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Lying or Just Stupid?

It’s not always easy to define what exactly is wrong with America, but what ever it is, it’s huge.

— Roel Ilargi Meijer, The Automatic Earth.com


Nobody knows, from sea to shining sea, why we’re having all this trouble with our Republic.

— Tom McGuane, Ninety-Two in the Shade


Despite its Valley Girl origins, the simple term clueless turns out to be the most accurate descriptor for America’s degenerate zeitgeist. Nobody gets it — the “it” being a rather hefty bundle of issues ranging from our energy bind to the official mismanagement of money, the manipulation of markets, the crimes in banking, the blundering foreign misadventures, the revolving door corruption in governance, the abandonment of the rule-of-law, the ominous wind-down of the Happy Motoring fiasco and the related tragedy of obsolete suburbia, the contemptuous disregard for the futures of young people, the immersive Kardashian celebrity twerking sleaze, the downward spiral of the floundering classes into pizza and Pepsi induced obesity, methedrine psychosis, and tattooed savagery, and the thick patina of public relations dishonesty that coats all of it like some toxic bacterial overgrowth. The dwindling life of our nation, where anything goes and nothing matters.

It’s not just the individual cluelessness of ordinary people leading lives too frantic for a moment’s reflection about anything, but the appalling institutional cluelessness of enterprises where you’d think combined intellects might tend toward a more faithful view of reality. But these days all we get is a low-order of wishful and clownish group-think, such as this item from today’s New York Times discussing a proposed reversal of Gazprom pipelines along the Ukraine / Slovakian frontier as the solution to the Kiev government’s fuel problem:


Nearly all the gas Washington and Brussels would like to get moving into Ukraine from Europe originally came from Russia, which pumps gas westward across Ukraine, into Slovakia and then on to customers in Germany and elsewhere. Once the gas is sold, however, Gazprom ceases to be its owner and loses its power to set the terms of its sale.


Get that? To avoid depending on Russian gas, they’re going to buy Russian gas from sources other than Russia. What New York Times editor can read this story without spraying her video display with coffee? What genius in John Kerry’s “Haircut-in-Search-of-a-Brain” State Department dreamed up this dodge? Who would think that you could improve a Chinese fire drill by tacking on a Polish blanket trick (i.e. trying to make your blanket longer by cutting a foot from the top and sewing it onto the bottom).

The only conclusion the casual observer can come to is, to put it mildly, these institutions have gone completely meshugga. Since I follow the behavior of these organizations, I know that this is not an isolated example. For the State Department, the entire gambit in Ukraine has been a chain of obvious bungles and miscalculations, starting with our sponsored overthrow of the original elected Kiev government, and the absurd presumption that Russia had no legitimate interest in that region’s stability to the strategy of shoot-yourself-in-the-foot financial sanctions. The New York Times (once America’s “Newspaper of Record”), is now a completely unreliable conduit for un-parsed White House backgrounder propaganda and raw State Department spin, with an overlay of editorial PMS brain fog.

Another humdinger on a somewhat different issue caught my attention the other day in the formerly eminent, now degenerate journal Foreign Affairs (May / June 2014): The United States of Gas, by Robert Hefner III . This idiotic article in the current issue hits on all the usual wishful thinking delusions du jour concerning this country’s energy prospects, namely: due to fracking in shale deposits we’ve entered an energy-and-manufacturing renaissance, we’re soon-to-be the premier energy exporter to the world, and US “consumers” (i.e. citizens) can be assured of driving to WalMart forever — in other words, all economic problems solved. These idiots (editors and fact-checkers included) must get all their information straight out of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) PR handouts. CERA, of course, is the official public relations shop of the oil and gas industry.

It’s one thing that this article is patently misleading. What’s worse is the complete absence of any understanding of the fundamental dynamic between the high cost of unconventional oil and gas and its effect on capital formation. In other words, the capital investment for continued future drilling will simply not exist. What a surprise that will be to the people who run this land.

There comes a point in the destiny of a failing nation when official lying is no longer distinct from official stupidity. We’ve crossed that boundary in the USA. It pays to remember that societies get what they deserve, not what they expect.

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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.

162 Responses to “Lying or Just Stupid?”

  1. devon44 May 5, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    “It’s not just the individual cluelessness of ordinary people leading lives too frantic for a moment’s reflection about anything, but the appalling institutional cluelessness of enterprises where you’d think combined intellects might tend toward a more faithful view of reality.”

    I have been thinking a lot about the sociopath angle lately. The TV show House of Cards is basically about a bunch of vicious sociopaths and psychopaths that are jockeying for more power, using us as expendable pawns in their games.

    I worry that these institutions aren’t clueless at all, but rather are controlled by sociopaths. Cluelessness or sociopathy, they all have the same result, in that they completely ignore the current predicament of industrial civilization.

    I address that issue (and many others that are regularly discussed on this blog) in my book After the Crumble, coming out in October!


    Cheers, JHK!

    And by the way, let’s all take a moment to remember Michael Ruppert. He went off the rails occasionally but all in all I believe he was a good man and a great thinker. RIP Michael.

    • Farmer McGregor May 5, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Hey Devon, I recently heard an interview with an actual congressman (sorry, can’t remember which…) who, when asked how accurately the show House Of Cards depicted the internal workings in DC, stated that it was about 99%, and that the 1% was that you could never get an education bill passed as quickly as they did on the show. I found this rather disturbing.

      • devon44 May 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

        Farmer M – no, I hadn’t heard that. Good Lord.

        I think at the very least, future generations that survive the Crumble will have to devise a ‘sociopath test’ to keep them from getting into leadership roles.

        99% true? And the 1% that is false is actually portrayed better than the reality?

        I repeat: Good Lord!!!

        • DPirate May 6, 2014 at 2:43 am #

          You’re walking on the beach and you see a turtle struggling on it’s back. It needs help to turn over. You’re not helping, Leon. Why not?

      • zaphod42 May 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

        It is disturbing, Farmer. But not surprising.

        Now, a special tax incentive for the Koch’s to subsidize their gifts to support O&G legislators… that would be fast!


    • lyn12 May 6, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      Correct, Devon44. There should be a test because our planet is essentially being run by these types No conscience no empathy no shame no true emotions. Empty.
      BUT – there is a test. See (google) Robert Hare’s book “Without Conscience” – he has devised a test and it’s widely used. See also, “Mask of Sanity” by Hervey Cleckly. . Mask of Sanity is available online for free.
      This is a clinical condition with a poor outlook. No treatment for it.
      I would be a good idea for more people to glom this as it affects their everyday life in the way the planet is being destroyed.

      • devon44 May 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

        Lyn – I’m adding both of those books to my list!

        The sociopaths have brought down every civilization that human beings have ever built. Once a system gets large enough, it naturally allows them to take over.

  2. orbit7er May 5, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    Ha! Funny I just noted that same absurdity in the New York Times this morning and commented here:


    Actually Jim is wrong on the credibility of the New York Times which has actually almost always been a shill for the elite’s propaganda mill.
    One obvious absurdity from many years ago was all the US Corporate media blindly echoing the claim that Moamar Ghaddafy’s adopted daughter was killed by Libya’s own antiaircraft missiles rather than Reagan’s bombing. Apparently we were supposed to believe that the small antiaircraft missile meant to down attacking aircraft went straight up and then fell right down on Ghaddafi’s compound. To their credit back then the only news outlet which pointed out that the absurdity of this claim was NPR which even provided evidence the ordinance in the attack was “Made in the USA”.
    Would NPR do such a story today? Who knows?
    All I know is that neither the NY Times, NPR or PBS, supposedly “liberal” media outlets had a single story on the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget which would cut spending for Wars, fossil fuel subsidies, Corporate tax cuts and fund infrastructure and social spending instead. Ie zero, none, no stories on this!
    Paul Ryan’s far right “Austerity” budget maintaining endless Wars, fossil fuels subsidies, axing Amtrak, wasting more billions on Auto Addiction while trying to unravel Social Security got 1550 stories in the New York Times…

  3. James Levy May 5, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    As dumb as our leaders are, this article is smart. The disease that afflicts us is a manifestation of having people and institutions so large and powerful that a) they think they can do anything and control everything, and b) no one dare tell the people that run the CIA, NSA, The Fed, Exxon, Citigroup, Goldman-Saks et al. that they are wrong or their notions idiotic. Add to this that the only response of elites these days is to circle the wagons against those outside or below and you have the recipe for the kind of stupidity Mr. Kunstler describes.

    Our entrenched interests are beyond saving because they are beyond compromise or the ability to give up some power and wealth to stabilize the system. Their egomania and greed will not permit it. Since they would rather bring down civilization, perhaps human existence, rather than give up what they have (a new variation on “better dead than Red”) it is almost certainly better to let them drive the current dispensation off a cliff rather than try to wrest it from their cold, dead hands. My hope is that here and there civilized values will survive the smash-up elites are engineering for us as I write.

  4. Neon Vincent May 5, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    You’re not alone in rolling your eyes at official stupidity and wishful thinking from the U.S. government over our ideas about exporting gas to Europe when anyone with a good understanding of the situation would realize that’s a non-starter. A few weeks ago, John Greer The Archdruid did as well. Here’s what he had to say about the situation.

    “That is to say, a remarkably large number of Americans, including the leaders of our country and the movers and shakers of our public opinion, are so inept at the elementary skills of thinking that they can’t tell the difference between mouthing a platitude and having a clue.”

    Yes, he thinks they’re clueless, too. He also thought they were duplicitous.

    “It may also occur to you—indeed, it may have done so already—that the handwaving about countering Russia is merely an excuse for building the infrastructure needed to export American natural gas to higher-paying global markets, which will send domestic gas prices soaring to stratospheric levels in the years ahead…”


    My response was that it wasn’t just natural gas that was subject to this kind of venal thinking.

    “That thought has occurred to me about an analogous project–the Keystone XL pipeline, which will deliver relatively cheap diluted bitumen from Canada to the world market, allowing it to be sold for a higher price, raising the cost of petroleum distillates in the U.S. That will end the trend of slightly lower prices for oil and gasoline year-over-year that the U.S. has experienced this year and last.”

    As I told my students when they asked me about Keystone XL last semester, “It’s a dumb idea that’s going to hurt Americans, and it’s still likely to happen.”


    • ozone May 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      You write: “Yes, [Archdruid, Greer] thinks they’re clueless, too. He also thought they were duplicitous.”

      I believe you’ve succeeded in furthering the context and tone of this weeks’ klaxon-sounding by JHK. Good deal, all this needs some focused inspection.

      “It’s not always easy to define what exactly is wrong with America, but what ever it is, it’s huge.” — Raul Ilargi Meijer, The Automatic Earth.com

      I have very specific suspicions about [at least] ONE of those huge things that turns out to be another of many elephants that have shouldered their way into the living room. (We’re gonna have to exit by the window now, unconventional though that may be…)

      Probably the very largest of the herd:
      The duplicity to promote dumb-ass-ed-ness in the general population was a deliberate campaign of manufactured consent, advertising, spin, PR, or whatever you’d enjoy terming the wickedness of Ed Bernay’s. That right there is how we got to this point where no one knows shit from shinola (or truth from fiction), and once the powerbrokers say what a shining, effective miracle it was, they “laid it on thicker and heavier as they went” (to paraphrase “Uneasy Rider”).

      In the days afore the ubiquitous wireless remote, my dear ol’ dad hardwired a switch on a goodly length of zipwire to the teevee speaker. When the commercials came on he’d cut the audio. As a very young tyke I was taught to despise and mistrust these wastes of time and attention. I think that was a “good” thing. “Freedom of Speech!”, says The Great and Powerful Wizard[s] of Oz? Alrighty then, I’d counter with a hearty. “How ’bout some Freedom from Bullshit?”, while we’re at it…

      Yes, many other elephants in the room, but this one made sure the general population was left stranded in this Desert of Denial without a critical or discriminating thought in its’ empty little celebrity-worshipping, gadget-gazing head. That’s where you start if you desire control over any and every thing; the clueless will go in the direction that you point and hold the opinions that you feed them. Handy.

      • ozone May 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

        …the powerbrokers “saw” (etc.)…

      • ozone May 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

        Dang it!
        Attribution of “Desert of Denial” to K-dog; sorry about that, mate.

        • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

          Dunes as far as the eye can see, and howling wind!

      • ZrCrypDiK May 6, 2014 at 3:47 am #

        Even to an incompetent, who’s never followed your rants, it’s plain and clear – we can’t continue “merrily along,” on our path of destruction/pollution/depletion. Global warming (climate change, for the kinder/gentler douches) bringing April tornado VORTEXES should be a simple sign, to the uninformed…

        Just take a look at your own “friends list” – these guys have revolving door aliases!!! They dominate your blog-space (and managed to cut your volume in half). Ayup, they pretty much PWNZOR your site, yet you still seem to hold a *GRUDGE* against a very small “minority,” that gets under yer skin…

        Suburban sprawl and 10-20mpg gasoholics signal our doom in about 10-15 years. But hey, that’s quite far off – long temps, in fact (PartaY!)… Strip malls 50%+ empty, yet they’re building *MOAR*…

        I FULLY expect you’ll delete this by WED – no matter. It’s not as if there’s any “real” people visiting/reading the comments section here. Sorry, but facts are facts.

        So, do you merely hope and pray for solutions? Or do you actually take actions that result in solutions? I have 2 suggestions – live within your means, and stop guzzlin’ the *GASOHOL*.

        • devon44 May 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

          I’m as real as it gets, buddy. A lot of us are.

          Great solutions by the way. If I can just live within my own means and stop using gasoline, I can save the world!

          It’s just like the bumper sticker that says ‘be the change that you want to see in the world.’

          That is a fine sentiment, but I think we all know it isn’t even close to enough. We need to actively start dismantling the machine.

          Starve the machine!
          Break the machine!
          Disengage from the machine!
          KILL THE MACHINE!!!!!!!!

    • ozone May 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      In this very vein, the Right Sector in Ukraine have put a $10,000 bounty on an RT cameraman (designated as “spy”). Whose idea was that, what with all the despicable monkey business by CIA and FBI handlers slithering into Kiev? Suppression of some information, implantation of other, spun options. “Just Business”, you understand — and the IMF may change the conditions of that loan if you don’t get your country’s ‘situation’ and ‘misunderstandings’ under firm control. What next, Diebold [love the moniker] votin’ machines for the fair-n-free elections this month?

      • BackRowHeckler May 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

        Hey Oz I heard the song ‘1952 Black Vincent Lightening’ today, a great song. I remember hearing you doing a pretty good version of it a few times.

        Did you ever think of taking that considerable writing talent of yours to Nashville or wherever you can write songs and sell them? Is writing a political essay transferable to writing lyrics? a few years back I was out in NW CT riding around with a friend from Sharon. Every time we passed one of these estates or horse farms he would say to me, “That’s so and so’s place, he wrote the song …” Songwriting pays good, apparently.


        • ozone May 6, 2014 at 8:37 am #

          Not sure this is the place to discuss such a thing, so I’ll keep it short.

          Hey! I reprised that tune just this last Saturday after not having ruined it for half a year.
          Firstly, yes there’s money in it. But…….
          My writing style is far too anachronistic and laced with ambiguities to be very “popular”, so that’s out. 😉 And, to be a pro at it your volume has to be immense so that you have plenty to throw at the wall to see what sticks.* I would find that difficult and depressing (to discard so much). To be a pro writer (of any stripe) you have to be made of stern stuff while still maintaining healthy empathy and sharp and ever-present observational skills. The brilliant hermits just self-medicate to damp the demons down. (Over-active imaginations ain’t much fun, despite what anyone has heard.)

          Lastly, other musicians like my stuff, and that, dear friends, would be the kiss of death! 😉

          * (One “technique” of songwriting is to immediately write down interesting/quirky turns of phrase and imagery in a notebook. When inspiration for a song strikes, paw through the notebook for stuff that fits and emphasizes the mood.)

          To the other commenters: Please accept our apologies for veering into an arcane topic.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

      Obama funds refineries abroad but refused to do so here. I assume you approve of this.

      Obama endeavors to destroy the coal industry. I assume you approve of this.

      Obama wants to bring America to its knees. I assume you approve of this because America is “racist” – meaning America was founded by Whites for themselves, as if people found Nations for other people.

      • zaphod42 May 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

        Just thinking – America was already here… Whites did not “found it.” We “found” steel; at some point, the PGA “found” a floating island green. You make it sound as though there was nothing here, and no one here. What happened is that Whites murdered the inhabitants of a free, sovereign continent. And, not long thereafter they brought Blacks into that continent as slaves.

        Consider – Great Britain made slavery a felony in 1807.

        Sorry, but I found your comment irrational, illogical and out of place.

        Just saying.


        • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

          A Nation is a People, not a Geography. The Founding Fathers would find your comment too bizarre to understand. Once it was explained to them, they would condemn you to a man.

          We conquered the Indians and took their land. That’s how America came to be. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere. But where? Show me a Nation which was founded for somebody else. Thus the Howard Zinns of the world are the real bigots for focusing on Whites, and White alone in this. And yes, we were/are idiots for believing such a Con Man.

          • Hands4u May 7, 2014 at 11:25 am #

            JS- You have brought out a very interesting perspective. Most NA Indians I know will tell you that “they are the children of the land”, it is that “the land owns them and they serve the land”. The people of “Current Civilization” feel that they own the earth and all that “she” offers.
            You might say that this is what got Adam and Eve thrown out of the Garden of Eden since the tree was there and they were there they must have thought they had the “rights” to eat from the tree even they were told specifically not to.
            Well we’re still eating from the tree, we have decided that we own it and use it any way “we” like.
            Any wonder that the Western Europs finest felt that they had “discovered” and deter-“mine”-d that it was “their god-given right to own” whatever “they” “found”. This new Garden of Eden (that had been “lost” by our previous determined perception of who owns what.
            Even our language is polluted with this perception.
            How different this world might be if we had felt honored that it created humanity(us); and that as the NA Nations perceived that it is the people, who rise up out of the land, that the land, creates the people who live there.

    • BeerBarrel May 5, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      ““That thought has occurred to me about an analogous project–the Keystone XL pipeline, which will deliver relatively cheap diluted bitumen from Canada to the world market, allowing it to be sold for a higher price, raising the cost of petroleum distillates in the U.S. That will end the trend of slightly lower prices for oil and gasoline year-over-year that the U.S. has experienced this year and last.”

      Exactly what I’ve been saying, but in different words. I’ve written to our Senator about how the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t about jobs and environment, it is instead important we do NOT build the pipeline for reasons of National Security.

      As the oil age winds down, there’s going to be potentially two big players left standing: Iran, and North America – and only if the US manages to retain what’s here and not just pass it off to the other 95% so they can burn it up.

      Iran, it will turn out, will have benefited greatly from the economic sanctions – they’re having trouble selling off their oil – and this could have the effect of making Iran the next “superpower” of Eurasia! It won’t be nukes and mine stockpiles that define who’s who, it’ll be who’s got the last of the not-scraped barrels.

      The rest of the World will largely die-off.


  5. sprezzatura May 5, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    There is nothing wrong with America. (North) Americans are perfectly normal human beings, who are following the inexorable course of all empires. See Edward Gibbon for the road map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of_the_Roman_Empire)

    • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      And from your link “Gibbon saw the Praetorian Guard as the primary catalyst of the empire’s initial decay and eventual collapse.

      Known today as the military industrial complex, Gibbon in 1776 was way ahead of his time.

    • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm #


      I’m haunted by a line from his tome where all the Roman citizens are turned out of their city by barbarian invaders who take over and seize their property. The road or the sword, your choice. The end result was huge crowds of people wandering the Italian countryside until they dropped dead. I wish I could remember which book and chapter the line was in. I recall one barbarian giving a small bag of money to one of the dispossessed citizens in ‘payment’ for his villa.

      A small act of kindness in a mad mad world.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

        A human chandelier, female acrobats hanging by their hair, fell down. Our Bread and Circuses really fall short, far short of theirs. They had fun before they went down.

        Think of the Roman savagery to the Celts, Germans, Jews, etc. Their chickens came home to roost in the biggest way. I fear ours will as well.

  6. 99 cent nation May 5, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    What a word smith. Really good descriptions. They are idiots. Only neurological manipulation would fix anything and how would this be when the fixers are as idiotic as the robots in charge.

    • James Levy May 5, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Only stripping the elite of their power and insulating privileges will wake them up, and that isn’t going to happen. These men (and a few women) are foolish because, like Daisy and Tom Buchanan, they can smash things up and retreat into their privileged, irresponsible foolishness. Clinton, Rubin, Summers, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Greenspan, the list goes on, act in reckless, destructive, even lethal ways and get to retire to wealth and privileged. Obama and his cronies will do the same. How can we expect anyone to act responsibly if they know that there will never be any consequences for their actions?

      • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

        Many of the Elite can flee to Israel to avoid justice.

  7. noel bodie May 5, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Meanwhile, back on the farm, I was planting potatoes yesterday, a year’s supply for two and some to sell, listening to a singing wren when slowly the thunk-thunk of a lumbering HUEY came over and I thought, gawd I hate what we have become.

    • orbit7er May 5, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Last Wednesday we got our first delivery of locally grown veggies from the farm about 16 miles from our house. The roots were still on the spinach and arugula! Apparently New Jersey parsley was particularly hard hit by the Global Weirding Polar vortex cold winter this year.
      Apparently New Jersey, “the Garden State”, is one of the largest parsley growers. But we should still avoid the runup in veggie prices from the drought stricken San Fernando Valley in California…
      More people signing up for the CSA than ever this year!
      The Green and local transitions are hopeful signs of progress

  8. devon44 May 5, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    I wish we could ‘like’ posts on the wordpress site. So instead, let me do it this way:

    Crazy Eddie/ Neon Vincent – I started reading your blog recently and LOVED it!

    Noel Bodie – LIKE LIKE!!

  9. Farmer McGregor May 5, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    “Despite its Valley Girl origins… …where anything goes and nothing matters.”

    Dang, Jim, I wish I could take credit for crafting such a succinct and accurate ‘state of the union’ address. So well said, and so sadly true.

    Another great post. Thanks.

  10. B9K9 May 5, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    Jim is a gifted writer, but he likes to perpetuate the meme of general confusion & disorder, rather than planned & deliberate proposals (and actions):


    “Operation Northwoods was a series of false flag proposals that originated within the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States government in 1962. The proposals, which called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or other operatives, to commit acts of terrorism in US cities and elsewhere, were rejected by the Kennedy administration.”

    • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      Perpetuating general confusion & disorder! A scurrilous accusation.

      What would you have. An eternity of having your head stuck in the sands of the desert of denial? You are one who seeks to shoot the messenger. Jim did not invent the general confusion & disorder. He merely comments on it and he does not feed it. Stupidity feeds itself. There is nothing B9 K9 in wanting to shoot the messenger.

    • zaphod42 May 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      “The proposals, which called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or other operatives, to commit acts of terrorism in US cities and elsewhere, were rejected by the Kennedy administration.”

      I wonder whether present and recent past administrations would do the same thing. There is some indication that they would / did not in Lybia, but we will likely never know for sure.

      And, it is Operation Northwoods and the knowledge that such proposals have been seriously bandied about that give credence to far-fetched conspiracy theories about rather simple events. We are ready to believe almost anything about our government and institutions, and have become careless in weighing facts vs. fiction.

      Time to thank Jim for helping us to understand our current predicament.


  11. K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    In the world of human affairs truth has lost value. It is not simply being stupid or clueless. Truth in human affairs must be consciously sought or it leaves the building like Elvis did. For example, the religious fanatic with the most distorted world view becomes the most popular in his/her group and leads the group, rationality be dammed.

    With that in mind I’ll solve the American energy conundrum for all eternity right here and now.

    The Solution. Put it on a generator and spin, spin, spin.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Coal is King in the meantime. Also build more refineries for the oil. Nuclear is also good but not near the Fracking. We are the earthquake generation.

  12. Warren May 5, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    I would say more than meshugga crazy the US has like gone completely mishegoss i.e. batshit crazy

    • Warren May 5, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      and now the S POTUS now stands for Schemdrick.

  13. Greg Knepp May 5, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    I too caught the Ilargi quote last week on the Automatic Earth, buried in the middle of a paragraph. It struck me as saying everything by saying nothing. How could the truth be so nebulous?… But there you have it!

    The result of all this dread and doom is that people don’t think about the grand scheme as much as they used to. I’ve noticed that my contacts – particularly the young – don’t put much stock in national and international issues. As the trust horizon recedes (thanks Nichole Foss) more time, talk and energy is focused on local issues. This could be a good thing. Of course, my observations are base purely on anecdotal information – just what I hear people talk about – but the outrage we once felt about the deteriorating state of the world seems to be fading fast, and zealots like Chris Hedges might as well be ranting at the walls. Don’t get me wrong, Hedges is a bright and honest fellow and I follow his work closely. I am listening, but the walls aren’t.

    There is such as thing as caring too much. Some level of quiet acceptance is going to be needed if sanity is to be preserved. I don’t know how this will be accomplished, but the pursuit of acceptance and adjustment will need to be the new direction. At least for me.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      Good points. I think you are right in both your diagnosis, prognosis, and prescription. Trust Horizon – a new one on me but it makes much sense.

  14. troutbum2 May 5, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    More on the relationship between Oil and the economy:


  15. BioWebScape May 5, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Mentioning Farming, how are we going to feed ourselves, what with California in drought, and then the heavy rains, the floods, the cold snaps and the war mongering in Ukriane which happens to be a big bread basket region, that might or might not get uflly planted, and even if it does, will it get harvested as well?

    While the likes of some, have put in plants and stockpiles and have the guns and gold and all that, that isn’t going to feed the world or even a small city if things get worse.

    Sooner or later the “Our Oil is going to save us” crowd will have to admit that they don’t know where their next meal is going to come from and that water in the tap that smells like some recent chemical spill might not serve them very well either. The long Emergancy is only in the 911 call phase right now.

    Having seen someone die recently, I tend to tell it, that she died somewhere between the getting out of the wheel chair to get in my van to being wheeled off back into the ER, after having a heart attack right there on the way home, this all seems like the last legs of a dying beast called “the World as we knew it”. But maybe I am just a bit under the weather, oh right we have just had a huge nasty time of that here abouts, and then we are sliding toward the drought numbers again, drifting in the Below by 1 or 2 inches of normal ( figured on the last 10 years I was told, but I don’t know really where they get that information around here). As once in the last 5 years we had over 2 times our normal amount of rain in a single year. More global climate flux/change/warming, whatever you want to call it, the climate is different, as I should know I have lived here for over 35 years.

    Oh well, Nice post today Mr, Kunstler, I just got through listening to a talk by Robert Reich about the Snap Heard round the world, due to the living standards inequality, it was done back in 2005, I wonder what he is saying these days.


    • lsjogren May 5, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      I am increasingly a believer that the “solution” to Peak Oil will be a huge die off of the human population.

      That will be a tragedy unparalleled in human history, but it will at least leave a remnant of the human population to continue the “golden age” of mankind, albeit on a much smaller scale.

      • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

        That ‘a remnant shall survive‘ is a common ‘Christian’ point of view and is an appeal for the faithful to keep the faith. It is also sociopathic and something Christ would certainly despise.

        As it is deeply embedded in our culture the socio-pathology of the statement is not readily apparent but to take comfort in knowing that a few will survive to keep the human stain alive disrespects those who must be sacrificed so that the few can survive. And that is socio-pathology.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

          You’re being anti-human. And that surprises me. Human stain? You think Christ would agree with that? And yet you call others sociopathic?

          Your analysis is wrong. Or perhaps you are reacting to his abrasive wording. In any case, the remnant wont cause the death of the many, human ignorance of limits will. Btw, that is the way animal populations work: boom and bust. To rise above this is true humanness.

          • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

            Human stain; you got me. But is it not true we must see the ugly as well as the beautiful otherwise what we see will continue not to be true as we shall be blinded by the light.

            And would that not be a terrible sight.

            Says some “brimstone baritone anticyclone rolling stone preacher from the east”.

            As the “calliope crashed to the ground”.

            Figures you’d be the one not to let it slip by.

  16. selaretus May 5, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Great post, there, James! The vast majority of the American public (might as well call them the denominator of the ‘pressitute’ fractional expression) cannot and will not ‘get it’ because they have so much to gain……and lose…..by hoping, praying and going along with the quaint notion that their comfy retirement stock market ‘investments’ will pay off in the long run; the alternatives (not being able to drive to Wall Mart forever, stock market ‘portfolios’ that are in reality worthless.) In solving the pressitute expression we find that John Q does not care to be a free thinker and look beyond Good Morning America for reliable news. As we have said: most people would much rather hear those comforting lies as opposed to the nasty uncomfortable truth. Therefore, until that changes, the Government lies, swindles, manipulated economic reports and accounting fraud will continue.

  17. shotho May 5, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    To devon44. it isn’t cluelessness or sociopathy, just plain old evil – feeding on fear and greed – the human condition from day one.

    • HARM May 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Well, actually then it *would* be sociopathy. Sociopathy is the clinical definition for a mindset you and I would subjectively describe as “evil”, i.e., being willing to cynically manipulate, harm/kill others for our own benefit and not feel remorse.

      • devon44 May 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

        I’m about 50 pages into “The Sociopath Next Door.”

        It’s a scary proposition to imagine that 4% of our population have no conscience or feelings of remorse. And Shotho, you’re right – another word for that is just plain evil.

        But the good news is that there is another 4% of the population that are sheepdogs – i.e. the people who read this blog and others like it. Preppers and critical thinkers – we have always been around, just like the sociopaths.

        Before the advent of industrial civilization, the sociopaths couldn’t do damage that quickly and effectively, because the world back then was a lot more local. But then we built the machine.

        The machine works in such a way that it’s almost impossible for anyone who is NOT a sociopath to rise to the top. That’s why more than half of our politicians are sociopaths.

        As a culture, one of our biggest challenges in the future will be to figure out how to identify these people and keep them out of positions of power!


        • Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

          I’ve heard that there are brain scans that can show it. The next civilization will protect itself against these people as well as the mental illness known as Liberalism or Communism.

          • James Levy May 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

            I’m sure you’re waiting for your shot to volunteer as the commandant of the next Treblika where people different from you or who disagree with your political philosophy can be marched into the gas chambers. I’m sure you’d enjoy that.

            You are the sociopath next door.

        • zaphod42 May 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

          “As a culture, one of our biggest challenges in the future will be to figure out how to identify these people and keep them out of positions of power!”

          Of course the question is, who will decide which people to identify and keep out of positions of power. I submit that you are talking about a new sort of “machine”, the one that does the identifying, that will give great power to the operator and owner, who can then find out who will be most likely to unseat that owner/operator from his new position of power. In all likelihood, given human nature, those in power, having that ability, will ferret out the sheepdogs, and not the sociopaths. And in so doing will themselves become sociopaths.

          Isn’t it the nature of power to corrupt? Perhaps it is achieving of power that creates the sociopath, rather than the other way around.

          Quoting from http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/absolute-power-corrupts-absolutely.html, ” ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely’ arose as part of a quotation by the expansively named and impressively hirsute John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:

          ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.’ ”

          It has been attributed to others, but this is the earliest I could find.


  18. lsjogren May 5, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Well, I disagree a bit. With efficiency improvements in the use of fossil fuels, unconventional sources such as fracked natural gas are economically viable in today’s economy.

    The collapse of modern civilization due to Peak Oil will in all probability happen, but not as soon as J. Kunstler thinks.

    • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      Your statement:

      “With efficiency improvements in the use of fossil fuels, unconventional sources such as fracked natural gas are economically viable in today’s economy.”

      is untrue. The economy is already unwinding and nothing is viable but cluelessness and stupidity prevents this from being seen. Across the land misery increases but a propaganda of lies and stupidity rains down upon us telling us everything is fine and getting better. The price of West Texas Intermediate Crude is now at $99.76. With the price that high things are slowly shutting down.

      Efficiency gains in the use of fuels are always finite and are limited because they are based on physical laws of the universe. But the price can always climb high enough to negate efficiency gains. By Jevons Paradox efficiency gains make energy supplies get depleted even more quickly than they would otherwise, not more slowly.

  19. K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    The stupidity train surges ahead ever faster and Jim wonders when the inevitable derailment will happen. Meanwhile the crew of the doom train barks loudly on his blog in a depraved effort to confuse and dilute his message. They say the track ahead is clear, that all is well and to don’t worry be happy. Have one last drink in the club car with a double shot of cluelessness for auld lang syne and shut up! That is their message.

  20. Cold N. Holefield May 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Lying or just plain stupid

    Who says it can’t be both and much more? Before they get into fracking, they’ll first have to finish what they’ve started:

    Burning Down The House

    • Karah May 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

      lying is a manifestation of stupidity because the person(s) believe they can hide the truth forever with a web of intricate lies and distortions or the more people they can get to follow the lie will avert a calamity.

      there is no benefit in following liars. they will never become enlightened or change. they are too much in the thick of it. that is where the nation and the wider world is at this very moment.

      everyone mentioned by kunstler in todays blog are drunk with power and the power professed by the leadership is a corrupting influence on anybody, even smart people. as jhk has so adeptly revealed, the sources of information leaders rely on is corrupted. putin is a tragic figure in this regard. he is a smart politician who is being manipulated by the russian orthodox church.

      the oligarchy is pumping so much money into the propaganda machines and sideshows of our day that it has never been more distracting and destructive in human history.

  21. contrahend May 5, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Efficiency gains in the use of fuels are always finite and are limited because they are based on physical laws of the universe.

    the trap of linear thinking. we have ‘exponential’ energy sources available, e.g. solar, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind that are far from being even remotely tapped out.

    All together, solar energy, excluding non-sustainable solar fuels and passive solar thermal, supplied roughly 0.2 TWc, or 1.5%, of the world’s power in 2001.

    we have a lot more there we can exploit – we will, over time. it’s the way of the Western world to capitalize on energy sources.


    • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      They say the track ahead is clear, that all is well and to don’t worry be happy.

      There is no such thing as an ‘exponential’ energy source, that’s some creative bullshit on your part. Your linear thinking ignores the fact that nothing can or ever could run the Wal-Mart social experiment other than oil. You are right that solar, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind are far from being tapped out. But that’s irrelevant because we don’t have the technology to tap them in an efficient manner which could keep the American way of life train chugging along. Nothing but oil provides enough concentrated energy at a price cheap enough to keep the wheels of the Wal-Mart social experiment turning. When cheap oil is gone the party will be over.

      All together, solar energy, excluding non-sustainable solar fuels and passive solar thermal, supplied roughly 0.2 TWc, or 1.5%, of the world’s power in 2001.

      Only 1.5% because the cost of the alternative energy supplies precludes their use. Your statement that we can exploit these resources, and that we will over time, is based on nothing more than faith and wishful thinking. The alternative energy supplies are not resources as they cannot be economically exploited.

      Your linear thinking makes you believe that growth on a finite planet can continue indefinitely. And that makes you crazy.

  22. SteveO May 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    “Once the gas is sold, however, Gazprom ceases to be its owner and loses its power to set the terms of its sale.”

    I spent the last week off grid, so I hadn’t heard of this little circle jerk until I read it here, and I almost sprayed my screen with my tea.

    But to answer your question about who thought up this silliness, it’s the same Wall Street wizards who think that you can make AAA+ investments out of sub-prime mortgage backed junk by slicing and dicing it. In other words, fraudsters.

  23. Evan May 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    James, I also noticed the NYT story.this morning, but immediately thought, “This is silly, where do they think the gas will come from?” I didn’t bother to read it through. I only get a limited number of monthly articles on my free account, and didn’t want to waste one on a bunch of nonsense.

    Thanks for explaining where the gas will come from. Now I actually think it’s a great idea. Of course, it can’t and won’t work, for any number of reasons. I’m guessing Merkel won’t be on board. But I wouldn’t be too quick to attribute it to official stupidity.

    If the proposed scheme / scam should be implemented, its prompt collapse will be of great propaganda value. Few of us will understand the plan’s complete absurdity. Our dear leaders can simply blame the plan’s failure on evil Putin and the greedy Russkies (i.e. for price gouging, export limits, or whatever). Ukraine may freeze in the dark, but Mission (promotion of NATO funding and Cold War) Accomplished!

  24. James Kuehl May 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    “Lipstick on a pig” has until now been the most colorful description I’ve heard of PR work. “A patina of toxic bacterial overgrowth” gets at both its luster and essential rot. Good ‘n!

    • K-Dog May 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      I wish the ‘patina of toxic bacterial overgrowth’ could be removed with a simple application of 30 second cleaner but as PR work exploits emotional triggers at the core of human nature it can never be that easy.

  25. lost-in-north-dakota May 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    As I have written before: The USGS estimates roughly 7 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Bakken formation. Enough to fuel the USA for one year, plus maybe a month or two. Natural gas in the Bakken…only a few months’ worth of consumption.

    Meanwhile, our roads and infrastructure are being destroyed, crime is out of control, oilfield workers sleep in their cars because there is no housing, radioactive wastes are being dumped, and trains filled with North Dakota crude are exploding and killing people.

    And, gasoline is certainly no cheaper because of all of this, as far as I can tell.

    • doxrides May 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      How about the deadly side effects to the fracking boom?


      Q&A about drilling and traffic deaths
      Jonathan Fahey and Kevin Begos Associated Press
      The nation’s oil and natural gas boom has taken an unexpected toll in traffic fatalities in states with intense drilling activity. Some key questions and answers:

      Q: What’s to blame for the spike in traffic deaths?

      A: The sudden influx of trucks used for drilling and other traffic running through communities that have not had time to prepare for it. Many towns and small cities have not been able to upgrade roads or add traffic lights and new enforcement personnel fast enough to keep up with the boom in activity.

      Q: How is this different from other economic booms?

      A: Fatal accidents almost always rise along with economic activity or a growing population, but this boom has been especially deadly because new drilling techniques require thousands of truck trips for each new well. Trucks and cars make a dangerous mix, safety experts say, because of their different sizes and speeds.

      Q: How dangerous have roads become?

      A: In North Dakota drilling regions, traffic fatalities increased 350 percent over the past decade, while the population rose 43 percent. In one Texas drilling district, officials calculated that drivers were 2.5 times more likely to die in a fatal crash per mile driven compared with the statewide average. Fatalities in West Virginia’s most heavily drilled counties rose 42 percent in 2013, while traffic deaths in the rest of the state declined 8 percent.

      Q: Have some drilling areas avoided increased fatalities?

      A: Colorado’s Weld County approved a record number of drilling permits last year but saw traffic fatalities fall by 23 percent, the lowest level in ten years. The county has been a focus of safety efforts for a decade because of historically high fatality rates, and drilling isn’t as concentrated there as it is in some other states.

      Q: Are there any other factors besides the number of trucks, the volume of traffic and the quality of the roads?

      A: Experts point to a few other factors. Federal truck safety rules limit the amount of time most truckers can stay on the road, but those rules are less stringent for drivers in the oil and gas industry. Workers who arrive to find work in booming regions are often young men, the riskiest driving demographic. Trucking companies scrambling to get new business sometimes hire inexperienced drivers. Also, accident investigators find that in many cases, motorists get impatient while following big trucks and take risks such as passing on hills or curves.

      Q: What do the drilling companies say?

      A: They recognize it is a problem. Motor vehicle accidents are the single biggest cause of oil and gas worker fatalities. Marvin Odum, who runs Royal Dutch Shell’s operations in the Americas, said Shell is working hard to reduce the number of truck trips needed to drill each well, both to save money and reduce the danger to workers and residents.

      Q: Is anything being done to ease the problem?

      A: North Dakota is adding turning and climbing lanes, and Pennsylvania and Texas have safe-driving campaigns for areas with heavy drilling. Range Resources, a major driller, said it employs off-duty law enforcement officers to monitor its trucks.

      • Karah May 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

        there is also an increase in road hazards:

        chem spills

        the toll on infrastructure is immense.

  26. Chikot May 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    “Men in general are quick to believe that which they wish to be true.”

    “What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also. ”

    Julius Caesar

  27. volodya May 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    What’s different from 1914? Back then imperial Russia was ruled by murderers. Still is.

    Look at Europe a hundred years ago, run by a class of “aristocrats”, hopeless, useless imbeciles, the ruined product of centuries of inbreeding and syphilis and alcohol, ruling only by virtue of societal inertia.

    And what of their feeble-minded descendants in charge nowadays? As disastrously miscalculating as their degenerate great-grandparents. Proof that the apple never falls far from the tree.

    What about the Americas? It is now as it was then, psychopaths ruling shit-holes to the south. And, north of the Rio Grande, two contending societies that despise one another pretending to co-habit in one state with plundering robber-barrons running rampant. Nothing changes.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 12:17 am #

      Those that overthrew the Czars were the ultimate mass murderers. Google the Holodomor when they starved millions of Ukrainians to death. Now the Russians have thrown these maniacs off under the able leadership of Putin. But like the French, the Revolution has become part of civic pride. Both nations should repudiate these outbreaks of madness and murder.

  28. kyoto motors May 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Thank-you for this one Mr. Kunstler!
    Some weeks your posts are on the more flippant/ hilarious side of things: Entertaining rants. Other times, you manage to strike a nerve that runs deeper than usual. While this week’s is engaging, and therefore entertaining, it is certainly one that belongs in this second category: a handsome summary of the ugly predicament shaping up all around. Could be a good preamble to some more non-fiction in print. You got something brewing on that front a-brewing? 🙂

  29. edpell May 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Russia would love to sell all its gas to a customer that pays its bills on time. If the EU wants to take over selling to the deadbeat Ukraine Russia will be very happy. If the EU supplies free gas to Ukraine Russia does not care.

  30. Janos Skorenzy May 5, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    Yes as the late great Joe Sobran said, “We’d be thrilled with dual loyalty.”

  31. BackRowHeckler May 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    That McGuane quote comes from way back in the 1970s. I guess some questions are eternal.

    And those existential questions in your first paragraph, maybe the glitterati who attended the White House Correspondents Dinner could answer some of those. These people are the best America has to offer, and they lead lives most of us cannot even comprehend.They were partying pretty hard all night, in fact multiple parties, and don’t seem to be worried much about the stuff we worry about here. And that’s what they’re paid for, to try and solve some of this sh-t. If they’re not worrying, why the hell should I?


  32. Karah May 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    the religious liars have to go.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 2:30 am #

      And Liberalism is a religion. Obama is its God.

  33. ozone May 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    Dmitry just penned a bit of classic snark and parody on the US Diplomatic Corp (if we can use the word “diplomatic” very loosely).
    He seems to lean toward: lying, stupid, slathered with a generous glob of incompetence. …And that would be merely a dim reflection of what’s going down riiiiiii-cheer on the ol’ Homeland Front!
    Happy Trails!


    • K-Dog May 6, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      Eye of newt and toe of frog,
      Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
      Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
      Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,…


      Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
      Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf…

      Nobody asked me about this and I’m not looking forward to commenting with a lisp or gumming my meat.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

        You’re familiar with meet up protocol I assume. I’m trying to figure out the nature of a social interaction. At Earth Day, a woman I had met previously invited me to a meet up. She’s a conspiracy nerd and the meet up was about all the horrible things the Elite are doing. Having a taste for such conversation, I agree with alacrity. But instead of taking my email, she proceeded to give me her card – as if I was supposed to call or email her asking when the next meet up was? I did give her my email at that point on another of her cards. But I’m wondering at her motivation: was this some attempt to ask me out on a date without asking; the old feminine passive aggressive “You can try out for my team?”

        I will not play her sadomasochistic games! (that has nothing to do with the situation, just something I read once) She seems like a fine person, but I’m repulsed at the idea of touching her. Her thin, fanatical puritan lips hold no such bliss for me.

        Don’t feel bad about wanting to destroy Humanity. We “all” feel that way sometimes – even God. The Rainbow is His sign that he wont do it again by water. Clever fellow – he left open other options.

        • Karah May 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

          rainbow is a reminder that injustice and evil can not go on indefinitely without divine intervention…how else will we ever experience true peace?

          activists have usurped this symbol to justify their impatience with God or to completely pervert its meaning

          meeting up with people who are introduced over mass media is really weird. it is kind of like meeting up with pat sajak of wheel of fortune. he seems like an average guy with a good sense of humor and excellent elocution but when you are finally standing on the star next to him….there is all this pressure to perform.

          after reading the case jhk makes for his part of the country, i feel compelled to include his town in my future trip to ny state by train. whether or not i run into him there is not important since he has a regular online presence…and its clear he does not care to talk with me…ever!

          • BackRowHeckler May 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

            Hey Karah I went to one of Jims presentations a few years back in the Connecticut River Valley and he was pretty accessible; took alot of questions and hung around talking with everybody afterward.


    • Florida Power May 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

      Required reading, thanks for the heads up.
      Not sure diplomacy was any better pre-W but the present coven deserves even more snark than Mr. Orlov can dish out.

  34. BackRowHeckler May 6, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Drive by shooting in Hartford last night, nothing unusual about that. It was down by Park and Broad, near the newspaper, formerly the Portugese section of the city, now Hispanic. But here’s the remarkable thing: the victim caught 12 rounds to the chest. Any way you look at it that’s some good shooting. 125 years ago Hartford Yankees would read about gunplay ‘out west’ in their local paper and shake their heads. Mark Twain might see the seeds of a short story in one of those articles. Now the Yankees are long gone, the 3rd world is here, and the wild west gunfights are right on the next block.

    Yesterday I was having breakfast at a little place in the village, combination deli and convenience store. Actually its the last of the stores like it not owned by Arabs or South Asians, maybe in the whole state. A truck pulled up and a bunch of guys wearing reflective vests piled out and came in the store. They were speaking Spanish. I’m not sure where they were from, most likely Mexicans. They got a whole bunch of stuff and put it on the counter: beer, drinks, sandwiches etc. Then one of them, the leader, who spoke English asked, “Do you take food stamps?” When the owner said no they all walked out, leaving everything at the register.

    Small events compared to what JHK writes about, but this is the way things are now. This is the world we live in.


    • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      You know that they get small business loans not available to Whites, right?

      Why don’t you leave? You must be about ready to retire. Cut the ball and chain and move out to Wyoming, the Whitest and most American state in the Union. Like Bilbo, you must be tired of the little woods and hills of the Shire and be eager to see the real Mountains.

      Didn’t something big just come by or about Twain? What did he think of Blacks? I know he didn’t like Indians.

  35. volodya May 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Backrowheckler, if the glitterati don’t worry about it why should you?

    I assume you’re being sarcastic but on the chance that you’re not, the reason you should worry is that the people at the top of the pyramid know that they’re going to crash the world.

    And they don’t care. They think they’re special, that they can go hide in their gated enclaves while everything burns and everything will be hunky-dory for them. About you and me they don’t give a shit.

    Of course it won’t be ok for them but that doesn’t solve your problem does it. Small comfort to you if you’re starving to know that elites are starving too.

    What the oligarchs and errand boys in Washington are doing is trying to prevent a climb-down from unsustainability to sustainability. Better a climb down than a drop down the cliff wouldn’t you say?

    But the PTB don’t want that. They know the system is sitting at the edge. They knew it in the early-mid 2000s. They didn’t give a damn then and they don’t now.

    • BackRowHeckler May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Still, V, the people this week in DC partying like that when the whole goddam world is on fire, I wonder if they know what we think of them? Or if they care.

      How about this. The president of Target got fired today because of the credit card fiasco last winter. Got fired? They gave him a $55 million severance package. That’s what he gets for f-king everything up. Not bad, huh?


  36. contrahend May 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm #


    yep, that’s why the word ‘exponential’ was put in quotes in the original post, sherlock, to alert attentive readers to the fact the word was being used to underscore the idea that the sun and wind are inexhaustible. guess thats over some peoples head.

    Only 1.5% because the cost of the alternative energy supplies precludes their use. Your statement that we can exploit these resources, and that we will over time, is based on nothing more than faith and wishful thinking

    thats some pretty good thinking on your part. lets see, we have been exploiting more and more solar / alt energy over the last 30 years….but you conclude that this is based on faith and wishful thinking and an impossibility.

    its so tiresome to point out the many successful commercial installations of ‘alternative’ energy that make economic sense. go and look for yourself why dont you.

    since i know you wont, being an inveterate doomster, suffice it to cite a few examples of your socalled wishful thinking:.

    Sunpower is building a 70 MW unsubsidized Project Salvador solar farm in Chile that costs about $200 million. Yep kdog, $200 million being bet against you. You lose, obviously.

    At the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR), under construction in San Luis Obispo County, California, approximately 350 jobs are being created during the project’s two-year construction period. CVSR is expected to inject $315 million of economic benefit into the local economy and contribute about $10 million dollars in total tax revenues.

    In September, 2012, the initial 22-megawatts of the project were energized, delivering the first installment of clean, reliable solar energy to the electrical grid. Once completed, CVSR will power a yearly average of 100,000 homes with clean, renewable solar energy..

    funny you know alt energy is an impossibility, yet millions make their livlihood from them, architects are incorporating them into building designs everywhere, and billions are being spent on it.

    your eyes are blinded by, yes, linear thinking, they’re covered with the oil youre so scared is running out tomorrow. man has always found other energy sources, and the direction of progress is towards energy ascent, not descent.

    nevertheless, we salute you as we soar high above your doubts and rocket into a future of superabundance.


    • Florida Power May 6, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

      Hey Contra – as you rocket away don’t forget to pay your carbon tax. Or did someone publish the unified field theory while I was typing?

    • couscous May 8, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      “350 jobs” Be still my heart.

      “…a future of superabundance.” Oh, nvm you are practicing satirical writing. I’m afraid to tell you its not very good though, you come off as actually believing this drivel. Maybe try inserting a smiley face or something.

  37. contrahend May 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    previous post in response to kdogs attack on kontrahend

    • K-Dog May 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      $200 being spent in Chile wow. Not enough to buy a candy bar for everyone in the country, well maybe if you can get bulk pricing. A 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch, wow. The exception proves the rule and the only alternative energy projects you can come up with require some serious searching and don’t amount to squat.

      Stuck in your own agenda as you are, an inveterate what me worry cornicopian and in your case an invertabrate as well you missed my point entirely! let me repeat.

      “Nothing but oil provides enough concentrated energy at a price cheap enough to keep the wheels of the Wal-Mart social experiment turning. When cheap oil is gone the party will be over.

      You made my point yourself when you said:

      “All together, solar energy, excluding non-sustainable solar fuels and passive solar thermal, supplied roughly 0.2 TWc, or 1.5%, of the world’s power in 2001.”

      To which I replied:

      Only 1.5% because the cost of the alternative energy supplies precludes their use. Your statement that we can exploit these resources, and that we will over time, is based on nothing more than faith and wishful thinking. The alternative energy supplies are not resources as they cannot be economically exploited.

      Of course alternative energy supplies are enormous or they would not even be on the radar to be talked about at all. But that fact alone does not make them useful.

      The point is that no energy source is available to replace oil when it is no longer cheap which can maintain the American way of life as we know it.

      Therefore, alternative energy supplies are not resources because they cannot be economically exploited.

      And because they can’t be used economically you need to put the brake on your rocket because the only future of superabundance is in your head.

      • K-Dog May 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

        Opps, should start with:

        $200 million

  38. K-Dog May 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    “The thick patina of public relations dishonesty that coats all of it like some toxic bacterial overgrowth.”

    ‘Talk-Radio’ today. A well known local Seattle station with a large audience.

    A thick patina indeed. Before talking about the newly released White House climate change change report today some random ‘expert’ who says any restriction on carbon use will have dire consequences for the economy had to be quoted. Then after actually introducing the report a big deal about needing comment from the oil and gas industry was made. This comment turned out to be a rant warning of dire consequences to society by ‘not’ using carbon. Then the main radio host expounded on contradictory conclusions in the report at length because he had ‘glanced’ at it.

    The end result was that the conclusions the report wanted to make were totally watered down, pissed on, and nobody even lied doing it. They all sounded very friendly and professional; which they are.

    I was impressed by the skill, deftness and sophistication of the manipulation process as I was aware what was happening . But had I been an average listener the deftness and sophistication would have totally taken me in.

    So as not to discuss the substance of the report, the Keystone Pipeline dominated the end of the radio discussion being as it is somehow related. Or at least that was the implication given on the radio so as not to make it obvious the true subject was actually being artfully dodged.

    Sort of like in here when someone brings up project Northwoods for no good reason.

    We no longer get news in America. Instead we get manipulations which successfully pass for news. And anticipating a thought-stopper I’ll say no it has not always been this way. News is never ‘pure’ but once upon a time in America there was far more attention to ethics and accuracy. Blatant manipulation was looked down on as unprofessional.

    No more.

    • Karah May 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      “public relations” seems to me to always include some omission of truth, dishonesty. otherwise, how could anything ” relate” to everyone else?

      in a world that is increasingly open to the public about everything it does, it is hard to understand how people can continually choose ignorance. we know there are cliques here and there that pride themselves on being in the know about whatever topic of importance.
      news sources try their best to infiltrate the groups to expose the truth. newscasters wind up becoming the news instead of simply reporting the facts –
      that film of bacteria masking what it’s feeding on and emitting toxic fumes – the world runs on information. people have to invest in something whether it is their time, money or energy. is the nyt worth reading? if not, will people like jhk, kmo, orlov and their publicists conceive something better?

      • K-Dog May 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

        “It is hard to understand how people can continually choose ignorance.”

        Hard for you to understand as for me. But then there are those who knowledge delights and apparently there are those not so wired.

        As to the state of the bacterial patina we must first understand it is there and then engage our own intellectual faculties to provide our personal 30 second cleaner. There is no other way but individual intellectual vigilance.

        But we would be a lot better off if more than a minuscule of a minority were even aware of the necessity for intellectual vigilance and who also took umbrage with the rampant deception. A simple awareness that would not be too painful to cultivate but as you say people continually choose ignorance. And their lack of umbrage makes them choose servitude as well.

        Will it ever stop or will deception and ignorance reign to the last days?

        I don’t know.

        • Karah May 8, 2014 at 12:12 am #

          like jhk points out…people will be forced into accepting reality. for most people it will be an ugly, violent awakening.
          this new dawn involves more than just depleting resources.
          it involves how we inhabit our world, how we treat each other.
          things go on until they do not. when that is up for speculation however there is a consensus with the recent report on global warming that it has to happen in the near future.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

      Oil Companies now believe in climate change too. So it must be real – or at least profitable.


  39. Q. Shtik May 6, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    A Key Player in a Scandal, V. Stiviano Feeds the Media’s Appetite

    Bravo, David Carr. You have perfectly captured with contemptuous sarcasm this whole fetid race scandal. The exotic “V. Sciviano” apparently is an intuitive media savant in the service of personal financial gain. And Donald “Sterling” is a rich sugar daddy and general schmuck whose Times obit one day will note his personal ruin by the thought police for crimes of egregious political IN-correctness. Both of these characters, we learn, found it necessary to change their names, presumably in the interest of panache, and thus the use of quotation marks above.

    Sterling’s sin reminds me of the 1967 movie “Guess who’s coming to dinner.” When Spencer Tracy’s character learns that his daughter has not only brought home to dinner a black man (Sidney Poitier) but that she intends to marry him, the camera slowly zooms in on his craggy face until it fills the entire screen and his dialog captures the awful prospect: “WELL. I’LL. BE. A. SON. OF. A. BITCH.” At least Poitier’s character is a doctor who appears to have assimilated into the majority culture and unlike, say, the black recent winner of a 46th consecutive boxing match without a loss, he understands usage of the verb to be in standard American English.

    I credit Mr. Carr for staying on topic, namely the art and science of getting over via social media in its present state of evolution, when it must have been tempting to drift off tangentially into the sordid money-grubbing role of the NAACP in this story and, as well, the list of other billionaires lining up to buy the Clippers when Sterling is forced to sell his club. We will shortly learn that Oprah has loved basketball since she played it in 6th grade gym class.

    I would like to find a synonym for the word disturbed that more forcefully describes my mental state concerning the free speech ramifications of this scandal. I mean, honestly, despite their for-public-consumption liberal hearts don’t most old white billionaires actually harbor sentiments similar to Donald Sterling’s? Wouldn’t they metaphorically sh*t their pants if a daughter, say, was seen seriously and publically connected to a black man?

    • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

      As they should. I mean how many Black guys brought home to dinner are going to be doctors? Basically, to date a Black show that the White in question is some kind of freak, probably sexual in addition to whatever else.

      Another Poitier propaganda movie was To Sir With Love. Generations of White Women were inculcated with the idea of Blacks as intelligent, caring, and sensitive – far more than Brutish White Men. And of course Romero’s first Zombie movie showed the same thing.

    • Florida Power May 6, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

      Ah yes, the original “Can’t We All Get Along” narrative that landed just a bit late, though we still harbored memories then of white-shirted Negro students wearing horn-rim glasses and jackets and ties looking back over their shoulder toward the cameras whilst sitting un-served at the Woolworth counter. It was all so innocent and, as it turned out, unreal. No, they were not then, nor did they wish to be, white men in black skin.

      We probably missed an opportunity back in those days. If only The Great Society had not got in the way. Forget Peak Corruption. We have achieved Peak Absurdity.

      • BackRowHeckler May 6, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

        Book released today ‘A troublesome Inheritance’, by NYTimes science writer Nicholas Wade delves into racial differences as determined by genetics, until now a forbidden subject. Needless to say, its more than skin deep, or so claims Wade. There is a good review of the book in last weekends Wall Street Journal.


      • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

        President Johnson said, I’ll have those niggers voting Democrat for the next 200 hundred years. What Democrat party strategist could say no to that? So America’s die was cast and landed in the Death zone.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 6, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

      Would you hit that? Or does she look like too much of a tranny? Or do you not “discriminate”?

  40. contrahend May 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Therefore, alternative energy supplies are not resources because they cannot be economically exploited.

    this must be the most laffable thing ive heard in a long while.

    sorry theres no reasoning with you when you dismiss $300+ million economic bets on actual alt energy installations that power 100,000 houses as insignificant. how wrong do you have to be to admit youre wrong? will a trillion investment in alt energy convince you these sources are economically viable?

    this is reality. you typically dismiss these real world profitable alt energy successes with a trite waive of the hand, as they make mockery of your agrument that because the cost of the alternative energy supplies precludes their use.

    Sunpower Inc. is building a $200 million UNSUBSIDIZED solar power plant , and a $315 million solar power plant on top of that. We are up to a HALF BILLION dollars that says you are wrong – dead wrong. and thats just one company.

    but to you, $200 million is just worthy of saying $200 million being spent in Chile wow.

    like, get an argument, instead of falling back the wow word for effect.

    would billions be spent if these energy source were cost prohibitive? check your math and logic. companies dont throw billions around unless theyre making money on it.

    Our oil problem is being chipped away at on a grand scale.

    nevertheless, we salute you as we soar in a grand rocketing arch of science and technology over your doubts and fears, on our way into a future of superabundance


    • K-Dog May 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

      $300+ million economic bets

      Lets see:

      313.9 million [ United States population (2012) ]

      That works out to $ 0.96 cents a person (rounding up).

      $19.95 [ A 36 count box of Hershey bars. ]

      That works out to $ 0.56 for each chocolate bar.

      And .96 / .56 ~= 1.75 [ ( ~= ) is approximately equal to ]

      So a $300 million economic bet is the same as buying almost two Hershey bars for everyone in the country.

      That will sure solve our energy problems!

  41. BackRowHeckler May 7, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    Hey Q your back. I notice down at Rutgers, your esteemed state university, students and faculty have dis invited war criminal Condi Rice from speaking at this year’s commencement ceremony. That gracious woman has accepted it magnanimously. I wonder who will replace her? Bill Ayers? Angela Davis? Some other retro Marxist slug? Combined with the events at Brandies, Harvard and Dartmouth this season, what political crapholes these universities have devolved into.


    • K-Dog May 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      They should probably go with Kim Kardashian or her mom.

  42. volodya May 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Q, I think they wouldn’t just “metaphorically” shit their pants.

    You know, when you marry someone you marry the whole damn family. I know, it’s terribly old fashioned to talk like this but the hormonal high wears off and the two besotted come to their senses. There’s practicalities to consider like what about relations between the two sets of relatives. Because in most cases there’s eventually grand kids.

    Given the long nasty history and mutual loathing I’m not so sure that the reaction of black parents would be any better if their kid brought home a white boyfriend or girlfriend.

    Never mind race, what about when the two sides come from different economic castes? You’ve seen it, the chick’s dad is a Mercedes driving doctor, the boy’s father is a truck driver. Never mind boy-girl met at university, that they’re of like mind, that boyfriend is a striver and upwardly mobile. Never mind all those other worthy considerations, what happens when the two sides get together? Can you picture it, one side cruises up in a shiny, purring marvel of teutonic workmanship, the other rattles up in a sputtering GM P.O.S.

    BRH, I wouldn’t put too much stock in what genetic science says on the issue of race. At least not yet. As one geneticist says, the dirty little secret is that nobody really understands, except maybe in a general sense, how you go from a DNA molecule to a functioning organism. Nature doesn’t easily cough up its secrets especially at the molecular level.

    Beware those people that like to shut down issues by unsheathing this “settled science” stuff. You’ve heard it, climate change is settled science, evolution is settled science.

    It seems to me that when that happens and people get up on their high horse and talk about “data” and “evidence” and settled science, it’s not even slightly about that but entirely about politics.

    • Janos Skorenzy May 7, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

      Well the actual genetic combinations might still be up in the air, but performance and IQ is not: Blacks are very low on the totem pole. Having your child marry one means a dark future in more ways than one.

      And do you think our fearless seekers of truth want the the genetics exposed? Al contraire, they persecuted Dr Lahn who was on the track until he dropped his whole line of research. Human equality is the “metaphysic” of our current order, and they (you) will like, cheat, steal, and kill to keep it from being repudiated.

      • K-Dog May 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

        Returning to your Meet-Up quandary lets discuss your genetic combination. You missed an opportunity you will never have again because you were slow, not quick enough to appreciate the offer. Once she made herself available it was up to you and your inaction amounts to rejection. She took it as a rejection of her at a deep and personal level so you are never going to tap it no matter what you do.

        • Janos Skorenzy May 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

          Ah, now you respond. You have revealed yourself Kdog San! I ask for aid and you ignore me, but I talk about race and you try to use my question against me. You are really stretching. Good. You are beginning to get desperate and Enlightenment cannot happen until this quality manifests in the mind stream.

          On the moral level, not so good of course. As Christ said, what father would give his son a stone if he asked for bread, or a snake if he asked for fish. But no matter, I can live with it. I’m sure it’s mostly a function of your desperation – that’s the main thing.

          And no I haven’t blown it with the girl as I could still call her if I wanted to – which I don’t as I already made clear. I have high standards in this realm as I do in so many others. Or I might still see her if she cares to invite me to the meet up – if she ever intended to do that at all – which was my original question to you since this format is new to me. She’s a professor of Computer Science so you might be interested. Do you want me to give you her email so you can warn her against me?

          Well known N.Y Times science writer believes in race after researching it. Having learned from the Bell Curve fiasco, the priests of Liberalism will probably just try and ignore his work since they will be trounced if they try and debate. Thus Liberalism slides into the abyss with a whimper not a bang. I’ll send you the review later.

          • K-Dog May 9, 2014 at 9:49 am #

            Don’t want her, ha. And the grape harvest will be very sour this year. Play with your bell curves, and contemplate your ‘superiority’. Indulge in your artificial distinctions because her bell you will never ring. No way is she going to let you hit it.

      • Looongerbeard May 8, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

        More Racist Nonsense To Be Ignored!

  43. Reagan May 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    When looking at the size of the earth, say from space, we can see that our cities and such are quite small dots on the globe. We could probably place all the oil wells into one tiny dot. That said, there must be an enormous amount of oil under our feet. I recall my auto mechanic days and we would say “get a bigger hammer” as the sure fix. Why not “get a bigger drill” to go deeper? We have massive construction equipment, absolutely enormous, so why not similar drilling equipment? I know many will say that the cost to the consumer when the oil reaches the pump as gasoline will be too great, but I don’t think that would stop people from purchasing, and private industry would continue to improve and drive the costs down. Now, the fractional reserve banking system and its “money” is, may drive the “federal reserve note” to worthless cotton, but that’s another issue….

  44. contrahend May 7, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    So a $300 million economic bet is the same as buying almost two Hershey bars for everyone in the country.

    you really need to check your math and logic, as i previously encouraged you to do. you can do it if you try.

    per my previous post, this one company, Sunpower, is betting $500 million on the profitability of solar power. For your benefit, i’ll put that in hershey bar perspective for you, since thats your level of understanding:

    that is just ONE of the hundreds of companies betting real dollars on solar/alt energy.

    Total investment in renewable energy reached $257 billion in 2011, up from $211 billion in 2010. According to a 2011 projection by the (IEA) International Energy Agency, solar power generators may produce most of the world’s electricity within 50 years, dramatically reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

    as usual, you lose the debate. that is, if we argue based on facts, and not hershey bars.

    nevertheless, we salute you as we soar high, high above you powered by clean fuel and rocket into a future of superabundance.


    • K-Dog May 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      It’s not always easy to define what exactly is wrong with you, but what ever it is, it’s huge.

      You are so full of it. If there is anything wrong with my math or logic point it out instead of telling me to chase the ball.

    • couscous May 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      kontrahend: “…a future of superabundance.”

      Maybe we should just get the same prescription as this guy and ride the rainbow sh!itting unicorn off the cliff stoned out of our minds?

  45. michigan_native May 8, 2014 at 12:19 am #

    Truly the desperate acts of a dying empire. http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/05/statecraft-or-witchcraft.html

  46. MikeMoskos May 8, 2014 at 3:32 am #

    You know what’s really wrong with the car: it allowed everything to become too big, too concentrated and beyond human scale.

    The worse thing the well-intentioned progressives foisted on the poor was the idea of living in the expensive suburbs. A whole lot of poor people would be far off without those car and lawn expenses.

    • Karah May 8, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      nah, the establishment/state would still find a way to stick it to the majority.

      the suburbs did not become expensive until the manufacturing went overseas along with all the military deployments the cost of extracting tons of oil became dangerously expensive.

      the car, like every other tool, is not bad. it is the people who put the car before the horse that are bad. get it…cart…car…before the horse…not thinking about what happens in between…how we gonna pay for all this?

      motorized vehicles have a place in a strictly confined future.

  47. Arn Varnold May 8, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    It’s not always easy to define what exactly is wrong with America, but what ever it is, it’s huge.

    — Roel Ilargi Meijer, The Automatic Earth.com

    Hi James, great post this week. I want more podcasts; a strong suit of yours.
    What is abundantly apparent is that the stupid is very, very, strong in America and the western world in general.

    Nicole Foss and Roel Ilargi Meijer over at AE are great and Foss’ talks are not to be missed. That’s one savvy team…

  48. dweebus May 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm #


    “…the immersive Kardashian celebrity twerking sleaze, the downward spiral of the floundering classes into pizza and Pepsi induced obesity, methedrine psychosis, and tattooed savagery, and the thick patina of public relations dishonesty that coats all of it like some toxic bacterial overgrowth. The dwindling life of our nation, where anything goes and nothing matters.”

    This is taking the art of simile to a new level. Well done!

    Can anyone dispute that we are blithely rolling down the Seneca Cliff? Fuck! The question now is MISDIAGNOSIS and the ramifications that result from that.


  49. volodya May 8, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    K-dog, don’t bark at trolls. Good dog.

  50. contrahend May 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    If there is anything wrong with my math or logic point it out instead of telling me to chase the ball.

    i did, i pointed out that Sunpower is spending $500 million on profitable solar power plants when you claim alt energy is uneconomical. why cant you see the obvious error you make in this context?

    money talks, and bs endworlders dont like it when progress makes a fool of their nonsense.

    Sunpower is just one of hundreds of al energy companies.

    i then pointed out that almost $300 billion was spent on renewable energy in 2011.

    your math/logic claimed alt energy is economically unsustainable, viz . your quote:

    Therefore, alternative energy supplies are not resources because they cannot be economically exploited.

    sorry, you lose badly, again. Sunpower put up $500 million precisely because alt energy can be economically exploited.

    $200 million of that is unsubsidized – do you grasp what unsubsidized means in this context? it means the power pays for itself and then produces a profit, all on its own without government supports.

    explain how that equates to ‘cannot be economically exploited’.

    no doubt volodya will chime in with an admonition to not bark at trolls.

    such is the calibre of your (plural) arguments, i.e. little to none.

    sorry to point out the wholly erroneous premise of energy descent, but its a fact of life. we long ago entered the era of energy ASCENT.

    declining whale oil, firewood, coal, oil supplies etc. have always been overcome and always will be overcome by Western scientific exploration, discovery and technology that allows the utilization of alternative energy sources.

    this is one of the major reasons why the alt energy movement exists in the first place, and has made enormous progress in the past 50 years.

    once again, for your benefit i will point out that Stanford has stated that all the solar power modules produced in the world are now net energy positive – thanks to declining costs and rising efficiency.

    so…..sunlight is now providing more energy via solar panels than the energy used to produce said panels. sounds like a plan to me.

    now, tell us once again how $300 billion and Stanford scientists are all dead wrong, go ahead, we need a good laugh.

    make sure once again not to include any scientific refutation of the above, since you rarely to never do. that speaks volumes as to the quality of this so-called energy board.


    • K-Dog May 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      The bottom line of your endless spew of nonsense comes down to the simple fact that the amount being spent on alternative energies is inconsequential considering the energy needs of society as it is currently constituted. Spend ten times the money on alternative energies currently being spent now and you still will not have anything close to the capacity needed to supply the energy needs of a happy motoring low low price big box economy like we have now.

      Even it it were possible to build the an alternative energy infrastructure for America which it is not. The end result would be energy priced too high for general use. Not that it would matter because there would be no jobs to fund energy purchases of any kind because by then with conventional economics as it is practised and WORSHIPPED in America everyone will be unemployed. Conventional economics and thinking will never get us to a future of superabundance and this means we are not going to get there. The ‘wisdom’ of the markets is simply not wise enough and alternative energies will never be able to supply a Three thousand mile Caesar Salad at a price anyone can afford.

      With a word population now over 7 billion spending $500 million, 1 billion, 10 billion or even 100 billion on alternative energies would not be enough to solve our energy needs. What we are spending now amounts to squat.

      You posit that science all by itself can somehow get us to a glorious future of plenty. The fact is that science, which you actually have a poor understanding of has very hard limits that can’t be violated and we shall soon all be experiencing these limits first hand. Further science must always be implemented with responsibility and forethought to be useful in any way and so for its record is beyond dismal.

      • K-Dog May 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        so far its record is beyond dismal.

  51. contrahend May 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Maybe we should just get the same prescription as this guy and ride the rainbow sh!itting unicorn off the cliff stoned out of our minds?

    jokes on you pal, what do you call access to unlimited food, entertainment, travel, healthcare, knowledge (think internet), paralysed people literally moving their limbs again, extremely long life spans , miracle drugs, the eradiction of most diseases etc., virtually unlimited amounts of leisure time and a life of ease unfathomable to our forbears ? they would roundly clap your ears for your ignorance.

    naturally, being an endworlder you have nothing factual to offer and blindly follow dark imaginings into a never occurring dead-end.

    hows that dow 4000 and your gold/silver working out for you?


    • K-Dog May 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      As a page has turned you my have missed my response to you.

      Or is that why you turned the page?

    • ozone May 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

      Okay then, “pal”, why don’t you give us a little clue as to why you continually use these spaces for your rainbow-shitting-unicorn posts?

      Are you trying to provide a public service by implying that JHK’s essays are the imaginings of a wild-eyed, moonbats doomer, so that we won’t be misled and waste our valuable time trying to prepare for a future of serious constraints? (That might be commendable, but your contemptuous tome would indicate otherwise.)

      Are you trying to shut down person-to-person discussion of what directions our current trajectories may be taking us in (for fear of your many jeeringly snide sidetracks)?

      Are you being paid to disrupt this blog?

      Are you lying or just hoping that what you write will come true so that you’ll be spared any pain or effort?

      Something else, or do you simply enjoy pissing on a person’s leg while telling them it’s raining?

      Some of us really want to understand your motives; others would like to allay their suspicions; yet others (like myself) don’t think you’re bringing anything worthwhile to the discussion, because cornucopian rot would be entirely beside the point of any kind of practical preparations for doing things ourselves. (I mean, if everything is going to be so peachy, and provided by a caring central gov’t., why bestir ourselves?) Who are you trying to convince of what?

      This would be about as off-topic as one can get, and I apologize for that, but it’s a little mystery that you could easily clear up while reducing the amount of crankiness your posts always seem to whip up. I won’t pursue this any further than simply watching for a hint as to the monumental amount of verbiage.

  52. FincaInTheMountains May 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    China mulls high-speed train to US


    China is considering building a high-speed railway across the Siberia and Bering Strait to Alaska, across Canada to the US. In not so distant future, people can take the train from China to the US, according to Beijing Times Thursday citing Wang Mengshu, a railway expert and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
    The proposed journey will start from China’s northeast region, cross Siberia to Bering Strait, and run across the Pacific Ocean by undersea tunnel to reach Alaska, from Alaska to Canada, then on to its final destination, the US. To cross Bering Strait will require approximately 200km undersea tunnel, the technology, which is already in place will also be used on Fujian to Taiwan high-speed railway tunnel. The project will be funded and constructed by China. The details of this project are yet to be finalized.

    Good example of positive thinking. I doubt that the future train will be powered by solar panels.

    • K-Dog May 9, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      Positive thinking or just another lullaby; regardless, solar panels will not be used, I agree.

      • FincaInTheMountains May 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

        How come connecting 3 continents (Europe could be linked in as well over Transiberian line) in a single railway system is a “lullaby”?

        That is exactly what the world needs – some challenging projects.

        To me building Orlov’s “sustainable green communities” is a lullaby.

  53. FincaInTheMountains May 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    The biggest problem with photovoltic solar panels is that they have a very little energy density – amount of power that could be produced per unit of time per square mile.

    Historically, humanity has moved from lower energy density – such as wood burning – to coal, oil and finally nuclear energy – highest of all.

    We already have working technology to build very safe nuclear reactors working on plentiful U238 or Thorium – we just lack political will to build them.

    Besides, one of the technology to burn U238/Thorium requires use of the special accelerator (already in existence) with an interesting side effects – it could be used to detonate the nuclear reactor of an air carrier.

  54. progress4what May 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    I haven’t commented in a while, so thanks for the last two or three week’s work, JHK.

    I’ll add an addendum to a famous phrase of yours, “Anything goes, nothing matters, and nothing important changes.”

    But I did find an interesting link to share:

    It’s pretty long, and pretty old. But – many of the author’s predictions are already coming true. Many of the rest of them are sure to follow.

  55. progress4what May 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    I see we’re down to just one troll these days. That’s an improvement.
    Ozone, you ask good questions. I doubt “he” will answer you though, whether from Brazil or elsewhere.

    And BRH, I doubt that’s the real Q. Someone was bragging that he had stolen Q’s identity and used it on other websites. Now he’s using it here, it would appear.

    There are some fscked up individuals using these intertubes, aren’t there?

  56. BackRowHeckler May 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    Dow is setting records daily, yet there is virtually no growth in the overall economy. And how can there be when a barrel of oil costs $100.

    Contrahend is being hammered for being Panglossian, but its a common unquestioned theme in the media and academia, repeated over and over, that oil coal and gas are easily replaceable by ‘renewables’, namely windmills and solar panels. Very smart people, people who should know better, are saying this, for example, the directors of the Stanford U endowment, worth $18 Billion, who announced a divestment from oil and coal companies and investment in sustainable energy. I’m telling you most progressive folks out here think fossil fuels are easily gotten rid of. If you tell them that windmillls, solar panels and hydro amount to only about 8% of generated electricity, they’ll call you a goddam liar and T Party maniac.


    • K-Dog May 10, 2014 at 3:30 am #

      Disgustingly true! Skin deep progressives still imagine a caricature of society as it is currently constituted; they just want a green one they can agree with. Beyond that, change nothing. Snap those fingers and make it so.

      • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

        Man becomes a hobbit. Is this the future? Or merely a transitional stage thereto? And is this future to be the past? He seems to think so. But on the plus side, he displays amazing ingenuity, simplicity, discipline, etc. An admirable person.


        • K-Dog May 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

          Admirable and exquisite. I’m sure he has his foibles; he’s human after all. And he must have a personality that is unusually comfortable with being alone. Taking things to his extreme I’d worry about my horizons being lowered. After all how many times can you watch ‘FARGO’. But a networked community of like minds might find such a lifestyle attractive and that could lead to a satisfying life. You found an example of someone who is living in a world made by hand way ahead of his time.

          I’m going to shock the blog and thank you for your reply. Dan Price is an interesting critter who obviously is not stupid and I suspect, lies not much.

          • Janos Skorenzy May 11, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

            Most American counties wouldn’t allow people to build such a little home. If you dig, you gotta pay even if its your land supposedly. His country is probably east of Eden (the Cascades). In Idaho, you could do something like that in Bonner Country where the Weavers met their doom.

            The Elite are also now pushing ultra-little homes. Have you noticed? Great for the homeless, but are we really going to have to live in even smaller places than this guy does? Survival trumps everything of course – but where does Nature’s necessity end and the Federal opportunism begin?

          • BackRowHeckler May 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

            Only problem is the ladies like to have a hot shower in the place if nothing else. Dan has probably written that part of life off anyway.

            I’ve been running across examples of people off doing their own thing while cataclysmic events rage elsewhere, for example, Granville and James Stuart panning for gold in Montana Territory in the 1860s while the civil war was being fought in the east, and not even being aware of it. And novelist Malcolm Lowry writing his great ‘Under the Volcano’ in a fishing shack on the beach in British Columbia, living with his wife actress Marjorie Bonner, all thru WW2. They weren’t unpatriotic, cowardly or opposed to these wars, no, they just had other stuff to do, that’s all.


  57. volodya May 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    As far as being paid to disrupt this blog, we’ve seen one poster admit to being on the government payroll. Was the admission a lie? Was it a calculated mis-direction?

    Many issues. Some involve legality, some involve propriety and maybe civil rights too. But, assuming there’s government meddling here, what else is it up to? Is it investigating identities of commenters or snooping into their personal affairs or trying to dig up dirt?

    It’s a slippery slope, one foot further down justifies the next. The plea for all infringements is “necessity”.

    Is this undue paranoia? Should we all go back to sleep?

    You may get the impression that I’m more concerned about government agencies diddling around here than non-government. The thing is I’m not so sure where one ends and the other starts.

    Is “government” the enforcement arm of a Manhattan-Wall Street oligarchy? Does it make sense to talk about one being the arm of the other? What if one is the enforcement arm and the other is the financial arm? Then the question is who or what is the controlling “head”?

    Or is this “head” really not one person nor a well defined thing but rather a more amorphous entity, a name-less, face-less association with no fixed membership and a shifting leadership that takes shape and disperses only to take shape again as need arises?

    Or is this thing sitting in plain sight like something gross on a dinner table that all the guests avoid mentioning? You know, like maybe a pubic hair. I mean, what do you do? So everyone pretends to not see it.

    Assuming such a thing exists, what could its raison d’etre be? How about this: the accumulation of money and income away from you and towards them, the same with political power so as to defend what they’ve taken.

    Ever had a skunk that comes to visit your backyard at night? You don’t want to bother it lest it spray you. Government is like that skunk.

    • K-Dog May 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      “What else is it up to? Is it investigating identities of commenters or snooping into their personal affairs or trying to dig up dirt?”

      Ah DUH !

      A dumb dancing elephant that crushes everything that gets in its way.

      Would you really expect them not to use their power? Just flip a switch and monitor the subject’s phone and laptop. Come on, we are talking job security here! Lots of jobs security. Reports, reports, and more reports. Job security and national security, to some the same thing. Watch the fringe elements. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” !

      Or tries to crush what it thinks is in it’s way. Some dogs growl right back when they smell the fragrance of snoops.

  58. Pucker May 11, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Happy Mother’s Day!


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