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Deep State Descending

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Published : March 10th, 2014
833 words - Reading time : 2 - 3 minutes
( 24 votes, 2.9/5 ) , 6 commentaries
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And so it’s back to the Kardashians for the US of ADD. As of Sunday The New York Times kicked Ukraine off its front page, a sure sign that the establishment (let’s revive that useful word) is sensitive to the growing ridicule over its claims of national interest in that floundering, bedraggled crypto-nation. The Kardashians sound enough like one of the central Asian ethnic groups battling over the Crimea lo these many centuries — Circassians, Meskhetian Turkmen, Tatars, Karachay-Cherkessians — so the sore-beset American public must be content that they’re getting the news-of-the-world. Perhaps one of those groups was once led by a Great Kanye.

     Secretary of State John Kerry has shut his pie-hole, too, for the moment, as it becomes more obvious that Ukraine happens to be Russia’s headache (and neighbor). The playbook of great nations is going obsolete in this new era of great nations having, by necessity, to become smaller broken-up nations. It could easily happen in the USA too as our grandiose Deep State descends further into incompetence, irrelevance, buffoonery, and practical bankruptcy.

     Theories abound about what drives this crisis and all the credible stories revolve around the question of natural gas. I go a little further, actually, and say that the specter of declining energy sources worldwide is behind this particular eruption of disorder in one sad corner of the globe and that we’re sure to see more symptoms of that same basic problem in one country after another from here on, moving from the political margins to the centers. The world is out of cheap oil and gas and, at the same time, out of capital to produce the non-cheap oil and gas. So what’s going on is a scramble between desperate producers and populations worried about shivering in the dark. The Ukraine is just a threadbare carpet-runner between them.

     Contributing to our own country’s excessive vanity in the arena of nations is the mistaken belief that we have so much shale gas of our own that we barely know what to do with it. This is certainly the view, for instance, of Speaker of the House John Boehner, who complained last week about bureaucratic barriers to the building of new natural gas export terminals, with the idea that we could easily take over the European gas market from Russia. Boehner is out of his mind. Does he not know that the early big American shale gas plays (Barnett in Texas, Haynesville in Louisiana, Fayettville in Arkansas) are already winding down after just ten years of production? That’s on top of the growing austerity in available capital for the so-far-unprofitable shale gas industry. That’s on top of the scarcity of capital for building new liquid natural gas terminals and ditto the fleet of specialized refrigerated tanker ships required to haul the stuff across the ocean. File under “not going to happen.”

     Even the idea that we will have enough natural gas for our own needs in the USA beyond the short term ought to be viewed with skepticism. What happens, for instance, when we finally realize that it costs more to frack it out of the ground than people can pay for it? I’ll tell you exactly what will happen: the gas will remain underground bound up in its “tight rock,” possibly forever, and a lot of Americans will freeze to death.

     The most amazing part of the current story is that US political leaders are so ignorant of the facts. They apparently look only to the public relations officers in the oil-and-gas industries and no further. Does Barack Obama still believe, as he said in 2011, that we have a hundred years of shale gas?” That was just something that a flack from the Chesapeake Corporation told to some White House aide over a bottle of Lalou Bize-Leroy Domaine d’Auvenay Les Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Government officials believe similar fairy tales about shale oil from the Bakken in North Dakota — a way overhyped resource play likely to pass its own peak at the end of this year.

      If you travel around the upper Hudson Valley, north of Albany, where I live, you would see towns and landscapes every bit as desolate as a former Soviet republic. In fact, our towns look infinitely worse than the street-views of Ukraine’s population centers. Ours were built of glue and vinyl, with most of the work completed thirty years ago so that it’s all delaminating under a yellow-gray patina of auto emissions. Inside these miserable structures, American citizens with no prospects and no hope huddle around electric space heaters. They have no idea how they’re going to pay the bill for that come April. They already spent the money on tattoos and heroin.

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James Howard Kunstler has worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time basis. His nonfiction book, "The Long Emergency," describes the changes that American society faces in the 21st century. Discerning an imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil, military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food.
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Oh come on everybody, there's plenty of energy for everyone on planet Earth…forever.
It is simply a matter of utilising it efficiently.
Rate :   0  3Rating :   -3
"Inside these miserable structures, American citizens with no prospects and no hope huddle around electric space heaters. They have no idea how they’re going to pay the bill for that come April. They already spent the money on tattoos and heroin."

If I didn't have friends and family in the states I might easily believe that the US is already a third world country. JHK needs a good slap up alongside the head, then maybe a tour of the far greater majority of US neighborhoods that don't fit what seems to be his favorite view of communities. He may actually come to a realization that there is more reason for hope than despair.

I know Kunstler wants us all back in the 1890's fixin wagon wheels and diggin wells by hand but this constant drivel that seems to be aimed at making the rest of the world believe things are as bad as he see's them is getting old.

The only line in this crap that makes any sense is "The most amazing part of the current story is that US political leaders are so ignorant of the facts."but even here he's using it in an effort to drive home his version of reality rather than point out the hundreds of different ways US leaders truly are clueless on virtually every matter facing humanity today.

Kunstler, if you happen by here please answer me this. If your so convinced about the future and its lack of petroleum why the hell are you living someplace where you have an internet connection rather than someplace that's 100 miles from the nearest neighbor where you never have to worry about ignorant people like me who will come for your food when things go poof?

Rate :   8  7Rating :   1
Kunstler would certainly love to believe we are running out of oil and natural gas, but there is ample evidence that we are not and will not for the foreseeable future. Constant new discoveries of oil reserves and natural gas must gall him to no end casting a cloud over his fantasy return to nature schemes.
Rate :   9  9Rating :   0
Makes you wonder why he hasn't run off to and joined some Amish community which to him must be a utopia. Surely he must hold the Amish in high regard with their ability to function without all the technological crap he's seems to use everyday and then bitch about.
Rate :   9  8Rating :   1
Whatever poverty stricken areas Kunstler goes out of his to visit -- and those areas do exist -- have nothing to do with dwindling energy supplies, but to Socialist policies rampant and increasing at an exponential level these past decades, Democrat AND Republic parties both to blame.

As the oil fields in Saudi Arabia may be dwindling, new fields have been discovered (yet to be exploited); offshore Cyprus for instance. Kunstler will use any excuse to promote his return to 'a world made by hand.' Incidently the books by Charles Mann, 1491 and 1493, point out that indigenous peoples did quite a bit of terra forming on their own: burning vast tracts of land, clearing trees. It is the nature to humans to transform nature to their needs in a responsible way. Nature herself does vast damage to eco systems with volcanic super eruptions causing species extinctions.

Rate :   10  5Rating :   5
Yeah ... right ... there's oil all over US waiting to be pumped out ... and yet US still needs oil from Saudi or Cyprus or whereever ... Mideast or Saudi or Libyan oil will take much more than US can afford, and pretty soon. It was the mighty US army that secured the oil deals and the petro-dollar, and yet that mighty force had to give up in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, soon Turkey, and of course in Ukraine ... wake up ...
Rate :   6  10Rating :   -4
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Oh come on everybody, there's plenty of energy for everyone on planet Earth…forever. It is simply a matter of utilising it efficiently. Read more
S W. - 3/13/2014 at 6:53 AM GMT
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