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Attention Deficit

   Apparently someone at the US State Department put out the fire in John Kerry’s magnificent head of hair, because he has stopped declaiming (for now) on the urgent need to start World War Three over Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. In my lifetime, there has never been a more pointless and unnecessary international crisis than the current rumble over Ukraine, and it’s pretty much all our doing.

     After all, we kicked it off by financing the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government. How do you suppose the US would feel if Moscow engineered the overthrow of the Mexican government? Perhaps a little insecure? Perhaps even tempted to post some troops on the border?

     Since the end of the Cold War, the US has engaged in a nonstop projection of power around the world with grievous results in every case except in the breakup of Yugoslavia. The latest adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been the most expensive — at least a trillion dollars — and mayhem still rules in both places. In fact, news reports out of Kabul on NPR this morning raised doubts that the scheduled elections could take place later this week. The country’s so-called Independent Election Commission has been under rocket attack for days, the most popular hotel for foreign journalists was the site of a massacre two weeks ago, and the Taliban remains active slaughtering civilians in the lawless territory outside of the Afghan capital.

     Of course, even those dreadful incidents raise the rather fundamental question as to why anything about Afghanistan really matters to the USA. How many years will it take for us to get over the fact that Osama bin Laden ran a training camp for jihadists there? Right now you can be sure that somewhere between Casablanca and East Timor there are training camps for religious maniacs and thousands more casual meet-ups among aggrieved young men with testosterone boiling in their brains and nothing else to occupy their time but playing with guns. Are we going to invade every land where this goes on?

      One part of our ever-evolving reality is that the global economy is in the process of cracking up. Despite the claims of one Tom Friedman at The New York Times, Globalism was not a permanent installation in the human condition. Rather, it was a set of transient economic relations brought about by special circumstances in a particular time of history — namely, a hundred years of cheap energy and about fifty years of relative peace between the larger nations. That’s all it was. And now it’s dissolving because energy is increasingly non-cheap and that is causing a lot of friction between nations utterly addicted to high flows of cheap oil and gas.

     The friction is manifesting especially in the realm of money and finance. The high energy addicted nations have been trying to offset the rising cost of their addiction, and the absence of conventional economic “growth,” by borrowing ever more money, that is, generating ever more debt. This ends up expressing itself in “money printing,” that range of computerized banking activities that pumps more and more “liquidity” into “advanced” economies. The result of all that is the mis-pricing of just about everything (including especially the cost of borrowing money), and an increasingly antagonistic climate of currency war as all players vie for the supposed advantages of devaluation — most particularly the ability to dissolve their own sovereign debts via inflation.

      The finer points of all that are debatable as to eventual consequences but we can easily draw some larger conclusions about the macro trends. The global orgy of cheap goods and bubble finance is ending. Nations and indeed regions within nations are going to have to find a new way of making a living on the smaller scale. This is sure to include new arrangements for governance. The breakup of nation states is well underway and is moving from the margins inward to the political center — from the hopeless scrublands of overpopulated nations that will never “develop” to the increasingly sclerotic giants.

     The USA is exhibiting pretty severe signs of that sclerosis in the demented behavior of its leaders in episodes such as the current unnecessary manufactured fiasco over Ukraine to the physical deterioration of our towns, roads, bridges, and all the plastic crap we managed to smear over the mutilated landscape to the comportment of our demoralized, mentally inert, drugged-up, tattoo-bedizened populace of twerking slobs.

     In short, it is self-evident that Russians have an abiding interest in the Crimea and we have none, while both the material and cultural life of the US is in a shambles and much more worthy of our own attention.

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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 the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

181 Responses to “Attention Deficit”

  1. Htruth March 31, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Jim Rickards warns the global currency collapse is almost here. He might be a great interview for your podcast: http://youtu.be/47B6p9ZkmN0

  2. Smoky Joe March 31, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    JHK is right about American bungling; no way Russia would ignore the threat to their Black Sea Fleet’s favored ports. Yet one does wonder what the world would have looked like had ADHD George W. Bush worked harder to finish the job in Afghanistan, instead of strutting over to Iraq.

    Now that Russia is rampant again and China rising steadily as resource-wars begin to erupt (Russian gas, China-Sea oil) there’s a recipe for a Third World War in here somewhere. Question is, where will the fuse be lit?

    • Helen Highwater March 31, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

      I’d be interested in knowing what you think Afghanistan would be like now if George Bush had “finished the job”, and what you think the “job” actually was.

  3. Neon Vincent March 31, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    “Of course, even those dreadful incidents raise the rather fundamental question as to why anything about Afghanistan really matters to the USA. How many years will it take for us to get over the fact that Osama bin Laden ran a training camp for jihadists there?”

    Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires. I have a standard rant about the place.

    I used to play a game called Pax Brittanica, which simulated world conditions from 1880-1916. In that game, Afghanistan was a region that was 1) most likely to revolt, 2) a real pain to conquer, and 3) cost more to govern than could ever be extracted from it. Furthermore, should anyone ever be dumb enough to actually invade it, the mere act of occupying the country would be enough to give at least one major power, if not two, cause to declare war. In the games I played, no one ever messed with the place.

    If a friggin’ game can figure that out, why can’t people do so in the real world? Yeah, I know, Osama bin Ladin and the Taliban. Still, the above wisdom should have been enough to convince people to get in, get the job done, and get out.


    • draupnir March 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      My current hypothesis is that it had as much to do with getting control of the opium fields as punishing them for the erstwhile and unavailable Osama, Now there’s an income stream that can really be depended on and is probably funding all those alphabet agencies black budgets.

    • Helen Highwater March 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      My question to you is the same: What do you think the “job” in Afghanistan was, and what do you think would have been a successful outcome of finishing it?

      • James Levy March 31, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

        I think American’s inchoate understanding was that we had the will and ability to either cow or convert the Afghans. This was always pretty delusional but Americans are thick as a plank. The French warned us about Vietnam but we knew better. We watched what happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan but again, we are better than everyone else so whatever they or the British or the Persians experienced there didn’t count. I am not a big fan of Churchill but when he said America could always be counted on to do the right thing, after they’ve exhausted all other options, is pretty close to accurate. Unfortunately for us Americans, the cushion of distance, wealth, and resources that allowed the US indulge such costly activities is wearing mighty thin. Iran will, in my opinion, use up the last of that cushion if Washington is dumb enough to take on a country that can effectively fight back.

  4. djc March 31, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    With the snow cover finally melting we recently took a ride through NE Ohio and NW PA and the sense of collapse is just overwhelming. Rotting small towns, abandoned factories, dormant farms and empty storefronts are not even the worst of it, the ennui of pretty much everyone we talked to made everything worse.

    I’m really afraid for whats coming when everything just stops working.

    The sad part of all of this is our leaders don’t even realize what has already happened.


    • oswegatchie March 31, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Can’t be any worse than the disintegration I see here in the Capital Region of New York. I travel throughout the region from lake George to Hudson, Washington, Rensselaer, Fulton, Montgomery, Greene, and Saratoga Counties and everything seems to be either falling apart (roads, bridges, parking lots, sprawl businesses, ect ect. There is 0% chance of it all getting fixed. Just too far gone and far too much of it to begin with to maintain. Especially with budgets struggling and heating costs though the roof. Everyone is getting poorer by the day here and I am sure we are not alone in this once great land.

    • Being There March 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      Of course they know what’s happening. They are referred to as “sacrifice zones” (Chris Hedges) You should read his articles about it. Truthdig.

      • James Levy March 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

        Yup, the chess board of Capital has expanded to encompass, almost literally, the globe. So areas here in the USA can be sacrificed to growth opportunities elsewhere. But as Mr. Kunstler points out, that strategy is now a terrible bet and only those who can thrive locally will do well in the coming 50 years (assuming that within 50 years we have a technological breakthrough, although Jim assesses that as magical thinking).

        The question on the table is how much of the positive aspects of civilization–law, medicine, sanitation, science, reason–can we take along with us as the machinery of the fossil fuel era starts to break down. The good thing is that many of the best aspects of civilization (literacy, books, a materialist understanding of human and natural processes) are not material or require few natural resources. So there is hope. Where I live in the Berkshire Hills I think much of this could continue well into a secular breakdown at the international/national level. But many other places face a much bleaker future. Luckily people around here are polite, educated, and armed (just in case).

        • DrTomSchmidt March 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

          many of the best aspects of civilization (literacy, books, a materialist understanding of human and natural processes)

          Um, it’s that materialist understanding, and its concomitant myth of “progress,” requiring ever-increasing amounts of stuff as a proof of the religion of Progress that drives us towards our fossil-fueled exhaustion. As material progress has failed, so does the faith in all the fellow travelers of that religion. I’m pretty sure there will still be Amish in 100 years. People with a “materialist understanding” of human processes, less so. Much less so.

          • James Levy March 31, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

            Well, if you want to go back to a world before Thales when humans thought that all actions in the world had a supernatural cause I guess you can, but I for one would like us to remember that natural events have natural causes, and we don’t need a god for every phenomenon. That is what I mean by materialism, and I think it is a prudent way to deal with the world. It is why I think the Peak Oil thesis is valid and climate change is happening. Just because some people forgot that all matter decays and the general entropic tendency is for things to run down and stuck a teleology onto materialism and called that teleology Progress doesn’t mean that the fundamental insight is flawed.

          • aka_ces April 1, 2014 at 1:28 am #

            You can’t separate American Christianity from the cult of growth and its concomitant follies.

            A materialist perspective, i.e. a secular perspective, can make one more appreciative of the value of scarce resources, and of the fragility of life on Earth.

            Your categories are too facile, Dr. Tom.

        • aka_ces April 1, 2014 at 1:34 am #

          NOTE: I previously placed this comment into a reply to the wrong person. Sorry DrTomSchmidt.

          You can’t separate American Christianity from the cult of growth and its concomitant follies.

          A materialist perspective, i.e. a secular perspective, can make one more appreciative of the value of scarce resources, and of the fragility of life on Earth.

          Your categories are too facile, James Levey.

          • aka_ces April 1, 2014 at 1:38 am #

            the folly of posting too late at night …

      • TopCola April 1, 2014 at 5:24 am #

        I love Hedges for his tirelessness. In the comments under one of the videos on Sacrifice Zones, the interview with Moyers, a young man compares it to being herded onto the Indian Reservation system. That’s astute. That’s where we all will end up. “I’m making $160K/yr but with my law school debt my life is hopeless.”. When those earning 6 figures describe their economic lives as hopeless, we’re in the late innings.

  5. MikeMoskos March 31, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    So far, the press has largely ignored the transition from our old master, Ben to our new master Janet, even though she’s now the most powerful woman ever to walk the planet.

    As she “tapers” her stimulation of the worldwide economy, it will interesting to see if the blame will go to her or be misdirected to others.

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  6. lsjogren March 31, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    “The breakup of nation states is well underway and is moving from the margins inward to the political center — from the hopeless scrublands of overpopulated nations that will never “develop” to the increasingly sclerotic giants.”

    And our political leaders, fueled by a rather modest political base consisting of a coalition of witless “progressives” and billionaire robber barons, seek to devolve our nation, one of the “sclerotic giants”, into an overpopulated scrubland through a return to 19th century wild west style “open borders” immigration policy.

  7. George March 31, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    “Apparently someone at the US State Department put out the fire in John Kerry’s magnificent head of hair, because he has stopped declaiming (for now) on the urgent need to start World War Three over Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula.”

    There may a reason for this: over the weekend I learned from a credible source that Angela Merkel’s government is considering removing Germany from NATO. The Germans know that short of nuclear war, a land confrontation with Russia cannot be won, especially if the gas needed to keep warm in the winter is cut off. Read: NATO’s days are numbered.

    And with the breakup of NATO goes US Empire hegemony. The war on terrorism which has consumed far more resources than was ever imagined and has yet to improve anything. The hubris of those leading this so called war astounds me: they actually believe they can fight everyone simultaneously! At some point very soon the inevitable “blow back” from all the indiscriminate mayhem they’ve spawned will most assuredly overwhelm, especially if it occurs in conjunction with an extreme weather event and the day of reckoning that each day of the Fed’s Quantitative Easing will inevitably bring.

    Meanwhile, the list of terrorists grows exponentially. Until now most of the terrorists were located overseas in remote locales. We shouldn’t be surprised if, in the not too distant future, the list of terrorists is expanded to include many of the home-grown variety, otherwise known as “Enemies of the State”. It may come to pass within the paranoid chaos that defines that whorish realm within the Beltline that we’ll all be suspected as being Enemies of the State until proven otherwise. And when that happens the vast majority may finally recognize that the state, the multinational corporations and that one most indispensable ally that, in effect, own it; are our enemies.


    • B9K9 March 31, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      “The hubris of those leading this so called war astounds me: they actually believe they can fight everyone simultaneously!”

      I have a hard time understanding why, after all the events & revelations that have transpired to date, anyone could still believe in surface level motivations.

      How about this perspective: US military activity is similar to a particular arrangement in economic affairs. Since the PTB are completely secular as to the manner by which the country conducts business, so to does it consider the military enterprise.

      That is, the PTB simply do no care whether the basis of the US economy was agriculture, manufacturing, or consumption, as long as political and economic power (via the banking function) was maintained.

      Using this analogy, the PTB simply do not care whether the US is successful or not in the conduct of its various overseas adventures, as long as they maintain political and economic power (via once again the banking function).

      And like the hallowing out of US production as factories moved offshore, the non-state parasites will look elsewhere when the present military hegemony ends its current run.

      The smart money is on a smaller, culturally homogeneous population that is acting from a strong, true defensive position, and which also happens to be sitting on the last great source of conventional reserves.

      • rka March 31, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

        What the hell is a PTB?

        • hineshammer March 31, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

          Assuming you aren’t being sarcastic, I will enlighten. What B9K9 means is TBTB (not the PTB), as in The Powers That Be.

          • rka March 31, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

            If there was any sarcasm intended it was self directed:yes, I do need “it” to be spelled out. The language is difficult enough as it is. Why complicate it with meaningless abbreviations, e.g. TBTB, what the hell is that? Or is that what you really meant?

      • George April 1, 2014 at 10:41 am #

        It seems there’s no shortage of boy scouts eager to believe all the lies we’ve been conditioned to believe in the service of those (including the multinational corporations and the Wall Street investment banking cabal) that view them as little more than expendable cannon fodder.


    • Being There March 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      ZBIG pulled it back from the rabid neocons who believe they can win limited nuclear war. Carter was on the TV last week saying Crimea was ok. That’s how you that Zbig is speaking.

    • Janos Skorenzy March 31, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Yes they seek to fight Islam even as they import millions of Muslims into the United States. Make sense? They announce grandiosely that they “have no problem with Islam but only Radical Islam” – as if there is a clear line between these. And they forget (perhaps!) that the 2nd generation of immigrants are often more radical than the originals.

      My Conjecture: It’s a desperate attempt to conquer the world by using America’s power – even as they neutralize America by mass immigration and globalist treaties and economic policy.

    • shabbaranks April 1, 2014 at 12:36 am #

      I call BS on this one. Learning from an unnamed “credible source” is nonsense. If you have information that Germany is “leaving NATO” name it. Otherwise whose to say you’re not just making up your assertion?

      Here’s shabba’s take: Germany never leaves NATO. Status quo prevails.

      • TopCola April 1, 2014 at 3:37 am #

        I disagree. Germany, like the rest of Europe ultimately, will shift to the east and become part of Russia’s sphere of influence, and they will indeed do it, to stay warm in the winter. Putin holds all the cards and he’s a shrewd player. Who are the USA’s allies again? We disaffected the KSA and Israel over Syria, we’ve alienated the heads of Europe with NSA, and there are signs that we will even lose the UK due to its energy poverty and internal contradictions. It’s game over.

    • michigan_native April 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      Just what I was going to say, before I looked back at old posts. Kerry’s asshole puckering up. I am seeing protests and riots all across the globe against “austerity” conditions imposed by the IMF. With regards to the US actions in the Ukraine, if face book is any indication, as I suspected, most Europeans are not as gullible as people in the US who bought into this sudden demonization of Russia. Putin is not Saddam Hussein, and Russia is not Iraq. They have teeth and can fight back . I was thinking this whole debacle would pour gas on the fire that is spreading and lead to the overthrow of US oligarchs and puppet governments world wide by masses of people sick of Uncle Sam and his brand of “freedom” and “democracy”.. Comments that are very popular included a gal from Germany “this US can go fuck itself” to a guy from Great Britain “the US is really getting desperate”. Russia has these people by the balls, as JHK stated, one clockwise turn of the methane supply would bring them to their knees. Likewise, dump their US treasury bonds. Maybe the US realizes that the lion’s roar is once had is but a pissant kitten’s meow in the eyes of the world. Like a one legged man trying to engage (I would say Chuck Norris, but he’s a brainless Neanderthal) Bruce Lee in an ass kicking contest. Good luck with that one.

  8. sevenmmm March 31, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    This country is going to crash fast.

  9. Greg Knepp March 31, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    I follow the mainstream media just to keep abreast of what’s shakin’ in the larger culture (such as it is). Here’s an exchange that took place Sunday morning on ABC’s ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’.

    Stephanopoulos: President Obama said that ‘Russia is a regional power acting out of weakness’. How would you respond to that?

    Russian Ambassador Kislyak: If we are a ‘regional power’ just look at the region; from Europe through Asia – quite a region!

    Ya think?

  10. capt spaulding March 31, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    Something that I’ve been wondering about concerning a change in the way we live is, how does the transition to a new economy take place without a complete disruption of life? I just watched a story on the Volta automobile(60 minutes), and one of the things the inventor has to to is get a network of charging stations built to support the car. This will take time. Do we have enough time to change the way we live, once the energy crisis hits? Meaning with less energy, less imports, more locally grown food, and all the other things that go along with a different way of life? Will we be able to bridge the gap between old and new, or will there be chaos? I know that thats what survivalists think, but what about thoughtful, informed people? What do you folks think?

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    • B9K9 March 31, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

      It really is quite pleasant believing in unicorns, skittles and sky doG(s) lovingly watching over us.

    • Helen Highwater March 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      I consider myself to be a thoughful, informed person and in my opinion there will be chaos. If we’d listened to the warnings that started coming about 40 years ago, we might have had a chance to avoid it. But now I think it’s too late for a graceful transition.

      • Janos Skorenzy March 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

        You love Hillary right? Your kind are part of the problem.

    • xinosaj March 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      I think we’ll be amazed at how long our country keeps its Ponzi scheme afloat. The militarized police and surveillance state will deal with rioters and protestors, while the corporate media will lie about the state of the nation and cook the economic/public health statistics. Those fortunate enough to continue paying mortgages, shopping at malls, and working in cubicles will continue with life-as-normal. I think the public planners hope that many people will die-off through a distributed increase in public mortality among the dispossessed (with their $5,000 Obamacare deductibles making their “socialist” health care useless).

      But in the end, the collapse will be severe and awful. We’ve missed the chance to prepare for it – oddly, I point the finger at the Christian Church most of all. All those people bemoaning the “moral decline” of society did absolutely nothing to combat it, aside from debating the finer points of gay marriage and Darwinism in obscurantist terminology that non-initiates couldn’t stomach. None of them told people to get local, to grow gardens, to eliminate personal debt, or to come together in cooperates to support each other. All they did was ask for donations.

      • B9K9 March 31, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

        The full spectrum security state requires tremendous energy inputs. And it’s not only restricted to just activities related to operating, maintaining and staffing both centralized collection and regional policing programs.

        Nope, a primary component, and one critical to overall success, is that the sheep themselves self-identify, which means a couple of things:
        – electronic toys are both plentiful and affordable
        – reasons are manufactured to entrap the infatuated, whether its following virtual friends, shopping, viewing ‘entertainment’, etc.
        – central, efficient power & communications networks are present to ensure the umbilical cord is never severed

        If you look around, you may notice a very, large not-so-underground army of people who have already dropped out of the farm. Perhaps not willingly, but maybe a blessing in disguise.

        As the full effects of what Jim and others have been writing/speaking about continue to “progress” unabated, millions upon millions will fall off the radar and become invisible to the PTB.

        Everything will return to local economies, including security, if you know what I mean. (Hint: it ain’t exactly going to be ‘state’ sanctioned.)

        • TopCola April 1, 2014 at 3:16 am #

          Good post. It reminds me of Guy Debord, one of the great critics of capitalism, who was 40 years too early, but in hindsight frighteningly correct about the shift from living in reality to pseudo-living based upon the images of capitalism. I read Jim regularly, I have a pretty solid knowledge of dystopian thought of the last 100 years, gained over a lifetime, but never found Debord until I was in my late 40s. Reading Debord 4 decades later– in energy decline– is a real revelation. My conclusion is that all of the terrified will never face reality. They will dive into their toys which still project the beautiful images of capitalism and a high living standard which no longer exists and ignore their disintegrating world to the end. Most of us are not strong enough for this world and there are addictive alternatives to facing it.

      • baird March 31, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

        I pretty much agree with much of JHK’s view of the depressing if not dystopian planetary future but I’m not so sure about the energy end game causes. Lots of actually encouraging stuff happening in the alternative energy fields, true it won’t be a pretty transition away from fossil fuels and probably too late to avoid some very nasty times.

        It’s hardly news but the gigantic elephant is still overpopulation which contrary to our wishful thinking is not stabilizing anytime soon, check out WorldWatch numbers. The “developed” countries have stabilized but not the developing countries.

    • TopCola April 1, 2014 at 4:17 am #

      Have you read the Hersh Report on Peak Oil or Olduvai theory by Richard Duncan? There is no transition possible for the entire population now. It’s too late, about 2 decades too late.

      • michigan_native April 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

        Have you read the efficacy (EROEI) energy returned on energy invested stats on renewable energy? At best, a combination would produce a small fraction of the energy dense, fossil fuel revolution of which we have been spoiled and blinded into a false reality which too many cannot let go. We over indulged at the party, now it’s time no nurse the hangovers. Technology will not save us. Factor in climate change and you wind up with a recipe for extinction. The crap that we poisoned our Mother Earth with in our pursuit of cheap energy and the “good life” that it afforded us will be around for hundreds of years and will have to be dealt with by future generations, or lack thereof…

  11. Petro March 31, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    There are benefits to awareness, and I believe it is right to go about the world with honesty and with eyes open. Embrace dangerous knowledge. Pessimism means having all (or most) of the facts.

    But I must say it’s getting mighty hard to keep from going over the crazy cliff, or turning into a full-time depressed, bitter, fearful person who has to keep his mouth shut to avoid alienating his wife and everyone else around him.

    Red pill, or blue pill?

  12. Being There March 31, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Thank you for the excellent post JHK.

    Out of the mouth of a real conservative. Yes, indeed Pat Buchanan was the only pundit in the last few weeks who told the truth of the $5 billion the US spent on it’s latest IMF set-up for austerity project while trying to put a ring around Russia with anti balistic missiles.

    He also mentioned Victoria Nuland (the NeoConserv. married to fellow ideologue Robert Kagan–how cozy. You can just imagine their pillow-talk) who placed the banking technocrat “YATS” to run the scheme.

    The others on McLaughlin only argued some fine points, but didn’t bother to deny the truth in what PB was saying.
    Other important sources have been you conventional conservatives such as Celente and Paul Craig Roberts and prob. Alex Jones, knowing him.

    There was a great article last week that describes the whisking away of Ukranian gold in the dead of night being placed on a plane bound for, ah you guessed it the Fed in NYC. I posted this article last week.

    In the meantime the pundits who get on the TV admit the American people don’t want war over Ukraine and want things done here to rebuild failing infrastructure,

    BUT we are told, Oh, NO. That would be isolationism, and protectionism and the US has to have an active participation in the world. Well, before globalism we were very active in the world, so these liars are making yet another ideological specious argument which is never argued.

    Out of war a few properly placed contractors and banks make big fat giant money. That’s the point of our otherwise pointless wars. War and munitions and military private contracting is the growth industry. Remember what I called it a couple of years ago:
    The eternal sunshine of the relentless search for unlimited growth.

    Help we’re stuck in an ideology and we can’t get out!

  13. BackRowHeckler March 31, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Jim, what about the cover story in Barons yesterday, stating petroleum and natgas is suddenly plentiful, so plentiful in fact that oil will be dropping to $75 per barrel pretty soon, maybe lower, putting Putin out of business, and at the same time ‘boosting our economy”?

    All kinds of experts were cited, including Dan Yergin.


    • draupnir March 31, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      That’s the same play they used to bring about the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

    • whatever March 31, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      They seem to be repeating the same over and over until they believe it themselves. Here is a link to an article that appeared in Nature in 2012. When the guy who was the chief scientific advisor for the UK government comes out saying that fracking is not a solution and that peak oil was in 2005 you know that the others are just dreaming.


      I hope the link works. Here is a bit of the data in case the link fails.

      “The US Energy Information Administration optimistically projects a 30% increase in oil production between now and 2030 (ref. 2). All of that increase is in the form of unidentified projects — in other words, oil yet to be discovered. Even if production at existing fields miraculously stopped declining, such an increase would require 22 million barrels per day of new oil production by 2030. If realistic declines of 5% per year continue, we would need new fields yielding more than 64 million barrels per day — roughly equivalent to today’s total production. In our view, this is very unlikely to happen. Non-conventional oil won’t make up the difference.”

    • Dana J March 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      If you follow the oil industry, you will find out that all that ‘fracking’ oil and gas is uneconomical to produce at below $80/bbl.
      So, no way is the USA going to put Putin out of business, as we will go first….

      • michigan_native April 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

        Exactly. The fracking lies will be exposed. And kissing the Royal Saudi’s asses will not replenish their once vast oil reserves which they used to destroy the USSR before. They are investing in solar energy, not future refineries/oil production. The US is acting like some kid that inadvertently kicked itself in the balls, and is crying and pointing its finger at Russia trying to claim it was bullied. I suspect most of the rest of the world isn’t buying it. China hasn’t had its turn at bat yet. Wanna see a grand slam? Watch them dump their treasury bonds and/or lock the US out of the international oil trade

  14. rka March 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    What the hell is a PTB?

    • Helen Highwater March 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Powers That Be

  15. Being There March 31, 2014 at 12:42 pm #


    Propaganda is a beautiful thing. So very useful in taking political heat off the issue. Oh indeed, it’s the new gold rush, just like real estate, but we will see whether the pie-in-the-sky delivers, won’t we?

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    • BackRowHeckler March 31, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Its hard to know what to believe BT. How about the interview last night on 60 minutes with an author (forgot his name) who claims the markets (Dow, nasdaq) are rigged? And nobody on CNBC today is really disagreeing too much.


      • Being There March 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

        The fact that Financialization is rigged is not in dispute. What to do about it is something different.

        Libor is rigged, the stock market is the only game in town and it keeps going up (like Madoff) Obviously it’s rigged, but if it weren’t it would crash—see it’s an impossible conundrum.

        My theory is that the banksters are above the law because they are acting as a financial cia, if you will. An intelligence group that ends competition against our hegemony. We can have a population of unscientific, poor and still be on top!

        How is that possible? You might ask.

        • B9K9 March 31, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

          “We can have a population of unscientific, poor and still be on top!”

          Why was William the C so freakin’ jonesing to claim his “birthright” back in 1066?

          I look at it like the owner of a sports team. Only if you can assemble the right talent – through drafts & trades – will you have a (good) chance of winning consecutive championships.

          So put yourself in William’s shoes. He looks across the channel, and there resides a stoic people, large in build (from the previous Anglo invaders), and easily susceptible to influence, control and direction.

          Your other options are the French, who tend to argue amongst themselves, and the Germans, who, while similar, tend to be a little to artistic and withdrawn. Unmanageable Latins such as the Spanish & Italians would be out of the question. (Of course, it was the descendents of the German Vandals who occupied N Spain that drove their ascent centuries later.)

          But the “English” were the real prize. Willing to accept the yoke, but at the same time, take some perverse pride is being able to take all that was dished out. And so we have some rather famous descriptors:

          – keeping a stiff upper lip
          – theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die
          – etc, etc, etc

          And the proof is in the pudding: a 1,000 year reign, with an empire that did, and still does through its US proxy, span the entire globe. So William’s actions make perfect sense given this kind of track record. He took a gamble, and it paid off in the greatest domination every witnessed to date.

      • Janos Skorenzy March 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

        Remember, our system is a series of nested scams. The millisecond scam is profitable but not the fundamental one. When is 60 minutes going to report of the Fed being private? Are they going to admit America was sold back in 1913? And to whom?

        They’ll never report on that since they are owned by people who profit from things as they are.

      • hineshammer March 31, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

        That was Michael Lewis, who wrote Liars’ Poker and, I think, The Big Short..

      • TopCola April 1, 2014 at 6:21 am #

        Nothing happens by accident. That story is ancient but now found its way to 60 Minutes and then CNBC actually highlighted the issue all day. The oligarchs have decided that making a big show of cleaning up the US markets will attract capital to our shores from precisely the countries they are attempting to undermine and sabotage, imo. Corporate America knows it’s is a game of global musical chairs and they plan on being the last man standing. Look at CNBC’s webpage this morning. “It’s time to for a public hearing on our markets!”. It couldn’t be more transparent what’s in play.

  16. skeeterses March 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Jim, I personally went out to the war protests to protest the US invasion of Iraq and am just as opposed to the US military adventurism as I am of Russia threatening Ukraine with its military. You brought up the example of Mexico. Now, we know that Russia has little or no influence in the politics of Latin America. But nonetheless, Mexico has caused problems for the US by encouraging its poorest citizens to sneak across our borders in order to compete for low paying American jobs and assistance from OUR social safety net. Yet, nobody is seriously suggesting that we send our military to Mexico in order to clean up the mess there. I hope that political problems can be solved by political means as opposed to the military.

    • Janos Skorenzy March 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      Countless people want our military on the Mexican border to protect us. Countless Americans have been killed by such “poor Mexicans”. “Protectionism”? Hell yes. That’s one of the things we pay taxes for.

      You haven’t read your Mao. “Power comes from the barrel of a gun”. Mao is a favorite of Leftists. Liberalism is Leftism light – in your case very light I’m afraid.

      • hineshammer March 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

        Countless? I’m pretty sure we can count how many Americans have been killed by poor Mexicans.

      • Roger March 31, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

        “Countless Americans” have been killed by “poor Mexicans”. How do you define countless? I think Americans are way up in the body count with Mexico.

    • Roger March 31, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

      I just have to respond to your anti-immigrant editorial. The US has caused far more problems for Mexico than Mexico has caused for US. We, the US, have sent troops into Mexico when it was to our benefit. The Mexican American War, 1843 to 1848 ( I think), and the American incursion into Vera Cruz in 1914 come to mind. Pershing chased Villa around northern Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. The PTB seem to be content with the status quo with Mexico. Mexicans “sneaking” across the border are, as Malcolm X would say, the birds of American foreign policy “coming home to roost”.

      • skeeterses March 31, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

        Roger, we can’t go back 100 years ago and erase the wrongs in America’s pasts. Nonetheless, we must recognize that there are limits to America’s ability to provide. The American Dream of poor people rising to Middle Class prosperity with a house and a car is not going to go on forever. Jim Kunstler spoke very well in his book The Long Emergency about how peak oil and national bankruptcy will force a lot of Americans, if not most Americans to go back to work in the localized agricultural economy. With America having to face the prospect of living off of its own resources alone, do the poor hispanics understand the issues that are mentioned in the Long Emergency? If not, maybe you or someone in the immigrant community could do a Spanish translation of The Long Emergency and Geography of Nowhere.

      • Janos Skorenzy April 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

        As an American, you are supposed to be on our side. If you aren’t, and there are tens of millions of you, then we don’t have a much of a country. It seems normal to you since there are so many of you, but it’s bizarre and leads to treason. Some of you know what you are doing in undermining America, but many of you are just clueless starry eyed Idealists. I sense you are the latter. You expect America to be the shining city on a hill – a universal nation open to everyone. Obviously by definition no nation can be universal, or all good to everyone. By definition, a nation helps its own first and foremost. Now admit it, you’ve never gone over the basics like this. You’ve been content to WALLOW in the pop idealism that’s been fed to you since pre-school. Such pap wouldn’t work on Minorities, but it gets to Whites since many of us so idealistic by nature. In other words, the Elite have used our own higher nature to undermine our sovereignty and prosperity.

        Not one Tax Dollar should have ever gone to foreign aid. How dare the government take our money and spend it on others – in pursuit of their own ends btw. They give nothing of their own away, but only our money. America is their ATM you see.

        The UN recently opined that illegals have the right to Obamacare. This is exactly the type of insanity that you take seriously. This CFR Globalist front should be removed from our Nation. I’m not against a code of conduct for all Nations, but in reality only a few will ever take it seriously. The rest just jockey for position when it suits them and ignore its edicts the rest of the time. And again, charity begins at home. That you put Americans last when they should be first shows that you have been downloaded with a serious amount of malicious programming.

  17. volodya March 31, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    It would never occur to the big thinkers to let Ukrainians themselves decide how to align the country and ultimately how to re-draw their own borders based on who salutes what flag.

    The more things changed in the 20th C the more things remained the same.

    After all, nobody abolished human nature. What issues bedevilled the Ukraine and the world way back when bedevil the world now. Blood, soil, collective ethnic interests, none of these have gone away.

    The US, while being partially a tribal society, worked out a different model of membership in the American nationality. You come to the USA, you poor, tired, huddled masses and you make a new start.

    The quid pro quo for this magnificent act of generosity? You shed your old nationality, you adopt the new American persona, you work, you vote, you follow the law, you speak English. And you salute Old Glory. If necessary you serve in its Army and you expend your life.

    And, for 90% of the population, ie Black people aside, this experiment in assimilationism has been an astounding success, partially based on the attractiveness of the American Way, partially based on the openmindedness of the American populace.

    As I said, the story is different for the descendants of Black slaves. And, having said that, the story for American Blacks is also different than it was 50 years ago.

    But the American model of nationality and nationhood doesn’t travel well. If you’re a Turk in Germany, you’re a Turk in Germany. And if you’re a Russian in the Ukraine, you’re a Russian in the Ukraine. The old tribal identities are a lot stickier, they don’t wash away as easily as in the USA.

    Not so much this idea of shared nationality and common citizenship regardless of origin IOW. Much more a case of them and us.

    American foreign policy has to be reality based and understand these aspects of life over yonder. And, tragically, it isn’t. People in foreign places don’t think like Americans, they think the way they think. The US Army goes blundering into Iraq and Afghanistan not grasping that Iraqis and Afghan tribesmen will no time soon start acting like Americans.

    Elections? Hah. You look after your co-religionists, your linguistic compadres. No equality of treatment between Sunni and Shia, no spunky, liberated daughters telling their fathers what’s what, no gay sons celebrated for coming out. Men with guns, tribal leaders tell you how things go.

    Best thing for the Ukraine is for the US to butt out. Americans should stay out of things and places they don’t know.

    • BackRowHeckler March 31, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      V, that next to last paragraph just about nails it.

      I did read that if current demographic trends continue, in Holland and in Germany the native European people will become a minority in the near future.

      If that happens a lot of things will change in Europe, to say the least.


  18. Don March 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!


  19. James Kuehl March 31, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    I remain grateful for this weekly post. The writers who understand the energy fix we’re in, Like Ken Cobb and Demetri Orlov, are more scholarly voices than than the journalistic Kunstler. I swear, the lights will be out long before the mainstream boneheads stop falling for the happy talk about the next breakthrough to save us.

    • B9K9 March 31, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      “I swear, the lights will be out long before the mainstream boneheads”

      I wish we could once and for all finally put the canard of mainstream confusion to bed. It’s the height of arrogance to believe that only Jim, Gail, Heinberg, a gaggle of posters, and others are so brilliant and informed that only they can accurately see the future for what it holds.

      I’ve got news for you: not only are the PTB better informed and more aware, but they’re way, way ahead of the curve on thinking about what is going to happen if they (or someone else) fail to act.

      The hard, basic fact is that humanity is in population overshoot by a factor of somewhere in the neighborhood of 15X. (7.5b vs 500m sustainable.) That means, a cull amounting to something like 90-95% of the global population is going to need to take place if any survivors are going to remain at all.

      Whether or not anyone can really nut up and do the hard deed(s) is another question. But we can be sure the core facts of the matter are perfectly understood by those in a position to know.

      In this context, the wholesale shredding of the constitution, institutional fraud, permanent war over resources, etc all fall into perspective. There is no tomorrow, hence, live for today.

      • TopCola April 1, 2014 at 3:50 am #

        Agree. They know. They know it all. And for those who still feel consternation over a corporatist media which tells nonstop lies, I think it’s helpful to realize they are not writing or broadcasting to us, the people, anymore. They are addressing their geopolitical foes. The people do no exists to them anymore. All that exists is desperate nation states which are prepared to do the worst to get the last of the spoils. We are being ground into dust by desperados, insane people with their eye on the clock.

    • Florida Power March 31, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      “…the lights will be out…” I submit that some folks will freeze to death first because propane will be unaffordable. That’ll cull the rural human herd a bit.

      Here in Florida the price of gasoline has been rising quickly, and the explanation is a bottleneck in the pipeline system (too much oil) and the price of ethanol which is now greater than refined crude.

      Things are beyond making sense. Ready the coppice and build an oven stove. Not freezing to death is a start.


    • FincaInTheMountains March 31, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      Mister “Demetri Orlov” or “Demented Orlov” (actually Dmitry Orlov) or Pseudo-Dmitry (personage from Russian history) is full of it as any CNN anchor.

      I will not go into the total BS of his “Reinventing Collapse” since it will require somewhat lengthy technical analysis, just in one of his posts he mentioned the world is running out of fuel for nuclear power stations. And he is right, if we are talking those ancient nuclear reactors that runs on U235 – a pretty rare uranium isotope that will run out in about 100 years under current consumption. But he conveniently for engineer of his statue forgets of the fast breeder reactors that runs in U238 (or thorium) that is more common than lead and would bridge us over next 100,000 years till we finally put together a controlled fusion. Those reactors are not fantasy, been in existence since 1960s.
      Also, Germans in the 1930s invented so called Fischer–Tropsch process that converts any carbon containing material (like coal, or carbon-dioxide – that nasty green house gas) + water + heat into gasoline. The heat from fast breeder reactors could be used to produce 10 cent a gallon gasoline as much as you want it.

      • Being There April 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm #


        Fusion is not operational. They ran into technical issues about extreme heat which they still haven’t figured out. Reagan pulled the plug on fusion research in favor of Star Wars and now there is an international consortium called ITER in the south of France working on new fusion plant designs.

        Check http://www.iter.org/

  20. Farmer McGregor March 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Another spot-on post, JHK.

    “…to the physical deterioration of our towns, roads, bridges, and all the plastic crap we managed to smear over the mutilated landscape to the comportment of our demoralized, mentally inert, drugged-up, tattoo-bedizened populace of twerking slobs.”

    Absolutely coffee-spewing funny — too bad that it’s dreadfully true. A quick jaunt through the local shopping mall* proves it out.

    Thanks for the much-looked-forward-to weekly amusement.


    *A mall which, in spite of numerous financial shenanigans like loans from the city, ‘creative’ financing, ‘face lifts’ and begging new big box retailers to move in to replace the failed ones, is on the brink of bankruptcy and abandonment.

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  21. FincaInTheMountains March 31, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    I wouldn’t be that pessimistic. Processes that we are witnessing inside the US are not the end of times, just the end of another cycle. We are talking of the cycle since West won a battle (no a war, just a battle) that was the “victory in the cold war over the USSR” – in reality another episode in the old geopolitical battle.
    That victory lasted US (and West) for about quarter of a century with predictable results – in the absence of healthy geopolitical competition the US elites got arrogant, lazy and over-confident and too hell-bent on playing their social and political engineering games instead of doing real work – like infrastructure development, for instance.

    With resurgence of Russia as Euro-Asian Continental Empire US and West should gain necessary stimulus to continue with the Game. Of course there going to be a painful period needed for new political elites o take over. I’d like to see somebody of FDR statue to come into play, somebody who could keep a Wall Street crowd on short leash and mobilize the country to become industrial powerhouse again.

    It is very important to keep the country together and not to allow any neo-confederate propaganda of “break up of nation states” or “small sustainable communities” – people who are calling for that needs to be shot in the head. Only strong Nation States and even Empires would be able to compete on the new technological level, which is coming, those “small sustainable communities” better start from learning Chinese or Russian to be good slaves to new masters.

  22. kulturcritic March 31, 2014 at 9:23 pm #


  23. Karah March 31, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Does size matter?

    you have a big nation vs. a smaller state; all are classified as slavs; they look similar, talk somewhat similar, and act similar. many of the ukraines defected to russia, why? because they identified with russia and want to win. now that crimea is “officially” russia, ukraines are really confused. they have families in crimea. ukraine does not have to defend their political rights to those ports. morale is low.

    a people occupying a land or port have first dibs no matter how diminutive. that is the democratic way…unless world war threatens.
    so now we are back into a cold war overnight.

    there is no doubt the u.s. has something to be proud of; we let people have the choice to be slobs…or slavs…and maintain their identity.

  24. aka_ces April 1, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    JHK just never stops making sense.

  25. BackRowHeckler April 1, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    Jim says economies are collapsing, starting out on the edges. Last nite at work I tuned in BBC; theme for the night was mass human migration out of Africa and Middle East into Europe. There’s a Spanish enclave in Morocco … if you can get thru the barbed wire into this enclave, you get passage into Europe.Thousands are trying to break in every week. The BBC presenter, as well as all the guests, were rooting for these people to get thru; Europeans with a different outlook are portrayed as fascists, xenophobes, racists etc. A high commissioner from the UN on migration was interviewed (how do they learn to speak like that) stating Europe needs these people for their labor. But then i read this morning the unemployment rate in the EU is nearly 12%. What give? Is the UN honest about anything?


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  26. Pucker April 1, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Are you “Special”?

  27. ozone April 1, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Yes, the attention deficit cycles ’round and ’round and ’round again (returning to bite and distract).
    Pet “subsidy-dumpsters” [tm JMGreer] and narrow-focus crises with their fake attendant “solutions” are really part of the problem. This is how we get distracted from the approaching wall of a dust storm that will sweep all before it. (Noah’s flood being Hollywood front-page indicates some desperate, subliminal knowledge that perhaps we’ve arrived at one of those bottleneck denouements for human existence. Don’t worry, if you believe hard enough, god will save you; after all, you’re distinctly special, right?) Personally, I don’t wish to lurch from one crisis to the next… especially when they’re manufactured by hubristic dolts. Please note that I feel most of our planetary problems are self-inflicted.

    I’m heartened to see some holistic thought behind many of the posts so far. It may be anxiety-producing at first blush, but you can’t get a handle on which direction[s] you’re going to take if you haven’t a decent map of the territory. (James Levy: good to see that some more Berkshire dwellers would rather face our predicaments clear-eyed. It seems that those who deal with the vagaries of nature, year over year, have a more insightful view of the world at large.)

    As to this:
    ” One part of our ever-evolving reality is that the global economy is in the process of cracking up. Despite the claims of one Tom Friedman at The New York Times, Globalism was not a permanent installation in the human condition. Rather, it was a set of transient economic relations brought about by special circumstances in a particular time of history — namely, a hundred years of cheap energy and about fifty years of relative peace between the larger nations. That’s all it was. And now it’s dissolving because energy is increasingly non-cheap and that is causing a lot of friction between nations utterly addicted to high flows of cheap oil and gas.” —JHK

    I see the pronouncements that “All is Well” continuing until the energy and capital is all pissed away on “sustaining the unsustainable”. An illusion, a projection to keep the populace in Soma-state until a terrible reality-based reckoning ensues. Societal? Climatic? Economic? Pestilential? How about being backed into the corner of all aspects at once? Do something now, while there’s still some wherewithal to do it with or remain in the grips of a subliminal terror, delusion and ultimate paralysis while fate and fools have their way.

    Petro, as JHK provides his doses of reality entertainingly, here’s a holistic primer for puzzled babes-in-the-woods, done with old film clips to keep the anxiety down to a bearable level. You might use it to introduce said babes-in-the-woods to our predicaments and how we got to this fateful crossroad.


    Hope that helps a bit with your conundrum. It’s actually the keeping mum that engenders the depressive feelings. Not to worry, those feelings will pass into “oh well” with time. (Remember that most do not wish to be awakened; be selective.)

  28. Deblonay April 1, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Kunstler is right about the absurditt of US policy re the Ukraine

    How mad are the Washington elites that want to fight imperial wars and involve themselves everywhere on the globe…while unable to sustain the failing infrastracture at home

    In the same class……the coup in the Ukraine was carried out with the suipport of neo-nazi and fascist groups
    No wonder the Russian took fright
    se ethis interesting pstory of the nature of these fascist groups in the Ukraine..,.scary ..but they are our new allies there

  29. BackRowHeckler April 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Things are heating up once again on the Korean peninsula. This should push Ukraine out of the news pretty quick. In fact, we’ve heard very little about events in the Ukraine the past few days. Remember about 5 years back when 100,000 drunk and undisciplined Russian soldiers, toting AK47s, rolled into Georgia? Who give a sh-t about that now?


  30. Pucker April 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Tell me that you’re “Special”.

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  31. Pucker April 2, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    Is he speak’n Ukrainian?


    • Lisa April 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

      No, it is not Ukrainian. Could be Polish, but I’m nor sure

  32. volodya April 2, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    To BackRowHeckler

    It may not even take a majority Muslim population to radically change the political and societal landscape in large parts of Europe.

    Just look at how Europe changed in the last 3 generations, from peoples that fought to the death for – pick your reason – to a continent full of bored, inert, “cafe lay-abouts” (Kunstler’s term) that take for bloody ever to finish school.

    There’s a lot of scorn for religion out there among the lay-about set. The thing is, will they have it in them to oppose religious believers ie Muslims – and their agendas?

    Personally, I doubt it. I suspect that there isn’t the intestinal iron necessary for a hammer and tongs confrontation. Europe isn’t what it used to be. So I don’t think that, even with a sizable contingent of young Muslim men looking for trouble, keeping head attached to body will be much of a problem.

    IMO Muslims have multiple things going for them. They have the benefit of belief in the cause of Islam, its place in the world, in their religious right-ness and civilizational superiority.

    What about Europeans? In these skeptical times what do they believe in? Anything? Nothing? Is there an “ism”? Atheism? Nihilism? What will they fight for?

    You understand where I’m going with this. Bottom line is I don’t think it would take many Muslim combattants to exert dominance over such peoples where too many believe in nothing, in nobody, in no doctrine, in no cause, in no authority celestial or otherwise.

    I think the big question is how would the new Europe take shape under Muslim leadership. Would such a thing even be possible? After all, Muslims themselves are highly varied. Are they TOO divided for such a thing to happen?

    Many questions, many possible outcomes. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, predictions are difficult especially about the future.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Well said. Liberalism is the death of nations. Just look at the self righteous stuffed shirts that we have here. What you just said is no different than what the Founders said. Those that had doubts kept it to themselves. They knew that people need religion to be good on the whole.

      You may be right about Europe. On the other hand, the Right is exploding on the Continent. And look at he Ukraine: the Fascist have not forgotten how to fight. Of course Eastern Europe never got nearly as comfortable as Western Europe.


    • BackRowHeckler April 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

      Insightful post, V.

      With the rise of Islam in Europe I hoped Europeans would reclaim their Christian roots and return to the church, either Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran etc. This did not happen. Instead we got intellectuals like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens publishing popular books encouraging atheism. After that I knew Europe was cooked.


      • BackRowHeckler April 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

        And how prescient Jean Raispail’s ‘The Camp of the Saints’, 1972 was. Did he have a crystal bal?.

  33. Janos Skorenzy April 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    What the 20th Century’s greatest philosopher said about the Jews: they have accepted the “task” of uprooting all beings from Being.

    But accepted it from whom or what one wonders? Ozone, any thoughts? Prog? Kdog? Panic? Puck? Anyone?


    • Looongerbeard April 2, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

      Yep, here’s a thought,

      Racist nonsense with a lot a fancy words is,

      still, Racist Nonsense To Be Ignored!

  34. ajmuste April 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    “No, it is not Ukrainian. Could be Polish, but I’m nor sure” — Lisa

    George S. Patton had French ancestry: Luis du Bois (1626-1696) married Catherine Blanchon (1634-1703)

    The French have saved the Americans throughout history. During the Revolution, France sent an estimated 12,000 soldiers and 32,000 sailors to the American war effort.

    Without France there wouldn’t be a United States of America or a George S. Patton.

    • FincaInTheMountains April 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      “Without France there wouldn’t be a United States of America or a George S. Patton”

      So without Russia:

      1. Empress Catherine II of Russia established first League of Armed Neutrality as an alliance of European naval powers between 1780 and 1783 which was intended to protect neutral shipping against the Royal Navy’s wartime policy of unlimited search of neutral shipping. That greatly helped preventing Bris to establish effective blockade against rebel american colonies.

      2. Russian Czar Alexander II sent two Navies in 1862 during American Civil War, one to New York City, another to San Francisco. The Fleet Admirals had orders to protect Union ports from possible naval bombardment from British or French Navies.

  35. ajmuste April 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Bottom line is I don’t think it would take many Muslim combattants to exert dominance over such peoples where too many believe in nothing, in nobody, in no doctrine, in no cause, in no authority celestial or otherwise. — Volodya

    We should not focus on the extremely small minority of radical Islamists who promote violence and we should not ignore the vast majority of Muslims who are not violent. Europe could benefit from enlightened Muslim leadership.

    Majoritarian Islam promotes the positive aspects of Islamic civilization: tolerance, peaceful coexistence of the three Abrahamic faiths, the development of science and technology, the moral obligation to promote social and economic development, etc.

    That would be the consequence of enlightened Muslim leadership in Europe. Nothing is gained by promoting Islamophobia.

    Muslim control of Europe is a win-win situation. Everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim, would benefit, just as Europe benefited from Muslim control of Spain in the 8th to 11th centuries. Córdoba, Spain, was a model of peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews.


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  36. FincaInTheMountains April 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    By some accounts common Russian sailors were so appalled by awful living conditions of New York slam inhabitants, they “sent a hat around” raising some rubles to donate to New York City for improvement of their living conditions.

  37. Pucker April 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    In the Eyes of the Lord, you are “Special”.

  38. FincaInTheMountains April 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    “We should not focus on the extremely small minority of radical Islamists who promote violence”

    Unfortunately that is exact opposite of the policy of British and American “intelligence communities” – they promote and even cultivate violent Islamic groups for the sake of policy of “controlled chaos”. (or semi-controlled?)
    One of the main goals of that policy is to send funds from all over the world to “save harbors” of Wall Street and City of London.

  39. ajmuste April 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    So without Russia: — Volodya

    Russia contributed militarily. France contributed militarily and with ideals. The French ideas (through Jefferson) contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution helped form the United States politically.

    What ideas did Russia contribute to the founding of the United States in the 18th century?

  40. ajmuste April 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    “In the Eyes of the Lord, you are “Special”.” — Pucker

    Pucker, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

    Red and yellow, black and white, all are special in his sight.

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  41. Pucker April 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    “Special Education”, “Special Needs”, “Special Forces”, “Lunch Special”, “K Mart Blue Light Special”, “Happy Hour Special”—-In the Eyes of God, you are all “Special”.

  42. ajmuste April 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    My apologies, Volodya. This question was for FincaIn the Mountains:

    So without Russia: — Finca

    The French contributed ideas (through Jefferson) contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution which helped form the United States politically.

    What ideas did Russia contribute to the founding of the United States in the 18th century?

    • FincaInTheMountains April 3, 2014 at 4:39 am #

      Actually, I don’t think that any. Russian and Anglo-Saxon worlds are two complete opposite poles of the Human civilization, that does not mean that some is “more wrong” or “more right” – just different.

      That does not mean that they can’t peacefuly compete with each other, unfortunately Anglos are more inclined to use dirty tricks.

  43. ajmuste April 2, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Pucker, there is nothing special about the word special. It comes to us from about 1200 C.E. and simply means “better than ordinary” in the Old French and comes directly from Latin where it meant “individual, particular” … which describes you, Pucker. You are special.

  44. ajmuste April 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    Obamacare Success Story


    3 million young adults who didn’t have coverage before now have stayed on their parents’ plans until age 26.

    5 million adults who didn’t have coverage before now have coverage through expanded Medicaid

    7 million adults signed up by March 31 in the first enrollment period.

    3 + 5 + 7 = 15 million previously uninsured now have health insurance

    Not bad for the first phase of Obamacare. It will only get better from here.

    • Florida Power April 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      Simultaneously meaningless and hopeless. The issue with healthcare in the USA is that it costs too damn much compared with the rest of the world and no one in the industry cares to explain why. Check out Karl Denninger’s critique, or JH Kunstler’s. Whether my daughter will be “covered” to age 26 is absurd if her appendectomy costs $100 Billion. That money comes from somewhere and is funneled somewhere else. Name one industry save health care where the application of technology has not resulted in significant real cost reduction. Gee I wonder how that could have happened.

  45. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 2, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    “Nations and indeed regions within nations are going to have to find a new way of making a living on the smaller scale.”-JHK

    Very interesting point here, Jim. I wonder how tenable this will be in the face of continued withering drought, not only in the US but in breadbaskets around the world? Others have suggested that the convergence of so many different factors are now driving events. I believe this is true. But screw the economic and energy extraction predictions. Maybe the cake is already baked. Maybe the climate won’t allow us to go local; maybe it’s just gonna get too hot & too cold at the wrong times to reliably produce the food we need to make “local” work again. Lots of conflicting stories about clever ape induced global festering, but here’s what the initiated are saying.


    I’m not so sure the populace will willingly downsize… In fact I’ll wager that ‘murican’s will do exactly the opposite and enable the government to “secure” the resources they want in order to maintain current lifestyles. For as long as they can get away with it before – Boom. Not sure how it’ll all be rationalized, but sanctioning lies and deceit comes quite naturally to this crowd by now. And by crowd I don’t necessarily mean the elite – I’m thinking of the fat slobs who voted them in, and willingly pay those extravagant elite salaries.

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  46. Pucker April 3, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    I told a friend of mine that “… [i]n the Eyes of God, you’re all “Special’.”
    He thought that I was suggesting that God thinks that mankind is retarded.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 3, 2014 at 3:50 am #

      Hasidic story: Carry two pieces of paper, one in each pocket. One says the Universe and everything in it was created for me and I am the Centre. The other says I am nothing, no one going nowhere. The dust that the wind blows away.

      The Truth is both of these simultaneously. Just sometimes one is more useful or relevant than the other. The Yin and the Yang. The systole and diastole of Life.

  47. Pucker April 3, 2014 at 2:02 am #

    I’ve got to get my “Thing” sorted out.

  48. ajmuste April 3, 2014 at 2:59 am #

    “Simultaneously meaningless and hopeless.” — Florida Power

    Not meaningless to the 15 million who now have quality health care, instead of junk policies with premiums that increased by double digits, junk policies that were cancelled if you got sick, that were denied if you had a “pre-existing condition,” or that were attached to a company that got away with spending little on care and lots on overhead and CEO salaries. Now we have patient protections at an affordable price.

    With Obamacare all those Bush-era abuses have stopped for 15 million people. Now they cannot be driven into medical bankruptcy by catastrophic illness. The number of young and healthy who have signed up means that Obamacare is here to stay … and 15 million people who were uninsured now have peace of mind and freedom from anxiety.

    Obama accomplished health insurance reform and reduced the number of uninsured, something that seven previous presidents could not do.

    That is hope and change I can believe in. Yes we can. A great start that will get better with the next enrollment period.

    • FincaInTheMountains April 3, 2014 at 4:57 am #

      The underlying cause of all world problems we’re seeing today in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere is the agony the Bretton-Wood dollar-based monetary system. It was functioning well enough before 1990s covering two thirds of the world’s economy and with inclusion into it former USSR and East European countries in the 1990s one would think it become even more stable.

      Unfortunately due to extreme greed and incompetence of US and British elites they managed to totally destroy the system in the short 25 years that followed. The system just can’t go beyond 2015, and very likely self-destruct even this year.

      Think about it: US represent 5% of the world’s population and consume 50% of real world product – how long you thing THAT is maintainable? Look at US foreign trade deficits (that do not include maintenance of US Military on the foreign soil).

      The only solution I see for the US is FDR-style mobilization economy NOW.

  49. Pucker April 3, 2014 at 8:06 am #

    Do you do your own “Thing”?

  50. ozone April 3, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Other than the usual distractionary postings and a spare couple of on-topic ones, it’s quiet around here. It’s the calm before the storm, blog monkeys. JHK is proven more correct with each passing week.
    Distractionary busy-bees should take a cue; your ramblings, distractions and skewings are no longer taken with any seriousness because there’s little left to discuss in the descending gloom of Twilight in America. The rest of us wait for the other shoe to drop and trivialities can be dispensed with as they’re no longer worth the time and trouble.

    To paraphrase an old saw: You can lead a blog commenter to irrelevant musings but you can’t force he/she to internalize them. (After all, the only privacy we now have left is what quietly grumbles in the space between our ears. We now understand that nothing is as advertised. Just look at the Supreme Court’s latest interpretation of the Constitution. The “Pravda” moment has arrived.)

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    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

      Hey, Zone. I look forward to your side bar expansions on JHK’s main theme every week. I wondered If you have ever considered starting a blog or otherwise archiving your comments for public retrieval. In other words, are you a professional writer…? I sense some sort of training but also a lifetime of exploring particular literature. What are your favorites. How did you develop the talent. is it also accompanied by a musical interest? I know you’ve mentioned playing in a band before.

      • ozone April 4, 2014 at 9:45 am #

        That’s very nice of you to say. I don’t consider myself much of a writer though; I tend to concentrate on distillation FAR too much, so that it takes a long time to write a few short lines. (Not good for blogging where you’ve got to get content out fast.) I’m a fairly decent songwriter (destined for unending obscurity ;o) and that provides a medium where I can indulge my love of ambiguity, double and triple entendre and imagery. I hope you’re getting the idea that I ain’t no professional in the word-production arena, because that would be correct! ha. (Yes, I still do local gigs, but I specialize in versions of well-known stuff; nobody wants to hear unfamiliar material in a barroom. Believe me.)

        I’ve always enjoyed the subtleties of meaning that English provides even though such subtleties aren’t really used much anymore. EXCEPT, of course, by JHK, who uses these tiny distinctions to create unique turns of phrase and delightful snark. Early favorites for language usage: Compilations of horror/ghost stories. Unsurprisingly, a need for vivid imagery descriptors is a giant factor in the genre.

        Thanks for your interest, but I’m just another shlub who can parse a bunch of competing narratives into one that’s slightly more realistic than any of those that cleave to particular “vested interests”. You do it as well or better, IMHO.

    • beantownbill. April 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Civilization is exhausted. You’re right, this could be the calm before the storm. The world is holding its breath, waiting for something to happen. We need something new in our lives to refocus our drive, whether to struggle to survive, or to leap forward. I feel an electric energy is ready to discharge.

      Change is constant and we’ve gotten so much of it in the last few decades that our capacity to handle more has been diminished. So here I am sitting down and awaiting what the future brings. I’m emotionally exhausted from all the musings here, all the prognostications. Let’s just live until we don’t.

      Keep your perspective. All the earth-shattering events we’re talking about occur on the surface of an eight thousand mile ball, filled with molten lava and liquid iron, spinning along a 560 million mile long path around an ordinary star heading in the direction of the Hercules constellation at 11 miles per second. We humans are so incredibly self-centered. The universe is too busy and too big to give a shit about us.

      • ozone April 4, 2014 at 10:03 am #

        Read the Archdruid’s latest. Yes, there is a chance to find an actual direction ahead, but it’s going to require some critical thought, not a repetition of bromides and “credos” that handily skirt a series of very serious and decidedly deadly issues. As I see it, there is more than plenty to do to prepare for a much less energy-dense future, and clinging to the same UNknowlegable pundits, politicians and failed institutions is not going to get it done. Sure, live until we don’t, but leaving a bit of something for a human continuation would be a nice consideration.


        The “universe” certainly doesn’t give a shit about us, but, as we have seen, everything lives and dies and has the drive to propagate itself. (Even matter taking different forms seems to have this strange, overarching propensity. What’s up widdat?)

      • ozone April 4, 2014 at 10:08 am #

        Ps. Don’t assume that I’m paralysed by thinking as I do. Far from it. I’ve learned more about natural systems and how they interact in the last few years than I have my entire life.

        • ozone April 4, 2014 at 10:10 am #

          (For an example of [likely designed] paralysis, see page two of the comment section. ;o)

  51. ajmuste April 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    it’s quiet around here. It’s the calm before the storm, blog monkeys. JHK is proven more correct with each passing week. — Ozone

    Ozone, with each passing week? Should be WITH EACH PASSING DECADE.

    I have been reading JHK for two decades now. Geography of Nowhere came out in 1993. Every week collapse is insinuated and no black swans arrive. So you reinterpret the data to fit your ideology and discredit any evidence to the contrary.

    When you are a true believer, it is easy to see signs confirming your belief everywhere you look.

    • michigan_native April 4, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      By contrast, when you are a true denialist, it’s even easier to ignore signs everywhere you look. How about that boarded up strip mall that was once thriving? I see more people riding bikes, pushing shopping carts (save my fucked up city, it’s a $100 ticket to get caught doing that, they steal from the middle class and the poor in any and every way they can to make up for wat is proving to be chronic budget shortfalls).Ditto that the county, state, and federal levels. People dumpster diving. Houses that are foreclosed upon and stay up for sale for years, some idiots think housing values will recover when in fact they will likely go into the negatives. Have you busted the front and back rims on one of those potholes yet? Old, rotting infrastructure everywhere. When things do break down, people have no discretionary income to get these things fixed. The only cars that are parked at paint and bump auto shops, the furniture stores, and even places like Best Buy and Blockbuster (once icons on the American landscape) are the employees who made a shitty wage to begin with and are clinging to their jobs for dear life. That is the reality I see. I am in the once untouchable healthcare field, I have been out of work 3 months now. I know why so many middle aged men took their own lives when the former USSR collapsed. We are totally unprepared for the reality here. I saw it coming since 2008 and I see it happening all around me now gaining momentum. Kunstler, Orlov, Heinberg, etc could not have been more accurate, you may just not have came out of denial yet. You will.

      • Neon Vincent April 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

        Speaking of true denialists, Greer has just composed a Peak Oil Denial Bingo game. Here’s the link. Print one out and when one of the two or three peak oil denialists who hang out here leaves a comment, start crossing off squares on your card.


        • michigan_native April 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

          lol….thanks for the link. Your post appeared before mine.

      • michigan_native April 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

        Then of course, there is always that Chinese restaurant that holds until the last stand. One in my old neighborhood once had people lined out the door 20 years ago, now razed to the ground along with the other adjoining stores that were filled with people. What part of collapse can’t people understand?

  52. volodya April 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    To Janos and BackRowHeckler

    What words stirred the blood of the French? What was their national motto? “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”

    What about now? “Lingerie, Crudité, Nudité”? I don’t know, I’m just asking.

    So, if Europe’s demented leadership is swinging the wrecking ball and if European society is dying of senility, what about Muslim civilizations that ring Europe? Do they look any better? Are they too way past their best-before date?

    The reason that Muslims are in Europe in the first place is the “push” of rottenness in their homelands and the “pull” of Europe’s better life. Because, at the end of the day, you have to feed your family. It’s nice to not live in fear of a murderous and corrupt regime.

    In this regard, what does the jihadist bring to the table? Truck bombs? More of the same old shit that ails the original homeland? What else? Kids can’t live on a diet of “Death to Amrika”.

    Is there Muslim leadership that Europeans can get behind? Who is the good man with the reasonable plan?

    • Janos Skorenzy April 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

      Muslims have always wanted to “immigrate” (conquer). What was different this time? Betrayal by Europe’s elite. Read Bat Yeor and Oriana Fallaci. These people should be tracked down and put on trial. Same thing here in America with the Mexicans. For some reason, White nations all have to be destroyed. Why not Asian nations? Why don’t they feel the “need” to import millions of aliens? Perhaps sanity and loyalty?

      The battle is even joined and you are already talking about accommodation and surrender. Buck up man. Take a deep breath and hold it for a bit. Then pour yourself some fine whiskey. Take a few sips. Now begin to read Don John. After this you will be ready for Breivik.


  53. volodya April 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    To BeantownBill

    The cosmos is for sure a happenin’ place. But how do you measure what’s important? Is significance measured by kilograms and cubic miles? It’s just a question.

    • beantownbill. April 3, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      Cubic light years measure insignificance. If your viewpoint could encompass the entire universe, Earth and everything on it would appear orders of magnitude less than a zit on the surface of spacetime.

      If the universe holds 150 billion galaxies, each of which averages 100 billion stars, each of which averages four planets, each of which average 100 million individuals (not all of them intelligent or sentient), then by my back of the envelope calculation, 600 quadrillion trillion entities may exist. If that doesn’t make one’s issues and life seem small, then one doesn’t truly understand big numbers or is an extreme egotist. Just sayin’.

  54. riparian7 April 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Hello all,
    Here’s an interesting article from MSN.com this morning.
    Could it be that they are finally “getting it” ? Naw …

    Anyway, nice to see this in the “mainstream”

    Old Math Casts Doubt on Accuracy of Oil Reserve Estimates


    • Greg Knepp April 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      Ditto. I read the article too, and declare it NTBM.

  55. Janos Skorenzy April 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    What happened to the American Dream? As the Comedian in the movie the Watchman said, “It came true. You’re looking at it.”


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  56. ajmuste April 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    “Ditto. I read the article too, and declare it NTBM.” — Greg

    Greg, I am not familiar with that abbreviation. Does it stand for Not To Be Meaningful?

  57. ajmuste April 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    “600 quadrillion trillion entities may exist … If that doesn’t make one’s issues and life seem small, then one doesn’t truly understand big numbers or is an extreme egotist. Just sayin’.” — BeanTownBill

    Thank you for that perspective, Bill. My worries have disappeared. A subtle joy has infused my being. What power those numbers have!

  58. Pucker April 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    What do people “bitch” about?

    Is there anything “Special” that they “bitch” about?

    What happens if you “bitch” at your Congressman?

    What happens if you “bitch” at the minimum wage waitress at the local Denny’s?

    If you’re a “Grunt”, what happens if you “bitch” at your C.O.?

    If your boyfriend didn’t buy you flowers, what happens when you “bitch” at him to set him straight?

  59. Pucker April 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    I wonder if anyone has ever had a “Stroke” while “Stroke’n it”?

  60. Pucker April 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    Do you remember when Jesus kicked the asses of the Money Lenders in the Temple?

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  61. Pucker April 3, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    How would the paramedics respond if a massage parlor called to ask them to respond to a client “…having a stroke”?

  62. ajmuste April 4, 2014 at 3:04 am #

    “The global orgy of cheap goods and bubble finance is ending. Nations and indeed regions within nations are going to have to find a new way of making a living on the smaller scale.” — JHK

    IF this is true, we still need to avoid going backward. We need to avoid the nostalgia trap of believing the 50s created by the “greatest generation” is something to romanticize. The so-called “greatest generation” built concentration camps in the USA to imprison Japanese-American citizens, saluted McCarthyism, and mostly turned its face away from racism and anti-semitism.

    Many of the problems we blame on the Sixties — child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse — were no less prevalent in the fifties. It was much easier to hide all that behind the walls of our now-separate homes out in the suburbs.

    If you need some sixties to bash, try the 1860s. The Victorian model of the family was revived as the 1950s ideal.

    • Being There April 4, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Not a bad set o’ points, A.

      The progressive movement started around then, though.

      Let’s just say: It’s complicated. There’s always stresses and strains between different ideologies since the beginning. American politics has always been like a see-saw, if you will, but now we’re headed for trouble and fracking isn’t going to mitigate it.

  63. Pucker April 4, 2014 at 5:12 am #

    Maybe it would help to put the fear of God back into people if we dressed in black robes with black hoods like during the Middle Ages?

    • Being There April 4, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Good idea, Pucker, that’s where we’re headed. The new dark age, darker than the first–cuz we should have known better this time.

  64. ajmuste April 4, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    “The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is a big political victory for Democrats. They can point to a system that is already providing vital aid to millions of Americans, and Republicans — who were planning to run against a debacle — have nothing to offer in response. And I mean nothing. So far, not one of the supposed Obamacare horror stories featured in attack ads has stood up to scrutiny.

    So my advice to reform supporters is, go ahead and celebrate. Oh, and feel free to ridicule right-wingers who confidently predicted doom.

    Clearly, there’s a lot of work ahead, and we can count on the news media to play up every hitch and glitch as if it were an existential disaster. But Rube Goldberg has survived; health reform has won.” — Paul Krugman

    • nsa April 4, 2014 at 10:59 am #

      Usual chick-think from this site’s resident commie. In reality…..substandard medical for the legions of botched freeloaders. If you are lucky, your assigned quack speaks English…….

  65. ajmuste April 4, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    “…but now we’re headed for trouble and fracking isn’t going to mitigate it.” –BT, echoing

    BT, this is the same story I have been reading for decades. “Headed for trouble” … “Just around the corner.” All the years I have been reading JHK I have encountered dozens of predictions. Remember when collapse was going to happen by Columbus Day 2013? Now the date has been pushed out again. Surely we won’t get through 2014 without collapse. Or if not 2014, for sure in 2015 there will be collapse. Year after year after year the same dire warnings. The same paranoia. The same failed predictions. I am truly intrigued by this CFN phenomena. This could go on for four more decades. And I intend to be here to witness every comment that we are “headed for trouble” … the FEMA camps are ready for us … the dollar is about to collapse … we are so fucked … epidemics, mass death, extinction, Middle Ages with black hoods, etc. etc. etc. NOT HAPPENING. PREDICTION FAIL. For the last 40 years people have been buying gold and guns. Buy all the gold and guns you want in the next 40 years. Collapse is not happening. How do I know? The same way I knew for the last 40 years: Critical thinking and indomitable human creativity.

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  66. volodya April 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    To Janos:

    Accommodation and surrender? Not from me. I’m talking about a collective self-belief and will to live or the lack thereof.

    I asked: Is there Muslim leadership that Europeans can get behind? Who is the good man with the reasonable plan?

    I guess I’m not good at sarcasm.

    The reason for that last post is to say that Europe may be in a calamitous state but Islamic civilizations are worse still. Never mind the individual Muslim’s self-belief and self-confidence. Or their collective belief in historic destiny (Allah is on our side and all that).

    Beliefs are one thing. But facts can be something else. The simple fact is that Muslims are moving to Europe and not the other way around. But I don’t think this is a concerted effort to conquer. It’s an effort by Muslim families and individuals to escape disastrous conditions in their Muslim homelands. It is testament to the failure of Muslim civilization and not its success.

    Western civilization is a lurching, staggering zombie. So is Islam. Both are still standing only because nothing put them in the grave quite yet. But give it time. Nothing lasts forever as forces of societal entropy work their magic.

    Muslims may come to dominate Europe or parts of Europe demographically but that’s just through the accident of a higher birth rate. Birth rates can change. So can religious beliefs. Demography may be destiny. Or maybe not. There are many possible outcomes.

    Like I asked, what does the jihadist bring besides death? Violent men may come to dominate at least for a while. But just because they can destroy doesn’t mean they can build.

    What about the mullahs? What ideas do they bring? And are the ideas worth a damn? What are they saying in the madrasses? What do they propose? A colder, wetter version of Bedouin society? What for? To re-create in Europe conditions that Muslims and other people have to run away from again?

    The fanatical Muslim warrior may be willing to die for his cause. I won’t object. One less asshole in this world is a good thing.

    Events have a way of surprising. Let me ask you a question: did anyone in the first century Roman world foresee that a small despised Jewish sect would grow the way it did? Did anyone foresee how the ideas of a splinter group in Arabia would grow the way THEY did.

    The world hasn’t stopped turning.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 5, 2014 at 4:53 am #

      We’ll never outbreed them since they do it on our dime. We must overthrow the tormentors who let them in. Then we can begin the work of deportation. We can make it voluntary at first – just deny them welfare and the privileges they’ve come to rely on. Only later will we begin to actively persecute them to get more to leave. That will let them know that they have no future in our lands. These two stages will minimize any extreme unpleasantness and give them time to leave on their own. At the same time, it will show our lied to and tormented people that we mean business – and they don’t have to take matters into their own hands since we are on the situation.

  67. volodya April 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    To Beantown Bill

    I’ve spent a lifetime dicking with very large numbers. Hence my question: so what?

    As for myself I would hesitate to attribute “significance” to something because it’s big. Or the opposite, “in-significance” because it’s small.

    There are exploding stars that light up half the universe when they go off. Kind of like a celestial flash-bulb. And so? Does the sheer scale of a ka-boom like that make it somehow more “significant” than the creative power of a DNA molecule?

    • Janos Skorenzy April 5, 2014 at 4:57 am #

      Yes exactly. Magnitude isn’t significance or order per se. The Greeks would have just called it Chaos. Order is greater than Chaos and with it comes the possibility of meaning.

      Yet at the same time, meditation on infinite space or even the horizon of the sea can have an exalting effect on the mind. Ditto with mathematical infinites. Perhaps this is what Bill is experiencing.

  68. ajmuste April 4, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Beantown, it seems your post was misunderstood by some. You did not use the words “significance” or “significant” … the whole point of your post was about our insignificance. Your message was very powerful, because the magnitude of the numbers is such that they provide a perspective which caused my worries to disappear completely. The worries I had have been replaced by a subtle joy which now infuses my being. Your numbers really brought it all home in a delightful way. Thanks, again.

    • beantownbill. April 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      My point exactly.

  69. ajmuste April 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    “The only thing that stops bad people with guns are good people with guns” — ProCon

    Army specialist at Fort Hood kills three and wounds 16 of his fellow soldiers over leave request.

    The only thing that turns a good person into a bad person is a gun.

    Without a gun a leave request dispute does not lead to a massacre.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 5, 2014 at 4:46 am #

      The Military must be disarmed! Guns only belong in the hands of professionals (secret police).

      If guns are responsible, they must be punished. Let’s burn them in furnaces and get high on the fumes of pacifism triumphant. Also we should bring back Medieval customs such as putting dead animals on trial for their crimes and then hanging them.

  70. Pucker April 5, 2014 at 3:26 am #

    April 4, 2014 6:47 p.m. ET
    Academia has been obsessed over identity politics for two generations, so there’s some justice in the newest addition to the matrix of oppression: an Ivy League education, according to the Dartmouth College students who this week took over the president’s office.

    On Tuesday Dartmouth’s finest seized the main administration building and disrupted college business. The squatters were allowed to remain until Thursday night, when the dean of the college negotiated and signed an exit settlement assuring them the non-dialogue would continue.

    The demonstrators had a 72-point manifesto instructing the college to establish pre-set racial admission quotas and a mandatory ethnic studies curriculum for all students. Their other inspirations are for more “womyn or people of color” faculty; covering sex change operations on the college health plan (“we demand body and gender self-determination”); censoring the library catalog for offensive terms; and installing “gender-neutral bathrooms” in every campus facility, specifically including sports locker rooms.

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    • Janos Skorenzy April 5, 2014 at 4:41 am #

      All so called straight students must report to gender-neutral bathrooms for hands on sensitivity training. Check your dorm bulletin board for info on times and bathrooms. This is mandatory and attendance will be taken.

      Demonstrators? Or Demon Raptors?

    • BackRowHeckler April 6, 2014 at 12:56 am #

      Ya Pucker, I got a good laugh outa that … took the time to read their ‘manifesto’. Ignorant, effete, sanctimonious, demanding little pricks, heads full of PC bullshit. After they graduate, if some actually do graduate, they’ll find out pretty quick what the real world outside the cloistered ivy league thinks of their precious demands.


  71. ajmuste April 5, 2014 at 4:21 am #

    “…to establish pre-set racial admission quotas and a mandatory ethnic studies curriculum for all students” — Pucker

    Pucker, I am glad to see the kids at Dartmouth are waking up and demanding an education relevant to living in a multicultural world.

    Hope this kind of activism spreads to all the Ivy-League schools.

  72. ajmuste April 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    I recommend the new movie CESAR CHAVEZ with John Malkovich.

    Cesar Chavez and the illiterate farmworkers defeated the rich California millionaire landowners.

    Then he defeated the Governor of California (Ronald Reagan).

    Then he defeated Richard Nixon.

    Sometimes the powers that be just can’t get a break when faced with popular nonviolent opposition.


  73. progress4what April 6, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    “Globalism was not a permanent installation in the human condition. Rather, it was a set of transient economic relations brought about by special circumstances in a particular time of history — namely, a hundred years of cheap energy and about fifty years of relative peace between the larger nations. That’s all it was.” – jhk –

    That’s my favorite part of your week’s missive, JHK. And it’s something everyone should keep firmly in mind. Will it be kept in mind by US “leadership?” No, it probably will not. Not until it is far too late to matter. Some will argue that it is already far too late.

    On another matter; am I the only poster here who is having trouble following conversations any more? More accurately – I’m personally not willing to jump all around all the pageS of posts to try to find the new responses to earlier responses – and I wonder if that is why readership and post count is way down?

    Janos especially, you are marooning some pretty good ideas by linking them as responses to earlier posts. I’m not willing to work hard enough to scroll back and forth. Why don’t you just post at the bottom of the page?

  74. progress4what April 6, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    “….if some actually do graduate, they’ll find out pretty quick what the real world outside the cloistered ivy league thinks of their precious demands.” = brh –

    Unfortunately, backrow, an Ivy League degree is a huge leg up into positions in Big Government and Big Media – two of the forces in US society that are behind many of the Big Problems.

  75. volodya April 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    To Janos and BeantownBill,

    I’m not a philosopher by trade nor inclination. And I don’t want to be a pain in the ass.

    And I don’t want anyone to leak ectoplasm over this (I borrowed this “leaking ectoplasm” stuff, cannot remember where from but I thought it was funny).

    Which is a long way of saying that I’m not grokking (ripped that off too) this issue. So bear with me.

    Let’s suppose that there are an infinite number of multi-legged creatures (got that from Star Trek, Spock got all the best lines IMO), all over the infinite universe, on an infinite number of worlds, revolving around an infinite number stars, that reside in an infinite number of galaxies.

    Let’s consider one of these hypothetical multi-legged creatures (MLCs). Let’s call him Harry. Harry the MLC has big trouble. Harry has a mate and offspring and all of them are under imminent and dire threat of a) starvation b) predation by other MLCs.

    So this is my question. How are Harry’s troubles altered or ameliorated one jot by the existence of infinite multitudes of other MLCs that live on infinite multitudes of other worlds whether the other MLCs have troubles better or worse than Harry.

    The other question is this. Let’s assume that Harry has the cognitive capacity to either suspect or know for sure that there exist infinite multitudes of other MLCs on infinite multitudes of other worlds etc. How does this knowledge make Harry’s situation any different? Or better? Or worse?

    I don’t mean to denigrate seeing as quite probably my understanding of the issues is deficient. Maybe due to insufficient education in the appropriate field of study. Or maybe I’ve just got a bad attitude. Probably the latter.

    Because if I was Harry’s mate (assuming of course this hypothetical species does pair bonding) and I caught Harry philosophising about the not-so-bad-ness of the situation given the multitudes of these, those and other things, I’d skewer Harry with a sharp stick, stone or appendage whichever was closest at hand.

    Because, knowing her, that’s what my not-hypothetical, real-life mate would likely do to me if faced with a similarly dire situation. Or am I unduly personalising/anthropomorphising things?

    So do enlighten me. What am I not getting here?

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    • beantownbill. April 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      I’m not sure I can explain it to you. I was talking about insignificance and implying an individual’s lack of meaningfulness to the universe at large. Picture a meaningfulness scale of one to a hundred, where 0 is meaninglessness, and 100 greatly affects the state of the universe. Given any one individual, that person’s situation in the universe would register 10 to the minus 20th power of significance on the meaningfulness scale.

      The realization that one’s worries or concerns have almost no effect in the larger scheme of things can often be a comfort to those who are feeling overwhelmed by life.

  76. volodya April 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    Identity politics, hmmm…

    The way I look at it Pucker is the genius of the USA was to create a common identity for people coming from disparate places and cultures.

    It hasn’t worked perfectly. But I think that it has worked spectacularly well on the whole. Like Bobby Jindal with his dark coloration and exotic surname proclaims himself American, adopts an American-as-apple-pie first name and gets elected to high office. You see this type of thing over and over.

    But now we have these identity mongers, malcontents themselves or those seeking to sow dissent.

    There’s hazards here. Look at what happened overseas when people adopt contrary identities whether religiously or ethnically based.

    There’s a long list of ghastly results. I wouldn’t bother to recount it all.

    There’s legitimate gripes, legitimately aggrieved people who have a case, who should be listened to.

    But beware the identity-mongers. I’ve seen the type, the opposite of the Bobby Jindals that get with the program. Self-aggrandizing dividers, ne-er-do-wells doing career building, acting with a view to their own advantage, setting people against one another.

  77. rube-i-con April 6, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    tethered wind turbines – another small step toward non-petrol based energy ascent and independence.


    peace peaceniks

  78. rube-i-con April 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    “The global orgy of cheap goods and bubble finance is ending. Nations and indeed regions within nations are going to have to find a new way of making a living on the smaller scale.” — JHK

    no jimmy, it is here to stay , entrenched, just revving up its first act. your predictions are consistently on target as far as foretelling just the opposite.

    we are all so interconnected now that a huge swath of mankind is intercommunicating, engaging in commerce etc. – hardly small-scale stuff. tho’ i do grant you that this has also enabled a lot of welcome small-scale cooperation, permaculture farming, and energized local interactions – all positive stuff.

    well, what happened to all the doomsayers gnashing their teeth over greece riots, i mean riots in sweden – no i mean kids burning some cars in french suburbs…wait, i mean the ukraine….

    world keeps on turning in its same orbit, and progress in the West just keeps on chugging forward.

    peace peaceniks

  79. ajmuste April 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    To Volodya:

    Last year you confidently announced that Edward Snowden would be snatched out of China to face punishment. Then you said Snowden would be feeling the full weight of the US government and would do life in prison. Then you said Snowden would live an unpleasant life on the run, always looking over his shoulder. Then you said Snowden would be squeezed by Russian KGB and used for their purposes.

    Volodya, you were wrong on all counts.

    Snowden is comfortable, safe, and is free to speak his mind. Just because Snowden has made decisions you would not have made does not mean Snowden is suffering in the least. Snowden is winning. In fact he continues to make embarrassing leaks about mass US government surveillance, he continues to provide proof of NSA illegal behavior to the world, and he does so with impunity. Snowden participated Saturday in a forum in Chicago. The US is losing the battle against Snowden, while he continues to provide evidence of US illegal behavior without suffering consequences.

  80. ducklife April 25, 2020 at 3:01 am #

    Your article is really interesting and meaningful, I have read many articles but none of them convinced me, thank you for sharing.
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