Monday, February 6, 2012

Clusterfucked Again (And By Our Own Guys Too! Buffett, Gates and Obama) Or Is It Half-Time In America?

I guess it's true that you can never be thin enough. Or rich enough.

And once again, the Oracle of Omaha speaks. How sorry have you been that you wasted all that time reading his books and listening to his self-involved blather about doing good as well as doing well? Turns out he speaks very softly. But mainly to those who matter.

Warren Buffett Exposed: The Oracle of Omaha and the Tar Sands

By Steve Horn

On January 23, Bloomberg News reported Warren Buffett's Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), owned by his lucrative holding company Berkshire Hathaway, stands to benefit greatly from President Barack Obama’s recent cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

If built, TransCanada's KeystoneXL (KXL) pipeline would carry tar sands crude, or bitumen (“dilbit”) from Alberta, B.C. down to Port Arthur, Texas, where it would be sold on the global export market.

If not built, as revealed recently by DeSmogBlog, the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side, and could include increased levels of ecologically hazardous gas flaring in the Bakken Shale, or else many other pipeline routes moving the prized dilbit to crucial global markets.

Rail is among the most important infrastructure options for ensuring tar sands crude still moves to key global markets, and the industry is pursuing rail actively. But transporting tar sands crude via rail is in many ways a dirtier alternative to the KXL pipeline. “Railroads too present environmental issues. Moving crude on trains produces more global warming gases than a pipeline,” explained Bloomberg.

A key mover and shaker behind the push for more rail shipments is Warren Buffett, known by some as the “Oracle of Omaha” — of "Buffett Tax" fame — and the third richest man in the world, with a net worth of $39 billion. With or without Keystone XL, Warren Buffett stands to profit enormously from multiple aspects of the Alberta Tar Sands project. He also, importantly, maintains close ties with President Barack Obama.

BNSF and the Tar Sands

Many eyebrows were raised in August 2008, when two of the richest men on the planet, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, sojourned to Alberta’s tar sands patch. The Calgary Herald wrote “they took in the oil sands, apparently with awe.” According to a reliable but confidential source quoted in the story, the two men “visited the booming hub to satisfy ‘their own curiosity’ but also ‘with investment in mind.’”

And while he told the media he wasn’t interested in doing so at the time of the trip, Buffett soon became a major investor in tar sands related assets. A year after his visit to the oil sands, in November 2009, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased BNSF Railway as a wholly owned subsidiary.

BNSF Railway is the second largest freight railroad network in North America. BNSF "plans $3.9 billion in capital spending this year, an increase of 11 percent from 2011," according to a recent article by Bloomberg

BNSF serves as a vital cog in the oil sands procurement process. In the November/December 2008 edition of BNSF’s employee magazine, “Railway,” BNSF produced a piece titled, “Alberta oil Sands: No sour deal.” 

The article reveals the exact role BNSF plays in the oil sands procurement process:

Before bitumen can move through a pipeline to its destination, it must be blended with diluents (diluting agents) such as natural gasoline (not natural gas, which is a gaseous fuel) or butane, which are composed of lighter weight hydrocarbons.

BNSF has been moving single carloads of diluents from U.S. refineries to the Canadian border (at Superior,Wis., Noyes, N.D., Sweetgrass, Mont., and New West minster, B.C.). The inbounds are then interchanged with Canadian railroads, then moved to Edmonton, with the final move to the oil sands’ processing center via pipeline.

Last year, BNSF moved about 9,000 carloads of diluents for the project, with the majority of loads originating from the Gulf Coast, California and Kansas. This year, about 12,000 carloads are anticipated to move.

In addition to moving the diluents, BNSF has also transported turbines, other large machinery and pipes for use at the drilling sites.
Not only does BNSF haul diluent materials in its freight trains bound for Alberta for tar sands oil procurement, but it also hauls pipes and pipeline materials.

Does this include materials for the KXL Pipeline? As the prospective pipeline is not yet officially dead, this is a key question to ask. 

Look no further than to BNSF’s involvement in hauling the pipeline materials for the original TransCanada Keystone pipeline for crucial evidence.

BNSF Railway and the Original Keystone Pipeline

A South Dakota state government document shows that BNSF and TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP entered into a Pipeline License Agreement on August 1, 2008. The Agreement called for BNSF to carry pipeline materials from South Dakota up to the Alberta tar sands.

The Keystone Pipeline was the first TransCanada pipeline carrying tar sands crude down from Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma. 

BNSF Railway, the KXL Pipeline, and Railway Alternative

BNSF’s ties to TransCanada are not limited to the Keystone Pipeline — they are also on the State Department’s “Distribution List” section of the Environmental Impact Statement report released in August 2011 on TransCanada’s KXL pipeline proposal.

In its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the State Department acknowledged that railway is both a key alternative to the Keystone XL and capable of hauling dilbit around North America to vital markets through 2030, stating,

Even in a situation where there was a total freeze in pipeline capacity for 20 years, it appears that there is sufficient capacity on existing rail tracks to accommodate shipping…through at least 2030 . . . [S]tatistics from the Department of Transportation, . . . conservatively estimated that the existing cross-border rail lines from Canada to the U.S. could accommodate crude oil train shipments of over 1,000,000 bpd (barrels per day).
Keystone XL, if built, is expected to ship 700,000 bpd of tar sands crude to Port Arthur, Texas, according to Bloomberg. Furthermore, the State Department notes that rail transport is also a dirtier alternative than a pipeline, due to the diesel cumbustion inherent in such a scheme.

In addition, there would be an increase in the emission of combustion products due to the use of diesel engines which could have an adverse impact on air quality along the route selected.  As compared to the proposed Project (Keystone XL), this alternative would have substantially greater GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions during operation due to the combustion of diesel fuel.
BNSF is eager to haul anything and everything it can. "Whatever people bring to us, we're ready to haul [and if KXL] doesn't happen, we're here to haul." Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for BNSF said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Buffett’s financial interests in the tar sands, though, go far beyond the Keystone XL saga, and into the development of the tar sands more generally, through Berkshire Hathaway’s extensive stock holdings in ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and General Electric. All three corporations are big league financial players in this game.

Berkshire Hathaway, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and General Electric

An August 2011 Fox Business story revealed Buffett owns 29.1 million shares of stock in ConocoPhillips, 421,800 shares of stock in ExxonMobil, and 7.777 million shares of stock in General Electric. All three of these corporations are deeply tied to the Alberta tar sands.

As of the Jan. 24 closing stock prices for the three corporations, this amounts to $1.73 billion worth of stock owned by Berkshire in these three Alberta oil sands profiteers.

ConocoPhillips' website notes that it runs the Surmont oil sands project in Alberta. That project produces some 110,000 barrels of tar sands crude per day and is expected to run through 2015, according to Reuters.

ExxonMobil also has a massive stake in the Alberta Tar Sands through its Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil. As reported by Agence France-Presse in May 2009, ExxonMobil has plans, through its Kearl oil sands project, to begin producing 110,000 barrels of tar sands crude per day in 2012. ExxonMobil has future plans to produce over 300,000 barrels per day of dirty tar sands crude via the Kearl oil sands.

ExxonMobil is also deeply invested in oil sands pipelines, exposed in July 2011 for carrying oil sands crude down from Alberta through Montana in one of its pipelines. The pipeline ruptured, spilling 1,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River.

Lastly, General Electric (GE), via its GE Water & Process Technologies and GE Canada subsidiaries, also has much to gain from tar sands oil development, particularly in the area of water holding and usage, once water has been contaminated during the procurement process. 

September 2010 press release reads,

“In 2007, GE entered into a $15-million technology development program with the Alberta Water Research Institute and its research funding partners. The program aims to develop technology to improve water reuse and management in in-situ oil sands operations. GE is also actively involved in developing and proving effective technologies for treating tailings water for industrial reuse, in order to help operators improve the efficiency of their operations.”
In addition to its tight-knit financial and research relationship with the Alberta Water Research Institute, GE also owns a water treatment facility in the tar sands patch through its wholly owned subsidiary, Zenon Environmental Inc., which it purchased for $760 million in 2006. Furthermore, in September 2011, Grizzly Oil Sands ULC announced that it had chosen GE’s water technology for its Algar Lake oil sands project in Alberta.

Buffett Raises Big Bucks for Barack

Buffett hosted an Obama fundraiser in August 2007, well before the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries. The minimum donation was $500 to attend and many gave up to $2,300.

“About 35 people who gave the higher amount or helped raise money from others met first with Buffett and Obama in a smaller room,” wrote the Los Angeles Times.

Buffett did not limit his fundraising help in the Democratic primary process to Obama exclusively. He also hosted two multi-million dollar fundraising events for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2007, one in June in New York City and another in December in San Francisco.

Guests at a high-dollar fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday were treated to cocktails, dinner and an hour-long business tutorial from billionaire Warren Buffett……[T]he fundraiser…brought in at least $1 million for Clinton…,” wrote the Associated Press of the June New York City fundraiser. 

The San Francisco event, on the other hand, drew “about 1,200 people,” with tickets costing “between $100 and $2,300.” The event raised over $1 million for the Clinton for President campaign.

Once Obama won the Democratic Party nomination in May 2008, not long thereafter, Buffett endorsed Obama for President. A couple months later, in July, Buffett hosted a fundraiser for Obama with a required commitment of the individual maximum $28,500 per attendee, according to the New York Times.

Buffett has maintained tight ties with President Obama since his November 2008 victory, and has met with Obama to discuss economic issues on multiple occasions. Additionally, in February 2011, Obama honored Buffett with a Presidential Medal of Freedom

At the awards ceremony Obama ironically scoffed, “Buffett doesn’t wear ‘fancy ties’ or drive ‘fancy cars.’ Instead, ‘you see him devoting the vast majority of his wealth to those around the world who are suffering, or sick, or in need of help,’” wrote Bloomberg on the scene of the the medal ceremony.

Most recently, Buffett has hosted Obama campaign fundraisers on September 30 in New York and October 27 in Chicago. Of the New York City Buffett fundraiser,  CNN Moneywrote, “The event will bring in a pretty penny for the campaign. The base price is $10,000, while a $35,800 donation will buy a VIP reception with Buffett, according to the schedule.”

The Chicago Buffett fundraiser was similar in its extravagance, “with a ticket price of $35,800 per person,” according to Bloomberg, or nearly $10,000 more than the 2010 median American income of $26,364.  Buffett also gave a $30,800 donation to the Democratic National Committee in October 2011, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

There is always waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy toooooooooooo much to a Kunstler Clusterfuck, but . . . there it is. Deal with it.

All Screaming Id, No Brains, No Honor

A Martian psychoanalyst observing the US Superbowl on TV would be shocked by the vicious animal spirits emanating from that spectacle, starting with the triumphal trumpet blasts borrowed straight from the old 1950s Hollywood epic movies echoing the prideful mis-steps of ancient Rome, along with the by-now clichéd CGI trick in the opening credits of gleaming metallic heraldic insignia spun into a military cordon of stars so as to protect the tender collective ego of this anxious nation. America wears its zeitgeist plastered right on its sweaty forehead.

Everybody knows that the commercial messages between the play-action amount to a national Rorschach test, and this year's collection made us look more psychopathic than ever - starting with the advertisement for the Chevy Silverado: Fade in on a devastated nameless American city, the buildings smashed, the streets littered with debris, a gray ash coating over everything, and no living creatures in evidence....  A newspaper headline proclaims "2012 Mayan Apocalypse...." How reassuring! Wait! Something stirs behind a heap of rubble... it cracks open... and out drives a plucky American male lumpen "worker" dude behind the wheel of a gleaming giant pickup truck. He is soon joined by other men and their trucks, all of them blithely unfazed by the end-of-the-world.

A curious scenario. What's the take away? I wondered, of course, where these plucky fellows would look for their next fill-up in the devastated landscape. Surely the service stations would miss the next scheduled fuel truck delivery. Are American men not expected to think beyond the immediate moment they are in? Are they on an intellectual level with lemurs and Holstein steers?

     The Superbowl pageant is a window into the condition of American manhood, and the view is pretty pathetic. It's a picture of men who feel so weak, insecure, and fearful that they have to compensate with fantasies of limitless destructive power. Ads for several new movies and (I think) video games followed the Silverado apocalypse romp. There were unifying themes throughout. All depicted the problems of life as 1) coming from outside our own society (or world); 2) in the form of aliens who wield mystifying technological destructive power; and 3) leaving a few human remnants on a smoldering landscape after a cosmic showdown.

These onslaughts from elsewhere in the universe always end with superior American guile and the latest technology defeating the purblind invaders. The aliens are vanquished by Apple computers, Air Force stunt pilots, and a little extra help from God Almighty, who is surely on our side. From these realms of engineered grandiosity, we slip in and out of the grinding ground game in Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis, another pseudo-military operation loaded with acronyms and jargon intended to confer an illusion of control and competence.

The reality out there in "flyover" land is an audience of diabetic fat men in clownish loungewear slouched on sofas in foreclosed houses enjoying stupendous portions of cheesy and lard-laden foodstuffs between cigarettes and beers. They have a lot to worry about and they have no idea how they might overcome their financial, familial, and medical problems. The real onslaughts besetting the nation in realms such as banking fraud, money in politics, peak oil, climate uncertainty, and economic contraction are at once too complex for the diabetic fat men to comprehend, and grossly misreported in the public arena, w(h)ere Cable TV and newspapers work the levers of propaganda for one client or another.

Then there was the grotesque half-time extravaganza featuring Madonna, which was a weird parallel commentary on the state of American womanhood. Pretending to be ageless and indomitable, the old trooper performed a variety of standing crotch-locks on her Praetorian guard of hoofers and then stumbled more than once on the ridiculous bleacher stage-set that looked as if was designed to trip the performers up. Message to American women: be sluts as long as you possibly can because there is nothing else for you in this culture. I couldn't help thinking that American chanteuses of yesteryear - say, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Carole King - sang about adult problems and emotions with a greater thematic range, and would never have subjected themselves to such a display of pitiful narcissism. (Did anyone notice that Madonna's corps de ballet all wore her monogram on their loincloths?) America needs a prayer, all right, but I don't think they'll find it by calling Madonna's name.

Meanwhile, in whatever remains of the Real World, we have a couple of things to be concerned about this week.

One is the ultimatum tendered to Greece by the Lords of Euroland to make a deal or die-dog-die. Last time I checked, they had until 11 a.m. today Berlin time to reply... and nothing happened.

The other matter is the pending possible robo-signing settlement with the TBTF banks, which is designed to let them off the hook for any and all future lawsuits in this matter if they pay a penny-ante fine. This latest ghastly trespass of the rule-of-law is a joint project of the Obama White House and 50 states attorneys general in an epic act of perfidy. You can read about it at Yves Smith's excellent Naked Capitalism blog.

Your country is being stolen from you. I hope you are getting ready to re-occupy it with your bodies and minds. Don't plan on giant magical robots flying to your rescue.


And the non-winter of 2011-2012 continues here in the lower 48 as we continue to belch carbon into our fragile atmosphere!

On top of all that, NBC technology was unable to prevent the millions of viewers from seeing M.I.A. flipping them the middle finger.

A little bit on why and how we need to prepare for the upcoming, localized issues:

I brainwashed myself some forty years back to just not see or hear commercials. At most, I hit the mute button. I commonly read a page or three in whatever book I have with me.
Halftime? There was an interesting program about the Serengeti airing at that time. I don't have a clue as to what half-time was about.
As far as the actual game itself, it was pretty good. Relatively few errors and penalties and the outcome was in doubt until very late in the game.
All I watched was the game itself. All the rest of the stuff folks worry about? Yo no se nada...

Good lord, was that Chevy Silverado for real? A big, fat not so subliminal message of denial there.
I miss all that, thank heavens, not having a TV, I'm allergic to it.

Some of us are living a completely different reality already, one a little less in-toxic-ated but readily mobile.

As both an ardent reader and longtime follower my only complaint about todays article is that our country has already been stolen.

"an audience of diabetic fat men in clownish loungewear slouched on sofas in foreclosed houses enjoying stupendous portions of cheesy and lard-laden foodstuffs between cigarettes and beers."

I would add: waiting for NASCAR and Dancing with the Dunskys to reappear like magic on their flat screen technology now, also like magic, costing them 30%+ per month on the unpaid credit card balance to lul them into a catatonic stupor.
Poetry none-the-less.
Clint Eastwood, the quickly aging great-grandpa crimefighter and general hard ass of yesteryear was equally pathetic in his let's go to 'morning - in - America meme.
America is Dead. No Saving IT.

I noticed and commented on the apocalypse themed ads too. The Group Fantasy was in plain site last evening. Be prepared for blazing balls from the sky. But don't look at what is happening in the halls of power.
I began my day with a trip to the shopping mall and compounded the surrealness with watching the Super Bowl. Good times. Laughing while Rome is burning. What else are you going to do? Take all this seriously? Nah.
You have to admit it was good game. Pageantry not withstanding.
Aimlow Joe was here

I just could't wait for your post super bowl post and you did not disappoint. We sat with the wood stove fire from wood I split, eating spagetti with sauce and garlic we grew, and a fab pumpkin pie also from the garden, not too bad a mid winter bacchanal. I loved the half time, very clever and over the top and thought the old gal in fine form and voice. The conflation of Rome and Football perfect. Our youth are drawn to dark themes, skulls, spikes etc. They have sub consciously absorbed the situation.

what game ?

As Jim has long predicted, the dismantling of suburban shopping has begun. Check out an article in the NYS Times, “How About Gardening or Golfing at the Mall?”

In part, ‘Malls, over the last 50 years, have gone from the community center in some cities to a relic of the way people once wanted to shop.” Sound familiar?

“Sears Holdings is closing up to 120 stores, Gap Inc. 200 stores and Talbots 110. Abercrombie & Fitch closed 50 stores last year, Hot Topic, almost the same number. Chains that have filed for bankruptcy in recent years, like Blockbuster, Anchor Blue, Circuit City and Borders, have left hundreds of stores lying vacant in malls across the country.”

“A new enclosed mall has not opened in the United States since 2006.”

“The efforts reflect a shift in how Americans want to shop today: rather than going to big, overwhelming malls, many prefer places where stores can be entered from the street, featuring restaurants, entertainment and other Main Street mainstays. Also, as commuters in urban areas shift to public transportation, the giant parking lots are no longer needed.”

The great shift is beginning for economic reasons, which is always why shifts happen.

Yes, it seemed that the Superbowl program was produced from soup to nuts to cater to those who still, after decades, think that the things we thought were truth-based in, say, the fifties, are still true. You’d think that Viet Nam would have opened more eyes than it did.

Now I'm sorry I didn't watch the Superbowel.

And then there was Clint Eastwood emerging from the mist to proclaim that an America down and out like Detroit will be reborn to drive Dodge vehicles.
I think the Magic robots will actually be small, and coming to attack, not rescue...
Had a solar booth last weekend, and spoke with several hundred of the ~25k people that came through. Lots of people get 'it' surprisingly, yet a hefty percentage remains totally clueless of how things work and what is likely to come. Sad. I continue to teach as many who want to listen...
Cheers Clusterfuckers.

I watched a bit of the pre-game show, found it boring, and switched over to CNN as I corrected my students' assignments. I then completely ignored the Super Bowl as I instead watched my wife play a video game. It was more entertaining and I could cheer her on. Besides, I'm a Patriots fan and they lost. I was spared watching that, too.
Over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I posted about the massive greenwashing the NFL put on as part of its Super Bowl community outreach (PR campaign). Despite it being greenwashing, at least it was an attempt at being sustainable, no matter how oxymoronic that might be in conjunction with a celebration of excess like the Super Bowl. I also pointed out how the GOP in general and Newt Gingrich in particular are now fully owning being the party of maniacs who promise their voters that they will be able to maintain the supposed entitlements of suburbia, right down to the McMansions, cars, and commutes, just as James predicted nearly a decade ago. Newt Gingrich went so far as to hate on subways and subway riders as elite snobs in contrast to the regular folks out in the suburbs.
I also posted some scenery porn of Yosemite, an update on my efforts to reduce my driving, Groundhog Day and climate change, and Peak Oil being mentioned in Nature, Ars Technica, and Wired, along with the money people in Forbes dancing around the subject as they deal with the reality of the bumpy plateau. I expect I'll post Clint Eastwood's Super Bowl commerical on behalf of Chrysler. There is a reason why I sign off my comments "Happy Motoring--for now--from Detroit!"

"He is soon joined by other men and their trucks, all of them blithely unfazed by the end-of-the-world."
It was a joke, douche-boy. One ate a twinkie, the food stuff that is supposed to last forever. A statue from a "Big Boy" restaurant blazed in the back ground. It was a J-O-K-E.
"I couldn't help thinking that American chanteuses of yesteryear - say, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Carole King - sang about adult problems and emotions with a greater thematic range, and would never have subjected themselves to such a display of pitiful narcissism."
Ella was great. Billie, good, but a hopeless junkie. Carole King? Carole-fucking-King? Please. (Which is not to say that Madonna did and always will...suck.)

So much for the hope that one of the gutless wonders would have protested Indiana's anti union policy.

hey k.c. you're not running low on c.! or R U?

..."America wears its zeitgeist plastered right on its sweaty forehead." -JHK

Holy steaming, gargantuan piles of shit, Jim! Now I'm wishing I hadn't missed this demonstration and object lesson, laid right out there in plain view by the best bullshitters and jivers in da known woild!
Madonna? You've got to be kidding me. *whew*, the weirdness is getting thick.
(Mayhap I'll view the grotesquery after the fact just to be stunned and amazed.)

After looking at it, I think that should be: grotesquerie, but you know what I mean.

I read yesterday that Ford was up in arms over the Chevy TEOTWAWKI ad. I don't see why. Consider the kind of people that such a commercial would resonate with. Would you want people like that as customers?
As for Clint Eastwood, he's an old man, set in his ways. People like Clint don't want to rock the boat, they want to right where they are.
Pay no attention.

I was distracted while it ran, but paid sufficient attention to the Eastwood ad that I thought I might be watching a full-minute-long political ad during the most-expensive time slot in American TV. What candidate or cause, I wondered, could the old tough guy be hawking, with the desolate images and somber music overlay an implicit recognition that whatever morning-in-America we might have thought we had lived in, times are damn tough now.
As we know, America hates downers, especially during the Big Game, so this seemed somewhat revolutionary.
The payoff moment came when the card was turned, to reveal this quite-overtly-political ad was for a car company that, as far as I'm aware, has done very little to acknowledge the reality of modern challenges to America, whether ecologically, politically, or otherwise. Still, it was an interesting moment, a kind of inflection point.
By the way, the NFL has been all over enforcing its apparent copyright on the ad (not Chrysler?),so it's been taken down from YouTube, CBS, and other sites. But I did find it here:

You're 'number one' for invective, Jim. Memories of Hunter Thompson. Hilarious.

By the Dawn's early light finds me heading out to water the garden, feed the chickens and generally observe the weather here in the tropics.
As I came back from the beach last night, the screams out of any of the various ex-patriate watering holes provided at best a hint of the mass delusion that Jim has so thoroughly dissected in his masterful manner.
It takes an effort to leave it all behind, but it may well prove to have been worth the effort.

Interesting new evidence of other Kunstler / Peak Oil predictions:
2 weeks ago SpanAir, a regional Spanish airline,
went belly up suspending all flights without notice and stranding 23,000 passengers..
Catalonia's Regional Govt which had been subsidizing it and keeping it afloat took SpanAir off the ventilator of Euros refusing to fund it any longer.

Last week, yet another regional airline went under when the Hungarian Malev Airline went under seized by creditors leaving more air passengers stranded:
Of course a while ago American Airlines parent Company filed for bankruptcy in the usual dodge of
stiffing workers and their contracted pensions, benefits, jobs and wages in order to pay for the ever-increasing price of fuel and insure the 1% owners get the majority of the loot...

So the collapse of the airline industry is also proceeding...

For years on CFN I've been reading about how things will get so bad that a "corn-pone Nazi" leader will emerge to lead the "fat diabetic men."
Now CFN is telling me things are bad. But no "corn-pone Nazi" leader has appeared.
In fact, the leading Republican candidate is the most LIBERAL of all the Republican candidates, someone who was for abortion, and took a lot of LIBERAL positions related to unions, stimulus, government health care (RomneyCare), corporate tax relief, etc. before he flip-flopped and was against them.
In 2012, instead of a corn-pone Nazi, we get a liberal Republican. Another failed prediction.
Don't vote conservative. Don't vote liberal. Vote for a radical, someone who gets to the root of the problems. Vote for Jill Stein, Green Party.

The super bowl party I normally attend imploded to just two people, the host and myself, who had to remove the plastic coverings from the furniture since the room had just been painted. One guy failed to show because as usual when his kids are not visiting, he was passed out drunk. Anther guy was too upset to show up because some incompetent asshole fucked up a recent sports wager improperly placing the bet in Vegas so he didn't get the money to place on the Giant like he catastrophe after another in shallow guy world. Hardly any of the football watching crowd is married even though these guys are in their early forties because they have correctly intuited that marriage today is for suckers, etcetera ad nauseum. The Clint Eastwood endorsement of Chysler made me ill because after all, Chrysler products suck to high heaven as any gearhead will gladly tell you. Guess that gearhead movie he made recently was just make believe like everything else in Hollywood. I did like the commercial where Queen Elton fell down a chute to the dungeon to be interred therein with none other than Flavor Flave as after all, the people must have their Pepsi sweetened with high fructose corn syrup iced down in tubs. Unfortunately you can't have a Thunderbirds/Blue Angels fly over of the stadium when playing in a domed stadium so the opening ceremonies were somewhat deficient from a militaristic standpoint. Of course this morning I had to field stupid football questions from my female relatives so that was the same. Actually their question of how there could be a five point lead at one stage of the game wasn't really so bad as of course it was caused by the safety which had occured earlier on.

Mocking the excesses of the super bowl is like shooting fish in a barrel. Seems pretty much self-parodying already, but I only watch it to deconstruct the advertising.

".....acronyms and jargon intended to confer an illusion of control and competence."
Excellent summation of what Amerika has become.

I watched the first twenty minutes, thinking that they might actually start playing football. But the entire time was taken up with countryfied national anthems, flyovers, and cutaways to a group of bewildered looking jar heads milling about in Afghanistan. They looked more like prisoners than heroes, but the crowd went wild to see the poor bastards.
Tuned in for halftime and thought Madonna was going to simultaneously blow Seal Team Six while singing "Like a Prayer". Even our biggest media stars have become caricatures of themselves. But then, so have we.

Good post Jim.
Personally, I can't stand American football, and especially the Super Bowl, what bull shit.

What about the advertisement for the Navy Seals movie? How freaky is that?
Occupy Earth!

Hey, at least with ads like that pickup commercial they are starting to introduce the idea that dystopia is on the way.
Now they need to take the next step and explain to the public that in a dystopia you don't get to keep living they way you have been.

"Clint Eastwood, the quickly aging great-grandpa crimefighter and general hard ass of yesteryear was equally pathetic in his let's go to 'morning - in - America meme."
It's worse that that. Morning in DETROIT, for God's sake.

People on here tend to think for themselves, therefore your pitch for the Greens, who are the party whose pitch is that the two conventional parties are NOT SUFFICIENTLY committed to a ludicrous unsustainable future, is not going to resonate.

At the beginning of the SB Chrysler ad, my wife asked what is that? The voice and images were indeed strange. I said probably a Chrysler commercial (based on previous ads), then I thought, maybe a political ad?
When the gutteral voiced speaker was revealed to be Clint "Josey Wells" Eastwood. I thought who better to bring the message that it's half-time and we need to find a way out or invent a new one. Thinking of the movie Gran Torino. Thank you Josey. I'd give Chrysler an A+ for this ad.

James, Why would a man who incessantly points out mankind's imbecilic activities waste his time watching and then writing about another of the gambling, oh pardon me I meant, "gaming" industry's cash cows.
As to the un-health of today's humans perchance the effects, undoubtedly minor, of the worst, IMO, invention human's ever conceived, marketing/advertising, coupled with government subsidies to the very corporate producers of the unhealthy food stuffs accomplished by lobbyists, use of worst invention, employed by the recipients of such largess.
If the preponderance of American males had watched as many sporting events as I have and had not been influenced by as many advertisements as I have not, modern day equivalents of the Roman gladiators would not earn 10's to 100's of times the salaries of teachers, nurses, scientists, engineers, electricians, carpenters ..... and their owners would not be part of the (1/10)%.

Saw an interesting comment about the Eastwood ad.

Chrysler, the purpored vehicle for America's comeback, was taken over by Italians.

And another: How about the corn pone leader of Susan B. Komen for the Cure politicizing breast cancer, good grief.

"...out drives a plucky American male lumpen 'worker' dude behind the wheel of a gleaming giant pickup truck."
I missed the Stupor Bowl, but I did see the commercial and wish to remind JHK that the guy was a pretty boy, not a working man (or a diabetic fatso in clown attire). His truck was at least dirty, which is more than I can say for most of the trucks around here.
A pickup should be a work vehicle. Full disclosure: I own a recent-model Chevy Silverado, purchased used and driven for rural work only, about 4K miles a year. I hope it will be the last truck I ever need to buy; I'd have preferred a Ford, but a good price on a low-mileage truck is hard to beat. The Chevy does what makes a pickup lovable: hard work hauling tools, lumber, stone, and building supplies.
That is the purpose of a truck, just as it was for the lumber wagons it replaced and that may well replace it in a world made by hand, if JHK is right about our future. I'll be sure to get a good team of mules and a wagon with an 8' bed (anything shorter may as well be a car).
But the American pickup has evolved into something else: a totem of manliness in the age of decline.
JHK asks about American males, "Are they on an intellectual level with lemurs and Holstein steers?"
I don't know about the self-confidence levels of either animal, but so many pickup owners buy their rigs to look manly. Then they "haul" a couple of bags of mulch home from Home Depot. When a buddy downsized from a Ford F-350 to a Mazda 4-cylinder, a co-worker on the construction site actually asked, with concern and not scorn, "but do you feel less a man with a little truck?"
And hence, American males today: few of them able to make things or do things by hand, fretful about the future, their masculinity wrapped up in a V8 engine. And do not get dirt or scratches on the bed-liner!

Bearfoot - Not sure what "c" is... Of course, that is, if your'e talking to me. But, generally, I think we all are runnin a bit low now. LOL

Pro Sports- keeping America's men
and docile.

Support your youth little league, youth soccer and track club. Leave the Pro sports to the professional dullards.

"Vote for a radical, someone who gets to the root of the problems."
Your candidate has no 30 year track record opposing these "problems". I agree don't vote for a republican liberal.

"That is the purpose of a truck, just as it was for the lumber wagons it replaced and that may well replace it in a world made by hand, if JHK is right about our future. I'll be sure to get a good team of mules and a wagon with an 8' bed (anything shorter may as well be a car)." SJoe
There have been many times that I had wished for a 10' truck bed (enclosed dimensions). I realize this would be a serious detriment to maneuverability and frame strength, but flopping those 12 and 14-footers out over the tailgate of an 8' bed have caused me some anxious moments and iffy counterweight and cantilever "solutions".

Beyond those mundane practicalities however, I enjoyed your thoughtful comments on pickup psychoses. Interesting.

Chomsky on Sports:
In fact, I have the habit when I'm driving of turning on these radio call-in programs, and it's striking when you hear the ones about sports. They have these groups of sports reporters, or some kind of experts on a panel, and people call in and have discussions with them. First of all, the audience obviously is devoting an enormous amount of time to it all. But the more striking fact is, the callers have a tremendous amount of expertise, they have detailed knowledge of all kinds of things, they carry on these extremely complex discussions...
...and when you look at the structure of them, they seem like a kind of mathematics. It's as though people want to work out mathematical problems, and it they don't have calculus and arithmetic, they work them out with other structures...And what all these things look like is that people just want to use their intelligence somehow...
Well, in our society we have things that you might use your intelligence on, like politics, but people really can't get involved in them in a very serious way -- so what they do is put their minds to other things, such as sports. You're trained to be obedient; you don't have an interesting job; there's no work around for you that's creative; in the cultural environment you're a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff...So what's left?

Last week I said that the Superbowl is the nexus between sports and entertainment and the whole wasteful meaningless expenditure of capital.
It's very similar to the polital games of the ultra wealthy buying the elections and letting the little people play to their expensive propaganda.
There is nothing of value or gain, just an acting out of the empty hopes and vapid dreams of a dying culture.
Nothing this country does or the overly wealthy individuals who gain when you lose are doing anything of merit with their investments, but I promise you this, by breaking with classical economics for this disaster economy being implemented in Europe now as well, we will go down.
I am not one to watch the games and did not do my anthropological field study last night, but it's always the same thing every year.
It is just deteriorating and at some point will be seen as something not worth fighting for anymore.
Get ready for a new economic disaster and more guaranteed bailouts for the casino players. We will be stuck with the bill.
Recommendations today. Charles Hugh Smith
Max Keiser interview with Michael Hudson:

The Super Bowl commercials were real stinkers this year – repeats of old, tired themes. Even the half-time show had old, tired Madonna prancing around and pretending to be young and sexy. Used to be the commercials were the best part! Those Budweiser frogs planning on murdering various rivals were funny, the Old Spice guy “You Could Smell like Me” was funny. None of that just weird stuff like Clint Eastwood rambling on about . . . something. The Mayan Apocalypse was kinda funny. Chubby, middle aged men driving trucks and eating twinkies. I guess if you have a truck and a twinkie, why you’re prepared for anything! But will they take credit cards at the gas stations after the Apocalypse?
Also caught a couple episodes of NatGeo’s Doomsday Preppers recently. Now that is really funny. These people or couples go on TV and show how they have prepared for the End, although the End could be caused by economic collapse, lack of foreign fossil fuel, giant meteorites and my personal favorite, the continents shifting because the poles might change their magnetic directions. Some of their plans were impressive because of the amount of time and money spent putting together shipping containers to build an impenetrable fortress. Or one family that converted an old swimming pool into a fish pond, goat shed and hydroponic garden. During the show, an expert rates the preparedness and makes suggestions of improving things. At the end of the program, the narrator gives the statistical possibility of any of these scenarios actually occurring and its usually a 1,000,000 to 1.
Susan G. Komen is really hoping for the Apocalypse and has learned that WOMEN like getting basic health care services WITHOUT the right wing religious nut jobs interfering. Komen’s funding has shot straight down the poop hole while Planned Parenthood is raking in the dough. This is what happens when you listen to “Pro Life” nut jobs who hate women so much that they would rather let them die slowly of undetected breast cancer than put politics aside. Bill O’Reilly (now lying full time) says Planned Parenthood is 97% abortions. Didn’t he learn anything from Sen. John Kyl’s “Not Intended to be a Factual Statement” when he was caught telling the exact same lie? Guess Billy thinks that if he lies to enough oldsters, they will swallow the same gunk over and over again. Susan G. Komen is sunk though. Women vote and most of us are very fond of Not Being Lied to, getting medical care and choosing what we want to do with our own bodies. Twinkie, anyone?

I thought of your "clown civilization" comments from 'Home From Nowhere,' Mr. Kunstler, when I heard about the SB halftime show - "We fill our idle hours enjoying the canned antics of professional clowns." But if American entertainers are embarrassing, British entertainers are no better: that female rapper who gave the finger on national television is a Brit.

Smoky sez:
"And hence, American males today: few of them able to make things or do things by hand, fretful about the future, their masculinity wrapped up in a V8 engine. And do not get dirt or scratches on the bed-liner!"

Here's a good one for you.
Someone I know very well, bought himself a brandie-new Dodge Ram a few years back. What did he need it for? Ah, for "yard stuff", 'round-the-house building materials, but mainly, to transport the dirt-bikes hither and yon. NOW, he's SOLD the dirt-bikes as downpayment on a ROAD bike to SAVE GASOLINE that the truck was guzzling like cheap rot-gut! See how well that whole strategy worked out? lol

(I must say though, that other than a few very minor scratches and minute dings, that damn truck looks to be close to pristine. He takes good care of his stuff.)

Right on Smokey! probably 75% of the fellas at the firehouse drive pick-ups. Out of those I bet 8 out of ten are "Pretty Boy" trucks. The workin' trucks are easy to spot. I had a guy ask to borrow my 4 popper Tacoma To pick up some loose mulch. I said, "You have a truck". "I can't put that shit in the back of my truck" was his reply. I almost fuckin' screamed. I guess my truck looked okay to carry shit! Insanity, that's what it is. Plus they all need four wheel drive and honkin' big-ass tires.

P.S. - When Crosby, Stills and Nash performed an acoustic set at the Berlin Wall a week after it was opened, one critic actually accused them of jumping at a contrived opprotunity to make themselves look relevant. Madonna performs a mindless, meaningless Super Bowl halftime show - and she's applauded for it? Why is she the only pop performer of the past five decades to be applauded for her longevity, while folks like Crosby, Stills and Nash are written off as irrelevant dinosaurs? CSN lost money with that Wall gig, but they wanted to be there to show solidarity with Berliners. What did Madge's Super Bowl gig accomplish?

Howdy O3, Sorry I missed ya at the ice harvest. I caught a deal on craigslist for some 275 gallon palletized sap tanks. Took a trip to Athol, pronounced with a lisp like asshole. The guys got more if you need something like this. I got em for 75 bucks.I am using them for rain water collection

Hey Jim and all the gang
Well another Stupor Bowl safely over, we can all rest easier knowing that. And the Madonna show, well seriously, what over the top, canned poptrash. I especially liked the initial outfit she appeared in complete with horned headdress and gold cape. What was that all about? Madonna's music always was marginal, and it hasn't aged well. She appears a little plasticky, but after all she is in her fifties. The show was sorta sad and tacky, the panorama of a fading and failing culture slowly choking to death on it's own poisonous paradigm. As for the commercials, didn't see them, so that was all to the good.
Yes I do have to say this year's Bowl did seem to be significantly scaled down from previous years. Just no oomph to it at all, we went to bed early, the spouse just lost interest. Not sure why. I would rather do just about anything than watch football, but peace must be kept in the house.
As for all those fat diabetic men, well I think if current economic conditions continue with 50% of the population in poverty, that will self correct. After all can't be fat when you have no money to buy food or a car for happy motoring.
Patiently awaiting the kick off for the real game, the one in the Middle East. The war rhetoric appears to be getting hotter on a daily basis. Heaven help us all.

"What did Madge's Super Bowl gig accomplish?"

It probably gave her an insanely gargantuan pay-day (for the performance of ONE single fucking number, no less).
Isn't that what defines worthiness these days? How over-paid you can get for how tiny a portion of time spent doing [whatever] supposedly productive/entertaining crapola?

That's a heck of a good price for those containers! Certainly worth a trip to As- I mean, Athol. So far, I'm lucky to have an uphill water supply that I can access via gravity and getting creative with piping. Speakin' o' which, some 1-inch well-line [at discount] in 150' bulk might come in very handy. Hmmmm...
See what are minds wander to when un-involved with gladitorial spectacle?

(Ps. Well-drillers in these h'yar hills are going hungry for work. REALLY sparse, and sparser as the folks get broker. Heard from a "horses' mouth".)

"our" minds
(Or what's left of 'em. B'bye!)

Speaking of the Apocalypse, check out Webbot master Clif High's website Half Past Human. He believes plans are in motion that on March 02, 2012 Mossad and CIA agents impersonating Iranians will stage a false flag attack on a US Navy ship, thus opening the way to a wider war. Of course, we know they've done it before - USS Liberty in 1967. If word of this spreads far and wide, they'll have to cancel. Too many people will know its a staged bogus event.

I watched the SuperBowl last night and like watching a movie I was able to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the game.
Last fall I spent a couple of weeks with a climate scientist, Dr. Guy McPherson (Nature Bats Last), who believes that JH Kunstler is imagining that we'll be able to reconstruct America using trains. In the Kubler-Ross model that means that Jim is still in the bargaining stage. In Dr. McPherson's opinion the scale and speed of events will overwhelm industrial systems in the next 20 years.
Here is a trailer for the upcoming film: Somewhere In New Mexico Before The End Of Time

My small tv takes up a small corner of my living room and it wasn't on last night. If the Chevy Silverado ads were as described, and I don't doubt they were, one message from that might be that all the Chevy Silverado drivers will have missed out on the Rapture! Otherwise, why would they still be around?

The contempt which Madison Avenue, the official mouthpiece for corporate America, has for American men and women, too (But that's another story) is unmistakable. Our image from their minds is enough: Chubby, befuddled and brought into a happy, blissful content by whatever bullshit they're trying to sell us. They're right: Most American men are chubby and befuddled and there's not much of a choice involved; but the contempt is certainly there, alive and breeding, telling us that it's only the money they're concerned about, only the idea that materialism and accumulation brings happiness and the contempt involved is one of understanding. It seems to be saying, "If you buy into our bullshit ideas then you deserve whatever fate awaits you, you stupid morons." It's truly the main premise of America - money and accumulation cure all ills, rectify all injustices and are the main and seemingly only reasons you are on this earth. It is how we are told to express our love. It is how we are told to express our displeasure, our hatred - buy our shit, don't buy our shit. Well, those days, those ideas are rapidly becoming not only unemployable, but impossible. Uh, duh, what do we do now? Good question. There's always our true humanity, the one which doesn't involve money and accumulation and the idolizing of the monsters who are living in the sky cities of incredible wealth and wow, amazing power. But take a closer look. The sky cities on built upon the bones of the dead, the lost, those human beings who got in the way of 'progress'. The Stupid Boil heavily re-inforces this message, heavily, but what it doesn't tell us that is if you want to play THAT game, you're more than likely, much more, to wind up in the bone pile of the others who are holding those cities aloft. Quit while you're ahead. If you have any dreams let them concern reclaiming and holding on to your humanity. Good luck. It's a long path, but remember - we're not alone.

Interesting. I have been having the same thoughts re some naval provocation to bring us into another war for the last few weeks.

"The real onslaughts besetting the nation in realms such as banking fraud, money in politics, peak oil, climate uncertainty, and economic contraction are at once too complex for the diabetic fat men to comprehend, and grossly misreported in the public arena, were Cable TV and newspapers work the levers of propaganda for one client or another."
Very good points indeed. Why is there no dialoge concerning preparedness for what's coming ? And just wondering, why is it that when people start to take steps to prepare for the bad shit coming our way are they painted as conspiracy freaks or nut cases ? Don't doubt that the 1% has their safety plans in place.

I missed the game,NatGeo caught my eye and that was that.
So who won ? How many times did madonna grab her crotch ?

On Facebook last night, a friend of mine mentioned his disappointment that the Canadian network which re-broadcast the stupor bowl replaced the much sought-after American commercials with ones for Canadian goods and services. I could only say in response that we have come to a pretty pass as a society if we're complaining about being prevented from watching commercials.
I avoided the stupor bowl as much as possible, but I do listen regularly to NPR's Planet Money podcast. From Friday's edition I learned that Lucas Oil Stadium will cost local taxpayers $600 million over 30 years to pay off. I'm afraid the good people of metro Indianapolis are fools, but this seems to be the way of the world with people and their sports venues.

'zone, what would be a good price for a roll of 1" ?
I run across stuff all the time.

The reality out there in "flyover" land is an audience of diabetic fat men in clownish loungewear slouched on sofas in foreclosed houses enjoying stupendous portions of cheesy and lard-laden foodstuffs between cigarettes and beers. They have a lot to worry about and they have no idea how they might overcome their financial, familial, and medical problems. The real onslaughts besetting the nation in realms such as banking fraud, money in politics, peak oil, climate uncertainty, and economic contraction are at once too complex for the diabetic fat men to comprehend, and grossly misreported in the public arena, were Cable TV and newspapers work the levers of propaganda for one client or another.
This is so so so........................mean.
All I saw was Madonna on the Gym's big-screen #7 getting off a big golden chair that looked like it was stolen from the temple of Isis. I was on an exercise bike listening to the most recent kunstlercast on a new toy I have. Never saw anything but her mechanical extravaganza to the worship of some Canaan deity. Did 15 miles and went home and never saw the game. Did somebody win?
So now I know we have only twenty years of natural gas and we get that by having a scorched earth gold-rush resource extraction policy. A link to Arthur Berman is on my site under Corn Pone, bottom of the list.

O3, Do you drill perchance? I thought about a well. I have city water. Screw the city. I am in town. My "old neighbor" tells me there is water close to the surface where we are at.

Hurra! Hurra! Hurra folks! Step right up! Watch the amazing America! She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a reptile!! What a sick Superbowl spectacle. Who gives a f***. least there is good news; the bankers got a 'get out of jail free' card; we're saved! Unemployment numbers are down; we're saved! A decadent multi-millionaire Republican presidential candidate who doesn't think the poor need help will probably be our next President; we're saved! The economy is on the road to recovery; we're saved! The radio station out on the production floor just finished playing 'Proud to be an American' but I don't hear people singing along to it much anymore. No body is feeling all that free these days.

Hey, my guess last night that Jim's essay would contain something like this (below) wasn't too far off.
As ... America's prodigious glutei maximi settled into their leather-cushioned Lazyboys for Super Bowl XLVI ... Surely when the numbers are known pepperoni pizza sales alone would account for a discernible blip in 1Q GDP."
Jim actually wrote:
The reality out there in "flyover" land is an audience of diabetic fat men in clownish loungewear slouched on sofas in foreclosed houses enjoying stupendous portions of cheesy and lard-laden foodstuffs between cigarettes and beers.
I laughed out loud at the succinct image. Nobody does a contempt rant better than Jim.
I am further amused by all those CFNers who have so often expressed their contempt for pro sports - Vlad, chief among em - only to be glued to their flatscreens through the entire spectacle.
Oh sure, Moo wrote "What game?" and Rick (probably gay ;-)) said he hated American football, especially the Super Bowl.
Prog, as usual, with his need to be everyone's pal, was trapped in a politician's dilemma. He confessed interest in the game but "didn't know why." He desperately did not want to be on the outs with the CFN majority - a certain academically elite type - who claim sports are gauche and unnecessary while secretly watching like rubber-neckers passing an accident scene.
Tootsie (Mrs Beasley) had a point in calling Jim a douche for not recognizing the JOKE aspect of the Silverado commercial. I mean, for Kricesakes, there's product to be sold.

Heard Kim Mitchell on radio "Q107" a couple days back that ½-time performers only get their expenses covered, ie. travel, lodging, etc. for their entire entourage of course.

I guess the question of the day for JHK is..If you hate the SuperBowl so much, why did you watch it? You hardly needed to see it to know what sort of things were happening. Or did you watch it so you could rant & feel superior to all of the others who were? Me..I've never seen a single SuperBowl, and in fact, I've never willingly watched any sporting event. Are we declining and working our way to a disaster, absolutely? Does SuperBowl 46 confirm that? Who knows? I remember someone claiming 3 years ago that we wouldn't have any food on our tables come fall of 2009 because the Agri-Business cartel was going to fold. I'm still waiting. You have a good long-range vision James, but if I were you, I'd not quite put such specific timimg on everything, since all of this is in the Lord God's hands.

Why would you guys be so hypnotized by a bunch of truck dudes? You should be more like the Red M&M who was ready to stick his dick anywhere, in anyone, when he saw the Brown M&M.

I agree but I'm confident the guilty will profit and the innocent will pay.
"And the Meek shall inherit what's left of the Earth. . ."

Listen to yourselves, you all sound like tired old reactionairies, Grouchy Old Man and all.
We yahoos of yesteryear warned you about this pop culture crap and had abuse heaped on us for our efforts.
Come to realize fine folks that you did the bidding for a stupid political cult out of guilt over the Holocaust, slavery and the abuse of primitive brown people without machine guns and what has this wrought?
Now what have we got? An Israel less secure, blacks devolving and getting dumber as a group and primitive brown people turning to a hateful religion or burning their country down to make iPads.
Liberalism has failed.

Thank you for changing your name back to normal. It was madness on your part. Madness. Did you see the ad where the woman head butted her husband into submission? Why does no one think that is strange? Imagine the out cry if an ad portrayed violence against women.

Well, first off I drive a Dodge with a Cummins diesel motor powering the truck. The Chev Ford thing didn't do anything for me.
Yeah, I know, that diesel motor cost a lot more money. Diesel versus gas argument does (do something for me).
I intermittently watched the game between waiting for youtube downloads, in making a movie of my morning fishing adventure. Yeah, I am a bit overweight, but no, no beer, cigarettes, or fat laden foodstuffs for me.
Didn't see the Madonna thing though. I will have to watch it now there is such a JK kinda fuss over it. Maybe it will get on youtube?
Should I get soused up to watch it?
To bad the fishing had me breathing fresh air most of the day and helped me to fall asleep before the end of the game.
It was pretty damn good ending to have missed.

Quite frankly, I do feel like a macho man when I jump in my 2006 Dodge truck powered by a Hemi. But I whimper like a little bitch when I glance at the gas gauge. When I drive my 1995 Honda Civic I feel not so masculine, more like a tattooed teenager except for the absence of an oversized tailpipe. But then I pay $275 to drive 3005 miles down to Florida and back, and I smile like that same teenager after he scores a couple Oxycoton..

Talking about screaming ids, no brains the Greek debt talks basically have fizzled to the finger pointing stage. That's according to felix salmon in his blog.
Is this thing going pear shaped? Already has. The Greek economy, the measureable one that is, has apparently and by many accounts gone into severe recession. People working for both the public service and private companies report not getting paid, cops don't respond to calls, there are stories of people being denied health services because the insurance company stopped payments and, well, because there's no money.
The Greeks cannot seem to summon the will to either pay the taxes or collect the taxes necessary to fund their state benefits. Other Europeans see this and don't seem inclined to pay for what the Greeks are refusing to pay themselves.
On March 20 there's Euro 14 billion in Greek bonds maturing and that is Greece's date with the hangman.

Hi Q, I see that reports of your death have been greatly exaggerated. Welcome back. I can honestly say I did not watch the great circus which is the Stuporbowl. To admit that is sacrilegious in these parts. After all, this is New England Patriots country. A gray veil has descended upon this town since last nights loss to the mighty New Jersey Giants. I am of course in the minority. I was walking my dogs during the game and I don't think I saw a single car. I wish it was always that way.

How is a a Jewish State taken from the Arabs by force and fraud and surrounded by Arab States ever going to be secure? And who should secure it - us? Why?
Our allies? After the Lavon Affair and the attack on the Liberty? The Jewish terrorists who attempted the false flag in Egypt to get us into that war, were all given medals years later after we weren't looking anymore. That's Israel.
Several prominent Israelis have threatened to end Western European Civilization if things don't pan out the way they want. With their long range missiles and nuclear submarines stupidly given to them by the cowed Germans, they are capable of making good their threat.
Allies don't threaten to destroy you. They are not Western and we owe them nothing. Their influence is due to the power of money in corrupt Western Democracies and also to the weird version of Christianity they have engineered in America.

Yo Mook, 2 n's in Oxycontin. Ask me how I know. ;o)

What gets up my nose is exporting crap American culture down here (downunder). We had the "Sooperbowl" live on one of our free-to-air channels yesterday and as the kids were home from school early from a swimming carnival I put it on for a few minutes so I could "bag" the event for a bit of humour (humor).
Before I began the diatribe I asked the kids, "Hey, you want to see a sport even more boring than cricket?" Both kids (girl 12 and boy 15) "Uh, okay." I don't know where in the game it was up to, maybe somewhere in the first half. I said, "Check this out, I'm going to count out the amount of time each "play" lasts and then the gap between."..
Eventually the first play began and I counted out three seconds, it was then followed by fifteen seconds of two slow-motion replays from different angles and shots of coaches either gesticulating widely in frustration or speaking intently into a head-microphone with a photo of the player who did the most thrown in for good measure. The the next couple of plays were roughly the same until on the fourth play, which included one player falling down and hurting his knee in a somewhat manufactured manner, the gap was so wide they chucked in a local commercial as well as the thirty second gap for gesticulations, a bio on the fallen one, and much jumping of camera from coach to coach. Of course my running commentary was meant to be humorous and I had the kids laughing their heads off - the desired effect.
Naturally the costumes got a bagging as well, helmets and pads especially included. I'm not one for "team sports" but rugby is far more interesting to watch - and it doesn't stop unless someone is carried off on a stretcher. Sadly today our local papers are full of "Sooperbowl" but all the coverage is about the adds and Madonna "raising her middle digit". I don't know who won the game, and I have to say I really don't care, unless there was a riot by "sports fans" afterwards that caused a lot of interesting carnage.

Their influence is due to the power of money in corrupt Western Democracies and also to the weird version of Christianity they have engineered in America. - V
I wouldn't put it all on the Israelis. Don't minimize the power of the West's own stupidity in this mess. And don't minimize Arab/Muslim idiocy either.
Everybody is in an uproar over a postage stamp sized patch of real estate in the middle of nowhere. If there was just a half an ounce of brains in all the western and Arab foreign services (which there isn't - just think of all the Ivy League educations and the foreign equivalents that were wasted over the decades on this thing) we would by now have had a public discussion on doing the obvious thing ie make like Pontius Pilate, wash our hands of it and let the locals duke it out. But no - avoid common sense at all costs.

Copy dat' IH2!

"and it doesn't stop unless someone is carried off on a stretcher." that's a classic! That is the what makes it a sport and not a "game".

Heard rumours that the Goverment doesn't want any "hoarding" of food - even asked Mountain House for their client list. What has anyone else heard?

Where did you hear this? Sounds kind of lame. I'm on the watch list and I have a right to know!

Chrysler[according to Rush Limbaugh today] is 57% Italian owned.

I think the failure is more pervasive than just one side of the political spectrum. Look at the gallery of no hopes, has beens and never will bes up for the Republican nomination. 308 million people and this is the cream of the crop?
I'm not saying that liberalism hasn't failed. It has. Look at Obama, a pretty boy with a silver tongue but an awfully thin CV for the hardest executive job on the planet wouldn't you say? For all their alleged intellectual superiority over the fat fucks from flyover country this is the best that liberals can do?

VK, I doubt if the feds even asked Mountain House for their client list. Since when do they "ask" for anything?

And who created and funded the NAACP? The Irish? The Italians? The Blacks? No, the you know who's. And who dominates the Media and revels in the insult of White Men? And who constantly agitates against us and our Religion in the ACLU and the SPLC? And who were the masterminds of the Hate Crime Laws? That's right the ADL of Bnai Brith.
And furthermore I say Carthage should be destroyed. (Sigmund Freud's hero was Hannibal. And he felt the greatest tragedy of European History that Rome defeated the Semitic Carthaginians.)

Amazing! A lot of the above seems to say that folks just can't bring themselves to not watch the ads! Why?
I totally tuned out and ignored the ads and the halftime and enjoyed the football. Overall, it was one of the better games of the season.
Overall in televised sports, you can see those who are best at what they do put out extreme effort to win. I may not care for some particular sport, but I like to know that those who are the best are striving to their utmost. There's a lesson there.
And for many, there is much more to them than just physical talent and ability. One aspect of IQ is the ability and rate for processing information inputs. A low IQ doesn't help at all in many of the action sports. Few university intellectuals ever have to process the inputs as rapidly as do quarterbacks or racing drivers--and survival depends upon having the ability. Might be why Elway and Penske are millionaires...

Please pardon my Old 6969 moment. I'm not anti -Obama .I'm anti big government in general. Somebody e-mailed me this and I thought it was a little provocative. I don't know if it is true.
I hadn't thought about this - but where are O's past girlfriends -
surely he had at least one? No past girl friends popping up
anywhere? Strange - strange to the point of being downright
OK, this is just plain old common sense, no political agendas
for either side Just common knowledge for citizens of this
country, especially American citizens, who know every little
tidbit about every other president (and their wives). We even
know that Andrew Jackson's wife smoked a corn cob pipe and
was accused of adultery, or that Lincoln never went to school,
or Kennedy wore a back brace, or Truman played the piano.
We are Americans! Our Media vets these things out! We are
known for our humanitarian interests and caring for our "fellow
man." We care, but none of us know one single humanizing fact
about the history of our own president.
Honestly, and this is a personal thing ... but it's bugged me for
years that no one who ever dated him ever showed up. Considering
his charisma, which caused the women to be drawn to him so
obviously during his campaign, looks like some female would not
have missed the opportunity....
We all know about JFK's magnetism and that McCain was no monk.
Palin's courtship and even her athletic prowess were probed. Biden's
aneurisms are no secret. Look at Cheney and Clinton-we all know
about their heart problems. How could we have left out Obama before
or during the White House?
Nope... not one lady has stepped up and said, "He was soooo shy," or
"What a great dancer!"
Now look at the rest of what we know... no classmates, not even the
recorder for the Columbia class notes ever heard of him.
Who was the best man at his wedding? Start there. Check for
groomsmen. Then get the footage of the graduation ceremony.
Has anyone talked to the professors? Isn't it odd that no one is
bragging that they knew him or taught him or lived with him.
When did he meet Michele and how? Are there photos? Every
president provides the public with all their photos, etc. for their
library. What has he released? Nada - other than what was in
his so-called biography! And experts who study writing styles,
etc. claim it was not Obama's own words or typical of his speech
patterns, etc.
Does this make any of you wonder?
Ever wonder why no one ever came forward from Obama's past,
saying they knew him, attended school with him, was his friend,
etc ? Not one person has ever come forward from his past.
This should really be a cause for great concern. Did you see the
movie titled The Manchurian Candidate?
Let's face it. As insignificant as we all are... someone with whom we
went to school remembers our name or face...someone remembers
we were the clown or the dork or the brain or the quiet one or the
bully or something about us.
George Stephanopoulos, ABC News, said the same thing during the
2008 campaign. Even George questions why no one has
acknowledged that the president was in their classroom or ate in the
same cafeteria or made impromptu speeches on campus.
Stephanopoulos was in the class of 1983 at Columbia - same as
Obama. He says he never had a single class with him.
Since he is such a great orator, why doesn't anyone in Obama's
college class remember him? And, why won't he allow Columbia to
release his records? Do you, like millions of others, simply assume
all this is explainable - even though no one can?
Looking for evidence of Obama's past, Fox News contacted 400
Columbia University students from the period when Obama claims
to have been there, but not one remembers him. For example,
Wayne Allyn Root was (like Obama) a political science major at
Columbia, who graduated in 1983. In 2008, Root says of Obama,
"I don't know a single person at Columbia who knew him, and
they all know me. I don't have a single classmate who ever knew
Barack Obama at Columbia ... EVER!
Nobody recalls him.
Root adds that he was, "Class of '83, political science, pre-law"
and says, "You don't get more exact or closer than that. Never
met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met him.
"At our 20th class reunion five years ago, who was asked to be
the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack!
And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy
who writes the class notes, who's kind of the, as we say in New
York, "the macha" who knows everybody, has yet to find a
person, a human who ever met him."
Obama's photograph does not appear in the school's yearbook,
and Obama consistently declines requests to talk about his years
at Columbia , provide school records, or provide the name of any
former classmates or friends while at Columbia .
How can this be?
NOTE: Wayne Allyn Root can easily be verified. He graduated
valedictorian from his high school, Thornton-Donovan School ,
then graduated from Columbia University as a Political Science
major in the same '83 class in which Barack Hussein Obama
states he was.

There are lots of criticisms one can make about Obama, but you that tired old RW conspiracy email you felt was worth posting here has been repeatedly debunked... guess you all got tired of getting looked at funny when you asked about his birth certificate? Anywho, spend about 5 minutes with google and see for yourself. Hope that helps! Have a great day!

the media hologram infusing the superbowl was pornographic in every way - fitting for the debased culture described in this blog so well. Was half expecting shadow dances on the screen behind madonna suggestive of someone like her riding someone like d. rodmen's "tower of power for over an hour" - apologies to f. zappa - o wait, those were shadows in my mind, not on the screen, getting increasingly hard to separate the two....

From an e-mail to my Brit friend Amanda, just back from an economically vital Germany:
Don't know how the Germans do it. This economy and society are sliding down a slope that shall end who knows where, but some think facism. Here's a clue -- we were watching the Super Bowl yesterday. Mostly we watch it for the commercials, which cost 2.5 million per 30 secs and hence are usually well done and clever. The one that won this year in polls of viewers was made by a bloke with a great dane. The commerical shows the animal burying the remains of a cat then bribing the man with Doritos (tortilla chips flavoured with God knows what). Of course we were horribly offended. And other viewers were too, but MUCH in the small, almost insignificant minority. According to polls, Americans loved the commercial. The amateur who made it was awarded a million dollars.

This sick humor and veiled, displaced hostility is, for me, clear evidence of a hopeless, helpless, angry citizenry looking for relief through a victim. Since it's no longer possible to victimize minorities, women, or the mentally handicapped, cats do nicely. And it will only get worse as the oil dries up and there is nothing to replace it. Now the reason we went to Iraq and Afganistan is clear. We want to be there until the last drop is extracted from the ground. I doubt there is any clear plan for what we're going to do after that.

Nothing much we can do. We're saving for a small place in a small town in an agricultural area.
We like xxxxxxx, about 20 miles from Sxxxx, everything close at hand. Looks like the best bet for the long term. Of course, I could be wrong. We could perfect and trust nuclear energy or discover super efficient solar panels, both possibilities being remote. Still, we'd be in a nice town and not living at the mercy of our landlords who are extracting the highest rents possible because after the bubble few people can get credit.

Some good news: some States are contemplating issuing their own gold/silver backed currencies or at least allowing gold and silver coins as viable currency in case of extreme inflation.
Too little too late? In most cases certainly. But who knows? Perhaps the Republic of North Dakota might have a chance: lots of grain, milk, and meat and oil for fuel. Not many minority enrichers either. They would have to barricade the interstates with their National Guard if they still have any in state. Compassion is going to be a private luxury. Any State Official who doesn't see it that way will be a traitor.

Like your blog. I didn't watch the game either. I know some people who taped the game so they could watch the ads without interruption.
I wanta see Madonna driving that ol' truck. Did Sam Elliot provide the voiceover? Buncha whores.

White Men too - see the one where the wife head butts her husband onto the floor. Or are you Ok with that like most people are?
Last year a White Man licked the fingers of a Black to get the potato chip taste.
To be "charitable": many are inured to this because it's so constant - and may not even notice it anymore. That's worse btw since it's operating in the subconscious.

And who is imitating their nicolaitanism?

I watched the ManU v. Chelsea soccer match instead of the football pre-game blather. No commercial interruptions during the two 45-minute halves, world-class players demonstrating skill, finesse and teamwork, and a thrilling come-from-behind tie for ManU.
I also watched Downton Abbey instead of the Super Bowl. No commercial interruptions, brilliant dialogue and story, and a poignant reminder that even the most powerful empire on earth has its zenith and its decline. Best wishes,

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