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Dear Aspiring Writers: The Worst Advice You'll Ever 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

Howl's Moving Castle

Thailand's Iron Ladies

Trois Colours: Red

The Thin Man: Thoroughly Modern Movies

Why My Book Is Better Than the DaVinci Code

Iranian Films: The Mirror

Piratical Nonsense

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

Can You Tell What I am? Part II

Only in America


Your Tattoo in 50 Years

The American House and Frank Lloyd Wright

Cultural Commentaries
On Hatred and Anti-Americanism

Part 2

Part 3


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

Whither China?

Will the Housing Bust Take Down China?

China's Dependence on Exports to U.S.; Is China About to Pop?

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

Why Is This Such a Tepid Time?

That Price Isn't Cheap, It's Subsidized

The Most Hated Company in America

U.S. Fascists Seek Ban on Cancer Vaccine

The Truth About Christmas

American Dream or American Nightmare?

2006 Sea Change

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

Are Japan and Germany Truly on the Mend?

Unprecedented Risk 2

Could One Rogue Trader Bring Down the Market?

Worried about Inflation? Stop Measuring It

Economy Great? Bah, Humbug

Huge Deficits and Huge Profits: Coincidence?

Who's The Largest Exporter?

Three Snapshots of the U.S. Economy

Loaded for Bear

Comparing Nasdaq to Depression-Era Dow

Who's Buying Treasury Bonds? And Why?

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?

What We Know, What We Can Safely Predict

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

Sucker's Rally

A Whiff of Apocalypse

Where There Is Ruin II: Social Security

2005-06 archives
2007 archives

Planetary Meltdown Watch
The Immensity of Global Warming

Sun Sets on Skeptics of Global Warming

Housing Bubble Watch

Charting Unaffordability

A Monster of a Housing Bubble

A Coup de Grace to the Economy

Hidden Costs of the Housing Bubble

Housing Bubble? What Bubble?

Housing Bubble II

Housing Bubble III: Pop!

Housing Market Slips Toward Cliff

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 Housing - Inflation Connection

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

Inflation and Housing: Calculating the Bust

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

Financial Kryptonite in a "Super-Strength" Housing Market

Three Secrets to Unloading Property Today

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

Natural Gas, Naturally High

Arab Oil Money and U.S. Treasuries: Quid Pro Quo?
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

Geezer Rock Overload

Paying for Web Content

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)
The Problem with Techno-Fixes

I Love Technology, I Hate Technology

How To Blow off Web Ads and More

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?

One Serving of Deception

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

Airport Walkabouts

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?
On The Impermanence of Work

Flattening the Knowledge Curve: The "Googling" Effect

Human Bandwidth and Knowledge

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

The Origins of Carbonara

Organic Farms

Oil and Renewable Energy
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


weblog July 2007

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weblog February 2007

weblog January 2007

weblog December 2006

weblog November 2006

weblog October 2006

weblog September 2006

weblog August 2006

weblog July 2006

weblog June 2006

weblog May 2006

weblog April 2006

weblog March 2006

weblog February 2006

weblog January 2006

weblog December 2005

weblog November 2005

weblog October 2005

weblog September 2005

weblog August 2005

weblog July 2005

weblog June 2005

weblog May 2005

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

August 2007 Weblogs/wEssays

Poor Diet and The Poor
(August 31, 2007)

Living in Extraordinary Times (Peak Oil)
(August 30, 2007)

A Quick Glance at Gold
(August 29, 2007)

Seeking Relative Outperformance
(August 28, 2007)

Financial Extinctions: The Subprime Meteorite Has Hit
(August 27, 2007)

The Week's Theme: What Lies Ahead

20 Years of Schooling and They Put Me on the Day Shift--at Starbucks
(August 24, 2007)

Two Irresistible Reasons Housing Will Retrace to 1997 Prices
(August 23, 2007)

Food, Water, Weather and Other Interconnected Systems
(August 22, 2007)

How 4% of Mortgages Have Brought Down the Entire Market
(August 21, 2007)

Quadruple Whammy Meltdown (August 20, 2007)

Presidential Race Musings (August 18, 2007)

Bear Market Bounce (August 17, 2007)

Boomers' Wail: But We Deserve a Lifetime Bull Market! (August 16, 2007)

The Cervantes-Liquidity Crisis Connection (August 15, 2007)

Mother of All Bail-Outs? (August 14, 2007)

Monday Haiku and Agape Community Center (August 13, 2007)

Friday Haiku and More (August 10, 2007)

The Yen Carry Trade, Risk, Fear and More (August 9, 2007)

Notes on a "Free Market" and The Great Bail-Out (August 8, 2007)

Is the USA a Giant Enron? (August 7, 2007)

Sublime Subprime: Beyond The Credit Implosion (August 6, 2007)

Last Week's Theme: This is your wake-up call, America

Squelching Freedom of Speech with Lawsuits (+stories from Riley T.) (August 4, 2007)

From Prophet to Profit(less) (August 3, 2007)

Corporate America: Declining Quality, Fraud as Policy (August 2, 2007)

A Nation Obliviously at War (August 1, 2007)

To view previous entries in July, go to weblog July 2007.


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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 © 2006 - 2007 Charles Hugh Smith, All rights reserved in all media, unless otherwise credited or noted.


click here for all RJ
August commentaries:




This Month's Journal Essays

August's Essays

The Economic Significance of Unlimited Derivative Works in the Software Business
by Protagoras

In praise of the Santoku knife
by Protagoras

A Transcontinental Journey
John Joss

Kissing Frogs: The Greatest Risk
(An author on writing)
John Joss

Peak Oil and Soil
by Eric Andrews

The Great Unraveling
by Chuck D.

The TQM Diet (satire)
by Protagoras

July's Essays

Loyalty, Impeachment and 'Supporting the President'
by Harun I.

Icons of my youth: Frank Leavis
by Protagoras

Equal Killing Rights (satire)
by Protagoras

June's Essays

Global Warming:
Our Story So Far

Michael Goodfellow
The Hockey Stick Breaks
by Protagoras

Love in the Time of Syphilis
by Protagoras

May's Essays

What to do about Health Care?
Michael Goodfellow
Memo to the next UK Prime Minister
by Protagoras

Political Elites & Some Predictions
Michael Goodfellow
The Fort Dix Terror Plot
by Harun I.

The French Presidential Elections
by John Kinsella

Wal-Mart, disequilibria, and global economic dislocation
by Harun I.

The Recent UK Elections
by Protagoras

The Evolution of Social Behaviour by Protagoras

Is Everybody Happy?
Michael Goodfellow
Memories of Lana'i by Bill Murath

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