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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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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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World War Three Anybody?

     When Alan Greenspan predicted three percent economic growth showing up in the reported figures for the third quarter of 2009, did he mean executive compensation packages?  Maybe the lesson here is: don’t ask a crackhead to predict the future supply of crack.  Greenspan’s greatest success may be to drive economics into such disrepute more »

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The Season of the Witch

      In my father’s house are many mansions. Surely one of them has a room with no elephants in it….      Not to crunch too many metaphors right here at the top, but a consensus seems to be firming up in the animate jello of the Internet that we have entered the Season of the more »

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Original Sin

     In our history, the American nation committed obvious sins against select groups of people, and we’ve paid bitterly for some of that.  But now it’s our sins against the land itself that threaten to sink the USA as a viable enterprise.     It’s odd, that in his otherwise excellent blow-by-blow account (“Eight Days,” in the more »

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Reality Receding

     Now that everybody in the USA, from the janitors in their man-caves to the president addressing congress, has declared the “recession” over, is exactly the moment when what’s left of the so-called economy is most likely to implode.  If there were still shoeshine boys on Wall Street, they’d be starting their own hedge more »

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The Labor Day Blues

        One national moment-of-nausea this Labor Day weekend struck Sunday morning, when CNN’s John King led off his 10 a.m. State of the Union show with a valentine to ABC’s Diane Sawyer, on her becoming anchor of that network’s evening news. (This was the most important news of the week???)  The old legacy networks more »

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End of Summer Blues

     In my larval, pre-blogging days, I always faced the back-to-school moment with abject dread.  It meant returning to a program of the most severe, mind-numbing regimentation in the ghastly New York City public schools after a summer of idyllic unreality in the New Hampshire woods, where I went to a Lord of the Flies more »

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Financial Crisis Called Off

          Whew, what a relief!  Everybody from Ben Bernanke and a Who’s Who of banking poobahs schmoozing it up in the heady vapors of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the dull scribes at The New York Times, toiling in their MC Escher hall of mirrors, to poor dim James Surowiecki over at The more »

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The First Die-off

    Sunday, I got a taste of the oldest established permanent traffic fiasco in America known as Escape From Cape Cod.  This is not a regular thing for me.  I have no family there and never did.  Friends invited us out to an idyllic hidden corner of the place far from the clam bars filled more »

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The Fog of Numbers

     There’s something happenin’ hereWhat it is ain’t exactly clear….— Buffalo Springfield     One of main reasons behind the vast confusion now reigning in the USA, our failure to construct a coherent consensus about what is happening to us (or what to do about it), is our foolish obsession with econometrics — viewing the world more »

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Hunky Dory

         Whenever the herd mentality lines up along a compass point leading to “permanent prosperity,” or a yellow brick road lined with green shoots, or something like that, I tend to see the edge of a cliff up ahead. We are now completely in the grips of the deadly diminishing returns of information more »

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Evil Syndicated

   Apologies to readers for late posting today.  There was some systemic problem with the Moveable Type utility that we use to coordinate the blog and its archives with the kunstler.com website. *      By now, everyone in that fraction of the world that pays attention to something other than American Idol and their more »

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Is Obama Gorbachev?

    The eulogy for Walter Cronkite as “the most trusted man in America” on the CBS “Sixty Minutes” show said a lot about the condition of this nation — though it did not signify what CBS thought it did.  It wasn’t about the death of one hugely esteemed individual; it was about the broad institutional more »

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Wobble Time

     The cat coming out of the bag this week — a frazzled, flaming, rabid, death-dealing cat — is the news that Goldman Sachs will announce impressive second-quarter profits, and set aside $18 billion or so for employee bonuses averaging $600,000 per head (though, of course, not evenly distributed among them).  There probably are not more »

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The Free and the Dead

       I was out on a big Adirondack lake in a canoe this weekend while the American economy was dying — but you wouldn’t have known it for the fleets of giant power boats dragging children back and forth across the water on rubber tubes, and the giant camping vehicles crammed into every bare spot. more »

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The Man in the Mirror

       As America entered the horse latitudes of summer, befogged in a muffling stillness on deceptively calm seas, we were distracted for a while by visions of a pale death angel moonwalking across the deck of collective consciousness.  Eerie parallels resound between the sordid demise of pop singer Michael Jackson and the fate of the more »

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A Snake Eating Its Own Tail

        I’d like to know what Barack Obama thinks he’s doing with the fiasco we call the US economy.  He can’t pump it back into the credit-fueled freak show it used to be, of course, but he could steer it in a practical new direction.  Even people who have lost a lot, and stand more »

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Too Stupid To Survive

     Coming home from the annual meet-up of the New Urbanists, I was already agitated from the shenanigans of United Airlines — two-hour delay, blown connection — when I waded into this week’s New York Times Sunday Magazine for further evidence that our ruling elites are too stupid to survive (and perhaps the US with more »

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