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The Jobs Picture

      The clarion cries of “recovery” cut painfully through the crisp pre-Christmas air while the now-perpetually unemployed huddle in their tents around the Sacramento delta, and the state AGs slug it out with the foreclosure goons, and not a few mortgage payment drop-outs enjoy luxury living in McMansions with no monthly carrying costs, and the minions of Goldman Sachs (with fellow squids) groom their beaks waiting for the massive chum slick of bonus checks to be dropped by helicopters in this the third holiday season since Wall Street committed suicide by an overdose of Ponzi. 
     It’s pathetic to hear the wan cry of “recovery” issued by the high priests and tribunes of this land. Do the president and his train of wizards really suppose that all the necessary pieces are in place to re-start the economic dynamics of, say, 2003? A million busboys and lawn service lackeys lining up for half-million dollar liar loans at the Countrywide office? BCA, Citi, and all the other big banks pawning off bundles upon bundles of these worthless obligations to insurance companies, pension funds, foolish endowment fund managers and any other reckless entity desperate for yield? A hyperbolic consumer economy pyramid resting on a base of empty promises to repay?
     Sorry. There’s no way the USA can ever “recover” to that lush breeding ground of swindling, fraud, and childish irresponsibility. The hardships of today do not represent a dip in some regular cycle of financial push-me-pull-you. This is a systemic, structural change in the socio-economic ecology of human life. Those who have been shuffling from one office to another with their dog-eared resumes, and clothing pressed under the mattress while sleeping, are bound to be disappointed. The very idea of a “job” may be obsolete, in the sense of bureaucratically organized endeavors complete with a “human resources” department that can just plug in human components like diodes in an engineered system.
      Among the surprises I’ve suggested over the years is the idea that people used to spending long hours in cubicles staring at video screens may, at some point ahead, begin to spend their days in the fresh air, cultivating food crops. I’m sure this sounds outlandish. But we begin to see the new dynamic of this world resolving in the nexus between a crisis of capital, climate change, and peak oil. 
     Food is getting scarce. Worldwide grain reserves stand at unprecedented lows. Droughts in Russia and Australia mean that basic foods will be in short supply on the margins – that is, the impoverished countries we used to call “third world” that depend on grain imports. The American supermarket aisles still groan with every conceivable staple and delicacy, but note the prices of things. A buck and a half for four little onions. $1.18 for one apple. $4 for a jar of jam. Compare these numbers with the wages that have not gone up effectively since around 1970.
      As I write this morning, oil is 11 cents short of $90 a barrel. That’s well into the price range that destroys economic activity in the USA. Why is the price of oil creeping up relentlessly in a structurally impaired economy? My guess is the beginning of hoarding on the grand scale, as nations slowly wake to the reality of the world production peak, and scramble to max out their tank-farm capacity. By the way, the price of oil could easily crash again – and, I believe the period just ahead will be marked by extreme volatility in oil prices – but if it goes back down to $20 a barrel we’ll probably be in a situation where nobody has any money to buy it even at bargain basement prices.That was exactly the situation 70-odd years ago during the Great Depression: plenty of everything; but no money.
     The crisis of capital still has many acts to play out. The current installment taking place in Europe is a game of musical chairs played by nations who cannot pay their debts or the regular bills. The Euro was on its way sliding into oblivion a week or so ago when the European Central Bank and the IMF came up with a few billion to cover bond interest for deadbeat countries through the Christmas season – at the same time that Ben Bernanke’s Fed offered up a $75-billion-a-month bid for US Treasury bonds (and god-knows-really what other sort of dodgy paper, based on the Fed’s track record of hosing up every distressed instrument on the landscape, including the notes on cheap chain hotels). The Euro bounced back, at least in relation to the US dollar. The same darn skit will have to be replayed in the first quarter of 2011 and my guess is that German voters will pull the IV-line of financial support out of its terminally ailing neighbors. The net effect will be stupendous economic confusion and a lot of bad feeling. This is the year that Europe ceases to be a theme park and reverts to a continent of dangerous squabbles and beefs.
     America has appeared to be a bystander to that spectacle – apart from all the European banks and insurance operations that Ben Bernanke dropped TARP money on, it was revealed last week – but the US financial situation is every bit as sketchy as Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and we have no idea how we’re going to cover our obligations after Christmas.
     This idea of “recovery” promulgated by authority figures who ought to know better is the cruelest swindle of them all, and perhaps the final one. If you want something like gainful employment in the years ahead, don’t rely on the corporations, the government, or anyone with a work station equipped cubicle. Start reading up on gardening and harness repair. Learn how to fix a pair of shoes. Volunteer for EMT duty if you’re already out of a paycheck, and learn how to comfort people in medical distress. Jobs of the future will be hands-on and direct. I have no idea what medium of exchange you’ll get paid with, but a chicken is a good start.


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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.

851 Responses to “The Jobs Picture” Subscribe

  1. Andrew December 6, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    hello simon, hello james crow

  2. simon December 6, 2010 at 10:07 am #


  3. crisismode December 6, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    “In the same way, the last will be first, and the first will be last, because many are called, but few are chosen.”
    Matthew 20:16

  4. crisismode December 6, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Was there nothing more pathetic as a reminder of the spin-mongering impotence of our nation’s “leadership”, than the dribbling performance last night of Bernank the Skank?

  5. daofirry2 December 6, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    hey, quick question. Does anyone remember a few months ago, maybe May or June-ish, somebody here made reference to a supposedly fairly private conversation, in which Ted Kennedy said to some younger Kennedys: “when you are my age, all of this” (waves his hand out the window at the grandeur of NYC, the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, or wherever), “will be over.” This has been driving me nuts.

  6. wisewebwoman December 6, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Chicken no longer being a metaphor, Jim. In Dublin City last year urban chickens were de rigeur.
    I am now putting in my own coop.
    The new gold.

  7. Meat Eater December 6, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    I suppose all the down and out losers who have given up can fall back on living out the rest of their lives getting paid with a chicken for fixing someone’s harness but that doesn’t cut it for me. I didn’t work 30 years putting in 70 work weeks to let it all go that easily. I’m doing great, thank you, and it’s all because I did not play the debt game when everyone else was riding the wave. I paid my dues; now it’s time to enjoy my success. And maybe hire some people who will work for a chicken. In the end we all pretty much get what we deserve.

  8. empirestatebuilding December 6, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    And in Fantasyland… 60 minutes on the same night, interviews Bernanke who says things will be golden again in the “future”
    and Facebook Boy Genius… and they claim his company which makes nothing out of nothing… is “valued” at $30 Billion.
    And Google tried to buy a 2 year old web coupon company for $6 Billion…
    It’s all good in Fantasyland
    Aimlow Joe was here.

  9. icarus December 6, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Watch Bernanke carefully in yesterday’s 60 minutes interview. His upper lip is trembling and his voice is cracking. He is scared “s**tless”, because HE KNOWS! In the immortal words of “W” Bush, “This sucker could go down.”

  10. lbendet December 6, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    You are so right about this illusion we call a recovery. When our leadership speaks of the economy they fail to discuss globalism and how money is leaving this country for foreign investments. Don’t tax the rich because they will create jobs. A meme that has no basis in fact at this juncture of our global economy.
    We just made a trade deal with S. Korea which will reduce tariffs in the next 5 years. That’s supposed to stimulate our manufacturing base—HOW?
    Now we will continue with the tax breaks for the wealthy with extensions of unemployment insurance. Question is when will our debts be addressed?
    I’m afraid this may be a hard winter indeed.

  11. orbit7er December 6, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    The US COULD recover and bring down the price of oil if we followed Mr Kunstler’s prescriptions from
    some years back that we stop the Wars which waste huge amounts of oil (3.5 billion gallons of jet fuel) and put people back to work running revamped public transit systems.
    Instead the elite is posting $7500 tax checks for
    electric cars which consume as much electricity
    than a house at a minimum cost of $33,000 pr car!
    By simply running our existing public transit and simple measures like shuttles, buses, expanded parking access we could probably easily cut oil consumption by 20% in a year which would represent
    5% of total world oil usage.
    I do not understand why Jim Kunstler seems to have forgotten that…
    This would provide immediate fulltime jobs for conductors, engineers, shuttle drivers, bus drivers immediately.
    At the same time we could set to work restoring full service to the 233,000 miles of existing rail
    mostly unused all over the USA.
    For example, here in the Northest, the Lackawanna Cutoff which connects from New York across Northern New Jersey to Scranton, PA paralleling I-80 was initially built in a year!
    The tracks are still there and actually used periodically for excursion tourist trains.
    Reviving this line has been studied for literally years.
    Just do it!
    Run the trains, get car traffic off the horribly congested I-80 and, beyond Scranton, restore the previous service to Buffalo, NY and even Chicago.
    Instead New Jersey’s Teabag governor is wasting
    $7 Billion on widening the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway…
    Lester Brown’s Plan B has documented what we need to do for both peak oil and climate change.
    As he writes in his final chapter, we KNOW what to do, we have known it since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973.
    The question now is to martial the political will
    against King Kong (Coal Oil Natural Gas) and just
    DO IT!
    Our economic and planetary survival depends upon it!

  12. jimbolio December 6, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Awesome read this morning, Mr. Kunstler. You’re on top of your game here lately.

  13. Leibowitz Society December 6, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    JHK nailed it right on the head today — there is no going back to where we once were and we are going to have to adjust as time goes on. We are clearly entering a new Dark Age — whatever emerges on the other side, we are going to go through a very long period of upheaval, misery and adjustment. We need to keep this is mind as we live our daily lives.
    Check out for an effort to try to preserve the best parts of the knowledge our civilization has accumulated as we enter this Dark Age.

  14. Andy Williams December 6, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    I live on the Isle of Anglesey, a small island of the coast of Wales in the UK and we watch Ireland cloasely – it’s less than 50 miles across the Irsish Sea to Dublin – and what goes on there affects us here economically.
    There will be a General Election in Ireland before St Patrick’s Day 2011. As it stands at the moment the two biggest parties – Fianna Fail & Fine Gael – will be all but wiped out. The likely winners will be a coalition of Labour & Sinn Fein, both campaigning on a promise to default and do an ‘Iceland’ and what will be the most extreme left wing government ever to be elected into Office in Western Europe.
    Germany has been merrily printng Deutschmarks since May (as a ‘contingency plan’) and it came to light in the European Press that but a few weeks ago Merkel had laid down the law to the rest of the eurozone that it radically change to the way Germany wants it run and the banking systenm changes from the Anglo-American model to the German model or Germany walks from the euro but prop it up should a big country (Spain or Italy) wobble they will not.
    May you live in interesting times as the Chinese say.

  15. budizwiser December 6, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Jim, you are way off track on these “gardening” and corner-store, neighborhood employment scenarios.
    “What” – got us here, to this point of over consumption, over population, and over confidence is a complex set of inter-dependencies based on two concepts.
    1. Economy of scale.
    2. The expertise of specialization.
    Jim, get with the program. There is no way that single-handed attempts to restore working, sustainable communities can come from manual labor and individual expertise.
    This is our fate. And unless someone will produce evidence of any communities that exist without outside energy/manufacturing inputs – give up the “horse-and-buggies” answer to our nation’s problems.
    Yes, we have a real emergency. But the Clusterfuck is that we can’t agree on the scale nor types of expertise we need to employ to slide more gently toward sustainability.
    Please Jim, I beseech you, start preaching that solutions to the energy shortfall must account for the expert-efficiencies and scales necessary to actually keep a few extra people alive.
    Before any co-operative small farms will ever be able to “make it” – you are going to need regional or local power sources and industrial capacity.
    Fuck this gardening talk – that’s pie-in-the-sky-bullshit, and you probably know it.

  16. Onthego December 6, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    When will our “leaders” catch up with the rest of us who are already cashing reality checks? An opinion poll in August 2010 found that 65% of Americans believed the country was now “in a state of decline.” That number has surely not gone down in the last few months. The U-6 number is at 17.0 unemployment for November and a critical indicator – the amount of money business is planning to spend on advertising jobs – is going down.

  17. Tex81 December 6, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    You are all wrong! Bernanke said so last night on 60 minutes! Four to five years before we see normal unemployment numbers between 5-6%.
    Now, why would Bernanke give an interview to 60 minutes and say something so stupid? Cheerleading perhaps?

  18. bobby j December 6, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Our money system aka Price system evolved in a scarcity ie. agrarian environment.An agrarian society is inherently one of scarcity ,in which growth tries to fill the void. Demand eats up the supply.The flow lines of good and services and money reach a balance. Along comes science and technology and we entered the era of achievable abundance and the system started to get out of balance as the flow lines seized up. Kilowatt hours replaced the man hour and the markets got saturated.The Price system wants to reset back to a scarcity environment from which it evolved so the solutions have been to have wars ie blow up the products of production build shoddy goods aka built in obsolescence baloon the debt levels till they pop.The reset is working as we are now reaching an environment where we are running out of the energy and materials that make a high energy technological aka industrial society possible.We will return to the world made by hand a scarcity environment and the Price system can function in its intended environment of scarcity.
    The politicians and economists don’t have the tools or knowledge to run the society we are quickly leaving behind but maybe they can lead us back to the past without too much chaos. Happy landing.

  19. Bustedcelt December 6, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Ah, Meat Eater, it sounds like even cannibalism is coming back! Of course, metaphorically, it probably never left…

  20. CynicalOne December 6, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Yes, I remember it. It has stuck with me ever since.

  21. popcine December 6, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Readers of these comments will want to
    see “America – The Grim Truth’ over at
    Club Orlov,
    It’s about why you shouldn’t even want
    to live here. The question remains, for
    me at least, where else is better?

  22. doomster December 6, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Good post… Yeah, a lot of food is getting expensive – like those $1.59 bags of potato chips that contain more air than chips.

  23. helen highwater December 6, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Well aren’t you the smug little smarm this morning.

  24. Schwerpunkt December 6, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    The “recovery” has happened – only at the top levels. In other countries people would be taking to the streets protesting about this – however, here in this country, we discuss idiotic things only and even in private discussions cannot bring ourselves to talk about our financial situations as individuals or the direction this country is taking towards a group of “haves” and “have nots.”
    As to the “chicken-based” harness economy…. I don’t really see gardening working for people. Look at already been poor countries and they don’t seem to be doing a knock up job of it to feed themselves. Without Lowes garden center, no American could so much as grow a bag of Cheese Its.

  25. Smokyjoe December 6, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Tex81, I may be wrong, but from the bad paper in the system and Bernanke’s idea to buy back US debt with printed money, I don’t think the Fed knows what to do…aside from printing more money.
    The scariest part of JHK’s column:
    “My guess is the beginning of hoarding on the grand scale, as nations slowly wake to the reality of the world production peak, and scramble to max out their tank-farm capacity.”
    This is China’s game for now, with more than oil. Meanwhile, still-employed US suburbanites who cannot even mend a seam in clothing from Stein Mart or fix a broken window dream of the Good Times coming back so s/he can move up from a Tahoe to a Suburban.
    Americans won’t wake up to anything until states begin to default on their debts. Then the sorts of problems we see in the Euro-zone will be right at our doors. And yes, it will take more than gardening to get us out of that nastiness.

  26. garyg/nola December 6, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Just a rare post from me in nola…all comlimentary to JHK and his faithful minions of weekly commenters as well… Can’t tell you how much both big slide and witch of hebron entertained and thrilled me…especially the latter…although the number of JHK followers seems sinfully small considering his track record…being able to read the Monday blog every week myself gives me such comfort that I am able to sustain enough personal hope to battle on in the lonely struggle to Regain the mission outlined by JFK in his Innaugual speech of January 1961….which I still read weekly… When the gluttony and plundering of the world finally runs it’s course.. Perhaps then we can resume the mssion… That speech by JFK should be memorized by schoolchildren and adults everywhere as someday in the distant future it will be recognized as the greatest in history… His murder in Dallas was clearly the turning point in the lives of all of us and yet no patriot has yet emerged to punish the well known conspirators… Unless and until that happens the trumpet will not sound and the rocky trip towards the abyss will contnue… I will live mostly in the world made by hand fantasyland and hope JHK can sustain that world with more books to keep the hope alive… Thanks JHK for all you have done and all yu will do to light a candle as we descend further into darkness.. GG 63 in NOLA

  27. bearcat December 6, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Couldn’t agree more with budzwiser’s comments. Anyone with any direct knowledge of rural, “sustainable”, agriculture-based communities knows what a harsh, difficult life this usually is for the people involved–especially in a climate like upstate New York where Jim lives. We should do whatever we can to avoid this being America’s future.

  28. noel bodie December 6, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    We’ve been living on a 15 acre farm these past 10 years and my only regret is that I didn’t do it 20 years earlier. We’ve 15 chickens in the freezer, 600 pounds of potatoes, jam, pickles,garlic in the root cellar. After unloading a truck load of fresh cut firewood for next winter I pointed at it and told my wife,”that is true wealth”. While planting 5300 bulbs of garlic this past fall some friends drove by on their 25k Harley motorcycle and beeped, I thought to myself if they had a farm they wouldn’t need and expensive toy to find something to do with their “leisure” time. Regardless of whether this life choice is necessary for the future or not it is very fulfilling.

  29. Rick December 6, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Hey Jim,
    Have you noticed, I’m sure you have at all the attention Peak Oil is getting on the Web lately, more than usual. Zero Hedge had a post about the Fourth Turning, and Peak Oil was part of that. Max Keiser has been doing post too, you where in one of his videos. Of course Chris Martenson and Nicole Foss too.
    Also, via the Wikileaks site, which is now mirrored across the globe, I was reading about the Saudi’s and how they are looking into alt NRG to run their (sand) kingdom. I think that says a lot.
    Those people who think Peak Oil is a hoax, will be the first to go, since they did not plan. The same holds true for those who are buying these recovery B.S.
    Finally, Crash JP Morgan Buy Silver —

  30. Rick December 6, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Sounds great. Something I have been thinking about and presently planning.

  31. CynicalOne December 6, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Here ya go Dao:
    “As I said James Kunstler has a way for words. However, it was one of the comments to this week’s article that really grabbed my attention. The comment referred to a story that was told by Christopher Lawford, as reported in the Wall Street Journal on October 27, 2008, of musings made by his uncle, Teddy Kennedy, at a family gathering shortly before Kennedy’s death. The story is as follows:
    “Ted Kennedy and a few family members had gathered one night and were having a drink in Mr. Lawford’s mother’s apartment in Manhattan. Teddy was expansive. If he hadn’t gone into politics he would have been an opera singer, he told them, and visited small Italian villages and had pasta every day for lunch. “Singing at la Scala in front of three thousand people throwing flowers at you. Then going out for dinner and having more pasta.” Everyone was laughing. Then, writes Mr. Lawford, Teddy “took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. ‘I’m glad I’m not going to be around when you guys are my age.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.’ ”
    Mr. Lawford continued, “The statement hung there, suspended in the realm of ‘maybe we shouldn’t go there.’ Nobody wanted to touch it. After a few moments of heavy silence, my uncle moved on.”
    Lawford thought his uncle might be referring to their family–that it might “fall apart.” But reading, one gets the strong impression Teddy Kennedy was not talking about his family but about . . . the whole ball of wax, the impossible nature of everything, the realities so daunting it seems the very system is off the tracks.
    And–forgive me–I thought: If even Teddy knows . . .””

  32. Cleanslate December 6, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    What we deserve, seldom, if ever, has anything to do with what we get in this world.

  33. WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot December 6, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    I agree with Budizwizer.
    As someone who’s been reading JHK for 5 years, I must say I suspect that he knows all this “gardening” talk is BS.
    The ONLY way that kind of back-to-1810 plan would work is if lots of people died first. Millions, billions, who knows.
    Modern man is a weak, utterly fragile and lost herd creature. We rejected eugenics and embraced its polar opposite, long before I was born. The exceptions aren’t numerous enough to upset that fact.
    Besides, how the F would we even do it? How could “sustainable gardening” scale up to supply hundreds-of-millions-of-people’s food? How would we preserve food, without plastic, refrigeration, etc? Like I said, I think JHK “knows better”, as he likes to say, but his message would probably be completely ignored (instead of generally ignored) if he told the truth about the ugliness headed our collective way.
    I’m 26 years old, and I can tell you with 100% certainty my generation will not willingly “power down” and down scale our consumer lifestyles. Not after a lifetime of seeing our parents spend, spend, spend on the latest consumer bullshit.
    *I* would gladly work towards that end, but I am not typical of young people. Hell, we’re 2.5 years into the collapse, and most people are still blissfully unaware of it.

  34. Meat Eater December 6, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Helen, I’m just tired of reading all the posts by people who do nothing but bitch, whine and stew about things when they are their own worst enemies. 90% of the people in trouble put themselves in harm’s way. They thought their home was a ATM or they didn’t buckle down when they should have or they chose to have too many kids or they spent money unwisely, etc. And now they are in the deep doo-doo. It’s not that I don’t see their situation as a tragedy. But I don’t believe any of us owe the people who blew it a damn thing. I do think we owe the aged, the infirm and the mentally ill a helping hand. That doesn’t include women who breed with men who won’t marry them, corporate welfare queens and able-bodied people who simply refuse to take a job they think is “beneath them”.

  35. J Lee December 6, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Meateater (see comment 5) is such a low life. He somehow thinks that he is isolated from the problems of society just because he worked 70 hours a week and didn’t use debt. If his reasoning wasn’t so pathetic one would have to laugh or vomit. Just try and live without a functioning society. And if you really like a small government and have to depend on yourself for everything then try Somalia. No taxes to pay there and no fancy bureaucrats, central bankers or wall street types. I wonder how well that carnivore Meateater would do? Or would he just be an “appy” for the locals.

  36. ranksubjugation December 6, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Government wants to quash the whole grow-your-own food idea via Senate Bill S510. We will be cultivating our tomato plants in our closets like pot plants…

  37. Cash December 6, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Bernanke is a man that has one idea – deflation. He’s been banging that drum for a decade. And he has one tool – the printing press (or its electronic equivalent). He’s been turning that crank relentlessly. It’s as if that’s all he knows. The Fed whether under Greenspan or Bernanke has been doing one thing – printing money and printing money and printing money – for 15 years.
    Deflation is a figment of Ben’s fevered imagination. There is none. There won’t be (in my humble opinion). There is no contraction of the money supply. There was a credit contraction but there had to be because for years lending was the province of madmen.
    The decrease in consumer prices for goods made in China has been more than offset by increases in prices for goods and services made and provided in the US. You have had consistent INFLATION. And huge asset price bubbles and busts and wild speculation and fraud and theft on a cosmic scale.
    I saw the interview and I noticed the lip. Maybe you’re right… he “knows”. Or maybe Ben’s scared shitless because he knows he’s in way over his head or maybe he just doesn’t have the stones for the job. Maybe what Ben really wants is to be an obscure, pipe smoking college professor in leafy New England where he can do his lectures, publish his papers, rake his lawn and walk his dog.

  38. nothing December 6, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Jimbo: Right on as usual. The trick is how not to be just another victim.
    At The Nothing Store we have a strategy that works for us.
    Any maybe for you as well.

  39. cogdis December 6, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I don’t think Kunstler is advocating “single-handed attempts” to restore anything. My impression is that he advocates more community based production for sustainability. Kunstler is not alone in pointing out lack of thermodynamically and economically viable alternatives to petroleum. Perhaps some technology will save us, but I’m learning to garden and encouraging others to do the same, just in case. I read somewhere that the Soviets were able to produce a lot of food in local garden plots in the period after the collapse of the commune farm system. Boy, that’s actually quite comforting.
    I agree “you are going to need regional or local power sources and industrial capacity”. Where I live in Southern Ontario, we are reactivating our local dam. It will help, but really the biggest help should come from conservation. It is frustrating to observe the outlandish Christmas light displays going up and burning coal from dusk onwards. As the US Secretary of Engergy, Steven Chu, remarked (I’m paraphrasing) engergy conservation is not low hanging fruit, it’s the fruit already on the ground. Too many people just don’t get it.
    Local power production and encouraging community gardening are not mutually exclusive. Gardening is not “bullshit”.

  40. James Howard Kunstler December 6, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    WhiskeyTango Foxtrot wrote:
    “As someone who’s been reading JHK for 5 years, I must say I suspect that he knows all this “gardening” talk is BS.”
    I don’t believe I even used the word “gardening.” I was referring to farming, as in people working in agriculture. How it is organized is something else, but surely you don’t think that human beings will not attempt to grow some food for themselves.

  41. DeeJones December 6, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Interesting what you say re Germany. If true, then the day of the Euro is numbered.
    The day of the dollar is already over.
    So, whats next, what takes its place? Probably not little pieces of paper with someones picture on it. No, probably cold, hard metal, such as gold. I know Asoka, its only a pretty metal, but place a chunk in front of just about anybody but you (and even you I think), and you will see the gold lust emerge, its as old as mankind. So while the US has been giving everyone little pieces of paper, the smart ones out there (the Saudis) have been bringing them back here and exchanging them for the pretty, shiny metal that used to be in Ft. Knox. I bet there isn’t a single gold bar left in there.
    You can also bet that the smart Elites here don’t trust in little pieces of paper either, and probably have nice caches of gold, silver and jewels stashed away for the future.
    For those of us at the bottom of the totem pole, well, if you have no material things to barter, and no physical skill set to offer, well, your nice, fat neighbor might start looking pretty tasty….
    Or, you can get the hell out of the US, you might have a decent chance of getting thru whats coming.
    Something has gotta give, things there just can’t keep on the way they are going now in the USA.
    Watch out, the dung is hitting the wind turbines pretty soon…
    Its going to be one heckava mess…

  42. asoka December 6, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    JHK, good column this week.
    Actually you did use the word “gardening”

    Start reading up on gardening and harness repair. Learn how to fix a pair of shoes.

    … and I agree with what cogdis and you both say about gardening.

  43. DeeJones December 6, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Hi Jim, glad to see that you read these comments on occasion. Have you ever thought about publishing them, adding your own commentary on the commentary? It would be quite interesting. You have years of stuff to work with too, leaving out the mad rantings of such as Vlad, treebeard or SEB. But even they might be an interesting glimpse into the US psyche.
    Ciao, Dee J.

  44. Zoltar December 6, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Oh, you will.

  45. Steve M. December 6, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Paid in chickens? Sue Lowden is a prophet! 😀

  46. Zev Paiss December 6, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    It is both fascinating and horrifying to watching the ridiculous dance being played out in Washington. Benny B’s offhanded remark on 60 Minutes about it being 4-5 years before he expects to see “regular” levels of unemployment, was one of the first honest answers I have heard in a long while.
    Jim your closing comment struck me when you talked about getting paid in chickens. It is true that when the SHTF, food will become a very valuable commodity. I suggest we all think about having some tasty long-term food stored away for emergencies. Check out my page for a cleaver way to put some food away while helping your friends do the same.

  47. Zaax December 6, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Ckeck out Senator Sanders speech on the Senate floor. I am surprised that the powers that be have not assassinated him.
    This Economy’s Winners and Losers

  48. jerry December 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    The nation and world are crumbling around average people, while the richest flim-flam artists get rewarded by the Fed and the government. Keep the top 5-10% engorged with socialized capital funding, while the rest walk around with their heads hanging low acting like it is their fault and they don’t deserve to take it back from the conartists who destroyed it in the first place.
    The rest don’t deserve to be helped, yet the richest among us have demanded government support to keep up with their luxury car, and country club monthly payments, as well as Harvard tuition payments for their bratty brats.
    We get what we deserve if we don’t get angry and demand to take it back from the cons and thieves and royalists who stole it in the first place.
    Yes, we have commodity manipulation because housing prices can no longer be manipulated by the Fed’s Bada Bing Bernanke and Goony Geithner.
    The Sheeple, who listen to their Pied Pipers: Beck, who will get a cool million plus in tax relief, and Rush, who gets some too, are just too stupid to realize the evangelical flim-flam they have been fed is killing them. These jerks are their death panel. They continue to believe it is their fault and therefore, don’t believe they deserve their fair share back, as well.
    Sharpen up that garden shovel and hoe and get ready for a spring planting.

  49. wagelaborer December 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    If you look around at corn-fed, SUV-driving, dumb-as-rocks Americans, you may despair.
    But I remember the 70s, when Americans turned off lights, put on sweaters, and drove 55mph.
    It’s all in the propaganda we’re fed.
    Damn right we need to learn to grow food without oil. They did it in Cuba. We can do it here.
    To disregard the ability to feed ourselves as the number one job of any society, hell, any living creature, just shows the disconnect that this mechanized, militarized, plastic-food-wrapped eating, truly bizarre society has devolved to.
    Nothing delivers the concentrated, easily shipped energy of oil.
    Too bad we’re running out.
    Now we have to deal with it.
    It will involve many people getting involved in low-tech food production.

  50. sergei nechaev December 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    don’t know if anyone caught this account of the irish meltdown:
    Facing Starvation – The Sad Plight of Ireland’s Abandoned Horses,1518,730796,00.html

  51. messianicdruid December 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    “This has been driving me nuts.”
    Peggy Noonan wrote about it:
    “Do people fear the wheels are coming off the trolley? Is this fear widespread? A few weeks ago I was reading Christopher Lawford’s lovely, candid and affectionate remembrance of growing up in a particular time and place with a particular family, the Kennedys, circa roughly 1950-2000. It’s called “Symptoms of Withdrawal.” At the end he quotes his Uncle Teddy. Christopher, Ted Kennedy and a few family members had gathered one night and were having a drink in Mr. Lawford’s mother’s apartment in Manhattan. Teddy was expansive. If he hadn’t gone into politics he would have been an opera singer, he told them, and visited small Italian villages and had pasta every day for lunch. “Singing at la Scala in front of three thousand people throwing flowers at you. Then going out for dinner and having more pasta.” Everyone was laughing. Then, writes Mr. Lawford, Teddy “took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. ‘I’m glad I’m not going to be around when you guys are my age.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.’ ”
    Mr. Lawford continued, “The statement hung there, suspended in the realm of ‘maybe we shouldn’t go there.’ Nobody wanted to touch it. After a few moments of heavy silence, my uncle moved on.”
    Lawford thought his uncle might be referring to their family–that it might “fall apart.” But reading, one gets the strong impression Teddy Kennedy was not talking about his family but about . . . the whole ball of wax, the impossible nature of everything, the realities so daunting it seems the very system is off the tracks.
    And–forgive me–I thought: If even Teddy knows . . .”

  52. wagelaborer December 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Meateater is proudly standing on the upper deck of the Titanic, self-sufficient and debt free.
    Look around at our complex society. Do you really think that you are not plugged-in? Not dependent on the work of strangers?
    The person who works at your water supply, making sure that when you turn on your tap, water comes out, mostly clean and disease-free, is more important to your life than the person who manages your 401K.
    We need to work to make sure that the water people stay employed. The best way to do that is to let the fund managers and military contractors go.

  53. wagelaborer December 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    I’ve seen heart-breaking news accounts of abandoned dogs, locked into cages at the animal shelters, waiting for their humans to come get them out.
    I’ve heard that people are abandoning horses here in the US, also.
    One of my co-workers told me that Kentucky has a lot of them.

  54. Vlad Krandz December 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Don’t worry – they will die right on schedule. Did you miss that part of Kunstler’s novel “A World Made by Hand”? The point is not to be one of them. Save yourself, your family, and your friends. Only then if you have anything left, can you be of service to your community.

  55. Buck Stud December 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Quite a naïve post there, Meateater. A society of “haves” enveloped by a society of “have-nots”, both in severity and ever-increasing numbers, will more and more resemble the worst of what Mexico currently represents. In other words, the worker you just paid with a chicken might just become your future worst nightmare.
    The kidnappings that one reads about in Mexico are not simply drug related; many of the ransom demands are a direct result of economic stratification. Particularly vulnerable are the former neighbors and countrymen who went north to earn a little grub and returned with ostentatious displays of wealth in front of the downtrodden.
    Why is the aforementioned reality so hard to figure out for some? I know, I know…you’re “armed and dangerous”.
    Good luck with that buddy. You might as well be holstering a boomerang.

  56. Vlad Krandz December 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Oh yes – the same Teddy who opened the door to massive third world immigration. Even now we get 100,000 new LEGAL immigrants per month. How on Earth could we recover at that rate – even if recovery were possible? Between them and the tens of millions of illegals – well ever see those old clips of men in bowler hats waiting patiently in line during the Great Depression? It’s not going to be nice and orderly like that this time. And Ted is one of the main guys to thank for the coming chaos. And He knew it was all going to come down but he still let them in anyway. Like Pat Buchanon said about Churchill: he was a great man but at the price of his country’s greatness. Just so, all Ted cared about was his political position as the leader of the Democrats and their politics of the mob. The bigger the mob, the more power.

  57. mow December 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    how do you say “soylent green” in spanish ?

  58. hillwalker December 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Hey Bearcat:
    Couldn’t agree more with budzwiser’s comments. Anyone with any direct knowledge of rural, “sustainable”, agriculture-based communities knows what a harsh, difficult life this usually is for the people involved–especially in a climate like upstate New York where Jim lives. We should do whatever we can to avoid this being America’s future.
    As one friend of mine who studies these things put
    it many years ago;
    The future is small villages and towns, connected within a days walk to some smaller cities, all supported by their direct land base.
    This model worked for many thousands of years, it works now. It can work with billions of people, it can work with many millions, or it can work with a few thousand, or fewer,
    But it is the future.
    The future,
    ready or not, here it comes.

  59. GAZ December 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Chickens this, chickens that. Do a little research people, RABBITS is the way to go!

  60. daofirry2 December 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    CynicalOne, MesianicDruid, and anybody else who posts those paragraphs, THANK YOU. That has been driving me up a wall, for ages…
    My father retired to a less-developed area of outer Cape Cod, and I have sat with him on a beach, in Hyannis, called Kalmus. It is a beautiful spot to watch the many boats, going in and out of the old harbor. How sad to think of Ted Kennedy, who played as a child on that very beach, and who was so integral a part of Camelot, saying such hopeless things, looking forward. We cannot know the exact shape of the curve that the economy will trace, as it arcs ever downward, but of its broad outlines there surely can be no question.

  61. seb December 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    DeeJones wrote:
    “… You have years of stuff to work with too, leaving out the mad rantings of such as Vlad, treebeard or SEB.”
    Do not pick on me.

  62. Cash December 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Don’t be too tough on your fellow Americans. Non Americans aren’t that bright either.
    Ah Cuba. Viva la revolucion! My parents went there on holidays a while ago. My mother came back with a nasty stomach bug that plagued her for about four months.
    Fidel has a lot of admirers this side of the border, myself not included. But to be fair there were some successes. Like what? Answer: sports, health care and education. And where did it fail? Answer: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    Did you hear the story about Cuban mothers that gave their kids a banana or boiled egg to eat for lunch at school? The story (this is going back a few years) was that the bananas, boiled aggs etc were confiscated by school officials. The reason? Not all kids were provided these extras by their mothers. The mothers’ answer to this? The schools promised to feed the kids at lunch and the schools were not feeding the kids. All they were getting for lunch was a plate of beans. Not enough. So it’s up to the mothers to feed their offspring. As for this business about equality, the kids of communist party officials get chaperoned around by car and eat stuff an ordinary kid can’t dream of so enough of that equality bollocks.
    Do I know this story is true? No. Does it have the ring of truth? It’s possible.
    Is this story relevant to your point? Only in a general way. I wouldn’t use Cuba as an example for anything except as a totally and utterly failed experiment which even Fidel admits doesn’t work. Cuba is a craphole run by goons. People there are in a bad way.

  63. Cash December 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    But if you want to dismantle the network of liars and thieves collectively known as “Wall Street” I’m with you there. The sooner the better.

  64. jackieblue2u December 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    So True and Thank You for saying it. I wanted to in a different way, but held back.

  65. jackieblue2u December 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    We get what we deserve if we don’t get angry and demand to take it back from the cons and thieves and royalists who stole it in the first place.
    Well put. But people aren’t standing up for themselves, it’s very frustrating and Tragic.

  66. Meat Eater December 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Buck Stud, you’re missing the point. There will ALWAYS be have and have-nots. I worked hard to be a “have”. And I have prepared for the inevitable deterioration of this society down to where it hopefully won’t go: chaos. (Country place with plenty of water, gardens, several years of propane in storage, tools, etc. along with the things I learned during my years in the U.S. Marine Corps.) Working hard and preparing for hard times used to be called the America way. I think it’s BS when people swoon over the idea of feeding nearly 300 Million Americans with gardening, or green farming, or local businesses, etc. That is a fantasy. We ALL need to have a broad based economy that actually produces things by people with real jobs. Unfortunately the politicians in this country were bought and paid for a long time ago and now the result we see is a destroyed economy with millions of people suffering horribly. However, it just wasn’t that damn hard to see what was coming and make preparations for what is happening now and what will be happening in the years to come. I made the right choices and that doesn’t make me special. It just makes me smarter and obviously in better shape than the people who didn’t pay the price over the years they now know they should have paid. And, no, I’m not talking about people who are old, sick or helpless due to no fault of their own. But I don’t include people in those categories who simply whizzed off years of earning power and now find themselves up shit creek. I hope you and your family are fine. I want everybody to be fine…I just know that isn’t true with so very many people. Gotta go. Have a nice day. And remember: this country can still turn itself around if enough people would do the right thing.

  67. jgalt6 December 6, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    The problem, simply put, is that our manufacturing base has been decimated, and none of our politicians has a clue about getting them back, or even show any interest in doing so. Massive cuts in our world-wide highest corporate taxes would be a logical first step, but will never be done due to the incessant babbling of the leftist loons in congress. For over 20 years our manufacturing has been transferring, or been transferred, overseas, first to Mexico, then Asia, and finally China. All the MBA’s and their like produce not one dollar of real wealth, only more parasites for the transfer of existing wealth. With the barring of any drilling in the gulf for 7 years, comrade Hussein has perhaps struck the mortal blow to his hated oppressor, America. This while he loans, or gives, $2,000,000,000 to Petrobras of Brazil, which his marxist mentor, George Soros, has a large stake in, for drilling in deeper water further out in the Atlantic. No, Americans will not collectively start victory gardens and raise chickens to survive. More are into stealing and plundering as taught them by our government. It will require extreme measures to survive the coming temptest, and calling the police after the crime will not suffice.

  68. Vlad Krandz December 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    I could never read the Canticle for some reason – even though I wanted to like it. I had more luck with Christopher’s “Sword of the Spirit” trilogy.
    I heard that Fran Leibowitz and Susan Sontag were lovers. Such sterile bondings can’t have much place in the New Dark Age. Fertility will again be prized due to the high mortality rate. Women like these will probably be seen as witches if they do not desist. Most will and will do their duty however so grudgingly – no doubt making their husbands lives a living hell in the process. There is something to be said after all for the lovely groves of Lesbos. Sappho was a right on lady! How do you think the people of Lesbos feel about all this? Ever think of that?

  69. Warren Peace December 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I would give anything to get out of cubicle hell and work in the fresh air on a farm. I actually enjoy physical labor much more than sitting on my ass all day getting eyestrain. It’s just hard to make a living doing it without money or the right connections. If anyone has any suggestions, I think we’d all appreciate it. I think the popularity of The World made by Hand stems from the fact that a lot of us are unsatisfied with this cubicle slavery, and long for a world where we’re not alienated from work, where we control our fates and know we’ll be as useful to society tomorrow as today.
    It is a commonly accepted fact that people today actually spend much less income on food than people did in the past eras. Historically, the economists tell us that the percent of our incomes spent on foodstuffs has been consistently falling throughout the twentieth century. Economists tell us that this is due to much more efficient agriculture. This is code for kicking all the farmers and land workers out of their jobs and replacing them with fossil fuels. This was good news to economists, since the money that we weren’t spending on foodstuffs we could spend on other stuff, which was mainly cars, houses, electronic doodads from the Pacific Rim, and cheap plastic crud imported from China. Economists proclaimed we were all getting richer by this development, and out economy was expanding. What was also expanding was our waistlines.
    This is extremely deceptive, however, as what they bought before World War 2 was food, whereas what we buy is “food”. People used to buy free-range chicken and eggs, grass-fed beef, fresh, seasonal vegetables, artisan cheese, fruits, milk, whole wheat bakery-produced bread etc. Before the Interstate highway system went in , most of these were relatively local. Today we buy waxy fruits and vegetables grown especially not to decay, thus devoid of flavor and nutrients, genetically modified crops, mass-produced loaves of processed white bread, antibiotic laden corn-fed CFO meat, pasteurized BGH processed milk, chicken and eggs from overcrowded dungeons, cheez, and of course massive amounts of corn-syrup drenched “processed” foods. To an economist there is no distinction however, eggs are eggs, beef is beef, and a head of lettuce is a head of lettuce. My guess is if you actually made an apples-to-apples comparison between the quality of food then, and food of comparable quality today which can be purchased at local co-ops and high-end groceries like Whole Foods you find the cost of food (not “food”) to be as high as it has ever been, if not much higher. I’m amazed when people complain that healthy food costs too much while they have plenty to spend on cable television and World of Warcraft subscriptions.
    The “cheapness” of food thanks to oil has masked and legitimized the thirty-plus years of falling actual wages. Food is cheap, so why pay extra? After all, no one in America is starving – the poor are even overweight! What a great country! Sadly, even the cheap food is getting unaffordable due to unemployment and falling incomes. People are turning to food banks to make ends meet in unprecedented numbers, but what food banks sell are mainly donated “nonperishable” items, meaning processed to the point of unrecognizability. This “food” is guaranteed to lead to all sorts of health problems and morbidity, leading to an increasingly unhealthy population. With healthcare already unaffordable, however, the new poor have no other option but a lifetime of ill-health, drug dependence, and hospital debt, that is, if they’re not dying on the streets. The next time you hear about the cost of food, ponder that.

  70. helen highwater December 6, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Budizwiser, you say that small farms can’t make it without regional or local power supply and industrial capacity. Then why is it that small farms made if for hundreds of years in many countries without these things?

  71. helen highwater December 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Sorry, Bearcat, but I’m afraid a harsh, difficult life is just what we are going to get. And probably what we deserve.

  72. helen highwater December 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Sustainable gardening/farming doesn’t have to supply hundreds of millions of peoples’ food – it only has to supply your family’s food. It’s just that hundreds of millions of people would need to do it, instead of sitting on their asses and expecting other people to do it for them.

  73. Cabra1080 December 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Speaking of jobs, there will be a mind-boggling number of jobs available for every able-bodied man, woman and child – yes, even children, in the not too distant future. Steady employment from dawn to dusk, every day of the week. Just not the kind of work most Americans are used to these days. And certainly not with the pay scales and benefits they are used to. This goes for the world at large, too, except, of course for the few elites who will continue to live in some degree of luxury. It’s the same old story.
    Many people are throwing their arms up and blaming the government or whatever entity is handy for the state of the economy and the higher unemployment numbers we are seeing. Many are saying the “world is ending” or “will end soon” for whatever reasons, political, social or religious unless things are “straightened out” and an economic “recovery” occurs.
    The world is not ending. Not anytime soon. The world is changing, however, as it always has and always will.
    The economy is not “recovering” but instead is changing. It is re-adjusting itself from a unique, one-time blip of unprecedented abundance back to the “normal” baseline of constrained resources where it has dwelt from the beginning of civilization and likely will dwell for the indefinite future.
    As we well know, this short blip of a couple of hundred years or so was fueled by cheap energy, namely coal and oil, that were mined from the earth until most all the easy-to-get-to stuff was removed, for good. The same goes for many ores, minerals and other commodities, even fresh water. The oil, coal, gas, minerals and much of the fresh water were “fossil” items that are not replenished on a time scale of human life spans or thousands of human life spans. When it is gone, it is for all aims and purposes gone for good. Even though much may remain, it will not be cost effective or easy to get at. At some point it takes more energy to extract the resource than the energy content of the resource. Then the party is over.
    So in the not-too-distant future we will be back where our ancestors were, living, working and dying in the “energy budget” of the sun. It’s back to mills powered by water or wind and a lot more horse power (literally) and manpower going into food production and everything else. But life will go on.
    Nuclear technology coupled with “solar power” in all its direct and indirect forms (photovoltaic, wind turbines, hydro, etc) may keep the lights on for a while and promote some semblance of present technology, at least for communication, data processing and lighting. Nuclear accidents may spoil some areas though when they occur, making them uninhabitable for a long period of time. Also with oil, gas and coal in short supply it may prove hard to even keep nuke plants running or anything else running for that matter that resembles what we have gotten used to.
    Roads will greatly contract in quality, quantity and size as asphalt becomes costly and increasingly scarce. Air travel will practically go away. Eventually our old friend the railway will take up a lot of the slack.
    Food won’t be enough for sure in the constrained world of the near future so a lot of folks will have to starve. That is most unfortunate and that is an understatement, for sure. Still, the world before the cheap energy binge could only support around 500 million people and likely that number will be what can be supported after the cheap energy binge and readjustment is completed. So nine out of ten people will have to bite the dust. That won’t be a pretty site. Naturally, as history has shown, the distribution of survivors will not be equitable.
    What will happen to the governments of the world will be of most interest (or of most concern). It is doubtful these changes in the near future will go down good with a lot of people, especially those who find themselves on the losing end of the population squeeze mentioned above. Naturally, those powers that can will likely go after what oil and other resources remain, by whatever degree of force they deem necessary. The governments of the world will arrive at a “final solution” one way or another. That outcome may not be very nice. I hope some semblance of democracy and freedom survives for those who do survive.
    So the world is changing and has been changing since the dawn of civilization and even before that. Somehow going down (economically) is not as much fun as going up but down we must go; it seems, in order to meet the “resource budget” of the future. It’s a closed system mate and we must life inside of it. Thermodynamics is a strict master.
    Jim, it looks like you have been on the right track for a long time. Maybe someday “they” will wake up and start planning for our “back to normal” future – our future without cheap fossil fuels. Yep, rails would be a great place to start. Looking back to the nineteenth century, they chose streetcars and railways for good reason. Ditto for local manufacturing and food production. They fit the energy budget of the time.
    There will a be mind boggling number of jobs for everyone in the near future. Grab a pickaxe or shovel and line up!
    So here we go, like it or not, back to the future! Bon Voyage…
    C A B R A 1 0 8 0

  74. Cavepainter December 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    The “feedback loop” from having overpopulated beyond sustainability is now uncoiling. Sorry folks, no amount of hand-wringing or planning can stave off a great die-off.
    Here in America – being less crowded (at least on a national scale) – our prospects are better than most places on earth, but even at that there’s little certainty for anyone no matter how careful the planning. The cresting wave will bear increasing unplanned contingencies. Hence, expect behaviors reflecting hysteria.
    The script is already written, not just in mathematic terms of ratios (population to resource) but also in terms of human behavior. Seems our big neo-cortex brain species has been endowed with great capacity for denial in face of circumstances and forces that confound our capacity to understand or cope. Our conceptual capability — gave us the concept of time — necessarily created a codependency: able to apprehend countless future threats demanded ability to craft placating interventions lest we simply succumb in immobilizing depression. This is why we have people of certain religious beliefs wearing in 21st century cities garb dating centuries back and completely impractical for modern circumstances.
    Alas, the last remaining supporting prop is about to collapse under us. No different from human societies throughout history America is incapable of surrendering its most reassuring myths, choosing instead to go on believing that it is protected by its gods – capitalism and American exceptionalism. Not only can we save ourselves, we can save the world. Oh my!

  75. Belisarius December 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Great post.
    Have been doing a bit of what is suggested here and it has been keeping me busy.
    We have been collecting canning jars for years, and this past summer put in two new gardens and began using them. Still learning what grows well here, so only used half the jars (about 24 dz) this year. Learned that ten year old lids don’t work too well.
    Built a permanent pen for the geese because electronet does not work in the snow.
    Put two dozen chickens in the freezer and canned a few also, to practice for long power outages. Will try some canning on the woodstove soon, and if that works will consider an outdoor stove to allow summer canning. Still will have enough chickens left for a dozen + eggs a day, but haven’t found anybody willing to work for chicken (or eggs) yet!
    Got twenty cords of tree length drying on the north side of the field (~6 acre)we cleared this summer. Havent decided yet whether to rent an excavator to bury the stumps and till it, or buy fence and goats to eat the tree sprouts till the stumps rot. Either way planning the next field now. Got to go out soon and start next years woodpile.
    Others may be hoarding fuel, i am stocking up! While horses and oxen may be the sustainable future, it’ll be awhile till i have enough land cleared to support them. Meanwhile got to feed the tractor to clear the snow, log, till and make “roads”, among other things.
    If we don’t have a financial collapse first, then we get peak oil. Either way, fuel becomes unaffordable or rationed for most. I don’t think the Chinese will stop hoarding oil even if they stop building empty cities to keep their workers busy. Might want to buy a spare tank! Propane lasts forever and does not need preservative. Deisel lasts quite well with Pri-D. Gasoline is a problem, so avoid where possible.

  76. ozone December 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    “I’m 26 years old, and I can tell you with 100% certainty my generation will not willingly “power down” and down scale our consumer lifestyles. Not after a lifetime of seeing our parents spend, spend, spend on the latest consumer bullshit.” -WTF
    Perhaps most of your generation is not interested in energy descent; but energy descent is [most assuredly] interested in them.
    *I* would gladly work towards that end, but I am not typical of young people. Hell, we’re 2.5 years into the collapse, and most people are still blissfully unaware of it.
    As an aside to that point, I’m finding that having even a small group of like-minded and aware people helps to fend off the feeling that I’m quite alone and quite insane. It’s making me feel pretty good, as a matter of fact. Who knew?! ;o)

  77. ASPO Article 1037 December 6, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    See this site 12-6-10 1025 AM
    To expand on the oft-repeated Kunstler call to Parallel Bar Therapy…
    American Short Line Railroad Association (ASLRRA) is a good place for Peak Oil info dissemination to focus because these independent local service rail lines are more customer oriented than the merged Super-Railroads. When the ASLRRA is up to speed on Peaking Oil, the rail savvy people are in place to assist local efforts to rehab the hundreds of critical dormant rail corridors across the USA.
    The details of Gen. James A Van Fleet’s “Rail Transport And The Winning Of Wars” booklet, circa 1956, warns of homeland attack and folly of dependency on foreign oil imports. Dated in some respects, but Van Fleet’s rail doctrine should still be obtained and read carefully as part of the USA rail comeback library. Reformed US Army/Guard RR Operating & Maintenance Battalions, in all the US 50 States -are requisite.
    For ALL the 3000+ US County Planning Bureaus, copy of “US Rail Map Atlas” for respective locale is needed to refresh recollection of dormant rail corridor footprint. See to obtain these regional RR map volumes. Thomas Bros. US City & County Maps circa 1950’s and ’60s have detailed raqil footprint in metropolitan areas.
    “Official GUIDE of the US Railroads” was monthly publication until the VietNam Era. See copies circa 1920-1950 for best compilation of RR names, schedules, maps, etc. Military bases shown in the GUIDE enroute will prove useful when closed bases can be victuals and disaster recovery depots, with rail connection rebuilt. Most bases had rail connections, and warehousing on these now-civilian sites often is situated to suit rail re-connect. Scrape the weeds off in situ rail…
    Political lethargy- timid ignorant liberals and aggressive ignorant conservatives must “snap to”, and work in their own party caucuses to get the rail programs in front of their constituencies. In truth, going to the party contributors, private individuals and corporate donors must be informed to carry this Railay potato to the table! US Chamber of Commerce is hidebound, probably will require massive urging from Chamber member businesses across the country to get the corporate officers to recognize and verbalize Peak Oil.
    Meanwhile, in the Oil Patch… Expect action with Iran to set off Muslim backlash, an oil embargo. US best have the rail program well into discussion and early high priority branchline projects in hands of military rail units ASAP for upgrade to de-minimus freight ops condition. Mormon rail owners like the Union Pacific Executives already know what’s a comin; that’s why Mormons are in the rail and trucking business… When more organizations are in on the plot, we can get this country moving again!
    Keep ‘Em Rolling

  78. Vlad Krandz December 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Great post. It’s a fundamental point in the ancient Chinese Political Philosophy: the people will emulate the attitudes and actions of the Great. So if the Elite are swindlers, con-men and fake patriots – what do the people have to look up to? They are left with nothing both physically and morally. So in response, they look out for number one just like the “heroes” of capitalism do. And of course there are the good people who believe the lies of patriotism – that America is the greatest country in the world. Rather than educating them about what is coming, the Elite play them for all they can to keep the supply of cannon fodder and financial marks coming. It’s all unspeakably sad; a tragedy of epic proportions.

  79. ozone December 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    …soylent verde.

  80. rob3rt December 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    ¡es gente!

  81. Qshtik December 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    It’s just that hundreds of millions of people would need to do it, instead of sitting on their asses and expecting other people to do it for them.
    Yeah Helen, try telling that to my daughter who lives in an apartment in the heart of Manhattan and doesn’t even have a sunny kitchen window sill to grow an herb on. Get real will ya!

  82. stlhdr December 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Sounds like your daughter needs to get real…

  83. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    “Regardless of whether this life choice is necessary for the future or not it is very fulfilling.”
    It’s necessary. And I totally agree about the fulfillment you find as you retake control of the system, one piece at a time. Especially when you learn how to produce a significant portion of your calories by yourself, without fossil fuel inputs. The naysayers here aren’t thinking in novel terms. And since this is a novel problem for us, it probably won’t be solved with solutions of the past.
    In a nutshell, of the 3 “necessities” of life – food, clothing, and shelter – only one is truly necessary. Food. By definition, as energy supplies wane, food will account for a larger and larger part of the budget. And as it does, more and more people will see the economic advantage of growing some of their own, and most likely the advantage of varying their diet toward foods that are easier to produce on fewer inputs. Perennials basically. And that shouldn’t be a shock since it’s well known among good environmental accountants that perennial crops are far lower energy than annual ones. In some cases, like long-rotation spruce (90 years) compared to annual hemp or flax for fiber production, the multiplier is astonishing. Something like 90 times more energy efficient. We just don’t think in perennial terms anymore because we have access to so much energy.
    The food, fiber, and fuel industries have matured as far as they can within the growth paradigm. I agree with that. Now it’s time for something completely new.
    I expect that by my death – let’s say I’m pulling for 60 years from now, 2070 – we will have gone from spending 9% of our national income on food to something closer to 90%. And the number of people working directly in food, fiber, and fuel production will increase to at least 80% of the population.
    Doesn’t matter who screams otherwise how loud. These trends are already emerging fairly rapidly. As I’m sure you’re aware, Noel Bodie.
    Congrats on being so self-reliant!

  84. Kalpa December 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Jim, The global food supplies are stable as of now. Of course there is always a fear that they could run short in the future but with more and more areas growing grain industrially the mantra that we are nearly out of food is growingly a tiresome hype. Now, if you focused upon the economics of food inflation in Asian nations and the infrastructure demands required for food storage and distribution, you’d have more credibility.
    See my recent post on “big picture agriculture” on food supply from the twice-annual United Nations report: Global Food Security: Highlights of the November 2010 FAO “Food Outlook”

  85. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I can dig it, man!

  86. CynicalOne December 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    “And Ted is one of the main guys to thank for the coming chaos.”
    Yep. I wonder if he grasped that at all – that he was on the list of those who had brought this down on us?

  87. LewisLucanBooks December 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Interesting what ol’ Ted had to say. The quote that sticks with me is:
    “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel,
    I drive a Mercedes,
    My son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover,
    but his son will ride a camel.”
    Rashid bin Saeedal Maktoum, 1912-1990.
    Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai.

  88. observer December 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Here’s a commodity that is gaining in value and may offer various kinds of employment opportunities:

  89. LewisLucanBooks December 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Miss Blue! A shout-out to you! I was going to respond to your post at the end of last week, but thought it would get lost in the shuffle of week to week.
    Honey, you are not dumb. Sheesh! You remind me of my friends Tom and Elvin. They’re all ways going on about how smart I am and how dumb they are. Horse apples! I just read a lot, have a large vocabulary and a talent for remembering useless bits of information. Oh, and I type like the wind. Now known as “keyboarding.” However, I can spell worth shit. Mamma tried but no dice. Wish I had a nickel for every time I have to resort to Google for the correct spelling of a word. I’d be one of those tycoons.
    But I digress… As I constantly point out to Tom and Elvin, they know how to do really valuable things. They are the ones I call for advice or help with cars, plumbing, electricity, carpentry, etc. Useful things. And, I’m sure you do to. You might not know it, but I’m sure you have important useful talents.
    And, a good way to expand your talents is to go to the library. Hopefully, you have one close. Don’t be shy. Your tax dollars, either directly or through your rent pay for that library. You own a hunk of it. So, you just walk through those doors with your head held high and think to yourself “Part of this is mine. And, I’m here to claim it.”
    Most libraries are laid out the same way. Look for non-fiction. 635 or so. All that stuff Trip is always talking about. Plants, gardening, indoors, outdoors and even books that tell you how to run a christmas tree plantation. 637 or so is all the books on animals, pets and farm. Around 640 are things on homesteading, like Carla Emery’s book.
    The 700’s are usually called the “art” section. But that’s where you’ll find the books on crafts. Everything from weaving to knitting. Who knows why, but sewing stuff is back in the 600. So is soap making and candle making.
    If you can’t find something, ask a librarian. If she’s uppity, just remind yourself that she works for you and just look around for a nice one.
    When I’m approaching a new subject I’m curious about, sometimes I start with kids books. They use the same numbering system. They may be mixed in with the adult non-fiction, or they may be separated out. Different from library to library.
    If you don’t want a library card, your still free to pick a book off the shelf and just plop yourself down and read.
    The more you read, the more you contribute to this blog (and you do contribute) the smoother the delivery gets. And, read anything! Even Harlequin Romances are put together with fairly well constructed sentences, one after another. And, if you pick up a book you don’t like, throw it back and pick another. Sometimes, people think they have to finish a book they started. Nope. The only time the Library Police might show up is if you don’t get back something on time. 😀 . Just joking. As far as I know, there are no “library police.” At least, not in the many libraries I worked in. Maybe some security. Rent-a-cops. And they are there just to make it a clean, well-lite, safe place.
    Enough. I’ll step off the soap box.

  90. Neil Kearns December 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Yep permaculture, and willingness to make sacrifices.
    Up here in frozen Oregon, many teenagers do not take driver’s ed classes anymore- they don’t see themselves as ever being a part of active automotive culture, and instead spend their hours and camping out under the local covered bridge away from grandma and playing World of Warcraft off of the library’s WIFI. They actually prefer to walk, maybe it whiles away more time and gives a bsic satisfaction. Meanwhile, for those 10 yrs older, the CSA movement has folks signing up to be serfs if only to gain the experience of working the land. These young adults meet up on these farms and make plans for the future. Agrarian plans. Plans that the IRS probably is planning to have a problem with. Me, I’m looking towards an agrarian existance too, though it does not favor the elderly. If your idea of old age is to be “kinged” and move about the checkerboard consuming what’s left, then this back to the earth movement is not going to appeal to you unless you put in 70 hours a week loving and training your kids to exist with less who will then will have the means and willingness to take care. Going it alone you better be ready to plant yourself at any time and be happy with it, chalk it up to an investment in tne next generation. The first steps at an amortized payment for reparations.

  91. futuredriven December 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    In my city sacramento/west sacramento
    public transit cost $5 or $6 a day a price
    most low income people can not readily afford.
    The buses are mostly empty except rush hour.
    The drivers/etc are overpaid. The buses themselves
    are the most expensive conceivable, high tech
    with wheelchair lifts/natural gas systems etc.
    In 3rd world countries jitneys operate freely in
    many countries. In Cuba open air flatbed trucks
    go up/down the main boulevards and people hop on
    for pennies a ride.I often think about how much
    better the poor would be if flatbed trucks went
    up/down the streets in Sacramento/people could
    jump on/off for a quarter or fifty cents a ride.
    Call me a dreamer I’m not the only one.

  92. Tomcat16 December 6, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Right on as usual, Jim. Your recent posts have really captured the current situation and mood “out there” and the jobs picture is something I know about first-hand, as do a lot of others. It is now 23 months since I was laid off the first time (but who’s counting)… I’ve worked a grand total of 5 months in that time. A few of my friends in I.T., also in their 50s, haven’t worked at all for 2 years. It really is that bleak. After a while it just takes its toll and wears you down and really a lot of people don’t understand unless they’re going through it too. Hope? Dwindling. Angry? You bet. Desperate? Getting there.
    In the meantime and as a result of all this, I’ve gone back to music ’cause that’s about the only thing left that keeps me going, playing and recording as much as I can right now. For the curious, you can hear the fruits of this most recent period of at:!/nightsonvenus. No lyrics, it’s all instrumental so there’s nothing political in there. Will switch over to acoustic piano, guitar and harmonica when the grid goes down… just like in WMBH. This is my new “career” now… along with acquiring gardening/farming skills. Soylent verde indeed!

  93. Neil Kearns December 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    So planning for a transition actually can be fun, and you can still get the satisfaction shopping for powertools, paint and steel each week if you want to. Throw in a few beers and pizzas, and you got a pretty gentle slope to navigate. The final product being a half step down the energy neediness pyramid.
    Check this out: We have been building human powered appliances, such as a washing machine, (wood fired) clothes dryer and LED and human powered lighting. Here’s a video of our latest creation:
    take care

  94. ozone December 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    I didn’t get to respond to your bad doggie scenario; so just a quick note:
    Sorry you had to do it… glad you did it!
    Here’s hoping there’s an end to that shit for the remainder of your big-city residence.

  95. Tomcat16 December 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Correct link:
    Good luck to everyone!

  96. budizwiser December 6, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Thank you to those who bothered to read my previous scribbling. The topics I am trying to get at is that there is no need for discussions about the coming Clusterfuck(S) to be so far removed from our current realities.
    I’ve tried so many times to point discussions on this web space toward areas of the socio-political-cultural experience that can be substantiated or refuted, so as to result in ideas that have a half a chance of becoming possible.
    Last week, I tried to poll the contributors for an accounting of what “we” know for sure and what “we” may think is bull shit about the future Clusterfucks. And my remarks about the silliness of jumping over all the other chaos and arriving at individuals gardening as a result of resource depletion easily begs considerable additional investigation.
    What I mean is: What would happen to the status of US food production/availability if US agricultural consumption of petroleum drops to the same levels as consumed in 1995?
    How many of you believe that US agricultural petroleum consumption will continue to increase? How closely will agricultural consumption or petroleum mimick total US petroleum consumption?
    Shouldn’t we first look to these existing systems and their scale and efficiencies before discarding them in wholesale? For instance, shouldn’t we steer development of natural-gas powered combines and tractors before we accept gas powered personal passenger vehicles?
    Or should we use natural gas to manufacture rakes and shovels for Jim’s gardeners?
    All I’m getting at is there are plenty of concrete topics to discuss without getting merry mayhem on everything.
    PS – I didn’t start out as Budizwiser, I came back as that after being kicked out under another monicker….. However, I am as full of shit as anyone else, but I at least I stay on topic.

  97. asia December 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    DEE..Dearest [assuming yr F, im Male]
    read ‘THEY MUST BE STOPPED’ or go to youtube and search ‘jihadists in europe’..
    its not that ‘euros’ are finished, its that EUROPE is finished!

  98. k-dog December 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Lawn service lackeys can do surprisingly well. As growing food becomes more in vogue their experience may give them a leg up in the new economy.

  99. asia December 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Cyn [luv yr ‘handle’]:
    ‘…Teddy knows . . ‘
    no he was an architect of our demise…he / they did this to us intentionally [JHK I apologize for conspiracy theory but i gotta call a spade a spade].

  100. Cabra1080 December 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    “And remember: this country can still turn itself around if enough people would do the right thing.”
    1. Put a STOP to outsourcing of jobs and cheap imports from China NOW. Even if it means rioting in the streets and piling up all China made stuff in the streets and setting it ablaze to get the message across.
    2. Eliminate tax loopholes for multinational corporations doing business in the USA If you do business here, you pay taxes.
    3. Favor locally owned businesses over big chains and multinational corporations. We were better off before Wal-mart and all their Chinese junk that ends up broken and in landfills within weeks or months of purchase. Same goes for most businesses these days – need to get back to making things for Americans by Americans (what a concept).
    4. Totally scrap the IRS and it’s convoluted tax code and replace it with a flat tax. No loopholes, no deductions, no credits, just a fixed percentage of income, all income.
    5. More investment in sustainable agriculture and railroads, less investment in highways and air travel (these are on the way out).
    C A B R A 1 0 8 0

  101. asia December 6, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    ‘what takes its place’..uh..starvation and chaos
    [or living way out in the country, far from the southern border]

  102. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Thanks, O3! I hope so too.
    And on a lighter and more exciting note, my mother read a book recently that scared the you know what out of her, and she’s ready to focus on powering down and relocalizing. I’ve been working on her for almost 2 years now, so small victories here and there are happy times for me!
    I told her to hold on, I’m on my way south, quick as I can get there.

  103. asia December 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Gosh, i had read of the ladies lined up, waiting to buy 1000$ designer handbags!
    they really imitated US’s worst monetary policies
    = suburbanize,inflate,borrow, spend baby spend!

  104. asia December 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Teddy, yuk……..
    one bill he sponsored would have made any chaldean in the world a ‘refugee’ who could move to the USA.
    yes we get a million legals, half million anchors, a million illegals.
    YIKES..yet when he croaked the [liberal] press made it seem the lady killer was ‘a hero, a great american'[yeah right].

  105. Smokyjoe December 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Noel, we are about 10 years behind you, but we are planning the same future.
    I doubt that the slide will be as steep as JHK depicts and some posters here seem to wish. But getting back to rural life now makes sense. I’d add that you need to build community now, too, in case we do hit a very rough patch.
    Knowing my neighbors, local hunters, tradesmen, and merchants while giving back to these folks mark you as less of an outsider. Without that sort of network, no loner, even with a great farm, will be more than a ripe target for the hungry and desperate, if it comes to that.
    If it never gets that bad in our lifetimes, we’ll at least be content, self-reliant, and off the consumption-treadmill that says you *need* a 25K Harley to be happy.

  106. asia December 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    are you kidding? i hope so, yr smart..HE KNEW!

  107. asia December 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    what ive read of cuban is its the MOST racist society going [hate is all they have left!].
    a cuban who escaped with the marielito boat said to me ‘only the nubians are left’!!
    [them and the hookers catering the tourists].
    Yet Oliver Stone and Yoko ono went there and practically kissed fidels feet.
    and in their ‘post ussr welfare state’ collapse
    most folks lost 20 or 30 pounds.

  108. asia December 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    ‘The global food supplies are stable as of now’
    certainly the population isnt ‘stable’..
    and food is being turned into fuel.
    the PRICE of grains have skyrocketed.

  109. asia December 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    ‘due to unemployment and falling incomes’
    did they extend unemployment for the 99 ers?

  110. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    I thought of a more concise way to say this.
    High energy annual crop agriculture got us in this mess by steadily increasing the amount of humans we could grow on oil. Horticulture can produce just as many, and most say more, calories per acre as fossil fuel agriculture can. But here’s the rub, it can do it on a lot less energy. Think about a food crop that only requires as much attention as a holly border does every year. Not much, compared to the machinations of modern petroleum agriculture.
    Problem is, you can’t just switch to horticulture over night. An apple tree may start fruiting in 4 years, but it will be another 6 before it is really producing enough calories to outcompete an annual crop taking up the same space. So thinking in decades, instead of seasons, is a mindshift we will probably make one-by-one as energy descent grabs us.
    And yes, there is an implied population crash in the equation. Sorry. The ecologist in me just doesn’t see any way out at this point. Let’s just try to stretch the die-off out to generations instead of individuals. Again, perennialize your thoughts.

  111. IntegralResearchSociety December 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I would give anything to get out of cubicle hell and work in the fresh air on a farm.

    The problem is that currently there is no where to go — long-term, at least — unless you have the resources or credit to go out and buy some acreage. This seems to work for some of those who blog here. There is another way but it requires a complete re-thinking of existing economic and social structures. In my opinion, it provides much more freedom and leads to greater resiliency. The answer lies in finding the proper scale for producing goods and services and doing it in a way that is vertically integrated.

  112. asia December 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm #


  113. bobby j December 6, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Eventually the American people will realize that you can’t protect your ass by sticking your head up it.

  114. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Another nice week’s missive, JHK. You are still on the economics, we see. That’s as good a place as any to peer into the spirit of modern America.
    I’ll freely admit that I come to this blog every week for two reasons. One is the insights and entertainment provided by our host. The other reason is the same two things provided by some (most?) of my fellow thread-riders.
    Some of you guys need to keep more firmly in mind that JHK needs to be, first and foremost, an entertainer. I’m guessing he has bills to pay like most of the rest of us. If he ceases to entertain – no matter how accurate he is otherwise – the money stops flowing and he’s gotta go pick turnips or something – I mean, he seems to already be recommending that to us now!
    And some of you – visibly – need to read one of his books before you go off criticizing him for not being accurate like the Oracle of Delphi, or whatever.
    I mean Jon Stewart comes up with a lot of “truthiness,” too – but most viewers keep showing up for the entertainment.
    And Beck, Limbaugh, etc come up with things, too. And all their viewers know they are entertainers, right? Check that, we could WISH their viewers realized they were entertainers.
    Don’t know what led me off in the direction of defending JHK this pm. I’m pretty sure he can look out for himself.
    But I fell off this cliff and just kept falling.
    I’m done for now.

  115. Funzel December 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    to Cash,ah Cuba,
    I would like to see how the US would fare with years of embargo and the limited resources Cuba had to survive with.Ever been to the capitalist paradise of India?

  116. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    One thing we can say for sure is that this will work itself out one way or another. I doubt people who are willing to grow their own food will acquiesce to starving to death when there is open land nearby. Whether they own it or not.
    Soil will have to become accessible to the “lumpenprole” somehow. Have fun with that one.

  117. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Bud, I feel your pain.
    Trying to drive this blog in any particular direction is much, much worse than herding cats.
    It’s like herding cats, rabbits, tigers, and a gazelle – all at the same time – naked – using just an ostrich feather.
    But to try to help you out and stick with JHK’s economic theme for a little while longer.
    How about we try to look at things just – simply – in terms of fuel cost. Some sort of rapid collapse is a statistical outlier for this analysis, BTW.
    IMO, oil is going up because international markets are devaluing the US$. So what happens when gas goes to $5.00/gallon AND STAYS THERE.
    Is that something of what you have in mind??
    Then, for one thing, all the folks who follow JHK and advocate rail could do an honest economic analysis of freight and passenger rail.
    Those trains still need diesel. I’ve shown research in other weeks that a freight train is only 2X as efficient as an over the road truck.
    If diesel is $3.00/gallon now and is destined to go to $12.00/gallon or more (and then RUN OUT!) – we’re still going to be in a World of hurt – even with those pretty trains sitting there out of fuel.
    Long term, Tripp has a high likelihood of being correct. Especially about the population crash.
    We could factor that into some calculations, too – cold hearted though this sounds.
    Do you suppose any of our political/military/aristocratic elites are already performing these calculations. I see ZERO evidence of long range planning.
    Can they be that stupid.
    Don’t answer that; it’s rhetorical.
    BTW, this wasn’t my original choice of a screenname, either – just the first one I managed to get through to my email account.
    And Wage, Hancock, Myrtle, Pucker, and several others – I left some thoughts for you toward the end of last night’s ramblings.
    I’m still learning a lot of things from this thread.
    Hope all the rest of you CF’ers are! 😉

  118. WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot December 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Wow, its cool to hear back from you, Jim. Big fan.
    Of course, whoever is left will be growing things to eat. Problems come in with scale, topsoil depletion, water scarcity/pollution, erratic weather patterns of late, etc.
    On a completely unrelated note, what do you guys think of Matt Savinar’s gradual slide into utter insanity as of late?
    I mean, lots of us thought Deepwater Horizon was “it”, but his “astrology” stuff (check out today’s Latoc update), the double-take inducing grammar mistakes on his updates, the lashing out at his “doom groupies”, etc…

  119. tpverde December 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Sigh, where to start, first kudos from the hammock to JHK for another tongue lashing of the corrupt elites. Second, a great group of listeners/responders in spite of some bickering and recriminations, hard to not lash out when we are all feeling so impotent at the directions of things.
    Third, thank the lucky stars of Matt Savinar that I moved to Costa Rica, settled into a backward rural area and started planting and sharing with my neighbors 15 years ago. I took a lot of steps down the ladder and the future looks tough but way more survivable with each passing day.

  120. asia December 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Ever been to the capitalist paradise of India?
    ive no desire to go to Cuba.

  121. asia December 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    money wise what did it cost to move/ buy [or rent] etc.

  122. asia December 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    todays humor.
    i was stuck in front of a TV. ‘the price is right’ was on. where i was the mexicans and homeless were making a racket. then the show goes to ads..for meds…’if yr on medicare and have diabetes’.
    the juxtaposition of this ‘lumpen’ type show and the ads….it was so weird.

  123. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Lady killer is right! When he left that poor, young, innocent woman, Mary Jo Kopechne to die in that car, I knew he was an unmitigated bastard. Was living in Washington D.C. at the time. Years later, when my husband and I lived in Boston, I met his ex wife, Joan Kennedy, through a mutual friend. She was (is?) a recovering alcoholic, and she told me a lot about how mean, vicious, and cruel he could be. Didn’t surprise me in the least when years later that drunken imbecile managed to get himself into the papers, behaving like a drunken frat boy at the family’s compound in Palm Beach….yeah, thanks a lot for leaving us this freaking mess to clean up with, Ted!

  124. Warren Peace December 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Here are my fears:
    There won’t be office jobs or agriculture jobs. Even lifelong farmers are still being kicked off the land:
    I’m afraid what Isee happening is that there won’t be any economic opportunity at all. Small scale farming for profit will probaly not be economically viable, even with declining supplies. See
    This mirrors the Great Depression, where factory jobs disappeared but agriculture jobs did not appear to replace them. Farmers took a hit, too. Even today in countries with high unemployment, there are no jobs in agriculture. Every day all over the world people are being kicked off the land and being forced into slums and shantytowns as agriculture is “modernized”.
    No, the best way to think of the job situation will be a continuous game of musical chairs, with the jobs as the chairs. For those not able to get to the remaining chairs, they are out of the game forever. And as with muscial chairs, the chairs will never be replaced as long as even one chair is left. Of course, instead of just scrambling for the chairs as in the game, for jobs people will sink themselves into debt, work brutal hours, move, and generally do everything to avaoid being one of the losers. That is now it will play out. The leaders of society will, by definition, have jobs and so can disregard the entire situation, saying nothing can be done and fawning it off as “the new normal”. No, I’m starting to suspect that rather than farming, people will be emulating this guy, whether they want to or not:

  125. asoka December 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    Daofirry2 said: “CynicalOne, MesianicDruid, and anybody else who posts those paragraphs, THANK YOU.”
    I tried to track down the quote in the book Christopher Lawford, but couldn’t find it. I did find a blog called “The Business of Life” which refers to an anecdote in a opinion piece by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal which mentions the recollection of Christopher Lawford (not a terribly reliable source) who says in a memoir that Teddy Kennedy said something.
    This is hearsay. Kennedy supposedly said: “I’m glad I’m not going to be around when you guys are my age.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.”
    Even if he actually said it, it’s wide open to interpretation. Was Kennedy forseeing peak oil? Endless war? Financial collapse? Human mortality?
    We don’t know. Why should a blogger, citing an anecdote, from an opinion piece, referring to a memoir of an alcoholic, be a reliable source?

  126. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    A couple of economic stories for the thread:
    I know there are outlet malls all over the US, so I don’t know how unique this tale is.
    There is a huge one about 15 miles south of my house. That puts it about an hour above Atlanta, proper. Maybe that distance is a factor in that it forces prices lower and attracts more *nuts?*
    The thing opened at midnight, Black Friday. My youngest son (23) needed a suitcase and a winter coat for business travel – so he took my wife and they went.
    They got back home from their shopping trip at 4:30 a.m., as I was getting up to go deer hunting.
    They had never done anything like this shopping trip before – they say they’ll never do it again.
    This huge mall was packed at 2:00 a.m. to the point of stupidity.
    It’s got a huge free parking lot – yet people across the road were filling their yards with overflow parking @ $5.00 per car.
    Many of the shoppers were Asian.
    Many were from out of town.
    Many of them FLEW INTO Atlanta, rented a car, drove the 80 miles to the airport – and back – just for the *bargains.*
    Many obviously planned to resell their purchases.
    It is said that the Polo store at this one mall will do $500,000.00 in business from this one day.
    I had no idea that such things went on!
    What a crazy Country we have on our hands.

  127. asoka December 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Yo, lumpenprole Asoka, here!
    Tripp, I checked out the book MINI-FARMING: SELF-SUFFICIENCY ON 1/4 ACRE by Brett Markham.
    Short review: If you want to buy someone a coffee-table book for Christmas, this would be a good choice.
    For someone dumb like me (a product of public education and my own laziness) it is a good book because it has more pictures than words: beautiful full-color pictures.
    In 21 chapters it covers everything in a VERY basic way. Tripp, you wouldn’t gain anything from it.
    But, as an overview of the concepts involved in intensive agriculture, it is good. Concepts which are colorfully illustrated and provide some practical instructions. Concepts covered include raised beds, soil composition and maintenance, compost, plant nutrients, time and yield, watering and irrigation, crop proportions and sizing, pest and disease control, seed starting, selecting and saving seed, season extension, fruit trees and vines, and preserving harvests.
    It also includes topics of little interest to me right now, like raising chickens for eggs. I don’t eat eggs, and don’t want to sell them.
    But, if you are raising chickens for meat and have to pluck 10 to 15 chickens at a time, there is a chapter on the Markham Farm Chicken Plucker.
    It’s a lot of basic concepts to cover in only 217 pages. Throw in a lot of color photos and you get an idea of how little text there is.
    This has been a mini-book review by comrade lumpenprole Asoka.

  128. asoka December 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    ProCon said: “Maybe that distance is a factor in that it forces prices lower and attracts more *nuts?*”
    Thanks for sharing those stories!
    Here I am seeing full parking lots, customers pushing full shopping carts, shelves all full of merchandise, Christmas lights everywhere, groups of people walking the streets at night singing Christmas carols!
    These are ominous signs indicating that the American populace has no idea of the severity of the crisis we are in (for Christ’s sake! literally! they are singing Christmas carols!) oblivious that the stinky stuff could hit the fan any day now and this whole economic system could come crashing down instantly, like a fallen house of cards, around the ears of those 80% who still have jobs.
    They seem so happy … so carefree … so content… singing and laughing in Obama’s America, 2011.

  129. LewisLucanBooks December 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Our local factory outlet malls (right on I-5, halfway between Seattle and Portland) just went into receivership. Something about a possible default on a renovation loan they took out a couple of years ago…

  130. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Don’t gloat, Dude.
    Problems are at the margins, statistically.
    But pain is pain. And a parent who’s having trouble keeping the heat on and food on the table is in pain.
    I shared the story because it is so completely outlandish – based on any frame of reference I’ve ever tried to understand.
    And so different from anything useful for the future.

  131. James Crow December 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    If something/anything would just change noticeably in my perceivable reality for the worse/better/different then I could perhaps lend my own comments of doom to the general consensus here. Lack of – or “peak” oil is but a mundane concept. The planet itself is 6 billion over the limit of sustainability, at the least. That is also the only reason “peak oil” even matters. Mr. Kunstler can grasp at all the straws of symptom he would like but there are plainly far and above too many people on this planet. Wouldn’t matter the economic system and/or religious systems in place which are in fact the constructs that have placed an irresponsible value on human life which have led us to the place we are at now as a virus upon this planet. But it will no more be over in the blink of an eye than it began and whether you opt out of the discussion or accept or decline responsibility for what is here, how it is deteriorating will occur with you or without you. But don’t expect to see anything different when you wake up tomorrow morning than what you fall asleep to tonight. Let’s see it. Bring it on. Will change ever hit you or I in the face? Doubtful. Are things poised to collapse? Of course, but things have been poised to collapse for decades…if you aren’t enjoying today, then you’re lost anyway. Fascist state, failed society, former world power, lost cause.

  132. asoka December 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Lewis, don’t be too worried. Centralia is used to making it through hard times. The downtown area survived the Great Depression, the decline of the timber and mining industries and the construction of Interstate 5.
    Didn’t Toys”R”Us Express and Coach Factory store recently open in the Centralia outlets? I’m surprised to hear they are in receivership. New stores must not have done their marketplace homework.

  133. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    “Every day all over the world people are being kicked off the land and being forced into slums and shantytowns as agriculture is “modernized”.”
    But that was the growth trend. Fewer people using more oil to grow more food for more people per grower. And it’s reversing all over the world. There isn’t an option really. Rising energy prices aren’t going to support the amalgamation trend any further. People will go back into food production or they will starve. Doesn’t matter if there’s a market for their products or not. They might have to eat the inventory for a while, but I just refuse to believe that people will shrug until they starve to death, or have to knife someone for potatoes.
    Of course you are welcome to this “we’re all going to die because we can’t figure out what nature is demanding of us” scenario if you want it. But all over the world more young people are starting to farm small plots, producing a dazzling array of forgotten but healthier, tastier, more resilient vegetable varieties. I think we forget that everything we grow today is bred for 3 things: uniformity, transportability, and shelf life. Not fighting disease or coping with drought. But those varieties are out there, and they’re being grown more every day. The viral industrial model is repeating mistakes of the past under the assumption that it can control nature better this time (see Irish potato famine), and diversified small holdings are the antidote.
    No one needs to offer a job in agriculture, forestry, or horticulture. They can be created just fine by any interested party with the gray matter to make it happen.
    Earlier there was a lamentation about how the hyper-complex system we use now is the most efficient we can create, but they forget that it breaks down fundamentally without cheap liquid fuel. Or just with rising fuel prices, really, doesn’t require a disaster. Then what will all this “efficiency” be worth?
    I tend to see this as a world of opportunity for anyone interested in making it through the population keyhole. Count me in! It’s tough to gain market share in a world that’s getting tighter with its money every day, but ultimately there isn’t going to be another choice. We just need to position ourselves to benefit from that knowledge. And quite often that requires a long, slow, incremental, organic approach to reorganizing commerce along shorter food chains, with much less embodied energy.
    And that ain’t easy for modern Americans. My wife and I are a couple years into it already and just starting to grab a wee bit of market share with gourmet mushrooms and value-added products we produce mostly from our garden. But if nothing else, we’re working from home and cutting a lot of energy out of our daily routine.
    I don’t wish to tap-dance around the world of decline. I want to radically shut down my energy use, so I become a lot less vulnerable, and then rise again in a new kind of economy. To hang on to this one seems like an exercise in futility and frustration to me.
    A seamless shift from the old growth world to the new contractionary one will be a rare luxury indeed. Mentally we ought to come to grips with that and prepare ourselves for some pretty lean years ahead. But there’s no reason to come here and lament our plight if we aren’t going to leave with some advantage of practical and timely knowledge.
    Just my thoughts.

  134. asoka December 6, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    ProCon said:
    “I shared the story because it is so completely outlandish…”
    And I shared mine because it is completely commonplace in every box store in my area, illustrating that the doomster mentality that dominates here is a statistical outlier. I am hearing the Christmas carolers. They are real.
    Don’t confuse reporting reality with gloating, dude.

  135. k-dog December 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    Centralia is to far out from the big cities to make going to a Toys”R”Us Express or Coach Factory store for a ‘bargain’ worthwhile. Not with oil being

    11 cents short of $90 a barrel

    . Market research does not anticipate things like rising oil prices. That kind of fortune telling costs extra. But then it’s always a sunny day for Asoka. If Asoka says Centralia made it through the great depression unscathed I’ll believe him.

  136. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    What do you think explains the lack of business in your area?
    We’ve got wide swaths of Georgia countryside that support only pine trees and cows, for sure. And a lot of the little towns that I knew in my youth are sadly, drying up.
    But generally, close to an Interstate – between two major cities – is in pretty good shape in this area economically, right now.
    Small downtowns do have it rougher – in today’s Wal*Mart world – unless they can attract tourists with some history or something.
    Speaking of Wally World – it seems like just a couple of years ago they were advertising, “We Buy American Whenever We Can – So You Can, Too.”
    Short sighted bastards.
    They seemed to get more cut-throat when Sam Walton died, but maybe that’s coincidence.

  137. k-dog December 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    What do you think explains the lack of business in your area?”
    Lack of money from lack of work explains things well enough.

  138. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Just so yous guys know, apparently the US military has now occupied Afghanistan longer than the Rooskies did. Wonder who achieved a better profit margin? John Michael Greer says that Afghanistan is where empires go to die…

  139. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    Nice post at 6:38, and you’ve been on a roll in general, lately.
    Speaking of permaculture, and then you’re mentioning box holly, made me think.
    God, I HATE Bradford Pear trees, and everything they represent about suburbia.
    They grow fast, never produce anything but a mess, and then they fall over or die.
    If half the Bradford pears in American could be replaced with something useful – we’d already be in much better shape, just from that one thing.
    There are lots of subdivisions around that specifically prohibit fruit trees. Some REQUIRE specific ornamentals, like the Bradford pear.
    Short sighted bastards!

  140. Qshtik December 6, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    For someone dumb like me (a product of public education and my own laziness) it is a good book
    I note that Asoka’s latest shtick is the disingenuous – I’m so dumb – self-deprecating remark. The one above is at least the third in as many days and it’s followed by a reference to himself as “comrade lumpenprole.” Maybe someone can explain what this is all about psycologically speaking.
    Whatever … he’ll be his imaginary-adobe-hut-building-self by spring.

  141. Meat Eater December 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Good points. I would add one more thing. Clean up the mess with the illegals. I’m all for legal immigration but they need to run these people out and then let them back in on a case-by-case basis so they can legally be a part of this country after going through a background check. I would welcome people from all over the world if they come here and play by the rules. And, even as a Marine vet, I have real problems with the U.S. spending so much money on national defense when we can’t afford it.

  142. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Speaking of permaculture, and then you’re mentioning box holly, made me think
    Should be – Speaking of permaculture, and then YOUR mentioning box holly, made me think
    OR, in present subjunctive tense – whateverthehell that is – I just made it up –
    YOU ARE speaking of permaculture, and then you are mentioning box holly, (you – implied) made me think
    LOL, guys and girls – it’s a grammar/spelling joke!

  143. xport December 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Come what may life will go on. Things are looking bleak, but they always look bleak from certain vantage points. America is at the crossroads, and we thought that we elected a savior, but he is one of “them”, and will not lead us out of the mire.
    Back in 1977 Wendell Berry wrote a book “The Unsettling of America” where he layed it all out about how the gvt. was undermining the farmers and the food chain of the USA. Things have not gotten better. If the farmers fail, the nation dies.

  144. bproman December 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    The golden goose was cooked a long time ago.

  145. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    “Nice post at 6:38, and you’ve been on a roll in general, lately.”
    Thanks, PoC! Although MY blog suffers when I get “on a roll” over here! Oh well, the audience and discussion panel is a lot bigger here, worthy of such important topics – JHK’s been on fire lately, and I’ve been at home by myself, plastering walls in a chilly house for the past few days, so I’ve probably commented more than my share! I’ll go do some landscaping work for actual green money tomorrow, and pick up my family. So you guys will have to hold down the fort without me;)
    Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we’re solving the world’s problems?

  146. asoka December 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    xport said:

    we thought that we elected a savior, but he is one of “them”

    I never considered Obama a “savior”
    What I considered him to be is what he is: an intelligent American who can speak English and is bipartisan in his approach.
    You refer to Obama as “one of them” but he just negotiated a bipartisan deal with the Republicans that favors 98% of us
    Obama doesn’t want working families to become collateral damage in the RED/BLUE political warfare. Obama prefers to let the rates for the wealthy expire.
    But Obama is willing to negotiate with the Republicans to get a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits for all of us because he is NOT “one of them”
    His spirit of compromise is the sign of a true statesman who is not a dogmatic rigid or heartless politician

  147. asoka December 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Tripp asked: “Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we’re solving the world’s problems?”
    Tripp, we may not be solving the world’s problems, but, thanks to your inspiration on permaculture, I will have a small raised bed garden plot next to my adobe home. I thank you for a lot of good information, good thinking, and subversive ideas.
    –comrade Asoka in the permacultural revolution

  148. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    “If half the Bradford pears in American could be replaced with something useful – we’d already be in much better shape, just from that one thing.
    There are lots of subdivisions around that specifically prohibit fruit trees. Some REQUIRE specific ornamentals, like the Bradford pear.”
    This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that we don’t need more energy to intensively garden our human landscapes, we just need to change how we spend the energy we are already spending. Gradually, one pear, one blueberry at a time, we relocalize food production. 50,000 sq. mi. of tended lawn space would go a helluva long way toward self-reliance if it were converted to horticulture.

  149. ozone December 6, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    “Problem is, you can’t just switch to horticulture over night. An apple tree may start fruiting in 4 years, but it will be another 6 before it is really producing enough calories to outcompete an annual crop taking up the same space. So thinking in decades, instead of seasons, is a mindshift we will probably make one-by-one as energy descent grabs us.
    And yes, there is an implied population crash in the equation. Sorry. The ecologist in me just doesn’t see any way out at this point. Let’s just try to stretch the die-off out to generations instead of individuals. Again, perennialize your thoughts.” -Tripp
    Important thoughts on time-frame realities there, Tripp. Thanks for putting that out there. The more useful epiphanies; the better. ;o)
    (I had been thinking about “scatter-shot” methods and approaches as being important as well. Sorta like natural gene selection, dig? Sorry about the unfortunate metaphor, but its’ very evocative for me.)

  150. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    RE: Comments about the outlet shopping malls. Here in my area, a brand spanking new one just opened (yes, Black Friday, Pro). Of course I went no where near it- don’t have the cash, even if I wanted to do the dash – same situation Pro described, so I’ll not bend your ear (sorry, make that strain your eyes!) on this subject. Very pathetic, though. As Pro said, these simpletons are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, buying the latest Gucci bags, Ralph Lauren, etc. made in China stuff. I told my current squeeze that I’ll not be expecting anything “Made in China”. My motto: “BUY LOCAL. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMER!” In addition to helping your local economy, you’ll shed some pounds by eating more vegan (Be not delicate at thy table – Ben Franklin?)! I WALK to the farmer’s market (about 1/3 of a mile).
    In light of what somebody else here said, develope the relationships within your community and you’ll be less likely to be seen as an outsider. Makes perfect sense.
    Another thing Pro said was that people are HURTING. Yes, they are hurting. It doesn’t help them, our discussion, or anything else for that matter to be smug about it!…Sorry, I’m addressing that to a specific party here. OFFICIAL END OF RANT!

  151. cogdis December 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    I would welcome discussions about pre-mayhem concrete topics. I suspect we are drawn to end game discussion because in large part many feel we are powerless to affect the change that should logically happen during the long emergency. For example, it’s logical to ask why we aren’t having discussions about natural gas powered farm equipment. But the discussion is somewhat moot in consideration of all the crazy agricultural subsidies out there like corn ethanol. I have the power to change my diet and learn some skills, but I don’t have any pull in US Congress.
    This link is encouraging

  152. ozone December 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    “And Beck, Limbaugh, etc come up with things, too. And all their viewers know they are entertainers, right? Check that, we could WISH their viewers realized they were entertainers.” -PoC
    Yep, it’s what we might wish, but I think most of the “folks” in their audience believe them to be stone-cold prophets and infallible spewers of the absolute truth. (Perhaps “spewers” is not too “positive”, eh? ;o)

  153. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    BTW, I noticed Bernanke squirm and look nervous last night, too. He looked like a trapped squirrel, twitching like a little rat…oh wait, I forgot! He is!

  154. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    According to some financial stats I’ve seen, once we are forced to confront P.O., natural gas will hit the ROOF! Not looking forward to it. My little slice of paradise here is heated by it. SWELL!

  155. progressorconserve December 6, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    You ask:
    “Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we’re solving the world’s problems?”
    You know, I’ve actually given some thought to that.
    And the short answer is, “NO.”
    These threads are somehow just perfect for where I’m finding myself in life right now.
    You may be a little more altruistic, Tripp, and I’ve certainly learned some stuff from you. And I hope that my stories, observations, and suggestions have helped you or another poster or two in some way.
    But if I weren’t getting something personally satisfying out of posting here I wouldn’t be doing it.
    And learning things – seriously – like your gaining some understanding from some of Vlad’s posts that Modern American multiculturalism – is facilitated by cheap energy – and that energy descent will likely make ubiquitous multiculturalism, shall we say – difficult to maintain.
    Because I agree with that idea, overall. And without some personal ‘rasslin’ with Vlad, and watching you and others do the same ‘rasslin’ with him and/or TreeBeard – I don’t know when, how, or if I ever would have acquired that knowledge.
    So keep on Tripping out!
    Everybody else keep CF’ing.
    I’ll keep progressing – or conserving – depending on what the situation seems to require. 😉
    Maybe we can say we’re slowly solving the world’s problems, one mind at the time!?

  156. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    “I had been thinking about “scatter-shot” methods and approaches as being important as well.”
    The “initial floristic model” of ecosystem succession, which is in effect what we’re talking about in a regreening scenario, has been gaining traction in ecological systems thinking for a while now. It’s basically a “throw it all at the wall and see what sticks” kind of approach. Natural systems apparently engage this strategy fairly often, where you’ll see a flurry of maybe 2 dozen pioneer species capture and occupy a site, but then the biodiversity will contract as the system matures (where I think our society is now) and the climax ecosystem might contain only 8-10 major species. We’re talking just plants here, although microbial diversity is likely to follow the pattern, and obviously the human parallel is out there too. But any disturbance to the mature system resets the initial floristic model, and a diversification event follows. Peak oil obviously qualifies as just such a disturbance. In the US more so than anywhere else.
    I tend to agree with you, and Greer, that a flurry of strategies will be hurled at global energy peak, and like the natural model, only the adaptive ones will stick to the wall in the long view. But what is adaptive, and what isn’t, will vary greatly from system to system. I guess our generation’s task is to give the dominant culture the finger and do some brainstorming.
    Glad your brain is in on it!

  157. ozone December 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Hmmmm, as a paranoid cynic, it behooves me to comment on “the price of everything and the value of nothing”. (Oscar Wilde?)
    Sometimes a portable fuel is much more valuable for its’ work potential than whatever it might cost as a “dollar” amount. (If the currency will not reflect actual “work”/”energy”, doesn’t that factor begin losing its’ relevance at some point?)
    So, say I can procure (or even manufacture) a couple gallons of diesel (let’s pretend it’s 10 bucks per gallon, or even 20) to do a job with some heavy equipment. Would I spend the 3 weeks (let’s say) to do that job by hand (if even possible), or a couple hours of machine work?
    All depends what “work” means, doesn’t it? Now, I will admit that real needs will quickly sort out the intrinsic value of ANY project, and how one might “invest” in it. (Wasted energy may become a horror, and a thing to avoid “at all costs”. ;o)
    Just some ruminations. (Chewing cud.)

  158. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    I don’t know. Maybe it is somewhat silly. My better half laughs at how much time I spend on this blog – dear lord, I DO believe he’s making FUN of me! But what’s a girl to do when she’s over 80? Knit? Nope, tried it, didn’t like it (same thing for lesbianism at Bryn Mawr…not that theres anything wrong with…). Sew? Yeah, I mend stuff…whoopee! Television? Nope, oh yeah, Judge Judy faithfully at four, maybe 1/2 hour of local news, Katie Couric, and then I’m done.
    So, here I sit, typing to anyone about nothing in particular. I’ve spent my entire life “trying to save the world”. Maybe this site is just another hallucenogenic for me…I got hooked one nite after reading a comment from “Grouchy Ol Girl”. Said to myself, “Hey, that’s me!” Of course, I’m not always grouchy…and yet, I’m always old. Seems unfair. 😉

  159. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Ms. Myrtle, you make me laugh! All these things are coming back into fashion for my generation – sewing, canning, gardening, etc – due to the energetic reality in which we find ourselves, but it’s just the way of things to you. Always has been. Eighty something years, and you carried these mundane bits and bobs of yesteryear with you the whole way. I can understand your lack of enthusiasm for contraction!
    Can I ask you a personal question? What’s the appeal of Judge Judy? Is she like Maude? Have you rescued any trees from downtown lately?

  160. ozone December 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    “I guess our generation’s task is to give the dominant culture the finger and do some brainstorming.
    Glad your brain is in on it!” -Tripp
    Not so sure ’bout that last part there; the reception gets a bit on the static-y side sometimes! ;o)
    Tell ya what… Give ’em the one-finger salute with BOTH hands, then turn your back and stride away. Why turn you back and leave? Because, most of my generation are not worth engaging, as they don’t want to entertain a scenario of energy descent [in any way, shape, or form]. It’s a shame; there are a lot of good minds out there; it’s just that they’re rusty from lack of use. ;o)

  161. ozone December 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    …turn YOUR back and leave. lol
    SEE? -Rusty Brains

  162. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    I know we’re way off topic here, so I’ll be brief. I like Judge Judy’s straight forward, take no prisoners, take no bullshit attitude. She’s not afraid to tell it like it is. Yes, she’s a bit overbearing, as was Judge Wapner before her, but hey, ya get cantankerous when ya get old…imagine ‘Q’, if you will!
    I think the Maude you mention is from the movie, Harold and Maude, a favorite of mine as well. Well, no, I think of her more as a Bea Arthur type of Maude (t.v. series, circa l970’s) Generally, Bea Arthur played this role as a loud mouth, obnoxious liberal know-it-all. I like to think of myself like that. 🙂

  163. trippticket December 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    “imagine ‘Q’, if you will!”
    One of my daily goals is to not do that;)

  164. San Jose Mom 51 December 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    My friend went to the county dog shelter with the intention of getting a rescue dog. Cage after cage, after cage of pit bull mixes and chihuahuas.
    She’s not interested.
    My kids are going to the HP Pavilion tonight to see Roger Waters perform “The Wall.” Sometime I feel “like another brick in the wall.”

  165. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    It’s incredibly sad. So many on this thread (me too) talk about when TSHTF. It’s here, ladies and gents. We just don’t talk about it anymore – outside of this blog, I mean. Seriously, I’m presently making the social rounds of Christmas parties, cocktail socials at the local pub, and no one is saying ANYTHING. Of course, I sense a bit of desperation in them, same as I have. We just don’t talk about it. Kinda like alcoholism, only the drug we’re on is oil, and we don’t know how to lick it. Ya see, there’s this monkey on our back. We can’t seem to shake him. Ever tried to give up cigarettes? Not fun! Necessary? You betcha. Well, the first thing an addict needs to learn is that he’s got a problem. I think we’re getting there. And we’re just beginning to see the horrible devastation we’ve done to the Earth as we (hopefully) continue to sober up.

  166. Vlad Krandz December 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Online poll: vote against the Dream Act –
    it’s a Nightmare.

  167. ozone December 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    “My kids are going to the HP Pavilion tonight to see Roger Waters perform “The Wall.” Sometime I feel “like another brick in the wall.” -SJmom
    I’m sure you’ve considered how massively SUBVERSIVE that whole concept is!! (?)
    “The Wall” performed in a friggin’ corporate colosseum, no less… Wow, talk about yer basic oxymoronic mind-fuck. ;o)
    I applaud the kids; hope they get “the spirit”!

  168. asoka December 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    JHK said: “A buck and a half for four little onions. $1.18 for one apple. $4 for a jar of jam. Compare these numbers with the wages that have not gone up effectively since around 1970.”
    First, I just bought twelve large JonaGold apples for $5.49, so each apple cost 46 cents. And they are large and delicious… and cheap.
    Second, regarding wages not going up: historical wage comparisons are based on CPI data. The CPI overstates inflation.
    Here’s an example to make the point clearer. Back in 1972, basic pocket calculators cost $100. They were so expensive that ordinary Americans didn’t buy them. So statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics understandably excluded calculators from the basket of items used to determine the CPI.
    As time passed, of course, the price of calculators plummeted. A calculator similar to one priced at $100 in 1972 sells today for about $7.95. (In real terms, this is a price decline of about 98 percent.)
    So, ordinary Americans now routinely buy calculators. But because calculators weren’t suitable to be added to the basket of items used for calculating the CPI until their prices dropped and they became affordable, much of the price decline of calculators was ignored by the CPI.
    Relatedly, as consumers substitute away from goods whose prices rise and into goods whose prices fall, the relative importance to consumers of these higher-priced goods declines as the importance of the lower-priced goods rises — but the weights that the CPI gives to these goods aren’t immediately adjusted.
    The result is that, in the CPI, items whose prices rise are weighted too heavily while items whose prices fall are weighted too lightly — or (as in with the calculator) not at all.
    SOURCE: Donald J. Boudreaux, chairman of the department of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

  169. ozone December 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    It’s all good, then?
    Glad ta hyar it. Time to burn down the homestead and jump on the “good gummint” bandwagon (hope somebody brings some gas for both purposes). Oh, how happy we all shall be!

  170. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    TAE has an excellent topic today regarding the relationship between diet and health…vely intelesting!

  171. Arctic Fox December 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    I believe that was Peggy Noonan, in an article she wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2005.

  172. asoka December 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Ozone, it’s all good!
    I’m eating one apple a day to keep them thar gubmint doctors away and internally things are moving quite well… if you get my drift.

  173. daofirry2 December 6, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    I have noticed a few people mentioning how frightened Ben Bernanke looks, lately. I agree. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone look that nervous, over looming, certain cataclysm, since Wendy, in The Shining, as Jack makes his way through the bathroom door.

  174. Steve December 6, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    My granfather was paid in chickens for deliviering babies during The Great Depression. Seems like an idea that might work.

  175. Al Klein December 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    I’m seeing an awful lot of negative commentary from CFN readers this week. What with Peak Oil and the sociopathically greedy Wall Streeters and no jobs what exactly are we going to do? There’s talk of hunkering down and growing your own food, fixing your own shoes and having a genuine skill to offer. All these are really worthwhile objectives, because we will need them after WWIII. I mean, those of us who are left will need them. Look, history does really repeat itself, just not exactly. But the patterns repeat – they are timeless. So here’s what will happen. As the whole shebang starts to implode – and it has – those who are greatly advantaged will start to get upset, very upset. The rank-in-file will also be even more upset, but this will count for nothing. It never has. But the elites will begin acting. And what will they do? Cook up a war. A nice, hot war. And no, we will not escape lots of civilian casualties this time. It will be Deus Ex Machina for our elites. Many of the problems we see enumerated in this blog will evaporate. And there will be plenty of resources left to keep the elites in style for a good long time. Plus, with technology and lots of capable hands in Asia, they certainly will not need the likes of us to be very well fixed. You don’t think that can actually happen? Well, maybe not. But I’m fairly certain the European populaces, particular the Germans, could really not imagine in 1937 their cities being smoldering piles of ruins just 8 years later. In 1945, in Berlin, 4000 Germans were dying per day from starvation – this after hostilities had ceased! What a great population control device!
    Just remember, for the elites, war can be a great problem-solver. But learn your skills nonetheless. You will need them if you are one of the lucky survivors.

  176. myrtlemay December 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Me thinks, perhaps, you have nailed it…”It” being whatever it’s worth. As for “lucky survivors”, yeah, okay. So how does one define lucky? Is it the way some people (women) define old? Say, for example, I’m forty and wish to doll myself up to try and pass for thirty. Has my little charade really succeeded in convincing others? In other words, I may THINK I look like a young 30 year old, but when I hold myself up to the looking glass, in bright daylight, do I still really LOOK like I’m 30? Most probably not. Wishing don’t make it so.
    As for war, it’s inevitable. It’s something we humans do to pass the time, settle scores, etc. They (wars) are nasty little affairs, unbeknownst to most on this platform. The tremendous waste, grief, and utter devastation is something that most posters here have no idea how debilitating this pattern has had on our world. We so soon forget, as a species, how much agony we bring about ourselves, what with our petty squabblings and all. Yet we will relentlessly pursue our agendas, both personal and national, as though the lives we leave in ruins matter not at all.

  177. Ang December 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    I have to laugh that there are outlet stores being built/opened in your areas, wherever that is.
    In my very middle class neighborhood in suburban Columbus, Ohio, a new Goodwill store just opened this weekend.
    Drove by and the parking lot was PACKED.
    Sign of the times, IMO.

  178. Pucker December 7, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    According to Woodward’s book “Obama’s Wars”, this month, Obama is supposed to review progress with the “surge” in Afghanistan. If there is no progress with the surge,then Obama is supposed to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan in July, 2011.
    But, during his recent trip to Afghanistan, rather than making a candid assessment of the war, Obama instead lobbied for homosexual rights.
    While in Afghanistan, Obama lobbied for the rights of homosexual Americans in Afghanistan.
    “The President has been on the phones.
    He’s asking senators to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Now, with a vote coming any day, we need as many Americans as possible to join the effort.
    Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins will cast critical votes: The last time repeal came up in the Senate, they voted against it — and it failed by just two votes.
    Now that a Pentagon study confirms that ending this policy would not negatively affect our military readiness or troop morale, there’s a real possibility we could get them to change their minds.
    Call Sens. Snowe and Collins now. Tell them that Maine supports the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — and they should, too:
    — Sen. Snowe at (202
    — Sen. Collins at (202)
    Then click here to let us know how it went.
    “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” discriminates against patriotic men and women who sacrifice so much for our country — gay and lesbian members of our military who deserve to be treated equally.
    The Pentagon’s findings are just the latest signal that our troops are ready for this change. And top military leaders across the board — from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to General Colin Powell — have publicly voiced their support for repeal.
    Sens. Snowe and Collins need to know we’re counting on them to stand up and support this important legislation regardless of their party affiliation. They need to know we’re watching and ready to respond to discrimination of any kind.
    They need to know a majority of Americans believe, as the President said, we must end this law “because it is the right thing to do” — that those who are brave enough to stand up and serve our country deserve to do so openly.
    It’s up to us to tell them.
    Support the President’s efforts and hop on the phone.
    Call Sens. Snowe and Collins today and tell them to do the right thing.
    Then please let us know what you heard:
    Thanks for your help,
    Yohannes Abraham
    Political Director
    Organizing for America”

  179. asoka December 7, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    pucker said:

    While in Afghanistan, Obama lobbied for the rights of homosexual Americans in Afghanistan. Incredible!

    Obama lobbied for the rights of homosexual soldiers. Don’t you support our troops?
    Aren’t the troops fighting for freedom? Shouldn’t they be free from having to live a lie?
    Shouldn’t homosexual troops be free from the threat of being kicked out of the service, which they volunteered for and were accepted for and trained for?
    The Taliban are anti-homosexuals… we should not be.

  180. Lurker December 7, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Clusterfuck Nation???
    It’s all good!!

  181. Madcat December 7, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    You nailed it when you said
    “The ONLY way that kind of back-to-1810 plan would work is if lots of people died first. Millions, billions, who knows…”
    Have a read of Dale Allen Pfeiffer’s work ‘Eating Fossil Fuels’ to get an idea of how many humans the planet can support if sunlight is providing the only energy going into crops and stockfeed, rather than the current diet of oil and gas based fertilisers and pesticides. I believe the number is around 2 billion, with about 150 – 200 million Americans able to be supported in the USA should all food exports cease from the USA when oil is no longer affordable.
    (Original article here: )
    I don’t think it’s anybody’s “plan” to have that happen, it just will unless we find a miraculous way to triple the energy input to agriculture from something other than fossil fuels. That’s a simple application of the first law of thermodynamics.
    As Vlad said, the trick is to be among those who saw it coming and survived.
    BTW, you seem to have the most commented entry today – even a bite from the man himself. I guess that deserves some congratulations!

  182. Pucker December 7, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    “Here’s Johnny! Wendy, I’m home….”

  183. Madcat December 7, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    “Too bad we’re running out.
    Now we have to deal with it.”
    Right on the money. Dealing with unpleasant tasks is something we in western society have managed to outsource a large proportion of.
    Those chickens are coming home to roost, we can keep denying it and go out screaming like babies, or look at the inbound poultry as an opportunity to survive, albeit in a handmade way.

  184. Lurker December 7, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    The Taliban are the freedom fighters over there. Our troops are not fighting for my freedom, or yours, or their own; they are fighting for US corporate interests. Don’t ask don’t tell is such a non-issue until we can stop bankrupting the country with all these pointless foreign military adventures.
    But my main point to you concerns your earlier post about economics. Calculators of all things…
    You have such a flimsy grasp of the subject that I am usually left shaking my head. (Gold has no intrinsic value, etc.) You are speaking from an idealogical point of view merely, and you have no perspective of the role of precious metals in any thriving economy over the last several thousand years.
    So please cease a desist with your asinine posts about economic issues.
    Your recent self- deprecating tone, however, I do agree with. You are, to use a seasonal metaphor, not exactly the brightest bulb on the tree.
    But I would encourage you to educate yourself on how economies have worked historically. Please!

  185. asoka December 7, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    Lurker said: “I would encourage you to educate yourself on how economies have worked historically.”
    The United States once had the world’s strongest economy. You may be old enough to remember the 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80’s and 90’s as times of economic strength.
    That strength came after the adoption of fiat currency. That USA economic strength came after the Congressional decisions to go off the gold and silver standards (we went off silver in 1964). That strength came with the embrace of fiat currency.
    Is that enough history for you?
    The economy did not crash in the 50’s 60’s etc. after the issuance of fiat currency. Fiat currency has been working for us for decades.
    The economy was wrecked by a combination of spending trillions on militarism and by massive theft, fraud, and corruption in both the finance and the defense sectors.

  186. Madcat December 7, 2010 at 2:37 am #

    “but with more and more areas growing grain industrially the mantra that we are nearly out of food is growingly a tiresome hype.”
    I wonder how much of that extra ‘industrial’ grain could/would be grown in an environment where fossil-fuel based fertilizers were unavailable, mechanised farm equipment was gathering dust in the sheds for lack of fuel and distribution networks were on a county scale rather than international?
    Thermodynamics 101 says less than 1/3, a figure supported by economics 101…

  187. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    If you think there’s a lack of discussion about peak oil, just bring up keyhole event.

  188. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    Frankly, Pollyanna kind of creeped me out with his ersatz familiarity with Centralia. That he would go to that trouble. I think, perhaps, I’ve become a bit of a target as I refuse to respond directly to his posts.
    Don’t Feed The Trolls. 😀

  189. Gingerfox December 7, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    I’m shocked. Twice! I can’t believe a jar of jam costs $4 in the US. I thought you guys had cheap food
    Second, I can’t believe that the thing I find most shocking in James’ article is the price of jam

  190. asoka December 7, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    K-dog, Centralia is on a major interstate between two large urban centers, Portland and Seattle.
    When people driving by see “outlets” some of them think “shopping” “bargains” etc. It’s not like Centralia is in the middle of nowhere.
    That’s why Toys”R”Us decided to put a store into the outlets mall there. And people were hired into jobs there.
    As I said before, it is strange Toys”R”US would make that kind of investment in Centralia Outlets without doing proper marketing research. But then, I haven’t found anything about “receivership” yet either.

  191. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 3:20 am #

    Wow. That’s a big question as to what the problem is with this area. K-Dog is part right about lack of work. Our unemployment rate is around 10% and I’m sure it’s more double that.
    I think people that have money or jobs are holding on tight to it or paying down mortgages and credit, if they’re smart. Because there’s something definitely “in the air.” People are nervous.
    Our problems really started about 4 years ago when the coal mine was closed. We have a steam plant that had a coal mine (surface) right next door. 300 people out of work, bang, about a months notice. Right at Christmas. Of course, the whole thing has been under heavy environmental pressure. But, I recently found out that an extension of the coal field extended into the next county and they dragged their feet and dragged their feet and the utility finally got tired of it. Now they freight in the coal form back east. 300 jobs that averaged $50-75,000 a year.
    And then there’s the “old boys network.” Judging from the last election, they pretty much made it through unscathed. They like things exactly as they are, and don’t like change. There is a deep streak of anti-intellectualism.
    Also, just south of Chehalis (the next town over. They run together) on the freeway is our awful “Uncle Sam Sign.” It’s been run and sponsored by one of the local old families for years. It’s a huge double sided billboard with a very concerned Uncle Sam on it and it’s message changes every month. It always tries to be witty or cleaver but always just misses the mark and just sounds ignorant. All ways a conservative message of some sort. Tea Party stuff before there was a Tea Party. Anti-Immigration, anti-tax, abortion, guns, any woman in power is the devil incarnate. You get the picture.
    I have recently made the acquaintance of one of the relatives of one of the old power families. And, she loves to talk. I’m learning more and fitting pieces together.
    As for my own business, what little I do is mainly from out of town. But, even thou my overhead is pretty low, it’s not enough to keep me open. If there wasn’t a Mcmenamins across the street (historic old building; bar, restaurant, bed & breakfast, movie theatre) I would have gone under long ago.

  192. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    PS; But yes, Wally-World didn’t help. It was the final death blow for the downtowns (Centralia and Chehalis) and a small mall we had here. Small, but large enough to have a Penny’s, Sears and Payless. Now, virtually empty except for the Sears (still a’hangin’ on) a multiplex and lots of government offices: unemployment, welfare and veteran’s services.

  193. Nyc Labretš December 7, 2010 at 3:24 am #

    I look at the current trends in Automation, to include:
    RFID Self-Checkout at Wal-Mart and your local supermarket;
    No Lights, Air-Conditioning, or Heat needed Warehouses and Factories;
    Google’s Driverless cars that already have 150K miles under their belts;
    The Italian team that just had one of their robot cars make the 8,000 mile drive from Italy to Shanghai, China in 3 months earlier this year;
    Prototypes for driverless taxis already being fully operational;
    Google’s real-time Voice Transcription service on YouTube;
    Electronic touch screen ordering kiosks being rolled out in McDonalds and other Fast Food restaurants the world over;
    And Unmanned Drone Aircraft;
    As just a small sample of what’s being done right now and I’m convinced that the ultimate goal of all this is to build up a technological infrastructure that’ll be capable of removing up to 90% of the world’s workers from the equation within a 10 to 15 year time frame.
    If you and yours ain’t got by then, then, under the present rules of our global society, you *will* be starved out.
    Sound outlandish, I know, but consider this…
    Moore’s Law dictates that the processing power of a computer’s CPU doubles every 2 years.
    That’s 5 turns of the screw, in the 10 years from today, to the year 2020.
    Blink of an eye.
    In that coming incredibly short period of time the average desktop computer will be roughly 15x times to 30x times more powerful than the ones we have today.
    The switch between what we have today and what we’ll have by then is going to be so dramatic that what we’ll have for computers by the year 2020 is going to make ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ look like Atari’s Pong.
    And this increase in computer processing power isn’t just going to be used for video games but will be implemented to *permanently eliminate* 100s of *millions* of jobs, the world over.
    Right now it’s still cheaper to pay a Chinese factory worker ¢25 cents an hour to stitch up your Nikes and put together your iPad, but the cost of switching over from that to automated systems will drop like a brick very soon and once that threshold gets past it will lead to dire consequences for most people.

  194. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    Nope. Being here doesn’t sound silly at all. It’s re-affirming to hang out with peeps that mostly believe in peak oil, climate change, etc. I don’t think I know a soul in “real life” that has an interest in it. Thought about maybe having an evening at the local coffee house and see if anyone shows. Except for the shy and hermit-y thing. The agoraphobia that flares from time to time.
    I have also found some really good links to “other parts of the forest” here. Other great websites.
    And, among the dross, some really good folks worth knowing who are inspiring.

  195. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 3:34 am #

    “tried it, didn’t like it..” Oh, my gosh Miss Myrtle! You were a LTG?
    (that’s Lesbian Til Graduation, for the uninformed. Just ran across the term recently, and I think it’s a hoot!)
    Tell you what: I’ll knit for the both of us :D.
    Maybe your squeeze could get you a subscription to a CSA for next year? You’d probably pick it up from the farmer’s market. But, the drawback is you don’t get to interact with as many folks or, spread your bucks around beyond one farm family. Hmmm. A thought, thou.

  196. Bustin J December 7, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    I see it is Monday night and there is only one mention of wikileaks. Let me make a prediction. By Jan. 1st, no one will not be talking about wikileaks.

  197. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    “History doesn’t repeat itself but sometimes it does rhyme.”
    Mark Twain.

  198. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    Jim must not be a savvy shopper 😀 I recently picked up 4 jars of Smucker’s Jam for $1.49 a jar. 18oz (510g). It’s not the best jam, but it’s not the worst.
    It was on sale with a coupon. I comparison shop, not run all over town, but pay attention to the ads. And, I found out that just about everything goes on sale in a 12 week cycle. So, I stock up and very rarely buy anything that isn’t on sale.
    There’s still inexpensive, good food out there.

  199. Nyc Labretš December 7, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    With the coming of Automation over the course of the next 2 decades permanently eliminating most jobs in the workplace, all over the globe, not just in the USA, its clear that we are going to have to embrace a different economic model.
    One idea is that it may be time to implement the idea of a ‘Basic Income’ that Martin Luther King was working on right before he was murdered.
    Only 50% of any country’s population is part of the Labor Force.
    So, in the United States that works out to about 150 million people today.
    If we were to simply just give every last one of those 150 million people $500 a week to live on, that would work out to $4 trillion dollars a year.
    The money already exists to do that, it’s simply a matter of putting the idea out there and getting together the political will to make it a reality.
    The alternative is a lot of people starving to death

  200. george December 7, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    How can we call the narcotized apathy of the last thirty years a “golden age?’ Truth be told, I’m looking forward to a civilization where the lobotomized idiots who live in a virtual-reality bubble discover the joys of fresh air, hard work and live human interaction. We’re not entering a dark age. Far from it. We’re entering a period when folks who know the price of everything but the value of nothing will learn the hard way that basic survival skills that were passed down from one generation to the over centuries but have been lost over the last 100 years don’t come with a price tag.

  201. Lara's Dad December 7, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    re “And on a lighter and more exciting note, my mother read a book recently that scared the you know what out of her”
    What might that book title be, if you please ?
    and thanx.

  202. Cabra1080 December 7, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Automation is on the way out, most people just don’t know it yet….

  203. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    I still am not understanding what you are attempting to discuss, Pucker.
    If you want to argue that Obama is manifesting some sociapathic characteristics – well, I might be able to make a case for that, on some level.
    That only works IF you also want to argue that BushII and Clinton manifested sociopathology as their presidencies progresses. (And Regan, Johnson, Nixon – probably the whole lot of them)
    However, if you want to argue that Obama is the devil incarnate and BushII was the best thing since canned beer – sorry, man, but you’re so far out in right field that logical discussion can not possibly help you, IMHO.
    Although, I’d be willing to try – even in that case!

  204. budizwiser December 7, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    The “market forces” – that is the mass-produced, mass-programmed “consumerism” that has brought the developed world to the brink of resource-depletion-inspired chaos – and continues on without any progressive introspection about tomorrow’s most fundamental needs has no natural social-political counter-weight. (Take that Faulknerian sentence lovers!)
    In other words, the “I want” has been the steering mechanism of most of our nation’s economic and governmental activities. And what we have now is a non-stop side-show of activities to prolong and sustain this status quo of profits over prudence, and non-sense over needs.
    Currently, the powerful among us operate in a different time-frame. Somehow their position and comfort in society’s hierarchy insulate or intoxicate them to the point of ignorance in regard to the depth, breadth and all encompassing significance of Peak Oil.
    So again, in the midst of a Clusterfuck that is the result of vast interdependent socio-political-industrial constructs, what is the enlightened member of CF-Nation to do?
    In Europe, the “General Strike” is a method of drawing attention to the needs of the working class. Although, there is little reported in our press – THSHTF – is indeed transpiring in several European nations. Is the calm of American cities the result of hubris or ignorance?
    George noted just above:

    We’re entering a period when folks who know the price of everything but the value of nothing will learn the hard way that basic survival skills that were passed down from one generation to the over centuries but have been lost over the last 100 years don’t come with a price tag.

    We have a government that is ruled by a power class that either is purposely ignoring or simply too greedy to acknowledge the dire consequences of entering the state of resource depletion without preparation and vision. (Probably both)
    What to do? What would it take to “grow” a consensus among US citizens regarding the approaching necessity of steering the “free markets” away from passenger vehicle usage?
    When will any “counterweight” be produced to the status quo? How can any of us “seed” the population with information that can steer the “Happy Motoring Public” off the roads?
    How can we become real “agents of change” and stop the mindless Status Grow?
    Gardening? I think not.

  205. Cash December 7, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Hi Funzel
    Cuba could have traded with countries other than the US that had no embargo. There are other states that had limited resources that were/are prosperous because they made use of their brain power and entrepreneurial skills. I would argue that Cuba is poor because they have a system that stifles people and keeps them living in fear of authority.

  206. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Speaking of Sears Roebuck –
    This is one of great examples of poor management decision making by a US company. For some reason it was never discussed – even back in the 90’s when the mistakes were made.
    A friend of mine was in upper level management of the catalog division of Sears. He was a great guy working for a great division of a great company.
    Some of you are going to be too young to remember – but Sears had the most amazing catalogs. You could buy anything from lingerie to a log splitter and have them delivered to the nearby Sears store. Every little town had a Sears.
    Well – in 1993 my friend was forced out of his job. The catalog division of Sears was shut down with no warning. The whole thing was sold off for pennies, scrapped out, or just abandoned. This massive all-American distribution and marketing group was gone forever without recourse.
    Less than TWO YEARS LATER, the dot-com bubble was in full swing.
    What is/was dot-com and internet shopping except a catalog system, an ordering system, and a distribution system? – things Sears had mastered in the 1930’s!
    Stupid decision making – if Sears had waited two years they would now be Amazon – except with higher quality items – probably made in the US.

  207. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Good questions, Bud –
    “Is the calm of American cities the result of hubris or ignorance?”
    Possibly, but let’s also consider:
    – Complacency – well fed, warm, and/or older people rarely riot
    – Fear – Going into a city and participating in a demonstration involves being out in an environment that may have some scary people nearby
    – Shortsightedness – Young people in France are participating changing the pension age, a change that will affect them in 40 years. Our young people just want a new electronic gizmo in 40 hours.
    – Lack of organization – (read lack of unions) Generally, spontaneous protests are small, lack press coverage, and are ignored. In the absence of viable assertive unions for real workers (not govt employees) in the US – who’s gonna organize a protest that will attract attention
    On another issue – I’m not sure we’re ever going to get away from “Happy Motoring” until we are too far into TS impacting TF for it to matter.
    Mass transit is only gonna work for densely packed urban populations.
    The *average* American will only allow himself to be “densely packed” like that out of hunger and desperation.
    Of course, THEN we’d see those riots you’re talking about – but then it’s way too late.

  208. GAbert December 7, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    The right has good reason to be nasty; the wealthy (the faction represented by the right) are bracing at the bit to transfer as much capital (Economic Surplus) as possible to China and India before the dollar tanks in value to get the best returns. All the tax break for the wealthy does is further enable this ongoing capital transfer.
    But what most people neglect to consider is that all economic surpluses depend on agricultural surpluses. Neither China nor India has an agricultural surplus substantial enough to support the economic surpluses they now bask in. The simple truth is that those two economic surpluses are OUR economic surplus. Worldwide, and in the US in particular, agricultural surpluses are in decline due to high petroleum costs.
    When I was a kid, grain reserves were measured in years; now they’re measured in days.
    At some point in the not too distant future, our vast system of futures markets, needed to efficiently translate US agricultural surpluses into an economic surplus, is going to break down as volumes handled drop below critical minimal levels. When it does, let’ just see how long China and India continue to prosper.
    Check out my (Grand Reinvention) Soap Box:

  209. The Mook December 7, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Don’t worry about Brenanke, they will have him on CNBC and they will be fighting over who gets to b@#@ him first!

  210. Al Klein December 7, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    All, I know this might be off-topic, but suffer me please. So it seems that Julian Assange has been arrested for essentially not wearing a condom during consensual sex. At least one of the women who are his accusers is a known feminist who proudly harbors prejudice for men. Although not clear yet, Assange may have committed a crime. There is an Interpol warrant for his arrest, which I would expect is no small thing. I find this hilarious in a sardonic sense. Just a few short years ago, we had a president who humiliated himself by seeking out oral pleasures from an intern, in the oval office, no less. (I think the legal part of his travail was really uncalled for and hurt the nation even more than his public humiliation.) Is the West crazy? What’s with this preoccupation with sex? For some reason I sense these kind of witch hunts give evidence some some kind of really pathological perversity. Maybe I’m making too much of it, Maybe it’s just one more reason why we are the Clusterfuck Nation.

  211. Al Klein December 7, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Well said, George, well said.

  212. networker December 7, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Al Klein,
    I tend to agree that this is highly likely a set up and a smear campaign against Assange. However, please educate yourselves as to what is “feminist” and what is not. Here is an excellent actual feminist overview of the situation that thinking men need to try and understand:

  213. The Mook December 7, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    That is probably hand-picked, Loganberry jam, organically grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York, trucked in overnight to a micro-jammer located just outside the Olympic village, in Lake Placid.

  214. The Mook December 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Sears is run by an ex hedge-fund manager named Eddie Lambert. He could care less about how the stores are run as he simply uses the capital to invest in other entities. His big mistake was going head-first into commercial real-estate acquisition , and is now stuck (temporarily?) with mass quantities of it.

  215. The Mook December 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    If Google is such a great company, run by great people, why didn’t they hire 20% more eployees in the next year, instead of giving everyone a 20% pay raise?

  216. Al Klein December 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Networker, I would certainly agree that there are all kinds of “feminists” so I understand your point. What I meant to say was that one of the women appears to be an agent provocateur who is a self-pronounced feminist. As I understand it, this woman, person if you like, declared herself to be a feminist.

  217. Al Klein December 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Mook, Sears is saddled with all that real estate until the next big consumer boom comes. At which point it will surely be worth trillions or maybe even quadrillions. And, oh yes, Lambert will be heralded as a genius. Very simple, really.

  218. seb December 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Someone went shopping for the apples. I did the jam. Jim said it was $4 a jar. It was $3.99.
    I paid $3.50, because it was two for seven. I had to get “sugar-free”. I am not sure it does any good on the calories. What if you count carbs?
    There are a lot of requirements for customer involvement that waste your time.
    The items can be double-scanned, or something can happen that causes you to be overcharged, but you have to move through the line, so sometimes it is only possible to examine your tape if you are some kind of asshole.
    It would not be 3.99 unless there are people who are stupid enough not to know that is 4. The dynamic of a predatory marketing entity means that it is often more expensive to be poor. Hungry people should not shop. On the way to get food to prepare you may weaken and buy fast food.
    Mostly, though, where is the equation that states how high destructive oil prices are? Jim says $70, I believe, and it’s $90.
    What about Jim? Well, he is part of a groundswell movement. You would have “our brothers out West”, at a convention, like the Black Panthers. Well, way out West we is stone, umm, wasteful. We have several cultures, each with its own stores, some of them based upon a peasant lifestyle where people love to lick stamps and paste them in books. Others eat mainly rice.
    A program is in place to extract wealth from cunsumers, and any attempt to feed yourself cheaper is, like a lot of things, seen as treason. Whether it is or not, other wealth extraction techniques can easily be substituted to make up the shortfall.
    So we are whupped? If it depends on me we are. But, no. We can do this.
    A parallel and co-op economy is a political movement, with all of you steaming into political prisoner exposure territory.
    It won’t get more than a token number of Americans to go for it before it is cut off at the knees.
    This might seem like gardening, but with people like me around, every barn is a potential meth lab. After the meth labs proliferate, some of us inevitably build bomb factories.
    I don’t see why. If I am discussing drugs, when does the conversation change to guns?
    Actually, the incentive umbrellaring this blog is the money Kunstler makes off it. The focus is not really “get back to the land set my soul free”, that’s just the overt hook.
    Where is the body of knowledge on the internet for making a jar of jam, a stick of gum, some toothpaste? We got plenty of state secrets but no trade secrets.

  219. networker December 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Whether or not she is “feminist” (however defined) has nothing to do with either 1. making false accusations of rape, or 2. actually being raped. The fact that she identifies herself as feminist is being trotted out as the reason for her alleged false accusation, and the crime of rape is being minimized in the process. Put it this way: just because she is feminist doesn’t mean she is lying.
    It is amazing this needs saying, but being feminist does not equal the hating of men. It does however equal the challenging of men AND women, and their assumptions, which seems to often lead people to attack those “man-hating feminists.”
    As the author of that link I gave you said,
    “Whether withdrawal of consent is what actually happened here is impossible to tell, so I’m not suggesting that Assange is a rapist or that these charges are 100% definitely on-point; I have no idea. But neither do the commentators who are saying that Assange did nothing more than have sex without a condom.”
    And one of the commenters there also spoke well:
    Mike said, “This has been on my mind more and more as I’ve seen so many Assange worshippers belittle the crime of rape this week. Like you, I have no idea what happened, or even if the whole thing is a set up or government plot (but which government!?), but I am very uncomfortable with how flippant people are about rape when one of their idols is accused of it (see, Bryant, Kobe.)”

  220. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Don’t worry about Brenanke, they will have him on CNBC and they will be fighting over who gets to b@#@ him first!
    Would that be bash or blow?

  221. Cash December 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi Al, I spent years as a bean counter working for property development firms active in both commercial and residential real estate. In my opinion that racket is all based on the greater fool theory. What is some property “worth”? Whatever some sucker is willing to pay for it. The people running those businesses are not that swift. They keep making the same mistakes decade after decade. Always the same story: building too much, buying too much, paying too much, borrowing too much. They never learn. But maybe the guy at Sears gets lucky. Maybe he will look like a genius in the end.

  222. San Jose Mom 51 December 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Ms. Myrtle May…
    I’ve been making the social rounds and I know what people are talking about….their little worlds!
    Last weekend a woman told me, “James just wasn’t challenged his freshman year at Berkeley.” I did my best not to roll my eyes and spill my glass of wine.
    “If you don’t eat your meat, how can you have any pudding” How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

  223. networker December 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    In addition to my comments above, Angus Johnston also wrote a very balanced view of the spin being propagated:

  224. wagelaborer December 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Gosh, Cash, I thought that I was defending Americans!
    My point about Cuba was that when the oil supply stopped, they turned to organic farming, mobilizing their population, and using government resources to help out.
    Do they eat as well as we do here?
    Not in terms of calories, for sure. But no one is starving, either.
    We could do better, because we have a much bigger land mass, with ample water east of the divide.
    We could easily feed our people.
    Especially if we start paying people to voluntarily sterilize themselves!

  225. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    a known feminist who proudly harbors prejudice for men.
    I assume you meant against men. I bring this up because there exists this (very common) notion that when one pre-judges it is always in a negative sense.

  226. networker December 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Qshtik, thank you for that clarification.
    As it happens, the idea that the woman “proudly harbors prejudice” (against men) is spin being propagated by the Assange lawyers. So far, this has been a media circus, and no one yet knows the true facts.

  227. Cash December 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Sorry, I misinterpreted your post.
    There’s no doubt you have oodles of fertile land.
    I heard a few years ago that in NY City they’re building apartments without kitchens. Man oh man.
    We stopped eating out years ago. To me cooking is no bother, you save time (just tally up how much time gets pissed away going to and from an eatery) and you save money. Cooking was actually stress relief after a nasty day in office hell.
    I think we’re losing valuable household skills. Never mind nobody knows how to grow anything, we’re forgetting how to cook too. Anyone know how to sew, how to make their own clothes? I’ll bet not one in a 100 people has a sniff.

  228. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Keep at it and you’ll make yourself sick as you always do. A raw foods diet always ruins the digestive system. It’s fine for a couple of days every now and then to clean out – but that’s it. Don’t believe me – just study Chinese medical theory or even Macrobiotics. The Ayurveda says the same thing. You are stuck in a gnostic problem of wanting to purify yourself out of existence. There are other types of gnosticism with other problems. Another common one is to think the world is an illusion so it doesn’t matter what the body does – this one leads to orgies. Your type seems to be a Jainism type. So altho you SAY the World is Divine – you obviously don’t believe it. The Hale Bop UFO Cult felt the same way you do. They believed that evil Aliens had fucked with the Garden Earth ages ago so that the soil was more or less ruined. They felt that you should be able to just eat on piece of fruit a day and be fine. Dude – it’s never been that easy. So they believed that the world had been divine but now it wasn’t so they wanted to leave. Does this fit you deep down?

  229. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Yeah and there was once a Socialism that wasn’t Anti-Western Culture and Anti-White but that all changed when it was appropriated by Marxism. Same for Feminism. The fact on the ground is that most serious Feminists do hate men unless they psychically castrate themselves to become de facto women. Beyone that, as a Marxism, Feminism is not a Humanism. It’s not really for women either. In Europe, it puts Muslims far above women. The silence about Muslim rape of Scandanavian Women is deafening. And these countries all allegedly the most liberal and most feminist in the world.

  230. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Well, there were the WTC riots in Seattle in 1999. There was pretty across the board representation by different group.
    Then there were the demonstrations on Wall Street back in April. But there wasn’t much coverage of that. Just a blip and it was gone from the media.

  231. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Hmmm. For some reason this one post keeps getting bounced. Maybe it’s not long enough. Well, we’ll try for long and see what happens…
    “Centralia Outlet Mall Forced Into Receivership” The Chronicle, December 4, 2010. Front page.

  232. networker December 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Yeah right Vlad. Tell me something, if all these feminists hate men so much, why do they keep falling in love with them?
    If feminists truly hated men, they could just go out and start shooting them. Haven’t you ever wondered why they aren’t in open armed revolt? It is because the opposite is true: feminists love men, enough to want them to truly understand.
    In your case however, one could be forgiven for just plain giving up. Where did I put my 12-gauge anyway?

  233. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Sometimes I look at cooking as OT … Occupational Therapy. Sure it takes time, but it’s healthier for me and cheaper.
    Someone gifted me with a bit of sausage from a local butcher. One of those family run places that still around. So, what to do with this bounty. Slice a little of it up. I have some brown rice in the fridge. Add a couple of stocks of celery. Some garlic. Maybe a can of corn. A can of creme of mushroom soup. Sweet basil and turmeric. Nuke. Probably end up with enough for two or three meals.
    Recipe? I don’t need not stinking recipe! What I call vibration cooking. If it looks right, smells right and tastes good and is reasonably healthy, it’s all good.
    Of course, I’m a single guy and only have to please myself. A sandwich spread I most often use is: plane non-fat yogurt, a squirt of horseradish mustard and some sunflower seeds for crunch. With cheese (non-fat mozzarella) on good bread. I use plane non-fat yogurt a lot of places other people use sour cream. Like, on chili.
    Be creative, be adventuresome. Take risks. You find out what appeals to your taste buds. Sometimes it’s a wash. I like chili. I like broccoli. They do not play nice, together (to me.)

  234. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    As it happens, the idea that the woman “proudly harbors prejudice” (against men) is spin being propagated by the Assange lawyers.
    Net, as is frequently the case, my replies have nothing to do with the comments themselves but, rather, the words used in making them. (I regret that a lot of people are highly annoyed by this.) And so, I don’t care to voice an opinion (if I even had one) about the motivations of Assange’s lawyers.
    While we’re at it … harbors, spin and propagated are another three negatively loaded words.

  235. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Add a couple of stocks of celery.
    Back in the old days the punishment for certain petty crimes was a stint in the stalks in the town square.

  236. networker December 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Sorry Qshtik, I didn’t mean to imply that your correction had to do with the content. I did understand your intent and was as usual, jumping ahead. (I actually like it when you correct everyone, and am not annoyed by it at all.)
    I do agree that “harbors” and “spin” are both loaded words, however I disagree about the word “propagated.” That word is more often used in gardening than anywhere else and in this case it merely is used to mean: to extend, to cause to spread out, to affect a greater number or greater area. Not particularly negatively loaded.

  237. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I use plane non-fat yogurt
    Which kind, B-52 or 747?

  238. tzatza December 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    “Teddy “took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. ‘I’m glad I’m not going to be around when you guys are my age.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.’ “”
    Fuck Teddy and fuck his “slow gulps” of fucking vodka.
    Of course he knew it was all going to fall apart. He helped orchestrate the fucking disaster. He could have taken some of his families ill-gotten, rum running fortune and possibly done some good with it but that wasn’t enough. Instead, he made promises to ignorant voters that he knew could not be delivered. Why? For their votes from which he gained his power. Power for powers sake.
    And he always did so with drink in hand. Sailing ones car off a dock and killing a young girl may have led one to reflect on the merits of sobriety but not our Teddy. Teddy was so impervious to his reckless ways he even named his dog, “Splash”. Rest in hell Teddy-boy,,,rest in hell.

  239. networker December 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    “Fuck Teddy and fuck his “slow gulps” of fucking vodka. Of course he knew it was all going to fall apart. He helped orchestrate the fucking disaster.”
    Holy cow! I find myself in perfect agreement with tzatza!

  240. tzatza December 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    “I assume you meant against men. I bring this up …”
    You bring it up because you are a cunt. You continue to correct the mistakes of others and then make mistakes of your own. If your posts were meticulously constructed, with no mistakes, it would be one thing but they are not. Give it a rest or risk permanent cunt-dome.

  241. networker December 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Well, that was short-lived.

  242. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    After all these years I broke down and got cable. You are right about Glenn Beck – he is a Great Master. Each day he desperately tries to wake up the Sheeple to their coming slaughter. Combining humor, learning, and faith, he is one of the shining lights of America.

  243. San Jose Mom 51 December 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    I know how to sew and re-upholster furniture. I don’t sew my own clothes now, but when it was cost-effective, I did. Custom-fitted silk dresses back in the early 80’s.
    Back in 1981, I bought an Elna Super sewing machine (made in Switzerland). It still sews beautifully — I’ve sewn lots for the drama and choir programs at my kid’s school. I am valued because I’m one of the few moms you can give a pattern to and I know what to do with it, no questions asked.

  244. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Women usually lack the guts to do the diry work themselves. They usually “fall in love” with another man and get him to kill their husbands. Why marry at all? It’s a great way to get lots of money in divorce court. Real love from women would be to embrace the equality they supposedly believe in and stop throwing men out of their own homes. As you know, alot of women get into family law just to destroy men’s lives by doing this and also denying them visitation to their children.
    As for your 12 gauge, bring it on. I’m wating for you. Let’s make Love.

  245. networker December 7, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    hahaha! you just cannot help yourself Vlad, can you? 🙂

  246. k-dog December 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Centralia is in the middle of nowhere. The outlet mall in Centralia has competition from other outlet malls much closer to Portland Olympia Tacoma and Seattle.
    Centralia is off the I-5 corridor but the I-5 corridor population can’t support it by itself Centralia is more than fifty miles from any really big city.
    In a world made by hand like the one to come, the likes of a ‘Billy Bones’ might pass you by if you lived fifty miles out from a big city (Olympia in this case) but that would not apply to the I-5 corridor, a thin river of overpopulation stretching all the way from Canada to Mexico.
    Asoka, I live 100 miles from Centralia and have for thirty years.
    It is in the middle of nowhere.

  247. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    We could easily feed our people.
    Especially if we start paying people to voluntarily sterilize themselves!
    Wage, I favor a cutback in population from the other end of the spectrum … i.e. “pulling the plug on granny.” I know that sounds awful but if people died at some respectable age like 70 (and as you may have read this is coming from someone who just recently turned 70) a whole host of problems, beyond mouths to feed, would be solved: the black hole of social security funding, healthcare (especially alzheimer’s) for the aged, unemployment, etc. Every day I read the NY Times Obits and it’s astonishing how many people make it into their 90’s but I think many of them reach those advanced years held together by duct tape and bailing wire.
    I have no idea how this might reasonably be accomplished but I feel certain that massively cutting back on child births is an ass-backwards way to go. Did you ever see the movie “Children of Men?”

  248. Pepper Spray December 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Damn, this conversation deteriorated fast.

  249. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we’re solving the world’s problems?
    That question comes to mind every day and the answer is yes.
    In 20 years those of us not pushing daisies or residing in an urn on the mantel will be doing what we must to live and this blog will likely be long gone.

  250. Funzel December 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Myrtlemay,besides hoping you have a wonderful Christmas,I hope you will enjoy your gift of an American made,poor quality 25 dollar T shirt or the newest version of the American made Ford Edsel.(Volt?)

  251. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Wow! Your good! And (blush) I consider myself “accomplished” if I manage to sew in a zipper! Go to the head of the class, lady!

  252. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Sorry Q: should have been “You’re”. My bad, as the grandkids would say.

  253. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    You continue to correct the mistakes of others and then make mistakes of your own.
    You are wrong Tza. Other people make mistakes. I make typos.

  254. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    What can I say? I mean, there was a war on when I was in school, and men were in short supply! I actually only “tried” it once…okay, twice. But that was IT! I most definitely prefer men and always have.
    Had to laugh when you described your cooking experiences. We need more men in the kitchen!

  255. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Oh, and as for my “experience”, you can’t say I didn’t give it the good ol college try! 😉

  256. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    If we were to simply just give every last one of those 150 million people $500 a week to live on
    Sounds a lot like EightM but without the skyscrapers and simple buses.

  257. LewisLucanBooks December 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Well, even Edna St. Vincent Millay (well before you’re time, I know and a Vassar girl to boot. I think) couldn’t stick with the program. Finally landed herself a wealthy Dutch coffee broker who bought her a wonderful estate in upstate New York. Steepletop. Now an artists’s retreat.
    Re: Sewing. I’m lucky to get a button back on. But I have done a bit of rug hooking in my time and a bit of knitting. Years ago.
    Sigh. I do miss having a real kitchen. An oven. Bread. Cookies. Pies. I can do a lattice top! And, individual meringues with lemon filling. And I developed my own recipe for cookies I call my “F*** You Mrs. Fields, Oatmeal Cookies.” Whatever happened to Mrs. Fields?

  258. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Lew, I think you must mean the WTO riots?
    “Well, there were the WTC riots in Seattle in 1999. There was pretty across the board representation by different group.”
    You had me going, though. Why, I wondered, were folks rioting about the World Trade Center in Seattle in 1999?
    Why, I wondered did West Texas College go all the way to Seattle – why not riot at home? 😉
    But seriously, folks – The World Trade Organization riots always have a somewhat organized look to them.
    And that organization seems to be international in nature.
    Look, I’m not saying American aren’t happy to riot at the drop of a hat – OR at the win/loss of a pro sports team. I’m saying that an organized protest that gets some news attention would require a plan.
    Someone mentioned the “General Strike” in France. I don’t think workers will “strike” willy nilly, without some kind of union/organizer protections – at least for some of them.

  259. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Q, as a Manly Man, I couldn’t let this one slide by the thread. Tripp asked, and you responded:
    “Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we’re solving the world’s problems?
    That question comes to mind every day and the answer is yes.
    I had to look it up in the wuss dictionary.
    Grown men who repeatedly engage in behavior that they consider to be “SILLY” are borderline mamby-pamby and are definitely exhibiting namby-pamby characteristics!
    Now, you see, that’s supposed to be funny, therefore there is no need to elaborate with an emoticon.

  260. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    What would it take to “grow” a consensus among US citizens regarding …
    Budi, I’ve tried hundreds of times to engage my wife in conversation about the discussions here on CFN regarding energy descent, economic contraction, etc and it’s all for naught. Usually her eyes just glaze over but today I must’ve gone too far and she told me to “Stop it!! You’re creeping me out!”

  261. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Mook, you are correct about this:
    “Sears is run by an ex hedge-fund manager named Eddie Lambert. He could care less about how the stores are run…”
    WTF’ingF Seriously, no wonder American style capitalism is FUBAR’ed.
    Take a great old company and finish running it into the ground.
    Way to go, Eddie Boy!

  262. ozone December 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    “…held together by duct tape and bailing wire.” -Q.
    Typo, mistake, fuck-up, and interpretive fault. ;o)
    Ya c’ain’t bail no dang wowder wid a dang waar!
    Baling wire will wire together a bale…

  263. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Sorry Q: should have been “You’re”. My bad, as the grandkids would say.
    Consider this: Your good is the exact opposite of My bad.

  264. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    In a response to Q, you mentioned something that sounded very intriguing to me.
    “…permanent cunt-dome.”
    What on Earth is a cunt-dome? Do they hold sporting events there? How do I get tickets??
    Or, perhaps you meant “cunt-dom,” as in martyrDOM or starDOM.
    Damn – that ends my interest in wanting to go see it!

  265. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    I have a better idea. More proactive, I think. Gulp…oh, excuse me, just finishing off the first scotch and soda of the evening. (Here’s to ya, Teddy! See ya in Hell!) Instead of waiting for granny and grampy to even GET on the damn machine, hogging up all the electricity, why not send out some “hit men”? I mean, let’s do granny and grampy a favor and take them out quickly, sniper-like. Simple, minimum amount of pain really. Probably be doing them and yourself a huge favor, in the long run, I mean.

  266. Qshtik December 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    There’s 5 hrs and 33 mins left of Dec 7th here on the east coast and no one has mentioned that today marks 69 years since “Pearl Harbor.” I wonder how many more years till the common man forgets about “9-11.”

  267. wagelaborer December 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Sears also used to sell opium through the catalog.
    And pre-made houses.

  268. ozone December 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Not long.
    …Uh, what was I sayin’? Where’s my ipod and [m]indfold?
    I hear ya, man! As the times get weirder, the fantasy gets thicker and more widespread.

  269. wagelaborer December 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Actually, pension age affects young people as soon as they hit the labor force.
    Retiring at age 60 frees up lots of jobs for younger people.
    Here in the USA, generational hatred is stirred up, not generational solidarity.

  270. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Regarding the word “rape.”
    Apparently the Swedes do not use the term like we use it in the States.
    Our prosecutors like to get a sentence of life in prison for those convicted of rape. At one time, in some states, rape could be punished by execution.
    In Sweden, according to one of your websites, a rape conviction earns the guilty party a fine of $700.00.
    I’m not picking an argument with you Net.
    But the word “rape” sways juries and sells ads on news programs. IMO, the word “rape” should represent a crime of sexual violence against women – and only that.
    The use of this powerful word, “rape” for salacious or political purposes is unfortunate.
    We’re being manipulated.
    If Assange committed a crime through WikiLeaks, that’s what he should be charged with.
    The rest of this is just a side show, and something of a Swedish/American dictionary conflict, IMO.

  271. wagelaborer December 7, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    A feminist?
    I heard that one of them is a CIA anti-Castro employee.
    Is that the same one?
    Because I don’t think that the definition of a feminist is someone who entraps a man for money.

  272. BeantownBill December 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Read “Pebble in the Sky” by Isaac Asimov – similar to your idea, except the cutoff age was 60.

  273. ozone December 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    I would highly recommend a semi-auto 20 gauge loaded up with deer slugs. The distinct lack of kick gets you back “on target” nearly instantaneously, and still makes a hell of a mess.
    (Or, if you’d desire a little hurt to go along with large bleed-out, mix it up with some shot-shells! ;o)

  274. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Looking at a woman is also sometimes called rape. Some Women would like nothing better than to be able to just point at a man and have the police lock him up. That’s why I love Camille Paglia – the great Feminist Gadfly. She realized that the whole movement went crazy a long time ago. It meets the needs of very few women – since most women want to marry and have children. All of that is looked on with contempt by the lesbian theorists and separatists.

  275. wagelaborer December 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    I haven’t had time to read your link yet, but I do have something to say about rape.
    Horrible crime. It took years for feminists to get it treated as a crime and not a joke.
    Now only male rape is joked about. (In prison, ha, ha, really funny. Locked up and violated, the stuff of countless stand-up jokes).
    I remember once I had a patient who said that her boyfriend had begged her to have sex with her, and she said “no” and he begged her again, and she said “no” and he begged her again and she said “All right”.
    And her friends told her that that was rape. She asked me if I agreed and I said “No”.
    One of my co-workers commented “If that’s rape, I’m raped every time!”

  276. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Tribadism? Didja tri that?

  277. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Well the more hatred the more love, up to a point anyway. Woman are like this especially. You will grow to love me if I irritate you enough. And as you know from your reading of Bataile, the “other” is always most attractive since objectification is the essence of sexual attraction. Thus Jews have Nazi porngraphy and vice versa; Jews have Palestinian pornography and vice versa. Since Communists are the other of Nationalists, I’m wondering if there is a possibility of an new kind of pornography based not on ethnicity but on ideology. What do you think? It would be very high brow by necessity; more akin to erotica – stuff you could read with either one hand or both but both on the subway.

  278. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Wage, you are correct:
    “Here in the USA, generational hatred is stirred up, not generational solidarity.”
    Right now those born 1940 to 1960 are in leadership and have the bit firmly in their teeth. I continue to be amazed at the selfishness of what’s happening.
    From energy policy to tax policy, those born after 1980 are being systematically sold out.
    On another note, I’m working real hard on the idea of conspiracies. I do know they wouldn’t be having “general strikes” in France without unions.
    By the same token, we wouldn’t have the TEA party in the US without Fox news, the Koch brothers, or some organizing force – seen or unseen.
    How am I doing?

  279. Pucker December 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I think that I’m finally emerging from the stupor of denial that our civilization really is collapsing. Even as a child, I had an intuitive feeling that my consumer society was spiritually vacuous and built on a foundation of sand and clay. Later, I intellectually recognized that Collapse is the logical outcome of our trajectory. But, until recently, I was still in denial of the outcome—Collapse. It was too remote, too far-fetched. It couldn’t happen. In any event, how could I possibly act, and think in any way differently from the way that I am programmed to act and think? A creature of habit cannot change….
    But now, I realize that our society has become INSANE, MAD. And I realize that I have been programmed, like the rest of society, to act and think in INSANE, MAD ways. To a certain extent, my situation is no different from the peon workers at Auschwitz who put on their uniforms everyday, and didn’t see anything out-of-the-ordinary in their environment—the piles of corpses.
    As our financial system implodes, as we pursue 2 inane foreign wars that we can’t afford, our President, Mr. Obama, travels to Afghanistan to lobby for the rights of American homosexuals to engage in sodomy in foreign lands. And even some persons on this list can’t see how MAD this is!
    I realize that, perhaps, war and Collapse is the natural cleansing agent for this recurring, natural cycle of human decay and psychosis.
    Thank you for your attention.
    Your friend always, Cornelius Beauregard Armstrong Pucker, the Third.

  280. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    Right back atcha big guy (or girl?)! I don’t think I want either one of those “gifts” 😉 I’m not sure it’s worth mentioning, but one of the reasons we began to lose market share in Detroit to Japan (UK, etc.) is that the quality of American autos was piss poor then. Most people believe that this all started back in the ’70s. Well, sit down honey, fix a drink, and let me tell you something you may already know. That Edsel you refer to (or was it I?, damned memory again!) was nothing other than a bona fide piece of molasses. It was conceived by some really smart, highly paid executives. It had all the latest do-hickeys – fins, chrome, automatic this and that – THE WORKS, circa l958. There were more than a few problems. It was, in the eyes of many, an ugly car. It had the added attraction of not running well (gear slippage, window leakage, etc). In short, it had all of the problems new car owners don’t expect to have. Also, l958 was a recession year. Seems that folks just weren’t in the mood to part with cash when they were out of work (or afraid to be). Who knew? Gas was fairly cheap, though, @ about a quarter to thirty cents a gallon.
    Anyway, a friend of mine’s father ran a car import business in 1959, and made a fortune selling volkswagons, bmws, fiats, etc. Detroit didn’t wake up and smell the coffee until about 1981…a little bit of a sleepy dream to ya on Christmas, Funzel!

  281. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Ya had me, up till the crack about gay and lesbians wanting to fornicate in Iraq. WTF? You can’t possibly believe this MSM garbage about “Let’s Let’m serve…It’s the right thing to do!” Come on, this is a side show inside the circus tent. You seem to smart to fall for this crap.

  282. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Geez, I’m doing Q’s work for him, but I’ll go ahead and edit myself (beat him to the punch!):
    “up till should have been up til,…or up until”, “You seem to smart”…SHOULD BE: “You seem TOO smart.” Criminy, Sister St. Mark would be sooooooo pissed!
    We really do love ya, Q! Keep on akeepin on!

  283. Pucker December 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    I don’t think that American servicemen do want to fornicate in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Obama is using the Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell non-issue as a smoke screen to appear like he’s confronting the military establishment when, in fact, he’s caving in to a policy of perpetual war. It’s MAD, INSANE.
    Thank you.

  284. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    American car companies were also heavily involved in the concept known as “Planned Obsolescence.”
    Cars were SUPPOSED to wear out – to be replaced on something like a 5 year rotation.
    It would have worked more or less forever in the States – with the Big 3, autoworkers, and consumers passing the bucks back and forth.
    I remember the first imports from Japan – like the Beetle from Germany – as crappy, lightweight, and less reliable than American built cars. Then the Japanese started to build better cars. Then the first Honda in ’75?? got 30 freakin’ MPG –
    It’s only recently that US made cars started to compete on quality and MPG. I just bought a pretty good GM vehicle – made in Canada, but closer than Japan – work with me, I’m grasping at straws, here.
    I wonder how many people are running around the US saying “we outsourced all our manufacturing,” while driving an import?
    What do you drive, Cash?

  285. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Obama campaigned on closing Guantanamo and ending DADT – it’s taken him two gutless wonder years to finally do something about one of these.
    He can’t move beyond the base of American voters.
    If anything is MAD or INSANE – it’s the average US citizen who votes??
    Obama is just a symptom. Bush was at least as bad a symptom.
    I’m still trying to figure out what you are going for here, Pucker.

  286. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    You’re right about that. Planned obsolescence…that lovely little idea, and some extremely ugly 1960’s- l970’s architecture came right from my peers from MIT, etc. Talkin bout my generation…we were the greatest….yeah, right…

  287. progressorconserve December 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    The Greatest Generation
    An earlier comment about Pearl Harbor has been rolling around in my mind like grit in an oyster – getting me more and more angry.
    Here’s the pearl:
    One of my family members was a navy vet. Pearl Harbor survivor. I walked him to a table at a dinner one night about 3 years ago – shortly before his death. He had to hold my arm for support. I told this man that I was proud of him and he was genuinely SURPRISED.
    It was hell, he had survived and moved on with his life.
    My own father served 4 HARD years in the Pacific Theater. He never wanted to talk much about the war or think much about it. It was Hell, he survived, and moved on with his life. He died in ’84. NOBODY ever thanked him for his service or genuflected over it.
    Our last WWII veterans are passing away from among the living, now. I honor their service – ESPECIALLY BECAUSE each of them represents 1000’s of others who served through the Hell and never received a whole lot of thanks for it.
    9/11 is different. Unlike Pearl Harbor, there were no survivors who could fight – and finally receive their honors 60+ years later.
    There was no nation like Japan that we could attack and beat to smithereens – so the US government simply MADE UP TWO nations that we could attack.
    Do not conflate 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.
    You dishonor the memory of both events.
    And spread the myth of America under attack and the need for endless war.

  288. trippticket December 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    It’s called “One Second After”. Apparently about a small NC town that broke down after an EMP. She tends to need sudden tragedy to make this shift work for her, and I assume this one did the trick. Never read it, can’t endorse it. But there it is. I’m happy for Mom. We’ll start planting her property in the spring. Which, by my account, means more good food for my children too.

  289. trippticket December 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    “That is probably hand-picked, Loganberry jam, organically grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York, trucked in overnight to a micro-jammer located just outside the Olympic village, in Lake Placid.”
    You mean he’s listing the prices for real food??

  290. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Two of my husbands served during the war. One was a Merchant Marine and entered the war late, subsequently didn’t see any combat. The other served from 1942 – 1945, and then again in Korea. I don’t need to be told about sacrifice. We grew Victory Gardens and ate from them. My last husband had a moment of awakening in the 1980s, realizing the true insanity of war. It put him in a mental ward for over a month. BTW, he was a DECORATED WAR HERO, PURPLE HEART AT IWO JIMA! Mind your tongue, son!

  291. Kiwi Nick December 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    “What” – got us here, to this point of over consumption, over population, and over confidence is a complex set of inter-dependencies based on …
    I think that credit (too much credit) has a lot to do with our (the US’s) troubles. The system collapsed because many people borrowed heavily then defaulted. I think it was a similar story in 1929.
    I think that everything else follows from that. I don’t mean to dismiss peak oil as a problem, but the problem it is causing is being magnified x5 or x10 or beyond by excessive credit.
    Commonwealth bank advert: conversation between equipment hire business owner and bank manager:
    Businessman: Can I borrow forty-five million dollars?
    Banker: No, but I’ll hire it to you.

  292. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    I read it – great book. It really brings home the fragility of modern society. There’s an intoduction by an ex-military man. Apparently the Soviets had a plan to explode about 12 warheads over the US to create the Electro-Magnetic Pulses – each one taking out the transistor based technology for hundreds of square miles below it. Strategically placed, this could ultimately cause more death than “conventional” nuclear warfare. How? Through starvaton and disease. The novel goes into this in great detail.
    Now that brings up a whole subject that hasn’t been addressed on this site yet to my knowledge. What can people do to prepare for the health system break down? One survival writer said that veterinary medicine is more readily available to the layman than the tightly controlled AMA medicines. Some of the antibiotics that work for animals can work for man. Cheaper too. Hot water and vinegar are good, but if an infection really gets going those wont stop it. You work with animals, what do you think?

  293. trippticket December 7, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    So check this shit out. We were bummed this past summer when saw the 14 acres up in the mountains my grandparents offered to let us live on because it was…um…actually TOO pristine. Too many bears, cats, and copperheads, too far from people and farmers markets, and no flat land for rotational grazing. Big time bummer, ’cause 14 f’ing acres of forested mountain slope with a salamander-loaded creek at the bottom?? We had an awfully hard time passing on it. (And it will always be available if the need arises.)
    BUT, here’s the newer cooler chapter. A 60-ish year old couple who live in Tifton, the town we’re hoping to move to early next year, saw my talk at the Georgia Organics convention last month. They invited my grandparents over for dinner recently, and offered the idea that we were welcome to live in the old farmhouse in exchange for renovation. The old farmhouse on 300 acres with a pecan orchard for a front yard, and a fenced 5 acre paddock beside it for me to practice my rotational grazing methods in! These folks have been to Polyface Farm, Joel Salatin’s place in Virginia, and are totally into the mob grazing thing.
    In 3 years since I lost my “real job”, my wife and I have wondered many times where our living was going to come from, and every time we feel certain that our living will come from our garden somehow. So long as our expectations are reasonable in the grand scheme of things. It’s been a real leap of faith, especially for non-believers, but it seems to be happening. Not a week ago we were saying how nice it would be to find an old farmhouse in a pecan orchard. Now it looks like a done deal almost. We’re meeting onsite at Christmas to settle the details…and probably plant next year’s garlic crop! And this way we can take our time getting the house sold, and when we do, we can pay off the last of our debt, or buy some land of our own.
    We’re very excited! Just had to share that. Sorry. Please return to your brilliance.

  294. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Congrats, Tripp! You may be the only thing left for me to keep coming here (instead of to bitch and vent, I mean)! Truly you are the inspiration for the blog, and really have been since you came aboard. To confess, I don’t often look at your blog…just too remote from me, I guess. Still, I peak now and again. Right now, my mind resonates with the fantastic land you and your family will be working on next. Thanks, I needed that…and happy Pearl Harbor Day to all.

  295. myrtlemay December 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Here we go…”Still I peak…”, should be “still I peek.” G’night!

  296. AMR December 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    A total cessation of births wouldn’t be prudent, but a reduction would. A birthrate somewhat below replacement would not have to lead to demographic disaster. That argument is regularly made about Japan, and sometimes about Russia, but in point of fact the youth in those countries aren’t just few in number, they’re also pretty useless as cohorts: a great many Russian youth are hopeless drug addicts, and a great many Japanese youth are spoiled brats with terrible social skills. If these cohorts could somehow be better socialized and integrated into productive society, the demographic problems facing their countries would be much alleviated.
    Offhand, I’d say that American youth are better socialized and more productive than Japanese or Russian youth, but that our elderly are less healthy and hardy. This seems to be partly the result of our medical system focusing so on the elderly, in contrast to a Darwinian situation among Russia’s elderly. We also have a whole lot more people who never took care of themselves in the first place, evidenced by high and rising rates of diabetes and severe obesity.
    These are just some anecdotal observations. They may not be entirely borne out by more complete data, but they’re relevant to the demographic debate. In short, a relatively small youth population and a large elderly population may be less a problem of quantity than of quality.
    There is an important political angle to the demographic debate, too. In the United States, it takes the form of a very well-organized and mobilized elderly voting bloc that, for better or worse, has a firmer grip than any other demographic on its share of the entitlement pie. This is useful for keeping shysters from gutting benefits for ulterior motives (e.g., diverting relatively stable and reliable Social Security deductions into wildly unstable stock portfolios and IRAs in the guise of “free choice” and “reform”), but it also worsens structural problems with Social Security and Medicare by obstructing much fairer, more effective reforms.
    Social Security and Medicare do face serious structural problems, ones that will worsen in coming decades unless major reforms are undertaken. The structural problems can, however, be solved or at least greatly mitigated. The real impediment is political will. There will certainly be more manufactured crises and disgusting donnybrooks if anyone tries to implement serious, equitable reforms, unless Americans miraculously turf out the shysters whom they’ve sent to Congress (pretty low chance at present given the number of cynical Tea Party hacks just elected).
    Two areas of medicine in which huge savings could be achieved in an ethical manner are the heroic efforts made to save barely viable premature babies and the terminally ill. Many of these patients have either no chance of recovery (e.g., Terri Schiavo and decrepit elderly patients with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease) or no chance of having a good quality of life (in the case of severely premature babies). Again, there is a lot of political grandstanding in these cases from the likes of baby-worshipers, Bill Frist and company intervening in the Terri Schiavo case on the absurd grounds that she was sentient and being murdered, and Sarah Palin rabidly warning about “death panels.” The structural problems in our entitlements, not to mention the overall quality of medical care for people who can really benefit from it, worsen when the nutters aren’t sidelined in these debates.

  297. San Jose Mom 51 December 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    What wonderful news Tripp!! I’m so happy for your family.

  298. Kiwi Nick December 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Another case of ‘where’s the government when you need them’: there is still rubble in the streets of Christchurch from the earthquake on 4 September.
    There simply isn’t enough bulldozers and like equipment in New Zealand to clean this stuff up, apparently.

  299. trippticket December 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    “You work with animals, what do you think?”
    What I think is my wife makes a topical cream that works on damn near any complaint, including broken bones (that’s my personal best experience with it), for humans, and for horses and dogs at least. I tried it on a rooster, but he was too far gone already. $15 for a big 4 ounce tin that lasts us at least 6 months, using it daily. Most amazing medicine I’ve ever used. She just listed with and sold some in the first week. That’s some of our income that’s coming out of our garden. She makes awesome soap too. My brother in Atlanta just started using it recently, and he says he will never in his life buy another kind of soap. Her link, which only has the cream listed for now, because our soap inventory is suddenly quite low:
    That’s one little way to start taking medicine back from the profiteers.
    Another is to add mineral density to your diet. It helps a lot more than people give it credit for I think.
    Other than that, I’m just glad I’m not 65 years old relying on a weekly pill box to get me through the day. See what eating petroleum does to us??

  300. AMR December 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    There were some good articles in the New York Times recently about severe weather and flooding in the Upper Midwest. Global climate change certainly seems to have been a culprit, as it has been in Australia. Some of the weather events were unprecedented in the time that written weather records have been kept in the locations affected.
    If such severe weather spreads and becomes more frequent, the United States may not be able to remain a breadbasket to the world. This is especially true since we’ve planted so much of our productive land in places with historically more stable climates to lawn grass, asphalt and shitty architecture. We haven’t devoured nearly as large a proportion of the land, or as productive land, in Tornado Alley as we have in the Los Angeles Basin, the Central Valley or Lancaster County.

  301. Vlad Krandz December 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    I’m glad the military is going to institute open service for gays. The Military Elite hate it with a passion. The higher you go, the more opposition. The Marines and the Special Forces particularly. It will kill the espirit de corps which is so essential for a great military thus weakening the United States. The weaker the United States, the more chance it will split up. The more chance it will split up, the more chance that the White Race will live.
    The counterfeit is the enemy of the real. A multicultural United States is the deadly enemy of the Real, Western, White, United States based on thousands of years of Tradition, Common Law, and Christianity. People who hate the True West can go live in Atzlan or New Africa (the deep South) Somehow I think very few will do so. Why? Do you know? I do.

  302. Eleuthero December 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Like JHK, I shiver at all this talk of
    “recovery”. Where do these people live
    who talk of such? On the ground where
    I live, I’m seeing such horrors on the
    jobs front that almost ALL start-ups are
    now hiring programmers at $12/hour (no, I
    am NOT kidding) … and they’re getting
    HUNDREDS of near-starvation applicants.
    I, personally, know about a half-dozen
    people who are draining their 401K’s
    without a job prospect in sight. Two
    are talking about the prospect of entering
    a homeless shelter in mid-Winter.
    Watching the various BubbleVision channels
    (CNBC, Fox Biz, Bloomberg) makes me want
    to upchuck and die. What a bunch of
    happy horseshit!!! Of course, since
    the sponsors of the various BubbleVisions
    are multi-nationals that want destitute
    people to go out and spend, spend, spend,
    of course their reporters aren’t going
    to say anything with more than a loose
    correlation to truth.
    I’ll bet upcoming GDP stats will look good
    because USA-based multinationals get to
    count foreign sales as part of US GDP.
    I feel like I’m living in the Soviet Union
    and instead of one Pravda, we now have a
    hundred Pravdas … and the ACTUAL Pravda
    in Russia reports with much greater objectivity
    than our “free” press which is in thrall to
    the corporate “Happy Happy Joy Joy” mandate.

  303. Eleuthero December 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Well, Asoka, what do you think of Brother
    Obama now? He’s totally caved on campaign
    promises so that TARP recipients can get
    their $500,000 Christmas bonus … and
    he STILL has a majority until 2011.
    They say that the best way to rob a bank
    is to own one. Does that mean I should
    buy Citi shares now?? I’m actually quite
    serious because two brokerages came out
    and made them THE number one bank equity
    choice. Gee, can I rob the bank by owning
    a PIECE of one (shares)??
    Wow, Kafka’s world really looks remarkably sane compared to this one.

  304. asoka December 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Tripp said: “we were welcome to live in the old farmhouse in exchange for renovation.”
    Wonderful news, Tripp!
    Couldn’t have happened to nicer people and validates the abundance available to those like you who are more into giving and sharing instead of hoarding.
    I am very happy for you!
    I am very happy for those pecan trees and those 300 acres, knowing they will be well cared-for by you and your family.

  305. asoka December 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    E. asks: “Well, Asoka, what do you think of Brother
    Obama now? ”
    Obama is my brother and I love him.

  306. asia December 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    but whats it made from?
    and if you do move DONT BE LANDLESS…plow
    [pun intended] your money into some land…even if you live a state away from it.
    meanwhile down under the bitter fruits of immigration grow.
    i was web searching protest art and found this gem:
    Standing up for the rights of women will get you branded a racist and a sexist these days. And while women in Australia are free to wear the burqa, apparently Sergio Redegalli is not free, at least in the eyes of many, to call on them not to wear it. Yet another Islamic challenge to the freedom of expression: “Complaint lodged over burqa mural,” by Josephine Tovey for the Sydney Morning Herald, November 26 (thanks to all who sent this in):
    IT HAS become a lightning rod in the public debate about the right of Muslim women to wear the burqa, attracting protests, the censure of a mayor and messages of support from talkback radio.
    But now the Newtown mural of a woman in a full-face Muslim covering with a strike symbol over her face and the words ”Say No to the Burqa” is the subject of an anti-discrimination complaint.
    Cigdem Aydemir, 27, a Muslim, artist and high-school art teacher, said she felt ”completely offended and insulted” when she saw the mural pop up in her neighbourhood.
    The work of a local artist, Sergio Redegalli, the piece adorns a wall of his studio facing the street and the busy rail line.
    ”My sister-in-law wears a burqa … my mother wears a veil,” she said. ”I wore a veil for 10 years of my life. I think everyone has the right to wear whatever they want on their body and that kind of diversity needs to be protected.”
    Aydemir went to the police and then the council to try to make the complaint, but as the mural was painted on private property neither could intervene. She lodged her concerns with the Anti-Discrimination Board, who this week notified Redegalli.
    He said he had painted it to open debate about the burqa, but now felt his right to freedom of expression was on the line.
    ”There’s a problem about the right to free expression, the loss of the ability to say something without instantly being branded a racist,” Redegalli said. He cited a number of reasons for his opposition to the garment, including concerns about security and the rise of Islamic extremism in Australia.
    ”There’s thousands that can say we don’t actually feel comfortable about this – that’s not being taken seriously,” he said.
    But Aydemir said: ”It’s Islamophobic; it’s feeding the racist and sexist attitudes we have in our society.”
    The image has drawn fire from locals, and has been defaced at least 20 times. The former Marrickville mayor, Sam Iskander, said in September the mural ”goes against the values which the Marrickville community has believed in and practised for generations”.

  307. trippticket December 7, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    [pun intended] your money into some land”
    My preference is definitely to put whatever we make from selling this house into land of our own.

  308. Ang December 8, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    Sears also used to sell opium through the catalog.
    And pre-made houses.
    I’ll take one of each, please.

  309. Ang December 8, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    That’s great news, Tripp.
    And you never know…if they find you to be a good steward of their land, they may work out a reasonable purchase deal with you.

  310. Qshtik December 8, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    The old farmhouse on 300 acres
    Congratulations Tripp on this stroke of good fortune. Actually, from what I know of you, you’ve done your homework, paid your dues and created your own good fortune. 300 acres is one helluva lot of land. I’m familiar with 100 acres which I wrote about last year. It was the last farm of any size in Camden County NJ and literally a stones throw from the house I grew up in. Today the site has a bank, diner, strip mall and apartments on it. Kinda breaks my heart when I pay a visit every 5 or 10 years.
    The house on the farm was built in the late 1700s or early 1800s. Clarence Victor Jarvis, a tenent farmer, and his ancient mother (passed at 93) lived in the house and worked the land. I pulled corn and picked beans and tomatoes as a boy and did other odd jobs. I gained an appreciation of the hard life of a farmer so I know you will have your hands full with 300 acres.
    On another subject … I checked out your wife’s comfrey cream site and noted that one of the ingredients is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Various cooking shows, especially Rachel Ray’s, make a point of recommending EVOO for cooking. But a few days ago I read a piece (can’t remember where, maybe the NY Times) that explained that EVOO is 10x more expensive than canola oil and no better if the oil is cooked (raised to high temp in a skillet). The article claimed that EVOO had superior taste qualities at room temp, for example if spritzed on a salad, but no advantage if cooked. I don’t know how the EVOO enters your wife’s comfrey cream but she may want to think about canola if ingredient cost is even an issue.
    Again, congrats on this turn of events. – Q

  311. LewisLucanBooks December 8, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    Great book! Parts of it return again and again to haunt me. The business woman in the remains of a power suit turned away from the town. She had been a public relations person for some big tobacco company. She’s turned away because she has no useful skills to offer the town. Zip. So much for the big corner office and the parking spot next to the front door.

  312. LewisLucanBooks December 8, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Congrats on the land. Hope it works out for you.
    14 isolated acres? Gee, would your grandparents maybe be interested in adopting me? 😀

  313. LewisLucanBooks December 8, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    Welcome to New Orleans.
    There’s big money to be made from disasters. Check out:
    Naomi Klein’s book, “Shock Doctrine.” It’s not a disaster, it’s a business opportunity!

  314. networker December 8, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    procon and wage, as I mentioned previously I too am deeply suspicious that this is a smear campaign against Assange. However, you should read the links I posted, as they go into these questions specifically.
    Links here:

  315. networker December 8, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Mossberg 20 GA pump, but I like the bleed-out, so loaded with buckshot currently. But slugs are on hand 🙂
    Incidentally, when I quit my horrendous corporate job last summer, the first thing I did was put slugs through some old hard PC hard drives – made very satisfying donuts out of them! Took photos of them too, for future reminiscence.

  316. Pucker December 8, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Progressorconserve wrote: “I’m still trying to figure out what you are going for here, Pucker.”
    What I’ve been trying to say, and it seems that my powers of persuasion have failed me, is that OUR SOCIETY HAS GONE FxxxxCKING NUTS!!!!!!!
    And most people don’t even seem to notice it….
    It’s like the German guards at Aus chwi tz who each evening returned to their pleasant, well-kept homes in the suburbs with their well-groomed Ary//an kids and who go to church on Sundays. It’s all normal…except for the piles of corpses!
    I believe that Foucault in “Madness and Civilization” defined madness as a condition where one believes that what one is doing is perfectly rational, when, in fact, it is INSANE. Those damn N/ and their efficiency! Just so long as it was efficient it was o.k.—Zy//kl.on B.
    Obama thinks it’s perfectly rational to throw up a smokescreen with his Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell challenge to the military to mask his caving in to the military on its policy of perpetual war. MADNESS!

  317. networker December 8, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Unfortunately, the rape of women is still regularly joked about as well.

  318. networker December 8, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Vlad, you are just embarrassing yourself now.

  319. networker December 8, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    So, re your ramblings regarding Nazis (etc) it follows that you, as an asshat, have feminist fantasies… ok. I see that I turn you on. If only, if only, it would inspire you to think as well!

  320. networker December 8, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    Tripp! That is 100% Awe. Some.
    But whatever you do, hold ON to the access to those pristine acres with water – you will likely appreciate the hunting there later.

  321. networker December 8, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    Tripp, question: does your wife’s cream have Comfrey in it?
    And I use Azomite for minerals, both for myself, animals, and garden. What do you use?

  322. networker December 8, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    Doh, I see it is comfrey cream. I use comfrey all the time too, both for treating things like cuts and bruises, as well as using it as a most excellent fertilizer on the garden. It used to be called “knitbone” for its intensive healing attributes, and it was always advised to be sure the wound was clean and infection-free first, because the comfrey heals over the skin so fast it can actually trap infection inside.

  323. asoka December 8, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Pucker said: “Obama thinks it’s perfectly rational…”
    It is perfectly rational. That is the problem. The rational mind rationalizes very well.
    Obama was influenced by Reinhold Niebuhr (the guy who wrote MORAL MAN AND IMMORAL SOCIETY).

    Niebuhr battled with the religious liberals over what he called their naïve views of sin and the optimism of the Social Gospel, and battled with the religious conservatives over what he viewed as their naïve view of Scripture and their narrow definition of “true religion.”
    His long-term impact involves relating the Christian faith to “realism” in foreign affairs, rather than idealism, and his contribution to modern “just war” thinking. Niebuhr’s perspective had a great impact on many liberals, who came to support a “realist” foreign policy. His influence has been acknowledged by such recent leaders of American foreign policy as Jimmy Carter, Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as John McCain.

    SOURCE: Wikipedia
    I admire many of Obama’s qualities, but I do not agree with a foreign policy that uses kidnapping, assassination, psychological torture through indefinite confinement in Guantanamo, and uses drone bombers to kill people in countries against whom the USA has not declared war.

  324. networker December 8, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    And finally y’all, might I direct your attention to a new, truly inspired article written by Joe Bageant? As always, both horrifying and hilarious at the same time:

  325. Russ A December 8, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    And just what would you have those people do? Stay home, brooding, being depressed, telling themselves how it’s all going to come crashing down on them? Will it all crash, really?
    Or as those who saw WWII coming did, you continue LIVING best you can, no matter the circumstances, no matter who you think or don’t think will happen in the future. What will happen will happen. No point to stop living now.
    As far as this being Obama’s America, this all started before him….seen any Bushvilles lately?
    Or do you think those millions who lost their jobs before Bush left office were already part of “Obama’s America”.
    It isn’t Obama’s America. It’s the America of every single person who has voted for this to happen since Reagan, c. 1980. And that means…Republican.

  326. Russ A December 8, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    I wish I could bet you, because I’d be that much richer on Jan. 1.
    It will still be talked about. Because they will still be releasing cables by Jan.1. That alone makes you lose the bet.

  327. Russ A December 8, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    And the “peak oil” problem is many many years down the road, still.

  328. asoka December 8, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    Thanks networker.
    I enjoyed his writing, but I am ecstatic over the conclusion Joe seems to have come to at this stage of his life that:
    one thing is certain. The only way out is in.
    I agree completely.

  329. asoka December 8, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    Russ A asks: “And just what would you have those people do? ”
    I would not have them do anything.
    What I should have done was to put brackets around that post [satire on] and [satire off]
    I think CFN engages in too much fear mongering and talk of collapse. My post was making fun of CFN, but it did not come across well.
    After reading Joe Bageant’s latest piece, it would probably be a good idea if CFN cultivated an inner life, to complement (complement, not squash, not replace) their social and material lives.
    In TLE it may be useful to have inner resources developed, as well as developing the outer ones. Each one decides how that happens. I have no recipes… each one is responsible to develop and evolve in their own particular way. IMHO nobody can tell you how. If you want, it will happen.
    Christmas caroling is a good thing to do: it is at once spiritual and social. It builds community. Being on good terms with neighbors can only help in the future.
    Most people I see during the day in my community are happy and carefree. It’s part of the cultural ignorance Bageant describes.
    If you try to engage them on issues, you risk a response like: “Global warming, what global warming? You an idiot? Cain’t you see it’s 8 degrees today?”
    But here on CFN just reporting on what you see, that people are happy, causes you to be labeled “Pollyanna” because it goes against the CFN collapse story line that people are in pain and collapse is imminent.

  330. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    You wouldn’t respond to my thoughts about the Marxist Nature of modern Feminism and its hatred of the West. Why? Because you have no answer – it’s the simple Truth.

  331. Eleuthero December 8, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Joe Bageant’s piece savaged the worship
    of money-mongering stupidity and the
    idolization of celebrity … both utterly
    rampant in the US.
    As usual, Asoka, your post PRESCRIBES
    what CFN’ers “ought” to do, be, etc..
    You just cannot resist the temptation
    to get on your high horse and lecture
    people about the realities of their
    lives as if you know what they are.
    The COLLAPSE is already here and you’re
    the last person to notice. Joe Bageant
    sees it clearly. One in six Americans
    are in hunger … that’s not some wild
    supposition of mine … it was a Bloomberg
    ticker symbol whose data came from the
    World Health Organization. We have
    third-world rates of infant mortality and
    second-world rates of longevity. We’re
    now something like 45th in international
    math achievement test scores. Government
    in America … city, state, federal …
    are essentially insolvent and the Fed,
    after today’s announcement of an upspike
    in unemployment, is talking MORE money
    On the ground where real people live, I
    know many people PERSONALLY who are one
    paycheck from the street and/or who crash
    at friend’s apartments/houses because they
    cannot even afford a deposit on an apartment
    much less rent. Others are getting by on
    $1200/month with a drawdown of their IRA’s.
    It’s not the CFN’ers who need a new perspective.
    Nothing in history EVER got done by people who
    relentlessly refuse to see debacles that are
    literally in front of their noses. Your views
    resemble the views of the reporters on those
    financial channels owned and sponsored by
    multinational corporations whose interests
    hardly extend past their shareholder base.
    You talk as is the collapse is a HYPOTHESIZED
    thing. It’s already here. The only missing
    component is rampant social disorder because
    people are still, with great anxiety, able
    to glue their lives together with dwindling
    resources. That glue is, itself, melting
    away. Nouriel Roubini, an excellent forecaster,
    today said that another trillion dollars of
    mortgage losses were on tap for 2011. That
    would be the final straw.
    Once social disorder occurs then it’s years too
    late to do anything except have the military
    and FEMA round up people. The time for action
    is now. Many of us thought that Obama would
    be that action but he is a shill who has kept
    the ENTIRE war machine in operation, allowed
    corrupt bankers to socialize losses while
    privatizing gains, and allowed the uber-rich
    thieves to keep their largesse under the tired
    rubric of supply-side economics … discredited
    even by Republicans like David Stockman.
    This country is now beyond saving and still
    heading pall-mall into a brick wall while
    being narcotized by electronic gizmos, SSRIs,
    a nanny-state educational sector, and the
    reassurances of the very people picking our
    pockets while we effervesce about the nice
    smiles on their “Real-Wives-of-Beverly-Hills”

  332. Kiwi Nick December 8, 2010 at 3:50 am #

    (the anti veil mural).
    So much politically correct BS is our society.
    Reminds me of the Toyota advert: bugger.
    For those not up on it:
    It was an advert for a Toyota Ute (a smallish pickup truck), filmed in New Zealand and also shown in Australia. The advert featured certain situations that went awry because of the sheer power of the vehicle in question. One of these was when the dog hears the ute starting up and eagerly races out to leap onto the back of the ute. But the driver takes off too quickly and splats the mud up against the washing hanging on the line; also the dog goes SPLAT in the mud left behind by the ute. The driver looks back and says BUGGER!
    Some prudes complained about the advert. In New Zealand, it was taken off for just a few days, but in Australia, it was off for several months, as the complaint(s) dragged on.

  333. lbendet December 8, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. —-John Lennon
    Between a hectic work schedule and the passing of my mother on Friday, I haven’t had the time or heart to post anything but the most cursory statements. I’ve been overwhelmed with making plans for my mother and spending time with family and friends these last several days. I thought this morning how apropos to quote John Lennon as I think about how life-changers come crashing through our daily routines.
    A cab driver, told me that “The jobs are coming back in five years”. Truly mind-boggling. How long do they think people are going to stand for that carrot on a string?
    I informed him that with these latest trade deals with S. Korea, don’t expect anything but more unemployment. Lori Wallach was on C-Span yesterday and explained how destructive our trade deals are to our economy. It’s frightening.
    Our tax deal is appalling. How can any group of people be so selfish as to want to keep those tax cuts for the wealthy in place. What has it done in the last 9 years? How is this group getting away with saying they have to deal with the deficit and you must have your “entitlements” cut back while they enjoy their entitlements at our expense. Why isn’t everybody furious? (right and left)
    Now our friends at Morning Joe are blaming our test scores and eduction system for why we’re not competing. This may be a problem, but even white collar jobs are leaving the country, for the lower salaries and expectations. The Asians are hungry in every sense of the word and so will we be. Only—we are left with a first world price structure and an increasingly third world pay-scale and economy.
    E, you really expressed the reality on the ground. Kudos to you.

  334. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    “Tripp, question: does your wife’s cream have Comfrey in it?”
    It’s called “comfrey cream!”;o) I see now that you know that…
    The comfrey, like the rest of our proprietary blend, is infused in the olive oil, so no bulk comfrey is actually in the cream.
    For minerals I tend to think in terms of collecting what’s present in high-quality food – humanure, compost, worm towers, and of course minerals from leaves and forest detritus. And comfrey! But I’ll check out azomite! Any little advantage, right?

  335. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Yes, “knitbone” is a very appropriate name for it. I believe the ancients knew a ton more about plants, medicinal plants particularly, than we do. Those common names have a lot more validity than we probably give them credit for! My wife’s cream fixed my broken toe overnight!!
    I wish I could come see your place. Sounds like you guys got it together. Thanks for the good cheer regarding the new farm! We’re pretty damn excited.

  336. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    “But whatever you do, hold ON to the access to those pristine acres with water – you will likely appreciate the hunting there later.”
    It would take about a week on horseback to ride from the farm to the mountain, assuming safe passage could be had at all. But then, we’re not quite there yet, are we? And I’m just starting to think about hunting again. Looking for a recurve bow on the cheap. I imagine the hunting up there could be pretty top-notch. The property shares a 1500′ boundary with the Chattahoochee National Forest. End of the road.

  337. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    “14 isolated acres? Gee, would your grandparents maybe be interested in adopting me? 😀 ”
    Thanks, Lew! And I don’t know. If things keep going the way they are, a whole lot of people might be open to a whole lot of new ideas…sort of that initial floristic model that Ozone and I were talking about.

  338. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    “Congrats, Tripp! You may be the only thing left for me to keep coming here (instead of to bitch and vent, I mean)!”
    Ms. Myrtle, you’re too kind! I’m awfully flattered. Here’s to new ideas!! And may we all figure out how to get out of our own way.

  339. networker December 8, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Asoka for chrissake, Joe Bageant was NOT exhorting people to “get an inner life.” I post a link to a great essay, and per usual, you go careening off into your own private little Christmas carol.
    Eleuthero, thank you for saying it better than I could.

  340. networker December 8, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Vlad for PITY’s sake, what in hell are you talking about? Why is it that rabid weirdos always read Marxism into every tea leaf they come across? I know this is asking a lot of you, but maybe you need to get your nose out of the books for awhile and actually listen to a few actual real live women? Or don’t any want to talk to you?

  341. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Thanks for the good wishes, Ang, SJMom, and Soak!
    We should be grazing beef by spring. I can barely sit still or hold a thought. (Especially as cold as it is in the house this morning!)

  342. networker December 8, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    I told my DH about your pristine acres and he positively drooled over the prospect. I like to hunt. He loves loves loves to hunt. In fact I spent two weekends ago gutting, hanging, skinning, and butchering two 100+ lb deer. He shot both of them and is back out this coming weekend for a third. I told him he has to gut this time 🙂

  343. networker December 8, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    lbendet, I am sorry to hear about your Mother. I hope she is remembered well.

  344. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    “Congratulations Tripp on this stroke of good fortune. Actually, from what I know of you, you’ve done your homework, paid your dues and created your own good fortune.”
    That’s damned decent of you, Q. And I hope we have enough aversion to the old labor-intensive food production methods that we are willing to try new things.

  345. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    I sure am sorry to hear about your mother. You are certainly a major contributor to the lessons in adaptive behavior that I take away from this blog.

  346. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    I am truly sorry.
    26 years ago, my father died suddenly in the prime of early retired life.
    3 years ago, I held my mom’s had as she passed away following a long, hard, (yet generally cheerful and optimistic) battle with cardiovascular diseases.
    The death of parents is something that will be faced by all of the fortunate among us, in God’s (god’s) time.
    But there are no words to lessen the pain.
    Take care, our friend. We’ll be here when you need to vent at us! 🙂

  347. asoka December 8, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    E. said: “Once social disorder occurs then it’s years too late to do anything except have the military and FEMA round up people.”
    E. you are in la la land. Go spend some time in the third world, where all the statistics you just cited are much worse and still people, in their everyday lives, are civil, happy, and live with a good sense of humor, and a lot more hope than you exhibit.
    “Once the social disorder occurs” … always in the future… how many Friedman units?

  348. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Funny stuff to Asoka, Net:
    “…and you go careening off into your own private Christmas carol….”
    Thanks for posting Bageant’s piece. I try to take a look at his website every week or so for a new essay.
    Everybody in the US ought to read this one, TWICE.
    Here are a couple of excerpts to read the 3rd time: 😉
    “Cultural stupidity might not be so bad, were it not self-reproducing and viral, and prone to place stupid people in charge.”
    “In the historical view, cultural ignorance is more than the absence of knowledge. It is also the result of long term cultural and political struggle. Since the industrial revolution, the struggle has been between capital and workers. Capital won in America and spread its successful tactics worldwide.”
    “Will unrestrained global capitalism, with all the power and momentum on its side and motivated purely by machinelike harvesting of profits, reduce the faceless masses in its path to slavery? Does a duck shit in a pond?”
    “Meanwhile, here we are, American riders on the short bus, barreling into the Grand Canyon. With typical American gunpoint optimism, we’ve convinced ourselves we’re in an airplane. A few smarter kids in the back whisper about hijacking and turning the bus around. But the security cop riding shotgun just strokes his taser and smiles. Not that yours truly has the ass to take on the security surveillance state. Hell no. I jumped out the window when the bus shot past Mexico.”
    “…that politics worldwide is entirely about money, power and national mythology,….”
    “But politics and money are never going to fill what is essentially a public vacuum that is moral, philosophical and spiritual.”
    “Some Americans believe we can collectively triumph over the monolith we presently fear and worship. Others believe the best we can do is to find the personal strength to endure and go forward on lonely inner plains of the self.
    Doing either will take inner moral, spiritual and intellectual liberation. It all depends on where you choose to fight your battle.”
    excerpts from 12/7

  349. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    networker, I respond to you with Joe Bageant’s own words:

    “Spirit seems sort of like sex to me. You can read about an orgasm, but unless you have one, you just don’t get it.”

    I am not here to preach. Either you get it or you don’t. But I agree with Joe Bageant’s position on spirit.
    one thing is certain. The only way out is in.

  350. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    ProCon said: “Doing either will take inner moral, spiritual and intellectual liberation.”
    Thanks ProCon.
    This is the exact definition of the greater jihad.

  351. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    lbendet, so sorry to hear of your loss.

  352. The Mook December 8, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Definitely blow. That is what those “cheerleaders” do for anyone who says things are going in the right direction.

  353. The Mook December 8, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Teddy is the main reason they call themselves “Massholes”.

  354. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Again, Pucker, I’m asking a simple question.
    Are you going off after Obama and the military because you are opposed to:
    Military geopolitics?
    Madness in general?
    Those are three totally separate issues, with separate reasons for existence and points of origin.
    Yet every example you give includes an attack on the current sitting US president.
    You and I (‘specially you?) keep demonstrating the political F-ness of our CFNation.
    So please be more specific.

  355. The Mook December 8, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    LLB, Come on, you own a book store. You should use plain items!

  356. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Thanks ProCon.
    This is the exact definition of the greater jihad.
    Asoka, I didn’t say this, Joe Bageant did.
    And instead of the greater Jihad
    Let’s call it the greater Crusade.

  357. jackieblue2u December 8, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    Thanks for the link. I’ve seen it before, but I need to see things Alot before they stick. On overload.
    I read the most recent post about Time passing in Siberia. I have experienced that to a degree in California. On the West Coast everyone is rushing around in cars with cell phones, even in “Paradise”,
    it’s Rediculous. You get caught up in it. Well I FEEL it around me and it’s disturbing.
    Then ‘you’ go inland only 90 miles, to the Valley and some of those small Agricultural towns are like Siberia.
    I kinda like it there better than the Coast for that reason. But it gets so Hot, and I am light skinned, and there is little to no public transit, that I am choosing to live on the Coast, for now as I can walk, bus or ride my Bikes.
    Know what you mean tho. It’s crazymaking. My God and they way ‘they’ drive ! out to get ya for real. I’ve had people look me right in the eye cuz no way they were gonna let me on the freeway. nope, can’t even slow down for 3 seconds. These are ‘grown ups’, not teenagers.
    I don’t drive slow either. anyway, yeah time for a vacation for me.
    Cool Website, thanks again.
    oh I wanted to comment on when Cuba fed it self when the oil supply stopped, I think it will be much harder to do that in the U.S. simply because of the amount of people. And many not too bright, know what I mean vern ?

  358. The Mook December 8, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    The reality is you can get “real food” for the same price (non-sale) as Smuckers when you buy at the proper time and place.

  359. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    ProCon said: “Asoka, I didn’t say this, Joe Bageant did. And instead of the greater Jihad Let’s call it the greater Crusade.”
    Yes, I am supporting Joe Bageant.
    Call it Jihad (Islam), call it Crusade (Christianity), call it Yoga (Hinduism), call it meditation (Buddhism), etc.
    What it’s called is not important.
    What is important is what Joe Bageant said this week at the end of his essay:
    one thing is certain. The way out is in.

  360. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    “The reality is you can get “real food” for the same price (non-sale) as Smuckers when you buy at the proper time and place.”
    Hey Mook, I totally understand the desire to save money, and food seems to be a good way to do it if you’re attentive. My underlying point though is that looking to save money on food is wrong-headed. Aside from seasonal bulk produce purchases I mean. Actually, I think we should, and eventually will, spend a lot more on food because it is the most important aspect of life, bar none. Far and away the most important. I’d prefer to see folks save money by cutting back on alcohol, tobacco, drugs (including prescribed pharmaceuticals), dump the tele, cook at home more and eat out less, drop to one car, or none, and definitely paid for, which drops insurance requirements, which…
    You see where I’m going with this. I think the bad habits we need to be cutting out are the ones based on petroleum – the commute, the gas-powered toys (don’t I love saltwater fishing), and most of all the oil-soaked food we eat. That’s a habit that’s about to get a lot of people in a lot of trouble. But it takes time to foster relationships with local producers, or to learn how to be a significant contributor to your own diet, so the best time to start was last year. The trend of searching for the cheapest food from wherever alarms me. In an energy descent context. Local producers will make or break us when the system starts to cough, so it seems germane to court those relationships at our earliest convenience. From whichever side of the cash register you prefer.
    Not that I don’t understand the necessity of saving money in hard times. Believe me I do, and my food choices have occasionally suffered for it. I’m just trying to warn people away from one of the worst habits oil has dumped on us in its long march to the peak. If you can find real food, that pays the farmer a living wage, then great. But cheap food is petroleum-subsidized food, and federally subsidized food, and I know you’re not counting on those two entities to maintain the status quo. Not judging by your love of gold anyway!

  361. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    “Now our friends at Morning Joe are blaming our test scores and eduction system for why we’re not competing.”
    Friends? Please. These morons are blaming the education system? Well they may have a point. Brzinski graduated from Williams College, Geist from Vanderbilt, Scarborough from U of Alabama and Florida (OK, these schools don’t count) and Barnicle from Boston U. Yet listen to the daily ramblings of these nit-wits.
    Understand that when they were attending these fine institutions schooling was more difficult and tougher. (Yeah….riiiight.) But even if that were true, how does one explain their daily, imbecilic take on current events?

  362. budizwiser December 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I’m not sure if the term “Status Grow” was ever used anywhere any writers before. But I made it up during my post yesterday to refer to the all-pervasive enemy of all things sustainable. And if you have ever read any of my old posts you would know that is have also called this social evil by the term discretionary consumption .
    The publication and relevance of the theory of Peak Oil, with all its significance continues to suffer the effects of the “Status Grow” and Joe Bageant doe an excellent job of telling the “hows and why” of the powers Status Grow.

    Our hyper capitalist system, through command of our research, media and political institutions, expands upon and disseminates only that information which generates money and transactions. It avoids, neglects or spins the hell out of information that does not.

    This may be the best description of why the rich and powerful continue ransacking the earth, even in the face incontrovertible evidence of catastrophe.

    Of course, there is still money to be made by the already rich. So the million or so people who own the country and the government use their control to convince us that there is no collapse, just economic and political problems that need to be solved.

    Definitely worth a read. $$$=Evil?

  363. Cash December 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    I think one problem is that certain of us are too young to remember the way things were economically just two generations ago so they lack perspective.
    I don’t know how old you are but I remember when my father was EASILY able to support my mother, my sister, myself, pay off the house in 5 years, pay cash for a new full size car AND put money in the bank. Paid with hard dollars that bought stuff not inflation debauched paper.
    And he came to Canada penniless, with no English, semi-literate in Italian and skilled only in farm labour. And his story was very common. This country is full of older immigrants like him from all over the world who worked and prospered. But nowadays an immigrant comes over and, except for the highly educated or skilled, there is bugger all except pizza making and delivery. And the same goes for the native born.
    In my home town we had a variety of industries that employed thousands of people with decent wages. That was then. Now it’s rusted out, boarded up and depopulating. All my childhood friends moved away. Even my parents moved away. The only things I have left there are the graves of my grandparents and some buddies who died young. Like that Simon and Garfunkel song said, nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town. When I go back to visit their graves it kills me. It kills me to write about it.
    I think the story of my home town is the story of huge swathes of the US and Canada. Those industries are gone to various slave wage crapholes in China, India, Malaysia, Mexico and the people here they used to employ are scratching for a living at temporary, marginal work for shit pay if they can get any at all. Like you said there’s a horde out there one paycheque from bankruptcy or homelessness.
    9.8% unemployment? 7.6 % in Canada? Bah! Total fucking, contemptible lies. Too absurd for comment. Double those figures and maybe you’re closer. It’s like official inflation statistics. Garbage. Worked over and chewed over and massaged and screwed with until they bear no relationship to reality. And anyone who has any real world knowledge and experience knows it. I wipe my ass with government numbers.
    Our captains of industry, our governments, our financial establishment fucked us. This continent unravelled under the corrupt, moronic, malicious stewardship of our political establishment, under the leadership of multiple administrations in the US and Canada, both Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative. They are all dirty dogs and as I think you said, there is not a dimes worth of difference between the lot of them.

  364. Al Klein December 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Vlad, your comment that the Muslim rape of women is ignored by the press provides us with some valuable information. Which is: in the calculus of Political Correctness, Muslim-ness trumps Feminism. This revelation is bound to cause some of the mouths on this blog to commence frothing. And please, CFN readers, I’m not editorializing here, just reporting the obvious.

  365. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    “I’d prefer to see folks save money by cutting back on alcohol, tobacco, drugs (including prescribed pharmaceuticals), dump the tele, cook at home more and eat out less, drop to one car, or none, and definitely paid for, which drops insurance requirements, which…”
    Thats what you’d prefer? Good for you. But why not save the way you wish and not have preferences for how others should save? I mean “drop the tele”? Is that telephone or television. Both can be invaluable tools in eliminating unnecessary trips. You know, in a “Let your fingers do the walking” kind of way?
    Then you say,
    “But cheap food is petroleum-subsidized food, and federally subsidized food…”
    That’s exactly right and people who have no additional means of income should seek these cheaper alternatives as they have no other recourse. I mean for crying out loud, that organic farmer who is driving a Kubota tractor is doing so because the John Deere costs too much. A fella’s gotta do what a fella’s gotta do.

  366. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    “when Cuba fed it self when the oil supply stopped, I think it will be much harder to do that in the U.S. simply because of the amount of people.”
    Not to mention no dictator to just tell the people that they have to start growing food organically on every square foot of arable land they can find, and that it has to be done today. I prefer a democracy over a dictatorship for sure, but in this case it isn’t going to help. You’re absolutely right.
    The other angle is that hispanic people tend to be a lot more social and family oriented, tribal you might even say. (Partly because that is the inevitable outcome of a lower energy society! Which they were even before the crash. Did you read my blog post about neo-tribalism last month?) A trustworthy alliance of friends/family is probably one of the most important facets of successfully engaging energy descent, in my opinion. I don’t think we could make it solo. Americans are nothing like Cubans in that regard, to put it bluntly. We’re pretty good at solo.
    And yeah, I do know what you mean, Vern;)

  367. The Mook December 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Off-Track Betting sites in New York City are officially out of business. I only know of one bookie who went out of business, and that was because he used his own product. Is there anything that these clowns can’t run into the ground?

  368. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    “I mean for crying out loud, that organic farmer who is driving a Kubota tractor is doing so because the John Deere costs too much. A fella’s gotta do what a fella’s gotta do.”
    I never said there weren’t major problems in the organic industry. To my mind, “organic” is still Cartesian dualism, trying to control and dominate nature. It isn’t an answer and it can’t stand alone without industrial agriculture to supply its “organic” inputs, like manure from a feedlot. Right. Good wholesome stuff. There are methods of producing food that aren’t though, and those don’t always come with fancy expensive labels. Because with food, small is always better, and fancy labels are often cost-prohibitive for the little guy. That’s why we have to get to know our producers. You be the judge of what’s ethical to put on your family’s plate, not some regulatory agency.
    They’re going to die right along with the whole of the industrial food system. Best to get off the government teat as soon as you can.

  369. Cash December 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    I don’t drive. Haven’t driven for a long time. But I used to own a 1976 Chev Impala. Long gone.
    We get around by bus and subway. Much cheaper than driving.

  370. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    “Obama is my brother and I love him.”
    Well by that standard, George Bush is your brother as well. Love on, brother, love on.

  371. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    I mean, unless your goal is to kill off the poor people who can only afford industrial food. Hmmmm…never thought of that. Where’s Mika?

  372. Cash December 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    When my mother was young she used to make her own clothes. That’s a valuable skill.

  373. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Do you guys have any idea how much federal subsidy is behind industrial food? If you strip away all the welfare and entitlements for industrial agriculture, and they will be stripped away eventually, how would the price of that petroleum-soaked supermarket wheat bread compare to locally grown and baked bread?
    My guess is it would actually cost MORE. This system is dying, and it isn’t going to put out a PSA before it croaks.

  374. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    “Best to get off the government teat as soon as you can.”
    That is moronic. A poor person that is merely trying to purchase the most calories for the least amount of money doesn’t have the luxury to “go local.” It is the same argument that insists we need to build trains and right now damn it.
    Trains and local produce will probably, once again, have their day in the sun. But for that to happen, millions (perhaps billions) will be sent to the grave because it will mean that our current form of sustaining 6 plus billion people will have collapsed. In the mean time people will get by the best way they can. To do otherwise is to completely irrational.

  375. Cash December 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    When beef or pork goes on sale (1.99/pound) I buy a couple pounds for stew. I saw a vindaloo recipe (an Indian adaptation of a Portuguese recipe for meat). It’s good if you like spice. You can always dial the spice down if your stomach/ tastebuds can’t take it. It’s basically cubed meat marinated overnight and then simmered for a couple hours with garlic, vinegar, water, turmeric, cumin, chilies, tomato paste, onions, coriander powder, fenugreek. I get the spice pretty cheap from a local Bulk Barn store. There’s many variations of this recipe that you can find on-line or as you said you can be inventive. This lasts me and my wife three meals. It’s better on the second day.

  376. asoka December 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Tzatza said: “Well by that standard, George Bush is your brother as well. Love on, brother, love on.”
    Exactly correct!

  377. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Precisely, so why are you encouraging people to commit suicide by relying on a dying system?
    I thought that making it through the population keyhole event was what we were discussing. My apologies. But enough people are already relocalizing to create a viable regional economy in most places. And the less prepared we are to accept our plight the more regional die-off there will be.
    If you want to keep shopping all over the world because that’s what you can afford, be my guest. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. I think it’s wiser to dump lots of other expenses/energy uses instead of ultimately starving because you insisted on buying the cheapest food you could find. Regional economy and neighbors be damned.
    This isn’t a class thing. It’s a survival thing. I’m not encouraging you to buy more expensive organic options at the supermarket; I’m encouraging you to dismiss the idea of supermarket. For your own safety. Although I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still working on that one.

  378. jackieblue2u December 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I think it’s BOOT ! ?

  379. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Oh I get it: Marxism has had little or no influence in Academia and Feminism – is that your theory? What idiocy. You are either a moron or a liar. Marxism has had an incredibly destructive influence on the world. Most people know this so you and your ilk try desperately to hide what you are as you march through the institutions. And now you are amazed, no outraged, that we are fighting back. It’s all uphill from here on in, baby. You’re going to have to fight for every inch. And when the slope hits ninety degrees you all are gonna slide back down to your well deserved obscurity.
    How do I know you’re a Marxist? Because no one who reads or has been to College could deny the on going Marxist inluence in our Culture. That you do so just indicates the desire for subterfuge. We’ve had quite enough that thank you. You’re against it when the Capitalists engage in it but love it when the Communists do. As the old Czech saying put it: Under Capitalism man oppresses man. Under Communism it’s the other way around.

  380. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Hold on partner – how can a topical mend a broken bone?

  381. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    “Precisely, so why are you encouraging people to commit suicide by relying on a dying system?”
    Uh, I’m not. I’m saying that a poor person has to make a dollar go further than one who is not poor. You, on the other hand, are saying the poor person should buy local. Local is more expensive. Your suggestion is the path to suicide…not mine.
    “I’m not encouraging you to buy more expensive organic options at the supermarket; I’m encouraging you to dismiss the idea of supermarket.”
    So all those inner-city residents can “walk” over to farmer John’s for their salad greens? Yeah baby. Thats going to happen. Brilliant.
    “This isn’t a class thing. It’s a survival thing. ”
    No shit. But you’d never know that from what you are proposing.

  382. LewisLucanBooks December 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Yo, Cash; That was quit a post up there at 12:34. One of the better things I’ve read on this blog. The headline in yesterdays local newspaper was that a 60 something year old man died out at the local homeless camp in the woods. Natural causes. Yeah, sure.
    It was reported on the local blog. No comment. I don’t know why, but I was put in mind of Robert Frost’s “Death of the Hired Man.”
    So, I posted a link to the poem.
    Our families are a bit similar. Dad swung a paintbrush all his life. He’s 89 now, still gets around pretty good and has most of his marbles. His feet bother him from standing on too many ladders. But he and Mom paid cash for every vehicle and house they bought. They never had a penny of debt. Dad took side jobs and Mom was a waitress for several years. So we had a few extras.
    But, as to food. Oh, I like spicy! I figure I’ll just keep wallowing in the stuff til the old gut gives out. I’ll check into that Vindaloo recipe. Some friends are going to gift me with some meat I was wondering what to do with.
    Thanks for the posts. Both of them.

  383. jackieblue2u December 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Me thinks it should be illegal to NOT have a fruit and veggie garden instead of a frikkin LAWN. double wammy, waste of water and more.
    We are idiots. not all, but most. of course none of us on ‘here’ are. except maybe me. and a couple others’ you know who you are.
    you’ll have to excuse me today, my back ‘went out’ and i am feeling no pain right about now. until the meds wear off. i wrote ware off. Then the pain is off the chart. dammit. i’ve got ice on it, so that’s the best i can do.
    i live in an apt. and i miss having a garden, there is a lawn around here, but no way we could make it a garden. wtf ? no common sense.
    Waste of space, at least it’s no all cemented in.
    some of us plant tomatoes and beans on our porches. better than nothing. pretty cool actually.

  384. LewisLucanBooks December 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    “Where’s Mika” …. Probably off fighting forest fires in Israel?

  385. jackieblue2u December 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I agree I like TT also. His writings that is.
    and yours also. and others. any but MINE ! I try to lay low and listen and learn.

  386. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    “I think it’s wiser to dump lots of other expenses/energy uses instead of ultimately starving because you insisted on buying the cheapest food you could find.”
    What makes you think people haven’t dumped these “other expenses”? Christ you are a zealot. You want to start a truck farm? Be my guest. All of your neighbors must buy from you because this is your profession? I don’t think so.
    People have to operate in their own economic self interest. For you to expect them to do any differently is not only pompous it is sophomoric in the extreme.

  387. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    The going ons of these creatures fascinates me. Last year a few Blacks were forced to apologize to gays – so now Homosexuality is begining to trump Blackness in the hierarchy of grievance. White Men are still safely on the bottom and there they will stay until all of this blows to smithereens. The Crash is not all bad by any means. As normalacy reasserts, we will come back into our own as Nature intends. In the meantime – enjoy the show. I love seeing the Zombies turn on their God, Obama. The liberal masses are slaves in search of masters who wont whip them so hard. But dangerous – Phillip “Egalitaire” one of the Nobles who started the French Revolution ended up losing his head. Not Egalitare enough! People still think that the peasants and “workers” started Communism all by themselves. Well in that case, who funded it? Organized it? Peasants with pitch forks don’t get very far – ask the Irish. They only began to succeed when the Irish Americans became available to finance them. So who financed the French and Russian Revolutions? No one asks – they wouldn’t like the answers.
    The Left turned against the Jews when they realized the Jews were ordinary selfish people like everyone else. Now they worship at the Muslim knee – slaves seeking Masters. The Jews were warned that their gentile zombies would turn and rend them but they didn’t listen. Now they will have to pay the piper for the dance.

  388. jackieblue2u December 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    you can learn about small scale farming at

  389. Qshtik December 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Asoka said: “It is perfectly rational. That is the problem. The rational mind rationalizes very well.
    Are you sure this is what you intended to say? If I read the above correctly you seem to see “rationalizes” in a positive light but here is the definition of rationalize:
    to ascribe (one’s acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.

  390. asoka December 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Q, thank you for your inquiry.
    Rationalizes is the precise word I needed and I did mean it in a negative sense.
    Here is how it goes:
    Let’s kill [insert name of group here] because [insert reasons here]
    Kill them because they are terrorists, they are gay, they are Jewish, because we think they will kill us if we don’t kill them first, etc.
    Perfectly rational societies do perfectly monstrous things… because they rationalize well.

  391. asoka December 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Did anyone notice WikiLeaks released more documents last night?
    Governments are going to have to learn that post-9/11 we are in a different world. Governments are going to have to recognize that there will be some loss of privacy and they can no longer protect their documents or keep them secret.
    Arresting Assange will not stop the release of WikiLeaks information dumps. And there are not enough government agents to play whack-a-mole.
    Previously governments could do something and then feed a story to the main stream press spinning it however they wanted.
    Now government lies will be exposed through a new kind of journalism that doesn’t give you the pre-digested government version of the story: WikiLeaks gives the original government source documents, so you can see for yourself what governments are really doing.

  392. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    “”Where’s Mika” …. Probably off fighting forest fires in Israel?”
    Hardly. Mika would more likely be setting forrest fires in Israel. Like father, like daughter.

  393. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    “WikiLeaks gives the original government source documents, so you can see for yourself what governments are really doing.”
    Cool. Maybe Wiki will post your proctology exam or pictures of your clap treatments because you paid for them as a result of medicare/medicade funds. I mean, after all, since we tax payers are helping pay for your hiney-scan, we should be privy to the photos.

  394. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    The Jobs Picture

    titles this weeks post and with Obama agreeing to an extension of tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 this week I pose a question to our gentle readers here.
    Is it better for the 9.6% economically dissappeared to waste away on unemployment for another year waiting for a promised recovery or should they get cut off causing their hungry bellies to make them take to the streets demanding social change and maybe burning a few cars?
    Remember those sitting home on the couch have a high probability of picking up a revolver and blowing their brains out so the answer to the question is not quite as obvious as it seems.
    Your thoughts?

  395. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    “…with Obama agreeing to an extension of tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000…”
    These are not tax CUTS. These are the same exact rates that have been in existence for the past decade. Nothing was cut. The rates just stayed as they were.
    That has been the incessant lie of this administration the demotwats and the lametream media. “CUTS, CUTS, CUTS, CUTS.”, they bray. Like the lying asses they are.

  396. Qshtik December 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    setting forrest fires
    It’s forest fires and you are Forrest Gump.

  397. Qshtik December 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    the lametream media
    O-tay Buckwheat.

  398. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    These are extensions of Bush era tax cuts from 2001 and 2003. These are tax CUTS you lying ass.

  399. Lurker December 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    A few days late from my last post. You really don’t get it, and I won’t waste my time arguing. The unraveling that is going on now is a RESULT of fiat currencies. And it will get worse. Your reply only indicates how shallow your understanding of how things work really is. You needn’t reply as I’m done with your sorry self.

  400. ozone December 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Wholly Shiesse!
    Excellent news; hope it shakes out smooooooth!
    (I’m sure it will; visitors to Polyface are reknowned non-assholes… ;o)

  401. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Tax cuts – smacks shuts!
    Spending cuts – lending butts!
    My guberment funded medical pics – is that gonna be a turn on for you?
    I will happily send pictures of my colonoscopy to you, TZA.
    Only if you promise to learn that things have to be paid for and that taxes are the only way that governments can do it.
    Oh, that – and teach national political leadership how to use Accounting 101 knowledge and basic grade school mathematics.

  402. ozone December 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    “Incidentally, when I quit my horrendous corporate job last summer, the first thing I did was put slugs through some old hard PC hard drives – made very satisfying donuts out of them! Took photos of them too, for future reminiscence.” -Networker
    HA! Perrrrrfect! ;o)

  403. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Interesting point, Al:
    “valuable information. Which is: in the calculus of Political Correctness, Muslim-ness trumps Feminism.”
    Either energy descent will put an end to some of this foolishness OR internal contradictions will.
    Political Correctness was supposed to be all about extreme orthodox liberalism.
    Orthodox Islam (yeah, Christianity or Judaism, TOO – don’t get your panties all in an uproar, Asoka) is the EXACT opposite of extreme orthodox liberalism.
    That which is unsustainable, can not be sustained.

  404. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    There are many things that seem to work in the begining but fail completely over the long or even just medium term. Fiat Currency is exactly like petro-fertilizers: they work great at first but end up ruining the soil. Another example: junk food makes a person feel great for a short period and not great later. Another example: romantic relatioships often seem great at first but typically don’t have the depth to last.
    You’ve got to try harder Soak. You can’t be this dumb – you just can’t be.

  405. ozone December 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Thanks for the reality squeezin’s there. ;o)
    A.’s sparkling optimism usually doesn’t bother me (and his humor does make me laugh at times), but when he starts sounding like a paid, happy-talking gov’t. shill, I kinda want to spit…
    Again, good points about what’s REALLY going on ’round hyar.
    -Rusty Brains

  406. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    A shotgun slug through a hard drive
    A .22 hollow point through a USB drive
    Who knew redacting data could be so much fun?
    I’m completely surrounded by conservatives.
    Wish I could find some more well armed liberals to go shooting!!
    And on a practical note, and speaking of getting rid of old computers – for some reason computer disposal seems to be a big blah, blah, blah of political correctness.
    I’ve seen ads where companies would CHARGE YOU, like $5.00/desktop to dispose of your old CPU in an environmentally sound – and I guess, humane? – manner.
    Bull Snot – I take mine and my family’s CPU’s to the local scrap yard. They pay me $.07 per pound. If I’m worried about data security I’ll be sure to throw the computer case and hard drive in a mud puddle, or run over it with my truck tires on the way to the pay window.
    But from now on, I’ll shoot my computers humanely first. Thanks, NETWORKER!

  407. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Every now and then a glimmer of reason shows through your otherwise barbaric demeanor. Foolishly I engage that glimmer of reason, only to just be horrified again by your complete lack of not only any semblance of cultural decorum, but also any sort of landscape perspective of peak energy, descent, and the radical ways that will alter life as we know it. I won’t make that mistake again.
    At the closing meeting of the Georgia Organics conference I attended recently, the consensus was that local producers can’t keep up with growing demand for their products. We actually spent time at that meeting brainstorming ways to get more people involved in farming to meet demand.
    The world according to energy descent doesn’t really give a shit what you think is going to happen, or what you perceive to be happening now. It will continue to function just like any other contractionary biological system, with or without your approval. I was simply trying to give you some insight into what is actually happening on the ground, in an arena you obviously know precious little about; why it makes sense for that to happen; and possibly how you could benefit from that knowledge.
    But like I said, I won’t make that mistake again. Stick to what you know, whatever that is, but you might want to stay out of topics you don’t have any first-hand knowledge of. It just makes you look even dumber. As tall an order as that is.

  408. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    A, interesting response to Eluthero, when you say:
    “E. you are in la la land. Go spend some time in the third world, where all the statistics you just cited are much worse and still people, in their everyday lives, are civil, happy, and live with a good sense of humor, and a lot more hope than you exhibit.”
    You’ve got it, A! This is why this whole website (except for you, of course) resonates with a feeling of unease.
    We American CFN’ers KNOW, in a visceral way, that we’re – in the US – only about two week’s worth of oil imports away from disaster.
    Most of us KNOW that our families and friends are spread all over Hell and Gone because of the things that have happened to our Country over the last 50 years – mostly impossible without a constant supply of cheap imported oil.
    If we’ve thought it through, we KNOW that we’re living an unsustainable Multiculturalist’s Wet Dream that will turn to a nightmare if/when our economy tanks more seriously and energy descent begins.
    Let me go back to our Mexican peasant, who I postulated for you several months ago – surrounded by friends and family, participating in a local economy that will survive without oil – leaving him and his extended family alive and almost as happy as they were WITH oil.
    Why on Earth do you want this man to come – legally or not – into the US – to live in fear and add to our pre-collapse population???
    Open borders be damned – there is more to life for this man than go/go/go US economics and sending money back home.

  409. Pucker December 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Does anyone happen to know of a comprehensive index/introduction to millenarian cults in the U.S. and overseas? Thanks.
    Your friend always, Cornellius Beauregard Armstrong Pucker, the Third.
    1.[n] a person who believes in the coming of the millennium (a time of great peace and prosperity)
    2.[adj] relating to or believing in the millennium of peace and happiness

  410. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I think you are in the wrong place PUCKER

  411. ozone December 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    So sorry for your troubles. I hope you and yours are bearing up okay.
    (I’m waiting for just such a shoe to drop on me pretty soon, and I’m avoiding thinking about what-all will have to “be done” at that point. I’m glad there are others that are less emotionally crippled than I am around. Hope you’ve got some good people to help as well.)

  412. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Divine Qne,
    did you know new jersey is more crowded than any other state and all western european cuntries?

  413. mean dovey cooledge December 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Tripp! Dag I was always kind of hoping we’d end up neighbors. I was up in the Cohuttas a few weeks back and saw more people fishing Jack’s than usual -fishing for their lives now I ‘spect.
    Tifton is ABAC so I know you will find ways to make $ in addition to food. My dad’s company does lots of sprayer work in south jawja for pecans. Beautiful country -I avoid 75 like the plague and drive a bit west sometimes. once they were harvesting cotton and it was like it was snowing -the air was full of tiny bits floating around. there is a killer fish camp in tifton I forget the name but I know where it is. Its going to be HOT as hades in summer -but you know that.
    I cant wait to read about your new adventure.
    It is possible, as you know, to find ways to live, and live well, in spite of the rigged economy. Who knew Id pay for my winters propane by selling paintings out of the back of a pick up?

  414. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    i heard C2C radio last nite ..alex jones was praising GB.
    then i heard a program on harp/chemtrails today…yikes.

  415. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    o green thumbed one..any advice on fast growing trees?

  416. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    A raw foods diet always ruins …………..
    you are too a teen i did it for 4 years…a friend died on it.
    in hawaii in the 70s there were many food fanatics.

  417. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    in 99 Investors Biz daily mocked the protests

  418. messianicdruid December 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    “WikiLeaks gives the original government source documents, so you can see for yourself what governments are really doing.”
    Only if you can {will} read between the lines.

  419. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    white self hatred euro ville perhaps its because they had ‘the german problem’.

  420. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    ‘Brzinski’…you think for an instant he ever was on the side of good?
    if so henry k is a jewish saint

  421. trippticket December 8, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    “o green thumbed one..any advice on fast growing trees?”
    Are you making fun of me, Soviet Monica? I probably deserve it.
    Fast growing trees for southern California? So not my region, but think in terms of nitrogen-fixing pioneer species that grow fast to provide shade and copious nitrogen-rich leaf fall to nurture subsequent successional diversity. Honey locust and red alder come immediately to mind, but the former has some specific characteristics that you’ll want to consider! Like 4 inch thorns that are so hard they can be used for nails. Growing straight out from the lower trunk. (Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Depends on how far along in descent thinking you are I suppose.)
    I’m sure there are others. I’ll think it over.

  422. asia December 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    actually i was NOT mocking you..
    what about trees that provide food or herbs?
    and do you grow bamboo?
    heres one for you asoka..o multi cultural one:
    The lawyer for an African woman charged with smuggling young girls from Togo to New Jersey said her trial was about cultural norms that failed to translate in America. Twelve American jurors saw it as a clear-cut example of human trafficking, and she was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
    Both sides focused on the cultural nuances of the case; the defense arguing the woman was a benevolent mother figure who helped young girls escape a life of poverty; the prosecution accusing her of using the threat of African voodoo curses to keep the girls subjugated.
    The case highlighted a legal strategy that experts say immigrants’ defense lawyers are using increasingly in the U.S.: the argument that a defendant’s actions reflect his cultural upbringing, rather than criminal intent.
    “We derive meaning from action, and that meaning is very culturally laden,” said Susan Bryant, a law professor at the City University of New York who provides cross-cultural training to lawyers and judges. “If you look out the window and you see someone with an umbrella, you may assume it’s raining. In China, it could just as easily mean the sun is out.” …………[ legalese cunt]
    here in soviet monica a japanese woman killed her 2 children in the water of the bay and used the cultural defense..hubby cheated or ran away or harikari

  423. latchkeykid December 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    “order number 213, your order is ready”
    David 7:54

  424. Vlad Krandz December 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    And Hawaii is paradise… Why should people have any problems in such a beautiful place? But they do – the singer Jewel got beaten up everyday by the Polynesians. It all just goes to show that man does not live by brown rice alone but every word that prodeeds from the mouth of the Father.
    Ever meet the Rama cult – Dr Frederick Lenz I believe. I got a kick out of this Jewish looking kid on 60 Minutes. He was bitter because they gave him a teddy bear and told him it was an alien from another planet. His job was to talk to it and try to get it to talk back. He spent a whole year doing little more than this – probably the best year he’ll ever have if he only could see it that way. He was very angry because they made such a fool out of him. People will believe anything – a teddy bear is an alien, Islam is a religion of peace, that multiculturalism works etc. Maybe that’s why Rama ended up killing himself – it was so easy to fool people why bother staying on the same planet as with such cretins? Or perhaps his sins threw him into a terrible depression and he was too arrogant to ask for Divine Mercy.

  425. asoka December 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Pucker, here are some books that list millenarian movements or discuss them:
    Turner collection on religious movements. Melanesia-Theory by Study Centre for New Religious Movements
    The occult roots of Nazism : secret Aryan cults and their influence on Nazi ideology by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke
    The return-to-origins motif in Pauline theology and its significance for a theological interpretation of Messianic and millenarian movements in Melanesia by John G Strelan
    New heaven, new earth : a study of millenarian activities by Kenelm Burridge
    Millennial dreams in action; studies in revolutionary religious movements, by Sylvia L Thrupp
    Encyclopedic sourcebook of UFO religions by James R Lewis
    Radical religion in America : millenarian movements from the far right to the children of Noah by Jeffrey Kaplan

  426. cowswithguns December 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Regarding Obama and his refusal to raise taxes: Which Republican has the blackmail photos of him?

    Jerry Brown gives the straight dope on the CA budget problems — $28.1 billion deficit over the next 18 months:

  427. Lurker December 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Well put, Vlad.

  428. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    I don’t think there are any blackmail photos. Membership has its privileges and he has joined the club.

  429. progressorconserve December 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    An interesting analysis:
    An excerpt:
    “December 5, 2010
    A soft landing for America 40 years from now? Don’t bet on it. The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines.”

  430. turkle December 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    “romantic relatioships often seem great at first but typically don’t have the depth to last.”
    Then what should a healthy relationship be based on Vlad, a shared belief in the superiority of the white race?

  431. turkle December 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Everything fails in the long term, Vlad.
    As a famous economist once said, in the long term, we’re all dead.

  432. turkle December 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    “Hawaii is a paradise”
    Maybe it used to be, but now it is an overdeveloped traffic nightmare with a native population that has severe weight problems.

  433. asia December 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Rama………i knew him all too well.
    i am in el lay..which is where he showed to con sukas [me included]
    he was a powerful hypnotist / collector.
    [bob dylan line ‘growin food ill be outlawed’].
    i knew the kid that wote ‘ take me for a ride’
    theres a book on amazon…’kalis oddiyya’
    amara said ‘ rama got powerf rom the spirits, but thats like makin a deal with the mafia. they came and collected on him.
    from coast to coast last nite…..
    alex jones says theres a connection from planned parenthood to bill gates..i already knew buffet will be givin his $ to this organization.

  434. asia December 8, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    those who lingered on say rama / freddie maybe had VD and was deep in social drugs.
    he was a very evil man.
    now tony chase goes out and ‘talks rama up’ to the suckers.

  435. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Thanks for the read.
    Interesting article yes, but it seems quite speculative. We will be better off when we pay more attention to the facts behind our many and colorful narratives. It is hard to read tea leaves so far ahead and a Black Swan or two will come along and destroy the best analysis man can come up with at any time.
    But hey, its the journey, not the arriving that counts anyway.

  436. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Did anyone notice that MasterCard and Visa announced that it would suspend payments to WikiLeaks and then MasterCard and Visa were targeted — and taken down — by “hacktivists.”
    Websites belonging to other anti-WikiLeaks entities like Swiss bank PostFinance, Senator Joe Lieberman, PayPal, and Sarah Palin have also been disabled.
    I think Assange has thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of net-saavy supporters who believe in freedom of information and are willing to retaliate through cyber warfare for the legal and economic action being taken against Assange.
    The wise thing for governments to do at this point would be to release Assange, before governments start losing the command and control of their armed forces and central banks.
    Somehow, like Bustin J, I think WikiLeaks will be in the news on Jan. 1.
    Maybe 2011 is the real year of Y2K in the form of cyber meltdown.

  437. asia December 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    TURK..once i read that in studying the big isle
    scientists found that its ‘on a shelf’
    think wax dripping off a candle but growing outward as the drip increases…
    and that theres a strong chance much of the isle will snap off and sink due to being on a thin volcanic shelf!

  438. turkle December 8, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Jimbo, while I sometimes dig on your doomer sentiments, you are ahead of yourself here in that Casandra Complex way of yours. Only 5% of those Americans with a college degree are unemployed at this point. And the overall rate is something like 10% or 11%, which is not great (France anyone?), but isn’t really that terrible either. The Great Depression had unemployment rates of around 30% or more. Basket case countries have rates around that or higher. So America continues to muddle along somehow, and the idea of a “job” is not dead yet. We are not at full employment, but the bottom hasn’t fallen out either. In other words, if you want a job, get a college degree in the right area, and you will be likely to find one with an adequate job search. Of course, you might have to move someplace not so desirable, but that’s life.
    “[A barrel of oil is] well into the price range that destroys economic activity in the USA.”
    Do you have any evidence for this? Because really, a fifteen cent a gallon jump is what, like $2 or $3 dollars a fill-up if you have a 15-gallon tank. That’s nothing. That’s the price of a cup of Starbuck’s. Motherfuckers living in trailer parks spend over a hundred dollars a month on their fucking cable bills, Jimmie. You’re talking like $15-20 per month more in gas bill if you drive a four-banger, assuming you fill-up a lot (more than once a week). That is a absolute pittance. It is the cost of eating one meal at a low-end restaurant. Talk to me again when gas prices have doubled. Then we’ll see some SHTF action. Well, maybe these slight increases hurt the assholes in the SUVs a lot more. Perhaps that’s why there’s so much hemming and hawing from these fat fucks on the tv news as they fill up their Land Barges. Good. Fuck em. Americans are complete idiots in how much car they buy compared to how much they need. Higher gas prices will start to correct this, and it is about time.
    Yes, the overall indebtedness of America is getting ridiculous, as you’ve often written. Then again, many of the developed countries are in the same situation, so America’s situation is hardly unique. The only thing that is preventing us from balancing the yearly budget is political will to cut some government programs and raise taxes in the upper brackets, which we don’t seem to have, mostly because our lawmakers are whores for the top 1%. So, yeah, the debt situation could implode sometime, but when? You write as if it has already happened but it hasn’t. At least, the dollar’s value has not fallen drastically, and America continues to pay off bonds as they come due. Of course, that could change, but you talk as if America is like Weimar Germany already.
    And fiat money…it works great, actually, when compared with a gold standard. There were more bank panics and financial upheavals BEFORE the creation of the Fed Reserve than after, in fact far more. The economy has taken off since its creation, so (Vlad) don’t give me this Luddite crap about how we should return to trading chickens or whatever. Modern economies demand fiat currency systems with central banking. Nothing else works. Even when we were supposedly on the “gold standard,” we really weren’t, e.g. America NEVER had enough gold to redeem all the dollars in circulation since forever, at least not since about 1873 or so.
    That’s about it. I welcome your insults, rebuttals, and comments.
    Have a clusterfucking evening.

  439. turkle December 8, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    “Maybe 2011 is the real year of Y2K in the form of cyber meltdown.”
    DDOS attacks are not going to bring down the internet, at least not permanently. All you gotta do is ban the offending IP addresses by blocking them with a firewall. If it happens again, then you ban the new addresses. Rinse and repeat until attackers run out of IP addresses.
    Though I’m not sure if you were being sarcastic or not.

  440. Qshtik December 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    did you know new jersey is more crowded than any other state and all western european cuntries?
    Yes, I’m aware. Here’s another interesting fact. There’s an area of central NJ right near me (the focal point would be the towns of Edison and Iselin) with the greatest density of asian Indians anywhere outside India.

  441. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    Great comment, Turkle!
    Put on your helmet and prepare for incoming … you just violated several of the CFN dogmas, like this one: fiat money is bogus and worthless.

  442. Ang December 8, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Reading this shit is *far* more entertaining than anything you could watch on the boob tube!
    As for the hacktivists shutting down Liebermann’s and Palin’s websites…Jesus Christ, if we only knew that’s all it would take!
    Are they taking requests?
    How about taking down Meet the Press and Sarah Palin’s idiotic “reality” show as well?
    There’s got to be some malicious code that could eliminate TV shows, right?

  443. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    [satire on]
    Maybe 2011 is the real year of Y2K in the form of cyber meltdown.
    [satire off]

  444. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    “with the greatest density of asian Indians anywhere outside India.”
    NJ, hey not sayin your wrong there Qshtik but have you been to Redmond WA and seen what 20 years of cumulative H1-B employment by Microsoft has done for America. Plenty of Indian restaurants for sure here, if you like roast goat and curry this is your place.
    Anybody reading been to both places and can rule in on which has the ‘greatest density of asian Indians anywhere outside India.’

  445. tzatza December 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    “My guberment funded medical pics – is that gonna be a turn on for you?”
    Hardly, douche-bag. I was directing my missive to asoka-herself and NO I don’t want his med pics either. I was merely pointing out to her, that this revealing transparency that Wiki seems to be suggesting will be the salvation of the world main contain info that is neither enlightening nor relevant. It just MAY contain a bunch of shit that is nobody’s fucking business.
    “I will happily send pictures of my colonoscopy to you, TZA.
    Only if you promise to learn that things have to be paid for…”
    Only if you promise to learn that some fucking things do NOT have to be paid for…at least not by us taxpayers. Its fish or cut bait time entitlement boy. Time to grow a pair and reach in your own personal wallet. What? Nothing in your wallet? Wow man, better get biddy and try filling that wallet.

  446. Eleuthero December 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    I’m 58 years old, Cash, and you’re right …
    unless you’re over 50, you cannot remember a
    time when one wage earner EASILY supported a
    family of four. Now nearly all mothers work
    and even with two wage earners a house is not
    affordable. The reason is that in 1960 a
    typical house was about 1.5-2.0X annual salary.
    My Dad bought a house in suburban Philly in
    1960 for $10K and his salary then was $7.5K.
    Now, the median-priced American house is about
    5X median *household* income. That means that
    in a two-parent household it’s 2.5X of EACH
    earner’s income. However, even this is misleading
    because divorce has gone ballistic since 1970.
    Most marriages end because of MONEY ISSUES.
    As for unemployment, the most scandalous behavior
    in this regard is in the mainstream media. They
    almost NEVER advertise the U6 rate which is
    advertised on the Bureau of Labor website. It’s
    around 18%. Then there’s also all the premature
    retirements and such that aren’t even calculated
    in the U6 rate. Real, unfudged US unemployment
    surely MUST be around 22% if you factor in all
    the people who work a 10 or 15 hour parttime
    week … which counts them as fully employed.
    I’m glad some of us actually try to dig up the
    real stats instead of listening to Bloomberg or
    CNBC or Fox Biz and taking that as gospel.

  447. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Fiat money is not bogus and worthless, I am sitting on a huge pile of firewood (25 tons worth) and am pleased to see that my ‘value’ has gone up about 10% in the last year.
    Bogus and worthless I think not, I get a very warm feeling knowing my woodpile is increasing in value every day.

  448. Eleuthero December 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Thanks for the Kudos, LB, and many heartfelt
    condolences for your loss. I had been wondering
    what happened to you.
    Yes, that tax deal caused the ten-year note yield
    to rise FORTY-FIVE basis points in two trading
    sessions … which tells you what bondholders
    think of the Fed adding yet more untold trillions
    to the debt.

  449. asoka December 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    k-dog, I have been to both places and Edison wins.
    We have objective data on this from the 2000 census:
    21% Redmond, WA
    36% Edison, NJ
    I went to an Indian Festival in Edison and it was fantastic! Hands down, Edison wins.

  450. k-dog December 8, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Anybody need some wood?

  451. turkle December 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Hi, honey. Glad to see you’re back.
    “I mean, after all, since we tax payers are helping pay for your hiney-scan, we should be privy to the photos.”
    I for one am against an “open ass” policy.

  452. Qshtik December 8, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    K, the following paragraph comes from Wikipedia:
    As part of the 2000 Census, 17.75% of Edison residents identified themselves as being Indian American. This was the highest percentage of Indian American people of any place in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. (The neighboring community of Iselin had the second highest percentage, at 17.44%.) [29]
    Not sure where Asoka got his numbers. Even the total of ALL Asians is not 36%. It is about 27%.
    A question for Asoka: Where was the Indian festival held that you attended? About what year?

  453. turkle December 9, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    Your points on buying local and it not being affordable are a bit off.
    When you go to a local farmer’s market (where they are available…not everywhere and not in winter obviously), you can often find produce for LESS than what you pay at the supermarket, with better quality. That’s because the shipping costs are lower, the food doesn’t sit around very long, and the middle man is cut out. Very rarely is local produce significantly more expensive than at a national chain grocery store.
    And the “poor” in America generally make…er…poor choices in their cuisine, at least judging by how many unhealthy-looking fat asses are waddling about these days (or motoring about in their government-provided electric wheelchairs).
    You can live just fine on rice and beans and a bottle of vitamins, with maybe a few fruits and veggies thrown in there. Make a nice stir fry with some frozen brocolli or something. What’s that going to cost, like $50 a month? And it would be pretty healthy.
    But people choose to eat at Jack in the Box and Taco Bell at $4-5 a meal and get fat.
    Now the “organic” grocery chains, like Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck), are definitely priced higher than a typical supermarket. But that’s not the only option. And that’s not local either.

  454. Qshtik December 9, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    Anybody need some wood?
    Yeah, I could use wood. At 70 I don’t get wood like I used to. Used to be I could cut glass with that thing.

  455. asoka December 9, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    Hi Q, I think it was the Navratri Festival of Edison sponsored by the Indo-American Cultural Society and it was somewhere around the early 90s, almost twenty years ago. You tryin’ to trip me up?

  456. k-dog December 9, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    Asoka, so that’s the answer then. The 2000 census is rather dated,and the H1-B program has been continually ongoing. It’s possible that Redmond could have eclipsed Edison by now but I doubt it if the 36% number remains accurate.
    As far as I know we still have a shortage of engineers and scientists and other high tech workers in America and despite huge unemployment problems it is still important to bring in foreign high tech workers to do the work Americans are not sufficiently educated for and to do the jobs we don’t want.
    Besides, we have plenty of room and resources and the unemployed just need to look for work harder.

  457. turkle December 9, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    My dear tzatza. There you go again with the “government bad” and “free market good” blather.
    Old people don’t pay the costs of their own medical bills, because it is far too expensive, by a long shot. They can’t afford it. End of life expenses in the last six months are around $500,000, and that’s just a slice of the total medical bills for a senior. Who has that kind of money to spend out of pocket? Basically no one except the very wealthy.
    And insurance companies cannot make a profit if they have to cover old people, because the premiums would be ridiculously high, also basically unaffordable. That’s why the government covers them. Private health insurance doesn’t actually work for senior citizens.
    When you gonna grow up, Tea Bags? Some things we DO have to pay for as a society if we want a decent quality of life, because the “free market” fails to provide an adequate, affordable, or humane solution to the problem at hand. I’m so fucking sorry about that but Ayn Rand was totally full of shit. And so are you.
    Here’s a little thought experiment. When you get to be an old fart, are you going to go with the private insurance industry for coverage or are you going to take Medicare?
    If you take Medicare, well then, you’re just another hypocritical twat. If private insurance is so great, then go with that when your actual medical expenses become significant. Or just pay for everything out of pocket like you seem to propose. I’m sure donating your entire life savings and then declaring bankruptcy will work out just fucking great for you and your descendants (though I seriously doubt any female would want to procreate with you).
    And by the way, just calling something an “entitlement” doesn’t make it bad, wrong, or undesirable. It just makes you look like another selfish asshole.

  458. turkle December 9, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    “you cannot remember a time when one wage earner EASILY supported a family of four”
    The simple solution to that “problem” is not to have a family of four if you are the only wage earner.
    No one is forcing people at gunpoint to breed, and having children is not helping the overpopulation problem. Free birth control is available. If you have children that you can’t afford, then it is your own damn fault. I have no sympathy.

  459. asoka December 9, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    K-Dog said: “I doubt it if the 36% number remains accurate.”
    K-Dog, I found US Census data for 2006-2008 Community Survey estimates for both places but it only gave me “Asian” population.
    Redmond probably beats Edison for Japanese and Chinese residents, but even without a large population of Japanese and Chinese in Edison, the Asian population of Edison (36%) overwhelmingly beats Redmond’s 21%
    Redmond data here:
    Edison data here:

  460. Qshtik December 9, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    You tryin’ to trip me up?
    I attended a huge Indian Festival around the same time frame that was held on the grounds of Middlesex County College. Don’t know who sponsored it. It was quite a spectacle.

  461. k-dog December 9, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Kind of fun to see how such a simple question can lead to so many answers but that’s the way life is except when we forget and think we have all the answers.
    It does not matter to me if WA or NJ has the larger Indian population so long as we can all sit around a campfire, sing songs and be one big happy family.
    I’ll bring the wood.

  462. networker December 9, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    ProCon, I highly recommend it. The ultimate in personal redaction. Not only does it obliterate any possibility of future personal-file snoopage, it is also intensely satisfying, especially if one has spent any long hours (or days) repairing said drive in the past. And that goes double if it happens to contain one’s brother’s Windows files/viruses/spyware/ancient apps, which one has repeatedly fixed for him and thought the wretched cycle would never end. Former techs like me, who have spent countless hours trying to teach folks how to stop fucking up their computers were thanking Linus Torvalds (God) when the damn things got cheap!

  463. asoka December 9, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    We are one big happy family.
    I’ll bring the marshmallows ’cause I have some fiat money the grocery store still accepts.

  464. turkle December 9, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    “demotwats and the lametream media”
    I’m sorry. I don’t speak Tea Baggese.

  465. Kiwi Nick December 9, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    And Hawaii is paradise…
    It’s absolute crap (from my parents). Try the Gold Coast or Perth instead. I think JHK was onto something good last week.

  466. Kiwi Nick December 9, 2010 at 2:50 am #

    I remember when my father was EASILY able to support my mother, my sister, myself, pay off the house in 5 years, … –Cash
    Spot on. Women who stay at home have better adjusted kids, according to general consensus. The best thing the pollies can do is to find out what went wrong with having one income, and fix it.
    Or they can skip the finding out part: it’s the cost of accommodation (real-estate/rent/mortgage and commercial leases), and sometimes the cost of transport.
    Our captains of industry, our governments, … are all dirty dogs and as I think you said, there is not a dimes worth of difference between the lot of them. –Cash
    Hear hear. Although the Independents (members of parliament not aligned to either major party) are scoring a few deals “for the people”. And we have David Thodey at Telstra making a difference, and Theresa Gattung (former Telecom NZ) who told it like it was.
    Wikipedia will explain some of the above.

  467. k-dog December 9, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    marshmallows 🙂

  468. Eleuthero December 9, 2010 at 6:28 am #

    Ozone wrote:
    Thanks for the reality squeezin’s there. ;o)
    A.’s sparkling optimism usually doesn’t bother me (and his humor does make me laugh at times), but when he starts sounding like a paid, happy-talking gov’t. shill, I kinda want to spit…”
    A’s post, like almost all of his posts, is
    HIGH-HANDED … like he personally knows how
    to live in African-like poverty and be the
    Sunny Jim that he is. And his sunshine always
    seems to be accompanied by a lecture about how
    we “ought” to be.
    I’m just describing what I see on the ground
    in one of the most affluent towns in America,
    both from a personal and broadly observational
    perspective. It’s not like I’m enjoying
    reporting personal friends and acquaintances
    whose every day is full of manic bargain
    shopping and coupon clipping just to get by.
    Asoka, stop with the sermons about how we
    “ought” to be. I suspect that many of us,
    including myself, get a lot of pleasures
    from our everyday lives. I’ve got friends,
    hobbies (music, chess, astronomy), and I
    don’t take small pleasures for granted.
    However, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t
    decry the worsening of our conditions to
    third world levels (again, one in SIX Americans
    suffer from hunger … name a European country,
    even Portugal, Greece, or Ireland that’s that
    bad off) for people OTHER than myself.
    I dislike this mentality that just because I’m
    okay I should piss all over people who notice
    things that are NOT okay. Isn’t that what is
    happening in America? The “I got mine” mentality
    so if life’s bad for YOU, well, then fuck your
    Many things about your writing style are irksome.
    Bad reading comprehension (the Joe Bageant
    article). The “I’m spiritual and have crazy
    wisdom” shtick. And now the “you all have to
    learn to be happy” shtick. I’m not unhappy
    about MY plight. Does that mean I should piss
    all over people who simply observe WHAT IS??
    Am I not aloud to be concerned until we reach
    Western Sahara levels of total decay??
    I try to respond to your high-handed horse hockey
    as little as possible but sometimes you just get
    so goddamned superior that I really get an animal
    spirit to want to metaphorically knock you on
    your ass.

  469. Alexandra December 9, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Well first some good news…
    This blog and the comments section is suffering from hyperinflation, 417, 586, 629, and 738… amazing what QE’d styled froth can do… eh?
    Mirroring real life in more ways than one I dare say, so let’s take a few choice comments from this weeks JHK missive…
    *There’s no way the USA can ever “recover” to that lush breeding ground of swindling, fraud, and childish irresponsibility*
    Absolutely not with oil heading fast back to the $100 pb plus, OECD knee-jerk economy black-death rate!
    *American supermarket aisles still groan with every conceivable staple and delicacy, but note the prices of things*
    Yep I’d say that’s bang on… right, here… right now.
    But perhaps using LNG to cook corn, a best bet for those $ impoverished, food stamp lacking or silver/gold coin cash strapped?
    *The crisis of capital still has many acts to play out*
    And rumour has it the Deutschmark is once more being mass printed on Heidelberg presses in the Odenwlad…. for when the handelsleute beschließen, genug zu schreien sind genug!
    And this is the beginning of the end for the EEC continuity for sure…
    Weird thing is, this might take some pressure off the greenback for a wee while…
    So more time to relax, down a full-sugar Pepsi, or heavy alch beer and stare blank faced and expressionless (due to the comfort of Prozac) into the glowing 50” plasma screen enjoying all that is Kardashian… while popping the salty pretzels.
    (I thought this was some new Star Treekie development), but no… (thanks for the hat-tip Jim), being a UK based Brit I had to go trawl it up online-n-gawd… what awful victims of bad plastic surgery role models those Kris and Bruce are…
    Is this currently the very best that the US can aim for… ??
    An adolescent stuck cling-on boomer society, dominated by must-have brand toys, plastic celebrity, instant gratification and a desperate (and highly manufactured) yearning for self-glorification?
    Tis surely not a healthy way to live?
    The sooner the *world made by hand* realities, mentality and health benefits kick in the better… me thinks…
    Can anyone here really doubt this or wish for less?
    Now must dash, have flights to Boston to sort, luck of an Irish witch you might say, and not that long ago I lived in Van Buren Place…
    Not a street as such, but a nice coincidence I’d say…
    Be seeing you…

  470. trippticket December 9, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    “what about trees that provide food or herbs?
    and do you grow bamboo?”
    I do! I have a 50′ timber species that will produce 4″ culms one day, and a 25′ black bamboo I’m planning on using for decorative gates, arbors, etc. Still very young. I couldn’t build a Barbie pergola out of it at this point. I’ll be looking to add new species to that collection as I go, especially the sweeter shoot varieties like Phyllostachys dulcis, sweet shoot bamboo.
    The trees I’m talking about are almost always good food trees too. And really that’s the role of a pioneer – condition soil, and attract others to build diversity and resilience. Honey locust produces a sweet legume pod in the fall that poultry eat, and can be made into a mead type alcoholic beverage. The prunings make fine nitrogen-rich mulch and goat fodder. Locusts also produce world-class bee food in spring. There are thousands of plant species to choose from. Never plant anything for only one purpose. Always stack functions.
    And of course there are always pioneer shrubs too, like Siberian pea shrub and Goumi berry that produce decent fruit and livestock fodder. If you have a dry spot, think stone pines. That’s really long term planning though. You were looking for fast.
    There are some great permies in California, maybe look up Larry Santoyo, I think he’s LA based. He could help a lot more in that region than I can.
    Hope that helps.

  471. trippticket December 9, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    “The ultimate in personal redaction.”
    Reminds me of the scene in “Office Space” where they steal the copier the day they get fired and take it out to a field and beat the ever-lovin’ shit out of it.
    “PC Load Letter? What the fuck does that mean??”
    That movie was inspirational for me, I have to admit, especially just departing from cubicle hell myself. That one and the Matrix. Really the same story. Unplug and live a real life. Some folks around here could benefit from that idea.

  472. progressorconserve December 9, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Regarding a family of 4 on one income –
    The house was probably 1200 square feet or so with single pane windows, one bathroom, tiny rooms. They had one car, if that, without seat belts or a radio – you get the idea.
    It’s keeping with “the Jones-es” in the States. I’m sure y’all keep up with some similar family in Canada and Australia.
    And a woman at home full time – especially once the kids reach kindergarten age – can represent a large “underutilization?” of human capital – considering modern appliances and cooking practices.
    Just some counterpoints, guys.

  473. trippticket December 9, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    “And rumour has it the Deutschmark is once more being mass printed on Heidelberg presses in the Odenwlad…. for when the handelsleute beschließen, genug zu schreien sind genug!”
    I’ve certainly had enough. Beeilen der Balkanisierung anfang! Or something like that…

  474. networker December 9, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Tripp, precisely 🙂
    “The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.” – Peter Gibbons

  475. tzatza December 9, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    “I for one am against an “open ass” policy.”
    Rather odd as all you do around here is talk out of your ass.

  476. mika. December 9, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    The face of an angel:
    (You will die a very slow painful death. There will be no redemption for you, Vladik)

  477. progressorconserve December 9, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Nice little insults, TZA, especially compared to some particularly weak ones that I’ve seen on CFN.
    I’m not sure how/why referring to Asoka as “her” is supposed to be an insult, though.
    Don’t you like girls??
    Anyway, to more useful specifics – you say:
    “Its fish or cut bait time entitlement boy. Time to grow a pair and reach in your own personal wallet. What? Nothing in your wallet? Wow man, better get biddy and try filling that wallet.”
    Actually, TZA, my wallet’s in pretty good shape. My wife and I worked hard for 30+ years, made some good decisions, and we’ve been Blessed (blessed?) with sufficient resources to live well.
    Taxes are the dues we pay for being successful.
    If you don’t want to pay taxes – don’t make any money and go live in a box under a bridge.
    What is with all the yammering that you and the right wing do TZA, with respect to federal marginal tax rates on those who have more than $250K of INCOME. (definition of income is important, BTW – cause most of the rich don’t show a whole lot of “income” for tax purposes)
    Do you make more than $250K/year – if not, why do you even CARE about this??? Answer this, please!
    Do you now make $50K but expect to someday make $250K – you are probably living a very unlikely dream, TZA –
    And fiddling with marginal federal rates is not going to make your $250K dream any more real.

  478. mika. December 9, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    PC, sorry to cut in, but why should the gov mafia have any of our money? The whole system is totally illegitimate and morally bankrupt, why should it be supported?

  479. progressorconserve December 9, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Ah, Mika – so you’re an anarchist?
    Reference Somalia for the answer to your question.

  480. trippticket December 9, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    “”The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.” – Peter Gibbons”
    Sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays…;)

  481. mika. December 9, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    PC, as far as I know, Somalia is just another case against the gov mafia. But perhaps you can school me different.

  482. Qshtik December 9, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Am I not aloud
    TeeHee, that’s a good one.

  483. tzatza December 9, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    “Do you make more than $250K/year – if not, why do you even CARE about this??? Answer this, please!”
    I don’t want the government, whose officials continually fuck up everything they touch, taking any more of any individuals money in taxes. That includes the poor, the middle class and the rich.
    Each individual can best determine how to spend what they have earned. Siphoning their money via taxation and delivering these monies to various federal, state and local agencies only waters down the effectiveness of an individual’s purchasing power. The graft, corruption and waste that is running rampant throughout our governmental agencies ultimately turns dollars into dimes.
    Let me ask you a question. Why would you NOT care about increasing taxes? We as a nation are bankrupt. And we are bankrupt not because we do not pay enough in taxes we are bankrupt because of the shit-heels who can’t think of enough fucking ways to piss it all down a sink.
    And by the way, the top 1% of wage earners pay 38.02% of Federal Income Tax. The bottom 50% pay a mere 2.7%. Are you suggesting that the “rich” aren’t paying their fair share? Pul-fucking-eeeze.

  484. progressorconserve December 9, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I was using Somalia as a present day example of anarchy in action.
    You say,
    “The whole system is totally illegitimate and morally bankrupt, why should it be supported?”
    You’re overreaching in referring to the WHOLE system as morally bankrupt – certainly parts of it are, though – no argument.
    It’s a simple equation though
    No taxes = no government = anarchy
    I might be OK in anarchy because I’m mean as hell and pretty well prepared – that doesn’t mean that anarchy would be a net improvement, even to my personal situation.
    And MIKI – your Israeli mask is slipping a little.
    Do the Israelis want lower taxes and cuts in guv’ment services, TOO?

  485. Qshtik December 9, 2010 at 10:47 am #