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21 thoughts on “Open Thread

  • September 29, 2008 at 9:45 am
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    The prefect storm of stupidity – (just in time for the kosmic karma krush, I hasten to add)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhsQFN5XKec

    “Only 13% of US adult population can read or comprehend “proficiently’ ” (whatever that might be claimed to be)
    – too say nothing of literal “thought”, cogent analysis and/or even marginal discernment of fact from fantasy.
    From my ‘perch’ (cell, cage, asylum), I’d guess that less than 1% can actually think and this occurs only on rare occasion (self included).

    And, of those 13%, a full 95% [IMO] fully ‘believe’ only what they ‘wish’ to believe –
    – what they were taught in voodoo indoctrination classes while toddlers and later in greed school.
    – that which precisely conforms with their pre-programmed expectations (prejudicial delusional states)

    WELL, that’s PEAK EVERYTHING explained – as if you or I didn’t already understand.

    PS: Admin, apparently you’re becoming highly experienced at burial. This should serve you well in future. For now, hope you’re burying some shit worth digging up.

  • September 29, 2008 at 10:21 am
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    That is exactly right LW. And to make matters worse, nobody knows how to do “community” anymore. They don’t know their neighbors. TV has trumped life itself.

    Add TV distraction to stupidity and micro-encapsulated neighborhoods where nobody knows each other, and you have to say the human prospect is zero. We are a nation of aphids, one good gas and food shortage from meltdown. It won’t be pretty.

    MD

  • September 29, 2008 at 10:53 am
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    1. OOOPS – looks like NOW is the winter of our discontent.

    Russia may cut off oil flow to the West
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/2795453/Russia-may-cut-off-oil-flow-to-the-West.html

    The EU threatens Russia? Crazy much?
    Looks like EU capitals have contracted Bush disease.
    Insanity rules. Nothing remains.

    The good news; cold borsch doesn’t taste too bad. Got beets? or a pot to piss in?

    2. ASPO holds [perhaps penultimate] annual meeting: Report summary here http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4560

    selected clips

    “He [Jeremy Gilbert] bemoaned the renewable energy mantra that “solar, wind or something, UFO’s perhaps, will bring an answer to our crisis.” [yeah, alien power, now that’s a solution).

    “The next speaker was Matt Simmons whom I have heard on numerous occasions, but who this time talked into a silence as intense as any I have heard. He scared the audience in a way I have not seen before [not a particularly easy thing to do with this crowd], perhaps because we were all much more willing to believe this time, given his record from the past.

    He noted at the beginning of his talk that there are 150 miles of unit trains leave Wyoming every day. (Ed note – a 1-mile unit train contains 110 rail cars of 100 tons of coal each.) He talked about the elements of risk that we have now forgotten how to apply. He noted that we have forgotten how savage a collapse can be, or how fast it can occur. (Enron unfolded in 7 days. The events of the last week showed how even faster collapse can come now). The delays in bringing oil production on line from the recent hurricanes will only underline this point. …

    … He noted that contrary to the solutions for the financial world there is no insurance policy that can help with Peak Oil. The paradigm is changing and sadly the world is still Energy Illiterate.”

    “He [Jim Buckee] pointed out that there is no opposite to a train wreck.”

    “After the break John Theobald introduced the next session with the opening section of the film Soylent Green which, for those who have forgotten, is people. (See the movie)”

    Vince Matthews then talked about Peak everything else, and included China in this analysis which saw China seeking major volumes of many commodities and in the process driving up the price. There were many examples given in the slide show of these increases, over a range of minerals. Steel price for example has risen six-fold. …”

    “The days activity were summarized by Robert Hirsch, who again emphasized the magnitude of the problem – just matching 1% of global need requires 850,000 bd [barrels per day] of oil equivalent. He looked at certain one-liner phrases that had cropped up over the day. “Willful human blindness” was one of the more memorable …”

    “Willful human delusion” is more like it (accurate).

    Meanwhile, I continue to concur with Oscar Wilde, “The sole basis of optimism is sheer terror.” (hence religion)

  • September 29, 2008 at 12:54 pm
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    One upside Admin is that the Congress finally stood up to the crooks – maybe not for the right reason but who is complaining?

    In essence, the taxpayer told the banks holding the economy for ransom to go fuck themselves.

    Now that we’ve called their bluff, time to see what happens.

    One odd thing is that the price of all is falling quickly. This is the piece of the puzzle I can’t understand unless futures are simply factoring in lower economic activity.

  • September 29, 2008 at 1:43 pm
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    Lonewolf,

    I’ve often believed, outside the U.K, EU support was soft, especially for U.S. imperialism. Expect the EU to adopt a more neutral stance should the U.S. attempt to confront Russia in the future.

    log

  • September 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm
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    Bill Mollison’s 1981 “Permaculture Design Course” available in pdf or html
    here – //nmag.soton.ac.uk/tf/permaculture/

    (good luck with that)

  • September 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm
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    Minus 777 on DOW. Wait ’til they see Peak Oil, this ain’t shit.

    MD

  • September 29, 2008 at 2:41 pm
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    In the finacial world what we’re seeing here is the process of many becoming few, like 2 or 3 maybe up to 5 that will rule over all that have the club number…

  • September 29, 2008 at 2:58 pm
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    Looks like those $10,000 minimum orders are going to be reality soon. Eat that Savinar.

  • September 29, 2008 at 5:08 pm
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    From the The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG

    Tax his land,
    Tax his wage,
    Tax his bed in which he lays.
    Tax his tractor,
    Tax his mule,

    Teach him taxes are the rule.

    Tax his cow,
    Tax his goat,
    Tax his pants,
    Tax his coat.Tax his ties,
    Tax his shirts,
    Tax his work,
    Tax his dirt.

    Tax his tobacco,
    Tax his drink,
    Tax him if he tries to think.

    Tax his booze,
    Tax his beers,
    If he cries,
    Tax his tears.

    Tax his bills,
    Tax his gas,
    Tax his notes,
    Tax his cash.

    Tax him good and let him know
    That after taxes, he has no dough.

    If he hollers,
    Tax him more,
    Tax him until heâ’s good and sore.

    Tax his coffin,
    Tax his grave,
    Tax the sod in which he lays.
    Put these words upon his tomb,
    ‘Taxes drove me to my doom!â’

    And when heâ’s gone,
    We wonâ’t relax,

    Weâ’ll still be after the inheritance TAX!

    Accounts Receivable Tax
    Building Permit Tax
    CDL License Tax
    Cigarette Tax
    Corporate Income Tax
    Dog License Tax
    Federal Income Tax
    Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
    Fishing License Tax
    Food License Tax
    Fuel Permit Tax
    Gasoline Tax
    Hunting License Tax
    Inheritance Tax
    Inventory Tax
    IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),
    IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),
    Liquor Tax,
    Luxury Tax,
    Marriage License Tax,
    Medicare Tax,
    Property Tax,
    Real Estate Tax,
    Service charge taxes,
    Social Security Tax,
    Road Usage Tax (Truckers),
    Sales Taxes,
    Recreational Vehicle Tax,
    School Tax,
    State Income Tax,
    State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),
    Telephone Federal Excise Tax,
    Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax,
    Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax,
    Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax,
    Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,
    Telephone State and Local Tax,
    Teleph one Usage Charge Tax,
    Utility Tax,
    Vehicle License Registration Tax,
    Vehicle Sales Tax,
    Watercraft Registration Tax,
    Well Permit Tax,
    Workers Compensation Tax.

    Not one of the above taxes existed 100 years ago,
    And our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
    We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened?

    Can you spell ‘politicians!â’
    And I still have to ‘press 1′ for English.

  • September 30, 2008 at 5:02 am
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    ThePrisoner: Property taxes did indeed exist 100 years ago. In fact, they date back to before the Roman Empire. Likewise, liquor taxes go back at least as far as the Whiskey Rebellion. But your point is sound all the same.

    Lonewolf: Yes, and all that Wyoming coal is nasty brown low energy density high pollutant sub-bituminous crap. All this talk of how America has hundreds of years of “clean coal” is unadulterated bull, as Dr. Heinberg has pointed out-
    http://www.richardheinberg.com/MuseLetter/194

    I’ve now had my PV system in for a couple of months now, and it’s time for a real-world report on the viability of this particular ‘alternative energy’.
    I believe(d) in PV, and elected to put my money where my mouth is, so this summer we had a 2000kW (nameplate) grid-tied system with Canadian (Day4 panels) and German (Fronius inverter) components put in. We live in the Deep South, where it is sunny and hot almost year round, a good location. and a southwest-facing metal roof.

    Total cost installed was $18k, a decent chunk of change, enough to buy a new small car. Financing was impossible (banks do not consider Alt energy a good investment, and borrowing against home equity is, well, you know…but they would loan me money to buy a new car, it turned out….talk about being clueless), so it came out of savings. I would suspect that given the negative savings rate, few Americans even have this much in the bank as “disposable”.

    My electric utility, a small non-profit coop, was a huge stumbling block, at first refusing even to follow state law on interconnect and net metering. Then they sought to charge me a surcharge each month for being their ‘competitor’ (yeah, right), producing some of my own power. Endless delays and meetings resulted.

    That said, actual output is roughly 7kW hours per day, or about 20% of our average annual consumption. Thus, to be “energy independent” would have required five times the initial outlay, cash on the barrel, way outside the realm of reality for all but the very wealthy. It is certainly outside the reach of us.
    Assuming electricity costs double in the next 30 years and a 30 year lifespan for the system (and ignoring tax credits and similar artificial subsidies), it will pay for itself sometime during year 32!!
    This is pretty much exactly where PV was in 1982 (the last time I analyzed it). So much for three decades of empty promises concerning technological breakthroughs and economy of scale.

    No, solar isn’t going to save 99.99% of humanity, and given Lonewolf’s similar real-world experience with micro-wind, alt energy isn’t actually viable except on a massive, non-distributed and heavily subsidized scale. The very kind of massive project America (and most of the West) will not have the economic resources for in the very near future.

  • September 30, 2008 at 10:59 am
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    fallout

    I’m not quite sure of what you are telling us. I am pretty sure you didn’t have 2,000,000 Watts of PV panels deployed. Perhaps, 20 x 100W panels? Please confirm.

    7kW hours per day sounds like pretty decent performance if you actually have 2,000 Watts of rated capacity, that being the equivalent of 3.5 hours of full on sun a day, which is very high for a stationary PV system (I’m assuming your system is stationary and not on a sun tracking device of some kind). “20% of our average annual consumption” suggests your average daily use is something like 35kW hours. At $.10 a kW hour (what is your typical rate?) that is only $3.50 for your electrical costs per day or $105 per month, which sounds pretty high in terms of kW hours per day. Did you do an electricity use audit before the installation, to find out what your biggest users of power were/are? The biggest users are usually things like electric ranges, electric heat, electrically heated clothes driers, multiple/old refridgerator/freezers etc. Oh, and air conditioning, since you live in the South.

    Very interesting findings. Please tell us more!

  • September 30, 2008 at 1:05 pm
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    Lonewolf’s hard lost experience is NOT remotely similar.

    Relative to 10 cents/kwh, my turdines ‘pay back’ NEVER.
    Manhattan Island will be dust well before that happens.

    Relative to $4 gasoline combusted in the most efficient generator made, ROI is approximately 450 years.

    To meet my 3 kwh/day load, I’d need about

  • September 30, 2008 at 1:11 pm
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    oops

    … about 600 of these turdines at my “Class 5” wind site at over $2000 each (with minimal wire runs and zero tower, storage or labor costs)

    That’s $1.2 Million outlay for 3 kWh/day CONNEDsumed or approaching $1 per minute of remaining ‘life expectancy’ (non crash scenario)

  • September 30, 2008 at 5:51 pm
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    Via: Roubini:
    “The next step of this panic could become the mother of all bank runs, i.e. a run on the trillion dollar plus of the cross border short-term interbank liabilities of the US banking and financial system as foreign banks as starting to worry about the safety of their liquid exposures to US financial institutions; such a silent cross border bank run has already started as foreign banks are worried about the solvency of US banks and are starting to reduce their exposure. And if this run accelerates – as it may now – a total meltdown of the US financial system could occur. We are thus now in a generalized panic mode and back to the risk of a systemic meltdown of the entire financial system.”

    CHECK

  • September 30, 2008 at 8:43 pm
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    A friend of mine tried to deposit a check in his business account and get some cash at Wells Fargo. They told him he cannot get cash for five days due to the current economic situation.

  • September 30, 2008 at 8:46 pm
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    Fallout11 and ThePrisoner:
    Even if/though property taxes existed 100 years ago, they surely must be proportionately higher now because my elderly mother told me on more than one occasion that when she was in the first few grades of school, approximately first through sixth, that she attended a one-room school house. She recalls periodically her mom telling her dad, “it’s about time to pay the teacher” and she knew in later years that the state provided the school house but that the parents (at least in farm territory) “paid the teacher”. They didn’t have all the useless bureaucrats padding school payrolls then, with many titles and few duties as now, but her dad lost the farm and they had to move to town. She had no recollection of her mom and dad “paying the teacher” after moving to the town school with many students in many classrooms.

    My husband did a little research about 5 years ago only to discover that the state pays a little over $10,000 to educate each student/per year in our school district. What do we get for the money? Mostly or nearly illiterate kids graduating, and those that can read, are basically mouthing the words with little or no comprehension.

    My solar powered tomato and pepper drying units are well seasoned,aged stainless steel cookie sheets sitting on a rock wall. Works good.

    For an experiment whose results probably won’t come forth for 6-12 months, I canned one jar of tomatoes in one of those old “zinc lid” canning jars. For those who have never seen one, the jar looks like a conventional canning jar, and is. The lid is three parts: the gray “zinc” lid, the white-milk-glass-looking liner that prevents the acid tomatoes from coming in contact with the metal lid, and the rubber ring. All parts are reusable repeatedly. The old timers call them zinc lids, but I do not know how much zinc is in them and in what percentage.

    I used the hot pack method, cooking tomatoes about 30-45 minutes, then canning them in boiling water bath for 30 minutes.
    The gray lid is more flexible than it looks. The central area becomes concave after being removed from the canner, but I didn’t hear it “ping” as modern jar lids do.
    Well, will have to wait months to see if canning like this works, although it must have in the past or they wouldn’t have used this method for so long. No doubt the state extensions began blaming this method for countless deaths so that industry could step in and save us all by manufacturing one-use lids, and few-use rims. Industry first.

  • October 1, 2008 at 4:38 am
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    Ah yes, a classic gaff, 2kW is what I meant.
    It is a stationary (roof mounted) system, and we supposedly get 5 hours of full sun per day (per the book), but we get some late afternoon/early evening shade (trees further back on the property).
    35kWhrs per month is well below the national average and almost half of what we were using at the old house, everything we have is already energy star rated or better, yada yada. Most usage is the usual culprits, 1-A/C, 2-hot water, 3-refrigeration. Local grid price is 10 cents a kWhr.
    I think my point was this- PV’s payback period still exceeds its rated lifespan, even at double grid prices. Also, for the average ‘Murkan (who is better off than 98% of the global populace), PV remains unaffordable. Alt. energy isn’t going to save us.

  • October 1, 2008 at 6:28 am
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    I guess, like our forefathers, the best option is to live without electricity and oil; like that will be an option in a few years!

    Fallout11 and Lonewolf, thanks for the replies.

  • October 1, 2008 at 7:25 am
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    Amazon deforestation rises dramatically. //iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/29/news/LT-Brazil-Amazon-Destruction.php

    “Amazon destruction jumped 228 percent in August when compared to the same month a year ago, according to a report from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research. Some 756 square kilometers (292 square miles) of Amazon was destroyed last month…”

    IF all of this former forest had been converted into paper, it probably still wouldn’t be enough to print all the Trillion$ ‘created out of thin air’ by the Private Greed Asylum just during the past month (at a rate of nearly $200 Billion/DAY) [please, no one tell me that fiat-fiction currency isn’t printed on wood pulp]. Each and every tree, bush, fern, vine, and saprophyte has (correction, had) more intrinsic value to life on this planet than all the greed whores of Manhattan, London, Zurich and Hong Kong, individually and/or combined. Come to think of it, each leech, slug and mold spore would have ‘a big leg up’ on the biped viruses in the benefit to life department. OTOH, the faster we finish killing off the remaining forests, oceans, flora and fauna, the faster we go extinction. What a way to go – eyes wide shut.

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