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Eleven year old Jeff Greenaway is in love and on the loose in Manhattan circa 1962.
This book will crack you up.
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Whose Client State?

M y country can cry all it likes about yesterday’s referendum vote in eastern Ukraine, but we set the process in motion by sponsoring the overthrow of an elected Kiev government that was tilting toward Russia and away from NATO overtures. The president elected in 2010, Viktor Yanukovych, might have been a grifter and a scoundrel, but so was his opponent, the billionaire gas oligarch Yulia Tymoshenko. The main lesson that US authorities have consistently failed to learn in more than a decade of central Asian misadventures: when you set events in motion in distant lands, events, not policy planners at the State Department, end up in the driver’s seat.

And so now they’ve had the referendum vote and the result is about 87 percent of the voters in eastern Ukraine would prefer to align politically with Russia rather than the failing Ukraine state governed out of Kiev. It’s easy to understand why. First, there’s the ethnic divide at the Dnieper River: majority Russian-speakers to the east. Second, the Kiev government, as per above, shows all the signs of a failing state — that is, a state that can’t manage any basic responsibilities starting with covering the costs of maintaining infrastructure and institutions. The Kiev government is broke. Of course, so are most other nations these days, but unlike, say, the USA or France, Ukraine doesn’t have an important enough currency or powerful enough central bank to play the kind of accounting games that allow bigger nations to pretend they’re solvent.

Kiev owes $3.5 billion to Russia for past-due gas bills and Moscow has asked Kiev to pre-pay for June deliveries. This is about the same thing that any local gas company in the USA would demand from a deadbeat customer. The International Monetary Fund has offered to advance a loan of $3 billion, of which Kiev claims it could afford to fork over $2.6 billion to Russia (presumably needing the rest to run the country, pay police salaries, et cetera). Ukraine is in a sad and desperate situation for sure, but is Russia just supposed to supply it with free gas indefinitely? As wonderful as life is in the USA, the last time I checked most of us are expected to pay our heating bills. How long, exactly, does the IMF propose to pay Ukraine’s monthly gas bill? In September, the question is liable to get more urgent — but by then the current situation could degenerate into civil war.

The USA and its NATO allies would apparently like to have Ukraine become a client state, but they’re not altogether willing to pay for it. This kind of raises the basic question: if Russia ultimately has to foot the bill for Ukraine, whose client state is it? And who is geographically next door to Ukraine? And whose national histories are intimately mingled?

I’m not persuaded that Russia and its president, Mr. Putin, are thrilled about the dissolution of Ukraine. Conceivably, they would have been satisfied with a politically stable, independent Ukraine and reliable long-term leases on the Black Sea ports. Russia is barely scraping by financially on an oil, gas, and mineral based economy that allows them to import the bulk of their manufactured goods. They don’t need the aggravation of a basket-case neighbor to support, but it has pretty much come to that. At least, it appears that Russia will support the Russian-speaking region east of the Dnieper.

My guess is that the Kiev-centered western Ukraine can’t support itself as a modern state, that is, with the high living standards of a techno-industrial culture. It just doesn’t have the fossil fuel juice. It’s at the mercies of others for that. In recent years, Ukraine has even maintained an independent space program (which is more than one can say of the USA). It will be looked back on with nostalgic amazement. Like other regions of the world, Ukraine’s destiny is to go medieval, to become a truly post-industrial agriculture-based society with a lower population and lower living standards. It is one the world’s leading grain-growing regions, a huge advantage for the kind of future the whole world faces — if it can avoid becoming a stomping ground in the elephant’s graveyard of collapsing industrial anachronisms.

Ukraine can pretend to be a ward of the West for only a little while longer. The juice and the money just isn’t there, though. Probably sooner than later, the IMF will stop paying its gas bills. Within the same time-frame, the IMF may have to turn its attention to the floundering states of western Europe. That floundering will worsen rapidly if those nations can’t get gas from Russia. You can bet that Europe will think twice before tagging along with America on anymore cockamamie sanctions. Meanwhile, the USA is passing up the chance to care for a more appropriate client state: itself. Why on earth should the USA be lending billions of dollars to Ukraine when we don’t have decent train service between New York City and Chicago?

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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.

185 Responses to “Whose Client State?” Subscribe

  1. Hands4u May 12, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Good morning Jim- Why not just have China build a bullet train west through Ukraine as it is looking at building one to North America. It would be good to see “our dollars” paying for the latter and why not also the former since we can’t seem to stop the presses!?

    • CancelMyCard May 12, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      What dollars? Do you mean the electronic bits & bytes resident on some sundry and various hard drives around the globe? Those thingies that a well-placed solar flare or EMP could wipe out in about 4.3 nanoseconds?

      It’s all batshit artifice. Here’s what is really mind-warping — the fact that the BOJ is actually considering simply writing off trillions of bonds, and keep the squirrel-cage churning forever. Read this, and shake your head —

      The author concludes —

      “I believe this is what the Japanese policymakers are planning to do. It is the best option they have. Moreover, I think it will work.

      When it does work, I believe the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank will follow suit and write off the assets they have accumulated with the trillions of dollars worth of fiat money they have created since this crisis began.”

      He’s delusional in his conclusion that this will actually improve the world economy. But this would certainly be the trigger point into the hyper-inflationary swan dive.

      • Karah May 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

        part of debt management is providing a structure for paying down interest so that the beginning principle can be paid completely off.
        nation states do not work that way anywhere in our modern economy. they always owe somebody and it keeps adding with each new birth. Ukraine will be owing Russia more in the long run because i just heard Putin is guaranteeing pensions with a raise.

        makes sense if he is going to get that money right back in gas sales. pensioners in eastern Europe are going nowhere.

        i have noticed one big obstacle to easterasia that has been there since medieval times – the language. those people talk and write nothing like the latin based languages. thats a huge reason why they DO NOT get along with us or Europe, it is just too hard to understand them without a translator, another major expense translating everything we do for them, different font, etc. it was the cause of the catholic schism. it has been reported Putin is for going back in time to czarist Russia, when there was no delineation between state and leader. a time when earthly kingdoms of the earth represented god’s sovereignty, when no one was openly homosexual and women knew their place. he has a lot in common with the middle east in that way.

        recently there was a seminar held by ed glaeser and other prominent city promoters/planners. they have decided a nation state is not worth having without a good city. the literature is free online to read but we all know the liturgy. which leads me to ask what kind of city does Ukraine have when a mob can just walk right in and take over. a major part of citytopia is having inaccessible fortresses in the sky. that is completely in harmony with jhk’s view of the future. the president had to run out of state when he could have just hid in a tower 1000 feet high with its own independent water source, food rations and underground rail service.

      • Hands4u May 13, 2014 at 10:04 am #

        CMC- Of course, sarcasm reigns here. If were are going to crash why not pretend along with the system we’ve “bought into” (keep printing the paper/plastic) and move on. Everyone and everything is going to be at a material/financial loss. Just because the cookie jar is empty doesn’t mean you have to destroy it. Buck up! The best we can each hope for is progeny that will live on and a quiet and painless death.

  2. Neon Vincent May 12, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    “It is one the world’s leading grain-growing regions, a huge advantage for the kind of future the whole world faces…”

    Yes, it is, although the after effects of industrial civilization will linger on for more than a century in the form of climate change, which is predicted to decrease agricultural production by up to 2% per year.

    That’s on top of the inability of the planet as it is to support nine billion people in 40 years, as we are hitting resource limitations.

    Crash now–avoid the rush!

    • Hands4u May 12, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      NV- The rails could be used then to transport the grain and other commodities (Sorry NZ I’m feeling a little facism-ly facetious- I had a little run-in with the HR Head on Friday, I think I got under his skin and am now unable to log-in to do charting this am!)

    • bob May 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

      A two percent decline rate in agriculture production suggests a linear rate of change, but climate change goes exponential,due to self reinforcing feedback loops,the hotter it gets the hotter it gets. I do hope that we have a chance to go medieval. Though it seems that that would be magical thinking.

      • BeerBarrel May 12, 2014 at 3:59 pm #


        Man-made climate change theory being feedback driven is even less supported by the sparse data being used by the alarmists who use it to run around, like chicken little, screaming that the sky is burning. While I agree that climate change is probably occurring and is possibly exacerbated (i.e. accelerated) by human emissions, it’s important to keep ones head out of the liberal asses that run Washington today.

        We have bigger concerns, such as overshoot and declining fossil fuels – peak oil is history – and how we’re going to deal with the mass victims of starvation and disease that will be calculated in terms of excess deaths per year in amounts like 200 million. (WWII was calculated to be 10 million excess deaths per year).

        Some of us will live, most of us will die off. Climate change is irrelevant, really.

        • James Levy May 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

          Your assessment of the state of the climate may be accurate. Your assertion about “liberals” in Washington is fantasy. For goodness’ sake, don’t make statements that are just plain unsupportable. Obama is not a liberal. Alito and Roberts are not liberals. Boehner and Cantor are not liberals. Reid is not a liberal. The last person in any position of authority in Washington who could legitimately be termed a liberal was Speaker Wright, and he was run out on a “scandal” that today wouldn’t compare to the shit that is pulled on a daily basis in the House, Senate, and Executive Branch today.

          Words have meanings. Liberal denotes someone who is opposes to the Military Industrial Complex and the National Security State, supports civil rights, and believes in regulation and redistribution of corporate activities and profits. You may not like those things–that’s fine. But don’t misuse the term because you want to cast aspersions on politicos you don’t like.

          • sauerkraut May 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

            Nicely put, JL.

        • bob May 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

          I haven’t heard the Liberal asses mention the most devastating self reinforcing feedback loop ,which is methane bubbling out of the Artic and Siberia. Methane in the short run ,like ten years is 100 times more potent a greenhouse gas than Co2. You should check that out to see if it’s’ theory or scientific fact. Assuming that peak oil isn’t just some theory I would expect that we get whacked with the double whammy . I expect for awhile that the bodies will be collected and disposed of in mass graves. Maybe others would have some insight how that part would play out.

          • sauerkraut May 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

            As for how it will play out, bob, I think that TPTB have worked it out in some detail. The legal framework for an authoritarian government is already in place in many jurisdictions.

            And damned good thing, too. I think that you are quite correct, that few people are intellectually prepared for the coming level of privation. Better an authoritarian central government than the random violence of local criminals. I prefer a functioning central government for as long as possible. Your views may differ.

          • jjhman May 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

            I confess when I see a rant that starts out deprecating “liberals” or “right wingers” I ignore the rest and write off the author as an ideological fool.

  3. James Levy May 12, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Speaking of natural gas, at our Town Meeting on Saturday we voted overwhelmingly to reject any overtures for a fracked gas pipeline through our neck of the Berkshires. People understand that the gas they are drilling in Penn and, when Governor Cuomo decides to run for the Dem nomination, in Upstate NY (he’ll need to appease the energy interests and gobble up their campaign contributions) is NOT for us. They get that it will all be gone within 20 years, that the pipes leak greenhouse gases, and that the plan is for it to power Boston and the rest be shipped to Maritime Canada and Europe.

    I was surprised as hell and pleased as punch that these facts are percolating through the population. We may in time be steamrollered by the Powers That Be, but at least we are not sheep being driven to slaughter.

  4. K-Dog May 12, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Ukraine’s destiny is to ‘go medieval’. Going medieval not Pulp Fiction style, but medieval by having an agriculture-based society. In the meantime:

    “Conflict within Ukraine increases the likelihood of the suspension of grain shipments, as farmers hold on to their harvests to hedge against Ukraine’s devaluing currency. This will reduce existing global grain reserves and consequently drive up the prices for such commodities. This is of particular concern for the MENA region, where there are long-term partnerships for grain supplies from Ukraine.”

    Our sponsoring of the overthrow of an elected Kiev government may have humanitarian consequences far beyond the Washington boys in a bubble ever intended.

  5. AKlein May 12, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    As usual, it’s a whole lot easier – and way more fun – meddling in others’ backyards than tending to our own. For us, the Ukraine disturbance serves two purposes. First, it keeps domestic attention off our very thorny domestic problems which have no easy solutions. Secondly, we have a voracious military-industrial complex which must continually key up new involvements in new conflicts as others wind down. “Full Spectrum Dominance” requires continuous care and feeding. It’s just that simple.

  6. shotho May 12, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    As someone who goes to West Ukraine every year on business, I can pose as an expert; except that I’m not and I don’t know anyone who is. The city of Lviv is a tourist marvel, almost like a medieval fantasy world. As Western investment has flowed in there, it has become a tourist mecca. The development has been astounding in the fourteen years I’ve been going there.
    But, then, you go out into the countryside – daylight to dark – truly medieval – beautiful people and beautiful scenery, but grinding poverty and no infrastructure. You’re right about its agricultural potential. That is its past, present and future. And why not? What does it need with freeways and suburbs?. The basis for a sustainable future is right there. If only they would stop yearning for the bright lights of Paree – or Microsoft. And if only IMF, EU,USA would stay out!
    By the way, the population is 98% literate – wanna make some comparisons?

    • K-Dog May 12, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      At 98% literacy comparisons might not be a good idea. So don’t follow this link to find out the percent of American adults who can’t read.

    • Levko May 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      I actually moved to the Ukrainian countryside from America, and I go to Lviv frequently.
      The difference between the city and the country is indeed stark. One thing I do like about the lack of development is the potential this place has for a “sustainable future” as you say. I have a pretty serious garden and would like to sell produce (like rare heirloom fruits and vegetables) sometime soon. When I travel to the city I get all the positives of “civilization,” and, in general, I enjoy living near such a beautiful, historical city.
      I’m not sure what Jim means when he says the United States sponsored the overthrow of the current government. I saw the protests firsthand, and they were a grassroots effort facilitated by social media. If anything people here were upset the US didn’t do more to help. It was really rough at times–people were being kidnapped from hospitals and murdered, people were being tortured by the police. There were no Ukrainian government structures that could help them. Ordinary people could only do so much to change a horrible situation. Ukrainians felt very alone in the world at these times.
      I feel that Jim is being too harsh in his assessment. I’m not sure if he realizes it or not, but he seems to be repeating Kremlin propaganda. It’s quite hurtful to me personally and disappointing to see him actually buying into it.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

        How many inches of rainfall do you get there? How deep is the topsoil? Do people still remember the brutal Polish Occupation? And how the Cossacks saved the suffering Orthodox People?

        • Levko May 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

          I have no idea how many inches of rainfall we get here. The geography and climate are similar to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

          By our house there’s about a meter of topsoil.

          People remember Polish times. No one’s really resentful.

          They also remember the Cossacks.The Zaporizhian Cossacks are sort of cultural icons similar to cowboys in America.

          • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

            A meter! By God, that’s good. Are people wise to the Jews? They were the bullyboys of the Poles: collecting rents, loaning at outrageous interests, refusing to allow churches to be opened until money was paid, etc. The Ukrainians couldn’t get at the Polish Lords who were safe in their castles, but were able to get at them. Now it’s reversed: the Jews are the Lords and the Nazis and “Liberals” are their underlings.

          • Levko May 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

            I have never really heard anybody complain about the serfdom of the past. The Polish “pans” (aristocrats) left behind their mansions and estates and people talk about how Ukrainians and even Africans worked for them, but there’s no bitterness about it. The old estates are more like historical curiosities to modern day people here.

      • Cheesewhiz May 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

        I’m curious what you see as “Kremlin propaganda” here. JHK never cites RT as a source. The basic scenario depicted by alternative media bloggers – that a lying scum-bag president was overthrown by an angry mob with a strong skin-head contingent while our State Department cheered and forked over $5 billion in cash, while starting a media blitz in the U.S. to prepare the sheeple for, God help us, war with Russia – seems to be thoroughly grounded in reality. The unnerving ability for eastern European countries to disintegrate and suddenly fall into bouts of ethnic cleansing based on 200-year-old grudges (as we saw in Yugoslavia) seems to be well-established, too.

        I have no doubts that the Ukraine government was a gangster-ridden cesspool and plenty of people with legitimate grievances took to the streets. But in the end, even according to the mainstream press, this was ultimately about trade deals and, sadly, the current Ukrainian government suffers from questionable legitimacy. (The constitution lays out firm rules about how impeachments are carried out, and these were not followed – and came up short by 10 votes, with all the dissenters too fearful for their lives to even show up.)

        The American mainstream media and government have shown themselves to be too dishonest to even report accurate unemployment numbers. Now we’re being told that we should believe them about Ukraine – even as the events in Odessa and other regions make the official story collapse? (For example, “terrorists” don’t organize and carry out referendums…the people we call “terrorists” are obviously the regional governments and police forces of these regions.)

        In short, I see nothing that would convince me that what happened in Ukraine was a fight for “freedom” that the United States should mess with.

        • Levko May 14, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

          The first sentence of this post contains many examples: “…we set the process in motion by sponsoring the overthrow of an elected Kiev government that was tilting toward Russia and away from NATO overtures.”

          The US didn’t set the process in motion. I was present at early protests in November. They were mainly student organized and apolitical. At one rally in Lviv a politician from the Svoboda party got on stage and was forced off by the student organizers. They wanted it to be very clear that this was not about party politics. Sometime in December US Assistant Secretary of State Nuland did a photo op while giving out soup to the protesters, but there was no real substantial help (like five billion dollars) given.

          There is also an assumption that what happened was an “overthrow” of the government. That’s not true either. Yanukovych left the country and his post (videos show that he planned his departure days ahead of time) and the parliament was the only functioning governing body left in the country. The deputies in that parliament voted in the new interim government. You’re right that there was a question about Yanukovych’s impeachment. The Ukrainian laws are not very clear about the procedure, but it is a moot point. The impeachment was unnecessary because Yanukovych abandoned his post. Parliament would have been better off having omitted the impeachment in the first place.

          That this was about NATO also repeats a Kremlin created red herring. No one started talking about NATO until Putin did this spring. The protests were not about NATO and NATO membership was not on the table or part of the national conversation.

          I’m not sure why you bring up ethnic cleansing because that just hasn’t been one of the issues here since the protests started in November. The protesters were quite diverse actually. The first protester to die was of Armenian descent. The second–Belorussian. The interim government is also diverse. It is multi-ethnic, religious, and linguistic. This is absolutely not about ethnic clashing or Ukrainian versus Russian speakers. However, I do hear Putin invoking such ideas and people in America seem to be falling into the trap of picking up on it.

          By the skinhead contingent, I assume you mean Right Sector? Their leader is a candidate for president, and he’s polling at about 1% right now.

          I also read alternative blogs, but I understand that their authors are not necessarily held responsible by anybody. In such an environment it’s important for readers to be active in the collective discussion. I respect Kunstler for the work he’s done. I included a text or two of his on my reading list for my Master’s thesis defense. I pretty much agreed with him on everything he said up until this situation in Ukraine. But his facts are inaccurate in this case and I don’t agree with his conclusions. As someone who cares about what he says I feel responsible to interject my own thoughts and experiences here. I hope it makes what is a good blog even more dynamic and rigorous.

          • Karah May 14, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

            we had a ukrainian exchange student, i thought he was speaking russian, he was not shy in clearing up his difference with russians. they do not even have the same greeting. its all greek to me…

            i know another ukrainian woman who married an american and moved here. i do not think she cares much about the political situation because she left it all behind years ago.

            the conclusion i have come to is that people in that region find it very difficult to live there because someone, more than likely the expatriated russians, are pushing them into a corner.
            the next generation is rebelling against what they see is a lackadaisical attitude toward independence from russian fed.
            putin eas very clear in his speach mainly addressing the fears that the russian puritans would not be put in the corner with all the other variuos cultural/language groups.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      Yes, materially poor but genetically rich. And 98% literate? Just like old New England. Nordic New England. Obviously comparing a Nordic/Slavic Nation like Ukraine with a rapidly darkening “place” like America is comparing apples and rotting oranges.

      I’m impressed with the passion on both sides. Middle class ladies digging up stones and passing them to the fighters. Americans are Dead compared to that. No culture left at all. That’s what opulence does. The terror of Communism was ice that preserved the traditions of Eastern Europe to some degree.

      The old story of the North Wind and the Sun is illustrative. The Wind and the Sun made a bet on who could take off a man’s cloak. The Wind blew with all his force, but the man just clutched to his coat all the more. The Sun warmed him and he took it of his own accord. Likewise, with material opulence, a man sheds his culture and stands naked, a cipher to be made into whatever his masters want; a poorly made, second rate savage.

    • BeerBarrel May 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Daylight to dark!

      Reminds me of a tour I took of Detroit – riding a motorcycle east on Jefferson Boulevard past the Tiger stadium into the bowels of ‘little mexico’ and Detroit blight to emerge into Grosse Point along the waterfront of lake St. Claire, where the rich maintain their picturesque mansions. A strip of no-man’s land of about 50 feet wide separated the two – the effect is startling. Well, this case it was dark to daylight!

  7. Being There May 12, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    What you are watching is the Shock Doctrine at work.

    Both sides of the aisle are working feverishly to destroy the modern nation state in favor of centralized banking and transnational corporations.

    From our trade deals TPP and the the European one to the madness of neoconservatism they are smashing every country that wants to be a nation with a social contract with their citizenry. Anyone who wants to be a country gets in our way and if you’re not with us, you’re against us and, of course you know, that means war.

    What we’re left with is the tyranny of the Maaaaahket. They claim to want a free market system, but it’s totally rigged. The ideology of the free market is as unrealistic as communism. Neither are possible. No regulation = no rule of law. TBTF is against captialism and despises competition.

    Until we recognize this and denounce it we will continually be a victim of it.

    It needs to end.

    • K-Dog May 12, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      “Smashing every country that wants to be a nation with a social contract with their citizenry.”

      Starting with the one originated on this founding document.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

        Face it: most of your cohort agree with the all the provisions of the Communist Manifesto. Until you see the danger there as well as from the “Right”, you can’t be trusted.

        In Truth, the Left has always been funded by the Banks in order to break all nations and destroy all middle classes. Until you know this, you are a loose cannon. Don’t feel bad, most people are.

    • ozone May 12, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      I really don’t think the looting of Ukraine is going to work out so well. As JHK says, events are in charge, and things are going to get decidedly dicey for the removal or transfer of “assets”. (I’ve heard the bullion has already been spirited away, however.)

    • capt spaulding May 12, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      Well said, Being There, of course our republican friends are trying to institute the same thing here. Notably with the postal service, and federal prisons. They would love to turn them into for-profit ventures. I wonder what a for- profit prison would be like for the inmates?

      • Being There May 12, 2014 at 11:51 am #

        Capt. S.

        There are already prisons for profit and as I recall a judge who was throwing teenagers into the prison for $$$$(what else) was prosecuted a few years ago. I remember a Law and Order episode followed soon afterward….it’s a nightmare. Just look at the statistics of how many people we jail compared even to China.

        O. A couple of months ago I posted on this site a description of the black cars on the tarmac spiriting away the gold.

        I don’t call us Murder Inc. for nothing.

        • capt spaulding May 14, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

          Hello Being There. This is off the subject, but I think you will be interested in this. On Netflix (streaming), there is a documentary called” Terms and Conditions May Apply.” I found this to be quite interesting, and would appreciate your input as to what you think about it. This applies to anyone who has seen it. Your feedback will be appreciated. Regards to all. The Capt.

  8. ozone May 12, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    “My guess is that the Kiev-centered western Ukraine can’t support itself as a modern state, that is, with the high living standards of a techno-industrial culture. It just doesn’t have the fossil fuel juice. It’s at the mercies of others for that.” — JHK

    Yes, there certainly is that, and the cardboard cut-out of a coup-installed “government”, beholden to the IMF is not going to help matters whatsoever!
    If Ukraine does not succumb to a very hot [un]civil war, I predict that by this coming fall it will be swept away by popular disgust due to crushing privations, oppression and stupidity. If that were to happen, it could again be its’ own sovereign nation again (allied to Russia, of course) that would then face its’ predicaments with a sense of purpose. …And Russia would be greatly relieved that it wouldn’t have a [total] welfare client on its’ hands.

    On another essay-related note:
    “…the Kiev government, as per above, shows all the signs of a failing state — that is, a state that can’t manage any basic responsibilities starting with covering the costs of maintaining infrastructure and institutions.” — JHK

    Hey now! Did you know it’s “Infrastructure Week” in this grand broke-ass country of ours? Yep. Go out and fix a pothole this week; your country thanks you!

    • Helen Highwater May 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Actually, a man in New Brunswick, Canada got tired of waiting for giant potholes in the street to be fixed so he fixed them himself. The municipality told him citizens were not alllowed to do road work, and that he had to remove the gravel he put in the potholes or face a fine and pay for the city to come and do it. Funny how the municipality had people and equipment available to un-fix the potholes but nobody was available to fix them.

      • K-Dog May 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

        Pothole Vigilante

        Interesting story but a little more complicated. The ‘lawbreaker’ is unfixing the potholes himself in fear of city workers removing his gravel because the work might not be up to standards. If he has to pay for the gravel to be removed via city resources he fears it will cost more than if he pays to undo the fix himself. Consequently he hired a private contractor to undo his work. He did not want to take the chance that the city might actually find his work acceptable.

        I think the stuff has to be packed in hard if it is done right.

        • K-Dog May 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

          Testing my link I realize something. The title on the linked article is misleading and has been sensationalized to pull in readers. If you actually read the article you’ll get details that make you realize the title totally misrepresents the article content.

          I wonder how much news gets pumped out about Ukraine that is sensationalized and misrepresents the actual facts.


          Ok, I don’t really wonder about it.

        • ZrCrypDiK May 13, 2014 at 3:39 am #

          In Russia, you no drink vodka – vodka drink YOU!!!

          Hehe, I just don’t get what’s so EVIL about the USSR/Russia (other than the same old mafia that runs the US/EU). KGB leader – well, I gotta admit, for 55+++ he’s pretty BUFF (Vlad Putin).

          I’m trying my hardest – plz don’t delete my post!!! And here, the east coast US got flooded out yet AGAIN… All that water gotz to sux – Texas would like SUM. Their aquifers are almost completely dried up, and no signs of “liquid” (plenty O’ frackin’ tho)…

          16 $TRILLION$ – let’s not (forget)… China holds about what – 1.6 $TRILLION$ of US debt. and the rest, TOTAL hold about what – 2.9 $TRILLION$ of US debt?!? (doesn’t add up?)

          Print it outta thin air at the FED, loan it to banks at 0%, and let banks loan it back to the US GOVT at 3% (leveraged 10+++:1)!!! Sounds like a “sane” plan!!!

          Hahaha!!! whatever happened to the *SPACE SHUTTLE*… Talk about sad – NASA, you FSK’n SUXORZ. Scrub engineers. Total *HACKS*.

          SUBURBIA!!! public transit?!… hehe!!! It’s never too late. Stop guzzlin’ da gas, make a change – differentiate, walk/human *POWER* (never hear much about that)…

          • K-Dog May 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

            “Texas would like SUM. Their aquifers are almost completely dried up, and no signs of “liquid” (plenty O’ frackin’ tho)…”

            Season 2, Episode 8 has a segment on this. The other segment about PNG having the ‘Resource Curse’ (see question 1) is also pretty good.

            But don’t worry about Texas because they believe in Jayzus down there and are praying to his dad for rain as the linked VICE segment shows. De Lord is going to drop what he is doing to change Texas weather for them awhile they continue to live in ways that exacerbate and cause the drought because they pray. But being as man is the most important thing to de Lord he is always willing to drop what he is doing and help man out.

  9. And So It Goes May 12, 2014 at 10:58 am #


    I wonder how many Berkshire residents walked to this Town meeting?

    If you drive a car, then please understand your hypocrisy in regards to fracking.

    If you don’t drive a car, then your fracking protests are some what legitimate.

    Please understand that, until lifestyles are changed. Fracking protests are just a lot of noise…. When the oil becomes expensive, you and your neighbors will jump back on the fracking band wagon; The “Berkshire’s” lifestyle, after all, must be maintained.


    Living in the Berkshires where fossil fuels consumption for daily travel is is absolutely necessary, while protesting a new source of fuel that will maintain this lifestyle, at least for a time.

    Move to a walkable city, and then your fracking protests will have at least the appearance of legitimacy.

    Fracking will happen because all fossil fuels sources will be mined. Nations, their industries, and their people will demand it.

    I won’t bet on your moving to a walkable city, or me giving up my automobile.

    That’s just the way it is.

    • Helen Highwater May 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      Fracked gas is not what is used in cars.

    • aaron_espro May 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

      There’s a reason why appeal to hypocrisy is a logical fallacy.

    • BackRowHeckler May 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

      What the Frack?

      And I’ll raise you 2 Berkshires on that.


  10. TimBloom May 12, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Thanks for your perspective on the Ukraine. You have such talent in summarizing complicated situations that I’m frustrated every time you delve into just how corrupt the US financial system is. Duh. I suppose there’s an audience out there still “viewing with alarm” that Wall Street is a criminal enterprise, but at this point, I can’t help but think that it’s a waste of your time and talent. I eagerly await the next World Made By Hand. Hope your garden grows well. Thanks again.

  11. Being There May 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Here’s a video of Chris Hedges discussing the US narrative re: foreign policy. It describes the attitude and full blown distortion of what’s going on.

    This morning I noticed the media would not accept the east Ukraine voting on the referendum where they called the vote a sham. I thought to myself these people can’t accept the truth even when it slaps them in the face.

    Our system is so distorted in attempt to control other countries that the media refuse to tell the truth in protection of their careers. Hedges calls it careerism.

    ‘Last thing US wants in the world is democracy. It wants control’

    • Janos Skorenzy May 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Remember, America is supposed to be a Republic. Democracy, also called mob rule, is the enemy of the Republics and the rule of law.

      Democracy or Mob Rule, is really rule by those who control the Mob, in our case, the Plutocrats and Media Masters.

      I mean you don’t actually believe everyone should be voting? Just because they have a heart beat? Shouldn’t there be qualifications? Shouldn’t citizenship be earned? Think it through and you will come to agree with me.

  12. volodya May 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Do what’s in your national interest. But there’s a foreign policy establishment consensus that prevents that.

    What the US should do (if it was in its power and if the State Dept could just for once think outside the concrete box it constructed for itself) is to present the Ukraine to Russia wrapped in a bow.

    As Kunstler says, Ukraine is destitute. Why on earth would the US or the EU want to grab this falling piano? So let the falling piano crush someone else, Russia, that is, if Putin is dumb enough to get underneath it.

    Assuming the referendum was done on the up and up (hah) why would we think the good citizens of the eastern Ukraine want to align with Russia? Out of ethnic solidarity? I doubt it.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are run by gangsters. Both are disastrously corrupt. But Russia has at least got some money coming in from fossil fuels. Maybe the good people of eastern Ukraine (both Russian and non-Russian) did some accounting and voted with their wallets.

    Talking about falling pianos, there’s Pakistan. The Chinese are gung ho about Pakistan for reasons only they would know. The place festers with corruption, nukes, terrorists and is, by a lot of worthy and well considered opinion, the most dangerous place on the planet, a dire threat to India and, given its nuclear weapons, places beyond. Why does the US need such a monumental pain in the ass as an “ally”? Who needs it? Maybe China. So wrap Pakistan in a bow and hand it over.

  13. Cold N. Holefield May 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    And so now they’ve had the referendum vote and the result is about 87 percent of the voters in eastern Ukraine would prefer to align politically with Russia rather than the failing Ukraine state governed out of Kiev.

    Those numbers are certainly disputable. It is interesting to watch it all unfold, though. It reminds me a 1980’s movie…

    Revenge Of The Smerds

  14. sauerkraut May 12, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    Response to BeerBarrel, 3:59.

    Just to clarify, exponential growth is a relationship in which the larger something is, the faster it grows. It relates magnitude to change.

    You refer to data, BB, but the issue is far more complex. First, you should have learned in 3rd year statistics of the many assumptions needed to support any significant data analysis; e.g. normality, equal variances, interval measurement, etc. etc.

    Second, AWG theory rests on three things: a solid observation (global warming), a set of plausible mechanisms (green house gasses, forcing), and an excellent correlation between the two. All of this has been worked out in the greatest detail. You will note that AWG data is directly involved with only the first and third, while experimental data is used to support the second. Thus “sparse data” for positive feedback mechanisms is to miss the point: feedback mechanisms are studied separately, not in the context of AWG.

    Also, BB, no expert asserts that AWG is caused solely by self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms. Virtually every expert, however, is warning about them. These include unstable deposits of methane and ice cover reflecting sun-light. For references see the IPCC reports.

    You say, BB, that “We have bigger concerns …”, by which I assume you mean either the economy or the coming consequences of its failure. I would point out to you that living things live in an ecosystem, and that human beings do things within that ecosystem. Without a healthy ecosystem, there is no modern economy, and no large human population.

    It is less a matter of “how we’re going to deal with” it, than how to prevent the very bad from becoming even worse, that is, a near term human extinction event.

    • BackRowHeckler May 12, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      Hey SK I’ll buy in to that GW Bullshat when Al Gore gives up his 2 private jets, 3 mansions, and private yacht moored on the Tennessee River. That sonofabitch burns up more fuel taxiing around the runway at the Stockholm airport, in his 747, in Sweden to pick up yet another humanitarian award, than I burn all year driving around town in my F250.


      • sauerkraut May 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

        Well BRH, a stopped clock is right twice a day. Even Congressmen know when to use a washroom. A fact is not affected by its messenger.

        AGW is far from BS, according to 98% of those who study such things. I point out that they are all smart, and mostly motivated to seek the truth. How could it be otherwise, when they work for 1% of what they could easily steal on Wall Street?

  15. BackRowHeckler May 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the Taliban has launched a springtime offensive, just when we’re fixin to get the frack out of there.

    They’ve already shot up a bunch of places and set off some bombs.

    There’s a spring offensive in Hartford right now too, in fact a gunfight today right in front of an elementary school. I already mentioned the poor sucker who caught 12 rounds to the chest the other night down by the newspaper. 12 rounds!! That’s some fancy shooting by any measure!


  16. Conelrad May 12, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Another excellent post, but somewhat marred by a misunderstanding of money. Please see “Turn That Frown Upside Down,” a presentation by Dr. Stephanie Kelton, at YouTube.

    • sauerkraut May 12, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      I watched that piece, but found it unimpressive. She stated the obvious, that the Great Balanced Budget Debate is nothing but theatre to distract the ignorant, and that the federal government can and should spend whatever is necessary to fix infrastructure.

      But her talk ignored every elephant in the room: federal spending on unproductive assets, wealth inequality, peak oil, AGW, etc. She even mentioned the petro-dollar without recognizing its significance, that it is based on a declining resource, which is ending.

      Undergraduate economics, with just enough truth to appear cogent. IMO.

      • Conelrad May 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm #


        • sauerkraut May 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

          What, specifically, please?

          • Conelrad May 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

            “MMT Does Do Policy” ( is a possible starting point, though there are many.

            Regarding climate, you might find “Monetary and Fiscal Policies for a Finite Planet” ( well worth your time.

            Dr. Kelton’s lecture was designed to break through the neoliberal model, not to address your excellent points.

          • sauerkraut May 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

            Thanks Conelrad. I read that one, and I agree that it’s right, as far as it goes. The thing to remember, though, is that most mathematics is about linear phenomena, which often does not represent the real world.

            What is required to model social reality is highly non-linear mathematics, which is pretty much intractable. The only feasible way to approach that is with non-linear simulation, which is what is used for AWG studies, which is why partially trained statisticians fail to comprehend the results of the IPCC.

  17. Crue May 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    “Why on earth should the USA be lending billions of dollars to Ukraine when we don’t have decent train service between New York City and Chicago?”

    Between New York and Chicago? Hell, we don’t have decent train service between New York and Washington. Nope, the so called “high speed” train that does the Boston to DC route would never be considered high speed in Europe or Asia.

  18. Being There May 13, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    And speaking of monetary shenanigans, please to read Paul Craig Roberts post on the sham that we eased quantitative easing. Instead we laundered treasuries through Belgium….how very interesting indeed.

    • ozone May 13, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Wow! Once again, the government, in collusion with a cabal of bankers, swimming in a septic sea of fraud, have revealed the true nature of their mendacity. Being covert in every respect is a sure sign of desperation. Desperation leads to desperate acts, and (as always) things bent too far inevitably break.

      We have to remember one thing, BT. Very few of this population know who Mr. Roberts is (much less anything of his writings) and don’t care to know. The same probably applies to our host here. That general ignorance could be quite a bit more dangerous than we might want to admit at first blush.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

        He’s a regular on Alex Jones so millions now know about him. No thanks to you and your high brow low brow set.

        • ozone May 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

          Now WTF does that mean, you nasty little provocateur? BT and K-Dog and I link to his essays often. ….and you?

          In the immortal words of Randy Newman: ‘Got no time to trifle with trash like you, ’cause I must be ’bout my business…

  19. contrahend May 13, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    That floundering will worsen rapidly if those [Western European] nations can’t get gas from Russia.

    Western Europe has had backup plans in place for years. Helped by the US, of course. What, do you really think the folks that invented most of modernity can’t plan for eventualities?

    All they do in Western Europe is work on energy efficiency and supply. It’s their forte.


    • Florida Power May 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      Let’s see — Germany’s backup plan is going along with whatever the idiots at the US State Dept dish out because they would really like their gold back, and I think maybe they’d really like the Americans to close up shop after 70 years or so and call it a day.

      You can probably go down the NATO list and discover a force play somewhere — Belgium as US Treasury buyer of last resort? What?

      Yes indeed the Europeans are light years ahead of decadent America in terms of efficiency and perhaps even planetary stewardship. But the inane actions of the USA PTB drive one to despair — even drink, which at this hour is a capital idea. Cheers!

  20. volodya May 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Should citizenship and the right to vote be earned?

    Maybe it should. I remember reading a novel a long time ago about a future world where, if I recall correctly, citizens with voting rights were only those that had served in the military. Imagine that future world. Imagine citizenship based on that standard.

    If you’re compelled to serve in the military that’s one thing. But what if service is voluntary?

    Now what if this all-volunteer force was composed disproportionately of poor black and hispanic boys and what the intellectual glitterati disparage as “trailer trash”, meaning poor, white, Red State boys.

    Now imagine different societal classes with citizenship and the right to hold office and the right to vote reserved for those veterans. Is this fair? Is it wise?

    Many would argue it is both, that people that risked their lives should by rights have the most say and, having seen war up-close, would have the requisite real-life experience and judgment.

    This has parallels in real life. There’s guys like Charlie Rangel. And there’s Republican chicken-hawks.

    Some would say that rich kids still wouldn’t serve even if they couldn’t vote or hold office, that they would use their money to subvert the political process, to bribe office holders to get what they want.

    In any case, consider what happened in the Vietnam era. I read an article (cannot remember where) that talked about disproportionate sacrifice. The article claimed that the Vietnam war claimed the lives of a total of two grads from MIT but that the butcher’s bill for one Boston working-class high school was fifteen dead.

    This is just an anecdote. But I don’t think anybody disputes that the sons of the well off by and large avoided Indo-China.

    So how is this fair? How do you re-dress the imbalance? Maybe, as the author of that novel had it, you don’t hold office and you don’t vote unless you serve. It may not be full compensation for doing something that the wealthy in society avoid. But at least it’s something.

  21. contrahend May 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    Should citizenship and the right to vote be earned?

    I think it’s clear that there should be a test that proves the prospective voter is a citizen, knows who the candidates/issues are, and understands the rudiments of the structure of the government of the country/state/city the vote is tied to.

    Ergo, the same as proving you know what the rules of driving are.

    But, since the two political cancers in the US will always pander to the lowest common denominator, because it has the numbers, this will never happen.

    President Dilma Roussef of Brazil just came on TV – which the cunt never does, even though she ought to on a daily basis, the country’s that fucked up – and promised to increase the monthly free government money to the dumb, ignorant, uninformed poorest people who vote here. Voting in Brazil is mandatory, thus the poor people sell their vote [yes, literally] en masse.

    That is, she gave people who don’t work, and receive taxpayer money for nothing, a raise, shortly before her reelection efforts get under way.

    The poor are by far the largest voting bloc.


  22. K-Dog May 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    “And so now they’ve had the referendum vote and the result is about 87 percent of the voters in eastern Ukraine would prefer to align politically with Russia rather than the failing Ukraine state governed out of Kiev.”


    It doesn’t matter how you vote,

    it doesn’t affect the outcome in any measurable way. By extension, that also goes for protesting, organizing, dousing yourself with gasoline and setting yourself on fire on the steps of the US Senate, or whatever else you may get up to. It won’t influence those in power worth a damn.

    So vote and show the elite you don’t know any better (like you did with Obama) or even that you actually approve their turning the planet into a radioactive lifeless desert!

    • bob May 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

      Our economic system requires constant growth or increasing debt to survive. Both sides of the political ideology are there to keep the money system in place . The debate is usually framed within the context of debt or growth,both unsustainable positions.
      As common sense and science would dictate we are probably headed into what you so aptly describe as a radioactive lifeless desert.
      Sadly it is probably too late ,but it doesn’t mean that we give up.
      Firstly we should demand from the politician and the scientist , the truth of the situation regarding two of the critical issues energy and climate change and their impacts . The politician is in the grip of the corporate state and the scientist is beholden to grants from the state ,so it is a challenge to exercise your freedom. Common sense and rational thought don’t fare well with the insane. Insane defined by Einstein as repeating the same thing expecting different results.
      They have concentrated our attention on another conflict situation. From a psychological perspective we are projecting our shadow onto the other , time to get back to that 50’s thing evil communism versus the evil capitalistic America . Has the terrorist thing played itself out?
      Sure there are failures on both sides , inhumane atrocities. Imagine if we focused on sustainability balance peace and as the song says all you need is love. Go against the truth of existence and we are in the radioactive desert.

      • K-Dog May 13, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

        We begin to live in the crunch time. Under the heel of the hockey stick where the curve begins to shoot up. It is going to take a lot of love.

  23. Pucker May 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    In retrospect, Archie Bunker probably had a lot of middle class common sense.

    • bob May 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

      We should revive the sit com as Archie goes to Washington.

  24. Pucker May 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    In your view, how serious is the problem of necrophilia? What if it’s consensual?

    • Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

      It’s on the horizon but still a ways off. The next big thing will be sex with children. Then sex with animals. Only then will it become cool to be with a hot corpse. Hopefully the “world” (this aeon) will end before any of these things happen.

      • K-Dog May 13, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

        Any way we could convince you to combine necrophilia and masturbation?

    • bob May 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

      I think it a serious enough issue that it should involve your undivided attention.

  25. Janos Skorenzy May 13, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Some fun music here. A shotgun blast from the past. Hate? Maybe a bit, but there are worse things than hatred – such as the current numbness of defeat.

    • BackRowHeckler May 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

      Hey Vlad has Johnny Rebel covered that song?

      You probably won’y hear it at the NAACP convention

      It was a big event when the Good Humor Man showed up in the neighborhood. Those hot summer nights in rural Connecticut, nobody had much in those days. My mother had to scrape up $1.05 so me and my brothers could get 3 chocolate eclairs 35c apiece. Back then these yankees had big families 5, 6, 7 kids. There was a long line at that ice cream truck. That’s why collapse and all this other bullshat doesn’t worry me. We had fun playing ball, fishing in the river, and shooting rats at the dump friday nights with our .22s. All the dads, WW2 and Korea vets, were pretty drunk. It was a helluva lot more fun in fact than this upper middle class neighborhood I’m in now where everybody walks around like they got a goddam broomstick stuck up there ass. Let the goddam place collapse that’s what I say. I’ll grab my rifle and fishing rod and head once again for the river.


      • Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2014 at 4:35 am #

        Yes without guns we’re just slaves. Getting drunk, shooting guns, what the hell is life without this? No wonder Wage hated you. You’re an American! If you can’t sing about Blacks and watermelons, what kind of freedom is that?

  26. BackRowHeckler May 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Lotta empty seats at the Mets-Yankees game tonite. They need to start filling up those seats … clubs have to pay the 1/4 billion $$$ salaries.


  27. BackRowHeckler May 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    How about this: turns out the Tsarnev brothers in Boston were funded and provided weapons by Somali street gangs in Portland Maine. This gang also paid for their terror training in Chechnya.

    The State Dept has brought in hundreds of thousands of Somali tribesmen, dropping them in Maine and Minnesota. Will these places ever be the same? Imagine living there and suddenly 10,000 primitive africans move next door.and down the street, all over town. Think this will be big front page news, or will it be buried on page 16? Nothing to see here.


  28. Lisa May 14, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    I’m not a constant visitor of this (ore any other) blog. I have my own opinion and do not try to persuade anyone to follow it. But I do have questions, which I want to find answers to. That is why from time to time I read the articles and posts.

    As I can see from the discussions the posters in this blog are in their majority intelligent and educated people, and I hope for a reply.

    So my current question is:
    Why (if Ukraine is so hell bent to become a western oriented country) can’t it be a federation just like the richest countries in the world, like Germany, Canada, and US for that matter, and also a great number of other Europian countries?
    Why their government, (which legitimacy is most questionable) chooses to send the tanks and military helicopters against those who ask for federalization of Ukraine?

    Please explain.

    • K-Dog May 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      A video of the private estate of former president Yanukovich which is so damn big I found it using Google Earth told me all I needed to know. A kleptocracy never serves society or the people, only a small minority of self interested assholes. A small minority of self interested assholes who are commonly exploited and propped up by western government as resource extraction machines.

      You say their legitimacy is questionable yet still wonder about their use of tanks and military helicopters to enforce their legitimacy. But is this not what illegitimate governments have always done? It is a timeless story as old a history and looking at history it almost defines humans as being for the most part selfish stupid beasts.

      Sad but true.

      • K-Dog May 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

        a timeless story as old as history…

        Of course there is always more to it. This has a cool map. I like maps.

        • K-Dog May 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

          My link with the ‘cool map’ has lots of information about Ukraine.

          This is interesting. Three Ukrainian lessons for the United States

          In lesson one:

          Somewhat educated young people with no opportunities are a revolutionary class. (JHK rants about this sometimes sort of)

          You will find this.

          These are lessons to take notice of!

          • Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

            Women will sell themselves for food when times get rough. And groups like Femen will try to spin this as empowerment – until they get hungry too. By that point no one will much care about what they or their male drones think about anything. After all, the Revolution will be televised – but only till the power goes off.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

          Did you ever watch Hollywood’s “Taras Bulba”? Strangely enough, the Jewish role in the whole mess wasn’t portrayed at all. Why do you think that is?

    • ozone May 15, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      If you’d truly like a holistic view and analysis of what the underpinnings of these manufactured troubles are about, Michael Hudson has what you might be looking for.

      (I see your specific questions as surface symptoms of nefarious agendas that I am in no way intelligent or informed enough to comment on. Thus, Mr. Hudson; hope that helps.)

  29. Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Surrender monkeys do it again. “Fabius” and the haircut without a brain declare 500 days to “climate chaos”. And that was yesterday. Now it’s 499 and counting. Get you waders and dinghies whilst you can.

    • Being There May 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      Could be a boon for waders and dinghies companies. Let’s hope they’re still made in the USA.

    • sauerkraut May 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      Anybody who makes an exact temporal prediction or implies a binary event with a one day boundary is as foolish as a denialist.

    • BackRowHeckler May 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      Vlad, the day of reckoning was supposed to have been midnight jan 1 2000. Remember that? Yet its nearly 15 years later and here we are, still. Armageddon is always right around the corner, up ahead. But only 500 days left is pushing it. Its not far enough away so people will forget you made the prediction. People will remember, and it will have to be answered for.


    • Florida Power May 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

      There had to be some agreement, some bone thrown to The State Dept. Russia will be better prepared for rising seas with two military vessels courtesy of France.

  30. Being There May 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    Interview with PCR and Greg Hunter’s

    Same subject matter as my poster yesterday, but this is an actual interview.

    • K-Dog May 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      “Somebody dropped over $100 billion in Treasuries in one week.”

      I wonder who it could be? It was not me.

    • K-Dog May 14, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

      Paul knows like most of us do that not dealing with reality and the inevitable is not a good thing. But what will the end result of hiding things and not dealing with reality be? I’ll quote Paul 22 minutes in for the answer.

      “A substantial increase in the real cost of living for Americans. But their income isn’t rising so prices lead income. This will lead to a lot more poverty, a lot more hardship a lot less social stability. In other words a disaster.”

      The Belgium purchase may buy time but the house of cards will fall and the time bought will be found to have had a very high price.

  31. Janos Skorenzy May 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    You were right Jack, about everything. They all laughed at you but I never did. Now the laughter is turning uneasy and dying away. They are waking up – but too late. Their laughter will soon turn to moans of despair and then? To shrieks of torment. You didn’t want that for them and neither do I. But it’s out of our hands now.

  32. Lisa May 14, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    I find this interview quite logical and persuasive

    • Karah May 14, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

      wow…a guy who did not want to be there!

  33. FincaInTheMountains May 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

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

    The deputy commander of the armed forces of Donetsk Republic gives a 24 hour ultimatum to Kiev to withdraw its punitive forces from republic or else…

    Sorry, no English translation, but nevertheless there is amazing force emanating from that obviously battle-tired guy.

    • BackRowHeckler May 14, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

      Wait a minute. You’re telling me there are Commanding Officers in this world who have things to worry about other than sexual harrassment of lady soldiers, are gay troops comfortable in the ranks, can black female soldiers sport a full ‘Fro, how can we recruit tranvestites and make them feel welcome, and has everybody studied the EEOC manual?

      I’m shocked.


  34. progress4what May 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Well, JHK, thanks for this week’s work. Your comment thread seems quite sparsely populated these days. I have to assume that that was your goal. You snapped at your fans and supported your trolls – and this is the result. Makes sense.

    Nevertheless, you are a thinker of unique thoughts, with a depth of vocabulary that seems nearly inexhaustible. And, doubtless, lots of people still read you, even though few are commenting right now.

    On the Ukraine – your view seems to be that the whole mess is mostly the fault of the US. Maybe you’re correct. This view is unavailable in the mainstream media here – which lends it credence.

    And it’s consistent with the idea that US “leadership” at the national level consists of hopelessly bought-and-paid-for dilettantes. Certainly, since Bush the Lessor and Clinton the Placeholder – there has been a perception that only US politics matters, and that the US has the right to project power around the globe without consequence.

    This can not last forever.
    This will, quite likely, not end well.
    Thanks for pointing it out weekly.

    Just as a CFN trivia question – I wonder how many are reading the comment thread without commenting. Anyone care to sound off?

    • Karah May 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

      i wouldnt classify commenters/readers, especially me, as either fans or trolls.

      its terminology like that which creates a poor environment for encouraging “intelligent discussion”. i am going to be labelled?!

      progress4what, why dont you use your real name?

      • progress4what May 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

        The comment was from me to JHK, Karah. I don’t understand why someone would bother to comment here week after week, though, who was not a fan of JHK’s ideas and writings. It’s a big internet, why come here?

        As far as using real names, what’s the point? I come here to consider collapse and express what’s on my mind. I can agree with BackRowHeckler (not his real name, right?) about immigration policy and even post a link like this without having it bite me in the a** at work or worse.

        I bet that ex-FireFox CEO wishes he had donated to that anti-gay marriage California group anonymously, now.

        BTW, I’ve stopped using FireFox. It seems to have technical issues. Chrome does much better – although it has some weird quirks for such a major piece of commercial software.

        • Karah May 14, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

          i dont know why commenters who seek jhks attention post in public forum when he has asked for questions and comments for his eyes be emailed at the above address.

          the point of using real names is to help solve the problem you brought up about trolls.

          its a big internet, yes, but thats why we have search engines and writers have websites using their real name – they want to be found and jhk has invited us to contribute to his site. complaining to him about how he manages his affairs in a public forum is sort of in bad taste.

          how would expressing anything in an intelligent civil way come back to hurt you? i heard about the uni professor of media/communication getting in trouble for expressing his views of the nra. totally warranted given the fact he sets an example for others. maybe he should quit his day job and write books for a living? when are our uni students going to wake up? maybe his example will do it.

          • BackRowHeckler May 15, 2014 at 10:33 am #

            Karah the only way a university professor could get in trouble commenting on the NRA is if the comments were favorable; that would get him kicked out and fired.

            The name of this site is ‘Clusterfuck Nation’. Posters call themselves Ozone, BackRowHeckler, Ripthunder just for examples; point is a lot of crazy sh-t is going to be said. You don’t have to agree with all of it, or any of it. If it gets too crazy JHK kicks you out anyway, which is his right.

            I like the place the way it is.


  35. progress4what May 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    I do wonder if agriculture officials in Russia are armed with sub machine guns. Are they in Ukraine. They soon will be in the USA.

    “Obviously, the Department of Agriculture is in greater need of a spellchecker than they are SMGs, but they will no doubt attempt to justify their purchase of military hardware by explaining that they conduct criminal investigations and may need to do armed raids.

    This is part of a trend to arm every branch of federal government, whether the individual agency has a legitimate need for a paramilitary force or not.”

  36. Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2014 at 4:39 am #

    Word. Neither predator nor prey, the Buffalo, the Bull Elk – the armed citizen soldier. He hides in plain sight behind every braid of glass. Whom does the grail serve? The true King. And who is the true King? The One who serves the Land and the People. Do I speak of the Mandate of Heaven? Perhaps, but know that the Will of Heaven is not immutable. Is it Just to kill an impious King? There is no such thing – by definition. So yes.

  37. Lisa May 15, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Yesterday I posted a question, and judging by replies those who posted the replies know much less than I do. I want to rephrase my question:

    Imagine Canada. One day the government decides to eliminate French as a regional language. French speaking population feels offended and organizes protests. The government labels them “terrorists” and “separatists” and sends the regular army and mercenaries to suppress them. Then they decide to become independent from the criminal government.

    They vote for independence.

    This is an imaginary scenario.

    But this happened in Ukraine, (also the east and the west of Ukraine have different religions), and on top of all the current Ukrainian government was not legally elected, but came to power after the coup.

    And I repeat my question:
    Why US and Europe do not recognize the right of eastern Ukrainians to have and keep their language and religion when it is good for Canada, Switzerland, and over 20 other countries?

    • ozone May 15, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      In case you missed the above link:

      Understanding agendas (means, motive and opportunity) should clear up a lot of things that, ultimately, will answer your question.

      • Lisa May 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

        Thank you, I did miss the link, It explains a lot.

        But still, if it is so easy to recognize the lies, and see beyond the stupidity of mass media, why the mess is going on. I read a lot of foreign sites too (not that I understand many languages, but Goggle Translate is helpful). And it is like most of the world is living blindfolded with wax in the ears, nothing but official propaganda goes through.

        Don’t people understand that we are on the brink of WW3? Do those in power think that nuclear war isn’t going to destroy the poor and the rich alike? Can they hide forever in their bunkers?

        I might be too naïve, but since 9/11 I have questions that don’t get answered. And the biggest are: WHY? IS IT WORTH IT?

        • BackRowHeckler May 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

          On he Brink of WW3?

          Big news here is the NFL has a gay football player.

          Lisa you need to get straight on what’s important and what ain’t.


      • K-Dog May 15, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

        And this agenda sucks:

        “This means that the further economic inequality widens and the more a population is ground down into poverty and debt, the more the weak identify their interests with those of their oppressors. They believe that their best hope is that somehow the rich will reciprocate by accepting them in a patronage system. The effect is to demoralize populations and make them so fearful that they feel even more dependent on their oppressors, whom they hope will see how obediently they are behaving and will treat them better.”

        A very clear headed article that puts things in perspective 4 sure! It further offers a solution:

        “The cure for a rent-seeking oligarchy is to tax away rent seeking and de-privatize public monopolies. What Ukraine’s kleptocrats have taken (and what foreign investors seek to extract) can be recovered by promoting classical progressive policies taxing land and natural resources, regulating monopolies and providing public infrastructure investment, including a public option for banking and other basic services.”

        Somebody should tell Obama. No wait, it is about understanding agendas and that could be playing for the wrong team. He does not have the agenda we voted for. I forget sometimes, but never mind. I’m only a dog; so I’ll think what I want.

        “The problem confronting US-NATO strategists is how to persuade Ukrainian voters to support the neoliberal austerity model of deep unemployment that will force labor to emigrate westward in a wave of “Ukrainian plumbers.”.”

        Can you see the pattern emerging.

        And they know how to do it.

    • nsa May 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      Nothing to do with the inhabitants of Ukraine…..and everything to do with the further dismemberment of the Russian empire……and the theft of their vast natural resources……….

    • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      A Nation is a very delicate thing. It’s a living organism with a body, mind, and skin (borders). To have more than one culture in a the nation is like having more than one mind – a form of madness. Even small differences can becoming immensely irritating – like a hair in your eye or a strand of onion caught in your throat.

      The political genius and willing to live and let live created Switzerland. The immense power and open spaces of America allowed different groups to live here in relative peace. These are conditions that are not easily or often repeated. Canada may well break up some day. The solution is not one that pleased many. The English are 2nd class citizens in Quebec. The Walloons want out of Belgium and the Flemish majority resorted to force to put down Vlams Bloc – as the Greek Government did to the Golden Dawn.

      You understand I trust the maniacal hatred of the Left? What else would lead people to flood Europe with Muslims? Can you imagine a people more different than the Swedes than Somali Muslims? And in the conflict, who wins: the individualistic Swedes with tiny families or the Somalis with huge violent clans backed by the Swedish Police?

      Anyway, evidently the hatred of the East and West Ukrainians is deep. Samuel Huntington wrote about the line that separates the Catholic West from the Orthodox East. Different Cultures who look to different allies. Lisa, it’s not a viable nation and it should split. The Czechs and the Slovaks managed to do it peacefully. It’s already too late for that and the longer they wait, the worse it will get.

  38. Pucker May 15, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    “Breaker 1-9, Breaker 1-9…What’s your 20, Good Buddy? Come back….”

    The other day in California I filled up the tank of my rental car. At the time, it rather “freaked me out” at the thought that the “Filling Station” (“Petrol Station” to you Brits) was willing to exchange “Money” (i.e., infinite digits) for a very precious finite resource (i.e., gasoline). Weird…. Something is very dysfunctional about our economy and our Way of Life…..Value is inverted…..

  39. volodya May 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi Lisa, good questions, good post.

    The way I see it, federal countries tend to have a large land area. They also have populated and urbanized centers with wide stretches of fairly empty territories in between. They also, as you observed, tend to be countries that contain cultural/linguistic divergences.

    Still, for a country to work well (federal or not) the people have to be more or less on the same page on things. For example, in the case of the US, a New Yorker can easily go live in LA or Texas without having to adapt to radically different customs. Or vice versa.

    Having said that, the way some countries accommodate cultural and policy preferences is to decentralise power. On certain matters, the various states/provinces/territories run things. On other matters the national government runs things. That way if groups of people people living 2,000 apart want to do some things differently from one another they get to do it their way.

    The benefit of being in one country despite these regional/state differences is that each citizen gets residency and mobility rights. No visas/passports needed for re-location to Texas from California. In this way does federalism accommodate regional variation without breaking the country up.

    But sometimes the differences get too wide. In the case of the US the Civil War was the result. Contending elites sometimes get in one another’s faces and refuse to budge, which is what you have now in the US Congress. Republicans based in so-called Red States (especially the old Confederate States) refuse to acknowledge the authority or legitimacy of the elected president even going so far as to deny he’s American born. Much the same as the Democrats refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of his predecessor.

    Hate to say it but countries with more than one linguistic group tend to not work well federal or not. Belgium is one case with Flems and Walloons not actually fighting but going long stretches effectively running their own shows separately from one another. Same in Canada where for long stretches the only “national” agenda was the question of the French minority based in Quebec. And this came with bombings, kidnappings, murders, referenda on secession etc. Very disruptive.

    The US has been spectacularly successful at assimilation of a large variety of immigrant groups. Tribal identity is usually a stubborn thing. The genius of the US is to offer an attractive national identity that’s an improvement over the old ethnicity/tribe with all the age-old resentments, hatreds, stupidness and shittiness.

    What about the Ukraine? What good will federalising the country do? To keep the “peace” for a bit longer? Is federalisation a temporary way-station to eventual absorption of Russian speaking areas by Russia? How strong are tribal identities?

    And what about the Crimean Tatars? Muslims no? Badly treated in the recent past no? Much fear, much resentment. Are we looking at jihadist insurrection here? What of Ukrainian resentments over Stalin’s depredations? Have they gone away?

    What I’m saying is this has the makings of a powder-keg. And that trouble-makers ought to be really careful. Plus, how long will the oligarchs (both Russian and Ukrainian) put up with this disruption? War is bad for their business. All this unpleasantness over sanctions. How long before they get fed up and deploy hit-teams? . Putin, for one, may think he can’t be touched. I would say history shows otherwise.

    Federalising may be a solution to the trouble. How long the solution will stick is another question.

    • Lisa May 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      “Federalising may be a solution to the trouble. How long the solution will stick is another question.”

      It lasted for decades; the country would not split if it was not for the criminals in current government. They lost Crimea because of stupidity, they lost east territories because of murders.

      The most upsetting is that the world does not see the greater danger. And Putin has nothing to do with it.

      Read this:

    • Janos Skorenzy May 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      When I was young I was impressed with a guy who had been all over the world. When I got a bit older I realized that he had never been anywhere – he just hung out with the hippie beach crowd in Greece, India, Bali, etc. Same with you: you hang with the same people anyplace you go in America and think that is America. You do not accept Traditional Whites, nor would you be accepted by them. America has not integrated Blacks and Hispanics – nor do they wish to be integrated. You’re living in liberal la la land. America is a slew of different countries waiting to come apart.

      What I have found: the South lost the war but in the hearts and minds of many, they won. Thus a Southerner is more welcome on sight and hear in many parts of America than a Northerner, especially a New Englander.

  40. contrahend May 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    …was willing to exchange “Money” (i.e., infinite digits) for a very precious finite resource (i.e., gasoline). Weird….

    Not strange in the least. First off, greenbacks are only infinite in theory. In reality, there is a fairly fixed amount in circulation. Yes, it is a large amount.

    Secondly, dollars are money because everyone will honor them. Ergo, they represent real value, i.e. real goods and services.

    I find it amusing to read that Russia and China are going to dethrone the dollar’s reserve currency status, and that it will come crashing down in a matter of weeks – or hours.

    China, which holds a few trillion in dollar-denominated securities issued by the US, is going to trash the dollar and lose more than a trillion dollars?

    And the US powers are blind to threats to their currency’s hegemony? That is amusing at best.

    So, they just sit around printing trillions but are so dumb they can’t spot and counter any threats to their wealth.


    • Pucker May 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      The Filling Station is willing to exchange an abstraction (i.e., Money or infinite digits) for something valuable, concrete and finite (i.e., gasoline). It’s a bit like fearing a make-believe gun or index finger and thumb in the shape of gun pointed at one’s head. It’s not a reasonable or rational way of thinking.

  41. contrahend May 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    The Filling Station is willing to exchange an abstraction (i.e., Money or infinite digits) for something valuable, concrete and finite (i.e., gasoline). It’s not a reasonable or rational way of thinking.

    That is incorrect. The dollars you hand them are claims on other goods or services. No one would otherwise hand over petrol for worthless paper.

    This is a like-kind exchange, in a sense.

    Yeah I get the Treasury can print up at will. Still, as long as people are willing to exchange goods for dollars, those dollars represent goods, i.e. tangible wealth.


    • bob May 15, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      To put the pricing mechanism on a solid foundation ,the dollar could be denominated in units of energy, so many ergs of energy to the dollar.
      We can measure the energy cost to produce a product so it could be priced in the equivalent dollars. Our current pricing mechanism is based on economic techno – magic. If oil is becoming scarce it’s’ price increases and more is produced. This magic might work in the short term, but is it reasonable and rational . Since we know the available energy for total production we could have pricing stability.

      • K-Dog May 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

        But here is the rub:

        Since we know the available energy for total production we could have pricing stability.

        We know as time goes by we have less total energy but we don’t ever know the total energy available for total production well enough for price stability to be maintained and corruption would maintain that fact. But your biggest problem is assuming we have a government that wants fair pricing. But that’s Ok; I do it from time to time too. I was brainwashed hanging outside an elementary school as a pup.

        • bob May 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

          Indeed they have done an excellent job of brainwashing,doubtful if any degree of rational thought is possible. In a rational operating system we would know the energy available and make the necessary adjustments to maintain a functioning system. Once we subtract the energy required for operating the common elements we would know what was available for goods and services. Anyways too late for what a bright high school student could figure out , if presented the facts in a realistic manner.
          What is interesting now is how people will react as they come to realize their situation. The first sign of the noose tightening is the higher food prices we are experiencing . With decreasing habitat for food production brought on by a changing climate and extraneous energy available the noose tightens ,with the eventual realization that there is no techno econo salvation . Of course you might be one of the lucky ones that will be raptured . We certainly are in for interesting times.

  42. Pucker May 15, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    If someone went to Mars with a can of gasoline and an American Express card which has more intrinsic value for the exchange goods and services with Martians?

    I suspect that Money (i.e., infinite digits with no intrinsic value) is basically a totalitarian concept. Money will have value only until the power structure decides that it does not have value. At that point, you’d be much better off holding the can of gasoline rather than your Amex card.

    • K-Dog May 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

      There is no oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars which is also too thin to breath so your can of gasoline is worthless. But the American Express card might be worth something to a Martian collector. A better situation prevails on Mars because where we are down here war becomes gasoline by other means.

  43. contrahend May 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    Money will have value only until the power structure decides that it does not have value. At that point,…

    Yes, this is the main error of this board. Fantasizing about some drastic future point in time. Stay in reality, and keep accepting dollars on Earth.

    I will gladly accept yours, though you may think they have no intrinsic value.


    PS Surely this is a joke: WORLD BRACES FOR WAR: Canada send Jetfighters to Poland to Bolster NATO Forces

    • K-Dog May 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

      Yes, but joke not funny!

      Look into the details; its only six jets and I’ll even trust you to draw the logical conclusion.

    • Florida Power May 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      Valid point about staying in reality rather than speculative future.
      Regarding paper money, Pucker’s wonderment is valid, and especially apropos at the gas pump. When Nixon closed the gold window in 1971 making the US dollar no longer redeemable in gold (Bretton Woods accord 1944) all currencies in effect became abstractions competing against each other. In order to maintain the dollar’s reserve status Nixon and Kissinger persuaded Saudi Arabia, and in effect the rest of OPEC, to accept only US dollars for oil purchases in return for US security guarantees, neat US military toys, and according to Jim Willie just recently, a green light for significant price increases (in dollars of course). Utterly brilliant. If anything the world needed black gold more than gold, The Saudis and the Shah of Iran would get stinkin’ rich, and the more dollars demanded for the stuff, the more the nations of the world would need to amass dollar reserves in order to make payment. Hence, the Petro-backed-Dollar. At this point in time, even if some cranky merchant in Kowloon doesn’t want your US dollar, you can still buy Saudi oil with it.
      China has no interest in trashing the dollar overnight, but they are patient — they’ve been at this for a few thousand years — and they feel it’s their turn. The French went ahead with their military vessel sale to Russia, the German CEO’s are not at all aligned with Merkel, and the Saudis, who aren’t that important anymore, might be persuaded to accept other currencies — yuan for example — since the bearers of those currencies have now something of value to offer in return. The world has changed since 1973.

  44. BackRowHeckler May 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Upon further investigation I have to agree with those here who claim the US has a hand in the events in Ukraine, more specifically, the US State Department, made up mostly of elegant international America hating queers and elitist ivy league scum (who also hate America, Americans, and come mostly from Princeton and JFK school of government.) I’ve known a few of these types and they’re pretty arrogant.


  45. BackRowHeckler May 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    One more thing about the JFK school of govt: If you want to go be prepared to take a required course called ‘White Privilege’, beginning next year.

  46. nsa May 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Nuland’s real name is Noodleman……..are the pieces beginning to fit together???

    • progress4what May 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Well I’ll be hornswoggled NSA!
      I was gonna’ call bullshit, but you’re 100% correct except for spelling.

      “Nuland is the daughter of Yale bioethics and medicine professor Sherwin B. Nuland, whose original surname was Nudelman. In her father Dr. Nuland’s books and interviews, he openly describes a family history of depression and mental illness, which required electroconvulsive therapy and led to his resignation as a clinician at Yale. Victoria’s paternal grandfather was Meyer Nudelman from a family of Jewish immigrants who came to New York City from the Russian Empire” – wiki -

  47. Pucker May 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    I suspect that the quandary of the relationship of Money (infinite digits with no intrinsic use value) to resources relates to the Time Value of Money: In the present, people will continue to squander precious finite resources like oil until such resources are exhausted at which time the time value of Money goes Ape Shit.

    • BackRowHeckler May 16, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      True enough Pucker.

      All bullshat aside, that’s pretty much JHKs main point.

      The question for me is what’s the timeline?. If its far in the future, 1 or 2 centuries from now, why worry about it? Let the future take care of itself.

      –BRH .

    • Florida Power May 16, 2014 at 8:45 am #

      Aristotle is typically cited as the original arbiter of money’s definition. Concise summary via Google search:

      Aristotle says that money, as a common measure of everything, makes things commensurable and makes it possible to equalize them. He states that it is in the form of money, a substance that has a telos (purpose), that individuals have devised a unit that supplies a measure on the basis of which just exchange can take place. Aristotle thus maintains that everything can be expressed in the universal equivalent of money. He explains that money was introduced to satisfy the requirement that all items exchanged must be comparable in some way.

      Within such frame work, Aristotle defined the characteristics of a good form of money:

      1.) It must be durable. Money must stand the test of time and the elements. It must not fade, corrode, or change through time.
      2.) It must be portable. Money must hold a high amount of ‘worth’ relative to its weight and size.
      3.) It must be divisible. Money should be relatively easy to separate and re-combine without affecting its fundamental characteristics. An extension of this idea is that the item should be ‘fungible’. describes fungible as:
      “(esp. of goods) being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind.”
      4.) It must have intrinsic value. This value of money should be independent of any other object and contained in the money itself.

      Based on the above the $FRN is not money, violating items 1 and 4, substituting in practice “time value” as if upon issuance a stop watch were counting down, as if the “stored grain” were being eaten by insects, vermin, and mold. Gold obviously fits the Aristotelian definition despite the Keynesian barbarism barb, Buffet’s sarcasm, and Bernanke’s obfuscations. I find it interesting that central bankers publicly scoff at the notion of gold ownership or a gold standard and yet gold remains an essential part of the financial system. if it were meaningless why would the Germans, who are as adept at exploring meaning as anyone, be so concerned with 300 tons the US Fed will neither return to them from “safekeeping” nor let them inspect? WTF? Why is Deutschebank exiting the London “silver fix” and commodities generally? Why are wealthy Swiss unable to inspect their allocated physical gold accounts and filing lawsuits? Why are the Chinese and Russians buying as much of the stuff as they possibly can? Could it be that the techno-modernists know everything, that it’s different this time, and all the barbarians buying and storing gold are a bunch of suckers? Or were the Venezuelans the smartest of all by being first to reclaim their London-stored stash?

      • Janos Skorenzy May 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

        Many things can be used as money. The Indians used Wampum, a kind of shell. Prisoners use cigarettes, etc. None of these are ideal, but neither are the metals. The Global Elite can manipulate these too easily. We need American Notes, debt free printed by our Government as per the Constitution. The Bi-Metalism provision will have to be repealed.

  48. volodya May 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm #


    The Russian conquest of the Crimea was Python-esque. I’ll bet the boys in the Kremlin had a good laugh. Maybe the old boys could do some skits (ie John Kerry as the Black Knight, “… I’ll bite your legs off …”).

    No matter that Americans (like Paul) and some others think that the US calls the shots, that it’s the US that’s behind this and behind that, it’s not the case. There are forces in the world that far pre-date the US and which Americans are powerless to control. What’s happening in Europe has deep historical roots in Europe.

    The people that call the shots in Europe (in this case, in the Ukraine) are European. In the 1950s it was a different story. But this isn’t the 1950s. The United States is a walking-dead carcass of a formerly great power. Americans may like to think they run the world but that isn’t the case and it never was.

    Even at the peak of US power the US military fought to a draw in Korea, a country of dirt poor peasants, then got beat in Vietnam, another dirt poor country. Americans left Somalia with their tails between their legs and, as for Iraq and Afghanistan, American incompetence there makes the Italian military look good. Imagine, a few Afghan shepherds riding donkeys beat jets and helicopters.

    The American citizenry’s will to wage war was always limited. Some people are boggled by whiz bang American weaponry but a lot of others aren’t. A few boots on the ground in the Baltics and a few American operatives muttering behind the curtains are of no consequence.

  49. Pucker May 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    “…to lure investors with the promise of high returns.”

    Is it misleading to tell investors that marijuana investments offer “High” returns?

    Washington D.C., May 16, 2014 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today cautioned investors about the potential for fraud in microcap companies that claim their operations relate to the marijuana industry after the agency suspended trading in the fifth such company within the past two months.
    The SEC issued an investor alert warning about possible scams involving marijuana-related investments, noting that fraudsters often exploit the latest growth industry to lure investors with the promise of high returns. “For marijuana-related companies that are not required to report with the SEC, investors may have limited information about the company’s management, products, services, and finances,” the SEC’s alert says. “When publicly available information is scarce, fraudsters can more easily spread false information about a company, making profits for themselves while creating losses for unsuspecting investors.”

  50. K-Dog May 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Say nsa, have you ever asked Zelda any questions? Do you know if she gives good advice?

  51. K-Dog May 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Check this, Ukraine Frenzy and Trapezoid of Doom.

    An excerpt:

    “It is hard to know what to make out of what is underway in Ukraine. Putin has decided to rock the boat and is doing so with vigor. In a tightly coupled world with brittle-fragile credit markets and the Russian dependency on Western credit, it is possible Mr Putin does not understand the risks. On the other hand, being in the energy business, and absent the need to soothe an sugar saturated- over stimulated population of television watchers and cell-phone fingerers, he might realize that the jig is up. He certainly is aware that the West will sacrifice just about anything and anyone to preserve their precious lifestyles, creature comforts, automobiles and the fuel needed to run them.”

    So as oil becomes hard to get and extraordinary measures are needed to extract it the ‘cost’ of extraction goes up. I wonder if an analogy can be made to the political ecosystem.

    As the global clusterfuck turns up in intensity will the ‘cost’ of domination go up like the cost of extraction goes up for oil? Formerly populations could be more easily lulled and tricked into compliance. This is analogous to cheap oil.

    But now as people become ever more discontent, will it be ever more difficult to control them? Will extraordinary measures be brought out to control public opinion and perceptions like fracking was been brought out to extract oil and gas?

    I think so.


    As the largest exporter of oil in the world I question Russian dependency on Western credit. Seems they hold the cards. Russia is now number one and Saudi Arabia is number two as Russia now pumps oil at a rate faster than any other nation.

  52. K-Dog May 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    Bad dog, should be:

    Will extraordinary measures be brought out to control public opinion and perceptions like fracking was brought out to extract oil and gas?

    Had an extra word stuck in my throat and coughed it out in the original version. An unintentional opportunity to repeat myself.

    • bob May 16, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

      It would seem that you can keep with the conflict scenario which plays out as good versus evil ,us versus them to control public opinion . The ego thrives on being for or against. I can see greater control with greater division. Hitler was a genius politician as he played exactly to the German psyche.

    • K-Dog May 16, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      It is a very short book you can almost completely read online at Amazon. Looks like it’s one man’s rant which for the most part I agree with.

  53. contrahend May 16, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Well folks, here is someone worth listening to – although most of you will not like his conclusions.

    This man is more reputable than mere speculators on this subject since he has intimate knowledge of the colossal investments being made and knows that they are done so because they are profitable and in sync with where the world is going – forward.


    • K-Dog May 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      “The question is only whether it takes 30 years or 70 years.”

      A quote from your dreamy article. That would be great if we had 30 years or 70 years but we don’t so sorry you are up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up

      • ozone May 17, 2014 at 10:35 am #

        Fear not! Why… it’s techno-triumphant and unicorn-y too! Who could ask for more from such an advanced culture? (Benefits and mileage may vary according to social status and critical awareness of smoke, mirrors and obscuring veils and curtains.)

        • K-Dog May 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

          A genuine rainbow shitting unicorn. And here everyone thought we were going to get a zombie apocalypse. How wrong they were!

    • Florida Power May 17, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      Grantham doubts the cost of nuclear will be manageable. That’s a colossal understatement. The final bill for all the nuclear stations already built is yet to come due. I’m surprised he did not cite Germany, which shuttered nuclear in favor of a huge ramp up in renewables. Depending on which source one reads the experience there has not been entirely benign economically. If one wishes to maintain central station power, which is the present means of supplying the large amounts of electricity required to power cities full of ill-conceived architecture or vast swaths of energy-intensive manufacturing, the present power infrastructure is assumed to remain in place. This requires investment to maintain and improve. The costs for this do not disappear because of renewables. There are added costs as well to the power system created by intermittent generation: the system relies on a balance between supply and demand or otherwise falls apart.

      Regarding transport I am more impressed recently with the Elio promising 80+ mpg rather than hybrid technology. Always missing from the hybrid calculus is the energy audit trail leading back to the raw materials in the sophisticated batteries and rare earths required by the engines. Many people seem to think batteries grow like cabbages in the field. And the elements somehow emerge from the earth by some unseen magical process requiring no energy input.

      On top of all is the geo-political environment that apportions who gets what, when, where, and how much. This pertains to Pucker’s Why Civilizations Fail theme, and suggests a spiritual dimension (whether we call it religion or ideology) that is difficult to quantify but acts with the same force as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Grantham acknowledges this when he states it won’t be lack of energy that brings us to our knees. Like Mel Gibson arriving too late to save his mates from destruction in Gallipoli, history is a matter of timing.

  54. contrahend May 17, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    A quote from your dreamy article. That would be great if we had 30 years or 70 years but we don’t so sorry you are up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up

    A typical uninformed canine response on your part. It is not my article, it is the highly informed opinion by a man who has grown a $100 billion investment juggernaut from nothing and who daily interacts with investments in emerging and alternative energy.

    I will rather listen to him when it comes to energy trends, rather than someone who calls himself a dog.

    Your second painful mistake is that you assume we do not have 30 to 70 years. Based on you and your doomsday cohorts’ previous predictions of apocalypse, which have a record of several hundred years of perfect failure, I once again am inclined to agree with Grantham.

    Also, you fail to factor in gradual replacement successes. Wind energy was zero a few years ago, and now is the single largest contributor of electricity in Spain’s energy grid, to cite one example.

    On some days, the sun provides 60% of Germany’s electrical needs, to cite another.

    As always, I offer real-world, demonstrable successes, while you make sweeping, wholly unbacked assertions that you know more than all the scientists and companies making drastic strides in installing alt energy capacity on a daily basis – and then attack the messenger, since the message too blatantly shows you to be wrong.

    So far, the only ‘substantive’ responses to this article from Grantham have been references to a cement truck and unicorns – the typical intelligence level displayed by the blind cthonians that dominate this board.

    Mr. Kunstler, is this the best you can do?


    • K-Dog May 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      “We’re literally stuck up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up” – James Howard Kunstler

      And on other days the sun don’t shine. It must go to the same place you pull your ideas from. Where the sun don’t shine. Regardless your assumption that we have 30 to 70 year is a total rainbow fantasy.

  55. Florida Power May 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Apropos of nothing, or everything: the choice is yours. Regardless, this is the most astounding article of the day:

    • Janos Skorenzy May 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      One of the doors that faced Harry Haller was entitled, “All girls are yours”. What a perfectly entrancing idea. How hard not to open that door.

    • MisterDarling May 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      I saw this on ZH as well. First thought: Validation! J H will be so pleased… ;]

    • K-Dog May 17, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Amazing pics, definitely apropos of something. Does this mean our ‘economic recovery’ is bullshit? Is someone pissing on us and calling it rain?

    • BackRowHeckler May 17, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Hey FP how in hell are GM, Ford and Chysler reporting profits every quarter? Not to mention the Japanese companies. Is it all made up?


      • Florida Power May 18, 2014 at 7:54 am #

        I think it’s what they call a mis-allocation of capital.
        (As well as labor, energy, resources, etc. etc. etc.)

  56. K-Dog May 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Florida Powers link to the problem of seas of unsold cars has a solution.

    Everyone is familiar with Feed the Children, the Christian, international, non-profit relief organization, whose stated mission is “to deliver food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disaster”.

    But why adopt a baby when now you can assuage your liberal conscience other ways. I’ll set up a (sort of) non-profit that will let you adopt an unsold car. For a modest monthly donation you will get pictures of your adopted car and every six months for only a small extra charge you can elect to have a five point inspection done on your adopted car. It’s battery will also be periodically charged with the preferred adoption package.

    You will be able to choose the make, model and color of your adopted car just like you would when adopting a baby.

    Along with pictures of your adopted car a specially prepared brochure will tell you the history and local charm of the vacant lot or unused runway where your ‘baby’ is stored.

    And that graduation present for your newly minted unemployed high school or college graduate?

    An adoption certificate for a brand new shiny unsold car is something they will not soon forget!

    • K-Dog May 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      The cranky software is starting this again:

      ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation.’ I did not do that. NSA is that you?

    • K-Dog May 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      If anyone wants to send me money now and ‘pre-order’ that would be fine with me. Naturally you’ll be getting a discount.

  57. BackRowHeckler May 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Check Your Privilege (you white sons of bitches)!!!

    This from a coed at Sarah Lawrence in the Bronx, where tuition is $62,000 a year. I’m not sure if she’s ever worked a day in her life, most likely not.

    To the 600,000 Afrikaaners living in squalid refugee and squatters camps around South Africa, many of them children of parents murdered on remote farms, Check Your Privilege (you white sons of bitches)!!!


    • Florida Power May 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      Indeed BRH, this is the morality test for all those who embraced the putative brotherhood of man via USA civil rights, S Africa anti-apartheid, Euro-Football “say no to racism” and on and on.

      They have failed the test validating Janos’ Weltanschauung.

  58. Being There May 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Fascinating article concerning the millions of cars that aren’t being sold. Because they won’t actually allow the “Free Market” they tout so much to work as it’s just a ploy for the one way street for global neoliberalism, they are allowing thousands of cars to go to seed and they’re buying up land to park them unmaintained. Oh if they lowered the price so more people could buy they might not be victims of supply side.:

    • ZrCrypDiK May 19, 2014 at 1:59 am #

      Haha, chance’ gardener. I hate autos, and all they stand for/have destroyed (clearcut mines/pollution/CO2/etc).

      Try to find a 2004-7 Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500 for sale, for $5k ABOVE the bluebook price! You won’t – I tried. Evidently, everyone wants this “monster”, as it just doesn’t DIE. 300k miles – no problemo. I’d have expected this sort of engineering in the early 90’s – but hey, 2004 – OK, you got ME.

      So I got suckered into a loan for one, at $2k below bluebook… Who knows, maybe one day (within the next 4 years) I’ll be driving a truck (If’n he *defaults*)!!!

  59. MisterDarling May 18, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    At the end of things, *Clarity*;

    Yes it is an editorial, but it is the proper time for such things (the weekend). Besides, at this juncture, realignments of perception have greater value – the dots are there, we just don’t want to connect them.

    On the other hand, some things are hard to miss:

    J H has inveighed at length about the absurdity of the ‘big box’ store and the ridicul-ogistics supporting it. . . When the world’s largest private-sector employer and retailer starts floating upside-down, something is definitely afoot.

  60. Lisa May 18, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    I find this article interesting:

  61. contrahend May 18, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    It must go to the same place you pull your ideas from. Where the sun don’t shine.

    I actually cite real facts, you are the one with mere ‘ideas’, including attempting to pass off others’ quotes as your own, apparently because you have nothing original to offer besides juvenile retorts.

    As usual, no factual response on your part, just more invective. The typical response of a sore loser.

    Spain – wind power the biggest supplier of electricity
    Brazil – hydropower produces 84% of electricity
    Germany – ca. 60% of electricity supplied by solar on some days
    Sunpower Inc. – $500 million in profitable solar power plants built, supplying electricity to over 100,000 houses in California alone.

    Kdog’s countering argument – …”no, we don’t have that much time. alternative energy is not a resource because it’s not profitable.”

    Sorry, by any yardstick, you have lost the argument. In the face of new facts like the the following you have become laughably antiquarian:

    Around one-third of Google’s operations are made possible by renewable power, but the Silicon Valley giant is gunning to become completely reliant on resources like wind and the sun.

    One of the latest pieces of Google’s puzzle came into place last Thursday when the company officially began operations at a massive solar thermal project in Ivanpah, California that uses 357,000 sun-facing mirrors to make around 394 megawatts of electricity. That project is the largest of its kind in the entire world, and is capable of making enough energy to power around 140,000 area homes.

    “We’ve invested over a billion dollars in 15 projects that have the capacity to produce two gigawatts of power around the world, mostly in the US, but that’s the equivalent of Hoover’s Dam worth of power generation,” Needham told the network. According to IT Pro Portal reporter Paul Cooper, that $1 billion worth of spending has all occurred in just the last year, with new endeavors being unveiled as recently as last week.

    So, add another gargantuan alt energy success replacing millions of barrels of oil with clean energy from the sun and powering another 140,000 houses, bringing the total from just two companies to 240,000.

    However, according to kdog, renewables cannot pay for themselves, ergo they are not resources.

    Speaking to CNBC for an article published on Sunday, Needham acknowledged that a huge amount of Google’s spending has been going towards advancing the company’s reliance on energy sources like solar power.
    In just the last quarter, Needham said, Google spent $2.25 billion on data centers and its general infrastructure, which is a lot for even one of the tech industry’s biggest companies. To bring the cost down, Google has been investing tons lately to be used towards alternative energy sources.

    Well kdog, sorry but you’re old news. Google spending $1 billion this year alone on renewable energy, guess they haven’t gotten your message that the sun is not a resource. Or that alt energy is not profitable.

    Please read carefully the words “…To bring the cost down, Google has been investing tons lately to be used towards alternative energy sources.”

    It might mean something in the real world of business and living, not the dungeons and dragons world of passed-by doomsdayers who are eternally wrong.


  62. contrahend May 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    This is how the age of Energy Ascent is killing the doomsday energy descent false prophets by a thousand cuts:

    Welcome to progress. Whether you like it or not.

    Nevertheless, we salute you as we soar high above you on clean-powered craft into a future of superabundance and optimism.


  63. K-Dog May 19, 2014 at 2:39 am #

    Florida Powers link to the problem of seas of unsold cars has a solution.

    Everyone is familiar with Feed the Children, the Christian, international, non-profit relief organization, whose stated mission is “to deliver food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disaster”.

    But why adopt a baby when now you can assuage your liberal conscience other ways. I’ll set up a (sort of) non-profit that will let you adopt an unsold car. For a modest monthly donation you will get pictures of your adopted car and every six months for only a small extra charge you can elect to have a five point inspection done on your adopted car. It’s battery will also be periodically charged with the preferred adoption package.

    You will be able to choose the make, model and color of your adopted car just like you would when adopting a baby.

    Along with pictures of your adopted car a specially prepared brochure will tell you the history and local charm of the vacant lot or unused runway where your ‘baby’ is stored.

    And that graduation present for your newly minted unemployed high school or college graduate?

    An adoption certificate for a brand new shiny unsold car is something they will not soon forget!

  64. K-Dog May 19, 2014 at 2:54 am #

    Renewable energy renewable smenergy!

    Note the link starting the second page was not discussed!

    Ukraine Frenzy and Trapezoid of Doom.

    The relevant part is Trapezoid of Doom. There is a graph there. Look and study, there will be a quiz.

    Its all over and the fat lady sings. No more economy to drive alternative energy forward. That’s what the rainbow pooping unicorn does not get. It is not about science and what we would like to do and what we could do in theory. It is about the environment that would foster a transition to alternative energy not the energy itself.

    It is about a transition that cannot be. Human nature won’t allow it and neither will economics if you study the Trapezoid of Doom you may see why.

  65. ozone May 19, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Just as a note of interest, let’s distill what we were originally thinking about regarding the actual Monday essay. All rainbow-pooping-unicorn fantasies of grid-powering renewables aside, what this is about is chaos vs. stability (or temporary dependability, term it however you’d like).

    Look at how the US “leadership” is conducting itself around the world. DESTABILIZATION is the only goal. Think of why that might be; if you can’t come up with a theory, then I’m not so sure we can say we’ve gotten beyond a jingoistic/exceptionalist bias.

    Here be an example of “whahappen?”….

    “The forces of General Hifter (or Haftar) are targeting Islamist officials and representatives. Hifter blames them for allowing extremist forces to exert great influence in Libya. Hifter’s forces themselves however are an unofficial militia apparently being allowed to mount a coup against democratically elected representatives. Hifter has past connections with the CIA. Perhaps the US has decided that they need a military strongman in Libya to put down islamist influence in Libya. Recently the US has moved special response teams from Spain to Sicily. They may be standing by if needed to help “restore order” or evacuate US personnel if the coup attempt results in violence against US interests.
    Spokesperson for Hifter , Mohammed al-Hegazi told Libyan al-Ahrar television:” “This parliament is what supports these extremist Islamist entities.The aim was to arrest these Islamist bodies who wear the cloak of politics.”” However, Hifter’s actions are not sanctioned by the government and he has no authority to arrest anyone. There is clearly an attempted coup happening. Al Hegazi said that Hifter’s forces had met resistance from militias. Hifter’s forces also shelled a military base held by an Islamist militia.”

    The point is not to build a working society, but to splinter, divide, turn former cohesiveness into fractionalism — and do so with the maximum amount of death and hate-stirring as possible. Such a lack of a society, fueled by a proxy war, obviates the need for Empire boots on the ground (which wastes valuable resources)..

    It’s about future access to “TRADITIONAL” resources. This is why the renewable-run techno-triumphalist fantasy is going to meet a vicious gutting. All the capital is being invested to keep BAU running to extract the half-decade or so left of profit that resides in it. Getting local with micro-power is going to determine whether one has ANY or not. …And they’ll try to control/steal that as well (“lawfully” of course) when the FF profit binge has collapsed.
    However, what TPTB have not figured is that the deliberate sowing of societal chaos has huge and inevitable consequences that make it absolutely certain that “events are in charge”. If you can’t imagine what those “events” might be, I feel for your sorely uninformed state (or informational bias?).

    As an aside, I find it more than a little telling that the “discussion” (if we could even call it that) always seems to take a very weird turn into optimistic fantasy in the face of vicious and dangerous realities. I believe there’s a lesson to be taken from that….


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