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Worse Than 1789?

     Senator Levin pretty much had Goldman Sach’s Lloyd Blankfein dead in a casket with that now-notorious email from GS’s head of sales and trading, Tom Montag, describing one of their billion-dollar investment “products” as “one shitty deal.”  Levin seemed to delight in crossing the boundary into the realm of the unspeakable, knowing that even the so-called “family” newspapers and cable TV networks would have to report it. And just to make sure nobody missed the point, the senator repeated that phrase at least twenty times before the day was over. It was like the climactic scene in that old Hammer Films classic, The Horror of Dracula, where Professor Van Helsing moves from coffin to coffin pounding stakes through the hearts of Drac and all his fellow bloodsuckers.
     It’s hardly the climax of our story, though.  Ours has barely started. It seems to me lately that the crack-up we’ve entered is liable to play out more gruesomely for our privileged elites than the orgy of bloodletting that attended the French Revolution. That historical moment was a sharp transition between old, settled social relations and the new political realities of imminent industrialization and a rising middle class. The elites in charge of things to that moment, an ossified aristocracy, responded to rising discontent with utter feckless stupidity. To make matters worse, a great many of them were hunkered down in the fantasy-land Royal Palace of Versailles, enjoying what was for practical purposes a non-stop mega house party. They must have thought they were safe twelve miles outside Paris.
     The French Revolution actually got off to a better start than it is remembered for. A progressive opposition put together a new legislature, the National Assembly. They undertook the writing of a constitution. But it all fell apart rather quickly since the dim-witted King and his cohorts didn’t really get into that old changing times spirit and their lack of cooperation — not to mention their decadence — provoked the more violent factions of the common people to form that kraken of politics, the mob. What a goddamned mess it turned into — a revolving cast of mob masters, each worse than the last, whipping up the crowds to ever more horrible enormities of human vivisection — a political process that had gone hopelessly out of control. Despite the agile precedent of their friend, the new USA, quickly resolving its own rebellion into a functioning government of law, France opted for a bloody clusterfuck — which went on for eight more years.
     The France of 1789 and the USA of today have a few important elements in common: a striking inability to sort out any national problems, an arrogant, depraved ruling elite resistant to reform, and an intellectual underclass motivated by blind fury. Some signal differences: most of our even theoretically best-intentioned “leaders” — i.e. elected officials, business, education, and media figures — are unable to articulate the problems we face, which go way beyond the mere distribution of political power or even wealth. (In fact much of the so-called Left, especially the faculty intellectuals, are preoccupied with esoteric sideshows around wealth, power, and the ridiculous “politics” of gender.)  Paul Krugman and David Brooks have no more of a clue about the implications of Peak Oil than Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.
     The resounding message of Senator Levin’s hearings on Goldman Sachs last week is that Wall Street is a shitty deal for America. Okay, now everybody knows it. Nobody has an excuse for not knowing it. The machinations ongoing over a financial reform bill seem to be leading to a rather feeble outcome. The only people who are excited by it are — surprise! — a bunch of economists, who will soon be relegated to the dumpster of discredited professions along with necromancers, alchemists, and magnetic mesmerists. My guess is that something lame will pass, it will be instantly denounced as yet another fraud, and then the next move is probably the stock market’s. A return of volume will signal a return of cratering equities as all the indexes give up their hallucinated gains of the past year, and all the pension funds and college endowments and banks who flocked there in the desperate search for yield will find that they were hosed.
     By August, it’s possible that the entire country except for the editorial board of the New York Times will be members in good standing of the Tea party, and it will have split into a dozen warring factions. By then, too many other destabilizing events will be in motion. The hangover of the British election will reveal the fatal insolvency of the UK, torpedoing the pound — a huge event that would certainly trigger a cascading fiasco of credit default swap obligations. I don’t see how the global financial system emerges from that in any form recognizable to someone watching the scene in the first week of May, 2010. In the background of all this, something wicked this way comes in the matter of oil prices and availability. The eco-disaster underway from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is looking every hour more like an event horizon that will rock the whole industry and, with it, the developed world. At the moment, oil is over $86 a barrel (and gasoline over $3 for regular at the pumps).
     I continue to wonder how it will all go down this summer in the Hamptons where, like Versailles in 1789, the elite mega-wealthy of today cavort shamelessly in a semi-private fantasy-land of status vamping for the Vanity Fair shutterbugs. The Hamptons are not defensible — unless you count privet hedge as an effective fortification. Any bloody-minded gang of unemployed, grievance-maddened mudlarks can creepy-crawl down the Sunrise Highway to Gin Lane with firearms bought at the WalMart (and modified to full-automatic in the garage).  What if hundreds — thousands! — of them get the same idea? Louis XVI and his homeys probably never thought the mobs would scale the ha-has of his fabulous estate, either.

A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. The title is The Witch of Hebron.

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About James Howard Kunstler

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

275 Responses to “Worse Than 1789?”

  1. jim e May 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm #


  2. GoldSubject May 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    An increasing number of people are beginning to share these sentiments, Mr. Kunstler. The folks at the top have no idea of just how miserable things are getting in the trenches.

  3. mr.mxyzpltk May 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    a rising tide fills all moats…

  4. Puzzler May 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    The Big Short, by Michael Lewis is a wonderful look inside the financial disaster.
    The subtitle is “Inside the Doomsday Machine” which nails how all this was structured and destined to come apart.
    The French Revolution is an apt metaphor for today. These hearings need a an old crone in the front row knitting and cackling “off with their heads!”

  5. Gulland May 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I’m seeing more anger and desperation every day. I honestly don’t know why there hasn’t already been an event like you described in the Hamptons. The national grief the oil spill will bring to the table will become immense as the weeks roll on. What’s it going to take to make this freaked out country snap? What will happen when enough absolutely becomes enough?
    The lame, flaccid anger the tea baggers presented in town hall meetings was just a bunch of red faced, breathless 60 something men, wound up tightly with their 15 minutes of fame in their communities. In all of that, I never saw any blood; just a lot of chest puffing and posturing.
    When enough really becomes enough, I don’t think there will be a lot of arm waving and sweaty red faces bitching in town halls. I believe that eventually, those with little remaining to lose will begin a quiet rising tide that will take care of business in the only manner they feel remains for them to implement. There will probably be a lot of one way trips to the scenes you described in the Hamptons with Wal-Mart rifles or long knives under the seats of SUVs that are a few payments behind.

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  6. Onthego May 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    In Greece the rioters are in the streets as disaffected and militant youths clashed with riot police on Saturday in central Athens, hurling crude gas bombs that signal swelling social unrest as the cash-strapped Greek government prepares to announce additional austerity measures required to win rescue loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. (As if bailouts solve systemic problems and don’t reward people, companies and governments for doing the wrong thing.)
    I can’t believe the shreds of the American middle class and the vastly expanded underclass will go any more quietly when our own austerity becomes apparent to everyone who has so far been content to drink the government Kool-Aid and regurgitate the pap spewed out by the media & elites about how a recovery is just around the corner.
    Widespread domestic terrorism can’t be far off, no matter how much our Dept. of Homeland In-SeKurity likes to pretend the threats are all from without. It is going to be a long, hot summer.
    Better grow a garden, reduce all debt, and invest in the kinds of self-contained systems that will allow you to live as comfortably as possible as the infrastructure continues to deteriorate. In Boston they’re hoping to get safe, treated water flowing back in the pipes in a day or two. Welcome to the third world, America.

  7. asoka May 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    JHK said: “Paul Krugman and David Brooks have no more of a clue about the implications of Peak Oil than Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.”
    Doesn’t have a clue? That would mean probably has never mentioned peak oil, probably has never mentioned the possibility of Mad Max type anarchy implications of peak oil? Probably never crossed his mind. Has no clue, right?
    Unfortunately for you, Mr. Kunstler, Mr. Krugman is a public figure with a public record and Krugman was talking about peak oil years ago.

    Meanwhile, resources are getting harder to find. Big oil discoveries, in particular, have become few and far between, and in the last few years oil production from new sources has been barely enough to offset declining production from established sources. And the bad weather hitting agricultural production this time is starting to look more fundamental and permanent than El Niño and La Niña, which disrupted crops 35 years ago. Australia, in particular, is now in the 10th year of a drought that looks more and more like a long-term manifestation of climate change. Suppose that we really are running up against global limits. What does it mean? Even if it turns out that we’re really at or near peak world oil production, that doesn’t mean that one day we’ll say, “Oh my God! We just ran out of oil!” and watch civilization collapse into “Mad Max” anarchy. But rich countries will face steady pressure on their economies from rising resource prices, making it harder to raise their standard of living. And some poor countries will find themselves living dangerously close to the edge — or over it. Don’t look now, but the good times may have just stopped rolling. — NYT, April 21, 2008

  8. da wiznitch May 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Americans are so passive politically that it’s hard for me to imagine such a violent scenario. Nothing remotely like that–even peaceful demonstrations–have not happened since the seventies. Our bread and circuses keep the masses passified.
    Also, most Americans think they will some day live in the Hamptons and BE rich people. They identify with the rich and admire them. I almost never hear even the poorest, most downtrodden person, much less any middle class person, criticize or blame the wealthy for inequality or stock market crashes or anything like that.

  9. Tengrain May 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Mmmmm, I hear Goldman Sachs execs are well-marbled.

  10. joed May 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    I just don’t see American people doing much of anything to help themselves. Hunger is the only reason a few might challenge the pigs. Most folks will just sit around and starve and watch their children starve too!
    If americans were going to do anything they would have done it long ago.
    those teabags will only follow direction of the system. teabags need a dark skin to hate. they wont go after the authorties.

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  11. HR FEHR May 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    One day I imagine I will wake up in the morning and notice the digital alarm clock is no longer glowing.
    The television I fell asleep to, the prior evening, is no longer on. The lights will not turn on and the air conditioner will not work.
    As I look out the window I will notice the traffic signals dead as well. There will be little traffic in the street.
    It may be a bright sunny day of any season but I will be over taken by a profound sense of impending doom.
    It will be eerily quiet in these early stages of imminent emerging awareness of the new reality.
    No computer, no cell phone connection, no internet no radio no anything.
    Patience will eventually reveal whether this is simply a transitory glitch in the system or the real thing, finally.
    Yesterdays overdue car and mortgage payments will not matter nor will my bank account or pension plan’s performance or market value. The monetary system will be useless.
    My daily activities will involve obtaining food, heat and keeping my family safe. I will then need to decide if life has ended or if it really has begun.

  12. Dennis Novak May 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    There was a major bomb scare here in New York City last night. While the investigation vigorously continues to find out who the perpetrators of this heinous act are, Mayor George W. Bloomberg is already blaming “international terrorists”, who “hate our freedoms” for the failed act of terrorism.
    Perhaps they were “national terrorists” who “hate being deprived of their freedoms”, like Timothy McVeigh. Or even a false flag failed terrorist act staged to whip up a frenzy to enact even more Draconian laws and restrictions. It’s hard to know these days who the real terrorists are, but then, a terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist and we are at war! Or, as Walt Kelly of Pogo fame used to say, “We have met the enemy, and He is Us.”

  13. asia May 2, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    In Spain unemployments at 20% !!! how are they faring? Non violently?
    Meanwhile Greece and France have seen riots.

  14. Miss Gayle May 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    The “99ers,” those who have been unemployed for 99 weeks and are about to lose their benefits, along with their homes and any sense of security or trust in the government whatsoever, have basically been told there aren’t going to be any more unemployment extensions, according to an article I just read a few minutes ago. As their ranks grow, I don’t think they’re going to be too keen on the idea of getting thrown out in the street while the fat cat robber barons laugh all the way to the bank with their billion-dollar-with-a-B bonuses and options. The molotov cocktails will fly, and then the bullets – and the fat cats and their politician lapdogs deserve every bit of it. I’d personally like to see a few lynchings thrown in for good measure.

  15. wisewebwoman May 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    The Confluence is upon us. Oceans destroyed, bee population decimated, countries tumbling into bankruptcy faster than we can count, the unemployed homeless and healthless rates climbing daily, idiotic brutal and illegal wars happening, oh, everywhere and the population of the planet unsustainable and we still bleat desperately that Ye Olde Good Times are right around the corner?
    Are there so few of us fully awake as to what is really happening here?

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  16. asoka May 2, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    WiseWebWoman, please don’t be coy. If you are awake, please tell me what is happening. Is the Confluence “the end of the world”, is it a transformation or birthing process to a new and better world. I am in the dark. What exactly does “the Confluence” mean to you? Please enlighten me.

  17. asoka May 2, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    MISS GAYLE: “I’d personally like to see a few lynchings thrown in for good measure.”
    Miss Gayle, what you express is sick. Have you ever seen a lynching? Will a lynching bring back anyone’s job, or their foreclosed house? Or is it just lynchings for your perverse desire for some kind of Old Testament revenge?

  18. Newfie May 2, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    I’m much more worried about the social-political-economic-environmental ramifications of three more months of oil gushing into the ocean than class warfare breaking out in the Hamptons. The currents will pick up the ever growing slick and take it around Florida and up the eastern seaboard and destroy every beach from Texas to Maine, killing millions of creatures and destroying the livelihoods of millions of people. And if the Gods are really angry they will send a hurricane (the season starts in 30 days) and spray that oil all over everything for millions of square miles. I’m dubious about the mobs storming the Hamptons but millions, or tens of millions, of people economically destroyed by an eco-apocalypse – that’s another matter entirely.

  19. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst May 2, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    We’re all terrorist now!

  20. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst May 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Like I said in January after the earthquake in Haiti, man made and natural disasters seem to be picking up speed here. These days I’m asking myself if I’m over reacting or if there really is a sense of doom in the air. I feel like I’m going schizoid torn between the MSM saying all is well and the “recession is over”, but then seeing reality on the ground. I took a trip to Ohio recently to visit relatives. Seemed that every block had dozens of “For Sale” signs as these houses were in some state of default or foreclosure. A relative of mine lives next to vacant land where there use of be a beautiful brick home with a vibrant family living in it. Family left, and the bank bulldozed the house so it wouldn’t have to keep up with maintenance costs.
    Seems Europe is going to explode in a matter of weeks, and now this situation in the Gulf. When do we reach a tipping point of no return?
    I’m still hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst!

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  21. asoka May 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    “Seemed that every block had dozens of “For Sale” signs as these houses were in some state of default or foreclosure.”
    Real estate agents in my area are reporting that houses are not on the market long now, and for some houses multiple offers are being received. So there are lots of for sale signs… and lots of sales happening.

    OMAHA, Neb. (MarketWatch) — Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett said Sunday that unemployment should start falling soon and reported that Berkshire-owned companies are now hiring on a net basis, after letting a lot of employees go last year.
    Buffett also said he’s seeing more manufacturing activity, but no big pick-up in the U.S. housing market yet. Berkshire owns more than 70 companies that operate in many sectors, including manufacturing, retail, energy, real estate and railroads. This gives Buffett a great insight into how the U.S. economy is doing.

    So choose what you want to believe: doomsday scenarios always one Freidman unit out (six months) or what is really happening in the economy TODAY.

  22. welles May 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    Sometimes, violence is the answer? Peace to you all.

  23. erikSF99 May 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    I don’t think it’s just the mention of peak oil that is important here–after all, even those who don’t “believe” in it will mention it. I think it is JHK’s reference to “implications” of Peak Oil. JHK has put up posts to and links to Dmitry Orlov and what Orlov and others lay out with cogent argument is that the downside slope of peak oil is NOT a slope, it’s a cliff. [of course, that’s what JHK’s The Long Emergency lays out in detail] This complex oil based system which supported the creation of money out of thin air is a bubble that only goes one way–until it doesn’t. And then it’s gone. So, Krugman’s statement that “rich countries will face steady pressures on their economies from rising resource prices, making it harder to raise their standard of living,” is laughable. Advanced countries will find it hard to maintain any standard of living on the downside of peak oil. To presume mere “rising resource prices” is to presume resources will continue to be available, just more expensive. Regarding the U.S. in particular, it is clear that as long as the Wall Street masters of the universe are in charge that raising the standard of living for anyone other than themselves is the furthest thing from their minds. And Krugman is clearly at best an agnostic regarding peak oil: “Even if turns out that we’re really at or near peak oil…”

  24. asoka May 3, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    “Advanced countries will find it hard to maintain any standard of living on the downside of peak oil.”
    From what I have read PEAK OIL happened in 2005. We have been in the downside for five years now, and most of the advanced countries doing just fine.
    Not only has it not been hard to “maintain” their standard of living. In many countries the standard of living has improved, in spite of Krugman’s “laughable” statement.
    (I am using the Human Development Index as an objective measure to compare highly developed countries, and the USA does not place very high)

  25. Eleuthero May 3, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    To carry over from the previous week’s thread,
    you asked me how the hiring of Asian’s HELPS
    white people. It doesn’t!! However, what
    you fail to see is that said hiring is a
    SYMPTOM of the decline of both the educational
    levels and work ethics of the white kids that
    are competing against Asian/Indian H1B workers.
    As of 2005 data, 55% of grad students in American
    university Engineering and Science programs were
    FOREIGN. Most valedictoria in high schools in
    areas with many H1B workers are foreign nationals.
    Please do not confuse a simple citing of data
    as SUPPORT for inundating our country with a
    veritable torrent of foreigners. Surely you
    don’t think I *want* that now do you?? Why
    would I want such an inundation when they
    obviously keep to their own creating a
    balkanized social atmosphere? I don’t!!
    However, you are not seeing this problem in
    a correct light because you are musing about
    an average American White person who has pretty
    much NOT existed for a generation. In other
    words, you’re NOSTALGIZING. You’re not dealing
    with present realities.
    If the floodgates of H1Bs is ever going to stop,
    our Anglo parents had better get their damned
    act together. Time to NOT let the kids get
    tattoos and piercings. Time to have strict
    curfews and mandated homework hours. Time to
    make sure they eat well so they aren’t 200
    pound girls at age 22.
    Otherwise, our decline will just be an ordinary
    Darwinian type of social decline of a debauched empire. Since I take it that you DO believe in
    survival of the fittest, then I suggest that you
    do work in your community to make sure that the
    Anglo kids start on the arduous path back to
    being the fittest. Right now … they’re NOT.
    And I’ve got so much educational data to support
    my contention that I could pore it all over your
    arguments for YEARS.

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  26. Eleuthero May 3, 2010 at 4:00 am #

    I simply cannot believe the LEISURELY way in
    which the Gulf Oil Spill fiasco is being
    handled. Where is BP with the goddamned
    CAP to stop the leaking?? Did they only
    make ONE of them for the entire world??
    It does, however, support Jim’s and my
    contention that what we’re seeing is, as
    he referred to royalty in the French
    Revolution, “feckless stupidity”.
    Recommended reading: “The Coming Dark Age”
    by Roberto Vacca, 1972. Vacca asserted that
    overreliance on complex technology combined
    bring down Western Civiliztion. Wow, that
    out-of-print book seems eerily accurate given
    that it was written in an era when things
    looked, more or less, pretty good.
    Those folks, like Alex Jones, who think that
    Peak Oil is a “myth” should take note of oil
    prices since January in the presence of data
    indicating a current GLUT. I’m sensing that
    futures prices right now aren’t correlated
    with investor perceptions of NEAR-TERM
    supply data. Oil’s price just won’t stay
    down. Every substantial move below $85 is
    met by prolific buying.
    There might be another downdraft in oil prices
    as H2 2010 data reveals the sham known as the
    “recovery” but that’ll only be a good reason
    to buy long-dated futures. Recent explosions
    and leaks are revealing just how difficult it
    is to recover deep sea oil. Also, its ERoEI
    ratio is terrible.
    Finally, ever wonder why refineries aren’t being
    built in the UK or the USA? Because the execs
    are quite well aware that you don’t spend tens
    of billions of dollars on huge, incredibly
    complex facilities that will have less and less
    and less product flowing through them. Watch
    what they DO, and not what they SAY.
    Meanwhile, our Gulf Coast fishing industry is
    about to get totally wiped out. How will the
    BLS fudge out THOSE statistics??

  27. robledge May 3, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    I think Newfie is right on….the vast majority of our fellow Americans aren’t paying attention to anything that isn’t right in front of their noses, and anything that wants to get in front of their noses has to compete with a 52-inch TV screen that serves up diversion after diversion. Passivity rules.
    “We” are far more likely to be passive victims of BP’s negligence/Goldman’s arrogance/etc
    than to be taking matters into our own hands, however well-armed we may be. Helplessness is the biggest thing we’ve learned from sitting in front of the tv for the past three generations.

  28. zxcvbnm May 3, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    To the indignant unemployed “99ers” and such I have only one thing to say, NOBODY OWES YOU A GODDAMN JOB. You need a skill that somebody is willing to pay you for. A little protectionism from our government wouldn’t hurt right now either. But that will never happen because your old boss owns part of USA Inc. and it’s not in the best interest of his bottom line.

  29. Lynn Shwadchuck May 3, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    It does all appear to be accelerating. If the last-ditch, get-every-last-drop plan for offshore drilling has been thwarted, what will happen next in the saga of western oil addiction? It worries me that I read a commenter’s diatribe against ‘moonbat’ peak oilers on Grist, where the folks who are more worried about climate change and the oil spill gather. Why can’t we all get along?
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  30. Fouad Khan May 3, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    JHK, your monday meanderings increasingly read like drumbeats of revolution every week. Sure, civilization is collapsing and maybe the world will end with a big bang instead of a whimper, but that shouldn’t discount the grown men amongst us to start sounding like mega-church preachers.
    Let’s try to ease into these skinny pants shall we. Maybe we’d come out looking like rock stars. No point tryin to get our crotch in the zipper.

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  31. Andrew MacDonald May 3, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Blind retribution is certainly one solution to a problem, but it’s not the only one. Our baser instincts, and we all have them, want to strike back when threatened, to get ours, to get even. But we have the capacity to rise above that and act for the common interest and many of us are working that way, no matter there’s no commonly articulated vision for us. We’re working toward it! This is a crisis of vision at root and we don’t have to give up the field to the yobs.
    All this is an inevitable part of reaching planetary limits and learning a new way. It’ll be painful but I think this time can realistically be seen as the birth of something new. Work for that, not for the mob.
    No final answers, some ideas at http://www.radicalrelocalization.com/

  32. coyoteyogi May 3, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    What JHK? No mention of Greece and the fact that the EU has solved the problem?
    When I read CFN and other blogs it is always abundantly clear that the real crisis is not resources or capital but values. The crisis of the day is merely a symptom of the absence of positive values that permeate our lives from the ‘pump and dump’ on Main street to Wall street.
    I think/believe those human values are still present in us all. Let me name a few: compassion, generosity, honesty,integrity, diligence, fortitude, stamina,humor and grace. However, our national government exhibits little of these. I can point the finger of blame in many directions. Media and the pap on TV is certainly the most pervasive. Without that portal into our homes would the desire for the offered products even exist? I don’t think so. Well, maybe for all the boner meds that get pushed day and evening (no boner med ads after 10pm).
    The garden is in. 18 raised beds with a pretty comprehensive plan that will produce a lot of food if we put in the time and attention. Our neighbor’s bees made it through the winter. My family and I are healthy; I have the time to contribute to the community. For me, right now, life is good. I look out at the world and wonder what will cause the charade to end? Nobody knows, and nobody knows when.

  33. aka May 3, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    like the ‘web bot’ has been ‘forecasting’ for quite some time,,there’s gonna’ be blood in the streets..

  34. Kickaha May 3, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    The news stories that I’ve read about the attempted bombing in NYC have taken the form of:
    1. General information about Arabs/Muslims/dark-skinned people using car bombs to terrorize.
    2. The police have several videos of a middle-aged white guy driving and fleeing from the explosives-laden vehicle.
    3. General information about Arabs/Muslims/dark-skinned people taking credit for the attempt and their history.
    The potential for horrific violence by Americans on Americans is out there. But the traditional media is hell bent on not recognizing it. And I wonder if JK is being a little too optimistic that it come down on those most guiltly instead of upon those most innocent.

  35. Paul Kemp May 3, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    One news story that deserves some attention this week is the FDA approval of a new anti-cancer vaccine with a price tag of $93,000 per treatment. This is more evidence of the big industries of the USA busily working to drain the Treasury, just as the financial interests did with their urgent appeals for bailouts.
    Between the financial crisis, the demands for the endless GWOT(Global War On Terrorism), and Medicare payments to the pharmaceutical/medical cartel, we’re seeing the big campaign donors that run this country getting all they can, while we still have any money left to give them.
    The vampire analogy is apt for all these corporate entities feeding hungrily at the public trough.
    We can’t do much to stop this transfer of our national wealth. Our representatives didn’t listen to the rare public outcry against bailing out the crooks that created our present economic crisis, so I don’t expect anything beyond them trying to use the Tea Party sentiment to get re-elected. Just more talk.
    The most useful preparation for the coming stages of the Long Emergency is to wean ourselves and those we love off our predatory health care system. It won’t last long with the increasing demands for hip replacements, diabetes treatments, and spending $93K to buy each cancer victim a four-month stay of execution.
    Health and fitness will be a precious commodity to get thinking people through the Long Emergency. Don’t count on the sickness care industry being around much longer.

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  36. catman306 May 3, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    The mega-rich have a secret weapon to stop angry mobs in their tracks.
    Helicopters full of $100 flying low over the mobs and dumping their loosely packed loads on swarms below. Picking up handfuls of $100 bills off the ground will certainly alter the mood of the mob. Just keep gas in those ‘copters and keep them flying. Hundred dollar bills will never be in short supply for the mega-rich. So “Fly, Baby, Fly!”

  37. Downsider May 3, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    An orgy of self-destruction is much more the style of the middle and working classes in this country.
    And anyone who doesn’t think the police will defend the billionaires with their last breath doesn’t know much about the law enforcement mentality.
    All this supposed rage in the public square looks like sour grapes. Whatever it is these “Tea Party” types want, it isn’t revolution. It’s probably business as usual. As soon as the system starts delivering the goods again, even if only for a few more years, the anger will subside. America is not a revolutionary state. This rage, being an emotion and not a strategy, is yet one more unsustainable direction in American life.

  38. wardoc May 3, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Great piece!!! This is how we get from where we are now to the “world made by hand.” The years before the time period of the novel are surely chaotic and bloodly, perhaps to an extent beyond our imagination. The allusion to the peasants of France circa 1789 is right on, but there’s one major difference. The masses of americans who are now financially screwed, becoming hopeless, and going to loose it are much better armed than were the 1789 french. You can do a hell of a lot of damage with pitchforks, knives and torches, but that’s nothing compared to bullets from high powered semi-auto rifles (which BTW really can be modified fairly easily into full auto; there’s even a method using a rubber band wrapped in a special manner about the trigger and trigger guard). Also, our mobs won’t need to get close to take out the elites in the hamptons. 100-200 yard rifle headshots are not at all difficult with some practice and know how and many many people have that level of “sniper” capability. Our elies may have to literally hole themselves up and not show their heads at all, in fear of having them blown off.
    One problem: as was the case in 1789 france, the mobs will likely have difficulty differentiating between elites and regular people; this will especially be the case after they have taken out the obviously elites who are the bankers and corporate types with huge home, yachts and bentleys. AFter that, the mob will still be angry and their next targets could be anyone they THINK to be rich (e.g. people in obviously upper middle class neighborhoods, drivers of expensive cars, country club types, etc). Thats when things will really get interesting just like in the french revolution; recall what happened to Robespierre.
    Interesting times are coming. Imagine suburban yuppies trying to show that they’re NOT wealthy. 🙂
    Lock and load……and learn to aim.

  39. Scott Schneider May 3, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Jim,
    Although perhaps a bit overdramatic in what portends for this summer, you nailed one very critical item: The British Pound, and the insolvency of the United Kingdom. This is indeed unfolding at a very rapid clip – and the 3 ringed circus offered as a “debate” by 3 major PM hopefuls the other night on the BBC was greeted by appropriately jaundiced skepticism even from the financial elite. They know it’s going down – and that to preserve the stolen wealth of elites means driving down living standards perhaps 25-50% or more for much of a population that is already hurting badly.
    The British punditocracy and neoliberals are not concerned with financial losses for themselves. They correctly count on the usual suspects – Parliament, the Exchequer, the IMF etc. to insulate them from the rabble by law, by force, or both.
    But they are very concerned about “managing expectations”. The favoured strategy right now is supposedly to “come clean” with the British public so that when the country is looted yet again to bail out bankers people have already been conditioned to accept this without massive revolt, strikes, and protest which could get very violent.
    If this sounds like Greece, it should. It’s the same. World capitalism is essentially bankrupt now, on an integrated level as perhaps never before. To save itself it has had to resort to steal many trillions (25 Trillion Dollars at least)from those it can bully or legislate into forking over their savings, their security and their future. It’s not even capitalism any more. It is an openly Fascistic regime which realizes Mussolini’s vision of merged State and Corporate power.
    Whether it can be successfully resisted remains an open question.

  40. empirestatebuilding May 3, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    The most surprising events of last week were the duel demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to protest the Arizona immigration law while just a few thousand turned out on Wall Street to protest the thieving bankers.
    It seems like we have our priorities bassackwards.
    Aimlow Joe

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  41. Jeff May 3, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Nice to see “enormity” used correctly. (For a change.)
    On a very different note: your writing seems to reflect a disturbing aversion to small “d” democracy and a corresponding affinity to overweening central authority.
    Is the irony lost on you? In the midst of a piece condemning the modern day Goldman Sachs’ of the world, you dismiss with contempt the grievances of their 18th century counterparts — Daniel Shays’ and his cohorts — who were schemed and bilked of their wealth through the machinations of that day’s political and financial elites and the alliances between them. A re-reading of that history may profit you. Perhaps you’ll find, like other “mudlarks” through history, the explanation of their ultimate resort to violent means reflects an insight they gained by first attempting (and exhausting) peaceful ones.

  42. DeeJones May 3, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Americans are so passive politically that it’s hard for me to imagine such a violent scenario. Nothing remotely like that–even peaceful demonstrations–have not happened since the seventies. Our bread and circuses keep the masses passified.
    You forgot the WTO riots in Seattle? How about the huge, national protests in the runup to the Iraq invasion? Hundreds of thousands, and millions across the country were out protesting, all to no avail. And the MSM has even expunged the memory.
    Whats the old saying? Oh, thats right:
    Forget History, Repeat History, rinse, repeat….
    Personally, I don’t think there will be mobs running around the Hamptons with shotguns and machetes, Duhmericans are just too fat & lazy for that. Like the above poster said, the rich will just dump plane loads of $100 bills, and fly away laughing as the mob scrambles to pick them up, and turns on itself. Recall the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict, did the mobs go up to Simi Valley and start rioting and burning? No, they burned and looted thier OWN ‘hoods.
    Same ol’ same ol’, over & over again.
    I really don’t have mucho hope for the USA.
    But say, the mangos are falling from the trees here, and I can pick up all I can eat.
    Good luck.

  43. Wayne Isaksen May 3, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Watching some sports over the weekend I was struck by the inequities in our Fantasy economy. On one hand there is overwhelming un and under employment, foreclosures, inflation, bank failures and the revelation of fraud with Goldman just to name a very few problems. On the other hand the SHEEPLE are still paying big bucks to pack their fat asses into such events as the Kentucky Derby, Yankee Stadium, Quail Hollow Country Club. Where is the tipping point? These idiots have the recall of a clam. They lost 30% to 50% of their retirement accounts and are back in the stockmarket for more! Ask any one and not one in a hundred owns any physical gold or silver. Personally I will be on my little self sustaining farm in North Carolina having left NYC five years ago when I saw the writing on the wall. When reality hits them up the side of the head with a 2 x 4 we are going to have a lot of extremely angry people-watch out below!

  44. DJL May 3, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Todays post was a good effort catching the sense of this moment. Can it reach 1789 French Levels? maybe later, not now, August… perhaps.
    I read an article years ago that argued that support for bread in Paris was very important to what triggered the French Revolution, Storming the Bastille and the convoluted Politics that followed. Previous Kings supported bread pricing that kept it affordable for the working class in Paris. Apparently the Monarchy support focused on Paris, other areas were much less manipulated. It was a sign they (King and friends) knew that Paris was a week link of some sort (maybe detritus from that nasty embarrassing period when the Brits ran things in those parts). But the last King eventually decided to not subsidize bread prices, and the prices rose.
    Now a working man knew that for a while he could get along by selling all they had, or a kid or two into indentured slavery or much worse (VD in those days made prostitution very grim indeed)! But in a predictable amount of time these good Catholic Frenchmen, with big families , KNEW their loved-ones would start to slowly starve. Think about that moment, what it would be like.
    So the Wheels Come Off the Wagon and all fails for a time, and a varying chaos that lasted until after Waterloo takes control. I suspect that Obama is not stupid enough to deny the last hope to Americans like that last French King. George Bush (the really Stupid) would certainly due something like that–if Cheney had fell asleep while the puppet George drone was still activated…
    The USA is one mighty big Wagon… loosing its Wheels might spread to all other Wagons.

  45. Unconventional Ideas May 3, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Sadly, but predictably, few of the comments here reflect a deeper understanding of what is happening.
    I’m heartened by the notion though that survival instincts will kick in for many, and even with their apparent inability to grasp the big picture, they’ll find a way to make it through.
    Granted, getting the big picture is the preferred path, but for must, unless they’re smart, young, open-minded, and don’t have a stake in the status quo, big picture understanding will probably remain elusive.

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  46. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown May 3, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    It does feel like we are living in one of John Brunner’s novels more and more.
    Here in the red-state clusterfuck that is East TN, the anger seems to be directed at “that n-gg-r president” for taking all our money and “those damn Mexicans” for taking all our jobs. And those damn “environmentals” for “blowing up that oil rig.”
    I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.

  47. david mathews May 3, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    The oil industry’s Chernobyl has occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and it is worth noting that the Peak Oil movement has been strangely silent about the catastrophe … except of course the immediate reaction was to downplay the catastrophe and feed the public the BP lies as is expected to occur at The Oil Drum.
    I think it worth noting what the penultimate oil industry shill had to say about environmentalism on March 28, 2010:
    “One other thing this indicates is something that I have long maintained: Our environmental concerns have been facilitated by cheap energy. We can all afford the luxury of being environmentally concerned as long as it doesn’t inconvenience us. Once we start paying higher prices to protect the environment, people are no longer as enthusiastic. That’s why I believe that we will end up burning all the fossil fuels that we have, and the only realistic solution to rising carbon emissions is that we run out of coal, oil, and natural gas.”
    The oil industry was quite happy to treat the Earth like a sewer and its apologists were gleefully awaiting the day when high gasoline prices let loose all the dogs of pollution in ANWR, the OCS, the oil sands and everywhere else … to hell with the future of the Earth and the survival of the species.
    Now the American public can see where this sort of reckless insanity leads. Millions of people will soon discover that their primary food source has become a toxic stew of carcinogens. What are the people along America’s Gulf coast going to eat?
    This is particularly true in the Southern Drill, Baby, Drill Tea Party region. These people have expressed numerous times their disdain for environmental concerns and now they are going to figure out how to live without fish and seafood. Better hope the US Dollar doesn’t collapse otherwise it will become impossible to import food.
    The oil industry has finally revealed itself as the scourge of humankind. We’re living at the end of time.
    Humans have brought all of these horrors upon itself and I am quite certain that the Universe will become a better place once humankind has finished driving itself extinct.

  48. Smokyjoe May 3, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    “In fact much of the so-called Left, especially the faculty intellectuals, are preoccupied with esoteric sideshows around wealth, power, and the ridiculous “politics” of gender.”
    SCORE, Mr. Kunslter. On campus now there’s a little dustup involving the theft of a faculty member’s nameplate by a vandal. While these PhDs, all good writers, could be serving as public intellectuals in a time that needs them badly, they are embroiled in a discussion to “theorize” the theft as a transgressive and probably sexist act, a symbolic taking of identity.
    Security cameras are in order, one prof has suggested. Maybe they’ll capture the book-burners for posterity when the Tea Party begins its purge of the intellectuals.

  49. wagelaborer May 3, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    This isn’t France in 1789, or even France today.
    Americans have been brainwashed for decades that the rich are the ones who are “productive”, all evidence to the contrary.
    I doubt there will be any marching on the Hamptons.
    African Americans have been living the life that posters imagine for a few decades. Their unemployment is sky-high, and prospects are limited.
    The same with white farmers, who were dispossessed of their land by the hundreds of thousands over the last few decades, especially the 80s.
    You don’t see any Black gangs marching on the rich white areas. The only people they kill are each other, very occasionally.
    As long as we have welfare, we will not have class warfare of the working class against the capitalist class.
    The war will be as one-sided as it’s been for decades.

  50. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown May 3, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Yeah, what wagelaborer just said.

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  51. ozone May 3, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    “…The eco-disaster underway from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is looking every hour more like an event horizon that will rock the whole industry and, with it, the developed world.” -JHK
    Well now, there’s a behemoth of a black swan (if black swan indeed it is) that I certainly would not have seen coming. Dick “Tater” Cheney and friends very recently bought up a company that specializes in well-head “problems” control. That tends to make me nervous as to the timing of all this nastiness, but then again, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, eh?
    Just what WILL become of those millions thrown out of a livelihood for many, many years? (Think, fishing, tourism, and all the attendant business that supports and surrounds them.) Perhaps BP won’t fight their various claims in court and pay up. Yeah……..right.

  52. Smokyjoe May 3, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    The bread and circuses stop working their magic, however, as soon as enough folks lose their property.
    The LA Riots are not a good analogy…you didn’t have rioters marching to Simi Valley because, for the most part, they were angry and landless folks who had no memory of better times.
    What keeps the white and (currently) propertied species of Doofus Americanus from getting violent? Fear that he’ll lose his tangible property and endanger his loved ones.
    Kick away those props, and all bets are off, just as certainly as they were off in New Orleans right after Katrina. The Bubba-Bomb, if that is what it was, in Times Square gives some indication of where such rage might be directed.
    That car bomb would have probably have ignited the grease in the NYC Bubba Gump fried-food palace instead of knocking down the NY Times building, but that makes little difference.

  53. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown May 3, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Bubba-bomb. LOL.

  54. Gus44 May 3, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Ah, but today’s aristocracy has something the ancien regime was missing: an effective mass media pushing propaganda that keeps the hoi polloi at odds with each other. It may well get bloody, but I doubt that the folks in the Hamptons will be the ones shedding it.

  55. Ivo May 3, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Fat chance. American’s a little more than brainwashed monkies (no offense to monkies). If any bunch of cheese doodle eating morons can be run off a cliff like so many cattle, its them. And it middle class professionals who are the worst, most egregious bunch of slimy scum yet to be hatched out of boomer ooze. They will be the first to call in the air strikes of napalm on the hand full of starving protesters who screw up the courage to step outside the ‘free speech zone’. Can’t let those dirty heathen disrupt the cool cafe vibe.
    Returned from a weekend in and around the philadelphia metro area. You wouldn’t know there is any wrong with the economy. The roads were jam packed with shiny new cars…expensive ones, too. Weekend traffic on the main arteries is now worst then weekday rush hour traffic. Every cafe and bar was filled to the gills and buildings were going up/rehabbed on almost on every block in center city. A lot of money running through that town although the city is broke.
    American will bomb, loot, and pillage every country on earth before they accept any decline in their comfort and luxury. The ruling elite knows this and so every American is complicit with the crimes of their masters……

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  56. The Mook May 3, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Where does Asoka live, The Hamptons?

  57. Prelapsarian Press May 3, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Yes, well I’ll believe the populist insurrection when I see it. In What’s the Matter With Kansas, Tom Frank imagines an interesting comparison of modern American revolutionaries with the French in 1789. The working class of Kansas gather in their many thousands, air their grievances, and march off in righteous indignation to the mansions of the ruling oligarchy. “We have come,” they cry out in their fury, “to cut your taxes.” Heads are safe, but taxes will be cut as the antidote to everything that ails us.
    Americans aren’t even close to understanding the fundamental problem: the financial sector has leeched away resources from both government and the working economy. General indignation about Wall Street is a start, but few are connecting the dots.
    For a free download of Kunstlerian-style invective — Words that Draw Blood — go to http://www.lost-vocabulary.com.

  58. Jeff May 3, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Spot on.

  59. dale May 3, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    “Where does Asoka live, The Hamptons?”
    In an alternate reality of his own creation. Oddly similar to the doomers who see only apocalypse at ever turn, it’s all ‘blue sky’ in Asoka’s self created universe.
    If you ever needed proof that people create their own reality, this blog would be exhibit #1.

  60. The Mook May 3, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Get ready. The usual professors on this site will reply to you, and tell you how your farm will be invaded by city slickers. You and I know that is not true. If anything they will waste their last tank of gas to go to the U.S.Open to see how their old buddy Tiger is getting through his terrible ordeal. These same know-it-alls will also tell you that gold prices are too high. They watch the twits on CNBC who cringe when gold rises ten bucks but are high-fiving when oil goes up five bucks. They also think the hillbillies will be shooting at them with handguns like they see in the movies. They have no idea what a .30-06 is or how far away from the easy-pickins farm they will be standing when the bullet passes through their intellectual brain.

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  61. St Barth May 3, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Bloodshed & war in the USA is inevitable because, one, if the economy revolves around expansion & building then the current over-build must be destroyed so process can begin again. Kind of like how fires help the forest renew itself.
    Secondly, war tends to be pretty profitable for some. As the economy continues to stagnant, these people will figure out how to mobilize the mob in the interest of their profits (and they will be savvy enough to have slipped out of the Hamptons themselves).
    Third, the earth is a rock of finite resources and global population continues to pressure this. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if international forces setup the US as a warzone and then proceeded to send a billion third world soldiers to be slaughtered there. The 21st may very well go down as a greater hell than the 20th.
    Lastly, kudos to JHK for working a “ha ha” reference into the last sentence of this post. Nice, very nice.

  62. CowboyJack May 3, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    A week of BIG events for sure.
    Agree with JHK that the oil disaster in the Gulf could be industry changing.
    To touch on that:
    What is happening in the Gulf is not a “spill”. It is an under water blow out. A big one. I suspect that when the blow out occurred the “blow out preventer” (BOP), which is just a very, very large valve, may have been damaged resulting in its failure.
    Probably not a result of terrorism, or even neglegance on BP’s part. Old saying in the oil patch is “shit happens”. Unfortunately, this is very, very bad in and will have far reaching ramifications both short and long term.
    The MSM would like you to belive that the car bomb in NYC did not detonate because the perpetrator was amateurish in the construction of the device. I think if that SUV had been full of vapors from either the gasoline containers or the propane tanks that the small explosion of the fire crackers would have likely been plenty to have ignited a very fast burning fire at the very least. My guess is that the thing didn’t work because the perp forgot to crack the valve on a propane tank or take the lid off a gas can.
    In any case, the intent was damn sure the murder of many innocent bystanders. I would call that an act of terrorism. So I am marking this as the first “car bomb” on US soil by a terrorist, domestic or foregin doesn’t much matter. Just lucky, and I mean real lucky, the thing didn’t work.
    On domestic violence, I do not look for murders, or marches, in the Hamptons. But if the gubmint stops sending the unemployment checks to the “99ers”, and as foreclosures continue to rise, and jobs continue to NOT be created, and fuel prices rise, food prices rise, desparation sets in. Desparate folks do irrational things. I do expect crimes against one another to increase. And, as time goes by, those crimes may escalate in larger and uglier demonstrations.
    I wonder how long places like California can continue to pay cops to keep order? And judges to prosecute offenders? And food for the prisioners? And teachers to educate the differences between right and wrong?
    By the way, it ain’t the TEA party folks who have been violent.
    Good luck to us all.

  63. jdfarmer May 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    How can you fight a war on terror if there are no terrorists?

  64. Mike Lieber May 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Jim has hit the nail squarely on the head with this post. The U.S. — though
    not a monarchy — is at the very least becoming (has become?) afflicted with the
    disease that has brought down the tent on many a regime throughout recorded
    history. The fact that many Americans are armed (some armed to the teeth) does
    not bode well for the elites who have thus far been ignoring the haze of smoke
    rising above the spreading fires of discontent.

    As I see it, there are two possible outcomes: 1) a sudden and uncontrollable
    explosion of mayhem, or 2) the peaceful process given to us by our nation’s
    Founders to deal with our failing public institutions.

    For one possible scenario, check out http://www.op-usa.org.
    It is not going to be easy or comfortable, but if we want to save our country,
    it must be done — and soon!

  65. okie May 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    I agree with other posters that “we” will attack each other long before storming the Hamptons, and not just because the US has a long and very successful history of the monied turning the unmonied against each other by doling out slightly different (though equally pathetic) wages, perks and rights. I think “we” also realize that privet hedges are not the only things protecting the monied – if things started to look like they might get ugly, they can all afford “security” – I bet there are a load of contract soldiers on their way back from Iraq about now – plus a lot of them can just leave – go eat mangoes and leave us shouting on the shore. In the end, it is a lot easier/better-short-term-survival-tactic for “us” to hurt people who are more defenseless than ourselves, as none of us want to be the first casualty.
    On the oil gusher, it seems nightmarish to me that it will primarily impact one of Americas wild(ish) areas, a verdant nursery for birds – many already threatened, a haven for sea life of all kinds. Why couldn’t something like this soil some already ecologically dead resort beach (where the Hampton set spend their winters)? Why did it have to hit the delta, of all places, and bring suffering and death to the truly innocent who utterly depend on this last little vestige of a wild place? And the best we can do is worry about if there will be enough of them left for us to kill and eat? Come on now…
    Humans are profoundly overpopulated – I might dream of a managed slide downhill, but I think we have something much uglier in our future. I do think, though, that the monied, by and large, have enough sense to get the heck out of Dodge, and we, we will be the ones, like the gulls and herons (though only “innocent” in a sad, twisted way), dying in droves.

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  66. ozone May 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Please keep in mind that NOTHING will happen on any kind of appreciable scale unless and until a lot of pain is upon a lot of people. Optimistic puffery is exactly that; this “sucker” is just beginning to show some cracks in the facade, and the Folks are JUST NOW realizing what has happened to them. Believe me; I am hearing it all around me. (Faith and trust are over, friends.) So far, people are kinda “mystified”, but they will come to some concrete conclusions when actual deprivation sets in. (Please understand, I’m NOT talking about your cable teevee being shut off; dangers to SURVIVAL are what motivate people to act. Watch closely what happens on the Gulf Coast shores.)
    Mark me well: the rage and [re]action will be in direct proportion to the pain.

  67. Mr. Purple May 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    “It seems like we have our priorities bassackwards.”
    I think the problem with your perception of the two situations is to lump both groups together as a “we”, instead of “these” and “those”. The Federal Government isn’t serious about llegal immigration because big business likes a ready supply of cheap and easily exploited labor. Thus, the people angry at Wall Street are effectively opposed to the people who want “comprehensive immigration reforms” (a.k.a. amnesty to further undermine the American working class.)

  68. Mr. Purple May 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    “But say, the mangos are falling from the trees here, and I can pick up all I can eat.”
    Just don’t burn that mango wood! It’s like homemade tear gas.

  69. curmedgeon May 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    The apocalypse is like a receding horizon on this board, always a few months away and has been for years. Will he ever be right or always the Cassandra?
    As long as we can garrison the world with troops and “gunboats” (Carrier Battle Groups) and can maintain our status as issuer of the world’s “reserve currency”, we can continue a bewildering array of fiscal shell games which will maintain our immunity from the economic laws affecting countries like Iceland and Greece. As soon as one “innovative” fiscal game is revealed, others will take its place. While Greece may suffer “Shock Doctrine” therapy under the gimlet eye of the merciless IMF&World Bank and has to endure the abrupt termination of entitlements, we can blithely go on, convinced of our own stalwart rock ribbed “character”.
    Imagine California sending letters to all its state pensioners informing them they are one their own and you have a picture of what Greece will go through, but we won’t because we have the right to issue counterfeit money….

  70. wagelaborer May 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Cassandra WAS right. She was just unheeded.

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  71. Mike Moskos May 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    I don’t know if and/or when people will go over the edge. I thought it might happen after the Supreme awarded Bush II the presidency, after Katrina, or even after the bailouts.
    I do know this: because we’ve concentrated almost all power in the federal government (where the individual has less chance of changing the policies of our gulag masters), about the only thing the individual can do is withdraw from the system:
    –take your money out of big banks and move it into small banks/small credit unions
    –take your money out of the stock market and invest locally in your neighbor’s businesses and even at this time, mortgages.
    –make sure you’re not invested in any kind of government bond.

  72. Tomcat16 May 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    No Mook, remember, he works for Obama-rama.

  73. population biology May 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    every species reacts to the overshoot of their population beyond the carrying capacity of their habitat differently.
    of course the ultimate result of overshoot is crash and die-off.
    Humans will manifest the ugly reality of crash and die-off in our own unique ways (e.g.- social disorder and chaos, “crime”, gangs of every demographic composition as starving, sick masses desperately seek to survive as per their biological imperative.
    Humans are animals like every other species– subject to the same LAWS of biology & ecology.
    On the other hand– the “Shire” is still a more desirable outcome than “Mad Max”.

  74. Semper Infidel May 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    This is a reply/question to Kickaha, who wrote:
    “The news stories that I’ve read about the attempted bombing in NYC have taken the form of:
    1. General information about Arabs/Muslims/dark-skinned people using car bombs to terrorize…”
    I don’t know where you are getting your news. Certainly nothing I have read in the mainstream news – and I am reading a lot on it – has any “general information” like this.
    Kickha continues…
    “2. The police have several videos of a middle-aged white guy driving and fleeing from the explosives-laden vehicle.”
    They don’t. Why are you saying this? Are you talking about the guy changing his shirt?
    “3. General information about Arabs/Muslims/dark-skinned people taking credit for the attempt and their history.”
    Actually, the information is pretty specific: Pakistani Taliban have taken responsiblity, but there is no evidence at this point to lend credence to their claims.
    “The potential for horrific violence by Americans on Americans is out there. But the traditional media is hell bent on not recognizing it. And I wonder if JK is being a little too optimistic that it come down on those most guiltly instead of upon those most innocent.”
    OK. I think I’ve got what you’re implying earlier, though it is not supported by anything I’ve seen in the news ( links would be helpful) but this last paragraph is a mystery. Please clarify.
    Thank you.
    Semper Infidel

  75. ian807 May 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    As always, I need to point out that NOTHING in this country will change until there’s a shortage of:
    1) Food and water
    2) Psychoactive drugs
    3) Entertainment (TV and internet)
    4) Medicines, Gas, Toys
    As these things will all inevitably disappear, the resulting revolution is similarly, inevitable.
    Worse, it’s really too late for anyone to stop. The implications of the oil blowout are more profound than most realize. It means the end of investment in deepwater, or other “risky” technically challenging oil. No oil company will be able to gather enough investors for this sort of thing for fear of lawsuits, eco-terrorists, fines, et. al.
    Oil prices have started to rise. This will continue gradually until rising oil costs make every other price rise including the cost of finding, extracting and distributing oil. When that starts feeding on itself, watch out. The resulting roller coaster of oil prices spikes, followed by economic crashes, followed by oil price spikes, promise to make cheap imported commodities a thing of the past within just a few years.
    I wouldn’t want to be the party in power then. Count on the Republicans intentionally trying to lose the next election too (Hint: Can you say, “Palin?”)

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  76. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown May 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    The Bubba Bomb: It’s South Park’s fault:

  77. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown May 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    The Bubba Bomb: It’s South Park’s fault:
    A top House Republican said Sunday that an attempted car bombing in New York City might have been tied to a controversial episode of “South Park.”
    Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that a car bomb found Saturday night in Times Square might have been the work of Islamic extremists who were upset over an episode of the Comedy Central series that attempted to depict the prophet Muhammad.

  78. Funzel May 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Thinking about the future…etc
    Even though the million men march by the blacks may not have had enough desired effect on the ruling criminals,at least the organizers up to this point have not been murdered,(like all the Kennedys,MLK,Malcom X,Hoffa and dozens more).
    I wondered if a “20 million Unemployed” march with their weapons drawn would start the much needed prosecution of congress,the judiciary,and the corporate criminals loitering around in the halls of Washington? Not that I advocate or want to see such action,which I believe would not be in the best interest of all involved.
    The hired goons,mostly white,like the ones in Iran and Afghanistan would not hesitate to use their brainwashed minds to kill their own citizens(WACO).
    In the meantime we can learn a lot from the French Underground, CIA and FBI,how they “neutralize”(polish plane crash”accident”) and loot other Nations,and don’t forget the Mossad,learn how they stab their friends in the back and rob you blind,and constantly agitating Nations into war,that they have financed since our civil war.
    So,heroes and patriots,study this stuff,live and learn so you may live another day.

  79. cheesemoose May 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    God damn it, Jim. You are the best writer in the United States of America right now – with the sharpest insights into what’s really going on in the national moment. You have a way with words that cracks a reader up at the same time his teeth are falling out of his head at the magnitude of what you’re talking about (only Taibbi, with his “giant vampire squid on the face of humanity” comes close). And yet you undermine yourself, time and time again, with these ridiculous timelines!
    “By August, it’s possible that the entire country except for the editorial board of the New York Times will be members in good standing of the Tea party…I don’t see how the global financial system emerges from that in any form recognizable to someone watching the scene in the first week of May, 2010.”
    Do I have to go back and document all your countless predictions that didn’t quite happen? Can you say, “Y2K”? I believe we weren’t going to make it til Christmas 2009 without a bomb going off in the offices of Goldman Sachs. There may already be people out there using the term “Kuntsler Units” to mark the countdown to Armageddon like they used 6-month “Friedman Units” to mark the time til things would supposedly turn around in Iraq. Why do you do this to yourself? Your observations on the American Scene are trenchant – but then you go and say something like a week from Friday some teabagger is going to shoot Obama. This stuff makes you look like a crackpot Kreskin. Your comparison of our current situation to the fall of the Ancien Regime is perfect. Why fuck it up by egging on Tea Partiers to go up to the Hamptons? Why not delve a little deeper into situation and write about it – instead of just sounding like a guy in a bar predicting the outcome of a ball game? Or, if you must titillate yourself with visions of the downfall of the American aristocracy, why not write it? Lock yourself in a hotel room, order up a vial of Meth and send some fictional armed-to-the-teeth Cheese Doodlers to the Hamptons. Let it all hang out like Hunter Thompson did. Then let Jann Wenner sort it out. It’d be great!

  80. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown May 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    cheesemoose, I think you are on to something. I could probably stand to read this:
    Lock yourself in a hotel room, order up a vial of Meth and send some fictional armed-to-the-teeth Cheese Doodlers to the Hamptons.
    I must admit, I couldn’t finish WMBH. Nor that audio play thing on kunstler.com

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  81. Steve Knox May 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    I don’t doubt that Paul Krugman made that comment, but in retrospect, I wonder if he understood the ramifications of what he was saying. He has continually minimized the trillions of dollars of debt we’re running up on the basis that once the economy recovers, and gets back to normal, the debt will shrink in size compared to the GDP. The assumption being that in spite of resource shortages, or despite them, our economy will magically get back on track. Since this line of reasoning seems to contradict the article you site, it leaves one wondering, what part of limits to growth does Krugman not get?

  82. Michael Dawson May 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    There’s another leader who is utterly clueless about peak oil. Goes by the name of Obama:

  83. Smacktle May 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    I have a friend who’s having a hard time commiting suicide. This has become the perfect place to push him over the edge!

  84. felzke440 May 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Desperate people do desperate things. This is what usually triggers irrational,violent acts,many of which harm the propagator more than his intended victim.We have a LONG way to fall yet as the second wave of foreclosures has not even begun,not to mention the commercial real estate market but… food prices are on the rise…by ALOT. As conditions get worse,slowly. It won’t be sudden unless triggered by some “unforeseen” incident or calamity, people will react to “fend for themselves” This applies to police and other “forces for order”. “Public servants” will not be motivated to work when the pay stops so this is when the chaos begins in earnest. the “roving bands of maurauders” will be survivors escaping the cities looking for food and shelter. Tea partiers NOT violent. attempting change via ballot and awareness.

  85. lbendet May 3, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Everything works hand-in-hand. It’s a recipe for disaster long in the making not an accident.
    Just look at this past week as your guide to the “Long Emergency”. We have climactic incidents, tornadoes and flooding. Coal mine and oil rig accidents, water main break outside Boston, effecting 2 million people. And the cherry on top is an amature terror attack in Times Square on a Saturday night while our power elite are self-indulging in their yearly presidential roast. (BFD)
    As beautifully described this weekend on CNN, unlike other countries, US law does not require the safety apparatus that can shut an oil well down in the event of failure of the shut down mechanisms. By the way, what isn’t being mentioned is Cheney little pet, Halliburton was the contractor hired to cemented the rig. There have been other rigs that have failed thanks to their shoddy work.
    In the Nixon White house an economist by the name of Milton Friedman was working with Kissinger and that administration to move from Keynesianism to The Chicago School of Business paradigm of the free market as ideated by Friedman. (and orchestrating the Pinochet takeover of Chile)
    This theory of his for which he won a Nobel Peace Prize, is for the abdication of the government to apply any restrictions to the ownership class, which basically removes the rule of law as applied to business activities. A must read on the subject is Naomi Kline’s “Shock Doctrine”, a brilliantly researched book that will shine a light on everything that is going on. Once you read it you won’t be fooled by the tripe you hear on the news.
    Keep in mind that the people who say they hate big government love it for the privatized contractors who are after the very money the American people have paid in taxes for their future. (IE the “Entitlements”, now under attack by Friedmanites on both sides of the aisle.) Yes, I’m afraid our educational system does not want anyone to understand the greatness that was once the American marketplace due to a balance between public and private.
    Kissinger lead Nixon by the ear to China in the ’70’s as he saw the potential of over a billion people buying US goods and producing them for peanuts. Like pigs sniffing out the truffles, these people are looking for slave labor world-wide, cutting out the American middleclass in the act. The idea is to go regressive, destroying the great historic strides of the working class in the twentieth century and pressuring all our salaries and rates downward.
    The idea was to go global–for US business owners to operate outside the framework of US laws and taxation. The removal of the dollar peg to gold. Is key to the downfall of our currency, even if it is still the fiat currency. With the fall of Communism, the US no longer needed a well educated populace, nor did it need to be the manufacturing bulwark that showcased a great society of happy well-employed people to advertise the success of Capitalism over Communism.
    My theory is that Friedman reconstructed Leon Trotsky’s idea of world-wide Revolution of the Proletariat and switched it to worldwide elite, unite. Like-minded elites around the world would in fact be working together to undermine the social contract with the people and in David Rockefeller’s words. “Nation States should be decoupled from their resources”.
    Since the fall of communism this country has been fast-tracked through NAFTA and our insane trade policies to find the cheapest labor on earth, with no regulation. There’s no oversight or quality control. Instead of raising all ships as Clinton would say, our ship is being lowered and the biggest loser in this paradigm is the American middle class, soon to be as poor as the poorest third worlders. What people need to understand is that the US is but a quaint idea to these people who see themselves as globalists. They scream loudest about patriotism while undermining the country.
    We no longer produce wealth, but are living on the keytones of debt and monetization of securities. I think we really can’t call ourselves Capitalist anymore. The destruction is all around us in our infrastructure that these great Americans don’t want to fix, because they believe private companies from Spain, such as the clients of Rudy Guiliani, who will get government contracts. Check out the Nasco Corridor on the web and find out more about these ideas, never discussed on the news.
    Yes, we are going to face tremendous challenges for energy but it didn’t have to be like this. This was a choice made by greedy people, who want world hegemony in the sphere of finance and military. That is why there are so many who are above the law. Don’t hold your breath for the end of TBTF.

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  86. trippticket May 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    “On the other hand– the “Shire” is still a more desirable outcome than “Mad Max”.”
    My sentiments exactly, PB. Planted several grapes, figs, a mulberry, and timber bamboo recently. Working on converting to a graywater system, complete with roof catchment and composting toilet as we speak.
    Breaking your household’s fertility import/export cycle is more mentally, not to mention horticulturally, satisfying than I can even describe.
    Let them choke on their money. This is just a better way. No qualifiers necessary.

  87. sfnate May 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Americans are so passive politically that it’s hard for me to imagine such a violent scenario.
    We are in the early stages of a controlled demolition. The engineers behind the plan are confident that the destruction can be confined very precisely to the building’s original footprint. Meaning, they will be able to observe the destruction of the American Middle Class from a safe distance. When the occupants of the building–those who got out in time, anyway–wake up and see open sky where once stood their homes and livelihoods, they will slowly move to slums, over time, the lucky ones taking up residence in the shadows of the high-security gated communities, while the worst-off will inhabit the cardboard boxes on the fringes.
    In other words, America will collapse itself into a reality very much along the lines of what we see in India, or Mexico today. So, the rich will transport their children to exclusive schools in bullet-proof SUVs, while our kids scramble for scraps and toss-aways. The rich will fly off regularly to their vacation compounds; we will work every day of our lives, serving the wealthy. We will still gather in huge mobs around the parasitical celebrity class that holds its nose when we appear, while taking our work week’s last earned dollar.
    In short, if the ruling class brings this down in the right way, over time, we will see our lives implode into a the very same Third World reality that billions of people currently endure each day. No revolutions as long as the water and rice trucks appear whenever necessary; no angry mobs as long as the grinning faces of (B)hollywood stars deign to grace our lives with thier thousand dollar smiles; no anger, no riots, if a few of us win the local lottery and somehow manage to rent a room on the other side of the security wall; and finally, no brave battles with the militarized police as long as the government legion’s loyalty is purchased with promises of full citizenship and a comfortable retirement.
    This is probably a best case scenario, sad to say. If in fact it does get ugly and all authority retreats into hiding to ride it out, I have little confidence that the people left standing in the streets will be able to set aside religious and cultural differences to build a new society. More likely these ethnic and religious communities will contract into tight little fists of resentment and anger, ready to strike down anyone who appears foreign or exotic or simply too smart for their own good. In other words, it will go down in much the same way it always has. You don’t learn to build new societies by watching American Idol or the NFL. Too much garbage has been going in for too long to expect anything more than a tremendous amount of garbage coming out before anything resembling the rarefied achievement of evolved and sustainable living can finally emerge.

  88. george May 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    For Carl Levin, the distinguished Senator from Michigan, to lambaste Lloyd Blankfein on ethics is akin to Adolph Hiltler lecturing Joseph Stalin on human rights. For the past thirty years, Levin has been the American auto industry’s point man in Washington, successfully lobbying to kill any legislation that might pose a threat to GM, Ford and Chrysler’s bottom line. Whatever Blankfein’s crimes, at least he hasn’t pretended to be anything but a classic Greedhead. Heck, we ought to give Goldman Sachs a Congressional medal for its’ ability to attract Greedheads of every race, creed and gender and teach them how to become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams by fleecing average Joe’s looking to get something for nothing.

  89. Jim from Watkins Glen May 3, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Mobs are scarey things all right. Street kids with bricks and gas bombs or National Guardsmen with M1 rifles, any gang of pumped-up people can be quick to murder. Out of work, heavily armed, liquored up, and pissed off is a bad combination in any century.

  90. Puzzler May 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Picture of Kunstler to the Hamptons:
    (posted by Dermot on Life After the Oil Crash forum on http://www.doomers.us)

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  91. bproman May 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Oooooooh la la people are revolting. Settle down have a double shot of tequila and put some cajun shrimp on the BBQ. Enjoy that new deep water special sauce from the gulf of TOXico. Looks like we won’t be snorkeling off the coast this summer.
    I wonder what the odds are in Vegas of another crisis occuring soon. May day may day may day.
    The ship of state is sinking.

  92. asia May 3, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    What if anything have Obama and his czars done?
    O has gone to the gulf. there was a pic of him in the paper talking to fishermen!

  93. asia May 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    ‘The potential for horrific violence by Americans on Americans is out there’…
    The potential for horrific violence by non Americans on Americans is also out there!
    more guns than citizens in the USA.

  94. asia May 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Kissinger lead Nixon by the ear to China in the ’70’s as he saw the potential of over a billion people buying US goods and producing them for peanuts!!! indeed.
    Indeed HK was maybe a lacke for the rockefellers. I remember a pic of one of the rockefellers over there..offering chinese banking and cola if i remember correctly.
    decades later the dreaded buffett and his friend bill gates went over.
    I suspect clinton/gore were groomed since early on by red $.

  95. asia May 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    OK…how are you preparing? what are you doing?

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  96. asia May 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    note the Suburban/ Suv is having a b’day!:
    ARLINGTON, Texas – The Chevrolet Suburban, the roomy choice of hunters, law enforcement agencies and soccer moms, celebrated its 75th anniversary Monday as the longest continuously produced vehicle in the U.S.
    The sport utility vehicle is only made at General Motors’ Arlington plant, which showcased one of the first Suburbans ever produced — a boxy yellow version from 1936 with large round headlights and a spare tire on each side. The interior featured a big steering wheel and spacious tan and dark brown vinyl seats that could be removed for storage space.
    Unveiled as the Suburban Carryall more than seven decades ago, it could seat eight people comfortably and offered whitewall tires, a radio and heater as options. Unlike other 1930s cars that had wood sides and canvas tops, the early Suburban was designed as a more durable truck-type vehicle with an all-steel wagon ……

  97. asia May 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    ‘As of 2005 data, 55% of grad students in American
    university Engineering and Science programs were
    FOREIGN. Most valedictoria in high schools in
    areas with many H1B workers are foreign nationals’
    Not surprising. we offer ‘they’ take.
    1 in 3 in california is foriegn born.
    1 in 10 babies is an anchor baby in usa.
    1 in 3? in usa prison is illegal.

  98. deacon-john May 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Should we take the LIRR or the Hampton Jitney to the revolution on the east end? Time to re-read the Great Gatsby.
    Anyway, there was a lackluster protest about Wall St last week, same old tired groups protesting in unfocused fashion really only gripping about their own causes with old slogans like “People before Profits”
    I mean, c’mon, where is the protest? I think people are buying too many doritos and TV’s at Walmart, not guns and definitely not history books.
    Deacon John
    PS great column as ever, a little Jehovah witness for my taste but keep planting those gardens and raisin those urban chickens folks
    Deacon John

  99. D May 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Come on, when is this all going to take place!?!?! I need a diversion, preferably a bloody one, since NASCAR, pro sports, and celebrity gossip ain’t gettin’ it done anymore for me. YEEEHAAA, let the slaughter begin!!!
    “…modified to full-automatic in the garage.” BTW, this isn’t necessary, as full-auto guns are mostly just a waste of ammo. No, the perfectly legal lever-actions, pumps, and semi-autos, and even single-shots, will do just fine. Of course, so will a sharpened shovel driven into a human chest by any man of average strength, but I digress.
    Jim, what you write may come to pass some distant day, but things will have to become exponentially worse than they are now before it does. I could actually see the United States becoming the dis-United States before your prediction, or whatever it is, happens.

  100. heckler May 3, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    In the background of all this, something wicked this way comes in the matter of oil prices and availability. The eco-disaster underway from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is looking every hour more like an event horizon that will rock the whole industry and, with it, the developed world. At the moment, oil is over $86 a barrel (and gasoline over $3 for regular at the pumps).
    rock the whole industry and, with it, the developed world. not to mention, the dolphins and turtles and pelicans – too bad dolphins and porpoises aren’t n-words or wetbacks – then obama would care about them! and how about that seafood industry and the intercontinental shipping industry and the flooding caused by adding about a million gallons of oil a day (an Exxon Valdez every two weeks) for a couple of months. Will there be a Miami or Biloxi in six months or will they go the way of Glen Canyon? STAY TUNED!!!!

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  101. Puzzler May 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Heckler, you said: “the flooding caused by adding about a million gallons of oil a day (an Exxon Valdez every two weeks) for a couple of months. Will there be a Miami or Biloxi in six months or will they go the way of Glen Canyon?”
    You’re kidding, right? You’re worried about this oil blowout causing the sea level to rise? You should be forced to wear a sign around your neck that says “I am Scientifically Illiterate.”
    You do realize that Glen Canyon had the Colorado River flowing through it and when the dam was built, that caused the flooding up stream that turned Glen Canyon into Lake Powell?

  102. welles May 3, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    “…The rich will fly off regularly to their vacation compounds; we will work every day of our lives, serving the wealthy.”
    What, you can’t plant vegetables & learn to do with less? Catch your own rainwater, set up a small solar array to power a fridge and a laptop, get yourself a tiny plot of land more rural and build a tiny house (some are cheap as hell)?
    Fuck the elites, drop out of their fiat slavery systems…FUCK ‘EM and let ’em eat cake, while you eat corn on the cob and the deer you shot in the woods. Satisfying, hoo doggy!

  103. mean dovey cooledge May 3, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    Tripp! good to see you back. Left you a comment last post on my garden, then a guy came on here and informed me that tens of millions of starving city people would find my little farm and mess me up bad. and i would have it coming for making fun of latte.
    like you said, and welles too, non participation is a great way to go. opt out! dont feed the beast.

  104. welles May 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    “…tens of millions of starving city people would find my little farm and mess me up bad. and i would have it coming for making fun of latte.”
    You make fanny, I likes, I likes big!

  105. asoka May 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    asia said: “Not surprising. we offer ‘they’ take.
    1 in 3 in california is foriegn born.”
    And what is so admirable about them is that they study hard, are positive about their experience in America, and are solutions oriented. They don’t spend their time whining.

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  106. Headless May 4, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    True. The Hamptons are utterly indefensible. And I, too, wonder why the bloodletting hasn’t already begun, though if the Times Square truck bomb would have been “parked” in Goldman Sachs foyer, I would have thought that a good start. I think things probably have begun, but I imagine the effort, given today’s technology and communication tools, will be much more strategic than just storming the castle walls and cutting off heads. It’s going to be fucking painful for this particular group (of thieving rich) given the multiple heinous ways that they can be monitored, stalked, attacked and ended.
    In waiting for these type of events to occur, I began to consider who and how, and I realized I’m the one who understands what this criminal collective Wall Street has done; I’m the one who would like to see every one of the fucks publically hung–after having their nuts cut off and crammed down their throats while standing on the gallows in…say, Central Park; and it’s going to be people just like me who take those modified Walmart rifles to the Hamptons this summer (I’m not one of the more strategic thinkers: I want justice; I want vengeance; I want all this fucking anti-humane exploitation and financial rape of innocent poplulations to end with an appropriate remedy: Off with their fucking heads!). People just like me will HAVE to do something! Their consciences will allow nothing else. Fuck! Will I be one of them? Surely, just as the oblivious “aristocrats” had no ability to comprehend what would visit the party palace at Versailles, I think many of us have no clear idea–yet–that we are, indeed, going to be the foundation of the coming revolution. Who else? If I one day wake up and realize that it is my duty, I can see no reason why action would not immediately replace “commenting” in forums. When the time comes, when it feels right, there will be no choice.
    Somehow, after reading you today Jim, things don’t seem the same as they did yesterday and I’m not perceiving myself as the mild-mannered inner-city high school teacher that I was…
    Who will I be tomorrow? Will their (Government Sach’s) continued disregard for the Constitution and the country that my grandfather died to protect invite me to storm the castle? It would be a good death.

  107. D R Lunsford May 4, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    I’m always grimly amazed at those who think magical solutions are at hand, that we can just “wish upon a star” and shit will become un-inverted. Sorry. This oil thing isn’t going away. There are inconvenient truths about plugging a hole where the ambient water pressure is in the thousands of pounds per square inch, it’s dark-dark to begin with, and the water is full of oil. What if the only way to seal the wound is to use a tactical nuke to melt the ocean floor? I’d love to see the miracle mongering idiots on both sides of this farcical body politic confronted with that choice. I was sort of hoping for a dangerous asteroid to shatter faith-based reality, but this little thing dreamed up by BP and their true bretheren will do just fine.
    And JHK is right – Krugman may be our tool, but he’s still just as much a tool as any impostor of a “thinker” out there in the mentally enervated hot-house world of academe.

  108. Bill Simpson May 4, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    If things really get bad, the super-rich will fly out of here in no time.
    Paul B.Farrell just wrote another excellent article on Wall Street’s efforts to kill financial reform on MarketWatch.com. You might need a drink (or pill) if you read his last 10, or so, articles.

  109. Eleuthero May 4, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    Dear Lunsford,
    Excellent post and I might add that it
    seems like the media has completely
    expunged our memory of the offshore
    Brazilian oil rig explosion which
    happened a scant couple of months ago.
    That’s what is REALLY scary about Peak
    Oil to me. It’s not just that it’s
    getting scarce. It’s this total denial
    about how poor the Energy Return/Energy Invested
    ratio is for deep sea oil … in addition
    to being orders of magnitude more dangerous.
    The really economical oil, the “low hanging
    fruit”, has been completely picked and now
    we’re left with these pie-in-the-sky holes
    miles under the sea.
    I still say that Obama’s “surprising”
    announcement of East Coast drilling from
    NC down to FL is no “surprise” at all.
    His advisors are apprising him quite
    precisely, I’m sure, about our long
    term problems.
    However, new projects like that all
    seem to have geological projections
    of only a few months to a year of
    total oil reserves … if the geologists
    are really accurate. I doubt that many
    existing Big Oil companies are going to
    be interested in feverish projects that
    take YEARS to get online with such low
    The situation the USA is in right now
    can be likened to a terminal cancer
    patient who has been told that he can
    empty out his entire family’s savings
    so that he can live eight more months
    or he can just die. Either way, he’s
    going to be dead but in the way that’s
    more expedient to the patient, his
    entire family suffers and is wiped out.
    I believe that the oil companies
    themselves are going to start curtailing
    new rig construction because they’re not
    in the country-saving business. They’re
    in a money-making business. That HUGE
    dry hole off the Brazilian coast a few
    months ago sure sobered up ROYAL DUTCH
    SHELL. A few hundred million for …
    Finally, how far off can it be when the
    major exporters, especially RUSSIA, just
    tell the world to bugger off because they
    need to keep ALL of their depleting supplies
    … for THEMSELVES????

  110. asoka May 4, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    Worse than 1789?
    Obama’s poll numbers are up.
    Economy is moving in a positive direction.
    Consumer confidence is up.
    More people than ever believe Obama is taking the country in the right direction.
    Hardly the stuff revolutions are made of.
    Dream on, doomsters.

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  111. diogen May 4, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    >non participation is a great way to go. opt out!
    If only it were that easy, MDC. I do enthusiastically support the idea of folks turning off TVs and growing some food, but “non-participation and opt-out” are a fantasy. Can you honestly say that you’re, or have a hope to be, 100% self-sufficient, meaning you grow all of your food, generate all of your electricity, provide your own health-care, and earn enough currency to send your children to college? If I remember correctly, your husband still gets into his fossil-fuel vehicle and drives to work.
    I appreciate the choices you’ve made, but let’s be honest about it, it’s not realistic for most people to opt-out. Don’t you think someone should stay on the ship, bail out the incoming water and patch up holes in the hull?

  112. diogen May 4, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    >More people than ever believe Obama is taking >the country in the right direction.
    Including drill-baby-drill and two wars?

  113. lbendet May 4, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    I was surprised that the only TV commenter who addressed the world market for oil was Darryl Ratigan, yesterday when we asked the question, Don’t people know the oil from offshore drilling will be put on the world market?
    The people shouting drill baby drill are too disingenuous to tell their followers that that oil will be bought by the highest bidder.
    They also don’t explain, that there’s really not more than a year’s worth of oil off the east coast. Wouldn’t we be better off if we saved it for a crisis? (are we in one now?)

  114. Gulland May 4, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Diogen, We’re growing a lot(!) of food and the TV has been off for 6-7 years now. We’ll never be 100% self sufficient, but we use a lot less energy, and run a rural home based manufacturing business. We are trying to make do with far less than we used to, and we like this lifestyle. We use more electricity than we can make, but we are as careful and thoughtful with it’s use as we can possibly be.
    You’re correct; it’s not realistic for most people to “opt out,” whatever that really means. But, if major lifestyle changes aren’t made by choice, they will be forced upon us in short order. I believe most children should forget about college unless they have aptitude toward something that only a college education can supply. I studied English and history, and honestly, 30 years later, I feel like I would have been much better off getting this knowledge on my own.
    I wish I had learned more about soil and sustainable agricultural production in my college experience; more about herbal medicines and natural health care. We’re learning as we go now, sharing what we know with those interested, and we are happy to have food to share from our home garden.
    If “opt-out” means hiding in the hills in Idaho, not paying taxes, sitting in a bunker full of cans of food and rifles and ammo, that’s not a productive way to live. We believe our opt-out is more like real bailing and patching. Please give me your definition. How should we bail and patch this leaky old tub?

  115. diogen May 4, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Gulland, we too are growing a lot of food in the backyard of a suburban house, no TV. This spring we signed up for an additional community garden plot to grow potatoes.
    >Please give me your definition. How should we >bail and patch this leaky old tub?
    You know, the usual things, work thru your elected representatives to end the inane wars, control psycho/clepto corporations, do whatever you do to earn a living, discover the fountain of youth, I don’t know what else….
    All I meant was that it’s unrealistic to think that you can get a patch of land and unplug from the rest of civilization… one day you’ll need to replace the solar panels or the inverter, or the water pump… By the way, what product are you manufacturing?

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  116. Gulland May 4, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Good work, Diogen. We enlarged to 2400 square feet of garden this year and our potatoes are going in the ground this weekend. We’re on the same bailing and patching program, by the way. I’m a blacksmith and I make broadforks full time now.
    Getting that patch of land and disengaging really isn’t a working option for more than a relative handful of people. Truth is, there’s the property tax bill, the dog license, animal feed, the cost of various energy inputs, etc. It’s almost impossible to stand alone.
    I came across Clusterfuck Nation in March of 2005 after reading an article in Rolling Stone about The Long Emergency and I have been a follower since then. I don’t have a lot of time to participate in discussions these days, but I read a lot of it each week. This site got me in touch with what I believe is the big bag of real problems we will face as our energy supply becomes more difficult to create and maintain. I’m thankful that I began preparing for a much simpler lifestyle when I did, and I feel like I’m quite a bit ahead of those just coming to those realizations today.
    Keep busy with the garden, and good luck with it this year.

  117. mean dovey cooledge May 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Diogen, thank you for your comment. I think what I mean by “opting out” is to disengage as best I can from the false ideas of what is success, what is wealth and the narrow definition of how to live. Opting out for me is to not let Madison ave make me feel like I have to have the whitest teeth or the biggest boobs or expensive jeans. or lipitor, or plavix or red bull. or american idol, dancing with the stars, or an iphone. I am trying to distinguish my wants from my actual needs, and to use money wisely. I am trying to not feed the beast by not shopping with big corporations like Wally World and doing business with my neighbors -i.e. shopping the locally owned Ace hardware not Home Depot.
    Opting out also meant that I came to understand what effect my buying habits have on the culture…for example out of season fruits in the winter…how much oil does that require? the transporting of it; the packaging of it. It is difficult to eat local and by season..but I get better every year. lost weight without trying doing it. and growing my own garden has been beneficial for me because I am not so detached from what it takes to get food on the table. I respect it so much more now.
    It is true, that my husband does indeed go to work and continues to live in a traditional way….and that is why we largely live apart. I am the “doomer” of the family; have not been able to convince him that making a serious lifestyle shift is a better retirement plan than the one he fights to keep solvent now. So I started without him; and I try and sell it every chance i get. but he is very very invested in an approach that was synonymous with infinite resources.
    on the money making front – of course I still have to work. And yes my husband pays for the basics of life like health and car insurance. But the “farm” stuff is financed by me. I sell art out of the back of my pick up truck. and I do illustration work when I can get it. but not buying schizzz helps-I shop at Goodwill for clothes and freak out now when I see real retail prices. Im not off grid -id like to be…i dont have the $ or the savvy to do solar..But i am in an electrical management system we draw our power primarily from the TVA dam system.
    when I met Tripp, he talked a lot about low tech approaches to doing things. for instance, a simple chum system for attracting and keeping trout in my area of the creek; using a ram pump for irrigation…other basic permie approaches.
    my version of opting out is definitely not holed up with firearms (although I do have them) with beanie weenies waiting for the ‘pocalypse. Theres a whole lot of me out there…people that just made a shift to a pared down more sane lifestyle. and judging from the conversations I have with people that come to my towns farmer’s market -a whole lot more would like to do the same.
    but of course you are correct – short of going totally native – im still in the system. as far as voting and working toward elections and such – I have completely lost faith in the process and believe it to be irrevocably broken.I believe the corporations are in charge and do not know what to do about it other than take some control over my own choices.

  118. Qshtik May 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Eliminate Pubic Schools, Part II
    by Paul Galvin, LewRockwell.com
    Yesterday, many of the local benefits to flow from the elimination of the public schools were outlined. But eliminating public schooling, an institution not extant at the country’s founding, would have national implications extending well beyond the boundaries of any one state. Chief beneficiaries would be an overall strengthening, and rehabilitation, of the American federal system and an increase in individual liberty.
    Freedom for Federalism. Some of us have actually read the U.S. Constitution. Readers may know the document I mean, the written one, the one containing the set of behavioral limitations placed upon the created government. Not the imagined version penned with invisible ink whose words and meaning are discernible only by elites with special glasses. (Pointedly many of these elites so-called have either been elected or appointed and thus have been required by the written Constitution’s Article VI to take an oath “to support this Constitution,” meaning, because of the Framers’ deliberate use of the definite article “this,” the one visibly available to the rest of us.(*)) When reading that Constitution, we know that the created federal government has no authority to legislate on any matter dealing with education. On this point we have Mr. Madison in our corner. “The powers delegated by the proposed Consti tution to the federal government, are few and defined [(**)]. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” ~ Federalist #45.
    (*) In addition to Clause 3 of Article VI (the Oath/Affirmation Clause), the phrase “this Constitution” appears in 11 other provisions of the Framers’ 1787 document, demonstrating unequivocally that the Framers’ use of the definite article “this” in pointing at the words of their written document was intentional, not inadvertent.
    (**) We know precisely what those few and defined powers are because they are listed – in writing – in the document itself. Education is not on the list.
    This understanding undergirds the 9th and 10th Amendments. “You may go this far, but no farther.” Despite these clear restrictions, we have today a huge federal superstructure called the U.S. Department of Education(!) which intrudes not only into K-12 education but also into the collegiate system. Since no provision in the Constitution authorizes federal involvement in education (among countless other federal intrusions), this can only be the result of government officials being unfaithful to their voluntarily-taken oaths to “this Constitution,” acting without the consent of the people, compounded by the people’s own failure to appreciate the genius of the American constitutional system: by restricting governmental power, individual freedoms are maximized.
    There is nothing inherently American about a top-down, one-size-fits-all public school system, a system drawn from the authoritarian Prussian model (promoted circa 1840s by Horace Mann, a Massachusetts liberal, among others). Hearthside teaching aka home schools, private tutoring, and small community-based private schools (with the emphasis on small) are representative of the American tradition.
    The elimination of the public schools would deprive Congress of the excuse that it “must” take money from taxpayers in order to support education by connivingly offering “help” to the several states, provided of course that those states agree to a few controlling strings. In short, eliminating the public schools assists Congress by forcing it to obey the written Constitution. When government is limited, then ipso facto the people have more freedom. “The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” Thomas Jefferson.
    That Congress has strayed from the essence of the Constitution – limiting the reach and power of the created government – can ultimately be laid at the feet of the electorate. Not enough of us have demanded that Congress obey the Constitution because not enough of us know the Constitution, not a co-incidence since the public schools have gone out of their way to avoid teaching the country’s foundational underpinnings. It’s no surprise then that a sizeable percentage of the population does not honor our Constitution since appreciating its ingenuity has been replaced by academically-approved Statism and its worship, a tactic accelerated under Obama but which began in earnest in the 1930s. Certain constitutional symbolisms may still prevail – congressional and presidential terms still begin and end on January 3rd and January 20th respectively; those nominated for federal office still receive the advice and consent of the Senate; state of the union addresses are given “from time to time”; and so forth – but the substantive core thesis of the Constitution – its raison d’être, namely, strictly limiting the reach of the created government – has been so grossly ignored that the “system as practiced” would be unrecognizable to the Framers.
    Consider the all-too-typical routine: (i) Congress (whether D or R controlled) passes a putative “law” that has no textual authority, thereby neglecting its institutional duty to check-and-balance itself and only enact measures for which there is express constitutional language, with affirmatively-voting Members disregarding their individually-taken constitutional oaths to support “this Constitution.” (ii) The president, failing in his independent check-and-balance duties to ascertain a law’s compliance with the Constitution and unfaithful to his special constitutional oath, signs that “law.” (nb: Both D and R presidents have been equally guilty.) (iii) That “law” when tested in the federal courts is, surprise, surprise, found to be “constitutional” because the judiciary, ducking out on its own independent check-and-balance duty, relies on a long-practiced, judicially-created legalistic convenience, w ink-wink, nudge-nudge, known as presumption-of-constitutionality, an artifice which holds that anything and everything done by Congress is to be presumed by all courts (both federal and state) as constitutional. [Having the benefit of this presumption is an enormous strategic advantage: it shifts the burden of proving constitutionality from the government (the proponent) onto the shoulders of citizen-challengers who are then burdened to disprove the “law’s” constitutionality, a very high legal standard to overcome.] In all other venues of life, a proposition’s proponent bears the burden of proof and persuasion, but perversely not in the one venue where it really should be mandated because in the federal law-making venue can be exercised the greatest measure of control over the greatest number of people. The ObamaCare “law” easily comes to mind, and supporters of this pretense at law-making have been quick to assert the presumption-of-constitutionality trump card against the people.
    In short, we have the textual and apparent form of a limited, appropriately checked-and-balanced government, but not the actual substance which will only occur, indeed, can only occur, when men and women of honest character, whose “yes” is their “yes” and whose “no” is their “no,” serve, individuals to whom the letter and spirit of the Article VI oath to maintaining a government of limited reach is a meaningful undertaking. To this point Founder John Adams was prescient in assessing the efficacy of paper handcuffs, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    Today we have Members who openly acknowledge that they do not read bills before voting, even apart from performing a thoughtful analysis of a bill’s provisions for compliance with the Constitution, a document to which they have taken a personal oath to support. Some even openly acknowledge that most of what Congress does is unconstitutional (note the recent remarks of Democrat Rep. James Clyburn, SC-6). Despite these admissions, they’re re-elected! Again and again! have we gone mad? A private employer would never tolerate such behavior from an agent or an employee, but we the American people do. That we are in this state of affairs can be blamed in large measure on the American public school curriculum where an appreciation of the ingenious American system is neither taught nor admired. We’ve now arrived at the point where a sitting Congressman (Democrat Rep. Phil Hare, IL-17) can openly state that he doesn’t care what the Constitution says, a sentime nt obviously held by a majority of Members since Congress continues to putatively enact “laws” in the utter absence of express constitutional text. The recent health care reform act may be the largest and ugliest example, but it hardly stands alone. Contrast the Clyburns and Hares of the world with Davy Crockett (yes, that Davy Crockett), a former Member of Congress (Tennessee, 1827–1831, 1833–1835), in an attributed speech, “Not Yours To Give.”
    Where is the express authority to enact so-called health care reform legislation; or the authority to give billions in “foreign aid”; or the authority to enact national educational funding and academic standards; or the authority which enables the executive branch to conduct war/s without express declarations; and on and on? Obviously no such authority exists except in the minds of those privy to the Constitution’s invisible ink. To maintain that Congress’s authority to do as it wishes may be found in the Interstate Commerce Clause, or in the even more nebulous General Welfare Clause, is to say that the Framers went through their painstaking work of setting forth limitations on power, with memories of the harsh treatment which British unlimited government meted out still fresh in their minds, only to learn that they had written two clauses (ICC; GWC) that swallow and emasculate the core concept of limitation. With this sort of open-ended reasoning, no thing is beyond the reach of Congress, Article I, section 8’s enumerated listing be damned.
    On this score there is no middle ground: Either we have limited government, or we live under its only known alternative, unlimited government. What should we see as worse: Having Members of Congress who are ignorant of the Constitution’s purposes, or having Members who understand those limiting purposes but who intentionally undermine them through blatant disregard? One is dim-witted, the other dishonest. The answer to this question may be of little moment since the result is the same: a corrupted government that does not play by the people’s agreed-upon rules for conducting self-government. Want proof? Listen to the recent words of Democrat Rep. Alcee Hastings, FL-23, member, House Committee on Rules, “When the deal [i.e., the process of legislating, -editor] goes down, all of this talk about rules, we make [th]em up as we go along.”
    Contrary to the portrayal by the MSM and the left generally, the current 10th Amendment and Tea Party movements are not anti-government; rather, they are anti-corrupt government. Their existence and the various state proposals to fight the perversion of the Interstate Commerce Clause through intrastate statutes (for example on gun matters or health care reform “mandates”) are healthy signs of an engaged citizenry acting as self-governors. That more and more Americans are carrying pocket-sized versions of the founding documents is evidence that a strong sense of independence from government animates many, and is further evidence that the pathetic efforts of the public schools to erase the personal responsibility heritage of our history have not been altogether successful. Could all these efforts at reviving federalism flourish? Yes, without question, but only if the people follow through and do what they must: Insist that their federal and state representatives st rictly confine Congress, binding it, borrowing again from Jefferson, “with the chains of the Constitution.” Such should be a bedrock principle found in the 2010 campaign literature of every worthwhile candidate.

  119. Puzzler May 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Asoka sez:
    “Economy is moving in a positive direction.”
    “Consumer confidence is up.”
    “More people than ever believe Obama is taking the country in the right direction.”
    “Dream on, doomsters.”
    Keep shaking your pom-poms, Asoka. Your mindless cheerleading is beyond tiresome.
    Dream on, Pollyanna.

  120. Funzel May 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    I see Goldman,sux ripped off the American public another 26 bucks per oz with their paper gold scheme,and that,s just in one day!!

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  121. Funzel May 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    All you gardeners,do you know how many acres of good soil it takes to feed just ONE person per year?

  122. sfnate May 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    What, you can’t plant vegetables & learn to do with less? Catch your own rainwater, set up a small solar array to power a fridge and a laptop, get yourself a tiny plot of land more rural and build a tiny house (some are cheap as hell)?
    Possibly. I know that from where we sit right now, going off the grid and hunkering down in the American outback seems like a viable alternative, but this simple remedy has complicated connections to the reality in which most ordinary people are struggling to survive each day. If the financial system suffers a catastrophic failure and pulls down the political apparatus along with it, I think that for most people, the fallout from that will seriously damage and limit their options. Maybe a few prescient hippies and survivalists will have settled onto their dozen acres of heaven before things get really bad, but when the brownouts and rolling blackouts start hitting the suburbs and urban areas, and social relations get increasingly frayed, the modern pioneers will be joined in their peaceful woods by truckloads of refugees looking for affordable housing and other necessities, like food and water. In short, there’s really no where to run, and unless you’re prepared to go down in a blaze of Alamo-like glory defending your well-stocked shack in the woods, I really don’t think that these simplistic, back to nature, off the grid options are going to survive very long after the convulsions of our dying empire begin.
    Suggested reading: “Far North” by Marcel Theroux.

  123. diogen May 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I see, your version of “opting out” is trying to live more sustainably. I think many folks on this forum will see a number of the things you mentioned as doable, good places to start, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. My wife resolved to not buy any out-of-season or off-shore fruits/vegs, and although I’m tempted to get those strawberries in January and Australian Kiwi when it’s me who has to be the chef for friends/family, most of the time I go with the program. She’s a huge fan of Michael Pollan, so eating and living lower on the food chain is taking root. The kids, that’s another story… sigh. Hope they won’t be blaming us (too much) when the rug is pulled from under them.

  124. Gulland May 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Mean Dovey, I wish we were neighbors; might have been. We spent the winter in Florence AL in 2009.
    Funzel, My wife and I worked 1300 square feet of garden last year and got very nearly 1500lbs of produce out of it. everything was frozen, dried, canned or root cellared. We purchase very few vegetables in a year, just things we can’t grow, like ginger, for example.
    diogen, you’re doing more than you think you are. your kids may not see it now, but they have been exposed to it.
    sfnate, thanks for your angle, and I’ll look up Far North.

  125. trippticket May 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    “All you gardeners,do you know how many acres of good soil it takes to feed just ONE person per year?”
    Actually, that all depends on your appetite. A very respected permaculture teacher friend of mine says that an acre would most likely cover a family for food, fiber, and fuel, if managed thoughtfully. Bill Mollison purports that the yield of a site is theoretically unlimited.
    We Americans just haven’t done anything along those lines in a long time…

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  126. Cash May 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    That was a really good blurb. Of course according to proponents of an activist federal government the constitution is a living breathing document that says and means whatever they think it ought to.
    One argument in favour of a publicly funded and run school system is that kids from a variety of socio economic backgrounds get a leg up ie it levels the playing field. My own parents could not remotely have home schooled me and my sister nor could any of my relatives have done it for their kids. If the school system was private I don’t know that we would have gotten remotely as good an education. Especially in our elementary school the teachers and curriculum were no bullshit, down to earth. Not so much later though in high school ie in the late 1960s and 1970s when the longhairs where starting to infect the educational establishment. But that’s a diferent story.
    The question though is which level of govt should be responsible for education. If your constitution is clear on the issue then it is what it is. My bias is to have subnational or local govts in charge of it. Federal govts on the scale of the US govt I think are just too ponderous, too clumsy, too inept. If the educational system is broken into smaller chunks it would have greater democratic accountability, be much more responsive and quicker on its feet.
    The counterargument is that a federally run system could mandate uniform educational standards, after all you have a national labour market and an extremely mobile workforce. Wouldn’t do to have radically different curriculums and standards between states and regions. No reason though that states can’t get together though and discuss these matters. That would take some effort though. I worked with fellow that was in charge of US state tax filings for our employer and he said of the system “…imagine 50 third world countries none of whom talk to one another…”

  127. diogen May 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    >joined in their peaceful woods by truckloads of >refugees looking for affordable housing
    This is one theory. Another theory (with actual historic precedence I think) is that when the times are uncertain, people do not leave their homes and possessions behind, they stay and defend them. There may be roving bands, the predators among us need scant excuse for pillage, and there may be even some anti-social neighbors who feel resentful that you worked hard while they watched NFL and now you have food and they don’t… same old story… But I just don’t see mass migrations from cities. During WWII farmers were given priority in fuel allocation, I’m sure the same thing with some variation will take place, when the fossil fuel supply collapses, the Gov’t will at least attempt the enforcement of fuel allocation to farmers (and then may confiscate their product, but that’s another story, and as someone mentioned — in America farmers are armed)… So, the future is too uncertain, but the present isn’t — so if you enjoy gardening, you can grow a LOT of food where your lawn is now, front, side and back.

  128. trippticket May 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Just a note from this urban permaculturist:
    I can tell you that I am confounded by the array of choices lying before thoughtful people these days. Two reasons I left eastern Washington: not enough precipitation to support the population in the long run, and no family to “tribe-up” with.
    I have both of those things now, in middle Georgia, but what I also have is severe humidity in the face of living without AC. My books are already starting to show the effects, and I imagine clothes, shoes, and rugs will follow. What to do, what to do?
    I could rely on a small AC unit, focussed around books, clothes, piano, etc, but ultimately, the Ocmulgee aborigines in these parts simply didn’t have those things to protect. Probably for a good reason. I could donate my collection to the library, but without a car it’s too far away to use. Libraries should probably be the last places with AC. Maybe we’ll build more village branches as things “progress”, but that’s doubtful.
    Permaculture is typically thought of in terms of endurance and persistence, but in some climates “biodegradable and renewable” might get higher marks. If we can harvest and use materials that can regenerate within the useful life of those materials, that also is permacultural, and sustainable. And maybe a better solution for places like Georgia.
    Ande, I really enjoyed your last big post above. Keep up the good fight. And come see us when you can.
    Tripp out.

  129. Cash May 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Tripp, question for you. I’m not a gardener, I live in a big city apartment and so am utterly ignorant of these things.
    In your experience how much does it vary by latitude? I read somewhere that it take a tree much less time to grow in Georgia than it would in British Columbia and it takes a miniscule acreage to feed a cow in a southern state as opposed to a northern or prairie state because of land productivity.
    So to feed a family theoretically you would need less acreage if you have a longer growing season, more warmth, more rain etc further south.
    What’s your take on it? If memory serves you’ve lived in a northern state and I think now you’re in Georgia.
    I worked with a guy that grew up in Malaysia. He said that in that place the ground was so fertile that if you threw down a handful of pumpkin seeds the pumpkins would take over the earth.

  130. catman306 May 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I understand that BP is paying former fishermen and former tour guide captains to clean up the marshes in LA and MS. This cleanup may take decades, so these boat owners are probably guaranteed a living ’till the cleanup is finally finished or BP goes bankrupt. Job security is quite nice, but I’ll bet the boat owners would rather have what they used to have. BP has become the corporate sponsor for our Gulf Coast and if they can’t stop the oil flow, the Atlantic Coast too..

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  131. trippticket May 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    All you self-reliant types (“self-sufficiency” is indeed a myth for social apes), when you plant your peaches and cucumbers, don’t forget to throw down a few species of bamboo as well. At last count there were over 1500 different human uses for this crop. It’s probably THE most undervalued element in the sustainable landscape today.

  132. trippticket May 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Cash, I totally agree that productivity is highly correlated with latitude. One of the biggest ecological reasons I came home to Georgia was because, despite nearly 500 years of our best efforts to kill it, nature is thriving in Georgia. Everywhere I look I see stands of nitrogen fixing trees and vines preparing the way for more useful human food forests. It is lush and green, and we can grow food all year long with a little season extension. Spokane was very different. In a wood-based economy it wouldn’t take long to deforest the entire Pacific northwest, if for no other reason than long regeneration timeframes. And the fossil aquifer (Rathdrum Prairie aquifer) that has sustained a million people in the region isn’t being replenished. Remove beavers from the equation, oh wait, we already did that for fancy hats in the 19th century, and you have a very dry, desolate landscape awaiting.
    There’s a reason we started in the tropics and worked our way north as our technologies improved. I imagine energy descent will work in near reverse.
    See you, brother.

  133. The Mook May 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Kunstler units? That’s a good one. Same thing the Washington state buried alive said before Mt. St. Helens went off. Same thing the California Dingleberries say about the “big one”. In those cases it was/is nature that postponed the event. In this case it is the American bullshit machine. If you can’t see the fall of the U.S. coming, due to greed, and the worship of the greedy,you are just plain stupid. In any case, what is the hurry? Enjoy the country while it is still fun. I may be a doomer but I still love the sunshine!

  134. mthomas May 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    good article on the demise of all fiat currencies because of the government’s continued money printing efforts, which benefits those like Goldman Sachs to the detriment of most everyone else:

  135. Gulland May 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Trippticket, What a lot of people don’t realize is that an acre is a little smaller than a football field. An acre is a very large garden, compared to what most of us have, and used well, can provide a tremendous amount of food. With a greenhouse in play, it’ll even work in harsh winter climates all year.
    There’s nothing easy about doing this, but the rewards are huge. I hope more people get busy and make food plots in their yards while there’s still time to learn and make a few mistakes. It’s become our lifestyle to produce food and prepare it for storage. I really couldn’t go back to relying on the grocery store for things that we can grow for ourselves.
    You are exactly right; we have not done this in a long time, but a lot of people are starting gardens now.
    I left Alabama 10 years ago and came to Wisconsin. The season is shorter here, but incredibly intense. If a seed gets into this incredible soil, it will grow. Well, I don’t have a lot of luck with okra, but I keep trying.

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  136. Jersey New May 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    NYT Rolls Royce Review of Sunday 5/2/12 has an interesting comment in it:
    This below is during the reporter’s test-drive in California.
    “Other motorists seemed to take great delight in short-braking that über-Bentley while saluting me with up-raised digits and hurled insults. One irate Ford pickup driver kept pace for nearly a quarter-mile in an almost incoherent rage. I was finally able to make out the epithet he was shouting: “Banker!”

  137. Jersey New May 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Sorry, I meant 5/2/10.

  138. asia May 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Less than one acre per person?
    I believe 40,000 pounds of potatoes can be grown on one acre.
    [curse of the irish].
    2 things I want to report:
    Congressman Waxman sneaks anti-vitamin amendment into Wall Street …Apr 30, 2010 … Mike Adams | Congressman Henry Waxman wants to give the FTC even more powers by allowing the FTC to write its own laws without Congressional …
    and JK did you know college teachers are outsourcing grading of tests / papers?
    hows that for nerve!!!
    ‘ at least three colleges, one of them GWU have been ‘ sending their laundry to chindia’

  139. asia May 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I answered one of yr questions in last weeks post, at the end. you may get a kick out of it.

  140. asia May 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    TT did you say you got a house for small $ or put a 3k or 10k downpayment?

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  141. asia May 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    from last weeks posts “one smart boy”:
    Jim, how about a Facebook feed so we can share both the madness and the truth of your thoughts with a wider audience more readily?

  142. lpat May 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    “A third event took place in my own back yard this weekend that was not nearly as severe as a car bomb or an unchecked oil spill, but it chilled me to the bone nonetheless, and got me thinking long and hard about New York and the Gulf and the state of the nation itself. A few miles west of my home, a massive aqueduct broke and wiped out the water supply for two million people in the greater Boston area. The news was covered with warnings to boil water before drinking or preparing food. My wife and I have been doing exactly that, and we have had all the water we need.
    “A day after the water main break, however, the news became filled with stories of a darker nature. Apparently, people all over the city were getting into brawls in supermarkets trying to buy bottled water. I saw it myself at a Stop & Shop on Sunday afternoon when I went in to by paper towels; the place was stuffed with hyper-aggressive, panicky people pushing and shoving each other over bottled water they didn’t really need to buy. They assumedly all had stoves and pots and taps and refrigerators in their homes, but instead, they dove into riot status and made a bad situation significantly worse.
    “It was sickening to behold, and says many things about our national character that are deeply uncomfortable to contemplate. An unknown person filled with hate tried to blow up Times Square. A shabbily-run oil rig might literally kill us all. A water crisis turned ordinary people into greedy, pushy animals right before my eyes.”

  143. jerry May 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Life is getting edgy. People know what has happened to them. The rigged corporate capitalist elite predatory oligarchs cannot get the mark off their foreheads.
    What we have in this nation are corporate capitalist predators, who should be considered enemy non-combatants for destroying the environment, destroying the economy, and jobs and families by rigging the system through insider trading, sitting at the table with legislators and presidents in order to maximize profits at any cost even if it entailed fraud, slip-shoddy methodologies and production processes, manipulation, and propaganda techniques.
    Until such CEOs: Massey Energy, GS, BP, AIG, and others are significantly fined in the billions of dollars, indicted, and companies taken apart or sent away from domestic business deals, this country will not recovery.

  144. ASPO Article 1037 May 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    First, GLOMAR EXPLORER needs to be stationed in the Gulf. She rests in Suisun Bay (near SF Bay) alongside the IOWA and other less spectacular ships of yore. There will be work for Glomar E in the future, after this present blow-out is fixed…
    The story (Baltimore) on the rush for bottled water vs. boiling you own reminds us the heat supply will be difficult when the water needs boiling sometime future. Do science classes TEACH methodology of filtration, boiling, condensation, vapor capture, etc.? Chlorination or other chemical means sometimes substitutes.
    The impending oil constriction again reminds us to heed Jim’s warning on need to fix up and grow the railway network. Railways at a local interface maintain distribution of necessities of life when the truckers hit the motor fuel rationing limits. Trucks running between Canada & Mexico and San Pedro to New York are in the last inning.
    Another thing about the Interurban/local rail branchline network, railway shops employing people to FIX things from the surrounding vicinity, not just work on railway things. Civil Engineers looking for work can, right now, determine the dormant rail footprint nearby and get some local students to help scope out alignment and connection with main line rail nearby. Try spv.co.uk and old copies of OFFICIAL GUIDE for railway maps, etc.
    Constant whining about railway being too big to deal with is strictly laziness. If railways could be handled (over 400,000 miles by WWI) before internal combustion and electric tools, we can certainly get to work while the Diesel & electricity flows. Your growing children are soon going to catch some of this hopelessness. Suggest they are in the garden, in the homework, in the Bible, and constantly encouraged as things progress.
    Thin dust layers on the Moon & Mars indicate thousands, not Billions of years of deposition. Just sayin’… USA seems to fit description in Daniel 4,verse 15. Great tree provides benefit to the earth, brought down to roots, preserved only by bands of iron & bronze. Tracks and (phosphur) bronze of electric railways? Bible thumping opens one to ridicule, but really, the situation looks pretty ridiculous, so- what the hey!
    Military used rail based logistics from Civil War into the VietNam era. “Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform” was how the US Army/Guard Railroad Operating & Maintenance Battalions described the rail component. Rerformed Rail logisatics units shall be key elements for bringing agricultural traffic branchlines back to service.
    Anyone that can read these lines can likewise research railway footprint in their respective locale and re-introduce the local planning agencies to the legacy rail lines in their jurisdiction. Be the calm one in the room when victuals transport becomes the number one concern.
    De minimus approach includes redeploying freight handling (container lifts, saddle cranes) and replacing spur track along the existing mains to link suburbs and smaller towns.

  145. asia May 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    was it 1994? RK riots in LA, even 10 miles from the riots the shelves were close to bare in the stores. panic buying.

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  146. asia May 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    a question, how do you like the weather?
    everyone in socal ive ever heard mention why they left wisc/minn/chicago…usually at the top of the list is:
    ’10 months of winter and 2 months of bugs and humidity!’
    or something like that comment.
    do you farm? garden how much?

  147. Gulland May 4, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Coming from Alabama to Wisconsin was a shocker. My last summer there had 90 days in a row over 90 degrees; several were over 100, as high as 107. Oh, yeah, and it was humid, and there were mosquitoes. Mid-summer in the Deep South is a time to hide from the weather in the same way January is in Wisconsin. Another expression here is “9 months of winter and 3 months of bad sledding.” There are many more.
    I’ve embraced the winter and love to be outside in it now. The nights are long and there is time to do inside projects; for example I’ll get in the shop and take my time to put a new handle in an axe, then polish the head and sharpen it to perfection. I love the snow and with the proper clothes, it’s easy to manage the cold.
    Distinct seasons are nice. Spring is tough; to paraphrase Garrison Keillor: “God created March in the upper midwest to give those who do not drink the feeling of a hangover.” Winter is a bit long some years, but by the time June shows up, you forget about the cold.
    We raise a few chickens for meat and eggs and this year have about 2400 square feet of garden. We grow a large variety of vegetables and do a lot of canning, drying, freezing and root cellaring. I’m adding a couple of young oxen this summer to train. They’ll be used in place of a tractor as the garden grows, and for hauling firewood out of the woods when they get big enough.
    We’ve talked about actual farming at some level and will likely move into it in a year or two. I’d do it tomorrow, but we’re trying to work into it slowly and learn as we go. It feels really good to be producing.

  148. welles May 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Take heart, these morons will do us the favor of killing each other when a real catastrophe hits, they’ll die of hunger & thirst three days after the supermarket shelves are stripped bare. It was viscerally pathetic to see Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, who has a very talented skin color but no other accomplishments, appear on tv grim-faced yet determined to handle the emergency. Thank goodness for government.
    Somehow the rest of us survived by boiling water. I dug up an old public-school textbook in the cellar that fortunately showed the recipe. Also, the teevee newscasters thankfully showed us how to use hand sanitizer & warned us that children and old people would be particularly suceptible to any bacteria in the water.
    These same newsfolk have oftentimes saved me from harm during the summer by warning me not to work when the sun’s at its hottest, and to drink lots of water.

  149. James Crow May 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    The entire economy and country of the USA is being manipulated and controlled on a massive scale. There won’t be anyone fool enough to give up their life to “storm Goldman Sachs” or any other bank or corporation or institution. Surely you jest. Even in you wildest dreams this sort of stupid action on the populace’s part has no means by which to actually occur. We have no leaders. The internet isn’t going to “galvanize” the population whether they be angry or disillusioned or sad. The “Tea Party” “movement”? Now you’re really treading on thin thin ice JK thinking all us retards are gonna join such an obviously created movement as part of the Fuxnewz network brand? 1789 my posterior, dude. There will never be a sudden slide into the abyss. It’ll take years and little by little things will get worse to most folks imperceptibly slice by slice, each step toward armageddon not so much worse or noticeable than the last step.

  150. Gulland May 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Thank goodness you were able to comprehend the hand sanitizer instructions in your weakened state! Getting the instructions wrong could cause serious bacterial infection possibilities! Did they tell you that your hands should be constantly wringing and you should accompany the wringing motion with a pathetic whimper?
    Did the governor have his tie loosened and his crisp button down oxford cloth sleeves rolled up?
    What’s it going to be like when something really happens? Something really long term?

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  151. jim e May 5, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    “Some of the solvents and other chemicals in the dispersants are toxic, but the materials are widely seen as a lesser evil than allowing oil to reach the shore.” – marketwatch

  152. Loveandlight May 5, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Our entire economy is built on fraud! This article goes rather nicely with this week’s JHK post.

  153. asoka May 5, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    puzzler said:

    Keep shaking your pom-poms, Asoka. Your mindless cheerleading is beyond tiresome. Dream on, Pollyanna.

    Tiresome is the incessant focus on doom, pessimism, and criticism while ignoring anything positive Obama does, or even admitting Obama is a good president.
    I’m the only one here brave enough to pick up the pom-poms and admit some of the news is positive. Obama’s program to stimulate home sales and manufacturing, for example, was a success.

    WASHINGTON — A surprisingly busy month for U.S. factories and a surge in home buying are the latest signs that the economic recovery is picking up. Orders to U.S. factories rose 1.3 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was much better than the 0.1 percent decline analysts had expected. A separate, seasonally adjusted report showed that 5.3 percent more people signed contracts on previously owned homes in March than was expected, the National Association of Realtors said. The jump was in large part the result of tax incentives. — The Associated Press

  154. welles May 5, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Obama’s program to stimulate home sales and manufacturing, for example, was a success.
    WTF, the mere fact we need a ‘program’ to entice anyone to buy a home shows how sick the economy is. What…were no homes ever sold before government came along with its ‘programs’?
    Plus, any pickup from the catastrophic level we already fell to is akin to saying ‘Look! The corpse moved its finger, that’s a better-than-expected result!’
    Re manufacturing, the ‘analysts’ were only wrong by 1,300 percent.

  155. trippticket May 5, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Asia, we bought our 1000 s.f. house and quarter acre for $3000!! I think we were in for $3500 all said and done, and we probably have about 10k in it by now, with all the new wiring, plumbing, cabinets, doors, and such. Long way to go still, but mostly cosmetic at this point, and no debt to be concerned about.
    We got lucky, buying the place sight-unseen, and ended up with a stout little house and a lush fertile yard. Had 4 inches of rain on Monday and nary a drop ran off. Sketchy neighborhood, but we’re sort of off by ourselves on an abandoned corner, and the more distant neighbors have kind of taken to us and our crazy ways. The city is building 75 new homes on a 10 acre plot right across the street, and only time will tell if that is advantageous or not. But either way, it’d be tough to be upside down at 10k. Or even 20.
    Need to go order a couple varieties of pomegranates, a goji berry, and another bamboo – a 30′ black bamboo that I have designs on for garden gates and trellises.
    Enjoying commentary from newcomers Gulland and Welles these days. More people hedging their bets toward Nature is always a good thing. Loved the Garrison Keillor quote, and good luck with the okra! I got a few cuttings, and even froze a little, in Spokane last summer at 47 1/2 degrees north…

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  156. trippticket May 5, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Somebody expressed some concern for bamboo growing out of control. To that I say get some meat rabbits and cut the shoots for rabbit chow! Stack those functions baby!

  157. gulland May 5, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    trippticket, It’s good to be back with the clusterfuckers. I have been mostly away for a couple of years, but was pretty active here before that. I see a few folks that were here back then, and a lot of new ones. I’ll come out to play as I find time.
    If you’re into bamboo, check this out. They have the stuff. http://oshimabambooschool.com
    I met them at the Organic Growers School in Asheville, NC this year.

  158. The Mook May 5, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Three dead in Greece and all is well in the good old U.S.A. Let’s go DJIA 15,000!!!!!!!!!!

  159. Cash May 5, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Interesting thing that they’re building new houses in these times. Is the housing market looking up where you’re at?
    We went on a car holiday a while back. We went through Georgia and into Florida to Panama City. When we drove through Georgia and into Florida the rain was terrific. I’ve never seen anything like it, it was like the biblical deluge all over again. The 4 inches that you got, is that kind of thing common in your neck of the woods or is it a once in a while phenom?

  160. dale May 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    “Obama’s program to stimulate home sales and manufacturing, for example, was a success.”
    You are a little near sighted Asoka, or maybe like the guys in “Men who stare at goats”, you just got “sparklely eyed”, by Obama. I confess I bought into it a little myself.
    As a long time developer and finacial analyst, I certainly have my doubts about this fiscal strategy. If one looks at the long term problems of the US economy, it’s hard to make a case for sustaining high prices for real estate, unless of course, whom you are really trying to save are those who hold the notes on this overpriced sector. Wouldn’t Joe Sixpack be more competitive in the international labor market if he didn’t have to pay so much for housing?
    My sense is, this is just another example of the Feds using taxpayer money to bail out the banks. Any “rebound”, which is at best statistically dubious anyway, will likely be short lived when the Fed is forced to abandon these profligate subsidies in the interest of pragmatic economics, and that will happen sooner rather than later.
    Of course that won’t stop the media from touting a recovery endlessly, with RE advertising one of it’s biggest cash cows, they are virtually compelled to tell you again and again that “now is the time to buy!”, as they have done every spring since flowers learned how to bloom.
    Expanding Federal RE subsidies is really a sort of desperate measure to keep the banks from defaulting in too large a number to be manageable in the near term. The powers that be are just keeping their collective fingers crossed, hoping some sort of organic recovery can occur while they prop up the edifice.
    True be told, no one understands the economy well enough to make near-term predictions that are any more than a 60-40 shot. It’s just too complicated. The Feds no doubt, do know that the status of the American dollar as reserve currency is the only thing which has kept us from being another Greece or Ireland already, and that means the long term consequences will have to be faced eventually.
    Of course, in our “bought and paid for” political system every politician just hopes for that to happen after he leaves office.

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  161. Puzzler May 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Tripp, if you’re in a sketchy neighborhood, and “the city is building 75 new homes on a 10 acre plot right across the street,” I’d take that as very bad sign. Sounds like a public housing project — not a good neighbor. But it’ll probably never get finished being built, so maybe you can salvage building materials.

  162. welles May 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    “Three dead in Greece…”
    Loyd Blakfein & the GS crew better hope their guns perform better than their Abacus bonds. I’m long rope stocks.

  163. george May 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Frankly, I have a hard time working up much anger for the Lloyd Blankfein’s and Bernie Madoff’s of the world because none of the fatcats on Wall Street would have been able to fleece millions of “innocent” investors without the permission of American voters. For the last thirty years, the American people have voted in every megalomanic and sociopath who promised to “get the government off their backs’ and made psychopaths like Jack Welch and Donald Trump wealthy beyond their actual value by paying good money to hear or read their “words of wisdom.” Who deluded the populace into believing that they could get something for nothing? Who fooled them into believing that we could go on living like we did in the 50’s and 60’s without incurring serious consequences? Most of us knew a long time ago that the house of cards we call a national economy would fall apart sooner or later, yet we remained apathetic in the face of catastrophe.

  164. Cupid Stunt May 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    The UK Prime Minister (well the one we have for the next 24 hours or so) has stated publicly, at least twice, that he is certain that the world economy will double over the next 20 years. Industrial growth will increase on average at 2% per year over the next two decades. All the borrowed money that has turned the UK economy into a basket case can only be paid back if this punt comes off.
    I see no plausible prospect of this being the case given that we have exhausted more than half of our critical resources. It just isn’t mathematically or geologically possible for these debts to be paid. Very soon the chickens are going to come home to roost and the massive tide of printed money chasing fewer and fewer resources is going to make defaults and hyperinflation on a massive scale inevitable.
    And today in Athens we get the very first taster of how people are going to behave when they begin to feel that the party is coming to its inevitable conclusion. I am reminded of the indignant protestations of a British motorist incensed at the price of petrol. Cheap fuel is his absolute entitlement. To him the world is a marsh mallow with an oil filled centre. How many rioters in Greece realise that what is happening to them is an early manifestation of the financial Ebola that is slowly breaking out of the jungle?
    Most people are in denial over this. It is a conversation stopper at a dinner party, everyone goes quiet and moves on to something more comfortable. People would be more comfortable if one were to break wind extremely loudly and for not all of it to be gaseous in nature, or indeed confined fully to ones clothing. People just don’t want to know. I brought the subject of the Long Emergency on a date not so long ago… and she has stopped writing to me. Just a few people, however have started to say that this is beginning to feel as the 1930s must have (as per recent JHK post) they have a premonitory sense that a major storm is brewing and it is not going to be pretty. One does not have to look too far into history to realise that we are nearing the end of a brief but unique chapter in human history where even those with the meanest educational achievement have lived a life of pharonic luxury which would have been the envy of Tudor Royalty.
    The next drop of the shoe will be major failures of western currencies, with the Dollar last to fall due to its status as the worlds reserve currency, so don’t gloat when you see Sterling go down the pan. Germany, the only solvent part of Europe will probably be dragged down by the rest unless it decides to leave the Euro very soon, which seems unlikely.
    Its going to be an interesting summer and hopefully a lot of people will spend it vaccum packing and bottling.

  165. Puzzler May 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Cupid Stunt (btw love the screen name):
    Sounds like you’d be fun to have at a dinner party.
    “dinner party…. People would be more comfortable if one were to break wind extremely loudly and for not all of it to be gaseous in nature, or indeed confined fully to ones clothing.”
    Re Germany: If they play their cards right they might succeed soon financially where they failed militarily in WWII — conquering Europe.

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  166. The Mook May 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    I wouldn’t say you need to be angry at these guys. I don’t think the guys firing at the Taliban fighters are angry at them on a personal level. They are simply doing their duty in killing the enemy. Guys like Blankfein and Madoff who could care less about ruining the U.S.A. in the name of profit are certainly the enemy. The voters are hardly to blame as they certainly have nothing to choose from other than crooks and swindlers. I don’t understand where you get the idea that people making $12 an hour were living it up.

  167. asia May 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    are you in the burbs ? xburbs?
    In any case , look at who lives in other public housing in yr city or nearby…and those ‘kind’ of folks are likely to be yr neighbors.
    hopefully Puzz prognostications are wrong, if its LEFT half built THEN YOULL REALLY HAVE SOME BAD NEIGHBORS!

  168. Jan Lundberg May 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Well Jim,
    I guess the NY Times won’t be featuring your notoriously mild opinions again soon. “Paul Krugman and David Brooks have no more of a clue about the implications of Peak Oil than Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.” The Times has gotten worse in recent years, as in more irrelevant.
    Ciao from Bolivia, and ciao to Oblivia,

  169. james May 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Dear James Kunstler,
    I really appreciate your many contributions to our collective conversation about ourselves, especially your non-fiction books and your most recent fiction.
    I am deeply convinced that your work is harmed by the risen-rabble scenario that re-occurs in your blog too often.
    I do see societal collapse and people battling coming (who knows how far away…) – with the have’s targeted very readily – BUT – the idea that a coherent gathering of people will leave their comfort zone to punish the super-rich, will have to wait until the comfort zone no longer exists.
    There will be individuals and co-conspirators, but anything more like a large group assault on “The Hampton’s” will require other much more dramatic dislocations to occur first. I would love to bring forward a persuasive and revelatory argument to perhaps even bring you around to this understanding but I won’t do that here.
    Love your voice and your insights Jim – please keep it up…

  170. james May 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Speaking of “much more dramatic dislocations” – you are the Master of revealing just how easily we may/will slide into those; as a possible result of so many interrelated dependencies and all-too-likely world altering scenarios…. That is one of the things I love most about your sharing your work with us all… who else can see the ambitions of Iran gaining such rapid momentum that Inner Urban Supermarket shelves could be EMPTY just weeks after Israel tries to defend her right to even exist by having a go at destroying the all-too-clearly-intended-to-annihilate ‘Nukes’, possibly being the spark to finally ignite the great Sunni/Shia divide and shut down 1/3 of the worlds oil as the entire mideat goes for hellbent for blood… much more likely than Goober driving out to Montauk to go over the plans wit Jethro one last time….

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  171. ozone May 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Excellent synopsis and prognostication thar!
    “One does not have to look too far into history to realize that we are nearing the end of a brief but unique chapter in human history where even those with the meanest educational achievement have lived a life of pharonic luxury which would have been the envy of Tudor Royalty.”
    YES, say I; so many people don’t GET this a’tall. I believe that most tend to assume that all this cool shit and grape-eating luxury was absolutely the result of “techno-triumphalism” (tm JHK) and “smarts”, instead of vast inputs of cheap energy. (And don’t forget: the nice folks that got control of the resources by their unslakeable (sp?) greed, brought you the dystopia that we’re drowning in, at the moment.) It’s OVER for the moronic teat-suckers; well and truly OVER. How we deal with that fact is the “uncomfortable” [non-pharonic] choice between The Shire and Mad Max. If M.M. it be, I surely intend to grit it right in, because a severely limited future incurs The Big Ugly. I will not live on my knees at the whim of some friggin’ warlord (comes the time). Guess I’m just too used to being outside-weird and thinking my own weird thoughts/disjointed ramblings…
    Thanks again, Cupid; well put.

  172. Drew Keeling May 5, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    Paul Krugman’s position is not well represented in this week’s entry. Here is what he said two years ago already:
    Running Out of Planet to Exploit
    Published: April 21, 2008
    Concerns about what happens when an ever-growing world economy pushes up against the limits of a finite planet ring truer now than they did in the 1970s…Big oil discoveries, in particular, have become few and far between, and in the last few years oil production from new sources has been barely enough to offset declining production from established sources…
    Don’t look now, but the good times may have just stopped rolling.

  173. emaho May 6, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    Of course it’s going to be hard for the elites. Why should it be anything else? Is any other “class” responsible, at this point, for the exploitation and problems of the mass of human suffering? The Romanovs learned their lessons. Amerika’s elites will learn the same.

  174. Vlad Krandz May 6, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    How would I know what you want? I tried to broaden our discussion, but you wont have it. And, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember you ever broaching the subject of what kind of society you do want exactly. However you are an excellent bullshit detector as far as what other people post and I thank you for the support you’ve thrown my way on that score.
    Again, as I indicated, there is a whole school of thought that values IQ over traditional bonds. These guys, such as Peter Brimelow, are racialists without being Pro-White. They have no problem with high IQ Asians coming here. Also “coincidently”, they tend to end up marrying Chinese or Japanese women.
    For all I knew, you were on of these types. I find it particlarly frustrating that you have gone back to the point that we both agree on – as if that is the whole story. Enough about the students, what about the countless Whites who have been replaced by Asians who work for less money? Are the Asians automatically better than these folks? We’re not talking about students now, but about White men and women who have already attained their degree and are already working. And there may be more to say about the students as well: are not the big technical schools in cahoots with the Corporations and the Goverment? Don’t they actually seek a certain percentage of foreign students to enroll – even if there are enough equally capable American ones? Not only is globalism the ruling ethos now, but it makes business sense too: foreign students can go back to their own countries and get those markets for their American Company.
    Please tell me if I’m wrong, after all you’re in the business. But don’t tell me that there is nothing more to the story than just White kids goofing off. And again, I agree that it’s important. White kids have been corrupted by the media and Black Culture. So many of the boys aspire to be like Black Thugs and so many of the girls long to become the girlfried of Black Thugs.
    And where are the parents? Working like slaves – so the kids are not raised by them but by the popular culture – which is shit. So it could be said that White Kids have been betrayed by their parents as well. There is no replacement for a stay at home mom to get things off to a good start. The public schools are hopeless now – they actually bring in political correctness into the math class. Homeschooling is only answer for most and it may well become illegal soon.

  175. Eleuthero May 6, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    Perhaps you missed the part of my post
    where I clearly stated that the last
    thing I want (and which the West Coast
    already has) is a socially balkanized
    Frankly, one of the reasons why I’m
    moving to Pennsylvania after retirement
    in 11 months is because the community
    I’m moving to outside of Philadelphia
    is an almost totally crime free Anglo
    monoculture. I dislike the way that
    East Asians (to a lesser extent Indians)
    move to the West Coast and clearly do
    NOT want any part of the dominant
    I like the way Chinese kids study hard
    and don’t give you any lip but I find
    their culture stultifying and emotionally
    flat. Moreover, they are historically
    the most MERCANTILIST culture on the
    face of the earth. All you need to do
    is date a few Chinese “cougars” and you
    get the most direct questions you’re
    ever going to get in your life trying
    to unearth your Net Asset Value. Sigh.
    So … no, I’m not one of “those” kinds
    of guys who look for a doting Asian
    bride. You either get a direct assault
    on your wallet or this phony coquettish
    shtick and either way it’s not my thing.
    However, all that being said, I think
    we’ve got a SEVERE problem with White
    kids right now and, no, I’m not going
    to bore you with educational stats.
    You already know what they say. We
    have way too many White kids whose
    goal appears to be to listen to NOTHING
    but hip-hop, talk like a “homey”, and
    to be as anti-intellectual as our 2
    permanent undercultures. Haven’t you
    noticed that nearly EVERY disco plays
    predominantly hip-hop while the majority
    of attendees are white?
    Indeed, I’m not sure if you’re aware of
    this humorous vulgarism but there are
    sooooooo many “Chocolate” Whites out
    there that pop culture has created a
    name for them … WIGGERS. I kid you
    In dress, in language, and in school,
    the aim of white teenagers appears,
    mostly, to be to become as black as
    possible. But just remember … Bill
    Clinton was our first black President. 🙂 🙂

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  176. Funzel May 6, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    every day more bullshit.Today the mail carrier handed me a plastic bag telling me by print to share my food and old clothes.In the first place,I WEAR my old clothes.I also have no food to share.As long as our Beak infested government has money for murder weapons to terrorize other nations and 60 plus billion dollars annually to support the terrorist state of Israel,not a nickle will be given away.All this “charity “will do, prolong the looting,lies and mismanagement going on,which should have been stopped in earnest when Mo-Ronny
    Raygun was installed.
    The so called stock market,wall street and bankster system needs to be shut down IMMEDIATELY,all billionaires disowned if not hung and the system put on track at least how it was run in the early fifties.

  177. Puzzler May 6, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Disco? Well it’s clear which decade marked the acme of your intellectual development.
    Chinese cougars? Do you even know what the term cougar means? A cougar is an older woman looking for younger man. So if you’re retiring that would put her around 80 or 90. The pool of 80-90 year old Chinese women must be relieved that you’re off the market.

  178. Cash May 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    I think the cultural problem has another facet Here’s a link to an article in Macleans magazine:
    I wouldn’t hang my hat on one article but we seem to keep hearing the same thing over and over, that teen girls are looks-obsessed, self lacerating, compulsive, anxious, anorexic, bulimic, texting, sexting providers of oral sex to young guys who themselves are obese, semi-literate, underachieving, pizza gorging, video game and porn obsessed masturbating morons.
    Vlad is right, where are the parents?
    How did we come to this pass? One theory I heard a while back: that a man’s self image (that term “self esteem” makes me retch so I’m not using it) is bound up with being an authority figure and a provider to a wife and family so when we say to guys no, no, no, wrong, wrong, wrong, bad, bad, bad you get directionless, disoriented, misbehaving slobs and fools ie social chaos. A woman I knew a while ago told me that women want love, men want respect. I think she was right.
    Someone asked the woman that Eliot Spitzer hired what is the first sign that a man is cheating. She replied when is the last time you told your husband he is loved and valued and if you can’t remember that’s the first sign.
    It seems that young women aren’t any happier with the present day state of affairs. It seems to me that there is a large component of behaviour is hard wired and you have broad tendencies that differ between the sexes so when you push people to go too much against the grain you inflict suffering.
    In one article I read about young parents trying to be gender neutral in raising their kids. So they gave toy trucks to one of their daughters. So what did she do? Wrapped up the truck in a blanket and tried to rock it to sleep “go to sleep truckie”. An American friend of mine said it was futile to try to keep toy guns from his son. If he didn’t buy him one the boy would pick up a stick and that would be his gun and anyway sooner or later he would find himself a friend with a fully stocked armoury of toy weapons.
    I’m not encouraging the buying of toy weapons, I’m just saying that boys and girls have built-in behavioural tendencies and it’s unhealthy to ignore this.

  179. lbendet May 6, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Getting back to the oil disaster….
    I’m listening to Thom Hartmann who is saying that BP is putting dangerous chemicals into the gulf which will pollute the waters. In dispersing the oil, they will hide how huge this slick is to hide how bad this is from the American people. In the meantime the oil particles will sink to the bottom and be consumed by fish.
    There are real health risks—and I’m sure you’ll hear on the news.:
    Don’t worry, you can still eat the fish and the oil spill isn’t nearly as bad as we first thought.
    I wonder as they move our attention to the next soap opera incident, whether BP will end up paying out much more than a few million dollars while we tax payers will end up paying for the lionshare. Hidden taxes everywhere through privatization. Imagine how they gamed that one too.

  180. budizwiser May 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    A couple of silly things: If Congress simply “rolled back” and reinstated legislation that existed say – oh well – how about 1990 – how would that “reform” our financial systems current dangers.
    Of course, just re-instating laws as previously written would not afford another round bribery for congressman and loop-hole creation for wall street. – Guess that’s never gonna happen……way too simple – way too honest.
    I wonder, if the nature of reservoir pressure for undersea oil deposits is the same as that of reservoirs under land. In other words, is this hole in the ground undersea burping the same way one would under a land mass?

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  181. george May 6, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Who is stopping the voters from nomimating their own candidates as independents and electing them? Talk about apathy. We’re so used to voting either Democrat or Republican that we can’t be bothered to think outside the box. Maybe that’s what’s driving the Tea Party crowd. They know the current political structure isn’t working but they can’t put forth a coherent alternative because they’ve been drinking Limbaugh’s and Hannity’s Kool Aid for too long. When did “thinking outside the political box” become un-American?

  182. LindsayKate May 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Brilliant, from beginning to end. Horrifying, grievously resonant, but brilliant.

  183. asia May 6, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    or a cougar is ‘long in the tooth and hungry like a wolf’!
    I got a kick out of his story…’whats yr net worth babay? are we in a community property state, if not so lets move there and marry’!
    reminds me of russian women in the usa.Esp the ones w/o green card, citizenship.
    speaking of russia, in ww2 25 million russians died. THEY HAVE MORE ORPHANS IN RUSSIA NOW THEN IN 1948.
    that shocks me.

  184. asia May 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    When did “thinking outside the political box” become un-American?
    with the advent of the other box..the idiot box!people were trained to be very passive from age 1 or 2.
    learned helplessness. ssi, foodstamps etc ‘helped’ too.

  185. trippticket May 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Asia, I’d say we’re pretty much in an urban area, or inner burbs at worst. We’re only a couple of blocks from a reasonable part of town (which is in turn only a few blocks from something more “downtownish”), and this new development is between us and them. The developer has personally stopped by to chat me up and encourage me to stick it out, with “better times on the way for our block.” He needs me worse than I need him I’m afraid.
    I also agree that this development will never be finished. It’s a HUD grant, so the infrastructure and initial building phase are fully funded, but I imagine the new houses won’t sell well, despite the good looking plans I’ve seen. The economy here in Macon is NOT improving. Population is actually declining (along with the crime rate), and that’s one of the reasons we moved here: lots of urban land potentially opening up for food production. That and it used to be a major crossroads for native Americans, situated where it is on a marvelous ecotone – clay piedmont to the north, sandy coastal plain to the south. The forests around Macon are some of the most diverse in the world. If you’ve read any of my previous comments about ecotonal value, that’ll make more sense.
    In a nutshell, ecotones are where energy is exchanged, and biodiversity is maximized. Macon straddles a world-class ecotone. I didn’t come here for a job; I came here to readapt to Nature’s background energies. And I’m admittedly a little greedy; I want as much of that as I can find. You just have to cut through all the fossil energy age BS to see what will matter in the long run, to my children and theirs. My wife and I have accepted our lot as a transitional generation, paving a new way from the waste, hoarding, and cancer of an economics based on linear thought and scarcity to a respectful cyclical abundance within Nature’s rhythms.
    As far as life in this particular ‘hood is concerned, we’re playing it by ear.

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  186. asia May 6, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    ‘Philadelphia .. totally crime free Anglo
    FOR NOW..how many years you planning on living? things are changing fast AND FOR THE WORSE!

  187. asia May 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    WHAT you dont have $ for the latest crisis? where
    ever it may be? china [tibet], gulf of mexico, haiti,…?
    can you explain the newspaper you got?
    I just threw away 2 nice but worn/torn shirts…yikes!

  188. trippticket May 6, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    “The 4 inches that you got, is that kind of thing common in your neck of the woods or is it a once in a while phenom?”
    Fairly common, Cash. Big storms are the norm in the southeast. I love ’em, and missed them terribly in the Pacific Northwest, where 1/2 an inch an hour would be a deluge, and thunder is practically never heard. Boring.
    But it can wipe out a garden too if the gardener isn’t careful. I use the French intensive method pioneered by Emilia Hazelip and based on the agronomics reform of Masanobu Fukuoka for my intensive veggie plot: permanent raised hills covered with mulch for crops with dedicated footpaths between. If you dig on contour you can keep all the water that falls on your plot onsite, and also keep your young squashes high and relatively dry. Good organic living soil is the best and cheapest place to store water, and that kind of reservoir under your basil greatly diminishes irrigation needs. During the growing season I throw all my weeds (which get lighter every year with this system) down in the pathways and walk on them all summer. By fall I usually have at least an inch of new black stuff to rake up on the beds.
    And as the pathways get deeper and beds get higher, your aging back is relieved year over year;)

  189. trippticket May 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Just added a black bamboo, Kashmir pomegranate, pineapple guava, and a Russian tea bush to my little plot! Nursery ordering days are good days…

  190. asia May 6, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Great advice!
    Are you keeping tally on how much $ you are putting into yr small farm? just wondering..as cost of food in usa skyrockets you made a smart move [pun intended].

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  191. ozone May 6, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Hiya Tripp,
    Did you get my email? (testing, testing ;o)
    Let me know, and I’ll try again if unsuccessful.

  192. wagelaborer May 6, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    George, you ask why Americans have voted in right wing candidates for 30 years, and who convinced Americans to be selfish warmongering idiots?
    This may answer your question-

  193. jim e May 6, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    “If the thunder don’t get ya’ then the lightnin’ will”

  194. wagelaborer May 6, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    As a Green, I can answer that also.
    Who is stopping people from electing their own candidates?
    For one,extremely restrictive laws put into place by the Republican and Democratic parties.
    In Illinois, for example, existing parties must get 5,000 signatures to get onto the ballot and new parties must get 25,000.
    In 2006, Greens collected 39,000 signatures to get a gubernatorial slate on the ballot. The Democrats challenged 24,000 of them, including the candidate for Governor, Rich Whitney, voter registrars, ministers, professors and many others.
    Basically, they randomly picked 24,000 names, obviously without even looking, or they wouldn’t have picked the candidate himself!
    But the small Green Party had to find volunteers for 6 weeks to sit at the Board of Elections in Chicago and Springfield and fight for each signature!
    That left only a couple of months to campaign, up against corporate funded Democrat and Republican candidates, who got major media coverage, while the Greens were ignored.
    It’s not as easy as you imply.

  195. ozone May 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    Well, Okay-then,
    For more on the Deep/water/six [Event] Horizon Clusterfuck, see Orlov’s latest. Frightening peek into unaccountable bureaucracy. Ahhhhh; watch and learrrrrrrn…

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  196. jim e May 7, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Gettin’ ready to jump but then someone see’s it like me… Steel is real

  197. The Mook May 7, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    It would be feasible if it were simply a matter of entering, campaigning, and waiting for the the tally to come in (no primaries). If they can figure out who won the Powerball drawing in 12 hours they certainly have the technology to figure out a 5 candidate election in 24 hours. I do know the political experts will let me know why this is not feasible. Which brings me back to the simple fact that everything in America that involves money is crooked.

  198. trippticket May 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    O3, if I did I’ve overlooked it somehow. I’m still doing library time at the moment so always in a hurry when I’m logged on. Should have home service again soon, and be able to get back to blogging.
    Please resend your note!

  199. Jim from Watkins Glen May 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Estimates I’ve seen say about 300 square yards is enough to grow a year’s worth of food for one person. That’s about 50 feet by 20 feet. Some canning jars, fishing tackle, and reliable firearm should be in the mix.

  200. trippticket May 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Well, to date I’ve included my garden expenses in the total house bill, so about 10k all told. I’d estimate that the portion of that dedicated to the garden is still under a thousand – fences, gates, high quality nursery stock and all. First year is always expensive, and I highly recommend to all that spending money on plants from a reputable horticultural outfit will eliminate a lot of the initial headache of establishing a garden.
    You still studying permaculture? There’s a budding debate this morning on the international listserv about first-world consumption versus third world population as the bigger issue. My vote should be obvious enough…

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  201. trippticket May 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    “Estimates I’ve seen say about 300 square yards is enough to grow a year’s worth of food for one person. That’s about 50 feet by 20 feet.”
    Just as a point of clarification, a square yard is 9 square feet. 300 square yards then would be 2700 s.f. I can vouch for a lot of food coming off this much land, but 50 x 20 (1000 s.f.) would be pushing it;)

  202. trippticket May 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Did a little urban foraging this morning, and came home with about half a peck of mulberries and purple stained hands. On the way back to the house it occurred to me that my basket of berries would be enough food calorically to feed my family of 4 for the day, and it only took me about an hour to pick them.
    Now if it weren’t for that pesky electricity habit…

  203. trippticket May 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    I’ve seen the term “going native” used on here a few times recently, and I’m just curious what you guys envision when you use that term.
    Does it mean living without electricity? Foraging for your food? Going butt nekkid, save perhaps a loin cloth?
    What is your vision of “going native”?

  204. Cash May 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Tripp, I remember reading somewhere that if you take out let’s say 1,000 lbs of produce from a plot of land that you have to put 1,000 lbs of something back in (organic matter of some kind I guess) to replenish the soil.
    I guess it sounds logical because you can’t get something from nothing. Or is the ratio wrong? For example I read that it takes 13 lbs of feed to get 1 lb of beef. I guess the difference comes out the back end of the cow. I read somewhere else that the most efficient turkey ever bred in terms of feed usage produced 75 lbs of meat for 100 lbs of feed.
    What’s your experience in this? How does it work with plants? Are they more efficient than animals in converting raw material into edible food?

  205. Cash May 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    I would say Amish or Mennonites would be closest to going native. If memory serves native Indians up here supplemented their hunting with farming. I would say that foraging is way too iffy in terms of reliably getting enough food. Growing domesticated crops and keeping livestock penned up is much less so. I read somewhere that a patch of land can support 50 times as many people if it’s farmed than if hunter gatherers live on it.

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  206. Jeff Snyder May 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler, this is excellent, I only wish it were hyperbole. The parallels of the inability of the aristocrats of pre-revolutionary France to perceive their own peril with our own upper crust are dead on. Here’s another article that makes the same point, from September of last year, comparing French aristocrats right before the French Revolution, as portrayed by Charles Dickens, with our very own elite, titled “You Dogs!”:

  207. The Mook May 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Stock market approaching 10,000 DJIA. “Just a glitch”. Erin to wear much tighter cheerleader outfit Monday morning. Get your gold now. Also, try buying a lot of silver coinage on Ebay. Highly inflated due to the fact that you will be able to buy a quart of milk from a neighboring farmer (if you’re not a city slicker)for a silver dime. Same quart in U.S. funny money (the new Confederate note) $80. Farmers love scrap metal also.

  208. wowisdabomb May 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    all we need is someone to say “let them eat cake”

  209. asia May 7, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    ive done some oganic farming. some vegetable crops have more water than others.
    for instance you can grow radishes fast. they are mostly[?] water. potatoes are more dense. corn is considered to be a ‘heavy feeder’, meaning it takes much from the soil.
    you could take 20 tons of grain from an acre of land in one or 2 seasons. if you replaced it with rock, well rocks are organic matter but not too compostable in the short run.
    you might want to read about pre mao chinese farming. their soil did get richer. then mao ruined everything, the culture, the land and what remained of chinese forests. not content to ruin his own country he truned to tibet, vietman, cambodia.

  210. asia May 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Are you in the house ‘ for the long run’ and how big is the lot?
    did you buy online? since you bought sight unseen, were you concerned about leins?
    if yr not there for the long run maybe look into price of acreage outside city limits on or near water.

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  211. asia May 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    a trader said at the traders online forums that ‘glitch’ was seen as a joke!
    the traders say professional trade software would make that supposed human error [ b for m typo ] impossible so they say its a media lie.

  212. asia May 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    resident racist..whats this about the tintin book banned in belgium and wrapped in a cover in uk that says ‘ this is racist’?
    also i get a kick out of media portraying / calling latest ‘muslim immigrant’ looking for a career as a mass murderer as anything but that…
    latest riff i heard he is a [ get this]
    pakistani american!!!!!
    i like that…hes an american…after all he married one!

  213. Qshtik May 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Cash and Asia,
    I googled “Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables and got a table that showed 17 of each. The water content of the fruits averaged 85.9% and the Vegetables 91.4%. Combined approx 89%. Therefore I figure if you’re growing a wide variety of F&Gs and you live in a rainy place like Tripp does, Mom Nature will supply about 890 lbs of that 1000 lbs of produce.

  214. asia May 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Well done! but there is a significant differnece from leaf lettuce to corn, esp if you factor in corn stalks.

  215. Qshtik May 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Corn 74%, Lettuce 96%

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  216. MINDfool May 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Yes, but folks – photosynthesis and the conversion of co2 to sugar/cellulose/starch makes up most of the rest. you need to replace P,N,K (fertilizer) and a few pounds will do especially if you rely on N (nitrogen) fixing plants///

  217. world awry May 7, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    “the only sure event that will prevent a future forest fire is a forest fire”, does that work with revolutions?

  218. mean dovey cooledge May 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Enjoyed reading about Georgias ecotones, Tripp. And throwing the dead weeds on the foot path to block the new weeds. Very nice. I had an epic FAIL with my cabbage. It made a flower instead of a head.
    I see a discussion on the amount of food that can be grown per square foot. Here is a website about a family in California growing a ton of food on a typical city lot:
    To all of ya’ll talking about food:
    Corn is a heavy feeder. I dont grow it because it is abundant and cheap. You have to grow a lot of it, and you only get one ear per stalk. I can get 10 ears for 10 dollars at the farmers market. Thats getting it from somebody that grows a large field of it…not a great crop for small plot.
    Thinking about hunting: At my county co-op some of the old timers said that during the depression, the forest was depleted of game within months.

  219. Jim from Watkins Glen May 8, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    I appreciate the help. I flubbed the math–right brain dominant curse. So it’s more like 100 feet by 40 feet. That’s huge. There’d be little time for much else, and Weight Watchers whould surely go out of business.

  220. Jim from Watkins Glen May 8, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Intersting observation about hunting. Deer season here is like a population sweep. Adding subsistence hunting to that would be chaotic. The first day of trout season is cartoonish. People are shoulder-to-shoulder snagging stockies from streams that the Army Corps of Engineers has turned into theme park settings. I try to imagine what the Iroquios would have made of it all.

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  221. Funzel May 8, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Someone mentioned deer season.If I recall because of deer were getting the equivalent of MAD COW disease thousands of them,including Elk were culled and not to be eaten by people.
    So what gives,is it suddenly OK now to consume deer meat again??

  222. Cash May 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I saw on TV not long ago some celebrity chef (Jamie Oliver I think) get a bag of soil, rip a hole in it, stick a potato in the soil and X days later (I can’t remember how long) there were a whole bunch of potatoes that had sprouted from the original. I don’t know if it’s worth it it monetary terms because you can get 5 and 10 pound bags of potatoes for a few dollars. But it would be neat to do it yourself.
    I wonder how much stuff you can grow on an apartment balcony. I wonder how much you can grow without building management getting on your case. Everyone in our building is either a retiree (a lot of them partially disabled) or a slick 20-30 something professional. Nobody that I know grows anything but houseplants. Would be neat to try growing something like a tomato plant.

  223. Cash May 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Sounds logical to me. The math works.

  224. Cash May 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    So if I get what you’re saying most of the physical mass of the plant comes from either water or CO2 plus a bit of fertilizer. Fascinating stuff.

  225. Cash May 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I think the traders are telling the truth. This b instead of an m story as an explanation for what happened sounded like a lot of b s to me.

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  226. asia May 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    I followed [casually] the story in the Times and WSJ. they are towing the party line…’
    trying to figure where the glitch was’.
    me thinks the DOW will collapse…not sure when but sure it will!

  227. asia May 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    come on…remember hydroponics?

  228. Cash May 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Do I remember hydroponics? Nope. I know nothing about growing things. All I know is stick a seed in the dirt and water it. That’s it.

  229. Vlad Krandz May 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    What’s the racial percentages in Macon and your part of Macon?
    Are you doing all the work yourself? No codes to worry about?

  230. Vlad Krandz May 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Asian Courgars – yellow peril indeed.
    Yes, Pennsylvania is lovely – the Shire if ever a Shire was. But one day’s march from where you will be are Enemies that would freeze your soul. Vast numbers of Southrons live both in Phillidelphia and in the cities to the West. Pennyslvania will be one of the places the Westmen take a stand – but that stand is doomed to fail. You will be beseiged not only by the Enemy’s minions, but the Enemy Himself. Better far is the Northwest – which we will make into a Mighty Fortress.

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  231. Vlad Krandz May 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    What’s a racist? You like Indians, are you a racist? To like one is to dislike another to that extent. That’s racism. Or is it?
    Personally, I think that the use of the word against another person should be just, legal ground for a duel to the death if the victim demands it.

  232. Jim from Watkins Glen May 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    There are occasional instances of a Creutzfeldt-Jakob type wasting disease in Whitetail deer and Elk, but most hunters would recognize the emaciated condition of the animal. Coyotes and scavengers do an efficient job of culling and recycling. Cripes, eating any animal is a dicey proposition. I hate to think of all the mercury I’ve injested in Great Lakes fish over a lifetime.

  233. asoka May 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    vlad asked: “What’s the racial percentages in Macon”
    In Macon County, Georgia, which has 14,000 people, 2.6% are hispanic, 59.5% are African American, and 37.4% white. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
    Sounds like an excellent choice for a place to live.

  234. James Crow May 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Always best to write “most Americans” whenever you’re going to tar “Americans” with an epithet. There won’t be any kind of revolution here. Anyone seriously believing this is sadly delusional or misinformed. I am neither and live here in the USA. Most Americans just want to be left the fuck alone, myself included. What goes on in Washington, D.C. has zero to do with me. I haven’t participated in the charade of an “election” in many years. Mr. Kunstler seems to “get” some things and yet cannot believe others such as 9/11 being a false flag operation. Apparently he hasn’t read much real history. The elites Kunstler mentions so often doesn’t seem to understand that these elites aren’t about to allow any such bloody revolution, as if a bunch of angry citizens could just up and arm themselves and waltz over to Wall Street or “the Hamptons” as you reference weekly…and then randomly off some rich folks. Surely no one in authority would ever notice such a thing until it was too late? Yeah, right. Goldman Sachs flexed it’s muscle this week on what was it? Wednesday?
    Anyone with a wit of sense now realizes their entire retirement/investment(s) if denominated in stocks (is anyone still that foolish?) could be made to be worth zero — as in nada — within minutes. And the Big Banksters would still come out the other end smelling like a bouquet of roses with all of their gold, platinum and silver and more bang to their bucks than almost anyone else could imagine.

  235. Homefire May 9, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    The deer still have encephalopathy, it’s just not so newsworthy now. There was a big cull here in Indiana too.
    Plus, encephalopathy doesn’t show in young animals so hunters believe they are not sick.

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  236. asoka May 9, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    Good ole Joe Bageant has finally seen through the mesmerizing materialist scientism that has us so preoccupied with gold and in a state of rage at the political manipulations related to money.
    He is now discovering that life is about much more than the pursuit of gold and is starting a journey to explore his “inner kingdom” … vaya con dios, Joe!

  237. Eleuthero May 9, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    I presume you mean the INLAND Northwest,
    Vlad, not the Portland and Seattle areas.
    I’m a bit confused here about your idea
    of the Pacific NW as a “mighty fortress”
    because the nutters per capita in towns
    like Eugene almost makes California look
    Also, the PNW is “isolated”, so to speak,
    by the huge distance between it and the
    next states with really arable land meaning
    the Mississippi River to the Eastern Seaboard.
    Also, I do not discount JHK’s interesting idea
    that a DESPERATE CHINA will use its fine naval
    power to raid only the WEST COAST of the USA.
    I agree with JHK that the East has better
    overall conditions since the arable land
    there is also SURROUNDED by arable land.
    You go ANY distance East of the Pacific
    Ocean and you get nothing but sem-arid,
    arid, and “steppe” climates and less ability
    to haul water around.
    Most places from AZ and NM to ID and MT tend
    to get somewhere from 4 to 20 inches of precip.
    per year (with isolated exceptions in ID).
    Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington are
    semi-deserts. I think your “mighty fortress”,
    the PNW, has problems by being the ONLY well-
    watered place in the West.
    In the midwest and northeast, the main problem
    will be too many inner city people trying their
    luck with robbing suburbs. I can tell you that
    in states like PA, more and more people are
    well prepared for that eventuality.

  238. Cupid Stunt May 9, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    Just an aside for the crop growing discussion, inputs and outputs. Hate to depress you further but there is the concept of virtual water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_water
    Simply put this means that most of what we eat (aside from being produced predominantly from natural gas – the Haber process, mined phosphate, and potassium) is derived from massively more water than is immediately apparent. So unless you are talking about water that you have immediate access to, as in living next to a river or a spring, or physically pissing on your vegetable patch, the amounts required are vast.
    It takes 10 calories of natural gas to produce one calorie of food. We have literally been eating natural gas for almost a century.
    Leaving aside these arguments, and oil/gas depletion curves, It may well be that there is another more certain Black Swan event on the horizon and that is running out of phosphate. Potentially a problem more urgent than running out of oil or gas. According to some estimates there is only sufficient rock phosphate to last another 30 years before the mined reserves are entirely depleted. Yes there are massive sub sea deposits but recoverable at what cost, and with what energy inputs.
    I wish there was an obvious solution but one thing is for sure the entire agricultural system is going to have to go back to the way it was pre 1830, when the bulk of the UK population, about the size of modern Greater London, was struggling to survive on a diet predominantly of thin porridge, despite working six days a week, 12 hours a day in conditions of unimaginable privation. Their modern day counterparts, should they choose to work at all, can now choose baby corn from Thailand, apples from South Africa, grapes from Chile, corn from the US, bread from Canada, beans from Kenya, strawberries from Egypt, wine from Australia, Kiwi fruit from New Zealand, and potatoes from Israel. They can reject with disgust anything with the smallest blemish – and all sold at ludicrously low prices.
    My growing concern, stated previously, is that we simply won’t have the capital resources left to put things back to the way they were in 1830. All the bijou residences that were once mills and barns are now beyond practical salvage except at great expense. By the time the need is obvious I fear it will be too late.
    A baby born today will, with absolute certainty, see an upheaval that few people, except perhaps readers of this blog, are prepared to acknowledge. The UK population is forecast to grow to 70 million and the worlds population to reach 9 billion, or nine times the solar maximum, in the next thirty years, on a background of diminishing inputs and soil that has been trashed with industrial farming for three generations.
    Bartlett stated in 1998
    “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”
    Very few people see exponential functions play out, perhaps aside from Wall Street Traders. The best illustration that I have read is the story of Rami http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/EMT668/EMAT6680.F99/Martin/instructional%20unit/day4.exponential/excel/grainofrice.html
    In our daily lives we almost always observe a linear function. The fuel tank in a car empties at a fairly constant rate as one drives similarly the sugar in the bowl tends to empty linearly, as does the coal in the cellar. We actually seldom see exponential functions at work. The compound interest in a savings account should follow this pattern but is actually spirited away by inflation so the purchasing power is reduced to only a linear increase.
    Terminal Cancer is an exponential function that we do see. The first malignant cell division might be ten years or more before the disease becomes noticeable, and then it might be only a few months or even weeks before it is all over. No great change in the arithmetic need to have happened over the course of the disease.
    It is a feature of exponential functions that the early changes are barely noticeable. If we have gone over the crest of the oil peak in 2007, as I suspect we did, the pain would not be expected to be immediately obvious, as JHK pointed out it will be rear view mirror job. We are the victims of two exponential multipliers that are working synergistically against us, a perfect storm of diminishing resources on the one hand and an expanding global population on the other. (UN population forecast http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/longrange2/WorldPop2300final.pdf )
    In his book The Long Descent (and I don’t suggest reading it as it has little to offer in terms of practical suggestions) Michel Greer points out that civilisations tend to collapse slowly over an average of 250 years (from memory), this time it could be different given the complexity and fragility of the hydrocarbon economy. I suspect that anyone still around 25 or 30 years from now will have done extremely well.
    On a more positive note, someone suggested the Foxfire Books in the blog. I selected Foxfire 6, randomly, and while I found it fascinating I do not think the detail was sufficient for me to follow. It was none the less historically fascinating.
    Since this offering was prompted by a discussion of Agriculture in the Long Emergency I would also like to suggest the following, which I have found extremely helpful:
    The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency: The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers by John Seymour – this is the complete guide to absolutely everything.
    Farmers of Forty Centuries by FH King A fascinating account of traditional intensive agricultural in China. Every plant and animal has its place and not even the smallest piece of silk worm shit is wasted.
    Ten Acres Enough: A Practical Experience by Edmund Morris. You don’t need to own 10 acres but this is a fascinating account of New Jersey fruit growing in the 1870s and tells one clearly how the land was used. The only book that I have read four times, partly for the erudition and use of the language, and I have not finished with it yet.
    Look to the Land by Lord Northbourne a fairly useful book. He supposedly coined the term Organic and came up with the Law of Return, which politely outlines the need for every drop of piss and speck of shit to go back into the ground. As always was the case, and always will be.

  239. asoka May 9, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Most of the information available in books like The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency: The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers by John Seymour is available on the Web through USA public domain government extension service publications.
    The problem with the myth of “self-sufficiency” is that it ignores the truth of our interdependence. If you tried to meet all your needs on your own, you would quickly discover there aren’t enough hours in the day to be “self-sufficient”. People who intend to escape a life of drudgery definitely do NOT want to try to be “self-sufficient”. We need to realize that even farmers are not “self-sufficient”.
    Let’s do a mind-experiment: What if, for example, you wanted to drink milk and be “self-sufficient”… this means taking care of a milk-cow. You get to choose between 2 times a day and 3 times a day milking. If it’s 2x, those times need to be 12 hours apart. 6 AM and 6 PM would work; so would 2 AM and 2 PM. Oh, and no holidays. If you want to drink milk and be “self-sufficient”, a life of drudgery awaits you.
    But that’s just putting milk on the table. Do you want to churn your own butter, too? Better allow a good slice of time for that. Oh, and the toast you’re going to butter. Well, as “self-sufficient” people, that means you are running a wheat-field as well. No fair dropping by the grocery store and picking up a loaf of bread (which is what Real Wheat Farmers do, anyway).
    The problem here is very simple. At least since the time of the agricultural revolution, people have been making progress through two things called Specialization and The Division of Labor. That means we can all do the things we do best, or like most. People who love growing wheat will do that (and buy their milk at the store). Other people may thresh the wheat, and it’s a near certainty that others will turn the flour into loaves of bread. This process makes everyone better off.
    Still, “self-suffiency” is an amusing daydream. Just don’t take it too seriously, and add “making your own bricks” to your list of daily chores. In fact, trying to do this stuff will lead you straight to overwork, anxiety, hyper-stress, and the poor-house.
    Only fools purchase guns and gold and think they are going to “survive” and be “self-sufficient”. The way of Yankee independence and self-sufficient isolation is the way to perdition.
    I think ole Joe Bageant is finally seeing the light on this. For years he has been saying there is no escape from the coming collapse and yet now, bless his heart, he is coming to realize that we are but fellow travelers on this planet for a very short while, and indeed, there is an escape.
    Trying to protect and preserve is to go against nature and the universal law of change. (Good luck with that!) Better to accept change as it comes instead of trying to defend you and yours by accumulating gold and guns. Better to thrive in ecstatic joy than to merely physically survive in constant fear of the other. YMMV.

  240. asoka May 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Ole Joe Bageant says it eloquently:

    Fortunately for Wall Street, the world’s bankers, the military industrial complex, there is science, which they love so dearly they purchased it outright. Scientism has successfully sold the notion that spiritual awareness is superstition. By that accounting, the mind is no more than the brain, and love is a body sack of chemicals interacting. (A stunningly successful new public relations campaign by BASF chemical corporation campaign actually declares that love is chemical. Its success both here and in China would give Orwell the heebie jeebies.)

    This will in all likelihood be the last philosophical and political battle with capitalist totalitarianism, assuming it can even be called a battle. I am not seeing much thinking and no genuine struggle on the American people’s part. Consumer capitalism’s material gratification has been so grotesquely satisfying, that it has shredded most of thinking in the country and all of willingness to take risks.

    The blinking reptilian elites now own our entire material needs hierarchy chain, top to bottom. You eat, shit, work, fuck and die at the pleasure of their Great Machine. The presence of six billion others, most of whom are in the same situation, all but guarantees this as our material destiny on a finite and increasingly poisoned planet, before the big hasta la vista.

    Meanwhile, win or lose, we are left with our inner selves to sustain each day (if only because Oprah has not yet gained copyright). In doing so we can discover the only kingdom that was ever ours. The same one gurus, messiahs, martyrs and hairy-assed sages the world over have ever agreed upon. The kingdom within.

    I’m sure many readers bailed out back there when I first mentioned the spirit. “That crazy old peckerwood Bageant has finally blown a head gasket!” And as many more said “fuck this” at the mention of a kingdom within us. That goes to show the level of our indoctrination against anything that cannot be measured, counted, computed (and thereby controlled by the corporate state). I find it fascinating that we can so easily bandy terms such as fascism, or American free market capitalism — two of the filthiest concepts ever devised — yet piss all over terms indicating some higher value or quality in human beings.


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  241. asia May 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Id like to continune this econversation later in the week.
    whats UK at now? people wise.

  242. asia May 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    ‘A baby born today will, with absolute certainty, see an upheaval that few people, except perhaps readers of this blog, are prepared to acknowledge’
    I think we are well into the cultural and biospheric collapse! and the economic collapse of the USA is near or here.

  243. asia May 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    check JHK ‘eyesore’ this month. its PRICELESS!
    and the money for it is from londons greediest guy, a hindu.
    This abortion, called the The ArcelorMittal Orbit [WTF???], will be the central ornament for the London Olympics scheduled for 2012 — if the United Kingdom still exists as an intact political entity then. The architect is Anish Kapoor. The HuffPo reports: “The tower, named after steel magnate and the richest man in London, Lakshmi Mittal, consists of almost 1,000 tonnes of steel which visitors will be able to climb.” Calling all British liability lawyers…. To me the structure looks like the unearthed skeleton of an architect who had died as a result of flying up his own bung-hole.
    Personally, I doubt that there will be an Olympiad in 2012. Whatever remains of Old Blighty will be bankrupt many times over (along with many other nations — or former nations).

  244. Funzel May 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    After looking at that Mittal eyesore of the month,paid for with steel price gouging of the consumer and criminal waste of resources and energy,this mess should be considered the supreme insult and contempt for the human race and NOT be erected,but the perps and bamboozled regulators should be put away in an insane asylum with a daily dose of a beating on their bare ass for at least 10 years.

  245. messianicdruid May 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    I’ve been screaming at my children today about Faux News reporting of a dog as leader of the Greek rioters. They kept mentioning the dog like he was some kind of Rin Tin Tin hero. Instead of talking about the causes of citizen riots, like Kent State, they imply they have the right and authority from Almighty God to kill who ever disgrees with their idiotic, soul-deviouring, legislations of men, doomed to punish and chastise us until we repent {change our collective and individual minds about} what we have been doing and the ways they have been doing it. Why are those responsible for the deaths of four young people questioning the acts of their enenmies
    The yellow {and blue} dogs are not your friends and cannot be {cannot any longer be} your gods {rulemakers}. They cannot lead or follow, they are corruted beyond your power to chAnge {redeem} them.
    “Fret not thyself because of evil doers.” Anti- dis-establish millenialism built on 1860s Darbyism is an open failure, operating through christian anarchists and pretenders to the wrong priesthood. Sheriff John Brown

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  246. asoka May 9, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    If Darbyism is “an open failure”, then pray tell what does success look like? The beliefs Darby disseminated are still being propagated (in various forms) at such places as Dallas Theological Seminary and Bob Jones University and by authors and preachers such as Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye, which have sold in the millions.
    It is all nonsense. There is no God. There is no Book of God. There is no Son of God.
    There is a Greek riot dog, and to talk about the dog is to ignore the machinations of the finance capitalists and try to make people believe Greece had a “spending problem”.

  247. edpell May 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    I have never in my life seen an America defend themselves. What makes you think they will start now?

  248. edpell May 9, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    first paragraph is spot-on

  249. David Edelstein May 9, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    I hate to be a stickler, but Van Helsing doesn’t go from coffin to coffin in Horror of Dracula. His assistant kills a female vampire early in the film but then Drac finishes him off. Then Van Helsing kills his vampirized assistant. Then later… oh, what does it matter? This is such a weirdly and uncharacteristically optimistic post for JHK. Levin would needed to have driven a stake through Blankfein’s heart and then cut off his head and stuffed his mouth with garlic. Then the whole body would have had to be cremated and all traces of blood mopped up to keep disciples from reconstituting him. And even then our sleep would be uneasy…

  250. budizwiser May 10, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    There is a slow yet undeniable learning curve if you read enough and allow for the possibility that “things” really are what they seem to be.
    First, GS has some bankster wiseguys rat out all the porn-googlers at the SEC just to let them know they can play “gotcha” too.
    But when that registers a ho-hum at 1400 Pennsylvania they go ahead and throw some sugar in the DOW gas tank and cause the entire ff-ing market to cough and stall.
    The nation’s media – tells our cherished brain-dead electorate that the market mystery must have been a “typo.”
    Now I forget, who said “truth is stranger than fiction?” And I used to think getting a blow-job in the oval office was weird……..

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  251. ak May 10, 2010 at 4:11 am #

    I liked the ‘exponential function’ remarks earlier… It reminded me of this quiz question:
    Q: There’s algae growing on a lake; its area doubles every day. It took 30 days to exactly cover the whole lake.
    Which day was the lake covered 50%?
    A: (in the next week entry)

    247 Comments total as of 2010-05-09 22:28 (Pacific)
    More than 1 comment by:

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    5 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Eleuthero
    5 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Jim from Watkins Glen
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    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp dale
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  252. messianicdruid May 10, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Asoka, there are always men willing to do evil. {our personal disconect begins here, since you seem to beleive we can do no evil, since there is no one to decide what is and is not evil}. When they are lifted up by their own success, or God lifts them up because His people have “chosen” then democracy functioning as normal, they are given power {via “money”} to perform acts which individuals cannot or perhaps simply would not do themselves, because it requires holding a gun to their neighbors head. Are you comfortable with this. Are you comfortable in asking the goobermint to do it on your behalf? If so you sre performing evil, by sanctioning evil through you silence.
    “…then pray tell what does success look like?”
    Success would look like a man sitting under his own vine tree without fear, no man raising a weapon to him or even raising a hand to him in anger. Having the law {of God} written on our hearts, as most do – you know the part about Thor Shalt not Murder” we refrain from harming our neighbor. This is good. But short-lived if more people do not begin imbibing from the fountain of the Word.

  253. asia May 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    JimK and ESB:
    according to The Wash Post 2005 to 2025 the

  254. messianicdruid May 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    At least I made the list, but now no one is reading or listening or commenting or thinking.
    “…in the hands of state apologists, this becomes transformed into a notion of a more benevolent “social debt”. Here there is a little story told, a kind of myth. We are all born with an infinite debt to the society that raised, nurtured, fed and clothed us, to those long dead who invented our language and traditions, to all those who made it possible for us to exist.”
    To asokay slavery, no thanks. Fear no debt built on fraud, repudiate the chains of asokaism.

  255. messianicdruid May 10, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    “…mutual rights and obligations, mutual commitments – the kind of relations that genuinely free people could make with one another – tend to be subsumed into a conception of “society” where we are all equal only as absolute debtors before the (now invisible) figure of the king, who stands in for your mother, and by extension, humanity.”
    Our debts are to those of our own blood, not blood spilled on behalf of any cryptocracy of inbred rulemakers that can’t follow or lead on a usurping king’s orders of raping the “others” with the consent of the kept woman.

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  256. surfeit May 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Jim keeps touching on this topic of a raging pissed off public, but I don’t see it. The public here in the USA seems to barely give a shit about the financial situation (at least who’s at fault for it) and still hasn’t heard of peak oil.

  257. IROQUOIS227 May 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    is this all that’s left.

  258. TrembleTheDevil June 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    This retired NSA counterterrorism analyst put his Harvard education to better use writing about how the greatest terrorist threat is from radicalized black ex-cons, he opens with a quote from “The Old Regime and the French Revolution” – the whole book’s online for free, you should check it out:

  259. gsmonks March 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    People won’t rise up in the US or anywhere else because they’re blinded by their being part of the nouveau-bourgeoisie. In other words, by consumerism.
    Consumerism is more addictive and mind-altering than crack, heroin, tobacco and alcohol combined. You offer them solutions and they stare back at you like you’re speaking Sanskrit. You tell a young guy that his gas-guzzling truck and roads are the embodiment of environmental ruin, and instead of even considering the truth, he will turn on you. You tell a woman that her binge shopping is not only a form of addiction, but that her actions are supporting everything that’s wrong in the world, will have her running away from you like you’re a stalker. You tell poor people that they need to disengage in order to get society’s jackboot off their necks, and they’d simply laugh and reply, “And go where? Do what?”
    There are solutions, but they’re complex and require the hard work and dedication, not of individuals, but of large groups of highly organised people working in concert.
    Getting people stampeding is easy. Just yell “fire”. Getting people doing something constructive takes time and planning.

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