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Out of Darkness

     If the Devil created an anti-city, a place where people would feel least human, Atlanta would surely be that place — despite the prayerful babble of tongues emanating from the evangelical roller rinks at every freeway off-ramp. One might think: Los Angeles, but that city at least came up with the amenity of valet parking, mostly lacking in Atlanta, where the suffocating heat slows the journey of blood from heart to brain.
     My homeys, the New Urbanists, held their annual meeting at the “downtown” Hilton there this past week — a most mysterious selection, perhaps due to an x-treme discount on room rates in a time of austerity. The New Urbanists first came together about twenty years ago as a campaign to reform the tragic fiasco of suburbia. By taking this on they were often labeled as enemies of the American Way Of Life and Christian Decency, but they are a valiant band. I’d guess that architects composed about two-thirds of the org and the rest included developers, planning officials, a few college professors and journalists. They were all out of the mainstream, especially of architecture, whose stock-in-trade had become the emperors new clothes.
     The basic idea behind the New Urbanism was that the quality and character of the places where we spend our lives matters, and that the surrender of the entire American landscape to Happy Motoring was an historic aberration that had to be corrected if the USA was going to continue as a viable project. Among other things, they noticed that if people live in places that aren’t worth caring about, sooner or later they end up being a nation not worth defending — and this is on top of the daily personal punishments suffered by hundreds of millions of people dwelling in a geography of nowhere.
     At the time they first got going, the idea of peak oil barely existed outside a small circle of geologists, so the battles were fought mostly on other grounds. They were up against a lot. The collective American identity was invested in the idea of the suburban utopia, and the sheer dollar investments in the infrastructure of it all — everything from the interstate highways to the housing subdivisions to the strip malls — was so massive that nobody wanted to think about changing it. What’s more, a massive system had evolved for delivering what came to be labeled as suburban sprawl, especially the laws that regulated land-use, so that in most places in the USA it was illegal to build anything else but sprawl.
     The New Urbanists were fiercely opposed, usually for stupid reasons by stupid people, but also by the mandarin architecture establishment, especially in the grad schools, where mysticism supported a set of theological rackets in the service of celebrity cults divorced from the public nature of things that get built. In the local planning boards, the New Urbanists were accused of being communists; in the ivory towers they were accused of being slaves to worn-out traditions — like walking from home to work. They certainly proved one principle of the human condition: that even the best ideas will generate opposition.
     The New Urbanists had to work within this system. They had to find allies among developers who aspired to create better places, and they had to get under the hood of regulatory system to rewrite the laws in thousands of municipalities. They got a lot of projects built, new neighborhoods and even whole new towns. Many of these places came out beautifully. Some of them were badly compromised in the fight to get them built. Some of them were rip-offs that amounted to little more than the usual suburban schlock with a little window-dressing.
      It’s a bitter irony that the most ambitious New Urbanist projects were made possible within the context of the housing bubble economy. For about a decade money seemed to grow on trees. Most of that money went into conventional suburban crapola and a small percentage of it went into New Urbanist projects, but when the bubble burst, it crushed all the players, regardless of the ultimate social value of what they produced.
     I heard a lot of stories during the meeting in Atlanta last week but one really stood out. It was about the money and revealed a lot about what is going on in our banking system these days. A New Urbanist developer had gotten a small project going for a traditional neighborhood. Despite the global financial clusterfuck, the developer was able to meet the payments of his commercial loan.  But the FDIC sent bank examiners around America and they told the small regional banks that if they had more than twenty percent of their loans in commercial real estate (CRE) they would be put out of business. The banks were ordered to reduce their loads of CRE by calling in the loans and liquidating the assets. Ironically, the banks only called in their “performing” loans, the ones that were being regularly paid off, because they were ignoring and even concealing the ones that weren’t being paid. 
     The developer in question had his loan called in when the FDIC descended on his bank. He couldn’t pay off the $3 million in one lump, of course. The FDIC’s agents are going to seize and sell off his project if he can’t get it refinanced in short order.  He can’t get it refinanced because there is now such a shortage of capital in the banking system that no one can get a loan for anything. Also, since it is now well-known that the bank failed, the vultures are circling above his project hoping to buy it for a discount, so even the few private investors who have money won’t throw him a lifeline. By the way, the FDIC agents told him they are doing this because they now expect that virtually all commercial real estate loans in the USA will fail in the months ahead. Pretty scary story, huh?  And he was one of the good guys.
      I suppose it was a tragic thing that the New Urbanists made themselves hostage to the same banking system that was behind suburban sprawl. Apart from the personal stories of misfortune among them, the movement is still alive. In fact, they have emerged the victors in the long contest over how America will build itself, because it is now self-evident that suburban sprawl is an epic failure. Whether Americans like it or not, whether their identity is tied up in the suburban fantasy or not, we are faced with circumstances that now compel us to live differently. 
     Among other things, the most forward-looking leaders in the New Urbanist movement now recognize that we have to reorganize the landscape for local food production, because industrial agriculture will be one of the prime victims of our oil predicament. The successful places in the future will be places that have a meaningful relationship with growing food close to home. The crisis in agriculture is looming right now — with world grain reserves at their lowest level ever recorded in modern times — and when it really does hit, the harvestmen of famine and death will be in the front ranks of it.
     This eighteenth Congress of the New Urbanism was held in the shadow of a banking system in extreme crisis and an epic ecological catastrophe brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. The three crisis of capital, energy, and global ecology will now determine what we do, not the polls or the marketing analyses or the whims of “consumers.” The great achievement of the New Urbanists was not the projects they built during the final orgasm of the cheap energy orgy. It was the knowledge they retrieved from the dumpster of history. We really do know where to go from here.  Whether the people of the USA have the will to take themselves there now is another issue.
     Also in the background of this Congress was the bizarre organism of Atlanta, which represents in so many ways the beh
avior that can’t continue in this country if we are going to remain civilized. A prankish destiny put us in the worst place at the worst time and the next time we meet America is going to be a different country.


A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. The title is The Witch of Hebron.
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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 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.

276 Responses to “Out of Darkness”

  1. Joe May 24, 2010 at 9:43 am #


  2. GoldSubject May 24, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    The suburban sprawl is definitely a nightmare. I experienced its full oppression in the San Fernando Valley last year and will never, ever go back. Walkable communities are the only way forward, which means that a lot of undoing lies ahead.

  3. indyamerican May 24, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    My opinion is that the US has some big changes to go through in order to get to a better future. Sustainability, Dynamicism, A strong manufacturing sector, Personal Responsibility. Until we see a return of these areas to primacy, we are in trouble. The key point is that we really don’t have a choice, either we adapt and become a successful country again, or we will continue to decline.

  4. jimbolio May 24, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks for another great article, Mr. Kunstler. I look forward to Monday mornings to read the latest.

  5. dufusgufus May 24, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Atlanta has serious competition. I live in the suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth, the so-called metroplex. I drive 25,000 miles a year just shoveling kids around and getting to and from work. It’s a soul-destroying, mind-numbing, back-breaking, butt-pinching, endless and expensive grind. The folks around here still buy homes because of the schools and not because of work location. Then they buy big cars to protect themselves on the freeways. It’s a crazy world when you have to drive two miles in a 5,000 pound car for a loaf of bread. Watch for big changes, big creeping changes.

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  6. Andrew MacDonald May 24, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    The psychological (and emotional) pressures that the New Urbanists were under were no doubt extreme, not to mention the financial hits they took when solid ideas were passed over for opportunistic ones.
    That same pressure’s on us all now and it’s harder – and ever more foolish – to hide. To boot, the challenges extend far beneath the banking system too, to real possibilities of ecological ruin. Yikes!

  7. DJL May 24, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Please shout out if you get a speaking gig in Madison, WI or nearby. I have people reading your site, every Monday A.M. and a lessor number listing to the Kunstler Cast. Madison has many of your suburban problems, but also many offsetting virtues (like most places in the US, those are older sections of town).
    We grow a lot of organic food in the near outlying rural areas. As this is a very fertile place to grow many things, and as the population is only moderate, we ought to be able to get by relatively well. We’ve invested in bike transit to a large extent, especially for such a harsh winter climate. We have a good chance of connecting with old-fashioned rail to Milwaukee and then to Chicago soon. Plans are also in motion to do the same to NW Wisconsin on to Minneapolis. Throw in a another 4-5 Nuke plants on Lake Michigan and the Mississippi… and we should have a pat hand to play.
    I think the old Great Lakes and NW Territories will in general be a Good Place to Ride the Coming Storm Out. Non-perishable produce could easily be shipped by lake freighter to Western NY and down to NY City via the Canal and the Hudson river, plus much of the denser areas of Canada are along that route to the Maritime Provinces. Altogether that’s a hell of a market. Might need an inland Navy of some sort to control opportunists… As for land based threats we are literally as heavily armed as any civilian group in the US. Formal gun clubs exist just about everywhere. Order has a good chance to be maintained. But no doubt tight sphincter days are coming.
    It might be hard to hold the entire nation together. But manifest destiny has never been compelling to me. Splitting up for a while or longer doesn’t scare me. That’s how much of Canada was established after the Revolutionary War. It worked out just fine.

  8. katnip kid May 24, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    I can’t speak for the San Fernando Valley, but I had the unfortunate opportunity to be in Bradenton, Florida earlier this year. Now there is a motoring nightmare. On the bright side, the region is flat, and could be more walkable.

  9. Lynn Shwadchuck May 24, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    It would be nice to believe that the resource supply chain and the banking system could magically dismantle all the suburbs and replicate Saratoga Springs across the continent. I think we’ll have to make do with growing some existing villages and campaigning for more bike-friendly cities. And that looming famine? It’s time to stop feeding ourselves addictively and get down to basics.
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  10. curmedgeon May 24, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Indyamerican talked of a “return” to old values. I don’t think there’s much of a “return” to go to. Venality and corruption have been part of the landscape since day one in this country, but you have to search in the cracks of history books to find it…
    One place you can read all about it is in Marc Reisner’s excellent “Cadillac Desert” which details the early days of L.A..
    But, back to this weeks’ article. Atlanta, bigger than, but similarly structured to other southern metroplexes, is entirely a construct of the FIRE economy. When you fly in over the vast wasteland of simmering suburbs of cardboard houses and ticky tack malls, you see the kernel of the old downtown and what you see is the old city of roosterpoot….fair city of “Crackerstan”
    It reminds me of the early days of my late marriage 30 years ago. My wife came from a mining hollow off the Kanawha River in West Virginia. The little community was strung out along a creek and like most of West Virginia was “Unincorporated” and had built up in an ad hoc fashion with no zoning or building codes. One of the denizens of the place was a fellow who owned a roadhouse out on route 60 and had made money from it and whatever shady activities it fostered, and he had built himself his own version of Graceland. But this Graceland had been built in stages so that it was an irregular sprawl with some of it one story and some of it two. The larger central module was amusing because at the rear of it one end of the mobile home that had been its origination point still stuck out of the 2 story house that had engulfed it. The house was famous in that hollow for the extent of and vulgarity of its external decor, especially during Christmas light season.. Atlanta is just like that house was…

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  11. urbanfarmer76 May 24, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Good Morning
    I feel my commentary and question is revelant to Jim’s experience in Atlanta. My family has lived in the DFW area for over 30 years now. I am currently living in the Bay Area. I have been greatly effected by the California meltdown. I have hung on for over a year but it seems the writing is on the wall. The only tragedy is that my only financial option is to move back to Dallas. I think the worst possible place to be in the coming years. I would like some feedback if you guys have any. Hard to leave the Petaluma area with farming and a walkable town center. Just limited cash. Thanks

  12. empirestatebuilding May 24, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    I was raised in the cradle of suburbia,Long Island, NY. I came up in the salad days, the 70’s and 80’s. In the 90’s and 00’s the kept cramming more and more high ranch houses onto smaller and smaller lots. No one here would believe a word JHK says. They still think it is paradise.
    There used to be farms for miles around. Now the farms are tourist attractions.
    I don’t now where to go or what to do. I might just take my lawn chair to the roof and watch the asteroid approach, so to speak.
    Aimlow Joe was here.

  13. diogen May 24, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    >And that looming famine?
    Lynn, there will be no famine in any area of the U.S. where there’s water for irrigating backyard gardens and small farms. Although Kunstler makes many good points about the flaws of the American suburban model, one good thing about it that most city dwellers have at least 1/4 acre, and some have as much as 1-2 acres or even more. All this acreage is producing lawn grass now, but can be relatively quickly converted to growing food. I know folks who grow more food than a family of four can eat during the summer on a 20×30 ft garden plot.
    In contrast, city dwellers in traditional European cities living in apartment buildings are at complete mercy of someone else to feed them. True, they have much MUCH better transportation options, but sensible transport can be developed in existing American urban settings, whereas most residents of Madrid, or Rome, or Frankfurt or London will NEVER have 1/4 acre to grow food for their family. Land ownership is the ultimate democracy. When fossil fuel mass stupidity is over, sustainability will slowly take root. I see a vigorous interest in urban farming taking root (pun intended 🙂 Folks just need to turn off the TV and go outside and enjoy a little digging in the backyard, and talk with their neighbors instead of watching fake people and fake lives on the fake screen.

  14. Fouad Khan May 24, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Capital isn’t really one of the big three is it?
    I call peak oil, climate change and terrorism the three horsemen of the post-industrial apocalypse. The crisis of capital is just the collapse of an artificial system of measuring value, in the face of increasing dearth of real value everywhere.
    The end is coming and it won’t sway no matter how many green bucks we print or CDOs we pixelate.

  15. dale May 24, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    I remember going to the first “Earth Day” years ago. As I was leaving, there was a sign I’ll never forget posted along the path. It was one of those moments when you see “truth” as clearly as possible. The sign read:

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  16. diogen May 24, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    To add to my earlier comments above, it’s NOT just the homeowners with 1/4 acre and up. There are apartment “complexes”, condo developments, even office “parks” and individual office buildings with VAST lawns, that are waiting to become urban community gardens. The truth is that American cities with access to water can grow enough food (and small livestock) to feed themselves and export food. I’ve read somewhere that Hong Kong produces something like 70-80 percent of the poultry and eggs that vast city consumes, think about the possibilities in American suburbs!!! We just need to stop poisoning ground water with lawn chemicals, and get off our collective fat butts. And remove insane zoning restrictions that prohibit me to keep a few chickens in my backyard.

  17. Lynn Shwadchuck May 24, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Diogen, you’re right, not every individual needs to experience food shortage. You’re wildly optimistic saying most city lots are 1/4 acre. I’m working my butt off working a 25 foot square veggie garden out in the sticks. Where I used to live there was a steep hill in the 50 foot square back yard and the house or hill shaded most of it for much of the day. I do think gardening is a big part of what we need to re-learn. But first we need to eat more simply and then grow exactly what we need on that diet. Often people garden so they can have fresh salad every day. Root vegetables are easy to grow and store (especially if we keep our houses really cool in winter to save energy). But do people even know how to enjoy rutabaga, turnip, beet in meatless or low-meat meals? We are so used to shopping by whim.

  18. diogen May 24, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    >The end is coming
    Ha! The “end” has been coming for the past 2000+ years in one form or another, and we’re still here to talk about it. There will be no END, just a radical re-adjustment to a more sane way of life. It may even cause Americans to stop taking anti-depressants, lose weight, and generally lead healthier and happier and more meaningful lives.
    The 20th century “non-negotiable way of life” has been one great delusion, it will be good riddance when the Peak Oil is upon us.

  19. diogen May 24, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    >But first we need to eat more simply
    Lynn, absolutely true, and all your other points are good as well. In addition to irrigation water, I should’ve also mentioned a sunny spot. We solved that problem by cutting down a few Ash trees that were destined to be gone anyway thanks to the Emerald Ash Borer (thanks, Globalization).
    I meant most folks in suburbia have 1/4 acre or more land available. And this is just a tip of the iceberg when you consider all Americans who live in small towns and open country who now MOW gazillion acres of useless lawn grass and poizon their priceless soil and water with deadly chemicals that give cancers to their pets and children.

  20. diogen May 24, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    >I’m working my butt off working a 25 foot square >veggie garden
    Frankly, I don’t understand why. We and other folks we know have 400 sq. ft and MUCH bigger vegetable gardens, and it takes just a few hours per week of pleasant light work. On the other hand, I do know lots of people who do work their butts off in the gym and burn many more hours doing it and produce nothing for it…

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  21. Downsider May 24, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    I think those of us who can face reality and make other arrangements for living in a constrained world are already making them.
    About the rest of us, I don’t feel so sure.
    I think the rest of us, damn near most of us, aren’t going to make it. When complacency turns into irrationality (i.e., let’s save ourselves with another bubble), you’re pretty much guaranteed a disaster.
    I’ve always thought the grimmest aspect of our situation is that the average working American has been poor for thirty years. He just didn’t know it because he’s been borrowing a middle class income and living a good, but precarious, life. Jim is warning us of cataclysmic upheavals when the working public finds itself suddenly “poor.” Or out of illusions. But I don’t believe the American people wlll ever let go of their illusions. I don’t know how anyone can live in this country, the way we live, without them. Even when there won’t be a country to speak of. I don’t know; maybe myths and illusions will be worth more than ever as things get worse.
    I’m discouraged by listening to all the bright people who swear, full of confidence, that we can just swap in alternative technologies for the petroleum system to keep America going as a mass society. Discouraged too by the imperturbable assurances that we’ll soon be returning to growth or that the economy (cheap-oil-facilitated discount imports for a mass market of credit purchasing) is fundamentally sound. To me it sounds like these people are just looking at numbers, at means, and not asking any basic questions about whether these goals, these ends, are worth pursuing even if we had the means to do so. We’ve built a runaway train to take us into the future. And now the smart people want to put it back on the track and go twice as fast? (The alternative would be to hit a brick wall at 100 miles an hour rather than at 200.)
    Again, complacency meets irrationality. I think our civilization has probably gone as far as it can go in its metaphysical project of birthing a new kind of human being, a free and enlightened soul without the petty fears and prejudices of the world that came before us. I think the money fever queered that for us. Now we’re having a hard time doing even the one thing we’ve evolved to do: business, on a lusty, planet-eating scale.
    Well, we all went along for the ride when it was going up. I guess there’s no point to hard feelings or regrets on the way down. It’s like Nietzsche said: if there’s going to be terror, it should be bright and cheerful. So I don’t hold any hopes for an easy landing. Let’s get this gotterdammerung going. There’s probably some nation behind us that knows how to do this civilization thing a lot better.

  22. Al Klein May 24, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Of course JHK has correctly described the future, at least as it applies to living arrangements. But I think it is important to note that the coming changes will need to be much more extensive. Perhaps we should call this a paradigm shift of major proportions. For one thing, we really need to redefine success. Much of our present day ills are connected to a defective definition of success. Why is having a 5000 sq ft house a measure of success? Why does having a big SUV mean anything good? I don’t see people elbowing each other out of the way to learn foreign languages (an effort, incidentally, that is not zero-sum). So to survive our values must change, not just the trappings. If we do not change our values, we will again end up where we are now. With a “mine-shaft race.”

  23. jdfarmer May 24, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I would like to see the data on the looming grain shortage in the world… if you believe the USDA (which is questionable) there is a burdensome supply of wheat in the world today, as evidenced by the cheapest wheat price in many years on any exchange. As a primary producer, it wont be long before everyone gets their wish of growing their own food, as with prices like these for my commodities, it will be near impossible to survive as a farmer.
    A neighbor across the road this year retired at 84 years old. He bought his combine for $3500.00 in the 60’s and still used it to harvest his last crop in the fall of last year. My combine new last year was priced at $350,000.00. I asked him what he was getting for his wheat in the 60’s. It cost him about 1500 bushels of wheat for the combine at that time. Right now, I had to spend 75000 bushels (note the zeros) for my combine last year.
    While I am all for sustainable and renewable (see composting posts a couple weeks ago), we are delusional if we think that 6 billion people can produce all their own food in their back yard. Were it not for modern bio-tech and fertilizers/herbicides, we would need to eliminate about 4-5 BILLION people on the planet.
    Enjoy your cheap food now because when we run out of phosphorus, the production will drop in half. Then when we run out of fossil fuel nitrogen fertilizers, it is game over for production agriculture as we know it.

  24. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst May 24, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    There are little enclaves of hope popping up throughout the country here and there. I live in Raleigh, NC, and there is a growing movement for localization and to encourage more people to support the community, farmers, merchants, etc. The city of Raleigh has made strides in its effort to create a livable and workable environment that merge. Last year the COR launched a hybrid bus service that runs only in the downtown area. It’s a start, but more needs to be done! One problem is affordability. Most of the residential real estate downtown caters to higher incomes – luxury apartment rentals, and condos. Anyone who’s interested in living where they work and shop should be able to participate.
    Community Gardens are also getting alot of support here, and there is a drive by various groups to encourage the COR to make vacant land available for CGs so that no matter where one lives in the area, they will have the option of participating in a local CG.
    A whole lot more needs to be done, but the awareness is here in this little enclave. It’s a shame that this nation has wasted so much time, effort, and capital in building a future to no where. No thought or foresight what-so-ever! Now the nation as a whole will pay a very heavy price for the actions and decisions made for decades by greedy, stupid leaders!

  25. Consultant May 24, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    In and around Atlanta, the New Urbanism movement has left its mark. Over the last decade some really successful projects have been created.
    The problem is, too little too late. Not the fault of the New Urbanists.
    Jim didn’t talk about our street plan, but it is in my opinion the WORST street system in America (this includes the city and the suburbs). The whole thing is a mess. Which is why our traffic is consistently ranked among the worst places to drive in the US.
    Don’t come here without a map. Metro Atlanta will break your GPS gadget.

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  26. anotherplayaguy May 24, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Two things: you MAY be right about no famine in areas where there is enough water to irrigate, but that is a mighty big proviso. The Salt River will not support a Phoenix of 3 million; the L.A. river will not support an L.A. of 8 million; etc. Drought is becoming the rule.
    But aside from that, most suburban lots are less than 1/8 acre which would be sufficient to maintain a family if it were not for the house that takes up part of it and the garage and the oversized SUV parking lot, etc., again. But the real problem is that to be self sufficient in agriculture means not relying on fossil fuels for fertilizer and pesticides. Chickens are great and I recommend them for everybody, but they will not supply enough natural fertilizer for even a small garden. Humanure, maybe, but that’s a whole different argument. And the time to have planted is well past; and harvest is five months out.

  27. Paul Kemp May 24, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Jim, I wonder whether we have enough time left — not to mention public attention span — to make the changes needed to implement New Urbanism. I can see individuals and perhaps neighborhoods doing some preparation for mass unemployment and food shortages, but the Federal government seems busy finding new wars and health care boondoggles to hobble our economy with. As you have pointed out, the national concept to maintain employment here is to save the American auto industry and rebuild our decaying infrastructure. So, no help there.
    Here in the small towns and lesser populated states like Oregon, the big concern is how to keep the animal shelters open, keep city services coming, and pay the generous pensions of AFSCME employees.
    People don’t seem to connect the dots that lead to the realization that there is no going back or propping up the old happy way of life.
    To sit around discussing New Urbanism while the sh-t is daily hitting the fan here and abroad seems like having a town hall meeting to discuss closing the barn door after the horse is long gone down the road.
    Any positive developments to prepare for TLE will come from the grassroots, with little or no help from City Hall. Sadly, many of our best and brightest entrepreneurs with resources to contribute are now taking their talents to safer locales, away from the Ground Zero of TLE.
    Perhaps we should find a way to join them.

  28. Newfie May 24, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    There are plenty of horsemen riding towards The End, but which one will arrive first ? I’m worried about the newest dark rider – Environmental Apocalypse. Another 2-3 months of sub-sea oil gusher and every bird and fish from Texas to Florida will be floating belly up in stinking primeval ooze. Tourism and Fishing will be wiped out. What will that do to the banking system and the social safety net ? Peak Pollution might trump Peak Oil. Scary.

  29. Mike Lieber May 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    TNT, the trinity of needless tragedy, is poised to bring down America’s tent. The trinity — resource depletion, the financial crisis (and all its attendant consequences), and climate change all will act in harmony to force myriad changes on Western civilization. Physical and mathematical laws will soon wipe away the mirage of prosperity to reveal the ugly reality beneath the facade.
    America can still lead, though it is becoming more difficult by the day to manage the coming chaos. Step one: we must take control of our institutions of government — quickly — and restore sanity to our public policy. We cannot hope to accomplish this within the existing political framework.
    How, then? For one (perhaps the only) solution, check out my novel, “Ops Populi: Inception.” You can read an excerpt at http://www.op-usa.org.

  30. David Goldberg May 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    We enjoyed having you here, Jimmy! Come back and savage us any time. We Bible-thumpin’ chickin-munchin’ slow-talkin’ denizens of the School for the Blind Plus Infirm love a good flagellatin’. You have to admit, though, we wuz Rokken!

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  31. jerry May 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Thank you for reporting on the conference. Such movements are very significant in our current economic condition.
    Today we are moving into a rebirth of the New Urbanist and Mother Earth News culture.
    Unfortunately, it will take another 20 years before it is fully established.

  32. The Mook May 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Speaking of building horror stories; down here in the suburban Philly area, we had a developer (THP properties) who stiffed everybody that wasn’t mennonite. But the worst part of the bankruptcy was for those homebuyers who had the unfortunate fate of settling on there supposedly finished houses, on the same day that the bankruptcy was filed. They now owe, not only the lender, but are responsible for all monies owed to the contractors by the builders. God bless Capitalism.

  33. The Mook May 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    (sic)their, sorry proof reader!

  34. Smokyjoe May 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Atlanta is the second-worst example, after Houston, of the doom that’s coming to the New South.
    And when it’s all over, will we wax nostalgic about the planting strip between Home Depot and Burlington Coat Factory?
    I doubt it.

  35. trippticket May 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Sorry I’m late! I think I smoked too much hopium this weekend in Atlanta.
    Jim may have been rolling in mud somewhere nearby, who knows, but we were at the Midway watching the UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. Good game. For Milan fans. And great little pub too, complete with a British section to my right — even if they were crying a bit about the lack of a respectable English representative in the game. Better luck next time Chelsea and United. Wankers.
    Arsenal for the trifecta in ’11.
    Beautiful people, great local beer, grass fed beef and in-house organic gelato on the menu, all in a walkable community there in the East Atlanta village. Just a rotten scenario for energy descent really.
    Jim, co-create a more believable story next time.
    Back to the Midway for US v. England on June 13th (I believe)! Come on down!

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  36. Laura Louzader May 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    One of your finer columns, JHK.
    But I believe that the most diabolical anti-city of all has to be Dubai, followed closely by Las Vegas. Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, and Phoenix (in any order), are right behind these.
    Your last point, that we will henceforth do what we have to do because we have no choice, no matter what we want or what our authorities try to engineer with our taxes, is what I mean when I say that there is no political solution to our predicament. Congress can pass laws and the regulators can make rules to address this specific narrow problem or that, but the reality of our situation is what it is, and the only “political” solution is to convey to people that henceforth we are going to have to pay for what we get, whatever the cost, and that we might not be able to get what we want or need just because that is what we want or need, and passing resolutions and laws and regulations won’t matter.
    This message, of course, won’t fly with our spoiled, complacent, cry-baby population, but neither will the things our authorities do to mitigate it. For just one small example, we won’t be able to ration oil, for there’s no fair way to do it. The only fair way is by price, and to let people scramble to make the arrangements they need to deal with situation according to their means.
    The only thing our politicians can do to help is to STOP DOING WHAT THEY ARE DOING, which is throwing most of our resources, through our taxes, at suburban sprawl-building, obsolete industries that need to die, and driving the creation of more debt. And they won’t do even this much because our population is demanding that these things continue.

  37. diogen May 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Jdfarmer, eye-opening numbers you quote.
    >we are delusional if we think that 6
    >billion people can produce all their
    >own food in their back yard.
    Although I’m sympathetic to the plight of the people around the globe, I’m not concerned about the fate of the 6 billion people across the oceans, I’m only concerned about the 300 million of my fellow Americans, and we have enough land, water and sunshine to produce sufficient food calories indefinitely, using the the good old labor, simple manual tools, compost, etc. Yeah, we may be eating meat just once a year for Christmas, and no fresh strawberries in February, and that’s just fine. The other BILLIONS will have to solve their own problems, we’re NOT either the world’s policeman nor the world’s savior. They’ll just have to pay the price for multiplying like rabbits, as sorry as I am to say that.
    I have a friend in Turkey who farms 60 acres with no fossil fuel machines, just lots of seasonal workers (mostly women, some Turkish, some from Eastern Europe). Lots of hand planting, hand weeding and hand harvesting. Sure, cheap labor, but it seems to work out economically. We have MILLIONS of people who’re on the taxpayer dole doing no productive work — this is our cheap agricultural labor, we just need to cut off their cable TV.

  38. Dave in Minneapolis May 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    In ‘World Made by Hand’, the good folks of the locality are terrorized by the Wayne Karp (Karpe?) band of thugs. Wouldn’t the chickens, radishes, carrots, tomatoes have to be guarded around the clock from the Karps and the have-nots? I’m getting hungry for some chicken soup or vegetable stew!
    Good comments today – Happy Monday to all.

  39. upnorth May 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    “I think the old Great Lakes and NW Territories will in general be a Good Place to Ride the Coming Storm Out.”
    I hope so—I live in the upper Great Lakes region, too. But then there’s global heating. Check out this dismal scenario:

  40. Grouchy Old Girl May 24, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Remember that biblical homily that says the meek shall inherit the earth?
    A more topical version tells us, recalled in a line from the musical Camelot that I always loved: it’s not the earth the meek inherit, it’s the dirt. Certainly our current lifestyle, so vigorously promoted by the hucksters, suggests this more modern version prevails today.
    These recollections bring me to my point here; that many of the meek ones never subscribed to or participated in the Happy Motoring lifestyle, and they will be much better prepared for the coming disaster.
    Whether excluded from toxic mainstream life by poverty or by educated choice, this group already has many of the skills needed to survive, maybe even thrive, in the dark days ahead.
    This is something I learned from over 20 years working as an advocate for the disadvantaged. When recession hit and our doors were being pounded down by shocked middle class victims, it became clear these sheeple had never contemplated that the party might end and they might have to adopt a more stringent lifestyle.
    To say they were ill prepared is a gross understatement, but the most prominent characteristic they shared was their resentment, even outrage, that this could happen to them. Instead of figuring out a contingency plan and acting on it, all their mental energy was consumed by this angry angst.
    They were so sure that Government owed them their former lifestyle, the thought that they had to take responsibility for their own lives was entirely unacceptable, and even unthinkable.
    But the chronically disadvantaged had all learned long ago that nobody was going to rescue them, they would have to find their own solutions. So they did, with a range of activities from growing their own vegetables, practising the ancient arts of reducing/re-cycling/re-using, and doing the necessary mental work to simplify their lives cheerfully.
    While I am clearly generalising, and this is only a small part of the picture, it seems to me that maybe the bible homily is right after all, and at the end of the day, the meek may just prevail.
    I sure hope so.

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  41. diogen May 24, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    >The Salt River… Phoenix…. the L.A.
    > Drought is becoming the rule.
    Yes, there will be great population migrations… invest in land in North Dakota 🙂
    >most suburban lots are less than 1/8 acre
    Where I have lived, most of the 1950-1970 suburbs are at least 1/4 acre, some much more. It’s the insane building boom of the 1990’s that produced vast housing developments on 1/8 or 1/10 acre lots…. some of these homes will have to be abandoned to be used as livestock sheds, or neighborhood retail establishments. Zoning will change when people face deprivation.
    > not relying on fossil fuels for fertilizer and >pesticides.
    You wouldn’t believe the soil we built over the years using home composting, tree leaves from the streets, etc. We don’t use any chemicals, use fingers for bigger pests, suction traps for flea beetles, liquid soap, etc… The biggest pest of all is the Deer, damn them, but there are clever methods of detering them as well.

  42. budizwiser May 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    I don’t know; seems like anytime society gets close to holding the powers-that-be accountable a war breaks out.
    If history is any lesson, things will be getting quite a bit worse – until we get a new “full time” war on or whatever. And of course – that will be another excuse for doing nothing about all the needs of the commoners.
    Really- what’s wrong with America? Its still too successful for too many. It makes little difference to the TV newscaster making $150,000 a year that some bank goes under somewhere.
    If utilities are three-grand a month so what. You’ve got a million in a 401 and $100,000 in gold to boot. The trouble with America is that there are too many people still “being taken care of” to give a shit about of JHK’s writings.
    I ran into a former auto worker in the grocery store. Living off of “retraining money” and unemployment. He tells me about the hundreds like him that are being retrained from production line work to become nothing mnore at best than a “gopher” or a helper for an HVAC service company.
    Fifty dollars an hour and benefits to fifteen and a week’s vacation if your lucky enough to get full time.
    Everywhere, the destruction of lively hoods and their supported ways of life are going down the drain. Replaced by all manner of piece meal junk-job jibing schemes of government, trade schools and all thing “small business.”
    The change is here – its happening – there’s nothing to wait for. What I still don’t understand – where is the youth? Are all of America’s brains still-born from years of video games and high-fructose corn syrup?

  43. diogen May 24, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    >Dubai, followed closely by Las Vegas. Atlanta, >Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, and Phoenix
    Hmm, doesn’t Cleveland look good all of a sudden, all you people who poked fun at us? A treasure of a lake, fertile farmland within 20-30 minutes of the downtown, lots of old civic institutions and traditions, lots of CHEAP housing, some of the best hospitals and universities all around. I welcome all of you from Vegas, Dallas and Houston and LA to Cleveland (no, I’m not in Real Estate).
    P.S. the Cayahoga river is clean now to eat fish from.
    p.p.s. We do have arts here too, check out http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/

  44. erikSF99 May 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    JD, try this link for an article by Eric deCarbonnel http://www.marketskeptics.com/2009/12/2010-food-crisis-for-dummies.html
    Here’s his opening paragraph: “If you read any economic, financial, or political analysis for 2010 that doesn’t mention the food shortage looming next year, throw it in the trash, as it is worthless. There is overwhelming, undeniable evidence that the world will run out of food next year. When this happens, the resulting triple digit food inflation will lead panicking central banks around the world to dump their foreign reserves to appreciate their currencies and lower the cost of food imports, causing the collapse of the dollar, the treasury market, derivative markets, and the global financial system. The US will experience economic disintegration.”
    He has followed up with updates since then confirming that what he wrote about in December is happening. His original article and follow-ups include detailed statistics.

  45. LewisLucanBooks May 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    I live in the small town of Centralia, Washington. On the plus side, we have a fairly intact downtown. Walking around sunset reminds me of Hopper paintings. In some places the 1950s facades have been ripped back to the original structure and restored. Unfortunately, most of the ‘real’ businesses are gone and we are reduced to antique malls. We are on a major rail line and are an Amtrak stop.
    We have a weekly farmer’s market, but it is long on bird houses and short on produce. The one produce guy, I’m going CSA with him. At least that will keep him coming to the market. There is a real farmer’s market in the next town over, that you can reach by bus. Still lots of small agriculture around and oldsters with a lot of knowledge. But they are going fast.
    It’s a very conservative area that recently voted down a library levy by 3 to 1. Any new ideas and the words “socialist,” “communist” and “liberal” fly fast. There’s the ‘old boy network.’ If you aren’t from here, or marry in, you ain’t shit.
    We have a city owned utility (hydro) that produces some of our power, so the rates are low. The city council keeps making noises about selling it. Follow the money.
    The local newspaper has a forum and there was a couple of recent lively discussions on climate change and wind generation … that descended into waxing orgasmic over the possibility of hybrid SUVs.
    If there’s anyone here that would like to drop by and discuss peak oil, climate change or re-localization, please say hello!

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  46. messianicdruid May 24, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    “It cost him about 1500 bushels of wheat for the combine at that time. Right now, I had to spend 75000 bushels (note the zeros) for my combine last year.”
    What is the percentage?

  47. gulland May 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    DJL, I’m in Black Earth (near Madison, WI), and you’re exactly right about our possible sustainability in this area. We already have the most CSAs, organic farms and sustainable agriculture programs in Wisconsin and Minnesota than any other region in the country, yet we mostly get our food from the enormous retailer, Woodmans. I believe we’ll have to get away from that one of these days.
    My wife and I have about 3500 square feet planted now and are growing most of what we plan to eat in the next year. It’s a lifestyle choice we made several years back, and we love it. It’s not for everyone, but we enjoy the process. Too bad so many people don’t believe they should take care of themselves this way. Wisconsin could feed a lot of people if we would get rid of the acres we have set aside to make ingredients for Mountain Dew and those beloved cheeze doodles.
    I grew up in Alabama and traveled through Atlanta quite a lot. The old joke is, “If you fly to Hell from Alabama, you have to change planes in Atlanta first.” Birmingham and Atlanta were the same size in the 50s, but Atlanta got the Airport.
    I watched the city grow, develop a beltline, and grow some more. The small outlying towns like Douglasville, Marietta, Roswell and Tucker got absorbed, then the real out of town places got gobbled into the mess. It’s Atlanta all the way up to Buford now.
    The City of Atlanta itself is now just the rotting center of a kind of regional ‘brown recluse spider bite’ on the map (you can quote me, JHK). I don’t hold out a lot of hope that it’ll ever get well. Uncontrolled development has guzzled down the region’s water supply to the point that a couple of years ago there was an attempted dispute with Tennessee over the relocation of the state line by Georgia to try to include a bit of the Tennessee River near Chattanooga. Draining the Chattahoochee wasn’t enough, I guess.
    Development sprawl has doomed any hope of Atlanta surviving the Long Emergency. I fear it’ll be going down with with Houston, DFW, Phoenix, etc.

  48. Cupid Stunt May 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    There was an interesting feature on Bloomberg this lunchtime. Despite the much vaunted global “recovery” the Libor rate has been rising steeply in the last three weeks and the spreads on bonds has been widening.
    The banks are growing nervous again because they know there is something smelly in the cellar that just isn’t going to go away however much detergent is thrown down there. “Something is definitely stirring out there”. We have boxed ourselves into a corner from which there is no comfortable exit.
    Fasten seat belts for Act Three.

  49. Steve M. May 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Livingston Town Center in Livingston, New Jersey, is definitely a compromise. The development mixing houses, apartments, townhouses, and stores was started in 2005 and what got built looks great. People go to hang out there. The parking for the apartment building (which includes stores) is hidden inside. But there’s no parallel parking on the outer streets (only head-in parking on the inner loop that serves as the stores’s addresses), some stores have failed, including two restaurants in the same storefront, the third-floor gables in the main commercial building aren’t real (there IS no third floor), the housing is too expensive, and an empty lot remains where they ran out of money to complete it. There is a transit stop for buses to Newark and New York City, but everyone drives anyway.

  50. Al Klein May 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Most of you people are just too cynical. If the “American Way of Life” is challenged, our elected officials will declare such challenges illegal. See – problem solved. Note: this is not the first time this approach (or similar ones) has been used. Caligula declared war on Neptune as I recall having read. The war booty (always a welcome item for the imperial Romans) was baskets of shells. So even if the “American Way of Life” is challenged by a condition (e.g. Peak Oil) rather than groups (e.g. terrorists), our officials will still have a solution: We’ll declare war on Mother Earth.

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  51. asoka May 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    New Urbanism is driven by the ideas of architects and planners, but it commits the physicalist fallacy. People will not behave as planners direct them to merely because some architects have conceived of a spatial design that promotes a certain pattern of behavior.
    Case in point: Duany and Plater-Zyberg promoted housing with street access porches inspired, as they were, by small town sociability. In new developments with porches, such as Celebration in Florida, the increase in sociability among people who do not know each other, has not materialized. (SOURCE: Key concepts in urban studies
    By Mark Gottdiener, Leslie Budd)
    Making good neighbors requires much more than a theoretical architectural scheme. Simply because Duany and Plater-Zyberk constructed a development that looked like a community did not mean that the people who chose to live there would create a community. They have behaved, instead, much like affluent suburbanites everywhere and retained their spatially diffuse social networks.
    With their emphasis on human-scaled neighborhoods, the New Urbanists reveal an obsession with the idealized European city, as well as the American small town, that is more imagined than real.
    The reality is that most people today possess strong social networks that are deployed throughout space using the telephone, the cell phone, the internet, and, most especially, the automobile and given the current spatial form of a multi-centered metro region, it is difficult, if not impossible, to defeat the automobile and the convenience it offers.
    A more holistic and politically motivated approach seems called for, a different perspective, such as the Sustainable City Movement. Fighting both sprawl and urban decay at the same time by political means is a characteristic of the Sustainable City Movement.

  52. Peter of Lone Tree May 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    “We’ll declare war on Mother Earth.”
    We already did; the recent fiasco in the Gulf was our latest attack.

  53. k-dog May 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    The great achievement of the New Urbanists was not the projects they built during the final orgasm of the cheap energy orgy.
    It was the knowledge they retrieved from the dumpster of history. We really do know where to go from here.
    Whether the people of the USA have the will to take themselves there now is another issue.

    I’m reminded of an old forgotten movie ‘Zardoz’ where ‘Vortices’ are hidden communities of civilization in which immortal “Eternals” lead a luxurious but aimless existence surrounded by vast wastelands of ruined earth in which
    ‘Brutals’ eek out a meager existance and are anything but immortal. The will of the american people to take us into a future like that I doubt not, but livable walkable sustainable communities for all does not fit with our national character. We are a country that
    preserved slavery for 90 years after its founding, where money and little else decides where one fits into the fabric of society. A society that pays lip service to equality where you starve if you don’t have cash for food.
    Lessons of the New Urbanists could mean islands of utopia in seas of despair settled by an elite monied who have to walk neighborhoods because they are too old to drive even if they had gas enough to fill their tanks.
    Rebuilding our cities and infrastructure the ‘right’ way could fuel a huge economic recovery but New Urbanists lessons won’t be of any use if they are not applied across the board to bring everyone up together.
    How New Urbanists ideals are applied matters as much as the ideals themselves.

    Whether the people of the USA have the will to take themselves there now is another issue.

    very well said

  54. Paul Kemp May 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    I believe you’re right. Inheriting the earth may not go smoothly while the currently-privileged throw their tantrums, but I do believe those used to walking and growing their own, etc., will outlast the rest.
    I see this everyday in our little seaside Oregon beach community, filled with what appear to be former State and Federal retirees, plus a few professionals. They are totally dependent on driving miles to come into town to check the mail, go to the bank and get groceries. A trip to the doctor could be a daylong journey over the mountains to our regional medical center.
    They still leave their big diesel trucks running when the go into the post office, or while they chat on the phone in the parkinglot, engine running. No worries about gasoline — for now.
    My point is, many of these aging Boomers are no longer capable of walking or biking any of their errands. They’re totally dependent on meds and orthopedic surgeons to keep them moving at all. What will happen when gas price and availability goes out of sight?
    Gardening for subsistence is pretty limited in this cool, wet climate. No farmland close-by.
    The future is not looking good for these spoiled retirees, no matter how much money they have now. That’s why getting in shape now is so important. As is breaking any dependence on fossil-fuel comforts.

  55. SeaYoung May 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Jim’s targeted swipe at the South Land today is well deserved. Let’s take a closer look. Jim agrees that Southerners are great breeders, scratching any itch and all, but that fact alone cannot explain the sudden population boom of the past three decades.
    Most who inhabit the southeast these days, in cities of any size and influence, seem to be mostly from the north, particularly New York state followed by New Jersey (another best of the worst). I overheard a sweet Southern Belle say so eloquently, “There’s nothing more redneck than a Redneck Yankee”. Amen.
    Problem is they seem come in all income brackets. Some retire here with a disability check. These are the easiest to identify. They cruise around PetSmart, lap dog in hand, in tee shirts too small and elastic waist sweat pants that are too big. Oh disgusting comfort!
    More entertaining are the Yankee NASCAR/Harley Hoggers (with requisite tattoos inked above what the dress shirt will display). Imagine a fleet of discretely tattooed office jockeys, mad faced, cruising past you in a thunder on their way to invade the next coffee shop. Ever read those silly little stickers they paste on their little helmets. Pretty funny indeed.
    Wendell Scott forgive them for they know not what they do.
    Blues we got ’em.

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  56. uberfrau May 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    A problem with New Urbansim is its premise of ‘mixed income’ housing.
    No way in hell is a self identified ‘middle class’ type going to live next door to a street thug and/or your garden variety trailer trash. I know i wouldn’t want to. And if there is a choice in the matter, they won’t.
    Here in downstate Il, the few efforts at ‘mixed income’ housing have been a miserable failure. They ended being Section 8 housing.

  57. Smokyjoe May 24, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Sad to say, but yes. Luckily, in human-intensive agriculture, you have those who work the land around to help police it.
    And heaven help the chicken-thief.

  58. uberfrau May 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Diogen, my family is in the business of farming here in downstate Il. On a 1000acre plot of corn, a whopping 75% of it goes towards ANIMAL FEED. that’s right, meat production. The rest goes towards HFCS, aka, cheeze doodles. Our capacity to actually feed HUMANS is immense, IF we would grow grains and beans to feed PEOPLE, not animals. Or make cheeze doodles.

  59. Andy Williams May 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Roubini had a very good interview published in the UK’s esteemed Daily Telegraph today:-

  60. insanity shelter May 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Every paragraph starts with the phrase “The New Urbanis”. What happened to your typical eloquence with the pen man?
    First article in a while where the comments are more engaging than the piece. Wouldn’t mention it if you weren’t such a prick sometimes.

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  61. DeeJones May 24, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Well, all I can say is to try to hang in there. It way too late now to do much of anything. Petaluma used to be a great place to live. I used to live in Santa Rosa.
    But it all has changed too much, Sebastopol used to be the Gravenstein apple capital of the world, now its just another vineyard, like all the other vineyards around it…
    but then again, we bailed on the entire USA, and now live a much quieter, smaller life in Central America.
    I really think its to late to do anything about the US AmericaIs#1!…say, wasn’t that the sound of an iceberg scraping the hull? Is the Good Ship USA#1! listing just a little to the Right? Why not get the band playing up on deck to entertain everyone, free drinks for all (‘cept you guys down in steerage class, you get to join the Captian on the final dive).
    I think I’ll sit here on the beach with a couple of beers and enjoy the fireworks…
    Pura Vida.

  62. Funzel May 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Forget about growing anything on your quarter acre in Florida.Before your cracker box was build the “developer”scraped off that little bit of soil that took thousands of years to accumulate and sold it,then build your dream box on a pile of sand,he dug up to create a water retention pond.

  63. george May 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    “If the Devil created an anti-city, a place where people would feel least human, Atlanta would surely be that place”. I’ve never been south of Chicago so I’ll have to take your word for it, but how is Detroit, Cleveland or Toronto any less of an anti-city? In Detroit and Cleveland the physical destruction is so pervasive that most neighborhoods aren’t able to support any commericial activity except for party stores while the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] has been over run with suburban sprawl that rivals or exceeds the great Sunbelt cities. Maybe we need a collective kick in the groin in the form of a prolonged economic depression or an acute energy crisis before things will change for the better.

  64. asia May 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    For me Hell is any city the USA is dropping nukes on [and theyve been plenty of them, i believe one good book is ‘ night falls in bagdad’ or somesuch]
    ‘Cleveland or Toronto’..have:
    cold weather
    a river or lake nearby?
    nicer planning ?
    public transportation?
    an identifiable downtown?
    In any case its all in personal opinions.
    a us city that i dont like? i dont like any of them much! fortunately ive never been to pontiac or detroit, i assume they are the pits!
    east st louis?

  65. asia May 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    the only reason the USA populations increased by 50% in 45 years is the democrats 1965 immigration act [aka ‘ opening the floodgates]
    that one act signed by LBJ effectively ruined the USA and doomed it to ‘ multicultural turdworld status’.
    if youre talking the world yes yr right…
    demographics is destiny or doom.
    if not ZPG then close to ZPG and right now it aint happnin!

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  66. erikSF99 May 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Well, they had to find new sources of immigration to keep down the cost of labor! “Old Europe” was back on its feet. Where were the surplus laborers going to come from?

  67. erikSF99 May 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    About the Great Lakes. Read the 3rd paragraph from the end of this article on low water levels in the Great Lakes.
    “The Great Lakes region is home to about 70 percent of the steel industry in North America and about half of the heavy manufacturing in the United States, Weakley said.”
    So, the Rust Belt is still manufacturing a lot. What the heck is the rest of the country doing?

  68. insanity shelter May 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Savannah makes up for what Atlanta lacks, in Aces.
    You guys were a bunch of tools to pick the later.

  69. Steve D May 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    Any good news is better then nothing these days.

  70. asia May 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    well well well
    both of these gems are from fireandreamitchell.com:
    AIG walks scott free…gee
    Looks like the kickbacks from the 2008 political donations continue. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Obama was the #1 recipient of AIG political donations in 2008 receiving $143,003. Guess who was second? None other than corrupt Democrat and friend of Angelo, Chris Dodd! Dodd in 2008 received $106,000 in 2008. In 2008 AIG gave a total of $783,574 to Democrats. So far for 2010 the top recipient of political donations is none other than failed Massachusetts Senate Candidate and Democrat Martha Coakley! So the the decision to bring an apparent end to the criminal investigation of AIG, should come as no surprise
    This system worked! Well not really. Progressive liberal nuts in Seattle who decided to boycott Arizona over their immigration law certainly don’t care that Jose Lopez Madrigal, an illegal immigrant who accused of raping a woman in Edmonds Sunday has been deported nine times. That’s much more than previously reported. The only things these progressive nuts are concerned about is the “dehumanizing treatment of an undocumented migrant worker” Take for instance this commenter on KING 5 Seattle’s story about Madrigal. The progressive’s name is 402Irac
    Rapes are unfortunate when they happen, but the real tragedy here is the dehumanizing treatment of an undocumented migrant worker. You should put yourself in his shoes. He didn’t cross the border. The border crossed him. The United States is unfairly withholding his heritage from him. The real enemy is the greedy American who grumbles about his taxes, when those taxes are used to help the oppressed peoples of our society. This man was in a strange land far from home, and was being treated in an unwelcome manner by people who don’t even know him. Is it any wonder he would be driven to an act of desperation?
    Yes people. 420Irac is your perfect example of the progressive liberal’s state of mind and an example of their thought processes. Much like with Muslims terrorists, the illegal immigrant who had been deported 9 time before this rape was purely the victim in the whole matter! We as Americans are the true bad people in all of this.

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  71. asia May 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    ‘SURPLUS’ laborers?
    I refuse to believe it was done to keep labor cheap.
    and there are real costs to ‘cheap’ labor.
    yes the top 1% of the food chain does benefit.

  72. scott May 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Does anybody else think we have been teetering on the precipice of the next big leg down?

  73. asia May 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I thought Lanta had one of the largest middle/upper class black populations in USA.
    and i read of that ‘fancy town’ with all the black millionaires….
    hows this on our population explosion..half million anchor babes a year!
    from angrywhitedude.com:
    Censored:”Anchor Babies” Cost Us Over A Billion Dollars Yearly
    Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich has extracted this data: Report: One-fourth of welfare payments go to illegals Daily Breeze.com 03/10/2010
    Nearly one-quarter of state welfare payments and food stamps issued in Los Angeles County go to children whose parents are in the U.S. illegally, according to January figures released today…more than $50 million in CalWORKS benefits and food stamps for January went to children born in the United States whose parents are in the country without documentation…
    “When you add this to $350 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for health care, the total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year — not including the millions of dollars for education,” Antonovich said.
    Antonovich has been performing great public service by forcing the LA County Welfare bureaucrats to disgorge this type of information.
    Too bad you re not being allowed to hear about this outrage.
    Google News indicates that apart from one other story in a minor outlet, none of the Los Angeles area Main Stream Media (such as the Los Angeles Times) felt this news fit to print. (The two that did have a combined circulation of some 80,000.)

  74. scott May 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    I think talk of corruption and misallocated resources to non-whites by government bureaucrats puts the blame on the wrong “bad guy”. Sure there is plenty of corruption where non-whites are able to capture government resources fraudulently but it is a result of our economic models requirement for growth, not an inherent need to put non-whites above whites.
    The fact is, these immigrants are not here illegally if our government does not enforce the law and creates defacto law by issuing welfare payments, food stamps, drivers licences and health care to immigrants documented or otherwise.
    The reason our government has created defacto immigration laws is because our economic model requires growth. You have to have more people, more energy, more of everything to maintain economic growth.
    I blame Americans, mostly White,that are bleeding the system dry with their idiotic insistance that their economic model is sustainable — not some poor immigrants scratching for some government handouts.

  75. AMR May 24, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    As bad as parts of LA are, I don’t think LA should be grouped with the exurban tumors that have formed around Atlanta, Dallas and the like. Los Angeles is one of the most densely populated urban areas in the country. Close to LA, low-density development is mostly limited to a few hilly margins around the major basins–Rancho Palos Verdes, La Canada Flintridge, Mullholland Drive, etc. The really outrageous low-density sprawl around LA is in the outer orbit of the metro area, in the hinterlands of places like Palmdale and Victorville. These places have been accreted to the Los Angeles metro area, but they have little to no political connection to it.
    A lot of the residential areas in and around LA are high-density by American standards. Santa Ana has well over 10,000 residents per square mile, putting it almost in league with New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco but definitely not with Atlanta, Dallas or Birmingham. Los Angeles proper has a lower population density, but it has a larger area devoted to parks and industrial facilities, so most of its neighborhoods are still pretty dense. The mass transit in many of these areas, especially in the LA MTA service area, is a lot better than most people realize. It would be a lot easier to patch the gaps in the system through the outlying basin cities around LA than to establish useful systems in the urban planning free-for-alls that surround many other cities. Anyone bullish about solving Atlanta’s transportation problems by extending MARTA?
    When gas prices start really crippling other metro areas, metro LA on the whole will probably come through pretty well. There will be more horror stories from the Inland Empire, but I expect that in and near LA proper, things will generally look pretty rosy.
    On a related note, LA’s industrial base is a lot more diverse and robust than most people realize. All we see from LA on TV or in movies is dissipation: mostly vacuous celebrity drug binges and the like, with occasional “local color” from the gnarliest shit producers can cherrypick from South Central. Hollywood presents a face of LA to the world that is all gangbangers, druggies, celebrities, wannabes and brownnosers. When tourists visit LA, they’re usually lured to the Hollywood precincts that produce this hologram. The end result is that almost no outsiders have any idea how stable and normative things can be in LA. I’m not under an illusion that the areas away from Hollywood and the other ghettoes are utopias, but they’re certainly not the trainwrecks that some people assume, either.

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  76. Neon Vincent May 24, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. The lack of walkability is indeed formidable. Walking from my parents’ house to a business and back was an investment of at least an hour. I learned to walk fast very early.
    As for turning it into a series of walkable neighborhoods, good luck. My imagination fails me.

  77. AMR May 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Regarding valet parking in LA:
    When I visited the area in March, valet parking seemed to be mostly a downtown thing (I’ve read that it’s a Hollywood thing, too, although I’ve never been to Hollywood to see it). I didn’t see as much of it in Long Beach, and I didn’t see any in Inglewood, where I spent the night.
    Ironically, Inglewood felt much more walkable than downtown LA. Downtown was easy enough to navigate by foot, but there were huge empty spaces of a sort that were absent in Inglewood. No one seemed to have made an effort to make downtown an integrated, functional neighborhood in its own right; instead it was little more than a bunch of office towers with a haphazard assortment of retail here and there. Inglewood had a much more natural mix of residential, retail and office space within walking distance–nothing that great, but at least a start. Long Beach felt like a natural city, too, but I didn’t see as many useful businesses of the sort that I found in Inglewood.

  78. Laura Louzader May 24, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Cleveland is looking very good and so is Detroit. I live in Chicago, and once in a while play tourist and view the condo and house listings for other cities. Cleveland has some of the most incredible deals. I saw a few extremely large and really elegant old apartments in Shaker Heights for sale for $50,000 to $100,000.00. I could not believe it. Beautiful 20s vintage places with herringbone parquet and 10′ ceilings and huge rooms and elegant millwork that would cost $500K minimum in Chicago if they were even available on the market. And Detroit- even those burned out shells for sale for $10 would cost $100K to build before you built out the interiors. Unbelievable houses for $00K.
    But that tells you how difficult it is to make a living in these places. When an elegant Shaker Heights vintage condo begs for buyers at $75K, that is telling you something.
    So these cities are great for those who have enough cash to settle in and get something going that will transition to the next age, but most people will be stuck where they are just to live. I wish I could BUY Detroit and Cleveland, because you just know that when the desert cities start to implode, that those people will be just too glad to come back to half-empty cities in the Great Lakes watershed with dirt-cheap houses, plenty of space to garden, and fertile hinterlands not too far out of town.

  79. Godozo May 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Yes, I know the end of the world has been predicted since the beginning of the world.
    Problem is, the world has ended on occasion. Granted never on a WORLDWIDE scale, but tell that to the people who were around when their world ended:
    Judea, 600BC (thanks to the Babylonians)
    Rome, 476 AD (The Germans)
    Britain, early 400s AD (Rome left, the wildmen entered)
    Bagdad, the Mongol Invasion (Did an evil job on Islam, to boot. Islamists are but one of the Mongol’s gifts to the world)
    Ankor Wat (environmental issues)
    Easter Island (again, environmental)
    Many Native American Tribes (US)
    Jews of Europe (1933-45)
    I’ve seen a number of cities go through their dying pains (a bit too close for my comfort, as one’s my hometown and another I drive through on a daily basis). It’s not TOO much of a stretch to see what’s happened in these places become the norm elsewhere.

  80. mean dovey cooledge May 24, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    I love you, man. *sniff*
    You’re right! Jims post reminds me of that story about how each person felt one part of an elephant and comes away convinced that the whole is exactly like the part they touched. Yes Atlanta sucks. But its not totally without virtue. East Atlanta is a cool example as is the revitalized West Side Midtown (which of course, artists colonized when it was old ratty warehouses…their pioneering paved the way for….what else? new urbanists! Try and make the rent over there now.)

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  81. asoka May 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Godozo: “Islamists are but one of the Mongol’s gifts to the world”
    You probably are using the word “gift” sarcastically.
    But according to both the Encyclopædia Britannica and the World Christian Database, among the four main religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam), the fastest growing religion is Islam, because when someone takes the time to investigate the religion they often see its truth and they convert. Islam has contributed much to civilization in the world. There has been much distortion and lying about Islam and ignoring of its contributions.
    Islam is a religion for all people from whatever race or background they might be. That is why Islamic civilization is based on a unity which stands completely against any racial or ethnic discrimination. Major racial and ethnic groups (the Arabs, Persians, Turks, Africans, Indians, Chinese and Malays in addition to others) embraced Islam and have contributed to the building of Islamic civilization.
    Accept and welcome the reality of the eventual triumph of Islam. Alhamdulillah!

  82. CynicalOne May 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    [Q]Does anybody else think we have been teetering on the precipice of the next big leg down?[/Q]
    Oh yeah.

  83. D R Lunsford May 24, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    JHK I know you hate Altanta but there are worse places. Atlanta has a lot on close-in comfortable single-family housing that most cities would kill to have. The Beltline rail project will tie a lot of it together. Atlanta was way ahead of the game in fixing up otherwise run-down areas like the blighted wastelands of Detroit and Cleveland – often with the gay community in the lead. I’ve seen it happen again and again – most recently in East Point and College Park. Real Atlantans hate suburban sprawl as much as you do. Nothing can compare with the nihilistic and soul-destroying car culture of Southern California, on which the wastelands of Cobb and Gwinnett counties in suburban Atlanta, and countless other American suburbs, is modeled. One should also point out the New York itself led the way to this “paradise” with the deliberate elimination of commuter and local rail lines in favor of superhighways, specifically designed by the Port Authority to empty the populations of Brooklyn and Manhattan into the surrounding fens.

  84. Olmec Sinclair May 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    People are discussing the proposition of feeding the worlds population from the backyard with small scale low energy input agriculture.
    I don’t know if this is achievable from a numbers perspective (assuming you can up-skill people and they have the motivation and level of health / mobility)
    But it sure means that a higher percentage of the population will be required to achieve this, resulting in fewer people left to do other things. Some professions we can do with out quite easily but some are good luxuries… doctors, dentists, carpenters etc…..

  85. asoka May 24, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Atlanta also has the country’s first Islamic sorority, Gamma Gamma Chi … women embracing Islam.

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  86. asoka May 24, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    I guess I should also mention that the Islamic world is starting to embrace New Urbanism.

    Many scholars and researchers agree that the traditional Islamic built environment provides a precedent for any new practice pertinent to neighborhood design in Islamic Community. This paper uses analysis of traditional and contemporary neighborhood designs in Saudi Arabia to examine how the concept of “New Urbanism” practiced in the USA since the mid-1980s was applied in Saudi Arabia. The paper argues that the physical design of space either public, semi-public, semi-private or private can hinder or enhance cultural and climatic requirements as well as improve the security of the community. Also, the traditional settlements of Saudi Arabia offer valuable insights into the interaction of human behavior and the built form.

    SOURCE: The transformation of residential neighborhood: the emergence of new urbanism in Saudi Arabian culture, by Mohammed Abdullah Eben Saleh, Building and Environment
    Volume 37, Issue 5, May 2002, Pages 515-529.

  87. Tony W May 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Diogen, why are you (only) worried about 300 million US citizens? Why does a community thousands of miles away concern you? I think you’re right that we need to look after our own corner of the world first but I’m not sure why you extend it out to nearly 10 million square kilometres (the area of the USA).
    As we move to a more local existence, whether by design or by necessity, I doubt that you will be caring much about communities further away than what can be travelled in a day by foot, bike or horse.
    By the way, you’re absolutely right that even suburbia could probably grow all its own food, in many areas (though not all areas – maybe mass internal migration will be a feature of the future). Permaculture and bio-intensive techniques are what is needed. And you’re right to think that it need not be back breaking work.

  88. Dark Fired Tobacco May 25, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    “Lordy, Miss Scarlett, there’s Yankees in Atlanta!” Actually, Yankees overran the place back in the 1970s and made it the New York of the South. Citizens of Nashville, Charlotte, and every other progressive city in the region now start every planning session with the plea “don’t become another Atlanta.”
    Of course, the only subway system in the south is located in Atlanta, but it does little good for an urbanized area that, the last time I checked, covered 26 counties in Georgia. The water supply is critical, and travel within the city is so bad that young people actually do not attempt to date people in separate quadrants of the community. Somewhere, Sherman is smiling.
    Yet some good things are happening in the south. Charlotte has a new light rail system. Nashville has a fledgling commuter rail line, a first attempt at a Bus Rapisd Transit (BRT) route, and two pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River. Memphis has expanded its downtown streetcar system, and New Orleans has rebuilt its own lines. Chattanooga has an excellent riverwalk and pedestrian bridge/trail system. Raleigh has expanded their pedestrian trails while maintaining a walkable downtown with most buildings at a human scale. North Carolina is funding a state passenger rail system, and Georgia is moving forward with applications for new high speed rail routes. Even Florida has the Tri-Rail system between West Palm Beach and Miami.
    For a real sense of community restoration, visit Savannah, which pulled itself from the edge of the abyss 30 years ago and now has a true walkable urban environment within the original planned city square system laid out over 200 years ago. Mobile wants to do something similar and needs to do it fast.
    We aren’t all at NASCAR events here in the south…not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  89. wagelaborer May 25, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Why would you assume that farm labor would be assigned randomly?
    Let insurance adjusters, stock brokers, prison guards and bomb makers be the ones who switch to labor intensive farming.
    Doctors, dentists and carpenters can be paid in produce and chickens!
    The oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico should be looked at as a tragedy of oil addicted Americans and treated as the national emergency it is, instead of an occasion to attack Obama or British Petroleum.
    It isn’t a failure of equipment, it’s a failure of society, and should be treated as a wake-up call to change the way we live.

  90. LewisLucanBooks May 25, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Once upon a time …. 42 passenger trains ran through here every day in the 1940s. Earlier then that, dozens of little spur lines ran into the valleys east of us and west out to the coast. Streams of commodities flowed everywhere. There are one or two lines kept alive by steam enthusiasts. Any time they rip up the asphalt to repair the main streets, the old rails for the trolleys are exposed.
    Greater LA. Yes. I lived down there for 3 years in the early 70s. Orange County drove me crazy. Nothing but shopping malls, freeways and housing tracts. Orange did have an identifiable downtown. I really liked going to the mission at San Juan Capistrano to de-compress. Other then St. John’s Day when the fucking swallows came back and the place was overrun with tourists, it was mostly deserted and you could wander the acres to clear your head and catch your breath.
    I was horrified to discover Hollywood has slum areas. Ah, callow youth. The last year I was there I lived in Long Beach. That I liked. It had neighborhoods and an identifiable downtown. Good transit at that time.
    From what I read, I realize that several areas I was familiar with have changed. I had friends who lived in Fountain Valley. At that time it was mostly blue collar white working class folk with a sprinkling of middle class black and hispanic folk. I understand it’s now pretty solidly S.E. Asian. The Westminster Mall where I worked (mega mall; two levels, 4 anchors, food court) was pretty much white bread upper middle class white folk. I understand it’s pretty solidly Hispanic, now.
    But, that doesn’t make me feel bad. I change, times change, I deal with it. The day of the self-entitled white guy is ending. I was talking with my newspaper delivery woman the other day. We are of an age and from the same city. I’m gently introducing her to the realities of climate change and peak oil. We both agree that we lived in the best of times (for us) and that life will never be that “good” (in quotations, as there were plenty of drawbacks for plenty of people) again.

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  91. Patrizia May 25, 2010 at 3:20 am #

    Now, more than ever it is time to choose to live in the country.
    If I had to invest my money in America, I would choose a small town and live in a nice small house with a nice garden and enough space to live.
    The future won’t be a return to the past or the exasperation of the present.
    Many jobs will be done in your own hose, all jobs you can comfortably do on a phone and on the Internet. Including sales.
    Shops will be on the best Internet Avenue, you will be able to see and decide what to buy and when.
    Transportation will become cheaper, because organized.
    The cost of commercial buildings will be lower because they will be where it is more convenient and the price is OK.
    We won’t need to go to the shopping center.
    It will be our computer, may be automatically checking the best offers that will do the job.
    Jobs of the future?
    IT will grow and grow.
    The ones who will be able to organize alternative to the state transportations (road transportations) will be very successful.
    Schools, good schools will be cheaper and better and affordable.
    Elearning will be the right choice.
    If you really want you can.
    What is more democratic than services affordable to all?
    What is more democratic than allowing EVERYONE to do the job he likes and he is good at?
    No more big corporations or at least fewer.
    Even your energy provider will be the solar panel or the turbine on your roof.
    I am ready to fight for this democratic world.
    And the fight is easier than you think.
    You can begin with what you can afford and grow.

  92. Bootstrapper May 25, 2010 at 4:11 am #

    Hi Jim,
    You wrote “I suppose it was a tragic thing that the New Urbanists made themselves hostage to the same banking system that was behind suburban sprawl.”
    To avoid future tragedy, you might like to point your New Urbanist colleagues at the writings of [url=http://www.reinventingmoney.com/]Thomas H Greco[/url] if you’re looking for ways to fund future projects, that don’t involve the banksters.

  93. CreativeDestruction.us May 25, 2010 at 5:46 am #

    Here are the words of Ivan Chtcheglov (Situationist):
    “We are bored in the city, there is no longer any Temple of the Sun. Between the legs of the women walking by, the dadaists imagined a monkey wrench and the surrealists a crystal cup. That’s lost. We know how to read every promise in faces — the latest stage of morphology. The poetry of the billboards lasted twenty years. We are bored in the city, we really have to strain to still discover mysteries on the sidewalk billboards, the latest state of humor and poetry:”
    Here is the Formulary for a New Urbanism written by Chtcheglov: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/Chtcheglov.htm
    I live in Los Angeles and I love to bike through it every day. Both on my mountain bike and on my motorcycle. What I see is boring, depressing and disgusting. The physical space breeds criminality; there’s simply nothing to give a shit about. Delinquency is just the individuals misplaced desire for a revolution in daily life.
    I believe we are experiencing the slow decline of modern industrial, mass-produced, mass-consumed culture. The return to a lower level of technology will be natural; we will have no choice. That’s a basic human quality: we will only give up any habit when the negative side effects overwhelm the benefits.
    Thanks for your work. I look forward to reading the Clusterfuck diatribe every week.

  94. Ivo May 25, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Despite their good intentions, the CNU is essentially a cargo cult. Having studied NU and toured some the more proclaimed New Urbanist projects such as Seaside, I’on, and one in Portland I can’t say that they are much of an improvement over the current housing production scheme. Salvaging ideas from the dumpster of history does nothing to animate those ideas and the belief that you can ‘go back’ the imaginary rosy past by emulating its forms and patterns is pathetic.
    Such is the intellectual caliber of our educated classes as the behavior is classified in anthropological terms as a cargo cult and demonstrates the fact that our architecture schools and professional field of practice is bereft of any insights or abilities on how design/build authentic architecture.
    Its about as degenerate as it can be. Any architecture grad can tell you just about how bad it is in school where the pressure is not to learn about how buildings are made and good design. Essential you are paying a 100K in tuition to learn how to be an egocrat, how to make slick graphical presentations of your ‘ideas’ while learning sketchup and cad monkey skills that will allow them to slave for nickels at some machine for 7 years earning brownie points for the AIA (American Institute of Assholes). The hand full that make it so far as to sit for their examines will not be the cream of the crop, but typically the most mindless, talentless and cynical smucks who quickly learned the fundamental fact of the trade and that is be willing to do anything for money. 95% of the buildings designed/built in this country are heinous disasters, practically crimes against nature and humanity, and the AIA’s certified hacks are the ones doing it.
    Of all of the CNU projects I have toured and studied, none have even come close to fulfilling their claims. I’on, where I have spent 100s of hours walking the streets and studying both the buildings and the nature of life in this little rich man’s enclave, is a case in point. The developers, in the beginning, when to great lengths to sell the CNU ideas as the basis for the whole project, replete with craft guilds and that kind of bs. They even credit C. Alexander on I’on’s website as an inspiration for the design. A great deal of effort (and cost) is incurred in the design and material selection
    In the beginning, the scale of the buildings, the streets, etc were very modest but that quickly changed when the orgasm of money hit RE. At a certain point, 10,000 sqft mansions covering 90% of a lot starting appearing everywhere. Many of these homes were for one or two occupants. Despite the cost and effort to create ‘neo-traditional’ buildings, the environs have a synthetic, artifical Ibsen-like quality to them, a hollowness that masked by a superficial opulence. The people in the community of I’on are certainly nice enough, but no more or less nicer that most places. The streets are still largely empty, the little parks and such are very typically empty any day of the week, everyone still drives everywhere, if it is just down the street to one of the locate mix-used businesses.
    One remarkable fact of I’on and its upscale construction is that the quality has been such that many homes have had to be gutted and redone due to mold and other problems. Its remarkable that in the climate of South Carolina, that they still build stickframe homes and pump them full of cold air…goes to show you just how stupid the whole housing industry is. The developer’s demand that the exteriors use real wood siding, just like 100 years ago, is a case in point. The quality of wood today is not what it was 100-200 years ago. Building exteriors need constant maintenance and repair as the little nazi’s roam around with there clip boards and cameras taking pictures of any peeled paint and issuing citations…all to preserve that faux quality the permeate every aspect of bourgeoisie culture…god forbid the effects of nature are allow to threaten with chaos, the empty order of middle class existence.
    Duany and his merry band of new urbanists failed largely because they are powerless in the face of the machinery of production and the social forces that define our reality. No New Urbanist project has reordered the core dynamic that generates material culture. At least Alexander’s approach delineates the fact that the underlying mode of production is the core problem. Thinking that real urban life can arise from slapping some nice cornices on a building or implementing mixed use in the layout of a neighborhood is….remarkably ignorant but what typically passes for real substance in crippled minds of our over educated elites.
    Having stripped the theoretical and empirical core from C. Alexander’s project, CNU has plagiarized CA’s premise in an attempt to commodify and market something that is merely a pretender to the throne. CNU offers nothing in the way of an alternate mode of production or any real means to generate/regenreate urban life.

  95. Jim from Watkins Glen May 25, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Water, or lack thereof, will have a lot to do with what’s next. You can live a long time without money, a car, air conditioning, or corn syrup. About a week with no water and you’re dead as a hammer. I often work with people who look after water systems, storm drains, intake pumps, treatment plants, those sorts of things. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, ya, now I remember– it’s clusterfuck.

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  96. eightm May 25, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    We need wild growth like crazy. Growth must increase wildly, it will explode, it must explode and the earth must go in cancer mode: this is progress, this the long March of Technology and Science going forward.
    Now that the artificial life forms have been invented, there is absolutely no stopping the march of progress: these life forms will build skyscrapers overnight by self assembling concrete and steel, these trillion bacteria like machines will build huge bridges across all the oceans, Atlantic and Pacific where giant private cars with 5,000 horsepower and mega torque mega luxury cars will cruise across the world at 500 to 1,000 kilometers per hour (no more using miles, we are in a global world now, it is all one unit now, no more local farmboy crap). We don’t need anything natural anymore, nature is the enemy, we have succeeded in dominating it completely by building these fake cells and organisms. It is done, it has been achieved.
    The whole concept of nature is so idiotic, so false, what on earth is natural ? Our brains and thought has automatically made everything unnatural, a complete invention, a complete make believe entity. Death is natural, no life is really natural, the surface of the Sun and Mars and the Moon, where there is nothing at all is really natural. That is what is real, not the earth with its absurd lifeforms, life is simply a crazy runaway chemical reaction that has been evolving for billions of years. Life is the most unnatural entity in the universe, a total quirk, invention, a make believe entity.
    Worldwide population can and will easily hit 10,000 trillion (probably by 2012), we will live in skyscrapers with 300 floors. Sprawl must be increased as much as possible, this is good as it occupies all available space with our machines. We will conquer the universe. Robots will be doing all our work and Computers will be doing all our thinking.
    On a side note, we need cheap rents (like 100 to 300 dollars a month), we need free salaries like 3,000 dollars a month, the money is there, it is all in the banks, they have 1,000 trillion dollars, so they just have to decide to give it out. Work and Labor are completely obsolete, are old fashioned concepts that are no longer applicable to an advanced technological society, so get over it, deal with it, work is over, fun is in forever.
    And we need BUSES, luxury BUSES with Rolls Royce like suspensions, quiet inside and out, fast, with private compartments all across the USA suburbs.

  97. eightm May 25, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    In case you are wondering how all of the above can be done in a jiffy, it is because scientists have recently been able to create the first cell – life forms in the laboratory: so this will kick in a positive feedback loop and make them be able to create cells that will:
    1) Suck up all of the excess CO2, so no more global warming;
    2) Create artificial gasoline and oil, by programmed internal processes (probably programmed by Computers);
    3) Clean up all the excess waste in the environment by these new cell – bacteria eating it all up and transforming it into gasoline.
    Now put that in your pipe and smoke it.
    And computers are now getting so smart that they will shortly be able to design even smarter ones, and greatly exceed the human mind potential. The Technological Singularity is near.

  98. cleitophon May 25, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    You’re living in a dream world mate!
    Why don’t you flag down a yellow cab and head for real street.
    If you release atmosphere changing bacteria into the biosphere you’re setting yourself up for destruction. Even if such bacteria could be designed (which I doubt), there is no way you could take into account all possible outcomes. There would be countless unintended consequences to what you suggest here. Even the legal implications of meddling with a global common resource such as the atmosphere are staggering.
    Inane, silly and retarded suggestions just drag down the level of debate. And in this case the medicine is worse than the disease. Study the history of reseasing foreign organisms into ecosystems – it is a disaster.

  99. cleitophon May 25, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    I can see it now: they loose control of the little critters and we get: a gasoline filled, CO2-less globe!
    Here is a list of reading for you:
    Jean-Jaques Rousseau: Discource on the sciences and arts
    Mary Shelly: Frankenstein
    Oswald Spengler: Der Untergang des Arbendlandes
    John Brunner: The Jagged Orbit
    Philip K. Dick: do androids dream of electronic sheep?
    ect ect ect

  100. eightm May 25, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    But in the process, the bacteria machines will build trillions of giant luxury cars that will gobble up all the gasoline for transcontinental trips, just for the fun of it. As you see a positive feedback loop would kick in, more cars -> more CO2 -> more bacteria eating CO2 -> more gasoline -> more cars. Until the earth enters cancer mode, then we will expand in the solar system.
    As you can see, things naturally reach a “natural” equilibrium, even if this implies a constant growth of cars, spaceships, trips, ever more energy in action. This is the real meaning and the real reason why Economies must Grow, and must Grow forever.
    On a side note, you guys are completely wrong on what the future holds, it will not be growing crap in your backyard, but in spaceships across the solar system, with computers and robots doing all our thinking and all our working.

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  101. diogen May 25, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Cleit, you should know that Eightm emails us from M25T32, an extrasolar planet somewhere in the Magellanic cloud. They are well known in the Universe for their luxury buses, free salaries, cheap rents and unlimited growth. None of it is really relevant for the Earth, but I’m guessing Eightm has never actually visited the Earth, so he wouldn’t know… this is just my guess you understand…

  102. dale May 25, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    It may come as a surprise to you, but I think that curbs on immigration are a good idea, it’s just been overwelming in recent years and it’s time to give it a rest, for the sake of the American worker and a sense of shared cultural values which, no matter what utopian idealism may like, is an important part of national viability.
    That being said, it doesn’t matter whether people are eating and farting in Sri Lanka or Atlanta, in terms of global resource usage. Eventually, we are all in the same boat in terms of the consequences, which are completely uneffected by ideas of borders, patriotism or some silly notion that one political party is responsible for all our problems.
    None of the rest of the doomer notions on this site can hold a candle to this problem, and most could otherwise be dealt with, most likely indefinitely, if population were stable.
    Worldwide population growth however, is just too overwelming these days to continue to be compensated for by our ability to adapt. If you want to be a doomer, population statistics is really the only documentation you need, and the only one for which there has been virtually no suggestion of a solution.
    WERE DOOMED…… there I said it. 😉

  103. dale May 25, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    “you guys are completely wrong on what the future holds, it will not be growing crap in your backyard, but in spaceships across the solar system, with computers and robots doing all our thinking and all our working.”
    That is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read on this blog!
    You must be to young to remember that we were all, according to ‘Popular Mechanics’ in the 1950’s, going to be flying around in our personal helicopters and jet backpacks by the year 1980! I can’t wait!….oh… right, that was 30 years ago.
    Living in the future in never as much fun as predicting it.

  104. lbendet May 25, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Of arrogance and blowback
    One thing you can always count on ..if the “experts” say it can’t happen you know something big is going to blow. It’s hard to imagine how many gaffs they made on the way to this disaster.(If you didn’t know any better you’d think it was deliberate)
    Who wouldn’t think of the Titanic close to a century ago?
    And from of all companies, BP, you know the green energy company who is looking to be the alternative multinational to the other big oil companies.. you know, that one.
    Well they are using chemical dispersals, Corexit made by NALCO who’s big shareholder is Goldman Sachs. Gee they’re everywhere you don’t want them to be. –And to make matters worse, the chemicals are more toxic than alternatives. The US government has asked them to not use those chemicals, but since we are a colony of the trans-nationals, I guess we don’t have much say in this.
    Yes, at this point after trying various ad hoc plans, they have gone from throwing spaghetti at the wall to the whole damn pot!
    I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with “Top Kill”. I hope they let us watch for our viewing pleasure.
    In the meantime things are going from bad to worse and we have to worry that the insidious oil blob will go us the east coast and damage more of the coasts and fishing industry.
    There’s nothing like that old world mindset that could turn a beautiful continent to ecological disaster zone. Keep in mind that with the Titanic the only dead zone was the ship.

  105. diogen May 25, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    >it doesn’t matter whether people are eating
    >in Sri Lanka or Atlanta, in terms of global >resource usage.
    Dale, this is really not true. Americans (and others in the “Developed” world) consume WAY more: electricity, fossil energy, food, space, resources, etc. Most Mexicans (or others from the 2nd and 3rd world) coming to the U.S. dramatically increase their resource footprint on the planet. I think you know that.

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  106. diogen May 25, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    >but since we are a colony of the trans-nationals
    One could make a very good case for that notion. It’s probably even worse than that, we’re a colony of all corporations, domestic and foreign, in the sense that they control all aspects of our lives, including much of what we think and believe in, and how the products of our labor are used by “our” gov’t.

  107. welles May 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I’ve been reading how cars passing over the road are exerting forces that drive some type of apparatus that produces electricity, in very significant amounts, e.g. enough to power 2,500 households depending on the traffic volume. Looks extremely promising.

  108. Cash May 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    So you too are a Gooner? Trifecta? Is this hope or conviction I’m hearing?
    I have hope myself. I think that too many clubs are not fiscally sustainable and are going to have to shed big name/big salary players and/or go into financial restructuring. I think that Arsenal is on a sounder fiscal footing than most of the rest. That gives me hope. Plus they have some really talented young fellas and Wenger that has a sharp eye for talent.
    You have some clubs like Man City/Chelsea/AC that have zillionaire owners and can maybe buy themselves silverware but even mega rich owners get tired of the non stop outflow of money. They didn’t get rich because they’re Santa Claus after all.
    You have to wonder what the hell Real Madrid was thinking when they blew so much dough on Ronaldo and Kaka. Those guys, after all, are all one busted ankle from retirement (touch wood).
    What I want to see from the Gunners is COMMITTMENT and the will to WIN. Do you remember when someone asked Fabregas about Barcelona? His answer was disheartening. I understand he’s Catalan. But at the tender age of 23 he is the effing CAPTAIN of Arsenal, one of the world’s biggest clubs and most valuable franchises. I want to hear him say he will bleed for the Gunners, that his one and only priority is the Gunners.

  109. observer May 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    I found this piece of information mind-blowing, as we used to say. I posted it at the very end of last week’s comments, and am repeating it here for those who didn’t check back that late in the game.
    From the May 17 New Yorker, p. 47:
    “Google is interested in energy mainly because the company’s server farms, along with the rest of the Internet, use a huge and rapidly growing amount of power. Searching, accessing, and storing an ever increasing volume of Web pages . . . and everything else that can be found online requires electricity, and most of that electricity is currently generated by burning coal. The Internet’s energy and carbon footprints now probably exceed those of air travel . . . perhaps by as much as a factor of two, and they are growing faster than those of almost all other human activities. In February, the federal government made the decision to allow a Google subsidiary to participate directly in energy markets, on an equal footing with utilities.”

  110. Pepper Spray May 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Last time I was in Atlanta I just wanted back out!
    I couldn’t leave that city fast enough!
    Cities like that are not places I would want to be in the event of a complete lock up of the banking system. Imagine the chaos that would ensue from trucks not making food deliveries, simply because trucking companies couldn’t get a bridge loan to buy fuel. Or a number of gas stations running out for similar reasons, preventing exodus from the mayhem that would result. Not a pretty picture.

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  111. asia May 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    great comment!
    yet public radio says ‘USA brings in turd world people and helps them’
    did others see the piece on how kudzu with its nitrogen is messing up the air?
    does anyone know how much was originally introduced?

  112. asia May 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    ‘I blame Americans, mostly White’
    in the immortal words of one woman in the 90s’
    ‘white america shame on you’!

  113. asia May 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    So i went to a monks lecture on Tibetan Medicine.
    he talked the ‘end times’…any insight from buddist scripture? what did budda actually say?
    or predict?

  114. asia May 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    do a websearch on:
    santa monica college / hss building.
    maybe 3 ? years old.
    LEED certified i assume.
    the green design architects didnt even put door stops on classroom doors so door can be jammed open on hot days.
    if ever there was a eyesore award that deserved to be made.
    windows that wont open / shut.

  115. asia May 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    ‘Eventually, we are all in the same boat in terms of the consequences’
    maybe not.
    i know someone who visited an organic farm/ commune in alaska.
    i assume they are 100% off grid.
    when the SHTF i say those in alaska or far from any big city are better off.
    i know a filipino in LA who expects collapse.
    he thinks hes better off here than at home.
    ‘ my homeland ill be like columbia, each area controlled by a narco terrorist, look at whats happening in mexico’

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  116. asia May 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    ‘Land ownership is the ultimate democracy’
    hhahaha..tell that to natives in africa whos lands being bought by agri corps and red chinese.
    remember the g rule.
    he who has the gold makes the rules!

  117. asoka May 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Data-center power consumption will rise from 1.2 percent to 4 percent of all power consumption in the U.S. in the next few years according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
    Information technology consumes 30 to 40 percent of the power flowing into a typical corporation, and 87 percent of server rooms were built before 2001.
    Companies with large server farms and storage area networks will face out-of-control energy costs.
    Intel Corp. and others have announced the Climate Savers initiative to help reduce carbon emissions, a plan that, if it works, will be the equivalent of taking 11 million cars off the road.
    Meanwhile, Google Inc. has installed a 1.6-megawatt solar panel array that provides its California headquarters with 30 percent of its peak power.

  118. solarbruce May 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I agree that we all have small scale farming in our futures. I just have a problem with statements from people I know that “we grow most of our own food”. What I see is that people typically grow a lot of their own vegetables, but where are the calories and the protein? Where are the grains and the high calorie foods that will store over the winter? And how many people raising their own chickens, for instance, are doing so without buying sacks of chicken feed from the store? True local sustainablility is a lot more complicated than many people make it out to be.

  119. diogen May 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    ‘Land ownership is the ultimate democracy’
    I should’ve said that land ownership or access to land is ultimate egalitarianism. For most of history (and today as well in many places) the basis of inequality was control of land. Landless peasants, slaves, peoples pushed off the land by invaders, non-first borns in primogeniture cultures, women, poor urban dwellers, etc. were at the mercy of those who controlled the land. When one couldn’t grow the food for his family, he had no choice but to indenture himself in one way or another to the man who did possess the land. Looking at the complex picture of social classes in England the case is very clear: the more and better the lands were under one’s control, the higher the person was in the social and economic hierarchy. It was’t a guarantee of course (look what happened to the Catholic Church and its vast land wealth in England after Q. Elizabeth unleashed the land-hungry supporters on them), but it sure improved one’s chances in life.
    In our place and time 1/4 acre may be your freedom from totalitarian agri-business that’s poisoning you today and may impoverish you tomorrow. As I’ve said before, people i know grow close to 70-80% of all vegetables/legumes/tubers they consume (this involves preserving for off-season use, canning, drying, freezing, etc). For example: last summer we grew enough strawberries in 4 raised beds 4’x4′ each to last us all summer and froze enough to last us all winter and spring; we still have frozen string beans and other veggies in the freezer that we’ll have to give to the food pantry because the new veggies are coming in now… All of that with no chemicals. If you’re concerned about a collapse, invest in simple garden tools, books, canning supplies, freezer, and get your neighbors to do the same. LONG LIVE SUBURBIA with 1/4+ acre lots 🙂 Sorry JHK.

  120. diogen May 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    >but where are the calories and the protein? >Where are the grains and the high calorie
    You’re correct, I never said we grow most of our food, only most of our vegetables/legumes, and lately potatoes. Sure, we still need to buy bread and pasta (or flour), grains for making cereal, occasional meat and fish. But home-grown legumes do provide a lot of protein you need, and unless you’re a growing kid you don’t need as much protein as you think. In terms of calories, I’d say we grow probably 30% of the calories we consume, and that’s with my wife doing most of the gardening in her spare time (I give her my moral support and admiration, and will help when I retire). If we converted the rest of the sun-exposed lawn to garden space and put more time into it, I think we could easily increase it to 50-60% of our calories (using season extenders such as cold frames, etc.) And we do give away some of what we grow to the neighbors.

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  121. diogen May 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    On the topic of food independence, for those who can’t or won’t grow some of your food, your best chance for food security is your local farmers, not Kroger and General Mills. What calories we don’t grow we can buy from farmers within 1-2 hour driving range. We buy occasional beef and lamb, and Thanksgiving turkey from a friend who became a farmer after he retired, cheese from many local cheese makers, local milk. There are folks who grow gran locally (check out Gene Logsdon and his blog http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/)
    And when/if TSHTF, there’s hunting and fishing, there’s enough deer, groundhogs and squirells to provide all Ohioans with protein for years and years, and when all the deer and groundhogs and squirells are shot, that means we can keep more of our garden produce for ourselves 🙂 Forget about Costa Rica, move to Cleveland! Just south of Cleveland there are tens of thousands of Amish who know how to farm with horses, are superb woodworkers and dairymen (one made cabinets for me cheaper than Lowes and much better quality).

  122. Dan Reuter May 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Atlanta’s development patterns are largely a story of federal policy to support highway construction during a period of huge migration south and local governments who were unprepared for hyper growth. Smart growth hit the southern scene in the mid-1990s. Most of Atlanta’s infrastructure was built after introduction of the automobile and zoning. Atlanta has many great neighborhoods, universities, etc. Problem is few are tranist enabled and MARTA stations areas are underdeveloped.

  123. diogen May 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Sorry, the URL is:

  124. asoka May 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Next year’s budget allocates $159,000,000,000 to “contingency operations,” to perpetuate the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s enough money to eliminate federal income taxes for the first $35,000 of every American’s income each year, and beyond that, leave over $15 billion that would cut the deficit.
    So let’s do that instead.
    The war is making you poor.

  125. Malahat May 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Submitted without comment.
    Apartments.com and CareerRookie.com have released a list of the top 10 cities for young adults. The roster is based on the inventory of jobs requiring less than one year of experience, the average cost of rent and the highest concentration of young adults.
    “…it’s important to look at cities offering the culture and lifestyle these young adults enjoy,” said Tammy Kotula of Apartments.com.
    The best cities, including the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment:
    1. Atlanta, $723
    2. Phoenix, $669
    3. Denver, $779
    4. Dallas, $740
    5. Boston, $1,275
    6. Philadelphia, $938
    7. New York, $1,366
    8. Cincinnati, $613
    9. Baltimore, $1,041
    10. Los Angeles, $1,319
    Associated Press

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  126. citylab May 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Nicely said.
    I think the ideas behind NU are sound as far as a planning method are concerned. Where NU consistently loses its way, in my opinion, is in it’s adherence to traditional forms. When this post notes that the CNU are knocked for being “slaves to worn-out traditions’ it is not the traditions “like walking from home to work”, as you so eloquently red-herringed, as it is the often bizarre obsession with neo-classical or neo-traditional (whatever that means) building forms.
    Let us regulate scale, material and performance, but form? If we are really concerned about peak-oil or climate change than we need concern ourselves with new and, possibly, different means of dwelling – what is the carbon footprint of all of those dormers and picket fences? My own neighbourhood is becoming a ghetto of inefficient monster-sized “heritage-style” duplexes – a simulacra of neo-historicism.
    There are many examples of eminently green and walkable neighbourhoods that don’t look anything like a New England antique market and I think that New Urbanists, if they are ever going to lose their uptight & white image, are going to have to be open to the idea that good neighbourhoods come in lots of shapes and sizes (and many with no dormers at all).

  127. DH May 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    I find James Kunsler to be quite a ‘Bizarre Organism’ himself– once again mildly amusing and mostly an asshole–
    He defeats his own purpose with his acidic and frankly feeble observations (this assumes that he actually has a purpose beyond spewing some sort of oddly elitist vile, something that I find doubtful and that he actually looked beyond the window of his hotel in Atlanta)…
    The CNU is a mixed bag of mostly ‘well-intentioned urbanists’–… They seem to have the right ideas about healthier more walkable/ livable cities…
    So it makes their pious self-righteousness almost bearable…
    Almost, that is, until you see what this perfection in city-planning has wrought–
    Ever been to that Disney Hell known as Celebration? Yes, by golly, CNU to the core… also very white and very exclusive–
    You apparently have to pay a lot for this fresh-faced (and pale) urbanism–
    I attended the conference on Friday and found much too actually like… and much that made me a bit queasy– including the total lack of diversity among Kunstler’s ‘homies’—(racial, economic, etc…) and a sense of being right that allowed mostly no dissension– (It helps that at least on subjects like pedestrianism and sustainability I think they mostly are, their profoundly stupid love for architecture ancient clearly NOT-withstanding)…
    Ole Jimmy’s total (and intentional) lack of ability to see any of the more progressive things happening in Atlanta– like Midtown’s new mixed-use, pedestrian, urban zoning or the X-billion dollar, rails to trails, and transit– Beltline Project just exposes his virulent regional bigotry (revealed again with that very odd roller-skating rink remark thingy?)–
    I happen to like Atlanta– its diversity and its very humanly scaled walkable neighborhoods (Which Mr. K. would know about if he ever got out of his rental car– perhaps he was too distracted looking for a valet to park his Hertz Hummer)—
    Warts and all–
    Sure some things that I hate– like many folks… too much throw-away, ugly environment and too much that is killing the environment… Like most American cities, the ATL needs design help for sure… The reason I suspect that they held the CNU meeting here to begin with– (though admittedly picking the Hilton for their meeting– one of the most anti-urban places in the city seems more than a little odd)…
    Happily Human Atlanta Resident

  128. Prelapsarian Press May 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    I hope JHK is willing to return to Madison after an encounter with the political correctness police there a few years ago. Some sweet young thing took the mic and protested his choice of metaphor — the term “bitch slap,” which, you know, helps perpetuate the cycle of violence against women, or some such. If memory serves, JHK had spoken of bitch slapping the U.S.
    Well, Kunstler is not one to accept his pc citations without protest. Oh, that poor girl. With First Amendment flag flying high, he lit into her for attempting to censor him. Just ripped her a new one. It was probably the first time in her life she had ever received anything but a pat on the head for vetting her precious condemnations. It was uncomfortable to watch, but somewhat exhilarating at the same time.
    For a free download of Kunstlerian-style invective — Words that Draw Blood — go to http://www.lost-vocabulary.com.

  129. Funzel May 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    So,last week was cost cutting week of all the Governments around the world.A devious game the bankster gangsters are playing to make the governments sub servant to them, to continue looting and manipulating them into bankruptcy,every time there is a so called tax cut,the governments have less and less chance and money to properly regulate these bastards. All the various departments
    were created only to keep an eye on the corporate criminals.It is high time to call in the jackals to thin the ranks of this scum.
    In the fifties we had regulations that kept down inflation,kept exchange rates stable and the Sears catalog prices were good all year.This present riff raff needs to be exterminated,including the mass murderer at BP,Exxon and other irresponsible industries killing the population, and like their fathers before created the collapse of the Weimar Rebublic.

  130. asoka May 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    The marginal tax rate from 1950 to 1980 was between 60% to 92%, and the country had money to fund an affluent and growing middle class.
    Then came Reagan/Bush and the marginal tax rate decreased, and now we are broke.
    People say they would like the stability of the 1950’s to return, but they don’t want to tax the rich at 92% … like back in the 1950’s when the country worked.
    Blame Reagan and Bush for getting their rich friends out of paying taxes. Many rich now pay no taxes at all. Remember what Warren said: as a billionaire he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary does.

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  131. jdfarmer May 25, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Diogen, the solar maximum for food production is near 900 million people on this planet, without fossil fuels.
    That means 1/3 or the worlds population would reside in the USA.

  132. jdfarmer May 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Erik, I have been farming for 30 years and have heard this at least once every 5 years.
    Bio-tech corn and beans are increasing in yield due to genetics, fertilizers, fuel.
    India is dumping their stocks on the world market, not sure why they would do this other than to lower prices?
    BUT I will agree that one good hurricane that dumps a million barrels of oil out of the gulf coast on the mid west corn and bean crop could create a food shortage in a hell of a hurry.
    I better lock my bins.

  133. asia May 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    usually I ignore yr posts, dont finish em.
    this one intrigues me [u there qstick?].
    werent you bemoaning 1950s ameriKKKa here months ago? using terms like…..
    the john birchers [read : me]
    a stuffy society
    the [not] good old days?
    asoka..you who celebrate the borderless world…
    in 45 years the us population has increased 50%.
    youve not bemoaned that, and with it its costs
    enviornmental, financial and otherwise as the US is turned turdworld.

  134. jdfarmer May 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    MY message here was that the cost of goods has not kept up with the cost of food. Try living for just one month on the wages you may have earned in 1970.
    The cost of a combine had increased 100 fold, while the price of wheat has near doubled.

  135. asia May 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    where do you get yr info?
    ….which is consistent with what JK sets forth in TLE.
    i know greens who think we will feed 7 or 8 billion organically!
    presumably with oxen pulling plows!

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  136. asia May 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    as a child i read an ad in the NYT or fate magazine…:
    resurrected millions will farm fertile ocean floors…buy this book
    [presumably with technology that the aliens will give us, we wont have to reverse engineer it.]

  137. asia May 25, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    lets see..as a teen in the early 70s i got a manual labor job.
    the pay was $1.70? an hour…is that about right?
    now groceries for one can be 100$ a week.
    i dont see how a ‘working’ class family of 3 to 10 does it..even with foodstamps or whatever.

  138. jdfarmer May 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    A couple hundred years ago, the land, before we broke it to intensively farm grains and oil seeds, was happily sustaining itself growing bison who deposited thier waste back on th eland to grow next years grass. We then ate the bison.
    When I hear that eating grains is better for the environment, it makes me red.
    It takes nearly 10 calories of fossil energy to produce one calorie of food in our current system.

  139. asia May 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Vlad called dale a [get this] a ‘race traitor’.
    i assume dale is of the human race and i dunno his skin color so i wont comment on that!
    but what his statement does reveal is what many feel/are [i.e. deracinated]. and this is an intentional effect of the power elites programming us.
    in other words the UN or whatever can make better decisions than we as individuals or the US govt can.

  140. KC May 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Thanks James for the interesting, yet vaguely out of place post where the huge Peak Oil/Climate Change/Peak Pollution story is concerned. Your dear friend and fellow traveler; Mike Rupert just gave a tongue-lashing up in Burlington, Vermont on the 13th all about what is about to happen over the next week to the United States and Human Civilization in general. Rupert’s main point was: Collapse is inevitable and oh by the way you’ve missed your one big chance to prepare if your not already. According to Rupert’s operatives over at his From the Wilderness Blog, have been posting press reports from around the globe like a Chinese Fire Drill since BP has gone into crisis containment. Additionally Rupert claims that the so-called “kill-shot” will fail and either one of two very huge solutions will be acted upon. The first being a “burn-off” of the oil from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, which will require the evacuation of the entire Gulf Coast region in addition most of the state of Florida or even worse the money boys in Houston, along with representatives of the US Federal Government are discussing and planing a PME event. For those who are not familiar with the term PNE, I’ll elaborate; PNE is the acronym for “Peaceful Nuclear Explosion.” For those versed in Cold War history, Operation Plowshares and Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy were the two PNE programs sponsored by the United States and the then Soviet Union respectively. Additionally as you can see, PNE’s have been used before and it seems that both BP and the US Federal Government are taking this extreme option very freaking seriously. Please Note the following as the proof in the pudding:
    Again Mr. Kunstler great post, however if you are truly concerned for your readers (and thus their continued patronage) you might have wanted to warn them about the biggest “clusterfuck” since Chernobyl!
    KC- scared witless

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  141. diogen May 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    >solar maximum for food production is near 900 >million people
    JD, I’d dispute this number. World population:
    1900 1.6 billion
    1927 2 billion
    all without fossil fuels and without the current state of the art in agri-science. I’ve seen solar max food production numbers anywhere from 3 to 5 billion worldwide (unevenly distributed of course). Ironically, if the climate does warm up, there will be a net increase in yields worldwide (xcept Africa and some other isolated places).
    But once again, I don’t believe we’re world’s policeman or savior, it’s up to the world to look out for itself, we only need to look after ourselves which we’re failing as it is.

  142. DeeJones May 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    “Now put that in your pipe and smoke it.” 8M
    Well, you better start sharing your source, dude, because you must be smoking some pretty damm good crack.
    The USA is dead, deceased, passed on, gone to the maker…..
    ok, its still twitching a bit, give it time, that will stop too..
    Now we just have to wait for the maggots to stop thier work, and see what arises from the pile of crap left over.
    Its goining to be much smaller, and less centralized.
    Of course the good ol USA could use the Samson Option at the end…..
    Hope the fall out don’t travel
    Hava beer…

  143. diogen May 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    >It takes nearly 10 calories of fossil energy to >produce one calorie of food in our current system.
    Sure, the result of monoculture cropping, CFO meat production, indiscriminate use of herbicides, pesticides and fossil-based fertilizers, trucking and flying food across the globe, 1,000+ acre farms, etc. That’s why the food is cheap in dollars — it’s unbelievably expensive in fossil fuel which isn’t priced realistically. Amish farmers in my neck of the woods are driven out of farming because they can’t compete with fossil-based agriculture.

  144. Gus44 May 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    I usually take apocalyptic pronouncements with a HUGE grain of salt (see erikSF99’s link to the food crisis article). The crisis in the Gulf, though, really worries me. This is an unprecedented ecological disaster that will render an entire body of salt water dead. It will have a sizable effect on our food supply and destroy a part of the economy that supports millions of people. This might be the event that pushes us over the edge into chaos. Like KC, I’m scared witless.

  145. jdfarmer May 25, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    Wage, I have often commented to my wife that the art history majors would be running a hoe on my farm.

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  146. jdfarmer May 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    If we all switch to organics (no fertilizer, pesticides) we will slowly deplete what fertilizer we have added to the soil over a course of a few years while the people starve and the weeds take over.
    My data is sound. Start looking around. I make my life farming and consulting with another 50+ farms.
    Generally, organic food is produced with fallow or plow down for green manure, which immediately only produces food on each acre every 2 years rather than each year. That cuts the food supply in half.
    No bio-tech or pesticides? Half again. Maybe more.
    Again, I would rather farm holistically, however the world would slowly starve.

  147. jdfarmer May 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Fair, but without fossil fertilizers, we have already used up soil nutrition to the point that we cant replace it fast enough. Newly broke soil (1900’s) would produce double or triple what it might produce today without fertilizer additions. Soil back then had life. Now it is just a growing medium.
    Ask any mid west farmer what their crop is like when the hired man forgets to turn on the ammonia.
    Don’t get me started on phosphorus or potash.

  148. asoka May 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    asia, I said it is better if you don’t read my posts or respond to them.
    asia said: “asoka..you who celebrate the borderless world…”
    The world is borderless. That is a fact the moon mission established when they first saw the earth from outer space and saw it has no borders drawn on it. All those borders are imaginary, man-made, and we are spending billions to defend these imaginary lines.
    Obama is sending troops to the “border” and will spend a lot of money to do that, but I guess you support Obama sending troops to the border. Yeah, you are an Obama supporter, asia.

  149. asoka May 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    jdfarmer said: “Generally, organic food is produced with fallow or plow down for green manure, which immediately only produces food on each acre every 2 years rather than each year.”
    So you have never received government subsidies for NOT farming, for conservation tillage?
    In 2005 alone, when pretax farm profits were at a near-record $72 billion, the federal government handed out more than $25 billion in farm subsidy aid, almost 50 percent more than the amount it pays to families receiving welfare.

  150. Vlad Krandz May 26, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    Don’t buy the lie,
    Millions now living will never die.
    The Jehova’s Witnesses have had several end of the world dates come and go. Finally, they just said that Christ had come “invisibly”. Truly they are the dumbest cult of all. Apparently God is supposed to remove some or all of the ocean so we can farm it. He better stick around after that to manage the climate change too.
    Their pamphlets are always full of Blacks and Browns playing with Whites. Truly a Kali Yuga religion devoid of wisdom and committed to race mixture and universal destruction. If Whites are mixed in with all others, how will we rebuild civilization after the crash?

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  151. Vlad Krandz May 26, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    You’re right Dale – Earth Days are just about cheap feel good green consumerism. They have nothing to do with real ecology – the huge masses of people aptly symolize the absurdity of the whole situation.
    Whites aren’t the problem when it comes to too many people. In regards to consumer lifestyles, yes indeed we are the problem. But these other groups aren’t superior, just less clever by half. Why do you think they have come here? To get in on our consumer lifestyle obviously. We should never have exported our lifestyle around the world since it is unsustainable. And we must stop the prolific people from coming into our country. Let them go back to their own places which are more green than America for the most part.

  152. Vlad Krandz May 26, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    There are many kinds of borders besides political – topographical, climactic, linguistic, demographic, etc. The political borders usually follow these – or at least they should. Many unnatural countries are created like Chezkoslovakia or Uganda both of which contain groups which hate each other. Animal species have borders too – no niche will have two species that compete. One will drive out or exterminate the other. So Soak, borders are natural. What is your skin but the border of your organism? How long do you think you would last without your skin, Hmmm?
    I’ve heard Blacks sometimes eat dirt. Have you tried this?

  153. cleitophon May 26, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Look, true subsistens farming would be back breaking and nerveracking! The diversity of foofstuffs in the current age would be completely out of the question. Even the issue og getting salt and cooking oil are problematic. What if your crops failed one season and you had winter ahead of you.
    Think of the scale: an onion a day all year round: thats 365 onions: consider the area and work needed for that. Then add potatoes, leeks ect. If you have cows and horses for labour and manure, consider how much pasture you would need. Just harvesting the grass for winter and storing it? you would be doing har labour 12-14 hours a day for survival.
    And the comment with squirrels??? If there were a sudden catastrophic disruption of oil supply: imagine the towns dispersing – the countryside would be teeming with starving people. Most likely, this would be highly disruptive to the ecological system – like a swarm of locusts. The transition to a new equilibrium would be horrific!
    There are way too many trigger happy people here romanticising a possible crash of the current economic system.
    How about debating realistic transition policies? Getting ready while we still have oil. criticising Growth policies, which merely set the stage for greater catastrophy.

  154. jdfarmer May 26, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    2 comments, ASOKA
    First, I farm in Canada where we don’t get farm welfare, like my subsidized USA counterparts. No Conservation Reserve program here. Nada.
    Second, Pretax income and taxable income are 2 entirely different things. If I could spend all my GROSS income I wouldn’t be complaining.

  155. diogen May 26, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    JD, your data is indeed sound, but what does it mean? Sooner or later fossil-based agriculture will have to go into decline either due the low availability or high cost of fossils (oil+gas). What then? I think it will have to be a wide range of responses: small-scale farms, backyard gardens, 100% composting of all organic matter, green manures, improved hybrids (and probably GM too), and drastically reduced variety of available foods. It’s inevitable (no one knows when exactly), so it’s a good idea to start getting prepared to avoid a period of severe food shortages. As recently as 150 years ago even wealthy people grew some of their food, it’s a natural and good thing for humans to do (watching TV is the opposite 🙂

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  156. diogen May 26, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    >Soil back then had life. Now it is just a growing >medium.
    You should look at the soil in our and our friends backyard gardens, it’s black gold. We treat it as a living organism which it is and don’t poison it with chemicals that are one molecule away from nerve agents and chemical weapons. Instead of the fallow system we use very deliberate rotation, using nitrogen-fixing instead of ammonia. Instead of one simple big “solution” (N-P-K) we use many small solutions: saving and adding egg-shells to soil, composting everything (incl. leaves in the fall), nitrogen-fixing, etc. My guesstimate is that if 50% of homeowners converted just 2,000 sq. ft. of their lawn into organic garden space (equal to their home footprint), we could drastically reduce our dependence on fossil agriculture, THis is almost inevitable, as there will be great pressure to switch much acreage to growing fuel-crops instead of food crops when fossil fuels decline.

  157. The Mook May 26, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Wow! You guys follow soccer and permaculture? How can you stand all the excitement?

  158. welles May 26, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Soccer’s awesome when you watch the Brazilians play it, you havta rerun it in slow motion to catch their phenomenal ability to manipulate the ball with their feeties.
    Any kind of self-agriculture beats the pants off of the stultifying American ‘pastimes’ of teevee & overdosing on poisonous ‘food’. Blecch, what a ghastly, wretched ‘culture’.
    Oh yeah, but my parents told me ‘America is the best country on the planet’. Geezus

  159. jaw762 May 26, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    I was a fan of The Geography of Nowhere, and I agree with many of your observations about development and planning for the last 100 years and the travesty it has been. As an Atlanta resident, I have to say that you’re missing the mark a bit. Atlanta certainly has huge problems, especially when you look at it’s relationship with the surrounding counties known as OTP (outside the perimeter). However, living in the city limits is getting better all of the time. I have lived in midtown, where I managed to drive a car only once a week or so. I walked or rode a bike most everywhere I went. I now live in Grant Park where I walk to the MARTA station to get to work. We have dozens of restaurants within a short walk, and the area around our MARTA station is developing nicely with mixed use development that has ground floor retail, tree lined streets, and quick access to downtown. There are pockets of this lifestyle available all over the city, and you don’t have to be well-off to access them. We certainly could do better here, but it’s not as bad as you make it out to be (unless you’re the chump who lives in Alpharetta and drives 45 minutes each way to get to work in the city so you can have a ‘yard’ and ‘good’ schools).

  160. scarlet runner May 26, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Agreed. Except forget GM crops. They were a tragic mistake. Otherwise, spot on.
    Farming, as most of us know it, is a useless and destructive activity with no future. Most farmers today couldn’t successfully grow a kitchen garden for their own use. Too used to sitting on their butts.

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  161. diogen May 26, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    >Except forget GM crops. They were a tragic mistake.
    A lot of people are very ambivalent toward GM crops, the potential for a disaster is there, but as usual with humans it’s choosing which disaster you want to risk to avoid others…
    >Most farmers today couldn’t successfully grow a >kitchen garden for their own use.
    >Too used to sitting on their butts.
    Hey, they just do what they have to in order to survive economically in the conventional setup.
    Some guys like Joel Salatin of http://www.polyfacefarms.com/ seem to thrive in the new paradigm, but it does take more work than “conventional” farming. The farmers are like the rest of us, they want the highest EARNING/EFFORT ratio…

  162. dale May 26, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    “So i went to a monks lecture on Tibetan Medicine.
    he talked the ‘end times’…any insight from buddist scripture? what did budda actually say?
    or predict?”
    One of the main tenants of Buddhism is that there is no beginning, and thus, there can be no end. Of this world?……sure, impermanence applies to all phenomena. But to the whole realm of existence, no. Doesn’t matter however, you can just as easily find yourself somewhere else in your next life.
    Therefore, I would suggest that the Buddha would have found the subject moot, and wouldn’t have bothered with predictions….this world will end, naturally, “when” would be of marginal significance.
    His real discovery, that ranks as one of the greatest acheivements by a single man in human history, had to do with “what” this “this” you are referring to, really “is”.

  163. dale May 26, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    “i know someone who visited an organic farm/ commune in alaska.
    i assume they are 100% off grid.
    when the SHTF i say those in alaska or far from any big city are better off.”
    I was speaking in general terms. No doubt….should the sort of cataclysm you are referring to occur, some places would be better than others.

  164. The Mook May 26, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Doing great tricks with their feeties is fine but so is throwing a baseball ninety miles per hour. The only problem is there is only a small demand for these talents. Being able to fix the carburetor on your rototiller is a much more valuable talent in my opinion. Anyway, I am just busting balls. I played soccer in school when it wasn’t even recognized as a sport in most of America and gardening is one of my favorite pastimes although I use gas and fertilizer.

  165. dale May 26, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    “Dale, this is really not true. Americans (and others in the “Developed” world) consume WAY more: electricity, fossil energy, food, space, resources, etc. Most Mexicans (or others from the 2nd and 3rd world) coming to the U.S. dramatically increase their resource footprint on the planet.”
    OK, I see your point, yes we are using more, so in that way it would matter more if you were in the US (or other developed country) than say, Somalia.
    In the long term however, than is marginal, since we all have a minimum impact on the environment necessary to survive, and places like Somalia, in spite of their lower impact, are still showing signs of over usage of resources.

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  166. Qshtik May 26, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    One of the main tenants of Buddhism

  167. dale May 26, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Interesting 2 day conference at Oxford University regarding the “perceived convergence of modern science (relativity theory, quantum mechanics, systems biology, cognitive psychology) with some of the traditional ideas of Buddhism (anti-metaphysical stance, interdependence, emptiness, no-self)” 11-30 minute recordings.
    Includes Alan Wallace the teacher I spent a week with in Santa Barbara in March.

  168. trippticket May 26, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Funzel, you’re right about the developers scraping off the good stuff and adding back only a thin layer of topsoil after construction. But, thankfully, all you really need is the resident soil microbes and a whole lot of organic biomass to make deep, rich, fertile soil in a jif. That stuff is mostly free, and even bagged and waiting on the curb for you sometimes! We can radically speed up Nature’s activity with the right methods, and that’s precisely what we’ll have to do.
    We are the weeds that can save the Earth.

  169. asoka May 26, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    VLAD: “What is your skin but the border of your organism?”
    I guess if you consider yourself to be limited by your skin, then you might have a point.
    But skin has many different functions. Skin provides us with sensory response that relates us to the world. Skin is responsible for the formation of vitamin D to keep us healthy so we can relate to the world.
    Skin maintains our body temperature and provides a means of waste exchange. Skin has to be porous for this to work. Without a porous border we would die. (metaphor intended)

  170. trippticket May 26, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    “So you too are a Gooner? Trifecta? Is this hope or conviction I’m hearing?”
    Gooner til I die! But this is merely hope I’m afraid. Although I totally agree with you about Wenger’s eye for young talent and putting together a world-class squad at discount prices. Doesn’t always work, but then, we’ll always have the untouchable 2004 season!
    I guess the Special One was able to do it again. Can he do it when the money dries up?

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  171. Gus44 May 26, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Vlad Kranz, why don’t you run your sorry ass back to Stormfront’s web site? I’m sure there are plenty of like-minded people who would love to read your ramblings there.

  172. asoka May 26, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I think workingman1’s sage advice should appear every week:
    “My health-care plan:
    Eat the worlds top ten healthiest foods
    Turkey–free range
    Add a teaspoon of cod liver oil chased with black-strap molasses.
    Get about 30 min. of exercise and you will get healthier…
    Prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    And don’t get all worked up about the sky falling.”

  173. trippticket May 26, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Dovey! Love you too, my dear.
    Do you ever think it’s ironic that the very establishment Jim rails against is supposed to save the world with its long-range top-down planning? Surely no one could call the New Urbanists the establishment, but the idea that planners and architects are going to start doing sensible things and save our beloved bygone way of life is laughable.
    From here on out I think it’s much more realistic to believe that good things will happen organically, incrementally, as individuals make radical decisions to change the way they interact with their landscape. Chickens here, new garden there, solar panels up top perhaps, and who cares if I hang my laundry out to dry?
    That’s one of the reasons I moved to a poor black neighborhood: so I could experiment with new ways a little more easily. Rich white neighbors would never stand for a renegade like me practising self-reliance next door.

  174. diogen May 26, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    ATLANTA — use Google Maps (or other mapping website) to compare Atlanta or other American large cities with European cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, etc. One of the most notable differences is that in American cities HIGHWAYS cut right thru the cities, but in European cities the highways stop at the city boundaries and continue as regular roads into the cities. Highways are some of the most destructive features of American cities, besides noise and pollution they create wide dead swaths where there’s no place for humans. A good city gives one a sense of “gemuetlichkeit” which is German for comfort and coziness (if you’ve ever been to Bern Switzerland you’d know what i mean). You can’t feel comfortable anywhere within a mile of the highway. And in many cities they don’t even provide an efficient way of transport, at least at certain hours). If the resources spent on urban highways were put into subways/underground/metro lines, our cities would be much more livable. And it still can be done (more difficult politically than technologically).
    Another thing is pedestrian zones — virtually all European cities have many pedestrian zones (either streets closed to car traffic or other urban design elements such as plazas, parks, passages, etc.) where humans are not overwhelmed by 2 tons of steel full of kinetic energy zooming past them belching poisonous gas. In American cities most streets have either no sidewalks or 32″ sidewalks barely useable by one person at a time, and forget about pedestrian zones. If you’ve seen them, you know that commerce and life THRIVES in these pedestrian zones in European cities.

  175. trippticket May 26, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Speaking of which, I just finished up my goat paddock this morning. It’s roughly 50′ x 50′ with loads of cut cherry and oak saplings laying down in it for goat fodder. I’ve left a strip of land on both sides, north and south, to develop crops for my own use and stack in forage plants for chicken habitats too. Just seperate the offerings in time and exclude the chooks when the human crops get going. Rotating foraging habitats is the best way to keep chickens producing world-class eggs and meat without tearing up the landscape. I’ll add a couple of turkeys to the goat paddock soon too, but the minimum order from McMurray is 15! At 10 bucks a pop! Anyone want to go in on an order of turkeys?
    While I was there I filled an order of 25 chicks, mostly Dark Cornish for meat, but I need to dump some of those too. Dovey, you interested? Any other Georgians out there?

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  176. trippticket May 26, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Asoka, you’re lighting it up this week!

  177. trippticket May 26, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Everyone seems to be stuck on this acreage per person issue. Drives me nuts. OK, yes, it’s going to require more than a quarter acre to feed my family of four. No doubt. But I think we’re all still thinking in terms of a system that screwed us, and not in novel terms of polycultural production. I already mentioned seperating crops for chickens and humans in the fourth, but what about the third dimension? Besides growing very useful vining plants ON other larger plants, and semi-shade-loving berries and herbs UNDER those same scaffolds, what about underground? No light? What about mushrooms? I’ve been spending a lot of time lately studying mushrooms and companion “planting” them with other crops, and I believe I can grow shiitakes in large quantities on the trees I’m cutting down to bring in the sun, oysters on straw, and morels and wine cap stropharia in wood chips from the cleared trees. And that’s just the first season’s addition.
    I’m sure there are tons more, not to mention the chanterelles I found along the fenceline. Just need to think in time-space a little better than we do…

  178. The Mook May 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Tripp, I read your posts all the time but I think I missed your answer to my biggest concern. What are you going to do for water in that neighborhood when the faucets are down? When I say down, I mean for weeks during a drought type period.

  179. Steve D May 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    “Can you spare some meat brother?”
    I doubt starving ravenous hordes of armed tattoo etched mobs roaming the streets and countryside are going to be so polite in a country addicted to three a day.

  180. Cupid Stunt May 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Bloomberg also mentioned a new financial product that sounded really racy, clever and harmless but regrettably I have not been able to recall or find its name, but just suppose it was something like H5N1 (it sounded like something of this sort). It is a bundle of over 100 varieties of credit default swaps and seems to be similar in nature to a synthetic collateralised debt obligation (SCDO).
    It is basically a cousin of the CDO, where all the dodgy mortgages were lumped together, sliced and diced and then parcelled out as lumps of total shit to be bought at great expense by the unwitting victims.
    As JHK has pointed out credit default swaps are still waiting in the wings to destroy what is left. The new product is basically a CDO re-run, except over 100 different credit default swaps have been amalgamated into a hedge against any single one going sour. This is a cracking wheeze and adds significantly to the alphabet of financial garbage that is steadily accumulating. Soros has called credit default swaps agents of financial mass destruction.

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  181. wagelaborer May 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Try Cackle Hatchery. They have a special.
    You get 2 ducks, 2 geese, 2 turkeys and 25 chickens, (one rooster and 24 pullets), all sent in one little box.
    These are pairs, by the way, a boy and a girl of each water fowl and turkeys.

  182. LewisLucanBooks May 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Joel Salatin has several books and DVDs out. I think his last book was “Everything I Do Is Illegal.” (2007). About his struggles with authority and oversight among other things. Of course, as things fall apart, there won’t be as much stupid regulation as governments won’t have the financial resources for enforcement. Which is probably good new / bad news.
    Mushrooms. You’ve probably found it but Paul Stamets outfit in our neck of the woods, up in Olympia, Washington is really good. Check out their website at http://www.fungi.com
    Nitrogen. When I had a yard and garden, I used to pee around the plants a lot 😀 Now, don’t wrinkle your nose. It’s a pretty good source of nitrogen for the soil and also by marking your territory, it might give some of the critters, pause. But do think about what you put in your body. I take no drugs and eat pretty low on the food chain. Wow. You should have seen my sunflowers and corn.
    Slugs, another source of nitrogen in a roundabout way. I had slugs bad. I put out a couple of boards and could nail the little suckers during the day. If it rained or I had watered, I’d go out about an hour after sunset and spray them with ammonia. About every three days. In one season, the slugs were knocked back to a manageable level and the ammonia breaks down to nitrogen.

  183. dale May 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    “It’s all a show. The Democrats and Republicans rant and threaten against one another just like professional wrestlers. It’s almost believable. They pretend to hate one another. They pretend to fight. Sometimes someone accidentally draws blood.
    But they decided who was going to play the bad cop before the match ever started. Once the match is over they slap backs and laugh about it while collecting paychecks from the same promoter. It’s all a cheap illusion.”
    Pulled this off another website, pretty much sums it up wouldn’t you say?

  184. The Mook May 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Absolutely. I worked in a union environment and attended quite a few arbitrations. If it was a friend of the business rep, or someone connected to the union, the case was presented to the arbitrator as as must win case. It did not matter how quilty the employee was, the arbitrator went through the motions, and then ruled in the union’s favor. The rep then owed the arbitrator one. If you were the next one the company went after, and weren’t connected to the “union boys”, sorry, you lose.

  185. Cash May 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Man oh man, wassamattayou Mook.
    Football/futbol/calcio/fussball/soccer is The Beautiful Game. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the artistry of players like Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka, Fabregas and Drogba to name only a few of the current best.
    The most watched league on the planet is the English Premier League. Clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have worldwide followings. When Liverpool wins you have people in the streets in far off places like Malaysia singing the Liverpool anthem (You’ll Never Walk Alone).
    Join the world. The Federation of International Football Associations has over 200 million registered players. That’s a really deep gene pool wrt soccer talent.
    One other thing. A game is two 45 minute halves with 15 minutes between. So you’re talking max two hours including stoppage/injury time added at the end of each half. If you’re married your wife won’t be a football widow.
    To help you out of darkness:
    Go Gunners!

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  186. dale May 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers. –Matt Taibbi
    Once again, this is spot on. Obama’s massive “stimulus” has stimulated nothing but a transfer of debt from those who should have it, (banks, hedge funds) to those who shouldn’t (taxpayers). Worse, it isn’t even working, at least not in a meaningful way, and now they are out of bullets.

  187. Cash May 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Can he do it when the money dries up?
    I read that Real Madrid turfed Pellegrini and will hire Mourinho once they work out the details with Inter. So we’ll find out how deep the pockets are at Real.
    But the man has a track record so odds are good he’ll do OK regardless. I mean if you can’t do it with Ronaldo and Kaka…

  188. DeeJones May 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    One other thing I have noticed in the States re highways: The complete disregard for neighborhoods. In city after city, I have seen hiways put through once thriving ‘hoods, cutting them in half. One side gets all the mauls and prospers, the other side gets left out in the cold and dies.
    In the town where I used to live, there was a section of hiway that cut part of the town in half, and there were only two overpasses you could use to walk over, and they were miles apart. And even if there were no cars, the cities put up those tall soundwalls for miles. Helped for the noise if you happened to live in the ‘hood right by the freeway, but to get to the other side, drive or walk for miles to the over or under pass.
    What will people do someday when the oil is gone, the cars are not running anymore? What to do with all those millions of miles of concrete?
    Some of it is yards thick, and will take hundreds, if not thousands of years to be broken down by plants.
    The Late Great State of America, coming to a city near you soon….

  189. diogen May 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    >re highways: The complete disregard for >neighborhoods.
    Also complete disregard for scenic/recreational value of nature: in several cities I’ve seen highways right next to and along the rivers. My only guess is they considered the land along the rivers to be of little value (commercial), so they used it for highways, instead of bikeways/greenways/parks.
    In some places they did put a bikeway next to the highway, and it’s extremely unpleasant to ride next to the noise and polution of the highway. What were they thinking…

  190. asia May 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    ‘but the idea that planners and architects are going to start doing sensible things and save our beloved bygone way of life is laughable’
    beyond laughable!
    its called elitism and like tends to gather with like.

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  191. asia May 26, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    what about laws?
    there was just an article in LA Times on laws here against urban farming or large scale gardening.here where there is no winter and air pollution they have laws against gardening.

  192. Vlad Krandz May 27, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    You’re just ignorant, boy. You have no gratitude to your ancestors who gave you that White Skin and high IQ. A perfect ingrate.

  193. Vlad Krandz May 27, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Perceived is right – hype for the most part. These guys – Wallace, Bathchelor, et al, are going to destroy Buddhism with their obsession with “building bridges” and paradigms. What ever happened to trying to find out who and what you are? What next – identifying Nirvana with the Quantum Field a la “The Tao of Physics”? The Dharmakaya has nothing but NOTHING to do with any physics quantum or Newtonian. The true Path lies within – not outside in the realm of the senses much less conferences at Oxford.
    Buddhism will not do well when the Shit Hits the Fan. It tends to be a religion of the Elite, thus totally ungrounded. The Muslims destroyed it in India but they couldn’t destroy Hinduism because Hinduism had real roots. Even back then it attracted alot of fags because of its focus on monasticism. It did take real root in the East Asian Countries even though Shakyamuni himself was a blued eyes White Man.
    Maitreya, the Buddha to Come, is always depicted in East Asian Countries as a White Man. It would seem that the plan to wipe out the White Race is destined to fail. Sorry Dale.

  194. Vlad Krandz May 27, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    So you admit that borders are necessary to maintain the Organism we call the Nation? And that you were wrong before and are now changing your tune due to my intervention?
    Very good. I will elaborate more: a border is a semi permeable membrance. It lets some things in and some things out – but mostly it keeps what’s in, in and what’s out, out. Your skin allows you to be you. How very important! You don’t want to be me nor I, you. Because you are you and I am me, we can have a relationship. As Ramakrishna said, “I want to taste sugar, not be sugar.”
    And if a foreign body does get into the body, it is tracked down and killed by the White Blood Cells. Likewise, our border guards should be doing the same thing if we are to maintain the health of the body. Killing shouldn’t be necessary at this stage however – for the most part anyway.
    When you die and leave this body behind to decay, you will find yourself in a new body made up of the material of the finer plane you are on. We evolve via successive embodiment in finer and finer spheres. On each there will be borders but they will not be as rigid as they are here. But the rigidity here is necessary due to metaphysical reasons and also the political realities of our fallen, Kali Yuga world. During the Satya Yuga, everyone is almost a Saint or a Sage and a man can impregnate a woman with merely a look. Obviously then, boundaries will be somewhat relaxed.

  195. Vlad Krandz May 27, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Oh I was wondering what the hell you guys were talking about. I did appreciate when the Italian team took the World Cup against France a few years ago – the team was all or almost all real Italians too. The French team had almost no Whites on it at all. Obscene.
    The Cup is going to be in South Africa, next year I believe. It’s going to be total mayhem as the tourists get raped, robbed and murdered. Some soccer fans are already taking the wiser course and waiting this one out.

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  196. eightm May 27, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    Modern economies need more “work” like a hole in the head. Many have this insane, old fashion idea that more work or more effort, more activity will make economies “richer”, will increase their GDP, or that there is some kind of metaphysical or spiritual value in work or more work or effort or breaking your back planting food in your backyard, etc. It is a kind of guilt complex against pleasure, an idea that more “work” is better.
    Well, I have got news for you: there has never been an era where more work generates more poverty, where there is no need for any more work (that is why unemployment worldwide is increasing), the relationship of work to wealth is not only nonlinear, but there is as of today no relationship at all. It is an imaginary item right wingers like to talk about to blame the victims, to blame the unemployed that they are unemployed because they don’t want to work or are lazy.
    Actually all of that extra work, all of that hard work building McMansions across the USA or all those houses in Spain, all of those loans and all of the new financial instruments created subprime loaning, defaults, and the housing bubble. The law of diminishing returns has become the law of negative returns as far as “work” is concerned. get over it, work is obsolete is not needed, we live in high performance automatic economies where work is actually negative, is destructive, creates excess capacity, too many items, too many cars, etc.
    There is this anti-pleasure, punishing mentality against the fact that robots and automation are eliminating work: this is good, this frees people so they can watch TV, which is the best thing they can possibly do (at least they don’t go in the streets and beat each other up, which is what they would do instead). All of the work that is being created today is work against other people, is internal fights between people that are then defined as work, like lawyers fighting each other, doctors fighting insurance companies, people struggling between each other to sell some crap to other people. This service economy does not produce anything but frustration and fights between people, is a negative returns system.
    Robots will do all our work, Computers will do all our thinking and MOST OF ALL THE TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY NEW MINDS WILL BE DOING ALL OUR LIVING . These minds will be modified, new brains – minds with computer chips inside them, with new neural circuits modifying all of the organization of memories, cause and effects between emotions, sense organs, reality etc. These will do all our living while we will be free to watch TV and do nothing, that’s right do absolutely nothing, no more “work”, no more “thinking” and especially no more “living”, but simply watching TV and enjoying.
    If you have a guilt complex about this, then go into some slave labor factory in China or India and work 14 hours a day or better billions of these guilt-complexed reactionary workaholics can build trillions of skyscrapers, 300 floors high for millions of years all by hand 24 hours a day. This way they will feel achieved and satisfied.
    The science of economy doesn’t exist, what exists is instantaneous interactions between people according to some temporary imagined patterns and laws that can change in a jiffy. There is no laws of economics, but only relationships (which are ultimately just fights, hidden fights between people), there is no wealth creation or progress but only people interacting and mostly fighting, an arms wrestling between who dominates who and who has more power, at least temporarily.
    On a side note, The USA cities along with those of Canada, Australia and some of the northern European cities are probably the only ones worldwide that have suburbs, or some kinds of single family homes. Almost all the countries you can see with goggle maps – street view all have dense towns and cities and then country side right outside of them.
    Robots will be doing all our work, Computers will be doing all our thinking and Artificial Minds will be doing all our living . This is an automatic process, you can’t stop, so just accept it and deal with it.

  197. eightm May 27, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    Check out:
    And get educated instead of growing crap in your backyard. AND WATCH TV ALL DAY LONG, you will be doing some good to humanity.

  198. Miggity May 27, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Whatever. New Urbanism is always ready to pat itself on the back for its “vision” but has yet to offer anything truly significant. Blame it on financing or what-have-you, the fact of the matter is that it is a design-based application that ignores the economics of original urbanism, and therefore is an impractical paradigm that will fall to the wayside much like the garden cities and Corbusian modernism that preceded it. And while it might be a noble effort, it’s arrogance and reliance on revisionist history undermine its legitimacy as a practical solution.

  199. scarlet runner May 27, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    My parsnips are growing well this year. I have bluebirds in my garden. I watch them ALL DAY LONG.

  200. scarlet runner May 27, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    Beats watching Top Kill video all day long.

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  201. diogen May 27, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    >no gratitude to your ancestors who gave you that >White Skin and high IQ
    Interesting concept, but flawed as usual. First, they didn’t give it to me, evolution or creator gave it to them and to me. All they did was to give themselves the pleasure of sex, and created progeny to care for them when they got old. So, should you be grateful to people for their acts of self-interest, even when you benefit from it? Maybe, but not the way you mean it. Personally, I wish they gave me darker skin, I burn too easily when I work in the garden. And those pesky ancestors gave me nearsightedness, only 5’10” of height (greedy bastards), inability to hit a baseball well enough that people would pay me for it, and lots of other crippling flaws, so why should I be grateful to them?
    I do agree with you that borders are necessary, people who think otherwise should go make their home next to North Korea, Israel, Russia, South Africa, Iran, etc., then they’ll really appreciate a good border with lots of border guards armed to the teeth.

  202. Al Klein May 27, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    8-M, you have an interesting philosophy. I do get your point. I would, however, like to challenge the notion that, in the end, our existence is essentially pointless. Let’s hope it’s not pointless. When I was a young adult, I wondered why the orthodox Jews pray endlessly at the Western Wall. Maybe they are praying because there is really nothing to do. Since we cannot really add to the equation, all the sentient can do is pray.

  203. diogen May 27, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    >ignores the economics of original urbanism
    And politics as well, I think. American urbanism (suburbanism) was shaped to a large degree by several gov’t policies, especially school desegregation and forced busing which resulted in white flight to the suburbs. Although some say suburbs were a bad response to a bad situation, the definitive history of suburbanization hasn’t been written yet. When I look at the big box stores, I think they would make terrific small-scale manufacturing facilities after TSHTF to which people could walk or bike for employment and useful work. Suburbs may turn out to be great places for localized living on a human scale. Try living on a human scale in d/t Chicago or Manhattan — places like that will become uninhabitable after energy becomes scarce (or as JHK said they are the slums of tomorrow). Suburbs may be thriving villages of tomorrow with commons and pastures on the expanses of lawns around schools (and/or around big retail, apartment and office complexes, etc.)

  204. CaptSpaulding May 27, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Well, if BP is successful in plugging the oil leak today, they will have accomplished two goals. Stopping the leak of course, and preventing anyone from measuring the rate of flow, thereby allowing them to minimize the amount that was leaked out. No matter how cynical I get, it’s never enough.

  205. diogen May 27, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    >thereby allowing them to minimize the amount that >was leaked out.
    The resulting environmental damage will speak louder than the numbers of barrels… will there be a national soul-searching in the aftermath of environmental and economic damage, re-examination of our addiction to oil? Nah…

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  206. budizwiser May 27, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    What I want to know is how the world would look right now if the other folks – the “drill baby drill” folks had won the election and Dick Chaney was a “trusted adviser” to the current prez?
    I heard Newt say the rig-leak response is a total failure. What’s his big idea? Is there any other idea?

  207. zaxxon May 27, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    Raised in LA, in know the “Sin Fernando Valley” intimately. As a teenager I remember well cruising Glendale and the Valley. In California no one walks. Young boys get peddle cars before books and bikes (a little humor here). If you are raised in Laguna Beach, you surf before you can walk.
    The quintessential Californian, after graduating I immediately went into TV car sales and then real estate. Californian to the core.
    But now, in the Autumn of my years I see the folly of it all. Contrary to Mr. Kunstler’s thesis, I offer the following:
    In 1941 my mother bought a new Ford. Later that year American finally went to war against fascism. In those days everything was rationed, especially gas. Our neighbors all had their cars up on blocks. You couldn’t buy tires. Because our family had a new Ford – we had tires. And, once a month, we would take a 30-mile round trip to an egg ranch. Big fun.
    The point being – if America could just reduce its gasoline consumption by 25%, we wouldn’t need these deep water wells.
    So – two finger puppet presidents tell us to go shopping – not sacrifice.
    Draw your own conclusions.

  208. piltdownman May 27, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Zaxxon –
    I may be wrong here, but I swore I read somewhere that most of the rationing during WWII was of marginal value, and was mostly done to make the remaining people on the home front feel like they were “doing something.”

  209. george May 27, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Well, the New Urbanists have utterly destroyed the Gulf Coast between Fort Walton Beach and Panama City. Seaside, Watercolor, and all the other plastic development reincarnations of a Florida that never was is nothing by a Disneyland for the high-rollers.
    Traffic is complete gridlock all the time. If you have these hideous gated communities peopled by vacation home owners who visit at random times you don’t have a community at all so why pretend? If your place is not directly on the Gulf you fry in unbelievable heat and humidity 24/7 but still pay through the nose for the privilege of doing so. The whole area is prime hurricane country which is why the locals never built on the barrier islands for hundreds of years. But the “New Urbanists” know how? I pray for a serious of Cat 5 storms to blow all this crap to Atlanta where it would be right at home.

  210. Cash May 27, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Likely won’t be Italy this time around. I keep hearing Spain is the favourite. According to one website the favourites are Spain, Brazil, England, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France in that order.
    I agree S. Africa was a silly choice for a tournament of this magnitude. Too much crime. Maybe in 20 or 25 years if they sort themselves out. S. Korea went from third world craphole to industrial power in about that length of time so it can be done if they put their minds to it.

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  211. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    “What are you going to do for water in that neighborhood when the faucets are down? When I say down, I mean for weeks during a drought type period.”
    One of the reasons I moved back home was because of the vastly more reliable (liquid) precipitation that eastern Washington doesn’t have. Next spring, our major systems investment will be in a new roof, a metal one, stuffed with as high an R-value insulation as we can squeeze up there, and coupled to as large a cistern system as we can devise. Ferro-cement tanks seem to be the leading candidate, both for volume and cost.
    Read two publications: “How to Create an Oasis with Graywater” and “Water Catchment: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers…” both by Art Ludwig.
    Cheers and thanks for reading my stuff! I almost always read yours too…

  212. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    “Try Cackle Hatchery.”
    Thanks Wage! I’ll look them up, but I already ordered the requisite 25 chicks from McMurray. Now I’m just hoping some of my permie friends will come through and buy some of the chicks!

  213. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Lewis, yes, very familiar with Fungi Perfecti, and use their products. Also ordering from Field and Forest this season up in Meee-chigan. I too pee on my plants a lot, though I like the privacy of the orchard, since my veggie plot is in the front yard! Good advice. Thank you.

  214. The Mook May 27, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    I believe they are building a new stadium for the Union down by my daughter in Delaware County. When they open it, I will go check out a game and report back.

  215. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    “Pulled this off another website, pretty much sums it up wouldn’t you say?”

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  216. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    “But the man has a track record so odds are good he’ll do OK regardless. I mean if you can’t do it with Ronaldo and Kaka…”
    Kaka is amazing, and so is Ronaldo, unfortunately. I can’t stand that guy. Or his golden boots. Murinho from what I can tell is the real deal. Chelsea fans must still be crying…
    Will Emirates Airlines be sponsoring the Gooners next season? If so, the free market is truly dead.

  217. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    “laws here against urban farming or large scale gardening.here where there is no winter and air pollution they have laws against gardening.”
    Unbelievable, isn’t it? At the moment I’m…ahem…avoiding regulation, but there is an initiative somewhere out your way, I believe, that I think is called the “food and flowers” initiative. Vague enough for you? The aim is to overturn some of the laws and bylaws against self-reliance.
    Anybody who knows more about this please chime in!

  218. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    “My parsnips are growing well this year. I have bluebirds in my garden. I watch them ALL DAY LONG.”
    Here, here!!
    (BTW, love your beans…)

  219. diogen May 27, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    In many cities it’s illegal to have a chicken or two in your backyard. Dobermans, Rottweilers or even Pit Bulls — no problem, roaming cats that stalk and kill birds — no problems. Even wild animals in some cities — no problem with proper liability insurance. But chickens (or ducks or geese)? Criminal. Also, in some subdivisions it’s illegal to grow vegetables in the front yard. WTF?

  220. trippticket May 27, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    I hear you, man. That’s why I live where I do in a neighborhood that doesn’t seem absolutely bent on self-anihilation. No HOA, no hysterical society, just poor people making it happen however they can. Hopefully we’ll be a very useful example to them.

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  221. asoka May 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    The theme for the conference is “SUSTAINABLITY THROUGH COMMUNITY” The University of Colorado in Boulder, June 18-20, 2010,
    Please consider joining us in this groundbreaking conference on sustainability and community. It’s sure to provide you with the tools and inspiration to do your part on this most positive of journeys.
    Highlights include:
    * Cohousing University — In-depth, two-day intensive workshops on June 16 and June 17 will provide tools and information you can use as you build and grow your neighborhood:
    Developing Cohousing: Soup to Nuts and a Few Lessons Learned;
    Growing Community: Head, Heart, and Hands;
    Senior Cohousing;
    Sustainability: Environmental + Economic + Cultural.
    * Featured Speakers — Bill McKibben (June 18), Dave Wann (June 18), Charles Durrett (June 20), and Kathryn McCamant (June 20) will energize us and help us think about the connections between sustainability and community.
    * Community Tours — Full-day tours on June 16 and June 17 and half-day tours on June 18 will take you to 11 Colorado cohousing communities so that you can experience and learn about cohousing firsthand. These rolling educational workshops are inspiring and informative!
    * Conference Sessions — Running from June 18 through June 20, nearly 60 presentations will focus on ways to create and sustain neighborhood communities.
    * Entertainment — After the auction, enjoy live music provided by RUE. RUE infuses the Gypsy Swing of Django Reinhardt and his Hot Club de France with Latin and Jazz standards, creating a classic atmosphere of hot jazz from the 1930s and ’40s. Founded by Don Yaffe and Brian Schey in 2004, RUE invokes both the intimacy of a small jazz club and all of the percussive drive and swing of a big band dance hall. As the Boulder Daily Camera says, “RUE’s Gypsy jazz transports listeners to a different era.” Bring your dancing shoes — or just hang out and enjoy.
    * Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides — This tour company is offering tours before and after the conference. Guided hikes, guided biking tours, a sightseeing excursion to Rocky Mountain National Park, and a Boulder Brewery tasting tour are among the many possibilities. Visit their website for more information.
    To learn more or register, see http://www.cohousing.org/conference

  222. Vlad Krandz May 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Like the Dwarves of old we have delved too eeply and unleashed an incredible evil. Like the old song says:
    In the dark wind, the stars shall die,
    Still on gold here, let them lie,
    Till the Dark Lord lifts his hand,
    Over dead seas and withered lands.
    The Earth has sprung a leak. Perhaps the problem is too much oil and not too little. Peak Oil may turn out to be nonsense – not that that will save us! This whole thing may turn out to be the begining of the proof of the abiotic nature of oil. Could oil be the blood of Mother Earth? Is the leak a wound?

  223. asia May 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    1…how the hell can they sell ‘ noahs ark’ birds
    at an affordable price? surgically sexed!
    2…did a websearch and cant find article..it was in LA Times recently. someones trying to overturn law here.
    you said it so well….govt doesnt want peeps off the grid!

  224. asia May 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    far back as adl[?] stevenson folks were trying to get folks to reign in their cats.
    kill 100 million birds a year.
    you 2 might wanna google:
    OC may drop lawsuit against couple that removed front lawn!

  225. asia May 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    In US Buddism is the [religion? treasure ?] of the educated or wealthy.
    yes Tibet was overrun.
    yes Indias been overrun and now having given up pakistan and bangladesh may be losing kashmir.

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  226. asia May 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    someone i know who has an open class in buddism went to best selling author Lama Sura das’s talk.
    he said ‘ it was a new age talk, not buddist’!
    in other words jeremy miller [lsd real name] chose to dumb things down so much to get a best seller and a following.

  227. asoka May 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Due to the rising population and the increasing urban density, green roof and wall technology is evolving fast, because it is one way of replacing vegetation lost on the ground, including energy, water management and other aesthetic benefits.
    Germany is considered a world leader in green roof technology with experience in design and construction. Other countries with green roofing initiatives include Iceland, Norway, France, and Japan.
    Benefits obtained from green roofs include thermal insulation, energy saving, and storm water management.

  228. Step-Through May 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    I have to speak up on behalf of Atlanta. I’m sorry JHK got stuck on that eastern side of downtown that hasn’t changed much. It could have been worse. But there is a lot about Atlanta that you didn’t see. You can’t base your assumptions on what you read or even what you saw here last year. The city is changing really quickly, even during the economic crisis.
    Sometimes that’s bad, as in sprawling subdivisions that still get built. But there are also walkable, urban-scale developments. Diverse and revitalized intown neighborhoods. Quirky, vibrant retail districts. Redeveloping town centers with some transit access. And lots of people on transit, foot, and bicycle. Some of it is bland – that’s okay. It’s also affordable. Stunning architecture and fancy materials are expensive. Let’s get some lively urban districts on the ground and then the good architecture will come – and ordinary folks will be able to enjoy it.
    And the transportation infrastructure has lagged, especially transit service, but that’s starting to come around too. Honestly, assumptions – like JHK’s – are the biggest problem. I’ve been getting around town primarily by foot, bicycle, and MARTA since 2003. I haven’t driven to work since 2006. It’s fun, feasible, and convenient. But there are still people who would say, “Get around Atlanta without a car? That’s impossible!”
    Challenge your assumptions. Get out of the taxicab or the hotel room. Get off the interstate. Just go see what this city is really like. You might have to say something good about Atlanta.

  229. Kip May 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    I am glad Jim did not politicize this piece and name parties or movements or leaders as culpable. It’s too late for the US to turn it around. We expended our cheap energy on a wreckless course. We’re screwed.

  230. mean dovey cooledge May 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Tripp. My Pet chicken is running a special right now 1/2 price for 25, all girls!
    they will also ship as few as 7. I love them, this is where i have been getting my hens for the last few years.
    your elizabeth blueberry from the PNW is setting fruit!
    I dont know why so many people say what a stupid enterprise growing a garden is, that it is no hedge against the DOOM.
    As an exercise in regaining some degree of spiritual connection with the living earth and chilling down the anxiety meter it cannot be beat. It teaches patience and faith; and artistic skills such as observation and creativity are put to good use. Thats good enough for now seeing as how I cannot stop the march of global tyranny single handedly.
    People are trying to take some control of their food choices.
    Our region is setting up an AG highway along 515 in north georgia with a farmers market right off the exits every town. I just did the poster for my town’s farmers market (no they could not pay me but i got a free slot for life LOL). We also have a community cannery where on tuesdays and thursdays you show up with your jars and supplies and food, and some old timers in there show you how to do it or do it for you. If they do it its like a quarter a jar.
    I found people who are doing cheese, raising steers and goats for cabrito (have not tried that yet) and i found a co-op trading club for grains and other dry goods. Once the farmers market fires up i wont buy much at the store except non food stuff and staples like sugar and the critical must have: coffee.
    But like i said, im learning now so i dont have to try and figure it out under pressure. I have sugar snap peas, strawberries, carrots, broccoli and cabbage ready to go. the cauliflower was a fail and the lettuce got bitter and milky. I will start a new batch under a shade cloth and see how that goes. Flowers are doing great.
    Just gotta make sure when they declare marital law i dont happen to be in the ATL. :-0
    might stop by in a week or so on my way to florida. I found a baby sitter for my chicks and garden.

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  231. mean dovey cooledge May 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Diogen, i think its even worse than that. I heard at the mennonite farmers market there was a new bill that would make it against the law to sell food at a farmers market without some sort of gov. stamp of approval. Then there is the animal ID permit bill.
    You know, I take my chickens back and forth from the country to the city in dog carriers. In my neighborhood, everybody is enamored with the hens. The rooster didnt last long; my husband said there was only room for one cock on this property.I take my big barred rock up to the local coffee shop on a kind of chicken evangelism visit. I did a field report for the “chicken whisperer” a syndicated show out of ATL at the carpet city bantam club show last year….im here to tell ya, chickens are getting very popular even in city yards.

  232. Funzel May 27, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    while I am all for public transportation,in ATLs case why would anyone go shopping 20 miles across town,when you can shop in your own neighborhood?Isn’t that what we are trying to promote?As long as there is decent public transportation to the gov.offices,ball parks and other special event places.For most people there is no need loitering around in other neighborhoods.They do also have an extensive bus service into more affluent areas,not for the residents(they wouldn’t be caught dead on a bus),but for the slave labor, to clean after them and take care of their brats.ATl area is working pretty well,it would even work better if all those breeding,damn yankees would go back where they came from,the pig pens of the north east.

  233. Vlad Krandz May 28, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    The Jews have taken over Buddhism in America, particularly Tibetan Buddhism. Englightenment is just one more thing to put on the resume now – the ultimate in attainment for the ego. Enlightened Masters get the girls – oh indeed they do. Of all the well known ones I’v heard of, only Phillip Kalpleau and his Dharma Brother Robert Aiken, never fell into illicit sex life.
    Surya Das once publicly berated me in a long tirade because he didn’t like my question – to the extent that I think he made himself look bad. Nothing to do with race incidently, but just about an experince I had in the meditation.
    You are right btw. Tibetan Buddhism predicts a long and devestating period of decline in the world – very much like the Hindu idea of Kali Yuga. This is the Dharma ending age. In another century or two, the Dharma will have died out almost completely. And that’s just the begining of the bad times. This isn’t just an isolated prophecy from an individual – this is their View, their Darshan. Life is cyclical and we are coming into the rough. Get out while you can. Not just out of LA but out of Samsara or at least out of this sick world. Maitreya is waiting in Tusita Heaven – just a few floors up.

  234. Vlad Krandz May 28, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Our ancestors struggled to survive and then built a magnificient civilization – for that we owe them a debt of gratitude. Yes the varous religions are right: we owe our parents devotion even if less than perfect. Our job is to maintain what the ancestors bequeathed to us and to improve it if possible. Instead we condemn them and call them racists. Despicable. A people who have no past have no future – like a plant without roots. Not only will we not increase in power and wisdom, we will not even survive at the rate we are going. We have betrayed the silent majority, the mighty dead, our Godlike Ancestors.
    Of course they weren’t perfect – but by aspiring upwards we finish what they began. We perfect them in a mystical sense since they live through us. I am in total accord with the ancestor worship of the Ancient East. The Ancient West was the same. As were the American Indians. As were and are all organic cultures.
    Did you miss all the buzz recently about the importance of vitamin D? When the food shortages hit, the value of fair skin will be seen. It’s a trade off of course. Dark skin is very valuable against intense sunlight. But they will suffer greatly at these lattitudes when the shit comes down. Rickets to the rescue.

  235. dale May 28, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Listening to you talk about Buddhism is like listening to a gay man talk about pleasuring a woman. Quite simply, you have no idea what you are talking about.

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  236. asoka May 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Vlad: “And if a foreign body does get into the body, it is tracked down and killed by the White Blood Cells.”
    Why is it always the morally-challenged Whites killing, raping, enslaving, exploiting the coloreds?

  237. asoka May 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    NEW YORK — Motorists will catch a break at the gas pump as they head out for the Memorial Day weekend.
    Gasoline prices have tumbled almost every day this month, dropping Friday to a national average of $2.749 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.
    A gallon of regular unleaded is 12 cents cheaper than it was a month ago, 8 cents cheaper than just a week ago. The timing couldn’t be better for holiday travelers.
    AAA says 1.6 million more Americans will hit the highways this weekend than last Memorial Day, but the travel club expects them to spend less than last year.
    Gasoline is cheaper in part because of a plunge in oil prices. Crude’s fallen more than 15 percent since it hit an 18-month high of $87.15 on May 3. Oil has since rebounded, and that may eventually push pump prices higher later this summer.
    Crude prices dropped again on Friday.

  238. asia May 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    ‘Tibetan Buddhism predicts a long and devestating period of decline in the world – very much like the Hindu idea ‘
    TB is Hinduism, just from the other side of the mountain range!
    Their gods are often hindu gods.
    you might enjoy americanbuddah.com, if it still exists.
    and rick ross cult site
    the less you have to do with american lamas the better!
    even some of those with tibetan blood have fallen.
    when sogyal was advertising a talk at the writers guild in LA i had to laugh.
    see rick ross site for more on him.

  239. steve May 29, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    We all know how much you hate(love) the south. soon you will all be beating a path to come down and join us. Simultaneously , the orbital change will send us into the next ice age, we will realize there is not enough fuel to make it through for everyone. Glaciers will re-stake their claim on the northern hemisphere, billions will perish from cold and starvation. If there was really global warming, it might be sustainable for quite a while, but instead it will turn on a dime like it has the last dozen times in the past million years. http://www.iceagenow.com/ there’s no fool-in the ice and ocean core data, it is perfectly clear, no science PHd needed to try and bluff the people into thinking that man can control anything, much less the weather (talk about audacious stupidity). Game Over on a Biblical scale, far worse than what even JHK is preaching.

  240. diogen May 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I just discovered this magazine devoted to urban farming, check it out:
    It’s a bit too glossy for my taste, but a good cause and good articles.

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  241. diogen May 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    >The Jews have taken over Buddhism in America
    Not only that, but they also took over Judaism, nothing but Jews in Jewish Churches.
    Wait, if they joined buddhism, doesn’t it mean that they are buddhists now, not jews?
    I bet it was the jews who blew up the BP oil well in the gulf as well, maybe even the buddhist jews you mention.

  242. scarlet runner May 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    BP oil well disaster. White people fucked up again. No colored people could ever fuck up the earth this badly.

  243. diogen May 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    >White people fucked up again. No colored people >could ever fuck up the earth this badly.
    I say Humans fucked up again, no Chipmunks could ever fuck up the earth this badly.
    White, black, colored — what is it with you people?
    You will not know enlightenment and peace until you start thinking in terms of good people and bad people, not white people and colored people. You Scarlet are a racist.

  244. scarlet runner May 29, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Good people and bad people? Enlightenment and peace? …on a polluted planet. That should be fun. I feel sorry for the kids. Whoever has them.

  245. diogen May 29, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    >…on a polluted planet. That should be fun.
    As you may remember, the Cayahoga river in Cleveland was so polluted 30 years ago that it caught on fire. Now it’s clean enough that fish caught in it can be eaten. My point is, although the planet is horribly polluted, we can clean it up. I do have kids, so I can’t say all is hopeless and “apres nous le deluge”, I prefer to say (quoting from “Apollo 13” movie) “failure is not an option”.

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  246. Vlad Krandz May 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    You are the Dancing Wu Li Master. Hi-Ya! It’s not pronounced karate but kara-te! Hong Kong Death Machine not hurt. Help.
    Are we as individuals more like a wave or a particle? I have no doubt that you and your cohort prefer to focus on the wave aspect – it’s more like socialism. The idea of Americans actually having rights makes you very uncomfortable. Buddhism, with its focus on no self, is a good counter to the tradtition of every man being the center of his own life. Change is IT, right Dale? Even the Constitution is “Alive” with change. Well like Scalia, I prefer mine dead.
    And in Truth, we are neither waves nor particles, nor both waves and particles, nor not waves and not particles, nor both not waves and not particles. And the Dancing Wu Li Master is going to be out of a job soon. And Maitreya is going to be born as a White Man and there is nothing but nothing that you and the forces of disintetgretion can do about it.

  247. Vlad Krandz May 30, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    Jews are in fact, dominant in American Buddhism. But you dismiss this, as you do so many things, on ideological grounds. Like the Church officials of old, you refuse to look through the telescope. You think you already know! But you don’t.
    As I’ve tried to explain to you before, the word Jew refers to ethnicity not religion. This is how they themselves use it. Most Jews are atheists or agnostics about Judaism. And many who practice it do so out of habit or for cultural reasons. Thus for deeper meaning they go searching in the Spritual Marketplace. And many end up in Buddhism – the most rational of the world’s religons, at least as far as presentation and basic doctrine. But once you get into it, it’s chock full of miracles, ritual, gods, devotion, demons, and grace.

  248. Vlad Krandz May 30, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    And Maitreya will be born as a White Man despite the best efforts of the Dark Forces to wipe out the White Race. And dark skinned people are going to have to humble themselves to accept this – if they want the grace of the Buddha to Come. Unfair? Not at all – countless White seekers have knelt at dark feet in India seeking Wisdom. Wisdom transcends race. As a White Racist, I challenge you, a Black Racist, to accept this.

  249. asoka May 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Vlad, the good news is Maitreya is already here and has been seen by thousands of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, etc. http://shareintl.org/maitreya/Ma_wwa.htm
    The bad news for you is Maitreya’s feet are not white.

  250. asia May 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm #


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  251. asia May 30, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    you like benny creme are so full s*it.
    look up: ben creme fraud/ rick ross cult.com

  252. asia May 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    lets separate philosophy from religion and tibetan buddism [‘ ritual, gods, devotion, demons, and grace’] from other forms.
    dale had said you dunno buddism. i dunno.
    but you do see hucksterism and empire building for what it is.
    in LA garchen offered socal retreats at 20$ a day.
    [food and lodging included]
    the guy from zangdokpalri wanted 500$ to bless someones house!

  253. asoka May 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    asia, Rick Ross confirms my information on Maitreya and Rick Ross says there was no fraud.

  254. asoka May 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    asia said: “in LA garchen offered socal retreats at 20$ a day. [food and lodging included]”
    In my community Christians charge much more than that for food and lodging during their spiritual retreats. That must mean Christians are a cult that exploits gullible people. I’ll check Rick Ross and see what he has to say about the Christian cult.

  255. messianicdruid May 30, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    “… there has never been an era where more work generates more poverty, where there is no need for any more work (that is why unemployment worldwide is increasing), the relationship of work to wealth is not only nonlinear, but there is as of today no relationship at all.
    You are making a point and then spreading it too thin. The right kind of work, and who is served by it, always decides the overall and specific wealth or lack thereof, that is produced.
    Simple physical labor, unless it is made debilitating by malnourishment or duration, when directed by wisdom will always be a blessing.

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  256. messianicdruid May 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    “…the orbital change will send us into the next ice age, we will realize there is not enough fuel to make it through for everyone.”
    It will be a lack of gumption, rather than a lack of fuel. Have you ever heard of boi d’arc?

  257. messianicdruid May 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    “I am in total accord with the ancestor worship of the Ancient East. The Ancient West was the same.”
    The Ancient West was taken out of the Ancient East. One man was chosen from among many who followed a plethora of rulemakers {chaos} and given a few simple rules to build a civilization of culture and beauty {ie; to bring about the promises he was given}. Every time his descendants set aside their wisdom and began acting like {incorporated the “laws” of} the other nations they were chastised and diminished in numbers. Individuals of every nation have {now} embraced these simple rules and have contributed to the building of civilization, not by innovating or adultrating what they learned, but by putting it into practice through faith in the One that claimed to have instigated it. Blame the failures of man on the cause {his own refusal to hear}, not the wisdom of the One.

  258. asoka May 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    faith in the One that claimed to have instigated it. Blame the failures of man on the cause {his own refusal to hear}, not the wisdom of the One.
    Many claims have been made. Why believe this particular claim of instigation?
    Refusal to hear? Wisdom of the One?
    Hear what? Which One?
    Is your intention to be cryptic?

  259. budizwiser May 31, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    I heard that other nation’s require relief wells to be drilled along with a primary well as a safety precaution – just for eventualities such as the current disaster.
    Is any of that true. Is the real cost of doing deep-water oil drilling having to drill “safety holes/wells?”

  260. scott May 31, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    “They” wont let “Us” drill seems to be what we will continue to be told is the reason why energy costs will be persistently high in the coming years even though the real reason is growth in emerging countries. The Gulf spill will make a good excuse for why we are no longer able to grow our energy supplies to meet our economic growth needs.
    Even if we destroy our environment in the process of growing our energy supplies it is unlikely that it will make a difference as demand from emerging countries will sop up any excess capacity.
    It is looking more and more like emerging countries will be the next bubble as they already have “austerity” measures in place. There are no pensions, healthcare costs or high wages to worry about.
    Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Italy are being asked to implement austerity measures such as reduced wages and government benefits because of fiscal deficits but there ultimately isn’t any difference between the PIIGS and the rest of the developed Western countries, they are just the first casualties of a growing inability to extrapolate debt indefinitely into the future.
    There is alot riding on a “recovery” that I doubt anyone at the top of the economic food chain seriously thinks is going to happen but have to keep talking up because the alternative is unthinkable. can you imagine what would happen if markets suddenly had to price in terminal decline?

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  261. messianicdruid May 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    “Why believe this particular claim of instigation?”
    Don’t believe it until you are called to believe it. Anything less will only cause problems. If it is your calling to do something else for the time being, do that. When your number is up, you will be called. Just start paying attention, instead of acting like “a multitude”. Grow Up. Behave. Prepare.

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    I have opted to search elsewhere for employment.
    I would rather brave a harsh, unforgiving job market than move to Atlanta. The higher salary wouldn’t be enough to buy back my sanity once I lost it from spending hours inside a car every day, staring at license plates.

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