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What Is It?

     The New York Times ran a story of curious import this morning: “Mel Gibson Loses Support Abroad.” Well, gosh, that’s disappointing.  And just when we needed him, too. Concern over this pressing matter probably reflects the general mood of the nation these dog days of summer – and these soggy days, indeed, are like living in a dog’s mouth – so no wonder the USA has lost its mind, as evidenced by the fact that so many people who ought to know better, in the immortal words of Jim Cramer, don’t know anything.
     Case in point: I visited the Slate Political Gabfest podcast yesterday. These otherwise excellent, entertaining, highly educated folk (David Plotz, Emily Bazelon, and Daniel Gross, in for vacationing John Dickerson) were discussing the ramifications of the economic situation on the upcoming elections. They were quite clear about not being able to articulate the nature of this economic situation, “…this recession, or whatever you want to call it…” in Ms. Bazelon’s words.  What’s the point of sending these people to Ivy League colleges if they can’t make sense of their world.
     Let’s call this whatever-you-want-to-call-it a compressive deflationary contraction, because that’s exactly what it is, an accelerating systemic collapse of activity due to over-investments in hyper-complexity (thank you Joseph Tainter). A number of things are going on in our society that can be described with precision. We’ve generated too many future claims on wealth that does not exist and has poor prospects of ever being generated. That’s what unpayable debt is. We have such a mighty mountain of it that the Federal Reserve can “create” new digital dollars until the cows come home (and learn how to play chamber music), but they will never create enough new money to outpace the disappearance of existing notional money in the form of welshed-on loans. Hence, money will continue to disappear out of the economic system indefinitely, citizens will grow poorer steadily, companies will go out of business, and governments at all levels will not have money to do what they have been organized to do.
     This compressive deflationary collapse is not the kind of cyclical “downturn” that we are familiar with during the two-hundred-year-long adventure with industrial expansion – that is, the kind of cyclical downturn caused by the usual exhalations of markets attempting to adjust the flows of supply and demand. This is a structural implosion of markets that have been functionally destroyed by pervasive fraud and swindling in the absence of real productive activity. 
     The loss of productive activity preceded the fraud and swindling beginning in the 1960s when other nations recovered from the traumas of the world wars and started to out-compete the USA in the production of goods. Personally, I doubt this was the result of any kind of conspiracy, but rather a comprehensible historical narrative that worked to America’s disadvantage. Tough noogies for us. The fatal trouble began when we attempted to compensate for this loss of value-creation by ramping up the financial sector to a credit orgy so that every individual and every enterprise and every government could enjoy ever-increasing levels of wealth in a system that no longer really produced wealth.
     This was accomplished in the financial sector by “innovating” new tradable securities based on getting something for nothing. That is what the aggregate mischief on Wall Street and its vassal operations was all about.  The essence of the fraud was the “securitization” of debt, because the collateral was either inadequate or altogether missing. That’s how you get something for nothing. The swindling came in when these worthless certificates were pawned off on credulous “marks” such as pension funds and other assorted investors.
Tragically, everybody in a position to object to these shenanigans failed to issue any warnings or ring the alarm bells – and this includes the entire matrix of adult authority in banking, government (including the law), academia, and a hapless news media. Everyone pretended that the orgy of mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt and loan obligations, structured investment vehicles, credit default swaps, and other chimeras of capital amounted to things of real value.
     Certainly the editors and pundits in the media simply didn’t understand the rackets they undertook to report. You can bet that the players on Wall Street made every effort to mystify the media with arcane language, and they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. (Making multiple billions of dollars by trading worthless certificates based on getting something for nothing must be the ultimate definition of succeeding beyond one’s wildest dreams.) It’s harder to account for the dimness of the news media. I doubt they were in on the caper. More likely there is a correlation between their low pay and their low capacity. But I wouldn’t discount the fog of assumptions and expectations about the way the world is supposed to work that can disable even people of intelligence.
     I’m as certain as the day is long that the folks on Wall Street, from the myrmidons in the trading pits to the demigods like John Thain, with his thousand-dollar trash basket, knew that they were trafficking in tainted paper. Many of them deserve to be locked up in the federal penitentiary for years on end, and they probably never will because president Barack Obama lacked the courage to set the dogs of justice after them and now it is too late.
     The most confused of any putative authorities are the academic economists, lost in the wilderness of their models and equations and their quaint expectations of the way things ought to go if you can tweak numbers. These are the people who believe with the faith of little children that if you can measure anything you can control it. They will go down in history as the greatest convocation of clowns ever assembled, surpassing all the collected alchemists, priests, and vizeers employed in the 1500 years following the fall of Rome.
     It’s harder to tell whether the elected officials and their appointees in sensitive places like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI had a clue as to the scale of misconduct in the financial sector, or if they were bought off plain and simple, or just too stupid to understand what was going on all around them. The term “regulatory capture” provides valuable insight. How could Christopher Cox at the SEC fail to notice the stupendous malfeasance in the mortgage-related securities rackets. Why isn’t he working for fifty cents a day in the laundry of Allenwood Federal Correctional Facility? Why is the grifter of Countrywide mortgage favors, Christopher Dodd, still free to guzzle the fabled bean soup in the Senate lunch room? I could go on in this vein for two hundred pages, but you get the drift.
     The collective failure of authority, whether of intention or oversight or mental deficiency boggles the mind. And it leaves us where we are: in a compressive deflationary contraction, a.k.a. the long emergency.  This is not a cyclical recession. It’s the end of one thing and the beginning of another thing, another phase of history in which people will have to learn to live differently or perish. I’m convinced that just about very elected official who can be swept out of office will be swept out of office – even if their replacements turn out to be a very unsavory gang of sadists and morons who will certainly make things worse.
     But these dog days of summer nobody will be paying attention, even as the markets themsel
ves roll over and puke, as I rather imagine they will between now and Halloween, if not next week.
     P.S. I have not come to any conclusions about the fate of the Macondo blow-out and the claims of Matthew Simmons, though I have certainly got a lot of mail about it, some of it very intelligent. The BP oil spill has vanished from the news headlines again as the world waits for the final push at the relief wells. We do know that we are entering the heart of the hurricane season and that will make for some excitement.
_______________

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.

426 Responses to “What Is It?” Subscribe

  1. Joe July 26, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    First!

  2. goodhumorman July 26, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Second!

  3. eightm July 26, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Check out nameta9 and old6598 on ilovephilosophy (dot com) and their views on EXCESS CAPACITY.
    The “Excess Capacity myth”: the belief that there are huge excess capacities or potentials or wealth, money, real estate, scientific knowledge, possibilities, etc. enough to give a “free salary” to all: well this is false, is a forced “patternization” upon economy and the world, is not reality: the reality is that there really is no aggregate number measuring how much “wealth” or productive capacity or potential is available: economy is only, I REPEAT ONLY A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CONFLICTING WILL POWERS, A FIGHT BETWEEN TWO OR MORE PEOPLE OVER RESOURCES, OVER WHO IS THE BOSS AND WHO IS THE SLAVE.
    In theory, yes there is enough know how and technology and organizational understanding, etc. to give a free salary to all, say 3,000 dollars a month to easily live comfortably for everyone, cheap rents for high quality homes, etc. (there are more than 10 million empty homes between the USA and the entire European continent (from Lisbon to Moscow) and JAPAN), etc. You can pay much more to those that work jobs that are actually needed like doctors, dentists, construction workers and factory workers, say from 6,000 dollars a month up while everyone else should stay at home and watch TV, as this is the ultimate end point of human evolution as it achieves all our needs without having to exert any effort: the images realize all the causes and effects that we desire, it makes no difference if they are real or fake, real and fake are themselves imaginary concepts.
    The real bottom line ? The value of homes, the value of commercial property, the value of real estate: these values have been blowed up way out of proportion starting from the JAPAN of the 1980s, most of the European Union and the USA from the 1970s to present. These values have been way above average salaries, have no correspondence to the reality of what people make and more alarmingly so, what people will possibly make in the future. These values like house above 200,000 dollars in California, 2 bedroom homes in London of 400,000 dollars etc. are completely bogus, imaginary, impossible to be real and in fact are not real. These home values have been inflated way beyond reality for three reasons:
    1) To make people “feel rich”, to give them an illusion of how rich they are and how much money they could “cash in” when they “sell” (as if it is so automatic and easy to sell in any possible future ignoring how everything can possibly change in the future);
    2) To find some kind of investment for the 80 trillion dollars of profit money hanging around in the world not knowing what to do, to find some kind of magical return, return on investment, profit for money just sitting in a room. Now I feel the entire concept of investment and profit is mostly a farce, bogus, unreal, is a make believe fantasy, magical thinking gimick: investments can be made and profits and money can be made in certain areas (apple with their ipad), chinese factories turning out products by paying their workers 200 dollars a month, etc: but the bottom line is that most profits are made by giving less money to some actors and skinning off more for the owner’s class. Not much by “innovation”. But they found a great “innovation”: make real estate values and prices blow up forever, and make people believe and pay ever higher prices for these homes, for this basic good everyone needs, and let them pay by borrowing from the “future”.
    3) Convince everyone that there is a “population explosion”, that housing is scarce, that you have to get your “own house” before the “resources run out”. In fact most nations are undergoing a flat population growth, some are going backwards, the future is not in resource scarcity, there are and will be any number of homes available to anyone. They are mostly kept off the market, they are mostly fake scarcities due to the fact that the jobs are all in hot areas so everyone wants a home in the hot areas and the prices go sky high.
    The prices of homes in the developed world most go WAY DOWN, like not more than 100,000 dollars for a 2 bedroom whether in JAPAN, UK or California. Because the future “work” that people will need to pay these homes will not and cannot pay salaries of more than 500 to 1000 dollars a month: there is no reason to pay white collars workers in Los Angeles or London more than can be paid a guy in Sao Paolo, Brazil or Jakarta, Indonesia. In these places a dude will readily accept 800 dollars a month, is more disciplined and better educated and will be very happy to make such a “high salary as perceived by them”. This is the future reality.
    Check out:
    brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=22324
    The Instant Singularity will open brains, change their circuits and create new universes. The guy with the Beard, the racist, that brain must be opened, the circuits all changed, he will then be OK again.
    Science will go forward and triumph, computers and Cyborgs will dominate, the Technological Singularity is near: Technology is winning, all you losers can go in the farm and eat crap, Technology is going towards the Singularity, where young scientists are marching forward in South Korea, in JAPAN, in Scandinavia, in parts of India. All you losers, can just go away…
    And we need FREE SALARIES 3,000 dollars a month because the economy is now an automatic system that generates trillions of dollars of completely free wealth, and high quality homes for very little rent (100 dollars a month), and BUS SYSTEMS for mass transit and trillions of skyscrapers. And the worldwide population can easily reach 10 trillion, that is no problem, technology can build skyscrapers with 200 floors, and space travel, the future is coming, watch out…

  4. suburbanempire July 26, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    I just drove 6700 miles across this nation, winding up in Las Vegas of all places… for all the talk of alternative energy the only solar panels you will see are attached to road signs and monitors…. a few “experimentation” stations at community colleges, but here we are two years out from oil shock number two… and the amount of rooftops without panels is just mindblowing. New rooftops even. St George Utah is nothing is not new McMansion roofs… not a solar panel in sight… except for the one powering the sign telling you that you cannot afford a DUI.
    I wait with baited breath to see if Matt Simmons is right…. and know that it will be a mighty cold winter if he is (guess where most of our refining capacity is)
    Now the oil producers are having trouble too
    http://www.suburbanempire.com

  5. The Mook July 26, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Correst! The people who should have intervened failed to do anything to lessen the meltdown. The same problem is happening all over the country with the continuation of the meltdown of American society. People who should be taking charge, parents, judges, teachers, just look the other way. Those who do something are either sued or arrested for intervening.

  6. The Mook July 26, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Correct.

  7. Fouad Khan July 26, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    At a deeper level we are also contributing so highly to the entropy of our host system that we are making the host system in-adaptable for ourselves.
    Essentially we are committing suicide by over-consumption, death by chocolate.
    http://hurricanekatrinakaif.com

  8. Ruff Limblog July 26, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    During WW I, there was a period called the ‘phony war’ where masses of troops were awaiting the call to go ‘over the top’ to face the machine guns and barbed wire. The troops hated the waiting and idleness and yet feared the machine guns. So they grumbled and waited…
    That time is being repeated now.
    ~Ruff

  9. Puzzler July 26, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    The only way to be surprised is to labor under the delusion that anybody actually knows what they are doing. It’s a race between evil greedheads and morons to squeeze the economy to death.

  10. The Mook July 26, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    By the way, I had the motorcycle out on route 287 west of Williamsport, PA. on Saturday. This is one of the most refreshing rides on a hot day due to the cliffs to the west and the river on the east. Anyway, I am sorry to report that the Marcellus shale activity has basically ruined the road. Half of it is now either rutted or reduced to a dirt trail. Still enjoyed the ride though.

  11. TedC July 26, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    The fuckers who did this are hoping we keep on watching TV and drinking cheap beer.
    They have made sure that the local police have a gestapo like mentality, and an arsenal to go with it.
    If the slobs get unruly, we’ll just crack their fucking heads open, just like we always do.
    They are counting on that to keep us from cracking THEIR fucking heads open.
    The ultimate game of ‘chicken’.
    Is this all that’s left of our ‘civilization’? It’s barely worth having at this point…

  12. Chocokitty July 26, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    JHK – why weren’t you at the Agora conference this year? Was looking forward to hearing your remarks.

  13. lsjogren July 26, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Suburban empire said:
    “the amount of rooftops without panels is just mindblowing”
    Actually, if you saw photovoltaic roof panels on a lot of homes it would be yet another sign of the depravity of our society.
    Photovoltaics are not a viable energy source, all they are are a “rich man’s toy”, and the government gives massive subsidies to wealthy but scientifically illiterate eco-freaks to install one of these environmental monstrosities on their home, and in some states utility ratepayers are forced to provide massive subsidies to the owners of these abominations.
    Photovoltaics may play a role in our energy future. (it will require a). a great deal more reduction in the cost of panels b). development of a low-cost storage technique for large quantities of electricity to offset the intermittency of this energy source) The role it plays today, however, is that it allows half-wit politicians to engage in a massive waste of capital for a form of “green energy” that is essentially useless at the present time.
    In other words, rooftop photovoltaic panels are another massive misallocation of resources just like suburbia is.
    Your name suggests you are a critic of suburbia, I suggest then that you wake up and smell the stench of rooftop panels rather than drink the kool-aid.
    (I should make it clear that it is photovoltaics in particular that I am blasting, rooftop panels for the solar heating of water are much more defensible.)

  14. lbendet July 26, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Yes our media is a little bread and circus isn’t it.
    The biggest story of the week!—Wikileaks all 92,201 documents!
    First, JHK should be commended for putting it out there every week.
    The economy has been in a slow collapse since 2008. There is no question that something is terribly wrong when Jamie Dimon can testify to congress that he tells his daughter that bubbles are endemic to our form of capitalism and that one can expect one every 7 years. The fact that the congress found this acceptable is beyond comprehension.
    When bringing up academia, I think of Gerald Celente said it best (and I quote)”All you have to remember is Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Bullets, banks and bombs.” Our academia, think tanks and political system is replete with these fundamentalist supply-side-globalists, who will not rethink this insanity to the detriment of the middle class.
    Last night on dateline was a heartbreaking expose on how our poorest citizens have been effected by this “recession”, which is as permanent as our wars.
    The two big stories of this past week is Dana Priest and William Arkin’s Top Secret America. Frontline will air a show about this in the fall, but in the meantime you can read some exerpts on how the journalists have gone about uncovering the vast private and government contracts that go into the “war on terror” and one can only imagine how much tax-payer money goes into this and how opaque this whole operation is. (not to mention the huge waste and redundancy—its out of control because there’s no accounting of who is doing what. -sound familiar?)
    The other story that broke out yesterday was the release of 98,000 documents concerning the Afghan war since 2004 not only headlining the abuses and war crimes of war, but also describing the ISI Pakistani secret service relationship and aid to the Taliban. Also outlines operations carried out by these parties against US and International forces)
    This morning on Morning Joe, Mika’s dad, Zbig Brzezinski discussed the possiblity of a more broad regional war, if things aren’t handled right—and who knows how this can be handled? He says that Russia backs India, China backs Pakistan, Iran wants influence in Afghanistan. Pakistan sees Afghanistan as a wedge against India and even the Israel-Palestinian conflict plays into it–so hold on to your hats, my friends…
    Oh– and by the way it came out that the US gave a tepid permission to the release for humanitarian reasons of al-Megrahi as a better option than a prisoner exchange that was somehow on the table.

  15. Kickaha July 26, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    The most confused of any putative authorities are the academic economists, lost in the wilderness of their models and equations and their quaint expectations of the way things ought to go if you can tweak numbers. These are the people who believe with the faith of little children that if you can measure anything you can control it. They will go down in history as the greatest convocation of clowns ever assembled, surpassing all the collected alchemists, priests, and vizeers employed in the 1500 years following the fall of Rome.
    Swift satarized such people centuries ago in “Gulliver’s Travels.” Like the chap trying to extract sunbeams from cucumbers, economists expect oil to magically appear because there is a demand for it. Maybe JK can have his own island of Lagado in a future “World made by hand” book.

  16. helen highwater July 26, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Does anyone else find it a little odd that the link which Jim gives to the article “Mel Gibson Loses Support Abroad” actually goes to a pretty good article by Paul Krugman about climate change entitled “Who Cooked The Planet?” – he talks about the real reasons for no action on climate change – greed and cowardice.

  17. Steve M. July 26, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Wealth COULD be generated from switching to renewable resources and using wind and solar power to make things again, as well as generate enough electricity for the basics, and stop relying on cheap coal-fired power plants so much, but the Senate said no last week. We could generate wealth by rebuilding places like Essex County, NJ. Newark needs factories. The entire business district of East Orange needs to be rebuilt. But the Tea Party doesn’t want to pay for something like that; the people in those places look too much like Mr. Obama. Even supporting GM’s effort to market the Chevrolet Volt would be a smnall step in the right direction if we’re not going to support public transportation, but Washington would prefer not to. We “subsidize” good ideas and “invest” in bad ones, like more McMansions in the hills of New Jersey and elsewhere.

  18. ozone July 26, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    “The collective failure of authority, whether of intention or oversight or mental deficiency boggles the mind. And it leaves us where we are: in a compressive deflationary contraction, a.k.a. the long emergency. This is not a cyclical recession. It’s the end of one thing and the beginning of another thing, another phase of history in which people will have to learn to live differently or perish. I’m convinced that just about very elected official who can be swept out of office will be swept out of office – even if their replacements turn out to be a very unsavory gang of sadists and morons who will certainly make things worse.” -JHK
    Wow! That really is the political crack-up in a nutshell.
    Far too few understand that this is where the approaching danger lies. Those desperate to maintain their “exceptionalist” lifestyle will, assuredly, turn to morons and sadists (witness those who will soon be mouthing their horrifying visions of authoritarian utopia right here). Educated fools abound…
    Loss of confidence in our so-called “leaders” is where the malaise and anxiety begins to bubble. Hopefully, it won’t have time to creep. A sudden collapse of this house of bullshit would lend itself to a faster facing of reality. (I fear that creeping fascism will be the order of the day however. Those who slaver for it: careful what you wish for; you just may get it.)
    Ps. Great comment Puzzler!

  19. Solar Guy July 26, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    lsjogren says–
    “”Actually, if you saw photovoltaic roof panels on a lot of homes it would be yet another sign of the depravity of our society.
    Photovoltaics are not a viable energy source, all they are are a “rich man’s toy”
    scientifically illiterate eco-freaks to install one of these environmental monstrosities on their home””
    Fuck You lsjogren Solar is Awesome!!
    Take That!

  20. empirestatebuilding July 26, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Of course we all know that the reason no one went to jail is because everyone was in on the fraud.
    The takeover of politics by massive amounts of money led to our leaders turning a blind to the thievery. The politicians sold themselves out to corporations and lobbyists.
    If we make it through to the other side of this disaster with enough collective intelligence still intact, then someday in the future someone will connect the dots and perhaps justice will be served.
    I’d like to see a clawback ala Bernie Madoff’s beneficiaries. But that will not happen until the money changers are run out of town.
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  21. myrtlemay July 26, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    A good friend of mine is a professor at a state university. He told me that the administrations of these schools routinely intimidate their faculty with denial of tenure, etc., if they do not publish (publish or perish). As a result, many, if not most professors inflate grades shamelessly. The saddest part is, for the students, they don’t know any better. They grew up being told how important their self esteem was, how “smart” they were, how important, even as infants, every little burp and fart they released were. He said several students have cried, yelled, and threatened him if he gave them a grade lower than an ‘A’! The problem, he says, isn’t so much the students, but rather society, which has taught the following:
    1) You CAN get something for nothing.
    2) You are a valued member of society by just EXISTING.
    3) Expectations that EVERYONE must go to college or else.
    4) You are an ignoramous if you don’t graduate from college.
    5) The game is fair. Everyone is the same and has an equal shot at being a success.
    6) A large house (with a large mortgage), an attractive spouse, two large SUVs in the three car garage, are a ticket to happiness and success.
    7) It doesn’t matter what you do (how you make your living) as long as you get YOURS.
    8) High amounts of student debt are okay, because you can easily earn 3-5 times as much as the person not holding a degree.
    9) Real estate will ALWAYS appreciate in value because people will always need a (nice, nicer) place to live.
    Okay then, let’s briefly take a look at numbers 8 and 9. Number 8 might have worked for a while, until EVERYONE started doing the “paper chase” thing. I think this began in the ’60s when they had what was known as “open enrollment”-a way to stay out of Vietnam for most guys, state colleges pretty much accepted everyone, regardless of ability. Any thinking person can see the way this train wreck was headed. Logically, how can you expect to be “worth” more than someone not holding a degree when EVERYONE who shows up for class and is willing to mortgage his or her own futures for $10,000-$150,000 gets a diploma(s)? Jeez, everybody’s on the take! The kids get a long trip down the falls while the adults in charge are getting paid to keep their mouths shut in regards to the truth.
    Lastly, number 9. Another friend, a real estate agent (god, how I’ve lost respect for that field) continues to tell me how real estate is “local” and profits will continue to be made as people continue to move up the economic ladder. I honestly cannot tell whether or not she actually believes this hooey. She has this clouded over look in her eyes, as though she holds the keys to the never ending land of opportunity. It is just disgusting to see the array of b.s. that we are mired in today. I see propeties sit on the market for years at these outlandish prices, and nary a word is said about it. When the average (and don’t ask me what average means, cause I don’t know) person makes about $40k a year, how is he, she going to afford to make payments on a $400k house? Here, some (otherwise intelligent) people are still trying to FLIP HOUSES! Dear god, haven’t they been paying attention?

  22. Paul Kemp July 26, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    A beautiful piece of prose. Hard to pick the most memorable phrase, but I will submit my vote for this one: “This is not a cyclical recession. It’s the end of one thing and the beginning of another thing, another phase of history in which people will have to learn to live differently or perish.”
    While the masses go about their lives distracted by the latest Lindsay Lohan news and text messages about what their friends plan to have for lunch, our economy is teetering on the precipice.
    Life goes on as usual — until the day that everything changes radically. The floor drops out from under us, just as it has been predicted for months and years by JHK and few others.
    I re-read Dmitry Orlov’s “Reinventing Collapse” a few days ago, a cleverly written roadmap of what we’re about to go through. Sobering!
    I’m not expecting any kind of justice to be meted out by the Obama regime for the many who put us into this jam. Instead I am preparing for the day that all the other fine promise of our government in D.C. are found to be worthless, especially the promises of Health Care and Social Security.
    My message to those who are going into this collapse with eyes open, is to prepare your health now, because, if you wait ’til later, our U.S. health care system will be one of the many promises our broke nation is too poor to keep.
    “Learn to live differently or perish” expresses it very well.
    http://www.healthyplanetdiet.com

  23. ssgconway July 26, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Mr. Kunstler, you mentioned the fall of Rome in passing. I think often of how the Roman Empire was a fiction, for all intents and purposes, after the Goths sacked the City in 410AD. Yet, even after Odoacer became King of Italy in 476AD, the Senate continued to meet and Consuls continued to serve, until 529Ad, when Justinian’s wars, plague and general bloodthirstiness reduced Patrician ranks to the point where there were no longer enough of them to continue. Praefects continued to serve as ‘Lord Mayors’ of Rome until shortly before 590AD, when Gregory the Great, an ex-Praefect before becoming a priest, had to take over civil administration when no one could be found to fill the vacant post.
    My point with this is that the forms continued long after the realities that had undergirded their coming into being had ceased to have life. We are somewhere between 410AD and 529, IMHO, except that in our case, we don’t realize that the Goths and the Vandals have electronically sacked us already. The forms continue for a while, but real power resides elsewhere, and all depends on a system, whether it be industrial civilization or grain ships from Egypt, that is falling away before our eyes. The Dark Ages beckon, indeed.

  24. Vision Cube July 26, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    “Compressive deflationary contraction” evokes the feeling of being crushed from the sheer weight of it all. In contradistinction, TLE evokes something akin to attenuation, a long slow fraying of societal and economic fabric. Stretched too thin–The Rack–and buried under debt–The Rack in reverse. However visualized, it still looks like a torturous demise. More morphine please–when does Dancing With The Stars start up again?

  25. Max July 26, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    One of your best Monday narratives, Jim.
    Thank you for your insights.

  26. Paul Kemp July 26, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Just a reminder to any would-be Che Guevaras out in the audience: Today is the birthday of the Cuban Revolution. Vente-y-seis de Julio!

  27. asoka July 26, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    JHK said:

    This is not a cyclical recession. It’s the end of one thing and the beginning of another thing, another phase of history in which people will have to learn to live differently or perish.

    First, we don´t know yet whether this is or is not a cyclical recession: it´s too early to tell.
    Second, why is it the beginning of a new phase of history? Seems it is a return to an old phase of WMBH history, with the advantages of all the knowledge that the previous generations did not have.
    Third, I think people underestimate two things: 1) the incredible amount of stuff and infrastructure that can be recycled and reused for decades (see Cuba for an example of citizen resilience when faced with limited external inputs), and 2) the amount of intelligence, commonsense, and practical know-how the citizenry have accumulated that will be put to good use when TSHTF and people are OBLIGED, FORCED, by circumstances to either react or die.
    Until that day (which could be decades away), people will continue to live as if nothing unusual is happening.
    All in all, I am more concerned about the cumulative and ongoing effects of overpopulation (global, not the USA: I welcome all immigrants), possibility of a nuclear war (given increasing access to weaponry by non-state actors), and the relentless, and increasing, effects of our destruction of the enviroment (with the consequent climate changes, death of the oceans, etc.)
    I am more concerned about those three issues: overpopulation, nuclear war, and environmental deterioration … than about what the money markets are doing, or will do, or the amount of toxic paper floating around the world.
    I prefer to work with the earth, to build something that will last thousands of years: a passive solar earthen adobe brick structure with an adobe vault roof (zero wood, zero plastic, zero metal, zero steel, etc.) that does not require nor consume petroleum in its construction or operation, and, when it does deteriorate in the future, after being used by generations of people, will return earth to earth and not contaminate the environment.
    Someone might call that being a “mental utopian” … I call it thinking seven generations ahead by building in a sustainable, zero carbon impact, zero emissions way that is in complete harmony with the Earth.

  28. myrtlemay July 26, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Btw, my eyes and thoughts are so glazed over by the never-ending parade of circus clowns we’ve either inherited or elected, that I’m not sure if I read this correctly. Last week, I could have sworn that I read in a local paper that the Obama Administration has pretty damn well acknowledged that the unemployment rate in the U.S. will run 9% or more THRU 2012. Now, I’m no whiz kid or anything, but how the .ell are we going to continue to pay unemployment benefits for those who have been dumped overboard for TWO MORE YEARS? Mind you, I don’t advocate letting folks starve to death, and I don’t want to see Great Depression, Part Deux, either. I don’t quite get it. Where is this money supposed to come from? My parents came of age during the Depression, and their lives were beyond grim. Old phrases we hear today like “belt-tightening” were just that in the thirties. Any self-respecting woman knew how to run a sewing machine and decrease (rather than increase) the size of her day dress(es). My mother told me that in the thirties, she owned exactly three pairs of underwear, three sets of silk stockings, and three dresses. Add a blouse and skirt, and that was IT. The undies were washed daily in the bathroom sink. As for my father and his family, they were a few ranks below my mother’s family in terms of wealth. He and his younger brothers and sisters shared the same bath water each Saturday night for years (there were TEN of them). No hot and cold running water, either. Dinner meant boiled potatoes and cabbage, with the occasional carrot or onion thrown in, if they could afford it. Dad said that this “broth” was meant to last a few days, with his mother, my grandmother, saving the potatoes and cabbage, and meting it out cautiously. I seriously doubt that our society has the gumption (to use a more lady-like term) to withstand this scenario very long.

  29. Alexandra July 26, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    With BP… Hayward will step-aside (bank £12m and wave good-bye) to be superseded by the Yank favoured Dudley…(shares rise nicely on that news)….lol
    And Deepwater Horizon 2 (off-shore Libya) goes into action as a project imminently….
    I loved Syriana…. a movie still holding true….
    youtube.com/watch?v=apM0d3M-sps&
    I also enjoyed Polanski’s last…
    youtube.com/watch?v=3tpuVVVZm7U&
    (Oh my god indeed)
    Keep your voice booming Jim….for many of us it’s a persistent reminder of truths spoken well and what helps keep us on the straight and narrow…

  30. Jim from Watkins Glen July 26, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    How like a drug addiction story this is. The addict starts out snorting disposable income, then justifies using grocery and mortgage money to just get over the hump. Family and friends (the media) enable the addict by justifying the behavior as temporary, until another recovery. The addict eventually overdoses and dies penniless in an ally and everyone’s dismayed. Wishful thinking masques a predictable demise. Why is the word “truth” so often preceded by the words “cold, hard?”

  31. mika. July 26, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    The New York Times, much like the rest of the MSM, are propaganda appendages of the CIA. As such, they will always point people to look in the wrong direction.

  32. cooldog July 26, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Joseph Tainter?

  33. SNAFU July 26, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Lsjogren, Your comment, a fragment of which is, “Photovoltaics are not a viable energy source, all they are are a “rich man’s toy”, and the government gives massive subsidies to wealthy..” is dead nuts correct.
    You might want to add greedy corporate interests in with the half wit politicians.
    Keep up the rational posts.
    SNAFU

  34. upstatebob July 26, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson???? whodey? Paul Krugman persists in the belief that creation of money will be our salvation. He must not have read about the French and
    their printing of Assignats (sp?) based on the value of confiscated church property. Perfect! another bubble based
    on real estate. After the first printing things improved for a while. -then when the economy slumped they printed up another batch. This is exactly the point where we are now, with Krugman asking for more styrofoam to feed the fire.
    After the second printing inflation started to show and at the third (and last) people were beheaded for hoarding precious metals or refusing to take the currency. I wait in patient curiosity for the next price controls to be passed here in the USA.

  35. Phaedrus July 26, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Ignorance. Sheer and willful ignorance is to blame. We live in a culture that it is perfectly acceptable (even strongly encouraged) to choose to believe any reality that we want (such as something for nothing) and simply ignore any evidence contrary to that belief. “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” The root of the problem is not stupidity. It is ignorance. We search out pleasurable experiences and try to hold on as tightly as we can without letting go. Then we run and hide from any sort negative or painful experience refusing (willful ignorance) to accept it. This behavior will be the end of American society as we know it. Many will suffer, some will prosper, and each will choose their own reality. Americans need not to fear terrorism as much as our own damn egos.

  36. Andy Williams July 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Greetings to our American cousins from here in Wales, UK.
    A very interesting article appeared in the Daily Telegraph (a posh newspaper)today. Basically it rubbishes your ne Dodds-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill as little more than an elaborate con that allows the banks to carry on as before.
    I attach a link for your perusal.
    telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/liamhalligan/7908516/Obama-signs-a-bill-that-lets-banks-have-US-over…

  37. Smacktle July 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I saw that thing on Dateline and wondered about how poor people can afford a pool and to smoke cigarettes!

  38. jerry July 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Excellent Post!!!!
    It is my belief that because we have a system of corporate lobbyists and their surrogates passing out campaign contributions from the moment a Congressperson is elected to the moment they are defeated and a new one is polished up with by the same corporate lobbyists, nothing will change. Money speaks loudly. The system is owned by the corporate elite nearly 100%.
    When that changes and corporations cannot speak as a person, but are at the bottom of the vocal list, then we might see change we can believe in.
    BO has been told what to say and what to do. He is only aloud to go out on the limb as far as he is told. The American people will be suffering, while the richest among us retrench with their gobs of cash and wealth preparing for the Great Unwashed getting very angry.
    Austerity does not work. It won’t work. The government will end up paying a great price, even in dollars. Money has to be transferred away from the financial casino players and game changers, to the real economy, jobs, and wages. That is the only way the nation can begin to repair.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  39. george July 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Frankly, JHK, I don’t know what to believe anymore. While property values continue on a downward spiral here in the American Midwest, I’ve read stories that the housing bubble is still going strong in places like Toronto, which continue onward and upward. You can buy a pretty decent home here in Detroit for less than ten grand but up north in Toronto, a Victorian shotgun shack will go for upwards of one million dollars U.S. As for Mad Mel, the media needs to let this seriously disturbed individual fall off the radar screens before he becomes an even bigger danger to himself or those around him.

  40. BIG BRUSH July 26, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    For all the Solar Power Doubters out there, 15 years ago i hired a mason to re-build my fireplace and in the course of our conversation discovered he had built a solar panel array on his property 6 miles up a valley on the Oregon coast, not exactly a sunny proposition. He invited me to inspect the smallish arrangement that allowed him to live ‘off the grid’ and energy independent. The key was in the storage batteries which resided in a beautiful stone building near his house . All the power needed for normal living was produced passively , with the main problem being any excessive energy which needed to be used up.Quite impressive to say the least.

  41. anotherplayaguy July 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    I was just thinking that Kunstler was achieving the status of a latter-day Juvenal, the great Roman satirist.
    Not a funny satirist, mind, but a satirist nonetheless.

  42. progressorconserve July 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Another fine piece of work this week, JHK.
    Like any good author, you always leave something unsaid, some little gaps that (one would think) the intelligent reader could fill.
    Last week in “What if He’s Right,” you left unsaid that He could be wrong. Or that Simmons could be right, but on the wrong time scale or right in a wrong way…or something….who knows….literary symbolism and “what the author is really saying, here,” has always driven me a little bit crazy.
    And this week, “What Is It?” Well, sure it’s a compressive deflationary collapse. But you leave mostly unsaid what is causing it to occur in the “greatest,” “most free,” and “most capitalistic” country the Earth has ever seen.
    I’m pretty sure you have some ideas, though.
    Maybe some other readers can express them.
    At least you acknowledge that it is not a conspiracy….at least in the traditional sense that that word is used.
    Now, how about ALL posters at least READ JHK’s week’s work and try to post something somewhat related for a while??
    If the shoe fits, people…..

  43. wagelaborer July 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Every time I commit the American sin of quoting Marx, everyone politely averts their eyes and pretends they didn’t notice. It is a faux pas that nearly every American, “left” or right, knows not to commit. We prefer to feign ignorance, looking downright stupid, dithering about personalities, and screaming about crimes, rather than to point out that these crimes were all identified, explained and cataloged over a century ago.
    The American tendency to classify good guys vs bad guys makes it easy for the ruling class to personify class warfare into personalities (i.e.,Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff), and our collective amnesiac fog makes it possible for us to live through successive crashes without ever being able to make connections.
    Too bad. We have, indeed, gone through speculative bubbles not based on any productive activity, or only loosely based.
    JHK should know about the railroad speculation bubble, which led to the worst depression in US history until that time, in 1893. It left us with a lot of railroad track.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1893
    Marx on the expansion of credit-
    “In these facts, by which an accumulation of debts may appear as an accumulation of capital, the perfection of the reversal accomplished by the credit system becomes apparent.”
    “Their value, that is, their quotation at the Stock Exchange, necessarily has a tendency to rise with a fall in the rate of interest, so far as this fall, independently of the peculiar movements of money-capital, is due merely to the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, SO THAT THIS IMAGINARY WEALTH (my emphasis,wl)… expands for this reason alone in the course of capitalist production.”
    So, imaginary wealth is not new, it comes along with capitalism.
    Credit speculation instead of honest production is not new. It comes along with capitalism.
    We can be shocked, shocked, anew with each new crisis, crash and environmental catastrophe that capitalism produces, right up until global warming cooks us while we starve from lack of food production, or we can grow up, learn from our past, and do something to make our productivity work for everyone’s good.

  44. Funzel July 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    I am still trying to figure out why and what purpose the ‘homeland security’ department was created.Ever since that dual passport slob Chertoff was appointed the head of operations,the illegal aliens are pouring in here by the millions,bringing all their cripples and indigent in here,while the few Americans,that are still working, are paying for it.We need to find out where these treasonous bastards,that are responsible for this,live and pay them a final visit.A good guide for this,study and read how the CIA,FBI and Mossad operate.
    The mass murder of about 4 billion people is just around the corner,making Hitler look like a great humanitarian.

  45. budizwiser July 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Hi Kids,
    Clif-notes version of the essay below.
    Tough noogies for us.

    The fatal trouble began when we attempted to compensate for this loss of value-creation by ramping up the financial sector to a credit orgy so that every individual and every enterprise and every government could enjoy ever-increasing levels of wealth in a system that no longer really produced wealth.
    The essence of the fraud was the “securitization” of debt, because the collateral was either inadequate or altogether missing.
    This is a structural implosion of markets that have been functionally destroyed by pervasive fraud and swindling in the absence of real productive activity.
    The collective failure of authority, whether of intention or oversight or mental deficiency boggles the mind.
    This is not a cyclical recession. It’s the end of one thing and the beginning of another thing, another phase of history in which people will have to learn to live differently or perish.

  46. ian807 July 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    “It’s harder to account for the dimness of the news media.”
    Oh piffle. It is not. Mass media is owned by large corporations whose board members sit on the boards of other major corporations. MSM messages are tightly controlled and a constant stream of distraction and drivel have replaced anything resembling information.
    Blogs are still relatively uncorrupted and three cheers for Al Franken and his promotion of net neutrality to keep it that way.

  47. Smacktle July 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    The way things are going you may need that mud hut sooner than later!

  48. wagelaborer July 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    My parents also starved in the Great Depression, Myrtlemay.
    In the meantime, farmers were dumping milk, burning crops and slaughtering livestock.
    They were not so ignorant in those days, as to believe that “we” can’t afford to feed our people.
    As FDR pointed out, “We are stricken by no plague of locusts.”
    Productive capacity was there, but a failure of credit made it unavailable. Sound familiar?
    wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2010/07/plague-of-locusts.html

  49. ian807 July 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    lsjogren,
    He’s right and if you were honest, you would admit this. Feel free to price a residential solar panel system on Amazon.
    (amazon.com/Sunforce-Products-ProSeries-Backup-System/dp/B002EP1ALW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-ga…)
    Something that supplies about 1/10th of what a normal household uses.
    wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_electricity_does_the_average_American_household_use_in_watt-hours
    costs about $10,000. The national median income is about $44,389. Tell me how many people with children, house payments, car payments, etc. are going to do this?
    The corporate oligarchy we pretend is a “government” sure isn’t going to help. So, how do you expect solar to expand? Magic fairies?

  50. wagelaborer July 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    You don’t have to go back to the Roman Empire to make the parallels, ssgconway.
    An American Jew went to Germany after WWll and interviewed common Nazis, publishing their words in a book called “They Thought They Were Free”, still available from the University of Chicago Press.
    A couple of excerpts-
    What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.
    “This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it – please try to believe me – unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these “little measures” that no “patriotic German” could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.
    “And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying “Jew swine,” collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in ·your nation, your people ·is not the world you were in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.
    “You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.”

  51. Dan Treecraft July 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Does everyone remember the term “political theater”? That – as they say of the “Hokey Pokey”- is what it’s all about. Obama loosing the dogs of the law …. on his bankster backers ? You’re kidding, right, Jim ?
    The last pair of puppets worked for the energy corporations (Duh!)
    These two puppets work for Goldman Sachs (Duh!)
    Congress freelances any damned bunch of pimps they can get hooked up with.
    All that you, or any of the rest of us, can do is watch it happen, and stand around nattering about it. Well – that and, perhaps, try to do something locally to save our own sorry butts from the knackers dogs.
    Lucky wishes to all.

  52. wagelaborer July 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    As for why the regulators didn’t regulate, and the media didn’t report and the lawmakers didn’t make laws, I pointed out two years ago that as long as we all pretend that the money is real, society kind of functions-
    wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2008/09/wages-of-sin-is-death-but-profits-on.html

  53. asia July 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    from last weeks post:
    ‘San Jose Mom 51 replied to comment from Al Klein | July 24, 2010 1:58 PM |
    Back in the day, I used to have to go to the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas–a horrid destination.
    Last February we stopped for a night in Las Vegas because we were headed out to Salt Lake City and the route across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Interstate 80, was covered in snow. We ended up seeing Cirque de Soleil’s tribute to the Beatles, “LOVE.” It was a fabulous show. Vegas has this new multi-billion-dollar city center that opened in December. For a mall, the interior was a breath of fresh air. That being said, 99% of the architecture in Vegas is hideous.
    …what folks who live/ visit there are saying is that ‘its 105 to 122 every day the last few weeks!
    [try living thru a summer of that.]
    and the people are ‘ fat with wild hairdos, very mormon in henderson, mormons hire mormons’.’

  54. Vlad Krandz July 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Watching TV all day is the epitome of alienation and despair. No mature person could think that it is as good or as real as real life. You are trapped in the matrix and need the red pill. Or is it the blue? (red and blue were reversed a few years ago on the election charts to confuse the sheeple). Obviously, it much more symbolically correct to have liberal states as the red and conservative as the blue.

  55. cowswithguns July 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    JHK said: “President Barack Obama lacked the courage to set the dogs of justice after them and now it is too late.”
    Indeed, when it comes to the law. But these guys are going to need Pope-mobiles to get around if they ever happen to leave their compounds in the future. They’ve pissed off a lot of people and, I imagine, you can only placate the masses with cheap beer and steroid-enhanced freakish athletes for so long.
    Tar and feathering could make a comeback.

  56. judetennessee July 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Check out this link from the Guardian UK regarding Lloyd’s of London’s dire prediction regarding peak oil.
    planetizen.com/node/45245
    Once again JHK is proved so prescient in his calling out the “Long Emergency.” Just sorry I am going to have to live through it (or not)!

  57. myrtlemay July 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Hard to point out exactly when things became so unreal, as in house prices escalating, real wages falling, etc. It seems there has always been a disconnect between reality and fantasy. The price tag of this disconnect has never been so large, unfathomable, and unsolvable as it is now. I think one of the greatest losses (one that once served to unite us) is the idea of community. Look around the country today and count the cul-de-sacs (dead ends, in my day), fat children, fatter parents. People seem to exist, that is, go from place to place, utterly without purpose or meaning. We’ve placed our workers (those who still have jobs) in isolated little cubicles to “enhance corporate revenue and create value-added customer service”. As you said, this sort of thing has been going on under our noses for a very long time. Before tract houses and suburban nation, people were a bit more accountable to themselves and each other. Life was more centrally located, so even though sickness survived or thrived, it had to be aired out in the open. Whether or not people chose to deal with it or not was another matter. Most chose not to. As was the case in Nazi Germany, a persuasive blame culture transformed a once powerful, self-resourceful empire into a delusional nation buttressed by an imaginary self-worth, self importance, and meaning. Sound familiar?
    I hate to use the word lucky to describe our current circumstance, but there is no other. We here in the U.S. are lucky (so far) that we haven’t been taken to the trenches (literally and figuratively) by our boy/man genious, Obama, and his ilk. To be sure, Geitner, Bernanke, and their minions are greedily salivating about which leg they will pee on next (thereby marking more territory for themselves).

  58. wagelaborer July 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    JHK makes this comment frequently, cows, and then we all point out that Americans are too clueless to go after the real culprits, preferring to kill their families, co-workers, IRS employees, or Unitarians.
    That is the real function of Fox News, no doubt, to turn the raging unfocused anger of clueless Americans towards hapless liberals and the ACLU.
    I always love how dumbass rednecks “support our troops” as the troops slaughter peasants and goatherders to “protect our freedoms”, while our freedoms are being trampled by Congress and the “security state” right here at home, with only the reviled ACLU and CCR trying to protect them.
    How can people be so stupid? It takes a mighty Wurlitzer of propaganda to keep them so.

  59. Ubbm July 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    You are badly misinformed.
    I have a 1300 sg ft house (off-grid) that I finished building 3 years ago and my source of electricity is a 3KW solar photovoltaic system.
    Solar PV works well providing it is fairly bright out. If it is a dark cloudy day then you are using up the batteries. Then I run a small 1KW Honda generator.
    My home is a fully equipped; 3 computers, dishwasher, clothes washer, 20 cu.ft. fridge, trash disposal, electric kettle (I drink a lot of tea), crock-pot, and all the other kitchen gadgets. Our lighting is LED and CFL and a large stereo hi-fi system. And our water has to be pumped by an electric 5hp pump.
    I could dispense with the small generator, which I don’t use very often, if I doubled the PV and battery capacity.
    I also have solar water heating.
    My sustainable house can be seen at picasaweb.google.com/graham.bowkett/Glenhaven
    I hope you reconsider your opinion of solar energy.

  60. acerbas July 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Cooldog beat me to it. Don’t you mean Joseph Tainter, Jim?

  61. moeaxelrod July 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Lots of readers are struck by,”…This is not a cyclical recession. Its the end of one thing and the beginning of another.” Meanwhile our local politicians here in the Illinois River valley at Peoria are clueless of this. The city council of East Peoria just voted to float a 40 million dollar bond to finance a BASS PRO SHOP. They are operating from the perspective that the good times will return. Are there any other readers out there who are experiencing similar behavior in their locality?… Moe.

  62. James Howard Kunstler July 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Thanks for the correction on Tainter.
    Foolish mistake. I apologize to Joseph, not John, Tainter, author of the most excellent book “The Collapse of Complex Societies.”
    –JHK

  63. myrtlemay July 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Yeah, here’s one. In Greensboro, North Carolina, our esteemed City Government is seriously considering opening a new LUXURY hotel, across from the Civil Rights Museum, on downtown Elm Street. Short and simple: The city’s famous 1960 sit-in sparked a great deal of national coverage and was instrumental in desegrating lunch counters all over the south. By the 1990s,Woolworth went under and the building sat vacant for a very long time. Two passionate black civil servants bought the place and tried to arrange financing for a museum, unsucessfully. Finally, this past year, the museum opened. It’s a first class job; however, it doesn’t get nearly as many visitors as would prove profitable. The reasons are probably varied, including the economy and the punishing North Carolina heat. I’m not sure whether this beautiful project warranted the tremendous investment that brought it to fruition. Woolworth was not the first location to have a sit-in in the south (and wasn’t the last). To plunk down more money on a project that is, for lack of a better word, fledgling, is rather poor economy. This is my own opinion, of course.

  64. lbendet July 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Just want to call your attention to
    oftwominds.com/blog.html
    Titled today: “Things Fall Apart: But Not Just Yet”
    Very insightful and describes the various Global feedback loops and how they effect eachother that will eventually collapse the economy and why.
    “demographics, exponential debt and resource depletion all render the status quo Neoliberal Capitalist Globalized system unsustainable.”
    The best way to understand this philosophy is to check out Naomi Klein, “The Shock Doctrine” about economist, Milton Friedman who with the Nixon administration used the Chilean coup of the early 1970’s as a laboratory to test out his economic theory.

  65. Qshtik July 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to read a few EightM posts that actually made some sense and were for the most part free of his usual off-the-wall ideas. But that change for the better came to a screeching halt today. We’re back to “singularities,” $3,000 a month free salaries and trillions (not billions or millions) of 200 story skyscrapers.
    What could account for this? Well, my thought is we’re in that interregnum between the meds running out (with “no refills left”) and the shrink faxing in a fresh Rx to CareMark.

  66. ASPO Article 1037 July 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    West Sacramento is itching to get going on waterfront “Development” so they can tear out Sacramento Northern Railway tracks with water transport interface…
    CalTrans is in process of demolishing family homes along Hazel Ave. to widen the highway in that vicinity. Sensible (cheap oil forever!) in 1960, these projects are simply loopy as we approach gas rationing scenario… But CalTrans is absolutely married to rubber tire transport and shall be until the shortage take effect. Maybe some CalTrans employees see this and will get hold of the SPV.co.uk US Rail Map Atlas Volume for CA and get familiar with the rail footprint in these parts.
    An encouraging National level note in an otherwise ignorant crowd of City & State planners, was this article in July 5, 2010 ARMY TIMES:
    THE LEE-TO-HILL EXPRESS
    The Army is considering a plan to transport soldiers by train from Fort Lee, Va., to Fort A. P. Hill, Va., for training exercises.
    Stuart Gregory of Fort Lee’s combined Arms Support Command says if the plan comes to fruition, it would be the first time in more than 40 years that passenger trains were used for U.S. troop movements. Currently, buses are used to move troops between the installations.
    The proposal calls for the Army to buy or lease locomotives and rail cars from the Virginia Railway Express. Amtrak would operate the shuttle The Army says the train service would remove up to 4000 buses and 320 tractor-trailers from Interstate 90 annually.
    Ed. Contact: 1-703-622-5594

    A tiny beginning, when you consider Amtrak now has fewer than 2000 passenger cars, compared to WWII era National passenger car fleet of over 100,000 pax railcars. In spring 1945, the government asked the railroads to squeeze 12,000! passenger cars out of the operating fleet to be used for moving troops from east coast ports to west coast points of embarkation, destination: Japan.
    Recommissioned US Army/Guard Railroad Operating And Maintenance Battalions will assist with prioritization and rebuild of dormant rail branch lines. The question is, how deep into the Long Emergency will we slide before work to assure RR mode role as Guarantor of Societal & Commercial Cohesion gets under way?

  67. asia July 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Thanks, and repeat :
    This is not a cyclical recession
    This is not a cyclical recession
    This is not a cyclical recession
    This is not a cyclical recession
    this is mid stage collapse

  68. asia July 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    LA Times, Time ,newsweek :
    Paul Krugman for economics and joel stein for
    ‘humor’ and telling us tancredo is a nut.

  69. Qshtik July 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Jim,
    Since you’ve demonstrated here that you actually read these comments …
    Regarding vizeers Dictionary.com says
    No results found for vizeers:
    Did you mean viziers?

    (I come here every Monday for my vocabulary fix.)

  70. asia July 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    sickening..
    yes i heard NPR this a.m.
    ‘ he overthrew dictator batista’..no mention castro is a dictator.
    then they went to talk to cop killa mumia.

  71. SunsetSu July 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Here’s another municipal boondoggle. The State of Washington is planning to tear down a 1950s viaduct carrying a US highway along Seattle’s waterfront, and replace it with a deep-bore tunnel udnerneath downtown Seattle.
    This $2 billion plus project is designed to benefit two groups: the developers, who are slavering over the prospect of building expensive condos in place of the viaduct, and the major construction companies. The technology for a deep-born tunnel of this kind is poorly developed, and the tunnel, if built, won’t solve any traffic problems. There’s also a good chance that the monster tunnel-boring machines will cause many downtown buildings to collapse.
    The WA legislature passed a law this year requiring Seattle taxpayers to pay any cost overruns, which are very likely. Ninety percent of megaprojects (think Boston’s Big Dig) do run over budget, and tunnels run 34 percent over budget on average.

  72. progressorconserve July 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Wage,
    I was glad I had the internet to look up CCR. Because at first I thought Credence Clearwater Revival….which probably says something about my birth year.
    Then I looked up ccr.gov…something about “contractor referals,” whatever the heck *that* is.
    Then I found what you must have intended, The Center for Constitutional Rights.
    OK, the above was my little shot at humor for the day…because this week’s thread is already looking a little angry and/or unfocused.
    Wage, you said
    *************************************************
    That is the real function of Fox News, no doubt, to turn the raging unfocused anger of clueless Americans towards hapless liberals and the ACLU.
    *************************************************
    Please understand that I HATE, Loath, and detest FOX news. I’ve got way too many friends and relatives who keep FOX on more-or-less 24/7. I blame this for the fact that almost any political discussion I try to have with most any conservative friend has to skate around the edge of *their* angry response or angry withdrawal.
    But I can’t jump from there to thinking that FOX is the deliberate propaganda arm of some evil empire in the making…
    It’s just Rupert Murdock, so far, trying to add to his millions. Teams of psychologists doubtless work for Fox. They have found that *bright colors,* *hot female announcers,* and *angry, Fair&Balanced talk,* will keep the masses tuned in 24/7.
    That’s it, though, IMHO. No conspiracy necessary, just American free market capitalism with a “conservative” Australian pushing for the bucks.
    I can explain almost anything from Amoco/BP’s disaster in the Gulf to ZooAtlants’s marketing campaigns for the Chinese panda bears using American free market capitalism as a frame of reference.
    Like JHK, who doubtless gets LOTS of wacky email…I choose to reject conspiracy theories when possible.
    Helps ME sleep better at night, anyhow.

  73. Ubbm July 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Where did my reply go?

  74. katbalou2 July 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    It is indeed disappointing to converse with supposedly intelligent, well-educated people who are so remorsefully ill-informed that I can only walk away, shaking my head in utter disbelief.
    It would appear that all too many people have a price tag attached to their brains — from the Wall Streeters who would sell anybody down the river for a buck to those who maintain a minimal existence through receipt of some sort of government subsidy in exchange for their future vote.
    Yes, we can send a whole slew of fresh-faced carpetbagger politicians to Washington this next election but I sincerely doubt that it will do any good. It is with all of the pathos and sadness that accompanies deep regret, as well as with apprehension and abject dread, that I fear we will find that the situation in the U.S. no longer has a political solution.

  75. flying picket July 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    ” Whew, what a relief! Everybody from Ben Bernanke and a Who’s Who of banking poobahs schmoozing it up in the heady vapors of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the dull scribes at The New York Times, toiling in their MC Escher hall of mirrors, to poor dim James Surowiecki over at The New Yorker, to – wonder of wonders! – the Green Shoots claque at the cable networks, to the assorted quants, grinds, nerds, pimps, factotums, catamites, and cretins in every office from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the International Monetary Fund – every man-Jack and woman-Jill around the levers of power and opinion weighed in last week with glad tidings that the world’s capital finance system survived what turned out to be a mere protracted bout of heartburn and has been reborn as the Miracle Bull economy. Our worries over. If you believe their bullshit. Which I don’t.”
    If that (taken from James’ article, Financial Crisis Called Off), doesn’t have you laughing your head off, you have a pitifully poor sense of humour, anotherplayguy.

  76. Vision Cube July 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Face it, we live in a society of environmentally obtrusive architecture with the harmonious adobe structures of New Mexico being the rare and harmonious exception. (Ok, the Golden Gate Bridge is pretty damn spectacular, adding to the beauty of the bay). Self-critique is very difficult, and most of us find a reason to love our homes, but “ they put up a bunch of ugly boxes and Jesus people bought them” to echo lyrics from The Last Resort. Strip out the aesthetic soul of a society and the inhabitants will begin averting their eyes from what’s really going down. Call it a protective regurgitation against further ugliness.
    Anyway, I prefer an image to accommodate the words of wisdom articulating decline and I don’t think JHK has ever said it any better:
    “   Don’t you wonder why practically every house built in America after World War Two is a design abortion? The answer is actually simple but a little abstruse: ugliness is entropy made visible.
         When you live in a high entropy society, as we do, the entropy manifests in many ways: toxic waste, poor air quality, social alienation, epidemic obesity, odious popular culture, AND immersive ugliness.”
    kunstler.com/eyesore_200702.html
    kunstler.com/eyesore_200309.html

  77. treebeardsuncle July 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    You are right on both counts. Just as Watt Avenue was widened back in the 1960’s, Hazel Avenue is being widened now. CALTRANS should be shut down. Am not sure what waterfront projects you are talking about though. I know the railyards are being cleared out along with the biggest butternut tree in the region.

  78. San Jose Mom 51 July 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    Myrtlemay,
    The new hotel sounds financially “iffy” to me.
    Here in San Jose, they just closed down all our beautiful libraries on Mondays to save money.
    And yet the city wants to spend $1 billion on a new water treatment plant. Mind you, our current plant is the most sophisticated on the West Coast and you have to make reservations to get a tour of it because so many people want to see it.
    To “educate” San Jose residents they have plastered our bus stops with larger-than-life pictures of two urinals, one empty and one with a guy standing in front (yuk) with the tag line, “Aren’t you glad we treat water before it goes to the bay?” Just what ugly suburbia needs, pictures of urinals splattered over the cityscape.
    I called the head of the project to complain about ad campaign, but he laughed it off saying, this picture was a lot better than some of the other ideas. Gee thanks. I said, “How are you going to raise a billion?” He said, “It’s easy, we’ll raise resident’s sewer hook-up fees and get the money through bonds.”
    Just what I need, more expenses. In San Jose, you need a $230.00 permit just to replace the water heater! Thankfully, my husband is very handy and can fix/replace just about anything.

  79. treebeardsuncle July 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    You are right, the time for political solutions has passed. The corporate government no longer has any legitimacy. The forms of democracy and the Constitutional Republic but it has been taken over by the corporations and public sector unions.

  80. progressorconserve July 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    UBBM and all solar advocates,
    First, I say (only 8 posts upthread) I’m not a conspiracy theorist….now I’m going off chasing a rabbit and hollering, “It’s a conspiracy…it’s a conspiracy!”
    No, UBBM, I don’t think that it is part of a conspiracy that your post got lost. I use “movabletype” as my login…and I’ve lost some stuff like that. I’ve learned to *edit*copy* before I post.
    The conspiracy is concerning the “solar will not work/scale/whatever posters.”
    These posters seem to travel the internet, posting anti-renewable messages over and over, and over on 100’s of energy related comment threads.
    Now, SNAFU is one of our regular posters and I’ll look forward to a nice exchange with him, perhaps…since he has positioned himself as an anti-solar power advocate. That’s fine, he’s entitled to defend his honest opinion and prove me right or wrong.
    Probably what SNAFU and I will do is prove we’re both right!
    But isjogren is new to me. He shows up, says, “solar sux, won’t work, rich guys playtoy, etc”
    Then he may disappear….or he may come back and argue with us a little…you know, to “muddy the water.”
    I want to state this clearly and plainly:
    ISJOGREN AND THOSE OF HIS ILK MAY WELL BE ON THE PAYROLL OF XOM, COP, BP, PEABODY COAL…SOMEBODY WHO PAYS THEM TO POST LIKE THIS.
    Honestly, that’s not necessarily a conspiracy theory.
    It’s just AMERICAN FREE MARKET CAPITALISM, doing what it does best.

  81. treebeardsuncle July 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    VK, here is a kindred spirit who states that the Western spirit did not arise ex oriento in the guise of Christianity. Am all for bringing back the ancient pagan faiths, and sense of fate.
    By the way can you tell me offhand who was the Irish king back in the fourth century AD or so or before whom a petioner (of noble lineage most likely) who proposed a most fair and reasonable remedy for the agricultural losses involving a lady’s activities. I don’t quite remember the story. It might have been King Cormac of Ulster.
    Sir — I must emphatically disagree with several key points made by Fr. Thornton. He writes, “all that we admire as monuments of European high culture … comes from Christian civilization.” However, Christians developed these things not because of their religion, but because of their genes. It is unfair for Christianity to take credit for this biological phenomenon. Also, it is easy to claim Shakespeare and Beethoven as Christians, but they had no real chance of being anything else, after the native beliefs of Europeans had been eradicated by mass murder, torture, and legal proscription.
    Fr. Thornton also ignores the contributions of pre-Christian, northern European culture. Trial by jury, limitations on the powers of rulers, the right to bear arms, rights of women, parliament, Anglo-Saxon Common Law, even the word “law” — all come from pre-Christian Germanic peoples. In fact, most of these institutions suffered a severe decline under the alien faith.
    Fr. Thornton writes that “for 2,000 years the soul of European man has been Christian.” This is not true. The continental Germanic and Celtic tribes resisted Christianity for centuries. Norway still had its indigenous religion a thousand years after the death of the Galilean. Sweden and the Baltic countries held out still longer. Even if we accept the 2,000 year figure, Caucasoids have been around for at least 40,000 years, so we have been Christian for at most five percent of our existence as a race. Just as we do not need to look to the Mediterranean for the hallmarks of European material culture, we need not look to it for the origins of our spirituality.
    Ex oriente lux is dead. There is an alternative to Christianity, which arose from the bosom of our own race, not out of Western Asia. The old Germanic religion has been revived, not as a romantic anachronism, but as a faith fully comprehensible to modern man.
    See amren.com/ar/1996/10/index.html for an attribution.

  82. moeaxelrod July 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    your 2bil makes my 40mil seem kinda piddly, same w/ Sacremento

  83. ctemple July 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    Taring and feathering could make a comeback, when?
    I think one that one or two unnamed oil companies, and the ‘banking industry’, you know, the ones that got public money for their swindles, so that they wouldn’t go broke, would be a really good place to start.

  84. Solar Guy July 26, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Sorry for my F-bomb this morning lsjogren…
    But I do love kool-aid and will continue to drink it and install solar PV and solar thermal systems…ye know, for the kids…you should see peoples faces when their electric meter spins backwards… I’m also building an electric car that I will charge with solar panels… right or wrong, payback or no payback, doom and gloom tomorrow or next century… whatever…you figure out how to save the world and get to it… I’m already ALL IN on my mission…
    PUSH ON . DO GOOD . KEEP SMILING

  85. Qshtik July 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Real estate will ALWAYS appreciate in value
    ============
    Myrtle, I enjoy reading your posts. They contain a certain wisdom one acquires with age (no offense;o). I think you and I may have been to school in the same area and era (you mentioned Bryn Mawr) – I graduated from St Joe’s College (City Line Ave, Philly in 1962). If you are even aware, as one of your posts indicated, that there was once a car called a LaSalle, you’ve gotta be up there. But, regarding real estate, tell me if this isn’t a bad sign …
    Saturday, late afternoon, my wife and I went with another couple into Brooklyn, NY to Peter Luger’s Steak House (world famous) and met up there with a third couple. I had met the 56 year old distaff side of this other couple three years earlier (the “boyfriend” was new) when she threw a “handbag party” at our house and my wife was the host(ess?). The concept was identical to a tupperware party but here the women buy handbags instead of plastic food containers. I always wondered if women could actually making a living selling stuff (Mary Kay cosmetics, jewelry, plastic containers, handbags) to one another in the homes of friends and relatives. The pool of potential hostesses must dwindle rather quickly.
    Anyway, I asked about the handbag party thing and she said (no surprise) she hadn’t done that for some time and I asked “what do you do now?” She said “I sell real estate.”
    This woman’s name is “Cookie.” It all fits together somehow.

  86. Ivo July 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    joseph tainter, not john….geez…

  87. Newfie July 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    I have a book to recommend on this topic:
    A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright
    Wright does a survey of past societies and concludes that civilization is a pyramid scheme and Progress is a “trap”. Some two dozen civilizations have come and gone in the past 5,000 years. Industrial civilization is based on never ending exponential growth and ever increasing consumption of depleting natural resources which is obviously unsustainable and so the “modern” age will certainly join the rubbish heap of failed experiments in civilization.
    strategicforesight.com/bookreview_shorthistory.htm

  88. treebeardsuncle July 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Perhaps you have read Jared Diamond’s Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel. Was also wondering where folks think America stands relative to Rome’s decline. One poster figured we are somewhere between the equivalent of 410 and 529 AD. I was talking this over my dad who said that Rome rose to power after the second and third punic wars. I was thinking that Rome was at its height from the time of Julius Caesar around 60 BC through the time of the good emperors whose rule ended around 180 AD. One could say that America was at its height from around 1865 through perhaps 1970 or so. Our decline has progressed more rapidly as Rome did not become significantly mongrelized by the Germanic invaders until well into the 4th century. Perhaps America is equivalent to the Rome of the late 3rd century, well into decline, but a long way from disintegration.

  89. Vision Cube July 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Oh good grief, has King Cormac of Ulster really been mentioned? Whose next, Conn of the Hundred Battles? And let’s not forget, those descendents of Dalraidia are not the sharpest IQ knives on the European block, even though Uncle tends to cite a lot of Celtic names.
    Have at it. But you’re not claiming Enya–she’s a transcendent universal talent. Amazing Enya right on below:
    youtube.com/watch?v=KPiqmrSHitU

  90. Vision Cube July 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Anticipating Qshtik–ho’s…

  91. Newfie July 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    I’m planning to watch the video version of Guns, Germs, and Steel. I only skimmed Diamonds’ Collapse book and ditto for Joe Taintners Collapse. A Short History of Progress is a shorter book on the same topic and easier to read. I was struck by Wrights’ characterization of civilization as a huge pyramid scheme. Ponzi schemes depend on never ending exponential growth. When growth stops the scheme collapses. Which is what we are experiencing now, I believe. With its paradigm of never ending growth and ever increasing consumption of non-renewable resources, we ought to recognize Industrial Civilization as a kind of Ponzi scheme, but most of us don’t. I was also struck by Wrights’ characterization of Progress as a trap. We use Technology to build better mouse traps which sometimes work so well that we catch ALL the “mice” and they become extinct (substitute Newfoundland codfish, blue fin tuna, etc, for mice). We create the internal combustion engine which is so successful that everyone uses it and the sheer number of engines overwhelm the capacity of the atmosphere to dispose of the waste gases – and then the climate changes, becomes unstable, and makes agriculture impossible, thereby ending civilization! As for comparisons with antiquity I think we on the verge of a “happening” comparable to the crisis of the third century of the Roman Empire which was a period (235–284 AD) in which the Rome nearly collapsed under civil war, plague, and economic depression. My two cents worth of gloom and doom.

  92. envirofrigginmental July 26, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Conservation is the first pillar in making solar “work”. So anyone who sasys soalr doesn’t work is an idiot.
    Further, once people get used to paying real prices (and/or elevated prices) for power and subsequently curb their usage, “micro” solar works extremely well for residential applications.
    It will take a sea change in attitude towards the usage (abuse) of electricity in order to make solar “work” for everyone, but it is not impossible and it is feasible even with todays’ highly electrified power-hungry homes.
    Once the residential market is saturated and no longer a draw on the system (grid), the commercial/industrial market can rely on nuclear and the other large scale renewables. We (governments) also have to commit to downsizing and not allowing expansion due to the decrease in demand from the residential sector, otherwise we simply end up with more of the same.
    Anyone who says solar doesn’t work, doesn’t know much about solar or supply of energy.
    So while we still have abundant and cheap oil, we should use it to outfit ourselves with every imaginable renewable source of energy we can create. The new world will not rely on our in-situ super-sized mega power generation systems but will likely be comprised of multitudes of interconnected “mini” or micro-power supply systems.
    Resource allocation will be a new skill our governments will have to learn over the next few decades if this is going to work.

  93. ian807 July 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    I don’t doubt that solar energy works, and that with greater efficiency, that many more houses can run on it.
    How do we get there? And who pays?
    I hate to have to keep rubbing the noses of good sincere people in the following fact, but…
    THIS IS NOT A JUST A TECHNICAL PROBLEM.
    Solar power’s poor adoption is an economic problem and nobody, I mean *nobody* who’s wants to promote solar power seems to be able to recognize, much less address this.
    Where does the bar need to be for acceptance?
    Until Joe-Bob in the trailer park can buy a 50 percent efficient set of panels that are pre-wired to plug into a completely idiot proof battery/inverter system that cranks out AC 120 24/7, and he can do it for less than a thousand a year, you’ve basically got nothing.
    Because that’s what Job-Bob has now, for about a thousand a year in a lot of places. And in case you don’t remember being poor, they’re not going to buy a system for several thousand dollars at once. They don’t have it, or the credit to get it.
    This is NOT just a technical issue.

  94. treebeardsuncle July 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Well we have the economic depression and the plague (aids). Perhaps civil war will be averted. The next step is the barbarization of the empire which is happening as forces from Central and South America swamp North America and Europe.

  95. networker July 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Uhh. Eightm. I am a network engineer with 17 years working with computers and computer networks, and you are Singularly full of shit. Exactly how do you think all those computers, switches and routers get power? I swear, nobody has a clue how much power the Internet requires. All I hear about these days is how we can all “telecommute” instead of driving to work and “save money” that way. Even in the tiniest rural towns in New England, there are several COs or head ends with battery backups the size of minivans and air-conditioning units the size of small trucks JUST to keep all the stacks and stacks of equipment from overheating. If the AC goes out, all the gear in a cable head end or a DSL CO melts down in minutes – literally. If the power goes out? Guess what. As I tell the technically challenged all the time: NO BLINKY BLINKY.

  96. networker July 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    Re SunsetSu’s comment about Seattle replacing the viaduct: Not to mention the fact that western Washington basically sits on the intersection of no less than three tectonic plates – and is seriously overdue for a nice big earthquake. Although that viaduct is a replica of the one that failed spectacularly in Oakland a few years ago in the Loma Prieta quake, too.

  97. asia July 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    news today: SF may ban sales of many pets!
    gee..now that the citys one third asian I wonder if theyll also ban sale of live turtles, lobsters etc that are sold for food…turtles worldwide are endangered.

  98. progressorconserve July 26, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Envirofrig and Ian,
    Good posts, guys! I’ve been trying to have an honest discussion about solar for almost a month on this website…thanks for the opening.
    First, Enviro….
    ***********************************************
    Further, once people get used to paying real prices for power and subsequently curb their usage, “micro” solar works extremely well for residential applications
    ************************************************I
    You are correct that our current prices for power, gas, nuclear, and oil are “unreal.”
    There are subsidies “baked into” fossil fuel and nuclear prices. As a country we tend to ignore those subsidies while the fossil fuel sector actively fights against subsidies for solar to level the playing field.
    Then Ian, you say:
    *********************************************
    Solar power’s poor adoption is an economic problem and nobody, I mean *nobody* who wants to promote solar power seems to be able to recognize, much less address this
    *************************************************
    And I completely agree with you, too. It drives me a little CRAZY that the same people who say,
    “The US of A put a man on the Moon and we’re the greatest Nation ever on Planet Earth.”
    Will also say,
    “The technology to make solar power feasible is AT LEAST 20 years in the future.”
    ANYBODY WHO IS HONEST AND KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT SCIENCE WILL ADMIT
    Ian, the only area I’d like to challenge you on is the following:
    ************************************************
    Until Joe-Bob in the trailer park can buy a 50 percent efficient set of panels that are pre-wired to plug into a completely idiot proof battery/inverter system that cranks out AC 120 24/7, and he can do it for less than a thousand a year, you’ve basically got nothing
    **************************************************
    First, efficiency is unimportant for solar. It’s a big trailer roof. If the price is right, Billy Bob can put panels all over the house and the yard and efficiency is not part of the equation.
    Second, and more importantly, why does Joe-Bob have to spring for the “several thousand dollars at once?”
    I mean, Joe Bob didn’t pay for a little hydro plant on the creek behind the house.
    He doesn’t pay his “trailer park neighborhood association” for his share of the coal fired plant on the back 40.
    He’s not going to pay for and amortize a NUKE plant in Joe Bob Jr’s closet for the next 40 years.
    Why, Ian, OH WHY, should he pay for solar up front?
    Isn’t that what American free market capitalism should be all about doing for Mr. Joe Bob?

  99. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    sorry, CFN, this thing posted a little too early.
    **************************************************
    It drives me a little CRAZY that the same people who say,
    “The US of A put a man on the Moon and we’re the greatest Nation ever on Planet Earth.”
    Will also say,
    “The technology to make solar power feasible is AT LEAST 20 years in the future.”
    ANYBODY WHO IS HONEST AND KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT SCIENCE WILL ADMIT…..to finish my thought I was editing….
    Any honest person who understands science will admit that:
    SOLAR POWER IS BASIC APPLIED PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, AND BIOLOGY.
    Solar power is NOT, REPEAT NOT, some impossible technonnirvana of technotriumphalism that will only be possible in a distant future.
    I’m trying to start a good ol’e fashioned Scotch Irish FIGHT ABOUT SOLAR HERE!!
    Related to JHK’s theme for the week that our whole freakin’ economy is going to collapse if we don’t FIND A SOLUTION.
    ANY TAKERS??
    Come on in….I ain’t skeered!! Are y’all??

  100. treebeardsuncle July 27, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Well, adoption of solar is not culturally accepted here in the states. Folks favor the following power sources: coal, oil, natural gas, hydro-electric, propane etc. Solar panels on the house look rather odd and different. There is a lot of cultural inertia. Don’t expect folks to jump into it. Also, Americans are very passive these days, and are used to following along mindlessly with what others do and as authorities dictate. They don’t have the S-I fighting spirit. I am a quarter Scotts-Irish by the way as my paternal grandmother was. You folks settled mostly in the southern Appalachians. Incidentally the S-I are actually Ulster Scotts, that is Scotts who settled in Ulster back in the 1400’s – 1600’s especially in the Ulster plantations that followed the defeat of the mere (native) Irish at the battle of Kinsale in 1607 and before Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland in the mid 17th century.

  101. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Tree,
    I’m so hungry for a fight tonight I’ll even try to fight with you. You said,
    **************************************************
    Also, Americans are very passive these days, and are used to following along mindlessly with what others do and as authorities dictate.
    **************************************************
    So you mean to tell me that if Sean and Rush and O’Reilly and the FOX gang…suddenly started to say that solar power was the thing to do….
    for the US of A…to defeat Obermanation!!! That the sheeple would not suddenly have solar panels on every freakin’ trailer roof in America??
    Stir us up properly and there is absolutely no telling WHAT direction the good people of the US of A might go!!
    For the Good of the World!!

  102. treebeardsuncle July 27, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    I don’t think they would do it even then. They would rather have propane.

  103. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    Yeah, sure, Tree…and propane accessories….you must watch a lot of King of the Hill..?
    Anyway….what we have here is a failure of National Will!
    We are selling our children’s birthright for a pittance…pumping American oil out of the ground and selling it cheap on World markets.
    Despite that, we continuously send large amounts of our dwindling National Treasure to countries with oil for export….
    Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela….countries that HATE the US of A and Everything We represent
    Countries that will someday use our money to try to destroy us.
    Why do we do it? When renewable energy would solve the problems…Why….WHY??

  104. wagelaborer July 27, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    I saw CCR, the band, at the Shrine auditorium back in the day. Loved them!
    Conspiracy theory? Are you kidding? I’m all about conspiracy theories, and it never occurred to me that Fox News focusing hate at the poor, the non-white, and the liberal could be denied!
    But then, I’m a Unitarian, an ACLU member and a flaming radical!
    I’ve got a big old target on my back!

  105. wagelaborer July 27, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Well, that sucks.
    A few years ago, I attended the Sacramento Jazz festival, and then walked along the back tracks, through a passageway and to the Amtrak station, without walking along the nasty city streets.
    No cars, no trucks, no chance of being run over.
    They’re taking that away?

  106. rocco July 27, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/07/26/mental.health.gulf/index.html
    I hope and pray that we can prepare ourselves and our communitites for the long emergency,but the above link to a CNN article about good old southern Christian towns turing on each other during this oil spill disaster. Sacry stuff.
    Lets go back to Mel’s problems.

  107. Eleuthero July 27, 2010 at 2:21 am #

    Excellent observations, Ted. Indeed,
    anecdotal evidence is pouring in all
    across America that if your car is a
    micron over the limit line you get a
    $400 “red light violation”, if you’re
    5 mph over the limit it no longer gets
    a pass, and I suspect that the idea of
    “probable cause” for police to do things
    like inspect cars for a one centimeter
    roach is out the window, too.
    I’ve seen articles appearing in many of
    our local Bay Area newspapers about stepped
    up revenue collections in Iowa, Illinois,
    Oregon, and a host of other states because,
    well, they’re ALL broke. The police in my
    current home town of Palo Alto are horrible.
    There’s almost no crime in Palo Alto so these
    $120K/year beat cops are “serving and protecting”
    by towing cars when the parking hours sign is
    deliberately hidden by a tree.
    It won’t be very long before ordinary people
    understand the very purpose of the police in
    this New America … to protect plutocrats.
    That is, if they can ever tear their lard
    asses away from MTV, IPhones, and compulsive
    text messaging.
    E.
    E.

  108. Eleuthero July 27, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    The USA is not alone in using bogus
    reasons for cold-hearted economic
    decisions … but we ARE the most
    hypocritical. How else can one
    explain our kissing of the House of
    Al Saud’s royal Wahhabist asses??
    Saudi Arabia may be THE most despotic
    of the Middle Eastern regimes yet the
    Cheez-Doodle eating public has ALWAYS
    bought this idea that these resource
    wars are about liberation and other
    high-minded puffery.
    We’re pretty close allies of the UAE
    whose sheikhs set a silent pass on the
    importation of teenaged sex slaves while
    their minions must follow Sharia Law.
    This is one of the most disappointing
    aspects of current America to me … all
    of our lofty language is now just a
    smokescreen just like the old Soviet Union
    and Maoist China.
    I’d have a helluva lot more respect for the
    cons in Congress (opposite of PROGRESS is
    CONGRESS :-)) if some slob actually got
    up and said: “Well, we’ve got to find new
    avenues of raping and pillaging so that you
    can waste gasoline at epic levels, eat more
    than is good for any living being, and pour
    more concrete for Big Box stores so that you
    don’t have to interact with any members of
    your community.”
    Until then, it’s just “bread and circuses”
    and at long last we’re just stupid enough
    to buy it hook, line, and sinker. Every
    last thing about American politics is this:
    “Can I construct a plausible deniability for
    my obviously heinous actions?”
    I guess it started in the 1960s or 1970s but
    I won’t nitpick with anyone on that. That
    this modus operandi is here is beyond question.
    E.

  109. Eleuthero July 27, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    I really think that NUCLEAR is the only
    stopgap that CAN be implemented in time
    so that we have breathing room to create
    massive solar arrays. The main problem
    with solar, and it’s always been solar’s
    main problem, is the low amount of power
    production per volume of componentry.
    If you’ve looked at giant solar array pix,
    you may have noticed that the size of an
    array to power a town of, say, 30,000
    appears to all the world like it is in a
    volume that could HOUSE five thousand
    people.
    You never hear any debates about material
    volumes and costs relative to net power
    output. So whadda we do, build an “array
    town” the size of Tucson so that we can
    light up Los Angeles?? We’re BROKE. The
    amount of componentry to power 20% of US
    via solar is staggering. Finally, has
    anyone forgotten that the TOXIC BATTERY
    problem has NOT gone away and the volume
    of those batteries from ONE huge array
    would equal, in weight, the nuclear waste
    of one or two hundred reactors.
    E.

  110. Eleuthero July 27, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    Love most of your posts POC but there’s
    an HONEST argument to be made that the
    power output per unit of componentry
    WEIGHT does not paint solar in a great
    light.
    Wind has the same problem but even places
    like SPAIN and BRAZIL that went gaga for
    renewables have had better experiences with
    WIND and are on the verge of giving up solar.
    Even Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog
    agrees that nuclear is an absolutely necessary
    stopgap to buy us time to find ways to make
    solar more productive per unit volume and
    weight and expense of components.
    Is Steward Brand now the “Rush Limbaugh” of
    renewables i.e., a “nattering nabob of
    negativism”? It would be best if you looked
    into this answer for yourself.
    E.

  111. eightm July 27, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    80 trillion dollars have to find a place to go, have to find something to do, have to find some kind of return on investment: the only possibility is to buy properties, inflate the values, buy more properties, keep on inflating the values, in an infinite loop. The result of this is that people are priced out of housing whether they rent or buy anyways. So they search for houses farther away from “city centers” or “good subdivisions with good schools” or “good neighborhoods with low crime and no minorities”, etc. This props up building more houses in newer, “sprawled out”, subdivisions, more housing being built because people need a home “they can afford”. Since the 80 trillion dollars are still there, and will always be there and can never run out (being such a huge amount of profit money hanging around in the world is like a black hole waiting to beat up any slightly poorer soul anywhere worldwide), and are always searching for more “return”, (in essence more power, more power to the rich, more power to money itself that prices out the poor), they will eventually buy out even these properties and inflate these new houses in the new subdivision and the loop will continue with people “driving until they qualify”, or going as far out as possible from the “city center” (or the center of who knows what, since as of today the whole concept of a city center is a farce since with the internet and cell phones, and all of the abstract “Service Economy Bull Shit”, geographical position should no longer mean anything).
    So this creates property prices that are always going up, and pricing out ever more people from homes. This is how more money in the world actually means a trickle up effect, more poverty to ever more people: money is used as a weapon, as a tool to repress the weak, you can see here how the entire science of economy is such a huge Bull Shit invention when all there really is behind it is power relationships, strong against weak, strong beats up weak, winner crushes loser, a conflict of will powers with the weaker actor losing all and the winner getting all. This housing price inflation is the same all over the world (just look at Spain with over a million empty homes, and yet the prices are still sky high, 50 square meters in Spain costs 200,000 dollars, these people are completely crazy and insane). Maybe China is the next in line, they have houses costing 200,000 dollars in Shanghai or Beijing and 2,000 dollars a year salaries, way to go as good “communists”, should …
    Any serious, for the people government would have said:
    HOUSING FOR NOW ON IS CAPPED, 99% OF HOUSING CANNOT AND WILL NOT COST MORE THAN 100,000 DOLLARS AND RENTS WILL NOT BE MORE THAN 300 DOLLARS A MONTH MAXIMUM (FOR 2 BEDROOM HOUSE). NOW ALL SALARIES WILL ADAPT, AND ALL CONTRACTIONS WILL FOLLOW AND ALL PRICES WILL AND SHOULD DEFLATE TO WHAT THERE REAL VALUES ARE.
    Anyways, good luck with that, it will never happen because the essence of man is the fight, the power struggle, strong wins, weak loses.

  112. tucsonspur July 27, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Great stuff, Mr. Kunstler! ( I’m old school.)Could somebody please answer a question I feel somewhat awkward asking? Who has the money? If the major reason for a fraud or swindle is to make money, well, who has it?
    We know Madoff has it,or had it.We know real estate agents, title companies and the like made money. What I’m referring to here is all the money obtained by selling all those CDO’s, all that securitized debt.
    Various entities like local governments, banks(some foreign), private investment funds, pension funds, etc., bought these things. They gave money, lots of it, in whatever form, to somebody. Who? If it was the big banks or Goldman Sachs or Lehman, etc., why were most of them in trouble? Please, somebody, won’t you show me the money?

  113. D R Lunsford July 27, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    It’s just comical to see the same stupid whinging about unexploited solar and wind power miracles, repeated over and over and over again. No amount of fact-pointing-out can ever penetrate the thick layers of accreted stupidity and zuruck-zu-Natur sentimentality the adheres to these Birkenstocked and soul-patched idiots.
    There are no miracles. There is only coal, oil, and the atom. Take your pick.
    -drl

  114. eightm July 27, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    The money is the aggregate sum of all of the savings of all people worldwide: now consider this, most people in the world are heavy savers, they save much more than Americans and somewhat more than Europeans, The money is saved because most people worldwide are much “poorer” than Americans and feel “insecure”, so they save knowing that they are a hickup away from starving, from layoffs, from large expenses for health care, for their future pensions if they reach the age, etc.
    Now those countries also have large populations, like India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Eastern Europe, India, JAPAN, South Korea, etc.
    So that aggregate amount of money ends up being somewhere around 80 trillion dollars. Now the banks, all of them worldwide just add this cash all together, slice and dice it amongst themselves, play the stock market poker with it, do all kinds of creative things with it and occasionally put some money in “productive endeavors” (factories and “building” real estate). So this money needs a “return on investment”, and the best return is to grab some more from the poorer people who are “forced” to buy a home, pay large mortgages and large interests to the banks.
    And when nothing else works, they just print more money like the FED or simply write big numbers on computer screens and make the money pop into existence.
    Do you honestly believe the GDP of the USA is 10 trillion dollars ?!?! That is such a huge joke and farce, ever, that would be equal to A BILLION AVERAGE PAYING JOBS OF 10,000 DOLLARS A YEAR! Does the USA seem to be “producing” that equivalent wealth ? Do you see this money somewhere ? What a joke GDP is, and all of the other numbers economists invent and play around in. Worldwide GDP is 50 trillion dollars, oh yeah, we are all so rich…

  115. Patrizia July 27, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    To Tucsonspur
    Forgive me, your comment was so truthfully true that I posted it on my blog.
    Where has all the money gone?
    Did you check lately the price of Gold?

  116. eightm July 27, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    For social issues check out:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172401
    But all of the defects of “human nature” will be fixed in a jiffy by simply changing those circuits in the brains that activate “conflicting will powers”, “power struggles”, “fights”, “inequality”, etc. Probably only a few transistors need to be added or modified and all of the violent human history of the last 100,000 years is solved and engineered into correction.
    For the Technological Singularity, check out:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172275
    From:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4 &t=166773
    “Any modified simulated reality system is much closer to “reality”, is much more real, is much less detached from reality than our natural state as humans. In fact humans are just a combination of matter, a configuration that is the result of 5 billion years of trillions of random chemical experiments playing out on an entire planet. A simulating machine is the result of a few thousand years of technological evolution but nowhere near the scale of natural evolution, nowhere near the complexity and randomness of all the quirk events that brought to the human condition, hence a simulating machine is closer to reality than any “natural” system, is less of a lie and an invention than natural systems.
    Simulating machines, new minds either in silicon or brains is actually a trip back towards reality, is actually the discovery of reality and physics and not the other way around, the real simulation is the human mind as nature furnished it. Natural systems are much more detached from reality than any man made simple simulating machine, hence the simulation is closer to reality.
    We are a quirk item that is the total result of 5 billion years of evolution of trillions of molecules on an entire planet. How much further from reality can you possibly get ? How much further from the basic apparent laws of physics can you possibly get ?
    On an edge, the surface of the earth being an edge between solid and gas, within a very small range of temperatures and conditions, a human needing so many supplemental systems to exist, like food, water, pressure, the right gravity etc. This is so quirky and so improbabile that it is not even a lie! a lie, a total outright lie is more true than nature!
    This shows that artificial intelligence is not only wrong, it is not even wrong since it is so far away from a human brain. Not even wrong, not even related.
    The system of a mind interacting with reality is equivalent to a system of a delimited piece of matter interacting with another delimited piece of matter. The interaction being a set of events, a number of events and the observing entity being an aggregation within a delimited piece of matter. Now the organization and aggregations and sets of matter and events, the system as a whole can be any of untold number of combinations, the events and sensations, the observing entity can experience any of untold number of experiences. So no combination is any truer than any other, they are all lies, or all false or all true. They all have the same amount of detachment from reality or we can assign a parameter to define how detached according to how complex the delimited matter and interacting matter and set of events are. Humans are a planet large set having 5 billion years of events, hence very detached, very arbitrary, very much a lie compared to a simulated neural network in the ball of meat that is a modified brain.
    What reality ? What truth ? What physics ? What is composed of what ultimately ? ALL LIES…
    Closer to reality would be inside stars, a plasma since this is much more common in the universe, or inside planets, not on the surface, or in deep space. But our physics is wrong anyways being based on a lie that is the human entity.”

  117. eightm July 27, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    For social issues check out:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172401
    But all of the defects of “human nature” will be fixed in a jiffy by simply changing those circuits in the brains that activate “conflicting will powers”, “power struggles”, “fights”, “inequality”, etc. Probably only a few transistors need to be added or modified and all of the violent human history of the last 100,000 years is solved and engineered into correction.
    For the Technological Singularity, check out:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172275
    From:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4 &t=166773

  118. eightm July 27, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    For social issues check out:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172401
    But all of the defects of “human nature” will be fixed in a jiffy by simply changing those circuits in the brains that activate “conflicting will powers”, “power struggles”, “fights”, “inequality”, etc. Probably only a few transistors need to be added or modified and all of the violent human history of the last 100,000 years is solved and engineered into correction.
    For the Technological Singularity, check out:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172275
    From:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=166773
    “Any modified simulated reality system is much closer to “reality”, is much more real, is much less detached from reality than our natural state as humans. In fact humans are just a combination of matter, a configuration that is the result of 5 billion years of trillions of random chemical experiments playing out on an entire planet. A simulating machine is the result of a few thousand years of technological evolution but nowhere near the scale of natural evolution, nowhere near the complexity and randomness of all the quirk events that brought to the human condition, hence a simulating machine is closer to reality than any “natural” system, is less of a lie and an invention than natural systems.
    Simulating machines, new minds either in silicon or brains is actually a trip back towards reality, is actually the discovery of reality and physics and not the other way around, the real simulation is the human mind as nature furnished it. Natural systems are much more detached from reality than any man made simple simulating machine, hence the simulation is closer to reality.
    We are a quirk item that is the total result of 5 billion years of evolution of trillions of molecules on an entire planet. How much further from reality can you possibly get ? How much further from the basic apparent laws of physics can you possibly get ?
    On an edge, the surface of the earth being an edge between solid and gas, within a very small range of temperatures and conditions, a human needing so many supplemental systems to exist, like food, water, pressure, the right gravity etc. This is so quirky and so improbabile that it is not even a lie! a lie, a total outright lie is more true than nature!
    This shows that artificial intelligence is not only wrong, it is not even wrong since it is so far away from a human brain. Not even wrong, not even related.
    The system of a mind interacting with reality is equivalent to a system of a delimited piece of matter interacting with another delimited piece of matter. The interaction being a set of events, a number of events and the observing entity being an aggregation within a delimited piece of matter. Now the organization and aggregations and sets of matter and events, the system as a whole can be any of untold number of combinations, the events and sensations, the observing entity can experience any of untold number of experiences. So no combination is any truer than any other, they are all lies, or all false or all true. They all have the same amount of detachment from reality or we can assign a parameter to define how detached according to how complex the delimited matter and interacting matter and set of events are. Humans are a planet large set having 5 billion years of events, hence very detached, very arbitrary, very much a lie compared to a simulated neural network in the ball of meat that is a modified brain.
    What reality ? What truth ? What physics ? What is composed of what ultimately ? ALL LIES…
    Closer to reality would be inside stars, a plasma since this is much more common in the universe, or inside planets, not on the surface, or in deep space. But our physics is wrong anyways being based on a lie that is the human entity.”
    I am high jacking and polluting this blog, but never as much as the guy with the Beard, the racist: we need to open that brain of his and change the circuits a bit, he will be engineered into correction, like all others who will need it …

  119. MonteCristo July 27, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Brilliant!
    This line pretty much summarizes the whole article and was well positioned and elaborated on.
    “This is a structural implosion of markets that have been functionally destroyed by pervasive fraud and swindling in the absence of real productive activity.”
    Keep up the great work.

  120. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    DR Lunsford,
    You have *seemed* through you posts to be a well educated and polite gentleman. Up until this:
    **************************************************
    It’s just comical to see the same stupid whinging about unexploited solar and wind power miracles, repeated over and over and over again. No amount of fact-pointing-out can ever penetrate the thick layers of accreted stupidity and zuruck-zu-Natur sentimentality the adheres to these Birkenstocked and soul-patched idiots.
    There are no miracles. There is only coal, oil, and the atom. Take your pick.
    *************************************************
    NEXT THING YOU’LL BE CALLING SOLAR GUY A LIBTARD!
    The US is the “Saudi Arabia” of coal. We have less than a 200 year supply….do you not care about future generations at all…are you that selfish??
    Global oil supplies…50 years max??…with obvious environmental costs….are you that blinded by unwillingness to consider a better future?
    And nuclear has been getting a “free ride” due to cheap enriched uranium from decommissioned former Soviet warheads. Look for nuclear costs to SKYROCKET in coming years.
    I just bought stock in a Canadian uranium producer. I expect it to at least TRIPLE in the next 5 years for this very reason.
    Meanwhile, the Sun keeps calmly shining.
    albanyherald.com/news/headlines/97243404.html?ref=404
    Above link goes to a paper in Albany, Georgia. ONE farmer invested in ONE acre of PV panels. These panels will produce enough power of 20-30 “normal” houses.
    Or these panels will produce the “electrical equivalent” of 8200 gallons of gas….every year…every single year for their projected 30 year lifespan.
    DR…we await your calm, polite response.

  121. asoka July 27, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    TBU said:

    Solar panels on the house look rather odd and different. There is a lot of cultural inertia. Don’t expect folks to jump into it.

    My two-cents on solar energy: green shoots are sprouting, due to advances in aesthetics, politics, and economics.
    Aesthetics will increase the use of solar energy through the use of BIPVs (building-integrated photovoltaics) which combine solar cells with slate, metal, fiber-cement, even ­asphalt roofing. If a house has shingles, it can have solar shingles, with no aesthetic difference.
    Politics amenable to solar will increase the use of solar energy. At least 39 states let you sell unused watts back to the local utility for a credit, thus making your electric meter do something really remarkable: spin backward.
    The political climate is such that we in the USA want to break our oil addiction, making pro-solar legislation more and more likely.
    Economics are making solar more attractive. Even before new federal and state tax incentives, the cost of generating solar electricity has fallen 95 percent since the 1970s.
    If you have a 2-kilowatt PV system in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it produces 25 percent more electricity than the same system in Boston. But the savings are greater in Boston, since electricity there costs so much more.
    Increased demand and advances in PV efficiency will make solar systems increasingly more affordable.

  122. asoka July 27, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Wage said:

    Conspiracy theory? Are you kidding? I’m all about conspiracy theories

    LOL!
    Here is a conspiracy theory for you that is related to our energy discussion and today’s post WHAT IS IT?
    WHAT IS IT?
    IT IS A SITUATION THAT CALLS FOR A TRANSITION FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO EXOTIC FUELS

    Paul Hellyer was Defense Minister (equivalent to the USA Secretary of Defense) for the government of Canada (1963-1967). In Paul Hellyer’s recent book, Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Survival Plan for the Human Species, he courageously reveals the advanced sources of energy acquired by our (USA) military from the Roswell UFO crash victims.
    Hellyer also talks (in the interview link below) of the powerful control of a secret Cabal government of a few extremely rich individuals that even our Presidents are powerless against (In an interview Clinton admitted the existence of a “shadow government” over which presidents have no control).
    This Cabal is determined to reap the remaining trillions of dollars of oil wealth while it lasts, and then may try to control this new technology for their own financial benefit.
    Hellyer feels we only have a ten year period in which to turn around the danger of global warming, in other words, stop burning fossil fuels.  
    More directly related to JHK’s post this week (“What is it?”) Hellyer suggests (in the interview link below) a way to change the banking and monetary systems.
    These systems are preventing us from addressing problems like global warming by funding efforts to sow doubt about global warming. (Much like the tobacco industry did by saying “the science isn’t conclusive on tobacco,” even though the tobacco companies had proof in their own files of tobacco’s carcinogenic characteristics). Now they are saying “the science isn’t conclusive on global warming” when overwhelming consensus exists in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
    Hellyer references other experts like Dr. James C. Hansen (NASA scientist, and author of Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity).
    Hansen says we have very little, if any, time to respond to our global challenges. Hellyer also quotes Lovelock, another scientist (author of The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning) who thinks we have already reached the tipping point.
    Paul Hellyer recently gave an interview (July 20, 2010) in which he speaks of monetary reform, moving from fossil fuels to exotic fuels, the reality of extraterrestrial presence on earth and how the earth’s militaries are reacting to the ETs, and a strategy for saving the earth for the grandchildren (his grandchildren and ours).
    projectavalon.net/Paul_Hellyer_Bill_Ryan_20_July_2010.mp3
    Hellyer is not a techno-triumphalist, or an optimistic wisher for a technological miracle, or a mental utopian. Hellyer, who is a skeptic until confronted with hard evidence, is a realist with insider experience and knowledge of EXISTING EXOTIC TECHNOLOGY.
    Hellyer is speaking about exotic technologies which are already developed and in use. Unlike “alternative energies,” scale is not a problem with exotic fuels.
    Hellyer is very skeptical of the “alternative energies,” like wind and solar, because he says we don’t have enough time left to build them. We need to transition from fossil fuels to exotic fuels in the next ten years, give or take a year or two.
    Hellyer was at G-20 and continues to work toward saving the earth, as the subtitle of his latest book indicates: A Survival Plan for the Human Species. Refreshingly, Hellyer has no problem saying he does not have all the answers to the many questions facing us (another indication of his grounded realism).
    In the interview he says the Catholic Church is preparing people for the news of extraterrestrial presence, noting the Church said last year that beings from whatever solar system are all God’s children.
    Hellyer says the ETs are friendly and want to help us, but do defend themselves when the USA Air Force fires on them. Former Defense Minister Hellyer confirms the USA military has had face-to-face contact with the extraterrestrial visitors. As a former senior government figure, Hellyer spoke out in 2005, at personal risk, about the presence of extraterrestrial beings.
    JHK this week asks WHAT IS IT? Perhaps “IT” is much bigger than an economic recession, or as Jim euphemistically calls it “a compressive deflationary contraction.”
    Going beyond the “recession” to TSHTF, the military is making defensive preparations for a future which military leaders foresee that is remarkably like what many in CFN, and many UFO contactees/abductees, seers, prophets, whistle blowers, astrologers, channelers, etc., are foreseeing.
    There seems to be remarkable consistency among all of the aforementioned when it comes to seeing big and dramatic changes ahead for the world. We at Clusterfuck Nation debate the nature and causes of those changes every week… and some in CFN often express anger about the way things are going.
    Anger is a good sign, but internalized anger gnaws at you, turning you jaded, cynical, and bitter… Try this formula instead:
    ANGER + LOVE = ACTION
    projectavalon.net/Paul_Hellyer_Bill_Ryan_20_July_2010.mp3
    Now I’m going back to playing in the mud… to produce real wealth, sun-dried adobe brick … wealth that will serve seven generations, and more.

  123. CynicalOne July 27, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Excellent! Mr. K.
    ian807 wrote:
    “I hate to have to keep rubbing the noses of good sincere people in the following fact, but…
    THIS IS NOT A JUST A TECHNICAL PROBLEM.
    Solar power’s poor adoption is an economic problem and nobody, I mean *nobody* who’s wants to promote solar power seems to be able to recognize, much less address this.
    Where does the bar need to be for acceptance?
    Until Joe-Bob in the trailer park can buy a 50 percent efficient set of panels that are pre-wired to plug into a completely idiot proof battery/inverter system that cranks out AC 120 24/7, and he can do it for less than a thousand a year, you’ve basically got nothing.
    Because that’s what Job-Bob has now, for about a thousand a year in a lot of places. And in case you don’t remember being poor, they’re not going to buy a system for several thousand dollars at once. They don’t have it, or the credit to get it.
    This is NOT just a technical issue.”
    Exactly. Detailed suggestions anyone?
    “I don’t think they would do it even then. They would rather have propane.”
    Yep. At least in my neck of the woods. Now if you give ’em the panels for free along with free installation, then we might get somewhere. Wouldn’t hurt to throw in a case of beer too; you know a little incentive never hurts;) Anyone see that happening?

  124. Vision Cube July 27, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    I keep reading anecdotes about evil law-enforcement persecuting poor mistreated motorists. Please tell me what planet this occurring on, because down here on earth, the U.S.A to be precise, I see more and more egregious and downright aggressive vehicular incidents, some of which occur in the full view of police officers who often take a left turn away from the eventual trail of cumbersome paperwork and court dates.
    We need more fastidious and vigilant enforcement of vehicular violations, more pursuit of those aggressive assholes behind wheels. A good place to start would be flooding school zones with radar guns and cops on motorcycles in order to thwart the punks imitating the latest Hollywood war on wheels movie along with those who are speeding to their next important appointment.

  125. San Jose Mom 51 July 27, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Eleuthero,
    It was about a year ago when California had the idea to put a massive solar farm in the Mojave desert. But Diane Feinstein and others stopped it because they didn’t want the view between the desert and L.A. ruined because of transmission lines.
    I bit short-sighted.

  126. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    CynicalOne,
    You are indeed cynical. Did you read my post about the working, effective PV installation in Georgia?
    Apparently not, because you said
    ***********************************************
    Yep. At least in my neck of the woods. Now if you give ’em the panels for free along with free installation, then we might get somewhere. Wouldn’t hurt to throw in a case of beer too; you know a little incentive never hurts;) Anyone see that happening?
    *********************************************
    Why is it that no reasonable person expects individual citizens to build their own coal generating plant or nuclear facility…..yet you, Mr. Cynical, expect them to put up their own solar panels.
    On a related note I just finished reading a investment newsletter from a trusted source I subscribe to….an excerpt follows:
    “The world is completely out of $40.00/barrel oil.
    There is still plenty of oil left at $200.00/barrel.”
    Increased energy prices will make PV, wind, and a bunch of other technologies economically viable.
    IF WE DON’T SCREW UP GLOBAL ECOSYSTEMS AND DRIVE HUMANITY OVER A CLIFF, FIRST!
    We need less cynicism and more realism.
    Someday alternative energy will have to work, because traditional coal, oil, and nuclear will be GONE.

  127. San Jose Mom 51 July 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    San Jose’s chief of police, Rob Davis, announced his retirement yesterday. I’ll not shed any tears. Within months of his appointment, he armed our 1,400 person force with Tasers. The kid around the corner got tased at school (7th grade) for acting out. (If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.)
    The SJPD has arrested and charged more people with public drunkenness in recent years than any other department in California — and 57% of those arrested are Latino. The ACLU doesn’t like him much.
    When he leaves he will get 90% of his $215,000/year salary.

  128. D R Lunsford July 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    progressorconserve,
    My comment was meant to illustrate the choices. The first two, coal and oil, are not realistic choices. Only nuclear power can supply energy at the necessarily density to maintain even the good and sane aspects of modern life, not to say the bad and wasteful ones. That is, even if we became saints of conservation (highly unlikely), the only form of energy we know of that can supply energy abundantly and ubiquitously, is nuclear power.
    Heads in the sand will not help. Only facing the truth can save us. I don’t think it will happen. Stupidity and narcissism will kill us.
    -drl

  129. Hancock1863 July 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    So many great comments, and JHK really whacked it out of the park this week!
    Been AWOL from the board for a few days.
    But I want to reply to your last post to me and I think it ties into JHKs article today.
    You asked me about my use of the term “Aristocratic Elite” and replied:

    It occurred to me that sounded just a little bit like a conspiracy theory. And I began to wonder to myself, who are the, “Aristocratic Elite.”
    The answer knocked me out of one of my comfort zones.
    The “Aristocratic Elite,” is us. You, Hancock, and me…….virtually anyone in the civilized world with access to some of the following:
    1. electricity
    2. hot and cold running water
    3. vermin free living quarters
    4. a computer and the internet…even at the library downtown
    5. easy low-cost mechanical transportation
    We have more creature comforts and more freedom than the richest noblemen and kings living prior to the modern age could have even dreamed.

    Now that I have caught up on all that has been said since that exchange, I can say that Wagelaborer’s comments to you immediately following were spot on. The REAL gulf is between the 0.01% and rest of us. Relativism being what it is, you are definitely right that there are various strata to “The Peasants” so even the very poor look rich to the very very VERY POOR, and so forth.
    Having said that, I stand firm in the belief that, no matter where the truth about the level of actual criminal conspiracy involved is meaningless since the result is still the same.
    Was the Reichstag Fire started by a Dutch Communist or by Himmler’s Boys?
    It doesn’t matter because in either case the result was the same.
    Did 19 guys with boxcutters really outfox Mossad, the CIA, and the whole rest of Western Intelligence, then the Lead Terrorist’s Passport comes floating down out of the fireball to be found within days in readable condition?
    Did 19 guys with boxcutters force NORAD and the rest to have four drills on 9/11/2000, some of which were drills involving simulations of hijacked planes?
    It doesn’t matter because in either case the result was the same.
    Speculation is all well and good, but none of us shall ever know the real truth, so maybe it’s best to focus on the reality that is rather than what is at work in creating this situation.
    But in the interest of full disclosure, my speculations definitely range towards what current USA “conventional wisdom” would deride as “conspiracy theory”.
    Of course that same “conventional wisdom” had rescue workers after 9/11 believing that the air was safe to breathe.
    That same national “conventional wisdom” not only failed to penetrate the obvious lies of Colin Powell’s grotesuquely, obviously false presentation to the UN, but to a person actually sung it’s praises of how thorough and factual the presentation was!
    And on and on and on. I could list examples all day.
    Crminal conspiracies are investigated, prosecuted and convicted every day in this country. Why does it disappear, according to “conventional wisdom”, once one is dealing with the top 0.01% of wealthy and powerul people?
    But again, whether that all happened, which is to say what JHKs column this week describes beautifully regarding the failure of everyone to notice the entire system was being replaced by fraudulent negative debt financed growth, because of the Bilderbergs having their little “billionaires playing darts outside the limelight while deciding to act multinationally and in unison” meetings then handing out the marching orders to the G20 (which met conveniently a month afterwards) or just because a bunch of rich sociopaths with parallel conjoined interests were acting in an uncoordinated fashion, it doesn’t matter.
    Because the results are the same, and the beneficiaries, whatever trickle they let slop out of their pisspots due to the insane surplusus of the Age of Oil, are the 0.01% Aristocratic Elite who always have and apparently always will rule humankind no matter how we squirm to try to get out from under their thumb.
    Them and their Panglossian, Cornucopian nightmare of a Ponzi Scheme designed to keep the Peasants quiet on those rare occasions when they threatened to become a problem.
    I have no problem with the fact that we have every different views on the “why?” question because the reality of the resulting LE would be the same regardless – and TLE is something we both agree on.
    Feel free to disagree with me anytime, progressorconserve. I don’t have a problem with honest disagreement ever. It’s dishonest rhetorical and misdirecting trickery that ticks me off.

  130. wagelaborer July 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    See? I predicted that no one would acknowledge my post on Marx’s explanation of credit swindles, but it disappoints me greatly that people didn’t even read it.
    It’s IMAGINARY WEALTH!
    There is not 80 trillion dollars under Henry Paulson’s pillow.
    It’s debt, not wealth. It’s money that is OWED, created in theory when it was borrowed. The problem we are having is that clearly the money cannot be repaid, since it represents future wealth that is impossible to create.
    The GDP of the entire world is $61 trillion.
    That “wealth” is leveraged into unknown trillions owed.
    As Marx pointed out, that money is imaginary, and will disappear when it is called for.
    That is what we are going through now. Creditors are wanting their money, and like junkies, we are unable to pay for it.
    Unlike the usual scenario, when credit markets collapse, and the entire real productive economy shuts down, this time, they got Big Daddy to promise to pay two years ago.
    Now, it turns out that Big Daddy can’t pay either, but no one wants to acknowledge it, because nobody wants the productive capacity to shut down.
    But it will. It always has. That’s how capitalism “works”.
    And if people can’t even understand it, how can we change it?

  131. asoka July 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    the only form of energy we know of that can supply energy abundantly and ubiquitously, is nuclear power.

    Depends on how you define “we”…
    Former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer is telling us exotic energy sources already exist. They have been developed by the U.S. “shadow government” at the massive underground “black operation” installations in Nevada and Arizona using technology borrowed from visitors from other planets. Yet “we” do not know about them because they remain secret for the alleged benefit of the privileged few.

    Paul Hellyer’s story is an important contribution to the literature of modern western civilization. His experience in government, his interest in exopolitics and the issues of sustainability of civilization are significant areas of current discourse.” Edgar Mitchell, Sc.D, Apollo 14 Astronaut

    D R Lunsford said:

    Heads in the sand will not help. Only facing the truth can save us.

    Amen to that! It is not too late.

  132. wagelaborer July 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    As for alternative energy being unable to supply our current (ha,ha) massive use of energy, OK.
    Who says we have to either have massive use and waste of energy, no matter how destructively it’s supplied, or just live in the dark with no refrigerator?
    Clearly, we need to conserve energy. We need energy efficient appliances, smaller, insulated houses, urban density with safe bike and walking places, an end to 24-hour lighting and over air-conditioning in the summer, etc.
    Every house should have some sort of power production, and as Progressive conservative points out, why should every person have to pay for it? Why are coal fired plants and nuclear powered plants paid for by the government and power companies, but solar only by individuals?
    And Billy Bob would be fine with solar panels on his trailer. Billy Bob is not as stupid and evil as you people seem to think. Even George Bush has solar panels on his Texas ranch.
    When I was a kid, people were very energy conscious. “Shut that door! We’re not paying to heat the outdoors!” (And we didn’t even have air conditioning). “Turn out those lights!” I had a friend who was only allowed to open the refrigerator once during dinner, to save energy. If she didn’t get what she needed, tough.
    It’s all about the propaganda. Damn right, Prog, if Fox News started pushing conservation, electricity use would drop.
    We dropped gas consumption during the oil embargo, we dropped water consumption in CA during the droughts.
    There is no reason we have to pretend that the current waste of energy in this country must continue unchanged.
    It’s like pretending that debt is wealth. It leads to bad outcomes.

  133. asoka July 27, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Today, the House is going to take up ’emergency’ war money to keep funding the war in Afghanistan.
    Originally, the bill contained billions of dollars to keep schools open, and children learning. Admittedly, there were seven dollars for the military-industrial complex for each dollar for our schools. Something is better than nothing, though.
    But that deal wasn’t good enough for the warmongers. The right-wing in the Senate stripped out money for teachers, because they want a bill that only funds killing and waste abroad.
    This is lunacy. Lunacy.
    The House needs to vote “no” on more borrowed money for a failed war. Call your member of Congress, right now:
    202-224-3121
    Stop cramming our wealth into the gullet of the military-industrial complex. No more money for the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds. No more money for the Tajiks, the Hazaras and the Pushtuns. Charity begins at home.
    Courage,
    Rep. Alan Grayson

  134. eightm July 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    KILL FREE WILL
    KILL FREE WILL
    The brains of humans must be engineered into correction: the free will circuits must be deactivated, the circuits that generate conflicting opinions, conflicts in general, differences, inequalities, power struggles, war, confrontations, etc. must be changed, they are probably just a few transistors, just a one transistor circuit that creates free will and the material called “Free Willonium” that is composed of particles that freely make different and contrasting choices, that struggle and fight each other, in this way escaping all the laws of physics.
    This must come to an end, this will end 100,000 years of violent human history with all their “fights” and “politics” and “different choices – opinions – lifestyles – behaviors”, etc. It is porbably just one bit in brains that must be changed, and humans will then become a superior spiritual machine, one monolithic slab of unity of intent working towards higher singualrities, more advanced experimental brains, circuits, and hence universes, emotions, experiences. Change all the circuits in brains, create new sense organs, new emotion systems, new and fake and simulated and make believe logics, laws of physics, internal narratives, new memory and logic circuits, etc.
    The serialization of trillions of “Man Hours” of work accumulating into solid results of unity of intent, and not like now with everyone working against everyone else and dispersing all the energy each individual puts in. Work that adds up, hence an Instant Singularity created by the shear number of Man Hours of “product” that is finally accumulating and creating ever higher states of being.
    KILL FREE WILLS, all of them, the machines and the universe will decide what configurations are valid…

  135. Hancock1863 July 27, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    You said:

    Until then, it’s just “bread and circuses”
    and at long last we’re just stupid enough
    to buy it hook, line, and sinker. Every
    last thing about American politics is this:
    “Can I construct a plausible deniability for
    my obviously heinous actions?”

    Nicely said and with brevity, Eleuthero!
    Of course, that’s what the sciences of Public Relations, mareting and advertising are for, as well as Corporate Media, are for…constructing well designed plausible deniability for the powerful to use to lie to and manipulate the powerless.
    Advancements in science and technology magnify human capacities. It would be extremely naive to assume that the longstanding natural human tendency of the wealthiest 0.01% or so (the Aristocratic Elite) to manipulate and deceive their subjects hasn’t increased in a similar fashion.
    This age-old machaivellian tendency also has been magnified in power, and now is a veritable nuclear weapon aimed at human consciousness through any number of “delivery systems”.

  136. wagelaborer July 27, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    See, I think it does matter, because when an event is used to whip up mass hysteria and support for invasions and murders, it matters HOW that event happened.
    As Voltaire said “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”.
    Yeah! What he said!

  137. george July 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    It’s nice to hear that old looney leftist Paul Hellyer, who was to wacky for either of Canada’s two main political parties, is still alive and well and peddling his unique brand of nonsense in 2010 along with Naomi Klein and the rest of the far-left conspiracy crowd. Didn’t Stevie Wonder warn us back in the 70’s, “when you believe in things you don’t understand then you suffer, Superstition aint the way?” It seems only JHK, Matty Simmons and a few sober-headed individuals bothered to heed Mr Wonder’s advice and put the facts together and come up with a rational plan for the future. Everything else I’ve heard from the fringes of the far left and right to moderates like Paul Krugman sounds like a bunch of old fairy tales updated for the new millenium. Latest grumblings from the idiot punditry: the NY Times Maureen Dowd is complaining that Barack O’bama’s administration is not “black enough.”

  138. Hancock1863 July 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    There is no reason we have to pretend that the current waste of energy in this country must continue unchanged.
    It’s like pretending that debt is wealth. It leads to bad outcomes.

    Ah, but fantasy is what the Aristocratic Elite is selling to us Peasants, aren’t they? And have been for 8,000 years. Anything to keep the Peasants confused, quiet, docile, and unquestioningly obedient.
    That’s the whole point of any Ponzi Scheme, including the one that has been the Global Economy for the last 20 years. (but maybe it has always been this way, who knows & who cares)
    Keep The Rubes in Fantasyland while just the Con Artists, who always knew the scam was bullshit anyway, pack their stolen loot of to Switzerland or the Caymans or perhaps the man-made islands of Dubai shaped like the world, this time around.

  139. treebeardsuncle July 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I read it and understood it. You quoted Marx as saying basically this. When interest rates are low, debt becomes more valuable and is treated as an asset. This is particularly true when profits are not being generated elsewhere. Those who invest in the debt, appear not to realize that it is not a source of productive value, but only amounts that are owed to others, and hence not real wealth. You could have followed through further and explained to folks here, “where the money went.” The money did not go anywhere because it never existed. It was hallucinated wealth, derived from such scams as falsely and fraudulently appraising $200,000 houses for $400,000 in California.
    Now, will consider this energy situation. Here is what needs to happen. In America the government has conspired with various corporations to make real estate artificially expensive and transportation and a variety of other goods artificially cheap. The programs that encourage taking out mortgages for houses should be disbanded. CALTrans should be shut down. The federal highway program should be drastically scaled back. Free trade should be abolished. Prices for electricity and transportation should be allowed to rise and prices for real estate should be allowed to fall. Much of the business of the federal government has been to prevent the energy and real estate markets from reaching equilibrium so that true market signals — that traveling is expensive and that real estate is not so very expensive — would be allowed to reach people and influence their behavior. The government has conspired with large oil, banking, and automobile companies to keep the market from reaching equilibrium for the sake of both national interests and due to undue influence on the federal government by these corporations. The military contractors have also been effective in keeping the cost of transportation artificially low.

  140. Funzel July 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I was doing just fine with my 2.5 KW solar system until recently,when the CCs at Tampa Electric decided to change my meter from analog to digital,radio controlled etc.This new meter no longer shows the meter going backwards,but reads forward only.So any power you feed back is ADDED to your bill,sneaky eh?I had to change my mode of operation and added 36 golf cart batteries.I had to buy 2 small 120v AC window units,since the inverters output is 120V
    .A similar situation is happening with wind power,arcane rules,fairy tales about dead birds,eyesores etc,paying you wholesale price for your generated power etc,and the constant barrage of industry propaganda and brainwashing of the public.
    Most of these howler monkeys,that are against Solar or wind power know only what they hear on TV,they seem to think they have the right to waste 1000KWH a month,when their entitlement should be no more than a dangling 25w light bulb with key chain in each bedroom.
    Last time I checked some panels are down to 1.47/W
    not bad considering the raging inflation.Don’t listen to the deflation bullshit,in 1958 I paid 25.9c/gallon for fuel,16c/for kerosene and diesel fuel,of course that was before the Blankfeins and associates owned America.

  141. Cash July 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Vlad, continuing our discussion last week: Like I said in other posts I wouldn’t over generalize and say that because there are individual differences in intelligence and IQ and personality you can extrapolate to entire racial groups.
    First is this business about IQ. We’ve discussed this before and I don’t want to keep beating this dead horse. IMO this is a test that only captures certain aspects of intelligence. IMO intelligence is a many faceted phenom. IQ does measure some of it but not all. Like I said earlier, my father would have great difficulty reading an IQ test primarily because he only had 5 years of schooling. Consequently he would score poorly. I’ve had many years of schooling and would get a high score. Yet he has abilities that I can only dream of. He can bend tools, materials and the physical environment to his will. I can’t. He is creative, persistent, insightful. If you threw him naked into a forest hundreds of miles from rescue he would survive and thrive. I would die. These abilities you can’t measure on a written IQ test. I know because I’ve written them.
    More on IQ tests. These are highly vulnerable to influences such as the person’s health, state of nutrition, early childhood environment, overall living conditions and the culture the person grew up in. When you say that blacks score poorly compared to whites I would say I’m not surprised.
    Like I’ve said in other posts I agree that black American society is severely fucked up but given that they’ve been subject to hundreds of years of brutalization what would you expect? So whitey gives them a test. How motivated would you be if you were black? Plus their state of health, nutrition, etc is generally poorer than those of whites. Until and unless those problems are fixed I don’t think you’ll ever have comparable IQ scores. You’re not going to fix these things in one or two generations given that they’ve been centuries in the making.
    There’s something else about this concept of race. I think its relevance is in indicating a person’s place of origin ie white = European, black = African etc. Thing is, according to what I’ve read Africans are the most genetically diverse people on Earth. Individuals from different tribes of Bushmen are more different genetically from one another than a European is from an Oriental. So what does a black race even mean when underneath the dark skin there is a huge diversity in terms of genetic characteristics? Is a Bantu from West Africa of the same race as a Somali? They both have dark skins but so what?
    On the other hand you have people from east Africa that are tremendous distance runners and you have Italians that are tremendous distance runners. They both have genes that help them combat malaria. So notwithstanding the fact that one has black skin and one has white skin should they be in the same racial category since they could have a great deal in common underneath? What I’m saying is I wouldn’t make too much of skin colour. If you insist on making racial categories there might be other characteristics that are more relevant in grouping people.
    More later, I have things to do.

  142. Hancock1863 July 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    You said:

    See, I think it does matter, because when an event is used to whip up mass hysteria and support for invasions and murders, it matters HOW that event happened.
    As Voltaire said “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”.
    Yeah! What he said!

    Intellectually and morally, you are correct. Practically speaking about authoritarian movements, like the RW one in the USA currently, it doesn’t apply.
    Because these things can be exposed, but if the number of people that never hear about them or have heard but disbelieve them regardless of the facts, then does it matter?
    I hate to talk like this, but reality is reality. Did uncovering the falsehood of the Gulf of Tonkin incident in any way inhibit the use of false rationalizations for the Iraq invasion?
    Not a whit.
    Ultimately it comes down to the basic tenets of authoritarianism and the basic laws of mass human nature or mass psychology.
    As for your Marx post, you are absolutely correct that it is something of a taboo. The fact that some of the most ruthless nations of modern times have risen under the red banner of LW Authoritariansim, such as the Soviet Union, China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia, may have something to do with it, too.
    To me, it all boils down to basic human monkey-politics and ego. Marxists are good at spotting, identifying and expounding on the flaws of Capitalism. Capitalists are good at spotting, identifying and expounding on the flaws of Marxism. Both are worthless when it comes to self-analysis.
    And both philosophies, with the smallest, most localized exceptions (most to be chalked up to the nutty, brief cornucopia provided by the Age of Oil), both wind up creating societies characterized by corruption, fraud, and the strong, wealthy, powerful few dominating the weak.

  143. CynicalOne July 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    OT/
    Compulsive text messaging.
    CTM.
    Has that been identified as some sort of psychological disorder yet?
    Heads up Big Pharma. Are you working on a new Rx treatment for that yet?
    I’ll look for it on the Evening News, right after the Abilify ad.

  144. myrtlemay July 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Thank you. Small world. Speaking of colleges, I recently read some interesting stats. Something like 65% of all bachelor-degree recipients owe an average student debt bill of about $20k. This according to Mark Kantrowitz of FinAid, an organization which guides students about all forms of financial aid. This is no small sum and invariably will contribute to the collapse in real estate, impacting especially first time buyers. Shame on our government for dangling $8k in tax credits, when anyone with any horse sense knows that the $8k rears its ugly head by either being tacked on in some way, shape, or form, at the sale agreement or buried in “fees”.

  145. CynicalOne July 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    PoC,
    Actually I have not had time to read all posts top to bottom, but I will eventually. Life keeps taking me away.
    I’m cool with solar. In fact I’d like to have some panels on our house. Maybe one day we will. I just don’t see it reaching the masses any time soon. For now I’m trying to conserve.
    BTW, I’m Mrs. Cynical and only part of the time 😉

  146. CynicalOne July 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Ubbm,
    Our house is about 1600 sf. Would you mind disclosing the approximate cost of your 3KW system?
    Thanks!

  147. LewisLucanBooks July 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Our Civic Boondoggle…
    Centralia, Washington has a small, old but well kept hydro system. It supplies about 30% of our power. It used to supply all the power for the town. Keeps our rates lower than the Public Utility District in the next town over.
    Our City Council keeps making noises about selling the utility.
    On the other hand, they’re all ra-ra behind a proposed new Regional Sports Center. Their share will be 1.25 Million. Never mind that a similar center down in Medford, Oregon cost three times the projected costs. They are going to finance their share by issuing bonds to be repair with our lodging tax.
    I suppose they can sell off that nasty old utility when there is a shortfall.

  148. Goat1080 July 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    One hundred forty-eighth!

  149. myrtlemay July 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    These bonds that our governments keep referring to are about to hang us all. The only things they have in common are their nonsensical whim to spend more of the tax payer’s money. Clearly none of the ones mentioned in this blog seem to be rational, at least on the surface. Not that this should come as a suprise here at CFN.

  150. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Cynicalone,
    You points are noted with some agreement and I’m sorry if I *snapped* at you this morning.
    Especially now that I know you are a young lady…Mrs. Cynical; indeed? ^smile!^
    At any rate…the working price I have in mind is about $10K per KWH. Which is a lot of money, especially for a private individual. (I hope ubbm can give us more specifics on his system.)
    But then my family’s amortizing share of new nuclear, natural gas, and coal fired construction in Georgia is probably a sizable “chunk of change,” too….and THAT has to be refueled repeatedly….and at increasing expense as time goes forward.
    It aggravates me that *people* tend to ignore the considerable subsidies that coal, oil, and nuclear enjoy as a legacy in the US.
    And the same *people* jump up and down at the thought of tax credits to make renewables viable.
    Short sighted….*sigh*
    One last thing….Obama and both House and Senate just passed a sad little watered down climate change bill….even as the Gulf is still in danger this summer.
    So as a country we’ve abdicated leadership on renewables to the Chinese, etc.
    And continue to buy our oil from dictators who hate our guts.
    Amazing!

  151. messianicdruid July 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    “The world is completely out of $40.00/barrel oil. There is still plenty of oil left at $200.00/barrel.”
    This illustrates the problem, it is not the oil that has changed it is the $. Oil producers want more for their oil because what is being offered in exchange is worth less than before. You are using a rubber ruler to measure value. It isn’t even real wealth.
    What the USdollar offers as value {pubic confidence = little else} is shrinking due to the way it is created. Every dollar is loaned into existence with usury attached. The money to pay the usury is not created. As long as everything is growing, the system functions. People compete to get the dollars to pay off debt, and then ask the banksters for more. When people and institutions are maxed out on debt {ie: no more money can be loaned into existence} the system grinds to a halt.

  152. Shambles July 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    “It’s harder to account for the dimness of the news media. I doubt they were in on the caper. More likely there is a correlation between their low pay and their low capacity.”
    My favourite quote on this comes from David Vincent, in The Culture of Secrecy in Britain 1832-1996: “The failure of the dogs to bark was a consequence of their assumption that they would continue to be fed.”

  153. Cash July 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    OK Vlad, I’m back.
    Re this business about newcomers planting their flag on our turf: let’s not forget inter-marriage. Our extended family gatherings are an example. Fifty years ago they would have been all Italian immigrants to the US and Canada and kids born here. Now all the kids (my generation) have married. Now the family gatherings have Italian, British, Chinese, German, Poles, Japanese, Black and others I can’t remember and most are fully assimilated ie they speak accentless English.
    One Sikh woman I worked with married an Iraqi Christian (he says he’s ethnically Chaldean. I didn’t know they still existed).
    This thing about intermarriage: it depends on what you read. Some accounts say that Chinese are reluctant to marry outside their group and others say otherwise. One account said that 40% of all Chinese chicks marry white guys. Look around to see who’s holding hands or pushing strollers. I would say that 40% figure is maybe a bit shy. A LOT of Chinese and other Oriental women hook up with white men.
    Anyway the point is I wouldn’t underestimate the power of lust in human affairs. Immigrant parents want to self segregate. A good Indian/Chinese/Filipino etc according to parents will marry a suitable Indian/Chinese/Filipino. Good luck with that. Self segregation might work for a generation or two especially if enforced with threats of violence. But I look at young Muslim chicks that wear head coverings. I’ve seen some interact with non Muslims. Aside from the head covering you wouldn’t know they were Muslim ie air kisses/embraces with tattooed young white guys in droopy assed pants. Young orientals mix easily with whites. I figure the schoolyard and university and college campuses are ruthless Darwinian jungles where the mating urge overwhelms all else.
    Which brings us to culture. Liberal ninnies want to legislate/suppress out of existence or scrub out of our consciousness our dominant Anglo culture but the fact is that it is hugely attractive. We’ve been conditioned to think it doesn’t exist. It’s a way of life with no name. But it does exist notwithstanding all the attempts at social engineering. The harder you pound that nail the deeper it goes. They push this multi-cultural nonsense. It has no future, it ain’t happenin’, it’s a dog that don’t hunt.

  154. Laura Louzader July 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    I have three younger people in my personal circle who wish like hell they ONLY owed $20k
    These people owe nearly $200K each for advanced degrees or law school.
    How on Earth EVER will they pay down these debts in their lifetimes and still keep a roof over their heads and food on the table?
    We aren’t teaching people to balance risk and reward, or likely return on investment, or how hard it is to earn the kind of income it takes to pay back this kind of debt.
    Why go to med school if you’re so indebted from it that you have to live in a 4-room apartment and buy used clothing your whole life even though your earnings place you in the top 5% of the population?

  155. myrtlemay July 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    This just in CFN, courtesy of Mr. Denninger at the Market Ticker…
    What a downright amusing screamer, er, headline – “S&P/Case-Schiller Home Prices Rise 4.6% .vs. Year Ago”
    Hmmmm…… so let’s see, what’s $8,000 (the tax credit, which didn’t exist a year ago but did in May) of ~$180,000 (median home price, according to the NAR)
    Oh wait, that’s 4.4%!
    That’s a funny number, and a funny confluence. Is it really difficult for anyone to figure out what happened here, and why?
    Well, you’d think not. In fact, sans the $8,000 credit, prices were down a couple of tenths.
    Yeah.
    So how’s it feel to be a sucker, if you bought in the first few months of this year? Doing good, are ‘ya? Overpaid, you did.
    And isn’t it amusing how the government is so interested in intentionally disadvantaging you as a buyer of houses, in that with the credit now gone it is very likely you ate that entire $8,000 “credit” immediately (and maybe more) in the form of a price adjustment as soon as the credit expired.
    Thank Congress for this one – and they didn’t give you any lube first.
    Jeez, talk about your dog and pony shows! OUCH!

  156. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Just to clarify, MD
    “The world is completely out of $40.00/barrel oil. There is still plenty of oil left at $200.00/barrel.
    The quote I gave is from a natural resources based stock analysis service. In context the quote is DEFINITELY referring to the fact that the easy, cheap-to-extract oil is pumped out and burned up….sorry if I dropped it in out of context and mislead you.
    But, for $200 per barrel there is oil available in dangerous inaccessible places to pump and burn…for a *while* longer.
    I’m pretty sure I heard that BP was going to cap their Macondo well they were finishing on 4/20.
    In other words, BP was going to wait….and let the price go up….slimy…yet legal?
    Considering that that Macondo was/is US oil that BP would sell on world markets.
    While we continue to fund Wahabbi terrorists by buying Saudi oil..
    Truly Amazing!!
    On a lighter note, MD, are you really a Druid? Ever make any mead?

  157. asoka July 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    So as a country we’ve abdicated leadership on renewables to the Chinese, etc. And continue to buy our oil from dictators who hate our guts. Amazing!

    Yes, it is amazing. And don’t forget the billions we are spending each month on wars… I mean, counterinsurgency efforts… I mean, nation-building exercises…. whatever…
    Next up is war with Iran. The way is being paved right now by Congress. Here is how it might go down:
    A new House resolution could lead to a U.S. war with Iran–even if the bill never becomes law. (unless enough people raise a ruckus with their representatives, and the resolution is defeated…)
    The resolution, H. Res. 1553, claims to assert Israel’s right to defend its sovereignty but actually signals to Israel that the United States will unconditionally back Israeli “use of military force” against Iran.
    It’s a green light to war. Similar extreme resolutions have been introduced before, but this one already has the support of a significant number of representatives–nearly one-third of the Republican caucus. Whatever the conflict between Israel and Iran, war is not the answer.
    Why could this resolution lead to war?
    If enough members of Congress cosponsor the resolution, Israel could perceive that it has a “green light” to attack Iran in the months ahead.
    If Israel attacks Iran, the United States will almost certainly be drawn in, either because Iran retaliates against U.S. forces in the region, or because the United States feels pressure to help Israel if its assault falls short.
    H. Res. 1553 is, in effect, a U.S. declaration of war on Iran.
    Peace between Iran and the United States is still possible through peaceful means, and, today, contrary to this bill’s premise, Iran does not pose a nuclear threat to Israel.

  158. bproman July 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    We’re sorry but due to difficulties you’re account has been deducted. Please do not respond, no one is in control. Please exit as fast as you can.

  159. myrtlemay July 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Just checked my oven timer. Yep, this is right about time when TSHTF!

  160. asoka July 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Early in your post:

    Now the family gatherings have Italian, British, Chinese, German, Poles, Japanese, Black and others…

    Later, in the same post:

    They push this multi-cultural nonsense. It has no future, it ain’t happenin’, it’s a dog that don’t hunt.

    Somebody wearin’ doctrinal blinders… or admitting his family is a “dog that don’t hunt,” a family that “has no future.” Sure as hell seems to be happenin’ multiculturally, or have they all become Italian through marriage?
    Hint:
    Intermarriage and speaking English flawlessly does not erase the cultural heritage of either party.

  161. CT July 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Jim, another good rant! I’ve been reading your rants for some time now and, who knows, maybe you are right and we’re heading into a new edition of the Dark Ages. But I still believe that in the long run you’ll be wrong and technology will prevail. After the dark days humans will leave this planet and continue their wasteful ways throughout the universe.

  162. asoka July 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    POP QUIZ:
    Which is more serious? No oil? Or no water?
    70% of USA may face water shortages by 2050.
    rd.tetratech.com/climatechange/projects/nrdc_climate.asp

  163. Newfie July 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Despite all the smattering of techno-triumphalism on this blog, the Fermi Paradox suggests we are headed for oblivion.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox

  164. asoka July 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    The Fermi Paradox is answered by The SETI Paradox.
    arxiv.org/abs/physics/0611283
    It could also be that messages are being communicated, but the evidence, which everyone sees and no one disputes exists, is being labeled a “hoax” to disqualify its extraterrestrial origin.
    See this BBC report from yesterday:
    news.bbc.co.uk/local/gloucestershire/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8854000/8854402.stm

  165. treebeardsuncle July 27, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Well, Cash you are miscegenist much like Asoka. I will concede the following. Yes, early generation (the first 2 or 3) breed more within their own kind. In the 18th century the Scotts-Irish bred with Scotts-Irish and the Germans with Germans. In the nineteenth century the Protestant whites mixed it up. Irish Catholics mixed with Irish Italians too. Then in the 20th century religion became less of a divide and you had white Europeans mixing with one another regardless of religion.
    As far as the schools being a Darwinian battleground, I would make the following qualifications. Big strong jocks rule the show. However, even they cannot best dominate unless they get at least C averages so they can play for the schools. Thus absolute morons do not dominate, but people of average intelligence and who are strong, tall, and smooth-talking can climb to the top. Yes, you are very right that Asian girls are going with white guys. Why is that? I think the oriental males are just not men enough and a lot of the white guys want oriental women (generally not east Indians). My son’s mom is Taiwanese. The north Asians — the north Chinese, Japanese, and Koroeans — are the highest class of Asians and are even smarter than whites with whom they are related as both have Cro-Magnon background (with the whites being more purely Cro-Magnon). Asian females also hold their youth longer than white chicks, stay slimmer, and live longer. A 40-year-old east Asian can be hot. 25-year-old low class white chicks are fat slobs and pieces of crap oftentimes, especially if they smoke.
    One still does not see white folks breeding with blacks much. I personally find black chicks to be bestial and repellant and certainly not attractive most of the time. There are a few exceptions. The East Africans are a somewhat more evolved breed than the West Africans and are better looking as they are more closely related to non-Negroes. Also white kids especially of the middle and upper classes tend to denigrate and exclude people and the females tend to be real prudes. A lot of the most educated white women don’t even reproduce. The blacks tend to be agressive, violent, criminal morons and don’t go far in school. In college they generally hang with their own. The Mexicans don’t get far either as they are stupid, prone to criminality but not as much as the blacks, and gravitate towards blue collar jobs. In conclusion, school is a Darwinian system, but not in the way you might expect. The blacks and Mexicans are selected out of the school system because they are so stupid. The black males end up in jail where they belong, the black females go on welfare, and the Mexicans get menial jobs. The whites and Asians go on to college oftentimes. A lot of white guys get Asian chicks and the neuter Asian guys get the technical jobs. The white chicks are the most desirable and if they are hot have the option of turning down a lot of guys.

  166. messianicdruid July 27, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    “In other words, BP was going to wait….and let the price go up….slimy…yet legal?”
    Thanks for the clarification. My point stands. The less value perceived for the $ the more of them will be required to buy oil. I also wanted to address some of 8Ms unhappiness with inflated prices. It’s not the stuff that is going up in value, it is what we are offering in exchange that is shrinking in buying power. The oil will be more expensive, as you say, but let us not be blindsided “when the money faileth” {Gen. 47:13-19}.
    “On a lighter note, MD, are you really a Druid? Ever make any mead?”
    My understanding of the word is dru = old, id = knowledge. If you have an old recipe, I’d be interested in it.
    messianicdruid.blogspot.com/2005/12/druids-r-us.html

  167. treebeardsuncle July 27, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    dru can also be associate with the oak.
    The id is associate with wid, as in wit, wisdom, wode, wood, and most especially Woden or Odin. Thus one has the idea of wisdom being associate with wood and trees. The Celts and particularly the druids were known as the tree people. There are strong indications that the druids were associated with populations along the Atlantic fringe who had built a number of the megaliths whereas the Celts came in from the southeast in the 2nd millenium BC.
    The druids were not priests. Rather they were the intelligentsia and professional class of the celts whether they were judges (brehons), teachers, leaders at the sacrifices, magistrates, doctors, gold smiths, healers/doctors, or other learned men and women.

  168. progressorconserve July 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Liberals Pragmatists and Utopians
    Have you ever wondered what it would look like if a prosperous Nation simply….kicked over the game board?
    Are you familiar with chaos theory, Asoka?
    To laymen, chaos theory is usually explained as, “The flapping of a butterfly’s wing over Africa could lead to a devastating hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.”
    And that’s a valid explanation, as far as it goes…
    I have always thought of myself as a pragmatic political liberal. Then I found this website and discovered I was only pragmatic.
    And I discovered huge gaping holes in orthodox liberalism related to saving the planet and securing the borders.
    And I’m involved in local and State politics…in the State of Georgia as it starts to “go nativist”…and I’ve become a lot less “liberal” in only 4 weeks on this website. Which may not be good…but there it is, anyway.
    Anyway, back to kicking over the game board…maybe average Iranian citizens better hope and pray that the US greenlights Israel to bomb nuclear installations in Iran…soon.
    Because it removes the country of Iran from suspicion….if Israeli air forces destroy their NUKES, preemptively.
    Because there have to be “missing nukes” all around the World. In Pakistan, Turkministan, Whereverthehellistan…a nuke could be found.
    And if one of those evil devices is ever detonated in Tel Aviv…and there is ANY POSSIBLE WAY the blame could be placed on Iran.
    Then the US would greenlight Israel to NUKE Iran all the way into the stone age…..and perhaps beyond the stone age.
    Suddenly, world oil trade would cease. Suddenly we would have TSHTF and WMBH…maybe even “global cooling”… begin all on the same day.
    Maybe then and only then…. “peace will guide the planet; and Love will steer the stars.”
    Personally, I’d rather talk about solar power and gardening than this realpolitik stuff!
    Peace

  169. diogen July 27, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    >Solar panels on the house look rather
    >odd and different.
    TBU, are you for real? The planet is being made unlivable by the burning of fossil reserves which we’re stealing from future generations, and you’re concerned about the LOOKS of roofs??????????????
    It’s like the Titanic passengers complaining that the rescue boats were painted in odd and different colors and refusing the board them.
    I’m shaking my head in disbelief… and this is a guy with sky-high IQ for chrissake….
    I think solar panels on roofs look absolutely unbelieavably magnificently beautiful, so much more beautiful than surface coal mines, oil refineries, smokestacks, power transmission lines and substations, or idiots driving huge trucks and SUVs as life-style vehicles.
    Du bist ein Trottel, my friend. While idiots like you disparage solar panels, Germany and Spain are quietly buying up all the solar panels they can get their hands on, laughing their asses off at stupid Americans who can’t see beyond today…

  170. diogen July 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    TBU, I forgot to translate for you, “Du bist ein Trottel” means you’re a cretin.

  171. messianicdruid July 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    We need more leverage {and learn where to use it}.
    “The systems community has a lot of lore about leverage points. Those of us who were trained by the great Jay Forrester at MIT have absorbed one of his favorite stories. “People know intuitively where leverage points are. Time after time I’ve done an analysis of a company, and I’ve figured out a leverage point. Then I’ve gone to the company and discovered that everyone is pushing it in the wrong direction!”
    The classic example of that backward intuition was Forrester’s first world model. Asked by the Club of Rome to show how major global problems—poverty and hunger, environmental destruction, resource depletion, urban deterioration, unemployment—are related and how they might be solved, Forrester came out with a clear leverage point: Growth. Both population and economic growth. Growth has costs—among which are poverty and hunger, environmental destruction—the whole list of problems we are trying to solve with growth!
    The world’s leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth as the answer to virtually all problems, but they’re pushing with all their might in the wrong direction.
    Counterintuitive. That’s Forrester’s word to describe complex systems. The systems analysts I know have come up with no quick or easy formulas for finding leverage points. Our counterintuitions aren’t that well developed. Give us a few months or years and we’ll model the system and figure it out. We know from bitter experience that when we do discover the system’s leverage points, hardly anybody will believe us.”
    developerdotstar.com/mag/articles/places_intervene_system.html

  172. San Jose Mom 51 July 28, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    I share your concern about nukes. Ken Wilber believes that about a basketball-size amount of plutonium is missing from the former Soviet Union stockpile. That amount could take out a lot of cities. Since pretty much everyone hates the U.S., we’ll probably get a nuclear pounding in the next 20 years.
    I’m depressed.
    SJMom

  173. CynicalOne July 28, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    PoC,
    No apology necessary.
    “Especially now that I know you are a young lady…Mrs. Cynical; indeed?”
    Well, if you and Miss Clairol say so, then it must be true. :)) lol

  174. cowswithguns July 28, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    Interesting link. 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe? Wow. Even if you used lottery odds, the math points to others out there.
    The link points out a number of possible reasons for the paradox — not just the doomsday theory, which you allude to — and, appropriately, one of them pertains to this site’s speciality: Oil.
    From the link:
    “It is also possible that intelligence is common, but industrial civilization is not. For example, the rise of industrialism on Earth was driven by the presence of convenient energy sources such as fossil fuels. If such energy sources are rare or nonexistent elsewhere, then it may be far more difficult for an intelligent race to advance technologically to the point where we could communicate with them.”
    Without oil, apparently there is no doomsday. But don’t tell the neanderthals that.

  175. cowswithguns July 28, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    Or…
    From the Fermi’s Paradox link (still reading):
    “It may be that non-colonizing technologically capable alien civilizations exist, but that they are simply too far apart for meaningful two-way communication.[45] If two civilizations are separated by several thousand light years, it is very possible that one or both cultures may become extinct before meaningful dialogue can be established.”
    How depressing is that?

  176. cowswithguns July 28, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    The best defense against loose nukes would have been to take all the trillions of dollars and guarantees we’ve used to bail out the big banks and ensure Lloyd Blankfein gets his big Christmas bonus, and put the money instead to buying up all the loose nukes in the world.
    So, if we do indeed get hit with a loose nuke someday, Wall Street is to blame.
    Thanks, Lloyd.

  177. Kiwi Nick July 28, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    I’d agree there’s too many morons in important positions. In Australia

    • The Government can’t put together a fairly simple website that gives grocery prices (known as the GroceryWatch project).
    • The Government can’t put together a fairly simple website that gives fuel prices (known as the FuelWatch project), even though the software is already written, a server is already running the software, most of the data links are already in place, and a section of the public are already using it (in Western Australia).
    • The Myki project (public transport tickets Melbourne) – well it works, but not that well, and it cost a staggering $1.3bn and 3 years late
    • The T-Card project (public transport tickets Sydney) had to be canned
    • The Smart Metering (electricity meters) project is going really wrong.
    • There’s about one billion dollars of overdue rail maintenance in Australia. Some power wires came down on a train on Tuesday morning, delaying 400000 people in Melbourne, most for 2+ hours.
    • The insulation scheme went wrong.
    • The BER (School building program) went wrong.
    • Many suburban areas do not have broadband access.

    But New Zealand isn’t much better:

    • The $23bn Leaky Homes Crisis (a weak building law that went terribly wrong)
    • Auckland CBD was left without electric power for 5.5 weeks (yes, about 40 days) in Feb/Mar 1998

    And private enterprise has its share of morons as well: try finding the price of bananas from Woolies Price Check (use postcode 2000 as example).
    Nick – brainy guy in a moron’s country.

  178. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    Diogen, you completely missed the thrust of my argument. Am referring to the mentality of typical Americans particularly the rednecks who live between the coasts, particularly in the South and Midwest. These folks are much more comfortable with fossil fuels, particularly propane and diesel, as well as charcoal. Have you ever been to the Midwest? Those folks wear jeans in 0 degree Fahrenheit weather in January. They take offense to the cold weather gear from REI as being strange.
    Don’t underestimate the ignorance, hostility, resentment, and intolerance of people and their knee-jerk animosity towards that which is unfamiliar.

  179. Vlad Krandz July 28, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    The whole American Economy is a Ponzi Scheme – that’s why they intend to have at the very least 400 million people here by 2100. For a Ponzi Scheme to work, it has to keep growing at the base. But it’s not going to work because those immigrants aren’t hard working Euro-Americans, but rather welfare cheats and baby machines who will take more than they give. Their plans depend on a quality of person that is just not being produced anymore – even among alot of Whites. What did they expect when they destroyed the social fabric and dumbed down the Universities?
    Everywhere we see the dying of the Light. NASA is headed by a Black who recently said that NASA’s new goal is communication on Earth. The current project is making Muslims feel good about their scientific contributions!

  180. Vlad Krandz July 28, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Marx was in favor of complete free trade between nations because he knew that it would destroy Capitalism very quickly. Any and all reform or mitigation of the system is the ultimate anathema for Marxists. With this in mind, how can Marxism offer much in the way of good advice? And how about you – have you renounced revolution? And if so, how do you balance Marx’s positive points with the vast negativity with which they are mixed?

  181. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    So, what is to be done then? What do you propose?
    Is it time to acknowledge the failure of the western world and salute the rise of the Chinese?
    Geoff

  182. Vlad Krandz July 28, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Don’t know, sorry. It’s been a while since I read those stories.
    I like Fr Thornton, but I agree with the objector, the Germans added much of their own. I am completely torn on all of this: I feel the call of the Blood to join the wild chase with Odin but ultimately I feel Christianity is much higher. I am a bit of mystic – it’s not all just what fits in socially for me. But what Hitler said is true – the Christians tend to worship weakness and disability. When is reminded of Sarah Palin, proud as a peacock as she held up her mongoloid child. I can only respond that Aquinas said the function of grace is to perfect nature, not annihalate it. Somehow they go wrong…
    There was once the possibility of a Christianity that did not destroy paganism but transformed it. Pre Saxon England and the Celtic Church of Ireland. But the Saxons triumphed over this nascent culture that left us the Holy Grail Mythos. And the Church of Rome squelched the beautiful but politically weak Celtic Church in Ireland. The great Occulist and Scholar Julius Evola said that the Grail Mythos was the Old Religion transformed within Christianity. The consequences would have been profound if it had managed to survive. Basically, the clergy would not have become the all in all that they did ultimately become – which inevitably lead to violent revolt. The doctrine of the Church is that the Church is the Sun and the State is the moon which takes its light from the Sun. The doctrine of the Grail is that of two Suns: both the King and the Pope are divinely chosen, each sovereign in his own realm. Beyond this, there could have been more respect for Nature, Women, and the sacredness of the Land. The Church routinely cut down the great trees sacred to the Celts and the Germans. Instead, the followers of the Grail fought a long rear guard battle within the bosom of the church. According to Evola, historically it manifested as the battle between the Guelfs (one sun) and the Ghibbelines (two suns). The Ghibellines lost but their loss was everyone’s. The impulse was taken up outide of the Church in Masonry and Protestantism. The Germans had their revenge when they protected Luther against the Church. But now the impulse was desacralized and worldly leading to the promethean excess that is the modern world.
    In Italy the battle was to some extent ethnic with the German Conquerors forming a new Aristocracy while the ancient Italian Families took refuge in the power and perrogatives of the Church Militant. This can easily be overstated however – there have been many Germanic Priests and Saints.

  183. Vlad Krandz July 28, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again…
    Didn’t need no welfare state,
    Everybody pulled his weight,
    Gee our old LaSalle ran great,
    Those were the days.
    How well Archie sang it. But we are all Archie now. Let us be Bunker Archie not Archie Bunker.

  184. Vlad Krandz July 28, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    The Alien book “How to serve Man” was just translated – it’s a cookbook.
    The Et’s are of many races and dispositions. Most of them are evil and inimical to man. The ones at Roswell were Grays – enemies who routinely tamper with our genetic code without our permission. Also bad are the reptiles and the so called Men in Black who look like Cubans wearing Black turtlenecks and wrap around sun glasses. The good Et’s are the godlike seven foot tall Aryans. They taught our ancestors the arts and sciences and may be our (Whites that is) ancestors. Rumours abound that they have a huge base under the ice in Antartica and will come to our aid in the near future when Whites are being persecuted and threatened with global genocide. Buwler Lytton wrote about them in his novel “The Coming Race”. They can channel a cosmic force called vril through their bodies and effect great works for either creation or destruction.

  185. antimatter July 28, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    Here’s my major contribution this week:
    For all the unemployed (and they document this via the states’ unemployment commission) and those facing foreclosure, they get ‘Force Majeure’ protection from foreclosure, debt, income tax, state tax. As long as they are unemployed as verified by the state unemployment security commission.
    What is Force Majeure? Force Majeure literally means “greater force”. These clauses excuse a party from liability if some unforseen event beyond the control of that party prevents it from performing its obligations. ( from the Yale.edu web site)
    What would this do? It would remove financial pressure on individuals, and would PRESSURE government, and banks to get people back to work so as to restore tax revenue locally and nationally and to get ‘payments’ flowing again on debt. (or we could just forgive debt period for all credit card, installment, and mortgages…since after all, the US government forgave the banks and Wall Street their debts right?)
    As it stands today, the individual American who is on the rocks has NO relief. None. And government and corporations and banks are pounding people as if ‘everything is fine.’ It’s not fine out here on Main Street, and there is no incentive for government, banks, or corporations to employ people. My idea provides that incentive and does so as ruthlessly as individuals are being set upon by banks, corporations and government. We can reverse this equation.
    Good luck.

  186. Patrizia July 28, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    aura Louzader:
    Because in a few years 200K will be like 200$ and the salary will be 100 times the actual one.
    Nice return of investment…
    The only question is: will they still have a job?

  187. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    That was truly profound and reminds me of a number of things. First off, I object to a religion based on suffering and hence must reject Catholicism as it is so focused on the abuse of Jesus Christ. Also, the church mutated in the fourth century when the emperor Constantine adopted Christianity for the empire, and the council at Nicea in effect Romanized the Christian church. The church then set out to conquer Europe and control its people as Rome did earlier. So why do you think the Mediterannean peoples remained
    Catholic while the northerners turned Protestant. The Irish held onto their Catholicism as a badge that differentiated from the English. It was all they had left in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Have read about the Pelagian heresy in which St. Pegagius, who was accused by St. Augustine and others of trying to revive the druidic phylosophies, did not believe in original sin. He thought that what Adam did only affected Adam and that his deeds did not transmit a sense of sin to his descendents. There were a total of 7 points. Will check back when I find the reference.

  188. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    The corporations are the government. The people are their prey, like soylent green. Parasites are predators too.

  189. tucsonspur July 28, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    To Patrizia,
    Thank you so much!

  190. tucsonspur July 28, 2010 at 4:19 am #

    To Wagelaborer
    I understand that credit has tightened if not collapsed, but I also keep hearing that there are huge amounts of dollars ” waiting in the wings, ” and not just in the Fed or Treasury.
    Many people and businesses are still paying their creditors, the large exception being those who got involved in unreasonable mortgages, and of course the unemployed. The lack of ” real ” prodution notwithstanding, I believe that the great majority of creditors are being paid, at least up until now. Of course credit among the “big boys” is another issue.
    My cynicism also makes me believe that out of all this turmoil there are at least a handful of entities who made billions at least, if not dozens of billions,maybe more, billions which could eventually be used as ” real ” wealth. I was just wondering who they might be.
    If there aren’t any such entities, well, maybe Jim is right and there wasn’t any conspiracy.
    There is one thing I know for sure, and that is that the money under Paulson’s pillow, however much it may be, is definitely not ” imaginary. ”

  191. Vision Cube July 28, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Somehow I knew the Aryans were going to be the good Et’s…godlike and seven feet tall no less. What really does surprise me though, is that John Rocker is now posting on CFN.
    What a paradoxical mystery, the human race. All those “neuter Asians “ in the most populated region of the planet. And now the Chinese are getting set to control the world.

  192. asoka July 28, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    So, even in science fiction the blacks are bad and the tall aryan whites are good? What color are the writers?
    When whites were running NASA it was made illegal to contact and transmit messages from the
    Earth to hypothetical ETIs.
    The white-run International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) adopted a Declaration in 1989 calling for the restriction of such activities.
    Paragraph 8 of this Declaration states: “No response to a signal or other evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence should be sent until appropriate international consultations have taken place. The procedures for such consultations will be the subject of a separate agreement, declaration or arrangement.”
    “To Serve Man” is a science fiction short story written by Damon Knight. It first appeared in the November 1950 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction and has been reprinted a number of times, including in Frontiers in Space (1955), Far Out (1961) and The Best of Damon Knight (1976).
    In 2010, Hellyer accused Stephen Hawking of spreading misinformation about threats from aliens.
    Hawking has warned humanity against contacting aliens. According to Hawking, if human beings tried to contact aliens, they could invade us and take away our most important resources.
    Hawking had also said that though most extraterrestrial life could be only in the form of small animals, there could also be “nomads, looking to conquer and colonize” other planets.
    Hellyer told the Canadian Press:

    the reality is that they (aliens) have been visiting earth for decades and probably millennia and have contributed considerably to our knowledge.

    Blaming Hawking for scaring mankind about aliens, Hellyer said:

    He (Hawking) is indulging in some pretty scary talk there that I would have hoped would not come from someone with such an established stature.

    Vlad, I recognize the same paranoia in you that Stephen Hawking is hawking. Men in Black. Black is bad. Ha!

  193. diogen July 28, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Treebeard, you’re right, I completely missed the thrust of your statement regarding the solar panels, and I apologize. I feel very strongly about the benefits of solar power (acknowledging the cost and several other problems). I sickens me to think that for the cost of the Iraq/Afghan wars plus the Wall Street bailout, we could’ve have had solar panels on every freaking rooftop in America, drastically reducing the need for imported energy (and the need for distant wars), reviving American manufacturing and jump-starting the economy….

  194. diogen July 28, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    “the reality is that they (aliens) have been visiting earth for decades and probably millennia”
    I know. There are two of them living down the street from me, and I think Washington DC is swarming with them. In fact, they look so remarkably like humans, they are able to get leadership jobs in the Gov’t.
    And my plumber — definitely one of ’em, I’m so freaked out by him I’m learning to do my own plumbing!!!
    🙂

  195. asoka July 28, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Funzel said:

    the illegal aliens are pouring in here by the millions,bringing all their cripples and indigent in here,while the few Americans,that are still working, are paying for it.

    Congress just voted another $33 Billion for war yesterday.
    Nobody is paying for anything anymore … it just goes on the GCC (grandchildren credit card).

  196. asoka July 28, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    Yep, millenia.
    crystalinks.com/nazca.html

  197. Cash July 28, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Asoka, you’re are so dead wrong.
    The second generation of our family is utterly assimilated. Culturally we are not Italian. Our ways of thinking, our ways of doing things are North American Anglo. I used to speak a dialect of Italian but now that my grandparents are gone I never use it. Haven’t used it in years and I’m forgetting it. With our parents my sister and I speak English. Neither of us speaks official Italian. My parents speak it badly. They use their dialect and only used Italian in their brief school years. If I hear someone speaking it I can pick out maybe one in ten words.
    Hint:
    Intermarriage and speaking English flawlessly does not erase the cultural heritage of either party. – Asoka
    And here’s a hint for you. The schoolyard erases that heritage. So does television, radio and other communication and cultural media. The schoolyard is a ruthless assimilator particularly in smaller towns like the place I grew up in. Believe me, and I know this first hand, you either get with the program or you’re fucked.
    Some of the older generation live in Italian enclaves in large cities and don’t speak English. But their kids do. You think those kids are Italian? No sir they are not. Not by a country mile. They are American or Canadian, all are university educated professionals. Our peers are the same. We sometimes visit Italy or talk on the phone to our relatives there. Trust me on this also, our cousins in Italy of our age group are not like us. There are some common elements, it’s not as if Italy is an utterly alien and non western country but their language, ways of thinking and doing things are Italian.

  198. asoka July 28, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    E., in response to your “power output per unit of componentry WEIGHT” concern, I have two words: space solar.
    Space is big. There is an awful lot of energy out there, and the crumbs we fight about here on Earth are laughably tiny in comparison.
    Zettawatts from the sun pass just through the region between Earth and the moon — that’s enough energy for each man, woman and child in the United States to power and sustain an entire U.S. economy all by themselves.
    Gathering power in space and transmitting it to Earth should not be a mystery to us in this 21st century. Communications satellites already do it routinely.
    Worldwide more than a trillion dollars a year goes to the energy industry, and utilities routinely construct multibillion-dollar power plants. The energy industry has a bigger wallet than the entire U.S. federal discretionary budget.
    Money is not directly the problem here; profitability is.
    The two essential factors in the cost equation are the cost per delivered watt of the solar power components, and the cost per delivered watt of getting those components to their final destination in space.
    The cost of components is the first problem here. Current prices for solar electric power systems are about $2.50 per peak watt, a price that has been declining by about 7 percent per year for the last few decades. The day/night cycle, non-ideal sun angles, weathering, and cloud cover reduce power output enough to make the final cost per average watt $10 or more. Terrestrial solar power is still too expensive for wholesale utility use, but it is now competitive for homeowner installation in many areas.
    In space you can get peak power almost all the time. The $2.50-per-watt homeowner systems are not space-rated, but the space market is still small, with a larger market, suitable photovoltaic elements could be produced at comparable cost.
    Transmitting power from space will have somewhat higher losses than transmitting from a terrestrial power plant. Nevertheless, component costs are potentially much closer to wholesale utility requirements for space solar power than they are for terrestrial solar, and with continued improvement in prices, in another 10 to 15 years component costs should not be an obstacle to large-scale installation.
    The prospects for space-based solar power are at least as bright as for fusion power. These two options were identified as the only long-term sustainable energy sources in a report published in Science magazine in 2002.
    While space solar power has received essentially no government funding for two decades, fusion gets close to $1 billion per year.
    We already have an immense fusion reactor working for us in our solar system, ultimately responsible for almost all our energy choices.
    All we really need to do is make better use of it by tapping into it more directly. Any rational energy policy for the United States must support the steps needed to make that happen.

  199. eightm July 28, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Fermi Paradox Resolved
    Why can’t we see and hear many other alien civilizations assumed to exist ?
    Any extra terrestrial civilization or intelligence would have a very narrow window of time to be interested in other civilizations, interest in the outside world, in communicating with other imagined civilizations on other planets before starting to manipulate their own brains, minds, putting chips in their brains and creating an essentially solid state civilization.
    In fact the number of universes that a said civilization could explore by self manipulating itself and communicating only with in a limited area of mass – energy, is greatly larger than any number of alien civilizations. And the manipulations of mass – energy interacting with itself (that is what the Technological Singularity is essentially when brains change themselves and start manipulating themselves and talking to themselves) would be similar in any other area of the universe, hence the curiosity for other alien civilizations would not be sufficient: nothing really new could be discovered compared to mass – energy self manipulating itself.
    Mass – Energy self manipulating itself would be similar in any other point of the universe, nothing new to discover.
    Brains that self manipulate can create all kinds of new informational relationships within themselves: you can imagine, within a cubic meter, trillions of transistors, neural circuits, optic circuits that are exploring simply the combination of Mass – Energy self evolving and expressing itself. Some parts of the cube can evolve at extremely fast and different rates, so as to be creating essentially “alien civilizations” only a few centimeters apart, and interacting, communicating, and exploring all the same.
    So what would be found in a small volume of Mass – Energy self manipulating and evolving and interacting with all kinds of combinations and dependent and independent parts, Free Willoniums, Computroniums, etc. is equivalent to what would be found by civilizations that evolved millions of light years away, independently: ONLY THE INFORMATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND INTERACTIONS, ALONG WITH, EMOTIONS, LOGIC, NEW BRAIN CIRCUITS, NEW ORGANIZATIONS OF MEMORY, LOGIC, INVENTED LAWS OF PHYSICS really count, the rest is redundant.
    Check out:
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172411
    ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172275

  200. asoka July 28, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Cash, from the very first post of yours I read, you continually remind us you are Italian. Case closed.
    I thank Multicultural Canada.

  201. asoka July 28, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    This week’s WHAT IS IT? prompted this response:
    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    by Robert Frost
    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.
    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.
    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt.

  202. Cash July 28, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    It’s a free country. You can think what you like and read into my posts whatever you like whether it’s written there or not.

  203. asoka July 28, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    It’s a free country. You can think what you like and read into my posts whatever you like whether it’s written there or not.

    Thank you. I think I’ll do that.
    It’s a free country. {Thanks to our common culture, superior Anglo-Saxon culture}
    You can think what you like {that is a freedom granted to individuals by our superior Anglo-Saxon culture}
    and read into my posts whatever you like {Asoka is distorting and depreciating our superior Anglo-Saxon culture that educated him to think}
    whether it’s written there or not.{first I said my family reunion was multicultural (though they are really Anglicized-Canadians now who speak the superior King’s English), then I bashed multiculturalism because it is a threat to Canada (something which Asoka will never understand)

  204. progressorconserve July 28, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Budizwizer and others,
    I know many of us are interested in anecdotal information about consumer behavior and gas prices.
    Gas dropped under about $2.50/gallon in N Georgia a couple of weeks ago. And my wife and I took the boat to the lake.
    (Hey…if JHK can fly to Europe when he wants to…. then I can tow a little boat and crank up the hot tub on occasion!)
    Anyway, we were at the lake on a weekday…and for the first time I’ve seen in two years there was a LOT of boat traffic….skiers, pontoon boats, waverunners…you name it! It has to be the CHEAPER gas; I’m believing.
    associatedcontent.com/article/745851/2008_gas_crisis_35_years_after_the.html?cat=27
    The above link provides an interesting perspective. Basically the website says America’s oil addiction HAS TO CAUSE recessions.
    The “oil shock” of ’73 lead to a recession that led to Regan in 1980.
    Regan’s energy policies led to the “oil shock” of 2008 which led to today’s “compressive deflationary collapse.”
    Can anyone tell me why conserving and switching to renewables is NOT a good thing for the US and the planet??

  205. progressorconserve July 28, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Eleuthero,
    You misunderstand me if you think my argument for solar is somehow an argument AGAINST a pragmatic look at power generation….including nuclear.
    You said,
    ***************************************************
    Even Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog
    agrees that nuclear is an absolutely necessary
    stopgap to buy us time to find ways to make
    solar more productive per unit volume and
    weight and expense of components.
    Is Steward Brand now the “Rush Limbaugh” of
    renewables i.e., a “nattering nabob of
    negativism”? It would be best if you looked
    into this answer for yourself.
    *************************************************
    Due respect, E, I have looked into this for myself.
    There is no question that utilities have to have “base load” power furnished by coal or nuclear.
    There is also no question that PV solar could furnish a HUGE component of “peak” or non-base load power. And I mean right NOW…with today’s technology and capital.
    A couple of specifics we can argue about:
    Round numbers…say my electric bill runs $150.00/month.
    And I could take it to zero with a $40K solar system.
    Ignoring *time value of money, etc* the pay back period for my $40K investment is 23 years.
    BUT IF THE SOUTHERN COMPANY WOULD ADJUST ELECTRIC RATES TO REFLECT REAL REALITY…
    My pay back period could reduce easily to 10 years, perhaps less.
    Now, that won’t happen in Georgia because The Southern Company has an army of *gifted talented* lobbyists paid to convince Georgia legislators that REALITY BASED ELECTRIC RATES ARE HORRIBLE.
    And I’m a Southern Company investor. So you can argue I’m part of the problem.
    But at least I can SEE the problem.
    Regards,
    C

  206. trippticket July 28, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    8M, why oh why do you keep taking the blue pill? Is it willful? Or just, as Q pointed out, a lapse in medication? I’ve got an idea, let’s stop using the word “trillion” altogether. It’s a silly notion that has no conceptual equivalent in the human world outside of grand theft Wall Street.
    Quick report from the SE’ern coastal plain: everyone in my household, and everyone else I know down here, has been recently dealing with strange symptoms – chronic headaches, sore throat, fatigue, and a distaste for foods that you normally enjoy. (Mine was milk, of all things. Two days later the same gallon tasted just fine.) I’ve even quit drinking lately because it just makes all these symptoms a lot worse.
    And guess what. Those are the precise symptoms being reported by workers on the Gulf oil spill! And we’re a couple hundred miles from the Gulf!
    Great post this week, Jim, and very interesting piece last week too. Mean Dovey Colledge and I were discussing that very topic offline the week before you wrote about it. Just playing catchup from a long overdue vacation in the mountains…where we’ll hopefully be heading permanently very soon…if we’re still around to do so.
    Tripp out.

  207. trippticket July 28, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    A few good quotes to throw in the ring before I go:
    “The more you know, the less you need.” -Australian aborigine
    “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin
    “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” -President Eisenhower
    Take home lesson for me: Live simply and humbly, and get busy practicing for a different kind of world. (Even if people ridicule you for sitting and watching birds in your perma-patch, or whatever else strikes them as silly about you. When it comes time they’ll wish they had taken better notes about the things that matter!)
    PS – I like the petroleum being cheap because we’re stealing it from our kids quote in its most recent iteration!

  208. Cash July 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Tripp, about those symptoms, I wonder if there’s been people going to local doctors and reporting such things. I wonder how widespread it is. If you’re getting it where you are I wonder if it’s common up the Atlantic Florida coast. The thing is communication. It may not be getting from people who are experiencing the symptoms up the chain to govt health authorities. If there are any left functioning that is.

  209. progressorconserve July 28, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Interesting post, Tripp.
    I’m still not seeing what I consider a *normal* number of butterflies this summer.
    Of course, last winter was unusually cold in my little pocket of the mountains…..so that could be a better explanation than the oil spill.
    We’ve got 4-5 hummingbirds fighting over our feeders right now. By the end of last summer…just before they migrated south…we had about 10-12.
    I keep thinking about those little suckers migrating by themselves across the open Gulf….I hope some of them make it back next Spring.
    I Wish them Luck…and all the Rest of Us, too!!

  210. San Jose Mom 51 July 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Loved the Eisenhower quote!
    Woke up yesterday morning and some critter ate all my ripe tomatoes during the night 🙁
    SJmom

  211. messianicdruid July 28, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    “Those folks wear jeans in 0 degree Fahrenheit weather in January.”
    Have you never heard of insulated underwear {long-johns}?

  212. Funzel July 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    I knew sooner or later someone would rehash the hare brain idea of having power beamed down from thousands of satellite based solar collectors.I wonder how long it would take to eliminate all birds and bugs,that explode flying through the high power beams.The expense and dangers involved does not justify even studying it.We are looking at another American pipe dream like High Speed Rail,we can’t even protect our borders,manage a street car and bus schedule or maintain our crumbling infra structure.

  213. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    I have 4 pairs of those from REI, 2 lightweight, and 2 of middling toughness. They are synthetic and made out of nylon, polyester and or spandex. I have middle and outer layers, special socks, headgear, gloves, fleece pants etc too. My point is that the midwest locals would and do find such things weird. They just wear jeans. Some have work boots. I see a lady there in Wi who is 31 who will wear fleece pants when it is quite cold, close to – 10 F.
    Geoff

  214. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    See how important you are trip? You are the victim of negative externalities of bau (business as usual). Those externalities are covered up and denied. I bet there won’t even be official recognition of your condition. Welcome to the cancer coast. I am retreating up the the upper mw, perhaps in Wi. I expect the continued decline of industry there to help clean up the area. The evils of the corn and cow lobbies are to be lamented though.
    Geoff

  215. cheesemoose July 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Uh-oh: another Kunstler Unit! This time he’s calling for the markets to “roll over and puke” by Halloween. What pathological impulse drives Jim to keep embarrassing himself with these predictions that never pan out? Doesn’t he realize he undermines his credibility with all this crystal ball gazing? The man’s a great writer, but his enthusiasm for doom makes him seem like a nut.
    By the way, whatever happened to that bomb he said was gonna go off in the lobby of the Goldman Sachs building by Christmas last year?
    And what possible pleasure could a guy get from predicting such a thing? When his predictions don’t come true, is he happy or sad?
    Oh, James Howard Kuntsler. What an enigma you are.

  216. piltdownman July 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Cheesemoose –
    Agreed. Jim has so much good to say, and he says it in such a “zesty” way…
    But the constant predictions are a sort of fatal flaw. He himself seems compelled to go on making date-specific predictions until, one day, out of sheer luck, one of them comes true.
    On the other hand, it may just be the writer in him, and his need to present a narrative that includes built-in “coming attraction.”
    And yes, it does diminish his work….

  217. turkle July 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Geez, eightm, trillions of people, unlimited resources, free salaries for all….wow…can I have some of whatever you’re smoking?

  218. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    good for you funzel!

  219. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    LA Times had a piece on editorial page, some idealogue saying the french were all wrong by wanting muslims to not wear burkas/ face veils.

  220. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    youngsters going to ‘ art institute’ may owe 100,000…to become a cook..o i mean sous chef.
    and govt to some degree pays fo ‘for profit’ colleges.

  221. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    US doctors now are often indians.
    the jewish docs are being edged out by Hi IQ, low class immigrants from the most overcrowded country on earth [ or is china that?].

  222. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    yes asok, due to immigration.
    when the dems opened the floodgates in 1965 usa had 200,000,000..maybe less.
    end of conversation

  223. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    was it in the 1930s..a song that went
    ‘ a dollar aint worth a dime no more’
    im familiar with ry cooders version.
    but what of those on fixed incomes and most everyone else?

  224. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    ‘The second generation of our family is utterly assimilated. Culturally we are not Italian’
    uptill the 80s USA was a euro culture..doesnt matter south [ italian] north [ swede] west
    [ celt] east [ ussr]…depends how you define ‘ culture’
    skin color…euro = white
    religion…..christian or atheist [ albania is muslim]
    how far is it from UK to poland?
    not too far from switzerland to italy.

  225. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    ‘converse with supposedly intelligent, well-educated people ‘
    amazing what indoctrination does, it starts early.

  226. asia July 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    What about the houses the reds are building in Tibet?

  227. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Well, all this talk about immigration is getting my knickers in a knot. Yes, the east Indian doctors have high IQs as do the Asians getting the engineering and software jobs. So how do people feel about a world with little in the way of borders, where nations fade, and corporate and individual interests are paramount. I am no fan of free trade and want to scale back immigration.
    Geoff

  228. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Buses will not fly. BLACKS ride buses and subways. BLACKS and LATINOS are very dangerous as well as very stupid. The following is only a brief segment of the article. The type of behavior is typical everywhere that blacks and Latinos travel commonly not only in the NYC, not only in the USA, but throughout the world. Everywhere groups of young black males are menacing and bizare in their movements, threatening, or actively violent in their behavior. They are not like that because of the environment but because of their particularly scurrilous nature.
    amren.com/ar/1997/01/index.html
    The class consisted of about 80 people, with only a half dozen whites. Most of the training was given by an old white veteran who kept telling us funny and scary stories about transit workers on duty. We were told to watch out for assaults by passengers. “Every one of you will be spat at,” he insisted repeatedly, “I guarantee it.” After the class training, which lasted about four weeks, we spent two weeks on trains, operating under the supervision of experienced conductors. Right on the first day, a strong black man who stood on the platform, whose right arm was bigger than both of my thighs put together, made a sudden attempt to punch me in the face as I leaned out the window to observe the platform. The conductor who supervised me assured me that such things are very dangerous and happen every day.
    Also during the break-in period, I saw a horrible incident in the East New York section of Brooklyn. A horde of black teenagers descended upon a black boy who was sitting quietly by himself. Within seconds, they beat him from head to toe, then quickly fled before the doors closed. We tried to talk to the boy, who was in bad shape, asking him if he wanted medical help or the police. When he said he didn’t want either, we asked about the attack. It turned out he was on his way to the first day on a job. The gang beat him up because they didn’t want him to work.
    I felt their threatening presence instinctively, but the rules require that the conductor lean out the window…
    After the break-in period, I was qualified as a conductor and began to operate without supervision. It didn’t take long for our instructor’s prediction to come true. I was conducting a D train in the Bronx when I noticed a large group of black men gathered on the platform, just outside the conductor’s window. I felt their threatening presence instinctively, but the rules require that the conductor lean out the window and look down the platform in both directions before he closes the doors. I had no choice but to open my window and take the risk. As soon as I opened it, one of the men spat right into my eyes. I was wearing safety goggles but still got some of the saliva on my skin — regulations require that goggles be worn primarily to protect against passenger assaults.
    Throughout the four years I spent as a conductor, blacks and Latinos would hide behind posts or other cover and spit at me — with astonishing power and accuracy. Other times they would throw things at me, try to punch me, or yell vile and sometimes inarticulate things at me.
    One attack involved a black man of about thirty, who threw a large, glass bottle at my face. I managed to close the window just as the bottle struck — it hit with such force, that pieces of glass stuck in the acrylic window of my cab all the way to the end of the trip. As we came into the terminal, I spotted a black supervisor on the platform and couldn’t help asking: “What am I supposed to do when someone attacks me as I operate, and the attack is really nasty?” “If you have an injury, you pull the cord and call command to send for the police and the ambulance,” was the reply. “But what if you have no injuries? What if he almost killed you but you lucked out?” I continued. “Then there is no problem,” said the supervisor, “you keep on going.”
    On another occasion, when conducting a “D” train in the Bronx, a boy in a crowd of high-school students threw a heavy stone right at my face with great accuracy and force. I instinctively held up my hand to shield my face and was injured severely enough to go to the emergency room. At the hospital, the nurse told me that a bus driver, also injured in an assault, had just been treated and released a couple of hours earlier.
    When operating during the “school hours,” the early afternoon when students come home from public schools, rowdy students — none of whom was ever white or Oriental — would routinely disable the trains. They would break windows, pull the emergency break, and tear open the seats so they could cut out electric switches. If the train crew couldn’t fix the problem, we would discharge the passengers and transfer the train to the storage yard for repair. When we discharged trains, black and Latino passengers would threaten violence, accusing us of deliberately disabling trains so that we could “go home early.”
    My ordeal did not end with the work-day. The commute home was just as agonizing as time on the job. In the late hours, when I usually made my way home, the trains were largely bereft of normal, working people. Often there were gangs of “youths” roaming the trains, walking from car to car, jumping on seats, starting fights, and harassing passengers. I often locked myself in the conductor’s cab, as I did on the job.
    ***

  229. jeffgeb July 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    just read this. lots of long threads today but this is eerily on sinc with what jhk is consistently speaking to: infowars.com/the-year-america-dissolved/

  230. San Jose Mom 51 July 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    My daughter and I just got back from volunteering for 3 hours at a community center in a skanky part of San Jose. We put donated clothing on hangers and sorted it out just as fast as we could. There was and endless line of people needing clothes for themselves and their children. Fifteen “customers” were allowed in the “store” at a time. They had 10 minutes to make their selections and were allowed five items for each person. Then another group, then another group……
    A lot of the donated items were really nice (especially cute baby clothes)! But some of the donated items were crazy…LIKE DUH, THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO NEED FOR DONATED G-STRINGS, GARTER BELTS, AND SLEAZY UNDERTHINGS. Under no circumstances should they be encouraged to procreate.
    Some of the children spoke English and would translate for their parents. The druggies spoke in word salads.
    One guy with two kids had a huge gang tattoo across his neck–hideous. Nobody on the planet would/should hire him for an honest job.
    Instead of feeling all “do-gooder-warm-and-fuzzy,” I feel hopeless. There is so much need in California. Lots of the kids needed shoes, but unfortunately, we only had like three pairs.
    I’m going to poor myself a glass of wine.

  231. asia July 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    u r a good person, now welcome to reality!
    as a youth [1970?] id see sally struthers in the ‘ save the children’ ads.
    now…2 or 3 billion children later..well,now yr homework is to read
    ‘ THE WORLDS MOST DANGEROUS PLACES’ and
    ‘ ALIEN NATION’ by p. brimelow
    at 4th and pico in santa monica was a place
    [ st joes center] id see the wetbacks and russians, some with nice cars goin in to get clothes, food, go to xmas parties, whatever.
    folks tried savin the children,,,now maybe its too late to save the nation and ourselves.
    yr ‘ There is so much need in California’ is priceless.
    in the 30 years ive been here the populations gone up like 50% as the turd world dumps its criminals on us.
    code pinks protests over arizona law are disgusting but conneect the dots from soros to his ‘open society’ to code pinks protests, not everyones stupid, connect the dots.

  232. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    It is about time.
    Liberal white women are the last ones who wake up to the realities that people really are different. We are not all the same. Also, the differences are not just due to environmental differences. A lot of them are genetic. People with low iqs and criminal tendencies create impoverished dangerous living conditions as much as they are victimized by others.
    Geoff
    Sacramento, Ca
    PS
    Are you ready to vote against continueing to allow the moronic criminal, generally tropical people, to continue invading this country?

  233. wagelaborer July 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Actually, I believe that what he is saying is that when the rate of profit on investment falls, the ruling class turns to financial speculation, because for a while the returns are higher.
    Take the USA (please). After 1973, wages began falling in relative terms. I don’t feel like Googling it, but if the minimum wage had kept track with inflation, it would be around $15/hr now, and if it had kept track with labor productivity, it would be around $25/hr. (Or close to that).
    So. Workers have been paid less, meaning that capitalists got more. What did they do with that money? There is only so much the rich can spend, only so many houses they can buy. With John McCain, it’s 7 or maybe 8.
    They starting buying commercial real estate, buying out other companies, living large, etc.
    But there was so much that some just went to banks.
    As Marx points out, if a bank has a certain amount of gold (now it’s just computer entries) they can leverage that, or loan it out, for much more.
    Which they did.
    And what did workers do about their lower wages? Worked longer hours, wives went to work (as I pointed out in my Mother’s Day blog), took more than one job (remember Bush congratulating the woman with 3 jobs? “It’s the American way.” Damn straight it is. European workers work less hours)
    Anyway, American workers also went into debt. In other words, the borrowed what they used to earn, with interest.
    The ruling class increased its total wealth, and then lent it back to the workers, with interest.
    And now it’s falling apart, because obviously, workers who made too little to live on their wages, can’t live on their wages and pay back the interest. Although most are trying. The lower income people are better at paying their bills than higher income people.
    And I thought I made it clear that there was no real cash, that it was imaginary money.
    I agree that the subsidies to car transportation should stop immediately.

  234. asoka July 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Progress or Conserve said: “I’m trying to start a good ol’e fashioned Scotch Irish FIGHT ABOUT SOLAR HERE!!”
    Asoka said: “Space solar” is the way to go.
    Funzel said: “I knew sooner or later someone would rehash the hare brain idea of having power beamed down from thousands of satellite based solar collectors.”
    asia said: “Good for you Funzel!”
    I think we have the beginnings of a good ol’e fashioned fight about solar.
    My contention is that space-based solar is at about the stage airplane flight was when the Wright brothers flew a few hundred feet. People guffawed: “It won’t scale” “It’s not safe” “God doesn’t want us to fly”
    In my previous post I provided facts and hard numbers. Your opinion is interesting, but with no evidence to support it, is wrong-headed.
    Space-based Solar Energy is renewable, i.e., sustainable, is zero-carbon emissions, and is both technologically and economically feasible. It is criminal that it is not be developed more rapidly, given its potential to free us from dependency on oil from dictators.
    Here are my reasons for saying space-based solar will be the energy of the future. Let’s take it a point at a time and see if you can provide anything to back up your objections:
    1) The sun doesn’t always shine on Earth, but in space, it shines all the time. Do you agree, or disagree with this proposition?
    2) The sun’s rays can be converted into a focused microwave or laser beam, and zapped down to receiving stations on Earth. Do you agree? If not, why not?
    I say proof of concept has already been realized (equivalent to what the Wright brothers did for flight). Technologically speaking, John C. Mankins, a former NASA executive and expert in space-based solar power, in 2008, led a team that captured solar energy from a Maui mountaintop and zapped it almost 150 km to Hawaii’s main island, proof it could be done.
    4) Safety issues of space-based solar have already been addressed. The energy beam, which is about two miles wide, would have a heating effect on humans or animals, like being out on a hot sunny day, minus the sunburn. Airplanes can fly through it. Birds will be able to transit it. It’s not like a death ray. The beam will travel down to a fenced-in receiving station, where it will be converted to electricity; workers carrying out tasks inside the beam would be shielded from it.
    5) Space-based solar does not generate waste (nuclear plants do), space-based solar does not generate safety concerns (nuclear plants do), and space-based solar does not require enormous amounts of water for cooling (as nuclear plants do).
    Japan, a country with few energy resources of its own, announced plans to install a one gigawatt system — roughly equivalent of a medium-sized nuclear power plant — in geostationary orbit, and has already hired companies and researchers to make it happen.
    In the wake of the Louisiana oil spill, astronaut Buzz Aldrin was also talking up space-based solar. “The timing of the oil catastrophe,” he recently said, “is a great opportunity for re-evaluating solar energy from space.”
    Funzel, Progress or Conserve, I would welcome a discussion, and could you include some facts and data this time?
    Space-based solar is the future as far as renewable, sustainable, zero-emissions, scalable energy is concerned.

  235. wagelaborer July 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Yeah, I don’t think so, and this is why.
    Number one, why would his analysis of capitalism be taboo, because his utopian ideas didn’t bear fruit?
    Number two, if you want to talk about murderous oppression using a prophet’s ideas, no one can beat Christianity, starting with the Catholic church, with its Inquisition, the witch burnings, the heretic burnings, the Crusades, etc. But it’s not just the Catholics, of course, and it goes on today. The US military is being taken over by right wing Christians, which is pretty scary, cause those people are Crazy!
    Anyway, you can quote Christ all you want, and no one ever says, “Whoa, back off. Look at all the torture, murder and misery caused by that guy!”
    So I don’t think that’s it.
    I think that they want us confused. I think they want us to blame stupid individuals, evil individuals, lack of regulation, etc.
    They don’t want us to look at this problem as a systemic problem. They don’t want us to question the entire capitalist meme of continual growth on a finite planet.
    Obama stands up there and announces that what this overextended citizenry needs is more credit and more growth and the talking heads agree, because they aren’t allowed to scoff and roll their eyes! As if they would, because they’re just as brainwashed as the rest of us.

  236. wagelaborer July 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    Silly prog. You really think that the saber rattling towards Iran has anything to do with the US REALLY believing that Iran has a nuclear program?
    You’ve been watching too much corporate media!!
    Iran has oil, just like Iraq does.
    Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, just like Iraq doesn’t.
    Iranians should not be praying to be bombed, because that would in no way take them off the US target list.
    They have that oil, remember?
    And if we’re going to talk about missing nukes, what about the one missing from the Minot base in North Dakota?
    The official story was that six nuclear missiles were “accidentally” loaded onto an Air Force plane and flown to Barksdale, Louisiana, and unloaded, and about ten hours later someone noticed that there were five nuclear missiles, and there shouldn’t have been any!
    Gosh, how did that happen? Is there just a big pile of nuclear missiles and a big pile of non-nuclear missiles and they accidentally got switched?
    Guess so.
    But that leaves one missing nuclear weapon.

  237. wagelaborer July 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    Asia, in our culture it’s considered important to use complete sentences, proper punctuation, and, most of all, to make sense!

  238. wagelaborer July 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    It’s like going to Cape Cod and seeing all the lighthouse kitsch, and the paintings of sailboats, and then they say that windmills are ugly.
    Now how is a sailboat beautiful and a windmill ugly?
    I’d rather see a windmill on the horizon any day!

  239. treebeardsuncle July 28, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Ok. I thought we were talking about making money through debt. Well, sometimes speculating on stocks or other financial entities appreciating, can be profitable. It is hard to separate out speculation from investment. Oftentimes what are imagined to be productive assets like railroads, or assets that generate returns by lending out money at interest, like houses, are over-produced and the resulting glut then drives down prices.
    You wrote:
    Actually, I believe that what he is saying is that when the rate of profit on investment falls, the ruling class turns to financial speculation, because for a while the returns are higher.
    ***
    So the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. To those who have much, more is given, whereas, from those who have little, what little they have is taken away. Middle-class people are just poor people with big debt loads. Notice how folks accept the dishonesty as well as the unequal rewards and punishments that come with the vast income inequalities.

  240. wagelaborer July 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    Your point is?
    Here’s what I get out of that story.
    Number one – pay women and men a substantial sum for voluntary sterilization.
    Number two – provide full employment for all, so that unemployed youths do not roam the streets.
    When my mom first saw her new neighbor many years ago, in their new subdivision, he was wearing a zoot suit, and she thought, geez, a gang member, just my luck.
    But, he got a job in a machine shop and was gainfully employed for many years.
    True, he got drunk on the weekends and occasionally got into fights, but there was no real violence and he wasn’t in a gang.
    He grew up in South Central, the son of Scottish immigrants, so you know how rowdy those people are!!

  241. wagelaborer July 28, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Yeah, I remember reading an article about a planeload of people who flew into a small town in Alaska, with one doctor.
    So when they all started going to that one doctor with their symptoms, he was able to make the plane connection.
    Most people deplane and scatter, so there is no reason to connect the dots, if there was an onboard illness.
    I can tell you that we in the ER don’t make any reports or connections.

  242. progressorconserve July 28, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    Asoka,
    As you said
    **************************************************
    Progress or Conserve said: “I’m trying to start a good ol’e fashioned Scotch Irish FIGHT ABOUT SOLAR HERE!!”
    Asoka said: “Space solar” is the way to go.
    **************************************************
    Just so you know…a good fight is an honorable thing…kicking a puppy is not so good….
    And that “kicking a puppy” thing is how I’m feeling lately when dealing with you and TBU
    Anyway…I give provable figures that I can put solar PV on my roof for $10,000 per KWH.
    On the internet I find that new nuclear costs at least $5,000 per KWH.
    The best, most optimistic figure I can find for space-based solar is $50,000 per KWH.
    AT LEAST 5 TIMES THE PROVEN PRICE OF SOLAR ON MY OWN RISK-FREE ROOF!
    Now I understand that there are unproven costs and risks associated with any strategy.
    So, I’ll tell you what….you talk the Southern Company into spending $1billion of new money on solar PV….which will supply 60,000 Georgia homes with non-polluting FREE energy for the next 30 years….USING TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY AND TODAY’S CAPITAL.
    And I’ll help you push a $ 5 billions for space based energy…to supply the same 60,000 houses.
    Earth based PV solar wins the battle, though….you might want to admit that up front.

  243. Vision Cube July 28, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    Once in a while a dude strolls into the local gym I frequent sporting tattoos on every square inch of his body, including where his eyebrows used to be. Occasionally he brings his young son along and I notice when he does that he looks around for validation, almost parading the fact that he really is normal(look everyone,I have a son!) despite the vulgar violation of his anatomy. Sorry, Sport, you’re a freak and I feel more than a little sorry for your son.
    Did I mention he was white? (Maybe he spent too much time in “the tropics” ).

  244. wagelaborer July 29, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    What you said!!
    It’s about time reckless motorists were held accountable.

  245. treebeardsuncle July 29, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    My point is this. Buses, light rail, subways are dangerous because of the presence of large numbers of young male blacks and hispanics.
    g

  246. wagelaborer July 29, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    Propane is a pain in the butt!

  247. wagelaborer July 29, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    You are being disingenuous Vlad.
    Marx was not for free trade. He pointed out the disadvantages for the working class and then, at the very last sentence, said, well, if I have to choose, let me go for the one that will drive people to revolution.
    marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/01/09ft.htm#marx
    This is a Sophie’s Choice situation.
    It’s as if you said to me that I had to vote Democrat or Republican (shudders a little) and I pointed out the perfidy of the Republicans, their pure evil, their greed, their nasty self-righteous hatefulness, and then said, but if I have to choose, I choose the Republicans, because at least the people watch them. Cheney/Bush tried to bomb Iran and destroy Social Security, but people were watching and stopped them. Obama is getting away with it, because idiots “believe” in him. So it’s better to have the worse people in, because then our lives will be better.
    And then you prevaricate and say Marx way for it!!
    OMG!

  248. wagelaborer July 29, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Yeah, we’ll never agree about that.
    My point was that even rowdy young men can be calmed by full time employment.
    I used my Scottish neighbor as an example, but you’re pretty fixated on genetics.

  249. Vision Cube July 29, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    What’s up with all this pugnacious Scots-Irish bravado? With all the millions of dollars to be made in pugilistic contests, one almost never hears of a fighter of Scots-Irish descent. Don’t they like money, and I do mean serious money? Ken Buchanan was the last Scot I heard of entering the ring and he was carried out after suffering a Roberto ‘Manos De Piedra’ Duran blitz. Of course, there are the Irish counterparts, Gerry Cooney and Jerry Quarry, but the last real serious Irish fighter was Billy “ what’s the use of being Irish if you can’t be stupid once in a while” Conn. (He uttered that famous line after inexplicably deciding to switch the strategy that had him up on points and go to-to toe with Joe Louis in the 13th round–he was knocked out).
    I believe the reputation of fighting prowess developed because in the early stages of the country they were key players in a limited racial landscape.
    Not that it really matters; I was just curious in light of all the recent Scots-Irish fighting references. And even if they don’t step into the big money pugilistic rings, the sure look good donning those bagpipes and kilts at the weekend Highlands festivals.

  250. wagelaborer July 29, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    Millions of dollars in boxing or trillions of dollars in war profiteering?
    Getting your face smashed in or piloting a drone assassinating people with no risk?
    I’m guessing that the pugnacious “fighting Irish” spirit is being harvested in new ways.

  251. Vision Cube July 29, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    Wage,
    You wield a razor sharp insight!

  252. asoka July 29, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    PorC said:

    Anyway…I give provable figures that I can put solar PV on my roof for $10,000 per KWH. On the internet I find that new nuclear costs at least $5,000 per KWH. The best, most optimistic figure I can find for space-based solar is $50,000 per KWH. AT LEAST 5 TIMES THE PROVEN PRICE OF SOLAR ON MY OWN RISK-FREE ROOF!

    We must keep in mind that we are comparing mature technologies with a new technology. I understand your concern is what you can do right now. But for the future of our grandchildren a different strategy may be more advantageous.
    For space based solar power to replace fossil fuel, it must sell for 1–2 cents per kWh. To reach this sales price requires a launch cost to GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbiter) of ?$100/kg.
    Companies are coming up with lighter weight GEOs, but today, to reach this cost figure at 100 tonne/hour are two stages to GEO where a Skylon-rocket-plane first stage provides five km/sec and a laser stage provides 6.64 km/sec.
    The combination appears to reduce the cost to GEO to under $100/kg at a materials flow rate of ?1 million tonnes per year, enough to initially construct 200 GW per year of power satellites. Compare that to your rooftop or nuclear power plant outputs.
    An extended Pro Forma business case indicates that peak investment to profitability might be ?$65 B. How does that compare to Southern Company’s profitability, or the profitability of a nuclear power plant?
    Over a 25-year period, production rises to two TW per year to undercut and replace most other sources of energy. Thinking of the grandchildren here and the benefits of space-based solar — long-term — that Southern Company and nuclear power cannot supply.
    Energy on this scale solves other supply problems such as water and liquid fuels. It could even allow removal of CO2 from the air and storage of carbon as synthetic oil in empty oil fields.

  253. treebeardsuncle July 29, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Yeah, sometimes a Scotsman can. However, 6% of the male population are pyschopaths. Even when employed, they will still make trouble.
    g

  254. wagelaborer July 29, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    Especially when they’re employed as Vice President!

  255. treebeardsuncle July 29, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    Hi. The Scotts-Irish were influential in the formative stages of America back in the 18th and 19th centuries. They fought well back in the time of the AR and the CW, and were tough indian fighters and frontiersmen soon. Their genotype and culture forms much of the American south especially the upper south.
    Geoff

  256. scarlet runner July 29, 2010 at 5:46 am #

    “…were crazy…LIKE DUH, THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO NEED FOR DONATED G-STRINGS, GARTER BELTS, AND SLEAZY UNDERTHINGS.”
    I done tol’ my white girlfriend not to donate dem skanky things, but the ho done it anyway.

  257. Cupid Stunt July 29, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    I have just discovered the Kaiser Report which has extended my weekly dose of reality checks, available Tuesday and Thursday on RT. Last Tuesday covered the naked shorting of the market silver which has apparently been going on for years. maxkeiser.com/watch/the-keiser-report/keiser-report-63-27-july-2010-guest-ned-naylor-leyland/
    Apparently physical silver is hard to obtain in London and warehouses are charging for storage for the first time implying a significant movement of physical silver and gold in private hands. Which leads one to wonder just how much precious metals actually exist. I seem to remember that this is one of the things mentioned in The Long Emergency and I have not managed to find any answers to the exact values on the internet so if someone could help me with this I would be grateful. I would like to know the ratio of precious metals that actually exist compared with the traded volumes of notional or electronic metals in the form of ETFs (exchange traded funds), “black box” non allocated deposits, and other complex financial instruments involving precious metals as counter party plays.
    The world produces approximately 2500 tons of gold annually (peak gold production was apparently back in 2001) and approximately nine times as much silver, much of which is consumed industrially. Moving on to global traded volumes – it is hard to get at the data (please help me with this, someone). If one takes a months trading on a single month in India where 202 million contracts are arranged (80 % electronically). Assuming that the smallest unit traded was 10g of gold, and that this was repeated monthly for 12 months, with similar activity in London, New York, Frankfurt and Tokyo, that gives around 12 million tons of gold traded annually, or nearly five thousand times more than the total global annual production. Please forgive me if my calculations are flawed, I am not a mathematician, I am a simple swine herd. I can however understand if the data underpinning my argument is genuinely hard to find.
    Maybe this can be explained away by the fact that a small amount of gold changes hands very quickly and people just don’t want to hang on to it for more than a few minutes, or get bored of it very quickly. This is a perfectly plausible explanation and I now feel rather foolish to have even considered the possibility that another simply massive fraud is being perpetrated.

  258. Cupid Stunt July 29, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    The point that I was trying to make is that in a bag containing 5,000 gold coins thare is only one that is not a fake, maybe fewer.

  259. ozone July 29, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    That IS interesting, ain’t it?
    Consider that the Big Boys gambling monies/losses (that were LEVERAGED into existence) got covered with actual revenues taken out of working peoples’ hides… at 100 “real” pennies on every leveraged-into-existence [non-real] dollar.
    Nice work, if you can get it. It really doesn’t shock me that the shack is a-burnin’ down. Frauds and swindles, indeed.

  260. trippticket July 29, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    TBU, Chinese economic strength depends on ‘Muricans buying their cheap plastic crap. Maybe it’s a sad balancing act to behold, but if we aren’t buying, they are taking over. Buying out the opposition worked for Orange Holland but history only repeats in outline. The Chinese messed up on this one. They took the United States for a country that would honor its obligations…
    Silly, I know.

  261. trippticket July 29, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Vlad, you’re so obtuse sometimes, especially for a smart guy. People aren’t choosing to get dumber and lazier, tropical or temperate. This is the natural progression of population infill. Food for the masses gets crappier and crappier, brains get duller and duller, standardized tests get easier and easier (to make it all look legit), and the wealthy elite siphon more and more out of the peasant classes until the commoners have had enough and choose not to play anymore, like some of us have obviously done. (Takes going back to real food though I think, to make the mental leap.)
    This is the ultimate end, the only end, of expansion and conglomeratization. But, as Jared Diamond says, this is the just the long-term trend so far. I think that as energy gets harder to obtain, populations will shrink, societal organization will shrink progressively, food will get better, brainpower will improve, societal decay will ebb, and Neanderthals like you will finally disappear from the gene pool.
    Didn’t you read Guns, Germs, and Steel? Did you just completely dismiss his arguments? I thought it was all pretty well justified. And I also think Wage’s comments lately have been just dynamite.
    You’re slackin. Maybe you need to ease off the sauce.

  262. trippticket July 29, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Sorry, should have been “if we aren’t buying, they aren’t taking over.”

  263. Jon Husband July 29, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    20 years ago I spent a couple of days driving through various towns and villages in Slovenia and the northern part of what used to be Yugoslavia.
    Virtually all the houses, duplexes and apartment buildings in these towns and villages had solar panels (and water tanks) on the roofs.
    The people there tend to be less ‘wealthy’ than in North A,erica, but from what I could see enjoyed their rhythm of life in thise towns and villages. Less material affluence, but more time, more socializing and (again, from what I could see) happier (and certainly less ‘beefy’) people.

  264. hugho July 29, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    simply superb analysis JIM. One of your best posts ever!

  265. SNAFU July 29, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Progressorconserve,
    My BULLSHIT LIGHT went to full bright when I stumbled upon this statement you made last week:
    “I took a training class sometime, somewhere….and the instructor stated that a single standard 80 CF SCUBA bottle filled to 3000 psi with air….had enough energy….if properly concentrated to lift a 40 ton fire engine 40 feet straight up….in a millisecond….that’s dangerous power, folks. “oops, I meant 40,000 pounds worth of fire truck…20 tons total…40 feet into the air in a millisecond”.
    In a previous post you also slipped these statement into the record:
    “*BS Biology and Chemistry
    *MS Biology
    *Employed in science related fields in private industry and/or government service for over 35 years.
    *Active amateur and “semi-pro” SCUBA diver since 1974 with a LOT of experience in the Gulf.”
    I am only an old retired pseudo scientist, BS in astronautical engineering with the majority of my work experience as an electronic engineer, be that as it may let’s examine the premises of your post, via high school Newtonian physics:
    1. Power is the rate at which work is done or P=W/t (power=work/time). Energy is a property which enables some entity to do work of which there are three general categories kinetic, potential and rest. KE=1/2mv^2 (kinetic energy=1/2 mass * velocity squared), PE=wh (potential energy = weight * height; wherein weight is a function of the effects of local gravitational acceleration upon the mass of the body which is exhibiting the characteristic we call weight and the height is the distance to an immovable object (relative to the weight) which would arrest the motion of the weight were it released and allowed to convert it’s PE into KE and rest energy is E=m*c^2 (energy = mass * speed of light squared) Einstein’s famous equation which relates mass and energy.
    2. Your SCUBA instructors obvious intent to scare the shit out of your class concerning careless handling of the pressurized tanks should have set your BULLSHIT flags to waving. From high school Newtonian physics:
    a. Vave = s/t (average velocity = distance/time)
    b. s = Vave*t (distance = average velocity * time)
    c, a = (Vf-V0)/t = (velocity final – velocity initial)/time
    d. s = 1/2at^2 + V0t (distance = 1/2 acceleration * time^2, when V0=0 s = 1/2at^2)
    3. Using the following initial conditions per your description for our fire truck: V0 = 0ft/sec at the surface of the Earth (truck is sitting there), a continuous fixed acceleration (I selected this since determining an unknown rate of change of acceleration would be impossible) is impressed upon it and it must pass through 40ft AGL (above ground level) .001sec later. Therefore we must reach the average velocity at 20ft AGL and pass through 40ft AGL at 80000ft/sec so as to arrive at an average velocity of 40000ft/sec to enable the truck to travel the 40ft in .001 second. Then a = Vf/t = 80000ft/sec/.ooo1sec or a = 80,000,000 ft/sec^2, alternatively we could rearrange the distance equation s=1/2at^2 and arrive at a= 2s/t^2 which also yields 80ft/(1*10^-3sec)^2 or 80,000,000 ft/sec^2 which is approximately 2,484,472 times the approximately 32.2 ft/sec^2 acceleration of the Earth’s gravitational effect. WOW!!! That is an astounding acceleration rate when you consider that at the surface of our local star (we call it the Sun) the gravitational effect is about 28 times the gravitational effect on the Earth.
    4. Let us take a glance at the forces and energies involved to fling said fire truck upward with such velocities. Again using high school Newtonian physics:
    a. Your 40000 pound fire engine has (working in pounds, seconds and slugs units) 40000#/32.2ft/sec/sec= approx 1242 slugs of mass or 1242#sec^2/ft.
    b. An 80 CF SCUBA tank is approximately 0.4 cubic feet containing roughly 80 cubic feet of dry air at standard atmosphere pressures and temperature which weighs approximately 30 pounds empty and 36 pounds full (my calculation 5.998 pounds for 80 CF of air) which yields 6/32.2 = 0.186 slugs or 0.186#sec^2/ft for the air and 30/32.2 = 0.932 slugs.
    c. To accelerate the truck at 80*10^6 ft/sec^2 we use F=ma to determine the force required. F = 1242 #sec^2/ft * 80*10^6ft/sec^2 = 9.936*10^10# (99.36 billion #)force and I thought the acceleration was enormous. The two solids and three liquid rocket motors on the Space shuttle at lift off develop approximately 7.5*10^6# (7.5 million #) of thrust. Another WOW!!! Our lowly SCUBA tank is going to impart roughly 13,248 times as much thrust as the 5 Space Shuttle motors do at lift off; but of course it only has to provide this massive thrust for a mere 40 feet.
    d. The momentum of the truck at 40ft AGL will be mv = 1242*8*10^4 = 9.936*10^7 pound seconds.
    e. Consider this,; with a muzzle velocity of 3000 ft/sec the time for a projectile fired from a 30/06 to exit the muzzle of a 24 inch length barrel is about .00133sec with an average velocity of 1500ft/sec and an acceleration of 2,250,000 ft/sec^2 or 69,876 g’s applied to a 150 grain projectile (there are 7000 grains to a pound) it leaves the barrel with about 3000 ft lbs of kinetic energy and 2.0 #sec momentum. The firetruck will pass through 40 feet with KE = 1/2*1242*(8*10^4)^2 = 3.97*10^12 ft lbs of energy a mere 1.3248 billion times the muzzle energy of the 30/06 and with a momentum of 9.936*10^7 #sec.
    f. For the air in the SCUBA tank to impart the required motion to the truck the impulse delivered by the air in the tank must equal the impulse of the truck at 40 ft AGL traveling at 80,000 ft/sec. By the way 80,000 ft/sec is about 3 times the speed required to reach low Earth orbit and more than twice the speed needed to escape the Earth’s gravitational effects. If we apply Ft = m(v2-v1) to the air using F = 9.936*19^10#, t = .001sec, m = 0.186 #sec^2/ft v2 = final velocity of the air mass and v1 = the initial velocity of the air mass which is 0: we find 9.936*10^10*1*10^-3 = 9.936*10^7#sec = 0.186 #sec^2/ft*v2 or v2 = 5.342*10^8 ft/sec or merely a little more than half the speed of light, (0.544c); lots of luck attaining that velocity for the air in the tank.
    g. Instantaneously slicing the top off of the SCUBA tank (perhaps using FLSC (flexible linear shaped charge)) affixed upside down to the CG point on the bottom of the fire truck would give us a plug flow velocity of Mach 1 at sea level or about 1125ft/sec and assuming the entire mass of air in the tank is expelled at this velocity (it won’t be) we arrive at mv = 1125ft/sec*0.186#sec^2/ft = 209.25#sec. The highest exhaust gas velocity for a chemical rocket motor of about Mach 15 is achieved by using fluorine as an oxidizer and hydrogen as a fuel with a bell shaped rocket nozzle designed using a three dimensional version of Adolf Busemann’s two dimensional supersonic flow expansion equations. Allowing for your non chemical reaction SCUBA tank to expel it’s air mass at 15 Mach or 16,875 ft/sec it will produce a paltry 3138.75#sec of momentum which would impart a velocity of 2.53 ft/sec to the truck (ignoring the mass of the SCUBA tank). (3138.75/1242 = 2.53 ft/sec) Using the knowledge that the Earth’s gravitation effect of 32.2 ft/sec^2 will act in opposition to the upward velocity of the truck we can equate the distance equations s=1/2at^2 and s=vt to obtain 32.2/2t^2 = 2.53t or t = 2.53/16.1sec or t = 0.1571sec. This means that the Earth’s gravitational effect will arrest the upward motion of the truck after 0.1571 sec or 0.397 feet above the Earth (s=vt = 2.53*.1571) and for plug (1 Mach) flow the truck will not be lifted any appreciable distance since the mass of the truck exceeds the momentum of the air mass by roughly six times; I calculate about 0.021 inch.
    h. Let us suppose that a careless diver knocked the fitting completely off the end of a SCUBA tank and the air was expelled at 1 Mach with the tank lying on it’s side such that the mv of the air (about 209#sec) is equated to the mv of the tank we find that the tank will be accelerated to about 224 ft/sec (not quite since there will be drag losses we are not accounting for). This will give the tank a kinetic energy KE = 1/2mv^2 = 1/2*30/32.2*224^2 = about 23,434 ft# of energy roughly 7.8 times the muzzle energy of the aforementioned 30/06 projectile. Very capable of causing serious injury or death but not nearly as impressive as telling your SCUBA class that the energy in the tanks could fling a 40000 pound truck 40 feet in the air in one millisecond.
    SNAFU
    P.S. for your perusal I include the following concerning our civil war:
    . Federal Army Casualties
    Killed in action or mortally wounded
    110,100
    Killed in action
    67,088
    Mortally wounded
    43,012
    Died of disease
    224,580
    Died as prisoners of war
    30,192
    Other types of non-battle deaths:
    24,881
    Accidents
    4,114
    Drowned
    4,944
    Murdered
    520
    Killed after capture
    104
    Suicide
    391
    Executed by Federal authorities
    267
    Executed by the enemy
    64
    Sunstroke
    313
    Other causes
    2,043
    Cause not stated
    12,121
    Total Deaths
    389,753
    Wounded in Action
    275,175
    Total casualties, 1861 to 1865
    664,928
    3. Confederate Army Casualties
    (statistics incomplete)
    Killed in action or mortally wounded
    94,000
    Died of disease
    164,000
    Died as prisoners of war
    31,000
    Total Deaths
    289,000
    Wounded in action
    194,026
    Total casualties, 1861 to 1865
    483,026

  266. Vision Cube July 29, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    A chilling deflationary assessment by Stoneleigh over at The Automatic Earth–I have a sense she is right. Thoughts?
    theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/

  267. San Jose Mom 51 July 29, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Yikes Snafu!
    I feel like I’ve hit over the head with a giant math book that I haven’t studied in decades. 🙂
    SJMom

  268. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Vision Cube said:

    Wage,
    You wield a razor sharp insight!

    Indeed you do, and your most recent spate of comments are excellent even by those standards.
    Having said that, I don’t fundamentally disagree with your points, but I do feel compelled to point out that many, if not all, countries that embraced Marxism became gruesome totalitarianisms.
    You said:

    Number one, why would his analysis of capitalism be taboo, because his utopian ideas didn’t bear fruit?

    I didn’t mean that it should be taboo, but was remarking on the fact that it IS taboo, and not just because of Corporate Propaganda.

    Number two, if you want to talk about murderous oppression using a prophet’s ideas, no one can beat Christianity, starting with the Catholic church, with its Inquisition, the witch burnings, the heretic burnings, the Crusades, etc…
    …Anyway, you can quote Christ all you want, and no one ever says, “Whoa, back off. Look at all the torture, murder and misery caused by that guy!”

    Actually, it’s not “no one”, but it is a number of people so statistically small that for the purposes of Advertising-Marketing-Corporate World, it translates to “no one”.
    That is people who are self-aware and conscious, perhaps the smallest segment of the human population, made smaller by the fact that people of this type have been murdered throughout history by Authoritarians, their cruel henchmen, while their gullible followers stand to the side and cheer what will eventually be turned against them.
    In this period of softer power and Inverted Totalitarianism (Google it, if you haven’t heard of it already), such brutal actions might wake the sheep, so instead the term “consciousness” ha basically been edited out of our laughable infantilized, Corporate-propagandized National Dialogue.
    Just like Orwell prophesied, if the words don’t exist to describe a thing, that thing disappears down the ol’ Memory Hole and can’t spread to the populace at large.
    Thus has it always been, thus it almost certainly shall be until and if our species mercifully goes extinct.
    The whole thing is an exercise in the fact that’s it’s easier to figure out the right questions to ask than it is to come up with answers, particularly when homo greedicus is the subject.
    Which brings me back full circle to your post and The Big Question: If Capitalism and representative democracy wind up being slightly different but at bottom the same carbon copies of feudal societies, and Communism and democratic socialism wind up being slightly different but at bottom the same carbon copies of feudal societies, then maybe the problem isn’t the systems but the human beings that make up those systems.
    And, no matter what that system is or where it comes from, it eventually finds it’s way back to the same old place of the rich getting richer, the strong dominating the weak using sophist mouthpieces and peoples’ own natural tendencies towards obedience, inertia, and easy manipulation.

    I think that they want us confused. I think they want us to blame stupid individuals, evil individuals, lack of regulation, etc.

    Of course they do. Why should this time be different than any other time in human history with regard to the realtionship between the Powerful and the Powerless?
    Just for the record, being conscious and self-aware doesn’t make a person better than anyone else and doesn’t make a person immune to human weaknesses and frailties. It just means our weaknesses lie in other directions.

  269. SNAFU July 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Howdy San Jose Mom,
    It was an interesting refresher and this is the short version. Please check my math/physics for me :-).
    SNAFU

  270. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    You said to SanJoseMom51:

    Are you ready to vote against continueing (sic) to allow the moronic criminal, generally tropical people, to continue invading this country?

    Now THAT was funny! Do you REALLY think that voting for Corporate Brand A Soapflakes vs. Corporate Brand B Soapflakes means you’ll get something other than soapflakes?
    Sure, voting for the RW Corporate Authoritarians will stop immigration. Except for the fact that, in spite of what they SAY to their gullible followers, Corporate Authoritarian LEADERS simply LOVE immigration, especially the illegal variety.
    Keep the labor cheap, and keeps the Plebeians from getting to uppity, knowing they can so easily be replaced. Illegal immigration is a two-fer for the aristocracy, as the cheap labor is now powerless to complain, as well!
    What you say is as true as when people voted in 2008 for “an FDR” to stop the wars, torture, expansion of corporate power, regulatory capture, neutralization of media, and the restoration of a trustworthy, transparent voting system.
    Could you fail to notice that for 8 years, Bush/Cheney got pretty much everything they wanted EXCEPT on immigration? Maybe they didn’t want it as much as The Reality Show would have you believe they wanted it. (guffaws loudly)
    Keep your eyes on the Reality Show, Geoff. It’s there to keep you entertained and confused. It’s there to make sure that anytime you add 2 and 2 the answer comes out 3 or 5, but never 4.
    Get mad at minorities, get mad at nonsensical social wedge issues, get mad at Liberals, do anything but get mad at Your Masters.

  271. treebeardsuncle July 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Snafu, you are very good. Was wondering how you came up with m = 0.186 #sec^2/ft v2. Also some of your units are a little unfamiliar like slugs and grains and the use of # on occasion. Am familiar with the mks system. So were you saying the tank would only cause the truck to go up about a tenth of an inch? I thought the tank having that much of an impact was preposterous too.
    Geoff

  272. asia July 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    ‘and Neanderthals like you will finally disappear from the gene pool’
    Wishful thinking? I know someone in USA, many of his family have moved here from the Phillipines, he thinks like we do to some degree and he wants to stay here because,’ he future is like whats already going on in Mexico and Columbia,warlords with machine guns each in control of some turf.’
    So much as you dislike Vlad and his racist ilk the OPPOSITE of what you posit may be true.
    perhaps, maybe.
    In any case yr ‘ positive but draconian future where 90% of 6 billion ‘ die off’ doesnt seem like much to look forward to.

  273. treebeardsuncle July 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    You are right about the republicans and the aristocracy being for the immigration, especially the illegal immigration. I do not work though. I make my money trading stocks so the labor rates coming down is not a problem for me. I just have an aversion to blacks and Latinos and some others. Isn’t it interesting how the pc libtards push for political correctness and the capitalists push to drive down wages go together.
    g

  274. asia July 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Pun intended or unintentional?

  275. Vlad Krandz July 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Tripp don’t be so hateful. Aren’t you supposed to full of love and shit? Or are you just opting for the compost? The effect of diet on IQ has been studied – it’s called the Flynn effect. People were very excited that it might be the answer to as to why Blacks are so dumb. Also it would provide a remedy if true. But Alas! When Whites start eating better they get even smarter. The gap stays the same. Granted a regime of good food and vitamins could really help starving Africans, but Black Americans aren’t starving. They eat a bit worse than most Whites, that’s all.
    You may have a future as some kind of Eco-Inquisitor. Didn’t you have a fantasy about whipping me with raspberry vines? Read Callenbach’s “Ecotopia” for possible ideas.

  276. Vlad Krandz July 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    But that’s my whole point – Marxism is strategic above all else. And if Marx was good, the Neo Marxists were even better with their long march through the institutions. Alot of people woke up to Soviet infiltration in the 50’s. Even more woke up to Martin Luther King and the Folk Culture School he was associated with. So now you have tens of millions of die hard anti-communists who know about the infiltration of our School System and Media. And we have had a profound influence on the rest of the American Public.
    Amd then you wonder why Marx is taboo? And you call me disingenuous!? Marx’s insights will remain unappreciated as long as his cult continues to threaten us. There was Socialism before Marx – a Socialism that wasn’t anti Nation, anti-White, and anti-Male. Eugene Debbs is a towering example of this. I suggest we take our inspiration from these less poisoned wells.
    Did you just say Oh My God? That’s taking the Lord’s name in vain. Blasphemy.

  277. San Jose Mom 51 July 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    California is suffering through its annual budget impasse — we have a $19.1 billion deficit. Most of the year, our legislature makes silly laws, but come June, they can’t work together to come up with a reasonable budget.
    I propose (te,he) an ugly tax to raise funds.
    The following ugly things will be ugly-taxed until they go away.
    * Big box Walmart stores
    * The camoflauge-painted gun store on Camden Ave. with the fake deer in the parking lot.
    * Anyone that leaves their Christmas “icycle” lights hanging up past January.
    * Pizza Hut
    * Der Weinerschnitzel
    * Boats and campers parked in driveways & streets
    * All brutalism-style buildings.
    * Multi-story parking structures.
    * Big jacked-up trucks with doors 3+ feet off the ground.
    * Gas stations that use astroturf in their landscaping.
    * The Quetzalcoatl statue in downtown San Jose that we paid some famous artist $250K for….it looks like a giant dog turd.
    * Any house that is painted a bright color not found in nature. (Day-glo yellow, etc.)
    Any further suggestions?
    SJMom

  278. progressorconserve July 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Pretty good catch, SNAFU.
    After I posted that thing about the SCUBA bottle and the fire truck I realized I was using a *possibly?* exaggerated anecdote about the power of compressed gases…I also regretted using the “millisecond” term.
    Now I regret it even more. ;’)
    You’ve totally got me on the math. You da’ man!
    Anyway…try to forgive a science generalist and biologist for using a *little?* hyperbole to make a point.
    All I really intended to say to the group mind of CFN is that compressed gases contain A LOT of energy.
    I’ll stand by that assertion, still.
    Now, as regarding civil war casualties, thanks for the precise looking statistics.
    Would it be fair to say that Atlanta is the city that 483,026 Confederate soldiers died trying to prevent? I think I can speak for my dead Confederate ancestors when I say that very few of them would be pleased with the *modern look* that Atlanta has assumed.
    As far as dead Union forces, I cannot presume to speak for 664,928 dead Union forces. Knowing that they were mostly born in the 1840’s….I suspect that they might acknowledge a certain *excess* about Atlanta.
    Now SNAFU, how about you try to prove me as wrong about PV solar for as a partial solution for electrical generation in the US as you did about the explosive power of a SCUBA tank?
    I think that might be a little more difficult.
    Regards,
    C

  279. Cash July 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    This business about face coverings: what in effect is being said in France is that there are some things you can’t show in public but there are others you have to show. That’s the social norm. Covering your face looks and feels creepy and hostile. That’s just how it is.

  280. asia July 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    but what got to me was the writer in the LA Times DEFENDING BURKAS and wanting whites in their own land to ‘roll over’!
    like the NY Times interviewing [ billionaire?] vicente fox on arizona and mexicans immigrating here1 the lies were disgusting!
    but that sundays NYTimes mag section was a joke, an article on ‘ sissy bounce’ and the business of yoga.

  281. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    I do not work though. I make my money trading stocks so the labor rates coming down is not a problem for me. I just have an aversion to blacks and Latinos and some others.

    That explains a lot. It also explains my previous post to which you replied.
    Let’s look at what you said. Since you don’t work, but instead are engaged in the Ponzi Fantasy as your primary earning activity, you have no problem with labor rates coming down.
    You got yours, Jack, so fuck everyone else, eh?
    This is exactly what I meant by the Reality Show keeping you confused and unable to pierce it’s false reality. You don’t see the interconnectedness of things and the benefit of a stable society where people who labor honestly can rise through their own efforts and can BELIEVE in it because they DON’T see fraud, corruption, and thievery being rewarded daily, particularly at the top 0.01% levels of our society? Where they are paid a decent day’s wage for a decent day’s work and not taken advantage of by the Upper Classes?
    Or that the same “libtard” nonsense of FDR’s New Deal Capitalism gave the USA it’s time of greatest strength in more ways than one and KEPT it from going down the Authoritarian Nazi on the Right or Commie on the Left road along with pretty much the rest of the world (at least the parts of it with power).
    It’s a simple dream, one which the Founding Fathers had, I believe. It’s intertwined with all their writings, at least from my readings of them. You forgot that We the People was supposed to mean something more than just a hyper-capitalist material cornucopia. It meant we were all in this thing together, both in our own nation and the world.
    As it said in the Declaration of Independence,”a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
    Well, all of that taken together means that we should ALL be concerned when labor rates have not just gone down, but have fallen so far that MANY people (if not a majority) who put in an honest day’s work day after day live like shit and can’t even pay their bills or feed their kids properly. Not just one kind of people, not just white or black or yellow, but all people.
    You say you understand and agree with what I said regarding Republicans and aristocrats. Just how on earth that could be compatible with the neocon AmRes Micheal “Savage” Weiner stuff you often spew is beyond me. Weird how you can say much of what you say, then get distracted by and start repeating the RW Lie Machine, which is for dunderheads and dittoheads who can’t think for themselves. For shortsighted, selfish pricks, and authoritarian followers.
    It’s a shoulder-shrugging, head-shaker, that’s for sure!

  282. asia July 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Mom,
    in the 80s i read a JOHN BIRCH publication. it pointed out the fastest growing biz in the world is government and said something to the effect that: ‘in 1940 the federal govt budget was 100? billion dollars, in 1980 the foodstamp budget was 30 billion, much of which was fraud [ illegals and other cheats gettin free eats].

  283. asia July 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    you might enjoy sundays NY Times magazine section. the articles w. vicente fox on immigration [ duu ] and the one on sissy bounce.
    whats siisy bounce??..go to youtube and search.
    TALK ABOUT SLUMMING!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahah

  284. Cash July 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Feel free pour bile and scorn over these ideas. I do the same wrt multiculturalism. One last word on this because I’m getting bored talking about this topic. I just keep repeating the same damn thing over and over and I’m sure others are fed up reading it. Anyway, growing up I’d hear stories about how things were in Italy. Based on what I’d heard from my parents and others and then what I’d seen when I visited there, Italy came to represent poverty, backwardness and ignorance. But when I went outside our house I was in Canada. And Canada to me represented prosperity, progress and knowledge. The choice to me was clear. I chose Canada. A lot of people on this continent, partly because of media portrayals, have this image of Italians as carefree, laughing, dancing, accordion playing clowns. Believe me, they are nothing of the sort. To give them their due, Italians created a lot of great things. But they also created Fascism.

  285. asia July 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Can anyone tell me what the banking bill portends?

  286. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Progressorconserve,
    I hope you aren’t shutting me out because we have a difference of opinion on the Aristocratic Elite.
    I continue to find you one of the more sensible and interesting CFNers and hope we will have more conversations in the future.
    Plus, we’re both biologists, and we should stick together 😉
    I find it interesting that after being on this board you don’t see yourself as Liberal anymore. Being Liberal, like being in any other outgroup, is unfortunately a matter of how others see you as much or more as how you see yourself. Not that I am condoning it, just pointing out it is reality. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.
    Consider that the RW of our country has gone off the deep end into Authoritarianism and demagoguery while the Democratic Party has shifted to Soft Corporatism, which other than a handful of social-wedge issues is pretty much center-right, even Eisenhower Republicans would be considered Godless Socialist Commies today.
    Teddy Roosevelt would have had to be a Democrat today because modern RW “Republican” authoritarians & Teabaggers would kick him out on his socialst, communist, trust-busting, anti-corporate, treehugging environmentalist ass.
    You’re a Liberal all right, and your experiences with some very unique CFNer perspectives (most of them not easily categorized as left or right or liberal or conservative – as yours are also not easily categorized) doesn’t change that.
    We are all here not because of politics but, in the end, whatever our politics, we all agree that the clown circus that passes for “conventional wisdom” is absurdly laughably wrong and getting wronger as the results of previous policies for the last 30 years (or longer) usher in TLE within the next century, maybe a lot sooner.

  287. San Jose Mom 51 July 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    I have this idea, which maybe my own fantasies, that Italians can sit down at a meal and relax and have a good conversation with their companions. Americans eat too fast and don’t have conversations — which to me is a major reason for living! Probably a stereotype, I know.
    When I went on a solo tour of Europe alone, I mostly stayed in Northern Europe–and in nice hotels. I am easily intimidated, and my “radar” for dangerous situations is wound a bit tight. In the early 1980’s people warned me not to go to Italy as a single woman. It’s probably safe now.

  288. progressorconserve July 29, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Hancock,
    By no means would I shut out a expressive mind such as yours over a simple difference of opinion over the “Aristocratic Elite.”
    I had actually been preparing a response to you. It *may* have been going to involve another one act play.
    The final scene was going to involve some of the *Aristocrat Elite* around the door of that bunker for Congress that they show on the History Channel occasionally.
    Paris Hilton (the only *cute* Aristocrat of whom I could think) was going to be blundering around in “bubble head land” looking for the entrance.
    Dick Cheney (actually a representative for me of Aristocratic Evil; if it exists) was about to go in the door.
    Dick realizes that all of Congress, the SC, the whole Aristocratic Elite is already in the bunker and there is not ONE single woman of reproductive age anywhere to be found.
    Dick’s friends are running out of the bunker toward *freedom* because they realize that it is just a matter of time before he shoots them all in the face with his shotgun.
    There is a water shortage and the Congressional members of the Aristocratic Elite are beginning to stink more than usual.
    You get the idea, Hancock…
    Then you go and post the following,
    ************************************************
    Could you fail to notice that for 8 years, Bush/Cheney got pretty much everything they wanted EXCEPT on immigration? Maybe they didn’t want it as much as The Reality Show would have you believe they wanted it.
    *************************************************
    I’m liking this description a whole lot more, Hancock…The Reality Show can include my idea that it’s Normal American Free Market Capitalism….driving the Planet’s ecosystems over a cliff.
    And that’s *change I can believe in* or *something??*
    At any rate, Hancock, you may have killed off a nice little one-act play by picking a different term. But I think you’re onto something.
    Or maybe it’s just your revised, “nomenclature I can believe in.”
    I’ll try to get back on CFN tonight and elaborate some more.
    And talk about why this website has made me change from a simple pragmatic liberal…to a simple pragmatist.
    And answer Wage…’cause he’s correct…. FOX is targeting Liberals….but I don’t think it’s a conspiracy…
    Wage, I would like to try to prove to you:
    Fox *says* Liberals are wrong just to make people watch FOX….not ’cause Liberals are really bad.
    A clueless corporate FOX media branch of The Reality Show.
    Maybe?

  289. treebeardsuncle July 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Hi.
    Am an autonomous collectivist. Yes, I am a big fan of American Rennaissance. However, how do I sound like Michael Savage … Weiner sometimes? I don’t listen to him or talk radio at all. How do I parrot the RW lie machine?
    g

  290. cowswithguns July 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    I don’t mind labor rates coming down in the US — so long as everything else that matters goes down proportion (gas, food, energy — sorry JHK).
    Deflation will ultimately save us — not only will it slow down the economy a tad and thus preserve our resources, but it will still allow our dollars to be worth something so we (the peon masses) can feed ourselves.
    Stagflation is what we don’t want: The bad habits of the economy will continue to buzz along while people get paid worthless wages and the modern-day robber barons at the likes of Goldman Sachs do fine as they trade their dollars for gold and Chinese currency.
    Deflation is not the enemy.

  291. cowswithguns July 29, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    BTW, no offense to your fair city, but I find it very disturbing that San Jose is CA’s third-largest city but yet has the downtown of, say, Napa.
    Can we say sprawl?
    At least the climate is good.

  292. SNAFU July 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Howdy Treebeard, I guess I left out the momentum equation I used m1v1 = m2v2 wherein m1 is the mass of the firetruck and v1 is the velocity of the firetruck whereas m2 is the mass of the air in the SCUBA tank and v2 is the velocity the air in the SCUBA tank must have such that the two momentum are equal. # is just a symbol denoting pound. The reason I used British units of measure is because that is what Progressor handed me; MKS would have been just as good perhaps slightly more straight forward. Grains are the standard unit for denoting the weight of projectiles and propellant for cartridges in the US I believe in Europe the gram and milligram are used. From a Google of the term I found that the 7000 grain pound comes from the French avoirdupois system somewhere around 1700. The advantage ballyhooed by the American gunsmiths is that with such fine parts one never has to worry about decimals such as 33.5 mg.
    SNAFU

  293. SNAFU July 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Howdy Progressor, You have offered up another challenge I may have to take a go at:
    “Now SNAFU, how about you try to prove me as wrong about PV solar for as a partial solution for electrical generation in the US as you did about the explosive power of a SCUBA tank?
    I think that might be a little more difficult.”
    Sounds like fun, I’ll get back to you in a bit.
    SNAFU

  294. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Progressor,
    Love your idea of a one-act play. Humor is most definitely warranted in this situation, the blacker the humor the better.
    We thought we were leaving Dr. Strangelove territory back when the old Soviet Union fell. Few, if any, realized the absurd lunacy had just begun and would soon soar to ever higher heights (or ever lower lows, depending on how one looks at it). I sure didn’t.
    I think I see your one act play as a banal weekly network sitcom, “Just what will the Aristocratic Elite do to increase their profits now that the US Treasury is bankrupt and actual productive activity has almost stopped? Stay tuned next week for more wacky adventures to see how they mislead and deceive their clueless subjects…and get hilariously richer in the process!” (cue “Three’s Company” music)
    As to your assertions regarding Fox “News” just being about getting more people to watch Fox, I think it’s pretty self-evident that it’s much more than that.
    Maybe the fact that it’s run by the former Bush campaign director, Roger Ailes. Which is, of course, something which absolutely would not be tolerated if, let’s say, David Axelrod was named head of CBS in 20 years. Which won’t happen because it wouldn’t be tolerated…because that would be a filthy liberal media trick. (chortles)
    To me, perhaps the most obvious illustration of this is not Fox, but the Washington “Moonie” Times.
    If you didn’t know, the “Moonie” Times is referred to as such because for the past 30 years until very recently, it was owned by Rev. Sun Young Moon.
    It served as a beach-head for the RW Lie Machine in actual mainstream corporate media. Google the term “Prudenization” to understand how insidious the RW is in presenting it’s “Texas History” as plausibly deniable reality.
    Moon, who’s investigation problems into his illegal activities coincidentally dried up as soon as Reagan-Bush took over (really Bush-Cheney, since Reagan was a doddering old clueless spokesmodel for the REAL power) took multi-million dollar losses year after year after year. For almost his entire period of ownership he took such losses.
    If Moon and his Bushies were simply operating on the principles of Normal American Free Market Capitalism, he would have dumped that loser of a dog long ago, as it was hemorraging money yearly.
    But he didn’t. Logic suggests therefore that Normal American Free Market Capitalism was not his object with this enterprise.
    And neither is Fox’s, though they are very lucrative now that certain tipping points have been passed as compared to when the Moonie Times was just starting up the RW Lie Machine in the early 80s.

  295. messianicdruid July 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    “To those who have much [ UNDERSTANDING ], more is given, whereas, from those who have little [ UNDERSTANDING ], what little they have is taken away.”
    This does not justify the worship of mammon.

  296. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    From everything I brought up in my last post to you and your only reply is “how do I sound like Michael Savage?”
    Did you even read the other 90% of my post or simply decide not to respond to it?
    Disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.
    Answer my questions, please, and I will consider answering yours.
    I’ll even reprint them:

    Let’s look at what you said. Since you don’t work, but instead are engaged in the Ponzi Fantasy as your primary earning activity, you have no problem with labor rates coming down.
    You got yours, Jack, so fuck everyone else, eh?
    This is exactly what I meant by the Reality Show keeping you confused and unable to pierce it’s false reality. You don’t see the interconnectedness of things and the benefit of a stable society where people who labor honestly can rise through their own efforts and can BELIEVE in it because they DON’T see fraud, corruption, and thievery being rewarded daily, particularly at the top 0.01% levels of our society? Where they are paid a decent day’s wage for a decent day’s work and not taken advantage of by the Upper Classes?

  297. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    You said:

    “To those who have much [ UNDERSTANDING ], more is given, whereas, from those who have little [ UNDERSTANDING ], what little they have is taken away.”
    This does not justify the worship of mammon.

    Very well said, indeed!

  298. Hancock1863 July 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Inflation, deflation, stagflation. Whichever happens, the issue that concerns me is the increasingly larger share of the wealth of nations being redirected to a privileged few while less and less of it goes to the people who actually produce something or perform actual work.
    I remain comitted to Capitalism as “the best of a bad lot” and to FDR’s New Deal and regulation as a way to constrain the natural forces of greed, cruelty, and brutality that always seem to find their way to the top in any society, while retaining the core positives of capitalism like incentivization, among other things.
    It’s not that there should be no wealthy people, it’s just that, collectively, the wealthy can’t ever seem to stop wanted EVERYTHING, including a docile dumbed-down servant population. They usually get them both, history has shown.
    So, one of the additional problems with this new-style depression is that the wealthy have figured out how to almost completely insulate themselves from the outside economy. (which is why the stock market so often shoots up after hearing “bad news for the Plebes”)
    I guess what I am saying is that, no matter how the crash comes down, hyper-inflation or deflation, the root cause is what it always has been.
    And this time, our top 0.01% will leave no pocket unpicked, because this is the BIG ONE, the pre-TLE looting before 6 billion net humans leave this world and all the attendant chaos that and 3-4 C or higher Global Warming can bring.
    At the very least, it’s the penultimate looting before the BIGGER looting to come.
    Which brings us back to the beginning of your posts. I agree that labor rates coming down wouldn’t be a significant issue if deflation was hitting everyone equally or near-equally.
    But it isn’t. Not even close.

  299. ctemple July 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    I personally would like to see a tax on tasteless advertising, basically things that don’t need advertised in the first place, like catheters, wheel chairs, funerals, cholesterol medicine, aphrodisiacs masquerading as medication, like cialis.
    Forty or fifty years ago before we were so unlightened, morticians, doctors, lawyers didn’t advertise on television. It was considered in bad taste, and it is.

  300. messianicdruid July 29, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    “I have a sense she is right. Thoughts?”
    “Gold is a sapling, silver is an acorn.” You will benefit from read at:
    http://www.hypertiger.blogspot.com

  301. Vlad Krandz July 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    So few Whites have racial loyalty – and so many Chinese do. To my knowledge, only one White Millionaire ever left his estate to us in his will. And it was only a modest estate of several million. Hopefully this will begin to change. As it is incredible sums are given to the Third World – a complete waste of money in my book.
    Perhaps some great White genius will invent something that will revolutuionize the situation, be it a weapon or a new energy. And then he patent it and use the profits for our benefit – keeping it from all others for as long as possible. If it was a weapon, it would have to be kept from Western Goverments as well. Kind of like the scenario in Frank Herbert’s “The Hellstrom Hive” in which a weapon was developed that could destroy matter at a distance. Or maybe we could develop’s Tesla’s Earthquake Machine and threaten the whole world a la one of Vincent Prices’s mad scientist characters.

  302. treebeardsuncle July 30, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    Well, I wouldn’t quite go that far. Am not saying screw them. However, I am pleased with being comfortable and well positioned. I will do alright even if Americans’ pay is driven down to minimum wage or lower. I do see the benefit of the interconnectedness of things. However, I don’t think the hoi poloi should be living in detached houses in the suburbs. I want them cooped up in crowded apartments downtowns. They can live in highrises with parkland round about. I also want their cars taken away. People are quite comfortable with the aristocratic elite taking their taxes and living well while they grovel for a pittance. They are cowardly vicious fractious and short-sighted and will fight it out like rats among themselves. It is very easy to set these folks against one another competing for ignominous jobs and they will also knuckle under and curry favor with management as well. I hope that makes things a little more clear.
    Geoff
    Sacramento
    Let’s look at what you said. Since you don’t work, but instead are engaged in the Ponzi Fantasy as your primary earning activity, you have no problem with labor rates coming down.
    You got yours, Jack, so fuck everyone else, eh?
    This is exactly what I meant by the Reality Show keeping you confused and unable to pierce it’s false reality. You don’t see the interconnectedness of things and the benefit of a stable society where people who labor honestly can rise through their own efforts and can BELIEVE in it because they DON’T see fraud, corruption, and thievery being rewarded daily, particularly at the top 0.01% levels of our society? Where they are paid a decent day’s wage for a decent day’s work and not taken advantage of by the Upper Classes?

  303. treebeardsuncle July 30, 2010 at 12:50 am #

    Well, whites especially in America are very individualist. Also in the 19th and 19th century such loyalties as they had were to their family, nation, religion, occasionally to their community, rarely to their clan. For whites, race is too nebulous and diffuse for them to be loyal to it. Also, there are a lot of internal divisions based upon religion, location, class, and political history. Also, some folks are still smarting from the WASP sting. Don’t forget how they tended to denigrate and exclude others. To the Irish they were brutal and still hated by some of them.

  304. Vlad Krandz July 30, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    Change of subject to call on your expertise: I once saw an interview with an old hacker who had been in it since the begining. He said that if the Goverment ever tried to assume control over the internet, the internet would crash due to “measures” that they the hackers had placed in the internet to forstall such a thing. And that they had warned the goverment of the same. Do you think that there is anything to any of this?
    What do you think of Linux in terms of usability and encryption? And what do you think of the whole free software movement? I just read an interview with Richard Stallman – pretty impressive guy. A fanatic to some, but at first glance he seems to me a lover of freedom – which is never free. Sure the profit motive is natural and necessary, but everywhere? For everything? You wont even be able to walk down a street without payment – or log on if these people have their way. Toll roads with ads talking to you a la that movie “The Minority Report” – a high tech dystopia if ever there were.

  305. treebeardsuncle July 30, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    Was talking about the 18th and 19th centuries.

  306. Vlad Krandz July 30, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Firstly, neither Canada nor the United States has the power to acculture anyone anymore. Nor the will. And perhaps not even the desire – maybe the more the groups fight with each other, the stronger the Elites will be. In other words Cash, what you believe in isn’t working and it’s not going to work any better in the future, only progressively worse.
    Imagine if we really had a fair mutlicultural society: do you really believe that Blacks would continue to hold the postions they have in the United States? Dream on. Or if we are going to continue with Affirmative Action, let’s be fair: 65% of the NBA has to be White. Also Whites are the most under represented group at Harvard and Jews the most over represented. Let’s change that. And so on. But it’s not going to happen – all AA is the expense of Whites. Sometimes Asians as well even though they are sticking with Minority/Grievance Coalition for the time being – even in the face of incredible persecution in San Francisco by Blacks. But the Chinese have never had any problem with asking for sacrafices from their people.
    In 1960, Whites were 90% of America. Now we are 65%. It’s genocide, nothing less. If it were pigeons or penguins, people would care more. But they don’t because like you, they believe “people are people”. Sure they are. Just like all dogs are just dogs no matter what the breed. All cars are just cars, no matter what the make or model. A German Shepherd is no different than a Greyhound, why not use him to race? A Toyota is no different than a Mercedes – why want one and not the other? Or how about, all men are the same, they’re just men. Or all women are the same, they’re all just women.
    You see: there is no wisdom in any of this. It’s just prejudice taking refuge in a linguistic loop. Not all individual women are the same. No all individual men are the same. Not all types of car are the same – or of equal worth either. No all breeds of dog are the same – or good for the same things. And the neither are the races equal in the sense of being equally good at all things. Whites and Northeast Asians are better at the higher functions of this life. Blacks are good at running, jumping, dance, and the performing arts. Sala vi. Que sera, sera.
    Also I take issue with your anti-Germanism. The Germans infused life into a decadent Classical World. Unlike our present day barbarians, they admired Rome and wanted to become part of it. Of course, they were ham fisted as must be expected. But they added good things from their own culture – some democracy in a world that had forgotten it. Add to the mix Christianity, and a whole new culture was born. As Bertrand Russell admitted, the dark ages weren’t so dark as they have been portrayed. Much valuable work was begun in terms of logic, translation, and architecture. Oh and they knew the world was round long before Columbus. Even the Saxon Barbarians figured that out.

  307. cowswithguns July 30, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    I agree with your analysis and share your concern. Inflation concerns me more than deflation, though, since with inflation the masses can be pacified — “golly, look, my home value is rising” — and more easily manipulated while the elites take more of the planet’s and nation’s dwindling wealth.
    With deflation, on the other hand, and the seemingly stagnant economy that goes with it, it’s harder to hide the fact that things are in the toilet, and, thus, harder for the elites to take more than their fair share of the wealth. In addition, deflation has an added benefit: The money coming from those unemployment checks and shitty jobs is actually worth something.
    Basically, it’s like getting shot in the head (inflation) or gut (deflation). Sure with the latter you very well could die, but at least you’ll have a chance to cry out for help before the Big Sleep sets in.
    Bipartisan peasants with pitchforks still may be able to save us, though they had better stuff their ears with cocoa butter to deal with that L-RAD device.

  308. Vlad Krandz July 30, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    Do you know The Song of the High One?
    I know that I hung
    on the windy tree
    all of the nights nine,
    wounded by spear
    and given to Odhinn;
    myself to myself,
    on that tree
    which no man knows
    from what roots it rises.
    They dealt me no bread
    nor drinking horn,
    I looked down,
    I took up the runes
    I took them screaming,
    I fell back from there.
    Odin is a pre-figurement of Christ. No man killed or abused Jesus, he laid his life down as Odin did “myself to myself”. A perfect sacrafice God unto God. And is not all of life a sacrafice of some kind? One thing is done and not another – one is sacraficed. As T.S Elliot said in one of his poems, the gods gave us one command when we were born: give. And all deep giving involves loss or pain. And this is true even amongst your own internal elements, what to speak of other people. When you’re running your five minute miles, are you not hurting? And are you not enjoying it immensely on another level? Would you appreciate your wife or mother getting worried and telling you to take it easy? Wouldn’t you rather have them understand and appreciate what you’re doing?

  309. Eleuthero July 30, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    Hi, Vlad. One of the first fundamentals
    of the original Cybernetic Science invented
    by Turing, Wiener, and Bertolanffy is that
    the more parts a machine has, the more it
    will break.
    And that’s why, in the LONG run, I believe
    that some form of Linux will defeat all of
    the proprietary systems. Why? Simplicity.
    When you compare an off-the-shelf Linux
    system to one of these new byzantine Windows
    systems you’re comparing an OS with about a
    million lines of kernel code to one with
    about THIRTY-FIVE MILLION lines of kernel
    code.
    This accounts for many things. First, Linux,
    though “primitive” to some, when used as a
    server has a mean-time-between-failures
    average of around six months. Windows
    servers tend to average a few weeks. Lines
    of code could be viewed as the “moving parts”
    of a “machine” called a computer program.
    It is simple egregious that Windows could
    EVER be regarded as “progress” when it not
    only fails about ten times more often but
    also because the failures tend to be
    unrecoverable without a total system reboot.
    Linux will run like the blazes on a 750 MHz
    garbage can of a computer while things like
    Vista will make a sleek new 4 GHz machine
    look quite slow.
    Finally, MicroSoft made a fundamental error
    in using the baroque C++ language the base
    language for its OS’s. It was a really
    stupid decision. The average industrial C
    programmer, in my opinion, has a “D” level
    of skill. Well, how will that average guy
    do with a tool that has 3X more features?
    It’s senseless. It’s like telling a student
    getting a “D” in Beginning French that he
    should immediately go to Advanced French
    because the vastly expanded vocabulary and
    syntax will make him “more expressive”. Well,
    it’s the height of imbecility in the human
    language realm and the cybernetic language
    realm as well.
    The Free Software Movement? Sometimes it’s
    like herding cats but since it’s not tied to
    anyone’s money-making engine, it will make
    slow, steady progress.
    I don’t even like Macs any more because of
    the proprietary Objective-C/Cocoa language
    it’s written in. Objective-C isn’t quite
    as bloated as C++ but it’s not nearly as
    simple as straight C.
    What industry professionals never understood
    is that an AVERAGE PROGRAMMER is just that
    … average. And they can BARELY get their
    arms around straight C. I claim that most
    great programmers I’ve known (except Rich
    Stevens) are terrible judges of the
    availability of exceptional talent. They’re
    like a statistician who claims that eight out
    of every ten people are “above average”. 🙂
    Linux has its problems but it’s VERY easy to
    administrate, it often stays up for YEARS,
    and it’s very simplicity makes security a
    much less complex issue than any other
    existing OS. Linux doesn’t have all these
    “back door virus makers” like Outlook,
    Visual Basic, or Internet Explorer.
    Indeed, I use Linux most of the time with
    Opera as my standard browser. I *never*
    get viruses. And that’s saying something
    since I visit Russian websites for chess
    games. Damned Ruskies love to blow up
    people’s machines.
    E.

  310. asoka July 30, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    E., thanks for your post on Linux. Good information.

  311. welles July 30, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Yes Linux is just great. Try Puppy Linux. It’s a super-small OS — prolly no more than 100Mb — that, far as I can tell, does EVERYTHING Windows Whatever does. Puppy Linux is free.
    I’ve plopped my Puppy Linux CD into the CD drive of broken Windows OS laptops and voila! they work perfectly. Saved me hundreds of dollars…for free.
    Plus Linux runs, as the above poster said, on machines considered too ancient to work, e.g. less than 1G of RAM, sub-1GHz processors…
    Great way to remain free from Windows forcing you to buy more and more RAM etc.
    Plus you can’t beat the price.

  312. welles July 30, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Yes Linux is just great. Try Puppy Linux. It’s a super-small OS — prolly no more than 100Mb — that, far as I can tell, does EVERYTHING Windows Whatever does. Puppy Linux is free.
    I’ve plopped my Puppy Linux CD into the CD drive of broken Windows OS laptops and voila! they work perfectly. Saved me hundreds of dollars…for free.
    Plus Linux runs, as the above poster said, on machines considered too ancient to work, e.g. less than 1G of RAM, sub-1GHz processors…
    Great way to remain free from Windows forcing you to buy more and more RAM etc.
    Plus you can’t beat the price.

  313. Pepper Spray July 30, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    I think the corpo-criminals and their political lapdogs will manage to keep the plates spinning until after mid terms, but then all bets are off.
    As the bills come due for the entire largess it would be wise to prepare for social disillusionment and the careless violence that the disenfranchised tend to engage in.
    A stun gun and pepper spray would be a better start than bullits. I’m sure that Ass Hats have prepared for that.

  314. Hancock1863 July 30, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    I said of you:

    You got yours, Jack, so fuck everyone else, eh?

    You replied:

    Well, I wouldn’t quite go that far. However, I am pleased with being comfortable and well positioned. I will do alright even if Americans’ pay is driven down to minimum wage or lower. I do see the benefit of the interconnectedness of things. However, I don’t think the hoi poloi (sic) should be living in detached houses in the suburbs. I want them cooped up in crowded apartments downtowns. They can live in highrises with parkland round about. I also want their cars taken away. People are quite comfortable with the aristocratic elite taking their taxes and living well while they grovel for a pittance. They are cowardly vicious fractious and short-sighted and will fight it out like rats among themselves. It is very easy to set these folks against one another competing for ignominous jobs and they will also knuckle under and curry favor with management as well. I hope that makes things a little more clear.

    You have explained yourself well, Treebeard. Very clearly. You’re a heartless, cruel monster and a selfish prick.
    In fact, most typically of your ilk, the entire rest of your post fully contradicts your first line, your “headline”, as it were. You said you didn’t believe in going that far, and then spent the rest of the post saying how yes, in fact, that was EXACTLY what you believed.
    Thank you for being so honest in your presentation of it, though. As people like you are often the cowards they accuse others of being, I suspect that you zip your lips and keep your true self hidden from others in real life, the easier to blend in.
    In fact, if I am not mistaken you have stated both things more than once. Wholly unsurprising and wholly craven and cowardly.
    You realize, of course, that the assessment you make of the “hoi polloi” (the Peasantry, you can say it) is exactly the assessment that best fits yourself. No, that’s right, you can’t notice that. You are incapable of noticing things like that.
    In fact, your plans for the hoi polloi sound suspiciously like 1970s Soviet Russia. Thanks also, for helping proving my point that “It’s the Authoritarianism, Stupid!” and that it doesn’t matter what philosophies you espouse to rationalize what you do, just that you are first and best served. You are a living history lession in human shortsightedness, stupidity and evil.
    Thanks again for showing that even though all of us share a portion of responsibility for the oncoming TLE, that cowardly, vicious, fractious and short-sighted people like you are the PRIMARY reason for it and for human extinction, if it happens.
    And the primary reason why human extinction is not a wholly bad thing.
    No point in further conversing with you, monster. Thanks again for so thoroughly and clearly exposing yourself for what you are.

  315. Hancock1863 July 30, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Sounds like we are mostly in agreement, cowswithguns. You said:

    With deflation, on the other hand, and the seemingly stagnant economy that goes with it, it’s harder to hide the fact that things are in the toilet, and, thus, harder for the elites to take more than their fair share of the wealth.

    Exactly why hyperinflation is on the menu and why govvie printing presses are flapping madly. The Aristocratic Elite keeps learning with every depression/panic/recession they create, and they have learned, it seems, how to decouple themselves from the larger economy entirely, much like the Feudal Lords they are emulating.
    This was no easy task in a hyper-complex, convoluted and interconnected system, but they finally did it by the dawn of the 21st Century.
    When someone mentions how the Aristocracy needs us to do well so we can buy their crap, as Henry Ford believed, I ask them if the Medieval European Lords needed the Peasants to do well in order to buy their crap.
    You also said:

    Basically, it’s like getting shot in the head (inflation) or gut (deflation). Sure with the latter you very well could die, but at least you’ll have a chance to cry out for help before the Big Sleep sets in.
    Bipartisan peasants with pitchforks still may be able to save us, though they had better stuff their ears with cocoa butter to deal with that L-RAD device.

    Being around to cry for help only matters if someone is out there who wants to help. It is quite clear that this penultimate or final (it’s still not clear which) mass looting of global wealth we are experiencing strongly indicates that the Aristocracy has planned for us to “die, and thus decrease the surplus population”, to quote that famous neoconservative, Ebeneezer Scrooge.
    And don’t hold your breath waiting for “bipartisan peasants with pitchforks” to save us. History has shown that 99 times out of 100, they side with the Aristocracy against the scapegoats with murderous rage and brutal efficiency.
    How much less likely is it today that peasant pitchforks will hit the right mark rather than the poor and powerless scapegoats the Aristos present them with, given the advances in marketing, focus-group testing and mass psychology?
    It used to be 1 in 100. Now it’s it probably 1 in 10,000. Look out scapegoats, time’s almost up! Time once again to play Name That Scapegoat!
    (cue “Price is Right” theme music)

  316. John of Shropshire July 30, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    I have just read the dumb e-mails sent you and am shocked at the hatred shown to you personally for being of Jewish ancestry.
    We in England talk very similarly of Muslims but not quite showing such vitriolic and deep seated hatred of all things Jewish for one it is illegal now in the land of once free speech.
    I would expect such rants coming out of Berlin circa 1939 not 2010 in the so called most powerful democracy on earth
    God knows how you measure power? Overwhelming large well equipped Armed forces that win wars not just battles ,economic strength, a cultural imperative that dominates the world?
    If taken together the USA surely is not the most dominant nation on earth, the laurel crown has now passed to China.
    I am personally disgusted by such overt racism against the Jews.
    Here in England the Jewish community is near totally integrated, very successful and suffer no adverse criticism they are simply seen as part of the cultural fabric as is any Englishman of North European descent.
    I was told by one American that the USA is the richest third world country in the West a view I have a leaning to.
    You allow guns to be carried by all as a result you have a murder rate that in Europe would be viewed as a civil war, your religious fundamental fervor based on violence, hard wire into the very psyche of the first English Puritan settlers in New England.
    (The ones who stayed in England, the vast majority, proffered to chop the head of the King instead) is akin to the worst that fundamentalist Islam throws at us in both rhetoric and violence as seen in Iraq and now so tragically in Afghanistan.
    We here in England are being subsumed under an Islamic tsunami of illegal asylum seekers,1 in 4 of all babies is now of Muslim birth.
    Londonstan will be by 2012 dominated by aliens the English a minority in their own Capital.
    We have lost the battle and I am considering changing my name to a Muslim one to go with the flow so have picked Mustapha Phag.
    One wit quipped:
    “How do you know you are getting close to London”
    “you can hear them wailing from the Mosques”
    I Have just read the “Long Emergency” a must read to those who must stock the pantry for the coming Holocaust.
    A very pleasant day to all must pop off now to enjoy whats left of my country

  317. asoka July 30, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    …this penultimate or final (it’s still not clear which) mass looting…

    I´d say penultimate… they still haven´t finished building the “FEMA camps” … LOL!
    Besides, there is entirely too much unexploited wealth left on this planet to give up such lucrative endeavors so quickly. In other words, we are still needed for another generation or so.
    Pity the grandchildren.

  318. Vlad Krandz July 30, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Thanks – that’s what I’ve heard. I’m going to make the switch after I’ve moved physcially – two months and counting.

  319. Vlad Krandz July 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Puppy doesn’t go into the RAM – just plays off the disc?

  320. Vlad Krandz July 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Read Peter Brimelow’s “Alien Nation” about the downfall of White America. Brimelow, a conservative Englishman, admits ruefully that the radical White Nationalists are correct: the Jews were and are at the forefront of the ethnic transformation of America. They are completely committed to a non-White future for America. Basically after we helped them defeat their enemies in Europe, they told us that we’re all just Nazis waiting to happen. They reasoned that more diverse America is, the safter they’ll be – and yes, the more powerful. There is a very thin life between offence and defence don’t you think?
    As for Britain and Europe, I don’t know. The Jews probably played less of a role, the slack being taken up by Bilderberger machinations and Political Correctness run amuck. PC is the West’s homegrown form of Communism.
    Some prominent Jews are BEGININING (!) to possibly consider that they’ve made a mistake or that at least immigration should be slowed down. Racists! Did not Shakespeare say don’t build a fire for your enemy so hot that it will burn you up?

  321. cowswithguns July 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    I’m not too worried about any the elite killing off the surplus population any time soon. They’ve already set up a comfortable police state for themselves — the laws are in place, technology exists, and people are dumbed down — should there be any pesky peasant revolts.
    Ironically, though, I still have faith that a revolt directed in the right direction could do some good. Just look at what Ghandi and his people did to the British, the best military in the world at the time.
    The real question, as you point out, is whether the any revolt would be directed toward the people who’ve caused problems or Jews, “libruls,” Mexicans, intellectuals, the neighbor with the nice car or any other of the usual scapegoats out there.
    You also said that technology has enabled the masses to be more easily manipulated by the corporate elites. I would add that the technology has also made it easier to distribute information to the masses that said elites don’t want to get out.
    It’s a matter of whether the truth that’s hiding in plain sight can compete with Lindsay Lohen, Mel Gibson, Tyrell Owens, etc.

  322. MINDfool July 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    I’ve been doing UNIX for over thirty years. The
    short answer is that having both Linux and windows
    is useful. A Dual booted machine is not a bad option. Your usage patterns will determine which you use more. We often run (in a networked environment) windows as a virtual machine under linux. If you are isolated, the dual boot mechanism is perhaps preferable since you can access your windows files by mounting them on the linux OS.
    -J

  323. San Jose Mom 51 July 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    The New York Times reports today that by 2011 we’ll have 7 billion people on the planet!
    But really, with Kara and Ellen leaving American Idol, WHO will be the judges next year?

  324. progressorconserve July 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Can an Atheist Be a Conspiracy Theorist
    or
    (a random walk in the corn field looking for ears)
    It is difficult for me to say or write “Atheist” without using a capital A. I believe that any thinking human can understand and GAIN BENEFIT FROM almost any belief system….
    But when that belief system begins to be used with exclusivity as a BASIS FOR UNDERSTANDING LIFE….that you have taken a belief system into the realm of RELIGIOUS FAITH.
    And so it is with some Atheists.
    And so it is with some Conspiracy Theorists.
    I’ve got to admit to Hancock, Vlad, and Cows (and others) that I understand your conspiracy ideas. I can use some of your ideas to inform my understanding of modern Life.
    Guys, it may be that the CFR, the Jews, the Aristocratic Elite…and even those colonizing SPACE ALIENS (who made a brief, threatening appearance upthread)…all of those groups are working together to destroy all pleasure for the peasants and the serfs…or simply to kill happy people.
    But if I buy into that idea as Exclusive Faith then Hope flies out the window and Despair starts building a nest in the basement.
    I refuse to hold conspiracy in my heart as a Faith that explains everything.
    Let me back up and look at another way before I *start?* to ramble.
    *************************************************
    That BP CEO (who just got a $17million severance package and a NEW job) could be part of using his company as part of a giant conspiracy…to kill the Gulf, destroy freedom in the US….make Louisiana vote Republican….to benefit the Aristocratic Elite….whatever.
    Or he could be an *unlucky* man at the head of a multi-national that was trying to maximize shareholder value….that finally cut one too many corners and FUBAR’ed an important corner of the Planet.
    I don’t need a conspiracy to explain things.
    Selfish, short-sighted individual and corporate actions explain things just as well….and leave a little glimmer of Hope for the future alive.
    C

  325. welles July 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    It loads from a CD or thumb drive straight into RAM, which makes it very fast. Plus the fact it only needs 100Mb of RAM means it takes up almost no memory.
    Puppy Linux doesn’t delete/overwrite any existing files, so you can’t hurt anything on your machine.

  326. progressorconserve July 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    A Pragmatic Liberal Discovers a Clusterfucked Nation
    OR
    (why be liberal or conservative when both make you check your brains at the door?)
    I got really active on this website 3(?) weeks ago when JHK published his practical manifesto for saving the Planet.
    A manifesto which included securing the US borders against illegal immigration.
    And orthodox liberals oppose the idea…which to me means orthodoxy is more important to some than is actually saving the Planet.
    And it’s OK for an individual to oppose secured borders….but I discovered that the Sierra Club and the Green Party of CA both oppose immigration restrictions as well.
    (I mean, come on…how is this possible?….it’s the GREEN party!)
    So, orthodox liberals are of no help in my quest to SAVE THE WORLD.
    Unfortunately, orthodox conservatives aren’t much help, either.
    I’ll try to help myself understand right wing and authoritarian ideas in another installment….don’t have enough hours on the clock for such a massive project right now!

  327. Puzzler July 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Don’t worry about Peak Oil — just need a reactor of this stuff.
    ————————–
    New Element Found – Administratium
    AMES, IA—The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by materials researchers at IPRT/ISU. The new element, tentatively named Administratium, has no protons or electrons, and thus has an atomic weight of 0. However, it does have one neuron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons, and 111 assistant vice neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together in a nucleus by a force that involves the continuous exchange of particles called morons.
    Since it has no electrons, Administratium is totally inert. However, it can be detected chemically, since it impedes every reaction it comes into contact with. According to its discoverers, a tiny amount of Administratium caused one reaction to take over four days to complete; the normal reaction time is less than one second.
    Administratium has a normal half life of approximately three years, at which time it does not actually decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which neutrons, vice neutrons, and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Studies have shown that the atomic mass usually increases after each reorganization.
    Research at other laboratories indicates that Administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at points, such as governmental agencies, large corporations, and universities. It is always found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.
    Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how Administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

  328. treebeardsuncle July 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Well have heard that the Jesus story is related to the Egyptian myths of Isis, Horace, and maybe Osiris. The Egyptians had a god who died and was reborn perhaps with each season of the flooding of the Nile. Think the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection is tied to those myths. Perhaps the Christian mythos was accepted by some of the Germans because it related to their stories of Odin. However, many of them, definitely the Saxons, and, I think, the Frisians, as well, resisted Christianization until well into the 9th century.

  329. myrtlemay July 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Your comment about atheism is well taken. Agnosticism also is worthy of consideration. What makes us human is a desire to make sense out of life. A common thread on this blog seems to be the realization among CFNers that we’ve all been taken to the cleaners by our government. It looks like some of the titans of Big Business have elbowed their way to the front of the line on screwing the living daylights out of the middle and working classes. It’s hard for me to feel sorry for Tony Baloney Hayward of B.P. with his couple million dollars worth of severance package. Looks like he’s getting on with his life. I have to wonder when I read and listen to the interviews of gulf coast residents who lament their “lost way of life”; in particular, the loss of oil drilling jobs…(say WHAT?) If ever I had cause to doubt the stupidity of a populace, this tragedy has answered it unequivocally. Our government, having been in cohoots with Big Business for decades, has been over promising, over committing, and over spending for decades. We are now hurtling toward a gigantic fiscal train wreck. There is no way that most Western governments can ever pay their on-going obligations or pay off past debt. But yes, there is always money for more troops for Afghanistan.

  330. treebeardsuncle July 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Why hate people who drive suvs? 1:58 PM
    because they are very selfish and mean-spirited 1:58 PM
    A 1:58 PM
    The suv is 8 x as likely to kill those they hit as a passenger car. 1:58 PM
    They are too big a vehicle for 1 person to drive around in. 1:59 PM
    Most people who drive them only have just the driver in them. 1:59 PM
    The folks who drive them speed, tailgate, and try to bully and intimidate those around them. 1:59 PM
    They have a high center-of-gravity and a large turning radius and are prone to roll-over crashed. 1:59 PM
    The people also do not park properly, stay in their lanes, and go over the limit lines at intersections. 2:00 PM
    They are awkward, ungainly, and view-blocking.
    Their use also drives up the price of oil and gas and depletes resources disproportionately when compared to the impacts of other vehicles. 2:00 PM
    They also pollute more and have lower combustion efficiencies than most other vehicles.

  331. treebeardsuncle July 30, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    It is important to distinguish between states, in the sense of arbitrary bureacratic constructs, and tribal nations which develop out of real feelings of relatedness and passion. Folks will fight more for blood than for strangers. Also a sense of common identity based upon common historical narratives and heredity,blood ties, trumps the artificial conglomerations that are prevalent in today’s political structures.
    amren.com/ar/1997/04/index.html
    Race, Nation and the Soldier
    Wellington’s Secret Weapon
    The qualities that gave rise to a great martial tradition.
    by Steven Schwamenfeld
    What accounts for the extraordinary expansion of British power in the 18th and 19th centuries? Most “respectable” academics offer economic reasons for British success against European powers, and take the view that Western technological superiority accounts for colonial expansion. My study of the British army of the Napoleonic era suggests a different explanation: the moral power of the British soldier, as manifested in his devotion to his regiment, to his nation and — when he was fighting colonial wars — to his race. Patriotic conviction together with contempt for foreigners made the average British soldier the best in the world.

  332. cowswithguns July 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Not a fan of population growth, American Idle (sic) or kiling off the surplus population.
    But, man, I really hope that surplus population — the top 5 percent that uses all the resources — will willingly to stop reproducing. Do you think my wish will be granted?

  333. cowswithguns July 30, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    youtube.com/watch?v=TLjrD-oXkhA

  334. asia July 30, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Re: MEL GIBSON
    Today a friend whos a very hi end limo driver
    [lady gaga, head of mtv etc] drove a catholic priest to Mels house near the firehouse in Malibu.
    i kid you not.

  335. asia July 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    acculture….indeed to do that there has to be a discernable ‘ majority’ to assimilate to.
    re:
    ‘Whites were 90% of America’…english was the language spoken.
    did you youtube:dj freedia/ sissy bounce?

  336. MINDfool July 30, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Racism (if you wish):
    Homo sapiens neanderthalis interbred with homo sapiens that had migrated from Africa. “Neanderthals are on average closer to individuals in Eurasia than to individuals in Africa.” Science – May 7 Neanderthals are as closely related to a Chinese or Papuan individual as to a French individual.
    Neanderthals are descended from a migration from
    Africa approximately 400,000 years ago and later
    were absorbed into a second migration between 80,000 and 50,000 years ago. Thus northeners can be thought of as the descendants of Neanderthals.
    -J

  337. asoka July 31, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    TBU, it is not often we agree, so I want to highlight our agreement on the toughness of the British soldier serving during the times of Britain’s colonization of much of the world.
    TBU quoted this:

    Patriotic conviction together with contempt for foreigners made the average British soldier the best in the world.

    For once, we agree. The British soldiers were the best, well-trained, merciless, and their contempt for foreigners helped them in their vicious oppression of dark-skinned peoples. This is well-documented fact.
    All the more remarkable then, that a skinny saint named Gandhi, wearing only a cotton loin cloth, could defeat the British army without resorting to violence.

  338. asoka July 31, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    ProgressorConserve said:

    But if I buy into that idea as Exclusive Faith then Hope flies out the window and Despair starts building a nest in the basement.

    Hi, PorC. I’m not trying to kick a puppy here, and I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but from my experience with Baptists they do have an EXCLUSIVE FAITH based on John 3:16 and Jesus did say no one gets to the Father except through him.
    So, you are criticizing CFNers who hold a conspiracy theory as an exclusive faith… do you also criticize the Baptists?
    Lots of them explain everything by saying we are living in the “end times” and they are ready for the Rapture, for Jesus’ return, and Judgment Day.
    That is a conspiracy theory that explains everything, too. Do you also criticize the Baptists?

  339. cowswithguns July 31, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    It’s such a convenient faith, too. The baptists can deny global warming, saying it’s a “librul” conspiracy, but the, when things get really bad from excess CO2, they can simply throw their hands up and say, “We were right, it’s the End Times.”
    They can’t lose. Oh, what a beautiful faith.

  340. asoka July 31, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    I’ve had Christians tell me the Bible is the literal Word of God and totally explains everything (it is totalitarian!) Christians say the Bible is a guide for living.
    I’ve read the Bible… more than once. It says man should have dominion over the earth, but I have looked in vain for what the Bible has to say about SSP (Space Solar Power).
    nss.org/settlement/ssp/
    P.S. We’re not doing such a great job taking care of the living things on the earth or under the seas. I bet those guys drilling holes in the GOM ocean floor are Christians.

  341. lbendet July 31, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Earlier this week someone brought up gold and market manipulation.
    I’ve run across a number of articles in the last two years describing fraud including gold bars filled with tungsten and paper owned by many people at once!
    I’m listening to an interview with Max Keiser and Jim Willie (Golden Jackass.com)
    maxkeiser.com/
    check it out. Things should be getting very dicey–soon!

  342. asoka July 31, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    someone brought up gold and market manipulation.

    The Bible does give very specific advice about playing the markets and buying gold: Christians shouldn’t do it.
    Jesus was clear:
    “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…” {Matthew 6:19}

  343. progressorconserve July 31, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Nice, Asoka.
    And not to worry, this puppy will kick back if he needs to.
    Anyway, I’m mentally reviewing my posts over the last month trying to figure out *what on Earth* has lead some of y’all to think that I would defend the Baptists.
    I mean, God Almighty and God Bless America…I’m not getting it.
    OK, now that’s a little joke. I will admit I may have come on a little too expressive in my early days on the threads. Sorry, dude, that’s just how I talk when I’m trying to make a point, attract attention, or tell a story.
    So it’s got to be my post from 3(?) weeks ago entitled, “To SNAFU and the other Atheists.”
    I really should look that post up and reread it instead of “shooting from the hip” like this….but I don’t have time right now.
    I do recall saying that I have tried all faiths in my life, including Atheism, and my default setting is nominal Christianity.
    I also said, “Maybe I’m too lazy to be a good Atheist.”
    Somebody challenged me on it and I explained that my default browser is Firefox but I can still use IE. Which is my effort at being *subtle and humorous* while still trying to say I can understand and profit from all faiths….or even from Lack of Faith.
    And I did admit that rejoining the Baptist Church down the road *might be* part of my plans for surviving a genuine version of TLE.
    You need to understand that if the grandchil’en are hungry that joining the Baptists would be about the most benign thing of which I’d be able to think.
    I mean if Vlad’s compound was nearby with abundant resources…and I had a hungry kid in tow…I could probably come across as a pretty convincing White Supremacist.
    Is that Hypocrisy….who knows…certainly not any of y’all…unless you’ve ever been in a desperate situation with a hungry baby.
    Now, as Cash would say, I do think religious faith as regarding TLE is something that needs, “airing out…” as he said regarding race in TLE.
    And I’ve got a couple of ideas on the subjects.
    But if you’re looking for someone to “defend the Baptists,” or even defend mainstream Christianity….well you’ve got the wrong guy.
    Later on tomorrow I will try to *defend Jesus Christ*….which looks funny in print to me.
    But I’ll try to come up with something along the lines of the bumper sticker, “JESUS CALLED AND HE WANTS HIS RELIGION BACK!”

  344. budizwiser July 31, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    What is it?
    No one knows. But various talking head, and those that think they know more, are at least starting some serious finger-pointing about all the various financial-sector tsunami of negative indicators.
    Mr B, is talking beyond the constraints of the English language, conjuring phrases of blather that yet contain, the warning nugget-words he will recall when telling everyone “I told you so” six months from now.
    Bernanke used nouns like “uncertainty” and “support” that would more likely be understood if replaced by “fucking uncontrollable sordid mess” and “more bailouts.”
    Next month, do we get a start of “quantitative easing” to “support” TBTF bank asset portfolios that otherwise start shedding points from the great “market” known as Wall Street?
    Stay tuned, same Bat Channel, same Bat Time.

  345. asoka July 31, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    *what on Earth* has lead some of y’all to think that I would defend the Baptists.

    Nice, Progressorconserve, but let’s not lose the context. You didn’t answer the question I asked: do you criticize the Baptists for their totalitarian conspiracy theory about “end times” the way you criticize the other conspiracy theories that pretend to explain everything?
    My question had nothing to do with whether or not you are a Baptist. I don’t care.
    The question is whether you are equal-opportunity in dishing out your criticism. If there are Baptists in your family, do you just politely keep quiet, saving your criticism for CFN?

  346. asoka July 31, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Joe Bageant is featured in a documentary film now in production, titled “The Kingdom of Survival”, scheduled for release in November. Others in the film are Noam Chomsky, Mark Mirabello, Ramsey Kanaan, Sasha Lilley, Mike Oehler, Bob Meisenbach, and Will “The Bull” Taylor.
    Writer and filmmaker M. A. Littler describes his film as a search for visions that challenge the status quo. “This is an interdisciplanary documentary combining speculative travelogue and investigative journalism in order to trace possible links between survivalism, spirituality, art, radical politics, outlaw culture, alternative media and fringe philosophy,” he said.
    “Contrary to the popular approach of trying to summon arguments that legitimize a pre-conceived point of view, I sought out contrary opinions ranging from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum, from the spiritual to the strictly secular and from the profound to the profane,” Littler said.
    “The Kingdom of Survival” circles through themes of utopianism, globalized capitalism, anarchism, intellectual and spiritual self-defense, religion and art in an investigation of physical and psychological survival strategies practiced by groups and individuals in a conflict-ridden and confused post-modern world. The film is a production of Slowboat Films .

  347. asoka July 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    CORRECTION: interdisciplinary

  348. Funzel July 31, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Hope,Dreams,Wishes,Religion,
    ONLY pain is real.

  349. Cash July 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Firstly, neither Canada nor the United States has the power to acculture anyone anymore. Nor the will. – Vlad
    I think our way is enormously attractive to a lot of people. I wouldn’t give up on it. The liberal nomenklatura reviles it and works to undermine it. Why do they think this way? I honestly don’t know.
    AA has to go. Set asides based on skin colour are corrosive and divisive. Times have changed, the clock ticks remorselessly, our society and economy have to be colour blind meritocracies.
    I understand that there’s a form of AA for wealthy white kids when it comes to admission to elite universities ie part of the consideration in determining admittance is whether your parents went there. That has to stop.
    This business about people being people: In response (I think to one of Treebeard’s posts) I gave my view of different races. Subsaharan africa has the most genetically diverse human population. I’ve read that there are different tribes of Bushmen that are more genetically different from each other than Europeans are from Orientals. So I’m not sure that skin colour has a lot of significance. The way I see it it’s just an adaptation to sunlight. For example, there are a lot of tremendous East African distance runners. Same with Italians ie it helps to be short, skinny with large lungs. Italians and east Africans may also share genes that help them combat malaria. So could they belong in the same racial grouping based not on skin and hair colour but on the basis of other characteristics?
    So notwithstanding the fact that people have different hair and skin colour are there other characteristics that may be more relevant in grouping and classfiying people into categories? You might want to carve out an arc of people in East Africa, North Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe into one “race” based on certain genetic characteristics and maybe also based on shared ancestry. Similarly you might want to do the same for people in northern Europe and northern Asia based on other shared characteristics. I don’t know that it makes a lot of sense to talk about a “black” race given that under the dark skin colour there’s a lot of genetic diversity. There are also those that say “race” is a construct without much real validity given the genetic overlap between people of different skin colour.
    I’ve read different things about human evolution. Some say that humans are evolving at a tremendous clip. For example, on average we are getting shorter, with lighter bones, smaller jaws and smaller brains. In response to what environmental pressure? Who knows, maybe in response to our relatively new agrarian, industrial, urban lifestyles.
    Some say that that different races are converging in terms of genetic characteristics, some say they are doing the opposite.
    Some want nothing to do with the whole debate. I sympathise with this point of view whole heartedly. There’s just too much ugliness. Look at what happened to Jews based on Nazi racial theorizing. Or to Blacks. Exterminating/enslaving/brutalizing/oppressing was the result. OK by you? Not OK by me. Let’s not go there again. We know with 100% certainty the likely result because we’ve just seen it. Humans may be evolving fast but I don’t think that human nature is changing all that fast.
    Let’s say that you are correct, that the races on average differ in certain areas. So what? Let’s say you have a job opening with people of different races competing for the job. Let’s say that according to scientific studies South Asians on average show a greater aptitude for this particular type of work. But let’s say that your best candidate is Black. Or White. What are you going to do, deny the Black guy or the White guy an opportunity because of some academic study? Averages are just averages. They say nothing about an individual.

  350. San Jose Mom 51 July 31, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Help! Can anyone point me to a website that has effective strategies to combat big box stores being developed in a neighborhood?
    I read in today’s SJ Mercury News that they have plans to put in a shopping area with two big box stores with other stores about a mile from my house. Presently the space is a farm where I buy Christmas trees and pumpkins. I think it’s one of the last farms in San Jose.
    They are hoping to find a tenant like Home Depot or Loews. But heaven forbid, what if they put in a Walmart?
    Thanks, SJmom

  351. beam me up scotty July 31, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    I think your assessment is right on, depressing as that is, and extends beyond our economy.
    What with Climate change, the human race appears to be in a death spiral. Perhaps this is a law of nature, and that’s why we can’t find ET

  352. beam me up scotty July 31, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    RE Macondo
    Doesn’t look like you are aware of a most excellent blog
    theoildrum.com/
    The are experts and debunked Simmons point by point.

  353. Qshtik July 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    To whom it may concern (Vlad, Cash and others), there is no such word as “acculture.” You have bastardized “acculturate.”

  354. asoka July 31, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    To whom it may concern, there is no such word as “Qshtik.” You have bastardized “Queer Shit on a Stick.”

  355. treebeardsuncle July 31, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Hi,Cash. Even I don’t think skin color is that important in terms of human differences. However there are several large human population groupings:
    I. Europeans
    II. North Asians
    III. American Indians and Eskimos
    These three groups are fairly similar in a number of ways.
    IV. Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders
    V. Australoids
    VI. Sub-Saharan Africans.
    Yes, there is also a Caucasian subset of South Indians, Mid-Easterners and North-Africans who have lower iqs (around 84) than Europeans (who average around 100). They also have different temperaments.
    The southern Europeans have more Near Eastern blood than the Europeans north of the Alps who are more like the Cro-Magnons.

  356. treebeardsuncle July 31, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    It is going to take more than a web site. Take a camera, preferably a movie camera and make a visual representation of the current state of the farm, its assets, and facilities. Show and write what is so good about it, what it is worth intrinsically, and extrinsically, and what will be lost. Then make a display of that info and put it up at the farmer’s markets and at the entrence to the facility. Make a fool of yourself by carrying around signs and stomping around out front enough to get some press attention but not to the point of getting arrested.

  357. treebeardsuncle August 1, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    Ok. So liberals take certain articles on faith like other religious nuts. They believe in evolution but don’t believe that it applies to diferences among humans, especially differences among populations. Also, they do not believe in heredity as far as it affects the human brain as it regards group, and individual differences.
    amren.com/ar/1997/05/index.html
    Two clear examples come to mind immediately to show how preposterous is the liberal position. The first is the evolution argument. Most liberals believe in evolution, as do I. Yet the position of a liberal who believes in evolution can be summed up as follows:
    “After a period of hundreds of thousands of years, evolving under different climatic conditions, encountering different challenges such as the Ice Ages, suffering different epidemics, subjected to different catastrophes and good fortune, all races magically ended up equal.”
    It would appear unlikely and hard to believe that after such an enormous length of time and under such different circumstances every group would end up at the same point, but this is the theory the liberal has to sell to intelligent people. Astonishingly, they seem to buy it.
    The other example of a liberal position that seems impossible to defend is the view that the human brain is the sole exception to the laws of heredity. It is now indisputable that heredity governs many facets of human life. It is admitted even by the liberal that heredity governs height, eye color, and hair color. The liberal will concede that heredity governs all forms of plan

  358. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    Allright, SNAFU, way to use math!
    Now, why don’t you work out the mathematical equation for the potential of jet fuel to explode- “Six million sq ft of masonry, 5 million sq ft of painted surfaces, 7 million sq ft of flooring, 600,000 sq ft of window glass, 200 elevators, and everything inside came down as dust, according to Greg Meeker of USGS” , not to mention 200,000 tons of steel, thrown into pieces,some of which pierced neighboring buildings, plus pulverized humans, bits of which were tossed onto the rooftops of neighboring buildings?
    I’d love to see the equations for that!
    Didn’t you state before that the buildings were ripe for falling, and it was just a wonder that a pigeon smacking into a window didn’t bring them down earlier?
    Or was that someone else?

  359. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    You know, Cash, I grew up in Los Angeles.
    And I thought of different styles of housing as being different cities.
    Pasadena vs Pico Rivera vs Echo Park, etc.
    But then I grew up and found Pasadena in other places, as well as Pico Rivera and Echo Park.
    It turns out that the architecture was TIME based, not place based.
    Your experiences in Italy?
    Dude, my uncle lived in extreme poverty in Oregon! No electricity, no indoor plumbing, no piped in water.
    One of my co-workers’ husband is in his twenties, and grew up without running water or electricity, in Kansas.
    It’s poverty, not geography!
    It can happen anywhere. The advantage of the US is that Roosevelt chose to bring electricity to a lot of people who wouldn’t have had it if left up to profit seeking capitalists.
    And then they try to say that our lifestyle is brought to us by the ruling class!
    I don’t think so.

  360. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    No, Vlad, I don’t wonder why Marx is taboo. I told you, because his insights and analysis make sense, and they prefer to keep us in the dark, fed bullshit.
    Yes, you are disingenuous. You took a critique of free trade, with a flippant endorsement as the last sentence, as if it were an argument for free trade! Either you can’t read, or you’re disingenuous.
    I said before that I honor my English heritage by holding to the socialist ideals that came before Marx.
    Did you forget that? Or are you charming me by playing to my sympathies?

  361. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    What pun?

  362. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    You may very well be right.
    But that’s depressing!
    I think that humans have a vast repertoire of behaviors, and that we have lived in harmony with others in the past.
    As Marx (hah!) pointed out, real conflict started with class division, which probably came about when we moved from hunter gatherer lifestyles to farming.
    If people on Tahiti or Hispaniola were living fantastic lives, until the superior Europeans came and slaughtered them, I think that we could live fantastic lives, as long as we drop the superior European mindset of conquer and destroy.
    What’s so hard about that?

  363. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Oh,and thank you to you, vision and tripp, for the compliments! (Blushing)

  364. treebeardsuncle August 1, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    Vlad, this is for you.
    This is what a liberal would have done at the pass of Thermopylae. The pc liberals are the ones who are opening the gates of our cities to foreign invaders, who are opening up the states to hordes of folks who look to displace the white Europeans and usurp and destroy culture.
    amren.com/ar/1997/05/index.html
    The lack of television meant that I did a lot of reading, much of which was from the tales of antiquity and novels by the Victorian writer, G. H. Henty. One of these stories was that of the pass at Thermopylae. Like generations of Europeans before me, I sentimentally identified with the men of Sparta who died “obedient to her laws.” One main character in that story, however, fails to stick in most people’s memory. You will remember that a Greek shepherd showed the Persians a mountain path around the pass by which they could ambush the Greeks from the rear. That man was Ephialtes the Malian.
    As a child I read about Ephialtes and imagined that he must have been the most shocking sort of out-and-out traitor. However, in my old age, having had much experience with liberals, and especially with Christian liberals who believe that Christianity enjoins more concern for other groups than for our own, I have changed my image of Ephialtes the Malian. I no longer see him as simply a traitor, pure and simple, but as a much more complicated psychological type.
    I see him looking at the Persian “immigrants” as they come to take his people’s homeland. I hear him saying, “Oh, look! Here come those poor Persians looking for a home. I bet they have interesting things to eat. Maybe they will open up a Persian restaurant. We’ll have diversity. Why, look at that one there; he might want to marry my daughter. Poor things. They look hungry and thirsty. Maybe I can help them. It’s what Zeus would have us do.”

  365. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    Genocide, Vlad?
    Really?
    Come on! Birth rates drop with intelligence, education and income.
    Shouldn’t you be all about that?
    Calling it genocide is a cheap shot, demeaning and beneath you.

  366. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    Pay attention, Prog!!
    I am a Green and I am opposed to open immigration precisely because, as you point out, we need fewer people in the US burning fossil fuels as if there were no limit!
    And because immigrants are brought here (the same as our forefathers were, give me your tired, your poor, my ass!) to drive down wages for the working class. That is why George W. Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama, etc, are ALL for “immigration reform”, and why Ronald Reagan legalized millions of low paid immigrants. If the Democrats and Republicans are both for it, I’m inclined to be against it!
    Please do not pick and choose what you want out of Green politics to attack all of us.

  367. wagelaborer August 1, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    Asoka, my grandpa was a British soldier, and he was fighting white people.
    Just saying… It’s not all about the racism.
    It’s about the money.

  368. nacm August 1, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    “The essence of the fraud was the “securitization” of debt, because the collateral was either inadequate or altogether missing.”
    The REIT has been around for a long time – without the kind of problems that caused the financial collapse. Wall Street is certainly a convenient scapegoat for the looney left. A bigger problem was/is the CRA, which was greatly expanded under Clinton. And ACORN lawyers (e.g. Barrack Obama), suing banks, forcing them to lend to people who don’t pay their bills. The NYT had an article on the coming crisis BEFORE it happened.
    nytimes.com/1999/09/30/business/fannie-mae-eases-credit-to-aid-mortgage-lending.html?sec=&spon=…
    P.S. Matt Simmons is nuttier than a fruitcake. He’s been saying crazy stuff for many years now.

  369. asoka August 1, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Progressorconserve, you said you are involved in Georgia politics. When it comes to the second amendment where do you stand?
    The USA constitution says the right to bear arms shall not be abridged.
    Georgia law says guns are not allowed in places of worship (like Baptist churches)
    Are you with Georgia or with the Feds?

  370. messianicdruid August 1, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    “So notwithstanding the fact that people have different hair and skin colour are there other characteristics that may be more relevant in grouping and classfiying people into categories?”
    I am reminded of the man who came to Jesus to ask for help with an inheritance squabble he had with his brother. Jesus asked him, “Who made me a judge or divider over you?”
    Why must people waste so much intensity on pigeonholing others? Sweep your own doorstep, before you go over and sweep your neighbors. God can sort things out without our help.

  371. Laura Louzader August 1, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Asoka, this is where property rights become important.
    A property owner’s rights to forbid weapons on his property should prevail over a citizen’s right to “bear arms”.
    2nd Amendment rights mean the right to bear arms in public and on your own property, and on that of people who permit it.
    In such a case as you mention, the Baptist Church should be allowed to forbid arms. So should an employer on his property, or a condo association, or a restaurant, or any property owner.

  372. progressorconserve August 1, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Defending Jesus
    Many writers on the CFN threads have attacked orthodox Christianity for a few of the *excesses* committed in the Name of Christ.
    As a “born again” Christian (who knows how to think) it is difficult for me to disagree with many of those attacks.
    So let’s try a different approach:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible
    Thomas Jefferson wrote his own Bible. He did away with the Old Testament, the Miracles, all of the writings of Saul (Paul) of Tarsus.
    Could we agree with President J. that it is hard to argue that most of the actual words and acts of Jesus represent “peace” or “pure love” or…at least represent a net positive for humanity…if taken at face value.
    *(And we can acknowledge for the Atheists that it might have made you happier if Jesus had prayed to “The Powers that Be” instead of to “His Dear Heavenly Father”….but Jesus was a product of his times…so try to go with me here……haha?)*
    So I am suggesting that Jesus presented a great outline for living a good life in peace and love…a “Wonderful Religion” if you will….that could easily add Itself to any faith with which it came in contact…a la the Messianic Druids of the first century in the English Isles.
    So Jesus taught a “Wonderful Religion” but a very poor means for social control. It took “the powers that be,” the Catholic Church, whatever you wish to call it….it took the next 14 centuries to shape the Pure Light of Jesus into a means of social control…
    That would allow (mostly) white nominal Christians to spread terror and destroy entire civilizations…..
    Secure in Peaceful Knowledge because they *KNEW* they were doing The Will of the Christ.

  373. ozone August 1, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    The USA constitution says the right to bear arms shall not be abridged.
    Georgia law says guns are not allowed in places of worship (like Baptist churches). -Asoka
    I’m definitely with “the Feds” on this one.
    A bit of internecine warfare [amongst various “houses of worship”] might be one of the finest wake-up calls ever voiced! ;o)
    “Who’s got the best gol-durned God around? Why, it’s patently obvious that OUR God has given us victory over those damned-and-gone-to-hell Methodists!”
    (oh man, I’m just friggin’ grim today…)

  374. progressorconserve August 1, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Laura,
    You are SPOT ON in your argument against Asoka that banning guns (or alcohol, pornography, whatever) from Baptist Church property is a standard “private property” argument.
    But I’ll go ahead and stir the pot some more, anyway.
    I’m a *big* gun owner. I would not want to live where I live…backed up against National Forest in the N Ga Mtns…without ready access to a large variety of weapons.
    And I’m in favor of the whole 2nd amendement.
    “a well regulated militia” AND “the right….to keep and bear arms…shall not be infringed.”

  375. ozone August 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    “Hope,Dreams,Wishes,Religion,
    ONLY pain is real.” -F.
    Damnit Funzel, now you’ve gone and laid it out naked in the sun!!
    Yep, there it is; the reason for the acquisition of wealth and stuff: THE AVOIDANCE OF PAIN. (Or you might say: the insulation of comfort and pleasure.)
    Thanks, F.

  376. Laura Louzader August 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    I am also in favor of the whole 2nd Amendment, and that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.
    However, when a property owner forbids you to bring your weapon onto his property, he is NOT infringing your rights.
    You are infringing HIS rights by overstepping his control of his property. Your rights end where his begin.
    If you want to carry a gun, that is your right and no government body has the right to abrogate it.
    And no one has the right to overstep my rights on my own property, or property I control by contractual right, such as my rental apartment or store, or the business I own.

  377. progressorconserve August 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Cash,
    You may think this is a trivial point…that only a biologist would care about….but you seem to be misunderstanding a key mechanism of evolution.
    You say
    **************************************************
    I’ve read different things about human evolution. Some say that humans are evolving at a tremendous clip. For example, on average we are getting shorter, with lighter bones, smaller jaws and smaller brains. In response to what **environmental pressure?** Who knows, maybe in response to our relatively new agrarian, industrial, urban lifestyles.
    **************************************************
    The **environmental pressure** emphasis is mine, not Cash’s.
    Please understand that at the level of *individuals and POPULATIONS” that evolution acts using reproductive success ONLY.
    In other words, if individuals with “smaller brains” have more offspring…who have more offspring…who have more offspring… than other individuals…then the genes for “smaller brains”…will increase over time in that population.
    Note to all…this is basic evolutionary biology…I’m not trying to “stir up” Tree and Vlad about genetics again.
    ‘Cause I concede they may be correct with some of their “genetics theorizing” ….but their ideas don’t help me much from where I attempt to live, today, in peace and love in the *integrated* South.
    And their ideas…taken to public extremes…could cause big problems.
    Now…is it Wage? with the paid sterilization??…I think I just gave you some new ammunition!

  378. progressorconserve August 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Laura,
    Look, I am doing my absolute best to agree with you here. You are totally correct about the right of private property “controllers” to restrict OR allow legally carried weapons.
    We’ve had a big “dust-up” in Georgia lately about legal carry on public property…specifically *non-sterile* areas of the Atlanta airport…and in the parking lots.
    I argue in favor of the “legal carry at the airport crowd” for pragmatic reasons.
    But I understand both sides of the argument.

  379. progressorconserve August 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Asoka,
    Maybe it is obvious by now, but OF COURSE I criticize those *end-times Baptists.*
    *************************************************
    do you criticize the Baptists for their totalitarian conspiracy theory about “end times” the way you criticize the other conspiracy theories that pretend to explain everything?
    The question is whether you are equal-opportunity in dishing out your criticism. If there are Baptists in your family, do you just politely keep quiet, saving your criticism for CFN?
    *************************************************
    Thinking Christians have always had a problem with extreme eschatology, starting with Jesus when he said, “…this generation shall not pass away before these things come to pass…”
    Jesus was talking to HIS GENERATION. He and they all KNEW what he meant.
    Why is it so hard for the rest of us to see it AD 2010?

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

    So, a Christian church, which is a public place of worship, and is publicly subsidized due to property tax exemptions, is actually private property… where you can be killed by religious fanatics. I will stay out of churches.
    Wedgewood Baptist Church in Texas (1999 – seven killed).
    Living Church of God in Wisconsin (2005, seven killed).
    The Ministry of Jesus Christ in Louisiana (2006, five killed)
    Youth With A Mission and New Life Church in Colorado. (2007, Four killed).
    Knoxville Unitarian Church (2008, seven shot, two killed)
    I could convert my own house into a church, so as not to pay any private property taxes.

    When George Michael placed a cross on the side of his lakefront mansion, neighbors assumed the decoration was simply a display of the man’s religious faith.
    What his neighbors didn’t know is that Michael had decided to convert his $3 million residence into the Armenian Church of Lake Bluff, qualifying him for a nearly $80,000 break on his annual property tax bill.
    Now, locals are questioning whether the property is a church at all. Village officials wonder how they’ll be able to make up the lost revenue, and residents worry that their share of the tax burden will grow as a result.

    Convenient that a church is private property but doesn’t have to pay property taxes.

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

    Easy Wage,
    I’m not attacking you personally…just the Greens of CA on open borders.
    Like you, I believe in the power of group action. I’ll think about joining the Greens if we could get a standard national platform plank on secure borders….I might even bring a few *conservative?* Georgians along with me…to the Green Party.
    Any ideas where we should start?

  382. progressorconserve August 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I wondered where you were trying to go with all this. Now I know…
    **************************************************
    So, a Christian church, which is a public place of worship, and is publicly subsidized due to property tax exemptions, is actually private property… where you can be killed by religious fanatics. I will stay out of churches.
    **************************************************
    I’ll agree with you that *most all* mainstream churches should not be tax exempt..mainly because the *conservative* ones around my area are all TOO involved in politics.
    Also, to you AND Laura…
    The private property argument is a slippery slope as regards a *private* business.
    I’m thinking about the Starbucks…right to open carry…fight that was in the news early this summer.
    And I’m thinking about how Mr. Paul may have wrecked his fledgling political career by trying to argue that the Civil Rights act infringes on private property rights of restaurant owners.
    Nuanced arguments, ladies and gentlemen…
    Nobody said this stuff was simple!!

  383. asoka August 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Progressorconserve, it appears we are in agreement on far more issues than those few where we disagr