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Hubris. Greed. Distraction. Denial.

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by James H. Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:05 | 4679686 IridiumRebel
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Are these the new catch phrases for the Democratic 2014 campaign?

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:23 | 4679735 Reiyuki
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You mean: "Vote for me or the other guy will win"?

Both parties overuse that one.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:29 | 4679768 IridiumRebel
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This catch phrase actually works for both parties.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:49 | 4680125 booboo
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Well James, so Zero is an example of the NON "dynastic grifter" that you voted for TWICE. So can we safely say you are a shill for DemoCrazy.

Remember, IF you vote you have no right to complain because you asked for it, good and hard.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:38 | 4680287 thamnosma
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I do sometimes agree with Crazy Jim regarding suburban sprawl and his smarmy writing style can be amusing.  However, I have no doubt he is a deep "progressive" who yearns for an "enlightened" government run by a "vanguard", all in the people's interests.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:10 | 4680415 IridiumRebel
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Your vote counts. It is who is counting that makes the difference. Diebold loves you.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:41 | 4680878 SAT 800
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I've always felt that the Ukraine had some value inside the Beltway as a "Tail wags the Dog" item.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:05 | 4679687 sunny
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Kunstler is always the optimist.

 

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:07 | 4679691 813kml
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I think he's just tired of waiting for the inevitable.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:13 | 4679704 paddy0761
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813kml
Vote up!



Vote down!


I think he's just tired of waiting for the inevitable.

 

Aren't we all?

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:24 | 4680237 Chupacabra-322
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I literally posted the following this morning in the Biden thread.

Complete Hubris. These Psycopathic / Sociopathic Criminals aren't even trying to hide their Criminality anymore.

It's all out in the open for all the world to see.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:14 | 4679711 fencejumper
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Here I'd say he's being a realist.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:34 | 4679784 McMolotov
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This is probably a bit petty, but I'm kind of unable to take him as seriously as I once did since he admitted voting for Barry twice.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:13 | 4679972 cougar_w
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However he regularly cuts himself for having done it.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:15 | 4679987 Cognitive Dissonance
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My first out loud laugh of the day. Thank you. :)

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:25 | 4680017 cougar_w
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Are you ready for this? I don't think you are ready for this:

http://fedtoatiger.blogspot.com/2014/04/chris-culliver-of-sf-49ers-is-fe...

Diamond in a cameo role. Watch for the point when she's entirely lost it. Epic!

 

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:35 | 4680056 Cognitive Dissonance
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But...but....but you promised me video. :)

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:37 | 4680073 cougar_w
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The audience gets the DVD, google around you can probably snag one cheap off ebay at some point.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:40 | 4680299 thamnosma
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I can forgive once.  Any educated person who follows politics and voted for him the second time is untrustworthy in my book.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:54 | 4680362 Greenskeeper_Carl
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i feel the exact same way about taking him seriously, and i do sometimes wonder if i (and you, and many others on here) are being a little petty for thinking this way, but I just can't help it. He saw 4 years of it, and voted for 4 more. He kinda lost the right to complain, IMO. Its not like there werent other options. He could have voted for Romeny, not that he would have been any better. Or course, Its not like you had to vote for obama or romney. personally, I supported RP through the whole election cycle, but voted for gary johnson rather than writing in RP due to some peculiarities of what happens with write ins in my state. Mostly becuase I thought just maybe the liberty movement would be taken a little more seriously if we got over 1 mil of the voting population to say NO to both parties. But he had either of those options. Or, if he is a die hard lefty, he could vote for the green party, which has much of the 'progressive' parts of the dem party without the warfare and TBTF coddling of the dems (not endorsing that, just saying it was an option). Yet he decided not to take any of those options, and asked for 4 more years of the same. So ya, rather its petty or not, I also hae trouble taking him seriously. Which is a shame, since I really do like his writing style

Edit: the other option, which I am kinda leaning towards, at least with presidential elections, is DON'T VOTE. Then you REALLY have a right to complain

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 20:28 | 4681267 StychoKiller
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The soapbox has not worked, the jury box has not worked, the ballot box is a joke...that leaves only one box left...

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:09 | 4679697 Carl Popper
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Robert Frost A Semi-Revolution

 

I advocate a semi-revolution.

The trouble with a total revolution

(Ask any reputable Rosicrucian)

Is that it brings the same class up on top.

Executives of skillful execution

Will therefore plan to go halfway and stop.

Yes, revolutions are the only salves,

But they're the one thing best done by halves.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:01 | 4679903 Lore
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Fair point. Kuntsler writes good collapse porn - it helps his credibility when he doesn't parrot Agenda 21 tripe - but he shouldn't allow his flock to presume that all these things are "just happening" (e.g., through some intrinsic flaw in human nature).  This is a deliberate program executed by psychopaths.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:15 | 4679985 cougar_w
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"This is a deliberate program executed by psychopaths."

It is deliberate, but only because they are stupid rich. Collapse will take them totally by surprize. Many of the current playa'z will end up dead.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:42 | 4680880 Monty Burns
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This is the Great Question.  Maybe you're right and they will be taken by surprise but it's also possible that instead they know exactly what they're doing.  Item: The militarization of local police - in fact the whole security apparatus, plus the systematic removal of Constitutional freedoms.  These actions seem to indicate that maybe they know what's coming. 

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:19 | 4679721 pods
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I'd rather be marooned 23 miles away from anything than in a city when the free shit stops flowing.

pods

 

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:42 | 4679822 MuleRider
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Bingo.  If you can't get completely "off the grid," just getting rural is a decent backup plan.  Yeah, I prefer to be away from it all with my garden, few goats, cows, and chickens, and ample storage, than smack dab in the middle of "civilization" when things start turning less than civil. 

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:43 | 4680316 thamnosma
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Agree completely.   Most of us simply cannot afford or arrange being completely isolated.  There are many degrees between total vulnerability and complete independence, if that's even really possible.  Just being rural or sem-rural is a huge leg up.  After that, it's a matter of prioritizing survival needs.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:21 | 4679728 fencejumper
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I think the only revolution that could work against overwhelming firepower is a massive tax strike: a huge proportion of the country simply refusing to file and pay their income taxes one year. Who knows, perhaps a one day work and shopping strike on April 15th as well. This would take huge organizing skills AND it would require Americans to unite beyond their political/idealogical differences.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:32 | 4679773 MrPalladium
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All that Americans need do is for one third of them to lock up their credit cards for three months, and the system would collapse. But first, we need a vision of what would replace the current regime and a path to get there that does not involve much destruction and bloodshed before a large plurality will go on a spending strike, and therein lies the problem.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:58 | 4679909 CrimsonAvenger
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YES - A vision is exactly what's missing. We can whine and bitch with great precision all day here at ZH, and even out across this country of the mostly uninformed, they know something is wrong, something's not working. But you cannot create a movement against something - it has to be for something. Until we paint a vision of what life could be like - something that most people can realistically achieve for themselves - we'll never get this party started.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:16 | 4679988 Polymarkos
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"In every revolution, there is ONE MAN with a VISION." --James T. Kirk to the Spock twin in the alternate universe where the Federation was honest.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:57 | 4680154 Uncle Remus
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"He's dead Jim."

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:28 | 4680835 kurt
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You think they were rough on the Black Panthers, the KKK, Communists?

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:23 | 4679737 Ignatius
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The answer, Jim, is that we are drowning in conspiracies that form the rackets you acknowledge, but you just can't bring yourself to call it by its proper name.  Maybe your filter can't get past some cartoon image of a mustache grooming Snidely Whiplash characterization, I don't know.  I'm sure you see how surface agendas will line up with the crime because it suits their interests (i.e., increases their power), but you gotta dig deeper.  Geezus, man, pick an event or two of significance and start drilling down into the details and research it as completely as possible and then you'll begin to see how dishonest and corrupted the 'official version' is from the evidence you've accumulated.

Jim's a funny guy, but he's content to float on the surface and mock the obvious inanities and goes no further.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:31 | 4679772 nowhereman
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Just like the rest of you

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:52 | 4679870 Ignatius
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An opaque, cryptic comment with a near instantaneous upvote.  Hmmm.

Care to elaborate?

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:05 | 4679936 Cognitive Dissonance
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LOL

".....a near instantaneous upvote" is ZH's version of a selfie. :)

<aka virtual masturbation.>

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:13 | 4679971 pods
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Like going trick or treating as a kid and taking one from your house to "start yourself off."

pods

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:24 | 4680013 Cognitive Dissonance
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I don't know what you're talking about. :)

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:33 | 4680052 Ignatius
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Pods is insane.  Why I've never heard of such a thing....

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:48 | 4680121 toady
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I don't upvote myself right away. If I come back later and see a single upvote I add one so it doesn't look like I gave myself a"selfie". 

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:03 | 4680172 chunga
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there you go +1 lol

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:05 | 4680180 Ignatius
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An honest man!

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 20:34 | 4681278 StychoKiller
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So, who's behind it all?  Lizard people, Illuminati, Gnostics, da joos?

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:25 | 4679738 Youri Carma
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Hitlary Clinton will be elected, the elections will be rigged and she will unleash WOIII. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/youricarma/Miscellaneous/fotomont...

Hillary Clinton Tops in 2016 Race, Would Topple Top Republicans http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=251103.0

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:44 | 4679833 MuleRider
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Hillary Clinton is dying of cancer or some other advanced, degenerative disease.  She will most likely be dead by November 2016. 

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:58 | 4679908 wmbz
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That would be a bonus. She could go down and hang out with Teddy and the boyz at the big BBQ.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:10 | 4679957 Polymarkos
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She can't die soon enough for me. One day soon I'll take a tour of graveyards to urinated on the graves of those special offenders, like Teddy Kennedy...

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:15 | 4679982 pods
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I'll buy a case of Coors Lite. You can't see to keep that shit in you for more than a half hour.

pods

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:27 | 4680026 Cognitive Dissonance
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You are on a roll today.

<Hot, hot, hot.>  :)

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 20:35 | 4681282 StychoKiller
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Meh, I grew up on "Colorado Koolaid!"

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:45 | 4680327 thamnosma
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She's a Democrat.  Being dead doesn't mean she can't serve as President.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:07 | 4680405 Vampyroteuthis ...
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Even the live Democrats get votes from the dead, those who have been dead for years.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:47 | 4680532 Winston Churchill
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An extremely painful disease I hope.
Something in the spinal column that no
amount of pain killers can relieve.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:26 | 4680831 kurt
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Bengazi Sphincto Excoriation

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:46 | 4680891 Monty Burns
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A sliver of good news in an otherwise bleak outlook.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:56 | 4679890 wmbz
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If Ms. Kankle does run, she will win no doubt in my mind. We are surrounded by morons.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:48 | 4680896 Monty Burns
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Of course.  The Permanent Government will ensure that the choice you get is no choice.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:24 | 4679740 bag holder
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This dude sounds about as red as can be. He's definitely pitching to the liberty movement, though.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:32 | 4679777 ratpack1968
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Three layers to American society: Psychopathic powers that be, the social parasites the psychopaths exploit....and the rest of us.  I think "the rest of us" are getting dizzy from circling the drain and are waking up to our pathetic fate.   

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:04 | 4679931 Anusocracy
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The psychopathic mind is the extreme social mind.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:09 | 4679953 Polymarkos
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What does that mean?

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:20 | 4679999 cougar_w
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If you are trying to say that psychopaths are socialists, then you can go ahead and count yourself among the stupidest people who ever breathed.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:35 | 4679793 The Joker
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The revolution will be televised. 

Wonder who the sponsors will be.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:08 | 4679952 Polymarkos
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More likely it'll be youtooberized and twitterpated.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:23 | 4680819 kurt
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Youtube-botimised youth

Save the children

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:47 | 4680335 thamnosma
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Time for the New Last Poets

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:08 | 4679949 Polymarkos
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What's next is a massive decentralization of production using computer controlled small scale industries which will result in large numbers of new designs, superior products, and a massive leap forward in technology at all levels. People will not trade products long range, they'll trade digital designs for products that will then be locally manufactured. The trade of designs will demand greater encryption security over the 'net than has ever been. Also, raw materials will continue to be shipped, some industries such as iron refining and founding, will still be economies of scale.

 

The imperative of the moment is to rid ourselves of this intrusive and dangerous corrupt oligarchy, to quit obeying all the stupid rules that are presently choking off people from making a living, and to begin truly educating people in what they will need to survive this fundamental social and econmic change.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:40 | 4680089 durablefaith
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Poly, what's next is the loss of legitimacy that Jim referenced. The American empire and the USD are about to be dethroned. And global governance is what comes next, after the war of course..

Jim knows all this by the way, I am pretty sure he is on the globalist team and is simply preparng he collective consciousness for what the elites have planned for them next.

I like your hyperlocal approach although I think an emphasis on locally optimized permaculture techniques is needed as well.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:12 | 4680201 Jstanley011
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As soon as laser weapons can be deployed in 20-meter high arrays that will dispatch any conceivable number of incoming targets appearing over the horizon -- whether ground, aircraft, ballistic, or missiles from space -- sovereignties will shrink to within the 10-mile radius of each array. Then, whoever wants to play, will HAVE TO play nice.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:21 | 4680815 kurt
kurt's picture

Dandelions! The new weed economy. Green shoots, nasty ones!!!!

Let's do dis.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:14 | 4679965 Racer
Racer's picture

Maybe the US sheep have been fed so much they can't move very far to protest!

6m

North Americans account for less than a sixteenth of the world's people, but more than a third of their weight."

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:14 | 4679976 sondernauch
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The tribe controls all of the MSM, Hollywood, and major newspapers and magazines in the U.S. These are the organs of America's "mind" and the tribe decides what we Americas see, hear, and think. Alternative media is good but the evil old media is still too powerful.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:26 | 4680002 cougar_w
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Kill your TV.

There, solved it for you.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:51 | 4680908 Monty Burns
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Movies and advertising are also powerful sources of prole-feed.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:34 | 4680054 johnjkiii
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It is a rare revolution that cures the ills that brought it about. More likely, as the writer says, it leads to something even worse. Be careful what you wish for and instead get involved in educating the moron class. It will not be easy but then nothing worth doing ever is.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:02 | 4680389 Midnight Rider
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I guess the American Revolution cured some ills, but has recently morphed into a centrally contolled time bomb of economic destruction circa 12/23/1913.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:36 | 4680069 Conax
Conax's picture

Facebook smurfs will rampage in full rebellion!!

The enemy will be un-friended in droves, and the selfies will be scowling in a defiant manner!

It will be chaos I tell you!

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:38 | 4680082 cougar_w
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Cougar has approved this comment.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 13:55 | 4680148 Uncle Remus
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Not one instance of the word "tattoo".

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:49 | 4680343 thamnosma
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Maybe Jim finally got one.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:02 | 4680390 Disenchanted
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Word has it that he's had this photo tattooed on his ass...

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:12 | 4680428 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Be sure to vote in 2016... with your trigger finger.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:00 | 4680567 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Vote for the biggest shitbirds on the ticket.  Don't pull the rope, run with it, help the collapse, hasten the collapse.

Walk into the light, Carol Ann.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:59 | 4680566 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

LOL!  Dumbass.

How do you think your metrosexual city dwelling ass will feel when all the FOOD is MAROONED 200 miles away from your concrete canyon death trap, Jimmie?

Surely you can reason with all the section 8 morlocks when they come for the last of your canned foi de graus.

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:17 | 4680802 kurt
kurt's picture

98% YES resounding. One exception: winding down of the techno-industrial global economy is by design.  

You need to include NGO's Thinktanks and super-long grifts

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