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What’s Been and What’s Next

     The wonder is that more Americans are not ticked off about the state of our country than whatever is happening ten thousand miles away. For instance, how come the US Department of Justice is not as avid to prosecute the pervasive racketeering in the US economy as the State Department is for provoking unnecessary wars in foreign lands on the other side of the planet, over matters that have little bearing on life here? This racketeering, by the way, amounts to a war against American citizens.

     I’m speaking especially of the US military racket, the banking and finance rackets, the health care racket and the college loan racket, all of which have evolved insidiously and elegantly to swindle the public in order to support a claque of American oligarchs. In other civilized lands, health care and college are considered the highest priority public goods (i.e. responsibilities of government), and national resources are applied to support them under the theory that bankrupting people for an appendectomy or a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is not in the public interest. In our land, that would be considered “socialism.” Instead, we “socialize” the costs of supporting Too Big To Fail banks — so their employees can drive Beemers to their Hamptons summer house parties — and a military machine that goes around the world wrecking one country after another to support a parasitical class of contractors, lobbyists, and bought-off politicians in their northern Virginia McMansions.

     Hence, the laughable conceit pinging through the news media lately that some dynastic grifter like Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton will slide into the White House in 2016 as easily as a watermelon seed popped into a shot glass. I don’t think it’s going to work out that way. The US political system needs to be turned upside down and inside out, and I expect that it will be. Either it happens within the bounds of electoral politics, or you’ll see it playing out in the streets and the windswept plains.

     Just a glance around the USA these days ought to nauseate the casual observer. We have an infrastructure for everyday life that is failing in every way imaginable. Are you disturbed by the asteroid belts of vacant strip malls outside your town? Or the empty store fronts along your Main Streets?  What do you suppose these places will be like in ten years when the mirage of shale oil dissolves in a mist of disappointment and political grievance? How are Americans going to feel, do you suppose, when gasoline just isn’t there at a price they can pay, and they are marooned in delaminating strand-board-and-vinyl houses 23 miles away from anything? Does the sheer immersive ugliness of the human imprint on the American landscape not give you the shivers?

      Look at the pathetic and disgusting appearance of our cities, which for the most part present themselves as demolition derby arenas or war zones — except the strongholds of the red-white-and-blue oligarchs: Washington, San Francisco, and especially New York, Financialization Central.

      What happens at the “magic moment” when Facebook stops being a narcissistic virtual playground for “selfies” and becomes a bulletin board for political revolution? Think that can’t happen here? And what if that revolution is a kind that doesn’t appeal to you — say, a revolution of race hatred, or fascist zealotry, or Marxist gangsterism of the type that took Russia hostage for 70 years?

     All this is happening, incidentally, because the supposed best minds in our nation are paying no attention whatsoever to the most important story of our lifetime: the winding down of the techno-industrial global economy. It doesn’t really matter anymore why they don’t get it. Hubris. Greed. Distraction. Denial. All that matters is that they can’t be depended on and when that happens authority loses legitimacy. And when it comes to that, all bets are off.

     The disintegration of Ukraine would be best understood by Americans as a mirror of ourselves and our sclerotic republic, poised to sink into poverty and disorder. Everything we do and say rings hollow now. What used to be called The Establishment has run out of ways to even pretend to save itself. We have no idea what’s next, but it’s not going to be more of what’s been. 

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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.

214 Responses to “What’s Been and What’s Next”

  1. Jamyang April 21, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I hope you are right about the Bush/Clinton choice in 2016; something has got to shake. And how much longer can all those insidious rackets continue to thrive and get away with it? Does no one in power dare to address the obscene military madness?

    And in some other land where elections are fair and free, would the like of a Bernie Sanders, Jerry Brown or Elizabeth Warren make any difference?

    • michigan_native April 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      Didn’t Obama say something about scaling back the military to WWI levels that had the balls of the Bengazi types in an uproar? Hitlery Clinton getting pummeled over the supposed “weak on defense” while Jeb Bush, a slightly less retarded version of his brother, babbling about energy independence and a strong military. The military can’t be strong without the immense amounts of energy and capital to keep it running, asshole. Yet the America as exception flagwavers, most of them national chauvanists or harboring some racial agenda, will line up to support one circus whore, while the rest will vote for Hilllary out of fear.

      I can see the charade already. The fact is, even if there is an election in 2016, neither of these idiots can re create the resources, fossil fuels in particular, that are needed for endless growth.

      There is no political solution to peak oil, even Libertarians/fiscal conservatives seem to think there will always be more oil or that some non existent “free market solution” will solve our energy crises. The are addicted and blinded to that Endless Growth Club and are going to get caught totally off guard when that cliff appears behind them as they plummet

      • michigan_native April 21, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

        It will wind up that way. An army of men on bicycles and at best, horses (if they aren’t more valued for their meat) yielding pea shooters, sling shots, spears, bows and arrows, and small hand guns, more like a pre Civil War army than a WWI era army, whether the neocons like it or not. The money and most importantly the energy, the two most intertwined in the US, will simply not be there.

        How amazing that will be to the flagwaving knuckle heads? After our troops are evacuated Hanoi style after being stranded at useless military bases, and we no longer have the means nor the desire to dictate foreign policy and empire build, then we will no longer need to be constantly at war, our emissaries and tourists no longer attacked and decapitated or have grenades lobbed at them, and crazed fanatics hell bent on revenge flying planes into our buildings. Peace will have been achieved without all that fleecing of the public purse by defense contractors and war profiteers who dangle the whores in Washington like puppets on strings.

        • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

          The world without American Power is already showing itself, already shaping up.

          How do you like it so far?


          • Chikot April 22, 2014 at 6:49 am #

            The world you are talking about has been shaped by US actions. Lets say Ukraine is being shaped by how US treated Russia after USSR fall. For every action there is reaction.

  2. Htruth April 21, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    The sheeple will never wake up. If 25 percent of America would willingly be herded into boxcars then 97 percent of Americans would willingly watch the 3 percent who stand up to tyranny be loaded into box cars. No doubt, it’s coming. To the 3 percent: LOAD UP! Hammering Truth

    • B9K9 April 21, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      I just returned from spending an enjoyable week visiting friends & family in DC & NYC, including the aforementioned mini-Macs in NVA and tasteful abodes in Soho & W Village.

      Every time we travel back east typically includes a requisite trip up memory lane around the upper westside at my wife’s alma mater. In addition, we usually undertake a long march back downtown after crossing through the park over to Jim’s old stomping grounds, so I had a chance to see every nook & cranny of the city.

      While I never lived there, I traveled enough for business to confirm Jim’s impression that the city has never looked better. But while that is hardly news, what struck me on this trip is the utter lack of understanding of why this is the present case – not just in NYC, but also DC and the two twin pillars of the financial-military state out west, SF & LA.

      Now, I’m not talking about clueless Kardashian studies graduates, but Ivy leaguers with advanced degrees. My wife knows the score, but almost always falls into traditional thinking, especially around friends gushing about rising equity and professional advancement. In the spirit of bonhomie, I can usually keep myself restrained, but as we later strolled down Broadway (as my wife marveled about how much the neighborhood has ‘improved’), I couldn’t take it anymore, and reminded her of why it’s happening.

      What’s more, I told her that unless the deep state was willing to use nukes to ensure supplies from Siberia, it was really all over except for the crying. The calculus is really quite simple – assuming 6k warheads, Russia would still have around 60 assuming a 99% successful first strike that effectively decapitated Russian political & military command. If only 5%+- of those were launched and hit, that would mean 4: one each for DC, NYC, SF & LA.

      Now here’s the conundrum: these four cities are enjoying such tremendous success that I can’t imagine how the deep state would come to the conclusion that the civilian population could be sacrificed in order to ensure the continuity of the federal government. Ergo, they won’t take the risk, therefore the US/NATO loses.

      But, there’s a paradox, because as the results of losing reserve status begin to manifest themselves every community – including these centers – the emotional choice will eventually become much easier to make since there won’t be really anything to lose at that point.

      And I think that is where the real danger lies: a malicious and vindictive strike not to alter the strategic equation, but a spiteful action aimed at harming others simply because we lost, similar in principle to the V2 program at the end of WWII.

      So, I believe the challenge for those thinking about these issues is to not only begin forming the incipient organization(s) of how people will manage themselves in the coming altered circumstances, but somehow mount an effective campaign to hopefully prevent a precipitous reaction by those who have lost their positions & prestige.

      • Chikot April 22, 2014 at 6:59 am #

        I think Russians should read more of the things ordinary Americans write. Especially easily discussing nuking Russia. But it already has been for some 70 years since US was planning to nuke USSR after the WWII. As being of Russian origin I have never read Russians discussing nuclear attack on USA .
        I see where you are coming form but still I see no excuse for even discussing possibility of using this kind of weapons on human beings. It says a lot about who you Americans are.

        • B9K9 April 22, 2014 at 11:19 am #

          Sigh. I can sympathize with language confusion, but cognitive deficiencies are another thing. If you don’t understand the context of what I wrote, then it might be wise to inform yourself of the Kennan memo that established the foundation of US post-WWII policy:


          “Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.”

          “We should dispense with the aspiration to “be liked” or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers’ keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague and–for the Far East–unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”


          Americans simply have no clue how their standard of living is achieved. While some believe fed.government is a pseudo-occupying force, in actuality, the US exactly represents the people. In other words, we do get the government we deserve.

          Faced with precipitous declines in living standards, perhaps as low as Mexico, without benefit of dollar reserve status, one should be concerned with the logical extension of current policy in order to maintain the status quo.

          If you don’t think all options are on the table, then perhaps you might refrain from commenting and spend that time researching and studying the matter a little further.

          • Chikot April 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

            There is no language confusion at all. I wrote this:”I see where you are coming from ” which means I realized what you meant and still…. I have seen many times Americans discussing nuking this or that. I have never read Russians ever used word nuke em or even discussing possibility. It is what I meant.
            I can read both English and Russian sources hence.

            Also, I read those exact words you cited before.
            I agree with you. US government represents the whole of American people otherwise it is hard to fathom how US with population of just above 4%+ of the world total population still consumes 25% of all world resources. Petrodollar as world reserve currency is a major part of it along with US military which in tern also relies on USD being world reserve currency. Without this edge there would be no $$$ neither for military nor for anything else. US is practically bankrupt.

  3. George April 21, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    “Either it happens within the bounds of electoral politics, or you’ll see it playing out in the streets and the windswept plains.”

    Neither, too many have been conditioned by the constant barrage of mind-numbing media to have the attention span needed to focus on anything long enough to make a difference.

    The last chapter has been posted. Sayonara. See you at the revolution? Ha!


  4. Smoky Joe April 21, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    “What happens at the “magic moment” when Facebook stops being a narcissistic virtual playground for “selfies” and becomes a bulletin board for political revolution? ”

    I’d call that “democracy.” Where it takes us, no one knows.

    JHK is wrong about my city. It’s making a real comeback with local businesses, often start-ups by Millennials or Xers, in its urban core. The population is finally growing again.

    Maybe that is as fragile as the delaminating suburban homes he describes, but I think not. Whether this urban DIY renaissance will survive the end of business-as-usual elsewhere, I haven’t a clue. But I think something is changing. And it’s not middle-aged Tea-Party grumps with guns or older ex-hippies in exurbia.

  5. Neon Vincent April 21, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    “[W]hat if that revolution is a kind that doesn’t appeal to you — say, a revolution of race hatred, or fascist zealotry, or Marxist gangsterism of the type that took Russia hostage for 70 years?”

    The Archdruid took a look at what an American “revolution of…fascist zealotry” might look like in the third installment of his series on Fascism.


    All he had to do was localize the events that led to Hitler’s rise and it made chilling sense, although some of the details might seem off (Haley Barbour as president in 2016? He’s not even running). I pointed out to him that his title “Weimar America” was very common these days–you’ve alluded to it, too–and found not just on blogs, but on mainstream political media of all ideological persuasions. He found that perversely reassuring. If the chattering classes are using the phrase, then the prospect is less likely.


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    • Neon Vincent April 21, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      While I’m here, Peak Oiler and conspiracy theorist Michael Ruppert committed suicide last week. I left a comment commemorating him at The Archdruid Report, which I recycled at my blog.


      Escape from Wisconsin at The Hipcrime Vocab also wrote a eulogy of Ruppert at his own blog. I recommend it highly.


      • lsjogren April 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

        He committed suicide decades too soon.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      So you admit the “Fascism” has just been a pejorative for you people all these years? And that in reality, it just means Nationalism? And that you allowed the Elite to warp your minds on the subject – even as you all bowed to Marxist Gangsterism both here and overseas?

      • Neon Vincent April 23, 2014 at 9:51 am #

        No, Impaler. Now, when did you stop beating your wife?

        • Neon Vincent April 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

          Never mind. Don’t pass that through.

  6. swmnguy April 21, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    We’re seeing epochal change in “real time.” It’s painfully slow. In history books changes like these happen in a couple of paragraphs. The analogy of the frog in increasingly hot water comes to mind.

    People will react (rather than respond) when they become uncomfortable enough. Not before. When they think they have more to gain than to lose from objecting to the unraveling status quo. With each ratchet-down in our quality of life I wonder, “Will this be the one that does it?” and the answer, so far, has always been “No.” It’s hard for me to fathom, but I’m actually still pretty comfortable myself.

    As for the “best minds in our nation,” who picks them? Ah, that’s right. Those who are benefiting the most from the current arrangements. So naturally they elevate people who can’t perceive any possibilities other than minor tweaks to the current arrangements. They can contribute nothing more than minor procrastination. On the negative side, they can divert all attention and effort away from any attempts to step beyond the current, failing, arrangements, which is more the point of why they are put in place.

    Of course our current system is failing, and will fail. It’s based on infinite growth in markets, resources, energy and money. Nothing tangible is infinite. Once the limits are seen, much less reached, our system can only feed on itself. That’s what it’s doing.

    It’s not just that our current elites “don’t get it.” It isn’t just “Hubris. Greed. Distraction. Denial.” Since they very purposefully cannot perceive of an alternative system, they will not and shall not. If they did “get it” and realize our current way of living and organizing ourselves is undone by its own contradictions, they still wouldn’t do anything about it, other than to try to solidify the advantages they have gained from the current arrangements.

    We’re going to have to do it ourselves, by ourselves, among ourselves.

    • Conch April 21, 2014 at 10:08 am #

      “We’re going to have to do it ourselves, by ourselves, among ourselves.”

      Indeed. Nicely put.

    • mdhaller April 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm #


      Excellent analysis, the elite “don’t get it” like wolves don’t get not eating the sheep.

      My advice is avoid the elites. If you submit your finances to Roth IRA’s, 401k’s, mutual funds, etc., etc., you are just a cow in the shoot leading to the slaughter house. Start thinking outside the box.

    • ozone April 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

      I hadn’t read this when I wrote a response.
      We have both arrived at the same conclusions, but you said it with more precision and clarity! Thanks.

    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      Beautiful weaving of thoughts together.

    • wayfarer April 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      Much agreement!

  7. noel bodie April 21, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Just a small example of what you say…..it has been reported that the gov’t has been running propaganda in Cuba thru social media as well as sponsoring all kinds of media mischief in another foreign parts with tax dollars at a time when the country is in debt to our elbows and those same tax payers are un and mis-informed on all matter of current events, that NPR’s(whose mission is to educate and inform) budget is slashed. It would be an interesting exercise to discover how many dollars are used to broadcast to foreign lands versus ourselves. I suspect it would be hugely disproportionate.

  8. BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    The ‘best minds of out nation’

    Well last week, as a column in a local newspaper featured a trip on Amtrak from Bridgeport to Hartford revealing nothing but industrial ruin, unused heavy earthmoving equipment everywhere, farmland run fallow, strip malls some abandoned, surrounded by square mile of paved parking lots, and a sea of automobiles at a standstill on I-95, our Senators and Congressman were convening meetings all around the state, amidst much fanfare and media face time, on ‘equal pay for women’.

    Easter Weekend, April 19-20, 2014 (239 anniv. of ‘shot heard around the world’)

    Battle of Slovyansk, Ukraine, 5 dead 3 wounded.

    Battle of Chicago, Illinois, 9 dead, 37 wounded, including 6 children.

    Which leads me to ask ‘Where’s the real war’?


    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      Oh c’mon. It’s in Nevada. Do you have no appreciation of what just happened? The Feds were backed off by force and by exposure. Harry Reid calls it “terrorism”. No one believes him. They have lost all credibility. But they didn’t militarize every Federal Agency and buy millions of rounds for nothing did they? What do you think happens next?

      • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

        What might happen next, Vlad, is the Feds identify each and every militia type who showed up to assist Bundy, and quietly, and individually, arrest them. Have you ever read Kafka?

        • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

          It can’t be done quietly – the Folk have been aroused. They’d have to kill the Internet – which would tell everyone that it was game on. They are in a deep bind. They know now that the 3% mean business. I know that Ukraine and Syria are much easier and sexier – the beaten path of “heroes”. Fighting domestic enemies is so much more difficult – and important. Medals may not be forthcoming…..

          Note: 3% is the number of gun owners who will not comply with regulations no matter what. And who will fulfill their duties as citizens to defend the Constitution by any and all means.

        • newworld April 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

          I gotta go with Skorzeny on this one, the III% is better prepared than either Reid or Kos where you got that idea, at least for now. Just a hint for you fine folks, at Daily Kos you can read about death threats and cattle hating and learn that the Bundys are poopyheads (yes its about at that level), but you won’t read Harry Reid’s name on those threads. The corruption is complete, shame on you heckler what you would do for such a corrupt man.

  9. Being There April 21, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Thanks JHK for a much needed post today

    The system is not about good governance. It’s about extraction of wealth to those who are running the government. It’s a system that has been long in place, giving rise to Disaster Capitalism around the world. The Ukraine the poster child of this system. Watch it in real time and it will show you just how the model works.

    Max Keiser had a great post this weekend about Cargil and Chevron and their plans for the Ukraine. Russia knows from experience what this is like as the neoliberals came in to privatize their resources while the drunkard Yeltsin gave into the ideology —austerity!

    As for FB, I can tell you I and others follow different stories everyday, just as this blog does. As far as I’m concerned there’s no difference anymore.

  10. Conch April 21, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Interesting, as always – I’ve been muttering about heads on pikes for the Wall Street crooks for the last few years now – but I don’t think “claque” is the appropriate word for a group of oligarchs (they are not a group hired to applaud or heckle a performer, after all). The thing about oligarchs is, they don’t give a damn about anything except keeping what they have and getting more.

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    • zaphod42 April 21, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      In America, I would say we are more a plutocracy than an oligarchy, largely because we do not have a true royalty. That is to say, we have rule by the wealthy.

      Of course, the wealthy seek to establish a timocracy here – they would like nothing more than to have ownership of property become a requisite for voting. And, in due course to become a tyranny.

      Thanks, JH, for the interesting commentary.


      • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

        Yes, the Founders believed likewise that voters must own property. You can’t have riff raff with no skin in the game making decisions. Then you’d have what we have now – rule by the Mob. As you know as a student of Plato: Democracy is the lowest form of Government.

        I would modify the criterion of course. Someone who has served in the armed forces and who is financially solvent and knows the issues should have a vote as well. And a rich traitor should not.

        I like your list btw. Craig’s List has been a source of freedom and prosperity for millions. Unfortunately criminal elements have begun to use it as well. Thus is the state of fallen man – good is compromised. But as Christ said, the tares cannot be pulled out since they will take the wheat with them. Wait until the Harvest to separate them and consign the tares to the fire.

  11. islander800 April 21, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Read an interesting analysis the other day, I think on Salon.com, detailing the dangerous game the West is playing with Putin. It was chilling in the description of Putin’s psyche.

    He is a man driven by a sense of national defeat and humiliation by a hated adversary. He also sees the “enemy” encroaching upon his beloved Motherland (NATO and the EU absorbing countries on Russia’s borders that used to be their buffer zone, within their orbit of influence).

    Now the narrative in Western media is that Russia started the latest conflict in the Ukraine, ignoring the fact that the EU sparked it by making an ultimatum to the Ukraine: make a trade and economic pact with us or Russia, but not both – you choose. Why not both? When the government chose Russia, ultra-right wing protests overthrew a legitimate government, causing extreme alarm and reaction in Moscow when they saw their traditional military sites in the Crimea threatened.

    Now we have the spectacle of Obama and Kerry making threatening, and let’s face it, hypocritical statements about Russia’s aggression. It was pointed out in the analysis that they both seemed to be completely uninformed as to Russian military doctrine, when Kerry said, and I paraphrase, that Russia wouldn’t take on the West since we have conventional military superiority. In fact, Russian doctrine states that when faced with this situation, and backed to the wall, they will resort to nuclear weapons. And one point that stood out in the article’s analysis was that Putin is the type of character who won’t back down when pushed. It’s spooky how all this echoes the situation with Germany and Japan leading up to WW II.

    As Robert McNamara said in the documentary, “Fog of War”, one needs to empathize with the enemy – in other words, put yourself in their shoes.

    I hope our Dear Leaders don’t bungle us into something from which nobody wins and everyone loses.

    • michigan_native April 23, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      Since when did Kerry absorb this delusion that the West is so vastly superior in military technology? I am no weapons expert, but I don’t see how the US could defend itself against the supersonic Brahmos cruise missile. The SA-4 air defense system is considered the most advanced in the world, supposedly cannot be jammed or deceived and can see our “stealth” planes, then I thought I saw where they have supersonic torpedoes. Almost every time the US has gone up against a major opponent, in their arrogance they underestimate the fighting abilities of the enemy. Japanese subs and planes and ships were superior to the junk the US put out at the time. Entire torpedoe squadrons would attack and get blown out of the sky, not unlike early American submarines, their torpedoes would go “thud” on a Japanese warship and fail to detonate, but alerted Jap destroyers to the location of the subs which were then usually sank. Ditto German technology. Better tanks, guns, and later, early stage cruise missiles. Over time, is was a war of attrition. We had more equipment and an undamaged industrial complex and no shortage of oil. I saw an interview with a WWII vet “we found out those little men with glasses could fight after all”. Fast forward to the Korean war, same thing. Turns out Koreans are amongst the toughest, bravest fighters in the world. Then the peasants of Vietnam kicked our asses. Now killer Kerry and co think they can butt heads with the Russians and Chinese? What a bunch of clowns. All either country has to do, especially China, is dump their T bills and they would utterly crush the US overnight without firing a shot. These assholes are insane

  12. islander800 April 21, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Just a postscript to my previous post.

    We’re currently vacationing in rural Provence, France, where the towns and villages date back to the Roman era and are inhabited to this day. All constructed of limestone with tile roofs, all having lasted 1000-2000 years, all magnificently beautiful, and all will be intact long after the ugly, disposable constructs of North America have turned from ashes to dust.

    It sure gives you a different perspective on things.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      I’m sure they have to be maintained. After a 1000 years, would any of the original tiles or stones be there? If not, would it still be the same house or a different one? See the Buddhist text “The Questions to King Milinda”.

      • islander800 April 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

        Well of course, the roof tiles would have been maintained over the ages, along with windows and interior fittings. But the stone construction of the walls? All original.

        The difference between here and N.A. is that there seems to be none of the run-down trailer-park crap that we see at home. We haven’t seen any of the mobile home and strip mall shit that defaces the landscape back home. Must be that “socialist” mindset that results in the most civilized society that I have ever experienced. And I am one who never visited here before and previously viewed the French as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”. What a revelation.

        If this is the modern expression of a caring, socialist culture, I’ll take it over the dog-eat-dog rat race in America. And the food is fantastic!

        • WW April 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

          Many have roof beams and floor joists and often floor boards more than 300 years old. It is not uncommon to find old English and Welsh churches with external oak doors that predate the USA.

        • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

          Interesting post Islander. But we have houses in this village, along main street that date back to 1659. And they’re well maintained and in good shape, too.

          Your description of the French countryside seems like it came right out of my favorite novel ‘The Camp of the Saints’.

          Yet our French relatives, from the Cannes area, when they visit, like nothing more than piling into the big Ford F-250 we keep here and go bombing around town — ‘Jeeping’ my niece calls it, faster the better, preferably off road.

          Also, stay out of the no go Muslim areas, if you value your skin. Those areas are expanding.


          • michigan_native April 23, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

            All are subject to the laws of entropy. But I would agree, you really don’t realize how incredibly ugly the US is until you have been to Europe. I went on a 2 week trip to Germany and Austria in 2003. I did not want to come home. The cuisine is a little bland, but you could find a good Thai restaurant here and there. And the beer, next best thing to heaven itself

          • stelmosfire April 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

            Howdy Marlin. i just got back from a 3 week road trip to FL.on the super slab. I had to clean out the mother-in-laws house. Central FL is for sale cheap. I drove through Ocala and it was a 30 mile strip mall. We stopped in Charleston SC on the way home for a few days.The historic section is small, walkable, and full of shops, restaurants, and bars. They even had free trolley buses. My kind of town. As a side note we have houses in my town from the 1500’s . the city was incorporated in 1669. I own a house built the year Abe Lincoln was shot. All property needs maintenance. Once the roof goes so does the property. The old New Haven canal bed is still here . Horse paths and all .The rails put a nail in that coffin.

  13. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Revolution? I’m not sure about this JHK.

    I think instead what we’ll see are high anxiety attempts to collapse into regional commerce zones. What remains of globalism over the coming years will likely be enough to enable walled off cities of some sort, perhaps fed by highly securitized exterior sectors of agricultural production. What else are drones good for? There will also be prevalent wastelands, left for those who foolishly believe they’ll be able to “secede” from it all. They’ll think they’ll be able to defend whatever it is they believe God has given them in those desolate rural deserts until faction skirmishes and coordinated government assaults destroy and loot whatever there is to be taken. The American voter will select for this reality before any other. The PR machine will make sure it’s all neat and tidy, but a softer version of Hunger Games is where all this is headed.

    And we’ll all watch and blog as the vast majority of the people in this country continue to accept the status quo for what it is right now, more or less. I’ll go out on a limb and say the next prezdenchul election will go off without a hitch. Free speech zones will offer plenty of corn dogs, Coke, and free WI-Fi, but zero real Democracy and that’ll be just fine for most. There’s every reason this is more likely than wild revolution; fascism of the Hitlerian brand is highly unlikely… too much comic book mythology in the American mindset for a Jankos Zucchini racist leader or group of Alex Jonesian-type cooky Libertarians to emerge and gain any serious credibility with the masses. Instead, Inverted Totalitarianism where everyone gets to be an individual as long as they consume their uniqueness and diversity from a handful of private oligarchies will persist.

    And the minimum wage will be raised so the debt serfs of my generation will at least be able to keep up with payments.

    Not until Boomers begin lighting themselves on fire in public squares or blowing their own brains out on political leaders doorsteps will anything change.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Ok so what is “real Democracy”? Obama phones? People voting early and often? The dead voting? Most of your cadres are so brain dead that they are against voter ID – as if people too lazy and/or stupid to get a picture ID have any business voting.

  14. dplainview April 21, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Stockholm Syndrome…

    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 11:35 am #


      Helsinki Syndrome.

  15. Greg Knepp April 21, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    “Does the sheer ugliness of the human imprint on the American landscape not give you the shivers?”

    Of course. But then ugliness IS the American landscape…or am I mistaken? Furthermore, one could argue that the only thing uglier than an abandoned shopping mall is one that has not been abandoned – rather, thriving. But you won’t convince many Americans of this.

    It is my view that all such judgments are, for all practical purposes, largely subjective. I am most certainly repelled by the aesthetic nightmare that is America, but most Americans are blind to the overall blight; they know nothing else. Most Americans don’t live in quaint northeastern small towns, or historic preservation districts of major cities, nor have they spent much time in Europe where man-made beauty (formed over the centuries) regularly co-exists with the sweetness of mother nature.

    Suburbanites are not culturally or educationally predisposed to see things as I do. They will never understand. They are not aghast. Like the unknowing masses of the past and the future, they will revolt when their belt buckles reach the last hole. Only then.

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  16. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan April 21, 2014 at 11:33 am #


    As long as cheap entertainment, cheap food and cheap psychoactive drugs are widely available, there will be no revolution and people will escape into their video entertainment, pizza, pot and some OTC antidepressants like SAM-E and St. Johns Wort.

    Still, oil makes that system pretty fragile. While there’s still quite a bit of oil to be had, there’s precious little *cheap* oil left and I think that may be our undoing.

    There’s some threshold of economic activity that sustains the world’s independent oil companies – the Shells, the BPs, etc. After the next economic crash (and there is *always* a next one), I think we fall below that threshold. Oil prices will fall with economic activity as they always do. The thing is, it takes about $85 a barrel now for break-even. If people can’t afford oil that, it doesn’t get extracted, refined or distributed. The full effects might not show up for a decade, as existing oil stocks from existing wells are slowly depleted, but it takes us from a slow decline in oil supply to a much, much more rapid one. National oil companies might keep going for some time, but they’re not going to be exporting much.

    Bottom line? I think industrial civilization at the current scale doesn’t have much more than a decade beyond the next economic collapse – if that.

    And *that* is when people wake up. No more pizza. No more cheap food. No more antidepressants nor cheap entertainment electronics manufactured in China. No more cheap power to get those Idaho conservatives through the freezing winters.

    That’s when revolution starts, and not before.

  17. sevenmmm April 21, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    What happens when the oligarchs have no one left to swindle?

  18. dweebus April 21, 2014 at 11:46 am #


    “What happens at the “magic moment” when Facebook stops being a narcissistic virtual playground for “selfies” and becomes a bulletin board for political revolution?”

    It is likely that the surveillance state will kick into high gear. Then, I imagine two main strategies will be pursued, co-option (this is what happened to the Tea Party) and repression (Occupy). Possibly they will throw in a bit of McCarthyism to boot. Say a leak to your employer that you expressed, oh, I don’t know, say anarchist or “terrorist” sympathies on social media.

    “The disintegration of Ukraine would be best understood by Americans as a mirror of ourselves and our sclerotic republic, poised to sink into poverty and disorder.”

    Yes. Whilst I have not fully digested the Ukrainian situation, it seems to me that the populace found the constant corruption and poverty to be intolerable. The Westerners looked to the EU as their salvation and saw Russian influence as the problem, The Easterners looked into the eyes of Obama and Merkel and saw three letters. I.M.F.

    Yet under it all rides the fact that financial, energetic, and environmental limits have imposed themselves, and the pie cannot be expanded to include the Ukraine. They showed up to the party late.

    Lester Brown says that the best political indicator of stress in the system is the list of failed states and that seems to be where the Ukraine is headed. The frontier of the Imperial system starts crumble before the center falls. Most middle class Americans are living tolerable lives, albeit at a lower standard than before the financial crisis. We haven’t reached the pressure point yet. We still think that “free markets” (West) or “regulation” (East) can save us. Hence the never-ending and useless Hayekian/Keynesian debates in politics and the mainstream press.

  19. Florida Power April 21, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    “ Look at the pathetic and disgusting appearance of our cities, which for the most part present themselves as demolition derby arenas or war zones — except the strongholds of the red-white-and-blue oligarchs: Washington, San Francisco, and especially New York, Financialization Central.”

    I grew up in Baltimore and indeed that city of my memory qualified way back then as demolition derby and war zone, simultaneously, and still does. (Am presently enjoying The Wire on DVD; my origins lay in a West Baltimore neighborhood that went from 100% white to 99% black almost overnight.) So not really too much has changed since the fifties into the sixties. I was in Chicago last week for a convention and the downtown area sparkled, especially at night as all those electrons lit up that wonderful urban architecture and neatly swept streets; just the ticket for the IEEE. Rahm keeps it clean and well-lighted for the out-of-towners, except for the occasional human debris observed by chance along the Magnificent Mile: black female with piercing plaintive voice begging politely: “don’t ignore me, sir…” Black mother bundled up against the cold with three young children, silently awaiting the night and orders to move on, defeated eyes looking at nothing, and I without time to explain how we outsourced to The State that “brother’s keeper” thing. Or that ‘teach a man to fish” thing. Or all those other things that were once largely the province of The Church.

    So go ahead and add Chicago to that list of oligarch’s strongholds. But do not come too close: hurry along, lest the drug dealers/murderers of The Wire become sympathetic characters in our daily drama of haves versus have-nots. The electrons will become much more dear soon enough, ebola will arrive soon enough, and we will then pray with Hemingway: our nada who art in nada…

    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      Yes Blacks have ruined all our major cities and many of our middle sized ones as well. Detroit is Africa.

      • Jagger April 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

        Well, there are those with black skin and those with black souls. If I had to chose, I would definitely chose black skin.

        • Janos Skorenzy April 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

          The two tend to go together. Tend. In other word, it’s not black and white but a matter of percentages. I know numbers are kryptonite to Liberals but what can I do.

        • Florida Power April 23, 2014 at 10:01 am #

          I don’t know JS, J… it used to be said the Puerto Ricans ruined New York. Before them it was the Italians. Before them the Irish. I think a lot depends on where you happen to be standing at any moment. In my case the row-house neighborhood in which I grew up became like a dangerous foreign country and I, being white, had a big bulls-eye on my back. Thankfully those were the days of fists rather than firearms, but the lack of love was present nonetheless. Except there was one who did the right thing and rescued me from a group (yes – it is always the groups you must fear. Know when to cross the street and know when to run) and asked – “You OK, man?”
          Even in darkest Detroit there was one recently who did the same right thing and protected a beat-up white guy from a group. I think they call them “teens” in the mainstream press.

          Somedays it boils down to individuals rather than cultures, but we kid ourselves if we think culture can be papered over by political correctness and dreams.

          I don’t have any illusions about the brotherhood of man like my parents did. But I do believe that groups are composed of individuals.

    • newworld April 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      True but head south out on the Skyway to the ruins of an industrial society meeting head on with the welfare state. What could be some of the best real estate in the country is given to broken down industrial plants and unfortunately the prole masses. South of the Loop is an 800 acre site of an old steel mill just waiting to be developed, but one of the problems is that the neighborhood surrounding it is nearly a no go area courtesy of some very violent Hispanic gangs. Then continue on to Gary, Indiana, Soviet Union circa 1994, redux

  20. lsjogren April 21, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Not much is going to change so long as there is enough fossil fuel supply as to be relatively affordable for the masses in the developed world.

    The cataclysmic changes you guys are forecasting probably will indeed come, but are probably 2-3 decades away, or maybe even 4-5 decades if more medium-hanging fruit from the dinosaur tree can be economically accessed.

    Even so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform, if, God forbid, it comes about, will probably not trigger World War 3 until a couple decades down the road.

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  21. artshul April 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    I feel that the most likely precipitating event (for individuals) will be as they lose cable TV and internet services to their homes.

    Americans (men mostly) are addicted to their Monday Night Football, etc. and will go totally bonkers at that point.

  22. ozone April 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Thanks, JHK.
    This week’s essay is exactly what I’ve been banging on about concerning some serious holistic thinking to define our predicaments (which would include identifying the nature of the beast, in toto). No wasted words here!

    Americans are now being backed into various corners by the despotism of their own completely unreasonable expectations and a carefully cultured climate of overarching fear of losing the cocoon of the status quo. (We have some diametrically opposed opinions about who might benefit from that, therefore determining which direction the slide will be in, not WHETHER there will be a downward slide; that’s an unavoidable circumstance.)

    “All that matters is that [the best minds in the nation] can’t be depended on and when that happens authority loses legitimacy. And when it comes to that, all bets are off.” — JHK

    Brother, you said it! …And those who don’t get this (or outright deny it) are in for a panicked awakening, and that sure gives me “the shivers” as to what their unthinking reaction will be. How many will agree to oppress their fellows for their needs (food, shelter, clothing) provided by “benevolent” corn-pone militarists?

    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      Can you define corn pone? Can a Black be a corn pone dictator or do you have to be White? If Obama refused to leave office, would he be corn pone? Is Robert Mugabe?

      • hineshammer April 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

        I’ll answer that for Ozone. From Merriam Webster’s Dictionary:

        Cornpone-: of, relating to, or appealing to people who live on farms away from big cities

        No mention there of race or color, so yes, Obama can be a cornpone dictator.

        • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm #


          Obama is gonna run from the presidency after ’16 and go into hiding, just like dubya. you watch. he tried to bolt in ’12, case you missed the obvious attempt at escape during the “debates.”

        • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

          From below. So in other words, you’re fine with people being fired for giving to Conservative Causes?

          Nothing would happen to him if he gave to the despicable SPLC. The cultural ethos is in their favor. And no, I wouldn’t call for anyone to be fired. Nobody’s business. How did they even find out he had donated? Isn’t that frightening? If it can be used against your enemies, it can be used against you. Conservatives understand that or at least used to. Liberals don’t. Fake Conservatives or Neo-Cons don’t either since they want terrible things done to “Muslim Americans” – who shouldn’t be here but that’s another issue.

          Dictionary definitions are one thing – often the “living” definition is something else. Cornpone means White. Ozone is bitter to be outed from his cocoon of hatred.

          • hineshammer April 22, 2014 at 5:41 am #

            It was a financial decision by the board of directors, that’s all. They would rather not deal with the blowback caused by the knowledge that their CEO is a homophobe.

            There’s a reason the cultural ethos, if that’s what you want to call it, is in their favor. Most people aren’t like you, Vlad.

            In many states today one can be fired for being gay, so I really have no problem with him being fired, though I really don’t care that much.

      • ozone April 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

        I’ll go ahead and assume you’re a big boy now; draw your own conclusions and “definitions”. …You always do, as evidenced by your voluminous postings of iron-clad assertions and ideological single-minded negations and nastiness. I can’t understand why you’d need or want any kind of validation or support for your “incontrovertibly correct views” from the likes of me. (Plus, hineshammer has got a perfectly good citation that you can “interpret” any way you like… as per usual.)

        • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

          Why the bitterness? I was just being humorous and insightful at the same time – or at least trying to be. Now we know that the next Dictator may be Black or Hispanic. You may have known that theoretically, but hated thinking about it. Now the wound has been lanced and it’s out in the open. That’s a win/win all around. I think we both owe hineshammer a debt of gratitude.

  23. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    “The cataclysmic changes you guys are forecasting probably will indeed come, but are probably 2-3 decades away, or maybe even 4-5 decades if more medium-hanging fruit from the dinosaur tree can be economically accessed.” -Isjogren


    Cataclysmic changes are presently underway, but I agree with you that drastic changes of any political sort will be resisted at all costs. World societies will (c)ollapse/condense into ever more “efficient” extractive systems. Climate catastrophe commands this… medium-hanging fruit ensures it. And the techno-cleverness of humans guarantees it.

    Forget economic calamity. Barring a hot war between Super Powers – nothing changes – socio-economic games can continue indefinitely, as has already been demonstrated trillions of times over, since the rules are constructed from thin air to begin with; but natural drivers will dictate our social choices in the long run. I think those factors will actually cause people to endorse rather than abandon corrupt systems going forward. What’s coming in the next 10 years alone is going to frighten people out of the return to the wilderness mythos. In fact, I think this will be the actual consequent of Doomerism, scaring people away from revolt, not toward it.

    Oh, and abandoned strip malls aren’t missed because they’ve been brought to the living room on an LED screen. Perhaps these sorts of transitions simply enable the system to keep going rather than taper off due to energy depletion.

  24. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    “How many will agree to oppress their fellows for their needs (food, shelter, clothing) provided by “benevolent” corn-pone militarists?” – Ozone


    Can’t we already assert that this level of oppression is already in operation on a blatantly large scale…? Take out the corn-pone and show me what’s different to what’s already in place but under shinier language. I see what people are saying though. What US imperial soldiers have been implementing in foreign lands for the last 70 years (how’s that new to human history?) might suddenly become overt here in the homeland – but – surprise? And if The Peeple* have by and large have tacitly endorsed the “benevolent oppression” of Third Worlders under the guise of Democracy, Capitalism, and Consumerism for all this time, why is it an “awakening” to know that it’s comin’ back home? why would people be suddenly scared?

    I do understand that some are expecting a repeat of history, but I’m only expecting an echo, a shiny new wrapper if you will. Most people are gonna “buy” whatever is coming. I don’t sense a revolt in any sense of the term. Thanks for lettin’ an idiot blather!

    • edpell April 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      IBM cancelled the pension plan and retirement medical coverage. This was a loss of $500,000 to $1,500,000 per employee. What fraction of the employees opened their mouths and said they disapproved? About 300 out of 300,000. So 1%. There will be no revolution in the U.S..

      If they are told half the population must be culled for the greater good they will just ask which train should I report to. There is a TV show called “100”. This was the theme of last nights show (honest, for real!). They are already being programmed.

      • lsjogren April 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

        They can’t reneg on previously earned pension benefits. It sounds like IBM must have done one of those transitions from defined beneit to defined contribution plan. That would mean pension benefits for work subsequent to the change would probably be not as good as those for work prior. There would not be any loss associated with that. The retiree medical benefits I am not familiar with, but I would have a hard time feeling too sorry for someone who will get Medicare benefits at 65 just like I will.

        Perhaps there was no revolution because people who get more than their fair share have little to complain about if a little of that excess gets trimmed.

        Now I expect a comment about all the obscene income that some corporate execs get. Well I agree that is wrong and would welcome viable reforms to deal with that too. But just because some people get way more than their fair share, doesn’t mean I am going to shed tears over those who get a little more than their fair share and then have that taken away from them.

    • ozone April 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      That’s no idiotic blather; I would contend that it’s the very crux of the matter, whether rhetorical or in-you-face applied.

      On “unsophisticated” leadership for an even MORE woefully unsophisticated populace. (…Or we could just go with “ignorance” and skip the fine distinctions):

      “Can’t we already assert that this level of oppression is already in operation on a blatantly large scale…? ” –UFIA

      Yeah, I s’pose we could! It’s just that you and some others are more aware of it than the vast majority.

      ” And if The Peeple* have by and large have tacitly endorsed the “benevolent oppression” of Third Worlders under the guise of Democracy, Capitalism, and Consumerism for all this time, why is it an “awakening” to know that it’s comin’ back home?” — UFIA

      Well, as I’m sure you’ve observed, The Peeple do not wish to look into the abyss for fear of what is dispassionately looking back. They prefer their delusions of god-blessed righteousness to what is really going through the septic pipe. They will cling to this delusion til true deprivation bites and will be stunned and amazed that all their cherished beliefs were nothing but a pack of lies that kept the extraction machine greased and going. Thus… Surprise! …it’s not anybody’s birthday.
      (We may well take the example of JHK’s warnings as validating this phenomena. Is he considered a Cassandra-type personage, or a respected pundit, oft seen on CNN and other mainstream outlets to help The Peeple understand the fix they’re in?)

      (I apologize for a lack of clarity; I try, but it’s not rare with me! 😉 )

      • dweebus April 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm #


        Sorry to insert myself in your conversation, but…

        “The Peeple do not wish to look into the abyss for fear of what is dispassionately looking back.”

        What a wonderful turn of the phrase. Yes, you are of course, correct.

        People, at all levels, individual, community, state, civilization, are afraid of the dark. We don’t want to look below, underneath the bed, in the closet, behind the curtain, into the void. We don’t want to ask, what is that cold thing that keeps us up at night, that wraps itself around our spine, that prickles our hair when the President and the News and the Economists and the Doctors say “Calm down, keep quiet, move along, there’s nothing here to see”.

        This culture has delusions of immortality. We are Icarus, sure that this time is different, our wax is Digital, and we will FLY!!

        We are afraid of the Ghost and the Darkness.

        So what do we see when we look into the abyss? What happens when we lift the sackcloth cowl and peer Below? We see bleached white bone and a pair of empty eye sockets staring back. Valar Morghulis, as they say.



  25. K-Dog April 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    “And a military machine that goes around the world wrecking one country after another to support a parasitical class of contractors, lobbyists, and bought-off politicians in their northern Virginia McMansions.”

    And if that’s all the machine did we could deal with it. The machine could be rained in. But behind the scenes Facebook is watched and the minute it stops being a narcissistic virtual playground and becomes a bulletin board for political revolution the hammer comes down. Then political revolution will go the same way protest over drones here and other places has gone. Gone away.

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    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Would you defend to the death my right to say what I believe? This is the definition of Classic Liberalism – real Liberalism. As you know, it’s very rare now. Liberalism has become something Different…..

      Which are you? Here’s the test: how do you feel about the IT Executive at Mozilla who was forced out because he made a contribution to a pro traditional marriage group? Do you admit that it was not only wrong, but an incredibly ominous sign of things to come?

      • K-Dog April 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

        I’ll defend your right to say what you believe. In your case defending it to death goes too far but that is only because you are you.

        • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

          That’s Ok. As long as you don’t join in to stone me I’ll consider myself ahead. Maybe you could just hold their cloaks. But what about Executive at Mozilla? If that’s not wrong, nothing is.

          • hineshammer April 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

            He was the CEO, not some exec., and I’m sure that if he’d been asked to resign for giving to the Southern Poverty Law Center or some such organization no one would hear a peep from you (if only).

          • Panic April 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

            You read how Kickstarter censored the ‘Gosnell Hell’ movie?
            Did you hear Rushes standin today?

          • K-Dog April 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

            I agree with you, Brendan Eich got screwed and his donation should have been nobodies business at Mozilla. I also agree with hineshammer and had he been asked to resign for giving to the Southern Poverty Law Center we would not hear a peep out of you.

      • lsjogren April 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

        progressivism is instinctively authoritarian. In many essential ways it is the antithesis of liberalism.

    • K-Dog April 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      The machine could be reined in.

  26. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Hey, anyone know what ever happened to Bustin’ J? Does he ever post here anymore? Likely not… his writing was unmistakable. I wish he would dip in again.

    • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

      We were thinking you’re Bustin J.

  27. edpell April 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    The executives of the Canadian tar sands companies are investing in molten salt nuclear reactors (MSRs). They will use them to make steam to extract 400 billion barrels of oil from the sand. If this works peak oil is pushed out 50 years and global warming is pulled in 40 years.

    unemployed Columbia University graduate since 2008

    • K-Dog April 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Soylent Green it will be.

    • Florida Power April 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      “Canadian oil sands now contribute around half of that country’s crude oil production and are expected to provide a growing share, but they are energy- and water-intensive to develop. In the case of pit mining, they can lead to extensive landscape alteration and large waste streams of toxic mining tailings.” (Worldwatch Institute)

      OK, maybe you get a net energy benefit despite the fact that nobody knows the financial costs of nuclear power (cf. Greer on the economic “flop” of the Fermian revolution, April 9 archdruid report), but who would want to live with the ecological catastrophe? Good Lord, as if the BP spill and Fukushima were not a wake-up call…

      • edpell April 21, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

        The pollution will be in rural Canada the rich will be in Manhattan, San Francisco, etc…. I think the rich say fuck the natives.

    • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      You mean you can’t find any kind of job?

    • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

      I hear they’re hiring big time in North Dakota, at the Bakken oil fields. Take yourself a welding course. Or just roughneck it, like my brother did. Don’t tell ’em you went to Columbia.


    • Panic April 22, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      Tell me more about yrself.
      AGW is an Al Gore lie.

  28. Warren April 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    “All that matters is that they can’t be depended on and when that happens authority loses legitimacy. And when it comes to that, all bets are off.”

    Authority has lost legitimacy, look no further than an administration that refuses to follow laws it does not like, such as in immigration, or changes them at will as in Obamacare but will spend millions to enforce BLM rules and collect a few thousand dollars in grazing fees, and protect tortoises, which is in reality all designed to drive ranchers off the land. Because the land is needed so Oligarch Sen Harry Reid his son and their partners in the Chinese Military can offset the impact of a solar farm. All legal because a federal judge that Harry Reid arranged for W to appoint said so.

    As for what comes next, think Yugoslavia 1000 times worse and lasting a lot longer,

    • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      We live in a time of well nigh almost universal failure at every level. Consider Glenn Beck: for years he has been teaching about the Conspiracy, filling the blackboard with names like Cloward-Piven and George Soros. All true. But when it came time to go up against one of his own, a fellow member of the Mormon Elite – he not only backed down but served him by castigating Patriots. As Thoreau said, there are 999 patrons of virtue for every virtuous man.

      • San Jose April 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

        Greetings from San Jose Mom.

        I’ve missed most of what’s been going on here for the past six months, but never the monthly eyesore picture.

        I have been serving on the board of directors of a local urban forestry organization, but frankly, it seems like an endless round of meetings, notes, and the president changing her mind about proposed plans. I’m thinking that if I want to push paper and deal with red tape, maybe I should get paid for such tasks?

        Trying to get tech companies on board with planting trees in the community, is like banging my head with a brick. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has billions of dollars, but last year, they gave half of the money outside the state. Maybe they should take “community” out of their name. Most of the tech companies are interested in promoting STEM education.

        I guess I’m getting old, but I’m beginning to think volunteering is more pain than it’s worth.


        • Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

          Keep the Faith, Jen, Keep the Faith. You have to lean in more if you want to feel the burn. Why not volunteer at a poor inner city Black school? That’ll purify ya!

          • San Jose April 21, 2014 at 6:25 pm #


            “Lean in!” Is there any woman more annoying than Sheryl Sandberg? Let me know if you can think of anyone.

            Years ago, I mentioned a friend’s daughter whose only job experience was being a nanny in posh homes during high school and college. She ended up graduating from Smith last June and signed up for two years with “Teach for America.” She’s just finishing her first year teaching math in some urban Indiana hellhole, where the students don’t give a hoot about academics. Let’s just say she isn’t a happy camper.

          • Panic April 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

            This is for the post below this, SJs post.. She’s just finishing her first year teaching math in some urban Indiana hellhole, where the students ..


            Indiana, yikes.

        • Warren April 21, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

          Jim’s writings from his blogs to books portend a world with less tech not more, others such as the Arch Druid eloquently and convincingly explain how without the energy resources, and a subsequent death of capital the economy will revert to a pre high tech world.

          We will be lucky to get back to the days of waterpower and steam mills, so much of the infrastructure and knowledge of the Steam Punk industrial era is lost, instead of wasting money on high tech STEM going for a Star Trek future the capital would be better used in rebuilding a STEAM not STEM 19th century industrial economy otherwise we will go from a high tech to a middle ages economy.

        • edpell April 21, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

          So what they really mean is worker training for increased corporate profit.

        • Panic April 22, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

          The dreaded Buffet and Gates went to India to ask the Indian billionaires to be more charitable.
          A joke. Since when have Bill and Warren ever done charity in the USA?
          Silicon valley, where 20? Chinese live in a house and the toilets are cardboard boxes in the closet.
          They paid a million cash for the house.
          My informant up yr way says ‘I know someone who has sold 4 or 5 houses already this year, costing 1-2.5 million each.

  29. FincaInTheMountains April 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    What happens in US now totally depends on what happens in Ukraine – will US be able to start a nice civil war, better with Russian participation, or they will not. If Ukraine falls into chaos and bloodshed, all bets are off and no collapse for another couple of years and we will see another president in the White house. If they won’t, I don’t see how they’ll be able to last for another 6 months.

    Personally I am totally dependent on dollar-centric system and collapse of it would be most likely an unsurvivable blow. But I have already made my decision and would be planning my personal financial flows as if I have only one year at most – basically investing everything into tangible food production, the process I have started 5 years ago.

    I started reading Russian internet 2 years ago, before I was looking mostly at the American sites. Oh boy was I surprised. That’s really two different civilizations. Absolutely different. Those guys are very determined, mostly intelligent, united around their President and totally and thoroughly pissed.

    World is going to change and much sooner than everybody expects.

  30. wayfarer April 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    My thought for the extent of ‘Magical Thinking’ in our country is that we have been and so rich, so powerful, for so long (relative to much of the world) that even the results of our ‘Magical Thinking’ do not yet resonate to a level high enough to cause enough pain to make us deal with reality. But it will.

    Of course I could be wrong but that would require a quickly implemented new energy source to replace carbon fuels and I don’t see where that would come from.

    Wish us luck on what ever path we take!

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  31. Janos Skorenzy April 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Note the studied indifference to the Bundy Ranch incident on the part of the Liberals here. One of the high chiefs of their Tribe is the persecutor. And the heroes are people they don’t want to know – people they write off with words like Nascar, Tea Bagger, or Cheese Doodles. Someday may you all be blessed/cursed to realize the truth that you contributed to the death of America with your endless insults of ordinary rural Americans.

    • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      Yeah, the people who backed OWSers, and OWSers themselves, don’t back Rancher Bundy. OWSers like Big Government, in fact want Big Government to pay off (or forgive) their student loans.


  32. rapier April 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    The widespread deteriorating condition of most American cities and towns and spaces in between that has been going on since the mid 70’s is in the nature of America itself. That is, what does not inflate, deflates. What does not grow, shrinks, and is slowly abandoned. The people either moving on to get some piece of ‘growth’ elsewhere or instead staying put and mostly accepting ‘their place’, (conservatism), with varying degrees of resentment. That resentment aimed at ‘the other’.

    Formerly in America the other included the financiers and bankers but the greatest PR campaign in history has pretty much eliminated that. If for no other reason than teaching people, even if they don’t consciously know it, that bankers are the font of the sacred inflation everyone dreams of. The American dream is owing an asset that inflates wildly. Even the denizens of a semi abandoned tiny Plains town with a consolidated school district still holds out a tiny hope for that I suspect.

    Point being? Well I’m not sure exactly but maybe want to see what the trolls think of all this. (I they are being paid for it, possible, it’s the worst make work welfare program of all time judging it by the quality)

    • BackRowHeckler April 22, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

      What bankers? I went to high school with the president of the local bank, has main office and branches in 3 surrounding towns. He’s a pretty good guy, doesn’t live the high life, has middle class house in fact lives a middle class life.

      Fostering class hatred within a society is not a good thing and the consequences, as we have seen, can be dire. Lenin began agitating against wealthier Russians in 1917; by 1939 30 million of them had been shot or otherwise murdered. Is this what you want?


  33. michigan_native April 21, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    JHK. Do you really think the sheeple here are going to wake up within 2 years and actually use the “political process” to try and change things? Do you think there will actually be an election in 2016?

    Look at how much the typical American has had their face rubbed in shit already. Their children’s futures gone. Their retirement, gone. Their standard of living, reduced to anything short of slavery. Their discretionary income, declining and soon to become extinct. Yet so many are in denial. Even many of those who sense that there is an impending collapse think that there is endless oil and resources, it’s just that the “Illuminati” are hoarding it from us to control and enslave us. Long after the ship USS Endless Growth and the USS Endless Oil have sank, they will be drowning and succumbing to hypothermia as the blame this or that group.

    The DHS and NSA and no doubt others seem to have made contingency plans in place when people try to actually make a difference through voting or passive or aggressive resistance in the form of billions of rounds of hollow point bullets, “FEMA” and other hidden slave labor/torture camps, tens of thousands of mine resistant armored vehicles, unmanned drones that can target people. An internet and cell phone kill switch. These are not some ideas out of 1984 or Brave New World, these are modern day realities. The very same facebook that the NSA uses to spy on all of us a bulletin board for rebellion? If it starts to work, it will will censored, shut down, and trouble makers tracked down for a one way ride to Gitmo, Diego Garcia or subjected to a new mode of behavior modification called curbside justice (where the 2 billion hollow points will become useful to them)

    The ideal is that we should all stand up and fight tooth and nail. The reality, I suspect, will be something quite different. To me, it is clear the US government is not going to go down quietly and allow the various regions to secede, like the former USSR. For similar reasons, the US is making it harder and more expensive for people to expatriate. They don’t want their tax slaves escaping

    • K-Dog April 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      The very same facebook that the NSA uses to spy on all of us a bulletin board for rebellion?

      Thats the one!

  34. edpell April 21, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Canadian David LeBlanc is developing the Integral Molten Salt Reactor, or IMSR. The goal is to commercialize the Terrestrial reactor by 2021.

    Molten Salt and Oilsands
    * Using nuclear produced steam for Oil Sands production long studied
    * Vast majority of oil only accessible by In-Situ methods
    * No turbine island needed so 30% to 40% the capital cost saved (instead of steam to turbine for electricity just send it underground to produce oil from oilsands)
    * Oil sands producers expected to pay 200 Billion$ on carbon taxes over the next 35 years, funds mandated to be spent on cleantech initiatives
    * Canada Oil Sands in ground reserves of 2 trillion barrels, current estimate 10% recoverable (likely much higher with cheaper steam)
    * 64 GWth nuclear to add 6.4 million bbls/day (200B$/year revenue)
    * 64 GWth needed as about 200 small 300MWth MSRs
    * Oil Sands a bridge to MSRs then with time, MSRs a bridge to not needing oil

    So each 300 MW thermal MSR would generate $1 billion per year in oil revenue from the oilsands.
    A 300 MW thermal reactor would be the same as a 100 MW electrical reactor. Even if costs were as much proportionally as a $10 billion 1 GWe conventional nuclear reactor (the high costs of the most expensive european or US projects.) the $1 billion cost would be recovered in about 2-4 years. Also, they indicated that there is no turbine to produce electricity since only steam is used. So the costs should be $700 million max.


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    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      interesting piece, Ed. Will dig in and see how it hammers out. thanks!

    • BackRowHeckler April 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

      Sounds like you won’t have to start out as a roughneck or welder. They’ll make you president of whole goddam company with that kind of technical knowledge.

      • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

        That was a copy and paste job, brh. Thought ed was the author did ya.

      • edpell April 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

        I am applying to work for the Canadian company doing the MSR. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

        • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject April 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

          There’s no reason not to wish you luck. What’s your take overall take, tho? Seems to me the extraction game will continue thanks to techno-wizardry, but your mention of climate impact leads me to think you suspect that eviro-ruin is inevitable either way?

          I think this. I think it’s the grand tragedy of them all, and our fascination with fleeting human intellect makes the continuance of some form of industrial civilization certain. Of course that Black Swan disaster which no one can call looms around every corner now. Many think we’re locked into this sad dichotomy as downsizing right now surely brings forth a great culling sooner rather than later, which few have the balls to face down. So push on we will. There are no revolutionaries visiting CFN, so its amusing to see calls for it.

          Nope, we’ll sit in place hoping to avoid collapse and succeed at complete and utter failure as the dominate hominid species of the rein, leaving a scorched surface of crumbling buildings, forcing ourselves underground during the coming bottleneck event.

          65 million years from now sentient cockroaches named Janos will discover underground bunkers filled with Amer-Nazi memorabilia and the whole thing will begin again. Cosmic Irony.

          • Janos Skorenzy April 22, 2014 at 5:43 am #

            Still can’t let the hatred go. Just like Ozone. Your Tribe has done its share to split America into a million pieces. Your hatred of Conservative Whites has empowered the Harry Reids and Obamas to steal their lands. And has lead them to now to begin to take up arms. You can’t deal with your guilt so you project it onto me. How utterly weak and sinful.

    • Florida Power April 21, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      Ed — The USA had developed a working prototype I believe in the 50’s/60’s but since no by-products to be made into weapons not a lot of interest. This year the Chinese announced a project with a 25 year (?) target date for commercial power production. What do the Canadians know that the Chinese don’t? Seems to me a lot of the applied research is there already, and the point regarding finite, definable cost for steam only is well-taken since no turbine, transmission system, etc. (I had some involvement with an abandoned fission/conventional nuclear project that could not be quantified.)

      But “Oil sands producers expected to pay 200 Billion$ on carbon taxes over the next 35 years, funds mandated to be spent on cleantech initiatives” does not give a warm fuzzy on the ecological effects of oil-from-tar-sands.

      However, there’s a lot of buzz about small modular for electrical power and using thorium fuel maybe Greer’s long decline may not be so uncomfortable. It could be the exception to the Fermian economic flop — assuming sufficient capital is left in the West.

  35. selaretus April 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    It’s quite simple really. The ‘99%’ would much rather hear comforting lies than uncomfortable truth. Politicians are only too happy to supply the former, particulary if it results in a continuation of big salaries, unimaginable public funded benefit packages and ultimately, re-election. Reality has different plans. As it has been said, things run until they can’t and then they don’t.

  36. Arn Varnold April 21, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    Chris Hedges calls it inverted totalitarianism;
    “If I walk backwards and upside down on my hands,
    Will the world be set aright…” V.A.

  37. MikeMoskos April 22, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    Our future is Cuba of the present. There will be a 1-5 period of not so nice adjustment and then everything will be localized. Small is indeed beautiful and I suspect the future will be good, if entirely different.

    I gave up my car 5 years in Miami, a city where even the New Urbanists claim it can’t be done. You see the city in an entirely different way. It is decrepit in the micro environment, the poor land maintenance evidence of people not being afford both multiple cars and maintenance. Guess which won?

    In so many ways, I think the car–while it gives an immense amount of freedom, choice, and travel time reductions–is our most destructive invention simply because it allowed everything to get too large, far beyond the scale at which people feel comfortable. Cuba today has few cars and people are happier. Thus will be our future.

    My strongest advice is to begin to improve any soil you have access to–bury your kitchen scraps to feed the worms and compost everything else. That soil could be your most valuable asset.

  38. liquid lennny April 22, 2014 at 3:31 am #


    Once again you pretty much summed it all up, but how did this national psychosis become endemic? Somewhere in the not to recent past when the marketing of the accumulation of wealth along with the obsession of pseudo-culture that accompanies it took root and it became the only thing that mattered. Today all that keeps this place from unraveling completely is the belief in the grand illusion, ’cause if USA is #1 then the rest of the world is certainly a bunch of pathetic losers and needs us and our “free-dumb”.

    On another note, it was sad to hear of Michael C. Ruppert’s demise, it was by watching his Collapse movie that I fell through the rabbit’s hole and it caused me question society’s familiar paradigm. Soon I had found your voice and many other’s which seek to bring an awareness to the prospect of an untenable future.

    As I attempt to prepare my son to this “his” future I tell him that his generation should expect a world vastly different from the one we currently inhabit and that they will need to exhibit resolve and character. He responds by telling me that daily half his high school are zoned out on illegal drugs, another 25% are legally medicated and about 20% don’t really give a shit ’bout much of anything or are simply dumber than a box of rocks.

    Oh well, so much for the fourth-turning generation thing playing out in our favor.

    It would seem our humanity is about to be tested and I for one am not really looking forward to reading the test results. In the meantime get that garden prepared, go find a nice trail to hike…and remember to enjoy the show!

  39. Chikot April 22, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    (And what if that revolution is a kind that doesn’t appeal to you — say, a revolution of race hatred, or fascist zealotry, or Marxist gangsterism of the type that took Russia hostage for 70 years?)

    I have to disagree on Marxist part with Jim.
    Lenin and his team were not Marxists per se but merely called themselves Marxists. Marx always stated that only capitalistic countries at the highest level of Capitalism development can move towards socialism. While Russia and China were semi feudal societies with 80+ % of population being peasants.
    Currents trends in Capitalism ar enot only results of peak energy but the fact that Capitalism is pregnant with something else. No socio economic system lasts forerver and Capitalism will give way to something else. It might be socialism but might be something else.

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    • Panic April 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      While Russia and China were semi feudal societies with 80+ % of population being peasants.

      Duh..in 1880 what were other countries like?

    • Janos Skorenzy April 22, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

      Marxism is toxic. Some kind of American National Socialism might work well though – for real Americans.

  40. Panic April 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Will Wendy Davis go to jail?


  41. Panic April 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Do you know it is Earth Week?

    I walked by a plastic tape that declared ‘No Waste Zone’…..made out of plastic.

    • Florida Power April 23, 2014 at 9:04 am #

      That’s as funny as the “Hecho en China” label on stuff sold in the USA.

  42. Pucker April 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    According to Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States”, Lincoln was basically a segregationist. They seemed to have skipped this part in the recent movie “Lincoln”.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

      Yes! He wanted Blacks sent back to Africa or Central America. The Truth is indigestible for those with Liberal appetites.

  43. Pucker April 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Apparently, a Collapse blogger recently killed himself, presumably because he was so depressed about…well….Collapse….

    One shouldn’t take “Things” too seriously. I’m now in the US, and…yeah…all of these people engaging in terribly wasteful lifestyles, gorging themselves on precious fossil fuels on largely vain, useless consumer lifestyles is rather depressing….

    But..what can you do? As best I can tell 80% – 90% of the US population is too vain and too stupid to get its shit together, as they say.

    In my view, it makes sense to have a healthy sense-of-humour. I believe that God has a sense-of-humour. I mean: Look at these people!

  44. 99 cent nation April 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    JK right on again. Always on and yet nothing ever fucking happens. Did you know that we all will be reading about the “something should be done about this” for at least a few more to come. Death is not the enemy of life. Indifference is.

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  45. Karah April 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    world war turned into global terrorism
    computers turned into pda’s
    mom and pop downtowns turned into gentrified playgrounds for the oligarchs
    a black kid from hawaii turned into the president of the usa
    model t fords turned into suburban gas guzzlers
    couple thousand dollar college tuitions turned into 40-60 grand loans
    doctors visits to your home turned into four star surgically sterile hotels
    farm slavery turned into debt slavery

  46. BackRowHeckler April 23, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    ‘Burning Man’, I thought it was cool. I’ve seen it praised on this site, as something worthy, eclectic, cutting edge. But now i see Burning Man organizers plan to stage an event out in Nevada, right next to the Bundy Ranch, not to support this elderly rancher, no, but to mock him, back BLM police, and possibly shut Bundy down as a terrorist and deadbeat. What happened? I know the organizers are out of San Francisco. Is it yet another Big Lefty Organization, Obama asskissers, not the iconoclasts we thought them to be?


  47. Pucker April 23, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Why is it that the Americans have chosen a delusional, sanitized interpretation of Lincoln as depicted in such movies as “Lincoln” and “Lincoln the Vampire Hunter”? It’s a bit like Chinese views of Chairman Mao.

  48. Pucker April 23, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    Many people in Communist or Fascist national power centrally-planned societies seem to idolize and fantasize about American consumerism and generalized idiocy. Meanwhile the closet Communists and Fascists in the US wring their hands at American idiocy. I guess that the useless mouths will eventually be culled by a strong Will like a Lincoln?

  49. capt spaulding April 23, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Just read in the New York Times that America no longer has the richest middle class. Apparently that honor goes to the Canadians, who have caught up & passed us in the matter of wage increases. In the meantime, The wealthy are doing great, the stock market has never done better. My neighbor’s daughter is working three part time jobs for around 60 hours a week, no benefits, no nothing. What’s happened to this country is a dirty shame.

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    • Being There April 24, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      Very simple, Captin.

      During Nixon’s administration Milton Friedman of the Chicago school of Business commandeered the economic part of the Pinochet coup in Chile.

      The economic model is one of disruption and the implementation of privatizing the public commons for pennies on the dollar for those who can take over the services once offered by government. The idea is that the people who once received these services for free after paying taxes (which all countries collect) will now be paying for those same services through the nose.

      This model is called Disaster Capitalism or the Shock Doctrine.
      The country needs something big to happen (9/11, 1987 blue Tues) to throw the population off, so they don’t resist something they would never vote for.

      Otherwise known as Neoliberalism referring to free and unfettered markets for the masters of the means of production. Aping neo-classical model of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” of the Mahhhket, but ignoring that he recommended a protective tariff to protect the workers in a given nation-state.

      OK so MF also told Nixon to go off the gold standard and move to a fiat petro dollar. This would set the stage for globalism and arcane money schemes such as CDO’s etc. The idea being that now a certain class of bankers could insure their profits in ways that couldn’t be easily regulated.

      Now that we’re global, the idea of nation state is an anachronism, so there’s no atmosphere to keep money in the state. There’s also an ideology against taxation, so the rich who once paid 90% in Eisenhower’s years are now paying less than the average worker while their profits went from 40% higher than their average worker to nearly 400%.

      Each successive PODUS both right and left have been moving the world closer to this perilous condition through global trade deals, the smashing of glass steagall and other means of serving the banks and making them the biggest client of the govt. The protective govt. agencies have been told to enable the graft. At the same time, because of global competition we stopped following the Sherman anti trust act and now have giant transnational corps who hate competition.

      We are now told more about high frequency trading, sovereign wealth funds and other schemes that insure a guaranteed profit. This is not Capitalism! Anyone who pretends this is a capitalist economy is lying through their teeth–prob for money. I call it inverted global Trotskyism. Fascism to you and I stuck here in a glorified trade zone for the corporations and banks.

      Our electoral system is a sham–way too long with private interest money distorting the whole purpose of the election.

      That, my friend is why we are losing our middle class, democracy and economic model to bring capital to those who want to bring good things to market in a fair environment.

      Any other questions?

      • capt spaulding April 24, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

        I have read Shock Doctrine. Naomi Klein is one smart woman.

  50. volodya April 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Authority loses its legitimacy when it’s seen as deliberately working against people’s interests.

    So how much do we want to read into the Bundy ranch confrontation? I mean, a whole bunch of guys showed up itching for a fight.

    Grazing fees? The particulars of the case don’t matter much do they?

    How many federal agents see grazing rights as a cause they’re willing to fight and die for? What about Bundy’s defenders? They say there’s a thousand of them from various states, some of them militia-men, some of them saying they’ll take up arms against the Federal government. Maybe it’s just big talk. But what if it isn’t?

    Harry Reid calls them “terrorists”. Dean Heller calls them “patriots”. I think that grazing fees are beside the point for most of the people there. I say it’s about governing oligarchs that will ruin your life without thinking twice.

    I think the people at Bundy’s place are there to vent discontent. There’s a lot of hard-luck stories out there. Millions of them. Not that they have anything to do with “luck” in the sense of impersonal natural forces doing what nature does.

    Like when your job goes to India or China and the CEO pockets a multimillion dollar bonus. Nope, nothing to do with “luck”. Everything to do with the oligarchy impoverishing you and your neighbors for the oligarchy’s benefit. And, when this happens millions of times over, even the intellectually dense and deliberately blind can’t fail to see a pattern.

    I think it was Moyers that said recently that it’s really repugnant when the emissaries of the rich say that people don’t really care about societal disparities in wealth. They sure as hell care. Banksters buy yachts while you go to a food-bank.

    Do you look down on food-bank users? Don’t. It’s just that the vampire squid racketeers of Wall Street haven’t turned their attention to you yet. But, when they do, they will suck you dry. And it will all be “legal”. Down on your “luck” brother?

    • Janos Skorenzy April 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      People who were there all say that the Patriots were dead serious. Remember they advanced when told to disperse and threatened with being fired upon. The protestors were in plain clothes as per the request of Mr Bundy – but many of them were ex-military or even special forces. These guys can recognize each other. The Feds knew that they would face return fire once they fired.

      Do you see the larger picture? There now is coming into existence a force that will contend with the Feds every time they surround and seek to terrorize dissident families. There will be no more unanswered Wacos or Ruby Ridges. Now check inside and see how that makes you feel. Are we to be less than the heroic Afghanis? Defeated many times but yet unbowed? Occupied yet never conquered? It all depends on how you feel about the Nation – can you distinguish it from the State?

  51. K-Dog April 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    “Hence, the laughable conceit pinging through the news media lately that some dynastic grifter like Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton will slide into the White House in 2016 as easily as a watermelon seed popped into a shot glass.”

    You may not think this can’t happen but America likes dynastic grifters. And after Obama the appeal of dynastic grifters will be enhanced as everybody’s ‘friend’ turned out absolutely not to be.

    Nothing is easier pushed over the mainstream media than a well known dynastic grifter. Just repeat the name enough and the named celebrity gets elected. Easy peasy. Then ask anyone who voted for the grifter and they will say they made an informed decision, and they will be believing their own fiction.


    On another topic. Why do my comments all say:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’m not doing this. Who is, and why only me?


    It is like when somebody throws a ball and you start running but then find the ball was never thrown and somebody is making fun of you.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      You are not alone. Never alone! We are all ONE. Exceptions? None!
      Buy a bottle of Dr Bronner’s soap for more of this pop Vedanta. Read it while taking a bath. You might find yourself cleaned on a deeper level.

      Since we are all One, millions of Hindoos have the right to come here and take our jobs. But not vice versa, apparently. Why is that if we’re all One and shit? Apparently some people are more One than others…

      • lsjogren April 28, 2014 at 9:46 am #

        Hey Janos, be careful what you ask for, the third world might take you up on that.

        It wouldn’t be any skin off their nose to allow open borders to westerners. After all, how many citizens of a middle class western welfare state would be interested in taking a Dickensian job paying starvation wages in a third world country?

  52. dweebus April 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    To the (American?) Right Sector that is frothing at the mouth over the oppression of homophobic CEOs and self-entitled ranchers,

    On Mr. Eich and the Firefox Affair:

    The hardcore proponents of the Firefox browser (open-source programmers, leftists, libertarians, hacktivists, Anons, and other unsavory types) are rather a freewheeling and anarchic bunch. They see the web as essentially a Commons. So ideas like inclusiveness, are paramount.

    Eich’s $1000 dollar donation to Prop 8, was, by its nature, an exclusionary act. He spent money to deny rights to the Other. This is what blew up the web and threatened Mozilla’s support base, Faced with an ever-expanding firestorm amongst its customer base, a wildfire that threatened to jump the PR firebreaks. the Board reacted the only way they could, they fired him. Eich should have adhered to that mantra of the free-market: know your customer.

    On Bundy and the BLM:

    And exactly how many of the fools that are screaming for vengeance on behalf of this Nevadan Boob have actually been exposed to, or known, working cowboys? Most ranchers are down to earth types. Stand-up Joes, if you will. Live and let live. My Grandad ran sheep and cattle and raised potatoes in the San Luis Valley. My wife’s grandfather had a working ranch in Converse county, WY, and her cousin still runs several thousand head of cattle outside of Lisk. Her Dad was a Hatter, and her Uncle worked for Game and Fish.

    BLM land is the last vestige of a true Commons in the US. Yes, ranchers can graze cattle or sheep on it. And any US citizen can access it, for free. But if you wanna TAKE from the Commons, there is a fee. I have hunted, fished, camped, and gathered firewood on BLM land. I have as much right to be there as the rancher, and I have never had an issue with them.

    There are just a couple of rules. Clean up after yourself, pack it in pack it out. Close the livestock gate behind you. Drive slow in open range. Be nice! Pay your fees.

    That last is critical. The grazing fees, hunting licences, firewood fees, pay for road clearance, upkeep, habitat maintenance, and on, and on.

    Bundy did not owe a few thousand dollars. He owes one million. First of all, as BLM grazing fees per AUM (animal unit month) are significantly below market value, the taxpayer is subsidizing him, which one would think would piss off the free-market types. Secondly, the BLM tried to work with him for ten years, but he rebuffed all offers of compromise. Surprise, surprise, Uncle Sam will get his…

    Finally, whilst most ranchers are cowboys are deeply connected to the land, a capitalist system of managing the Commons is innately consumptive. They (e.g.- agribusiness/shale interests/timber companies) will stop at nothing until the Commons is converted into product that can be sold for a profit. They WILL kill the living planet, nothing less.



    • Janos Skorenzy April 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      Bundy has a few hundred head of cattle. Harry and Rory Reid and their Chinese Buddies are the Capitalist monsters here. Bundy paid the fees until they stopped cashing his checks. They have driven his neighbors off already. He is the last hold out.

      • dweebus April 28, 2014 at 3:18 am #

        Oh, good ole’ Harry woulda been well advised to shut him mouth on the issue. One of the things about grazing cattle on public land is that you have to abide by the grazing rules the BLM sets. For example, if the riparian areas in your allotment are degraded, they may restrict you from grazing there. This is to protect the habitat for fish and other wildlife, which of course benefits the non-human residents of the stream. It also benefits anglers, like me, who have as much right to use the stream as a rancher. Remember, it is a Commons. Poor ole’ Bundy didnt wanna abide by the restrictions regarding tortoises, but he still wanted to graze his cattle for free. Sorry, it don’t work thataway. BTW, exactly how many brandings have you been to? Since you seem to be an expert in the cattle biz, I was just wondering…

    • Janos Skorenzy April 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      How did “they” even know about the contribution? Someone keeps track of these things so people can be punished? How is that in keeping with your supposed ethos of freedom?

      When Homos move onto legalizing pedophilia, will you still be on board? And what about Christians who wont bend? Are you down with Ayers Plan of killing about 25 million Americans? Anarchists march with Communists, so I imagine you are. Mass Murder is Freedom, right? Weapons of Peace!

      Anarchists should by Ayn Rand devotees and be marching with Libertarians. That they don’t but do the opposite shows their real nature – which is one of savagery and love of tyranny as long as they are terrorizers.

      • dweebus April 28, 2014 at 3:33 am #

        How did “they” know? We live in the internet age. If you are a public person, and you choose to enter the fray, expect to be called out on it.

        Ayn Rand’s philosophy is built on bitter selfishness, which has nothing to do with anarchism. Try reading a little Kropotkin instead.

        As to the nonsense of legalizing pedophilia, this is an argument ad baculum, and so is the rest of your rant. Homos are scary cause they are pedophiles, anarchists are commies and they’re gonna kill everyone. Bollocks!

        Of course, one could point out that rule through and argument by fear is the coin of the fascist realm…

  53. Being There April 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    One of the most cogent discussions on our coup in the Ukraine was written by Pepe Escobar in his article Ukraine and the Grand Chessboard.–of course referring to Obama’s mentor, Zbig….


    Yes, Virginia, it is all about the pipelines…

    ….[Once again, for all the hysteria propagated by the US Ministry of Truth and its franchises across the Western corporate media, the Kremlin does not need to “invade” anything. If Gazprom does not get paid all it needs to do is to shut down the Ukrainian stretch of Pipelineistan. Kiev will then have no option but to use part of the gas supply destined for some EU countries]….

    He explains that China wants to open a “silk road” that extends to Germany, while all this hullabalo was raging. Next month Putin will visit China to sign an energy deal. He also points out that we cannot provide Europe with our gas and even if it were possible it would take ten years and in fact, Iran could have provided an alternative. As we know there are factions in DC that are being sabotaged.—always brilliant, aren’t they.

    ….[In a sane, non-Hobbesian environment, a neutral Ukraine would only have to gain by positioning itself as a privileged crossroads between the EU and the proposed Eurasian Union – as well as becoming a key node of the Chinese New Silk Road offensive. Instead, the Kiev regime changers are betting on acceptance into the EU (it simply won’t happen) and becoming a NATO forward base (the key Pentagon aim)]…

    ……..[The Obama administration may – and “may” is the operative word here – have realized the US government has lost the battle to control Pipelineistan from Asia to Europe, despite all the efforts of the Dick Cheney regime. What energy experts call the Asian Energy Security Grid is progressively evolving – as well as its myriad links to Europe.]

    The BRICS are working out alternatives to the WTO and IMF and what lies in the balance is the petrodollar vs. a basket of currencies in an international system with a currency reserve pool.

    I’m just skimming this, it’s really worth a read.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      Will you go to the Gazprom with me? I’ll wear my bow tie – a symbol of infinity – if you’ll wear your gown of many colors. Such a cosmic gown, subliminally indicative of multiculturalism, will be an apt cover for my sins (virtues). Remember, when Saruman donned Jospeh’s robe, Gandalf chastised him saying that it was no longer White, and He no longer pure.

  54. BackRowHeckler April 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    Here’s a puzzler

    Crude inventories are at an all time high almost 400 million barrels

    Price of a barrel of WTI crude still over $100.

    Demand is down to 18.5 m/bpd, from a high of 21.5 m/bpd a few years ago.

    So the laws of supply and demand as a price setter no longer is in play, or so it would seem.


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  55. ozone April 24, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Regardless of the motivations of our “best minds”, I guess they’ve decided that bamboozling and corralling the public consciousness into a fantasy land of eternal abundance is the best way forward. (For them, at any rate, it protects their wealth and poobah positions.)

    JMGreer [unsuccessfully] tries to awaken the sound sleeper with a sharp, pointy stick:

    “… It’s not just that American politicians and pundits are insisting at the top of their lungs that the United States can threaten Russia with natural gas surpluses that don’t exist, though that’s admittedly a very bad sign all by itself. It’s that this orgy of self-congratulatory nonsense appears in the news right next to reports that oil and gas companies are slashing their investments in the fracking technology and shale leases that were supposed to produce those imaginary surpluses, having lost a great deal of money pursuing the shale oil mirage, while Russia and Iran pursue a trade deal that will make US sanctions against Iran all but irrelevant, and China is quietly making arrangements to conduct its trade with Europe in yuan rather than dollars. Strong nations in control of their own destinies, it’s fair to note, don’t respond to challenges on this scale by plunging their heads quite so enthusiastically into the sands of self-deception.

    (**Sidebar: Or perhaps, plunging their heads so far up their backsides that they become permanently lodged there! Cranio-cloacal impaction. To continue…)

    To shift temporal metaphors a bit, the long day of national delusion that dawned back in 1980, when Ronald Reagan famously and fatuously proclaimed “it’s morning in America,” is drawing on rapidly toward dusk, and most Americans are hopelessly unprepared for the coming of night. They’re unprepared in practical terms, that is, for an era in which the five per cent of us who live in the United States will no longer dispose of a quarter of the world’s energy supply and a third of its raw materials and industrial products, and in which what currently counts as a normal American lifestyle will soon be no more than a fading memory for the vast majority. They’re just as unprepared, though, for the psychological and emotional costs of that shattering transformation—not least because the change isn’t being imposed on them at random by an indifferent universe, but comes as the inevitable consequence of their own collective choices in decades not that long past.

    The hard fact that most people in this country are trying not to remember is this: in the years right after Reagan’s election, a vast number of Americans enthusiastically turned their backs on the promising steps toward sustainability that had been taken in the previous decade, abandoned the ideals they’d been praising to the skies up to that time, and cashed in their grandchildrens’ future so that they didn’t have to give up the extravagance and waste that defined their familiar and comfortable lifestyles. As a direct result, the nonrenewable resources that might have supported the transition to a sustainable future went instead to fuel one last orgy of wretched excess. Now, though, the party is over, the bill is due, and the consequences of that disastrous decision have become a massive though almost wholly unmentionable factor in our nation’s culture and collective psychology.” — JMG

    This mindset insures a fuel-starved, stranded truckload of pain and suffering (and that fun little knock-on effect called death).
    Good luck as the smartest guys in the room try to rev up WW3 by dint of a “manageable” civil war in Ukraine. It’s good for business, but I’m not too sure the freedom-and-democracy bandwagon bamboozling in this direction is going to take this time around. What say you, members of the military establishment? How deep does your indoctrination go… or is it now just a “job” and you must do as the boss says or lose your lifestyle and that new automobile? I just want to know how far this propping up of a dream-scape is going to be prosecuted before reality atomizes it.

    • ozone April 24, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      Well, Sink me! I had thought the comment quite moderate (though perhaps a mite too long).
      So, a simple link within the land of the germane might do:


      • Janos Skorenzy April 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

        And when you read the Druid’s report on Fascism, it all felt strangely familiar didn’t it? Then you realized it was because you had already learned much of it from me. You were enraged to realize that you were wrong: that far from being evil, Fascism was just another word for the practice of Nationalism. It had been demonized by the Corporations and their political lackeys so they could destroy all Nations that resisted them. And your and your entire cohort had bought into it. You’ve been one of the rubes, Zone. You don’t have to continue to be one though. But you do have to admit I was right and you were wrong.

        The Druid is a competent scholar and gets it right. He gets confused when it comes to application though. Since he doesn’t understand the organic nature of the real Nation, he can’t distinguish the Nation from the mere State, or discern between viable and organic Nations and bogus, artificial ones. Thus he raves about a future Hispanic/Asian Nation on the West Coast and laments he wont be there to see it. As if he would have any place there. And as if these two groups, with their radically differing cultures, have any common ground that would enable them to join together. The moral: objectivity has its limits. Join or be an outsider. And outsider criticism has only partial value and is always wrong past a certain point.

    • BackRowHeckler April 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      For Gods Sake Oz, we ‘turned our back on sustainability’ in the 80?. I dare say, from what I’ve heard, the only sustainability you or I worried about in the 80s was whether or not the Fireplace and the Old Town could sustain their beer supply. If for some reason the trucks weren’t running from Hartford with kegs and cases for more than a day or two, now that was a Long Emergency.


    • BackRowHeckler April 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

      For Gods Sake OzP, we ‘turned our back on sustainability’ in the 80?. I dare say, from what I’ve heard, the only sustainability you or I worried about in the 80s was whether or not the Fireplace and the Old Town could sustain their beer supply. If for some reason the trucks weren’t running from Hartford with kegs and cases for more than a day or two, now that was a Long Emergency.


      • BackRowHeckler April 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

        Oops sorry for the double post folks

      • ozone April 25, 2014 at 8:03 am #

        Ah….even then I was able to connect the dots of what Reagan-the-Empty and his regime were up to, and so could you, I’m sure. Fun is fun, but rape of the planet for profit and control is quite another. You must have had your suspicions about where this would all lead.

        What I need for beer continuation is a grain supply and sugars thereby. Theory and practice already engaged successfully! Certain skills are more valued than others… plus, good water don’t hurt.
        (Before you ask…. I don’t think so, unless you can furnish ingredients that I can’t scrounge myself. ;-))

  56. FincaInTheMountains April 24, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Lawmakers Seek to Strip Central Bank of Independence


    A group of Duma deputies is seeking to deprive the Central Bank of its interest rate setting powers, saying that it was set up as a tool of the U.S. government, in a move that has provoked hilarity and incredulity among experts.

    Transferring the ability to determine interest rates to the government will “enliven the Russian economy and create new jobs,” said United Russia Deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov, who is also a member of the Duma’s Budget and Tax Committee.

    The regulator’s main refinancing rate has been at 8 percent throughout 2012, but 1 percent would be a more appropriate figure and make it competitive with European banks, Fyodorov said.

    Fyodorov told Rossiiskaya Gazeta Wednesday that the Central Bank, established in the early 1990s, was “set up from the very first to realize the goals of the United States.”

    “Every ruble placed on the market by the Central Bank automatically supplements the American budget,” Fyodorov said.

  57. FincaInTheMountains April 24, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    I would be most interested to run a poll with one single question:

    “If you knew that a civil war in Ukraine (Syria style or Lybia style, with US-enforced no-fly zone) with support of US State Department and CIA would guarantee 25% increase in your personal stock portfolio and 15% increase in you home equity by the end of the year, would you support any necessary actions by US to start such a war?”

    In my opinion 65 to 75 % of all respondents would answer “YES”. (I mean the one who still have stock portfolio and house).

  58. volodya April 24, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    I think there might be technical glitches with the comments section.

  59. contrahend April 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    five per cent of us who live in the United States will no longer dispose of a quarter of the world’s energy supply

    what’s wrong with that, if the energy is used to create something? yeah i know there`s waste. there`s also a shyteload of stuff produced for it, both intellectually as well as physically.

    this is a particularly dumb old saying


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  60. BackRowHeckler April 24, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    There are some hellacious massacres going on this week in Syria and in South Sudan, where bodies are piling up by the truckload. Not that we can do anything about it. But its interesting some stories like the lost airliner and the sunken ferry we get hammered with, and other stories are buried or ignored.


    • Being There April 25, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      Yes, BRH

      Like 3 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The VA pocketing money instead of administering to sick vets in Calif.

      Is anyone talking about that?

      On to the next war!

      • BackRowHeckler April 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

        BT are you talking about the 3 doctors shot several days ago? They were not military but part of some Christian group out of Penn, doing Gods work … shot by an Afghan who was supposed to be guarding them.

        As far as the ‘next war’ goes we are indeed sending troops to eastern Europe and more naval assets to the Black Sea. It does look tenuous and it won’t take much to spark some sort of conflaguration.

  61. Pucker April 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Don’t you think that it’s rather bizarre that Hollywood made the movie “Lincoln” and a movie called “Lincoln : Vampire Hunter” the producer of which refers to it as “History”? The people do not seem rooted in Reality? This is potentially dangerous as it suggests some kind of mass psychosis? A crazy leader could get the Mob to do all kinds of “Crazy Shit”.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 24, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

      Racists are Vampyres in this Brave New World. Crazy shite? Let’s just say I know who duked the nuke.

  62. Pucker April 25, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Lincoln freed the slaves as a way to undermine the economic foundation of the economy of the Confederacy which was a plantation economy dependent upon slave labour. Lincoln freed the slave not because he believed that blacks were equal to whites, but rather as a way to crush the Confederacy and to save the Union. Lincoln’s personal preference was to repatriate the slaves to Africa. Lincoln’s vision for post-Civil War America was something akin to Apartheid South Africa.

  63. ozone April 25, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    An appropriate quote; best I can remember:

    “Arguing with a man who has lost his reason (or hadn’t any to begin with) is as useless as giving medicine to the dead.”

    B’bye and have an interesting weekend. Signs and portents everywhere…

  64. volodya April 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    To Janos,

    Check how it makes me feel? I don’t understand the question.

    Do I see the larger picture? There’s many. Here’s how I see it. A cattle-rancher – meaning a food producer – is castigated for defying the rules.

    Funny, don’t you think, that the govt is all scrupulous and holy about enforcement in some instances, like in Mr Bundy’s case, where they send armed men.

    Whereas in other cases the govt is remarkably relaxed about regulation and in dealing with in-your-face criminality. No, there’s different standards that apply. So says Eric Holder.

    Many different standards. Take your pick. One of my favorites is politicians (and here I’m thinking of the party of the starvation wage) making the case for “entitlement reform”. “Entitlement reform” meaning social security cutbacks. And cutting back on food stamps.

    You see, the federal government is flat bust. If there’s no money, there’s no money. No can do, the cupboard is bare. And besides, there’s the issue of – ahem – “moral hazard”.

    Funny that, don’t you think, especially as there’s no apparent lack of money for Wall Street banks and for the military. And funny how there’s no lack of financial flexibility when it comes to cutting the taxes of the rich. No problemo there because it all comes under the rubric of Tax Reform. And we all know how important that is don’t we?

    As for “moral hazard”, that doesn’t seem to be so much of an issue either when it comes to oligarchs, does it? No, we have to be practical, right? I mean, it’s not a perfect world, is it? I mean, the racketeers, they have to be incentivized, don’t they, so their interests are aligned with, I dunno, whoever and whatever.

    No, you see, it’s like F. Scott Fitzgerald said, the rich, they’re different than you and me. And, what did Hemingway supposedly say in response, yes, they have more money.

    But those oligarchs, they’re different from you and me in other ways besides having money. In that they’ll stop at nothing to get it, they’ll use it to get more and they don’t give a shit who they run over. No, their pockets are so full their pants are falling down but it’s never enough.

    I think it was Hedges that said that they know they’ll crash the world but they don’t give a damn. They think they can ride it out in their gated compounds.

    Yeah well, we’ll see soon enough how it all comes down. The example of history is instructive but I don’t imagine they know too much of that.

    No, the rich, being so different from you and me, are men of the world, they’re men of action, and as such, they don’t get distracted by impractical irrelevancies. Like a knowledge of history. We’ll see how that works out too.

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    • BleatToTheBeat April 26, 2014 at 1:04 am #

      To Volodya,

      I really, really, and I do mean REALLY hope that your preferred group of compromised, “elected” cunts can truly mount an effective campaign to reverse the alarming increase of autism in American children.

      We can only hope that money is enough to escape our voluntarily constructed biological Cul De Sac.

      So weird. The ones that will be affected will probably never know.

      Or care.

      Las Vegas here I come.

    • Janos Skorenzy April 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      I was trying to affect values clarification in your mind stream. Do you believe the Nation State is a valuable form of social organization? If so, are you willing to fight for it? If so, in what way? Remember, as Anders Breivik said, it’s already to late to save Europe democratically. And America?

  65. nsa April 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Visible minority useful idiots are the most useful of all……Holder headed up the investigation of the Waco massacre and found the Davidians fried alive their own children….not his incendiary grenades and tanks. Powell covered up the My Lai massacre investigation for a couple years ……and who could forget his UN “weapons of mass destruction” oscar performance. The various Rice harpies and their blood lust for symbolic whities like the Serbs and Russians. And the most useful idiot of all…….the airhead O’Bomber…….

    • Janos Skorenzy April 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      Yes where are they getting these light skinned Black Neo Con Rice Women?

      Saw Sara Weaver at the gun show. She found Jesus and turned against the racial Christianity of her parents. But at least she doesn’t forgive what was done to her family.

      Nothing is more insane than to imagine Blacks are more fair and Liberal (in the real sense) than Whites. Duplicity and favoritism to the group are second nature to them.

      • Janos Skorenzy April 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

        Are these women related? What are the chances of two light skinned Black Neo Con Rice Women being in the State Department one after another? Are they cloning them? Why are we the only ones to even notice or wonder at it? Call it sleep? Or call it sheep? They live, We sheep.

        • BleatToTheBeat April 26, 2014 at 12:17 am #

          How NOT shocking to re-visit your usual vituperous bullshit.

          But, time is short and we only so many seconds to fathom what those fuckin’ Mics are on about.

          Since it’s Friday night, there will be a cover charge.

          As your lawyer, I would suggest that you get right on it.


          Alexander Haig


          • Janos Skorenzy April 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

            Bleat on Al. No really. Thank you. Btw, you aren’t in charge of anything – not even yourself. A Man who rules himself is greater than a man who rules a nation.

  66. Pucker April 26, 2014 at 2:42 am #

    The US seems to be an “Inverted Totalitarianism”.

  67. volodya April 26, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    I haven’t got a preferred group because they’re all compromised. So what would be the point?

    Autism? In twenty years I’ll bet they’ll be calling it something different.

    • volodya April 26, 2014 at 11:37 am #

      This was meant as a reply to bleattothebeat

  68. volodya April 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    So here’s something new and interesting about monetary policy that you can find on Reuters Counterparties. It’s a school of thought that thinks that the Fed has things exactly ass backwards.

    It’s called the neo-fisherite rebellion and I won’t bore with the technical details here. Suffice to say that the thinking is that by holding down interest rates the Fed is CAUSING deflation rather than its opposite.

    So the article says that the Fed is massively confused. Surprise effing surprise.

    Some might say that this view squares with actual data. But this requires a massive leap of faith that economics data (especially inflation data) aren’t hopelessly screwed either deliberately or otherwise. And personally I’m not prepared to make this leap of faith.

    Official data says that inflation is pretty much dead. I say it isn’t. Not when I look at the cost of stuff that matters.

    Who was it on this site (K dog maybe or was it Charliefoxtrot) that said that inflation ought to be defined by price movements of necessities. Can’t remember how he defined necessities. If he’s reading this he might refresh my memory.

    I would say these are food, shelter, clothes, medical care and fuel. K Dog or Charlie (or whoever) you out there?

    Still, no matter your faith or lack thereof in statistics, this thing offers a window into that massively fucked up joke of a profession (economics that is). Why oh why do we listen to those guys?


  69. FincaInTheMountains April 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Things in Ukraine are going from bad to worse. Rumor has it that some Kiev’s “political leaders” are probing grounds in Western Europe to hide from the angry crowd. They are gradually disappearing from the TV shows.

    People are starting to feel the pinches of IMF austerity program – rising prices for electricity, gas, bread and food in general at the same time reduced salaries and welfare payments.

    There is little doubt that things are bound to get even worse, far worse. Those who have food security are not secured against the ones who don’t have any. Nobody can feel safe just because they have money – at some point instead of being asset money will become liability and huge security problem. People will kill just to get some food, nothing personal. Newly-found “democracy” in Ukraine is leading to a stone-age social structure.

    Presidential elections are heading for total collapse and leaders of Kiev’s junta – Yatsenuk, Turchinov and others are ready to run.

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    • Janos Skorenzy April 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      That’s why you need mass immigration! Millions of Blacks and Muslims will fix those problems. The Kalegeri Plan trumps everything. Nothing is more important than rooting out the “cancer of the human race” (Sontag).

  70. Pucker April 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm #


  71. contrahend April 26, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    i dont know what every became of the energy descent blog. well now, solar is cheaper than the alternatives in Texas, a huge state:


    we are in the age of energy ascent


    • FincaInTheMountains April 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

      Did they include friggin real estate necessary for housing of all those panels in their friggin calculations?

    • lsjogren April 28, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Since there are no alternatives to solar, I guess you are right that it is cheaper than alternatives. I know of no other power source that provides junk intermittent electric power only when the sun shines.

      It may not be that expensive, the only problem is that it is relatively useless.

      Come up with an answer to the intermittency problem and then we start having a path to a renewables future.

      To his considerable credit, Kunstler recognizes that alternative energy is at this point in time a false messiah.

  72. FincaInTheMountains April 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Russian Federation: From Raw-materials-colony to State-the-Corporation to State-the-Civilization

    When Vladimir Putin took power in 1999, Russia was devastated by 10 year of neo-liberal predatory economic reforms and political humiliation of the drunken President (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u24C9XnXzzo)

    Russian ministries were filled with Yale and Harvard eggheads with CIA credentials directing the Russian economic reforms and process of privatization. (Some even were prosecuted back in USA for privatizing a little bit for themselves which they were not obviously supposed to do http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/Article/1020662/How-Harvard-lost-Russia.html#.U1xBYVVdXfI).

    The whole Clinton prosperity era of the nineties was not underwritten by a dot com bubble; it was underwritten by a huge garage sale of the former Soviet property at rock-bottom prices. The FED was able to print so much new money due to entire Eastern bloc turning to dollar, that they desperately needed the NASDAQ bubble to absorb at least part of it.

    Only on the Plutonium deal brokered by El Gore Russia lost more than a trillion dollars over decade.

    For more than 10 years Putin ran Russia as a State-Corporation, playing by Western rules of the “free market”, “democracy” and “human rights”, treating the common citizens as shareholders. He achieved remarkable success turning Russia from debtor state to state with substantial surplus, doubling and tripling salaries and pensions, keeping state run free medical care. He managed to rule in Russian robber-barons, the oligarchs, selling on the cheap Russian Natural resources while not putting a dime into federal budget.
    With America setting up essentially a Nazi quasi-regime in Kiev, everything has changed.

    There are no rules. We just setting them up as we go along. Message was loud and clear and it was heard in Kremlin.
    Russia now has no choice but to reject all Western neo-liberal rules, economic, social and political and go back to what Russia always used to be – a separate civilization.

    • BackRowHeckler April 26, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

      Well you can thank the Russians for this season’s Tumbleweed Infestation of the American West, tumbleweed burying entire towns, like out of a SciFi movie from 1955. Like so many other things, the apple and the tomato for instance, tumbleweed is not native to North America, no, it was brought in from Siberia when Russian explorers attempted to form colonies in California and Oregon in the 18th century.

      As for the inappropriate Capital Letters in the middle of sentences, I learned that from reading Ezra Pound and ee cummings, who did little things like that, with great effect incidentally.

      Check out ‘The Scarcity Fallacy’ in the Review section of this weekends WSJ, which contradicts everything we talk about here.


  73. Janos Skorenzy April 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

    Noble and No Bull Black Man defends Cliven Bundy. He says, he like my Grandfather and I’d take a bullet for him. Note the degree of White Blood….


  74. Janos Skorenzy April 27, 2014 at 4:58 am #

    Remember, if you accept the chip you will not see God.


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    • Being There April 27, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Something very devastating has to happen before you get over 300 million people to acquiesce to that scenario. If that’s the case? Most of us will have perished.

      • Janos Skorenzy April 27, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

        Really? Even if it’s done via the salami method, that is gradually? Even if it’s introduced at the top for high level Military/Government and the Corporate connections to these? And then introduced to the upper middle class Corpzis as something uber cool and sexy? And simultaneously to the Fashion and Bohemian set? At some point you’ll need it to work or even turn on your cellphone or car.

        Do you own a cellphone? Even though it tracks you? Even though it may cause brain cancer? Did you resist? Why should we expect them (or you) to resist future “advances”?

    • Looongerbeard April 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Now THAT! is a disgusting filthy Nazi website!

      Anybody, JHK? Got the ability to clean this filth off of this blog?

      As well as the filth that posts it?

      • Janos Skorenzy April 28, 2014 at 5:06 am #

        Women and weak Men are afraid of Truth. Bet you fear and hate guns too? And what ever happened to debate? Why the need to suppress, silence, crush, and destroy? You have to look inside and see your own evil – not project it onto me.

      • Looongerbeard April 28, 2014 at 5:10 am #

        I’m referring to Janos’ link to “dailystormer” Nazi website. 🙁

        • Looongerbeard April 28, 2014 at 5:12 am #

          WAY out of line!

  75. JB April 28, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    The TED talks in Vancouver were one of the moments when I realized that there is no real effort to change things. It is exactly as you say – the images of desperate survival in ghettos on the outskirts combined with hi the hi tech revolutiond visionaries who operate an insane amount of capital, without openly questioning our current societal rules and inequality. And let me repeat this – there will be no modern society without equality.

    • lsjogren April 28, 2014 at 9:31 am #

      “there will be no modern society without equality”.

      You do realize that this kind of empty rhetoric is something every single blow-dried politician would be glad to sign on to?

  76. lsjogren April 28, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    The Democrats serve the wealthy and the Republicans serve the rich.

    We need a populist party in the US. I have no illusion that it would be very harmonious. Populist views in this country range all the way from the far left to far right.

    Hopefully, once a populist party emerged, both the Democratic and Republican Parties would die, and then the populist party would split into two or three new parties- one for right wing populists, one for left wing populists, and one for centrist populists.

    Then politics in America would be a debate over what policies best serve the people, rather than a debate over which fat cats get the loot.


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