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Ho ho ho! It’s that time of year again. Here’s JHK’s holiday classic: A Christmas Orphan.

11-year-old Jeff Greenaway hears his mom and dad argue one night after an office Christmas party. He infers from their garbled squabble that he is an orphan, found in a willow basket on the welcome mat outside their New York apartment. Thinking now that his parents are imposters, he steals away to Grand Central Station and buys a train ticket to Drakesville, Vermont, where he intends to start life all over again.
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JHK’s lost classic now reprinted as an e-book
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Archive | Clusterfuck Nation – Blog RSS feed for this section

Our Turn?

     Nations go crazy. It’s terrifying when it happens, especially to a major nation with the ability to project its craziness outward. We look back on the psychotic break of Germany in 1933 and still wonder how the then-best-educated population in Europe could fall under the sway of a sociopathic political program. We behold more »

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The Party of Cruelty

     It was amusing to see the Republican party inveigh against health insurance reform as if they were a synod of Presbyterian necromancers girding the nation for a takeover by the spawn of hell.  This was the same gang, by the way, who championed the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, more »

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Where Have We Been; Where Are We Going?

     Driving down the broad avenues of Cleveland, Ohio, was like flipping through the pages of a picture book about the rise and fall of our industrial empire. Where demolitions had not removed things — a lot was gone — stood the residue of a society so different from ours that you felt momentarily more »

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Then All At Once

     I was plying the interstate highways of New England this weekend — there is no sane way to get from Albany, New York, to the vicinity of Middletown, Connecticut, by public transit — marveling at the vistas of normality all around me: the freeway lanes with their orderly streams of happy motorists, the more »

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Winter Mind Games

     Does anyone know exactly how the Winter Olympics got hijacked by the Canadian Hotel Housekeeping Employees Union?  Every time I turned the damn thing on, there were these ladies uniformed in manual labor casuals shoving teakettles across the floor while other ladies madly polished the forward path of said sliding kettles with Swiffer© more »

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Rehearsals for a Civil War

     Amid the general incoherence of the Tea Party rebels and the failure of progressives to recognize the structural changes underway in a peak oil world, lies a deadly swamp of paradox where all parties may drown in the quicksand of their own muddled intentions.      The Tea Party appeals to the swelling more »

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Euroland, the Horror Movie

       An Olympian game of musical chairs in global finance heads for a climax in the days ahead as so many eyes are diverted to alternate festivities in British Columbia, where grown men compete for gold by riding things that look like cafeteria trays down icy mountainsides — is this the moment that more »

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We’re Weimar

     Future historians who try to chart the unraveling of the USA’s political tapestry might point to two events of the past week.  The obvious first one was the Tea Party convention at Nashville. It was held not accidentally at the ridiculous Opryland Hotel and resort in the city’s outer suburban asteroid belt, right more »

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Click Here For Closeup Of R. Crumb’s “A Short History Of America.”

R. Crumb’s A Short History of America

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The Jive Economy

     What started out as a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes now has America looking like the world’s biggest nudist colony, with everyone in the long chain of power and authority admiring each other’s splendid new (imagined) pimp suits. George W. Bush (remember him?) wasn’t kidding when he discounted the function of objective more »

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Swingtime

    A lot of things started shaking loose last week, and not just in Haiti.  The Scott Brown senate seat victory in Massachussetts shook loose a Democratic “super-majority” that only had to be constructed because the US Senate stupidly turned the filibuster into standard operating procedure where it once was a seldom-used procedural dodge employed more »

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Disasters Far and Near

     As the disaster in Haiti moves into its “Katrina” phase of organizational chaos, relief effort failure, and public health calamity, the world will get another lesson in the dangers of techno-triumphalist posturing. American authority pretends to be in flawless control of a situation that by the minute crumbles into anarchy and death as more »

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Six Months To Live?

     The economy that is. Especially the part that consists of swapping paper certificates. That’s the buzz I’ve gotten the first two weeks of 2010, and forgive me for not presenting a sheaf of charts and graphs to make the case. Just about everybody else yakking about these thing on the Web provides plenty more »

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The Futility Economy

     It’s the first business day of the new year and oil is trading above $80 a barrel, which means the price has re-entered the danger zone where it can crush industrial economies. This is a central element of the predicament we find ourselves in. The US economy is essentially a Happy Motoring economy. more »

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Blue Christmas

     As the end-credits rolled for James Cameron’s new movie, Avatar,  the audience burst into rowdy applause. It seemed to me that they were applauding the sheer computerized dazzlement of the show — but in the story itself they had just watched the US suffer a humiliating defeat on a distant planet. In the more »

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Hostage Situation

Apologies for server problems that dogged this website most of Monday….              Okay, so President Obama didn’t run for office to help out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street – or so he said on CBS’s “60 Minutes” show Sunday night. But maybe it didn’t seem like such more »

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Climate, Oil, War, and Money

[Apologies for server problems today.  We’ve migrated kunstler.com to its own dedicated server to better handle traffic.  It should be running properly now, 3pm Monday.] *      Against a greater welter and flow of incoherence jerking the nation this way and that way en route to collapse comes “ClimateGate,” the latest excuse for screaming more »

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Wickedness Abides

“While Dubai is not big enough to set off financial repercussions outside the Middle East, the main fear is that investors could flee risky markets all at once in search of safer havens for their money.”  — The NYT, Vikas Bajaj and Graham Bowley, reporting.      Apart from the stark self-contradiction in this quote more »

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Courting Convulsion

     How infantile is American society?  Last night’s CBS “Business Update” (in the midst of its “60 Minutes” program) featured three items: 1.) The New Moon teen vampire movie led the weekend box-office receipts; 2.) Cadbury shares hit an all-time high; 3.) Michael Jackson’s rhinestone-studded white glove sold at auction for $350,000. Some in-house CBS-News producer is more »

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The Fate of the Yeast People

    Every time I do a Q and A after a college lecture, somebody says (with a fanfare of indignation) – so as to reveal their own brilliance in contrast to my foolishness – “You haven’t said anything about overpopulation!”      Right.  I usually don’t bother. Their complaint, of course, implies that we would more »

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Dreams Die Hard

     In The Long Emergency (2005, Atlantic Monthly Press), I said that we ought to expect the federal government to become increasingly impotent and ineffectual – that this would be a hallmark of the times.  In fact, I said that any enterprise organized at the colossal scale would function poorly in years ahead, whether more »

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Thinking the Unthinkable

     A side-trip to the local mall – where else to buy ammo around here? – evinced an epic struggle for supremacy of the chain stores between the Great Pumpkin and Santa Claus, with both fat-assed icons trying to shove the other out of the primary display sites as if the store aisle were more »

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Self-jiving Nation

     The scene in the White House these days must be a sort of Opera Bouffe, in which an earnest and rather grave young man moves from one roomful of lesser officials to another in which all agree to pretend that they have prevented the nation from falling into something they call “the abyss.” more »

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Marching Toward Zombieland

     When sober-minded individuals begin to regard an enterprise within a nation as “an enemy of the people” you can bet that some serious blood is going to flow.  This is now essentially the situation for the Goldman Sachs company, which last week announced third-quarter earnings of over $3 billion largely derived from converting more »

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Booby Prize

      When that phone call came around six a.m. last week telling President Obama he’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I had to think he turned to Michelle and said, “Honey, our life together has just gotten more surreal.”  I was hoping that he would politely refuse it, perhaps making a statement later that more »

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