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The Queasy Season

      A scarlet tinge colors the Virginia creeper, the Canada geese grow restless out on the fairways, an ominous canapé fatigue spreads through the Hamptons, and cyclonic weather blobs march west across the Atlantic – you know that time of the year has arrived. Fall approaches on busy feet. The name itself suggests slippage. Though many government numbers lie, a dark reality still penetrates the fog of econometrics. Visions of tumbling indexes wither the spinal fluxes of nervous day traders praying to their little effigies of Jim Cramer that it’s all just in their heads. Sometimes it seems as though the universe itself grows tired of suspense and yields to the zeitgeist. A cosmic groan fills the air from sea to shining sea as all eyes turn skyward. Was that the sound of the economy rolling over?
     Peak pretending now joins peak oil, peak credit, peak rare earths, and all the other peaks visible to us humble valley dwellers. Pretending bought America two years of respite from the ravages of fraud and mismanagement, but now the true condition of this society reveals itself like the disfigured ghoul in the sewer lowering his mask. Further pretending is unnecessary now. We’re even beyond the “modified limited hang-out” stance, as a long-ago presidential counselor once put his PR strategy in the face of crumbling public credulity. When nothing is believable, what’s the point in even pretending?
     Here are some truths which I believe to be self-evident: that the USA has been running on fumes since the beginning of the 21st century. That you can’t get something for nothing, and attempts to do so always end in tears. That massive expenditures of energy produce equivalent globs of entropy – which you can translate to “bad ju-ju” or the tendency of whatever can go wrong to go wrong. That because we’re unwilling to re-scale and reform the things we do, nature is about to do it for us. That America has transformed itself from a nation of earnest, muscular, upright citizens to a land of overfed barbarous morons ruled by grifters. That what has been economics is about to turn dangerously political.
     The greatest loss of the last decade was not in 401-Ks or manufacturing jobs or foreclosed houses, but the rule of law. Without genuine rule of law, anything goes and nothing matters. As a consequence of that, finally, everything goes. The rule of law is what kept foreigners buying our debt all these years (the fumes we’ve been running on). They kept buying because they believed, when all was said and done, that Americans would enforce contracts and regulate behavior in the direction of fair dealing – not for its own sake but because it made things work better. But when the rule of law goes here, the rest of the world will notice its absence. They’ll stop believing in our money and our future. They’ll cash out and we’ll wash out. Then, as human tribes are wont, they may just turn around and kick our ass because we’re down.
     The comprehensive failure of leadership deepens every week, as does the gulf between what people like Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell say and what is really happening on-the-ground in the arena of everyday life. Storyline: last week, Mr. Obama hailed the revival of the automobile industry with the debut of Chevrolet’s new electric car, the Volt. Reality: at $41,000 retail, nobody outside lower Manhattan, Hollywood, or K Street will have enough money to buy one. Storyline: Mitch McConnell inveighs against a bill to require corporations to take responsibility on camera for their political advertisements; he says it will lead to job losses.  Reality: the Senate Minority Leader is shilling for corporations that want to run massive, unlimited ad campaigns in support of corporate agendas – such as off-shoring jobs.
    The failure of leadership extends through government to the news media to business to the universities to the courts. All authorities are suspect. All are dishonest and cowardly. When the attempt to enforce some basic rules of decency in banking ends up in legislation that runs two-thousand pages, the rule of law is dishonored. Anyway, adding that much unneeded complexity to a system that is already too excessively complex to function anymore must be an obviously bad move. The Glass-Steagall act was under forty pages. Why not just correct the mistake we made eleven years ago and vote it back into existence? Somebody must know where it is – in some back filing cabinet of the Library of Congress. 
     In times like these politics gets very crazy. The public forgets how misled and confused it is and develops vicious certainties that do not necessarily jibe with reality. The public becomes a mob and democracy turns into a kangaroo court, which is to say: a mockery of the rule of law. I suspect we’ll see a correlation of turbulence in politics and markets as the weeks pound forward toward Halloween. By election day, democracy itself will be in disrepute and the streets will run with mad dogs. When this sucker goes down (to paraphrase a past president) it’s going to be like a fire in a circus tent. Don’t expect much from the clowns’ bucket brigade. We’ll be lucky if they don’t toss gasoline into the grandstands.
     I doubt I’m the only one who senses something in the air – and not just the impressive heat and humidity. Anyway, I’m going off for a few days’ vacation this week to do no more than walk around in the salt air beside the ghost-filled ocean.
_______________
A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. Pre-order via AMAZON.

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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.

704 Responses to “The Queasy Season” Subscribe

  1. Joe August 9, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    First!

  2. Al Klein August 9, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Saying we are losing the rule of law is too simplistic. Culture precedes law. The motto of the University of Pennsylvania: “Leges sine moribus vanae.” Which means “Laws without customs are in vane.” Customs in this sense means ethics and/or morals. When we lose our way and turn our back on ethics and morals, the laws have no weight. They no longer represent the reverification of belief. Worse yet, they are selectively enforced. Does this sound familiar to us, oh CFN community?

  3. empirestatebuilding August 9, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Speaking of the rule of law. I woke up this morning to a story on WNYC that there were 20 shootings in New York City this weekend. I was wondering when we’d get back to the record numbers like back in the Crack days. Seems like we are on the way.
    Paul Krugman’s Editorial today is calling for higher taxes on the the richest 1%. They’d rather give their money to the Bill Gates Foundation. Krugman describes the problem of maintenance of society’s infrastructure. We’ve built too much to maintain and so we can’t and won’t and the fall continues in slow motion.
    Looks like the economy is off the rails again. No decent ideas in site to fix it. Extend the Bush Tax cuts is getting kicked around, again. Raise the retirement age is a popular meme. A cut in services that only works if there are jobs to retire from.
    There are no gas lines and the lights are still on for the most part. The Federal Government is dropping dollars from helicopters to shore up public school budgets. Keep us fat and happy for as long as possible.
    I am not looking forward to the rest of the year. I think after election day the gloves will come off and the Brotherhood of Darkness will show it’s true colors.
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  4. jimbolio August 9, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    ***I doubt I’m the only one who senses something in the air***
    You are not alone, lots of people share your feeling.

  5. Jim from Watkins Glen August 9, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    How well Mr. Kunstler blows away the smoke and points us back to the fundamental failing. The contract about how we should treat each other is broken. We don’t make anything anymore, so wealth is accumulated through graft and extortion. This has irrevocably undermined our economic system. The jobs are gone, the money is gone, but the bills are still coming due. I’m keeping my eye on that circus tent flap. . . .

  6. Visitor1034 August 9, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Hey, just so you know: there are plenty of people doing something more constructive with their lives than endlessly prognosticating about coming shitstorms. No matter how eloquently stated, what use is more fear and trepidation? Yes, the world (as you know it) is coming to an end. Isn’t it time to get over it and move on to doing, or at least talking about something else a bit more positive and productive?

  7. Al Klein August 9, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    On a MUCH more positive note, I was just reading on the ABC news website that “they” have found a organism which, under the right circumstances, excretes propane. Even better, it’s though that the “bug” can be coaxed into squirting out gasoline! And all it need to take in is air (and I guess sunlight). (Please imagine background music from Dire Straits, “Money for nuthin’ and chicks for free”.) Three cheers for the techno-triumphalists! You can bet your sweet bippy that the NASCAR devotees (JHK’s favorite denizens) will breathe a big sigh of relief. Fuel crisis? No way. Science will bail us out!

  8. Solar Guy August 9, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Just ordered “Build Your Own Electric Vehicle” and “Convert It” 5 minutes ago…
    And yes, I can feel something in the air, the water, and my soul… A Queasy feeling…

  9. keratomileusis August 9, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    i just can’t wait to see if elizabeth warren is picked or not to head the new consumer protection agency. as a member of the congressional tarp oversight panel, she wrote that the repeal of glass-steagall was a contributing factor to the financial crisis. if she gets passed over, i’ll know that obama is another pimp for the banks. geitner is against her nomination. stay tuned…

  10. Alexandra August 9, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    I love your writing style Jim, a great Monday lift to be sure, delivering broad strokes of eloquence each week, across another tight canvass of topical news – ignored purposefully by the mainstream media me thinks!
    But the masses (everywhere) really do not seem to care, or if/when they finally do twig… they will no doubt get tied-up in petty tribal/ religious ethnic group squabbles for sure. Richard Heinberg always warned that if we go down the route of ‘last man standing’ then suffer nations all we do…
    Though at the moment China is definitely ahead on empire energy security stakes, especially with REE’s. Russia’s wheat export ban tells you trade wars are on…
    However on a simple level life will always blossom on, so hold that thought as you enjoy a wonderful vacation… while watching those Gulls circling atop those sand dunes…
    I myself am flying out to Phoenix Air Park from HRW end-o-the-month, though I doubt Scottsdale AZ will be suffering the worst vagaries of the downturn quite yet? I certainly hope not… lol
    Here’s my (relevant) link for the week…
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/06/collapse
    When the Greeks breakout of the €euro zone happens end of 2010…twill be the beginning of the end of financial unity in the EEC.
    And here in the UK too with North Sea Oil long gone now, and with appalling demographics… 65m+ peeps crammed mainly into the south of one tiny island (too many on welfare, aged and healthcare needy now), its far from a rosy picture!
    Our similarities with the US are those ticking-time-bomb public sector index-linked payouts – where is that ‘guaranteed’ money ever going to come from?
    Like gleaming, magnetron, steel/glass fusion powered sci-fi EV car populated and mono rail equipped sky rise future city scapes…
    Pure Hollywood fiction…
    *sniggers*

  11. Paul Kemp August 9, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    A great post. Fine piece of writing! I loved the part about “Don’t expect much from the clowns’ bucket brigade…”
    I agree and believe our stay of execution is about over, with reality about to asset itself once more.
    When drought caused food shortages begin to trickle down to the unemployed and angry mobs, you will begin to see some affirmative action. Then, people will begin to ask why so much of our money was given to the Fat Cats, now that not much is left to look out for everyone else.
    I believe it was Robert Ringer who said, “Hunger is a great motivator.”
    We are about to be brought, kicking and screaming, down to Reality. Appeals to reason haven’t worked up until now.
    Our over-extended, over-expensive military empire will either be used in a final fit of wag-the-dog desperation or (just maybe!) could be seen for the waste of capital that it is and scaled down.
    Stock up your pantries. Buy some non-hybrid seeds to grow food. Lay up some trading stock for barter. Get in shape to walk or bike to where you need to go. Contact me about building a portable income that can support you in a safer locale.
    http://www.healthyplanetdiet.com

  12. Cam Mather August 9, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    I used to get that queasy feeling until I got myself more independent. From solar domestic hot water heaters to wood stoves to geothermal systems to root cellars, making yourself more resilient to the shocks that people like James predict is an empowering way to avoid distress. “Thriving During Challenging Times, The Energy, Food and Financial Independence Handbook” is a roadmap for personal shock resistance.
    http://www.cammather.com/

  13. sistersookey August 9, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    The Judeo-Christian traditions, democracy and even capitalism provided a solid base for this emerging society in a less populated portion of the globe. Briefly, Stella, we were a contendah.*
    It is sloth and greed which have now done us in.
    There was also a blindness to what was sometimes obvious but the failure to see was caused by our focus on, yep – sloth and greed.
    I, too, believe you can’t get something for nothing. Hoping you can has been the motivating factor in causing the masses to bend over and take a hosing many times over the years.
    As hosings go, this is a big one, but nothing has changed.
    *Yes, I know my Brando film references are mixed.

  14. Lorraine August 9, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Do you remember the drumbeat music in the film “Jumanji”? How it increased in tempo and volume as the die were rolled? All thinking people in the world can feel that throbbing beat now. The number of news stories telling of purported Taliban atrocities is increasing. The scene is being set for the performance to shortly come. The US government has nowhere to turn in economic matters. The US will grasp at the last and final straw to conceal the economic malaise – war. The US must right its economic ship of state by ceasing its obscene expenditure on its military, or choose the alternative, and make use of that mighty military. We all know what the choice will be, but only a few in high places know the date that the carnage will begin.

  15. cathy August 9, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    The large mosque that is at the heart of the dispute at the 911 site in NYC is very disturbing. If you lived in NYC during the 911 event you simply find it difficult to understand how the moslems have gotten this far. Daisy Kahn who is a graduate of Jericho Schools on Long Island is a hater of white america. She is a product of a system who constantly teaches its students to hate what america stands for. I know I happen to be a teacher there. I have sat in on classes where teachers in high school, tell the students how america destroys other countries. It feeds into the people who have hate agendas and want to destroy our way of life. If the moslems involved in this dispute truly had a peaceful agenda, they would have extended a hand to New Yorkers to ask how they could make the world here a little better. Ex. They might have used their money to rebuild what people in their community destroyed. Believe me New Yorkers would have made them build a mosque afterward without complaint. Instead, their “peace offering” is creating chaos and conflict. In turn they blame the dissenters of their ideas for creating the conflict. What a twist!

  16. Smokyjoe August 9, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    “That America has transformed itself from a nation of earnest, muscular, upright citizens to a land of overfed barbarous morons ruled by grifters.”
    Was it better in 1863? I just read The Devil’s Own Work, an account of the NYC draft riots. With few exceptions locally, New York City was in the hands of incompetents and grifters, as the city nearly fell apart.
    Well, they had Lincoln back then, and US Grant was about to step onto the scene to teach my fellow idiotic, states-rights fanatical Southerners the meaning of “total war.”
    Neither man was a grifter (Grant later surrounded himself with them, sadly), but both could be brutal. I just hope, if brutality is needed to retain something remotely like modernity as the easy oil vanishes and the easy credit never returns, our next crew of necessary brutes will have a long-term view of what’s ahead.
    That bitter but it’s the only optimism I can muster as many friends and family members remain unemployed. Thank God for the Dole, or we might have former middle-class Americans, not slum-dwelling Irishmen of 1863, smashing and burning the edifices of wealth.

  17. Scrap Wood August 9, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    The powers to be fail to understand the old Way saying: “If you argue with realty you lose”

  18. Butch August 9, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Yes there is a comedy of errors that has brought us to this point, the US has actually been here before, if different sense. The evil that the progressives have wrought is about to collapse the nation. I suspect the founding fathers have “stashed a raft” to help us through this. They always feared a strong central government, easily manipulated, in this case by the elites/progressives, to result in loss of our liberty. The raft they stashed was the States, the States are sovereign, I suspect we will see the rebellion manifest itself in the States, the States will break away, small business and cash only businesses may stop paying taxes, then local companies will stop…if they all stopped the Federal Government is over. It may likely happen this way, in conjunction with the collapse of the dollar. Larger companies will then stop paying taxes as no one else is. The Federal government will be brought to its knees; so do you throw the entire country in jail? No, you reform government quickly and effectively, when the people have faith they may start paying taxes again…this or some other form of State withdrawal will have to occur to keep folks safe and a viable nation. The States may establish their own currencies again and ignore DC. But Jim is right, our creditors may decide to take land to pay the debt, I suspect the northwest may become Chinese. Not a good scenario. Perhaps with enough new, scared, blood in November some of this can be corrected, but I fear that those that go to Washington to do good are soon corrupted and stay to do well for themselves. Few who have studies this have a good feeling about the probable outcome. Yes this is gloom and doom but remember, the Internet is like the Committees of Correspondence during the Revolutionary War, folks are studying and comparing notes, most of us do not want to be doom and gloom’ers, but we are also realists who understand economics, human nature, and greed. We see that the dark side often overpowers the good, and unless we are forever vigilante we have no chance. Jim is very astute at evaluating the situation; his observations are usually germane and accurate, unfortunately for the all of us.

  19. Chaz Valenza August 9, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    *The Rooster et al*
    A rooster, a roadster, a prankster and a bankster
    All sat down for a meeting with a gangster
    The rooster said “a harem”
    The roadster yelled “more oil’
    The prankster said “hell no”
    And the bankster “fuck ‘em royal”
    The gangster hired the prankster
    And soon they set the rules
    Pay me now or pay me later
    Either way you lose!
    This was oh so jolly
    This was oh so slick
    The rooster ruled the coop
    With his badge and black night stick
    The eggs were all pure gold
    The hens were all so stupid
    They did what they were told
    And voted for the cupid
    They took the bankster’s plastic
    Crossed streets to big box stores
    Everyday they’d lay their eggs
    But soon were sleeping on dirt floors
    The pranksters took their cut
    Saying all would soon be good
    When the hen’s were lead to slaughter
    They took solace in that they’d done all that they could
    The prankster smiled
    The rooster crowed
    The roadster laid some rubber
    The bankster took a pleasant stroll
    Then ate a hearty supper
    The gangster did what gangsters do
    Laughing at the blood and fun
    Life’s a game, you’re all such fools
    Now my work is done
    Chaz Valenza, “WordsWillNever.com”:http://www.wordswillnever.com

  20. Freedom Guerrilla August 9, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    “That because we’re unwilling to re-scale and reform the things we do, nature is about to do it for us.”
    Boy, that really says it all for me. I think there is a core that is totally willing, maybe we just need to support each other? The lunatic fringe is starting to make the most sense and is even growing in the mainstream. The problem is, what to do about it?
    Information is only as good as what action it provokes. I agree with the “too late” camp and don’t harbor any delusion that there is a repair. I don’t think many of us even want it repaired — just kill it, and let’s get on to reality. I mostly focus on the post era when all the heads have been removed from all the asses.
    See you there, brothers and sisters.
    Tommy
    http://freedomguerrilla.com

  21. scott August 9, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Matt Simmons has passed away.

  22. caseyf5 August 9, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Hello JHK,
    In the fifth paragraph you mention the Chevy Volt (Dolt) priced at $ 41,000. My prediction is after a few years trying to sell it unsuccessfully by producing it here in the US it will be sent overseas (high probability to China for production and exported back to the US at the same price $ 41,000). This vehicle will eventually assist in the economic failure again of GM and it will be picked up for chump change by a Chinese manufacturer.

  23. scott August 9, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Here is an interesting description of extend and pretend..
    http://home.comcast.net/~lcmgroupe/2010/Article-Extend_Pretend-Manufacturing_a_Minsky_Melt-Up.htm

  24. lbendet August 9, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    The Non-Existent Super-Power— we may be the last to know it
    Thanks for being one of the few honest brokers out there.
    What the media won’t tell you is beyond comprehension. I have been saying since the “W” years that when the media tells you that this country is run by the rule of law, you know thou protests too much. Why would they feel the need to say that? Could be that Medoff is the only one who went down. Everyone else has gotten richer.
    The global monetary crash was a perfect moment to take things back to basics and rebuild real wealth. But all they chose to do was build a new bubble. Perhaps barriers to entry to protect American workers would have been the right move, but you know the chamber of commerce…oh and the tax breaks for those who take manufacturing out of the country couldn’t possible be pushed back.
    While aware citizens watch in horror at every twist and turn this country is taking, one can only imagine that actual planning and running a nation for its citizens is nowhere to be seen.
    Instead of real fixes to the system that could have been turned-around by reinstating Glass Steagall or a medicare buy-in with some cost controls, we are getting congress-initiatives that pander too much to the lobbyists who are actually writing our laws. Our Supreme court thinks its free speech to allow unfettered funds into the political system, but don’t want the backers of these funds revealed. How is that free speech, pray tell?
    We all know that the privatized security complex was being built on tax-payer bucks (& backs) much to our loss, since there is no longer any standards on who get surveilled. Keep you eye out for “Frontline” this fall on Dana Priest this fall. Check out a recent interview with her on the Frontline site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/interviews/priest.html
    While our money is being flushed down the tubes, all they can think of is pushing back Social security till 70 and cutting medicare. There are those out there who have been dreaming of turning back Roosevelt and progressivism and now they think they have their opportunity. All at the expense of the fading middle class. Talking of democracy–you won’t see any sign of it without a strong middle class.
    Our stimulus money goes to Asia since we say we want to push “democracy”. We don’t even have it here so what are we really talking about. Could it be neoliberalism? (shock doctrine, perhaps?) This is all being done for the transnational leadership who don’t see themselves as Americans anymore. They are denizens of the global market who may just happen to own a few homes here. They don’t want to pay taxes to the nation-state and take no pride in educating the hoi-polloi, since the US doesn’t matter anymore. Oh, but they should pay first world prices on third world wages.
    This morning Morning Joe had a round table which included Jeffrey Sachs. They all agreed that the Afghan war was costing this country more than 4x the GDP of Afghanistan and there was no plan in place to use this money effectively. The oil to run the military I read least year costs $400.00 per barrel. Erin Burnett recently said that our troops are guarding Chinese rare earth metal miners. So why are we loosing blood and treasure?
    They also felt that the stimulus package had no plan behind it and accounts for why it has been so ineffectual in getting private sector jobs. They say there is $1 trillion waiting on the sidelines for investments, but no one knows what’s going to happen so spending is in irons—sort of like the stultified heat of the summer.
    Hope you catch some relief at the shore—will be doing the same in a few weeks.

  25. wardoc August 9, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    “The greatest loss of the last decade was not in 401-Ks or manufacturing jobs or foreclosed houses, but the rule of law.”
    Again, Kunstler has perceived a critical process in our ongoing collapse. Here is an “on the ground” example of the collapse of the rule of law in the health care arena.
    I treat patients with work injuries to the brain and spinal cord (i.e. catastrophic injuries, not the worried well at all). Insurance companies and their lawyers have always, at least for the 20 years I’ve done this, been reluctant to payout funds for medical care, and our office has always had at least one person per doctor to appeal and argue with them. But now, the insurors and their sleezy lawyers are screwing over injured workers at a level that I never imagined. And, I’m hearing the same from every other doctor I know. They’re cutting the patients off (i.e. refusing to reimburse) for medical care, prescriptions (some that are absolutely life sustaining and all necessary for a decent life, and can’t safely be stopped), and for their disability payments (upon which these people depend for food, utilities, etc.). They/re even starting, for the first time in my career, to demand “peer review” (an insurance whore doctor reviews the case and says nothing is needed and is medically unnecessary) for things like MRIs and CTs on people who have suddenly become unable to ambulate, wherein imaging is standard of care.
    In the past three months, at least 20% of my patients have had one or all of the above “cut offs” occur. Every MRI I’ve ordered in the past month has gone to peer review and almost always denied (one of 14 MRI prescriptions was approved, when the patient got her lawyer to threaten the insuror). The insurors typically say, “sue us.” And sometimes those patients with ethical lawyers (many of them make a settlement and take the money and run, never to help the patient again, against state law) have to take the carriers back to court to enforce their settlements which mandate health care. That usually takes months and years.
    Its over folks; the collapse is HERE!!! we don’t see it clearly, because the collapse is happening in many small ways( e.g. the collapse of the rule of law such as above) in what seems like slow motion. Eventually we’ll all be caught up in it at a level that affects us directly and then it hits the fan. The God of Chaos will show his face.

  26. zen17 August 9, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Peak pretending reached a new low when the government declared the oil spill over and done.
    Hold on tight…This is going to get messy.

  27. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Same thing is happening here. You have 8 million people and 20 gunshots, we have 26,000 people and had 5 in one weekend!
    ttp://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/09/living-outside-green-zone.html
    Rule of law? When Bush and Cheney get off scot-free while Tim DeChristopher is still be prosecuted for interfering with an illegal auction of US wealth, rule of law is a FARCE!
    While the US military kicks down doors and murders Afghan civilians, and Obama solemnly takes “accountability”, only Bradley Manning is actually held accountable, although he killed no one.
    This is a farce and a travesty!

  28. kiwehtin August 9, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Indeed, as another poster pointed out, Matt Simmons died Sunday of a heart attack.
    http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/research.aspx?Type=news
    http://www.kjonline.com/news/Energy-expert-Simmons-dies-in-North-Haven.html

  29. scott August 9, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I am confidently predicting all time highs in all indices by the end of the year. QEII will be the FED purchasing Treasuries to chase investors from the safe haven bond markets to riskier invesments in stocks and real estate. Forget deflation, there is no way we go the default route for the forseeable future. I think QEII has already begun and instead of dropping yields in the bond markets telegraphing double dip, it is the invisible hand of the FED buying, pretty much calling the bond market “bagholders”.
    We are an aging developed world and we don’t care that we are making bagholders out of our children and grandchildren(if we are having any) as long as we get ours. Do we really think that the gigantic amounts of compound interest can be paid 2,5,10 or 20 years from now on these bonds with future productivity? We will either have to find 20 Ghawars or invent a perpetual motion machine otherwise it is either hyper deflation or hyper-inflation cuz we aint growing our way out.

  30. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    Sorry about the bad linkhttp://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/09/living-outside-green-zone.html

  31. asoka August 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    JHK said: “That what has been economics is about to turn dangerously political.”
    How?
    Cornpone nazis are as paralyzed as everyone else, and they have no workable solutions.
    People finally realized the Tea Party was not grass roots; it was created by rich oil magnates wanting to stir up a distraction and defeat progressive measures like single payer universal health care. While succeeding in defeating health care reform, it could not sustain the Tea Party as grass roots anger farce.
    Sarah Palin/Newt/etc. are the kiss of death for the Republicans, and while they fight out their internal power struggles don’t expect any workable solutions from the Party of Hell No! … the party responsible for the largest chunk of the budget deficit with their unpaid-for tax cuts for the rich (that were supposed to create jobs that trickled down on us), the party that created an economic depression.
    Obama is unable to do much with every single piece of proposed legislation being filibustered by the Party of Hell No! often not even allowing legislation to come up for debate. So I don’t blame him for playing basketball, since the whole governing thing is being stymied by the opposition.
    So, when JHK says, “That what has been economics is about to turn dangerously political,” just how is that supposed to happen?
    The electorate seems apathetic and turned-off to politics. Hunger is not a motivator because we live in “the greatest, richest country in the world.”
    I don’t see any kind of political movement happening. I don’t see people willing to get up off the couch to stop watching FauxNews, except for trips to the bathroom.
    How does pretend economics become anything other than pretend politics?

  32. ozone August 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    “The greatest loss of the last decade was not in 401-Ks or manufacturing jobs or foreclosed houses, but the rule of law. Without genuine rule of law, anything goes and nothing matters. As a consequence of that, finally, everything goes.” -JHK
    Yep, most don’t seem to think about that aspect too much, but IMHO, it is THE biggest deal. Without a belief that the little guy might get some justice, what the hell is left?
    Queasy? Not much any more; already purged. ;o)
    (Lots of good comments this week BTW.)

  33. Caniculus August 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Organized crime won. The rule of law recedes in memory. Mob bosses now masquerade as CEOs. Senators are openly bought. The Department of Justice is a charade, and Robert Kennedy and Eliot Ness are modern impossibilities. Reporters seek money and fame instead of truth. Schools turn out zombies, who know nothing of critical thinking, let alone history, or governance, or economics.
    Worse, most people now work for one of the corporate mobs, and once you work for the mob you don’t just leave. There’s no way out. You’re either all in or your dead. Republicans and Democrats, of course, are all in.
    So chaos is coming. Our increasingly unworkable systems will fail inelegantly. Everything will change, but that is nothing new. That’s just part of the rhythm of history. The question now is whether this is really it, or whether there is light on the other side. Is this the long emergency that begins an endless dark age, or the long emergence to a second renaissance? I hope for renaissance, but I’d bet on dark age.

  34. ozone August 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Nicely done, Chaz!

  35. scott August 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Goldman Explains Why It Is “QE2 Or Bust” For Stocks Tomorrow
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/goldman-explains-why-it-qe2-or-bust-stocks-tomorrow

  36. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    History is not over. The future is what we make it.
    There is no reason that we cannot get together and build a decent, sustainable life for all of our people, while looking toward the future, and decreasing our birthrate, so that future generations will not have so many teeming masses to feed.
    No reason except for the incredible effect that corporate media has upon our people, turning us against each other and telling us that the way we live now is the only possible way.
    Will we get together and build a better society?
    I certainly hope so, but even the commentors here make me despair sometimes.

  37. Hugh Culliton August 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Jim: I used to think your blog somewhat overstated the USA’s problems, but after a summer of paying closer attention to American news, I’m beginning to think you’re guilty of understatement. The GOP seems made up of cannibals, gorging themselves on the middle class (& the Democrats aren’t much better). The federal government has lost the trust of the governed, and then there’s Palin, Fox News, and the Tea Party. Will someone please explain to this simple Canadian WTF is up with the Tea Party? Near as I can figure, they’re all about destroying their own health care, amputating the common good from American society, destroying the Constitution (with an assist from the GOP), and kicking out anyone who isn’t white, Christian, or has ever read a book other than the bible. Don’t get me wrong, I profound respect to the USA and the moral foundation on which it was built, hell, half my family are Yanks. But watching as it crumbles is demoralizing. I have to tell you, your politics is really starting to scare the shit out of Canada.

  38. ozone August 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Wage,
    An illuminating and horrifying series that explains a goodly portion of how we got to this final crossroad…
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12642.htm
    Good luck.

  39. jerry August 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    It is only a queasy season for the 90% of the bottom income earners, but not necessarily for those top 10%ters.
    The DOW is up over $42.00 today, and has a total of 10,694. Now that is the Virginia Creeper phenomena. The upper 10% are making capital gains trading stocks often riding the algorithmic electronic trading tidal waves occurring while they sleep.
    The DOW can rise just on hot air with no real substance. It rises on HOPE.
    Mitch da’bitch McConnell is serving his corporate elite masters. It is my guess the Volt will get a minimum charge in the marketplace. The sales will head toward China.
    But remember, GM sells more in China than in the US. They can thank the US taxpayers for allowing the company to expand battery technology production in China taking jobs away from their bailout providers. So, keep shopping at Walmart.
    We have an oligarch. Our form of government is a modified form of Russian Rule with the government serving the needs of the corporate oligarchs that pay the way of the government’s top commanders in the legislature. And in return, the corporate oligarchs keep getting zero percent Fed Fund loans.
    Don’t expect any shit to hit the fan. I have begun to see that. Chronic deflation is here for a long time–Japanese style. The rich will continue to earn capital gains and nice salaries to buy stuff on the cheap, while the rest of Americans suffer, save and try to deleverage.
    What is being spoken about from all sides is “now if this happens, or if that happens, look out!” Lots of conjecture gets one nowhere. I recently heard that “if one of the nations decides to go back on the gold standard, then look out, because there will be a scramble for the other nations to follow suit, and the price of gold will skyrocket.” Another “what-if” short story being told.
    What exists today is a drive into chronic deflation. The Golum of Government-Alan Greenspan, and the Alchemist of the Absurd–David Stockman, who both are proclaiming that the Bush tax cuts need to done away with, say the nation is heading, otherwise, into the Rabid Hole of Disaster. Well, we can thank the Golum and the Alchemist for their life of good works for that.
    Yes, the best we can do right now is go and smell the salt in the air by the sea.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  40. scott August 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    I disagree with the Japanese style lost decade of deflation arguement. The dollar is the worlds reserve currency and the expansion of insane government debt cannot and will not be financed in a deflationary environment. The FED MUST create inflation or die, so they will. Obviously creating inflation against massive deflationary forces is no simple task that is why I am certain that they will need to overshoot causing massive inflation. I think they fear hyper-inflation and would like for the drums of deflation rumors to remain while oil and Agricultural commodities quietly climb higher.

  41. jerry August 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    The Mass CON sumer society has ended.

  42. cowswithguns August 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    I just learned Matt Simmons died. Who’s next? Michael Moore, Paul Volcker, William Black or one of a number of notable critics out there?

  43. jerry August 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Scott, I believe the current strategy for Bada Bing Bernanke is to begin to mop up treasuries being sold off and hold them. This then allows the Fed to pay the interest to the treasury and not foreign bondholders outside the country. We then hold the bonds and pay the interest to ourselves.

  44. scott August 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    A long period of downward spiraling deflation is too pollyannish, hyper-inflation hurts everyone the most.

  45. scott August 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    The mass consumer is being replaced by massive numbers of low consumers in developing countries. Raising per capita consumption a little spread out over the billions in Asia will easily offset lower consumption in developed countries.

  46. Nickelthrower August 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Historian and Roman Senator Tacitus said it best when he said “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.”
    We now get laws that are 2000+ pages. How can anyone but a team of lawyers make any sense of these laws? Also, as of 2009 there were 67,506 pages just for the IRS. Next, I do not know the exact number but I thought there was something like an additional 144,000 pages of Federal Law beyond what the IRS has. Finally, add in the thousands of pages of State and Local Laws and it could be quite possible to be living in an area and be subject to as much as 250,000 pages of law.
    What does this say about the US and our supposed “freedoms”?

  47. jerry August 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Scott,
    The Fed has been trying to create inflation with $2-3 trillion of monetized debt put into circulation over the last 2 or so years, and increasing the amount of cash placed in the hands of the few mega bankstas. It has failed tremendously. There is a huge amount of liquidity in the system, but with households and small businesses deleveraging by trying to pay down their debt, and saving (on the rise), inflationary tactics have failed.
    Consumers, as a whole, are not spending. They no longer are the 70% of the GDP engine. The Fed is stuck, and freaking out. The consumer is afraid to spend. There is too much uncertainty. Business confidence is falling, too.
    With the credit markets holding back, and lending to only a small segment with lots of collateral to lay down, the mega lenders are holding back their free money from the Fed. They don’t believe they want to give up what they may need when they need to write down their shadow derivative debt.
    Yes, of course, the Fed wants inflation, but it just is not going to happen with the current Fed, White House and CONgressional viewpoints.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  48. jerry August 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Scott,
    The US would have to go from deflation to inflation (or stagflation) and then into hyper-inflation. A nation just doesn’t instantly go into hyper-inflation from a long period of deflation.

  49. Jim from Watkins Glen August 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Hugh, you are wise to keep an eye peeled south. We have had a couple of previews of how ugly Americans get when the social order crumbles. Things go bad fast. The 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles and hurricane Katrina in 1985 caused raw racial and socio-economic tensions to surface immediately. The cops in New Orleans were shooting unarmed citizens, who were also having at one another. In 92 the Rioters in LA were stomping people left and right. It’s hard to say what would go down if the lights, heat, and water went out over a wide area for any length of time. I’d like to believe our better natures would prevail, but the evidence points to a more unsettling picture.

  50. trippticket August 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Q said late last week:
    “As matters stand, anyone who takes the position they “couldn’t care less” is effectively casting a vote FOR this mosque and will be watching its grand opening on TV 13 months and 4 days from today. Wake up guys, this is a travesty!”
    Couple of items real quick. First, I don’t have a TV or watch anyone else’s very often, (occassionally soccer or college football), so the chance that I’ll catch this “travesty” in primetime is pretty remote.
    Second, I had more important things to discuss than this publicity stunt, that seems tailor-made for BOTH sides of the argument. It’s religion. Not my thing. There’s no convincing religious people of anything they aren’t already convinced of. So I abstained from the discussion entirely.
    Third, there really are far more important matters that need to be talked about than whether or not some stupid “house of worship” gets built in place of a different kind of house of whorship (misspelling retained on purpose).
    This has precisely dick to do with our future, and I’d appreciate not being dragged into trivial matters that I made it my business to avoid. Thanks in advance, Q, for your public apology and future abstention from muck-raking on my behalf.

  51. asoka August 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Asoka said: “Obama is unable to do much with every single piece of proposed legislation being filibustered by the Party of Hell No!”
    Asoka, you are wrong, AGAIN. Obama has been able to work with Congress to get many bills passed. Just this year (2010) the following legislation has been enacted, making Obama more of an activist president than any in recent memory.
    He promised change and he is delivering.
    The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 was signed into law by Obama on Thursday, July 22, 2010.
    The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 was signed by Obama on Thursday, July 22, 2010.
    Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed by Obama on Wednesday, July 21, 2010
    Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act was signed on Monday, May 17, 2010
    The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 was signed on Friday, April 23, 2010
    Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 was signed on Tuesday, March 30, 2010
    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed on Tuesday, March 23, 2010
    The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act was signed on Thursday, March 18, 2010
    Emergency Aid to American Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake Act was signed on Wednesday, January 27, 2010
    The 2009 Tax Breaks for Haiti Donations
    was signed on Friday, January 22, 2010
    Asoka, these legislative victories for veterans, patients, the unemployed, earthquake victims, consumers, etc. indicate there is no paralysis in the Obama government.

  52. Vlad Krandz August 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    People in a multi-cult society – not a Nation – cannot trust each other. Each group is out for their own. Professional Corporate Liars and Politicians obviously just make everything worse. But Neo-Marxism is no cure as it is based on deception and subterfuge. And Marxism is without respect for the folkways of the people. The Shining Path might well have set the Andes on fire – except they could not hide their basic contempt for the ways of the indigenous people.
    Likewise, Marxists in America cannot hide their contempt for rural Whites. For the most part they don’t event try – they prefer to build up hatred of them by any and all means as they pander to non-Whites.
    Was it the Socialist Micheal Harrington who coined the phrase “the war of all against all”? Apt as ever. It’s far to late for any reform now. Get some land, get into a tribe, and get ready to defend your very lives. Those who beat their swords into ploughshares will do the ploughing for those who don’t. Watch an old movie called “The War Lord” for more info.

  53. Vlad Krandz August 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Religion has nothing to do with our future? Wrong! America is a deeply religous country. It will get more so as things get bad.

  54. asoka August 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Seeing what Asoka posted, the legislation passed just this year, makes me question what JHK says today:
    “All authorities are suspect. All are dishonest and cowardly.”

  55. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Thanks for the link, Ozone.
    Absolutely!!
    How did “we” turn from a nation of thrifty, penny saved is a penny earned, lean hard workers to the spendthrift obese people we are now?
    As I’ve pointed out before, I still remember the thrifty sayings handed down from my parents and grandparents. I remember my Dad cleaning paintbrushes and pulling out nails and straightening them. Bottles were reused, not recycled. When I was young, obesity was scarce. It was taken for granted that mothers would nurture their children.
    But when the ruling class started its surge against us in the 70s and 80s, credit cards were sold to us by the bankers, swimming in profits, and looking for a way to leverage it, trinkets became cheap and most things became disposable,corn was subsidized and fed to animals on factory farms, and then (deep fried) to us, women were convinced that it was liberating to stay a wage slave throughout their reproductive years.
    JHK and others on this blog tend to blame “us” for this sorry state of affairs.
    But I say, “what do you mean, “us”, kemo sabe?”
    We are manipulated by the masters. Only a few can resist, and even those that do find ourselves falling for some of the bullshit. We are so surrounded in it that some sticks, without our noticing it.
    We who do resist should not scorn our fellow workers. They are reacting as planned to the stimuli.

  56. ian807 August 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    WageLaborer writes:
    “…There is no reason that we cannot get together and build a decent, sustainable life for all of our people, while looking toward the future, and decreasing our birthrate, so that future generations will not have so many teeming masses to feed.”
    You must be young, to still confuse what can be done with what will be done.
    The Romans, Mayans, Easter Islanders, civilizations of the middle east. All could have averted their fall. The Mayans and Easter Islanders could have stopped cutting their trees. The Romans could have pulled back and restricted their empire to that which they could afford to defend. Older civilizations in the middle east that discovered irrigation could have realized the salt coming to the surface would eventually destroy them and started to rotate fields and crops. We in the USA could easily start a major program of energy efficiency and conservation, while switching to multiple renewables.
    Carter tried that last bit. He was an engineer, after all. Look where that go him. He was defeated by a hired shyster, grade-B actor with incipient Alzheimer’s who promised that everyone could have everything forever.
    If you think of society like a brain, you’ll fail. Society isn’t a brain, except perhaps, the most draconian of dictatorships. Society, particularly democracy, is like a bacteria colony, where each bacteria just reacts to its immediate environment. The whole concept of democratic capitalism is based on this behavior. But higher level reason? Predicting events and averting bad consequences? Only if it gets somebody elected, or makes someone money.
    Sorry kid. That’s the way it is – the way it’s always been. It’s too late to prevent the fall now. Just ride with it. Ride with it…

  57. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Thank you, Tripp, for pointing out that this mosque uproar is simply another decisive piece of nonsense designed to distract Americans.
    I yield to no one in my dislike of religious nuts, Muslims as well as Christians as well as Jews, etc.
    Therefore, I find it no more offensive to put up a mosque than I do a cathedral.
    I actually went to the link that qsthick posted. Some Brit spewing hatred towards Muslims. He only said two things that I agree with, that Saudi Arabia is a bastion of backwardness, and that any religion that preaches hate is not worth calling a religion (but I count Christianity in that camp).
    But… Number one, I don’t accept the basic premise that they start from. I don’t think that 9-11 was pulled off by 19 Muslims.
    But for those who accept that, why are we still using oil?
    In the 70s, when Saudi Arabia really did cut off the oil, the US reacted by LOWERING oil usage! Gas rationing, CAFE standards, speed limit lowering, wearing of sweaters, etc. Don’t any of you official conspiracy believers wonder why, if we were attacked with Saudi oil money, the reaction was to give a tax credit to Hummer buyers?????
    And to be told to go to Disney World?
    Again, this shows the irrationality of people, that they can be told absurdities, and believe them.

  58. Qshtik August 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    I just learned Matt Simmons died. Who’s next?
    =================
    Jesus H. Christ! Please don’t tell me you think some evil powers that be arranged for Simmons to be rubbed out.

  59. cowswithguns August 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Saw “The Other Guys” last night, starring Will Ferrel and Mark Wahlberg. It was surprisingly funny — though, naturally, pretty low-brow — and actually attempted to educate the masses about the evils of Wall Street greed.
    I was happy about that and I hope it’s just the beginning of mainstream movies with populist themes. The animated end credits — lasting about 5 minutes — do a great job of laying out the 2008 financial collapse in ways the everyday guy can understand.
    Wall Street surely wants to put a lid on movies like this — perhaps that was what the proposed Box Office Futures contracts were all about.

  60. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Thanks for the advice, Vlad, but I do have land and I do live in a rural area.
    The other day, I listened to my co-workers debate on the proper time to buy their offspring motorized vehicles.
    One asked the other one how old her child was.
    “Fourteen months” was the reply.
    Well! She was shocked! Fourteen months?
    Really, a child shouldn’t have a four-wheeler until it was three, was her advice.
    Gee, Vlad, why do I sometimes dislike people?

  61. topcog August 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Our county library received a huge sum of money, so they revamped the main where all the political idiots are. Now they are closing the branches as a cost cutting measure. Brilliant huh?? Not. Just a small item that is rampant all thru the guvmint. Deficit? Bring ALL the troops home, stop ALL foreign aid, deport ALL illegal aliens,eliminate the CIa, DEA , NSA, IRS and about 30 dozen others, stop ALL retirement funds to senators and house menbers,stop ALL construction of new interstate ‘improvements’, repeal the patriot act, and a bunch of others. It may help. At every election, vote in ALL new people, do the same at the next election. Stop ALL subsidies of any sort, shitcan the USDA. Go back to states rights and let the people force them to straighten out. Stop paying ALL taxes to the fed. Get some balls, and DO something. “The Ugly American ” is still out there, bring him home. As Butch said, stock up on some trade items, put your debt in order, grow a bigger garden, and get some common sense. Great column, keep them coming. Can’t wait for the new book.

  62. steve August 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Lots of moaning that Kuntsler is too pessimistic and not “positive and productive” enough. Ok, a few suggestions for your consideration:
    1. Jack up education standards, so that the dummies and unmotivated actually fail and go back to the end of the line – or better yet go into a trade program where they can actually learn to make something.
    2. Churches start preaching about hellfire and damnation again – put the fear of the Lord in our modern barbarians – the wages of sin and all that stuff.
    3. Mothers and fathers actually start living together again and take charge of their offspring; a little love and discipline go a long way toward responsible citizenship.
    4. Neighbors know each other and start taking care of each other again.
    5. We bring the military home from every yahoo country in the world – best way I know to support the troops.
    6. Medicine becomes local and non-bureaucratic again. “Providers” live within their means and the giant sickcare factories go the way of the dinosaur.
    7. Those who would be our leaders are strictly term-limited and required to actually live most of the year among those they would lead.
    There are many other suggestions that you and I could come up with to improve our ehtics and morals, but surely these are “positive and productive” enough to get us started.

  63. judetennessee August 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Just read Matt Simmons obituary, apparently he croaked in a hot tub on his back porch on Sunday afternoon. He was 67 and from looking at his photo was overweight with a very red complexion. Dude, you shoulda stayed out of the hot tub!!!

  64. RedGypsy August 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    RIP Matt Simmons.
    I met him many years ago, a true deep thinker.
    We have another underlying problem. That of course in energy security. Mr. Kunstler has stated this himself.
    So no matter how they rearrange the chairs it is to late.
    The ability to address this problem probably passed us during the Clinton years so now the only real solution is to dig in and wait.
    My family survived the holocaust I am sure we
    will figure out a way to survive this.
    RED

  65. Smokyjoe August 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Simmons apparently drowned.
    Such a shame! Despite his regrettable comments about nuking the bedrock on the Gulf seafloor, he sounded one of the best warning on Peak Oil there is: Twilight in the Desert.
    It was a good counterpoint to industry shill Daniel Yergin’s nonsense.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to Simmons’ family.

  66. mila59 August 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Wage, don’t forget this is a doom-and-gloom site…things could become as awful as many people here believe…but despair is for those who already know the end of the story, beyond all possible doubt (and see if you recognize that paraphrased little nugget).

  67. antimatter August 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Oh I certainly sense a sea change is at hand. I remember in the mid 90’s just before IBM began to tank, laying off over 100,000 employees. One day, everyone had a job, got a paycheck, had benefits, and the next day, they didn’t. Unknown to many, while all appeared normal, consultants were telling management that ‘the entitled employees’ had to go. This is what is about to happen enmasse in America. The country will wake up one day soon, and find the lights are no longer on, metaphorically speaking. As someone answered, when asked ‘how did you go bankrupt?’ ‘well, very slowly at first, but then very quickly at the end.’ Hard to say how close to the end we are, but when it happens, everyone will be shocked. True shock and awe.

  68. John H August 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Peak pretending, eh? Did you coin that here and can I use it?
    We have had pretending for quite a while. For instance, “sustainable mining” is an oxymoron that rolls off the tongues of miners and resource managers. The pretense is coming to a crescendo though.

  69. Barter4Booze August 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Jimmy,
    The Canada Geese I know are nothing if not practical, self-indulgent, stay-put types that will eat anything from cheese doodles to zucchini. It must be something truly remarkable if they have lately become restive. What holy hell hath the Hampton’s hailed?
    Anyway, this, just to let you of this: The arc of the moral universe is long, but it tends toward compost.
    What America needs most is a new birth of groundedness. Good, old-fashioned, sweat-provoking, physical toil, if not tears, tears if not blood. There ain’t no other cure.

  70. mila59 August 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Wage — P.S. — you make great sense.

  71. lbendet August 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Speaking of queasy,
    I was saddened to hear of Matt Simmons untimely death at 67, not an old age by any means. Certainly a loss to those who follow peak oil and the many problems with the future of the oil industry.
    I went to the oil drum looking for info on Simmons and found this curious article instead.
    http://campfire.theoildrum.com/node/6823#more

  72. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Thanks, Ian, but I’m not young.
    I just see no point in giving up. We’re not all the way there, yet, so there’s still time to change.
    I listened to a speech by a Unitarian who used to head Amnesty International, and he was the one who pointed out that history is never over, and that we are making it everyday.
    Germany, a peaceful, prosperous country at the beginning of the 20th century, is now a (mostly) peaceful, prosperous country now. History wasn’t over in 1900 and it isn’t over now.
    You should watch the link that Ozone gave.
    There were people who fought against the Nazi rise to power. Mostly communists, socialists and trade unionists. They lost.
    Then the Allies fought against Hitler and Germany and they lost.
    But fascism didn’t lose. Fascists in the US and the Vatican saved many through the ratline and put others right back in power.
    The CIA, which was officially formed in 1947, but was unofficially already formed, helped make sure that fascist ideas were promulgated in the US. And so we are swimming in hatred.
    I see it as my job to point out alternatives.

  73. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Damn, I couldn’t figure it out, so I googled it, to no avail.
    Another hint?

  74. asia August 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    cars at 42,000$ , yes. and TATA has a car at
    2,000$. guess who sells more?
    Ozone i did read yr post yesterday. happy summer days to all.

  75. mila59 August 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    LOTR — I admit I’m a scifi/fantasy geek.

  76. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    I, and the rednecks I hang with, were talking about that very scenario, where the rich try to escape from the poor, into some secluded enclave.
    Here’s what they don’t think of, just like the commenters on that site.
    Where will they get their food? Where will they get their gas? Who will repair their equipment? Who will provide the electricity?
    They think of us as useless eaters, but it’s actually the other way around.
    When their stockpiles run out, they’ll find out that someone is mining that coal, growing that food, refining that gas, building those compounds.
    Whoops!

  77. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    OK, I’ll ask my husband. He’s the sci fi geek in our family.

  78. asia August 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    ‘Each group is out for their own’
    a jewish woman told me she was 100% unable to get help from any jewish charities in LA.
    ‘they only want to help immigrant jews’!!!!
    and you say whites rush to their own self destruction as a race [ i agree with you on this]
    and Q, ok I misused ‘when’ instead of ‘ if’?

  79. asia August 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Thank you, Tripp, for pointing out that this mosque uproar is simply another decisive piece of nonsense designed to distract Americans.
    why is it divisive? [V]
    I find it telling, chilling, symbolic!
    let people have their ‘ uproar’, it might be healthy.

  80. asia August 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    and i belive its not [decisive] but devisive

  81. cheesemoose August 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    What a superb writer you are, Jim. Nobody captures the American zeitgeist of the current moment like you. Your diagnosis is 100% correct. Only your timeline is off. This Halloween is not likely to be as apocalyptic as you predict, and this election cycle is much more likely to be another flaccid indicator of malaise and ennui than it is to be a turning point.
    But, as the Gulf Oil Spill showed us all too clearly, our leadership is hell-bent and determined to avoid leading, now and forever. We can stop looking to them for either leadership or solutions to our problems, because they are simply not going to provide any. “Governing” does not seem to be part of their job description, which is raising money, performing favors and getting re-elected. Rinse and repeat. Anything beyond that is considered “outside the mainstream.”
    The U.S. government is losing its legitimacy just as surely as the Pakistani government, which, in the face of massive flooding last week, failed to deliver ANY relief to its people. Into this vacuum stepped the fundamentalist religious organizations, who organized immediately to feed and house people. The official Pakistani government, recipients of billions of dollars of American aid money, were unable or uninterested enough, to even make their presence felt. Again, these politicians are in the business of raising money. They can’t be bothered with distractions like floods and hurricanes.
    Barack Obama represents the end of politics in America. Sure, the spectacle will go on, but it’ll be an empty display. We had our chance to deal with our problems rationally, and we blew it. Or, the guy we elected to do it for us blew it. Or simply wasn’t up to the task. Or simply didn’t consider it part of his job description.
    So now, it’s irrationality’s turn. This is likely to be good for the sales of Jim’s books, but bad for the rest of us.
    Though the pleasure of reading Jim’s chronicle of the long descent of Cheez Doodle America almost makes the whole thing worth it.

  82. scott August 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    U.S. electricity blackouts skyrocketing
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/innovation/08/09/smart.grid/index.html?hpt=C1
    Since when do you try to re-inflate a burst bubble? You create another one, with all the “money” we have been pumping into the black hole of propping up real estate debt we could be building infrastructure projects like modernizing our energy grids.

  83. Hancock1863 August 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    You said:

    Will someone please explain to this simple Canadian WTF is up with the Tea Party? Near as I can figure, they’re all about destroying their own health care, amputating the common good from American society, destroying the Constitution (with an assist from the GOP), and kicking out anyone who isn’t white, Christian, or has ever read a book other than the bible. Don’t get me wrong, I profound respect to the USA and the moral foundation on which it was built, hell, half my family are Yanks. But watching as it crumbles is demoralizing. I have to tell you, your politics is really starting to scare the shit out of Canada.

    You should be scared. Because our politics are coming to you, with a few marketing tweeks thrown in as required by your demography, unique history and national myths, etc.
    Harper and his boys are your Bush-Reagan, and in all likelihood, they are right now at this minute undermining the foundations of Canadian democracy and constitution in ways you won’t notice until years, maybe decades, later, when the TRUE nature of those changes come home to roost.
    Which will be just after it becomes too late to stop them or even slow them down, when even the “Opposition” is playing on the same team of Multinational Corporate Totalitarian Aristocratic Fuckers.
    This is what our Multinational Corporate Totalitarian Aristocratic Fuckers did to us, and you won’t be able to believe how quickly the old civilization of Canada breaks down and is replaced by the increasingly corporate authoritarian funhouse mirror. Or maybe Canadians demographics and psychology will require a slightly different approach. Either way the end result will be the same: skyrocketing inequality and breakdown of the rule of law, especially at the highest levels.
    You have to know that a Free, Sane Canada will not be tolerated by whatever the hell tyranny the final form of what the old USA becomes gets closer to being an authoritarian reality.
    Anyway, that’s all for later on. For now enjoy your very early transitional stages, and may I say be especially careful of privatized electronic voting and corporatized media when they try to pry their way in.
    And they will try…you can make book on it. Watch for their “Canadianized” marketing strategies selling you your own destruction.
    Finally…what is the Tea Party about?
    Ultimately the Tea Party is a coopted construct of the Corporate Elites their rank-and-file supposedly despise.
    It’s design is to channel popular anger at the coming hard times away from the Wealthy Elite who caused them by reconcentrating all the wealth at the top. (just as in Robber Baron 1890s or Medieval Europe)
    How is this done? It’s done as it is always done. By redirecting that anger towards The Usual Scapegoats. Gays, liberals, intellectuals, and minorities, though I think for the first time in a long time the Jews will be with the hunters and not the scapegoats.
    Unless the Canadian People do a better job of handling the Aristocratic Elite when they come to steal everything from you, including the rule of law as they have done here, your own Canadian Tea Party or something very like it, is probably a decade or two from being reality.
    Good luck up there. You’re going to need it.

  84. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    You’re right, I meant divisive.
    How is artificial uproar good for America?
    We cycle constantly through uproars. I think that it distracts, so it is not helpful.

  85. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I agree with everything you said, Hancock, except for the Jew part.
    I think that the old tried-and-true anti-semetism is being brought back, for those people who just don’t pay enough attention to the new scapegoats, or who have a certain loyalty to the hatreds of their childhoods.

  86. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Part of the problem is that we are supposed to elect representatives, not leaders, and certainly not “commanders in chief”.
    They are supposed to represent us and legislate on our behalf.
    We are not supposed to elect kings, who we then beseech to rule us wisely.
    And it became a farce decades before Barack Obama was anointed.

  87. asoka August 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    JHK said:

    By election day, democracy itself will be in disrepute and the streets will run with mad dogs. When this sucker goes down (to paraphrase a past president) it’s going to be like a fire in a circus tent.

    This is a very frightening image you conjure up, Jim. But just what does it mean?
    Democracy is already in disrepute and has been since the conservative activist Supreme Court ordered a stop to counting votes, allowing Bush to steal the presidency, even though Gore had 500,000 more popular votes.
    Who are the “mad dogs” who will run in the streets? Policemen? Bankers? Xe employees?
    I do appreciate a definite date for these things to happen. November 2010 is not that far away.
    If you are attempting to scare, you are succeeding.
    I am terrified by the rapidity and chaos and extreme death toll the image of a fire in a circus tent summons to mind.
    Terrified. Paralyzed. Depressed.
    But I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
    Queasy, not so much. Queasy I associate with nausea, another metaphor you used, maybe it was in the last election cycle, or the one before that. These predictions are regular.
    For over ten years now these predictions of TSHTF. But now, with the addition of rapidity and suddenness this is really getting to be frightening.
    This fear must be releasing something into my bloodstream.
    I may not be able to sleep well tonight because we are so close to a total collapse of our society, a total collapse of our infrastructure, a total collapse of our rule of law, and the mad dogs will run in the streets. Pure terror.

  88. ian807 August 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Wagelaborer wrote: “I see it as my job to point out alternatives.”
    I wasn’t aware we lacked them. So, what, *specifically* do you propose and how do you propose to get people to DO anything? If you just plan to “raise awareness” of the issues, I think you’re a few years too late. Many folks I know are acutely aware of the implications of debt deflation, a quadrillion dollars worth of derivatives exposure, resource depletion and the distinct possibility that in 15 years time, you may owe loyalty to the state you live in and the local warlord, not necessarily in that order.
    The guy who works down the hall from me is well stocked with supplies and miniature shortwaves. My neighbor two doors down has a years supply of food socked away. Those who *can* prepare are preparing. The rest, like my other neighbor down the street, is barely getting by. Her idea of survival is “getting through next week.” What do you suggest she do? What are her “alternatives?”

  89. prisonersdilema August 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    It’s all true….the government is owned by the plutocracy, but the plutocracy cannot govern, so in essence we have no federal goverment…
    The middle class, used to act as a buffer between the wealthy, and the poor…. now theres no buffer…do we see where this is going?
    No control, no brakes, and no where to go but down…

  90. SNAFU August 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Howdy Wage,
    From your post this morning you said: “But… Number one, I don’t accept the basic premise that they start from. I don’t think that 9-11 was pulled off by 19 Muslims.”
    A week or two back you asked me about a quote that I had nothing to do with and you also asked me to provide my take on the twin towers collapse which I did provide. You never responded to my post therefore I assumed you found it not to your liking which I understand somewhat more clearly subsequent to your post this morning.
    Where have you heard that these 19 humans pulled off the 911 operation without copious quantities of help in the form of money, intelligence, planning and training from many others in the osama bin laden group? Did this constitute a conspiracy? Yes. Did the conspiracy include members of the US Government? Highly unlikely. Did the conspiracy include member of the Israeli Government? Highly unlikely. What benefit would either the Israeli or the US Government gain from helping to bring down the towers?
    Additionally you asked: “But for those who accept that, why are we still using oil?”
    If you read my 911 analysis post it included a snippet that goes a long way toward explaining why we are still using oil. I believe I pointed out that oil contains roughly 12.5 time the energy of TNT per unit of mass/weight. i.e. It requires approximately 12.5 pounds of TNT to obtain as much energy as one pound of oil contains and it is it vastly more convenient to utilize. As pointed out in Wikipedia gasoline is about 10.25 times as energy rich as TNT (it is a lighter end of oil);but, if you include the weight of the oxygen, obtained from the atmosphere to oxidize the gasoline, the combined mass is only 2.25 times the energy of the TNT. On the other hand TNT is not provided by nature as is both oil and oxygen and in fact energy contained in oil is likely used in the processes of manufacturing TNT.
    As an aside, I consider oil to be a renewable form of energy in that the biological masses of plankton which obtained their energy from the Sun combined with heat and pressure provided by the Earth are the most likely culprits in the creation of oil. Unfortunately for the smart apes who figured out how to utilize this realigned form of the Sun’s energy the rate of creation is on the order of 100’s to 1000’s of millions of years and we are therefore consuming it at a a million to 10’s of millions of times the rate of creation.
    SNAFU

  91. asoka August 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    More confirmation of government ineptitude, more reason for queasiness… unless you are a libertarian or an anarchist who believes the best government is no government.
    House Republicans are going forward with plans to introduce a resolution on Tuesday to prohibit the House of Representatives from assembling during the two-month period following the November elections.
    The notion that the House should take a two-month, taxpayer-paid break invites obvious political ridicule. One aide deemed it the “Republican Winter Vacation Act.”
    If Reagan is right about the most dangerous nine words in the English language, then this is good news. But, if you believe there are some serious problems that need immediate attention, this might be bad news.
    Gives me a kind of queasy feeling.

  92. Kevin Trudeau Is Cool August 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I’m sorry to see that my dream I posted came more or less true and Matt Simmons passed away (in the hot tub instead of on the gulf shore). There was a conflicting report apparently on how he died: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/matt-simmons-has-died-heart-attack
    RIP

  93. Hancock1863 August 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Jim likes his poetic flourishes, doesn’t he?
    But this is the Bumpy Plateau period and no one knows how long it will last. It may last a good bit longer than people thought possible, or it may collapse somday in a whoosh like the USSR.
    It is difficult to know what of the many contradictory viewpoints you espouse that you actually subscribe to, but recently you mentioned how you thought TPTB have it all under and control and you thought TLE would get here in 43 years.
    Assuming you truly believe both those things (at least until you post something which contradicts them) then I do agree that TPTB have shown an extraordinary ability to keep the icreasing number of juggling balls juggling and the rubes mesmerized, but your dismissive attitude also seems a contradiction.
    What matter if it’s coming in 5 years or 50, but that it’s coming and both the mathematics and the ecology are brutal in the absence of some cornucopian technologists’ wet dream (which is still possible, I suppose, if unlikely)?
    As someone said above, what Jim does is capture the zeitgeist of the moment. The insanity of the moment when the metaphorical cetrifuge is spinning faster and more obviously wobbling.
    I will agree his over-dire, over-immediate predictions do get tiresome after awhile.
    At least until the Bumpy Plateau ends and TS actually does start to HFT with rapidity. But that may be as much as a century off. It may also be much sooner. Who knows for sure?

  94. asoka August 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    HC1863 said:

    What matter if it’s coming in 5 years or 50, but that it’s coming and both the mathematics and the ecology are brutal in the absence of some cornucopian technologists’ wet dream (which is still possible, I suppose, if unlikely)? … It may also be much sooner. Who knows for sure?

    Thanks for admitting that we don’t know what will happen. Which includes not knowing what discoveries or advances will take place in the next 47 years.
    My number is 47 years. I have not changed it. And it is not that TLE will get here in 47 years, it is that the TLE, which I think began in 2005, will last for another 47 years.
    My fear, my terror, comes from reading today that the collapse could happen tomorrow in less time than it takes for a circus tent to burn. In that case my techno-triumphalism fantasy is dead.
    I am counting on 47 years of breathing space that will, in turn, allow for some discovery that will guarantee 4,000,000,000 years or more of energy sufficiency (or however long the sun lasts).
    The brutality of the mathematics and the ecology are irrelevant if TSHTF tomorrow.
    If we have 47 years and during that time we make a discovery that provides energy sufficiency, the math and the ecology will matter, but we would have some breathing room.
    Be careful with “dismissive attitudes”

  95. Vision Cube August 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    “Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway.” –Robert Henri

  96. cheesemoose August 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Yes, you’re right, Wage: it was a farce long before Obama. I guess Obama just brings it home for me in a way that no other politician has, because I really in him, against my better judgement. It seemed to me that it was still possible for someone to use the office of the presidency to shine a light on the corruption, thereby mobilizing the people, and then using that mandate to make real change. Unfortunately, Obama shies away from naming names and kicking ass, which, when you are dealing with criminals, is a fatal flaw. He seems to think he can bring “change” through small increments, an approach similar to putting out a fire by throwing on smaller pieces of wood.
    So, Obama represents the end of politics just for me, and people like me, who were seduced into thinking that maybe democracy was salvageable, even at this late date.
    Perhaps we can agree that we will never see the likes of an Obama again – that from now on we will be led by actors and front men who make no claim on a deeper understanding, but will appeal only to the populace’s baser instincts.
    I still think it’s a damn shame.

  97. asoka August 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Correction:
    Note to self: Be careful with “dismissive attitudes”

  98. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    I just assumed that people here have heard my alternatives before.
    I don’t believe in individual solutions, for us anymore than the ruling class.
    I don’t think that stockpiling beans and ammo will carry you through a long term economic collapse.
    We have a society, that, for all its faults, provides us with plenty of food, (actually, too much food), hot and cold running water, and electricity,etc.
    Why would anyone want to give that up to scratch out a living during the day, while taking turns posting guard at night?
    I think that we need to get together as a society and decide what we need to live a decent life, in a sustainable way, and divide the work up among ourselves.
    I think that it cannot involve massive amounts of fossil fuels, handy as they are, because we’re running out.
    Derivatives, stock options, etc., are gambling devices, and are not part of my alternative.
    And to Hancock, I actually had my money buried in the back yard in the late 70s, because I didn’t think that the banks would survive.
    I was right and wrong. They collapsed, but the Feds stepped in and bandaged the situation.
    I moved here 16 years ago, and started preparing for the inevitable collapse. I planted an orchard, (which feeds the birds nicely), got goats and chickens, and started a garden.
    THAT’S how I more firmly came to believe that we need each other, and that there is no way I can live off my land, ammo or not.
    And STILL they keep it going! I am amazed, but kind of happy, because I like a full belly and a place to sleep at night.
    However, I know that the peoples of Iraq, Yugoslavia, the USSR, and so many others also liked these things, but when it collapsed, they lost them.
    Some societies don’t collapse in a horrible way.
    Japan seems to be doing all right, even though they are a decade into a depression.
    Holland, Spain and England lost their empires, and they didn’t have massive die-offs.
    We’ll see how we Americans handle it.

  99. asoka August 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    “…from now on we will be led by actors and front men who make no claim on a deeper understanding, but will appeal only to the populace’s baser instincts.”
    I thinks that’s about the size of it. It is so effective.
    Imagine a cocaine-snorting ivy league prep boy who puts on a cowboy hat and texan accent and says he’s gonna “get ‘er done!” … that shit works just as effectively as “Yes, we can”
    I’m wondering if the Republicans want to remove the American-born citizenship requirement to be president, thinking someday Arnold might run.
    He’ll be back!

  100. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    Sorry I didn’t comment last week, SNAFU, but I was really busy. Had company and all.
    I did read your post, though.
    Remember the Far Side cartoon where the professor fills the board with intricate equations, and then down in the lower right hand corner, it says-
    “And then a miracle happens”.
    That’s kind of how I felt about your explanation.
    And I never argued that oil wasn’t a marvelously compact, easily transported, bundle of energy.
    This is a peak oil site, after all. I assume that everyone knows that we have done got that easy oil.
    And that if we were really attacked by Saudi oil money that we would do what we DID BEFORE, in the 70s!
    I didn’t say anything wild or crazy, just that encouraging expanded use of oil at this time is insane.
    And that it is unbelievable to me that TPTB would react the way they did if their story was true.

  101. asia August 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    ‘Was it better in 1863′..i dunno but it was 6 billion people less to do evil!
    many of us here feel the earth has overshot carrying capacity with regards to number of humans.

  102. asoka August 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    JHK said: “Though many government numbers lie, a dark reality still penetrates the fog of econometrics.”
    What I wonder is this: if government is capable of and willing to lie with their statistics, then how come they don’t cook the statistics, say the July 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics, to make it look as if jobs were added. It doesn’t look good that we lost government jobs, though it was explained by Census workers being laid off.
    I mean, if you can and will lie with statistics, why does the government publish statistics which reflect poorly on the administration, and even worse, published just before an election?
    Does anyone have any proof of government lies using statistics? Or is it just one of those axiomatic CFNisms that government lies, government can’t be trusted, government is out to get you and steal from you, government is not here to help, government is dysfunctional, etc.

  103. asia August 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    as in all any any news cycles?
    ruch limbo can stop yellin about ‘ how the gulf is ok and BP is ok?
    we can see LL get out of jail?

  104. Qshtik August 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    How is artificial uproar good for America?
    ================
    I went back over Asia’s, Tripp’s and your posts on the subject of the mosque and no one referred to the uproar as “artificial” until you did just now.
    Certainly I don’t think it’s artificial and I don’t think Asia or the dozen or so people who chimed in on the subject yesterday think it’s artificial.
    Asia can answer your question for himself but I think he already has. He said:
    I find it telling, chilling, symbolic! let people have their ‘ uproar’, it might be healthy
    I interpret this to mean he thinks the mosque is a very bad idea and unless there is an uproar about it what is to stop it from becoming a reality?
    Wage, you are using an old rhetorical trick – pulling out of nowhere an inappropriate adjective (artificial) and placing it before a noun (uproar) in an attempt to diminish other people’s sincerity. Who are you to say that the uproar is not real?
    I reject the leading tone of your question to Asia and propose it be rephrased as follows: Asia, why do you feel it is good for America that the proposed mosque/ community center be discussed passionately, both pro and con, by all interested parties?
    BTW, I’ll bet you didn’t think the uproar over the Vietnam War “distracts,” and “so it was not helpful.”

  105. messianicdruid August 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    “And it became a farce decades before Barack Obama was anointed.”
    More like centuries: 1 Samuel Chapter 8

  106. asia August 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    ‘Does anyone have any proof of government lies using statistics’
    Does anyone have any proof of your veracity?
    that word so sacred to assoka…’government’, often sacred to the athiest!

  107. asoka August 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Qshtik said: “the dozen or so people who chimed in on the subject yesterday think it’s artificial.”
    Please count me out oF this mosque discussion.
    Yesterday I belatedly chimed in, and I said loud and clear: it is A TEMPEST IN A TEACUP meant to divide people and fuel hatred of Muslims. I didn’t use the word artificial, but you get my drift.
    This week I do not want to discuss it any more.

  108. Peter Winkler August 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    There are plenty of cars already out there with prices at or above that of the Chevy Volt, and people have bought them and continue to buy them.

  109. wagelaborer August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Excuse me, q, I’m sure that your outrage is very real. I’m sure that you feel wronged, and insulted, and extremely put upon.
    My only point is that I don’t think that you would give a shit if not for the corporate media orchestrating the uproar.
    And that next week, you will feel equally outraged at whatever tempest is presented for your tantrum making.
    Again, I recommend Ozone’s link, which shows how they manipulate our lower emotions to achieve their ends.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12642.htm

  110. messianicdruid August 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    “Does anyone have any proof of government lies using statistics?”
    What will you accept as proof?

  111. SeamusPadraig August 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    @ Vlad Krandz:
    “Was it the Socialist Micheal Harrington who coined the phrase ‘the war of all against all’?”
    No, it was actually Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), author of ‘Leviathan’.

  112. Free_Spirit August 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    I have an idea. Let’s declare that for 30 days everyone with US Dollars has to go to the bank and turn them in for U.S NEWCURRENCY. That’s right. An exchange 1:1 but you have 30 days to do it and you have to do it in person. Bank accounts will be redone on a 1:1 basis as well as long as you bring your account number and identification. Afte 30 days, the dollar will be nothing. Paper. That’s it. Not tradable for anything. Change can stay. Do you know how much money in foreign accounts would be washed away? In safe deposit boxes? In drug cartels?
    Suddenly those who stole, robbed, cheated and everything else would see it evaporate. What fun.

  113. Reggie August 9, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    >> Pretending bought America two years of respite from the ravages of fraud and mismanagement, but now the true condition of this society reveals itself like the disfigured ghoul in the sewer lowering his mask. Further pretending is unnecessary now.

  114. mika. August 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    “Leges sine moribus vanae.”
    ==
    Morality is not a luxury, a pretty addition to life. Morality is life. The early greeks understood this, as did the early romans and the early israelites. Morality is reflected in culture. But when right and wrong cease to be relevant, when corruption is prevalent, society is dead. And the US has been dead for a long time now.

  115. Belisarius August 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    I have a suggestion to improve the rule of law. I am not a lawyer, and certianly this needs work. Please view it as a draft proposal, subject to revision.
    A Proposed Constitutional Amendmendment:
    1. No member of US Congress or Senate may vote on any bill or law before certifying in writing, under penalty of perjury, that they have read the measure fully and understand it completely. Any constituent citizen, or officer of any federal court, or member of the US House or US Senate may prefer charges under this section. Penalty for false certification shall be removal from the senate or congress without pension, a lifetime prohibition of return, and referral to the US attorney general for prosecution on perjury charges.
    2. No bill may be introduced before either the US House or Senate that contains more than one subject. It shall be an affirmative defence requiring immediate dissmissal and repeal of the law, if any accused can show any law passed after adoption of this amendment has more than one subject.
    3.No law (including its referents), passed after adoption of this amendment, may exceed the length of the US Constitution (as amended as of the date of passage of this amendment). Any law passed in violation of this section shall be null and void. Any US law found null and void under this section in one district shall be deemed null and void in all districts, regardless of any pending appeals.
    4. No US law may be introduced, passed or enforced without a valid citation showing the constitutional authority under which said law operates. It shall be the duty of the US Supreme Court to validate or invalidate the constitutional authority citation of all US laws passed.

  116. TerryDavid August 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    JHK said,
    “Don’t expect much from the clowns’ bucket brigade. We’ll be lucky if they don’t toss gasoline into the grandstands.”
    It has been tough enough for me to deal with the reality of the collapse of our republic. But now I have to do so while being revisited by clown nightmares.

  117. Vision Cube August 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    From my vantage point, what was most revealing about the mosque discussion is not one poster–Asoka, QSKITK, cathy, ProCon–discussed, condemned, supported, the proposed building based on visual considerations.
    Imagine the sheer temerity and arrogance in condemning a visual work without actually assessing the visual specifics. I actually wonder if some of the posters even bothered to look at the proposed building.
    Ossified belief systems and closed eyelids, god help the human race.

  118. mika. August 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    ..how come they don’t cook the statistics,..
    ==
    asoka,
    The biggest lie of all is not telling whole truth. This is basically what the US gov mafia does with its statistics. This is what the SIS-CIA-MSM-Saudi propaganda outlets do in their coverage of the Israeli conflict with Islamo-nazi imperialists. Same applies to the ground-zero triumphalist Cordoba mosque. Same regards the underground Reich and the anglo-american petrodollar fascist imperialists. You only get to see what they want you to see.

  119. CaptSpaulding August 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    I’m wondering if anyone here has read Empire of Illusions by Chris Hedges. I found it to be very interesting, particularly Chap. 5, which addresses what’s going on in this country. It reads like he was a member of this blog.

  120. James Crow August 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Summer here has been much cooler than normal. Unlike the rest of the US. I sense absolutely nothing around here in the air or anywhere else. If and I know this is a Big If – Mr. K hadn’t been “sensing” something in the air, something about to break, something about to give…for how many years now? And absolutely nothing has happened? No shortages, no peak anything, nothing but the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We’re not politically motivated to change anything because the election process is a fraud. 100% corrupt. Does anyone truly believe deep down that their vote counts? That the two choices of either a Repube or a Democrap that we’re given for everything are any different from each other? Do you notice how nothing ever changes whether a supposed Repubican or Democrap is “elected” to any office? There won’t be any sudden change in anything, nor has there been…

  121. myrtlemay August 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    I’ve seen the artist’s rendition of the mosque, and frankly, it’s lovely. Aesthetically, it doesn’t fit within the financial centers’ skyscraper surroundings. It (my opinion) doesn’t belong there.

  122. cowswithguns August 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Asoka said: “What I wonder is this: if government is capable of and willing to lie with their statistics, then how come they don’t cook the statistics, say the July 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics…”
    Good point, though I often feel lied to by government officials a lot, I’ve wondered about this. And, I must say, it still gives me faith that things are kind of functional.
    Now, if only they would audit the Fed…
    Anyway, Asoka, here’s a little anecdote you might appreciate: Given the choice between a Quizno’s chain restaurant today and my regular eating hole nearby — a taco truck owned by hardworking Mexican immigrants — I once again chose the taco truck. There are many reasons for this: the food is good and cheap, I get treated nicely and I like the idea of supporting an independent business.
    But do I want to open the borders up anytime soon? Nope.
    Am I a fast-food-chain lovin’, global warming-denyin’, sister-screwin’ NASCAR fan — or any of the number of stereotypes out there of someone against open borders? Nope.

  123. ctemple August 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    This is one of the best ideas that I’ve seen posted by a reader on Jim’s website, outstanding.I don’t think it needs any revision.

  124. cowswithguns August 9, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Would never work. It’s impractical for members of Congress to read every bill. That’s why you must rely on your peers and advoate groups to vote on a bill.
    Unfortunately, for our Congress, advocate groups are usually Wall Street firms and oil companies and the peers have sold out long ago.

  125. messianicdruid August 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    ‘…be subject to as much as 250,000 pages of law.” in a vain attempt to enforce Ten Commandments.

  126. darksumomo August 9, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    This is, among other things, a Peak Oil blog. So it surprises me that no one here has mentioned the passing of Matthew Simmons. May he rest in peace.

  127. Qshtik August 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    it surprises me that no one here has mentioned the passing of Matthew Simmons
    =============
    You’re a day late and a dollar short … it’s been mentioned several times.

  128. Godozo August 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    (answering from earlier today):
    Inflation is not too much money chasing too few goods, it’s too many employers chasing too few employees. For people to spend, they must first have (more than enough) money and a reason to feel secure in their life, and for too many people today one or both of these are lacking.
    Aug. 3, 1981 (Twenty-nine years and seven days ago by the time you read this) was what destroyed this inflation cycle; Volker took the heat for this. Relative wages have been falling for most of us since then, and the oncoming deflation in houses and other precious items is the latest sign of this.
    And the only thing that’s preventing true deflation is the Minimum Wage. Watch that law get rewritten to meaninglessness if the Republicans take over (reason #49584 why I still vote Democratic).

  129. Godozo August 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    The Tea Party is a bunch of people who see what’s wrong, but instead of turning to each other (“UGH How Marxist!”), they turn to their “betters” (FoxNews, Limbaugh, Coulter, Amway’s Dexter Yeager, The guy at the pulpit of their MegaChurch, Hayek and Palin). Since all these people are either bought and paid for by the Corporate Elite or are part of that elite, they turn around and wage war against “the undeserving poor” (Welfare recipients whose gangsta cousins buy them Cadillac Escalades, Union members, Public School Teachers and Mexicans who bring their women in so they can bear “anchor babies”) all the while offering their throats to be cut because all they’ve known is their throat being cut for the sake of the rich.

  130. suburbanempire August 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Matthew Simmons has died.
    http://www.suburbanempire.com

  131. messianicdruid August 9, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    If you didn’t like Ted Nugent maybe you’ll like Joe Bageant:






  132. Godozo August 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    And as a final note (unlike most of the regulars here, I work most of my days): I plan to have my debts paid off by election day 2010. That way, if things go from bad to worse they won’t have any personal reasons to enslave me.
    That may make me dead meat (a la Communist China, where they enslaved those who gave cash and shot those with Gold), but unlike millions of others upside-down via house debts or stuck with massive student loans and nothing to even make payments with; I’ll be squared away.
    (I’ve given up on my nation, by the way. Since Reagan we’ve voted for everyone to give us everything AND to not pay for it.)

  133. Godozo August 9, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    BTW…Madoff got caught and jailed because he ripped off the rich. All the others ripped off the rest of us, therefore they’re rewarded.

  134. cowswithguns August 9, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    The Republicans will never give in to deflation — which is the solution that would make homes, for one, affordable again. That’s not the Republicans’ style. They are into lowering taxes and — behind the cover of night — cranking up the printing press and raising the national debt ceiling so we all can get what we want. That’s when inflation comes.
    But that party can’t last forever.

  135. Dark Fired Tobacco August 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Seventy years ago, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was warning the world of the need to engage Hitler. He urged Americans to get involved, predicting Japan would not attempt to fight both the British Empire and the United States at once. He criticized Neville Chamberlain’s naive faith in the German dictator’s promises.
    Where is such a leader today? Can you name one prominent political leader of either party who will even say the words “peak oil?” Our President will not. Neither of the Clintons has ever raised the issue to my knowledge. Joe Biden’s rail interests appear to stop at the end of the Northeast Corridor, as the administration is cutting back on high speed rail funding.
    On the Republican side, Newt is actually babbling about abiotic oil. He has company at the liberal Huffington Post, which ran a positive column on the topic recently. Mitt Romney? Not a word. Frankly, Sarah Palin has spoken as much as anyone on that side of the aisle regarding the issues we face, even as liberals and the mainstream media mock her.
    I do not fear our technical challenges; we will meet those with our engineering knowledge and talent. In the face of financial collapse, citizens will barter with one another if necessary. What I fear is the spiritual wasteland I see, a moral desert where neither the rule of law nor the compass of humanity are present and people chase suburban mirages and lottery-funded retirements.

  136. Qshtik August 9, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    Several people at this blog feel dicussion of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero is off-topic and to quote Tripp “has dick to do with our future.” Judging by the comments that were posted, a lot of other people saw the mosque as a VERY legitimate topic.
    There are certain individuals who are absolutely incensed when discussion wanders from “peak oil” (unless it is their post that has strayed) so I want to thank Asoka for pointing out that the title of this blog is Clusterfuck Nation, Comment on Current Events by the Author of “The Long Emergency” and doesn’t even mention the word “oil.”
    I counted 14 different people that had made 46 comments related to the mosque plus another 14 by me. And all but 3 of my posts were direct replies to other people’s comments. The most prolific commenter was Asoka who characterized the whole thing as a “tempest in a teacup” yet found he had enough to say to post 16 comments.

  137. ozone August 10, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    “What holy hell hath the Hampton’s hailed?” -B4B
    Ha! I dunno, but that sentence sure did tickle a giggle. ;o)
    (I like your handle, BTW. Planning on stocking some potables m’self for future contingencies. Gotta get good/pricey stuff that I don’t like though… for obvious reasons. A little at a time, and it won’t hurt so much. D. Orlov says it was one of the most popular “luxury item” commodities. Weird, but there ya go.)

  138. asoka August 10, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    Dark Fired Tobacco said: “Can you name one prominent political leader of either party who will even say the words “peak oil?” Our President will not.”
    Obama’s Peak Oil Speech
    http://peakoil.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=58867&p=999682

  139. Biased Observer August 10, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Asoka said:
    – “Who are the “mad dogs” who will run in the streets? Policemen? Bankers? Xe employees?
    I do appreciate a definite date for these things to happen. November 2010 is not that far away.
    If you are attempting to scare, you are succeeding.
    I am terrified by the rapidity and chaos and extreme death toll the image of a fire in a circus tent summons to mind.
    Terrified. Paralyzed. Depressed.”
    Jeez Asoka, get a grip! JHK is a writer and blogger not the Oracle at Delphi. Any prognositications are just guesses, unless of course I make them for you! So here you go:
    -The “mad dogs” are whoever can no longer feed themselves by virtue of having lost a job, unemployment compensation, pension or Social Security, their life savings and who no longer have shelter, food or a future and to whom your right leg then looks like a possible meal. Police will not be “mad dogs”; they will be the onlookers who pretend not to notice while the mad dogs are cornering their next victim. Bankers are those who will be laughing, dining and consuming copious amounts of spirits in their Swiss chalets while this is going on – that is, when they are not counting the money they have “earned” charging you usurious interest and laundering drug money or selling toxic assets. Bankers will not be “mad dogs”, but bingo you are right ex-employees will be.
    -You want a definite date? Friday the 13th.
    Don’t be scared- take a Prozac (after all, it’s just what corporate Big Pharma ordered!).
    -If the imagery of a fire in a tent scares you, wait for the “Final Event”, the upheaval preceding Chaos. That moment when the US government can no longer maintain order (it is sure to be particularly obvious when police can no longer be paid, or are paid with worthless dollars). Hmmm…if you were a cop, would you go to work knowing that your life is on the line for, literally…nothing? Would a cop try to stop a crime in progress when there are no end to crimes in progress, when lawlessness is everywhere and the law is disrespected? Ah yes, the interesting characters that will come out of the woodwork then…
    But there is a solution for such an emergency and here is the recommended emergency procedure: Make yourself at ease and calm down. Take a seat and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Relax. Let those neck muscles go limp and lose tension. Do the same for the rest of your body, feel the calm serene feeling that is entering your consciousness. Feel it? There! Now, bend forward in your chair and stretch toward your feet. Bend as far forward as you can, and….kiss your ass goodbye!

  140. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    I don’t think that you would give a shit if not for the corporate media orchestrating the uproar.
    =================
    A favorite theme of persons on the far left, like yourself, is that it is always OTHERS who are dupes, never one’s self. That your beliefs and your passions are pure while the rest of us are the Manchurian candidates of right-wing media.
    How like you not to notice this flaw in your thinking.

  141. asoka August 10, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    SMALL SPACE AND SIMPLE LIVING RESOURCE LINKS
    http://www.tinyhouseliving.com/2010/08/08/information-resource/small-space-simple-living-resources-2/

  142. asoka August 10, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    “…but bingo you are right ex-employees will be.”
    I was referring to Xe employees, not ex-employees.
    After Katrina, New Orleans Police, who were receiving their paychecks, Shot Frequently and Asked Few Questions as the police turned into mad dogs and started shooting at and killing unarmed civilians.
    http://www.propublica.org/nola
    Xe Services are the ones who shot indiscriminately at civilians in Iraq, showed up in New Orleans and went to Haiti, looking to make a profit off natural disasters.
    http://www.propublica.org/article/u.s.-private-security-firms-head-to-haiti-121

  143. Patrizia August 10, 2010 at 1:52 am #

    “there are plenty of people doing something more constructive with their lives than endlessly prognosticating about coming shitstorms”…
    Here in Germany Volkswagen had a brilliant idea:
    the New Beetle that runs with metan gas produced with human shit.
    Now, that is really energy low cost.
    On one hand it disposes of unwanted escrements and on the other is good energy fully Co2 neutral… I bet it will be a best seller.

  144. asoka August 10, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    JHK said: “Visions of tumbling indexes wither the spinal fluxes of nervous day traders…”
    Which indexes are tumbling or in danger of tumbling?
    For the week, the Dow Industrials ended up 1.79%, the S&P 500 Index added 1.82% and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.50%.

  145. asoka August 10, 2010 at 2:05 am #

    Thanks, Patrizia, for this news item.
    Every one of us produces some human shit each week, some more than others. Good to be able to put it to use for transportation.

  146. asoka August 10, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    More on the New VW Beetle that runs on poo:

    The results are impressive. A converted 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine runs on the biogas and can go speeds of about 114 miles per hour, Filipponio reports. He adds that it uses regular gas to start and then immediately switches to methane. Apparently drivers won’t be able to tell the difference between driving in a standard car and one powered by the gas.
    GENeco says that 70 households’ worth of human waste is enough to power the vehicle for a year or 10,000 miles. While I still have lingering questions about methane for use in vehicles, including just how much cleaner the process is end-to-end compared to electricity or biodiesel, this little dung Beetle certainly shows promise. At the very least it proves that little bugs can achieve big things.
    Photo: The Volkswagen “Bio-Bug” runs on methane gas from the British sewage treatment company GENeco.

    Shit similar to this (new energy sources, but more spectacular, perhaps nuclear or perhaps solar), new shit yet to come, is why I will not make dire predictions about our energy future through simple extrapolations from current technologies.
    http://news.discovery.com/tech/poo-powered-vw-beetle-runs-clean.html

  147. Eleuthero August 10, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    Mister Visitor,
    What you’re talking about is WILLFUL
    denial and I believe the American public
    has become masterfully adept at it. We
    need no “advertisements” such as your
    post to induce more of it.
    This is just a website. If you’ve been
    around and read the posts of many such
    as San Jose Mom, you’d see that many
    people herein are growing gardens,
    trying to reacquire a lost green thumb,
    thinking about how to reconnect with
    community and so on.
    But this is a website so, of course, the
    only thing that CAN happen here is TALK.
    I happen to think that Jim’s weekly missive
    this week is one of his saddest yet most
    eloquent. At least Jim has spent years
    trying to inform, energize, and motivate.
    He’s not just “cursing the darkness”. He’s
    been trying to light that “one candle” that
    DOES curse the darkness!!
    Yes, sometimes we all get a little too
    apocryphal and armageddonish but I don’t
    believe that a “pep talk” is the answer
    right now. Jim’s “answer” was to go
    to the beach and clear his head. That’s
    a much more direct way to be positive
    about the world. We forget that the
    NATURAL world IS the world and people
    are mere visitors on it!! We need to
    show that we’re earning the right to
    stay. Jim’s thesis is that we’re
    getting an “F” in that right now and
    I dare say that most here would agree.
    E.

  148. Shakazulu August 10, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Finally some begruding comments from JHK directed at Obama’s failures. But then we all know Obama is the clown holding the empty bucket while the tent burns. He’ll jump in his little clown car and drive off as the whole thing collapses.

  149. ctemple August 10, 2010 at 2:50 am #

    It’s impractical for our elected representatives to know what they’re voting on? Would it be practical for you to make sense before you type something?

  150. Eleuthero August 10, 2010 at 5:18 am #

    A very sensible post, DFT. If I would
    quibble with anything it is that our
    “engineering knowledge and talent” will
    overcome the challenges ahead.
    I think the BP disaster (and the similar
    but nearly unadvertised similar disaster
    in China) and the recent discoveries that,
    ouila (!), there are mini-leaks the world
    over speak to the idea that our hubris
    about our “engineering talent” is already
    being humbled by Mother Nature.
    And we’re not talking about space flight
    or curing cancer here. We’re talking
    about digging and plugging holes. I’m
    a scientist myself and I’m amazed at the
    hubris in, for example, software engineering.
    The egos are one-upped by the challenges.
    There’s a wonderful out-of-print book from
    1972 called “The Coming Dark Age” where the
    author, Italian mathematician Roberto Vacca,
    said that Western Civilization will be done
    in by … excessive trust in overly complex
    technologies!! In nineteen-freaking-seventy-
    two this man said this!!
    Vacca is my personal “oracle”. I think his
    prophecies are coming to pass. Finally, I
    grade the homeworks of recent would-be
    “engineers”. Our “engineering talent” …
    is waning faster than leaves on trees in
    November.
    E.

  151. Alexandra August 10, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    A few years back…. Dr. Bakhtiari died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack…. and we all know what he was passionate about don’t we…
    Then thislast weekend Matt Simmons…..(goes in much a similar fashion)….but then again he was ranting re BP and that’s not good for business is it?
    Whom next Dr. Colin Campbell…..?
    Richard Heinberg…. or our beloved JHK….or anyone else with alternate views and internet blog clout?
    And over here a few years back another academic type Dr David Christopher Kelly, came to an end where the paramedics that found him up there on that lonesome wooded knoll…. felt compelled to issue an ENT statement that was never, ever to be seen again…
    Well in a few years time the ugly truth will be out there for all to see…. and the freedom of info across the net…. is going to be over…. real soon too.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-aaron/google-verizon-pact-it-ge_b_676194.html
    Me I love Orwell he was soooo on it!
    “Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”
    “If there was hope, it must lie in the Proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, 85% of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated.”
    “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
    “…to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife…”
    Keep one eye over your shoulder Jim…. as you wander down that wind-swept shoreline….

  152. ozone August 10, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    Alrighty! For those who see at least one Muslim terr’ist in every woodpile, here’s a Big Picture of something REALLY scary…
    (And it’s based on BLS numbers, no less!)
    Nothin’ to worry about here; move along; it’s all good! (tm -JHK)
    http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html

  153. lbendet August 10, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Re: Simmons untimely death:
    It came as quite a shock after the press he got so recently. He was a regular on Darryl Ratigan these last couple of months, so he got more exposure on the mainstream media than usual.
    Although I agree that things are Orwellian, I have to comment that I don’t think foul play was afoot here. My pet theory is that this country allows for freedom of opinion, but not a clear cut consensus of what is true. That’s why we get such wild opinions out of the far right and nobody seems to demonstrably refute anything they say.
    There’s a lot to be said about keeping in shape and Simmons did not look like he was healthy. In fact he looked bloated and I have no idea whether he had heart disease in the past. All I know is someone in my building died at 63 because of his out of control weight and subsequent heart attack.
    We just celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday this weekend and she was an avid tennis player since she was a kid and was always a role model for me to find an activity I love to do and stick with it. There are no guarantees for longevity, but trust me staying in shape is a quality of life issue.
    I believe that heart disease is the story behind Simmon’s passing.–I don’t worry about people who have blogs. It really doesn’t amount to much in the scheme of things and don’t forget about net neutrality. If the corportists really want to control content, they can since they use congress as a proxy for their own agendas.

  154. scott August 10, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    “Inflation is not too much money chasing too few goods, it’s too many employers chasing too few employees. For people to spend, they must first have (more than enough) money and a reason to feel secure in their life, and for too many people today one or both of these are lacking.”
    My problem with most deflationist arguements is their myopic focus on U.S. data. U.S. consumption is going to continue to slide. Wages have recently been raised in China and per capita consumption will continue to go up in developing countries keeping pressure on major commodities particularly oil, agricultural commodities, beef, pork, chicken, etc. The U.S. consumer has been abandoned for greener pastures by the big corporations and you can see that from bottom line and topline numbers from earnings reports.

  155. budizwiser August 10, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Yes, this Blog is all about oil. It is oil and other forms of cheaply obtainable energy that made this world possible. And along with this “oil world” – an all-encompassing interdependence in quality-of -life that started with mass electric lighting and a Ford in every garage.
    And now, as we realize there are finite limits of the resources that are responsible for our quality of life, we also realize our interdependence and our limited ability to control our collective destiny.
    This Blog is about understanding and realizing our disparate sense of responsibility and how self-interest and stupidity and ignorance are prevailing with respect to many social and governmental policies toward energy consumption and preservation.
    And true to its name, most of posts here warrant the moniker of Clusterfuck.
    Taking a cue from Jerry, or Freud, what we need here is a massive world-wide ad campaign to make single user passenger vehicles unappealing and downright distasteful. We need a massive public relations effort to make discretionary automobile use to look childish and idiotic.
    In other words, we need to find way to balance or “push back” against the all-consuming mass media blitz that promotes consumerism and consumption as an end to itself.
    What we need in this Blog is ability to focus on issues and ideas that could convince those who control the markets and governments to step away from their self-interests and re-acquaint themselves with the notion of altruism.
    If we don’t do it now, the realities associated with dwindling energy stocks will do it later. Right now, my own perspective suggests we are indeed beginning to “eat the seed corn.” This doesn’t bode well for future harvests.

  156. piltdownman August 10, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    While the themes are familiar, Jim’s writing this week is nearly poetic. Too bad the subject matter is anything but…
    In the NYTimes today, Bob Herbert joins Jim in suggesting that, perhaps by fall, “something is going to give.” Herbert points to the unemployment numbers as the tipping point, but it’s all one meta-problem, as we know.
    While I’m no fan of rampant prognostication, I find it compelling when someone as mainstream as Herbert is willing to go out on a limb.

  157. keratomileusis August 10, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    maybe someone already posted this from george carlin, but have a look…
    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=159216125164&ref=mf

  158. Vision Cube August 10, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I envision the “fire in a circus tent ” or proverbial chaotic fire drill to reading a post from “asia”: torture while it lasts, and about as substantial as a piece of cotton-candy.

  159. asoka August 10, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Biased Observer said: “Police will not be “mad dogs”; they will be the onlookers who pretend not to notice while the mad dogs are cornering their next victim.”
    POLICE GONE WILD LIKE MAD DOGS IN THE STREETS
    http://www.kvia.com/news/24559907/detail.html

  160. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    You said:

    We need a massive public relations effort to make discretionary automobile use to look childish and idiotic.
    In other words, we need to find way to balance or “push back” against the all-consuming mass media blitz that promotes consumerism and consumption as an end to itself.

    What are you? Some kind of communist fascist socialist Marxist anarchist atheistic Commie?
    That was sarcasm, natch, but I have learned to mark my sarcasms carefully on the internet because often people, including myself, have zero sense of humor on internet message boards. Nothing personal.
    At any rate, such would be an impossibility. A literal impossibility. Too much profit would be lost by too many Aristos. The short-term agony would outweigh the long-term benefits (even if those benefits include species survival) of such a campaign in the minds of most, including ALL our Aristocratic “leaders”, no matter what party. Finally, such PR actions would raise awareness and consciousness among the Rubes, and that’s the LAST thing our Leaders want. Unconscious people are easily led. People with no knowledge of history are easily decieved and manipulated. You are asking the Aristocracy to behave against their own interests that have always depended on a docile, unconscious populace. Only recently did they need us to have a bare minimum of learning so we could run their machines. That period is almost over, which explains the rapid rise of anti-intellectualism and authoritarianism.
    That’s why every action taken by our Corporate-Political Leadership will be to keep the Plebes docile, obedient and mesmerized while the Titantic sinks. To keep the bullshit Reality Show going as long as possible not just so the Aristocratic Grifters have enough time to metaphorically get on the last train out of town, but simply because it’s how we hominid homo greedicus’ are hardwired by evolution to respond.
    It’s as natural a human reaction as it was for what happened on the Titanic, and all of human history replays that story over and over and over again. It’s almost as old as the story of authoritarian howls drowning out reason in the service of the Aristocracy.
    Which brings me back to the Big Question. If Capitalism is “man exploiting man”, but Communism is the reverse, and pretty much EVERY system human beings devise to live under starts or winds up as a relative handful of wealthy strongmen abusing the bottom 90% with the help of the self-interested 10% and a portion of the desperate bottom 90%, then perhaps the problem lies not with the systems we devise that all wind up the same in the end, but with something deeper.
    Maybe “The fault, dear Cassius, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

  161. Vision Cube August 10, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Alexandra, thanks for the Orwell writing.
    Not to step on the explicating toes of Qshtik,or diminish your larger point, but the below sentence from Orwell is very interesting:
    “All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”
    I wonder if this brilliant piece of writing could have occurred without Mondrian and Picasso informing their contemporaries. I doubt it, but still, what a wonderful example of influence as opposed to copying.

  162. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    “Visions of tumbling indexes wither the spinal fluxes of nervous day traders…”
    Note Asoka, he said “visions” as in an image of something coming in the future.
    Which indexes are tumbling or in danger of tumbling?
    How about:
    Employment
    Prices (deflation)
    Bond interest rates (no lending or borrowing)
    Consumer confidence
    Dow down 118 as we speak

  163. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Every one of us produces some human shit each week
    ================
    Almost true. The rest of us produce human shit while you produce bullshit ;o)

  164. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Ugh, I knew it would be a waste of time to reopen dialog with you.
    You often say that you are large and contain multitudes. According to what I read, you supposedly are an aging African-American who marched with Dr. King, yet entirely sanguine about TPTB having everything under complete control.
    You are supposedly an individual who has downscaled his life and footprint comparable to trippticket and others, yet you subscribe to what you correctly self-describe as a “techno-triumphalist fantasy”.
    You might be large and contain multitudes, but enough contradictory multitudes and people start to think you are full of bullshit.
    When I began reading this blog and comment more than a year ago, I respected you and believed you were an honest contributor. Too many contradictory multitudes later and I wouldn’t even read your posts at all except that you are very good at internet research and some of your contradictory stances, even if they are dishonest on your part, are still worth reading.
    Hell, maybe Q is right and you are a pimple-faced college kid having fun with Philosophy 101, as eightm likely is. It doesn’t matter. Even if you are who you say you are, you have a few too many “contradictory multitudes” to be taken at face value.
    Sorry I bothered you.

  165. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    GENeco says that 70 households’ worth of human waste is enough to power the vehicle for a year or 10,000 miles
    =====================
    70 households’ worth of human waste .. over what time period? I guess they mean a year. So, let’s say there are 3 people per household. 3×70=210 people. The shit from 210 people will power one car for a year. And what does it take to process all that shit into usable fuel?
    Sounds like this is an idea that needs a lot of work.

  166. scott August 10, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Gentle Ben may be a wee fella but he has a sheriffs badge and broad shoulders in the bond markets. I expect to see “bond market”, “concern” and “bubble” in the same paragraph.

  167. Cash August 10, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    To James Crow re my posting of last week on deflation
    Am I seriously serious? You bet I am.
    So you think the people on Wall Street know what they’re doing? What the idiots on Wall Street are doing is to to get the Fed to debase the money that they on Wall Street are trying to steal. They scream at the Fed for low interest rates. They scream for more liquidity. More, in other words, of what created this mess. More of the policies that dilute the value of what they are trying to heist. Not very bright.
    By and large the nimnodes at the Fed (Greenspan and Bernanke and company) have been so very compliant. They’ve been good errand boys for the jocks on Wall Street (once a highschool dork always a highschool dork). They’ve used different justifications for Fed policies, none of which ever stood up to 10 seconds worth of common sensical scrutiny. They burble on and on about deflation. What deflation?
    Have Fed policies helped Wall Street Banksters? No: what has in fact happened is that stock markets have gone NOWHERE in ten years. The Dow has crossed the 10,000 level on its way up and down at least 20 times in that span of time. The NASDAQ is DOWN 50% from its peak in 2000. Many of your largest, most storied financial institutions are dead dogs, having loaded up on garbage paper assets that they created, their carcasses abandoned and left to rot or picked up for next to nothing by marginally more healthy competitors, the fortunes of their executives and traders who were paid in company stock reduced to joke levels.
    Bond yields are laughable. In my opinion this is the next bubble to blow. But remember, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
    And most importantly, the industrial base of your military/industrial complex is now in China under Chinese control. Wall Street was the cheer leader and active participant in this. Just think, they said, of your profits and stock price by paying slave wages in a shithole with no labour laws or environmental regulation.
    Does anyone seriously think that the US can stand up to Chinese armed might when American industry (the economic underpinning of the US military) is sitting on Chinese soil?
    So now the Chinese nomenklatura must be rubbing their eyes in disbelief. All these absurd, stupid white people bringing them all this money, all these production facilities, all this technology, all this intellectual property for them to steal.
    You think Wall Street is all controlling and brilliant? They’ve paid off the whores in Washington. They can do arithmetic really fast in their heads. They are hideous psychopaths. They are excellent liars. People mistake their impatience, abrasiveness and ruthlessness for intelligence.
    But now the Chinese have all the cards. Wall Streeters are so very intelligent? Intelligent people DO NOT give the Butchers of Beijing, their competitors and military adversaries the life blood of their own economy, upon which their own security, both financial and military, upon which their own wealth and well being depend.
    Do you think that Wall Streeters benefit by turning the United States of America into a militarily impotent Argentine style economic and financial shambles? Wall Street crapped in its own bed and pissed in its own sink.
    As for me, I retired young by NOT playing the Wall Street game. I saw their idiocy, fraud and lies for what they were decades ago.

  168. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    and the recent discoveries that,
    ouila (!), there are mini-leaks the world
    over

    =================
    Perhaps you meant voila?

  169. asoka August 10, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Budizwiser said:

    If we don’t do it now, the realities associated with dwindling energy stocks will do it later. Right now, my own perspective suggests we are indeed beginning to “eat the seed corn.” This doesn’t bode well for future harvests.

    Budizwiser, with all due respect, your perspective is limited. Our “energy stocks” are not “dwindling.”
    There is a new generation of biofuels derived from wood, agricultural and forestry residues, and certain grasses is being developed. It is expected to be more energy efficient and to generate less greenhouse gases than current generation biofuels (i.e. made from agricultural crops), without competing with food supply. If sustainably managed, large forested areas could serve as a source for these second-generation biofuels. No single source, not oil, not biofuels, comprises our “energy stocks.”
    Nuclear, solar, second-generation biofuels, wind, tidal, geothermal, etc. are all renewable and sustainable sources of energy, actual or potential: WE DO NOT HAVE “DWINDLING ENERGY STOCKS”
    If you want to discuss energy you have to stop being so myopic. Energy is not exclusively oil.
    And Clusterfuck Nation is not a blog about oil, and certainly not about “dwindling energy stocks” because energy is all around us, and plentiful.
    If you count humanure conversion to methane, energy is also inside us.

  170. trippticket August 10, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Bravo, Cash! Nice rant. One related question from me though: what happens to the Chinese economy when America stops buying their shit? I mean, I don’t buy anything from China, and surely there are lots more behind me. Millions of people on their way to a new living arrangement, who might just figure out along the way (as you have, and Dovey has, and…) that they’ve had their country stolen and sold out from under them, and that the only way to undermine this planet- and state-destroying system is to stop participating in it.
    Thanks for the morning battery charge!

  171. scott August 10, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    All the talk and focus on the stock markets is out of perspective when you consider that bond markets dwarf all other markets combined by orders of magnitude. Do you really think there is someplace to hide from what we are facing? The bond markets are still telegraphing doublings of global wealth in years to come.
    Gentle Ben is being forced to deflate the bond bubble and when he does, where is all that “money” going to go? There will not be an orderly exit from the “safety” of bonds.

  172. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    A few years back…. Dr. Bakhtiari died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack
    ===============
    Yes Alexandra, it’s as obvious as the nose on your face … TPTB have a list of oil loudmouths with opinions harmful to their interests and they’re knocking them off one by one. People gotta be blind not to see this. Groan.

  173. asoka August 10, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Hancock, you obviously have me figured out.
    And you have come to the conclusion, over and over again, that I am full of bullshit.
    My advice to you is Nancy Reagan’s: JUST SAY NO!
    Don’t waste your time reading my “contradictory” posts… if foolish consistency is your form of OCD.
    If only life were logical, then people like you could be happy.

  174. scott August 10, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    China is already the worlds leading car consumer and that trend will not reverse. That “who’s gonna buy their shit” has always been a bogus arguement.

  175. trippticket August 10, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    And thank YOU, Wage, for bearing the standard of reason about this mosque thing. If I have to attack this one, I have to attack them all, and there ain’t that many of me. Sorry, Q, but I still have a long list of more important things to think about. (Atlhough, come to think of it, I didn’t see that apology yet. Maybe I missed it. I’ll go back and look again;)

  176. trippticket August 10, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Oh, and Jim, by the way, nice f’in’ piece this week. Poetry.

  177. asoka August 10, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Thanks for the math calculations. If math were the determiner of energy supply, we would all be walking today.
    No one ever made the claim that methane produced from shit had to power the entire commercial and private ground fleet. Broaden your mind a little. Solutions will by synergistic and multi-sourced. Every little bit helps. Stop being an energy scrooge, a pessimist, and a drag on society.

  178. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    He was a regular on Darryl Ratigan
    =====================
    It’s Dylan

  179. myrtlemay August 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Undeveloped and under developed countries are the new focus of big business. The U.S. marketplace is saturated. The reasons behind this are many. One, folks are tapped out, unemployed. Two, an increasing amount of folks are waking up to the fact that they’ve been hoodwinked (nothing like finding out that the “bargain” price of the $250K crackerbox you bought during the housing boom is now worth less than $150K). Three, the young people (those under 30) are paralyzed by student debt, and cannot afford loan repayments. Four, members of what’s left of the middle class are beginning to finally understand that buying a new Honda or Toyota every 2-4 years isn’t contributing to the U.S. economy or making them look keen – it’s just making their declining wages that much harder to live on.

  180. trippticket August 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    OK, I can concede that. But it doesn’t matter – the laws of physics will not be reversed for the Chinese any more than they will be for us. I’m afraid your argument doesn’t even make a dent in the reality of GLOBAL energy descent and compressive deflationary contraction. This isn’t just America because America is now everywhere. In econometric terms anyway.

  181. trippticket August 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Farm note: We picked up two turkeys and two guineas early this morning! Since it’s so late in the piece I had to get standard white turkeys so they’d be ready by T’giving. I’ll do better with a heritage breed next season.

  182. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    You said:

    I don’t think that you would give a shit if not for the corporate media orchestrating the uproar.
    =================
    A favorite theme of persons on the far left, like yourself, is that it is always OTHERS who are dupes, never one’s self. That your beliefs and your passions are pure while the rest of us are the Manchurian candidates of right-wing media.
    How like you not to notice this flaw in your thinking.

    There is certainly something to what you say. We all have our own spectrum of weaknesses and strengths, though. One thing that seems to be a near-universal human characteristic is our ability to see others’ weaknesses much more clearly than we see our own.
    Opinions are like assholes, goes the old saying, everyone has them. I have always found it intersting that, in the intellectual realm, proof of superiority is not demonstrable, as it is in physical endeavors. If I stand up and boast that I can hit home runs all day off Stephen Strasburg or bench press more weight than Lee Haney, there’s an easy test to see if I am a visionary or a loud-mouthed braggart.
    But Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage and the rest of their ilk can portray themselves as smarter and more common sensical than thousands of Constitutional Law Scholars, and there is no possible demonstrable test except popularity, which is notoriously unreliable as a measurement of reality.
    Authoritarianism in the USA stems from the RW. Historically it always has since the Alien and Sedition Acts, going way through McCarthyism, the Palmer Raids and even to the Civil War, where RW Confederate bleating about their “rights” and “freedoms” while holding millions of human beings in chattel slavery, was as disconnected from common sense as Glenn Beck is today.
    LW Authoritarianism would be just as bad, just as unjust, and just as concentrating of power in the hands of the rich and strong over the poor and meek. But LW Authoritarianism is not a danger here, because like David Horowitz, who used to be a Communist but switched to RW Authoritarianism when he saw which way the wind was blowing, most Authoritarians, along with most of the wealth and power, are concentrating under the banner of the RW currently.
    To circle back, my initial point being that people are individuals and have their own sets of weaknesses and strengths. Some people’s weakness are strengths in others. Yes, that’s a bit cliched, but your comment to wagelaborer seems to beg for a restating of this simple truth.
    Having said that, conservative-authoritarian followers and liberal-libertarians usually have different weaknesses and strengths.
    An authority-questioning, skeptical liberal-libertarian is less likely to be duped by authoritarian propaganda from either side, while being more likely to be robbed by someone they were trying to help because of unskeptical naivete coming from their weak point.
    Conversely, an authority-worshipping, unskeptical conservative or authoritarian is less likely to be robbed by someone they were trying to help because of their sophisticated suspicion of The Other, but more likely to duped by authoritarian propaganda, especially when it comes from their “betters” because of unskeptical naivete coming from their weak point.
    These are clumsy, oversimplified, overgeneralized examples, but I hope you get my drift. It doesn’t make one kind of person superior to another. It just makes them different.
    If one looks at the history of liberalism, usually an ideology that invited oppression, injustice or even death in most places and times throughout history (unless you believe, as so many “conservatives” do today, the laughable ahistorical idea that Hitler and Stalin WERE Liberals… instead of despising and murdering them as they actually did) you might consider that, just as you have your individual strengths so do we.
    In this case I’d argue, the Liberal characteristic of skepticism towards authority gives us, in this area alone, an advantage in seeing through the bullshit that people who’s natural inclination is to obey and worship authority don’t have.
    Mind you, I am glad the 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg wasn’t full of authority-questioning Liberals, or the Union would have been lost and the Nazi-Confederate-“Bush Aristocracy” Alliance would have conquered the world, in all likelihood.
    So, for all of that talk, where does that leave us? Just as an authority-questioning Liberal should recognize that occasionally unquestioning obedience is beneficial in certain few situations, perhaps it would behoove you to understand that Liberal strengths can perceive things that maybe you cannot.
    Which leads us back to the founding of the USA, based on the ideas of open disagreement and compromise between factions, steering a moderate path, being the among the finest if not the finest method ever devised for human beings to live together and thrive together, for all it’s faults, flaws, and atrocities performed by the flawed humans who made it up, who make up every society.
    It’s a pity that the usual combination of Aristocrats and Authoritarian Followers is burning it down, metaphorically speaking, in order to possess the ashes. Old story there. The oldest.

  183. asoka August 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Going after peak-oil theorists may follow the pattern established right after 9/11, when the Cheney paramilitary shadow government assassination teams went after microbiologists.
    In the four-month period from Nov. 12, 2001 through Feb. 11, 2002 seven world-class microbiologists in different parts of the world were reported dead.
    Six died of “unnatural” causes, while the cause of the seventh’s death is questionable.
    Also on Nov. 12, 2001 DynCorp, a major government contractor for data processing, military operations and intelligence work, was awarded a $322 million contract to develop, produce and store vaccines for the Department of Defense.
    DynCorp and Hadron, both defense contractors connected to classified research programs on communicable diseases, have also been linked to a software program known as PROMIS, which may have helped identify and target the victims.
    In the six weeks prior to Nov. 12, 2001 two additional foreign microbiologists were reported dead. Some believe there were as many as five more microbiologists killed during the period, bringing the total as high as 14.
    · On Nov. 12, Benito Que, 52, was found comatose in the street near the laboratory where he worked at the University of Miami Medical School. He died on Dec. 6.
    · On Nov. 16, Don C. Wiley, 57, vanished, and his abandoned rental car was found on the Hernando de Soto Bridge outside Memphis, Tenn. His body was found on Dec. 20.
    · On Nov. 23, Vladimir Pasechnik, 64, was found dead in Wiltshire, England, not far from his home.
    · On Dec. 10, Robert Schwartz, 57, was found murdered in his rural home in Loudoun County, Va.
    · On Dec, 11, Set Van Nguyen, 44, was found dead in the airlock entrance to a walk-in refrigerator in the laboratory where he worked in Victoria State, Australia.
    · On Feb. 8, Vladimir Korshunov, 56, was found dead on a Moscow street.
    · And on Feb. 11, Ian Langford, 40, was found dead in his home in Norwich, England.

  184. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Stop being an energy scrooge, a pessimist, and a drag on society.
    =============
    You need to be less of a childlike wild-eyed optimist. For example, your report on the shit-fueled Bug might have very reasonably pointed out that this technology was a long long way from economic viability but, no, you don’t like presenting facts that in any way diminish your main thrust.
    Are realists “a drag on society?”

  185. scott August 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Laws of physics? I expect that wealth should continue to transfer from debtor nations to creditor nations. Wealth will continue to flow from the unproductive to the productive even if the overall pie is smaller.
    The idea that wealth should continue to flow from creditor nations to debtor nations through price deflation and wage arbitrage is being reversed and will continue to reverse. The creditor nation demographics are such that small increases in per capita income equal huge demands on global supplies. The U.S. is now facing the other side of the coin of wage arbitrage while that same coin causes price inflation in food and energy.

  186. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Burning our future topsoil for energy seems a lot like eating our seed corn.

  187. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    By the way, while we all sit around speculating about what horrible future awaits us-
    Pakistan is experiencing killer floods, while Russians are dying from heat, drought and wildfires.
    It’s possible that the consequences of burning fossil fuels will kill us before we actually run out.

  188. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    when the Cheney paramilitary shadow government assassination teams went after microbiologists.
    ===============
    I really shouldn’t be smirking and chuckling over all these deaths in the microbiologist community … I’m sure their families miss them dearly. But tell me again .. what is the supposed rationale for Chaney to have all these scientists rubbed out?

  189. trippticket August 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Can I just interject one topic in the midst of all this that is completely off-track?
    Addictions! If you have them, are you steadily walking away from them? I bartended for a decade before I went to college, and in that time I went through some pretty bad habits (at least in Nancy Reagan’s mind). But systematically, my wife and I have dumped our bad habits over the years since we married, and are now working on the last one, alcohol. Lots of common pharmaceuticals out there count in this category too. If your supply chain was interupted, would you flip your lid when you couldn’t get a smoke? Would your hands shake if your Xanax bottle was empty?
    As a friend of everyone here, I really urge you all to think about a world without the drugs, whatever their legal status, you depend on, and devise a contingency plan (cessation, herbal options you can grow in your garden, whatever). In my (rather extensive) experience, cigarettes are the very hardest. Then alcohol. (All the enslaving legal stuff, go figure.) Cocaine is a pussy drug. If you’re addicted to cocaine, you need to stop being a little bitch and hang it up soon. I’m just sayin’.

  190. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Don’t waste your time reading my “contradictory” posts… if foolish consistency is your form of OCD.

    Back to the ol’ “foolish consistency” dodge, eh? My OCD? I think you have me confused with someone else.
    You need to work on some new material. And it is just “material” to a guy like you, isn’t it? Just more strategy and tactics.
    I like your internet research skills, and I will continue to read your dishonest contradictory posts because of it. Hell, I even occasionally read Vlad’s noxious misleading facist lie-fest posts, so I can surely read yours if I want to.
    And there’s not a thing you can do to stop me.
    I just have to remember to resist the impulse to respond to you. I have to remember not to expect anything other than fancy rhetorical footwork and a glib tongue in reply. I have to always remember that you are full of bullshit and either lying about your identity or being as congnitively dissonant and compartmentalized a person as I have ever run into. The equal of Vlad in every respect.
    Bye now. I know how you enjoy the last word and so you shall have it.

  191. scott August 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    We will never run out! It isn’t about running out! It is about telegraphing huge amounts of debt towards infinite supplies when clearly they are finite. The bond markets are telegraphing doublings and triplings in global supplies in years to come. Talk about the low yields in bond markets? What about compound interest? Those that don’t understand compound interest pay it while those that do collect it.
    I believe that a terminal decline in the global energy base has begun and moves toward alternatives will only diminsh the base further but I do not believe we will ever run out. We have just begun exploiting oil in the oceans and that is 75% of the Earth. there is lots of oil bubbling and gurgling up in the oceans but we will never extract it at rates necessary to offset terminal decline. The environmental impact will be to obvious in due time.

  192. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Nice post, Biased!
    But police don’t stop crimes now.
    I remember being verbally abused and physically intimidated by a large, hostile mental patient, while one of my city’s finest men in blue sat not 20 yards away, ignoring him.
    After the situation was defused, (by me), I went out and asked why he hadn’t come to my defense.
    He replied, “That’s what you have security guards for”. (!)

  193. Cash August 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Hey Tripp, what happens to the Chinese economy when we stop buying their shit? They’re screwed.
    Tripp old man, this dog of a business model where capitalists and the managerial class that shines their shoes offshore industry to China is a dog that don’t hunt, it don’t even bark.
    There is no semblance of logic or reason behind it. I mean, for Christ’s sake, they create mass unemployment in the US (and here in Canada for that matter) and a class of slave wage earners in China. So who do these offshored industries sell to? The slaves in China or the unemployed in the US? The only way it works temporarily is if the US goes into debt to buy the products. But, as we’ve seen, sooner or later you hit the debt wall and the whole stinking mess falls apart, which is what you have now.
    Bernanke is busy running the Fed printing presses to try and forestall catastrophe. Won’t work, he’s just laying the groundwork for the next one. Meanwhile him and his gang of geniuses (and other people besides) ponder deflation. Look at what bond markets are doing. A lot of people are betting on it. They’ve been talking about it for ten years. So where is it?
    Asset price deflation? Funny about that. When asset prices were going through the roof nobody was talking about asset price inflation. Asymmetric thinking wouldn’t you say?

  194. scott August 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Funny how some people only think the U.S. is capable of extend and pretend. The Chinese have been preparing for extend and pretend for a long time by securing resources while their dollars were worth something.

  195. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Calm down, pilgrim. I’m pretty sure that Cows was being sarcastic!
    But look what happened when Henry Paulson showed up at Congress with a three page demand for cash, with a provision that no questions be asked.
    Most everyone read it! And there was an uproar!
    So they came back with a longer version, and passed it.
    The Patriot Act, on the other hand, was 50,000 pages long, and passed handily in Oct, 2001, especially after top Democratic Senators were targeted with a biological warfare weapon.
    By the time anyone read it, it was law, and, like the Enabling Act passed in Germany after the Reichstag Fire, the freedoms it took away have never been returned.
    Although Obama made Constitutional Lawyer noises against the Patriot Act, when he got into the Senate, he voted to extend it.
    OK, I’ve digressed. How unusual.

  196. scott August 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    There is a lot of doomers here http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/mb/FAZ
    and they all believe in deflation — suckers.

  197. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    I’m willing to entertain any alternative ideas, Asoka, but the murders and “suicides” of the microbiologists are not the same as an overweight, over middle aged guy having a heart attack in a hot tub in summer. And I don’t think that the ruling class cares about anyone pointing out that oil is almost gone.
    Dung happens!

  198. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    What you said, Cash!
    I disregard those who say that the US ruling class is deliberately destroying the economy of this country. Come on, people! Conspiracy theories have to make sense!
    It’s greed, pure greed, like you said. And they don’t need to be able to do math in their heads.
    They have computer programs that do it for them, running constantly, making money off of minute differences in prices.
    And people who nickel and dime their way to profits, by charging for every tiny thing they can, no matter how petty, wouldn’t write off the profits still to be wrung out of 300 million consumers in the US.

  199. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Get to know your turkeys, and I bet you won’t eat them.
    Contrary to many people’s opinions, turkeys are smart and charming.
    I had a pair of heritage turkeys, but a great horned owl got one of them, and now I only have Cleo, who follows me like a dog, and hangs out with me on the porch, me swatting flies, and her eating them.
    Eat her? It would be like eating Dax, my dog.

  200. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    You said:

    By the way, while we all sit around speculating about what horrible future awaits us-
    Pakistan is experiencing killer floods, while Russians are dying from heat, drought and wildfires.
    It’s possible that the consequences of burning fossil fuels will kill us before we actually run out.

    No one can know the future, but I strongly suspect that if humanity goes extinct, it is going to be a long and drawn-out process. Losing the first six billion might occur in a much shorter time-frame than for that last billion to drop to zero, if indeed that will happen at all.
    We are adaptive, intelligent critters, we homo greedicus’, but more importantly, our generational time scale is so small compared to our species’ time scale, which is tiny in comparison to the environmental-geologic time scale.
    In the absence of a ecological, cornucopian or techno-triumphalist solution (and I mean a real solution, not one that simply pushes back environmental and Malthusian imperatives another generation or two), some very VERY bad times are coming.
    Homo greedicus is unable to overcome our animal nature in the slightest, even if it means death for the whole species.
    You do know that TPTB are even now preparing to drill under the thinning Arctic Ice Cap made possible by Global Warming, which will lead to more Global Warming which will disappear more ice which will make possible more drilling…
    Hell, even BP is now talking about having another go at that high-pressure methane-oil under Macondo.
    Just another example of the monkey-stupid which very likely will lead to our species’ extinction, but probably not until after we have either “run out” of fossile fuels or lost the technical ability to get at the “hard to reach” oil (the easy to reach stuff has long ago been slurped dry).
    But no one really knows. JHK’s been predicting total catastrophe for years now, and it steadfastly has refused to come. But I really think humanity has thousands of years left before we exit stage right.
    Most of them are going to be VERY bad years to be a human, I think, and will probably make Medieval Europe look like a beacon of Liberty and reason.
    Most humans born 150 years ago are to be pitied, so it shall be for most humans born 150 years hence.
    I hope I am wrong, there is just precious little evidence or reason to believe it.

  201. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    There is certainly something to what you say.
    ===============
    After reading your first sentence (above) the rest of your post was a hard slog. What I still come away with is the idea that conservatives are more easily duped. This is universal and unalterable liberal dogma.
    I am reduced to simply declaring that you will never find a greater skeptic than me. I am not being led by the nose by ANYBODY. You and Wage should look carefully in the mirror at your own selves.

  202. asoka August 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Cash asks:

    Do you think that Wall Streeters benefit by turning the United States of America into a militarily impotent Argentine style economic and financial shambles?

    Have you had the good fortune to spend any length of time in Argentina, Cash?
    I have been to Argentina and it is possible to live life very pleasantly there. Shambles is a harsh word to use to describe a society that has “downsized” its expectations (something the famed Argentinian pride needed), but is nowhere near third-world conditions.
    Wall Streeters may not benefit from it, but the goal of “turning the United States of America into a militarily impotent” is laudable. Less power, less imperialism, less pissing off of other countries who can strike back.
    The military-industrial complex has wasted trillions of dollars, while simultaneously positioning the United States in a position for, and inviting, more blowback attacks like 9/11.
    The next revenge attacks for Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, for Fallujah war crimes, for all the doors kicked in at 2:00 a.m. in far-away cities… the next blowback attacks may be nuclear. A lose-lose proposition.
    “Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” –Rev. Martin Luther King, 4 April 1967

  203. Cash August 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Your statement that there will not be an orderly exit from bonds is the understatement of the decade.
    Re China and who’s gonna buy their shit: I don’t think this is a bogus issue. The US soaks up huge amounts of Chinese exports. What I’ve read is that China right now has one billion people currently enjoying African standards of living out in the countryside. For these people a sweatshop in the city looks like a good deal.
    Re the Chinese middle class What I’ve read is that their incomes are low compared to North America and their consumption depends on having a supply of goods and services created by low wage workers. What happens to the middle class standard of living when low wage workers demand some of the good life for themselves?
    This is a massive problem for the Chinese government. No matter how powerful they think they are they are fleas compared to one billion aggressive, hungry, pissed off peasants.

  204. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    I really enjoy your posts, Hancock, but must take issue with your communist vs capitalist dichotomy.
    Number one, most of human history has not been that of oppression. Oppression came with agriculture and “civilization”, and the development of class society.
    Hunter gatherer tribes, the last of which still exist, (but are being wiped out by multi-national corporations as we type), don’t have police, prisons, militaries, or some gorging while others starve.
    At the beginning of the 1800s, there was no class society where I now live. There were hunter gatherer tribes, and some trappers.
    Am I really supposed to believe that the extreme wealth and waste I see around me now is permanent and immutable? Why?
    Number two, this either/or dichotomy, like the democrat/republican dichotomy, implies that there are only two ways to organize society!
    Really? That seems quite limited to me. I think that we can do better than authoritarian central planning, and destruction of our ecosystem, whether by a central government or by private corporations.

  205. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    more blowback attacks like 9/11.
    =================
    What may reasonably be termed “blowback” – like beauty – is in the eye of the beholder.

  206. scott August 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    My problem with “who is gonna buy their shit” is that it is often used to support the sustainability of the status quo. Yes the Chinese have problems but internal demand is rising and will continue to rise. Developed countries will never be able to compete with workers from developing nations so they wont. Per capita consumption is “built in” in the U.S. where it is not so much in developing countries. It will be easir to raise per capita consumption in developing countries than in developed ones. The path of least resistance toward the goal of global growth will be through increasing per capita consumption in developing countries and decreasing it in developed ones.

  207. scott August 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    A guy on tv just said markets are going to tank and we will still get massive inflation while enduring a double dip recession. Ahhhh the best of both worlds, who woulda thunk it!

  208. asoka August 10, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Trippticket said: “As a friend of everyone here, I really urge you all to think about a world without the drugs, whatever their legal status, you depend on…”
    Tripp, I am proud to consider you a friend.
    I want to extend what you said just a bit. Many in our society are now addicted to another legal substance: food (especially if it is packaged in plastic, cans, or comes through a drive-up window)
    I have worked on my addiction to food by adopting a lifestyle of one meal a day. Fasting 19 hours a day frees up lots of time to write valuable and informative posts to CFN.
    Anyone interested can find more information on the Fast-5 lifestyle at:
    http://www.fast-5.com/content/summary
    There is also a free PDF book you can download with references to the peer-reviewed scientific literature behind the Fast-5 lifestyle.
    I figure only needing one meal a day might come in handy during the Long Emergency, after TSHTF, before TWMBH, or whenever that might finally happen.
    But I’m enjoying fasting TODAY!
    (and every day for 19 hours a day)

  209. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    I have to remember not to expect anything other than fancy rhetorical footwork and a glib tongue in reply. I have to always remember that you are full of bullshit and either lying about your identity or being as congnitively dissonant and compartmentalized a person as I have ever run into.

    ===================
    AAAAAMen!

  210. asoka August 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Asoka said: “My advice to you…”
    Hancock replied: “And there’s not a thing you can do to stop me.”
    Brother Hancock, when someone offers you advice that is not the same as commanding you to do something.
    Let me restate this clearly: you are free to read or not to read my posts. I don’t want you to think I am an authoritarian trying to manipulate you because I know your position on authoritarianism (and I agree with it)
    However, if you choose to respond (and again you have complete freedom in that regard), then I may or may not choose to respond.
    I do enjoy your posts and read all of them.

  211. wagelaborer August 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    You crack me up, asoka. Please keep up your informative and valuable posts.
    I believe that our food intake will fall, also.
    My response is to eat well now, while I can!
    As for alcohol, I remember a Mother Earth News article a while back that started something like this-
    Have you ever gazed out at your property, enjoying the lush growth, and thought to yourself, “I wonder if I could make alcohol out of that?”
    The answer was – yes. You can make alcohol out of many things, as you, I believe, point out when talking about burning it in vehicles.
    Why waste it on vehicles?

  212. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I have worked on my addiction to food by adopting a lifestyle of one meal a day. Fasting 19 hours a day
    ============
    ??You fast 19 hours a day after which you have one gargantuan meal lasting 5 hours??
    I fast 22.5 hours a day but not continuous. I eat 3 squares plus tea plus snacks and maybe a small snifter of brandy around 11PM with a total eating time of about 1.5 hrs. I’m 6′ tall and weigh 206 lbs. I’d like to weigh about 185 but I spend so much time sitting on my ass in front of a laptop trying to keep your bullshit in check that I don’t get enough exercise.

  213. asoka August 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Wage asks: “Why waste it on vehicles?”
    Wage, if I were king, I would ban private vehicles altogether. JHK is right about the destructive effects of devotion to a happy motoring culture.
    I also recognize that fossil fuel in the form of petroleum is a finite resource.
    Therefore, if we can get methane from renewable and sustainable practices (forest wastes, algae, etc.) which do not disturb topsoil and which also contribute less to global warming, I prefer we not use the harmful petroleum-based products.
    I think calorie reduction during TLE, TSHTF, WMBH, will be a good thing and actually reduce the level of morbidity in our society.

  214. Cash August 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Less power, less imperialism.
    If the United States were an empire my country (Canada) would not exist.
    Why do I think so? We are sitting on the world’s richest land mass, we are sparsely populated, apathetic, internally divided, militarily impotent like New World Indians were five hundred years ago. Easy pickings.
    We have huge, wide open spaces, fertile land, oodles of fresh water, gargantuan energy and mineral resources. Irresistible to an imperial power looking for huge territory, huge resources and an easy conquest.
    Taking Canada would be like being on vacation. The biggest hazard would be slipping on the ice. That and the artery clogging poutine (fried potatoes covered in gravy and cheese curds).
    Canada exists at the suffrance of the people of that great republic to the south of us (our liberal intelligentsia boots them in the slats at every chance). If the US were an empire we would not be here.
    Another thing Asoka: commenters on this website doubt that you’re black. I’ll take your word for it, that you’ve suffered a great deal of shit at the hands of whitey.
    Having said that the clock keeps ticking, the US is not the same place as it was 50 years ago. I’m not going to minimize the harm that black society suffered after 400 hundred years of slavery and brutalization. But times have changed.
    There are Quebec separatists who cannot get over the domination by English speaking Montrealers in the early decades of the last century. I say to the separatists that the Westmount Rhodesians are gone. French speakers have run Quebec for two generations, they ran Canada for about the same length of time. Still they’re bitter. Waste of time and mental energy. The battle of the Plains of Abraham was 250 years ago. Hard to rewrite history.
    As far as Argentina goes, I’ve never been there but I have a family member from there who moved to Canada. From him I gather that Argentina is a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there.

  215. asoka August 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Mika said: “Asoka, the biggest lie of all is not telling whole truth.”
    Mika, then we are all liars, because nobody has the whole truth, and we shouldn’t be so quick to cast the first stone against the government.

  216. asoka August 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Qshtik said: “What may reasonably be termed “blowback” – like beauty – is in the eye of the beholder.”
    ABC News interviewed Bin Laden in 1998 and he clearly stated why he was declaring war on the United States, and it was definitely blowback for United States putting troops on what you do not recognize as holy but Bin Laden called “Holy Land” in Saudi Arabia.
    Bin Laden issued several warnings to the United States and was mostly ignored. Probably laughed at by people like you. What could people hiding in caves do to the world’s greatest military power?
    Then, after the 9/11 attack Bush quietly withdrew US troops from the “Holy Land” in Saudi Arabia. (just a coincidence of course)
    Ignore the concept of blowback at your own peril.

  217. asoka August 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Cash said: “Taking Canada would be like being on vacation.”
    LOL! Reminds me of Rumsfeld and company saying Iraq would be a cakewalk… oh, and the war would pay for itself!
    “Taking Canada would be like being on vacation”
    You have to be kidding, for two reasons:
    1) Canada has been a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization since its foundation. If the USA attacked Canada they would have to take on all the NATO nations.
    2) Who wants to even think about messing with the RCMP? :)

  218. Cash August 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Tripp, I have to say that I like a bottle of wine once in a while. When we were young we used to go to the abandoned quarries in my hometown and we could drink and smoke weed and nobody would bother us. Ah youth!
    I haven’t smoked weed since I was young but I have fond memories of hanging out, passing around the pipe and then dining on burgers or pizza as if it was food of the gods. A friend of mine used to bring a type of hard candy, that had a multiplicity of taste sensations. Amazing stuff. Once I was at a friend’s house and we were smoking on his back deck when his mother unexpectedly showed up. She said “Are you guys smoking up”? No point denying it, my bud said “yeah Ma.” She said “Can I have some?” So we had a joint with his mother. It was a gas.
    Ping pong was great under the influence. It seemed like the ball moved through the air like it was moving through molasses. And Jethro Tull’s Songs from the Wood sounded amazing especially that tune Cap in Hand. The guitar was awesome. And Hendrix! Wow.
    Now I’m a supposedly respectable bean counter. I wouldn’t do it anymore. I hear that the shit that grow ops are producing has toxic levels of THC. In the old days you could get mellow but I hear that the new stuff makes you nuts.

  219. myrtlemay August 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Tobacco and alcohol aren’t so hard to quit. I’ve done it hundreds of times. (w/ apologies to Mark Twain)

  220. Cash August 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    There was a long span of time before NATO when the US could have invaded and even Great Britain at the height of its imperial power would have had a great deal of difficulty overcoming its lack of interest.
    NATO? Would Italy or Holland give a shit? It’s true that the UK has nukes but if the US wanted to concoct and excuse to invade us ie we’re a terrorist breeding ground (don’t laugh, it’s as credible as Iraq having WMDs) there’s no way that the UK would intervene militarily. They don’t have the capacity even if they wanted to. The US Navy would blow them out of the water if they tried.
    And just between us girls, if it were up to me I would disband the RCMP. They are utterly fucked up and dysfunctional. If you want to make a case disappear, never again to be seen in your lifetime, call the RCMP.
    There was a case not long ago where a German arm’s dealer met with a former Prime Minister, handed him bags of cash amounting to several hundred thousand dollars, which the PM hid in a safety deposit box in a US bank and then failed for several years to declare it for tax. The RCMP could not get to the bottom of it. To this day people suspect that the payment was a bribe for a government contract to buy airplanes. There have been years of investigations, Royal Commissions, millions spent but there have been no charges. I’m telling you if this had been a US politician with the FBI and an attack dog prosecutor like Fitzgerald or Morgenthau, there would have been bushels of indictments and subpoenas fired out. They would have got their man.

  221. asoka August 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Wage said: “But police don’t stop crimes now.”
    Wage, in response to JHK saying that the mad dogs would run in the streets I thought maybe he was referring to the police, since in my personal experience the police have been the mad dogs in the streets.
    During the early years of labor union organizing, police violence was frequently used against protesting workers, like in the Haymarket Square attack on peaceful protesters. They even have a term for it: “police riot.”
    Mad dog police in the streets is what happened at the 1968 Democratic National Convention with their billy clubs and tear gas. The attacks were unprovoked and were later described as a police riot by the Walker Report to the US National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.
    Maybe some folks aren’t concerned about the police being the mad dogs JHK refers to, but I sure am.

  222. D R Lunsford August 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    The Boomers, by their pernicious social engineering and their embrace of puerile sensation, venality, and narcissism in its most destructive forms, have annihilated everything they touched. I would not believe it possible if the evidence were not so clear. Of all American generations, from the heights of the New Deal and wartime work ethic to the lows of Civil War sectionalism, this one has the most to answer for. I curse all of them, and all of you who belong to this monstrous horde.
    -drl

  223. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    what happened at the 1968 Democratic National Convention
    ================
    …was just a dust-up … an artificial uproar.

  224. Funzel August 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Here we go again,did I hear “High Speed Rail”?
    It’s like buying a tuxedo for a local Dumpster Dude.

  225. jensv August 10, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Oh, peak oil (and natural gas) is going to be a real problem particularly for the U.S but also the rest of the so called western world. It’s already starting to be now since we are at the peak. The following document includes a good summary of U.S policy regarding energy security and if one reads the comments by Henry Kissinger at the end one could have seen where things were going back in 1975. Apparently Kissinger had frequently visited the White House during the Bush administration.
    Oil Fields as Military Objectives : A Feasibility Study -> link to full document
    http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015078699306;page=root;view=image;size=100;seq=1;num=i
    A more modern report on the issue from the Council on Foreign Relations : National Security Consequences of U.S Oil Dependency (2006), Independent task Force Report No. 58, Chairs John Deutch and James R. Schlesinger
    http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/EnergyTFR.pdf
    Comment: The above CFR report is incorrect on the issue of biomass. Biomass will never substitute for a significant amount of oil use, one just needs to be roughly familiar with biomass availability and the difficulty of using it on a large scale to know this. To this day (Aug 2010) shale oil is still not being produced on anything but the very smallest scale.
    Also see Energy Future : Report of the Energy Project at the Harvard Business School (1979), by David Yergin and Robert B. Stobaugh, which has a very thorough index and reference list on the issue of U.S energy . http://www.archive.org/details/energyfuturerepo00stob
    Then there’s the U.S Joint Forces Command’s Joint Operating Environment 2010 report, which expects an oil energy crunch in 2015 (pages 28 and 29) and resulting possible long-term worldwide recession despite their oil production graphs (taken from another report)showing otherwise.
    http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/JOE_2010_o.pdf

  226. jensv August 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    I thought this was kind of interesting too.






  227. myrtlemay August 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    When I saw the cops whip out the fire hoses on the demonstrators in Birmingham on televison, I truely thought, WTF! Turning hoses and dogs on kids! When my boyfriend and I went to the March on Washington, I was terrified. But the police there were really nice. I remember there was this little black girl, lost and crying. One of the white cops consoled her and hoisted her onto his shoulder. She found her folks within a few minutes, as I recall. Hot friggin day, that August! Got sunburned AND callouses. Police, though, very, very nice.

  228. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    On page 1 of the NYT Book Review section this past Sunday begins a review of two books by Hans Keilson, born in 1909 (and still kickin’). The review’s first paragraph contains this:
    …I’ll say this as quickly and clearly as possible: “The Death of the Adversary” and “Comedy in a Minor Key” are masterpieces, and Hans Keilson is a genius.
    A particular paragraph in the review caught my eye. It began as follows:
    “With seeming effortlessness, Keilson performs the difficult trick of showing how a single psyche can embrace many contradictory thoughts, and how naturally extreme intelligence and sensitivity can coexist with obtuseness, denial and self deception.”
    Needless to say, I thought of Asoka.

  229. myrtlemay August 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Asocka,
    The riot that broke during the Democratic convention in ’68 was a result of taunting and tension. The police, while not itching for a fight, were expecting trouble. The protestors were generally peaceful people and didn’t get hit with billy clubs. A couple of knee jerk reactions (by the police) were interpreted by the protestors as brute force. Things quickly went out of control when the cops decided to man handle some of the smart_sses, and soon all heck broke loose. But do not fear the police. They are here to help you.

  230. asoka August 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    jensv said:

    The above CFR report is incorrect on the issue of biomass. Biomass will never substitute for a significant amount of oil use, one just needs to be roughly familiar with biomass availability and the difficulty of using it on a large scale to know this.

    Never? Never is a long time.
    And don’t tell the Brazilians about “difficulty of using it on a large scale”… they have an organization of 60,000 companies using biomass today. Europe also has biomass projects in 12 countries.
    The “food versus fuel” controversy is overblown. In Brazil, of the 55 million ha of land area devoted to primary food crops, only 4.1 million ha (7.5 per cent) was used for sugarcane, which represents only 0.6 per cent of the total area registered for economic use (or 0.3 per cent of Brazil’s total area).
    Of this, only 1.7 million ha was used for ethanol production, so competition between food and crops is not significant. Furthermore, crop rotation in sugarcane areas has led to an increase in certain food crops.
    Even oil man George W. Bush said in 2006 that the goal for the USA is that biofuels and biomass could replace 25% of our gasoline and diesel use by 2025.
    25% is a significant amount.
    There is no one silver bullet. But there are lots of little silver bullets that each make up a small percentage and pretty soon, by adding up solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, tidal, geothermal, biomass, etc. you’re on your way to 100% renewables.
    The writing is on the wall. We cannot continue to depend upon non-renewable sources of energy.

  231. progressorconserve August 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Nice post this week, JHK. You continue to find new and vivid metaphors for us to enjoy.
    The US is at the circus and the tent is on fire. The clowns (this works on so many levels) are throwing gasoline on the flames.
    We are all doomed if we calmly wait to exit the tent.
    Well, I’ve got my pocketknife out and I’m ripping and tearing at the fabric behind the bleachers. I intend to get as many people out as I can.
    I am here on this website to rant and rave and look for ideas.
    Thanks for your help!

  232. asoka August 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    “the difficult trick of showing how a single psyche can embrace many contradictory thoughts, and how naturally extreme intelligence and sensitivity”
    Yes, it is difficult, especially in the face of constant provocation.
    But at least the viewer was appreciative … instead of diagnosing schizophrenia or cognitive dissonance or some such chimera.

  233. jensv August 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Not so simple. Land and wealth ownership and competition for resources and jobs and non-awareness of the energy issue makes it difficult to focus an effort on alternative energy production. Another problem is that solar and wind aren’t and weren’t cost competitive with existing fossil fuels. They will be very soon, but then fossil fuels production will be in decline just as Chinese demand rises and demand rises for oil to build the infrastructure to replace oil.
    It’s really a failure of the free market – the free market allows people to use oil for any purpose and doesn’t require any planning on the part of the consumer. There’s no rule saying if you use this oil you must use it to construct alternative energy production, infrastructure and vehicles. It just goes up in the air.

  234. Qshtik August 10, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Typical of your M.O., you ended the quote from my post just before the all-important words “can coexist with obtuseness, denial and self deception.”

  235. asoka August 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    “But do not fear the police. They are here to help you.”
    I want to believe you, I really do. But then I see a black man who is not resisting, who is handcuffed and on his stomach, and I watch a cop pull out a gun and shoot the handcuffed man in the back, and a small doubt enters … shooting an unarmed and restrained man in the back just don’t sit right with me.
    Myrtlemay, have you ever been pulled over and had your dignity assaulted because you were driving while Black? It is not a friendly experience.
    But I learned from Henry Louis Gates that you got to keep your cool or they turn into mad dogs.

  236. myrtlemay August 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Hold on there, cowboy! You’re talking up some real trash, mister. I’ve known some of these boomers and they happen to be a whole lot more savy than my generation. Where do you get off dismissing an entire generation of people with one fell swoop? In case you don’t remember, or weren’t around then, the boomers stood up for an unpopular war when (almost)everybody else was walking around with their thumbs up their _sses! I would love to see a revival of the hippi war protestors to shoot down the crap that’s been floating around in the media about Afghanistan. And as far as “social engineering” goes, I started work out of grad school during the Eisenhower administration. I was “socially engineered” into a secretarial pool, working for some slobs that didn’t even finish high school!

  237. asoka August 10, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Typical of your M.O. to complain because things are not just exactly and precisely the way you think they should be.

  238. jensv August 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    I’m somewhat familiar with Brazil’s ethanol use, it was 3.6 million hectares used for ethanol production and the rest went to electricity production, much of which is used to process the ethanol.
    Brazil and the U.S are different animals, Brazil’s sugarcane crop receives about 600 mm a year of rain which an amount far higher than pretty much anywhere in the U.S. Ethanol production in the U.S has an ERoEI much worse than that of sugarcane in Brazil.

  239. progressorconserve August 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Cash, maybe it takes an outsider Canuck to really point out our problems in the States.
    A couple of people linked to your post already, but it’s well worth anyone reading again. Here’s an excerpt:
    ************************************************
    So now the Chinese nomenklatura must be rubbing their eyes in disbelief. All these absurd, stupid white people bringing them all this money, all these production facilities, all this technology, all this intellectual property for them to steal.
    You think Wall Street is all controlling and brilliant? They’ve paid off the whores in Washington. They can do arithmetic really fast in their heads.
    ************************************************
    That sums it up. We’ve got TPTB and our Elites, just like any other country, but due to pure American Free Market Capitalism, they never think beyond this next quarter’s *profit!*
    The US remains a vast country, with incredible expertise and knowledge. But We the People, in concert with our elites, are slowly frittering away the last of the best of it.
    On a related note:
    DR Lunsford, you are correct that the “boomers” are the most selfish generation ever to walk the Earth, but not all of them are so selfish. In the main it’s the early boomers who have screwed us over. Like the ever triangulating Bill Clinton…and the Decider W…and Newt Gingrich…take a look at this:
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/08/10/whos_giving_to_newt_gingrich/index.html
    Oil, gas, and coal fund Gingrich. And PV doesn’t have enough money to fund a counterweight.
    We’re screwed in the short term…maybe in the medium term, maybe forever, BUT WE’RE OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!

  240. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    You said:

    There is certainly something to what you say.
    ===============
    After reading your first sentence (above) the rest of your post was a hard slog. What I still come away with is the idea that conservatives are more easily duped. This is universal and unalterable liberal dogma.
    I am reduced to simply declaring that you will never find a greater skeptic than me. I am not being led by the nose by ANYBODY. You and Wage should look carefully in the mirror at your own selves.

    First off, apologies for the length of my posts. Brevity is not my strong suit, obviously. I favor clarity over brevity…which probably explains why I work with test tubes and not people (well, not very many).
    You are correct that I have, perhaps mistakenly, conflated conservatism with authoritarianism. That’s because authoritarianism is concentrating under the banner of the Right currently in the USA. If this country actually WAS going hardcore socialist-communist, I probably would be equating it with the Left in much the same way.
    Here’s a question of history for you: Why were the Liberals in the old USSR considered Right Wing? Look it up, if you doubt me. Start with checking out “The Union of Right Forces” Party.
    Here’s another: What do Pol Pot, Pinochet, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Bin Laden, and Dick Cheney all have in common, in spite of their vast philosophical and religious differences all over the Left-Right spectrum? They ALL despised Liberals.
    Pol Pot even killed everyone who wore glasses, which certainly is a juvenile way of picking out Liberals, but as history shows, authoritarians on both sides succeed through essentially juvenile schoolyard bully means, accessing the Reptile Brain/R-complex. (Google that, too, if you’ve never heard of it)
    When you understand why that is so, and why the liberals and intellectuals always get it in the neck among the first no matter WHICH authoritarian philosophy takes over, you may get closer to understanding why liberals feel that yes, in this particular area of being duped by authoritarianism, we have a historic track record that lends credence to that assertion.
    Hitler murdered the Liberals long before he got started on the Jews. Why would that be?
    Does it make us better than everyone else? HELL NO! It just a strength, and everyone has them. Find a person’s weakness, and anyone can be duped, I don’t care who.
    You may be led by the nose but not in the way you think, because the sciences of psychological manipulation are many times more advanced these days than they were in your youth. And the thing about such manipulations is that they prey on the subconscious, where all our defenses are weak or nonexistant.
    Do I think I am immune from such manipulation? HELL NO! But I try to stay aware and fight it every day, even when it comes from “my side”, and that is the best I can do. It is more than most people do in a society that by any objective measure is simply saturated with marketing and psychological manipulation permeating nearly every facet of life.
    Do I feel like that gives me an edge? Just as surely as pumping iron every day used to give me an edge over most people in the strength department.
    I do look in the mirror, every day. Not only do I realize that I could be wrong, I ferverently hope that I am wrong because the conclusions logic and reading of history have brought me to are damned unpleasant.
    But I have to see evidence. Compelling evidence before I question those beliefs. And believe me, the current crop of lunatics who now speak for the modern “conservative” (really, authoritarian) movement and the crazy demonstrably unfactual shit they spew, combined with their amazing success once they abandoned reason and played to WIN at any cost, only confirms my observations and conclusions about humanity.
    Would that it were not so.
    I would appreciate it if you would read the link I have posted below. It was written by Karl Jaspers, a German psychiatrist who, back in the 20s, was among the first to figure out that Hitler and his boys were madmen and ruthless authoritarian murderers.
    He was pooh-poohed by conventional wisdom at the time, too.
    http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/jaspers02.htm

  241. asoka August 10, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    LOL! Good rant!
    I am of the baby boomer generation. We ain’t done yet! 60 is the new 40, and we just gettin’ started.
    They say the “Greatest Generation” defeated Hitler (and left millions enslaved under communism), but the so-called Greatest Generation came home and DID NOT stand up to racism, sexism, homophobia, intolerant moralism, and general Organization Man uptightness.
    It was the baby boomers who won those wars.
    And our achievement is all the greater because unlike World War II, we were not obligated to fight; we had it good, but we choose to fight those battles.
    When thinking about what generation has shown Greatness don’t look to those who were forced to make decisions; look to us Boomers who, by the decisions we chose to make, changed society.
    Do you think only great acts of sacrifice and suffering are the ones that have value? The heroism of our Boomer generation was a heroism of daily life, of changing institutions and compelling society to live up to its ideals. Yes, we were idealistic, but we made democracy work for the betterment of all.
    We stood up and challenged the Greatest Generation values: they opposed interracial marriage, they objected to working mothers, they supported discrimination against gays, they believed that husbands belong at work and wives belong at home, and they insisted on the old rule that young people should be taught to follow their elders, not think for themselves.
    And the country is marching, slowly, toward Baby Boomer norms and Baby Boomer values. We institutionalized anti-establishment values, so much so that you are exhibiting our behavior by ranting against what is now the Boomer establishment!
    The core boomer values of tolerance, equality and individual choice are prevailing.
    America is never going to return to the ’50s, when conformity, strict morality and hierarchy — not to mention racism, sexism and homophobia — played a far greater role than they do now.
    Get on the right side of history, D R Lunsford! The Greatest Generation conservatives dying out, the “cosmopolitan” boomer outlook is dominant and will only become more so.
    What we did, that the Greatest Generation did not do, was to expand our minds. We did it through a variety of methods (different strokes for different folks): drugs, rebellion, music, excess leisure time, hedonism, higher education, whatever worked. And our collective change of consciousness changed everything.

  242. Vision Cube August 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Cash,
    I enjoyed your recollections. My first introduction to ‘Colombian Gold’ came from a youth-league baseball coach. I’ll never forget it, the ground was moving like a hula-hoop and my mom was very curious about my red eyes.
    Aside from that, my baseball coach –Romolla was his name, a swashbuckling Italian who drove a convertible and donned button down shirts to expose a chest with dangling gold chains–was a fine example of manners and courtesy. He taught by example, such as the time he suddenly left practice to help the lady unloading her groceries from across the practice field. Needless to say, he did not return to practice that day.
    A few years later I ran into Romolla. He was collecting the cover fee for the strip-club he owned. He asked me how the baseball was going.

  243. progressorconserve August 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Hancock,
    Except for our *teeny* disagreement concerning the Aristocratic Elite, I find myself in agreement with almost everything you say.
    This website has a bias to the left. (And yeah, I tend to agree that reality has a leftward bias.) I think Q would like to be a spokesperson for the honest *thinking* and non authoritarian “conservative.” (They do exist, Hancock.)
    There is a bias in our brains. Say, JIMMY CARTER.
    When I think of Carter I think of the US Navy trained nuclear engineer who put solar panels on the roof and had a HYDROGEN FUELED CAR in his parade.
    The RW thinks of the “killer rabbit” and the first Pres. to pass out while jogging….when they think of Carter.
    Say…RONALD REGAN. The LW thinks of the man who tore the solar panels off of the roof….a trained actor whose wife and others fed his lines…when they think of Reagan.
    (And, BTW, to be sure to tie into JHK’s post for the week, history is showing that Reagan was the Pres. who set the present day’s gloomy events on business, finance, and energy into motion.)
    The RW hears, “Mr. G., TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!”…when they think of Reagan. The President who gave us 20 years of unparalleled prosperity.
    And both groups saw the same news, heard the same dialog, and were subject to the same psychological manipulation.
    Any suggestions how we move this forward?

  244. Eleuthero August 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    I could not disagree with you more.
    The Boomers are the parents of Gen
    X and Gen Y who have GIVEN UP READING
    (read “The Dumbest Generation” by
    Mark Bauerlein). I’m a Boomer, too,
    and I think the sexual revolution
    was horrid. And the natural progression
    of that horrid mentality is to be seen
    in our young where “hooking up” (having
    nearly anonymous one-night stands) is
    tres chic.
    The Boomers might be more “sophisticated”
    about certain things but they don’t have
    a quarter of the backbone of “The Greatest
    Generation”. Also, Boomers are born LIARS.
    They’re the ones who claim to be very
    ethnically egalitarian but they aren’t
    moving to ghettos or barrios and they
    don’t invite “people of color” over to
    dinner. They’re just terrific POSERS.
    Your hero, Mr. Obama, is a late Boomer
    but he’s a perfect example of the inherent
    fraudulence of their natures. He’s a
    Centrist Corporate Democrat who masquerades
    as a “power to the people” kind of guy.
    That was obvious the moment he chose the
    likes of Summers and Geithner into his
    economic team.
    The whole result of the “stimulus” is a
    huge SOCIALIZATION OF LOSSES and the
    PRIVATIZATION OF GAINS. If you cannot
    see that clearly, Asoka, well then you
    just don’t wanna look.
    E.

  245. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    You said:

    This website has a bias to the left. (And yeah, I tend to agree that reality has a leftward bias.) I think Q would like to be a spokesperson for the honest *thinking* and non authoritarian “conservative.” (They do exist, Hancock.)

    Yeah, they do exist. And I will give Q that he is very likely one of the few remaining true thinking conservatives left (not that he gives a damn what I think, nor should he), even though I tore into him when I first started posting here becuase he regurgitated some false RW propaganda.
    You asked if I have any suggestions going foward? I wish I did. But as John Adams said about one of the other Founding Fathers (I forget who – I may have even read that quote here), “He knows everything about how to tear down a country, but nothing about how to build one up.”
    Some people’s strong suit is observation and spotting problems, others strong suit is figuring out how to fix those problems once the observers have uncovered and exposed them.
    Unfortunately, from where I am sitting, most of this second group of people are sucked into Cable TV Conventional Wisdom and the lucrative Reality Show, which renders them unable to or only with great difficulty to peer outisde the narrowing band of “conventional wisdom” imposed by the Corporate Media.
    So we are left with a bunch of “weirdos” who keep being right about stuff time after time (Bush is lying about WMDs, torture will return to Iraq, corporate power is becoming more powerful by far than any other, and on and on) but who don’t have the skills and strengths to figure out what to do about it, let alone lead others in a movement.
    And the ones who might, like Obama or even Dick Cheney (if he’d devoted his life to something other than money, power and follwing the RW Authoritarian Playbook, he is so driven he might have been a great force for liberty and decency, not tyranny and darkness), are coopted into the Reality Show System, deriving all their wealth, power and identity from it, thus they can’t help the rest of us Peasant Slobs in a meaningful way beyond nonsensical “conventional wisdom” without losing all they worked to become, if not all they have.
    Either that, or due to human evolutionary design there IS nothing we can do except go extinct and hope the Earth’s next intelligent species, if there is one, can do better.
    I sure do hope God exists, because if She (I love saying that – it so pisses off the patriarchal authoritarians!) doesn’t, then all religion is just another scam to keep the Rubes docile and obedient while serving the Aristocracy and eating shit.
    “Just keep quiet, be meek and obey. After you die, there will be complete justice. All those Rich Bad People will get their just desserts and you will receive your just reward for being good, meek and obedient.”
    As I get older, I can’t help envisioning with my mind’s eye every King, Aristocrat and Priest/Rabbi/Mullah standing by a Peasant’s funeral wake, high-fiving each other and laughing, “Sucker!”

  246. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Mr. Obama, is a late Boomer but he’s a perfect example of the inherent
    fraudulence of their natures. He’s a
    Centrist Corporate Democrat who masquerades
    as a “power to the people” kind of guy.

    Regarding Obama, now THAT’S an example of both clarity and brevity that I am envious of. I believe the same thing, but would probably need ten paragraphs to say it as well as you said it in one.
    I would caution that every generation, like every race, has it’s share of assholes, saints, do-gooders, posers, and every other kind of person. Separating ourselves on the basis of generation is as counter-productive as seperating ourselves on race, when the REAL separation is along class lines, wealth and power.
    Plus, it plays right into the hands of the Aristiocratic Elite, who fear more than anything a unified populace finally noticing who caused all this, instead of under them, obeying and squabbling like the infants they think we are.
    I know we don’t see eye to eye on everything, but I do admire your brevity and clarity.

  247. D R Lunsford August 10, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    What a load of blather. Look around you – go to any rust belt city and find the wrecked streets of old Victorian houses, by the tens of square miles. You hedonistic slobs took the wires that connected this country to reality and you ripped them out with all possible force. When that was accomplished you started working on the old institutions such as libraries and prisons, emptying the former of books and filling the latter with illiterates. Then you destroyed the military to the extent that we can’t defeat armies that wear pajamas into battle. You grounded the space exploration initiative and you gutted the mental hospitals to save the money you stole by cutting the taxes of the idle venal while ordinary folks can’t make ends meet. Well I could obviously go on all night but you get the point, don’t you? You all make me want to vomit.
    -drl

  248. Hancock1863 August 10, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    I also enjoy your posts Wagelaborer, and if we have to agree to disagree on a few things, then so be it for we agree on much more than we disagree.
    Having said that, you said:

    Number one, most of human history has not been that of oppression. Oppression came with agriculture and “civilization”, and the development of class society.
    Hunter gatherer tribes, the last of which still exist, (but are being wiped out by multi-national corporations as we type), don’t have police, prisons, militaries, or some gorging while others starve.
    At the beginning of the 1800s, there was no class society where I now live. There were hunter gatherer tribes, and some trappers.
    Am I really supposed to believe that the extreme wealth and waste I see around me now is permanent and immutable? Why?
    Number two, this either/or dichotomy, like the democrat/republican dichotomy, implies that there are only two ways to organize society!
    Really? That seems quite limited to me. I think that we can do better than authoritarian central planning, and destruction of our ecosystem, whether by a central government or by private corporations.

    Just a couple points. I don’t know that hunter/gatherer tribes are quite as much like Rousseau’s “noble savages” as you seem to be intimating.
    Technology and energy supply magnify human dreams and nightmares both. I find it hard to believe that there was no venality or screwing over the “littlest guy” among hunter/gatherers. Perhaps the lack of the wealth concentration was more a factor that, until agriculture, there was little wealth to concentrate.
    Also, I am guessing that during times of food scarcity, people starved, too. Basically, it may be a matter of the larger scope that increased energy usage, agricultural production and technology allow than the idea that hunter/gatherers were so much more noble than the rest of us because of the system they lived under.
    And since we cannot truly know what happened before recorded history (hell, we can’t even be sure the recorded histories are telling the whole story), recorded human history is all we have to work with.
    Sure, we could probably do better than authoritarian central planning. That isn’t the problem. It’s that the wealthy and sociopathic are so driven to get what they want, so unencumbered by conscience, and so weasel cunning that they rise to the top no matter what system is imposed and remake it in their image, or so history teaches us.
    The either/or dichotomy IS oversimplified (my posts are long enough without adding more qualifications!) but consider it more of a surrogate substitute for “all systems”.
    You and I might loathe authoritarian central planning, by government, corporations, or anyone else, but history also shows that’s where the MONEY and POWER are. Thus, the portion of the wealthy and ambitious who are also sociopathic (and I expect the percentage rises the higher one climbs the rungs of power) will always be attracted to it like moths to the flame.
    They will always be scheming and dreaming of how to get theirs, unearned wealth, comfort, slaves virtual or actual, and above all, unchecked POWER.
    To me, that’s the problem, more than any other. Not the systems we devise but how best to keep the sociopaths from taking control, abusing everyone else and stealing everything that isn’t nailed down.
    I remain convinced that, thus far, the system of checks and balances envisioned by the Founding Fathers plus the Bill of Rights is the best way to do it.
    We can never get rid of the 5-10% of sociopaths who will always be with us. We just have to make it very very hard for them to do what they usually do.
    Whatever our other faults and flaws, the old USA kept the sociopaths from taking over the whole shebang for nearly 200 years. The beginning of the end, I speculate happened with the bloody coup of 11/23/63. The middle of the end happened with the bloodless coup on 12/12/2000 followed by the “Reichstag Fire” on 9/11/2001.
    The rest has all been waiting for the other shoes to drop.

  249. myrtlemay August 10, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    I wonder if you can believe that I was a former neighbor of Mr. Gates (in the early 1990s). My husband and I moved to Cambridge back in 1961. You may be interested to know that one of the many friends we had in those days included Mrs. Mary Parkman Peabody, a beautiful elderly woman who exuded all the charm, grace, and class you could ever imagine. Mary’s son, Chub, was none other than the GOVERNOR of our fair state. During the summer of 1964, Mary, along with Essy Burgess, Flo Rowe( and some others I didn’t know personally) were asked by our church leader, Bob Hayling, to go to Florida (I think it was St. Petersburg), to protest segregation at a lunch counter…got the idea from Woolworths, I suppose. Anyway, these elderly,high tone broads caught the attention of the whole country. Dr. MLK, Jr. got involved, when TSHTF! By the end of the whole ordeal, the Civil Rights Act was passed! And who says the 1960s were only about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. To hear young people tell it, you’d think they invented sex. Note to young people: Just how the _ell do you think you got here? Do you think your elders were just playing Canasta? If we were, we enjoyed the daylights out of it.

  250. progressorconserve August 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Mr. Lunsford,
    I don’t necessarily disagree with you about the boomers. As a generation, we suck. I am sure there some good ones (including me, of course) but I can’t think of a single good boomer in National Political life. That’s hyperbole, CFN, I’m not really asking that they all be pointed out and discussed.
    I think the only reason our resident impediment defends the boomers is because he likes to stir up posters with side issues.
    I will ask, though, D. R. that you consider your own birthdate. Anyone turning 65 (born 1945) this year is an OFFICIAL BOOMER. Most people fail to consider this.
    If you turn 80 this year (born 1930) I will say two things. One is that while you are not technically a boomer, you were probably shielded from some of the real hard times of the depression by your parents. The other thing I will say is that you are getting pretty old.
    If you turn 80 this year that means you hit your teen years in WWII and came of age in the postwar boom.
    I’ve actually got quite a bone to pick with individuals born 1930 to 1950. As a group, you people stole my toys when I was little, you wore out all the new desks and schoolbooks before I could get to them, you bought and traded houses that always (until recently) went up in value. Your stock investments went up for 20 years and you retired on great pensions that are now going the way of the Dodo bird.
    Now you are sailing off into the sunset leaving the tail end of the boomers and the X and Y’ers scratching their heads and wondering where the good times have gone.
    I will say no more about boomers, if I can avoid it. I don’t know who got us into this, but it is a worse use of bandwidth than that infernal Islamic Community Center we were tormenting last week.
    (Which looks ugly and out of place to me, VisionCube)

  251. San Jose Mom 51 August 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Grad school….then a secretary. I too was a secretary while I put myself through college. (Transfered from BYU to SJSU after I found BYU’s political views intolerable.)
    I worked at HP Labs in Palo Alto. Dave Packard & Bill Hewlett kept their original offices on Page Mill Drive, even though corporate moved down the street. I was secretary to one of the lab directors, and my cubicle was just yards away from Bill and Dave’s.
    Given the situation with the resignation of Mark Hurd, I can tell you that Bill and Dave are rolling in their graves regarding his behavior and lack of integrity.
    I recall walking down the hallowed halls of HP labs and Dave was walking toward the lobby with Admiral Rickover. (Old buddy from his days of being secretary of defence.) I was a sweet, young thing, back in the day, with really long blonde hair and high heels. Rickover pulled my ponytail and shamelessly flirted with me, saying, “Are all the secretaries models around here?” I looked at Packard and he said with his eyes, “I’m so sorry, you shouldn’t be subjected to his nonsense.”
    Oy vey.
    P.S. I always did my boss’s travel expense reports, buy he always checked them carefully and signed off that they were accurate.

  252. myrtlemay August 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Yes, those were the days. LOL, divorced my first husband in 1962 after catching him in bed with his secretary! Hubby number 2 I left with his bottle of whiskey. He spent more time with it than with me! Men, heels, all!

  253. Bill Simpson August 10, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    NO COLLAPSE JUST YET.
    It always takes longer for a system to collapse, than we think it will, because many people are doing all they can to keep it functioning.

  254. Eleuthero August 10, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    Well done, PorC. Indeed, Senor Asoka
    is our “resident impediment” and I
    damned near soiled myself laughing at
    the moniker. Asoka, I believe, is at
    bottom a good guy but he gets way too
    much impish delight at “stirring up
    the animal spirits” over issues that
    are “side issues” as you say.
    I also heartily agree with you that
    the generation born between around
    1930-1940 may be THE most spoiled
    generation in history. They were
    too young to remember the worst of
    the Depression. To young to be
    drafted into WWII. Too old to be
    in Vietnam. But just right to
    participate in the upside of America’s
    world domination after 1950.
    The “Greatest Generation”, the moniker
    given to the WWII fighters, were born
    around 1920-1925 … a BIG ten years
    difference. They fought WWII, they
    felt the Great Depression immensely.
    They lived through TWENTY years of
    deflation through 1949 when rents
    finally started going up.
    Sometimes a HALF of a generation of
    time is all the difference it takes
    to be a member of a besieged generation
    versus a very, very privileged one!!
    E.

  255. scott August 10, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know: Laurence Kotlikoff
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-11/u-s-is-bankrupt-and-we-don-t-even-know-commentary-by-laurence-kotlikoff.html
    Too many Asocka’s out there saying we can grow our way out if we just make the necessary political adjustments.

  256. scott August 11, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Reagan Insider: ‘GOP Destroyed U.S. Economy’
    “How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.” Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.”
    http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/110297/reagan-insider-gop-destroyed-us-economy

  257. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    My apologies PoC if my irreverant comments on religion offended you. My feelings are strong on this matter, though I still consider myself an agnostic because the only thing I am certain of is that I don’t know.
    I wasn’t being facetious when I said I hoped there was a God rather than none, because as many of we in the bottom 99% have probably said many times in the past 2000 years, I would gladly do my time in Hell for my relatively minor sins, if it meant Cheney, Hitler, Pol Pot, Pinochet and all the rest of History’s Murderous Aristocrats would suffer torments proportional to the number of people they made suffer and/or die when they otherwise would not have in their quest for the idols of power and wealth.

  258. Al Klein August 11, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Your assessment of the landscape is quite compelling, D R Lunsford. I also note that you sign your comments with your name, not some affected pseudonym. That alone says a whole lot. Suffice it to say that most people nowadays are not earnest. The plain fact is – as you point out – we have allowed our societal capital to be desecrated and squandered by people who cannot build what they criticize, denigrate and destroy.

  259. jdfarmer August 11, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    “There is a new generation of biofuels derived from wood, agricultural and forestry residues, and certain grasses is being developed. It is expected to be more energy efficient and to generate less greenhouse gases than current generation biofuels (i.e. made from agricultural crops), without competing with food supply. If sustainably managed, large forested areas could serve as a source for these second-generation biofuels.”
    Oh. My. God. (if there is one).
    Seriously, add up all the imported fertilizer, diesel, rubber for tires needed for the trucks to haul in the residues to the plants, WATER!, pesticides, subsidies, and seriously tell me that bio-fuels are “sustainable”.
    “David Pimental, a leading Cornell University agricultural expert, has calculated that powering the average U.S. automobile for one year on ethanol (blended with gasoline) derived from corn would require 11 acres of farmland, the same space needed to grow a year’s supply of food for seven people. Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion into ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUS. Thus, 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it. Every time you make one gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTUs.
    An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre, according to Pimentel’s analysis. Thus, even before corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol.”
    Read more here.
    http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm

  260. progressorconserve August 11, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Hancock,
    You said, “My apologies PoC if my irreverant comments on religion offended you.”
    No, no, no, my good man; absolutely no apologies are necessary. If we could have the luxury of ever talking in person you would know instantly that is impossible to offend me by tastefully irreverent religious comments.
    In person, the tone of my voice and facial expressions would communicate my own “default” Christ-based agnosticism. On these threads, and in print…apparently that doesn’t come across very well.
    Remember I said that this thread would be less repetitive if we had a FAQ section and photo icons for each recurrent poster….you know, Vlad on the compound with many adoring Aryan offspring…for example. (That’s humor, Vlad, roll with it.)
    Well, my icon with respect to religion would be me holding the VERY THIN Thomas Jefferson Bible in one hand with a large question mark over my head…while looking sadly at a list of All the Atrocities caused by All the World’s Religions.
    It’s a stupid photo icon, but you get the idea.
    Now, let me ask a question, hopefully without offending. Because I agree with you that November 22, 1963 was, perhaps, THE most tragic date for American history.
    And I think if you add in April 12, 1861 and September 1, 2001 you have a Trilogy of Tragedy, that leads ineluctably to the present gloomy situation in which we find ourselves.
    But you do not really think it is all a conspiratorial manipulation by our “power elites,” do you?

  261. lbendet August 11, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    in lieu of
    “Peak pretending now joins peak oil, peak credit, peak rare earths, and all the other peaks visible to us humble valley dwellers. Pretending bought America two years of respite from the ravages of fraud and mismanagement, but now the true condition of this society reveals itself like the disfigured ghoul in the sewer lowering his mask.”
    check this out:
    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-horrific-derivatives-bubble-that-could-one-day-destroy-the-entire-world-financial-system

  262. progressorconserve August 11, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Well stated regarding ethanol from corn, JD. And we all know where this foolishness came from, of course.
    It was lobbyists for ConAgra, ADM, and corporate farms who provided the main push AND the lubricant of money to the whores in Congress….that gave us corn based ethanol.
    It goes to my thesis that we don’t need conspiracy to explain current events, only the various elements of American Free Market Capitalism, each acting in its own selfish best interest, driving us rudderless into the future.
    With the result that nothing happens in Congress that does not benefit a major contingent of lobbyists…witness Health Care.
    Meanwhile, one acre of PV panels on a southern Georgia pecan farm provide the energy equivalent in KW of 8,000 gallons of gasoline.
    http://www.ajc.com/business/pecan-farm-to-double-541110.html
    But there are NO high-priced lobbyists pushing for this. And Georgia Power is actively spending money through their lobbyists to prevent smaller PV operators from doing solar projects and selling electricity to the utility.
    And I’m a long term investor in Georgia Power…but at least I can SEE THE PROBLEM.

  263. scott August 11, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Taleb Says Government Bonds to Collapse, Avoid Stocks
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-11/taleb-says-government-bonds-to-collapse-avoid-stocks.html
    Does anybody know what is going on in the bond markets? Looks like war in the currency markets, the Chinese buying up YEN to prevent FED from recycling Treasuries.

  264. scott August 11, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    This one usually trades like a snail with fairly minimal volatility. Look at what happened after FED meeting, historic volatility.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=TBT+Interactive#chart1:symbol=tbt;range=5d;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

  265. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    That was my point, Asoka.
    What you call forest waste or agricultural waste, Mother Earth calls future topsoil.
    A couple of weeks ago, I linked to an article quoting Marx talking about the importance of returning waste to the soil, and also the waste of human waste involved in dumping it into the Thames river.
    I would have thought that you, of all people, would have read the link! (Meaning that you seem to read voraciously).

  266. scott August 11, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    A Bubble Is Building In US Government Bonds
    http://jimrogers-investments.blogspot.com/2010/08/bubble-is-building-in-us-government.html
    His ex-partner George Soros made a billion dollars in a single day shorting the Pound Sterling. There are huge currency arbitrages happening right now, wish I was smart enough to play them.

  267. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Ummm, Cash, have you ever heard of the War of 1812?
    The US now has different relations with different countries in the world.
    While it feels free to bomb and assassinate citizens of powerless countries, it holds to a certain “honor among thieves” in some countries, like the European members of NATO, or the mostly white countries of the British Commonwealth.
    Not to say that the US didn’t interfere in Australia to overthrow Prime Minister Whitlam in 1975, or that when Japan elected a leftist Prime Minister who started making noises about US bases in Japan (now 65 years after the war), that suddenly the Congress became very concerned with Toyota brake problems. Until Japan backed off, and now you hear nothing about brakes.
    There are other ways to influence governments besides actually invading.
    Read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins to see some of the ways it is done.
    In any case, the US has access to Canadian forests, oil, wheat and water without invading.
    And, by the way, we have people here who can’t get over losing The War Between the States, almost 150 years ago.

  268. scott August 11, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Yeah, don’t like to hear about wars we lost like Viet Nam and the Civil War.

  269. scott August 11, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I do not view the Civil War a ‘the war against slavery”, I view it as the war against localization and the war for debt slavery, federalization and centralization of power in Washington. Prior to the civil war there were many viable local currencies throughout the U.S. and not just in the South. The Civil War ended local currencies and handed power over to the Federal government.

  270. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    You said:

    Now, let me ask a question, hopefully without offending. Because I agree with you that November 22, 1963 was, perhaps, THE most tragic date for American history.
    And I think if you add in April 12, 1861 and September 1, 2001 you have a Trilogy of Tragedy, that leads ineluctably to the present gloomy situation in which we find ourselves.
    But you do not really think it is all a conspiratorial manipulation by our “power elites,” do you?

    Nope, you’re not offending. Ironically, my feelings on this are much the same as my feelings on the existance of God. The only thing I am absolutely SURE about is that I don’t know for sure.
    However, since the stolen election of 2000 and all the rest of it, it seems to me that the naked hand of power is showing itself more obviously than usual, lately.
    Many can argue about that, though it’s all speculation. It may be we can see it because of the vast information sharing qualities of the Internet that, amid the sea of bullshit out here, the truth or close to it resides like a needle in a haystack. It may be that that TPTB are moving faster because TLE and dieoff/keyhole are now getting close and they have to cement their position in preparation for it. It could also be that it’s not the dieoff/keyhole, but now that that Aristocratic Crony Capitalism is the unchallenged Master of the World, the brief relaxation of controls over the Peasantry and them plying us with geewgaws, gadgets and a tiny piece of the oil-fueled “good life”, is going to be reversed because it’s not necessary anymore to treat us any differently than we were treated for 7940 of the last 8000 years.
    It could be that, it could be something else. Hell, it could be an “unhappy coincidence” based on simple shortsighted, yet uncoordinated, greed, exactly as you say, but as I have said before, the WHY of it all stops mattering since the result is exactly the same as if their WAS a Grand Conspiracy.
    Having said that, do I suspect something is going on behind the curtain? Yes. Criminal conspiracies are tried and convicted every day in the courts. Add to that the fact that conspiracies and assassinations have been part and parcel of the Power Elite’s machinations for all of history and now SUDDENLY we expect that it stopped?
    Watergate actually WAS a Grand Conspiracy who’s investigation to get to the bottom of it was cut of very prematurely, almost certainly before all the ciminals involved were uncovered. What am I then to make of the coincidence (and perhaps that’s all it is) that the political landscape of the nation currently looks like it was dreamt of by the Watergate Conspirators?
    Do I think the Kennedy Assassination was a Conspiracy? So do as many as 3/4s of the American People and the 1978 House Subcommittee on Assassinations, so on that I certainly am not alone on that one.
    History tells us to follow the power and the money. If the Kennedys don’t die, Nixon doesn’t get elected. If Nixon doesn’t get elected, Reagan doesn’t get elected.
    And since these vast feudal authoritarian changes to our economy and society, most of which can be seen clearly in graphs as having gradually begun in 1980, yes, I connect the dots and speculate that maybe what has been going on for 7940 of 8000 years of history has actually been going on the whole time.
    Ever heard of Maj. General Smedley Butler and the Business Plot of 1934? Take 20 minutes to listen to this and understand that we Peasants know very little of what is actually going on behind the Reality Show Dumbshow, and that was true even during FDR’s “Golden Age of the Common Man”, now long over and probably not coming back because there’s no Cheap Oil left.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/document/document_20070723.shtml
    But in the end, did it matter whether the Reichstag Fire was set by the Nazis or by a Dutch Communist? Nope. Does it matter whether Kennedy, Kennedy, King, and Rabin were assassinated by the customary convenient “lone gunman” who always seems to coincdientally serve the needs of the Aristocratic Elite, or a Bush-CIA conspiracy? Nope.
    Does it matter whether 9/11 was performed by the laughable official conspiracy theory that 19 guys with boxcutters and no help from an intelligence infrastructure or a Bush-Mossad False Flag Op? On the same day that the USA’s air defenses were running no less than four simulations INVOLVING HIJACKED AIRPLANES, one of them actually simulating a hijacked airplane crashing into the Pentagon? And then a couple days later the “lead terrorist’s” passport drifts down out of the inferno untouched? Nope.
    Ever heard of Operation Northwoods? If not, you should read about it and understand that maybe not all “conspiracy theories” are so farfetched, considering here was a Vast Crminal Conspiracy calmly planned at the highest levels of government.
    If JFK hadn’t told them no, it may have become a reality. Perhaps like the 2001 “Operation North Tower” became. But you can bet THAT one won’t be declassified. Why? Becuase it was carried out, unlike Northwoods.
    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/11_20_01_op_nwoods.html
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf
    (the original declassified document)
    Tell me that, once you know about Gen Smedley Butler and the Business Plot, and about Operation Northwoods, that you can look at all this stuff which continues to benefit the same small group of neolibs and neocons at the expense of everyone else the same way you did before?

  271. Qshtik August 11, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    what was most revealing about the mosque discussion is not one poster–Asoka, QSKITK, cathy, ProCon–discussed, condemned, supported, the proposed building based on visual considerations
    =================
    Cube, I’ve been meaning to get back to you about this comment. I don’t want you to think I’m just some clod who never gives a thought to aesthetics. I am a function over form guy but both do count. In this instance, however, both form and function are irrelevant. The question is: is this yet another slap in the face of the great satan by Islam. I found the British guy’s 6 min video VERY convincing.
    This is probably a lame analogy but if I have a 10 year old in the local school and I learn that his new homeroom teacher is a recently released pedophile I’m not the least bit interested in the guy’s academic qualifications to teach.

  272. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    There is a difference between petty jealousies, infighting and backbiting that we all know about, and the massive oppression and murder that comes about from wealth concentration, as we know it today.
    I agree that the problem is wealth concentration, enabled first by agriculture, and then by mechanization controlled by a few.
    We do know some things that happened before recorded history, because, as I pointed out, there are still people living as they did before some of us started recording history.
    I happened to have an interest in this, because when I started having children, I wanted to raise them differently than the often brutal, and truly commoditified way that Americans of the late 20th century do.
    I read a lot of books on child rearing practices, and some of them referenced tribal ways.
    It seems that you are right, and some tribes were downright nasty, and some were pretty idyllic. (Although anyone who’s been to junior high school, or works for a living knows about nasty backbiters).
    I think that Jane Goodall pointed out that some chimps were loving mothers and some were child abusers, and their offspring reflected that.
    Apparently, the easier it was to live off the land, the more egalitarian the society.
    Like Tahiti. Man, I wish I had lived there back in the day!
    I do agree with you that the problem is setting up a system that has checks and balances to prevent the greedy from prospering.
    We don’t have that here anymore.
    I would go back farther than the coup of 1963.
    The Civil War enabled corporations, which had been struggling to prevail over counter-balancing popular forces, to gain in riches and power. They took the money and power and ran with it, consolidating both, with a brief setback with the Progressives, until the 30s, when popular forces made them give up some concessions.
    After the coup of 1963, they slowly crawled their way back, gaining momentum in the 80s, and now reign supreme over all of us and most of the planet.
    We could live like the people of Tahiti, with our productive forces, in my opinion.
    We WASTE so much energy, human and fossil fuel, that I believe that we could cut back to a sustainable way of living, and still live damn well.
    But, of course, we also have to cut back on baby production. But in this country, face it, people are as disposable as diapers. Millions of our American kids are born with absolutely no hope for a decent future. Their parents take no interest in raising them to be thinking human beings. No problem. We just imprison them, or entice them into the military, or use them to work lousy jobs.

  273. CynicalOne August 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    “Peak pretending.”
    Absolute perfection Mr. K.
    I see it all around me. From joe/jane sixpack to the president. It’s a good part of why we’re in this economic mess.
    Off topic, but I’ll play:
    I’m a late boomer so I spent the early 60s learning to walk, talk and use a potty :) Got my 3 Rs during the second half of the decade. So…I missed out on the sex, drugs and rock & roll. Thank God! In the 70s & 80s I finished school, got married, had a child and was a stay-at-home mom…
    Not sure why DR hates me and don’t really care;)
    Ok. Now…..
    PoC, tripp, etc…I would love it if some of you could get this train wreck back on the tracks. Talk to us about your garden, chickens, latest projects…ANYTHING real, down-to-earth and meaningful. PLEASE. And what happened to Mean Dovey? I miss her posts. Sigh…..

  274. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    So what did you think about the aesthetics of the WTC buildings that blew to pieces on 9-11?
    How did you like the way they looked?

  275. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    A very interesting post, Al. But I have a couple points I’d like to bring up.
    You said:

    Your assessment of the landscape is quite compelling, D R Lunsford. I also note that you sign your comments with your name, not some affected pseudonym. That alone says a whole lot. Suffice it to say that most people nowadays are not earnest.

    Regarding pseuodnyms and peoples’ lack of earnestness. While a goodly number of people aren’t in earnest, as has always been the case no matter how much we’d like to idealize the past, I am not sure you can equate anonymity with lack of earnestness.
    Surely you are aware that there are plenty of crazies out there. Perhaps you are unaware how often it is that Internet activists, particularly those going up against authoritarianism, have their public information posted and became endlessly harassed because they used their real names and because researching someone’s private life is easy in the Age of the Internet?
    That is simply a reality of modern life, Al, and I don’t think you can be so dismissive of it in your contempt for the anonymous pseudonym.
    During the great national debate over the Constitution, many of the Founding Fathers and other citizens used anonymous pseudonyms like “Publius”, “Brutus”, “Agrippa”, and “An Old Whig” on their public writings. Look it up.

    The plain fact is – as you point out – we have allowed our societal capital to be desecrated and squandered by people who cannot build what they criticize, denigrate and destroy.

    We are made strong by our differences. Society needs BOTH thinkers and doers, something we seem to have forgotten in the rising anti-intellectualism currently occurring.
    For example: Descartes, Locke, Rousseau, and Hobbes were exactly the types of people you reviled in your post. Criticizers and complainers who were in no way capable of building what they criticized, who tore down the social fabric with their critical words.
    But lo and behold, a century or so later, people who’s strengths WERE in building and doing, the Founding Fathers, took the works of those criticizing complainers and used them to form the basis of constitutional governance of the newly formed USA.
    I don’t wish to discuss your generational criticism because I believe it counterproductive and somehwat pointless. We ALL share the blame for what our nation is today. Some more than others, yes, but we all share a portion of blame.

  276. progressorconserve August 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Hancock,
    I am now going to use my natural tendency toward consensus and a desire for the big picture to forge a summary of *our* thoughts. (I am also going to expose some of my basic laziness and current shortness of time by mostly using your words and excerpts of your web pages:
    ***********************************************
    The Smedley Butler plot:
    The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression
    Operation Northwoods:
    In 1962 the Pentagon and the CIA were desperate for a war with Cuba. How desperate? Desperate enough to plan attacks against American bases, equipment and personnel. Desperate enough to dress up American trained Cubans as Communists to make the attacks on American bases. Desperate enough to manufacture an airplane that looked like a Russian MiG to shoot down an American airliner
    **********************************************
    Of course these things happened, Hancock. The US has done much worse than this through the years. Just notice that in both cases is was Americans doing what they selfishly thought best for themselves and their “agencies.”
    =============================================
    Then, again, in your words, Hancock:
    It could be that, it could be something else. Hell, it could be an “unhappy coincidence” based on simple shortsighted, yet uncoordinated, greed, exactly as you say, but as I have said before, the WHY of it all stops mattering since the result is exactly the same as if their WAS a Grand Conspiracy.
    ================================================
    So you are an agnostic about conspiracy theories. That’s OK, I am an Atheist concerning the same theories. We can leave it at that, since we seem to agree about most other things, and agree to “speak no more” of our Beliefs on Conspiracy….if we so desire.
    Or, it may be that I am missing your main point, or you are missing mine. In which case we will continue this discussion until we understand one another more completely.
    Regards,
    C

  277. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    By the way, Al, just curious. How do you know that “D.L. Lunsford” is actually his or her real name?
    How do I know that Al Klein is actually your name?
    Tricky places, those Internets.

  278. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Interesting how we came to similar conclusions from opposite starting points!

  279. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    I don’t know if Q will read your post, but I started it, and was struck by this paragraph, which references something I talked about Aug.10, 12:49pm.
    “In fact, however illegality set in as soon as the Communists were unconstitutionally expelled from the Reichstag. Above all, the seizure of power succeeded because one party, the German Nationalists, dreamed of being able to use National Socialism, which they held in contempt, as a means for their own power political ends while retaining control of it. The Reichstag, after the expulsion of the Communists, passed the so-called “enabling act” with the votes of all parties except the Social Democrats. This was tantamount to a repeal of the constitution by legal means, on the peak. of an emotional wave of delusion, impotence, fear, and intoxication. This majority decided to wreck the foundation of all future freedom of choice. Minds were put at rest by Hitler’s oral promise to refrain from violating the constitution. That this one irreversible act constituted the suicide of political freedom was not understood.”
    You have said a couple of times that it didn’t matter who set the Reichstag fire, or blew up the WTC towers.
    I think it does. They NEED these shock and awe events to get the unthinking masses to go along with their consolidation of power.
    Most people prefer personal freedom. To get people to show their papers, line up and strip for uniformed authorities, urinate into cups and give it to others, and all the other petty indignities that we endure now, you have to convince them that they are under attack, and only by stripping and peeing into cups will they be safe!
    Look at Q. He goes along with whatever Fox News tells him is the threat of the day. How is he so easily convinced?
    By his own admission, he thinks the Muslims are out to Get Him! Why does he think this? Because the Bush White House, the Obama White House, and the corporate media tells him so, and 9-11 proved it to him.
    Shock and Awe. It works!

  280. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    I agree with you that “Peak Pretending” is a wonderfully descriptive term which very much captures our entire modern society in a brief slogan.
    Sorry about the excessive philosophizing, but TLE is as much about these larger concepts as it is about real-world responses to TLE such as gardening, raising chickens, composting toilets, and all the rest.
    If Jim’s blog comments had sub-categories, we could separate the philosophizing and organic farming/permaculture posts so anyone who didn’t want to be subjected to one or the other, wouldn’t have to be. Personally, I like ‘em both.
    Because this is one long-ass linear comments section with no categories, various conversations must cross with each other by necessity.
    If you’re reading these comments, JHK, how about it? Maybe you could create a couple categories to reduce the clutter and allow people to choose to ignore the conversation topics they wish to ignore?

  281. San Jose Mom 51 August 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Today is the start of Ramadan, and they are testing a giant, new clock in Mecca. There are pictures of it on Huffington Post. The building is giant and it dwarfs Islam’s most holy site. I’m not kidding when I say that the building design is totally “Las Vegas mega hotel.”
    The clock is bigger than London’s Big Ben. I guess bad taste is a global epidemic.

  282. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Since we’re on the Nazis-
    Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
    In an interview with Gilbert in Göring’s jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946)

  283. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    I think we understand and respect each other’s main points well enough that further hashing over them won’t accomplish much.
    How’s you’re gardening going? Do you practice permaculture, like trippticket, and have you looked into it?
    Have you yet met trippticket, since you two seem to live fairly near each other?

  284. Vision Cube August 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Qshtik,
    I have a feeling that if the Cordoba building project put forth a classical sculpture memorializing the victims that your stance would not be so rigidly dismissive of “form and function”. But of course you would have to take a peek to decide one way or another.
    I gather from some of your comments that you view Islam in a very monolithic light, even going so far as to declare the construction of the proposed building as a ‘victory for Al Qaeda’. Respectfully, I could not disagree more. The real victory for Al Qaeda is grouping together the non-radical population of Islam into unwitting sympathizers and enablers of terrorist activity and the AQ camp in general. Indiscriminate classification is a recruiting tool for AQ that barely needs to lift a finger; the projections of the classifiers draw stratified lines in the sand of the enemies they ironically seek to defeat. Lines that encircle huge numbers of the formerly moderate into the realm of zealotry and intolerance
    You might say, where are the voices of so-called moderate Islam speaking out against the purveyors of hate, violence, and destruction? And I would say, in the same huddled, self-protective position that humans everywhere assume when faced with the prospect of laying low or having your family assassinated by organized crime thugs, brutal dictators,religious zealots, or misguided military excursions. It’s easy to urge for obstinate revolt when one’s own family is not on the line.
    I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree. But one last time–I promise–the proposed building is a disaster from a visceral vantage point–IMO. Although it has attractive qualities, it simply strikes me as smoke enveloping a scaled down WTC stepchild. On the gut level, it just ain’t working for me.

  285. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Regarding your comment on the whys of the Reichstag Fire and 9/11, let me qualify by saying it only doesn’t matter because we can never find out what actually happened because the TPTB would NEVER allow it.
    Even if no Grand Conspiracy was involved, simple self-interest would cause them to suppress the data. Can you imagine the effect if proof were released that Bush, Cheney or Mossad either “let 9/11 happen on purpose” or ran the clueless perpetrators themselves through 3rd Parties like former (and perhaps current) CIA tool, Osama Bin Laden, then confused our defense systems with “simulations” that coincidentally simulated the same thing that was actually happening?
    One one side, a third or more of the nation would be enraged. On the other side, the RW Lie Machine would swiftly move to drown out the proof in a sea of their usual Shrieking Disinformation Noise, and as usual, the gullible 30% of our authoritarian followers would believe it without question, no matter how concrete the proof.
    Sporadic violent clashes would probably begin shortly. Even if there actually are two sides to the TPTB, rather than two wings of the same Corporate Oligarchy, I could easily see them both conspiring to cover it up for the good of the country (really for the good of the Aristocratic Status Quo but they see those things as one and the same).
    So let me qualify that it doesn’t matter precisely because we can never know, and would never be allowed to know even if we could.
    Catch-22 and almost senseless, I know, but it’s always been clear the world doesn’t make the remotest bit of sense. Never has and apparently never will.
    Goering’s comments were frightening and (sadly) deeply prescient.
    That may be the sacriest thing of all. That the science of psychology has come pretty close to proving that, far from being creatures of reason, we humans are at bottom infantile bundles of easily manipulated emotions covered by the tinest sheen of “after the fact” rationalization. All of us, no matter how we may try to resist it, are driven by this core evolutionary hardwiring.
    If true, that’s a problem that no one can solve.

  286. Vision Cube August 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Wage,
    I thought it was ugly on one hand and yet successful from the standpoint of being a formal embodiment of the corporate environment and ethos it encapsulated–overbearing, indifferent, acute, cold.

  287. scarlet runner August 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Heritage turkeys are nice. Wild turkeys are my favorite. I don’t have to raise them, just hunt them. There’s gotta be some wild ones near you.

  288. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Sadly, you are probably right.
    I still live in the 19th century, in terms of believing in the promise of humanity.
    http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2008/07/unitarians-and-rush-limbaugh.html
    But the reality of the 21st century intrudes upon my hopefulness.

  289. scarlet runner August 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I’ve got 2 addictions. 1) my three bean salad from home grown ingredients habit and 2)endorphin highs from running. I hope to sustain both indefinitely.
    By the way, I really like Jim’s essay this week.
    Always good to read your thought-provoking comments too, Tripp.

  290. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Keep living in that 19th Century World, then. If humanity has any hope at all of a brighter future, a “Star Trek” future, if you will, then the many people out there who are fighting corporate authoritarianism like yourself need to keep on.
    There is the philosophy that it is better to die on one’s feet fighting than to live on one’s knees. Also, there is the philosophy that it is the honest effort that matters, even if it is unsuccessful, doubly so in things poltical and revolutionary.
    Look at the inspiration so many have taken from Spartacus’ unsuccessful slave rebellion 2000+ years ago.
    Maybe I’m right about The Big Picture, but maybe I am wrong. Maybe JHK is wrong about more than his immediate catastrophic predictions.
    One thing is clear, if everyone believed as I did, and stopped fighting because of it’s ultimate futility, then we’d have Vlad’s Fascist Paradise or something equally horrific here tomorrow.
    It’s tough for me to reconcile these things, so the best I can say is that I hope I am wrong, and I hope people keep fighting as I did in the past, even if it is futile, if only to show future generations that fighting authoritarianism is possible.
    Just as Spartacus showed to future generations 1900 years before slavery actually was mostly eliminated from the “civilized” world.
    Perhaps one day I will rejoin that fight, as I did in the past.
    Finally, that was quite a moving piece about the Unitarians after they got Freeped, so to speak.
    In what is now a customary expectation of RW authoritarian corruption that permeates the USA, his “suicide note” was 100% suppressed and unknown until the FINAL DAY of his sentencing.
    It reads, other than the murderous sentiments, pretty much like any typical Hannity, Savage or any cookie-cutter RW Lie Machine broadcast.
    Can’t expose the Plebeians to anything that might make them question the “nobility” of their authoritarian demagogues, can we? It was a simple marketing decision but what is most amazing was that, in a nation where virtually every detail about every serial killer and mass murderer is leaked to the press in near-realtime as they are uncovered, that such a central document in such a case could so easily just be disappeared like that.
    http://web.knoxnews.com/pdf/021009church-manifesto.pdf

  291. CynicalOne August 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Hancock,
    I too enjoy the philosophizing here on CF..for a time. Then, I guess my brain needs something else..for a time. Maybe I have ADD :-/
    I like your idea of sub-categories. I have multiple interests. But something tells me Mr. K would like to keep it simple. We’ll see.
    In the meantime, carry on. I’m off to make bread :)

  292. asoka August 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Wagelaborer and jdfarmer, I am reconsidering my enthusiasm for non-agricultural and forest wastes biomass.
    Wage you make a good point about the wastes eventually becoming topsoil. I may be completely wrong about this, so I thank both of you for educating me on this.
    It saddens me to think a renewable fuel which does not contribute as much to climate change would be lost to the mix.
    There are so many good comments this week, and I have a dial-up connection which sometimes drops, so I am really unable to keep up with the flow.
    I apologize if I miss someone´s comment and fail to respond. It is not intentional and I am not a resident impediment.
    “Resident impediment” comments have hurt my feelings. I may need some time to heal. It´s what we boomers do.

  293. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Hancock.
    Sometimes I tell myself similar things, to keep going. I have looked to Mark Twain and that priest that protested the massacre of the natives of Hispaniola.
    That was a creepy letter. I take it personally, of course. And you’re right, he got it straight from the paid hatemongers.
    One consolation. It was clearly a suicide note, and yet, the “cowardly” liberal Unitarians rushed him and took him down without hurting him.
    As an ER nurse, I deal with my share of botched suicides.
    Sometimes, I feel sorry for them. Whatever shitty life they had that drove them to such drastic measures, they STILL have the shitty life, but now with brain damage or paralysis. Bummer.
    But this guy? I’m glad that the liberals didn’t kill him. He’s still got his shitty life, but now he’s in prison.

  294. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    What happened to you, Q?
    I am trying to believe that you are one of the few remaining thinking “true conservatives” and not a RW Noise Machine-addled authoritarian follower.
    I posted a reply complete with bolstering of my assertions (which I stand by) using the facts of history and other underpinnings.
    Then you disappeared. Which, I suppose is better than the misdirectional shriek-fest of irrelevancies, straw men, and red herrings that is the customary response from a typical RW Noise Machine-addled authoritarian follower.
    But it is still avoidance. How do you reply to my examples which underpin my assertions that in the area of being duped by authoritarian propaganda, liberals and intellectuals do seem to have an edge over the rest of the populace, which history clearly shows and which I have laid out just a few of the many examples thereof?
    And not just because liberals and intellectuals seem to be, without fail, among the primary targets of authoritarians, going all the way back to and probably before Gallileo and his theory that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe, which upset the empowerment of the patriarchal RW authoritarian rulers of the day.
    I also maintain that, literally, there was no Left on the planet Earth before the Liberal Founding Fathers who dared to believe that Commoners had the right to determine our own destinies and run our own affairs.
    Can you dispute that, using history and facts? If so, please name the nations in which Liberalism was a dominant force prior to 1776?
    That should be an easy enough question to answer.
    What say you, Q?

  295. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Well, I think you add a lot, asoka.
    Don’t let the cranks hurt your feelings.
    They don’t have to read your posts, as you point out.
    And actually, not to hurt your feelings, but when you start listing the “accomplishments” of Obama, I don’t read very far.

  296. CynicalOne August 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    asoka wrote:
    “I have a dial-up connection which sometimes drops, so I am really unable to keep up with the flow.”
    Me too, asoka. I feel your pain.

  297. Qshtik August 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Does anybody know what is going on in the bond markets?
    =================
    Hi Scott. A word of warning .. you’re not going to win friends and influence people at this party by asking questions like the one above.
    I was talking to a couple of people on the other side of the room and I just had to get away. One was a common laborer and she was drinking a beer (Bud, no less) straight from the bottle. The other was a guy who, I think he said, was related to a signer of the Declaration of Independence and he was “connecting the dots” from Lee Harvey Oswald right through Reagan’s second term. Between the two of them my eyes rolled so far back in my head I thought they were never to return. But I took a few deep breaths and they slowly descended back to where they belong.
    It was then that I spotted you over here by the buffet table and excused myself to get some more canapes and bubbly before the hoi polloi gobbled everything up.
    So here I am and I wanted to chat with you about Taleb and bonds. (I was evesdropping on your brief conversation with that farmer from Macon and just before he left you standing here I saw his eyes roll back in his head. It’s not easy to find two like minds around here is it?)
    So anyway, yeah, I am in total agreement with Taleb that it’s a “no brainer” … at some point bond prices must collapse sending interest rates soaring. The inverse leveraged ETF (symbol TBT) as you correctly point out appears to be an excellent vehicle to be riding when the collapse finally arrives. The trouble is, to paraphrase an old saying, interest rates could stay low for longer than you can stay solvent.
    Over the past year I have been “scaling in” to TBT as its price fell. I’ve made six buys, each at a lower price than the previous buy and sit today with all six lots under water. My brother who knows a thing or two about the markets thinks I’m nuts. He says Bernanke has made it as clear as glass that he intends to keep interest rates low for a long time so what’s the rush to get into TBT?
    Somehow, I remain strangely serene. I have this feeling that when the turn comes it’s going to be quick and violent.
    My hands are occupied here … would you mind scooping a little of that caviar onto my plate and pouring me some more Brut?

  298. San Jose Mom 51 August 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    My sister used to live in Bonny Doon (above Santa Cruz) she used to buy three turkey chicks each year and name them Thanksgiving, Christmas & Easter.
    Easter usually got so big he wouldn’t fit in the oven.

  299. Cash August 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Absolutely. The area where I grew up is full of battlesites and monuments from that war. But I have to say this, it was not much of a war. And it was 200 years ago. Not a peep since.
    You say …In any case, the US has access to Canadian forests, oil, wheat and water without invading.
    Correct. But Americans buy the goods, you don’t steal them. We willingly sell them because we benefit and make a good living from it. Canadian govts collect taxes and royalties on the resources that are extracted, not American govts. Those govt revenues are used for our benefit, not for the benefit of Americans. It’s Canucks that control access to the resources and Americans respect that control.
    Its a big world and Americans are only 5% of it. You do have influence, no question, but IMO it’s predominantly “soft power”. The US is powerful because the American way of life is so attractive to so many people around the world. Iranians gather by the thousands and chant “death to America”. But they are jaw dropping hypocites. Ask an Iranian, there is no place they’d rather be than New Jersey.
    IMO, given its massive military, the US has been restrained in its use. It chose to fight in relatively small wars and suffered relatively small casualties compared to WW1 and WW2. It rendered Europeans a huge service by keeping the USSR out of western Europe for which there is absolutely no appreciation from the ingrates that benefitted. If the Russians had occupied France I think that fine French wines and cheeses would have been exceedingly scarce in French shops. Rather they would have been shipped east for the enjoyment of the Party Bosses in Moscow and Stalingrad. Has this ever occurred to the French? Doubtful. Maybe they should ponder what life would have been like subsisting on cabbage and potatoes like other communist countries.
    I think also that many people are over eager to point the finger at the US but are too squeamish about pointing it elsewhere. For examle, the USSR brutally squashed rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, they meddled in the affairs of countries the world over, they fomented and financed wars but nobody points the finger at them. China is propping up a miserable, nasty regime in North Korea. Where’s the Hollywood glitterati on that one?
    Make no mistake, communism and communists were shitty and brutal. Ask anybody that used to live in eastern Europe. It’s because of the United States that we’ve seen the last of it. The world owes a debt of gratitude to Americans. Do you see it?
    Are Americans innocent? No. But are they the bad guys that so many people seem to think? Not from my perch. Are Americans imperialists? Take it from me, a non American who has spent a lot of his life working with Americans and for American companies: no way, no how.

  300. asia August 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    that is now the 2nd time here you have corrected the spelling of viola!
    on a more pressing matter, would you start a
    ‘ JHK, please ban asoka from CFN, we the underside beg you to’ petition?
    or do you secretly enjoy his aggravation?
    [woops almost spelt agra with an i]

  301. asia August 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    in a few more decades the oceans will be so utterly overfished its said there will be no more fish in them . yet some peeps here bond by talking animal slaughter.yuk……………

  302. asia August 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    asoka fail lives in a world where ‘ apple computers is doing great, hence what me worry’?

  303. Qshtik August 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I have a feeling that if the Cordoba building project put forth a classical sculpture memorializing the victims that your stance would not be so rigidly dismissive of “form and function”.
    ===================
    I’ll tell you what would really impress me – and don’t think I’m trying to be snide – if they waited a respectable time period (25 – 50 years) and opened a gorgeous mosque (like those I saw in Dubai) in the heart of Mecca, memorializing the 9/11 victims, complete with speeches from Saudi royalty and tear-stained faces of vast muslim hordes. What are the odds on that?

  304. asia August 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    i think he means fasting 19 waking hours.
    in any case asokafail.

  305. trippticket August 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    I’ve heard that pot is 200 times more potent today than it was in 1970. That’s some plant breeding I can get behind! (And can help with when the time comes;) At long last several U.S. states have begun the process of decriminalizing the stuff.
    Now I know I’m a simpleton, but who gets to say which plants are illegal? Lots of worse stuff out there than weed! That’s like saying, “hey buddy! wait!! Damn it man, we outlawed Nitrogen. Yeah, sorry, you can’t breathe that portion of the atmosphere anymore. I know, mean and unfair, isn’t it?”
    ;o)

  306. asia August 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    we have a gun to their head, they to ours is one way of looking at it.
    someone else posted here they will buy their own goods. maybe, on average they make 1k a year or less and live under horrible conditions.
    i very much agree with JHK that they need water and other resources. they are looking…africa, south america.
    i expect war to break out in the region and it will be nuclear.
    maybe from pakistan, maybe china [ look what they did and continue to do in tibet].

  307. trippticket August 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Q, you’re a god dang riot today!

  308. trippticket August 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Love you, Asoka.

  309. trippticket August 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    It’s been a long time since I hunted, but I’m thinking about buying a simple recurve bow and getting back to it. Beats trying to work the meat into your garden plan!

  310. Qshtik August 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    [woops almost spelt agra with an i]
    =================
    No Asia, aggravation is fine but you might want to take a look back at viola (a four-stringed instrument of the violin family) as well as underside.
    I swear, when I read your post I burst out laughing and I thought of asking if you had some kind of learning disability but then I said Nah, I like Asia, that would be too mean-spirited.

  311. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Damn. It’s hot here.
    I think I’ll drink an ice cold bottle of Bud. Ummmm

  312. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Gosh, Cash, as an American I guess I should just bask in your unquestioning, undying love, but as a realist I just can’t.
    Not imperialist? What do 1,000 military bases around the world mean, then?
    http://www.fpif.org/articles/too_many_overseas_bases

  313. progressorconserve August 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Dear CynicalOne and all other females,
    You do recall my delight when I discovered you were Ms. CynicalOne? Well, keep that delight close to your heart and hold on.
    =============================================
    Because when you said, “PoC, tripp, etc…I would love it if some of you could get this train wreck back on the tracks. Talk to us about your garden, chickens, latest projects…ANYTHING real, down-to-earth and meaningful. PLEASE.
    ===============================================
    That sort of hit a nerve with me.
    I said earlier in the thread this week that I believe this website, like reality, has a bias to the left. I also think it is quite evident that there is a definite *male look* to a lot of the postings.
    You, Cynical, MeanDovey, Myrtlemay, SanJoseMom, Femme…you five are just off the top of my head, there are many others. But you women add much to this website and to my family, my country, and my planet. Please never leave.
    You are correct that this website is something of a weinerfest. Were we meeting in the real world I think it would be a matter of just a short while before some of these guys started beating their chests and flapping their reproductive apparatus at one another. That is probably not attractive imagery, so I will apologize in advance.
    But while that wizzing contest was going on I would grab as many of you female types as I could locate at the meeting and head off to a quiet table in the corner to talk about some really important stuff.
    Mainly, I would like to “pick your brains” about how we can go about getting the female 50% of the human population on Earth (3,000,000,000 =/- women!) more involved and more outspoken concerning the future of Life in the US and on the Planet.
    Some of this *big male brain* palaver on CFN is pretty boring to me, I will freely admit. But some of it is about some stuff that is important. I mean REALLY important.
    And we ALL need the female perspective.
    You just have to pick and choose! :-) ;-)
    Meantime, the Dog days of Summer have their hands around the throat of the garden. The chickens hunker down in the heat, enjoy the rotten tomatoes and veggies and continue to lay eggs. But they will be happier when cooler weather arrives. As will my wife and I….when we can restart projects that the heat forced us to abandon. Then pretty soon we’ll all be complaining about the cold weather again.
    Go figure?
    Best regards girls,
    C

  314. progressorconserve August 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Q,
    You’re getting to be a pretty good story teller for a Yankee.
    And NOW, I find out Wage is female…that’s a little late for me, now.
    Wage, I’m sorry I left you off my list of ladies. But I’m also sorry if I ruffled your feminist feathers.
    And now I’m sorry I used a feather metaphor if you are female….dang, this equal rights stuff is confusing.
    Q, be careful with holding an untra-short fund long term. It’s OK if you have a plan for it, but watch out for fees and costs, too.
    And I’ve let some stuff slip that I’m an investor…maybe even in the *investor class.*
    Does that make me an enemy of workers and Unions. I think not, since I’ve been both a laborer and a union member. I would think it makes me able to understand both sides.
    Maybe I AM a utopian.
    Is anyone else confused, here?

  315. progressorconserve August 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Now I am exposed as an investor who can’t spell ultra
    UNTRA…jeeze!
    It’s ultra, ultra, ultra, ultra
    Bad POC, BAD, BAD!

  316. Qshtik August 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    even going so far as to declare the construction of the proposed building as a ‘victory for Al Qaeda’.
    =================
    You’re pulling my chain right?
    Please advise the date and time of the post in which I declared “the construction of the proposed building as a ‘victory for Al Qaeda’.”

  317. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    You can be a very funny guy, Q, I will give you that.
    People backed into a corner and unable to answer a few simple direct questions have been known to escape the situation in many different ways, some of them pretty damned nasty.
    I do believe your dodge was one of the most creative and enjoyable ones I’ve ever seen.
    I laughed like hell when I read your post. Nicely done and a breath of fresh air after all the heavy talk.
    You still can’t answer my questions, but damn, that was some funny stuff!
    I’ll bet you are one charming, cultured old bastard in real life, and a helluva conversationalist.

  318. jdfarmer August 11, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Thanks for the note.
    Conversation is about opposing viewpoints. I only try to note the facts here on the off chance that someone wants fact.
    jd.

  319. Vision Cube August 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Of course I’m pulling your chain. Between the Jihad Watch links posted by yourself referencing the proposed building along with the tongue-in-cheek Neville Chamberlin ‘appeasing Al Queda’ quip, I can only conclude that you oppose the project on visual grounds.

  320. Hancock1863 August 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    And I’ve let some stuff slip that I’m an investor…maybe even in the *investor class.*
    Does that make me an enemy of workers and Unions. I think not, since I’ve been both a laborer and a union member. I would think it makes me able to understand both sides.
    Maybe I AM a utopian.
    Is anyone else confused, here?

    These are confusing times of major transition from one state to another one so many levels all occuring near-simultaneously: technologically, politically, economically, environmentally and more.
    I absolutely agree that being an investor does not automatically make one an enemy of the workers, people, et al.
    But then, I am a firm believer in capitalism, if it is properly regulated, New Deal-style. Hard core Socialists and the Comrades would say I was just being wishy-washy and bourgoisie.

  321. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Yeah, I was just about to ask
    “And ain’t I a woman?”
    But why would a feather reference be offensive to women? I don’t get it.
    I’m just annoyed by all the references to turkey killing!

  322. wagelaborer August 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    See, you’re letting Qsthick frame himself for you.
    He puts himself out as a lovable old curmudgeon, and you’re going along with it, but I’ll bet in real life he’s just as much as an annoying asshole as he is here.
    But that’s OK. Everybody has different tastes. You are annoyed by Asoka, but I find him mostly enlightening and quite polite at all times.

  323. Phaedrus August 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Baby Boomers have undeniably taken too much credit for building wealth. During the Boomer generation (almost) anyone with a heartbeat could make money. Lot’s of it. That is all changing. Most Boomers can’t see the forest for the trees, or at least up until now the forest didn’t matter all that much. Entitlement was a birthright for the “suffering” of their parents at the hands of the Great Depression. We grew too quickly and now that will become a choke-hold death grip for future generations. The problem is: everything we’ve been moving towards at break-neck speed can’t (won’t) be stopped, the direction can’t (won’t) be changed. Complex swindles, manipulations, and technology are the real weapons of mass destruction. Life has become less about the journey as it has the destination i.e. the bottom line. We’ve got one foot in the grave and the other on the gas pedal heading to the $5,000 a month nursing home – that the kids never visit. I guess that was what all that “wealth” was for.

  324. San Jose Mom 51 August 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    How to get more women interested in these important topics? I don’t know the answer. I’ve tried to get my bookclub to read non-fiction, but their idea of non-fiction is “Eat, Pray, Love.”
    About ten years ago I quit a book club because the other members mostly wanted to talk about granite countertops and brag about their kids. The worst thing is that they used to do was bitch about their husbands. Loyalty? Hello?
    So then I proposed to the local Barnes & Noble that I start a philosophy readers circle. I was the moderator and only men came to the group. It was frustrating because some of the guys wouldn’t read the book and they’d just yak about there particular area of expertise. After a year I turned it over to someone else.
    SJmom

  325. messianicdruid August 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    “I apologize if I miss someone´s comment and fail to respond.”
    As someone above demonstrated, it’s okay to answer a comment, even from the previous week, if you care to.

  326. Qshtik August 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    I’ll bet you are one charming, cultured old bastard in real life, and a helluva conversationalist.
    ====================
    Yes … it’s all true … and I’m even better on pot. Don’t listen to Wage.

  327. asoka August 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    A terrorist is someone with a bomb but no air force.
    Cash said:

    IMO, given its massive military, the US has been restrained in its use.
    Cash, you believe that because you have not been under American bombings. You have not suffered personally American terrorism. Dropping bombs from airplanes is also terrorism.
    Here is a list of the countries bombed by the United States since the end of the Second World War.
    Note that these countries represent roughly one-third of the people on earth:
    Afghanistan 1998, 2001-
    Bosnia 1994, 1995
    Cambodia 1969-70
    China 1945-46, 1950-53
    Congo 1964
    Cuba 1959-1961
    El Salvador 1980s
    Korea 1950-53
    Guatemala 1954, 1960, 1967-69
    Indonesia 1958
    Laos 1964-73
    Grenada 1983
    Iraq 1991-
    Iran 1987
    Kuwait 1991
    Lebanon 1983, 1984
    Libya 1986
    Nicaragua 1980s
    Pakistan 2003, 2006-
    Panama 1989
    Peru 1965
    Somalia 1993, 2008
    Sudan 1998
    Vietnam 1961-73
    Yemen 2002, 2009
    Yugoslavia 1999
    Cash said:
    Make no mistake, communism and communists were shitty and brutal.

    Yes, they were, domestically, but the question we were discussing is imperialism and your claim the USA is not imperialist because it has not overtaken Canada (not by invasion; Canada is already an economic annex of the USA. Continue to cooperate by selling us your resources and you won’t have any problems.)
    You are going for low-hanging fruit with your communist-bashing. Not many people would deny the horrors communists have committed against their own citizens.
    But in terms of imperialism, which is what we were discussing, can you name any other country, communist or otherwise, in the world that has used its military might against other countries, the way the United States has?
    Can you name any other country that has 700 military bases around the world, ready to threaten with violence, if countries do not capitulate to economic pressure to sell their resources to us?
    I will repeat the essence of my previous Martin Luther King quote: The United States is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”
    It was true in 1967 and it is true today.

  328. CaptSpaulding August 11, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    They may be the greatest purveyors of violence, but I don’t think you can hold that against us, it’s just that we are better at it than anyone else. I don’t think it’s for lack of trying that other countries don’t do as well. That’s not to say that we are always justified in what we do, just that we do it better than others. We don’t have a monopoly on violence, just look around the world. Mankind is a monkey that likes to fight.

  329. asoka August 11, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Good evening, Capt.
    When the day comes that China is the world’s military superpower, according to what you have written can we expect China to bomb 26 countries to get the resources they want/need?
    Are you saying just having military superiority means it will be used?
    Many other countries have air forces, but they don’t go around the world bombing other countries.
    Also, you cannot generalize the “mankind is a monkey that likes to fight” … there have been many conflicts between the countries of Western Europe in the last 65 years (post WWII) and the conflicts were resolved peacefully. No fighting between them.

  330. asoka August 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Wage said:

    And actually, not to hurt your feelings, but when you start listing the “accomplishments” of Obama, I don’t read very far.

    Wage, it is not a list of “accomplishments” but here is an email I found in my inbox today:

    Asoka —
    I want to thank you for standing with House Democrats as they raced back to Washington this week to cast a vote on a state assistance bill. I’m proud to say they passed the bill yesterday and the President immediately signed it into law.
    And, because of it, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be saved — including an estimated 3,300 public school teachers across Washington.
    Republicans called this bill a “bailout” and a “handout.” They called the police officers, firefighters, and teachers whose jobs were on the line “special interests.” And nearly every House Republican voted no.
    But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats did the right thing, reminding us again of what we’re fighting for in the upcoming elections. When voters cast their ballots in November, it’s up to us to make sure they remember who’s fighting for them.

  331. messianicdruid August 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    “Mankind is a monkey that likes to fight.”
    “Do not meddle in the affairs of primates, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”
    Galactic Guide to Primative Planets

  332. asoka August 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    Q asks: “??You fast 19 hours a day after which you have one gargantuan meal lasting 5 hours??”
    No, Q. I have a 5 hour window during which I can eat whenever and whatever I want.
    Then I have 19 CONSECUTIVE HOURS of fasting.
    When I first read about it I thought that would be difficult, but it has been easy. Eight of those hours I was fasting anyway because I was asleep.
    The peer-reviewed medical literature has double-blind, randomized-controlled studies and the meta-analyses of research on intermittent fasting that prove the benefits of short-term (less than one-day) fasting.
    But fasting means zero calories, no snacks, and no 11:00 p.m. nightcap liquor, for 19 consecutive hours.

  333. asoka August 11, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Q said: “I eat 3 squares plus tea plus snacks and maybe a small snifter of brandy around 11PM…”
    Here is what you are doing to your body, Q:
    By eating “3 squares” you are maintaining the trend hormone Leptin at a high level. Leptin falls with fasting, starting to drop about six hours after the last meal and leveling out at about 14 hours. Like with insulin, leptin levels for obese individuals are substantially higher than they are for non-obese people.
    Because food digestion takes a couple of hours and the blood glucose level takes a few hours to fall back to the baseline after a meal, eating three meals a day maintains a nearly constant flow of glucose into the bloodstream, keeping both insulin and leptin at active levels.
    The insulin and leptin suppress the body’s ability to use fat as a fuel. It’s no surprise that with abundant glucose around, the fat cells keep adding fat — it’s what we’re telling them to do by eating “3 squares”, and it’s what we see happening all around us in American society.
    This is settled science, not new findings.
    SOURCE:
    Polonsky, KS et al. Twenty-four hour profiles and pulsatile patterns of insulin secretion in normal and obese subjects. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 81, 442-448.

  334. asoka August 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    “I sure do hope God exists, because if She (I love saying that – it so pisses off the patriarchal authoritarians!)”
    About God, you do know that She is Black, right?

  335. budizwiser August 11, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Several day ago a I attempted – once again – to steer the Blog toward thoughtful discussion of the events at hand, Peak Oil, and a mass reckoning or reductions in quality of life.
    It is my belief that government policy and changes in human nature could ameliorate the consequences of current consumption patterns and ridiculous infrastructure needs in only we could “see” the importance of what is needed over what is wanted.
    I thought the biggest obstacles to these goals were self interest, stupidity and ignorance. But luckily, through another post, I learned I needed to add hubris, conceit and over confidence in technology.
    Yes, of course there is little reason for this Blog to exist. Mulling over the negative aspects of resource wastefulness and possible conseuences is indeed pointless now that I have been informed that “they” have plenty of other “things” to substitute for plain old coal and oil.
    Thank god. Go ahead and go out for a drive, go to the lake this weekend. “They got it all under control.”

  336. asoka August 12, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Budizwiser said again:

    Several day ago a I attempted – once again – to steer the Blog toward thoughtful discussion of the events at hand, Peak Oil, and a mass reckoning or reductions in quality of life.

    Yes, I remember your request to discuss discretionary consumption. You are beginning to sound like the boy who cried wolf. You call for discussion, but you don’t discuss.
    For example:

    budizwiser | August 2, 2010 11:38 PM | Reply
    Oh, wait a second -burp!
    People get a fucking clue. Either we get together and discuss ways to share values regarding discretionary consumption or we are fucked.

    So each week you “attempt to steer” the topic and you get discussion on Peak Oil. How is this helping?
    I responded to your call last week with several posts on discretionary consumption and was told by PORC that the people of the third world had to do without refrigerators, a $3000 A YEAR income, and food security (and they have to suffer resulting disease and death) so his granddaughter could survive.

    asoka | August 2, 2010 11:54 PM | Reply
    asoka | August 3, 2010 12:12 AM | Reply

    You then responded that conservation is the answer:

    Get a clue people. If you use per capita consumption as the criteria for discretionary energy consumption the US wastes nearly 50% of its energy on non-essential uses.

    Budizwiser, if you think we are running out of oil and coal, then explain why gas is not $10 a gallon, why the electrical grid has electricity, etc.
    If you think it is just a matter of time, how much time?
    What are your sources? Provide evidence. Give citations to something other than internet web pages meant to scare people.

  337. Qshtik August 12, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I would appreciate it if you would read the link I have posted below.
    ==================
    Let’s take things one at a time. I gather from the length of your posts and your numerous questions that you think I’m up on all this history and all this political jargon. I’m not. It wasn’t all that long ago I had to look up words like “realpolitik” and “progressive” to get some understanding of things I was reading. Up till you caused me to google it, I thought a “Rike Stag” was a dear in rut.
    Anyway, yesterday I read the Jasper piece you linked. Normally I would not bother reading something that long but your passion for the subject and your politeness put me in a postion where I couldn’t say no.
    So I read it. I didn’t check my watch but I think it took me close to an hour. I’m a slow reader and what’s worse I’ve got “floaters” in both eyes. Beside the nugget that Jaspers is pronounced Yaspers, my takeaway was a greater appreciation (than the significant appreciation I already possessed) for how good people of any political stripe can be duped, manuvered and manipulated by clever people with extraordinary thirsts for power and ultimately find themselves under the thumbs of dictators and despots. According to the Book Review I mentioned the other day one of the two books by Keilson covered the same ground.
    If you have further specific questions you will have to send them to me one or two at a time and dumb them down to my 112 IQ level.
    I need to reiterate something I said a few weeks ago: I am not a stooge of Fox News or your list of detested right-wing commentators. I have NEVER listened to G. Beck, don’t even know what his voice sounds like. The total time I have listened to Limbaugh amounts to maybe one hour and all of that was as a result of him being in the news for one reason or another (overweight, drugs, being the nemesis of liberals, etc.)
    I’ve listened to O’Reilly but find him so annoying I can’t stick with him for any length of time. A week or two ago I was channel surfing and there was O’Reilly talking to Dick Morris. Whenever I see Dick Morris I must stop to watch and listen because I am fascinated that he has turned on the Clintons but moreso by the quirky movements of his mouth.
    I very infrequently listen to left-wing commentators either. To verify something of no particular consequence concerning Anderson Cooper, I just now flipped over to CNN and there he was – and lo and behold he was discussing the proposed ground zero mosque. Turns out this is a hot issue and a recent poll says 68% oppose it (even though Tripp says it doesn’t mean “dick.”)
    Then there is Rachel Maddow who I have watched perhaps 10-20 mins in my life and only that amount because she talks out of the side of her mouth. I cannot focus on what people are saying when I notice a foible like talking out one side of the mouth so you can imagine how distracted I am by Dick Morris who talks out of both sides of his mouth, if not more.
    I do read the NY Times cover to cover every day and although I can’t get Wage and a couple of others to admit it, it is a left-wing newspaper. This is obvious to everyone with two brain cells. I read everything Paul Krugman says in his op-ed pieces even though it usually makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I love Maureen Dowd’s sharp tongue, I laugh at Gail Collins, I get annoyed by Bob Herbert (an Asoka alter-ego) – all of them left wingers.
    During the day, from 9:30AM to 4:00PM and beyond I have my 50″ HD TV (that I won 5 years ago from a Ford dealer by filling out some form on their site) tuned to CNBC (business show) but I have it muted about half the time. Below the big TV I have a second, small, TV which I sometimes have on simultaneously if there’s some sporting event I don’t want to miss. US Open Tennis is only a couple/three weeks away.
    I also have my laptop on all day and I flit between the CFN blog, various news sites like BBC and MSN and my stock trading account where I continuously watch various screens of stock symbols in real time.
    I also read books – currently a book of short stories by John Updike and before that Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
    Do these habits make me more of a dupe than you and Wage?

  338. Qshtik August 12, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    It is my belief that government policy and changes in human nature could ameliorate…
    ================
    Good luck wit dat.

  339. asoka August 12, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Budizwiser here are some concrete facts that challenge your assumption that we are in Peak Oil crisis.
    If we are running out of oil, then shouldn’t prices be increasing? Shouldn’t they be at $150 a barrel by now, after JHK’s predictions three years ago and his predictions four years ago and his predictions five years ago, ad infinitum?
    I distinctly remember us as the roadrunner suspended in thin air, us staring at the abyss, us skidding toward fall, and now us queasy with nausea, and a dozen other metaphors meant to scare the shit out of us because a scary future awaits us.
    Well here is a dose of reality, not speculation on the future… today’s reality:

    The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) inventory reports released this morning showed substantial increases in stockpiles of gasoline and distillate fuels (which include heating oil), and the news caused oil prices to plunge. The price of crude fell $2.23 per barrel, causing it to close well below the $80 level and marking the steepest two-day decline in five weeks. … Major decreases in crude and heating oil prices on the NYMEX will likely bring another substantial decline in retail heating oil prices on Thursday.

    Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Dina Cover said she expects crude prices to swing between $75 a barrel and $85 until the end of 2011.
    So is the Peak Oil crisis going to happen in 2012, 2013, 2014, or never? Do you know the story of the boy who cried wolf?
    What is the use of discussing this, since we have no control over the price of crude anyway? And there doesn’t even appear to be a crisis… except in the minds of the paranoid who like to speculate on the future instead of looking at present day reality.
    We do have control over our diet. We can reduce oil consumption if we all become vegans.

    In their study, Eshel and Martin compared the energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions that underlie five diets: average American, red meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian (including eggs and dairy), all equaling 3,774 calories per day.
    The vegetarian diet turned out to be the most energy-efficient, followed by poultry and the average American diet. Fish and red meat virtually tied as the least efficient. …
    Martin and Eshel’s research indicated that plant-based diets are healthier for people as well as for the planet. http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/06/060413.diet.shtml

    But diet must not be as sexy as discussing macroeconomics over which we have absolutely zero control.
    Doesn’t it make sense to discuss what we can actually change? Like our own habits and behaviors related to peak oil?
    Offer some facts instead of rudely saying “Get a fucking clue people” …
    Help us understand, oh wiser one, and do it with concrete, indisputable facts, with citations, preferably to peer-reviewed sources.
    If you can’t do that, then at least stop with the refrain that every week you try to steer the discussion to Peak Oil.

  340. asoka August 12, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    CORRECTION: But diet must not be as sexy as discussing POPULATION ECOLOGY or macroeconomics over which we have absolutely zero control (after getting a vasectomy and reducing income to below taxable levels).

  341. Eleuthero August 12, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    In a recession there is DEMAND DESTRUCTION.
    We’ve been in the worst recession since the
    1930s. Therefore, demand destruction has
    outstripped supply depletion.
    You start with “facts” that aren’t. Recently,
    the Baltic Dry Index, a very good index of
    global trade, has been around the levels of
    May, 2009. Global trade by comparison to
    ordinary cyclical economies, is at severely
    depressed levels. That’s why gas isn’t $15
    a gallon. If goods aren’t being shipped
    (which dimishes fossil fuel use), they
    also aren’t being BOUGHT (which requires
    fossil fuel use).
    Ah, dear Asoka. Sometimes your reasoning is
    based upon the most surface thinking and does
    not peer deeply into its own premises.
    E.

  342. asoka August 12, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    Vision Cube wonders of Q:

    You might say, where are the voices of so-called moderate Islam speaking out against the purveyors of hate, violence, and destruction? And I would say, in the same huddled, self-protective position that humans everywhere assume…

    No, Vision Cube, they did not assume a self-protective position. Muslims condemned the attacks on the Twin Towers in no uncertain terms.
    All of the major Islamic organizations, representing the majority of peaceful Muslims, spoke loudly and clearly in condemning the violence.
    Muslims did not cower, hide, or keep silent. They denounced Al Qaeda and the denounced terrorism. Many Muslim clerical authorities issued a Fatwa against Osamah Bin Laden!
    You can link to a few of their statements here:
    http://www.juancole.com/2005/07/friedman-wrong-about-muslims-again-and.html
    And I don’t agree with your architectural analysis. I think it would be more provocative to have a classical style mosque. It is more respectful to have something bland, modern, square, that fits in with the local bland, modern, square skyscrapers. After all, it is THE CORDOBA HOUSE, a community center. It is not a “ground zero mosque”
    I take exception to your earlier comment that in the discussion of THE CORDOBA HOUSE no one commented on its architectural characteristics.
    I specifically said I like the clouds and thought they were appropriate… and also commented on the geometric designs. I reproduce my comment here:

    Billowing clouds seem entirely appropriate, Vision Cube. The concept of Allah’s infinite power is evoked by designs with repeating themes, pattern and geometry, which suggest infinity. Alhamdulillah!

    I stand by my design observations. I like the design and decorative features of THE CORDOBA HOUSE.

  343. jim e August 12, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    Beautiful writing my Yankee friend.
    And the hate mail well written too.
    By the dawn after the next days end,
    this dotted line southern dumbass predicts that
    The Queasy Season will be in full view!

  344. asoka August 12, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    E. said:
    “That’s why gas isn’t $15
    a gallon. If goods aren’t being shipped
    (which dimishes fossil fuel use), they
    also aren’t being BOUGHT (which requires
    fossil fuel use).”
    I remember something in economic theory about supply and demand. Has that been superceded?
    If the fuel is not being shipped, then shouldn’t the price of diminishing supply go up, since demand has not disappeared altogether? Prices are not going up, so we do not appear to have a crisis.
    Apparently we really don’t need the fuel (due to demand destruction) and supplies to meet existing demand are sufficient, in which case we also have no crisis.
    Where is the crisis, E?

  345. jim e August 12, 2010 at 3:05 am #






  346. asoka August 12, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    AL GORE PREDICTED MILLIONS WOULD BE AFFECTED BY EXTREME CLIMATE CHANGES… AND HE WAS RIGHT, AND IT IS HAPPENING TODAY.
    One third of Pakistan is under water. The submerged area of the country is as big as the United Kingdom!
    14 million Pakistanis have been affected.
    2 million have been made altogether homeless.
    6 million people are in need of immediate help.
    The United Nations is now calling for nearly half a billion dollars in international aid for Pakistan, in the face of a weird resistance on the part of the world community to step up and help.
    When Pakistan faced a relatively minor security threat from a small guerrilla movement of Pakistani Taliban in the northwest, the world community ponied up billions in aid.
    This much more devastating flood is not generating the same enthusiasm for helping the country.
    Oxfam America is taking donations for the Pakistan relief effort.

  347. asoka August 12, 2010 at 3:24 am #

    Q said:

    I’ll tell you what would really impress me – and don’t think I’m trying to be snide – if they waited a respectable time period (25 – 50 years) and opened a gorgeous mosque (like those I saw in Dubai) in the heart of Mecca, memorializing the 9/11 victims, complete with speeches from Saudi royalty and tear-stained faces of vast muslim hordes. What are the odds on that?

    The tear-stained faces happened in 2001. Muslim cleric have issued Fatwahs against Bin Laden and the attacks have been condemned by mainstream Muslim organizations.
    THE CORDOBA HOUSE is being built NOW in New York City, and it is un-American to ask anyone in America to “wait a respectable time period (25 – 50 years)” to build a place on their own private property where they can pray to the God they revere.

  348. asoka August 12, 2010 at 3:31 am #

    Mecca is already a place of peace and doesn’t need a memorial. THE CORDOBA HOUSE really needs to be right where they are going to build it because that is where the healing needs to happen. And that is where education is needed because some people seem to be anti-Muslim for no good reason. Some people seem to be anti-Muslim for the actions of 19 people who do not represent Islam. So THE CORDOBA HOUSE is right where it should be… and I love the design.

  349. Eleuthero August 12, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    Your commentary contains an EMBEDDED
    CONTRADICTION: “If the fuel is not
    being shipped, then shouldn’t the price
    of diminishing supply go up?”. Fuel that
    is not shipped ADDS to supply, it does
    not diminish it, n’est pas??
    Also, demand does not have to disappear
    altogether in order for prices to fall.
    It merely needs to fall MORE than the
    existing supplies are falling.
    Also, you must remember that oil is also
    a commodity which tends to make it a far
    more speculative entity than a bond or a
    utility stock or a blue chip. Thus, price
    has a far looser correlation to reality in
    the short run. Also, in a liquidity crisis
    such as the one we’re in, when liquidity is
    needed, the most speculative instruments,
    high beta things like FUTURES tend to be
    dumped first and the safest instruments are
    dumped last (like Treasuries).
    Finally, the few honest Joes like Matt
    Simmons (R.I.P.) seem to all be hinting
    that the reported “provable reserves”
    are being fudged on the high side,
    ESPECIALLY by the Saudis. I don’t think
    Peak Oil is even close to a mirage. It’s
    only a “controversy” in the kookocracy
    arena (like the abiotic nutters) but to
    prosaic petroleum geologists, it’s obvious
    that all the low-hanging fruit has been
    picked and the rest is REALLY hard to get
    at.
    By the way … why do I call the abiotic
    folks “nutters”?? Because the idea that
    long-chain hydrocarbons can hold together
    at mantle-level heat is just chemically
    absurd.
    E.

  350. asoka August 12, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    I’ll tell you what would really impress me – and don’t think I’m trying to be snide – if they waited a respectable time period (25 – 50 years) and opened a gorgeous mosque (like those I saw in Dubai) in the heart of Mecca, memorializing the 9/11 victims, complete with speeches from Saudi royalty and tear-stained faces of vast muslim hordes.

    Q, you need to be less of a childlike wild-eyed optimist.

  351. asoka August 12, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    E., your post is an illustration of why discussion of peak oil is so frustrating.
    You say: “the few honest Joes like Matt Simmons (R.I.P.) seem to all be hinting that the reported “provable reserves” are being fudged on the high side”
    Then you say: “I don’t think Peak Oil is even close to a mirage.”
    So, you have offered anonymous “Joes” who are “hinting” and you have offered your opinion.
    You have provided no names (other than Matt, R.I.P.), and no numbers, and no authoritative source, though you make an appeal to “prosaic petroleum geologists”.
    So, I want to provide some data and cite my source, so we just aren’t guessing, hinting, or opining. There is enough of that already.
    The International Energy Outlook 2010 (IEO2010) presents an assessment by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the outlook for international energy markets through 2035.
    The World’s Total Liquid Production
    (in millions of barrels per day)
    2006 … 84.7
    2007 … 84.8
    2008 … 85.5
    Projections
    (by Prosaic Petroleum Geologists)
    2015 … 88.7
    2020 … 92.1
    2025 … 97.6
    2030 … 103.9
    2035 … 110.6
    SOURCE: Projections of Liquid Fuels and Other Petroleum Production in Five Cases
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/
    Now, by what definition do you see Peak Oil in those numbers?
    And, if you don’t like those numbers, or don’t trust them, then can you provide any published numbers that are authoritative that dispute these numbers, and on what basis?
    It’s fine if you want to reject the numbers, but give some evidence why and provide some alternative published numbers that are from an authoritative source and are justifiable.
    If you can’t do that, you have no reasonable argument… you are just as guilty as the kookocracy arena (like the abiotic nutters).

  352. asoka August 12, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    If you (OR ANYONE ELSE ON CFN) want to challenge the numbers I provided, it would be helpful if you provide a clear definition of the grade, type, and reporting framework used to estimate oil reserve volumes for any alternative numbers you provide.
    That way we can avoid confusion, further the discussion, and have a basis for a comparative analysis of the numbers.
    I don’t think this has ever been done before on CFN, so I’m looking forward to your response, since you (and probably many others) “don’t think Peak Oil is even close to a mirage.”
    To E., OR ANYONE ELSE, I am saying: Prove it.

  353. asoka August 12, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    Budizwiser, I am issuing a special invitation to you to discuss Peak Oil, since week after week you say that is what you want to discuss. And week after week you say that is what this blog is about.
    I invite you to respond to my post above on the World’s Total Liquid Production, which doesn’t appear to support Peak Oil.
    Have at it.
    Provide authoritative data and cite your sources… if you want to prove Peak Oil.

  354. asoka August 12, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    E said: “Your commentary contains an EMBEDDED
    CONTRADICTION: “If the fuel is not
    being shipped, then shouldn’t the price
    of diminishing supply go up?”. Fuel that
    is not shipped ADDS to supply, it does
    not diminish it, n’est pas??”
    It depends on the domain you are considering.
    If you are looking at it globally, certainly, you are correct.
    If you are looking at it nationally, then no shipment means our supply goes down and is not replenished. n’est pas??
    NO EMBEDDED CONTRADICTION, E., just a confusion about what domain we were talking about.
    To avoid such confusions I was very specific in issuing specific instructions and parameters for anyone who wants to respond to ASOKA’S PEAK OIL CHALLENGE.
    No more opinions, hints, guesses. I want hard published data, no anonymous sources, source citations to publications, and clear definitions regarding the reporting framework for any numbers provided.
    That will keep us all out of the kookocracy arena.

  355. CaptSpaulding August 12, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Hi, Asoka. I suspect that China will do whatever it thinks it needs to do to acquire resources in a world that has less and less of them. If that means resorting to violence, I’m sure they’ll do that as well. They showed no compunction about invading Tibet. On their behalf, however, I will say that they have been remarkably quiet in previous centuries and up to now have generally left their neighbors alone. I think that will change in the future.

  356. messianicdruid August 12, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    “Do you know the story of the boy who cried wolf?”
    Do you know the story of the Pied Piper?

  357. asoka August 12, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    “Do you know the story of the Pied Piper?”
    That’s pretty much all Hancock has been talking about for a while, how the masses are hoodwinked into becoming followers and believers.
    Did you know Christianity is a mythical story and there was no historical person who was born of a virgin, walked on water, and came back from the dead? Yet many people believe uncritically.

  358. Qshtik August 12, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Q, you need to be less of a childlike wild-eyed optimist.
    ================
    Again Asoka, you left out the all-important last sentence of my post: the rhetorical question “What are the odds on that? which makes clear I’m no wild-eyed optimist.

  359. worswick@yahoo.com August 12, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    What a great job you’ve done over the years James. I don’t know if you know him but you should look up Robert Monks.
    See: http://ragmonks.blogspot.com/
    Best to you from the south,
    Clark

  360. femme August 12, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Greetings CFN,
    How to get women more involved and paying attention to these important issues facing our planet? You are correct some important information is discussed. It is however a very USA centric as it is based in the USA. Personally I would like to hear what others outside of the USA are expereiencing. Some of the much discussed issues such as immigration from Mexico, borders and illegal immigrations have parallels in Australia.
    Australia is having a federal election in a few weeks and population control, immigration control and carbon immission are being discussed in the media.
    The sustained growth and increased immigration being an integral part of the “big Australia policy” and it had made it into the media hopefully getting people to actually vote on these policies. The prospect of Australia’s population increasing to 35 million from todays 22 million with the current growth of 2.1 % population (growth supported mostly by massive immigration schemes) might lead people to think about how on earth we will be able to feed and house all these people with only 7% of land being usable for food production, not to mention water shortages. http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/dick-smith-offers-one-million-for-popuation-ideas.htm
    Progressive I agree I am also interested in discussing what we were personally doing, whatever it may be as well as informing others of developments that they have heard about.
    As to why women dont get involved in discussion ? Our experiences aren’t valued the media reeinforces this and or schools dont encourage thinking or learning just indoctrination and conforming to social conditioning. Even in pregnancy and birth the women’s opinion is not valued or heard, no she is not qualified to make a decision relating to her own bodily integrity.
    The mainstream media and greedy commercial outlets promote higly sexualised clothing for 4-5 year old little girls, any wonder they are concerned about how fat they are, how fuckable they are or appealing to the opposite sex a few year later. This shit is crippling and killing our young women. With young heads filled with this crap no wonder there is no room for thoughts of solutions to global warming, food shortages, global financial crisises, peak oil, collapse ?
    This whole society deserves to fall into one big stinking shit heap. Out of the ashes might rise something that values the feminine wisdom.
    I cant speak for anyone but myself but I dont like being called a laydee or a girl (because I is growed up now) woman is just fine.
    Best get off to bed now after midnight here.

  361. budizwiser August 12, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    There is little doubt that it is harder to maintain oil production now than it was five years ago. Some evidence of current oil harvesting practices would lead one to believe that off-shore oil harvesting techniques are much less robust than previously thought. Anyone failing to note these facts is kidding themselves.
    Some of my previous comments were an attempt to bring awareness to CF Nation that while there may or may not be anything we can do about Peak “what ever” – it is the role of this web space to discuss how these resources – or lack there of – will change the quality of our lives (the US that is).
    I don’t see our inevitable future to be as grim as some imagine. Yet, it is my contention that mindless discretionary consumption will lead to a diminishing quality of life sooner than later, and that as “thinking” citizens we should do whatever we can to bring about government and social policies that accept responsibility.
    Many of may live long enough to see a portion of the US begin to live like third-world nationals.
    It is my belief that “the big slide” doesn’t have to be so soon, nor so steep.
    It is my belief that, in the least, to discuss the social-political marketing concepts resulting in discretionary consumption and it’s resulting unsustainable infrastructure is better than ragging on Mexicans and Banksters.
    Although I enjoy that as well. As JHK would say – “It’s all good!”; but it’s not all as important.

  362. mika. August 12, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    @Asoka: “Mecca is already a place of peace and doesn’t need a memorial.”
    ==
    Mecca is not a place of peace. Mecca is a place of war, Islamo-supremacism, ethnic cleansing and intolerance. The Islamo-supremacists murdered and ethnically cleansed Jews and others non-Muslims that have been living in the area for many hundreds if not thousands of years. This is recorded in the koran. If you’re going to assert that Mecca is a place of peace, then you shouldn’t have a problem with muslims being murdered and ethnically cleansed from every territory that is not Mecca.

  363. progressorconserve August 12, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Budizwizer says:
    It is my belief that, in the least, to discuss the social-political marketing concepts resulting in discretionary consumption and it’s resulting unsustainable infrastructure……
    Then Femme says:
    The mainstream media and greedy commercial outlets promote higly sexualised clothing for 4-5 year old little girls, any wonder they are concerned about how fat they are, etc….
    And both of you are talking about the SAME EXACT THING…from two different directions.
    I see it too. It’s pure marketing. Free Market Capitalism has metastasized around the Globe.
    Right now, let’s say that 2,000,000,000 humans are subject to this. Add in 5,000,000,000 more and it is possible that the Planet can be “marketed to death.”
    Even if we *concede* an earlier point and say that PO will NEVER be a problem….at some point climate change, ecosystem collapse, or something else is gonna get us.
    Any ideas how to stop or better yet REDIRECT these forces. They mean no harm & they intend no good. They are simply blind free market forces.
    And Femme, on a personal note, I’m surprised my use of various feminine descriptors like “girls” did not get a rise out of more women. I think generational and regional background plays a role.
    And in print like this, I tend to use terms in a *humorous* manner that I’m learning over and OVER…just does not translate well.
    Sorry ’bout that, womanfrien’!

  364. progressorconserve August 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Speaking of populations and immigration…
    I always assumed that the reason that the US has such a problem with uncontrolled immigration, both illegal and legal, has to do with the immigration act of 1967 and our continuing conflicted racial guilt left over from the Civil War and Jim Crow.
    And we know that the French, just for an example, have immigration troubles because of their “former” colonies and some unique legal issues related to those.
    But Cash tells us that the Canadians, who never had colonies, a Civil War, or anything but racial *happiness* have similar problems.
    And Femme says the same thing is happening in Australia.
    What is going on here??
    Two ideas:
    1. (For Vlad and other extremes of left and right) What we’re seeing is due to the complete karmic collapse of Western Civilization. *We* had a nice 500 year run, ruined a bunch of indigenous civilizations, and now we’re committing karmic suicide.
    OR
    2. Governments around the Globe have so bought into the “growth at any cost” mantra that they are deliberately allowing their populations to INFLATE, by any means necessary….in a belief that this will allow their social programs to “magically” continue to stay solvent.
    Are governments really this MATH IMPAIRED??
    Somebody is being played!

  365. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    You do know that they took money away from food stamps for the poor to pay for the teachers, right?
    But thank you for the list of countries that the US has bombed.
    Please note that the site I linked to for Cash estimates almost 1,000 US military bases outside of US territory, not the admitted 700.
    One of my co-workers is in the Army, and proud of it. He used to bring in the Army Times, and I would read it, of course. Quite interesting. They say things that would be considered outrageous if the left pointed it out. They accept the empire and their only concern seems to be pay and benefits from serving it.

  366. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Your post covers my stance, Prog.
    The most important thing to me is the destruction of the ecosystem and human society by the forces of imperialist capitalism.
    Worrying about the words you use to refer to me is a distraction.
    Rather like the mosque “issue”.
    But I still want to know why you think “feathers” is a sexist insult!

  367. progressorconserve August 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Some interesting sources that define, clarify, and lend credence to peak oil theory.
    http://www.fcnp.com/commentary/national/6815-the-peak-oil-crisis-the-real-gulf-crisis.html
    http://www.energybulletin.net/node/53441
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak_theory
    http://www.peak-oil-crisis.com/puplavaplanb_article.htm
    http://www.planbeconomics.com/2010/08/01/4630/
    http://247wallst.com/2010/06/03/is-peak-oil-finally-here/
    I could go on and on. These are independent groups. All appear to have a basis in reality.
    I attempted to locate independent groups that attempt to deny peak oil. The ones I saw seemed to be affiliated with the oil industry or to have a basis in unreality.
    And even if the Earth has a creamy nougat core made of 100% light sweet crude…we cannot keep burning the stuff without doing more and more ecosystem damage….tipping points do exist in the real world, where real humans live.

  368. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    I guess you can’t get my podcast on dial-up, Asoka, but I talked about voluntary reduction of consumption on my radio show yesterday.
    http://wagelaborer.podbean.com/
    Last week I talked about my plan to pay people for voluntary sterilization. One person called the radio station to complain that I’d gone too far, and one called to tell me “THANK YOU, for bringing up the subject that no one ever talks about!”
    Unfortunately, my IT guy was mad at me and didn’t tape last week’s show.

  369. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    We also talked about the need to reduce military spending.

  370. Cash August 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    “can you name any other country, communist or otherwise, in the world that has used its military might against other countries, the way the United States has?”
    Yes, Germany, Japan, China and Russia.
    Yes, the US has bases all over the world. The US also pissed away trillions of dollars and many millions of man years and managed to put communism in its grave. Not for nothing were those bases there. Do I hear any gratitude for that? No? Do you think the communists were nice guys? They were evil. Both Stalin and Mao killed millions.
    Imperialism? Communist countries were imperialist. Russia ruled, oppressed, ruined and immiserated eastern Europe for decades. Not for nothing were there huge celebrations when the Wall came down. Romanians would not have rebelled and killed the Ceaucescus if they were beloved in that country. Because of the US eastern Europe has a chance to put itself right.
    China backed North Korea in the Korean War and Chinese armies fought there. If the US didn’t help South Korea ( >50,000 dead Americans) we would see them starving like North Koreans. Since 1950 the US has expended huge quantities of manpower and money to keep the Communist North and the Chinese at bay. Is there any gratitude for this? Not that I can see.
    China also backed North Vietnam in the Vietnamese war, giving military and material support (again > 50,000 dead Americans). Was the Vietnam War worth it? Maybe you can’t draw a straight line connecting that war effort and the demise of communism but would history have unfolded differently had the US not fought that war? The fact is that communism is dead (except Cuba and North Korea and who cares now).
    Maybe you didn’t have a problem with communist imperialism and expansionism. I know two guys that suffered for years in Vietnamese “re-education camps”. These guys were not the elite of South Vietnam society. One was a bank clerk (I met him when he was working as an accounts payable clerk, a diligent fellow but not very bright) another was a junior officer (sergeant I think) in the Vietnamese army, now a mechanic in Toronto (I worked with his daughter).
    The A/P clerk told me he was slowly starving to death in the camp so he had to escape which is what he eventually did. He made his way to the coast with the help of family and then made it onto a ship run by a human smuggling ring. That boat was ransacked by Thai pirates who threatened to kill him because he had nothing to give them. He survived and made it to Canada where he rebuilt his life. The sergeant and his family (including the daughter I worked with) were Vietnamese boat people who managed to survive the boat trip and also re-settled in Canada.
    Iraq? Was it about oil? No, if it was about oil Sadam would still be in power producing and selling oil and if the US was looking for a conquest over oil there’s the Alberta oil sands. Canadians don’t do IEDs and suicide vests. Easy pickings. The fact is that the US gave Iraqis a huge gift: they got rid of Sadam, his rapist sons and his murdering henchmen. Now Iraq can rebuild itself as it sees fit. Will it come out worse than before? Maybe but the US gave them a chance they otherwise wouldn’t have had.
    Would I have been as generous as Americans are? I have to admit, no. Canadians, especially those of the liberal bent, love to crap on the US. But they have no problem with exporting 400 billion dollars a year worth of goods to the US. That represents a lot of mortgage payments, car payments, university tuitions. Are Americans obliged to keep their borders open to us and our goods, are they required to invest in our country and employ people like me?
    After the shit thrown at them by my own countrymen, who by the way couldn’t stick a finger up their own ass without someone holding their hand, I am amazed at American tolerance and forebearance.
    Americans are not perfect. But the world IMO is a far better place with the US than without it.
    And I didn’t even get to Germany and Japan.

  371. progressorconserve August 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Wage,
    My response to you was going to be my last one for the day…yesterday.
    I had it all typed out…it was pretty well written…it was funny…and MovableType…ATE the DAMN THING.
    I stopped short of flinging the laptop out the window….and went out to work in the garden…and life quickly returned to GOOD.
    So here’s an abbreviated version.
    It had somehow escaped my attention that you are female, Wage. And I’m so “liberated” that the fact that you are a nurse deliberately did not enter my calculations. I have know plenty of male AND female nurses that I would like to have around if TSHTF….and a lot of them are ER nurses, BTW.
    Yeah, and words like “girlfrien’s,” or “ladies” that I intend as humorous or respectful…can be taken in an unintentional manner. Not sure what to do about that….I’m just a little ol’e thread commenter with my own frame of reference.
    And the feathers segue into this. In my rural culture any comment about feathers seems to have a referent to chickens. And any reference to chickens seems to go to hens. For example, “mad as a wet hen,” “mean old bitty,” “henpecked,” “acting like a broody ol’e setting hen.,” don’t get your feathers all ruffled.”
    And a reference to hens has a gender connotation…so there you go….apologies in advance!
    And my Civil War, AKA… War for Southern Independence, references, I believe, are mostly due to JHK and his southern NASCAR bashing. It gets my Scotch Irish blood boiling, just a little.
    And I know all the reference points, if you’d care to re-fight some issues. :-)
    I poked around in your blog. You and I are on the same page about a lot of stuff. And we could have some SUPERB arguments about some things.
    I’m also a (sometimes) Unitarian…at least a visitor and contributor. And you know how “we” like to argue.
    regards,
    C

  372. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Using the fact that Americans have been whipped into a frenzy about the mosque to prove that the issue is therefore important is not logical.
    Fox News and the hatemongers are used to refocus American’s rage from the ruling class to various scapegoats, Muslims, immigrants, Unitarians, etc.
    The corporate media is used to shape opinion and consensus. The pretense of rationality and balance is used to make it seem like reasoned debate.
    But it is all in the parameters of what the ruling class desires.
    As I pointed out on my radio show, the “discussion” on corporate media before the attack on Iraq was “should we continue the sanctions or invade?”
    In other words, continue to starve them, or actually bomb them.
    Other viewpoints were simply not acknowledged, although millions of people around the world demonstrated against the invasion.
    To listen to corporate media, get excited about the issues that they present for you to get excited about, and then offer yourself as a model of open mindedness is pretty ridiculous.
    And, yes, the New York Times is in no way left wing.

  373. mila59 August 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Asoka: Your statement here and statistics cited:
    “The International Energy Outlook 2010 (IEO2010) presents an assessment by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the outlook for international energy markets through 2035….”
    are statistics for the “international energy markets.” These do not mean that Peak Oil theory is incorrect…these statistics (I think?) mean demand rather than what exists in the ground. Peak Oil theory posits that roughly half the oil in the world has been used, so that from now on (around 2004 onwards, perhaps) we are on the downward curve of oil resources, while we are on an upward curve of usage, so that we will use up the remaining half of all oil more quickly, and what is left in the ground is harder and harder to extract (deep-sea drilling, for instance, also oil sands, shale, and so forth) so that it will be more expensive to bring to market. If governments manipulate figures to make reserves look more plentiful, that’s a way to keep oil prices artificially low, and prevent panic. Maybe they (governments, powers-that-be) do that, maybe they don’t.

  374. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    And why is 9-11 The Day That Changed Everything?
    Because the media has drummed it into our heads. And the way people think about it was shaped by the media.
    Why was Bush presented as a hero of 9-11? He could just as easily been presented as a fool, ignoring warnings, sitting in a classroom, hiding in a cave in Nebraska the rest of the day…
    The media announced that his bullhorn wielding was so masterful that he was our Dear Leader, and everyone went along with it.
    As I pointed out before, why wasn’t 9-11 used to get us off of oil? It could very easily have been presented as an Short Emergency, needing a drastic downsizing of our oil consumption, and Americans would have very easily been convinced.
    Why was it used to attack two countries and pass the Patriot Act?
    I don’t believe that this framing was the only framing that could have been done.
    I remember listening to a woman in New York City talk about 9-11. She said “When those planes hit, I didn’t worry. I didn’t work in those buildings, I didn’t even work in that neighborhood. But now I see how important it was”.
    Really? Now she sees? Because she was told to see.
    On 9-11, I didn’t think it had anything to do with me, either. And I have asked many people if they were afraid that day. None of them were.
    But they are now!!
    One person told me that she wasn’t afraid on 9-11, but she was during the anthrax attacks.
    Yes, indeed, the anthrax attacks, used to further terrorize those who weren’t sufficiently afraid on 9-11, but since dropped WAY down the memory hole.
    Why are you screaming about Muslims and not about biological warfare?
    Because that’s what you’re told to scream about, and you obey.
    I’m not impressed.

  375. mila59 August 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Asoka: P.S.: Have you read JHK’s book “The Long Emergency”? I ask because somewhere above here in the comments you were asking people for hard statistics on Peak Oil and such…Kunstler’s book is very well researched, and I’ve gone back and read a number of his source books as well (McKibben’s “Deep Economy” is a great one), so that I think if you go to those books you will see all the statistics you are asking about here. Now, as we know, all statistics can be manipulated to some extent, but at least you would see where people get their ideas about Peak Oil.

  376. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    OK, thanks for the explanation. Sorry I missed your masterpiece.
    Kudos to you for being so liberated that you accept male and female nurses.
    But, dude, when I talked about birthing my babies?

  377. asoka August 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Mika, are you a pagan, or just want to spread misconceptions about Islam?
    In 630 Muhammad took control of Mecca and destroyed the 360 pagan idols, with the notable exception of the statues of Mary and Jesus.
    Muhammad did not, however, destroy the Ka’ba and the sacred stone it housed. Rather, he made them the centerpiece of the Muslim religion based on his belief that he was a prophetic reformer who had been sent by god to restore the rites first established by Abraham that had been corrupted over the centuries by the pagan influences.
    Islam is the only religion that believes in the sole worship of Allah, not Jesus, not an idol, and not an angel, only Allah.
    Thus, by gaining both religious and political control over Mecca, Muhammad was able to redefine the sacred territory and restore Abraham’s original order to it.
    The ban on non-Muslim visitors to Mecca is mentioned in the Qur’an as follows: “Oh you who believe! Truly the idolaters are unclean; so let them not, after this year, approach the Sacred Mosque….” (9:28).
    This verse specifically refers to the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The government of Saudi Arabia, which controls access to the holy sites, has decided upon a strict ban on both Mecca and Madinah in their entirety.
    Restricting access to Mecca and Madinah is intended to provide a place of peace and refuge for Muslim believers and preserve the sanctity of the holy cities. At this time, millions of Muslims visit the cities each year, and additional tourist traffic would simply add to the congestion and detract from the spirituality of the pilgrimage visit.
    Mika, Mecca is the center of Islam. The Arabic word Islam simply means ‘submission’, and derives from a word meaning ‘peace’. So, literally, Mecca is a place of peace.
    When the Islamic state was rapidly expanding in the seventh and eighth century, many people came under the direct governance of Muslims. These peoples belonged to different religions, races, ethnicities, etc.
    If the hypothesis that “Muslims are required to eradicate non-Muslims or “infidels” was correct, then a pattern of deliberate extermination, forced conversions, and/or expulsion would have been observed throughout the history of Islam, especially when Muslims were powerful and winning over their opponents. 
    That systematic pattern is simply absent.
    For example, let us take India. India (or considerable parts of it) was for several centuries under the Muslim Mughal Empire. Many of the subjects of the empire, up to and including very high-ranking state officials, were Hindu. Till now, India is a predominantly Hindu country.
    The facts on the ground belie the hypothesis that Muslims have believed that non-Muslims should be killed, evicted, or forced to convert. 
    Another example: in contemporary Egypt, which was included in the Islamic state only ten years after the demise of the Prophet, about 6-10% of the people are Christians.
    Contrast this with Spain. For about eight centuries, Spain was a place of peaceful co-existence for Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
    However, in 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella signed the Edict of Expulsion designed to rid Spain of its Jews. The Jews were given a stark choice: baptism or deportation. An estimated 50,000 fled to the Ottoman empire where they were warmly welcomed. And about 70,000 converted to Christianity and remained in the country only to be plagued by the Inquisition which accused them of insincerity.
    In 1499, the Spanish state gave its Muslims the same choice: convert or leave. The result of these policies was simple: Spain almost entirely got rid of millions of people who were not Christians.
    The list goes on. Investigating history clearly shows that most Muslims have never believed that they are under obligation to exterminate non-Muslims, or as non-Muslims refer to such people as “Infidels”.
    Chill out, Mika.

  378. Hancock1863 August 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I do appreciate that you took the time to read Jaspers, and to respond to my post in a civil fashion which I am more than happy to return.
    In fact, you still didn’t answer my questions. I already said that I believed you were more of a “true conservative”, which means you didn’t have to prove to me that you weren’t a “dupe”.
    Dupes are people who can’t or won’t think for themselves and who repeat dogma like parrots because it’s easier, because of the “bandwagon effect” and other psychological human frailties to which we are all susceptible if we aren’t careful (and even sometimes when we are). They can be anywhere on the political spectrum, but seem to congregate around the various species of authoritarianism.
    Your post, long, detailed and well-thought out, demonstrates to me what I already believed, which is that you are no mindless Hannity-spewing RW authoritarian follower, no dupe.
    But you didn’t answer my questions. Let me repeat a few (but not all) of the salient ones.
    1) Why were the Liberals in the old USSR considered to be on the Right?
    2) Why did Hitler go after and pretty much exterminate Germany’s Liberals even before they started murdering the Jews wholesale?
    3) Why is it, that time and time again throughout history, liberals and intellectuals are almost always among the first (if not THE first) to be under attack when authoritarians rise to power, be they lefties like Stalin, Mao, and the glasses-hating Pol Pot, or Righties like Hitler, Pinochet, Papa Doc and the Shah of Iran?
    Being Liberal certainly doesn’t immunify people from being duped on an individual level. My God, look at all the Liberal Obama supporters who are tight-lipped and silent or rationalizing in the face of Obama policies on war, civil liberties, banksters and more, when the same policies implemented by Bush would have sent them into apoplexy.
    But I still stand by my larger assertion, which is that liberals and intellectuals are much less likely to be duped by authoritarian propaganda, looking at the long haul of history, mostly because authoritarians of all stripes despise liberals and intellectuals.
    I asked you those pointed questions and others, based on historic fact, to try to force you to look at it head-on and force you to acknowledge these facts of history. It’s not that I think you are historically illiterate, it’s that all of us humans have the disturbing habit of not seeing facts which go against our predetermined worldview. Myself included, though I try to keep it in mind and resist it, not always successfully.
    In the end (and sorry if this makes me sound fatuously uber-patriotic or a descendant of a Declaration signer) that’s why the US Constitution worked so well for so long – until the Bushies began systematically dismantling it’s defenses. Because neither side can properly evaluate itself, both sides need each other to check each other’s excesses.
    What I am saying may be blasphemy to many on this site, but a USA in which Conservatives had no say would be as ugly a place as one where Liberals have no say, and we are in terrible danger of becoming both, really. It’s hard for me to say this even though I know it to be true because most people these days who consider themselves “Conservatives” really are nothing more than Authoritarian Followers. More than a few Liberals, too, but the big authoritarian danger in this country comes pretty much exclusively from the Right, these days.
    The Bush-Cheney-Palin faction aren’t Conservatives, they are Neo-conservatives. And the Clinton-Obama faction’s not Liberal, they are Neo-liberal.
    Maybe that’s one of the problems. Liberals and Conservatives, among the Ruling Class of the USA, have been mostly replaced by Neoconservatives and Neoliberals, both of which are Corporate Oligarch ultimately authoritarian philosophies only using the tattered remains of the old philosophies as camoflauge and window-dressing to keep the Rubes from seeing behind the curtain, so I believe.
    Your reply to my post was written on the personal level. I am not talking about you personally, Q, but larger issues involving great sweeps of human history. It’s not about you or I or Wage or any one person or any ten thousand people, for that matter.

  379. Vlad Krandz August 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Feminine Wisdom? So men just pontificate while women already know the score? Could views like this (so common!) be why men don’t really care to listen to women?
    The Reality: for every woman who is really interested in big issues, there are 20 men. And even some of the really interested women still fall into the feminine superiority trip. Feminism, so called, is just a thin rationalization for this ego trip.

  380. mika. August 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Cash,
    You’re being played by an orchestrated dialectic managed by the anglo-american war industrialists and petro-dollar imperialists. Follow the money, and you will soon find out that US, British, and Vatican bankers financed both Hitler and Stalin. The American CIA, the British SIS, the Vatican, deliberately engage in instability, because that’s what the fascist imperialists require as political cover to maintain their power and profits.

  381. Vlad Krandz August 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    You are close – put the two views together and see what you get. The Elite use our natural guilt to undermine what remains of the West. Why? The West has to die so their terrible beauty, the World Goverment can be born. And yes they can do math: they know that billions of people have to die before this can be achieved. Google the Georgia Guidestone. This monument, lauded by many, clearly states the World must attain a population of no more than 500 million.
    So how do you make things contract quickly? By expanding them until they pop. To much yang brings on yin. The Elite call it the dialectic.

  382. progressorconserve August 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Alrighty Wage,
    Sorry if you thought I was talking about you, personally, birthing your babies. I was new here, on CFN…and…well, anyway no personal offense intended.
    I was actually “chanelling” my daughter-in-law, who took one look at the L&D suites in the local hospital…quieter, more dimly lit, calmer, than in her own home…and made her decision…
    But it is totally 100% the individual pregnant woman’s decision. I said you and I could have some SUPERB arguments….we’d just have to stay off this topic. LOL? Truce, anyway??
    Speaking of incessant, counterproductive, and infinite argument…I see that Asoka has a new sparring partner, Mika, over Islam and that infernal mosque that we just cannot quit tormenting on here.
    My bottom line is that the rest of the World would do well to STFU on this issue and let the New Yorkers handle their own decisions.
    You can’t argue with a New Yorker, anyway.
    They are worse than us Unitarians! :-)

  383. mila59 August 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Asoka — you have some very interesting and informative stuff here about Islam. But you say that:
    Islam is the only religion that believes in the sole worship of Allah, not Jesus, not an idol, and not an angel, only Allah.
    Doesn’t Judaism only worship one God (Allah, Jahweh, whatever)? Not being Jewish I’m not entirely sure, but I thought Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worshiped the same original God (“the God of Abraham”).
    I agree that Christians should look in the mirror on the violence issue. We’ve had, what, about 1700 years of Christian-Church-sponsored violence in various degrees around the earth.

  384. Cash August 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Wage, bask away and enjoy it. You have enough enemies in the world that would gladly kill you because you are American.
    I’m not one of those reflexive anti Americans who don’t even know why they’re anti American. Canada was the original anti American country. Our forebears died in droves defending the Empire. Having said that, this country wasn’t born until it lost its best and brightest fighting for the Empire in places like Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.
    Here, especially in our liberal intelligentsia in the Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto triangle, the anti-American bigotry is vile. I don’t know who they hate worse, Americans or Western Canadians especially Albertans.
    You do not see this anti American bias in Alberta. People there by and large don’t “get” it. Our government owned TV broadcaster (CBC) did a wide eyed, unbelieving segment a few years back about this lack of anti American feeling in the West. Note that this broadcaster is renowned for its left wing bias, its anti Americanism and is reviled in Alberta.
    I’m not “for” the US. I’m a nationalist. But I’ll give credit to foreigners where credit is due.
    But it’s not unquestioning. Note that I rant about the psychopaths on Wall Street. Your corporate elite gutted your economy with the acquiescence of your government and citizenry. This I find incomprehensible. Your people essentially squandered their way to national oblivion. This too I find unbelievable.
    Mind you we’re doing the same thing here. Stupdity is like a virus that passes from brain to brain and you guys have infected us. It’s all your fault.

  385. progressorconserve August 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Feminine Wisdom exists, Vlad. It just channels off in a different direction from male wisdom. I suspect that this is basic and genetic….where is TBU when you really need him?
    I will absolutely GUARANTEE you that 3,000,000,000 women know more about the survival of their family, their country, and their planet…..than do the few jackass big-brained men that have somehow risen into authority over the Global situation.
    Without women we’re all gonna die off anyway, so you may as well try to listen to them.
    Can’t hurt/might help!

  386. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Ah, Vlad, remember the old days, when you used to whisper sweet nothings into my ear?
    Like – “For a woman, you’re not very stupid”

  387. Cash August 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    I spent my life working in the military/industrial complex. I got a close up look at it and believe me they are really not all that bright. If they were they wouldn’t have relocated the industrial half of the military industrial complex to China where it now sits under Chinese control. As I said in an earlier post I’ll bet the Chinese are rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
    You don’t give enough credit to Germans and Russians for creating and financing evil. Americans and British are not all powerful and all controlling.

  388. Hancock1863 August 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    You said:

    See, you’re letting Qsthick frame himself for you.
    He puts himself out as a lovable old curmudgeon, and you’re going along with it, but I’ll bet in real life he’s just as much as an annoying asshole as he is here.
    But that’s OK. Everybody has different tastes. You are annoyed by Asoka, but I find him mostly enlightening and quite polite at all times.

    Well, I didn’t say I found Q “loveable”. :P
    The Internet being what it is, we can’t truly know anything about anyone who posts here.
    For all we know, CFN blog contributors could be made up of a bunch of precocious 10-year-olds. There’s simply no way to be sure.
    Q may be a lot of things, he may even be occasionally susceptible to worrying about the bullshit things Corporate Media tells us to worry about. I know that I am, sometimes. And I try to resist it every day, but STILL can’t 100% resist it.
    But that doesn’t make someone a dupe, Hannidiot or Dittohead.
    I partially agree with you about asoka. It’s not so much I find him annoying, as that after reading so many contradictions I feel I must take his arguments with a grain of salt.
    Which is good, otherwise I might not notice that his arguments against Peak OIL are bolstered with EIA projections of ALL LIQUID fuels, which is a common debate-deflection tactic against Peak Oil I have seen before. The ol’ bait and switch. OIL is not TOTAL LIQUIDS, never has been and never will be.
    But he is very polite and sometimes his links are enlightening, when they are not overburdened with deflective and misdirectional tactics.

  389. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    No apology necessary, prog, that was meant to be a joke! You know how you say that it’s difficult to get humor across!
    I actually did agree that it was the woman’s decision, both for your daughter-in-law, and Tripp’s wife.
    I just tried to show that their feelings of security were delusional and unjustified.
    We do indeed like to argue!

  390. Hancock1863 August 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    You said:

    The American CIA, the British SIS, the Vatican, deliberately engage in instability, because that’s what the fascist imperialists require as political cover to maintain their power and profits.

    How could you believe something like that and say something like that without throwing Mossad into that mix? (mind you, I am not disagreeing with you on your point, only that you conspicuously left out Mossad in that bunch, and they very much are demonstrably interconnected to that group, whether your theory is correct or not)
    Just as I said, we are all much better at recognizing the shit of others, but not of our own.
    I don’t wish to start a flamewar with you, Mika, for we probably agree on more than we disagree. I am just pointing out that we all have our blind spots.

  391. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    I didn’t say that q was a dupe, Hannidiot or a Dittohead.
    I said he was an asshole:)
    (I’ve decided to use the happy face to show when I’m joking)

  392. asoka August 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Cash said: “The fact is that communism is dead (except Cuba and North Korea and who cares now).”
    Cash, please tell me you are kidding. Or have you redefined “communism”?
    If a country is totalitarian, has one political party which happens to have the word “communist” in its name, wouldn’t you say that country is communist?
    China is ruled by the Communist Party of China (CPC), whose power is enshrined in China’s constitution.
    Here is the first paragraph of the Chinese constitution amended and adopted in 2002

    (http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/49109.htm):
    “The Communist Party of China is the vanguard both of the Chinese working class and of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. It is the core of leadership for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and represents the development trend of China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation of China’s advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The realization of communism is the highest ideal and ultimate goal of the Party.”

    .
    Do you see the word “capitalism” or “freedom” anywhere? Just because a country moves toward capitalism and a more free economic lifestyle doesn’t mean they are turning their backs on communism.
    Introducing market reforms to allow capitalists to come and strengthen China does not change the fact that China is a totalitarian communist-ruled country that has been smart enough to trick the capitalists into helping with the development of China.
    The Chinese government, the Communist Party of China, still maintains strict control of the economy in China. There is no free market in China in the true sense of the word.
    All companies that are supposedly “free market” hold reserves and ownership which still belong to the government’s control. This is no different than 20 years ago except that the outside of the building looks different. The inside still houses government spies that MUST work within the “private” business to monitor it’s activities and report back to the Communist leadership.
    China has “state owned television”? If Communist China was indeed a mixed economy, then independent stations should be flourishing. But the fact is that journalism in China is still severely limited. Ask Google about freedom of information in China. Do you support official communist censorship, Cash.
    Cash, I can’t believe you would defend China as a non-communist country, especially after you yourself have pointed out how communists violate human rights. Citizens in China are still beaten by the police when they are arrested. Christians are still persecuted for worshipping in unregistered churches. Women are still being forced to have abortions if they are discovered to be pregnant with a second “illegal” child. What about this communist country do you defend, Cash?
    Your belief that the USA losing the war in Vietnam somehow stopped communism, or contributed to the demise of communism, is laughable.
    The communists are eating our lunch. China will easily achieve world domination because people like you do not even recognize China is communist. The Chinese Communist Party has been brilliant in using capitalism to undermine the United States. China is robust and is a country to be reckoned with, thanks to its ability to leverage the greed of western capitalists for cheap labor and invest in China’s infrastructure.
    The mere mention of the Communist Party and all the great deeds it has done for China invokes pride and adoration in the average Chinese person’s heart. In this way, Chairman Mao still lives on as an icon which can excite the Chinese people and remind them how far they have come and far they can still go.
    China may be caled “capitalist” by some, while it is convenient for American corporatism, but in any future confrontation of the United States with the Peoples Republic of China, we will most assuredly be told the war is being waged under the banner of ‘fighting communism.’
    Communism is dead.
    Really, Cash?
    Wake up.

  393. mika. August 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    asoka,
    I’m not a pagan. I am an anti-theist. And what if I was a pagan? Why is genocide of pagans acceptable?
    You talk of Mecca and Madinah, what you don’t talk about is that Madinah was a town whose population was pretty much exclusively Jewish. It was ethnically cleansed of Jews by muslim armies for no reason other than for being Jews and not muslims. Saudia, is a Jihadist country where non-muslims are not allowed any type of worship houses anywhere whatsoever. Why?
    Christians in Egypt live under perpetual degradation, humiliation, and criminal abuse by Muslims there. Herded into ghettos where Muslims dispose of their garbage into, they literally live in ghettos of garbage.
    In Iraq, Christians and Jews have been pretty much completely ethnically cleaned.
    In Turkey, it’s much the same story. A place that once had a majority of Christians, after repeated genocides, Christians now account for a 1% minority.
    This narrative repeats over and over where Muslims come into control. Non-muslins are criminally abused, discriminated against, murdered and ethnically cleansed, until they are no more.
    You say that Islam restored Abraham’s original order to Mecca, but there’s no logic to that assertion. Abraham and his Children, the people of Israel, never claimed any territory outside the Land Of Israel, and neither did their God.
    The argument is very simple. If you’re going to assert that Mecca is a place of peace, then you shouldn’t have a problem with muslims being murdered and ethnically cleansed from every territory that is not Mecca. Because that’s exactly what was done by the Muslims in Mecca and the “arabian” peninsula.

  394. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    As Lincoln pointed out, “Calling it a leg doesn’t make it a leg”, asoka.
    China is no more communist than the US is a democratic republic.
    The forms remain the same, but the essence has completely changed. (As a German pointed out about Germany under Hitler).
    It’s much more effective for the authoritarian governments to pretend that nothing has changed, then to try to convince people that change is good.
    So just as China has lost any semblance of equality, the US has lost any semblance of popular control of the government.
    But no one notices. (At least here. In China, they’re having daily strikes and revolts)

  395. Hancock1863 August 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Got a funny story about being the only “weirdo” not to ask “how high” when the Corporate Media told us to jump.
    It was during the Anthrax Attacks on Democratic Senators and Liberal Media Figures back in 2001.
    All around me, people were filled with fear: co-workers, friends and relatives. Some even wore latex gloves to get their mail for awhile.
    I was already well on my way toward fully understanding what Corporate Media was all about, so I began applying a little common sense and skepticism to the matter.
    It seemed so simple, and I started to mention it to others, “Do the math. If (I forget exactly how many) only a couple dozen people out of a nation of 300,000,000 got sick, only a portion of them died, and anthrax is not transmitted from person to person by air, then you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning and a MUCH greater chance of dying in a car accident that you have of being anthraxed, let alone to death.”
    Simple arithmetic. Simple common sense. Almost inarguable since it relies on 4th grade math and 10th grade biology.
    But, as always, simple common sense can’t hold a candle to a fully-orchestrated media hype or Psyop, if you prefer to think conspiratorily.
    These days, almost no one, least of all the Ruling Power Structure, can hear ANYTHING unless it is amplified by a Corporate Authoritarian Voice.
    Creepy.

  396. mika. August 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Mika said: “Asoka, the biggest lie of all is not telling whole truth.”
    Mika, then we are all liars, because nobody has the whole truth, and we shouldn’t be so quick to cast the first stone against the government.
    ==
    It’s not a question of everyone knowing the whole truth. It’s a question of telling the whole truth that one knows. And that is exactly what you and the CIA-MSM-Saudi sponsored propagandists don’t do.
    You lie by deliberately concealing the truth. That’s on top of propagating the staged Paliwood theater and all the other outright jihadists lies.

  397. Cash August 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    200 times? Sheesh.
    I’m with you on decriminalization. I think it ought to be legalized. Wage might differ on this being a nurse but I never saw grass as being a gateway drug or rather I don’t know anyone who used grass who later went to harder stuff.
    BTW if we’re going to fight this war on drugs as badly as we are now we might as well say screw it and legalize everything. Don’t tax it too much because you’ll create a lower cost black market like with cigarettes.
    Ever heard of khat? It’s a kind of bush grown in east Africa. People sit in cafes and chew the twig: mild narcotic effect. A bud of mine is from out there (Somalia). He said there used to be a legal, thriving trade around here in khat. You used to be able to get it in African owned shops and coffee shops. But now the Canuck govt in its presbyterian wisdom decided that, hoo boy, twigs, makes you crazy, and made it illegal which pissed off my bud and probably a lot of other users.

  398. progressorconserve August 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Mika,
    I like the way you present facts. I skimmed through your most recent post, because I wanted to get this written in a hurry. I will read for details later.
    But your post has the “ring of truth,” and honest intellectual argument fills it.
    I will advise you that Asoka will use excerpts of your arguments to attempt to prove you wrong.
    He will say that he has to come to the rescue of Islam even though he, Asoka, is supposedly agnostic.
    I try not to engage him any more except to point out his tactics and “errors.”
    One more thing, Asoka will appear to always be honest and polite. But if he loses an argument on fact, he will redefine the argument in some other direction.
    And he won’t always be so polite.
    I have learned.

  399. envirofrigginmental August 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Wow. This has been one fascinating read this week! I am totally ignorant of these geo-political matters, so I respectfully refrain from comment. There are some great minds here and I am humbled.
    But after reading this, I just had to comment.
    “They NEED these shock and awe events to get the unthinking masses to go along with their consolidation of power.” (btw, how do I do that newspaper clip thing?)
    Many of you by now may be aware of my suspicion of the “official” story of 9/11.
    I (cynically) have always maintained that 9/11 was arranged, and for that very purpose: a shock and awe event for the benefit of the greater (US) public. I would go so far as to say by the CIA, as they had both the means and ingenuity. If a country can over through another, or treat it’s citizens like animals, who is to say the US of A isn’t capable of such heinousness… especially if it serves a greater purpose? Everyone here seems to agree that the guv’ment is actively (and knowingly) destroying the country. What makes the governments’ involvement in 9/11 any more far-fetched?
    Doesn’t anyone find it rather ironic that no terror event this sophisticated has occurred since? Have all the geniuses in Al-Qaeda been eliminated? Or are the real puppeteers lounging in the great rooms of their Arlington McMansions?

  400. asia August 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    ‘big Australia policy’…well lets see here. lets go back to 1974 when the ‘ whites only ‘ immigration policy was ended. then lets look at the map and see that demographics = destiny.
    so australia signed its own death warrant in 1974.
    was it SJMom who last week told us ‘ welcome to 7 billion on earth ‘?
    Ok so 1974 was 3 or 4 billion less people ago.
    do the math. australia is way too close to china and the middle east , which are like 3 billion people, many of whom are ‘ huddled masses yearning to be free ‘.
    and there are some fools there protesting the internment camps.
    los angeles times did a story on one, about how someone had passed thru 3 or 5 countries to illegally enter australia and the times attempted to say the illegals were ‘ political refugees’.
    however if freedom from whatever country of their origin was what they wanted they achieved that the moment they left their homeland.
    [ok Q..how many spelling mistakes?]

  401. asia August 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    ‘Turkey, A place that once had a majority of Christians, after repeated genocides, Christians now account for a 1% minority.’
    how long did this take?
    also in some countries Muslim families are 7 children so it takes a century or so to become the majority, maybe.
    Obama soon after he got in office went to europe [ they loved him so there before they figured out hes a warmonger ] and exorted euros to take turkey into the EU.

  402. wagelaborer August 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    I absolutely agree with you and Tripp!
    Actually, I use the same line that Tripp does, all the time.
    Who gets to decide which plants are illegal? How dare they?
    I love Eva Morales, and I love how he points out that coca has been used for centuries by his people.
    How dare the US declare it dangerous and spray his people’s crops (and children) with herbicides?
    It’s the US who consumes the drug in its adulterated form, who launders the profits through its banks (which some people point out may help to keep them afloat) and who destroys families and communities by imprisoning so many young people.
    I am totally for legalizing drugs.
    As I also point out frequently, who gets to decide what is illegal?
    Cocaine, opium and marijuana were all legal in the 19th century, but being in debt could get you thrown in prison.
    Now being in debt is considered the patriotic thing to do, and having drugs gets you thrown into prison.
    I read a very interesting book, called “Hellfire Nation”. The thesis was that whenever the US tried to legislate private behavior, we ended up with more repressive government a