in the process and become no better than the bastards we curse.
    Hence the dilemma we face.
    An equitable system of rationing while we reduce our world population is the only hope we have as there is no solution to the issues we face.

  2. zoroastra999 December 27, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    Am I actually first? Miracles never cease!
    Intead of having tossers sign in ‘first’ all the time why don’t the first come last (as in YouTube comments for instance). That way a meaningful discussion can ensue.
    As it is unless you are ‘first’ (or somewhere near it) you might as well not bother to write anything – since it will be ‘buried’ at the end of the pile.

  3. Antonio December 27, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    Perhaps it’s instructive to compare budget deficits (as % of GDP) in Europe and the US:
    Ireland 32%
    Greece 13,6%
    Spain 11,2 %
    Compare this with the US:
    Nevada 54.5%
    Illinois 40.4%
    New Jersey 38.2%
    Arizona 36.5%
    Maine 34.7%

  4. TR December 27, 2010 at 5:08 am #

    The professor knew the correct answer.
    I’ve been saying for years that there is only one
    rule: BE CAREFUL WHO YOU PISS OFF
    Now for a multiple choice test.
    What do you see in the future?
    (A)class warfare
    This question has a value of 100 points.
    Let me know how you score.

  5. Jon Dickens December 27, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    That’ll be the Sacre Couer that’s glowing white, not Notre Dame! Yeah, things in Europe have been good since ’45. I do wonder what will happen when my parent’s generation dies off (I’m in my 40’s) as they lived through that conflict & that hardship that came with it. As my friend’s dad says here in Berlin ‘You never vote for war when you have the memory of the smell of blood, rotting meat & explosives & of eating dead dogs, as that was my childhood in Berlin in ’45’. But be in no mistake, the great decline started here after the fall of communism. Ex-East Germany is the Michagan of Europe, but with prettier towns & added neo-nazi goons. Come to think of it, when I see my nose in the mirror & think of the blood of my ancestors, `I start to get a little nervous…

  6. FriendlyAquaponics December 27, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Revolution can be quiet, and non-violent. Mini-farms, relocalization, community reconnection. “Let them eat cake” is the message of the elite. Let us eat, and learn to feed ourselves again is the message that will save us from the oligarchy.
    Please see our website, for our commitment in action to these worthy goals, http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com.
    And







    for a short video on how to get there from here.

  7. FriendlyAquaponics December 27, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    As a link, that’s http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/

  8. Nyc Labretš December 27, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    10 years ago, on Bill Clinton’s last day in office, and on Herr George Busch’s first, on 21 January, 2001 the DJIA opened at 10,587 points.
    Today, with Friday’s close of 11,573 points it’s a scant 1,000 points above that.
    A 10% gain in 10 years, 1% a year. Even CDs pay better.
    Now if you look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the course of the last 10 years and then factor in the 1/3rd loss of value of the US $ Dollar has had vs. the € Euro since then, and the overall rate of Domestic Inflation in the USA in that same period at 25%, and that brings it to just over 5,000 points, which is in perilously close enough range in both horseshoes and cigars to your projected 4,000 point range for the DJIA.s
    That’s just two variables. I’m sure if a couple more were tossed in we could get that to 4,000 points, or below, and not even break a sweat.
    Conversely, had the DJIA increased in value by the oft touted NYSE stat of 10% a year, then today the Dow Jones would be closing in on the 30,000 point range.
    Instead, it’s been languishing at a third of that.
    For a decade.
    And is highly unlikely to make up for that in this ensuing year of 2011.
    Unless, of course, if pigs can fly.

  9. caliope December 27, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Living here in Munich, I am amazed at the ubiquitous ignorance and cluelessness of humanity in general. I always enjoyed the thought while in San Francisco for 10 years prior to taking up the expat lifestyle again, that Americans were worse than the rest. Well, the US has its own brand of ignorance, and certainly more hostile by the look of it,but I suspect thats because we are more transparent and unrepressed in our expression of our various forms of malcontent. Folks here have as many ridiculous ideas and omissions and expect their government to take care of them.
    I dont know if the culture has learned anything of intrinsic value to its citizens from the War. And thats a scary thought..
    My husband and I laugh about this, and admittedly Donald Rumsfeld is a putz, but he really did have something when he spoke of ‘old Europe’. We were in Krakow recently, and Id take the people there over these clueless insulated Germans any day. The Poles know what its like, living in a giant suck, they are realistic and aware of the world at large, and have just the means required to create something better in the future. Unless of course one of those pesky madmen come along, traipsing across them on the way to Russia, or back like others from Russia, maybe this time to conquer Paris for croissant and espresso. (Not as so many Americans call it-‘EXpresso’ :)
    Ant any rate, heres an image for you. We live a few minutes away from the poshest street in Munich for high-end shopping. Hermes just opened a store, there’s a Bulgari, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, etc called Maximillianstrasse.
    Somewhere along this short stretch is where Hitler had his apartment, bought for him on his rise to power by a rich supporter. I found a photo of it, but not the actual address, and its hard to tell from the architecture of the day and now which it is. Im dying to know which ridiculous brand to associate with him and his palatial home.
    Im sure some fine journalist could pull some wit and wisdom from the absurdity of that one.
    And PS, the guy form Shadowstats believes hyperinflation will hit 6-24 months out. I recommend anyone with a pet to stock up on pet food just in case. At least you wont have to chose whether your animal eats or you do. I mean, whose gonna eat cat kibble? That would have to be really bad…Just ask the Poles..

  10. piltdownman December 27, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    Jim –
    If I never make it back to Paris, will you wander over to the Rue de Parchimenerie for me? I loved my little hotel there, with its view of the rooftop pots and the grand monuments….
    I am wistful about the world as the year winds down. The deaths of three friends and close relatives has made me care less for the commonweal and look more inward. And perhaps there is a lesson in that, as I really don’t see anyone stepping up to the plate and batting cleanup for the Revolutions Raiders. Americans have learned, when the going gets tough, to simply drink or divert themselves into inaction….
    Bon chance….

  11. nothing December 27, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Jimbo! Since governments are failing, how about we try a radical new idea: Let people run their own lives with minimum interference. Oh wait, that was tried in America and was crushed.
    We must protect ourselves; it’s only going to get worse. Some tips at The Nothing Store

  12. Jim from Watkins Glen December 27, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Another fine piece of writing today. Kunstler understands better than most that story arcs can predict human behavior. More average Americans are starting to see through the mythology that we are somehow special and exempt from the forces of history and nature. The young people I talk to understand this and ready to deal with whatever’s next. It’s the fat cats who are clueless and bereft of any frame of reference for scaled-back living. Think of the shocked look on the British Royals’ faces as the mob pelted their limo a couple weeks back. I wonder if they realize how close they came to being hood ornaments on their own Bentley.

  13. zen17 December 27, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    So maybe we really need to be working on what is important.
    Get the body healthy, Get the mind clear, and be ready to react and adapt to the fulid changes that are taking place. It is going to take wisdom and a lot of luck.
    http://wanderingsagewisdom.blogspot.com

  14. GhostofGreed December 27, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    If there is a revolution in America at this point, it will be unorganized and ineffective. The people who once were in the middle class and now face poverty still don’t blame the right people for their fate. Many do blame the government, correctly, but still overlook the big bankers and other undeservedly wealthy people in our country who have stolen and hoarded most of the money. But, mostly, I think middle classers blame themselves for their fates – because that’s how we’ve set up our country. We are responsible for our fates. I know people who are laid off who won’t file for unemployment or who are worried about losing their homes but won’t file for food stamps or other aid to assist them. Most people I know who have been laid off are growing depressed about themselves – after numerous interviews – as if it has to do with them and now the current economy, etc. Propaganda is a powerful tool – and the propaganda in this country says the economy is getting better.
    I think any form of rioting in this country will be spontaneous – like a black Friday riot. It will be messy and unorganized. Our current police state is ready for it. Already the government has convinced most Americans that we should submit to serious invasions of privacy in order to fly on a plane – even though this “security” isn’t keeping us any safer at all. It won’t take much for Americans to allow further invasions of privacy (we already accept government tracking on cell phones, cameras in downtown areas of many cities, Internet monitoring, etc.). With this kind of security in place, it won’t take much to quell an unorganized mob. They’re ready for it.
    My prediction is that ultimately, the current situation will lead to some right wing nutjob in the White House in 2012 and perhaps eventually some of us wimpy left wingers will organize and revolt. But, that’s a ways in the future. When some nutjob like Sarah Palin gets into office, we will be in a scenario like The Handmaid’s Tale, in my opinion. I mean, that’s an extreme, but we’ll find many of our rights gone, that’s for sure. Things will get way worse before they get better, but I think it’s the average Joe who will suffer first.
    It’s tough to know, as an Average Joe (or Josephine, as in my case), what to do right now. Lay low, stock up on food, think of how to protect my kids? I don’t know, but I agree with Mr. Kunstler – we just don’t know what’s going to happen here, but I hope everyone realizes that things are not going to be the same as they always were around here.

  15. icurhuman2 December 27, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    You won’t see revolution until there are no more fruit-loops to be had. Then, ten days later, without food, and it’s over, too weak to fight over scraps most people will just die.
    Those who can make hard choices and have already alligned themselves with the one’s who have made plans, like me, will survive on the fringes until a crude order can be maintained. The dangers the remnants face will be manifold and will range from inter-regional conflict to avoiding the poisonous remains of toxic modern civilisation; you don’t want to live too near nuclear power plants that have been left to rot by escaping technicians, for instance.
    I think 2011 is going to be the year of the big crunch as too many forces of disruption are occuring at the same time, way beyond the control we’ve seen over the last year. There’s no way out of the unfolding economic disaster and there’s no chance any miracle will suddenly bring forth the fuel needed to power the world for another industrious and hopeful year. I suggest any new year resolution includes stocking up on food and water, while keeping a secret stash, and preparing to fight to keep your corner safe until the dust settles. Good luck.

  16. troutbum2 December 27, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Jim,
    Remember the first rule of CNBC when giving predictions : If you give a number, never give a date and if you give a date, never give a number.

  17. GAbert December 27, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    A boutique hotel in the Paris 7eme for Christmas! You lucky mug! At least the French were able to do something about their predicament. We Americans seem so content to just let the ruling elites keep running the show sans souci. Though a revolution is abundantly justified, I doubt we’ll ever do anything.
    http://www.gwabert.com/

  18. Truckee December 27, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    A great American once said….”predicting the future is easy, it’s being right that’s the hard part.”
    Examine your zest for doom!

  19. lbendet December 27, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    The ghosts of history
    Nothing like being in a city like Paris looking at the way history and the present exist in parallel time in the form of architecture. These monuments of past and present represent centuries of history – a fabric that lends historic context. What emotions they evoke while we contemplate this slow motion collapse for the West as we look for parallels to the situation we now face.
    For the past few decades we have had a civics war between the extreme right and the moderate left with all the trappings of revanchism and an attempt to revise history for the sake of getting the low information folks into the program. They’ll be angry at someone, but not the right someone, thanks to the Faux news.
    The DNC business folks have not helped themselves by buying into the same economic and global framework as the right. They all walk in lockstep to the globalism that has destroyed the American workforce and chose to commit to Trillion dollar ongoing wars. Now we see Obama becoming a good Republican as Clinton had during his stay in the White House.
    On 911 we watched in horror at the twin towers of the World Trade Center buckle and fall apart. There was this illusion that they could stand up to the damage, still standing behind billowing smoke, but it was a gestalt moment when your mind filled in the blank. In the stillness of that moment, one could see blue sky behind the smoke where a building once stood and then it was suddenly clear that we were watching a collapse but somehow missed it at the same time as we watched with so much concentration.
    It was a watershed moment and since then everything has gone in the wrong direction. From the Supreme court appointing the mediocre “W” President ten months earlier to the engagement in longest wars we have ever fought.
    They borrowed huge monies using China in the grandiose scheme of Chimerica, no one would have voted for if given t he choice.
    As our economy was stolen right in front of us in broad daylight, trillions of dollars went to the international banksters.
    The stock market was the key to the illusion that our global enconomy was still functioning–like the gestalt of the building being there when it wasn’t. Rule of law can’t be applied when you need the illusion of a functioning economy for the world market. How fragile it is will be anyone’s guess.

  20. Nyc Labretš December 27, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    I’m in Munich as well and I find it metaphorically telling that the Maximilianstrasse shopping district begins with Tiger Wood’s old firm of Accenture right on the corner leading to all those high end shops.
    The rot truly does begin at the head of the fish.
    Here’s a photo of Hitler’s old place that I took on passing by last year http://tinyurl.com/2vqwh47 the street address is Prinzregentenplatz 16 and if you’re so inclined you can get there by the U4. Not much there as the lower floor is now a police station.
    If Adolf was alive today I’m quite certain he’d be wearing a Burberry® trenchcoat and matching scarf.
    After all the Burberry Nova pattern, (much favored by today’s ruling elite), uses the Nazi Swastika’s same exact red, white and black colors, and Hitler did wear khaki.

  21. Onthego December 27, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    If anyone doubts the power of Glenn Beck’s version of insanity, I invite you to spend two hours with my 80-year old father, as I did yesterday. The fear and hate he spewed was a mirror of what he has heard from Beck in these latter days. Dad used to listen to Rush Limbaugh, who is too tame for him now, I guess. He is buying more ammunition and composing a list (hopefully only in his head) of those who will need to be purged in the next Revolution. It is a damn good thing his mobility is challenged. Too bad Beck’s is not.

  22. Leibowitz Society December 27, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    The key place where JHK’s comparison of modern America to pre-Revolutionary France breaks down is that the French Revolutionaries did not see themselves as being part of the establishment, as the class system in France clearly divided the nation into the monarchy, nobility and clergy on one hand, everyone else on the other. The Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs, and their followers, view themselves as being integrated fully into the nation’s governing apparatus even as they use rhetoric to worm themselves into power. It would be impossible for them to lead a truly revolutionary charge against all the institutions that they themselves worship (police, military, etc). Imagine the guys waving American flags burning American flags. Not going to happen. If anything, they’ll become the new SA, the new Brownshirts.
    The most likely scenario is still just people waking up one day to find out that the lights aren’t ever coming on again and that the world has become a much bleaker and hungrier place overnight, without them truly realizing it.
    Visit http://leibowitzsociety.blogspot.com for one response to the accelerating decay of our modern society.

  23. pennohio December 27, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    I have no idea of what is in the future, but I have a feeling that we are reliving the Great Depression. I try to put myself back 80 years in time. Next year, it will be 1931!
    I just received a calendar with pictures of motor coaches for each month. (I have an obsession with buses!) Anyway, for the month of October, the picture is of a new Twin Coach in Akron, OH, loading passengers on a sunny day in 1931. The people are very well dressed and there are plenty of shiny automobiles on the street. The downtown seems vibrant with large department stores and lots of smaller stores. I’m sure that no one aqt that time was calling the times, the Great Depression. Yet, now as we look back, 1931 wasn’t such a great year for a lot of people! I’m also sure that the governments, local, state, and Federal, were all telling the same tale…Things Are Going To Get Better…just be patient, prosperity is just around the corner.
    Yes, I’ve read that revolution was being bandied about, but as we can note today, it didn’t happen (at least, in a violent way). Day in and day out, life will go on. Most people don’t take in the whole picture until they or their children read about it in a history book!

  24. Pepper Spray December 27, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    I think it is wise to prepare for a long bout of this continuing nonsense as more QEs are poured onto the flames of a burning economy. As long as the bread and circuses keep coming the masses will refuse to look up and see what is really before them… until they have to.
    We have become a nation of lazy, pampered TV slaves who have been so long on our back sides that even if we did wake up we would die of a coronary while running for our fire brands and pitch forks.
    And the PE know it!

  25. ElleBeMe December 27, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    The analogy to the French Revolution is appropriate but I see it more along the lines of the Russian Revolution….albeit a reverse revolution….
    You have the Great Czar and his land who so nobly went off in the early years of the 20th century to subdue those insurgent Japanese who DARED invade Manchuria….and what did you get? The Russians went home, a LOT of men fewer, their navy SUNK and a territory lesser. The people of the Russias did not forget. Reminds me of Iraq.
    A few years later Pan-Slavism rears its ugly head and forces the hand of the Czar to fight against his “dear” Cousin Willy of Germany in WWI. Well we all know how well THAT turned out for the great Russian Empire….Reminds me of Afghanistan…
    Wars, rumors of wars these are the destroyers of Empires. And our wee shenanigans in the mountains of Afghanistan – the very setting to the end of the USSR, have us running around protecting the narco-dollar trade in a last-ditch effort to try and save the dwindling value of the dollar…because our stronghold of trading oil in dollars is beginning to weaken…for what oil we can still haul up from the ground. You could say that hoping to hold onto it is a pipe dream…*ahem*
    Anyways – unlike the French, the Russians were industrialized….industrialized for the 1880’s not the 1900’s….they hadn’t caught up to Europe…hadn’t invested in manufacturing infrastructure…and what does that remind you of? I see the rust-belt of the US decaying further today…we exported our manufacturing overseas leaving shells of factories to rot here at home. And the people either move to a sunbelt town hoping for some semblance of a job, or they stay put and watch their past income decay while they put in triple shifts at Wally-world just to afford that value meal at McD’s and get the kiddos another Pixar new-release.
    As for the People…well, before the Russian Revolution the people saw their Czar as their “papa” sent down from heaven above to rule them under God’s rule. Revolution did not arise from the plebes’ ranks but from the middle-class college/university students and PO’d aristocracy. The rabble-rousers if you will….the people were not inclined to rise up alone. They were led by those hell-bent upon destroying the current state of affairs and rulling in their stead. Can anyone say tea-party?
    There is so much more to mention; so much more I am leaving out…but in comparison today we are recovering from the cornholing of Iraq. We are still paying for a narco-racket in Afghanistan with cash and blood. We have the neo-anglo-pan-american hordes who have gotten an even stronger foothold in our government with the intention of making our conversion to fascism complete despite the suffering of the people at the hands of their corporate masters.
    And from all of this….what was the outcome and what will ours be? The russians rebelled, the Bolsheviks trounced the Mensheviks. New School vs. Old School & old school lost. And who rose up to lead this new land? A humanitarian? No…Lenin died and Stalin took over. In comparison, What does that mean for us????
    I can only speculate that no great American revolution will take place. The people are too busy watching TV and being soothed by it to get up off their la-z-boys to do anything. They would be much more content for a revolution to take place that they do not have to take part in, but benefit from. They will sit and freeze in their dwellings – from trailer to near-empty mcmansion happy to have a roof over their heads and get whatever meager crumbs they can from their employers to afford cable, fast-food, gas for the car, and hand over what’s left to the religious vaccum of their choice. The revolution the “people” seem to want is for the “conservative right” to exterminate the Left. And they will sit by their TVs and cheer it on like a NASCAR race or the Super Bowl. Because that is what they have been told to do. Hence why I call it a reverse-revolution…The people do nothing while those in power duke it out for THEIR own benefit. And the one cheering them on to “WIN” is too obtuse to even know he is the biggest loser in the game.
    The only way to get people to get off their expanding @sses would be to take away their TVs. Do that and you may very well see some action from the common man. YOu can take food, heat and home away from him, but nobody d!cks around with Faux Noise and Monday Night Football….

  26. Al Klein December 27, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Time for a nice, hot war! One where we (I mean civilians) get to directly participate. Mostly as collateral damage, though. This will solve many of our problems. Those problems that remain will not be seen as problems when we face the burdens of wartime. Maybe war is not being actively considered as a solution to our woes. Nevertheless, it can be brought about by the overwhelming hubris of our elites. In any case, those of you have have such, enjoy your food on the table and your warm houses – it may not last much longer. I have this nagging feeling that heartache and woe of a greater sort is headed our way. As another CFNer wrote earlier, just ask the Poles. Or the Germans. Or the Russians.

  27. popcine December 27, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    So what is all this talk?
    Journalism is about events that have
    taken place; advocacy is about what should
    be tried. If you’re only going to talk
    about something because it might happen,
    then, I ask you, be more definite about
    whether it makes you happy or afraid.
    There are solutions. Start with a
    Constitutional Convention.

  28. marzo December 27, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Jim,
    out of curiosity, do you own a gun?
    thanks,
    GP

  29. tstreet December 27, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    One thing I learned in 2010. The stock market is perfectly capable of having a great year while Main Street persists in a state of recession. This is wonderful news for the Wall Street mavens as they no longer have to deal with that messy little detail called the economy any more. Apparently, Jim made the same mistake I did and, henceforth, should be rather cautious about making pronouncements about the stock market. As I will as well.
    There are so many factors destroying America that is difficult to decide where to start. Anyway, I suggest we start with Wall Street and then move to the obscene military expenditures. Not a bad start and plenty to occupy us during 2011.

  30. kulturcritic December 27, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    “A specter is haunting Europe,” Karl Marx once wrote. He wrote these words on the eve of revolutionary outbreaks that began in Italy and France in 1848 and soon engulfed much of the Continent.
    Unbeknownst to most Americans, Europe is again engulfed in revolt, which threatens to spread. The financial crisis that started in the USA and swept the globe, along with the sovereign debt crisis that was inflicted upon the European Union as a result, has ignited the passions of strangled and enslaved masses everywhere. People have recognized their enslavement and have put a finger on their slave-masters. The largely capitalist regimes are no less affected than are the socialist, communist, or theocratic ones, for they all have the same owner.
    On the heels of 2009 civil unrest that had swept through Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Portugal, Russia and the Czech Republic in response to diverse austerity measures implemented by the ruling elites, a full-force revolt has broken out in France. Much like the political protests following the Iranian elections in 2009, months of protests and street demonstrations across France have taken a more violent turn, and signs of an armed insurrection continue to mount. Across the Atlantic, even the Canadians have taken their eyes off the puck long enough to become enraged, staging protests at the G-20 meeting in Toronto that would make a Frenchman proud, protests that have prompted one of the tamest looking of political beasts to bare its tyrannical fangs.
    The American middle class is still preoccupied with gazing at the shadows cast upon the walls of its cave (or is that prison), preferring to go on believing what we are told by our owners and handlers: that all will be right with our little world, provided we keep our heads down and work hard (at trying to find a job). Political hucksters like Obama reassuringly tell us that “Yes We Can” survive this crisis and go on begging for a piece of the American Dream. The man behind the curtain is imploring us to go on ignoring what is plainly before our eyes. He tells us that their world is intact and will continue to prosper. And we dutifully listen, and willfully refuse to see. But the disillusioned among us can no longer ignore the mountain of evidence to the contrary that is before us. The show is coming to an end, and it promises to be an inglorious one. The wave of extinctions, peak oil, peak water, economic and financial crises worldwide, political unrest abroad that is about to spread to the homeland—are these not signs of immanent collapse?
    But even our European brothers and sisters do not understand the magnitude of this seismic event. It is neither a fiscal nor an economic problem. It is not a matter of having the wrong political leadership, nor is it the result of confused or misguided personal priorities. It is a crack in the dome of the theatre of the Spectacle that began with the advent of human history, of civilization itself. It is the endgame of the human evolutionary dead end that has pathologically sought artifices of manipulation and control at all costs.
    As Thomas Hobbes proleptically though unwittingly stated centuries ago, this will be a “Warre of all against all.” But this will not be the war that he mistakenly assumed would have occurred among our pre-civilized ancestors had it not been for our constituting the social contract. Rather, it is a war resulting from that very contract, grounded in cold and calculative thinking, and from the momentum it imparted to civilization for these last six thousand years of recorded history.
    The specter Marx was referring to was Communism: his contention was that it would and should be the final stage in the dialectical movement of history to a civil but classless society. He was mistaken: the communist experiment failed. The real ghostly apparition, the unpleasantness that is haunting us now is a natural reflection of the fundamental lethality of industrial civilization itself and the systems of hierarchy and domination it has spawned, all based upon the power of the syllogism. This is the logic of objective science, the principle of our legal systems, the rationality behind our social contracts, the anonymity of our civil politics, and the narrative framework of history itself. It is this logic that binds us to hierarchies that have worked to empty the world of all its resources and life, of all its significance, replacing them with impersonal systems that vainly attempt to control and manage all affairs, human or natural.
    It is the inevitable culmination of six thousand years of unnatural, human history that began with the first urban empires emerging in and around Mesopotamia’s once fertile Fertile Crescent. People can still sense this basic lethality, though many have themselves become empty parts of emptying hierarchical institutions—an emptiness expressed most baldly in the following formulation: If A is a B, and B is a C, then A must be a C. Whether to control nature or our fellow humans, in this view we are all interchangeable cogs, commodities within the single logic of control – a composite of test scores, job functions, marketable fashions and other objective criteria. Herein lies the reason for our emptiness, our sense of alienation from one another, from nature, and from our own natures. Compensating for this emptiness, we have sought to acquire other commodities to make us feel whole again—televisions, cars, laptops and other gadgets. But flashy cars and big screen televisions are not a replacement for happiness, and they will not save us.
    America is the most rationally conceived of all modern, civilized societies. We have more science and technology, more laws and lawyers, more prisons and prisoners, more military bases—in short, more and larger systems of domination than any other country on the planet. We also have more money managers and swindlers, more rat race, more mental illness and more lone gunmen acting out against whatever they perceive as an injustice in their world. And yet we keep marching straight ahead to the precipice. We are a nation of rule-followers, not a community of free persons—and we are committed to the syllogism as no other. There is no dignity in our enslavement; we have become the emptiest of souls.
    What is haunting the globe today is the specter of primitive anarchy, a feral tendency buried deep within the marrow and musculature of the human species. It is a powerful instinct, an irrepressible will to survive the artfully constructed but cold hierarchical systems of domination that have been enslaving the planet for six millennia, and which are now failing. It is anarchic in the truest sense of the word: it seeks to be leaderless not merely in a political sense, but to be free from the tyrannical hegemony imposed by the civilizing logic of syllogistic reasoning itself. It seeks to make each person, each interaction, each moment unique, unclassifiable, open to will and chance. It seeks freedom in the polysemy of the senses, of the physical body—not the body politic. This specter is not imaginary: it is real, and it is upon us. It is now everywhere and has a will of its own. It can no longer be brought under control, through force or through reason, and there will be no escaping it. It is not interested in you; it is coming after who you are.

  31. Desertrat December 27, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    My father made it from D-Day to Dortmund. He once commented that the trouble with war movies is that there’s no way to include the stench of rotting meat.
    Monday Night Football might be preferable to a stench in one’s lawn…
    Doesn’t matter if it’s Left or Right: Government’s primary goal is the extension of power over the populace. Government is not going away, nor will it cease its efforts toward that goal…

  32. ian807 December 27, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Nobody in the USA will revolt while there is:
    1) Cheap food (Bread)
    2) Cheap entertainment (Circuses)
    3) Cheap psychoactive drugs (Alcohol, pot, etc.)
    When that all runs out (and it will, by and by), revolution won’t be effective until it’s focused on eliminating both the local, and the transnational wealthy by whatever means necessary. If we allow these leeches to survive and breed, they will do so, and come back to suck the lifeblood from the masses again.
    I’m not optimistic about this happening. People are too stupid, and the Fox news propaganda machine too effective. More than 60 years after WWII, there are still neo-nazis. 60 years from now, there will be neo-conservatives.

  33. budizwiser December 27, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Let’s face it – America for the most part has become a nation of obese, purblind, moronic half-wits.
    And much of the proof of that statement is evidenced in JK’s descriptions of news-makers and entertainers above. I mean, if these are the people that are passing for “leadership” – then what do you think as a basis for “followers?”
    To objectively analyze the fomenting of any social unrest someone will have to study that nature of political subdivisions that can self identify and unify their collective anger and mission into a singular focus.
    People – its not enough to be “pissed off.”
    You have to be pissed off for identical reasons with identical needs to be fulfilled.
    So far, it is more likely that Rush Limbaugh will rally thousands of “ditto heads” to the defense of the Hampton Estates than it for any armed insurrection to change the status quo.
    This is why I have such an abstract approach to discussing Peak Oil. Like the fuck-heads that came up with the War On Terror – what is now needed is a fucking WAR ON STUPID-FUCKING -WASTEFUL PETROLEUM CONSUMPTION
    What we NEED is a way to get Americans to give up their wasteful energy usage the way they gave up their liberties after 911.
    The trouble with that – no “profits” in it…..

  34. cogdis December 27, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Today’s blog reminds me of a conversation with an Argentine expat. We were talking about why Argentines put up with a chronically corrupt political cultural where so many in office steal as if it is their right to do so. Why don’t Argentines revolt I asked. The simple answer was that there is always enough beef and wine.
    I have not studied revolutionary histories in Europe, but I think attempting to draw too much from examining French or Russian experiences ignores that there are powerful technological forces in play that didn’t exist in the 18th and 19th centuries . Widespread possession of handguns and automatic and semi-automatic rifles in many states, social medias, and a population never before so dependent on cheap energy and technology are just a few things that muddy our ability to appreciate the course of things. Uncharted waters indeed.

  35. MarlinFive54 December 27, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Not to worry, Jim. The Detroit Tigers, in perhaps the most distressed city in North America, recently tendered a 160 million dollar contract to Victor Martinez, a fair to middling catcher. How bad can the situation be if dough like that is being passed out?
    Incidentally, I didn’t see much in the news about the 114 billion dollars in bonuses given out on Wall Street this week … swag extricated from the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve!

  36. The Mook December 27, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    I think those sites are bass ackwards.

  37. The Mook December 27, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Plenty of money left down here in south Florida. Also plenty of empty boat slips, homes for sale, and casinos. Good to be out of the snow, but the fact that I (Cracker) am a minority down here, is rather depressing.

  38. empirestatebuilding December 27, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Meanwhile over in La La Land, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are having a grand old time playing real life.
    I’d like to see us muddle along for another couple of years, at least long enough for the Republicans to regain the White House. It would be nice to see those truly responsible for this debacle be in charge when TSHTF.
    Not that I am not an equal opportunity blamer of course…
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  39. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    “An equitable system of rationing while we reduce our world population is the only hope we have…”
    Me thinks you have a little more than I. I will be by shortly to “equitably redistribute” some of your more.

  40. wagelaborer December 27, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Actually, Rumsfield referred to France and Germany as “old Europe”, because they refused to back the US invasion of Iraq.
    “New Europe” was Poland and the rest of the old Soviet bloc, so proud to be part of US imperialism that they participated in the invasion AND provided black sites for the torture of prisoners of the US.
    They were also paid handsomely for their participation, in valuable US dollars.

  41. MarlinFive54 December 27, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Glen Beck takes alot of abuse on this site, but it needs to be pointed out that Beck is a fan of James Howard Kunstler. I’ve heard him discuss, in glowing terms, both “The Long Emergency” and “World Made by Hand”. Peak Oil affects all of us, and it is a mistake to assume that Jims’ books appeal to those only on the left. They appeal to people on the right as well.

  42. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    “Am I actually first? Miracles never cease!”
    No. You were second. There are no miracles.

  43. Workdove December 27, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Everyone waited and watched for convergence to take place between Communism and Capitalism; none to realize that both systems would collapse and both models of society would devolve into plutocracies.
    Anyone wonder what would have happened if we had not ventured down the ‘Extend and pretend’ road? The wealthy had a choice between collapse and revolution and they chose the latter; which in itself is only a delaying tactic which will only drag out the collapse to buy time for their own selfish interests at the expense of the long term stability of society.
    We could have had a gentle collapse of confidence at the end of 2008 which would have led to a 5-10 year resetting the social fabric to zero, where the wealthy would have been wiped out with the rest of us. But, no, we had to have ‘extend and pretend’.

  44. stlhdr December 27, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Jim’s books may appeal to Glen Peck er I mean Beck, but Glen does not appeal to us.

  45. wagelaborer December 27, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    See, it’s people like jimjim who make me despair of making a better world.
    Others have pointed out that Americans are so brainwashed that they are unable to see who is profiting from the impoverishment of the vast majority of Americans.
    There will be no pitchfork-wielding peasants storming the Hamptons. As someone pointed out, there is more likely to be deluded jimjims, organized by Beck, protecting the Hamptons, and then rushing off to slaughter black people, or muslims.
    Extreme inequality of wealth makes for unpleasant societies, complete with unpleasant people.

  46. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    “Think of the shocked look on the British Royals’ faces as the mob pelted their limo…”
    The mob was protesting tuition hikes, not a lack of food. Fuck the pampered mob AND the royals. Entitlement to a cheap education has merely spawned a plethora of imbeciles. Let them eat cake and pay for their own fucking books.

  47. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    “Glen Beck takes alot of abuse on this site, but it needs to be pointed out that Beck is a fan of James Howard Kunstler”
    Not only that but Jimmie agrees with much of what Beck talks about on his program.
    Jimmie was wrong about the Tea Party and his equating them with corn pone nazism. The Tea Party was and is about fiscal responsibility, nothing more, nothing less. Every single issue that Jimmie has, relating to the sad current state of the world, can be traced back to fiscal irresponsibility, He and Beck are on the exact same page but Jimmie is too myopic to realize that.

  48. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    ” When some nutjob like Sarah Palin gets into office…”
    I ain’t a fan of Palin but I find it hard to believe that she could fuck things up any worse than our current administration.

  49. Paul Kemp December 27, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Thanks, Jim, for a clear statement of where we are, in the repetitive cycles of history. I, too, am struck by the fascination and material support those who have next-to-nothing give to their heros and heroines, the Jay-Zs, Kardassians, et al. — who have absolutely no concern for their fans. It is sick.
    Violence begets violence, though. I don’t doubt there will be violence in the States and elsewhere, but I think it’s wiser to withdraw our energies from the State by expatriating and renouncing citizenship, so that we no longer help fund our wasteful and inept government.
    Eventually, my hope is that the US government will soon lose its ability to borrow any more money and will therefore be unable to oppress its own people with no-win, endless wars, a huge debt and tax burden, and laws favoring corporate agriculture and making it harder for the small farmers to prepare to take up the slack when the SHTF. (I’m talking about the passing of S-510 and the corresponding bill in the House.)
    I side with the folks working on real solutions, such as the Friendly Aquaponics folks and those who are simply taking themselves to safer locales.
    Americans, on the whole, have been very slow to learn about the futility of wars and revolutions solving anything.
    We’ve got work to do to 1) Re-establish a culture that values work — not luck or grifting — as the way to get goods; 2) To get back to being happy with sustainable energy sources and natural foods (Good-bye Hostess Twinkies!); and to learn to treat each other equitably, even if the external rule-of-law no longer exists.
    In the near future, without much help from the Medicare and Social Security we have paid for, we need to learn how to protect our own health by weaning ourselves away from the food offerings of American Agribusiness.
    The time to prepare is now.
    http://www.healthyplanetdiet.com

  50. progressorconserve December 27, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Another nice examination of possibilities, JHK
    And I hope that all of us, including our host, understand that negating one idea does not negate the whole thesis.
    For example, another American revolution has exceedingly high odds against it. Viewed through the lens of history, never have the old (middle aged?) and the well-fed instigated a revolution. Revolutions are the province of the young and the truly hungry. And note that their is more to hunger than a momentarily empty stomach.
    The revolutionary anger in these United States has found itself marginalized into the middle aged and well fed. The fact that many of them are on government unemployment insurance, government social security, or government medicare – while calling for a revolutionary downsizing of government and the taxes that feed government – only points to the absurd illogic of the “revolution” to date.
    We may yet have a revolution – centered around some unlucky month where the young get hungry, BUT first we are more likely to endure this:
    American…”History has its own momentum and it is carrying the psychotic Right Wing into power. Fear not. After they stomp the moderates and the Left, they will themselves end up in an orgy of political cannibalism before….”
    Even my own sad and distorted crystal ball is beginning to predict something in the future like this –

  51. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    “what is now needed is a fucking WAR ON STUPID-FUCKING -WASTEFUL PETROLEUM CONSUMPTION”
    No need for a war. $4.00 per gallon will achieve the same effect, without the carnage.

  52. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    “See, it’s people like jimjim who make me despair of making a better world.”
    Ah, am I preventing you from making a better world? Fucking quitter.

  53. Patrizia December 27, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    More than pissed off they were starving and facing death.
    When you lost everything you are the winner, because you have nothing to lose.
    Dying for starving or killed doesn´t make any difference when you are dead.
    The middle class makes a revolution for having the power, the working class for surviving.
    Revolutions happen when too much is too much.
    Are we at that point?

  54. Tancred December 27, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    What’s with the Froot Loops? Are that many people really eating that product?

  55. Schwerpunkt December 27, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    It is interesting that so many who wish for a change, are indeed angry at the lower classes rather than having any hope in them. It is a telling shift from “power to the people” of the 1960s to “#*@&@ the people.” However, there are good reasons for this dislike of the semi-educated masses (college yes, thinking no). The middle class (and formerly MC too) of today are crushed by two sides…. the ruling class who pushes down, and the lower class that drags further down. There is no help by empowering “the people.” If there is a revolution, it will need to be a war on two fronts.
    http://schwerpunkter.wordpress.com/

  56. Desert Dawg December 27, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    so we’ve had little Government interference? What planet are you living on? They’ve increased it more and more, since the the Fed came to be and tax and regulate EVERYTHING!!! WE DO NEED LESS GOIV’T…FOR REAL!!

  57. Desert Dawg December 27, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    He only appeals to those who want to know the truth

  58. James Crow December 27, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    “jimjim” wrote:
    “The Tea Party was and is about fiscal responsibility, nothing more, nothing less.”
    Ah, the blissful ignorance of the abjectly uninformed. Or purposely uninformed…to even pretend to write such a statement is the act of a psychopath.
    and:
    “No need for a war. $4.00 per gallon will achieve the same effect, without the carnage.”
    Right…I saw zero change in the vehicle choices or driving choices last time oil flagrantly peaked above the current “price” per barrel. Indicating the lack of value of our worthless paper “money” backed by nothing except the mass delusion of the populace.
    There will be no revolution of any kind. The slow dissolution of society will continue unabated. Hopeless people will simply become homeless and depending upon their savvy or lack thereof will be rounded up and sent off to camps for disposal. Too many people is the one and only problem. Every other thing attached to an unsustainable populace is but a symptom of beyond-horrible over-population.

  59. George S. December 27, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Jim,
    I know you are a savvy enough observer of things to know that this recurring fantasy of yours – the public rising up and overthrowing the fools in charge of our affairs – leaves out one important crucial item. The public of the 21st century is not what it used to be. We have surrounded ourselves with the rich shit of our new Golden Age and fear is the new order. Can you imagine someone angrily turning off ‘Wipeout’ or ‘Minute to Win it’ and taking pitchfork in hand head toward East Hampton?
    No, we do what we are told – just look at this year’s frantic Holiday Buying Season.

  60. progressorconserve December 27, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    There is a lot of insight and wisdom to be found in this comment thread.
    The opposite of insight and wisdom can also be found, but it’s rare. Tzatza, lingling, and jimjim – all are apparently the same commentator – all seem to brainwashed bootlickers for our corporate and undertaxed elite.
    But back to wisdom, Ozone posted this link late last week. It fits into this week’s piece by JHK quite well.
    http://firedoglake.com/2010/12/26/wealth-inequality-produces-rotten-government/
    The comments are as worthwhile as the original web post.
    Wealth inequality produces rotten government.
    Rotten government produces wealth inequality.
    Wealth inequality produces greater inequality.

  61. Warren Peace December 27, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    No mention yet of the extraordinary column this morning by Paul Krugman! The Nobel Laureate’s latest column in the nation’s newspaper of record basically admits what economists have been unwilling to admit: that the world is finite and there are limits to growth. He even implies that peak oil has been reached. This is astonishing! It’s tantamount to when the Vatican finally admitted that the earth goes around the sun. I encourage everyone to read it and marvel.
    This has got to been seen as sime kind of vindication for people like JHK, as well as all the people who have argued the same, from the Club of Rome to Herman Daly to Charles Hall. If the solid mainstream is finally willing to listen to the ‘heterodox’ economists, then we may finally start to see a constructive dialog in 2011 about our limited and finite resources and how best to deal with them. I hope this is not a fluke, and that finally we are on the verge of the ‘peak everything’ narrative starting to become accepted, because it’s true. This will have profound implications.
    Of course, the wild card is the right – comment number 13 is indicitave of what the reaction will be. They will see Krugman as yet another ‘leftist’ and never accept any limits to growth. Their alternative media lets them know that climate change is a hoax, the world is full of abiotic oil, Wall Street is a productive enterprise, and the problems with the country stem entirely from the greedy poor and too much ‘Socialism’. They will see it as the beginning of the socialist plot to destroy capitalism (it looks like capitalism is destroying itself just fine, but whatever). I’ve long since written off this country, but my hope is that other nations will see the light, and begin to fashion sytem without us. We’re already seeing the beginnings of it in places like Brazil and China. Of course, with the war machine at our disposal, I’m sure we will make things difficult for them, probaly launching an all-out was for the last remaining resources.

  62. cheesemoose December 27, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Hey, Jim – how about writing a book about the French Revolution? I love your take on history. And all the books I’ve read on the subject get lost in minutiae.
    In your opinion, what is the best book about the French Revolution? Is there one that makes the parallels with the current situation in America most clearly?
    Thanks…

  63. IS4U December 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    There are some interesting similarities and contrasts between Jim’s “A Moment of Convulsion” and Frank Rich’s Op-Ed, “Who Killed the Disneyland Dream”. Frank Rich seems to predict that we might learn helplessness in the face of “the outrageous gap between this country’s upper class and the rest of us.” On the other hand, Jim Kunstler is predicting that we might get “really pissed off”, and “America may have its own Bastille moment.”

  64. dale December 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Truckee writes:
    “A great American once said….”predicting the future is easy, it’s being right that’s the hard part.”
    Examine your zest for doom!”
    —————————————-
    Well said; “Examine your zest for doom” indeed.
    For centuries mankind has had groups of people who would remove themselves from the “mainstream” of society due to revulsion, fear and one form or another of religious or quasi-religious fervor. The only thing that changes is the object of fear/revulsion. JHK is the virtual leader of a virtual group doing nothing different from countless other nameless groups forgotten by history because history has proven them wrong (or at least early!)in their predictions of apocalypse.
    The only prediction I will make for the New Year is that it will come, and that prediction with only a high degree of probability…..ain’t nothing for sure.
    Live in the moment as best you can, that’s all you can really be sure about.

  65. daofirry2 December 27, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    hey everyone, there has been a lot of back and forth here lately, about population issues. I found a Wilson Quarterly article, from 2009, about the topic. It says some surprising things, about old trends fading away, new trends emerging, etc. Interesting.
    http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?aid=1408

  66. progressorconserve December 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Regarding:
    “Too many people is the one and only problem. Every other thing attached to an unsustainable populace is but a symptom of beyond-horrible over-population.”
    =============
    You are aware, JC, that legal immigrants continue to arrive into the United States at approximately 100,000 new souls per month.
    Illegal immigration may have slowed – who’s really counting?? – but any sort of economic upturn is bound to increase the illegal immigration as well.
    Yet even here, on a peak oil website – we can’t get consensus that all these immigrants are bad for the US – and bad for the countries from which the emigrate.
    The Sierra Club and the Green Party of California are pro-immigration – legal and illegal.
    Liberal orthodoxy does trump common sense.
    Conservative orthodoxy trumps common sense.
    What’s wrong with the sensible middle?
    A lot of the sensible middle donates to the Sierra Club or the Republican Party!!
    Wow!

  67. ragtop December 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    It’s amazing how much less time it takes for the comments to turn ugly on here, than it used to. Admittedly, I have only enjoyed Jim’s columns for about 6 months now, but I have noticed much more tension, in the past 2 of them. This is my first effort at a post and I do so, as I have found myself talking back to the computer. That gives me no relief at all. Unlike many who post here, I have nothing to sell, except my perspective. And I really don’t care if anyone buys, as that does nothing for me.
    First, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoy the vast majority of Jim’s weekly writings, simply for their quality, even though I do not always agree. Nor do I agree with many of you, who subsequently comment on said writings.
    Those of you who spend their time and energy slamming the left or the right or the current nit-wit in charge (regardless of which position they hold) I say enough. As long as you play the blame game and look to government, whose ever it happens to be at the moment, for ANY answers, you are doing yourselves a disservice.
    The solutions for what is wrong, with the U.S. and also the rest of the world, will not come from government or “industry.” It will come from people making the choices that will influence the changes that will push the rest forward. I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my Dad, this week. He is 81 and grew up during the great depression. His depression experiences were far overshadowed by the influences of his alcoholic Father and the ways he and my Grandmother dealt with him. Yes, they had lower expectations than we do today. Like how will we eat, tomorrow or pay next month’s rent. Bottom line, they focused on the problems that they COULD influence, rather than those that were out of their reach.
    This country was designed for the PEOPLE to do what is right or wrong and drag the government along, usually kicking and screaming. As the planet continues its long slide into the pit, what are YOU going to do to try to change the direction? How are YOU going to change your life to become more self sufficient and less of a burden on the planet? What steps will YOU take to ensure you can feed your family, if the entire system collapses?
    Our “leaders”, whether they be government, industry or from other institutions, have convinced too much of the populace, that they are helpless and can do NOTHING, without the “leaders” help. Oh really? YOU do at least a dozen things every day, that have more influence on your life, health, families and communities, than anything the federal or state governments do. Start DOING the right things, no matter how small they are. Your actions will have influence.
    If more of YOU and of course, I, take this approach to the ‘solution’ the rest will feel the current and begin to come along. It all happens locally and it really IS that simple. Notice I did not say easy. -Ragtop

  68. mean dovey cooledge December 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Week after week, we have essentially the same post with just a different cleverly worded spin: we are truly fucked, and cornpone-right wing-nascar-lay-z-boy-fat-ass americans are to blame. The exact same broad brushings of what and who we are as americans and who is to blame. of course nobody in HERE is ever a fat-ass car driving football watching schmuck.
    its been fun, but so long CFN! Good Luck, and thanks for all the fish.

  69. jim e December 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Bon Courage!

  70. Buck Stud December 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    GhostofGreed,
    Respectfully , I found your post to be most revealing and insightful. You write:
    “It’s tough to know, as an Average Joe (or Josephine, as in my case), what to do right now. Lay low, stock up on food, think of how to protect my kids?”
    And there you have it. The short sweet answer to the when’s and how’s is contained within the umbilical connection of progenitor to offspring, that inexorable sense of felt duty and responsibility to the most innocent and vulnerable. Revolutionaries and the imprisoned make bad family providers.
    In other words, the “Forces of Evil” have the decent and conscientious gripped hard and firm by the short and curly.
    Only when the children begin to die and suffer…and not a moment before.

  71. Vlad Krandz December 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Why talk of Right Wing Nut Jobs who might come to power? We already have a Left Wing Nut Job already IN POWER. In Truth, it doesn’t matter: the same people fund both the Right and the Left at the highest level. The paradigm of Left and Right is moribund; it obfuscates far more than it illuminates.
    So Americans will lose their soul if they turn to violence? Did the Founding Fathers lose their soul when they did? Or did they gain it? It’s like saying there is no difference between a sugeon and a thug since they both wield a blade.

  72. Montrealanglo December 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Greetings from Canadaland! I’m happy to say that Santa (girlfriend actually) got me The Long Emergency for christmas and I’m enjoying it immensely. I’d been trying in vain for the last year to locate it at the local Chapters and Indigo outlets to no avail. Seems almost impossible to find a “current political affairs” book in brick-and-mortar stock if it’s a few years old. Seems even here in Montreal the political science/History sections have been largely subsumed by the remarkably numerous tomes of Glen Beck, unfortunately.
    Anyway, just wanted to wish you a merry christmas and a tolerable new year. I’ll continue to observe what I can of the fascinating disintegration of my neighbours to the south from my relatively comfortable (at least for now) home of Montreal. It’s a city that, while plagued with eventually unsustainable gigantism, does possess many of the qualities you have written about European cities possessing. We have suburban sprawl here but Montreal was not gutted as a result. There’s still plenty of history, life and viable, vibrant culture in the old girl yet. Plus (thank god) a massive investment in hydroelectric power. Maybe in a few years if things do not get too disorderly and violent I and those close to me will be tilling crops on Mount Royal or one of the other dozens of parks. Until then, best wishes and good luck to all!

  73. Vlad Krandz December 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Beck also implores people to refrain from violence. Was the son really listening to his Father or just projecting his own liberal fantasies onto him?
    Beck has alot of great, postive ideas which liberals will tend to discount because of who he is and where he comes from. Yes, Liberals are consumate snobs. For my part, I’m appreciative but wary. I’m not sure he understands the necessity of tariffs and of cutting off all foreign aid including Israel. Nations have to go back to standing alone – of being Nations. Those that are not viable will fall. Globalism has failed just like Communism (an earlier form of Globalism) before it.

  74. freeacre December 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    I would not be surprised if the government began to subsidize the cable TV companies, just to keep the propaganda pumping into the heads of the unemployed.
    An armed struggle would play right into the hands of the neo-con/fascist forces. Then they could ramp up the repression, sell more military hardware to be used against the domestic population, and employ many more of the working class into goon squads. It would be a circular firing squad.
    My hope is in the gentle, goofy, young ones who have stretched out their earlobes to an alarming extent, have tribal tattoos (as much as you despise them, James), get their news from Comedy Central, and download their music for free. Although they don’t say much, they are quietly shunning the corporate paradigm and they are not impressed by the bullshit from either the “Right” or the “Left.” They are like the little rodents scurrying around the dinosaurs just before the asteroid hit. They survived. The dinosaurs didn’t.

  75. helen highwater December 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Kulturcritic, unless you are actually Sandy Krolick, you plagarized this entire comment. If you are going to use verbatim someone else’s writing, please have the decency to attribute it to the person who wrote it. The original posting can be found here: http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

  76. stlhdr December 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    “The paradigm of Left and Right is moribund; it obfuscates far more than it illuminates.”
    Exactly. It works for the great men, and that’s why it’s been left in place. If the PE could come up with a cheaper way than funding the two ring circus to make us believe everything is ok “because we can vote for president” we’d see it in a New York minute.

  77. progressorconserve December 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    I don’t know RT. I am amazed by the large number of recurrent posters on here who ARE attempting to do something on their own.
    There are owners of small cars, efficient cars, and no cars at all. There are locavores, herbivores, traditional farmers, and permacultrualists. There are solar power installers, reducers, reusers, and recyclers all over the thread. There are many who have a good relationship with parents and the elderly and share their wisdom on CFN frequently.
    But I’m afraid that none of this – laudable though it may be – means much without group and collective action. That means politics. That gets us to the left vs right vs sensible middle that you seem to deplore.
    There are exceptions, but most of CFN has some conception of the problems and some sort of approach already in place.
    So what do we do after that, to save whatever is left of – ?

  78. IntegralResearchSociety December 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    @Helen Highwater- If you click on “kulturcritic” you will get to Sandy’s website.

  79. helen highwater December 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Well why didn’t he say so? I don’t usually click on somebody’s name when reading these comments. I just noticed that what he wrote was something I had already read several times in other places.

  80. bervol December 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Re: “A 10% gain in 10 years, 1% a year. Even CDs pay better.”
    Anyone who started with zero invested in the stock market and who invested say $500 per month in an index fund (instead of blowing the money on high-octane toys) during the period you specified would be vastly better off than if they invested in CDs.
    Alternatively, a person who started with a mound of cash in CDs at the begining of your time frame, then transfered 1/120 of that amount monthly from the CDs into index funds during your ten years would also be WAY ahead.

  81. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Firstly you write:
    “”jimjim” wrote:
    “The Tea Party was and is about fiscal responsibility, nothing more, nothing less.”
    Ah, the blissful ignorance of the abjectly uninformed. Or purposely uninformed…to even pretend to write such a statement is the act of a psychopath.”
    Then you write (In response to what I wrote):
    “No need for a war. $4.00 per gallon will achieve the same effect, without the carnage.”
    Right…I saw zero change in the vehicle choices or driving choices last time oil flagrantly peaked above the current “price” per barrel.”
    So you are agreeing with the psychopath? So, what the fuck does that make you, numbnuts?
    And pray tell genius, what the fuck IS the Tea Party about?

  82. dubiousfacts December 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Americans have have little appetite for revolution while the TV still sparkles. The shadow of the coup d’etat of 1963 still dims the spirit in 2010. We learned to brown nose to the new corporate regime – don’t ask too many questions or you will suffer the same fate as the patsy and the eye witnesses. It was an implied threat against all of us and we chose the 2nd prize payoff: bigger cars, bigger meals and bigger TVs, never mind your lost freedom and the death of hope. Then with 9/11 came the sucker punch: its a global war, be very afraid, give up some more freedoms, don’t ask too many questions, just pay the man and keep on shopping. Remember we can blow you to bits or grind you to dust without a backward glance.

  83. MarlinFive54 December 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    What would revolution really mean, in practical terms? Driving down to the Hamptons on Long Island, blowing up some Bentleys, burning down mansions and sinking Billy Joels Yacht. Count me out. “You go around with pictures of Chairman Mao, You’re not going to make it with anyone anyhow” Plant you garden, take care of your family. That’s the revolution.

  84. MisterUsername December 27, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler, you often criticize Krugman. These criticism always struck me as pretty ad hominem — you rarely enumerate what part of his reasoning you believe to be fallacious. Yet today he states in the opinion page of the New York Times that the re-rise in commodity prices validates peak oil theory. Do you agree with his column? Were your previous criticisms wrong?
    Thanks!

  85. MisterUsername December 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    :s/criticism/criticisms/
    :wq!

  86. trav777 December 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    another week, another finger of blame at the WASPs down there in the south…as opposed to the ethnic group that dominates Wall Street and the media.
    Calling vast swathes of people who disagree with you “nazis” is really counterproductive. This forum and this blog is, more and more, filled with a classic form of hate. It’s really not so much about productive change as it is the desire to FUCK those evil rightwingers with their audacity to believe in things you think they shouldn’t. They like things you don’t, they worship a God you don’t believe in, so really you’d rather see them screwed than ever change anything in a substantive manner.
    You’re all exactly the same. Both sides would vote for the Devil if it antagonized the opposition sufficiently.

  87. Vlad Krandz December 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Thank you for learning about the 100,000 from me. It’s amazing but almost no one knows it. Yet it destroys any hope for an economic recovery – even if such a thing were possible.
    If you would check out the other things I say you would learn even more things that most people don’t know. But alas your ego gets involved and you don’t want to get too far from the herd – which gives you your warm fuzzies.
    When the “sensible middle” gets this crazy and imbalanced they are no longer either sensible or the middle – they become merely a majority of warm bodies programmed in the same way. The truth is somewhere else, something radically different. Surely you can understand this intellectually if not emotionally. The first battle is always within oneself. You may have “killed your father” but you haven’t slain your dragon (overcome the lower emotional nature as an identification at the level of being).
    And what about me and my “fear” that you always talk about? Dude, if you aint scared by now you are even more confused than I think you are. In reality I think you know based on things you have said in general. You just bring that up as something to throw in my face. A defence mechanism.

  88. gestalt_n_pepper December 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    MarlinFive54 wrote: “…Driving down to the Hamptons on Long Island, blowing up some Bentleys, burning down mansions and sinking Billy Joels Yacht.”
    Yes, burning down mansions is a start. More importantly, you would have to kill any and all financial oligarchs and their families in whatever country they exist. In the long run, there’s no other way for the rest of us to protect ourselves from fatal parasitism. They must go. Their genes must go.

  89. asoka December 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    JHK said: “Obviously 2010 was a year of fabulous prosperity in the USA…”
    Yes, 2010 was a good year, with six consecutive months of increased private sector employment.
    And 2011 will be even better, with working folks getting a tax cut and taking home more money with each paycheck.
    All the economic indicators are consistently improving, slowly but surely. The Obama economic recovery is for real.
    There will be no re-enactment of the French Revolution, no rioting in the streets, and no social chaos.
    There will be steady economic improvement for all citizens, much to the chagrin of the doomsters. Pretend and extend can go on for decades. QE3, QE4, QE5, etc.
    The crash landing from peak oil is at least 46 years away. It is likely a replacement for fossil fuels will be developed in the meantime. No need to do mountaintop removal when cheap, clean, and readily available Thorium reactors have already been built in the 60’s and field tested successfully. They can easily be embraced again.

  90. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Excellent JHK. Even if it’s ‘bad’ news, and reality is not so ‘safe’ anymore. I prefer the Real Thing to Denial.
    This post is very good. I don’t get to go around the world, that’s ok, and so when people write about it I get a better understanding of things.
    I’ve enjoyed your writings for many years, and hope to for many more.
    Rock On ! Happy New Year !
    Take Care
    I haven’t read the responses yet, but I love that it will take me all week anyway. I recently had surgery, nothing serious, except surgery is Always serious if you ask me.
    So I have the time to take more time to read.
    That’s what I’ll be doing next few days.
    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

  91. ssgconway December 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    As an aside, Achilles had PTSD, which occurred because his CO betrayed him and his best friend bought it on a patrol he should’ve led. That’s the conclusion of VA psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Shays, who wrote “Achilles in Vietnam.” The moral here is that extended trauma that overwhelms the soul’s ability to cope with it can produce eruptions of uncontrolled rage – such as dragging a KIA enemy officer around the walls of his city while his mother wails in grief from the walls above. Such, I hope, is not the fate that awaits Americans when they’re pushed beyond whatever their limit is.

  92. ragtop December 27, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    PC, certainly you know these folks better than I do, so to them I say “Keep moving forward.”
    I am not pointing a finger at the group, here, as being somehow to blame or saying that they may not already be doing something. I also don’t deplore politics as it is necessary, under the system in which we live and there are LOCAL politicians who could possibly help. I am making the point that we should not expect bureaucrats to find solutions to these problems. They haven’t the capacity and we’ve seen time after time what effects well intentioned meddling have on already serious problems. They either exacerbate that problem or create many more, i.e. Ethanol. This isn’t left, right or center; just fact.
    The cure, if there can be one, will be for each of us to determine what we need and then figure out how WE can create it. Many will fail, but I personally would prefer failure, in an attempt, to inaction. I believe that the small, sustainable community will save many of those who are to be saved. While this will not save everyone, it would be a far less bloody and painful than the revolution that many discuss. Any violent revolution will only place us in a more severe position of subjugation, which will make those small sustainable communities more difficult to establish.
    Certainly an active interest or even participation in the political process can help, if that help is meant to keep the government out of the way. Unfortunately, I don’t see that my possible solution offers anything for any political party. There are no headlines or big government projects or heroes riding in on a white horse, to save the day. It’s just individuals and families assessing their own needs and skills and matching them up with other individuals and families, whose skills compliment their own and who wish to live the same way.
    I know this sounds overly simple and even I believe it may be naïve, humans being what humans are. I do believe in the inherent good in most people, though and if this is done on a very small and local level, it can make a difference. The alternative is just more of what we already have, which is proving to be completely UNsustainable. -ragtop

  93. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Yeah I love this site, just not the long layout.
    scrolling scrolling scrolling, keep them doggies’ scrolling comes to mind. remember “rolling rolling rolling, keep them doggies’ rolling Rawhide” goes thru my mind. does anyway.
    have to be kinda old to remember this I don’t think you are, but don’t know why I think that.
    Internet is a strange place.
    Wish it were laid out different, but really GLAD JHK even takes his time to have this here at all.
    The way I remember, now, is by date, but the scrolling is a pain in the rear.
    and hey you weren’t first ! haha. I’ve thought how cool it would be to be first. sorry, someone got in before you. Ya shoulda wrote First ! then posted. then finished. every millisecond counts, like on ebay. I would have to SCROLL all the way to the top to see.
    Maybe later.
    Seasons Greetings !

  94. mow December 27, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    how bout them cowboys ?
    lmao

  95. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    I am thinking the brand associated with the real estate of Hitlers’ past is NOT WALMART.
    We are in for Rude Awakening. Most of ‘US’.
    Here I go to scroll to review your post back in a few….back….
    Living here in Munich, I am amazed at the ubiquitous ignorance and cluelessness of humanity in general.
    Living here on West Coast California I say same thing, cluelessness. Scares the hell out of me.
    Thanks for posting!
    Take Care

  96. asoka December 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Jimjim said: “Entitlement to a cheap education has merely spawned a plethora of imbeciles.”
    On the contrary, the thirty countries providing free education, like Denmark and Costa Rica, are countries much better off than the USA.

  97. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    BETTER ADVICE WAS NEVER GIVEN. FOR REAL. SERIOUSLY.
    I HOPE TO TAKE IT.
    LOVE THE TEST & FLUNKED BTW !!!!!
    Happy New Year 2u

  98. erikSF99 December 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    MisterUsername said: “Mr. Kunstler, you often criticize Krugman. These criticism always struck me as pretty ad hominem — you rarely enumerate what part of his reasoning you believe to be fallacious.”
    Maybe JHK doesn’t, but here is a very detailed criticism of Krugman by the BEST economist out there with the biggest picture of what’s going on, Michael Hudson:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson11222010.html
    “Why Paul Krugman Waves the Flag for Uncle Sam”
    BTW, Hudson does not mention peak oil. However, his overall view/analysis applies regardless of the realities of peak oil

  99. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    I was thinking that what I will do from now on is read like alot of posts and then reply to several at once. As if anyone actually reads my responses. haha.
    Also thinking that if this page were laid out different it would probably be a Real Big Mess with ALOT more posts on it.
    Probably laid out the best way it could be. Take One day at a time of responses and work thru them that way.
    Hey maybe they could be laid out by 24 hour time blocks ? I don’t know how to do it.
    I LOVE THIS PAGE ANYWAY, IT’S MY FAVE SITE.

  100. MisterUsername December 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Great link, erikSF99; many thanks!

  101. erikSF99 December 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Asoka said: “All the economic indicators are consistently improving, slowly but surely. The Obama economic recovery is for real.”
    Asoka, all the ‘economic indicators’ are consistently jiggered by the government to give the appearance of improvement. John Williams of the now well-known shadowstats.com site provides consistent anlysis and explanation of this jiggering: http://www.shadowstats.com/
    The government consistently under-reports inflation–which means that ‘economic growth’ is reported as higher than it really is because you’re taking less inflation out of the ‘inflation-adjusted GDP’.
    This cheating on inflation also is a way to keep government expenses down in one area: Social Security. By changing the way inflation is reported Soc Sec increases are minimized and we starve our retired people. Per John Williams: “The difference that it makes is significant: if the same CPI were used today as was used when Jimmy Carter was President, Social Security checks
    would be 70% higher.”
    Here are a couple worthwhile interview with him:
    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/john-williams-believe-him-or-not/Content?oid=1725205
    http://www.shadowstats.com/pdf/779-626538446.pdf
    http://coyoteprime-runningcauseicantfly.blogspot.com/2010/08/economics-interview-john-williams_06.html
    John Williams also shows how the real unemployment rate is 22.5%. The industrial unemployment rate in the 30’s was 35% or so. Farm unemployment then was in the low 20s.
    One site that keeps up with the statistical lies on a daily basis with further analysis and confirmation of managed perceptions of economics is http://jsmineset.com/
    Asoka, there is NO Obama recovery and his government is lying about it through manipulated statistics just as Bush did before him and Clinton before him and so on. American wages have been flat since the 1970’s while the workers’ productivity is way up. The difference going to the Ruling Elite.
    Things are at least as bad as JHK presents them. Jim Willie who does economic/political analysis in his Hat Trick Letter likes JHK and quotes him but considers JHK “too optimistic”!!!
    http://goldenjackass.com/

  102. erikSF99 December 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Progressorconserve said: “The Sierra Club and the Green Party of California are pro-immigration – legal and illegal.”
    And the Sierra Club and Green Party have no capacity to understand economics and the environment at the same time. To support immigration is to have no idea of what the earth can support. Here is a great article titled: “The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration to the United States” http://www.cis.org/EnvironmentalArgument
    The author points out that all those people coming to the U.S. are not coming here to be poor! They are coming here to lead the life of sprawl! Its ludicrous that the Sierra Club and Green party support immigration. The churches in my area have started the New Sanctuary Movement to put their energy into supporting illegal immigrants–while their own parishioners are losing their jobs. It’s nuts.
    And speaking of where I live: the west and southwest where we just don’t have that much water for our population. Well, we don’t have it for new immigrants either. Here’s an article on that.
    “Population, Immigration, and the Drying of the American Southwest” http://www.cis.org/southwest-water-population-growth
    It’s hard to imagine what kind of environmental analysis the Sierra Club and Green Party have done!

  103. DrGeoJeff December 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    I’ve been on the sidelines for a while now but thought I’d be inclined to actually register and leave a comment. So here I am with my first comment on this blog.
    You mat be correct in that crude oil will drive up the cost of everything we buy in this country. As a researcher I have already made the correlation between crude oil price surges and steep declines in the DJIA leading into recessions. I don’t usually like to quote mainstream media as sources but here’s one that may prove that 2012 may be as dramatic as all the apocalyptic Mayan soothsayers claim.
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/27/markets/oil_commodities/index.htm
    Basically, the price of gas will reach over $5 a gallon in the US in 2012. Additionally, I am inclined to believe the Saudi’s do not have the pumping capacity to flood the market and lower the price of crude, as they have in the past.
    So if you were thinking of ditching that gas guzzling suburban for a more economical mode of transportation, 2011 may be a good time to make the switch before the proverbial “all hell” breaks loose.

  104. Tony W December 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    JHK,
    What are you doing in Paris?

  105. chilijan December 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    I always enjoy JHK’s column and the comments it brings are a good croos section of opinion.
    As a long time RN I still have a job…I work in a small rural ER where we see a cross section of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Relatively few have actual jobs and insurance. Usually self pay means no pay. Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements do not cover the cost of providing care many times. In the ER we have to see everyone regardless if they can pay and evaluate them for an emergency condition. This is a federal law and a good thing.
    Clinics on the other hand can turn peolple away if they can’t pay.In the meantime the only clinic in the area that actually provides treatment for the uninsured and poor has lost a huge chunk of funding. So many more will be heading to the ER for “free” care. Charity care will spiral. Er’s will become even more overwhelmed as they are required to provide care for everyone.
    The next big bubble to go will be healthcare. Our government did nothing to fix it when they had the chance. (if they truly did have a chance?) Here in Washington State our entire health care safety net is ready to be dismantled. Voters did not approve measures to help balance the budget here. So the ax is out. Nurses are losing their jobs and can’t get a new one.
    Healthcare has been the only sector to be relatively unaffected by the economy. Well guess what? That is over. No business can survive without money to feed it. I would advise anyone that currently has a payment source -if you have a problem – get fixed now…your local healthcare facility may be gone soon. How are the masses going to react to that?

  106. Bustin J December 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    Jeff G says, “However what I do fear is, if we drink of the intoxicating beverage of violence we will destroy our own soul and nation in the process and become no better than the bastards we curse.
    Hence the dilemma we face.”
    The “bastards we curse” are the next-door neighbors. Its the people walking around on the street. Its our boss, our coworkers, and people on internet message boards. Our wives, husbands and children. Politicans? Yeah, those too. And athletes. And moviestars. And last but not least, ourselves. Americans hate themselves. Self-loathing is a huge part of being an American.
    People can in fact tell the difference between “the intoxicating beverage of violence” and real intoxicating beverages. The latter is a path of least resistance- and allows them to heap the abuse where it belongs- on themselves.
    The daily repeats of “COPS” on TV has had the effect of showing the citizens of America that any dishonorable activity will result in swift reprisals. People with low self-esteem don’t revolt- they vote and fantasize about how much that matters. LOL. Fat people don’t revolt. And women, who control this country, when depressed, get fat and/or go shopping. There will be no revolutions forthcoming. Its foot soldiers polish their guns and imagine their fat asses standing shoulder to shoulder- but that is a pure mental construct.
    So where is the soul under threat here? It is not. This is not Rome, it is not Serbia, or Mozambique. It is McDonalds and Burger King. We are an emasculated population. Hence our desire for a dickhead to lead us. That is indeed possible. Popular revolt is not. All this dickhead needs to do is wrap himself in the flag and get (s)elected.
    Electric Shave says, ”
    In this second Dark Ages, science itself
    has devolved and we look to it as our new
    God … including worship of pseudo-sciences
    like MEDICINE.”
    In addition Triplicate said, “I am a scientist, how ’bout you? I studied tons of biology, chemistry, physics, and anthropology in college – fairly well rounded you might say. Which admittedly could have something to do with my belief that the future belongs to the generalist. Me!”
    Here displayed for the layman is the lost wages of science spurned… Wherever I find the former scientist, I find this phenomena. The spite and ridicule heaped on the former vocation. The dismissal of logic and reason. Quasi-religious conversion follows.
    Scientists without philosophic reasons for being scientists usually end up this way. They take their training and use it to determine, through observation, the gleaming social and emotional success of being an irrational, valueless fool. They are as subject to failure of rationale as anyone else, frequently, as even logic is not prerequisite to science. Just as 2 + 2 = 4, being an oblivious idiot seems to derive happiness. Therefore, they discard logic, and discard science, because as helpless emotional primates we crave happiness more than logic, especially when the latter delivers nothing but bad news.
    The joke is on these poor fools who will sooner or later realize that the happiness of perfect idiots is in fact a facade concealing from observation the bottomless pit into which their psyches are sliding, however pleasing the view on the way down is.
    And modern medicine is a popular whipping boy for idiots world-wide. Like a car mechanic, people bring their abused vehicles into the shop and then expect miracles. What is the herbalist equivalent for cars? I suppose that would be the vendors offering the snake-oil additives to increase cooling efficiency. Or the magnets for your fuel line. The equivalent of the Herbologist is a mechanic who overcharges you for work not done (placebo!). And of course, is nowhere to be found when catastrophic failure occurs.
    A medical doctor in the US. has completed enough course requirements for a bachelor of science, passed an MCAT which is a pile of organic chemistry, physics and biology, has taken 4 years of Med. school, an additional several years in residency. They are experts. And only fools throw darts at experts. Medicine, a science, has its own self-correcting structure. As much as things can go wrong in medicine, they will be corrected. Science in 2050 will be utterly more reliable than herbology in 2050- because herbology disrespects results and logic, confuses cause and effect, and just doesn’t fucking work most of the time. People are likely to stay the same in 2050, though. Irrational and stupid. Therefore there will always be Herbologists.
    Beantown pointed out the efficacy of the placebo effect. Unfortunately there are real chemicals attached to such placebos and they have discrete effects. My dear sister whom I visited this Christmas has been seduced by the “Herbalife” cult. She takes a daily supplement of “Chromium Chloride” to “control cravings for food”. Incredible, how a toxic metal is substituted for the innocuous piece of fruit, and how ordinary that, even faced with facts and expert knowledge, nothing will change the perception that facts and expert knowledge are entirely optional things. Harbalife comes with a brochure! They have a website! My friend Cindy-loo is an independent distributor! Ergo, it must be good! Even if it is Chromium- which is what exactly? Ah, she has no clue what it is. Which is kind of prerequisite for ignorant enthusiasts.
    Needless to say, my sister is being an idiot. She performs her job competently, and is a nice person, and of average intelligence, but she does not understand how to think about things. She does not understand how to evaluate knowledge. She went to college, but she never learned logic. She didn’t study science. She studied the soft prejudice of achievement. She believes a grade or average or degree is the point of the thing. Education as a means to an end, without regard to means generally. And she is happy as a clam.
    Some newbie says, “Let them eat cake” is the message of the elite. Let us eat, and learn to feed ourselves again is the message that will save us from the oligarchy.”
    “Let them eat cake” is popularly misconceived. It made perfect sense when Marie Antoinette said it. At the time, bread required a high-quality flour, and was therefore rarer and more expensive than Cake. Even today, Cake is a mixture of the lowest-quality ingredients. You could blow pure sawdust into a chocolate cake and not be able to tell the difference coming out the other side. So when food was running out, the low-cost option was cake. Most people ate cake, primarily, and not bread in revolutionary France, particularly the lower classes. Only later was the connotation added. Which is ironic since it remains the perception today that cake is a higher quality product. Take a look at the profit margins of cake vs. Bread. It is absurd. It is the worst quality ingredients. If it is chocolate flavored, that is even more profitable as chocolate flavoring allows you to use the low-grade fats as well as the lowest grade flours.
    Only the ignorant without regard to health would eat chocolate cake, but then again, there are a lot of ignorance in America. Millions of children will have chocolate cake served to them in days and years to come on their way to obesity and liver failure. As long as their parents are ignorant, I suppose they can blame medical science for their poor health outcomes, or something.

  107. fugby December 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    London and Paris inhabitants were equally abhorrent of another war in the early months of Nazi invasion of Poland. Parisians decided to fraternize with the Nazis rather than have their dear city bombed the city they’d Bastilled a century and half earlier.
    Londoners refused to be invaded and had many sections of their precious city leveled. Could it be that Parisians have become frozen in time with their worldview and that they’ll sell out to anyone – Chinoise? – to preserve the alabaster and gold-leaf – living to fight another day and return to Gallic beauty & aesthetics – in amber glow for the ages.

  108. Mark December 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    I looked forward everyday to reading the news in Lifeaftertheoilcrash.net. He has now stopping with the daily news.
    Is anyone aware of any website that has daily news that isn’t all right or left wing bunk?

  109. lbendet December 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Mark, I don’t think there’s anyone quite like Matt Savinar at LATOC when it comes to putting together a reading list everyday that really illuminates what’s going on globally like that site did. I recently emailed him a big thank you for what he has done, as he really warned me in 2007-8 about the mortgage debacle, CDOs and derivatives and I got a lot of money out of my mutual funds before they crashed. He will be missed.
    Rice Farmer is still pretty good:http://www.ricefarmer.blogspot.com/

  110. Eleuthero December 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    The part of this week’s CFN missive by Jim
    featured a turn of phrase about the radio
    Republikooks that I loved when he called
    them “nostalgic, sentimental, paranoid
    know-nothings”.
    It’s dead on because the America that
    Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and their ilk
    speak of HASN’T EXISTED FOR TWO DECADES.
    They just rehash the incantation of the
    USA being a “great” country. Yet one
    asks … BY WHAT METRIC? We have the
    largest prison population in the world.
    Our income disparities and CEO/bottom
    pays are the worst in the G20. We’re
    17th in longevity and 45th in Math and
    Science achievement test scores. And
    we’re the biggest HOGS in the world
    using 25% of the energy with only 6%
    of the population.
    Personally, I think the worm turned
    around 1995 when the something-for-nothing
    stock market mentality mesmerized the
    entire populace with subsequent bubbles
    in real estate, junk bonds, and every
    financial dusty corner you can imagine.
    I just figure that our standard of living
    is going to drop to the level that these
    mentalities always lead to.
    E.

  111. k-dog December 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    CheeseMoose,
    I enjoyed “The Terror” by David Andress and “Fatal Purity” by Ruth Scurr. There are a zillion books on the french revolution but these are two I picked up at a used book store. I think they are pretty good.
    I’ll take issue with comparing our current right wing to the Jacobins. The Jacobins were the intellectual vanguard of their times, full of vigor and new ideas. Men and women of great courage, men and women who loved country more than self. Comparing our right wing to them insults their memory.
    Plutôt la mort que l’esclavage
    We need a Danton.

  112. BeantownBill December 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    E, you wrote, “They just rehash the incantation of the USA being a “great” country. Yet one
    asks … BY WHAT METRIC?”
    Just so. Before anyone argues whether or not America is great, we must arrive at a consensus as to what “great” means in the context of a country.
    From your post, you are stating (or implying) only the ratio of CEO/bottom pay ratio, longevity rank, math and science test scores, and energy use vs. population percentile rankings are enough evidence to determine a country’s greatness or not.
    I know you’ll say that you just were using these factors as examples, but shouldn’t you acknowledge there are many other determinants to national greatness, in order to bolster your argument that Limbaugh et al are living in fantasyland?

  113. BeantownBill December 27, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Wonderful comments from a lot of posters, too numerous to mention, although I don’t agree with everything stated (obviously).
    Just one further comment for Asoka:
    I agree with ErikSF99’s point that economic statistics as presented by the government are jiggered – or at the very least, certainly questionable when government definitions are used.
    I do agree with you on your optimism for the future, at least with regard to new energy sources, a position that is anathema to many on this website. You should know by now I’m a techno-optimist. My main concern is whether or not we can last as long as it will take to put future innovations to good use.

  114. progressorconserve December 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Interesting ideas, Vlad.
    You are correct that the FACT of 100,000 legal immigrants to the US per year came from you. Without JHK, CFN, and you, Vlad, I would have no knowledge whatsoever of this planet destroying fact.
    – Note to CFN readers – This is a fact, impossible to deny. It is easily verified from US.gov websites. – Check it for accuracy, if you have any doubt. Then call your congressperson – and work for change.
    So you have supplied this fact, along with a FACT equally important – though more nebulous – that being – that modern “multi-culturalism,” as we use the term in the US – will generally not survive in an energy descent world.
    So for those two FACTS, along with other thought provoking bits of “truthiness,” – well, I’m honest enough to give you public thanks on CFN.
    ————
    Now let’s address fear, as when you say:
    “And what about me and my “fear” that you always talk about? Dude, if you aint scared by now you are even more confused than I think you are. In reality I think you know based on things you have said in general. You just bring that up as something to throw in my face. A defence mechanism.”
    =========
    We could go back and forth analyzing each others *fears* or *tolerance* or *acceptance* of various things – like homosexuality, for example.) Generally, I think that’s a waste of other reader’s time – and of JHK’s bandwidth.
    (I’m saying that I don’t find men who touch each other’s penises as scary as you do on ANY level, BTW – and that’s all. No amount of dialog is gonna change that, so we can let it rest – please.)
    But you have one fear, that I have referenced before, that *marginalizes* the thoughts you express.
    This fear manifests itself in you as a desire for separate White and Black Nations inside these United States. You consider *Blacks* so fearsome that it is impossible for you as a *White* to live in the same REGION OF THE COUNTRY WITH THEM.
    This is fear, man. You’ve got to get over it.
    A separate black nation in Mississippi is a non-starter, a interior Washington/Oregon fantasy.
    (If you think it’s even a dreamlike possibility – you need to talk to some Mississippi white supremacists. I can put you in touch if need be.) ;-)
    And it’s an impossible dream, at any rate, for practical reasons related to government power and energy descent that I have given in other weeks.
    ========
    I do learn from you, Vlad. I had no idea that South Africa was still +/- 10% pure white Afrikaner.
    If I had been born Afrikaner in South Africa and with the financial means to escape – I’m afraid my white ass would have been out of there when apartheid ended. And THAT’s fear – I don’t mind admitting it.
    But it also shows courage and Faith – of persons who were born in that troubled land, black and white – who call it Home – and want to live there for a better day.
    Something like that future – is what all of us, of all melanin levels and genetic endowments, must embrace on this Earth.
    What I’m saying is that we’re all stuck here. If you look at demographics, birth rates, climates, and levels of solar radiation –
    We better all learn to get along, one way or another – and not just in separated fantasy lands.
    Tomorrow would not be too soon.

  115. progressorconserve December 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    NOT 100,000 per year.
    Legal immigrants to the US are 100,000 per month.
    1,200,000 LEGAL immigrants per year.
    Regardless of available jobs.
    Regardless of economic conditions.
    Regardless of Peal Oil.
    They just keep coming and coming – like a thermostat someone set to 90 degrees – on an empty building – in February, and then forgot!
    This is TRULY not sustainable – going forward – into the indefinite and endless future.
    It is time to pick an issue and get involved.
    I choose this as very important for the FUTURE of all of us!

  116. Buck Stud December 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    Having a peculiar habit of reading from the bottom up, my interest began to perk up at paragraph number four and something about an ‘idiot’ sister‘. Continuing the long scroll up Rowdy Yates style–right around paragraph fourteen and the woman/fat /shopping sentence to be exact–and all mystery was vanquished. Yep, Bustin J, one of my favorite posters, was making his first post of the week.
    Not that I get off on the misogynistic tirades, in fact, I think all that is just foil in order to present a comedic signature–kind of like Belushi going berserk over “the luck of the Irish”. Plus I like the expressive writing–it reminds me of Kunstler.

  117. BeantownBill December 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    This is just a personal story:
    As you know, Boston got socked with a winter snowstorm. It wasn’t quite a blizzard, as far as the definition goes, but my back yard got 17″ of snow, That’s a lot for an urban, densely populated area.
    This morning at 11:15, our electricity went out for 52 minutes. I know that seems hardly worthwhile mentioning when we routinely contemplate the unthinkable on this website, but I am a real typical cityboy. How I reacted to this very short blackout is pretty instructional, I believe.
    My home is all-electric. When the electricity went out I was making pancakes on my electric stove. Coffee was beginning to brew in my electric coffee-maker. My electric heat shut off.
    The lights were out, and because it was still pretty cloudy outside, my home was dark. It was difficult to use the bathroom because we couldn’t see in there.
    I hadn’t showered yet, and realized that might be problematical because my hot water heater is electric.
    My wife remembered we had a small propane camp burner which we could use for the pancakes, which were half-done on the kitchen stove. I suppose I could eat pancakes without coffee, but I grumbled about it.
    Our camp stove was stored in our garage, across the way from our house. Ok, so I went to put on my winter boots, but my boots were in the garage.
    So I put my regular shoes on, zippered up my winter jacket and started to leave for the garage. Oops. We have an electric garage opener.
    I had to go back and get the garage lock key and manually lift up the garage door.
    Once back home, we got the camp stove working. Soon, I realized we had no phone service because… guess what? All our phones were cordless, synched to the home base unit – which was electric (luckily we have 2 cell phones, but I almost never give out that number).
    As I was eating my pancakes and sipping lukewarm coffee, the electricity came back on. Really, the whole incident was minor, but it got me thinking. What would have happened if the electricity stayed off? How would I react? Me, who knows about peak oil and it’s consequences, was already grumbling after about 10 minutes electrcityless. How would people react who had no idea about peak energy? How would they cope?
    Scary thought.
    So I was

  118. Jill December 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    I’ve noticed a lot of remarks about overpopulation lately. Is anyone else familiar with Garrett Hardin and his book ‘Living Within Limits’? His hard-nosed, tough-love approach is a welcome relieve from the ‘let’s make room for more (misery)’ crowd. We should have to look at how many people a certain territory can support, and at what living standard. Each country should have it’s own debate about how many people it wants and how many amenities (such as many of the freedoms that we take for granted and are now losing)we are willing to give up for a larger population. And countries that opt for a larger population would have to deal with the consequences instead of using emmigration.
    Of course this will never happen because if we don’t look, maybe the problem will go away.

  119. progressorconserve December 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Good story, Bean, thanks for sharing!
    Same thing happens down here from time to time, except the well water stops flowing, too.
    And, if it’s at night, I can look down the mountain about a mile and see if the nearest cell tower is not flashing. This tells me it’s not just my little corner of paradise that’s out of power.
    Then – if I can get the angle right between the trees – I can see if the next cell tower, four miles down the mountain toward town – is out of power as well. If it’s out also – then it is freakin’ 19th century dark up here!
    And I have to wonder for a second at least, if TS has finally HTF!
    ==========
    Two practical notes:
    1. NTAM – maybe it’s a Georgia thing. Back-up generators on cell towers don’t run the strobes and lights, only the wireless.
    2. I always have at least one old-fashioned phone in the house, without wireless or batteries.
    Phone networks are more robust than the power grid – at least so far! ;-)
    Good luck up there, Bean!
    =========
    And Jill – well stated!! I see this as the defining issue for the next decade. If we get this correct, then the US might be OK – and we may yet save the world.
    If we screw it up – humanity and civilization may be toasted.

  120. Christopher Berggren December 27, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    With all the gloom and doom of the predictions in this blog and comments section, it makes me wonder what could stave off the worst of the results of a total depletion of oil in the world, forecast for sometime in the next few decades. Politics seems to be a lost cause, as the left and the right are both fighting the wrong fight, in more ways than one. Revolution, as Jim has written about during his stay in France, might be the answer but, like every new situation, would come in a new form. Perhaps we should each do everything in our power to advance the cause of a sustainable USA, a cause that will be composed of many contributions. For example, a famous maxim states that what the mind can conceive, so it can produce. With a horrendous future ahead in terms of everything we take for granted, if we believe that the oil will run out and on the way there our country and world will suffer convulsions never seen, would it not be in our BEST interest to start retooling our housing and transportation infrastructure so that when the price of gas goes through the roof because supply goes down, we will be prepared. With a comprehensive train system, at every local, regional, and national level (high-speed rail, heavy rail, light rail, street-cars, monorails, etc), and a totally new real-estate policy favoring urban infill and suburban retrofitting, it has been argued by some of the country’s leading minds that we can actually create a new economic base. A base that would create jobs at all levels of society for decades to come, and dramatically reduce our dependancy on oil. A good article on this is at http://www.brookings.edu/urban. It seems to me revolution in this country, with the impossibility of fast and comprehensive government action at the federal level, would entail each citizen interested in a better future doing his or her individual best toward that end. For example, JHK does his best through his writing style and his large following, and there are railroad visionaries like Christopher Swan of Suntrain USA who writes about a national, sustainable rail system for the new century. If we get enough bright people, and not-so-bright, to contribute toward the goal of making the USA environmentally sustainable, through each person’s gifts we might be able to do what the government doesn’t seem to be able to do: protect us from a dubious future.
    http://www.americancities21.typepad.com

  121. Rick December 27, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Hey Jim,
    Great article, once again. I have to say some of the comments today were very good, and insightful. But I think they missed your overall point. Which was pissed off!
    Where I live, in a so called well to do suburb of Chicagoland, and no I’m not well to do at all. Most people I know, wannabe rich, think they’re rich, and the other middle, middle class folks that I know are not pissed off either! Of course they are very ignorant as to the train wreck that’s coming. But, they are not pissed.
    Saying that, I don’t travel much anymore, but I used to love traveling abroad, and within the states. The point is, I know a lot of people just in the states, who are not pissed. Which is why there has been no Revolution yet. In my opinion TV is only part of the problem, hence no Revolution yet. You can blame the Web too for that matter. The real problem is that, yes the real unemployment rate in this country is around 22+%. But, for some reason they’re not pissed off either. I have friends who (out of work) fall into this category, yet they’re not pissed off. My take is they still own their house, and have some resources to fall back on, for at least awhile. Though, as Nicole Foss as stated, this Depression will last for decades, if not longer.
    So for a revolution to happen here, the people I know need to loose their net worth. The DOW at 4,000 or 1,500 would be a good start. And based on sites I follow, it will happen.
    In a nut shell, pissed off people are desperate people. And the people I know who still have jobs, or some resources left, are not yet desperate. Give it time, the revolution will happen. Keep in mind, the shit is still hitting the fan, it hasn’t stopped or broken the fan yet, it will.
    BTW, someone asked if Jim owned a gun. No, but he owns gun license.
    Thanks JHK!

  122. kulturcritic December 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    I am Sandy Krolick, thank you for recognizing me Helen Highwater!!

  123. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst December 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    JHK said,
    “When will the folks out there move from shame and despondency to being really pissed off about the disposition of things?”
    I say,
    When the folks no longer get that gubmint check in the mail in the form of food stamps, social security, and unemployment the “pissed off” mobs will be visible to all. In fact, the 99ers aren’t getting that gubmint check any more. I predict the mobs will start to be visible by spring time!

  124. Bustin J December 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    The way forward to popular revolt is simple.
    It is called a “general strike”.
    The movement will have to be prepared for government retaliation, and be prepared for an enduring, long-term general strike. But I think America represent’s one of the best hopes in the world of being a country that could achieve this without bloodshed.
    As for how we get this to happen, here is part of the solution: the internet.
    As far as what terms are offered, I can suggest only
    E-democracy to ensure the rights gained by the strike are retained by the people- ATM voting, in other words.
    I think we can’t move forward without a change in governance structure.
    For a general strike to be effective as a means for social change, it cannot be stopped by negotiation. It cannot be stopped by promises to legislate “in the future”.
    To the extent that people are poor is to the advantage of the ruling system, since, it is a harder bargain to gamble a job you could punitively lose.
    On the other hand, the strength and probability of the general strike improves as long as everyone including all employers as well as employees, agrees to strike in solidarity.
    The goals of e-democracy is a universal one, across party lines, liberal or conservative. It is merely the right to participate. The time has come for the American electorate to leverage technology to achieve parity with representative democracy- and surpass it. We have the capability to be a true democracy- a democracy of individuals, not representatives- but ourselves. If you believe in the people and in democracy as a path to a better world, choose e-democracy. Choose a general strike. Lets put the power where it belongs: in the hands of the people. Today, not tomorrow. For the future.
    You can google E-democracy. Also, wikipedia: “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-democracy”
    I think you’ll find it a better alternative to thinking your vote counts.
    Viva la America!

  125. k-dog December 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    It is called a “general strike”.

    EXAMPLE:
    Seattle General Strike

  126. observer December 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    There is a third alternative to Kunstler’s choices. Debt-free money. It existed in the original colonies, and Lincoln printed debt-free Greenbacks to pay for the Civil War. Debt-free money was the subject of much public debate prior to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, and was raised by such stellar Congressmen as Jerry Voohis in the 1940s and Wright Patman up until the 1960s.

    Now almost no one knows that Congress does not live up to its Constitutional duty to “coin money and regulate its value,” having abdicated this job and illegally handed over to private banks, forcing us taxpayers to pay interest on every dollar created by the private bankers.

    Read more about this and what can be done to fix the situation in Ellen Hogdson Brown’s phenomenal book, “Web of Debt.” The movie version (“The Secret of Oz,” free on YouTube) is great, but the book is even better.

    Debt-free money is not hard to create, and if it were created not just in the USA but in all countries where it does not exist, prosperity would be possible worldwide.

    Before you start claiming that debt-free money would cause inflation, do your homework for at least a few weeks. Check out Malaysia. Check out China. Dig deep into the history of the IMF. Read about Jamaica and see the movie about the IMF in Jamaica, see the movie about Mali called “Bamako.” Study Argentina. Look at Japan. Get the true details about Weimar Germany. Find out what happened when the Soviet Union collapsed. And Yugoslavia.

    The destruction of many economies worldwide in recent years is, in most cases, not the result of their governments’ incompetence. The groundwork was laid in 1910 at J.P. Morgan’s estate at Jekyll Island, Georgia, and the international banking cartel has been moving forward with their plan with steady, single-eyed persistence ever since. As far as they are concerned, the US and its citizens are just another colony and its natives to plunder. Politics is the puppet show to distract us.

  127. Ang December 27, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Bustin J, you said…
    “Science in 2050 will be utterly more reliable than herbology in 2050- because herbology disrespects results and logic, confuses cause and effect, and just doesn’t fucking work most of the time. People are likely to stay the same in 2050, though. Irrational and stupid. Therefore there will always be Herbologists.”
    Bustin, you understanding of mainstream medical science is narrow & flawed.
    While I agree with your assessment of Herbalife, there are many herbs and plants that are highly effective for treating and/or curing medical conditions.
    A common example is St. John’s Wort, which is prescribed in Europe for depression far more frequently than pharmaceutical antidepressants.
    Another example was given in that week’s comments – licorice. Licorice DGL is used to heal the GI tract.
    Pharmaceutical companies only spend money on studies for patented drugs. Herbs & plants – can’t be patented. Medical schools only teach about treating symptoms with pharmaceuticals.
    Just because it’s not funded, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It just mean it’s not funded.

  128. Eleuthero December 27, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I guess the only problem I have with
    your theory, Observer, is that I think
    the USA has become so STUPEFIED that
    it’s not capable of being diabolical
    enough to pull off a conspiracy.
    Yes, I’ve read the “Creature of Jeckyll
    Island” and it’s interesting but, like
    an Alex Jones film, asks the reader to
    “connect the dots” between facts in a
    way that implies an amazing level of
    coordination of the “evil doers”.
    I don’t doubt, however, that central
    bankers and their Too Big to Fail
    front men are maleficent influences
    at best.
    E.

  129. ozone December 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Fine column, comments, and give-and-take!
    Nothing to add; just reading along and absorbing.
    As was stated early; careful who you piss off! ;o)

  130. Eleuthero December 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    I’ll admit, Bill, that my list of metrics
    for the downturn of America is incomplete
    but I hope you admit NO set of metrics can
    be complete. My list showed that we’re
    getting dumber, have low longevity and
    high infant mortality, use way too much
    energy relative to population, and its
    prison population indicates a POLICE
    STATE and not the “freedom” that Hannity
    and Limbaugh would have one believe.
    And as for “land of opportunity” … for
    WHOM?? Our concentration of wealth in the
    top one percent of population is OBSCENE.
    So … our economic opportunities for average
    people, the intellectual acumen of average
    citizens, the HEALTH and healthcare opportunities
    for average citizens, and the true freedom of
    the sovereign individual are so horrid that
    the Framers would roll over in their graves
    if they could witness what we’ve BECOME
    relative to what we WERE.
    We also share aspects of European egalitarianism
    that, to me, are stupid … like bending over
    backward for all immigrants instead of making
    THEM bend over backward to join our culture,
    language-wise and social-wise. Britain and
    France, for example, ought to tell the Muslims
    to join the culture of get the fuck out … but
    they won’t because they’re the “bleeder” type
    of liberal.
    So whether one looks at America from a
    conservative slant or a liberal slant, I
    think we’ve decayed … fatally.
    E.

  131. Steve M. December 27, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    I hope to just make it to London, Paris or Rome before it all goes to hell, but I’ve never been lucky enough to set foot outside North America. In the meantime, I at least have New York . . . and its bedbug infestation. Of course, if anyone comes out of this crisis relatively unscathed, it will be the European countries, most of them anyway, because they spend more money on mass transit and health care (i.e., the greater good) and less money on highways and “defense.” The combined military budgets of Europe are dwarfed considerably by one nation – our own.

  132. Pucker December 27, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Jared M. Diamond in his book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” identifies five factors that contribute to societal collapse: climate change, hostile neighbors, collapse of essential trading partners, environmental problems, and failure to adapt to environmental issues.
    Shouldn’t we also include “complexity” and “corruption” as important factors leading to the collapse of societies? Although I suppose that corruption would seem to be a symptom of complexity since corruption would tend to flourish under conditions of hyper-complexity?
    And what about just plain, good ‘ole “Stupidity”?
    Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (also titled Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive) is a 2005 book by Jared M. Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at University of California, Los Angeles.

  133. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Nice Video, it kept stopping on my computer tho, but I got the gist of it. Will check into this,
    live on the west coast of ca. doable for sure, wish i owned some land, don’t even have a yard, live in an apt. and we all know how important a fucking lawn is ! No common sense. waste o time and water. love the trees tho, and the pool here is WARM.
    AQUAPONICS. THE FUTURE IF THERE IS ONE.
    I love her red flowery top.
    I’ve been to HA 2x. Very nice. Especially big island.
    You lucky bums.

  134. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    Pigs can fly, but only if you very very High !
    couldn’t help it, it’s New Years !

  135. Madcat December 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    $4.00 gas? That’s the most you can endure? Most of the rest of the world pays $6.00.
    Damn mollycoddled candyass.

  136. jimjim December 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    “$4.00 gas? That’s the most you can endure? Most of the rest of the world pays $6.00.
    Damn mollycoddled candyass.”
    Hardly, fucktard. My point was that higher gas prices tend to curb spendthrift usage of gas.
    As for the rest of the world paying $6.00 they have their wonderful government officials to thank for that. Its called taxes and as the rest of the world is finding out, what they get in return for higher taxes is fuckall.

  137. observer December 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Thank you for the link to the great Michael Hudson piece. He is one of Ellen Brown’s sources. I’m glad to see how many countries are standing up to the banksters.

  138. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Why is it so hard for people to live without a TV or without being glued to it ?
    Why is it so Easy for so many people to live in Denial ?
    True a computer is similar to TV in a way. But I am not on it all day, I wish I was, selling on ebay, but don’t know how. Yet.
    Our TV broke, don’t ask me how !!!
    It’s so nice to not have it droning in the background, my ‘roommate’ needs to have the fucking thing on ALL THE TIME when awake. ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL I MEAN.

  139. Donny-Don December 27, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Well, at least Kunstler acknowledges that he was a wee bit off in his prediction of a Dow 4,000 at the end of this year. At 11,555 (as of today), he’s only off by, oh, nearly 300%, but I guess we all make mistakes, eh? … on the other hand, we don’t make them perpetually, year-in and year-out, with little sense of embarrassment. Kunstler seems to have mastered that routine. I can hardly wait to his uncannily accurate predictions for 2011 …
    Fortunately, my financial-forecasting head is screwed on a bit tighter than Kunstler’s, and I’ve reaped equity profits of many tens of thousands of dollars since the stock market swoon of early 2009. (If I’d listened only to Kunstler, I’d still be sitting in my bomb-shelter basement eating nuts and berries and waiting for the “all clear” signal to sound.)
    Not to say I’m an optimist — far from it. I think Kunstler is dead-on with his following comment (so much so, I’m likely to cut and paste this quote — with attribution — to a number of other sites, as this is so well said):
    “There really is no “solution” to our problem of debt except to become a less affluent society. You can get there via the path of compressive deflationary depression (no money), or hyperinflation (plenty of worthless money), but the destination is the same. In the meantime we’re stuck with the extremely uneven distribution of hardship and luxury. Whole classes of formerly working people face the prospect of genuine ruin while an ultra-pampered class of celebrity clowns and professional swindlers fob off with whatever’s left on the national buffet table.”
    Spot on. Well said, James!
    Finally, I concur with Madcat (see post immediately above): if you think $4 a gallon gas is gonna freak people out, wait till $6 or $8/gallon. That’s really not very far away. I predict we’ll have $4/gallon gas in the U.S. by 2013, and $6/gallon gas by 2017, if not sooner. A more reasonable prediction than Kunstler’s perpetual “Dow 4000″.
    By the way, IEA stats show that global petroleum production reached a new peak in 2011. So we’re not at peak yet, for those of you actually paying attention. Regardless of what Kunstler says.

  140. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    FreeCatBeMe agrees with You.
    take their fucking tv’s away.
    I put my hand thru this cheapo flat
    screen TV ‘we’ have just the other day.
    Had, I mean !
    hahahahahahaha you shoulda been there.
    It’s weird now, I think about I should turn the
    TV on. I never did watch it that much, but my room
    mate house mate had to have it on constantly.
    not so much anymore. shit it felt great !
    it no work no more. in garbage.
    hahahahahahaha

  141. Donny-Don December 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    Whoops! — make my last paragraph above say 2010, not 2011. You know what I meant …

  142. ElleBeMe December 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    I must add from my AM post and from some comments here….
    First: While Glenn Beck and his unbridled appetite for drama and revision may lull the masses into a hateful sleep…when he quotes JHK, does he do it in his revisionist fashion like he does with US history and how we are all a Xtain Gawd-fearing nation at heart seized by those damn Liberulllz? Or does he purposely misinterpret JHK’s works to suit his own need? I would imagine a world (town in this case) dominated by religious stupefied mouthbreathers as referenced in “A world made by Hand” as glorious to him and he cannot wait for it to happen…whereby JHK uses it as a possible case-scenario as to what COULD (and might) happen if the jesus-jihadist delusionals would have their way….
    Second – the internet IS a big key as an aside to TV in manipulating the masses. I debate with old friends on current events and to “prove” they are right they quote me gobbledygook from evangelical sites, Faux Noise or World Nut Daily…the same goes for those who quote me AlterNet, HuffingtonPOst, etc. Whom ARE we to believe? As a grad school professor once said in exasperation at her students..”ALL SOURCES HAVE A BIAS! IT is Impossible to be without bias for every man has one!” But since some read the right, others the left…the story comes out muddled and only rumors of revolution are the ONLY revolution we have. ONce the PC is turned off, the TV as well…people take comfort in their bed and sleep. Hoping some greater person will come and make it all better as mommy did…and the next day the news is still the same regardless of which side you sit…and so sits revolution among the masses despite the foreclosure, 30K in debt, early diabetes, spiraling medical bills and what is new in people magazine and various tabloids.
    Frankly, thinking about it, if TV and internet were to disappear and the masses wake up from their slumber the ONLY revolution that would take place in this country would not be against the elites who run this sh!t, but against neighbor vs. neighbor…those commies down the block who voted for Obama…the neo-facists down the street who proudly fly the “don’t tread on me flag”… Bosnia-Herzogovenia(sp?) the US version. The Elites??? Sh!t, every American thinks he/she has a chance at the house on the hill and THEY wouuldn’t want some mob coming after THEM. They all dream of winning the lottery and how many toys they could then purchase at Wally World.
    Unlike the French and Russian revolutions, during times of new political and philosophical thought (enlightenment, Facism, Communism) of their era, we have ZILCH. Taking the educational level of the MAJORITY of Americans (shudder), they would rather sit home and wait for someone else to do it….and if it never came they would still be happy to sit and wait and do whatever they could. Their church would tell them what to do….their employers would. The free-thought of man is gone.
    You know before I moved to the country to prep for doom, a neighbor home schooled her kids in what I call “organized-insanity living en masse.” Very devout christian Rick Warren followers…she said she home schooled and taught her kids geography and such…I told her where I was from…Buffalo, NY. I told her it was near Niagara Falls…she asked me if it was anywhere near NYC. I told her, NO…that was on the OTHER side of the state. Niagara Falls…you know on the border of Canada…. Her reply, “Oh I thought Canada was much further NORTH” Yeah, these are the people who will be out in droves…and we expect a revolution for the better if it were to ever happen??? Sh!t and fall back in it.
    *IF* a revolution comes it will be broadcast prime-time and available on the internet for download only because it has been sanctioned by the higher-ups as necessary for their complete seize of power. And the lowest common denominators will be at its beckon and call.

  143. ElleBeMe December 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    “By the way, IEA stats show that global petroleum production reached a new peak in 2011. So we’re not at peak yet, for those of you actually paying attention. Regardless of what Kunstler says.”
    Well the IEA is ONE source and a happy puffy source it is. MY sources stated the peak occured (yes, past tense) in 2006-2008. Various sources…The End of Oil, Twilight in the desert, etc among others…some even stated it happened in 2005.

  144. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Damn if only more people thought like you and me.
    STUPID FUCKING WASTING CONSUMPTION.
    I get it. Gets tricky tho.
    I said to ME when young that I am never going to commute by car long way to work, so I didn’t. Always seemed like a huge waste to me. etc.
    I always preferred things close to home, and while I love driving itself, driving on the road with lunatics is a whole other story. Not so much fun.
    We were brainwashed to Waste, throw away OUR money to THEM. Too many people fell for it.

  145. kulturcritic December 27, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    All of you need to read Chris Hedges latest piece on TruthDig
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/2011_a_brave_new_dystopia_20101227/

  146. jackieblue2u December 27, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    It’s better when mixed in with Coco Puffs !
    God I never ate that shit.
    Not even One MacDonalds’ burger ever.
    I should get something for that !
    I ain’t young.

  147. Vlad Krandz December 27, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    Q. And you predict its ruin?
    A. It is a prediction which is made by mathematics. I pass no moral judgements. Personally, I regret the prospect. Even if the Empire were admitted to be a bad thing (and admission I do not make), the state of anarchy which would follow its fall would be worse. It is that state of anarchy which my project is pledged to fight. The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a masssive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureacracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damning of curiosity – a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.
    “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov

  148. Vlad Krandz December 28, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Many believe that the machetes will come out after Mandella dies. Despite being a terrorist, he has been a voice of moderation since the turnover. In any case, the Boers are well prepared and heavily armed. Whatever their confusion before, NOW they know after bitter experience, that there can be no peace with Blacks. And if the World stays out of it (unlike last time), they will win themselves a Home.
    Blacks would love to enact the same thing here but don’t have the numbers. But that hasn’t stopped them from wreaking havoc. So they have been placated – bought off with welfare, affirmative action, set asides, and academic pandering. None of this solves anything. It is not enough for them – no amount of pandering will ever be. The inevitable battle is just delayed, nothing more.
    Am I obnoxious? Undoubtedly. You have to understand Prog, that I’m a Doctor of the human soul. In your case I had to do some cutting. Believe me, it hurts me more than it hurts you (a lie).

  149. kulturcritic December 28, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    Sorry folks; you may want to start the Hedges article on page one!!
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/2011_a_brave_new_dystopia_20101227/

  150. Madcat December 28, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    “I would not be surprised if the government began to subsidize the cable TV companies, just to keep the propaganda pumping into the heads of the unemployed.”
    The government doesn’t have to subsidize TV companies. That’s taken care of by those who control the government…

  151. Madcat December 28, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    “As if anyone actually reads my responses. haha.”
    I read your responses! (I read everybody’s responses – they’re often as insightful as the JHK article, only rarely written with as much finesse)

  152. Vlad Krandz December 28, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    Of course. Most people are naturally peasants. Not only College but even High School is a waste for these people. Revolution? They seldom do it unless agitated, organized, drilled, and funded my powerful outside interests. And if they do revolt on their own without this, they are quickly crushed as were the Irish time and again. So the question then becomes: who did the funding and training of the French and Russian Revolutions and WHY?
    Whatever his limitations, Glenn Beck knows at least some of the answers to this. He describes the process very well: revolutions are top down and bottom up; a vise in which the middle class is caught and crushed. Or the Aristocracy displaced by a new industrial Elite in the case of the French and Russian Revolutions.

  153. Madcat December 28, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    “As a researcher I have already made the correlation between crude oil price surges and steep declines in the DJIA leading into recessions.”
    Yep, it’s an interesting exercise to plot the DJIA against the price of oil and note the point at which stocks cease riding up with oil and suffer crashes and mini-crashes.
    I’m a self-confessed oil freak who has a few Excel spreadsheets that do exactly that – you can pick an impending stock correction far enough ahead to jump out of the market at the top if you’re clever.
    You can also see the effect of QE2 and the latest extension of tax cuts/unemployment benefits on the true value of the dollar. Oil at $85 a barrel was enough to drive a 2-3% correction in stock markets two months ago, now oil at $91 isn’t quite enough, but a correction will come.
    “Additionally, I am inclined to believe the Saudi’s do not have the pumping capacity to flood the market and lower the price of crude, as they have in the past.”
    That action was conspicuously absent in 2008 also, despite pleas from GW Bush. I’m inclined to believe they couldn’t back then either – why would they cripple themselves in a recession caused by driving the prices to a crash?

  154. Vlad Krandz December 28, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Muslim savagery. Vidi well, litte brother, vidi well.
    http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=9656

  155. jackieblue2u December 28, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    Yes so many are going to have A Rude Awakening, Completely Clueless. You aren’t clueless. Some really are. The youngins’.
    It’s amazing how people don’t think of common sense things. Even at any age some of them.
    For instance I recently had surgery and needed to rehab at my sisters’. after a few days she and her boyfriend left me alone, both are in their 60’s, older than me, and I wasn’t even close to being ‘better.’ Left me without thinking on a stormy day, when we usually would lose power, left me without any flashlight, or any thought of consequences of what I may have to had gone thru had the power went out and alone, in the dark. Left me anyway I guess that’s another story, it WAS Christmas, time to drive to the rest of the family. Thank God she did ! haha.
    Shit I realized I didn’t even know the damn address, after 2 trips to the E.R. in one month it was possible to have to go again, I drove myself the first 2x. but I had the recommended surgery so to avoid that FUN haha FIASCO for the 3rd time. Cell phones are great IF you know where you are…. and in CA if you are in a car you get the Highway Patrol. We are supposed to know that. We don’t. I do now as I call in Rude dangerous drivers. ALOT.
    Anyway yes you / we have to start thinking about the other way of doing things. For now. Without electricity. Even for a few hours is hard. days.
    I can’t imagine weeks.
    If you live on the same street as Police Station City Hall and Fire Dept. you are the First to get it turned back on. Excellent info for City Dwellers. My little secret.
    Funny story. Thanks !
    A poster above was writing about Herbalists and Science:
    P.S. I was considering the Herbal Cure, but after 4 bouts of gallstones passing in one month, and the unbearable pain, I figured get it done. A stone passing can kill ya. It’s all gone, had the surgery, getting better now. Plus I currently have Health Insurance. Lucky Me. It is true to get done what ya can while you can. I am doing that.
    HNY everyone ! Here it comes…….

  156. mike roddy December 28, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    I agree that both demand and supply destruction are inevitable due to declining resources and the need to end a growth policy. Looked at a different way, though, this could be a positive development. Obviously, we need to live smaller.
    Global warming impacts will dominate economies within the next two decades. Climate Progress or Skeptical Science have published good summaries on risk assessment here lately.

  157. Godozo December 28, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    I don’t know about you, but I remember when gas got to $4.00/gallon in Northwest Indiana.
    The year before that, I noticed that most of the vehicles on the road were either SUVs or Trucks. Oversized, gas draining, gleefully polluting behemoths that were making me feel claustrophobic on the road. Not only that, but I remember Tonka Toys…er, I mean Hummers here and there. Even on the streets of Chicago, struggling with right turns (or trying to run over liberals, who knows…).
    The summer of $4.00/gallon gas saw a lot of trucks and SUVs disappear from the streets, replaced by cars and “crossovers” (wagons with higher roofs, but who’s complaining…); with even the SUVs changing to smaller versions. And I’ve yet to see that pattern reverse itself. (And last I remember, Hummer no longer exists as an active brand. It was destroyed BEFORE the bankruptcy of the Car Company that owned the brand name, if I remember right.)
    Now we’re seeing electric cars (with or without gas engines, Volts and Leafs) making their debut in American markets.
    Things are changing. Too late if you ask me (also too slowly and not far enough in the right direction), but things are changing.

  158. Patrizia December 28, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    “As the planet continues its long slide into the pit, what are YOU going to do to try to change the direction?”
    A good start, and Mr. Kunstler is doing that since long, is talking about, explaining what happens, proposing solutions.
    But writing is not enough, to say the truth you need two persons, the one who talks AND the one who listens.
    The main problem of today is that there are too many talkers and too few listeners.
    They say that for going better you must reach the bottom.
    We already have, but instead of trying to go better it looks that people are digging furher, may be they think it is easier to reach the other side of the globe digging, or they think going on digging they will find the solution, or, which is more likely, they are TOLD that the solution is going further down.
    How can you dream to solve your problems going on the same direction it created them?
    Or may be it is right.
    Cristoforo Colombo went West to arrive East.
    He didn´t know that he would have found America and stop there.
    But he was right.
    Earth is a globe and going in one direction you can find yourself in the opposite.
    May be the same applies to life.
    Life is a circle, you go in one direction and you find yourself in the opposite.
    If you do not, as Colombo did, find death (America) in between.

  159. wagelaborer December 28, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    The Green Party of California is not THE Green Party.
    To extrapolate from one state’s platform to the entire Green Party is wrong.
    I am a Green and I can see that immigration benefits the corporations who need cheap labor to drive down every workers wages, and to profit from the vulnerable.
    This is why the corporate media plays up uncontrolled immigration as a good thing.
    It is to the ruling class.
    It isn’t to the working class.
    Don’t assume that the California Green Party speaks for all Greens.

  160. Patrizia December 28, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    “More importantly, you would have to kill any and all financial oligarchs and their families in whatever country they exist. In the long run, there’s no other way for the rest of us to protect ourselves from fatal parasitism. They must go. Their genes must go.”
    This comment really shocked me.
    There was somebody not so long ago that had in mind the same solution.
    Understanding what you say is understanding Hitler and why he was so successful.
    In a moment of extreme poverty, unemployment (much worse than today) the Jews in Germany were outrageously rich, bankers in first row (not much different from today) and they HAD TO GO. THEIR GENES HAD TO GO.
    Say to a starving population that the Jews or the oligarchs are the guilty of their misery, that you will rebuild a new world without parasites and in order to do so you have to exterminate their genes, and if you are able to say it loud and in a convincing way, History will repeat…

  161. k-dog December 28, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    Free the Weed

  162. OneTimmy December 28, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    USA most likely will just break apart, instead of revolution, first unofficially, then some day officially.
    Red/blue-division is as strong as before civil war and the federal government is impotent to deal with problems. At best half-solutions, at worse making problems even bigger problems.
    Military spending is bankrupting the nation and now they are already printing money to cover the expenses. Many cities are experiencing very bad cash crisis, beyond bankruptcy.
    I think American municipality bond crisis will be the main thing next year, the way Ireland and Greece were this year. Except the crisis will be much more severe.
    Nothing moves people faster than total lack of money. When you spend your last 10 dollars, then you have to do something. A lot of people without money is a dangerous thing and a lot of Americans are getting there, slowly but surely…

  163. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    “Blacks would love to enact the same thing here but don’t have the numbers. But that hasn’t stopped them from wreaking havoc. So they have been placated – bought off with welfare, affirmative action, set asides, and academic pandering. None of this solves anything. It is not enough for them – no amount of pandering will ever be. The inevitable battle is just delayed, nothing more.”
    WOW..can you say stereotyping and cramming all of one group of people into a mold?
    Blacks have been placated….yep. I never see a black person working…never see one in a class or trying to better their job prospects. Must be because they’re all at home being placated.
    As for affirmative action, NOTHING works perfectly. But the only ones who I hear screeching about AA are white, middle-class men who think that THEY should be given privilidge because….they are white middle class men and it is within THEIR rights to be given opportunities first.
    And academic pandering….What? You think that by pushing kids through school in economically depressed areas – kids who can barely read or write – is PANDERING to them??? Yeah, they sure do come out of school spoiled rotten from all the breaks they got
    Did it ever cross your mind that Whitey McPasty might be living off welfare too? That Whitey McPasty gets a leg up from the ol’boys network because he attends “Gawds Woyd Babble Chuch” – the “church” that will help anyone in the community find a job, but takes into account its own parishioners FIRST and steers them to the front of the line … maybe passing up better candidates?
    You speak of blacks as if they are all collectively lazy, obtuse and expecting a handout. I am surprised you didn’t just come out and call them welfare kings and queens…because they are *ALL* like that, right?
    You say you are a MD to the soul…..heal thyself doctor, heal thyself. Step 1 is to turn off your boob tube tuned on Faux Noise and Glenn Beck. They do nothing to support your “arguments”

  164. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    My above post was in response to Vlad’s earlier illuminating commenatry on Black People….

  165. lbendet December 28, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    As I scrolled through the comments this morning I thought Observer and E are ripe for reading Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine”, a must read. I recommend it to all on this site.
    The book takes you through the philosophical construct of Milton Friedman from torture to create the new man to the ongoing architecture of destroying economies starting with Chile when they toppled Allende in favor of Pinochet. She illustrates the Chicago School of Business and how students from South America were put in place to further the “experiment”. It goes on to illustrate the collapse of economies in Asia, Russia etc.
    It will change the way you see our leadership and the global economy. Trust me, you won’t like this system one bit.
    I think it’s no longer “Capitalism” with competition and the desire to make the best product on the market. This monetarism is designed to create massive debt and destroy economies across the board.
    In the US it took a long time to hit critical mass because we were once so wealthy, but we getting down to bare bones.
    It’s anyone’s guess what happens next. Be assured though the new talk on austerity is part of the Shock Doctrine and it’s important to interpret the lingo and signs that you are now a victim of this economic theology as in real time.

  166. GhostofGreed December 28, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    “I ain’t a fan of Palin but I find it hard to believe that she could fuck things up any worse than our current administration.”
    My comment on Palin really wasn’t meant to imply that I think President Obama is doing a good job. He’s a corporate tool.
    However, I think our next step (unfortunately) will be that the masses elect someone they think of as a messiah, in a way. I’m not sure if Palin will fit that bill or not, but she and her corporate sponsors sure are trying to set her up to be one. Either her or Glenn Beck.
    The danger in electing someone like Palin is that she isn’t the bumbling fool that the left would like to pretend she is. If she were, she wouldn’t be where she is today.
    The “mistakes” we see Obama making are the first steps – He screwed up the left’s dream of universal health care. He’s furthered our involvement in endless wars. He’s put more money into hands of the wealthy. But, these aren’t mistakes – he and his administration never intended to do anything else.
    The next steps will be to continue the removal of our rights, which is what a right wing administration will accomplish in the name of protection and morality. The “morality” aspect is what frightens me, and it will be the final blow to all our freedoms.
    But, no, the current situation isn’t good at all. It’s a path, though, to further tyranny and lack of freedom.

  167. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    read it…it reminded me of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins. If you liked Klein’s academic work, read Perkins….he worked IN the machine for many years…and what he says will make even more sense as to where this country is going. For in the capitalist/oligarch’s world, nationality/patriotism mean NOTHING. You move and follow and make money. That is all…and if it means turning our nation into a complacent drooling lump of consumers who will have no choice when the day comes to abolish all unionization, all benefits and living wages so be it…so WE can become the new crop of laborers for their profit.

  168. GhostofGreed December 28, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    Buck,
    Well said, and I completely agree. It’s what I think about every day. I can’t regret my children, but I also realize that my power to stand up to tyranny has diminished greatly as a result of my need to protect them.
    To be honest, deep down, I believe that the next years will be bleak. I believe it will be my children who are the revolutionaries.

  169. lbendet December 28, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    ElleBeMe —Yes indeed.
    I was thinking of Perkins after I posted and I agree. Both books work well together to illustrate the way this system operates. Both are must-reads. For me Klein gives us the better glimpse into the philosophical construct and implementation and shows how academia works into this. When JHK asked where are the intelligencia who should know better? Klien will tell you they made 300% on the privatization of the public held resources in Russia.
    They are in fact dedicated to the ideology of free trade and globalization–money talks–its the only thing that does today and as we lose more ground economically it will be king!

  170. jimjim December 28, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    “However, I think our next step (unfortunately) will be that the masses elect someone they think of as a messiah…”
    That already happened. His name is Obama. Electing another messiah will not happen on the heels of just having elected one.
    Think of someone along the lines of Chris Christie. A bearer of bad news, that is pragmatic and unapologetic about doing what needs to be done. In short, an adult.
    Even the dullest in out midst are beginning to realize that we stayed too long at the punch bowl. We don’t need no stinkin’ messiahs.

  171. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    I couldn’t agree more. I have read both and both reads are extremely disturbing.
    You stated:
    “Klien will tell you they made 300% on the privatization of the public held resources in Russia.
    They are in fact dedicated to the ideology of free trade and globalization–money talks–its the only thing that does today and as we lose more ground economically it will be king!”
    You know they are already here in the US. When the markets melted down back in 2007/8 I remember hearing on the news that the World Bank was coming to the US to intervene on “our” behalf. Right then and there I knew what they were going to do…the same they have done elsewhere…sell off US assets. And those who do the selling will…”oooh oh take the $$$ and run….” and then what is left? Leave the people in poverty while the higher ups run and control everything. Feed them religion, give them nothing else….no medical care, no state services, hell…no maintained roads or water sources!
    Funny the teabaggers seemed to arrive hot on the heels of the World Bank’s arrival…
    NOTHING is accidental.
    The US has been bought and sold. Now it’s time to break it to the people…and them? Revolt? Just make sure it is amongst themselves, not directed at those controlling the strings.

  172. jimjim December 28, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    “God I never ate that shit.
    Not even One MacDonalds’ burger ever.
    I should get something for that !”
    It sounds like you did get something…gullstones. ( The gull!)

  173. lbendet December 28, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    ElleBeMe
    We are of the same mind, here. I’ve been on this blog since May warning about the neoliberal agenda and you, my friend are the first person who really has showed you know what I mean.
    Thanks for that.

  174. jimjim December 28, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    “You know they are already here in the US. When the markets melted down back in 2007/8 I remember hearing on the news that the World Bank was coming to the US to intervene on “our” behalf. Right then and there I knew what they were going to do…the same they have done elsewhere…sell off US assets.”
    What the fuck does the above gibberish even mean? Could you please cite some examples of members of the World Bank who sold off our assetts. For fuck’s sake this generalized horseshit is the fodder of the imbecilic.

  175. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    YOu’re right, I have no concrete proof and suspicion of a conspiracy is not evidence of a conspiracy. *HOWEVER* if you have read the Shock Doctrine, Confessions of an EHM and other sources, the repeated pattern of what happens when the World Bank comes on in is to give the nation in need HUGE sums of $$$. The nation accepting the funds uses itself as collateral in case they should default on the loans. In case of default, the WB comes in, PRIVATIZES everything, slashes ALL social and infrastructure programs and assists in placing in a new governemnt sympathetic to its goals.
    In south America where the WB came in and gave huge sums of cash…to improve ???, the elites jumped ship (politicians, ruling families) and the nation was left with a crushing debt it had to repay. So in order to repay it, all natural reserves were privatized….got oil fields? Well, they belong to Shell…BP….Exxon…etc. now. Got fresh water reserves? Well, we’ll be sure to seal them off and export them to help pay off the debt at our leisure. Thing is the amount earned from the seizure of assets went towards profits for the private firm rather than that of the nation’s debt. So the people are left in squalor. And in order to keep THEM in line, religion is mandatory. The Catholic Church fills this capacity with enthusiasm. Also make sure that the government in place expresses more concern for the companies gorging themselves than the people. A Reactionary government serves this purpose quite well.
    So you see….I may not have proof of what US assets are on the table for seizure, but knowing what I do about the track record of the WB….let’s just say that when they stepped in it was a very BAD omen for the US.
    Keep/toss… Your mileage may vary on how you see things.

  176. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Hey at least someone understands me and I them :>) Good to know that other people still read.
    Neo-liberal…neo-conservative…who the hell cares what it is called, in the end we’re all screwed by it!

  177. jimjim December 28, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    “YOu’re right, I have no concrete proof and suspicion of a conspiracy…”
    Then shut up. You only make yourself sound like some sort of moron.

  178. Smokyjoe December 28, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    “why did Achilles drag Hector around the city of Troy three times?”
    So it would make a great painting on the walls of Greek restaurants, Jim.
    Happy New Year, you bunch of lovable grumps.

  179. lbendet December 28, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    JimJim, Don’t be too quick to call people morons just because they don’t have proof of something. Wikileaks is all about the blackout of info.
    Oh, what perfect timing I just ran across a John Perkins spot form yesterday:
    Monday, December 27, 2010
    John PERKINS : HOW WE DESTROY SOVEREIGN COUNTRIES LIKE IRAQ
    http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/2010/12/john-perkins-how-we-destroy-sovereign.html

  180. montsegur December 28, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    “Parisians decided to fraternize with the Nazis rather than have their dear city bombed the city they’d Bastilled a century and half earlier. Londoners refused to be invaded and had many sections of their precious city leveled.”
    ——————–
    Bad read of history. The inhabitants of both cities had no choice (or decision to make); their governments made the decision for them. If your post was meant to be French-bashing, then you should explain the almost 100,000 French soldiers killed in action in 1940.

  181. Cash December 28, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Vlad, old bean, thanks for the Kipling. A good read. Hope you had a good Christmas.
    BTW did you see the movie “My Boy Jack”? It’s about the son Kipling lost in WW1. Stars Daniel Radcliff (Harry Potter) and Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City, no less, as his mom). Both actually did a not bad job of it. Same with the actor that portrayed Kipling. And IMO not a bad movie either.

  182. Cash December 28, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    J,
    There was actually one other poster that said maybe a year ago that they never had a MacDonalds burger. You’re not missing anything. The humblest burger you do in a frying pan on your stovetop is orders of magnitude better.

  183. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Well who died and made you forum God? Just because you haven’t read the books dealing with what we were discussing is not my problem. So if you can’t keep up with a conversation because you lack the wherewithal to understand it…here’s some advice for you…stay the fu*k out of it and STFU.

  184. Cash December 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Three cheers for you Caliope.
    In oh so hip and intellectual European capitols and in here in Toronto people dismiss Americans as ignorant buffoons.
    It’s not so. IMO if Americans are ignorant then everyone else is hugely worse. Americans spent millions of man years in western Europe keeping Germany down and Russia out, millions of man years in Japan and Korea keeping Japan down and North Korea out and millions more man years in Indo China and Iraq and Afghanistan messing up. Plus you have multinational companies that span the globe.
    Americans came out of those experiences with a collective well of understanding and knowledge of the world. Even where they screwed up. At least as compared to everyone else especially my compadres in Canada, who know absolutely beans.

  185. myrtlemay December 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    So many comments, so little time. First, Happy New Year to all you CFN’ers! Now, from my own little corner of heaven on Earth. Last week, after a short trip to the supermarket, returned home to find THREE policemen on the front lawn of my city condo building. Asked them WTF was going on (politely, of course). Seems someone scaled the SECOND story balcony of my condo, opened the (unlocked – yeah, stupid, I know) french door. Now, I live in a southern city on a quite busy street. Long story short, they escorted me into my apartment. Nothing (visibly) out of place. Later, hubby found that someone got into our bedroom and removed some very expensive weed (shit, EVEN I didn’t know where he kept it)! Turns out, the little shitheel we almost certainly know did it lives in the building. It was the toothless guy I fed over the summer, feeling sorry for the bastard. So, yes, the S is indeed hitting the fan at an increasingly high velocity. I went over the edge mentally for a little while. Hubby “visited” the creep in his apartment, and I gather made some unspecified threats about having Irish Mafia family members in North Jersey ready, willing, and able to outfit him in cement booties, ready for a dip in the ol Hackensack. Merry Freaking Christmas, right? Enough of my troubles, though. Serves me right for being a compassionate person.
    Beantown Bill, I lived in Boston during the 1980’s and worked for a small S&L there. Bostonians, I found, were the most disciplined (financially) people I’d ever met! You couldn’t get them to part with a nickle! Thrifty and smart, their expression remains with me still: “Make it do, wear it out or do without.” Something like that. Anyhow, you guys are made of some strong stuff. I don’t worry too much about you guys in New England getting by when TSHTF. You’re about as tough as they come! Come on down to Dixie to seem some real basket cases when the lectrictee goes out. (Apologies to you Southern boys who work their farms…you know who you are!) I be talkin bout the NASCAR (yep, I said it), bible thumpin, confedrit flag wavin bunch who still can’t comprehend how deeply they are getting corn-holed from every single possible possible direction. Sad.

  186. Prairie Schooner December 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Talk of revolution is interesting, but I think that American dislocations will take a different path. As things get more stressful, and hope for a resurgence of the good old days dissipates, I expect that areas of the country, like western South Carolina, and Eastern Tennessee will will localize, and become de facto theocracies. Already, some christianist dominionist organizations are, and have been for a few years, focussing on taking over county governments, school boards and have as published goals, the creation of a dominion of christian (read taliban) government.
    In addition, Washington DC is not remotely like Paris in 1789, or Moscow in 1919. Washington is largely a government compound, and all real economic activity and social cohesiveness arises from and is dependent on the federal government, and thus has not effective base for revolution. Instead, I would expect that the federal government will stand silent and counties quietly go their own way, with state governments having neither the money or resolve to challenge this development, while cities, in the manner of Detroit, but with different details, will relax the governmental presence, public facilities, and leave the burbs and outer city residents to either move out and further empty the disintegrating areas, or create their own methods of security and public health arrangements.
    The question arises whether these areas of central government disengagement will become centers of enterprise and creativity, or become the tobacco roads of the 21st century. Or one or the other depending on location and culture. In any case, in the absence of the US withdrawal from the southern Asian adventure in empire, there will be no resources to hold the center, and no nationally adopted sense of revolutionary purpose to generate the kind of eruptions that occurred in France or in Russia. But hopefully, the Banksters and
    Wall Street crooks will be destroyed by this devolution, as there will be no plastic, TV driven “consumer economy” to support their predations.

  187. myrtlemay December 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Couldn’t possibly agree with you more! Spot on!

  188. messianicdruid December 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    “That’s the revolution.”
    And for most of us it will be a long, slow process, learning what needs doing and getting it done. Do not allow optional entrainments to pull you away from job one.
    These should be measured by milage from home {rather than ground zero} as you will be walking or expending energy unwisely to chase phantoms. Let not your heart be troubled, {if} you believe [by-live] in God. “No Fear Lives Here”.

  189. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    I think you nailed it head-on. Tho in reference to the dominionist colonies….they are NOT peaceful people. I can still envision bloodshed if they think they have been given divine providence to rule as they see fit….

  190. messianicdruid December 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    “Their genes must go.”
    It’s not just their genes that did it. Nature/Nurture = better training in the way they should go {and when they are old they shall not depart from it}.
    Heinlein used to say, “You can judge the quality of a civilization by the training received by it’s leaders”. Better training would lead to a better civilization.
    The Kingdom of God is a form of government. We have a king, a law, citizens and territory. After the perversions of good government, insituted by men, have all been tried and found wanting, we can repent {change our minds} and recover to the old ways. Leaders of Tens. Each family picks a leader, usually the oldest member, and go from there.

  191. messianicdruid December 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    “I can still envision bloodshed if they think they have been given divine providence to rule as they see fit….”
    Sovereigns can rule themselves. Those that do not support the Covenant are free to leave, having the right of Free Association. Private Property supports this, as does Christian Liberty. Anything else is tyranny and oppression, usually forced by a man-made government, at gunpoint. Nicolaitanism has no place among God’s people.

  192. messianicdruid December 28, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    “…the Banksters and Wall Street crooks will be destroyed by this devolution, as there will be no plastic, TV driven “consumer economy” to support their predations.”
    God speed the day. Devolution can be good.

  193. wagelaborer December 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Yeah, I tell my co-workers that it’s our turn to be IMF’d, and none of them know what I mean.
    So I tell them.
    But the US government and Federal Reserve won’t go down without trying to steal more from other countries.
    Someone upthread (I think, couldn’t find it again), linked to Michael Hudson, and these 3 paragraphs say a lot. I recommend the entire article.
    The Fed and Congress have told China to revalue its currency, the renminbi, upward by 20 per cent. This would oblige the Chinese government and its central bank to absorb a loss of half a trillion dollars – over $500 billion – on the $2.6 trillion of foreign reserves it has built up. These reserves are not merely from exports, much less exports to the United States. They are capital flight by U.S. money managers, Wall Street arbitragers, international speculators and others seeking to buy up Chinese assets. And they are the result of U.S. military spending in its bases in Asia and elsewhere – dollars that recipient countries turn around and spend in China.
    Chinese authorities have tried to make it clear that what they object to is the U.S. policy of creating “electronic keyboard credit” at one quarter of a percent (0.25 per cent) to buy up higher yielding assets abroad (and nearly every foreign asset is higher yielding). The Group of 20 in Seoul Korea last week accused the United States of competitive currency depreciation and financial aggression, and countries stepped up attempts to shun the dollar and indeed, to avoid running trade and payments surpluses as such.
    The bottom line is that there is no way that the United States can defend depreciation of the dollar on terms that oblige other countries to take a loss on their holdings. Investors throughout the world have lost faith in the dollar and other paper currencies, and are moving into gold or simply closing off their economies. Over the past year – ever since the BRIC meetings in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in summer 2009 – their response has been to avoid using the dollar, to protect themselves from aggressive U.S. capital flight seeking to raid their central banks, buy out their companies, raw materials and assets with “paper credit” and indeed to step up military spending.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson11222010.html

  194. jerry December 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    “The Revolution Will Be Televised” (Gil Scott Heron), and we will watch Glenn Beck U get torched and it’s Guru will be stoned with eggs and Cheez Curls.
    The revolution will be televised as the sub-literates get off their Lazy Boys and waddle into the streets like zombies looking for fatcat bankstas to trample.
    The revolution will be televised from portable turrets filled with gun toting private cops and young, innocent t.v. telereaders filming the lyra tights-wearing obscene sub-literates who lean on their shopping carts as they storm Walmart stores looting and crashing aisles with their steel clad junk receptacles . Shot dead are the Great Unwashed as they lay twitching and lunging upon the blacktopped parking lot of China’s company store feeding the wanting needs of super dooper bargain shoppers waiting for the next shipment of Asia’s sweatshop products.
    The revolution will be televised as hoards of destitute unemployed Wall Street paper-pushers in their tattered, Good Will purchased Brooks Brothers clothes raid the offices of their Washington representatives receiving bundles of campaign cash contributions from the elite’s 1% tax cuts.
    The revolution will be televised as the cable companies find their HD boxes smashed upon the sides of their service vehicles filling the neighborhoods streets with their worthless plastic wage draining programming machines.
    The revolution will be televised!
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  195. Funzel December 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Ellebeme,I hope you realize you are wasting your time with the “fucktard”,formally known as tza tza.
    He is the guy that heard the bells ringing,but don’t know where in hell they are hanging.

  196. LewisLucanBooks December 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    I was horrified by “Shock Doctrine.” The idea that natural disasters should be seen as opportunities for economic profit. Suddenly what happened and is happening in New Orleans made sense.
    As the infrastructure falls apart and the weather gets wilder, the predators will be out to wring the last drops of profit out of the populace.
    P.S. Did you get to wax your skis?

  197. Buck Stud December 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Maybe Flaubert had it right:
    “One mustn’t look at the abyss, because there is at the bottom an inexpressible charm which attracts us.”

  198. messianicdruid December 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    “Someone upthread (I think, couldn’t find it again), linked to Michael Hudson, and these 3 paragraphs say a lot.”
    Is this:
    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/living-economies/532
    the same Michael Hudson?

  199. lbendet December 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi LLB
    When I read the “Shock Doctrine” I was more horrified than I was when I read “1984” at the age of 12. Why—Because it’s real!!
    Skiing was great.
    In the 1970’s I bought waxless cross country skis. I love that they’ve lasted all these years and that I can just put them on in the right conditions right outside my building and ski around the neighborhood. When I lived uptown I would go to Central Park which was fantastic.
    I skied inside and outside Washington Square Park. I find there are others out there doing the same and lots of people want to take a pic!
    Love the fact that I can ski on pretty deep snow without sinking.

  200. george December 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    “The Obama Democrats, the putative Left Wing, are analogous to the pro-monarchy center of revolutionary France.” Maybe I’m being overly naive here, but I think Mr Obama is the best candidate to lead America into the post-oil future, though he may need a brutal bitch-slap from national and international events to get him acting. While I admire JHK’s cogent and inciteful analysis of our national predicament, I hate to think that the Obama who wrote “The Audacity of Hope”, electrified the delegates at the 2004 Democratic convention and made that brilliant speech on race during the 2010 campaign, a speech that political analyst Jack Lessenberry called the best speech on the subject since the late Robert Kennedy’s on the eve of Martin Luther King’s murder, was just another political cipher like George W, Bush or Bill Clinton,

  201. lbendet December 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Michael Hudson’s site is:
    http://michael-hudson.com/
    About: Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and of The Myth of Aid (1971).
    ps there is another Michael Hudson who also writes about economics I think he’s a journalist.

  202. Bustin J December 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Ang conveyed, “Pharmaceutical companies only spend money on studies for patented drugs. Herbs & plants – can’t be patented. Medical schools only teach about treating symptoms with pharmaceuticals.
    Just because it’s not funded, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It just mean it’s not funded.”
    As far as I know, medical schools teach about treating conditions with herbs if scientific studies show they are effective. Scientific studies are funded and pursued at institutions using scientific techniques.
    As for the question of funding, I think it is fair to say that if it is developed, it was funded, if it was funded, there was profit potential, if there was profit potential, there was demonstrable need (patients with symptoms). There are unsuccessful drugs that have been pushed on the market for many conditions where there is clearly a fraudulent motive. I can’t recall specific names of these drugs but there are examples. For-profit companies have incentive to glean profits over significant costs of development. So there is possibility not only of fraud, but patient harm. When a physician takes into account the indeterminate nature of symptoms and claims by manufacturers, he is taking an educated guess.
    For herbologists, obviously there are no patent medicines, but there are secret formulas, and processes. The FDA does not inspect or evaluate these products. The possibility of contaminants and sub-par quality are a real, proven danger.
    Moreover, many herbs are indicated for a great many symptoms. And who checks if anyone ever tested their effects? Who checks for cross-reactivity with existing diet, supplements, or pharmaceuticals.
    The supplement market is a wild west where causes are divorced from effects. Treatments are based on intuitions and salesmanship.
    Beantown mentioned the efficaciousness of the placebo effect, further complicating the veracity of claims. Yet claims are made and evidence circumstantial.
    I am reading Nassem Taleb’s work on Black Swans, specifically, the fallacy of survivorship bias. In the biomedical sense, this is certainly apropos for the Homeopathic field.
    1. Who remembers the patient who died because her symptoms were misdiagnosed and given medication that didn’t address the cause?
    2. Who remembers the patient who died because her herbs didn’t address root causes and the placebo effect was not present or did not make a difference?
    3. Who remembers the patient who was “diagnosed” by folklore and took medicine that injured or killed her based on an ambiguous diagnosis?
    4. Who remembers the vendor who made sugar pills for $1.10/lb. and then sold it in a bottle with a label listing ingredients not contained in the pills and marked up the price by 3000%, when assured that the placebo effect would prove efficacious for a great percentage of buyers. (Who offers a generous “money-back guarantee” or “no hassle return policy”)
    5. Who profits when desperate people with real needs and medical conditions are easily convinced to part with their money for products that offer no proven results yet are allowed to claim any effects on their labels?
    The global pharmaceutical market is worth somewhere north of $700 billion/yr. The size of the counterfeit drug economy is about 10% of that size.
    America does increasing business with Mickey Mao’s China Emporium which is quite literally filled with counterfeit manufacturing. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are on drugstore shelves in the United States. What ends up in those pills? Anything.
    Step outside the U.S. and the chances increase exponentially that you will be eating fake drugs.
    On St. John’s Wort,
    “Conclusions: Current evidence regarding Hypericum extracts is inconsistent and confusing. In patients who meet criteria for major depression, several recent placebo-controlled trials suggest that Hypericum has minimal beneficial effects while other trials suggest that Hypericum and standard antidepressants have similar beneficial effects.” – http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/186/2/99
    This result is not a slam-dunk proving the efficaciousness of St. Johns Wort in treating Depression. But it is not a condemnation that SJW isn’t effective either. What it says simply is that, if the Herbologist gave you a sugar pill that cost $0.02 to make and charged you $0.25 for that same pill, he made a scadload of money, and you might feel better for placebic reasons.
    Now, to my mind, I see the vendor as a crook, preying on the desperation of vulnerable people. But most hippie chicks shelling out dough at the Herbologist tend to have a high confidence in their own ability to evaluate the truth and falsehood of claims, or the motivations of people. In other words, they are easy prey for victimizers in the process of a crime in which causation is difficult to prove.
    So when weighing relative risks between going to a board-certified, accredited physician, who has scientific training, and expert knowledge of biochemistry and physiology, who works in conjunction with similarly educated, board-certified pharmacists, who deal with USP-certified drugs which are vetted by the FDA and subject to clinical trials….
    …weighed against going to the guy on the corner (or the website) who is not necessarily certified, who will diagnose and recommend drugs, which are not certified, which may or may not include active ingredients or labelled ingredients, not subject to clinical trials, may be contraindicated toward a patient’s condition or medical history, based on circumstantial claims, folklore, general belief, even psychic energy, testimonies, blessings by neighborhood Monks, or similar.
    That said, personally I believe in the homeopathic effect of ingesting random raw plant pieces. I would not say this is a sound logical practice. And I would not suggest it is necessarily safe.
    Now a few words on hypobhondriasis because of its correlation to herbology:
    Once a person has the erroneous belief that substance X will treat symptom Y for , it becomes ever more possible for someone (the herbologist) to convince the person on other treatments or cures. As the illogic toxicity of bad reasoning takes hold, a person becomes a hypochondriac. Every symptom a mystery, every random claim of treatment equally valid given establishment of the fact that proof is not required.
    An herbologist’s best friend is the hypochondriac. I would suggest this occupation and practice as highly unethical. But, it is commonplace. Hypochondriacs are handicapped mentally by their faulty thought processes. Which is in itself a symptom. What is the poor soul to do? Well, she goes to the herbologist. She says, “I got fuzzy thinking disease, what works for that?” And the herbologist smacks his lips and runs his forked tongue across his teeth and pulls a bottle of sugar pills from behind the counter and proceeds to make all sorts of claims about it.
    Meanwhile, the cops are down the street Tasing a homeless man for stealing food from the Grocers.
    —-
    There are two worlds:
    One, where the truth doesn’t matter, reasons don’t matter, and there is a high concentration of fraud because the system allows for it.
    Two, where the truth matters, claims are tested, and there is a low concentration of fraud because the system doesn’t allow it.
    Take your pick.

  203. Bustin J December 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    If there is one issue I see possibility for mass action is participation in democracy.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re left or right, Obama or O’Reilly, the fact of the matter is your vote doesn’t count; it never counted; and the powers that be piss on us all and we call it rain.
    The fact is that this (quote/unquote) “representative democracy” is anything but; There never has been democracy in America, much less the World.
    Further, the politicans do not act in their constituents’ best interests, the election process is unfair and exclusionary.
    There are all sorts of issues that, decade after decade, voters polled say are “very important” and politicans do nothing.
    Why?
    It is because the system is nothing but graft. Corruption long ago hollowed out the system. Its bureaucratic nature cannot be reformed.
    Legislation will never produce any meaningful change.
    Overthrowing the government is an American birthright even if it is officially illegal.
    The fact is that Americans, perhaps more so than anywhere else in the world, have the common values and traits necessary for revolution.
    Even if people appear to be complacent or even complicit, we should remember that revolution is taught systematically in the schools. We should remember that the default attitude is entitlement to rights under the constitution, which is not the body of government. And integral to the teaching of history and politics is democracy- which is the belief that people are the best determinants of policy, not lobbyists or even representatives.
    Further, we should also realize that politics is still a highly activating force. The system is rigged in such a way as to blunt participation and effectiveness. But as long as independent spirit exists there is the possibility that people can force change against the system.
    The most vital part of the system that needs change is the participatory part.
    When government was created as a representative body, its architecture was perhaps appropriate to a time in which information travelled by horse, and people perhaps couldn’t be expected to read or write or understand issues or be trusted to expand liberty.
    Over time, the participatory aspect of government was only changed by fighting tooth and nail for it. For the fact being that our government was usurped by elites over a hundred years ago. And its structure gives ground unwillingly.
    However, as technology increases, the rationale for the 2 or 4 year election cycle breaks down.
    We are a nation lulled to complacency only by habit, not instinct. This makes me optimistic. Americans share a general desire for personal participation in politics. In other words, we trust the judgment of a democratic body to make decisions that are in its best interest. So no one should object to an expansion of democracy. no one should fear a tyranny of mob rule.
    I think we are close, because of the internet, to a critical point where it is possible to dramatically overthrow an existing power structure and move it toward realization of original ideals.
    As it stands, Americans have political views and are committed to argument and rhetorical and philsophic debate. You might think the recent (30 yr.) “polarization” of American politics is due to the constituency. I don’t think so- I think it is the grinding reality of a body politic with no power to participate. As such, arguing policy is an exercise in frustration.
    As we move into 2011, the effects of the massive fraud that American governance represents will start hitting rank-and-file Americans in the gut. If America cannot move forward in a productive sense toward a form of government which reflects their interests and values, it will be susceptible to Kunstler’s prediction of dark-horse fascist movements led by charismatic figureheads (which is to say not much different than now).
    The problem for the establishment is that economic implosion is going to de-legitimize their form of government. And in this breach is enormous potential to move America out of its 200-year old rut, and deliver on the promise made by the founding fathers 236 years ago. The invention of democracy was great- it has never been fully implemented- we now have the technology and knowledge to make it happen.
    And in the desperation and turmoil of collapse, there will be great disillusionment which can be leveraged for the benefit of all. As was predicted by the founders, such action will likely be revolutionary in nature and as issue of continuance of the federal government will be at question.

    When I think about solutions, I tend to believe that the ones with the least ill effects and maximal results should be considered.
    1. There is no revolutionary path via legislative or conventional channels; therefore the movement will have to be anarchic in nature and distributed widely throughout all strata of public life. Its aims will have to be singular and non-partisan or ideologic- the aim is technical in nature: to force fundamental change in the administrative structure of the democracy.
    The general strike has the maximum amount of coercive power with the least destructive effect. There are no points at which a paramilitary force can concentrate suppressive power and destroy a small block of resistors.
    It will require the stoppage of the entire economic system. People will have to support each other through the change for as long as necessary. If government retains fascist elements, they will be unmasked by this action. But there is no way their power is greater than the whole of the people.
    I really see this as America’s only hope- to continue America as the collection of these states. Who else is going to liberate Americans? When will America fight for its rights? Whatever you have to say about the complacency and ambivalence of Americans toward their own rights or liberty today, economic downturn can only strengthen that value.
    So why wait for the strike to commence? Actively refuse to participate. Refuse to recognize this kleptocracy. Cease the veneration of incumbent ideologies. Admit that nonviolent dissent and mass action are the prerogative of the people. If you do not believe in the righteousness of democracy, of the power of the individual in the act of voting, if you believe that the executive, judicial, and legislative branches no longer form a balanced or fair process that acts in our best interests, we don’t have to blow up planes to get our way. We don’t have to storm capitol buildings, or seize the airwaves. All we have to do is organize a collective moment and enact mass action.

  204. ccm989 December 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Like many of the other posters here, I don’t see any revolution coming. Americans are too fat and lazy to do anything about the huge gap between the super wealthy and the rest of us. As long as there is junk food and TV on 24/7 most of us will sit back in our Laz-e-Boy and be grateful for whatever scraps the master CEOs throw on the floor.
    Gas is definitely going to be $4 a gallon by 2011 Memorial Day Weekend. That will make the price of ALL commodities rise. Saw Oscar Meyer bacon in the local supermarket for $7.49 for one pack. Between the rising cost of oil and the ecological disasters i.e. droughts in Russia and elsewhere, things are getting mighty expensive. Even Froot Loops are expensive.
    We’ve been stuck at the Jersey Shore in the wake of a huge snowfall (about 24″ to 30″). Abandoned cars are all over the place. Snow plows come only to major streets. December has been abnormally cold but the newspapers say 2010 will be one of the warmest years on record. What are we doing about that? Nothing. What are we doing about the $4 a gallon gas? Nothing.
    The American Democracy is gradually coming to the end. Greed, selfishness and stupidity have ruined it. Everyone thinks they are going to be in the top 1% when they don’t even have the education to be a door greeter at WalMart. But somehow they want tax breaks for the rich because one day they too will be the rich. The delusions continue.
    In order to survive in this new, gas deprived future we are going to have to learn to adapt. Things we counted on like a two week vacation to Disneyland will be just memories we tell our grandchildren. Unless the economy really picks up soon, things like regular meals may become memories too.

  205. myrtlemay December 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Have to say that, although thoroughly depressing, I am very encouraged by the astute observations thus far! Some of you are showing signs of “waking up and smelling the coffee”. I’m not condescending here, btw. I’m years older than most of you, and have shamefully been hoodwinked for far, far too long. Our “non-negotionable way of life” is rapidly being seen by EVERYONE (not just those outside of amerika) as the absolute fraud it truly is. The future some of you so clearly envision recognizes the total reckless disregard our country has with respect to its place in the modern (post l940) world. I respect that! The links to Orwell and Huxley chill me to the marrow (thanks, Carole King – saw the lovely lady in concert years ago – what a dame!) Between Mr. Kuntsler and (almost) the lot of you, somehow, some way, a return to a “normalcy” will ultimately prevail. It is, for me, perhaps too late. It gladdens my old heart to hear so many people wanting to affect change. Many cheers to you posters, too numerous to mention, so I’ll not even try. The future will, I believe, be back-breakingly hard and painful – but so well worth it. To those of you who share this vision, I humbly salute you! Oz didn’t give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t ALREADY have!

  206. resortownslacker December 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    I just went outside, the sky is falling!…..no really the sky is falling! I enjoy reading Cunnnslahs wit every Monday but the comments here are even more entertaining. Some of y’all gotta be the most pastey face pussies on the face of the earth.

  207. Ang December 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Bustin J, I agree with much of what you say re: those who are essentially snake oil salesmen.
    And when I refer to St Johns Wort being prescribed in Europe, it is by medical doctors.
    (I’m not going to take the time to dig up supporting studies. But they are out there.)
    However, I think you missed the essence of my point.
    You said:
    “As far as I know, medical schools teach about treating conditions with herbs if scientific studies show they are effective. Scientific studies are funded and pursued at institutions using scientific techniques.
    As for the question of funding, I think it is fair to say that if it is developed, it was funded, if it was funded, there was profit potential, if there was profit potential, there was demonstrable need (patients with symptoms).”
    My point is that drug studies are funded by pharma companies. Big pharma is FOR PROFIT.
    So they are not going to fund a study on whether or not Herb X is going to work for Condition Y, because they cannot patent the formula. Even if someone thinks Herb X will work. So no study means it doesn’t work? I don’t think so. No study means no one funded the study.
    Drug companies/drug sales & profits are ALL about the patent. When the patent runs out and generics can be made, the drug company stops spending marketing dollars on that drug.
    So ALL marketing happens during the period from drug launch until end of patent.
    Therefore, it is LOGICAL that other non-patentable remedies MAY work, however, there is no research or studies to support that – or they are very limited – because there is no incentive to spend the dollars on the studies if they aren’t going to bring in significant income.
    In fact, there are several drug companies whose studies aren’t panning out for drugs in their pipelines (ie, drugs don’t work or side effects are too bad), and they are currently scrambling to figure out what to do (ie, buy smaller companies with drugs with good results in preliminary studies).
    It’s a case of apples & oranges. And unfortunately, the public isn’t gaining access to the full spectrum of possibilities for treatment and/or cure of their diseases.
    Same goes for CURING disease. But Big Pharma’s goal isn’t to cure. Their profits would dry up. But that’s a discussion for another day.

  208. Harold from Canada December 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    You sure are critical of a lot of people. How does your choice of Obama fit in? Did he do what he promised? Did he change anything? Is your country better off since his election? I do not believe that there is any difference between Obama and the people you like to ridicule.

  209. wagelaborer December 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    I think it is the same guy.
    He was also economic advisor to Dennis Kucinich.

  210. Fredyard December 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    Not sure why anyone thinks the masses will rise up and revolt. The latest example I see that America is just going out with a wimper was the supposed moral and constitutional indignation about airport scanners and pat downs. Lots of talk but in the end no one dared speak out except for a few who got their 15 nano seconds of fame parading around airports in speedos. This is just more proof that America is dying the death by a thousand cuts. Another point; 2 months ago the USGS announced previously predicted oil reserves were being reduced by 90% in Alaska. Never heard any furor over that one. Kind of important you might think?. I might of missed it but that wasn’t even covered on the Oil Drum web site.

  211. wagelaborer December 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I was listening to NPR and they were bemoaning the fact that houses are cheaper to buy now.
    WTF?
    And then they cheered the fact that Americans spent billions last month.
    But it wasn’t all trinkets and toys. Some of those billions went to food and gas.
    Whatever. Americans spending more money – good.
    Americans spending less money (on houses) – bad.
    The real world, the small limited planet that we live on – not even considered in the “news”.
    It’s a wonder that any of us are sensible, with the constant propaganda we live in, telling us that we must grow forever, or die.

  212. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    “Sovereigns can rule themselves. Those that do not support the Covenant are free to leave, having the right of Free Association. Private Property supports this, as does Christian Liberty. Anything else is tyranny and oppression, usually forced by a man-made government, at gunpoint. Nicolaitanism has no place among God’s people.”
    Well see, with all due respect….with the way things are going nowadays, and getting WORSE…do you think those who do not abide by the covenant will be able to call Allied Van Lines and pack up and move to a more tolerant place? Just leave….yeah, that has worled SO WELL in theocratic societies. I mean the Sunnis and shias….well if they don’t like each other why don’t they just LEAVE? Same with those pesky Israleis and Palestinians…why can’t they just LEAVE? I’ll tell you why, because if it is ONE THING a man/woman has that keeps them going it is their home. Do you really think that when TSHTF somebody is just going to be compliant and walk away from what they have held onto?
    And please, spare me the God’s People line. Every religion thinks it is descended from God, but man IS MAN and it is man who interprets the scriptures…man who creates and runs church….man who leads and influences the congregation. Only if Christ himself came down each sunday and delivered each and every sermon could one say God led the church.
    I see nothing but hatred and intolerance from so many groups who call themselves christian, I have yet to see one stand apart. Not god’s way….well the holy christians on Nazi Germany thought nothing of sending people off to exrtermination camps. The Poles were more than happy to hold the doors open of the ovens for the Jews…without being aware they were slated next for extermination. And what about that Catholic Church, you know with Popey as the Prince of Heaven on Earth….why just outside the Vatican walls in WWII jews were slaughtered in Rome. In fact Popey Pius (oh the irony of THAT name) KNEW what was going on and did nothing for fear the church would fall. Riddle me this….if the church is all-powerful then why worry about its destruction?
    What about this country you ask? Well there were witch trials and BURNINGS…religious intolerance is alive and well today and just because you claim that “god’s people” wouldn’t be meanines and violent does NOT make it so when these so-called peace-loving christians wish to live in a theocracy and shove it down the rest of everyone else’s throats. If those are god’s people, send me straight to hell where I don;t have to deal with homicidal douchebags like that.

  213. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    NPR pisses me off. In fact most mass media does. I may catch a movie to veg out….I may catch an episode of Jeopardy…but I find it best for my sanity and well-being to ignore the rest of it. I read for my news and I don’t frequent sites that have chewed up and pre-digested information they want me to swallow and accept.

  214. messianicdruid December 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    “If those are god’s people…”
    Why do you say “If”? If you know they are not you should confront them with their own rules. If their own rules do not support their actions, neither you, nor they should call themselves God’s People. If they say they follow the Bible, you can use it to make them admit what they are doing is sin {if it is}.
    “I’ll tell you why, because if it is ONE THING a man/woman has that keeps them going it is their home.”
    What basis would you use to enter into a covenant, that reserved your right to be a Sovereign on your own property?
    http://adask.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/god-given-unalienable-rights-individual-sovereignty/

  215. gordsav December 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    To me its a failure of character on the part of everybody.
    PEOPLE WERE A LOT TOUGHER 3 GENERATIONS AND MORE AGO.
    People did not borrow money until the last fifty years, it was tantamount to a sin, and the very notion of even having a mortgage was dubious.
    Anyone ever hear of a layaway plan, ie, if you dont have the money, you dont buy it.You save up and pay cash.
    My father had a diners club card , the first card, back in the 50s, and handled it like it was radioactive.Was it ever, it bred like a breeder reactor and destroyed a society.
    What was it for, not really sure, but would it be paying for restaurant meals? How brilliant.
    A mortgage was the stuff of terror, down payments were massive, the whole idea was to move heaven and earth and pay the wretched thing off.
    If someone suggested that you refi a mortgage and blithely take out and spend the cash he would be smacked upside the head. or institutionalized.
    So its a complete failure of values by a country of fat dumb spoiled brats with no value system.
    Dont borrow. Dont owe, is this so difficult. pay as you go.
    What in the world happened, well, the phrase shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in 3 generations comes to mind.
    We did this to ourselves, the banksters a re pigs for sure, but so are we.
    Do not borrow money. Do not owe money.
    We were incalculably dumb, and seek scapegoats.
    The enemy is us guys and gals.

  216. messianicdruid December 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Yes! The other guy is a New Yorker. Just sayin.

  217. wagelaborer December 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Me, too. I just happened to be driving and my community radio station had a baseball game on, so I turned to NPR.
    And, boy, was I sorry! Instant anger!

  218. ElleBeMe December 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    “Why do you say “If”? If you know they are not you should confront them with their own rules. If their own rules do not support their actions, neither you, nor they should call themselves God’s People. If they say they follow the Bible, you can use it to make them admit what they are doing is sin {if it is}. ”
    Do you have any clue how many times I have had it out with a Bible-thumping christofascist? They make up their own rules and then conform THEM to the Bible. And GOOD LUCK getting a devout to admit they or their god-like idol of a preacher to admit they have got it WRONG…they misinterpreted it. You have a better chance of getting cheap, majestic oceanfront views from a hillside retreat in Iowa.
    Thing is religious interpretation, bible interpretation is like an a-hole. Everyone has their views. Who is RIGHT? Well now therein lies the pickle…considering everyone thinks they are right. And what perchance would happen say you, if a town is divided between two DIFFERENT sects of xtianity? Who is MORE right…the Baptists? The Methodists? The Jehovas? I’ll wager you a million each one says THEY have the authority. Hell, just this past week or so a ueber conservative from Texas, a real GOP dandy, was called out and CRITICIZED by his own party for being of the WRONG FAITH…he was Jewish.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/06/texas-christians-best-jobs/
    Oh Eric Cantor your pandering may have been for naught….
    Yeah, god’s people. Each one thinks he is because his church tells him so. A small reality break would be nice…. Doctrine re-interpreted 1000X of The tempermental sky fairy is no way to govern a people. If it works such wonders, why cannot the people of Israel, Iraq, Palestine, etc not just Get along?
    “What basis would you use to enter into a covenant, that reserved your right to be a Sovereign on your own property? ”
    I am a soverign on my own property. I don’t need to enter into any covenant to get it – and nor would I…ESPECIALLY if it were run by a bunch of closet-homosexual, mysogynistic, plastic-haired Pastors/priests who think they have the market cornered in morality and spirituality.

  219. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    OOPS ! I wonder where I got doggies’.
    Well I just hear the tune kinda. Am kinda young to know it.
    Thanks tho. Keep them cowboys’ rolling. I always wondered what keep them doggies’ rolling meant !
    Really.

  220. LewisLucanBooks December 29, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    LOL. Shows how behind the times I am. Wonder if they still was surfboards? Life is getting so complex, sometimes even big developments get by me.
    Oh, 20 years ago, I suppose, I was working in a big mall at a B. Dalton’s. We had heard for months that a music store was going to open across the way from our store. On opening day, I ran through the door, looked around and said “Where’s the records?” The very young clerk gave me a blank look and I’m going, “Ya know, about this big? Made of vinyl?” Somehow or another, I had missed the whole CD thing.
    Lbendt. I’m agonizing over which calendar to get this year. Momentous decision, I know. But, ya live with the things for a year. Magritte? Or stick with what I had last year, Edward Hooper? There are plenty of other choices, but those two come to mind first when I think about it. I’d go for a Grant Wood, John Stewart Curry or Thomas Hart Benton (Oakie Baroque … I love that phrase) but haven’t run across any of those. No Cadmus, either.

  221. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    homicidal douchebags. imho that is EXACTLY WHAT SOME CHRISTIANS’ ARE.
    In my life it is self proclaimed Christians’ that are beyond a doubt seriously MEAN AND NASTY and JUDGEMENTAL AND EVIL. And delusional. WICKED.
    FUCK YOU AND YOUR GODAMN RAPTURE.
    If you are there that is THE LAST FUCKING PLACE I WANT TO BE.
    Oh btw does your **** stink or what ? just like everyone elses ?
    I seriously mean this.
    GOD HELP US. religion really is strange.
    does anyone remember shit I can’t seriously, DAS ENERGI ?
    I really like that book.
    yes I might be an old hippie. not sure.
    I believe in God or not but I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE STORY. NEVER DID NEVER WILL.
    I am going to read some serious books mentioned above here. here I go scrolling, keepin’ those COWBOYS ROLLING…..

  222. AMR December 29, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Good call on Christofascism. Since right-wing ideologues won’t refrain from refering to Islamic terrorists as Islamofascists, it seems reasonable at least as a matter of parity to refer to the 700 Club, Sarah Palin and fellow-travelers as Christofascists.
    I don’t know where I stand on the inherent propriety or accuracy of Christofascism in reference to American theocrats, or of Islamofascism in reference to Islamic terrorists. Terms like these are of course recklessly abused by ideologues who want to take cheap shots at their enemies, since the notoriety of Hitler’s evil deeds has rightly put Nazism beyond the pale of polite society.
    Hence references to “econazis” and Rush Limbaugh’s favorite bugaboos, “feminazis.” To anyone interested in keeping the horrors of the Third Reich in perspective, these last terms should be unconscionable. Their very use implies that minor disputes over culture and the regulation of private property are as serious as the fight against a regime that coldbloodedly murdered and enslaved over ten million people.
    In modern parlance, fascism has widely come to be conflated with Nazism. This is an imprecise use of language grounded in historical ignorance. Mussolini’s version of fascism, which predated Hitler’s, was one of the least brutal and most conciliatory forms of tyranny in human history. Two of the greatest oversights in modern historiography are the implication that Mussolini was a monster by virtue of his association with Hitler (a relationship in which Mussolini played second fiddle and was chronically trying to placate or impress an often annoyed Fuhrer) and the moral pass given to Stalin for murdering, starving and enslaving tens of millions of his compatriots.
    It is telling that Stalinism goes almost unused as an epithet in modern political mudslinging. There are plenty of disreputable mudslingers careless enough with their language to use it as a slur, but it doesn’t occur to them because Stalin hasn’t been made into a personification of evil. Likewise Mao Zedong and Pol Pot, who were also murderous psychopaths (the latter more purposely so).
    Communism and socialism are often conflated into a popular enemy, but rarely on account of gulags, reeducation camps and killing fields. More often, the alarmist rhetoric seems to be about high gas taxes that will inevitably kill the economy, or single-payer insurance plans and government hospitals that will inevitably ruin health care.
    Despite all this, my sense is that Christofascism is not a serious exaggeration, if it is an exaggeration at all, of the American religious right. It certainly seems to be a much more apt term than Islamofascism, which ignores the Middle Eastern origins of Jihadi philosophy, especially the intention to establish a new Caliphate. This goal is at most tangential to Western political thought, and it tends to put Jihadis at loggerheads with the more arguably fascist regimes in the Middle East (e.g., Saddam Hussein, the Assads, and the Egyptian government).
    The militantly statist saber-rattling and jingoism coming from large parts of the American religious right is a lot closer to fascism. It gives tremendous cover to attempts to set up a repressive police state and unmanageable overseas empire. The right sort of religious and quasireligious leaders could severely undermine the philosophical basis for a police state, but that leadership has been absent since Jimmy Carter left office.

  223. LewisLucanBooks December 29, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Went to the Safeway grocery store last night to get bananas. There wasn’t a banana to be had in the entire place. Just that big stepped table, usually heaped with bananas … empty! I’m sure there’s a simple explanation, but I forgot to ask when I got to check-out.
    But it gave me such a queasy feeling. That great expanse of empty. I’m sure they’ll be back, tomorrow. But some day, they won’t.

  224. Eleuthero December 29, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    Why are there so many people like you
    on blogs who flaunt their gains in the
    financial markets? Are you bragging?
    Are you trying to induce envy? I can’t
    think of a positive slant on talking
    about one’s crowing about financial
    market gains.
    I’ve seen and heard so many “geniuses”
    since the 1970s whose primary “genius”
    is that they made money in a rising
    market. It’s like saying that you
    CAUSED the tide that lifted your boat. :-)
    At least you partially make up for it by
    agreeing that it might just be that JHK’s
    timing is off. However, that point can
    be made quite well without using one’s
    own case as a “refutation” of the author.
    You’re not the only one who does this DD
    but it never “smells” good when anyone does
    it. Your personal finances are not germane
    to this site. Your stances on issues are.
    E.

  225. Eleuthero December 29, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    I agree with you, Patrizia. Even though
    I detest Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon,
    and the other financial oligarchs, I do
    not think that committing an even MORE
    heinous crime (the mass murder of them)
    is a “refutation” of their crimes.
    That kind of thinking is much like the
    thinking of all those “people’s revolutionaries”
    that dominated Latin America during the
    1960s and 1970s who generally ended up
    becoming as greedy, power-mad, and
    corrupt as the regimes they ousted.
    Sometimes I think that excessive, even
    murderous RAGE is itself a symptom of
    the “green-eyed monster” … ENVY.
    Honest disdain for the financialization
    of America and its aftermath would be to
    choose a life that DEFINANCIALIZED ONE’S
    LIFE by focusing on producing, creating,
    contributing, relating to people, and
    forming communal relations with family
    and friends.
    I don’t envy those rich bastards for a
    minute. Ever think about their lives??
    They work 14 hour days, have microphones
    and cameras stuck in their faces constantly,
    go to boring meetings, and they have to
    get all worked up about product lines
    that are about as enticing as a sharp
    stick in the eye.
    I think a life where work is in balance
    with play, where one has fulfilling hobbies,
    where one has interesting associates, and
    where one’s friends are REAL … and not
    just trying to suck off of one’s money
    or glamor … that’s the good life to me.
    I think America’s great acquisition of
    wealth after WWII was a mixed blessing.
    The stock market bubble that started in
    1982 was really the beginning of the end
    of our time of innocence and we’ve NEVER
    recovered from it. And that’s why you
    can hardly find people who want (or who
    are knowledgeable or passionate enough)
    to talk about music, science, politics,
    the current social milieu, or anything
    that might involve CONTROVERSY.
    Our country, as currently constituted, has
    a very downbeat cast as witnessed by all
    the skull tattoos, “tough guy” looks, and
    serious disrespect for anything but partying
    and sports. Gee, I like to party and I like
    to watch a good game as much as anyone but
    I’ll go to my grave without being one of
    these codgers and geezers who are “retrofitting”
    their social personae by wearing pro sports
    jackets and uniforms to “belong”.
    Americans can and WILL become Nazi-like if
    you just deprive them of more jobs, take
    away their homes, and sell their jobs to
    Asians just a bit more. It’s on its way.
    E.

  226. AMR December 29, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    As a Roman Catholic, I disagree with the broad attack on Christians, Christianity, and religion in general. That said, there are plenty of batshit crazy religious people. I’ve met some who scare me, and many more whose ideologies scare me.
    I’m not a blind, dogmatic follower of the Catholic Church. I have qualms with some of its black-and-white teachings on sexual morality, for instance. I believe that it acted immorally in the Crusades and by harboring pedophiles in the priesthood. I was disturbed when Church officials tried to exercise what appeared to be a corporate franchise through the faithful in the 2004 presidential election.
    I could go on at length with examples of my disagreements with the Church. In short, I have placed some faith in what I recognize to be a human institution because I believe that it is doing God’s work by carrying on the apostolic tradition. This is a paradox, although an inconsequential one as Catholic paradoxes go (I’ll be up all night if I start exploring that rabbit hole).
    That said, the most thoroughly batshit crazy rhetoric that I’ve heard from Christians in recent decades has come from Protestants and nondenominationalists. In particular, sola fide and sola scriptura are two of the most pernicious teachings ever espoused in the history of Christianity.
    Especially since Vatican II, the Catholic Church has toned down its more extreme rhetoric to the point that it can’t hold a candle to non-apostolic extremism. Instead, historically, apostolically, and liturgically unmoored zealots with a fire in their belly over Satan and his minions have dominated the public conception of theology, while those denominations with a sense of history and holy tradition (including many Protestant demoninations) preach to the choir, as it were. Pat Robertson and John Hagee have well-organized, widely promoted, nationally syndicated television broadcasts. Meanwhile, the broadcasting ministries of the Catholic Church, which is the largest religious denomination in the United States, are small, discreet and haphazard.
    This is a perennial problem. Around the turn of the Twentieth Century, Protestant zealots were able to redefine temperance to mean teetotalism, and some years later usher in the disaster of nationwide alcohol prohibition. The Catholic Church’s response to this misleading, hysterical campaign was too modest and reserved, and consequently lame.
    The Church has made a similarly lame effort to reclaim the Book of Revelation from thundering Bible-thumpers who have a studied, willful ignorance about its historical context and use it to justify all manner of amoral and immoral behavior. This is not because the Church doesn’t teach Revelation in a reasonable historical context; as it happens, many of the liturgical readings during Advent are from Revelation. Rather, it is because Catholic teachings on Revelation rarely escape parish grounds. They are effectively limited to mass and occasional Bible studies, which are generally low-key environments with little publicity.
    It may be crude to say, but Catholic theology has a longstanding marketing problem. Strike up Tom Lehrer’s “Vatican Rag” if you wish, but it’s a shame for a church with such grounded theological teachings to abandon the public debate to a bunch of noisy yahoos.
    Judging Christianity on the basis of five-point Calvinism or any other shrill sola fide confession is equivalent to judging all children on the basis of a handful of schoolyard bullies who disturb the neighborhood with their yelling at recess.

  227. Eleuthero December 29, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    As an addendum to my previous post … the
    “tough guy” looks that dominate today …
    the bald pates with goatees, the skull
    tattoos, the watch caps in 90 degree
    weather are … paradoxical. The kids
    with all their ghetto-wear and Bro-World/
    Dude-World speech mannerisms are the biggest
    PUSSIES in the history of the United States.
    I know a lot of “tough guys” and “tough broads”
    in California who’ve spent the better part of
    their 20s or even 30s in Mommy’s bedroom because
    they can’t be a CEO and being a janitor is
    “beneath” them.
    As this GRINDING Depression proceeds, these
    people, in fact, have NO survival skills.
    They’ve seldom done manual labor. They’ve
    never grown food in their lives. When you
    deprive the most spoiled generation in history
    you’re going to get ANGER rather than a joining
    of ranks to solve problems. So those who think
    that Naziism or its lookalike cannot happen here
    are dreaming.
    E.

  228. Eleuthero December 29, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    Religion is always a delicate subject …
    especially to religious people. :-) :-)
    To us agnostics, this “delicacy” is a
    topic of amusement. If people’s strength
    of conviction was a tenth of what their
    stridency of belief would infer, the
    barbs of disbelievers would hardly ruffle
    their implacable calmness. Yet this is
    almost NEVER the case.
    I think religion is a net force of EVIL in
    the world. The human race will never emerge
    from its adolescence until we can get past
    this idea that some guy in the sky has an
    interest in our puny little lives. The
    universe is huge. “God” is busy. Till
    your own garden and let the reward of that
    be good enough. If it’s NOT good enough
    then you (the royal “you”, not you personally) expect way too much of God.
    Otherwise, I see religions as just being an
    extension of TRIBALISM and its primitivism.
    E.

  229. San Jose Mom 51 December 29, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    Religion is a touchy subject in my family. We just returned from Salt Lake City to spend Christmas with my mom, since my father died last May. My angle on the bible is that it is an important piece of cultural literature/history. But of course my Mormon mom/brother see it very differently. My mom insisted that we read the birth stories from the New Testament on Christmas Eve. When she read the words “A virgin hath conceived,” I gave my kids the evil eye in case they were planning to snicker.”
    All the patriarchal crap in the Mormon church makes me crazy. When I boy turns 12, he automatically gets the priesthood. No girls allowed. Glen Beck is a demigod in my mom’s house. She has all his books laying around. She’s pushing me to read “Atlas Shrugged.” She’s alarmed that my son is applying to a Buddhist University. I learned many years ago that there is no point in arguing religion or politics with my mom. It’s as productive as banging your head against the wall.
    Religion creates this big underlying tension.
    SJmom

  230. Tufflove December 29, 2010 at 2:57 am #

    Jimjim can’t post without calling people names. Vlad is scared of black people. Pathetic.

  231. Patrizia December 29, 2010 at 3:24 am #

    Religion is one thing and church (any church) is something else.
    Religion is what you turn to when there is nothing else anymore.
    I am not a religious person, but sometimes I envy the ones who really believe.
    Because it is much easier to endure your pains if you believe that there is a purpose and someday, somewhere, there is a better life after death.
    What I hate is the fact that there are, as usual, the ones who took advantage of the need of the people and in this case of the weaks and poors to suck from them the last cent.
    And I fully agree with you Eleuthero.
    Last night I was looking at the movie about the Bilderberg society.
    First I was asking myself what that bunch of old and decrepit people could think of themselves.
    If they only could see themselves through my eyes, a bunch of people ready (if not already) to be toiled trained, whose only future is a very close death, what do they want?
    If they could understand history.
    The deserts are full of the bones of the ones who believed they could rule the world.
    Yes, I fully agree, it is better to be a young bug of May than a Bird of Paradise, the problem, the big problem of men is that the young bug of May doesn´t understand it…

  232. Eleuthero December 29, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    Atlas Shrugged? Oh gawd. That book
    appeals to the naive minds of teenaged
    nerds who think that an ideal libertarian
    world CAN exist.
    Libertarians look at the regulation of
    the flow of financial “transactions” as
    a grievous loss of liberty. The problem
    is, in the REAL world, in, alas, far too
    many cases, one side of the transaction
    has shady ethics.
    Randian Libertarianism would only work in
    a world where people all had uniformly high
    ethics. It’s a utopian view of the world
    that’s as crazy as Communism.
    E.

  233. Vlad Krandz December 29, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    Pius the 12th wrote several encylicals against National Socialism. He also provided refuge to thousands of Jews inside Vatican City. What more do you expect – for him to run outside with a pistol? You don’t know what you are talking about. You have fallen for a campaign of slander perpetrated by the Jews for reasons of their own.
    For the record: the Nazis considered the Church a deadly and formidable enemy. They planned to phase Christianity out over the long term – and devout Christians could see the writing on the wall despite the press releases to the contrary. I remind you that a number of Priests died in the concentration camps. Also I remind you that the plot to kill Hitler was perpetrated by Catholic Officers.
    Why the slander? Never waste a crisis. The Jews were and are indignant that Catholics believe that the Jews crucified Christ and then tried to stamp out the new Religion. The apostle John and the Virgin Mary had to run for their lives to Asia Minor. The problem is that these things really happened and no amount of sacharine smiles and ecumenical conferences can undo them. Of course you can create a fake Church – and that basically is what Vatican Two was all about.
    Evangelicals were corrupted in the early part of the twentieth century by Darbyism and Dispensationalism which teach that the Jews are still the Chosen People. Thus people like John Hagee have become basically second class Jews. He wont even let his people preach the Gospel to Jews anymore because he doesn’t want to offend them. The rest of the Protestants have been mostly liberalized just like Vatican Two Catholics: ministers who don’t believe in God but only in social activism, gay marriage, gay priests, gay bishops, gay bishops leaving their wives to marry their boyfriends, women priests, lesbian priests, etc. Madness in other words.

  234. Vlad Krandz December 29, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    Whitey Mc Pasty huh? Congratulations, you’re an anti-White White racist. Check up on your facts: Black crime rates are thru the roof and Black test scores are down in the gutter. It’s always been that way – nothing can make them even with Whites. Generations of idealistic White Teachers have tried and failed miserably. Blacks have their talents – but they are not the stuff that high tech civilizations are made of.

  235. Eleuthero December 29, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    Those who believe that the Bilderbergs,
    the “Illuminati”, and so forth are not
    considering one idea: The idea that
    we live in such a stupid era and that
    everything is simply going to tend
    towards disorder and NO “society of
    elites”, secret or otherwise, can
    save us from it or even save THEMSELVES
    from it.
    There are too many people in the world.
    They all want a piece of the pie but the
    population is growing and the pie is
    shrinking. You don’t need more than
    grade school arithmetic to figure out
    that this does not turn out well.
    The world is engaging in schizoid “magical
    thinking” i.e., the idea that our new
    “religion” (technology!!) is going to
    magically create enough oil for another
    100 years, enough copper, enough nickel,
    enough freshwater … it’s pre-adolescent
    thinking like a belief in Santa Claus.
    Incidentally, I think JHK is correct in one
    of his more provocative predictions … there
    will be NO COMMERCIAL AIRLINE INDUSTRY IN TEN
    YEARS. If the International Energy Agency
    tells us that in 13 years we won’t be able
    to heat all the homes or fill all the gasoline
    tanks, I doubt they’re using scare tactics.
    Air travel will be limited to military
    personnel, rich people, and sick people.
    We’ll be down to a few total airlines and
    that “daily nonstop from NYC to LA” will be
    a twice-a-month flight.
    E.

  236. Vlad Krandz December 29, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    I missed that movie somehow, old man. I have to give it a whirl. I say now, you really are a good fellow if you like Kipling. I will use him against you in the future you know. He was a red faced racist like all good Englishmen. But fair’s fair – a Christmas Truce like the one during WW1 when Germans and Englishmen sang carols together. The Brass on both sides hated that. After that they made sure to have heavy bombardments on Christman Eve.

  237. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    “Randian Libertarianism would only work in
    a world where people all had uniformly high
    ethics. It’s a utopian view of the world
    that’s as crazy as Communism.”
    Are you sure? I think it makes communism look positively sane myself. I don’t assume for a split second that I always behave in my own rational self interest. Plenty of scientific evidence in the last thirty years shows people are anything but rational actors who operate according to principles of enlightened self interest.
    To be fair scientific evidence wasn’t around to disprove the assumptions Ann’s philosophy is built on when she wrote her trash. Fortunately it is now. A science of human self deception has emerged.

  238. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Oliver Stone’s documentary, “South of the Border.” sure backs up what you are saying about the WB in south America. What Bechtel tried to do in Bolivia is beyond criminal.
    I watched the documentary earlier tonight, I think you would enjoy it.

  239. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    FYI
    I got this from WIKIPEDIA
    Neoliberalism seeks to transfer control of the economy from public to the private sector, under the belief that it will produce a more efficient government and improve the economic health of the nation.
    How the economic health of a nation could possibly be improved by transferring ownership of natural resources and public commons to multinational corporations is beyond me.

  240. Patrizia December 29, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    “We’ll be down to a few total airlines and
    that “daily nonstop from NYC to LA” will be
    a twice-a-month flight.”
    I still remember when it was like that, when using a plane was very expensive, nevertheless I do not remember that we lived so much worse for that.
    We are too many, I agree.
    But the solution IS NOT killing the people.
    In the West world we already have growth zero, the East, I am sure will follow.
    Technology never did any magic, but surely helped people to progress.
    The fact that progress doesn’t bring happiness or a better life doesn’t mean that we do not need it.
    We are here for one reason, I do not know what exactly, but I can guess we are here to make a certain progress and that progress is achieved thanks to the fact that we need to survive.
    The survival instinct, the reproduction instinct, those are the engine of our life, the purposes.
    All the rest is created to make life more endurable.
    The world in order to progress needs individuals who think, more than robots that work.
    If the second was the need, then we wouldn’t need a brain.
    Whoever tries to brainwash your brain, to reduce you to a number, to a slave, is a criminal who doesn’t even do the right thing for himself.
    I can imagine what a bore would be a world where few idiots who believe to be Gods are ruling millions of robots.
    The world as it is, is much better than what would be a world ruled by anybody.
    What good can do to you having tons of gold and not knowing what to do with it?

  241. jimjim December 29, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    “Well who died and made you forum God? Just because you haven’t read the books dealing with what we were discussing is not my problem.”
    Hey…fucktard. Yeah, you. You made a moronic comment.
    You said:
    “I remember hearing on the news that the World Bank was coming to the US to intervene on “our” behalf. Right then and there I knew what they were going to do…the same they have done elsewhere…sell off US assets.”
    I called you on it asking for details (aka proof). Then you babbled something along the lines of “…well it happened elsewhere. And and and ,,,ah, it could happen here.”
    But it didn’t.
    Now you want to credit your stupid statement to some book you read and admonish me for not having read the book. I DO NOT have to read a book to recognize the stupid statement you made. If you wish to credit the sources that have led you to your nincompoopery be my guest.
    Like I suggested before. Shut your fucking headhole as you are continuing to make my case.

  242. jimjim December 29, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    “What are we doing about the $4 a gallon gas? Nothing.”
    Don’t you remember when gas was $4.00 before. What did we do then? We used less. And what happened? Gas went down. That is what we have and what we will do regarding $4.00 gas.

  243. lbendet December 29, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    So many great postings last night since I turned off my computer, but this morning reality hit me in the face again.
    With all our understanding of what’s wrong with the picture, the further breakdown of the once great nation is taking place. My MediaBistro newsletter had a post about Comcast who is trying to buy GE’s interest in NBC. They will not be interested in paying millions to cover the Olympics when they run NBC. This merger is pretty assured. Once more example of how Sherman anti trust laws are being enacted. Just another one of the laws that are being circumvented as the greedy take more and more from us.
    I have been writing feverishly to the FCC to stop this further destruction of independent media to take place, but the momentum for takeovers continues unabated. Just one more frustration at how things are not turning back to any sane rethinking of where we are going. Of course, it’s no accident. We observers of the destruction of the US can just fume in the privacy of our homes as we read more bad choices–with no interest at what is best for the country. Only what’s best for the transnationals our new world-wide royalty.
    The banksters are crying that Obama doesn’t love them enough–imagine the gall!
    As we all point out the problems of the Neoliberal agenda here, the destruction continues. I would call this Corporate Communism as dangerous as Soviet -style monopoly of the most important aspect of a free society: Independent media and lots of different sources for news.
    The state will no longer have any power, but to further the interest of these concerns. These interests can come to our government for handouts of the taxpayers money while the people who pay taxes are told they must now live in an austerity era. All the taxes you paid through the years for social security and medicare will be used in other ways, They will try to privatize it and put the money in jeopardy for the next bubble to pop. They call them “entitlements” while the special interests are the real entitled.
    Get ready to pay big increases in local taxes as they reduce Fed taxes and lots of privatized contractors for the government a la carte since they are profit centers.
    With a dwindling job market where the stimulus packages go to US companies abroad, more jobs where created overseas than here. 1.4 million abroad to 1 million here!! And Obama wants to get re-elected? How will we be able to pay for all these high-priced services–I ask you?

  244. Cash December 29, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Yes, they acted immorally in the Crusades.
    On the other hand there’s a school of thought that sees the Crusades as pushback. First this: I’m not a historian nor a philospher. So my analysis on this issue is not what you would call deep or well considered. But here it is anyway.
    Western Europe was under seige after the fall of the Roman Empire on multiple fronts, from the north by the Vikings, from the east by Magyars, from the south by Islamic civilizations. Europeans withdrew into their hilltop forts and castles.
    So maybe the Crusades were immoral. On the other hand who invited the Muslim powers to conquer Spain, North Africa, Southern Italy and Sicily, the Balkans and the Holy Land?
    Muslim armies took a shot a taking France in the Dark Ages and in the late 1600s Muslim armies were banging on the gates of Vienna. Do you ever hear a squeak about the immorality of all this? What about the conquest and Islamization of Asia Minor and Constantinople and the appropriation by Muslims of the Hagia Sophia? Have you heard one complaint about that? Have you ever heard anyone say that they want that awesome Church back in Christian hands and in its original condition?
    Look at how far Islam spread. Was it all done by Muslim missionaries with good works and acts of kindness or was it done at the point of a sword? I tend to think it was done by force. Yet all you hear about is the evil of Western imperialism and not one peep about Muslim imperialism.
    Seems to me the Holy Land was Jewish and later Christian or at least Christianity had its roots there. Maybe nobody invited Crusaders to the Holy Land but then again who invited Muslims?
    What I’m saying is that if we’re going to harshly judge Western civilization and its deeds then apply the same standards to others.

  245. Downpuppy December 29, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Khloe (NOT Chloe) Kardashian has a somewhat different role in the big show than pampered rich. She’s part of the “people with no class or talent can randomly become rich & famous” dodge that keeps the turnstiles clicking.
    James really should pay closer attention to the random details he throws in to appear on top of things.

  246. Cash December 29, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    I know he was a racist. I’m not worried that you use him against me.
    I think I said once before: compare the great achievement of Stonehenge versus its North African contemporary, the Pyramids. The great building of white skinned Europeans against the great building of contemporaneous (more or less) brown skinned Africans.
    Vlad, I know what you’re going to tell me, that black Africa is in a calamitous condition and you know that my reply will be that there was a time when white Europeans were in an equally calamitous and primitive state compared to their non white contemporaries in the middle east, Africa, China and India ie these non Europeans lived in magnificent walled cities with temple complexes, they used money, they wrote, developed mathematics, cultivated irrigated fields while illiterate white Europeans were living in semi settled villages just learning to grow food.
    You could argue that sub saharan Africa is to western/European civilization as Europe was to the middle east/India/China/Egypt 4 thousand years ago. It was Rome that civilized western Europe and Constantinople that civilized eastern Europe.
    The clock doesn’t stop ticking old man and we don’t know what the future holds. Those whom the gods would destroy they first make proud.

  247. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Oh Vlad, PIus did NOT shelter Jews in the Vatican. Pius cozied up to the Nazis…ever read Hitler’s pope: The secret of Pope Pius XII? Pius was more interrested in preserving his beloved church than he was Jews, gypsies or other undesirables of the Reich.
    “They planned to phase Christianity out over the long term – and devout Christians could see the writing on the wall despite the press releases to the contrary. I remind you that a number of Priests died in the concentration camps. Also I remind you that the plot to kill Hitler was perpetrated by Catholic Officers.”
    I know their plans to eliminate Xtainity, mainly catholicism. They saw the Vatican as a political entity – one that had to be gradually subdued…and Pius in order to avoid the destruction of his church cozied up to his Nazi pals. He turned his head FAR away from the suffering of the MANY. And yeah, he might not have been able to run out in the streets and shoot at Nazis, BUT other than writing about his contempt he and the church could have done MORE to prevent the Holocaust. The oh-so-catholic Poles were hardly opposed to the extermination camps in their country…like the church they were slated for extermination, but like the church those catholic Poles just sat and idled. Hell even AFTER the war they still hunted down Jews. Nice Christian people…
    “The Jews were and are indignant that Catholics believe that the Jews crucified Christ and then tried to stamp out the new Religion. The apostle John and the Virgin Mary had to run for their lives to Asia Minor. The problem is that these things really happened and no amount of sacharine smiles and ecumenical conferences can undo them. Of course you can create a fake Church – and that basically is what Vatican Two was all about.”
    WHAT? Are you drinking? The jews DID crucify Christ with the approval of the Pagan Romans. Funny, when I converse with my jewish friends about theological matters I have NEVER heard of what you claim come from their mouths. Like your dislike for Blacks you hate Jews too. Do you like to don your sheets from time to time?
    “Vatican Two Catholics: ministers who don’t believe in God but only in social activism, gay marriage, gay priests, gay bishops, gay bishops leaving their wives to marry their boyfriends, women priests, lesbian priests, etc. Madness in other words.”
    Sweet Jesus, either you are drinking or you are Mel Gibson posting online….while drinking. Funny, the catholic priest near where I live is anti-gay, anti-female priesthood, anti-abortion, anti-birth control….I know this because friends of ours go and listen to his horseshit sermon.
    I’ll give your comments all the attention they are worth from now on….

  248. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    “Whitey Mc Pasty huh? Congratulations, you’re an anti-White White racist.”
    Really? I didn’t know you could see through your screen and see what I actually look like. Some neat-o new technology you have there. Does it come with a crystal ball too?
    I am bigoted towards BIGOTS…be they (insert color, religion, creed, etc HERE). That may upset you, but when I smell BS I call it out instead of swallowing it.
    “Check up on your facts: Black crime rates are thru the roof and Black test scores are down in the gutter.”
    Oh so because blacks get convicted of more crimes than whites, they are inherently bad? Might want to check out the amount of domestic violence, white-collar and hate crime stats and tell me which race is more offensive there….
    “It’s always been that way – nothing can make them even with Whites. Generations of idealistic White Teachers have tried and failed miserably. Blacks have their talents – but they are not the stuff that high tech civilizations are made of.”
    Okay this is where I end my dialogue with you, troll. Peace out.

  249. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    “Now you want to credit your stupid statement to some book you read and admonish me for not having read the book. I DO NOT have to read a book to recognize the stupid statement you made. If you wish to credit the sources that have led you to your nincompoopery be my guest.
    Like I suggested before. Shut your fucking headhole as you are continuing to make my case.”
    …………………….
    Yes, I would like to admonish YOU for being so fucking OBTUSE to butt into a dialogue between two posters who were discussing events as related to the two BOOKS they had read.
    Hey, it’s not my problem if you haven’t read them. Seems to me others were able to follow along our discussion without getting all bellicose. And shitforbrains – get this, if you scroll back you can easily see that peole knew what I was talking about and agreed with me. See they had reference because they read the books and were prepared to comment without jumping in head first with no foreknowledge whatsoever. Do you often comment on books you haven’t read?
    Like I said, don’t blame me for your ignorance because you stuck your ass/face into a dialogue without the knowledge of to what we were referring. That makes you look really DUMB, and from the other posts on here, let me give you some free advice….calling people fucktard in every other paragraph doesn’t make you look like an Einstein….as much as you think you are. It just makes you look like the internet expert at name-calling that you truly are. Seems as if others know your reputation on here…and would probabally agree with me on your demeanor as well. In fact…some have. And that dearie, is a freebie for you…for you don’t have to read a book to see and have reference as to what I am saying.
    Now go wipe the spittle up off of your keyboard…I am sure your mouthbreathing leaves quite a mist….

  250. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Cash, have you ever read ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age by Andre G Frank? I think you may enjoy it for it covers much of what you said in regards to comparing Asia and the West from 1400-1800….
    You may like it.

  251. messianicdruid December 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    “I am a soverign on my own property.”
    Do you live by yourself?

  252. lbendet December 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    LLB: Just caught your calendar question for me:
    Lbendt. I’m agonizing over which calendar to get this year. Momentous decision, I know. But, ya live with the things for a year. Magritte? Or stick with what I had last year, Edward Hooper?
    Strange that you should ask. Around the same time last night a photographer friend was asking me whether I thought a typographic illustrator Marian Bantjes new book “I Wonder” was too glitzy.She’s created a 21rst C. illuminated manuscript. See for yourself:
    http://www.bantjes.com/i-wonder/about-book
    So in answer to your question, can you just not get enough of Hopper?
    Change is good. A new year, a new vision thing…
    Even though Magritte is old at this point he still has you look at things outside the box.
    —LBendet

  253. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Messian…with all due respect, the site you referred me to was that of Jehovas Witness orientation.
    If you wish to have a rational conversation without the religious gobbledygook, I am all eyes. But I am not playing the “my religion sez….” game with you.
    And FYI, The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense founded on the Christian religion (George Washington)…despite the thumpings of some people who want a theocracy.

  254. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Don’t you remember when gas was $4.00 before. What did we do then? We used less. And what happened? Gas went down. That is what we have and what we will do regarding $4.00 gas.

    Gas went down, unemployment doubled and a recession without end began. 12 trillion dollars of wealth is wiped out. To maintain liquidity massive debt is transferred from the upper to lower classes.
    Tell me is ignorance bliss? You should know.

  255. messianicdruid December 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    “But I am not playing the “my religion sez….” game with you.”
    That’s a relief. What kind of game are you playing?

  256. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    I saw that documentary on Bolivia I believe…did it have anything to do with Bolivia not wanting to import Bechtel’s corn seed for growth? Resulting in all Bolivia’s neighbors importing the bad seed and bolivia being forced eventually to buy Bechtel’s seed because tehir own natural crops were mutating so horribly whole crops were being lost? If that is it…yeah…I’ve seen it…I’ve seen far more than I ever thought my eyes would.

  257. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Monsanto is the evil terminator seed company. Bechtel tried to buy the water works in Bolivia so they could charge people who make two dollars a day 50 cents a day for water. Collecting rainwater in open containers on rooftops was to be made illegal because that would cut into Bechtel profit.

  258. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I love a charbroiled on the bar b que at home hamburger. yummy.
    Hey that ‘other’ poster was me.
    I know this isn’t important, just goofy.
    I was MeLinda, then somehow cuz I forgot a password, rare that I don’t, I got to be jackieblue on here. That’s ok, not intentional. no biggie
    But I think I may be a rarity in that fast food dept.
    Years ago I was baby sitting my friends 3 little girls and we were taking a nice drive thru A small Northern Cal city. It was nice UNTIL we PASSED a Mac D’s. It was the playground I think. All hell broke loose in that Van full of Brats ! Oh they were Brats back then ! I HAD to turn back and go there. No way around it.
    But still even back in my younger years I always knew ‘they’ were brainwashing ‘us.’
    Most of Us.
    anyway,to make eating at those places as a lifestyle is just plain stupid on every level.
    I will say tho when I used to take road trip they are great for Pee stops. But not much else.
    There needs to be better Pee stops. anyway here I go scrolling onto the new posts.
    It’s always exciting when someone responds to yours posts UNLESS they tell you to FUCK OFF RETARD or something like that. I think it’s funny to read those sometimes when they are for the ‘tards. haha.

  259. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    You know this is my biggest Fear, but it’s becoming Reality here in the Central California Coastal Cities. Been here since 78 and born in N Ca.
    anyway, there was one small area that you had to stay away from, now it’s the whole mid and south county. Downtown in what used to be a and still is a College Town and Tourist area. Major gang Violence. It’s cool to kill a white person to
    get into a gang or something I guess.
    I don’t have the answer all I can say is they are everywhere here. A 20 yr old girl was thrown to the ground and her purse stolen, in The Parking Lot.
    and then broad daylight robberies at the drugs store.
    But parking lots are not safe now. Pisses me off.
    god damm idiots with their fucking Hoodies on and their baggie fucking jeans. they all look the same can’t identify, etc.
    I really don’t have the answer, I wish a bunch rednecks from Auburn and other areas in CA would come and take ‘em out. They won’t stand for that shit up there. That is what I believe.
    Yes we are in for more violence for Sure. Need to watch out for eachother and maybe don’t go alone so much to places.
    TIMES HAVE CHANGED and ARE already worse, and going to get even worser. worser. you know what I mean.
    I am kinda stuck in this used to be Paradise for real.

  260. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    IF ONLY.
    I don’t think enough people are gonna look, I mean have they yet ? Look around. I never had kids.
    I studied a little on the Over Population Issue, but see the thing is part of it anyway is that If you are a Christian / Muslim / or Mormon / then the idea is to make more of such.
    It seems to me that it’s the least intelligent ones who produce more and more BABIES. and I like kids,
    but enough is enough.
    It said that the most intelligent usually have like one or two children. Probably true.
    But there ain’t enough smart people around.
    I wish it could be the way we want it to be, but I don’t think it’s gonna come down that way.
    Hope for the best plan for the worst is true. and right. best screen name.

  261. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    I suppose if you are way up there in $$$ and life style maybe you are isolated from the mess down here and maybe you really don’t know what a fucking mess it is becoming, and if you do know you don’t care. I ain’t one of ‘them’. I know rich people, and the are all republicans ? so there is something up there. $$ does seem to matter much more than people to them as a rule.
    Wonder how I’d be if I HAD alot a ton of $$$.
    Well I don’t wonder for long. But I am wondering now…..
    We were one number off from winning a big lotto ! We would have got 2 out of 89M it was a Pool.
    89 M would be big money. 2M would have been big enough to MAKE MY DAY / LIFE and a few others.

  262. LewisLucanBooks December 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    I think your right. I’ve got two Hooper calendars I’ve saved AND a portfolio of his prints (seascapes.) Or, I can step out on Tower Avenue at sunrise or sunset and see “Hooper” in 3-D. It’s the idealized Main Street JHK always gets rapturous over. Too bad there’s no business and it’s dying.
    The Bantjes book is beautiful. What a piece of design and binding. And I think the price VERY reasonable.
    There are so many books I’ve read that I wonder what you think about them. “Hubert’s Freaks,” “Aesop’s Mirror” and the DVD “Who the *$&% is Jackson Pollock.” If you’ve read or seen any of these you can figure out that I’m fascinated with the machinations of the art “establishment.” Waaay off topic, I think.

  263. lbendet December 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Right now listening to an interview I got to through Energy Bulletin with Robert Hirsch by Carl Etnier [about the first study funded by the US government on peak oil and its consequences. The experience of writing that report left him shaken at the consequences of peak oil. Now he says that in the next 2-5 years we'll see world oil production permanently decline, a phenomenon "unlike anything faced by modern civilization."] and his new book, The Impending World Energy Mess: What it is and what it means to YOU! http://www.energybulletin.net/media/2010-12-27/robert-hirsch-impending-world-energy-mess

  264. dale December 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Bumpersticker many here might Love/Hate/Need/or be confused by:
    “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK”

  265. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    OMG WELL PUT. Wish I could print, or hay I will write that one out.
    I once read that if you could see far enough ahead you would see the back of your head.
    Tripeeeeeee, Yipeeeeee……….
    Thanks
    ps and it reminded me of when my twin bro and me would be digging for China (the other side of the world) with a spoon in our huge back yard with the veggie garden and trees.
    damn wish I had that land now. it was a medium lot but we had it all.
    HNYear

  266. dale December 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Possible explanation for the continued presence of “Zha Zha” or “Whack Whack” or “OEO” or whatever he is calling himself this week/day/hour…..he’s getting paid for it:
    ————————————-
    “. . . The trainer, Austin James, was instructing Tea Party members on how to “manipulate the medium”. This is what he told them:
    “Here’s what I do. I get on Amazon; I type in “Liberal Books”. I go through and I say “one star, one star, one star”. The flipside is you go to a conservative/ libertarian whatever, go to their products and give them five stars. … This is where your kids get information: Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster. These are places where you can rate movies. So when you type in “Movies on Healthcare”, I don’t want Michael Moore’s to come up, so I always give it bad ratings. I spend about 30 minutes a day, just click, click, click, click. … If there’s a place to comment, a place to rate, a place to share information, you have to do it. That’s how you control the online dialogue and give our ideas a fighting chance.”
    Over 75% of the funding for American Majority, which hosted this training session, comes from the Sam Adams Alliance. In 2008, the year in which American Majority was founded, 88% of the alliance’s money came from a single donation, of $3.7m(13). A group which trains rightwing libertarians to distort online democratic processes, in other words, was set up with funding from a person or company with a very large wallet.”
    alternet.org

  267. asia December 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    ever hear the term ‘compensation’?

  268. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    There is so much I don’t know. I love your posts for real.

  269. asia December 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    ‘rightwing libertarians’
    many of us will take them over g. soros and his endless organizations any day.
    are you aware of the propostion he funded ..in california..was it in 2009. every DA in the state opposed it?

  270. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    If your conspiracy theory is valid no doubt three thousand word mind farts sans paragraph breaks must pay extra.

  271. lbendet December 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    LLB, Or, I can step out on Tower Avenue at sunrise or sunset and see “Hopper” in 3-D. It’s the idealized Main Street JHK always gets rapturous over. Too bad there’s no business and it’s dying.
    Lot’s of things we know are going to be on the decline. The interview I just heard was with Robert Hirsch. In Sept. I posted story that he was told to “shut up” about peak oil during W. admin. He said Obama’s not much better.–Listen to it!
    Anyway I haven’t read the books you mentioned,
    but I am very familiar with the manipulations that go on in the art world for marketing specific works and directions. Anyway that’s all academic, now. Lately I’ve been reading Matt Taibi’s “Griftopia”.
    _____
    There’s a good reason why we’re all on this blog and the interview will bring the message home loud and clear.

  272. Bustin J December 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Ang says, “It’s a case of apples & oranges. And unfortunately, the public isn’t gaining access to the full spectrum of possibilities for treatment and/or cure of their diseases.
    Same goes for CURING disease. But Big Pharma’s goal isn’t to cure. Their profits would dry up. But that’s a discussion for another day.”
    You are correct that Big Pharma requires a considerable proof of efficaciousness as their development costs run into the billions of dollars for many drugs. Critics have contended that this leaves out patients who have rare conditions, or where alternatives exist that are effective and cheap. They say that the treatment of symptoms over the long term is more profitable that one-time cures. These are valid points.
    Consider some of the insanity expressed on this message board: the question of tetanus shots. Actually, I can’t define the positions because I tend to forget idiocy rather quickly. But the basics are that, since “Pharma” might bring ya to “Harma”, screw “Pharma”, I’ll take my chances with “Dharma” & his hippie friend “Karma”. (forgive this paraphrasing)
    The problem, as I see it, with Dharma/Karma vds. Pharma is that the latter is not allowed to prey upon the hopes and desperation of its “victims”. In fact it is required to get right out in front and enumerate all the side effects one could get. This is a transparency not frequently found in Herbology. Since most of its products are in fact placebos or dependent upon placebo effects, of course there aren’t any side effects. (In the case of homeopathy, there isn’t even any active ingredients).
    To me, the two arenas are characterized ethically by the standards that are upheld in each. In medicine, peer-reviewed science and rigorous controls are the standard. In the other arena, well, just pick up any homeo/naturopathic medicine journal and you’ll find all sorts of fantastic claims with circumstantial or no proof offered. And of course, criticism of Pharma.
    Pharma has its inherent drawbacks and its failures. Large multinational chemical corporations should not be trusted carte blanche, and the rigor of standards enforcement reflects that fact. When pharma makes criminal moves by pushing their expensive products into ancillary markets through deception and fraud, they should be held liable and perhaps this liability is not enforced as much as it should with patients taking large out of court settlement against damages.
    But what about a field of “medicine” where liability nowhere to be found? All the more often the lure of the cure is used. The perpetrators get away with literal murder.
    Ang says “My point is that drug studies are funded by pharma companies. Big pharma is FOR PROFIT.
    So they are not going to fund a study on whether or not Herb X is going to work for Condition Y, because they cannot patent the formula. Even if someone thinks Herb X will work. So no study means it doesn’t work? I don’t think so. No study means no one funded the study.”
    The reality is that if there is a profit potential, effective molecules are isolated and synthesis is analyzed to determine efficaciousness and then a process is created and studied as to its efficiency and only then is the process patented, or, if the molecule can be modified and qualified as novel, itself patented, or its processes patented. The accusation that Pharma doesn’t push effective herbal alternatives because there is no money in it falls flat. If it was effective, and it was cheap and plentiful, then whats the difference. And studies are performed all the time on natural product isolations in labs and research institutes around the world, papers which can frequently be found online, or referenced by peer-reviewed websites and journals.
    Face it, herbology is just a bias toward folk wisdom, a wild ass guess, and making a choice not based on facts, but ignorance of facts. A contention that a placebo effect is as good as a real effect pulls a person dangerously into a realm where they are likelier to place their reliance in the wrong places. It is a poor mental environment for making informed choices. It is a poor mental practice for making critical health decisions.
    My personal view on the general condition of illogic, irrationality, the phenomenon of people not seemingly acting in their best interests, or purely short-term interests- is connected to a general acceptance that ignorance is a prerequisite for happiness. That the illogic of mere belief is more reliable that proven facts. People don’t know who to trust, so they ruminate on their considerable guts.
    The reality is that there is nothing much to “women’s intuition”. Psychological studies prove that, without attention to the fundamentals of the logic of cause and effect, people tend to confuse the two. They remember only good effects, not negative ones.
    And since the mind is a cumulative construct of patterns of thought and behavior over time, this kind of illogic is like pouring sand into a building foundation.
    When people like Trip back their dump-trucks of stupidity up and pour it all over the foundations of their young American’s minds, that is child abuse, even if their parental privilege will conceal and diminish their act in the eyes of social justice. The commonality of this act, across all strata of the population constitutes a domestic Auchwitz of immense and pervasive scale.
    Big Pharma isn’t the solution. I would say it is a hypochondriac culture that seeks external “cures” and confuses causes and effects that is at fault. At least in western medicine children are shielded to some extent by guidelines for prescriptions for children.
    I once attended a talk by a recruiter from a naturopathic school of medicine. He plainly admitted to a room of pre-meds that conventional medicine “knows what its doing in terms of acute care” but waxed eloquently on the harmless efficaciousness of naturopathy. Then he talked about how he cured his cold by wrapping his feet in wet socks and taking a nap as if he had experienced a personal miracle.
    We may see a shake-out process in naturopathy as the more scientific schools outmaneuver and out-succeed the irrational elements that currently exist side by side. I hope that is the case, and it comes sooner rather than later. I know that there is no “cure” for the pandemic of idiocy currently afflicting the human race.
    Chinese medicine, in particular, deserves particular derision, as its billions of practitioners rape and destroy the environment to manufacture their placebic drugs.
    I trust the truth to rise to the surface eventually. Every one of my beliefs about this issue are confirmed month by month as studies are released delineating rational causes of observed effects. Humanity is in the process splitting from its dark ages of fire-worshipping, cave-living, and communal bugger-picking into a paradise of stuff that makes rational sense. Hallelujah for me, not so much for those that prey on the irrational and disempowered (children).

  273. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I like Herb X

  274. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Okay…nope haven’t seen it. Will definitely check it out. I had heard however from reading that collecting rainwater is illegal in some S. American cities…sh!t and fall back in it….what is next…it’s illegal to cook over a fire unless that fire is supplied by Cocksuckercorp & Subsidiaries Inc?

  275. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    “Anyway that’s all academic, now. Lately I’ve been reading Matt Taibi’s “Griftopia”.
    ………..
    Good :>) I am always looking for something to add to my reading list!
    I just hope my socialist-communist run library has it! LOL…. (Seriously, I love my library….)
    One book I recently read and finished within a day was “How to Rig an Election”….the memoir of the guy who clogged NH’s phone lines on election day 2004…. Cannot say it was TOO eye-opening, but how it was just brushed off….well that is.

  276. Bustin J December 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    jimjim says “Don’t you remember when gas was $4.00 before. What did we do then? We used less. And what happened? Gas went down. That is what we have and what we will do regarding $4.00 gas.”
    No argument here. Personally, I’m recovering from a long summer of bicycling.
    If anyone thinks bicycling is going to resurge as renaissance is sorely (literally) mistaken.
    Cycling is an uncomfortable, tedious, and difficult activity. It does not make civic life better, in fact, it renders the civic environment in even bleaker terms. The distances between things become longer, and this does not make them more inspiring- it makes them less inspiring. It aids the more realistic impression of the scale of our mistake. Spending 20 minutes in a car, traversing a familiar route for 15 miles in comfort is exactly two worlds away from spending an hour griding the biomechanical advantage of the body to throbbing inflammation. As we go from the 1st-world to the third. If and when gas prices force people onto bicycles, I think depression will really settle in.
    I saw True Grit yesterday, a real masterpiece, which made me realize a horse is far superior to a bike, especially the scene where it swims across a river.

  277. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    HEY I AM really pissed off. Just got it.
    Listen the woman the GANSTERS knocked down in the parking lot was 80 not 20. Lovelier.
    It’s organized, the getaway car was waiting in the alley and they got away.
    Now if you are the one lucky enough to stop them, even with a bullet you also are going down because they were being ‘covered’ by other gangsters. I don’t have the answer except taking the law into our own hands and I like my ‘freedom’. and I do not have a gun.
    It’s wrong what’s going on in the world, and the U.S. but what can we DO DO DO ? That is legal and will change things ?

  278. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Cocksuckercorp & Co. sadly it seems to be true.
    You can find out about the attempted theft of the Bolivian water supply in THE CORPORATION documentary.
    THE CORPORATION
    Makes me think. That business about Thomas Jefferson and blood of patriots being needed to be spilled every generation to renew freedom or whatever he said seems to make sense.
    Rights and freedoms are becoming targets of corporate takeover, now worth money to the highest bidder. When all has been taken from Mother Earth perhaps a tax on the air you breath will be next. Far fetched you may think and your right about my air tax but loss of rights is always money to someone else.
    Private prisons anyone?

  279. BeantownBill December 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    I love your little lyric quotes.
    “Oz didn’t give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn’t ALREADY have!”
    Just guessing, but is this by the group America? From Ventura Highway? Early 1970’s (I was still young then).

  280. myrtlemay December 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Hey Beantown Bill,
    Just verified with hubby that he thinks it was America as well. More his generation than mine! Thanks. Sometimes this stuff pops into my head (can you say flashback?)

  281. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    But ya know,
    Cycling might have given your head enough oxygen so you could rub a couple of brain cells together and post here. Cycling is exercise and exercise fights depression and strengthens body and soul. It can be fun.

  282. k-dog December 29, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    From Wikipedia:

    When Bolivia sought to refinance the public water service of its third largest city, the World Bank required that it be privatized. Which is how the Bechtel Corporation of San Francisco, (California, U.S.A.,) gained control over all of Cochabamba’s water; even that which fell from the sky[citation needed], i.e., rainwater. Bechtel was granted the power to seize the homes of delinquent customers. In response, Bolivians took to the streets.[6]

    This post may seem redundant since I already cited the Corporation as a source for the Bolivian Water Issue but since the above citation is in dispute (hmmmmmm – who would do that?) I decided to augment my other post.

  283. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    about 15 years ago I said to my friend ‘we are turning into a third world country’ even me at that time ‘knew’ that the elites think of the WORLD without boundaries, just all about what can they take and get resources money etc.
    They don’t want boundaries they don’t SEE boundaries, shit I knew it then. Now I guess I know more facts.
    But it’s already DONE.
    And I married someone who doesn’t get it.
    We are totally broke, when it didn’t have to be.
    He still thinks it’s going to ‘come back.’
    I am out. anyway, I suppose like I said before if you are one of the Elite, and there is at least one on the page, then you really don’t experience the world the way the others 99% of the world do.
    I will never know what it’s like to be one of the others’.
    Heather Nova sings a song “IT’S EASY WHEN YOU’RE BLESSED WITH MONEY LOVE AND SEX”.
    I could go for the last 2 without the first one.
    More attainable for me.
    It probably isn’t even easy then.
    Just more betta, in a way.
    maybe.
    If you have alot of $$$ don’t flaunt it. I suppose the rich and smart know this. The rich and narcissistic Have to flaunt it otherwise what would the point be ? anyway getting way off topic.

  284. myrtlemay December 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    I just got done listening to the radio cast you provided. Thanks. Well worth the time. I managed to clean the bathroom while listening. BTW, I think it was LLB cfn’er who gave me the idea to iron, clean, etc., while listening to podcasts, instead of just sitting on my ass. Mr. Hirsh speaks very coherently and in a way that folks like me can understand. Personally, I was a bit surprised that he invested in a Prius after dumping his SUV. I think someone on this sight, perhaps the Almighty Kuntsler himself, mentioned the fact that energy descent wouldn’t keep electric cars running in any reliable form in the future, at least in the form and fashion America drives today.
    What really freaked me out was the mention of Rex 84 and FEMA camps, by one of the listeners calling into the program, I think. I googled both and saw a shocking Youtube video about internment camps nestled into towns all over America just for us folks who might rise up in high numbers shortly after TSHTF. If anyone else wants a case of the “Oh Mys!”, I’m sure they can find it (sorry, I am not good at providing links, unfortunately). But hey, if an old broad like me can find it, anyone can. The whole thing really just made my day! LOL to avoid crying out loud! Is it cocktail hour yet?

  285. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    The Truth In A Nutshell. hey that could be a great title for a book.
    a small book.
    really tho yep. that’s the way it IS.
    we are screwed and being screwed.
    for sure.

  286. jackieblue2u December 29, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Thanks it will take me awhile to get thru this but I will…..I never meant to attack ‘christians’ as a whole.
    I came on strong because in my personal life and it’s christians’ attacking me personally, I married into a family of them and until never really even thought about any of that. I thought a Christian was a person who did the Right thing. There is right and wrong. So I called the pastor at Their church and we talked. He said Oh anyone can be a Christian, they are just BAD REPRESENTATIVES OF CHRIST ! WTF? I thought that in order to be able to call or consider yourself a Christian You Treated People With Respect.
    Not so sure now, seems you can disrespect and be mean and cruel and nasty and STILL call yourself a Christian, go to Church and slander me all over the place.
    You I guess would be called a Good Representative of Christ. This church they go to is THE Church.
    but I tell ya, they have no clue.
    I am sure some do. You do.
    I guess I am not even sure what a Christian is according to this pastor.
    anyway I will study your post, I am slow and busy, but I love this thread and will try and understand what you took the time to write.
    thank you. but then if you called me a f******* watch out ! pretty sure you didn’t !

  287. lbendet December 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Myrtlemay,
    Don’t know if I buy into the fema camp thing, certainly Hirsch wasn’t. There have been many people that make that claim including Alex Jones.
    Don’t think I’d get too upset by that.

  288. San Jose Mom 51 December 29, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Are you talking about San Luis Obispo?
    BTW, I just got back from intergalactic Mormon headquarters– Salt Lake City. I was born there — couldn’t help it, my ancestors crossed the plains with Brigham Young. (If you’ve ever read Mark Twain’s, “Roughing It,” he tells a tall tale about visiting Brigham Young and giving out hundred whistles to all BY’s kids. Got himself kicked out of Utah! His review of “The Book of Mormon” was simply “chloroform in print.” He,he.
    Thankfully, my family has for generations used the good sense God gave them and had very few children. I have two cousins, that’s all. I have Mormon friends who have lots of grandchildren already. The friend with 9 grandchildren has two families living WITH her, because her kids didn’t get their shit together and get an education before spewing out kids. What torture that must be. I have two kids…but I never want to change another diaper in my life. If they don’t want to have kids, that’s fine by me.
    My mom’s next door neighbor has 10 kids. The good news is that as she is a widow, those kids always shovel her driveway and sidewalk…just to be nice.
    SJmom

  289. BeantownBill December 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Comments on stuff from several posts (I was away yesterday and most of today. Dang, I missed some good conversations.
    The founding fathers were into American independence from Britain, not democracy – which we’ve never had here.
    Extreme civil unrest occurs only when people have nothing to lose*, like not having food or adequate shelter. Lord knows the founding fathers had a very tough time starting a revolution, especially since people were relatively well off. Kudos to 1770’s-style public manipulation.
    * “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” – from Me and Bobby McGee.
    Speaking of the Lord, there ain’t any. Sorry, but a written 2000-2,500 year old, logically inconsistent screed (bible) is not the final say on the nature of existence. And I agree with E. Religion has perpetrated a lot of evil. And Pius (the WW2 one) was a real shit. I feel bad to think most of mankind resorts to comfort from a hypothetical supernatural being no sane person’s ever seen, to cope with what life throws at them, rather than stand on their own two feet.
    The thing about bicycling is to not start with 10 mile trips. Shorter trips are better until your body acclimatizes. Many times I force myself to go to the gym – then I walk out of it and realize how wonderful my body feels and I’m glad I went. If you are basically healthy and feel bad or very sore after exercising, you are overdoing it.

  290. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    “I came on strong because in my personal life and it’s christians’ attacking me personally, I married into a family of them and until never really even thought about any of that. I thought a Christian was a person who did the Right thing. There is right and wrong. So I called the pastor at Their church and we talked. He said Oh anyone can be a Christian, they are just BAD REPRESENTATIVES OF CHRIST ! WTF? I thought that in order to be able to call or consider yourself a Christian You Treated People With Respect. ”
    Well, I live in the Babble Belt where religious fervor and superstitious ignorance abound…I don’t hate REAL Christians – those who live by the GOOD model of Christ… BUt down here it is neo-xtianity…the new breed where christ is eternally pissed off at everyone except his “chosen few” and all else will go straight to hades…never mind Christ supposedly crated all those souls and sent them here – if they eff it up on earth by choosing the wrong church, christ will happily send them off to be burnt in the concentration camps of hell (quite a bit of irony there now that I think about that and HIstory…). Yeah who wouldn’t want to worship such a swell guy like that??? I would deny myself my life and try to live to please him? TYVVM…but no. I would rather be married to an unemployed, illiterate drunk who beat me…than spend eternity with Jesus on Crack.
    I believe in a god, but I have no faith whatsoever in religion or any of the so-called dieties who have appeared on Earth to save us all. And for their followers to dictate how I can and should live??? Oh HELL NO.

  291. lbendet December 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    One more excellent post today on OpEdNews
    Paul Craig Roberts on 2011. roberts almost gave up lst spring and didn’t want to post anything on the web anymore. Lucky for us he changed his mind and posts regularly on this site.
    He was once assist. Treasurer to Reagan and has been outspoken on our loss of liberties and our economic fundamentalism and where it’s all leading:
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/2011-by-paul-craig-roberts-101228-479.html

  292. budizwiser December 29, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    What’s wrong?
    Whats wrong is that there has never existed in the history of civilization a social consciousness that accepts that there are limits to the earth’s resources.
    What’s wrong is there has never been counter balance to a global culture of greed, consumption, short-term profit taking and simple selfishness.
    Now it is quickly being realized the “crazies” that there in fact be an “adjustment” made in consumption – and it had better be somewhat measured of many will simply have to go without.
    End of story. We ain’t “seen it before” – so we have no vision to deal with it.

  293. Buck Stud December 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    I like this Bicyclist’s attitude:
    http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/aaa/213715274.html

  294. myrtlemay December 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    “End of story. We ain’t “seen it before” – so we have no vision to deal with it.”
    Exactly. Humans are very short-sighted. I’m thinking it’s akin to a person who overeats regularly and becomes fat. Just because there’s a quart of ice cream in my freezer doesn’t mean I should eat it all in one sitting. Savor a small spoonful once in a while. Part of Kuntsler’s message seems to me that we do not heed the fact that the Earth is a very dynamic place with limited resouces. Just because we get a good year of rainfall doesn’t mean that there won’t be a long drought in the future.
    During the war, we were forced with rationing – I mean EVERYTHING: cloth, gasoline, sugar, chocolate, nylon, rubber, you name it. After 1949 or so, people started right back to their excessive, wasteful spending. Think of all the material ladies needed back then (I was one) to achieve Dior’s “new look”. Skirts flowed full and fell just an inch or two above the ANKLE! A few oldsters who knew better chastised us for over consumption, but we didn’t listen…just had to have the newest Studebaker, Pontiac, Caddy, etc. Point being, 1943 looked absolutely NOTHING like 1950 – night and day. Giddy fools gulping down martinis and passing out on lawn furniture during neighborhood barbeques. That’s one reason why it amazes me that people worship that series on television, Madmen. I think I got through an episode one night and literally felt sick to my stomach. We NEVER freaking learn and so easily forget. End of sermon :) Just got laughed at AGAIN by hubby! I kinda made a promise to spend less time on this site so I’ll make like a banana and split…(sorry, couldn’t hap it – memberin the old days. Later, Gators!)

  295. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    “One more excellent post today on OpEdNews
    Paul Craig Roberts on 2011. ”
    ………………………
    Wow. Thank you for posting that. You know I post much of this stuff to my FB page and discuss it with close friends and relatives – people I care about…to get moving, get prepping, get READY. I have handed my copy of The Long Emergency to close friends….closer family…and not one of those asshats has “had the chance” to pick it up or even start reading it…and if they DO…their reaction? “I really don’t like depressing end of the world books….or that is all a bunch of paranoid doom…” Fine. Don’t say I didn’t warn you….I have given away countless copies of my peak-oil books…to make people aware. And NOBODY even pauses for a second and thinks….”wait, what if there really IS something in this???”
    All I have to say is that when the day comes when teh world we once knew and thought was still there is GONE…when down is up and white is black…don’t come a knockin on my door looking for a handout or a free ride because you were too lazy to read a book…or didn’t like unpleasant things.
    I miss Matt Savinar’s site….not so much the forum, but the news… ONe thing I do tell people however is from his site…deal with reality or reality will deal with YOU.
    It was pure luck I came by Kunstler’s book…I needed reading material for a flight to Vegas for a trade show. It was 2005, I was beyond pissed there was a 2nd bush term and I wanted something to think about…and the idea of peak oil….WTF was THAT? Needless to say, it made a lot of sense and I did more reading on the subject. I learned how to compost….we sold our home in the bottom of the market last fall and got full asking price (we didn’t use it as an ATM when the cash was cheap)…we got a home on a few acres in the country away from the organized insanity of the burbs. We’re really prepping now….because things have really started to accelerate from our perspective.
    Vern, my grandpa, always said the bankers would bring us back to the 1930’s again…he could see it on the wall back in the 80’s. I am so glad I listened to his stories…he wasn’t as crazy as the rest of the fam would have made him out.

  296. resortownslacker December 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Thats cause yer so much smarter than everone else!
    Thank goodness your genes are in the pool….whoops …better get out cause yer all wet.

  297. messianicdruid December 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    “I believe in a god, but I have no faith whatsoever in religion…”
    We have more in common than you know. Your misgivings are toward idols of God rather than God Himself.
    And I don’t know where you ended up but I did’t link to any JW stuff.
    And I don’t hold to the eternal BBQ pit stuff either:
    http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.org/COLDFUSION/Chapter.cfm?CID=69

  298. progressorconserve December 29, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Musings on Religion
    Long term readers of these threads know that I was born into a Southern Baptist family in Georgia in the 1950’s. I could no more not have been a Christian from birth – than I could have avoided breathing from birth.
    And now, over five decades later, I’ve got a slightly different view of religions, having tried them All, including Atheism. (atheism?)
    My default setting is now a relaxed, revised modern version of Thomas Jefferson’s Christianity. (For those unaware, TJ created his own New Testament – containing only the verified words and acts of JC – and none of the miracles or Pauline stridency.
    But I do believe the average human still has a place in his or her spirit where faith (Faith?) belongs. Just looking around this site, you will find posters who put their faith in all manner of things.
    Vlad has Faith in White Supremacy.
    Asoka has Faith in a Mystic Future.
    Tripp has Faith in permaculture.
    Many have Faith in Conspiracy Theory.
    Others have Faith in Atheism. (atheism?)
    Some have Faith in JHK!
    And this is just an abbreviated list.
    I’m suggesting that if religion does not fill this spot – in the average human’s spirit – where Primitive Faith once aided the survival of our caveman ancestors – that SOMETHING will.
    Could be something better or could be something worse – that depends on luck, circumstances, or fate. (Fate?)

  299. progressorconserve December 29, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    If I Agree with a Racist – Does That Make Me One?
    Vlad can be an annoying single issue jackass.
    But sometimes he gets something right.
    Over one million LEGAL immigrants come into the United States every year. This has been going on since the 1990’s. It continues in spite of the bad economy, no jobs, peak oil, and an unsustainable future. Simple mathematics says that this can not go on forever.
    There is general agreement on this website that excessive immigration is not a good thing. Three posters disagree, to my knowledge.
    Asoka has stated his case and his views are known. I would still like to hear BeanTown and (I think it was?) Mila51 explain their reasons for desiring high levels of immigration going forward.
    And, of course, all others are welcome to enter this debate.
    This website tilts left. Some say that is because reality tilts left.
    Yet a right wing fascist first pointed out that immigration needs to be reduced going forward.
    I agree – does this mean I am racist?
    I can agree with a black man and not be black.
    I can agree with a homosexual and not be gay.
    My wife can agree with a bisexual woman and not be bisexual – though I might wish otherwise!
    OK, I’ll stop now. That was supposed to be a funny little joke to end this post.
    But IMO, this is an important issue for discussion. (Immigration! – not my wife’s orientations)
    PoC

  300. BeantownBill December 29, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Pro, I didn’t say I wanted more immigration. What I think I said, if I remember correctly, was that I was conflicted about it.
    What I am against is us having to pay for social services for illegal immigrants. What I am for is the idea that people have the right to want to live in a place they feel is better than they are living now, and make the effort to emigrate.
    I suspect that posted immigration figures are not accurate. In fact, we don’t know the level of immigration we can economically bear. Maybe that’s where we ought to start – finding out what that number is.

  301. Gustavo December 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    The Tea Party is about getting wingnut Republicans elected. If you think they’re all about fiscal responsibility, you’re a fucking sucker.

  302. Pucker December 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    “…the entire thirty-year history of the Chicago School [of Economics] experiment has been one of mass corruption and corporatist collusion between security states and large corporations, from Chile’s piranhas, to Argentina’s crony privatizations, to Russia’s oligarchs, to Enron’s energy shell game, to Iraq’s “Free Fraud Zone.” The point of shock therapy is to open up a window for enormous profits to be made quickly—not despite the lawlessness, but precisely because of it.”
    (Naomi Klein, “The Shcck Doctrine”, p. 241.)

  303. Gustavo December 29, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Point out to your mom that Rand was a rabid anti-Christian. You’ll blow her mind.

  304. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    Hey Progressive –
    I will not dispute with you teh fact that illegal immigration is one of this nation’s biggest problems. I lived at one of the EPICENTERS of the mortgage meltdown…my neighborhood went from military families to immigrants (I cannot prove they were illegal, but they didn’t speak english, they housed up to THREE families in a 4-BDR home on a 5600 sq/ft lot and all drove maintenance/lawn care vans. They were pimped to buy by thier own communities’ real estae firms (I’ll leave the name out…the owner bought three high-priced homes, refied immediately and booted for Bolivia leaving the homes in foreclosure)…what lawn care maintenance man can afford a 300K mortgage for a town home? When my county passed what is known as “The Resolution” they left in droves…seems as if a minor traffic incident would land them in jail and the INS…next stop wherever the hell they came from.
    Local builders could NOT compete with others who were building McMadnessMansions and using illegal labor to build. Many businesses had to adopt or die. I see it as rather instead of blaming the immigrants as the problem…what about those who employ them. The south once was a HUGE employer of native african Americans who worked in the chicken processing industry. Once they unionized…they were replaced with very cheap, inexpensive foreign labor from S. America. They had to deal with a few INS raids, but no worries, another truckload would soon arrive to take the deportees stead. Look at the Beef industry. Rural towns in Kansas and Oklahoma have been converted to shantytowns that surround beef processing plants. The unionized workers, AMERICAN workers who worked those plants for decades have been replaced with disposable labor. Read Fast FoodNation, Food Inc, Omnivore’s dilemma…etc… The fact is profit is teh ultimate king…and our obsession with meat at every meal that has turned once US-held jobs into a job for a foreigner who is eager to send their $$$$ back home. Going to the mattresses is no longer a mob term…many move into a home that has been purchased by a 3rd party and sleep there only…only to return to a job that was once an American’s. It is easy to blame an American for this…they had a job, they left…but when you look at it, when wages fell, benefits slashed…what choice did they have? A single illegal can bank what he earns and send the bulk of it back home without threat to the employer without threat of benefits or working conditions!
    Illegal immigrants are a problem, but they are here because someone is paying them, and Americans cannot (at this time) work for less.
    Frankly, if a horde of Canadians came down and did the same, it would not matter – race wouldn’t matter. It is WHY they are here that we should be worried about. Look to your businesses…those that haven’t sent our jobs overseas are bringing foreigners in to do the dirty work they claim “no american wants to do”…and yet the people sit by idly and do zilch. They bitch and moan, sure. But their finger is pointed in the wrong direction…
    And what of the consumer/client that does business with them? Do YOU want to pay more for a new home? More for Meat? More for produce? More for anything??? Hell no…so we find the people to do the work for us at the cheapest cost possible and then bitch and moan that we cannot find the jobs to pay for the BIGGER life. The American public is (for the most part) a bunch of whiny toddlers who want to eat their cake and have it too. There is no such thing as a free lunch and the system in which we live is designed to placate us as much as possible until we become slaves to it.
    I pity the immigrants…to come here and work for nothing, have few rights and face the hatred of the people the very people who they provide for. At the same time, I pity the bludgeon-headed american who cannot see the difference because they are either too stupid to know that the steak they enjoy so much does not come from some beef wellspring in the midwest automatically pre-packaged and ready for sale at the local bargain-mart. We are equally responsible.
    And as the oil dwindles in supply as consumption increases, the people from abroad will look to our shining wal-marts and palaces filled with plastic dog-crap in shiny wrappings and think..”I want that too.” We are the integers in our own formula for destruction.

  305. ElleBeMe December 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Forgive my typos in the above post. I am tired and must go to bed. BUt I hope you get my point :>)

  306. LewisLucanBooks December 30, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    I’m looking forward to listening to that interview. I’m casting about for some long tedious task to listen to it.
    I’ve read large chunks of Taibi’s book “Griftopia” on the Web. Rolling Stone magazine had coverage and over at http://www.alternet.org they’ve had several articles about it. I’ve got my eyes open for a good used copy of it so I can sit down and read the whole thing from cover to cover.

  307. LewisLucanBooks December 30, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    Re books: I know what you mean.
    In my little bookstore, I have a shelf of books on peak oil and climate change. Priced cheap, too! All of JHK’s books. Orlov’s books. They sit … languish … swoooon! :-). I keep hoping for that one or two customer’s that I can have a conversation with on these topics. Connect with some locals.
    I recently stumbled across a book called “A Reasonable Life; Toward a Simpler, Secure, More Humane Existence” by Ferenc Mate. I don’t know how I had never heard of it. It came out in 1993 and apparently sank like a stone. It talks about a lot of the things we are concerned with, here at CFN. From the dust jacket…
    “This is a rabble-rousing, darkly humorous, straight from the heart look at our hectic, and often out-of-control modern lives. Not since Lewis Mumford or even Thoreau has a writer taken such a giant step off the beaten path to see where our technology-obssessed, depersonalized society is hurtling at this frantic pace.
    Ferenc Mate sounds the alarm that with our single-minded emphasis on economic growth we are not only devastating not only our cities, our economy, and our very planet, but also our communities, families and even friendships. We are allowing the fraudulent and fake: advertising and television, and the impersonal and uncaring: Big Government, Big Money, and Big Business, to destroy the things honest and humane – to degrade the individual and the society of man.”
    An interesting read if you happen to run across it.

  308. turkle December 30, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    There is so much good “doomer” stuff to read out there.
    books:
    Overshoot, William Catton
    Geodestinies, Walter Youngquist
    Resource Wars, Michael T. Klare
    The Ingenuity Gap, Thomas Homer-Dixon
    The Oil Age is Over, Matt Savinar
    Chalmers Johnson’s trilogy
    Killing Hope, William Blum
    books of Peter Dale Scott
    websites:
    dieoff.org
    fromthewilderness.org (Mike Ruppert’s old website)
    theolddrum.com

  309. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 2:02 am #

    Like all Liberals you have a bee in your bonnet about Blacks since they are the chink in your armour and the obvious anamoly in your world view. So lets approach it round about. See how Asians took what the White Man gave them and made it their own. Do you see any similar evidence that Africans have done this? They had the same opportunity but they just didn’t. Likewise look at ancient Europeans: did they not admire Rome? Make it their own? Transform it into a new civilization in time? No similar such appreciation can be seen in our immigrants be they Muslims or Mexicans – just a sickening arrogance and smarminess that comes from the knowledge that the Elite and their police on their side.
    You have no evidence on your side and lots of evidence against you. An odd individual here and there is not evicence btw. So I’m not really arguing with your mind but with your will. You will that all be equal because that’s your godless religion.

  310. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 2:09 am #

    Ah, you know that Blacks are more violent! You just can’t deal with what you know – it doesn’t fit in with your college/media programming. So you attempt to delete it to relieve the pressure of cognitive dissonance. They are also dumb as door as doorknobs – both in terms of IQ tests and performance in school. And don’t say culture – the same thing holds true in all Black Cultures both in the Carribean and in Africa.
    Does that make them “bad”. Well kind of, certainly you don’t want to do the Long Emergency near them. From another point of view: are rattle snakes bad? No, just bad for us. They are what they are. Just so, Blacks are bad for Whites.

  311. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    Yes I’ve seen it: a work of Zionist Slander from the same people who said the Palestinians didn’t exist. Do you really believe the Jews never do anything evil? Are you that programmed? That’s why they bought up the media – to program gullible people like you. And that’s why they want “net neutrality” – to end all free speech.
    The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, was so inspired by Pius the 12’s actions during the war, that he not only converted but took Pius’s birthname Eugenio in his honor. He was reviled by his former friends and family needless to say. So much for open mindedness from the advocates of liberalism. He felt that a fund should be started for other Jewish Converts would suffer this same persecution.
    http://www.catholic.com/library/HOW_Pius_XII_PROTECTED_JEWS.asp

  312. turkle December 30, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    That was a good post bud. I think you inspired me.
    My primary way of looking at world history is that the rich western countries have established and continue to maintain empires for control of access to vital earth resources: arable land, real estate, sea ports, forests, fossil fuel deposits, water, etc.
    There is a vast disparity in the allocation of resources per human on this planet. I am not passing judgment. It is a fact. America alone consumes something like 25% of the earth’s TOTAL energy budget each year. It is hard to wrap your head around that fact. And the income disparities are quite mind-boggling, from those within America to all countries comparatively.
    We in the West are from 20-80 times more wealthy than typical Africans (Kenya, etc.).
    Military, economic, and cultural empires are used to control access to resources and capital. That’s really what civilization has really been all about, mass control of things like next years grain crop, that gigantic forest over there, these houses, the temple and that which surrounds it, the gold store, etc.
    Human civilization probably started getting real interesting when agriculture was developed about 10,000 years ago. That’s when there was a vital resource (large stores of food) connected to a certain geographic region in an explicit enough way that the inhabitants decided to stay rather than endlessly “hunt and gather.”
    Most of Africa was until recent history (1960) under colonial domination of one sort of another, often under brutal conditions as in the Congo rubber plantations. That was all about access to resources like rubber, precious metals, and stones, and it is not at all a unique type of brutality in human history.
    That’s what people of different races and cultures have done for thousands of years: kill and/or control/coerce each other en masse for access to resources, plus as a (primitive) population control mechanism (only so much food/water to go around).
    I’m not blaming any one race especially for this. Most races do it and have had to do it in order to exist.
    We’re like insects that way when push comes to shove.
    What happens to the ants that lose the war?
    Killed, territory conquered, or maybe even enslaved (or eaten).
    It reminds me of ancient human history.
    I read about a battle on the Eastern Front between thousands of heavily armed, politically ideological soldiers which came down to…
    Assault the water hole.
    And that’s really what everything is about for biological organisms, access to water and food. Then there’s the male procreation drive, with the other people’s women if you don’t like yours or don’t have any handy. Civilization seems to me to be an expression of a sublimated human sexual drive. And I haven’t even read too much Freud to back this up but it is somewhat obvious.
    It seems to me that civilization is by nature quite violent. Initially nation states and empires were won from overt violent conquest (war), colonization (economics in its modern form), or coercion (e.g. ethnic resettling). This is what happens when political entities become quite large (encompassing many millions of people each or even a couple thousand). Sometimes there were land-for-money deals but rather rarely.
    I would like to see a study of insect behavior applied to human societies, because I often think we’ve based a lot of our structures on that of insect hives and colonies: bees, wasps, ants, etc. That is probably the best model that nature provides for that many large(ish) organisms.
    Colonization of space is like the spores being sent out or the new queen ant.
    Everything isn’t finance/economics/civilization. Sometimes that’s just what is on top. There are some very primitive, weird behaviors embedded into humans. By our DNA structure we are still a kind of ape.
    Obama is the queen bee. Boehner and those guys are the locusts. The Democrats are the ladybugs.
    Human war reminds me of an alien bug battle, especially the German invasion of the Soviet Union in WWII.
    Now that we’re in William S. Burroughs territory, I’m going to explore this people as insects theme further because I think there’s a lot of there there.
    Have a nice evening and don’t feed the trolls.

  313. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    For the umpteenth time: I’m not a White Supremacist. How could I be since I acknowledge both the Ashkenazi Jews and East Asians have higher IQ’s than Whites? Please get this into your mutton head.

  314. turkle December 30, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    Vlad, you’re like the guy wallowing in the sewer saying that everyone else stinks.

  315. turkle December 30, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    What’s that Vlad, the scary black people are more violent than the white people or some other race X?
    Didn’t you count WWI, WWII, The Holocaust, Nam, Iraq/Afghan, etc. in there for the white man?
    Or what about the Congo rubber plantations.
    Jeez man, I think the 19th and early 20th century empires of Belgium, France, Spain, and Germany would all have take you up on that “blacks are more violent” argument. They always prided themselves in being more violent and ruthless (and cunning) than them.
    Heck, what about some good old white religious war.
    Or how many modern arms manufacturers are based in predominantly black societies?

  316. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    Alexis Carrel said much the same thing long ago – always building things that had no relation to who or what we are. Not even valuing simple comfort and convenience much less aesthetics or real human utility. Money and the drive for Power, “the Myth of the Machine, the Pyramid – that’s all. And for the person, nothing. They promised us techno paradise and tricked us into leaving the farms and small towns. Now their lies are unveiled too late to do much of anything but wait for the unraveling.

  317. AMR December 30, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    Point well taken about the sugarcoating of Islamic imperialism.
    There is a tendency in modern historiography, especially in the basic histories produced for general audiences, to summarize Medieval history by declaring that Europe was a mess and that the Arabs singlehandedly preserved classical Greco-Roman culture for posterity. My sense is that this generalization isn’t very far off base, but that it also smacks of political correctness. It’s just a gut feeling; I know a fair amount about Medieval European history, but very little about Medieval Arab history.
    I can say that I’m very skeptical about much of the recent historiography about Islam. Around 2004, I noticed a surge of popular interest in the Barbary Pirates as a means for understanding modern jihadi terrorists. Activists on the right were waxing eloquent about what a threat the Barbary Pirates were in their time, activists on the left were waxing eloquent about American diplomatic negotiations with the pirates as a precedent for negotiating with modern terrorists, and both sides sounded like shrill ignoramuses who were cherrypicking the historical record because they had axes to grind. A similar dynamic often creeps into discussions of the Crusades, although in that case the revisionist efforts that I’ve noticed have been lower key and more protracted.
    A lot of the fighting in Medieval Europe was between rival bands of feudal thugs or else between some assembly of feudal Christian thugs and some Muslim imperial army. Rarely was a warring party on the side of anything remotely resembling human rights or political freedom.
    There was at least one major advance in human and civil rights in that period, the Magna Carta, and there were incremental improvements, including migrations of serf populations into cities where they were able to join the free bourgeoisie after a statute of limitation for their reenslavement. For the most part, though, Europe was ass-backwards and despotic.
    It is foolish and misleading to try to understand any of this in the black-and-white terms that most curriculum planners and other public historians tend to favor. The fundamental problem seems to be one of arbitrarily picking winners and losers, heroes and villains, in battles between unsavory factions that no one can put into a proper historical context. Ideological axe-grinders have a field day in these circumstances.

  318. turkle December 30, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    I thought it was the Irish that saved civilization.

  319. turkle December 30, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    AMR,
    Most Islamic people (I think) would say the medieval world was the Golden Age of their civilization. It is even referred to this way in the scholarship.
    By contrast, I don’t think most westerners (i.e. Europeans and their descendants) would consider that period their finest historical hour.
    Learning and the reception and sustaining of knowledge is a complicated business, and I wouldn’t place that total burden on any one empire or civilization, nor is this what history suggests.
    The Chinese, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Islamic cultures all had long-lasting influence as well as the Roman and Rome’s break-up entities (Holy Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, etc.).
    Now Western European civilization has indeed had a huge influence on the technological development of civilization, but then again you are talking about the combined efforts, experiments, developments, etc. of a wide variety of people and races (British, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, etc.) generally much different from each other than most Islamic (e.g. Arabic speaking) Muslim nations.
    I think maybe some Islamic historians overstate their case because it has been long held in basic western history texts that they were nothing but bloody-thirsty conquerors during that time and they want to turn the tables on Westerners and accuse them of the same thing. So I agree that it is sometimes a rhetorical dog fight out there.
    Islam was so powerful from its inception that it soon threatened to topple and engulf Western Europe. There were a few battles that probably determined the outcome of the political situation in Europe for 100s of years. Islam almost conquered Western Europe during the Middle Ages early in its history. From then the Europeans have fought like dogs to keep their territory (witness massive ant invasion to defend the Holy Land).
    The Moors got as far as Burgundy.

  320. Patrizia December 30, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    The biggest threat to modern civilisation operated by Muslims was the mentality change.
    South of Italy is in that way very similar to Spain.
    What is urgent today will be even more urgent tomorrow, so why bother?
    Women are inferior creature, when you come back home beat your wife, you do not know why, but she does.
    The worst is the vision of a society as a feudal state where few “elected” “illuminated” people have the right to dominate.
    This sense of importance of the “family”.
    This was the birth of the Mafia that not only survives, but has spread on every level of our society, has created the Bilderberg family that is nothing else than legalized Mafia.
    What was done then with weapons and terror is done today with psychology.
    You do what they want not because you are obliged, but because you are willing to do it.
    This is the worst type of dictatorship, because it is a willingly accepted one.
    You can fight a dictator, you can fight for freedom, you NEVER fight something in which you are a part.
    Our body has wonderful resources; I would say that a healthy person can heal from most of illnesses.
    It cannot heal from cancer, or a virus attack, because it is willingly accepting them, they are A PART of the body.
    That is the best way to kill an “enemy” or to enslave somebody.
    Hitler was a stupid compared to them, a naive, who thought that to dominate the world it was enough to be the stronger.
    Arabs didn’t only create the numbers, they created the society of today.

  321. Pucker December 30, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    Didn’t JHK once say that he wants to receive payment in real commodities, like chickens?
    “Medical marijuana food drive for free pot in California. Medical marijuana food drive in California offers free pot, if you can believe that. Each patient was limited to a maximum of three cigarettes a day.
    The Granny Purps dispensary in Soquel (soh-KEL’), about 60 miles southeast of San Francisco, offered a complimentary marijuana cigarette for every four cans of food a patient brought in this holiday season.
    The dispensary took in 11,000 pounds of food and handed out 2,000 marijuana cigarettes between November and Christmas Eve, when the promotion ended.
    The food was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
    Second Harvest spokesman Danny Keith says Granny Purps, which only has eight employees, contributed the amount of food that would normally come from a business with 30 to 40 workers.”

  322. progressorconserve December 30, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    Some very thought provoking stuff tonight, ladies and gents.
    ==========
    Regarding:
    “The fundamental problem seems to be one of arbitrarily picking winners and losers, heroes and villains, in battles between unsavory factions that no one can put into a proper historical context.”
    ===========
    No one should EVER forget that the winners write the History. That is one of the lessons of the Civil War that native southerners know (knew) in a visceral way.
    And you will see it operating on a daily basis if you only know how to look for it.
    ===========
    On another note, consider my post regarding how the immigration debate gets conflated too quickly with racist posturing (from both racial sides!) –
    my post specifically did not mention ILLEGAL immigration – yet that’s what you respondents choose to mostly consider.
    This proves a point – though what it is, is as yet uncertain.
    But it justifies further discussion, IMO.

  323. progressorconserve December 30, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    - Vlad –
    “muttonhead”
    That’s the best you’ve got, beefforbrains? ;’)
    Seriously, don’t try to compete with TzaLingJim in the name-calling department.
    ==========
    I more or less outgrew my vocabulary of white racist theorizing when the civil rights act was passed and I had to move into the real world.
    So help me out. If you’re not a “white supremacist,” just what the heck are you?
    Let me point out that you can admire the high IQ of “Asians” while still thinking your “whites” are superior – culturally or otherwise.
    In the same way that one can admire the physical strength or athletic abilities of “blacks” while still thinking “whites” are superior.
    But would you prefer the term “white separatist?”
    I can use that if it will make you happy.
    Your happiness, after all, is one of my considerations.

  324. progressorconserve December 30, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    “And you will see it operating on a daily basis if you only know how to look for it.”
    Should have been:
    And you will see it operating – Globally and Everywhere – on a daily basis if you only know how to look for it.
    I know the South lost.
    And yeah, I’ve pretty much gotten over it!

  325. ElleBeMe December 30, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    On another note, consider my post regarding how the immigration debate gets conflated too quickly with racist posturing (from both racial sides!) –
    my post specifically did not mention ILLEGAL immigration – yet that’s what you respondents choose to mostly consider.
    This proves a point – though what it is, is as yet uncertain.
    But it justifies further discussion, IMO.
    ………………
    The amount of LEGAL immigrants to the USA is far below the numbers of people who enter ILLegally. So what then are you trying to say if you are worrying about the number of legal immigrants?
    A thnunderstorm is a whole different ballpark from that of a category 5 hurricane…..
    Maybe you should clarify what you mean then about immigration being a problem…start the discussion you state is justified.

  326. Cash December 30, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I’ve never heard of it. Sounds like it might be a good read. Thanks for the tip.

  327. dale December 30, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Asia comments:
    ‘rightwing libertarians’
    many of us will take them over g. soros and his endless organizations any day.
    are you aware of the propostion he funded ..in california..was it in 2009. every DA in the state opposed it?
    ======================================
    No actually, and nor do I care. The term ‘rightwing libertarians’ was not mine but in the quote I posted. I would only criticize it for being obviously redundant.
    As I’ve mentioned, I don’t like to make predictions, but I would suggest that you might find, as I have, that the less time you spend listening to cable “news”, (which is nothing but politics 24/7, simply because that is cheap to produce) the better informed and happier you will be. Give it a try.

  328. Cash December 30, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Yeah but I’m not a liberal, not even close. And I’m not a conservative either.
    But anyway, what you call the chink in my armour you might say is the chink in your own. How do you account for the long, long delay (thousands of years) in getting European civilization on a similar level to non Europan civilization? The city of Jericho had stone walls and stone guard towers ten thousand years ago and it wasn’t atypical for the region or so I’ve read. So what held Europe back?
    You know what I think? The thousands of years it took Europeans to get their asses in gear compared to other parts of the world had nothing to do with any lack of brainpower in white people, the condition of their advancement or lack thereof was a result of their physical environment.
    Pure and simple it just took time for the idea of civilization to sink in, for European tribes to adopt new forms of social organization, to learn new types of technology in a part of the world far less amenable climatically to growing food than other areas. Things don’t happen in a straight line in human affairs.
    So black Africa is thousands of years behind other parts of the world. I would argue that the same environmental factors apply to them. Just one example: diseases like malaria, sleeping sickness impose a huge load in those climes compared to more temperate places.
    So what accounts for the catastrophic state of blacks in the US? I’ve read and I’m sure you have too that a huge proportion of black men in the US (one quarter I think) at any given time are somewhere in the justice system in the US, either in jail, awaiting trial, on probation, on parole or some such. And that two thirds of black babies are born out of wedlock. It doesn’t take a genius to see that there are some pretty deep problems in the black community. I would say this: for four centuries this community was brutalized by white people and I don’t need to belabour this. They endured monumental levels of shit. So big surprise that a lot of them are really fucked up. These things take a long time to heal up.
    One other thing: a lot of this has economic roots. As industries offshore and throw white men as well as black men out of work you’re seeing rising levels of fatherless families in the white community also. What does woman want with an unemployed man anyway? He’s a burden to her so hit the road Jack. Blacks got there first but whites are not far behind at least in my opinion.

  329. ozone December 30, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Turkle,
    Your post points in a direction that I think is valid, if not ESSENTIAL.
    The natural species of humankind means more than the slicing and dicing of its’ supposed “racial” components. Those who will take the philosophical leap to working WITH [and being part of] their life-support system (the Earth, doncha know) will live. Those that continue the consumerist/religionist/dominionist mindset will die. (I’ll just call these folks “THE USERS”)
    Should the USERS overcome all others, total destruction of our environmental support will ensue. Slow suicide for the ENTIRE human race.
    To distill further: There are those that believe we are PART of nature (with all its’ strictures and wild abandon of genetic variety); and those who believe nature is for their USE, and truly believe we are above it and in “control” of it.
    Nature is about to deliver a deadly serious lesson. …And, yes, even those of us trying to jump off of the runaway, hellbound train of the “users” are going to get smacked too; it’s all about interconnections.

  330. Cash December 30, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Pro
    I look at the American Civil War or the War Between the States as a foreigner. So I don’t have an axe to grind in that issue.
    A couple of points. I think sometimes the losers write the history. Like the Japanese. From what I’ve heard Japanese textbooks on WW2 bear little resemblance to US, Brit or Canuck histories.
    The second is that the academic community seems to me to be “liberal” (for lack of a better word) in their orientation. So is there not a tendency to take adversarial positions against your country, actively siding with avowed enemies, being useful idiots (in Stalin’s words) to foreign powers and foreign interests? Blame America first, Amerika the evil, Amerika the fascist empire. Cast Amerika in the worst possible light.
    So I’ll bet there are “histories” but then I wonder if there aren’t also other “histories” the validity of which depend on your place on the left/right political spectrum.
    I had a brief discussion with my niece over Christmas. She’s a first year university student, very hip and with it and she was complaining about white man centric history as it’s taught in school. My wife saw me turning red and started kicking me under the table. My sister knows my “retrograde” views and was watching with great amusement. I said to my niece if she didn’t like white man hegemony she didn’t have long to wait before it was supplanted and that she would like Chinese hegemony a whole lot less. She would get a good look at a really nasty regime. And I left it at that. I didn’t want to go to war over Christmas dinner.

  331. Al Klein December 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Cash, you make some very good points about the climes of Africa contributing to comparative backwardness. I heard some years ago that during the period of early European colonialism in Africa, a stint of duty for a white soldier to Africa was the effective equivalent of a death sentence. I believe the average length of duty there before death was something like seven months. This was the result of both disease and lethal flora and fauna. What a place! No surprise the locals didn’t have much technology! Who lived long enough, and if they did, who would have the energy for capital formation? The effects of this linger for generations. After the German tribes were exposed to Roman civilization, it took them a good 500-600 years to get up to even a moderate level of indigenous advancement. And that estimate is quite liberal. Some would say more like 800 to 1200 years.

  332. ozone December 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Okay then,
    So I’ll add to, “Be careful who you piss off”, another kernel that’s popped up in the threads, namely, “Be careful what/who you exploit”.
    As always: “Be careful what you wish for; you just may get it.”

  333. Cash December 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    After the German tribes were exposed to Roman civilization, it took them a good 500-600 years to get up to even a moderate level of indigenous advancement. And that estimate is quite liberal. Some would say more like 800 to 1200 years. – Al
    Interesting, I’d never read that. What knocked the Germans off the rails? Wine, women and song, learning corrupt Roman ways, urban diseases?

  334. progressorconserve December 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I will amplify and clarify.
    ============
    You state:
    “The amount of LEGAL immigrants to the USA is far below the numbers of people who enter ILLegally. So what then are you trying to say if you are worrying about the number of legal immigrants?
    A thnunderstorm is a whole different ballpark from that of a category 5 hurricane…..
    Maybe you should clarify what you mean then about immigration being a problem…start the discussion you state is justified.
    ==============
    You may be correct that there are more illegal immigrants than legal ones being allowed into the US. Nevertheless, there are roughly 100,000 LEGAL immigrants admitted per month. That’s over one million new humans in the US – going back to the mid 90’s.
    That’s a lot of people.
    And they are legal, meaning they can *mostly?* obtain jobs, apply for AFDC, et cetera.
    If you look at the growing consensus regarding peak oil, peak coal, and resource depletion – at some point the US WILL grow beyond a population number that is *sustainable.* (Leaving aside questions of quality of life, etc.)
    Illegal immigration is already illegal.
    Fixing that is a matter of techniques and enforcement.
    Legal immigration is something else. Bringing legal immigration numbers down to levels that are “sustainable,” going forward is going to take national debate and action by Congress.
    That takes time. I say it is time to begin considering the issue.
    I’m writing my congressman.

  335. jimjim December 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    “Possible explanation for the continued presence of “Zha Zha” or “Whack Whack” or “OEO” or whatever he is calling himself this week/day/hour…..he’s getting paid for it:”
    Though my postings are worth millions, alas, I remain unrecompensed. Why are you still hanging around here, fucktard?

  336. jimjim December 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    “… get this, if you scroll back you can easily see that peole knew what I was talking about and agreed with me…”
    So, there are people who read this blog who are as stupid as you? Hey, there’s a fucking surprise!

  337. jimjim December 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    “Gas went down, unemployment doubled and a recession without end began. 12 trillion dollars of wealth is wiped out. To maintain liquidity massive debt is transferred from the upper to lower classes.
    Tell me is ignorance bliss? You should know.”
    Chicken or egg, fucktard? Gas prices caused recession? Twas a factor but the price of gas didn’t tank the real estate sector. Fanny/Freddie and social engineering on the part of Bahnee and Chrissie was a much larger factor.
    Besides, all you “greenies” should be thrilled with $4.00 gas. Am I not always reading how Europe pays so much more than us and we greedy Americans don’t know how good we have it? Wait till Obammy jacks the taxation portion of gas and see where we end up. Of course all of those additional taxes will be used every bit as wisely as our current tax dollars.

  338. Cash December 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    What if the South had won? What do you think the world would look like? I think another poster here was saying something to the effect that the civil war is still going strong and the forces of regionalization are tearing apart the US federation.
    Maybe formal or defacto independence for different states or regions as the federal govt becomes more and more bankrupt and unable/unwilling to extend its authority. I think the game is up when people in a state/region stop filing federal tax returns.

  339. asia December 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    HAPPY NEW YEARS
    anyone have a crystal ball?
    whats america going to be like in 2011?

  340. asia December 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    as brimelow noted ‘immigrants are negatively selected’
    meaning…those with $, a job, college degree stay in mexico or whereever.

  341. asia December 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    gawd…in 2011 how about an end to the ‘inter tribal warfare’

  342. asia December 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    ‘We in the West are from 20-80 times more wealthy than typical Africans (Kenya, etc.)’
    i cant find the above post this is from….
    yes ‘we’ are richer….’we’ may [gasp] be able to read! that makes for productivity.

  343. Cash December 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I think there’s something to that. If you have money you can make a life anywhere. People having a hard time are motivated to take a chance to try to make a new life somewhere else.

  344. asia December 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Yes, since 1 in 4? in mexico lives on a dollar a day but the population continues to explode.
    however ‘making a new life’ consists of foodstamps,
    crime,
    public housing
    filling the emergency rooms.
    filling the prisons too.

  345. asia December 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Dale,
    for the 2nd or 3rd time..i dont ‘watch the news’
    i do listen to am and fm radio.
    RE:
    ‘ listening to cable “news”, (which is nothing but’
    happy holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  346. jackieblue2u December 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    K-dog, it sounds like it wasn’t made illegal ? Is that right ?
    I remember seeing a video on that subject a few years ago and really getting angry and scared.
    YNY

  347. progressorconserve December 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Al Klein and Cash
    Great interchange about how the climate of Africa impacted the evolution of civilizations (or lack thereof?) in Africa. Very thought provoking; and I like my thoughts provoked!
    And Cash, regarding how the winners write the History of the conflict. Good points; I had not considered that the *internal?* history taught to German or Japanese children might differ radically from the History (intentional capital H) taught to US children and the children of the other winners.
    But of course it naturally would be expected to differ. And while I accept the US version of WWII as Truth – I don’t doubt that the losers would have a different version of their own Truth.
    For example, we consider victory in the Pacific Theater as inevitable – viewed today. The Japanese are certainly entitled to a different view. Just as an example, had the Japanese not attacked Pearl Harbor and thus pissed off the US Navy and US citizenry – they might well have achieved a negotiated peace with the US. This was their only logical hope for the ending of a US/Japanese conflict.
    Your points are noted concerning my views concerning the US Civil War, AKA the War for Southern Independence.
    I appreciate your views as a foreigner, with no ax to grind. Wage pointed out weeks ago how that particular War continues to reverberate in our politics – and how all other countries outlawed slavery by legislative action. Only the US killed 1 million men in a war – VIEWED IN HINDSIGHT – that was ONLY about slavery.
    There are many other forums where I can re-fight the Civil War to my heart’s content. I will try to refrain from doing it on CFN, in honor of you and other international visitors. Thanks! ;-)

  348. Phaedrus December 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” -George Orwell

  349. jackieblue2u December 30, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Nope not SLO. Closer much closer. 2 U that is.
    You can figure it out with this info. I hope.
    I don’t get around much. Stay on ‘this’ side of the hill. Occasionally I go north and see the ‘real’ world.
    People like Mormons live such Isolated lives, that’s what I think. Narrow minded and isolated.
    Probably beautiful there tho.
    My ex lives in Cupertino.

  350. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    The “real world” huh? Yeah right. The world of affirmative action, forced bussing, pandering to minorities, the end of freedom of association, the fudging of test scores to hide the fact that the Blacks are a bunch of yahoos, incredible levels of rape and crime, etc. And all of this made right in one stroke by “The Civil Rights Act”. Bow down and worhip pagan.
    Yes, White Separatist will do. Otherwise you are misrepresenting me in an important way. We don’t seek to rule other peoples anymore – been there, done that. We always end up getting absorbed by them or getting our throats cut. And now we hate ourselves for doing it on top of all that.
    Whites have grown morally, but let’s be clear: the people we conquered we’re not better men than us. They conquered weaker peoples just like we did. We were stronger than them – nothing more. But Whites can’t forgive themselves for their history and engage in incredible levels of moral masochism. They then seek salvation by projecting hatred onto Whites who don’t feel this guilt – and by working with gleefull minorities to overthrow White, Western Civilization. A moment’s observation and objective reflection reveals that the other races of the World have not undergone the moral revolution that Whites have. Thus our position is perilous indeed. We are savagely beset from without and ignobly betrayed from within – both in Europe and America and Australia as well. Thus Separation is the only path left to us – the Path of Life.
    My annoyance stems from the fact that I have repeatedly made clear that I am not a White Supremacist. And I have told you specifically more than once. Do I personally think Whites are superior? In some ways yes and in other ways no. From another angle: all peoples feel they are great or even superior. If a people do not feel this, they are headed for extinction.
    Blacks naturally have alot of self esteem – it seems to be built into the genotype. They suffer immensely having to associate with us because they naturally feel inferior. So they overcompensate and become arrogant and angry – and seek payback. Nothing can be done to aleviate this as Blacks cannot compete with us intelectually. So even they know that the things they are good at such as sports or the performing arts, are just not as important as the things we are good at. The Universe is hierarchically structured and sports are well below intellectualism. Thus in their madness, liberals seek to dumb down Whites and corrupt academia – make us all equal, all one. Egalitarianism is a sin, a violation of the most basic Law of Nature and Nature’s God. Hierarchy is True Diversity.
    Thank you again for taking legal immigration seriously. You are now on the cutting edge. Beyond the crazy numbers, the 1965 reform spearheaded by Kennedy is also unjust in that it discriminates in favor of non Whites. Kennedy said it wouldn’t change our society’s ethnic makeup! A liberal liar told his liberal lie. For a little more background, check the articles of Pat Buchanon. He is advocating for a moratorium on legal immigration – to my knowledge he is the only national figure who is addressing this.

  351. jackieblue2u December 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    I hear ya ! It’s his daughters’ that are so called self proclaimed Christians’. Not him. Or I would have been gone long ago and should be for other reasons anyway.
    I “made a wrong turn and I just kept going” I’ll tell ya right now who sang that
    Bruce The Boss Springsteen. I am a generation under you, probably closer to BTBill. Think he is younger than me.
    I believe in God Just not the Holey Toast and all that crap.
    No kids for me, never had ‘em.
    BTW I never had a flashback. Yet anyway ! I keep waiting.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2 U ! XOX

  352. jackieblue2u December 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Where was I. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, oh I had surgery. Was out to lunch for a few.
    Soquel is more like 90 miles South and it Borders’ Santa Cruz, Capitola and Aptos.
    It actually is BEAUTIFUL and warm. just a couple miles inland from the bay, like 2 miles. makes all the difference tho.
    On the Ocean is almost always COLD.
    Soquel is Redwoods and Wineries.
    It is AWESOME.
    I missed out on the Pot Drive for Food. I actually don’t smoke, but know for a fact that is DOES help with certain Pain conditions. Personal experience. I just got paranoid and didn’t like that part.
    Much better for U than Opiates, not so hard on the Liver etc. anyway…..

  353. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    The West Coast and the Congo are very difficult – even for Africans who have the sickle cell and the dark skin. But not all of Africa is jungle. Much of East Africa stretching from Kenya down to South Africa is a high temperate plateau with good soil and adequate rainfall. The sun is still strong so Whites are at a bit of a disadvantage, but the Blacks have no excuse. They could have devoloped a Civilization. The other famous excuse is isolation. Well they weren’t. They had long eposure to Ancient Egypt and also to the Arabs across a narrow sea.
    And even the jungle thing may not wash: the Hindus, Southeast Asians, and Central Americans erected cities in the Jungle. No maybe those jungles are less hostile than Africa’s – I don’t know.

  354. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    I’ve heard the price of houses is plummeting. Do you think the price of land will do likewise? Or will it stay high as more people flee the coming doom. Not academic: I want to buy a few acres and wonder is I should wait or move.

  355. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    E.O Wilson is you man, bub. He describes in one book how an alien queen can adjust her scent to that of another colony, walk right in past the guards and assasinate the queen while her attendants just watch. An even more bizzare scenario: some new ant queens seem to actually “hypnotize” the workers to kill their own queen and save her the trouble. This a perfect model for a Communist Revolution in which the proletariat are seduced into changing thier masters.
    The micro world is fascinating. The Black Man’s sperm may run faster than a White Man’s just as the Black Man does in the Macro World. Sperm cells also work together like a football team to block other men’s sperm cells and allowing a couple of wide recievers to get to the goal/egg. I’ll never forget the look of disgust on the faces of the girls in my class when they heard about all this. The Princesses! They don’t like to think of war in their vaginas and that they’re part of a biological process. They want money and glamour and to feel special and superior.

  356. dale December 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    who says:
    “Though my postings are worth millions, alas, I remain unrecompensed. Why are you still hanging around here, fucktard?”
    ===============================
    Someone is PAYING me, of course.

  357. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Firstly, my main argument you ignore – namely that Asians took to our technology like ducks to water and the Africnas did not/could not.
    Secondly, you are making far to big a distincion between Northern and Southern Europeans. Many of the Greeks and Romans looked just like modern White Americans. Same for the ancient Middle East. We built some of those cities, Cash. Gradually, the Semites came to dominate and the rise of Islam clinched it. But history tells another story. You are projecting current conditions into the past far to much.
    The Dark Ages? Betrand Russel said the dark ages weren’t so dark and that much useful intellectual work was done. Could the Cathedrals have been built by ignorant Whites? Of course that is the High Middle Ages. The Dark Ages are usually said to be from the Fall of Rome to about 1000. I might be off a few centuries or so. And were the Vikings savages? In some ways, but they were also master craftsmen. Look at some of the artifacts. Or look at the work of ancient Irish. Masters not savages. Even in a general Dark, there are pockets of Light. Less than a Civilization, but perhaps a good polity or nation.
    Marriage ties in Black Africa have always been weak. Quite common for Mother and children to move back to her parents and not see the husband/father very often. Typically he does not fully support the children either. Also there was alot of polygamy in old Africa. That may be frowned upon now because of Christianity and secular law, but it was not an organic change is the point. So the falling apart over here might be just Blacks assuming their natural communal pattern. I have no problem with that since I think Whites should do similar (but not the same). The problem is that they are doing it on our dime and thus the process is stopped from completing itself. Welfare maintains Blacks in an unnatural lifestyle. If they had any real nobility, they would have said no to all these special privledges decades ago. And yes, Whites are seriously corrupting now too. The glorification of Black Thug Culture is but one of the reasons for this, but there is no excuse. There never is an excuse. A reason is not an excuse.
    Same question as I put to Messi: what do you think the price of land is going to do? It’s so expensive, but is it a bubble like so many other things? Or an ever more precious commodity like the metals?

  358. k-dog December 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    “Chicken or egg, fucktard? Gas prices caused recession? Twas a factor but the price of gas didn’t tank the real estate sector. Fanny/Freddie and social engineering on the part of Bahnee and Chrissie was a much larger factor.”
    Yes gas prices triggered recession, The whole mess was fine as long as everybody made mortgage payments but the extreme leveraging of years of refinance cased the housing bubble to burst when people could not make mortgage payments. Money got tight from rising gas prices. The house of cards fell when gas prices pushed it. Rising gas prices caused layoffs which caused people to miss mortgage payments.
    I do not evaluate the strength of this rather obvious cause and effect relationship other than to admit it’s existence. JimJim however proclaims the obvious does not exist. I claim the obvious but admit I’m not sure how strong the connection is.
    A man who who will deny the obvious is insane. Call me crazy but I think JimJim is insane.
    This all means that if I feel like I don’t want to admit an obvious fact asking myself why would be a good idea. It might be that I have an agenda I’m not fully conscious of and thinking about my motives would be a good idea in this situation should it arise.
    Thank you for the lesson grasshopper.

  359. neckflames December 30, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Have you ever been to Colorado City/Hillsdale on the Arizona/Utah border between Grand Canyon and Zion Nat. Park? My girlfriend and I did last October on our way back from SE Utah. It’s a community of fundamentalist Mormons who are still polygamous. The women all dress like late 19th century pioneer women. A woman will come in to the supermarket with several children in tow all more or less the same age and who are obviously not all her children. The polygamous homes are huge with multiple bedrooms to house each wife and her brood. In shorts and t-shirt I felt like I was from another planet. At the same time they were quite friendly to outsiders, to us anyway.
    Anyway, a fascinating place and since they have a strongly independant do-it-yourself mentality they will do quite well during the tough times ahead. Must be some pretty weird shit living there though.
    Then again, as a recovering Mormon you may not want to go there.
    Neckflames

  360. turkle December 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Given that “jimjim” is now on his (her?) ninth account or so after the others were banned, and also supposing that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, you could very well be right that she is crazy.
    Or maybe she wants to get her accounts banned because of trolling, like some kind of demented internet badge of honor. Who really knows what thoughts are going through that dull mind.

  361. turkle December 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    “Though my postings are worth millions”
    Who would buy them?

  362. turkle December 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Ah, yes, the real estate crash was all caused by Fannie and Freddie and the evil gubment. Haven’t we heard this before?
    Even though real estate also tanked in countries that Freddie and Fannie didn’t cover at all.
    Right, I’ll buy that…

  363. turkle December 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Some little pissants can’t wrap their small brains around the idea that the government and the banks colluded with each other to package high risk mortgages into salable bundles. The idea that the government “forced” this on the banks is ludicrous and inaccurate. The government has NO power to force banks to make loans. Just look at the current situation where credit is tight even after the banks received billions in bailout money along with a “pretty please lend this money” post-it attached that the banks promptly ignored.
    All the government do is make requests or facilitate. The banks originate all the loans. If the government is pressuring the banks to make bad loans, they can simply tell them to piss off (as they often do).
    So did Fannie and Freddie facilitate the issuing of high risk loans by their behavior? Sure. I have no problem saying yes to this question.
    But so did a lot of other entities all across the planet. Fannie and Freddie weren’t the only ones putting the chicken shit into bundles and calling it chicken salad, not by a long shot.
    The real estate crisis was caused by typical bubble economics, e.g. a speculative frenzy, that occurred across the entire planet. Real estate was looked at as a very safe investment that was always increasing in value. Hence massive amounts of capital were invested in real estate and a speculative asset bubble was formed. Queue Savings and Loan Crisis Part II.

  364. turkle December 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Hey, dale, how’s the skiing these days?

  365. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Even Chris Mathews is now calling for the release of Obama’s birth certificate. Boy, is Christine going to be pissed if and when the truth comes out. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Don’t get me wrong: a woman can be a fine person; a living work of art even. But men who are like women are neither good men nor good women – male bitches are hell creatures.
    http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Obama-birth-certificate-Matthews/2010/12/29/id/381362?s=al&promo_code=B604-1

  366. San Jose Mom 51 December 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi Neckflames,
    I haven’t been to Hillsdale/Colorado because my head might possibly explode given the religious climate.
    Nevertheless, Utah has some fabulous scenery and National Parks. I’ve been to Bryce Canyon, Zion, Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands and Arches numerous times. Did you see any of these parks?
    Jen

  367. Buck Stud December 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    “Have you ever been to Colorado City/Hillsdale on the Arizona/Utah border between Grand Canyon and Zion Nat. Park? My girlfriend and I did last October on our way back from SE Utah. It’s a community of fundamentalist Mormons who are still polygamous. The women all dress like late 19th century pioneer women.”
    I suppose we know know where Vlad Krantz is moving. Do they have a casino and trailer park?

  368. BeantownBill December 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    The real estate crash was caused by big banks lowering their underwriting standards. People who couldn’t afford to purchase a home got qualified by lenders. The banking industry says it was forced by the government to lower these standards. Then the banks created securities out of batches of mortgages and sold them to investors. The banks knew the loans sucked, but they didn’t care. Rating agencies rated the securities at the highest level, when they should have known they were crap. People should have known they couldn’t afford their mortgages, but took them out anyway in their ignorance.
    So different groups of people were responsible for the tanking of the real estate market and several factors came into play.

  369. turkle December 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Obama’s birth certificate…wow.

  370. turkle December 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    newsmax, now there’s a reputable internet news organization if I’ve ever seen one.

  371. Manfromnowhere December 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    So what if the dow goes to 20,000 the value of those American dollars will be handy to wipe your ass with-maybe. The Federal Reserve(private banking cartel) has looted and run America into the ground. Gives me a headache just to think about all the corruption in high places.
    The lies are just so bold and in open.
    Light will still somehow win over the Darkness.
    Have a happy new year.

  372. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    So you think Chris Mathews didn’t say what they said he said? Or are you just frightened that you don’t know what’s going on? Turk, your whole trip is guilt by association and innuendo. You can’t honestly look at or discuss anything. You already “know” all the right answers. And you only want to talk to people who “know” exactly the same things. It’s like belonging to a Cult. Like? Hell, it is.

  373. k-dog December 30, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Be that as it may, the dingding attack does bring something out.
    Bubble smubble, talk about the bankers all we wish. It’s all true no doubt bankers are the new colonials.
    Regardless, the prick of this recession was an oil shock. I could say ‘gas price rise’ but that is PC bullshit. I was an Oil Shock: a limit to growth.
    It happened before in the seventies. Texas was dry and could not save the day or it would have. Getting the tap back on saved the day then, there was one to turn on.
    This time is going to be different. We need to talk about the financial mess yes, it is all horribly true. But, not seeing the forest through the trees is a common human failing and their may be trolls posting here who’s sole purpose is to deny the clusterfuck. Cybervandalism to let one know one’s alive.
    It is possible.

  374. Vlad Krandz December 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    The Mormons are great Prepers though. You could do worse than be around them when it all goes bad. I’ve heard that they consider non Mormons “Gentiles” and talk us down a bit when they’re by themselves. Well, it’s probably true but I’d take that anyday over armed assault and robbery. However they feel and however they talk, they want to maintain good relations with their non Mormon neighbors. And they are heavily armed -another really big plus in the days that are coming. Law abiding, heavily armed, well prepared neighbors? Sounds good to me. Of course if someone is looking for charity – they should understand that they will have to stand at the back of the line after all the Mormons.

  375. messianicdruid December 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    “Do you think the price of land will do likewise?”
    This depends, of course, on what you will use for money. Land will eventually trade for an ounce of silver per acre. Trade your filthy rags {FRNs} for silver, now. Then wait.
    This will also help bust the banksters who have been manipulating the silver market:
    1 – JP Morgan has a huge short position in Silver – estimated to be 3.3 billion ounces – tied to an enormous, extremely precarious $65 trillion derivatives position.
    2 – Various exchanges around the world have been caught manipulating the price of Silver using ‘naked’ short sales i.e., counterfeiting.
    3 – Of all the actively traded commodities traded around the world, Silver is one of the least plentiful and its supply is shrinking, but its industrial uses are multiplying. The ‘networked’ age of global communications is built with Silver.
    4 – Hedge funds are taking physical delivery of Silver – adding substantial demand as well as exposing these exchange’s naked short positions – who are already scrambling to deliver – jacking prices up to multi-decade highs – and inspiring these predatory funds to buy more Silver.
    5 – There are billions of people around the world who are aware that banks have been committing fraud and embezzlement who are upset that their politicians seem only interested in helping the banks commit more fraud – who are looking for a cheap way to non-aggressively fight back and decapitalize these banks.
    6 – Many of these people have the access and wherewithal to purchase 1 ounce of Silver – thus removing hundreds of millions of ounces of Silver from the ‘paper’ market – forcing additional scrambling by dealers to fill orders by buying back short positions – inspiring the funds to buy and take physical delivery of even more Silver – creating a colossal short squeeze – in which JP Morgan stands to be the biggest loser.
    7 – Buying Silver is how the world is monetizing its anger at the banks who stole their wealth.
    http://gold-silver.us/forum/general-discussion/max-keiser-launches-campaign-to-crash-jp-morgan-buy-silver!/

  376. San Jose Mom 51 December 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    They do make great neighbors. And yes, they are armed to the teeth. My mom inherited her grandfather’s gun collection (she is his only heir). It includes some Turkish guns from the 19th century, Civil War guns — about 25 total. Her favorite is the German Luger (sp?), which she would use for self-defense. She’s going to take shooting lessons this year.
    My disaster plan is to get the hell out of California and head for Salt Lake City. Gas availability willing.
    Jen

  377. neckflames December 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    We floated one of them there rivers that joins the Colorado in Canyonlands NP. The green one. We’ve been out there several times in the Fall. San Juan River is also a great trip. Lots of amazing stuff; I’d live out there but the summers are too hot and the winters too cold.
    Come hell or high water, or both, you can do worse than California. Long growing season, great weather, lots of food grown here. My brother lives kind of near you I think in Almaden. San Jose is a rather alienating place to hang out in. I usually end up getting lost there. Big box stores everywhere, 8 lane roads. He grows a fair amount of food in his backyard though.
    Right now I have this image in my mind of your mother staring down someone with her Luger saying,
    “Do you feel lucky today, Punk?”

  378. Bustin J December 31, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    Is it really that bad in CA, Jen?

  379. jackieblue2u December 31, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Time for name that tune, another song.
    EVERYBODY KNOWS that the good guys lost
    that’s how it goes, everybody knows.
    I think Leonard Cohen wrote it, many have sung it.

  380. asoka December 31, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    gold “is a soft, semi-useless metal with very few industrial applications,” and “Ultimately, this gold bubble ends in tears.”

    A vital observation of the fun-starved Austrian school of economics is that investors err together, so unanimity of opinion is a danger sign

    SOURCE: “Gold: The Ultimate Fiat Currency” by Richard Wiggins, chief investment strategist for First Michigan Bank, a private bank that is purchasing failed banks from the FDIC.
    In the history of failed fiat currencies, when a collapse happens, the substitute currency is never silver or gold. Silver and gold do not work as mediums of exchange in daily economic life.
    Barter works, until a new fiat currency gains stability.
    This has been true for thousands of years.
    Sell your gold and silver before the precious metal bubbles burst (unless you bought the soon to be completely useless metals at prices less than one tenth of current price)

  381. asoka December 31, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Manfromnowhere said:

    So what if the dow goes to 20,000 the value of those American dollars will be handy to wipe your ass with-maybe.

    Exactly.
    The American dollars will be useful forever. You can also start fires with them.
    Try wiping your ass or starting fires with useless gold coins or silver coins.

  382. jackieblue2u December 31, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    Jen pick me up on the way hey ?
    I know we have a better growing climate for food, but the people and the amount and the KIND are so strange.
    Scares me.
    BJ, it is that bad in certain areas.
    Gangs abound. Just disrespect and rude inconsiderate me me me me me.
    all about me. get out of MY way.
    and the pace of life is so fast.
    unless you step out of the way
    which i do on a daily basis.
    well I’ll let Jen speak for herself, she has a better way with words, everyone on here has a better way with words than me.
    “I guess we know where Vlad K is moving.”
    cracked me up. I personally don’t follow all the drama just sometimes remarks are so funny. Some on here really can’t stand others.
    I think calling someone a fucktard is uncalled for, but It’s between them.
    I don’t even know the 2 it is between, I’d have to SCROLL some more.
    H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !

  383. neckflames December 31, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    You’ve got to try harder, Soak. You can’t be this dumb! You just can’t be!!
    (Thanks for the quote, Vlad.)

  384. Bustin J December 31, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    K-dog knows, “Cycling is exercise and exercise fights depression and strengthens body and soul. It can be fun.”
    Yes, just think of all the inflamed joints afterward.

  385. asoka December 31, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    You’ve got to stop being mesmerized by shiny, durable, yet useless metals.

  386. San Jose Mom 51 December 31, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    Hey Neckflames,
    Almaden is just down the road a few miles. The growing season is indeed long here in California.
    No one in their right mind would want to mess with my mom. But it’s my sister who is a force to be reckoned with…her nickname is Annie Oakley. Before she moved to Durango, CO, she managed a camping park for the Mormon church way off the grid in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Some of her neighbors were certified wackos. (Whenever helicopters circled about the mountains, her kids would yell, “The neighbors are getting busted.”)…for growing pot, of course. Also there was some meth kooks. When certain neighbors came by — apparently wanting to use her phone — she’d answer the door with her rifle in hand.
    She would shoot whatever happened to be annoying her — wild pigs rooting thru her amazing garden? Kaboom. Raccoons dancing on her roof at night– Blast them to kingdom come. Rattlesnakes near the house — easy targets. She has plenty of that Mormon pioneer blood in her veins.
    As for me, I have a shotgun hidden in the attic.
    Jen

  387. Bustin J December 31, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    You and your family sound insane. FYI

  388. k-dog December 31, 2010 at 3:58 am #

    A bit of herbal medicine can do wonders for that.

  389. k-dog December 31, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    I just watched a documentary of what China has been doing in Tibet since the invasion. What I saw in the documentary is so horrible I can no longer wear any clothes made in China.
    I am doomed to walk the streets naked.

  390. lbendet December 31, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    To my cyber-friends on CFN: Taking stock of the year 2010
    They say bad things come in threes. Since September we were taken by surprise by the untimely deaths of friends and family.
    In August I had just rekindled a friendship with a former Time photo editor and photographer who I had lost contact with over a long span of time. We started working at Time Inc years ago and were the same age. In June he invited me to view a gallery show of his magnificent silver tint photography of “Kashi, city of light”, the birthplace of Buddha.
    I couldn’t attend the opening, but when I finally found the time to go, I was wowed. I was moved by the timelessness of the images. Typical of Asia, the farthest points in the background are shrouded in mist. The technology of everyday life has not changed in centuries, but there are little tell tale signs of the contemporary. A scrap of paper with an ad thrown into the mix.
    We got together for lunch and went up to his loft to share our work with each other. It was truly a great renewed connection. He was a most generous and inspirational person who helped young photographers. To that end just five weeks after our meeting he was attending a photo expo in Sao Paulo, reviewing portfolios. He had suddenly taken ill and died. He left behind a wife and son and many admiring friends.–A creative spirit is gone, but won’t be forgotten.
    Peter lost his best friend from elementary school in a misdiagnosed condition at a hospital that never should have happened. I won’t speak much about him except he was a filmmaker, actor and altogether creative and kind person. Two weeks ago friends and family got together for a memorial where we looked at his high school and college films and had some good laughs remembering this special friend and husband.
    Of course, as I have mentioned I lost my mother this month. She has always been a model to me, an avid tennis player for many years, who kept in shape both physically and mentally. She remained an active and vibrant woman at 90. I had imagined she had a couple of years still ahead, but at that age, it’s all a delicate balance. Maybe that’s true at any age and we just don’t want to see how fragile we really are. I’m left with memories of a beautiful and loving parent who’s common sense and total acceptance of me will continue to give me strength and guide me in troubled times.
    When we lose people our own age and the generation before us, we face our own mortality. I’m now on the front line.
    As my mother always said, you have to take the good with the bad. On a more positive note, I renewed a relationship with a gallery and worked for some good new clients. When I posted some artwork on facebook, I got a huge surprise from someone I hadn’t seen in decades. A Poet and former college boyfriend who loved my work and asked if he could use three images of mine for his book which just came out. I had the opportunity to work on the cover as an artist as well as prepress specialist. I just received some copies in the mail! —What a great way to end a year such as mine.

  391. lbendet December 31, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Taking stock or 2010 part II
    Now for a less personal take on where we find ourselves of the eve of the new year.
    When I think of where we are heading I see no positive change from the course we have been taking. That wonderful Milton Friedman and globalism fundamentalism is going full steam on both sides of the aisle. In fact, I see us moving at a more accelerated pace toward the brink of untenable.
    Most of us have recognized that the economic model of continued growth in the peak oil reality is not sustainable, nor can anyone but the top 2% afford to continue paying the rising costs of the profit centers.
    According to Robert Hirsch, senior Energy Advisor at MISI and a consultant in energy, technology, and management,it will become very apparent to all that we are in Peak oil in 2-5 years. There is no time to move into new technologies on a mass scale as JHK points out.
    The BP oil spill made it abundantly clear to all of us that we are but a colony of the transnationals and it is for their benefit that we fight the liquid wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nato will be the big beneficiary of full spectrum power in the near future, as they oversee the oil and gas transport from central and south Asia to Europe, etc. See:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LL23Df05.html
    But here we are, looking at less taxes to support ss and medicare, raising retirement age when there’s no employment. Absurd compromises for W’s tax breaks for the wealthy to expire in 2 years—during an election year, yet. As if…
    Oh and the corporations will say they still don’t have a stable tax environment to hire Americans.
    Well the stats just came out that our wonderful stimulus package created 1.4 million jobs in China to our 1 million here. Obama could have won the midterms for Democrats if all those jobs were created here. Now look where we are going!
    An activist conservative Supreme Court gave carte blanch to the richest corporations to fund elections to their own agenda without exposing who they are! That’s how they define free speech.
    Lobbyists continue to go in and out the revolving door of government and private corporations, making and diluting our laws, undermining the middle class further.
    More bailouts for smaller banks, now. More corporate communism through bad trade deals, new bubbles for the stock market and the continuation of a debt-based neo feudal system. Lookin’ good folks, we just can’t seem to come up with anything better.
    There is further consolidation of the table for media. Comcast and GE! It looks imminent. Now the next issue is net neutrality.
    Runaway costs of the privatized security apparatus in this country that nobody seems to be overseeing. Your tax dollars at work going going gone…
    Check out Frontine to see when “Top Security America” is going to air.
    There’s been some crazy talk by some of our newly elected teapartiers. One thinks that unless you own land you should not be given the right to vote—oh boy. There are others who are fighting for flat taxes–great for the wealthy, very tough for the rest of us. That’s why we had a very successful progressive tax that built this country into a superpower. With a direction like this expect to devolve.
    There’s so many issues undermining us from our poorly instituted educations system down the line. One can only think this whole culture is based on how money can be syphoned-off in the process of administration. We can’t seem to get out of this paradigm of greed before it’s too late.
    The only option we have is to make a realistic assessment on where things are going and try to make plans. Our voices are not being heard.

  392. Cash December 31, 2010 at 10:18 am #<