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Some Sunny Day

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Published : January 07th, 2013
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( 26 votes, 4.2/5 ) , 10 commentaries
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The story behind the "fiscal cliff" melodrama and the much-memed handwringing about the "good-for-nothing congress" is probably not quite what it appears -- a set of problems that will eventually be overcome by "better leadership" armed with "solutions." The story is really about the permanent disabling of government at this scale and at this level of complexity. In other words, the federal government will never solve its obvious problems of mismanagement and bankruptcy and is now only in business to pretend that it can discharge its obligations (while employees enjoy the perqs). It's just another form of show business.

The same can be said of most of the state governments, too, of course, except that they have a lower capacity to pretend they can take care of anything. They can and will go bankrupt, and then they'll go begging to the federal government to bail them out, which the federal government will pretend to do with pretend money. By then, though, the practical arrangements of daily life would probably be so askew that politics would take a new, darker, and more extreme turn --among other things, in the direction of secession and breakup.

The wonder of it all is that there hasn't been civil disorder yet. When I go into the supermarket, I marvel at the price of things: a single onion for a dollar, four bucks for a jar of jam, five bucks for a box of Cheerios, four bucks for a wedge of cheese. Is everybody except Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and Mark Zuckerberg living on store-brand macaroni and ketchup? It's hard to measure the desperation of households in this culture of rugged individualism. At social gatherings friends rarely tell you that they are two months behind in their mortgage payment and maxed out on their credit cards. And that's the supposed middle class, at least the remnants of it. I can't tell you what the tattoo-and-falling-down-pants crowd talks about in the parking lot outside the 7-Eleven store. Perhaps they swap meth recipes.

Civil disorder would at least mean something, a consensus of dissatisfaction about how life is lived. Instead, we only get mad outbursts of tragic meaninglessness: the slaughter of innocent children in school, or movie theater patrons mowed down by a lone maniac during the coming attractions. Life imitates art, as Oscar Wilde said, and these days television is our art. Hence the United States is now equal parts Jersey Shore, Buck Wild, the Kardashians, and Honey Boo Boo. That's not really a lot to work with in terms of social capital, especially where radical politics might be called for.

Does anybody now breathing even remember radical politics? Whether you liked them or not -- and I was not crazy about the whole "revolution" of the late 1960s, which I lived through -- it at least represented a level of seriousness that is now absolutely and starkly absent today, especially in young people. Who, in the West, besides Julian Assange, has stuck his neck out in the past ten years? And please don't tell me Ron Paul, who had ample opportunity in congressional hearings over the years to really call out the banksters and their government wankster errand boys, and all he ever did was nip around their trouser legs.

So I stick to the point I made in The Long Emergency and again in Too Much Magic: expect America's national and state governments to only become more ineffectual and impotent. They will never recover from the insults inflicted on themselves. Events are in the drivers seat, including things unseen, and the people pretending to be in charge have arranged things into such a state of fragility that accidents are sure to happen, especially involving the basic structures of money. In case you don't know it yet, you're on your own now. Put whatever energy you can muster into finding a community to be a part of.

Meanwhile, reality stands by with mandates of its own. Do people like Barack Obama and John Boehner think we're going to re-start another round of suburban expansion (a.k.a. the housing market)? That's largely what the old economy was based on, and what Wall Street fed off of parasitically the past twenty years. That is so over. Do they believe that when absolutely every task in America is computerized there will be any gainful work outside of a sort of janitorial IT to tend all the computers. We've already seen what happens with the telephone system: after 30 years of techno-innovation in "communications," it's now impossible to get a live human being on the phone and robots call you incessantly during the dinner hour. Anyway, we don't really have the energy resources to supply the electricity for all this crap indefinitely, or probably even another twenty years.

All the tendencies and trends in contemporary life are reaching their limits at the same time, and as they do things will crack up and fall apart, whether it involves the despotic reach of a government, or a tyrannical corporation, or a hedge fund server farm stuffed with algo-crunching computers sucking the life out of every honest market transaction until the markets are zombies. The euphoria that greeted the end of the fiscal cliff ritual has settled back into the feckless collective state-of-mind that we call "bullish." It's all noise and the madness of crowds now. And black swans shitting on your head some sunny day.



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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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Another mindless rant by Kunstler who says, "The wonder of it all is that there hasn't been civil disorder yet. When I go into the supermarket, I marvel at the price of things: a single onion for a dollar.." A dollar for an onion? Where does the fool shop? And for that he urges civil unrest? What, a dollar for an onion? Barricade the streets! Attack the police! Vandalize! And the mindless say, "yes, sir" and scurry away like rats to fill petrol bottles. Kunstler moans about the econmony and yet voted for the Socialist Obama -- go figure.

Here Kunstler again reveals his anti-industrial mindset, "Do they believe that when absolutely every task in America is computerized there will be any gainful work outside of a sort of janitorial IT to tend all the computers." Critics of Henry Ford's horseless carriage also screamed about the death of the economy back when. What's left unsaid is Kunstler's threat that the best civilization is one that forbids (upon pain of incarceration or death) any innovation whatsoever -- for how else could you prevent it?

And, naturally, the mindless and hartless will agree with him.

Rate :   9  4Rating :   5
Don't you ever get tired of being completely wrong?

If your so against the Socialist Obama, why the unceasing defense of what he does and stands for? You bring up Henry Ford and the automation he used which caused such a ruckus and defend it yet you never state where you stand on all the outsourcing which has stripped jobs from the average American. How does this hi-tech world of trans-oceanic call centers help increase employment in the USA? Where is your ire now? Just because something makes life easier doesn’t mean it makes it better. When was the last time you bought something simple that was made to last? I'll bet it was something that was manufactured in North America but how is still made here? Made to last in today’s hi-tech world means nothing more than putting up with failure until the next upgrade which just brings new failure.

Shame on you Jim, your old enough to know better. Whether you think I’m a republican or Democrat shouldn’t matter, you should be concerned that our lives have gotten shorter, filled with more diseases and pain while we’ve lost our ability to pay for all of this inconvenience.

If you spent more time looking at what’s happening in the real world and less time on your jungle Jim you would be less critical of anyone that looks back to a time when life was better.
Rate :   11  4Rating :   7
How about you; do you ever get tired of being completely wrong?

Jim has never defended Obama. And just as it should not matter to Jim whether he believes you to be a Republican or Democrat (though i have yet to read anything he has posted concerning your political allegiance) why should the opposite also not hold?

And just so as that you do not repeat the mistake you have now made several times, the life span for Americans is actually increasing, not decreasing.

If you spend more time looking at what is happening in the real world and less time fantasizing about what is going on with Jim, you would be a much happier camper.
Rate :   2  8Rating :   -6
As you seem to have a limited attention span I’ll answer both of your posts here.

Your hate addled mind once again missed the point, my first comment was clearly worded so as to keep Jim on topic, which low and behold he did. Not a single mention of Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, or Lincoln.

I sure would like to know where I was wrong? How has hi-tech helped employ more US citizens?

If you would bother to completely read a comment you would see that Jim has on many occasions backed big government insofar as he continually challenges any post where limited government is promoted. He hates and ridicules anyone that is against big government, very much like you when someone mentions God or Jesus. Have you made it your mission to go after me now that I've called you out on and debunked your beloved evolution? Seriously, are you nothing more than a child in an old person’s body? As for expressing hatred, you have done so on many occasions in this forum so who are you to call me out on using "Obamastein"? And how does this correlate to any kind of hatred of Jews? Is this some repressed hatred you have for Jews yourself now manifesting in your deflection? You again, so appropriately for yourself, missed the connection that name and my statements made. What are you, a simpleton blinded by hatred of anyone that's managed to get the better of you? Obamastein is a great name for someone who’s name is Obama and who has done so much for the wonderful Jewish banking cartel. Yes I said Jewish. Shock and horror, call the anti-Semitic police.

As for your other statement about people now living longer. I suppose if all you read is government propaganda this might be the case however if you were to indulge yourself for a few hours in some medial reading you would soon discover the opposite is true. Big government driven by big business allowing all manner of chemicals to be used in our food has done far greater damage than anything good our hi-tech medicine might do for us. Big business, enabled by big government, has given the world all manner of gourmet food, look up pink slime. Big business being allowed to create GMO food that now generates pesticides once it enters the digestive tract causing numerous ailments for all but primarily the young. For an individual that has told us he/she holds a number of degree’s you’re not very savvy or are you being purposely ignorant, again?

And here we go, you have once again driven the thread off topic, congratulations.

So will this be a recurring theme, you trying to slander me for anything I post? At least when I challenge Jim it’s for a reason, something you yourself have never brought yourself to do. Keep it up though, this way I know I got under your skin. If you spent less time indulging in your past life of fame and TV reporters and spent more time focused on what’s happening in today’s world you would not make the above mistakes.
Rate :   7  2Rating :   5
Uh oh Hart. It looks like you stepped in a pile of vox kadavergehorsamkeit and now its clinging to your shoe like a doggy land mine.

And is that sewer gas I smell or the pile you stepped in?

Rate :   6  3Rating :   3
"the mindless and hartless" ? The history of the U.S.
Rate :   4  2Rating :   2
Great article. As an Illinois resident, I'm already living it. Amazing how the moron class picks an unaccomplished incompetent from the government of the most dysfunctional, most bankrupt state in the Union. Twice.
The people he left behind are working hard to fill his non existent shoes. There is a drug cartel war in Chicago. 500 dead in 2012. Obongo's acolytes have the answer. Take away guns from people who don't live in Chicago, and raises all around for the government class and their armed bodyguards which we peons can't be trusted with.
We're freaking doomed.
Rate :   9  2Rating :   7
Ah another Monday morning. Listen carefully and you can hear Jim C's sphincter puckering as his hands tremble at the keyboard. Yet another opportunity to bring up the wrong side of the civil war, and what glee he has in his eyes as he thinks of how he can once again glorify big government.

In the meantime, the poor unwashed masses are being prepared for another round "Where'd my money go?" in the dark circus that is known as the US of A run by the biggest clown ever, Barack Obamastein, where big banks are once again the chick beggars that government has a soft spot for.

So come on Jim, regale us again with some more fallacies about how Lincoln loved the slaves and JHK is just a backwoods hick. Please dispense some more of that Jimmy’s world wisdom on us poor unknowing sheeple.
Rate :   12  3Rating :   9
What gives with this? Could you not wait for Jim to post his comment on JHK? Just how much hatred for him are you filled with that you post this attack that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the JHK article? Oh, and by the way, Jim has never once glorified big government. He has often stated that he favors limited government. So if you cannot help yourself, which you seem quite incapable of doing, at least attack him for positions he actually holds and if you do not want to seem a total crackpot, why not wait until he has actually posted something?

And just out of a morbid sense of curiosity, is your calling the president Obamastein a sign of your hatred for Jews?
Rate :   2  9Rating :   -7
Nothing here that I can disagree with.
So right about "permanent disabling of government at this scale and level of complexity"

The music was better in the sixties too!

Interesting that 2 aussies get a mention.
Black Swans for sure have shat all over Assange's head because for sure he did not know what crap he was getting himself into.
Our sycophantic government has hung the poor bastard out to dry for what...exposing the truth.

That's right...the government does not want the public to know the truth. If they did there would be a real revolution, like the one Lennon sung... 'you count me out'.
Rate :   11  3Rating :   8
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Uh oh Hart. It looks like you stepped in a pile of vox kadavergehorsamkeit and now its clinging to your shoe like a doggy land mine. And is that sewer gas I smell or the pile you stepped in?  Read more
Schwerpunkt - 1/8/2013 at 2:08 PM GMT
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