The Broken Template

The more detached from reality American culture becomes the more strictly ceremonial leadership gets, as illustrated by the raft of bromides Barack Obama floated past the assembled vassalage of government last week in another grand effort to avoid the necessities …

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A Solemn Pause

Events are moving faster than brains now. Isn’t it marvelous that gasoline at the pump is a buck cheaper than it was a year ago? A lot of short-sighted idiots are celebrating, unaware that the low oil price is destroying …

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KunstlerCast 263 — Yakking with Morris Berman


JHK yaks with cultural historian, social critic, and author Morris Berman about his new book, Neurotic Beauty: An Outsider Looks at Japan, and a lot of other topics around the crisis of Modernity. Berman’s previous books include …

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The Clash of Civilizations

The big turnout in Paris was bracing but it also might reveal a sad fallacy of Western idealism: that good intentions will safeguard soft targets. The world war underway is not anything like the last two. Against neo-medieval barbarism, the …

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January 2015

Eyesore 1-15

Behold, another 80-story hotel / condo tower by the industrious Chicago architect Jeanne Gang for a site on the south bank of the Chicago River. I suggest this new style be labeled “architwerkture,” since it looks like a digitized schematic …

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A Cool Interval

Note: JHK’s 2015 Forecast is available now at this link: Forecast 2015 — Life in the Breakdown Lane

For the moment, while the racial grievances of 2014 have chilled on the polar vortex, and no unarmed black teens have been …

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Forecast 2015 — Life in the Breakdown Lane

“Don’t look back — something might be gaining on you,” Satchel Paige famously warned. For connoisseurs of civilizational collapse, 2014 was merely annoying, a continued pile-up of over-investments in complexity with mounting diminishing returns, metastasizing fragility, and no satisfying resolution. …

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The Trigger

The futility of politics in America these days has driven the public into exactly the dream-state of zombie blood-lust depicted in so many popular video fantasies, a nightmare of decay, powerlessness, and degeneracy matching the actual condition of a disintegrating …

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KunstlerCast 262 — Yakking with John Michael Greer

John Michael Greer is a prolific author of novels and non-fiction books about the collapse of industrial civilization. He has a particularly long view of the human adventure and he is always fun to talk to. In this session, …

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If Wishes Were Loaves and Fishes

Janet Yellen and her Federal Reserve board of augurers might as well have spilled a bucket of goat entrails down the steps of the mysterious Eccles Building as they parsed, sliced, and diced the ramifications in altering their prior declaration …

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Crash-O-Matic Finance

Oil prices have dropped $50 a barrel. That may not sound like much. But when you take $107 and you take $57, that’s almost a 47 percent decline…!”
–James Puplava, The Financial Sense News Network

May not sound …

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Now Eric Garner

The Beauty Shop had barely stopped smoldering in Ferguson, Missouri, when the Eric Garner grand jury decision came down on Staten Island — no probable cause to indict one particular cop for something — manslaughter? — in his choke-hold take-down …

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KunstlerCast 261 — Whuzzat Mean? A Primer in Financial Jargon with Chris Martenson


Join me and Chris Martenson on a journey through the swamps of financial lingo so we might all develop a clearer notion of all that jargon we hear and read everyday in the chatter-sphere of the Internet. Chris is …

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December 2014

Lucas 1

Behold the grandiosity of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art proposed for the Chicago lakefront. It is unclear exactly what it might contain besides the costumes and props for Lucas’s Star Wars cinema franchise.  The public relations bullshit cooked …

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Ferguson

The climactic uproar in Ferguson, Mo., a week ago took a zany turn when the “we want peace” message of Michael Brown’s family rotated 180 degrees to the imperative command, “burn this bitch down,” hollered repeatedly by stepfather Louis Head …

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Buy the All Time High

Wall Street is only one of several financial roach motels in what has become a giant slum of a global economy. Notional “money” scuttles in for safety and nourishment, but may never get out alive. Tom Friedman of The New

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The Instability Express

The mentally-challenged kibitzers “out there” — in the hills and hollows of the commentary universe, cable news, the blogosphere, and the pathetic vestige of newspaperdom — are all jumping up and down in a rapture over cheap gasoline prices. Overlay …

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KunstlerCast 260 — Petroleum Geologist Art Berman on Shale Oil and Gas


Independent petroleum geologist Arthur Berman says of the shale oil and shale gas scene: “What we’re reading in the newspapers everyday is completely distorted. It couldn’t be more wrong and delusional.” JHK and Art delve into the finer points …

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The Fate of the Turtle

Anybody truly interested in government, and therefore politics, should be cognizant above all that ours have already entered systemic failure. The management of societal affairs is on an arc to become more inept and ineffectual, no matter how either of …

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November 2014

Kansas

Behold the official reception hall of the Kansas Expo Center in Topeka, the state fairground. Heritage Hall, one of the oldest buildings in Kansas, has been retrofitted as a party shack enclosed between the convention center, Capital Plaza hotel, and …

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Signs and Wonders

Holy smokes,” Janet Yellen must have barked last week when Japan stepped up to plug the liquidity hole left by the US Federal Reserve’s final taper trot to the zero finish line of Quantitative Easing 3. The gallant …

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KunstlerCast 259 — An Empire of Mud


JHK Gets a new microphone and chats with J.D. Dickey author of “Empire of Mud — the Secret History of Washington, DC.” For decades during the 19th century, the city was a national disgrace. Unfilled swamps, filthy canals, and …

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Tapering, Exiting, or Just Punting?

Oh, that sound you hear this morning is the distant roar of European equity markets puking after the latest round of phony bank “stress tests” — another exercise in pretend by financial authorities who understand, at least, the bottomless credulity …

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“Omenland”

Did a few loose strands of Ebola seep into the organs and tissues of global finance last week? The US equity markets sure enough puked, the Nikkei bled out through its eyeballs, all the collagen melted out of Greek bonds, …

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Real Life is Not Spin Art

The authorities keep emphasizing that the nurse who caught ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan was sealed in her haz-mat suit the whole time she cared for the poor fellow and blah blah nobody knows how she could possibly catch the …

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