Wednesday, August 28, 2013

iPhone 4 shot somewhere deep in Bisti Wilderness area...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Conserve water now before we have none to conserve!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sunset on the way to Torrey, Utah

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Posted For Fair Use And Discussion.****-nati...where-to-hide/

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
By James Howard Kunstler

The Federal Reserve answers only to God, but Ben Bernanke’s must not have known that his boss was such a prankster. All of a sudden here is the interest rate of 10-year Treasury paper rising like an angry carbuncle on Ben’s pale tuchus just when he thought he could sit back and watch the mud wrestling contest between Larry Summers and Janet Yellen.

Poor Ben, sedulous student of the Great Depression, who didn’t notice that the country had changed from a nation of farmers and factory workers to a nation of pole dancers and waiters, now awaits his sublime moment of Hooverization. Like poor President Hoover, he gets to hang around the pilot house half a year after he runs the garbage barge of US finance aground on the shoals of wishful thinking and accounting fraud.

Everyone who has to pay attention to the order of things in the universe — meaning those not stewed on crank or drank, or waiting on line for a SNAP card, or leafing through the tattoo catalog, or waiting for a Kim Kardashian gangbang guest shot on Duck Dynasty, or lost in the alt reality of their cell phone — is suddenly very nervous about the order of things in this little corner of the universe. Sag Harbor is starting to live up to its name and down along the Hamptons the tide has gone out to feed a Tsunami of margin calls that soon will give the phrase “under water” a whole new life in the twisted mythology of capital. The immortal Bill Gross even sent out an SOS on Twitter at the end of the week. No wonder folks have got the heebie-jeebies.

The fear is that the central banks have finally lost control of a situation that they have only pretended to control since 2007, when the grotesque racket of mortgage re-bundling caused a psychotic break in the banking system. The prescribed therapy for that was half a decade of ZIRP and maxing out the national credit card. The ugly truth now emerging through this fog of psychosis is that the bond market probably can’t be saved, and without it all other paper markets are toast, including the stock markets and very possibly the entire fiat currency system.

In the background, of course, is the energy melodrama. How can anybody with half a brain suppose that the late turbo-industrial economy could “recover” with oil priced at $107 a barrel? Anyway, all the “recovery” memes floating around the collective media zeitgeist are based on a handful of doctored and massaged GDP numbers universally known to be false. In short, the USA can’t run the current setup on oil over $100 a barrel and has been trying to compensate for that basic fact by lending itself money. So has virtually every other advanced economy, and now they are all in trouble so there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide — and for us, nowhere to export our financial quandaries to.

Japan is the most interesting corpse in the pathology lab. It shot its wad twenty years ago and has been self-cannibalizing ever since. It has no oil or gas of its own, and now it has a runaway nuclear meltdown that is getting only slightly less attention than its financial meltdown. I used to think that Japan had no choice except to go medieval. Now I wonder if there will be anything there in ten years but a depopulated archipelago of steaming radioactive kelp. They can’t possibly buy more US treasury paper and must desperately need to dump their accumulated holdings, and when they do they will start a financial chain reaction that will flense the pretense of value from all the world’s sovereign debt paper. It may already be happening.

If you prepare for anything, prepare for a world without financial pretense. Credibility is caught in that riptide developing off the Hamptons. When the water goes out, all you will see is ugly things wriggling in the mud, and when the water comes rushing back in again, all you will see is a spectacle of drowning bankers. The only higher ground to go to will be your local community, if you have one, and even there it will be a struggle to make sense of what has happened to the world.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rock erosion near Canyonlands National Park Utah, Canon 5DMkII with 12-24mm lens...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

iPhone 4 shot in Bisti...
For years I had heard that getting a good picture of Shiprock was not really possible, there were major obstacles to you had to shoot it from the highway or you couldn't get permission from the tribal nations to get close...well a nice person at a gas station in Farmington made all those arguments mute...told me how to get there...thanks to that person bigtime!!...


Monday, August 12, 2013

Bryce Canyon

In the Valleys of Blog
by James Howard Kunstler
     The psycho-historians must be having a field day with all the “taper” chatter fogging the valleys of Blog. The topic certainly presents a sticky hairball of a compound dilemma to anyone who cares about the fate of the nation. If the Federal Reserve tapers its monthly purchase of US Treasury debt paper plus a nearly equal amount of dodgy mortgage foam frothed up by Washington’s housing bubble machine… well, then, the equity markets will tank, or so the theory goes. If they don’t taper, they’ll permanently disable the function of the financial markets, and possibly blow up the global currency system.
     Of course, they recently demonstrated that tapering itself is not necessary to move the markets; a rumor of tapering will get the job done.  But that’s a theory for the moment, too, because by so doing the markets may have already priced-in any actual taper to follow.  Meaning that such taper talk probably won’t work very well in repeat applications.
    Outside the fetid terrarium where US economists live, like skinks kept as pets by bankers, other forces are in motion. For instance, there’s the non-theoretical, non-financial economy, which is now apparently based on the trade in tattoos, and the journey by automobile from the nearly foreclosed home to the tattoo studio, and to the hamburgers, pizzas, and fried chicken thighs consumed on each end of the journey. Judging from the sheer number of tattoos-per-capita, one might think that a certain tattoo saturation point had been reached in this country, unless the market can be expanded, say, to maternity wards where newborns can get full “sleeve” and neck jobs on Medicaid.
     Over in Europe, the members of the EU are being eaten alive by a carnivorous sub-species of giant financial hairball, and another theory says that whatever “money” can get out of there (while the getting is good) will flood into the USA, and more specifically into those very equity markets spooked by the chatter of tapering QE. Perhaps Fed officials (and their pet skinks) are hoping that some of that “money” will sop up whatever US Treasury paper the Fed tapers off buying. (After all, who else would buy the stuff ?) That would only be plausible, though, if the interest rates went up, which they might anyway. But if they do they would turn around and bite the US Department of the Treasury on its fat butt by increasing the percent of government spending needed to pay interest on debt to a level that would effectively put the government out of business — in which case we’d be in the grips of the same carnivorous hairball that’s eating Europe, and then all that “money” would have to find yet another continent to flee to. You see how complicated it gets? This is giving me the vapors. Anyway, those interest rates on US Treasury paper would have to go up a fat lot to compete with the allure of an equity market frothing toward the 20,000 hash-mark.
     Personally, I would not encumber my view of things-to-come in such a rococo maze of theoretical conjecture. Rather, I would settle for the simpler diagnosis that we’re just flat fucked, having made all the wrong choices on just about everything for a very long time. Speaking of wrong choices, the smartest money in the betting pool for the next Fed chair pick shifted strangely last week to the lugubrious figure of Lawrence Summers, who was the longest of long-shots just a week before. This is the same Lawrence Summers lately on the payroll of CitiGroup and other institutions utterly dependent on Federal Reserve policy. They had to find a revolving door big enough for King Kong to push Larry through. This is the same Larry Summers who remarked not long ago that Quantitative Easing was not an effective way to stimulate the economy. Apparently he did not notice that QE is wonderfully effective for juicing the tattoo economy because it produces vast new quantities of citizens who perceive themselves to be losers.
            Mr. Summers will be entering the scene the way Vincent Price used to enter a Hammer Studio horror film — reliably delivering some deadly unpleasantness. I don’t think a more perfect figure might be found for piloting the garbage barge of American finance over a Niagara Falls of consequence..

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Politics is everywhere!  This was on a pretty deserted hwy heading down to Canyonlands from Capital Reef National Monument...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

just outside of Canyonlands National Park...


Up in Zion National Park...

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Up in Arches National Park in Utah...

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Three Amigos in the Malpais...we had an epic time on our adventure!

Arches National Park

The Dreadful Summer Wind

by James Howard Kunstler
   The world is swiftly moving to the dangerous place where nations won’t be able to do business with each other because they don’t trust the institutions that control wealth, which includes central banks, commercial banks, and governments. It will happen when the purveyors of international commodities, oil especially, refuse to accept the letters of credit issued by untrustworthy intermediaries. And when that dark moment arrives, nations will throw tantrums. The USA may be the loudest baby in the playpen.
     The USA is veering into a psychological space not unlike the wilderness-of-mind that Germany found itself in back in the early 20th century: the deep woods of paranoia where our own failures will be projected onto the motives of others who mean to do us harm. Of course, even paranoiacs have enemies. There are quite a few others who would like to harm the USA, at least to bamboozle and paralyze us, to push back against our influence on their culture and economies. But the tendency here will be to magnify the supposed insults while ignoring our own suicidal behavior.
     Historians will remark that it was a beautiful August with bright days and cool nights for sleeping, and the Hamptons were ablaze with self-satisfied egos, and that nobody was paying attention to all the mischief that was set in motion the previous spring, not to mention the many seasons of bad behavior that preceded it. And when they returned from vacation, lo, the world was in crisis. What a surprise.
     The USA cannot come to terms with the salient facts staring us in the face: that we can’t run things as we’ve set them up to run. We refuse to take the obvious actions to set things up differently. Instead, we’ve tried to offset the accelerating losses of running our unrunable stuff with accounting fraud, aimed at pretending that everything still works. But the accounting fraud has only accelerated the gathering disorder in the banking system. That disorder has infected our currency and the infection is spreading to all currencies. What a surprise that the first pandemic to strike an overstressed global immune system was not bird flu after all, but a sickness of money.
     Near the center of that money sickness was the blitzkrieg against gold and silver in the spring, when arrant serial selling dumps were executed against the money metals to un-money them. The net result was only that a lot of that ancient money flowed from the places pretending it was valueless to the places that never adopted that pretense. At stake in that rather massive movement was the supposed value of the other stuff that pretended to hold value, namely sovereign bonds, and especially the treasury paper issued by the USA. After all, US Treasury bonds and notes were, in the eyes of bankers, the functional equivalent of cash-in-hand. Alas, the world was starting to choke on it — not least the US central bank itself, which had been gorging at the monthly auction buffet for years and was now stuffed to the gills. In fact, it had grown too fat to even leave the room where the buffet had been set up.
     Anyway you look at it, there is no escape from the looming crisis of confidence. The “primary dealer” banks and commodity exchanges behind the spring gold smash are out of tricks and out of gold to play tricks with. Their partner, the US Government has two tricks left: confiscation of gold in private hands a la Franklin Roosevelt’s ploy of 1933, or punitive taxes on private sales of gold. What worked in 1933 might not go over so well now, in a land full of preppers armed to the teeth and long-simmered in gall. It brings to mind the bumper-sticker about prying things from people’s cold dead hands. As for the tax gambit, I venture to say that many holders of gold hold it in expectation that there may shortly be no effective government left to depend on to do the wrong thing. Meanwhile, over in the land of paper wealth, the interest rate on the 10-year US Treasury bond clicks up a basis-point here, a basis-point there, like a remorselessly rising sea level. It won’t take many more clicks to put, for instance, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under water.

     I felt sorry for President Obama, going about the country trying to appear historically heroic without doing a damn thing, really, to face down to the monsters in our own midst. But then one hears the rumor of Larry Summers’ imminent appointment to chair the Fed, and it is no longer possible to feel sorry for Obama, but rather to feel sorry for the nation laboring under such a conclave of would-be wizards.
     I just don’t see how the world financial system doesn’t blow up this fall, when the digested remains of the last miso-glazed oyster tidbit passes through the cloacal fundament of the prettiest girl in Sag Harbor. When it does blow, at least the NSA will have its prepared “to-do” list, and then perhaps all the unemployed can be enlisted at $8 an hour to harass the rest of the people trying to go about their daily lives. The roar you hear in the distance this September will be the sound of banks crashing, followed by the silence of business-as-usual grinding to a halt. After that, the crackle of gunfire.

Bisti Wilderness area, New Mexico