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Reality Optional Economics

J ust published at Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity website.

by James Howard Kunstler
     The total tonnage of economic malarkey being shoveled over the American public these days would make the late Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Minister of “Public Enlightenment and Propaganda”) turn green in his grave with envy. It’s a staggering phenomenon because little about it is conspiratorial; rather, it’s the consensual expression of a public that wants desperately to believe things that are untrue, and an economic leadership equally credulous, unmanned, and avid to furnish the necessary narratives that might preserve their jobs and perqs.By “economic leadership” I mean the consortium of business executives, government officials, academic economists, and media disseminators — and even some bloggers and financial advisers. Some of the latter may be “talking their book,” since they may manage other people’s money and need those other people to believe in the soundness of markets, true or not. And some of the former may be motivated by the fear that even a little erosion of trust in the system could lead to a collapse of the system basted together by little more than blind faith in currencies and dubious “innovative” instruments. But most of these characters are mainly just flat-out delusional.Recently, John Mauldin predicted (on a recent Financial Sense podcast) that “…pretty soon we’re gonna be energy independent… a net energy exporter in the next three, four years.” This meme has been all over the web and the mainstream media since about 2011, emitted by commentators who haven’t noticed either the steep production declines in shale oil and gas wells or the supernatural flows of junk-derived capital for a drilling frenzy that distracts observers from the financial incongruities of the entire shale energy model (in which the word “profit” is absent).Anyway, a week after Mauldin’s prediction, the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) published a 96% knocked-down revised estimate of recoverable oil from the Monterey/Santos shale formation, going from about 15.4 billion barrels to about 600 million (or about 30 days of US supply). That 15.4 billion represented about 64% of the EIA’s total for all the nation’s shale oil reserves, so one might expect at least a shock to the system of junk financing.On the gas side, you have the stark fact that the first three big shale gas “plays” of the shale era (the Barnett, the Haynesville, and the Fayetteville) are now in decline or flat, leaving the Marcellus and Eagle Ford. What makes anyone think that the steep decline rates in the early plays won’t lead to the same fate for these two plays? (Answer: wishful thinking.) The Monterey shale play was going to gin up 2.8 million new jobs and boost California’s tax haul by about $25 billion. As Jim Hansen, publisher of The Master Resource Report pointed out:

Probably the most important lesson from this is that many of the distinctions between resources, reserves, technically recoverable reserves and so on are lost on the mass media, the public and most importantly government leadership. Headline numbers like 15.4 billion barrels and 2.8 million jobs are what set the agenda. Reality is much more nuanced, complicated and sometimes grossly different.

Yet there remains a number of other prominent cheerleaders of the “shale miracle.” The magisterial George Friedman of the geopolitical website Stratfors.com, came on David McAlvaney’s weekly podcast touting the prospects of massive gas exports to Europe and Asia. Friedman characterized it as:

“…a technological revolution as dramatic as Silicon Valley was in introducing the microchip. All the assumptions about energy in the world have been turned on their heads. The United States is now a major producer. The problem is logistic. How do you get it from here to there.”

This is worse than a simplistic view of the situation. The shale gas industry has never been profitable at US prices seen since production ramped up bigtime around 2007. Currently it’s at $4.60/mmbtu, still well under an economically rational level, though it swooned near a miserable $2 just two years ago. So the export idea is that US can build out a massive new infrastructure of gas pipeline terminals to liquefy the gas and a fleet of expensive liquid gas tankers in order to ship gas to Europe and Asia, where demand has exploded, and the price is as high as $15/mmbtu. Okay, when and if the US has the ability to export all this gas (big if, considering the needed cap-ex), what happens to American customers who find themselves competing for this commodity with five billion Asians and Europeans? Do they just freeze in the dark? Mr. Friedman apparently failed to notice the hemorrhaging of jobs and incomes among the disintegrating American middle class. I wonder if he thinks they can afford to run their furnaces at $15/mmbtu.

Willful misunderstanding of the shale gas situation is just one of many examples of thought failure among the class of Americans who even pretend to think for a living. It cannot be due to a sheer lack of brain power (though who can say what the aggregate effect of food additives, off-gassing carpets, and other chemical insults might have had on recent American generations). We apparently just don’t like reality and seem to think we can turn it off, or switch to another channel or web address for a better buzz. This is surely true of the investing sector of the public, some of whom still read and occasionally experience activity that resembles thinking. But they switch the channel away from reality to Fox, Bloomberg, and CNBC for the excellent reason that their good fortune in rising rigged markets makes them feel immune from danger. The state and the central bank have declared unconditional ZIRP and QE, and the portfolios resound with the ka-ching of dividends and capital gains, so why worry… be happy!

It’s a tragic fact of history that sometimes societies lose their bearings. They make terrible choices and bad things happen. It doesn’t have to take the form of a conspiracy, but rather a consensus — that is, a simple agreement between people in charge (and the public subject to their rule) about where that society will direct its priorities and make its investments. Proof of this was the behavior of national leaders and the public in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash. The system was hugely burdened by the debris of loans gone bad, a lot of it packaged into fraudulent bonds. The biggest banks in the nation were implicated in the creation of these frauds and left holding a lot of their own bad paper when the music stopped. Clearing the debris would have restored structural integrity to the banking system. Prosecuting financial criminals in the executive suites of the banks would have disincentivized racketeering and control fraud.

American leadership allowed neither restructuring or prosecution. Banks (except for Lehman Brothers, the unloved “fall guy”) were not only prevented from failing, they were stuffed with taxpayer bailout money, plugged into a new Federal Reserve carry-trade racket (ZIRP), given a green light on unlimited accounting fraud (FASB 157), and allowed to continue their old rackets in new ways, e.g. the new bundled rental payment bonds, “covenant-lite” junk bonds, and new iterations of shady collateralized loan obligations. And, of course, not one bank executive was prosecuted (not to say jailed) for criminal shenanigans that cost the US economy $22 trillion according to the US General Accounting Office.

The public went along with all this to the degree that few of their political representatives were turned out of office, nor was any effective political resistance mounted besides two movements that proved to be weak and ineffectual: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. (David Brat, who unseated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the recent Virginia primary, tried and failed to get backing from the Tea Party.) President Obama, who first campaigned on “hope and change” in the very moment when Wall Street blew itself up, and did absolutely nothing to change the racket-riddled banking system afterward, was rewarded with re-election in 2012. The obvious conclusion is that America, from top to bottom, didn’t want to restructure anything about our national life — and still doesn’t. It wants to stay stuck where it is in a very perilous moment of history, and it has enlisted a laundry list of fallacious beliefs to support its “do nothing” spirit.

Here’s a roundup of the other items from the roster of delusions currently making the rounds.

  • We’ve entered a “manufacturing renaissance.”
  • The “Central Corridor” of the USA, running from Texas to Minnesota, will soon turn into a dynamic industrial powerhouse.
  • A revolution in higher education is underway that will produce a generation of super geniuses.
  • The US financial markets will dominate the world indefinitely.
  • Accelerating advancements in technology will ring in a new golden age of comfort, leisure, and security.
  • The USA has unmatched exceptional entrepreneurial spirit.

In Part 2: On The Fast Track To Crisis, we explore why each of these notions is untrue. Subscribing to them will leave us at least disappointed and at most woefully unprepared for the circumstances in store for our country.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report. (Free executive summary. Enrollment required for full access)


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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.

90 Responses to “Reality Optional Economics” Subscribe

  1. K-Dog July 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    “The obvious conclusion is that America, from top to bottom, didn’t want to restructure anything about our national life — and still doesn’t. It wants to stay stuck where it is in a very perilous moment of history”

    You see it as a perilous moment as do I; but from the top to the bottom of America denial that we are in peril is great; so great thoughts of imminent peril are not thought at all. Your roster of delusions is interesting but for most Americans the simple faith of thinking positive is all that is needed. Only busy minds need your roster. The biggest thought-crime in America is to think negative thoughts and this pervasive spirit which coats all in a toxic goo of mindless obedience is all anyone needs to altogether and completely avoid reality. No other delusions are needed.

    Only depressed people and loosers think negative don’t you know. Negative thoughts always lead to a bad end and keeps one from being invited over for BBQ.

    From top to bottom America is distracted with a new game of social musical chairs. Dancing to the music of economic upheaval all now twitch and jerk in a St. Vitus’ Dance to a tune of confusion of lost wages and broken dreams. All the while hoping things will work out. If their personal choreomania is fast and sincere enough they will sit down on positive cash flows and happy endings. They are sure of it.

    Anything else is unthinkable for when the going gets tough everybody gets stupid. Don’t worry be happy; that’s what is expected of you.

    • ZrCrypDiK July 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      The *DOG* iz tuned in!!! I’m still trying…

  2. Orrin_A July 9, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler,

    OK fine, the shit may hit the fan. A lot of people are in denial about it. And a lot of other people make their living convincing them everything is fine. (And some seem to make their living mocking both types!)

    Is this a rational for living in judgement? Is this a reasonable basis for criticizing another’s inherent self-worth? Is this enough to decide that abiding in love, compassion, forgiveness, patience and humility are unwarranted? Seems to high a price to pay for me.

    Would you take such a tone and throw such darts and poison at a child still growing up, still learning his / her way in the world? After all, you did say reality is nuanced and complicated, didn’t you? What if humanity is still in its childhood? Maybe some tenderness and patience is required.

    Is there anything about the world to be grateful for?

    Just sayin’…

    • hineshammer July 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      Thank god we have people like James living in judgment of those who continue to try to blow smoke up our collective asses while they lie through their teeth. As for “criticizing another’s inherent self-worth”, to what are you referring? I see no criticism from Jim of anyone’s self-worth. Besides, who are you to decide what the self-worth of another is? As for “abiding in love, compassion, forgiveness, patience and humility”, what kind of new-age bullshit is that? The scoundrels that Jim does criticize would scoff at such a notion and brush it away as they march on to make their next billion. They care nothing of such things. As for humanity, no it is not still in its childhood, though it is still childish.

      • Orrin_A July 9, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

        Hineshammer,

        I am detecting a general (i.e. not towards me) scent of anger, righteous indignation, and condemnation. If I have misinterpreted, my apologies. Assuming I have not, how is this helping matters? This sort of attitude is highly unlikely to change the behavior of those targeted. In fact, it really just strengthens their position, and sabotages your own happiness. It also obstructs clear thinking.

        Our happiness has literally nothing to do with the world “out there” so why all the fuss? It is solely defined by the choices we make regarding our inner attitude. Blaming others is just a projection that is a tacit surrender of our power. Hence, the “abiding in love…” comment, and I’m not sure where love and compassion are new-age?!. You have me completely stumped on that one.

        Contrary to popular opinion, it IS possible to accept that the world is full of extreme distortion, imbalance, and injustice, and yet STILL choose to be madly in love with it and to feel a steady happiness and peace. Honestly it’s the only rational choice.

        • K-Dog July 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

          If anger, righteous indignation, and condemnation does not help matters than what does?

          Placidity, meek acceptence, and endorsement sure is not going to help at all and will actually cultivate the roster of poison memes and advance suffering. Is that your intent? And what kind of intentionally confusing bullshit is “What if humanity is still in its childhood”.

          We are not in a ‘childhood’ and need to be held accountable for the pain we are causing others. But if you feel the to have a pass for your despicable behaviour by calling yourself a child who needs to ‘grow up’ that’s a personal problem. Don’t be putting it on everyone else. Who made you the boss.

    • MisterDarling July 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

      “What if humanity is still in its childhood?”-Orrin.

      Assuming it is (and, indulging your analogy) living to see maturity is not guaranteed.

      Part of the process of helping the ‘child’ live that long requires some work, training and the occasional timely warning.

      The careless caretaker may find themselves with less to be “grateful” for, absent that.

      Cheers!

      • Orrin_A July 9, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

        I agree!

        I love the “cheers” thing. I use that in emails all the time.

        Cheers :)

  3. hineshammer July 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    James, regarding your roster of delusions, I have not heard much mention of these with any real belief in their existence or possibilities. I mean, come on, who would buy such nonsense.

    We’ve entered a “manufacturing renaissance.” No, we have not. The vast majority of consumer goods bought here in the USA is still made overseas because (and this will come as a real shock) labor in third world countries is dirt cheap, corporate taxes overseas are much lower, labor laws are less stringent and environmental oversight can be next to nil. Now, if we can match those “high standards” here in the good ole US of A, then we can have a “manufacturing renaissance.”

    The “Central Corridor” of the USA, running from Texas to Minnesota, will soon turn into a dynamic industrial powerhouse. No it won’t. See above.

    A revolution in higher education is underway that will produce a generation of super geniuses. Ha, if anything, we are churning out successive generations of dumber students. Our education system is woefully underfunded, not to mention antiquated in its methods and too dependent on gauging students by standardized testing. College education is a joke and has been commodified to the point that we have created a whole new class of debt slaves that have very few prospects in an economy that has little to offer them. The only super geniuses here have been imported from Asia.

    The US financial markets will dominate the world indefinitely. If, by indefinitely, you mean until the whole house of cards comes crashing down, then yes this is true.

    Accelerating advancements in technology will ring in a new golden age of comfort, leisure, and security. Haven’t we been hearing this for decades? Where are the flying cars we were promised? Or the house that cleaned itself? If anything, we are working more and harder (those of us lucky enough to have jobs) for less. Any advancements in technology will only benefit the 1% and most likely put a good number of us out of work and destitute. It is not a zero-sum game for the common folks. As for security, we are well on our way to becoming a secure police state.

    The USA has unmatched exceptional entrepreneurial spirit. This country needs to get over the idea that it is exceptional in any positive way. We certainly are exceptional when it comes to incarceration rates, gun violence, military overreach and shitty reality TV, and a thousand other notable things. We are not, however, exceptional anymore in entrepreneurial spirit. We still have it, yes, but so do the Chinese, the Indians, Brazilians, etc. I think it has been beaten out of us by an ineffective political class that has been running amok in DC for decades, doing nothing but making them and their fat cat enablers richer and more powerful while making the rest of us poorer and more resentful. Ironically, or maybe not, it is they (along with the complicit media) that keep telling us, every two and four years, how exceptional we still are. We are about to get run over by the rest of the world and its entrepreneurial spirit.

    Hope I got most of it right Jim. Keep up the good work.

    • MisterDarling July 9, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      Hello Mr. Hammer!

      I’m in agreement w/you 95% of the way.. Three items that I want to comment on though:

      “labor in third world countries is dirt cheap,” -HinesHammer.

      No it isn’t “cheap” – when you factor in logistics and cost-of-quality…

      “The only super geniuses here have been imported from Asia.”-HinesHammer.

      If you’re referring to immigrants flooding into the US on H1-B work visas for the tech-industry consumption, please refer to my previous comment.

      ;)

      “As for security, we are well on our way to becoming a secure police state.”-HinesHammer.

      That’s the whackiest part of this situation. The more security is overtly striven after at a tactical level, the less security there is at the strategic level…

      But what can you expect? The kind of people that would get themselves in a jam like this and then attempt this remedy, aren’t up to figuring out that they need to make a policy ‘U-turn’.

      Nice post, overall.

      Cheers!

  4. MisterDarling July 9, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Just when I thought that this would be a week of ‘rest’ and fluffy darts, this popped up. It is a welcome sight.

    There are a few nuggets of particular gleam that I wouldn’t mind expanding upon:

    “it’s the consensual expression of a public that wants desperately to believe things that are untrue, and an economic leadership equally credulous, unmanned…

    And some of the former may be motivated by the fear that even a little erosion of trust in the system could lead to a collapse of the system basted together by little more than blind faith in currencies and dubious “innovative” instruments.”-jhk.

    Leadership “unmanned” is the theme of this era.

    The sort of people that have been allowed to persist in office – or to rise to the top of it – aren’t up to dealing with the task of mastering the issues confronting them. Why would they be? They’re the product of them.

    “Mr. Friedman apparently failed to notice the hemorrhaging of jobs and incomes among the disintegrating American middle class. I wonder if he thinks they can afford to run their furnaces at $15/mmbtu.”-jhk.

    The opinions that make it into mainstream distribution these days all have a certain quality. It reminds me of over-grown children hiding from reality in their rooms or basements, waiting for reality to be different than what it is. . . To somehow map it to their video-game fantasies through a paranormal feat of onanistically focused force of will.

    “It’s a tragic fact of history that sometimes societies lose their bearings. They make terrible choices and bad things happen.”-jhk.

    OR, they are simply __overcome__ by faults inherent that – just like their component individual members – are revealed by Time, Screw-up and Fateful Circumstance.

    The way things have gone in America were always in the cards, it was only a matter of time and how the hands were played.

    “Clearing the debris would have restored structural integrity to the banking system. Prosecuting financial criminals in the executive suites of the banks would have disincentivized racketeering and control fraud.”-jhk.

    That was the biggest tragedy of the past three decades.

    There really was one crazy moment back in 2008 when someone not only smart but possessed of the requisite __guts__, and in the right place and time, could have accomplished all of these things.

    If they had, they would not only have reaped an historic political windfall, they would have save the lives of hundreds of millions of people farther down the time-line.

    Oh well…

    ;)

    “The obvious conclusion is that America, from top to bottom, didn’t want to restructure anything about our national life — and still doesn’t. It wants to stay stuck where it is in a very perilous moment of history,”-jhk.

    Deciding to **Not Decide** is a bad decision. In the real world, the lesson taught over and over is that “if you don’t take care of business, business will take care of you”…

    Consider it a form of ontological ‘market clearing’.

    Cheers!

  5. seawolf77 July 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    The one thing I realize after about a decade of living here in PeakOilsville is that no one likes a party pooper. You can put any adjective in front of that crappy noun. Wedding pooper. Concert pooper. Funeral pooper. You’re just a pooper. Your squatting down on your hind legs and defecating on the good time. A sorry ass buzz killer. Think Germany 7 and Brazil 1. That ain’t what the people expected or wanted. Push that little chrome lever and flush this load down the crapper. Eeeewwwwwwhhhhhh…….good riddance. That’s what we are.

  6. seawolf77 July 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    someone who spoils other people’s enjoyment by disapproving of or not taking part in a particular activity

  7. K-Dog July 10, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    “It’s a tragic fact of history that sometimes societies lose their bearings. They make terrible choices and bad things happen.”

    A slap in the face of American exceptionalism. The mere thought that America is up the river of denial in a concrete canoe; is mired in treason.

    The agreement between people in charge has adopted the creed that things will work out; deviation and questioning of this dogma works against a needed consensus to implement their agenda and will not be tolerated. Such selfish heresy as to suggest that those in charge do not have the sovereign ordained right to determine which channel or web address shall be the source for the acceptable American buzz denies the imperial rule that people in charge will not renounce privilege.

    Support of the “do nothing” spirit requires one inhale deeply the mephitis of denial. Forget that “reality is much more nuanced, complicated and sometimes grossly different” than that which the American magical mystery tour requires you to presume to be true. To restructure anything about national life even in the most minuscule way offends far too many entrenched powers to count. Denial may have just begun; it may yet be far too early for Goebbels to turn green with envy in his grave. Currently he molders in a pout wishing Hitler had let him run away to Japan with his Czech movie actress; Ludmila Baarová.

  8. Darkvisions July 10, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    Mr. Kunstler, I find the reference to Joseph Goebbels very interesting, since I’ve expressed this thought on occasion. I penned a cartoon in October of 2007 titled, “The New NOT SEE’s”, about the buffoonery in Washington and countrywide. http://commonsense2.com/2007/10/cartoons-the-dark-visions/the-new-not-sees/

    I liken the “MAD HATTER” ideas expressed through orifices not usually used or designed for talking. These “experts” are delusional at best and very much like Professor Harold Hill of “Music Man”, They believe that the “Think System” will work to lift us out of this malaise. It’s usually the opposite when you ignore the 20 ton T-Rex in the room when it devourers everything when that dark day arrives.

    The statement, “A revolution in higher education is underway that will produce a generation of super geniuses.”, is a farce. Does this imply that there will be thousands of Wyllie E. Coyote’s roaming America with ACME brand weapons in hand, searching for the elusive Road Runner? Considering the teacher layoffs, this just will never be, At some point many may never finish High School as some may realize that the debt burden going on to College makes very little sense.

    • K-Dog July 10, 2014 at 5:16 am #

      During the last plague of London (1665) certain parishes and territories of the city for a time remained unaffected and the residents became irrational believing themselves to be under some sort of special protection. Notably when the plague came to these parishes and territories it struck especially hard; the residents being delusional and unprepared.

      “MAD HATTER” ideas are very real and very dangerous.

    • K-Dog July 10, 2014 at 5:41 am #

      “orifices not usually used or designed for talking”

      A cloaca; perhaps best covered with swim trunks.

  9. ozone July 10, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    As others have failed to overcome their normalcy bias or adjust their personal give-a-shit, youse folks have gotten right in to the meat and milk of the coconut dropped, ripe and ready, from Mr. Kunstler’s prolific palm.

    Thanks, JHK and All; knowing where we are is important if we wish to have a good guess or two about where we’re headed.

    • ozone July 10, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      I would opine that the attitude of Orrin_a is all well and good, as long as it doesn’t prevent reasonable preparations for a raft of bad juju coming down the River of Consequences. If it should prevent that, then it’s not what I would call a “rational response” to the various predicaments and perplexities we find ourselves in as that river continues to rise.

      Don’t be mistaken, I love a good laugh and good time as much as the next guy; in fact probably a little more, because of a tragi-comic perspective. But when it comes to serious bid’ness that needs serious consideration and approach, inserting one’s head firmly into the rectal opening and singing a muffled version of “Zippedy-Doo-Dah” ain’t gonna git ‘er done…

  10. contrahend July 10, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Contrary to popular opinion, it IS possible to accept that the world is full of extreme distortion, imbalance, and injustice, and yet STILL choose to be madly in love with it and to feel a steady happiness and peace. Honestly it’s the only rational choice.

    kunstler always leaves out the wonderful tings happening in the US and elsewhere, viz. the move to healthy food, local commerce, less dependence on cars, intelligent energy usage, massive improvements in efficiency, medical advances that let paralysed people use their legs, vastly improved communications via the internet, and so on and so forth.

    lots of stuff could be cited that easily makes you chuckle at the doomsayers on this board.

    all these wonderful evolutionary events are budding and blooming amongst enlightened folks, of which there are legion.

    kontrahend

    • K-Dog July 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

      You’ve got them all covered.

      We’ve entered a “manufacturing renaissance.”
      The “Central Corridor” of the USA, running from Texas to Minnesota, will soon turn into a dynamic industrial powerhouse.
      A revolution in higher education is underway that will produce a generation of super geniuses.
      The US financial markets will dominate the world indefinitely.
      Accelerating advancements in technology will ring in a new golden age of comfort, leisure, and security.
      The USA has unmatched exceptional entrepreneurial spirit.

      And the second to last is your preferred way of flushing out top influencers. But if you desire to debate this avec moi as you have before I’ll need a way to submit billable hours. Expecting to debate me for free simply isn’t fair. I’m real though no doubt these days our supreme court would declare you the sentient being.

    • Fmagyar July 13, 2014 at 10:00 am #

      “kunstler always leaves out the wonderful tings happening in the US and elsewhere, viz. the move to healthy food, local commerce, less dependence on cars, intelligent energy usage, massive improvements in efficiency, medical advances that let paralysed people use their legs, vastly improved communications via the internet, and so on and so forth.”

      Perhaps on some planet in a far away galaxy, certainly not here!
      We need some medical advances that let people with short circuited synapses regain their basic brain functions…

      For starters, medical technology that allows a half dozen paralysed victims the use of their legs at a cost of millions of dollars each when legions still go without basic health care, is IMHO, a rather pathetic and myopic metric by which to measure the overall health of our society.

      Move to healthy food?! Really?! I rest my case. Hmm, on second thought we now have the technology to grow slabs of bacon on micro scaffolds in a vat of nutrients. We are all saved, carry on kids.

  11. seawolf77 July 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    Since the banksters are essentially financing the fracking bubble, they are doing it with fairy tale money. They print it, then they spend it on fracking operations, whose products are sold on world markets and though they are not profitable, it doesn’t matter since it is all fairy tale money anyway. So the fruits of fracking would not be available in a free market, they are here artificially. Pretty soon people are going to wake up to the fact it is just paper with funny symbols on it. Today you pay to “store” your money in the bank…negative interest. Can that day be far off? Would people spend real money on fracking? Probably not. On wars? Probably not? On fighter planes? The list goes on. What would people spend real money on? Roads. Bridges. Ships. Tractors. Real things that produce real wealth. Real money is the key. The banksters know this. Gone are the days where perpetual growth could hide their thievery and machinations. Only hard choices remain. It is literally us or them.

    • MisterDarling July 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      “Since the banksters are essentially financing the fracking bubble, they are doing it with fairy tale money. They print it, then they spend it on fracking operations, whose products are sold on world markets and though they are not profitable, it doesn’t matter since it is all fairy tale money anyway. So the fruits of fracking would not be available in a free market, they are here artificially.”-seawolf.

      Glad you brought this out into the light of day.

      “Gone are the days where perpetual growth could hide their thievery and machinations. Only hard choices remain. It is literally us or them.”-Ibid.

      Yes.

  12. volodya July 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    The assumptions underpinning the consensus – whether they’re about the functioning of capital markets, the supply of energy, the patterns of world trade and many other things – aren’t just a little bit delusional, they are astoundingly full-of-shit, the overflowing septic tanks for all the shit being, in the main, the country’s universities and Washington and Manhattan.

    The current widely accepted model of saving a smidgen during your working life and then going on to live a life of ease in retirement using someone else money is a model surely destined to fail. And, as we can see all around us, it is doing just that.

    But there are some things we can do in our personal lives. It won’t solve all the ills but it may make a start. Most of it is pretty simple and mostly involves not being a goof. You’d be shocked at the number of people that don’t know how much they earn, how much they spend, how much they owe.

    Our parents were able to manage household finances using nothing more complicated than grade school arithmetic. Start with that. Balance your check-book. Match your credit card slips with your credit card statement. Pay on time. Keep track of what you spend. Spend less than you earn.

    You don’t understand arithmetic? Numbers make your head hurt? Grow the fuck up.

    This is just a start.

  13. contrahend July 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    You’ve got them all covered: We’ve entered a “manufacturing renaissance.”
    The “Central Corridor” of the USA, running from Texas to Minnesota, will soon turn into a dynamic industrial powerhouse.
    A revolution in higher education is underway that will produce a generation of super geniuses.
    The US financial markets will dominate the world indefinitely.
    Accelerating advancements in technology will ring in a new golden age of comfort, leisure, and security.
    The USA has unmatched exceptional entrepreneurial spirit.

    Try re-reading the examples I cited, they having nothing to do with the above. Except for paralysed people using their limbs again. Does that one bother you, though?

    Do you understand how to read for content?

    welles

    • K-Dog July 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      Yeah, new to CFN are you welles-weed?

      Confusion, distraction, diversion, befuddlement, abashment and you. Is that Janos next to you too?

      • ozone July 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

        Yep, time to charge ‘em; I see billable hours. Hey, taxpayer money should know no political agenda or bias, right?
        Hell, DOD gets plenty of warf… I mean, welfare bucks, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t get at least a piddling “grant” for time invested. By gad, fire up the paperwork!

        Well, all that silliness aside, just to couch a wonderment here:
        Why would anyone waste their psychic energy coming to JHK’s “trenchant warnings” site, read his incisive analysis, then proceed just to bash and distract from it? Starting their own blog, perhaps with the cute moniker of “Happy Talk” or some such would be much more effective in garnering fellow happy-talkers, wouldn’t you think? They could post the current JHK missive and pick it to pieces and laugh and laugh and laugh, with very little personal work or input week after week after week.

        Pretty simple, seems to me. There is absolutely no point in their hanging around this comment section just to accrue invective, unless one is a masochist of the glummest order.

        Here’s a list of someone’s who disdains the delusional. Although I’m sure that some of the points could be debated as to specificity and might not be of interest or agreement with JHK’s personal views, I think it of more value than anything out of a D.C. (delusional cornucopian).

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39042.htm

        …A themesong that’s anything but “Come By Here, My Lord”:

        https://soundcloud.com/ozonecreator/soldier-for-the-empire

        Yes, we all serve, each in our own humble way….
        Now back to the subject of mass delusions and blatant bullshittery. (Remember, if you can’t blind ‘em with brilliance, baffle ‘em with bullshit.)

        • MisterDarling July 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

          “Why would anyone waste their psychic energy coming to JHK’s “trenchant warnings” site, read his incisive analysis, then proceed just to bash and distract from it? Starting their own blog, perhaps with the cute moniker of “Happy Talk” or some such would be much more effective in garnering fellow happy-talkers, wouldn’t you think?…”-Oz.

          I must admit that I’m a bit baffled myself, by the intrusive and inappropriate blabbing from the ‘HedonoSphere’… It’s a lot like having your risk-management meeting invaded by entry-level marketing folks…

          To Elaborate:

          “But! But! But! Lookit all the pretty colors!”

          “Yes, yes, thank you! Now GTFO of our meeting before I call Security!”

          [Shove]

          [Slam!]

          “Now, where were we?”

          :)

          [Guffaws all around]

  14. seawolf77 July 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    How all this ends is the real question? Will the dollar collapse? Will oil be $300 a barrel? Will our military fail? Another terrorist attack? I tell people there are 2 sides to the world’s reserve currency. One is that the price of gold must be suppressed and this means it will go east. Gold is like reliability, it doesn’t matter until it does, and it usually does during war. But I think more importantly those dollars will be used to buy energy, to bid up the price of oil. They won’t come flooding back to America. They will be used to acquire the remaining energy resources.

  15. contrahend July 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Yeah, new to CFN are you welles-weed?

    Just can’t answer a question on the merits, can you.

    What we’ve come to expect from you.

    I’ll repeat the original question of my previous post –

    Do you understand how to read for content?

    Your vocabulary is ok, though it’s all focused on invective, rather than responding with reasoned statements.

    You also need to stop feeling so hurt when someone disagrees with you.

    Welles

    • K-Dog July 11, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      How bout you got nothing nice to say you shut the fuck up.

    • K-Dog July 11, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      But then why be miffed by such rudeness; for as ozone’s article sez:

      “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

    • K-Dog July 11, 2014 at 11:28 am #

      What we’ve come to expect from you.

      And the we is ……………………………………………. ??

      I’m serious about those billable hours.

  16. shabbaranks July 11, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    The US Energy Information Administration’s most recent reports available online at eia.gov show peak domestic oil production (including the estimates for all the US shale oil plays) in the following years:

    Base case: 2018
    Low case: 2016
    High case: 2036

    Jim, I think sourcing these figures helps to clarify your argument, particularly since you are already placing some stock in EIA’s data by arguing that the EIA’s Monterey shale estimate is now only 600 million barrels. You could rely strictly on the J. David Hughes work for the Post Carbon Institute to demonstrate the same argument but you don’t cite him in your article.

    Also, I propose one other edit that my CPA license permits me to make. The proper citation for SFAS 157 (alternately FAS 157) is not “FASB 157″ since the B in FASB refers to the Board. Rather, SFAS refers to Statement of Financial Accounting Standard. Furthermore, to be entirely accurate, SFAS’s no longer exist for purposes of citation under the new accounting standards codification. What was SFAS 157: Fair Value Measurement is now referred to as ASC 820: Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures.

    • nsa July 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      This is why you just have to love the jhk site…….the country is being overrun by the street refuse of central america and shabby the clown’s main concern is an accounting standard nuance!? Inadvertent hilarity…….

      • K-Dog July 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

        Should you knock someone who was on the ball enough to recognize that a revision in the estimate of recoverable oil from the Monterey / Santos shale was changed by a ratio of twenty five and two thirds? A staggering, huge ratio that indicates something very wrong with our energy policy or lack thereof.

        Your reference to street refuse is scurrilous despite your correct identification of a serious problem. A serious problem that the greater public is yet for the most part still unaware.

        Ask most Americans what they think of what is happening on the border and they don’t even know what you are muttering about. Everyone is lost in their own tiny bubbles. At least where I live. I’ve taken an informal personal poll where I live and that’s what I found out.

        • Janos Skorenzy July 12, 2014 at 1:17 am #

          Serious problem? It’s a crisis. There is no other issue until we can make them stop coming. I mean if someone took a straight razor to you skin would you call it “a serious problem”? The Elite are collapsing our southern border. We are now wide open to infection. The latest is that the “children” are now being allowed on planes with no identification at all.

          • capt spaulding July 12, 2014 at 11:17 am #

            As with most things, the government won’t deal with the problem until it’s too late. I hope you all like living latino style, cause it’s coming.

      • Janos Skorenzy July 12, 2014 at 1:20 am #

        Perhaps it is Q come again in a new form. Shabby the Clown? Street Refuse? Nits!!!? You’re mean!

        Remember, a Fascist is also someone who loves his own people at least as much as he hates their enemies.

    • Neon Vincent July 14, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      Exploiting the oil in the Monterey Shale has been a pipe dream of the oil industry in California for decades. I was involved in an attempt by the former Getty Oil to use oil shale and tar sands technology on an outcrop of the formation west of Bakersfield that was close enough to be strip mined back in 1982. That experience soured me on the technology for oil shale and gave rise to my standard rant about its dangerous environmental effects. I posted it at my blog right after I quoted a news article about the Monterey Shale. My conclusion was that fracking would be marginally better, but it would still consume too much water in what is essentially an irrigated desert.

      http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/06/energy-news-from-california.html

  17. MisterDarling July 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Who’s still buying US Stocks?

    http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2014/07/09/the-only-net-buyer-of-us-stocks-left/

    … Themselves… ;)

    Meanwhile, in the realm of macro-economics, it’s time to… “Send in the Clowns!”;

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-08/china-prepares-boost-economy-also-revising-its-gdp-definition

    The time has come to firmly grasp every last straw ;)

    • ozone July 12, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      Perfect! More fine decisions with absolutely no negative consequences!
      (Well, at least til the reality part kicks in, that is.)

  18. MisterDarling July 11, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    Not that I don’t realize that *good things* are being attempted all the while… I see evidence of that every day. For example, I found this oddly kewl in a weird ‘n’ whacky way

    http://imgur.com/a/kNnzB

    … Bless their hearts for rolling stuff like this out, I mean, *really* :)

    BUT,

    This is the large and long-term trend:

    CapEx falling for more than 5 years:

    “It seems like a chicken-and-egg problem. Without a strong global recovery, companies will note spend more. But if they do not spend more, there will not be a strong recovery.” — from The Economist, this week & as quoted by Daily Pfennig.

    The best-case scenario it that ‘we’ will see _local_ and (with a lot of luck) _regional_ manifestations of durable power-grid/transportation network infrastructures… However, based on the steepness of the decline in investment (other than buy-backs and financial gambling ops + mal-investment in surveillance/coercive tech) and the duration of the ongoing decline, forget about reversing the tail-spin…

    That’s why there’s so much interest in controlling the population, on the part of people tasked with managing this for the oligarchs.

    [*] I’m not being *that* facetious about this tram project. There’s a weird early-80’s retro attractiveness to it. It seems like it belongs in an Ursula Le Guin novel…

  19. pkrugman July 11, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Contrahend has presented concrete examples, not “happy talk”

    The rude response he gets is STFU! Seems Janos’ fascism is gaining acceptance on CFN.

    • MisterDarling July 12, 2014 at 12:27 am #

      P Krugman,

      It’s not that the examples cited by a certain person are not concrete, it’s that they SIMPLY DO NOT MATTER. They are irrelevant.

      Not one of these examples of ‘good stuff’ happening will be enough to reverse the trend already established. You can put all the faith you want in last-minute heroics, but in the end _Ninety-Nine Times Out of One-Hundred_ you will lose.

      I know what I’m talking about here, and history (witnessed and otherwise) will back me up.

      Example: It’s 2006 and I’m having a chat with an DynCorp operative in charge of the district’s ‘Poppy Eradication Program’. There’s no one else around and no recording devices, so we talk frankly. This was the substance of the conversation:

      ME: “How many acres has PEP done this year?”

      Op: “We’re tracking for 38,000 by the end of the year”.

      “Huh… That’s less than you logged last year, and the year-over-year increase of land under cultivation was more than that, for the fifth year in a row?”

      He LOL’s and shakes his head, then I do too…

      “SO… What are we doing here? Just trying to ‘Show Improvement’?”

      “That’s about all we can do out here, right?” He says.

      We LOL again…

      This is not the first time I’ve heard a load of sunshine looking to be pumped up somebody’s butt. The reason that I can write about it now – for the sake of posterity – is that in spite of all the “good stuff” said to be happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, those two jobs are DONE for ALL TIME. They are permanently in the can, with no redo and no going back. And so are money and time and lives.

      By the way, I knew what it was from the start, went there anyway, made an honest assessment and GTFO’d before I became a statistic… And this wasn’t the first time. I have thirty years of experience at this.

      I know a FRAUD when I see one, without even tapping into my resources.

  20. nsa July 12, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    K-Dog,
    Are you not located in the Shoreline or U district area of Seattle…..ground zero for commie lib frauds and alternative lifestyles (dope smokers and wee wee lickers)? Great news! They are shipping in a couple planeloads of the newly arrived undocumented democrat urchins into Fort Lewis….worms and TB and STDs and all. And the ones with the face tats…..they aren’t really MS13. An idea….just release the monsters up on Capitol Hill where they will fit in immediately and go unnoticed……

    • K-Dog July 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      So you are asking where I live to give the impression that you are not really NSA.

      Veeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrry clevah of you but expecting me to go along with your deception after I was gang-stalked for several weeks a bit over a year ago not so cevah!

      I do not look back at that time with nostalgic yearning.

      I’ve even watched one of the ‘Comrade Dystopias’ posting in Renton at a coffee shop. I remember what he said too. “K-Dog, she probably has no idea what you are talking about.” I was having a conversation with a young woman at the time.

      ‘Comrade Dystopia’ it turned out works for the TSA and was local to my area and he was recognized by the owner of the coffeshop who knew him before he got his job at the TSA. Ooops that. He has a thing for old movies. He was dressed like all the others who were keeping track of me at the time and letting me know I was ‘safe’. China white shirt so bright it could blind and jet black pants, no tie. Made a bit of fool of himself asking too many questions to people I know in the area too Dystopia did. Some thought he was weird.

      Same outfit on the lady FBI agent pretending to be a reporter was kinda hot though.

      Mirrors shine in mirrors and when they do is the reflection you actually see the one that is backwards or the one that is true?

  21. pkrugman July 12, 2014 at 2:11 am #

    They are permanently in the can, with no redo and no going back. And so are money and time and lives.

    .
    .

    Mr. Darling, what you say about Iraq and Afghanistan may be true, but does not excuse rudeness to mr. Contrahend.

    Suppose a parent of a child killed in Iraq or Afghanistan speaks of their child’s sacrifice to keep us safe, promote freedom, etc. You know it is bullshit but you would not respond to a grieving parent of a dead soldier by saying: “Shut the fuck up with the happy to talk… They all died in vain, there is no redo and no going back.”

    Common courtesy requires a different response to Contrahend.

    • ozone July 12, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      The time for common courtesy is long past and the time for hard talk about real issues is at hand. If feelings get hurt because of on-line blog exchanges, wtf are these offended folk going to do when real-world rudeness over resources and territory gets in their face?? Oh yeah, niceties will assuredly be observed (as we’ve seen the world over). …Riiiiight. In case no one has noticed, “civilization” is declining rapidly; how do we suppose that will translate in the realm of “civility”?

      If a simple focus on the issues brought by JHK (and germane tangents by commenters as well) on his blog cannot be obtained, discourtesy would be of the least concern to me.

      A Zero Hedge commenter sez: “I experienced New York during Hurricane Sandy. I promptly moved a 1000 miles inward to a much less populated place within the year. We humans can break down to primal instincts within hours if not minutes in the right(or wrong) setting. Yeah, you don’t wanna be in NYC when the Fit hits the Shan.”

      Do you suppose the equipment he invested in was in any way “reality-based”, or did he buy some Yahoo stocks, thinking that would do the trick to feed, clothe and shelter the family?

      • MisterDarling July 13, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

        “wtf are these offended folk going to do when real-world rudeness over resources and territory gets in their face?? Oh yeah, niceties will assuredly be observed (as we’ve seen the world over).”-Oz.
        +
        “We humans can break down to primal instincts within hours if not minutes in the right(or wrong) setting.”-ZH commenter.

        It depends. I’ve been in a major city after a devastating earthquake and folks were not only civil, they were downright chummy. That city partied for a week (while the e-service people cleaned up the wreckage). Take note of the fact that food & water supplies were abundant and staying warm wasn’t a problem.

        OTOH, when people are *already* hungry, it takes almost nothing to start a riot. This underscores the stupidity of deliberately diminishing discretionary income at street level.

        It’s just poor management.

    • MisterDarling July 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      “Common courtesy requires a different response to Contrahend.” -pkrugman.

      I’m not sure where you’ve gotten the idea that it’s my responsibility to respond to the person you refer to differently.

      If you look at the last few weeks of traffic, you’ll find that I do not respond to him. I tried at one point, and that person didn’t respond to me on the basis of the merits of my counter-argument.

      Instead there was simply a _doubling down_ on assertions that somehow all was well because a few ineffectual things were… I do no have time for that. I have seen that ‘logic’ fail in too many instances.

      As I have learned under every circumstance, people who do this are a) victims in denial or b) agents/assigns buying time for others.

      Here’s a stellar example of the phenomenon, hot off the press:

      — — —

      Meanwhile, a look at what’s coming, and an Epic Parable for our times on Denial:

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/11/miami-drowning-climate-change-deniers-sea-levels-rising

      Oh, but ‘good things are happening!’ Yes, they are. Until they are not, in a permanent way.

      • Janos Skorenzy July 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

        Indeed, it is hard to live under the sea. But why is the Southern Ice Cap growing if the world is warming? Perhaps the ocean is rising due to underwater volcanism. Thus is your slam dunk blocked. People will just have to leave, drown, or grow gills.

  22. pkrugman July 12, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Ozone, your stridency, the sense of urgency you convey, and your belief you are speaking the Truth about human response in a time of collapse reminds me of fundamentalist religious fanaticism. You need not respond, as the stridency of your conviction is obvious and you can’t overcome it to engage in common courtesy. In fact, you see your lack of courtesy as a survival mechanism.

    Good luck with pissing people off. I won’t be taking that route. The time for common courtesy has not passed.

    • ozone July 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      Sorry, but the head has come off of your carefully nurtured GMO chicken and spurious character assassinations will no longer get the job done.
      I recommend resorting to psychotropics, there’s plenty of stress yet to come.

      • Janos Skorenzy July 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

        Well said. As Barry Goldwater said, fanaticism in defense of liberty is no defect.

  23. volodya July 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    So what is this about “common courtesy”, I mean, given the particular poster’s habit of ending posts with taunts?

    There are many examples but here are a few:

    – from his post of May 7: “nevertheless, we salute you as we soar high, high above you powered by clean fuel and rocket into a future of superabundance.”

    – from his post of May 6: “nevertheless, we salute you as we soar in a grand rocketing arch of science and technology over your doubts and fears, on our way into a future of superabundance”

    And this dismissive comment from July 10: “lots of stuff could be cited that easily makes you chuckle at the doomsayers on this board.”

    The m.o. is apparently to annoy other commenters for the purpose of inciting emotional responses, a tactic commonly employed by trolls to disrupt discourse.

    And so emotional responses are the result. Mission accomplished, right? What’s the problem?

    A reasonable person might ask, what is the purpose of a commenter posting on a discussion board if they are in such disagreement with the host’s views and those of other commenters? And if they find it necessary to taunt and insult the other posters?

    Isn’t it better that the disagreeable and insulting commenter absent themselves, so as to not annoy others, so as to let people discuss matters with others of similar interests? Why would someone interject in issues that apparently don’t interest them, with people that they disagree with?

    You know, such a person should exercise “common courtesy” not to mention common sense, as one might commonly define it, and go comment on alternate websites, of which there are many. Or start one’s own.

    Or, as they say in the vernacular, in case I’m not making the point, get the fuck lost. If this sounds like a suggestion to do just that, you’re right, it is. Mind you, this isn’t my site.

    You see, I think the best way is to not respond to trolls, which is my usual approach.

    • ozone July 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      V.,
      Of course, you’re correct. Sometimes I just feel the need to point out the tactics, but they are self-evident I suppose. (Like, ‘duh’ on my part. I’ll cut it out, as it’s just as diversionary as the disagreeable disaggree-ers…)

      • K-Dog July 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

        The tactics are self evident to us; you, me and some others. Yet their tactics remain effective and need to be pointed out so they can lose some potency. You are not diversionary which makes you different from the disagreeable disaggree-ers. You are not here to deliberately cause problems.

  24. volodya July 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    And Mister Darling, I’m with you. I too know a fraud when I see one.

    If something or someone looks and sounds full of shit, you are usually right.

    If someone, in the guise of being an expert, spouts what sounds like gobble-de-gook, it usually is gobble-de-gook. Especially in the financial field. They say things like “counter-intuitive”. When I hear the word “counter-intuitive”, my mind automatically substitutes the word “bullshit”.

    • MisterDarling July 12, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      “When I hear the word “counter-intuitive”, my mind automatically substitutes the word “bullshit”.”-volodya.

      LOL!

      Thanks V., that’s one of the Top Five BS Indicators of our time…

  25. Janos Skorenzy July 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Anti-Eugenics is a Jewish Movement – a gigantic hoax since Eugenics is practiced in Israel. They just don’t want us to benefit from it.

    http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/07/against-good-breeding/#more-48249

    • K-Dog July 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      You can benefit from eugenics any time you want. It is called a vasectomy. Giant hoaxes are bad enough; but the thought of a bunch of your little hoaxes running around truly strikes terror to the heart.

      • Janos Skorenzy July 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

        Stop being snarky. Along with sodomy, it is the chief vice of your generation. Everything good flows from human quality – and everything bad is exacerbated by its lack. We care about such quality in plants and animals – but not man. Strange is it not? Read the article and find out why.

  26. Fmagyar July 13, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    “Willful misunderstanding of the shale gas situation is just one of many examples of thought failure among the class of Americans who even pretend to think for a living. It cannot be due to a sheer lack of brain power (though who can say what the aggregate effect of food additives, off-gassing carpets, and other chemical insults might have had on recent American generations). We apparently just don’t like reality and seem to think we can turn it off, or switch to another channel or web address for a better buzz.”

    LOL!! It seems to be much worse than that!

    http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/07/some_people_prefer_electric_shocks_to_thinking_quietly_by_themselves.html

    …”In a new study, psychologists have demonstrated that most people do not enjoy sitting and thinking quietly by themselves. In fact, some would rather shock themselves to break the humdrum of being alone with their thoughts.”

    …”Simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid,” Wilson commented.”

    • MisterDarling July 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

      “…”Simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid,” Wilson commented.”

      I read this article as well. Hilarious (in a dark fin-de-siècle kinda way ;).

      I completely understand why a lot of people want to be left alone with their thoughts: Looking UP in contemplation of some higher standard or purpose is depressing, Looking DOWN at the risk of failure would frightening, Looking LEFT or RIGHT at their fellow human beings makes them angry or fearful (or both), Looking BACK at the past makes them sad and Looking FORWARD to the Future is panic-inducing…

      For people like that, ‘shocking the monkey’ (themselves in this case) is preferable. Why not? They’re standing on Hell’s front porch already.

      “Willful misunderstanding of the shale gas situation is just one of many examples of thought failure among the class of Americans who even pretend to think for a living.”-J H K.

      Read “Willful” as __Desperate__. What are they left to tell the masses? That their paymasters got too greedy, mismanaged the global-civ project, then overshot the consolidation date?

      Would they like to say that global civilization (and therefore scale/scope/resource-access) is toast for all intents and purposes and that whatever CAN be preserved will happen at local or compact regional scale _at best_ and then _only_ if they can fend off hordes of ‘H/Angry’ former techno-serfs?

      Why alert the masses to that reality? Better off paying minions to keep the masses blinkered as long as possible… Every day counts at this point, don’tcha know?? ;)

      Cheers Magyar!

      • MisterDarling July 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

        EDIT: <>.. there, that’s better!

        • MisterDarling July 13, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

          EDIT: **I completely understand why a lot of people __DON’T__want to be left alone with their thoughts**…. there, that’s better!

  27. pkrugman July 13, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    MARLIN AND BRH, THE SOUTHERN BORDER IS SECURE

    In fact, according to the NDN/New Policy Institute, since 2002 federal funds to secure the border have tripled and the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents has doubled to a little over 21,000. Moreover, crime along the U.S. side of the border is down, and the growth of the undocumented immigrant population has stalled in recent years. “Obama era policies have stopped the flow – which is one reason why we have the resources to be apprehending those attempting to enter the country today,” said NDN President Simon Rosenberg.

    As Vargas put it, “The border is secure, that’s why these kids are getting apprehended.”

    To Luis Malbonado, a DREAMer who lives near McAllen, a heightened security presence resembling an occupied military zone is all too familiar. Both his mother and sister were deported mere hours after being stopped by authorities in the city, a task made easier by their proximity to the border, he said.

    • nsa July 13, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      You are a fucking traitor…..and a dummy traitor at that…just like your commie namesake. The beaners have launched a Children’s Crusade on what is left of the republic…..and you support it. Look at the surnames of the creeps you quote…………

    • BackRowHeckler July 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Ok, well, the border may be secure, but about 10 minutes ago I was reading articles in the Boston Herald about hundreds, maybe thousands, of these young interlopers being flown into Massachussets by Obamas Air Force to enjoy the generosity of the big hearted citizens of the Bay State. It was supposed to be a secret operation but it wasn’t a very well kept secret. In the same edition there was a front page article about thousands of homeless people being evicted from the motel rooms the State of Mass. is putting them up in.

      I don’t know, maybe the premise of this site is wrong; maybe there’s plenty of swag still remaining, maybe state, city and federal coffers in the US are flush, in other words, plenty of cash to take care of all arrivals and the whole 3rd world, all 5 billion of them.

      –BRH

  28. MisterDarling July 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Clearly not “flat-lining” it’s declining:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-13/what-power-consumption-telling-us-about-us-economy

    …And that’s before we factor in simple stuff like population increase – if you have more bodies to keep the heat/ac/lights on for, you need more power, no?…

    I expect better from ZH. What happened?

  29. Janos Skorenzy July 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Globalist Traitors fund Mexican Racists.

    http://www.infowars.com/bill-melinda-gates-foundation-gave-millions-to-la-raza/

    • BackRowHeckler July 13, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

      Ya i always figured Gates was some kind of traitor. they think they’e immune and after they bring this place down they’ll go on leading their privileged lives behind barbed wire and armed guards (gun control for everyone except their own security details, huh Bloomberg), only with cheaper labor.

      Hey Vlad the world population was reduced by one a few years ago when Steve Jobs died from those diseases he picked up from bathing in the filthy, typhus ridden Ganges.

      Can you imagine? even getting close to that cesspool full of sewage has to be deadly. But dude its spiritual. Maybe all these Bolshevik Billionaires can find enlightenment swimming in that sewer.

      –BRH

      • Janos Skorenzy July 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

        Steve Jobs died of Pancreatic Cancer. He probably would have been cured (as have so many others) if he had gone back to India and bathed again in the Ganges.

        His last words were Oh Wow, repeated three times. No doubt some divine being appeared to him due to the grace accrued from his early spiritual seeking. Grace is like money. How much have your earned?

      • K-Dog July 14, 2014 at 5:53 am #

        Mr. Gates has always advocated for open borders. He is a citizen of the world. He has said he would use 100,000 H1B visas if he could get them. But that was a few years ago when it was not so risky to say such things. He was still at Microsoft. By now most everyone has forgotten his past and he can attempt to cultivate and bask in the glow of a benevolent philanthropist.

        Given their own ways the company he founded and implemented using a socially segmented Harvard business model based on a core of privilege would hire zero Americans if a single dollar would be saved. Herd new contract workers onto planes fly them over and call it good. Apartments familiar with the home culture await and a troop of contract agencies are at the ready to supply and buffer all employment needs at the right price.

        Externalize the costs of corporate employed labor onto society. Hee-haw life is good for the privileged; they make the rules, and get what they want.

  30. ZrCrypDiK July 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Hump-day’s always a *byotch.*

    “The total tonnage of” waste we dump in landfills should have been a *MINOR* clue, over the past 70 years… Alas, the choice to “drive” is not really a choice, but a *GIVEN*.

    Mmm, mm, mmm – these *dreams* – keep me going these *DAZE*…

  31. michigan_native July 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    What do you say to fucktards like this? “You have not done all you homework. Oil is the blood of earth. if we were to run out anytime soon. You can bet there would be something already in place to pick up the slack. Fossil fuel is the second biggest lie of the Elite right behind social security. There is plenty on this earth to sustain 15 billion people, The ones who are in charge have purposefully kept valuable technology from the sheeple to create scarcity and suffering. There is technology from Tesla invented 115 years ago that would have made oil obsolete. But the Money Masters have used it to make cazillions and to control the earth. Now that they are in control. Be prepared to die and leave your children zilch.”

    Of course, the “money masters” are the so called “Illuminati”, who are also poisoning the earth with “chemtrails”, using their HAARP weapons to trigger earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other geological and meteorological anomalies, as well as the West Nile virus, Lyme disease, AIDS, Ebola, malaria, the bird flu, common acne, bad breath, etc etc and on and on.

    Should I feel sorry for these assholes or do what I feel compelled to do, which is reach through the screen and bitch slap them?

    • BackRowHeckler July 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

      ‘Blood of the Earth, The battle for the world’s vanishing oil resources’, Dilip Hero, Nation Books, 2007

    • ZrCrypDiK July 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      Make U feel *BUTTAH*?!?… These *DREAMZ*///

  32. pkrugman July 13, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    You are a fucking traitor…..and a dummy traitor at that…just like your commie namesake. The beaners have launched a Children’s Crusade on what is left of the republic…..and you support it. Look at the surnames of the creeps you quote…………

    .
    .
    LOL! And what is your surname?

    The United States Border Patrol and ICE, under Obama’s command, have deported more people than any previous United States president and can certainly handle a trifling “Children’s Crusade” (i.e., family reunification by children who miss their mother).

    Thank you for sharing your opinion.

  33. BackRowHeckler July 14, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    Look at this!

    Down in Cuba, Socialist Paradise at the vanguard of world revolution, secret police are cracking down hard on the ‘Ladies in White’, a group of women whose sons and husbands are locked up in the Cuban Gulag for thought and political crimes. They had been allowed to demonstrate every once in awhile, under strict supervision of the authorities of course. But this no longer seems to be the case and yesterday they were rounded up, put on buses, and carried away.

    Do you think Cuba is taking cues on Eric Holder’s crackdown on ‘The Little Sisters of the Poor, a catholic group whose mission it is to care for indigent elderly people who have nowhere to go, for not going along 100% with the affordable care act?

    Maybe this is the reason 100,000 Latin Americans are headed here and not Cuba and Venezuela, where income inequality does not exist and a new world is being built.

    That could be one reason.

    –BRH

  34. pkrugman July 14, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Do you think Cuba is taking cues on Eric Holder’s crackdown on ‘The Little Sisters of the Poor…

    .
    .

    No, probably taking cues from how we have handled protests at national political conventions since 1968, or how we came down hard on Occupy Wall Street, or how we dropped bombs and burned down a city block in Philly, or how we burned children alive at Waco, or how we… Oh you get the idea.

  35. johnc July 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Look at this:

    How Bizarre: America’s Empire Is Declining, But Nothing Is Replacing It

    http://www.alternet.org/hard-times-usa/how-bizarre-americas-empire-declining-nothing-replacing-it

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