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Dear Aspiring Writers: The Worst Advice You'llEver Read

A Literary Look at
I-State Lines

Spirited Away: Decay and Renewal

An American Poem
(Robinson Jeffers)

Taoist Chinese Poems

The Nelson Touch

"It's all about oil, isn't it?"

Kurosawa's High and Low

A Bountiful Mutiny

Trois Colours: Red

The Thin Man: Thoroughly Modern Movies

Iranian Films: The Mirror

A Real Pirate Movie: Captain Blood

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Recommended Books

American Identity

American Identity Literary Contest Winners, 2006
(fiction and essays)

Hapas: The New America

Can You Tell What I am? Part I


Your Tattoo in 50 Years

The American House and Frank Lloyd Wright

Cultural Commentaries
On Hatred and Anti-Americanism


Germany: We All Have Problems, But...

Kroika! Chronicles

This Blog Sells Out

Doom and Gloom Sells

The Kroika Mascot-"Auspicious Pet"

Wal-Mart and Kroika

Kroika and Starsbuck Take a Hit

Kroika Ad 1

Kroika Ad 2

Kroika Ad 3

Kroika Ad 4

Kroika Makes Bid for Oreo (April 1)

Unfolding Crises: Asia
China: An Interim Report

Shanghai Postcard 2004

Corruption and Avian Flu: China's Dynamic Duo

Exporting the Real Estate Bubble to China

Is the Bloom Off the China Rose?

China Irony: Steel, Marx & Capital

Curing The U.S. and China's Dysfunctional Relationship

China and U.S. Inflation

Trade with China: Making Out Like a Bandit

Will the Housing Bust Take Down China?

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Battle for the Soul
of America

Katrina, Vietnam, Iraq: National Purpose, National Sacrifice

Is This a Nation at War?

A Nation in Denial

That Price Isn't Cheap, It's Subsidized

The Most Hated Company in America

American Dream or American Nightmare?

Obesity and Debt

Immigration Ironies

U.S. Healthcare: Working Toward a Real Solution

A Drug Industry Running Amok

Where There Is Ruin

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Financial Meltdown Watch
What This Country Needs Is a... Good Recession

Are We Entering the Next Age of Turmoil?

Why Inflation Appears Low

Doubling Down on 5-Card No-See-Um

A Rickety Global House of Cards

Unprecedented Risk 2

Could One Rogue Trader Bring Down the Market?

Worried about Inflation? Stop Measuring It

Huge Deficits and Huge Profits: Coincidence?>

Three Snapshots of the U.S. Economy

Comparing Nasdaq to Depression-Era Dow

Derivatives: Wall Street Fiddles, Rome Smolders

Financial Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Is the Stock Market on the Same Planet as the Economy?

The Housing-Recession-Oil-Healthcare Connection

Could We Have Deflation and Inflation At the Same Time?

Bankruptcy U.S.A.: Medicare, Greed and Collapse

A Whiff of Apocalypse

Where There Is Ruin II: Social Security

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Planetary Meltdown Watch
The Immensity of Global Warming

Housing Bubble Watch

Charting Unaffordability

A Monster of a Housing Bubble

Hidden Costs of the Housing Bubble

Housing Bubble? What Bubble?

Housing Bubble II

Housing Bubble III: Pop!

Housing Market Demographics

Housing: Catching the Falling Knife

Five Stages of the Housing Bubble

Derailing the Property Tax Gravy Train

Bubbling Property Taxes

Have You Checked Your Property Taxes Recently?

Housing Bubble: Where's the Bottom?

Housing Bubble: Bottom II

The Coming Foreclosure Nightmare 1

How Many Foreclosures Will Hit the Market?

Housing Wealth Effect Shifts Into Reverse

Housing Bubble Bust Will Take Down the Global Economy

The New Road to Serfdom: A Negative-Equity Mortgage

The Housing-Savings-Recession Connection

After the Bubble: How Low Will It Go?

After the Bubble: Rents and Housing Values

Why Post-Bubble Rents Matter

After the Bubble: How Low Will We Go, Part II

Housing: 10% Decline May Trigger Financial Ruin

How to Buy a $450K Home for $750K

The Growing Financial Risks of the Housing Bubble

Construction Defects: The Flood to Come?

Construction Defects
Part II

Who Gets Hammered in the 2007 Housing Bust

Real Estate Bust: The Exhaustion of Debt

What Happens When Housing Employment Plummets?

One More Hole in the Housing Bubble: Insurance

Welcome to Fantasyland: Housing's "Soft Landing"

Why Is the Median House Price Still Rising?

Why Median Prices Appear to be Rising?

The Root Cause of the Housing Bubble

Housing Dominoes Fall

Twilight for Exurbia?

Phase Transitions, Symmetry and Post-Bubble Declines

Housing's Stairstep Descent

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Oil/Energy Crises

Whither Oil?

How much Is a Gallon of Gas Worth?

The End of Cheap Oil

The C.I.A., Oil and the Wisdom of Crowds

The Flutter of a Butterfly's Wings?

A One-Two Punch to a Glass Jaw

Running Out Of Oil vs. Running Out of Cheap Oil

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Outside the Box
How to Make a Favicon
Asian Emoticons

In Memoriam: Winky Cosmos

The Wheeled Vagabonds

Light-As-Air Pancake Recipe

In a Humorous Vein
If Only Writers Had Uniforms

Opening the Kimono

Happiness for Sale: Jank Coffee

Ten Guaranteed Predictions for 2010

Why My Book Is Better Than the DaVinci Code

My Brand Management Stinks

Design Follies

The New Jank Coffee Shop

Jank Coffee, Upscale Tropic Style

One-Word Titles



Keys to Affordable Housing

U.S. Conservation & China
Steve Toma, Me & Skil 77s: 30 years of Labor

Real Science in the Bolivian Forest

Deforestation and Sustainable Forestry

The Solar Economy (book)

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Health, Wealth & Demographics

Beauty of the Augmented (Korean) Kind

Demographics and War

The Healthiest Cold Cereal: Surprise!

900 Miles to the Gallon

Are Our Cities Making Us Fat?

Is Obesity an Inflammatory Response?

Demographics & National Bankruptcy

The Decline of Europe: A Demographic Done Deal?

Are the Risks of Obesity Overstated?

Healthcare: Unaffordable Everywhere

Medication Nation

The New Disease We Just Know You've Got

Can You Can Tell Which Pill Is Fake?

Bankruptcy U.S.A.: Medicare, Greed and Collapse

The 10 Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Selling the Landscape

The Downside of Density

Building Heights and Arboral Roots

Terroir: France & California

L.A.: It's About Cheap Oil
The Last Redwood

Waimea Canyon, Yosemite, Camping & Pancakes

The French Village Bakery

What Is Happiness?

Our Education System: a Factory Metaphor?

Understanding Globalization: Braudel

Can You Create Creativity?

Do Average People Know More Than Their Leaders?

Iraqi Guangxi

Splogs, Blogs and "News"

"There is no alternative to being yourself"

Is There a Cycle to War?

Leisure, Time and Valentines

Is the Web a Giant Copy Machine?

Science Matters
Anti-Missile Defense: Boost Phase Vulnerability

The Strolling Bones: Rock of Ages

Bad Karma: Election Fraud 1960

Hiroshima: First Use

All the Tea in China, All the Ginseng in America

Friday Quiz

Pet Obesity

Human Diseases

Wine and Alzheimers

Biggest Consumers of Chocolate

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Essential Books

The Misbehavior of Markets

Boiling Point (Global Warming)

Our Stolen Future: How We Are Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival

How We Know What Isn't So

Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future

The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future

The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

The Future of Life

Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak

The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies

Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy

The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future

The Dollar Crisis: Causes, Consequences, Cures

Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Revised and Updated.

The Fourth Turning

Recommended Books

More book reviews


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What's New, 2/03 - 5/05

February 2008 Archive

Readers Commentaries
(February 27, 2008)

2009: Revenge of the Debt Junkies
(February 26, 2008)

Pushers, Lenders and Debt Junkies
(February 25, 2008)

What The Public Knows
(February 21, 2008)

Are Americans Inherently Anti-Intellectual?
(February 20, 2008)

Hyperinflation or Deflation?
(February 19, 2008)

Is the Market About to Crash?
(February 18, 2008)

Saturday Quiz: 19th Century French Author
(February 16, 2008)

Ethics: a Non-Issue in America
(February 15, 2008)

A Systemic Waste of Taxpayer Treasure
(February 14, 2008)

System Instability, Redundancy and the Domino Effect
(February 13, 2008)

Greed, Fraud and Duplicity: How the Housing/Lending Bubble Inflated
(February 12, 2008)

Advice and Predictions
(February 11, 2008)

Saturday Quizand More on the Mis-Use of Psychotropic Drugs
(February 9, 2008)

One Reader's Account of Psychiatry and Drugs
(February 8, 2008)

Why I Hope Hillary Is Not The Democratic Candidate for President
(February 7, 2008)

The Drugs Which Drive You Crazy
(February 6, 2008)

Media Meltdown: Unreporting the Housing Bubble
(February 5, 2008)

American Empire III: Imperial War and Guilt
(February 4, 2008)

American Empire II: What Constitutes a 21st Century Empire?
(February 1, 2008)

To view January entries, go to weblog January 2008.


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Heroes and Heroines of New Media--2008

Financial contributors who have made multiple donations to this modest site or a donation of$50 or more this year. If such a generous madness strikes you, I offer you a small token of my appreciation:a signed copy of my novel I-State Lines. Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement.

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Somesh G.     

Our Financial Contributors--2008

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I would be honored if you link any essay to your website, print a copy for your ownuse or add my RSS or Atom feed. And of course I appreciate your recommendations of this weblog and your

The URL to add to your reader:


or if neither of those work, try

These RSS feeds go to my mirror site atoftwominds on blogspot. To view all the features of the main site, you must still visit


wEssay noun, combination of 'web' and 'essay,' denoting a short online essay which exploits the hyperlinks, interfaces and interactive capabilities of the World Wide Web; coined by Charles Hugh Smith on May 1, 2005, in Berkeley California.

Aphorisms I like:

"Economic history is a never-ending series of episodes based on falsehoods and lies, not truths. It represents the path to big money. The object is to recognize the trend whose premise is false, ride that trend, and step off before it is discredited." (George Soros)

"The way of the Tao is reversal." (Lao Tzu)

"Chance favours the prepared mind. (Louis Pasteur)

"It is neither necessary to hope to undertake, nor to succeed to persevere."(French proverb)

"You must have a willingness to do something when everyone else is petrified.You must learn the lesson of following logic over emotion." (Warren Buffett)

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." (Winston Churchill)

"May a fair road always be open to you." (CHS, April 2, 2006)

All content and images copyright © 2005 - 2008 Charles Hugh Smith, All rights reserved in all media, unless otherwise credited or noted.


click here for all RJ
current issue

This Month's commentaries:

week of 2/18/08

week of 2/4/08

This Month's Journal Essays/Poems

Letter from a Constituent (Protagoras)

Growing Up in Cuba (A.R.)

A Rising Standard Lifts All Boats: Employment and a Better Life
(E. Andrews)

Spendthrift Americans
(M. Goodfellow)

Reading the Bible and the Koran (Protagoras)

In memory of Shafilea Ahmed (poem, Protagoras)

The Geometry of Passion (poem, Verona U.)

January Essays/Poems

A Depression Won't Change Everything
(M. Goodfellow)

A New Regulatory Idea (O. King-Smith)

Monoline Insurance and Financial Fear (Protagoras)

How our Parents Shopped (Protagoras)

The Three Little English Pigs (Protagoras)

What to Tell Your Children?
(Lloyd L.)

Thoughts on a Common Culture(Chuck D.)

The Cost of a 3-Day Hospital Stay ($20K) (a reader)

An Oxbridge Education (Protagoras)

No Knowledge, No Accountability, No Problem (Zeus Y.)

Innovative Financing and the Housing Bubble (Peter F.)

Sitting with the Body (poem, Verona U.)

RS archives:

January 08


Acceptance Mark
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