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Archive | 2013

The End of Pretend

     If being wealthy was the same as pretending to be wealthy then people who care about reality would have a little less to complain about. But pretending is a poor way for a society to negotiate its way through history. It makes for accumulating distortions which eventually undermine the society’s ability to function, more »

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Jive Talkin’

     And so in his valedictory, Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke pulls one last dead rabbit out of his hat — it suffocated while the head-fake taper percolated in Ben’s brain lo these many months of jive talkin’. As the year turns, the central bank will supposedly monetize $10 billion less debt per month more »

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Punking Ourselves to Death

     The so-called Volker Rule for policing (ha!) banking practices, approved by a huddle of federal regulating agency chiefs last week, is the latest joke that America has played on itself in what is becoming the greatest national self-punking exercise in world history.      First of all (and there’s a lot of all), this more »

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New Paintings — Gallery 8

 Click to go to Gallery 8

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Timing Is (Not) Everything

by James Howard Kunstler “Federal Reserve officials are closer to winding down their controversial $85 billion-a-month bond-purchase program, possibly as early as December, in the wake of Friday’s encouraging jobs report.”       That from the much-deservedly maligned John Hilsenrath, widely regarded to be the Federal Reserve’s ventrioloquist dummy over at the Wall Street Journal, as more »

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The Garden, Second Year, 2013

   Click here if you want to start back in 2012 for the very beginning of the project.  The garden had a nice winter sleep and then I got cracking again in the spring of 2013. Here’s a shot of the potager in front of the house in July of 2013:  The first thing I more »

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December 2013

Gehry Toronto

Behold this triple-header of 80-plus-story condo towers designed by Toronto hometown boy Frank Gehry for his place of birth (he’s lived in Los Angeles for decades).

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Between a Rock and a Squishy Place

     The rock is reality. The squishy place is the illusion that pervasive racketeering is an okay replacement for an economy. The essence of racketeering is the use of dishonest schemes to get money, often (but not always) employing coercion to make it work. Some rackets can function on the sheer cluelessness of the more »

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Un-Paving Our Way To Nirvana

Just published on Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity site:Read it there. You can’t overstate the baleful effects for Americans of living in the tortured landscapes and townscapes we created for ourselves in the past century. This fiasco of cartoon suburbia, overgrown metroplexes, trashed small cities and abandoned small towns, and the gruesome connective tissue of roadways, commercial smarm, more »

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All Bulled Up With No Place To Go

by James Howard Kunstler      The financial wires and pod-waves are all lit up these days like it was happy hour at the Lottery Winner’s Lounge.  It appears that the American economy — capital management division — has found the long-wished-for magic alternative energy source: horseshit. It is fueling the conversation all over the Web more »

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Schilling Shilling

     Such is the power of wishful thinking that a set of fool-making memes now pulses through the word-clouds of financial chatter in America spreading the false good cheer that our economic troubles are behind us and pimping for perpetual motion in wealth expansion. A poster boy for this bundle of falsehoods is financial more »

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The Turning

      In these northern climes, this turning into the year’s final quarter feels written in the blood, or at least into the legacy code of culture. The leaves skitter across the streets in an early twilight, chill winds daunt man and dog, the landscape buttons itself up for the long sleep, and human activity more »

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Duct Tape Politics

     The ObamaCare website rollout fiasco, joined by the bait-and-switch “You can keep your current insurance (not)” tempest, obscure the fundamental quandary about so-called health-care in America: that it is a gigantic racket structured to allow countless layers of grift and counter-grift. The end product of all that artifice is that medical care costs more »

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November 2013

Syracuse Blvd

Behold (above) the wished-for outcome of a project that would turn the Interstate 81 elevated freeway that runs through the heart of Syracuse, New York, into a surface boulevard.

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Two Forces and Three Bears

     In these climax years of industrial technocratic society, two opposing forces shape the destiny of government: the desperate effort to control everything versus the decline of the ability to carry out that effort. The result will be the loss of legitimacy and the collapse of government from the highest levels, moving downward until more »

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The Snapback

     Well, at least the poobahs cleared a path to the annual orgy of Christmas, which, along with the S & P 500, have become proxies for the American economy. Lately, the Christmas season starts directly after Halloween, so, the whole fourth quarter of the year becomes a circus of ceremonial distractions. In the more »

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Growth is Obsolete –Society needs to realize growth does not equal prosperity

Just published on Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity site:Read it there. Good layout. Nice links…. by James Howard Kunstler The word that sticks in the craw of many who cogitate over economics is growth. The condition that the word refers to has proven disturbingly problematic in recent years, especially as world’s population continues to expand exponentially and the more »

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Creepily Close

by James Howard Kunstler      Things that can’t go on, the prophet Herb Stein once observed, go on until they can’t. Criticality eventually bushwhacks credulity. The aggregation of rackets that American life has become is rolling over like a great groaning wounded leviathan and the rest of the world is starting to freak out more »

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KunstlerCast Is On Hiatus

JHK is on deadline to complete World Made By Hand 3.Hiatus should last about a month. I’ll be back

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Paradigm Blindness

by James Howard Kunstler       Something is sucking the air out of the humid terrarium that is US politics, making the lizards, tarantulas, and scorpions within hyperventilate. That something is the vacuum of disappearing wealth. All the accounting fraud, statistical mis-reporting, price manipulations, naked-short beat-downs, high-speed arbitrage hijinks, and carry trade rackets can’t more »

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October 2013

Oct eyesore 1

Behold the conceptual rendering for this year’s official Flint, Michigan, public art project.

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KunstlerCast 249 — Chatting with Steve Ludlum of the Economic Undertow blog

KunstlerCast 249 — Chatting with Steve Ludlum of the Economic Undertow blog #249 — JHK chats with Steve Ludlum of the Economic-Undertow.com blog about the contemporary economy as a waste engine. We venture into dark and distant corners of the economic story, including population overshoot, the potential for social disorder, and the role of gold more »

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Then What?

     A theme in my 2005 book, The Long Emergency, was the counter-intuitive idea that the federal government, rather than becoming the omnipotent Big Brother Moloch so many feared, would instead spiral into impotence and become too incompetent and ineffectual to run everybody’s life. Another theme was that the USA was entering a political more »

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KunstlerCast 248 — JHK visits the Farmers’ Market

KunstlerCast 248 — JHK visits the farmers’ market It’s harvest time. The frost is on the pumpkin. JHK visits the Farmers Market in Cambridge, NY, and chats with the farmers (and sundry other interesting people) about the ag scene in Washington County and the fate of small town America. By the way, the magnificent old more »

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Taper (Not)

     Remember, the doleful, lonesome figure of Ben Bernanke stands (or slumps) at the top of a pyramid of obfuscation so high, broad, and massive that all the debt serfs in a history of the future will not avail to reconstruct its hypothecated contours. When the world picks itself up from the smoldering ruins more »

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