Yes, Robert Kagan is in fact a crazy person.

Robert Kagan: Defense budget needs major boost

What Militarism Means
Its perfect symbol isn’t Prussia, it’s the F-35.
By WILLIAM S. LIND • July 27, 2015

How Wall Street’s Bankers Stayed Out of Jail


Jim is at least half-right, but his predictions never happen soon enough. He has never learned that we just can’t predict.

True Believers (is that irony?)

84 Replies to “08.16.15”

  1. besides predicting everything too soon, Jim gets so absorbed into calling out the hucksters like Yergin that he forgets the bigger rammifications of his insights, like, what’s going to happen to 340 million when Happy Motoring ceases to exist.

    get small, get local, run out of drugs, food, potable water, no grid power, no commmunication, no internet, no lights, no security, riots, chaos… in other words, The Road, not the 1890s gaslight towns of his novels.

  2. i’ve been reading nicole foss’s long treatist over at THE blog. she does indeed use about 20K words to basically say we’re fucked. some tidbits: the elderly are among the first to go. i would add the homeless as possibly the first to go in the usa, as anyone on the margins without a support group is gone.

    she hints that the “solution space” will be small going forward, and suggests that villages filled with survivors of the bottleneck will be about what’s going to work. that leaves out a lot of big cities and the folks that currently live in them. i don’t think she’s too impressed with JHK’s WMBH novel futures, but maybe she just hasn’t read them. no mention.

  3. “It is likely that fighting broke out over limited farming resources, upon which people depended for survival. Unlike their nomadic hunter-gatherer ancestors, people of the Linear Pottery culture settled into a farming lifestyle. Communities cleared forests to farm crops and lived in timber longhouses alongside their livestock.

    The landscape soon became full of farming communities, putting a strain on natural resources. Along with adverse climate change and drought, this led to tension and conflict. In acts of collective violence, communities would come together to massacre their neighbours and take their land by force.

    Lawrence Keeley, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois in Chicago, said that alongside Talheim and Asparn, this latest massacre discovery fits a pattern of common and murderous warfare. “The only reasonable interpretation of these cases, as here, is that a whole typically-sized Linear Pottery culture hamlet or small village was wiped out by killing the majority of its inhabitants and kidnapping the young women. This represents yet another nail in the coffin of those who have claimed that war was rare or ritualised or less awful in prehistory or, in this instance, the early Neolithic.”


    sounds about right to me.

  4. he has some kind of weird pedantic, almost condescending, style, almost like some kinda 19’th century schoolmarm or something. he might have something interesting to say, but i just can’t get past it.

  5. that’s the writing style of an asshole whose ego is way out of proportion to his actual IQ and “wisdom”. in sum, a blowhard. what’s amazing to me is so many folks can’t see that.

  6. from Our Finite World blog comments:

    Ann says:
    August 13, 2015 at 10:16 am

    “I should probably add here that taking testosterone also increases your chances of prostate cancer and heart disease. In addition, all the beef you eat is loaded with estrogen unless it’s labeled grass fed and no hormones. The calves who spent their first summer running around in the grass and playing with their friends and drinking milk are loaded into trucks in the late summer and fall and taken to feed lots. In the chute going to the truck the males are castrated. Then both the males and the females are given FIVE slow-release estrogen implants into EACH ear. Then they go off to the feed lot where they are fed pellets of chicken shit and feathers, soybean meal, cottonseed meal and anything else that’s cheap. They stand knee-deep in their own shit and never see grass again. This causes metabolic acidosis and they get progressively sicker and sicker. They butcher them just before they die. Nice white marbled fat!”

    beef, it’s what’s for dinner!

  7. DOW down over 500 points in one day.

    in the olden days, the stock markets had the decency to wait until summer vacation was over and everyone returned to work and the kids to school before having a crash in early autumn. nowadays, they just can’t wait that long.

    collapse early and avoid the rush. Monday should be interesting.

  8. “beef, it’s what’s for dinner!”

    yeah, trust me when i say that i’m no fan of factory farming, but:

    what are the residual hormone levels after processing?
    what are the levels after cooking?
    what are the levels in muscle tissue and interstitial fat?
    predators have traditionally taken the old and sick from the herd…
    all carnivores, and particularly omnivores, are opportunistic deteriorates. they’ll eat, digest and shit out just about anything, given the chance.
    lotsa blather and hype…

  9. maybe this is just a pre-collapse collapse. the real one is waiting for october. kinda like tremors and farting and animals acting weird before an earth quake. something like that…

  10. well, i guess Anne was just making a case for probable cause. your points are spot on, and reads like a reviewer’s punch list. somewhere those data exist, but where?

    the underlying problem she’s exposing is some folks will do just about anything for a profit. it culminates with assholes like that idiot that put melenine powder into some soy product (?) that was being used in pet foods and baby formulas, and a bunch of pets died and kids took ill, they investigated and traced it back to the factory in china where it was done (for profit). probably because of all the bad publicity, the chinese government tried and executed the stupid, greedy bastard CEO. (let’s hope it was really him and not his bitchy GF or wife.)

    but, unfortunately, the world is full of stupid, greedy bastards and globalization promotes their work. maybe that’s finally ending now.

  11. also, the modern capitalistic chinese will never live down putting fly ash into wallboard and then underselling the competition with their cheap, contaminated product. a lot of folks remember that one. personally, we avoid all food products made in china, and actively check the labels for sourcing. CVS pharmacies promote their cheap products, so i am wary of them, as well. we won’t buy if it’s on sale with no sourcing on the label.

    “oh, we musta forgot….” sure.

  12. eh, nothing and nobody lives forever. i’ve been around for about 60 years at this point, so i don’t really give a single fuck. my kids will have to figure out whatever it is that they might have to figure out. good luck, is about all i have to say to them.

  13. Okay, sure enough, but i don’t like the uncertainty of what’s been put into the base metal weight of the cheap made-in-china tiffany bed light by my bed. perhaps the chinese found a cheap and easy way to dispose of their spent fuel rods?

    hopefully not, but i inspected the hold cap on the glass shade, and found is was made of glued sawdust and painted with gold paint to look like metal. why did they do that? because it was far cheaper than a bored and tapped brass metal piece and they thought we’d not notice it.

    i have no respect for those people. zero.

  14. if you’re 60 and haven’t abused yourself too much, you’ll probably have 10-20 moron fun years left on the planet, assuming BAU. depends upon genetic background also, but hard to judge as conditions were far harsher in the past.

    my mother will turn 100 next month. if so, then she will be the longest-lived person on both sides of my family. she still has her mind, but her eyes are shot. still, she is also a miracle of modern medicine, with a double-bypass, open heart surgery when she was younger.

  15. yeah, i don’t know. i look back on all my ancestors. for the most part they lived into old age, late 80’s and into their late 90’s. but i really don’t care about any of that. it just seems like more stupid shit to me. if i make to 70, i will have definitely had enough. bring it on. let’s get the inevitable over with…

    of course i say that now. when i’m 70 i might be saying…not yet. i’ll do it tomorrow.

    fucking chinks…fuck them.

  16. my father made it to 90, with no major medical interventions. i’m pretty much his clone. i often say to people: no, i’m not at all like my father. i am my father…just a continuation.

  17. but you’re right. he was surrounded by the best that modern industrial society had to offer, social security, pension, steady supply of good food, medical assistance when he needed it, warm housing, adequate clothing, etc., etc. somehow, i just don’t think i’m gonna end up that lucky. just a hunch…

  18. http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/scarlet-tanager?site=ny

    Have you seen one of these, dave, bif, anyone in the NE usa?

    Another summer is passing and I have not seen a scarlet tanager. Maybe 3,4 years since I’ve seen one. Early morning in summer used to be a time when I would see and hear these birds high up in the oak and black cherry trees of my back yard, in parks, or cemetaries and almost anywhere there was a forest or woodland edge. It was a regular thing. I suspect the major problem is on their winter migration range/home in Brasil or somewhere.

  19. no on the scarlet tanager. but let me know if you see on of these. i haven’t seen one like this since 1984.

  20. when i was visiting some old school chums now living in southern pomona in socal, we were out looking about in their backyard, which had a few large walnut trees leftovers from earlier, farming days there. they used them for shade. anywho, there were fresh bird falls scattered all over, mostly black birds. i was told they were a result of some bird virus. these virus epedimics were not seen in my previous life there. it was both sad and a warning shot.

  21. Haven’t seen one of those (up close) in several decades. I think they possibly inhabit a different biome than me.

  22. in the middle of a tropical storm passing overhead at the moment. glad we’re not in a low-lying area.

    i should add that my mother is already the oldest living member on both sides of the family. she has out-lived just about all her friends also. makes for loney times except for the younger ones. she even has old folk kids.

  23. she even has old folk kids.

    yeah, you must be talking about yourself.

    anyway, i have a cousin who was well into her 70’s and still busy taking care of her mother and father. my older relatives are all dead at this point. thank god for small favors…

  24. I think they possibly inhabit a different biome than me.

    yeah, they’re on a different planet than the one i’m on.

  25. so, i haven’t gone to read jhk yet this morning. but you know he’s got to be in his fucking glory. booya, take that motherfuckers…!

  26. wow, he went off on trump, barely mentioned the stock market. must have wrote it last week or something, or waiting to see how this week in stocks shakes out…

  27. well, i’m the baby of my family. and, i don’t feel (or act) my age. never have, never will. i got that from dad.

    let’s find scarlet.

  28. It is my 20th wedding anniversary tomorrow. The 20th anniversary gift is China, so don’t worry about the stock market guys, I’ve got it covered.

  29. yeah, congrats yarra, i guess. to each his own, i always say. everybody picks their own poison, i say that too. 20 years is a long time; i’ve been known to say that. fuck that…i say that most of all.

  30. so, i kinda enjoyed the guest post over at club orlov today. i guess my only response would be something like: you can run, but you sure can’t hide. something like that.

  31. so i’m enjoying my science projects, as the world burns down around me.

    my colleagues appear delusional. same old, same old, except for some odd reason, the stock market worries them.

  32. i used to always win the science fair when i was in grammar school. god, has my life ever gone down hill since then…

  33. i recall grammar school science experiments always seemed to involve wiring and lantern batteries. later, in high school, it was demos with liquid nitrogen, frozen rubber balls that shatter, etc. all pretty lame stuff, by today’s standards.

    the latest trend is female scientists doing all the formerly male stuff. females training as volunteers for one-way missions to mars. they should take a few guys along and see if they can start a population of martians, or moonies.

  34. so i constructed this gismo that supposed to do certain things. next, i spend a lot of time and effort trying to figure out just what the hell it’s actually doing, as opposed to say, what i hoped it would do. is that great science and engineering, or wot?

  35. “i recall grammar school science experiments always seemed to involve wiring and lantern batteries.”

    oops, i forgot the ant farms. we did a lot of ant farms. the ants always died, in the end.

    we used to do saltwater fish aquariums at home. why? because it’s hard and challenging. we gave it up because, quite frankly, i grew tired of killing all that captive biomass. best to leave all that predatory kill-or-be-killed action on the reefs, where it belongs. nice to visit them there.

  36. one time i made this “solar” steam turbine. i used a infrared heat lamp instead of the sun, since we were inside, in the auditorium. it spun a “turbine” that i made out of a coffee can lid. of course i won with that motherfucker…

  37. how many times must i learn not to clean the keyboards? i lost one yesterday at work. grew tired of its gummy, nasty appearance, so i carefully (not, i guess) cleaned it. looks like new, no longer functions.

  38. at 12 or so, i wasn’t thinking in terms of bullshit or not. i just thought that it was a cool thing to make.

  39. I have rainbow trout atm, trying to get them to fatten up before summer gets here and kills them. All going well I should be able to get them up to plate size before then. The tank turns into a spa when I feed them :)

  40. when i was little kid (pre-punk) my parents used to take me to this trout farm up in mentone, CA. it was located in a broad alluvial wash that came out of the mountains toward the upper reaches of the santa ana river. nice place, family friendly. you would rent the gear if you didn’t bring your own. no fishing license necessary, as it was private property.

    they had several deep, cemented tanks with a bunch of hungry trout in them, at different size/age levels. the younger/smaller ones would bite anything, like a shiny bare hook, but we used salmon eggs sold on the premises. it was so easy, even kids could haul them in by the dozens.

    later, God (nature) took her revenge on the trout farm, by washing it completely away in a rare 100-year type flood. maybe it was just an accident, but then again, maybe God likes trout moron than humans and was pissed at the activities of that place.

  41. kinda funny. but around here they used to have like traveling fishing rodeos. some goobers would come into town with a big plastic pool, fill it up with water and fish (trout of some sort, if i remember right), then us local goobers would give them some $, ring around the pool, and try to catch those fish. i don’t recall being all that successful.

  42. i think it was for like 10 or 15 minutes at a shot. then you’d either have to pay again, or give your spot to some other goober. something like that.

  43. We had a pay to fish trout farm up a few miles northwest of here when I was a kid. I have to say that I did catch some trout there with my dad and my brother. The farmed trout were fed dairy by-products. You paid for the fish by the inch. The trout farm got washed out during a torrential rainfall back in the seventies, I think. The fish were liberated into the local trout stream, where fishing was no doubt extraordinarily good for a few weeks.

  44. i sent out a 28-slide powerpoint presentation to my colleagues today that basically says “look at all the work we did this summer, and we still don’t know what the hell we’re doing”. well, almost. we’re starting to ask the right questions, i think.

  45. what totally sucks is paying for fishing on some private fish farm and absolutely nobody gets a single bite. get plenty hang-ups, though. that’s why my dad always preferred hunting over fishing. at least you get some exercise.

  46. B9K9 says:
    August 28, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    “John Drake said on August 26, 2015 “Hubbert was relying on nuclear energy to take over fossil fuels as the primary energy source for an expanding high tech civilization. Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father the US nuclear navy, was also very much aware of the strategic importance energy sources.”

    And there you have it – an excellent summary of our situation that essentially negates the need for any further discussion. I mean, really, what’s the point, other than passing the day in as pleasant of manner as possible?

    Suggestion: remove the personalities, and substitute the PTB as a convenient identifier. Let’s be frank – the human condition has **always been** framed by competition for scarce resources. Rulers are schooled in this eternal truth, so while “good citizens” (ie the ants) dutifully study hard, develop professional careers, go into debt, pay taxes, raise children, believe in imaginary friends, etc, the PTB focus on reality.

    Reality dictates history – the graph Hubbert was describing was probably first drawn somewhere in deep history at man’s earliest homesteads as resource depletion began to manifest itself and populations began to move. Likewise, Rickover’s awareness of resource constraints was first realized after forests were denuded to build homes, light fires, construct boats, etc.

    The real point I constantly try to make is that none of this is new to those whose job it is to understand these things. Therefore, the actions we see taking place at a geo-strategic level merely confirm (a) they are well aware; and (b) are already moving the pieces. In other words, they “go to work” each day – a reasonable astute person can merely observe these meta characteristics to deduce likely outcomes.

    The game for us is to stay one step of them – after all, they have to actually “work” (that is operate a military, run a trading desk, watch economic indicators, etc), while we are free to see clearly both what is occurring – and their reactions – and simply front run the action.”

    sounds like a plan…

  47. Except that the “PTB” (if there is such a distinct set of people) are probably just as batshit crazy as the general population. If you front run them you run off the cliff’s edge before they do.

  48. Fast Eddy over at OFW blog calls the PTB “the owners of the Fed”. The US Federal Reserve Bank is indeed a private institution, so it must belong to somebody, and by definition they are very wealthy and powerful people.

  49. all any of us do ever, is muddle through life the best we can and then die…maybe we try to minimize our suffering, we really don’t know how.

  50. Four Yorkshiremen Sketch

    Monty Python

    Four well-dressed men sitting together at a vacation resort.

    Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.

    Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine, ay Gessiah?

    Terry Gilliam: You’re right there Obediah.

    Eric Idle: Who’d a thought thirty years ago we’d all be sittin’ here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

    MP: Aye. In them days, we’d a’ been glad to have the price of a cup o’ tea.

    GC: A cup ‘ COLD tea.

    EI: Without milk or sugar.

    TG: OR tea!

    MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

    EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

    GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

    TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

    MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness.”

    EI: ‘E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN’. We used to live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

    GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

    TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!

    MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin’ in a corridor! Woulda’ been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.

    EI: Well when I say “house” it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.

    GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

    TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

    MP: Cardboard box?

    TG: Aye.

    MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

    GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

    TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o’clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

    EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing “Hallelujah.”

    MP: But you try and tell the young people today that… and they won’t believe ya’.

    ALL: Nope, nope..

  51. i’m secretly praying that the collapse will come soon and put NASA and all their stupid Mars habitation nonsense out of its misery, and ours. they really are desperate.

  52. The trash never lies…

    Adam Minter, the author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade, said scrap dealers were often among the first to sense a coming economic storm. Chinese recyclers had been feeling the pain since late 2011 “but you really started to feel things hurting on the streets last summer”, he said. “The raw material demand isn’t there.”

    The crisis suggested a bleak economic outlook for China even if the country was not heading for “an economic apocalypse”, Minter said. “What the recycling industry is telling us is that this is going to get deeper and worse before it is going to get better. Everything I know about the industry says this is going to get worse for the Chinese economy.”

    The out-of-luck recyclers of Nanqijia are far from the only hint of economic malaise in the world’s number two economy. Right across the country a mounting body of evidence points to a slowdown that many experts believe is far more severe than Beijing admits.

    Christopher Balding, a Peking University economist based in the southern city of Shenzhen, said China was witnessing a rise in the number of labour disputes and strikes as well as a significant slowdown in migration to cities because of the lack of opportunities and the high cost of living.


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