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The AFTA Act of 2012

     Over the years, I’ve spotlighted America’s telephone system as the single best example of the diminishing returns of technology in everyday life. This sort of negative “blowback” occurs when you apply technological innovation to make a system work better, and you actually make it worse.
     As I tell it, we’ve spent four decades and untold billions of dollars to computerize every phone system in America. The objective was to “improve communications.” The net result of all this effort and investment is that it is now just about impossible to get a live human being on the phone at any company, agency, or institution in our land. Instead, you get to talk to robots who emit the reassuring message: “…your call is important to us….” Of course, that one obvious lie is only one of the million lies we are exposed to daily in our culture of immersive untruth, which propels us ever-deeper into the politics of unreality, and it should be important to us, but I digress….
     By computerizing all the phone systems we allowed every company, agency, and institution to dump all of their transactional inconveniences onto us, the customers, clients, and citizens. That was done in the name of “efficiency,” another unexamined evil buzzword from the MBA playbook of mendacious bullshit that passes for received wisdom in this deluded nation of craven Babbitts. Thus, the Acme Corporation gets to save $250-K a year in combined salaries and benefits of what used to be called telephone operators or receptionists. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Acme callers every year get strung out, jerked off, fucked around, driven mad, and just plain lost in the wilderness of robotic phone trees they are induced to enter in the name of “efficiency.” Multiply that number of Acme “efficiency” victims by tens of thousands of companies and organizations and you end up with a lot of damage to a lot of people.
       The sheer cruelty and stupidity implicit here is too great to calculate – has anyone ever tried? Has anyone at MIT’s Sloan School or the University of Chicago, or Wharton ever tried to measure the suffering inflicted on the American public in the name of all this vaunted efficiency?
     Is there anyone reading this blog right now who had not ended such a phone call in tears this past year, or dashed their handset against the wall, or, worst of all, actually found themselves engaged in an insult match with the robot at the other end of the line?
     Little more than a week ago, I was boned like a Christmas turkey on an orthopedic operating table. This was due to yet another diminishing return of technology. I’d been living with an “innovative” metal-on-metal hip implant that was being pushed for younger hip replacement patients back around 2003 as “longer-lasting” than the old metal-on-plastic joints. It turned out the devices were improperly tested. Huge numbers of them failed. The simple abrasion of the ball-joint assembly parts released cobalt and chromium ions into the surrounding tissues, destroying bone and muscle and inducing metalosis – systemic metal poisoning. I was one of the luckier ones. My tissues were not savaged, but I suffered a bewildering range of systemic poisoning symptoms for more than a couple of years. Such cases run to tens of thousands now, growing each year as the devices age and the failure rate surges. It is surely the biggest fiasco ever in modern orthopedics and the lawsuits against the makers of these “innovative” devices now stretch from Johns Hopkins to Alpha Centuri. But again, I digress slightly….
     The surgeon successfully switched out my implant. They sent me home about 36 hours later for the routine recovery process. In the course of things, I had to make phone calls to both the discharge department of the hospital where the operation was done, and to the office of the surgeon, a large group practice in a nearby city. In both cases, my calls where shunted into a bewildering robotic phone tree system. Here I was subjected to dead ends, dropped calls, mystifying routing errors, unasked-for salsa muzak mini-concerts, advertisements for services unrelated to my issue, phony reassurances from virtual persons as to the importance of my call, and lots of other gratuitous annoyances. In other words, this is considered  the proper, decent, and intelligent treatment of a four-day post-surgical patient half out of their skull on prescribed Percocet, one of the most powerful narcotics in the Pharma kitbag. In additional other words, our society is now so stupid that it treats post-surgical patient / doctor communications in the same manner as people calling a retail discounter to buy shoes. Actually, I’m quite sure it can be demonstrated that the shoe-buyers are treated way better than the post-surgical patients.
      All of this is consistent with one of my current cardinal political theories: that it is the subconscious wish of all the people now running things in this land to turn the USA into the Bulgaria of the Western Hemisphere by finding the worst possible way to get everything done with the greatest degree of collateral cruelty.
     From this precept, it would follow naturally that everything our leaders say and do about improving the dismal jobs picture is designed to be as inept and counterproductive as possible. That is, we don’t really want to provide more jobs for Americans; we just want to pretend that our intentions are good — while actually striving to make things worse.
    Hence, wishing to oppose these evil and tragic tendencies in the current flow of our history, I offer a potent policy initiative to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country: the 2012 Answer the Fucking Telephone Act. My proposal won’t cost a dime. Simply get congress and the senate to pass a law stating that in X, Y, and Z essential services and business, all incoming phone calls must be answered by real human beings, with criminal penalties for failing to do so. Add to that another layer of less essential businesses, institutions, agencies, and organizations who would not be subject to criminal penalties but would have to pay a substantial tax for every phone line not manned by a live operator – the tax designed to exceed the average salary and benefit package that could otherwise be provided to employ such a worker. 
     Conveniently, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the government can levy taxes on persons who omit to arrange health insurance coverage for themselves. Republican business avatar Mitt Romney reminded us all not long ago that corporations are people too. So, like the health insurance slackers, these companies can either cough up a tax to cover the social affliction they’re responsible for, or pay salaries to real human beings to answer the fucking telephone. 
     Answer the fucking telephone. It’s what’s good for America!

____________________________________

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James Howard Kunstler’s newest nonfiction book, TOO MUCH MAGIC, will be available in stores in July 2012. The book will be available at booksellers, large and small, online and off. To find out how you can help support local bookstores with your purchase, CLICK HERE. Other books:


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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

568 Responses to “The AFTA Act of 2012” Subscribe

  1. anti soak August 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Do Cell Phones cause cancer?
    How much is ‘E’ pollution causing illness?
    When I walk into some buildings, I get zapped.

  2. anti soak August 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Jim, read yr own latest book. Theres too much tech.
    ‘My proposal won’t cost a dime. Simply get congress and the senate to pass a law stating that in X, Y, and Z essential services and business, all incoming phone calls must be answered by real human beings, with criminal penalties for failing to do so.’
    I got a call one Sunday morning, from a bill collector IN THE PHILLIPINES, looking for my Ex Neighbor. they had the nerve to call me at 6 am
    for someone I dont know or like!
    Then I knew it was because I am the only one round here with a land line. They found me thru
    addresses.
    Make a call to a business thats ‘still in the USA’ and get someone in India. Call Ebay, etcetc.

  3. myrtlemay August 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    Brandon Raub, a retired marine, was “detained” for speaking out against our government this past weekend for comments he made on facebook. I encourage all CFN’ers to research this and take notice of what is happening to our freedom of speech.

  4. Dave B August 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Jim,
    For starters, best of luck with your recovery. Now, with respect to the Phone situation. I think you may underestimate the cluster fuckness of big corporate America. I have to navigate these same phone black-holes as part of internal (i.e. job related) functions all the time. Add to that the fact that, at least in the case of IT “support”, when I do reach a person he/she is answering a phone in India! My computer and I are in Pennsylvania for fuck sake! The same phone abyss exists for HR and other internal services! This system deserves the death that awaits it.

  5. asoka.. August 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    For those not as old as some of us, who were not alive when Sinclair Lewis was still alive, and who may be puzzled by JHK’s literary reference to a “deluded nation of craven Babbitts,” here is the explanation from Wikipedia:
    Babbitt, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity. An immediate and controversial bestseller, Babbitt is one of Lewis’s most well known novels and was influential in the decision to award him the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930.
    You can get the book from a public library, or you can read the full text of the book online at this link: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015047531150

  6. xhalor August 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler,
    So sorry to hear about your post operative treatment. Pretty disgusting. I would say that your particular phone run around is the direct result of the the defective parts and the impending lawsuits the manufacturers were facing. They simply didn’t want to hear about it directly.
    Having worked in a busy Centennial Communications call center, I have mixed feelings about this week’s topic. The days when I had to fill in for one of the operators were just Hell. Responding to thousands of calls like yours? Wow.
    It was one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had in my life. In this job, it was Centennial doing almost all of the calling. Yes, I worked in the Collections Department. And, yes, there were times when I was one of those assholes who called you just as you were sitting down for dinner because your payment was three days late.
    Imagine a job where your shift is eight hours of the general public calling everyone in your family every foul name they can think of for the princely sum of $340.00 a week. Call quotas that were nearly impossible to achieve. Stick and move. Like bayonet training. No time to be nice to you. My ears were literally ringing at the end of these shifts.
    Not for me. Didn’t last there very long.
    Get Well Soon!

  7. asoka.. August 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    JHK asks:

    Is there anyone reading this blog right now who had not ended such a phone call in tears this past year, or dashed their handset against the wall, or, worst of all, actually found themselves engaged in an insult match with the robot at the other end of the line?

    First, let me say I support the 2012 Answer the Fucking Telephone Act, even though I have never ended a phone call in tears, or dashed my handset against the wall. I have always been polite to robots.
    But I do understand JHK’s frustration, and it is widely shared. What JHK is complaining about is IVR (interactive voice response), also called “voice jail.” A new survey has found that companies that put callers through phone tree hell are driving customers away in droves. More than eight in 10 consumers (83 percent) say they will avoid a company or stop giving it business after a poor experience with an automated phone system.
    Those aggravated customers are also becoming increasingly vocal, according to a nationwide poll of more than 2,100 consumers commissioned by Interactions Corporation, a supplier of automated voice and other interactive systems. More than 70 percent of consumers will share their negative IVR experience not just with the company itself, but also with friends and family, as well as the world at large, through word of mouth, social media and blogs.
    Of all available customer service methods, the most popular method far and away (67 percent) was the customer service representative, the survey found. When a live body wasn’t available, consumers’ next preference was website-based customer support (23 percent), then live chat with a customer service representative (18 percent). Only 16 percent chose IVR as the preferred option.
    SOURCE

  8. xhalor August 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Oh Yeah! Myrtlemay reminded me! There was a young, recently discharged Marine working in the Centennial call center that hated that job so much,
    HE RE-ENLISTED AND WAS SENT BACK TO IRAQ!!
    OK. I personally didn’t hate it that much.

  9. BeingThere August 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    JHK,
    Sorry to hear of your travails and hope you recover with a lot less aggravation than your phone experience.
    Yes, it’s the world as we never asked for and the no regulations folks are the ones who didn’t test your artificial hip to begin with.
    Hope you make as much as you can in a lawsuit!
    Yes, the phones are amazingly frustrating. Things are only going to get much worse than they already are.
    As Mose Allison would say:
    “I don’t worry about a thing, cuz I know nothing’s going to be alright.”

  10. asoka.. August 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    the no regulations folks are the ones who didn’t test your artificial hip to begin with. Hope you make as much as you can in a lawsuit!
    The “no regulations folks” don’t want corporate responsibility, so they are out to cap malpractice settlements and limit the fees that attorneys can be paid for representing plaintiffs in cases like JHK’s, even though the Texas experience has conclusively proved that tort reform does not lower health care costs.

    In 2003, Texas voters approved Proposition 12, tort reform which capped medical malpractice payouts and made it more difficult for patients to sue hospitals. Republican politicians, led by Gov. Rick Perry (R), claimed that doctors were providing less services to patients because they feared getting sued. Republicans, joined by a “Yes on 12” campaign funded by the health insurance industry, promised that the amendment would lower health care costs and bring an influx of doctors to the state. Since 2003, Republicans nationwide have touted Texas as a model for tort reform.

    Now, a group of researchers studying Texas Medicare spending have found no decrease in doctors’ fees for senior citizens between 2002 and 2009. Medicare payments to doctors rose 1 to 2 percent faster than the rest of the country, Northwestern professor Bernard Black, a researcher on the study, said.

    If the “small government” “no regulations” folks have their way, JHK will not get rich on a settlement.

  11. San Jose Mom 51 August 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    JHK,
    My heart is with you as you recover from your hip replacement.
    I think it’s a law in California that all doctors have to record the words: “If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911,” before you get to a live person. Super annoying!
    Best wishes as you recover.
    Jen

  12. ricky August 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Jim, regarding congress and the senate, fuck them too.

  13. asoka.. August 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    If the rich (over $250,000) were taxed at a higher rate (95% marginal tax rate over $250,000), we could have bigger government. If we had bigger government, we could have more regulations to protect people from situations like metal-on-metal hip implant failure JHK is suffering.
    For example, with bigger government we could have comprehensive national medical-device registries, unique device identifiers, the ability of data systems to “talk” to one another easily, and adequate funding for efforts to conduct postmarketing surveillance studies in the United States.
    For proof that big socialized medicine works, we only need look to Australian and England and Wales and their experience with assessing metal-on-metal hip implants. The first concerns regarding high revision rates for metal-on-metal hip implants arose out of the Australian joint registry in 2007, and additional data emerged from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales in 2010.
    These studies could be launched more quickly if there were an established USA-based infrastructure to support them and we taxed the rich to pay for it.
    Infrastructure investments would benefit all stakeholders: manufacturers could conduct less costly postmarketing trials and use the feedback for iterative device improvements; patients and clinicians would gain information on the risk–benefit profiles of devices; and the FDA would have more confidence that adverse health effects would be quickly identified.
    We need a bigger government, and more regulation, to address tragedies that affect so many patients.
    Source Information
    From the Medical Device Initiative, Pew Health Group, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC (J.P.R., I.S.R.); and the Patient-Centered Comparative Effectiveness Program at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York (A.S.).

  14. BeingThere August 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    You made some good points, there A.
    getting off the computer now.

  15. anti soak August 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    ‘We need a bigger government, and more regulation, to address tragedies that affect so many patients.’
    ????????????????????????????????????????????
    Myrtle May, Facebook is part of ‘Big Brother’ and the largest collection of Photos ever.
    Now they are mining this gold mine.

  16. Kyooshtik August 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Jim,
    Let me be the first today NOT to offer my best wishes for your recovery. It is simply too politically correct a thing to do for my taste and about as meaningless as that phone message that says “your call is important to us.”

  17. welles August 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    If the rich (over $250,000) were taxed at a higher rate (95% marginal tax rate over $250,000), we could have bigger government.
    There’s no logic to this thought. Government is not limited by access to funds, at least not at the national level you’re referring to.
    They can simply print up/credit themselves as much money as they need, as witnessed by the $4 trillion somehow ‘found’ and given to the bigass banks in 2008.
    The US is not about helping people, it’s about a very ethereal monetary elite controlling the population by subjecting it to created stresses – taxes, horrible health conditions, war, terrorism, the dialectical two-party system, rampant illegal immigration, the failure of multiculturalism, social security running out of money…
    It then offers up mind-numbing soothers, i.e. brain-dead television, deathly unhealthy ‘food’, making sure your vote ‘counts’, quotas for what are termed disenfranchised groups, the military, ‘investing’ in a hyper-rigged stock market.
    Common-sense, honest solutions are never forthcoming. The game plan is to keep the problems unsolved, yet argue them vociferously, to knock citizens off their emotional balance so as to influence them. Why are there only two political parties in a country of 320 million, if there is no mind control occuring?
    You have to unplug from media, from your church’s indoctrination, from your school, and learn not to be angry, to not resent, to see these traps clearly.
    You were born a blank slate, who put your personality into you?
    peace peaceniks

  18. harrykrebs August 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Back in 2003, I tried to get thru to you to tell about the doubts I had with those bionic joint replacements. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t answer the fucking phone.

  19. Brian F August 20, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    The American phone situation is a barometer of gigantic idiocy in this country. If America had any balls and wisdom we would pass the the AFTA tomorrow. Just what kind of fucking idiots hear a recorded message of, “Your call is important to us,” without lynching the people responsible for such absurdity? Most people have remarkably tedious messages even for their personal phones. A few years ago on my web site ( http://www.meltingclocktimes.com/mct-offers-500-to-anyone-who-invents-a-device-that-destroys-answering-machines ) I offered aspiring mad scientists $500 to whoever can invent a device that destroys these automated answering machines. Sadly, no one took me up on the offer. Maybe people thought I wasn’t serious. Do people think a robot telling them their call is important is serious?

  20. youmouyixia August 20, 2012 at 1:20 am #

      Azerbaijan State Border Service has announced that the Azerbaijani border guards near the southern border seized 66 kilograms of opium in the 17th.   wedding Gowns
      The announcement said that the border guards A day ?????? region with Iran at the junction found five illegal border crossers, exchange of fire with each other when trying to intercept. The border guards and wounded one of them, but failed to stop five people escaped from the A border. Subsequently searched the crossfire locations, the border guards found more than one parcel containing 66 kilograms of opium, and captured near the border crossings of three Azerbaijani man suspected of receiving goods.
      Iran and Azerbaijan are the countries bordering the Caspian Sea, northern Iran and southern Azerbaijan, about 700 km common border line, cross-border drug trafficking incident occurred.
     Water Heater

  21. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀
    I hope the recovery goes well and you be gettin the good shit when you need it.
    ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀
    The Acme Corporation gets to save $250-K a year in combined salaries and benefits of what used to be called telephone operators or receptionists. In a rational world the only justification for the existence of the Acme Corporation would be to to provide salaries and benefits for telephone operators and receptionists.
    The first lie was that it was done to improve communications. No, it was done for profit by small minds that can’t appreciate the bigger picture that it was not all about them.
    Lies lead to more lies and the mendacious bullshit goes on and on. It never stops.
    Criminal penalties for corporate people who fail to be good citizens. Great idea, as corporate people can’t go to jail like real ones can it is vitally necessary.

    A law stating that in X, Y, and Z essential services and business, all incoming phone calls must be answered by real human beings, with criminal penalties for failing to do so.

    WOOOOF !!!!!!! WOOOOF !!!!!!! WOOOOF !!!!!!!
    Smell the ☕ and pick up the ☎ America !!

  22. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    More flowers for you. Get well soon.
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    WOOOOF !!!!!!! WOOOOF !!!!!!!

  23. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    Imagine a job where your shift is eight hours of the general public calling everyone in your family every foul name they can think of for the princely sum of $340.00 a week. Call quotas that were nearly impossible to achieve. Stick and move. Like bayonet training. No time to be nice to you.
    Damn XHALOR I think I’d need some of the good stuff to survive a job like that. Not that the princely sum of $340.00 a week could provide much entertainment for the preservation of one’s mental health or any health at all.
    But $340.00 a week is $340.00 a week more than some dogs are earning right now.
    Dogs need to eat and if we had decent national health care $340 a week would be enough to keep the food bowl of a lot of dogs full.
    K-Dog All dogs eat !!
    AFTA Put America to work !!
    ✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆✆
    Support AFTA and scrap NAFTA !!!

  24. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    K-Dog
    The ✍ candidate.

  25. rocco August 20, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    I would like Congrat NASA again for the 35 year of operations for Voyager Two, still exploring and discovering, so all you Ron Paul fans, there goes the govermunt again. The netflix movie for JHK and the rest of us all tired of all the lies is ‘god bless america”.

  26. BeingThere August 20, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Was just listening to journalist Walter Pincus of the Washington Post interviewed about an article he wrote in July about our privatized military.
    Just as in all areas of public service and private industry, the military, too goes in and out the revolving door from government to privatized contracting.
    Ah, just another gigantic boondoggle as everything else in this late great nation.
    Yup, ya know the folks (Republicans) who keep saying how they only want to shrink government, but refuse to cut anything from the Penatagon? Well, they just love the hundreds of $billions from the government for war contracting and baby, it ain’t gonna stop.
    Yes, this is what the elderly are in a death fight for and they have no idea what they are up against. We all have to live in austerity while our tax dollars are flowing into private security and military operations with all kinds of justifications why we can’t stop fighting wars.
    Remember, war is peace.
    As Pincus said in his July article about the money. “It could make your head spin!”

  27. Eleuthero August 20, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Asoka said:
    If the rich (over $250,000) were taxed at a higher rate (95% marginal tax rate over $250,000), we could have bigger government. If we had bigger government, we could have more regulations to protect people from situations like metal-on-metal hip implant failure JHK is suffering.
    **************************************************************
    It’s obvious from this ridiculous paragraph that you’ve never worked in a government agency. If you had, you’d not only see that America’s bureaucracies, especially in government, are top-heavy with self-perpetuating, do-nothing upper management.
    Russia should be the world’s new model of providing a good safety net for citizens with an absolutely anorexic government. We have become the Soviet Union and the new Russia now embodies what we were in the 1950s.
    Putin is slowly kicking out the Jewish gangsters (like Gusinsky) and the Russian Government is so small that a flat 12% tax more than amply provides government services which Americans would envy if they had a clue. Why don’t they have a clue? Because who runs the fucking media? It’s a rhetorical question.
    The last thing America needs is bigger government at ANY level … city, state, or Federal. The problem is that we don’t have kick-ass leaders in either party who see that we need to start firing a lot of fat asses at every level so that instead of paying bureaucrats, we start paying the American people.
    E.

  28. kulturcritic* August 20, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    It is the final act, James!
    http://kulturcritic.wordpress.com/posts/age-of-reason/
    KULTURCRITIC

  29. Eleuthero August 20, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    BT said:
    Yes, this is what the elderly are in a death fight for and they have no idea what they are up against. We all have to live in austerity while our tax dollars are flowing into private security and military operations with all kinds of justifications why we can’t stop fighting wars.
    **********************************************************
    This is the very definition of fascism. There are HUNDREDS of US Corporations like KBR that are quasi-governmental and suck at the government teat with overpriced, cronyist, no-bid contracts.
    Asoka thinks we need “bigger government”. I think government is now so enormous that it’s hard to identify WHO the “private sector” is that remains!!
    Even companies that pretend to be “private sector” like Big Pharma gouge the citizens for hundreds of billions through overpriced prescriptions due to certain companies getting sole privilege to market certain drugs like Jazz Pharmaceuticals monopoly on Xyrem (GHB) for narcolepsy. It costs a citizen $1750 per month for a drug whose per-pill manufacturing cost is about a DOLLAR.
    As I stated in my post immediately above, we are now the Soviet Union and Russia is 1950s America. Putin has ousted 3 corporate gangsters out of 11 and he and the Duma are working hard to shitcan the rest of these monsters. The public sector in Russia is now so small that a 12% flat tax on income amply provides healthcare and educational benefits to the country.
    Russia won the Cold War because we let Wall Street, in concert with the government, destroy jobs in the name of “shareholder value” and “diversity”. We let the Federal Government become a managing partner of Wall Street to float insolvent businesses at taxpayer expense.
    It might be time to consider the unthinkable i.e., moving out of the USA altogether. What’s coming down the line here is as grotesque at it is inevitable.
    E.

  30. ozone August 20, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    E.,
    It appears that you, welles and BT have outlined the all and everything of what happens when greed and power come to be the raison d’etre for an entire system. The face of Fascism unmasked as the picture of Dorian Gray.
    [Just for fun] we should make ousted/retired congresscritters work in customer-service boiler rooms, instead of being allowed access to the revolving door of MIC-gummint-MIC-gummint-thinktankery-MIC-gummint, ad nauseum. That way, they’d get to use all that silver/forked-tongue crapola for the benefit of a corporation that likes nothing better than to shit on their “human resource”. (To a fuckwit used to power and unquestioning obedience, it would be a living hell; delicious!)
    Ps. I think it’s a little late to get-the-fuck-out. With the ways things are aligning, there will be very few places of refuge (and those, also subject to the vagaries of climate and political instability). Perhaps getting to a place where one can trust the locals (and vice versa) and there’s enough arable, watered land is the very best we could do at this point. Now defending that from grasping suits with fistfuls of papers, is another matter entirely…

  31. BeingThere August 20, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Indeed, E.
    I keep laughing at how Russia and China have won the cold war. China got our whole manufacturing base and huge infrastructure build-up. Russia is now operating well with its natural resources on tap.
    Neither of these winners are good politically and they still have corruption, but we were the ones who lost the most.
    We are indeed fascist and we are also living in an inverted communist paradigm. (Inverted global Trotskyism)

  32. ozone August 20, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    BTW, James,
    What comes AFTA?
    (Whatever you do, don’t answer the fuckin’ phone! …It can’t be good news.)

  33. BeingThere August 20, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Ozone,
    My parents knew some people years ago who were in the know, who said they had plans to more to New Zealand. The couple and their daughter all died within a couple of months of eachother. Go figure.

  34. Alannala August 20, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    my favorite robot line is, “your call *may* be recorded…for security purposes”
    well folks, your call is recorded. Always. and the security they are referring to is theirs, not yours.

  35. sprezzatura August 20, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    “AFTA” is a nice thought, but I’m afraid you’d just wind up with a lot of busy signals. Corporations would reduce the number of available phone lines to equal the number of operators, and fewer calls would get through.
    The real problem is the public’s insistence on lower prices — the “Walmartization” of America. People want cheap – cheap – cheap. The only way to oblige is to cut down costs. You don’t get what you don’t pay for.

  36. pequiste August 20, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    “They” ( the imbeciles or devil worshippers [take your pick] in-charge) improved it to make it worse.” You are correct Jim. Phone systems are a paradigmatic example, with automobiles, refrigerators, and lawn sprinklers right behind on the “innovated to idiocy” scale. Having to deal with two of them at the same time is hell. For example my fridge broke – it’s stainless, side-by-side, seven year old “professional” model. With its now totally computerized controls the motherboard went out (and probably programmed to the day to do so) and the fans, compressor and ice maker all stopped functioning. Trying to get to talk to that live person from the manufacturers company was akin to a ride on Ixions Wheel. Yep it needed a new computer control part the repair tech said – got it some $400 later. My granny’s fridge lated some 35 years and didn’t need any damned computer. Ned Ludd would have a field day with all this crap. Where is he when we need him?

  37. Hammering Truth August 20, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    This is a corporate fascist state. Speaking of phones AT&T paid no income tax last year. http://youtu.be/T0x8wxOeuzo

  38. Zev Paiss August 20, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Jim – I wish you rapid healing.
    What amazes me in the telephone world is how dependent so many people have come to a technology that only works some of the time. When was the last time you had a “dropped call” on you land line when both people were using a land line?
    If you would like a fun read about how one American city learned to cope with less technology and more humanity pick up a copy of From Here to There: A Story of America’s Future. http://tinyurl.com/c7m7rqh

  39. happycat August 20, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Perhaps the Old Order Amish (who don’t use telephones–except in some cases, one dial telephone in a business) have it right. When they consider whether or not to incorporate into their lives a technology that we all take for granted, they think first (radical idea!) and try to collectively imagine how that technology might affect the harmony of their community over the long term. Apparently, the prognosis for the telephone wasn’t too good, in their opinion. Now they are saved having to be dumped into phone hell! And Jim, I do feel for you in your encounter with hip “technology”. If you stiick to your new diet, and perhaps get some advice on your movement patterns from someone well versed in one of the many somatic practices out there (Alexander Technique teachers tend to be especially good and extremely carefully trained) hopefully you will be able to avoid more surgeries for body parts. Best Wishes!

  40. Neon Vincent August 20, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    “Is there anyone reading this blog right now who had not ended such a phone call in tears this past year, or dashed their handset against the wall, or, worst of all, actually found themselves engaged in an insult match with the robot at the other end of the line?”
    Yes. I haven’t done any of those things this past year. About the worst I’ve done is hang up. Just the same, I agree with you that efficiency is a virtue is overrated. The food system is based on efficiency, which causes it to be unstable and inhumane. Growing our food “bigger, fatter, faster, and cheaper” as Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms describes the situation has made Americans “bigger, fatter, and cheaper” too.
    As for the jobs situation, the U.S. might be headed for a “servant economy” as automation replaces all the people who would be doing something productive. No one in charge is arguing against automation. If anything, they’re for educating people to be better able to handle automation. That’s great, except that it takes a lot fewer people to supervise robots than it does to actually do the work. In science fiction up until a few decades ago, the result was expected to have been an expansion of leisure. Instead, we’re getting an expansion of poverty.
    I also have a rant about the medical system, but that one involves the people, not the automated gatekeepers or other technology. I’ll save that for another time. Instead, I’ll wish that you get well.
    I haven’t blogged about any of the above lately over at Crazy Eddie’s Motie News. Instead, I’ve mostly been following the Dream Cruise, a celebration of car culture that has, if anything, gotten bigger after Peak Conventional Oil. You may hanker after the late 1800s. These people want the 1950s and 1960s back, and they miss it dearly. Speaking of people who want that era back, I added a Paul Ryan label so readers can find all the posts I’ve written about him. I’m sure I’ll be writing lots more about Eddie Munster in the coming months, especially given his interest in Ayn Rand. Finally, I reviewed some research about that it takes to make people think more sustainably.
    Happy Motoring–for now–from Detroit!
    http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/

  41. Widespreadpanic7 August 20, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Spot on, Jim.
    Here’s to a speedy recovery.
    I remember the day, not that long ago, when I could call a party on our rotary phone with the full expectation they would pick up the receiver and say, “Hello”.
    As you pointed out, this is no longer the case.
    A small thing, but very illustrative.
    –WSP7

  42. cheesemoose August 20, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Best Clusterfuck column ever. Everyone should write their Congressperson to demand immediate passage of the Answer the Fucking Telephone Act.
    The fact that Jim could overcome his medical circumstances to propose this nation-saving legislation proves that he is the man to lead us out of the techno-stupid haze we find ourselves ensnared in. James Howard Kuntsler for President!
    Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Jim! Cut open like a boned turkey, indeed. Pass the Answer the Fucking Telephone Act NOW!

  43. empirestatebuilding August 20, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Can you add this rider to the bill please?
    The make the incessant beeping noises of check out scanners less annoying!
    Those engineers could make the machines produce any noise they want. It could play a musical scale or just a pleasing tone.
    Instead they bombard us with the most annoying beeps ever conceived. It is all part of the grand plan of the Brotherhood of Darkness to make us stressed out of our minds and afraid to question their evil ways.
    Aimlow Joe was here
    http://www.aimlow.com

  44. wardoc August 20, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Hate to burst bubbles about the health systems in the UK, etc. I just returned from a medical conference in London, and two topics were dominant in between academic presentations: 1- the lack of specialists (who in their right mind is going to do a 6-8 year post medical school residency in a medical or surgical sub-specialty, if you’re going to make essentially the same as someone who does 3 years for family practice), and 2- the age limits for various procedures, such as hip replacements and cardiac angioplasties, not being allowed over certain ages, e.g. 60; the ages keep going DOWN !!!
    In the UK Jim wouldn’t have to worry because he is too old for any more hip surgery. No joke.
    Not to claim that we have a great system, which we don’t, but the UK’s system is not the answer, unless, of course, you’re well under 55.
    Wardoc

  45. RJGrones August 20, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Whenever I get stuck in a phone tree, I’m always reminded that I once spent a horrible misguided 16 months working in a call center for a large corporation. We took incoming I.T. calls not from customers, but from fellow corporate cubicle monkeys across the country and overseas as well. We were required to treat the caller as a customer however and employ the standard phony customer service “attitude” as our calls were monitored. We were required have 8-10 different browsers open logged into various essential systems necessary to provide support. Each call was a repeated exercise in maximizing and minimizing browsers dozens of times. I read so much each day that my eyes hurt and my head ached. We were required to document every ticket with the knowledgebase article supplied for solving the issue (you could not provide a fix on your own without actually opening the knowledgebase and getting the article number and referring to it).. In short, it was the attempt of the corporation to turn it’s “human resources” into computerized robots. I wrote the words THE DIMINISHING RETURNS OF HYPER-COMPLEXITY and stuck it on my computer, which my boss did not fancy, but there it stayed.. It was the most miserable 16 months of my life, and walking out of that job for the last day was a moment of transcendence, which, when relived in my mind’s eye, still makes me smile to this day. If you’re reading this and you’re stuck in a cubicle with a headset on because you need the health insurance, make other arrangements soon. Life is too short (but it ain’t THAT short!).. etc.. PS- Jim your writing today is brilliant..

  46. ozone August 20, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Congratulations!
    Another posting of yours that simply screams, “Hooray for me and fuck you!”.
    Nicely done.
    I bow to your superior social instincts and [equally as empty as the well-wishings you denigrate] cold-hearted, calculating discernment.
    It escapes me why you’ve not yet applied for the job of Emperor. Why, from this remove, the position looks tailor-made.

  47. Newfie August 20, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    I agree that Peak Communications is in the rear view mirror and is rapidly receding. The peak likely coincided with the introduction of robotic answering systems. It is maddening to be have to communicate with the “person” that “is” a corporation and have to engage in a battle of wits with a stinking algorithm. Some of robots use speech recognition and invariably end up speaking “I’m sorry I didn’t understand that” and repeat the question over and over. It’s unbelievable that the morons that run these corporations can’t see the damage they are doing to their bottom lines by turning customers against them. Every time I run into an automated answering system I try to take my business elsewhere and where possible resolve not to consume that product anymore and just bank the money I used to spend on it. The Law of Diminishing Returns strikes again!

  48. Loveandlight August 20, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    that it is the subconscious wish of all the people now running things in this land to turn the USA into the Bulgaria of the Western Hemisphere by finding the worst possible way to get everything done with the greatest degree of collateral cruelty.
    Apologies for picking nits, but did you mean to name “Romania” instead of “Bulgaria”? It was Ceaucescu’s Romania during the seventies and eighties that developed a reputation for “mean for the sake of mean” over and above other Soviet-bloc nations.

  49. lsjogren August 20, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Asoka: If Mr. Hollandaise makes good on his 75% rich dude tax, why not let France be the guinea pig on such a policy?

  50. pedal pusher August 20, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Sir,
    You insult Bulgaria!

  51. Smokyjoe August 20, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    The Bulgarians I know (surprisingly, quite a few) are delightful folks and they do answer the phone.
    “Answer the fucking telephone. It’s what’s good for America!”
    I will support this Act in Congress, as long as I don’t have to answer my phone. I just dodged a call while reading JHK’s post.

  52. UrintheVillage August 20, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    All of these flawed devices, just like drugs that end up being pulled because they kill people (remember fen-phen?), are all “approved” by the FDA before they can be marketed. Why does the incompetent FDA escape culpability? Can you imagine the phone tree at the FDA should one want to pursue this question?

  53. ozone August 20, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    It’s unbelievable that the morons that run these corporations can’t see the damage they are doing to their bottom lines by turning customers against them. Every time I run into an automated answering system I try to take my business elsewhere and where possible resolve not to consume that product anymore and just bank the money I used to spend on it. The Law of Diminishing Returns strikes again! -Newfie
    I do exactly the same! (Although if I’m attempting to “do bid’ness” with a distant concern, it’s a given that I actually have a need for what they’re selling, so that money will have to go out the door to someone else. ;o)
    Also, a notorious bad-mouther when a “service” turns out to be its’ exact opposite. Has everyone forgotten about word-of-mouth as well as response from the mouth of a real person? Trying to convince us of our innate powerlessness is becoming a fine art…

  54. RalphM August 20, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Jim, for what it’s worth, in Sweden (the model of efficiency, and pretty awesome at delivering most public services), it’s often even harder to speak to a human being, and what’s worse, they have keyhole-like telephone times with intervals like “10:00 AM to 10:20 AM,” when humans are standing by to answer the phone. Miss that and you have to try again the next day, etc…
    Ralph
    Author, “Inter States 2040” – A Prospective Novel of Our Future
    http://interstates2040.wikispaces.com/

  55. bobby j August 20, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    There was a time when the telephone was not only a means of direct live communication but doubled as a source of live entertainment as folks would listen in on their party line.How good was that.

  56. dsimeonov August 20, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I come from Bulgaria, well I do’t feel insulted. Just I am curious what do you know of this part of the world?

  57. neanderlover August 20, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I’ve been researching just the right pair of shoes for my floppy feet. The real people on the phone have been so solicitous!
    Almost done with Too Much Magic,I feel strangely centered.
    Hang in there with your recuperation.

  58. Ken Mac August 20, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    The robots remind me of my ex:
    Doesn’t understand a word I’m saying.
    Completely pointless trying to argue.

  59. kapuscinski August 20, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    great or at least workmanlike rant spoiled imho by the gratuitous insult “it is the subconscious wish of all the people now running things in this land to turn the USA into the Bulgaria of the Western Hemisphere by finding the worst possible way to get everything done”. …..
    I doubt kunstler really knows much about bulgaria (or much else beyond the most obvious tourist trail of europa, based on reading this column over the years) but i know this sort of stuff plays well in the States, but hence the hilarity that greeted the remarkably crude American provincialism of those unfunny Saturday Nite Live sketches several decades back, featuring wild & crazy guys. Evidently nothing funnier to USA-ians than a non-English speaker with less than up-to-the-minute command of the Amuhrican idiom. And a fashion sense a few years behind the times. But i digress. …..
    What i really wanted to pull Kunstler’s tail about is Bulgaria – he might want to take a –lengthy –tour to see what is in store. Every inch of private land is cultivated – no lawns to mow- and each summer’s main activity is canning the luscious peppers and tomatoes and plums and everything else. Something that USA-ians of a very much older generation were still doing back in my childhood, early 60s, but which is a now a very-long-lost skill. Can you even buy mason jars anymore? Nevermind: Bulgarians use every glass container that comes to hand. …..
    They also know how to repair everything and anything, and how to live on next to nothing in scorching summers and cold winters. How to survive on wages averaging $250 a month [state -railway- workers] or pensions averaging $75 a month. How to make breathtakingly beautiful music without electric anything…..
    A self-reliant people who never abandoned the radical thriftiness they learnt of necessity under the ottomans, communism. Their incorporation into EU only brought the mindless-consumption lifestyle to a small urban elite – the ‘mafiotes’. So rather than mindlessly invoke the name Bulgaria as the butt of some stupid american joke, better to learn something about that beautiful country which is in so many ways lightyears ahead of the US of A

  60. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Here are two articles about the fact that conservatives and liberals think differently. This seems to be deeply seated in the psychology of people. Just calling the other side stupid or brainwashed is not a valid argument.
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/joshua-holland/45025/the-conservative-psyche-how-ordinary-people-come-to-embrace-paul-ryans-cruelty
    This second article discusses the difference in more detail.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/liberals-and-conservatives-dont-just-vote-differently-they-think-differently/2012/04/12/gIQAzb1kDT_story.html

  61. JulettaofOhio August 20, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    The worst “phone tree” set-up, and the most cruel is Social Security which is meant to kill off as many old people as possible. I call them for my father frequently enough that I have the whole monstrous ordeal memorized. My dad isn’t senile, but he’s hard of hearing and he becomes confused by the endless demands for abstruse information. There is no way the average person over 70 could ever navigate this nonsensical system. I had spent over twenty minutes dutifully verbalizing answers to the robot’s questions, only to get an angry black woman (Yes, you can tell, and yes, it may have been Michelle indulging her hatred for old white folks that particular day) to whom I complained about the glitches in their system. She said she wouldn’t talk to “sarcastic” people and hung up on me!!!! My father would have had a heart attack if faced with the indignity and the thought that he would have to go through the whole ordeal one more time. Now, I take him to the local SS (!!!!) office in our nearest large town. Yes, it’s dangerous and it’s inconvenient, but not as demoralizing as trying to make a phone call.

  62. azgog August 20, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Welcome to the Divided States of Disfunction where 45% are vehemetly opposed to the other 45% and 10% don’t care. Which seems to be working quite well for the 1%. Where endless arguments ensue about important issues like should gays be allowed to get married, the contested right to birth control and whether health care is an entitlement or a profit center. This in a jobless and dwindling economy featuring record home foreclosures and a sweltering drought that is damaging farms and reducing power generation. In a country with a decaying infrastructure and no plans to meet the climate and energy crisis now upon us.
    They don’t answer the phone because they have no answers. Everything is a delaying tactic and an avoidance strategy. I see this everywhere, including the people who never answer their emails because they have discovered that if you ignore someone long enough they will go away and you won’t have to deal with them anymore. Problem solved!

  63. Pegsta August 20, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Jim,
    The phone is only the tip of the iceberg of diminishing returns of technology. If you are unemployed, try reaching any human who works in Human Resources. I recently went to a job fair so I could meet employers face to face. Guess what? They no longer accept paper resumes. You need to send it to them electronically. I went to the job fair BECAUSE they do not respond electronically. It takes an average of one hour to fill out each company’s requirements just so you can submit the resume that is never responded to or acknowledged.
    Humans Resource people remind me of the DMV people. You need to have the personality of a hemorrhoid to work there.

  64. Ogier de Beauseant August 20, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    OK Jimbo…I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Want to break through the automated phone bull shit? Easy: when the robot asks for a decision, say nothing. It will continue to ask for a while and then switch you to an actual person. OK your have made level one and now you go to level 2 or the real person you find is a resident of Bangladesh as the service has been outsourced by Bain Capital. First thing you must discover: can you understand what she (most likely) is saying; then does she have a clue what it is you want; third, can she turn you over to a supervisor; OK, you’ve got the super and you repeat your long story of woe–again; now you will be put on hold; the next thing you will hear is a dial tone. You have lost the connection and go back to level one. The theory here is if they make it difficult enough, you will throw in the towel.

  65. azgog August 20, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Where the biggest question for the increasingly impoverished 99% is whether the Corporations and the rich should be taxed very little or not at all. Should there be no regulation of their activities or very little? Should the Corporate PACs have unlimited voices or just what they are willing to pay for?
    Don’t forget to vote on these important choices we have given you.

  66. Zed Leppt In August 20, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    The most obnoxiuos and in-your-face so called technological advance I see every day is the ever increasing brightness of automobile headlights. As if the stock super-bright HID, LED or Xenon lamps aren’t dazzling enough, many drivers are upgrading to more powerful after-market upgrades in a suicidal lumenous arms race. It’s like a game of “I can blind you longer and from farther away than you can blind me”. And how many people drive around day and night with an additional pair of unnecessary glaring foglights? Is this supposed to be cool or are these people fantasizing that they are in the Dakar road rally as they drive to the 7/11 for cheese doodles? I was once joking with a friend that they may as well just mount fucking lasers on the cars, then I read that BMW has, in fact, come out with a prototype blue laser headlight system – justified by the fact that its use of a few less milliamps of electricity will, thus, improve fuel economy a teensy bit. Sure, BMW buyers are primarily interested in features that can save a few pennies per tank of gas. BMW claims that a filter in the assembly will remove the eye-damaging UV portion of the laser light. Very reassuring, because we know that no one would be foolish enough to try to remove that filter out of petty spite towards other road users, just like we know no one would ever remove a functioning muffler from a motorcycle just to deafen bystanders. And don’t even get me started on those goddamn truck backup beepers that emit an insane shreik that sounds like a gaint Japanese movie monster in a really destructive mood. For your safety, folks, it’s all for your safety, never mind the frayed nerves and boiling blood pressure. As Jim says, “It’s all good”.

  67. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    “But $340.00 a week is $340.00 a week more than some dogs are earning right now.”
    That’s $340.00 BEFORE taxes. If you are looking for work in a city that has a stated unemployment rate of 12% (more like 20%) and you see a sign advertising jobs for customer service representatives that never comes down, take caution. It’s a pretty safe bet that these are Suck Ass jobs. Almost every shift that I worked as a telephone operator, I saw at least one person walking out to the parking lot crying from the stress.
    I liked RJGrones comments on technical troubleshooting over the phone. A nightmare to be sure. Even with experienced professionals. How about helping grandma troubleshoot a computer problem with her first ever PC? Exactly why remote access for operators was created. The computer equivalent of “I’m gonna take the wheel now.”
    UrintheVillage’s comment goes right to the heart of the matter, especially in Mr. Kunstler’s case. Just like the EPA, the FDA is nothing like it used to be. It should be obvious to everyone that gutting those two agencies is all about making more money. Now that the Baby Boomers need all this medical assistance, it’s balls to the wall.
    Ah, demographics.

  68. bgoedecke August 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Thanks for the telephone rant – it is so true! One thing that always bothers me is that not only does the system forces you to listen to crappy music, the recording is often degraded so that the crappy music is sort of breaking down into white noise and then becoming music again – and at a high volume!

  69. Zed Leppt In August 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    There was scene in the movie “LA Story” in which Steve Martin picks up his phone and, in a mechanical voice, answers something like “Hi, this is Steve. I’m in right now, so you can talk to me in person. Wait for beep and then begain talking to me…pause…beeeeeeeep.” The woman on the end of the call is completely baffled and there is prolonged exchange of “Hello?…Hello. Hello?….Hello. Is that you?…Yes. Am actually talking to you?… I’m right here.”

  70. Phutatorius August 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    An entertaining post today, Mr. K. As a former telco employee I can sympathize. Our answer to what “ISDN” stood for back when everything in the system was going digital was “Innovations Subscribers Don’t Need.”

  71. mayberrymachiavellian August 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Let’s say the AFT Act gets passed. The stage has now been set for American Corporate Ingenuity to get to work figuring out how to fulfill letter-of-the-law compliance of this intrusive and costly regulation, while keeping costs down to an absolute minimum. The solution — already in place for many businesses — the off-shore call-center. With this brave new system, your call will be answered by a cowering Third World youngster being paid a shiny penny each day by his corporate overlords while his overseers roam the aisles with the modern equivalent of bullwhips, scanning for the slightest variation from the scripted routine. Just as your rage & frustration begin to mount in anticipation of the familiar routine, young Ahilan answers, in halting English, on a digital line that — to save money — has a limited bandwidth that blurs consonants. So, in addition to the language barrier, you now have to repeat, S-L-0-W-L-Y, each letter of your name at least twice before you can get down to business. The first order of said business is to then communicate — with the same linguistic and audio barriers — the 16-digit serial number of your product. Ten minutes later, you’re ready to ask your question. Meanwhile the doorbell has rung, the teakettle is singing, and the baby is crying.
    Corporate USA has fulfilled its regulatory requirement, and your small business that depends on the software that’s not working has just lost another day…
    Meanwhile Tea-Party Republicans have crafted voter-suppression statutes to ensure that next time AFTA comes up for a vote, the newly-elected Tea Party congressmen will not only repeal AFTA, but will include new regulations that punish companies that still provide decent customer service.

  72. Nastarana August 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Dear JHK,
    Great article this week! It is good to see you back on form.
    Now, you make sure you get in on one of those lawsuits, you hear! Your fans out here don’t want to hear nothin’ from you on the subject that doesn’t include in some way the sentiment that you are out to take the bastards for every dime you can squeeze out of them. No “be the better person”, no I just want my bills paid, etc. %$*&# that! They were tampering with other peaple’s lives and health, for which there ought to be criminal AND civil penalties. If they are put out of business, that clears the way for honest practicioners.
    I ask you to consider adding to your proposed legislation another section, to wit. Anyone doing business in the USA is required to accept cash payment for any transaction for which the total purchase amount is less than $2,000. That would include rentals and apartment complexes.

  73. Zed Leppt In August 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    The ultimate irony of the phone tree twilight zone is when trying to correct screw-ups with your phone service. I wonder how many people end up paying more in airtime usage to resolve a cellular service billng error than the original cost of the error?

  74. Disaffected August 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Best rant I’ve read in a LONG, LONG time! AFTA – Answer the FUCKING TELEPHONE Act. Now THERE’S some legislation we could ALL believe in!

  75. Zed Leppt In August 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    The Onion News did a story on a telecom provider’s innovative new way to “improve” service: “New Google Phone Service Whispers Targeted Ads Directly Into Users’ Ears”. It even works during 911 emergency calls.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtuxax8Dtk4

  76. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    “It takes an average of one hour to fill out each company’s requirements just so you can submit the resume that is never responded to or acknowledged.”
    Did that one hour include the inevitable seventeen page “Personality Test”. Damn, you got good at it. Over time I learned that you have to tailor your answers to the Personality Test to the position that you are applying for. I don’t know how job seekers without internet access even apply anymore. I guess for the really bottom-of-the-barrel jobs you can still walk in. That is, if they don’t have the “you must be employed to apply” stipulation in effect. Now just how crazy is that shit.

  77. SunsetSu August 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    You say the goal of “customer service” is to inflict the maximum cruelty upon users. I think the real goal is to discourage customers from any contact except keying in our debit or credit card numbers to purchase crappy goods and inadequate services.
    Corporations view any other contact as a complete waste of time and money.
    Case in point – I subscribe to several computer “services” to clean my computer registry and perform other mysterious but (I’m told) essential services to keep my computer from crashing. I used to get a computer message once a year telling me it was time to renew. Now I get random messages every few months demanding further payment. The first time this happened, I forgot that I’d already re-upped, and let my card get charged again. It took months of hell before I reached a live person who reversed the charges.
    Be very careful about authorizing use of your credit or debit card on a continuing basis. Check your bank records to make sure you are not a victim of random and arbitrary charges for things you didn’t order.
    At least corporations love us for our credit card numbers. Government offices like Social Security, don’t want anything whatsoever to do with us.

  78. Vlad Krandz August 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Mass Health used both machines and long waits as their first line of defence. Their second was real morons – welfare receipients with subnormal IQ’s. Only after you waded thru that could you get to anyone who knew what they were talking about.
    The Customer is the Enemy to big Business and big Goverment. So why do Liberals want more big Goverment? Or Republicans more big Business? Surveys shows the highest customer satisfaction with Goverment was the small Democracies of Northern Europe. So why do they want to ruin themselves with millions of immigrants?

  79. Vlad Krandz August 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    William F Buckley publicly wished the Pope to die so he wouldn’t suffer anymore. Was this compassion or just trying to stand out with an unusual message?

  80. lancemfoster August 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Since corporations are people…
    Doesn’t that mean that corporations need to buy health insurance?
    And since corporations are fond of saying their employees are “their family”…
    Doesn’t that mean corporations are also responsible for buying insurance for family members?
    We should hire that shyster lawyer from “Breaking Bad” to make this argument and take it all the way to the Supreme Court, who were the ones who ruled after all that “corporations are people too”…
    BTW Jim, I had kidney operations about a month ago, and had the same phone runaround trying to talk to my doctor in order to get instructions in order to prepare for surgery the next day…

  81. AMR August 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Putin is a poor model for any country with a real tradition of representative government. You have a point well taken that he’s competent and has presided over an unusually prosperous and stable period of Russian history, but he is also a neotsarist autocrat who has no compunction about suspending the rule of law to arbitrarily punish his enemies. This rightly gives his Russian critics pause, and it arguably should worry foreign observers even more if his model seems likely to spread to their countries and weaken their extant structures of civil society.
    Two major, longstanding problems with Russian governance come to mind. First, the country has been chronically screwed over by its governments for most of the past millennium, i.e., almost its entire history as a unified nation. Second, its population is largely either groveling, servile, and hateful, or else fatalistically resigned to official malevolence. This has started to change, fitfully, with the recent protests, but for the reforms to take root Russia has to overcome an entrenched, nasty legacy of autocracy, servility and spite.
    Putin looks good in the context of Russian government because what came before him was so awful. Russia was ruled by Stalin within living memory, and Putin’s immediate predecessor, Yeltsin, was a dissipated old drunk surrounded by a coterie of thieves. This is a country where even Khrushchev was made to look like a reformer by mere comparison to the horrors of Stalinism.
    Putin’s other big advantage is that his opposition is so dubious. Initially, it was dominated by the sort of liberals (i.e., libertarians by US standards) who didn’t see anything wrong with pensioners and soldiers being reduced to eating dog food because George Soros had manipulated the ruble to the point of national penury. More recently, the most prominent opposition leader was Alexei Navalny, a rather seedy nationalist bigot, and now it’s Pussy Riot. It’s almost as if Richard Nixon were president for life, with a sporadic opposition led by David Duke, Eminem and Madonna. The thing is, in a country where civil society is as stunted as it is in Russia, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the opposition is dominated by such people. They’re the only ones with enough anger to risk speaking out.

  82. Vlad Krandz August 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    You supported the Weathermen who planned to kill 25 million people or so – so where do you get off criticizing ANYONE’s morals?

  83. anon y'mouse August 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    they do not want to actually ‘answer the fucking phone’. know why? the person on the other end usually has no clue what to do or how the labyrinthine inner guts of The Machine work, and almost always has absolutely no power to change things or help anyone, even if they should so wish.
    we now spend so much time digitally reporting to our overlords exactly how we spent every single 15 minute block of our day that we have no time to actually DO anything. i contend that this is the result of extreme ‘pass the buck’ ism, in that the mentality of ‘sooner or later our asses will get sued for this shit’ has trickled down to dump upon the employee’s head.
    have you ever noticed that, even on a company’s website, they rarely EVER give actual contact information anymore? not even email addresses or telephone number in many cases, much less a physical location. the truth is, business does not want to hear from you at all. they want your money, and if you didn’t like what you just forked over for, tough titty on you.
    if all of the good guys (most front line workers are, in fact, that but coping with tragically convoluted systems in which shite is pushed into their inbox from both ends daily) have their hands tied, it’s not easy to wonder why most people have a sort of ‘learned helplessness’ towards it all. they know that there isn’t a damn thing they can do about it. upstairs, somewhere in Dubai, the decisions have all been made for them. woe betide anyone who actually wants to give feedback from Real People about how to do things better. if a statistician hasn’t thought it up on an Excel sheet somewhere, no one wants to know. you’ll actually be pegged as ‘not a team player’ if you keep bringing things forward that clients have actually told you, or observations you’ve made.
    the lie is that they all want a skilled, educated workforce. in reality, they want someone who will do the tasks they have set rather like a meat machine, and shut up otherwise.

  84. Whomeesa August 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Usually, if you prove to the robot that you’re too incompetent to use the technology, it will put you on hold to talk to a real person. Not too often, it will disconnect, though.

  85. Vlad Krandz August 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Oh come on. Most Americans would vote away the Bill of Rights if it was packaged correctly. Pure Democracies don’t work – as the Founders well knew. Constitutional Republics with qualified people voting is the “ticket”. And the number of those will be small: educated, able to pass a rigorous test on goverment and history, property and/or business owner, employed, and for Federal voting – a record of military or other service.
    Putin loves Russia and saved her from the Jewish Wolves as E points out. You can’t do better than that. Hopefully he will be the defacto King for the rest of his life.

  86. MDG August 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    A politician could successfully run on the AFTA of 2012 alone. It reminds me of Al Franken’s fictional quest for the Presidency, in which he described successfully running on a platform of only one policy: no more ATM fees.
    Alas, I fear that hellish as voicemail is, the younger generations, having grown up knowing only that (and other miseries, such a self-pumping at the gas station and self check-out at stores), will accept such a reality, having never known a bette time.
    I’m fully with JHK on this, but I am pessimistic enough to believe that, absent a reality-altering catastrophe and rebirth, things are going to keep getting worse and worse.

  87. MDG August 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    @ kapuscinski:
    So true about Bulgarians. My Bulgarina immigrant neighbor has a terrific garden and a basement filled with canned fruits and vegetables. He’s a real inspiration.
    And yes, you can still get Mason jars at hardware stores.

  88. Eleuthero August 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Thank you for making us aware that Bulgaria, unlike the USA, is actually a fully-functioning country. Yes, Jim chooses to pick Bulgaria as a mock comparison country and I doubt he knows what you’ve outlined.
    The USA is being torn apart by incompetence at every level. Now we don’t even have enough field workers to pick crops or truckers to transport them. So, a pundit says, we’ll just have to get our produce from China or elsewhere.
    We live in a country where no one can do anything but we think we can continue to live like mandarins anyway. This illusion has precious little time left before it bursts into frank shortages of local goods and inflated prices to get the foreign ones as, more and more, they economically blackmail us into submission.
    E.

  89. shecky August 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    In 1984 my brother used his connections to get me a job with his employer as a “customer service rep.” I had to promise my brother that I would stay a year so he would not look bad.
    I have had some shitty jobs in my life, but jaysus… in a year I gained 30 lbs, my blood pressure was lethally high and I had become a raging drunk. When I started we were expected to process 80 calls a day. When we met that mark they raised the count. By the time I quit the quota was 122 fucking calls a fucking day.
    I would answer calls thus: “This is Shecky. I can’t help you.” I kept a bottle of Canadian Club in my desk. On my lunch break I would walk around the parking lot smoking weed and weeping. One day I had my first ever asthma attack. My doc said that in essence I was allergic to the job. My coworkers and bosses knew all this, but the bastards would not fire me, so I had to stick it out for a full 365 to fulfill my promise.
    There is no reason to answer the fucking phone. No one has an answer that will satisfy you. Why are you wasting your time and mine?

  90. Eleuthero August 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    I’m afraid you’ve got it all wrong, my friend. Putin’s popularity numbers in Russia are the highest ever recorded for any political figure in Russian history … 75%.
    The only reason “civil society” is taking a while over there is because it takes years for Putin and the Duma to oust extremely wealthy gangsters who disseminate disinformation and who fund armies of phony “dissidents”.
    Russia has more “opposition parties” than you can count and, still, Putin is viewed as a national hero. If Russians FEEL as deprived as you seem to imply, why is YOUR view maintained, mostly, only by the American media and the Russian Jewish Oligarchs themselves??
    By the way, two of my close friends in Palo Alto are Russians who inform me, on a weekly basis, of the on-the-ground developments in that country and, oddly, it’s easier to get real truth about Russia than about the health of our own economy. We are the new Soviet Union.
    E.

  91. Kyooshtik August 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Yesterday’s NY Times had a long article about the pervasiveness of corruption at every level of Russian life. It implied that a typical American would be at a loss how to exist, how to operate, whom to bribe, and by how much, if suddenly thrown into such a society. The corruption is simply taken for granted by every Russian citizen.

  92. JulettaofOhio August 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    True, and in the case of Verizon, you have long wait periods (ten minutes or more) which are filled with hard-sell pitches for more products. I’m ready to strangle someone when it’s finally over. Same with the cable company.

  93. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    check : VIGILANT CITIZEN.COM
    You will all get a kick out of the subliminal satanic messages people are being programmed with.
    No Im not dreaming.
    Especially fun is ‘Rianna/Umbrella song’. She morphs into the devil for a split second.

  94. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    O please! For those who can see the Left is Mumia,
    legal infanticide, open borders, wanting to give felons [read 1 in 4 black males] the vote, so they can vote demoncrat..
    Since the author is self described ‘lib’ he doesnt mention the low IQ of a certain group in the US, that 90% of whom vote lib!
    from the article:
    Perhaps most important, liberals consistently score higher on a personality measure called “openness to experience,” one of the “Big Five” personality traits, which are easily assessed through standard questionnaires. That means liberals tend to be the kind of people who want to try new things, including new music, books, restaurants and vacation spots — and new ideas.
    [wow big wet kiss to Post readers].

  95. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Get the ‘[un]civil servants’ name and ID# for the call first, before anything else is discussed.
    Then go to TakisMag and write a story.Cheers.

  96. schizoid August 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Answer the fucking telephone. It’s what’s good for America!

    Oh, I do answer the phone and many of the calls come from robo-dialers that call all 10,000 numbers in every prefix in every area code in the country.
    I can only wonder who hasn’t had the pleasant experience of hearing from Ann or Rachael from Credit Card Services.
    These are girls who quickly answer the phone when you press 1. Then, they try to swindle you out of your credit card information.
    Now, that’s the old fashioned telephone service that we all want!

  97. San Jose Mom 51 August 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    I once mentored a wonderful Bulgarian woman who had graduated from a US university. She was twice as smart as me and anyone else in the office. The company owner was a bit evil, and she used me and Elissaveta to cover up her incompetent writing. (We often re-wrote her work.) One day, the boss was in a particularly snitty mood and tried to fire Elissaveta on the spot. (This had severe consequences as E’s work visa was precarious, and she would have had to leave the country if she had gaps in her work record.) So I stood up and told the bitch, “If E. goes, I go. You must keep her on the books until she finds another job.” Presto…the evil one kept her around until she found another job (which only took 3 weeks).

  98. zerotsm August 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    You just have to hack these menu hell telephone systems. 90% of the time just pressing the zero button until you get a human will work. If that doesn’t work visit http://gethuman.com, enter the company name in the search box and the site will tell you the trick for beating the robot.

  99. zerotsm August 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    The link did not post correctly. The site is gethuman.com

  100. zerotsm August 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    The clickable link that works is http://gethuman.com

  101. Kyooshtik August 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    The employer from whom I retired in early 2006 was a big company that stayed right up to date with all the new technology that came down the pike so naturally we got voice mail, and later, email, before they became ubiquitous. It didn’t take long before the volume of correspondence on these systems, particularly for middle and upper management, became overwhelming.
    I was always old fashioned. I can honestly say that in 40 plus years, every time the phone at my desk rang I picked it up. And I continuously, through the day, monitored incoming emails and acted upon them unless they were simply informational.
    I began to realize that some people were using voice mail as a way to prioritize, sort, cull out, and sometimes totally avoid talking to certain people. I discovered, for example, that a particular Subcontracts Administrator, Dave S., (who was gay as a three dollar bill, not that that has anything to do with my post), NEVER answered his phone. He only replied to his backed up voice mails if and when he damn well pleased. First to be honored with a return call were any persons who might have input to his annual “review.”
    And then there was a carpool mate of mine. This guy, Rick B., worked 25 hours a day and was once named “Engineer of the Year.” He worked constantly during the hour (each way) commute, listening to, and leaving voice mails or banging data into Excel on a laptop. I once kidded him “I’ll bet you have a laptop sitting on your wife’s back when your dog-tailing her.”
    All this work paid off for him (I guess) as he was among the youngest employees ever promoted to Director. At this level it was not unusual for him to receive 500 emails in a day. He was sent to an “off site” where he and other upper management types were trained how to deal (among other things) with the onslaught of email. Basically it was a system of prioritizing where a significant percentage would be deleted, having never been read or responded to. He admitted an email from ME would likely go unread, unless something in the Subj line was eye catching.
    When I realized the state to which technology had driven the business world (people engaged in hands free, blue tooth cell phone conversations while standing in the cafeteria line) I was only too glad to hang up my green eye shade, retire and make that final commute into the sunset.

  102. piltdownman August 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Jim –
    Best wishes on your recovery.
    Until the 2012 ATFP Act is passed, you can try this.
    http://gethuman.com/
    It helps, sometimes….
    Pilt

  103. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Yay! Personality Questionnaires for everyone! Do you really believe those things are accurate? As I pointed out earlier, I tailor my answers to those godamnn things depending on the results I want.

  104. Kyooshtik August 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    I don’t know which call-center voice is the most incomprehensible, the Philippines, Bangalore or Ebonics.

  105. RJGrones August 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    re: “I don’t know which call-center voice is the most incomprehensible, the Philippines, Bangalore or Ebonics.” – Ebonics is the absolute worst dialect known to Man; it’s essentially baby-talk (goo-goo, ga-ga).. (Jim has touched on this several times; refer to his Monday blog piece “Thuggo and Sluggo” from a few years back; one of his very best) Ebonics culture is at its core; an aspiration to infantilism; dress, behavior, speech (baby-talking).. (I saw a 20-something young man on the street the other day sucking on a pacifier).. Ebonics culture represents the tragic childish wish to remain infantile.. Ok I digress a little from the topic.. sorry.. but you ain’t gonna get very far in this world, if you can’t conjugate a fucking verb.. etc..

  106. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Al Franken
    Why does it have to be fictional, he can be my VP. When the time comes he won’t say no.
    ☐ Obama/Biden
    ☐ Romney/Ryan
    K-Dog/Franken
    ✔ The 2012 AFTA Act ☏

  107. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Why does it have to be fictional, he can be my VP. When the time comes he won’t say no.
    ☐ Obama/Biden
    ☐ Romney/Ryan
    K-Dog/Franken
    ✔ The 2012 AFTA Act ☏
    Al Franken

  108. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Sorry, I thought the first one got lost, my bad.
    ☎☎☎

  109. newworld August 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    You are a PC tool of the first magnitude. The answer to your whining is that “are you a racist?” Don’t you want those glorious people of color to have a job?
    Oh and the “mayberry” reference, the anti-whites just hate on Mayberry, because while we can have all African, Asian or Jewish cities we cannot have all white cities.

  110. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    K-DOG, you are not just forgiven, but loved.

  111. mayberrymachiavellian August 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Huh?
    Please report to your nearest community college for remedial instruction.

  112. bproman August 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    You have been fined for potty mouth and will be digitally billed on your next electronic accounting statement. Please pay before the programmed due date or risk an additional financial penalty. Your response has been monitored and an additional administrion fee has been applied for training purposes. We appreciate your business.

  113. sevenmmm August 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Thats a good bitch. But the rich bastards that own corporate america only want your money and don’t give a shit about you.
    Too bad the engineer that introduced the concept of designed obsolescence is already dead or we could force cut a steel hip joint into his body.

  114. Grouchy Old Girl August 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    As someone who is approaching the magic age of 70, I can see my ability to handle all these technological advancements is failing over time. Between my decreasing comprehension and tech’s increasing speed of change, there’s big trouble ahead. If I was like many of my rural peers here in the province of Ontario and couldn’t read or write, I’d be even more screwed. I expect many in the USA will be too.
    Who needs death panels when they can kill you with a thousand small cuts? It’s cheaper too.

  115. lconway August 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    There was a ‘Pinky and the Brain’ episode that dealt with a world-domination plan built around getting the entire planet entangled in telephone trees trying to reach a live person. That e=was ca. 1995. Yes, talking to computers and being shunted about a telephone answering system is demented – enough so to be fodder for a cartoon plot about genetically-altered lab mice using it to take over the world. loony tunes, indeed…that’s about the level we operate on, though we aren’t half as funny.

  116. Grouchy Old Girl August 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I’m always surprised to hear about people allowing any business to automatically deduct funds from their bank accounts. Not me, and if my friends laugh at me for being old fashioned, I don’t care.
    If I get into a dispute with that business it’s much better to be arguing it out with the money still in my account and not theirs. Don’t do internet banking either and nobody knows my credit card info but me.
    Better safe than sorry, right up til the day the whole thing crashes.

  117. beantown bill August 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    I don’t like to admit that anything surprises me. I think being jaded is cool in a Bogie kind of way. But I’ll tell you, man’s capacity for idiocy still astounds me. Today, some posts claim Russia has a better government than we do. WTF? I know our government sucks and Americans are lazy, fat, and entitled. But Russia?
    A significant percentage of its population is alcoholic. The people are depressed, negative, paranoid and afraid. You can manipulate all the economic numbers any way you want, but the land of Stalin is very messed up. My next door neighbor is from Moscow, and the things he tells me about the country are scary.
    Things are better than in the past, money-wise there; but it takes more than rubles to make a decent life. To compare Russia favorably with the US is either disingenuous or just plain stupid. E and Vlad are ridiculous.
    Oh, wait! They’re happy because some Jews got their comeuppance. It’s always about the Jews. Any reasonable CFNer can see they are the dickhead duo. BTW, I find it humourous that they are so desperate for attention they have to post on a site run by a Jew.
    OK, end of rant. Let’s get back on-topic.

  118. Grouchy Old Girl August 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    I hear ya, Kyooshtik. My freedom time started in 2009, just about when I was ready to snap. Our non profit was about the only agency in town where it was a point of pride to answer our phones. Even the boss would pick it up regularly. People were pathetically grateful and happy to hear real people ready to help.
    This automated crap makes it very hard for people without phones or computers/internet to function in this world. All part of the breakdown of democracy as everyday functions become outside the ability of many people to accomplish.

  119. k-dog August 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    It is not the first time a telephone system has been the center of political action.
    “On the 3rd May 1937, Rodriguez Salas, the Chief of Police, ordered the Civil Guard and the Assault Guard to take over the Telephone Exchange, which had been operated by the CNT since the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Members of the CNT in the Telephone Exchange were armed and refused to give up the building. Members of the CNT, FAI and POUM became convinced that this was the start of an attack on them by the UGT, PSUC and the PCE and that night barricades were built all over the city.”
    Reference: Spartacus Educational
    Ok the analogy to simply mandating that somebody pick up the ☎, is bit of a stretch but the concept that a corporations existence be mandated on providing jobs and doing the people’s work before considering profits and executive compensation is sufficiently blasphemous in America to make such a comparison. Such an attack on the corporate person-hood could have repercussions.
    After all in the Powell Manifesto the 1% says.

    The day is long past when the chief executive officer of a major corporation discharges his responsibility by maintaining a satisfactory growth of profits, with due regard to the corporation’s public and social responsibilities. If our system is to survive, top management must be equally concerned with protecting and preserving the system itself.

    Preservation of the system can take very drastic measures. I fear preserving tyranny will cause many innocent dogs to suffer.
    Just sayin,

  120. Grouchy Old Girl August 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    I’ll second that recommendation since newworld’s comments made no sense whatsoever. They did make me very glad I’m not living in his head though.

  121. beantown bill August 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I used to be the quintessential techie, but as I approach the same age as you, I, too, have no desire to automatically adopt the latest digital trend.
    I don’t text, I find that annoying; I don’t tweet – how trivial. I have to e-mail for business, but that’s about it. I’d just rather talk face-to-face with someone. I wish letter-writing came back into vogue, and that’s still not as good as in person communication. I understand that modern communication has widened the opportunity to be part of many human networks (a la CFN), but something intrinsic and valuable has been lost. Technology is a wonderful tool, but it doesn’t come free.

  122. dale August 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Thanks for your link, one of the few things here recently I have bothered to read. A stimulating nugget amongst all the egregiously ridiculous race bating and conspiratorial nonsense on this site.
    Contained within it was something even better, a link to a study (link below) which addresses whats up with people who believe in conspiracy theories so easily. You know:
    The world trade center was a plot
    kennedy assassination was a plot
    jews doing anything is a plot
    (fill in the blanks) is a plot
    Explains how these sad folks can actually be those most likely to believe that Princess Diana was murdered; but also simultaneously be most likely to believe here death was faked
    Love it, and an excellent explanation for why you shouldn’t waste your time with these poor people….for them “facts” have nothing to do with it.
    http://kent.academia.edu/RobbieSutton/Papers/1275313/Dead_and_alive_Beliefs_in_contradictory_conspiracy_theories

  123. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    dale,
    I hate those damn blank fillers, they are always conspiring!

  124. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    anti,
    So good of you to admit that you do not have anything rational to rebut the article, so you went immediately to name calling.
    Here is a general rule in intelligent debate. The first person to start calling names, particularly the name, “racist”, has lost the debate.

  125. xport August 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    This topic is a good springboard to examine how life has improved (or not) over the last 50 years in the good old USA. Just off the top of my head, I would say that what jumps out is that UPS, FedEx and the other logistic/delivery services have improved and gotten faster and better, but the US Postal service has gotten worse, and may be bankrupt.
    Local restaurants have gotten better, but fast food has come on ultra strong. As far as going to the market for fresh produce, meat and dairy, forget about it, the supermarket dominates.
    Communication has improved, with fax machines, cell phones, internet, cable tv, chats, blogs,etc, but the local newspaper has died, and people do not meet face to face and discuss and debate important local issues.
    Shopping at local markets is a lost cause.
    Child care used to be done by parents, grandparents and family, now it is daycare. Notice that it has become a major industry in the inner city, where it is govt. subsidized.
    Transportation: air travel is a nightmare of hassles, trains need help, bus service sucks, they have added double buses, and cut frequency on local routes, cab service is hit or miss, with rouge cabbies, put your life on hold when you step inside one of their cabs. Driving is insane, if the traffic does not get you, a road rage manic will. Biking: risk your life.
    Walking: get mugged, or run over, or stopped by the cops. No sidewalks, no protection.
    The environment: well look around. No such thing as global warming? Pollution? Shut up.
    Govt./Leadership: Wow, what a crop of low life’s
    Education: Our finest hour, with the current generation at the peak of perfection in music, art, literature and science.
    Family and daily life experience: Where? Missing in action.
    So, perhaps it is fair to say that things have not improved over time. But the craft brewing scene is going strong, with better beer being brewed by benevolent barristers.
    Cheers

  126. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    x,
    You might be surprised, but many people, when enrolled in a study, take it seriously and answer the questions as honestly as possible.

  127. tom August 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    I read your blog faithfully each week and while I really enjoy them, this is the first time I have felt compelled to comment, since the subject resonated so deeply. I am a successful small business owner of over 50 years. The idea of our telephone being answered by anything but a living being is about as foreign a concept as I can conceive of. I have ranted and raved without cease for years and years against what you refer to as telephone trees; one of the most destructive and stupid ideas to slither under the door in my lifetime. How any human primate with an IQ above that of a marmoset could imagine that the concerns of callers could be addressed satisfactorily by a halfwit computer and could be a good business decision must be demented. I wish them all massive failure.

  128. Buck Stud August 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    the age limits for various procedures, such as hip replacements and cardiac angioplasties, not being allowed over certain ages, e.g. 60; the ages keep going DOWN !!!
    In the UK Jim wouldn’t have to worry because he is too old for any more hip surgery. No joke.
    Not to claim that we have a great system, which we don’t, but the UK’s system is not the answer, unless, of course, you’re well under 55.

    Can you provide some source for this claim? Because the below seems to refute it, although it’s a bit dated. Just curious.
    http://www.factcheck.org/2010/02/koops-false-claims/

  129. johnnyboy August 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Lots of comments
    Easy on that Percocet Jim.
    What do you mean, “We don’t need no stinking people.” ? I’m with you, let’s hire some people to answer some of these calls. It’s all about the profit. They say it’s productivity, but we know.
    Good luck with that hip thing. Technology is sure to save us. If we could just get it to work.

  130. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Buck,
    First!
    I beat Vlad, anti and a few others.
    You have been brainwashed. That there Annenberg guy is one of them thar Joose! ;>)

  131. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Mud,
    You might be surprised, but according to the NIMH, about eight per cent of Americans aged 18 – 25 are batshit crazy and if they are enrolled in a study will answer the questions as crazily as possible. Then there are the ones who are only slightly crazy. There are also the ones that are only mildly crazy, but are having a REALLY bad day. Then there are the ones that are not crazy at all but are having a really bad HAIR day. They’re obsessed with it. It’s bound to skew their answers. But, damn it, they answered the questions despite being crippled by bad hair. What good citizens.
    OK. That’s enough for now. Time to feed the Komodo dragons.

  132. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    x,
    “if they are enrolled in a study will answer the questions as crazily as possible. ”
    Could you give me the reference to this study. It might also be possible that they are crazy, but then they might answer the questions consistently crazily.
    Also, if the psychologists are any good, they ask the same questions in different ways and test for consistency. It is also common to not inform subjects about the purpose of the study before they take the tests, as this would bias the results.

  133. boiledfrog August 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    …after the maze and three days of unreturned calls the human told me he didn’t believe me. I told him to fuck off and he hung up on me. That didn’t get my internet restored. I really didn’t miss it that much. Reality isn’t half bad.

  134. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Thats the catchiest ‘handle’ ive seen in along time!
    Im listening to KCRW/NPR. I dont know the lecturers name, he is saying BHO has been worse on human rights than GW!
    Hes talking about that corporate nutball [nobel winna?] Krugman[as in ‘TARP’ should have been more money!!!

  135. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Was the taking of Tibet a ‘communist plot’?
    If not, than what the fk was it?

  136. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    What about ‘1 800 Do Not Call’?
    There are laws. Get on the DNC list every 4 years.
    Since I have I get very few unwanted calls.
    Wish I could say the same about spams.

  137. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    ‘you have long wait periods (ten minutes or more) which are filled with hard-sell pitches for more products’
    The second part of yr statement illumines the first.
    The Verizon office here was a nitemare, then it closed!
    Now they have a FIOS office, buy FIOS is not offered
    near the office.

  138. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    One lure [not sure if they still use it] for the ‘Church’ of Scientology was the ‘Personality Profiles’ non members could take.
    How are the Dragons? Are they Vegetarian or bug eaters?

  139. Randimaxis August 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    FYI – Should you run across an automated system on the phone, asking questions, just don’t answer; most companies will connect you with a REAL person, automatically assuming you are ‘vocally impaired’. 4 out of 5 times, this works. So, don’t bother talking to the machine… you’ve already wasted enough air on the damn thing, why waste more?

  140. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Go outside and play. Go on.

  141. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Crows.

  142. ksat August 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Good article, James, on the ‘diminishing returns of technology’ However, I’ve got to say that I am a little disappointed that you didn’t comment on the Paul Ryan hoopla. I’m going 3rd party this year, no matter what, but what the totalitarian Repubs are trying to do in my state of PA is truly dsgusting.
    The Repubs are trying to ensure that the Libertarians and Constitutional parties do not get on the ballot. The Libertarians came up with 49,000 signatures and the Repubs are challenging 44,000 of them. It is going to be a long and expensive process, which they can ill afford, for the lightly funded 3rd parties to go thru this challenge process sig by sig. As the author of the article wrote, if this was happening in Putin’s Russia, our 2 monopoly parties and our lamestream media would be all over it. In the fascistic US, it is just business as usual. As for demonstrations at the Repub love-in in Tampa next week, there will be more than enough cops to ensure that there will not be another ’68 Chicago. I, for one, will not watch this crap!
    Lastly, what’s your take on Julian Assange trapped in the Equadorian embassy? Many Brits are up in arms about how much this is costing them and they seem to be in a no-win situation. Will they allow Assange to leave from the roof by chopper, only to be shot down by a drone?

  143. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    ‘ A recent study at the University of Kent, for example, found that those who believe Princess Diana was murdered are also more likely than most to think her death was faked.??’
    Wow, such ‘research’.

  144. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    x,
    So you too admit that you don’t have any rational response to my comment. At least instead of name calling you just tried to dismiss me.
    “Go outside and play. Go on.”
    That is almost as witty as “Oh yeah”, or “sez you!”
    It is a shame I kind of respected you, but I guess my respect was misguided.
    I am not sure why you are here, but it doesn’t appear to be to share knowledge or learn anything.

  145. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    anti,
    If you checked, THAT LINK WAS NOT MINE!
    Once again you shoot your keyboard off without being sure what you are typing about!

  146. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Prior [by many months] to yr 1st post here, the much reviled V-L-A-D posted and had a dialog with one Alexandra, over Whites freezing [20,000 a year?]
    in UK, while non white newbees go to the front of the line for housing.
    UK, I am told by friends ‘you get 1/2 the life for twice the price’ and its in a deep depression.
    UK has great public health care, IF this is true, IT WONT BE FOR MUCH LONGER.
    In TLE, JHK mentioned how UKs oil was gone and its suburbs built, on that ‘ez money’.
    Cheers.

  147. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    anti,
    Did Vlad have any references for that data?
    If so could you post the link here, then we can verify the validity of the numbers.

  148. anti soak August 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    ‘so you went immediately to name calling.’
    As in?
    ‘Racist’, the only person here of late I recall to use that term was you! In one of the first posts of yrs I read.
    I knew then to write you off.
    You are hoist by yr own petard.

  149. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    anti,
    Let me know when I posted that. Since you have been wrong with the posts right in front of you, you might be wrong again.
    If I did use the word or any other names, I was wrong and I apologize.

  150. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    “It is a shame I kind of respected you, but I guess my respect was misguided.”
    Oh well darn! Looks like I won’t be getting any sleep tonight. Who the fuck are you? Mr. Rogers? Do you wanna be my neighbor?
    As for my purpose here, I’m tryin’ to get laid.
    I’ll bet you’re here to Change The World.

  151. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Vlad! Help! Some history pleez! Acient Sumeria, Eva pissing on Adolph, anything! I can’t take much more of the Ghost of Fred Rogers!

  152. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    x,
    There you go again! I guess that you were a bully in school. Of course you only did it in a group, that is why you are calling Vlad to cover your back.
    Then after high school it was downhill all the way. It is a real shame when you peak in high school.
    And yes, I would like to make the world a little better place.

  153. muddmike August 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    x,
    I have to go to bed now. I have a decent paying job to go to in the morning.

  154. xhalor August 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Sloooooow night on the blog.

  155. Doc Holliday August 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Jim:
    Bear in mind that one side effect of perscription pain medication is irritability.
    Really annoying things like voice mail and the virtual humans can become even worse where one might, instead of throwing the phone into a wall, drive ones car through the front door of a Verizon office, something I have considered doing.
    Or we could choose to become so dehumanized by all this electronic madness that we learn to love the robots on the other end of the line.
    Hope you feel better Mon Amigo.

  156. progress4spam August 21, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Nice week’s work, JHK. Thanks as always.
    Ah, yes, “telephone trees.”
    Except – that’s not the actual term.
    That’s what the CFN blog is calling the phenomenon.
    Right now.
    And that’s not the proper terminology. I’ve been using or designing “phone trees,” also known as “call down procedures” for most of my working life.
    And they look like this example.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4987656_create-phone-tree-notifcations.html
    What JHK made reference to last night is a version of IVRS, Interactive Voice Response System.
    Which sucks.
    And sucks only slightly more than its kissing bastard cousin – the APS, Automated Phone System.
    I hate them both. I don’t have the attention span for APS. I usually punch “0” over and over until a real person answers.
    IVRS – that rarely works for me because I have a nonstandard (Southern) accent. K/Q – you can picture Paula Dean with a deep, gravelly male voice; just to give you a mental picture that will put you over the edge.
    At any rate, JHK, thanks again. And good luck with your health travails.
    ===============
    Just a couple of more observations on APS, IVRS, and the CFN blog.
    later.

  157. progress4spam August 21, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    The demented third cousin of IVRS is what we’re getting way to got’damn much of right now in my home state of Georgia.
    Political robo-calls.
    How – in the HELL – was it possible that the politicians exempted themselves from the “no computer generated calls” illegality???
    Georgia is now a “pink State.” (really?? PINK???
    WTF?) Because we’re a toss-up between Mittens (due to our evangelical contingent) and Obomber (due to our afro-american contingent)
    So – God Help Us – we are getting robo-calls out of the a**. There is only one race of national import on my local run-off ballot right now.
    Martha Zeoller vs Some D*ck Head, whose name escapes me right now. (you can look it up on wikipedia, if you care)
    Both are Republican. Both are “Conservative,” for whatever that soon-to-be-Invective-Term is worth.
    I have gotten (no sh*t!) 5 or 6 pieces of mail, and at least 10 robo-calls on those two.
    One piece of mail said*, “Martha Zoeller is in favor of legalized marijuana.”
    *no kidding *really
    So despite all of the hype, I early-voted for Martha. (I think legal marijuana is a FANTASTIC FREAKIN’ IDEA.) Although, now I think she wants to kill babies, too – according to robo-call rumor/statement.
    Probably up to a year old babies.
    She’s like Herod.
    Guess that means she won’t get the Jewish vote?
    Freakin’ nuts, around here.

  158. progress4spam August 21, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    OK, I feel better, having vented my spleen.
    Wells, BeingThere, Ozone, and probably a couple of others – you all have hit the nail on the head, as regards the Dead End Canyon in which the US electorate now finds itself. Nice job, guys.
    And muddmike – some good posts, and a couple of very good links. Except your links were both “liberal,” to an objective observer.
    You’re like BuckStud and several others, you want to climb out of the Matrix but you can’t, just yet.
    Try this on for size.
    http://reason.com/archives/2012/08/20/the-wrong-side-absolutely-must-not-win
    And alternate (Democrat/Republican) wherever “the wrong side” is mentioned – as you read.
    Please.

  159. progress4spam August 21, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/Pak-girl-accused-of-blasphemy-jailed-US-deeply-disturbed/Article1-916890.aspx
    And somebody – anybody – explain to me why more immigration into the United States is not a ticking time bomb of death.
    Please.

  160. progress4spam August 21, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    You’re right, X, this place is quiet tonight.
    Too quiet?
    Antisoak and Vlad, maybe a couple of others.
    Would somebody – anybody – explain the fascination that the “Right Wing” of the US has with women’s vaginas, hormones, and sacred uteri? Please.
    http://gawker.com/5936386/mike-huckabee-would-like-to-remind-you-that-rape-has-created-some-extraordinary-people

  161. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    Bill said:
    I don’t like to admit that anything surprises me. I think being jaded is cool in a Bogie kind of way. But I’ll tell you, man’s capacity for idiocy still astounds me. Today, some posts claim Russia has a better government than we do. WTF? I know our government sucks and Americans are lazy, fat, and entitled. But Russia?
    A significant percentage of its population is alcoholic. The people are depressed, negative, paranoid and afraid. You can manipulate all the economic numbers any way you want, but the land of Stalin is very messed up. My next door neighbor is from Moscow, and the things he tells me about the country are scary
    ****************************************************************
    It’s me … Eleuthero. Apparently, JHK could not stand my commentary, entirely true, about the 11 Russian Oligarchs of whom 10 are Jews. Even JHK, an Israeli advocate, can’t stand the heat. This is yet another “No Fact Zone” to parody Colbert. Hence, my posting as Eleuthero was banned. I’m determined not to be silenced.
    Bill, of course an EMIGRE is going to make Russia sound horrible but your neighbor is one guy. How does he explain the fact that Putin’s approval numbers are SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT? It’s horrible, is it? Really. I guess it is for certain ethnicities. We hardly even have TWO viable parties in the USA yet it’s well known that Russia has so many parties that a monopolization of power in the Duma is all but impossible.
    Russia HAS a future. Does the USA? You can only believe that America has a future is you believe Cheney that “deficits don’t matter”. I know soooo many middle class families in my area that are hanging by a thread. I know soooo many people lacking healthcare RIGHT NOW. I know sooooo many people who are in their 50s with no possibility of employment outside of a McDonalds.
    Russia has had it with amoral westerners like Madonna who is trying to appeal to 12-year-olds about the virtues of being gay. They’d like to jail her for hooliganism which seems appropriate to me but probably won’t happen for diplomatic reasons. She’s not over there to promote fighting hunger or disease or war. She’s there to promote the idea that queer is cool. What a moron.
    Seventeen percent of Americans now LIVE IN HUNGER. Do you seriously believe that this percentage of Russians are on the verge of starvation? I don’t. Our middle class is now nonexistent because we’re allowing the wholesale takeover of the country by the same kinds of oligarchs that Putin has put into exile like Gusinsky.
    Irrespective of what our Russian friends say, it’s pretty damned scary being an American right now. I hardly know an intellectual out here of either political stripe who seriously believes that our economy is tenable for more than the briefest number of years. Pension systems, food delivery logistics, and a lot of other vital stuff is going to go kaput.
    As I write this, America barely has enough truckers left to transport things because of the regulations and low pay of their profession so many are dropping out. We can’t even get Mexicans to pick the food in CA right now so huge fields will go unharvested. Does this sound like a healthy country to you?
    Only the stock market is doing well because our CEOs are kicking our own citizens in the teeth by hiring slave wage workers in third world countries instead of their fellow citizens. Speculation is all that’s left of America. In Russia, the stock market is at a multi-year low as is China’s. Does that mean “we win”. No … this kind of economy where ONLY the speculative sector is healthy is an augury of a horrible disaster.
    Yes, Bill, Russia has better long term prospects than the US and I doubt they’re starving out their own people like we are. Your friend is entitled to his opinion but I believe it’s bogus.
    E.

  162. BeingThere August 21, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Hey E.,
    (sorry to hear you were thrown out, trust me it has nothing to do with the content of your post. If it was Mr Kranz wouldn’t be on and I never would have gotten thrown off for over 3 months.
    You forgot to say that the stock market is doing well only because it’s totally rigged. There’s been a “plunge protection group since the heady days of Reagan when the oligarchy-turned kleptocrats decided that interest rates at the banks were over.
    The Faustian deal Obama made with the Clintonistas was that they would fix the market to refill those looted 401k’s and the folks would believe all is well. (take Q, please!)
    Everyday we hear how great the market’s doing with little slips and dips here and there, but the bubblicious contintues ‘cuz as Christine Lagarde stated on GPS in 2009, “It’s all we have to work with”!–Don’t you feel better now?
    Does anyone get what $1.4 quadrillion (& counting) in garbage derivitaves means?
    Everyone in the world should be marching in the streets, but what do we get instead?
    We’re reduced to the lowest of bad theater in our what would never pass as political discussion in the past.
    Those who just want what the want, make stuff up. We’ve got idiots talking about legitimate rape. Oh, yeah, sure that’s real scientific…Oh yeah, they hate science. I just can’t help but wonder when they’re going to start throwing the ladies in the water.(Baby’s on fire, better throw her the water(Phil Manzanera)
    The dumber the polity the easier to go fascist. Russia recently referred to us as Fascist, maybe we ought to take notice.

  163. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Yes, several Russian publications have, over the years, referred to the current incarnation of the US government as “fascist”. Christine Lagarde spoke the actual truth … the “market” is the entire economy.
    However, in the fullness of time, US debt has come to be owned in enormous amounts by Russia and China to a total of $3 trillion and they most assuredly are not our allies when it comes to Iran, Israel, or foreign policy. They rightly abhor our warmongering all over the Middle East while their own calls for diplomacy are being made to appear as “appeasement of tyrants” by the US media.
    Really? We are allies with bedbugs like Saudi Arabia and we dare to criticize Russia’s support of Assad?? Thank God for the Internet because it’s the only place where real news leaks in. You don’t get it on any of your 999 Comcast Channels because anything that impugns US support of Israel or supports Russian or Chinese positions in the Middle East has a mysterious way of NEVER AIRING.
    E.

  164. BeingThere August 21, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Ah, one more thing before I have to go. Yesterday I heard at work where NPR plays throughout the day that Thom Friedman is going to discuss the possible plans that Israel thinks they’re going to go it alone against Iran. They claim it will be a 30 day war. –Yeah, right 30 days–another fantasy like the legitimate rape..
    So light that oil, boys and plunck your magic twanger—can you spell WWIII?

  165. Bill Simpson August 21, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    What idiot could think that metal rubbing against metal wouldn’t wear? I guess they thought that a little chromium wouldn’t hurt you. At least they didn’t use beryllium.

  166. driften August 21, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    The assinine comments he made during what seems to be Akin’s political suicide got me thinking. Could an adult, who was supposedly educated at least in the public school system, and holds a seat on the House science and technology committee, be so fucking colossally stupid? I don’t think so. It sure gave Romney/Ryan a lot of room to the left of his statement to sound like the very voice of reason, even though the R platform’s policy on this question continues to be against all abortions: “The platform draft, closely guarded by party officials but provided to CNN by a Republican source in Tampa, endorses “a human life amendment” to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion. No explicit exemptions are made for rape or incest.”

  167. driften August 21, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    I bet Akin has a reward coming from Mitt…

  168. ozone August 21, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    (Undercover)E.,
    You sez:
    “However, in the fullness of time, US debt has come to be owned in enormous amounts by Russia and China to a total of $3 trillion and they most assuredly are not our allies when it comes to Iran, Israel, or foreign policy.”
    This is a fascinating concept for a fast-approaching future. They’d better get real busy trading these debt-based, IOU, pretend wealth papers for real assets while they’re still worth the mouthings the originators say they are! I see a grand jubilee coming in order that the ‘Murkin gummint can erase (or drastically reduce) its’ OUTSTANDING international debts.
    “Oh… those paper “assets” you guys are holding there… um, well, as they say, they’re not worth the paper they’re printed on, so you’re kinda S.O.L. Now, stop with that ‘full faith and credit’ shit; that’s soooo yesterday! Okay then, keep in touch, and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do! haw haw…”
    What we’d like to know is: Can you get a live customer-service person on the phone WITHIN India? (When that can’t be accomplished, we’ll know they’re truly fucked as well. ;o)
    How ’bout the long distance communication technology in China and Russia? Is this the hidden chink (Oooo) in their armor? “We can’t call out Civil Defense/The People’s Liberation Army; the phone lines are down!”

  169. NoisesOff August 21, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Hi Wardoc
    I live in Scotland. I do wish people from the US would stop spouting this nonsense about how anyone over a certain age won’t be treated by the NHS for this, that or the other. It’s really tedious. Here’s a link to the NHS web page relating to hip replacements:
    http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Hip-replacement/Pages/Introduction.aspx
    And here’s the relevant quote:
    ‘Many of the conditions treated with a hip replacement are age-related so hip replacements are usually carried out in older adults aged between 60 and 80.’
    So please, please, please give it a rest. And for anyone else, please check the NHS site first before telling your compatriots what is or isn’t available on the NHS. You are playing into the hands of the corporations who are trying to ruin you.

  170. ozone August 21, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Actually Bill, it would have worked exceedingly swell, but they forgot to install the grease fitting when finishing up. Couple pumps of molybdenum-based tractor lube every other day would have reduced wear considerably (high load-bearing and waterproof, don’cha know). It’s always the little things that tend to be the linchpins of success or failure.

  171. bailey August 21, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Its so easy to whine. Why not persevere. Many do, in particular, the Europeans. I enjoyed reading the comment about Bulgaria, its true these people, on this continent, so diverse and culturally unique, do practice self-reliance on a day to day basis. Germany is a country of engineers and Italy, of artisans. Unlike the Anglo-American model they just don’t make such a fuss and whine in quite the same way. They whine some, then persevere.
    Living here for over a decade, having married one, I have to say, the Europeans are, in a general sense, far more serious than my fellow Americans.
    I enjoyed growing up in the States, feeling free, starting my own companies, which I did over and over again until the pathologies set in; litigious, evangelica and ‘I am a victim’ mentality. So, left my family, contacts, security and sailed away, over and over again, living in a number of these countries. I fear Kunstler does travel across the pond, for a few days here and there but absorbs very little and internalizes absolutely nothing of what makes this diverse engine chug quietly into the future, forming relationships across the borders, with the east, with relative ease.
    My husband does a lot of work in Kazakhstan, and all over Europe, it never ceases to surprise me how well Europe and the east works towards the future yet retains their history. They talk about it everyday; that’s why they remember, that’s why they continue to move into the future.
    So many triggers to watch out for, the Chinese are growing weary of our stock market, investing in gold, as are the Kazakhs. And rather than do anything major like make a fuss and whine all day about the USD remaining the reserve currency, they simply find strategic ways to bypass it, move beyond it. I’m much more faith in the Euro than the dollar, but the various triggers will happen gradually, underneath the radar even as the systems continues to protect themselves and Americans bitch and moan and play into the left-right paradigm.
    The German high court will make an interesting decision at the end of the month that will effect the EU zone, but they’ll do it quietly. Italy, with all its gold, money in the pocket and black market will survive, they always have. I live in Prague, 3% unemployment rate in the city, everyone has a job is they choose to work and most do. They just don’t get excited about it, they remember.
    Only a perception, but its all interesting to watch. Like my neighbors, friends and family on this side; I’ll just continue to persevere….

  172. ozone August 21, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    …The accusations and investigations of multiple/serial rapes concerning Akin as a person of interest are soon to be dropped, expunged and blown away like so much ash on the wind.
    Akin then whispered to his aide: “They liked being forced, and so will you. Are you sure you took your pill today?”

  173. ozone August 21, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Thanks for the perspective.
    Always important to the larger picture.
    (Group-think is death from the blindside.)

  174. driften August 21, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    what are those accusations based on o?

  175. progress4spam August 21, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Great posts this week, ladies and gents.
    Some fantastic international perspectives – which is something we really need in the States.
    E, glad you persevered. You are at least 90% correct, overall. That Bill (and mika and one or two others) take issue with you so severely only indicates how incredibly blinded they are by their own ……. ?
    I know it is horribly unfashionable to say it on the Atheist side of the internet – but we all need to consider the possibility that the Old Testament is coming true, at an increasing velocity.
    Whether by the Will of Jehovah or by some other power – The “chosen people” do seem to be getting the whip hand. And the “Promised Land” does seem to be heading for something.
    =====================
    And thanks for the humor this morning, O3.
    – a “chink” in their armor!
    – JHK with a Zerk fitting on his hip!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grease_fitting
    OK – gotta’ go hit a lick at a snake.

  176. ozone August 21, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    “I know soooo many middle class families in my area that are hanging by a thread. I know soooo many people lacking healthcare RIGHT NOW. I know sooooo many people who are in their 50s with no possibility of employment outside of a McDonalds.”
    -E.
    Yep. And as Mr. Orlov has attempted [unsuccessfully, it seems] to point out, Russians know how to provide a goodly portion of their own foodstuffs and know how to fix broken stuff by applying a little ingenuity. It’s my sense that the lumpen of this country slide further and further toward total dependence with every passing year, and nobody seems to know how to do shit-all any more. (My own shortcomings in this regard become more apparent/glaring as well, but at least I’m making an effort.)
    **********************************
    “In 1787, Alexander Tyler of the University of Edinborough wrote that all democracies go through eight stages, two hundred years being the average cycle time. The stages are:
    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back to bondage.
    As deeply as we have sunk into apathy, dependence is breathing down our necks. And the “New World Order” sounds like a euphemism for bondage.”
    (-From an article I’d best not name, for fear of the messenger be impugned, and the message be subsumed in the usual patent bullshittery. See you in the slave galley; work on building up those flabby arms; you’ll need some stamina for rowing.
    *******************************
    Your phone won’t plant your beans for you, although you might be able to glean some info on HOW to do it.

  177. newworld August 21, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Basically Akin sounds like a Muslim fundie, big deal I guess, but only because his skin is white and he votes for the R gang. I’m telling you nice white liberal folk in metaphorical terms, “you live by the taboo, you will die by the taboo.”
    Anyway good luck to JHK on the lawsuit lottery, pennies on the dollar while the politicians he votes for rake in the bucks from the people his class action lawsuit targets. It is called a protection racket. Like you leftists and your discrimination protection rackets which target businesses.
    NIce white liberals it is YOUR fault.

  178. ozone August 21, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    P2C,
    I gotta know.
    When you say, “OK – gotta’ go hit a lick at a snake”, is that a literal thing or representative?
    (I’m thinking it’s a euphemism for bladder relief, but I’ve never heard that one before.)
    Please advise, as I know you have snakes in abundance around there.

  179. beantown bill August 21, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    You’re not the only one, E. I couldn’t log on yesterday. It has nothing to do with content; it’s some website glitch. I just opened a new poster account. I wanted to keep my old handle, so I created a slightly different user ID, but kept Beantown Bill as the name that appears on-screen – there’s an option for this for new accounts, so I’m still BB.

  180. ozone August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Actually, as you may have guessed, there is absolutely no basis for these egregious slurs and slanders; I made ’em up! ;o)
    Your suppositions on giving R&R more breathing room to the [non-existent] “left” is much more compelling and may have real significance, since it’s actually being featured on the “news of legitimacy”.
    (I’m always of a mind to believe nothing until it’s been officially denied.)

  181. driften August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    I guess Romney’s use of Akin to game the system isn’t worthy of conversing about here… interesting to see nevertheless.

  182. driften August 21, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Now yer talkin! I would really like to know what Akin was offered to take the swan dive.

  183. budizwiser August 21, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Hey – nice rant JK – but while “jobs” are in the news (and election) headlines – this is the kind of news story one finds on page 13 on their local metro newspaper…..
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/08/12/160935/will-high-oil-costs-permanently.html

    But to some experts, spikes in oil prices over the last several years have signaled an ominous turn that could make it nigh on impossible for any president to expand the economy as it has in the past.
    Unlike previous oil price jumps stemming from turmoil affecting Middle East oil producers, prices surged over the last eight years because tightening supplies couldn’t keep pace with Third World demand, researchers have concluded.

    Would anyone discuss how a news piece about the end of the world cannot even make the front of a newspaper? (read the piece if you don’t believe me) If would seem if any of the statistics in this article are even remotely accurate – having children is probably not a good idea…….
    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/08/12/160935/will-high-oil-costs-permanently.html#storylink=cpy

  184. erikSF99 August 21, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Hey, there is still more progress to be made! In Germany (and I presume elsewhere in Europe) in most cases you have to PAY for the customer service line you call. And, yes, you pay for all the time you are on hold and all the time you are talking to solve the problem you have with the company’s service or bills! Landline calls may cost you 4 to 8 Eurocents per minute but a phone call from your cell phone may cost up to 45 cents per minute!
    Once with a pre-paid cell phone my cell phone voicemail wouldn’t work, the problem was at the cell phone company’s end, they finally fixed it but in the MEANtime an entire 10 Euros credit was eaten up and the phone call got cut off while I was talking to the customer service representative because my money had run out–using their cell phone and their service to talk to their customer service!
    BTW, don’t forget that there is a wonderful website: http://gethuman.com/ that gives you (most of the time) the correct prompts to get through electronic voicemail hell. There’s no escaping it but being given specific guidance for each system is certainly a small blessing.

  185. The Mook August 21, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Hey Harry, DonnyKrebs here from Penissylvania. Saw your name and am glad I am not the only Krebs who visits this depressing site. The Mook.

  186. Rick August 21, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    I agree Jim, great post. Also, related, it’s too bad this country is mostly filled with brain dead stupid people.

  187. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    The dumbness of ‘Compassionate Whites’ is amazing.
    E’hero, didya know about this?
    Canadian rap singer Manu Militari was, until earlier this year, sufficiently patriotic to have received more than $100,000 in government grants that originated with the Canadian Heritage department.
    However, a June video released ahead of his new album “L’Attente” portrayed Afghan Taliban fighters targeting a convoy of Canadian soldiers, planting a roadside bomb and aiming their rifles at the Canadians’ heads. Over 150 Canadian soldiers have died fighting the Taliban and their insurgent allies. [National Post, 6-29-2012.
    .
    ………………………..

  188. Buck Stud August 21, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    You think ‘climbing out of the matrix’ means to shield your eyes and declare all political party ideologies ‘ not different from one another’.
    Sorry Prog, I’m just not that blind; I understand the reality of GRADATION. But if you think Scalia equals Sotomayor, and by extension, both major political parties equivalent to each other, then you should leave references to me out of your future commentary – I don’t like to waste time on endless stupidity.
    You and Wage Laborious, who would have ever thought it.

  189. trippticket August 21, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    From my blog, Small Batch Garden, a little more support for some of Jim’s ideas this week. Must be something in the water…
    “Industrial efficiencies have compensated to some degree for declining energy quality, but efficiency has its own limits according to physical law, and efficiency is literally the opposite of resilience, something we are going to need more of in a lower energy future…Efficiency, in all its 21st century glory, is actually the enemy of a more predictable energy descent. Resilience is something we should all be working on, even at the cost of efficiency, and if you read my blog, no doubt something that’s on your mind.”
    http://smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com
    Tripp out.

  190. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I dont know if yve been posting here for 3 weeks or 3 months.
    Yr post may have been a reply to me or someone here and was in reference to [I am certain, 100%]
    unemployment among Blacks being due to Whites
    [racist] who wont employ them.
    There is a way to search posts here, I have forgotten how to use. I assume Kyoostik knows how to use it.
    It was one of the first posts of yrs that I ever read.

  191. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    So who is right and who is wrong?
    Who pulls insinuations out of their ass, Prof?
    on welfare because racists won’t hire them.”muddmike August 1, 2012 1:07 PM | Reply
    ” “So if there are 30M Black adults, 1 in 3 is on welfare.”
    Way to go anti! Pull a number out of your ass to make a point. The numbers on welfare are total, not just adults. There are 39 million blacks in the US as of 2010.
    Also, you ignore the fact that maybe a few of those blacks are …..
    So there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  192. Buck Stud August 21, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    If you’re so concerned about “facts” – the link I provided refuted your claims to the contrary – why did you twist the truth last week and deny that your pension is, in fact, funded by taxpayers?
    That would be a good place to start.
    And how hilarious is Prog’s statement, that your thoughts/assertions are 90% correct, LOL! Just keep hanging out with right-wing ‘Southern Man’, that two-dollar bill who claims “Independent” status and pretty soon you too will also be batting a hundred.
    Jesus what a pair, the indignant,sanctimonious fibber arm-in-arm with the the false front “Progressive”.

  193. beantown bill August 21, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Exactly, O3. When the time comes monetization stops working, we’ll just default on all our debt, and tell everyone, tough shit. For most economists, this is unthinkable, but it will
    occur eventually.
    When this happens, other countries will get very angry; they’ll stop doing business with us, and in this period, the chances of war with other major powers will max out – that is if we haven’t gone to war with them because of our mideast military misadventures.
    Getting our credit cut off won’t harm us as much as people think. Manufacturing will have returned to the US. This is beginning to happen because of automation. US-based multinationals ship our manufacturing overseas because of the cheap labor there. There’s no way America’s workers can compete.
    But factory automation will resolve this issue. Currently, robotic arms can multi-task to the point where one robot can do the work of 8-10 human workers. On top of this, robots work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no salary, no unions, no vacations and very, very few sick days (for maintenance & repairs) AND no health insurance.
    We are an advanced technological society. China isn’t. Ultimately, they will not be able to compete with our cheaper manufacturing costs.
    New technology solves many problems, but introduces new ones. For example, it’s yet to be determined what to do with the masses of unemployed Americans that will result.
    China’s future as a superpower, however, is very iffy. Mostly this is because of their immense overpopulation issue.
    The point, 03, is why be pessimistic about our future when there is a decent probability that things will work out, despite our seemingly overwhelming problems. Could you find it in your heart to try to be a half-full guy, rather than a half-empty one?

  194. muddmike August 21, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    anti,
    I was not calling you or any other person on the site racist.
    There is a BIG difference between calling a person a racist in response to their post, as I have been called on this site, and talking about general racists who will not hire blacks.

  195. beantown bill August 21, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    O3, given that Tyler wrote his piece in 1787, that means a democracy had to have gone through the cycle starting in 1587. I don’t believe democracy was in use during that period. I believe – and correct me if I’m wrong, please – that the last true democracy of any substance was in ancient Athens. Therefore, Tyler’s writings were unsubstantiated. Besides, America was never a democracy, but a republic.

  196. trippticket August 21, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    “Could you find it in your heart to try to be a half-full guy, rather than a half-empty one?”
    Technically, the glass is always 100% full, whether it’s with water, or air, or something else entirely, like glycerin. Ozone’s ability to sort out the difference between water and glycerin is what makes him awesome. How’s it going, Beans? I see you’re still up to your techno-cornucopian ways;)

  197. Widespreadpanic7 August 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    I drove by West Farms Mall earlier, the 40 year old massive concrete shopping edifice off Interstate 84. The parking lot was full. I mean full. Its back-to-school-shopping time! Things might be changin’, but they’re changin’ pretty goddam slow, so slow as to be barely perceptible. It doesn’t seem like this clusterf–k is ever going to unravel, at least in my lifetime.
    –WSP7

  198. driften August 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    The country will go broke slowly at first, then all at once… (paraphrasing Ernie H)

  199. Widespreadpanic7 August 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Hey Oz, its always been a hardscrabble life up there in that rocky soil in Western Massachusetts. That people are struggling now is nothing new.
    –WSP7

  200. beantown bill August 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Hey, Tripp, nice to hear from you. I trust everything’s ok with you. I’ve always thought that you were the one true CFNer here. You walk the walk even before you talked the talk.
    I’m ok, still plugging along. On the half empty, half full glass, lol. If you’ve ever read any of my posts, you know I’m a gambler. Any good gambler hedges his bets, and that’s what I’m doing with the future. I know we could fall, like you believe, so I’m preparing for that, too. It’s a matter of attitude: Hope for the best, plan for the worst, remain optimistic.

  201. beantown bill August 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Marlin, don’t sound so disappointed.

  202. Widespreadpanic7 August 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    You’re one of good guys here yourself, BTBill, right along with, yes, Tripp, Ibendet, P2C, Ozone, Antisoak and others. A few years ago you had one of the best posts ever, describing a midwinter trip to Central Florida.
    –WSP7

  203. K Furian August 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Love the conecpt and the logic behind it. Thank you for puttting it out there.
    I, thankfully, work for a manufacturing (I know its shocking something is still made in the USA) company that still believes in having a human answer the phone and its always nice to surprise our customers with a hello when they call.
    There was a push to have an automated system but that came from our IT department as “easier” for them to maintain.
    We would lose functionaliy and customer assecibility so customer service fought back with customer satifaction surveys that focused on how happy our customers are to talk to real people.
    Our Sales department fought back with showing how much nimbler we are in answering customer questions and meeting needs by not having the the customers go thorugh a robo answerer. They had stats on the business we had taken away from competitors who use robo answerers for call routing which caused customer disatisfaction.
    Humans FTW!

  204. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Well, Buck, as usual, you’re only about 88.7% wrong. Here’s the latest news:
    *************************************************************
    The new funding gap, $4.5 billion, moves closer to equaling the total $5.3 billion currently being paid into the CalSTRS pension fund from all sources: teachers $2.4 billion, employers $2.3 billion and state $600 million.
    *************************************************************
    The State of California’s “matching funds” amount to 11.3% of the total and comprise a drop in the bucket compared to the REAL public pension fund … CalPERS. The State’s matching funds were far less that this 11.3% pay-in in year 2000 when State enrollments weren’t capped, therefore tuition revenues were much, much higher. The state annual pay-in in 2000 equaled 7.6% of the total revenue of the fund.
    Thus, implying that my statement about CalSTRS is an out-and-out lie is, itself, a deep prevarication on your part. The CA State Budget is approximately $142 billion plus Federal funding which boosts total expenditures to $225 billion of which the State is now in a $16 billion shortfall. Thus, the $600 million add-in to CalSTRS, which you’re implying is a fully PUBLIC fund, is only 11.3% of the funds in-flows and a whopping ZERO POINT FOUR PERCENT of STATE EXPENDITURES.
    When you consider the enormity of the educational complex in CA, this amount of funding is truly liliputian. Thus, for me to admit being wholly “wrong” about this, Studly, is tantamount to saying that if you give me FORTY CENTS out of my $100 budget, you’re “supporting me” … a lie by a mere 99.6%.
    So, go to http://www.dof.ca.gov/budget and view the stupidity of your conjectures HEAD-ON. As usual, you vividly show all of CFN the truth of the adage “A little knowledge is dangerous”. Sigh, sigh, sigh.
    E.

  205. Mike Hunt August 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    The wife of ousted Communist Party official Bo Xilai received, for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, a suspended death sentence.
    Does that mean they are going to hang her?
    Or did something here get lost in translation?
    Mike

  206. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Oh, for those of you who don’t want to visit the CA budget website, it’s this simple … the States $600 million contribution to CalSTRS is 0.4% of the State Budget and only a “good faith” addition to CalSTRS revenue flows which equal 11.3% of annual inflows, up from 7.8% in 2000.
    Many things are busting the CA budget, but CalSTRS, a private .com IN FACT, is not one of them. Halliburton, KBR, and dozens of other corporations are 40-70% Federal funded. Now THAT makes them REAL quasi-governmental entities.
    Buck … you don’t know shit from shinola because you do a soupcon of research and don’t give the numbers to your fellow CFN members, mainly because it would embarrass you as I have in these two posts.
    E.

  207. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Ozone said:
    Yep. And as Mr. Orlov has attempted [unsuccessfully, it seems] to point out, Russians know how to provide a goodly portion of their own foodstuffs and know how to fix broken stuff by applying a little ingenuity. It’s my sense that the lumpen of this country slide further and further toward total dependence with every passing year, and nobody seems to know how to do shit-all any more. (My own shortcomings in this regard become more apparent/glaring as well, but at least I’m making an effort.)
    ***************************************************************
    My Russian friends constantly talk about the ubiquity of Russian citizens raising their own cucumbers for a huge stock of winter pickles, raising potatoes, and so on. I’m the ONLY person in my circle of acquaintances that has routinely grown food … summer and winter squash, potatoes, and onions.
    When I was young, nearly everyone back East grew SOMETHING but you can scarcely find a tomato garden in these new exurban tract developments any more. Our opulence has dulled our recognition of what truly NECESSARY SKILLS are.
    E.

  208. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Oh, Studly, if I add in the Federal matching funds as part of the State of CA budget, then CalSTRS comprises now, not the whopping 0.4% I quoted above but $600 million out of $225 BILLION … which is 0.26%.
    If I use your idiotic logic then half the corporations in the US could not be considered the “private sector”.
    E.

  209. budizwiser August 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    These guys at McClatchey did a great job – Previously mentioned article – life as we know it – using liquid fuels – ends in about 35 years when using current projections.
    If I was 30 years old – I’d be bitching in public a ;little more….
    How is it that even young people have tuned out?
    Why care about pension funds if industrial culture as we know has ceased to exist?

  210. welles August 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    So rather than mindlessly invoke the name Bulgaria as the butt of some stupid american joke, better to learn something about that beautiful country which is in so many ways lightyears ahead of the US of A
    touche. US and A people find themselves so funnay about supposedly backwards countries…that’s the effectiveness of their mind-washing.
    my bulgarian friend came to the US at age 12 and was promptly promoted to 12th-grade calculus since he’d advanced that far in Bulgaria with 30-year old textbooks exquisitely repaired with tape….kind of shows you Europeans’ extreme regard for knowledge, dedication.
    compare that to US and A people’s insistence on glorifying less-than-zero sports ‘figures’ or Hollywood ‘celebrities’. Less-than-zero people hold up other less-than-zero idols.
    Loser country all the way around. JHK’s serious attempt to pin backwardness on Bulgaria reveals the provincial-mindedness of US and A people, they are unrelentingly stupid and stupefying.
    peace peaceniks

  211. xhalor August 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    “Deficits don’t matter” says Big Dick. Don’t know about you, but I knew that right at that moment, I was living in Wonderland. 500 years of traditional accounting thrown out the window.
    Love the new handle. It’s so….pornographic. And speaking of pornography, here’s yer ass (courtesy of ZeroHedge)
    http://acrossthestreetnet.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/shhhh-its-even-worse-than-the-great-depression/

  212. budizwiser August 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Okay Okay i get it …. Todd Akin meant to say that forcible rape – at least the legitimate “good” kind is an effective method of family planning.
    And that husbands needs only give there wives a few good “smacks” before penetration – and one or two more during climax to effectively prevent conception.
    Akin added ”

    This isn’t exactly rocket science – even high school-age gentlemen can learn the valuable technique of “using rape as birth control” from their fathers in a few minutes.”

    Akin finished by stating he had not been using the techniques in recent years simply because his wife preferred anal intercourse……
    Thank you – please add your own banal remarks below…..

  213. San Jose Mom 51 August 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Tripp,
    So nice to see your posts! You’re place in the woods is charming.
    Jen
    P.S. My sister in Bayfield, CO (near Durango) woke up with a bear in her yard this morning. He didn’t mess with her garden….just passing through in a happy way.

  214. San Jose Mom 51 August 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    ^^ Change “you’re” to your. Whoops.

  215. driften August 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    You are all keying in on the same irrelevant part of the Akin story as the Misleadingstream Media. The “legitimate rape” remark is a throwawy. The true question is why he committed political hari kari when he knew what he said was not in line with biology as a seventh grader knows it. He left a lot of room to the left of himself but still far right, and by taking up quarters there, RomneyRyan has made itself sound so reasonable by contrast.

  216. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Ask the elected official in Minnesota, caught with a 17 year old at a rest stop. [Gauthier]

  217. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Work was ‘so 40 years ago’.
    Why grow food [ AND COOK IT??? WTF]?????
    Have you seen the signs at the fast food places?EBT.
    Obamas administration is advertising in Spanish for
    EBT.
    ………………………………………….
    Marlin, you have mentioned two times that ‘the malls are doing boom business’. Well, theres a Trillion in Student Loan Debt and lotsa other red ink on the balance sheet. Time will tell.

  218. insufferable August 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    AMEN MR. KUNSTLER:
    You are SOOOOO right about the phones and their pathway to Hell! No matter what agency, or company, you have to WAIT, WAIT WAIT WAIT!! Insurance such as Empire has such a complicated system that ONE mistake will lead you to the land of NOD> There is no way to speak to someone from Unemployement unless you know the secret password: Loser. Yes we, as a country have finally descended into hell whenever you want to get something IMPORTANT completed and you have to deal with the phone system. But being there IN PERSON isn’t much better. Just look at the security lines at airports on busy days. Or look at the bank lines for a simple transaction. I had to go to 7 banks just now to get one notary. If GOD FORBID, you are elderly, have a handicap, or cannot hear or answer quickly you are really FUCKED. My mother who has parkinsons and some cognition problems is not at all now capable of making phone calls that require any kind of interaction with people or computers. I have to do everything for her, myself and my young son. I have the triple job of encountering every asshole on many levels. Just try the electric companies, phone companies, insurance companies, or cablevision! F o r g e t a b o u t
    i t!!!! OH LETS NOT FORGET THE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO STEAL YOUR IDENTITY OR CREDIT CARD. YOU DO NOT EXIST ANY LONGER. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO DIG YOU WAY OUT OF THAT MUCK AND MIRE. EVEN WITH A PHD IN LAW.

  219. xhalor August 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    XXX5 (the artist formerly known as Prince) said “I know sooooo many people who are in their 50s with no possibility of employment outside of a McDonalds.”
    Between the cost of providing insurance for employees aged 50+ and the drive of the current crop of student loan slaves to get their lives started (at any wage), it’s a no brainer.

  220. Buck Stud August 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Oh, Studly, if I add in the Federal matching funds as part of the State of CA budget, then CalSTRS comprises now, not the whopping 0.4% I quoted above but $600 million out of $225 BILLION … which is 0.26%.

    Of course Ely doesn’t provide the entire story. Below is an example of E’s witholding/omitting critical information that contradicts his claim of being a private sector retiree: Last week he wrote:

    I earned my pension, dude, and unlike the California Public Employees Retirement System, a .edu, I get my pension from the California TEACHERS Retirement System, a .com … a PRIVATE entity.

    Well, not quite, Ely

    CalSTRS presently collects $5.6 billion in contributions. That works out to 18.25 percent of current payroll, with teachers and administrators kicking in 8 percent of their pay, districts paying 8.25 percent, and the state, through the General Fund, adding 2.01 percent.

    Ely, did you catch the part about “DISTRICTS PAYING 8 PERCENT”? You know what that means ELY? It means not the district but the TAXPAYER, as in property taxes, etc. ” The Disrict” does not provide or generate revenue, Ely. Got it? It’s called matching funds or funds provided by the taxpayer, in other words.
    http://toped.svefoundation.org/2012/02/06/more-calstrs-pressure-on-lawmakers/
    So I stand by my original comment. You’re a hypocritical “libertarian” pretending to be all outraged and indignant over fiscal irresponsibility when in actuality you suck off the Govt tit for your financial sustenance – Big Time.
    Now go grab a bib clown, and wipe that white stuff dripping from the corner of your mouth.

  221. k-dog August 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    The 1% sez:

    ” Evaluation of TextbooksThe staff of scholars (or preferably a panel of independent scholars) should evaluate social science textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology. This should be a continuing program.
    The objective of such evaluation should be oriented toward restoring the balance essential to genuine academic freedom. This would include assurance of fair and factual treatment of our system of government and our enterprise system, its accomplishments, its basic relationship to individual rights and freedoms, and comparisons with the systems of socialism, fascism and communism. Most of the existing textbooks have some sort of comparisons, but many are superficial, biased and unfair.
    We have seen the civil rights movement insist on re-writing many of the textbooks in our universities and schools. The labor unions likewise insist that textbooks be fair to the viewpoints of organized labor. Other interested citizens groups have not hesitated to review, analyze and criticize textbooks and teaching materials. In a democratic society, this can be a constructive process and should be regarded as an aid to genuine academic freedom and not as an intrusion upon it.
    If the authors, publishers and users of textbooks know that they will be subjected — honestly, fairly and thoroughly — to review and critique by eminent scholars who believe in the American system, a return to a more rational balance can be expected.
    A long quote and its not good to quote huge chunks of bullshit because some will think they are your beliefs but I needed to put it out there.
    aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh
    I hate when my stomach is trying to barf and nothing comes up.
    Better now.
    I was in another part of the doghouse and I turned NPR on. An old habit from days long gone, my paw was on autopilot. I turned it off pretty quick reminded of why I don’t have my ear draped over the radio any more.
    More of the excruciating quote.

    Television

    The national television networks should be monitored in the same way that

    textbooks

    should be kept under constant surveillance. This applies not merely to so-called educational programs (such as “Selling of the Pentagon”), but to the daily “news analysis” which so often includes the most insidious type of criticism of the enterprise system.12 Whether this criticism results from hostility or economic ignorance, the result is the gradual erosion of confidence in “business” and free enterprise.
    This monitoring, to be effective, would require constant examination of the texts of adequate samples of programs. Complaints — to the media and to the Federal Communications Commission — should be made promptly and strongly when programs are unfair or inaccurate.
    Equal time should be demanded when appropriate. Effort should be made to see that the forum-type programs (the Today Show, Meet the Press, etc.) afford at least as much opportunity for supporters of the American system to participate as these programs do for those who attack it.

    Other Media

    Radio and the press are also important, and every available means should be employed to challenge and refute unfair attacks, as well as to present the affirmative case through these media.


    In the 41 years since the manifesto was written and it has unfortunately been implemented remarkably well.
    Mendacious bullshit that passes for received wisdom in this deluded nation of craven Babbitts ❢ ❢ ❢
    The bullshit is now so thick that a dog can no longer listen to NPR without needing to barf. Cheerleading business free enterprise and war 24/7. Critical analysis and alternative points of view gone with the wind. Nothing but the Republicrat party line.
    aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh
    Full Quote Text

  222. xhalor August 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Yeah, it’s looking like I’m going to have to leave California forever very soon to help my mother cope with the increasing amount of technology. A very independent woman, but a complete Luddite. This will become my job. Soon there will be many desperate young and middle aged people living with their older relatives for the same reason.
    To help them deal with the Wealth Extraction system we call Healthcare.
    Then we will all be broke and sick. Yay!
    Pass the bottle wouldja?

  223. beantown bill August 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    X, McDonald workers are in danger of eventually being replaced by robots (actually robotic arms like in assembly plants). With built-in voice recognition software, the at-the-counter robotic arm listens to your order, swivels around and grabs your menu item. The only human staff required will be a store manager. Say goodbye counter staff; say goodbye baristas. What a wonderful world.
    Now I have to go out and get my arms WD-40ed. See ya.

  224. k-dog August 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Another shot at getting my layout right:
    The 1% sez:

    ” Evaluation of Textbooks

    The staff of scholars (or preferably a panel of independent scholars) should evaluate social science textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology. This should be a continuing program.
    The objective of such evaluation should be oriented toward restoring the balance essential to genuine academic freedom. This would include assurance of fair and factual treatment of our system of government and our enterprise system, its accomplishments, its basic relationship to individual rights and freedoms, and comparisons with the systems of socialism, fascism and communism. Most of the existing textbooks have some sort of comparisons, but many are superficial, biased and unfair.
    We have seen the civil rights movement insist on re-writing many of the textbooks in our universities and schools. The labor unions likewise insist that textbooks be fair to the viewpoints of organized labor. Other interested citizens groups have not hesitated to review, analyze and criticize textbooks and teaching materials. In a democratic society, this can be a constructive process and should be regarded as an aid to genuine academic freedom and not as an intrusion upon it.
    If the authors, publishers and users of textbooks know that they will be subjected — honestly, fairly and thoroughly — to review and critique by eminent scholars who believe in the American system, a return to a more rational balance can be expected.


    A long quote and its not good to quote huge chunks of bullshit because some will think they are your beliefs but I needed to put it out there.
    aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh
    I hate when my stomach is trying to barf and nothing comes up.
    Better now.
    I was in another part of the doghouse and I turned NPR on. An old habit from days long gone, my paw was on autopilot. I turned it off pretty quick reminded of why I don’t have my ear draped over the radio any more.
    More of the excruciating quote.

    Television

    The national television networks should be monitored in the same way that

    textbooks

    should be kept under constant surveillance. This applies not merely to so-called educational programs (such as “Selling of the Pentagon”), but to the daily “news analysis” which so often includes the most insidious type of criticism of the enterprise system.12 Whether this criticism results from hostility or economic ignorance, the result is the gradual erosion of confidence in “business” and free enterprise.
    This monitoring, to be effective, would require constant examination of the texts of adequate samples of programs. Complaints — to the media and to the Federal Communications Commission — should be made promptly and strongly when programs are unfair or inaccurate.
    Equal time should be demanded when appropriate. Effort should be made to see that the forum-type programs (the Today Show, Meet the Press, etc.) afford at least as much opportunity for supporters of the American system to participate as these programs do for those who attack it.

    Other Media

    Radio and the press are also important, and every available means should be employed to challenge and refute unfair attacks, as well as to present the affirmative case through these media.


    In the 41 years since the manifesto was written and it has unfortunately been implemented remarkably well.
    Mendacious bullshit that passes for received wisdom in this deluded nation of craven Babbitts ❢ ❢ ❢
    The bullshit is now so thick that a dog can no longer listen to NPR without needing to barf. Cheerleading business free enterprise and war 24/7. Critical analysis and alternative points of view gone with the wind. Nothing but the Republicrat party line.
    aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh aarrrrcccckkkhhhh
    Full Quote Text

  225. k-dog August 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    It is still not right and I’ve figured out why but I won’t dog you all with another post.

  226. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    X said:
    “Deficits don’t matter” says Big Dick. Don’t know about you, but I knew that right at that moment, I was living in Wonderland. 500 years of traditional accounting thrown out the window.
    *************************************************************
    Loved the link you provided. One stat stands above all i.e., it now takes $2.08 of debt to create $1 of GDP. Thus, the USA is in a downward debt collapse speeding towards a lead wall at 200 mph. Enjoy the show.
    E.

  227. xhalor August 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    The sad truth is that McDonald’s could have completely automated a long time ago. However, I still maintain that pickle placement may be beyond the current state of robotic technology. One of the last real jobs that I had was building automated conveyor and sorter systems for a variety of warehouses. The only thing that keeps a lot of these places from becoming completely automated are the efforts of the remaining labor unions. They are fighting a losing battle.

  228. Funzel August 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    You know when they tell you “your call is important to us”they mean “us =them” so don’t get too upset with the greed mongers.My phone has not rung for years unless it is for me.There are gadgets available that work and will help you.Start with the national anthem at every call you get,then tell them(your recorder does that),that your charity no longer accepts donations of less then 10 dollars,to cover at least your operating expenses,and always be polite and thank them for calling.

  229. XXX5 August 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Well, Buck, I gave the website from which I got ALL of my stats and it’s nothing less than the CA State Government’s budget website.
    But let’s say I buy YOUR 18% figure … that would make us less dependent on government than just about any defense contractor and less than General Motors at the time of TARP.
    You seem to think that if I work for a school that I have to swallow whole the philosophy of education that’s extant or that I’m ripping off the State of California. It’s referred to as a JOB.
    Do you think a secretary at KBR or Halliburton should be held responsible for their corporate theft or unethical overcharging?
    You’re quarreling about HOW MUCH CalSTRS sucks at government teat and I gave you stats showing how much of the State government’s budget, itself, gave to CalSTRS … 0.26% of State GSP.
    Taxpayers also pay for utilities and other private entities, too, so should people who work for utilities feel guilty for sucking at the public teat?
    You’re reaching sooooo far to implicate me in hypocrisy, Buck, and that dog don’t hunt, dude. Just because I work for an entity associated with the State doesn’t mean I believe in the philosophy of statism. I believe the state SHOULD EXIST but it should not resemble the Politburo in its extent or the size of the number of fat-assed bureaucrats in it.
    The “state” is top-heavy with do-nothing bureaucrats, just like I’ve been saying for years. That doesn’t mean that **I** am part of the PORK. I earned my keep and no one at my institution would ever say otherwise. In 23 years, I never failed to give back a test or homework by the next class. In no way, did my
    employment with the State RESEMBLE the State.
    Try again, Buck. Maybe you’ll make sense to somebody but you may note that you seem to be alone on this one.
    E.

  230. JonathanSS August 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    I’m on your side. I’ve been a high school science teacher and it is demanding, challenging, frustrating, rewarding and stressful. My first full year, I nearly suffered a melt down (just like MyrtleMay referred to in a post)
    Anybody that criticizes or questions teachers, pensions, public education, etc., I have this to say. Let them try dealing with 150+ students a day, prepare engaging lesson plans, grade, assess achievement and meet with colleaques, parents, administrators and tutor students after school.
    The pay ain’t that great, either!

  231. fairguy August 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    The intersection of automated phone systems and “healthcare” is truly evil and probably ends up killing thousands of patients.
    The recent proliferation of voice recognition systems makes things even harder. Recently, after losing my way helplessly in one of these voice ratholes, I shouted “representative” to which the system responded by again presenting me the same unsuitable options it had done before. I then proceeded to choose the option most likely to lead me to a human, and made it through to solve my problem. Caution: one must not show frustration when getting through to a rep, lest one be put on indefinite hold or simply disconnected.
    An interesting anecdote from a country I used to live in with single-payer medicine and private practitioners. When I would get sick, the doctor would see me directly and perform any needed procedure (e.g. blood pressure, pulse) on the spot. In the USA, a doctor’s visit involves interaction with at least 3 people until I can have my issue addressed. Even the prescription isn’t written out by the “megastar” family practitioner who hops from room to room like a rabbit. The end result is of course, bad and costly service.

  232. asoka.. August 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Anybody that criticizes or questions teachers, pensions, public education, etc., I have this to say. Let them try dealing with 150+ students a day, prepare engaging lesson plans, grade, assess achievement and meet with colleaques, parents, administrators and tutor students after school. The pay ain’t that great, either!

    Ideal class size would be 20 students, to be able to work with students to maximize their potential. Class sizes are increasing as budgets are cut. (From 30 to 40 in Calif. public schools)
    We need BIGGER GOVERNMENT, funded by taxing the rich. We need more revenue to pay teachers better, hire more teachers, and reduce class sizes for effective learning environments.
    Teachers are way underpaid for the amount of work they do, both inside and outside the classroom. People who criticize have probably never faced classrooms full of students and don’t have a clue how to facilitate and assess cognitive development to help students realize their potential.

  233. JulettaofOhio August 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Thanks, anti soak! I will. This is the first reply I’ve ever had from you and I’m so excited!!

  234. JulettaofOhio August 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    I assume you’re talking about secondary education in large cities. Those people should get combat pay. HOWEVER, my mother taught four grades at once in a two-room country school. She had 52 students in her busiest year. Perhaps they were better behaved, or smarter, but she didn’t seem to be overwhelmed. Most of her students went on to high school and most of that group went on to college. (This was in the 1930-40s) She was a formidable woman, and it was a different time. A “crowded classroom” doesn’t preclude a good education, but the students have to have good parents, not the lunatics “raising” kids in the inner city, and they have to have some native intelligence. How do you propose that we pay all these teachers and provide for their generous pensions??? I’m paying far too much in property and income taxes already and am not willing to pay more. Teachers aren’t saints or demigods. There are incompetent teachers as well as gifted teachers. Just because you didn’t die of boredom in pedagogy classes, doesn’t make me responsible for your comfort or station in life at risk of my own survival. Yes, I homeschooled and yes, they all graduated from college.

  235. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    How far is it from yr place in Ohio to the ‘Congo Bypass’?
    sbpdl:
    Okay. This story is real. It includes the following: Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC); a BMW going 100 miles per hour; a road named after Martin Luther King; Prince George’s County, the county in Maryland constantly cited as the most affluent predominately Black county in America — courtesy of federal government jobs and affirmative action — despite having one of the highest foreclosure rates in America, the children of these titans of federal employment producing abysmal test scores, and a crime rate that mirrors the majority population; and Black people.
    They might not know it’s Halloween in Prince George’s County on October 31 — because the streets are unsafe for Trick-or-Treating — but they do know that the KFC on Martin Luther King Highway can stop a BMW, driving by a Black person, even if they are speeding at rates of more than 100 mph:
    One person is dead and four others were injured after a vehicle crashed into a KFC in Landover, Md., at approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday.
    Rose Smith said she was standing at the next door Citgo Gas Station, and saw a BMW speeding down Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway.
    .
    .
    ,

  236. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Miss Smith was going 100 MPH, no seat belt, was her last ride.
    sbpdl:
    “When it hit the curb it went airborne. And flipped, flipped, flipped, flipped,” said Smith.
    It flipped into a sign, a fence, a large metal donation box and an SUV parked in the restaurant parking lot. The driver of the impacted SUV was not hurt.
    “This is a pretty brutal scene,” said Cpl. Evan Baxter of the Prince George’s County Police.
    Police said the driver was most likely going more than 100 mph. The crash scene was more than 100 yards long.
    The driver of the vehicle was ejected from the vehicle and killed.
    Investigators said that a male passenger in the BMW was not seriously injured. Two other people on the scene were hurt, with non-life threatening injuries.
    There is also some structural damage to the restaurant, which is located at 6701 Martin Luther King Jr. Highway, at the intersection of Sheriff Road. A collapse team was dispatched to stabilize the building and board up the restuarant’s windows, which had shattered.
    Police said speed was definitely a factor in the crash, and investigators were testing for alcohol on Tuesday morning.
    Was the dead body stepped over, as was the dead body of 27-year-old Valentino Verner, when more than 100 Black people shuffled past his body to procure dinner at the Chicken Hut in Tulsa back in 2010?
    If so, this might be the story that wins the SBPDL Award for “How Many Stereotypes Can We Fit in One Story.”
    PG County drivers are so bad that truckers on I-495 call it the Congo Bypass.
    Nobody ever yields on the ramps, they follow too close, weave and speed, text while driving, and then call the (black) state troopers Uncle Toms or racist when they get pulled over.
    Motorcyclists frequently wheelie their rice-burners between congested lanes approaching the Wilson Bridge. I see this stupidity every day, and yes — it’s pretty much BMWs, Benzes, Lexuses or Chrysler 300s.

  237. anti soak August 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Final installation of this ‘life and death epic’
    “This is a pretty brutal scene,” said Cpl. Evan Baxter of the Prince George’s County Police.
    Police said the driver was most likely going more than 100 mph. The crash scene was more than 100 yards long.
    Prince George’s County police identified the deceased as 29-year-old Hellena Louise Smith.
    Smith was ejected from the vehicle and killed. Investigators said that a male passenger in the BMW was not seriously injured. Two other people on the scene were hurt, with non-life threatening injuries.
    There is also some structural damage to the restaurant, which is located at 6701 Martin Luther King Jr. Highway, at the intersection of Sheriff Road.
    A collapse team was dispatched to stabilize the building and board up the restauarant’s windows, which had shattered.
    Police said speed was definitely a factor in the crash, and investigators were testing for alcohol on Tuesday morning.
    Smith was ticketed on January 22 for speeding, driving 91 mph in a 55 mph zone.
    [no license, no seat belt, 100 mph]

  238. Kyooshtik August 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    We need BIGGER GOVERNMENT, funded by taxing the rich…
    ============
    …not because of any moral imperative but because, just like when they arrested Willie Sutton and asked him “why do you rob banks?” and he replied, “that’s where the money is.”

  239. muddmike August 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    “Stephan Moussa spoke softly this morning as he pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mark Dickey in a three-car crash this summer,
    Authorities say Moussa, 20, was driving west on Route 22 about 106 mph when his Mercedes Benz clipped the rear end of Mark Dickey’s Ford F250 pickup truck.”
    http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2012/03/stephan_moussa_pleads_guilty_t.html
    This article includes a picture of the driver of the Mercedes.
    Here is a further update on the KFC accident. The driver was not from Prince George’s County.
    “The driver has been identified as 29-year old Hellena Louise Smith of the 600-block of Chesapeake Ave. in Washington D. C.
    Smith’s black 1993 BMW sedan careened at high speed ”
    http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=192121
    Obviously two cases prove a trend.

  240. myrtlemay August 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    To Whom it may concern: Brandon Raub, ex marine, “detained” for posting “anti-government views on his facebook account: (source “Daily Paul website)
    CHESTERFIELD, VA— Special Justice Walter Douglass Stokes for the General District Court for the City of Hopewell, Va., has denied an emergency motion filed by attorneys for The Rutherford Institute to stop former Marine Brandon Raub from being forcibly transferred to a psychiatric facility more than three hours away from his family, friends and legal team. Raub, who was arrested, detained indefinitely in a psych ward and forced to undergo psychological evaluations based solely on the controversial nature of lines from song lyrics, political messages and virtual card games which he posted to his private Facebook page, is being transferred from John Randolph Psychiatric Medical Hospital in Hopewell to the Veterans Hospital in Salem, Va., on the other side of the state. Raub was arrested on August 16, 2012, and has since been detained against his will due to alleged concerns by government officials that his Facebook posts are controversial and “terrorist in nature.” Rutherford Institute attorneys are challenging Raub’s arrest and detention on the grounds that the detainment order was procedurally improper, the result of an unlawful detention, and was based entirely on statements made by Raub that constitute protected free speech under the First Amendment.
    “This is not how justice in America is supposed to work—with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”
    Brandon Raub, a former Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was detained by FBI agents and police officers at his home in Chesterfield County based upon the nature of content posted to his Facebook page in recent months. Like many Facebook users, Raub uses his FB page to post songs lyrics and air his political opinions, as well as engage in virtual online games with other users. On Thursday, August 16, police and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. They did not provide Raub with a search warrant. Raub was cooperative and agreed to speak with them. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials then handcuffed Raub and transported him first to the police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he has been held against his will. Outraged onlookers filmed the arrest and posted the footage to YouTube.
    In a hearing before Special Justice Walter Douglass Stokes on August 20, government officials again pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration. Ignoring Raub’s explanations about the fact that the FB posts were being read out of context and his attorney’s First Amendment defense, Stokes sentenced the former Marine to up to 30 days’ further confinement in a psych ward and signed a court order for Raub’s involuntary admission to the Veterans Hospital in Salem. Rutherford Institute attorneys are in the process of filing various emergency motions and procedural appeals to challenge Raub’s detention.
    *********
    Still haven’t heard a trace of this in the MSM. Odd-

  241. myrtlemay August 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    I think the young man was indeed baiting the FBI and knew he was being monitored. I think he knew they’d come for him. I hope like hell this story gets spread. Whatever happened to the FIRST AMMENDMENT? There are links to his “detention” on Youtube.

  242. asoka.. August 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Yes, Juletta, the 1930-40s was a different time. Teachers today have much more responsibility and the shear amount of knowledge is staggering. Suffice it to say teachers today are dealing with an exponential knowledge explosion with knowledge now increasing at a geometrical rate.
    I do salute you for homeschooling. Not only does it show your concern for your children, you have to be persistent, organized, and intelligent to pull it off.
    You are to be commended.

  243. myrtlemay August 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that the students she taught (my era) were a lot better behaved than they are now. I don’t blame you for a bit for home schooling your kids. There were and are poor teachers as well as fair and great ones. The difference is, the one’s who stood in front of me in the classroom didn’t have to take all of the shit from the parents, administration, or KIDS that they do today. The teachers then didn’t have all of the multiculturalist CRAP shoveled down their throats, along with the bullshit that “Every child can succeed and go to college. meme”
    Sure, every kid can go to college….just dumb down the curriculum enough and anyone with a third grade reading level can gain admission to college. It’s one of the reasons that a college degree doesn’t MEAN anything anymore. Ya ever watch the NCAA or College football? How many “Women’s Studies” players can you fit on a football field?

  244. asoka.. August 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    I want to make greed illegal. $250,000 is sufficient for anyone to live anywhere in this country and meet their basic needs.
    Are you greedy and want more than $250,000?
    Have at it, but it will be taxed at Eisenhower marginal tax rates, so we can actual fund schools and medical research on metal-on-metal hip joints.
    Your Willie Sutton comment is accurate. People with incomes over $250,000 are not “earning” that excess money (which is “play money” anyway), and it needs to be redistributed back to society, at a high marginal tax rate, to the people who are earning money honestly by the sweat of their brow. Paying taxes is the price of a civilized society.

  245. asoka.. August 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    CORRECTION
    I want to make greed unprofitable.

  246. myrtlemay August 21, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    ***Paying taxes is the price of a civilized society.
    ***** Asoka
    BINGO!

  247. Kyooshtik August 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    CORRECTION
    I want to make greed unprofitable.
    ===========
    Too late, you slipped up by telling the truth the first time.

  248. Kyooshtik August 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Government does what governments always do…it takes money from whomever or wherever it exists, not because it is fair but because it is there. The logic is impeccable.

  249. Kyooshtik August 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Must one sweat to earn money honestly?

  250. Buck Stud August 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Remember that time you asserted that Muhammad Ali was the sole instigator of all showmanship/taunting/ flamboyance/celebratory antics, etc in the world of modern sports, and which I methodically and factually refuted including a brilliant analysis/example of the entertainment strategy the AFL implemented in order to help force a merging with the NFL? And do recall how silent and speechless you finally became after after suffering a debate checkmate?
    And do you recall your response to my earlier refutations/examples just prior to my devastating AFL example? I do and how ironic it was. It was not a graceful concession; it was the same display of bad manners/sportsmanship/insults that you accused Ali of instigating in the world of pro sports.(Unlike Ali who was actually gracious in defeat.)
    Simply put E, we don’t like each other. But do our dislike of each other as dislike all Govt teachers/employees as nothing could be further from the truth.
    And yet I find you extremely entertaining in a comical sort of way. You, the Govt financed retiree feigning indignation and consternation at Gov spending as you sternly pose from the mast of your California Hypocrisy Float. And how hilarious that you took the time to get a new screen name when just a few weeks or months ago you were imploring Jim Kunstler to ‘shut his sight down.’
    Keep em coming E; I never knew disliking someone could be so damn fun.

  251. Buck Stud August 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    *MERGER*

  252. Kyooshtik August 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    But do our dislike of each other as dislike all Govt teachers/employees as nothing could be further from the truth.
    ==========
    I can’t figure out this^ sentence enough to even take a stab at re-wording it. Help me out.

  253. Shakazulu August 22, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    Only now that the conspiracy behind piss poor customer service has been revealed is the true depths of our misery exposed!

  254. Shakazulu August 22, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    “I was boned like a Christmas turkey”
    Be careful, this could be taken out of context.

  255. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    and it needs to be redistributed back to society,
    ===============
    Ah, redistribution: the key word.
    Asoka’s true and pure belief in communism reveals perfectly his lack of understanding of human nature. His efforts to help the less fortunate by endlessly blogging Marxist claptrap are misguided. I have suggested before and I will suggest again an area that could bear fruit…go out amongst your people, Asoka, and help them break the economic chains and self-enslavement of Ebonics and other failures to assimilate into the mainstream culture of America.

  256. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    …is the true depths of our misery exposed!
    =============
    depth

  257. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    Jonathan said:
    Anybody that criticizes or questions teachers, pensions, public education, etc., I have this to say. Let them try dealing with 150+ students a day, prepare engaging lesson plans, grade, assess achievement and meet with colleaques, parents, administrators and tutor students after school.
    *************************************************************
    I had an engineer friend who used to tease me about teaching until he had to teach a course at KLA-Tencor to Korean engineers for 3 weeks. He said that he’s never achieved that degree of FATIGUE in his life and I get no more shit from him.
    The LINE WORKERS in government, teachers, the hard working people in all kinds of record-keeping offices … these people do not rob from the state and teaching, in particular, if well done, changes lives for the better.
    I don’t take Buck Stud’s guff personally because I think he’s just another one of these kinds of non-thinkers who think that just because you belong to organization X, you’re bought into the entire fiscal and social philosophy of organization X. It’s illogical, irrational, non-thinking and when it’s aimed at me, I tend to answer a “cannonball” with a “thermonuclear” reply. His arguments are bullshit.
    E.

  258. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Asoka said:
    Ideal class size would be 20 students, to be able to work with students to maximize their potential. Class sizes are increasing as budgets are cut. (From 30 to 40 in Calif. public schools)
    ****************************************************************
    How many times must I repeat that we would get that small class size with SMALLER government so that our economy is not full of fat-assed upper management do-nothings. You must have almost no experience with the pork in most public sector jobs and it is NOT the line workers … it’s the enormous management structures.
    E.

  259. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    BS said:
    Remember that time you asserted that Muhammad Ali was the sole instigator of all showmanship/taunting/ flamboyance/celebratory antics, etc in the world of modern sports, and which I methodically and factually refuted including a brilliant analysis/example of the entertainment strategy the AFL implemented in order to help force a merging with the NFL? And do recall how silent and speechless you finally became after after suffering a debate checkmate?
    ************************************************************
    You “checkmated me” in your own mind, Buck, just like you fucked up here. I do, indeed, believe that Ali was a seminal figure in the development of being a BAD WINNER, an “in your face” style.
    No, I don’t like you at all, Buck, because you’re yet another “illogician” and your argument that because I worked for a school, I somehow represent their robbery of the public is so absurd it’s juvenile.
    I don’t like to argue with unarmed people and you’re that in spades.
    E.

  260. turkleton August 22, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Any of you gents get a “Permission Denied” error when you try to login?
    Maybe it was all the bad things I said about the Jesus.
    Oh, well, so long, turkle. Hello, turkleton.

  261. turkleton August 22, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I usually find that if you keep punching the 0 key like you really mean it, then you will eventually find yourself talking to a real human being.

  262. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    BS said:
    And yet I find you extremely entertaining in a comical sort of way. You, the Govt financed retiree feigning indignation and consternation at Gov spending as you sternly pose from the mast of your California Hypocrisy Float. And how hilarious that you took the time to get a new screen name when just a few weeks or months ago you were imploring Jim Kunstler to ‘shut his sight down.’
    **************************************************************
    Now there you go again, Bucky. The entire subtext of your argument is that if I worked for the state, I represent its philosophy. Or you a moron by nature or by training?
    I *earned* my pension, dopey. And my new screen name was because my old one STOPPED WORKING. I explained that when I started posting as XXX5 but I don’t expect you to actually read before you fire away.
    I rail against government WASTE … vehemently. I did NOT represent that waste. End of story. Capiche? Numbskull.
    E.

  263. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    How many times must I repeat…
    ============
    One of the tricks in Asoka’s bag of tricks is to be deliberately dense…his shtick, if you will.

  264. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    Why the f### limit it to the USA?
    Africa for blacks, Asia for yellows, white nations for all. [gulp].
    thanks taki: [ill see if I can c/p this much without a 403 ban].
    When the largest mass murder in Canadian history occurred in 1985, Sikhs were the perps.
    That incident, along with many minor ones, has ensured that Sikhs ranked second only to Muslims in a national poll measuring negative attitudes toward different faiths.
    “When the largest mass murder in Canadian history occurred in 1985, Sikhs were the perps.”
    On June 23, 1985, more than 300 passengers—280 of them Canadian—died when Air India Flight 182 out of Montreal exploded over Irish airspace. The Canadian Sikh terrorists responsible called it revenge for the Indian government’s attack on the Golden Temple the previous year. Considered Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple was being occupied by extremists when President Indira Gandhi sent in the army, leaving over 500 dead. Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguards assassinated her in October 1984.
    Multiple investigations of the Air India bombing over the course of two decades—the fact that millions of Sikhs share the surname “Singh” didn’t exactly speed things up—have cost taxpayers an estimated $130 million.
    The latest inquiry concluded in 2010 that—wouldn’t you know it?—it was all our fault. You see, a “‘cascading series of errors’ by the government of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had allowed the terrorist attack to take place.”
    That’s not even “blaming the victim.” That’s blaming the bouncer, the bartender, and the janitor at the tavern where the rapist met his prey.
    To say that Flight 182 left previously neutral Canadians with a poor impression of Sikhs is an understatement.
    Hostility toward them increased further because instead of issuing humble apologies then adopting a temporarily low profile, many Sikhs weirdly grasped the opportunity to push their luck.
    That sounds like a suicidal strategy. So naturally, this being liberal, self-loathing Canada, it worked beautifully.
    Annual Sikh parades celebrate convicted mass murderers whose photos have pride of place in some Canadian gurdwaras (where stabbings occur with troubling regularity).
    Back in Canada, however, there is no need for such fibs. Freedom of religion is a Charter right, and white guilt is the Anglo liberal elite’s sacred faith.
    Being a “distinct society,” however, means Quebec gets to retain its legendary hostility to foreigners. The kirpan is unapologetically banned in its National Assembly.
    The so-called “kirpan case” went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2006, but it started in a Montreal schoolyard five years before. Had that Singh family lived in accommodating Toronto or Vancouver, an expensive, drawn-out Charter challenge would’ve been unnecessary.
    So Sikhs can wear the kirpan in Toronto courthouses, even though their present day metal detectors were only installed in the first place after one Kuldip Singh Samra, “infuriated that his bid to stop an election at a Sikh temple was tossed out by a judge, took a .357 magnum into Osgoode Hall,” killing two men and leaving another paralyzed in 1982.
    Some now suspect he’d also been planning to assassinate the father of official multiculturalism, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
    Kathy Shaidle [what Cash was here, she is at Takis]. I LOVE the bold part.
    . .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

  265. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    Huckabee was the nut who let the killer out, to kill again.
    Usually the left does that. [see ‘Visions of the Anointed’.

  266. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    I never stated or implied that you called me or anyone a ‘ray-cist’.
    I was replying to yr statement, to me, here, recently, where you said that ‘whoever speaks that term first loses’ [or some such].
    It was you who used the term here at least twice in the last few weeks. [and I dont read many of yr posts!!]
    For someone who accuses me of ‘misunderstanding statements here’ you sure are a dim bulb.

  267. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    Thats what 70 years of big communist government did.

  268. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Back to Jim Kunstlers post of 2 days ago.
    I answer the phone today. Its’Credit Card Sevices’ [a computer voice] and if I press ‘3’ I will be deleted.
    Well Ive pressed ‘3’ so many times over the last year or 3, so I press one and get [voila]
    An American. I listen to his riff and say
    ‘But I dont carry 3000$ in CC debt, so I am not elegible’.
    He assures me that my phone # will be removed. Ill see if they do or not.
    i believe I am on the Fedreal Do Not Call list and his calling here could get the company in big trouble. Maybe ill contact the phone company.

  269. sdcll82og August 22, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    How Beats Audio Functions

    Again within the 1960s and earlier seventies, when customized hotrods had been at the apex of trendiness,dr dre beats headphones uk, every single would-be motorhead needed a hood scoop on his experience, even if he did not basically have a clue how it would make the car or truck go more quickly. Dre points out on the internet site for Beats Electronics LLC, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based corporation that he cofounded with Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A Documents, in 2006. “Artists and producers work hard within the studio perfecting their sound. But consumers cannot really hear it with standard headphones. Most headphones can’t take care of the bass, the detail, the dynamics. Bottom line, the songs doesn’t transfer you. Dre headphones, or to decide an HP laptop or an HTC phone outfitted with Beats technologies. “Besides a lot of hoopla in addition to a red ‘b’ sticker, what (if something) is Beats Audio?” a reviewer for Tunelab as soon as groused, right after puzzling over the terse, cryptic descriptions on manufacturers’ Net web pages [source: Tunelab].

  270. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Hey, Buck, since you’ve got such chutzpah, how about you putting yourself on the line by revealing everything about your career so that I, too, can make some ridiculous, reaching, farfetched argument about how you violated your conscience because you accepted a refund from a guy who turned out to be right wing.
    That’s how stupid your line of reasoning is. Your idea is that anybody who works for an entity and got benefits from that entity has no entitlement to be against the worst aspects of that entity. Your line of reasoning is SOPHISTRY OF THE FIRST ORDER. It’s kaka. Bullshit.
    Even conservatives believe in a good education and that’s what I provided. My textbook got a 5-star rating on both Amazon and Slashdot … UNANIMOUSLY. You’re probably another fucking loser on this site who likes to “shoot” but who’s never willing to put their neck out to be a “target”.
    Indeed, the most insidious aspect of your argument is that if everyone QUIT agencies with excessive pork in them, there would be no insiders to fight against it so it would go unopposed in perpetuity.
    So, let’s hear about your life, Bucky. Give us some good details. Put yourself out there. MAN UP. How old are you? What did you do for a living? What are your QUALS, dude? I can tell you’re not in anything that required rigorous logic, that’s for sure. Give it up, Bucky. We’re all waiting to see what a manly man you are.
    E.

  271. BeingThere August 22, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Thirty day war, eh?
    Yesterday, as I mentioned in my post that Tom Friedman would be a guest on the Brian Leher show on WNYC.
    Among many of his comments is that there’s talk that Israel wants to strike Iran on it’s own befoer our election for a 30-day war.
    That’ right folks they can control just how long and neat this is going to be. Remember what a cake-walk Iraq was going to be?
    Well it really does get more tricky about who actually does want to go to war.
    Pepe Escobar wrote an article in Asian Times online about how this is seen from the Iranian point of view and I’ve go to say, I think my reading between the lines about us being the instigator is spot on.
    War fever as seen from Iran:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NH22Ak06.html
    In this article it points out with well-documented sources, that Iran in the last several years (going back to “W”) tried to work with us on their right to nuclear power and we kept turning down all their efforts.
    Gee, I wonder why?
    Israel is our plant in the ME. Just as we played it against Russia as a proxy in the Cold War, we are ginning it up again with our old adversary, thinking we can get the better them. Yep, its all about the control of who gets the oil, but it’s also about global hegemony and unipolar power.
    We have Japan in the East against China and we think we can circle the wagons with our military place around the world to keep this power mongering going.
    Trust me, it’s not going to be a 30-day war. I’d be very nervous about this.
    I think it’s safe to say that there is a group head running this country and it’s objectives and they’ll use whoever wins this presidency to further those objectives.

  272. Widespreadpanic7 August 22, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Hey Ibendet, what about the very public threats, made as recently as Monday, coming out of Iran about destroying Israel, wiping Israel off the map, etc? Should they be ignored, not taken seriously? I know you are an intelligent woman and are aware of similar threats made in the 1930s that were ignored and not taken seriously. That has to be formost in the minds of Israeli leadership right now.
    –WSP7

  273. BeingThere August 22, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Good point, Marlin
    There’s a lot of posturing going on and none of it is good.
    I’m at work. Over and out

  274. ozone August 22, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    “O3, given that Tyler wrote his piece in 1787, that means a democracy had to have gone through the cycle starting in 1587. I don’t believe democracy was in use during that period.” -BTB
    lol!
    Point well-taken!
    This leads me to wonder if the guy had a WORKING crystal ball (or other agent of prognostication), because the steps of societal decline seem very apt.
    Perhaps if we were to simply drop the rigid 200-year cycle-length AND the specific moniker of democracy [large or small “d”; your preference] we might have a pretty good gauge.
    Also, Tyler mentions nothing about piss-poor automated, computer-fueled telephone “services”, which casts suspicion on his skills as both social critic and Nostradam-ist. ;o)

  275. ozone August 22, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    I hear ya, for certain, on that score.
    As for scrabblin’, we just lost another good hard-scrabbling rock buster to cancer, the not-so-friendly ghost. It’s become a very capable and worthy foe, and is beginning to make me feel a bit like the angel of death (a position I neither sought, nor would want to accept). Brother, Father, boss, and good folks a-plenty, cut down like so much barley. My sister survived a slug-fest; now my mom, with a [hopefully] mild type of lymphoma. Jimmy-crack-fuggin’-corn, treading water and surrounded by hungry sharks in the bloodied waters!
    Played a couple tunes for Jim D.’s wake/funeral service (at his request), and thankfully made it through without choking up too badly. It was the only thing the guy ever asked of me.
    Sorry for the downer crap; venting valve hammered over…
    Scrabble on, life is short!

  276. ozone August 22, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    X.,
    That’s a helluva good link!
    Thanks.

  277. welles August 22, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content
    ‘private Facebook pages’ — this is an oxymoron of the first degree. there is no privacy on the internet, it’s “inter” aka between us all.
    in a sign that there is some semblance of rationality left, facebook’s stock is almost at $19.00/share, only needs to fall $17 more to reach its true value of $1-$2/share.
    this company is emblematic of the US, all hype, useless blabber, produces virtually 100% visual and mental pollution, yet is/was the typical vaunted “investor darling”, yet another empty U S and A buzzword phrase, as empty as the country’s necrotic kultur.
    re being scared the 1st amendment is being trampled because yet another Army veteran is off his rocker – this is too funny, U S and A people imagine that, in the past, there was a golden age when they could say anything and not be held accountable for it as long as they didn’t perpetrate physical violence.
    this is a styxian grand illusion. people, to include the U S and A peoples who work for the government, have and will always react to threatening language by grabbing/detaining the perpetrator. it is a natural human reaction.
    1920s communist fervor in the US, it was reacted to with detentions and arrests.
    1950s communist supposed-fervor, same diff.
    1800s were worse.
    Off topic but worthy of a rantlet: those of you here who say ‘Trust me, it’s not going to be a 30-day war’.
    What, do you have a direct line to hillary clinton and the ayatollahs and netanyahoo and know what they’re saying privately?
    just really childish. why the hell are you ‘very nervous about this’?
    do you live in tel aviv or near the border with jordan? jeezus, find something real to be worried about, there WAS a war in the region a few years ago and … you watched it on TV. for christ’s sake stop being melodramatic.
    update: facebook stock just fell to $19.06 haha, empty company, it’s such a good feeling to see justice prevail.
    “Many analysts, however, hold positive opinions of the company’s long-term prospects.”
    This sentence reveals all that is wrong with the US fake ‘investment’ industry and media mindwashing.
    peace peaceniks

  278. Buck Stud August 22, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Now there you go again, Bucky. The entire subtext of your argument is that if I worked for the state, I represent its philosophy. Or you a moron by nature or by training?

    Ely, please learn to comprehend the written word. The subtext of my argument is NOT that since worked for the state, you should represent its philosophy (it’s blatantly obvious that you do not); the subtext is a highlighting of your hypocrisy since you are so bitterly and vitriolically opposed to the Govt/taxpayer system that continues to butter your bread to this very day.
    It’s also called walking the walk and talking the talk, or in this particular instance, money walking a bitter, angry man into a life of compromise and bullshit talking in the pathetic aftermath.
    In short, Ely, you’re very human.

  279. muddmike August 22, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    anti,
    Here is the actual quote from my post, which you didn’t bother to look up!
    “Here is a general rule in intelligent debate. The first person to start calling names, particularly the name, “racist”, has lost the debate.”
    Calling names IS NOT the same as using a word. It is permissible to say there are morns in the world. However, in debates or discussions it IS NOT permissible to call another person a moron for their post.
    PLEASE read AND understand postings before shoot off comments!

  280. Buck Stud August 22, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Hey, Buck, since you’ve got such chutzpah, how about you putting yourself on the line by revealing everything about your career so that I, too, can make some ridiculous, reaching, farfetched argument about how you violated your conscience because you accepted a refund from a guy who turned out to be right wing.

    Do you know how many public employees I have talked to whose entire working life was a result of taxpayer funds and who now collect public financed pensions and who now embraces “fiscal conservatism” and seek to impose austerity on those who follow in their aftermath? Too many to count is how many. They represent a certain pathology infecting America, these hypocritical frauds representing Most Privileged Generation.
    And some of them even write on message boards that their retirement is privately financed when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In other words, one big delusional lie.
    And yet I do not have an issue with teachers or public employees, just the foaming-at-the-mouth phonies who want to selectively impose austerity in order to corroborate and ironically validate their own collapse narratives.

    My textbook got a 5-star rating on both Amazon and Slashdot … UNANIMOUSLY.

    Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t; this is the internet after all and all sorts of claims are made. But pardon me for being skeptical, especially in light of your recent “misrepresentations”.
    As for myself, I should be the right-wing fiscal conservative and not the public financed frauds spouting off so vehemently. Because my entire working life I have been a self-employed sole entrepreneur hanging by the fingernails during the tough times and riding the wave of fortune in those magical seasons of high tides that grace the lives of those willing to walk the high wire without a net.
    And never in a million years would I have ever believed that one day I would be having a one man show in a museum (as a result of winning a prestigious plein air painting contest) directly across the street and on exactly the same dates as a major Vincent van Gogh exhibition.

  281. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    ‘PLEASE read AND understand postings before shoot off comments!’
    I hope you take yr own advice.

  282. muddmike August 22, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    anti,
    How did I misunderstand your post?

  283. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    you can start with these, but consider the source of the comments:
    Buck Stud replied to comment from anti soak
    May 14, 2012 6:23 PM
    Well, it took about six hours before Dumbo started displaying his stale fruit-of-the-brain jibberish before am otherwise excellent post by JKH.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………
    Hey jism breath, nobody cares about your right-wing spam mail.
    You, Sir, are a complete and total fucking idiot.
    …………………………………………….
    ‘ALTHOUGH I RECOGNIZE THE GOP STRATEGY FOR WHAT IT IS – EVISCERATE THE EARNING POWER OF PRIVATE WORKERS VIA ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND OUTSOURCING THUS SETTING THE TABLE FOR PRIVATE WORKER RESENTMENT’ BUCK STUD, JUNE 4 2012
    [To which I replied:
    SO IT WAS THE REPUBLICANS THAT OPENED THE FLOODGATES IN 65?
    YES, MC CAIN AND THE NEO CONS ARE FOR OPEN BORDERS, ARE ANY OF THE [FOLD HANDS IN PRAYER] DEMS FOR SECURE BORDERS?]

  284. anti soak August 22, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Marlin, do you think its an ‘if’ or a ‘when’ type situation?
    With dirty bombs and shoulder rocket launchers?
    As the WMD get smaller and cheaper?

  285. ozone August 22, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Looks to me like there IS a plan!
    We can thwart it if we just place a call to Jeebus.
    Damnit; got the answering service again, and I mouthed all the right incantations and poked all the proper numbers. Perhaps his “service” was designed by da deb’bil…

  286. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    and which I methodically and factually refuted including a brilliant analysis/example of the entertainment strategy the AFL implemented in order to help force a merging with the NFL? And do recall how silent and speechless you finally became after after suffering a debate checkmate?
    ============
    Only you and Vlad, here at CFN, imagine yourselves to be in judged debates of which you, of course, are always the winner.
    Note, Buck, how unseemly it is for one to declare their own analysis brilliant. It is akin to the braggadocio of a Donald Trump* that makes him so unlikable in the eyes of many. You must allow others to declare your brilliance.
    * I hear he has been given some role at the GOP convention…a serious error by the Romney camp.
    If E “asserted that Muhammad Ali was the sole instigator of all showmanship/taunting/ flamboyance/celebratory antics,” he made an error of hyperbole. I believe, however, that the AFL’s strategy that you spoke of, cannot hold a candle to Ali’s body of work in this area. No, Ali was not the first nor the sole but he is certainly the icon.

  287. welles August 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Note, Buck, how unseemly it is for one to declare their own analysis brilliant.
    as they say in kraut: eigenlob stinkt
    here’s a link for what it means:
    http://en.bab.la/dictionary/german-english/eigenlob-stinkt
    peace peaceniks

  288. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    …that one day I would be having a one man show in a museum
    ============
    When and where? My wife and I do a lot of museum visiting.

  289. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    eigenlob stinkt
    ===========
    A conversation with my wife:
    Wife: I just scooped out some cat turds from the litter box and flushed them down the toilet.
    Q: Oh yeah? Did they stink?
    Wife: Yeah, they stinkt alright!

  290. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    BS said:
    It’s also called walking the walk and talking the talk, or in this particular instance, money walking a bitter, angry man into a life of compromise and bullshit talking in the pathetic aftermath.
    In short, Ely, you’re very human.
    **************************************************************
    When did I *ever* describe myself as a radical libertarian, Buck? I want you to find the quote. Indeed, over the years I’ve been on this site I’ve described mainstream libertarianism as an ADOLESCENT philosophy.
    What you fail to get is that I’m against WASTE … as are millions of Democrats and Republicans. There IS no “walk” that I don’t “walk”. When you describe me as “very human”, I can tell you’ve painted yourself into a corner on this thread. All you can do, without any verification from my previous quotes, is make some vague accusation that because I taught at a school, I’m violating some fundamental philosophical tenet that I hold. Well, then go ahead and FIND IT!!
    I belong to NO “ism”. I’m an old-fashioned CONSERVATIVE but when does that imply that I’m like a Randian Libertarian?!! I have NEVER said that I do not believe the government should be uninvolved in education or even healthcare. Go find us the quotes which prove that I said this. To other CFN’ers waiting on this … DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH.
    You just want to ATTACK and you have ZERO AMMUNITION.
    E.

  291. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    BS said:
    Do you know how many public employees I have talked to whose entire working life was a result of taxpayer funds and who now collect public financed pensions and who now embraces “fiscal conservatism” and seek to impose austerity on those who follow in their aftermath? Too many to count is how many. They represent a certain pathology infecting America, these hypocritical frauds representing Most Privileged Generation.
    ***************************************************************
    Note to Buck: I AM NOT “most public employees”. I’ve written so many articles on this blog where I’ve talked about the plight of the working man and woman in the US because any “austerity” has been imposed on THEM and not the CEO cabals that for you to have missed maybe a HUNDRED such posts is willful ignorance because you’re grittily determined to attack without a shred of proof about the NATURE of my “fiscal conservatism”.
    I’ve said, for YEARS, that my idea of said fiscal conservatism is to clean out fat-cat career bureaucrats who do no useful work in various “agencies”. I have railed against firing secretaries and record-keepers who do real work. I’ve even done so THIS WEEK.
    You still didn’t tell us what YOU really are, Buck. An “entrepreneur” … gee, that’s about as generic a description as one could give. So, you still hide behind bushes attacking but having no courage to be a target as well. You just don’t like people in academia and so you want to paint me as some generic object like you’ve painted yourself as an “entrepreneur” … selling God-knows-what.
    You’re not very intelligent, Buck. That’s the bottom line and I’m not such a snob that I equate that as being UNEDUCATED because education, like most fields in America, is increasingly being filled with incompetents. You’re just DUMB. You attribute beliefs and ideas to ME that I’ve never said. In fact, I’ve almost always said the OPPOSITE.
    If I’m the foaming-at-the-mouth right-winger that you’re trying to paint, how come Being There and I agree on so much as regards our attitude about government right now … what it is and what it ought to be. Most of it is just about COMMON SENSE and has nothing to do with a rigid philosophy. I abhor waste. I abhor the “new garishness” of American social life. I dislike America’s violation of the sovereignty of foreign countries. This is my “ism”.
    You can’t READ. You cannot DEDUCE. What the fuck good are you, Buck? So, what do you want … every person of a conservative bent to leave academia and research to be true to some philosophy by LEAVING? God, you’re dumb as a post, dude!!
    E.

  292. Buck Stud August 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    And this week, the first post of the thread, written by you, was removed.
    Perhaps JHK didn’t want yet another anti-Jewish screed – you were lamenting Romney’s potential Jewish foreign policy advisers and not for the first time either; dull redundancy is your trademark – from you to soil his fine, creative effort of this week.
    What does that say about you anti-soak, that the host of this site finds your posts undesirable? And yet you persist in staying where you’re not wanted, nor appreciated.
    Perhaps there’s a KKK site out there ready to welcome you with open arms.

  293. Buck Stud August 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Ely,
    I didn’t read your last post but noticed it was a considerable amount of text. I think you need to slow down pardner, take a deep breath and try and get Ol’ Buck Stud out of yer head.
    This is turning somewhat toxic and your way out of your league. I urge you to come out of your head and try and ground the negative energy that you’re attempting to channel to retributive ends. Energy which is foaming in your cerebral concsiousness and hurting nobody but yourself.
    It won’t work against me anyway. While steam is coming out of your ears, and energy angrily rises, I just engaged in an hour of Zhan Zhang followed by a couple of rounds of Chen style Tai Chi. Your energy, your negativity has been completly and totally grounded.
    Go take a walk or something, truly.

  294. muddmike August 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Here is a link to an article about taxes by the Council on Foreign Relations. Unfortunately, it looks like you need to pay to read the full article.
    It does show a graph about tax rates in many countries.
    Make of it what you will.
    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137838/andrea-louise-campbell/america-the-undertaxed

  295. XXX5 August 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    BS said:
    I didn’t read your last post but noticed it was a considerable amount of text. I think you need to slow down pardner, take a deep breath and try and get Ol’ Buck Stud out of yer head.
    **********************************************************
    What’s wrong, Buck? Out of phony “refutations” because you’re a dumbass?? I belly-laughed when you said I’m “way out of my league”. This is typical of a person who’s been clobbered, has not a shred of evidence for his assertions and who’s reduced to ad hominems and stumping for his own enlightenment because you do “Tai Chi”. This is a style of “debate” worth of Asoka.
    I did Tai Chi for 20 years, Buck. I’m perfectly grounded which is why I rebutt your arguments by pointing out a hundred different ways in which they’re groundless. The person who’s “out of their league” is obviously yourself.
    Hint to Uncle Bucky … if you want to DEBATE, you actually have to make real RETORTS. You can’t “declare” your opponent to be insane and yourself to be the epitome of cosmic consciousness and then walk away. If you want to do that, leave CFN and go to a site where other morons feel that this is a proper way to refute a person’s line of reasoning.
    We’re all still waiting, Bucky, for you to find quotes where I say that the state should not be involved in education or where I declare myself as a doctrinaire libertarian. Hint to fellow CFN’ers … do NOT hold your breath. Aside from my reason torrent of posts to address your groundless assertions, my involvement on this site has been limited in recent months, largely because it’s full of mental midgets like yourself and Beantown Bill who will support a person who threatened multiple CFN’ers with baseball bats because he was a fellow Jew.
    Let me be clear: I like people who can REASON. I respect many of this site’s liberals like Being There and people who, alas, are gone like Lewis Lucan. My camaraderie is reserved, not just for someone who is a fellow conservative, but for people who’ve proven that they’re SENTIENT BEINGS.
    I take long walks EVERY DAY, Buck. I suggest that you quit the Tai Chi and do something which oxygenates your brain a little better so that you learn how to engage in rhetoric. So what’s it going to be, Buck? Are you going to find those quotes you’ve claimed I’ve made which make me a doctrinaire anti-statist or are you going to be as evasive as Bill Clinton on pot smoking?? We’re all waiting.
    E.

  296. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    I just engaged in an hour of Zhan Zhang followed by a couple of rounds of Chen style Tai Chi. Your energy, your negativity has been completely and totally grounded.
    ============
    ^This^ is one of three things:
    1. The equivalent of a seven year old clamping his palms over his ears and screaming “I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I CAN’T HEAR YOU.”
    2. The Buddhist version of “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” where the Buddhist simply declares he has deflected your bad energy with meditation.
    3. Orrrr…it could be that Zhan Zhang in Chinese means “gettin’ my lady-friend off with a vibrator” and Chen style Tai Chi means “Tullimore Dew Whiskey.”

  297. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I didn’t read your last post but …
    ================
    The ‘ol “I didn’t (or don’t) read your post(s)” line is among the most lame on CFN. It’s a favorite of Anti, for example. (He doesn’t read Mudd’s posts but somehow knows what’s in them.) It’s total bullshit Buck, and even if it were true, no one believes it so why set yourself up as a liar.
    I WILL say, however, that following this tete-a-tete satisfies the amateur shrink in me.

  298. asoka.. August 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Welles, thank you for your response. In your post you say:

    There’s no logic to this thought. Government is not limited by access to funds, at least not at the national level you’re referring to. They can simply print up/credit themselves as much money as they need

    Then a few lines later in the same post you say: “social security running out of money…”
    There doesn’t seem to be logic in those two thoughts. If you look at non-partisan economic analysis, Social Security is solvent until 2037. It is not “running out of money.”
    Social Security actually ran a surplus in 2010 of nearly $69 billion. Social Security does have a long-term funding gap, but this gap is modest and can be easily resolved by raising revenues for the system.
    The way to raise revenues is to remove the cap. Middle class folks pay on 100% of their income. The rich should pay on 100% of their income, too.

  299. xhalor August 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    From Muddmike
    “Here are two articles about the FACT that conservatives and liberals think differently. This SEEMS to be deeply seated in the psychology of people.” (emphasis mine)
    Then there is the problem of defining what is “liberal” and what is “conservative”.
    I have been studying these two articles (and all of the related links) in depth. I’m maybe half way through them. The Pew study (and I’m reluctant to use the word “study” here) has been collecting data since 1987. Even a half-assed analysis from me will be lengthy and kind of beyond the scope of this blog. More later….

  300. welles August 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    There doesn’t seem to be logic in those two thoughts.
    First off, hello asoka, fellow south america-dweller lol…
    I actually refer to SS ‘running out of money’ as an example of FAKE stress creation among U S and A people in order to mould them to their masters’ whims, viz. my verbatim original post:
    The US is not about helping people, it’s about a very ethereal monetary elite controlling the population by subjecting it to created stresses
    BTW let’s just admit one thing here from an accounting angle – there is de facto no ‘money’ in SS, the money is spent simultaneously upon receipt in the form of SS benefits or spent via general congressional appropriation under ‘general funds’.
    This has been confirmed time and time again, as recently as by the US Comptroller.
    It is a horrible forced program that seemingly works out great for a large portion of the U S and A peoples, as they do not save anything and thus would be on the streets after retirement.
    If said money were to go to actual investment in companies that pay dividends, like Proctor and Gamble, IBM etc., and had a government guarantee in case of failure, recipients would likely receive 5-10x as much. So the program is basically theft that gets a big round of applause from recipients who don’t know they were robbed of $200,000-1,000,000 in money that would be immediately accessible to help them out and let them help out their families.
    Instead, recipients get measly $200-1,300 per month gruel-like payments that don’t let them do much else than survive.
    Next, who in their right mind would make deposits for 9.5 years at a bank, then allow the bank to say “you don’t get your money because you need to pay for 10 years”. This is called grand larceny in English.
    Yet this happens all the time under SS. You need to earn 40 credits to quality, and you can only earn a maximum of 4 per year. Here’s the SS website:
    “The number of credits you need to get retirement benefits depends on when you were born. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (10 years of work).
    If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, the credits will remain on your Social Security record. If you return to work later on, you can add more credits so that you qualify. We cannot pay any retirement benefits until you have the required number of credits.”
    WHAT THE FUCK?!
    Need more be said? It’s just ROTTEN, has ZERO investment value, and is a typical U S and A SHAM.
    Oh yes it feels good when you start getting paid back tiny bits and pieces, particularly when you paid little into the ponzi. But on the whole it’s a grand joke on millions of folks whose lives are MADE WORSE, not better, by the fact that their money could have grown scads more but didn’t.
    Goodbye helping your family – “I only have my social security”
    Goodbye helping pay for your house – “I only have $300 a month from SS”
    No chance to pay for life-saving surgery – “I don’t have the $150,000 for the operation”
    Need I go on?
    All of the above said, there is also de facto no shortage of funds for SS and never will be. The U S and A government can credit $10,000 per month to any recipient at any time.
    This form of direct credit will likely be done within a decade.
    It is a brave new world, but the creation of electronic money has made deficits a thing of the past. The ballyhoo around the world is just the kingpins bellowing because they know they’ll get paid back but don’t want to see the value of their debts debased by too much currency ‘printing’.
    peace peaceniks

  301. Kyooshtik August 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    We’re all still waiting, Bucky, for you to find quotes
    ===============
    I’ll bet everyone reading the comments on CFN understands intuitively that calling Buck Bucky is an adhominem every bit the equivalent of Asshole or Fucktard but I doubt you’ve consciously cogitated on it like I have.
    My wife has a 91 year old Uncle Bob who, before he totally lost his marbles (he can still fog a mirror but that’s about it)
    to be continued – I have to go somewhere RIGHT NOW

  302. asoka.. August 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I actually refer to SS ‘running out of money’ as an example of FAKE stress creation …
    My apologies, Welles.
    I should have read more carefully…
    Thanks for your thorough answer. (though it will probably piss off those preoccupied with “fiat” money and their belief in the value of gold. I agree with you that electrons are where it’s at. Comes a point when talking about “gazillions” of dollars just loses its meaning. Here is what gazillion really means:
    Gazillion
    A number between 7 and 13. A number that seems vast but isn’t really, often used as an exaggeration.
    I have a gazillion things to do today.
    There were a gazillion people ahead of me at the checkout.
    If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a gazillion times.

  303. asoka.. August 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    NEWS FLASH: Republican Convention Could Be Shut Down Due To Hurricane
    CFN INTERPRETATION: The mainstream press never reports what is happening. This is a conspiracy. The Democrats are probably using advanced weather-as-a-weapon to disrupt the Republicans. Of course, it could be Iran manipulating the weather to get revenge on Israel’s ally. Or, it could be Al Gore is behind it, to prove that silly global warming theory of his. Or, Spain could be fomenting the hurricane, to distract us from the Euro crisis. Y’all do remember the Euro crisis, right? Remember in 2011 when Eleuthero breathlessly announced we are in CRUNCH TIME and the Euro could collapse any minute? No? Oh, well. We have lots of theories to consider, since the lamestream press never gives us the real story.
    [sarcasm off]

  304. asoka.. August 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN CONTINUES
    Just this morning, the Republican Party voted to include the “Human Life Amendment” in their platform, calling for a constitutional ban on abortions nationwide, even for rape victims. Several Romney supporters and advisers stood silently by while this vote took place, and the Los Angeles Times reports that the platform “was written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.”
    The Republican party platform itself also includes a “salute” to states that have pushed “informed consent” laws, such as those that force women seeking an abortion to first undergo an invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound.
    Just last year, Paul Ryan joined Todd Akin and more than 200 other Republicans in co-sponsoring legislation that would have narrowed the definition of rape, limiting which victims of rape were “legitimate” enough to receive financial assistance for access to abortion care.
    Mitt Romney famously says he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood if he had the chance. And both Romney and Ryan pledge to go back to a system where insurance companies can discriminate against women and charge us more than men for the same health insurance.
    Red/blue, Dem/Repub, there are differences.
    President Obama spoke out in response to Akin’s comments: “What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”
    Obama also said: “I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons.”
    Most women will see the difference between Dems and Repubs.

  305. xhalor August 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    “I never stated or implied that you called me or anyone a ‘ray-cist’.”
    When I read this I realized that I
    …am a ray-cist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_lFzVduXeE

  306. beantown bill August 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Oh, no, X. I guess I’m a ray-cist, too. I discriminate against Whites who hate Blacks, Jews, Muslims, women, liberals, Mexicans, those below 100 IQ and the other 4 members of the human race. What am I to do?

  307. beantown bill August 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    “The US is not about helping people, it’s about a very ethereal monetary elite controlling the population by subjecting it to created stresses”
    That’s it in a nutshell, Welles.

  308. xhalor August 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    “What am I to do?”
    There’s only one thing you can do William.
    Dust off those Ray 78’s and do the Hebrew Boogie.

  309. beantown bill August 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    That’s right, E, I’m a mental midget, but I’m still a lot smarter than you. Just like you, I was denied access to CFN 2 days ago, but I figured out how to get back on with my screen name still intact. But you, a former computer science professor had to change yours to remain in CFN. Of course, you’ll come up with a reason as to why that was so.
    This is really unimportant, just my response to being called a mental midget.

  310. beantown bill August 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Aldo Ray? Didn’t he star in “The Naked and the Dead”?

  311. youhe9541 August 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

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  312. xhalor August 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    All right. You’re just fuckin’ with me now. Hey, did I ever tell you that when I played Jewish wedding gigs if I casually (drunkenly) blurted out that I was an atheist, that I would be escorted to the Rabbi? I guess in some hopeful attempt to get me religion. Comical and terrifying at the same time. Well, for me anyway. Yeah, after a couple of those, I was careful. The last one got pretty upset with me. I was never hostile, but he was definitely not impressed with the case I presented. Without breaking his stare, he casually reached behind him and flung a BIG OLD BOOK at me. He had an arm like Koufax. Broke my clarinet. That shit hurt. I thought…hmmm…it would probably be pretty poor form to curse at the Rabbi at a Jewish wedding.

  313. beantown bill August 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    You must have been a real pisser in a previous life if you had to play at Jewsh weddings in this one (it could be worse,I suppose, you could have played at Bar Mitzvas)!
    And what kind of reaction would you expect when you tell someone their profession and beliefs are a waste of time? You’re lucky you weren’t subjected to an Xtreme circumcision.

  314. xhalor August 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Yes! Yes! I play Bar Mitzvah’s too! Anything for a greasy dollar. Bar Mitzvah’s were challenging. You had to play all that tricky folk music. Ah, the days of starving musicianship. Seems like a million years ago now.
    Now don’t put words in my mouth. I never told anyone at these events that their profession or beleifs were “a waste of time”. I save that for you guys. After the ceremony I would be asked, soooo….I told ’em. The conversations with the Rabbi’s were always private.

  315. muddmike August 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Here is a link about an article talking about the waste of food in America. The important part is the the first comment from 3 hours ago. Must be from a JHK fan.
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/08/22-3

  316. xhalor August 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    How about that mile long advertisement. The last part of it caught my eye. It seemed familiar. So I read it.
    “You do not just would they it’s quite likely assist with learn in relation to play a good several functional however to educate yourself regarding consider getting accomplished versions who do properly likewise all your families Dona??longer get discouraged by looking at function as sum in relation to investigation your current relatives should certainly to explore should ita??’s truly do not ever abnormal Set for the cost for much more relating to be capable of geting the best risks not to mention unintended side effects since you have youa??ve found the solely services youa??lmost all intend for even more particulars on supports leaving the item prolonged insurance packages.
    Well I’ll be damned. It’s the fine print on my Sprint telephone bill.

  317. progress4spam August 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Alrighty –
    I’ve been off CFN for a couple of days.
    Getting some terraces, and a 4WD road, and a dam for a little lake – built on my land, between the house and the creek. We’ve run at least 30 gallons of prime off-road diesel through a 10 ton Kubota track-hoe. I’m making the decisions and running the transit. The guy running the excavator is doing most of the chainsaw work, and all of the excavator operating. It’s pretty steep – too steep for me to take a chance with that machine.
    Still, I’m pretty well bushed.
    That 30 gallons of petrol has allowed the two of us to do in one day – the work of 4 men and a couple of BIG draft animals. Plus, neither of us is at a huge risk of getting a limb on the head, or worse. When the sun got on the back of his cab this PM, my track-hoe guy closed the windows, closed the roof hatch, turned on the stereo, turned up the AC – and worked a couple of extra hours, easily and safely, because he was so comfortable.
    The point of the narrative – that diesel is worth WAY MORE than the four bucks a gallon we paid for it. Too bad we humans keep wasting the stuff at an accelerating pace.
    Replies to ozone, bucky, and bill will now be forthcoming – soon.
    Although my bed seems to be calling my name –
    rather loudly.

  318. progress4spam August 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    “I gotta know.
    When you say, “OK – gotta’ go hit a lick at a snake”, is that a literal thing or representative?
    (I’m thinking it’s a euphemism for bladder relief, but I’ve never heard that one before.)”
    -ozonepete-
    Sorry, O3, I didn’t mean to sow confusion.
    There’s a old, old colloquialism around these parts that goes something like the following:
    “That man is so lazy that he wouldn’t hit a lick (of work) at a snake.
    So no, I wasn’t fighting with snakes, although I expect to have fewer of them too close to the house from now on. Nor was I making an allusion to the state of my bladder – or the emptying thereof.
    Just trying to be a little bit humorous.
    – on CFN??? –
    HA HA – That’ll teach me, I reckon. 😉

  319. progress4spam August 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    “I discriminate against Whites who hate Blacks, Jews, Muslims, women, liberals, Mexicans, those below 100 IQ….” -btb-
    So, Bill, do you also discriminate against Jews who hate Blacks, Whites, Muslims, women, conservatives, etc, etc???
    If you can honestly say that you do this –
    You go up a notch in my estimation.
    And don’t try to tell me that Jews never hate.
    ===============================
    And as regards your response to X –
    Are you telling me that you are such a proud, take-no-prisoners Atheist, on CFN.
    But you’ve never ONCE told your Rabbi, or any other Rabbi, that you were having spiritual doubts??
    That’s amazing.

  320. beantown bill August 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Actually, I do Procon, no matter what one’s religion (or tribe). Haters get my goat and I don’t take kindly to any of them.
    My responses to X were meant to be jokes and not to be taken seriously. Sometimes my humor can be so dry it isn’t taken as humor.
    My beliefs or lack thereof on religion only has meaning to me. There’s nothing to be proud of, one way or the other. I’m not “proud” that my reasoning has lead me to atheism, just as I’m not proud I wore a blue shirt today.
    I’ve only been to temple twice since my bar-mitzvah. Once when I got married the second time 28 years ago, and once 2 years ago when my sister asked me to attend to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary. I don’t belong to any congregation, don’t celebrate Jewish holidays, and all my friends are Christians, so I’ve really had very little opportunity to discuss atheism with a rabbi. Besides, it would be none of his business.
    And finally, I have no spiritual doubts. I consider myself reasonably spiritual; I just don’t believe in God.
    Yet I am a Jew.

  321. Shakazulu August 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    depths as in: The lowest point, all-time low, nadir.
    Or I could’ve used the plural verb form: “are” the true depths of our misery exposed!

  322. progress4spam August 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Well –
    I just lost a response to Buck. It was a short one, since he just proved he doesn’t like to read big words – or ANY words with which he disagrees.
    And I think I’ll quit for the night.
    Maybe Buck will admit defeat and stop posting.
    I’ll wait until he shows back up to rewrite my short (and purposely written without those SCARY BIG words) post to him.

  323. Shakazulu August 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Bean, atheists are people who have simply never experienced God. If I had never experienced God, why would I believe in him? It would be like believing in super intelligent aliens who fly around in supersonic space ships, and are often reported to be sighted, but never to the point of factual evidence.
    But if one landed in my front yard, I’d have to say I would probably believe in them.

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  325. jeoriohvq August 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    The Rise And Fall Of Throwback Jerseys

    Within the sports style world, retro is, or at the very least have already been, king. Who was the king-maker? Possible candidates would consist of Significant Boi, and Dre. However it wasn’t till Puff Daddy wore throwbacks in the 2002 American Audio Awards the trend actually took off.

    Not surprisingly that was not the very first anyone experienced read of throwbacks, superstars similar to Spike Lee were sporting Mitchell Ness throwbacks again in 1990. In spite of this it was the late nineteen nineties, ahead of anybody truly noticed. Early favorites were Hank Aaron’s 1974 Atlanta Braves jersey plus the Houston Astros’ 1988 rainbow design.

    The reigning king maker still is none of your males we’ve mentioned. The King Maker was Peter Capolino, owner of Mitchell Ness. As being a company, Mitchell Ness is around given that 1904. They haven’t always been within the home business of throwbacks .

    M began it is existence like a sports manufacturer,uniforms jerseys, mostly golfing clubs. By 1925, having said that, the provider received out on the golf business enterprise and ventured into athletic uniforms for the first time. However it also went into ski equipment, along with a host of other instructions. It’s deficiency of route expense them dearly and within the earlier 1980s it almost went bankrupt. They’d diversified into also countless locations.

    Scaling again his company, Capolino moved right into a smaller storefront. In the storeroom in the new place he located what would go on to change the focus of his company, and his personal life for fantastic. Stored away in the new store, and still left at the rear of by it really is earlier tennants had been crates of outdated magazines, lots of with pictures of previous sports uniforms.

    About this time, a adjust was happening inside the NBA as well as in hip hop way of life. For many years the league was dominated by a man named Michael, who experienced an incredibly mainstream, good-guy image. As his notable star started to drop, yet another technology of athletes took middle phase. Not mainstream, and intent on leaving their very own mark on the sport, this era was typified by undesirable boy Allan Iverson. NBA jerseys have always been by far the most widely used, however the previous college look also operates for MLB as well as the NFL . Even the NHL has gotten into the action with thier Classic Hockey selection.

    The fad peaked in 2003, and all through 2004 income started to steadily drop. By that stage even though, Mitchell and Ness experienced been joined inside the arena by each producer of sports gear on the planet. Nike, Adidas, Reebok, plus a host of unlawful M knock-offs, appeared about the scene.

  326. Buck Stud August 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Nope, I didn’t say I wouldn’t read it, just that I hadn’t read it yet. It was a pretty long post and some of us are not retirees hanging out on CFN today.
    I will go back and take a look.

  327. asoka.. August 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    And finally, I have no spiritual doubts. I consider myself reasonably spiritual; I just don’t believe in God. Yet I am a Jew.

    This makes perfect sense to me! You are large! LOL!
    Thanks for sharing, BTB.

  328. Buck Stud August 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Just for you Ely, I’m going to go back and search some of your past comments. If I’m wrong and have misrepresented the spirit of your political, social/economic philosophy I will apologize. If not, I will post your comments.
    Nonetheless, you did claim that you do not receive a taxpayer financed pension, which is simply not true:
    Ely Writes:

    I earned my pension, dude, and unlike the California Public Employees Retirement System, a .edu, I get my pension from the California TEACHERS Retirement System, a .com … a PRIVATE entity.

    And then were supposed to believe you’re a professor of some sort ( math?) when you completely fail to mention that you receive matching funds – 8.25% that is provided by good old Joe Taxpayer. I presume you’re just being deceptive because no real professor, math or otherwise, could be so stupid, or think that others would not notice:

    CalSTRS presently collects $5.6 billion in contributions. That works out to 18.25 percent of current payroll, with teachers and administrators kicking in 8 percent of their pay, districts paying 8.25 percent, and the state, through the General Fund, adding 2.01 percent.

    So in reality Ely, your pension fund is not a “private entity”. Instead of just admitting that, you move the goal posts and state that “conservatives” should be able to work in the public sphere as well. And where somebody like Mish might term you a parasite, I happen to believe the working class actually deserves pensions – although matching funds provided by the taxpayer is getting a bit dodgy in this day and age.

  329. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    Nope, I didn’t say I wouldn’t read it, just that I hadn’t read it yet.
    ===========
    Buck, this is the sort of slimy eel reply one might expect from Asoka. Please go back and read my post. I didn’t use the word “wouldn’t.” I used the words “didn’t” and “don’t.” Further, your original post did not use the word “yet.”
    These words – wouldn’t and yet – put a very different spin on what was actually said. Let’s clear this up.
    You claimed that you had not read a particular post made by E. I don’t believe you. You would not be so foolish as to post a nastygram to E without actually knowing what he had just posted to you. Therefore, there is no need for you to “go back and take a look.” And even if I am completely wrong about your having read E’s post, it is the worst sort of cheap behavior to hold a detailed argument with someone while claiming not to have read their post… as though you have nothing but contempt for anything they might have said.
    The other cheap defense is “some of us are not retirees hanging out on CFN today.” You have a palpable contempt for retirees. Unlike you I didn’t have any sculpting gigs lined up with clients to occupy me today.

  330. Buck Stud August 23, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    No, you’re projecting. I came in from a workout, saw the length of content in E’s post and decided not to read it because I was on the go and did not want to become tempted to post, or mull over the contents. And I did not post a “nastygram” until after reading his post this evening.
    But you’re right about retirees; I don’t like them in general. And I especially don’t like the vicarious viewing/hand wringing of projected “collapses” from the comfortable perch of a state financed pension plan.
    I will say this though: Searching back a few months I have read quite a few of E’s posts and I find myself agreeing with not a few. Some of them are his typical nasty, and some would be termed ‘racist’ by others, but what originally had me believing that E was a Libertarian might have been a post of his calling for a curtailment of medical care, although even that is compassionated within the context of his other posts.
    More to follow…before my Burning Man rendezvous.

  331. XXX5 August 23, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Q said:
    You claimed that you had not read a particular post made by E. I don’t believe you. You would not be so foolish as to post a nastygram to E without actually knowing what he had just posted to you. Therefore, there is no need for you to “go back and take a look.” And even if I am completely wrong about your having read E’s post, it is the worst sort of cheap behavior to hold a detailed argument with someone while claiming not to have read their post… as though you have nothing but contempt for anything they might have said.
    ****************************************************************
    Indeed, arguing against points they haven’t read as though they have “ESP” is dismissive and unethical. You’re post, Q., forms a kind of Quod Erat Demonstrandum that closes the book for me on Buck Stud.
    You know a guy can’t defend himself when he starts getting sheepish by saying that his rhetorical adversaries are getting too worked up when the ORIGINAL person to have gotten worked up was Buck Stud, himself. His attack on my holding a job in a school came, literally, out of LEFT FIELD, and I think my posts demolish the irrationality inherent in them without a shadow of a doubt.
    Therefore, I will not respond to him again.
    E.

  332. XXX5 August 23, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    BS said:
    More to follow…before my Burning Man rendezvous.
    ***********************************************************
    Sorry to violate my “I will not respond to Buck again” intention but now that I know you like narcissist festivals, this explains a great deal. I made the mistake of venturing to Burning Man ONCE … and it shall never happen again. It’s an absurd gathering of New Age loonies, cheap provocateurs, druggies, random sexual trollers, and represents pretty much everything about our “liberation” since the 1960s that I’ve come to detest so vehemently.
    E.

  333. sdcll82og August 23, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    wireless beats

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  334. Rock Trueblood August 23, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    Bain Capital Kills Off Another US Factory; Picks Meat Off The Bones Of Working Americans
    http://rocktrueblood.blogspot.com/2012/08/bain-capital-kills-off-another-us.html

  335. Widespreadpanic7 August 23, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Walked down to the corner store this morning to pick up a gallon of milk. Its one of those places with gas pumps, but probably makes most of its profit selling high caloric snacks, soda, and cigarettes. A guy was pumping gas into his Dodge Power Wagon Behemoth. I heard him say, “It just cost me $110 to fill up my truck”. Sure enough, I looked up and gas was $4.10 per gallon.
    Also a woman on CNBC this morning, some sort of real estate expert, claimed that the market for houses in Arizona was ‘coming back strong’, and that the population of Arizona was poised to grow by 2 million within the next decade. Arizona is a place that JHK singles out as being heavily reliant on air conditioning and automobiles, with no future at all, and will probably become unlivable as energy resources become scarce. There are a lot of different opinions out there, and its hard for a lay person like myself to make sense of it all.
    –WSP7

  336. Widespreadpanic7 August 23, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Quite a dust up between Buck Stud and XXX.
    Hey Buck, I’m one of those you hate because I got a pretty decent pension at a young age from the feds a few years ago. The thing with me is that from day one I could see Govt. employment was a scam on the public in that we received pay, pensions and benefits unmatched by workers in the private sector. I remember when I first started a guy in our office was retiring who just turned 50. He had his 30 years in. I said to my dad, “Look, this whole goddam thing is a racket”. He said that’s true but if you don’t scam it somebody else will, so you might as well stay”.
    –WSP7

  337. welles August 23, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    I agree with you that electrons are where it’s at.
    Yes, as the Scots say ‘This is true’. It changes everything.
    The ability to credit anyone with any amount of money means…..
    There is no debt crisis per se
    The U S and A national debt can swell substantially, it is not a question of amount, it is merely a question of the impact on others’ confidence in the USD
    This holds equally true for EUR countries
    Income taxes are wholly unnecessary
    U S and A peoples like to ask: “Well if we don’t pay taxes how are we going to fund the fire department and police and education?”
    Answer: In 2008 the U S and A banks were given several trillion dollars, it worked out great for them. The same can be done for the group i named.
    So U S and A peoples grow very concerned and hold meetings and vote on tax proposals and break into factions that dislike the relevant other side.
    U S and A peoples like to posit: “But we need to get the national debt under control!
    Reply: The national debt can be paid off instantaneously by the FED via crediting the debtholders what they’re owed. Money is limitless, if it is not please demonstrate to me how this rationale is erroneous.
    Real reason for national debt worries: It keeps U S and A peoples worried about something that has no impact on them.
    SS is running out of money: FED can credit any amount needed.
    Real reason for national SS worries: It keeps U S and A peoples worried about something that can be fixed at any time and breaks the country into ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ factions, i.e. weakens the unity of the U S and A peoples.
    U S and A peoples like to posit: “We need a simpler income tax! The irs code is 60 pounds and has 4 million laws to it!”
    Real reason for anger over income tax: It keeps U S and A peoples fired up and uses up their energy. Income tax receipts are only $1.6 trillion per year, the FED gave the banks $3-4 trillion in the space of a month in 2008, why do we need to pay income taxes when the shadow gov’t can simply ‘create’ any amount of money it wishes? Answer: it keeps the U S and A peoples very busy expending all their energy observing byzantine regulations and makes them act in certain manners, e.g. get deductible ‘education’ by taking on student loans [future financial bondage] for predominantly useless college degrees.
    All the above items create stress/anger/polity division/dependancy when, in fact, it is all founded on the false need to provide the government with money it could simply create in any amount it wishes.
    The upshot is a populace burnt out, angry and divided against itself, and unable to implement any betterment of life as it struggles to hold on another month.
    The same holds true for many other countries that have the ability to conjure money from thin air.
    peace peaceniks

  338. ozone August 23, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    welles,
    I understand these musings are way off-topic, but please explain to us by what mechanism these dancing electrons come to represent real labor/work/energy/assets. I can see how they become part of the “waste stream” of the military (all ABOUT waste by destruction) and a bloated bureaucracy, but other than that, it seems naught but a massive swindle. The Emperor hasn’t a stitch on.
    Here’s a little timeline for a “hard currency”; you deduce the consequence:
    http://gregnguyen.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/decline-in-silver-content-of-roman-coin.html
    (Your argument about divide and conquer is the preferred strategy these days, as it is also cheap for those who foment it. For those who are on the resulting pointy-end, verrrry expensive; right up to the ultimate “expense”.)

  339. ozone August 23, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Ps. Please explain the acronym “U S and A”.
    Thanks.

  340. ozone August 23, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    I like that expression!
    Being too lazy to take a whack at a snake that could very well bite you is pretty lazy indeed.
    Now, waaaaaay off into the nature of [supposed] logic; why the hell is a grade stick marked in tenth’s of a FOOT fer shit’s sake!
    For my own purposes, I made one marked in quarter inches, with the inches and feet numbered. These are about as fine gradations as I need. I have had circumstances in which a 16th of an inch per foot pitch was required, but that of course translated to 5 eighths for every 10 feet of ditch/pipe. A regular ‘Murkin tape measure extended from the starting grade to mark the 5/8th’s increments [in pencil] onto the official 1/10th’s stick was our reference methodology. Try holding to that for about 450’! Pain in the patoot, but saved brain-strain and gave us a beginning and ending point for the official field indications on the print (in tenth’s of a foot, naturally ;o).
    Some of youse will certainly think of a “better way”, but sometimes field experience heavily [and properly] weights the decisions on cipherin’…

  341. asoka.. August 23, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    CLEAN ENERGY: MORE OF IT AND IT’S NOW CHEAPER
    The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage grew by 47 billion cubic feet to 3.308 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Aug. 17.
    Analysts expected a rise of 36 billion to 40 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
    The inventory level was 12.1 percent above the five-year average of 2.951 trillion cubic feet, and 14.7 percent above last year’s level of 2.885 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
    Natural gas fell 10 cents to $2.72 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.

  342. Dan_White August 23, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    The way to handle phones is the following…
    Push “0” or “00” the second the line is answered at the other end.
    Another way is to call their collections department directly. They will answer the phone. Inform that that you would like them to look up the intra-company number, the direct number of whom you are calling and ask them to connect you directly.
    Another way is to call their sales department. Guess what? It’s usually answered by Americans who speak English. Tell them that you are about to buy something expensive. Make it up depending on whatever they sell. Tell them that you will only do so if they give you the direct phone number of who you want to call.
    Re medical records: Get the physical copy, be it an X-ray, paper file, whatever. Tell the lab tech, the hospital whomever, after you get the service, that you will not pay the bill until they provide you with the physical copy. Usually it’s a DVD. “Oh, we’ll keep the records here”…”I’ll keep my money in my wallet then…”
    Amazing how fast they will go out of their way to provide the records.

  343. Dan_White August 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Another thing. When someone answers, tell them that you are recording the call and get their name and employee number. Be sympathetic and friendly.
    Tell any salesman that calls you that you will only do business with their company if they have a phone number where you can call with questions/complaints/requests/etc.
    Try the phone numbers before you spend your money.

  344. Dan_White August 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Great website but linked above with a flaw.
    eliminate the comma
    This works:
    http://gethuman.com/
    “Need to contact a company? Or have them call you?
    Get customer service faster and easier.”

  345. JulettaofOhio August 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I agree, totally. Out of all our friends, neighbors, acquaintances, we are the only ones who garden, can the produce, or who actually can, surprisingly, change a flat tire. Our “circle”, if you can call it that, consists mainly of professors, teachers and other professionals. We’re considered a trifle declasse because we can do these things, and while I can quote long passages of Chaucer and recite the names of all six of Henry VIII’s wives, their ultimate fate and from where they originated, I doubt that will keep us warm and fed. We’re also criticized for burning wood since it adds to global warming, and pouring wood ash on the garden caused us to be reported for “polluting the ground”. (The current fashion here is passive solar gain. Too bad the sun shines rarely during an Ohio winter.) I’d hate to go up against a Russian. They’re so much tougher than I, cannier than I and probably much less kind. I believe the “intelligentsia” has about one more generation before they die off.

  346. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I liked the last paragraph:

    If we don’t get this country back to work at jobs that pay a decent wage, we will be in bigger turmoil than when the Republic was first formed. Except this time we won’t be revolting against an English king, but the Lords and Aristocrats of the Oligarchy who raped our Economy.

    I actually like the whole thing.
    Only in a bizarro world would such a man be able to ‘run the country’. Perhaps if elected Romney can have some Chinese guests in the White House learn the job of being president so they know how to do it when they take over.
    Of course a real candidate would smoke Obama. A traitorous 1%-er makes a good opponent so the Obama smoke screen can have another four years to enrich Wall Street.
    K-Dog All Dogs Eat !!!!
    ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍

  347. asoka.. August 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Excellent Opportunity to Act Now!
    The Gallup Organization is the only official advisor on polling to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).
    So, let’s make some noise and tell Gallup to take three important actions:
    1) Include Jill Stein in ALL Gallup polling. (The last mention of her was waaay back on July 6th.)
    2) Encourage other polling organizations to include Jill Stein. (They are an industry leader and should be promoting responsible polling and reporting.)
    3) Advise the CPD to only consider polls that have included all legitimate candidates. (The Stein campaign made history and secured Federal matching funds! Doesn’t that demonstrate significant public support?)
    Contact them – repeatedly.
    Write a good, old-fashioned letter or postcard and mail to: The Gallup Organization, 502 Carnegie Center, Suite 300, Princeton , NJ 08450
    Contact: Alyssa Brown at 1.202.715.3104, alyssa_brown@gallup.com
    Contact: Zach Bikus at 1.202.715.3100, zach_bikus@gallup.com
    Post on their Facebook wall: https://www.facebook.com/gallup
    Tweet them: Hey @gallupnews! Don’t be so biased!
    Include @JillStein2012 in your #Election2012 polling!
    Thanks for helping fight the media blackout!
    We will not be silent.

  348. JulettaofOhio August 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I don’t think the “right wing” has a fascination with any of that. (disclaimer: I’m an ultra-conservative) However, I think we’re being made to appear to do so, probably by the left wing accomplices in the media. Although we’re all anti-abortion, women’s organs never come up in the discussion, or even late at night when we all meet to lynch a black person. Suppose I should state that has NEVER happened because the left has no sense of irony and couldn’t recognize a lie told to prove a point. The “women’s concern” is straight out of Democrat Libel 101 and I have one friend who can recite all the talking points before they hit the media. I think she gets marching orders straight from the DNC. I find it amazing that women’s issues are so tender to the democrat heart and yet Bill Clinton is the featured speaker there???? Any woman who marries a Kennedy is either dead in the water (literally) or dumped or driven crazy. Great track record there!

  349. Radu Voda August 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    He who can give can withold. Or take. Such an electron scheme would give the Goverment all power. And those without the Mark would not be able to buy or sell.

  350. Radu Voda August 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Russian Minister of Madonna: Aging whores always lecture others on morality. The Enemy is pushing too hard now. And are now facing the Law of Diminshing Returns. And so they are doubling down, pushing harder. And so we will just withdraw a little and watch them fall (push hands).
    http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/08/tempest-in-a-sex-pot/

  351. asoka.. August 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Today the website Gawker published online hundreds of pages of company documents from Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital which show Romney has violated laws, committed illegal acts, filed false information (committing perjury) … all his criminal activity is completely at odds with what he has publicly maintained about his personal history. Romney got some ‘splainin’ to do … if he doesn’t end up in jail.

  352. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    From the Guardian Article.

    “Meanwhile, bit by bit, the machines inside the Freeport plant are being packed up, beginning their long journey to China. By the end of the year it will be over.”

    Didn’t a similar thing happen in East Germany when the soviets occupied Germany at the end of WWII?
    Then the machines went east, now they go west.
    ☐ Obama More for me, none for you.
    ☐ Romney None for you, more for me.
    K-Dog All dogs eat!!
    All my dog collars are made in America.
    But I for one would not be teaching Chinese how to do my job. I’d walk. That’s the kind of dog I am.

  353. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Therefore, I will not respond to him again.
    ==============
    How foolhardy of you to write this^. This is of the same ilk as “I never/ didn’t/ don’t/ wouldn’t read so-and-so’s comments.”
    You are trading your credibility for a small instant pleasure. Like the pleasure you might get by giving someone a couple of quick slaps across the face with a pair of leather gloves.
    But that pleasure won’t last long and you’ll soon find the need to reply to your nemesis and look foolish for having done so. Exhibit A: You kept your commitment not to respond to Buck for all of 4 minutes.
    When will the two of you ever learn?

  354. Radu Voda August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Well said. We are all (or almost all) complicit in one way or another, to one extent or another. The point is not to point fingers but to change the system as quickly and fairly as possible since it is unsustainable.
    And one test of integrity is the willingness to criticize and/or downsize progams that benefit us or our group.

  355. asoka.. August 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    How foolhardy of you to write this^.
    Q., I think the word you should have used is “foolish” not “foolhardy” … there is a difference (in terms of danger) and Eleuthero’s behavior was foolish, but not foolhardy. What is your native language, Q.?
    Foolish: Lacking or exhibiting a lack of good sense or judgment; silly.
    Foolhardy: Unwisely bold or venturesome; rash, reckless.
    Saying you are “never” going to respond to someone on CFN (and I have said that to Vlad) is foolish, but is not foolhardy.

  356. muddmike August 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Welles,
    One apparent problem I see with your post is that the FED is NOT a government agency! If the FED creates money out of electrons, the US has to pay interest of that money.
    One possible solution I have read about was that the gov. can still make coins, and it could produce some trillion dollar coins and deposit them in the FED, and pay off the debts with those. I am not sure if this is a real possibility, but it seems to have some validity.

  357. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    But you’re right about retirees; I don’t like them in general. And I especially don’t like the vicarious viewing/hand wringing of projected “collapses” from the comfortable perch of a state financed pension plan.
    ===============
    It is beyond my comprehension why you and E don’t see this issue of state financed pensions the same way I do…as a problem related to BIG GOVT. Cut Govt by 75% and the issue of bloated state pensions would largely disappear. Education is not inherently a function of Govt. Get it out of their control.
    But, no, you and E simply can’t break from the idea that without Govt involvement in education America would be a land of uneducated doofuses. The opposite is true. We are becoming a land of doofi BECAUSE of Govt involvement.
    BTW, when you express disdain for state financed pension plans I assume you mean municipal and federal as well. How would they be any different?
    As to not liking retirees in general, what would your plan be? Death chambers for anyone over 65 not gainfully employed full-time?

  358. Rhino August 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    I believe the “intelligentsia” has about one more generation before they die off. – J. of O.
    This “intelligentsia” tend to live in the world of ideas and words and images and symbols which is all fine and dandy. But as far as sheer survival goes, the rubber meets the road where people make tools do their bidding and shape the raw materials of human existence.
    This “intelligentsia” makes me laugh. They have an awfully high opinion of themselves. Grow vegetables? That’s for lesser folk.
    The “intelligentsia” have done a real con job. The very people that shmucked the productive economy, debased the education system, degraded national discourse, debauched the country’s finances are the very people trying to convince everyone of their own indispensability. They eat like oriental potentates, are pampered, indulged and listened to. For how much longer I wonder before the defenestrations start?
    One other poster said that American workers would get their “comeuppance”. It’s “karma” he said. We’ll see. We’ll see who makes it and who doesn’t.

  359. *Lilli* August 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    They are changing to speech recognition now which is even more annoying.
    They only recognize standard accents which leaves you in the wrong department anyway.
    There’s nobody in charge now. They can do whatever they like. Obama’s playing golf and reading his teleprompter occasionally.

  360. asoka.. August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    One other poster said that American workers would get their “comeuppance”. It’s “karma” he said. We’ll see. We’ll see who makes it and who doesn’t.
    Whoever that poster is, I agree with him/her.
    American workers have been exploiting the rest of the world, extracting natural resources (the USA is 6% of world population but uses 25% of the world’s resources) at an immoral and unethical rate, living high off the hog as a reward for their complicity. I’m talking to you, CFNer.
    American workers are the ones who volunteer to fight America’s imperialist ventures that guarantee the USA access to markets and resources in other parts of the world. As Cheney said, the American way of life is non-negotiable. Bad karma.
    American workers are brutes. And ignorant, too, having been brainwashed by patriotic appeals which send them scurrying to enlist in the military, undergo “basic training” (brainwashing) … and defend the capitalist corporate system, at the same time the capitalists are shipping their jobs overseas.
    It is happening right now. The middle class is disappearing. American workers are getting their comeuppance, just as predicted by the wise CFN poster you mentioned.

  361. *Lilli* August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    What do you think this is Jim?
    It’s a mysterwy.
    http://www.unpartial.com/

  362. Radu Voda August 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Sensible Jewish Woman who knows about Black IQ – and is willing to talk about it. Is she a hater too?
    Bet she also knows how badly Jews need Whites.

  363. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Bet she also knows how badly Jews need Whites.
    ===========
    There’s been a flurry of technical “bannings” this week and I’ve noticed Vlad’s absence over the past few days. Putting two and two together, I’m guessing you, Radu, are the new incarnation of Vlad?

  364. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Bet she also knows how badly Jews need Whites.
    Ya Think ?
    And some Jewish girls like …

  365. San Jose Mom 51 August 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    I have learned something new today: A country full of doofuses = doofi!

  366. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Zone, Here is the latest news on Roger Pion.

    Pion was held on $50,000 bail, which he has posted, he but remains in jail for now. He is due back in court on August 27.
    Since his arrest, Pion is facing a slew of charges including aggravated assault on an officer, reckless operation of a vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash, and committing a crime with a weapon.










    Some people are commending Pion’s actions. The sheriff declined to comment on that opinion.

    Pion as everyone will recall was the dude who crushed the all Orleans County Sheriff’s cruisers with his tractor.
    I feel for the dog, as his mother explains it was a horrible day.
    ❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧❦❧

    The seeming quiescence of things on the late summer scene is an illusion that will soon dissipate.

  367. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Free Roger Pion

  368. Iona Laundramat August 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    The problem with creating more and more money out of thin air is that at some point a tipping point is reached and hyperinflation breaks out. This article states the problem with unusual clarity.
    http://www.321gold.com/editorials/saville/saville082212.html
    Time to get back in the water; I’ve got the day off.
    Iona

  369. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Interesting yes, a “crack-up boom” will happen at some point when people realize that hanging on to their money is to no avail. Seems pretty straightforward.
    But the article assumes people have money. When all dogs are broke and unemployed then what happens? The article claims that we are not there yet. I’d say two paychecks from the poorhouse(wherever that is) is pretty much the rule for most dogs now.
    To remain in the first stage of the inflationary process for years seems to require mass stupidity.
    From the aricle:

    There are still people in the country who have not yet become aware of the fact that they are confronted with a price revolution which will finally result in a considerable rise of all prices, although the extent of this rise will not be the same in the various commodities and services.

    What if they wake up and start to howl?

  370. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    article:

  371. *Lilli* August 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    It looks like nobody knows anything about it.
    They have a new invention as well. It’s something to do with the people at ATS and a firm called Stremor.
    That’s all I know. They’ve got a picture of a teleporter on their website .. but surely not ..

  372. k-dog August 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Or ‘the dooffois’ as in ‘the bourgeois’.

  373. ozone August 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Awwwwww, ain’t it cute?
    little laddie lederhosen has gots hisse’f a brandie new handle too! (I like the one I gived him more better; it’s decidedly more flaccid.)
    Someone tell us what the fascination with the Eastern European pseudonyms could possibly be; won’t you help a poor downtrodden whitebread neo-nazi?

  374. muddmike August 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Lilli,
    I looked at the Stremor web site in the press section they have a release. They are an internet software company, and are going to “Change Everything”.
    http://www.stremor.com/stremor-release-01.pdf
    Does anyone have a guess as to how many other software companies have said the same thing, and have vanished after they took a few million from venture capitalists and other investors?
    I am sure that it is a large number. Not quite as large as the US national debt, but close.

  375. Radu Voda August 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Yes and No since you cannot step into the same river twice. But I am the continuation of the entity you knew as Jaego, then Vlad.
    Undoubtedly, Kunstler banned E and I for our speaking out against Jewish Power – and attempted to hide the fact by messsing with a few other people username or something.

  376. Radu Voda August 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Your hatred is very deep. Perhaps you are of the Tribe – or should be.
    I noticed you responded to E on Monday but ignored the Jewish part of his post. You can’t continue to run and duck this important question. Where do you stand? With the People or the Judeo Mason 1%?

  377. Radu Voda August 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Atta boy. Good dog. You gonna get a steak bone instead of the chicken bone I had planned for you.

  378. beantown bill August 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    No, Q, I think you added 0 + 0 and got zero.

  379. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Or ‘the dooffois’ as in ‘the bourgeois’.
    ===========
    I like that. I would use only one f though: doofois
    Pronounced doo-fwah
    Along those lines I learned today that booboisie is an antonym of intelligentsia.
    Pronounced boo-bwah-zee
    Booboisie is a blend of boob and bourgeoisie. It was coined by H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), American editor and critic.

  380. beantown bill August 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Give yourself credit, Marlin. I know you are bright because you read books, which is more than I can say for 95% of the population.
    The Phoenix metro area is doomed. Long before an additional 2 million live there, Phoenix will run out of water. Wait and see the new war: Phoenix vs. L.A.
    I’ve seen a lot of increased activity in the South of Boston real estate market. The last of the suckers are coming out of the woodwork.

  381. jaiseli August 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    yo, James
    may AYEC (almighty yahweh elohim Creator) continue to bless your insights, prose and recovery.
    i b putting u all on notice once again:
    1) get GROUNDED! – rural(50+ miles out), unencumbered, arable land
    2) get GROUPED! – ya can’t operate/survive-to-thrive ALONE! Such is the blessing of learning to live TOGETHER again!
    3) get GUNNED! – when the “fraud” gov’t’s Fast & Furious-funded gangs come up against a well-armed and organized opponent they will move on to a less-prepared prey.
    simplify your lives, get local, break the corporate chains.
    these are exciting times to for the prepared and righteous!

  382. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Forgot to mention:
    booboisie, noun:
    A class of people regarded as stupid or foolish.

  383. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    when the “fraud” gov’t’s Fast & Furious-funded gangs come up against a well-armed and organized opponent they will move on to a less-prepared prey.
    =============
    Not really, they’ll just crush them like a bug.

  384. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    But I am the continuation of the entity you knew as Jaego, then Vlad.
    ===============
    Did you hear that the entity formerly known as Ochocinco changed his name BACK to Chad Javon Johnson?
    Yeah, I know…what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China.
    But moving on, you also said:
    “Undoubtedly, Kunstler banned E and I for our speaking out against Jewish Power – and attempted to hide the fact by messsing with a few other people username or something.”
    First, it’s me, not I.
    Second, your paranoia is showing. If Kunstler was banning people for “speaking out against Jewish Power” you would have had more handles by now than OEO/Tootsie/Mistified.

  385. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    I like that.
    ================
    Among the stupid and foolish of Islam we might have categorizations such as:
    . the Sufi doofi and
    . the French Shiite doofois
    😉

  386. xhalor August 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Radu Voda!?
    It’s like rooting for an American League baseball team. An unnatural act.

  387. turkleton August 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    This is the most ban-happy website I’ve ever encountered on the internet (well maybe sfgate.com has a run on this too).
    It might have to do with the lack of threading by topic here in the comments, e.g. replies appearing under their original comments, so that people get really annoyed having to scroll through all the garbage. So they email JHK in frustration who bans the annoying people.
    There’s also no meta-rating system by which obnoxious posters can be voted down and posts rated down X number of times would be hidden.
    There also seems to be some kind of automated process that auto-bans people based on, hey, I dunno. I’m not sure what I said to get my old account banned. No idea at all, plus I got no email or anything telling me or even warning.
    etc.
    This thing is a real piece of work, I tell ya wut. I’m kinda thinking of taking off for a better blog, or one that uses a better commenting system. Cuz this thing is a god awful mess.
    Yeah, I know, boo hoo. So sad. I’m sure you’ll be fine without me.

  388. xhalor August 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    I had problems with my last post. My Firefox browser froze. So, I tried to stop it, refresh the page, and then cleared the cache. Still didn’t work.
    So I closed the browser and re-started it. Logged in…bada bing. Success. Ya gots to woik it. I’ve done this many times on this site. Banning? After some of the shit that I have posted here?
    Nah…

  389. xhalor August 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    By the way, I never have these problems when I’m using my Linux computer. Now that I’ve put that out there, the MS Police will probably make sure that I do.

  390. ozone August 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    I KNOW!
    Geez, I slide the guy a perfectly apropos moniker and he goes with some cheesy, vampiric, Hungarian-hooplehead appellation.
    Whaddaya gonna do?
    Ya try to help a guy out and what’s it get ya?…
    That’s all right for him then [sniffle, snork, honk], he’ll still be cuddly ol’ little laddie lederhosen in my heart of hearts… Forever!!! [blubber, choke, bawl]…

  391. Cavepainter August 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Ahem, ahem,……Since the 1970s rate of job growth has lagged population growth by increasing margin. Real income has dropped in parallel. No surprise, right? This begs the question: Was the “American Dream” as realized by earlier Americans really coincidence of our nation industrializing while still flush with natural resources?
    If so, kiss the American Dream goodbye. There too, candidates’ promises of its restoration are airy fables – out of touch with the alarms of unfolding reality. Statistics on any measure of life quality in America shrieks alarm that the dream is drawing farther out of reach for more people daily as population continues to increase against withering national resources and as America loses the leverage to augment by stealing resources elsewhere.
    The template of history seems to hold; with population continuing to grow the effect will be the same as elsewhere; the American Dream will devolve down to minimum caloric requirement.
    With the decline of the American Dream is there likely to be a reverse of all the benchmarks of “social progress” that we American’s have been so self congratulatory about? This is my question: Without the general rise of affluence that accompanied industrialization and availability of vast resources here (and captured abroad) would we have seen the social advances that we tend to attribute more to abstract principles of government, philosophy and cultural values?
    I’m asking; is it possible that these so called “advances” would not have taken place had there not been the general assumption that the future was a rising spiral of standard of living and well being for all, therefore gains by those historically underclass posed no risk since all classes were reaching ever higher rungs?
    Just asking.

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  393. asoka.. August 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    If Kunstler was banning people for “speaking out against Jewish Power” you would have had more handles by now than OEO/Tootsie/Mistified.

    Sigh. Q., I have lectured you many times on the proper way to construct a sentence with an introductory conditional clause. You don’t seem to learn. If your spell check doesn’t catch it, then you just pass it on to CFN with the errors intact.
    The rule is really very simple. I do not understand why you cannot grasp the principle.
    Use a comma if the if clause is at the beginning of the sentence.
    Example:
    If I go to Camden, I will visit the Walt Whitman Arts Center.
    Don’t use a comma if the if clause is at the end of the sentence.
    Example:
    I will visit the Walt Whitman Arts Center if I go to Camden.
    What is your native language, Q.? Ebonics?

  394. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    I’m asking; is it possible that these so called “advances” would not have taken place had there not been the general assumption that the future was a rising spiral of standard of living and well being for all, therefore gains by those historically underclass posed no risk since all classes were reaching ever higher rungs?
    ============
    Yes.

  395. Kyooshtik August 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    What is your native language, Q.?
    ============
    Take this wealth of knowledge you possess and go out among your people and help them. Buddha only knows, they need it.
    I will manage somehow to get by with the occasional missing comma. But thank you for your concern.

  396. asoka.. August 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    What a dismissive reply!
    What you so blithely refer to as a “missing comma” can lead to miscommunication, to wars, to the deaths of millions.
    Saying “I will manage…” indicates you really don’t give a shit about proper construction of sentences in English.
    You still have not answered my question about your native language. I will ask it differently.
    In what country was your great grandmother born? There is no shame if your family immigrated here from someplace in Europe or Africa. That would actually help me understand why you have such trouble communicating via the written word in English.
    I used to think you cared. I used to think you were OCD. Now I know you were just falsely scamming CFN. You are shameless.
    You say you will “manage somehow to get by.” But you don’t realize the full extent of your mistreatment of the English language. Even worse, you do not appreciate the consequences of your apathy with respect to proper English grammar.
    You don’t have a grasp of the fundamentals of English grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., and you demonstrate that fact every day you post to CFN. It’s sickening.
    Why don’t you go watch an NFL football game. Enjoy yourself.
    I will have to suffer … until I can accept your lack of punctiliousness.

  397. welles August 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    I understand these musings are way off-topic, but please explain to us by what mechanism these dancing electrons come to represent real labor/work/energy/assets.
    The simple fact that they are accepted in exchange for food and gas and labour gives them a claim on real labour/work/energy/assets.
    There’s no secret to it. But it is a true paradigm shift, i.e. a change in fundamental human assumptions. While I may love gold, and want only tangible things to be money – and this is how it used to work the world over – for noble intentions of honest economic transaction, the modern paradigm is that everyone will accept an inherently worthless piece of paper or a slided magnetic strip and hand you something real in its place.
    I don’t see this as being that bad. We haven’t had the promised hyperinflation and won’t, since the FED can ‘sterilize’ huge sums of money at will. Plus it literally means that deficits really do not matter if there is political will to pay them off in electronic chits.
    In that sense electronic, conjurable money is the best thing since sliced bread. Because we can guarantee the entire population a basic level of income, even up debts etc.
    peace peaceniks
    ps the remark about the gov’t being able to take everything away if money’s electronic, i.e. if you have the Mark (of the Beast) you’re ok, this is nonsense, since i can trade my coconuts for cassava any day of the week, or my pig for your whiskey (go damn good together by the way).

  398. xhalor August 23, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    May I offer you a Kleenex(R)?
    I’m feeling very musical. It all started with Cavepainter, “…industrializing while still flush with natural resources?”
    The Hills are alive
    With Carbon Sequestration…
    Perhaps a bit of a stretch. I’ve posted this before, but it seems even more appropriate now. I like the way they run through the alphabet. The “B” section really works:
    Babble, burble, banter
    Bicker, bicker, bicker…
    Bruhaha
    Balderdash, Ballyhoo
    But it’s only talk.
    Notice how Andrew Belew looks like a younger JHK with a Red Strat.
    Get Down James!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbuqtDhTAwQ

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  400. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Trends may also be changing every year and each and every period. They need custom bridal robe that match them perfectly.
    This is the problem.
    We need to distinguish between needs and wants.
    For energy contraction, downsizing, living well on less, etc. to work, one must understand how very little is needed to live a luxurious life filled with friends and family, whose love costs nothing.
    There is no limit to how many people we can love. And it costs nothing, because you really don’t “need” a custom bridal robe that matches perfectly.
    Rampant consumerism, as practiced by the American worker, does not understand “needs.” American workers have garages, storge sheds, and self-storage units full of things that they do not need; things that were ill-gotten by taking resources from the rest of the world to satisfy the “wants” of American workers.

  401. xhalor August 24, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    I’m thinking about the Great Slide Guitar Player debate. Not one of you brought up David Lindley. Here’s the music of America’s future. It will become part of the culture. Well, maybe not your culture, Asoka. Jackson Browne says “This is a song about a car.” How weird is that. California Hippies Rule.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXR6vD0LTiU

  402. kenuck August 24, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Press 1 for English..if you need technical assistence press 3..if you are deaf and dumb press 4.

  403. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    E and me would sound silly. As a poet, I listen to what I write. You are more of a technician, a cynic, a judge not a listener.
    Mr Kunstler is a not a systematic reader – or else I would be banned constantly. He reads early Monday afternoon on occasion. If he hates what someone writes, he may well ban them.

  404. xervix2 August 24, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    Great one! After living in the UK for 20 years my sister recently has been ill which necessitated me coming back to the USA. It was very fitting you talked about phone service in America. I had to get a sim card for my British phone to activate service just so anyone in the UK can call me. After buying a Tracfone I found out no one from the UK can call me directly and the phone does not ring unless its a USA caller. So not wanting to sign a contract I get a T-Mobile USA sim. When my friend calle d me from the UK he paid 40 pence for making the 8 minute call, as the receiver I paid 3.10 for the same call !!!!! So I paid MORE to receive the call than to make the call! HMMM this makes sense! Also the fact that they are double – charging for the same call! In the UK I can get any sim from any network provider on pay as you go and anyone from the entire planet can call me for as long as they like and I do not pay one pence! I pay nothing! I do not even have to have a balance in credit!The same when I go to Bulgaria, Holland, Germany, Czech and Slovak Republics – yet the USA not so!
    SO in addition to this stupidity I had to call the USA T-Mob when I had received the sim card in the mail to activate it! it took 4 phone calls with voice recognition robots and many different human operators that did not know what a sim card is, how to register it or what to do, even though the flippin thing was provided and sent by T-Mobile USA! In the UK you STILL get REAL live humans answering the phones!
    Example I called the HMRC last year, (basically the UK version of IRS) and after dialing the number some civil servant picked up the phone and said “Hello can I help you” !!! Granted you may be put “on hold” during busy periods but none of this robot voice Bu!!$!t Seriously!
    The same can be said for almost ANY UK company bank or whatever agency you call. You may get and initial selection of 1-5 to pick for some service, but you ALWAYS immediately get a real person!
    After being outside the USA for 20 years the country has dumbed-down even more than the stupidity I left in 1992. I did not think this was possible, but low and behold it is!
    Thank the heavens that the Brits still have “common-sense” except with prince Harry and nude photos, but it is great to see a social common sense that includes FREE HEALTHCARE, STILL VERY GOOD BENEFITS FOR EVERYONE, and 24 days + Bank holidays statutory vacation for EVERYONE including part-time British McDonalds workers!
    I realize that the end is near for all systems as the electricity will run out from fossil fuels, but it was great to experience the UK and how smart that culture is compared to my homeland which is completely lacking common sense!

  405. xervix2 August 24, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    p.s. hope the best recovery for you James! Get well soon!

  406. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    In Revolutionry times, an ounce of gold would buy a good suit or a good rifle. Today an ounce of gold will buy a good suit or a good rifle.
    But in terms of paper dollars or electrons, who can say? The dollar has lost almost all its value – and you think that’s Ok? To let the Feds bleed us? To determine how much our labor is worth? No thanks – I’ll take the market over the Class Tyrants.

  407. *Lilli* August 24, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    So you think it might be nothing then.
    There is supposed to be something coming out soon but you are right. It could just be an advert.
    It’s clever if it is working it into some kind of political party advertisement.
    I’ll wait and see what it is. It will be easily dismissed if its just a marketing tool.

  408. *Lilli* August 24, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    They are doing their best to reduce everything now.
    I live in the UK.

  409. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    If Blacks don’t stop killing Whites, there’s going to be some serious payback down the line.

  410. xervix2 August 24, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    Me too for 2 years ! Same thing, same crap! Trying to keep withing SLA’s service level agreements did this at top US IT company in Prague Czech Republic at their English speaking call centre, I am now trying to become a farmer in Bulgaria (after visiting my sister), where I can wake up where I work! No mobile phone, no computer! NO Commute required:)

  411. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Well, maybe not your culture, Asoka.
    xhalor, I’m probably older than you. When you are talking slide guitarists, your white-boy culture is borrowing from and inspired by mine.
    Maybe you don’t know some of the greatest slide guitarists were Black: Robert Johnson, Tampa Red, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Earl Hooker, Blind Willie Johnson, to name just a few.

  412. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Dude you suck – as a thinker, feeler, doer, human being, and musician.
    But I bet you play great air guitar.

  413. xervix2 August 24, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    I agree, in the UK I have seen so many changes in 20 years, but it was good to see systems that worked (as far as being better than the American ones), but now I see them wanting to adopt the American model for things and privatize, its sad to see but with the depletion of fossil fuels everything will come to an end – time to live on my farm in eastern europe and unplug from the Matrix

  414. jim e August 24, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Poor Lance. Banned? Americans did it (USADA)? Would that be like stripping Robert Nesta Marley of his songs.
    Jim, when you get better let’s invite him on our ride?

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  416. BeingThere August 24, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Beyond the Market,
    Radu (or Vlad) I think we’re so beyond Keyensianism or the free market, it’s irrelevant to argue about the two.
    We are totally financialized with an extremely managed market where all routes of money lead to the top.
    With the banks in control and monopoly through no regulation goes unabated, there will never be a free market.
    Get away from the right-left paradigm it doesn’t really exist. A coupla social issues is all that’s left, otherwise both parties get the same marching orders and you Fourth Estate is over. They afraid of lawsuits, now and they just love to party with the elites.
    At the moment water infrastructure is about to be bought up by privatized entities since localities are in fiscal disaster. (for pennies on the dollar–can’t wait to see what the citizens have to pay)
    Welcome to Disaster Capitalism, it will be implemented in a town near you.

  417. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Turns out Romney is not even a good Mormon. He is hiding documents that show his investments related to casinos (Mormons oppose gambling including lotteries) and cigarettes. Not so squeaky clean after all it turns out. A good Mormon would oppose legalization of gambling, as well as any form of government sponsorship of gambling.

  418. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Turns out Romney is not even a good Mormon. He is hiding documents that show his investments related to casinos
    Asoka, it’s kind of common knowledge that one of Romney’s biggest supporters is Adelson, a guy being questioned by the Justice Department about his illegal activities, so Romney is not exactly “hiding” documents. The document dump at Gawker, of internal Bain documents, is showing Romney is involved in activities opposed by the Mormon Church, which confirms filings the Romneys made with the Securities and Exchange Commission about some of their investments that run counter to the Mormon church’s values. That’s not illegal, Asoka. It’s just hypocritical.

  419. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    That’s not illegal, Asoka. It’s just hypocritical.
    Yeah, well Romney won’t release the tax returns because it might document his illegal activities. Romney does have a history of shady dealings, going way back, like when he hired illegal workers to to yard work for one of his estates. Romney didn’t deny that the workers were illegal, but when he was told about it he emphasized that the landscaping company — not himself — hired the workers. Romney went on to say that he gave the landscaping company another chance — letting it continue to work on his property, even after the Boston Globe had made it public knowledge that the company was employing illegals.
    But that’s small stuff.
    Nobody cares about illegals working here. Nobody cares that people like Romney hire illegals. Romney is helping, making it possible to have so many illegals here. You should be happy about that, Asoka.

  420. ozone August 24, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    “At the moment water infrastructure is about to be bought up by privatized entities since localities are in fiscal disaster. (for pennies on the dollar–can’t wait to see what the citizens have to pay)
    Welcome to Disaster Capitalism, it will be implemented in a town near you.” -BT
    Yep, fascists on the march…
    From the privatization desk of the “water industry’s” newsletter. Even they have “concerns”, although likely in regard to public perception:
    http://www.waterworld.com/news/2012/08/23/first-our-homes-now-our-water-aeuros.html
    Ask WSP what he pays for “town water” in Farmington these days. When the Unionville Water Co. was an actual public utility, it cost about $35/quarter. When taken over by a consortium, it rose immediately to about $90/quarter, and pressure and quality went down precipitously.
    Commonwealth: BAD …evil deb’bil-ment
    Private Holdings: GOOD …holy gawd-willed
    (That’s all the ge’nal publick need know to make their mark the proper box. Strangely enough, for all the fascist bellowing of societal improvement, only the shitheads on the top of the rotten heap are “improved” and enriched in both power and wealth. Quoth the doofois: “Wha’ happen? And why’z my bunghole so sore?”)

  421. ozone August 24, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    BTW,
    That’s what happened to the communications “industry” as well. (Less/minimal service, more/maximal profit.)

  422. ozone August 24, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    A touching story of Everyman Mitt for your viewing pleasure.:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RQx3qWL43Qo
    This guy truly IS large[-ly full of dooky], and DOES contain multitudes [of positions on anything you care to name]!
    The future Fuhrer of the doofois. So do I cast my curse: I hope they get just what they’re asking for…

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  424. Rhino August 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    American workers are brutes – Assoka
    As usual repulsive and abysmally ignorant. Like a true one percenter. You know, like the type that talks and talks and talks, the sort that’s really impressed with his own supposed superiority and cleverness, who looks down on people he considers his social and intellectual “inferiors” but when push comes to shove doesn’t know how to take a piss without one of the lesser breeds he detests holding his dink.
    Where would you be, asshole, without the labor of these so-called “brutes”? You know, for example, the “brutes” that you depend on to sustain your own sorry hide, like the people that work in fields, that drive trucks, that operate forklifts, that stock shelves without whose service you’d fucking starve. I’ll bet you thought, like a true one percenter, that food comes from restaurants. Didn’t you?
    Ever get any dirt on your soft, lily white hands asshole? No? I thought not. Ever even clean your own room? No? Ever boil an egg for yourself? No? Do you know what boiling water looks like? No? Still building mud huts? No? Never built even one did you? All talk wasn’t it? Ever wield a hammer? No? I’ll bet you don’t even know what a callus looks like.
    Comeuppance? We’ll see asshole.

  425. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    So do you accept the fundamental tenet of Conspiracy Thought – that Communism was and is an endeavor planned and funded by the Bankers? That they broke the Aristocracies with it and now they are using it (as well as direct pressure from the Top) to break the middle class? And that the real Right (not the mainstream Republicans) knew about this generations ago – and that Democrats are late to the party since they were in bed with these people up to last year or so?

  426. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Yeah these people are hungary for power but are they worthy? They caved on polygamy early on and now they have rejected their own Prophets by letting Blacks into the Priesthood. Is there any doubt that a “revelation” will be forthcoming about Gay Marriage. They are already begining to accept Gays per se.

  427. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Bluegrass is wholesome – Blues and Rockabilly not so much or at all in some cases. A little bit is alright for some, but slide is a degenerate influence in general. Again a bit here and there wont hurt anybody. But Slide should not become our music or a major part of it.

  428. muddmike August 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I pity all of you readers who do not live in a battleground state. Here in PA we hear the truth about both presidential candidates every time we are near a radio or TV, and will continue hearing it until the election. Oh the JOY!

  429. Kyooshtik August 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    So do you accept the fundamental tenet of Conspiracy Thought – that Communism was and is an endeavor planned and funded by the Bankers? That they broke the Aristocracies with it and now they are using it (as well as direct pressure from the Top) to break the middle class? And that the real Right (not the mainstream Republicans) knew about this generations ago – and that Democrats are late to the party since they were in bed with these people up to last year or so?
    ================
    No, no, and no.

  430. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    I’ll bet you thought, like a true one percenter, that food comes from restaurants.
    Restaurants?
    LOL!
    Food is prepared by my chef and brought to the table in my dining hall by my servers and maids. Isn’t that the case for all one percenters?
    Restaurants are frequented by lower and middle class worker-brutes.

  431. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Q., remember rule #4.

  432. Jam47 August 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Begging the question.
    This is a logician’s term. It was invented by logicians for their own particular use. It does NOT refer to a statement that implicitly contains a question. It refers to a circular argument. Why do so few writers on this site and others seem not to know this?
    A question-begging argument is one in which the conclusion merely repeats the proposition expressed by one of the premises. That’s the original meaning and the proper meaning. Let’s keep things that way.

  433. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    “No one can genuinely love the world, which is too large to love entire. To love all the world at once is pretense or dangerous self delusion. Loving the world is like loving the idea of love, which is perilous because, feeling virtous about this grand affection, you are freed from the struggles and the duties that come with loving people as individuals, with loving one place – home – above all others.”
    Odd Thomas
    Does this describe your ill mind to a T?

  434. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    More fool you then. Life is Conspiracy. Show me 3 and I’ll show you the two (both twoes) against the 3rd.
    Surely you don’t believe in Adam Smith? Even he didn’t trust Businesmen. But he thought the Market would control them. Show me the evidence he was right – when three or two or one big Companies control an industry? From another angle: if people value profit above all else, why wouldn’t they cheat? Or do you believe that insider trading (conspiracy) is a rarity and not the rule above a certain level? And if ALL the big boyz are doing it, will you refrain if you get a nugget? Why would you?
    If everyone was drugging, was Lance Armstrong wrong for doing it too? If he hadn’t, we wouldn’t even know who he was. Profit is a drug and it must be regulated with an iron hand. The people will follow the example of the great – towards virtue or corruption. The political elite should live lives of abstemiousness or even genteel poverty. Let only the sincere strive for these offices. They will rule over the voluptuous rich. And yes, there must be rich people – they also serve. And they should be encouraged towards virtue – and forced towards basic decency.
    Giving money to Africans while your country is bankrupt is a perversion of virtue.

  435. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Romney saved substantial amounts of money by pretending that regular income received as a management fee for running a private equity firm is not income, but is instead a capital gain. That dropped the tax rate on that income from 35 percent to 15 percent.
    It is clear from the Gawker documents that Bain (i.e., Romney, because “corporations are people my friend”) engaged in the management-fee maneuver to reduce the tax bill of its investors.
    Bain’s management fee conversions are not legal. Romney is a criminal.
    Romney, as Bain CEO, misreported his income by reporting converted fees as capital gain instead of ordinary income.
    The evidence of illegal activity by Romney is in his tax returns. As soon as Romney releases the last 12 years of returns (as Obama and Biden have done), then Romney’s criminal activity will become public.

  436. Kyooshtik August 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Does this describe your ill mind to a T?
    ============
    Asoka’s statement – “There is no limit to how many people we can love” is a first cousin to the one that says “so-and-so tortured and murdered a million people but ‘I like him as a person.'”

  437. 0a2g20p1x August 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    ? a neon horse racing field backs moved forward a neon play by horse racing I plucked a leaf and flower to unrelated wind is very low, close all previous the tactile is recycled to imitate a thriller Fan
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    of color of the door unlocked fantasy pebbles totem dream residue dumping in cold shortness tears escape some of the plot and in squeak immersed in the distance elegy infinite converted in star or will-o

  438. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Correct.
    An example is Obama’s drone bombings, which I vehemently oppose. I think Obama should be imprisoned for those murders, but I still like Obama as a person. I would visit him in prison. There is no limit to how many people we can love.

  439. Kyooshtik August 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Yeah, it makes the meaning of the words like and love real meaningful… something like this:
    My wife catches me in bed with another woman and goes ape shit.
    I say, “but..but..it’s YOU, sweetie, that I really LOVE. I just LIKE this other chick here with the big hooters as a sex object.”

  440. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    You think you know what love is, Q.? Got a real clear grasp on the difference between love and like?
    Take this wealth of knowledge you possess and go out among your people and help them. Buddha only knows, they need it.

  441. Kyooshtik August 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Correction:
    I just LIKE this other chick here with the big hooters as a person.”

  442. Radu Voda August 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Correction: I just like this other chick as a bearer of big hooters.
    It is fun to say to women that I don’t like your body but I like you as a person. Somehow they never take it well despite their years of “spiritual practice” or “yoga” (becoming more focused on the body than even regular women).

  443. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Too late, you slipped up by telling the truth the first time.

  444. rippedthunder August 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Who the heck is Radu Voda?
    Here ya go with a little interlude to lower the BP. You dudes outta’ chill out. A one and a two and a cha,cha,cha!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNatacUDuJA
    The guy dances almost as good as me! Cha,Cha,Cha. HA,HA,HA. Sorry for the interuption to the serious shit.

  445. rippedthunder August 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Sorry for the interuption I read back and I see Vlad had to get a new name, Radu Voda. I stand corrected. The garden is kickin’ ass this year in New England. Tomatoes, squash and beans up the yazoo. No apples on my trees . The squirrels stole them all in July because it was so dry and the Halloween storm split most of them anyway. Oh well. Live to fight another day.

  446. xhalor August 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    “Maybe you don’t know some of the greatest slide guitarists were Black.”
    Are you fucking serious?
    I’ll tell ya a little story. I was in basic training when Muddy died. There was no television or radio in the barracks. I found out when someone I left the Chicago MEPS station with dropped a copy of the Stars & Stripes on my bunk. I was stunned. Couldn’t even get out my bunk. Fortunately, it was the weekend so I didn’t get my ass kicked by the drill sergeants. I was told that I had until first call on Sunday morning to “get the fuck over it”.
    Who on this blog promotes that part of American musical culture more than me? Let’s stick to the actual performance part of slide guitar playing. I’ve seen Muddy many times. And I am VERY familiar with the music from the others on your list. David Lindley smokes them like a cheap cigar.
    And just what is your culture? American? South American? Middle Eastern? There seems to be some doubt.

  447. ozone August 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Who dat, you say?
    Why it’s the whitest of the vampires ever to besmirch the earth!
    This is the laddie’s favorite song, sung by his favorite peeples. (If these folks were any whiter, they wouldn’t show up on film. “Maaaakeup!”)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J9gg1NlPaY&feature=related
    Check it out; it’s even creepier than Barbara and Bobby, and the long hoped-for result of generations of careful inbreeding. How do we remove the sticks that are jammed up these peoples’ asses? Eww, stop fingering her shoulder like that, pervo! ;o)

  448. ozone August 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    …Nice jacket there, Lurch, but lawdy me-oh-my, what a gorgeous tenor!

  449. xhalor August 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Now that’s the shit that me start drinking in the middle of the day.
    ….and listening to my Gatemouth Brown records.
    (special appearence with fellow bad-ass guitarist and noted cokehead Roy Clark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcY6fl5uGVE

  450. asoka.. August 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I thought you would have detected my “citizenship” by now. I am cosmic, but temporarily a global citizen since I find myself on this planet for a short time.

  451. xhalor August 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Yeah…you’re definitely “cosmic”.

  452. s4w960e13c August 24, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    &nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;Dalian Electric Company volunteers participating in labor &nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;Sunshine Baby bilingual kindergarten
    Moyuan Li Long and teachers to the children love &nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp & nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;women does not allow man &nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;& Nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;Lei Feng &nbsp saw action ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;and nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;loving brother sister loves your &nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp & nbsp ;;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;children children love labor &nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;Wang Gangyi village and love students &nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp
    ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nb Sp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp ;&nbsp

  453. ozone August 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Whoa!
    Ol’ spidey done gone and lost what was left of his torqued little mind.
    Time for some Mighty Thor, spide’; shut that screamin’ monkey OFF; you’re scaring the other inmates.

  454. Stephen Daedalus August 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Thanks Vlad for making sense. Your comments are the only ones I bother to read. You know your stuff.

  455. xhalor August 24, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Yeah…he’s cosmic too.

  456. Radu Voda August 25, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    You really are a piece (defective) work. So small town and provincial. Even a foreign name throws you for a loop. Of course you would have no problem if the foreigner was non White.
    As Washington said about your kind, “the Yankees are exceedingly dirty and nasty”.

  457. Radu Voda August 25, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Thanks. Yeats was a Fascist too. The Liberal Traitor Professors have obscured the incredible literary tradition of Fascism. And even the word has been obscured to just mean “bad” or totalitarian – and not a philosophy of Man and goverment and economics. It’s a European word – we don’t have to use it. But its spirit is far closer to the Founding Fathers than modern day Capitalist Democracy.

  458. XXX5 August 25, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    BT said:
    At the moment water infrastructure is about to be bought up by privatized entities since localities are in fiscal disaster. (for pennies on the dollar–can’t wait to see what the citizens have to pay)
    Welcome to Disaster Capitalism, it will be implemented in a town near you.
    ***************************************************************
    As usual, LBendet, you have put your finger on the festering wound with great accuracy. While everybody’s attention is drawn TOWARD the “fiscal cliff” of the Federal Government (with lots of phony hand wringing and brow furrowing in the media), the plight of the CITIES and STATES is virtually being shoveled under the rug.
    Stockton and San Bernardino are a tiny, tiny tip of an iceberg the size of the Ross Ice Shelf. States and cities rely on revenues from taxes of increasingly downwardly mobile wages. We are in a national death grip from incompetent, do-nothing managers keeping their own (and their cronies) jobs while people who do real work are being laid off.
    Since no mayors or governors are allowed to be “czars” in the sense of eliminating entire departments and offices, the only resolution of our problem is … DICTATORSHIP. And it will come, sooner or later. Have you seen the VELOCITY OF MONEY chart from 2008 to present? It’s less now than in the darkest days of 2008. Only the Fed and electronic traders make it appear that there’s economic activity.
    The death of the United States is baked in the cake, IMHO. It’s just a question of when the military decides that Washington is functionally schizoid and unable to run the country.
    E.

  459. BeingThere August 25, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    E.,
    A must read is Webster Tarpley’s “The Republicans: Wall Street’s reactionary party”. This piece he wrote is simple concise and really describes the factions within the party to a tee. He doesn’t let the Dems off the hook either.
    A Keyenesian, like myself, he thinks the austerity will destroy us. He’s an historian who describes our moment in parallel to the precursor of the Germany’s fascism. He likens this moment of austerity as the Brüning era. (not found in this article, but in my past reading of him)
    What he does say and this is interesting is that Petraeus was asked to run and he declined. I always thought he was poised to run fro president, but probably disagrees with those who want to control the next administration.
    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/08/24/257868/gop-wall-streets-reactionary-party/
    I couldn’t agree with you more as to where we are heading. Starting with Nixon’s decision to break with Bretton Woods, going off the gold standard, we have been heading in this destructive downward spiral.
    Whenever you smugly think it can’t happen here, you will go down the wrong path. The whole system is rotted out from the top down.
    The Republicans want the localities to be the strong suit here, but they are gutted. They say they hate national tax, but they never tell you that local and state taxes could sky-rocket.
    In the meantime privatization is in full-swing. The idea of globalism is to allow companies from other countries in to manage what was once the public domain.
    Sadly, E. we may be too de-industrialized to be saved by the New Deal again.

  460. BeingThere August 25, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Might I also recommend that people check out Elain Supkis on her culture of life blog:
    http://emsnews.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/bain-capital-paperwork-leaked-to-gawker-murky-offshore-tax-avoidance-schemes/#more-15421
    I’m just catching up to some reading I don’t get to do over the week anymore.

  461. BeingThere August 25, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    One more thing that outta make you all fume aong with Celente. Corzine is trying to start a new fund!!
    Any takers?

  462. Widespreadpanic7 August 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm #