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Then All At Once

     I was plying the interstate highways of New England this weekend — there is no sane way to get from Albany, New York, to the vicinity of Middletown, Connecticut, by public transit — marveling at the vistas of normality all around me: the freeway lanes with their orderly streams of happy motorists, the chain stores floating like islands on the gray undulating landscape, the corporate towers of Springfield, Mass, and then Hartford, gleaming in the persistent pre-spring sunshine, as though they physically represented the wished-for dynamism of economies in recovery. “I see dead people…” said the kid in that horror movie. I see dying ways of life.
     There was no denying the spectacular weather for us long-suffering northeasterners. A week ago, it was like living in a banana daiquiri around here. Now, it was sixty-two degrees in East Haddam, CT, along a very beautiful stretch of the Connecticut River somehow miraculously unmarred by the usual mutilations of industry or recreation. On a few hillsides facing south, daffodils were already up with blossom heads ready to pop. The mind could go two ways: into the past, when wooden sailing craft were built in yards along the river; or into the future, when it would be easy to imagine wooden sailing craft being built there again, only twenty miles or so from the great sheltered mini-sea of Long Island Sound.
      Whatever else one thinks of how we live these days, it’s hard to not see it as temporary, historically anomalous, a peculiar blip in human experience. I’ve spent my whole life riding around in cars, never questioning whether the makings of tomorrow’s supper would be there waiting on the supermarket shelves, never doubting when I entered a room that the lights would go on at the flick of a switch, never worrying about my personal safety. And now hardly a moment goes by when I don’t feel tremors of massive change in these things, as though all life’s comforts and structural certainties rested on a groaning fault line.
     It had been one of those eventless weeks when the world pretended to be a settled place. The collapse of Greece seemed like little more than a passing case of geo-financial heartburn. The 36,000-odd newly-unemployed were spun magically into a feel-good story for public consumption, and the stock markets ratified it by levitating over a hundred points. The news media was preoccupied with the Great Question of whether the first woman film director would win a prize, thus settling all accounts in the age-old gender war, and the health care reform bill lumbered around the congressional offices like a zombie in search of a silver bullet that might send it back to the comforts of the tomb.
      All in all, it was the sort of quiescent string of days that makes someone like me nervous. I can’t help imagining what it was like in the spring of 1860, for instance, when so many terrible questions of polity hung over the country, and hundreds of thousands of young men still walked behind their plows or stood at their counting desks or turned their wrenches in the exciting new industries — not knowing that destiny was busy preparing a ditch somewhere to receive their shattered corpses in places as-yet-unknown called Spotsylvania, Shiloh, and Cold Harbor. Or else my mind projects to the spring of 1939, when men dressed in neckties and hats sat in a ballpark watching Joe DiMaggio and Charlie Keller play “pepper” in the pregame sunshine, and nobody much thought about the coming beaches of Normandy and the canebrakes of the Solomon Islands.
     Everything we know about it seems to indicate that human beings happily go along with the program — whatever the program is — until all of a sudden they can’t, and then they don’t.  It’s like the quote oft-repeated these days (because it’s so apt for these times) by surly old Ernest Hemingway about how the man in a story went broke: slowly, and then all at once. In the background of last week’s reassuring torpor, one ominous little signal flashed perhaps dimly in all that sunshine: the price of oil broke above $81-a-barrel. Of course in that range it becomes impossible for the staggering monster of our so-called “consumer” economy to enter the much-wished-for nirvana of “recovery” — where the orgies of spending on houses and cars and electronic entertainment machines will resume like the force of nature it is presumed to be. Over $80-a-barrel and we’re in the zone where what’s left of this economy cracks and crumbles a little bit more each day, lurching forward to that moment when something life-changing occurs all at once.
     I gave a talk down in Connecticut to a roomful of people who are still pretty much preoccupied with such questions as how to fight the landing of the next WalMart UFO, or how best to entice tourists to purchase objets-d’art, or serve up weekend entertainments along with fine dining and accommodations. Meanwhile, I’m thinking: how many of you might be grubbing around the woods six months from now for enough acorns and mushrooms to make something resembling soup…? It’s an extreme fantasy, I know, but it dogs me. Elsewhere in this big nation, I imagine a laid-off engineer — a genial, capable fellow, once valued by his former employer —  tinkering in his Ohio basement with a device designed to blow up the headquarters of the health insurance company that has just denied his wife treatment for cancer of some organ or other. Or my mind ventures into the rank “function room” of a Holiday Inn outside Indianapolis, where Tea Party recruits meet over chicken nuggets to discuss the New World Order, and the Bilderberg conspiracy, and the suspicious numbers of Jews in the bonus-padded upper echelons of the Wall Street banks, and what might be done about that.
     On the trip back to upstate New York, my eyes couldn’t fix on anything in the landscape that seemed even remotely permanent. Even the massiveness of all that steel and concrete deployed in everything from the glass towers to the highway toll booths seemed insubstantial.  I could easily envisage the Mass Pike empty of cars with mulleins and sumacs popping through fissures in the pavement, and sheets of aluminum on the vacant Big Box stores flapping rhythmically in the wind, and something entirely new going on in the hills and valleys along the way, where people labored to bring forth new life.

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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.

448 Responses to “Then All At Once”

  1. Chris Lawrence March 8, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Yes, the transportation infrastructure is terrible in many areas, and road transport is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions. Yet the solution is simple.
    First, more rail:
    Second, we need car-free cities:
    This is already happening in parts of the world, and there is no reason we cannot do this in North America as well.

  2. nothing March 8, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Jim: I see that your Handy Dandy Word Mincer is still on the blink. I understand. The times call for blunt language. We sent our Mincer to the recycle bin a while ago at The Nothing Store
    We do still season our rants with a few tips for weathering the coming storm.

  3. Solar Guy March 8, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    My girlfriend told me to quit worriyng and being so negative… Normally I brush it off and keep sweating the future. But today I am putting the doom and gloom to the far back corner of my brain, and going out to give some estimates for solar systems… And I promise to start a garden soon… Cheers
    This sounds like a better way to live- “never questioning whether the makings of tomorrow’s supper would be there waiting on the supermarket shelves, never doubting when I entered a room that the lights would go on at the flick of a switch, never worrying about my personal safety” “they” will take care of everything

  4. carh8tr March 8, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Here’s blunt language for you. Your website sucks!

  5. carh8tr March 8, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    I’ve seen better artwork on a refrigerator door!

  6. Lynn Shwadchuck March 8, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Two years ago I took a lot of photos of two feet of powder in the woods here. At the time I feared it could be the last time I would see such scenes. Now the rotten and thin sea ice is racing out of the Nares Straits, unimpeded by ice shelves and arches that used to hold it back. The feedbacks from what’s going on around Greenland could run away any time. Maybe my diet is more of a spiritual practice than something that could halt this juggernaut, but don’t you want to be able to say you at least tried, down the road?
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  7. The Mook March 8, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    It seems to me, that the sooner the United States is cut-off from foreign oil, the better. Although this article reminds us of the horrors of what may waiting right around the bend, it reveals that what blooms afterwards is usually better. Too bad we didn’t let the banks fail, as we would probably be entering the first phase of recovery by now. We also would know exactly how fortified these bonus boys estates (fortresses) are. Thank God Hitler didn’t own one. I’ll bet Cheney does.

  8. budizwiser March 8, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    The world is much like a poor student who knows his homework is due – and sort of know how to do it – but just keeps on resisting because there are simply to many other “easier” things to do.
    Meanwhile, big brother maintains his one-act farce, talking about how important it is for people to get healthful stimulation. At least as long as it keeps him getting fatter, richer and “happier.”
    The world will watch and wait, until the homework is due. And only then, when the pain of reality brings some eye-opening, ear splitting screams will your redundant prodding have seem of value.

  9. thomas99 March 8, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Richard Heinberg has a nice recent post on “Life After Growth” over at the Museletter web site:

  10. Andrew MacDonald March 8, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    Hard as it is to see that manure getting ever nearer to the windfarm, it’s easier than that jumpy feeling of having it right out of awareness.
    And maybe easier still to get in there and work now with what we’ll have left to work with after – neighbors, land, and more local economies . . .
    It’s coming anyway, might as well get on it!

  11. ELI316 March 8, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Americans have no clue as to what is going on around them in the world. As long as they have their cars, prescription drugs and 100 oz cups of soda in the morning they are happy. One thing that I can’t help imagine is how are all the old people in this country going to get around when they can no longer get gas to drive their cars. It might be that they will only have their electric golf carts to drive to the nearest prescription drug store outlet.

  12. indyamerican March 8, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    The airline industry in the USA is a great example of the constant decay we see in our country. Speaking with some fellow pilots in Denver yesterday we chatted about the constant slow death of the airline pilot career. Older pilots are refusing to retire, airlines are slowly devolving and losing money. There are no decent paying flying jobs available right now in the US; they are all overseas in China, India, the Middle East, etc. Yet, somehow the airlines find plenty of young kids to fly for sub $20k a year to fly people around in RJs and Turboprops, while the top paying flying jobs have now all moved overseas. If you are a highly experienced pilot the only way to get a reasonable income is to go overseas. Yet, for those starting out they have to spend $50-100K to get the training they need to be a new hire pilot. Go figure! One of the pilots remarked, after telling me that his company will shut its doors in September, that one of these days they will stop using the phrase “going postal” and start saying “going airline”.
    Consider the situation we face in our country when well meaning Air Traffic controllers face losing their jobs for letting their kids say “Adios” to an airplane on a take kids to work day? There was no threat to the flying public, the ATC controllers in JFK are top-notch. What happened is that some no-nothing and do-nothings on TV decided to have a field day at the expense of some Dads that help keep everyone save and make America actually work on a daily basis. Until we as Americans wake up and start to value these people that sustain the daily functions of our society, we see a continual decline in the status quo. What does it say about a country where those that are celebrated are those that contribute absolutely nothing to the functioning of the society ? Meanwhile those that do make this society work are continually harassed and punished for small liberties that actually help sustain the overall economic machine.
    In the future, I predict that the people that made their riches skimming profits from transactions, and others that only take value from our society will see their fortunes decline. Where we are headed it will be those that add value to society that actually get ahead again. Firemen, Police, Garbage-men, Mechanics, Teachers, Pilots, Bus drivers, Train Engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Farmers,,,,these will be our heros again someday. I just hope it happens before we see our society collapse under all of the weight of all the leeches the productive people are forced to carry.
    Want success in the future? Start with actually doing something that helps society, Build something, Grow something, Do something. If you don’t prepare to suffer.

  13. empirestatebuilding March 8, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Funny, I went to a Deli on Long Island to buy a sandwich yesterday. The sandwich cost $7.95 and the line was out the door… I thought to my unemployed self…wow… what recession? The sandwich for me was a treat… someone else offered to buy it. We may be sliding into the Long Emergency, but foraging for acorns is a long way off… we still have enough so called money to send boat loads of help to Haiti. We may be living like the Haitians in a few years, but I am sure they can handle adversity much butter than we will.
    Who wants to help with my website? There are a lot of great posters on this site. I could use your help as I muddle through my 9th month of unemployment.

  14. DeeJones March 8, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    I posted this towards the end of last weeks comments, but I think it bears repeating:
    “There seems to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery.
    The second by commerce, which is generally cheating.
    The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle wrought by the hand of God in his favor as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.” Ben Franklin. Ah, poor Ben, he wouldn’t even recognize the country he helped found, it is so over taken by greed & avarice.

  15. Godozo March 8, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Your article seems to remind me of a patient in a stage of shock. There’s the first phase, where the body reacts to the attack, then the second phase where the body does everythng it can to keep things going,then the third phase where everything falls apart because there’s no longer enough stuff to keep things going close to normal.
    I’d say our economy is now in the second phase of shock. It’s making do and making things go as close as possible, but there’s plenty of signs that there’s unnatural adjustments going on.
    Shock seems to be the natural way of dying. Look at the two shuttle explosions: Adjustment after adjustment, then suddenly things fall apart.

  16. Fouad Khan March 8, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    I don’t know Jim. It seems to me that you’ve actively started ignoring good news now in favor of the end-topia fantasy you’ve become preoccupied with.
    They’ve started setting up shop in Iraq and there’s enough oil there to keep civilization chugging along for another half a century or so. Iraq will come along; a million or two more arabs will die before that happens perhaps. But Iraq will come along.
    And the $80 a barrel oil is finally inducing US out of its irrational Nucleo-phobia. Elsewhere there are devices that will take the horizontally pumped natural gas and make electricity out of it efficiently enough to make the grid redundant.
    All of that will give us another fifty years or so to go back to being K-strategist species again. And that’s all really that we need to do; overcome our recently acquired new nature.

  17. wagelaborer March 8, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    It is amazing that millions of people can have their lives ruined by the decisions of a few people at the top.
    The ruling class decides to have a war, and millions of young dreams are crushed, while cities are destroyed and children suffer.
    For what? The profits of a few.
    The really amazing thing to me is that most go along with it.
    “The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them, high or lowly,
    And ordered their estate.”

  18. wardoc March 8, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Here’s a thought: The image of Joe Six pack and wifey, gazing hypnotically at the latest ball game on TV at one point in time, and then, a few weeks latter,using the TV as a cook stove, and having to hunt for acorns, squirrels, rats, chipmonks, neighbor pets, neighbors, or whatever provides a protein source. Surely they will be shocked and very pissed off; the latter to the point of attacking any and all they perceive as responsible. That will be the basis for the social dislocations we are about to experience.
    It is very clear that most humans cannot perceive and process non linear events coming at them, regardless of the amount of evidence. Therefore, they cannot and will not prepare. That’s why we see the continual harping on coming up with ways to run cars one way or another; the lack of cars is non linear, and thus outside the cognitive set of most people. Remember, the amerikan lifestyle is non negotiable. That is an essential statement of the inability to comprehend non linear processes.
    Most people are going to continue doing their things until the world around them shifts and then they start doing something different. But the pain they get from failure to prep will not be slight, and they will lash out at other. Just wait.
    Lock and load,

  19. teddyboy46 March 8, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Jim, even though your blog was not as sarcastic and biting as usual which i really like. I enjoyed it you are always able to use just the right words to express what a lot of us are thinking.
    I think your art work is great it captures so much emotion.

  20. 3rd Generation March 8, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    “I was only following orders”
    -Adolph Hitler

  21. scarlet runner March 8, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I like acorns (the sweet ones) and mushrooms. In a soup…I’ll have to try that.

  22. wagelaborer March 8, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    I bought this house within walking distance of my job because I thought that there might come a time that I would need to walk to work.
    It didn’t, however, occur to me that I might lose my job before the oil ran out.
    So, yes, it’s hard to foresee the future.

  23. Onthego March 8, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Infrastructure is something three generations of America have taken completely for granted. Almost every day there is another news story about a bridge built in the 1920s or 30’s that needs work, has collapsed, or has been demolished due to safety concerns. The fact that those bridges are still standing at all is a testament to the over-engineering, the massive over-building, and the pride the construction crews took in their work.
    The bids have just come in for repairs to the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge – all at least $2 million over bid. Either the state has wildly underestimated the costs to repair (not unlikely), the bidders smell a free lunch (very likely), or reality checks still need to be cashed. By the way, the bridge is judged in “fair to good” shape (but they don’t warn you which sections are only “fair”).
    How many people really want to drive on a bridge whose maintenance has been deferred and then gone to the lowest bidder? And how many of you are doing so daily?
    In a recent Zogby Poll, the question was asked how vital high-speed internet is to overall quality of life and how would you fare if it was down for a day? The fact that internet infrastructure is the focus of a poll should tell us a lot about how far of the radar screen vital physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) are in most minds.
    Last spring a couple of miles of railroad track buckled in the unusually hot spring heat wave on a local spur. After a quickie fix, the same section buckled again in the next heat wave. Luckily, only a few cars of road salt got dumped. But the moral of the story is clear.
    Around the world, the exponential growth of state power continues to blur the line between economics and politics.
    The Icelanders just gave their government permission to repudiate their debt to Netherlands and the United Kingdom following their spectacular economic implosion last year.
    The Greeks have no intention of swallowing Draconian changes in their lifestyle just because their government is broke (courtesy of Goldman Sachs, who exports their shenanigans as widely externally as they do internally). A long hot summer of riots probably won’t stop at their borders, either.
    The World Gold Council, who just released their 2009 annual report on gold trends, says that overall investment in gold was 7% higher in 2009 than 2008, no matter how bad the economic conditions. People are nervous – especially the ones who still have assets. Gold closed at $1,133 on Friday.
    And here at home, more of that change we didn’t think we were voting for. Although government spending is not growth, you’ll never hear the G-men admit it. The most recent figures show that 8% of durable orders are now bought by the military, up from 4% before the “crises.” Bomb-proof suits don’t lead to genuine growth, although don’t tell the Canadian company that just got a $24 million military contract for their main plant in Ogdensburg, NY.
    15,000 temporary Census jobs just skewed the Labor Department’s monthly employment report, with the usual math (and excuses) at work. Payrolls falling by 36,000 is better news than the mainstream analysts expected – hurray, less awful is good! We can all sing Hosannas that the U3 unemployment rate held steady at 9.7% (well, we could if it meant anything). But that never-talked about U6 figure that includes discouraged workers and part-timers who want full-time jobs grew from 16.5% to 16.8%. (More awful is just plain more awful.)
    In Philadelphia there is anarchy. Over many months, gangs, numbers estimated at 70 to 120 juveniles on any given date, gather at a coded site in the city and proceed to attack people, business, and police. They use Facebook to set up locations and then, after the attack, they disperse. This week they targeted Macy’s downtown. Previously, when the baseball was in season, they attacked a patron of a sports bar outside the Phillies stadium and beat him to death, and they have no problem going after police in patrol cars.
    And so it goes…

  24. ithacaisdoomed March 8, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Thank you for a less sardonic, more humane post this week! You’ve described perfectly my own hobby, or preoccupation, when I’m driving around “America the formerly beautiful.” I guess it’s an attempt to escape the ugliness I’m seeing, but I always imagine what people will do and how they will fare in any given area I’m “happily motoring” through after TSHTF. I definitely have a secret longing for the mullein and sumacs “popping through the fissures in the pavement.” It reminds me of that Talking Heads song about a post-oil future: “This was a discount store, now it’s turned into a cornfield. If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawnmower…”

  25. Smokyjoe March 8, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    I was in the north of England a year back and I had the chance to visit sections of Hadrian’s Wall. One fact sticks with me. When the Roman equivalent of paychecks stopped arriving in the early 5th century, the Legions just walked away. Some areas retained something like the Latin way of life, and the luckiest retained it a long time.
    Overall, however, the times were grim and got grimmer by the year. This factoid from Wikipedia sums up what I read and, with an astute eye, saw among the Roman remains in England:
    “By 407 there were no new Roman coins going into circulation, and by 430 it is likely that coinage as a medium of exchange had been abandoned. Pottery mass production probably ended a decade or two previously; the rich continued to use metal and glass vessels, while the poor probably adopted leather or wooden ones.”
    There’s a lovely and sad artifact in the Yorkshire museum about this period of time. It’s a simple glass container, and the card beside it notes that no new glass was made after the first decade of the 5th century. The people just “made do” with what they had.
    Make whatever parallels (and they are not usually good) between America and Rome, but we have this: how many Americans who pick glass into the trash can can even mend a broken window, let along blow glass?

  26. catman306 March 8, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Remember Pompeii and its fate of volcanic destruction? The people who lived there certainly saw the smoke and glowing lava for weeks before the explosion and had warning. They got used to living with the danger and learned to ignore it. Then one day came a tremendous explosion and the people ran down the streets toward the supposed safety of the sea but were overcome by 200 mph pyroclastic flows and died in their tracks.
    There’s probably a lesson here for our nation and our civilization.
    Jim captured it in his title: “All at Once”.

  27. Smokyjoe March 8, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Last line should be:
    “how many Americans who PITCH glass into the trash can can even mend a broken window, let ALONE blow glass?”
    Shoddy proofreading, and a mania for recycling, got the best of me.
    PS to the comment: most soldiers in what is now England and Wales in the 5th Century were natives, so they had no great allegiance to the idea of Empire when the pay stopped. These men took their fighting skills, gathered friends, and went home to defend their families and grow food.
    Make whatever parallel to THAT you wish.

  28. catman306 March 8, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Smokeyjoe: Interesting that we both independently thought of Roman Empire metaphors at the same time. It might be a good time for some to drag out the history books or online encyclopedia,

  29. ozone March 8, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    JHK sez:
    “Everything we know about it seems to indicate that human beings happily go along with the program — whatever the program is — until all of a sudden they can’t, and then they don’t.”
    Yes, that’s what I’m shown time and time again; things [and behaviors] that can’t go on forever… don’t. Why doesn’t anybody (excepting most of those “here”) seem to get that?
    I guess that might be why I’m so vehemently opposed to false hope?

  30. Shambles March 8, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    I’m interested to read comments about Roman Britain, because I think this is probably the finest historical model of the “powerdown” peak oil scenario.
    I studied the Romano British era for a time. The Empire crumbled, but the people kept trying to keep up appearances. Gradually, less and less villas were being built, and the people went back to native building styles – which were arguably more suited to the (cold and wet) northern British climate. The Brits were enthusiastic about Roman rule, and really wanted the richess to continue.
    What followed has been called the Dark Ages, but this label is based on snobbery – people using that term are on one hand, a bunch of clacissists hung up on Rome, and on the other, religious fanatics.
    Oh, and apologies for being such a keener, but I can’t help but love JHK’s line: “The mind could go two ways: into the past, when wooden sailing craft were built in yards along the river; or into the future, when it would be easy to imagine wooden sailing craft being built there again, only twenty miles or so from the great sheltered mini-sea of Long Island Sound.”
    It’s exactly how I feel right now. (Often, however, I feel a lot less cheerful!)

  31. dale March 8, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Damn Jim, you ought to try and enjoy life a little more. Driving around seeing everything as some sort of trailer to the movie “2012”, ain’t good for ya man! You’ll likely be dead by the time any of it happens anyway. Have a drink, hell…..get drunk…..you need it.

  32. Bustin J March 8, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Dale, you’re not saying anything he (and we) haven’t already heard. Or is it your Xanax talking?

  33. twessels March 8, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Observing the suburban and urban landscape from a speeding car doesn’t reveal the breakdown in social organization that lies underneath. You can find stories like these happening all around the country.
    City of San Francisco to layoff 15,000 employees to help cover a $500M budget deficit. The employees will be “invited” to reapply for their jobs at lower wages and benefits and shorter hours.
    Detroit has cleared or demolished enough city blocks to equal the footprint of the City of San Francisco.
    City of Toledo, Ohio (typical of auto rust belt cities) is trying to close a $50M budget deficit and will layoff more city workers, close parks, etc.
    Kansas City, Missouri plans to close half of its public schools.
    UC Berkeley students protest a 30% increase in student fees. Back in my college days we used to protest against the Vietnam War and American imperialism.
    The combined budget deficits of the 50 states over this year and next will be $350B. There will be no bailout from the Federal government for the cities and states. All of the government’s capital and financial guarantees (in the trillions of dollars) have been handed over to the banking and housing sectors and when these fail we will be on the hook for the debts and losses. Just think Iceland and its financial collapse and multiply by several orders of magnitude.
    I’d say it is about time for some grown-ups in positions of authority to start telling everyone to prepare for a decline in their standard of living and to expect less of everything…fat chance. They would rather start World War III than admit that the U.S. is in terminal decline. Dreams of empire die hard.

  34. Consultant March 8, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Hey folks,
    Can we ease up on all the links to “your” sites?
    I don’t mind all the links to additional information, etc. But the shameless self promotion is tacky. Especially when some people do it over and over.
    Meanwhile, in my hometown of Kansas City, Mo., they are about to close 1/2 of the public schools in the city. The schools, linked to property taxes, are about to fall harder than the flipped properties that brought them boom times and now disaster.

  35. Cash March 8, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    I read that when the Empire went down, law and order evaporated, without law and order trade evaporated, without trade cities were abandoned because trade was their raison d’etre. Even mighty Rome was abandoned.
    Without the cities and the concentration of educated and literate people, literacy broke down to the point where even the elite couldn’t read and write.
    Maybe something like this could happen to us ie without oil and fuel there are breakdowns in movement of goods to the point where cities are unliveable because of the lack of basic commodiites and foodstuffs. And so they’re abandoned and we go live around rural hilltop forts the way people did in the middle ages.

  36. GAZ March 8, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    When I’m out in public and at work at the local hospital, I look around and wonder when “The Anger” will be inflicted on our illegal guests before it consumes the general public. I hope they have the good sense to get out before it really gets crazy but I’m afraid they are just as clueless as the rest of the white trash america.

  37. mhelie March 8, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    The Roman Empire didn’t go down to be replaced by lawlessness and anarchy. It was the opposite event, the Roman Empire could not control the lawlessness and anarchy anymore, and so it went down. The barbarian lords were then tasked with trying to govern the mess the Romans left in partnership with the Roman Catholic Church.
    I’m predicting the same thing is happening right now, the old empires are consuming and destroying everything, and by the time they consume themselves we will have to figure out how to live on our own: http://globalsovereignty.wordpress.com/global-sovereignty-and-the-future-of-the-state/
    The only difference today is that it is all happening much faster.

  38. mhelie March 8, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Sorry used the wrong link.

  39. ian807 March 8, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Even if we take the “optimistic” estimates of Iraqi oil (i.e. 350 billion barrels) and not the proven reserves (i.e. 130 billion barrels), the world uses 87 million barrels a day, creeping up to 100 million barrels a day.
    Bottom line: If Iraq supplied the world, it would last 3 years at least, 10 at most.
    Of course, the daily draw will be slower than that. If I were the Iraqi government, I’d never pump out more than 2-4 million barrels a day, hoping to make a killing when the Saudis start running out in a big way over the next decade. Ditto for Iran.
    But that’s not going to happen. Too many other places are in decline and there’ll be too much temptation to increase production in both Iran and Iraq, and even more temptation by each of the big powers to simply walk in and take over. Call it 15 to 20 years and we’re done, after a war or two that uses up the oil even faster.
    Bottom line? Iraq’s oil slows down powerdown, but not by much.

  40. End of times March 8, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I’m really quite amazed at the number of people that believe the global warming fantasy on this site. I sort of expected that realism prevailed here but it seems not. Read the latest proper science and you’ll see it’s not real, added to which are the recent revelations that a lot of the figures used by the warmists are manipulated, incomplete or just plain wrong. Get real people, climate change depends on the sun and the last 10 years have shown no increase in temperature. Almost nobody believes it except the ones that gain from all the new taxes.
    Worry about the oil running out and civil war over the remaining food not some imagined future 1 or 2 degree increase that would be largely beneficial anyway.

  41. twessels March 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    And it just keeps getting worse…
    The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to layoff 5200 employees.
    Jackson Health System plans to close two hospitals in Miami and layoff 4200 employees.
    Shaws announced it is closing all of its supermarkets in Connecticut and will layoff 1000 employees.
    What recovery? Over 400K jobs would need to be created each month for the next 36 months to equal the number of people out of work using the U3 measure of unemployment. To equal the number of people in the U6 measure of unemployment over 400K jobs would need to be created every month for the next 65 months.
    Things are getting out of hand and it could all do down hill very quickly as the human misery from joblessness spreads to a larger percentage of working Americans and their families.
    What is the Obama administration prepared to do? Next to nothing…give tax credits to employers is their plan. They actually think the so-called private sector will be able to create jobs in unbelievable numbers. They really need to re-think just what they are going to have on their hands.

  42. Cash March 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Fair enough, either way, a new social order took hold. You’re right, the barbarian chiefs established a new structure but it was fragmented. In Italy a variety of principalities and city states took the place of central authority and I’ve read that it was the same elsewhere in the old territores of the former empire. I read that Britain broke up along it’s old pre Roman tribal affiliations and they went at it tooth and nail. One boatload after another of Angles, Saxons and who knows who else washed up and for the next two hundred years took county after county from the old tribes who were too busy fighting one another. Very hard to do business anywhere for several centuries after the Fall. Anyway, I’m not a historian but that’s my understanding. Maybe Shambles recounting of the Roman decay is our own future.

  43. catman306 March 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    End of Times: You believe lies that have been bombarding you for the past 20 years and are sponsored by Exxon/Mobil.
    Climate change is real. Else, why is the permafrost melting? Why are the mountain glaciers shrinking? Why are the polar ice caps melting? Your Ministery of Propaganda can’t even mention these obvious facts or even you might begin to doubt their Big Lie.
    Unless you are paid to repeat that Big Lie.

  44. ozone March 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    “The combined budget deficits of the 50 states over this year and next will be $350B. There will be no bailout from the Federal government for the cities and states. All of the government’s capital and financial guarantees (in the trillions of dollars) have been handed over to the banking and housing sectors and when these fail we will be on the hook for the debts and losses. Just think Iceland and its financial collapse and multiply by several orders of magnitude.” -Twessels
    OUCH and WOW!
    Those numbers are a bit too large for even the willfully uninformed to ignore.
    I’ll stick to my “timeline” of June-July when “the folks” get the wake-up call. (Although I have to agree with you: it won’t come from the puppet-masters or those at the end of the strings. We’re on our own. Hey! Just like W and the true believers wanted; personal responsibility. I think they’ll enjoy it, don’t you?)

  45. bailey March 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    Just nice to see you taking the time to contemplate and document. I spent several months last year as a liveaboard on out ketch, and yes, I was grateful for the opportunity…to review everything I used, all that I did throughout the day, and it was remarkable to realize not only how little I needed but how quickly I didn’t miss all the emotional angst involved in believing I still have a desire to acquire anything beyond the basics.

  46. Nickelthrower March 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    I do not think that the collapse will come all at once. I suspect that some regions of the country will do better than others and those that are still in the “have” group will demand greater and greater autonomy from the federal government.
    Take California as an example. Though the state is bankrupt, it still is capable of exporting food and it is an energy producer. Also, it still retains some manufacturing and high tech industries.
    Places like California will probably do better than the flyover states. Also, with a population of 38 million, it can probably field an army all by itself.
    Just like the Roman Empire split itself because it was ungovernable, our nation will slowly split apart as states with more refuse to continue to help the states without.

  47. Martin Hayes March 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    It’s funny you should mention it, as an insider, because it dovetails exactly with my intuitions. When I first heard of this, I figured it was the outcome of a a healthy parent-child relationship in which the kids had been properly trained in the intricacies of flight control (no mean feat), and had been given an opportunity to demonstrate what they had learned, and some damn journalists had got a hold of it and inverted it somehow and broadcast it in some shameful fashion.
    Makes me damn ashamed to be a journalist.

  48. dale March 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I don’t need Xanax man, my happiness isn’t dependent on the world changing, it’s only dependent on me seeing it the way it is, and Xanax won’t help you there. Ya’ll are a lot more in control of your world than you think.
    Excepting Tripp and his permaculture thing, I haven’t seen much on this blog in months that I haven’t seen here (or somewhere else) before, if you want to be truthful. It’s a hoot at times, but I also feel compassion for the reality some people here have created for themselves.
    Consider the following: “Since only death is assured, and the time of death is unknowable, what should I do?” Think about that one a few times each day and see where it leads. Contrary to popular opinion, considering your own impermanance does not make you unhappy. Try it.

  49. turkle March 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Good column this week, Jimbo! *golf clap*
    Keep it short people. If you want to write more than a paragraph, try getting your own blog and linking it. 😉

  50. Cash March 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Smokey talked about how our basic manual skills have deteriorated. Not only that but our conceptual skills are rotting too. Not long ago I was renewing a term deposit at our bank and the fellow I was dealing with was telling me all about the percentage of earnings from foreign countries of a competitor bank. But this same fellow who was very well spoken and well groomed could not calculate simple interest. He thought a computer had to do it.
    Anothe rep at another bank, not long before, did not understand compound interest. This lady’s job was to deal with customers every day on multiyear term deposits where interest compounded annually or semiannually. Her cube was festooned with performance awards but she did not comprehend this basic concept.
    An accounting clerk that once reported to me (community college grad) did not know how to calculate percentages.
    My former boss, Director of Finance and a chartered accountant, asked me “is Europe a country” and then asked me “what is the UK”. Another asked which coast Newfoundland was on.
    Many other Palinesque examples.

  51. turkle March 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Europe is a big ole country where they eat a lot of wine and cheese.

  52. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst March 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Golf carts? Just as important I wonder they’ll react when they find out the social security check isn’t in the mail, and medicare the benefits are null and void?

  53. Qshtik March 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    “It might be that they will only have their electric golf carts to drive to the nearest prescription drug store outlet.”
    … or the Scootuh from the Scootuh Staw.

  54. Cash March 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    It blows my mind that California is bankrupt especially with silicon valley and hollywood on its turf. I would have thought it would be raining money. Actually, maybe it is. It’s just that the California govt somehow can’t get its mitts on it.

  55. Cash March 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    If they’re going to close all those schools what are they going to do with the kids?
    Just as an aside, I went to grade and high school in the 1960s and 70s. I was born at the peak of the baby boom and the schools were like sardine cans. We had two grades per class in elementary school, I spent two years in a portable classroom, we went to high school classes for a couple of years in shifts. It was not the end of the world, we still made do. Big class sizes are manageable if the teacher is organized and has control of the class.

  56. JimTheAnarchist March 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Bonanza Bus Lines has 2 buses each day that take 3 – 4 hours to go from Albany to Hartford. I know you can drive it in less time but you know they kill people for the oil you consume driving there. Does participating in the slaughter of innocents by the hundreds of thousands mean nothing?
    Every time I travel to see my parents I take six hours to go by bus a distance it takes 1.5 hours to go by car. There is only one bus per day and it leaves at 5 AM. If you think I enjoy getting up at 3AM and trudging 4 miles to catch the bus so I can arrive in my hometown by 11, you’re nuts.
    The image I get from this blog of people who are certain that a shortage of oil will soon result in widespread starvation consuming that scarce oil to drive around aimlessly and wonder at how fucked everybody is, is not a positive one. And don’t bother waving Jevons’ paradox at me.

  57. Puzzler March 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    It’s great that our little insider group knows what’s coming (each little insider group of course having its own lock on the truth). The great unwashed herd has no idea of what’s coming, but we do. The part of this blog exchange that really chaffs my ass is so many people trying to convince others of their truth. “If only they’d … X (or Y or Z) it would fix things.”
    I see a lot of merit in John Michael Greer’s distinction between a problem and a predicament. We think we have problems, which imply solutions, so we look for or expect solutions. What we actually face are predicaments — which by definition don’t have solutions, only coping or adjustments.
    Stop wasting time trying to fix from the top. The top is irrelevant. Work on personal, family, neighborhood, and local adjustments.

  58. bridges March 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Jim, you forgot to mention another omen from last week: Germany’s insistence that Greece sell off land to pay debt. Forcing a usta-be sovereign country to extinguish itself so that Germany and France might live does not bode well for Spain, Italy and Portugal does it. I’ve always been skeptical about the EU holding together and last week confirmed my suspicions.

  59. turkle March 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    “It blows my mind that California is bankrupt especially with silicon valley and hollywood on its turf. I would have thought it would be raining money. Actually, maybe it is. It’s just that the California govt somehow can’t get its mitts on it.”
    I live in California. It isn’t that difficult to understand. They capped property taxes awhile back, and….um…property taxes generally pay for EVERYTHING in local government and a big chunk of state services, too. So now they have a 10% income tax, while people who have lived here like 30 years pay $600 in property taxes per year (yes you read that right).
    And the state of California basically wants to run a mini socialist state on this tiny income, including comprehensive social services, an incredibly lavish education system, etc. Of course, this is a recipe for fiscal disaster. Not even the federal government can do this, and they take in, what, like a 30% of most people’s income?
    Plus 30% of the welfare recipients in the entire country are in this state.
    And the citizens here can vote in these hair-brained initiative programs, so what usually happens is the citizens choose more services and less taxes.
    And the Governor…yeah, totally incompetent.
    Let me know if you want more info. I can rant awhile on that topic. Apologies though…I should prolly get my own blog. 🙂

  60. trippticket March 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    “If I were the Iraqi government, I’d never pump out more than 2-4 million barrels a day, hoping to make a killing when the Saudis start running out in a big way over the next decade. Ditto for Iran.”
    If I were Iran/Iraq, I’d pump that black curse out of the ground and dump it as fast as I could manage.
    Bing! No more interest in war. Think it’s rough being an Iraqi today? I bet it would be a lot worse without Saudi oil on the market.

  61. turkle March 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    If I were an Iraqi I’d wear bullet proof underpants.

  62. turkle March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I actually think upstate New York has its own kind of beauty. I like all the trees and hills and the farms. At least, it is more ascetically pleasing than say, 95% of the state of New Jersey.

  63. bridges March 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    No offense, but I agree with the cap on property taxes because I do not believe any state should be a vampire on the people who live there. And just look how out of control California was even with the cap – now imagine how huge it would have been without the limits!

  64. willow March 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Trying to spread the “WORD” reminds me of two stories. One is “Watership Down”. Nervous little “Fiver” tries to convince the Chief Rabbit of the danger looming. “Something bad is coming! It’s so bad! We have to move!”
    Chief Rabbit turns his butt to Fiver, and munches his lettuce. “Now, in Mating Season?” he muses.
    Not very likely.
    Another story is by Doris Lessing. I can’t remember the name. Some ET’s from a far-off place realize they must warn the earthlings of a disaster coming to California. At great expense to their culture (and forcing them to put other important projects on hold) they send a team to earth to try and clear out the state.
    To their amazement, they finally figure out that the people of California KNOW an earthquake is coming, but they still won’t move. Fatalistic in the face of scary change.
    They think the young ones might be more flexible; instead when they convince the young earthlings of the disaster to come, thy young ones do nothing, except make up sad sad songs.
    Me and Doris Lessing are a lot alike, except for the Nobel, of course.

  65. The Mook March 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    If i’m not mistaken the California real estate tax cap goes with the property. Therfore, the properties’ sales price is artificially inflated, much to the delight of government statistical engineers.

  66. trippticket March 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    “If I were an Iraqi I’d wear bullet proof underpants.”
    That too…

  67. Jim from Watkins Glen March 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    The infrastructure decay our host describes have been more obvious in the Northeast for a while. You notice when you go to the fast growth areas in the South and West. The parking lot at GE in Syracuse, New York, once full of office workers’ cars, is fast becoming a patch of Goldenrod. Old masonry buildings in small towns around here are crumbling, with engineer friends of mine hired to knock them down, the time for saving them having long past. The good news is more and more people seem to be looking off-the-grid for activity and amusement. If our species survives, we may be better off without burning so much more juice than we really need.

  68. turkle March 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Um, yeah, sorry guys, the property tax cap does NOT work when someone who has lived there for 30 years pays $600 dollars on a half million+ property. Doesn’t make any sense what-so-ever. Then income and sales tax get jacked way high to make up for the short fall.
    Paying for roads, fire, police, and schools is not being a “vampire”. Don’t be a freaking dullard. Invading other countries with our $1 trillion dollar a year military, let’s talk about that, how about?
    To put it in simple terms, the cost of government services is constantly increasing every year due to inflation and recently from things like increases in prices of raw materials. Therefore, property taxes need to keep pace over time or the state train wrecks.
    Are you following me here?

  69. sailhermit March 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    In response to ‘i can’t believe california is broke’, I repeat again; the concept of money was invented and reinvented primarily for the express purpose of enabling legal theft of value from the lower class masses who not not have a degree in law or economics and therefore cannot grasp the complexities involved…If one did grasp the reality of it, one would very quickly stop playing the game and try to distance oneself as far as possible from the money changers, perhaps establishing smaller local cooperatives with good simple rules and transparency…What we are seeing now are the cumulative effects of the elite class draining the system of value in any legal (or not) way possible…this is why there’s no money to send kids to school at the same time the elite class is at their zenith of fabulous wealth…now who do you suppose would be calling the shots?
    Meanwhile, stay away from credit in whatever form it takes…the dice are loaded and not in your favor…

  70. Stilba March 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Jim, having eagerly started my Monday mornings with Clusterfuck for about a year now, I’ve never felt compelled to comment until now. Today’s post struck me. Seems to be the whole idea of imagining those around oneself in some radically altered situation. I find myself doing that a lot, and its particularly nagging considering I’m young, and a parent.
    My little nuclear family has lived in the SF Bay Area for nearly four years. We’re planning to move out to Sioux Falls, SD in a few months. Sounds crazy? Well, there’s a chilling feeling that things in the Bay Area are hopelessly and permanently cracked and crumbling in their deep foundations, and I don’t see this place as being any more prepared than anywhere else for something like a leap in gasoline prices. There are far too many people here, and the sort of liberal harmony that Bay Area folks are so proud of seems about as thin as Saran Wrap when you live here. At the same time there’s endless faith in California in general that the end of the financial crisis is around the corner, but I have yet to hear anything from anyone about a plausible solution. I work for the state and must report that my experience does not instill confidence. Lots of hope, and lots of business-as-usual, until, as you say, all-at-once. What’s going to happen to popular faith if things don’t get better? Funny how earthquakes are the least of our worries of footing these days.
    So, fears and horrors (such as that our local elementary school plans to shed one teacher for every grade) are prompting us to flee back to my home state. Eastern South Dakota feels almost like Sweden in comparison to California — and not just because everybody’s blonde. There are plenty of jobs, and there’s that frontier tradition/mentality (naivety, Californians might call it) of helping your neighbors and even strangers. For $76K we got a big 1912 house with a big yard that’s in walking distance from the rather nice pre-WW2 downtown area. Sure, suburban sprawl eats away the countryside outside the city’s core, but I’m encouraged by the fact that the sheer number of people is so much fewer than in a lot of other places. There are many rivers and lakes, and a strong agricultural tradition straight out of the old world, and, of course, I’ve got family there. Generally, it feels like there’s more future there than past.
    Our move is totally personal and practical, not the least bit ideological or wacko-survivalist, and unfortunately it seems to fit exceedingly well into the sum things-to-come picture you paint in your books and this blog. Not two years ago we were considering a $400K mega-loan to buy a house (not a “home”, mind you) in a Bay Area suburb, and accepting the “sacrifice” of commuting. Thank the gods we wised up before doing so. How unexpected that imagination, and not strictly science, is probably to blame.

  71. turkle March 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    “No offense, but I agree with the cap on property taxes because I do not believe any state should be a vampire on the people who live there. And just look how out of control California was even with the cap – now imagine how huge it would have been without the limits!”
    This paragraph is just one big non-sequitur. I want to call “tea bagger” on you, but instead I’ll explain my position and you can reply, hopefully in a logical manner that doesn’t equate state government with some mythical blood-sucking beast.
    Firstly, I am not offended. You can write whatever you want. I think you’re kind of thick, but I’m certainly not insulted by your comments (even though you’re dead wrong).
    The idea of a US state being a “vampire” is downright laughable. The USSR was a vampire state. Attempting to pay for roads, sewers, police, and fire is so far from this that I wouldn’t even put it in the same category. Yeah, there is some bloat, but the state is NOT a vampire. Get that stupid analogy out of your head. There are common services we need and we have to pay for them with taxes. It is a pretty simple, idea, really.
    The state of California is not “out of control”. The state government here in terms of number of workers and services is fairly lean compared to the population size and to many other states (well not to Texas but that state is kind of in a category by itself). In fact, the state government does not collect enough taxes for the services that people DEMAND year after year with their bi-annual set of pork-ladden, pie-in-the-sky propositions, all of which are VOTER MANDATED, not driven by the needs or desires of the state government or its works. It is direct democracy gone awry. Blame the people of California for this.
    If there were no property cap, then the state budget would be balanced and property tax income would be at appropriate levels for what the state needed to fund essential infrastructure. The sales and income taxes would be far lower, because they would not need to be so high to make up the gap. The tax cap is what has screwed California big time. All you have to do is look at a) the state budget deficits b) the state of the infrastructure (schools, roads, etc.) from the date that Prop 13 passed. Hint: There was an easily recognizable trend. California used to be known as a state with great infrastructure. All that started to change once Prop 13 put a stranglehold on property tax collection.
    P.S. I rescind my call for all the verbose people to get their own blogs due to my own state of complete hypocrisy on this matter. 😉

  72. The Mook March 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    My top 4 possessions in 1978 : Corvette, New Townhouse in town, wife, .357 Python. 2010 : Home with land, rototiller, woodsplitter, .357 Python. AAAAHHHH! Do a lot more bitching today but life has never been more simple and enjoyable. I can almost smell the dirt after three days of sunshine.

  73. turkle March 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    “My little nuclear family has lived in the SF Bay Area for nearly four years. We’re planning to move out to Sioux Falls, SD in a few months. Sounds crazy?”
    Um, no…being a Bay Area resident for 5 years, that sounds perfectly sane to me. 🙂

  74. turkle March 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Um, Mook, I think your wife (guessing ex wife?) would take issue with being labeled as your “possession”. 🙂

  75. Kickaha March 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    From my tiny corner of the world in South Central Kansas, I can report that donations to the small college where I work are definitely down, but have hardley cratered. People are hurting but still giving–for now.
    On the other hand, I’m quite worried that I haven’t been seeing the vast fields of green shoots from the emerging winter wheat that make our rolling landscape quite attractive this time of year. My farmer friends are reporting nobody planted their usual full allottment last fall. Because of squeezed finaces and soaking rains, many only planted a third of their usual crop and some planted none.
    Fields of sunflower heads hang blackly here and there because they have to be completely dry before they can be cut from the plant. The brown and the barren fields are like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime.
    I hope other places in the country can pick up the slack. We might be paying a lot for a loaf of bread this summer.

  76. bridges March 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    “Paying for roads, fire, police, and schools is not being a “vampire”. Don’t be a freaking dullard. Invading other countries with our $1 trillion dollar a year military, let’s talk about that, how about?”
    Military spending SHOULD be cut, drastically. Road, fire, police etc are necessities, but…what price glory Turkle? Especially when the employee packages that go along those jobs are a big reason California can’t meet it’s obligations. The state’s not collapsing because of little old ladies paying $600 per year on the 300 acre spreads.

  77. Laura Louzader March 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Turkle, states may not be “vampires” upon their citizens, but municipalities are becoming just that.
    I live in Chicago, which has just raised property taxes to consfiscatory levels, and most of our suburbs are still worse. I have a friend, a man and his family who have a house worth perhaps $180K at the outside, who received a tax bill for $8500. His wife was just laid off, and these people, who were having no problems paying for their house even without her job without this most recent hike, will probably have to walk away from it, though they’ve owned it for 10 years.
    Worse, residents of impoverished Chicago neighborhoods such as Garfield Park, Englewood, Gage Park and Cottage Grove are being hit with bills of $4000 or more for little shanties that might fetch all of $40K on today’s market. These are not welfare recipients or bums- they are the low wage earners on whose back we’ve built our economy, and most of them work two jobs per person when they can get them, to buy their little houses. This is while Streeterville condos priced at $1M or more are paying perhaps $6000 per year, or slightly more. Where is the fairness here?
    The property tax is the most brutally regressive tax of all the taxes we pay, in that the lower your income, the harder you are hit. I would do anything to get rid of this tax. Not only does it tax regressively, but it makes people keep on paying for what they already bought and payed for. It punishes those who buy within their means and pay down their home loans and maintain their property well, by taxing them for added value every time they do repair& replace, and it makes you pay, and pay, and pay, for what you already bought and paid for. It means you never own your property, and most of all, that you cannot keep your expenses level simply by buying and sacrificing to pay down your mortgage quickly. And it increasing means that if you are retired, or a low earner, that you will end up homeless even though you paid for your place and maintained it and pay your utilities.
    Yes, yes, I am willing to pay for police and fire protection, as well as other community services and amenities available to all residents equally such as roads necessary for egress, basic education, and libraries.
    And if that is all citizens had to finance, we would not be being taxes out of our houses, OR our rental apartments- in most locales, large multi-family buildings are taxed at double or triple the rate for SF homes ,even though they have a much lower cost to the city and environment, calculated on a per-household basis, than SF homes.
    But we are being raped, absolutely destroyed, the poorest among us first and the most, to pay for politicians who vote themselves 20& pay hikes while the rest of us lose jobs and/or have our pay and hours cut. We pay to subsidize the new Target or Walmart ($4M per store on the average), for the 150 “affordable” subsidized apartments that cost over $400K a unit to build, for the Olympics bid, for a new high-speed limited-access road that the neighborhood does not want, for public service workers pensions that will pay them 10X what they put in, for thousands of bureaucratic “fluff” and “spoils” jobs at City Hall .
    What we need is spending caps, or more to the point, strict limits on what taxing authorities can spend outside clearly defined necessities. And a hike in the state income tax, or a city income tax, which are progressive taxes, should carry the load, and the property tax discontinued.

  78. bridges March 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Then we have to agree to disagree. Unlimited property tax hikes will just improverish California more quickly that’s all – people will just leave when the tax burden is too great. Higher property taxes will also further depress real estate. And what about massive unemployment. The state needs to cut, and all the public workers you listed need to accept less. It’s that simple.

  79. Lucy March 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    I am a democrat and a “teabagger”. If all you have is calling me a racist Jew hater you don’t have sh*t. Your writing is techincally wonderful, but very short on imagination. Truth is you don’t have any idea, and neither do I, because we don’t know the future.
    I think one thing. This is the civil war but it is going the other way this time:small local governemtn. Big government is all done. You and all the media misfits are going to be dead as*broke, because you supported idiots like Obama and Princess Pelosi. BTW BUSH SUCKED TOO!

  80. artistic_kelly March 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    It’s too bad that your language in writing non-fiction is too flowery for us simple poor folk to understand. Ever thought of hashing out a brutally honest, no holds-barred, dumbed-down list of things us simple folk who are poor living off the “Wall Street” grid can easily understand? There are so many of us out here in the midst of wheatfields and cattle that do not care for flowering “Northeastern” talk and it helps to “dumb it down” for us. Not to degrade anybody, we just aren’t as smart as you (big smile). I live in a small town of only 300 people where we don’t have stoplights or traffic and there’s so many small towns like this scattered across the nation that I wonder if there are other like me who want the truth without all the english writing rhetoric. Many thanks for your insights in helping us all out with what is to come.

  81. wagelaborer March 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Yes, Illinois has one of the most regressive tax systems, which is why Rich Whitney, Green Party candidate for governor, supported HB 750, which lowered property taxes while raising income taxes on the very wealthy.
    It was called the “property tax for income tax swap”, and it was WAY more fair.
    I live in a converted shed in Southern Illinois, and pay over $2,000 in taxes a year. That is ridiculous.
    I don’t mind paying taxes for a decent society, but for the very rich to pay 10% in overall taxes, while the poor pay over 40% is fundamentally wrong.

  82. wagelaborer March 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Whoops, I had the tax rate wrong.
    From whitneyforgov.org
    “Our tax structure in Illinois is fundamentally unfair, placing far too much of the tax burden on those least able to pay – the poor, and low-to-middle income workers and farmers, and small businesses – while giving most of the breaks to those most able to pay, the big corporations and the extremely wealthy. That is the main reason why our State is under funded. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Illinois is the 6th worst state in the nation in terms of being regressive, that is, in terms of taxing lower and middle-income taxpayers at a higher rate than the wealthy. When all taxes are taken into account – income, sales, excise and property taxes, and the effects of federal offsets, the poorest 20 percent of Illinois taxpayers pay 13.1% of their income in taxes, the middle 60 percent pay, on average, about 10.1% of their income in taxes, while the top 1 percent – people with an average income of $1.3 million per year – are only paying 4.6% of their income in taxes. Years of special tax favors to big corporations also means that these wealthy non-persons are also not paying their fair share of taxes, either.
    Meanwhile, although the personal income tax burden in Illinois is more than twenty percent below the national average, its property-tax burden is about twenty percent above the national average, imposing an unjust burden on working and middle-class homeowners and on our farmers, orchard growers and wineries.”

  83. messianicdruid March 8, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    One of my hobbies is hiking the countryside of flyover country and seeking out those old dumps where some farmer has been throwing trash into a raven or gulley. I’ve found a lot of interesting things over the years, but usually the most beautiful are old jars. They mostly just sit around and get looked at but someday, who knows.

  84. messianicdruid March 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    “The Brits were enthusiastic about Roman rule, and really wanted the richess to continue. What followed has been called the Dark Ages, but this label is based on snobbery – people using that term are on one hand, a bunch of clacissists hung up on Rome, and on the other, religious fanatics.”
    More like: those who believe the history written to serve the ruling class.

  85. popcine March 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    I imagine I’m well-informed because I follow this site and others, but I had to read in a stupid magazine, Wired, about the Ug99 fungus, even though that news has been out for a year. Does JHK know about Ug99? There’s a couple videos on YouTube, for starters. It’s a disease of wheat.

  86. dale March 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    One of the many ridiculous ironies of American politics is the strange disposition of people from so-called conservative states to disapprove of California and it’s presumed lifestyles (all stereotypes of course). What many of these people don’t realize is that a number of the so-called conservative states are essentially welfare cases of CA. That’s right, CA has been a net exporter of federal tax money for a long time while many of the southern and conservative mid-western states have been living off that exported tax money. Hence, if any state would benefit from leaving the union it would be CA. If they actually did it, it would be enormously beneficial for it’s people, while most of the Southern states would languish in even greater poverty.

  87. dale March 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Maybe a U.S. split would be a good thing. Let all the “conservatives” have the south and midwest, and the “progressives” have the two coasts. Man….if that happened I’d pack my bags and head for the Pacific in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I doubt my property in Idaho would be worth spit if it happened.

  88. Funzel March 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    My Lai massacre….
    I was only following orders
    I was only following orders
    I was only following orders
    I was only following orders
    I was only following orders
    I was only following orders
    Desert Storm…
    I was only following orders
    Iraq unprovoked attack and murders…
    I was only following orders
    Afghanistan unprovoked attack…
    I was only following orders
    Genocide in Palestine…
    I was only following orders
    65 year military occupation of Japan and Germany…
    I was just following orders
    Who is giving all these orders??Hitler??

  89. zxcvbnm March 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    I’ve been trying to understand how Cuba survived the “Special Period”. I think the mild climate is the only thing that saved them, we won’t be so lucky I think.
    I left my copy of “The Long Emergency” on the table in the kitchen at work, it disappeared. Hopefully I planted a seed.

  90. ian807 March 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    The property tax is an odd beast. At first glance, it sounds good. I mean, those dang property owners. They have money, right?
    Well, not always. And they’re not the people paying either.
    I own 6 investment properties. Obviously, I pay taxes on them. At the moment, I’m lucky and all are rented.
    So what happens when the local government decides to revalue my property (something over which I have *no* control) in order to extract more money from me?
    I raise the rent to cover it. So who’s *really* paying property taxes? Every renter. That’s who.
    But I’m lucky. I can raise the rent, and so have a mechanism by which I can pay. My neighbors aren’t so lucky. They’re retired and on a fixed income. When the local municipality tries to squeeze them for more money, guess what happens? They lose their house. They’re forced to sell to people like me, who buy them as investments. Then, I turn them into duplexes and I rent them out. To who? Other older people who’ve been kicked out of their houses and are forced to downsize.
    Property taxes look like they are targeting rich people. The thing is, it never works out quite that way and it’s the poorest who ultimately pay.

  91. twessels March 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    All of the talk about the decline of the Roman Empire and several of the States of the United States breaking away reminds me of Joel Garreau’s 1981 book “The Nine Nations of North America.”
    Garreau points out that in many ways our current political boundaries are quite arbitrary. Creating more logical regional and cultural “nations” out of North America could allow us to survive without supporting the endless energy and resource needs of capitalism and the never-ending “war on terror” political obsessions of something like the United States of America.
    If we move to Orlov’s third stage of collapse, which is political (we are already in stage two, which is commercial collapse and past the first stage, which was financial collapse), we might be able to create something like the nine “nations” of North America and stave off the fourth (social) and fifth (cultural) stages of collapse. It would require regional leaders and the people living in each region to realize that they have much more in common with one another than they do with the old political order.
    Here’s hoping we can succeed in doing some like Joel Garreau wrote about and halt the slide into Orlov’s stage four social collapse and stage five cultural collapse, which if it happens will leave us all in a “Mad Max” like world as depicted in Jim’s novel “A World Made by Hand” and in other books like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”.

  92. Phil Gannon March 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Wardoc, you’re right, LOCK & LOAD. If you have the necessary supplies, ways of growing food and a self sufficient homestead, you will be a target. BE PREPARED ! This is more then the Boy Scout motto. It will be what saves you and your Team. Agricultural tech, weapons & ammo and a secure perimeter with water and good solar gain will be most helpful. Stock up now while things are still cheap and available. Stash it securely ! Buy calibers of ammo for all your weapon systems and some for ones you don’t have. Ammo will be a valuable barter item, as will toiletpaper, tampons and paper towels. And don’t forget the MED supplies. For those days when Rite-Aid isn’t open.
    Somewhere in the future our values will shift. Now you can get gold for $1000 an ounce and butter for $4.99 a pound. One day it might be just the opposite.
    Stay Frosty

  93. turkle March 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Nice post, Laura. Very well put.
    I’m not for running little old ladies out of their houses! But when you see people in California with a BMW and an SUV in the driveway next to their boat in front of their million dollar home claiming they can’t pay one more cent in taxes or they’ll go broke, I call foul. We’ve basically enriched the private realm in this country with eight hundred different varieties of BMW’s, three bathrooms per house, and the most retail space per person on the planet, while our essential services like schools, road construction, police, etc. are absolutely starving for money.
    For instance, what did people spend their $1000 tax rebate checks on a few years back? They bought flat screen television sets. They didn’t make an extra payment on the ole underwater mortgage. They didn’t pay down their debts. They bought fancy idiot boxes.
    Furthermore, I am not necessarily against limited property tax caps for owner-occupied residences. It sounds to me like Chicago is kind of out of control, and I think its a logical, sane idea not to run people off their property with these taxes. But giving the same tax breaks for investment properties, rental properties, and commercial properties is a huge racket and a mistake.
    Forwarding property tax hikes on rentals to the renters is, of course, logical. I don’t see the problem with that, myself.

  94. turkle March 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Phil plans to go out with a bang, I guess…

  95. turkle March 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Why point to fiction for your worst case scenarios when we have real life ones like The Congo, Somalia, parts of the former USSR, etc.

  96. turkle March 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Not to rain on the parade, but thinking you’re gonna fight off the rampaging zombie hordes from your fortified compound is a bit far-fetched. You’d be better off simply moving to another, less violent, stable country with a cheaper cost of living (Costa Rica, Thailand, etc.). And if the “entire world” goes to hell, where exactly do you think you’ll be able to hide? Some quote about everyone being in the same boat comes to mind.
    I dunno, though, Northern Canada could be nice, especially in about 20 years with a bit of global warming. They have the tar sands, too!

  97. dale March 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    “I raise the rent to cover it.”
    Only if you have the pricing power to do that. Otherwise, valuations go down and rents could remain the same. Unfortuate for you perhaps, but that is capitalism, is it not?
    This is one of the persistent misunderstanding foisted on people regarding economics, that any increase in costs or taxes to a business is immediately handed down to the buyer/renter. It really doesn’t happen that way. Pricing power decides what something sells for, especially in situations where “supply-side” economics has created excess supply. This is the situation we have today in real estate with excess credit and favorable tax laws creating excess housing. It will likely take years before pricing power will return to rental real estate.
    The way to give the American middle class a chance to recover would include restructuring taxes to shift more of a burden onto capital and reducing the consumers debt and tax load.

  98. DeeJones March 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    Unfortunately, its not the little old ladies paying $600.
    What got slipped into Prop 13 at the last min was a big tax giveaway to the corporate and retail interests.
    Initially, P-13 was all about personal, homestead property, but when BofA gets the same property tax rate for a 50 story building as I do on a 1000sq’ cottage, there is something wrong. P-13 should never have included retail or commercial properties, only homes. And as for farms, well, most are corporate owned now anyway, so why should they get the tax breaks that were supposedly meant to go to the small farms?
    That is what is wrong with things in Calif.
    I should know, I grew up there and lived there until this year.

  99. Phil Gannon March 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Nickle, see if you can find and check out an online game called: Shattered Union. It could very well be our future. The US breaking down into semi autonomous zones competing and conflicting with eachother. Far fetched ? Sure is, but you never know. Just look at the furor over sports. This will be over food and natural resources.

  100. Laura Louzader March 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Turkle, I would definitely give residential rental property the same rate as SF homes, because these types of properties collect the same, or lower, per-square-foot rental as SF homes do, and the tax is passed on directly to renting households.
    But, again, I would get rid of the property tax altogether in favor of a steeply progressive income tax. This way, a property owner would be rewarded for paying off the debt on his property,and most of all, would really OWN his property.
    Right now, property ownership is a joke. Why bother when you cannot anticipate your housing expense because of gigantic hikes in property taxes?
    We need to limit the discretionary spending of our tax monies on non-essentials, starting with corporate welfare in the form of TIF districts and other “gimmes” for big box retail, as well as other gifts for political cronies and favored business entities.

  101. Brus MacGallah March 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Mr. Shambles,
    there is a more modern example of a “powerdown” and that is Cuba after the fall of the USSR, the so called “Special Period”.
    From wiki,
    It was defined primarily by the severe shortages of hydrocarbon energy resources in the form of gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum derivatives.
    Speaking of Hadrian’s wall, 75 miles long, 10ft wide and 20ft tall, built in 11 years and still standing, despite the theft of much of the the stone by local farmers/road builders, 1,900 years later! Puts those bridges built in the 20’s/30’s into perspective.

  102. Martin Hayes March 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Reasons to be cheerful. Uh, I guess I’m all out. Your comments on Roman Britain reminded me of what I read in, of all things, The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History. Like you, I find the happenings of late antiquity acutely relevant to today:
    “The factory system never replaced the self-employed artisan in the ancient world because few manufacturing processes needed much capital; their main requirement was skill. Though the Eastern city dwellers, with their long-established standards and unimpaired purchasing power, continued to demand goods of superior workmanship, in the West such tastes were a recent and superficial acquisition. We have seen how quickly Gallic potters learned to satisfy the local market for Italian-type wares; in Africa we can follow the progress of economic decentralization a step further, for the Carthaginian copies of imported Roman lamps were themselves replaced by home-made versions, crude but serviceable. The reversion to self-sufficiency and barbarism was all too easy; taxation, most readily inflicted on the city-dweller, encouraged the process. The attempt to convert towns, that had run a chronic, but mild, deficit into sources of revenue destroyed them, the citizens simply dispersing across the countryside … In the Orwellian twilight of the West, citizenship had become slavery and the paradox was completed when serfdom became the free man’s aspiration.”
    I’ll admit I’m rather heartened by the thought that, when push comes to shove, people will just disperse across the countryside, leaving a centralized and bloated government, dependent on revenue to wage war, twisting in the wind.

  103. trippticket March 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    “And if the “entire world” goes to hell, where exactly do you think you’ll be able to hide? Some quote about everyone being in the same boat comes to mind.”
    Good point.
    If people are hungry enough, there will be very few places to hide, and if you’re hiding, it’ll be even fewer of you who don’t have a well-armed starving neighbor or two who know what a load of food you have.
    But assuming you could fight them off, then what? You’ll be all alone in the middle of nowhere, living on deer and mushrooms. Not that that’s a bad thing to do for a week of vacation, but permanently? Humans are awfully social creatures, whether we think we are or not. I’m not sure how many people could remain sane by themselves, or even with a family.
    As an alternative, I highly recommend following the lead of the transition initiative, permaculture, or any other group promoting local economies, perennial food systems, and passive solar architecture. There are dozens of case studies available today on relocalization efforts around the globe, from Totnes, England to Cob Town, Oregon to Transition Indiana.
    I honestly think that our best chances lie in “tribing up” and forming small resilient communities with local trade and barter economies. There’s a long way to go obviously, but it’s happening, slowly and steadily. Once we separate ourselves from the formal economy we can figure out where-to from there as a group.
    The entire system is being slowly rebuilt as we speak. We just need more people willing to say to hell with those thieving bastards and try out some new solutions. I think we have a lot of power we don’t know about in this regard.
    But I’m with you obviously, “bunkering” is an inferior option.

  104. Olmec Sinclair March 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    After following this blog (and Jim’s fantastic podcast) for some time I finally registered to comment.
    In New Zealand we get the latest Clusterfuck Nation on Tuesday morning and I eagerly devour it with morbid fascination. While kiwi land is not immune to the main forces of the long emergency we are quite a different culture from the US (despite our governments attempts to follow the ‘leader’).
    While the majority of what is discussed here is American centric it is interesting to me as it seems to embody the ‘worst case scenario’, USA being at the leading edge of so many self destructive patterns.
    Thanks to all who have helped validate or support my observations and visions of where we are headed. I have taken real steps. Last year I bought a rural property with 85% deposit and the remainder a no interest loan from family. We have established a large garden and with the existing orchard are now self sufficient in organic vegetables, fruit and eggs. Working from home via internet my main reliance is on power grid (a large percentage of the electricity being wind generated) and internet links.
    Part of me welcomes the coming re-simplification of life but I also realise it will come at great cost.
    Our southern hemisphere rural adventure is document at http://www.blockhill.co.nz

  105. heckler March 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    kunstler’s motto:
    whadda we want? APOCOLYPSE! when do we want it? NOW!!!!!

  106. Dolan Williams March 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    There is going to be a post-oil special tonight on the National Geographic Channel. It occurs at 10:00 P.M. in my Pacific Time Zone. I have no idea how good it’s going to be but I guess we can all figure that out together as we watch it.

  107. ian807 March 8, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    trippticket wrote:
    “…I highly recommend following the lead of the transition initiative, permaculture, or any other group promoting local economies, perennial food systems, and passive solar architecture.”
    Trippticket, I hate point this out, but walled cities existed for a reason.
    Unless your lovingly designed permaculture community is protected by some serious defenses, it will last just as long as it takes for it to be found by the local street gang, motorcycle gang, or rogue national guard unit looking for a meal. Once found, it will be either occupied, with the original inhabitants reduced to slavery or serfdom, or simply pillaged and abandoned. There will be no big daddy American government to protect you.
    As I’ve pointed out here and elsewhere, no permaculture community will be worth joining for the first year after a significant collapse. This will weed out the weak ones and leaves you a choice of those that haven’t been occupied by gangs.

  108. Shambles March 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    “there is a more modern example of a “powerdown” and that is Cuba after the fall of the USSR, the so called “Special Period”.
    Thank you – that’s the perfect example of powerdown. The Cuban’s grow food on every available patch of land, and recycle just about everything they can get their hands on. (They do cheat, oil does come in; right now they are trading doctors for oil from Venezuela.)
    I used the term powerdown wrongly to apply to Britain after the Roman Empire collapsed. I was thinking of a political power vacuum. However, I do think the collapse of the Roman Empire can be a model for what might happen with peak oil – what is interesting to me is that the population wanted the Roman Empire to still exist. They tried to live Roman lives, even when they were no longer viable. They apparently wanted the Romans to return to save them from Saxon invaders, for example.
    I believe people will still be clinging on to the idea of a carbon-based economy for a couple of hundred years after the coming collapse.

  109. asia March 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    theres a movie about it. folks lost 20 pounds each on average.
    USSR cut off fidels welfare payments, but you wont hear that in the film.

  110. asia March 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    ‘It is amazing that millions of people can have their lives ruined by the decisions of a few people at the top.’
    id change ‘ruined’ to ‘ended’.

  111. asia March 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    from what i read…1 in 4 in cali is foriegn born.
    end of conversation.

  112. asia March 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    you had mentioned something a few days ago about steep decline in education. so i found the info:
    THE BELL CURVE……p 419
    1885 NJ HS entrance exam….well i have a degree from a university and i couldnt get any of the 3 sample questions right.
    1….tough grammar
    2…tough math
    3…name 3 major events of 1777

  113. Shambles March 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    I thought the cities were walled to protect the traders, and to provide a stronghold for the citizenry at times of war and rading.
    The agricultural land was outside of the city walls.
    From what history I’ve read, the brigands/invading armies, etc were after money, not food.
    I think most people lived outside of the city walls, although they may have had cause to seek shelter at various points.

  114. John66 March 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    If we’re looking for that special something that’s gonna take this empire down, it’s the difference between wages and the cost of living, Jim. I’m sure you know that.
    Deflation is what the powers that be are really afraid of. They are terrified of it. You should be mapping the CPI out on a big poster board on your bedroom wall, Jim. 🙂
    Here in San Francisco, they had an article in the free publication Examiner specifically addressing this issue. The title had to do with who would blink first–the consumer or the retailer.
    Deflation. Deflation. Deflation. Keep your eye on that ball and you’ll have all you can handle.

  115. jerry March 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    James, I feel a change going on in your mind and soul. You have been going through Kubler-Ross’ -like stages-of-grief process in some way.
    At one point you showed stability to the eventual changes in our new evolving national paradigm shift away from the way we have been over the last 35 years, to something very different and scary for many. You wrote about the coming problems and changes with a sense of stability. Next, you jumped into denial, not your denial but Bush’s denial. Then, once Obama took office, the anger came out because this president failed to perform as he promised, or we thought he had promised. We thought he would do better and choose better people to turn the problems around.
    Then I felt, in your writing a brief moment of feeling sad, a sort of feeling of depression over the Obama failures.
    Now, this piece feels like you are testing your emotions over what will likely be in the coming years. There is a new calm coming over you.
    You feel the disconnect between those you speak to for fees, and what you actually understand and know is likely to occur to them and to others.
    I like the feel of how you are writing your observations and perceptions of your environment. You are the main character in a reality based novel.
    You are writing to an audience who also understands. We get it! We, too, see it similarly. We, too, see the slow decomposition of those boom years in empty strip malls, decaying roads and bridges, inadequate mass transit systems, empty office buildings, rock bottom hotel rooms, and rising commodity prices, such as gasoline.
    Life will never be the same as it is even now. It will slowly decline. There is not the political will or an aware and insightful powerful tour-de-force figurehead commanding attention helping Americans to “get-it”, too.
    Keep it up, James, and thanks!

  116. asoka March 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Shambles said:

    What followed has been called the Dark Ages, but this label is based on snobbery – people using that term are on one hand, a bunch of clacissists hung up on Rome, and on the other, religious fanatics.

    Shambles, it sounds as if you might be the fanatic.
    While Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages,” the Arab/Islamic civilization was at its apogee. It was this same Islamic civilization, with its many contributions to science and the humanities, that paved the way for the rise of the West to its present prominence.
    The Dark Ages were anything but dark in other parts of the world. The Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa studied and improved on the works of the ancient Greeks while civilization flourished in sub-Saharan Africa, China, India, and the Americas.

  117. dsummers March 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Beautiful post.

  118. The Mook March 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    Turkle, Correct on both accounts. However, I have no respect for her and because of respect do not list my second (current) wife. Actually, now that I think of it, it seems strange. As I had a daughter and son in the former and don’t list them. They are still alive and well along with my wife and grand daughter and never gave any thought to listing them as possessions then or today even they are 1,2,3, and 4 in importance. Gives me something else to ponder. Thanks.

  119. asoka March 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    “…the kids had been properly trained in the intricacies of flight control (no mean feat)…”
    The kids were transmitting flight data, including numbers, (not just saying adios).
    Suppose they transposed a number and several hundred people died.
    Would anyone be saying “how cute that daddy shared his workplace with his kids”?
    There would be lawsuits galore, because what that father did was illegal and irresponsible.

  120. asoka March 8, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    dale said:

    Consider the following: “Since only death is assured, and the time of death is unknowable, what should I do?” Think about that one a few times each day and see where it leads. Contrary to popular opinion, considering your own impermanance does not make you unhappy. Try it.

    And you are busting JHK for depressing commentary on normal life as prelude to 2012?
    Here is another experiment to try: inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Life requires you to breathe, and breathing is still possible (free of charge).
    Instead of focusing on a future certain death (date uncertain), just pay attention to your breath and enjoy the present moment.
    If you are not blissful, you are not paying attention.

  121. asia March 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I was listening to rush last week, a lady whined about ‘ enviornmental wackos’..well this is just of google or yahoo news:
    WASHINGTON — Lower levels of oxygen in the Earth’s oceans, particularly off the United States’ Pacific Northwest coast, could be another sign of fundamental changes linked to global climate change, scientists say.
    They warn that the oceans’ complex undersea ecosystems and fragile food chains could be disrupted.

  122. asoka March 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    “To put it in simple terms, the cost of government services is constantly increasing every year due to inflation and recently from things like increases in prices of raw materials. Therefore, property taxes need to keep pace over time or the state train wrecks.
    Are you following me here?”

    Well said, Turkle.
    People have no right to complain and whine about failing infrastructure, school closures, roving gangs, police and fire fighters being laid off, park closures, contaminated water supplies, library closures, etc. if they aren’t willing to pay taxes for services.
    In fact, that will be my new criteria for voting.
    I refuse to vote for anyone who doesn’t have the guts to say they will raise taxes…
    I will not vote for anyone who cannot explain why tax increases are necessary to provide services.

  123. asia March 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    How is the once golden state an energy producer?
    oil? gas? that solar parking structure JK named as an eyesore of the month? its at 4th olympic in santa monica if ya wanna google.

  124. asia March 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    ‘I’m thinking: how many of you might be grubbing around the woods six months from now for enough acorns and mushrooms to make something resembling ‘
    There was a news report on some west coast immigrants, they went mushroom hunting [ i forget the fancy term] and all died.

  125. phixstick March 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    I may have said this here before, but I really don’t see “our” collapse happening in the space of a few months, or even years. Like any great empire,the decline will be slow and painfull. Many will argue that it’s not a “decline”, but an adjustment, or even an opportunity, to re-orient society and profit from the coming “green” economy. And the ideology of “our” ruling elite continues to dominate our discourse. But really, arming ourselves, planting gardens? 2012 fantasies ;entertaining,I admit (I love target practice),but c’mon!

  126. Cargill March 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    The easiest way to make land tax non-regressive is to have a means test – starting at some point in house value (say $1A,000,000), and above hardship for working and middle class home-owners – in all Australian states that have land tax, they do this.
    Local governments charge rates on all properties, to pay for local services (garbage collection, local roads, libraries, parks, services, and so on). They are either standard for each property type (about $A1,200 on average for a house or apartment) or based on the unimproved capital value of the property, ie, just the land value. So if you improve the building, there is no rates penalty.
    States cannot impose taxes, although they can charge fees for services, like car registration, hospitals, and so on. The vast majority of state income is from a share of the federal tax take – mostly in the form of a 10% VAT tax on most transactions (but not basic foodstuffs, and a wide range of other fair exemptions).
    The stories above about huge land tax burdens are awful – and very foreign indeed to the Australian experience.

  127. trippticket March 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    You and Vlad should hang out. You can flip for who brings the fava beans and who brings the Chianti.

  128. Headless March 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    “All at Once…” inev…tuhble;
    There ain’t no tressels now;
    Paint on rust,
    fate darin’ time,
    No bridge tempts silent sounds
    The fallin’s past, ‘side amber waves
    Tis all done come by now
    The hurtled voids
    take optimists
    Yet pessimists fall down
    Never mind a cure a fix
    Oh never mind that cure…
    all at once,
    she’s comin’ now
    to feed on sacred ground
    All at once
    All at once
    all…at once.

  129. Dark Fired Tobacco March 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    In 2008 a rolling “brown-out” of gas shortages hit a series of major southern cities: Nashville, Atlanta, then Charlotte. One morning, out of the blue, plastic bags covered all but the premium brands. A few hours later, those sources were gone, too. On the first day, one could drive a few blocks and find a station with gas – and a line of cars. On the second day, one had to listen to the radio and drive across town – faster than everyone else. By the third day motorists were following tanker trucks as they got off the interstate, content to wait until they reached a fueling site and unloaded their liquid cargo. I remember the 1970’s shortages, and this was on a different level. At one point I drained the last half gallon from the lawn mower gas container in hopes I could reach a convenience market with any gas at any price. It was a sobering experience.
    One geopolitical event, say war with Iran, could put us there again, or it may be as some here suggest – a slow, inevitable slide into higher prices and fewer options. Either way, the destination is the same.
    What few understand is how limited our options are going to be. Airlines are already charging for everything short of cabin air. Few air routes outside of LA-NYC will survive. Greyhound continues to cut its routes and now carries fewer passengers than Amtrak. For many small towns a local cab driver (if one of those even exists) is the only public transportation out of town. By contrast, those same towns in the 1950’s had bus, train, and even a nearby airport with some form of regional service. Now it is the private auto or nothing. If you can’t drive, (and don’t qualify for the narrow options of federal rural transportation services) you don’t move except by the kindness of a family member, a local church group, or an old friend.
    As Jim points out, we can’t just go construct a network of high-speed rail corridors. The right-of-way acquisition and environmental permitting alone would take more than 10 years. High speed rail requires spiral curves, which rules out most Interstate medians (assuming they haven’t already been converted to asphalt). Our rail system was over-regulated until the Staggers act in 1980, and thus greatly undercapitalized. Even now, railroads have 20-30 years of catch-up at the current rates of infrastructure upgrades. With Congress requiring positive train control on all passenger routes, the number of rail lines that can be economically upgraded (at more than a million dollars per mile) is quite limited.
    Folks, when it goes down, even we on this board are going to be shocked at what we suddenly don’t have. And I still remember pouring in that last half gallon of gasoline that summer.

  130. Shambles March 8, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    Strangely enough, meditating on your own death is quite a profound spiritual experience.
    Accepting that you are of the nature to get old, have poor health and die sounds like the start of a miserable weekend – but it’s quite liberating. For a start, you stop pretending to yourself about how you are the centre of the world, and accept you are just passing through – I will die, my kids will die, their kids will die. You realize how much denial is a part of your life.
    It’s a Buddhist practice aimed at cutting away ego. While I’d not recommend jumping right into that kind of thing unaided, I’d recommend meditaion to anyone.
    I took up meditation after I, err. . . had to stop alcohol and drugs; been clean 13 years now. I think they should teach meditation in school to give kids an alternative.
    Apologies if this sounds off-topic, but we are in a society of denial: people with unhealthy lifestyles living in an unsustainable way.

  131. Phil Gannon March 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    Now I don’t Turk. Just want to be able to live peacefully in troubled times. How about you ?

  132. crystal clear March 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    While never managing to seriously discuss it, JHK generally manages to slip in a sentence about something we are not meant to notice while flagging his loyalty to his tribe. The implication is, of course, that even if we do notice it is beneath contempt to discuss it or to draw any conclusions from the facts.

  133. ozone March 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    I’d have to venture that the contemplation of one’s own demise is not off-topic a’tall. Isn’t it part and parcel of helping to form a survival strategy for coming generations?
    Strangely enough, in my case, such gazing into the uncaring, relentless void actually “stabilized” my ego to a “postive”(?) effect. I don’t really know how to put that in a more objective framework (which doth suck). I’ve had quite a few narrow escapes from the Reaper, but this latest has taught me not to fear anymore. (I have to admit that I still have a nagging fear of a lingering, painful exit, but, beyond that, I ain’t a’skeer’t of much; and am never prone to panic.) Being part of this miraculous dirt-ball, it might be a good idea to get with the “the dead feed the living” deal, and get rid of the “I’m gonna have a golden crown and make luuuuuv to the angels” crapola that seems to be gaining an unhealthy popularity with the non-negotiable-lifestyle crowd. (Why is that, BTW? I’m stunned that they might think their personal savior would approve.)
    Yep, that ol’ Debbil, name o’ denial, is probably the biggest, baddest bug-bear ever to block a bilge… not to mention, prevent adjustment to onrushing “predicaments”.
    Thanks for your thoughts, sorry if I’ve fucked up the continuum… ah well

  134. messianicdruid March 9, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    “Suppose they transposed a number and several hundred people died.”
    Trainees do this, and much worse. That is why a certified controller is always plugged in and monitoring every operational sector/position with over-ride capability.

  135. bitpig March 9, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    I was plying the interstate highways of New England this weekend… marveling at the vistas of normality all around me… “I see dead people…” said the kid in that horror movie. I see dying ways of life.

    Dear Mr. Kunstler: I don’t smoke pot myself, and I’m not ordinarily one to advocate the use of illegal drugs, but I gotta ask: have you ever considered just packing a bong full of rich, resinous ‘dro and getting, well, wrecked? You seem a bit tightly-wound. Sure, we all have our concerns about the future, but driving around on a sunny spring day pondering the ultimate end of society seems a bit, well, focused.
    Instead of picturing the stockbrokers in Westchester foraging for roots and grubs in the aftermath of Götterdammerung, why not buy a forty-ounce malt liquor and imbibe it while lying on a picnic blanket located in a sunny spot near the local community college? Watching sorority sisters in shorts throwing a Frisbee around can work wonders for a man’s disposition.
    NB: Although I’m not a member of any Tea Party (I’m far too great a snob for that), I do know a few members, and they are to a man philo-Semitic. Eustace Mullins is with Exra POund at last, and plotting against the cosmopolitan Jewish banking conspiracy is more a Muslim thing these days.
    To sum up: all work and no play make Jim an agitated prophet of doom. My Rx: have a brandy, read a comic book, maybe listen to an old Rush record or Blüe Öyster Cült album or something. As they say in Charleston, Dum spiro, spero.

  136. David Sucher March 9, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    You worry too much.
    Take a valium.

  137. Inquiring Mind March 9, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    JK… man you are depressed… and depressing.
    With so much attention on the negative you will only sow negatives in your life.
    You need help. You need to change your mindset quickly.
    Just allign yourself with a cause or group that you feel can do something positive about our current situation and get to work. Believe me you’ll feel a lot better going down fighting than just going down.
    We’re on the brink of major change in all areas of existence. Embrace it and lend a hand to help steer us into better waters.

  138. SillyDan March 9, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    Are you listening to your readers, James? You’re depressed. Go on vacation and do something that feeds your soul with joy. DRIVING around on a sunny day bumming yourself out? Yikes! You’re no fun! Much too serious to take seriously. Take a week off. We can handle a Monday without your depressing post.

  139. MrSolarCom March 9, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    Hey Jim. I have to agree with some of the others that you seem a little down. That’s understandable where you’re coming from. But, it was you who coined the phrase “The LONG Emergency”. I stressed the word LONG because you seem, with this article (and, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy your writing even if I don’t always agree with it), to be lamenting a quickening dread. I would suggest that the next time you go for a drive, point the car toward a wilderness area and go walk a trail for the day, rather than ride around behind the wheel sneering at “vistas of normality” and “see[ing] dying ways of life”.

  140. Agriburbia March 9, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    ‘The Nemesis of the Inferior’ –
    “It is folly to keep up the delusion that more democracy and more education will make over these ill-born into good citizens. Democracy was never intended for degenerates, and a nation breeding freely of the sort that must continually be repressed is not headed toward an extension of democratic liberties. Rather, it is inevitable that class lines shall harden as a protection against the growing numbers of the underbred, just as in all previous cultures. However remote a cataclysm may be, our present racial trend is toward social chaos or a dictatorship.
    Meanwhile, we invite social turmoil by advancing muddled notions of equality. Democracy, as we loosely idealize it nowadays, is an overdrawn picture of earthly bliss; it stirs the little-brained to hope for an impossible levelling of human beings. The most we can honestly
    expect to achieve is a fair levelling of opportunity; but every step toward that end brings out more distinctly those basic inequalities of inheritance which no environmental effort can improve. So discontent is loudest in those least capable of grasping opportunity when it is offered.”
    – from THE REVOLT AGAINST CIVILIZATION by Lothrop Stoddard: http://users.mo-net.com/mlindste/revtciv3.html

  141. Eleuthero March 9, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    Jim’s missive was vastly different than
    last week’s but struck a chord with me.
    I, too, as a teacher, feel like I’m
    waiting for the last swoon of the
    California budget to cause instant
    unemployment. Things are okay TODAY
    but how long can I rely on students
    who retain the forlorn hope that my
    instruction will get them JOBS like
    it HAS done for the last 21 years??
    It’s as if my whole Department of
    Computer Science is relying on the
    delusions of the unemployed or the
    underemployed because, bottom line,
    there are NO jobs.
    That’s why Jim’s fearful sense of
    the ephermerality of things that
    look okay TODAY really hits home.
    I like the way Jim can go from a
    style that’s full of piss and
    vinegar to an almost Kafka-esque
    surreality. That’s a sign of a
    skilled writer.

  142. Eleuthero March 9, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Such teasings are valueless and not
    even really funny. Usually, they
    are indulged in by people whose
    head is farther underground than
    the most industrious ostrich.
    In the Church of the Subgenius, a
    parody of a church, they say that
    “People who aren’t funny shouldn’t
    tell jokes”. And you even post it
    under an apparently REAL name?!

  143. bigview March 9, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    no country for old men:
    “you can’t stop what’s comin’… ”

  144. Eleuthero March 9, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    I just love all these dingbats telling
    Jim to “chill out” and “have a bong hit”.
    I think people like this are unwittingly
    symbolic of the disease that Jim writes
    most persuasively about … DENIAL. It’s
    only people who are underexposed to the
    social world who seem oblivious to about
    a hundred things that more observant people
    notice every day: Nobody thinks about or
    even wants to talk about SPECIFICS about
    the future (it’s branded as “negative”),
    just about ALL of our public institutions
    (especially schools) are ROTTING, almost
    NOTHING we buy in a store was made in
    America. I could make a 100-item list …
    no problem!!!
    I just want all you “cool dudes” who are
    chilling out with a few bong hits (not
    that I disapprove) to get out of your
    THC stupor long enough to notice a few
    things beyond how your nest is doing today.
    This just in: There actually IS a “tomorrow”
    and a “next year”. Then there’s this thing
    called “planning” which requires, among
    other things, FORESIGHT.
    And foresight is based on a sublimely accurate
    reading of what’s happening RIGHT NOW. My
    wish for all you cool, unconcerned hipsters
    is that you get out a little more, observe
    a little more, interact a little more, and
    stop getting your ideas about what the world
    is like from a purely narcissistic point of
    “Negativity” is NOT negative if it is squarely
    aimed AT negative situations. That is not only
    CONSTRUCTIVE negativity. It’s the essence of
    the desire to LIVE by being objective about
    the present!!

  145. LindsayKate March 9, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    Nice link, Lynn. Cute video, and inspiring to think of vegetarianism as a carbon reduction plan.

  146. LindsayKate March 9, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    Am I the only participant on this blog who has to create a new password every time I come here? What gives with the interface, its getting annoying.

  147. messianicdruid March 9, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    “So discontent is loudest in those least capable of grasping opportunity when it is offered.”
    Discontent is one thing, lashing out in redemptive violence {Stack, Bedell, Bishop and Hassan = alienated professionals} is another. Po folks ain’t seein nuthin new, it’s the “high an mighty” so-called that are taking the fall.
    “…this is the age of broken hearts. The trajectory from hard work to education to success is illusory, and a certain kind of person raised to believe in it is becoming the violent casualty. Those of us who were raised in a fundamentally stable world, have been asked since childhood to prepare for when we grow up, have carried around in our heads the stories of our own futures. We cannot live easily without them. For every paranoid person who shoots up their former factory line or office, there are a hundred news stories correlating a certain size uptick in the foreclosure rate with an increase in family violence. The fact is that people who are hungry will not burn down their own house in frustration, but people who have lost the narrative thread of their lives will- despair is more violent than starvation, and stories are more dear than bread.”

  148. Dr. Girlfriend March 9, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Say what ya want about MA & CT lookin’ down for the count. Just remember that pre industrial age people, both native & immigrant, survived there well enough for quite a while (250 years?) thanks to the arable land, hardwood forests, & abundant waterways. Buildings & asphalt highways may come & go, but the CT river isn’t going anywhere. And neither is that glacial lake bottom soil.

  149. killacommie March 9, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Still at it, huh, Turkle? I think we’ve heard enough to know what you are. More of the same just gets tiring.

  150. CynicalOne March 9, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    “Ever thought of hashing out a brutally honest, no holds-barred, dumbed-down list of things us simple folk who are poor living off the “Wall Street” grid can easily understand?”
    While I do understand (most of 😉 what Jim writes, I could go for that.
    I greatly enjoy his take on our “predicament” (re: Puzzler’s post 🙂 and even look forward, with anticipation, to Monday mornings.
    Thanks Mr. K !

  151. Shambles March 9, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    It constantly amazes me how many people log into a peak oil blog to complain that it all seems a bit negative, and to tell the author to cheer up.
    Well. . . what exactly did you expect to find?
    I expect many of these people then log into porn blogs and ask in amazement what’s with all the naked ladies?
    (Do people really think the column should match the weather; it’s sunny outside so JHK should be cracking jokes. . .)

  152. asoka March 9, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Rush Limbaugh gives Democrats a big push to help pass health care reform:
    “I don’t know. I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.” — Rush Limbaugh
    What better motivation for Democrats?
    Are you ready to receive our friend Limbaugh, DeeJones?

  153. budizwiser March 9, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    What’s the deal with this Blog anyway? I like bitching and moaning as well as the next guy, but what’s with the “giving a flying fuck” about what anybody post here anyway?
    I thought this space was for ranting about whether or not we (as a society) can transition our living arrangements away from from such a petroleum-based existence.
    And whether or not this will be sooner or late, and whether or not anyone can to anything to affect the best possible outcomes for the greatest portion of the population.
    Comments about all the other McCrap is simply inane with respect to this web space.
    Tsk, tsk.

  154. CynicalOne March 9, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    “Right now, property ownership is a joke. Why bother when you cannot anticipate your housing expense because of gigantic hikes in property taxes?”
    We live in “flyover country”. Property taxes for our modest 32-yo home on 10 acres are $465/yr. Gigantic hikes have not come to us yet. Here, we are able to have a large garden, chickens and can run a few head of beef cattle, thus producing quite a bit of our own food.
    Over the past couple of years, we have entertained the idea of re-locating and building/buying a new home. However, the certainty of much higher property taxes is the biggest factor holding us back, along with increased insurance and utility costs.
    As DH is planning to retire in about 5 years (maybe), this now seems really foolish. Why move into a new home and then find in a few years we really can’t afford the expenses of living in that home, even with no or a small mortgage.
    Nope, we’re staying put. The gubermint’s not done robbing us yet.
    Uncertainty indeed.

  155. dale March 9, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    In many Buddhist practices contemplation of a certain death and the uncertainty of it’s timing is a practice done as a “preliminary” — motivational training, otherwise many people eventually will stop meditating when difficult circumstances occur. I do focused breathing meditation almost everyday, but it is only one practice I do, and it is also not the most insightful. The final goal in a Buddhist meditation is not “bliss” (according to every buddhist teacher I’ve ever met) but wisdom. If bliss is all you are after a chocolate ice cream cone works just about as well. But carry on, everyone can use a little bliss and breathing meditation is very low on calories.

  156. Qshtik March 9, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    If you are a teacher in the Computer Science dept in a CA school system I am concerned for your students. You don’t seem to be aware of a basic feature of word processing software called “wrap-around.” When you type in the comment block and your sentence is approaching the right margin you are apparently pressing the enter key to move the cursor down one line. This is unnecessary … just keep typing and the sentence will wrap-around to the next line all by itself. I am one of the most “technically challenged” people you will ever find and even I know this. (Look at the narrowness of your posts compared to others. Don’t you ever wonder why?)

  157. Cash March 9, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    I agree about people wanting the Empire to still exist. I think it served as a model. Centuries after its breakup you had an aggregation called the Holy Roman Empire (which really was neither holy nor Roman nor empire). You had rulers calling themselves Czar and Kaiser after Caesar and I think even now the EU can be seen as an attempt at resurrection.
    I think what’s missing now in Europe is cultural unity and linguistic unity. In the old days Latin was spoken all over western Europe, Greek all over the East. But I think modern day nation states, with their tribal origins, have sunk roots that are really too deep. Europe is just too big and too diverse to impose any kind of unity on it.
    I think that, if the US cracks up into smaller countries, people in those successor states will pine for the old days when the country existed as one the way that people pined for the old Roman Empire.

  158. asoka March 9, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    About this week’s post, “All at Once”… the tone is consistent with doomster psychology. What is troublesome is how seeing normal life continuing, years after JHK has been predicting normal life cannot continue, JHK is now invoking an even more fearful possibility: instead of the comforting “Long Emergency” (which will last 47 years based on peak oil data) we are now presented with an imagined horrible future which must be imagined by ignoring what is normal life reveals by direct observation. We must deny the reality in front of us.
    The dreadful, horrible, lurking future supposedly can arrive now in an instant, kind of like we are at a tipping point. This is a change from the usual predictions of “soon” (usually one or more Friedman units), or “this coming summer” or “this coming winter”. (damned winters aren’t as cold as they used to be anyway to burn that heating oil)
    Of course, also as usual, there is absolutely no evidence to contravene the continuation of normal life: which seems to upset JHK greatly.
    How can these people continue driving their cars, shopping at WalMart, and living their lives normally? Don’t these “yeast people” know they are on the cusp of a new Dark Age and they are about to suffer untold hardships?
    And the evidence offered is crude is now $81 a barrel?
    Nope, gas could be $100 a gallon and the system would adjust and people would continue living normal lives. We proved that in March 2008 when crude was at $112 a barrel. Nothing crumbled, nothing fell apart, no riots in the streets.
    JHK is living in fantasy land along with many of the posters to CFN.

  159. ian807 March 9, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Look, I’m just trying to inject some reality into the debate. Sorry if it’s unpleasant, or doesn’t fit your current mood. But as I keep pointing out to my more new-agey, self-improvement deluded friends and acquaintances, REALITY DOESN’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL.

  160. dale March 9, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    But perhaps reality is dependent on how you feel. Cheers

  161. asoka March 9, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Nope, crude could be $100 a barrel and the system would adjust and people would continue living normal lives.

  162. asoka March 9, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    We proved that normal life continues, without regard for crude oil prices, in March 2008 when crude was at $112 a barrel. Nothing crumbled, nothing fell apart, no riots in the streets.
    What is absolutely real is that we need to breathe in and breathe out to continue to live. And, further, it costs nothing to inhale and exhale.
    In my case, paying attention to the here and now reality of breathing in and breathing out brings me much bliss. YMMV.

  163. dale March 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    By that I mean, many people believe “reality” is something which is self-existent “out there” which your camera-like eyes reveals to you.
    Recent physics suggests otherwise, but like Galileo’s discovery that the earth was not the center of the Universe it took a couple of centuries for that realization to become part of the collective awareness, we are in that ajustment phase.
    The truth is you are part of creating your own reality as it arises, not in a “mind-only” way, but in a co-creation with causes and conditions.
    Many people misunderstand the experiments which show light as particles or waves, depending on the experimental circumstances. Their mind tells them that the “particles” exist prior to the measurement or are just not revealed during the wave measurement. The truth is, the particles do not exist prior to the measurement. That is a very difficult thing to wrap your mind around. “Some day we as a people will get there” as MLK said….and someday we will be able to understand and realize the freedom this reality will give us.

  164. Qshtik March 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Regarding your posts this morning … as long as you’re going to reference $$ per barrel for oil why not use the figure hit around June/July 2008 of $147? One could argue either way whether “nothing crumbled, nothing fell apart” as a result. With 1.75 years of hindsight I will concede that we certainly haven’t seen the end of the world even though at the time it was starting to look like it. Even the oil/gasoline shortages of 1973/1978 (which were quite spectacular compared to anything we’ve seen in the past two years) with 30+ years of hindsight cannot be said to have been “the end of the world.” It’s all in perception and how you define things.
    As to your comment about the current essay’s title “Then All At Once” and it’s “doomster psycology” I am one third of the way through The Black Swan (by Taleb) and I’ve gained some new insight about very large and sudden changes and their impact (whether positive or negative). It is quite possible that JHK could go on for years appearing to be wrong, wrong, wrong, and then “all at once” he is totally vindicated. In the remaining two thirds of the book I am hoping to find good advice on how to spot those rare but high-impact black swans.

  165. turkle March 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I was thinking about the survivalist approach mentioned yesterday, should TSHTF, and I’m convinced that some of you think you’re living in the Wild Wild West or will be able to act this way if and when the collapse happens.
    These are not the days of single load rifles and six shooters. If you have a highly visible “compound”, then all it would take is a couple guys with automatic weapons and some explosives to absolutely ruin your day (life?). And assuming a government collapse, there would be a lot of ex-military types configured this way roaming around looking for trouble. (Think modern Africa like the Congo.) And there is likely to be an amble supply of weapons and ammo. Strike that. There WILL be lots of weapons and ammo in the hands of the military types.
    Your best bet, if you even want to stick around the collapsed region at all rather than just bugging out to somewhere safer, is not to be visible in the first place so that the rampaging hordes simply pass you by. Think carefully concealed tunnel systems and supply caches or hidey holes in buildings that look abandoned.
    The last thing you’d want to try and maintain when the Apocalypse hits is a 10 acre spread of beets and squash with a fancy windmill and solar-powered green home out in the middle of nowhere. You’d just be asking to get sniped by some ex-military guy who wants to steal your rhubarb. Thinking you’re smarter/tougher/meaner/better/craftier than you actually are could be really quite a terrible thing in those kinds of circumstances. Overconfidence could actually kill you in this scenario!

  166. asoka March 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Your comment: “I’ve gained some new insight about very large and sudden changes and their impact (whether positive or negative)…” reminds me that many New Agers are expecting an exactly THEN ALL AT ONCE change in 2012 that ushers in a new consciousness and an era of peace and love.
    They have the same amount of evidence for their imagining a positive outcome as JHK has for imagining a negative outcome.
    What is real and always with us is the in breath and the out breath.

  167. asoka March 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    “The threat of nuclear weapons and man’s ability to destroy the environment are really alarming. And yet there are other almost imperceptible changes — I am thinking of the exhaustion of our natural resources, and especially of soil erosion — and these are perhaps more dangerous still, because once we begin to feel their repercussions it will be too late.” (p. 144 of The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace: 2002, Element Books, London)

  168. Qshtik March 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    My brain is not large enough so I wouldn’t presume to paraphrase Taleb but I am willing to recommend the book. Your notion or anybody’s notion of what constitutes “evidence” and the validity (or not) of the bell curve will be challenged.

  169. okie March 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    What catches my attention about this CF is the longing. I sense that JHK not only expects that this world will go away, but wants it to. He wants a different world that is not so fast and trivial and inhuman. Personally, I feel a very delicate relationship exists between my desire for a different world, my desire for a different (personal) life, and my perception/intuition regarding the future (ie – it is tempting to forecast what one dearly wishes). (and it is hard to wait patiently.) Personally, I try, to whatever extent possible, to make my little world more like the dream of sumac-through-the-pavement. It can be challenging to dream against the current, and sometimes it seems impossible, but I hope that any tiny progress I acheive is making the world a better place (for sumac) right now.

  170. DeeJones March 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Aww, geez, not that fat asshole HERE, for gods sake, don’t he know that this is a Socialist Democracy, with a Socialist healthcare system?
    Say, why don’t Flush Limpbag move to Dubai, like all the other rich, republican fat assholes.
    Geee, now CR will have to start an army just to his fat ass out.
    Aww, shit, you ruined my day. I just hope its all talk, like everything else he does. He’s too fat & stupid to actually do it, you know. I hope…

  171. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    This is really for Ian, but also offered in support of your bunkering post.
    One of the most elegant aspects of permaculture is indeed the fact that it operates from a totally new/ancient perspective. Take the linear, agrarian, scarcity-based mindframe and toss it out. Go ahead, the future will require this. Not because of some Aquarian New Age mindset that simply promotes a new form of expansion, but because energetics laws and the rules of Nature will demand it.
    Permaculture, on the other hand, embeds itself within a framework of cyclical abundance, cooperation, and biodiversity, which is based squarely on the shoulders of human history and the energetic realities of natural ecosystems. Both are abundantly clear on the matter. This is why I speak so confidently about what we industrial humans can (ultimately) expect from energy descent.
    In practical terms, permaculture on the ground also offers the safety of a landscape that few will recognize as a “garden.” By summer 2011, I will have over 100 species of food plants in my garden, and many of them will be completely invisible to even a scrutinizing observer. Hell, I dug up 7 lbs of sunchoke tubers yesterday that even I almost forgot about! And I planted them!
    I don’t fear the “turnip bandits.” They hold no power over me. They could steal every calorie of food they see, and there will be even more remaining, quietly waiting to provide for the needs of their stewards. Both in my home garden, and in the broader landscape where I guerilla garden.
    Permaculture isn’t about holding hands and singing kum-by-yah. It’s about getting on with the business of energy descent. Bunkers are for lonely, scared, self-important people. Perennial food forests and community abundance are for the future humans. They’ve worked brilliantly for a whole lot longer than agriculture has!

  172. Hooting March 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Looks like we’re good til the next asteroid hit for energy:

  173. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    This is Geoff Lawton giving a tour of a Vietnamese food forest that has sustained its family for 28 generations.
    How much of this system would you recognize as “food”? Our black pepper comes in a little glass bottle; theirs is a vine growing on a tree…

  174. asoka March 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    I have no doubt he will do it… he will leave the USA and go to Costa Rica.
    A week later he will be back on the radio saying he kept his word. He never said how long he would stay in Costa Rica.

  175. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    “Looks like we’re good til the next asteroid hit for energy:”
    Yep, just like horizontal drilling, oil shale, ethanol, cold fusion, and unobtanium.
    Anyone possessing the foggiest notion of how Nature works ought to be expending a lot of their own energy trying to prevent this kind of guaranteed suicide.

  176. asia March 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    ‘we need car-free cities’
    Me thinks but ‘they’ want free cars to go along with the green jobs!

  177. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Are they actually promoting diggin up the tundra for this methane hydrate shit? We really are the most pompous and ignorant species of primate.

  178. asia March 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    while it is against the law to booby trap ones home/workplace against robbers one could always plant poison plants among the food crops.
    see my post yday on mushrooms.

  179. asia March 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    ‘The 36,000-odd newly-unemployed were spun magically into a feel-good story for public consumption’
    So ‘we’ would feel good about Obama and his czars.

  180. ian807 March 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I have nothing against permaculture, per se. Really. I think it’s both efficient and elegant and will undoubtedly be the way communities organize resources in the future.
    The thing about “bunkering” (i.e. putting your population behind the castle wall) is that, historically, that’s what people have had to do. If you have a nice sustainable permaculture installation that provides food, power, water and shelter, it will be a resource, and as such, will have to be defended. While there are numerous examples of people coming together to support each other in difficult times, history is even more full of examples of visigoths, astrogoths, reavers, beserkers, crips, bloods, Hell’s angels and lawyers.
    They may leave most of your food. They still might cheerfully kill you if they’re having a bad day, or you do something annoying like trying to stop them from raping your wife and/or killing your children.
    Humans haven’t changed, and yes, it can happen in the good old USA as easily as it happened in Germany, Rwanda, Russia, Cambodia, Armenia, China in the 1860s, Spain during the inquisition or other places where humans have been known to be less than charming.

  181. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Asia, it’s only against the law if “they” have the resources left to prosecute…

  182. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Then we ought to be expanding our food forests poste haste, don’t you think? We can provide for the needs of 7 billion, I really have no doubt about that, even without the Texas tea. But it will require the weeds to repair the soil, and it will definitely require the first world population to roundly reconsider what a “need” is.
    I would be naive to believe that we industrial humans will experience some great mental leap that would realign us with the laws of Nature, but in any ecosystem moving from large amounts of free energy to steady or declining energy availability, biodiversity and cooperation always increase, food chains shorten, and apex predators always decline. I have no reason to believe that humans will fare any differently.
    But I DO think that the magnitude of our present situation is generally overlooked, despite the general awareness that “something” is changing, of everyone here. This is a novel situation in our human environment. We are now (IMO) irreversibly in the process of moving from energetic expansion to contraction. And I think that will have a profound effect on how we relate to our ecosystem and its other inhabitants.
    Is already for me.

  183. Shambles March 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    I hear a lot of what the backpack survivalists are saying, however I’d like to suggest:
    1. Throughout history, agriculture has been conducted outside of the city walls;
    2. Bandits and raiders have historically been searching for money and treasure, which is more easily removed;
    3. Invading armies have descended on the land for food, and have followed scorched earth tactics, so in that instance, either run or stay hidden;
    4. If you are forced to bug out and move to a new region, you will have to offer skills, otherwise you are just another mouth to feed – turn up with seeds and agricultural knowhow (and guns and money!) if you want to stay;
    5. I’d guess most food raiding would be of the house invasion / kitchen theft variety, or sundry stealing of recognizable and sellable items like a chicken or two.
    I know history is no guarantee of the future, but people grew food and traded across the world for many, many centuries before the use of oil. (They did live marginal lives, and faced the prospect of starvation each and every year. Thier lives were “nasty, brutish and short,” but they still got by.)

  184. messianicdruid March 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    “You do not become a ‘dissident’ just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career,” Vaclav Havel said when he battled the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. “You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. … The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public. He offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin-and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.”

  185. rocco March 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Excellent comment, well said!!! I agree 100%! The inside joke at various work places where the employees who care, produce and create have an old Star Trek saying from the frengie(sp?), “no good deed goes unpunished”. The neuro surgeon who saves lives, and gives you back a quality life gets a newspaper discussion because he/she makes $250,000 per year while working 70 hours a week,but any right wing or left wing talking head who sits there on the radio and tv, yells, screams,blabs, cries, gets millions. JHK: excellent article this week,”if you are going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh or they will kill you”. Hope to see ya in good olde Rochester again.

  186. Nathan March 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Europe post 432 AD history would tend to back up your argument IAN. Total anarchy and chaos as the empire collapsed and the population contracted then the tribal level organizations began to blossom. I don’t think Trippticket discounted the idea that the the transition folks might bear arms also.

  187. turkle March 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    “they could steal every calorie of food they see”
    You should be more worried about them stealing your LIFE, not your food.
    Furthermore, who says that a modern day collapse would look like that of Rome? The weaponry and the transportation was absolutely primitive then, and it has the potential to be far worse now.
    We have automatic weapons and hand grenades, not to mention pickup trucks.
    How many survivalists do you see in the Congo or Somalia holding out against the barbarians on their fortified compounds? Zero.

  188. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    “2. Bandits and raiders have historically been searching for money and treasure, which is more easily removed;”
    This is an item I’ve mentioned before, and I think a critically important part of the changes afoot. In effect, industrial humans have turned a blessing of immense resources (coal and oil mostly) into an economy of highly concentrated, portable wealth. When thieves break in, what do they steal? Compost? Rhubarb? Growing timber? No, they steal gold, fed notes, credit cards, electronics, jewelry – highly concentrated, portable wealth.
    But when we adjust our lives to the reality of dispersed, interconnected, literally heavy and bulky wealth (and wealth in the old form of fertility), I think we will see that fear of being robbed start to ebb.
    Because we’re poor, miserable, and have nothing worth stealing? Only if that’s how you choose to think of yourself.

  189. turkle March 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Yeah, the way I see it, you’d need to organize in a largish band with the like-minded, in order to combat similar sized or larger groups of the bad guys. Even then, once your armed group gets to a certain size, its called an army, and it does army-type things, not necessarily just defending the turnips from the evil mugwumps. When you’ve got a bunch of people with automatic weapons and not much to do, I can imagine all kinds of problems arising, whether internal or external.
    Personally, I would FLEE. Yeah, you might brand me a coward, but who in their right mind would stick around a war zone just to fulfill some survivalist/permaculture fantasy? That’s just nuts, imho.
    Anyone watch Jericho? Kinda think that might be more “realistic” than all these Mad Max, The Road, etc. scenarios. People have a natural tendency to organize, even to face down adversity. Small communities building themselves up from the ground up while maintaining an active defense would probably be the likely way of things unless you get really big armies just steamrolling everyone.
    But, really, who knows. I for one hope the cable teevee and frozen yogurt keeps on aflowin!

  190. turkle March 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Tripp, in an actual TSHTF scenario (Congo, Somalia, etc.), it is about protecting yourself and your family. All else is secondary. Hell, material possessions become practically worthless and all you want is some TP!

  191. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    I can understand this being very scary for people with no real, useful skills…
    But there is still time, and any information you want is on the next tab on the right of your browser. Personally, I think this is a very exciting time, full of never-before-imagined opportunities. Do you love beer, and worry about the imminent absence of Bud Light on the shelves? Start making your own! By the time you get it down, you’ll have an extremely valuable product to offer your community. Or would-be assailants even.
    Do something truly valuable and you will be protected, not molested.

  192. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    “I don’t think Trippticket discounted the idea that the the transition folks might bear arms also.”
    No, I definitely didn’t. We are armed, in many ways, but that is secondary to the real task at hand, which is procreative, not destructive.

  193. Shambles March 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    The way I see it is that people are confusing two separate groups: starving neighbours and roving bandits.
    The former are the ones that would possibly camp out in your backyard, eating the fruit off the trees; the latter would be the well-armed, well-fed group that come for your guns and gold.
    I guess it depends on your immediate neighbourhood – or what your nightmares are, right now.
    I personally believe that Rome fell more gently than some archaologists make out. I have to believe that there’s hope for people like me.

  194. dale March 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    “if you are going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh or they will kill you”. Hope to see ya in good olde Rochester again.”
    At first I thought you said Rochester SAID that. it does sound like something he would say, but then, you’re all way too young for Rochester.

  195. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    “Furthermore, who says that a modern day collapse would look like that of Rome? The weaponry and the transportation was absolutely primitive then, and it has the potential to be far worse now.”
    We have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire planet a hundred times. That’s just the sort of chaps we are. But for sanity’s sake I’m just going to continue with my plans to teach my neighborhood how to feed itself.
    Where is the logic in killing the people who are proficient at producing top-shelf calories without fossil energy? No, the future I think of as more likely will have people like that thrust, ready or not, onto the stage to lecture and demonstrate.

  196. dale March 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Nice quote by Havel.

  197. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    “but who in their right mind would stick around a war zone just to fulfill some survivalist/permaculture fantasy?”
    Survivalists and permaculturalists are opposite kinds of creatures. If a permie is in a war zone, it is because the war zone came to her, not the other way around, and once you have years of knowledge and sweat invested in a living, breathing, life-support system, it’s hard to get you to abandon it. Where would you go exactly?

  198. dale March 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    “Do you love beer, and worry about the imminent absence of Bud Light on the shelves? Start making your own!”
    Good point, but having that much beer around might kill me quicker than Peak Oil.

  199. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Perhaps, but it would be a more enjoyable way to go!

  200. turkle March 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    “Where would you go exactly?”
    I would go someplace that wasn’t a war zone, even if I had a great mulch established in said war zone. Organic nuts and berries are useless if you’re dead.
    “Where is the logic in killing the people who are proficient at producing top-shelf calories without fossil energy?”
    There is no logic. Its simple barbaric thievery or just idle maliciousness. Think Vikings. You think they were thinking, “Oh, best not chop this guy’s head off. He runs a farm plow like nobody’s business, and we might need him.”

  201. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    “Think Vikings. You think they were thinking, “Oh, best not chop this guy’s head off. He runs a farm plow like nobody’s business, and we might need him.”
    No, but they already knew how to produce food. I guess I give humans more credit than you do.

  202. turkle March 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    “Thank God Hitler didn’t own one.”
    Er, um, what are you talking? Hitler did have his bunker, and when he was surrounded on all sides by the Russians, he offed himself. There’s a really good movie about it, actually.

  203. turkle March 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    “I guess I give humans more credit than you do.”
    Credit for what?

  204. turkle March 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Why would I want to make my own Bud Light? Urgh!

  205. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    “I would go someplace that wasn’t a war zone”
    You mean some place where there is no food to fight over? Or just somewhere outside of your dark fantasies?

  206. turkle March 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Crack a history book. People can get kind of nasty when civilizations collapse.

  207. asoka March 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Awful lot of free-floating fear of the “other” here.
    Things get really, really, really, really bad and guess what… you are still going to be taking one breath at a time, in breath, out breath, until one fine day you stop breathing and that is not such a tragedy. If you have trained yourself to be conscious of the gap between the in breath and the out breath it will be familiar territory to you.
    If you are not prepared, if you have not rehearsed death (through meditation), then you will live in fear and do whatever you can to “stay alive” for as long as you can, as if it’s some kind of contest.
    Guess what? We are all going to die. What we have control over is making sure all are actions before death are motivated by lovingkindness… towards ourselves and towards others.

  208. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    “Why would I want to make my own Bud Light? Urgh!”
    I agree, I was just using the most popular beer on the market as an example. Nasty as it is.
    I’d personally prefer a growler of Rogue Brewery’s Dead Guy Ale…

  209. asoka March 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    What we have control over is making sure all our actions before death are motivated by lovingkindness … towards ourselves and towards others.

  210. turkle March 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    I dunno where I’d go if my current place became a hot war zone, tripp. I’ll cross that bridge if and when I come to it, and hopefully I never do. 🙂
    Um, dark fantasies? Try the evening news reports on Somalia, The Congo, The Former Yugoslavia, etc. Some philosopher said that man’s natural state is one of barbarity. Maybe it is just all the fancy gizmos and cheap desert juice that’s keeping us all from killing one another?
    Thinking you’re going to rock the permaculture in the middle of a war is the fantasy. People leave war zones all the time and become refugees.
    Though more power to you in general. I think that whole permaculture subject is a really neat idea, but I wouldn’t want to lose my life over it.

  211. Shambles March 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    “People can get kind of nasty when civilizations collapse.”
    I’ve just been reading about the collapse of the Roman Empire (yes, them again!) over on Wikipedia.
    The decline took hundreds of years, to the point that historians can’t agree on a definitive date for the collapse. There is an interesting, subversive idea: many people welcomed the barbarians, because they charged less taxes (not being ones for pomp and splendour). You could argue that the empire dissintegrated into a series of locally managed economies – ha, the history of the world in corporate doublespeak! – rather than an orgy of slaughter.
    It’s worth reading, if only for the overview of historian’s account for the collapse – some sound chillingly like the modern USA.

  212. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    “Crack a history book. People can get kind of nasty when civilizations collapse.”
    Easy there, Turkleton, you’re getting kind of defensive again. I am a student of history. I’m finishing up Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse” right now actually. But more importantly I think, I’m a student of humanity, and ecosystem dynamics. And I think we’re projecting an inappropriate past understanding onto an unknowable future. Unlike some, I prefer to focus on humanity’s good traits. And I can almost guarantee you there were more Romans nose-down figuring out how to survive without the state than taking up arms to steal their neighbor’s olives.

  213. turkle March 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    We’re kinda talking past each other here. I have read Collapse, too, but I’m not really concerned with the Roman Empire or the Aztecs. That’s ancient history at this point. During those times, there was no motorized transportation or mechanized warfare, no automatic weapons, no nukes, no roadside bombs or plastic explosives, and no hand grenades. The weaponry was primitive, as were the transportation systems, and hence war was similarly limited. Not so today.
    Various places in modern day Africa would be a more likely reference point, if you want to know what a collapse could resemble. And that’s current events, not ancient history. Hell, take a look at what goes on in Iraq or Afghanistan.
    I understand the desire to be positive, but humans are just animals, and not particularly nice ones. A lot of our group behavior reminds me of insects. Under the right circumstances, anything is possible, and people are capable of just about anything when fighting for their survival.
    From what I gather, some people would even go to war because it was entertaining. In other words, there wasn’t a whole lot to do out on the Scottish moors. Time to raid the British! 🙂
    And then you got the Mongols, the Huns, etc. War and invasion have been, if anything, constants of human history rather than anomalies. I have this really interesting medieval history atlas that goes in about 50 year increments from the fall of Rome to 1492. And the map changes drastically during most of those intervals. That didn’t happen from a bunch of farmers keeping their heads down.
    Anyways, good talking with you. I enjoy the exchange of ideas here, and its always good to hear some fresh perspectives. 🙂

  214. Dan Treecraft March 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Note to Shambles: I have somewhat recently been diagnosed with a “stage 3′ cancer of the tongue. I had been “sitting” on pretty blatant symptoms for over a year, when the the doc and the path lab confirmed my own suspicions. The MD says I can anticipate 6 months to 2 years before my cancer becomes intolerable (by the rest of my body, or by my own ability to tolerate distress). I haven’t been perfectly blissful for the nearly-two months since diagnosis, but I have felt, pretty generally, peaceful about it. I’m following some relatively low-level naturopathic nutritional and homeopathic protocols, now, in a frank attempt to make the best of the next few months, with the hope that my wife and I might have time to make a few forays to high mountain ridges and lakes before I cash in. I would also like to see a few scattered friends, relatives and local wild flowers this spring.
    Yes, we’re all terminal. I’ve been pretty focussed on that point for some time. I see my own pending expiration as a release from the angst that has pervaded my own, and so many other lives around me. Denial and fear of our own end seems to make much of the world go ’round.
    I think, at not-quite 61 years, and having a fairly straight- forward diagnosis and prognosis, that my situation is so much kinder and gentler than the plight of families who have someone suddenly snatched out of their midst, as was the case with my wife’s father who was suddenly “raptured” away one day 40 years ago, at age 45. Her mom struggled with near-paralyzing grief for the better part of a decade.
    Reading from JHK’s LONG EMERGENCY several years ago (I think maybe the top of Chapter 6), I fell upon this quote attributed to American philosopher/psychologist, William James:
    “The most significant characteristic of modern civilization is the sacrifice of the future to the present, and all the power of science is prostituted to this purpose.”
    Granted, a little nuancing might be in order, but, Dr. James’ statement is true enough to have given me a solid, and continuing, shock of recognition. We, “the privileged one billion”, alive today, are living (the way way most of “us” live) at the expense of the viability of succeeding generations of our own offspring, as well as the viability of many others (billions) living today – our own species and many other species with whom we share this one. crowded and rapidly degraded planet.
    My own demise – none too soon, by these markers – gives some of the rest of life, just that much (slightly) more room to live.
    I’m no Buddhist, and I may fairly be called a kook, or worse, but this seems like a fair way to go, and a fair time to be leaving. My heart is resting a bit easier, now that I have significantly given up/over to Mother Nature’s call to come back, to be one with the dirt. That’s how I’m dealing with it.
    Nice to note that this week’s Clusterfuck yielded such a low level of verbal “food fights”. Gracias!

  215. The Mook March 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Yer darn tootin! I didn’t sell my Cherries and Maples when lumber prices were high and boy am I glad. Now if we can just keep these Marcellus Shale leeches out of the neighborhood. It is going to be tough, as many of the grubbers can’t resist the lure of easy money. You should see the damage being done in Bradford county. The roads are a mess, the trees are being cut for access, and who knows where they are dumping the tainted water.

  216. asoka March 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    DBT, thanks for sharing your experience. It is truly a gift to be able to know when to let go, and to do it gracefully.
    Here is a new book which may, or may not, be of interest:
    The law of attention : nada yoga and the way of inner vigilance by Salim Michae?l (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2010).
    “How to achieve a direct inner experience of your higher nature and the after-death state from which you originate and will return”

  217. Dan Treecraft March 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Fair call: ” A gift”. Indeed.

  218. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    DT, I sure hate to hear your prognosis. I always enjoy your contribution to this little corner of the world. And I wish you all the best that what time you have left can give you. Your take on the end is refreshing. Stop by now and then (if you want) to give us young immortals some perspective.

  219. The Mook March 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Turkle, I am talking about one of “them” which if you were a close friend of a Goldman Sachs’ upper cruster might be given a tour of. Hitler could only dream of the protection provided by one of these beauties. You, I, and one-thousand of our buddies won’t be able to get close to getting inside a modern privately owned bunker. First of all, we would never find it. These pricks might even have a Cobra assault chopper or two at their disposal. Just ask the guy in Texas who is making millions armoring SUVs and such for these bastards. Meanwhile, the antis worry about my drunken Uncle Butch owning a semi-auto. He couldn’t even defend Tripp’s garden against a pack of radid rabbits!

  220. The Mook March 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Thanks, but I’ll have a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stoudt.

  221. DeeJones March 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Asoka: I have no doubt he will do it… he will leave the USA and go to Costa Rica.
    A week later he will be back on the radio saying he kept his word. He never said how long he would stay in Costa Rica.
    Well, lets see if Douch Limpdick will keep his word. I just might organize a nice reception party for him here….
    Lets see, feathers, check,
    Hmmm…. need some tar….

  222. Shambles March 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    “Yes, we’re all terminal. I’ve been pretty focussed on that point for some time. I see my own pending expiration as a release from the angst that has pervaded my own, and so many other lives around me. Denial and fear of our own end seems to make much of the world go ’round.”
    I would be inhuman not to note my sympathy, my regret for your pain and suffering, and to wish that a recovery was possible.
    I also wish that you are granted the time to speak to all your family, friends and anyone else you’ve interated with, and can go without regrets. Ultimately, it’s all anyone could ask for. (Actually, I’ve got young children – I want to be around to watch them grow.)
    That said, I’m marveling at your control and inner strength. That you can be peaceful says so much about you.
    As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter what religion someone is. On the subject of Buddhism, there is the parable of the raft: the teaching is the vehicle to cross the stream, to be left behind once you have reached enlightenment. I’d apply that to all religions and spiritual practice. It’s all about finding peace in order to obtain union with God, or however you view the absolute. I maintain that no one religion is 100 per cent correct.
    Who was the Christian writer who said God will only ask one question of us: How much did you love?

  223. dale March 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your circumstances. You sound like you are handling it as well as anyone ever does. Best Wishes to you.

  224. DeeJones March 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Dan, sorry to hear about the cancer. Now go out and try to enjoy the rest of your life that you have left.
    A close friend of ours a few years ago was diag’d with late stage melanoma. She decided to work till the end of the year, planning on spending the last few months of her life having fun, going to Dizney World, etc. Sadly, it was too late, she died just a few months after quitting, and before she could do any of the things she wanted to do. It happened pretty fast.
    So go forth now, enjoy what you have left. But also try to remember what you qouted above, and try to leave something that future generations might also be able to enjoy.
    We are using up the future, pretty soon, there will only be the past. Hope we don’t regret it.

  225. Nathan March 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Havent seen Jericho but now I will. I am of the mind that first we have to endure the real Great Depression long before we enter the MAd MAx phase.IF this is the scenario we are facing the survivalists all starve before the total collapse of the govt because bunkers are good for a year or two(castles were the same)and this depression lasts until the civilization collapses. Trippticket is on the right path because his plan is more versatile and resilient than planning a defense that has no production plan.

  226. asoka March 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Dirt: the movie
    Coming to over 60 cities across the U.S. in March 2010.

  227. Solar Guy March 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Trippticket – I like you a lot. I hope I can make time to learn in time. That little bar up top has been providing a lot of answers to the questions I ask.
    Turkle- I feel you on things getting nasty. History is history but we are in a strange world with lots of stuff that has never existed before.
    Asoka- I am focusing on my breathing and it helps. Whoever suggested JHK walk in nature is right too. It can really settle the soul down a bit and reconnect you to the larger system.
    Dan Treecraft- My sympathy is with you. Enjoy yourself with the time you have left. “Mother Nature’s call to come back” really put me at ease. I will be dealing with death in the family in the coming week(s) and that somehow lifted some sorrow.
    Mook- The Marcellus Shale picture you paint…well done.
    JHK- You are doing good. Keep it up, and maybe even keep your chin up. Take all comments with a grain of salt.
    The Rest of yinz- DO GOOD, BE NICE, and stay positive…
    The movie that came to mind from the scenarios suggested here is “NO ESCAPE” with Ray Liotta from the early 90’s. The “outsiders” camp. The “Insiders” village. Start watching at 38 seconds in…

  228. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    “Thanks, but I’ll have a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stoudt.”
    One of the best available anywhere, without a doubt. Can you make one?

  229. trippticket March 9, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Thanks Solar Guy! And Dale too for the earlier compliment about orginal ideas.
    I always read any post from either of you, and think you both have refreshing views on the situation. Cheers!

  230. asia March 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    what about 2010?
    africa/ mid east[due to usa]/ mexico.

  231. CaptSpaulding March 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    As far as things collapsing, something you guys are forgetting is that the govt. will still be a player. It controls the military, and the first reflex in bad times is for the govt to clamp down on everything in an effort to keep order. If it got that bad, you could expect army checkpoints on the roads, martial law to be applied, confiscation of weapons, suspension of constitutional rights, special police powers, and on and on, depending on the severity of the crisis. One thing you can be sure of, the govt. will keep the military well fed and supplied. Depending on the sort of leaders we have in place at that time, it could be easy to slip into a dictatorship or something just as bad. The govt won’t give up control of things without a fight, and they’ll do whatever they deem necessary to establish law and order.

  232. Vlad Krandz March 9, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    What is the circumferance of your head? The bigger the head, the bigger the brain – all other things being equal, which they aren’t. Some races like the Aboriginees have very thick skulls and small heads. They don’t belong in a modern culture (IQ’s of 60) but it works for them where they are. In a place where you are liable to get hit over the head by club, they are well adapted. Also the visual part of their brain is large – helps them find their way though what to us would be trackless wastes. One of my Psych Professors was happy to talk about them having a larger visual center than our’s but somehow forgot to mention how miserably small their brains were as a whole. Funny, huh?

  233. Vlad Krandz March 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Tripp is like Leonard Nimoy in that movie the Body Snatchers. As the Head of the Plants, he wants to replace everybody with plants who look like people. He doesn’t know anything about the ways of Animals and Men. He just hates the whole idea of people being people. Careful or he’ll replace you with a Pod.

  234. Alan Bannacheck March 10, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    Dear Mr. Kunstler,
    As a long time reader of your works, I understand your pessimism. However, is living in depression and fear–giving up your dreams–growing to loathe all society for lack of a better purpose the answer? Do not misread my words, for I do not disagree with you for a moment’s chance. I, of all people, understand the grimness of nature and spend time–too much time gazing in the shadows of lifes reflection.
    I would love to put on the helmet again and be oblivious to the horrors bestowed upom the world, but like yourelf, I cannot. My hat goes down to you sir, I hope you read this question and give it some thought.
    Alan Bannacheck
    Chanhassen, Minnesota

  235. Vlad Krandz March 10, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    Ah the Bell Curve – now you’re talking. The Clarion Call of the Truth from that Book resounds still after two decades. Yes we must affirm the key note of sanity, that retards are dummies and have no place in secondary education. Before being allowed in, the circumference of their heads should be measured to exclude pinheads.
    Do people think I exaggerate? There is movement afoot to pretend that retards aren’t dummies. This tendency began decades ago and is now accelarating as the liberals become ever more desperate to deny reality. A Pshchology Professor apologized to us once for having to tell us that some people were dumb! As if it was his fault or he had just farted or something.
    These will be our sign words when we meet in Sandpoint or Coeur D’Alene – the first will say “Retards…and the you or I will respond, “…are Dummies”. As the old saying goes, Blood will tell. But so can heads. This is a non racial way to discriminate on the basis of IQ. It will come to the same thing anyway. The great student of Mankind, Professor Cafalli-Sforza basically teaches much the same thing as Jenson and Rushton. But the old fox never mentions the word race, just “populations” and thus fools the morons.

  236. Vlad Krandz March 10, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    That’s the difference between a raid and an invasion. When the Vikings were raiding the coast of France, they just killed, raped, and plundered. When they came in force, they took over the Land and made the native Romanized Celts into Serfs. They became known as the Normans – one of the most potent peoples of the Middle Ages. If the shit really hits the fan and Civilization falls, we can expect nothing less here. Surely the Gangs of Philledelphia will know that the Quakers of Lancaster County are worth more than their weight in gold. They will be fought over since they wont protect themselves. The Imperial Valley of California will be an even greater prize for the gangs of Los Angeles including that Gang known as the LAPD.

  237. mistersurefire March 10, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    An article from WTOP sheds some light on the plight of the Kansas City schools. Seems to me that the origin of this is incompetence.
    “This year alone officials expect to overspend the $316 million budget by $15 million and if nothing changes, the district will be in the red by 2011.
    It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
    Kansas City appeared headed for a recovery when a federal judge in 1985 declared the district was unconstitutionally segregated. To boost test scores, integrate the schools and repair decrepit classrooms, the state was ordered to spend about $2 billion to address the problems.
    The district went on a buying spree that included a six-lane indoor track and a mock court complete with a judge’s chamber and jury deliberation room. But student achievement remained low, and the anticipated flood of students from the suburbs turned out to be more like a trickle. Court supervision of the desegregation case ended in 2003.
    And to this day, the district continues to lose students. In the late 1960s enrollment peaked at 75,000, dropped to 35,000 a decade ago and now sits at just under 18,000.
    Only about half of Kansas City’s elementary school students and about 40 percent of middle and high school students now attend the city’s public schools. Many of the other students have left for publicly funded charter schools, private and parochial schools and the suburbs.
    Fewer students means the district gets less money from the state.
    At the height of spending in 1991-92, Kansas City invested more than $11,700 per student _ more than double that year’s national average of $5,001, according to U.S. Census figures. Today, the district spends an average of $15,158 on each student, compared to a national average of $9,666 in 2006-07, the latest figures available.”

  238. messianicdruid March 10, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    “There is a revolution brewing in this country. Some are already attempting to define it… perhaps as a means of shaping it. Perhaps as a means of preventing a no-sided melee which no one can win. — Mark my words and mark them well. A left-right labelling of this revolution will mark the failing of our species and condemn millions of Americans to death and suffering. Labels kill us, especially orthodoxies and labels from the old paradigm. This must be a revolution by all the people who get it as opposed to people who don’t. — If it isn’t, then the bad guys will win again as they always have when it’s been framed as a left-right issue and they controlled both sides. The left has failed us as badly as the right. Just the use of the words “left” and “right” closes off a myriad of possible life-saving options. Conservatives and liberals starve and die in exactly the same way. They go homeless the same way. They bleed the same way. The Powers That Be would much rather have us fighting each other rather than them.”

  239. babystrangeloop March 10, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    May all beings who read this be free from enmity and danger.
    May all beings who read this be free from mental suffering.
    May all beings who read this be free from physical suffering.
    May all beings who read this take care of themselves happily.

  240. dale March 10, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    “Negativity” is NOT negative if it is squarely
    aimed AT negative situations. That is not only
    CONSTRUCTIVE negativity. It’s the essence of
    the desire to LIVE by being objective about
    the present!
    Of course, there is such a thing as an objective view, at least conventionally or relatively. But, we do have a tendency to “over subscribe” to that notion as well. For example, take YOU,— to your children you are a father and provider, to the guy down the street you are neighbor, to a mesquito you are dinner, to a bacteria in your gut, you are a universe. Which of those views is objective?
    They are all subjective, of course, or…..objective, relative to the mode of inquiry. See where I’m going here….your “objective” view is a lot less “objective” than you might think.

  241. Qshtik March 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    “Before being allowed in, the circumference of their heads should be measured to exclude pinheads.”
    But as you pointed out in another post “The bigger the head, the bigger the brain – all other things being equal, which they aren’t. (emphasis mine)
    Do you know that O.J. Simpson has a large head … in fact, an exceptionally large head?
    The whole issue of head size, brain size and their relationship to intelligence is far more nuanced than you let on. One article I googled spoke about head size relative to body mass being more important than absolute head size. A 4’10” woman’s head (and brain) will almost certainly be smaller than a 6’8″ man’s but that says little about which might have a higher IQ.
    I am not shilling for “the left” when I point this out I am simply in favor of intellectual honesty.

  242. Cash March 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Neurological wiring is important. Neanderthals had larger brains than modern sapiens. But in many ways Neanderthal was different (inferior)behaviourally. There is scant evidence of art and technological innovation but some evidence of religious thought, altruism (ie caring for crippled old people). Neanderthal ultimately could not compete and went extinct.
    I’ve also read that modern sapiens appeared approx 200,000 years ago in east Africa. For 150,000 years sapiens technology was about the same as Neanderthal. Like Neanderthal there is scant evidence of art and innovation. Then for reasons unknown (maybe an evolutionary leap, improved wiring in the brain) there appeared a blast of toolmaking improvements, painting, sculpture around 50,000 years ago.
    So I wouldn’t get too hung up on brain size. Neanderthal brains were larger than ours and look what happened. Plus I’ve read that for about 50,000 years and especially in the last 10,000 years sapiens has been shrinking in height, weight and brain size. There’s my two cents on brain size.

  243. njmayes March 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Superb, prophetic and deeply unsettling writing as ever, Mr Kunstler. Feel free to have a look at my own humble blog for a British / European take on our long emergency…

  244. njmayes March 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Superb, prophetic and deeply unsettling writing as ever, Mr Kunstler. Feel free to have a look at my own humble blog for a British / European take on our long emergency…

  245. h reardon March 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Sad how the leftists loons cannot let go of their attacks on non-leftists, like Cheney, when comrade Hussein and his progressive thugs are the ones giving away trillions to their banker buddies. As for bunkers, I would bet on comrade Barack Husssein Chavez Obummer, Georgie Boy Soros, Rambo Emanuel, Andy Stern, and other assorted marxist thugs, as having very well fortified bunkers, or estates with armed guards. For you information, V.P.Cheney owns a home in Jackson that is about 200 feet from the clubhouse, and 100 feet from the putting green on a golf course, and hardly a bunker, but then what is new with libtards and worse? By the way Mook, what about comrade Hussein giving a $2 billion loan to the Brazilian oil company for exploration in the Atlantic, while denying that right to American companies? Incidentally, or not, Georgia Boy Soros owns about 20% of that Brazilian oil company. Probably just a coincidence, right?

  246. Martin Hayes March 10, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Dan, I am thunderstruck. Perhaps you are a Buddhist, maybe even the first Buddhist! (it’s a joke).
    My thoughts are with you.

  247. turkle March 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    “They don’t belong in a modern culture”
    God, you are such an insufferable asshole. Why don’t you get your own blog so we don’t have to read about all your backward views on phrenology and white power?

  248. dale March 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    …..so we don’t have to read about all your backward views on phrenology and white power?
    There is a simpler easier solution, one I adopted long ago. No attention, no reason to be here.

  249. Martin Hayes March 10, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    The parable of the raft is apt. It calls to mind a similar metaphor used by John Fowles, when he was a young lad, in his The Aristos, about how Christianity, as it is as an institution, seeks to keep rocket and launch pad together, when by rights the rocket should have been left to find its mark in the unchartered hinterlands of human consciousness, leaving the launch pad well behind. Christianity, by insisting on keeping rocket and launch pad (that is, its early historical and theological underpinnings) together, has failed in its mission to deliver to humanity a revised understanding of how to live.
    Technically, theologically, this is called the problem of the hypostasis, as elucidated by C.G. Jung. Hypostasis is not unique to Christianity – Buddhism also suffers from it, in so far as its adherents attach too much significance to Gautama while failing to see that what he pointed to, the meaning of his life, is also theirs for the taking. So it is with the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Though I am not persuaded by the Gospels that this person, if he ever existed, genuinely triumphed over life, and death, it is plain to me that people would sooner worship him than take the terrifying, but necessary, steps to transcend this life, overcome their ego, and partake of an enlarged and more fulfilling Last Supper with everyone they have been fortunate enough to know.

  250. Cash March 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Dan, Sorry to hear the bad news. I’m impressed with your calm. You are a real man. When it comes to courage I come knee high to you.

  251. dale March 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Buddhism also suffers from it, in so far as its adherents attach too much significance to Gautama while failing to see that what he pointed to, the meaning of his life, is also theirs for the taking.
    Buddhism has allowed for many levels of understanding, and that is how the Buddha taught. Hence, the creation of a semi-divine Buddha, while flawed, is also a natural outgrowth of people adopting views via their culture rather than their own inquiry, as is the case in Tibet. Buddhist thought regarding concepts such as “emptiness” is certainly not easy for most people to grasp, even intellectually.
    I would suggest that you make a similar mistake however, when referring to “the meaning of his (buddha’s) life”. From my understanding of Buddhism the “Buddha’s life” is not significant. What is significant is the teachings of the Buddha. Giving “meaning to his life” would be too close to the Christian notion of deriving meaning from the death and resurrection of Jesus, and then developing a spirituality dependent on faith in that event alone (at least as outlined in the gospel of John).
    The Buddha’s point was that he re-discovered something we can all realize, and choose to teach it, no deeper meaning to his life is necessary, he was just a man, after all. But perhaps your words on this point were just a poor choice, since you otherwise seem to have a good understanding IMO,

  252. dale March 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Buddhism also suffers from it, in so far as its adherents attach too much significance to Gautama while failing to see that what he pointed to, the meaning of his life, is also theirs for the taking.
    Buddhism has allowed for many levels of understanding, and that is how the Buddha taught. Hence, the creation of a semi-divine Buddha, while flawed, is also a natural outgrowth of people adopting views via their culture rather than their own inquiry, as is the case in Tibet. Buddhist thought regarding concepts such as “emptiness” is certainly not easy for most people to grasp, even intellectually.
    I would suggest that you make a similar mistake however, when referring to “the meaning of his (buddha’s) life”. From my understanding of Buddhism the “Buddha’s life” is not significant. What is significant is the teachings of the Buddha. Giving “meaning to his life” would be too close to the Christian notion of deriving meaning from the death and resurrection of Jesus, and then developing a spirituality dependent on faith in that event alone (at least as outlined in the gospel of John).
    The Buddha’s point was that he re-discovered something we can all realize, and choose to teach it, no deeper meaning to his life is necessary, he was just a man, after all. But perhaps your words on this point were just a poor choice, since you otherwise seem to have a good understanding IMO,

  253. Cash March 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Personally I’m pretty sure Jesus existed. There’s just too much stuff that happened centred around his teachings and writing from around that time period that talks about him, mostly biblical but not all ie Flavius Josephus. But the miracles and the divinity stuff is another story.

  254. Martin Hayes March 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Drop dead, Dale. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

  255. dale March 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Simon Johnson former chief economist at the IMF talking common sense on economics for eight minutes, good stuff.

  256. dale March 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Very well then, apparently you are not to be disagreed with, even politely. I’ll ignore you going forward.

  257. Martin Hayes March 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Gee, Cash, you’ve weirded me out, because every comment I’ve read of yours thus far has suggested that you’re at least partially sane, like most Canadians. But Josephus? Are you for real? Everyone with a brain knows by now that the one passage in his work, attesting to the existence of Jesus, is an interpolation, and not a very concincing one either.
    As a point of departure, consider that Saul of Tarsus wrote his letters in 50 CE or thereabouts, and makes no mention of Jesus’ life, or his fabled miracles, or anything about him other than that he was tried by Pontius Pilate and crucified. Don’t you find it strange that such an educated, Hellenized Jew as Paul doesn’t bother to quote Jesus, ever? Is this not the first recorded instance of a self-described disciple not supplicating to his master, tentatively suggesting an enlargement of his master’s diktat, but offering instead a polished theology that treats its subject, Jesus, as a mystical figure, a god in the sky, that ignores whatever historical background he might once have had? Let me repeat: Paul never quotes Jesus. About anything. Ever.
    The reason ought to be obvious.

  258. Qshtik March 10, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Very sorry to hear of your medical condition. I wish I had something profound and comforting to say.
    Thinking about my own future demise as I approached retirement 4 years ago drove me to do several things … all of them in the nature of leaving some mark as if to say “Kilroy was here” rather than simply ceasing to exist. It has come down to a battle to live on in memory.
    The first thing I did was to begin a memoir. I very much wanted my kids to know more about their father than they think they know. And not only my kids but anyone else who may chance to read it. No, I have no delusions about publication … I’ll be nothing more than a Word file. Thus far I’ve written 12,000+ words and covered my life up to age 16. It also sheds light on my parent’s lives who (whom?) my kids barely knew.
    The next thing I did was build my own coffin. You’ve seen those old style coffins? I think they’re known as heel-squeezers in the trade. (Wide at the shoulders, a short taper to the head and a long taper to the feet.) Well, my coffin is a heel-squeezer set within a standard rectangle. It is built from 2X3s and plywood, sanded, stained and polyurethaned. The purpose is evident on the inside of the lid. It’s a tip-of-the-hat to something I was good at. It replacates a pool table with high-grade green felt, rack spots near either end, a pool cue lying at an angle, cue tip chalk and two pool balls (numbers 3 and 7). Everything is firmly but invisibly attached. I will be dressed in faded blue jeans and my oldest beat-up work shirt, frayed at the collar and paint stained at the cuffs … a final thumbing of the nose to the suit and tie.
    I do not plan to be buried in this coffin … merely displayed for a day in the dining room of my home, then creamated. The coffin can then be installed vertically in a room, and outfitted with glass shelves to serve as a book case. It can be reused and the pool theme covered over with, say, a rectangular canvas art work of the next incumbet’s choosing.
    The final touch to this coffin is a statement of blase bravado. A small brass plaque is screwed to the wood near where my head will lie that reads “At least the infernal ringing in my ears has stopped.”
    All the while as I worked on this project in my basement I thought about my own demise. (Others might call this “meditation” but I find that word annoyingly pretentious … like I do for “studying” vs “reading.”) It has helped me come to grips with the inevitable.
    The last thing I did was to build a small pyramid, 5 feet square at the base (that I discussed a few days ago). It makes for a physical mark on the landscape that, barring vandalism, should still be standing in 50-100 years.

  259. Martin Hayes March 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Would you, PLEASE? Nothing less than a total break from business as usual will spare people from what is coming, yet your posts here are all about how you’ve insulated yourself from the fallout even as you continue to support the bullshit that got us into this mess. WE HAVE TO DISMANTLE ALL THIS. Clear to you?

  260. bervol March 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Eleuth’s posts are easier to read with the inserted carriage returns than if he/she relied on text wrap-around.
    There’s a reason why newspaper columns are narrow.

  261. Ool March 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    There may be troubles ahead, but you make it sound in the first few paragraphs as if the crisis would last forever and you could never have a lot of cars again after oil runs out.
    The Sun wastes two billion times more energy into space than it shines down here. The numbers are in our favor. There’s orders of magnitude more power out there than fossil fuels will have ever provided us with while they lasted. So in the short run cars may become scarce as we lack the infrastructure to tap into other forms of energy, but in the long run it would be the crisis itself that is the blip on the radar.
    We might live in a world made by hand for a while but not forever, unless we descended into another Dark Age of forgetting about and demonizing all science and technology, and that would leave us even more vulnerable to forces beyond our control, such as climate change, than we are today. You wouldn’t want that, no matter how idyllic you imagine it would be…

  262. h reardon March 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Enough already of this leftist loon crap about Rush stating he would be moving to Costa Rica, as it never happened. However, he did say that the loons in the MSM would report it that way. Since too many of your fruitcakes hate Limbaugh and anyone who is not a progressive/communist, why would you even comment on this MSM leftist plant, when you obviously never listened to the program, which I did. Oh, I forgot, your libtards never tell the truth, and probably would not recognize it if it slapped you upside the head. Rush actually said that he would go to Costa Rica for medical services if Obummercare passed, as many physicians are setting up there. Beautiful country, with fewer progressives attempting to run everything. Now, you who are not leftist loons have the truth and can ignore the trolls and Obambots online.

  263. turkle March 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    RE: meditation
    Checkout the website for this class I’ve been taking recently.
    Really cool stuff. I know you’ll dig it.
    Yeah…must….ignore….the idiots.

  264. turkle March 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    r reardon,
    So in summary…
    Blah blah blah…..Rat Limpblob…..blah blah blah…Obummercare…..blah blah blah….leftist loons…..blah blah blah….libtards….blah blah blah….progressives….*whine* *cry* *whaaaaaaa*.
    Thank you SO MUCH for that AMAZING contribution to this web page. I also LOVE those terms of derision for all the fruity cake fancy pants progressive-tards. Did you make those all up yourself? What fine prose. You must have a degree in English from some libtard university.
    So if we’re not following the “progressives” and the “looney liberals” (in fact they SUCK….every last one of them and every single last one of their stupid silly ideas), we’re going to go with the conservatives, right? Let’s put them back in charge.
    Which one, Jack Madoff, Tom Delay….oh, wait those guys are in prison.
    What about Sean Hannity? He should be dictator for life, prolly.
    Ted Haggart? He’s bouncing back, I heard.
    Or let’s bring back Shrub, Dick, and Rummy. I’m certain they could turn this whole mess around.

  265. turkle March 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Oh, sorry, Tom Delay isn’t in prison. He’s on Dancing with the Stars….or was until he flunked out. He’s about as good of a dancer as he was a politician, i.e. incredibly great…graceful, too.

  266. turkle March 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Hey, u.r. realdumb,
    The size of the government, the amount of deficit, and the number of federal employees increased the most under two presidential bastions of the modern conservative movement: a) Ronald “Star Wars” Raygun and b) George “Defend the Homeland and Invade Random Countries” Bush.
    Last president to maintain any modicum of fiscal prudence: Bill “Fruitcake Liberal Progressive Dingbat” Clinton. You know, the guy all you morons decided was the anti-Christ because of a stained dress.
    Put that in your conservative pipe and smoke it, ya freaking Fox-News-watching, Rush-Limbaugh-worshipping imbecile.

  267. trippticket March 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Maybe this isn’t the best time to slide in a link to my new blog, seeing as there is some palpable hostility in the room, but eh, what the hey…
    This is my first post about packing and changing the guard; more of the permaculture, eco-architecture, and invisible crops stuff will follow later. Haven’t decided on the timing yet, maybe monthly, maybe bi-weekly, perhaps weekly, but I don’t want to be a slave to it!
    Anyway, you guys go on over and check it out, and sign up on the follower list if you would, give me a shout out. I’m looking forward to moving some of the chat about the hands-on business of energy descent over to Small Batch.
    JHK, you’d be well-received too!

  268. Qshtik March 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    “Nothing less than a total break from business as usual will spare people from what is coming”
    Martin, if your view of the future is as crystal clear and infallible as your post implies, please tell me what the DOW will do tomorrow. It would certainly free me from a lot of fretful analysis and half-assed conclusions I’m prone to.

  269. turkle March 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Nice garden, mang. Can I has some rhubarb? 🙂

  270. turkle March 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    “please tell me what the DOW will do tomorrow”
    I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.

  271. Martin Hayes March 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Hmm. Having trouble distinguishing between energy an exergy? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Recommend you read the Archdruid’s latest post.

  272. trippticket March 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    “Can I has some rhubarb? :)”
    Only if you join as a follower…

  273. Qshtik March 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    “Eleuth’s posts are easier to read with the inserted carriage returns”
    Suggest it to Kunstler. Maybe he’ll have his web guy narrow the comment box.

  274. turkle March 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    I guess I shouldn’t bother replying to these idiotic rants about libtards and what-not, as they are the internet equivalent of crop dusting (you know…fart and run).
    These trolls never reply to anyone’s responses, because then they’d have to engage in a debate using actual facts and logic rather than just spewing an unanswered chain of non-sensical insults about communist nazi liberals taking over America.

  275. h reardon March 10, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Funny being called a troll by a professional troll. Just like their idols Goebbels, Stalin, Mao, leftists accuse non-leftists of refusing to reply and engage in debate, while preventing the very free speech and freedoms they claim to represent. Cannot remember any leftist loon who actually used facts and logic rather than vitriol and obscenities, including Turkle, the ultimate windbag. If Mr/ms Turkle had the intellectual heft to actually debate me, I would relish the opportunity. Sadly, he/she has clearly demonstrated lack of intellectual ability despite his/her self-credited intellectual power. There Turkel, happy now?

  276. DeeJones March 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Dan, you mentioned that you had thought you had the cancer well before it was diagnosed, so two questions:
    A- What exactly made you think that you might have cancer in the first place?
    And B- Why did you wait for so long to get a diagnosis?
    The reason I ask is because my sis n’ law reminded me that she had it several years ago, got it diag’d promptly, did lose part of her tongue, but is in remission and doing quite well.
    Anyway, best of luck to ya.

  277. h reardon March 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    As followup, here are some facts for Turkel and his leftist comrades. Comrade Hussein is now planning to set aside an additional 13 million acres in 11 Western States by executive order under the Antiquities Act, or the Monument Act, or both, without input from the concerned States. He is likewise moving to limit fishing nationwide,both oceans and inland waters by executive order. As a third subject for discussion, how about his loan of $2 billion to the Brazilian oil company to explore in the Atlantic, while exploration is barred in the U.S., and its off shore waters. Of some interest is the fact that his progressive advisor, George Soros, owns 20% of the Brazilian oil company. I am sure there is no corruption there, as progressives like Soros and Hussein only care about the sheeple. If it walks and talks like a marxist duck, then it probably is. Or, if it walks and talks, and acts, like a muslim duck, it probably is and Israel should be very leery of being thrown under the bus of genocide at the hands of Hussein’s muslim comrades. Now, talk amongst yourselves leftist loons.

  278. dale March 10, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Sounds interesting, I wish they had had such courses at University when I was there. Interestingly enough, one of the reading for the first day (course) is from my teacher Alan Wallace. I will be spending a week with Alan later on this month in Santa Barbara. He has a website with links to an institute he is founder of which does a lot of work on trying to link meditation with observable effects from a scientific POV. Very interesting guy, physics University trained and also a monk for 15 years, one of only three real geniuses I met in my life.
    Try listening to his 2 hour talk “Councious Universe” which is free and MP3 linked to that site, he gives a discourse on the last 400 years of scientific history and how that is linked to scientific materialism, Buddhism, and his view of a possible better future. Great stuff and he can be a funny guy as well. Good Luck!

  279. dale March 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    “your posts here are all about how you’ve insulated yourself from the fallout even as you continue to support the bullshit that got us into this mess.”
    It will be much easier to ignore you after I’ve corrected your misinterpretation of what I said!
    I haven’t insulated myself from anything, nor would I necessarily want to. I don’t support any “bullshit” that got us into this mess—-as you put it. As I have said many times here, I don’t pretend to know what will happen next, pretty much anything is possible. That doesn’t mean I don’t have strong views at times about the course of our society. I do, and I spend time volunteering to try to do something practical to change it. However, both science and practical common sense tells me that most of my problems and “bullshit” are of my own creation, and it’s up to me to come to terms with that and change it.
    Some of the people here who have decidedly “doomer” views of the future are pretty smart about it. Tripp is such a guy, he’s taken what he sees as a likely negative future outcome and has responded in a very positive way I think. It doesn’t matter if he’s right about the future of not, with his constructive POV he will do fine no matter what happens. I wouldn’t dream of trying to change his mind, even if it were possible. However, sometimes I see posts here from people who are obviously suffering, unlike Tripp, they see negative outcomes but that seems to come from a deeper seeded neurosis, sometimes I try to suggest to them that nothing is preordained and that we are a big part of creating the reality we find. I hope it might give them a little hope or make them think about it a little more, that’s all. I won’t change them either, but maybe they can change themselves if they want to.
    I know that can be irritating to some who come here to find other people who think like they do, in a world that largely doesn’t agree, when it bothers to think at all. They want this to be a place where they can feel confirmation. So yes, I do get that, and I understand your anger, and that’s why I will ignore you in the future.

  280. turkle March 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    “Goebbels, Stalin, Mao”
    I rest my case.

  281. turkle March 10, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Some people’s #1 political “go to” guy is an obnoxious, deaf, anti-American, Oxycotin snorting, boy fucking blimp.
    Mine is Harvard-educated, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and is currently president of the most powerful nation on the planet.
    You really know how to pick em.

  282. turkle March 10, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    Yeah, let’s compare Costa Rica, which is the size of Rhode Island, to a country that spans an entire large continent and has 300 million people. Real fucking bright.

  283. turkle March 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Hey, dumbass, your conservative poster boy Shrubbie ballooned the government to its largest size in history, invaded two countries without provocation (like the Nazis…which your thick skull somehow equates with Obama), which will end up costing our country trillions of dollars in the long run, crashed the economy into the ground, destroyed the housing market, shit on the Bill of Rights, and ruined gigantic sections of the government by appointing no-nothing conservative Bob Jones University graduates.
    And you have the temerity to call liberals corrupt because of some fucking Brazilian oil contract?
    You have a political blind spot so large that a Mac truck could drive through it.

  284. turkle March 10, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    The Nazis gassed millions of Jews and invaded nearly every country in Europe.
    The Communists sent entire populations to the gulag and purged tens of millions of people from their own population.
    The Fascists murdered their political opponents and seized power in violent coups.
    And the Democrats….wait for it…..wait for it….waaaaaait….want to reform health care.
    I guess you never watched the segment on Sesame Street called “Which one does not belong with the others?” Must have been too advanced for you.

  285. turkle March 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    “If Mr/ms Turkle had the intellectual heft to actually debate me, I would relish the opportunity.”
    So debate me, motherfucker. I’ll even tie half my brain behind my back to make it fair. What do ya got besides a bunch of tired old shit about Obama being a Nazi?
    I’m not sure its worth my time, though. People like you are too stupid to tell when they’re losing an argument.

  286. asia March 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    great pics…..thats the place you lost or are losing?
    washington state?

  287. turkle March 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    “Or, if it walks and talks, and acts, like a muslim duck, it probably is and Israel should be very leery of being thrown under the bus of genocide at the hands of Hussein’s muslim comrades.”
    Are you kidding me?
    I’m done with your stupid ass. Have fun with the talk radio, shit stain.

  288. asoka March 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Ool said:

    The Sun wastes two billion times more energy into space than it shines down here. The numbers are in our favor. There’s orders of magnitude more power out there than fossil fuels will have ever provided us with while they lasted. So in the short run cars may become scarce as we lack the infrastructure to tap into other forms of energy, but in the long run it would be the crisis itself that is the blip on the radar.

    This kind of positive, long-term thinking is at odds with much of the doomer talk on CFN (basically, talk which says “we are so fucked! and talk which says “no technological fix will save us”)
    It is refreshing to see something posted about energy which is forward thinking instead of much of the obsession with buying guns and ammo and paranoid fantasy about “violent roving gangs”
    I like your idea, Ool, of harvesting solar energy and and it is already being developed. Satellites float outside the atmosphere can capture solar energy round the clock and without power-reducing cloud cover or atmospheric interference.
    The satellites can use photovoltaic panels, much like what goes on rooftops, to capture energy and convert it to microwaves. A large antenna on Earth can recapture the energy of the microwaves and convert them back into electricity.
    Space-based power appears to be quickly moving towards reality. The Japanese government announced in September 2009 a massive project to build a space based power-plant producing two gigawatts of electricity.
    We need more people with creative solutions to compensate for those who are paralyzed by their “we are so fucked” pessimism.
    I especially appreciate your long view and your differentiation of short term and long term: “in the long run it would be the crisis itself that is the blip on the radar.”

  289. trippticket March 10, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    That’s our garden here in Washington state. We’ll be on the road early next Friday morning to start from scratch. You’ll see. Looking forward to it!

  290. Puzzler March 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Good luck with the move.
    Cute rugrat — a good spokesmodel for pop’s veggies.

  291. fugeguy March 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    When an engineer from Ohio decides to burn the “whole world down,” well that will be a milestone…

  292. Vlad Krandz March 11, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    Glad to see you’re doing the research. Of course, your point is correct – I’m just screaming the headlines trying to wake up the lost White Sheep of Clusterfuck. OJ does seem to have a large head and it does have to be related to body size. But he may be a fairly bright guy though I’ve heard he isn’t. In any case, he has alot of White genes so he’s not a good test case as far as race goes. Why is all this important? So we don’t waste any more time, money, and WHITE GUILT trying to educate the uneducable. Someone mentioned Kansas City – the perfect example. Who cares if you have all the amenities if you don’t have the right gene pool using them? We are so outward and extoverted in our culture now that we fail to look at the subjective side of things at all in our public policies.

  293. Vlad Krandz March 11, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Great point. The Neanderthals did have very large brains – their foreheads were low but the back part of the head was very elongated. But were they human at all? There has been alot of debate on this – some say that they weren’t directly related to us at all, but rather our cousins and an evolutionary cul de sac. But the artifacts show that they were more advanced the Homo Erectus who were our direct ancestors. Perhaps we both sprang from the Erectus and then diverged. In any case, the head size is only significant within a species. Elephants and Dolphins have much bigger brains and so what? As Qshtic said, it has to be related to body size. And beyond that, the development as indicated by the convolutions is important. So size of the brain is one indicator but has to be balanced by others. All that being understood, the old science fiction image of the huge brained men of the future might have something to it. They’d have to be ceasarean birth however – unless women evolve to have huge hips so as to be able to bear them.

  294. Vlad Krandz March 11, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    Think of all the times you’ve accused me of negativity when I was just presenting racial realism. Tibetan Anthropology is absolute political incorrectness. They talk about countless races of men some high and some low. Yet no matter how low they all have Buddha Nature and that I’ve never denied. Of course, so do animals, plants, and minerals so it’s damning with faint praise.
    Just bought Wallace’s book “The Four Immeasurables” today. Face it Dale, we are Dharmma Brothers. You have to try and overcome your aversion for me – otherwise you will in wise be the dew drop that drops into the Shining Sea but rather the one left on the branch to be scorched by the rising sun of selfhood.

  295. Vlad Krandz March 11, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Swimming Pools, Computers, Tracks – all glittering trinkets for savages if the will to learn is absent. As the poet Mangan said, it’s the State of the Inner Man that matters in these realms.
    Of course they’re losing kids. The minorities are probably following the Whites into the suburbs. Prosperity somehow just seems to follow Whites wherever they go. Must be magic. As for sending their kids into the inner city for school: pure child abuse. What decent White Parent would subject their child to the violence and intimidation with which they would be treated by the Blacks? These dark skinned kids need vocation training and should be out working in the fields or in factories by the time they’re in their mid teens. Our form of education is just a waste of time for them. And plenty of Whites shouldn’t be in high school either. But the Education Lobby is going to fight this one to the death because it lies on the very heart of the liberal illusion. Now they’re planning on turning junior colleges into basically more high school – making them completely meaningless in the process.

  296. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Well, thank you for favoring me with a lengthy reply; it’s more than I deserve. Yeah, I’m angry, but I should probably just keep it to myself. Admittedly, I do seek confirmation. I do need to feel that I’m not alone in what my senses tell me, but, you’re right, I should have found a better target for my rage.
    For what it’s worth, I do respect you, and your comments. I let the fact that I’m still nursing a grudge against you cloud my judgment. What grudge? Maybe I don’t remember so well, but I recall you essentially arguing for superior materials technology as a countervailing trend that somehow cancels the fact, that Nudge alleged, in keeping with JHK’s observations, that the built environment in the US (and elsewhere) is increasingly grotesque and out of keeping with human needs. Man, that irritated the hell out of me. Plastic-impregnated siding that doesn’t get wet or dry rot makes up for the fact that houses today or soulless pieces of shit?
    I’m probably misremembering, or misinterpreting. I’m prepared to let bygones be bygones. Keep well.

  297. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    Please don’t flatter me, Qshtik. I don’t take praise very well. No one can see into the future. The idea that anyone, ever, has glimpsed the future is just one of the many human conceits that will have to dispensed with if we have any shot at a future worth living in. Because the only life worth living is one that is lived in the present.
    As far as I can tell, you are one of those people, all too many, who support your oppressors even as they fuck you up the ass. There really is no cure for you. Not even a Dimitry Orlov, armed as he is with formidable intelligence, wit, charm and a fabled sense of humor, can steer you away from certain disaster. But can I offer a possible potion that will see you right? Suggest you read Matt Taibbi, Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. You can read the latter two on Exiled.com.

  298. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    Hey Turkle, I think that riposte should be called the bestest Clusterfuck comment of all time.

  299. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Geez, Vlad, why don’t you tell us what you really think?
    Are you really so sure that blacks are uneducable is a bad thing? Let me put it another way: are you really so sure that whites have yielded themselves to being manipulated and have even offered their lives on foreign killing fields is a good thing?
    Is that what you really think? That it’s good that whites have been malleable putty in the hands of pitiless bastards but that blacks have shown the gumption to be less than willing to be sacrificed for nothing?
    I really think you should tell us, Vlad, I think you should come clean.

  300. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Well, hello, Hank. Funny meeting you here. Seems that railroad of yours didn’t work out. And Rearden steel neither. You didn’t really think that the fantasy of a spoiled Jewish princess hiding in her New York apartment with her alcoholic husband was actually going to check out, did you? I’ll admit that I quite like the fantasy myself. Just think! A whole new alloy that no one else ever thought of. Glistening copper, all that shit.
    Never mind. It’s REARDEN. Stop being a jerk. Your’re not fooling anyone.

  301. dale March 11, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Consider it a virtual fist bump. I get what your talking about, there was something about Nudge that brought out the worst in me. Mainly, my argument with the doomers is/was that future outcomes are very difficult to determine. In many ways I dislike where our country is at both politically and environmentally and probably agree with some of your conclusions in that regard.

  302. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Merely the empty squawking of another right-wing attack parrot.

  303. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    “Perhaps we both sprang from the Erectus”
    Well, I can tell you this much … all three of my kids sprang from an Erectus 😉

  304. wagelaborer March 11, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    I’m sorry to hear of your prognosis, Dan.
    I agree with you that it is better for your family for you to go this way. Everyone has a chance to adjust before you leave.
    Although it will be hard for them, it seems much worse when suddenly someone is ripped away from them. The regrets are overwhelming.
    I wish you peace. Your wife and family were lucky to have you.

  305. dale March 11, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    That’s an excellent book, one of his best, I hope you find something there that is useful for you.
    Alan has a very interesting and challenging view, shared by a minority of imminent physicists and other scientists, about the implications of quantum mechanics. He elucidates that view in his book, “Choosing Reality”. You don’t have to agree with what he says in the book to find it one of those rare volumes which just, for want of a better term, seems to bring more space to your mind and your world. Alan became a Buddhist after being an environmental activist in the 70’s and not liking the way that made him feel so angry all the time. He figured there had to be a better way.
    I’m not adverse to you, I’m adverse to your distorted views. For you I try to have compassion, it’s clear you are a person capable of creating for yourself a climate of fear and hatred. I have used you as a subject of Tonglen practice on occasion. I believe you come here mostly in hopes of refining your debating technique concerning your racist views, in that endeavor I will not assist you.

  306. DeeJones March 11, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    h reardon:
    Why don’t you go fuck yourself. OK?
    Now run along, Douch Limpbag has a new rant for on his blog….

  307. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Asoka, although I agree with many of your comments here on CFN; I must split off on this one issue. I agree with Mr Kunstler when he reiterates the “it doesn’t scale” argument again and again.
    In fact, I think humanity should move in the exact opposite direction away from the “high tech” idea as a solution to our ills. It’s all the high tech bullshit that has gotten us into this mess in the first place. High tech merely translates into high profit for all the green slime people who aren’t concerned about the carbon emissions required to produce the disposable, prone-to-breakdown, delicate, “high IQ” mechanisms that saturate our lives.
    I emphatically agree with Tripp; the solution,for the human primate people, is returning to a low-tech, reliable, hand-operated, permaculture world I don’t think it is “doomer” to want to decommission the hyper-complex world we live in for a more sustainable, if simplistic, future.

  308. wagelaborer March 11, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    Vlad, you are clearly an intelligent guy.
    Much more intelligent than most of the people on this planet.
    Why can’t you just accept this? You’re willing to accept Dale as your brother. Why can’t you accept that most people are downright stupid? There is nothing you can do about it, except to support measures to stop indiscriminate breeding in the future.
    You want to group us into color categories, average out the IQ in those arbitrary groups, and have us line up with our own colors. AND you want us to shun the other groups. You spend a lot of time and energy trying to herd us into your compound.
    I recognize that most people are stupid, also. I prefer to hang with the more intelligent ones, also. So why would I shun people based on melanin, rather than ability to think?
    Here’s your problem. You have chosen the white race to bond with. But, ironically, and sadly for you, the more intelligent white people don’t group themselves by race.
    The only white people who agree with you are usually the mouth breathing, butt scratching, dumb as dirt inbreeds.
    No wonder you’re frustrated!

  309. dale March 11, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Ha!…amusing argument, and there is a lot of truth to it.

  310. dale March 11, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Having lived in the Pacific NW for years I think you will find gardening in The Spokane area very prolific. Berries in that area are something to be feared! they can take over a yard in a year or two.

  311. wagelaborer March 11, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Tripp is moving AWAY from Washington, Dale. To Georgia.

  312. dale March 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm #


  313. Cash March 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Maybe what I wrote wasn’t clear so let me rephrase this: I’m pretty sure that Jesus existed. Nothing more. Why? Because IMO there is too much stuff written, too much happening ie this gospel, that gospel, epistles here, letters there, new churches, persecutions etc. for him to not have existed.
    I’m making no comment at all on the validity of his teachings, the accuracy of what he allegedly said or taught or whether he walked on water or raised the dead, himself included.
    You say that Paul mentions that Jesus was tried and crucified by Pilate. So then Paul accepts that Jesus existed? I concur with Paul. That’s all.
    You dismiss what Josephus said. I found this in wiki. This was supposedly written by him, I repeat, supposedly:
    3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
    Who really wrote this and why? Who knows, but it would take a lot of interpolating to call this an interpolation.
    I take with a grain of salt any writings that are two thousand years old. You can’t be sure of the authenticity of anything that old. You don’t know who had what axe to grind from back then or what their motivations were for anything they wrote. But let’s say that 90% of what was written about Jesus was a total lie. Still, IMO there’s just too much stuff written about him for him to not have existed.

  314. John Thomas March 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Here’s the problem, the “all at once” era is not eminent. That’s bad, because it allows for procrastination and a continuation of the current illusion.
    On the other hand, it might give us time to train a new generation for the challenges ahead. I am teaching my kids to work the land, build gravity fed water systems, manage timber lots etc. We are fortunate to have property that would allow, pretty much, self-sufficiency.
    My worry is what becomes of the millions stuck in suburbia. Desperate people do what they have to.

  315. Cash March 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    And another thing about this sanity business, let’s not go too far. Tripp, Asoka and Vlad were appalled at my justification for nuking Japan in WW2. And Canucks are not all that sane. There are as many whacked out shit for brains here as anywhere else.

  316. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    In my opinion the people who comment on CFN are not “doomers” and neither is Mr Kunstler. What I find so refreshing about the ideas being espoused on these pages is how REALISTIC they all seem to be. As opposed to the slanted, hidden agenda-ridden, infotainment babble of the main-stream media. At least there is a semblance of a dialog here as opposed to the deceitful and patronising monologues so often presented as “news” elsewhere. At least the commenters on CFN are attempting to express a realistic perspective on their view of our plight. Frankly, I’m tired of being labeled a doomer because I don’t espouse a simplistic, glossed-over view of the hyper-complex world we are all attempting to live in. I see a large element of realism in Mr Kunstler’s painting and a delight in the color and form of life (similar to Van Gogh’s work).

  317. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    One more comment on “high tech”:
    I think the greatest invention of all time is the bicycle. What a remarkable, simplistic, low-tech device the bike is. The biosphere has been spared countless Giga-tonnes of carbon emissions during the past century because of this simple transportation device. This is the type of technology that will save our asses from extinction.
    The NVA defeated the most “high tech” culture in the world by transporting supplies along “Uncle Ho’s Highway” with the lowly bicycle during that unpopular, undeclared, brutish and savage South-East Asian bush war. Low tech rules!

  318. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    John Thomas said:
    “…the “all at once” era is not eminent
    Earlier today Dale said:
    “a……view, shared by a minority of imminent physicists”
    I think John and Dale need to get together over a cup of coffee and a dictionary.

  319. wagelaborer March 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Did you hear that more bicycles were sold in the US in 2007 than cars?
    Wonderful, if true.

  320. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Oili said: “the bicycle. What a remarkable, simplistic, low-tech device”
    No, Oili … a bicycle can not be simplistic. However, you got it right further down in your post when you described it as a “simple transportation device.”

  321. dale March 11, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Good catch…you’re right, eminent as in “your eminence” not imminent as in “about to happen”.

  322. dale March 11, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    For years I mistakenly coflated two words; flustered and frustrated, and created the word “flustrated”. I think they should have added it to the dictionary, it certainly explains a widely experienced emotion.

  323. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Yeah, that’s right. ‘Ol OCD Q is at it again today. And tearing his hair out by the friggin roots.

  324. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Damn! Nailed by the Q grammer patrol.

  325. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    As I was saying…

  326. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    “Nailed by the Q grammer patrol.”

  327. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    “For years I mistakenly coflated two words”

  328. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Pardon me folks, I’m just having an episode. It’s something like epilepsy. Thank God for the tongue depressor.

  329. trippticket March 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    “Did you hear that more bicycles were sold in the US in 2007 than cars?”
    That IS good news! I honestly think there’s a lot more low-tech adaptation going on out there than most people think.
    And thanks for stopping by my blog! You, Nathan, and Mean Dovey Cooledge anyway. (And Turkle I think, though there’s no evidence of his lurking.)
    Come on guys! Come by and leave me a shout out.

  330. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    It’s extravert. As rendered by R.F.C. Hull, who translated C.G. Jung’s work. To those who don’t know, Jung coined the terms introvert and extravert.

  331. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Oops. Sorry, Cash. The comment was meant for Vlad.

  332. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    “It’s extravert.”
    Language evolves. “Extrovert” is more commonly used today per Dictionary.com. When Vlad used the word he wasn’t quoting Hull or Jung.

  333. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Ooooo nailed AGAIN by the Q grammAr police. Oh well, never could spell worth a dern, darn?, Dang nabbit now I’m all confabuligasted and inhibriated.

  334. oiligarch March 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    I noticed a good thing at the high school this afternoon. It seems that none of the kids I saw interacting playfully has the slightest idea about something called racism.

  335. The Mook March 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    I stopped by. However, the slacking off season is almost over and I had to put in a few days at work before my final vacation weeks. Going to Florida from Pennsylvania if you need anything dropped off in Georgia. Next two weeks comments will be short as I read the comments during break and have little time to reply unless provoked. Your site looks like it is off to a good start by the way!

  336. The Mook March 11, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    If 10 percent of what Hugo Chavez said about George W. Bush is true, then there is proof that George is indeed the Devil.

  337. dale March 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Maybe so, but then why do I never see anyone under the age of 35 on a bike? When did it become an humiliation for a teenager to be seen on one?

  338. asoka March 11, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    So we don’t waste any more time, money, and WHITE GUILT trying to educate the uneducable.

    Vlad, someone (one of the brothers in the hood) once told me that the fundamental hermeneutic method is philological, and that resonated with me. I was down with that from the get go.
    So, when I want to understand a phenomena I look to linguistic etymology. In the case of the word “education” a quick check of the OED reveals the word “education” comes from the Latin, “educare” and when you break it down e-duc means to “lead out” or “bring out” the potential within.
    We all have some measure of potential to realize, Vlad, regardless of our skin color, and that is what education is about. Education is not about stuffing information in; education is about bringing out whatever potential a human being has.
    So, you are dissing people (especially non-white folks) by calling them “uneducable,” and all that does is betray your lack of understanding of just what education is, based on the remarks you have made to date.

  339. asia March 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    ‘Buddhism also suffers’
    is this an unintended pun?
    wallace, hes the fellow who studied with kalu?
    and vlad may have a scary un noble truth, tibetan society was feudal / caste.

  340. asoka March 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    vlad may have a scary un noble truth, tibetan society was feudal / caste.

    In a feudal society there were owners and serfs. In a caste society there were upper class and lower class. Owners and upper classes had more than they needed, while the rest suffered.
    There are both similarities and differences between feudal and caste systems. In the Caste system, people in each varna (social class) were born into his/her class and married within their own group. One could not move up the social ladder and one could only be one varna.
    In Feudalism, one could be a lord and a vassal at the same time one person could pledge allegiance to more than one lord at a time.
    In the Caste system of India, the most important varna were the priests while in Feudalism, the king was at the top of the hierarchy.
    Asia, in a manner of speaking, why behold you the mote that is in Tibetan society, but consider not the beam that is in your own society?
    US income gap widest since 1917

  341. asoka March 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Is Obama a socialist, communist, Marxist? If so, then we need more citizens like him.
    President Barack Obama plans to donate the $1.4 million from his Nobel Peace Prize to helping students, veterans’ families and survivors of Haiti’s earthquake, among others, drawing attention to organizations he said “do extraordinary work.”
    Long live socialist, communist, Marxists!

  342. asoka March 11, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Asoka, although I agree with many of your comments here on CFN; I must split off on this one issue. I agree with Mr Kunstler when he reiterates the “it doesn’t scale” argument again and again.

    Oligarch, I respect your difference of opinion and admit my brush stroke was overly broad. Many of the “doomers” have left CFN (Dr. Doom, Nudge, etc.) so my comment is not entirely reflective of the current CFN demographic.
    I apologize for offending you through a misapplication of a label that does not fit you.

  343. asia March 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    did you see the new [07?] movie ‘MILAREPA’?

  344. asia March 11, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    ‘that is in Tibetan society’
    ‘was in’ would be better.
    a friend visited there recently and said the chinese have ruined and impoverished the people.
    i mentioned tibet because some idealize what they dont know. as in ‘ buddism is good, christianity is bad’
    or usa/tibet
    i recall stories of stalins hit squads..so yr ‘ viva communism’ doesnt ring true for me!

  345. Martin Hayes March 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    It’s not the first time you’ve tried this one on me. Catachresis may be evolution, but it’s also undeniably collective stupidity, to which I will not give my assent.

  346. asoka March 11, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Asia said: “so yr ‘ viva communism’ doesnt ring true for me!”
    You have taken my remarks out of context. I said some call Obama a socialist, communist, Marxist.
    Further, I said Obama is giving away his $1.4 million Nobel prize money to charity.
    Now… within that context I said if Obama is a socialist, communist, Marxist, then we need more citizens like him. And I ended with what you quoted out of its context.

  347. Qshtik March 11, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    “I think humanity should move …… away from the “high tech” idea as a solution to our ills.
    Thank you Mr Ned Ludd for sharing your opinions with us but it appears the nature of the world is to evolve forward rather than to devolve backward.

  348. trippticket March 11, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    “Maybe so, but then why do I never see anyone under the age of 35 on a bike? When did it become an humiliation for a teenager to be seen on one?”
    That does seem to be the cool delineation, doesn’t it? Although I know a lot of 20-somethings that bike, but they are still the fringe crowd socially. Not that it bothers them to be the minority smart kids. But it seems like once you hit 35 you start letting go of the Joneses a little bit, if you have any ability to think for yourself anyway.
    I don’t get the teenagers today at all. (Sure that one’s never been uttered…)

  349. trippticket March 12, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    “Thank you Mr Ned Ludd for sharing your opinions with us but it appears the nature of the world is to evolve forward rather than to devolve backward.”
    Or it could just be that your particular lifetime ran concurrently with the most anomolous decades of human existence. You think it’s normal, most of the baby boomers think it’s normal, but it’s the most ABnormal thing in human history!
    I know we’ve been growing and expanding for a whole lot longer than your 65(?)-ish years, but the unique placement in history you and your peers have is unparalleled in terms of the massive energy growth and concentration of wealth you’ve been privy to. And you timed it just right too, didn’t you, Q? Retired on the upswing.
    Consider this, a person born in 1950 and dying in say, 2025, will have witnessed half of the world’s oil being consumed. Roughly. That places you squarely in a very weird and unusually exploitative frame of reference.
    For a lot of us, “devolving backward” is just returning to something sane and reproduceable. Ultimately we won’t have a choice in the matter. So I ask you, my friend, is it really a superior way of life if YOU get to enjoy it but your children or grandchildren have to pay the tab? I think I would feel pretty guilty about that personally.
    Not attacking you specifically, just thinking out loud.
    Tripp out.

  350. Vlad Krandz March 12, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    I don’t know where you got the idea that I support the American Establishment, either the so called Liberals or so called Conservatives. I’ve “come clean” on that many times. I believe that America has been taken over by an evil clique and they are sucking us dry and simultaneously using us for their geopolitical goals. In other words, they couldn’t decide if they wanted to rule us or destroy us so they decided on the higher third: destroy us while using us to conquer the world. As we conquer the world, more and more aliens are let in so we are conquered at the same time. And it’s not going to work – for all their immense cunning, they are exceedingly stupid people as most overly ambitious people are. For example, they are obsessed with Iran getting the bomb but why aren’t they concerned that in two generations France will be majority Muslim? And in one generation or less, their army will be majority Muslim. France has far more than one or two bombs.
    The short sightedness is beyond belief.
    The Evil Group, known in America as the Council of Foreign Relations and in Europe as the Bilderbergers, has used race to batter down our Culture and the Republic itself. Blacks left to their own devices, are not formidable. But they are a fearful weapon in the hands of the hidden Masters. Am I coming clean Martin? Every war in the 20th century was bullshit as far as American involvement is concerned. And yes White Americans are dumbed down dupes. They followed because they thought they were following real leaders who cared about them. Oh the poor fools. The Founding Fathers never advised such a course but rather vigilance. It’s not enough to be loyal and law abiding, the people also have to be smart. The majority never can be and that’s why the Founders didn’t want most people voting. All that has been obscured by “public education” – before this started the literacy rate was over 90%. It wasn’t needed; it’s whole purpose was indoctrination.
    The Founders said to stay out of foreign wars and European Intrigues. So what did we go and do? Rasputin told the Czar that the Balkans weren’t worth the life of one Russian Soldier. I say likewise: the Middle East isn’t worth the life of one American Soldier. Let Israel fight their own wars for a change.
    If America had miscegenated back in the 1800’s, then our whole history would have been different. We probably wouldn’t have gone to war because we wouldn’t have the means. If we still existed at all it would have been as a Brazil North – a squalid third world chaos. Some people might say that would have been preferable but I’m not one of them. No apologies for that.
    I know that talking about racial differences is taboo but it has to be done if we are to have any future. No apologies on that either. Societies are fragile and high Civilizations even more so because they are so complex and because they depend on the genius of a few and the know how of a relatively small class who are in contact with the geniuses. It’s in the news: America is slipping and has to maintain its educational superiority. But we can’t because we aren’t the same people anymore: minority births are now equal with White Births or will be within five or ten years. Why would any reasonable person expect there to be no change – even if you believe in racial equality obviously the Mexian Culture is a profoundly anti-intellectual one. So is the Black Culture.

  351. Vlad Krandz March 12, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    Al contraire mein Frau: I do accept most people are studid, Whites included. But not as studid as most of the world’s population which averages out an IQ of 85-90. That’s why the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, said to put the clinics near Black Neighborhoods and to encourage them to come in. In fact, no race has the range in IQ that the White Race has. And yes, we are incredibly held back by our morons who devote their lives to sports. No race could benefit more from some genetic management. Look at the East Asians: they have far fewer criminals, drug addicts, and neer do wells compared to Whites. The Jews are much better as well. But if anyone so much as mentions doing something about this, the cries of Nazi would fill the air. I do appreciate your honesty about this problem – it’s terra incognito to most Leftists of our day.
    You’re right: smart Whites don’t associate on the basis of race by and large. What you don’t get is that smart Asians and Jews do. And they will discriminte against us in favor of their own as soon as they can. In some sectors it has already begun – certainly the Jews favor their own and always have. There seems to be a genetic flaw in the White Genome that makes us too trusting and gullible. And the Whiter the group the worse it is – Sweden is worse than Italy for example. Some think the flaw is due to the uncroweded conditions of primeval Europe where the Climate was horrendous but competition between groups was not yet a problem. Compare this to the strife between groups in the Ancient Middle East. Those people are evolved to be very ethnocentric. The Jews aren’t only ancient people still around: the Chaldees and Assyrians are too. I once read an article by an Assyrian saying how Jews would berate him for things that happened thousands of years ago. What chance do big, tall blonde Lutheran Doofuses have against such wily groups? As Pagans they might have some, but with the Christian imprinting added onto the genetic flaw it’s hopeless.
    We need our own Lands if we are going to survive at all. We can’t compete as individuals against group cultures. We need a goverment that is actually OUR’S. But the goverment of every White Nation is unofficially anti-White even though officially neutral. How did it come to this? The New World Order wills it so. The Death of White Culture means the death of White Nations. And the Death of White Nations means that someone must step in to take up the slack. They intend to be that someone. And yes, they are White or Jewish almost entirely. Unspeakable traitors. We owe a debt to our Ancestors after all. Once that is fufilled, sure you can do good for other races – but charity begins at home. And most people will never have the means for anything beyond that. To make them feel guilty about Africa is despicable.
    And finally, you are right about me: the betryal of their Race and Culture by intelligent
    Whites is a great personal tragedy. I cannot align with where our culture is going (the abyss) and I cannot forgive either the traitorous Elite or the irresponsible intellectuals who let themselves be lead over the edge.

  352. Martin Hayes March 12, 2010 at 3:58 am #

    That’s a fine analysis, Vlad, and it might surprise you to learn that I am well acquainted with it, though I balk at the mention of Bilderberg, etc.
    Please accept my apology for what must seem snide on my part. I think it’s time I outgrew this part of my nature.
    I do think, though, that you do yourself a disservice by saying uncomplimentary things about other races; I can understand how tempting it is, done simply to flip the bird to political correctness, which I believe, like you, is more about social control than anything else. And also founded on bad faith, in that the assumption is that people won’t get along unless their speech or even their thoughts are policed.
    Why I say you’re doing yourself a disservice is because you have identified the principalities and powers, the ruling elite, and that should be the core of your message. I don’t know which of the actors on the world stage have established the protocols, or are consciously following them, or if there is even a set of protocols, but I do know it’s not the recent immigrant or the black inner city dweller who is responsible.

  353. messianicdruid March 12, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    “As Pagans they might have some, but with the Christian imprinting added onto the genetic flaw it’s hopeless.”
    Please be more explicit: you begin with Lutheran and spread it to all christians. You are meaning judeo-churchianity’s political imprinting. The Remnant is not mislead.

  354. dale March 12, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    “For years I mistakenly coflated two words”
    If you don’t stop that I’m going to get extremely flustrated!

  355. dale March 12, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    To the best of my knowledge Alan was not involved with Kalu.
    Yes….one of the problems with Tibet was, as the Dalai Lama has acknowledged, the feudal aspect of the monastery system. I’ve never been very comfortable with monasticism, although it produced some pretty extraordinary people at times. I prefer teachers who use their given American names and live in the world of everyday life like the rest of us.
    An American version of Buddhism has been evolving, more closely connected with science and absent some of the more mystical aspects of Tibetan Buddhism.

  356. Cash March 12, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Demographics is destiny. My family line is facing extinction because with the exception of my sister none of my relatives of my generation had kids. I see this in other families too.
    On the other hand I have a Muslim buddy with six kids and in this city that is not uncommon. On weekends you see large family groups of Africans and south Asians with small kids on the streets and shops. Not so with white folks. What I do see sometimes are five foot ten inch white women with a small brown woman in tow with the white woman’s infant in a stroller (ie a household slave).
    If white people have kids at all they are outsourcing child rearing (and probably child bearing) I guess because we’re just too darned busy with the next deadline and power point presentation.
    If Latinos and non European immigrants to North America don’t adopt our ways our culture is doomed. Europe is in the same situation. I agree, France’s nuclear capability is a big problem. What to do with centuries worth of cultural artifacts especially in Rome and Paris is also a big problem as I doubt the coming Muslim majority will feel motivated about preserving them. Maybe in the next century Notre Dame Cathedral and Saint Peter’s Basilica will become Mosques and the treasures inside them will be seen as anti-Islamic and removed or destroyed.

  357. Cash March 12, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    Just out of curiosity Vlad why do you draw such a line between whites and jews? Jews may be non Indo European but they are white at least as I define white. Genetically Europe is mostly non indo European (or Aryan) and you still have cultural remnants like the Basque people. In fairly recent historical times you also had Etruscans in Italy.
    I’ve read that reputable linguists and geneticists think that Aryans originated in Asia minor as neolithic farmers and migrated as their population expanded. They took their language and culture to Europe (and other places like Iran and India) and over time the indigenous hunters in Europe adopted both.
    But Europeans are still 80% descended from those non Aryan hunters. The descendants of the ancient Aryan farmers predominate population wise in southern Europe and along the Atlantic coast. Because there are a fair number of very old semitic loan words in all Indo European languages this is taken as evidence for geographic proximity of the root Aryan population to prehistoric semites.
    If these linguists and geneticists are correct in this I think it is ironic ie Aryans as short dark farmers, as bearers of culture and civilization from Asia Minor as opposed to the tall blond warrior from the east and north European steppes of Nazi and other racist ideology.

  358. Qshtik March 12, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    “Catachresis may be evolution, but it’s also undeniably collective stupidity, to which I will not give my assent.”
    Martin, you and I are actually from the same school – we’re prescriptivists, not descriptivists. I (and, I believe, you) are like the guy (Wm. Safire perhaps? {rest his soul}) who said I don’t mind language evolving, I just don’t want it doing so during my watch.
    How do you pronounce the word “forte.” If your like 9 out of 10, different than the original.
    P.S. You began your post by saying “It’s not the first time you’ve tried this one on me.” Please tell me about the previous time(s). I’d like to go back and examine the context.

  359. Martin Hayes March 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Qshtik, I can’t recall the earlier time. Horrors, please don’t make wade through all those comments.
    I pronounce forte for-tay rather than fort. I’m probably guilty of many misuses and abuses.

  360. Nathan March 12, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Vlad, At first I was puzzled by your infatuation with races and head sizes but could not draw any useful conclusions from the posts. So I put all of the data from all of your posts on an excel spreadsheet and then constructed a model from it and ran a few calculations.
    My model predicts that you are an enormous black man with a disproportionately small head and have just enough Asian blood to also have a ridiculously small penis. Accurate?
    Also I noticed that all of your thought processes revolve around the differentiating of data. As true intelligence is measured in breadth and depth please share with us your most integrating thoughts on love and compassion.

  361. Qshtik March 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    “What chance do big, tall blonde Lutheran Doofuses have”
    or should it be Doofi?
    and should that be pronounced Doof-ee or Doof-eye?
    These are the kinds of questions that weigh heavily on me.

  362. asia March 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    what city or country????
    and vlad draws lines where he chooses to! most jews are russian /polish heritage

  363. asia March 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    remember the huge buddha statues in afghanistan?
    the muslims defaced them…and the us invasions began…oddly enuff!!

  364. asia March 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Alan Wallace’s Buddhist Teachers. • Dzongtse Rinpoche, from whom he first learned spoken … Kalu Rinpoche, from whom he received the Kalachakra empowerment …
    DL says current problems in Tibet relate to DL life as a warlord? or so ive heard.

  365. asia March 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    You and I see the JB society in a very different way than ashok ad naueseum do!

  366. asia March 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    our culture is doomed.
    thats what multi culturalism and multi ligualism is about! divide and conquer!

  367. asia March 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    What ive read is that ‘equality’ is pushed in scandanavia. but maybe that really
    means being ‘ inferior’. and in italian they have more nationalism and want the albanians out?

  368. wagelaborer March 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Michael Parenti has a different take on Tibet.

  369. wagelaborer March 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    I was a teenager many years ago and it was uncool then to be seen on a bike.
    My cousin and I used to rapidly ride out of our town and into the next one so that no one we knew would see us as we blissfully rode our bikes.

  370. asoka March 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Asia said: “thats what multi culturalism and multi ligualism is about! divide and conquer!”
    Think about what you are saying, asia.
    If two people cannot understand one another’s culture and cannot communicate through each other’s language, that is what causes division.
    Multi-culturalism is about appreciating other cultures, about sharing cultures.
    Multi-lingualism is about understanding other cultures through the window of language and about communicating, sharing.
    Just the opposite of “divide and conquer!”
    I am bilingual and have lived in cultures very different from my own, so I have first-hand experience of how multiculturalism and multilingualism unites people.
    Una cosa es cierto … cuando la gente no sabe nada del otro, es mas facil crear miedo de lo desconocido y asi crear division entre pueblos.

  371. ozone March 12, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    How do you pronounce the word “forte.” If your like 9 out of 10, different than the original.
    I’m certainly not one to be critical (due to my huge grammatical deficiencies), but I couldn’t resist. :o)
    BTW, “fore-tay” is my preference, as well. (After all, it IS French.)

  372. ozone March 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Sorry! My inserts didn’t come through in the post. lol
    Anyhoo, question mark after “forte”, and “you’re”, rather than “your”. Alllllrighty then. :o)

  373. Puzzler March 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Damnitall Qshtik, you know if you throw out a nit I’m compelled to pick it.
    “If your like 9 out of 10….”
    you are — you’re
    My OCD gets a real workout on this site.

  374. Puzzler March 12, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Qshtik, now you’ve got ozone stirred up also.

  375. Qshtik March 12, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Oz and Puzz,
    One of my greatest failings in life is typing your for you’re … other than that I’m pretty much perfect 😉
    As to forte being pronounced for-tay “because it’s french” … wouldn’t it be spelled fortet? I never took french so I don’t know.

  376. wagelaborer March 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Why do you care what happens after you’re dead? You don’t even have kids, right?
    The thing is, the next generation doesn’t care much about skin color. Or most of them don’t. So it won’t matter if everyone miscegenates.
    My kids don’t care about their loss of liberty. The Patriot Act infuriates me. The loss of privacy infuriates me. Homeland Security infuriates me. They don’t care.
    This is probably a good adaptation on their parts, since they will live longer in a fascist police state then I will.
    Two weeks ago I went to LA for my Dad’s birthday party. The house was full of little blonde kids. You would have loved it.
    But although they are my family, they don’t have my culture. My cousin’s husband gave a long prayer. How rude! My Dad is an atheist, and so are his kids and their kids. But there’s Lou, praying to some god about the food and stuff.
    The next day I was waiting for the train and I went to Olvera Street. You would hate it.
    There were Aztecs dressed in feathers and shells, doing a line dance, but in a circle.
    But there was one guy, with a peace sign and sunglasses. Hey! That wasn’t authentic Aztec dress.
    And he didn’t know the steps of the line dance, either. He kept turning the wrong way.
    I liked that guy! He was in my tribe.
    Once a year, I get out on the dance floor and try to do the Electric Slide. I’ll be OK for a few steps, then everyone turns, and, oops, I’m facing the other way.
    So I liked the Indian guy with the peace sign and the inability to line dance better than my own white relatives.

  377. wagelaborer March 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    If you’re so smart, why do you believe that the ruling class is worried about Iran getting the bomb?
    It’s pretty obvious that they want to attack Iran because Iran has oil, much like they attacked Iraq because Iraq has oil.
    And it doesn’t say much for the intelligence of Americans, white or otherwise, that they can fall for the SAME bullshit within 7 years of the first, even after it was officially acknowledged that the first was bullshit.

  378. oiligarch March 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    “I apologize for offending you through a misapplication of a label that does not fit you.”
    Asoka, no offense taken, no apology necessary.

  379. cogdis March 12, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Wagelaborer, you are one of my heroes. I work in healthcare also and I know you have a tough job. You are respected. I would disagree with you on the particular point of invading Iran. Many authors state that Iran’s oil production is in fairly steep decline. This is attributed to weak investment in oil infrastructure and production may increase at some point. Whether this is entirely accurate or not, it seems unlikely that Iran would be invaded. Bombed, sure. But not invaded. The Persians are not as much a mosaic society as Iraq is. In the event of an invasion, nationalism would cause them to rally around whoever is in charge. I think this is why US foreign policy statements tiptoe around their internal politics.

  380. oiligarch March 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    “Thank you Mr Ned Ludd for sharing your opinions with us but it appears the nature of the world is to evolve forward rather than to devolve
    I’ve been called a lot of different names but
    this is the first time I’ve been labeled a Luddite.
    In your comment your implication is that by advocating simplicity I am opposed to “forward evolution” and by default, advocating a “backward devolution” in contravention to the “nature of the world”. This is making me very dizzy.
    Actually what prompts my simplicity argument is not a fear and distrust of mechanisms but a fear and distrust of the tendency of mankind -in the rabid acquisition of private profit- to disregard the impact of our industrial activity on the planetary biosphere. I’m not opposed to “high tech” per se; I’m opposed to the catastrophic effect on our (one-and-only) planetary home by the insane production of so much superfluous, plastic, unnecessary, junk-stuff that we really don’t even need anyway. Humanity is going to devolve rapidly if we fail to stop the rampant emissions of our hydro-carbon energy economy.

  381. CaptSpaulding March 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Hi Puzzler. I’ve wondered if a person who had OCD would actually call it CDO, since that would be in alphabetical order. Regards to you

  382. oiligarch March 12, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    What is sad is how quickly American kids throw away their bikes and climb behind the wheel.
    Every year there is another wave of cars hitting the USA road system. One kid; one car. Great for enriching and empowering the dominate corporate, banking, and industrial interests. Extremely ungreat for the planetary biosphere.
    I actually take great delight in mechanisms. I have a 1911 .45 cal semiautomatic that I love to break down to the frame and re-assemble. I have done tons of automobile mechanic work. I enjoy working on my bicycle too. …love collecting tools. … like reading schematics. Gunsmith, carpentry, plumbing, surveying, technical illustration… Luddite, nope.

  383. wagelaborer March 12, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    I believe that there is a great resistance to attacking Iran among the ruling class.
    Remember that Cheney was shot down on this one ambition.
    Whether or not the US actually attacks Iran, I do believe that oil would be the motive and not imaginary nuclear weapons.
    But thanks for the props.

  384. oiligarch March 12, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Ooops, forgot industrial design and fabrication too! Love it. Love all that “low tech” grease, lumber, steel, paper, paint, concrete, glass and organic-permaculture, compost, recycled worms and humus mix. Seeds and weeds; rakes and snakes.
    Rocks and trees. Rivers and streams. Bears and fish. We better fight for all this stuff cause it’s all going to go away if we don’t re-arrange our priorities a bit. Av a g’day mate!

  385. wagelaborer March 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Hey, Laura, you still there?
    Rich Whitney, Green candidate, on the Illinois budget –

  386. Vlad Krandz March 13, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    Yeah I was wondering why you got so mad at me…Just your choleric humour acting up. I’ve got some of that too. Maybe we should read that huge old book about the humours – was it by a Burton?
    I’m puzzled why you automatically dismiss racial difference – especially in light of your experience in Africa. It has been proven exhaustively by the psychometricians that Blacks are far below us in IQ. The pure blood Negro has an average IQ of seventy thoughout Africa. In some places it’s even a bit lower. Now this has profound social consequences as an Industrial Civilization cannot be maintained by such as that. And of course, people with such IQ’s have a completely different outlook on life and of course, primitive social mores and morality.
    And of course, my favorite parallel are dogs with their may “races” known as breeds. If you’ve had dogs, you know how much the breeds differ in temperment and intelligence. There are other examples I could give. It’s becoming clear that a species can vary tremendously within itself.
    A thought experiment: if we had a way of cloneing and found viable Homo Erectus DNA and were able to mature such a person – then the offspring between the Erectus and a Modern would be viable. And the Erectus brain was little more than half the size of our’s. That would prove my case conclusively as well. The offspring would be a moron but not as much of a moron as the Erectus parent. Remember, as far as we know, Homo Erectus was our parent “race”. They would be viable with us in terms of reproduction although not very attractive.

  387. Vlad Krandz March 13, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    Yes a great book so far. He reminds me of Ajahn Brahm, a Western Teacher in the Theravadin Tradtion. Like Wallace, he champions Samatha against the Vipassana tide. More exactly, Brahm denies that Buddha separated them at all. Real insight is most likely to arise after one comes out of trance, when the mind is incredibly stong and has just experienced bliss and experienced something so utterly different from ordinary reality. He claims that the later separation was based on the commentary literature and may well have been a misunderstanding of that. Obviously to talk about something, you often have to make aritifical separations that aren’t really there.
    Brahm acknowledges the value of “momentary samadhi” or the extreme mindfullness that is taught by today’s Vipassana but still maintains that only Samatha will provide the power that would allow Vipassana to enter the stream.
    It’s interesting to see how the Tibetans treat the whole subject. Wallace says they have little interest in going beyond that fourth jhana of equanitmity because they feel their own Tantric Yogas are a superior vehicle from there on in. Certainly, it would be a smooth transition from the fourth jhana to Dzog Chen or Mahamudra.
    When you see Allen, please share your views with him about the West: that Western Culture and the White Race don’t really exist, and if they do, they are worthless. I would love to know how he responds. You may find it “enlightening” too.

  388. Vlad Krandz March 13, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    You are such a clueless, winsome, doofus. Likeable, loveable but filled with incredible hatred. So filled with falsehood – I would fain fill you with Truth.
    You care about the world after your death -as do I. It’s Marxist Immortality. Have yourself cremated and your ashes put in a flower pot. You will become a flower, Wage. Isn’t that nice?
    Your idea about Iran is only half right. It’s an open secret that Israel controls American foreign policy. Even the Jewish Editor of Nation magazine admits that – and fears the consequences if White Americans find out that White Nationalists were right all along. And Israel and her Jewish American agents want America to take Iran out for the safety of Israel. As you say, there is now some opposition – Finally! Some long lost capacity for self preservation is creeping across the land. The Jews wont give up though – you can bet on it. And yes, the prize of the oil is a powerful incentive waved in the face of American Industry and American Oil Companies. After all, the Gentiles have to get something too. And the whole war industry will benefit as well – they’re probably a 50/50 balance between Jews and Gentiles. So the whole thing is a win/win situation for the Elite -or so they think. I think they will succeed as they usually do. I think we will attack Iran within the next couple of years – perhaps in concert with NATO or at least Israel. And I think that this conflict might spark WW3 and the downfall of this cycle of the World. The End of an Age.

  389. oiligarch March 13, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Vlad, your lofty “high IQ” scientists and inventors coupled with their “low IQ” brethren in finance and industry have managed, in a very short time, to bring humanity to the brink of extinction.

  390. messianicdruid March 13, 2010 at 9:04 am #


  391. Zeno of Citium March 13, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    So it goes. What you have written could have been spoken written a thousand times since civilizations were birthed grew and fell. I am long past Jeremiads.Perhaps they serve a purpose to save a few. For most I believe it is a form of slumming into some Schadenfreude. There would not need be so explanation for your readers except that there is little knowledge of our American history. Littler of travel; go see Bombay or Lagos Now. Your readers need to prepare themselves. It will not be a return to an Anglo or Celtic middle ages, too much trash in mind and technology.
    Your constant digs at what you perceive to believe to be rightist ‘wingnuts’ seems over done. It was the original urbanists that started this madness. Not these sons of poor peasants. Besides what does it matter? All ethical rants are fustian at this moment. The logos moves we need to adapt ourselves to less and climb upon the mountain to watch will happen below.
    Still the language rhymes though there is some mixed metaphor.

  392. HR FEHR March 13, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Coming soon will be another hugely important fall from grace.
    The higher education and higher education finance system. Especially poignant will be the bankruptcy of the student loan financing scam that has suckled the spurious higher and higher educational expansion.
    The educational cheerleaders have hearkened the absolutely ridiculous “college for all” mantra for decades. Odd that one of the most ignorant cohorts of individuals I have ever met have been PhD’s, especially in “soft” sciences.
    I mean ignorant in the sense they are often the least prepared to operate in the real world. They do fine engaging in the masturbatory functions of the theoretical world.
    In my town many of the undergraduate experiences in upper middle class private colleges is fueled more by alcohol and drug abuse than any true commitment to learning. But the students, are out of the house, some how get a degree and Mom and Dad feel another piece of the realizing the great dream has fallen into place.
    These colleges by and by live in their own little fantasy world with their own “security” force (more as a function of PR to control the drunks and binge violence than anything else) and often contribute little to the community beyond their immediate boundaries. Party on dudes and dudettes!
    Capital plans never end and the array of educational toys acquired yearly, under the guise of technology, is ceaseless.
    Then there are those least financially endowed, who bought into the dream. They scrimp and save to get through a “higher” education, even with a plethora of loans.
    In the end the reality is they find it hard to secure employment that pays enough to realize any net gain post the educational experience and the ensuing slavery of debt service.
    As the whimper whines it will be interesting to see who thrives, who survives and who succumbs. I do not think the scooter store has a future, do you?

  393. dale March 13, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    “that Western Culture and the White Race don’t really exist, and if they do, they are worthless.”
    I never said the “white race” doesn’t exist. I said that in the U.S. speaking of “white culture” is largely nonsense, there is simply no such thing, anymore than there is “female culture”.

  394. dale March 13, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    “Obviously to talk about something, you often have to make aritifical separations that aren’t really there.”
    Obviously “Vlad”…. we are all well aware on this blog, of the phenomenon of making artificial separations that aren’t really there. n’est-ce pas?
    If you meditate, try this:
    “When there is self, one believes there is other.
    Due to these images of self and other, attachment and adversion are created.
    As a result of getting wrapped up in these, all possible faults arise”

  395. dale March 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Vlad, your last post is an excellent example of your approach. You are using the “reductionist” model of learning and knowledge. While this certainly has conventional value in the everyday world, especially in science, this endless parsing and attempts to find the ultimate building block, have demonstrated their limitations, perhaps most dramatically in quantum mechanics.
    In terms of the Buddhist theory of knowledge, this lack of a “prime building block” or the absence of “little chunky stuff” (in the quantum world) and the implications thereof, are at the core of our delusional thinking and the very root of our suffering. After all, if “matter”, as we conceptualize it, lacks inherent existence in the quantum world, how can it not come into question in the classical world as well?
    Intellectualism has great value in Buddhism, given it’s reliance on self awareness, but recognizing intellectualisms limitations has even greater value.

  396. asia March 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    ‘In my town ‘
    see my comment this monday about ‘ the bell curve’ and the 1888 entrance exam to high school.

  397. asia March 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    can you cite source?
    i recall some comment you made here months ago about some culture not existing. month and day please.

  398. asia March 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    It’s an open secret that Israel controls American foreign policy
    and who controls israel? the UN? CFR? if jews are so all mighty hows it so many died fighting for hitler? and in his and stalins death camps?

  399. Cash March 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Wage, I don’t think the US attacked Iraq because it has oil. IMO the US attacked Iraq because Bush had to show how big his johnson is. Moronic guy stuff, that’s all.
    Canada has as much oil as Saudi Arabia in the oil sands. If it was about oil the 82nd Airborne would be in Fort McMurray not Baghdad. You see, we have a small military that would take about two hours and 15 minutes to dismantle…two hours having a few brewskis and about 15 minutes rounding up prisoners.
    Nobody in these parts knows how to make IEDs, many people here have guns but are way too squeamish to actually point them at anyone. Suicide vests aren’t happening either. The oil here would be easy pickings.
    But if you Americans really know what’s good for you you’ll stay out of here. The poutine will make you fat, the beer will make you stupid, the west coast weed (it’s called BC Bud, it’s really potent) will bend your mind. Plus it’s a bitch driving in winter.

  400. Cash March 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Got to differ with you, I grew up in one culture at home, lived another culture with my friends, watched as another culture still (Quebecois) tried to split off into a separate country and am watching while immigrants from radically different cultures from around the world find that they cannot stomach Western or Anglo ways of thinking and behaving. So too many do not associate with society at large and stick to their own.
    I have to conclude from personal experience and observation that multiculturalism does not unite us, it divides us. It is corrosive and destructive. It does not breed harmony and understanding, it breeds friction and distrust. Our cops and secret service have broken up several plots by Muslim extremists to blow up public places and the plotters are now doing serious time. Criminal cultures from Italy created mayhem here. What we consider as criminal is just business as usual in Italy. Why do we want such cultures to take root here?
    My own relatives attacked my parents for letting me leave home and go to university. My mother had a heart of stone according to them. You can make a living without higher education according to them. Can you imagine a culture on this continent so dismally backward as to deny young people a chance to develop their minds? Some of my female cousins practically lived in purdah. Why on earth would we encourage such a culture to thrive here? Why would we encourage third world cultures with their retrograde attitudes towards women to take root here? Makes no sense to me at all.

  401. Cash March 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    you ask : what city or country????
    I’m writing about Toronto but it also applies to a lot of southern Ontario.

  402. Qshtik March 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    “The poutine will make you fat”
    Dictionary.com does not recognize poutine as a word. What is it?

  403. Qshtik March 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Cash, do you live in Toronto?

  404. Cash March 13, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Poutine is a heart stopping concoction of fried potatoes, gravy and cheese curds. Guaranteed to turn your circulatory system to butterfat. Originated in Quebec but now shortens life spans everywhere in Canada. Many recipes on the internet.
    Here’s one:
    cooked French fries
    cheese curds (farmer cheese or “squeaky cheese”)
    beef gravy
    1Mix French fries and cheese curds.
    2Pour the gravy over top and wait until the cheese begins to melt.

  405. asia March 13, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    its not JUST in yr town!!! hahahaha
    i recently bought and read TOM SOWELLS lastest book. you might enjoy it. i enjoyed the chapter on education myths!
    so i dont blame the students but i do blame the employees.
    i really liked the story of Ike going to columbia u and calling the profs ’employees’
    …one according to the story stood up and told ike ‘WE ARE COLUMBIA’
    in other words, the schools are there for the tenured and union employees.

  406. asia March 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    have you read Pat Buchanon? the plot to kidnap the PM…as some idealogue was talking about the wonders of multi culturalism?

  407. dale March 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    I’m not quite sure what you are asking, or why I would want to spend timing searching for my own quotes (or why you would either!) when I can tell you what I believe in the here and now.
    If I went to Norway I would find Norwegian culture, dependent on their geography, language, race, history etc. It would not be “white culture” in spite of the overwelming majority of the population being racially “white”.
    In the U.S. there might be a couple of small cultural groups (like Amish) who are exclusively white, but this is hardly the most important component of their cultural identification, and they would represent the smallest of sub-cultures in any case.
    In the larger U.S., culture mixing has gone on since the beginning, even the Pilgrims interacted and exchanged ideas with the Indians. It is said that 10% of so called white people in the U.S. are of mixed heritage. How could one determine what a theoretically “white” culture would be under such circumstances? After you stir the milk into your coffee, how do you go about finding that pure particle of milk again?
    You can define “culture” in different ways if that pleases you, as it probably does Vlad, but I think you understand what I intended.

  408. asoka March 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Speaking of mixed culture and the amazing diminishing white race. The whites have to blame themselves for disappearing. Their own stupid prejudice, excluding anyone with a drop of black, brown, red, or yellow from their precious white race. No wonder they are disappearing. Good riddance.

  409. Vlad Krandz March 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    The Jews themselves do not consider themselves White – we are dirty and inferior people to them traditionally. Goyim means cattle and shiksha means whore. Now I know that there has been a fair amount of change with all the intermarriage, but the old attitudes persist in high places and of course among the Orthodox. As ever, the Jews treat us as idolaters. They were commanded in Deuteroronomy I believe, to throw down the high places of the pagans. Thus even now do they seek to close our churches and ban the name of Christ in the military. Canada is even worse – surely you know about the Human Rights Commisions and how they want to prosecute priests and ministers for preaching against homosexuality. You’ll wait a long time before they go after an Orthodox or Conservative Rabbi for the same crime.
    While I got you – how is what we call the War of 1812 taught in Canada? A glorious victory against American Imperialism? One of my better professors told us that America was full of their oats and thought they should take the whole continent. They were badly beaten by combined British and Canadian forces. In contrast, the way it used to be taught was a struggle against British harasment on the high seas and the begining of a plot to unermine the Nation.

  410. Vlad Krandz March 13, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    So what – you don’t believe in intelligence? See this is the way Cultures fall – you’re part of it. The Elites do wrong and people lose faith in them, even to the point of not believing in anything anymore.
    I agree with you that high IQ is not wisdom, but you seem to be conflating the two so as to say that science should be thrown away because scientists have not been moral or because technology has been misused. In other words, throw the baby out with the bathwater. In more philosophical terms, don’t judge something by the misuse of that something. (Aquinas)
    High IQ is necessary but not sufficient for high morality. Our society is run by such people but don’t then praise idiots. They’re immoral too – by nature. They can’t do any better whereas the smart can and have chosen not too. A big difference.

  411. Homefire March 14, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    I first heard from a junior high science teacher in 1968, that a scientist in Hawaii had been measuring CO2 since 1945. That it could mean that the atmosphere was trapping more heat.
    Since ’68 i’ve observed the winters lighten and the Hudson River doesn’t even freeze over now.
    I have no need to believe anyone about the changes i’ve witnessed. Al Gore was somewhere in Junior High as was i. (lc intended)

  412. Vlad Krandz March 14, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    Thank you “Dale”. I’m just as real as you are – no, realer. I’m a genuine fake, you’re a fake fake.

  413. Vlad Krandz March 14, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    But you believe Black Culture exists – right? And has value too, right? No contradiction?
    Ok, so White Culture doesn’t exist in the US, so do you then support its existence in Europe? I doubt it. I bet you have a whole nother set of reasons why White Europeans should open up their borders and be miscegenated out of existence culturally and then biologically. Face it Dale: it’s open season on Whites and you’re part of it. Just because it’s trendy and Politically Correct doesn’t make it right. In fact, it’s the early stages of genocide.
    There’s something monstrously wrong with fighting for Tibet and yet be unwilling to lift a finger for your own Culture and Nation. After all, the Chinese make some of the same arguments as you – that Tibet is part of China and doesn’t have any real identity of its’ own.

  414. Vlad Krandz March 14, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    They ran Stalin’s Death Camps. Read Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago”. Later on they ran into trouble with Stalin and then they started their spin campaign to make everyone forget that they were the ones who carried out the Revolution in the first place. And that btw, is why Hitler wanted them out of Germany: he didn’t want Germans to end up starving to death or shot in the back of the head like what was happening in the Ukraine.

  415. Eleuthero March 14, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    As a community college teacher in
    California, alas, I have to agree
    with you that one delusion that
    MUST die is this “college for Joe
    Sixpack” idea.
    I would say that now, in 2010, my
    guesstimate is that EIGHTY percent
    of my students have no shot at a
    viable career in programming or
    allied disciplines. The artificial
    boom of the 1990s created many
    delusions which are dying a hard
    We’d be both a happier and a more
    productive nation if the vast majority
    of current college students were in
    And trust me, when you are trying to
    teach complex courses (like Compiler
    Construction) to folks who can barely
    figure out the quadratic equation, it
    wears at one over a period of years.
    I know I’ll NEVER do any job in the
    PUBLIC SECTOR ever again. Between the
    “give an ‘A’ for a beating pulse”
    instructors and the amazingly Commie,
    Apparatchik-like “Administrators” who
    value giving students self esteem over
    rigor, the whole damned thing is caving
    in … especially in CALIFORNIA.

  416. Eleuthero March 14, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    And did you ever imagine that I
    type the carriage return
    DELIBERATELY because a narrow
    column is easier to read than
    a wide one??
    Don’t assume things that you
    don’t know for sure. It leads
    to wrong extrapolations. Such
    things can make the extrapolater
    much more foolish than the person
    who is the object of his extrapolations.

  417. Funzel March 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Cash,criminality from Italy….?
    Do you have a problem identifying and writing about present criminality,that reads like a Tel Aviv phone book???

  418. Qshtik March 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Someone else (above) pointed out the value of narrower posts making for easier reading but did not go so far as to say they thought you had done it deliberately. Even YOU do not say it was deliberate … I figure you don’t want to tell an outright lie but you’re pissed at my denigration of your computer science knowledge so you imply, but do not state, it was intentional.
    Well, the answer is no, I never imagined it. I just figured you, like Vlad,* were unaware of “wrap-around” and I might help save you a few key strokes and avoid looking stooopid in your alleged “area of expertise.”
    All this not withstanding, I’m in complete agreement with you and HR Fehr “that one delusion that MUST die is this “college for Joe
    Sixpack” idea.” Ditto for your remarks about grade-flation and the excessive concern for the students’ self-esteem.
    *When I first became involved with this blog last June, Vlad (then Jaego Scorzne) was typing the carriage return. I pointed it out and he thanked me and added something like “you liberals** are occasionaly good for something.”
    ** I accept niether liberal nor any other political label.

  419. Funzel March 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Cash,criminality from Italy….?
    Do you have a problem identifying and writing about present criminality,that reads like a Tel Aviv phone book???

  420. Qshtik March 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    “I accept niether liberal …”
    Make that neither. This is one of those exceptions to the “i before e except after c or when sounded like a as in neighbor and weigh” rule. “Height” and “stein” are two others.

  421. Cash March 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    I have no problem with that. I referred to criminality from Italy because of my own ethnic background. I have some familiarity with Italian ways of thinking and doing things. This way of doing things is intolerable, corruption is corruption regardless of whether it’s from Italy, Tel Aviv or anywhere else.
    As an aside, there’s a saying, Italian gangsters play boccie, Jewish gangsters play chess. On the surface that would make Jewish gangsters seem more dangerous. Thing is though, Jewish gangsters don’t glory in their gangsterism the way Sicilians and Italians do. Jewish thugs want their kids to stay out of the life and become doctors and lawyers. Not so Italian gangsters.

  422. Cash March 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    The Human Rights Commissions are a stain on our national honour. We have no right to walk in the company of men as long as those disgusting kangaroo courts exist within our national borders.
    Our educational establishment was taken over by longhairs decades ago. They’ve inflicted their corrosive ideology of societal self destruction and cultural and national annihilation for decades now. In the minds of these traitors Canada should not exist, must not exist, does not exist. Deny our heritage and culture and expunge our history.
    So to your point: Us old guys learned about 1812 as a failed US attempt to grab our territory. But the younger generation has no idea what WW2 and WW1 were about never mind the War of 1812. We do not teach history, we especially do not teach military history. The huge events that shaped our world are given a passing mention.
    If I were to say to the average American words like Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Omaha Beach most would know what I’m talking about. If I mentioned Audy Murphy or George Patton most would know who they were.
    But if I said to a Canuck words like Passchendaele, Dieppe, Kapyong their eyes would do little discos of incomprehension. If I mentioned Aubrey Cosens or Big Jim Stone they’d be clueless. Too bad for us.

  423. cogdis March 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Human rights tribunals are a mess. While they have had a role in curbing blatant rascism and sexism they are only quasi-judicial at best and have been exploited by some special interest groups to further these agendas.
    I disagree that Dieppe, Passchendaele, Juno Beach and other historically significant events mean nothing to Canadians. I depends in what circle of people you ask. Cash sounds like a military or ex-military man. If he’s asking fresh off the boat immigrants, guess what, of course they don’t know. Everyone I know (I’m 42) would be able to answer true/false questions about Vimy Ridge. Perhaps what Cash is addressing is that Canadian history is not taught uniformly the same across the nation. Like in the US, education is not a federal responsibility. In Canada it is a provincial responsibility and curriculum varies.

  424. asoka March 14, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Counter-force is not protection.
    In viewing this YouTube you can slow down and watch your breathing … or jump right to the argument which starts at 2 minutes 15 seconds in the YouTube video.
    Counter-force is not protection.
    Good luck to all of you who are buying guns and ammo thinking that is some kind of protection.

  425. trippticket March 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Bravo, Nathan, bravo!

  426. trippticket March 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    So what’s the deal with all the kids in Hawaii wanting their Fridays at school back? I wish somebody had offered me another weekend day!
    I hate when parents get their kids to push their agendae…

  427. trippticket March 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Albert Einstein famously said that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.
    Are you so sure that white European descendents with high IQs are the panacea that you make them out to be?
    What if it’s our seemingly self-evident understanding of the world – our ultra-linear thought, our scarcity-based economics, our proseletyzing nature – that is the root of our common predicament, the predicament we foisted upon others with our myopic tinkering? Compared to poor, dark-skinned, horticultural societies (say, the Oaxaca), you and I are (or were) remarkably similar, despite the complete lack of similarity in our positions according to us.
    When I experienced that paradigm shift back in January 2009, I became something radically different, or started a journey TO something radically different anyway. And from my new perspective, this old paradigm of winning the world for capitalism, Jesus, and “luxury” in any season (as if a thing continues to be a luxury when you can have it every day), is the real rhino in the playpen.
    Until we all begin to make every decision from a brutally honest 7 generations perspective, the banter over cranial ullage is extraneous to the fact of the matter. At best.

  428. Puzzler March 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Tripp, congratulations I haven’t seen “ullage” used in a very long time.
    I do think Vlad is a gallon or so shy of a tankful.

  429. trippticket March 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Thank you, Puzzler! One of my favorites, like archipelago and asshat. But I think Vlad is pretty sharp actually. I just think he got snagged somewhere in the river back upstream, and doesn’t realize it yet.
    He should be happy though; I hear north Idaho is nice this time of year. Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, Vlad, your people are calling…

  430. Vlad Krandz March 14, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    You’re right of course – but alas the Saving and Saved Remnant looks to be vanishingly small. I picked the Lutheran Church because it’s strong among Large Blonde Haired Dufusses. These miscreants are famous for bringing importing Somalis and Hmong into formerly all White areas in the Mid West. In other words, political correctness is their religion now. Any of the existential guilt that Luther was so big on is now expiated by destroying America, the White Race, and Western Culture. I mean what next, stone age Papuans from New Guinea? They are so PC they wont even publish their own founder’s small book, “The Jews and Their Lies”. Everyone acts like it’s a mystery why Luther turned against the Jews after he had been so favorable towards them. It’s very simple: someone told him what they really believed about Christ. And Luther was just about the last man in the world who would tolerate being made a fool of. A bad enemy by any standard. Not to pick on the Lutherans, they’re just an egregious example. Many others could be given. All the major denominations and the vast majority of the minor as totally PC now.
    But you know all this Messianic, now I’m just playing to the crowd! How about you – you all squared away for doomsday? Food stored and fences up? The Muslims have a beautiful prophecy about Christ: the forces of the Mahdi will be lined up in prayer before battle against the New World Order. And then Christ himself will appear next to the Mahdi and lead them in prayer.

  431. Vlad Krandz March 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Dude you keep trying to talk to me – after you called me a monster and told me you didn’t want any future contact. So what gives? How did I offend you – it was just my usual racial stuff which presumeably you had read before. If I offended you with my advice – which you solicited from the group, say so and I will clarify.
    I never said and in fact have have denied, that IQ is synonomous with wisdom. We are screwed for sure. Even low IQ people like the Papuans have if not a personal wisdom, then at least the wisdom of Tradition. Was it Jared Diamond who recalled how Western Agriculturalists taught them to plant their seedlings differently on the steep hills – and watch them get washed away? There is apparently alot to know and they have a collective body of knowledge that they pass down. It is was one of the great areas of agricultural innovation in the history of the world.
    But if you went there personally, you would be disspointed methinks. You would find the people crippled by superstition, pettiness and ignorance – their interpersonal and intervillage squabbles are the world to them along with their fear of ghosts and black magic. You are very Western even though you don’t know it and you spit on our Tradition.
    If we are able to create a Whites Only Nation in the Northwest, Whites from all over the World will beat a path to our door – refugees from the growing horror of multiculturalism. And you might end up coming too, hat in hand, after learning your lesson from the “Brothers” in Georgia.
    We are not inventing or innovating here at all – but just returning to the way of the Fathers going back far more than Seven Generations. It wasn’t Racialism that got us into this mess but in fact its opposite: globalism in both its Capitalist and Socialist forms.

  432. trippticket March 14, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Perhaps not “racism,” or “racialism,” per se, but I think Manifest Destiny has way too much influence on white Euro thought patterns. I think you exemplify that concept sometimes. And I think we owe the world a great deal of humility right now, as we begin the great descent into a world almost everybody else on the planet is more familiar with than we are. Because of us.
    If you want to keep raping and pillaging, or pretending that the dark people are the problem, be my guest, but I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of support. On a species scale, at least. You might have a particular hatred for someone like me, and get whatever revenge you feel entitled to because I don’t think the way you do, but you won’t prevail on a global scale.
    I’ve never seen any evidence that Nature would go to bat for your beliefs. And I’ve looked pretty hard, especially since I met you.

  433. Qshtik March 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    Puzz, you’re right. You don’t find the word ullage in print every day. Unfortunately Tripp’s usage is a bit off kilter. Vlad never said anyone’s brain failed to fill its container (cranium); rather that the craniums of blacks (exterior circumference and/or interior volume) are smaller on average than those of whites … thus (despite zero ullage) smaller brains and lower IQ, per Vlad. From what I’ve googled I’d say the jury is still out on this.
    Vlad’s other point — and the thing that really pisses him off, I believe — is the virtual impossibility of open discussion of this issue due to political correctness. On this I agree. It reminds me of the heat Larry Summers took when he headed up Harvard and made a remark about women possibly not being as adept at math due to genetics.

  434. trippticket March 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Uncommon, and used metaphorically.

  435. asoka March 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    The fact that no one wants to accept (could it be it is not “politically correct” among conservatives?) is that immigrants are net contributors to the USA economy.
    When it comes to hard data, it seems the politically correct position is to ignore it or deny it because it doesn’t fit into the dominant anti-immigrant narrative.

    Economists Kristin Butcher and Anne Morrison Piehl find “no evidence that immigrants are more likely to engage in criminal activity than natives. In the individual data, in fact, whether or not one controls for other demographic characteristics, immigrants are significantly less likely to commit crime. . . . [We] find no evidence that areas with high levels of immigration have experienced disproportionate growth in criminal activity over the last decade.”

  436. Puzzler March 15, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    Say goodnight John-boy.

  437. Eleuthero March 15, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    You ought to live in tony Palo Alto, CA
    where I live and see the immigrants’
    “contributions”. You walk up University
    Avenue just a mile from Stanford Univ.
    and you hear about every language spoken
    EXCEPT English. No, these are not
    criminals but they’re not here to truly
    BE Americans. The Bay Area now is like
    the Balkans … a bunch of ethnicities
    who travel in their own wolfpacks and
    who rarely have a single person from any
    ethnicity other than their own in their
    Also, you’re being a bit disingenuous
    because you’re well aware that not all
    “immigrants” are regarded equally by
    decent Americans. They’re far, far
    more suspicious of Mexicans … whose
    rates of crime and educational achievement
    rival ONLY that of blacks.
    I don’t see too many whites on an anti-
    Chinese crusade because they tend to be
    high-achieving and law abiding. Don’t
    just run your own Rainbow Coalition
    rhetoric which paints all ethnic distrust
    with the same brush when you know that the
    American people sweep with different
    “brushes” for different ethnicities …
    pretty much along the lines of whose
    groups are associated with civility and
    which are associated with crime, gangs,
    It saddens me intensely to see people make
    the race debate seem like ONE giant debate.
    You’re either pro-immigrant or anti-immigrant.
    That’s a Straw Man if ever I’ve seen one but,
    then again, there probably aren’t a hundred
    people who are truly honest in the debate
    about race and racial unrest.

  438. Eleuthero March 15, 2010 at 3:34 am #

    When I look at white kids trying to
    be black what with “prison yard chic”
    clothing like ski caps indoors in 80
    degree weather, backwards baseball caps,
    and baggy trousers, I certainly see
    some degradation in the white race.
    However, what seems to have escaped you
    is that the problem IS that our young
    are emulating INFERIOR CULTURES. They
    can’t get enough rap music and hip hop.
    What made them want to be LOW CLASS in
    the first place?? I’ll tell you … a
    dominant and phony multi-culturalism in
    self-esteem-based schoooling.
    You may note that they are NOT trying to
    be: 1) Chinese, 2) Russian, 3) Indian, or
    4) French. The Straw Man you are erecting
    is of a consuming white hatred for anybody
    who’s not Teutonic. It’s ridiculous and
    it attributes to your rhetorical opponents
    a line of thinking that you know they do
    not own … except for very fringe people.
    You wanna talk about the subject or just air
    your strutting egalitarianism?? There are a
    LOT of ethnicities on earth and even us
    “ignorant” white people know the score and
    we know where our kids are likely to be
    shot or kidnapped and, dude, it ain’t in
    the Chinese or Indian neighborhoods. You
    fucking know EXACTLY where it is.
    So straighten up and fly right. If you
    want to talk about a difficult subject,
    you have to acknowledge differences within
    the general subject of race instead of
    implying that whitey just hates EVERYBODY.
    In California, I know of almost NO white
    people who feel “threatened” in neighborhoods
    mostly bought out by Chinese and/or Indian
    families. So you’d better go back to the
    drawing board and try to come up with
    sweeping generalities that are a helluva
    more accurate than the detestable screed
    that you wrote.

  439. Ool March 15, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    Actually I’m fully aware of exergy. That’s why I was talking about solar energy available in space, not on Earth.
    Energy-wise the sunlight that shines on the planet alone is far more than our whole global economy uses but, as you are implying, it isn’t just the quantity of energy that is the issue but also the quality.
    That is why I mentioned solar energy in space and the fact that there’s two billion times more of it out there than shines on the surface of this planet. Concentrate just a fraction of that and you have exergy out the wazoo for any place on Earth.
    The temperature differential between a sunny spot on the airless Moon and a shady spot is +100°C vs -140°C. Is that enough exergy for you? That could run quite a Stirling engine, don’t you think? And the undeveloped real estate out there in weightless space could be filled with millions of times more solar panels eventually than would fit on the entire surface of the Earth. (There’s a reason why they call it “space,” after all…)

  440. afterallthis March 15, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    Dear James,
    I have seen you speak on TED.com and was moved by your ideas and vision. I read your Long Emergency book, and I read you weekly post quite regularly. I am a teacher and writer and would love to pass on your newsletters to many others as I think your voice is an important one in our time. But (now I may sound like your mother) I cannot send newsletters entitled clusterf***nation to my data base. There is also a bit of colorful vocabulary in your newsletters themselves. I think you may be underestimating the impact of this. I notice you have an impressive vocabulary so I know you carefully choose your words. Please reconsider this point – I believe it is holding you back from a far greater audience.
    Thank you for your work and message.
    Sincerely –

  441. messianicdruid March 15, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    “How about you – you all squared away for doomsday?”
    The day of the Lord’s wrath will be a direct result of not implementing His Law, first by personal example, and then by precept. Prepared or not, no one will enjoy it.
    Rather than focusing on those who have failed to preserve their culture, or openly encouraging it’s corruption, perhaps honest folks should seek out those who are attempting to remain unspotted by the influence of the world’s system, and determine why they are “peculiar”.
    “There is no hope for Ephraim {generally speaking}, for he hath loved strangers.”

  442. asoka March 15, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    The day of the Lord’s wrath will be a direct result of not implementing His Law, first by personal example, and then by precept. Prepared or not, no one will enjoy it.

    The Lord is the FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW found in the Old Testament, laws like these in the book Deuteronomy:
    Anyone who dreams or prophesizes anything that is against God, or anyone who tries to turn you from God, is to be put to death. (Deuteronomy 13:5)
    If anyone, even your own family suggests worshipping another God, kill them. (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)
    If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of it’s inhabitants… even the animals. (Deuteronomy 13:12-15)
    Kill anyone with a different religion.(Deuteronomy 17:2-7)
    “No one will enjoy it” indeed.

  443. asoka March 15, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    On forty occasions in the New Testament Jesus confronted the powers and authorities of his time over their injustice. Justice is one of the core themes of the kingdom of God that Jesus preached about and died to bring into existence.
    Glenn Beck of FOXNews said on March 2, 2010:

    “I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice are code words (for Communism and Nazism). Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!”

  444. SNAFU March 15, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    “No one will enjoy it” indeed.

  445. messianicdruid March 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    “On forty occasions in the New Testament Jesus confronted the powers and authorities of his time over their injustice.”
    Only forty? I’ll take your word for it. He was constantly pointing out the difference between man’s traditions, commandments and carnal interpretations of the Word {and the resulting injustice} and the actual meaning and spiritual application of The Law, and the resulting {eventual} benefits to mankind and the whole planet.
    Yes, carnal men use the Law to destroy those they believe deserve it, not realizing that at some point they didn’t deserve mercy either. Mercy triumphes over justice.
    As I said before, applying the Law begins in our own heart. Until we come to the likeness of Christ we are not qualified to judge with mercy, ministering to restore others to fellowship with God.

  446. ak April 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    testing out-of-the-way, ignore pls.

    |sed -e “s/^.*author.>//” -e “s///”\
    CNT=`grep “vcar author” $BASE|grep “>$AUTH *

    |sed -e "s/^.*author.>//" -e "s///"\
    CNT=`grep "vcar author" $BASE|grep ">$AUTH *


  447. ak April 7, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    447 Comments total as of 2010-04-06 11:31 (Pacific)
    More than 1 comment by:

    39 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp turkle
    35 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp trippticket
    34 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp dale
    27 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asoka
    26 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asia
    25 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Qshtik
    20 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Vlad Krandz
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    14 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp wagelaborer
    13 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp oiligarch
    10 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp messianicdruid
    9 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Shambles
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    7 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp DeeJones
    7 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Eleuthero
    6 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Puzzler
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    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp budizwiser
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    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp indyamerican
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    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Ool
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    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Solar Guy