American made

American Motors (automobiles)

American Standard (plumbing fixtures)

American Idol (television show)

(Processed) American cheese (sic)

Enough said?

Comments 25

  • How true.

    The right-wing,chauvinistic,jingoistic crazies on the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board also get it—they cannot say so because
    it would go against their economic self interest.

    Frank Mezek

  • ‘Aussie made’

    Guy, this may be of interest,
    I failed to mention in my last post.
    This winter I will be making some knives from old files
    and saw blades (you can also use leaf springs from old cars
    – high carbon content hardened steel).
    The metal will be decarbonized in the
    wood stove, allowed to cool slowly, shaped into paring
    knives etc, then re-tempered, annealed and then finished off.
    The handles will be made from ‘Black Sheoke’ that I have preserved.
    My son wants me to make him a camp/scandi/skinning knife.

    Amazon has some great resources – a book by David Boye is particularly good.

    BTW – Chris Martenson recently suggested that the current state of
    the economy could limp along for another decade – ie no ‘collapse’.
    Quite a ‘confession’. As I have suggested before capitalism is pretty
    slippery, it may be a ‘zombie’/credit (illusory) economy,
    but it appears to still have some legs.

  • I checked the other side of the coin and found: American artisans and craftsmen/craftswomen; American ingenuity and creativity; American spirit, bruised as it may be but still alive to hopefully make a return as a great comeback kid.

    Chris Martenson has done excellent work to educate us on actual events behind the crashing economy. I bite down a bit by stating that with his consultation rate of $500 per hour, Mr. Martenson may find a longer lasting slide acceptable all the way to his local banks.

    Would that then be the American spirit of entrepreneurship?

    Maggie D.

  • MD

    Agreed! I was going to say something similar regarding CM.
    No doubt his subscribers might feel the urge to ‘bail’
    if there is no end in sight!

  • Certainly, as an American I continue to run from doom. But, alas Ecology… Pandora…

    Disclaimer: My points are not, shall we say, politically correct or generally acceptable to the general flinty-eyed economist.

    American attention span
    (Anyone with an iphone does not pay undivided attention to anything)

    American girth measurement (plumbing fixtures)

    American smile/vision (especially pre-orthodontia/optometry)

    American health-care plan (pre-health process)

    Can the growth in Obama-care spending fuel economic growth? (Wheeled vehicle prior to equine, no?)

    Are we not less competitive every single day because we undermine natural selection by allowing anybody to procreate with anyone they choose, or by allowing any business to exist? Then we force society to bear the cost. At that point the argument sounds sort of reminiscent of Hitler, or maybe Stalin, but take your pick. Darwin was not entirely off base.

    So yes, say more. Do we dare regulate populations/businesses for the conservation of our species, or even our behavior for the success or our enterprises? It is acceptable to bankrupt your competitor or blow up your mine, unless you offend someone of stature. We think that regulation is important for being able to shoot ducks and deer on a regular basis. What about for having babies in a ‘sustainable’ way? I am certainly aware of a general instinct to become a bubbleman, perhaps even an octo-iphoned-bulbouscreature.

  • gee wiz ‘latherman’

    I feel like I need an ‘international translator’
    to understand your prose. What are you on about?
    We only speak english over here.

  • I don’t agree with Chris Martenson about this prediction. The all-liquids peak passed in July 2008 at 86.6 million bpd, and 2009 saw extraction of 84.2 million bpd. The IEA is predicting demand will hit 86.6 million bpd this year. We saw what happened in 2008 when demand exceeded supply. The industrial economy is far more fragile this time.

  • I also think the economy will remain fragile as warming ice, although this is becoming buried by a cheerfully misplaced celebration of consumer spending and over-analysis of minuscule shifts in usual markers. What have we learned? I hope we stay fueled by the sinking experience we’ve lived, and continue to strive for deep, meaningful change.

    It’s important to differentiate between fundamental American values and the side effects of a culture that does not “feed” its people, as I stare down at my own spare tire. In many discussion circles, bursting emphasis on obese people is a form of scapegoating and appears more related to anger than actual waist circumference.

    In the end, I suppose we are individually responsible for where we focus our attention and how we respond to whatever hooks us in. Still, I’ve begun to wonder if the meaning of community revolves on answering: Who do we serve?


  • Dr. McPherson — I apologize for not asking earlier, and how do we know where to look for solid data to help us understand an issue more clearly? How do we decipher this data (perhaps more a question to those posting the actual data?!) What questions can we ask ourselves that aid us in determining if what is being stated is more likely to take place and impact society and our lives than something else altogether?

    Even without a scientific background, what steps can we take to become more discerning analysts of opinions and predictions?

    Can you please help us mainstream junior buckaroos refine our thinking with the help of the scientific perspective?

    While you do this naturally, what is your internal analytic process like? Can you please slow it down and describe it for us?!


  • Marguerite Daisy, that’s a fine set of questions. The short answer is found at the Excel files here (1.4 is all liquids, 1.1d is the all-important crude plus condensate plus — effective January 2008, in a further governmental attempt to mislead us about the data — tar sands). The long answer will have to wait until I have time to think about, then write about, your questions.

  • Marguerite’s questions about how to know what’s true, whom to trust, and how to extrapolate historical trends into the future go to the heart of the bigger question, what do we do now? There are so many competing opinions, agendas, claims to authority, and sheer manipulation that one could focus solely on sorting out such issues and still be confused about what to believe. And until the future happens, no one knows for certain which scenario is most accurate — which even then is subject to potential reversal and reinterpretation. The modern plight (perhaps one among many) is that we face too much information, not too little. Any thinking individual must weigh carefully a large body of information, but the eventual path chosen still feels like an act of faith. Nonthinking individuals are free to believe what they want, free to be manipulated by the media, free to go with the flow, free to live stupid, unsatisfying lives of shallow values and easy virtue. But they’re also free of most of the torments I, for one, face.

  • Now it can be told !!!

    ProfEmGuy has a younger brother, who’s nom de plume is Christopher Steiner.

    You’ll want to read his book,just out:”20 per Gallon:How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better”

    Brutus:please tell us the torments you face.

    Frank Mezek

  • —————–so how can one keep up ??

    First it was Rubin’s $7 gas–now Steiner’s $20 Per Gallon.

    Won’t the revolution start at $7 ??

    Frank Mezek

  • It is true that there is much, too much information to consider, which is why many of us seek the comforting company of serious thinkers with a reflective nature and conscientious perspective.

    When an eventual path is chosen, the one that still feels like a leap of faith, I offer that there can possibly be intangible inspiration behind a selection that goes beyond the synthesis of all the details someone has absorbed on a subject. Something true and pure to the nature of our human heart, perhaps.

    Considering the severity of our predicaments, we understand how excruciatingly hard it is to know what is the right path to take and at the right time.

    At times, torment can be diminished when one shares its burden.


  • It seems to me that we have arrived here together to discuss current events in reflective, and cultural contexts. CNN et al. fail there.

    The first rule thingy of permaculture is to stack functions. That works for words too, unless you end up saying very little with much elaboration. Apologies. However, a brick wall still serves a function?

    We all ask about what to do next. And there are the sideways jokes too.
    Each word has a meaning.

    A farm is a place for production of food.

    “Food-producing gardens are distinguished from farms by their smaller scale, more labor-intensive methods, and their purpose (enjoyment of a hobby rather than produce for sale).”

    A farm reaches out to others and helps them. This post, not so much.
    However, a brick wall still serves a function?

    Somehow the helping and independent elements got all backwards, but I am still compelled to feed the buggers, mate.

  • Each word does have meaning, and if mine are too many with too little content for your taste, bubbleguy, I can take that on the chins, no problem.

    This post is fine by me, though, and a brick wall is not the end of the bus line where everybody gets off and goes home. Along those lines, Brutus talks about reaching an impasse over what comes next, and I hold the deep belief that we have only explored a small percentage of association and collaboration across our planet that we must and can achieve. A level of courageous and civil contacting and inviting mode that either overcomes long-standing perceived barriers or brings out new and unparalleled possibilities with matching *action* steps.

    Yes, sirriebob, a type of involvement that challenges us all in setting aside our personal dogmas, and finally tone down our egos that I know are getting pretty weary by now.

    We’re beat and we’re beat up. We are not, however, defeated.

    If we have hit a brick wall, it may be the one where we cease to finally dissect a maddening level of details about this article and about so-and-so’s opinion, and roll up our collective sleeves above the elbows to do what has to be done.

    Together across the globe.


    If you don’t know who to associate with or how to go about it. Let me know and I’ll go to bat for you.

    Before natures bats last.

    Marguerite Daisy

    P.S. That goes for you too, Doc. Some American-made rock & roll.

  • My torments? I have so many. I’m bugged that modern society is corrupt to its core and fosters a learned helplessness that bind us all. I’m bothered that we’re rewarded for many of same behaviors for which we’re reviled. (At what point does a captain of industry become a robber baron? When is a sports hero merely a thug?) I’m upset that despite seeing through the false allure of commodity culture I still want things I don’t need. I’m really angry that my government sees fit to wage war unnecessarily, including heinous killing and torture of civilians and soldiers alike for which no one is accountable. But most of all, I’m tormented by the knowledge of our ongoing destruction of the natural world and the foreknowledge of an inevitable collapse into austerity and anarchy where widespread suffering, death, and extinction proceed by our own hand. There is little doubt that we embarked on this trajectory hundreds of years ago in the West, but understanding that the roots our philosophy of instrumental reality are found in the brutal doctrines of domination and manifest destiny developed by a host of Enlightenment thinkers gives me little comfort since I’ve had little choice but to participate.

  • Guy,

    Did you know that when you buy an American Standard toilet there is nothing on the packing materials to indicate where it is made? Finally, after setting it up, I discovered that our new purchase was made in Mexico. I do think that American Motors autos were made in the US, of course that’s why the company died. Please don’t tell me that American cheese is made in Italy.

    Michael Irving

  • I think we are pretty safe with the cheese, Michael… Italians would not eat it. :) But then, who knows. Maybe it’s “cheaper” to make it in Italy and schlep it here. (roll-eye)

    When I lived in SC five years ago, I asked the peanut vendor where his peanuts came from… I figured local or Georgia. He said no, the cheapest ones on sale that morning were from NM. Now how the heck do you make NM peanuts cheaper in SC than local? Everything is topsy turvy and the lies never quit.

    Maybe this year, peanuts from Argentina or China are the “cheapest.” Nuts.

  • America’s New Natural Gas

    Hi Guy — Have you seen any television commercials advertising “The New Natural Gas”? There is a website at which states (I believe this part) that 97% of the gas used in North America is recovered in North America. It also states that new gas discoveries offer 100 years of supply and various statistics about the cleanness of the fuel as compared with coal, etc.

    But what is the real cost of the new natural gas? I am thinking about pitching an article on this question to the High Country News at the suggestion of my colleagues at the Western Watersheds Project.

    For instance, what about the effects of gas exploration on imperiled species throughout the Western US, such as sage grouse? What about the pumping of millions of gallons of underground water onto the desert floor, much of which is brackish if not toxic to native vegetation and thus despised by the local ranchers? What about the process of fracturing rocks by high pressure fluids of unknown toxicity to force gas from shale formations, and possibly putting potable, domestic water sources at risk of pollution?

    And are the savings in greenhouse gases compared to coal adequate to reverse global warming? Don’t we need to wean ourselves from all hydrocarbon burning in the short term to avoid the worst consequences of global warming?

    Any thoughts or references you might have on these or related questions would be much appreciated.

    Stan Moore

  • Stan, a few years back there were articles in the Durango paper about the town of Cortez… apparently the whole town was exposed on an ongoing basis to high decibel noise from the natural gas operations, and they were getting nowhere with the complaints. As I understood it, they were talking about the whole ground rumbling. Nowhere to get away to.

  • Stan Moore, I have not seen the commercials — I don’t watch television. Natural gas is quite difficult to transport, so I agree that nearly all we use is extracted from this continent. It’s also much cleaner than coal, and a little cleaner than oil. But it still emits considerable carbon into the atmosphere, and it’s hardly a panacea (most automobiles would need oil-intensive retrofits to use natural gas as a transport fuel, for example). And the costs are high, as I’m sure a quick perusal of the literature will reveal (they’re treated as externalities, of course).

    I have no idea how much is “left” but the amount does not consider the concept of peaking. There is about a 200-year supply of coal, but Richard Heinberg says we’ll hit peak coal within a decade or so. And then there’s all that oil we need to access all other energy sources, including natural gas.

    My two cents, doubtless overpriced.

  • Stan Moore, forget what I said about natural gas being cleaner than coal and oil. An article in today’s news indicates the impact of natural gas on global climate change might be worse than that of coal.

  • “97% of the gas used in North America is recovered in North America.”

    Ha. “recovered” is such a touchy-feely, vaguely-sustainable word. Makes it sound like it was lost, and we just found it. We can just go on “recovering” it forever, no?

    What it doesn’t say is that there are still national borders in North America, and that natgas production is in free-fall in the US, and that Canada and Mexico export more natgas to the US than they use, and that NAFTA dictates that they must continue to do so, even if they don’t have enough for their domestic markets. Hardly seems fair that we Canadians may run out of natgas while exporting it to the US does it? And people who subsisted on potatoes starved while Ireland exported grain to England…

    Check out Julian Darley’s work on natgas. It’s extraction curve more resembles a rectangle than a smooth normal curve. One day, you have it, the next day, it gives out.

    Back on topic: I’ve given up on the part of North America called the US. I think Canada has perhaps ten or twenty good years before the invasion.