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Courting Convulsion

     How infantile is American society?  Last night’s CBS “Business Update” (in the midst of its “60 Minutes” program) featured three items: 1.) The New Moon teen vampire movie led the weekend box-office receipts; 2.) Cadbury shares hit an all-time high; 3.) Michael Jackson’s rhinestone-studded white glove sold at auction for $350,000. Some in-house CBS-News producer is responsible for this fucking nonsense.  How does he or she keep her job? Is there no adult supervision at the network?

     Meanwhile, over at The New York Times this morning, Paul “Nobel Prize” Krugman writes:

Most economists I talk to believe that the big risk to recovery comes from the inadequacy of government efforts; the stimulus was too small, and it will fade out next year, while high unemployment is undermining both consumer and business confidence.

     Disclosure: I’m not one of the economists that Mr. Krugman talks to (nor am I an economist). But it’s sure interesting to know that the ones palavering with Mr. Krugman imagine that that the US can possibly return to an economy based on the fraudulent securitization of reckless debt. Does Mr. Krugman think that the production housing industry can resume paving over the nether exurbs with half-million-dollar houses (to be bought with no money down loans by the sheet-rockers working inside them)? Does he think all those people receiving cancellation notices from their credit card issuers are in a position to flash their plastic at the Gallerias this Friday? Or ever will be again?  Is he perhaps misusing the term “recovery?”  After all, that is generally taken to mean resuming a prior state, which is, in turn, presumed to be a healthy prior state.  Is that what the economy of the past decade was?  And, incidentally, what exactly is a “consumer?”  And why, at the highest levels of journalism in this land, do we refer to citizens that way?  As if the American people have no other purpose except to buy things? Or is that the only way an “economist” can imagine them?

     I’m sorry to burden the reader with so many questions, but the idiots running the mainstream news media in this land are not doing it and somebody has to. 

     If a “recovery” is not in the cards, then what exactly is going on out there?

    What’s going on in the US economy is a slow-motion convulsion from which we will emerge as a very different nation with a different economy.  The wild irresponsibility of the media in pretending otherwise is only going to make the convulsion worse, more painful, more socially and politically destructive. The convulsion can be described with precision as one of compressive contraction. Historic circumstances are requiring us to change our behavior, to make new arrangements for everyday life in all the major particulars: capital accumulation and deployment; food production; commerce; habitation; transport; education; and health care. These new arrangements must be organized at a smaller and finer scale, and on a much more local basis.

     The main “historic circumstance” mandating these changes goes under the heading of “peak oil.”  We’ve come to the end of our ability in this world to increase energy inputs to the global economy.  The routine “growth” in industrial activity and production that has been the basis of our financial arrangements for 200-odd years is no longer possible.  Offsetting this decline in oil energy “input” with “alt.energy” is a dangerous fantasy because it distracts us from the urgent task of making new arrangements for trade, food production, et cetera – the very things that would provide jobs and social roles for our citizens in the future.

     We are seeing a comprehensive failure of leadership in every sector and every level of American life – in politics, business, banking, education, news media, medicine, and the clergy. All are determined to pretend that we can somehow continue the habits and behaviors of the pre peak oil era. They are all unwilling to face reality, and are all engaged in mutually supporting each other’s dangerous fantasies.

     If we don’t attend to the transformation of American life by downscaling our activities and changing the way they are carried out, and re-localizing them, we will see our society disintegrate – and I use the word “dis-integrate” with purposeful precision. Everything will come apart – our political arrangements, our households, our health and well-being.

     At the moment, banking is disintegrating.  It’s happening because the end of regular, predictable, cyclical, industrial growth means the end of our ability to generate credit without limits, and in fact we passed this point by stealth some time ago leaving the banks in “Wile E. Coyote” suspension above an abyss, where they have lately been joined by government at all levels and the indebted citizens of the land. The profound nausea spreading through the offices of America is the somatic recognition of exactly where we are in all this: off the cliff.

     It’s important to remind readers that so-called “capitalism” is not to blame.  Capitalism is not an ideology.  It refers to a set of laws governing the disposition of surplus wealth.  There is going to be surplus wealth somewhere in the years ahead, even if our living standards fall substantially, even under the strictures of peak oil.  All the communist experiments of the 20th century produced some kind of surplus wealth. All of them were subject to the phenomenon of compound interest. What matters in the disposition of capital are the rules created for accumulating and deploying it.  In the USA the past two decades, we ignored the rules, repealed some of the critical laws, and failed to enforce the existing ones so that, when faced by the historic circumstances of peak oil, we allowed fraud and swindling to run wild – just at the moment when we should have taken the most care.  That is why our money system ran off the rails.

     We’re now seeing worldwide a kind of race between the assertion of peak oil and the failures of capital management as to which will provoke a widespread convulsion first.  They are obviously related and whichever gets us in the most trouble fastest, our destination is the same: the absolute necessity to reorganize how we live.  Among the many elements of this is the fact that “globalism,” in the Thomas Friedman sense of the word, is over. The urgent need to re-localize economies makes this self-evident. As a practical matter for us, this means committing to import replacement – making things we need in the US, probably much more regionally.  “Globalism” now joins the many other fantasies that we can no longer indulge in.

     At the moment, going into Thanksgiving 2009, America’s leadership has dedicated itself to the worst action it could take under the circumstances: a campaign to sustain the unsustainable. This is what’s e
mbodied in the foolish term “
recovery.”  The way we try to explain things to ourselves matters, if we don’t want to be crushed by history. Go back to the top of this blog and look at the things we pay attention to.  Aren’t you ashamed?


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

463 Responses to “Courting Convulsion” Subscribe

  1. Joe November 23, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    First!

  2. suburbanempire November 23, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    “While Miss Califwhorenia, Carrie Prejean was getting her tits stuffed in preparation to become Miss USA…. across the desert Miss Navajo Nation*, Tashina Nelson was butchering and dressing a sheep as part of the cultural awareness and proficiency requirement of her pagent. You see, Miss Navajo Nation represents the Navajo People, and it is important that she have a clear understanding of her culture. Miss Navajo Nation will be ready to lead in the era of peak oil… Carrie Prejean wasn’t even awake for her tit job, and has no cultural understanding of what it takes to stuff a boob.”
    A special Thanksgiving post
    http://www.suburbanempire.com
    Suburban Critical
    Empire Chronicle

  3. nothing November 23, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Ah Jim, how right you are. But look on the bright side; a lot of crap will go by the wayside (jetskis come to mind). Meanwhile, you can have some fun with our Thanksgiving song at http://www.thenothingstore.com

  4. Laura Louzader November 23, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    Kunstler, this is truly one of your best comments, on target on absolutely every count. It’s also beautifully written.
    You could add, though, that the “Moron Culture” was created and continues to be promoted not by our “lumpenproles” out here but by our so called “elites”, and elites all over the globe aspire to this way of life. We’ve managed to export the very worst of our culture- the outer suburban lifestyle, replete with oversized houses, three cars per family, and all the rest of the features of the most wasteful lifestyle ever invented.
    Our elites are trying frantically to sustain the unsustainable and generate more of it not only here but around the world. The American Suburban Moron Lifestyle is idealized by the Elites all over the globe, and they are wasting their citizen’s present and future wealth building American Exurban Edge City Fantasies. Looks like a considerable part of China’s 8% growth in GDP went to build an imitation American Exurban fantasy called Ordor City, which looks like Schaumburg, IL and is virtually empty- miles and miles of 8 lane roads, high rise glass and steel office buildings standing isolated on big parcels of land, and miles of suburban housing development. This was all built with government money, of course, and the Chinese are calling it “growth”. In what, may we ask?

  5. Zappnin November 23, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    Agree completely. Powerful and dead on!

  6. Al Klein November 23, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    Well, once again JHK sums it up neatly. We are a nation of buffoons and superannuated children. We are facing epochal calamities and we indulge ourselves in fantasies.
    Woe is us.

  7. suburbanempire November 23, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    There once were cultures on this landmass who did not have failing institutions like ours. Who did not need to fear peak oil and credit markets crashing like we do. They had no carbon footprints…. and we took it all away from them.
    How can you lose a nation that was stolen in the first place?
    “The Navajo did not have bubbles in the Hogan market burst: leaving hundreds kicked out on to the game trail due to foreclosure. And there was not a “Goldman Sioux” bank, giving themselves lavish holiday parties and bonuses while other members of the tribe got tossed out of their tee-pee’s to pay for it.”
    http://www.suburbanempire.com
    A special Thanksgiving essay
    Suburban Critical, Empire Chronicle.

  8. Arkansas Doomer November 23, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Great posts. I never imagined the depth of denial would be so great, and so durable. Yet our consensus trance prevails.
    This should be the holiday season of the great awakening. With credit lines withdrawn, and ever deepening unemployment and foreclosures, surely the veneer will begin to peel away. No Christmas presents, no Christmas vacation, maybe no home. A populace that has been lied to will first feel different, and self-loathing. Given enough numbers, it will “awaken”, and the flip side will be rage and scapegoating. An immature culture does not adapt, it acts out.
    A pox on our culture for these lies. The Disney version of suburban perfection is in its death rattle. How will these citizen monuments to “learned helplessness” make other arrangements? They can barely put air in the tires.
    This is going to be very ugly. In my view, a convulsion is the upside scenario. I think collapse, rage, and anarchy are in play, all fully earned through our hubris.
    AD

  9. Lynn Shwadchuck November 23, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    Actually, I think those three news items have their finger on the pulse of the American public. It’s all about distraction. Young people are, in fact, scared shitless of the future and feeling helpless. My younger son who just got out of film school says, “Mom, I have five years to make it.” He doesn’t mean five years to start his career, he means five years for his whole career before it’s all over. No Hollywood, no internet…
    Back in the eighties mothers of teens felt bad that their kids were growing up under the threat of nuclear holocaust. These young people now are caught between putting one foot in front of the other going to work to pay their rent and looking into a big question mark where the future (marriage, family, house) used to be.
    Out here in the bush we’re hoping for another wave of youngsters to homestead between all us aging boomers, many of whom came in the seventies. I was heartened when that same son quickly did the math after eating my canned peaches. I told him it takes three hours to can 14 pints and he quickly cyphered that the savings incurred weren’t a bad ‘wage’. Another smart approach he has to the future is he’s not expecting to accumulate assets. He’ll try and get his documentary made and out there, not expecting to be sitting pretty afterwards.
    We also have a bunch of organic farming interns out here. They admit that many of their college buddies aren’t expecting the ‘convulsion’ you describe, Jim. But some is better than none.
    So as long as people like your readers are doing their best to scale back, and talk it up, maybe people are aware of what’s happening and it’s just the calm before the storm.
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  10. bproman November 23, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    The delusional media moguls have hired juvenile nitwits to force feed the human herd a bunch of mind mush that continues to distract them away from the harsh reality of what’s really going on behind the black magic veil of profits in corporate la la land. The complete nonsense of paying tons of worthless paper dollars for a glove is just more emotional fodder for Merry Mulah and his militant madmen to dispise the current consumption empire just in time for the next shopping frenzy.

  11. upstatebob November 23, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Today’s Krugman calls for a second stimulus. -then what?
    a third?, followed by a fourth? This is what passes for “economics” these days.

  12. suburbanempire November 23, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    1 billion
    minus 1 trillion = BONUS

  13. Steve Knox November 23, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Jim,
    It should be mandatory that every Monday morning American citizens have to read your comments. Oh, if only it were so, because we then might start to get a grip on the lunacy that surrounds us. I like to read Krugman, if only to understand why we are in this pickle. The Krugman’s of the world are incapable of connecting the dots. What did he get a nobel prize for, deciding the economic impact of cutting your toenails on Sunday, rather than Wednesday? His ilk will/are leading us down the path to ruin. Keep it up.

  14. Chubbz Molinoire November 23, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    pardon me, Lynn, but if you’ve really been thinking the S#it is going to hit the fan, why would you have allowed your kid to piss away so much time, money and effort on something as banal and frothy and useless as “film school”

  15. budizwiser November 23, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    “””1.) The New Moon teen vampire movie led the weekend box-office receipts; 2.) Cadbury shares hit an all-time high; 3.) Michael Jackson’s rhinestone-studded white glove sold at auction for $350,000. Some in-house CBS-News producer is responsible for this fucking nonsense. How does he or she keep her job? Is there no adult supervision at the network?”””
    Yes, exactly. When and where will anyone demand some adult supervision? I keep getting flashback feelings of doom – pretty much like the way I felt when GW was elected for the second time. Not that I thought Kerry deserved the position – only that he might at least act like a grown-up some of time.
    Who was that one guy Eddie Murrow? I figure he’s spinning like a top – or at least what’s left of him.
    So far the 30-million or so “reality-tv watchers” have yet to mix it up with the 100-million or so “reality-live Americans” watching their “life-shows” go down the drain. Hard to say when and if the sponsors will ever change the programming.
    At any rate, whatever the hell JK is writing about must not be very important – or else it would have been on 60 minutes.
    Tune in next week – same bat-time, same bat-channel.

  16. goldmund November 23, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Excellent Mr. Kunstler, one of your best essays yet. I appreciate your ability to not only ask the right questions but to analyze the problems we face as a nation with the sort of precision that a gifted artist brings to his or her craft. There is grace and beauty here, and those two things have always held more value to me than all the “assets” economists have ever talked about. I look forward to the coming changes, not because things will be easier- they will not. I’m a visual artist myself and nothing I do is easy. No, I look forward to the future because grace and beauty and a new appreciation for the mystery of life will become the new currency, and we will rediscover a life our ancestors once enjoyed, a life much deeper, more beautiful and bristling with meaning.

  17. Bobby November 23, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Right on with this post, Jim.
    However, you forgot to mention the current media blabber about “Water on the Moon.” Geesh.

  18. JoHio November 23, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Jim, Today I am thankful to have ready access to your perspective, which is dead on, as usual.
    Long time reader, first time commenting.
    Someone’s gotta say it: Joe; every week; “First”?
    WTF? How empty is that?…one wanders if you lurk in your mother’s basement with a whole list of bloggers and exactly when they publish, so you can swoop down and drop your “First” on their comment section, like a pigeon on a freshly washed car…
    Jim, heard on the podcast you finished WMBH2.
    When is it hitting the stores? Sounds like a mighty fine Christmas present for me to buy myself with my credit card…

  19. seb November 23, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    No. I read it once.
    In fact, I was having a ball, but you have the advantage over me. You’re already awake.
    Qshtick, I answered you at the end of last week’s.
    Yeah, yah, yah, coach. whip ’em with your whistle. Ride on the sled they’re pushing. Make the guard who missed a block take his helmet off as he’s running up to receive a rabbit punch on top of the head and then, run back.
    I was a scared to read. I managed to smile for two paragraphs, then the dread took over the rest of the way.
    I notice that now that the cat is out of the bag, everybody acts like they get to start with a clean slate. “Okay, the economy is tanking. Here’s what we do.” So, that wasn’t immediately clear when you were arguing with them that everything was all right. Now, they come out of Saginaw and Bryn Mawr with their fancy degrees and intend to still live, after shedding crocodile tears that, “Some American’s won’t make it.” That’s their stripe. They are perfectly willing that the Grim Reaper not take them. But, in how much luxury and waste can they, in their heart of hearts, really indulge? It sickens.
    No, I’m lying. It’s abundantly clear we are going to revolt. And, if you think SWAT teams can win in a war of attrition, check out what happens in Vietnam.
    “The Mini Gun can put a bullet in every square foot on a football field (1968).”
    Are you saying you can’t lose? You got the high-tech and that’s why? The jungle is alive with surveillance? Well I got a quarter-paper that says Paul Krugman’s wife sucks a mean dick.
    So, they appear to lie so bad, and surfing that wave, intend to land high and dry. Nobody’s calling them to account because somebody has forgotten that this place has a Constitution.
    JUMP
    (Words by Van Halen)
    I get up, and nothing gets me down.
    You got it tough. I’ve seen the toughest soul around.
    And I know, baby, just how you feel.
    You’ve got to roll with the punches to get to what’s real
    Oh can’t you see me standing here,
    I’ve got my back against the record machine
    I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen.
    Oh can’t you see what I mean ?
    Might as well jump. Jump !
    Might as well jump.
    Go ahead, jump. Jump !
    Go ahead, jump.
    Aaa-ohh Hey you ! Who said that ?
    Baby how you been ?
    You say you don’t know, you won’t know
    until you begin.
    This is one of those drug songs with subliminal lyrics. “I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen”, is really, “I ain’t the works that you’ve seen”. This means that finding works (syringe, spoon), is not good enough. Works are like a toothbrush. Don’t just use ones you find. You’ll catch Hep C or AIDS. In the revolution, the citizen-soldiers have to maintain their fighting capability. Rub shit all over yourself. You’ll blend in.
    http://sbillinghurst.wordpress.com
    HOW TO MAKE METHAMPHETAMINE

  20. Chaz Valenza November 23, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Jim,
    I hope you’ll take a look at this analysis I did for a recent OpEd News piece tracking personal bankruptcies, personal debt service ratio and unemployment at: http://www.opednews.com/articles/What-the-Economists-Aren-t-by-Chaz-Valenza-091119-795.html titled “What the Economists Aren’t Saying: Americans’ Finances in Tatters, Bankruptcies to Skyrocket.”
    And again, thank you, for making another stab at ending the subtle destruction of citizens and workers by deriding MSM style book and economists’ use of the pejorative term “consumer.”
    This week’s post was straight forward and stated in blunt fashion. I agreed with most of it, but the problem of rescaling our way of life rests not only with the policy, or lack of policy, makers but also with getting even the smallest incremental change from citizens. In my writing I’m trying to advocate that people take action now that will be to their advantage immediately as the mass media has lied to us about the external costs the citizens bear that sustains the current unsustainable system of labor and trade. See: http://www.opednews.com/articles/9-Things-You-Can-Do-to-Sto-by-Chaz-Valenza-090723-223.html “Nine things you can do to stop Big Greed now.”

  21. Unconventional Ideas November 23, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    My formerly middle class carpet cleaning customers are dropping off in big numbers.
    Those who remain, based on my conversations with them while cleaning their carpet, are aware of what is going on, and see the American Empire in decline.
    I guess what I’m saying is more people know about reality and are acting on it than we may give them credit.
    Of course, I’m in Portland, Oregon, an unusually literate science-respecting city where perhaps more people “get it” than in other places.

  22. Lynn Shwadchuck November 23, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Hi Chubzz. Actually, he spent only eight months in an intensive hands-on course, paying his tuition with an insurance settlement after being hit by a car as a pedestrian. I do think there will be plenty of room in the future for creative thinkers/communicators. One thing I’ve learned in my own forty year career as a creative professional is that that kind of thinking is transferable. Have you noticed our Jim here is selling his paintings and his novel on this site? He’s a creative thinker.
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  23. thomas99 November 23, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Note to Joe: 13th!
    Continuing on last nite’s miserable network TV thread…how’s ’bout them American Music Awards!? Total inanity. Even homegrown Carrie Underwood strutted her stuff like some cupcake on a Vegas strip. Nope, Carrie, you “shore ain’t in Checotah anymore!”
    As for the delusional state of most economists (how can a profession as a whole look so collectively like a bunch of buffoons?), I saw a great quote from Chris Martenson from a talk he gave at ASPO in Denver a few weeks ago: “If you lock three economists in a basement, they won’t worry about starving because they know their grumbling bellies will soon cause sandwiches to appear.”
    Any finally, this one from Robert Jensen down at UT–Austin, about why NO leadership can save us at this point: “We are at a moment when leaders cannot help us, because we need to go deeper than leadership can take us.”
    Whether you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving or not (Jensen will be in Canada on a speaking engagement), have a great week.

  24. Ruff Limblog November 23, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    What is most confounding is that efforts to advance technological improvements along the way to re-localizing our economy seem to be frustrated at every turn.
    We need Ben Franklin to come back and do away with patents that are held to blockade the production of the things that will lower fossil fuel company profits, such as 3-D solar cells, large format Ni-MH batteries which have not been made since the demise of the EV1.
    We need a ‘National Security Eminent Domain Patent Program’ desperately.
    ~Ruff

  25. Puzzler November 23, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Why is anyone surprised by this behavior? Do you really expect leadership from the current batch of politicians who are simply protecting their own self-interest, as they always have?
    This is all a massive Cargo Cult, where the masses and leadership and media all think that going through the old motions and visiting the malls will please the gods who make the goodies appear.
    Forget about expecting new directions, rational leadership, etc. For that to be possible would require massive admission that a lot of what was thought to be progress was delusion. Not going to happen.
    Focus on fixing yourself, your family and friends, building real skills, and get ready for a nasty, brutish ride.

  26. BillD November 23, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    I’m embarrassed by what we call “news” in this country and have been for many years. Damn I’m tired of being called a “consumer”…thanks for questioning that word being substituted for “citizen.”
    BTW, I’m tired of soldiers being referred to as “troops”. That’s just wrong (and a little off-topic).

  27. Kickaha November 23, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    I agree with it all. I would add, however, that not all of the failure can be laid upon the shoulders of our leaders. We get the leaders we choose and any politician foolish enough to tell the American people the truth will find him or herself quickly returning to civilian life.
    We are a nation of buffoons driving our bloated bodies and egos in our bloated vehicles into a sinkhole.
    I find the tragedy of it all even more bitter considering the difference of what we are and what we could have been.

  28. DontWorryBeHappy November 23, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Why is the flip side of the peak oil coin some kind on bleak every one for himself disaster movie? Do we only have one ending?
    As if all you clusterfucks think you know what the future will bring.
    Most of us are pretty tired of all the BS anyway. So after a little bit of exhalation, we will self organize and make our society anew.
    The elites should be worried because they climbed the highest and will fall the farthest.
    Those on the bottom of the pile know how to live a low impact life style. We don’t ask for much and we share whatever we had.
    I think you all caught up in the boogie man syndrome.
    If there’s no gas for the SUV you’ll fucking walk or ride your bike
    Seeds will still grow when you put them in the ground. Crops will fail and we will help each other out… same as it ever was.
    I think the peak oil morons need to wake up from their fucking end of the world brainwash and look around. Start digging in the dirt. Plant a tree. Get off the box (tV and PC) and you will see things without the rose colored chicken little the sky is falling glasses.
    JHK. You could use a few links to those that are making the transition and let go of throwing stones at those we already know are idiots. What’s the ROI on growing food? One seed compounded. Now that’s a return we can all buy into!
    Over and out. Bake some cookies. Milk the cow and enjoy.
    Life’s too short without all the effing gloom and doom.

  29. John B November 23, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Thanks again for another great column.
    The term “Social Role” struck me as being something that most Americans are confused about or ignorant of. We have been brainwashed to think our only social roles are to work at a “career” and to consume goods and then to retire. The government and big business will take care of the rest. We need to grow up and find out what our real roles demand of us and start arranging our lives to live our true social roles.

  30. Onthego November 23, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Distractions, distractions, Bread and Circuses. Eat while you can from the public troth and be sure to beef up the private ones, investing in your own and neighbors’ ability to produce local food stuffs, goods and services, and security. “Plan for the worst, hope for the best, and take what you get,” as my 79-year old father likes to say.

  31. Mark Knighton November 23, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Rome Burns,Nero Fiddles Nothing New

  32. Laura Louzader November 23, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Let me correct my typo. The city is Ordos City, China’s “empty city”.
    Anyway. The whole world is going down the tubes with us because they are trying to be like us at our dumbest.
    And it’s their “elites” driving it.
    Any positive change in favor of sensible, sustainable lifeways is going to be generated by the imaginative, creative, and reality oriented people at the bottom or middle of this society. In Chicago’s violence-plagued Englewood neighborhood, some people are starting agricultural projects. Other people are rehabbing small towns and city neighborhoods, and working to relocalize their food supply and retail.
    Our “elites” will only ruin us faster. Once people become upper class, they have nothing to offer but investment capital. They are too invested in things the way they’ve been to work for the structural changes we need.

  33. Mark Knighton November 23, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    Rome Burns,Nero Fiddles Nothing new

  34. Jeff November 23, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    No, I’m not ashamed.
    Why should I be? I’m not the producer at CBS that made the editorial decisions in question. For that matter, I’m not even a viewer of the program, for precisely the reason that it’s a source of the tripe of the sort you describe.
    In keeping with the zetetic nature of the post, a few additional questions:
    — if the last decade’s economy was not healthy, as you suggest and I agree, then why lament the disintegration of the set of conditions and institutions which produced it?
    — putting aside his reference to “consumer”, isn’t Krugman’s injunction for stimulus and job creation neutral as to the object in which the stimulus is invested, and therefore consistent with a large investment in what you term “making new arrangements for trade, food production, et cetera”?
    Even allowing for your narrow use of the term “capitalism” in the sense of a set of (not entirely uncontroversial) “laws”, it does not follow that the term does not have other commonly accepted meanings. It does. Including ideological meanings. Included among them is the variant of globalism associated with Freidman — the ideology of allowing humans with capital the freedom to move that capital about the globe at will, in search of optimum conditions for investment (which with notable frequency correlate to places with an abundance of people in poverty, and a dearth of civil, labor, environmental, regulatory, etc., laws to protect them) while simultaneously preventing humans without capital similar freedom to move to conditions more to their liking. This “what’s good for me is not good for you” ideology produces results distributed precisely as unevenly as you might expect. Ultimately those uneven distributions produce institutions of such small number and limited variety that they become susceptible to being buffeted by disruption in the ways illustrated by recent years’ events.

  35. katnip kid November 23, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    Some folks are aware, just look at the folks who read sites like this. Yes, I am ashamed that the media pushes pop culture as news. But, so too are plenty of others. Tune the pop culture tabloid news out.

  36. david mathews November 23, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    The really big question is whether Black Friday will produce the necessary orgy of consumerism to keep this fraudulent economy treading water for a little while longer. I’m in favor of the economy dying as quickly and completely as possible but it is evident that the fantasyland will continue so long as the fantasy persists.
    On a more positive note, Nature’s recovery & redevelopment project is already active, successful and ready to take over as soon as the civilization catastrophe has ended:
    http://www.flickr.com/dmathew1
    It is funny how humankind, an allegedly intelligent animal, cannot live at peace with anything or anyone or any place or each other.
    Extinction would benefit humankind in the sense that it would allow this species an escape from its own self-generated self-perpetuated misery.
    Yet the consumer cattle will be out in force on Friday responding in a Pavlovian manner to consumer products and advertisements, perhaps this is the last great blowout of consumerism before America’s credit card is cut up and thrown away for good.

  37. Neon Vincent November 23, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    Over on The Oil Drum, one of the commenters posted that the only reason the system keeps going is because of a failure to connect the dots. Mind you, the people there are connecting the dots, but they’re not in much of a position to do something about the situation.
    There are others who are connecting the dots. Here are two a friend of mine reposted on LiveJournal.
    15 Signs American Society Is Coming Apart at the Seams
    By David DeGraw, Amped Status
    Posted on November 21, 2009
    http://www.alternet.org/story/144109/
    The first 13 are signs of increasing poverty and economic inequality. Unfortunately, Peak Oil is not mentioned anywhere in the report, so not all the dots are plotted, let alone connected. The last two are the following.

    14) The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States has over 200 companies producing billions of dollars in annual revenues. This huge manufacturing base cannot fulfill demand quickly enough. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders.
    Americans are arming themselves to the teeth!
    15) In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed, as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “uptick in militia activities.” One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

    The above are the ones getting the most attention on LiveJournal. Violence sells.
    Here’s the other.
    Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US
    by Dmitry Orlov
    http://www.energybulletin.net/node/23259
    Orlov, on the other hand, knows about Peak Oil and mentions it in his report, so he plots all the dots and connects them. The result is not a pretty picture. It’s also something I recommend all of us read as an example of how “The Long Emergency” could turn out very badly.
    Orlov also has a book to sell.
    http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Collapse-Example-American-Prospects/dp/0865716064
    Scroll down a bit and you’ll see that Amazon is running a three for one special: “Reinventing Collapse” “The Long Descent” and “The Long Emergency” all for $35.83. Buy them all before your currency becomes worthless!

  38. Montana Joe November 23, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    To all of you “KUNSTLER ACOLYTES.” It’s easy to just call someone a name and shrug things off. But, I assume some of you are “readers.”
    Try one of these books:
    1. The 911 Commission Report, Omissions and Distortions. David Ray Griffin, Olive Branch Press, Northampton, Massachusetts, 2005.
    2. 911 Synthetic Terror. Webster Griffin Tarpley, Progressive Press, Joshua Tree, California, 2005.
    3. The Terror Conspiracy. Jim Marrs, The Disinformation Co., Ltd., 2006.
    4. Debunking 911 Debunking, An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory. David Ray Griffin, Olive Branch Press, Northampton, Massachusetts, 2007.
    5. Inside Job – Unmasking the 911 Conspiracies. Jim Marrs, Origin Press, San Rafael, California, 2004.
    If you have any intelligence at all, you can determine the truth about this “KEY EVENT” using empirical evidence. Then you will truly understand what is going on.
    Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in the feedback-loop of reading Kunstler’s weekly prattle and never understand “how and why.”

  39. gadfly November 23, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    An unmentioned major factor is the global US military empire operating over 1,000 military bases in 130 plus nations and costing over $1 TRILLION annually. Much of it borrowed from China, Japan and the Gulf state soverign wealth funds. As Obama ponders how many new troops to send into the Afghanistan quagmire, reports emerge that it costs a cool $1 million a year to keep a US soldier in the field. So multiply $1 million times 10,000 or 20,000 or 40,000 or whatever additional troops are to be sent and add that to the financial debacle. And that gasoline delivered to the remoteness of Afghanistan costs $300 and up per gallon—who knows how much of that is the cost plus contracts of the military contractor scams. Like the suburban life style, the global military operations are simply unsustainable. Indeed the largest single user of hydrocarbon fuels is the Pentagon with its five ocean navy and all those bases and active wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And then add in the mercenary troops of Dyncorp and Xe (Blackwater) and their ilk, often making 5 or 6 times the pay of US ground troops. So the vast effort to secure the US dominance and control of the Middle East reserves of oil and gas to keep the “non-negotiable US lifestyle” going is another collapsing fantasy.
    Imagine what even a fraction of military spending could do for building mass rail transit, or infrastructure repair, or any of the rest of the decaying US civil society.

  40. Dickmobile Mojocar Corp. November 23, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    It is true. The economy is in disconnect, the dollar is overleveraging itself into oblivion and overspeculation using “hot” dollars (worthless)is ungluing oil prices from its historic demand structure.
    It will get ugly next year. Politics is a sideshow if you don’t ask the right questions and go forward with the right solutions. The “EROI” paperweight should be on Obama’s desk to remind him, you can fool yourself, but you can’t fool the third law of thermodynamics.

  41. hugho November 23, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Thanks Jim for a clear headed non hysterical but strident rant on the current state of affairs. You accurately point out that failure and incompetence is at all levels of society and yet there is little evidence of green shoots of awareness. Our wilycoyote society has indeed shot off the cliff but as far as I can see hasn’t yet looked down. B. Goldman Sachs Obama just doesn’t see it although I think his missus does. Awareness is absent, assumptions are wrong, solutions are wrong…Ah life at the end of empire.

  42. MonkeyMuffins November 23, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    This would have been a decent rant without JHK’s insistence on the “Capitalism is akin to the laws of physics” meme.
    It is, of course, complete and utter rubbish ranking up there with pseudoscientific nine-eleven-was-an-inside-job style thinking.
    And there is a distinct and profoundly important difference between “wealth” and “money”. The former being natural, tangible resources and services; the latter being a technology of measurement of the former for the purpose of exchange.
    John Michael Greer (thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com), among others, has recently gone to great lengths to explain these hidden-in-plain-sight truths.
    JHK would do well to absorb and process Mr. Greer’s insights, rather than slighting him by calling him “odd” or “weird” in his KunstlerCast.
    I assume JHK is trying to imply that a) the technology of money (however such technology is conceived) has to have rules, b) these rules can be called “capital-ism” (a woefully-deceptive and -childish trick of writing he has often employed in the past), and c) therefore “Capitalism” is like physics.
    If you believe that Capitalism–as mythologized, executed and imposed for the benefit of the few (plutocratic lemon socialists) at the expense of the many (the biosphere in general, the world’s poor specifically)–is the equivalent of a theoretical list of anthropogenic rules governing the technology of money, you are, quite simply, as delusional as nine-eleven, conspiracy freaks.

  43. anotherplayaguy November 23, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    “1.) The New Moon teen vampire movie led the weekend box-office receipts; 2.) Cadbury shares hit an all-time high; 3.) Michael Jackson’s rhinestone-studded white glove sold at auction for $350,000. Some in-house CBS-News producer is responsible for this fucking nonsense. How does he or she keep her job? Is there no adult supervision at the network?”
    The REASON this stuff is on is because people watch it. As did JHK.
    And there are many, many greater things to be ashamed of in this toxic culture/civilization, founded on murder and theft, sustained by murder and theft, still murdering and stealing.

  44. anotherplayaguy November 23, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    Oh, yeah, and as I type, the NYSE is up 160 points.

  45. Mike in Albany November 23, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    Well, then this little bit o’ news will either make you laugh or cry, Jim. Possibly both. My parents live in Florida. They own a co-op in Lenox, Massachusetts, where they stay in the summer while they’re having fun at Tanglewood. They spent the last couple of months jumping through a lot of hoops to refinance their loan on the co-op. The loan is with Bank of America, which also has the mortgage on their Florida home. They always pay their bills on time, have a stable existence from their pensions and investments, and therefore have a fantastic credit rating. After going through the entire rigamarole, the bank turned down the refinance loan. Why? Because it is a co-op in which the owner does not reside at least 80% of the time. For some reason, these types of properties do not comprise a large enough segment of the market for the banks to bundle that loan and sell it to other companies. Read that again to make sure you read it right. Apparently, the meltdown of the past two years which arose from the bundling and selling of mortgages for short-term gain has not taught the bankers that this business methodology is poisonous to their enterprise. They are still addicted to it. They are so motivated by the potential for short-term gain from this deleterious activity that they won’t even entertain the thought of making an honest transaction with a loyal and stable customer who will contribute to their financial health. What adds insult to injury is that they couldn’t even bother to tell my parents this before beginning the process instead of waiting until the end. This is why Rome is falling again. You betcha!

  46. Uncle Al November 23, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Why is 30% APR a counter-inducement to purchase on credit? Inflation is good for an economy. It is an impetus to invest and an amortization of constant value debt. Minor fraction credit repayment defaults are factored into credit interest rates. The IRS gets a cut of every defaulted loan now realized as debtor income. If 3% repayment failure is good, more is better. 50% default is Social Security aborning – and who dares argue with that?

  47. schizoid November 23, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    This is one of your best columns, Jim! As you point out, all aspects of our lives are simultaneously disintegrating:

    We are seeing a comprehensive failure of leadership in every sector and every level of American life – in politics, business, banking, education, news media, medicine, and the clergy.

    But has this destructive failure come about by mere chance? Or, is there a group of people operating behind the scenes to create situations that give them global control?

    At the moment, banking is disintegrating. It’s happening because the end of regular, predictable, cyclical, industrial growth means the end of our ability to generate credit without limits,

    So, lets follow the money. Where did it go and who ultimately benefits from this enormous transfer of wealth?

    and in fact we passed this point by stealth some time ago leaving the banks in “Wile E. Coyote” suspension above an abyss, where they have lately been joined by government at all levels and the indebted citizens of the land.

    So what’s going on here? Are we now under the control of international bankers who are using all of the world’s governments to enforce their global fascism? Is this an accidental occurrence?
    It’s something to think about, isn’t it?

  48. cjryan2006 November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    Jim,
    Very interesting as usual. I do read Krugman from time to time and while he seems to be a bit more insightful than most MSE’s, he doesn’t question growth and the economy based on it so he’ll never be an informed source for me. I did want to comment on your claim that Capitalism is not an ideology. Certainly it was not conceived as one but has certainly evolved into one. Since the definition according to one dictionary definition states that an ideology is, “the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.” and Capitalism surely has structured a doctrine guiding this society and culture.
    No wonder that philosophers right and left have written extensively of Capitalism with this construct in mind. I agree that it was originally intended as a simple set of tools to grow capital and create wealth. But it has evolved to develop appendages that influences or controls the media, jurisprudence, social thought and action, etc.
    And I’d say Capitalism 3.0 or our current version is perhaps the most dangerous threat to the ecosystem, economy, and human life and culture. Yes, relocalization is the way to go but as stated above, there are an amazing number of barriers and obstacles to relocalizing. The parallel culture has to develop unabated and unhindered.
    Christopher R.
    The Localizer Blog

  49. Montana Joe November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Better make sure you are not using terminator seeds from Monsanto, which by the way are the only ones being introduced to farmers in Iraq, not to mention their prevalence in the USA.
    Kunstler is correct about Peak Oil an a lot of things. But fails to understand what the elites are really doing! Understanding 911 is the key to understanding everything going on today.
    When the real crash occurs, it will be beyond your wildest imagination. You’re worst nightmares will come true. If you are unable to protect yourself from desperate people; if you are unprepared to feed, clothe and shelter yourself; it will be “game over” for you in the worst possible way.
    But, I’m sure you’ll be whistling “don’t worry, be happy” as you are being raped, stabbed and eaten alive.

  50. draffen November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Jim,
    Thank you for another great column. Yes, I agree, the MSM has gone totally into Na-Na land, providing news and entertainment that is totally out of step with what is actually going on in the world – at least the key important issues that every consumer – oops, I mean CITIZEN, should know about.
    The TV has become so useless we rarely turn it on, unless there are weather warnings!
    Yes, the future is looking pretty uncertain for our young people, those in diapers to those graduating high school and college. It is becoming increasingly obvious that they will end up bearing the brunt of the consequences of the last decades of a overheated consumer society.
    Many young people voted for “change”, however, that change has proven slow at coming. However, turning this monster “economic system” around is a Titanic task and the dire state of things has been a long time in the making. Yet, most people appear to be in total denial about the severity of the situation, especially regarding the consequences of peak oil and climate change and how that is going to totally reshape the economy and living arrangements.
    Despite all of these problems, one of America’s best “exports” these days appears to be the very lifestyle and worldview that is not functioning well anymore. India, China and much of the world is buying into this sustainable system called the American Dream, just as it is rapidly deflating into what is looking more and more like the “American nightmare”.
    I’ve been to India a few times and am always impressed by their highly localized market system that works quite well – even during the many “power cuts”. This basic economy keeps on working in spite of hours or even days without electricity. Yet, on each visit I see more “western” influences, especially many more personal cars, larger homes, air conditioning, big shopping malls, electronics, etc. Just as the world is hitting peak oil and peak resources they are cranking up the demand for more “consumer” goods and services. The young people there are looking keenly to the west and especially to the USA and increasingly embracing the western culture. A big mistake, I think.
    Yet those countries that have held on to the more traditional methods of farming, marketing and living may be better off in the long run. They are already localized and have a sustainable agriculture and business system, on their small scales. They still use oxen in the fields and travel locally mostly on foot. They are “peak-oil ready”, fully “plug and play” without all the fancy gadgets -and probably don’t have a clue as to how much better off they are in the grand scheme of things – or maybe they do!

  51. keithishere November 23, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Thirty Five years ago when Vietnam was the hot issue debate was about maintaining the existing state of affairs or committing to radical change. Radical because any change to the status quo is always considered radical, fought tooth and nail. Today the debate is about maintaining an existing state of affairs or committing to change, radical change.
    Thirty Five years ago the number of people who wanted change were huge. Enough people to disrupt the status quo and make the powerful fearful. It took millions of people and the disruption to the conservative agenda was only temporary. The draft provided cannon fodder and there were enough men who did not want to go to Vietnam to get really pissed and make a difference.
    Uncle Sam had to figure out how to make sure such a thing never happened again. Embedded journalism, the demise of the free press and a firm conservative headlock on the media has made sure that the status quo is safe and secure, for now.
    If there is any hope of changing things it won’t happen without ‘peakers’ organizing into a cohesive and identifiable movement. Quiet mumblings of protest and the unfocused wanking going on now is not going to cut it.
    We read Kunstler every week and comfort ourselvers as being intelligent and base our view of the world on facts and evidence. We wish that life would continue as it always has because we want it to. But we also think and know enough not to confuse our desires with truth, we resist our natural human desire to do exactly that.
    Wishing will not make our future secure any more than wishing could have kept the Titanic afloat, we need to do more.

  52. draffen November 23, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    CORRECTION to my last post:
    “India, China and much of the world is buying into this sustainable system called the American Dream”
    This should have been “UNSUSTAINABLE” instead of “SUSTAINABLE”.

  53. BAREister November 23, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    Sappiness seems to stalk about the land like some monstrous Godzilla of dementia. Last night, here in the Pacific NW there was a good deal of media attention devoted in the lokel yokel evening news to Copper the Rabbit. Copper it seems, had been taken to an animal shelter somewhere down near Tacoma and pulled a Monty Python and The Holy Grail routine and turned rogue/quasi-killer and savagely bitten his handler, a HUGE and FATAL politically incorrect no-no for a critter at the tender mercies of the animal shelter boyz. Understandably, they have a limited patience with such behavior and took it INTO THEIR SILLY HEADS to announce they were going to euthanize Copper. Well the rabbit rights crowd would hear nothing of the SORT. So there were were, gentle reader, subjected to a five minute news story at the top of the hour about how Copper was spared a days existence not because of the uproar, but because the vet who is to do the dirty deed today couldn’t make it down to the shelter on Sunday.
    This is our news fodder here in sappy Seattle, where everyone is ‘nice’ and ‘having a nice day’ is de trop/goes without saying.
    I’m not sure but I think there was a story about 10 years ago about firemen rescuing a cat out of a tree.

  54. BAREister November 23, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Sappiness seems to stalk about the land like some monstrous Godzilla of dementia. Last night, here in the Pacific NW there was a good deal of media attention devoted in the lokel yokel evening news to Copper the Rabbit. Copper it seems, had been taken to an animal shelter somewhere down near Tacoma and pulled a Monty Python and The Holy Grail routine and turned rogue/quasi-killer and savagely bitten his handler, a HUGE and FATAL politically incorrect no-no for a critter at the tender mercies of the animal shelter boyz. Understandably, they have a limited patience with such behavior and took it INTO THEIR SILLY HEADS to announce they were going to euthanize Copper. Well the rabbit rights crowd would hear nothing of the SORT. So there were were, gentle reader, subjected to a five minute news story at the top of the hour about how Copper was spared a days existence not because of the uproar, but because the vet who is to do the dirty deed today couldn’t make it down to the shelter on Sunday.
    This is our news fodder here in sappy Seattle, where everyone is ‘nice’ and ‘having a nice day’ is de trop/goes without saying.
    I’m not sure but I think there was a story about 10 years ago about firemen rescuing a cat out of a tree.

  55. Chubbz Molinoire November 23, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Well that’s not bad then at all.
    Yes jimbo here has a decent cottage industry on this site, it’s true. good for him, and good luck to you and your kids

  56. BAREister November 23, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    ” As if the American people have no other purpose except to buy things? Or is that that the only way an “economist” can imagine them?”
    Well, it rather appears that is the only way the CHINESE can imagine them…

  57. BAREister November 23, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    ” As if the American people have no other purpose except to buy things? Or is that that the only way an “economist” can imagine them?”
    Well, it rather appears that is the only way the CHINESE can imagine them… 🙂

  58. piltdownman November 23, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Once the decision was made that TV news had to be a “profit center,” everything changed, forever. Local news dove to the LCD and national networks followed suit. At the same time, they closed foreign bureaus and started to use interns to run the operations. And today? Everyone on television is beautiful! I have a corollary; the prettier the talent, the more vacuous the news has become.
    Finally, almost all news is today the product of massive multi-national corporations with zero concern for the “public interest, convenience and necessity,” to quote the FCC regulations of a bygone era. Money rules, and that’s why some dipshit quotes the stats on a moronic vampire movie. Of course, there’s an equal chance that their corporation has a vested interest in that piece of “entertainment” as well.

  59. BAREister November 23, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    “The terrible ‘if’s’ accumulate.”
    Winston Churchill, prior to the outbreak of WWI quoted in the frontspiece of Barbara Tuchman’s legendary work on The Great War THE GUNS OF AUGUST

  60. maineiac November 23, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    Right on, Jim. I was thinking exactly the same thing when that “News” update was broadcast during 60 Minutes.
    We are a nation of spoon fed imbeciles led by empty headed puppeteers.

  61. seb November 23, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    Yeah it is. Nero is nothing. Not, when it burns, more like, a few years before. Caligula. This emperor saw something. That is, historians are rational (according to the book), and Caligula was unstable, mentally. He was difficult to explain. Nobody knew what he was thinking. Well, if that’s the case, is that the reader’s fault? I thought you were a historian. Rulers can be crazy. You aren’t much good as a historian, either. Not to mention: you gave up. How about we execute historians and economists until one of them does something right?
    Caligula executed children in front of their parents. He invited a father who’s child he executed to a dinner following rhe execution where he joked and jested,this father a few tables away. Yes? So, otherwise it’s all good? No. It’s all good anyway. That’s the nature of, It’s all good. I don’t see any behavior of Caligula that I can’t understand, condone, or encourage. This was Rome. Consumer? You should try romantic, romance, the Romance Languages. I say cut your losses and bring this monster down before we end up literally transferring its genes to our offspring. So what’s jest?
    The American people, it is good of you to say, but it is any televised people. Anyone raised on television is psychotically insistant upon hearing exactly what is going on, and will brook no other subjects. Nobody can talk about the economy until we are done with Health Care. Either talk Health Care and say how 46 million clusterfucksters fucked up and we didn’t, or shut up. Yeah, I am saying that, in the beginning, everyone is mentally ill. However, mental illness is a flag of convenience. It is much less in scope than even one airburst nuke over, say, Yemen. Any time you want to drop it by the wayside and get on with your life, it goes away like that (snaps fingers). It has a slight cure. Nero was a little squat ugly baby to Caligula, and CALIGULA was 24. After the beginning, when you shoot people in the head, cute little Paris Hilton mental illness is not so.
    Why should we ask that the communiques be issued without the word consumer? We don’t care. Much better you declare war on us and keep all the women on your side.
    I was curious why I put this in:
    You’ll catch Hep C or AIDS. In the revolution, the citizen-soldiers have to maintain their fighting capability. Rub shit all over yourself. You’ll blend in.
    unquote
    It was because I was about to turn on TV and a woman named BROWNER was on it. She’s the assistant ot the president on energy. But, she couldn’t shut up about health care.
    I kid you not. Thinking that you are going to turn on the TV and see something on health care without being willing to change the channel is sick like a skull so soft it just pushes in.
    But no. They’re anti-intellectual, anti-research. If it isn’t Hannah Montana, they’ll switch you off. The language has altered right out of all semblance to reality (and normalcy), because it has been kidnaped by media qua corporatism qua capitalism, Mr. JHK. You got to hit the high botes in five words or less or you lose your audience. They have no attention span. Watching TV, and rwading blogs on the internet is spare time, time to be entertained. They have a beer gut.
    Of course, none of this lets off the real greedy criminals for their part. This time bomb has been swallowed and is set to kill us if we don’t do something. At least make inroads into that government to shut them up. I think they’re lying. But, I’m not sure. Quickly, how many ppl moved to the sacto valley?
    These graphs are hard to read. You need to prune statistics. The net migration appears to be half of what Kunstler said in Geography. At 700,000 for 20 years, that is 35,000 per year. It is 17,000. I think.
    The other two things are, is peak oil real, is global warming real. Because, revolution is real, whether a reason for it exists or not. The internet’s panic button may be more akin to Y2K than these other things.
    I’m not saying there’s nothing to worry about. That’s one of the deals, that thermo dictates that this is not conspiratorial forces, this is a geological imperative. If it was somebody’s fault, all we’d have to change would be them. That’s been done (JFK 1963, 46 years, one day. JFK’s age, ugh. He was 46).
    So, I was thinking Brown, her name’s Browner, I wrote about how to make yourself browner, and (check)
    Of course, I’m in Portland, Oregon, an unusually literate science-respecting city where perhaps more people “get it” than in other places.
    This is the sickest. We don’t want respect. Try priests and judges. It’s okay. You didn’t make it up.
    Troops are for ‘troop movements’. A country at war makes war with its consumers. We need to indict you for giving away trop movements without redefining terms. To soldier means to dog it. Until proven otherwise, the Army is not to be poured gasoline on and set afire in the ditch where they died.
    Auggggh, what a headache. The glass is half-full.

  62. maineiac November 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    Right on, Jim. I was thinking exactly the same thing when that “News” update was broadcast during 60 Minutes.
    We are a nation of spoon fed imbeciles led by empty headed puppeteers.

  63. maineiac November 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    Right on, Jim. I was thinking exactly the same thing when that “News” update was broadcast during 60 Minutes.
    We are a nation of spoon fed imbeciles led by empty headed puppeteers.

  64. Jaego Scorzne November 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    As alternative economist Hazel Henderson used to say, “Economics is a brain disease”. It’s simply crazy-more often than not just a lot of excuses for thievery as if the way things are is the way things have to be.
    The barbarians are coming. Don’t forget to include weapons with your seeds and generators. Utah Co-Housing Guy: what weapons does your community have? Or are you just going to let the Mormons protect you? They’re loaded for bear btw. Remember though-nothing in life is free. If you lean on them, they will demand payment of some kind. Perhaps your produce-wallah, serfs again!
    Nothing is more inane than plans for inner city survivalism. Gardens in the inner city? Whose going to protect them? They’ll walk right up and take what they want while you are digging! Get out of the cities-they’re going to be hell holes especially if you are a lighter shade of pale. Get with your own kind; like unto like as it was in the Ark. Let the world see what minorities can do when left to their devices. Let the world see what they will do. And let the world see what Whites can do when unencumbered by the same.

  65. 45north November 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Chubbz: why would you have allowed your kid to piss away so much time, money and effort on something as banal and frothy and useless as “film school”
    maybe for the same reason I “let” my kid go to film school – because he wanted to despite my best efforts.
    “unless two generations can agree that is no progress”

  66. dale November 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    JHK and many of his fans would be well advised to read “The Black Swan”. It is illuminating not just for what it says about what can happen (just about anything) but how we choose to decide what we THINK will happen. He examines several logical problems and fallacies including our tendency to seek confirmation of our own views while ignoring contrary information, as well as the problem of living in an information rich environment where there is often enough data to argue diametrically opposing positions.
    While “highly improbable” events do happen more often then conventional wisdom would allow, they are still “highly improbable” and we should not become overly subscribed to any notions of what we or some pundit we like to read wants us to believe, based on a persuasive argument utilizing a few dramatic data points.
    The subtitle of “The Black Swan” should be something like “the fallacy of predictability” because accounts of foreseeing the future are mostly examined and touted from the standpoint of looking backward and filtering the takeaway data based on knowing what ultimately did occur.
    What I notice on this blog is how often posters are establishing positions on PO or societal collapse based on emotional considerations, then looking for support from various “expert” sources or fellow emotionally involved lay people.
    Bottom line: While predicting the timing of collapse may be morally satisfying in some ways, (especially if you are an environmentalist etc.) it is not a position in which one should place much confidence.
    If I were to say that “societal collapse is nearly impossible” (something I do not believe), the odds are good that I will die being able to say on my death bed to my detractors, “See….I told you so.”

  67. 45north November 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Chubbz: why would you have allowed your kid to piss away so much time, money and effort on something as banal and frothy and useless as “film school”
    maybe for the same reason I “let” my kid go to film school – because he wanted to despite my best efforts.
    “unless two generations can agree that is no progress”

  68. Jaego Scorzne November 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    Joe is a boy-either psychologically or chronologically. Let him be. As the Father says in the “Yearling”-Let him build his waterwheels as he may; soon he wont even care to.”
    On the subject of wheels: does anyone have any info on using stationary bicycles to generate power and to grind grain?

  69. Anne November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    I haven’t been able to watch the news for years, for the very reason cited. It’s all infotainment anymore, with the very obvious purpose of distracting the masses from the clusterfuck that is going on in Washington and Wall Street.
    It’s equally obvious that the reason for this circus is that the PTB firmly believe that if only they can convince us consumers to get back to the trough somehow, the magic will continue and the economy will recover. If you only believe!!!
    The other reason is to forestall the collapse long enough for them to try to protect their own assets. The rich are well aware that the free ride is over and things are about to get tough. As long as they can keep the average person from figuring it out, though, they have time to hire guard and put up electric fencing around the mansion, or move the enclave to a 3rd world country where they should fit right in.

  70. dale November 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    JHK and many of his fans would be well advised to read “The Black Swan”. It is illuminating not just for what it says about what can happen (just about anything) but how we choose to decide what we THINK will happen. He examines several logical problems and fallacies including our tendency to seek confirmation of our own views while ignoring contrary information, as well as the problem of living in an information rich environment where there is often enough data to argue diametrically opposing positions.
    While “highly improbable” events do happen more often then conventional wisdom would allow, they are still “highly improbable” and we should not become overly subscribed to any notions of what we or some pundit we like to read wants us to believe, based on a persuasive argument utilizing a few dramatic data points.
    The subtitle of “The Black Swan” should be something like “the fallacy of predictability” because accounts of foreseeing the future are mostly examined and touted from the standpoint of looking backward and filtering the takeaway data based on knowing what ultimately did occur.
    What I notice on this blog is how often posters are establishing positions on PO or societal collapse based on emotional considerations, then looking for support from various “expert” sources or fellow emotionally involved lay people.
    Bottom line: While predicting the timing of collapse may be morally satisfying in some ways, (especially if you are an environmentalist etc.) it is not a position in which one should place much confidence.
    If I were to say that “societal collapse is nearly impossible” (something I do not believe), the odds are good that I will die being able to say on my death bed to my detractors, “See….I told you so.”

  71. seb November 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Zeitgeist, the Movie
    Directed by Peter Joseph
    Produced by Peter Joseph[1]
    Written by Peter Joseph
    Music by Peter Joseph
    Editing by Peter Joseph
    Distributed by GMP LLC[2]
    Release date(s) 2007
    Running time 122 min
    Language English
    Followed by Zeitgeist: Addendum
    Zeitgeist, the Movie is a 2007 documentary film by Peter Joseph about historical and modern conspiracies, including the origins of Christianity, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the banking system.
    A sequel, Zeitgeist: Addendum, advocates a technology-based social system influenced by the ideas of Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project.[3]
    MONTANA JOE
    You left this one out. So, Joe Montana or Montana Joe or whatever it is you are calling yourself these days (I like the names that could be ladies’s. I say, if you look like a girl, and even if your name is a boy’s, I’m calling you ‘she’. I like her to have a little blonde moustache). Don’t worry. You didn’t read that, did you? It’s in parentheseeses. Don’t be afraid. Just, if I’m going to jail, or you’re going to beat me up, know this: You won’t be getting a cherry.
    Now, wouldn’t you say, that if any appeals to the emotions are made, that the content of the piece is false? Okay, why are we getting mad now. Nothing makes me mad. People who can get mad will be made mad, Jack. Has nothing to do with reality. You are just mad over something because the 9/11 people pushed your buttons.
    I couldn’t have made you pregnant because I had that jimi hat on tight. See what I did there? I denied it, and saying that the condom was tight didn’t do anything to hurt my reputation for having enourmous girth.
    I think I could make you thirsty by using the right words on you.
    Administer the MMPI to these crazy-as-a-bedbug conspiracy theorists, sez me. That’s why they put Minnesota in there and not Montana. They’re cuckoo in Montana.
    It’s just an M now. Bust a move. Make it Montana.
    Ever notice how that American flag is as inflammatory as a yellowjacket, with the aposematic color scheme. Stars for hurt. Stripes for poison.
    May I assume that it is still real where what we do now may affect the future? What we do now, that doesn’t affect the past? Are you sure about your answer?

  72. Montana Joe November 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    I had no idea 911 was an inside job until 2006.
    It took me exactly 37 days. Today I am convinced, that anyone who “claims to be intelligent” will come to the same conclusion I did (and 31 of my friends and family, and counting) after I studied/researched/verified/confirmed the evidence surrounding 911.
    “delusional as nine-eleven, conspiracy freaks.” I assure you Monkey Muffin, that I am neither delusional, nor a freak. What I have found is that people who make comments like you have been brainwashed by O’Rielly, Hanity, Beck, etc.
    Moreover, you probably do not know anything about 911 at all, except that 19 terrorists did it. Da. Many of the people you call delusional freaks are Ph.d’s, MA’s, MBA’s, Architects, Engineers, etc.
    You wouldn’t last 60 seconds in a debate over empirical 911 evidence. For instance how does Monkey Muffin explain massive steel and concrete (reinforced concrete, structural steel engineered structures) structures falling into themselves, the path of MOST RESISTANCE, at freefall speed? (Physically impossible, end of story.)
    You explain this one issue and I’ll let you call me anything you want.

  73. UTAH VALLEY COHOUSING November 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    America has an old, and venerable, tradition of commutarianism, right from the Mayflower Compact to the Rex Tugwell’s Resettlement Administration during the Roosevelt administration.
    It is time to refreshen this legacy and return to the tradition of community formation that saw its last efflorescence in the 1960’s.
    There are already signs this is happenening, with the creation of almost 200 cohousing communities in the United States. One is just down the road from Mr. Kunstler: Ecovillage at Ithaca. When you speak of relocalization, Jim, why not call attention to these efforts? Or better yet, visit one yourself. I’m sure your readers and listeners would be interested in your reaction.
    In the meantime, here in Utah, we continue to plug away at the creation of the UTAH VALLEY COMMONS, a cohousing ecovillage located near Provo.
    Best wishes,
    Charles W. Nuckolls
    http://www.utahvalleycommons.com

  74. UTAH VALLEY COHOUSING November 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    America has an old, and venerable, tradition of commutarianism, right from the Mayflower Compact to the Rex Tugwell’s Resettlement Administration during the Roosevelt administration.
    It is time to refreshen this legacy and return to the tradition of community formation that saw its last efflorescence in the 1960’s.
    There are already signs this is happenening, with the creation of almost 200 cohousing communities in the United States. One is just down the road from Mr. Kunstler: Ecovillage at Ithaca. When you speak of relocalization, Jim, why not call attention to these efforts? Or better yet, visit one yourself. I’m sure your readers and listeners would be interested in your reaction.
    In the meantime, here in Utah, we continue to plug away at the creation of the UTAH VALLEY COMMONS, a cohousing ecovillage located near Provo.
    Best wishes,
    Charles W. Nuckolls
    http://www.utahvalleycommons.com

  75. seb November 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    He read that. He reads as fast as he can turn the pages, and he posted the phrase, “black swan” within the past month.

  76. lsjogren November 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    dale:
    Thanks for reminding me about Black Swan, I have meant to read that but haven’t gotten to it yet.
    One personal observation on improbable events, however:
    Some things that would be improbable under normal circumstances may have a far greater likelihood of happening within a society whose financial system is run in a dysfunctional manner.
    Thus, if the US had prudent economic and monetary policies the derivatives fiasco would in my view have been a “black swan” type of event. However, when our economic policy makers:
    1). Set interest rates to absurdly low artificial levels.
    2). Encourages massive lending to finance homes etc. to people that don’t come close to being able to afford them.
    3). Permits the creation of debt instruments with built-in time bombs (e.g. option ARMs, etc)
    4). Creates massive social programs built on debt that can never be paid back, or alternatively based on the rampant inflationary printing of money that has no backing.
    5). Allows the generation of Frankenstinian financial instruments, allows rating agencies to use voodoo analytical methods to declare them AAA grade, and allows them to be traded indisciminately such that the originators of bad debt are able to shovel off their dressed-up garbage to other financial institutions, governments, and/or individuals and thus transfer the consequences of their bad business practices onto gullible other parties.
    6). Provides massive government bailouts to insulate those left holding the bag from the consequences of their reckless financial activities.
    In the light of all these reckless policies on the part of government and the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve, a financial meltdown was, in hindsight, not a “who would ever think this could happen” type event, but an inevitability.

  77. ozone November 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    “I’m sorry to burden the reader with so many questions, but the idiots running the mainstream news media in this land are not doing it and somebody has to.”
    No sweat, Mr. K!
    I’m pretty sure most everyone here asks themselves some gritty questions (and dark answers loom always). I don’t believe it’s an unhealthy thing to “git yer mind right”. Rosy scenarios are for TV believers, woe unto them.
    Personally, I’m gonna miss the ease of heavy equipment. Those of you who have operated these diesel monstrosities know whereof I speak. I’m definitely not looking forward to all the hard manual work (yielding little result at days’ end).
    Cheese an crackers, got all muddy, I gots to purchase me some more hand tools… preferably older well-made ones; although the Chinese imports are getting better (while we can still get them, that is). Always check the garage sales, people don’t value the stuff that “works”. That layer of rust comes off with use…
    Best of luck, I do b’lieve the levee of hubris is starting to spring a few crucial leaks.

  78. UTAH VALLEY COHOUSING November 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    America has an old, and venerable, tradition of commutarianism, right from the Mayflower Compact to the Rex Tugwell’s Resettlement Administration during the Roosevelt administration.
    It is time to refreshen this legacy and return to the tradition of community formation that saw its last efflorescence in the 1960’s.
    There are already signs this is happenening, with the creation of almost 200 cohousing communities in the United States. One is just down the road from Mr. Kunstler: Ecovillage at Ithaca. When you speak of relocalization, Jim, why not call attention to these efforts? Or better yet, visit one yourself. I’m sure your readers and listeners would be interested in your reaction.
    In the meantime, here in Utah, we continue to plug away at the creation of the UTAH VALLEY COMMONS, a cohousing ecovillage located near Provo.
    Best wishes,
    Charles W. Nuckolls
    http://www.utahvalleycommons.com

  79. Laura Louzader November 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    I follow your blog and read your post on the “mcmansion” lifestyle……it has for many years been a matter of outrage to me that California, AND American taxpayers, insure the lifestyles of rich mansion-dwellers on California’s Fire Coast.
    You’d better know that if these folks were dependent upon private insurance companies, they wouldn’t be building $6M houses there and they sure as hell would’t be able to REbuild them after one of the yearly firestorms.
    Only the California Fair Plan, which is the only insurance you can get for a house in areas like this, and federal emergency aid, enable coast dwellers to rebuild and rebuild, their pretentious homes bigger and more pretentious and preposterous with every rebuild.
    CA is now deeply broke and has a really good excuse to revamp it’s Fair Plan, the state-subsidized fire insurance, and hazard-zone these areas. Let the next time these mansions implode in a mountain firestorm be the last- no more taxpayer funded rebuilds for these spoiled morons.
    Let’s see if any CA legislator has the will to suggest this, ever.

  80. CynicalOne November 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    Shut up, Joe. (j/k 😉
    I’m just jealous I can’t get here earlier.
    Bravo! Mr. K.
    Count me as one who is thoroughly disgusted with being labeled a “consumer” first and foremost by everyone from the president on down.
    Eff that.
    My consumption has dropped dramatically and will continue to decline to the point of necessities only. I have all I need and most of what I want. The total sum of our Christmas gifting this year will consist of cash, as requested by our one child and a gift of cash to my mother-in-law who lives on a very, very fixed income.
    Eat that, BEAST.

  81. cstv November 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
    * From bondage to spiritual faith;
    * From spiritual faith to great courage;
    * From courage to liberty;
    * From liberty to abundance;
    * From abundance to complacency;
    * From complacency to apathy;
    * From apathy to dependence;
    * From dependence back into bondage.

  82. cstv November 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Proper footnote needed for above quote…Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish-born British lawyer and writer. His son was Patrick Fraser Tytler, traveller and historian.
    But most well heeled readers here already knew that!

  83. cstv November 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    Proper footnote needed for above quote…Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish-born British lawyer and writer. His son was Patrick Fraser Tytler, traveller and historian.
    But most well heeled readers here already knew that!

  84. seb November 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    No, we’d rather hit every issue taken as one, in the sheer hallucinatory feel of believing in that, and besides, what is happening here is that you are permitted, in an argument, to direct neither which specific fallacy to address nor who is available to do so, because this is logical, not authoritarian, and scientific, not authoritarian. That would be nice if I could direct the other side’s argument. I’d win them all.
    This particular one is static strength. And, the building collapsed at dynamic loads.
    How large are such loads?
    Do they have to be sustained? At free fall, no. 32 ft/sec^2 means the shit will break to pancake mix about instantly.
    Perhaps it is counterintuitive, understanding these loads. Were buildings designed with this in mind, or, were they designed to stand up to wind, or earthquakes? No side is standing. Maybe it tilts, huh? while standing, it’s straight. As soon as it gets 0.1 ft out of horizonatlly stacked, we fix it. The top 100′ weighed what?
    Perhaps it is counterintuitive to believe that objects fall straight down. That’s all they do, though. Yeah, if you want to wait for it to lean, it may take longer. Straight down will be fast. Things without support under them fall straight down. Oh, that’s your thesis, huh?
    Well, let’s go back to the strength. Water comes out of the top of a tree, right? Wood is pretty stiff. Plant cells are not flexible. The pressure inside them is 50,000 atmospheres. It is called xylem stem pressure. The pressure of collapsing bubbles will completely carve away metal in a water pump. That’s called cavitation. Once again, 50,000 atm. Concrete is strongest under compression. It is also stronger with tension cables, and with rebar. I wouldn’t say it was twice as strong. Did you think of bubbles as strong, or the opposite of strong, which is ripping the shit out of “strong” things?
    They have a machine to test concrete, and it always crushes it, but I doubt it approaches these loads. The building is moving both quickly, but more important for high momentum, it’s heavy. And, it’s a record-holder. That wasn’t ever done on purpose.
    Oh, except this time.
    Resink, I mean, rethink the Titanic. Raise the Titanic because it’s unsinkable.
    I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to get us not to bring down the Sears Tower. We can’t do it without an inside army of CIA guys to plant the explosives? Well, somebody ought to take you up on that.
    Airplane, pleeeeeease. I’ll fly.
    “Uh, can’t we design a sustainable building that you can pile-drive into itself?”
    “Well, is it a building, or is it a ship?”
    “This one’s a little bit of both.”
    “Oh, a wise guy.”
    “Not in the least. I just hope that ain’t emblematic for our whole century.”
    Remember what they said? A plane flew into the world Trade Center.
    “Okay, so flew ‘into’. You mean it clips it going by.”
    “Umm, nah.”
    “Okay, so one of ’em, then.”
    “Ah. No.”
    “Well it doesn’t look good for foreign relations.”
    “Ya think?”
    They also said somebody took a pot shot at President Kennedy. A pot shot? This was an ace kill with no retribution, none of those defiant looks back like Ronald Reagan. This was God guiding someone’s hand, if you believe in that sort of thing.

  85. Montana Joe November 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    NIST? Oh my god, you’ll believe anything. Fefe did you know that the sun orbits the earth, and that if you go too far you’ll fall off the edge of the world?
    You already know that don’t you.
    Nice language.
    You are an ignorant fool who probably did not even graduate from middle school.

  86. dale November 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    Isjogren,
    Good points, and I agree with your analysis that attempts to maintain the status quo are quite possibly making the likelihood of further financial decline more, rather than less likely….or not. This type of “collapse” is however, not the kind to which JHK and many here subscribe.
    The points you make might be good cause for an eventual economic depression like event, which compared to the apocalyptic scenarios of PO etc. might be more like a black sparrow than a black swan, something that happens once or twice every hundred years. The sort of collapse “clusterfuck” is referring to is more on the order of a once or twice every millennium event.
    It always surprises me how many, even obviously well educated people, (like Dr. Doom for example) are unable to see past the emotional bias of their views on this topic, and suppose they are among a small group of people who can foresee extremely rare occurrences with something like 20-20 vision.
    Does it appear that the progression of an out of control world human population, climate change, etc. portend negative consequences eventually? I would say that is quite likely, and in terms of the totality of Earth history this sort of thing may not even be that rare of an event. Asteroid strikes decimating animal populations, that is certainly a black swan. Large fluctuations in species populations, maybe not so much so.
    It’s all relative of course, if it kills you I guess it’s a black swan, if not maybe something less. The point of trying to see this in perspective might give someone a more dispassionate view of these world events. Things that inevitable happen with a certain periodicity, but which cannot be precisely known or predicted, and which in the long view are morally neutral.
    We have had a tendency in recent years to view ourselves as being outside of nature and its processes. I would suggest that is not the case, and what happens to us is similar to fluctuations in all natural processes. The Earth itself will abide, it doesn’t need our help to do so. That we think it does is just another example of our self centered egotism.

  87. Montana Joe November 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    NIST? Oh my god, you’ll believe anything. Fefe did you know that the sun orbits the earth, and that if you go too far you’ll fall off the edge of the world?
    You already know that don’t you.
    Nice language.
    You are an ignorant fool who probably did not even graduate from middle school.

  88. wagelaborer November 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I don’t like being called a consumer instead of a citizen either. But it does fit my assigned role by the ruling class.
    I don’t like calling the President the “commander in chief” of the country either. What does that make us? Not consumers, but soldiers, bound to obey without question.
    Capitalism is not an ideology, but it isn’t a set of laws either. (Although the laws of society benefit the capitalists and not the rest of us.)
    Capitalism is an organization of society in which a small group of people owns the means of production and the rest of the people sell their ability to work. Every year the means of production concentrates in fewer hands and more people become wage workers.
    The owners can do what they want with their property. If they wish to shut down a factory and move it to China, throwing thousands of people out of work, the law says they can. If the people stay in the factory and operate it for the benefit of themselves and the community, the law says they can’t.
    If the owners find it cheaper to dump toxins into the air or water, which are common property, instead of reclaiming or containing the toxins, or converting to a non=toxic procedure, the laws may say they can, or the laws may say they can’t, but the owners pay off the regulators, and -presto- they can.
    The capitalists get the profit and the fish pay. Or each individual family with a child with leukemia pays. Or the hundreds who have asthma attacks pay.
    Although we are told that this is the best possible way to organize society, I disagree.
    In 200 years of capitalism our beautiful planet, once teaming with life, has been stripped and plundered. Forests, rivers, animals, plains, oceans once fertile and bountiful now lie buried under trash, gasping for air and losing species at an alarming rate.
    And those who can see that we cannot go on borrowing, cannot go on burning oil, cannot go on paving over the land, can’t see that we can’t go on letting a small group of people decide all of our futures for their profit.
    Sad.

  89. James Howard Kunstler November 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    Reply to Montana Joe from JHK–
    I’m banning you, not because you’re out-of-line in terms of manners, but because I regard your conspiracy theories as fucking paranoid nonsense. Take your complaints to another site.
    –Jim

  90. James Howard Kunstler November 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    Jaego Scorzne–
    You’re banned too.
    I am not retailing malicious racism on this site and don’t want to hear from you anymore.
    –Jim

  91. Dan Treecraft November 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    Thanks, “Thomas99”, for the great quote attributed to Chris Martenson:
    “IF YOU LOCK THREE ECONOMISTS IN THE BASEMENT, THEY WON’T WORRY ABOUT STARVING – BECAUSE THEY THEY KNOW THEIR GRUMBLING BELLIES WILL CAUSE SANDWICHES TO APPEAR.”
    Worth repeating, no? Too bad TIME magazine didn’t print that one in their “Letters” department after Milton Freidman’s long overdue departure.
    Me – ashamed? Better word, methinks: embarrassed. And a little bit angry. Certainly, pretty disappointed in the performance of a certain “Intelligently Designed” species.
    Sorry to say, life on this planet has been substantially hijacked by the capitalist profit motive, which would sell its offspring into Hell for little action at the tables.
    My wife and I used to get rankled when we’d hear some of our local Peasants shrug off our gnashings about the course of events with: “I’m not worried. It’s in God’s hands.” (Sheesh!)
    Lately, I’m truly sorry to say that I don’t think there is much any of us can do to save our own asses, much less anyone else’s. “Events are in the saddle, and they are riding us now.” The cumulative antics of Industrial Civilization have so much trajectorial inertial mass going, that there will be no stopping the cumulative crashes we now see escalating.
    And, yet, I am still occasionally inspired to pick up a hoe – or a pitchfork – to: 1) either try to do something constructive for myself, or; 2) let the powers that be know that some of the Peasants are still paying attention to what’s being done in our name.
    Gloom and doom? Piffle! What? Me worry? Nah!
    My grave is half full.

  92. Dan Treecraft November 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    Thanks, “Thomas99”, for the great quote attributed to Chris Martenson:
    “IF YOU LOCK THREE ECONOMISTS IN THE BASEMENT, THEY WON’T WORRY ABOUT STARVING – BECAUSE THEY THEY KNOW THEIR GRUMBLING BELLIES WILL CAUSE SANDWICHES TO APPEAR.”
    Worth repeating, no? Too bad TIME magazine didn’t print that one in their “Letters” department after Milton Freidman’s long overdue departure.
    Me – ashamed? Better word, methinks: embarrassed. And a little bit angry. Certainly, pretty disappointed in the performance of a certain “Intelligently Designed” species.
    Sorry to say, life on this planet has been substantially hijacked by the capitalist profit motive, which would sell its offspring into Hell for little action at the tables.
    My wife and I used to get rankled when we’d hear some of our local Peasants shrug off our gnashings about the course of events with: “I’m not worried. It’s in God’s hands.” (Sheesh!)
    Lately, I’m truly sorry to say that I don’t think there is much any of us can do to save our own asses, much less anyone else’s. “Events are in the saddle, and they are riding us now.” The cumulative antics of Industrial Civilization have so much trajectorial inertial mass going, that there will be no stopping the cumulative crashes we now see escalating.
    And, yet, I am still occasionally inspired to pick up a hoe – or a pitchfork – to: 1) either try to do something constructive for myself, or; 2) let the powers that be know that some of the Peasants are still paying attention to what’s being done in our name.
    Gloom and doom? Piffle! What? Me worry? Nah!
    My grave is half full.

  93. wagelaborer November 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    And, Montana Joe, I also believed the official story until 2005.
    I spent my outrage, as directed, on the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, pointing out that there were Saudis on the planes, not Afghans or Iraqis, and why were the Saudis flown out, yada, yada, yada.
    And then I saw David Ray Griffin give a speech in which he pointed out that 111 story buildings could not just collapse straight into their own footprints in 9 seconds, leaving not piles of rubble, as would be expected, but clouds of concrete dust, spread over lower Manhattan. Oh, and later they found bits of human bones on the tops of neighboring buildings. How does NIST explain 1/2″ bits of bones thrown onto the tops of skyscrapers by fire and gravity?
    I understand that JHK censors those who speak of 9-11, but I want you to know that you are not alone in your clear-eyed skepticism.

  94. Martin Hayes November 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    “Today I am convinced, that anyone who “claims to be intelligent” will come to the same conclusion I did … after I studied/researched/verified/confirmed the evidence surrounding 911.”
    And how, pray tell, did you verify the information? And what original research did you do? If you have allowed yourself to become convinced, you have done yourself a disservice.
    As my wife, an academic, has mordantly observed, reading a bunch of websites is not research. It doesn’t help your case, either, that you think Jim Marrs is a reliable source of information.
    What you have forgotten is that your position is not strong, but weak: do you suppose you can assemble a detailed and convincing picture, with enough data to satisfy the most rigorous scrutiny, and which meets the rules of evidence?
    And which you could publish to scholarly acclaim?
    More to the point, are you certain that you could tell the difference between what I’ve just described and a morass of disinformation, pseudo-science and outright falsehood?
    Probably not. So why allow yourself to be convinced?

  95. suburbanempire November 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    “The peoples who’s land the Europeans stole were not interested in gold as a median of exchange, they were more focused on simple exchange for economic activity, they did not have buffalo skin derivative bundle schemes, they did not have a problem with excessive executive compensation in the leadership of the hunting parties, nor did they have to throw billions of imaginary blankets into a an imaginary “TARP” fund.”
    A special Thanksgiving essay….
    http://www.suburbanempire.com
    Caustic Commentary… Biting Opinion…
    Suburban Critical…. Empire Chronicle.

  96. Michael Dawson November 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    If anybody’s interested in further pursuing JHK’s crucial point about the word “consumer,” I wrote about it here:
    http://www.consumertrap.com/consumer-bias
    We b in trouble…

  97. John66 November 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks for your comments regarding capitalism and communism. Much appreciated!

  98. John66 November 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    Thanks for your comments regarding capitalism and communism, Jim. Much appreciated!

  99. asoka November 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    JHK, how long do you think Wiley Coyote can stay suspended in air?
    I really enjoy your metaphors. The English language is rich to provide you with so many. In 2007 you used metaphors like nausea, mental rot, and casino syndrome. In 2008 you used metaphors like narcolepsy, dropping shoes, and burning down the house.
    In 2008 you forecast imminent oil and gas shortages. Instead it looks like oil is going to go back down to $65-$70 per barrel.
    There is now more oil than there is storage. Supply is up according to the latest report from the Department of Energy which showed that U.S. crude oil inventories were nearly 6.5% higher than last year – a total of 336.8 million barrels of oil. (Meantime, about 50 million barrels of crude are on short-term storage vessels and another 75 million barrels of distillates are in the Atlantic until storage clears up.)
    Demand is down at oil refineries, about 13.8 million barrels per day –- one million barrels lower than a year ago. (Not to mention they’re only operating at an average of about 80% capacity.)
    How long ago was it we had $4.00 a gallon gasoline and $100 a barrel oil? When will those Wiley Coyote days return?
    Are you still forecasting oil and gasoline shortages as imminent, as you did in 2008? It’s almost 2010 and the shortages have yet to appear.
    Apparently Wiley Coyote can stay suspended in air for quite some time. I would guess about 47 years more, until the Arctic gas and oil supplies are exhausted. (blink of an eye in geologic time)

  100. dale November 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Jaego Scorzne–
    You’re banned too.
    I am not retailing malicious racism on this site and don’t want to hear from you anymore.
    –Jim
    ==================================
    Thanks Jim….about time I would say!

  101. James Howard Kunstler November 23, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    David Ray Griffin is an anti-semite whack job trafficker in UFO nonsense and other mental garbage. Before his admirers made him clean up his crazy web site(s), anyone could see what a lunatic he was. Your wasting your time on this 9/11 conspiracy. Don’t waste the comment section’s time on it.
    –Jim

  102. asia November 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Aren’t you ashamed?
    No Jim im not! why should i be? Last nite i was talking to a downsized techie in silicon valley.I was laughing about how ‘if americans average 1000 or so hours a year of Tv + movies+ violent egames…well we are disconnected to their [ahem] culture’!!!
    as far as krugman goes HE GETS PAID TO LIE…JUST LIKE GREENSPAN BEFORE HIM….
    and jim thanks for reporting on the idiot box,,its not fer nothing that its called that…and it has been a major controller and ‘ dumbing down’ agent of the power elites.
    this am i was takin a walk…at the bus stop a very fat woman on a cell phone says ‘ i went to the salvation army and couldnt get my free turkey’! then she asks me for money to get on the bus….
    i didnt talk to her
    ‘ Aren’t you ashamed? NOT IN THE LEAST!!!!
    she had a cell phone i didnt..whos zoomin who?

  103. BOS November 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    JHK have you read “web of debt” by ellen hodgson brown? You might like it.

  104. Chris C. November 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    So now we’re banning people with contrarian views… “but because I regard your conspiracy theories as fucking paranoid nonsense. Take your complaints to another site.”
    So much for free speech, heh Jim? Keep suppressing that which does not readily integrate into your overly simplistic world-view as opposed to working to continually refine it?
    “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” – Rene Descartes
    I had heard about you several years ago and have read your blogs, almost all of them as a matter of fact, since I believe there are few that understand our global economic conundrum better.
    However, upon seeing how you treat people who dare question authority and seek the truth, I therefore request you ban me, as I no longer wish to partake in anything that censors the truth. I know there are many others out there reading this who agree with me (most will not have the courage to comment).
    Good luck

  105. dale November 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    However, upon seeing how you treat people who dare question authority and seek the truth,….
    ========================================
    So in your opinion racist rants are an example of seeking the truth? Please ban yourself, and take all those “seekers of truth” who agree with you along for the ride.

  106. Chris C. November 23, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Hey dale,
    Maybe you need to actually read the previous posts. I was not defending the one who made racist comments. Better to jump to conclusions however in this day and age. I forgive you.

  107. turkle November 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    The book “911 Synthetic Terror” is a terrible, poorly researched piece of garbage lacking any references. You can have my copy for free if you want it. I don’t know about the other ones, but if they’re at all similar, then I’ll pass.
    It strikes too much at the American sense of pride to accept that 19 camel jockeys with box cutters got past all our defenses.
    But that’s exactly what happened. That’s the simplest explanation and the most obvious. On the other hand, a vast government conspiracy involving Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz is the exact opposite.
    Try reading the 9-11 Commission Report. You might learn something.

  108. asoka November 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    chris c. said: ” I no longer wish to partake in anything that censors the truth.”
    There is a difference between government censoring and private banning. A censor is a government official whose primary duty is to scrutinize conduct. Punishment may include prison or death.
    CFN is JHK’s private blog and he has the right to ban… and you have the right to start your own blog and write whatever you want, precisely because you are not being officially censored.
    There is no government censorship here preventing information from reaching citizens. JHK is not even authorized to engage in censorship. He is authorized to ban individuals from CFN, his own creation.
    You are free, because you have not been censored, to go elsewhere and read and write whatever you like… with no threat of imprisonment or death.

  109. turkle November 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    The NIST report and the 9-11 Commission Report are far more credible and believable than 90% of the 9-11 “inside job” literature out there. And that’s being generous.
    If all the pieces don’t exactly fit together, that’s because its an unprecedented event. A 100+ story building has never collapsed before, let alone two of them in quick succession. Anyone who says they could perfectly predict the exact physical outcome from such a destructive event is a simpleton.

  110. asoka November 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Another reason I like the CONVULSION metaphor is because it is a medical metaphor, and like so many medical conditions, the prognosis for recovery is good. In fact, the medical parallels are striking. In the medical literature they call convulsions seizures.
    Considering the USA economy to be the patient, read this excerpt from the journal American Family Physician considering:
    “While the evaluation and treatment of patients with seizures or epilepsy is often challenging, modern therapy provides many patients with complete seizure control.
    And control, stabilization, and recovery is what Obama, Geitner, and company have achieved upon receiving an economy that was almost flatlining.
    WASHINGTON (AP)— First-time buyers seized on a tax credit, combined with low mortgage rates and falling prices, to boost home sales in October to their highest level in 2 1/2 years.
    Home sales are now nearly 37 percent above their bottom in January, though still 16 percent below their peak in 2005. At the current sales pace, there’s a modest seven-month supply for sale. Bidding wars are occurring in some areas.

  111. agribiz November 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    At the height of the bubble activity my wife and I were able to secure a 110K re-fi (were asked if we were sure that we didn’t want more) on the 8 acre rural acreage that we have owned since it was split off from the old upper midwestern family farm 5 years previous to that. That having happened as we approached our 60s. 20 year note at just less than 5%.
    All we had to show was our income at the time. And open the doors for their appointed appraisor. No investigation of our furutre income prospects.
    No questions asked about the well, septic tank, the condition or usefulness of the various “out buildings”, any easements (of which there are some) or our prospects for income past our relatively imminent retirements from jobs that would be considered relatively modest in compensation, by the local norm of that day.
    While we still hold those jobs and hopefully will for a few more years between us, properties such as this one have become a drug on the market, as the manufacturing base in the area has left, farms are becoming larger and larger and increasingly mechanized to the point where they require considerably less hired labor to a degree that no non-farm person could ever begin to comprehend.
    This loan has become dramatically “under water” in just a short year or two and will, however, be nobly serviced until the first of us hits retirement upon which it will become practically unservicable.
    A substantial, well maintained country home….15 miles from anywhere, or nowhere as it might be. Not just cheap…no market. Yet, I have been told that we would be automatically eligible for a new re-fi package based on the improvements we made with the proceeds from the original re-fi and our current, relatively soon to be less, incomes. again, no questions asked regarding our potential retirement income or tangible current assets. The county has it appraised at 140K for tax purposes. At an absolute auction it might bring 25-30.
    Owning a property such as this one makes one akin to being the public utilites operator and parks department for a small town. Every last thing about our experience and what we face validates JHKs concerns about the unsustainablitly of remote living and the inability of the system to “reset”. Everything that led to the existence of it and our being there is gone, and can’t be reconstituted. Not the ‘burbs, or the ex-urbs, but no different in the difficulties it presents.

  112. dale November 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    Ok then, if racism is not your axe to grind, I wouldn’t want to lump you in with the likes of Jaego. As has been pointed out however, 911 conspiracies are not too far behind racism on the scale of idiocy.

  113. dale November 23, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Hang in there, the pendulum may swing back your way sooner than you imagine.

  114. CaptSpaulding November 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Geez I dunno, perhaps Montana Joe was right. I also have it on good authority that Humpty Dumpty didn’t just fall. That’s right, he was pushed.

  115. asia November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    well..it is JKs ‘dime’
    jim..i was listening to Am radio last nite..i know you dont have much interest it it
    someone was saying the SERVICING of the debt in a decade ill be 700? billion a year..well if you remove alcohol/cigs/crime from GDP..what do you get? 5 trillion a year?

  116. Jersey New November 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Katnip Kid: “Tune the pop culture tabloid news out”
    That’s easy in theory but the reality (no pun intended) is that tv (I don’t know why everyone capitalizes “TV”) is so incessant and pervasive that, as a dangerous drug it’s become, it gets through to the masses very easily. Of course the people that read Jim’s column here “tune it out” but most don’t–even those supposedly with a good “education” still will watch the ridiculous morning shows of entertainers like Lauer and Sawyer as a companion while they put their socks on. Some of that infotainment/”news” blather is sure to seep in as “knowledge.” Those “stats” that Jim mentioned were ratings helpers, no doubt.
    And Diane Sawyer and Lauer ain’t givin’ up those jobs anytime soon. At least not while there’s millions of viewers. They probably think they’re “journalists” if you ask them, and most people will tell you they are.
    I mean, how do I even know the names of those aforementioned “hosts” of the show–I never watch them. It just seeps in to the culture.
    Tune it out?, sorry I don’t give the populace credit for being able to do that.

  117. Lynn Shwadchuck November 23, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Chubbz, I’m glad I helped you see my son’s choice the way I do. All day I’ve also been thinking, what do you mean ‘let’ him go to film school? In my parenting experience, 23 year-olds do whatever they like, as long as they’re off the gravy train. It’s all about influence and example. My older son watched a video where I was interviewed on the subject of ‘contentment’. It was about simple living. He said his ambition was to do exactly what I was doing. It doesn’t get better than that for a mother. And, just as I didn’t worry about their careers while they were goofing off in high school, I know they’ll both use their creativity to adapt to whatever hardship the future brings.
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  118. agribiz November 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    As in how? I’m hoping that I dind’t present the situation in some maneer thatmade you think that this proerty had some income producing role. It’s a glorified house and one quite big yard. ceased to be an income generator when the farm was sold off by other family and creditors.
    As farms grew in size, “building sites” no longer needed by farm operatinos were sold off with much success all over ag production areas of the country. Those near to population centers set the price for those out in the middle of nowhere.
    There are very few middle income occupational opportunites outside of government work in these areas. Archaic internet services, thus no good home employment opportunities.
    Could try to sell free range meat and eggs and home grown vegetables, but to who? How far away. Large numbers of flyover rural Americans who are not among the ever shrinking number of large ag producers are gasoline and culture olcked out. Realtors are telling me that the next big event out here is going to be people enmasse walking into banks and throwing keys on the desk. People will do that if they think they can walk away and move into closer quarters.
    I’d suggest putting down your Wendell Berry (I’m a big fan and avid reader, BTW)and re-read some Kunslter and add in some David Korten. More gardens, a few chickens in every back yard and composting toilets aren’t going to break down this pile of debt that is plauging us all.

  119. DeeJones November 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    I read a “editorial” by George Will over the weekend where he was going on about how “peak oil” was predicted several times in the past, and yet here we are now, in the 21st Century (and STILL driving piston-engined autos), and haven’t run out of oil yet. And he makes the claim that those super-deep water discoveries will save us and provide all the oil we will need for another 50-100 years. And the only reason we can’t just drill, baby, drill is because of those darn obstructionist environmentalist.
    Again, the short sightedness of our so-called leaders & those that are supposedly in the know.
    I also read an interesting article on the Insane Clown Possie, and out of curiosity, Googled them.
    Wow! That is exactly what the people of this whole country have become, Insane Clowns.
    The whole edifice is on the verge of imploding, and all we get from our leaders and the “news” media is the latest circus.
    As someone here once posted, Rome wasn’t burned in a day, and the USA will not fall overnight either, but it is on the slippery slope down into the ditches. We in this country are heading for a much lower standard of living for the great majority of citizens, only the small percentage of the Yupper Class will be able to maintain any semblance of our former standard of living.
    The great majority are looking a a new, improved Super-Serfhood in thier future.
    If you have ever seen the movie The Handmaids Tale, you will have a good idea where the New Right is taking this boat. And its not a nice sunny harbor in the Caribbean.
    Anyway, good luck to yall

  120. asoka November 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    The American people are not convulsion-ridden, moronic idiots. They are not puppets being controlled by MSM. The American people have autonomy and the ability to act to change their situation. Case in point:
    NEW YORK — Consumers got more serious about paying down their credit card debt this summer, a time when deliquencies usually go up.
    Cardholders making late payments on bank-issued cards like those bearing MasterCard and Visa logos fell to 1.1 percent for the July-to-September period, down from 1.17 percent in the prior three months, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.
    The decline is significant because of its timing. Delinquency rates usually rise in the third quarter from the prior period as people spend on summer vacations and back-to-school shopping, said Clifton O’Neal, a TransUnion spokesman.
    The latest quarter marks the first time in a decade the delinquency rate dropped in the third quarter from the preceding quarter, according to the TransUnion analysis.

  121. 4everyman November 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Then, staring at me from my cozy little Sunday paper, I’m forced to deal with George Will calling environmentalism “the enemy”, because it has the nerve to deal with the issue of “scarcity”, which, in his mind, is a fabricated concept designed to empower government to control people’s freedom to spend, or something. I don’t know. The denial is stupefying. He cites shale oil, and Canadian Tar Sands and “huge” discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico
    cited by some oil industry hack as proof that there’s it’s a conspiracy by tree-hugghers to squash our God-given right to consume as much as want for as long as we want. George Will! Millions of people read him, and consider him a voice of rationality in the midst of the left-right vitriol. Man. Oh, man.

  122. ~micheal~ November 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    JHK says, “…America’s leadership has dedicated itself to… a campaign to sustain the unsustainable”.
    Yes, and what a herculean effort it has been too. Who would have guessed that they could have kept this train wreck on the tracks this long? They have managed to sustain energy consumption commensurate with production.
    OK, we figured out a long time ago that the public policy is pedal to the metal until we hit the wall. There will be no effort to mitigate the die-off. Duh!
    So, the sooner the collapse occurs, the better. The longer that we wait, the worse will be the suffering.
    Perhaps, it is time to quit yammering about the myths of mitigation and preparation. It may be time to begin to assist with getting on with the collapse.

  123. suburbanempire November 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    I feel like the coyote; only difference is that I have taken the fall, been hit by the anvil and am now walking around the bottom of the canyon looking like an accordion….
    ….I seems like the rest of the nation is catching up to me…..
    But they are still out shopping!?!
    I don’t get it. Where is the money coming from? more importantly, where is the CREDIT coming from??
    I listen to the self serve scanners at the stores as other people use them, and so often at the grocery store you hear the machine say “Use pin pad to complete transaction, select CREDIT on the pin pad and follow the instructions….”
    I think to myself “Credit?” not “Debit” ?? At a GROCERY store… and it’s the same thing at any of the Big box stores……
    Then I realize that the economy has no real green shoots at all and the consumer “confidence” that is coming “back” is just the last of the desperate maxing out their cards…..
    Great post Jim!

  124. CynicalOne November 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    NEW YORK — Consumers got more serious about paying down their credit card debt this summer, a time when deliquencies usually go up.
    My take: Just freeing up some of their credit line so they can max the card(s) out again come the Christmas shopping season.

  125. Mike Hicks November 23, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    Just prior to the 60 Minutes conflab last night the evening news ( I know, the corporate news) talked about Thanksgiving Holiday travel this year.
    Travel by Air down 4%, people are fed up with the airlines treatment. They are toast!
    Travel by Rail and Commuter train up 2%.
    Travel by Car up 2%.
    But the thing that struck me was that people are surely unemployed or under employed were bound and determined to travel. I know our society has spread out across our great nation, but this is one example of how people are going to stick to old routines no matter the current situation.
    I still maintain, it will take a major calamity to shock our society awake so the change can begin. I think a little oil shortage might just do it.
    Continue to watch the Middle East. One burp there and we’re out of gas!

  126. Mike Hicks November 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    Just prior to the 60 Minutes conflab last night the evening news ( I know, the corporate news) talked about Thanksgiving Holiday travel this year.
    Travel by Air down 4%, people are fed up with the airlines treatment. They are toast!
    Travel by Rail and Commuter train up 2%.
    Travel by Car up 2%.
    But the thing that struck me was that people are surely unemployed or under employed were bound and determined to travel. I know our society has spread out across our great nation, but this is one example of how people are going to stick to old routines no matter the current situation.
    I still maintain, it will take a major calamity to shock our society awake so the change can begin. I think a little oil shortage might just do it.
    Continue to watch the Middle East. One burp there and we’re out of gas!

  127. turkle November 23, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    RE: George Will
    “The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” –H. L. Mencken

  128. CynicalOne November 23, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Suburban,
    We have to select “Credit” when we use our debit card but the transactions are most certainly paid from our checking account.

  129. Mike Hicks November 23, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Now today the O-Man started talking about jobs creation. While at the same time it’s starting to sink in that if we ramp up Afganistan then there will not be enough money health care, jobs creation, renewable energy, and the myriad of other things that need attention.
    Maybe the O-Man can ask Wall Street to float him a loan!

  130. Mike Hicks November 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    Now today the O-Man started talking about jobs creation. While at the same time it’s starting to sink in that if we ramp up Afganistan then there will not be enough money health care, jobs creation, renewable energy, and the myriad of other things that need attention.
    Maybe the O-Man can ask Wall Street to float him a loan!

  131. Puzzler November 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    Thank you!
    ——————
    Reply to Montana Joe from JHK–
    I’m banning you, not because you’re out-of-line in terms of manners, but because I regard your conspiracy theories as fucking paranoid nonsense. Take your complaints to another site.
    –Jim

  132. Puzzler November 23, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Thank you again!
    ——————–
    Jaego Scorzne–
    You’re banned too.
    I am not retailing malicious racism on this site and don’t want to hear from you anymore.
    –Jim

  133. messianicdruid November 23, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    Is it an echo or a bunco?:
    “Hitler was the greatest performer in Europe. Nobody else could have held an advanced nation in thrall with unscripted, unedited public speeches. He had to be on all the time. But now, with multimedia technology, somebody with much less skill can have the same effect.
    Also, Hitler’s great talent was feedback. He was not a sociopath, but an evil empath, who could literally resonate with the worst emotions of his audience, and learned exactly how to talk and move to amplify those emotions.
    The same thing is happening now with TV and the internet, and not just on the level of emotions, but on the level of facts. Less and less of the content is derived from looking outward, exploring, investigating, and more and more is derived from feeding back what the audience wants.”
    http://www.ranprieur.com

  134. Phaedrus November 23, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    I have come to the same conclusion many times that we are indeed a nation of whiny spoiled children. I have asked myself almost on a daily basis why that is. And perhaps what we can do about it?
    Could it be our government leaders, who are the problem? Looking back in history many different governents have been established. Many have tried to invision the perfect government. It is my belief that there is no perfect governent. And there, also, is no utopian society. The only way we have to create change is simple: Petition the Governent, Free Speech, and Assemble Peacefully. That is, of course, if we are to abide by the laws of the governing system we live in today. If these options are not acceptable then we must be prepared to fight. However, I am simply stating that since no governent is perfect then fighting could be another giant waste of time and energy. We all will have to function within some type of governing system – as imperfect as it may be. Our choices and visions of the future are controlled by:1) history and 2) physical limitations of the environment we live in i.e. Laws of Physics, ect. In other words, what happened and what is already here? History will tell us that we have unlimited desires in a world of limited resources.
    Perhaps what we are really talking about are ideologies about the nature of human existence. Or at least we should be. Of course those discusions can be dicey to say the least. If we are to take a Marxist view then we believe that our lives can not change unless society is radically transformed. However, which one is less energy intensive? Changing the world or changing yourself? Marx belived we shouldn’t treat people as means to an economic end…as we might do by refering to “Humans” as “Consumers”. If the economic basis of society determines everything else about it, perhaps Marx is right that Capitalism will fall to Communisim. One thing seems certain: man will push his earning capabablies as far as they will go. But if there are limits on human production then certainly future production must fall.

  135. Laura Louzader November 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    Your situation reminds me of why I continue to cling to the cores of large cities rather than head for a small rural town.
    I believe that Kunstler is correct in his prediction that small towns will once more be important in the post-peak oil age, but in the meantime, these places are absolutely untenable and function like really remote suburbs. I have friends who live in a lovely hamlet in the Champagne-Urbana area. They have a beautiful 1930s-vintage Georgetown Colonial, truly elegant, that would cost $450K minimum even now were it in Chicago or nearby. Out there, it might sell for $75K these days, and there’s a reason for that.
    Why? Even though this is a sweet town and is on an Amtrak rail stop, it is unlivable without a car. There is a shriveled retail district close to the tracks, but it has nothing that offers day-to-day necessities. You must drive 5- 25 miles for food and groceries and basic clothes. At least it is on the grid and is an attractive place with good, brick housing stock, and it’s relatively close to the University. But it has no jobs- you’d have to drive to champagne, a good 25 miles away, to go to work.
    And while a place like this might be just the place to be 15 years from now, you have to deal with reality as it is at this moment, which means you live where the jobs are and where the buses and trains run and where you can live in a walkable neighborhood with all your daily needs within a few blocks, and your job within easy commuting distance by public transit. If I had the additional money available to park, I might “bank” one of those lovely townhomes, and have my mother live in it while I work here. But that is not an option for me or most other people.
    Worse, many small towns are so busy pretending to be suburbs that they are politically refractory to making the adjustments necessary to live with more independently with lower energy consumption. For example, most will not permit you to keep any kind of livestock in residential neighborhoods, nor permit you to run any sort of “cottage industry” out of your house. You are usually discouraged from putting in a vegetable garden, and these places that are surrounded by large farms do not usually even have farmers’ markets.

  136. JohnTedder November 23, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    I visited the Saratoga National Historical Park this weekend with the intention of purchasing some birthday and Christmas gifts for nephews and nieces. Many of the gifts that I looked at were “Made in China.” I had to pass the old, broken down factory known as Victory Mills to get to the park.
    That mill made things as far back as the civil war and provided employment for many people in Victory, Schuylerville and the surrounding area. I believe it was a functioning mill of some sort into the 1980’s. It is now an eyesore with broken windows and weeds in the parking lot.
    We need to bring back “Made in the U.S.A.”
    http://teddersrandomnotes.com/blog

  137. JohnTedder November 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    I visited the Saratoga National Historical Park this weekend with the intention of purchasing some birthday and Christmas gifts for nephews and nieces. Many of the gifts that I looked at were “Made in China.” I had to pass the old, broken down factory known as Victory Mills to get to the park.
    That mill made things as far back as the civil war and provided employment for many people in Victory, Schuylerville and the surrounding area. I believe it was a functioning mill of some sort into the 1980’s. It is now an eyesore with broken windows and weeds in the parking lot.
    We need to bring back “Made in the U.S.A.”
    http://teddersrandomnotes.com/blog

  138. georget November 23, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

    Chris,
    Jim does have his blind spots (as we all do) and also does have the right to ban anyone who comments on his site.
    You must realize, from your experience with other people, that many people are highly resistant to the idea that our government institutions, at any level, including rogue elements, could be involved in such a heinous event as 911.
    This idea is too disturbing to contemplate for the typical American and rightly so.
    Those in power in this country understand this psychology well, and utilize it to further their agendas.
    In this case they have put together a plausible case (in a neat package) for their chosen story of how this occurred.
    Psychologically, the easiest answer for the typical American is to accept this story and get back to the business of watching reality TV, football, go shopping or attend whatever else they feel is important at the moment.
    So ends their cognitive dissonance on this matter.
    If they refuse to hear any more about the matter, then they keep their cognitive dissonance at a minimum and can feel like everything is fine, at least as far as this question goes.
    If they have a heightened reaction to a comment about the matter at a later time, it gives evidence that they still have some cognitive dissonance that can’t be eliminated by simply ignoring it.
    The stronger the reaction, the stronger the cognitive dissonace.
    This same basic psychological effect is occurring with the economic catastrophe we are living through, as well as, the possibility of drastic changes to the typical American lifestyle as a result of Peak Oil.
    People are experiencing tremendous cognitive dissonance on many levels concerning this economic paradigm shift that is occurring.
    They can barely grasp the basic everyday financial problems that are occurring in their lives, much less the possibility that there were/are people who, get ready, I’m going to use the ‘C’ word, conspired (think of this as created an agenda) to deliberately create much of what’s now occurring.
    As in the unmentionable example above, the government has and will continue to offer a plausible case for why the problems have happened and this case will inevitably be accepted by the average American.
    Although in this case, since no Americans were killed by the event (at least not directly), there is more room for folks to put some blame on the government without the extremely heightened cognitive dissonance that occurs at the thought of some aspect of the government being involved in the unmentionable incident above.
    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”
    — Ronald Reagan

  139. jerry November 23, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    James, I think you may not be taking the words of Paul Krugman as I have taken them. I do believe he is saying what you are saying, to some degree.
    You say, “…our destination is the same: the absolute necessity to reorganize how we live.” “…the urgent task of making new arrangements for trade, food production, et cetera – the very things that would provide jobs and social roles for our citizens in the future.”
    Yes, I agree, and I believe that is why we need a more powerful and focused government stimulus. One that does not continue to recapitalize greedy bankstas. Krugman agrees with this point.
    “Historic circumstances are requiring us to change our behavior, to make new arrangements for everyday life in all the major particulars: capital accumulation and deployment; food production; commerce; habitation; transport; education; and health care. These new arrangements must be organized at a smaller and finer scale, and on a much more local basis.”
    In order to do as you suggest, James, we need capital to do. The government must STOP handing out capital to the bankstas and allow a bigger stimulus to reform what should be a new way of life, whereby we bring our economies local, and regional and national. I believe Krugman agrees, too. New renewable energy manufacturing must be made by us and not by China here in the US. This takes stimulus money. But Obama needs to take the capital off of the bankstas, off of the tax avoiders off shore, tariff products produced by countries that undervalue their currencies, etc.
    James, please write about your solutions and how to achieve them.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  140. TomOfTheNorth November 24, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    I’m totally ok with global rule…..as long as I get to run things.

  141. jerry November 24, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    After perusing the comments, I find some off topic, and would have liked to have read comments that addressed the subject this week.
    One writer, Laura Louzander, struck my curiosity, which brought me back to this comment window.
    One thing is very important in this new paradigm that James continues to write so eloquently about week after week, and that is the continuous destruction of the small farmer-local farm, instead of toxic industrial agribusiness, and the continuous expansion of the mega-grocery and mega-box stores, instead of the small, personal, family owned stores, services, and providers that had once filled our Main Streets all over America. This is what is seriously wrong with this country and really Must Be Stopped, but unfortunately it won’t be since the corporate oligarchs control government.
    What would be sustainable from Saratoga Springs to Pittsburgh, PA would be hometown business and manufacturing and not conglomerates and oversized mega stores.
    We here are all the dreamers and actually the thinkers and innovators. We are the believers in Obama’s campaign slogan of Change We Can Believe In. It is so sad for us all that Obama does not believe in his own words, or his slogans, or his own commitments, and passions. He is a weak failure. A sell-out.
    This nation could become sustainable if we all here were in charge.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  142. TomOfTheNorth November 24, 2009 at 12:14 am #

    I’m ok with not understanding how & why…..as long as I know where & when.
    ooops – I see you’ve been banned…..

  143. melinda November 24, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    Excellent JHK. Every single f*****g word rings true to me. Also at the same time I appreciate montana joes input. Even tho him and JHK seem to not see eye to eye.
    Both are correct IMHO.
    I want to ask Don’t Worry Be Happy to name some links please. I am interested.
    Plant trees, food, love people, not things.
    I felt this coming about 20 years ago. “They took all they could get here, and are going to move on soon, we will be a 3rd world country” I said to a friend.
    It was and is my feeling and experience of life here is CA / US over 50 years now. “they are going to rape some other land now”, take advantage of the ‘poor’ people, and then move on again. It sucks. But there are SO many people where things matter more than people/life itself.
    Between them and the ones who don’t care enough about anything, it ain’t lookin’ too good.
    oh and I too HATE human beings dying for our country to be referred to as TROOPS. for the longest time i thought there were so many in a ‘troop’. Like F troop. Another misleading, intentionally, word.
    I am learning to read and see the truth in the way things are misworded, on the news. so much bullshit. many of the idiots reading it on TV probably are clueless or actually believe it themselves. “they’ll tell you all the bad news with a gleam in there eyes”
    Don henley. pretty little bleach blonde with a gleam in her eyey. whatever. I was a bleach blonde once. but you get the pic.
    the first words baby lears in ‘more.’ Gimme What You Got i want it i want it, and also The Last Resort by Don Henley. He gets it.
    ok done. I doubt many of you made it this far reading my rant. I try. Laura L rocks also.
    need some links DWBHappy. Thanks.

  144. borisy November 24, 2009 at 12:46 am #

    Sometimes groups (i.e. the government) get so big that they take on a life of their own. Generally speaking groups have the bond of a common goal. This goal can become easily corrupted if group members are preemptively rewarded for future choices. Sadly, our own political system has become corrupted by preemptive rewards, and they are not coming from the average American, but from corporate America. The aforementioned state of the political system calls for a new common goal. Sadly, I fear that the new common goal is likely to be: keep the system going, at all costs, in order to stay in power/get paid.
    I recently began work for a government agency (federal), and during the first day of “training” we spent over an hour going over how to fill out a fairly simple timesheet. This was our first lesson, and the instructor verbally noted that this was the most important part of the training and the job, because “everyone wants to be paid”. I found it very telling that the training script was geared towards, first and foremost, how to get paid. But, I also found the script to be offensive in supposing that I was not dedicated to the cause unless I was paid first. The supposition that I was there only to make money seemed to undermine what should be the goal of the government agency. After all if I was there only to make money, I would have taken a higher paying job a long time ago.
    My point is that if our own government is starting paid training with a time consuming introduction to the time sheet, based on the premis that everyone first and foremost wants to make money, then they have demonstrated a strong acknowledgement of greediness in Americans. There is no way that I would agree to do this job if I did not believe that I was doing the best work that I could, and in such contributing to the validity of the stastical outcome.
    All of this leads me to two seemingly contridictary points.
    1. There are too many American citizens to be adequately represented by one national government.
    2. There are too many citizens involed in our national government to result in an efficient process.

  145. icurhuman2 November 24, 2009 at 1:03 am #

    Nailed it! Jim manages to put into eloquent words the state we are in every time, what a drag I won’t be able to get his slant on reality when the real do-do hits the fan – I expect communications to be severely effected.
    However, I do occasionally disagree with a point or two, without which I’d probably remain a mute reader. The only issue I have with today’s piece is that “capitalism”, as in surplus wealth, will remain after peak oil hits with a veangence. I don’t see surplus wealth beyond a small surplus in crop yeilds from whatever small farming base is left. Much of the farming infrastructure will be crippled in the collapse and even small farm lots will come under serious pressure from starving looters, some armed to the teeth. I hope not, but hope doesn’t fill an empty stomach.

  146. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 1:19 am #

    I am hoping for that too. I think many smart ones will homestead now. I get farm eggs from the Amish and deliver them to Springfield MO to a beautiful restaurant that is an English pub and serves local food. I am trying to get more produce and restaurants to do this.

  147. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 1:27 am #

    Often art is the only thing that enriches us when things are going down. And those who make documentaries are reaching people words don’t touch at all.
    Besides letting your kid go to film school is an authoritarian mindset. By the time your kids are going to college they should have been making their own decisions for years and years. But I can see yours do not with an authoritarian like you in the house.
    Authoritarian mentalities choose fascism as the political manifestation of their choices and perceptions. You need to read Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians to find out what you are really all about.
    Letting my foot!

  148. Mr. Purple November 24, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    I know I posted this link last week, but here it is again:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/09/peak-oil-international-energy-agency
    And here’s an excerpt:

    A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was “imperative not to anger the Americans” but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. “We have [already] entered the ‘peak oil’ zone. I think that the situation is really bad,” he added.

    Yup, the Powers That Be have been trying to keep the oil supply forecast artificially rosy. And even that facade is beginning to crack.

  149. Mr. Purple November 24, 2009 at 1:44 am #

    I know I posted this link last week, but here it is again:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/09/peak-oil-international-energy-agency
    And here’s an excerpt:

    A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was “imperative not to anger the Americans” but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. “We have [already] entered the ‘peak oil’ zone. I think that the situation is really bad,” he added.

    Yup, the Powers That Be have been trying to keep the oil supply forecast artificially rosy. And even that facade is beginning to crack.

  150. Mr. Purple November 24, 2009 at 1:47 am #

    Sorry about the double-post, but I hit error #500 and hit refresh.

  151. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 1:49 am #

    On studying Foucault here is my take on 9-11.
    The Commission Report states the official discourse (framing) of those events. It is necessary for them to get it out fast so that the Official serious Discourse takes precedence over anything else said about it. This forces all other additional opinions and facts to the periphery. It makes them outsider facts or opinions.
    Out of the mainstream. This forces the discourse to be confined to the official word. It’s very clever. Get it. It occurs in every fucking field and discipline. And it can be analyzed using Foucault’s method of genealogy. Right now I am at the part of Abnormal and tracing how that came into being fusing with criminology.
    All this Serious Discourse is politically required. The State is not about humanity, seeing that its citizens are healthy, well fed, receiving medical care and education, etc. Ane there is no conspiracy making that happen. The system is faceless which makes it all the worse for us. Ever increasing surveillance combines with power in a way that entangles every living person in the State. There is no escape.
    Allowing 9-11 to happen was pure stupidity at best and something else at the worse. The Lusitania, the Maine, Pearl Harbor were all taken advantage of if not aided and abetted. Then they must move fast to proclaim the Official Discourse about it.
    Right now who cares a fig about whether Pearl Harbor was planned? Or the Lusitania deliberately carrying passengers and arms to create an uprising of anti-isolationism if sunk, or that the Maine was not blown up by Spain but by an independent anarchist. The truth is out. Can anyone hear? Who cares anyway?
    And the JFK assassination? They are still at it but the Official Discourse was the Warren Commission and does Norman Mailer ever debunk it with his insightful intelligence and wit.

  152. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 1:52 am #

    No it isn’t. The dollar is down that much. See how they manipulate your thinking with double-speak.

  153. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 2:00 am #

    It is because we have become Objects and are no longer individual humans with desires, sorrows, etc. We are objects. We are under constant surveillance. And we are controlled.

  154. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 2:11 am #

    Actually it is not sappiness. Because a dog or animal is afraid and bites it is taken personally by the rescue organization and the animal is killed. There is no attempt to understand why it did what it id when it did.
    This behavior is indicative of a deeply ingrained cultural response to aggressive behavior from some object (read people in there too folks)that leads to kill!
    Geo Bush anyone!
    People are upset that the rabbit is being killed for no real reason. What they don’t understand clearly that that behavior needs to be resisted at all levels. So you will get people trying to protect Copper that were all ra-ra about bombing Iraq.

  155. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 2:18 am #

    Yeh. I think you hook it to the electric meter to get it to run backwards and so you sell electricity to the electric company. All legal.
    On grinding I guess you will have to figure it out. It shouldn’t be too hard.

  156. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 2:23 am #

    No. The reason the TV is mindless is that it keeps mindless people occupied. As long as they are in front of it they are under a surveillance of sorts. Then you can sell them what yu want to sell. You can manipulate their minds the way you want to.
    The fact that you watched, and then ranted about it means they gotcha!
    Read David Foster Wallace’s essay on TV. I think it’s in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again which is also a wonderful essay about taking a cruise.

  157. ctemple November 24, 2009 at 2:26 am #

    I believe if there is an upside to our time, it is the Internet. Now it’s possible to avoid the childish and inept corporate controlled media, there are web sites like this one, where issues actually get thought about before they’re discussed.
    This is something that wasn’t there when I was a kid, you just had the three networks doing the same news stories, all in the same monotonous way.

  158. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    I see you have been reading Plato. Or reinventing the wheel.

  159. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Do not pick up a hoe. do this instead.
    About now find a oad of hay, straw, or grass clippings that you can get free or cheap. Set aside a place for your garden (your lawn or whatever) and put down in thick compressed bundles. Donot shake out your bales all fluffy but break them like books about a few inches thick. Then lay them like bricks close together. Then forget about them until the spring. (If you want you can lay a cold frame down and plant early.) You make a cold frame out of say an old shower door placed on 2×4’s or some such kind of found frame.
    In the spring you just dig a little hole down through the bale and dirt and plant your seedling. You have already started the seeds in little pots in February. Any big seeds (beans, limas, corn etc) you plant directly. Plant the corn and tomatoes close. As you pick your corn your tomatoes will be getting higher so you tie them to the cor stalks since they are already there.
    You go to yard sales and buy those see through curtains little old ladies use for their windows. You apread these over your lettuce, beans etc so the bugs can’t get in but the sun and rain will. Whenever you see some weeds just put another chunk of bale on them. You can water when you plant but shouldn’t have to do much unless there is a fierce drought. Sit in your hammock and drink lemonade. But do go see it everyday and talk to it and let it know you love it. Your garden that is. If you want birds then rig a cassette tape of Vivaldi to play out there. Birds like Vivaldi best. They will eat your bugs. Oh and cover your tomato plants with those curtains so the moths can’t lay eggs that turn into worms. Unless you have chickens and in that case let them lay the worms so you can pick them off for your chickens. A chicken will kill for a tomato worm.
    I got all this from one year doing one acre all by myself reading Organic Gardening and Mother Earth. Buy them on ebay (old issues) for cheap info.

  160. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 3:00 am #

    Look he was tolerant for a long long time and he pays the bills here. I do agree with Bernard-Henri Levy and Houellebecq that tolerance is our worst enemy. These people take 9-11 into imaginary territory. Just allowing it to happen is quite enough for damage. Or being too stupid to listen to advice about the coming danger. Or whatever.
    The folds in charge during 9-11 had the same mentality that all -yes I said all- the police, officers, probation grunts, parole people had about Garrido allowing Jaycee Dugard to be a prisoner in a back yard living in tents that were visible on google for almost 20 fucking years.
    Then we have the guy at Fort Hood who waved a lot of red flags, and people who saw them and properly noted them, but no one could take charge and act.
    It is all the same mentality. No one can connect dots in this dumbed down country because the TV hasn’t taught them how to do it yet. Lots of luck on that.
    Just my way of saying that no one needs to posit a conspiracy theory when it is not necessary. Occam’s Razor you know.

  161. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 3:14 am #

    Well those dudes were dumb. Don’t pay them. Then they will offer you about half of your debt to pay off and call it quits. Don’t pay. Then they will offer you a third or just below $600 (where you get socked by IRS as income) and then you can decide whether to pay or not.
    Ayn Rand has one dynamite concept. The Sanction of the Victim.

  162. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 3:17 am #

    Nope. Just go into the bank and play some poker with them. Be ready to give them the keys if they won’t play. Then you can get a lawyer to buy it back for 10 cents on the dollar for you.

  163. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 3:23 am #

    The Serious Discourse must be changed. Read Foucault.
    But he thought it was too late. But he advocated pessimistic activism.

  164. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 3:29 am #

    Very nice. And what you have said is that the Official Discourse is such and such. This is the purpose of it. It excludes everything else. and it was first so everything has to be a critical reply to it.
    The Commission Report sucks. So many stupid questions from stupid congress critters.
    Bacon: a question well asked is half the answer.

  165. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 3:35 am #

    I agree with you. Better to learn how to forage for food. Then you can teach the looters.

  166. Tim S November 24, 2009 at 5:22 am #

    OK, we are going back to the situation where kids will have to decide about careers, in the sense of: “do I want to be plumber, or would I rather learn how to make chairs and tables out of recycled wood?” Sorry Lynn, film school will not be an option.
    It was a great 50-year high, while it lasted. It’s over, and we have to grow up now.

  167. Elizabeth November 24, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    Thanks for the bannings. Your site, your choice. Now would you please ban those who write in shorthand jibberish and make no sense whatsoever? Perhaps in their fractured, chaotic minds they are witty and relevant, but not so.
    Keep up the great work. You articulate what I feel in my bones. I’ve given your books to many family members as gifts and look forward to Mondays.

  168. Lynn Shwadchuck November 24, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    Laura, I think what’s going to happen is when more jobs disappear there will be a lot of doubling up. As older country people whose investments tank need housemates in the small towns and villages, and food distribution problems make gardening more urgent, there will be places for city people to go, to live and to help do the work. I know it won’t be all so orderly, (looting, etc.) But where we are, in rough land with small villages, and aging boomers, we’re looking at ways to actively encourage younger people to come out.

  169. farmboy November 24, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Food will be the new currency; more edible than gold.

  170. antimatter November 24, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    What Mr. K. says in this article is correct, but it will take time for people to figure out that things have changed, especially the upper middle class employed sector. Those who were laid off from good paying jobs and now are either unemployed or working at 1/4 their previous income, will have a shorter ride to the truth.
    I look for symbols in my daily travels. This morning, I went to the supermarket and stood in line behind a woman who bought about 150.00 worth of Thanksgiving fixings, and she brought ten canvas bags (the no paper or plastic bags) and waited patiently while the cashier loaded the food into them, then into two carts. When I walked into the parking lot, the woman was loading the canvas bags into a giant GMC SUV that looked brand new.
    What is going to happen is that the rich are going to have what they’ve always had: the financial daily horsepower to take care of their needs, and the ability to pay helpers to deliver to their homes, take their kids to school, all of that. When I was growing up decades ago, I remember my friend’s dad was THE big Ford dealer in town. They lived in the country in a stone mansion, and everything they needed was delivered, and the family had two top of the line Fords—Thunderbirds and sedans—that were always polished, always at the ready. This is what we will see more and more of—while most of us who don’t make $1000/hr—will be dramatically downsizing in all respects. We’re on the way back to the 1920’s.

  171. antimatter November 24, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    What Mr. K. says in this article is correct, but it will take time for people to figure out that things have changed, especially the upper middle class employed sector. Those who were laid off from good paying jobs and now are either unemployed or working at 1/4 their previous income, will have a shorter ride to the truth.
    I look for symbols in my daily travels. This morning, I went to the supermarket and stood in line behind a woman who bought about 150.00 worth of Thanksgiving fixings, and she brought ten canvas bags (the no paper or plastic bags) and waited patiently while the cashier loaded the food into them, then into two carts. When I walked into the parking lot, the woman was loading the canvas bags into a giant GMC SUV that looked brand new.
    What is going to happen is that the rich are going to have what they’ve always had, and the other 99% will see their standard of living drop dramatically. We will have Cuba adjacent to Dubai in the US.

  172. dale November 24, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Agribiz,
    I can’t speak to your specific circumstances, of course, but I have noted a number of trends which would auger well for having a couple of acres of good farm land, not just in the future, but now.
    Locally, I have seen at Saturday markets an increasing number of “urban farms” selling their produce. When you visit there locations it’s often no more than a city lot where the front and back yards have been converted to a garden.
    Often these little enterprises do well by offering either better quality than the markets or heirloom veggies which can’t be had there. Others exist which grow a higher, fresher quality and sell it to local restaurants.
    I’m just saying, there are niches out there, I wish I had a little land like you do, I have to make due by growing my garden on a deck.

  173. asoka November 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    CynicalOne said: “My take: Just freeing up some of their credit line so they can max the card(s) out again come the Christmas shopping season.”
    First point: Even if that were the case, this is an indication of people acting rationally (not “infantile” behavior as claimed in this week’s post)
    Second point: This is the first year in ten years that this behavior of paying down debt has been observed. Why didn’t people act this way last year, or the year before, since their credit cards were maxed out then, also.
    My point is that the American people are not as they are being portrayed in this week’s post. They are not mindless, moronic, pleasure-seeking beings who are incapable of reacting rationally in an autonomous fashion to improve their economic situation.
    More evidence: Today’s personal savings rate of 3 percent is nearly double that of a year ago. Economists say it could rise as high as 8 percent as households try to rebuild savings shredded by the recession.
    This behavior is not the behavior of a public which JHK this week calls “infantile.” It is a rational response to economic convulsion.
    Give the American people some credit for the leadership they are exhibiting in their own lives. They are not all “sheeple” or “consumers” who are hypnotized by main stream media advertising to go out and spend, spend, spend on crap.
    I reject the premise that Americans are moronic idiots or that “we are seeing a comprehensive failure of leadership in every sector and every level of American life.”
    Americans are saving and they are paying down debt, which is exactly what many here on CFN have been advocating for years.

  174. agribiz November 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    Niche, schmiche. There ARE farmers markets in the small and medium sized towns. There IS a considerable amount of direct marketing of livestock and produce. What there ISN’T is enough of a market for anybody to make the sort of living it takes to support living remotely through selling into it. There is no local base of consumers. Most able bodied folks who have a lot or access to one have their own gardens, but nobody grows enough to totally survive on and there isn’t any money made in folks selling like products to each other.
    As a life long LaFollette progressive I have come to the conclusion that the single greatest threat to our future is mindless and naive psuedoprogressives who know all of the buzz topics..sustainablilty, niche, green, act locally…. who think that good intentions and purified nobility alone is going to save anything and wouldn’t recognize a regressive situation if it hit them in the face. And, however, no matter how feeble they continue to be as long as we can hold together our system of democraticly electing our represntatives in government these know-nothing do gooders will continue to win elections and represent us. And WILL, sadly,remain a better alternative to the fascist tribalists who have taken full control of the current minority party. Barack Obama, for christ’s sake elected as the consumate progressive idealist, rolled over and became a shill for regressive powers the second he was faced with the reality of who had the money and , moreso, upon finding out what they were doing with it, and even moreso, what they were prepared to do if they were to be asked to reform in any way.
    We need a participatory economy wherein people compensate each other for making, growing and doing things for each other, with those exchanges coming with margins. Margins to be perpetually backfilled by either growth or efficiencies. If we can’t do that, and we surely can’t by the effete simply giving the impovrished mystical and rose tinted advice, then we need as competent management of the ensuing decline and chaos as will be possible.

  175. Tancred November 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    I don’t know why all you Kunstler sycophants keep encouraging him with all your “Oh Jim! You are soooooo smart and this should be required reading….” BS. Kunstler writes the same damn post every week. It never really changes. You could cut and paste from all his previous posts and come up with the same thing (although he didn’t mention tattoos this time). How can K even declare we have “reached” peak oil when he has no clue how much more oil is out there? Even if you agree with much of what he says, there is no way to know how much more oil is to be found. Anyhow, waste-to-energy will be a good alternative; it makes no sense to dispose of combustible material.
    And why on earth should commercial media be excoriated for doing what they do best? They have to move product through advertising. Why would you expect rational discourse on TV when they need to maintain viewership? Sex and blood and sex and blood together. That’s what works. And Globalization is not a choice, it’s a reality. K’s wish for some “localized” utopia is only that, a wish. Like he says, we can’t go back; to horse & buggy and railroad suburbs. Those things had their day and it’s over.

  176. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler,
    I note that over the past 6 months or so that I have been reading your essays and commenting, you have come out of the woodwork maybe 2 or 3 times to ban someone or give them a rap on the knuckles. Yesterday Montana Joe got the heave ho and I must say all these kinds of grand conspiracy theories drive me wild too.
    In your next breath you banned Jaego Scorzne. This has me somewhat baffled since Jaego has been the most prolific commentor at this site for at least six months. Surely his word-count is double any other. He has been relentlessly racist, fascist, and anti-semitic. All of a sudden you ban him. I can’t help but wonder what comment was the final straw. I went back and re-read his final comment under the Yeast People essay and each of his comments yesterday relative to your Convulsion essay. Frankly, I can’t detect the tipping point.
    If you are so disposed, and I suspect you are not, I would be interested to know your M.O. What are the criteria for banishment.
    BTW, taking ZZZZZZ (aka: OEO, etc.) or Johnny Rico as models, we can probably expect Jaego to re-appear shortly under a new name. What then?

  177. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    George, I am recommending that Jim Kunstler ban you if you use the words “cognitive dissonance” one more frickin time.

  178. melinda November 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Thanks to all who post here, well mostly all, there are a few exceptions and you know who you are.
    kidding.
    Intelligent people who actually THINK and CARE
    and SHARE.
    antimatter nailed it. yep. I read this years ago.
    and now I do SEE it happening. I’ve been reading all my life.
    The many delivering goods to the few on their hills.
    It’s already here.
    It’s a trip all right. Not such a good one tho.
    Well the adjustment will be rough and it may be worse than even Kunstler thinks. or not.
    We have to get *back* to more realistic ways of living.
    Kunstler Rocks in my book. Even if he doesn’t believe in 911 Conspiricy Theories. I kinda do, it points in that direction for sure.
    the holidays are here ready or not here goes nothin’

  179. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    Melinda, I don’t get it … what is the problem with the word “troops.”?
    From the Dictionary: troops, a body of soldiers, police, etc.

  180. melinda November 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Thanks to all who post here, well mostly all, there are a few exceptions and you know who you are.
    kidding.
    Intelligent people who actually THINK and CARE
    and SHARE.
    antimatter nailed it. yep. I read this years ago.
    and now I do SEE it happening. I’ve been reading all my life.
    The many delivering goods to the few on their hills.
    It’s already here.
    It’s a trip all right. Not such a good one tho.
    Well the adjustment will be rough and it may be worse than even Kunstler thinks. or not.
    We have to get *back* to more realistic ways of living.
    the holidays are here ready or not here goes nothin’

  181. melinda November 24, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    thanks, and / but when on the news ‘they’ say how many troops were killed it refers to like 4,000+ individuals.
    oh well maybe a gray area.
    I am learning how to think better, I think.
    and JHK I will use better manners. Like stop swearing even with ***.
    Thank You for allowing me on here.

  182. melinda November 24, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    thanks, and / but when on the news ‘they’ say how many troops were killed it refers to like 4,000+ individuals. It seems so Impersonal and these kids died for *us.* that’s what I mean.
    oh well maybe a gray area.
    I am learning how to think better, I think.
    and JHK I will use better manners. Like stop swearing even with ***.
    Thank You for allowing me on here.

  183. sfnate November 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    >Why is the flip side of the peak oil
    >coin some kind on bleak every one for
    >himself disaster movie? Do we only have
    >one ending?
    Anything is possible. Given what we know about history and collapsing empires, what is probable is another matter.
    I think people are nervous and pessimistic because they can see this huge inertial system moving in slow motion toward catastrophic disintegration. Some people want to accelerate out of the situation, others want to hit the brakes. A lot of us want to risk jumping out before the crash. But the thing is, and is probably beyond controversy, is that we are all together in a big rolling crisis, that no one seems to know how to stop, except maybe by hitting something unmovable. When something big and heavy hits the wall, no matter how optimistic you are, the fact is someone’s gonna get hurt, maybe even the optimists.
    But who knows, maybe SuperObamaMan or Space Aliens with take the wheel at the last second and save us all.
    Could happen.

  184. Laura Louzader November 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    No truer words were ever spoken than your reminder that we are all INDIVIDUALS, and that if we cannot afford something as individuals we cannot afford it as a “collective”.
    Our political system and both parties have lost their legitimacy, and our country more and more resembles Weimar Germany in its chaos and violence and insanity, because, just like the major political parties of Pre-Hitler Germany, our two political parties offer us only two different varieties of irrationality and collectivism-. You can choose either the nationalistic, corporate-welfare-state collectivism of the right with its emphasis on “tradition” and fundamentalist Christianity, or the welfare-statism and pandering to our enemies, of the left. Somehow, it isn’t strange that the two wings look more like each other all the time.

  185. Agatha November 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    “But it’s sure interesting to know that the ones palavering with Mr. Krugman imagine that that the US can possibly return to an economy based on the fraudulent securitization of reckless debt. ”
    Dear James… You have a typo in the above paragraph: “that that”
    Oh come on! It’s funny when you think about it… a despairing rant on TEOWAWKI and someone points out a typo! How more absurd can you get? Well… don’t answer that. All this will pass. And we’ll either survive it or we won’t. End of our sad little story. Man plans. God laughs. or something like that…

  186. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    Boris, I find the gist of your comment about time card training to be highly annoying and I’ll tell you why. I have vast experience on the importance of proper labor recording and the importance of paying employees accurately and on time. I spent 3 years in the early 1960s as an Accounting and Finance Officer at Duluth AFB, Minn. Among the many financial functions of that position there was NONE more important than paying the troops (see earlier comment re the term “troops”) on time. Shortly after assuming this position as a 2nd Lt., fresh out of college, my new boss, Col Sanders (yes, believe it or not that was his name), warned me of the utter chaos that can ensue if the payroll is not ready on payday. This was at a time when most troops were paid in cash. As we began to shift to payment by check it was no different. God forbid pay was not received on time.
    Later, in my civilian career I worked for a defense contractor for 26 years, the last 10 of which were in the area of “Government Compliance.” I can’t think of an area of compliance with government procurement regulations that gets more emphasis than the proper recording of time. i.e. the time sheet. They want to know how many hours and on which projects. This is true not only for civilian employees doing work for a govt customer but also for the government employees themselves such as the DCAA auditors with whom I interfaced. The reason is that there is an almost insane misperception on the part of the public that defense contractors and the govt itself is rife with fraud … a total exaggeration. (Note to Asoka: please refrain from your usual negative comments on this subject. Your mindset has been duely noted on several previous occasions.)
    And so, the first thing your new govt employer wants to take care of is that you record your time accurately so that there is zero possibility that your pay won’t be there on your first and all subsequent paydays. If you are a “Direct” labor empl you have to record time daily. “Indirect” labor employees may record weekly. Imagine how you would feel if you were unemployed for six months and then landed a job with the govt and the first pay day rolled around and there was no check for you and they blithely said “Oh yeah, there was some screw-up with your time card but don’t worry about it, they’ll straighten it out and eventually you’ll be paid.”
    Your desire to get on with the actual work you were hired for is admirable but I can assure you, getting paid is #1 on just about everybody’s list.

  187. melinda November 24, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    thanks, and / but when on the news ‘they’ say how many troops were killed it refers to like 4,000+ individuals. It seems so Impersonal and these kids died for *us.* that’s what I mean.
    oh well maybe a gray area.
    I am learning how to think better, I think.
    and JHK I will use better manners. Like stop swearing even with ***.
    Thank You for allowing me on here.

  188. DeeJones November 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    “It is either insanity or it is a lie.” FeeFee
    I’ll take INSANITY for $1 TRILLION! No, make that $10 TRILLION!! No, wait, make it $100 TRILLION!!!
    Oh hell, I’ll go to a Gadzillion!!
    Whats the daffynision of Insanity again:
    Oh, thats right, keep repeating the same thing and hoping for a different outcome each time….
    So, Fee Fee, not insulting every one, are you back on your meds now?

  189. asia November 24, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    ‘We are BANKRUPT. We could not afford healthcare before it rolled off the lips of a single candidate’
    INDEED! REALITY CHECK……
    FEFE…is Obama selling or trying to sell Us banks to the communist chinese?
    and thanks jim for what only made page 12? of the times….the gloved ones gloved sold…the king of pop blablabla. me thinks the herd is a bit dumbed down.

  190. asia November 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    ‘you ain’t part of the equation’
    you aint part of their equasion….which is why for 100? years the power elites have been working on getting rid of the USA and having a one world govt..look at how rockefeller/gates/ buffet went to china to ‘ scope things out’.

  191. asia November 24, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    ‘Made in the U.S.A’…how can that happen when folks in the 3rd world work for 1 to 10$ a day?
    when the multinationals are buying politicians?
    even trained workers in chindia work cheaper…programmers are 10$ ? an hour.

  192. asia November 24, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    is gold selling at 1150 an ounce?

  193. SeaYoung November 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Great article again. I look forward to the days ahead of less consuming and more of doing. As an example, for me personally, there is nothing more pleasing and satisfying than to rebuild/restore an old automobile or bicycle. I am sure their are others of similar persuasion that will fill the gaps when globalism fails. The joy is as much the restoration process as the enjoying the fruits of your labor afterwards.
    JHK: Is it true that the Global Warming will sink down all the roads and have us living by the water like the salamanders and the toads?

  194. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Abbey said to Chubbz: “Besides letting your kid go to film school is an authoritarian mindset. By the time your kids are going to college they should have been making their own decisions for years and years. But I can see yours do not with an authoritarian like you in the house.”
    ——————————
    To Chubbz: try to disregard the mean-spirited remark made by Abbey. You see, Abbey likes to imagine she is an authority on EVERYTHING … including the proper role of parents in the lives of their children … even though she is 75 years old and childless. She thinks that young adults at college age (that would be approx 18) “should have been making their own decisions for years and years.” (This stupid remark makes me think of Christ on the cross where he says “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”) Father forgive Abbey for voicing an opinion about something beyond her personal experience. My own children are 33, 32 and 29 yrs old. They use to resent my advice but now they regularly seek it.
    I’m sure your words “let him go to film school” are not to be taken literally. Rather, those are more likely the words you opened with in a discussion with your son as to the future direction of his life, especially since you were probably footing all or some of the bill.
    Abbey, honest to God … you should be ashamed of yourself.

  195. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    “I’m kind of sorry to see Jaego banned… for a white supremacist (really more of a separatist) he was pretty open-minded. But, it’s JHK’s blog, thus it’s JHK’s call.”
    —————————
    Don’t worry, Jaego will be back under a new name like others before him such as ZZZZZZ and Johnny Rico.
    In that regard I was wondering what had become of Zzz and now I see he is back under the name FeeFee. “Fucktard” is the giveaway. Why the new name FeeFee?

  196. turkle November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    StinkEye doesn’t believe global warming is real. What a surprise!

  197. Urban_Underclass November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    Mr.Purple wrote…
    “I’m kind of sorry to see Jaego banned…”
    I’m not, even tho he will be back under a different name (the sad sack has obviously little else to do but bore everyone here), as a symbolic gesture, I applaud you, Mr. K.
    Excellent post, personally, I dismantled my satellite TV system and banished the TV to the spare room where I pick up the four Irish channels with a rabbits ears. About once every 6 weeks I go up there to watch something (usually a sporting event).
    I can be selective about my news from the internet and maybe listen to the news on the radio for 20 minutes a day. Sick of being brainwashed.

  198. DeeJones November 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    “I’m kind of sorry to see Jaego banned…”
    I’m not, and second (or third, or fourth) the motion.
    But I do kinda miss SEB tho, his strain of consciousness ramblings were actually quite entertaining. But of course I can just go over to his blog. And old Jaego probably has his blog too.
    Gee, am I the only one without one?
    Now we can all stick to the subject about how in the near (or distant) future we will all live like the Amish, and read World Made by Hand by candle lite or whale-oil lanterns.
    Well, except for those like DR Doom, who will no doubt have a wind or solar powered laptop on some Mt on Hawaii. Unfortunately, he will just be able to get hours of About:Blank on his web browser.

  199. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    “Ever increasing surveillance combines with power in a way that entangles every living person in the State. There is no escape.”
    —————————–
    To Mr. Kunstler,
    I have chosen to quote the above two sentencess simply to demonstrate the mindset of Abbey. The single comment I am replying to is loaded with other examples of paranoid delusions. And I believe she has toned down her wording today due to yesterday’s bannings. When she talks about 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Lusitania, the JFK assassination, etc as though they *MAY* have been the result of grand govt conspiracies … make no mistake, she believes they *ARE* the result of grand govt conspiracies.
    Abbey is Montana Joe in little old lady intellectual clothing and as such is far more dangerous. It is easy for us to spot and dismiss the lunatic strident ravings of a Montana Joe but fail to spot paranoia in an Abbey.
    Because I favor free speech I am not suggesting a ban on Abbey but as I’ve said many times, I will make it my mission to deconstruct bullshit when I see it.

  200. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    Abbey said to ANOTHERPLAYAGUY: “No it isn’t. The dollar is down that much. See how they manipulate your thinking with double-speak.”
    —————————–
    Note to ANOTHER… This is another area in which Abbey envisions herself an expert. Abbey believes the US$ and the Markets (of which the DOW is one measure) are always inversely correlated. Actually she doesn’t SAY “always,” she merely implies it. Fact is, they ARE inversely correlated, EXCEPT when they’re not. Like today … both the $ and DOW are down. Frequently things Abbey says must be taken with a pound of salt.

  201. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    “We are objects. We are under constant surveillance. And we are controlled.”
    ————————-
    The paranoia continues.

  202. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    “Ever increasing surveillance combines with power in a way that entangles every living person in the State. There is no escape.”
    Yes I am quoted accurately and this is from the work of Michel Foucault. Read his Discipline and Punish for minute and exact details through history. Particularly the Panopticon by Jeremy Bentham summarized as the model.
    We have developed and sold to China facial recognition software (Naomi Klein’s recent book The Shock Doctrine for intense surveillance of citizens. As Foucault says it is the Plague Model as opposed to the earlier Leper Model of exclusion.
    This Is Pearl is a detailed account of our breaking the Japanese code and their messaging concerning Pearl before it happened as recorded and transcribed by the US military. First made aware of this in 1955 or 54 by my university history teacher. And all our major ships were in Pearl Harbor like sitting ducks ordered there by Admirals. More incompetants or was it done on purpose? You decide.
    Before War I we were sending military aid to England (as we would do again before War II) and the Germans were attacking our ships. The Lusitania had American passengers aboard as well as military aid when it was sunk. Thus the outcry and the rush into war. The Maine was blamed on Spain (it rhymes SEB)and began the Spanish American War so we could take territories. JFK will probably never be settled as the idiot Arlen Spector (who also let Ira Einhorn go on $40,000 bail) proposed the single bullet theory became the Official Discourse concerning the JFK assassination via the Warren Commission. For a nice deconstruction of the Warren Commission see Norman Mailer’s well researched Oswald.
    As for 9-11 we know that Bush was warned about Al Quaida and said he didn’t want to hear any more about it. And what’s his name was no longer invited to sit in on daily briefs to warn him. Again the lack of dot connection of these men taking flying lessons, and their instructors warning in writing about their hot headedness and disinterest in learning to land these planes, only to fly them. Many many dots here just as in the Jaycee Dugard case.
    Scott Ritter as one of the heads of the UN team inspecting for WMD in Iraq said in a Springfield MO talk at the University here that they had ot found any. This was on the eve of declaring war.
    Deconstruct away O inferior intellectual one.

  203. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Within Jaego’s theory he was consistent. His failure was in overgeneralizing when he did not have clear facts to do so.
    Besides his solution was such a tiny bit of the problem that it won’t help.

  204. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    Daddy Daddy come get this woman out of the way here. She is castrating me with her intellect. Help help, she is dangerous!

  205. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    “Yeh. I think you hook it to the electric meter to get it to run backwards and so you sell electricity to the electric company. All legal.”
    —————————
    Abbey, Jaego likes to see himself as a practicing separatist but I would bet my immortal soul (if I actually had one) that Jaego will never hook a stationary bike to the elec grid, never grind grain, never move to Montana, and never fire a shot at the advancing brown hordes. More delusional thinking that you help to perpetuate. You are two peas in a pod.

  206. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    As a life long LaFollette progressive I have come to the conclusion that the single greatest threat to our future is mindless and naive psuedoprogressives who know all of the buzz topics..sustainablilty, niche, green, act locally…. who think that good intentions and purified nobility alone is going to save anything and wouldn’t recognize a regressive situation if it hit them in the face. And, however, no matter how feeble they continue to be as long as we can hold together our system of democratically electing our representatives in government these know-nothing do gooders will continue to win elections and represent us.

    Ah the great La Follette. And in WI when farmers had their farms auctioned off on them their friends came to it and when the farmer bid $1.00 no one would outbid. Now they go to make a killing from someones terrible personal loss and suffering. People have changed in their integrity. No handshakes anymore just two lawyers racking up the hourly tab putting a contract together the other one can’t shred.

  207. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Not necessary for all this discourse. It’s all in Manufacturing Consent by the great Chomsky with Herman I believe.
    http://tinyurl.com/yhp3tvz If you want to buy it used and readable.

  208. GI Joe November 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Jim’s writing is great. It flows beautifully, it’s emotive, precise, entertaining etc.
    But I also wonder is Jim really as naiive as he seems?
    He seems to work under the illusion that if only enough of the TPTB/elite read his blog/books and “got” peak oil, we’d all transition gracefully to some other “more sustainable” living arrangements.
    Clearly TPTB have known about peak oil for a long, long time and have put in place a variety of measures – political, economic and security – to deal with the likely outcome. 911, Iraq, Afghanistan, H1N1, climate change bollox, subprime bubble, financial bailout etc are all off the same runsheet
    Jeez – 6.5B people are not going to transition to become horse drawn, veggie growers without a massive shift in human consciousness and/or change in our basic DNA-based survival drives.
    Anyway, this is all just the usual cycle of civilisations and species rising and falling. Life goes on.
    Check out Ken Wilber from Integral Life at http://integrallife.com/node/1347
    Still enjoy the writing but.

  209. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    “Now would you please ban those who write in shorthand jibberish and make no sense whatsoever?”
    ————————————–
    I am inclined to go along with you on this – shorthand jibberish – although I don’t favor banishment on beliefs. But the jibberish thing is hard to define. You’ve got someone like Asia who rarely writes complete sentences, may or may not use uppercase letters to begin sentences, etc. I don’t know whether its laziness or simply a style but in any case its an affront to other readers.
    But take SEB … I’d like to meet the guy who can decipher what he’s saying … yet I think there’s genious in it. Is he slipping in and out of schizo states or simply playing with our heads? I prefer to think of him as the James Joyce of chemistry, math and words.

  210. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Thanks for the support fefe.
    These Amish duck eggs are wonderful. Try to find some. I am going to talk with a childless Amish woman who loves to garden about combing our talents in this direction. Always easier with two than one.
    Besides the mayor cut down my entire garden June 2. His crony in the office was fired and he was asked to resign. I hope I had something to do with it.
    I just want some more energy to file a civil suit against him. It will take a lot of time.

  211. asoka November 24, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    Qshtik said: “(Note to Asoka: please refrain from your usual negative comments on this subject.)”
    OK, my usual refrain has cited specific examples. I will now cite the most common forms of defense contractor fraud (and the majority of them do these things; not just a few bad apples): cross charging, product substitution, improper cost allocation, failure to comply with contract specifications, and violations of the Truth-in-Negotiations Act (“TINA”).
    It is bad when weapons fail and our soldiers die because of contractor fraud.
    When there is no fraud, and no weapon failure, then innocent civilians die in faraway lands.
    Sucks either way in my opinion.

  212. JACKBO November 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Is it possible that awareness of oil depletion as a real problem may be starting to slowly seep into the consciousness of the larger public, here and there? As a possible indicator, how about George Will’s column in yesterday’s Washington Post, entitled “Oil’s Expanding Frontiers”, in which he pooh-pooh’s any possibility that there might be shortages in this century with talk of deepwater reserves, Canadian sands, etc, etc, and winding up with a dig against the environmentalists? It’s the job of Tory pundits like Will to be good soldiers, and go wherever they’re sent to stomp out any possible brushfires of skepticism regarding the Conservative version of reality. Is somebody at the Cato Institute smelling smoke? Can we soon expect nastier diatribes on the same theme from the guerilla fighters like Coulter, Limbaugh, & Co.? In a way, it might actually be a good thing. Anything which helps to bring this subject to the attention of the big public is probably a good thing. After all, in the long run (or even in the very short run, if JHK’s prognostications turn out to be on target), time is NOT on the side of the pooh-poohers.

  213. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    Well this is the theme of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons only it had to do with War II. Seems an endless problem, eh?

  214. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Since you like to nitpick you spelled genius wrong.
    yet I think there’s genious

  215. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    the stats for spelling are: people can spell about 95% of the words at their independent reading level. If Q dik can’t spell genius then at what readability level is the word genius? I think 6-7-8th grade level as the upper limit. What does that say about Q dik’s independent reading level?
    Well probably nothing, but we could blog endlessly about this piece of trivia.
    Your move Q dik.

  216. george November 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    How infantile is American society? Certainly no more infantile than Canadian society, what with all the breathless banter about Vancouver 2010, Rachel McAdam’s latest love interest or the NHL’s maneuvering to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona. Why bother talking about the economic downturn that’s threatening to tear the nation apart as the resource-rich Western provinces assert their new-found dominance over the depressed Central and Eastern provinces. Who cares if all of our manufacturing capacity is being outsourced or Alberta’s tar sands are an environmental time bomb. Doesn’t Rachel look oh-so-cute in the arms of her latest celebrity suitor?

  217. Puzzler November 24, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    GI Joe said: “6.5B people are not going to transition to become horse drawn, veggie growers without a massive shift in human consciousness and/or change in our basic DNA-based survival drives.”
    The shift is going to be a massive population decline through starvation and disease. When you take out oil, the earth can support about 1 billion. What do you think will happen to the other 5.5 billion? Get ready for manual farm labor under a local feudal thug and his gang.

  218. JACKBO November 24, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    it just goes to show, not all bigots are illiterate yahoos. one was an articulate, well-read yahoo. They’re the worst kind.

  219. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    When the govt or the media speak of the death of X number of troops it is intended to make clear that they are speaking of military people, not civilians. To refer to the deaths of 4000+ “individuals” might make it seem the figure included civilians.
    The term “troops” is in no way impersonal or pejorative. I have never heard of anyone in the military taking offence at being referred to as one of the “troops.”

  220. CynicalOne November 24, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    asoka said:
    Why didn’t people act this way last year, or the year before, since their credit cards were maxed out then, also.
    Because this year, like no year in recent memory, credit card issuers are cutting credit lines rather than increasing them?
    asoka said:
    My point is that the American people are not as they are being portrayed in this week’s post. They are not mindless, moronic, pleasure-seeking beings who are incapable of reacting rationally in an autonomous fashion to improve their economic situation.
    Sorry, but yes, many of them are. Meet my sibling, as just one example:
    Brother and his wife owned and operated two successful businesses and had a very good income (their words). Nevertheless, they lost their very modest home (this was no McMansion), then divorced, then purchased his-and-hers Harleys and a trailer to haul them in. Brother either can’t or won’t put a roof over his head (but he’s got a cool bike;). So he, at age *52*(no that’s not a typo), (and the Harley) now lives back at home with dear ol’ Dad – just like when he was a child. Infantile? Damn right. And irresponsible and stupid and…..
    There are more examples I know of personally and they’re not hard to come by.
    You must not be paying attention.
    Mr. Kunstler is spot on.

  221. oakley November 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

    I will miss SEB and Jaego. A lot. I’m not shocked to find some of you delighting in their banishment, and then brown nosing JHK for doing so. You know, there’s a crazy street preacher in my downtown. He shouts “Jezebel” at all the women and warns of impending doom. Every now and then, he makes an astute observation. I think its a fair trade off.

  222. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    Oak, did I miss something. If SEB was banned please point out the date and time of a Kunstler post declaring it.

  223. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    “Your move Q dik.”
    ——————–
    I typed the word correctly … it was the friggin software that put that friggin “o” in there;-)

  224. abbeysbooks November 24, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    I feel the same.

  225. Qshtik November 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    Perhaps I am the fool and the dupe your (and Asoka’s) comments imply … and that my 26 years experience in these very areas of discussion vs your zero year’s experience count for nothing.
    In 26 years I saw two people hauled away; one was a director in procurement who had avoided the normal competitive process and engineered some purchases from a company owned by his son. If anything the people who discovered this fraud deserve your respect for having found it and stamped it out. Instead they earn your contempt for such a fraud ever existing in the first place.
    The second was a subcontract administrator. The cops actually entered the building and took him away. We all wondered what “Charles” had done (he had a thing about not wanting to be called Chuck or Charlie) and shortly learned that it had to do with dealing drugs … nothing to do with defrauding the govt. Even the drug charge didn’t hold up and Charles was back with us in short order.
    It is a shame you have so little appreciation for the lengths the govt goes to to insure ethical behavior. Those efforts are both extensive and effective and one of the reasons that defense procurement is so costly. The near fanatical obsession with “government compliance” is driven by persons such as you and Asoka who want to believe that anything related to the military is a gravy train and a fraud. This is part and parcel of your paranoia regarding all things related to govt or authority of any sort. I can only wonder what makes you this way. Was your father taken away by the cops and never returned?

  226. Qshtik November 25, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    “the great Chomsky”
    ———————-
    If you think Chomsky is great you’ll absolutely adore Howard Zinn – most famous for his 1980 book A People’s History of the United States. Surely you’ve read it. If not, I recommend it to you. It’s right up your alley. You’ll experience ecstacy and rapture. He’ll be the preacher and you’ll be the choir. You won’t be able to put the book down. Zinn will leapfrog to the head of your favorite author list over all those other dudes you endlessly quote. David Foster Wallace won’t stand a prayer. Even your panties will get damp (after all these years).

  227. Qshtik November 25, 2009 at 12:42 am #

    “combing our talents”
    ————————
    Combing???????
    I’ve heard of combing our hair but never combing our talents.
    I guess even Ms Einstein makes typos.

  228. stojanovich November 25, 2009 at 1:24 am #

    in all this discussion its important to put a value on things. Yet we know perspective is influenced by an underlying value system. for instance you have jesus asking us ‘what does it profit a wo/man if they gain the whole world but lose their soul? As I see it the sum of all I have is a big 0. It can all be gone to me in a heartbeat that fails to happen. If I had a billion dollars it would still be 0. Two billion? ok 00. What gives the 0 any value then? It’s 1 in front of 0. As in 10 or 100 etc. Keeping The One in front of the 0’s gives value to the 0’s. The biggest problem with the US and other economies is that Christ is not honoured as He should be. Sure the US currency still reads ‘In God We Trust’ but for reasons of greed like the love of money we have sadly moved away from God. Like the bumper sticker that reads ‘If God seems far away guess who moved?’ we have bought into the lie that happiness comes from happenings. In other words if the circumstances are favourable I’m happy. We are so tied into the 0’s and have forgotten The One that gives the 0’s any value. The first Bible verse I ever memorized when stumbling out of the wild 60’s in California on my way back home to Canada was Matthew 6:33. Google it and you’ll understand that it’s ok to enjoy the 0’s if they come your way but don’t forget The One in front of them. Peace…

  229. stojanovich November 25, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    in all this discussion its important to put a value on things. Yet we know perspective is influenced by an underlying value system. for instance you have jesus asking us ‘what does it profit a wo/man if they gain the whole world but lose their soul? As I see it the sum of all I have is a big 0. It can all be gone to me in a heartbeat that fails to happen. If I had a billion dollars it would still be 0. Two billion? ok 00. What gives the 0 any value then? It’s 1 in front of 0. As in 10 or 100 etc. Keeping The One in front of the 0’s gives value to the 0’s. The biggest problem with the US and other economies is that Christ is not honoured as He should be. Sure the US currency still reads ‘In God We Trust’ but for reasons of greed like the love of money we have sadly moved away from God. Like the bumper sticker that reads ‘If God seems far away guess who moved?’ we have bought into the lie that happiness comes from happenings. In other words if the circumstances are favourable I’m happy. We are so tied into the 0’s and have forgotten The One that gives the 0’s any value. The first Bible verse I ever memorized when stumbling out of the wild 60’s in California on my way back home to Canada was Matthew 6:33. Google it and you’ll understand that it’s ok to enjoy the 0’s if they come your way but don’t forget The One in front of them. Peace…

  230. asoka November 25, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    10/9/09, FROM SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS:
    “Virtually every major defense contractor in this country has been engaged in systemic, illegal, and fraudulent behavior, while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.
    We’re not talking here about the $53 million that ACORN received over 15 years. We’re in fact talking about defense contractors who have received many, many billions in defense contracts and year after year, time after time, violated the law, ripping off the taxpayers of this country big time,” Sanders said.
    According to the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, the three largest government contractors – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman – all have a history riddled with fraud and other illegal behavior.
    Altogether, the three companies engaged in 109 instances of misconduct since 1995, and were fined $2.9 billion. How were they punished? In one year alone, the big-three pocketed $77 billion in government contracts in 2007.
    With a $12 trillion national debt and the biggest budget deficit in history, Sanders said, “Taxpayers want to know that the money we spend – whether it is for defense, housing, education, or any other purpose – is spent as wisely and as cost-effectively as possible. They also want to know that the corporations and institutions and individuals who receive this funding are honest and trustworthy.”
    Qshtik, most defense contractor fraud is not punished. DoD does not have sufficient staff. Most of the time those committing fraud do not go to jail. Case in point: in 26 years you saw very few being taken away. Mostly they get a slap on the wrist, pay a fine, and continue their theft of taxpayer funds.

  231. cowswithguns November 25, 2009 at 2:55 am #

    One particularly troubling element of this gradual trainwreck — which we can all see coming but our leaders refuse to acknowledge — which will lead to austerity and a scaling back of dreams, is how current disenfranchised groups are going to be affected.
    Many minority group members may likely feel that the rug is being pulled out from under them just as they were set to rise to equal footing now that outmoded largely racist ideologies have gone by the wayside.
    I was listening to a radio program the other day in which a speaker was talking about how college degrees are becoming inflated and how it’s probably not necessary for everybody to go to college (especially those who demonstrated few academic talents in high school); the speaker also went into how a job isn’t guaranteed even for those who do get college degrees.
    Anyway, a black female professor (or academic of some kind), who was a follow-up guest, blasted the speaker (a white guy) for being an elitist and not considering the past and current trials of minorities, who haven’t had the same opportunities.
    So, her reaction got me thinking: Will a downscaled, more environmentally friendly future be greeted with open arms by the disenfranchised if they have to give up their dreams of having what privelaged white people have had for so long?
    And if not, how will they be affected? What will that do to their psyche?
    I’m not saying minorities are going to go out and do all kinds of horrible things or anything like that. But it’s just something to think about. The coming age of austerity, as JHK puts it, will surely have an aura of unfairness.
    It seems with Obama in office, many dream of a more equal society. I think that will be the case, but it won’t be because all groups are suddenly on equal economic footing with the upper middle class. It will be because the middle class goes away.
    As JHK points out repeatedly, the populace seems unwilling to face the second reality. And the reaction could be fierce.
    FYI – Listen to Dave Matthews, people.

  232. cowswithguns November 25, 2009 at 3:00 am #

    To Asoka: The defense contractor fraud is indeed disgusting. It’s what Eisenhower warned about. Even Lincoln saw the war profiteers coming and warned about them.
    But as bad as defense contract fraud is, the big problem, of course, is big bank fraud.
    The people getting the big bonuses right now are the biggest fraudsters around. They sold products they knew were bogus. The proof: the credit default swap (a Wall St. insurance policy). All of ’em had them on the books. They created the wealth out of thin air, and they knew the government would have to pay up.
    Thousands should be in prisonn right now.

  233. asoka November 25, 2009 at 3:33 am #

    To Cowswithguns: The bank fraud is bad, but not as bad as defense contractor fraud.
    With bank fraud you get people losing value in their 401K’s and people’s losing value in their houses and people losing their houses. In all cases people do not lose their lives.
    With defense contractor fraud you get people losing their lives, you get human trafficking, you get brutal rapes, you get soldiers being electrocuted. Let’s take the example of just one contractor’s actions in one year, 2008:
    January 2008
    01/02/2008 – SSG Ryan Maseth is electrocuted in his shower and dies at Radwaniyah Palace Complex in Baghdad, Iraq due to shoddy electrical work. Army Criminal Investigations Command (CID) opens investigation into manner of death.
    01/??/2008 – KBR employee, Dawn Leamon was drugged and brutally raped in her room at Camp Harper in Southern Iraq.
    February 2008
    02/27/2008 -KBR employee Tracy K Barker was raped in Basra, Iraq. – Another of KBR’s rape victims to come forward
    March 2008
    03/09/2008 – AP Exclusive – US troops may have become sick in Iraq from contaminated water supplied by KBR
    03/12/2008 – Pentagon Dismisses KBR Contaminated Water: Troops Should ‘Just Drink Bottled Water’
    03/19/08 – Cheryl Harris, SSG Ryan Maseth’s mother files “Wrongful Death” lawsuit against KBR in Pennsylvania.
    April 2008
    04/09/2008 – Former KBR employees Dawn Leamon and Mary Beth Kineston testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about their rapes in Iraq – Closing Legal Loopholes:Prosecuting Sexual Assaults And Other Violent Crimes Committed Overseas By American Civilians In A Combat Environment
    04/28/2008 – Senate DPC Hearing – Contracting Abuses in Iraq:Is the Bush Administration Safeguarding American Taxpayer Dollars? – KBR employees working in Iraq stole weapons, artwork and even gold to make spurs for cowboy boots, two former company workers told Senate Democrats.
    May 2008
    05/09/2008 – Former KBR employee and Jamie Leigh Jones gang rape case goes to trial instead of arbitration!
    05/25/2008 – 9 former KBR employees file suit for sodium dichromate exposure.
    June 2008
    06/02/2008 – My first blog post about KBR and the soldier electrocutions. (It’s important to me!)
    06/11/2008 – The Army Criminal Investigations Command (CID) finds SSG Ryan Maseth’s death was an “accident”. (CID reopens investigation 08/29/2008)
    06/20/2008 – Senate DPC Hearing – The Exposure at Qarmat Ali: Contractor Misconduct and the Safety of U.S. Troops in Iraq Former KBR employees testify about how KBR knowingly exposed US Troops and their own employees to Hexavalent Chromium (Chrom-6).
    06/20/2008 – Group demands that California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS) dump KBR Inc stocks. What a great idea!!!
    July 2008
    07/01/2008 – Senator Casey expresses concerns about KBR performing own electrical inspections.
    07/09/2008 – Senate DPC Hearing – Safeguarding Taxpayer Dollars in Iraq: An Insider’s View of Questionable Contracting Practices by KBR and the Pentagon Former Chief of the Field Support Command Division testifies to personally witnessing KBR submitting over $1 billion in unsupported charges.
    07/11/2008 – Senate DPC Hearing – Contractor Misconduct and the Electrocution Deaths of American Soldiers in Iraq Mothers Cheryl Harris, Larraine McGee, Soldier Rachel McNeil and Electricians Debbie Crawford and Jeff Bliss testify to shoddy electrical work done by KBR. More videos and media coverage.
    07/17/2008 – The H.R. HEART Act of 2008 goes into affect. KBR can no longer avoid paying millions in Social Security and Medicare taxes. To bad it’s not retroactive.
    07/17/2008 – Fisher v. Halliburton – KBR Lawsuit Revived – The “Good Friday Massacre.” Friday, April 9, 2004. KBR truck drivers were sent out on convoy when KBR was told they would be attacked.
    07/18/2008 – Electrical Risks at Bases in Iraq Worse Than Previously Said
    07/18/2008 – Senators Want Independent Safety Review of KBR’s Electrical Work in Iraq
    07/21/2008 – Larraine McGee, mother of SSG Christopher Everett file suit against KBR for his electrocution death at Camp Taqqadum.
    07/30/2008 – Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hold hearings on Deficient Electrical Systems at U.S. Facilities in Iraq KBR’s Tom Bruni, the DoD and DCMA are totally humiliated by the Committee for their shoddy work and lack of oversight.
    August 2008
    08/??/2008 – KBR changes it’s qualification requirements for it’s electricians requiring them to be licensed. It also increases journeyman wages to $3750 base and masters to $5000 base. Finally!!!
    08/12/2008 – Curtis Coffey files suit. Iraq Injury Spurs Class Action Against KBR
    08/27/2008 -KBR, Partner in Iraq Contract Sued in Human Trafficking Case – Suit Alleges Slavery
    08/29/2008 – The Army Criminal Investigations Command (CID) re-opens the investigation into the cause of SSG Ryan Maseth’s death.
    September 2008
    09/??/2008 – Task Force Safe is implemented to inspect the electrical wiring at 90,000 DoD facilities including those maintained by KBR.
    09/03/2008 – Former KBR Exec pleads guilty to bribery and is sentenced to seven years.
    09/11/2008 – KBR issued Level III Corrective Action Request (CAR) by the DCMA in Iraq.
    09/27/2008 – Electrical Review Turns Up 3700 fires Not The 483 Reported!
    09/29/2008 – IBEW Urges Electrical Safety In Iraq
    October 2008
    10/??/2008 – KBR claims all electrical work in Iraq was done to British Standards
    10/10/2008 – Former KBR employee gets 3 years for child porn in Iraq
    10/24/2008 – Pentagon Finds Company Violated Its Contract on Electrical Work in Iraq – NY Times
    November 2008
    11/24/2008 – Contractor (KBR) for military committed serious violations-CNN
    11/26/2008 – Suit claims Halliburton, KBR sickened base – Ice tainted with body fluids, rotten food and contaminated water.
    December 2008
    12/03/2008 – KBR involved in Human Trafficking … again.
    12/08/2008 – Indiana National Guard file suit against KBR for chemical exposure at Qarmat Ali water plant.
    12/29/2008 – New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., on behalf of the New York City Pension Funds demands answers. I hope more Pension Funds SELL their KBR and HALLIBURTON shares because of the Waste, Fraud & Abuse in Iraq!!!

  234. Nick Kreisler November 25, 2009 at 5:28 am #

    really enjoyed the last two posts. Have been reading the blog the last three years, and you inspired me to write a song that touched on peak oil, called ‘Chinatown’. If you wish to check it out, go to my ‘myspace’ page:
    http://www.myspace.com/thepetrocksband
    thank you for the fearless, dark and funny commentary, James.

  235. Urban_Underclass November 25, 2009 at 6:37 am #

    OAKLEY WROTE
    “…brown nosing Mr.Kunstler”
    Rubbish, I read this blog because I like his writing, (why else would one)?
    I certainly don’t read it to see the same hateful, racist bile repeated over and over again.

  236. Urban_Underclass November 25, 2009 at 6:41 am #

    OAKLEY WROTE
    “…brown nosing Mr.Kunstler”
    Rubbish, I read this blog because I like his writing, (why else would one)?
    I certainly don’t read it to see the same hateful, racist bile repeated over and over again.

  237. dale November 25, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    abbeybooks,
    You should stick to dropping names of obscure philosophers and trying to convice everyone here you are some sort of intellectual. When it comes to history, and Pearl Harbor in particular, you are practically illiterate.

  238. dale November 25, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    The only thing “dangerous” about Dear Abbey is her tendency to lull everyone to sleep with her turgid antiquarian literary references.

  239. cowswithguns November 25, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Asoka: Good point and good examples regarding contractor fraud. Indeed nothing matches war for dealing out pain and misery. I guess what I was trying to say is in terms of scale, banking fraud trumps the contractor (war profiteer) fraud. The numbers are staggering. A worldwide derivatives market of something like $700 trillion.
    By the way, Blackwater (now Xe, pronounced Z) is the scariest company around. It brings to mind the corporate powers in the movie Aliens. After their job overseas in complete they could be a private military force for corporations. Wow…

  240. Freedom Guerrilla November 25, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    I HOPE we emerge as a completely different economy. This one is mired in bullshit. I’m no longer dreading this, but starting to look forward to it. This is no longer worth saving, and we deserve the consequences of our stupid decisions.
    http://freedomguerrilla.com/

  241. asoka November 25, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    Cowswithguns: I agree with you. In terms of sheer numbers, the magnitude of bank fraud cannot be matched. It is a worldwide phenomena.
    You are right about Xe/Blackwater. These guys are operating in secret, without public oversight, planning drone strikes and black ops (to be carried out by Special Forces) in places like Karachi and Uzbekistan (against the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan).
    I guess I missed when Congress had declared war on Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
    Xe/Blackwater plan the drone strikes on houses full of people. If a “suspected” Taliban is targeted in a house with 34 other people…. well, 35 people will die that day… and Bin Laden gets more support to recruit terrorists looking for payback. Xe/Blackwater sponsors convulsion that contributes to the greater clusterfuck.

  242. Watching and Listening November 25, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    Why “Montana Joe” – I’m shocked!
    Posting on the INTERNET!
    Why on the bolg-site of a one-book-wonder?
    The Long Emergency?
    Fits… I guess.
    And you’re already banned; that was fast.
    I’ll go out on a limb, to show you I do care.
    Do the regulars on this blog see how quickly I work?
    Comes out of the woodwork every few months…
    Came out quick for you though!
    What language they use, so unlike you.
    The Wonder.
    No one cares Joseph.
    Stop trying and remember your deal! It’s too late anyway and you know it.
    How’s Rachel?
    Oh yeah, I used your computer, hope you don’t mind. And, I had that last jot of Chivas, sorry – thanks.
    To the rest of you paragons of intellect:
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out, for I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, for I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, for I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me…
    Abbey is not even close to being as dangerous as Montana Joe.
    (you see I do care!)
    There is no such thing as “govt. conspriacy,” but there are conspiricies among men.
    Everything we do, we inform you of first; and everyhing we do, we do in plain sight.
    Light-sweet crude peaked July 23, 2006.
    Heu interj casus litterarius uester fabella peroptato acclaro losephus!

  243. Gail Tverberg November 25, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    Great post! Thanks.
    Gail

  244. Gail Tverberg November 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Great post! Thanks!
    -Gail

  245. asia November 25, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    10 ‘earth friendly’ bags and an SUV!
    well
    heres an email i got from a lawyer in the UK:
    The situation is pretty bad here. Like the US there was a huge property bubble fuelled
    by cheap credit and irresponsible lending. Lots of people started buying properties as
    investments in order to rent them out. Now there’s a glut of properties and lots of landlords have gone bankrupt. Basically, anything to do with property is doing very badly. The kind of clients I worked for were mainly housebuilders, so that’s why my job disappeared – they just stopped building anything.
    What I’m hoping to do is get a temp job for about 12 months. In September next year I then plan on going back to university in order to re-train.
    I’ve registered with a few agencies and am trying to get a temp job with a government agency or city government. The public sector is having to make cuts too, but not as bad. Plus they always have loads of people going off sick for months at a time.

  246. asia November 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    ‘And why on earth should commercial media be excoriated for doing what they do best?’
    Because Jimmy doesnt like it
    It was on a business show! not MTV!
    If you read his book you know the comment………the village prospered by taking in each others hogwash!

  247. melinda November 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    James isn’t a one hit wonder. He has written 4 books that I know of.
    1) Geography of Nowhere 1993
    2) Home from Nowhere 1996
    3) The City In Mind 2002
    And The Long Emergency being the most current.
    All of his writings and books are full of correct observations and his take on “Our Culture” is same as mine, I however, as we all know, do not have away with words, or sentences, but I try.
    All of his books are relevant today. He was/is ahead of the times in thinking. (not ahead of me tho!)ha.
    I think G of Nowhere (MY FAVE) may have been written before 93, anyway I discovered him than, and glad he kept writing, and continues to do so.
    I am laying low for the Holidaze, NOT driving, going to cook a chicken and some veggies, for a few friends, and go swimming, take a walk.
    over and out for now.

  248. asia November 25, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    I know a woman who I consider to be very smart and one of the few I know that trekked all the way to west tibet to go to Mt kailash…shes deep into Tibetan budddism..i told her the oils running out so its like
    ‘ we ll have electric cars and organic food…michelles got a garden at the white house and gardenings way up in the usa’!!!

  249. asia November 25, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    consumer?
    troops?
    also abb..what are the best websites for beginning gardeners
    as far as yr history of WW2…did the govt seal the borders during ww1 and WW2?
    we are in a 9/ year war….and allowing 70m a year to visit
    including from afghanistan!

  250. asia November 25, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    was that the point of the club of rome?
    are you familiar with catherine austin fitts site and her opinion on where the usa is and why?
    also …with regards to yr comment to dee..its ‘your are’
    or ‘you’re’..ok toots?

  251. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    It seems you have nothing but contempt for my lifetime educational experience, my teaching experience, my experience as a therapist, my real estate development, my performance artist status world wide, my financial expertise (studied with Greenspan) my experience in art (studied with Leo Steinberg, et al) and owned my own gallery, reading clinic research, perception research, and …..I guess I shall stop there but there is more.
    and no government employees were never people I looked up to, just people I had to deal with and often pay off.

  252. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    Jim’s writing is mediocre. He complains about racism and offers vile classism. I suffer from it myself except I deplore the uneducated. By this I don’t mean the really good mechanic, nor the really good and impassioned organic farmer, nor the artist or crafts person, nor anyone of excellence. But I think that’s what JHK is really talking about when he writes on the yeast people who are about to blow up. I find government retirees most often among the ill educated and ignorant. They think they know things because they have been in a position to call decisions, little puny ones I might add, but none the less enough to puff up their egos.

  253. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    The great Foucault would disagree with you. Calling them troops instead of people allows us and them to think of themselves as objects. It is the way of The Official Discourse which both sides buy into it. Orwell names it too.
    But I see you have bought the Company Language and are also defending it.
    Hooray for you you little round peg in a round hole.

  254. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    SEB is really a poet who doesn’t know he is.

  255. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    Yes I have read Zinn and unlike your children have not outgrown him. But then kids revert back to their identification with their parents as they arrive at young adulthood. See Altemyer’s The Authoritarians for this insight.

  256. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    I’m not the one who nitpiks typos and spelling. You are so I retaliated in kind.
    I make typos all the time but I don’t criticize others for doing so either.
    Except you who uses it as a chance to jump on someone and not just me when you can’t find a real intellectual argument in your rusty arsenal in there.

  257. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    I was listening to a radio program the other day in which a speaker was talking about how college degrees are becoming inflated and how it’s probably not necessary for everybody to go to college (especially those who demonstrated few academic talents in high school);

    College and University degrees have been inflated for 3 yes three decades at least. Toynbee was the last generation that received a classical education in the UK. Latin, Greek, Arabic, French, Italian, etc and history up to the present time. We are fortunate he preserved it for us.
    The present degrees are just an extension of high school. Because now the work force demands it-as they can- because there are so many of them.
    Nobody knows anything anymore.

  258. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Asoka, stop trying to convince someone who is arguing in bad faith. Facts will not penetrate.
    I agree with you about the banksters but there is much underlying the cause of their unpunished fraud.
    They are taking the path of the tyrant, the despot, who makes and breaks laws as she/he see fit. I am reading Foucault’s Abnormal Lectures from 74-75 at the College de France, a most unusual institution of higher learning. No formal students, no exams, just chaired professors who lecture on their past year’s research. They are totally free. People all over the world come to hear lectures there. Now that is REAL education.
    In
    Abnormal he uses his method of genealogy to untangle this standardization of normality rooted in Discipline and Punish a book he was working on at the time. Classical punishment was the revenge of the sovereign. It was in excess of the offense as it was meant to deter and horrify (done publicly) the people. With the next step which we are in, the abnormal entered the game, incarceration and rehabilitation or permanent imprisonment and secret punishment became institutionalized (the important word in Foucault).
    As I see it without any deep thinking, the bankers are being treated as ruling despots of classical times because they don’t know what else to do with them. They know they will not hesitate to demolish all the blocks in the facade they have built up. You don’t want to let me play my game, ok no game! Bam!
    Really this is a new moment in crime and punishment. There is no precedent. Obama is the type of guy who needs precedents. (OK SEB precedents and presidents sound the same, but no pun intended.)

  259. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    Yes Dale I expect comments like this from someone with an inflated degree.

  260. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    Our stupid decisions? This has been coming on for over 2 centuries. It is faceless. Institutionalized. And until we change the way we think and speak about it we will gt more of the same.
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a good place to start.

  261. cowswithguns November 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    The interesting thing about the name Xe, is the contempt the company shows for the American people through its use; it also reveals just how shady its dealings are.
    The disassociation between the spelling and the pronunciation of the name (sounds like Z) shows how duplicitous the company’s owners are. Changing the name from Blackwater wasn’t enough — they wanted to do all they could to make sure the typical American can’t connect the dots.
    Here’s a conversation I can imagine:
    “I heard on the radio the other day that a mercenary contracting company called Z killed a bunch of civilians. How horrible. Oh, by the way, I read in the paper that this company called Xe is pulling in huge profits. I really should invest in it.”

  262. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    I haven’t read any of his books except for a few sentences. He can’t write a good sentence. He needs to read much much more and become literate for my taste. But he is not writing for an audience like me. He is writing for the masses. And the masses need to read and take in what he says. Important.
    Margaret Atwood said it much better decades ago inThe Handmaid’s Tale which someone above mentioned and reminded me of. It is beautifully written and ultimately frightening and inspires horror. Because you know it is going to come true.

  263. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    ‘And why on earth should commercial media be excoriated for doing what they do best?’

    Because they are using public airwaves that belong to all of us.

  264. Puzzler November 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Abbey said: “Calling them troops instead of people allows us and them to think of themselves as objects”
    They’re called troops because that’s their job. Much like we call some people plumbers because that’s what they are. Do plumbers think of themselves as objects because they are called plumbers? No, that sort of mental masterbation is the occupation of academics, of which tribe you suppose yourself to be a member.

  265. MINDfool November 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    When one looks at the tapestry of history, it is easy enough to find multiple instances of events that were predictable. Much of what JHK writes about was obvious, even to me, back in the sixties. What is more important is that our society has had a prediliction for favoring conceptualizations that were mathematically tractable. What this has led to, for example in economics, theories, that in order to be accepted, had to formulated in linear or even simple polynomial perspectives. This coupled with almost a religious belief in gaussian (bell-curve) statistics, has led to predictions often ok, but never fully correct. Chaos theory (non-linear dynamics) and the work of Taleb , i.e. “Black Swan” has resulted in
    the understanding that major events often move in a quantum (step-like) at unpredictable times. Significant substantiation of this kind of fractal behavior was in fact observed by Prechter with his elucidation of Elliott Waves. I still believe that there are some of us who can read the social/psychic winds and act accordingly. Others tend to get trampled by mass hysteria.
    Consequently, it seems pretty clear that some form of social debacle is coming, but that some of us will continue to go to film school, plant inner city gardens, or hole up in a suburban fortress with sufficient ammo to get themselves killed. What will be really necessary is to understand the specifics of how the context is changing and be nimble or lucky enough to guess right.

  266. Puzzler November 25, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Cowswithguns said: “The disassociation between the spelling(Xe) and the pronunciation of the name (sounds like Z) shows how duplicitous the company’s owners are.”
    Yes, like Xerox was “duplicitous” with its name.
    If pronunciation of words in the English language are too difficult for you stick to Esperanto.
    English has many strange pronunciations, but that’s hardly proof of a conspiracy to fool people.

  267. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Michelle’s garden at the WH is a laugh. all of the serious gardeners around here snicker. But it isa symbol of what all of us should be doing so good on her.
    Either start studying old OG and ME so you will know what to do or start a garden so you can make your mistakes now.
    Your first year with butternut and acorn squash will be a truckload of them. You will think you are a genius. The next year the bugs will devour every last one of them. Nada. The first year allows the predators to find them and spawn. The secret is to find out the predator of the predators. I haven’t so will someone please tell me. I look under every fuggin leaf to find the little black eggs. But I can do that as I don’t weed, water, or do anything but talk to the plants and love them in a responsible way. They know when they are being admired every day.
    Oh and check the cornears every morning. as soon as you see a worm, pick that ear as it will be perfect. Feed the wormto your chickens. They will kill you for those worms. I never heard chickens scream like that before.

  268. Qshtik November 25, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    Apparently you have quite a resume but I have no way of knowing how effective you were in your areas of expertise. I do know this … a month ago you were complaining bitterly about being deceived by Alan Greenspan into foregoing grant money … now you are bragging that you studied “with” him.
    I also know that when you described your teaching of Standard American English to black students I was appalled at your advice to them to retain their black vernacular as a second language. Since clashing with you on that subject I have read David Foster Wallace’s essay titled “Authority and American Usage” (one of ten brilliant essays in his book titled “Consider the Lobster”) in which he describes his own attempts to convey SWE – Standard Written English (which he then confesses might just as well have been titled Standard “White” English), to black college students. Without attempting to paraphrase Wallace (an impossibility for just about anyone) let me just say, I came away feeling that his views about the advisability of abandoning black vernacular matched mine.
    As to all the rest: therapist, real estate development, performance artist, financial expertise, experience in art, etc … by what criteria should I judge your effectiveness? (the LENGTH of the resume is irrelevant) Did you make a lot of money? Did you produce jaw-dropping art? (Is your art as good as Kunstler’s?) Did your therapy lead to cures of mental disorders in your patients/clients? Could SEB benefit from your therapy?
    You tell ME and I’ll take you at your word.

  269. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    My gardening comment is being inspected. I was a child during War II but I bet it wasn’t easy to get in and out. I know the Japanese were put in “camps” here, their homes and farms confiscated. Little dachshunds were tortured and killed. German Shepherds were mistreated. Posters on walls with Uncle Sam holding a finger to his lips saying the Fifth Column was listening. Whatever the Fifth Column was.

  270. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    I am not arguing this. If you are really interested in why plumbers are also objects as are teachers, etc then go study Foucault for yourself.
    He is dense but not difficult to understand. He really wants to communicate.

  271. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    I took a straw bale workshop at Dancing Rabbit an eco intentional community north of Columbia MO. the leader of it was from Sedona. She said every week she walked into the desert for 24 hours with nothing. She said, I can survive almost anywhere now. She also said she was doing no more straw bale building workshops but was concentrating on cobb buildings. Her slide show of the cobb buildings was incredible. She did workshops with old ladies like me who dug the foundations and built their own homes (beautiful) out of mud, straw and sand. She liked them because they were biodegradable even though they lasted for more than 100 years. She said cement is forever.
    And the art of Andrew Goldsworthy is on DVD. All eco and beautiful.

  272. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    Naming, logos, and the visual image of a corporation is of the highest importance. They bring in special design people to do that for them. And they take into consideration many things.
    so puzzler you are again showing your ignorance.
    Or are you trolling?

  273. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    Honey I have no intention of defending myself against you. It would take days to document all this.
    You can start with a search of Tripoli Gallery in Philly. The emerging artists I gave shows to that have web pages will come up. You might try Bricolage Theatre or Performance Art Group for that part of my life. I have already given you some students web pages. Go back and check.
    However if you want to pay me $100 an hour I will be glad to oblige you.

  274. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    I coould give you addresses of property I owned and you could research the title transfers in the archives. That would be easy as they are mostly in Philly. You could start with the Banca d’Italia, the first Italian bank in the US. When the banks failed in 29 the mafia got in line and put money in as the savers were taking money out and stopped the run on the bank.It’s a beautiful building.
    I just checked google street view and it seems they have changed the format so I can’t give you a link to the pic. Maybe I did something wrong. The tree I planted at the corner is still there.

  275. asoka November 25, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    President Obama on signing the Pentagon budget said, “The Government Accountability Office, the GAO, has looked into 96 major defense projects from the last year, and found cost overruns that totaled $296 billion.” (whitehouse.gov, Oct. 28)
    Harry Madoff’s $50-billion Ponzi scheme, supposedly the biggest rip-off in history, pales in comparison. Why is there no criminal inquiry into this multibillion-dollar theft? Where are the congressional hearings or media hysteria about $296 billion in cost overruns? Why are the CEOs of the corporations not brought into court in handcuffs?
    The cost overruns are an integral part of the military subsidy to the largest U.S. corporations. They are treated as business as usual. Regardless of the party in office, the Pentagon budget grows, the cost overruns grow and the proportion of domestic spending shrinks.

  276. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    I found out how to gt a pic. Google.com then maps then 727 south 7th then jiggle until the south east corner comes up. My, my tree got big. That limb near the bottom I taped back on when some kids broke it off. Still there. The pic the last time was better as you could see more. and if you don’t believe me you can go to the archives. Abbey should get you what you want. Good luck.

  277. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    And Wallace’s mom was a grammar teacher at the local community college. When students were in his office he often called her up about a point on a student’s paper. (In Rolling Stone article after his death.) and DFW can write Black English like no one else. See his character Gately in IJ. (I think.)
    Why should White writers be the only ones who are proficient in BE. Well, only the exceptionally good ones. James Baldwin was. He never threw it away. Eminem is great at it as are the black rappers/poets.

  278. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    Asoka I am telling you that crimes against people by those in power like we have just seen is a new moment in history. They have no category to put them in. that means there is no Official Discourse. that means there is no Accepted Way to talk or write about it except in Unofficial Ways.
    There has been no way to discuss Pearl Harbor except the Official Way of a sneak attack by the Japanese.
    You can rant and rail away forever and it won’t make any difference. The Discourse rules.
    Now start learning how to undermine the discourse. Foucault spent his life doing just that. He has left us an endless legacy of methods and tools to do it with.
    Jaycee Dugard and Eunice Williams (1704 Deerfield Massacre) are the two kidnap victims I am thinking about. JD is an object and EW is a human subject. 300 years apart and a victimized human child has been turned from a person into an object. The process is fascinating. No one sees this or has asked one question about this. But then they are not reading Foucault. He has given us eyes to see. It’s a new world. Or rather a horrible one.
    Stop talking about your knowledge in outdated discourse.

  279. Qshtik November 25, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    There’s a certain sense of frustration that can set in as one ages … that a lifetime’s accumulated experience and wisdom are not being recognized and given their just due. I feel it in myself at times and, unquestionably, I see it in you. That is one reason it is such a joy to have children who know, understand and love you. They are your legacy and the receptacle of your memory. Everybody else, if I may generalize, couldn’t care less.

  280. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    Nice. If you can’t measure it until you turn it into an object (goes for concepts too). And until you turn people into objects you can’t measure them either. Or draw conclusions. Or do demographics. Or or or or……..
    Me I tried studying the financial numbers and did poorly then. But on knowledge and intuition I can predict long trends. Soros is the one I admire the most. Buffet is very good tho and he just bought the RR that runs by my building.

  281. abbeysbooks November 25, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Well I have the curse of Cassandra. Being right and having no one believe me.
    But when I owned a lot of property I was the same person but people just looked at me differently. and some disliked me for no reason but that I had it and they didn’t.
    I was living in Paris the winter of 86 think it was. I went to Shakespeare’s bookstore (the famous one) and on the bulletin board was an ad wanted an English speaking reading tutor. so I decided to do it. They were artists living non Faubourg near the St. Antoine’s hospital in an old building with broken windows and pigeons flying in the hallways. Their loft was beautiful. I immediate saw this building was a find.
    When I went back to Philly I had a friend who wanted a building to restore i Paris and I told him about this one. He was skeptical, had friends in Paris who looked and said it was a dowbn area. 3 fuggin weeks later the NYT did a front page splash on that area, the new opera house restoration, and there was no chance of getting this building for anything reasonable. He kept saying I should have listened to you, I should have….. and how many times doyou think I’ve heard that?
    Well I tell you now I don’t have a clue except it’s going to be awful.

  282. icurhuman2 November 25, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    I’m not sure that looting will appear here, in Australia, as quickly as it might in America. In fact Australia might be one of the safer countries to be in when the serious disruptions begin. We do have strong laws about gun ownership, but this doesn’t mean there are no guns or that a mob weilding knives and clubs isn’t as dangerous.
    What I mean by “safe” is that Australia is a net energy exporter that is isolated from other countries by distance, and, is an ocean or sea away from energy and food hungry nations. Our own oil is declining rapidly, having peaked in 2000, but we have plentiful natural gas and a gas-to-liquids facility in the north of my state. Neither of these facts means we will survive, but it means a likely slower decline – unless there is a war waged between our usual customers for whatever commodities they might wish to fight over.
    My own preparartions, for instance, include growing succesive generations of a particular type of lima bean in sandy soil – they’re growing better with each crop – and locating and identifying local resources for a mass conversion to a low-energy society. But, probably the most important preparation has been to make acquaintance with various levels of local society – police, local MP’s and a variety of very “dodgy” criminal elements. I believe that with the right prompting I can meld these various groups into a cohesive mix as security will be the main issue when fear and desperation set in. Anyone with a plan will be accepted more easily when no-one else has one. I view the armour plated security glass in the local banks as an assett I will certainly grab early for desalination as an extra addition to water supply, along with all the local rainwater tanks.
    Someone will have to take control, and it might as well be me.

  283. oakley November 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    Right. I think in the comments i read how someone suggested that JHK also ban incoherent stream of consciousness posts and i thought they meant SEB -not that JHK had done so. My apologies. I am always amused when i see posts making suggestions to JHK on who to ban.
    Going back to Jaego: was he hateful? Some hated his ideas and his racism. But was he actually hateful? I thought he was rather even in his presentation. Is hate defined by the object that is hated? Because clearly it isnt hate to hate:
    southerners
    fat people
    people who use fancy kitchen appliances
    anyone with granite counters
    race car fans
    drivers of SUVs
    “sheeple”
    watchers of dancing with the stars
    dopes that don’t buy peak oil
    anyone who questions the official story on 9/11
    wal-mart shoppers
    and so on
    Back to SEB: Does anyone else in here wonder if he looks like one of those PSA posters with the faces before and after meth? Does he still have his teeth? Pustules on his skin?

  284. oakley November 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Right. I think in the comments i read how someone suggested that JHK also ban incoherent stream of consciousness posts and i thought they meant SEB -not that JHK had done so. My apologies. I am always amused when i see posts making suggestions to JHK on who to ban.
    Going back to Jaego: was he hateful? Some hated his ideas and his racism. But was he actually hateful? I thought he was rather even in his presentation. Is hate defined by the object that is hated? Because clearly it isnt hate to hate:
    southerners
    fat people
    people who use fancy kitchen appliances
    anyone with granite counters
    race car fans
    drivers of SUVs
    “sheeple”
    watchers of dancing with the stars
    dopes that don’t buy peak oil
    anyone who questions the official story on 9/11
    wal-mart shoppers
    and so on
    Back to SEB: Does anyone else in here wonder if he looks like one of those PSA posters with the faces before and after meth? Does he still have his teeth? Pustules on his skin?

  285. asia November 25, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    you forgot:
    Hillary
    Sarah
    tv watchers
    mike jackson fans
    [ theres a hate group at facebook that hates JimK]
    there are those of us that HATE hatecrime legislation
    Abb..thanks,,i figured you meant mothere and OrganicG…but what about websitres..even bad ones..or groups at facebook??????????????????

  286. asia November 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    and those crass shows..while not viewed by all..are viewed by many
    here on the left coast..or whats left of it
    there are 2 public radio stations..they both stink

  287. cowswithguns November 25, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    Wow. I just read up top the racist (JaegoScorzine) has been banned.
    Was he offensive? Yes. Were his ideas destructive? Yes. Did he take over discussions? Yes. The ban makes sense.
    But be that as it may, I think discussing race (different from promoting racism) is important when it comes to the downscaled, starkly different future many on this site see coming.
    There’s nothing wrong with asking things like: “Will black people be safe in white neighborhoods if the electricity goes out?”; “Will Asian people be safe in black neighborhoods when the electricity goes out?”; and “Will Mexican, Asian, black and white gangs clash in the cities without a strong police presence?”
    Such ponderings on race can lead to productive questions like this: “If not, what can we do to ensure that there is harmony between the races in an era of limited cheap energy and fiscal restraint?” and “How can we make this a better world.”
    To not address such questions in the world that may be possibly coming is naive. Race, class and religion are, sadly, likely to be what the masses focus their anger on (not derivatives and the military industrial complex). And none of the races will be immune from feelings of hate.

  288. cowswithguns November 25, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    Wow. I just read up top the racist (JaegoScorzine) has been banned.
    Was he offensive? Yes. Were his ideas destructive? Yes. Did he take over discussions? Yes. The ban makes sense.
    But be that as it may, I think discussing race (different from promoting racism) is important when it comes to the downscaled, starkly different future many on this site see coming.
    There’s nothing wrong with asking things like: “Will black people be safe in white neighborhoods if the electricity goes out?”; “Will Asian people be safe in black neighborhoods when the electricity goes out?”; and “Will Mexican, Asian, black and white gangs clash in the cities without a strong police presence?”
    Such ponderings on race can lead to productive questions like this: “If not, what can we do to ensure that there is harmony between the races in an era of limited cheap energy and fiscal restraint?” and “How can we make this a better world.”
    To not address such questions in the world that may be possibly coming is naive. Race, class and religion are, sadly, likely to be what the masses focus their anger on (not derivatives and the military industrial complex). And none of the races will be immune from feelings of hate.

  289. DeeJones November 26, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    You know, if you miss your stream-of-consciousnesses SEB commentary, you can go here to find it:
    http://sbillinghurst.wordpress.com/
    Or not.
    Oh, and by the way Oakley, I don’t think that SEB has lost all his teeth. He admits that he quit meth years ago. Not that it didn’t Cuisinart his mind.
    Mind salsa, with just a hint of garlic….yum.

  290. abbeysbooks November 26, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    Good planning. I wish I were there with you.
    As for growing in sandy soil consider Azomite as you can go tomatoes in sawdust and Azomite. It’s in the book Secrets of the Soil.

  291. abbeysbooks November 26, 2009 at 3:28 am #

    I feel Jaego should not have been banned. He is in good company with his racism. Muslims are affecting Europe terribly as well as us. How different is racism from classism that JHK advocates?

  292. abbeysbooks November 26, 2009 at 3:30 am #

    Don’t know but you don’t need them if you do what I said. You will gradually find the ones you need as you will have your own questions rising to the surface.

  293. icurhuman2 November 26, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Thanks for the tip abbeysbooks, but my fledgling experiments with this particular lima bean are for general disemination to those in our area who will be desperate for a crop that will grow in their backyards and plots, I doubt that I could afford all the raw base product to supply an expected local group of several tens of thousands but I have other ideas for farming the nearby ocean. (The local soil is not just sandy but salty as well, and I’ve found few crops that survive at all without a lot of input).
    Should you find things are about as terrible as they could get in your vicinity an eighteen hour flight to Australia, at the precise time, would be a very wise move. It would be smart to educate yourself about the local geography first though, you wouldn’t want to land in the middle of a cityscape in turmoil. I do have another backup if I can’t make things work here on the coast – a little solar-powered four bedroom cabin on the edge of a national park that a friend has built as a weekend retreat for urbanites. Plenty of fresh water and several cattle farms are nearby, all are owned by friends of friends.
    I have at least two local doctors onside and a couple of optomitrists too, so far. But, medical equipment is mostly not reusable so there will need to be rationing in that area until reusable materials can be arranged (a big ask, but I’m working on it).

  294. Qshtik November 26, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    Oakley asked about SEB:
    “Does anyone else in here wonder if he looks like one of those PSA posters with the faces before and after meth? Does he still have his teeth? Pustules on his skin?”
    I wrote the following to SEB a few days ago:
    “I am “technically challenged,” bordering on being a luddite, and even I was able to google Steve Billinghurst and find something you wrote in the OB Rag (9/22/09 at 5:13 PM) that would give me pause if I were considering you for employment.”
    So, Oak, if you follow this same path and locate SEB’s 9/22/09 comment in the OB Rag you will find with it a tiny picture – maybe a half inch square – which I presume is him. I used a magnifying glass to view it and didn’t see any pustules. I don’t know about the teeth – it wasn’t a smile shot.
    P.S. What I wonder is, since he hasn’t been banned, where the hell is he? I hope his mention of feeling his calf muscle tighten as he steps off the ledge of a 500′ elevator shaft wasn’t some sort of red flag.

  295. oakley November 26, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    I just returned from SEB’s website. he says Kunstler banned him
    ….”Everything Kunstler writes comes before this post. He did start to crack. His last two blog posts were, fate of the Yeast people”, where he likens us to the yeast that dies out in a vat of whiskey when the new beer’s done, and then, “Courting Convulsion”, which is, “cruising for a bruising”; then he bans us. he couldn’t just come out and say, “I am going to have a stroke if you don’t stop”. Jews externalize things. How else could they sell both the diseases and the cures?’
    http://sbillinghurst.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/kunstler-poppers-origins/#respond

  296. oakley November 26, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Its been very effective to censor people’s speech with the threat of being labeled a racist hanging over your head; and you can never merely observe what’s going on in say, northern Europe’s culture clash with Islam without being called racist. And it is equally as racist to take Muslims at their word when they declare straight up their game plan. I think it is even more racist to make excuses for a people and treat them like misunderstood children. That kind of racism is elitism. America today is a place where anyone who wanders off the group thought plantation is a hater.

  297. george November 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    Does anybody remember the parable of the scorpion who promises the frog he will not sting him if the frog gives him a ride across the river? Halfway across the river the scorpion stings the frog anyway and the frog asks the scorpion why he would sting him knowing that scorpions can’t swim and both the frog and scorpion would drown. The scorpion replies that he couldn’t help it because that’s what scorpions do. Well, terrorism is what our “friends” in the Middle East do best, especially terrorism directed at “the great Satan” called America and “their puppet masters” in Israel. Yet the Obama administration continues to press Israel for concessions that threaten her fragile security and safety in the hope that our so-called “friends” will give up their sponsorship of “jihadists” and leave us alone. If our leaders are clueless enough to believe you can convince murderers and thugs to give up their ways by giving in to their demands, why should we blame the American people for believing that all you have to wish upon a star and all your dreams will come true?

  298. eyeballs November 26, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    What’dya stick yer head in at box fer, anyway, y’damfool? Whacha THINK is in at box, sonny? It’s full o’ crap, that’s what it’s fer.
    Question is, sonny, is how many em people out er is slaves to the box. And how many’s busted loose and startin to go outside in the street and talk to er neighbors. Is is-eer country gonna pop pills an munch plastic pizza in fronta one o’them picture boxes? Or are we gonna stand up and kick some ass? That’s the question.
    Even though I gotta click Submit down below, jus betwixt you’n me, I don’t. I don’t feckin submit, and you shouln’t either. Amerkin way o’Life fer cryinoutloud.

  299. eyeballs November 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    What’dya stick yer head in at box fer, anyway, y’damfool? Whacha THINK is in at box, sonny? It’s full o’ crap, that’s what it’s fer.
    Question is, sonny, is how many em people out er is slaves to the box. And how many’s busted loose and startin to go outside in the street and talk to er neighbors. Is is-eer country gonna pop pills an munch plastic pizza in fronta one o’them picture boxes? Or are we gonna stand up and kick some ass? That’s the question.
    Even though I gotta click Submit down below, jus betwixt you’n me, I don’t. I don’t feckin submit, and you shouln’t either. Amerkin way o’Life fer cryinoutloud.

  300. bervol November 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    ‘Jaego will be back under a new name ‘.
    The tipoff will be posts sprinkled with hyphens in place of commas and semi-colons.

  301. abbeysbooks November 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    This is why Houellebecq is so hated in France he lives in Spain. Tolerance will be the end of us says Levy and H.

  302. abbeysbooks November 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    I agree with you. I saw the previews of the movie showing a woman being stoned for a false accusation. The movie came and went so fast I blinked and missed it.
    Remember how Paul says he helped stoned some follower of Jesus to death before he had his epipheny? Well imagine going back to that time, bringing a huge modern army in and telling them they can elect their leaders and they can vote. (Put their mark on a piece of paper.)
    Now how do you suppose they would have liked that way back then? Well this is where all the fundamentalist ragheads are now. And the christian fundies. I hope it’s their siren call.

  303. abbeysbooks November 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    I am again reminded of the execution in The Handmaid’s Tale They all pull at a rope that does it. No one person did it. The State did it. But everyone participated. We do the same only it’s private not public.

  304. Funzel November 26, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    The banning of Jaego shows what will happen when the dominance of the Bedouin Tribe is in full force released upon their American Colony.

  305. Urban_Underclass November 26, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    To the frightened Americans posting on this site.
    What is it exactly so many of you people fear about Islam?
    It reminds me of the Salem witch trials.
    I live in Northern Europe, I read many Irish an UK(where there are lots Muslims) blogs and this islamophobia very rare. (Granted it exists mainly on extreme right-wing political blogs).
    Yet many, many American blogs are riddled with it. Media brainwashing I presume.
    I see Muslims every day. I have one very good Muslim friend. I have yet to hear one defend suicide bombing, yet to see or hear of a hand being chopped of, or a head for that matter here in Europe.
    Islam has been around for 1600 relatively peaceful years. Ponder why so many hundreds of millions of people find it so attractive. (Are they all bloodthirsty maniacs?)
    Learn to live with it, you might even like it. You live in the country with the highest murder rate in the developed world. Why? Are Muslims doing all the killing? What makes you so morally superior?
    Why, oh why do I read the comments section of this blog?

  306. Urban_Underclass November 26, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    To the frightened Americans posting on this site.
    What is it exactly so many of you people fear about Islam?
    It reminds me of the Salem witch trials.
    I live in Northern Europe, I read many Irish an UK(where there are lots Muslims) blogs and this islamophobia very rare. (Granted it exists mainly on extreme right-wing political blogs).
    Yet many, many American blogs are riddled with it. Media brainwashing I presume.
    I see Muslims every day. I have one very good Muslim friend. I have yet to hear one defend suicide bombing, yet to see or hear of a hand being chopped of, or a head for that matter here in Europe.
    Islam has been around for 1600 relatively peaceful years. Ponder why so many hundreds of millions of people find it so attractive. (Are they all bloodthirsty maniacs?)
    Learn to live with it, you might even like it. You live in the country with the highest murder rate in the developed world. Why? Are Muslims doing all the killing? What makes you so morally superior?
    Why, oh why do I read the comments section of this blog?

  307. asoka November 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    george said: “why should we blame the American people for believing that all you have to wish upon a star and all your dreams will come true?”
    george, when you wish upon a star makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you.

  308. asoka November 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    Urban Underclass, there is absolutely no reason to fear Islam or Muslims.
    I have traveled in Muslim lands and received Muslim hospitality. I have many Muslim friends, and Sufi friends, and I share zikr and dance with them. They are beautiful people. I want more Muslims to immigrate to the USA.
    It is absolutely sick and paranoid to generalize, then to hate and to fear Muslims for the actions of a few extremists.
    Allahu Akbar!

  309. Laura Louzader November 26, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    Asoka, I like you and agree with you on a number of things.
    However, I have to differ with you on the matter of Islam.
    There is one category of humans who have MUCH to fear from Islam and that is women. I happen to be a woman, and I have no tolerance for an ethic or religion that discriminates against me, especially in the extreme way the Muslim creed does.
    Muslim countries are the worst human rights violators of all the nations, and Saudi Arabia is at the top. Why should I be any more tolerant of a religion that permits husbands and fathers to murder their female relatives at will for the sake of “honor” and locks dozens of defenseless teen girls up in a burning school building to keep them from fleeing the fire without their veils on, any more respect than I would give our own rabid Christian Right.
    What terrifies me the most is the possibility of the Christian Fundamentalists and Muslim conservatives finding common ground. Back in the 90s, there was a religious conference at which one American Christian conservative told a Muslim that in the matter of “family values”, a code word for rabid anti-female values, that the two groups had a lot in common.

  310. Qshtik November 26, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    Does anyone know how JHK handles a non-public ban of a commentor such as happened with SEB this week? In other words, does the banned individual receive an email saying he’s being banned and stating the reason? Or does the banned commentor simply find, all of a sudden, that his posts fail to appear?
    And what’s the purpose if someone can simply re-appear under a new name and NOT be immediately re-banned (as some have in the past … repeatedly)?
    Can anyone shed some light on this?

  311. asoka November 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    Laura, I like you and agree with you that some countries, some societies, mistreat Muslim women. But that is not a condemnation of Islam. That is a condemnation of the cultural practices of certain countries.
    Islam does not force women to wear burqas. Afghanistan does.
    Islam does not make girls marry strangers against their will. Pakistan does.
    Islam does not force women into polygamous marriages, Islam does not mutilate their genitals, Islam does not forbid them to drive cars, and Islam does not subject women to the humiliation of “instant” divorce. None of those practices are Islamic at all.
    Laura, to understand Islam you must first separate the religion from the cultural norms and style of a society.
    Female genital mutilation is still practised in certain pockets of Africa and Egypt, but viewed as an inconceivable horror by the vast majority of Muslims.
    Forced marriages may still take place in certain Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, but would be anathema to Muslim women from other backgrounds.
    Islam insists on the free consent of both bride and groom, so such marriages could even be deemed illegal under religious law.
    A woman forbidden from driving a car in Riyadh will cheerfully take the wheel when abroad, confident that her country’s bizarre law has nothing to do with Islam.
    Afghan women educated before the Taliban rule know that banning girls from school is forbidden in Islam, which encourages all Muslims to seek knowledge from cradle to grave, from every source possible.
    The Koran is addressed to all Muslims. Man and woman, it says, “were created of a single soul,” and are moral equals in the sight of God.
    In Islam women have the right to divorce, to inherit property, to conduct business and to have access to knowledge. And Muslim women have had those rights from the beginning. They had those rights at a time when Christian women did not. And Muslim women still have those rights. Any group or society that violates womens’ rights is violating Islam.
    I was once staying with a poor Muslim family in Kashmir. The man had only one wife. I asked him why he didn’t have four wives. He laughed and said his religion permitted that only if all the wives could be treated equally and, since he could only support one wife, he could not have more than one wife because he should not do so if another marriage would be to the detriment of the first.
    Anyway, polygamy is no longer common, for various good reasons. The Koran states that wives need to be treated fairly and equally — a difficult requirement even for a rich man.

  312. asoka November 27, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    Anyone concerned about women should be more concerned about Christianity than Islam, because
    Christianity is more anti-woman than Islam.
    The Bible says just as Christ is head of the Church and governs the Church, so the husband is head of his wife and rules and governs her. (Ephesians 5:22-25)
    Islam is different. A Muslim woman’s husband is not her master; a Muslim woman has only one Master, and that is God. If her husband does not represent God’s will in the home, the marriage contract is broken.

  313. asoka November 27, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    COURTING CONVULSION IN DUBAI
    I guess importing workers and taking their passports was not enough to create a profitable society.
    Dubai is now so swamped in debt that it’s asking for a six-month reprieve on paying its bills – causing a drop on world markets Thursday and raising questions about Dubai’s reputation as a magnet for international investment.
    The fallout came swiftly and was felt globally after Wednesday statement that Dubai’s main development engine, Dubai World, would ask creditors for a “standstill” on paying back its $60 billion debt until at least May.

  314. asoka November 27, 2009 at 2:08 am #

    ALGAE COULD BE KEY TO ULTRATHIN BIODEGRADABLE BATTERIES
    Conducting polymers have long been thought to be a solution in developing lightweight, flexible, nonmetal batteries. But up until now, these polymers have had been impractical because regular paper can’t hold enough of them work effectively. Now Uppsala researcher Maria Stromme and her team has found that the smelly algae species that clumps on beaches, known as Cladophora, can also be used to make a type of cellulose that has 100 times the surface area of cellulose found in paper. That means it can hold enough conducting polymers to effectively recharge and hold electricity for long amounts of time.
    The algae-based paper sheet batteries hold up to 200% more charge than regular paper-based cellulose batteries, and they can recharge in as little as 11 seconds. Eventually, they could be used in any application that requires flexible electronics — for example, clothing or packaging that lights up. Perhaps most importantly, the algae batteries could one day cut down on e-waste from conventional metal batteries.

  315. Funzel November 27, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    You don’t suppose the reason “they”want us not to look into Fort Knox is the facility has been changed from a gold suppository to a tungsten warehouse.

  316. Funzel November 27, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    You don’t suppose the reason “they”want us not to look into Fort Knox is the facility has been changed from a gold suppository to a tungsten warehouse.

  317. asoka November 27, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    gold, tungsten, whatever…
    I have never understood this idea that it is necessary to have gold to “back up” the fiat currency.
    We trade our pieces of paper daily and they work. So what if Fort Knox is empty? Why should that matter?
    If there is no gold, would that be courting convulsions for some people?

  318. asoka November 27, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    This week JHK asks: “How infantile is American society?”
    I have to admit the collective obsession with gold does seem infantile.

  319. Old Man November 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    This guys books are – GARBAGE an he is nothing more than a paranoid shill for big oil and the Globalist agenda. “The world is running out of oil and we need to bring back trains and home gardening!” God you people are dumb.
    World made by hand – I’m surprised it was even published. It’s a deranged joke. What planet does this guy live on? I guess all the guns and ammo were confiscated, and everyone went to anger management classes for a few months before the shit happened. HE SUCKS!
    And all of you fucking losers should get a life. Don’t any of you have anything better to do than spend your life jerking each other off with your GIBBERISH. Everything each of you has written is complete fucking nonsense. Don’t any of you have jobs or are you all on food stamps and welfare?
    FOR CHRISTS SAKE – LOOK AT YOURSELVES.
    HEY – BLABBY ABBY. Get a life! Quit tryin to make all these other worthless fucktards think your shit don’t stink. Youre probably a butt-fuck-ugly fat slob whose keyboard is coverd with cheese-puff and white-powdered donut DUST. You cant find any friends and these are the only people who will listen to your holyerthanthou bullshit – Fuckin Poke. If you were the person you try to make everyone believe, then WHAT UP WIT THE POSTING QUEEN CRAP on this shitbags circle jerk site.
    And Cunt slur, you weird little shit-fuck-prick. Youre probably sitting there in your dark little room pecking away, slavering, getting-off on your weird little fan-club of miscreants, then you play king-shit and tell some other jerk-offs they can’t play any more, you twitchy little rat fuck punk, write something good!

  320. asia November 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    Funz
    can you pls explain????
    AND CHECK THE NEW POSTER JUST ABOVE THIS ONE!
    HE MAKES jS SEEM…LOVING?

  321. cowswithguns November 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    I can’t wait to see JHK’s column next week. I’m sure Dubai will at least be mentioned, if not be the main topic of the post.
    If there’s anything that’s an example of the destructiveness and gross resource misallocation of monopolistic capitalism run amok, it’s Dubai and its dumb-ass man-made island in the shape of a palm tree. The place doesn’t even have a modern sewer system and people are mired in poverty, but yet they have this ridiculous island? Future anthropologists and sociologists will not be kind in their analysis.
    Incidentally, I just made the above rant to someone here at work, and, the girl (a George Bush voter/member of the family values crowd) was totally disgusted. To her, Dubai is a destination, on par with her beloved Las Vegas.
    I welcome global warming if only because it will bury that god-damned Island.

  322. cowswithguns November 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Dubai is over-run with shit, seriously. Check it out:
    http://www.jordantimes.com/index.php?news=11806

  323. Qshtik November 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Thanks Old Man (FeFe, ZZZZZZ, OEO, etc.). You have given me the laugh of the day … maybe the whole week. That’s one of the best rants I’ve ever read. You’re the foul-mouthed Dennis Miller of ClusterFuckNation and you can change names quicker than JHK can ban you. (picture Q wiping away tears of laughter)

  324. cowswithguns November 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    How is JHK a shill for the so-called globalist agenda when he constantly rants about how we need to downscale our lifestyles and re-localize? I believe he is the one who coined the phrase “the 2000-mile cucumber salad.”

  325. Old Man November 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Your welcome Questick or whatever the fuck you handle is supposed to mean.
    Im 87 an it takes a while fo r me to type. My daughter bought me this spy-box computer for my birhtday. I live alone an read alot of books but i never typed a note into the computer discussion before. I knda like it. My wife passed 11 years ago so ican use any kinda fuckin language i want.
    HEY COWSHIT – JHK if you mean the little cunt who whrote all that shit about Peak Oil, The Emergency and The World by Hand, HE”S A LITTLE FUCKING SHILL BECAUSE I SAID SO FUCK-FACE, SO SHUT UP. 2000 MILE CUCUMBER SALAD, what kind of stupid jerk-off comes up with somthing like that?
    He dosent know jack-shit about whats going on in the world today, so don’t listen to him. I’ve known a lot of men like him in my lifetime and he’s just a squirly little fuck-stick pip-squeek of a man who will lead you down the wrong path!

  326. Funzel November 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    to ASIA from FUNZEL
    google ‘fake gold bars,tungsten’

  327. Qshtik November 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    Cows,
    Old Man’s rant is not something one needs to agree with in whole or even in part. It is there to be enjoyed for its sheer over-the-top vitriol.

  328. Old Man November 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    To all of you stupid cocksuckers who don’t have anything better to do. Thanks!
    Looking at the shit I wrote and some of the other garbage in this post (whateverthefuckitscalled)
    Made me laugh too. Something I haven’t done in 11 goddamn years.
    Semper Fidelis – Mother-Fuckers!

  329. asoka November 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Old Man said: “Semper Fidelis – Mother-Fuckers!”
    Your use of Semper Fi is offensive because, from your comments, you no longer feel any loyalty to our country, nor do you appreciate people like JHK who dedicate their lives to writing books and speaking in the public arena to try to improve this country.
    You are cynical, jaded, and you are an insult to those who still have patriotic ideals, an insult to those who strive for a more perfect union and who can say Semper Fi with pride.

  330. Old Man November 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Go have your ma’ma change your diaper shit-heel. You sound like a misguided, idealistic twerp.
    I joined the Marines on a Friday, 03 JAN 42. I served my country as a Marine – WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, including two PHs, so that smart-ass fuckups like you can say anything you want – Your welcome! I say Semper Fi to whomever, wherever, whenever I want and don’t you forget it.
    I’m a lot more than cynical and jaded but I wont waste any more time with you dopes. I hope I insulted you AS-HOLE-KA.
    And now I’m off to other areas of the great big world wide web.

  331. Puzzler November 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    You’re losing it Old Man, 03 Jan 42 was a Saturday, Friday was 02 Jan 42.
    But thank you for your service, and have fun using swear words on the internet — it’s all the rage now.

  332. Laura Louzader November 27, 2009 at 11:52 pm #

    I’ve always thought of Dubai as a big, jewel-encrusted trap for the mega-wealthy, and the people who around them. Watch how fast all the debt-laden wannabes fled the place, leaving their expensive cars parked in the garages, when they found out they could go to jail for running up all those bills they can’t pay.
    NONE of the man-made islands is occupied- looks like these people managed to build something NOBODY can afford to maintain.
    Now we can see these grandiose maniacs could never afford themselves. What a great scrap-yard that place will be.
    I wouldn’t want to be in the Hydroworld hotel when the place has its first brown-out.

  333. asoka November 28, 2009 at 1:31 am #

    One of James Kunstler’s refrains is that things ain’t going to to back to normal… ever again.
    It must be disappointing to continually receive data that indicates otherwise. For example:
    Early Black Friday reports indicated bigger crowds than last year, with people buying more and even throwing in some items for themselves.
    It was an encouraging sign for retailers, which have suffered through a year of sales declines, and perhaps also for the broader economy, which could use a kickstart from consumer spending.
    But it is bad news for JHK, who is convinced Wiley Coyote is already off the edge of the cliff, suspended over the abyss.
    This week JHK asks: “Does Krugman think all those people receiving cancellation notices from their credit card issuers are in a position to flash their plastic at the Gallerias this Friday? Or ever will be again?”
    Well, we have the answer to that question. Yes, the plastic came out in force this Black Friday. Even more so than last year.
    And, yes, the economic recovery is real and recoveries still appear to be cyclical, and this one turns out not to be a plunge into an historical and irreversible abyss… just another recession and recovery. Wiley Coyote is back on solid ground again.

  334. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    Asoka, thanks for clearing that up. I was actually worried for a second or two after reading this column.

  335. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Nudge,
    I went to your site and read the following “poll” question addressed to Americans:
    “Do you feel it was a good idea for the US government, over the past 40+ years, to give financial advantages (tax breaks, incentives, etc) to American companies so that they could shed the expenses of operating their businesses in the US (paying honest union wages & benefits, respecting US laws pertaining to insurance, environmental responsibility, hours & wages, etc) so that they could operate factories abroad (where they can get away with paying workers a pittance) in order to produce shoddier goods that cost 20% less in the stores (while paying 90% less for manufacturing), all so that those same companies (Wal*Mart, etc) can reap enormous profits while American workers suffer wage cuts, outright job loss, and rising costs of living?
    Please answer yes or no.”
    Your question to Americans is, of course, NOT to be taken seriously since, as you well know, it is loaded with charged language intended to elicit only one possible answer: NO.
    What YOU need to do is learn something about valid polling techniques and the drafting of unbiased questions.

  336. asoka November 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    De nada, Nudge! Esta semana he aclarado varias cosas:
    1) el prognostico de las convulsiones (son completamente manejables: prognosis positivo)
    2) el diagnostico de Dubai y el mal tratamiento de los trabajadores cuyos pasaportes se los “guarden”… pues, ahora resulta que Dubai esta en banca rota
    3) los derechos de la mujer musulmana y el error de confundir Islam con costumbres nacionales y atacar al Islam por la condición de las mujeres musulmanas
    4) la equivocación de JHK en predecir que iba a pasar en el viernes negro ayer
    5) la equivocación tuya con respeto a los datos que indican que los ahorros personales están aumentando, la gente está pagando sus deudas personales, y el empleo está volviendo poco a poco, o sea, ¡NO estamos jodidos! como tu decias cada semana cuando escribías con frecuencia en Clusterfuck Nation.
    Asi que te digo: ¡gracias, Nudge!

  337. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Qshtik, by all means feel free to suggest an un-loaded or unbiased version of the same question. Don’t be shy.
    So you’ve discovered I’m not a professional pollster? Bravo.

  338. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    Nudge, I would not rely on ANYTHING Asoka says. Take, as evidence, this sentence from his 11/27/09 post (at 11:43 AM).
    “I have never understood this idea that it is necessary to have gold to “back up” the fiat currency.”
    People the world over have understood intuitively throughout recorded history the value of something beautiful and substantive that cannot be created out of thin air (gold) vs something of limitless supply (bones, seashells, ink on paper … and more recently, just electrons) … yet Asoka has “never understood this idea.” What a fool.

  339. Puzzler November 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    Asoka said: “I have never understood this idea that it is necessary to have gold to “back up” the fiat currency.”
    If fiat currency was “backed” by gold it wouldn’t be fiat. Asoka, get a copy of “Economics for Dummies” and learn something before opening your pie hole and proving your ignorance.

  340. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Qshtik, I’m hoping that you will go along with my request (above) and re-write that poll question to your own standards of fairness and factual accuracy. Can you please post it here?
    I’ve already had pretty much that same conversation about the economy with a number of Quislings presently living in this country. They almost always say pretty much the same crap about the sanctity of Mr Market and his invisible hand.
    Here’s one such conversation that got archived:
    http://futuretowniesofamerica.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/conversations-with-an-economist/
    Gotta love the way that guy is so blunt about how he doesn’t care if cheaper goods at Prole*Mart means more Americans unemployed. I hope he’s got pitchfork insurance.

  341. asoka November 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Puzzler, when someone says “I have never understood…” it is an open admission of ignorance and there is no shame and no need to “shut my pie hole”.
    Gold is a metal made of electrons. My kitchen table is made of electrons. You wanna buy an ounce of my kitchen table for US$1,000?
    Why the big deal about gold? I’m asking because I don’t know.

  342. Laura Louzader November 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Nudge, went to your great site and I like your poll. People can call your question “biased” if you want, but the stone truth is that our presumably “free market” economy, which is anything but, has been relentlessly steered, tweeked, and manipulated by government policy directed by crony businessmen, to steer economic development along particular paths, mostly toward systems that are unsustainably large and complex, and toward development patterns that steer tens of millions of people into outer suburbs and/or cities in places that would be uninhabitable were it not for hundreds of billions in tax dollars spent on massive infrastructure projects, or on wars to ensure the safety of our business people in exploiting local populations.
    Glad to see you posting in here again.

  343. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    I have a better idea … YOU re-write the question, post it here and I’ll critique/edit it.

  344. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Stop playing dumb Asoka.
    Take any amount of gold you happen to have laying around, weigh it, and give it to me. I will cut off a chunk of MY kitchen table of equal weight and give it to you. In fact, forget equal weight, I’ll give you five times the weight. Deal?

  345. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Asoka, one of the many things I dislike about you is your relentless disingenuousness.

  346. asia November 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    I had no interest in D. …..till i got an email that circulates
    Its titled ‘ petro dollars at work’ or somesuch and it pictures D, 30 years ago and lots of pix of its new look..the palm tree island etc…
    it was like Vegas on steroids, growth hormone and insulin!
    alot of $4 has been sunk there…does cheney have an estate there? anyone know?
    and folks..the sooner you stop responding to oldman the sooner hell fade..i hope

  347. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Qshtik wrote:
    “I have a better idea … YOU re-write the question, post it here and I’ll critique/edit it.”
    Aaaah. Got it. You criticize what I wrote, then, when asked to show what you mean by “corrections”, you’re unable to deliver.
    At the risk of misusing a wonderful movie line .. did IQ’s drop sharply while I was away? Sheesh.

  348. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    I gotta get out of the house more often ….. or turn off the ‘puter and watch some football. Fool that I am, I actually read your entire Conversation With An Economist. I did not disagree with one word the economist said while I found YOUR remarks to be incredibly naive. Human beings since the Big Bang have understood the law of supply and demand without having ever taken Econ 101 (it is virtually – perhaps ACTUALLY – in our genetic make-up) yet somehow it escapes YOU.
    Further I saw no ad hominem attack by the economist (that you allege) while I DID see YOU make reference to “turd” world countries.
    The economist’s point about the effects (bad) of protectionism are especially relevant. When, on 2/14/09, he begins to lose it using the words “why the hell” and “goddamned sick and tired” I can totally relate to his exasperation. What can the man do when he is dealing with a person so utterly naive about the most basic of economic realities and principles?
    I think all of you commentors here at CFN with a socialist mindset (you, Asoka, Laura Lauzader, Cowswithguns, Urban Underclass, and others) would be much happier if you went off to some other blog site where you could take turns preaching your marxist wet-dreams to the choir.

  349. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Qshtik .. poor little boy .. go ahead, leave the kitchen if you can’t the heat. The door’s that way. Don’t let it smack your conservative ass too hard on the way out.

  350. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Qshtik .. why is it that you’re unable to rewrite that poll question to your own standards of factual accuracy, even though you’re perfectly willing to criticize? Too much Faux Nooz and nodding passively at every nutty thing they claim, including that story about the fleet of UFO’s that Obama commissioned for the task of spying on his domestic political enemies while leaving chemtrails above them?
    Why is that you apparently cannot enunciate your feelings on the whole issue of unrestricted greed leading to financial collapse? If I had to guess, I’d say you’re a white male, aged 50+, who does not own his own business but who believes his interests to be strongly aligned with those of the propertied class .. the upper 2% who own 80% of everything in this country. That you identify your interests with those of the rich folks (whose interests are, frankly, inimical to yours, and whose ranks you stand no chance of ever joining) is a miracle of modern propaganda. Like the others of that stripe, you would probably happily scream, “Get a job, you dirty hippies!” at smelly homeless people lined up for a free medical clinic. You probably identify personal responsibility as the ingredient that makes it all work ..
    .. and that’s as funny as all get-out, because when I called you on the specifics of your criticisms, you had nothing to say except that you agreed with what others said.
    I know the jackass by its stripes, and I’ve got your number, mister. Is that the best you can do, pout that everyone who you don’t agree with here is a socialist, then leave the room?
    Poor little boy.

  351. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Asia, you need to employ a little more rigor in your comments. Words such as “‘ petro dollars at work’ or somesuch” in reference to Dubai, simply won’t do. Dubai has virtually no oil and only a fart size amount of nat’l gas so if it was petro dollars that built Dubai it certainly wasn’t their OWN petro dollars. Rather, the money that built Dubai was – in part – borrowed from a number of sources, some of which are oil producers – Saudi Arabia, Abu Dahbi, etc. When the head Sheik of Dubai goes into the market to borrow money I don’t think he particularly cares how the lender acquired the money to lend.
    Your description of Dubai as Las Vegas on steroids is indeed true (I just returned from there a week ago and it boggles the mind) and as this current debt debacle unfolds MAY prove that the powers-that-be in Dubai have made a gross strategic error in their thousand mile per hour development of the emirate. Only time will tell.
    The notion from Cows that Dubai is “over-run with shit” or the suggestion from Asoka that Dubai has been built with slave labor is nonsense. Dubai is cleaner than most American cities. There are 4 million ex-pats in the UAE (about 2 million in Dubai/Sharjah) whose economic lives are better than they would otherwise be if the development of Dubai were not happening.

  352. asoka November 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    Qshtik said: “Take any amount of gold you happen to have laying around…”
    I happen to think gold is useless, so I don’t have any laying around.
    (“Oh, but it’s shiny, and it’s heavy, and it lasts a long time… and everybody else thinks it has value, so it must have value.”)
    I have a kitchen table and it is useful.
    My grandfather died of a heart attack. My father died of a heart attack.
    I might, due to genetics, die of a heart attack.
    The day I flat line both the gold and the kitchen table would stay behind, equally worthless for the next leg of my journey.
    I am not being disingenuous. I honestly do not understand why people worship gold, or want to acquire it, or are willing to cut up a perfectly fine kitchen table to exchange it for gold.
    I just think it is stupid to lay up gold on earth. I mean, what would it gain me? Can’t eat gold and you have to defend it from thieves … yet gold is not even as useful as a roll of toilet paper.
    And people go into convulsions if they lose it (or its equivalent value in their stocks and 401k’s). People are strange.
    In my opinion, if you are too attached to gold you are courting convulsion.
    Love deeply, live simply, and laugh freely. Love and laughter are so much more valuable than gold.

  353. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Laura, you’re too kind .. and for that matter, your own blog is excellent. I’ve never been to Chicago but have sort of gotten to know it a little better through what you write. Please keep up the good work 🙂
    If you ever REALLY want to have some fun with the defenders of BAU (like that Q-fellow) just ask them to come up with hard empirical evidence showing that trickle-down actually works. The whole basis of their sorry schtik seems to revolve around a few myths that don’t meet the standards of proof:
    myth #1: if we allow people to just pursue their own fortunes without hindrance, the benefits of this will accrue to all
    fact: as in the early 1900s in the USA and in China presently, all this does is cause wealth disparity to rise dramatically just as the environment is left a shambles and every scummy greedster is trying to extract as much value has he possibly can over the short term while disregarding long-term consequences
    myth #2: the ranks of the rich are open to anyone who can succeed in business
    fact: hardly any of the members of the small shopkeepers class, the lumpenbourgeoisie (like that Q-fellow), etc will ever join the Warren Buffets, the Bernie Made-offs (before he got caught anyway), the Gordon Gekkos, etc .. but like all fools who dabble in hope, they like to imagine being the next Donald Trump etc
    Thus far I have not met anyone (including that economist fellow mentioned in the other blog post) who can prove that unrestricted free enterprise brings anything but ruin to all. Again, I hope people like that bought some pitchfork insurance .. they’re probably going to need it.

  354. Qshtik November 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    Nudge, you act as if our current travails with unemployment are something new. I have been unemployed and have written about the experience rather extensively. I split my story into two parts and if you’re interested go back to 8/9/09 at 9:55PM and 8/9/09 at 10:19PM. What you may notice is that I never blamed the awful experience on anyone else nor did I suggest that the normal workings of the economy should somehow be changed to help me out. Truth is: the thought never crossed my mind.
    Although I can’t stand Ayn Rand’s pompous writing style I have read Atlas Shrugged and Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal. I believe in capitalism and have since I was a teenager. Even the Chinese who say they are communists are in fact arch-capitalists. Socialism is an un-natural system that cannot work for human beings. We are not ants in a mound nor bees in a hive. Sorry to have to inform you of this unpleasant fact.

  355. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    Qshtik, please show me where I advocated socialism.
    You seem to be mistaking my criticisms of unrestrained capitalism for advocacy about socialism. They are not one and the same. You apparently failed to notice this. Unsurprising.

  356. asoka November 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    Nudge, welcome back.
    I hope you are not just here for a Sunday afternoon drive by.
    Your intelligence and your perspective are highly valued.

  357. abbeysbooks November 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    I’ll bite. Actually the Incas used to make doors for their shacks out of pressed gold leaf. They had so much of it it was worthless to them.
    Evan McConnell wrote an essay about the Incas on this subject.
    But for us it is surmised that gold is a finite resource; therefore, perfect for backing paper money. It is desirable (psychologically) and so it is expensive. The short supply means that inflation is controlled. But separate gold from the paper (as we have done) then the price of gold soars. It is still undervalued if one considers inflation.
    But to hoard it for the coming crash is useless. How do I get my bars out of where I live, unnoticed, and to a place where I can cash in for what I need? And even if I get there, do you think I am not going to be noticed? And stalked. If I had some maybe, I have more. Torture me or my family and you will get it easy. If I tell you will come back and torture me some more. IF a madman can hide Jaycee Dugrad for almost 20 years while being vitied by officials, then I guess someone can manage to not get caught getting my gold bars.
    Or food. Or anything else of value. Think Mad Max not Kunstler’s new world.

  358. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    Asoka, thanks .. you too, despite our disagreements 🙂
    I’ve been sick most of the month with a persistent medication-resistant lung infection and am just starting to get better now. Been in bed resting all this week. Not fun.
    There are a number of good things and bad things about this space .. but I’m not sure this is the right place to discuss that stuff. You probably know why I left.

  359. abbeysbooks November 28, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/dubai-has-always-been-ban_b_372795.html
    Dubai Has Always Been Bankrupt-Morally and Environmentally

  360. abbeysbooks November 28, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    I commiserate with you on that lung infection. I had it all last year and thought I would never get better. I started again and this time I loaded myself up with all the over the counters I could find around here. Seems to have worked. The more you give in and cough, the worse it gets.

  361. abbeysbooks November 28, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    I suspect old man is Jim. I am the only one he really attacked and then attacked himself to provide a smoke screen. What do you all think?
    This is a site to promote what he writes and what he paints. It’s a good gig. I shouldn’t come here and then knock him. Like drinking your host’s wine and then saying out loud how crappy it is.

  362. cowswithguns November 28, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Although I agree with some of the posters here that fiat currency is dangerous, there are many downsides to gold from an environmental standpoint. I read a story earlier this year in National Geographic about gold, which largely focused on gold mining’s environmental issues. The days of finding fist-sized nuggets are over, according to the story. Mining companies now have to disturb and process several tons of overburden to get a single ounce of gold. There’s also nasty chemicals — mercury, for one — involved in the extracion process (at least in the Third World).
    All the gold that exists (has been mined) would only fill up an Olymipic-sized swimming. Think of all the environmental distruction required just for that small amount.
    But, be that as it may, gold is a great safe haven.

  363. asoka November 28, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    Abbey, thanks for trying to explain it to me.
    Abbey said: “it is surmised that gold is a finite resource; therefore, perfect for backing paper money.”
    The dictionary definition of scarcity is something like “smallness of quantity in proportion to the wants or demands”
    It still seems like a circular argument. Gold is valuable because it is scarce. It is scarce because people want it.
    But that doesn’t answer the question why does anyone want gold?
    There are lots of things that are scarce and are not in demand.
    Good on the Incas for decorating their doors with gold plating. Frivolous use for a frivolous substance.
    (Frivolous: Of minimal importance; legally worthless)

  364. Nudge November 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    Abbey, thanks. No guesses as to the identity of Old Man.
    I think you are right about the essential purpose of this space. I’m part of a group that left here awhile ago .. we wanted to focus more on a series of persistent discussions that went someplace.

  365. abbeysbooks November 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    Where did you go? Can I come too?

  366. asoka November 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    Abbey,
    Nudge is discriminating. She would not let me post to her space. (comments are moderated)
    Good luck with your request.

  367. abbeysbooks November 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    I know Indians love it because of the color on their skin.
    It is just a beautiful color, like silver, so I think that has something to do with it. It is heavy and solid.
    And they didn’t decorate their doors with it but hung it in sheets in their doorways.
    The Spaniards demanded a room full of gold to ransom their chief. They delivered. From floor to ceiling. Most intricately carved into cunning figures of animals etc. Albrecht Dürer the painter and engraver said he had never seen such intricate beautiful work before in his life. The Spaniards (they are White are they not?) smashed it all down into bars or lumps so it could be more easily transported to Spain to fund its wars. And they killed the chief. They imagined that there must be tons more if they could fill that room up so easily. The Inca gold has never been found. Good for them.
    Insanity did not begin in the US.

  368. asoka November 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    DUBAI WAS BUILT BY SLAVE LABOR
    “As soon as he arrived at Dubai airport, his passport was taken from him by his construction company. He has not seen it since.
    He was told brusquely that from now on he would be working 14-hour days in the desert heat – where western tourists are advised not to stay outside for even five minutes in summer … for 500 dirhams a month (£90), less than a quarter of the wage he was promised.
    If you don’t like it, the company told him, go home. “But how can I go home? You have my passport, and I have no money for the ticket,” he said. “Well, then you’d better get to work,” they replied.”
    The Dark Side of Dubai
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html

  369. Laura Louzader November 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Thanks, Nudge.
    I’ll respectfully disagree with you on one small point regarding a totally free market (that the world has yet to see).
    It’s not that “trickle down” works. It does not work exactly that way.
    But what really doesn’t work is to have what is a de facto command economy that favors the people already empowered and wealthy, and “free” them to pursue wealth, on the premise that their profits will “trickle down”, while the rest of us have our hands tied by taxation, regulation, and the natural market constraints that our governments will not permit to function against large, favored concerns, because they provide guarantees and privileges to favored cronies at the expense of the rest of us.
    This is what created the credit debacle, the culmination of 30 years of providing government guarantees to the housing and credit markets while deregulating the financial industry at the top. Large firms got the benefit of this at the expense of small ones, and we let loose the financial maniacs by guaranteeing them against the consequences of their risk taking.
    And we keep doing it! Whereas only 50% of mortgages were backed by FNMA, FMAC, GMAC, or FHA at the bubble peak in 2005, now 95% are. At some point very soon, like next year, the government, which is finally bumping up against real constraints in that the treasury is at the limit of the debt it can service with falling tax revenues and is in very real danger of defaulting- will not be able to buy any more mortgages, and will be most unlikely to extend or enlarge the tax credit for home buyers. Watch the housing market take another steep leg down by spring. Chicago, for example, still has 40% to drop to get back to the Case Schiller trendline, and next year there will be far less government support under the housing market.
    In a truly free market, they would have pulled in their horns long ago, like in the early 80s, when home lending became asset-based instead of risk- based, and the first housing bubble happened, while defaults climbed. The default rate was not high enough to trigger alarm, but it should have served as an early warning system of problems to come. Which they did, and we had to bail out the S& Ls, which should have taught us what happens when you remove natural market constraints by flooding the system with easy money, while enabling whole new classes of borrowers to borrow beyond their means. It was C. 1980 that home lenders started lending 4X your income, which is insane. The previous standard was 2.5X income, which most folks think is ridiculously conservative but which leaves a home borrower enough income to absorb inflation and nasty surprises.
    We’ve fought wars and sacrificed tens of thousands of our soldiers to make life safe for American business concerns in cheap labor havens, as well as to subsidize our waste of petroleum. The true cost of oil as measured by what we spend on wars to secure our supply doesn’t begin to be reflected in the price of it, but some analysts figure that $9 a gallon for gasoline would be the minimum price were the user required to pay for his use, instead of offloading it on the taxpayers at large.
    The Republican neocons have totally perverted the meaning of the term “free market capitalism” to mean complete license to steal with no risk of failure on the part of a few large concerns and privileged cronies, while using our taxes and the power to drive the economy by policy to strip the population of its wealth and hand it to the top 1% of 1%. The population is bought off with a few welfare programs that demoralize and degrade the “beneficiaries” and keep them tied to their class level, while further enriching our privileged classes. Who do you think really benefited the most from the construction of housing projects, Section 8 subsidies for rentals, and FHA loans for crappy subdivision houses 20 miles out of the cities? The recipients of these doubtful “benefits” that have only driven housing prices northward and enriched production home builders and slumlords?
    A non-doctrinaire examination of free markets and how they play out when they are truly unfettered is offered by Jane Jacobs (author of the famous Death and Life of Great America Cities) in her less-known work, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, published in the early 80s. I strongly recommend this book. Miss Jacobs demonstrates how a truly free market economy develops from the bottom up rather than from the top down, and by the spontaneous formation over time of dense networks of commerce that build upon each other to make possible the large, healthy businesses that are flexible enough to change as conditions dictate and which actually do give back what they take out, because market conditions force them to. She demonstrates how no government can create such an intricate, dense, interdependent economy by directives and incentives and top-down planning, and how incentivizing one industry or the other and providing it with subsidies, favorable legislation, and other incentives distorts the market and triggers massive misallocation of resources and effort. This is how we destroyed our railroads and cities and rendered this country dependent upon unsustainable systems, and how and why we are continuing to shovel the last of our wealth into sustaining these failing systems.

  370. oakley November 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Fascinating theory on who “old man” is and why! Makes sense; everything boils down to commerce, even for JHK! Speaking of commerce, a substance, like gold, only has value if everyone agrees it has value. Maybe the most precious substance of the future has not yet been revealed, but i suspect asoka is on the right track in thinking about the internal wealths.

  371. MINDfool November 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    Gold: It is very simple: It is chemically inert,
    it is lustrous, and it is not just scarce but is
    not easily produced. A loaf of bread has cost approximately the same in terms of gold for thousands of years. NO paper currency has ever succeeded similarly. Even when the paper currency is backed by gold, someone figures out how to unback it. It provides a meaningful reference point for things like the Dow-Jones Index. It does not inflate or deflate unlike the things like paper currency, or bread, or housing that one can buy with it.

  372. MINDfool November 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    That is not to say that the Incas or children that play with golden baubles need to know that it is an accepted and has been an accepted medium of exchange for centuries. Unlike diamonds which are controlled by DeBeers, gold can be manipulated but the manipulation (by e.g. Central Banks and the IMF) always loses out because what in fact gets manipulated are the various fiat currencies.

  373. abbeysbooks November 28, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Very difficult to have a global economy by transferring gold around.

  374. asoka November 28, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    abbey said: “Very difficult to have a global economy by transferring gold around.”
    You mean the electrons on the world’s currency exchanges are not golden electrons?
    Are they fiat electrons not backed up by gold electrons?

  375. ozone November 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    Hmmmmm,
    I THINK what I might be seeing here are a lot of visions of which direction(s) might best serve us in the future. (Maybe?)
    But it might be well to keep our eyes on the “convulsions” about to shake our well-ordered little personal holograms of “reality” to pieces.
    ” We’re now seeing worldwide a kind of race between the assertion of peak oil and the failures of capital management as to which will provoke a widespread convulsion first. They are obviously related and whichever gets us in the most trouble fastest, our destination is the same: the absolute necessity to reorganize how we live.” -JHK
    Aye, there’s the rub. With coastal and island waters rising, just where in the hell do you imagine those desperate millions/billions will go? Do you think they might just give it up and drown? Katrina didn’t give you a clue to the efficacy of gummint “action”? What are we gonna do when electricity becomes too expensive to generate? Pouring on the coal will do exactly, what? Dream about the future “political” or “moral” structure all you want, but you’d damn well better start getting ready to SURVIVE… or not. Practical, hard-working, helpful people, endowed with common sense are what’s most needed now. Bankers and politicians (and other unproductive vampires) will be used by their hirelings for their luxuries for a short time… and then all bets are off.
    The black swans are about to cloud the sky; are you even remotely ready? The political debate is slated for the ol’ “circular file”. Ms. Tompkins, would you please file that under “irrelevant”? Thanks much… and snuff that candle on the way out, hmm?

  376. asoka November 28, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    Mindfool said: “Not really, but an element of trust is necessary.”
    Some trust the gold standard to prevent long-term inflation in a country.
    However, as Brad DeLong points out, “if you do not trust a central bank to keep inflation low, why should you trust it to remain on the gold standard for generations?”
    Trust and “gold standards” are antiquated commodities.
    We don’t need no stinkin’ “gold standard” and the sooner we are done with gold and done with lusting after gold, the better.
    You want to trust something? Trust fiat money. Tomorrow, when you take some fiat money out of your pocket, you will find that others already trust it, and you can use it as a medium of exchange.

  377. MINDfool November 29, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    Yes, we should be ready, but ready for what? What is most likely is that some event, like the blocking of The Straits of Hormuz will precipitate
    a situation where even the most vital necessities, like food or gas, will become rapidly unavailable, in the manner of a large fractal dislocation. Katrina IS a good example, but here it will be global or national. Hungry, car-less people, stranded among their like.
    So the real drama will not be in the remote out-there, as in World Built By Hand, but in the relatively congested centers. So the guys on boats in the Pacific, or rural farmers, may survive this stage. However, what follows will necessitate restarting a cyclic process of DELIVERY. Not possible, again THINK Katrina.
    Having survived and prospered in a 16 day trans-Sierra hike, I know that planning and storing provisions is possible for a two week period. What gets dicey is what to do when these hungry and dependent hordes search for some “welfare.”
    I suspect “GIMME” will become the code-word. Good luck!

  378. cowswithguns November 29, 2009 at 12:18 am #

    I’m not fan of unsustainable economic growth in a finite world, but I think it’s worth pointing out a big negative associated with gold-backed currency. Sure, you can keep inflation down with it, but you can into a situation where the currency is very deflated (valuable) and, like gold, scarce.
    In such a situation, because you don’t have enough dollars to go around, economically depressed and rural areas have an even harder time accumulating money.
    This is why, in the early 1900s, that bible-thumper William Jennings Bryan came close to becoming president. He advocated moving to a gold-AND-silver currency standard. It was a proposal that rural voters liked a lot.
    But for all the downsides to deflation, I’ll take it over hyper-inflation any day.
    Without a fiat currency, we’d certainly have less WalMarts around. That in and of itself makes a non-fiat currency worth considering.

  379. abbeysbooks November 29, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    Reminds me of the experiments with tokens with monkeys. You give a monkey a token for picking the right color, circle instead of a square, etc and then the monkey can use the token to get candy, peanuts whatever.
    So you establish a currency based on gold and then issue paper backed by the gold and people start treating the currency the way monkeys treat the tokens. Most people don’t know it’s worthless. They think prices are going up, not that the dollar is going down.
    And how many people track gold for decades enoughto know that gold is going up. Because the dollar and all other currencies are going down.
    Everything still costs as much in gold as it ever did. The above comment about the loaf of bread is accurate. The price of everything has not increased in terms of gold.
    Gold disallows inflation. Gold disallows speculation. No fun in that!

  380. abbeysbooks November 29, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    Have you seen any farmers lately that are not agri farmers, big corp people? I see corn as far as the horizon. But few veggies other than soy. Here in the Ozarks when people have a garden they do it like Michelle Obama, which means they don’t know how to garden. And they don’t have the labor she does to do it.
    What I am saying is that few people garden anymore. And a local Mexican restaurant said he doesn’t even think people cook anymore.

  381. abbeysbooks November 29, 2009 at 12:40 am #

    I am not like most of the people hating Wal-Mart. They are all around here and I see people with jobs there that are unemployable anywhere else. I know women who were maids submitting to gropes just to keep that kind of job by old veterans, who are the only ones with money around here. Wal-Mart trains them to be useful and obedient and that is a blessing because if not we would be in trouble if they were running loose. I know that’s classist but live among them and you start thinking that way. Especially after you saw all the Bush/Cheney bumper stickers.
    Honestly these people are unskilled, have no social smarts, and are on as much disability as they can get.

  382. abbeysbooks November 29, 2009 at 12:42 am #

    I forgot to say that in the monkey experiments you could then get the monkeys to do all sorts of “jobs” to get tokens once they knew what tokens could get them.

  383. cowswithguns November 29, 2009 at 1:19 am #

    I agree that there’s nothing wrong with unskilled people working in retail. But it would be nice if those retail jobs were spread among a wide variety of small businesses rather than a few chains.

  384. asoka November 29, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    abbey said: “Honestly these people are unskilled, have no social smarts, and are on as much disability as they can get.”
    This makes me very happy that they are receiving as much disability as they can get. It is like receiving a guaranteed minimum wage, an idea I have supported since I first heard about it in 1967 from Robert Theobald.
    Robert Theobald and W. H. Ferry resurrected the idea of income payments to people regardless of whether they held a job.
    An economist, Theobald submitted a logical and pragmatic critique of the capitalist industrial economy:
    (1) capitalism must constantly increase production, and to do this it requires the participation in the workforce of all — or almost all — able-bodied individuals;
    (2) as a result of their participation, these individuals receive wages, with which they can purchase and consume the goods and services produced by the system;
    (3) while capitalism has never put everyone to work, and in fact encourages the existence of a surplus labor pool to maintain a downward pressure on wages, the development of computers, automation, and cybernation will eliminate forever the possibility of full employment;
    (4) as a result, substantial numbers of people will be unable to obtain a job despite their willingness to work;
    (5) consequently, a guaranteed annual income is a political and practical necessity.
    I am happy some people are managing to make it a reality (even if through disability payments).
    I hope the idea of a guaranteed minimum income someday spreads to cover everyone.

  385. Nudge November 29, 2009 at 6:07 am #

    Laura, your post of 28 Nov 2009 9:15PM was spot-on regarding the nature of our de-facto command economy in which the rules don’t apply to the big playaz. Thanks for the book recommendation, too.
    We will not see a “free market” in this country unless/until the means can be found to keep business interests completely firewalled off from the workings of the government ~ which is the domain of the citizenry and not the business community.
    Abbey, just click on my userID to get to that other blog if you haven’t already. It is not your usual sort of blog. We don’t have any leader per se, it’s more of a consensus thing .. think of it as a sort of community tearoom. I make fresh coffee now & then. It’s not moderated at the comment level but at the user level .. I have absolutely no problems with anything that any of the regulars might say. All of us there met here originally back in 2005/2006 I think. Anyway if you want to get the gist of it, just read the current /misc thread. There is a newbie filter in place, so comments from new users get placed on hold automatically until released. It cuts down on the level of spam.

  386. CaptSpaulding November 29, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    So old man is really JHK, and just insulted himself to cover it up. God I love conspiracy enthusiasts. By the way, I read that Hitler was really a Jew and killed millions of them because he was afraid one of them would talk and reveal his true background. It’s true, no kidding, I read it online.

  387. Laura Louzader November 29, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Your linked article about Dubai and its slave labor, its unbelievable waste of resources and its environmental heedlessness, its total lack of political and individual freedom, and its quickening collapse, just reinforces everything I’ve read and heard about the place.. and I have a couple of friends who own small properties there and lived there for a time.
    This place would not be possible in a society that respected the sanctity of the individual, and individual freedom with the responsibility that goes with it. The place is a dictatorship built on fraud and force.
    I usually don’t take joy in watching middle-class people being decimated and pushed into the underclass, but in the case of the European and American expatriates who went there to sponge up the easy money and enjoy a lifestyle where you can get cheap slaves to do everything for you but perform your body functions, well, I’m ecstatic to see these folks having to live in terror of debtors’ prison in their cars in the airport parking lot. Maybe these folks will now realize the truth of the old saw that if one person is enslaved, we are all enslaved, and the same brutal,unjust system that gave you an Ethiopian maid who you could work for 15 hours a day with no pay and no time off, can turn on you with a vengeance. Every American and European parasite who drifted to this place in search of easy money deserves exactly what she or he is getting now that the money is gone.

  388. Qshtik November 29, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    “Laura, you’re too kind .. ”
    ———————-
    Boy, you can say that again!

  389. Qshtik November 29, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    “Qshtik, please show me where I advocated socialism.”
    —————————–
    Two months ago I was accused of voicing an opinion about a subject I had no experience in. I replied to that accusation (on 10/1/09 at 4:41 PM)by telling about my wife’s cousin Paulette and her husband Rob. I invite you to read it.
    The last line of that post said “Despite my lack of formal schooling in mental disorders I know “fucked up” when I see it.”
    Likewise, whether you did or did not “advocate socialism” is irrelevant because I know a socialist when I see one.

  390. Qshtik November 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    “I suspect old man is Jim. I am the only one he really attacked and then attacked himself to provide a smoke screen. What do you all think?”
    ——————————–
    What do I think? I think your nutty as a fruitcake.
    Old Man is obviously FeFe, aka ZZZZZZ, aka OEO, etc. See my reply to Old Man on 11/27/09 at 2:16 PM.
    YOU, of course, being so full of yourself (and being delusional/paranoid, imagine that “Jim” has it in for YOU. (I just love that first name basis you go to as though you’re long-time asshole buddies. It’s like your comment about studying “with” Greenspan. I fully expect the next time you drop HIS name you’ll refer to him as Alan and after that, simply Al.)
    And then you say “I am the only one he really attacked…” Of course you unobservant old fool … that is because it was Zzz blasting you. Can it be that you don’t recall Zzz referring to you as BLABBY ABBY in the past? or spliting Asoka’s name in parts to insult as in AS-HOLE-KA?
    Abbey, you endlessly amaze me.

  391. Qshtik November 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    “I’m part of a group that left here awhile ago .. we wanted to focus more on a series of persistent discussions that went someplace.”
    —————————–
    Yeah, right. You all packed your bags, got together at 9AM one day at the cyber bus station and left CFN in a snit and a huff.
    Apparently “discussions that went someplace” didn’t go so well – if I may judge by your lame “discussion with an economist” – and now you’re back here. Your socialistic rants don’t go over so well with people who can think.
    Please name some of the other people who composed this so-called “group.”
    You are another pompous delusional ass like Abbey. Now run along with Abbey, Asoka, Laura, Cows, etc and praise one another’s “input” so as to draw strength in numbers against that nasty Q-guy.

  392. Nudge November 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Qshtik wrote:
    “Likewise, whether you did or did not “advocate socialism” is irrelevant because I know a socialist when I see one.”
    Nice to see a little honesty creeping into your words, despite your very best efforts to keep it out. Is this sort of like that “don’t confuse me with the facts” approach? LOL

  393. Nudge November 29, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    So, Q, what else or who else do you mistakenly think is socialist? Do you start your Q-mobile in the morning, peer at the neighbors, and think, “My gosh, those fricking socialists! They’re at it again! Someone needs to do something!” or something like that? When you get to work, do you think your bosses are all evil socialists? Do you think the folks running the phone company are all socialists too? Do you think the president is a socialist? Both parties of both houses of Congress too?
    Is there anyone you don’t think is socialist? If so, name a few of them, then name a few of the folks you think are socialists, then show what evidence you’ve got to support that belief, then let folks google it themselves to see if it’s real or just another figment of your imagination.
    We’re here to help you, really, Q.

  394. Qshtik November 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    “I hope the idea of a guaranteed minimum income someday spreads to cover everyone.”
    —————————-
    Why a MINIMUM income? Why not a MAXIMUM income? Just print up some more money out of thin air to pay for it.
    Truly Asoka, now that Rico is long gone, I crown you: The Most Insufferable Commentor At CFN. As insufferable as Abbey is, she can’t hold a candle to YOU.

  395. Nudge November 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Q-McCarthy, we’ve already got the functional equivalent of a guaranteed minimum income: unemployment benefits that last basically forever!
    Besides, we’re already paying the maximum income to that Lloyd guy over a Golem Sacks or Government Sucks or whatever it’s called. His bonus this year went all the way up into 9 digits. Of course the money was freshly printed by our government, but that’s not a problem just yet.
    The perpetual unemployment benefits are a good way to test out that trickle-down theory mentioned earlier. Given that there are far many more poor people than rich people, and given that poor people in the USA don’t learjet down to the Cayman Islands to go water-skiing, don’t buy dachas outside Moscow, and don’t invest in Swiss banks, etc, giving money to the poor people (so that they can cycle almost all of it right back into the economy) seems like a pretty good deal.
    Abbey’s not insufferable, and nor is Asoka. That honor is yours, Q-tard. Why are you here again if the whole blog is “socialists” as you’ve alleged? Betcha you can’t even define socialism in your own words, chump.

  396. dale November 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    I think you are right about the essential purpose of this space. I’m part of a group that left here awhile ago .. we wanted to focus more on a series of persistent discussions that went someplace.
    =============================================
    You mean you wanted to focus on a discussion that agreed with your already established position.
    For those of you who weren’t here or can’t remember, Noodge is one of a number of people who visit here, and were more prevalent before oil prices declined, who have this sense that “we are going to get what is coming to us—real soon” and is completely impervious to any contradictory data.
    Anyone who is open minded to the complexity of the situation and the fact that the quantity of data available allows for virtually any position to be supportable is “clueless” in her distorted little overly emotional brain.

  397. Nudge November 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    Dale .. I assume there’s a reason why you haven’t managed to graduate from this space yet? Thanks again for demonstrating what passes for a thought process.
    Speaking of remembering things, Dale .. do you remember about 2 years back when you claimed that within a year or two, the roads would be filled with those compressed-air cars that were all the rage for cheating the laws of thermodynamics right then? Do you remember how livid you got when cooler heads suggested it wasn’t going to happen anyway because the idea was fundamentally crocked?
    So Dale, where are all those cars now?
    LOL you are still the same old you 😉

  398. Nudge November 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    That’s another thing that hasn’t changed about this place .. ahh, feel the love 🙂
    No, Dale, we left because it wasn’t helpful to have every discussion interrupted by twats who never studied the basics of physics or much else. But Thal & Doom & many others sure had fun trying to explain conservation of energy to you.
    It had the same sad air as trying to teach calculus to a frog .. and for that matter, it had the same results.

  399. asia November 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    1…hey english teacher
    its not ‘ your ‘….in whichever post you typed that
    2…Assok ‘ acts dumb’……maybe drop the first word in that or the first three letters and substitute I..as in is dumb
    also to nudge..according to the news compressed air cars will be online in 2 years in france..so well see………………………….

  400. asia November 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    compare yr buddist relative to him? refresh us on the family in denver with the stupa…eh?

  401. asia November 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    ‘now that the money is gone’…where did it go?
    the super rich move their money around..
    or see a recent newsweek…faberge will for the first time in 90? years make jewelry…7 million for a piece!
    JHK..i dont watch the tube..cept if its at the gym and i cant escape..so last nite that NUT huckabee..he has a show..OK..i was watching the type so i didnt hear all that they said..i didnt get it all……2 young musicologists study the music of that warriors…the guy found most of SLAYER [ NO PUN INTENDED]fanmail was in desert storm from the gi’s…
    now in afghanistan the GIs psyche up to some dreadful song by the dreaded eminem..when hes not gettin grammies for his poems that riff about him killing his mommy and gays he was one they scream out in a group…to get ready for battle
    it wont eat
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  402. ozone November 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    “Yes, we should be ready, but ready for what? What is most likely is that some event, like the blocking of The Straits of Hormuz will precipitate
    a situation where even the most vital necessities, like food or gas, will become rapidly unavailable, in the manner of a large fractal dislocation. Katrina IS a good example, but here it will be global or national. Hungry, car-less people, stranded among their like.”
    Yes, like that! ;o)
    …”No one worshiped at the altar in the Temple of Crude;
    The only currencies left, ammunition and food.”
    I do think it’s gonna get good and uglified; trade goods will come in handy. Got seeds? Gimme! ;o)

  403. dale November 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Speaking of remembering things, Dale .. do you remember about 2 years back when you claimed that within a year or two, the roads would be filled with those compressed-air cars that were all the rage for cheating the laws of thermodynamics right then?
    ================================
    You are so fucking full of shit, I will gladly leave this site forever if you can post any comment from (w/ a reference) where I spoke of compressed air cars. If you can’t would you please leave?

  404. DeeJones November 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    “Yet the Obama administration continues to press Israel for concessions that threaten her fragile security and safety in the hope that our so-called “friends” will give up their sponsorship of “jihadists” and leave us alone. If our leaders are clueless enough to believe you can convince murderers and thugs to give up their ways by giving in to their demands, why should we blame the American people for believing that all you have to wish upon a star and all your dreams will come true?” george
    WTF?! Israels “fragile security” is several hundred nuclear bombs aimed at anyone & everyone that they think in their paranoid mind might threaten them. Even the USA is targeted. Its called the Samson doctrine, based on the Old Testament story where Samson destroyed the temple and not only killed himself, but everyone else.
    They know that because of the way they behave towards everyone else that someday the USA might just abandon them. And if we ever became antagonistic towards Israel, they would not be afraid to use the Samson option. After all, they know we could take them out with one Trident missile. They would hope to be able to take out DC & NYC at least in retaliation. Don’t believe it? This is published Israeli military doctrine.
    Why else would one small country, not threatened (so far) by any other nuclear power have so many nuclear tipped missiles. It goes beyond any concept of overkill against any neighboring country, such a Syria or Egypt, over which thanks to the US, they have overwhelming military superiority anyway (backed by our Navy & Air force too).
    And as for the so-called Jihadist “murderers and thugs”, this is just the propaganda brush painting the so-called enemy in the worst possible light so as to make hating them easier for the stupid, lazy Duhmerican sheeple.
    All one hears about in the US media is how some home-made rockets from Gaza may have killed a few dozen Israelis over the past decade. You never hear about the over the top response by Israel had killed thousands of Palestinians. How in the last so-called “war” Israel deliberately targeted hospitals in Gaza in violations of the Geneva conventions, and also targeted UN Observer posts that reported on such violations.
    Oh, no, its always “poor israel, they were forced to kill hundreds of Palestinians in retaliation for a cheap, home-made missile that hit a parking lot”. You never hear about the Palestinian suffering and grieving all those deaths.
    So don’t give me some bullshit about Israels’ “fragile security”.
    DJ

  405. george November 29, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    The Detroit News/Free Press Sunday print addition had an interesting story on the plight of Motown’s old Michigan Central Station, once the region’s main passenger rail hub, now a derelict eyesore about two miles from downtown Detroit. The story compared the shabby condition of Michigan Central with Nashville and Kansas City’s beautifully restored early-20th century train terminals. The Michigan Central depot was built in 1913 at a cost of $15 million by the same architects that designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. It’s been twenty years since the last Amtrak train left the grand old terminal, and there have been all kinds of proposals to turn the crumbling 18-story edifice into a casino, a luxury hotel, offices and even the new headquarters of the Detroit Police department. Everybody in town has an opinion on what to do with the old train station but so far nothing has been done. The city even voted to have it torn down. However, I have yet to hear anyone talk of restoring the tarnished jewel to its’ former use as a passenger rail hub. With the American economy in the grip of the worst downturn since the 1930’s and Washington handing out stimulus money by the truck load for every hare-brained make-work project under the sun, why hasn’t anybody in a position of authority thought about restoring America’s mothballed passenger rail terminals to their old position as the local and regional hubs of a revitalized national passenger rail network? Maybe somebody can clue me in on why the bankrupt American government has billions to prop up Wall Street and the domestic auto industry but turns a blind eye to revitalizing passenger rail, which would pay for itself in the years to come?

  406. george November 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    The Detroit News/Free Press Sunday print addition had an interesting story on the plight of Motown’s old Michigan Central Station, once the region’s main passenger rail hub, now a derelict eyesore about two miles from downtown Detroit. The story compared the shabby condition of Michigan Central with Nashville and Kansas City’s beautifully restored early-20th century train terminals. The Michigan Central depot was built in 1913 at a cost of $15 million by the same architects that designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. It’s been twenty years since the last Amtrak train left the grand old terminal, and there have been all kinds of proposals to turn the crumbling 18-story edifice into a casino, a luxury hotel, offices and even the new headquarters of the Detroit Police department. Everybody in town has an opinion on what to do with the old train station but so far nothing has been done. The city even voted to have it torn down. However, I have yet to hear anyone talk of restoring the tarnished jewel to its’ former use as a passenger rail hub. With the American economy in the grip of the worst downturn since the 1930’s and Washington handing out stimulus money by the truck load for every hare-brained make-work project under the sun, why hasn’t anybody in a position of authority thought about restoring America’s mothballed passenger rail terminals to their old position as the local and regional hubs of a revitalized national passenger rail network? Maybe somebody can clue me in on why the bankrupt American government has billions to prop up Wall Street and the domestic auto industry but turns a blind eye to revitalizing passenger rail, which would pay for itself in the years to come?

  407. george November 29, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    The Detroit News/Free Press Sunday print addition had an interesting story on the plight of Motown’s old Michigan Central Station, once the region’s main passenger rail hub, now a derelict eyesore about two miles from downtown Detroit. The story compared the shabby condition of Michigan Central with Nashville and Kansas City’s beautifully restored early-20th century train terminals. The Michigan Central depot was built in 1913 at a cost of $15 million by the same architects that designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. It’s been twenty years since the last Amtrak train left the grand old terminal, and there have been all kinds of proposals to turn the crumbling 18-story edifice into a casino, a luxury hotel, offices and even the new headquarters of the Detroit Police department. Everybody in town has an opinion on what to do with the old train station but so far nothing has been done. The city even voted to have it torn down. However, I have yet to hear anyone talk of restoring the tarnished jewel to its’ former use as a passenger rail hub. With the American economy in the grip of the worst downturn since the 1930’s and Washington handing out stimulus money by the truck load for every hare-brained make-work project under the sun, why hasn’t anybody in a position of authority thought about restoring America’s mothballed passenger rail terminals to their old position as the local and regional hubs of a revitalized national passenger rail network? Maybe somebody can clue me in on why the bankrupt American government has billions to prop up Wall Street and the domestic auto industry but turns a blind eye to revitalizing passenger rail, which would pay for itself in the years to come?

  408. george November 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    The Detroit News/Free Press Sunday print addition had a very interesting story on the plight of Motown’s old Michigan Central Station, once the region’s main passenger rail hub, now a derelict eyesore about two miles from downtown Detroit. The story compared the shabby condition of Michigan Central with Nashville and Kansas City’s beautifully restored early-20th century train terminals. The Michigan Central depot was built in 1913 at a cost of $15 million by the same architects that designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. It’s been twenty years since the last Amtrak train left the grand old terminal, and there have been all kinds of proposals to turn the crumbling 18-story edifice into a casino, a luxury hotel, offices and even the new headquarters of the Detroit Police department. Everybody in town has an opinion on what to do with the old train station but so far nothing has been done. The city even voted to have it torn down. However, I have yet to hear anyone talk of restoring the tarnished jewel to its’ former use as a passenger rail hub. With the American economy in the grip of the worst downturn since the 1930’s and Washington handing out stimulus money by the truck load for every hare-brained make-work project under the sun, why hasn’t anybody in a position of authority thought about restoring America’s mothballed passenger rail terminals to their old position as the local and regional hubs of a revitalized national passenger rail network? Maybe somebody can clue me in on why the bankrupt American government has billions to prop up Wall Street and the domestic auto industry but turns a blind eye to revitalizing passenger rail, which would pay for itself in the years to come?

  409. Laura Louzader November 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    Actually, many people are thinking of reviving our rail, but unfortunately the U.S.Government is one of the parties concocting plans for “high speed” rail, and what has been proposed is an impossibly grandiose and cumbersome plan that will cost billions per leg- the St.Louis to Chicago line is projected at around $8 billion. And nobody on high can talk about rail without dragging “high speed” into it. Somehow, both private investors and politicians speaking of railroads feel that we have to run trains at 200 mph to compete with over-the-road semis that go 65mph, and with planes that are always delayed and tie you up at the airport for 4 hours. Actually, most of the country would be well-served by rapid (100-150mph) and conventional rail that averaged 80mph for passenger service and 60mph for freight.
    The whole thing is dependent upon politics, which still favor the auto industry and highway buildings, so we will put building useless highways to building railroads, and the authorities do get around to it, they will build the wrong service to the wrong places and incur 400% cost overruns in the process. What I’m seeing are proposals to run two major high-speed (150mph or more) lines, one east-west and one north-south, that cross each other and that would presumably “feed” shorter, slower lines. This looks to me like the cart leading the horse, for these two major feeder lines would, as proposed, bypass the most densely populated cities completely, making it necessary to build more feeder lines than would otherwise be necessary. Naturally, the two big lines, being true high-speed, would be so costly as to cancel out the gains in fuel efficiency to be realized by rail. In other words, the whole thing would be one more federal boondoggle, like the Big Dig and the Colorado River system of dams, that would result only in drawing more people out to places that are now unsettled, and would be incapable of being operated for a profit.
    What might work is unraveling the massive structure of regulation and punishing tax policies that killed our rail to begin with. Buffet’s massive investment in Burlington Northern is hopefully the start of the rebuilding process. If we can stop subsidizing the competition- airlines and autos- and remove obstructions, the railroads will be rebuilt by private investment,as they should be, and they will run where they can operate profitably, thus tying cities together and encouraging the organization of the population along rail lines. If the government builds the system, they will run 200 mph trains through places with population densities of 10 households per mile, and the system will run badly and always need infusions of money.
    Let’s hope it’s people like Buffet who rebuild the system, in response to obvious demand and projections of rapidly growing future demand, rather than our lame politicians and bureaucrats.

  410. Laura Louzader November 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    By the way, the Michigan Central Terminal was one truly lovely building. I viewed photos of the place in its prime, and it was gorgeous.
    The chumps who run most of our cities have an appalling lack of vision. St. Louis’ beautiful Union Station was restored back in the 80s and converted to a very pretty and intimate shopping mall by the same people who did Fauniel Hall(don’t think I spelled it right) in Boston. Trouble is, their plan did not include Amtrak, which until last year stopped at the notorious “AMshak”, a temporary building tucked under the highway in a very blighted pocket just outside downtown.
    Well, the city’s transportation dept put together a new terminal for Amtrak and the long-distance buses to share, and what they built was a bizarre modern building jammed under the I-64 overpass, across the street from a Metro station. When you step out of the station, you see a weed-choked vacant lot across the street, and then you see the beautiful copper roof of Union Station about 5 blocks to the north, and you wonder, why couldn’t the trains have been run into Union Station? The saddest part is that the Union Station mall is now failing because there are not enough people living downtown to support it, and because it is outside downtown proper. The city has so many problems with public safety that you wouldn’t dare walk there from downtown.
    Why did no local leader think of running the trains through old Union Station, so that the mall would have guaranteed customers, and the passengers would get a more inviting welcome to St. Louis?

  411. abbeysbooks November 29, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    I agree except the local small businesses are greedy and gouging. They will charge $20 more for an auto part store than in the same chain in the nearest city. And they are hard to work for. Touchy feely etc.

  412. Qshtik November 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

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  413. asoka November 29, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    First sentence (lie) of the book: “Dubai is a remarkable success story.”
    Truth: Dubai is not a success. It is a failure, $60,000,000,000 in debt and it was built with slave labor.

  414. jim e November 30, 2009 at 12:59 am #

    How do I get a signed copy of your new book WMBH2?

  415. novamacaria December 6, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    I;m not sure what you mean by “re-localizing” – the US, along with all other settler societies, was a product of economic globalization and has never, in post-European times at least, existed independently of the global trade system. Read James Belich’s “Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld” for a very detailed and interesting account of this. According to Belich much of the expansion of the American West was financed directly from London and the sturdy independent pioneers were usually existing on credit and waiting for the next boom. Seriously, it’s a good read and very relevant to your concerns. I enjoy your blog and am generally in sympathy, but historical accuracy is always important, not least for your own credibility.

  416. Poet December 22, 2009 at 1:06 am #

    Hi Jim–
    Great job on your column as usual, but with everything else you have going on there is one more project I would like to suggest to you.
    Please please, please, turn the many “Eyesore’s of the Month” you chronicle on this site into a book! I am talking about a $35-$45 oversized coffee table keepsake with slick heavy paper stock and brimming with your sarcastic and “right-on” commentary in fine artistic printing fonts.
    As the “long emergency” comes closer and closer, it will be too easy to forget what got us to this point in the first place. Such a keepsake edition would be a fitting tribute to the adolescent folly of post-WWII America and really needs to be done.
    I hope you will seriously consider it anyway.

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    There are so many teens out there that are taking the risks of using marijuana and not even realizing the dangers that they are in. teens out there smoking pot are leading themselves into great danger more than what parents out there even realize I am sure. Anyone that uses marijuana on occasion is putting his or her body at risk for a stroke.

    There are many doctors and scientists that are studying this fact now. They are concerned that many teens are putting their own life at risk to have a few moments of freedom and intensity when they are smoking marijuana. It is important that parents and teens know that they are not doing something that is going to help them but only hurt them for their future and their life ahead.

    It is not ok to even use marijuana one time. However the more that you use, the more that you are putting your body at risk for a stroke. Marijuana is hard on the body and will take its effect on the heart and can cause stroke or even heart attack. There are so many young people dying for the chance to get their buzz on and this is literally. It is not worth the chance or the risk to end your life with a stroke because of using drugs.

    There are many teens that go to parties and have the peer pressure put upon them to do marijuana. This is something that they think is cool and that will not hurt them. However they could not be more wrong. It is a dangerous drug and one that can bring them great harm by clogging up their blood flow and causing them to have a stroke.

    There are so many books and articles that you can get your child to read about on this subject. Telling that what the danger of a stroke is and what they can do to their body is important. It is very necessary to sit down with them and have this open-minded talk before it is too late.

    It is important for parents and guardians to know that they can prevent this terrible tragedy from happening to children and teenagers around the world. Telling them about the dangers of marijuana and all that it can do to the body and leave them disabled from a terrible stroke or even bring them to death should be brought to their attention. This will help them to better understand the dangers so that they are not thinking about trying it even for one time.

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    / p>

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