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"That Was Then, This Is Now"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by James H Kunstler of,

I was in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend at the annual conclave of New Urbanists — a movement started in the 1990s to rescue American towns and cities. The scale of desolation of that city is not as spectacular or vast as Detroit’s, but the visible symptoms of the illness are the same. One of the events was a bicycle tour of Buffalo’s neglected East Side, where maybe 80 percent of the houses are gone and the few that remain stand amid spring wildflower meadows and the human density per acre appears too low even for successful drug-selling.

The old economy is gone and is replaced now by a “social services economy,” meaning government checks, SNAP cards, and purposelessness. There were zero signs of commerce there block after block, not even a place to buy potato chips. So, as it works out, the few remaining denizens of this place must spend half their waking hours journeying to a food store. How they make that journey is hard to tell. There were almost no cars anywhere nor buses to be seen. Before long surely the people will all be gone, too, ending a chapter in American urban history.

At one edge of the East Side neighborhood stood the hulking, gigantic remnants of the Larkin soap company, a haunted brick behemoth plangent with silence, ailanthus trees sprouting from the parapets and birds nesting in the gigantic, rusted ventilation fans. The administration building of this deeply paternalistic company was famously designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, completed in 1906, and demolished in 1950 — a blink of an eye. It is considered the architect’s lost masterpiece. The site became a parking lot and now is just an empty asphalt pad with mulleins and sumacs spiking up in the pavement.

At its height of success a hundred years ago, the Larkin Company provided a stupendous bounty of social support services for its 4,500 employees: a dental office at nominal prices, dedicated rooms at local hospitals, an on-premises branch of the city library, subsidized night school classes, gyms, lounges, sports clubs, a credit union, insurance plans, and more. The people could ride streetcars all over the “Electric City,” as Buffalo styled itself because of its fortunate proximity to the bonanza of hydro power from Niagara Falls.

A hundred years ago, Buffalo was widely regarded as the city of the future. The boon of electrification made it the Silicon Valley of its day. It was among the top ten US cities in population and wealth. It’s steel industry was second to Pittsburgh and for a while it was second to Detroit in cars. Now, nobody seems to know what Buffalo might become, if anything. It will be especially interesting when the suburban matrix around it enters its own inevitable cycle of abandonment.

I’m convinced that the Great Lakes region will be at the center of an internally-focused North American economy when the hallucination of oil-powered globalism dissolves. Places like Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit will have a new life, but not at the scale of the twentieth century. On this bike tour the other day, I rode awhile beside a woman who spends all her spare time photographing industrial ruins. She was serenely adamant that the world will never see anything like that era and its artifacts again. I tend to agree. We cannot grok the stupendous specialness of the past century, and certainly not the fact that it is bygone for good.

When people use the term “post-industrial” these days, they don’t really mean it, and, more mysteriously, they don’t know that they don’t mean it. They expect complex, organized, high-powered industry to still be here, only in a new form. They almost always seem to imply (or so I infer) that we can remain “modern” by moving beyond the old smoke and clanking machinery into a nirvana of computer-printed reality. I doubt that we can maintain the complex supply chains of our dwindling material resources and run all those computer operations — even if we can still manage to get some electricity from Niagara Falls.


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Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:14 | 4837481 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

How perfect that Bitcoin comes along now then.

Actually BTC might do a lot of good.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:16 | 4837495 -.-
-.-'s picture


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:26 | 4837540 pods
pods's picture

Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroilet are certainly going to be great again.  Just not in any of our lifetimes.

The last to leave are the ones who make it impossible for others to move back in and make the places habitable again.

Sorry folks, that is just how it works. Those with the means and desire to make a successful city have already been driven out of those places.

They sure as hell aren't coming back before the worst of the worst are gone.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:36 | 4837579 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

You have made an important point.

Allow me to suggest only that the same reality didn't save the native Americans. The moment someone noticed the natives were not properly utilizing a valuable resource, those people died.

If someone wants the land near the water in any of those places -- because as history shows there is money to be had -- they'll round up the undesirables and put them on a prison train to Arizona. Or simply shoot them and let them lay were they fall.

And that is all there will be to that.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:07 | 4837585 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



"I’m convinced that the Great Lakes region will be at the center of an internally-focused North American economy when the hallucination of oil-powered globalism dissolves."

lol...more like center of an internally-focused North American melt-down.

Despite Harry Reid and his NIMBY politics regarding safely storing our nation's nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain, instead of in elevated swimming pools on-site at every plant in the USA (just like Fukushima)?  Come on, JHK, you're the one hallucinating!  Are you letting your liberal bent get in the way of clear thinking?  Without oil power those nuclear sites would be cooled and maintained by what?  They would be environmental disasters, just as you fictionally portrayed with DC being nuked in your WMBH books, but not because of a terrorist bomb...because of a terrorist senator.

Today, the fate of the Yucca Mountain project has never been clearer. President Obama and his Administration have made it clear that Yucca Mountain is not a workable option. The Yucca Mountain project no longer receives any federal funding, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Yucca Mountain project office has been closed, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has discontinued its review of the application to begin construction at Yucca Mountain.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:18 | 4837778 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

The dangers to present and future populations imposed by aging and undermaintained nuclear power plants is soooo overstated that since Fukushima they actually raised the safe limits to radiation exposure by factors of one hundred to one thousand.

Scientific solutions to unsolvable problems like these are amazingly adaptable (and cheaper) that way.

Besides... Buffalo and Detroit are actually great geographic locations with some still standing architectural gems and are well worth saving

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:18 | 4837794 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

The map doesn't show where they store the waste from all those reactors.  I am think the waste is stored in areas that don't have a red ring.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:18 | 4837795 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

The map doesn't show where they store the waste from all those reactors.  I am think the waste is stored in areas that don't have a red ring.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:28 | 4837828 Marco
Marco's picture

That's a stupid juxtaposition, you don't want to tranport waste which is actually dangerous if cooling is lost nor would you want to store it all in one place.

Nuclear waste pools are an inherent feature of current reactor designs (or a bug if you prefer, but not one which can be fixed for those reactors).

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:40 | 4837870 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture don't want to tranport waste which is actually dangerous if cooling is lost nor would you want to store it all in one place.

Yes, I do!  Especially when the calculated risk of storing it in one particular place deep underground is several orders of magnitude less than storing it in elevated swimming pools near every major population center in the nation. 

The transportation argument is such a red herring.  Transport it now, while the world is relatively sane, versus trying to transport it later when things are much less sane.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:42 | 4837908 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

No time like the present to get things that should be done done.

Investment in protecting the domestic power grid from a potential solar EMP event would be just as high on my list of priorities.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:44 | 4838195 BuddyEffed
BuddyEffed's picture

I believe that it is transported in casks that are pert near collision proof, even with a train.  Current transport shouldn't be an issue.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:43 | 4837913 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

JHK happens to be right on this one.

Radiation is invisible. Nobody will understand what is happening. They'll just go on doing what people do and if there is something killing them slowly they'll never connect the dots.

And right there is your solution to the problem of disposal of nuclear waste: you just keep poeple stupid.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:51 | 4838221 BuddyEffed
BuddyEffed's picture

Excessive background levels and biologically concentrated ingested doses could make long to mature animals challenged to get to the reproductive stage.  If that occurs, your golden parachutes out there may only make a difference for a few generation/mutation cycles.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 18:42 | 4838806 malek
malek's picture

Uh, yeah - your map conveniently forgot the other reactors such as in subs or ships, plus all the Minuteman silos etc. which also have material that could get spread in certain types of accidents.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:48 | 4837635 inky
inky's picture


"The last to leave are the ones who make it impossible for others to move back in and make the places habitable again."

Then the the most worrying thing about that is = where will these undesirables then move too :o

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:31 | 4837856 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

A: shallow graves.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 16:21 | 4838350 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroilet are certainly going to be great again.


But not with the current demographic profile.  But it's not polite to talk about the elephant in the room.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 17:38 | 4838618 Baldrick
Baldrick's picture

Trade continues during and after a collapse. The great lakes region has tens of thousands of sailboats owned by people who know the waters. The denizens in certain areas will be dealth with by armed crew members.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:35 | 4837564 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

"I’m convinced that the Great Lakes region will be at the center of an internally-focused North American economy when the hallucination of oil-powered globalism dissolves."

That's the first time I have heard this from Kunstler or anyone.  Very interesting.  I wonder what his thesis is based upon.

You want a bad trip - try this:  This decline can continue for decades.  We have a lot of coal and a lot of slag oil or whatever they call it.  We will burn every BTU out of the soil until none is left for our grandchilden, who will curse our names.  In any ancient culture, to incur the hatred of future generations would be considered absolute catastrophe.  This (Western) generation is ruled by insect brains and so heredity is not considered to matter.  Amerikan kulture  deserves to be consigned to the compost of history.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:35 | 4837575 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Think waterway.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:40 | 4837601 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Access to shipping and trade routes, always a winner. Virtually all of the great cities from any age on any continent were associated either with sheltered ports, on large rivers where those could be crossed by bridges, or at important inland crossroads.

The only problem now is that sea level changes are going to change the shorelines and river outlets. But that is just a contingent fact and does not change the outcome that great cities will usually be located in strategic places usually near important bodies of water.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:56 | 4837626 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Good call.  Canals transport whatever transports.

But I object to the phrasing of it being the center of an internally based economy.  This implies those magical, comfortable perspectives around the word "transition".

There isn't going to be anything gentle and comfortable and **adjustable**.  There is going to be widespread, rampant death and this remnant economy referred to in the phrasing will be supporting 100 people, which will be all that is left in that area, scratching in the rubble and riding canoes down canals to wherever the next salt lick can be found.

The gentle transition folks all rely on "the govt will allocate the oil to food transport".  The first day Fort Worth is told to ship beef to NY while there are some empty beef shelves in Fort Worth is the day the gov't's allocation falls apart.  Then we'll see how Buffalo does with no food.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 16:11 | 4838315 BuddyEffed
BuddyEffed's picture

Transportation will be the old indian way, by foot and canoe and horse mostly, with maybe the sole great benefit of the industrial age being the adoption of the covered wagon technology.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:42 | 4837605 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

The above copy left out the last paragraph of the original essay, which follows:

"In my forthcoming novel A History of the Future (third installment of the World Made By Handseries), two of my characters journey to Buffalo a couple of decades from now. They find a town with its back turned to abandoned monuments of the industrial age. All the action is on the Lake Erie waterfront where trade is conducted by sailing ships at the scale of Sixteenth century, but with an identifiable American gloss. I’d be surprised if one in a thousand educated people in this country (including the New Urbanists) can take that vision seriously. But do you suppose that the executives of an enterprise like the Larkin Company in 1915 would have ever imagined the desolation of Buffalo a mere 99 years later?" - JHK

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:52 | 4837636 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  couple of decades from now

I love Kunstler's doom, but like most doomers wishing for a return to some idealistic "past", he tends to shorten the timeframe of his fantasies way too much. 

Before we get to sailing ships on Lake Erie again, we've got to have a really cool war with the Chinese AND Europeans AND South Americans,  and (actually) the rest of the world FIRST.      

Lake Erie won't exactly be the same after that glorious war.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:12 | 4837772 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

There will probably never again be a trans-oceanic war of any size or duration. The combination of too many nukes with too little oil has driven a stake in the heart of modern mechanized warfare at scale.

But get ready for the local gangs, Chinese or otherwise, to take over. There will never be a shortage of thugs wielding machetes.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:42 | 4837610 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

I agree with him, but probably not for the reasons he's basing his assessment on.  Two words:




Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:50 | 4837643 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Think fresh water, among other things...

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:50 | 4837645 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Is there an echo in here??

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:44 | 4837922 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I have not heard one person curse the former Easter Islanders nor the Greenland Norse.  It is possible I'm not in the correct zip code.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:17 | 4838059 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

They don't vote.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:13 | 4838046 JRobby
JRobby's picture

Insect Brain of Minraud

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 17:03 | 4838468 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

"They do not have what they call “emotion’s oxygen” in the atmosphere. The medium in which animal life breathes is not in that soulless place — Yellow plains under white hot blue sky — Metal cities controlled by The Elders who are heads in bottles — Fastest brains preserved forever — Only form of immortality open to the Insect People of Minraud — An intricate bureaucracy wired to the control brains directs all movement — Even so there is a devious underground operating through telepathic misdirection and camouflage — The partisans make recordings ahead in time and leave the recordings to be picked up by control stations while they are free for a few seconds to organize underground activities — Largely the underground is made up of adventurers who intend to outthink and displace the present heads — There has been one revolution in the history of Minraud — Purges are constant — Fallen heads destroyed in The Ovens and replaced with others faster and sharper to evolve more total weapons ..."  WSB

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:57 | 4837681 Magnix
Magnix's picture

No, you got it all wrong! Its GOLD stupid!

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 17:08 | 4838539 rbg81
rbg81's picture

I doubt that we can maintain the complex supply chains of our dwindling material resources and run all those computer operations — even if we can still manage to get some electricity from Niagara Falls.

Huh?  It is just me, or is the author very confused.  While some parts of our society are collapsing, we are not going into some new Dark Age.  We produce stuff in far more variety, complexity and volume than we did in the last century.  Just not in places like Buffalo or Detroit.  And our supply chains are more sophisticated too.  Thanks to computers and software.

The problems with Detroit were demographic.  The problem with Buffalo is that its a cold shithole that few want to live in anymore (like most of upstate NY).  There ARE places where people want to live and those are doing fine.  Austin, TX comes to mind.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 19:38 | 4838957 K-Dog
K-Dog's picture

No it is not the author it is you.

"We produce stuff in far more variety, complexity and volume than we did in the last century.  Just not in places like Buffalo or Detroit.  And our supply chains are more sophisticated too.  Thanks to computers and software."

It does not matter how cool or complicated the stuff we make is it still takes energy to make it and when it is gone the fat lady sings.  That you would mention volume at the same time as cool or complicated tells me you are unaware of natural limits to growth. 

Bacteria on a petri dish can watch their own population grow and be proud of achievements.  At the peak of their growth the variety, complexity and volume might amaze and intoxicate.  A meme will infect the dish so any cell questioning the dish's great achivements will be considered crazy.  Crazy right up to the point the resources on the dish are half gone.

Supply chains are more sophisticated but that is not a good thing.  It means those supply chains are more energy dependent fragile and expensive but technical narcissism keeps this fact from being appreciated, recognized, or discussed at any level.

We are going into a new dark age but as the idea isn't very popular people prefer to claim otherwise.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 20:33 | 4839122 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Oh, the old "bacteria in a petri dish" analogy.  Well, the big difference between bacteria and humans is that humans can innovate.  We can use other sources of energy and/or make our existing technology more efficient.  And if oil becomes too expensive that is exactly what we will do.

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 16:16 | 4841823 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You remind me of the turkey 2 days before Thanksgiving....

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 17:08 | 4838540 rbg81
rbg81's picture


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 20:49 | 4839169 Exponere Mendaces
Exponere Mendaces's picture


Interesting, you generally get lots of green arrows. I guess the fundamental bias against freeing ourselves from the legacy financial system is strong here for them to give you red.

Doesn't surprise me, if they aren't preparing for the end of the world (and by extension, having a growing desire to prove their investments are correct), they are cast-offs or active participants in the system that has them by the neck.

Hell, even Knukles admitted that his past work history was slinging financial products. (I'm not surprised, given his glib comments, almost as if he's extracted his pound of flesh and doesn't care about anyone other than himself anymore.)

There are others, of course, all too close to the spinning wheel of financialization, slapping on some more grease on the works as the relentless machine decimates millions in the name of "growth" and "alpha".

Some wait for the world to burn, and others actually do something about it.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:14 | 4837486 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

My purpose is to enjoy my life as much as possible while not contibuting to the government largess and social theft of tax dollars.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:16 | 4837493 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

How excellently put, poetic even, let my + 1 be the first of many...

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:17 | 4837500 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:29 | 4837541 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Taxation is only the key to the chains of fiat slavery.  If you were not extorted by needing to pay Uncle Sam in his own terms (his own currency), there would be no demand for them.  When you hear that "your tax dollars are being diverted towards welfare programs", you are being deceived.  The only reason you pay tax in dollars is to enforce usage of them by necessitating demand and denominating the calculation of tax obligation in only its own dollar terms.  Taxes are not payable in real goods and value-added services.  Imagine being an accountant and paying your taxes by doing government service a few weeks out of the year.  Fancy that.  Real obligations paid via exchange of real value.  That would be a grain of reality that collapses the entire illusion.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:36 | 4837578 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

So, there is no spoon then.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:40 | 4837600 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

There is indeed a spoon, and you are force-fed with it.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:19 | 4838064 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

It's an abstract.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:15 | 4838051 JRobby
JRobby's picture

No self respecting accountant with any integrity would work for this fraud government.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:27 | 4837545 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

I understand that a family of 4 gets over $600 in SNAP/month.  You know, if you had 12 families of Hebrews who drew SNAP at that rate, wiithin 10 years they'd be wealthy again. A similar group from Ghana would still be looking for the next months check through the 21st year.  Jus' sayin'.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:48 | 4837559 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

12 families of Hebrews are drawing 600 million every month instead.

EDIT:  To my down voter, you're right, maybe I should have used "billions".

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:25 | 4837538 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Wise plan. However I am continually becoming frustrated with the lack of quality products available to replace some of my aging items.

My chick brooder is 40 years old and built like a tank but the heating element is beyond repair now and the replacements available are Chinese junk. All the tincture presses I have investigated purchasing are, once again, Chinese junk. I have finally faced the fact I must learn welding and find a 4 ton jack and make my own. I am scared to think what horror I am going to discover when I tread this path.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:46 | 4837561 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

Try Carolina Biological Supply  800-334-5551 or  Their stuff is pretty good. Expect to pay around $425 for a brooder.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:34 | 4837573 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Just like a woman miffed, always brooding.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:10 | 4837753 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Nothing like a clucky women to get a man to run for the hills! ;-)


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:19 | 4837803 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I thought you just use a 100 watt light bulb but of course those have been outlawed.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:36 | 4837577 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

To my ever loving down voter, socialism is a bitch because they've run out of MY money.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:11 | 4837759 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

I have thought about this.  Just get off the whole grid, not elctrical grid, the whole economic societal grid.  I think I could make through my life ok, but what about my children?  What society awaits them?  If I, and everybody, do nothing but enjoy ourselves, are we any better than those that are fucking us?

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:48 | 4837939 cossack55
cossack55's picture

They are, of course. YOUR children.  It is incumbent upon you to TEACH THEM WELL.  There are no other choices.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:59 | 4837976 Secede Or Die
Secede Or Die's picture

"My purpose is to enjoy my life as much as possible while not contibuting to the government largess and social theft of tax dollars."

Wonderful...I encourage all to join the ranks of those who have personally seceded from the beast. To effectivly starve the beast, we need millions more like Klink. I quite (seceded) participating with any government agency in 1979. Folkes, it's not that hard to do once you overcome your fear. The reason I do this is because I can not with a clear conscience send ANY money to ANY government. It would be a compromise of my religious belief and principles.

Secede or Die....Starve the Beast


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:16 | 4837494 nmewn
nmewn's picture

So, we about ready to start hunting down Fabian Socialists yet or what?

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:25 | 4837533 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

I call them M.U.T.A.N.T.S.

Zombies are fake...but the M.U.T.A.N.T.S. are very real and must be exterminated.








Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:34 | 4837571 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Has a certain ring to

Submitted to the ZH "collective" ;-)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:38 | 4837588 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Zombies are fake

Unless you're a bank or GM.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:35 | 4838004 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Did U hear Nazis in Greece will kick out the bankers.

The media reports led Parliament to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the intelligence service. The commission’s final report, released earlier this month, detailed a host of abuse accusations, including that the service retained large archives of “political espionage” information collected during the cold war on individual citizens and that a stash of money and gold established as part of the Stay Behind program had not been properly accounted for.

Operation (Red) Sheepskin (Greece)

List of known stay-behind plans

-Auxiliary Units (United Kingdom)
-Attack on the WSA (Luxembourg)
-O&I (nl) (Netherlands) (The Dutch secret stay-behind organisation was the only non connected NATO organisation in Europe.)
-Operation Gladio (Italy, although working in many countries)
-Lochos Oreinon Katadromon, or LOK (Greece)
-Operation (Red) Sheepskin (Greece)[3]
-OWSGV (Austria)
-Plan Bleu, La Rose des Vents, and Arc-en-ciel (France)
-ROC (Norway)
-SDRA8 and STC/Mob (Belgium)
-Bund Deutscher Jugend – Technischer Dienst, or TD BJD (Germany)
-Özel Harp Dairesi (Turkey)
-Nihtilä-Haahti plan (Finland)
-Projekt-26 (P-26, Switzerland)
-Werwolf (Nazi Germany)
-Regional Force Surveillance Units (Australia), non-secret units of the Royal Australian Corps of Infantry with officially acknowledged 'stay-behind' duties.
-Arla gryning (sv) and Informationsbyrån ('IB') in Sweden.
-Operation Tracer (Gibraltar) ??

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:16 | 4838056 JRobby
JRobby's picture

exterminate with malice!

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:28 | 4837552 samsara
samsara's picture

Here ya go...

Citizens strike back: Tiny, low-cost drones may one day assassinate corrupt politicians, corporate CEOs and street criminals

Learn more:


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:40 | 4837596 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

S.W.A.R.M. - they'll use them on us first.  Single-use Wide Area Recon Murderers.  There's where all the DHS hollow points are going.  With a chip designed for heat/shape signature and coming down to the top of the head, they go 'bang' and self-destruct.  Tractor trailer rigs pull into any town/city, sides pop up and out they go homing in on the first available target.  You could eradicate an entire population in a single day before they knew what was happening.  Go long tennis rackets.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:43 | 4837608 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Or long shitgums!

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:52 | 4837956 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Will strapping a colander and a bag of ice to my head throw off the targeting systems?

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 16:10 | 4838303 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Possibly, I recommend an ice pack frozen on the inside of your tinfoil hat.  Much more stylist and comfortable.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:51 | 4837949 cossack55
cossack55's picture

"Kill Decision"   by    Daniel Suarez


Good novel for a rainy day, tho not as good as "Daemon" 

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:40 | 4837597 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Live by the drone, die by the drone.  How fitting!

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:14 | 4838049 SDShack
SDShack's picture

So begin the Drone Wars.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 16:02 | 4838278 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Æon Flux

Don't drone me, dude.

If we outlaw drones only the military, intelligence agencies, private security & intelligence agencies, outlaws, neofascist, neonazis, communists, and members of congress would have them.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:16 | 4837498 foodstampbarry
foodstampbarry's picture

Buffalo - Arm pit of the nation.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:23 | 4837528 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Armpit of NE USA maybe; try Needles CA.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:32 | 4837565 pods
pods's picture

Or Columbia SC, the armpit of the South.  

Take a gander there during summer and you will see why. 


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:35 | 4837614 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

So many arm pits of the nation, yet so few boobies.

Edit: though off hand I'm not sure what would qualify as a boobie of the nation. New Orleans? Las Vegas? I don't like party towns myself, I'd probably veer towards communities with good access to water and deep soil farmland. Not as much in the boobies are sexy sense, but certainly those places would qualify in the mother's milk sense. But maybe I've already gone too far.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:53 | 4837961 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Since "free flow" is a valid form of prose, please continue.  

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:17 | 4837501 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Things change.    Those who at one time were useful become obsolete.  

However,  across the ages, one skill has always - and will always - be in demand:  the ability to manipulate dumbasses with bullshit.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:46 | 4837506 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

Have not been to Buffalo since 2006.  It was a shithole then, I can't imagine what it looks like now....  yet another example of what a "living wage" can do for a city...


and my apoligies go out to Sabres fans everywhere...

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 22:35 | 4843153 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture


Add the Bills, would ya?


Not since the days of the late Jack Kemp and Cookie Gilchrist have we tasted football championship anything....!

#12 - GoJim

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:19 | 4837509 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

All the jobs in the flyover states were sent to Asia by Wall Street stooges in DC.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:19 | 4837510 spellbound
spellbound's picture

I went to Buffalo in '85. Visiting the downtown area on a weekend day, I thought to myself that someone had to have hit the place with a neutron bomb. Nobody on the streets. Desolation. It underwent a revitalization of sorts but I'm sorry to hear that it has resumed it's former trajectory. As will all American cities before too long. Because our overlords love us, want to care for us, and protect us from our weaker angels.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:21 | 4837514 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Outside of survival and breeding, the great mouthbreathing majority is purposeless the greater part of the time.  They kick into action when their basics become difficult to obtain.  They are the denizens of the great tax farm, just as the Davos set sees them.  The only goal worth attaining is getting out.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:23 | 4837525 spellbound
spellbound's picture

Which is why Agenda 21 will seek to do away with 95% of us. I'm not sure how selective they'll be, or what their criteria will be. 

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:26 | 4837539 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

I suspect the Chinese won't cooperate.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:25 | 4837534 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Dystopia is reality now.

That would depend on how pathologically optimistic you are.    Normal people are pathologically optimistic; which is why all the children are above average.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:24 | 4837530 BBullionaire
BBullionaire's picture

Good Essay


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:24 | 4837532 Alien 851
Alien 851's picture

Some rural group brought goats into Detroit last week to munch on empty fields of shoulder high grass where neighborhoods once stood cause nobody will cut the grass.  City animal welfare cited them over weekend, now the goats are back on the farm and are for sale.  It was a news item today.  Take heed of the Detroit story, this is the ultimate end of the progressive management style.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:51 | 4837648 Cugel
Cugel's picture

Not sure why, but that is the most depressing thing I've seen in ages. I even googled it to make sure it was real. No resources to prevent peole from ruining the city, but plenty to keep them from helping out.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:25 | 4837536 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

I'm from Buffalo. Escaped when I was 18 (YOU shovel fuckin snow 7 months of the year)

Left behind a post Bethlehem Steel/Ford stamping plant city in the throes of going down...

that was the city is exactly as Kuntsler described it....only cleaner...with no pollution from the smokestacks anymore....

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:26 | 4837542 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Here's what hasn't changed: "counter cyclical monetary policy."

When the collapse hit in 2008 the Fed did the same thing it had done prior to or after every other recession post World War II...namely engage in (albeit massive this time) counter cyclical monetary policy.

The fundamentals of the US economy are far different now than they were even a decade ago of course...let alone three decades ago.

There is of course "the internet of things"...but what is truly unique is the War Effort which is basically a bond market enterprise masquerading as a war effort.

The amount of debt issuance has been truly epic...and of course the Space Oddity is that Vox Financilli can't get enough. "Just don't look under the hood."

This thing is a train wreck that is being solved by building a bigger train.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:45 | 4837928 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"This thing is a train wreck that is being solved by building a bigger train." wreck.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:28 | 4837551 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

"The old economy is gone and is replaced now by a 'social services economy,' meaning government checks, SNAP cards, and purposelessness..."
...don't forget Cops, Cops, Cops!!! Beating your ass, taking your money by force and throwing you in a cage because they "suspect" you may be "possessing" some plant.
Maybe our brave men and women in uniform will save us! (LOL don't get excited, they won't, they just shoot defenseless brown people. Because they're told to. And you know, it's so brave to follow orders.)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:33 | 4837567 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Humans have always been authority worshippers.   We wouldn't have the highly-centralized nations if it wasn't so.     That's why every "democracy" on the planet has a male-oriented kick-ass daddy fascist authoritarian political Party (our Red Team) and the female-oriented smothering mommy socialist authoritarian political Party (our Blue Team).   There's no other organization possible except (eventually) fascism:  smothering-mommy eventually does what kick-ass daddy demands.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:52 | 4837653 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Very nicely said.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:51 | 4837640 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Government welfare creates single mothers who hold their children as money hostages in order to collect from the government. The government robs people of their money in the form of taxation in order to pay for this. The sons of these women grow up unloved with a general hatred of society. They turn to gangs and crime which in turn causes people to demand more cops. Cops are paid by government robbing people of their money in the form of taxation. The daughters of these women end up emulating the example of their mothers and have children of their own to use as money hostages.


Rinse and repeat.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 18:31 | 4838776 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Milton Friedman Negative Income Tax Someone posted this last night and friedman actually hits on some points being made here that government welfare ruined the charty organizations.

Milton Friedman - The Negative Income Tax

Source: Firing Line with William F Buckley Jr.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:31 | 4837557 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I am constantly amazed at how many people just don't get it. People believe that "if we could just get manufacturing back in this country evrything will be okay". They don't understand that even if it does come back everything will be automated and that their labor is obsolete. Even if they come to understand that fact they still can't get the concept that we live on a finite planet.. For some odd reason they believe that the resources we use up in our disposable society will last forever.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:38 | 4837587 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  and that their labor is obsolete

This is the greatest weakness of conservative / libertarians (no quotes on either) idealogy.   What to do about a society where only the really above-average people are useful.      The socialists, "socialists", fascists, "conservatives", and "libertarians" all have amazing ideas regarding this problem, but it usually involves lots of pain.     People don't like pain. 

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:56 | 4837672 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Wouldn't that be resolved by charity? Also, I would expect the population to shrink when there is no reward for having chidlren in the form of government welfare. I am no fan of libertarians (as they are just wishy washy statists), but I've always thought of charity as the solution to those in need. It certaintly beats redistribution by force in the form of taxation to welfare.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:02 | 4837704 madcows
madcows's picture

Can we start by not rewarding the welfare breeders for reproducing?  Right now it's backwards.  If you are working, the gov takes a third of your money and gives it to the poor.  And, the worker still has to raise his own family.  Whereas the poor don't work, and get paid to have more kids.  We're replacing the hard working folks with the unproductive.  guess where this country ends up.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:05 | 4837723 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Why just pick on the Trash Class in the bottom 70%. 

What about all the tax money going to:   Big-Ag, Big-MIC, Big-Road, Big-Water, Big-Airport, Big-Energy, Big-Ed, Big-House, Big-Fin, Big-OldFart, Big-OldFartHealthcare, Big-AntiDrug, & Big-PoliceState.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:55 | 4837971 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

The common factor in both problems is the existence of government.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:12 | 4838044 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

If government didn't exist, it would mean a world without smart-n-savvy people creating bullshit for dumbasses convincing them they need government.   Such a world doesn't exist.   

We don't have government by accident;  or religion or spatter-art.   We have smart-n-savvy people creating bullshit to manipulate dumbasses with government religion and spatter art.   

Anything + bullshit has more value.

Bullshit, ask for it by name!

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:13 | 4837777 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: Wouldn't that be resolved by charity?

Yes,  assuming that a large enough number of humans aren't just mean assholes.  

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:55 | 4837966 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

I would hope the mean assholes were the one's in need of charity

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:00 | 4837997 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Well you can certainly tell they don't like pain by the percentage of the population on prescription pain pills.  


It begs the question:  How many people are left who are capable of even feeling any pain?

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 19:48 | 4839010 K-Dog
K-Dog's picture

Perhaps part of the reason people don't get it is that in our disposable society people have also become disposable too.  Since people are disposable concern with a narrow self interested agenda at the expense of the greater society has become normal.  Concern for others is branded as socialist with the idea of worrying about future generations being about as socialist as you can get.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:34 | 4837572 The Carbonator
The Carbonator's picture

The 'new world order' looks eerily familiar to the world of Atlas Shrugged.

I would say that world is our future.  "Starnsville"

A few houses still stood within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town. Everything that could move, had moved away;  but some human beings had remained. The empty structures were vertical rubble; they had been eaten, not by time, but by men: boards torn out at random, missing patches of roofs, holes left in gutted cellars. It looked as if blind hands  had seized whatever fitted the need of the moment, with no concept of remaining in existence the next morning. The inhabited houses were scattered at random among the ruins; the smoke of their chimneys was the only movement visible in town.  — Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:41 | 4837603 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Ayn was just observing what has always existed:  the obsolete, below average people, generally don't live very well.   There were always obsolete below average people living in the equivalent to Detroit and Needle CA of their day.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:57 | 4837677 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

Ayn grew up behind the Iron Curtain.  What she observed was the impact of communism and corrpuption.  I will admit I have not read the book referenced (been meaning to), but have seen her interviewed and have read pieces by and about her.  I do not see what her beliefs have to do with "obsolete, below average people".?  Any clarification would be appreciated...

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:07 | 4837735 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

There are always obsolete worthless below-average losers ruining society for the above-average smart-n-savvy people.   Ayn was just pointing that out.   Nothing WRONG with what she said.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:03 | 4838007 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Reminiscent of the folks who lived along the OUTSIDE of the castle walls.  You can still tour the remains of the castle today, no sign of the serfs.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:43 | 4837612 Seal
Seal's picture

That was Zen - this is Tao

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:46 | 4837624 BruntFCA
BruntFCA's picture

Nice post. Someone who understands the absurd fiat system. The English made the same system work with broken sticks used as currency (tally sticks). The king just said you needed a stick with so many notches for the taxman by the end of the year, and suddenly sticks were currency.

Of course no other Kings would accept a money substitue (sticks) as payment, hence gold being the money of Kings.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:53 | 4837658 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

You call this purposeless?

Two Feds for every smartphone. We're rich, biatch!.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:54 | 4837662 toros
toros's picture

It's cities like Buffalo that are the assets that the Fed has buying.  These will be written off on their balance sheet somehow.  The idea of a Fed balance sheet is a joke.  The money for nothing champain has worked.  Bank CDS's are at all time lows again.  $62 insures $10,000 loans.  Every econonmic "incedent" has been met with money printing to plug the holes, and leveraged used to ensure the cork fits tight. 

Short leveraged ETF's to stop trading as "bad" investement before the top is reached.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:56 | 4837676 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Off topic but more concerning the IPO called UBER. What could go wrong with this sort of support.

Miami-Dade escalates penalties against renegade Lyft drivers

On his maiden voyage as a driver for Lyft, the renegade car service, Juan Arango picked up a fare at the Ramada Plaza Marco Polo Resort in Sunny Isles Beach.

Moments after dropping the passenger off at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne on Wednesday, Arango turned onto Crandon Boulevard — and got stopped by Miami-Dade County cops.

The passenger was not just a fare — he was an undercover Miami-Dade County code enforcement officer, and the ride was a sting. Arango’s white Toyota Corolla, which hadn’t even been sporting Lyft’s signature hot-pink mustache on the hood, was towed away on the spot.

Five minutes later, the police pulled over another Lyft driver on the same street. Stanley Scott, 31, had just let off a pair of passengers — more county cloak-and-dagger operatives — at the Ritz. Scott’s black Honda Insight got towed away too.

Both drivers told the Miami Herald they didn’t know the county considers their business illegal.

“I trusted that if the service was working in Miami, it was allowed,” Arango said Friday.

It’s not. And the county, under pressure from existing taxicab and limousine owners, has escalated its enforcement of the defiant car-service industry, joining forces with the Miami-Dade Police Department to catch scofflaw drivers.


The county had been fining Lyft drivers up to $2,000 each for failing to get a chauffeur registration and for operating a for-hire vehicle without a valid for-hire license — both requirements for cabbies and limo operators. Impounding Lyft drivers’ vehicles represents a significant step toward more serious penalties allowed — but not required — under the county’s legal code.


You see how they kill small businesses and people trying to make ends meet making a few bucks on the side here through regulation to protect established companies from competition.

At least Lyft has treated these drivers as employees and has covered their asses so far. I know a standard taxi cab service wouldn't cover their drivers in most cases if they owned the medallion on the car. Just fire them and replace them like dirty licensed underwear.


Lyft, based in San Francisco, has covered the drivers’ fines and expenses — all three drivers got their cars back from the pound — and paid for a Coral Gables attorney, Hilton Napoleon, to represent them when they appeal the citations. Uber has pledged to do the same if its drivers are targeted.



The two companies, which operate legally in dozens of cities, have the wherewithal to deal with local government penalties. Uber, also based in San Francisco, announced Friday that it has raised $1.2 billion from investors, putting the total value of the company at about $17 billion. A recent valuation of Lyft put the company’s worth at $700 million.


If anything you will probably see more of this stick up cash grab by counties on UBER and Lyft. Think of it as trickle down economics through old fashioned highway robbery by the local yokels.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:04 | 4837716 The Most Intere...
The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

I am NOT for government regulation, but my concern is for the small business people that are already operating under the rules and regulations in place.  They are suffering enough without having to deal with "people trying to make a few bucks on the side" competing with them.  Everybody should have to play by the rules, even if they suck.  Then try to change the rules...

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:39 | 4837893 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It has less to do with fairness and more to do with the state and counties always wanting a slice of the action.

In the end they'll probably just take it all.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:18 | 4837798 russwinter
russwinter's picture

Society is Being Run by A Psychopathic Control Grid:


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:38 | 4837887 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

When wasn't it?

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:12 | 4838001 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

The level of narcissm in society at large is directly proportional to the degree at which psychopaths control the system. Narcissts are psychopath-lite and are environmentally created in the main. It hasn't been at these levels in our lifetime anywhere in the world like it is now in the USSA. They thrive on using idol worship to control people at the end of the day.

To put it simply psychopaths are the result of natural selection and breeding. Sociopaths are environmentally created.

Now you know how to go about fixing this mess since there is a way to screen 'normal' looking people from the 'repitle people' like Rowdy Rowdy Piper's sunglasses in They Live.

I would start with elites and families that believe in purity of bloodlines and scan their brains first.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 14:51 | 4837952 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

And you sir I think may have inadvertently solved the mystery of who David Ickes reptile people are with this sentence in that article.

If your eyes are open and you’re alert, you can identify psychopaths by their emptiness and patterns of lies. This is much more than just greed and narcissism. It is more about demonic behaviors that surface at times, called “the reveal.” You witness the cerebellum, or reptilian part of the brain, firing up and completely dominating the neo-cortex in these individuals.


You know Obamacare and all the mental health stuff maybe good for something after all especially if it can be used to screen these people before they can even get into any positions to cause problems in the first place.

Maybe Omuslim needs a mental health screening the way he has been acting lately.


Mon, 06/09/2014 - 15:06 | 4838020 Dr. Kenneth Noi...
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

I’m convinced that the Great Lakes region will be at the center of an internally-focused North American economy when the hallucination of oil-powered globalism dissolves. Places like Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit will have a new life, but not at the scale of the twentieth century. 

Too many folks depend on the corruption and related largesse of government for that to happen.  An awful lot of moochers and looters need to freeze to death or be shot in order for taxes to go down enough for people to brave the foul winters and rebuild there.

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 23:55 | 4839543 Falling Down
Falling Down's picture

Buffalo started its decline in the 20's. By the 30's the city had gone "progressive", and the unions got their teeth into both private industry and then, in the 50's, public sector unions were allowed under NYS law.

The people who'd made their money off Buffalo in the late 19th C. and early 20th C. started to move onward and westward. Buffalo was not much of a  "headquarters town", either, back in those days, so as industries consolidated and declined across the Great Lakes, often times Buffalo fell victim to that reality. By the 50's things really started to come apart, within the city limits, and after Republic closed their steel plant, and the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, the city really started to decline. Bethlehem finally closed most of their operations in '83 (my memory is a little fuzzy on the year they had the big layoff).

Erie County's population has dropped off a cliff since 1970. My dad got out of Buffalo in '69, and never looked back, like so many other people. He never talked about Buffalo in a good light, despite having gone to Canisius HS and the college next door. It's just one of those places that time has all but forgot.   

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 04:19 | 4839782 cape_royds
cape_royds's picture

I amuse myself sometimes by thinking of all the dumbass theories that future archaeologists will come up with to explain these vast despoiled regions.

I also wonder to what extent the ruins we dig up from the past were simply the result of the people back then fucking themselves up the same way we do.

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