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And this solemn night a great stillness falls upon the land as the Leviathan of Washington is sent to its room to get its mind straight, and the USA gets on with collapse in earnest. There will be no visions of sugarplums for the Deep Staters as the government enters its induced coma, only premonitions of anarchy and insolvency, and perhaps some dim nostalgia for that golden age when things seemed to work in America. On the plus side of things, this may be the last year of Christmas shaming.  Even the Wokesters of Wokesterdom appear weary and bored with Wokesterism ­— isn’t that a blessing?

I have a theory for what is behind the decline and fall of this once proud and capable country: nobody answers the phone. This one change in consensual social behavior has enabled virtually everyone in authority to evade responsibility for what they do. Corporations especially don’t want to be bothered by their pain-in-the-ass customers with their tedious complaints and demands. Every time I see the smirking face of that quasi-autistic ninny, Bill Gates, I have to wonder why he doesn’t apply a tiny fraction of his gargantuan fortune to hire a few actual humans to answer the phone at Microsoft instead of that insulting tele-robot. I suppose it would hurt his feelings to learn how badly his own products work, especially just after you purchase MS Office — as I had to do last week with the 2019 upgrade — and flounder your way through the maze of protocols to get the damn thing up-and-running.

Forgive the excursion into personal reminiscence, but I remember the time some decades back when I was a 26-year-old reporter on what was then called a newspaper (as opposed to a bulletin of moral instruction from Wokesterdom). I could call just about any company in the land saying I was a reporter for ________ and get the Chief Executive on the phone in a New York minute. (It ain’t bragging if it’s true.) This was the case, of course, for thousands of other reporters on hundreds of newspapers in America. If a story was especially dicey, you could work your way up the whole C-suite food chain collecting all kinds of contradictory, ass-covering information until you got to the Big Orca at the top, and lever his mouth open with what you learned from his underlings. It worked when dealing with the government too. You could lay a line of talk on some receptionist — say, invoking the term “grand jury” ­— and get her boss on the phone pronto. I think it went quite a ways to keeping the people who run things honest.

Woodward and Bernstein could never investigate a case like Watergate under today’s conditions. Deep Throat wouldn’t even answer his phone. The two reporters would find themselves so far up an automated answering tree that they would disappear across an event horizon and find themselves in an alternative universe where Richard Nixon was a relief pitcher for the Montreal Expos and Fred Rogers sat in the Oval Office… and there would be no story to tell. These days, apparently, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee can’t even get a hold of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. They left a message on his phone a few months ago and he hasn’t even deigned to send a text back.

This national telephone quandary is a prime example of the diminishing returns of technology. We’ve spent thirty-odd years and countless billions of dollars computerizing all the phone systems in this country, and then overlaid so many bells and whistles on top of it, and the net effect is that it only made communication worse. Combine that with one of my cardinal rules of human social behavior — that you can’t overstate people’s ability to misunderstand each other — and you might apprehend the darkness we’ve entered.

We’re currently being treated to another playing-out of these diminishing returns of technology in a related realm of communication: financial markets. Go ahead and put algo robots in charge of the system and see how things work out. Today we’re informed in The New York Bulletin of Wokesterdom that “the President’s Working Group” (also known as the Plunge Protection Team) is convening to assess the ongoing damage to stock indexes. The PPT at least is composed of humans. But are the trading algos a fair match for them? I doubt it. I suspect the PPT and the rest of America will discover we’ve blundered into the Sorcerer’s Apprentice scenario, a techno-magical, runaway, recursive feedback-loop fiasco. How odd, though, that this is all happening during the holiest week of the year.

Sleep in heavenly peace tonight, everybody, as Santa makes his way across the rooftops and homeless tarps of our Republic. Your call is important to us!


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Other Books by JHK
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Book 2:
The Witch of Hebron
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Book 3:
A History of the Future
Book 4:
Harrows of Spring
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Geography of Nowhere The Long Emergency
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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

413 Responses to “Merry Christmas to All” Subscribe

  1. Georges1202 December 24, 2018 at 9:52 am #

    Yes, Jim – my favorite fob-off is the now standard “All our agents are currently helping other customers…” and the faux-sincere “We are experiencing high call volume…however we REALLY care about your call” (really? at 4am? EST)

    I have been a Microsoft Engineer since Jesus was a corporal. It was always well known, even among the anointed, that a call to Microsoft was always greeting by a kind of telephone wallet biopsy.

    Have a Merry!

    • shotho December 24, 2018 at 10:12 am #

      I hope he forces the whole damn thing to shutdown.

    • DrTomSchmidt December 24, 2018 at 10:23 am #

      “Of course this shithead never did a thing without $$ in mind”

      Did he run for President to make more money? He did manipulate the media and spend FAR less than Jeb or Hillary. But I don’t think that’s the sense of what you wrote.

    • Anon1970 December 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

      Try getting a hold of Uber on the phone. I found an 800 number by doing a Google search, only to be told by the automatic message system that I would not be allowed to speak to someone or even leave a message. I would have to leave my complaint/questions on Uber’s web site. When i asked for a cancellation fee to be reversed, the best the robots would do for me was to give me a $5 credit on a future ride and still not let me talk to someone.

      My credit card company was much more cooperative. It reversed the cancellation charge after I told them that I had made a good faith effort to get an explanation from a real person. Two weeks later, the only email I have received from Uber was that one of my drivers had given me a 5 out of 5 rating (highest). The Uber robots have not closed my account or if they have, they have not bothered to tell me.

      • DrTomSchmidt December 24, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

        They are the worst. 120 billion dollar market cap is there the IPOis going. Well, guess which stock I am going to short?

        The absolute worst customer service ever.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

        I didn’t even know they a phone number. I thought it was all by app. Or is that what you meant?

    • K-Dog December 24, 2018 at 10:27 pm #

      Like an old time phone-receiver bouncing on its cord this comment falls from the top and finally finds a place on the clusterfuck wall.

      Such is life, Hanging on the telephone.

      Merry Christmas to All

    • K-Dog December 24, 2018 at 10:28 pm #

      I have been a Microsoft Engineer since Jesus was a corporal.

      Ha, you’re busted. They don’t last that long!

  2. Georges1202 December 24, 2018 at 9:54 am #

    The Dow has slipped over 300 points early. The brighter lights are saying that the ‘Santa Claus Rally’ might be in jeopardy.

    You don’t say…

    • Ol' Scratch December 24, 2018 at 10:31 am #

      Great news! It’s a Festivus miracle!

  3. stelmosfire December 24, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    Another one. Not relevant to the blog but one more to the list. My wifes cousin joins the ranks 12/24/2018 Opioid OD. Count as of today. 1. My son, 6/2015 2. Brother in law, 8/2017. 3 Best Friend and music making buddy 12/12. 4.Another good buddy, 06/17. It keeps coming non-stop. Merry Christmas to all my CFN friends!

    • malthuss December 24, 2018 at 10:22 am #

      Sackler family makes the pills.

      • Eoin December 24, 2018 at 11:37 am #

        Yeah, but at least they(Endo, global, Purdue, et al.) answer the phone when you call them.

        Everybody wants to blame the Manufacturer’s , the Sales staff, the Physicians, etc. How come no one talks about people who cannot seem to take their medicine as prescribed, and end up dead ?
        Most folks who take pain meds do so for years without overdosing, not even once.
        The entire “Opioid Epidemic” is nothing more than a distraction.
        In the mid-seventies, it was heroin.
        Eighties, Cocaine, and its burnable form “Crack”.
        Difference between the mid-seventies, and now ?
        Dope is killing White People !
        I hope that the next demon substance can be found quickly so vets in chronic pain can get what they need to keep living, and stop killing themselves when they get taken off their pain medication due to a manufactured “epidemic”.

        • malthuss December 24, 2018 at 12:01 pm #

          You seem very bitter and in a blame the victim stance.
          You even played the race card,

      • aibohphobia December 24, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

        Yes, its a bit mysterious.
        I hear it is still possible to call businesses in China and order bulk Fentanyl powder, which they will ship to anyone with no questions asked. Assuming it is not among the 5% of packages that get even a cursory glance, you too can have the chance to poison and kill thousands of people you don’t know, and maybe some that you do.

        OTOH, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone have a secondary effect on the MDMA receptors in the brain that makes you feel pain more intensely when they wear off– Its just as if they were designed to get people addicted to them….

    • elysianfield December 24, 2018 at 11:33 am #

      St. Elmo,
      Jesus, you have been visited by more than your share of adversity. Take care, remain centered, and stay safe. E

    • wet dog December 24, 2018 at 12:05 pm #

      st.elmo,

      I’m sorry to hear that, especially your son. I only have a small circle of acquaintances, but I know 4 people who have died from opioids in the last year, and a fifth had a stroke from meth. Maybe it’s from a sense of hopelessness? I don’t know.

      Best wishes through Christmas.

      • 100th Avatar December 24, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

        Maybe it’s from building a society not worth caring about because it’s a society that cannot care less.

        We saw and see the physical manifestations.
        Neighborhoods, streets, communities.

        Now we see the manifestation in our awful and low culture and our degraded psyche.

    • SoftStarLight December 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm #

      Sorry to hear about your loss and best wishes to you and your family.

    • TinySolar December 25, 2018 at 7:53 am #

      All these people died! I’m very sorry to hear this stelmos. That’s too many people to lose, especially your son.

      I know that there’s nothing that a stranger from the internet can say to make it better, but I do feel for you man, and I hope you do OK, and find a way to cope with it.

    • Hands4u December 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

      Sorry to hear of you and your family’s losses.

  4. shotho December 24, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    Excess communication is not a good thing. May the technology continue to bedevil and may the satellites fall.
    Complexity will eventually give way to simplicity again. It’s already happening in the financial markets.

    • SoftStarLight December 24, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

      Simple is a lot better.

    • rhys12 December 25, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

      As I get older I have increasing problems dealing with complexity. I believe the same is true for most elderly people. The population generally is aging. So why do they keep making health insurance more and more complex? Do we really need to have the choice of 50 slightly differing plans? I just sent in an application for medicaid for my wife – a 3 inch thick sheaf of paperwork that cost me 4 days of work to find and photocopy. Computers have made it possible for government and corporations to make everything mind-numbingly complex and totally beyond understanding. At the same time, computer makers and programmers can’t standardize the simplest things. As was mentioned above, you can’t call a business and talk to a person without spending 15 minutes wading through a phone tree, and if you do they are in India reading off a script and you can’t understand them or get a useful answer. But at the same time, every telemarketer and robocaller on the planet can call you continually even though you have a cell and are also on the do not call list. Leading to the present situation where I seldom answer my phone unless the person is on my call list and their name pops up. Unfortunately, corporate callers like in health care are always calling from different numbers, so I miss a number of important calls. The lack of interest by phone companies and governments about doing anything at all about this situation is making telephones totally useless. If I wasn’t married I likely wouldn’t even own one.

  5. FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:12 am #

    Merry Christmas Everybody!

    Let the Christmas Spirit cast away the spell put on this great Nation by the old ugly Witch, Bastinda the Great and Terrible, the Wicked Witch of the West!

    • shotho December 24, 2018 at 10:14 am #

      “the Christmas spirit” is called the incarnation of God.

      • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:23 am #

        And dear God, gather all her Flying Monkeys and send the flying away to the Winter Nests located at Gitmo!

        You could start with the biggest, ugliest, with longest tale Flying Monkey Mueller.

        We all under the Mueller’s Hood:

        youtube.com/watch?v=WtAkGmxdYbs&t=75

        • EvelynV December 24, 2018 at 11:34 am #

          Fincain, sir

          Watched the entire video. There is one enormous flaw. Almost forever JHK has been reporting our economy is one gigantic scam being manipulated by “grifters” and blah, blah.

          Your presenter in the video asserts the Fed is just raising interest rates to undo an otherwise great economy just to make Trump look bad.

          Which is it? Jim has been wrong all this time about the un-wholesomeness of our economy or your guy is on his ass.

          • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 11:59 am #

            I said it all along:

            As one would expect, the city of New York is slowly but surely becoming the epicenter of the US civil war, as the Southern District of the New York Federal Prosecutor’s Office is becoming the main headquarters of the Clintonoids’ war with Donald Trump and the war of Clinton Cash against the US Economy.

            kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/sleepwalkers-awoke/#comment-386231

            Just like in 2008, when Hillary Clinton, by denying the bailout funds for Lehman Brothers, arranged a financial catastrophe leading to millions of Americans losing their homes.

            And she did it to settle political scores with Lehman Brothers, which financed the election campaign of Barack Obama (using Bushes family funds, by the way).

          • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

            I bet she didn’t forget to convey the message to all her Flying Monkeys – Short the fuck out of the stock market now!

            To think about it, that makes me think of certain financial escapades of Lil Debbie Snack Packaging – is he in the know?!

          • EvelynV December 24, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

            Sober up Fincain

            In 2008, when Bush was president? …and Hillary was just someone who you fantasized about in hopes of boosting your libido?

          • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

            She managed to organize a substantial Islamist war on American troops in Iraq – and it was during Bush presidency.

            She almost managed to organize a nuclear war between Russia and the United states in August of 2008, when President Bush was away in Olympics in Beijing, by giving orders to Georgian troops to kill Russian Peacekeepers in South Ossetia.

            You underestimate Hillary – she just does not give a flying you know what who’s the President at any given moment.

          • shotho December 24, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

            His guy is on his ass.

      • rhys12 December 25, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

        Yes. The only hope for this failing nation.

  6. thenuttyneutron December 24, 2018 at 10:20 am #

    Jim, STOP paying money to M$!

    I grew tired of their bullshit many years ago and decided to use Open Office after struggling to reinstall M$ Office on my laptop after a HD upgrade.

    openoffice.org/

    This is an Open source project.

    I like Windows 7 but will now move on and never again use a M$ operating system again in my future machines. They got greedy and made using their products a royal pain in the ass. I have had to “verify” my Windows 7 install as being legitimate multiple times despite having used it for the last 10 years on the same Dell laptop with the license sticker on the bottom.

    Why are they pulling this shit on me? Are they upset that I am not upgrading my PC like everyone else? I have only changed the hard drive out to a SSD and installed the maximum allowed amount of memory in it. I also have a USB keyboard plugged in to the laptop and a large 20″ monitor connected to it via HDMI.

    I am using this 10 year old laptop now to type this post. Until the recent “patch” of the Intel CPU bug earlier this year, it was extremely fast and did everything that I needed it to do. It has been slowed down with the patch a bit but I refuse to upgrade for now.

    Fuck M$. I have the license to use the products forever as long as I keep it on this machine.

    I am cheering for Mr. Powell to bring price discovery back into the markets. How in the hell does it benefit us to allow companies to leverage themselves up while buying their own stock? The price of money needs to factored in. We fucked up badly 10 years ago by bailing out the financial system. We should have instead given the TARP money to FDIC and told the major banks to go off and die somewhere. Obama made things worst by not assigning the DOJ to prosecute the bad actors. What incentive is there for people to not behave badly?

    • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:28 am #

      Fuck M$

      Microsoft still chasing bugs they inherited when stealing software from “Digital”.

      And “Digital” stole that software from the Serbian software company, which was one of the reasons to bomb, bomb, bomb Orthodox Serbia to smithereens.

      God will NOT be put to shame!

    • Luhrenloup December 24, 2018 at 11:32 am #

      Have other posters on JHK used openoffice.org/?
      Thoughts?

    • wet dog December 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

      Open Office or Libre Office are pretty solid. For most people (95%), it gets the job done. I use Libre on my Mac and it works well.

      I still have Word 2003 which I use on Windows. It works fine and there’s no ridiculous yearly tax to pay. When I use Word 2016 on the work laptop, it’s barely any improvement, and the ribbons are excessively annoying. MS came up with ribbons because they had nothing left to innovate.

      The constant yearly tax from MS is just to screw you. Looking back from the 90’s, most software has barely improved. That’s how pathetic this industry is. Word 2003 was paid for once, and I never needed anything more. But MS has to milk everyone to death,

    • kapnkirk December 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

      Agreed that there is little reason to buy/use MS Office.

      Regarding OpenOffice, it’s not really supported or being developed for anymore. A well supported option is “LibreOffice” which is a fork off of the same software base from around 2010. I use and recommend LibreOffice all the time.

      I also agree that many versions of Linux (e.g. Linux Mint, Ubuntu) are as good as Windows by now and often easier to install. Main problem is if people want to run Windows specific software (e.g. Quickbooks) they’re kind of stuck keeping a Windows PC around.

      LibreOffice runs beautifully on Linux, so the best of both worlds. And it’s all FREE. (Although nice to give them a donation!)

  7. Sunflower December 24, 2018 at 10:27 am #

    Remember, those calls are now monitored for quality assurance. Who or what is doing the monitoring?

    • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:44 am #

      I know who – the Mueller’s team. They are in charge now, a new, “better” Gestapo.

      • montsegur December 24, 2018 at 11:04 am #

        Well, Fincaln, perhaps you recall the surname of the last chief of the GeStaPo … 😀

        Cheers

        • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 11:10 am #

          The Witches reincarnated Heinrich Müller of the Third Reich to work for them.

          He is no longer human.

  8. Paulo December 24, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Wood and Bern would do just fine investigating these days.

    Follow the leaks, find and follow the money, and accept that it really is that blatant and that bad. Actually, these days the malfeasance is hiding in plain sight and yes, they are all crooks and con artists hoodwinking a cadre of idiots. It is going down in broad daylight.

    Trump will be removed by his own party when the Senate repubs desert him after jan 3rd. Unless he turns turtle and recants.

    Interesting, Justice Reform is done just before the indictments. Even that’s self-serving.

    Note to Donald and family, “Buy vaseline”.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

      So why haven’t they investigated Hillary and the Clinton Foundation? In the end, they’re just Democratic Party hacks like all the rest.

    • revilo December 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm #

      Woodward and Bernstein were just conduits for partisans in the government who wanted to bring down Nixon. Same way Judith Miller was a conduit for those who wanted war in Iraq. These people are literally nothing but stooges who are plugged into the deep state and do their bidding. Friggin Deepthroat didn’t even exist–it was a fictional construct for a lovely tale about our cantankerous 4th estate.

      • S M Tenneshaw December 28, 2018 at 8:50 am #

        Yeah, right. Nutsie Nixie was a true blue patriot, haw haw haw.

  9. akmofo December 24, 2018 at 10:38 am #

    ..Wokesters of Wokesterdom appear weary and bored with Wokesterism..
    ==

    Maybe it’s because they sense, and some even know, that they are really programmed automatons in a scripted fake theater. Where nothing is real, except Vatican Romanism in all its variations: from Fascism to Corporatism to Nazism to Communism to Socialism to Globalism to Imperialism to Statism, and all the other mutations of Central Control and Command. Of-course, what is REAL is never explicitly or critically on display on the propaganda outlets, except to further the fake scripted PsyOP dialectic of slavery to Caesar.

    Yes, Merry Romanism to All

    • shotho December 24, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

      Who would have thought all of those vaticanistas were so smart?

      • akmofo December 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

        They’re not. They don’t seem to understand basic human psychology. Or maybe they do, but it’s all a deliberate affront to YeHeVeH. Likely it’s a combination of both, along with institutional perseverate.

        Anyway, what they are good at is making people ignorant by poisoning them with deliberate lies and chemical warfare. In the land of the blind the one eye gimps are King.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Georges1202 December 24, 2018 at 9:52 am #

    Yes, Jim – my favorite fob-off is the now standard “All our agents are currently helping other customers…” and the faux-sincere “We are experiencing high call volume…however we REALLY care about your call” (really? at 4am? EST)

    I have been a Microsoft Engineer since Jesus was a corporal. It was always well known, even among the anointed, that a call to Microsoft was always greeting by a kind of telephone wallet biopsy.

    Have a Merry!

    • shotho December 24, 2018 at 10:12 am #

      I hope he forces the whole damn thing to shutdown.

    • DrTomSchmidt December 24, 2018 at 10:23 am #

      “Of course this shithead never did a thing without $$ in mind”

      Did he run for President to make more money? He did manipulate the media and spend FAR less than Jeb or Hillary. But I don’t think that’s the sense of what you wrote.

    • Anon1970 December 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

      Try getting a hold of Uber on the phone. I found an 800 number by doing a Google search, only to be told by the automatic message system that I would not be allowed to speak to someone or even leave a message. I would have to leave my complaint/questions on Uber’s web site. When i asked for a cancellation fee to be reversed, the best the robots would do for me was to give me a $5 credit on a future ride and still not let me talk to someone.

      My credit card company was much more cooperative. It reversed the cancellation charge after I told them that I had made a good faith effort to get an explanation from a real person. Two weeks later, the only email I have received from Uber was that one of my drivers had given me a 5 out of 5 rating (highest). The Uber robots have not closed my account or if they have, they have not bothered to tell me.

      • DrTomSchmidt December 24, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

        They are the worst. 120 billion dollar market cap is there the IPOis going. Well, guess which stock I am going to short?

        The absolute worst customer service ever.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

        I didn’t even know they a phone number. I thought it was all by app. Or is that what you meant?

    • K-Dog December 24, 2018 at 10:27 pm #

      Like an old time phone-receiver bouncing on its cord this comment falls from the top and finally finds a place on the clusterfuck wall.

      Such is life, Hanging on the telephone.

      Merry Christmas to All

    • K-Dog December 24, 2018 at 10:28 pm #

      I have been a Microsoft Engineer since Jesus was a corporal.

      Ha, you’re busted. They don’t last that long!

  2. Georges1202 December 24, 2018 at 9:54 am #

    The Dow has slipped over 300 points early. The brighter lights are saying that the ‘Santa Claus Rally’ might be in jeopardy.

    You don’t say…

    • Ol' Scratch December 24, 2018 at 10:31 am #

      Great news! It’s a Festivus miracle!

  3. stelmosfire December 24, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    Another one. Not relevant to the blog but one more to the list. My wifes cousin joins the ranks 12/24/2018 Opioid OD. Count as of today. 1. My son, 6/2015 2. Brother in law, 8/2017. 3 Best Friend and music making buddy 12/12. 4.Another good buddy, 06/17. It keeps coming non-stop. Merry Christmas to all my CFN friends!

    • malthuss December 24, 2018 at 10:22 am #

      Sackler family makes the pills.

      • Eoin December 24, 2018 at 11:37 am #

        Yeah, but at least they(Endo, global, Purdue, et al.) answer the phone when you call them.

        Everybody wants to blame the Manufacturer’s , the Sales staff, the Physicians, etc. How come no one talks about people who cannot seem to take their medicine as prescribed, and end up dead ?
        Most folks who take pain meds do so for years without overdosing, not even once.
        The entire “Opioid Epidemic” is nothing more than a distraction.
        In the mid-seventies, it was heroin.
        Eighties, Cocaine, and its burnable form “Crack”.
        Difference between the mid-seventies, and now ?
        Dope is killing White People !
        I hope that the next demon substance can be found quickly so vets in chronic pain can get what they need to keep living, and stop killing themselves when they get taken off their pain medication due to a manufactured “epidemic”.

        • malthuss December 24, 2018 at 12:01 pm #

          You seem very bitter and in a blame the victim stance.
          You even played the race card,

      • aibohphobia December 24, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

        Yes, its a bit mysterious.
        I hear it is still possible to call businesses in China and order bulk Fentanyl powder, which they will ship to anyone with no questions asked. Assuming it is not among the 5% of packages that get even a cursory glance, you too can have the chance to poison and kill thousands of people you don’t know, and maybe some that you do.

        OTOH, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone have a secondary effect on the MDMA receptors in the brain that makes you feel pain more intensely when they wear off– Its just as if they were designed to get people addicted to them….

    • elysianfield December 24, 2018 at 11:33 am #

      St. Elmo,
      Jesus, you have been visited by more than your share of adversity. Take care, remain centered, and stay safe. E

    • wet dog December 24, 2018 at 12:05 pm #

      st.elmo,

      I’m sorry to hear that, especially your son. I only have a small circle of acquaintances, but I know 4 people who have died from opioids in the last year, and a fifth had a stroke from meth. Maybe it’s from a sense of hopelessness? I don’t know.

      Best wishes through Christmas.

      • 100th Avatar December 24, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

        Maybe it’s from building a society not worth caring about because it’s a society that cannot care less.

        We saw and see the physical manifestations.
        Neighborhoods, streets, communities.

        Now we see the manifestation in our awful and low culture and our degraded psyche.

    • SoftStarLight December 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm #

      Sorry to hear about your loss and best wishes to you and your family.

    • TinySolar December 25, 2018 at 7:53 am #

      All these people died! I’m very sorry to hear this stelmos. That’s too many people to lose, especially your son.

      I know that there’s nothing that a stranger from the internet can say to make it better, but I do feel for you man, and I hope you do OK, and find a way to cope with it.

    • Hands4u December 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

      Sorry to hear of you and your family’s losses.

  4. shotho December 24, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    Excess communication is not a good thing. May the technology continue to bedevil and may the satellites fall.
    Complexity will eventually give way to simplicity again. It’s already happening in the financial markets.

    • SoftStarLight December 24, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

      Simple is a lot better.

    • rhys12 December 25, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

      As I get older I have increasing problems dealing with complexity. I believe the same is true for most elderly people. The population generally is aging. So why do they keep making health insurance more and more complex? Do we really need to have the choice of 50 slightly differing plans? I just sent in an application for medicaid for my wife – a 3 inch thick sheaf of paperwork that cost me 4 days of work to find and photocopy. Computers have made it possible for government and corporations to make everything mind-numbingly complex and totally beyond understanding. At the same time, computer makers and programmers can’t standardize the simplest things. As was mentioned above, you can’t call a business and talk to a person without spending 15 minutes wading through a phone tree, and if you do they are in India reading off a script and you can’t understand them or get a useful answer. But at the same time, every telemarketer and robocaller on the planet can call you continually even though you have a cell and are also on the do not call list. Leading to the present situation where I seldom answer my phone unless the person is on my call list and their name pops up. Unfortunately, corporate callers like in health care are always calling from different numbers, so I miss a number of important calls. The lack of interest by phone companies and governments about doing anything at all about this situation is making telephones totally useless. If I wasn’t married I likely wouldn’t even own one.

  5. FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:12 am #

    Merry Christmas Everybody!

    Let the Christmas Spirit cast away the spell put on this great Nation by the old ugly Witch, Bastinda the Great and Terrible, the Wicked Witch of the West!

    • shotho December 24, 2018 at 10:14 am #

      “the Christmas spirit” is called the incarnation of God.

      • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:23 am #

        And dear God, gather all her Flying Monkeys and send the flying away to the Winter Nests located at Gitmo!

        You could start with the biggest, ugliest, with longest tale Flying Monkey Mueller.

        We all under the Mueller’s Hood:

        youtube.com/watch?v=WtAkGmxdYbs&t=75

        • EvelynV December 24, 2018 at 11:34 am #

          Fincain, sir

          Watched the entire video. There is one enormous flaw. Almost forever JHK has been reporting our economy is one gigantic scam being manipulated by “grifters” and blah, blah.

          Your presenter in the video asserts the Fed is just raising interest rates to undo an otherwise great economy just to make Trump look bad.

          Which is it? Jim has been wrong all this time about the un-wholesomeness of our economy or your guy is on his ass.

          • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 11:59 am #

            I said it all along:

            As one would expect, the city of New York is slowly but surely becoming the epicenter of the US civil war, as the Southern District of the New York Federal Prosecutor’s Office is becoming the main headquarters of the Clintonoids’ war with Donald Trump and the war of Clinton Cash against the US Economy.

            kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/sleepwalkers-awoke/#comment-386231

            Just like in 2008, when Hillary Clinton, by denying the bailout funds for Lehman Brothers, arranged a financial catastrophe leading to millions of Americans losing their homes.

            And she did it to settle political scores with Lehman Brothers, which financed the election campaign of Barack Obama (using Bushes family funds, by the way).

          • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

            I bet she didn’t forget to convey the message to all her Flying Monkeys – Short the fuck out of the stock market now!

            To think about it, that makes me think of certain financial escapades of Lil Debbie Snack Packaging – is he in the know?!

          • EvelynV December 24, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

            Sober up Fincain

            In 2008, when Bush was president? …and Hillary was just someone who you fantasized about in hopes of boosting your libido?

          • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

            She managed to organize a substantial Islamist war on American troops in Iraq – and it was during Bush presidency.

            She almost managed to organize a nuclear war between Russia and the United states in August of 2008, when President Bush was away in Olympics in Beijing, by giving orders to Georgian troops to kill Russian Peacekeepers in South Ossetia.

            You underestimate Hillary – she just does not give a flying you know what who’s the President at any given moment.

          • shotho December 24, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

            His guy is on his ass.

      • rhys12 December 25, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

        Yes. The only hope for this failing nation.

  6. thenuttyneutron December 24, 2018 at 10:20 am #

    Jim, STOP paying money to M$!

    I grew tired of their bullshit many years ago and decided to use Open Office after struggling to reinstall M$ Office on my laptop after a HD upgrade.

    openoffice.org/

    This is an Open source project.

    I like Windows 7 but will now move on and never again use a M$ operating system again in my future machines. They got greedy and made using their products a royal pain in the ass. I have had to “verify” my Windows 7 install as being legitimate multiple times despite having used it for the last 10 years on the same Dell laptop with the license sticker on the bottom.

    Why are they pulling this shit on me? Are they upset that I am not upgrading my PC like everyone else? I have only changed the hard drive out to a SSD and installed the maximum allowed amount of memory in it. I also have a USB keyboard plugged in to the laptop and a large 20″ monitor connected to it via HDMI.

    I am using this 10 year old laptop now to type this post. Until the recent “patch” of the Intel CPU bug earlier this year, it was extremely fast and did everything that I needed it to do. It has been slowed down with the patch a bit but I refuse to upgrade for now.

    Fuck M$. I have the license to use the products forever as long as I keep it on this machine.

    I am cheering for Mr. Powell to bring price discovery back into the markets. How in the hell does it benefit us to allow companies to leverage themselves up while buying their own stock? The price of money needs to factored in. We fucked up badly 10 years ago by bailing out the financial system. We should have instead given the TARP money to FDIC and told the major banks to go off and die somewhere. Obama made things worst by not assigning the DOJ to prosecute the bad actors. What incentive is there for people to not behave badly?

    • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:28 am #

      Fuck M$

      Microsoft still chasing bugs they inherited when stealing software from “Digital”.

      And “Digital” stole that software from the Serbian software company, which was one of the reasons to bomb, bomb, bomb Orthodox Serbia to smithereens.

      God will NOT be put to shame!

    • Luhrenloup December 24, 2018 at 11:32 am #

      Have other posters on JHK used openoffice.org/?
      Thoughts?

    • wet dog December 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

      Open Office or Libre Office are pretty solid. For most people (95%), it gets the job done. I use Libre on my Mac and it works well.

      I still have Word 2003 which I use on Windows. It works fine and there’s no ridiculous yearly tax to pay. When I use Word 2016 on the work laptop, it’s barely any improvement, and the ribbons are excessively annoying. MS came up with ribbons because they had nothing left to innovate.

      The constant yearly tax from MS is just to screw you. Looking back from the 90’s, most software has barely improved. That’s how pathetic this industry is. Word 2003 was paid for once, and I never needed anything more. But MS has to milk everyone to death,

    • kapnkirk December 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

      Agreed that there is little reason to buy/use MS Office.

      Regarding OpenOffice, it’s not really supported or being developed for anymore. A well supported option is “LibreOffice” which is a fork off of the same software base from around 2010. I use and recommend LibreOffice all the time.

      I also agree that many versions of Linux (e.g. Linux Mint, Ubuntu) are as good as Windows by now and often easier to install. Main problem is if people want to run Windows specific software (e.g. Quickbooks) they’re kind of stuck keeping a Windows PC around.

      LibreOffice runs beautifully on Linux, so the best of both worlds. And it’s all FREE. (Although nice to give them a donation!)

  7. Sunflower December 24, 2018 at 10:27 am #

    Remember, those calls are now monitored for quality assurance. Who or what is doing the monitoring?

    • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 10:44 am #

      I know who – the Mueller’s team. They are in charge now, a new, “better” Gestapo.

      • montsegur December 24, 2018 at 11:04 am #

        Well, Fincaln, perhaps you recall the surname of the last chief of the GeStaPo … 😀

        Cheers

        • FincaInTheMountains December 24, 2018 at 11:10 am #

          The Witches reincarnated Heinrich Müller of the Third Reich to work for them.

          He is no longer human.

  8. Paulo December 24, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Wood and Bern would do just fine investigating these days.

    Follow the leaks, find and follow the money, and accept that it really is that blatant and that bad. Actually, these days the malfeasance is hiding in plain sight and yes, they are all crooks and con artists hoodwinking a cadre of idiots. It is going down in broad daylight.

    Trump will be removed by his own party when the Senate repubs desert him after jan 3rd. Unless he turns turtle and recants.

    Interesting, Justice Reform is done just before the indictments. Even that’s self-serving.

    Note to Donald and family, “Buy vaseline”.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

      So why haven’t they investigated Hillary and the Clinton Foundation? In the end, they’re just Democratic Party hacks like all the rest.

    • revilo December 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm #

      Woodward and Bernstein were just conduits for partisans in the government who wanted to bring down Nixon. Same way Judith Miller was a conduit for those who wanted war in Iraq. These people are literally nothing but stooges who are plugged into the deep state and do their bidding. Friggin Deepthroat didn’t even exist–it was a fictional construct for a lovely tale about our cantankerous 4th estate.

      • S M Tenneshaw December 28, 2018 at 8:50 am #

        Yeah, right. Nutsie Nixie was a true blue patriot, haw haw haw.

  9. akmofo December 24, 2018 at 10:38 am #

    ..Wokesters of Wokesterdom appear weary and bored with Wokesterism..
    ==

    Maybe it’s because they sense, and some even know, that they are really programmed automatons in a scripted fake theater. Where nothing is real, except Vatican Romanism in all its variations: from Fascism to Corporatism to Nazism to Communism to Socialism to Globalism to Imperialism to Statism, and all the other mutations of Central Control and Command. Of-course, what is REAL is never explicitly or critically on display on the propaganda outlets, except to further the fake scripted PsyOP dialectic of slavery to Caesar.

    Yes, Merry Romanism to All

    • shotho December 24, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

      Who would have thought all of those vaticanistas were so smart?

      • akmofo December 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

        They’re not. They don’t seem to understand basic human psychology. Or maybe they do, but it’s all a deliberate affront to YeHeVeH. Likely it’s a combination of both, along with institutional perseverate.

        Anyway, what they are good at is making people ignorant by poisoning them with deliberate lies and chemical warfare. In the land of the blind the one eye gimps are King.

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