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      Something is sucking the air out of the humid terrarium that is US politics, making the lizards, tarantulas, and scorpions within hyperventilate. That something is the vacuum of disappearing wealth. All the accounting fraud, statistical mis-reporting, price manipulations, naked-short beat-downs, high-speed arbitrage hijinks, and carry trade rackets can’t conceal the reality that the nation is going broke – at least 99 percent of the nation. The remaining 1 percenters, outside the terrarium, are swimming in a pool of notional wealth that is primed to go down the drain and leave them at the bottom, desiccated little husks of animal matter that the crows will feed on.

     The reason nobody seems to know what to do is because they know anything they do will make them look bad, so the only thing to do is nothing, with a sound track of lizard squawks and much darting of forked tongues. Nature is now in charge, not personalities, and nature is now leading a purblind humanity to the place it has to go, which is smaller, simpler, and local. The flailings and squawking of politicians can only avail to make the journey more painful and disorderly, but the march is on.

     Leadership in every realm — politics, business, the ivory tower, media — does not grasp that the terms for carrying on the human project have changed. The agenda now is to go medieval, and not in the Pulp Fiction sense, but in our arrangements for daily life. We are being asked by nature to say goodbye gracefully to the hubris known as the current edition of modernity. If we don’t do this gracefully, nature will kick our ass out of it and drag the stragglers along kicking and screaming into the next disposition of things. That is pretty much the true subtext of the struggle in government this season, but it is not being translated at the conscious level into a coherent narrative that the public can understand. The failure of narratives produces a failure of leadership. Failures of leadership lead to failures of action.

     I can especially understand this after being in a particular part of the USA for three days last week: Orange County, California, specifically the fiasco known as Irvine. This so-called “city” was once a ranch comprising hundreds of thousands of acres consolidated out of old Spanish land grants by one James Irvine, an Irish immigrant who made a fortune selling groceries and dry goods during the California Gold Rush and parlayed it into real estate — including eventually the nearly 200-square-mile tract of creosote bush and sagebrush forty-odd miles south of nascent Los Angeles. The so-called city named after Mr. Irvine — and still largely controlled by a private real estate development company he founded — prides itself on being rationally planned.  By this they mean that all the angles have been figured out for producing massive volumes of exquisitely-tuned suburban sprawl at a nice profit.

     One thing this demonstrates is that rational planning is not the same thing as intelligence because the end result on-the-ground is a nightmare of the most extreme car dependency in the nation, arguably even worse than Los Angeles. That it is also a nightmare of crushing uniformity, disconnection, boredom, and ennui probably matters less because the essence of the place’s character is that it has no future. There is absolutely no way that the American people can continue their Happy Motoring frolic for another generation, yet the Irvine Company is still busy slapping together new monocultures of housing pods, strip malls, and all the other usual furnishings with the kind of stupid confidence of people intoxicated on Rotary Club bullshit — which is to say zeal minus consciousness. It is the same frame-of-mind that produces the famous Orange County right wing politics.

     Orange County, and places like it, represent a tremendous tragic problem for this country. They were the products of emergent economic forces that humans only pretended to control with their vaunted rational planning. They almost certainly cannot be fixed. They’re too big and the money won’t be there; it’s the essence of our predicament that capital formation is crippled and that situation will only get worse.These places will enter a state of widespread crisis within the next ten years, and possibly much sooner. The people who live there will see their property lose all its value, and then they will have to make choices about where to move to. In the process, they will dig in their heels, cause an immense amount of political mischief, and eventually lose anyway.

     The emergent path of going medieval means living in smaller, tighter towns and doing some kind of business, or working some kind of trade, that is based in the economy of the town and its region. Under these conditions, things like the federal government are destined to wither. The dumbshow underway in Washington these days is just a symptom of all that.

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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.

234 Responses to “Paradigm Blindness”

  1. kulturcritic October 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    James, I see your point, but I want to know… where do we go from here. kC


    • James Howard Kunstler October 7, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      Kulturcritic writes: “I see your point, but I want to know… where do we go from here.”

      What part of going medieval didn’t you understand?

      • kulturcritic October 7, 2013 at 10:30 am #

        OK, Jim… understood, but I think more flesh is needed, and further back in history… certainly, I think medieval is the first step back, but I feel a further regression is essential, but, of course, it could never happen, there are too many interests working against such regression. Sorry I was first, especially with my tag, but, I tried waiting… best, sandy

        • Greg Knepp October 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

          “…where do we go from here?”

          Actually it’s a good question. The problem is in the word ‘we’. It presupposes the existence of a group of people with a commonality of experience and perspective. A community – not a web community or a gay community or a ‘recovering’ community, but a geographically contained and culturally cohesive group. But if they intend to survive the future, they must be able to work like dogs, and willing to kill if necessary… And it will be necessary.

          I hope not to be alive to see the worst of it. I’ve never killed.

      • hineshammer October 7, 2013 at 10:32 am #

        James, it was a rhetorical question, and a silly one at that, asked as a way to plug his blog.

        • Karah October 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

          Shameless self promotion.

        • ffkling October 8, 2013 at 3:28 am #

          There is nothing wrong with plugging a blog site that contributes to the discussion at hand, and I am delighted to know that the author of Kulturcritic is back to writing.

          Keep plugging for the only solution is education of the masses.

      • thecommunalsolution October 7, 2013 at 11:32 am #

        I think there are two different paths we can go regarding “going medieval”. One path is where property lines and perhaps even housing deeds remain intact and the other path is where they all dissolve and we decide together (what is in the best interests of all).

        The first path where property lines and housing deeds remain intact, while not necessarily an unmitigated disaster, it will, I think, return us to a medieval time where those with the resources exploited those without. Heck, even vegans and old hippies (with the resources) will (sometimes, not always) have you doing the dirty work, have you cutting the wood, gardening and cooking for them if you should find yourself at their mercy. Of course, our culture right from the beginning has justified this relationship between the haves and have-nots, as in (it’s their own fault).

        The second path, where property lines and housing deeds dissolve, where we try to figure out what works for everyone, one can only imagine where that would lead. Personally, I think if we imagine this much, we might as well go all the way and just decide to live communally in some way. As someone who has lived the “local economy” idea as an organic farmer for a good part of my life, well, I just don’t think it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

      • Warren October 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

        The idea of the US going medieval is actually optimistic. In the US, the skills and knowledge generally do not exist to go medieval.

        If the knowledge needed to go medieval is available in hard copy, (which is not a given in this era of electronic books), and could be found in a library without a hard copy card catalog, skills take a long time to develop and basic medieval infrastructure and tools would need to be fabricated from scratch.

        There may be pockets areas with an Old Sturbridge Village style economy, mostly though I see it more Road Warrior than medieval.

        • James Howard Kunstler October 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

          Warren writes: “The idea of the US going medieval is actually optimistic. In the US, the skills and knowledge generally do not exist to go medieval.”

          Obviously not everyone will make it. perhaps many.

          • BobK October 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

            Hi – I’m new here. I think what is needed is another “Copernican Moment” – a change in human consciousness as significant as going from an earth-centric world view to a solar-centric one. This change caused the Catholic Church to FEAR for its continued power – so much so that it place Galileo under house arrest for most of his adult life. That is another gloss on FDR’s “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

            Ironic that “in “going Medival”” we’ll have to have another “Copernican Moment.” But that was also succeeded by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. One exception:The human race does not have centuries to solve this problem.

          • Karah October 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

            Leadership is a skill that no longer exists that is required to get people to work VERY HARD and give the majority of the fruits of their labors ONLY to you. A feudal lord is a form of government based on a person’s right to a large amount of land that may be distributed to families who agree to be loyal stewards. The history of Orange County is similar to the history of any other county where you had a few patriarchs (maybe ONE) responsible for the taming of the land. Land rights are bestowed by some kind of higher authority (King, God, Time, Nature, etc.) and agreed upon by the masses who don’t have rights to anything (or are ignorant of their rights) and are unprotected from opportunists and starvation. Once the patriarch dies, the real estate boom starts because there are many heirs who don’t want to go to war with each other or war with the people of the land who can’t take the change or see it as a further opportunity for them to gain power. Suburban sprawl provides a framework for workers to have a notional sense of ownership.

            One person changes every 50 to 100 years so the people can be assured of a relatively regular existence with hardly any controversy during that span of time. People do not have to live together under the same roof for there to be a consensus. All it takes, really, is a shared concern (think four horsemen of the Apocalypse) to get about 100,000 or more people to work for a Leader. California is a unique place in that you have people who are nobility (connections with fed government, bank headquarters, media moguls, excellent estates with long growing seasons) with large amounts of highly skilled laborers (Mexicans and working poor college students students) who have helped them achieve their goals. Mexico had one of the longest running feudal systems in history so it wouldn’t surprise me that they’re okay with this way of life and have transitioned en mass so easily to the highest paying LORD of this continent. Successful Hispanics in the country do one of three things: construction, mechanics and farming/animal husbandry. We still have people around who remember how to till land with a mule, have grown up without indoor plumbing and can fix/build almost anything. The one skill they don’t have is leadership. This is why their sphere of influence can not reach beyond their immediate vicinity. That limitation grants authority to a higher power that will provide protection from all situations inducing a life threatening fear.

          • Angie October 8, 2013 at 2:40 am #

            Hi James

            You probably are aware of the Transition movement?


            I hope we can go medieval without the brutality! Transition, informed by permaculture, separates itself from survivalism by building the principles and practices of energy-descent adaptation around ethics of care.

            There are many good people around the globe on to this – learning basic skills and making local connections.

            Perhaps you’d consider exploring the project and lending some promotional gravitas?

        • draupnir October 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

          Years ago, a friend of ours was involved with a group who enjoyed going out on weekends to role play being French Voyageurs and Native Americans, something like a Reniassance Festival only much more realistic and uncomfortable. He even bought himself a set of buckskins and a teepee, learned to trap and skin game, how to cook what he caught and peg out a hide, scrape it and tan it with the animal’s own brains, as well as other deep woods survival skills. I privately thought they were a bunch of silly dilattantes with too much time and money on their hands (though I have to admit the teepee was cool), but now I think he has acquired the tools and a certain skill set that gives him and his family a leg up into the new paradigm as well as a ready-made group of like-minded individuals with similar and complimentary skills with whom they can form a community if they have to bug out.

    • Nicholas October 7, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      The socio-econo-environmental super storm on the horizon is coming and will blow away everything. Our options are few and the time is short. Here is an idea: work the $ystem the way the $ystem works for the common good. Start or join a cell/chapter of The Alliance to Reconstruct America. http://www.holigent.org

    • Helen Highwater October 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Deciding which country you want to live in would be a good start.

  2. Smoky Joe October 7, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Jim, spend more time if you can among urban DIYers and the newly rural who are trying to revive an economy scaled to sustainability.

    They might well fail in a collapse–and many surely will fail even without one. But they are on the right track, moving to a system where we make things that are tangible instead of moving pixels around a screen.

    Orange County is not the future. Neither is an airport full of people massaging tiny screens. That was my weekend. Everyone just thinks that is our future.

    They are wrong.

  3. capt spaulding October 7, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    tHE THING THAT WORRIES ME, IS THAT ONCE WE GO MEDIEVAL, someone is going to have to be the peasants. the peasants were the backbone of their particular society. Who gets to be the nobility?

    • Neon Vincent October 7, 2013 at 10:11 am #

      Read what I wrote below about Richistan. Some of the residents of that archipelago of wealth think they’re first in line for that status. They might be surprised that they get usurped by warlords or find out it’s only the owners of productive land who grab the golden ring, not just the people who own financial instruments and mansions.

    • Janos Skorenzy October 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      The guys with the guns of course. They who beat their swords in plowshares will do the plowing for those that don’t.

      • electwire October 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

        My 1st thought too

  4. George October 7, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    On balance, it seems that the way the US economy is organized could best be likened to a “One Trick Pony”. No matter how the crowd responds, that pony repeats the trick over and over again. In most cases a few in the “crowd” respond favorably which only serves to goad the pony on for yet another round of that which is proving to be more unsustainable with each passing minute.

    In my area of the country, we’ve been witness to yet another whopping measure of suburban development. In the past this was the work of local developers. Not this time. The big national credit developers based out of places like NYC and Houston are active big time. An enormous “life-style” mall, started a year or two before the 2008 crash, is getting not one but two additions, each equal in area to the original. And they’ve managed to find national credit tenants to fill all the spaces. National home builders are buying up all the unfinished residential developments and building tract homes by the hundreds which are being sold for cash. This is all helping the local economy due to the effects of money multiplicity.

    Too bad this isn’t sustainable.


  5. capt spaulding October 7, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Sorry about the characters, hopefully I’ve got it figured out.

  6. theboosh October 7, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Park City, Utah couldn’t be a better candidate for your ‘small, tighter town” vision – highly educated; diverse economy, tourism $, etc. It is, however, a disaster as your vaunted ‘tradespeople’
    need constant ‘no holds barred’ growth/development to sustain their lifestyle. The surrounding natural beauty no longer compensates for shopping malls, traffic, & high density neighborhoods – just a smaller Irvine. “Zeal minus consciousness” exists in utopia as well.

    • Neon Vincent October 7, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      When I visit my mom and sister in Park City, I’m reminded how much it is an outpost of Richistan. That’s a very nice place that is kept afloat by the nation’s top 5% and the global 1%. When stocks are down, business is down, no matter how good the snow. When stocks are up, the place is booming.

      As for the sprawl, that’s to the north of town, headed to the interstate and spreading along it. The Parkites are of two minds about it. They both deny it, as it’s outside the city limits (and they have no intention of annexing it), but see how good it is for business and shopping. A lot of them are expatriate Angelinos and it reminds them of home, particularly the parts they miss.

      Speaking of Richistan, a lot of our issues can also be understood as the wealthy trying to maintain their position and privileges in the face of contraction. People on both the left and right are starting to get that, even if they’re not down with the entire idea of managing contraction–yet.


  7. Neon Vincent October 7, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    “The end result on-the-ground is a nightmare of the most extreme car dependency in the nation, arguably even worse than Los Angeles.”

    Los Angeles at least has a subway, light rail, and a bus system. I don’t think any of them, except for the fringes of the bus system, reaches into Irvine. I’m sure the residents of Irvine like it that way. It keeps the riff-raff out. Little do they know it will keep them in, too.

    “Leadership in every realm — politics, business, the ivory tower, media — does not grasp that the terms for carrying on the human project have changed.”

    The politicians right now see no percentage in it. Telling people the truth won’t get them re-elected. That’s the lesson of Jimmy Carter. Business is starting to get the message, but when the best sustainability statement I’ve read is Ford’s, and they’re not getting out of the business of making cars, it means that it’s mostly greenwashing business as usual. The same with the media. As for the ivory tower, no one listens to us academics anyway. 🙂

    That written, some people are starting to realize that some eggs shouldn’t be cracked to make the omelet of modern industrial life. There is a fracking ban on the ballot in Bowling Green, Ohio, and there may be one on the ballot next year in Michigan. People here like the quality of their water.


    • Neon Vincent October 7, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      “The same with the media.”

      Well, the news media. Entertainment media is another story, and at least one news outlet–a foreign one–is catching on. Al Jazeera America had a segment on The Stream Friday about Americans being “Obsessed with the Apocalypse.”


      It documents how people at the grassroots level are starting to realize that things are falling apart and they are getting ready for whatever comes next. It’s bubbling up into entertainment shows, including reality shows such as “Doomsday Preppers,” scripted dramas such as “The Walking Dead,” and movies like “The Hunger Games.” The news, which is supposed to tell us about reality, is avoiding the reality, but entertainment, which is supposed to be about escapism, is confronting it. Go figure.

      As for academia, the University of Alabama is teaching a course about zombies in popular media. It’s a very indirect response to reality.


      Speaking of zombies, here’s a meme from Facebook: The government is shut down, the CDC is closed, and “The Walking Dead” begins in 10 days. Coincidence?

  8. Arn Varnold October 7, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    The U.S. (and the world) are in such a fucking mess; It’s beyond me how anybody can speak to the future with any confidence.
    Neo-feudalism/serfdom does in fact “seem” to be the future for the ex-middle class.
    But I see a darker side; marked by violence at unprecedented levels, that most can’t even imagine.
    I think most will perish under the onslaught.
    I say this, because many, prematurely, think America is a civilized country and recent events point to anything but!
    We’ve devolved, into the ones our mothers warned us about…
    If I’m wrong, then I will rejoice at the spirit many speak to; but I don’t see.
    The situation in the U.S. is the worst I’ve ever seen (68 years) and offers little optimism.
    James, I think you’re way too optimistic…

    • Janos Skorenzy October 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Exactly Arn. The people will welcome the security offered by the new military elite. Kissinger said this himself in regards to UN troops. But they will have many competitors: gangs, police gangs, middle class vigilantes, militias, ex-military groups, etc.

  9. djc October 7, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    I was struck when reading todays post that we are already in the Long Emergency, at least in my neck of the woods in NE Ohio, and the vast majority of people just don’t realize it. Declining incomes, job prospects and overall standards of living continue to deteriorate with no abatement in sight.

    This isn’t going to end well for the country I’m afraid.


    • chomskyite October 8, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      I feel the same djc,

      But I think that there will always be pockets of the country that will do well/are doing great compared to the rusting older industrial cities. With this in mind, I’d have a place up north to go to if things get bad. A good winter keeps the riff-raff out.

  10. lsjogren October 7, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    “Leadership in every realm — politics, business, the ivory tower, media — does not grasp that the terms for carrying on the human project have changed. The agenda now is to go medieval, and not in the Pulp Fiction sense, but in our arrangements for daily life. We are being asked by nature to say goodbye gracefully to the hubris known as the current edition of modernity.”

    One important point: That localist society that nature is pushing us toward can only support a small fraction of the current human population.

    Even if those in leadership positions were cognizant that nature is going to force mankind to abandon modern society, the realization that this transition entails the die off of most of the human race would most likely lead them to cling to the status quo even knowing full well that it cannot be sustained.

    But it would be nice if they would at least have enough awareness of what’s going on around them to see where things are headed, even if the horror of it leads them to cling to the status quo.

  11. pyrolysium October 7, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    What is wrong with the layout, something changed and now it’s super-sized. Worst it’s not adaptive to different formats view-screens.

    It makes reading your weekly rants a cumbersome experience!

    All the best from Europe, where we are developing a system to pyrolyse human remains with concentrated solar-energy for ages to come.

    • lsjogren October 7, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Solar-powered crematorium? Excellent idea, there will unfortunately be a huge demand for that in the coming decades.

  12. ozone October 7, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    JHK on going medieval or the hungover morning after the drunken energy binge:

    “…We are being asked by nature to say goodbye gracefully to the hubris known as the current edition of modernity. If we don’t do this gracefully, nature will kick our ass out of it and drag the stragglers along kicking and screaming into the next disposition of things. That is pretty much the true subtext of the struggle in government this season, but it is not being translated at the conscious level into a coherent narrative that the public can understand. The failure of narratives produces a failure of leadership. Failures of leadership lead to failures of action.”

    This is why I’m of the opinion that a “coherent narrative” of what’s really going down is deliberately being avoided! Why abide a leadership that knows only to lead us into annihilation in the box canyon ambush that is the end of business-as-usual (until it isn’t)??

    Leadership now only exists to promote, sustain and replicate itself; there’s your trouble. Blatantly evident by the revolving door practice of gov’t.- private corporate shill – govt. – (round and round, etc.) by these caring leaders.

    It would probably be a reasonably good idea to get in touch with cycles of nature (without petrochemical inputs) to see what essentials it might [energy-nuetrally] supply and throw away commercial extraction and exploitation as the only markers of nature’s value. This might be a good use for all those ‘devices’ loaded with rare-earth minerals that folks can no longer be without. (While there is the prerequisite energy to manufacture and run them.) There is a lot more knowledge of how many of these cycles interact than there used to be, thus reducing SOME of the life-costing trial and error.

    I am glad you have mentioned the L.A. (and environs) nightmare that is totally dependent on massive energy guzzling. It is nearly inconceivable to those who haven’t been there, but real neighborhoods where one can get supplies within walking distance are nearly non-existent! There’s a big ol’ humongous blob of wishful thinking (or not thinking at all) quivering over this whole scene, and how anyone can imagine this as a reasonable way forward is gobsmacking. I wish them (and all of us) luck, it will be a large factor.

    Thanks for reminding us of what is really in charge of this blue marble, ’cause, lawdy-lawd, it sure as hell ain’t the professional actors in Washington D.C. who are only pretending to know what they’re doing and what’s going on.

  13. selaretus October 7, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    The overwhelming majority of replies here want to know: where do we go from here? They want a ‘plan’, some ‘warmth and light’ response that humanity will once again cheat death, find a ‘sustainable’ way to maintain our beloved lifestyle and we will all be okee doke. In short, they want good news. Well folks, as Jim has quite candidly pointed out, it does not exist. More to the point, modern life is unsustainable at ANY level. ANY level. There is no magic middle ground; no place where iPods still bang out your favorite tunes. If you have not seen the movie, please watch ‘The Road.’ It is a dark, sobering and I think very realistic future for mankind, or what is left. There is no good news; there is no local, sustainable, happy happy happy simple way of life that can keep all these people alive on this planet with the available resources. Period.

    • Karah October 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      Exact words in my local/regional newspaper’s editorial section:

      “live for the moment”

      She said that our dependence on other countries for fuel is over because of shale and natural gas, acknowledging that “some” say it’ll only be 10 years of boom, so what, don’t worry about this and be HAPPY NOW!

  14. BackRowHeckler October 7, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Of what do me make, then, of an article posted last week on the CNBC website, and picked up by media across the nation, claiming that in a few years domestic production of petroleum will rise to 20 million bpd, meeting all domestic demand and eliminating the need for any imported oil from anywhere? In fact, the US will become a major petroleum exporter!

    That’s what the man said. The fact that oil remains north of $100 per barrel was not addressed.


    • ozone October 7, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      I dunno, BRH.
      But, personally, I would posit that the author is either ignorant or a self-serving/well-paid liar. 😉

      • swmnguy October 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

        Perhaps the author of the CNBC piece is completely insane?

  15. sirbikesalot October 7, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I used to live in Irvine, but it got too expensive. Nice place though. I could ride my bike just about anywhere on the many bike lanes and paths, and I could ride into Irvine Park and the foothills and be in the woods in 15 min. The thing I didn’t like is they tore up a lot of the Avocado farms to build houses. And a bunch of other crops before that. That’s too bad, because you need food supply resiliency, not a sole source from another country (Mexico).

    Irvine will be fine. It’s places like where I’m living now in NC that are screwed, where trying to get around by bike is nearly impossible and can get you killed.

    • outsider October 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      Same thing here in hilly Southwestern PA. To bike on the roads around here is frightening. Like everywhere, they’re filled with obscene mammoth gas guzzling FWD dinosaur trucks and the omnipresent unneeded SUV’s bearing down on you. Many drivers are annoyed because they have to move over a little to avoid killing you. Bike paths are nonexistent. But the people around here have no alternative. There is no mass transit. The trains are lost to history. America started dying in the 50’s with the building of the interstate highway system and too many local roads to nowhere.

  16. Warren October 7, 2013 at 11:24 am #


    I would like to point out that the insanity of the sunbelt suburb car cult was greatly facilitated by cheap electricity and central air conditioning. Pretty much ever home built in places like California and Florida since the 1960s depend on central air.

    (For example one fine summer day a breaker kicked of the power and my ac went out in my home in Orlando, the house was so hot that even though I reset the breaker the house was so hot that with the AC on full blast for several days before it cooled off.)

    Power outages, even in short term scenarios, will result in rendering most of the sun belt housing stock unlivable for months at a time.

  17. gerry October 7, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    “Los Angeles at least has a subway, light rail, and a bus system. I don’t think any of them, except for the fringes of the bus system, reaches into Irvine. I’m sure the residents of Irvine like it that way. It keeps the riff-raff out. Little do they know it will keep them in, too.”

    Actually, the SoCal rail system has a stop in Irvine. A growing number of OC residents are using the train to commute to their jobs in either LA or San Diego. Once they disembark at Union Station in downtown LA, they can access much of LA via metro. Downtown LA employers offer incentives to get OC commuters off the freeways, and people are happy to avoid having to pay the sky-high downtown LA parking rates. The ride down to San Diego is along the coast and beautiful, and takes you right into the downtown area.

    There are a number of other OC stops too, one right near Angels Stadium, the regional concert center, and other local attractions.


    Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get to the train station except by driving. I’m sure there is network of local bus routes, but those haven’t become popular like the train, and are used mainly by the unfortunate souls who are stuck in OC without a car. Cabs – expensive and rare. Bikes – lots of bike riders, but mainly recreational. You do take your life in your own hand with all the distracted and/or dangerous drivers on the road.

    But at least it’s a start, and has opened up some possibilities, for some people, some of the time.

    • Neon Vincent October 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

      I’m glad to see that there is passenger rail that stops in Irvine. That written, what you wrote actually didn’t contradict what I wrote. I was very careful not to include standard train passenger service in the list of public transit options. The last city I lived in before I moved from California to Michigan was Anaheim, so I’m quite aware of the passenger rail service from Orange County to downtown L.A.; I’ve taken it. It’s not light rail, like the old Pacific Electric Red Cars that traveled all the way from downtown L.A. to Santa Ana.

      As for the bus, the route map shows that one can get to UC Irvine and Concordia University from the north and west, but the system does not penetrate Irvine beyond those two campuses.


  18. Warren October 7, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    That is the house was too hot to live in for two days after the power was turned back on.

    • Janos Skorenzy October 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      No windows? Open them at night to get the cool air and close them in the morning to keep it cool. The lack of air flow can be used as a natural cooling system. The stuffiness is not ideal of course.

      • Warren October 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

        The whole house is not just hot it is sweltering, walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, all radiating out heat, just opening up windows does not work only AC does, also leaving your windows open in Orlando, even during the day, is not a smart thing to do if you do not want to come home to a house emptied of all its contents.

        Even so, new post AC houses in Florida have windows that are not sufficient to provide air flow, they are small, not designed for central air. shallow roofs, no front porches that give shade. The structural difference of style between a pre central AC era house and one built in the 60s and beyond is profound. And even in a older home designed to be without ac the summer heat can be brutal There is a reason Florida had less tan 2 million residents in 1940 as a opposed to the 19 million of today, that reason is Air Conditioning.

        The AC runs in voids in the roof, when the power is out and the hot sun bouncing of the roof heats up those voids they are like ovens and take a long time to cool down, the AV system has to be run extra high to cool of its vents.

        Trust me just opening up a few windows will not do it. Not in Florida. Not in a house designed around central AC

        • Janos Skorenzy October 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

          Guess the Spanish knew what they were doing by building with Adobe. Perhaps they learned from the Moors….

  19. retired guy October 7, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Jim, a very insightful article. The statement you make about leadership says it all:
    “Leadership in every realm…….Does not grasp that the terms for carrying on the human project have changed.”
    That is the underlying reason nobody knows what to do. If you don’t understand or recognize the problem, solutions are impossible. If you were to go out amongst the public and talk with them, you would see that they are as clueless as the “Leaders”. As young people especially, get even more “tech savvy”, they become even less connected to the real physical world around them. When your smart phone or I pad becomes your connection to the world, your vision is narrowed to that small screen. You are not looking around you and seeing the big picture. Think about how difficult it has to be for young cyber addicted people to see any problems looming in the future. The device they are holding in their hands can get email, texts, tell them where they are, tell them where to find a restaurant, act as an encyclopedia, and do other marvelous incredible things. How can the future be anything but good for them, when we have such amazing digital devices. Technology will conquer all. It is so sad. And it is going to create a real unexpected letdown and crisis for them when the paradigm change has occurred.
    Another thing that is sad, is the resistance you encounter in people to learning the truth about where mankind is headed. If you talk with most people about the paradigm shift in resources, etc, they don’t want to hear it, or say that some vague “they” or “technology” will fix any problems. The “hydrocarbon” age for our planet is coming to an end. This insures that the paradigm for human existence on this planet will also change. It is inevitable. I fear that It is not going to be a smooth change for mankind.

  20. “We are being asked by nature to say goodbye gracefully to the hubris known as the current edition of modernity. If we don’t do this gracefully, nature will kick our ass out of it and drag the stragglers along kicking and screaming into the next disposition of things. ”

    Most people believe that they will simply pull up from wherever they are and simply move. Trouble comes up, they don’t lick it, they believe they will call Mayflower, and move to whatever “50 best cities in America” are on the list.

    All over the world, people are not invested in where they are; why would they care about where they aren’t?

    Its the shifting baselines problem.

    Any place they move to is GREAT. Even if it is crap.

    All over the world, its move or die. Irvine’s (and America’s) land use pattern means that the situation is totally static. You can’t change anything about where you live. If you start out renting (like most do), you habituate to habituating to situations. You move from one-prefab reality to the next.

  21. ColoradoFlood October 7, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    The recent flood in Colorado showed that James was prescient.
    I was evacuated in a Chinook helicopter, after my survivalist fantasies were revealed as a wet dream from guys in khaki that marked military surplus goods. I was prepared for fire, and I always assumed that roads and bridges would exist … wrong-o!
    I had to backpack my possessions out of my home across a wooden bridge and set of ropes in a hillside that resembled any third-world scene. Young people with strong backs changed from being surplus meat to being incredibly valuable people, and they performed stunningly well, to their tattooed-low-pants-backward-baseball-cap credit.
    My car was stranded on an island in a mountain, and when I finally was able to drive it out, it was reminiscent of the scene in World Made by Hand where an old guy takes his car out for a final drive.
    The Long Emergency is here, folks. What we thought of as 500 year floods are now going to be 10 year floods, now that the Gulf of Mexico is dead and spews up hot wet air, like a JHK metaphor.
    Seriously, I’m poking fun at JHK – he’s been spot on about so many things that I’m just caviling with his curmudgeonliness.
    If, for some unearthly reason, you want to see my full narrative, go over to survivalblog.com, run by another famous James, and search for Colorado Flood.

  22. gerry October 7, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    “The thing I didn’t like is they tore up a lot of the Avocado farms to build houses.”

    Yep. The most tragic thing is that Orange County, formerly home to numerous farms with a great variety of crops, not just oranges, has developed over almost every farm. There are very few left, though some are trying. It’s such a great growing region; hopefully some of that land can be returned to growing, over time. It’s an eerie feeling to live there and realize how very little food is grown locally anymore.

    Fortunately more people are returning to backyard gardening, chickens, etc. Except in the towns whose codes don’t allow it, in their zeal for that uniformity JHK mentioned.

  23. mdhendler October 7, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Instead of adjusting to a smaller scale, the cornucopian school of economists believe that the economies of the US, Europe, and Japan can be fixed by opening all their southern borders and inviting in an influx of fertile, young, hungry immigrants who will replenish the animal spirits of the sclerotic mature economies. For them, the concepts of carrying capacity, peak oil, etc. don’t exist, as humans are endowed with a magical force that transcends any physical limits, just like Jesus fed the multitudes with a loaf of bread.
    Despite the lost bet of Paul Erlich vs. Julian Simon, and the perennial ridicule of Malthus, I believe that Malthus will have the last laugh.

    • Janos Skorenzy October 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Yes but the Japanese have said no to ethnic warfare and dispossession and yes to Japan for the Japanese. They have a program looking for immigrants – ethnic Japanese from the worldwide Japanese diaspora. Such Wisdom from them. Such foolishness from the entire West. Liberals think we deserve to die and have enacted policies that insure that outcome. Conservatives just want cheap labor. Which is more loathsome?

    • third_martini_banter October 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      Interesting comment from Wired, via Wikipedia, re: the Erlich-Simon bet:

      “All of [Ehrlich’s] grim predictions had been decisively overturned by events. Ehrlich was wrong about higher natural resource prices, about “famines of unbelievable proportions” occurring by 1975, about “hundreds of millions of people starving to death” in the 1970s and ’80s, about the world “entering a genuine age of scarcity.” In 1990, for his having promoted “greater public understanding of environmental problems,” Ehrlich received a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award.” …

      [Simon] always found it somewhat peculiar that neither the Science piece nor his public wager with Ehrlich nor anything else that he did, said, or wrote seemed to make much of a dent on the world at large. For some reason he could never comprehend, people were inclined to believe the very worst about anything and everything; they were immune to contrary evidence just as if they’d been medically vaccinated against the force of fact. Furthermore, there seemed to be a bizarre reverse-Cassandra effect operating in the universe: whereas the mythical Cassandra spoke the awful truth and was not believed, these days “experts” spoke awful falsehoods, and they were believed. Repeatedly being wrong actually seemed to be an advantage, conferring some sort of puzzling magic glow upon the speaker.”

  24. mdhendler October 7, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    The heroic shareholder activist Karl Icahn has some great advice for Apple. Apple is loaded with cash, but it should borrow even more cash at current low rates so it can buy back shares and increase shareholder value. That is a much better use of cash for a corporation compared to other idle notions such as making useful things and hiring people.

  25. Uncle.Al October 7, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    I’ve lived in Irvine since 1990. There are no graffiti, no homeless, and no trees that cast shade without permission. We are suing our HOA for $950K on 14 causes of action,


    Little men in big pants must know their limits. Although most politicians are born liars and stupid, they aren’t elected to be stupid. Redirected stupidity is not intelligence, whatever its talents for presentation. Support evolution – shoot back.

  26. sevenmmm October 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    An major throroughfare bridge near here crossing the Fox River in the city of Green Bay is now broke and shut. Although in this case funds might be shifted from more important uses to fix this, there will be a time soon when the funds will not be made available.

    Falling bridges will force the local aspect of this weblog.

  27. happiface October 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    going medieval might be ok…going nuclear is more likely ……

  28. K-Dog October 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Yes but going medieval and getting “some hard pipe hittin’ n*ggas” with “a pair of pliers and a blow torch,” on your ass is what is anyone wanting to rain on the endless growth parade is going to get. In 2011 a Mr.. Barak Obama authorized the FBI to conduct interviews without identifying themselves. All they have to say now is my name is Dave and then be tough guys and gals. Talking about “a state of widespread crisis within the next ten years” can bring on a state of personal crisis in your face right now.

    It goes beyond Paradigm Blindness, paradigm intractability is more descriptive. When a culture has decided that material things are more important than people a nightmare of crushing uniformity, disconnection and boredom will continue. Nature is in charge but leadership does not act as long as there they have any belief that a chunk of suburban sprawl can be developed at a nice profit.

    Our leaders play the part of Vincent Vega who can’t see a miracle in front of his face. While our Jules Winnfields wander the earth waiting for nature to speak louder than the lizard squawks and forked tongues of the republicrat political mischief makers who are determined to keep you on the shitter when Butch Coolidge swings open the door and the toaster pops off.

    Going medieval in arrangements for daily life will not happen before many brains have spattered the back seat.

  29. edr October 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    The whole thing is going to blow at some unknown point in the future. I don’t expect a slow decline as that isn’t the way humans do things. We can’t plan beyond a day or two and always project that tomorrow will be just like today. So the whole thing will blow and it will come as a big surprise to most. After the carnage when the human population has been reduced to a sustainable level, then things will go medieval if that is what is going to happen.

  30. wardoc October 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    The agenda now is to go medieval……..

    I absolutely agree. But many seem to view “medieval” as something akin to happy people busily running about a colorful market where some are selling their produce, some playing the flute and lyre, and others just walking about. The real medieval was something quite different and much more like what we’re headed toward.

    The WHO admits the antibiotic era is ending due to the massive emergence of resistant microorganisms; almost no one knows how to grow food nor even cook it without high tech devices; not to mention the fact that the costs of the 1500 miles your food travels from field to your family’s dinner table will be out of range for nearly all.

    Disease, starvation, bare subsistence, violence. Most of the people who survive the first couple of years post financial collapse (which is likely within no more than 8-10 years and probably within the next 2) will be at war with each other over food and other scarce resources (e.g. water, fuel to run a few machines, etc). Most survivors will spend their time hunting and or growing food and defending it and their homes from marauders, and sharpening their sticks and knives, and if they’re lucky (and smart), they will be reloading ammunition to defend them and family from those whose goal is to literally eat them. It will take years to develop a feudal system where protection can be obtained by selling oneself and one’s future generations to the local (war) lord.

    The last thing they’re be doing is singing coum-bay-yah and enjoying their “medieval” fair.

    Lock and load.


    • Janos Skorenzy October 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      People have a need to celebrate. There will always be music, intoxication, and sex. The Earth Abides – and is not Man a part of it whether he knows it or not? And where Man is, there will be Woman, chastened again and fit for her role in the scheme of things.

  31. Nicholas October 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    “Something is sucking the air out of the humid terrarium that is US politics, making the lizards, tarantulas, and scorpions within hyperventilate. That something is the vacuum of disappearing wealth.” Classic Kunstler, I love it. Though I have doubts about our medieval option, once the coming socio-econo-environmental super storm blows everything away. I see as our last option to work the $ystem the way the $ystem currently works. Holigent Reconstruct America is an idea. What do you think? http://www.holigent.org

  32. Janos Skorenzy October 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Rush said Helen Thomas once went on a date with JFK. This only seems grotesque because we see Helen Thomas as an old crone whereas JFK is enshrined in our memory as an eternal youth.

    Aragorn lay in state and seemed to be simultaneously a youth, a warrior in the fullness of his strength, and a sage full of years.

  33. rka October 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    “it’s the essence of our predicament that capital formation is crippled and that situation will only get worse”

    Think Newark or Detroit. There’s your new paradigm.

  34. James Kuehl October 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    I just spent an evening with a young couple and their friends on their 16-acre place (emphasis on the sense of place) where the house is framed up and the raised gardens are abundant. Their small kids helped gather apples, which were milled and pressed with homemade machines. The dog and the chickens had a truce based on defense against foxes. The buffet included fresh salads and jars of pickled vegetables. The conversation ranged from the essential benefits of fermentation to the fragility of global finance. They drive small, unremarkable cars or motorcycles. They’re all up-to-date with technology, but did not check their devices incessantly. We played acoustic music under lamplight like it was nothing unusual. Having grown up in cookie-cutter suburbs, I am energized by this slice of life with such admirable young people as they build a sensible future.

    • K-Dog October 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      The area of the U. S. is = 9,372,610 Square Kilometres

      16 Acres = 0.064749703 Square Kilometres

      9,372,610 Square Kilometres / 0.064749703 Square Kilometres = 144,751,398 which is the number of sixteen acre parcels in the U. S..

      The population of the U. S. is now about 313.900,000 (2012).

      144,751,398 / 313.900,000 = 0.461138573 which is the number of sixteen acre parcels per person in the U. S..

      They are a couple so:

      2 * 0.461138573 is 0.922277146 and (1 / 0.922277146) is 1.084272774 the interpretation of which is:

      Your admirable young couple has 8% more than their share of land. But they are fortunate to have all arable land yes?

      The figure for the U. S. land area counted everything, land and all inland waters exclusive of the Great Lakes. The CIA World Fact book gives 9,826,675 square kilometres for the total and includes the lakes.

      In 2009 17.79% of U. S. land area was arable. Some places are more arable than others no doubt.

      Your couple might actually have as much as six times an equal share.

      An equal share is ( 16 * 0.461138573 * 0.1779) or 1.312584829 acres of arable land per person in the United States. It is what it is.

      But good for the young couple and their friends! They are doing the right thing.

      Paradigm blindness and cornucopian delusions. The truth is hard to look at.

      • James Kuehl October 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

        Yes, the land is arable. They are aware of the luxury of their footprint. They don’t talk about it, but I suspect they recognize that many more souls will eventually live within the footprint they’ve designed.

        They would tell you politely to save your statistics. I was shushed as if telling an old joke when I started in about hours of work per gallon of oil or kilowatt of electricity. They’d clearly been over all that and had moved on to a fine-grained view of how to burn their calories.

        Every one of these young folks, by the way, was slim. Not the tattoo-covered contortion that is the result of hours wasted on health club equipment, either. They are sinewy by virtue of a kinetic existence.

        • K-Dog October 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

          And I’d politely save my statistics and get to work. Best to be positive and not dwell on the statistics with people in the know but “Leadership in every realm — politics, business, the ivory tower, media — does not grasp that the terms for carrying on the human project have changed.”

          So in here where we comment on the “nightmare of crushing uniformity, disconnection, boredom, and ennui” somebody does the math.

          • James Kuehl October 8, 2013 at 6:42 am #

            Good points. I rely on those adept with math to help get my bearings. People have shown me that you can define anything in your field of view with math. I was a bit taken aback when my young friends gave me the stiff arm when I started verbally graphing their energy use.

            There was an undercurrent of, “yea, okay, you had your shot at this, we’ve heard and seen it all, now please be quiet and here’s some fresh cider.” I am more than twice their age, but felt like I was in over my head. Pretty cool.

  35. imacifm October 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Mr K et al – I am a new poster so forgive me if I get the protocol wrong. What you seem to describe is not the Middle Ages, but the mythical Golden Age, where people lived and worked in community without envy malice and violence. In Medieval times, regardless of their admirable skills, the bulk of people lived a dreadful life of near slavery and near starvation, totally controlled by the warlords who had seized power over them. This I fear would happen inevitably in your new age. So let’s not go Medieval – we can do better. And ”’ just to thank you for all the thought that makes your column unmissable each week

    • K-Dog October 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      I bet you like “Game Of Thrones” I hear it can take your mind off everything.

  36. rube-i-con October 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Ho hum redux, typical JHK opening….accounting fraud will do us in, the wealth is being sapped before our very eyes.

    Yet, the debt ceiling will be upped again, foreigners will (perhaps stupidly) pour their dollars into US government paper, people will get paid and things will muddle forth. Tons of young people ‘get it’ and are all about organic, the natural, growing things themselves, supporting local biz. But not reverting to a Dungeons and Dragons medieval-style existence.

    Good luck waiting for that. If we are always waiting for an allegedly unsunstainable situation ‘to blow’, why didn’t y2k, the debt ceiling, the 2008 meltdown et al do us in?

    Same for swine flu, avian bird flu etc. Remember AIDS, how it would wipe out most of humanity eventually? Hardly kills anyone anymore.

    Same for most all diseases.

    Because humans, at least in the wonderful West, progress in the sciences and this progress brings fantastic gains in productivity, lifespan, food production.

    Kunstler’s central thesis is that oil will gradually become too expensive for the ‘economy’ to function, and as a result our technologically advanced lifestyle will come crashing down as the lights go out as our number 1 energy source dries up, and we will be plunged into a post-modern Medieval lifestyle where knowing how to grow food and keep from getting murdered will be the two top skills.

    This is rubbish. Just coal alone (disregarding wind, solar, biofuels, etc) gives us 250 years of energy:

    “Th e United States has more coal that can be mined than
    the rest of the world has oil that can be pumped from the ground. We
    have enough to last more than 250 years!”


    So, if push comes to shove, and oil rises to $1000 a barrel, is the US going to have its entire infrastructure come crashing down, or simply switch to coal while perfecting alternative green energy sources?

    Just one counterargument to this really awful hyperbole being spewed out here. Brighten up folks, JHK does have some good advice, such as to learn a trade, find a niche, grow your own food. Just a little of this by everyone and we’ll get by just fine. All of US history supports this assertion.

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog October 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      “The United States has more coal that can be mined than
      the rest of the world has oil that can be pumped from the ground. We
      have enough to last more than 250 years!”

      A third of all carbon emissions come from coal. Why say 250 years when it could never all be mined and used anyway. Near term human extinction will be triggered long before it all gets used. You might as well say the coal supply can last forever. Think positive man.

    • the camels bell October 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      A man accidently fell off a cliff. Halfway down he said to himself,
      “well it’s been 500 hundred feet and so far it’s been just fine.”

  37. Pucker October 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    What do you CFN “Dudes” think about the idea of buying a small piece of bushland in remote regional Australia in a place that’s got a bit of water (e.g. Northern Queensland, or Tasmania) and then “super-charging” (the US property agents use this word) it with some Bio-char?

    I think that one can buy a bio-char kiln rather cheaply. Occasionally, shoot a giant red kangaroo for meat.


  38. Pucker October 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    I heard that one would want to stay away from the remote mining towns in Outback Australia as they’re horrific toxic waste dumps, and that in some places, particularly the South Australia Outback, that there’s a problem with Serial Killers. What was the name of that movie about the Outback Australia serial killers, (“Wolf Creek”?)?

  39. Pucker October 7, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    One thing that I don’t like about Queensland, Australia are all of the vampire bats that roost in the mango trees eating the mangoes at night. And the Red Back spiders…. And the snakes…..

    • Mike R October 8, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      You keep posting to yourself about the same topic. Beyond odd.

  40. rube-i-con October 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Near term human extinction will be triggered long before it all gets used.

    At least I used a fairly reputable source for my stance that coal could – if oil were to become very scarce – replace petroleum. What do you base this assertion of human extinction on, besides the ever-dubious and never-proven yearning for disaster that runs rampant on this board?

    This is the real problem with this site. We have people that want to cite facts and figures, which of course can then be debated onwards on a substantive bais, versus blind assertions of cosmic cataclysm “backed” by Marvel comic book scenarios.

    peace peaceniks

    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject October 8, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      If you believe that even 50 years more of coal burning at present or greater levels is sustainable, I’d appreciate your explanation as to why.

  41. rube-i-con October 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    “Can There Any Good Thing Come Out of Nazareth?”

    One very, very good thing to come out of Australia is The Last Wave, with Richard Chamberlain.

    peace peaceniks

  42. Pucker October 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Moses is the God of Reality, right?

    Ramses, like the U.S. today, made some rather bad decisions, for example, ordering the Hebrew slaves to make bricks without straw (like the U.S. hoping to run its economy without cheap oil).

    So Moses kicked Ramses’ ass…..

  43. Pucker October 8, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    [Pharaoh’s adviser to Pharaoh]

    “Oh Great One! Moses has really screwed us now! This is the worst plague of all! The price of straw (oil) for making bricks has become so expensive that the brick maker contractors are laying off the Hebrew slaves because they can’t make a profit from making bricks anymore. So rather than making bricks to build Pharaoh’s cities and temples, the brick makers are speculating in the price of straw and hording straw.”

    • Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 5:42 am #

      That’s nuthin! Read about how the Jews got themselves into that situation. Joseph dreamed of a famine so as Pharaoh’s right hand man he had seven years of grain put aside for the people. But then when they needed it, he made them buy it – even though it was supposed to be public. When they had no more money, they had to give their land. And when they had no more land, they had to sell themselves into slavery. Nice little takeover much like what’s going on now, eh?

      Well, things were going splendidly so Joe invited his kin to come down and live off the Egyptians. But Pharaoh died as all men must and another “who knew not Joseph” arose. He marveled at the number and power of the Hebrews in their midst and said to his advisors, what if we are attacked? Will they support us or the enemy? Let us deal wisely with them. Perhaps he felt that they owed Egypt a debt that they had to pay back. The Bible doesn’t say but evidently he knocked them off their perch.

  44. Pucker October 8, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    [Pharaoh all pissed off]

    “Awe, F..ck it! If you can’t find me some easy answers, then I’ll find someone who can! Bring me my armor, sword and my f…ck’n chariot!”

    • Karah October 8, 2013 at 1:39 am #

      Horses eat straw!

  45. nsa October 8, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    We here in Langley had a meeting 6 months ago and thought it would be interesting to let Nacchio out of jail after “serving” four years as an object lesson to those who fail to cooperate with our efforts to protect the american people from terrorist subversion within our borders. So far, even the few remaining media assets we do not own have treated him like a beggar with leprosy……..

  46. JB October 8, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    We were conned by the media and the government. There is nothing more what we can do. Detroit is an example where this all goes. What we will start to see is building of private neighbourhoods with their own security forces, camera systems, and other devices to keep the impoverished crowd outside its borders. This is no longer US against its people, we can see this happening world-wide. Or do you think that the “democratic” governments are not making any attempts to put their citizens under the control. The best way, as we learned in US and in Canada, is to put a pressure on the citizens by forcing them to take mortgages. I call this modern slavery – being constantly pressured to pay the next check. We have other options, among which I would choose to go local. Instead of acting globally, we need more local focus, that stems from the very people living in each particular area.

    • boris badonov October 8, 2013 at 5:35 am #

      “The reason nobody seems to know what to do is because they know anything they do will make them look bad, so the only thing to do is nothing, with a sound track of lizard squawks and much darting of forked tongues.”

      Sounds parallel to what an old Hollywood attorney taught me about producers. They are afraid to act, if they make a mistake they’ll be fired.
      Eventually they are fired for not taking action.

  47. Endofmore October 8, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    To hold any nation together requires the function of energy input and output. That can take many forms, whether Roman legions, German panzer divisions or road and rail networks and their embedded transport systems.
    There is no effective difference in their function
    Those energy outthrusts hold and maintain empires only so long as fresh energy can be found to drive them. Hitlers 1000 year Reich lasted just 12 years.Why? because he ran out of gas.
    The American empire is also functioning on the same delusion of infinity, ignoring the fact that disparate forces are already in place to break it up along racial, religious and geographic boundaries as soon as the forces that hold it together begin to crack
    Like now.
    The industrial world was built on cheap energy, now we’ve burned it all, and there are no alternatives.
    We are trying to sustain our delusion of greatness on expensive fuel, which is why collapse is inevitable
    The reversion will be to sub medieval, because there will be a universal denial that there’s anything wrong with the ‘system’, and that we can vote for the prosperity of a past era. When politicians don’t deliver, the result will be riot (which is essentially the problem across the middle east and southern Europe right now).
    While the violence will be expressed as somehow political or religious, the underlying force will be a desperate grab for dwindling resources by increasingly desperate people.
    Fighting over resources will result in nobody getting anything, which will deplete our society to such an extent that a medieval lifestyle will seem utopian, http://www.endofmore.com/

  48. Arn Varnold October 8, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I just happened to take a look at Huffpost (no longer read much) and a very interesting article;

    It seems we defaulted on the debt limit in 1979; it didn’t turn out well.
    Well worth a read for the realities of defaulting on debt.
    We’re governed by galoots, maroons, and morons.
    Speaker John Boehner should be charged and tried for treason!
    The Tea Party are a bunch of loons (with much apology to Loons [the feathered variety])

    • beantownbill. October 8, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      Typical media sensationalism, Arn. By definition, default can only occur when a breach of contract on contractual debt happens (Treasury debt), not just when other expenses aren’t paid on time. It’s the difference between paying your mortgage late vs. paying your phone bill late. The US collects enough in taxes on a monthly basis to meet its Treasury obligations. Of course, this means it is possible that other obligations are put on hold.

      Do you really think the government will pay its other debts first, allowing us to default on our notes? Congress is really stuck between a rock and a hard place. The choices come down to pissing off the world and losing credibility vs. yielding to the Executive Branch and losing its own credibility, vs. holding out against Obama and pissing off the public. Everyone says Obama is such a dummy, but I see him playing this perfectly.

      In 1979, inflation was around 13% and interest rates even higher. The US technically defaulted, but by mistake, not because it didn’t have the money. The financial impact was really slight given the state of the economy at that time.

    • Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      Right. Did you forget to take your crazy pills this morning? If we keep going on the road we’re on, our credit is going to be downgraded again. The Tea Party is trying to stop us from going broke and they have forced Boehner to do the right thing for a change.

      Amazing how you can twist reality 180 degrees. It’s like the Black Biker who slowed down and made the SUV hit him. He’s now the victim you see.

  49. budizwiser October 8, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Go medieval?

    That’s a good term to use – since most people have little idea what a new “medievelism” would look like. We live in the future now – does it “look” the way we thought it would 20 years ago?

    If you want to see where we are going – take a tour of Mexico City. If you want to see how it all “ends” – take a look at Nigeria or most parts of Kenya, Somalia etc…. Only – of course the weather here can be worse.

    At least some of the Sci-Fi movies have at least “some of it” right.”

    As the folks at AutomaticEarth say – the first parts of the Empire to fail always seem remote. First will go the way of Greece – heck we already are.

    Sooner or later the “grid” will fail – your reality will vary based on location – not necessarily wealth…….

  50. nsa October 8, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    You should not fear domestic chaos….you should fear our reaction to it here in Langley. Operation Brownout is ready to roll out at any time. What is OpBrown you ask? We turn the power grid off for three months. When we turn it back on, half of you have disappeared….having murdered and eaten each other in the darkness of night…….removing the useless half of society with barely the lifting of a finger and almost no expense……

  51. hawk711 October 8, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Speaking of the Dumbshow in Washington…

    The Obamacare Wars Part V is now up, including the beginning of the Treason trial of Ted Cruz…

    read more at http://jimheald.blogspot.com

    • Neon Vincent October 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      That’s funny. Unfortunately, treason is a crime defined in the Constitution, and Cruz doesn’t qualify. He’s not even a seditionist, yet. Be patient; he’ll self-destruct. Just hope he doesn’t take the rest of us with him.

      As for me, the first time I heard of Cruz was when Paul Krugman used him as example of how crazy the Right had become by pointing out Cruz’s anti-Agenda-21-plank of his platform. “First they came for the golf courses, was how Krugman titled his blog entry. I figured out then that Cruz was bad news, and called him one of the “Republicans playing the roles of maniacs promising people can keep their cars, McMansions, and commutes this [election] year.” That’s one prediction of Jim’s that came completely true.


  52. Deblonay October 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Pucker re those Queensland/Australian bats
    They are not Vampires buit harmless fruit bats which do eat just fruit and flowers on their evening excursions

    Otherwise they spend the day hanging upside down from trees,sleeping and having sex..often

    They are quite small but exist in large flocks and it get’s a bit messy underneath the trees they live in..andf they pillage any fruit they find…bad news if you are an orchardist growing fruit…they love mangoes but any fruit will do…and eucaluptes flowers

  53. swmnguy October 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    The “economic” concerns people bring up don’t interest me at all. Almost all of them contradict themselves either slowly or quickly, once they admit that the numbers are fake and the money is all abstract. So if the price of petroleum is too high, then we’ll make up some more pretend money and they system will somehow re-find equilibrium, and so what.

    No, the “economy” that concerns me is the physical one that cannot be made abstract. When it takes a barrel of oil’s worth of energy to get a barrel of oil out of the ground. When we have to increase our energy outputs to extract and burn more coal to create more electricity to power all the air conditioners because the burning of so much coal has raised overnight low temperatures and humidity levels to the point that much of our nation is nearly unlivable much of the time. When there isn’t enough fresh water where we need it and we can’t get it to where the people are (or the people to where the water is) without creating worse damage and consequences.

    Silliness about debt ceilings and rates of interest are human-made issues that can be solved by humans. Perhaps not by the same humans who turned these little puzzles into unsolvable roadblocks, but by other humans.

    Not being able to get and distribute enough energy and water to keep 5/6ths of us alive is a real problem and one that does indeed concern me.

  54. volodya October 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Captain Spaulding, who gets to be the lord of the manor? Look to history, the collapse of the Roman Empire and the collapse in the eastern mediterranean in the 2nd millenium BC. What happened in these instances?

    The parallels with modern times are not exact. In both these cases you did have a degree of urbanization but a much greater percentage of people were farmers/herders. But in the case of the cities, they were pretty much abandoned, trade having dried up, trade having been their reason for being. With the abandonment of cities as commercial centers and centers of learning, literacy plummeted. So records from that era are pretty sparse.

    But what can be said is that people fled for the protection of hilltop forts, the lives of the survivors re-centered around smaller, rural farming towns, with new ethnic groups forming (such as that of the Jews) from the remainders of older societies plus refugees from other places (as the account of the biblical exodus relates) or, in the case of Europe, on the basis of older pre-Roman tribal societies.

    What has this got to do with us? In the new medievalism where will people live, what will they do? IMO they will flee the cities, they will look for means of sustenance, chiefly in farming. Look for political fragmentation and a lot of fighting to settle land and resource ownership. Just like old times.

    Who will be in the best position to assume power after the great unravelling? Will it be the old Wall Street banksters? Or will it be the rural farmer and landowner?

    American farmers have weaponry and ammunition and not only that but networks of relatives and fellow landowners for mutual defense. Will they be usurped by hordes of former urbanites or gangs of ex-military bearing arms pilfered from American armories? Maybe in some instances but overall I’m putting my money on the rural landowners.

    What do former urbanites bring to the table in this new world order in terms of skills? What do the Wall Street bankers bring? I think both will be pretty much useless and helpless. Wall Streeters can con people. But I think it’s a fair bet that their means of stealing, the bits of legal and economic fiction they bandied about, will no longer exist. Can you eat a stock or a bond or a derivative? What good will lawyers be against farmers with guns?

    Cities having been deserted as in previous collapses, the former urban elite will find themselves in an environment for which they are utterly unequipped. Robert Reich once called them “symbolic analysts”. Will these “symbolic analysts” be able to coax land into growing food? Will their verbal facility or knowledge of computer and communication technology be of any use when networks no longer work? Will their soft hands and atrophied muscles be able to cope with work in the fields? I say no.

    Assuming some of these migrant urbanites ie these symbolic analysts – former lawyers, accountants, civil servants, execs, journalists – find themselves in possession of a plot of land, will they have clue one? How long before they starve? How long before they find themselves deprived of ownership? My bet is that in either case, being delicate in mind and body, not very long at all.

    These aforementioned symbolic analysts are skimmers. In their previous lives, having convinced enough people of their own skill and indispensability, they were able to skim off enough of the fruits of other people’s productive labor to live well. Other people made their clothes, built their houses, put food in front of them etc. Say good-bye to all that. No more skimming. Assuming the former skimmers are able to somehow stay alive I think it’s a fair bet they won’t calling the shots.

    I would bet on landowners energetically working their holdings rather than a remaining commercial and merchant class. And why? Because, IMO, wealth and power will be centered on land ownership and food production.

    • Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      The Amish live near Phillie. They will become the serfs of the Black Gangs. No doubt other gangs will become the new Lords in other places.

      • mike October 11, 2013 at 12:39 am #

        Imagine the productivity of a highly ordered religious sect overseen by drug addled thugs with guns and an aversion not only to physical labor but of understanding the many concepts necessary to maintain and harvest crops. Methinks the Amish, unless your Black Gangs just mow them down, will do just fine.

        • Janos Skorenzy October 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

          The Amish Mafia? There are too few of those fine lads to keep out the Schwartzes.

    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject October 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

      Excellent piece! Very poignant indicator of what I would call The Great Reconciliation soon to come. Although, the clear lines of distinction you have drawn regarding just whom will sufficiently reconcile their old ways of being within the imagined new paradigm remains to be seen. Remember, the rural peasants ceded control to the Urban Elites quite willingly in the first place. What the hell are they waiting for now? Why aren’t they taking back control before the shit gets as deep as you portend?

  55. Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Kdog wants a vast land distribution a la Mao or Mugabe. It’s rational but reality doesn’t work this way. Why give land to people who don’t know how to work it? We need fewer people and Nature will take care of this for us. Am I happy about it? No, because I’ll probably become compost too. And even if not, I’m not without feeling for my fellow man.

    Also from another angle, much of the United States is not arable being too arid by far. Thus Kdog’s calculation is meaningless. America made that mistake before with countless settlers buying land far too dry to do the kind of farming they knew. A few were able to shift to grains but the parcels were often too small, etc.

    • devon44 October 8, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      I was going to comment on the fact that there are so many diverse movements, all basically trying to be able to survive and thrive during the 100 year downturn (which we are about 10 years onto already). I was going to say – wouldn’t it be nice if they could all unify into one powerful movement?

      But now that I think about it more, I think that it might be better if there were a bunch of small groups doing this locally. A national organization dedicated to invigorating small, densely built towns and local food systems might not be as effective as we think. The right answer for Virginia might not be the same as New Mexico. And that is the whole point, isn’t it?

      JHK, would you agree? I don’t think you have endorsed any specific organization like the transition movement..

      And another comment for JHK – we want more garden pictures! I have put in some raised beds like yours, and after some trial and error with various types of fruit trees and bushes, I have settled on Kiefer pears and Asian pears for my next 20 trees. They like the Virginia clay soil the best, need very little maintenance, produce well, and can get by for long periods without water. You also don’t have to spray them with any chemicals, the bugs basically ignore them. Just a tip for all my VA neighbors!

      • K-Dog October 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

        Pauline Sabin a New Yorker who founded the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform created an effective organization because it had only one goal and as such was immune from internecine conflicts. Unification of the movement you describe would be difficult, to be effective it would need a mission statement that is lean and mean.

    • Keith Hayes October 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Hey dude, I checked and Kdog said no such thing.

      Seems to me all you want to do is poop on a statue like a pigeon and obscure what he tries to say.

      • K-Dog October 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

        This comment was intended for Janos Skorenzy. I had to re-register because my log info would not take on my other laptop. Consequently my real name is visible on the last comment. Horror of horrors, now everyone knows who I am and not just the guvmint. They already knew.

        And all I wanted to come our bold was Kdog

        • Janos Skorenzy October 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

          Ok then! Maybe I was being controversial – trying to get the conversation rolling. But instead of going with it, you just vigorously deny it like a Virgin insisting on her virtue. Why not follow up and say what you do see as a solution, if any?

          Have you thought about changing your name to Toby? Keith reminds one of Sir Arthur Keith, a traditional thinker and physical anthropologist. A racist in other words.

  56. rube-i-con October 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    So if I understand correctly, while we have vast technological resources to harness energy from geothermal, solar, wind, biogas, petroleum, coal, nuclear, etc., the world is nevertheless going to go “mediaeval” because oil is getting dearer?

    The scenarios painted out here are laughable – people fleeing cities, gangs roving around killing and looking for food, massive dieoffs from disease and starvation.

    You ought to stop watching so much sci-fi and get in the real world.
    We are progressing nicely and solving our problems.

    Manking never had it so good, and it’s only getting better. Grow up children.

    BTW, IBM (notice I am quoting a ‘hard’ source, and not a made-up apocalyptic vision of my own making) has plans to provide massive solar energy, cooling and water using a new TECHNOLOGY:


    The childish ruminations on this board are astonishing.

    We salute you as we leave you behind.

    peace peaceniks

    • Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Why are the Elite for industrial contraction then? Global Warming may be shit science but it was/is a comprehensive power down engineered to keep them on top. Also google Agenda 21 for another angle.

      • snuffy October 9, 2013 at 9:16 am #


        You really don’t get it do you?Might as well stop wasting your time,and ours,and just go away…..Begone troll…..

        That is unless you are one of those who are paid shills for the ones behind the curtain….paid to disrupt…

        Go find out how foolish your words are to anyone with more than a couple of brain cells working in tandem before you drop your condescending b.s.here or elsewhere…

        Van,start looking at the energy requirements to continuously”nip in the bud”,angry,hungry people….Takes lots and lots of gas for those war wagons

        Should the fools in congress blow up the money machine that is keeping things wired together,you will be amazed at just how fast it all falls down..


    • Arn Varnold October 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

      You may well be correct; “The scenarios painted out here are laughable – people fleeing cities, gangs roving around killing and looking for food, massive dieoffs from disease and starvation.”

      This scenario is not likely when one considers the militarized police forces in America today. Uprisings would be put down with uber-violence; given they’re not nipped in the bud via the NSA.
      I see a more insidious political situation of a fascist state and on some very real levels we’re very close indeed.
      A very interesting broadcast on Democracy Now;

      And, it does concern oil and politics.

  57. Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    The extraordinary Varg Vikernes. Paradise was in the North which was once in the South. The Earth is a tricky Lady. Thule is the once and future Atlantis.


  58. Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Game on Liberals. Match set. Time to get over your paradigm blindness and choose the right side for a change. Do you stand with the People or the Government? The Nation or the State?


  59. Janos Skorenzy October 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Feds try to shut down private property – and the ocean.


  60. Pucker October 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    [Hungover junior high school teacher servicing a huge student loan debt addressing his 8th graders. Some of the girls have super-sized tits from eating too much fast food fried chicken pumped full ‘o growth hormones.]

    “O.K. class..stop f..ck’n with The Teacher! What is Kant’s standard of morality in his work “The Moral Law”?

    If I lose my job because your standardized test scores don’t go up, then I’m gonna cut your tits off! That North Korean School Administrator says that I can cut your tits off if your standardized test scores don’t improve.”

  61. Pucker October 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    I once knew a bloke who took a high school teaching job to try to pay off his huge student loan debt. On the first day of class for the new school year, he gave his students a motivational “pep talk”, the theme of which was “A New Beginning”.

    Half way through the pep talk,, a teenage girl with big tits in the back of the class shouted out:

    “This Shit sucks!”

  62. ozone October 9, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Concerning government monies well-spent, did you know that the Bluffdale, Utah ‘facility’ for data storage keeps blowing fuses? “Like lightning in a 2 foot box”, according to one source. They’re only a year behind on completing construction and having this beautiful dream of the nsa up and running… that would be “right on schedule” if it meets its’ new opening date of Feb. 2014 wouldn’t it?


    Ha! Sounds to me like a case of brittle over-complexity coupled with everyone having risen to their own level of incompetence. (Throw in some bloated hubris and you’ve got yourself a heckuva job there, Brownie! ;))

    “We need more data, damnit!” …and dylithium crystals too, I’d imagine. We’re working on it, no worries; send money.

  63. volodya October 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Rubeicon said last week that he’s had three careers. What he is doing is scrambling up the mast of a sinking ship.

    He so confidently stated that he will leave us behind. We’ll see.

    Now, I don’t know what Rubeicon does for a living. It doesn’t matter. People are only as healthy as the social and economic eco-system that they’re a part of. He maybe thinks he is self sufficient. He is not. Nobody is. His well being depends on the well being of others around him. He is part of a society, the stability of which depends, in part, on the economic well being of not only him but also his compadres.

    How much Rubeicon earns, how much he can consume, depends on what people around him produce and how much they themselves earn. If people around Rubicon don’t earn, they can’t hire Rubicon, they can’t pay him, and so what will Rubicon eat?

    I know guys in their forties and fifties, highly skilled professionals, that spent years acquiring advanced degrees and professional certification, displaced by cheaper alternatives in India via the internet. No biggie you say? Re-tool the skill set you say? OK, if you’re in your thirties and single that’s one thing. But if you still have a family that depends on you for their maintenance and education that loss of income can be disastrous.

    You see, the clock ticks remorselessly, it takes time, maybe years, to learn new skills. Meanwhile the kids grow up, they need to go to college, the mortgage needs to be paid etc. And so the effect of a guy losing his job has ripple effects beyond him to his family and well beyond his family to the greater community. And then there’s the problem of age. Older employees are not necessarily well regarded particularly those new to a line of work.

    There are places in this world where a small percentage of the population hogs a grossly disproportionate share of the country’s income and wealth to the great distress of the majority. And this is what we’re seeing more and more in the US. And this is nothing to be sanguine about. This is the aim of offshoring. The few at the top of the economic pyramid want more and they intend to deprive the majority. And, so far, they’ve been successful.

    Maybe people – those at the top – aren’t taking the lessons of the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, that this is what happens to places with highly skewed distributions of income and wealth.

    I’ve heard too many times from people that talk like Rubeicon. Smug, overly confident of their own skills and overly convinced of their own prospects. They think they’re in control of their own destiny.

    But if Rubeicon is posting on this web-site, I would surmise that he’s like the rest of us posting here, essentially a nobody, average and un-unique, possessing unremarkable skills, one of a huge multitude of basically interchangeable people. And that consequently his own fate will most likely parallel everyone else’s. Meaning that as we go down the crapper, Rubeicon is coming with us.

  64. Pucker October 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Speaking of being flexible in own’s career, always being ready to switch careers, and finding something new that’s “in demand”…..

    I bet that there’s probably good money to be made in making fake death certificates?

    Some desperate U.S. university graduate smothering under crushing student loan debt might be able to walk away from his non-dischargeable student loan debt by simply mailing a fake death certificate in his own name to the holder of the student loan debt, Sallie Mae?

    A faceless bureaucrat at Sallie Mae, seated at a faceless desk in a sea of faceless cubicles, on the strength of the fake death certificate, will just mindlessly make an entry in the computer database that another student debt slave killed himself because of his crushing debt burden and constant harassment by debt collectors, which few would question. “Easy Peezy”….

  65. Pucker October 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I once knew a girl named “Peezy”, everyone called her “Easy Peezy”…..

    I’m thinking of writing a book about just how f…cked the next generation of young Americans is and their smoldering resentment to their Baby Boomer F…ck Up parents…..

  66. Pucker October 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Do you think that the same fat people would give the same answers to a series of questions going into a grocery store empty handed as compared to when the same people leave the grocery store carrying bags full of processing junk food?

    If I was to run for local political office in some shit American town, would my money be better spent slandering my political opponent in TV ads, or would I get more bang-for-my-buck by handing out red-white-and-blue popsicles with my smiling picture on the wrappers in front of the voting station on election day? Thank you in advance for your advice.

  67. BleatToTheBeat October 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Here’s some seriously weird shit fer y’all to ponder.

    Wonder what the message here is?

    STARK in it’s…it’s….???


  68. Pucker October 10, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    I read somewhere that the former DC Public School Administrator, Michelle Rhee, is from North Korea.

    “…school districts nationwide are on alert after a grand jury two weeks ago indicted 35 educators for a widespread cheating scandal in Atlanta. And in D.C., the annual investigation of student tests has its roots in controversy: The results come as renewed questions swirl around the veracity of testing data that came out of DCPS when Rhee served as chancellor of the district, from 2007 to 2010.

    During her tenure, Rhee fired many teachers, and the IMPACT system she implemented tied teacher evaluations and bonuses, in part, to test scores — a move critics argue put pressure on teachers to deliver higher scores and could even have moved some to cheat. “

  69. BleatToTheBeat October 10, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Gotta get off, gonna get
    Have to get off from this ride
    Gotta get hold, gonna get
    Need to get hold of my pride
    When did I get, where did I
    How was I caught in this game
    When will I know, where will I
    How will I think of my name
    When did I stop feeling sure, feeling safe
    And start wondering why, wondering why
    Is this a dream, am I here, where are you
    What’s in back of the sky, why do we cry
    Gotta get off, gonna get
    Off of this merry-go-round
    Gotta get off, gonna get
    Need to get on where I’m bound
    When did I get, where did I
    Why am I lost as a lamb
    When will I know, where will I
    How will I learn who I am
    Is this a dream, am I here, where are you
    Tell me, when will I know, how will I know
    When will I know why?
    When will I know why…


  70. hawk711 October 10, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Read The Obamacare Wars, Part VI at http://jimheald.blogspot.com or download the entire revised story at http://tinyurl.com/n5a5nd9

    Mid-November. Mid-Afternoon. Guantanamo Bay.

    John Boehner straddled the inflatable raft, pina colada in hand. His orange belly bobbed in the sun as the gentle surf rolled onto the white sand. He sucked the last of the drink into his gullet and tossed the plastic cup towards the beach where it tumbled in the water with a couple dozen compadres. He leaned back and closed his eyes, soaking up the sun like a giant sponge.

    Rand Paul, got up from his beach towel and strolled towards the water’s edge. He stuck in one toe and then another. Before he knew it he had waded out to his waist in the water. Effortlessly, he dived under the water and disappeared.

    A moment later, Boehner’s raft was flipped over and the Speaker was gasping for air.

    “God Dammit Paul! Can’t a guy drink in peace? F#$%@ you!”

    Paul splashed in the water laughing. On the beach, the Tea Party Caucus convulsed in chortles and guffaws. Michelle Bachmann wheezed like a Canadian goose in flight.

    Mitch McConnell stood up and shouted at the two figures at the water’s edge: “Hey Aqua Buddha, you need another drink!”

  71. rube-i-con October 10, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    But if Rubeicon is posting on this web-site, I would surmise that he’s like the rest of us posting here, essentially a nobody, average and un-unique, possessing unremarkable skills, one of a huge multitude of basically interchangeable people.

    Speak for yourself, friend. I am posting from outside the US, where I have more than once reinvented myself, learned the language to the point where I can professionally translate technical and legal documents (and quite often do).

    Rubeicon said last week that he’s had three careers. What he is doing is scrambling up the mast of a sinking ship.

    No, friend, I am a weather vane, I turn in the direction of what is in demand and meet that demand. It’s called common sense, and it’s not all that common, in the US, at least (tip o’ the hat to M. Twain).

    It is you Luddites out here that revel in failure, proffer nothing other than “I think” arguments foretelling Mad Max futures that will never happen and which ignore all of Western history and technological triumph, that stand motionless on the sinking ship of the US economy because you are incapable of change, wringing your hands in fear, doing nothing, and going nowhere fast.

    I’ve heard too many times from people that talk like Rubeicon. Smug, overly confident of their own skills and overly convinced of their own prospects. They think they’re in control of their own destiny.

    Not overconfident. I have put in the requisite 10,000 hours (which is the equivalent of several years) of hard work to master my trades. I’ve been shipwrecked financially several times, outsourced, but just keep going forward. And I make sure I take care of my neighbors and community, because it makes sense all the way around.

    And that consequently his own fate will most likely parallel everyone else’s. Meaning that as we go down the crapper, Rubeicon is coming with us.

    Your fate is your destiny. Note the difference well. My fate is of my own making. After 3 decades in technical areas, I will shortly be learning, in an accredited environment, how to fix electrical appliances and equipment.

    Just so I can keep gaining skills. Age is irrelevant, don’t fall into that trap. Talent counts. If I’m 76 and can fix your broken dryer, what do you care how old I am?

    And, if I can fix your dryer, why not open a business fixing dryers, hire a few smart guys and gals? What’s so difficult about the concept?

    Or do you prefer to ever remain on the losing side with JHK, as we speed past him to a remarkable future of abundance?

    We salute you as we leave you behind.

    “All of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars.”

    peace peaceniks

    • Arn Varnold October 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      Nice reply and straight to the point.
      Like you, I’m outside (more than a decade) and agree with every point you so nicely make.
      Language is a key element to understanding culture and thriving.

      • Arn Varnold October 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

        Unfortunately, the cretins here will never get it; too bathed in their self reinforcing pity party and negativity.

    • Janos Skorenzy October 10, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Society must be geared to the average person – not the extraordinary such as yourself. We shouldn’t have to do all that. The Nation should protect us with tariffs so we don’t have to compete against global campesinos – or have to become them in order to compete against them. The sad thing is that people are now just seen as units of production and consumption – even by their own government. So much for the Republic comprised of citizens.

      Shame on you Arn – you’re supposed to be all liberal and shit.

      • mike October 11, 2013 at 12:57 am #

        If society were “geared to the average person” we would have remained in a feudal splendor to this day. It is the exceptional among us that strive and learn and teach and pull achievement forward, not the “average”. DaVinci was not average, nor Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein or the nobles who petitioned for the Magna Carta. Imagine the state of “average” without the individual thought of these exceptional men.

        If you depend on government to operate in your best interest, or “…protect you from global campesinos…”even a benevolent government will not fulfill that task as well as only you can and to deny that price differentials exist is simply a denial of reality. Works a short time and then it doesn’t.

        “Liberal shit” is so unbecoming when you negate the value of others that happen not to be within the borders of your own country. You will, we will and they will all compete, like it or not, as long as there is trade flow between countries. And you should fervently wish (and I will pray for) continued cross-border trade flows because when trade stops, bullets start.

        Pay attention, it’s a big world. Ask a grownup if you have any questions.

        • Arn Varnold October 11, 2013 at 1:21 am #

          Hear! Hear!

        • Janos Skorenzy October 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

          Tariffs are nation builders. Free Trade is a nation killer – which is why Marx was in favor of it.

          Argentina was just beginning to industrialize when England forced its way in – threatening to blow Buenos Aries out of the water if Argentina didn’t open its markets. Argentina complied and was flooded with British goods – and its own development was put off for a century.

          In contrast, Napoleon was able to blockade European ports, allowing Europe time to catch up to England.

          Another gem: China had a lot of opium addicts and decided to do something about it by refusing the entry opium at the ports. This offended the British who actually went to war to maintain their drug dealer profits.

          I never said that the gifted should be persecuted, merely that the society must be geared to the average. That you find that controversial shows how off the mark you are. Also people can be extraordinary in non-commercial ways. Why should such people have to compete with illegals for crusts of bread instead of following their dreams?

  72. mow October 10, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    i’m a gonna move to arkansas and shovel shit for a living

    • mike October 11, 2013 at 12:44 am #

      Given the present state of your ambition why not just stay right where you are and get to work?

  73. rube-i-con October 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Re that last remark, you become what you surround yourself with if you’re not sufficiently vigilant.

    Sh** breeds sh** at many levels.

    peace peaceniks

  74. Pucker October 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    If the federal government is insolvent and US college graduates are living at home and cleaning toilets, then what are the odds that these baby boomer federal retirees are going to be able to kick back, drink beer and watch football and Nascar on their federal retirement checks for the rest of their lives?

    “Some 30% of the federal workforce will be eligible to retire in the next three years, according to a Government Accountability Office report. That means the government could be hit by a wave of retirements at a time when it is already dealing with inadequate staffing, because large numbers of employees are on furlough and hiring freezes are in place to save money and dramatically shrink the federal budget deficit.”


  75. Pucker October 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    When I last visited Los Angeles and New York City I was struck by the extent to which the standard of spoken English has deteriorated in the U.S. in recent decades. In fact, when I called the hotel booking service at LAX airport, I literally could not understand what the Hispanic bloke was saying.

    Accordingly, perhaps in the near future, rather than calling our leader “Big Brother”, maybe we should shoot for a lower, more realistic, Michelle Rhee standard of “Big Bubba”?

    “Big Bubba’s Watch’n You.”

  76. Pucker October 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Rube wrote: “Just so I can keep gaining skills. Age is irrelevant, don’t fall into that trap. Talent counts. If I’m 76 and can fix your broken dryer, what do you care how old I am?”

    “Listen Grandpa! I don’t give a rat’s-ass how old you are. If you can’t fix my f..ck’n dryer, I’m put’n yo’ ass in the old folks home! And if you get sick, no health care for you! I’m not pay’n for it! I’m pull’n the plug on yo’ sorry, useless old ass!”

    Personally, I’m not particular about the particular trade or profession as long as I can wear dark sun glasses, carry a gun, and act like a “Big Man”.

  77. K-Dog October 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    No new comments yet today! It is time for something new so, from this weeks article “Paradigm Blindness” we have:

    places will enter a state of widespread crisis within the next ten years, and possibly much sooner. The people who live there will see their property lose all its value, and then they will have to make choices about where to move to. In the process, they will dig in their heels, cause an immense amount of political mischief, and eventually lose anyway.

    Yes those with property in places supported only by fossil fuel (LA!!!!) will see value fall with the coming economic implosion but many others will already be suffering because:”

    as we spin down, the rug is getting pulled from under those who can LEAST afford it FIRST.

    My last quote is not Kunstler’s You can find it here. A most excellent piece now at the Doomstead Diner.

    Will it be a tragedy when Orange peels away and the Disney gates are locked tight like gates at the temple of Janus?

    Yes it will, but then again keeping it all going is but a tragedy of a different kind. A tragedy of the commons.


    The corruption we witness about us each day is the result of generally very “typical” people who think they are doing what is “right”, who think they DESERVE the big paychecks they get for being an Executive or a Doctor or Lawyer, but in the end whose big paychecks can only be supported by ever increasing THEFT from J6P.

    From the same article. Bold emphasis mine. It is not just banksters that are corrupt, but they make convenient scapegoats. Much easier than looking in the mirror.

  78. rube-i-con October 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Look, people, dire warnings almost never, never, ever come to pass, because a situation, like one of Newton’s laws, like to stay the same, with as little as possible change to it.

    Kunstler like to paint pictures of impending doom, yet virtually all of his prognostications are off – way off – and the opposite has a way of happening.

    Viz. the failure of 70s doomsdayers’ predictions to come true. Just the opposite has happened. We are fatter, healthier, have longer lifespans, and have opportunities afforded us which our forbears would not have dreamed were possible.

    So, enjoy Kunstler’s warnings for the titillating entertainment value they have, while he avails himself of all modernity has to offer to improve his life – e.g. hip replacement surgery, the internet, unlimited travel – but remember, science & technology are impelling us ever forward to realms of abundance, and you can fight it kicking and screaming until you’re dragged there with the rest of us.

    It’s the way we operate. We go forward, not backwards. Live it, learn it, love it, Luddites.

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog October 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Forward forward forward, like Napoleon marching to Moscow. Think of it There you are 24 June 1812, with Napoleon’s crossing the Neman River. You and the Little Corporal are off to teach Alexander I a lesson. Your saying “Look, people, dire warnings almost never, never, ever come to pass”.

      But what happens? Mother nature teaches the lessons and your paradigm blindness does you in. Seems to me kicking and screaming while being dragged to extinction is appropriate. You are the luddite for you and your twisted kind can’t accept change.

      Oh and we are fatter and healthier. You’ve got to be kidding and I wish you were. Truth is you are and the question is why?

      Regular readers know the answer.

  79. volodya October 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Ruebeicon, tell me if I got this straight, you’re 76 years old, still working, scratching out a living as a fix-it-man, unable to retire because you don’t have the means because, as you say, you’ve been shipwrecked financially several times.

    If this is all true then you have my sympathy. I’d hate to be in your shoes. But, having said that, I’m going to point out what maybe others are too polite to say, that far from leaving everyone else behind, that given your circumstances, it’s the other way around, you’re the one eating dust.

    Ok, so let’s say you earn a living as a repairman, a fixer of washers and dryers. Saying what I’m going to say truly pains me because I hate denigrating other people’s occupations and I really don’t mean to. It’s quite likely you’d rather not be in the situation you’re in so maybe you’re trying to put the best face on things.

    Regardless, maybe I mis-understand so please do clarify, do you mean to suggest that occupations like yours are a viable replacement for the industrial capacity that was offshored? Is this the economic model you have in mind? Because, really, this would be ludicrous Asoka level reasoning.

    We’re solving our problems? Seriously? You mean problems like yours? No, solutions are not being found, not good solutions, nor solutions that benefit people like you. Quite the opposite. People like you are living proof. And there are many millions like you. There are vast technological resources out there? Doing what pray tell?

    There’s another possibility, and this pains me even more because it means I would be wasting my time: that your account of your life and present fix is a load of shit from top to bottom. A total lie. Again, Asoka style commentary, aimed at provoking for who knows what reason. Or, worse still, speaking up for elite interests, again, for who knows what reason.

    You, Mr Fix-it-man, if that’s what you really are, are leaving nobody behind. Yours is a precarious occupation, you are being forced to improvise and scramble at an advanced age. You are being pulled around by the nose, and I say this with no joy, the funds you might have had for your own use in your own retirement are apparently in somebody else’s pocket. Or maybe you’d care to explain what you think it means to be financially shipwrecked.

    Assuming that you’re a bona fide poster with genuine beliefs in these matters, I think that you can possibly console yourself with this, that as far as economic thinking goes, yours is no more absurd than that of the deep thinkers in business and universities and government that inflicted this disastrous state. If it pleases you and if your line of thinking is of some comfort, then so be it, think what you like.

    • K-Dog October 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      “speaking up for elite interests, again, for who knows what reason.”

      The usual reason is money and contractors are immune from the government shut-down. They still get pay-checks.

  80. rube-i-con October 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Man are you delusional. The 76-year old man was just a hypothetical. Even if it were true, what would be wrong with someone – of any age – making a living fixing electrical appliances?

    How is that a failure of our age? The ‘economy’ consists of learning a *usable* skill that affords you a chance to earn a living. So…what’s the problem here?

    If it’s one of age…well, I am much younger than 76, that was merely an add-on to my take that it is *talent* that matters, not age.

    It sounds like you haven’t read my posts carefully. I have stated many times that I live overseas and have changed my career several times to meet what people are willing to pay a lot for.

    This was said to illustrate the stance that Americans need to study what is in demand in the marketplace. Not English studies. And then complain that they’re suffocating under a mountain of student debt. How dumb do you have to be to dig your own grave?

    Not to beat a dead horse, but fixing washers and dryers can be very lucrative. Much more so than getting a *degree* in useless sophistry.

    Go back and scour my post: I say that I am going to take an accredited course in appliance repair….in addition to other careers I have had. All to gain skills that are SALEABLE.

    As far as replacing jobs that were offshored: FIND SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR AND DO IT.

    Prior to the US’ industrial age, people did other things. It is only whiners and the inept that cling to what was, for however long. Progress goes forward by definition. Don’t long for the 1960s when they’re no longer viable. LEARN something for Christ’s sake!

    Life is fairly simple. Ask yourself, what do people want? Then, give it to them. They want to eat…make food. They want to stay somewhere. Offer shelter. They want to learn a language. Teach it (English is the most sought-after language to learn!). They want to X. Offer X.

    With 7 billions motherfuckers out there, there is always a demand for something. Sell that something. But, for Zeus’ sake, do NOT study Feminist Lit. Get a clue.

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog October 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      Love of fellow man:

      “7 billions motherfuckers”

      I think not.

      • Janos Skorenzy October 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

        I just had a vision of your dog avatar wearing a hijab. But when I looked again it was gone. Can you explain this?

        • K-Dog October 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

          Yes you are demented.

      • Janos Skorenzy October 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

        You’re some kind of IT guy, so what do you think of the complete Fail of the Obama Care site? The Divine Miss B think it’s on purpose.


        • K-Dog October 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

          Well well well, some kind of IT guy you say. Since I’ve not identified my profession or even if I even have one you know this how?

          A dossier perhaps?

          • Janos Skorenzy October 12, 2013 at 1:51 am #

            You said as much dumb ass. Look why don’t we use this blog to have a conversation as it was intended? I just brought up an very interesting issue and this is all you can do with it?

  81. rube-i-con October 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    …just some verbal juxtaposition, nothing derogatory intended.

    wakes readers up, my man. just a device.

    peace peaceniks

  82. rube-i-con October 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    You are the luddite for you and your twisted kind can’t accept change.

    I embrace change, it’s just not the apocalyptic change you Luddites so desperately wish for. That only happens in the movie theatre, then you go home.

    Keep wallowing in imaginary cosmic cataclysm while the world goes forward to more abundance, better health, more energy, better technology, more food, more liberty, space travel, virtual realities, robots in our homes, and untold number of other wonders.

    Luddites are folks like yourself that don’t want technology to advance. The simple fact you use the internet betrays your supposed kunstleresque stance that there is too much magic.

    You can try to clog the wayback machine to 1790, but you’re waking up in an ever improving world each morning whether you like it or not. If you can’t see the vast technological resources that are in play (clean energy advances, medical advances, advances in applicable micro-physics, and every area of science), it’s because you don’t want to.

    Tell me you haven’t benefited from these strides forward.

    Look at the global consciousness and massive action vis-a-vis the environment. This didn’t exist 10, 20, 40 years ago. Germany recycles 80% of its garbage. It sometimes powers itself in excess of 60% using the sun.

    That right there addresses two colossal problems, and shows they can be solved.

    Work is being democratized and decentralized, bringing it to millions in new ways that weren’t formerly possible. E.g., TaskRabbit, online work, Airbnb.

    Yes, it’s not your dad’s union job. Get over it, find out how to maximize what cards you have and move forward. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

    Stop your whining on this board too, it serves no purpose whatsoever to keep spouting that “we are all fucked”, “Kunstler is right, everything is going down the tubes”. Even if it were, plant a tree, grow food, treat your neighbours well, learn a skill that’ll give you an income, and most of all, liberty from the shackles of dependence.

    Seems to me kicking and screaming while being dragged to extinction is appropriate.

    Yep, there we go, we are headed towards extinction LOL.

    Just a little hyperbole there, or what? What is going to kill off 7+ billion people? Sheesh!

    Typical for this board, there’s no reasoning with many of you. I have over and over cited numerous advances that solve our most dire problems, and you continually rebut with hearsay, valueless opinion, and calumny. But rarely with valid points to back up the nerdy end ‘o the world scenarios you proffer.

    We salute you as we leave you behind.

    You are invited to join us in an immaculate future of plenty, or you can live at the end of the tracks with your fellow intellectual hobos.

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog October 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

      I know I know, just sit back enjoy the show and let our trusted altruistic leaders lead us to prosperity. Let them turn lead to gold and water to wine since they are doing so well now.

      “What is going to kill off 7+ billion people?”

      War, starvation and climate change caused by those who’d rather be dumb obedient serf hobos than intellectual ones.

      “Stop your whining on this board to”.

      Tell you what. If you go away and never come back in here so will I. We can leave the board for those that actually want to realistically deal with the topics Jim brings up.

      I can trust you right?

  83. Pucker October 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Rube wrote: “Life is fairly simple. Ask yourself, what do people want? Then, give it to them. They want to eat…make food. They want to stay somewhere. Offer shelter. They want to learn a language. Teach it (English is the most sought-after language to learn!). They want to X. Offer X.”

    Question: Is there a market for vegetarian sausage?

    The Chinese Buddhist monks make various dishes out of soy beans to resemble and taste like different types of meat. I always thought that this is a bit strange. A bit like men having sex with other men who get dressed up like women and who re-configure their sex organs to resemble female sex organs. I guess that there’s a market for this sort of thing?

    I think that it was George Carlin who once said: “When you’re born into this Life, you’re given a ticket to The Freak Show. If you’re born in America, you’re given a front row seat.”

  84. Pucker October 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Question: What do Buddhist monks want?

    Answer: They want to eat Meat.

    FREAK SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. rube-i-con October 12, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    You want to realistically deal with the things Jim brings up, but the only things I see from your side are wild assertions of “extinction”, war starvation and climate change (when has the climate ever not changes?). Where is the data to back this up?

    You remind me of hysterical women that take a grain of sand and magnify it into mt. everest.

    I point out hard scientific advancements and get nothing back other than semi-literate personal opinion. Worthless.

    peace peaceniks

  86. progress4what October 12, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    K-Dog says:

    “No new comments yet today! It is time for something new so, from this weeks article “Paradigm Blindness” we have:”

    Actually, K, I think there were 6 comments posted on the 11th, prior to yours. I found them by searching “11,” Because they are spread all over the page.

    “mike” had a great post about how the Amish can out compete black gangbangers in their midst. Then Janos had a great post about how nations should protect their citizens using tariffs and other means. Later on in the day, K-dog, you schooled Rubicon with your Napoleon analogy.


    I would link to these comments, but there’s no mechanism in this software to easily do this. So – – they are all just randomly floating on the thread, never to be seen again. And there’s no telling what comments from “8,” or “9,” are lost forever back on the FIRST page of comments.

    For you paranoid/conspiracy people – do you suppose this new format was forced on JHK deliberately? It certainly does diminish the ability of the disaffected (that’s all of us?) to maintain the thread of a conversation.

  87. Arn Varnold October 12, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Nobody here has a clue to what the future holds. The future is dynamic, based on decisions today.
    That’s why the future is beyond prediction; it’s mutable, and therefore not predictable.
    Live in your delusional worlds of predictability; the world/realities are in fact, a reality of infinite possibilities; it just takes us to decide our direction.
    The real decision is; what will we choose? Therein lies the future; still not predictable, because we don’t understand our choices and march forward, as blind as a bat (as the saying goes).

  88. rube-i-con October 12, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Later on in the day, K-dog, you schooled Rubicon with your Napoleon analogy.

    Haha, the blind leading the blind. No scientific facts, upon which Kunstler’s assertions fail or stand, just an analogy that has all the weight of a feather.

    How about I say, Napoleon conquered much of Europe, and some of the Middle East. Does that qualify as an analogy to say that mankind will be successful in overcoming any problems?

    Rev up your doombox & give me an answer. Or better yet, just don’t. Pointless trying to reason when opinion is given more credence that facts.

    Back in the real world, here is a recirculating shower that saves massive amounts of water and energy. Wait, that would help solve your doomer problems, right? Sorry about that.


    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog October 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      “How about I say, Napoleon conquered much of Europe”

      But he died in a place called St Helena as a prisoner. And then there was Hitler who did the same thing, conquered Europe. Then came Stalingrad.

      How’s that working for you Hitler?

      And about the shower. Your all wet.

  89. volodya October 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Rubeicon tells me I’m delusional.

    You see, most of us on this site see the world as it is without fantastical overlays of make believe and wishful thinking about technologies coming to our rescue. We aren’t blind to the disastrous effects on countries and individuals of cockamamie business schemes to offshore industrial production to despotic, slave wage regimes.

    Among many, many other things, Rubeicon ignores the unsustainability of these manufacturing and trade arrangements, built on the notion of exporting goods to countries whose ability to pay for them was lost in the wave of offshoring. You can see the results in the calamitous state of government finances, in a frantic Federal Reserve that’s resorted to counterfeiting to keep the American banking system from toppling.

    But, Rubeicon, if you’re on board with elite game plans that take no account of what they wreck, that impoverish people like you then there’s not much anyone can do for you. We try to enlighten. But maybe in your case it’s a waste of time. Maybe your composure in the face of (and acceptance of) repeated financial ruin at the hands of a managerial class is a psychological defence mechanism. If that’s the case then, fine, whatever gets you through the night. So maybe I shouldn’t disturb your mental equilibrium. Or maybe you shouldn’t be on a site like this.

    Luddites? Speaking for myself, exactly the opposite. But the internet is a lousy place to disclose personal information and circumstances so I won’t. But, if you want to, you go right ahead.

    Say what you like about yourself. Maybe you’re not 76 years old, maybe you’re not posting from the US, maybe you’re posting from some place that’s dedicated to digging itself up and shipping itself to China. Like Australia. Or maybe selling its land to Chinese interests. Like some countries in Africa. Or South America.

    But let’s make a big assumption, that you as a poster, are on the up-and-up. So, why don’t you tell us more about your personal struggles, your strategies and equanimity in coping with the machinations of those few at the top of the world’s economic pyramid. Tell us more about your flexibility and optimism and resilience. Aside from entertainment value, you would shed light on a dark corner of the human psyche, that of individuals that identify with their abusers and exploiters.

    You know, I’m suspicious of those that ridicule others that suffer from this mess, that make light of distress, that are apologists for and ally themselves with elite interests, that post fantastical notions of technological triumphalism, that proffer absurdities as practical solutions. Such posters make me wonder. Maybe these posters are who they say they are. Or maybe not.

    In the end, people that speak up for elites, that try to deny obvious reality, are wasting their time. They don’t impress the One Percenters they defend, One Percenters who regard them and treat them as useful idiots.

    And they don’t convince anyone else because ideas grind up against reality. You know, reality like spending years training for occupations that have some reasonable prospect and that won’t vanish in a wave of offshoring or collapse, reality like families that need stable and reliable, rather than precarious and marginal, sources of income, reality like a banking system that won’t vaporize your life savings. And most of all, the reality of the need for political and economic leadership that put some stock in common sense and wisdom and forebearance.

    Maybe, Rubeicon, these realities make your head hurt and you’d rather not worry about them. But these realities and others, like 100 USD oil and economically ruined cities and states, are stubborn things.

    • K-Dog October 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      And One Percenters don’t just regard and treat them as useful idiots. They look for loose nuts they can use. That is their secret truth be told.

      And a curious thing is going on too.

      If Mr. Cornucopia is so convinced about the righteousness of his position why does he hate what HE calls ‘doomers’ so much? If he believes his own bullshit then I’m totally irrelevant and harmless and there is no need wishing me to go away. Kind of rude really, just like Asoka was.

      And a thing personally amusing to me.

      I’m a ‘Luddite’ with a patent. So he can take his recycling shower do an EROI calculation on it and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  90. nsa October 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Here in Langley we are all having a great laugh….total control of all of human existence has been just too easy…..no resistance at all. The white hetero male has been totally crushed and humiliated, and is now totally reviled and mocked by almost everyone. Call him Viagra Vic. Poor ole Vic has always been hated by the Mexicans, Asians, Niggers. Then we turned the fags against him…..just too easy. A little wedge issue agitprop by our media assets and now even his wife and daughters mock Vic. And the cherry on top of the cake….Vic has seen fit to detest himself……. fat, neutered, useless with no discernible skills, and on the phone to Binder and Binder to get on the disability gravy train for his bad lower back. Crushing whitey didn’t even require one bullet………it was all just too easy……

    • progress4what October 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

      Fascinating, nsa! And it makes about as much sense as most explanations being offered for current events.

      So – tell us, since the majority of NSA employees are straight, male, and white-complected – – for whom do you really work?

    • K-Dog October 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Don’t be so cocky. Years of conditioning went on and continues to go on.

      Keeping the American Public pliable and ignorant requires billions of dollars in advertising per year and hell is going to pay when everyone sees the age of consumption is over and they have been had. Then Vic is going to come after you with his Mexican, Asian and Black American friends.


      Your next. As Jim says from time to time:

      History does not repeat itself but it sure does rhyme.

  91. rube-i-con October 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Rubeicon tells me I’m delusional.
    You see, most of us on this site see the world as it is without fantastical overlays of make believe and wishful thinking about technologies coming to our rescue.

    Me too, I see it without fantastical overlays, which is why I learn what people are willing to pay for, as I said in a previous post and which you conveniently ignore. Then, I supply what people are willing to pay for. Then, they pay me.

    I know from many years of experience that people are by and large unwilling to change, and that this does them in. Like, apparently, most of the cohort out on this board.

    Technology allows me to work from home. So, I guess it has come to my rescue. It allows me to profit from certain transactions, which means it has come to my rescue.

    JHK has artificial hips, so I guess you might say technology has come to his rescue.

    “Speaking up for elites” is your straw man phrase. I have never said anything besides that technological strides are making the world better. How is that brown-nosing for the elite? So, that one’s back on you. Fail.

    Apparently, you are one of the dolts that can’t do anything other than glue widgets on the industrial assembly line all day, since you’re so worried about industry being offshored.

    America was the industrial powerhouse in its day. Now, other countries are at the helm in that respect. The US took over from Britain, now other countries have taken over from the US. Who guaranteed you a good union-paying job forever? You stole your industrial jobs from Great Britain back in the day.

    What, are you so weak you can’t retool? What a generation of wimps you all are.

    Re banking system vaporizing your savings. Due your due diligence and have money at limits that are government guaranteed. What, can’t figure that out for yourself? It’s one ineptitude after another.

    Re my struggles with those at the top of the economic pyramid, I have been paid very well by them, put kids thru university thanks to them, and worked with tens of thousands of others like myself that were employed by them and could buy houses, cars, education, go on vacations, etc. Badmouth them, no? Don’t kick a gift horse in the mouth.

    If you people spent 1/3 the time you devote to your commiserations on reinventing yourselves you might actually have some success in life.

    However, since you are most likely products of the US ‘educational’ system, which is best at churning out sub-standard societal chum, you waste your lives bleating like goats with other losers.

    I enjoy berating you, because I know that my fellow man, however retarded, has the ability to become better by applying himself/herself towards a noble goal.

    If you are damn irate that others have more than you, start getting more of what they have and better your life and your neighbourhood. Learn a skill and profit from it. Start by becoming positive instead of a downcast, sinking kunstlerite going nowhere on the back of failed end-of-times predictions that aren’t worth jack.

    Life in the old days was miserable, truly miserable. Now, with everything at your fingertips, you are so stupid as to put it down and bellyache the livelong day.

    Some mythical elites got you down? Look in the mirror for the cause of your failures. I been knocked down, but I’m up and running again. A couple times over. And doing well.

    …reality like families that need stable and reliable, rather than precarious and marginal, sources of income.

    I assume this is a dig at airbnb and taskrabbit. I know of folks that have been able to quite their corporate jobs and use the income they generate from these types of services to live lives much more tranquil.

    Typical that you would put it down, since you’re unable to see anything beyond your “I want my damn industrial union job”.

    You can throw diamonds in front of the blind, but being blind, they won’t recognize them.

    peace peaceniks

  92. progress4what October 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    “How about I say, Napoleon conquered much of Europe, and some of the Middle East. Does that qualify as an analogy to say that mankind will be successful in overcoming any problems?”
    ….crossing rubeicon….

    You are correct, of course. You always are.

    France emerged in triumph from the Napoleonic War. Napoleon wisely spent his time on Elba in training classes.

    Now he spends his days traveling the globe, repairing appliances.

  93. rube-i-con October 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Typical non-sensical reply. What will you do in 2046 when the world hasn’t ended, but “is close to doing so”.

    It’s always just around the corner, almost here yet never arriving, like your logic.

    Dow 4000, anyone?

    peace peaceniks

  94. rube-i-con October 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    And about the shower. Your all wet.

    Yes yes yes, put down any and all technological advances that solve
    problems you love to revel in! And can’t even use proper English while *you’re* at it, ha!

    Just what to expect from you backwards provincialites.

    By the way, they’ve invented this device called the personal computer.

    “And about the personal computer. PC stands for pretty crappy.”

    Yes. Your ignorance will never stop shining through. Belittle all advances. The world laughs at you as it goes whizzing by at the speed of progress!

    We salute you as we leave you behind.

    Some people like remaining chained to their mental pigsties! Fester away while those of us that can, do.

    peace peaceniks

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog October 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      I repeat.

      I’m a ‘Luddite’ with a patent. So take your recycling shower do an EROI calculation on it and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

      • K-Dog October 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

        So as not to get the grammar police after me it should be EROEI.

        Energy returned on energy invested.

    • ozone October 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

      Thanks for the salute. B’bye now. Bon voyage.
      (If you should choose to continue sniping around here, I would ask WHY?! Like I did loooooong ago. For the nonce you’re simply playing the self-satisfied ass, and your lack of empathy is showing [in glorious color].)

      Please hie thee to Australia; but I caution you not to let that smug side show. Aussies like that even less than do the denizens of the country and populace you saw fit to spit upon when you [supposedly] scurried off to Brazil to con those people. (I don’t think they’ll need their tech manuals translated into English.)

  95. rube-i-con October 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m a ‘Luddite’ with a patent.

    Non-sequitur. What is your patent in? Shower-recirculation technology?

    Pray show us where the shower fails. In the meantime, here are some recirculating shower patents.




    So, now I got a few patents too, how’s that? That makes me an authority.

    The pasteurizing recirculating shower can save $900 a year and uses 70% less energy and h2o or thereabouts:


    So show us your EROI that says it can’t be done. We know you’ve already done the calculations, right?

    We’ve already established, weeks ago, that solar on a global basis produces more energy than it took to produce all the panels in existence, viz. Stanford study. Kind of puts an end to the EROI battles, or are you not going to believe Stanford?

    peace peaceniks

  96. BackRowHeckler October 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Jim isn’t gonna have Bernanke to kick around anymore. There’s a broad in there now, which precludes any criticism. She pretty much has a free run from here on in.


  97. BackRowHeckler October 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    I was chugging around the Valley on my old British Army motorcycle, enjoying this fine fall saturday. I checked out the new football stadium at my old high school. Its almost finished. $10 million, no expense spared, funded by town and state government. Its really nice, I have to admit, just one of many million dollar projects being built around here. When it comes to construction projects built with public funds there seem to be no limits. There are all bonded, of course, so hopefully our children and grandchildren, in the near and far future, will work hard enough to pay off all investors.


    • ozone October 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      No worries, BRH,
      The conner-of-rubes children and grandchildren will easily pay for these white elephants as they’ll be rollin’ in the reserve currency of the day that the ol’ man salted away for them through his heroic efforts at being indispensible.

      Hey it’ll be like The Waltons! Oh wait, wrong fam’bly.

  98. rube-i-con October 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Don’t be the sore losers, it ain’t bragging if you can do it, i.e. live anywhere you want because you have a modicum of ability.

    peace peaceniks

  99. nsa October 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    We here in Langley decided to have some fun and took down the EBT (foodstamp) system in a couple of states. The executive action folks thought we might incur riots…..but nothing beyond some mild whining and complaining from the EBT clients. Our control of the population is total and complete…..they are as docile as steers lining up at the abattoir. We here in Langley and Ft. Meade are now as gods, toying with our creations……..

  100. BackRowHeckler October 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Absolute total control would be if you could get all 330 million of us — the entire population — on foodstamps. Is it possible to mint that many EBT Cards, 330 million? Sure it is! Why not? I was reading what salaries were in the US about 100 years ago. $2000 then is equal to about $65000 today, $3500 about $100,000. How in the hell did our currency become so devalued?


  101. Pucker October 13, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    There’s a typhoon headed straight for Fukashima. No Shit….

  102. BackRowHeckler October 13, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Jim, I just reread your column before the new one tomorrow. That Orange County Right Wing Politics you mention at the end, isn’t that something out of the past, a relic of a time when whites were still a majority in Southern California? The new paradigm, from what I understand, is a sort of race based left wing politics rooted Hispanic Identity, the Spanish Language, and grabbing all that you can in Federal and State Benefits.

    I don’t know, maybe this is better than when Whitey ran the show. Time will tell.


  103. Arn Varnold October 13, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Hmm, interesting; the insider, cliquish, shit here is stifling.
    Allows no out side views or information.
    Kind of pointless to try and make meaningful points.
    I follow no memes, dogma, or POV’s; I comment to the thing I see; and what I see here is a closed system.
    Enjoy your stilted, provincial, and self affirming dialogue…

  104. ozone October 13, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    This has a familiar ring of alternative Cassandra hollerings that make more ‘sense’ than any of the financial experts reporting on the money-and-politics smoke screen that is attempting to cover a looming financial and commercial collapse.

    “The events of 2008 demonstrated that derivatives collapses, like other speculative financial events, behave as cascades of consequences, rather than orderly “resolutions.” Derivatives deals infest or overhang every nook and cranny of the U.S. and other “mature” economies, poisoning pension systems and municipal finance structures. Detroit has been rendered a failed city by the full range of derivatives and securitization. When the casino is the economy, everyone is forced to play, and the poor go broke first.

    Reformers of various stripes tell us that derivatives can either be regulated to a less lethal scale or abolished, altogether, while leaving Wall Street otherwise intact. That’s manifestly untrue. Finance capital creates nothing, reproducing itself through the manipulation of money. The derivatives explosion occurred because Wall Street needed a form of “fictitious” capital to continue posting ever higher profits, and ultimately, fictitious portfolios full of tradable bets. Derivatives deals are the ultimate expression of financial capitalism: they are primarily bets on transactions, rather than investments in production. The rise of derivatives signals that capitalism has run its course, and can only do further harm to humanity. The derivatives economy – all $1.2 quadrillion of it – is the last stage of capitalism.” -Glen Ford

    Note that he terms it a “cascade of consequences”. In a global economy, there are no stand-alone, segregated cards in the deck; they’ve all been stacked in trembling triangles where each leans on its’ neighbor. It seems this must run its’ course, and their will be no safe haven from the flailings of a paradigm that insists on committing a very public suicide.

    • Being There October 13, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      Good post, O.

      A public suicide that will result in the end of the fiat currency and very much mass murder as a consequence.

  105. K-Dog October 13, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    All the accounting fraud, statistical mis-reporting, price manipulations, naked-short beat-downs, high-speed arbitrage hijinks, and carry trade rackets can’t conceal the reality that the nation is going broke – at least 99 percent of the nation. The remaining 1 percenters, outside the terrarium, are swimming in a pool of notional wealth that is primed to go down the drain and leave them at the bottom, desiccated little husks of animal matter that the crows will feed on.”

    That my beloved spirit animal the glorious crow should feast on the remains of the 1 percent is no more than a wish to balance the equation of injustice perpetrated by the 1 percent. The problem is that they (incorrectly) perceive themselves outside of the terrarium which they do.

    Can you imagine how fast health care would improve if ALL had to use the same insurance policy, a single-payer system. We’d not be in the present ominous predicament if everyone understood we are all connected and nobody is a island. That the pool of notional wealth is swirling down the pipe is certain but if the 1 percent knew they’d be swirling down along with everyone else an attempt to slow the drain would surely be made.

    The problem is that as long as you can be in the one percent hubris and vanity deludes you into believing you are special. That and 1500 calories a day is all they need. Only truly special people don’t need to feel special to get through their day. Wealth is relative and that’s the evil of why maintaining ‘civilization’ in it’s present form becomes the religious dogma of the day for take away the wealth and everybody is the same. Externalities of death misery and suffering shall be ignored. Hunger Games be a’happenin unless:

    We have a change in living arrangements.

    I expect the usual sophistic attempts to connect me with Mao or Mugabe will soon follow.

    • BackRowHeckler October 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Hey KDog, how about if we put the whole world — all 7 billion of us — on the ‘Single Payer Plan’? Then everybody would be healthy and we wouldn’t have to worry anymore about influenza originating in China and coming across the Pacific to North America on 747s.

      Just bill it to the US Treasury. They’ve got plenty of swag.


      • Being There October 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

        Hey BackRowHeckler

        While you’re making fun of K-Dog I will argue that globalism is a scourge. Of course I believe in a strong nation state and not globalism.

        Little Lord Blankfein was on GPS today–check it out–a real apologist for the manufacturing of products in cheap labor markets-He admits its a winner takes all system, and we’re supposed to accept that?

        He also admitted that manufactuing creates real wealth–hmmmm

        Of course Zakaria didn’t say anything to that. So the healthcare issue was about not letting the Reps have any say in it. Let’s not forget how they were sabotaging the AHC in town meetings at home when they were supposedly working with the Dems on committees…oh how we all forget the facts.

        We should have moved away from the privatized healthcare system instead of making is ever stronger and this is where all the services the govt provides are going. That’s the program, known as the Chicago Sch. of Business paradigm. The Republicans are being good soldiers for the Heritage Foundation cause.

        Obama gave them a Republican healthcare bill a la Bob Dole and Mitt Romney who was made to denounce his acheivement in Mass. as a requisite for running in the Republican Party.

        When Jim Demint was still in congress he referred to Europe as “godless” when discussing a public healthcare system. I wrote here that this is the Theater of Cruelty.

        These people claim to own god, country constitution you name it they are the owners—how does that square with the way you?

        You really want to see us lose the fiat currency? You want to see what it’s like to be Greece?

        How about not allowing Globalism to be an arbitrage of low wage labor and tax the transactions over a million dollars on Wall St.?

        I will posit that if the market is priced too high for people to afford–there is no market. It’s collusion!

        • Janos Skorenzy October 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

          Like you, Kdog hints at things and then back down when directly asked. He made a case for land distribution but then refused to talk about it when asked. Maybe there should be some land distribution, but I sure wont support any effort that isn’t fully discussed by everyone.

          These are Commie tactics and we are sick of them.

          • Being There October 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

            How about the commie tactics of making the tax-payer libel for the losses and mistakes of the powerful and the privatizing of all things the govt has been doing Roosevelt.
            How about that global TPP where the taxpayer will pay the difference of what the corporations expect to make if they get sued for damage?

            It’s not capitalism which I actually like. It’s inverted global communism and sorry mac but if you don’t call the globalists down on that, then all the nonsense you put on here about communism doesn’t hold water.

            If its not good for the 99% it’s not good for the 1% either.

            PS I suspect there’s not a single communist on this site, but that’s all you do is call everyone names instead of seeing the reality of what system this is.

            Capitalism is abut competition and taking risks and to some extent barriers to entry to protect the worker—this ain’t it.

      • Janos Skorenzy October 13, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

        Triumph: Feds back down as elderly Vets storm the barricades on the Washington Mall – taking back what is theirs and ours. Obama forbade Americans to use it but opened it up to Illegal Immigrants – Despicable.


  106. rube-i-con October 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Hmm, interesting; the insider, cliquish, shit here is stifling.
    Allows no out side views or information.
    Kind of pointless to try and make meaningful points.

    You hit the nail on the head. If you don’t support mass dieoff, global catastrophe, worldwide starvation and plague, you don’t count, no matter how reasoned your point is.

    peace peaceniks

    • Neon Vincent October 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

      “If you don’t support mass dieoff, global catastrophe, worldwide starvation and plague, you don’t count, no matter how reasoned your point is.”

      I recognize the possibility of all of those, but I don’t think they’re good ideas, or even inevitable in the short run. They can be postponed and dealt with. There is a reason I named my blog after the mythical “Crazy Eddie” character in “The Mote in God’s Eye.”


      • Janos Skorenzy October 13, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

        Fall of Detroit on 60 Minutes right now. Tragic!

    • BackRowHeckler October 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Wait a minute Rubicon, you make your points all the time, meaningful and otherwise.

      Same goes with ArmVarnold.

      Many of them are at odds with what JHK is saying, but who says you have to agree? I don’t think Jim does.


    • K-Dog October 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      “If you don’t support mass dieoff, global catastrophe, worldwide starvation and plague, you don’t count, no matter how reasoned your point is.”

      It seems to be the case as regards to this board. Those of us courageous enough to post about the possibility of trouble coming our way so as to actually prevent it are drowned out by those who seem to actually wish for death and destruction by its denial. That would be you who.

      Mr. Cornicopian nightmare you are disturbed. You have a mentally ill idea about how cause and effect work. By not discussing future mayhem you think you prevent it.

      Simple discussion does not affect an outcome one way or another. Real action in the real physical world resulting from discussion may. You suffer from terminal hubris. If you were in New Guinea you’d be in a cargo cult praying for airplanes to bring you free stuff. If you were a dog you’d be salivating at the ring of a bell. Only a madman would support mass dieoff, global catastrophe, worldwide starvation and plague.

      Denial and repression prevent nothing. Reality works by it’s own rules, not yours, or mine.

      But hey, it pays your bills and from your point of view apparently that’s all that matters.

  107. Janos Skorenzy October 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Ok Be, they why did the Leftists allow the Capitalists to write Obama Care as Wage told us? It’s all the same thing. And always has been. The Bankers funded the French Revolution and the Communists ones.

    Obama is following the Cloward-Piven strategy of crashing the system thru Federal spending. I assume you on down with this since you refuse to admit where the money leads. After all, workers and farmers armed with hammers and scythes don’t overthrow nations in and of themselves.

  108. progress4what October 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    So yeah – I’m writing a post and navigate back to the previous page to find this bit of bullshit by The Rube – and so navigating causes my post to completely disappear.

    Has anyone told JHK that turning off these automatic page breaks would make the thread easier to follow?

  109. progress4what October 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Arn – sometimes it seems almost like you have something you’d like to say that might actually be worth discussing.

    Damn, man, I wish you’d go ahead and say it, already.


    Rubeicon – at one time you actually did say worthwhile things. But you have stopped, and you’re behaving as a simple Troll of JHK and his readership.

    • Arn Varnold October 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      Arn – sometimes it seems almost like you have something you’d like to say that might actually be worth discussing.

      Damn, man, I wish you’d go ahead and say it, already.
      Oh, but I have, and then get attacked and called names by Janos.
      That childish behavior is a turn-off to any meaningful discussion.
      I refuse to be a part of that.
      But, thanks for asking..

  110. progress4what October 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    “If you don’t support mass dieoff, global catastrophe, worldwide starvation and plague, you don’t count, no matter how reasoned your point is.” …..Rube-i-troll….

    After all of that, I forgot to post the bit o’ bullsh*t that I referenced.

    I never cease to be amazed how easy it is to troll the regular readers and commenters to JHK’s weekly posts. People who read a collapse-oriented writer and then attempt to honestly discuss – – – – – – – – – wait for it – – something about collapse.

    Amazing concept, yet easily Trolled, for some reason.

    • ZrCrypDiK October 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Isn’t that the Welles jack-@$$, pretending he’s no longer roasting pigs *COMMUNALLY,* while picking fresh mangos/etc on 0 EI (no modern fuel energy)? Let’s be frank – this guy is an ex-patriot who re-nigged on his $10k debt to the IRS, and fled (i.e. soker, the mud-hut north-of-the-border desert-dweller).

      There’s something to be said about the *master-debaters* (remember the debate class buffoons in high school?) They don’t really care whether their arguement is right or wrong – it’s all a matter of winning. They’ll take either side, as long as the *PRI$E IS R$GHT*.

      • K-Dog October 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

        And you know about his 10K debt to the IRS how?

        I have to say looking back to last January when a stranger dressed in black named David approached me about a certain 11K debt to the IRS might go away if I stopped posting here was made to me I now find pretty amusing.

        At the time I was mystified. A few months later I got the bill (12K shortly after I started raising Cain again in here) and took care of it. Turns out it was a bank error that I didn’t even know about. Paperwork on a small IRA I own was done incorrectly by my bank. It was easily fixed and I’m in the clear.

        Guilt should have been verified before an attempt at blackmale was made. Had that been done I’d never have been able to make this comment and the decision to mess with me might have been more carefully considered.

        As they say, shit happens.

  111. progress4what October 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Here is a test of a link to a post I made a couple of days ago.


    This comment software is NOT conducive to dialog, JHK.

    But thanks for providing the space for input, at least.

  112. ZrCrypDiK October 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    I saw them *personally*, cut hundreds of acres of hazelnut orchards down, for *SUBURBIA* mega-plex (over 20 years ago). Nearby “stores” and railroads are all within 2 miles (i.e. I can *walk*)…

  113. rube-i-con October 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I think people should help each other in the coming economic collapse by forming local units of cooperation. The collapse will very likely lead to massive rioting, looting, and loss of control by the feds.

    In my opinion, at least 500 million will be wiped out by a virus they can’t control. Mother nature putting us in our place, because there are too many people on the planet. We have used up all the resources.

    We will need to have access to water, food stockpiles, and probably ham radio communications, since they’re unlikely to be affected if the internet is taken down.

    The dollar will also be refused to be accepted as anarchy becomes the norm, and gold, silver and barter take over. The markets will cease functioning. Mass murder will become commonplace.

    This is coming very soon, probably in the spring, when a Treasury default upends world markets. There are rumblings all over, look no further than the riots in Greece and the mathematically unpayable debts in Europe. Prepare.

    peace peaceniks

  114. rube-i-con October 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Isn’t that the Welles jack-@$$, pretending he’s no longer roasting pigs *COMMUNALLY,* while picking fresh mangos/etc on 0 EI (no modern fuel energy)?

    Have anything substantive to say or, as Arn Varnold pointed out, will you just stick to calling names? Seems that’s the level of debate here. JHK must be appalled.

    We had roast pig yesterday with a bunch of friends, what’s wrong with roasted pig? Bet you’d love to be able to live in various countries of your choosing.

    In real news, not worthless opinion, Denmark has a slew of net-energy houses, i.e. houses that produce as much or more energy than they consume. Surely this is the way to solve future energy needs.

    Denmark gets very little sun, by the way. Yes, the houses are very expensive to build, but like any new technology, the price typically falls in time.


    Here is a telling quote:
    The house generated 800 kilowatt-hours of electricity last August, used just a bit more than half of it, and fed the rest back to the grid.

    That, friends, is called progress, and will become the norm as time goes by.

    Combine this with a recirculating shower, plus rainwater capture and own gardens, and you have colossally reduced many strains on the environment, public sewer overload, drought, food production involving petroleum/pesticides. Plus, a benefit to the public health is envinsionable as well, as folks eat more healthy homegrown vegetables.

    Buildings are the prime consumers of energy, so this is huge. We can look forward to each homeowner becoming his/her own utility to an extent.

    peace peaceniks

    • ZrCrypDiK October 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      So, soker, you gave up on the adobe sh! just *north* of the border? Hehe, and I assume your other answers are all yes, as you still roast those *PIGGIES* (and owe the IRS $10k)…

      Where’d they bury those thousands of tonnes (heh) of fissionable thorium, NE-waze (and how about that Hanford *SLUDGE*)…

      • Janos Skorenzy October 14, 2013 at 12:58 am #

        Jack! (Van Impe) is that you? Or is this the gremlin out on the wing?

  115. Pucker October 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    So a young American heavily-indebted university graduate living at home and cleaning toilets—in addition to being constantly hounded by by Sallie Mae to make payments on his/her ballooning, crushing student loan debt—now has to pay $200 – $300 a month to the IRS for an Obamacare policy that has a $6,000 deductible?

    “Why should healthy 20-30 somethings pay $200-300/mo when that $ could be going into local economies, spent on education (specialized training), dating, new tires & brakes, lift tickets, etc? That’s my major beef with the unACA. Whatever happened to preventative medicine?”

    • ZrCrypDiK October 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

      One must wonder why the other 6 supreme court *DOUCHEBAGS* always point at 1 man – the cra-Z religious goon…

      (1 must wonder) Citizens, *UNITE*!!! Bwah!

  116. progress4what October 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    “Oh, but I have, and then get attacked and called names by Janos.
    That childish behavior is a turn-off to any meaningful discussion.
    I refuse to be a part of that.”

    Well, OK, then – if you’re going to let a little bit of name-calling go unchallenged, And let it keep you from saying what’s on your mind –

    I don’t suppose anyone can stop you.

    • Janos Skorenzy October 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      He refuses to define his terms. And Kdog refuses to say what he means. Because if they do, they can be debated – and possibly defeated. They prefer to communicate by code and dog whistles with their fellow cult members who believe exactly as the do – thus making the whole concept of the blog or cyber public square meaningless.

    • Arn Varnold October 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      I was raised in the art of civil discourse; and frankly, won’t argue with a condescending, arrogant, child, who has to resort to name calling (as though that has any maturity).
      As should be obvious, when I’m addressed in a reasonable manner I tend towards clarity and detail.

      • Janos Skorenzy October 14, 2013 at 12:40 am #

        I asked you to define you smear and you refused. Wise since I would have cleaned the floor with you.

        Liberals are vicious and irrational. As more and more people are coming to realize, it’s a mental illness. Or my own angle – a perverted blending of Christianity and Marxism.

        • Arn Varnold October 14, 2013 at 2:31 am #

          I asked you to define you smear and you refused. Wise since I would have cleaned the floor with you.
          Really, how jejune.
          Liberals are vicious and irrational. As more and more people are coming to realize, it’s a mental illness. Or my own angle – a perverted blending of Christianity and Marxism.
          Oh dear, assumptions, accusations and misinformation.
          I’m not liberal nor Christian.
          You sound like a broken pedant.
          I’ll not engage you again.

  117. ZrCrypDiK October 13, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Time to get some new tech-dweebs, or to ban me (U decide):


  118. Janos Skorenzy October 13, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    The circle is complete. Left and Right are merely points of view relative to where you stand. Liberal American Jews often become Conservatives once they move to Israel.


    • K-Dog October 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

      Left and Right are merely abstract symbols without any real meaning and tend to obscure rather than clarify. If you consider them ‘points’ like points in a plane there lie an infinity of points between them.

      Argument using abstract undefined symbols is:


      • Janos Skorenzy October 14, 2013 at 12:53 am #

        Thank you. We end the week with a theoretical agreement. Fascism is above both “left” and “right” – as are their enemies the Illuminati. Alas few on the legitimate liberal/left seem willing or able to make the leap.

        Obviously Centralization vs Decentralization offers a viable conceptual reframing acceptable to both Fascists and and true Liberals – if such Liberals would affirm the necessity of the Nation State and the right of separate peoples and races to pursue their own Destiny.

        • ZrCrypDiK October 14, 2013 at 1:11 am #

          We all cry, janos racist… Sometimes it takes a few decades – but we do *CRY*…

  119. rube-i-con October 14, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    They prefer to communicate by code and dog whistles with their fellow cult members who believe exactly as the do – thus making the whole concept of the blog or cyber public square meaningless

    Pretty much sums up the sorry state out here. This is the electorate that votes the US down the tubes. All products of the US ‘educational’ system that churns out mental chum.

    Oh well, easy enough to find highly intelligent folks in any number of other places.

    I will be making a grand tour of the US later this month, and scouting out a third home somewhere in Northern California, possibly.

    I salute Arn Varnold and Janos, two gentlemen out here, though we might not agree on any number of matters, at least they act civilly.

    Honour is a concept foreign to the rest of you.

    peace peaceniks

    • nsa October 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      We here in Langley have no interest in quaint concepts like “honor”, “decency”, “truth”, “civility”. We have obtained full spectrum dominance and god like status over every aspect of modern civilization. Has any god ever treated its chattel decently with “honor”? …….gods torture, use, and destroy their pathetic subservient creations just for entertainment………



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