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Commotion

by James Howard Kunstler

    Now that Lawrence Summers has removed himself from consideration as Federal Reserve chairman, President Obama is free to launch him into Syria as the first human rehypothecation weapon of mass destruction, where he can sow enough confusion between Assad’s Alawites and the Qaeda opposition to collateralize both factions into contingent convertible capital instruments buried in the back pages of Goldman Sachs’s balance sheet so that the world will never hear of them again — and then the Toll Brothers can be brought in to develop Syria into a casino / assisted living complex that will bring hundreds of good jobs to US contractors in the region.

     No doubt the stock markets will fly like eagles today. Nobody knew what monkeyshines Mr. Summers might have pulled over at the Fed and it was making investors nervous, as well as the big banks who employed Mr. Summers occasionally as some kind of policy bagman. So a big sigh of relief blew over the Northeast Region of the nation like the gusts of autumn air that swept away a fetid hump of stale, wet tropical weather that ruined all the ladies’ party hair in the Hamptons this month.

     Now that Syria has been disposed of — that is, indefinitely consigned to failed state purgatory — the world can focus its remaining attention on the almighty taper. I’m with those who think we’ll get a taper test. That is, the Fed will cut back ten or fifteen percent on its treasury bond purchases to see what happens. What happens is perfectly predictable: interest rates shoot above 3 percent on the ten-year and holders of US paper all the world round fling them away like bales of smallpox blankets and… Houston, we’ve got a problem. After a month (or less) of havoc in the bond market, and the housing market, Mr. Bernanke will issue an advisory saying (in more words than these) “just kidding.” Then it will be back to business as usual, which is to say QE Forever, which might as well be saying “game over.”

     One must feel for poor Mr. Bernanke. He’s tried to run a long-distance foot-race against reality and now it’s breathing down his neck near finish line. The idea was to pump enough artificial “money” into the economy to give it the appearance of motion, but all he accomplished in the words of my recent podcast guest, Eric Zencey, was a commotion of money, and the commotion was pretty much limited to a few blocks of lower Manhattan, two ribbons of real estate running up the East Side and Central Park West, and a subsidiary disturbance out on the South Fork of Long Island. Everybody else in the country was left to stew in a tattoo-and-malt-liquor torpor at the SNAP Card application office.

      The Fed can only pretend to try to get out of this self-created hell-hole. The stock market is a proxy for the economy and a handful of giant banks are proxies for the American public, and all they’ve really got going is a hideous high-frequency churn of trades in conjectural debentures that pretend to represent something hidden in the caboose of a choo-choo train of wished-for value — and hardly anyone in the nation, including those with multiple graduate degrees in abstruse crypto-sciences, can even pretend to understand it all.

     When reality crosses the finish line ahead of poor, exhausted Mr. Bernanke, havoc must ensue. All the artificial props fall away and the so-called American economy is revealed for what it is: a surreal landscape of ruin with nothing left but salvage value. Very few people will get a living off of the salvage operations, and there will be fights and skirmishes everywhere by one gang or another for control of the pickings. The utility of money itself may be bygone, along with the legitimacy of anyone or anything claiming institutional authority. This is what comes of all attempts to get something for nothing.

     By the way, for those of you still watching the charts, notice that gold and silver may bob up and down week-by-week, but the price of oil remains stubbornly above $105-a-barrel no matter what happens. That is the only number you need to know to predict the fate of industrial economies.

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About James Howard Kunstler

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 Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

185 Responses to “Commotion” Subscribe

  1. Arn Varnold September 16, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    I’ve got to say, your first paragraph caused me to burst out laughing.
    Summers is a fat boy bomb for sure.
    Kudos JHK…

    • Arn Varnold September 16, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      And, yes; the markets were up.
      What the hell does that say?

      • Arn Varnold September 16, 2013 at 9:50 am #

        By the way, for those of you still watching the charts, notice that gold and silver may bob up and down week-by-week, but the price of oil remains stubbornly above $105-a-barrel no matter what happens. That is the only number you need to know to predict the fate of industrial economies.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        And there it is; the whole enchilada; so-to-speak.

    • Neon Vincent September 16, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Same here. I read that and thought that no one would understand it. Then again, I think that was the point.

      I was one of those happy that Summers withdrew his nomination, too, and I’m not one of the people on Wall Street or connected to New York’s “Sex and the City” economy. A lot of people on the Left were happy that Summers is not in contention anymore either. Now we’re rooting for Janet Yellen. Of course, she’s Krugman’s choice, and that’s not good news for her in the halls of power.

      As for the price of oil, that’s not going down below $105 as long as there is any semblance of a growing economy. Just the same, the Syria Fear Premium has faded away. As of the end of last week, the national average for unleaded regular was already below where it was before the crisis affected the oil markets.

      crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/09/syria-fear-premium-almost-gone.html

  2. orbit7er September 16, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    For the first time in history the US War machine was stopped by popular outrage so that even Teabag Republicans or those who follow their sway like my own Representative, opposed another War.
    This is surely of great significance as in US History from the Mexican-American War to the Spanish-American War to Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq whenever the US War machine gets rolling it has never before been stopped. Apparently the US people are not so stupid as the 1% believes. Since the Wars consume 5% of US oil consumption and cost $1 Trillion per year this is very important. The people are sick of War and want the money spent on good things in the USA.

    Meanwhile 2 other significant advances in Kunstler’s advocacy of Rail and Green public transit occurred last week of note. Finally Environmental groups including the Sierra Club put teeth into opposition to highways and in favor of public transit Rail by filing a lawsuit against Seattle’s transportation plan:

    “Today Earthjustice, Communities for a Better Environment, and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit challenging the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments’ most recent regional transportation plan in Alameda County Superior Court.

    Plan Bay Area is supposed to serve as a multi-decade regional plan to improve the reliability, accessibility, and affordability of public transportation in the Bay Area and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while overseeing smart growth to meet the demands of the area’s growing population.

    The Plan falls short of these goals. The Plan does not spend enough on public transportation, and instead invests in building new highways. The current Plan will result in more time on the roads and increased greenhouse gas emissions. The Plan also fails to protect West Oakland and other vulnerable communities from the health effects of cars, trucks, ships and rail that pass through their communities. The Plan will also displace low-income and residents of color from their communities.”

    And from the progressive community which has often foisted “Tesla liberalism” in which simply driving electric cars are the panacea for the disasters of Auto Addiction, Naomi Klein published a piece castigating Corporate Greenwashing Environmentalists for their change the world by changing lightbulbs fetish instead calling forthrightly for PUBLIC investment in PUBLIC transit as opposed to the continuing spiral of privatizing everything:

    commondreams.org/view/2013/09/04

    “First of all, we need to revive and reinvent the public sphere. If we want to lower our emissions, we need subways, streetcars and clean-rail systems that are not only everywhere but affordable to everyone.”

    • Neon Vincent September 16, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      I was wondering when someone was going to bring up Naomi Klein’s article in comments. Here’s the link to the Salon/Alternet interview of her promoting her upcoming book. She makes a point that the Archdruid has been mentioning in passing for at least a year.

      salon.com/2013/09/05/naomi_klein_big_green_groups_are_crippling_the_environmental_movement_partner/

    • Neon Vincent September 16, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      “For the first time in history the US War machine was stopped by popular outrage”

      Delayed is more like it. Our entry into both World Wars was delayed by isolationist popular opinion until our enemies forced our hands. Also, I recall the consent manufacturing machinery going full force for most of the nineties to get us involved in the former Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia, to very little effect until we bombed Kosovo near the end of the decade. Wait a while before declaring victory.

      “even Teabag Republicans or those who follow their sway like my own Representative, opposed another War.”

      Welcome to the second axis of American politics, the Insider-Outsider axis. The Insiders were in favor of war, while the Outsiders opposed it. This time, the Outsiders prevailed–for now.

      • chomskyite September 20, 2013 at 11:14 am #

        Or maybe the saber rattling came from the US. Kerry was doing a good job of impersonating Kissinger, ” My boss is crazy, he might just do this you know”. Drop the bombs, Ala Nixon, Vietnam for you youngers. I mean launch the tomohawks. In swoops Putin with a peace offer. No bombs, no launches. Now the Iranians think they can play too. They’ll do anything to get the sanctions off their back. Hyperinflation is killing them.

  3. swmnguy September 16, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    The relevant question isn’t which charlatan presides over our finance system. It’s the finance system itself. You can’t have a system that relies on infinite energy, resources, markets and money in a world that only allows infinite money, and that only in the abstract. It doesn’t take great imagination to recognize that once you hit the physical limits on any of these components of the system, the others have to inflate like a squeezed balloon.

    So we’ve hit the limits on markets, as everyone who can afford a refrigerator and has a place to plug it in already has one. By necessity, money inflates, we plunder more resources and use more energy. The limits on energy loom, as we expend a higher and higher amount of energy in seeking new energy, in proportion to the new energy thusly acquired.

    In one way and another, we get to the point where all the wealth in the world isn’t enough to pay the interest. It’s like the old fable of the trickster who saves the king’s life, and the king asks him to name his reward. The trickster says, “Get out your chessboard. On the first square, give me one grain of wheat. On the second square, two; on the third square four, on the fourth square eight; and so on. The king, not being hip to the miracle of compound interest, thinks the trickster is a fool. For a while, at least, he thinks that.

    That’s where we are, right now. Janet Yellen? Paul Krugman? Larry Summers? I’m harvesting my garden and buying non-electrical or engine-powered tools.

  4. James Kuehl September 16, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    The image of Summers in a helmet and goggles, waving good-bye to the crowd as he slides down the cannon barrel was worth the read.

    When the music stops everyone will scramble for a chair only to find out holographic projections don’t keep your ass off the floor.

  5. fashinrashin September 16, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    The Walking Dead = Zombie Economy
    grow your garden peeps….

  6. caseyf5 September 16, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Hello James Howard Kunstler,

    This commentary was your finest that I have ever read! You were on fire! I hope that the pollution index didn’t go up due to your comments. lol What was especially great was your advise to President O’bomba about what should be done with Larry “the Toxic” Summers. Where he goes disaster follows. When Naomi Klein updates her book “The Shock Doctrine” she should include Larry for at least one or possibly more chapters by himself! He really deserves it. I don’t know if he can be anything other than the POS he is due to several manufacturing defects. He should have been recalled decades ago!

  7. Petro September 16, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    “For the first time in history the US War machine was stopped by popular outrage”

    Not so fast, Orbit7er. I was as overjoyed as any seeing our Nobel Peace Prize warrior president stymied from every quarter. (And what about Kerry. How does that man look at himself every morning?) But I’m afraid the US war machine, and the corporations that feed at its bloody tits, will grind on.

    And, as pointed out by Chris Hedges and Rania Masri point out, leaving the civil war in Syria UNRESOLVED is really the outcome desired by both Washington. Let the country tear itself to shreds, then walk in and take over. Kerry has not called for regime change, but making the field more even.

    • Petro September 16, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      Yikes. I should have re-read that post before submitting. Forgive the garbled syntax and repeated words!

    • stelmosfire September 16, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Kerry is going back to packing pickles for Heinz, 57 varieties ya know! Oblamy is gonna work the line next to him, that’s if he can catch -up like Lucy!

    • orbit7er September 16, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Petro writes: “But I’m afraid the US war machine, and the corporations that feed at its bloody tits, will grind on.”

      I am not so sure about that.
      The opposition to another War in terms of phone calls to Representatives was running 100 to 1. Even polls of the whole generally ignorant US populace showed 56% solidly against War with some 20% in favor. This is really quite unprecedented.

      Again I tabled with my Peace Group Saturday and we have not had so much interest in volunteering for Peace since Obama’s election which put progressives into a stupor for the past 5 years. Also people in the crowd all want to reduce war spending. There comes turning points in history when enough people say “Enough” that changes comes suddenly and unexpectedly. As Pete Seeger put it we just keep climbing on 1 side of the see-saw person by person until all of a sudden it tips!

      We are reaching that point in the US of A

      • Petro September 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

        Hope you are correct, Orbit, but I remain deeply pessimistic. The power, wealth, and influence of the military-corporate alliance is enormous, the greatest the world has ever seen. And they sure as hell don’t care what the American People are “solidly against”. Lawmakers might profess to care, from time to time, in their craven pursuit of votes.

  8. George September 16, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    “By the way, for those of you still watching the charts, notice that gold and silver may bob up and down week-by-week, but the price of oil remains stubbornly above $105-a-barrel no matter what happens. That is the only number you need to know to predict the fate of industrial economies.”

    Indeed, it seems that most of what’s discussed in the mainstream media these days is superfluous and irrelevant. With the exception of the recently launched Al-Jazeera America, the main focus appears to be on the outrageous behavior of some in the entertainment industry. As for what happens on Wall Street and the economy in general I’ve given up attempts at prognostication. I’ll leave that honor to you James.

    http://www.thesisa.org

  9. Greg Knepp September 16, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    True dat! For years I’ve been watching CNBC and am amazed how disconnected those fools are from the real world. When my daughter asked me what all the numbers in the boxes mean, I answer “Most mean nothing; only the WTI box and the Brent box are worth paying attention to. Anything over $100 spells trouble.”

  10. nsa September 16, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Most of you are probably aware that we here in Langley take more than a passing interest in the “overnight markets”, which often require a nudge here and there. And we do show quite a bit of profit from these transactions, being as how we have the capability to front-run even the investment banks. We use the oil/gold ratio as a rough proxy for the PM miners profitability. Right now miners are only breaking even at $1300 gold. We have decided this ratio needs adjustment, so don’t be too surprised to see WTIC futures decline in the near future………

  11. swmnguy September 16, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Considering Syria, it seems to me that Obama and Kerry have managed to get Syria into the same role Saddam’s Iraq played for Bill Clinton. A punching bag, dangling in the wind; ripe for sanctions or bombing or some sort of chest-pounding whenever domestic partisan electoral politics called for such things.

    Syria is in a better position than Iraq was, of course. Saddam’s falling for G.H.W. Bush’s ruse via April Glaspie, not expecting to be double-crossed when he punished Kuwait for oil theft, left him completely defenseless when the US bullied the UN into passing resolutions giving cover to the US military adventure that lasted the next–well, it’s still going on 22 years later.

    Assad is more than a little bit more savvy. So Syria is still protected at least somewhat by international law, and Syria’s potential allies have not been maneuvered into abandoning Assad. But the functional role Syria will play for Obama from here on out is very similar.

  12. James Howard Kunstler September 16, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Please everyone! Desist from stupid political name puns, e.g. O’blamy, ‘Obomba, etc. If you use them, I will kick you out.
    –JHK

    • Karah September 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      May you add TSHTF

    • stelmosfire September 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Sorry for the remark. I am from MA. and don’t have a lot of respect for Kerry. He is richer then I could ever hope to be. I’ve seen one of his houses and it is opulent. Pickles pay I guess. Obama I can take or leave. He just seems like a spokesperson for the banksters. Many which I have no use for.

      • Karah September 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

        I think it’s been established that Kerry got most his current wealth from his wife.

  13. K-Dog September 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    and hardly anyone in the nation, including those with multiple graduate degrees in abstruse crypto-sciences, can even pretend to understand it all.”

    But all that one needs to understand are the implications of $105 dollar oil and what it means to be “stuck up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up”. No graduate degrees needed. – K-Dog

    • ozone September 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      I agree with you (and JHK) completely.
      But, hey, I keep hearing we can replace energy with technology and thinking good thoughts… no? Now where did I leave those Ruby Slippers? Toto — fetch!

  14. ozone September 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    JHK says:
    “The Fed can only pretend to try to get out of this self-created hell-hole. The stock market is a proxy for the economy and a handful of giant banks are proxies for the American public, and all they’ve really got going is a hideous high-frequency churn of trades in conjectural debentures that pretend to represent something hidden in the caboose of a choo-choo train of wished-for value — and hardly anyone in the nation, including those with multiple graduate degrees in abstruse crypto-sciences, can even pretend to understand it all.”

    Damn straight; looks to me like the smartest swindlers in the room have outsmarted themselves! The treasure map has been put in “a safe place”, which is why nobody can find it. The irony is thicker than a tragic, panicked ending in a quicksand bog, and bodes just as ill.

    The job of Fed Chair can now be consigned to the janitor anyway. A huge intellectual capacity or devious, evil genius is no longer needed to hit the green ‘go’ button on the printing presses that churn out Fed notes, then spin about and buy Treasury promises (in debt we pretend to trust) with them. All that’s required is enough self-control not to snooze or drool when appearing before congressional empanelments of one sort or another and be reasonably articulate. High school graduates: apply now, time is short!

    I too believe that the competitions between criminal organizations that have the savvy to think long-term will be the horse races to watch. These are the good folks who will be deciding the directions of local economies and political consolidations. When the central government can no longer provide basic services for “law and order” and some kind of remuneration for not working, it becomes distinctly irrelevant, and a profitable niche will be filled by those with the propensity for the judicious application of violence.

  15. And So It Goes September 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    This commentary was your finest that I have ever read! You were on fire!

    Agreed…

    Wonderful…

  16. sevenmmm September 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I’m sorry for laughing.

    But wait!

    BB has yet to drop hundred dollar bills from helicopters! Get ready, its coming. I’m going to take all I can get my hands on and immediately covert them to something that can be used in a World MADE BY Hand.

  17. nsa September 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Jim,
    Is it OK to refer to the greatest statesman/soldier since Julius Caesar as Johnny Ketchup?

    • Arn Varnold September 17, 2013 at 7:53 am #

      Now that’s funny…

  18. Newfie September 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    The price of oil “is the only number you need to know to predict the fate of industrial economies.”

    Bingo.

  19. liquid lennny September 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Jim,

    Every time I see you write about $100 barrel of oil it reaffirms the fact that you sir are a closet optimist. Notwithstanding the fact that our economies can’t deal with a number of that magnitude, all this serves to demonstrate is how precarious the entire system really is.

    One statement which caught my attention was the one Matthew Simmons made in his book “Twilight in the Desert”. Where if oil prices were based not on the past cost of exploration and extraction but the current cost of exploration and extraction along with a future replacement value of oil factor, then the price of a barrel would be around $10,000 which if you do the math gives us around $1,000 per gallon of regular gas.

    Now plug that number into your financial calculator and hit enter. The result portends the future, numbers can’t lie no matter how many our “leaders” seem to need to tell.

    As you’ve stated so eloquently before, the future barreling down the highway towards us is going to make roadkill out of most of the population. I’m going to venture a guess that that number is going to be ’bout 95%.

    But then I’m one of the optimistic types too…

  20. toktomi September 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    I cannot imagine “QE Forever”.

    I see an institution that is the most powerful entity on the planet with intellectual resources beyond the imagination. They know their shit. I see a global economy that has been on life support so long now that most of the financial aberrations appear normal. I see that as a result of the Fed’s Herculean efforts to keep the global economy afloat that the gas station down the road is still open.

    When I hear the Fed say that it is going to taper – and not just taper but end – QE if the “recovery” holds I hear Fed speak for, “we’re turning out the lights, kids, if all of our life boats and other preparations get completed – as we expect – on schedule”.

    QE is not “game over”. Ending QE is game over.

    “Close your eyes…”

    And, by the way, anyone who believes that popular sentiment was the driver behind the current US stance on Syria does not have a very logical picture of how the world is run. Popular sentiment does not lead – it follows. Popular sentiment in the lead looks like Occupy – vapor.

    in the world according to ~toktomi~

  21. Paul Steer September 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Jim,
    Like you, in conversation with Eric Zencey, I also keyed onto his reference to ‘the commotion of money’ in the economy, the idea being that not all economic activity is necessarily worthwhile or productive — as a net benefit to ‘society’ — whatever that is.
    To walk further out onto the plank of this extended metaphor, If the ‘economy’, understood as the ‘commotion of money’, the ‘shake rattle and roll’ of economic activity would be like the sound of coins being vigorously shaken inside a coffee can. The trouble comes when the loudness of the sound of the coins is mistaken for the aggregate value of those coins when they’re counted.

  22. bell September 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I think the new oil discoveries in the US, plus the forced opening of national parks, Alaska, coast lines, and other “hands off” areas will definitely give the US a bit more of and energy time line.

    But as Chris Martenson has pointed out the triple whammy of expensive oil, debt bubble and limited natural resources is going to change our civilization.

  23. Florida Power September 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Orbit7er writes:
    And from the progressive community which has often foisted “Tesla liberalism” in which simply driving electric cars are the panacea for the disasters of Auto Addiction, Naomi Klein published a piece castigating Corporate Greenwashing Environmentalists for their change the world by changing lightbulbs fetish instead calling forthrightly for PUBLIC investment in PUBLIC transit as opposed to the continuing spiral of privatizing everything:
    commondreams.org/view/2013/09/04
    “First of all, we need to revive and reinvent the public sphere. If we want to lower our emissions, we need subways, streetcars and clean-rail systems that are not only everywhere but affordable to everyone.”
    We ask – PUBLIC transport to transport people where, to do what, exactly? Move information from the inbox to the outbox? Tourism? Food distribution? MTV video production? Promoting Progressive Principles? And how is this PUBLIC transport powered? Windmills? PV? Wood-Fueled steam engines?
    Oil is embedded in the jobs and the infrastructure.
    Barring a true breakthrough in fusion-fueled electrical power generation, the contemporary developed world is stutter-stepping to a disintegration that people born after about 1940 cannot comprehend. It will not look like the late pre-petroleum nineteenth century nor any historical epoch that can be imagined although historians will no doubt point to common features with other epochs. The defining source of power – be it land, petroleum, ideological certainty – invariably declines and falls leaving victims, remnants, and refugees who make the best of what’s still around; salvage may be an apt description. The Roman Colosseum, like Notre Dame, is salvaged as an object of tourism. I doubt the Manhattan offices of Goldman Sachs will hold the same attraction for future tourists, but you never know.
    Salvage, however, won’t produce more gasoline, or at least enough to keep us fueled in the lifestyles to which we have become accustomed. The application of the internal combustion engine to just the various machines of agriculture had enormous historical impact – try to imagine millennials retreating “back to the Farm” to do the work now done by machines and Mexicans. The expertise is lost, the physical stamina is questionable. The machines designed for beasts of burden are in museums, the beasts few in number, farriers even fewer, and the blacksmiths extinct.
    If we are lucky the plans for the Clipper Ships have not been lost, although educated shipbuilders working with hand tools number maybe in the tens, if that, so the effect is the same. But assuming that the plans could be turned into real wooden carbon-neutral ships, conceivably we in the future could hop aboard with all the carbon footprint of a beaver building a dam, and transit to someplace to do something. Perhaps even something useful.

    • ozone September 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      F.P.,
      Great post; thanks for slapping it up here!

      “We ask – PUBLIC transport to transport people where, to do what, exactly? Move information from the inbox to the outbox? Tourism? Food distribution? MTV video production? Promoting Progressive Principles?”

      You can ask that for me as well.

      As a piece of JHK’s first paragraph:
      “— and then the Toll Brothers can be brought in to develop Syria into a casino / assisted living complex that will bring hundreds of good jobs to US contractors in the region.”

      There we go! Health care and gambling; careers of the FUTURE-chur-chur-chur!! (Echos for grandiose effect.)
      Will absurdity kill us before anything else?

  24. bell September 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Per my understanding of the historical regarding debt bubbles and debased currencies, the initial crisis is a deflationary one (as was the small one in 2007 and 2008). I would think that when the next big crisis hits (the witting or unwitting coup de grace created by the international bankers) the deflationary drop will be massive.

    This will be the last chance to get out of cash and USD denominated assets and buy tangible assets to hopefully preserve your wealth once the inflation goes into overdrive in an attempt to stop the deflationary collapse. Rental properties, farm land, water and food sources will be the tangible assets that we’ll want.

    Oil prices go higher and stifle production, air starts leaking out of the debt bubble at a faster rate, and other unintended negative consequences caused by The Fed and government intervention = deflationary collapse = cash becomes king for a short while = buy your tangible assets now at discount prices = hope that most or some of your wealth has been protected and you can weather the storm.

    This deflationary collapse could happen in a year, in three years, in five years, in ten years. No one really can predict this.

  25. Being There September 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Great Post, JHK

    I had a good laugh–we won’t have Laurence Summers to kick around anymore–cuz he doesn’t want this on his resume.

    He can smell the burning carnage of disaster already and decided to not jump into this briar patch! Maybe he’s smarter than we thought.

    …and then the Toll Brothers can be brought in to develop Syria into a casino / assisted living complex that will bring hundreds of good jobs to US contractors in the region.”

    Indeed, you have just described disaster capitalism! That’s Milton Friedman’s shock doctrine at work.

    And just in time for the memory of Pinochet and his coup where many went missing and the Chicago University trained students (of Friedman) came in to privatize all public holdings.
    It just so happens that the Nixon White House under the tutelage of Mr. Kissinger has been named as actively involved with that regime…

    NOTE TO ALL. If you haven’t read Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” now is the time to invest some time into it.

    • BackRowHeckler September 16, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

      Pinochet? Nixon? Kissinger? For God’s Sake, Ibendet, who cares about that now? Your talking about events from 40 years ago!

      • Arn Varnold September 17, 2013 at 6:58 am #

        Aw, come on BRH; it’s a road map of how “it” all works.
        You know, those who don’t know history, blah, blah, blah…
        It is (Shock Doctrine) the clearest view, along with Confessions of an “Economic Hit Man”, of just how things work.
        But then you already knew that, no?

  26. BackRowHeckler September 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Jim, speaking of ‘Salvage Value’, early in the summer we bought a house in the Village, 250 years old, a Colonial. It was a foreclosure; the former owners left all their stuff. What to do with it? In the next town a scrapyard recently opened where they pay cash money for all kinds of metal. I’d driven by it a few times and it looked like a pretty rough place. It is a place that for me represents the end of industrial America. But I had a lot of stuff to get rid of so we loaded up a few appliances into my pickup and drove over. They were polite, professional and helpful and we drove away with $75. It was fun backing up to the scrap pile and pushing the junk off the back of the truck and seeing it crash onto the pavement. I commented to my buddy, “This is where it all ends.” After that we made numerous trips with junk of all kinds, culminating with several rolls of copper we found in the basement. That copper, especially, paid pretty good cash money.

    I notice all kinds of people coming in. Next to the scrapyard was a package store, where I’d see many of the trucks I’d just seen, unloading junk.

    –BRH

  27. BackRowHeckler September 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    One guy I met there goes out ‘scrappin’ every day with a beat up old Ford Ranger, sometimes with one or two of his kids, little toeheads. He seemed to do pretty good. One morning he says to me “I make my own hours. Working is for Suckers”. I liked his spirit.

    -BRH

    • swmnguy September 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      Your “scrapper” acquaintance is correct, but inarticulate. He’s working, all right. He just doesn’t have a job. Jobs are for suckers. Working is what humans are meant to do. And it seems like your acquaintance works both hard and smart, and takes care of his kids. Nothing to argue with there.

      • Petro September 17, 2013 at 9:03 am #

        I think a lot of people would say the opposite: WORKING is for suckers, not jobs. Depending on the job, you might only rarely have to break a sweat. When I was in college, and working in a factory, some of my cohorts would quip “Man, I told them I wanted a job, not work!”

        Regardless the label, I think the point here is about freedom to arrange your days how you want. There can be less security in being self-employed (in the usual sense related to having a job)—but there’s not much left of that, anyway.

        • Janos Skorenzy September 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

          Hunter Gatherers, often forced into the most forbidding places on Earth, work an average of 15 hours a week. That doesn’t mean the rest of the time they spend in a coma merely that that’s how much time they need to secure their survival. Herders work more and Farmers even more. Civilization so called is about working more and more to secure simple survival. Only the Elite get the margin so they can work less for more. The only thing everyone else may get is a security the hunter gatherers don’t have.

          Civilization will only justify itself when technology is used to return us to the 15 hour per week level of survival – for everyone. Of course some will opt to work more. And some will be very busy with their creative activities. But Choice will come to the fore, without which freedom is just another word for nuthin left to lose.

          I don’t predict this btw. What’s going to happen is that more and more jobs will be automated without giving people anyway to survive. Technology used irresponsibly like this is the height of human perversity.

    • stelmosfire September 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

      Howdy BRH. now that I am retired I fill the barn a few times a year and make a scrap run. It is a “World Made by Hand” and I do rather well. I also reuse all the old electrical S””” and try to recycle it. Plus the iron bedframes which I weld up .Nothing like a free piece of angle iron!. have you priced up 1.5″ angle iron recently? I just grabbed a load of 300 ft. of 2 inch iron pipe for a grape arbor. YEA!!!

      • BackRowHeckler September 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

        One of these days I’m getting on US10 and headed north, check out your spread, then turning west in search of Ozone’s acreage.

        –BRH

        • ozone September 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

          Do it, my friend!
          I ain’t hard to find for them as knows… 😉

          And, as youse guys are talking, “scrap” is a relative term (as you’d reasonably expect). Some of the stuff is unusable as an “end product” and its’ constituents must be melted down for re-purposing, while good ol’ angle iron is a treasure of many uses, depending on the skill of the welder/cutter.

          Hard assets… coming soon to a future [chur-chur-chur] near you!

          Or, by the same token, cash for the ‘scrap’ to buy other hard assets [or hard liquor] with, immediately. The underground/off-the-books/cash, no credit economy is coming into its’ own.
          Wha’choo got?

          “If you need credit, talk to our credit manager, Helen Waite.
          We say again, if you’d like credit, go to hell ‘n’ wait.”

          • Karah September 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

            Ozone used a name pun! He’s kicked?

            Anyway…

            Scrap metal is an interesting “trade”. I’ve gone with my friend a couple of times and they average 50$ a visit with a pickup full of scrap. The scales are computerized and I do not really trust their calibration. Scales can be rather sensitive and in that rough environment, they can easily go off kilter. I think the computers are programmed to give a very rough estimate based on whether or not they tip past a particular mark (5lb, 10lb, 20lb) and the cashbox hands out a predetermined amount based on how many people are expected to show up that day. The guys who help unload have brazenly stepped on the scale during the weighing. There’s a constant line 5 or 10 deep from 8 to 5. Who knows how much they’d have to dish out a day if they didn’t close at 5PM. The trip to the yard is across town about 5 or 10 minutes. Most of the stuff traded is harvested from my friend’s jobsite (7 mins away), a hospital. It’s a huge building that is constantly being renovated, replacing old equipment and fixtures. Everything has to be stainless steel in a hospital; a cash mine. We already know how hospitals are able to be so extravagant.

          • Janos Skorenzy September 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

            You must do a lot of mud’n up in them thar hills. Are you playing this Halloween? I remember when you did that gig in Holyoke one year dressed up to be the devil.

        • ozone September 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

          …Take a left at the sign that says: “Fascists will be shot; adjust attitude accordingly.”
          (I don’t think there’s another sign quite like it ’round these parts!)

          • stelmosfire September 19, 2013 at 10:45 am #

            Good one 03, I just picked up a bunch of stickers stating ” “We Don’t call 911″ with a nice 1911 colt logo on it. Even my PO buddies love it. As ya all know when seconds count the police are only minutes away especially up country. ! Another good one I have seen is ” With the price of ammo do not expect a warning shot!” OK anti gun types can flame me now.

          • ozone September 19, 2013 at 11:05 am #

            Yessir, RT!
            Did you know that in the next shipments of ammo, the price will DOUBLE? (At least for .22 LR)
            Already at an outrageous price of 10 cents per round, when next you turn around, it’s going to be 20! Five rounds, plinked away = $1.00. Sorry folks, better sight that puppy in accurately. (I’d say some advantage is being taken of the ol’ supply and demand, and pretty soon, only the rich and publicly-funded police will be able to arm themselves. Is that a desired side-effect of this exorbitant pricing?)

  28. beantownbill. September 16, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    Funny the discussion has turned to scrap. Fifty years ago this summer I had a job in a junkyard operating the scales. I don’t know how many times the junk dealers weighed in gross, and when they drove up after unloading, purposely left one wheel off the scale to have a lower tare, and thus a higher net. See, scamming isn’t anything new.

    I remember, at the time, light iron was $7 a ton, #2 steel paid $18 a ton, and cast iron was $22 a ton. Copper paid about 20 cents a pound, and newspapers paid sixty cents per 100 pounds. I had to write up invoices based on what the scale said. There were no computers then.

    I have no idea what scrap metal yards are paying today. I used to go around my neighborhood collecting old newspapers, brass fittings and copper wire and did good for myself.

    The owners of the junkyard where I worked sold their iron and steel to Japan. Every so often the owners had to leave for Logan Airport to pick up the Japanese who arrived to do business. This, less than 20 years after we nuked them at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What a world.

    • James Kuehl September 17, 2013 at 7:01 am #

      Interesting discussion. As I understand it, The U.S. was shipping scrap metal to Japan in 1941 at the same time their navy was steaming to Pearl Harbor.

      The countryside is littered with the remains of appliances and other so-called durable goods that were made to last a few years and designed to be unrepairable. We have community dumpster days here, and the mountains of crap we drag in is mind-blowing. Kunstler’s characters who control the dump in World Made by Hand became the new power elite.

      • Karah September 17, 2013 at 11:30 am #

        Yes, I was waiting for someone to make that connection here…whew! I’m not the only one who read the novel…

        Scrap yards are inglorious places with a cinematic reputation of being dangerous, where a lot of people meet a violent end. Some movies depict them as well organized shrines; the last preserve of what constitutes our current culture, the stuff we use every day and take for granted until it becomes too expensive to service or becomes obsolete.

        JHK’s depiction of the characters of the county dump; people associated with trash and the hand-me-down, second hand and devalued, are the last remnant of our current way of life. I have to try really hard to picture them as being “elite” in the sense of having the best. The irony is so thick that they provide their own theater of the absurd. They are the ones struggling to hold on to STUFF that may or may not work and preserve all our vices foremost of which is getting something of value for practically ZERO hard labor. Billy Bob Thorton would make this character come to life in a heartbeat. They are the catalysts. They raise all the big questions and propose some answers. How many think the hero should have shot the murderer? Would it have lead to a protracted war between them and the town? There’s a lot of violent retribution in this novel because they can’t rely on the complex systems of oversight, analysis and objective reasoning we currently entertain. Their scales are definitely WAY off. It’s the wild, wild East.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

        As Rockefeller said, resources must be decoupled from the Nations in which they reside. We built up the Soviet Union even as they were providing weapons to North Vietnam whom we were supposedly fighting – although not ever allowed to win.

        • Karah September 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

          Like Kerry said, “This [war] is not a game.”
          It’s never been about winning and losing. Man-made wars end up costing a lot of blood, sweat and tears on both sides. Scars the land and the people for decades to come. The United States have paid a high price for its involvement in the destruction and conquest of nation states like Japan, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam and Germany. They’re still paying for peace. The war that makes any sense is the one that ends all wars. They’re trying really hard to make WWII carry that title (because WWI couldn’t) and they blame it on the former incarnation of the U.N. Since WWI was declared, there hasn’t been a year on this Earth without some kind of organized “conflict”. Civil war is an oxymoron because there is no way you can bring back the dead and compensate for what is lost forever. Conflict is a politically correct term for WAR, a declaration from one form of government that they will seek to weaken and totally remove another form of government from the Earth.

  29. MikeMoskos September 17, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    The thing that surprises me most about Larry Summers is that he had any future after blowing so much of Harvard’s endowment. I mean these are the people who run the world and he flushed their contributions down the toilet. Why they continued to allow him a place at the craps table is beyond me.

    On the plus side, more farmers’ markets continue to start here in South Florida and a local guy hoping to start a production brewery has raised $98k in donations in just a few days, exceeding his goal of $55k. crowdbrewed.com/campaigns/j-wakefield-brewing-launching-our-first-brewery-in-miami/

    But, still there are few gardens in poor areas . . . They’ll come of course when things get worse.

  30. BackRowHeckler September 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    I handed my copy of “World Made By Hand” to a kid, about 20, a friend of my son. About that time the OWSER movement came to Hartford, and this same kid came to be a sort of spokesman for the people camped down there. Maybe because he looked a little like Che Guevara, anytime the media interviewed somebody for the TV cameras it would be him. He was pretty articulate getting his point across. I worked right down where the encampment was and learned pretty early when the owsers were being rousted out by city and state police, as well as HAZMAT and the Fire Dept. I was able to warn him to get out, which he did.

    Imagine my surprise, about 8 months later, when he showed up at my house in US Marine Dress Blues. I guess he saw the writing on the wall and joined the Corps. He’s trying to get into public relations.

    –BRH

    • ozone September 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      BRH,
      Pardon my cynicism, but isn’t a Marine specializing in Public Relations somewhat of an oxymoron?

      “Sorry for killing your family and livestock while reducing your barely existent infrastructure to dust and atoms, but think of the opportunities we’ve just created for you! Think positive!”

      (Madison Ave. spin doesn’t ‘fix’ anything, it simply attempts redefinitions of perception.)

      • BackRowHeckler September 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

        Hey Oz, this kid, his name is Chris, was over last night and I asked him about his time with the OWSERS down in Hartford last year. He said he originally went there just to check out the scene and see if there were any good looking girls. There weren’t any, but then he found out that various restaurants around the city were daily delivering food and beverages, for free. So he stayed. He said there were a few anarchists about all hot to go smashing windows on Asylum and Farmington Avenues. But then somebody pointed out these were the windows of the restaurants delivering the pizzas, salads, and burgers. So no windows got smashed. One thing he mentioned were the ‘Students’, dudes about 40 years old. And everybody was afraid of the ‘Brothers’ from the North End, evidently not ‘down with the movement, coming out at night and kicking the shit out of them, maybe shooting the place up, and stealing whatever stuff they had. Hartford is a rough place.

        That’s all I know about the Owsers, gone but not forgotten.

        –BRH

    • Janos Skorenzy September 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      That’s a very ugly story – as if the whole point of “A World Made by Hand” is to encourage people to join the military. But it’s true that they teach valuable skills you can learn once you are free of their malignant influence. In the story, ex-Marines used their military skills to save the day.

    • James Kuehl September 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      As a public relations professional his job will be to cover up the fact that the people he reports to eat their young and kill their wounded. Warn him he’s on his own the moment he’s wounded (and we ALL get wounded sooner or later).

  31. volodya September 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I think that, historically, in various national and international crises, Americans have been enormously lucky to have gotten the men they needed when they most needed them. But the pendulum swings back. You can’t be lucky forever. Then you get the men you really can’t afford at the time you can least afford them.

    Like Larry Summers who attained positions of enormous influence. And who fubared enormously. And Clinton and Dubya and Barry O. Who all fubared even more enormously.

    Yeah, I know, OBL is dead. So what. Yeah, yeah, I know, GM is alive. But at what cost? At immeasurably greater cost so are the vampire squids on Wall Street. Barry had the chance to put them out of our misery and didn’t. Wasted a perfectly good crisis to his enormous discredit.

    You see, right now, Barry O has all the look of a man wondering to himself why the fuck did he run? You look at the to-ing and fro-ing on Syria and Barry looked to me like a bored Arsenio in that early 90s show going through the motions all the while thinkin’ about hangin’ and chillin’. You could see it in Arsenio’s eyes. And Barry O’s eyes. And I get visuals of Michelle gazing at her man over din-din at the big house saying, Barry, what we doin’ here baby? And Barry O sighing deeply and thinking to himself about the trim he could get if only he wasn’t prez. Damn!

    Is it better to be a good general or a lucky general? If unintended consequences can work against you, then they can also work for you.

    So now the Russkis seem to be calling the shots thanks in part to an apparently off-the-cuff remark by John Kerry. And it’s giving fits to the usual inside-the-box thinkers in the foreign policy establishment.

    What just happened? Barry O just handed Syria to Putin wrapped in a bow. As if to say, here asshole, YOU deal with it. You have to laugh. Hats off to whatever shitty little deity that controls fate in this fold of the universe, it does have a sense of humor.

    Putin’s objectives in Syria are – or WERE – simple. To keep Boy Assad in power. Why? Easy. So Boy Assad pays for the arms the Russkis sold him. And Putin wanted and wants to keep the Russian navy`s access to that Mediterranean port. And to poke Obama in the eye.

    And now? Now the Russkis have to go through a tortuous and fraudulent process of hiding chemical WMD’s but making it look like all the i’s and t’s are dotted and crossed and make Boy Assad look like a good little dooby. Good luck. What a joke. Nobody’s going to believe any of it, least of all the al-qaeda types. At the end of it they might think that Great Satan isn’t the US but Russia.

    Maybe it’s better to be a lucky general.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 17, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      Did you see him at his speech the other night? A scared little boy who just got sent to the woodshed. He is in Jungian terms, a Puer, a gifted boy who loves only himself and seeks to make the world feel the same.

  32. volodya September 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    “….constipated realm of international banking…” JHK said last week.

    Well, one remedy might have been to get Larry Summers at the Fed. But Larry took his name out of the hat. Or maybe Larry’s waiting for the prez to say I won’t hear of it Larry, YOU are my man.

    Let’s say that actually happens. Let’s say Larry gets to run the Fed. The constipation in international banking won’t last long.

    Nope, I think Larry would cure it. Yep, in my estimation, you’d get Larry and his ilk goading Wall Street to do what Wall Street does followed in due course by the inevitable diarrhetic deluge as financial firms evacuate their distended balance sheets followed by raging tsunamis of crap securities wiping away the remaining facades of the make-believe economy.

    Constipation? No, not with Laxative Larry and his purgative pals running things.

    I think guys like Larry don’t learn. They are the ideologically committed and for them, nothing, not facts nor evidence, nor supernatural visitations would move the needle.

    No doubt, not everyone sees it this way. But we may never know. Maybe the prez is already past his bromance with Larry. Maybe Larry never gets the nod. Maybe Larry never returns in triumph Churchill-like to take the prime ministership from whatever over-his-head Neville Chamberlain happens to find himself waving bits of paper in front of Senate inquisitions.

    Maybe some of the more pensive among us will be asking, as one of the alternative calamities of tapering or non-tapering (or pick your disaster) unfolds, what would Larry have done? Or maybe we won’t. Maybe in two weeks we’ll forget about Larry.

    • ozone September 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      In the context of this Orlov quote, I believe your 2 posts to be of one origin:

      “You might think that [empires would] learn from each others’ mistakes, but then here is a simple rule for you to remember: the intelligence of a hierarchically organized group of people is inversely proportional to its’ size, and mighty military empires are so big, and consequently so dumb, that they never, ever learn anything.”
      -Dmitry Orlov

      This is a trenchant conclusion to an observation of the invincibility of the Pashtun culture of hospitality, honor and revenge, but it speaks to the nature of triumphalist nation-states just as effectively.

      I especially liked this line of yours, regarding bluster and fade in larger perspective:
      “Hats off to whatever shitty little deity that controls fate in this fold of the universe, it does have a sense of humor.”

      Snark on; might just as well be entertained by this gobsmacking absurdity we’re bludgeoned with every day! 😉

      • Janos Skorenzy September 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

        So that is your ultimate vision for us – a Pashtun type tribal life? I’d hope for more but one could do worse. Pashtuns are Fascists at an elementary stage. Nazism so called is an extension of Pashtun principles to the level of the Nation State. I’m the first to admit there are compromises at this level. Some of these could be mitigated by bringing back the Duel as a means of conflict resolution when all else failed.

        Hitler loved the German Dueling Societies – the romanticism of the girls watching as the young men fought, the scars, the connections that lasted through out life, everything. But they refused to eject their Jewish members so he suppressed them. Earlier in the century, an American admirer brought the idea over to Yale – focusing on the Connections and without the fencing. Typical American mundane bullshit. The genesis of the ridiculous but real evil known as Skull & Bones.

  33. sotolvision September 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    In re: to L. Summer’s putative “demission”, i.e, stepping-away from consideration for a possible appointment at the Fed, Summers is not unlike Ango-British hydro-electric plant managers who declined to run the electric utilities in South Africa after Mandela’s post-apartheid ANC cast-out the Botha Administration.

    Rubin, Summers, Paulson, Geithner … who are they but technocrats who pulled the levers in a failed and discredited regime. In 2008 the Obama Administration had to turn to shills for the former administration who still knew how to turn-on the lights. Summers hails from the failed “deregulatory” regime who nonetheless still knows how to run the power plant.

  34. Janos Skorenzy September 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    The Great Race always faces opposition from those who hate what they cannot equal.

    amren.com/news/2013/09/how-did-blonde-whites-arrive-in-peru-before-columbus/

  35. Arn Varnold September 18, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    JHK said, “When reality crosses the finish line ahead of poor, exhausted Mr. Bernanke, havoc must ensue. All the artificial props fall away and the so-called American economy is revealed for what it is: a surreal landscape of ruin with nothing left but salvage value. Very few people will get a living off of the salvage operations, and there will be fights and skirmishes everywhere by one gang or another for control of the pickings.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I don’t see chaos when and if “it” all collapses. I think Orwell’s picture is far more accurate.
    The state has already ensured that no matter what goes down, they will remain in total, and I mean total, control.
    I think the infrastructure for that is already in place.
    The most obvious evidence is the complete militarization of all of the major metropolitan police forces.
    Oh sure, there will be “incidences” and skirmishes, but no meaningful resistance.
    There will be the inevitable underground networks; which will work up to a point; at least for those who have been prescient enough to see the future accurately…

    • BackRowHeckler September 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Speaking of that, what’s up with the cops? A few weeks ago in Arkansas they Tazed a 106 year old man, 106!!, and he died. And earlier this week a 96 year old WW2 vet was tazed and shot up with a bean bag gun, and he died too.

      –BRH

      • Arn Varnold September 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

        The cops in America are out of control; it’s now, when not sure, just shoot. Very scary…

      • Janos Skorenzy September 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

        Two theories: That the State now hires thugs as in the movie A Clockwork Orange. Or more likely, lower types who crave power and enjoy inflicting pain have always joined the Police in large numbers. Only now they have a much freer hand since standards of conduct have fallen. This gets Conservatives aroused and makes them even more pro law and order. So the very people who should be keeping the uniformed thugs in line are instead encouraging them since in their mythology, police can do no wrong.

        A couple of months ago the heroes tazed an autistic 13 year old who had been lost. My all time favorite is the older man who had just had a heart attack. He didn’t want to go to the hospital because he didn’t have the money. They insisted and he refused. So the cretins tazed him.

        When tazed, a person loses control of his body. Typically this plays a role in police beating people to death. They give orders that the person can’t follow because they’ve been tazed. So they taze them again instead of just taking bodily control of the suspect like they did in the old days. They will go on and on tazing and beating – torturing – instead of just grabbing someone and cuffing them. Conclusion: they enjoy it and want it to continue. The suspect must verbally “submit”. It’s basically S&M.

  36. James Kuehl September 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Robert Reich was cagey with Jon Stewart this week. He cited 1901, 1930s, and 1960s as previous examples of wealth imbalance causing public outrage leading to corrective legislation. Funny, the Clinton administration he worked for fired all the cops on Wall Street, which contributed to our becoming unmoored from economic reality.

    I wonder what the occupy movement would have looked like if we replaced all those polite campers with a protest group from, say Cairo. Imagine those sinewy zealots coming at the NYPD. Shooting mace at a drum circle is one thing. Facing a passionate mass of oppressed people with little to lose is quite another. I doubt we’ll see that kind of cohesion in any resistance movements here. Like Elvis, the bloated American economy feels really queasy right now and is on its way to the bathroom to see if things will improve there.

    • Arn Varnold September 18, 2013 at 8:01 am #

      Yours is an interesting comment; and I’m inclined to agree.
      I’m most upset by the lack of vehemence exhibited by the “Occupy Movement”; more, as you indicate, a bathroom function…

    • BackRowHeckler September 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      James, that last sentence … that’s one funny metaphor. Sad thing is, Elvis died in the bathroom … with 50 lbs of fecal matter lodged in his intestines.

      -BRH

  37. the camels bell September 18, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Speaking of trying to “run a long-distance foot race with reality,” it appears that Mr. Bernanke, and many others, are not familiar with Robert Ornstein, and many others, who keep trying to tell us all that we only manage to take in one-trillionth of reality.

    Following this idea, those who assert that human perception is weak, seemingly ill-equipped to tell one thing from another, it would appear that they are more right than wrong.

    • James Kuehl September 18, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      Five senses are just enough to create the illusion of understanding what is true. Truth emerges in those ethereal moments locked in a gaze or harmonizing with other people. We’re at this odd time in history when the imagery is so clever that our brains can’t tell the real from the vicarious. Not so for our muscular, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems.

      • Arn Varnold September 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

        Five senses are just enough to create the illusion of understanding what is true.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Indeed and “truth” is dynamic, not static.

  38. James Kuehl September 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Bernanke just announced ongoing bond purchases at $85b/mo. Cover your ears, close your eyes, and chant, “puppies and kittens puppies and kittens. . .”

    Love this one: The Fed statements then “effectively brought monetary tightening forward in time,” the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, reported this week.

    Bringing something forward in time is the new obfuscation for, “soon.”

  39. BackRowHeckler September 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Just Curious, any of you CFNers ever get into Blacksmithing? I was at a Country Fair this weekend and there was a Forge set up with a blacksmith heating up iron in a fire and hammering on it atop an Anvil. Sparks were flying everywhere. There was a nice ping when the hammer hit the anvil, almost musical. He was just making some little things and giving them away. I got a fireplace poker, solid and real. I was thinking the ancients were on to something when they spoke of the 4 elements, fire, water, earth and air. That’s all the Blacksmith seems to need. Blacksmithing might be one of those crafts that is recreated from the past if things go the way JHK says they will. That’s not so bad.

    –BRH

    • Arn Varnold September 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Yes and I was a coppersmith as well. There is something special about physically moving metal into different shapes, both abstract and practical.

      • BackRowHeckler September 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

        What you are saying, Arn, is that you are an artist.

        –BRH

        • Arn Varnold September 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

          Erm, yes, have been all my life. But I never call myself that because I just do and don’t think in those terms..

          • ozone September 19, 2013 at 12:20 am #

            I hear you.
            I play music well enough to get the emotional point across while not butchering the basic structure too egregiously. …Well, sometimes I do that because I feel like it at the time.
            I’m not an “artiste”; more of a hammer-and-tongs workman. (Ask BRH, he’s seen what I do for mercenary enjoyment. :))

          • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 8:33 am #

            Ozone – “please” us with your *lack* of music talent. I’m sure we’ll all be amused (and befuddled)..

          • BackRowHeckler September 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

            Oz puts on a helluva good show! There’s a message in all that music but I just enjoyed watching and listening. Actually anybody you talk to in Western CT and the Berkshires knows him. Plus he’s a good guy.

            See for yourself. Order one of his CDs.

            –BRH

    • Arn Varnold September 19, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      But, you have to remember, metalsmithing isn’t something that one can just decide one is going to do; there is an immense learning curve and unless one wants to reinvent the wheel, one needs teachers, old teachers, who have learned all of the tricks, methods and most importantly; the relationships one must develop with each metal.
      It’s very personal and intimate; one must coax out the secrets and care must be taken not to break the metal one works with; they’re very delicate in their own ways of co-operation and compliance.
      It’s a very organic relationship; love is a prerequisite…

  40. Arn Varnold September 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Anybody catch this over at PeakProsperity?
    peakprosperity.com/blog/82831/returning-real
    JHK wrote this thread over there.
    Very interesting, worth a read.

    • ZrCrypDiK September 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      Unfortunately, JHK never mentions another source of *MAL* from our GMO foodstuffs/corn syrup/hydrogenated oilz – the weakening of immune systems, resulting in various *ALLERGIES* of all types… He nails Faceplant tho (*DELETED*!!!)…

      I dropped out of the working class grind over 15 years ago (tune in, turn *ON*?). I haven’t totally given up on society – let’s be clear about that. However, as long as “they” are willing to destroy, pollute, over-consume, breed liek ratz, and exponentially deplete every last remaining resource – I don’t think I can, in good *CONSCIENCE*, join the *LABOR* force as a “productive” citizen (as that wouldn’t be productive, but exponentially destructive). And I certainly wouldn’t want to contribute something to technological advancement, that “they” would simply use as a weapon to divide/conquer/destroy/ad nauseum…

      I’m willing to wait here on the side-lines, for some *INKLING* of conservation, from my *BRETHREN* commune (ity). I don’t expect NE-thang to come to “fruition” tho – but *WHATEVAH*!!!

      • ozone September 19, 2013 at 12:27 am #

        Just survive, man.
        Hope to see you on the other side; it might not be a ‘good’ day, but it sure will be a challenge to put one’s body, heart and mind to… that’s probably the best we can promise each other.

        • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 1:12 am #

          I’m still *WAITING*. You shouldn’t sell yourself so *SHORT*. Maybe, *1* day, these morons collectively see their own faults!?!…

      • ozone September 19, 2013 at 12:32 am #

        Ps. This is why we try and get in the practice of growing food that can be reliably reproduced from its’ own seed, and in different varieties. GMO’s are just one more way to “corner the market” on a market that should not [in humane, good conscience] exist.

        • Janos Skorenzy September 19, 2013 at 4:05 am #

          Indeed, a hard rain is gonna fall. It will be Fail Safe. Those caught out will become Mutant Monsters – carrots six feet tall; beats with a heart; corn that talks.

          Remember that Creature Double Feature with the Hairy Radioactive Monster that wanted the little blonde? And when the Rain came clear, he wilted and died?

      • Janos Skorenzy September 19, 2013 at 4:01 am #

        The Seed of Glory is in all of us but we must need water it. You’re gonna have to scooch if you want to get through the Eye of the Needle…

      • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 8:08 am #

        Janos, the watering of souls comes equally from those races you *DESPIZE*. Ayup, blacks, Asians, non-whites. They (we) all cry… And dont *EVEN* pretend I’m “just liek U” (haha, D-Fense Michael Douglas)…

        • Janos Skorenzy September 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

          Despise? Not generally. Rather we seek to emulate them: they love themselves first and foremost and so we seek to love ourselves the same way. One doesn’t emulate those whom one despises. I admit animus against the Blacks for the atrocities they are committing against us. But that should fade once separation is effected.

  41. James Kuehl September 19, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    It may have been Kunstler who pointed out that when the USSR collapsed, much of the population yawned and continued weeding the garden. The central government had already become irrelevant to their daily lives. People on this blog discuss metal forging, gardening, acoustic music, food preservation, all the things that we’ll need as our current techno-mess proves itself lovely, but feeble and fleeting.

  42. Pucker September 19, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    GDP = the Commotion of Money

    What does this mean?

    • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      It means I passed through the 46th year – and I’m not talking *too coherently*. Life lasts long – too long, IMHO. I’ll still tune in to that 3 weeks old youtube jam I *poasted* (not deleted, “yet”)… St Claire, he (she heh) not *awful* proud*…

    • James Kuehl September 19, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      GDP is gross domestic product, in other words, all the stuff we make like cars, TVs, furniture. It’s also services, like engineering for well drilling.

      The US started sending the actual work offshore in favor of just counting the money. Behold, the birth of the financial services industry.

      But, it’s not an industrial activity–it’s just an abstract blizzard of paper from which clever people can skim money. It is only a commotion of money, and it’s what we’re best at these days.

      • ozone September 19, 2013 at 10:41 am #

        Speaking of commotions of money, here’s a little item that should definitely have raised a commotion of its’ own! (But didn’t, of course. Sneeeeaky,)

        Inserted into the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act by the banking lobby, guess who gets paid first with public funds? Very cute.

        “This amendment which was touted as necessary to reduce systemic risk in financial bankruptcies . . . allowed a whole range of far riskier assets to be used . . . . The size of the repo market hugely increased and riskier assets were gladly accepted as collateral because traders saw that if the person they had lent to went down they could get [their] money back before anyone else and no one could stop them.”

        And:

        “When MF Global went down it did so because its repo, derivative and hypothecation partners essentially foreclosed on it. And when they did so they then ‘looted’ the company. And because of the co-mingling of clients money in the hypothecation deals the ‘looters’ also seized clients money as well. . . JPMorgan allegedly has MF Global money while other people’s lawyers can only argue about it.”

        Paging Mr. Corzine… paging Mr. Corzine…?
        Meanwhile, we were told it was those sub-prime loans that caused all “the troubles”. Misdirection and legerdemain.

        webofdebt.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/the-the-armageddon-looting-machine-the-looming-mass-destruction-f…

        Ellen Brown article; quotes from filmmaker, Malone in a 2011 article. (Links therein.)

        • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

          Why do you have to make me cry… It’s a bit unsettling!!! re-“hypothecation” (good thread – youtube to boot!!!)

  43. Pucker September 19, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    What is a “monkey shine”?

    And where can I get one?

    • Arn Varnold September 19, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      You are trolling and not sincere; please go away and find some other suckers for your inane pleas of help; pathetic at best!

      • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

        lighten the F* up, *soker*.

  44. progress4what September 19, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    “One must feel for poor Mr. Bernanke. He’s tried to run a long-distance foot-race against reality and now it’s breathing down his neck near finish line.” …jhk…

    That’s a good one, JHK! But it’s not just Ben, it’s ALL of us humans on Earth. The 314++million in the rapidly overpopulating United States may have the worst of it – but only because we already used up all of our luck and have the farthest to fall.

    ===========================

    I’m having a hard time following the thread of conversations, here.
    Does anyone have a way to locate new posts that are posted as replies? I don’t have the patience to go back through and look for them individually.

    =============================

    ?

  45. progress4what September 19, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    See – now we’ve got a new page of comments starting up.
    Or maybe not? TBD when this posts.

    Arn, don’t be to hard on pucker. And don’t confuse “trolling” with simple playing around, if you please.

    I’m watching the evolution of words in action. There are 38 pages of definitions for “troll” on Urban Dictionary.
    urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&defid=2851235

    And who knew urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=monkey%20shines Urban dictionary appears to be racist.

    • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      I’ve been killing a certain *TROLL* over and over -if’n you get my “drift”… As to new threads/pages – don’t get so hopeful. We have created (destroyed?) this world with our technocratic waze… Why do we stop overconsumption, pollution, and general *DECAY*…

    • Arn Varnold September 19, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      Arn, don’t be to hard on pucker.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Erm, okay…
      He just chaps my ass…
      Done and done…

  46. volodya September 19, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    … might just as well be entertained by this gobsmacking absurdity we’re bludgeoned with every day! – Ozone

    You can laugh or you can cry. Laughing is better.

    Most every country in the formerly industrialized west has a Potemkin village of make-believe prosperity just like the one that JHK described where you have legalized skim from swirling hurricanes of money.

    You know, a patch of downtown inhabited by sweating, cursing, bellowing young men with slick hair and expensive degrees from elite universities, who own exhorbitantly expensive apartments and cars and watches and who buy exhorbitantly expensive booze and coke. And who maintain on the side exhorbitantly expensive babes with perfect bums, hips, lips and tits.

    The latter of which the exhorbitantly expensive, titanically spoiled, bored and ignored, unhappy and pilled-up esposas pretend don’t exist while they ask themselves (as the most depressing song ever written goes): is that all there is?

    Apartments costing millions, cars costing hundreds of thousands, watches costing tens of thousands, shoes costing thousands, and not only that but monumental drug habits and rehab costing lord knows how much. How much? Enough to freak out a degenerate Saudi prince, that’s how much.

    So, leaving aside the unhappy complication of the cheating esposo, to answer the timeless, existential question, is that all there is? Yes, that’s all there is.

    I mean, it could be have been worse. Like having to dine on Spam (mmmm good). Or busting your ass mucking out a barn. Or that stinking, farting, belching, cheating dirt bag of a hubby that brings home millions could have been an unemployed, stinking, farting, belching, cheating dirt-bag with three fat, tattooed broads chasing him for child support.

    So much depends on that black-hearted, sneering demon of fate lurking unseen and unsuspected behind obscuring curtains of circumstance. Some advice for those pampered girls: don’t tempt it Sweet-cheeks, it’s nasty and capricious and its fickle finger will fuck you when you least expect it. Don’t think so? It just screwed Vladimir Putin black and blue. If it can do it to the Russian potentate it can do it to you.

    Anyway Baby, you see all those things you bought with your marido’s (or your innamorato’s or your sugar daddy’s) loot? Like those exhorbitantly expensive thingies of high grade powder that give you that mind bending surge? Or that bottle of exhorbitantly expensive designer tequila? Or that exhorbitantly expensive grub that your personal chef just spent hours sweating over? Take my advice: snort, eat, drink, enjoy. Blow your brains out, fill your boots. Do like that Peggy Lee song says, break out the booze and have a ball. No, seriously. Like everything other impossible thing that can’t last, this house of cards can’t either.

    And, if you can, maybe buy some gold and hide it in a safe place.

    • beantownbill. September 19, 2013 at 11:53 am #

      I don’t believe in fate. The future doesn’t exist. Things just happen and the human brain tries to make some sense of it, so we invent the term ‘fate’.

      Yes, “Is That All There Is?” is a very depressing and sad song. I can’t remember exactly, but didn’t Peggy Lee or perhaps Cher sing it? This is what happens when societies are unbalanced, not at the center. We have been seduced down the road of extreme materialism by the glitter of possessions. Some spirituality ought to balance out the materialism. Maybe “Siddartha” ought to be required reading in school (except cynical lil’ old me thinks Americans are no longer capable of understanding its message).

    • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Wut happens when you laugh *and*cry, at the same time (kinda liek typing with one hand)…

      “You can laugh or you can cry.”

  47. Reagan September 19, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Time for Mr. Kunstler to stop making excuses for this current president. He is a failure, through and through. There was a great article about him called Obama’s Queeq Moment, A perspective on our president from ‘Down Under’ by Hal G.P. Colebatch. Enjoy it. I hope to be able to login in the future, but with a nickname of Reagan, I will probably get the boot. Socialists don’t like the Gipper or anything he stood for…..

  48. nsa September 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Here in Langley we are very bored. Even petty disinfo campaigns on obscure peak oil hysteric websites have no productive meaning. You see, we have achieved full spectrum dominance and total information awareness. Governance of the masses is now occult….and frankly just too easy. On my wall, are pictures of the masters of the modern age…..Feuerbach who defined objective reality as fantasy, old joe Goebbels who redefined the square as a circle, and my favorite Bill Casey, the brilliant CIA director who we unfortunately had to terminate after his celebrity interviews with Woodward. You don’t know who Bill Casey is??? Shame on you….he pointed out that his mission was complete as “everything the American public believes to be true is actually false”. That was a most difficult termination as he was a great drinking buddy and personal friend……

    • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      You couldn’t even *GET* your “own” boyie, at the Naval Research Lab… Cred? Yeah, *CRED*.

  49. ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    OK I’m gunna get banned now – but this youtube pretty much sums it all up (’66?)

    And to all U gutless wankers not wanting to poast on a new page – follow me into the *BAN*~!

    youtube.com/watch?v=lNNW0SPkChI

    • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

      Swing your hips!!! *NOW*!!!!

      • ZrCrypDiK September 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

        come on *baybee*!!! (*BANNED*)

  50. BackRowHeckler September 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I was watching Nightly Business Review on NPR tonite. Needless to say Bernanke, the Fed, and the $85 billion per month being spent on bonds every month were the main topics. I don’t know much about macro economics. Question; where is this $85 billion every month coming from, what is actually being bought and sold, and where does this much money end up?

    JHK seems to be saying that this ‘Quantitative Easing’ is serious business and could wreck our economy and civilization. Yet on this program tonite there is no sense of alarm whatsoever. Its just business as usual. What’s more, they report that housing starts are up, unemployment is down, auto sales increasing etc.

    Why is there such a wide divergence between JHKs claims and predictions and what I see every day in the entire US business media? It doesn’t square up.

    BRH

    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject September 20, 2013 at 2:13 am #

      You said it, BRH. It just doesn’t make any sense at all, yet the feeling that that the “recovery” is based on nothing but smoke and mirrors just can’t be shook.

      I find myself constantly perplexed by the thought that although I agree and identify with most of the sentiments expressed by JHK and other prominent so called Doomers, none of their date-based predictions EVER turn out to be on target. They don’t get to accidentally be correct one of these days and still maintain their status as soothsayers in the grand record, do they?

      Somehow, those thinkers’ personal biases distort the predictions yet do still maintain a looming credibility for my own mind; meanwhile, the overall economic system is just too far gone to be held to any rational accounting standard, and the idea that it might keep going for a long while seems the course, sadly. But there must be a breaking point, right? Some sort of natural law threshold which is immutable must be nearing. It makes the whole idea of collapse that much more frightening, but what’s the point in thinkin’ about it, I wonder?

      Ahh, I just heard that Bernanke decided against a “taper tickle” going forward. Now The Fed is losing even the mere appearance of credibility. No collapse in September though.

      Welcome to the freak show.

      -UFIA

      • BackRowHeckler September 20, 2013 at 5:56 am #

        Insightful comments, there, UFIA, probably the best I’ve read here summing up this whole CFN predicament. And in just a few paragraphs, too.

        –BRH

        • ozone September 20, 2013 at 8:49 am #

          That goes for me too.
          As for predictions, in this case JHK is partly correct:

          “After a month (or less) of havoc in the bond market, and the housing market, Mr. Bernanke will issue an advisory saying (in more words than these) “just kidding.” Then it will be back to business as usual, which is to say QE Forever, which might as well be saying “game over.”

          Mr. Bernanke couldn’t even sweat it a WEEK, so that would certainly be less than a month.
          Two more items: The housing bubble re-inflation is so over.

          informationclearinghouse.info/article36243.htm

          Claims against those bundled “securities” (using the term very loosely) known as derivatives now exceed the entire productive output of the world by a factor of about 20, rounded out to about 1,200 trillion “dollars”. Nobody wants to be the first to twitch or blink in this Mexican stand-off of financial instruments.

          The Fed is buying US treasuries, which are promises against the future revenue production of the US population (and corporations, of course), or “output” if you will. The Fed, in turn, is allowed to “pay” for these imaginary assets with imaginary money. Don’t ask me how any of this has a shred of credibility, and is in turn ACCEPTED as a real asset by other countries. There’s a whole lot of “don’t think about it”, going on, I’d say! 😀

  51. nsa September 20, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    We create your reality and then you live in it. This is an occult age….. we here in Langley are the new “invisible hand”….ever present but unseen. Of course, you can put down your keyboard and iphone, and pick up a hoe and packet of gmo seed and try to feed yourself……maybe poach a deer off that has been grazing on roadside 2-4-D grass……

    • BleatToTheBeat September 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      You should read my new book.

      “An Embarrassment of Langleys”

      • ozone September 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

        LOL!
        Count me in as a ‘consumer’ of that product.
        Does it include the blurb on the back cover that says, “There are none so blind as those whose eyes are everywhere.”?
        Extry-special!

  52. Pucker September 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Washington D.C., Sept. 19, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged JPMorgan Chase & Co. with misstating financial results and lacking effective internal controls to detect and prevent its traders from fraudulently overvaluing investments to conceal hundreds of millions of dollars in trading losses.
    The SEC previously charged two former JPMorgan traders with committing fraud to hide the massive losses in one of the trading portfolios in the firm’s chief investment office (CIO). The SEC’s subsequent action against JPMorgan faults its internal controls for failing to ensure that the traders were properly valuing the portfolio, and its senior management for failing to inform the firm’s audit committee about the severe breakdowns in CIO’s internal controls.

    JPMorgan has agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying a $200 million penalty, admitting the facts underlying the SEC’s charges, and publicly acknowledging that it violated the federal securities laws.

  53. Pucker September 20, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    By way of serendipity, I found in a Chinese airport bookstore yesterday an excellent book, a Chinese translation of a Russian book entitled “The Final Year of the Soviet Union” (Sulian Zui Hou Yi Nian).

    I’ve just started reading it, but it’s fascinating. It appears that the U.S. economic situation now in many ways parallels that of the former Soviet Union just prior to collapse.

    One stark contrast, however, is that it seems that the former Soviet Union when the central government became weak and inept quickly became overwhelmed by powerful pervasive ethnic tribalism,i.e., communities that abide. Perhaps one strength of the US is the absence of this tribalism?

    I’m not sure how corruption played into the collapse of the former Soviet Union, but I suspect that corruption is an important factor undermining the effectiveness of the government and its moral authority?

  54. progress4what September 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Earlier today there were 140 comments, now there are 142 comments.
    I wonder where the two new comments are?
    They are not at the top or bottom of the thread.
    That would be logical.

    A couple of days ago there were 128 comments, at one point.
    Sometime later that number reduced to 122 comments.
    What happened to the “missing” 6 comments?
    Did JHK delete them?
    Why?

    I miss Q. He’d be interested in all of this.
    Can’t believe JHK banned him.

    And why not allow posting of youtube videos?
    What’s the harm, JHK?

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy CFN and appreciate the comment thread.

    And I sure do not miss the Primary Troll.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      In Hinduism, the various Gods are seen as posts. When one Shiva dies, another qualified being assumes this position and becomes the new Shiva. The Asoka Entity was our Devil. Now that it has been exorcised, who will take this post? Q love the Entity and his main interest here was fighting it. He may not be banned, just to bored to post.

  55. progress4what September 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Two new posts by Pucker while I was preparing to submit my prior post. (wise minds keep the same times?)

    This post should be #146.

  56. progress4what September 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Now Ozone posts, so this should be 148.
    I’d scroll to the previous page of comments to check, but every time you do that you lose EVERYTHING typed into the comment box.

    I also miss the old CFN software. Can you tell?

    Also – good posts by BRH, Ozone, and Pucker. I’d like to argue with the Reagan-lover. Perhaps, the only enduring positive outcome of the Obamadency will be diminished power for the executive branch.

    That might make the rest of the nonsense worthwhile.
    Some of it, anyway. ;-(

    Good emoticons on this software package, though!

    • Being There September 21, 2013 at 7:30 am #

      PODUS lost power many years ago. It’s not the President that has power, it’s the machine behind him that does. Those who never leave government, but go in and out of public/private life. (The Continuous govt.) and the plutocracy behind it.

      The President is their front.

  57. progress4what September 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    🙁 🙂

    Which emoticons work? Which don’t?

    How to find out?

  58. BleatToTheBeat September 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Yo, motherfucker…

    It’s Friday night.

    Even in the Midwest.

    What was it Bob Seeger said?

    “All of Chuck’s children are out there playin’ his licks.”

    Everybody tunes to the pianist.

    Especially these people over here….

    ….hit it Ricky

    youtube.com/watch?v=TyBIfgj2jrY

    Love,

    Mr. Emotican

  59. Janos Skorenzy September 20, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    Uncle Scam! Defund Obamacare! Send Unc Al back to the street corner where they found him.

    nbcnews.com/id/45755884/vp/53056409#53056428

    • BleatToTheBeat September 21, 2013 at 1:41 am #

      Of Course! We wouldn’t want to let that Baby-Boomer Demographic pass us by….right when they’re about to spend it all on health care?

      Money that has no where else to go!

      Remove that man’s brain!

      …after the procedure has been PEER-reviewed and ALL of the incriminating tests have been administered.

      Made my student loan payment this month….

      MRI’s for everyone!

      Yay!

  60. ozone September 21, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    From the Fat Cat Fun desk of the Revolving Doors Dept. comes a little item that I happened to stumble upon, rather than it being a proud moment shouted from the rooftops of triumphalist media:

    ctvnews.ca/politics/obama-to-nominate-goldman-sachs-partner-as-new-ambassador-to-canada-1.1462228#ix…

    Oh! A prized DEMOCRATIC fundraiser, eh? I guess that makes him an entirely different kind of G-S partner then. (Pardon my initial scoff.)
    Anybody hear a mention of this on their regular news (infotainment) purveyors? Strangely, not a peep in this quadrant…

    • Being There September 21, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      That’s hilarious when you consider that Canada has a great national healthcare system that the US wants to smash. We are systematically going around the world imposing neoliberalism everywhere.

      Everything must be privatized–that’s really what the New World Order is about. Transnational banks and corporations with all the power and ownership of all things national. Is it any wonder that a GS boy gets the ambassadorship?

      Oh and remember—Little Lord Blanfein does “God’s work”
      (who shall live and who shall die)

      • ozone September 21, 2013 at 10:26 am #

        Aha!
        Thanks for correctly interpreting Blankfein’s puzzling statement!
        I had thought it was to provide beneficent guidance to the ignoranti of the world, but now we see it’s simply a description of an exercise in ‘sorting’. I have visions of cattle cars emptying and a riding crop indicating “to the right” and “to the left”.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

        And the first step towards privatizing is publicizing. Private Education for the masses was destroyed by public schools – which now has become little more than the dissemination of propaganda and the shaping of work animals. Soon it will be discontinued except for overtly technical schools and the Liberal Arts will go back to being for the very few.

        What’s the best way to destroy a balloon? Blow it up too big. You don’t a sharp instrument that someone can point to and accuse you of using. The balloon is doing great as it gets bigger and bigger. You love the balloon!

        Are you starting to see how they work? Once they get a hold of the Public Domain it’s just a matter of time. That’s what Socialism, Communism or your new word, Progressivism are all about. As Fascists, we understand this process and root out the Evil both on the so called Right and so called Left – the two sides of the same degraded being.

        • Arn Varnold September 22, 2013 at 12:45 am #

          Private Education for the masses was destroyed by public schools – which now has become little more than the dissemination of propaganda and the shaping of work animals.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          I entered the public school system in 1952. What you have described as the resent present, is actually, the ancient past.
          It has always been thus and to suggest otherwise is clearly not the case.
          Outside of a very few private schools, genuine education started at the university and only a relatively few of those existed to actually educate their students. knowledge in and of itself is not being educated, IMO. Learning how to think and sharpening critical thinking skills, along with a broad curiosity about the world around us are the beginnings of education.
          Autodidacts generally fared far better at acquiring what I would term “an education”; but then my standards are rarely valued or sought.

  61. ozone September 21, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    From the Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain desk of the Hokum and Bunkum Dept., a whiff of brimstone and the suspicious slime trail of insider shenanigans:

    zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-20/gold-einstein-and-great-fed-robbery

    Well, well, well; somebody got some ‘splainin’ to do.

    • Being There September 21, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      O,

      These traitors–traders really don’t care who notices what….

      They are the untouchables. The law doesn’t reach them

      –Oh don’t you know? They are self-regulating….No regulations!

      • Janos Skorenzy September 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

        Is this way you want Be? Is this progress? Is this your “change”? Is this what you all were moving on to?

        news.yahoo.com/california-teen-named-nation-s-first-transgender-homecoming-queen-053444443.html

        Marxist Socialism seeks to turn everything upside down and inside out. National Socialisms would seek to return everything to its rightful place. In other words, it reveres Nature, both Human and the Natural World.

        • Arn Varnold September 22, 2013 at 7:35 am #

          Yours is a most confusing post. Do you object to transgender? Do you consider it Un-natural?
          Sorry, but you sound like a Friedman capitalist.
          I would enjoin you to be a bit more clear on what you are saying.
          Is that possible?

          • ozone September 22, 2013 at 9:38 am #

            Arn,
            In regard to your last query, the answer would be, “no”.
            When one attempts to stuff every contention into a box of fascist, ubermenchen-controlled idealism with twisted, self-serving religiosity as a carrying vehicle, this is the result.
            Thanks for trying though, and I mean that sincerely.
            (You can now see why responses to these ideas are thin on the ground.)
            No need to feed; and that’s my last word on the subject.

          • Janos Skorenzy September 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

            Well I’ll grant that certain brains may be feminized or masculinized in utero creating the experience of gender confusion. I can feel sympathy for such people but I don’t want a new bogus elite created by the Elite in order to torment ordinary people. That’s what this is all about. Feel like paying for this under Obamacare btw?

            I had a friend who had this operation once. After the surgery he/she became very empowered and arrogant indeed. And the necessity of being a women meant that she had to also create a feminine mystique. In short, our friendship withered though we remained on good terms and were friendly when we met.

            I’m a Fascist. Fascism, also called the 3rd Way, is neither Socialist nor Capitalist being based on Man and Nature not economics. But being neither, it can use both, adapting them to its needs. Needless to say I hope, We eschew Marxism utterly as based on vile premises. We’re not against the rich per se, but they must be on board with the Nation. If not they can get out before we tax them to down to nothing.

            It should be clear now that both Capitalism and Communism are International and work very well together. Read Atlas Shrugged if any doubt remain. Or look at Obama hobnobbing with Billionaires. We are for Nations and each Fascism will be specific and unique as each People and Nation are.

            The most radical economic plan ever put forward for America was by the Fascist Huey Long. Every man a King with a cap on maximum income. This goes beyond my recommendations for America – though it makes sense for some place like Greece maybe. He was assassinated by a Jewish doctor. Interesting eh? Guy just felt like killing someone and Long just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or maybe the Doc drew the short straw and was sent?

          • Arn Varnold September 22, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

            Arn,
            In regard to your last query, the answer would be, “no”.
            When one attempts to stuff every contention into a box of fascist, ubermenchen-controlled idealism with twisted, self-serving religiosity as a carrying vehicle, this is the result.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Duly noted, thanks. With his follow-up post it all becomes clear.

  62. ozone September 22, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    What happened and what didn’t?
    Here’s an analysis by Mike Whitney of where the economy stands, as Bernanke’s pretending continues:

    informationclearinghouse.info/article36304.htm

    “In the case of QE, we can see now that Bernanke forged ahead without developing a coherent exit strategy. That’s a big no-no; you never want to paint yourself into a corner especially when trillions of dollars and the stability of the financial system are at stake. But that’s where Bernanke finds himself today four years after embarking on a policy path that has boosted corporate profits to all-time highs, widened income inequality to levels not seen since the Gilded Age, and pushed Dow Jones Industrial Average up by 146% since its March 2009 low.

    And that’s what made QE such an irresistible policy, because the upside rewards were so great. QE created a vehicle for transferring incalculable wealth to the investor class while concealing its real purpose behind public relations blather about lowering unemployment and strengthening the recovery.” -M.W.

    Now, it behooves us to remember that Mr. Whitney worships at the altar of our lady of perpetual growth, so he believes a few tweaks and twiddles will return us to the land of rainbows and unicorns… but he does like to get his factual ducks in a row, so that part is quite enlightening.

  63. ozone September 22, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    More on derivatives, and someone spots Ellen Brown clinging to some flotsam from the Titanic.

    theautomaticearth.com/Finance/derivatives-the-gift-that-keeps-on-taking.html

  64. progress4what September 22, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    “No need to feed…”
    …ozone, to arn, concerning janos, who used to be vlad, who writes concerning “cassidy,” who used to be a “girl”…

    And Bradley is now Chelsea, somehow?

    Nope – I’m pretty well certain that the ability to change one’s name and “gender,” without recourse to legal procedures, hormones, or surgery – is not a thing that will be tolerable after The Long Descent.

    As far a the troll-charge. I disagree, O3.
    Vlad/Janos may be a lot of things, and a lot of posters dearly love to hate on all of them – but you’re going to have to show me a definition (out of 38 pages?) of “troll” that Janos actually meets, relative to the theme(s) of this comment thread.

    • ozone September 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      Prog,
      Respectfully, that’s a long way around Robin’s barn, and I made no mention of troll-dom, just thoroughly discredited ideology that only deserves consideration in the what-not-to-do column, rather than predetermined futile discussion. Reading what I wrote on this, verbatim, is expressing exactly what I meant to say, no more, no less. Interpret as you like, you’ll get no further ‘argument’ from me about it, as I don’t think it’s worth the space or acrimony that follows. Apologies in advance.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

        And on what basis do you accept transgenderism? Because it’s popular and all the “good” people do? Sorry that’s insufficient.

        Your a great one for condemning but you seldom offer reasons for doing so. Ad Hominem is the modus operandi of Political Correctness after all. And as far as stating what you do believe in: Never. It’s all a tribal thing with you. People are supposed to get you based on certain verbal and referential cues such a SNL skits.

        We agree, much to your chagrin, on many things. Both of us love Paul Craig Roberts, Permaculture, and the crazy cool of Nellie McKay. But I’m willing to talk to anyone and explain myself to any sincere person. You are a snob, even though poor. What a poor snob! I wish we didn’t have so much in common. TLE will be good for your soul me thinks. The clay is brother to us all and death is not proud.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      Thank you Prog for your good ol’ fashioned Liberal attitude of defending a man’s right to say as he wills. It’s an attitude at odds with current Liberaldom which is just our own homegrown Socialism.

      I’m working on a new concept, the Conservation of Hatred. Liberals don’t hate less than Conservatives – their hatred is just for different people. Instead of hating the alien, they hate their fellow citizen. Xenophiles instead of Xenophobes. Thus they haven’t transcended tribal identity, it just become a cognitive one. So the amount of hatred remains constant just changing its form. This model is taken from physics and chemistry. But based on my experience I think the my model is flawed: Liberals hate more than Conservatives because they have to vilify their opponents to avoid answering their arguments. After all, they are in a most awkward spot since the Truth is usually not on their side. And loving aliens is unnatural. Xenophobia can be excessive but it is natural and serves a purpose. Loving aliens serves no real purpose but just ideologically driven egos.

  65. progress4what September 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    OK – and begging the indulgence of JHK, I’m going to post ONE, and only one, youtube.- because it will, hopefully, show a picture of “cassidy,” with no further clicks of links being necessary.

    youtube.com/watch?v=Kd3AxA7BPdM

    And, JHK – if you ban me for this, then you’re banning one of the last few people who is still paying attention to this comment thread.
    If you hate YouTubes so, why don’t you get your software guy to reconfigure so that they can’t be posted?

    Some observations:

    1. It is really wrong and unfair to the 3.5 billion females on planet earth that random males can just declare themselves to be female AND then compete as females. Although, competing on “beauty” is more fair than competing on soccer goal-tending or female roller derby, or some other contest of strength and athletic ability.

    2. What does it say about your high school that the winner of the vote for the cutest girl – is a guy?

    And what does the homecoming “king” think?

    3. “Cassidy” is really “Lance.”
    “Chelsea” is really “Bradley.”

    What is up with all of these guys with stud-like names who are now declaring themselves “female?”

    I’m glad my name’s not Dirk.

    Although, if your name is “Clint” it should be really easy to drop the single letter “n,” and go for it!

    • Janos Skorenzy September 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

      I heard that the King was disqualified when he refused to kiss her. This kind of thing could easily ruin the whole tradition as boys just give it all up as just too “gay”.

      Too bad there wasn’t a bucket of pig’s blood around. The new Carrie movie will be out soon.

    • ZrCrypDiK October 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      “If you hate YouTubes so, why don’t you get your software guy to reconfigure so that they can’t be posted?”

      Haha!!! No *doubt*! I mean, that face-plant embeds every link as a picture/video – not *JUST* you-plant. No need to embed the you-plant video – just leave it as a link, or *PLAIN TEXT*…

      And yes – I’m not banned (err, “back”?)…

  66. progress4what September 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    “Apologies in advance.” …ozone…

    No need for apology – I just assumed “feed” was calling Vlad a troll, and I don’t think he meets that definition by any stretch. And, man ‘o man; do the long-time readers of CFN comments know about trolls.

    I’ve gotten very interested in comment threads as a reflection of, or even a driver of – public opinion. And the effect of “trolling” on unmoderated comment threads is unfortunate and undeniable.

    I saw a study that said that only 10% of readers of a blog post (or news post, I can’t remember) will ever make a comment. Yet, on most comment threads that I read through – there will be comments representing ALL possible opinions and there will be at least a few which PERFECTLY align with my own opinion.

    And it’s easy to pick out the trolls.

  67. progress4what September 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    From a Harvard study:

    “National institute of Justice surveys among prison inmates find that large percentages report that their fear that a victim might be armed deterred them from confrontation crimes. “[T]he felons most
    frightened ‘about confronting an armed victim’ were those from states with the greatest relative number of privately owned firearms.”
    Conversely, robbery is highest in states that most restrict gun
    ownership.” law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

    That’s Harvard – not noted as a bastion of red-state and NRA attitudes.

    I miss Turkleton too. He is the one who first got me thinking about “trolls.”

  68. Pucker September 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Lawrence Summers says that this’ll really make your monkey shine:

    cypress-natural.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=274&language=en

  69. Pucker September 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    What about becoming a tug boat captain?

    I once met this American bloke–if I remember correctly—in Ottawa, Canada who had traveled up the Mississippi River all the way to Canada in a small, cute home-made tug boat.

    That might not be so bad? Particularly, if you get contracts from people to pull stuff around

    The women wouldn’t like it though. I doubt that many women would want a boy friend who’s a tug boat captain?

    How does one get into the tug boat business?

  70. Arn Varnold September 23, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    What a sad state of affairs; longing for the trolls and socks; because in the ensuing immaturity, one needs drama and stupidity in order to be entertained.
    A need to feel superior to the troll/sock playing the thread.
    JHK is giving his view of moving forward in a very fucked upped country; one which I elected to leave.
    I have never regretted that decision and some of the sentiment expressed here had cemented my resolve.
    There is no serious dialogue anywhere in the media extant; just bluster and bloviating and bullshit!
    You all have been posting here for a long time and I haven’t; just why do you think that after cleaning out all of the trolls there is no new blood?
    My guess is because of the past crapfest that was JHK blog!
    It’s going to take time and legitimacy to restore credibility…

    • progress4what September 23, 2013 at 7:53 am #

      You are correct, good post.

      You may misunderstand my sentiments about Turkelton. He was one of the best posters here, for brainpower and writing ability – second maybe only to JHK, who provides the playground.

      And, even though Turk and I rarely agreed, we never trolled each other.

      • Arn Varnold September 23, 2013 at 8:11 am #

        Fair enough; I’m not familiar with Turkelton; but POV is not trolling if it’s legitimate and opposing. I’ll talk with anybody, regardless of POV; but, they’ve got to be honest and honest is not trolling.
        It’s just a different POV; viva la difference…
        But most of the trash that was cleaned out was, well, trash!
        Vlad is a good example; I don’t agree with him, but he has his POV; it’s just not mine…
        Cheers

  71. Arn Varnold September 23, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    Your playground has changed; live with it and thrive…or not…

  72. Arn Varnold September 23, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    This thread is hours from going the way of the Dodo, pity that…

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