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Taper (Not)

     Remember, the doleful, lonesome figure of Ben Bernanke stands (or slumps) at the top of a pyramid of obfuscation so high, broad, and massive that all the debt serfs in a history of the future will not avail to reconstruct its hypothecated contours. When the world picks itself up from the smoldering ruins of the financial landscape currently being rigged to blow, nobody will be able to explain how the modern world collateralized itself out of existence.

     What a set up. Bernanke gave the financial markets five months of the heebie-jeebies punctuated by a big fake-out and so the consensus finally perceives a giant green-light for resumed asset inflation. That’s why I like standing outside the consensus. Assets can inflate all they like on their way to the biggest train wreck of organized money ever recorded. Dow 20,000 is accelerating on a parallel track with the complete loss of confidence in paper representations of wealth. Enjoy your Facebook shares, or at least the digital ghost of them on your iPhone screen, while they’re fluorescing.

     It was perfectly obvious all spring and summer that the Federal Reserve could not neck down its purchases of US Treasury debt paper and bundled mortgage swindles without causing the equivalent of the 1942 Boston Coconut Grove nightclub fire in the financial markets. But not pretending to contemplate the “taper” would have entailed an admission that the so-called economy was on artificial life support juice. That would have suited neither the politicians and their political economists, who clung to their “recovery” story, nor the 1 percenters who were the direct beneficiaries of the wealth transfer activated by the life support liquidity juice injections.

     The net result is a return to the grand theme of pretend, with an increasingly dark outlook for the consequences, which will be the repudiation of what is officially called “money.” Meanwhile, congress now convenes to debate the question of extend, which can only add a frisson to the spectacle of pretend. The problem with these best laid plans of mouse-like creatures is that shit happens.

     Those distant rumbles of thunder are the audible traces of the destruction at the margins, certainly out of earshot of those at the very center. The margins is the place where nations, towns, institutions, families, and individual lives are ground down into a fine entropic powder of broken dreams. From the standpoint of the blogger-journalist, the story has been about how the destruction travels from the margins to the center. The center has been able to protect itself so far with one swindle after another, at the expense of the poor schnooks at the margins. The swindles are so abstruse and impenetrable that the schnooks don’t have a clue what is hitting them. At least so far.

     Faced with such a quandary, the schnooks may opt for political suicide, which is apparently the program of both major parties. Out of this sort of tragic muddle, Great Men emerge to galvanize the potential energy of the swindled multitudes. Recent models of this archetype are not so reassuring: Lenin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ayatollah Khomeini. What history has in store for the USA is probably something that could only be cooked up on TV. One can hope that it turns out to be comedy, not something breaking bad.

          Of course the inverse of the idiotic American exceptionalism story lies beyond the fact that were not as special as we think. There is a whole vast world beyond the podium of Ben Bernanke and in that big world other mouse-like creatures are working sedulously to take advantage of our exceptional fecklessness. Distracted by everything from same-sex marriage to Monday Night Football, we don’t pay attention to the attrition. They’ve got our gold now, and despite the theory that gold has no more intrinsic value than $100 Federal Reserve notes, you can bet that before this is all over it will buy whatever food and fuel remains in the ground.

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About James Howard Kunstler

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

177 Responses to “Taper (Not)” Subscribe

  1. Neon Vincent September 23, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I find it appropriately ironic, if not downright perverse, that the week the Dow and S&P 500 hit all time highs was the week of the fifth anniversary of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. The Sunday night before that event, when it was clear that Lehman Brothers would not be rescued the way AIP and others were (I guess it paid Goldman Sachs to have former executives as high government officials), I wrote “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1929.” And we did.

    While Wall Street may have observed the anniversary in the breach, CNN Money looked back at the event, along with the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and the continuing income inequality that’s resulted from our economic situation. It seems that not much has changed during the past five years on Wall Street.

    crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/09/cnn-money-on-lehman-brothers-five-years.html

  2. George September 23, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    It occurred to me that without the Fed’s buying of bogus paper, we’d all be experiencing a really intense form of deflation, one where everything would be worth less every day until it all become worthless. Actually, the fed’s actions aren’t really doing anything but helping to feed the illusion that that which is worthless isn’t.

    margewargis.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/chapter-3-1-what-do-energy-climate-change-have-to-with-it/

  3. swmnguy September 23, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Our system of corporate finance capitalism, where money is debt and all activity is based on some form or other of lending at interest, simply doesn’t work. The math eventually leads to absurd necessities. We’re there now. It wasn’t hard to predict; many have predicted it over and over, including Karl Marx.

    The problem is that this system requires infinite resources, energy,, markets, and money. In the physical world we inhabit, of these only money can be made infinite, and that only by making it abstract. We’re out of continents to plunder. Everybody who has the money and place to plug it in has a TV and a refrigerator. Our remaining energy sources are either insanely dangerous or take more energy to recover than they yield.

    So we have to make money infinite, with the absurdities that entails. Among those absurdities is the need to keep it a secret that money is infinite, and to make it infinite for some but not for others. That’s why Bernanke’s printing $85 billion per month (!?!) hasn’t caused hyperinflation. The money hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s a private debt jubilee for the biggest investment banks, only. They created debt that didn’t really exist, and now it’s being redeemed by money that doesn’t really exist.

    If all that unreality would stay in its unreal bubble, I suppose that would be OK. Unfortunately,, it seeps out. Now instead of savings and investment, we have lottery tickets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other things self-deludingly called “Assets.” These things do have a value, if you care to go far enough to the right side of the decimal point to define it. Naturally we don’t care to.

    But that’s what we’re eventually going to do. We will discover the true value of things, eventually. It will take a long time and there will be lots of kicking and screaming. I’m guessing most paper certificates will turn out to have very little value. But mechanical devices that work, and knowledge that doesn’t require cheap energy, will be very valuable indeed.

    And people like Ben Bernanke will have very little value indeed, unless they look good in bells and motley.

    • lsjogren September 23, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Marx was even more oblivious than capitalists to the possibility of resource scarcity, so to whatever extent he “got it right” on the downfall of capitalism it was based on “wisdom” on a scale comparable to that of someone who happens to call a coin flip correctly.

      • swmnguy September 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

        That’s true, of course. That isn’t what I meant, though. Even before you get to notions of resource scarcity, the fundamental mathematics of finance capitalism as it has evolved become self-contradictory. Before we had hit the limits of various resources, but when we still had “hard” currencies, finance had frequent crises. Those were what Marx was responding to. Those crises were rooted in imbalances that created recurring scarcities of money.

        Those crises were what eventually led to the creation of abstract money. That solved that immediate problem, but left the door open to others as we all know. And then when physical limitations and resource scarcity began to bite, the pressure on infinite abstract money intensified. That led us to remove any and all reasonable limitations on the manipulation of abstract capital, which has had the predicted consequences. The cycles of crisis/action/reaction/new crisis seem to be tightening.

        I have personal experience in persisting with courses of action that are inherently flawed and eventually don’t work. The longer I stick with them, the worse things get.

  4. selaretus September 23, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Jim your title, (Taper) knot reminds me of a time when the English were trying to remove all vestiges of Celtic culture from the Isles. To expedite this, and to subdue those pesky Welsh, the schools began a program of punishing school children for speaking their native tongue. The ‘teachers’ would hang the ‘Welsh knot’ around the neck of any child they or a snitch heard speaking the language. Of course much embarrassment and chiding accompanied said adornment. By analogy, if old Benny Bucks Bernanke and the Fed had begun tapering, he would be wearing your ‘Taper Knot’ around his scrawny neck at this hour, and couldn’t wait to pass it on to the next poor slob (his replacement perhaps?) who even mentions tapering.

  5. jdcandon September 23, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Lex Organdi,

    Lex Credendi,

    Lex Vivendi.

    TWAHCD!

    Dynan

  6. Pucker September 23, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    According to the Chinese translation of the Russian book, “The Final Year of the Soviet Union”, it appears that the former Soviet Union suffered a collapse in discipline in the Communist Party.

    So far the money printing in the U.S. is holding things together, imposing a kind of Party discipline, right?

    But one wonders what the banks are going to eventually do with all that cash? Eventually the Banks will probably just declare themselves to be the government.

  7. lsjogren September 23, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    “the poor schnooks at the margins”

    Schnooks, good one. I think the usual term people would use is “schumcks”.

    The only connotation I know of for “schnook” is the Firesign Theater skit about making extra income by growing schnook in your toilet in your spare time.

    To the extent Kunstler’s predictions bear out, more people may have to contemplate taking up that hobby.

  8. Malthus September 23, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Come on. Lets just get this over with. Every day the same old stupid story. “oh things are just going to get better for everyone.” Hogwash. Let the other shoe drop. It’s like hanging in space over a thousand foot drop and the rope is fraying and you know it will break soon. But when. Its like death. You know you are going to die but when is the question. All our technology and wishful thinking is not helping. Come on lets get the damned illusion over with.

    • SteveO September 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      I agree completely. If the “invisible hand of the market” had been allowed to take its course in 2008, we’d be well on the road to recovery by now and, as a bonus, we’d be rid of the likes of JP Morgan, Citicorp, BofA and all the investment banks.

      • HARM September 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

        Are you out of your mind? The current situation is the direct result of 33 years of America’s “deregulate everything” laissez-faire extreme libertarianism. The only “invisible hand” that exists in reality is the hand of .01% capitalists picking the pockets of everyone else.

        The *real* “Road to Serfdom” lies in destroying the bedrock social contract and moral basis for law and replacing it with “anything goes” capitalist anarchy. Capitalist anarchy inevitably leads to “one dollar, one vote” crony capitalism and endemic corruption, which inevitably leads to fascism.

        If you want a vision for where America is headed, take a look at any South American banana republic or former Soviet Bloc oligarchy.

        • Malthus September 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

          Perhaps you haven’t noticed but this country is already fascist. I Like the term capitalist anarchy haven’t seen that before.

  9. Superfishal September 23, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Could we be being setup for the one with all the answers? The anti-Christ?

  10. lsjogren September 23, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I share Kunstler’s contempt for the notion of American Exceptionalism.

    And it is a disease that affects not only many on the political right but also left. For example, every single Democrat (even the handful of right wing Democrats) in the US Senate voted for an immigration bill that would add 50 million permanent legal workers to the US workforce in the next 10 years. The only possible rationalization I can see for such an insane act is if one believes the US, unlike the rest of the world, has a labor market that is not subject to the law of supply and demand. American Exceptionalism at work.

    • heathenhank September 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      But….BUT…BUT….A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS!?!!

      It’s always going to work you…..you….negative person!

      F.Y.I., establishment conservatives think immigration is absolutely swell, except for such bigoted, venomous, cretins like Jeff Sessions.

      online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324492604579083080268106684.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

    • Karah September 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Putin raised this point in his letter to the NYT concerning the Syrian “conflict” and the escalation to Weapons of Mass Human Destruction.

      Why should Ben Bernanke or the President of the U.S.A. have the final say about ANYTHING overseas?

      Why is the U.S. dollar exceptional? Geography of Nowhere really points out how much of our current way of life is not worth caring about, it’s not reasonable, by being staged to service the personal automobile. Has anyone looked at that particular asset and agreed with its value? Most cars lose their perceived value the minute they’re driven off the lot; however, everyone is still paying the insurance companies for all the truly valuable things cars can destroy – human life and real property. If anything should be classed as a WMHD, it should be the personal automobile. A thousand missiles are sent through your town via HIGHWAY every half hour. The only deterrent to the massive violent onslaught are a set of golden arches. Suddenly everything slows down and cash flows in and drivers have a pleasant sugar high. So that dollar burger and drink is really worth MORE in the long run of the survival of the American civilisation.

  11. ozone September 23, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    “When the world picks itself up from the smoldering ruins of the financial landscape currently being rigged to blow, nobody will be able to explain how the modern world collateralized itself out of existence.”
    -JHK

    Jim,
    Yep. …And that’s just about the weirdest aspect of the whole exercise! It’s like it was brought about by magical incantations and the summoning of demons. Wha’happen?

    BTW, being “outside the consensus” firmly implies that one has a lick of sense (or perhaps even more ;)) in these days of delusion and trickery.
    Most of the links I tend to ferret out tend to be by those who [like yourself] see things as they are, rather than as we’d wish them to be.
    This is also where we get some explanations of wha’happen and why.
    So…. Thanks!

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Um, I don’t know what I’m tending there, but please do not attend to the tending toward too many tends…
      -Troubled Yout’

  12. mika. September 23, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    “Faced with such a quandary, the schnooks may opt for political suicide, which is apparently the program of both major parties. Out of this sort of tragic muddle, Great Men emerge to galvanize the potential energy of the swindled multitudes. Recent models of this archetype are not so reassuring: Lenin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ayatollah Khomeini.” — JHK
    ==

    All of the names you mentioned above (and in fact all the names that we are familiar with) were financed and cultivated by the US. Specifically, US banks and corporations. These banks and corporations are subsidiaries of the Vatican mafia and its Secret Service agencies (both the official ones and unofficial ones). The great Medusa with its various snakes.

    If you follow the great theme(s) of history, it all makes makes sense. Their contrived dialectic is meant to shape and drive the future towards the “New World Order”, which is really the old fasci Roman Empire. To get a glimpse into this read the work of historians Anthony Sutton, Carroll Quigley, Edwin Black.

    mika.

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Here you go then; the names that would rather not be named. Invoke them at your peril. (Yes, they’re there, you’ve got to keep reading through the article.)

      projectcensored.org/exposing-financial-core-transnational-%E2%80%A8capitalist-class/

      • This list is not tabulated in terms of Trillions, but millions. The total assets of this group of 35 are $38.33 trillion.

        The total global GDP is about $70 trillion.

        I don’t know what to do with these facts, mainly because I am not an economist.

      • mika. September 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

        Not one word on the Vatican mafia. Not one word regards the fact the real center of power is in Europe. The US fascist slave plantation is a subsidiary of Rome. That’s all it is. Your fascist US “elites” are merely managers. They don’t write the real script, because they don’t know the real script. They are completely bamboozled by greed and the false dialectic. Even though many of them know it is a contrived dialectic and that in fact without US banks and corporations there would be no Commie Soviet Union, there would be no Nazi Reich, there would be no Japanese or Chinese menace, and on and on. ALL these boogeyman regimes are birthed and sponsored to advance the dialectic. A false dialectic designed to mask reality with a false propaganda narrative, as the new World Roman Empire takes shape. And all the while the old Roman Catholic agenda of imperial theft, war, and genocide of “heretics” and rivals to Roman Catholicism continues, deliberately unnoticed by the Vatican/CIA propaganda outlets.

        Read Anthony Sutton, and the documentation he provides that shows this very clearly.

    • James Howard Kunstler September 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      For the record, I don’t subscribe to that brand of paranoia — JHK

  13. Greg Knepp September 23, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    A good deal of hypothetical wealth seems to concentrate in the stock market, which acts as a sort of magnet for ‘liquidity’. Much of this liquidity is generated by the government via the program called ‘quantitative easing’ or QE. Much like a religion, the whole process is a closed system based largely on a set of mutually accepted delusions too complicated and weird to explore in this short comment. (Greer has some interesting commentary on ‘civic religion’ but I’m not certain if he addresses the stock market)

    The relationship between the real economy and the stock market has all but dissolved. Hence, any hint of ‘tapering’ causes the market to dive, whereas real-life stats on trifles such as aggregate debt, unemployment (especially participation rates) natural disasters, political paralysis, mass murders, war, ecological catastrophe, resource depletion etc. have scant impact on market valuations.

    I believe that the problem with your notoriously inaccurate stock market predictions, Mr Kunstler, has nothing to do with your assesment of the general state of the economic order (which seems pretty realistic) rather, with your seeming assumption that the stock market is capable of a rational response to same.

  14. K-Dog September 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    “nobody will be able to explain how the modern world collateralized itself out of existence.”

    No, the tragedy this time is that there are actually a few wise sages who scream in the wilderness.

    But nobody hears them.

    Exceptionalism yes, but not just American. Exceptionalism is a delusion that colors the human condition of all lands.

    Necessity being the mother of invention, technological innovation asserts whenever an ecological catastrophe looms. One way of doing something is replaced by another. A more efficient way is found that alleviates a population bottleneck. Root causes are never addressed and the short term strategy of technical innovation puts the issue on hold for a while. The new bottleneck, the last bottleneck, the limits of growth is reached. But our society can’t ‘get it’ that further growth is impossible.

    Banks operate the economy on an endless cycle of growth which has now become impossible. Cheap resources are gone, the dirt around our tree of life is sterile, leached clean. The world economic tree, is rootbound. The fertilizer of accounting fraud keeps the leaves green but not for long.

    It is a story often repeated. Population bottlenecks have made civilization rise as one technical change after another has kept the party going. Technological change usually does more than just alleviate the technical bottleneck that spurred an innovation. Technological change often overshoots the mark as increases in efficiency usually do more than just eliminate a population bottleneck.

    Technical change creates a temporary surplus. Innovations give headroom to up standards of living until a new population bottleneck. But not this time. The externalities of accounting fraud; the massive distrust and polarization between those who benefit and those who do not are huge and will cancel out the temporary social benefit of accounting fraud in very short order. The last technical innovation will fail when the attrition it causes becomes felt to the swindled multitudes.

    • beantownbill. September 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      So, K-Dog, you are saying that technology isn’t really the issue, ultimately overpopulation is?

      If so, your opinion would be more along the lines of my own thoughts. All the stupidity, bad decisions and corruption we see around us is actually just form, not substance, and ultimately is not important. Humanity always has lived miserably, and will continue to do so, until the resultant mass depopulation reset that’s roaring down the track (per PP&M, I can hear the whistle blow…). When that happens, I hope the survivors manage to somehow maintain our current level of technology, more or less. This reset will give us yet another chance to get things right, but it is going to be touch and go.

      • K-Dog September 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

        The survivors will not maintain anything like current technology which depends on complexity, energy and resources. With collapse and a sudden depopulation the survivors loose all three.

        Intelligent transition is the best option. Maintain sufficient complexity to support reorganization of remaining resources and energy supplies. Change lifestyles and the way business is done. Unfortunately we probably don’t have the choice of a soft collapse. Insufficient change will seal our doom.

        Yes technology isn’t really the issue. Overpopulation is.

        • Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

          The idea that human negativity is based on material lack is a Marxist idea – and incorrect as a principle although I admit it is a factor at the level of motivation and actual experience. There will still be War after the Long Emergency is over with. It is the extension of competition by other means. Or do you imagine that a New Eden will result from the collapse? And that people will no longer want more than just what they need?

          • sevenmmm September 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

            Perhaps those in the future will be happy to just be alive…

      • Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

        Remember, these back to the Earth types, including Tripp, refuse to admit that Hunter Gatherers engaged in deadly warfare at their own very small scale. The Aborigines actually hunted people from other tribes as game.

        Now you say that all this was just the result of their low tech, that if they had more and better food then they wouldn’t have. But horticulturalists also fought as did herders and farmers. You maintain your position. Only when Man is godlike in his power and prosperity – at the level of the individual – will he stop fighting. Are you sure? Might it not have become, how shall I say, a Habit? A genetic one? The great Philosopher of Man as God, Nietzsche, also said that this God loved battle for its own sake. Great warriors like Robert E Lee said as much in his letters to other military men – and the duty of having to hide this to maintain standing in polite Christian society.

        Other cultures have been more honest about this saying only that the violence must be ritualized, or made into a game. And when real War broke out, let it only be with other Warriors. As Turk once said, this second provision has seldom held. But the game aspect has been used by pc anthropologists to pretend that primitives didn’t engage in real war. Sure, the Pains Indians played the game of counting coup. Above that, they would raid for horses or women. And above that, they played for keeps – attempting to massacre or drive out other tribes. Ditto for the Papuans on New Guinea. At the game level, they would line up a hundred feet apart yelling insults and throwing spears, admiring themselves as they leapt out of the way. But they also raided and fought for real.

    • BackRowHeckler September 24, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Hey K Dog tell that to the kids lined up last week to buy the latest
      i Phone.

  15. fugeguy September 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    “They’ve got our gold now, and despite the theory that gold has no more intrinsic value than $100 Federal Reserve notes, you can bet that before this is all over it will buy whatever food and fuel remains in the ground.”

    The treasuries are empty…except the IOU’s and copies of dreams of my father…

  16. toktomi September 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    “It was perfectly obvious all spring and summer that the Federal Reserve could not neck down its purchases of US Treasury debt paper and bundled mortgage swindles without causing the equivalent of the 1942 Boston Coconut Grove nightclub fire in the financial markets.”

    EXACTLY! It’s coming and perhaps, too, a partial govt default and a partial shutdown of crude supply. And don’t count the global pandemic out quite yet. A failure of the majority of the grid might also be in order.

    It is all a take-down in the making.

    These remaining times are the good ol’ days. Life as a sentient creature in the luxury of 20th century USA has been a privilege beyond measure. I can’t say that the stress and fear of the impending collapse during the last [too many] years has been much of treat but I’m not complaining. Would somebody, please, say goodnight to Gracie?

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      And let us not leave out Genetically Modified Organisms let loose to run amok and replicate man-made poisons in formerly benign and nutritious food crops as a possible million-pound shit-hammer that might just kill us all. (Or maybe, ‘only’ most of us.)

      Oh, gohwahn, it’s because we have better REPORTING of all these cancers that make for them scary numbers. Don’t be a Nervous Nellie, fer chris’sakes, gene thingies and pesticidals are good for the humanity, ain’cha heard?

      Goodnight, Gracie.

  17. bsammut@comcast.net September 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    “What fools these mortals be!”

    ‘Outside the consensus’ describes perfectly how my views stand in today’s U.S. society.

    Anybody out there have views on timing the next financial crater?

    Last week the Fed bought $55,000 million to keep the 10year t’bond below 3%.

    Looks desperate to me.

    Cheers,

    b

    PS. Thanks Mr. Kunstler for the description.

  18. bsammut@comcast.net September 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    “What fools these mortals be!”

    ‘Outside the consensus’ describes perfectly how my views stand in today’s U.S. society.

    Anybody out there have views on timing the next financial crater?

    Last week the Fed bought $55,000 million to keep the 10year t’bond below 3%.

    Looks desperate to me.

    Cheers,

    b

    PS. Thanks Mr. Kunstler for the description.

  19. budizwiser September 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    it seems that the current “faith” in pieces of paper that represent vast sums of labor, energy and resources is not so much different from the stories told by witch doctors, high priests and popes and other men of so-called historical prominence.

    here – deep in the bowels of a new age “electronic-jungle” we know other truths – but these truths hardly matter if our collective herds are led by Believers of the global paper.

    our fate – like much of the “new global history” – will be controlled and written by those who lead the herds. since so few of us know how we got here, nor where “we are” – its unlikely to understand much about where we are being led.

    it would be great if some author could some how articulate the status of “peak incredibility” or “peak confidence” so we could have a reference point of when TSHTF could start.

    as long as people with oil take paper for currency – no problem

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Bud-
      I sympathize with your politely asking for a timeline leading to the great denouement, but it’s absolutely beyond my ken as well.
      To pretend to know when the pretending will end is to pretend enough to make those Hollywood movie ‘products’. (And everyone seems to have a different idea of what the prime indicators might be. Surely EROEI is a giant among precursors, but as you indicate, folks are still taking paper promises on the future productivity/labors of their great-grandchildren for the indispensable black goo.)

  20. Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Perhaps Erich Von Daniken was right in his book “Gold of the Gods”. The “Gods” were simply those Alien immigrants who had the smarts to keep their gold and therefore the money to buy or make space ships and get OUT as their planetary economies collapsed. By making Gold sacred, they were trying to teach this Truth in a way simple enough for us to understand at the time. Only later with the arising of Giants like Franklin, Adams, and Rand could we understand as the Gods once did.

  21. nsa September 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    We here in Langley look on with bemusement……the game is over……checkmate. We create your reality and then you live in it……

  22. rube-i-con September 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    ho hum. oh look dear, the world is ending again.

    the very slow demise of petroleum reserves is leading very nicely to other energy sources being developed.

    we’ve gone over this before. the info’s there, look it up.

    heck, even human energy can replace lots of formerly fossil fuel fed items, for example the train station in sweden that uses body heat from tons of daily visitors to heat the place.

    jhk’s prediction that the “…consequences, which will be the repudiation of what is officially called “money.” is just another laffable phrase to be put next to Dow 4,000.

    jim, for a guy so smart, how you can honestly cling to this coming mad max scenario is beyond me.

    the guys that control the money spigots control virtually everything. everyone on the planet’s addicted to greenbacks, so don’t be looking for greenbacks to suddenly become unpopular.

    not that i don’t like gold, i love the stuff and have dabbled in it over the last decade.

    but still, guys, world ain’t ending, there’s no massive starvation around the corner – hell, lots of folks in Europe and the US are growing food in little lots, on building tops etc. – jesus ain’t coming back (no, folks, he is not, sorry, and i actually love the guy but can still face the truth), and technology has us firmly headed towards colonising space.

    economy’s not the greatest, but when ever was it something to write home about? you gonna tell me it was better when everything was on an inflated sugar high in 2003-2007?

    if anything it’s readjusted to more normality.

    peace peaceniks

  23. Smoky Joe September 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Bernanke may be arranging mirrors to make the smoke seem more substantial, but he is at least trying to hold things together.

    The Tea Party zealots in Congress, who began with a good idea that the Federal Government has grown too large, are the nightmare in the house (House, literally), wreckers who may bring the system down in a few weeks.

    Nothing Bernanke can do to stop that train-wreck.

  24. Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Heck, if all else fails why not Whale Farms? We used to get all our oil from Whales, so why not raise them? Greenpeace types would have to be jailed as enemies of the state.

    I’m reading a book about the sinking of the Essex by a sperm whale, a monster with the guile of a man. The Essex incident was the inspiration for Melville’s Moby Dick. Fascinating facts: the Whalers of Nantucket were mostly Quakers. Kindness to animals was part of early Quakerism but it never became an absolute principle since that means vegetarianism. And also there was money to be made, damn it. The inner light never was allowed to get in the way of that either. On this principle they were as one with their Puritan Brethren. The women seldom saw their whaler husbands since the journeys lasted two years and the processing was done on board. They used opium and and a plaster device called “He’s at Home” to ease their loneliness.

  25. AKlein September 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    And what do countries do when they have no solutions to pressing internal problems? Hmmm. How about WAR. That’s what should worry all of us. A good, hot, war with lots of civilian casualties can work wonders. After WWII, do you think the Germans had any more need for Lebensraum, after having had a goodly percentage of their populace eradicated?
    The harsh fact is that virtually none of us in the US have any idea of the horrors of war and the dysfunction that it metes out on the populace. After a few really ugly incidents of war here in the US, like the enemy – whoever he may be – bombing us, we will have zero concern about all the financial finagling nor all the unethical practices that we currently rail about. And when that happens the “problems” are solved, because nobody thinks they are very important anymore.

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Why, whatever do you mean, Al?
      War has never touched the shores and heartland of……. oh, wait… wasn’t there some civilized type war at some remove in the un-recalled past? …Things and people are so different now, are they not? History no longer provides any lessons, does it?

  26. drewkeeling September 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    The Federal Reserve is 100 years old. It has survived depressions, bank holidays, mass bankruptcies, financial crises and world wars. Of course, ANY currency ultimately depends on sellers and investors having faith that it will retain its value and function, and such faith can diminish quickly in times of stress. But when Germans loaded wheelbarrows with paper money in 1923, they were not wheeling them to the incinerator. They were seeking to exchange their fast-depreciating paper for something of more lasting value. When you see something else -property, commodities, gold coins, cheese doodles- appreciating at a fast and sustained clip, and inflation in general accelerating, THAT will be the time to think about panicking. Meanwhile, what about the recent claims that sprawl is back in fashion? How about more on THAT topic here?

  27. fairguy September 24, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    The unsustainability of the Fed’s tapering is starting to be reflected by mainstream analysts in media such as CNBC. Now, the question is one of timing: the more central banks work to avert the next meltdown by keeping their thumbs on the CTRL-P button, the more severe it will be. That is the ” dilemma ” Bernanke faces as he transitions to a quiet and luxurious retirement of the 1%.

    One thing we can be sure of, our feckless politicians will be the last to see the train wreck as they have their heads up their asses in trivial and manufactured crises. It really matters little whether our fiscal regime is solid when its underlying basis is a currency about to implode like — a house of cards.

  28. James Kuehl September 24, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    The president is screwed, having squandered one of our last chances at becoming a compassionate country. He was elected with his party in control of everything. He should have called Boehner and McConnell into the oval office on day one and said, “America will now have universal health care like every other civilized nation on earth. It will be single payer–essentially Medicare for everyone. I sign this into law within thirty days. You may get on the right side of history, or whine on the sidelines while I get this done. Now get the fuck out of my office.”

    But he didn’t. He left the door open and the Tea Party slithered in and put sugar in the national gas tank because they don’t like where we’re going. I wonder what great leader emerges next. Something tells me West Point grad with a fondness for the good old days when the only people with any authority looked and sounded exactly like him.

    • Arn Varnold September 24, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      You should write Hollywood scripts; your post reads like one.
      And while I fantasize about just such exchanges; they’re not even close to reality.
      Like all psychopaths, Obama has no center, only a will to power over others; and we’re the others, along with the rest of the world.
      Watch carefully the attempted rapprochement with Iran; Israel will go all out to derail any possibility of a peaceful settlement.
      Boehner and McConnell are fascists who will stop at nothing to best a black man who happens to be president.
      American politics have entered a new and unfamiliar territory of full spectrum dominance of the American people.
      They’re about 98% there….
      Healthcare? Are you mad?

      • ozone September 24, 2013 at 10:27 am #

        Good exchange, youse guys! 😀

      • James Kuehl September 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

        Ha, yes, I may well be mad, trying to find some kind of understandable story in this mess. A young person summed it up with for me with a question when this issue was headed for a quagmire in 2009: “So, what’s wrong with giving people health care? It’s basic, right, like blankets for cold people and soup for the hungry?” Seems we’re not up to it after all.

        I tell young people to turn to facebook. Look into a face. Read a book. Repeat until you run out of either.

        • Arn Varnold September 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

          If one understands responsibility as the ability to respond; then it becomes abundantly clear the American people are not a responsible population.
          That may seem a largely simplistic view until those with intact critical thinking skills put those skills to work and expand the above to it’s ultimate, myriad, possibilities.

          “”So, what’s wrong with giving people health care? It’s basic, right, like blankets for cold people and soup for the hungry?” Seems we’re not up to it after all.””

          We’re being ruled by psychopaths; when viewed in that context; it all makes sense.

          • the camels bell September 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

            Not being able to “tell one thing from another,” mistaking psychopaths for true leaders, again our frail perception, worsened by cultural conditioning, fails us again…

          • Arn Varnold September 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

            Not being able to “tell one thing from another,” mistaking psychopaths for true leaders, again our frail perception, worsened by cultural conditioning, fails us again…

            Interesting reply that essentially says nothing. I would venture the writer is the one “worsened by cultural conditioning” if that’s the best opinion forthcoming.
            Most of the west’s leaders are at best sociopaths, while the U.S. president exhibits psychopathy.
            But then opinions are like many body parts; we all have them.
            My cultural conditioning has been severely weakened by more than a decade living and interacting in a very different culture and language from whence I came.
            I stand by my observations…

          • Arn Varnold September 25, 2013 at 4:11 am #

            @ the camels bell
            ” mistaking psychopaths for true leaders, again our frail perception, worsened by cultural conditioning, fails us again…
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            I’m thinking I misunderstood your reply, yes?
            You’re not disagreeing with my calling our pres/western leaders a psychopath?

          • the camels bell September 25, 2013 at 8:35 am #

            Yes, I agree with your statement, “we’re being ruled by psychopaths.”

          • Arn Varnold September 25, 2013 at 9:02 am #

            Sorry about my brain-fart; been editing a book for days and was pretty much read out.
            Which is why I went back and looked at both what you’d said; and my response.
            Something gnawing at the back of my mind; glad I re-answered with a question; which should have been my first response.
            Cheers. I’ll be a bit more diligent in the future.

          • the camels bell September 25, 2013 at 9:44 am #

            Not a problem. I appreciate that you asked for clarification. Cheers.

  29. progress4what September 24, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    “Those distant rumbles of thunder are the audible traces of the destruction at the margins, certainly out of earshot of those at the very center. The margins is the place where nations, towns, institutions, families, and individual lives are ground down into a fine entropic powder of broken dreams.” …jhk…

    Well said, JHK, and something which should never be forgotten.

  30. progress4what September 24, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    “establishment conservatives think immigration is absolutely swell, except for such bigoted, venomous, cretins like Jeff Sessions.”
    ….heathenhank…

    But what do YOU think, heathenhank.
    Or was this post just a pro-amnesty drive-by-trolling?

    Because that wsj piece you posted is easily refuted.
    In fact, wsj commenters to that piece refute it over and over and over.

    The internet is making it possible for the huge percentage (80?) of US citizens to find each other on issues like Syria – and immigration – and to organize against moneyed interests like your “establishment conservatives.”

  31. ozone September 24, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    “The Federal Reserve is creating gigantic mountains of money out of thin air every month, and the Fed is using all of that newly created money to buy government debt and mortgage-backed securities. Over the past several years, the value of the financial securities that the Fed has accumulated is greater than the total amount of publicly held debt that the U.S. government accumulated from the presidency of George Washington though the end of the presidency of Bill Clinton…” -Michael Snyder

    Hey, sounds like excellent fiscal policy to me!

    More on QE (also known as conjuring make-believe money out of thin air and buying your grandkids productivity with it).

    zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-23/qe-worked-weimar-republic-little-while-too

    What? What’s the matter… what came after this fabled Weimar Republic anyway? I thought everything was different now, especially for exceptional people like us.

  32. BackRowHeckler September 24, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Jim, it turns out this vaunted 1% live in Counties surrounding Washington, DC, in Maryland and Virginia, & work for the Federal Government. That’s where the money is and that’s where the highest paid people live. At least that’s what the Census Bureau report released last week states. Washington, it seems, is a Giant, Pulsating Parasite, sucking the life and wealth out of the United States.

    My prediction, for what its worth, is that we devolve into a third world craphole, but with first world security and police forces.

    –BRH

  33. BackRowHeckler September 24, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    And how about the spectacle last week of eager consumers lined up 1000 deep in Malls across the USA, hot to buy the newest model I Phone?

    • ozone September 24, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Well, now we know what the american public thinks is valuable.
      (Insane, ain’t it?)

    • beantownbill. September 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      The power chord on my iPad is frayed so I went to the local Apple store yesterday to replace it. The store was hopping, but what got my attention was the long line at the store’s entrance for the new iPhone.

      American’s want to get what they want when they want it. IMO, I can’t see this happening for too much longer without some kind of “adjustment”. I would have much rather preferred the lines at the Museum of Fine Arts for a new exhibit, but, hey, I always ask for too much.

      Speaking of iPads, mine was free from Foxwoods through comp points. I recently picked up a free new Dyson vacuum cleaner there. I mention Foxwoods now because I fear for the future of your state. I was at the casino last Wednesday. At first it appeared busy, but I quickly realized that half the tables were shut down, forcing more people per in-use table. The state of Connecticut gets a lot of its revenue from the casinos. Relatively soon, Massachusetts will have 3 casinos, and now Twin River in Rhode Island has added table games, and supposedly is very busy.

      When Foxwoods goes down, and it will, where will the lost revenue come from? From you, that’s where.

    • beantownbill. September 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      The power chord on my iPad is frayed so I went to the local Apple store yesterday to replace it. The store was hopping, but what got my attention was the long line at the store’s entrance for the new iPhone.

      American’s want to get what they want when they want it. IMO, I can’t see this happening for too much longer without some kind of “adjustment”. I would have much rather preferred the lines be at the Museum of Fine Arts for a new exhibit, but, hey, I always ask for too much.

      Speaking of iPads, mine was free from Foxwoods through comp points. I recently picked up a free new Dyson vacuum cleaner there. I mention Foxwoods now because I fear for the future of your state. I was at the casino last Wednesday. At first it appeared busy, but I quickly realized that half the tables were shut down, forcing more people per in-use table. The state of Connecticut gets a lot of its revenue from the casinos. Relatively soon, Massachusetts will have 3 casinos, and now Twin River in Rhode Island has added table games, and supposedly is very busy.

      When Foxwoods goes down, and it will, where will the lost revenue come from? From you, that’s where.

    • Neon Vincent September 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      I wasn’t one of them, although I suspect my daughter was. She’s a member of the cult of Jobs–Steve Jobs. My wife and I aren’t. That didn’t keep us from getting new smartphones ourselves, including my first ever. They were Androids. I’m looking forward to succumbing to my “genetic weakness for novelty,” as our host put it.

      crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/09/i-got-smartphone-today.html

  34. rube-i-con September 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    When Foxwoods goes down, and it will, where will the lost revenue come from? From you, that’s where.

    taxes could be ended within a generation if:

    the state would take 10% of revenues each year and put it in an accounting generating 5% interest.

    after 20 years or so (somebody check my math please), they would be generating in the neighborhood of half or more of their former taxation take in the form of interest.

    yes, they would spend all of it and more.

    what the heck, it’s like communism, it was just an idea.

    peace peceniks

  35. rube-i-con September 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    My prediction, for what its worth, is that we devolve into a third world craphole, but with first world security and police forces.

    untrue. third world crapholes are unimaginably removed from what the US is or will be. people here wont stand for it becuz they’ve seen better.

    that’s the way it works. when you grow up in shitholes, you think nothing of perpetuating it. and vice versa.

    i reserve the right to be totally wrong.

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

    peace peaceniks

  36. Janos Skorenzy September 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    A Monster. And there are millions of them. She says Whites deserve the crime minorities bring with them. And remember, there is now a plan now to extend section 8 to the whole Nation, suburban and rural, red and blue.

    trueslant.com/megancottrell/2009/10/21/do-white-families-deserve-the-crime-section-8-tenants-bring-w…

  37. Janos Skorenzy September 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    We don’t even bother selling our Enemies the rope that will hang us anymore – we are happy to give it away.

    wvwnews.net/content/index.php?/news_story/sign_of_the_times_free_syrian_army.html

  38. progress4what September 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    That’s a strange article by a strange woman, Janos.
    She wants so badly to not be “racist” that she circles back on herself and becomes a racist.

    Comments section to the rescue! Here’s a comment to her maudlin racism by the guy she was supposedly answering:

    “Interesting. I never said anything about “white” neighborhoods, although I’m sure that would be the assumption of most readers, knowing I’m a suburban cop. The victims of the crimes committed by the Section 8 renters I mentioned were Asian, South Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latino. Some of them were also “white”, being fairly recent immigrants from eastern Europe. Is there a South Asian or Latino privilege, to go along with the “white” privilege enjoyed by our Polish-speaking immigrant population?”
    ….joe the cop, from janos link….

    —————–
    And I’m assuming you found Ms. Cook from the Western Rifle Shooters website posted to CFN last week. That’s an interesting website, but she has other articles elsewhere. There’s one where she talks about her mental conflict over finally calling the police on three potential thugs in the alley below her apartment.

    And she now seems to have a child. Your link is to a three year old article. I wonder if Ms. Cook has evolved in her thinking.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

      Remember this is one of the “inner” doctrines of Liberalism, one not to be admitted to. Whites are by nature evil. By betraying other Whites, Liberals are attempting to attain salvation. And they desperately hope to be seen as one of the few “good ones” by their minority gods. Blacks, being the most alien to Whites genetically and culturally, are of course the most sacred.

  39. progress4what September 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    I’ll never on an Apple product because I detest proprietary software. And proprietary HARDWARE – sheesh! I’ve got 5 buck chargers in all my vehicles in case of low battery “emergencies.” They won’t work with Apple products, though. Gotta’ go to Apple for that.

    I don’t *get* buzz, and hype either. And I’ve always been immune to marketing.

    I don’t enjoy gambling either – at least not the random kinds, like roulette or slots. Blackjack’s kind of OK, played from a single deck.
    But I don’t know any casinos that use single decks for blackjack.
    Do you know of any, Bill?

  40. progress4what September 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    “I’ll never on an Apple product…” sheesh own

    …”from Janos link…. sheesh Janos’

    This thing needs an edit function. And I think I’m missing some responses because I’m not going to scroll back up and hunt all over the place for them.

    I’ll be making my replies at the bottom of the thread.

    And I really can’t believe JHK banned Q, as was reported last week.

  41. Pucker September 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Some websites have links to other similar interesting websites.

    Can anyone recommend links to other websites similar to JHK’s website? (No self-promotion here please.)

    Thank you.

    • beantownbill. September 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      Some I frequent are Zero Hedge, the Automatic Earth, Cryptogon, TSHTF plan, the Market Ticker, Peak Prosperity, Mish’s Global Market Trend Analysis, Vivek Wadhwa, Some Assembly Required. There are others I won’t mention as I don’t have the time.

    • Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Four more more I’d recommend are The Hipcrime Vocab, The Archdruid Report, Ran Prieur, and Resilient Communities. I would recommend Neal Rauhauser’s WordPress blog, but he has a disturbing proclivity to delete his best entries and unpublish and republish his blog. The man is brilliant, but too paranoid for his own good.

  42. Pucker September 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I know a bloke who after using a toothpick to pick food from between his teeth at a restaurant then puts the used tooth pick back into the container for some unsuspecting customer to use again.

    He works for a prominent London-based financial publication that gives out awards each year to investment bankers for their best asset securitization deals.

    True story….

  43. beantownbill. September 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    To Procon: I’ll reply to you this way because you don’t want to scroll back up looking for replies. That’s ok by me.

    The only place I personally know of one deck blackjack is in my dreams.

    I don’t play by odds because you can’t beat the house, even if you card count in blackjack, they’ll find out and kick you out. I gamble because of the thrill and the risk. I know it’s a sickness of mine, but as long as I don’t gamble my house and food money, it’s relatively harmless for me. At least I’m not a drunk, a womanizer, a druggie or a pedophile, so I’ll allow myself this one sin.

    I do wish I was more physically brave. If I was, I’d parachute or bungee jump or rock climb. I do like to take risks – but calculated ones. Back in the day, before the financial markets turned to shit, I gambled on stock options because I found the regular markets too boring. I did pretty well. I also did pretty well investing in real estate in the ’80’s.

    All commercial product marketing is bullshit, no matter what brand you buy. Like I said before, I got my iPad free from comp points at the casino. If a popular product is free, why not get it?

  44. rube-i-con September 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Like I said before, I got my iPad free from comp points at the casino.

    nothing personal, but reminds me of everything that’s seedy about the states.

    ‘comp points’ – yucch! nothing douchebag people in gaudy clothes spending foodstamp money to earn ’em

    iPad – who the hell wants one, a laptop is much better

    just my 2 cents?

    peace peaceniks

    • beantownbill. September 25, 2013 at 12:35 am #

      Yes it’s true people who cant’t afford it, gamble. That’s a shame. But don’t blame gambling, it is the gambler’s responsibility. I have a good friend who is an alcoholic and has been sober for 25 years. He had to learn to not drink in social situations where alcohol was in abundance.

      Gambling takes advantage of people’s weakness in that area, just like drug dealers do, and prostitutes do, and liquor stores do. Y

      • beantownbill. September 25, 2013 at 12:41 am #

        You think it is any different in Europe or South America? There’s no drug addicts, no alcoholics, no gambling and no prostitution in these places? Why single out America? A little holier-than-thou, Welles?

        As far as the iPad goes, you can have your opinion of it, but I find it tremendously convenient. A necessity? Hardly. I could live without it very easily. But I got mine for free, why not enjoy it?

  45. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject September 25, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    JHK, please excuse this link from RT featuring Dr. PCR, but I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that he’s finally considering throwing in the towel. If men like him are beginning to leave the table, then I personally see this as the most dire and credible of warnings that shit is truly about to hit the fan.

    paulcraigroberts.org/2013/09/16/paul-craig-roberts-calls-it-quits-2/

    Can we blame him? There’s probably some good money still to be made in the so called Doomer Porn industry, but this doesn’t seem to be good enough for PCR.

    Today, thanks to so called alternative news media and open blogs, it seems to me that credible voices like PCR’s (yours the same, JHK) end up doing little more than informing (entertaining?) an entirely listless populace. The Truth is now out there for all to see; although, said truths need be distilled from wacky conspiracy-nutter claims to measured critical analyses, yet still NO GROUP acts with any genuine conviction on any of the information available. Unless we count the Doomer/consumer apocalyptic goods industry as a meaningful contribution, what other notable change in the public attitude are we to point to for all the soothsaying?

    Protest movements, no matter the partisan flavor, accomplish nothing meaningful in the way of political, social, or economic reform, or have I missed something?

    For instance, I was recently in conversation with a university scholar who seemed to take the position that it was the American public who swayed our government’s last minute postponement of military action in Syria. Is this true? If so, what an empty victory that’s turned out to be. The last minute agreement doesn’t seem to be panning out, and it may have only been a further step toward a wider open conflict with Russia directly. Surely, he can’t be so dumb as to believe disaster was averted so easily, but then again why would he risk mentioning the influence of folks such as yourself on these debates? Publicly, most people I meet will only discuss big issues within the confines of msm talking points, never alternative media ones.

    So are the peeps finally takin’ action against government lies? This professor conveniently made no mention of the facts reported in alternative media regarding the false government claims and bogus narratives set forth in the mainstream, but rather opted to subtly give obama credit for cleverly accepting the diplomatic out masterfully played by Russia’s geopolitical chess grandmaster, Vladdy Putin. That is, should we say that obama was actually always reluctant to go to war, though he publicly towed the line for his puppet masters’, but secretly sought a personal way out of the public disgrace? Did he do these things in service to “the world’s oldest democracy”, or to prevent his own assassination? And are the people genuinely, if slowly, beginning to call the government to account for its utterly ridiculous policy initiatives here and abroad? Sorry, I don’t expect any answers to these unanswerable questions, just brain fartin’ before bed.

    Thanks for allowing the ramble.

    -UFIA

  46. James Kuehl September 25, 2013 at 6:53 am #

    It looks as if world economics and the activities it represents are no longer affected by our actions. It got too big and complex to control, and now we’re just along for the ride.

    Remember as a kid, getting into a carnival ride with the cool cars, boats, and airplanes? Every kid hops behind the wheel and spins it waiting for something–anything–to happen. There are those kids who keep turning that wheel the entire time in hopes that it will somehow have an effect on the ride. That’s congress, yanking that wheel every which way and somehow believing it actually makes a damn bit of difference.

    Now, I’ve managed to find a couple nickles to rub together and am going to spend one of them on a Kunstler book. He’s a most informative writer and needs to eat.

    • Arn Varnold September 25, 2013 at 7:09 am #

      I love your analogy; “Every kid hops behind the wheel and spins it waiting for something–anything–to happen. There are those kids who keep turning that wheel the entire time in hopes that it will somehow have an effect on the ride. That’s congress, yanking that wheel every which way and somehow believing it actually makes a damn bit of difference.”
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Kudos for that post, right on!

  47. Deblonay September 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    I am a regular visitor to the USA…having a married son living there with his family ion Illinois

    My wife and I are Australians and have tyravelled widely but …we never drive in foreign countries and so we use AMTRAK for our travels and find it excellent
    I agree with the Kunstler thesis that there must be a great revival of the US rail dsystem,and while AMTRAK is very good.with comfortable trains and helpful staff ,there is a lot to be done re Hi_Speed trains and other services that could be extended
    The USA lags behind Europe and much of Asia in his neglect of it’s vast rail; network which is a national treasure
    When will your leaders see it’s many virtues and it’s vital role ??

  48. Deblonay September 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Another word re trains i the USA
    _________
    Recently we took the “California Zephyr ” from Chicago to San Francisco…a great train…we spent three days on the train/with sleeper and great dining car…and an observation car too…
    and we saw a great deal of the heartland of the USA(We have done other long journeys like LA to Vancover in Canada,,,and up the East coast from Washington to Maine and from NY to Chicago
    We always enjoy these trips,which we find very enjoyable and relaxing with great train staff who really look after one,and great food too

  49. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject September 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Sorry, CFN. Looks like the PCR interview link I posted was old. This message from his site:

    “NOTE TO READERS: Some readers have received via RSS feed an old interview with RT announcing my retirement. This interview was several years ago. It must be some kind of glitch. I am not retiring. This interview is not a new notice of retirement.” PCR

    We can all breathe a sigh of relief; collapse has once again postponed as too many men of sound mind are still telling the truth which no one really hears, so we all can go ‘head and keep failing to act. *giggles*

    -UFIA

  50. Janos Skorenzy September 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Popular Science closes down its comments section. Too much conversation destroys manufactured consensus. Things like Global Warming and Darwinian Evolution must be accepted as holy writ evidently.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/popular-science-ends-reader-comments–says-practice-is-bad-for-science-002245622.html

    • AKlein September 27, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Of course you’re correct, Janos. Look at how “Free speech” is handled. Vulgar, demeaning verbiage is readily allowed, even heralded, under the rubric of having to accept the worthless (or even damaging) so as to meet the “principles” of “Free speech”. Apparently this does not apply to scientific issues. What’s particularly odious is that scientific “knowledge” is simply an accumulation of theories, not fact. There IS no such thing as fact, only that a valid theory explains the observable conditions. Given this definition of scientific ‘”fact”, vigorous discussion should be sought after, not suppressed, even if that includes some nonsense. But you know how it is, Janos, people will always defend their rice bowl on the basis of feigned virtue.

  51. ubs September 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I would like to ask people here for help with locating a picture. I believe a came across this picture on this website. The picture consisted of a grid of tiles. Each tile showed one step in the gradual transformation of the North American landscape from the natural state to an urban slum.

      • Karah September 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

        I would label the first scene 1840 and the last scene 1970.

        Am I close to accurate?

        • Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

          Close. It’s the other end of the decade.

          R. Crumb’s “A Short History of America” poster.

          Arguably cartoonist Robert Crumb’s most popular and most timeless image, this poster shows the gradual metamorphosis of a single plot of land from virgin wilderness to urban decay in 12 panels. It first appeared in black & white in 1979 in the ecological magazine Co-Evolutionary Quarterly and in Snoid Comics. It was rearranged and colored by Peter Poplaski in 1981 and quickly became Kitchen Sink Press’ best-selling poster. After the popular but depressing 12-panel poster went out of print, Crumb added three panels to answer the “What next?” question posed in his original final 12th panel. In this 15-panel version Crumb depicts three possible futures:

          a.) Lower left shows the “Worst case scenario: ecological disaster;

          b.) Center: “The fun future: Techno fix on the march!”

          c.) Lower right: “The ecotopian solution.”

          deniskitchen.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=P_SHOA

          • Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

            Thomas Cole’s series of paintings “Course of the Empire” is also excellent for the big picture. The Barbarians are within the gates. They have already destroyed Detroit.

            chechar.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/the-course-of-empire/

  52. sevenmmm September 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    DOW(n)or Gold at 20,000? 20,000 what? I do know that the DOW(n) is represented by Points. Then what are the value of the points?

  53. Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    “What history has in store for the USA is probably something that could only be cooked up on TV. One can hope that it turns out to be comedy, not something breaking bad.”

    Since our host made a pop culture reference that I don’t recall any of the rest of us referring to in comments, I’ll go ahead and do so.

    I looked at the list of Emmy nominees up for awards on Sunday’s broadcast and found very few with any recognition of reality other than the crime shows, such as “Breaking Bad” and the political shows, such as “The Newsroom” and “House of Cards.” On the other hand, I found lots of political shows in all categories, drama, comedy, miniseries, and variety shows. I was amazed.

    The nominated political shows overwhelmed the genres that might examine a dystopian future–fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Even the nominated representatives of those genres didn’t examine the future, just the present and past. This isn’t like the movies, where dystopia is big business. I guess “Walking Dead,” “Revolution,” and “Falling Skies” need more advocates. I couldn’t even see sustainability-related documentaries or reality shows other than “Deadliest Catch,” again unlike the movies where sustainability themes show up in documentary nominees. Looks like the movies are more in touch with the possibility of collapse and what could cause it than TV. If so, any future for the US cooked up on TV (and thought worthy of recognition) will be much more escapist than one devised for the big screen. Don’t we have an escapist enough society and politics as it is?

    crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/09/politics-and-fantasy-at-emmy-awards.html

    • ozone September 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      But… but, isn’t teevee our bestest friend and steerer to right-thinkin’?
      Just look at all the fine products we’ve been introduced to because of it! (White tornadoes, stronger than dirt, scrubbing bubbles, everyday low prices, built ford tough, ask your doctor about Disney vacations and Huggies… heck, we could go on all day.)

      clowncrack.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Intended-for-a-Manure-Audience.jpg

      ” Don’t we have an escapist enough society and politics as it is?” -N.V.

      Absolutely not. I think there should be spots (perhaps 3/hr.) for shots, to be pounded on cue, so we could all enjoy mass intoxication and feel we were part of a truly american collective experience. A loud 3 second beep would indicate the pour and pound interval with an enticing picture of a favorite intoxicant shown on-screen. “Spots for Shots”. I like it, it’s cute and efficacious in obliterating any faded remnants of critical thought.
      –’tis a consummation, devoutly to be wished.

      • BleatToTheBeat September 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

        See, they only think that they will not miss polyester, gore-tex, honey bees, or D’Addario guitar strings.

        I’m gonna seriously miss the Dairy Quees on Parnell Avenue.

        You can’t get MILK at the Dairy Queen.

        I SWEAR! I already asked them.

        So WHAT exactly is your ice cream made of?

        Lilly Pads.

        Lotsa froggies.

        • Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

          “I’m gonna seriously miss the Dairy Quees on Parnell Avenue.”

          That looks familiar. Now, where have I read that before? Oh, yes.

          “I miss the honky tonks,
          Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
          you got it, you got it

          And as things fell apart
          Nobody paid much attention
          you got it, you got it

          I dream of cherry pies,
          Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
          you got it, you got it

          We used to microwave
          Now we just eat nuts and berries
          you got it, you got it

          This was a discount store,
          Now it’s turned into a cornfield
          you got it, you got it

          Don’t leave me stranded here
          I can’t get used to this lifestyle”

          crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2011/04/theme-song-for-this-blog.html

      • Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

        “I think there should be spots (perhaps 3/hr.) for shots, to be pounded on cue, so we could all enjoy mass intoxication and feel we were part of a truly american collective experience.”

        Spots for shots on television to get people drunk as part of a collective national experience? You’re describing something that already exists, the beer commercials during the Super Bowl. It’s one of the few things that doesn’t need sex to sell it, although it helps.

        crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/02/sex-sells-super-bowl-in-space.html

        • ozone September 26, 2013 at 8:39 am #

          Not having watched the ‘Bowl in years, I had forgotten that omnipresent aspect! Now we just need more of same and we’ll all feel better about ‘how things are going’. Slainte! 😉

  54. Panic September 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Jim Kunstler, I prefer the format of yr site pre redesign.

  55. Deblonay September 26, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    If the American people have been able to stop the warmmongers in the USA from an attack on Syria they have done themselves and the world a favour
    No more US interventions in the Middle East would be a good start
    …..and the less money spent on the miltary and the US Empire the better

  56. Arn Varnold September 26, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    Just listened to a very interesting podcast at the fromalpha2omega;
    fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/entry/2013-07-12T16_35_32-07_00

    It’s an interview with Nicole Foss from the Automatic Earth; well worth a listen. In fact a must listen, IMO. Cheers

    • ozone September 26, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      Thanks, Arn, Will do.
      Cheers backatcha!

  57. Deblonay September 26, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    he NY website “Mondoweiss” which might be described as a leftist NY Jewish site,has an excellent coverage of the efforts of a mixed bag of rightists…including such lunatics as Bolton … to oppose any talks between the Iranian President Rouhnani now at the UN and the US Government
    There will be a meeting between the F>Ministers off bpth countries later this week

    The anti-Iranians who have the backing of the zionist Lobby and many Republicans make no bones about their wish for a war with Iran…which accords with Netanyahu’s usual policies in the region

    mondoweiss.net/2013/09/officials-diplomacy-outside.html

  58. ozone September 26, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Off the cuff:
    Someone had asked for other sites of the Cassandrian types; neglected to add this one:

    doomsteaddiner.net/blog/

    This has a HUGE variety of content and opinion is more pessimistic in tone than JHK (in general). More on the “doomer porn” side of things, and they include JHK’s weekly essays, so you can see that all Cassandra’s are welcome and appreciated.

    • ozone September 26, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      Oops! Well, you can parse the meaning anyhoo. Sorry.

    • Arn Varnold September 26, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      The doom and gloom club is easy to join for those lazy souls who have no ability at analysis, from information taken in.
      I prefer to look at the day-to-day reality; trends, general reaction and most importantly; my own assessment of said information and an accurate view of what is.
      Do not, for one minute, underestimate the power of the government to control outcomes.
      The trick, IMO, is having an idea about when that control will fail.
      And fail it will; eventually.
      It’s going to take a while, because everything is still working pretty well and not too difficult to control.
      I think it will be obvious when things actually start to go shit…
      At least for those paying attention…

      • ozone September 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

        I concur, entirely.
        (I was once severely castigated for suggesting that someone sift through some provided/linked info to find what corroborated their personal experience, as though that poor, muddled dear could not possibly do that for themselves. It was both comical and outrageous!)

  59. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I agree with panic – the old format was better. Although the absence of Troll is wonderful.

    And this is a test – last night I had a post ready to go, but when I hit “submit comment” I got back a message, “you must be logged in to submit a comment.”

    And naturally, the comment was lost.

    BTW, panic, are you asia/anti-dod?

    OK – remember to “copy” the comment, first.

  60. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Good reading lists, guys. Don’t forget to glance @ fredoneverything.net/ , once a week or so.

    He’s an ex-Marine, ex-DC crime reporter, and US ex-pat, living in Mexico with a (young) Mexican wife and child. One thing he offers is a view of life from “outside the matrix” of a US-centric system. I think a lot of us fall into the trap of forgetting how dominant American culture is, even (especially) though we live inside of it.

    • BleatToTheBeat September 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      I hope that Monsieur “Fred” is having a good time living in the environmental “HELL” that is Mexico.

      Like with many posters here, doncha wonder what they’re leaving out?

      Don’t like comments about the environment?

      Let’s see how long you can live without it.

      If you think that the American EPA is a waste of time, go ahead, move to Mexico.

      This was once a “Peak Oil” blog.

      Now it’s about money, money, money, money, money, money….

      etc.

  61. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I also like John Mauldin for economic analysis. This week his contributor for “Outside the Box” takes a hard look at the “taper caper,” which also attracted JHK’s attention.

    “….and just plain sad … is the culmination of the bureaucratic capture of the Federal Reserve, not by the banking
    industry which it regulates, but by academic economists and acolytes of government paternalism. These are
    true believers in too clever by half academic theories such as management of forward expectations and in the
    soft authoritarianism of Mandarin rule. They are certain that they have both a duty and an ability to regulate
    the global economy in the best interests of the rest of us poor benighted souls.”
    mauldineconomics.com/images/uploads/pdf/2013_09_24_OTB.pdf Some of Mauldin’s stuff is behind a paywall, though his bi-weekly letters are not.

  62. Superfishal September 26, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Interested on those opining here…Please define “American Exceptionalism”….as you interpret it….

    • Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Americans viewed themselves as a new creation, free from the wars and intrigues of Europe. From a European perspective, Americans threw away their heritage boldly and with two hands. So when the wilderness was tamed – there goes that whole identity. When the West was won, so long to the gunfighter and cowboy. And so on, the only thing remaining were caricatures and cartoon versions of the previous identities. Now we are businessmen and gangsters. Even the late identities of entrepreneur and worker are being phased out.The polis and its citizens – these are beyond us since we threw them away to be “innocent” in the Wilderness. But the Serpent of our own lower nature was waiting for us.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

        I forgot to conclude: we were and are exceptionally foolish. As Burke said to the French on their Revolution: You have thrown away everything you ever were, so now with what will you carry forward?

  63. Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    John Adams said, Posterity, guard what we have bequeathed to you. You will never know what it cost my generation.

    Here are some of the costs. Freedom isn’t Free. Free Men aren’t equal. Equal Men aren’t Free.

    rushlimbaugh.com/pages/static/my_father_s_speech

    Senator Cruz read some of this during his filibuster.

  64. Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Rush: Nixon is hated to this day by the Left for exposing Alger Hiss, a Communist high up in the State Department.

  65. rube-i-con September 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    You think it is any different in Europe or South America? There’s no drug addicts, no alcoholics, no gambling and no prostitution in these places? Why single out America? A little holier-than-thou, Welles?

    i did not say anything about south america and didn’t mean to imply anything. don’t go seeing ghosts where there aren’t any. brazil sux in many ways, which i’ve repeatedly said. it’s ok in some ways, and it’s good to great in some ways.

    hell, i’m tyred of saying this over and over. let this sink in please.

    the casinos in the US are the pits and dregs of society there, literally and figuratively.

    peace peaceniks

  66. Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    the-spearhead.com/2013/09/25/the-matthew-shepard-narrative-a-modern-blood-libel/#comment-196979

    Matt was a drug user and small time dealer. One of his killers was also one of his lovers. So the whole thing is something far more mundane than presented: a lover’s spat and/or a drug deal gone bad. But because it was Wyoming, the New Elite, the Dan Savage’s of the world, got to slander all of Wyoming and by extension, all of Conservative, White America.

  67. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Here’s what the ArchDruid has to say this week concerning American Exceptionalism:

    “….implosion of the civil religion of Americanism is taking place right now as a consequence of the collision between what America thinks it stands for and what it’s all too plainly become; and the implosion of the civil religion of progress is arguably not too far off, as the gaudy dream of infinite knowledge and power through technology slams face first into the hard limits of a finite planet and a solar system uninterested in fueling human fantasies.” thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2013/09/which-way-to-heaven.html

    Sadly, I believe he is probably correct about this.
    Wow – what might have been.

    • Arn Varnold September 27, 2013 at 12:38 am #

      Wow – what might have been.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Brings tears to my eyes when I consider all that could have been…

    • Janos Skorenzy September 27, 2013 at 3:55 am #

      It feels almost as bad as when Jody has to kill his fawn Flag in The Yearling.

  68. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    “Popular Science closes down its comments section. Too much conversation destroys manufactured consensus. Things like Global Warming and Darwinian Evolution must be accepted as holy writ evidently. ” ,..vlad/janos…

    Yeah, I actually caught that announcement on the day it was made.

    I’m concerned. I think LOTS of publishers and writers do not like their comment sections – for a variety of reasons. Fox News got rid of theirs over a year ago. My local paper put theirs behind a paywall, which killed it.

    And I really believe comment sections could be a driver of a better future. I’ve learned a whole lot from this one on CFN. It’s possible that comment sections are uniting intelligent voting citizens in a way that may redirect The Powers That Be. Certainly – first on immigration “reform” and then on Syria – there was more opposition than TPTB expected, or were willing to countenance.

    That said – the comment threads of Pop. Science aren’t an appropriate place to rehash evolution, for example. That’s settled science. To go against that a few times is OK, perhaps. To roil a thread with it repeatedly – is counterproductive Trolling.

    As most always, I didn’t have to look long at the comment thread you posted, Vlad, to find a poster to express my exact feelings:

    “The heckling trolls have a victory. Maybe the comment section gurus could give us a “report troll” button, and if a couple dozen people press it in a short period, the troll and his comments go away. Typically there are two trolls at a time, feeding off of one another, mucking the place up with bile and irrelevancies.”
    ….commenter to Vlad’s Yahoo link……

    • Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

      Evolution may be settled but not its modus operandi. Darwinism cannot explain the half of it. And random mutations? Not enough time for the progress that has been made. There is a guiding hand, Prog to put it in theistic terms.

  69. BackRowHeckler September 27, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I found out where some of this $85 Billion per month QE Swag is ending up. It seems our state treasurer has this guy who drives her around, a state employee, who is paid $90,000 Gs a year for this important and demanding job. In fact all the top state officials travel around regally, in Limos with tinted windows, surrounded with companies of state troopers, some with more medals pinned on their chest than a general in Idi Amin’s Air Force. When they show up for an event you’d think Caesar Augustus himself was arriving. Then the best course of action then, when you see their grand and royal calvacade headed your way, is to get the hell out of there.

    In 1992 State U built a new arena for the basketball team. That was 21 years ago. But now, already, it is obsolete, and a new one is planned. Price tag: $500 million. Meantime, ground has been broken for a practice basketball court — just for practice — and that’s going to cost a trifling $50 million.

    Did anybody see Charlie Rose’s interview of Bill Clinton and Al Gore on PBS? He really went to the mat with them, asking tough and challenging questions. Gore went on about global warming of course, but Rose failed to ask him about his $500 million bank account, his private Jet Stream Aircraft, his yachts on the Tennessee and Potomac Rivers, and his stately mansion. It was one big Love Fest.

    Hey BTBill, how about JHK this week mentioning the 1944 Coconut Grove fire in Boston. My father in law, who is passed away now, was there and managed to get out. I’m surprised that event is still remembered and referenced.

    BRH

    So you can see we are wrecking

    • Arn Varnold September 27, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Charlie Rose plays powder puff ball; not worth the listen or my very valuable time…

    • beantownbill. September 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      The Coconut Grove fire has been permanently introduced into Boston’s folklore. I’ve read several accounts, and it was a truly horrendous event, more than the awful Boston molasses tidal wave that killed around 16 people in the 1910’s.

      In a related story, my grandparents were in the great Chelsea fire of 1908.

      • beantownbill. September 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

        This was supposed to be a. Reply to Marlin.

    • stelmosfire September 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      Marlin, my wife grew up next to a fellow who worked the big top this day this day.
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_circus_fire
      Needless to say he did not talk about it much.

  70. Reagan September 27, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    America was exceptional, until the democratic-liberalism of the 2th century set the stage for our downfall. The Federal Reserve Act, signed by a Democrat, gave away our money, so that instead of real money such as gold and silver as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, we have fake notes and countless trillions of digital dollars moving around computers. The democrats gave us the IRS, social security, medicare, medicaid, and now obamacare. All are elephants sitting on a mule and will break us. The “great society” of the democrats has shown up to be an immoral, degenerate, selfish, hate and violence filled society — nothing great there. I will add that the republicans have gone along with all of it and only a few have fought it. To put it simply, the democrats have bankrupted the country morally and spiritually, while the republicans have bankrupted the country financially, each assisting the other. It’s good to see people like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul stand up for something, and I wish some of the democrats would join them. Reagan out.

  71. beantownbill. September 27, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    To Procon and Arn Varnold:

    Any idiot with a thinking brain ought to know that you can’t have unlimited growth with finite resources. To me, this is as plain as the nose on your face (including the Chinese man who had an extra nose grown on his forehead).

    The sane course of action is strict moderation in consumption of said existing resources while extensively exploring new sources. For instance, we have thorium, we have a vast supply of hydrogen in water, and a near inexhaustible amount of energy from the sun. The asteroid belt contains a huge supply of organic material which could be utilized for fuel, fertilizers and plastics.

    Yes, to many this seems like pie-in-the-sky, an adolescent fantasy. But this attitude is only the result of the meager efforts the world has made to develop these resources. If the past few generations had undertaken the extreme effort required to make alternate resources available, then the idea of such would not seem so childish.

    I, too, cry for what might have been (but could yet be). I realized we blew it way, way back in the 1950’s, when I was a boy and wondered why we didn’t take over the world right after WW2 and enforced a Pax Americana. Take our space program. NASA’s annual budget is what, $21 or $23 billion? That’s barely over one week’s worth of the Fed’s monthly QE purchasing, which is used to help out failed TBTF banks. That is sick!

    • ozone September 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      I highly recommend another perspective. Place your attitudes in neutral and read this all the way through without taking any personal umbrage and your perception may be enhanced, maybe not. Give it a try anyway:

      thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2013/09/which-way-to-heaven.html

      • Janos Skorenzy September 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

        And he’s for open borders too. He said he wished he could live to see the Hispanic/Asian culture that will evolve on the West Coast. Did you know that he actually considers himself a Druid? That’s it’s not just a handle? The real Druids fought the Romans for their people. He finds our conquest thrilling. I asked him why he didn’t stick with the Golden Dawn type magick instead of falsely becoming a Druid, or truly becoming a pseudo-Druid. Guess he calculated the pay off from the Green Movement and made a bottom line type decision.

  72. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Well, HELL! I just posted up some thoughts about PopSci and it freakin’ disappeared!

    I’m running out of patience with this place.

    Bill, I’ll read your reply to me later. Right now, color me pissed OFF and leaving the office.

  73. nsa September 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    We here in Langley know everything about you and it is all perfectly legal……and you know absolutely nothing about us. This was all too easy…….no resistance at all. Of course, if you do not like it…..there is nothing to stop you from buying some good healthy GMO seed and attempting to feed yourself……..maybe supplement your diet by poaching off a deer or feral cat…..

  74. rube-i-con September 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    as the gaudy dream of infinite knowledge and power through technology slams face first into the hard limits of a finite planet and a solar system uninterested in fueling human fantasies.

    i love how these armchair philosophes, profiting from the sweat and ingenuity of millennia of thought and action, living a life of unfathomable comfort, communicating effortlessly & instantaneously across time and space, free from disease, war, starvation, free to engage in dialogue without repercussion, living longer than their forebears dared dream and in wonderful health, and on the cusp of lifespans averaging 100 years, with access to a variety of foods never before available, with the ability to use technology (the internet) to indulge any mental fantasy or earn a living without breaking a sweat online, avail themselves of virtually unlimited scientific and othe knowledge at the touch of a few buttons, free to travel to outer space or any corner of the earth at a moment’s notice, conclude that infinite knowledge is a dream, and that technology does not confer power upon us.

    it obviously doesn’t, concluded the archdruid, as he instructed his computer to “Press” by merely thinking the command, and broadcast his message to 124,000,000 subscribers living on Earth, the Moon and the orbiting Gaia Habitable Space Station.

    peace peaceniks

  75. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Yeah, Ozone, I like the ArchDruid too, in the main – and this week’s post is one of his best.

    He does have a definitely non-Atheistic take on the human condition though. You overlooking that, O3? 🙂

    And with a nod to Janos – the only time JMG and I crossed up was over out-of-control US immigration. He seems to think it is inevitable, and (maybe) even deserved. He seems to look with some glee at the prospect of Spanish (culture?) replacing English as the US descends, for example. I, of course, think this should be opposed while it can be opposed. He told me I couldn’t use his webspace to recruit for that opposition, as was/is his right.

    • ozone September 28, 2013 at 10:10 am #

      He treats “atheism” as just another religious construct and doesn’t beat his commenters over the head with it.
      (BTW, our overhead is nothing; why would that be? ;))

      Regarding the resource/climate wars (exacerbated/caused by over-population), they’re just getting started and the resulting migration of untold millions will overwhelm any of the current ‘policies’.
      Desperate measures will become a very unpleasant norm when this all gears up

  76. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Bill, I agree with you.

    But I don’t think the lost opportunities can be redeemed. Not unless there is some master plan for a marvelous techno-future that can accommodate 7+ billion humans on Earth with nearly 1/2 BILLION of them INSIDE the US by 2050.

    If that plan exists, somebody might want to let some goddam’ hints of it start slipping out. Crickets and decay are all I’m seeing right now.

  77. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Speaking of the ArchDruid, I see Trippticket posting over there occasionally.

    Speaking of CFN, Trippticket used to be one of our better posters. He tells me that he cannot get logged in to post on the new CFN format. ???

    I have spoken to Tripp by email, by landline, and in person; by the way. They are doing well, and are making a move out of the tent, to a farmhouse on some acreage. You can check up on him at
    smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/

  78. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    So, either this weird comment software, the NSA, or something – is keeping me from making a post about Popular Science.

    popsci.com/article/science/readers-respond-our-decision-drop-comments

  79. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Because I think they’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater, blocking comments without trying ANY of the methods to fix their comment threads – like Spam blocking software, or up/down votes by other commenters.

  80. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    This is the FIRST comment to the link I referenced, made by an obvious Troll:

    ” GPotts
    09/26/2013 at 5:42 pm

    Popsci better not start reporting that wheat is poison. Wheat being poison is proven science.”

    Certainly has nothing to do with the article, does it?

  81. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    And here is a comment by a SpamBot. If this is what JHK’s software is catching – it’s pretty damn sophisticated.

    “my classmate’s mother makes $85/hr on the laptop. She has been fired for 10 months but last month her check was $19987 just working on the laptop for a few hours. hop over to here …………. (and then it gives a SpamBot web address, which I just deleted for the first time.)

    Amazing. If this goes through. Sorry for chewing up all that bandwidth. But I was on a mission. And CFN seems to have bandwidth to spare right now. ;0(

  82. Janos Skorenzy September 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Exceptionally good but brief article.

    wvwnews.net/content/index.php?/news_story/“american_exceptionalism”yankee_supremacy.html

  83. Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I find it very, erm, interesting, that since the trolls, socks, and dickheads have been purged from the ranks, the conversations seems to stall.
    Why is that?
    Is it the lack of call to battle? The lack of advocacy? The titillation of abuse of posts past? Meted out willy-nilly against the foe?
    The need for an enemy, no longer extant; as opposed to a foe? An advocate?
    It seems the time is pregnant with possibilities for a great discourse and debate of pro and con on the feast presented by JHK.
    But rather, the opportunity, is squandered on mere piffle’s…
    IMHO…

    • ozone September 28, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      For me, there’s not much to say after providing some links that [hopefully] relate to the week’s topic and give me a deeper understanding of the subject at hand. I did not and do not enjoy nasty exchanges with nasty people.

      From there, I mostly just follow what conversation there may be and read/view provided links.

      Perhaps we’re just loath to start shit with each other, having had to wade through FAR too much of that in the past.

      Hey, I think I just posted piffle! 😉

      • Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 11:49 am #

        LOL, yeah, I think you did.
        Shoot, if we’re all in agreement then how boring is that?

        • Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 11:50 am #

          Oh shit, so did I (post a piffle).
          OMG, what are we coming too…

  84. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    “Piffle,” you say?

    OK, what do you want to talk about?

    And I believe properly managed comment sections to news articles could save the world! Unless they break it into 100’s of pieces.

  85. Deblonay September 28, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Re Iran and the USA
    Is the meeting with the Iran leader a sign that Obama will NOT allow the US to be dragged into another war in the Middle East..now or in the future?

    The endless push by Netanyahu and his AIPAC supporters in the US is for war aided and abbeted by McCain and the rest of the warmongering Neo-Cons…that way lies ruin ..and financial disaster for an already embattled US economy..the mioney for war is no longer there
    As the US Empire comsumes much national; capital…an end to war as a policy option is the only way
    Obama deserves praise for this
    Let Netanyahu fume and bluster…if he wants a war with Iran…and !he does..let him and his pay for it …and do the fighting and dying too

  86. nsa September 28, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    Having achieved Full Spectrum Dominance and Total Information Awareness so easily, our goal here in Langley is now occult: to turn our most fervent supporters into virulent enemies……to turn our most virulent enemies into our most fervent supporters…..just as poisonous precipitate goes in and out of solution depending on the heat applied to the warlock’s cauldron…..

  87. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Yeah, ‘zone – except JMG (and his allowed and/or unchallenged commenters, which is the same thing) draw some sharp distinctions between Atheism as a religion of progress, and (lower case) atheism.
    That’s a battle Turkleton and I fought to something like a draw. 😉

    And as regards, “Regarding the resource/climate wars (exacerbated/caused by over-population), they’re just getting started and the resulting migration of untold millions will overwhelm any of the current ‘policies’. Desperate measures will become a very unpleasant norm when this all gears up.”

    You are 100% correct about this. Which is why I tirelessly advocate for controlling population growth inside the US right NOW, while we can still do something about it.

    It makes more sense to face the future you predict with 315 million souls on the US landmass, rather than with 500 million++.

    Which raises a “timeline to collapse question,” as we have addressed before.

  88. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    And what NSA keeps “hinting at,” certainly sounds plausible.

    Thanks for keeping us informed, but please don’t begin to troll.

  89. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I wish JHK would post something about the negatives and positives of comment sections.

    What you want to discuss, arn? Just a little sparring to get warmed up? We don’t have to draw blood, you know?

    • Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

      What you want to discuss, arn? Just a little sparring to get warmed up? We don’t have to draw blood, you know?
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      No, no blood. That’s no fun at all.

      I wish JHK would post something about the negatives and positives of comment sections.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Now that’s a splendid idea. I’m somewhat convinced commenting on blogs is of no intrinsic value in solving the massive problems facing the U.S.; but may have some value for the individual posters and their POV. The exchange of ideas is the best way to discovery and the antithesis of provincialism.

  90. Pucker September 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Below are Doomsday blogs suggested by others. No one recommends Dmitri Orlov’s blog? Or Guy McPherson? Any others? Nicole Foss seems to “Have-Her-Shit-Together”. Thanks.

    doomsteaddiner.net/blog/

    Some I frequent are Zero Hedge, the Automatic Earth, Cryptogon, TSHTF plan, the Market Ticker, Peak Prosperity, Mish’s Global Market Trend Analysis, Vivek Wadhwa, Some Assembly Required. There are others I won’t mention as I don’t have the time.

    Four more more I’d recommend are The Hipcrime Vocab, The Archdruid Report, Ran Prieur, and Resilient Communities. I would recommend Neal Rauhauser’s WordPress blog, but he has a disturbing proclivity to delete his best entries and unpublish and republish his blog. The man is brilliant, but too paranoid for his own good.

    fredoneverything.net/ , “

  91. Being There September 29, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Note to those who miss the “conversations”. The trolls, etc. threw much of the conversation off-topic and distorted the conversation. Sure there were many more posts to go through, but I just skipped over much of it.

    We had some great bloggers here in the past but they either got purged or other things have gotten in the way. I’ve been working far too much to blog these days, otherwise I would be adding new info every day.

    Today I will be meeting someone we all know as Wagelaborer who will be passing through NYC briefly. I will be working on site, but will take an hr. or so to meet her.

    P4P, The population increase is adding to our demise but we have a political party who is obsessed with controlling the ladies and can’t stop trying to pass bills that will limit access to birth control, let alone abortions.

    Pucker—don’t forget Resilience.com Max Keiser and Paul Craig Roberts, Michael Ruppert, Asia Times online and Matt Taibbi on Rolling Stone site. and Webster Tapley, an interesting historian who writes and speaks about today’s issues in historical context.

    Our economy is becoming moribund and the corporate mindset is to keep cutting costs(human resources) even when making more money than ever. It’s the philosophical context and growth paradigm that is so destructive and will end up screwing them over too. It’s a recipe for disaster—One can only wonder what happens next…so far I think were all glad to see us not getting into yet another war that feeds the “private” contractors with tax-payer money.

    Don’t forget the fast-track TPP trade bill Obama’s going to sign in the coming month—that too will constrict our ability as a nation-state to protect ourselves against the future BPs.

    Remember No regulations, means no laws for the powerful.

  92. Deblonay September 29, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I think Obam’s cpntact with the Iran Pres Rouhami is one of the great moments in present day American affairs

    It will silence those who want America to make war on Iran(notably Netanyahu and his gang)and open the door to a new time of negotiations
    What a blow to the Israeli Lobby who want war at American expense
    v

  93. progress4what September 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    “I’m somewhat convinced commenting on blogs is of no intrinsic value in solving the massive problems facing the U.S.; but may have some value for the individual posters and their POV.”
    ….arn v….

    Well, I’d make the counterargument that changing enough individual POV’s would enable-.even force – US society to change direction.

    For example – if enough people understood that most of the Repub/Demo national politics is no more than symbolic bullshit designed to favor the interests of multi-national corporations.

    Then things might change for the better. A man can dream, right?

  94. progress4what September 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    “P4P, The population increase is adding to our demise but we have a political party who is obsessed with controlling the ladies and can’t stop trying to pass bills that will limit access to birth control, let alone abortions.” …bt…

    Political theater, bt. Granted, it’s been effective in keeping the Demo/Repub bases energized and distracted for 30+ years – but it’s political theater, nevertheless.

    I hope you and Wage found each other in the big city. It’s interesting that that’s at least 4 real world meetings of somewhat kindred souls – with those meetings prompted solely due to “meeting” on this CFN webspace.

    I suspect that’s better than average – which points to the unique qualities of JHK and some of his readership.

    • Being There September 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      P4W

      Really great to meet Wage and husband and enjoyed a meal together. It is indeed amazing that we should have started commenting on a blog and although we live far apart, there is a common thread.

      will check out the url you posted.

  95. progress4what September 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    You should like this BT. It’s written by a Brit, and some of the comments have so much British slang and idiom that they were hard for me to decipher. But he suggests the global neo-lib agenda will fail in the end. Which gives reason for some optimism.

    hat4uk.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/the-saturday-essay-why-the-nation-state-existing-in-a-globalist-cont…
    “Globalism, which itself originated largely from the US as an extension of unification, is just an even larger form of Supranationalism: both are based on warped multinational business-efficiency ideas, and (especially in the EU) driven by the politician’s infinite quest for power – not any realistic study of social anthropology. The more that these internally flawed concepts are tried, the more their failure merely shows how the smaller tribe works better.

    This is not a new process in human history. The Roman Empire was based largely on military conquest and pillage, but that too failed to quell the desire of the conquered to be free. Once the expansion became too extensive to administer and too expensive to defend, it failed….and returned to localism for over a thousand years.”

  96. JB September 30, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    The end is coming. At least for those who think that virtual investments and e-banking are things that brought us to modernity. True modernity lies on the exact opposite – localization, off the grid. It won´t be like in the Middle Ages – we have internet, science, and other dangerous stuff that makes us less vulnerable to the manifestations of any power. I still believe humans are born to be free. Ben Bernake is a stupid guy who thought he would be able to cheat on us forever. But bad things come to an end. Now let him see, in his multi-million dollar residence, sitting and thinking about the financial problems of the future.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Neon Vincent September 23, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I find it appropriately ironic, if not downright perverse, that the week the Dow and S&P 500 hit all time highs was the week of the fifth anniversary of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. The Sunday night before that event, when it was clear that Lehman Brothers would not be rescued the way AIP and others were (I guess it paid Goldman Sachs to have former executives as high government officials), I wrote “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1929.” And we did.

    While Wall Street may have observed the anniversary in the breach, CNN Money looked back at the event, along with the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and the continuing income inequality that’s resulted from our economic situation. It seems that not much has changed during the past five years on Wall Street.

    crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/09/cnn-money-on-lehman-brothers-five-years.html

  2. George September 23, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    It occurred to me that without the Fed’s buying of bogus paper, we’d all be experiencing a really intense form of deflation, one where everything would be worth less every day until it all become worthless. Actually, the fed’s actions aren’t really doing anything but helping to feed the illusion that that which is worthless isn’t.

    margewargis.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/chapter-3-1-what-do-energy-climate-change-have-to-with-it/

  3. swmnguy September 23, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Our system of corporate finance capitalism, where money is debt and all activity is based on some form or other of lending at interest, simply doesn’t work. The math eventually leads to absurd necessities. We’re there now. It wasn’t hard to predict; many have predicted it over and over, including Karl Marx.

    The problem is that this system requires infinite resources, energy,, markets, and money. In the physical world we inhabit, of these only money can be made infinite, and that only by making it abstract. We’re out of continents to plunder. Everybody who has the money and place to plug it in has a TV and a refrigerator. Our remaining energy sources are either insanely dangerous or take more energy to recover than they yield.

    So we have to make money infinite, with the absurdities that entails. Among those absurdities is the need to keep it a secret that money is infinite, and to make it infinite for some but not for others. That’s why Bernanke’s printing $85 billion per month (!?!) hasn’t caused hyperinflation. The money hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s a private debt jubilee for the biggest investment banks, only. They created debt that didn’t really exist, and now it’s being redeemed by money that doesn’t really exist.

    If all that unreality would stay in its unreal bubble, I suppose that would be OK. Unfortunately,, it seeps out. Now instead of savings and investment, we have lottery tickets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other things self-deludingly called “Assets.” These things do have a value, if you care to go far enough to the right side of the decimal point to define it. Naturally we don’t care to.

    But that’s what we’re eventually going to do. We will discover the true value of things, eventually. It will take a long time and there will be lots of kicking and screaming. I’m guessing most paper certificates will turn out to have very little value. But mechanical devices that work, and knowledge that doesn’t require cheap energy, will be very valuable indeed.

    And people like Ben Bernanke will have very little value indeed, unless they look good in bells and motley.

    • lsjogren September 23, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Marx was even more oblivious than capitalists to the possibility of resource scarcity, so to whatever extent he “got it right” on the downfall of capitalism it was based on “wisdom” on a scale comparable to that of someone who happens to call a coin flip correctly.

      • swmnguy September 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

        That’s true, of course. That isn’t what I meant, though. Even before you get to notions of resource scarcity, the fundamental mathematics of finance capitalism as it has evolved become self-contradictory. Before we had hit the limits of various resources, but when we still had “hard” currencies, finance had frequent crises. Those were what Marx was responding to. Those crises were rooted in imbalances that created recurring scarcities of money.

        Those crises were what eventually led to the creation of abstract money. That solved that immediate problem, but left the door open to others as we all know. And then when physical limitations and resource scarcity began to bite, the pressure on infinite abstract money intensified. That led us to remove any and all reasonable limitations on the manipulation of abstract capital, which has had the predicted consequences. The cycles of crisis/action/reaction/new crisis seem to be tightening.

        I have personal experience in persisting with courses of action that are inherently flawed and eventually don’t work. The longer I stick with them, the worse things get.

  4. selaretus September 23, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Jim your title, (Taper) knot reminds me of a time when the English were trying to remove all vestiges of Celtic culture from the Isles. To expedite this, and to subdue those pesky Welsh, the schools began a program of punishing school children for speaking their native tongue. The ‘teachers’ would hang the ‘Welsh knot’ around the neck of any child they or a snitch heard speaking the language. Of course much embarrassment and chiding accompanied said adornment. By analogy, if old Benny Bucks Bernanke and the Fed had begun tapering, he would be wearing your ‘Taper Knot’ around his scrawny neck at this hour, and couldn’t wait to pass it on to the next poor slob (his replacement perhaps?) who even mentions tapering.

  5. jdcandon September 23, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Lex Organdi,

    Lex Credendi,

    Lex Vivendi.

    TWAHCD!

    Dynan

  6. Pucker September 23, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    According to the Chinese translation of the Russian book, “The Final Year of the Soviet Union”, it appears that the former Soviet Union suffered a collapse in discipline in the Communist Party.

    So far the money printing in the U.S. is holding things together, imposing a kind of Party discipline, right?

    But one wonders what the banks are going to eventually do with all that cash? Eventually the Banks will probably just declare themselves to be the government.

  7. lsjogren September 23, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    “the poor schnooks at the margins”

    Schnooks, good one. I think the usual term people would use is “schumcks”.

    The only connotation I know of for “schnook” is the Firesign Theater skit about making extra income by growing schnook in your toilet in your spare time.

    To the extent Kunstler’s predictions bear out, more people may have to contemplate taking up that hobby.

  8. Malthus September 23, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Come on. Lets just get this over with. Every day the same old stupid story. “oh things are just going to get better for everyone.” Hogwash. Let the other shoe drop. It’s like hanging in space over a thousand foot drop and the rope is fraying and you know it will break soon. But when. Its like death. You know you are going to die but when is the question. All our technology and wishful thinking is not helping. Come on lets get the damned illusion over with.

    • SteveO September 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      I agree completely. If the “invisible hand of the market” had been allowed to take its course in 2008, we’d be well on the road to recovery by now and, as a bonus, we’d be rid of the likes of JP Morgan, Citicorp, BofA and all the investment banks.

      • HARM September 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

        Are you out of your mind? The current situation is the direct result of 33 years of America’s “deregulate everything” laissez-faire extreme libertarianism. The only “invisible hand” that exists in reality is the hand of .01% capitalists picking the pockets of everyone else.

        The *real* “Road to Serfdom” lies in destroying the bedrock social contract and moral basis for law and replacing it with “anything goes” capitalist anarchy. Capitalist anarchy inevitably leads to “one dollar, one vote” crony capitalism and endemic corruption, which inevitably leads to fascism.

        If you want a vision for where America is headed, take a look at any South American banana republic or former Soviet Bloc oligarchy.

        • Malthus September 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

          Perhaps you haven’t noticed but this country is already fascist. I Like the term capitalist anarchy haven’t seen that before.

  9. Superfishal September 23, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Could we be being setup for the one with all the answers? The anti-Christ?

  10. lsjogren September 23, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I share Kunstler’s contempt for the notion of American Exceptionalism.

    And it is a disease that affects not only many on the political right but also left. For example, every single Democrat (even the handful of right wing Democrats) in the US Senate voted for an immigration bill that would add 50 million permanent legal workers to the US workforce in the next 10 years. The only possible rationalization I can see for such an insane act is if one believes the US, unlike the rest of the world, has a labor market that is not subject to the law of supply and demand. American Exceptionalism at work.

    • heathenhank September 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      But….BUT…BUT….A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS!?!!

      It’s always going to work you…..you….negative person!

      F.Y.I., establishment conservatives think immigration is absolutely swell, except for such bigoted, venomous, cretins like Jeff Sessions.

      online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324492604579083080268106684.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

    • Karah September 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Putin raised this point in his letter to the NYT concerning the Syrian “conflict” and the escalation to Weapons of Mass Human Destruction.

      Why should Ben Bernanke or the President of the U.S.A. have the final say about ANYTHING overseas?

      Why is the U.S. dollar exceptional? Geography of Nowhere really points out how much of our current way of life is not worth caring about, it’s not reasonable, by being staged to service the personal automobile. Has anyone looked at that particular asset and agreed with its value? Most cars lose their perceived value the minute they’re driven off the lot; however, everyone is still paying the insurance companies for all the truly valuable things cars can destroy – human life and real property. If anything should be classed as a WMHD, it should be the personal automobile. A thousand missiles are sent through your town via HIGHWAY every half hour. The only deterrent to the massive violent onslaught are a set of golden arches. Suddenly everything slows down and cash flows in and drivers have a pleasant sugar high. So that dollar burger and drink is really worth MORE in the long run of the survival of the American civilisation.

  11. ozone September 23, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    “When the world picks itself up from the smoldering ruins of the financial landscape currently being rigged to blow, nobody will be able to explain how the modern world collateralized itself out of existence.”
    -JHK

    Jim,
    Yep. …And that’s just about the weirdest aspect of the whole exercise! It’s like it was brought about by magical incantations and the summoning of demons. Wha’happen?

    BTW, being “outside the consensus” firmly implies that one has a lick of sense (or perhaps even more ;)) in these days of delusion and trickery.
    Most of the links I tend to ferret out tend to be by those who [like yourself] see things as they are, rather than as we’d wish them to be.
    This is also where we get some explanations of wha’happen and why.
    So…. Thanks!

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Um, I don’t know what I’m tending there, but please do not attend to the tending toward too many tends…
      -Troubled Yout’

  12. mika. September 23, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    “Faced with such a quandary, the schnooks may opt for political suicide, which is apparently the program of both major parties. Out of this sort of tragic muddle, Great Men emerge to galvanize the potential energy of the swindled multitudes. Recent models of this archetype are not so reassuring: Lenin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ayatollah Khomeini.” — JHK
    ==

    All of the names you mentioned above (and in fact all the names that we are familiar with) were financed and cultivated by the US. Specifically, US banks and corporations. These banks and corporations are subsidiaries of the Vatican mafia and its Secret Service agencies (both the official ones and unofficial ones). The great Medusa with its various snakes.

    If you follow the great theme(s) of history, it all makes makes sense. Their contrived dialectic is meant to shape and drive the future towards the “New World Order”, which is really the old fasci Roman Empire. To get a glimpse into this read the work of historians Anthony Sutton, Carroll Quigley, Edwin Black.

    mika.

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Here you go then; the names that would rather not be named. Invoke them at your peril. (Yes, they’re there, you’ve got to keep reading through the article.)

      projectcensored.org/exposing-financial-core-transnational-%E2%80%A8capitalist-class/

      • This list is not tabulated in terms of Trillions, but millions. The total assets of this group of 35 are $38.33 trillion.

        The total global GDP is about $70 trillion.

        I don’t know what to do with these facts, mainly because I am not an economist.

      • mika. September 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

        Not one word on the Vatican mafia. Not one word regards the fact the real center of power is in Europe. The US fascist slave plantation is a subsidiary of Rome. That’s all it is. Your fascist US “elites” are merely managers. They don’t write the real script, because they don’t know the real script. They are completely bamboozled by greed and the false dialectic. Even though many of them know it is a contrived dialectic and that in fact without US banks and corporations there would be no Commie Soviet Union, there would be no Nazi Reich, there would be no Japanese or Chinese menace, and on and on. ALL these boogeyman regimes are birthed and sponsored to advance the dialectic. A false dialectic designed to mask reality with a false propaganda narrative, as the new World Roman Empire takes shape. And all the while the old Roman Catholic agenda of imperial theft, war, and genocide of “heretics” and rivals to Roman Catholicism continues, deliberately unnoticed by the Vatican/CIA propaganda outlets.

        Read Anthony Sutton, and the documentation he provides that shows this very clearly.

    • James Howard Kunstler September 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      For the record, I don’t subscribe to that brand of paranoia — JHK

  13. Greg Knepp September 23, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    A good deal of hypothetical wealth seems to concentrate in the stock market, which acts as a sort of magnet for ‘liquidity’. Much of this liquidity is generated by the government via the program called ‘quantitative easing’ or QE. Much like a religion, the whole process is a closed system based largely on a set of mutually accepted delusions too complicated and weird to explore in this short comment. (Greer has some interesting commentary on ‘civic religion’ but I’m not certain if he addresses the stock market)

    The relationship between the real economy and the stock market has all but dissolved. Hence, any hint of ‘tapering’ causes the market to dive, whereas real-life stats on trifles such as aggregate debt, unemployment (especially participation rates) natural disasters, political paralysis, mass murders, war, ecological catastrophe, resource depletion etc. have scant impact on market valuations.

    I believe that the problem with your notoriously inaccurate stock market predictions, Mr Kunstler, has nothing to do with your assesment of the general state of the economic order (which seems pretty realistic) rather, with your seeming assumption that the stock market is capable of a rational response to same.

  14. K-Dog September 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    “nobody will be able to explain how the modern world collateralized itself out of existence.”

    No, the tragedy this time is that there are actually a few wise sages who scream in the wilderness.

    But nobody hears them.

    Exceptionalism yes, but not just American. Exceptionalism is a delusion that colors the human condition of all lands.

    Necessity being the mother of invention, technological innovation asserts whenever an ecological catastrophe looms. One way of doing something is replaced by another. A more efficient way is found that alleviates a population bottleneck. Root causes are never addressed and the short term strategy of technical innovation puts the issue on hold for a while. The new bottleneck, the last bottleneck, the limits of growth is reached. But our society can’t ‘get it’ that further growth is impossible.

    Banks operate the economy on an endless cycle of growth which has now become impossible. Cheap resources are gone, the dirt around our tree of life is sterile, leached clean. The world economic tree, is rootbound. The fertilizer of accounting fraud keeps the leaves green but not for long.

    It is a story often repeated. Population bottlenecks have made civilization rise as one technical change after another has kept the party going. Technological change usually does more than just alleviate the technical bottleneck that spurred an innovation. Technological change often overshoots the mark as increases in efficiency usually do more than just eliminate a population bottleneck.

    Technical change creates a temporary surplus. Innovations give headroom to up standards of living until a new population bottleneck. But not this time. The externalities of accounting fraud; the massive distrust and polarization between those who benefit and those who do not are huge and will cancel out the temporary social benefit of accounting fraud in very short order. The last technical innovation will fail when the attrition it causes becomes felt to the swindled multitudes.

    • beantownbill. September 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      So, K-Dog, you are saying that technology isn’t really the issue, ultimately overpopulation is?

      If so, your opinion would be more along the lines of my own thoughts. All the stupidity, bad decisions and corruption we see around us is actually just form, not substance, and ultimately is not important. Humanity always has lived miserably, and will continue to do so, until the resultant mass depopulation reset that’s roaring down the track (per PP&M, I can hear the whistle blow…). When that happens, I hope the survivors manage to somehow maintain our current level of technology, more or less. This reset will give us yet another chance to get things right, but it is going to be touch and go.

      • K-Dog September 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

        The survivors will not maintain anything like current technology which depends on complexity, energy and resources. With collapse and a sudden depopulation the survivors loose all three.

        Intelligent transition is the best option. Maintain sufficient complexity to support reorganization of remaining resources and energy supplies. Change lifestyles and the way business is done. Unfortunately we probably don’t have the choice of a soft collapse. Insufficient change will seal our doom.

        Yes technology isn’t really the issue. Overpopulation is.

        • Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

          The idea that human negativity is based on material lack is a Marxist idea – and incorrect as a principle although I admit it is a factor at the level of motivation and actual experience. There will still be War after the Long Emergency is over with. It is the extension of competition by other means. Or do you imagine that a New Eden will result from the collapse? And that people will no longer want more than just what they need?

          • sevenmmm September 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

            Perhaps those in the future will be happy to just be alive…

      • Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

        Remember, these back to the Earth types, including Tripp, refuse to admit that Hunter Gatherers engaged in deadly warfare at their own very small scale. The Aborigines actually hunted people from other tribes as game.

        Now you say that all this was just the result of their low tech, that if they had more and better food then they wouldn’t have. But horticulturalists also fought as did herders and farmers. You maintain your position. Only when Man is godlike in his power and prosperity – at the level of the individual – will he stop fighting. Are you sure? Might it not have become, how shall I say, a Habit? A genetic one? The great Philosopher of Man as God, Nietzsche, also said that this God loved battle for its own sake. Great warriors like Robert E Lee said as much in his letters to other military men – and the duty of having to hide this to maintain standing in polite Christian society.

        Other cultures have been more honest about this saying only that the violence must be ritualized, or made into a game. And when real War broke out, let it only be with other Warriors. As Turk once said, this second provision has seldom held. But the game aspect has been used by pc anthropologists to pretend that primitives didn’t engage in real war. Sure, the Pains Indians played the game of counting coup. Above that, they would raid for horses or women. And above that, they played for keeps – attempting to massacre or drive out other tribes. Ditto for the Papuans on New Guinea. At the game level, they would line up a hundred feet apart yelling insults and throwing spears, admiring themselves as they leapt out of the way. But they also raided and fought for real.

    • BackRowHeckler September 24, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Hey K Dog tell that to the kids lined up last week to buy the latest
      i Phone.

  15. fugeguy September 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    “They’ve got our gold now, and despite the theory that gold has no more intrinsic value than $100 Federal Reserve notes, you can bet that before this is all over it will buy whatever food and fuel remains in the ground.”

    The treasuries are empty…except the IOU’s and copies of dreams of my father…

  16. toktomi September 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    “It was perfectly obvious all spring and summer that the Federal Reserve could not neck down its purchases of US Treasury debt paper and bundled mortgage swindles without causing the equivalent of the 1942 Boston Coconut Grove nightclub fire in the financial markets.”

    EXACTLY! It’s coming and perhaps, too, a partial govt default and a partial shutdown of crude supply. And don’t count the global pandemic out quite yet. A failure of the majority of the grid might also be in order.

    It is all a take-down in the making.

    These remaining times are the good ol’ days. Life as a sentient creature in the luxury of 20th century USA has been a privilege beyond measure. I can’t say that the stress and fear of the impending collapse during the last [too many] years has been much of treat but I’m not complaining. Would somebody, please, say goodnight to Gracie?

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      And let us not leave out Genetically Modified Organisms let loose to run amok and replicate man-made poisons in formerly benign and nutritious food crops as a possible million-pound shit-hammer that might just kill us all. (Or maybe, ‘only’ most of us.)

      Oh, gohwahn, it’s because we have better REPORTING of all these cancers that make for them scary numbers. Don’t be a Nervous Nellie, fer chris’sakes, gene thingies and pesticidals are good for the humanity, ain’cha heard?

      Goodnight, Gracie.

  17. bsammut@comcast.net September 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    “What fools these mortals be!”

    ‘Outside the consensus’ describes perfectly how my views stand in today’s U.S. society.

    Anybody out there have views on timing the next financial crater?

    Last week the Fed bought $55,000 million to keep the 10year t’bond below 3%.

    Looks desperate to me.

    Cheers,

    b

    PS. Thanks Mr. Kunstler for the description.

  18. bsammut@comcast.net September 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    “What fools these mortals be!”

    ‘Outside the consensus’ describes perfectly how my views stand in today’s U.S. society.

    Anybody out there have views on timing the next financial crater?

    Last week the Fed bought $55,000 million to keep the 10year t’bond below 3%.

    Looks desperate to me.

    Cheers,

    b

    PS. Thanks Mr. Kunstler for the description.

  19. budizwiser September 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    it seems that the current “faith” in pieces of paper that represent vast sums of labor, energy and resources is not so much different from the stories told by witch doctors, high priests and popes and other men of so-called historical prominence.

    here – deep in the bowels of a new age “electronic-jungle” we know other truths – but these truths hardly matter if our collective herds are led by Believers of the global paper.

    our fate – like much of the “new global history” – will be controlled and written by those who lead the herds. since so few of us know how we got here, nor where “we are” – its unlikely to understand much about where we are being led.

    it would be great if some author could some how articulate the status of “peak incredibility” or “peak confidence” so we could have a reference point of when TSHTF could start.

    as long as people with oil take paper for currency – no problem

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Bud-
      I sympathize with your politely asking for a timeline leading to the great denouement, but it’s absolutely beyond my ken as well.
      To pretend to know when the pretending will end is to pretend enough to make those Hollywood movie ‘products’. (And everyone seems to have a different idea of what the prime indicators might be. Surely EROEI is a giant among precursors, but as you indicate, folks are still taking paper promises on the future productivity/labors of their great-grandchildren for the indispensable black goo.)

  20. Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Perhaps Erich Von Daniken was right in his book “Gold of the Gods”. The “Gods” were simply those Alien immigrants who had the smarts to keep their gold and therefore the money to buy or make space ships and get OUT as their planetary economies collapsed. By making Gold sacred, they were trying to teach this Truth in a way simple enough for us to understand at the time. Only later with the arising of Giants like Franklin, Adams, and Rand could we understand as the Gods once did.

  21. nsa September 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    We here in Langley look on with bemusement……the game is over……checkmate. We create your reality and then you live in it……

  22. rube-i-con September 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    ho hum. oh look dear, the world is ending again.

    the very slow demise of petroleum reserves is leading very nicely to other energy sources being developed.

    we’ve gone over this before. the info’s there, look it up.

    heck, even human energy can replace lots of formerly fossil fuel fed items, for example the train station in sweden that uses body heat from tons of daily visitors to heat the place.

    jhk’s prediction that the “…consequences, which will be the repudiation of what is officially called “money.” is just another laffable phrase to be put next to Dow 4,000.

    jim, for a guy so smart, how you can honestly cling to this coming mad max scenario is beyond me.

    the guys that control the money spigots control virtually everything. everyone on the planet’s addicted to greenbacks, so don’t be looking for greenbacks to suddenly become unpopular.

    not that i don’t like gold, i love the stuff and have dabbled in it over the last decade.

    but still, guys, world ain’t ending, there’s no massive starvation around the corner – hell, lots of folks in Europe and the US are growing food in little lots, on building tops etc. – jesus ain’t coming back (no, folks, he is not, sorry, and i actually love the guy but can still face the truth), and technology has us firmly headed towards colonising space.

    economy’s not the greatest, but when ever was it something to write home about? you gonna tell me it was better when everything was on an inflated sugar high in 2003-2007?

    if anything it’s readjusted to more normality.

    peace peaceniks

  23. Smoky Joe September 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Bernanke may be arranging mirrors to make the smoke seem more substantial, but he is at least trying to hold things together.

    The Tea Party zealots in Congress, who began with a good idea that the Federal Government has grown too large, are the nightmare in the house (House, literally), wreckers who may bring the system down in a few weeks.

    Nothing Bernanke can do to stop that train-wreck.

  24. Janos Skorenzy September 23, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Heck, if all else fails why not Whale Farms? We used to get all our oil from Whales, so why not raise them? Greenpeace types would have to be jailed as enemies of the state.

    I’m reading a book about the sinking of the Essex by a sperm whale, a monster with the guile of a man. The Essex incident was the inspiration for Melville’s Moby Dick. Fascinating facts: the Whalers of Nantucket were mostly Quakers. Kindness to animals was part of early Quakerism but it never became an absolute principle since that means vegetarianism. And also there was money to be made, damn it. The inner light never was allowed to get in the way of that either. On this principle they were as one with their Puritan Brethren. The women seldom saw their whaler husbands since the journeys lasted two years and the processing was done on board. They used opium and and a plaster device called “He’s at Home” to ease their loneliness.

  25. AKlein September 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    And what do countries do when they have no solutions to pressing internal problems? Hmmm. How about WAR. That’s what should worry all of us. A good, hot, war with lots of civilian casualties can work wonders. After WWII, do you think the Germans had any more need for Lebensraum, after having had a goodly percentage of their populace eradicated?
    The harsh fact is that virtually none of us in the US have any idea of the horrors of war and the dysfunction that it metes out on the populace. After a few really ugly incidents of war here in the US, like the enemy – whoever he may be – bombing us, we will have zero concern about all the financial finagling nor all the unethical practices that we currently rail about. And when that happens the “problems” are solved, because nobody thinks they are very important anymore.

    • ozone September 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Why, whatever do you mean, Al?
      War has never touched the shores and heartland of……. oh, wait… wasn’t there some civilized type war at some remove in the un-recalled past? …Things and people are so different now, are they not? History no longer provides any lessons, does it?

  26. drewkeeling September 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    The Federal Reserve is 100 years old. It has survived depressions, bank holidays, mass bankruptcies, financial crises and world wars. Of course, ANY currency ultimately depends on sellers and investors having faith that it will retain its value and function, and such faith can diminish quickly in times of stress. But when Germans loaded wheelbarrows with paper money in 1923, they were not wheeling them to the incinerator. They were seeking to exchange their fast-depreciating paper for something of more lasting value. When you see something else -property, commodities, gold coins, cheese doodles- appreciating at a fast and sustained clip, and inflation in general accelerating, THAT will be the time to think about panicking. Meanwhile, what about the recent claims that sprawl is back in fashion? How about more on THAT topic here?

  27. fairguy September 24, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    The unsustainability of the Fed’s tapering is starting to be reflected by mainstream analysts in media such as CNBC. Now, the question is one of timing: the more central banks work to avert the next meltdown by keeping their thumbs on the CTRL-P button, the more severe it will be. That is the ” dilemma ” Bernanke faces as he transitions to a quiet and luxurious retirement of the 1%.

    One thing we can be sure of, our feckless politicians will be the last to see the train wreck as they have their heads up their asses in trivial and manufactured crises. It really matters little whether our fiscal regime is solid when its underlying basis is a currency about to implode like — a house of cards.

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