Six Months To Live?


     The economy that is. Especially the part that consists of swapping paper certificates. That's the buzz I've gotten the first two weeks of 2010, and forgive me for not presenting a sheaf of charts and graphs to make the case. Just about everybody else yakking about these thing on the Web provides plenty of statistical analysis: Mish, The Automatic Earth, Chris Martenson, Zero Hedge, The Baseline Scenario.... They're all well worth visiting.
     Bank bonus numbers are due out any day now. The revolt that I expected around the release of these numbers may come from a different place than I had imagined earlier -- not from whatever remains of "normal" working people, but from the thought leaders and middling agents in administration (including the prosecutors) who, for one reason or another, have been diverting their attention, or watching and waiting, or making excuses for a couple of years now. When Frank Rich of The New York Times starts calling for Robert Rubin's head, then maybe the great groaning tramp steamer of media opinion is turning in the water and charting a new course for the port of reality.
     Anyway, the grotesque carnival of rackets and lies that the US economy has become -- held together with the duct tape of stimulus cash, gamed accounting, mortgage subsidies, carry trades, TBTF bailouts, TARPS, TALFS, shell-game BLS reports, and MSNBC "green shoots" cheerleading -- gives every sign of tipping into collapse at a moment's notice. There are just too many obvious things that can go wrong, and that means there are many less obvious, hidden things that can go wrong, and isn't it tragically foolish to tempt Murphy's Law, since it operates so well without any help from us? The call is even going out lately for criminal prosecution of the current Treasury Secretary, Mr. Geithner, for engineering AIG's $14 billion credit default swap payoff to Goldman Sachs as part of the AIG bailout. Okay then, why not Paulson, Bernanke, Blankfein...?
     But the other rings of the circus are fully occupied by clowns and dancing bears, too. Even with sketchy-looking stock market prospects for 2010, it's hard to explain why the world would run into US treasury bonds, especially a few months from now, after the initial rush-to-safety -- that is, when you could just as easily buy Canadian or Swiss franc denominated short-term bills. And then what happens when the Federal Reserve has to eat all the uneaten treasuries, while it's already choking to death on collateralized debt obligations and related worthless toxic trash securities? After all, the greenbacks we swap around are called Federal Reserve Notes.
     Why would anybody think that the housing market is going to keep levitating? A big fat "pig" of adjustable rate mortgages (i.e. mortgages that will never be "serviced") is about to move through the "python" of the housing scene, shoving millions more households into default and foreclosure. Meanwhile, local and regional banks are choking on real estate already in default that they are afraid to foreclose on and have been keeping off the market through 2009 in order to not send the price of houses down further and put even more households "under water" for houses worth much less than the face value of their mortgage. I doubt that the banks are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, but whatever the motive, this racket of just sucking up bad loans can't go on forever. At some point, a banking system has to be based on credibility, on loans actually being paid back, or it will break, and we are close to the breaking point.
     The pathetic truth at the center of the housing fiasco is that prices have to come down further if any normal wage-earner will ever afford to buy a house again in America on anything like normal terms.  Anyway, sooner or later the banking system is going to have to upchuck the "phantom inventory" of un-foreclosed-on houses, and sell them off for whatever they can get, or else a lot of banks are going to go out of business.
     They may go down anyway, because the catastrophe of commercial real estate is following right on the heels of the fiasco in residential real estate. The vast oversupply of malls, strip malls, office parks, and other furnishings of the expiring "consumer" economy is about to become the biggest liability that any economy in world history has ever seen. Who will even want to buy these absurd properties cheaply, when they will never find any retail tenants for the badly-built structures, nor be able to keep up with the maintenance (think: leaking flat roofs), or retrofit them for anything?  In a really sane world, a lot of these buildings would go straight to demolition-and-salvage -- except that it costs money to do that, and who exactly right now will make a market for used cinder blocks and aluminum window sashes? I expect these places to become squats for the desperate homeless.
      Then there are the bankrupt states, led by the biggest, of course -- California and New York -- but with plenty more right behind, whirling around the same drain (probably forty-nine of them with the exception of that fiscal Nirvana, North Dakota!). Even if they manage to con bailouts from the bailout-weary federal government, the states are still going to have to winnow down the ranks of their public employees (throwing more middle-class households into foreclosure and penury), while they hugely reduce public services, especially to the poor, the unwell, and the unable. That alone will redound into very visible realms of daily life from public safety (rising crime) to the decay of roads and bridges.
      Perhaps the most troubling buzz in the air this first month of 2010 are rumors of coming food shortages due to widespread crop failures around the world in the harvest seasons of 2009 (Emergency Food Supply, Food Crisis For Dummies, 2010 Wall Street Predictions.) If the US Department of Agriculture hasn't flat-out lied about crop numbers in 2009, the signs are that their statistical reports are at least inconsistent with real grain storage numbers and commodities prices. And why would the USDA tell the truth if every other federal agency is reporting gamed numbers? Given the crisis in capital and lending, one also has to wonder how farmers will be able to borrow money to get their crops in this year.
      Finally there's the global energy scene. The price of oil starts this week over $83 a barrel. That puts it about $1.50 from the price "danger zone" where it begins to kill economic activity in the USA. Things and procedures just start to cost too much. Gasoline.  Deisel fuel (and, by the way, that means another problem for food production going into the 2010 planting season). One especially eerie situation the past few weeks has been the de-coupling of moves upward in oil from moves in the value of the dollar. Lately, oil has been going up whether or not the dollar has gone up or down.  Two weeks ago the dollar went below 1.42 against the Euro and today it's above 1.45, and oil has been rising steadily from the mid $70 range all the while.  2010 may be the year that we conclusively realize that world oil demand exceeds world oil supply -- and that global oil production cannot hold above 85 million barrels-a-day no matter what we do.
     These are the things that trouble my mind at three o'clock in the morning when the wind rises and things bang around spookily. Gird your loins out there for a savage season or two.

489 Comments

Consider my loins girded, James.

Thanks for rattling my cage again.

--Tommy

http://freedomguerrilla.com


In a way, a further economic collapse now could be a blessing in disguise. We already know that peak oil is upon on, so we cannot have limitless growth anyway. Also, the sooner we reduce our growth and consumption, the better for the environment.

http://www.watchinghistory.com/2009/11/end-of-economic-growth.html

If we want to avoid too much pain from economic contraction, perhaps we need to start planning for it and doing it in an organized way, rather than just waiting for it to happen to us, and reacting poorly. The sooner we shift to a sustainable way of life, the better for all of us and our grandchildren.

Jim, Jim, we are seeing the changes you have long predicted: out with the old, in with the new. It’s chaotic all right, but it could be a lot worse. See how at The Nothing Store

The food bank in my area is looking for a bigger building, boasting about their growth. The list of bridges around here with new weight restrictions is longer than usual this spring. An affluent nearby school district can't pass a bond vote to repair their failing buildings. Signs of contraction abound. I wonder what would happen to any political figure who summoned the courage to tell us to begin adjusting downwards.

Thanks, Jim for mentioning Chris Martenson. He concludes his most recent post:

"It's a different future that awaits.  Not necessarily worse, but certainly involving a whole lot less stuff bought on credit.  Some will interpret this as a distressing decline in living standards, but for those who can shift their perception, this will be an exciting time of transformation from a culture of consumption to something far more satisfying and lasting."

It's a great time to be making moves to find your food sources nearby. For example we've been buying flour (spelt, as it happens) from a local grower who mills it and sells it either directly or through a small store that specializes in local family farms. Local eggs are a bit harder in the winter, since chickens produce less, but that means having several sources. I'm not talking about fetishizing local food as some posh restaurants do. I'm fine with lentils and dates from the middle east. Dried foods have been traveling great distances for eons. The best thing to do is learn to eat using basic supplies that can be kept easily. Having cases of canned stew and tuna is only a short-term emergency measure. Not that canning isn't a great way to have fruit and veggies when they otherwise have to be flown in.

Lynn
http://www.10in10diet.com/
Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

Good thing we've got the right to remain silent.
Then again it's just a couple more weeks of watching the regional gladiators chasing a pigs skin for the glory of holding up some sort of holy grail like object. After the drunkathon is over, the six million dollar thirty second spots have been viewed, you've all danced to some old geezers rockin' out, gambled some funny fiat money on the outcome and all the chickens have been scraficed for their wings, some old gypsy informs me that the party will indeed be over.

Is this really the End?
Just read an article about how some private schools are seeing a drop in enrollment as those that can't afford it anymore are pulling the kids out and enrolling them in public schools, who's funding is being cut.

So, folks, if the building is collapsing, isn't it about time to get out of it? You do have options you know. But the only ones I see being discussed are just sitting there, fingers crossed, watching the cracks getting bigger; or hunkering down in the basement with a bunch of guns & ammo; or growing your food on the rooftop using your own poo as fertilizer. But if the building collapses, yer all dead anyway, right?

What about leaving altogether? I mean if the US is heading to be a Third World country, why not skip the fall and just move to one.
This is what I have done, it took some planning, but I am now sitting in a nice, Central American country drinking the local coffee, eating fresh, ripe papaya, and awakening to the sounds of hundreds of different birds every morning (instead of the rumble-grumble of big SUV's & Puke up trucks). It's beautiful here,and looking back at the Big House of Smoke & Mirrors, you can see that it is about to fall apart. Its so much different looking in than out, from the inside all you see is your own reflection in the mirror, distorted so you think that you are looking good.
But from the outside, you can see that the framework is just so much bailing wire & soggy cardboard boxes just barely holding together.

So come on, give it a try, before its too late and only the rich can afford to fly anywhere.
Get out now, the Building is starting to tremble...

dj

Here's what made me think that things are changing.

I work with a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. Dad was a spy, then became police chief. She married a farmer with tons of land, and then nagged him into selling a lot of it, bulldozing his orchards, giving up his hogs, selling his square baler, stopping the wheat, etc. Now he works concrete when he can and runs some cattle. They are very deeply in debt.

Last week we were talking about where we would go when the shit hits the fan. Someone said "Canada". I said I was going south. She has never participated before, but she piped up "I'm going out on my land" Wow! Plus, she's always been very anti-union, but now it's pretty clear that the higher wage workers are being targeted for firing. I said that we need a union, and she said, "I'll come to the meeting".

In my little world, this is bigger than Frank Rich calling for Rubin's head!

My cousin has rich clientele in Calif. and has had no drop-off in business, but her better half in construction-related work gets two days a week, and he is very competent.

Jim, Jim, we are seeing the changes you have long predicted: out with the old, in with the new. It’s chaotic all right, but it could be a lot worse. See how at http://www.thenothingstore.com

(Broken link in previous post)

And yet somehow there is a whole group of people out there acting as if nothing has changed at all.... primarily Americans.
People are still shopping, there are some real estate transactions happening in places that aren't Michigan, there are even fat bonuses for the rich people.

And gas is being gobbled up by the big rig SUV's that Detroit got us to buy with the cash for clunkers program..... C'mon Jim smoke some green shoots and get on board....

Perhaps a Ski Vacation to Suburban Ski Paradise... Vail. (the Micro-oplis) Maybe a timeshare?
http://www.suburbanempire.com/front

Suburban Critical, Empire chronicle.....
Brewed fresh in Vermont (at three in the morning)

Thanks for keeping us updated, Jim. As an under-thirty I can't help but be angry at the last couple generations. Maybe not angry so much as jealous. While they had a shining future of perpetual progress to look forward to, my friends and I get to stare down the throat of the fucking wolf. It's the kinda thing that makes you want get tattooed and wear three-quarter length pants.

It's tough to call U.S. financial trends this year because everything depends on the comparisons between U.S, European and Asian economies.

What this country needs is a fallen dollar. Matched with protectionist measures chosen to revamp (preserve) essential domestic manufacturing capabilities.

Then, increased Mexican migration will fortify the workforce, and sop up the excess housing. We should build a train straight from Mexico City to Dallas. (I mean, from military bases near those cities.)

JIm: I've tried to alert my kids about this changing world. Sadly, my words don't seems to take hold. For the last 40 years, I've believed and tried to structure my life as if we are, indeed, moving toward a "World Made By Hand". Looks like the time is at hand. I say...Bring It On!!!

My son lives a few miles west of New Paltz. They have 10 acres or so, a swift-running stream and the ability, given some hard work, to be self-sustaining. I fear, though I don't know, that it may all come to naught. I wish he could spend and afternoon talking with you.

The upper Hudson Valley sounds like a nice place to live. If it just wasn't so freakin' cold!!! Oh, well. It's 12 degrees here this morning.

Best of luck in what promises to be an interesting New Year.

Bill in, by god, Tennessee

wow! you hit the nail on the head once again. Was really surprized by Frank Rich's NYT's article. If americans had half the backbone of Romanians,(that what THEY did to "Causchesco" and his wife x number of years ago now), you could at least have some tiny bit of admiration for Americans, but most are just too chicken and cowardly to do anything to these crooks that infest D.C.

"Six months to live."

I know that shocking headlines and predictions are exciting and get people's attention but, eventually, they run the very real risk of obscuring important facts. More importantly, these shocking headlines tend to make the writer look like a loon.

Jim, I don't disagree with your larger point. But you have been predicting and imminent failure for a while, now. Last year, you thought everything would collapse by Memorial Day. Now, you're calling for a collapse in the summer, again--a YEAR LATER.

Even if we somehow get past this latest real estate catastrophe nobody will learn a thing. In ten or fifteen years we'll be in the middle of another bubble to be followed by another bust and another banking crisis.

The terms "real estate" and "rational thinking" don't go together. I worked in real estate development in finance for a number of years, most of it for a large developer that was liquidated in the mid 1990s. Nobody in that place learned from past blunders. The company almost went bust in the early 1980s due to over leveraging and in the early 1990s it was again in trouble due to over leveraging but this time it was fatal. Same mistakes all over again by the same bunch of guys. It was mandatory to subscribe to a blue sky optimism where house prices and commercial rental rates always went up even when history showed they didn't. You see, "it's different this time". Yes, it's always different but it always ends the same. I've seen two really bad busts up close and I am a spectator to the one happening in the US right now.

I think that all over North America the majority of people will still think that your house is an "investment", a no brainer, a no lose proposition regardless of how many well publicized busts have taken place. I think that this is group-think at its most destructive and it is so deeply ingrained in our culture that we'll keep committing collective financial suicide.

There are way too many folks out there walking around in a glazed over daze without a freaking clue. My wife and I have been preparing for this emergency for some time now, and will continue to do so right up to the collapse.

Collapse is after all, the only way out for the U.S. When one looks at the debt and adds to it the debt to be created in the next few years, there simply is no way it can be paid with the dwindling tax receipts coming in to the government.

I agree with Jim, it's time to put on your 'big boy pants' and buckle up folks, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

going to have to upchuck the "phantom inventory" of

Upchuck - I love that word, the visual is intense. My mother used that expression when we were going to be sick - "Do you have to upchuck?" I can sill here her saying it!

I cannot think of a better expression to define the current American experience.


I was amused this morning when our local NPR station brought in a couple of "Economists" to talk about how much better we're doing. They're only looking at the well massaged data that supports their wishful view of the world and did not once mention things like, peak oil, federal debt, or any of the other realities of the world we live in... they are so disconnected...

With all due respect, I'd like to see less forecasting and more prescription. If we're just fucked, might as well party. How do we construct a humane and livable future at a much lower level of production and consumption?

I think we should start by mandating a more equal distribution of income. Just simply stopping growth without changing our economic system will be simply pushing people off the boat.

Yes, as you say, we need to make other arrangements. But that is not enough.

Greetings,

Funny, but I live in California and I've overheard people wishing aloud for a natural disaster because it would bring in all kinds of federal funds. Apparently, the Northridge earthquake put a lot of construction workers to work and all those broken TV sets and other chintz had to be replaced. I've been told that it really was a boost to the economy of Southern California. Is that crazy or what?

How bad do things have to be for people to openly wish for an earthquake to destroy their community?
Someone wake me up.


Cash sez,
"I think that all over North America the majority of people will still think that your house is an "investment", a no brainer, a no lose proposition regardless of how many well publicized busts have taken place. I think that this is group-think at its most destructive and it is so deeply ingrained in our culture that we'll keep committing collective financial suicide."

Cash, thanks for your comment. May I suggest that on the occasion of THIS particular (successful) suicide, the corpse will "stay dead"? It's my belief that there will be no re-animation, and we'd better get the hell out of that "house-as-borrowing-asset" bullshit mindset ASAP.
Beware, prepare...

Mr. Rich's article notwithstanding, nothing will ultimately be done about the backdoor bailouts, the lies, the theft. We have just lived through a coup d'etat that is as obvious as the assassination of John Kennedy. Nothing will be done. Nothing at all.

It seems to me that we have been conditioned by movies and television to expect big, sweeping drama with every event, large or small. If it isn't there, filling our screens with technicolour and our hearts with terror, we don't think it's for real.

It isn't called the "Long Emergency" for nothing; this collapse will take years to reach bottom. We aren't going to wake up one day and find the pumps empty with no fresh fruit in the stores. It will be a slow and painful decline, with markers only the enlightened will even notice.

Real life is like that, it's only in our fantasy media that huge crises erupt, then get fixed by larger than life heroic warriors in the nick of time, to the cheers of the grateful little people.

There is no Superman, just like there is no magic alternative to oil and no quick cure for a nation's blind stupidity and greed.

Instead the ride downhill will be slow and bumpy, and no one, not even our own JHK, can predict time lines perfectly. The substance of his predictions are bang on regardless, and we had better heed what he is telling us.

Right on Jim!

I just finished half of "Gusher of Lies " by Robert Bryce and I am pissed. Among many of his excellent arguments the most poignant and applicable to this weeks post by Mr. Kunstler is about ADM - Archer Daniels Midlands huge part in selling "Ethanol" as both a concept and the overt political corruption that it includes. ETHANOL and the ridiculous notion of "energy independence" has resulted in ADM getting $3 a gallon in tax subsidies for producing ethanol all the way from the crop to distillery. The notion of putting corn in out tanks has been called many things but it is chillingly sinister as an idea but grotesquely amoral and unethical in practice. What a farce that the "supermarket to the world" contributes billions in political bribes to continue this unconscionable practice when millions may starve in many parts of the world. I am appalled at ALL of our politicians who have accepted contributions from ADM (ETHANOL) - but I am especially ashamed of the leader of this country to have taken many corporate jet trips in 2009 on private corporate ADM jets. Why is CNN reporting trash when this is the real story of this decade?

"JUST SAY NO TO ETHANOL"


RW

How bad do things have to be for people to openly wish for an earthquake to destroy their community?


'They' dont have a community..they are part of a collective.
I read that one guy in FLA has gotten disaster insurance / fed help 8x[?]....
he keeps buying or rebuilding in hurricane zones..
like foodstamps its a ' growth' industry!

The kids took me to Ocala for a long weekend as a Christmas present. The only thing more depressed than the cold weather was the amount of inactive horse farms in the area. There was nearly no one at the horse show. I guess the Arabs will win the Kentucky Derby soon. Anyway, things are still going strong for the Hoi Ploi. The steakhouse was still crowded but it looks like the march to $100,000 homes is really starting to get some momentum going. Grab $475,000 while you still can folks!!!!

Armand said: "But you have been predicting and imminent failure for a while, now. Last year, you thought everything would collapse by Memorial Day. Now, you're calling for a collapse in the summer, again--a YEAR LATER."

Yes, I also noted that JHK has moved to using Friedman units, but I think it is a smart move. A Friedman unit is just far enough away that when the time arrives most people have forgotten the prediction and another Friedman unit can be used, again with the warning that "this time it's for real; things have never been this bad before" etc.

The use of Friedman units is a smart move. It has kept us in Iraq/Afghanistan for eight years, and, apparently can prolong things forever.

FRIEDMAN UNIT

A period of time equal to six-months, named in honor of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman for his repeated pronouncements that conditions in Iraq will improve "in six months."

"This time I really mean it - - we're just a friedman unit away from victory over the terrorists."

JHK Version: "This time I really mean it -- we're just six months away from TSHTF."

(which, depending on how you define it, and whether or not you have a job, might have already occurred in 2007-2008 when this Bush Depression began.)

Hi Jim,

Loved the blog for years, never commented before...

A thought: I wonder if a backtracking of world economic output, in a desperate attempt to maintain quality of life, will occur in much the way the lead-up to our current standard has gone.

What I mean by this is a gradual ramp-up in extraction: strip mining for whatever we can find, coal and steam power returning to the fore, then a return to the forests for fuels to burn and cook with, until finally we are back to an untidy and ragged band of hunter-farmer-gatherers burning dried feces and shit into our brown, stinking, murderous air....

I know that the return to a more primitive, regional, agrarian lifestyle is somewhat the subject of world made by hand, which I enjoyed, but I didn't think that you quite consider the deployment of our last remaining oil resources into the extraction industry, and the enviromental havoc that would ensue. I think people will be far less concerned with our "old growth forests" out here on the left coast when the cost of not cutting them is the cold, damp dark. You, in your book, allowed a sort of natural primitivism to return. Do you really believe in that?

I for one don't believe that we'll go anywhere without taking the planet down with us...

Thoughts?

Ozone, I fervently pray that you're right but I'm not hopeful.

Right now in Canada we're in the middle of a huge US style housing bubble, despite all the news of the real estate disaster in the US. This in spite of a terrible crash in prices and financial ruin in Toronto in the 1990s.

Are people idiots or what? Is our central bank insane? I just don't get it. Our central bank governor is a Goldman Sachs alumnus. He put interest rates at zero. Has he got his head up his ass? Our federal Minister of Finance is a Princeton grad. Has he got HIS head up his ass? Did these guys go to college to get stupid? What about our banks? Are they morons?

Where do the big thinkers think this will end? It's not like the US didn't give us a roadmap. We KNOW where this goes. Never mind big government deficits, what we apparently have up here is a massive IQ deficit.

It is very simple, Cash.
You can live the high life a lot longer if you spend more than you make. If you borrow and go into debt, you can afford more than if you live within your means.

The cool thing about being rich is that you can borrow and live the good life and the working suckers have to pay it off.

What's so hard to understand about why the rich are behaving the way they do?

CHINA

as a country they are getting what they deserve!
this is hot off the presses:
BEIJING (AFP) – More than 24 million Chinese men of marrying age could find themselves without spouses in 2020, state media reported on Monday, citing a study that blamed sex-specific abortions as a major factor.

The study, by the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, named the gender imbalance among newborns as the most serious demographic problem for the country's population of 1.3 billion, the Global Times said.

"Sex-specific abortions remained extremely commonplace, especially in rural areas," where the cultural preference for boys over girls is strongest, the study said, while noting the reasons for the gender imbalance were "complex."

what percent of grain goes to animal feed?
humans?
internal combustion engines?

Vlad,

I responded to your 1:49AM, Jan 11 comment under last weeks essay. My reply would be comment #438. Please go back an read it.

As for our Oligarch Overlords at Goldman Sachs, they have another “distract the angry villagers” ploy up their long and well-shod arms:
Goldman Sachs Weighs Requirement for Charity http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/business/economy/11goldman.html.

The states are starting to duke it out over a variety of issues:

Read “CO2 Trade War Hits Midwest” where Joshua Frank reports for Truthout that:
“It's round one in the 2010 fight against global warming and Minnesota has landed the first punch against coal-fired electricity that crosses its borders. The state is seeking to place a tariff on carbon dioxide turned out by coal plants in North Dakota.”
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

Worse is on the way as the stimulus money finally runs out with no more borrowed money in sight. The Feds can't/won’t bail out the states. States like CA are already saying they'd be fine if they just got back ever dollar they sent to the Feds.

It is state vs. state - for now; soon it will be county vs. county within a state. The center can not hold under these kinds of pressures.

The current streak of cold weather is only making things worse. This morning it was 17 in Spring Hill, FL; 22 where I live in Northern NY. Forget getting any fresh OJ from FL this year, and any other fruits/vegetables from the Sunshine State are in serious trouble.

In Virginia, they have already have spent their entire year’s road clearing budget, and it is only January. The Feds are expected to step up for the duration of the emergency. (Better get your federal response orders in early!)

The "true" unemployment rate, called U6, is at 17.4% up from 17.3%. (Headed in the wrong direction, folks.) The 10% unemployed number most frequently reported, called U3, is simply the results of the equation:

Unemployment Rate = Unemployed Workers divided by the Total labor force

True unemployment is much more complicated than this equation denotes. In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses several methods to report unemployment and those are called U1, U2, etc. through U6. This link is to a very meaningful chart to the (real) employment picture in this country.
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

And health care (like education) will be just one more unfunded mandate on the states.

Millions are already “Living on Nothing but Food Stamps” in a cash-less existence. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/us/03foodstamps.html
But what happens when even that portion of the Safety Net is no longer available?

Any (temporary) relief (if such exists) will be from the most basic, local level: borrowing from family, friends and high-interest, under-the-table lenders; selling off assets (to other destitute people), and enduring the frequent loss of phone, utilities, housing and transportation.

So if that is our future, let’s indeed embrace it, plan for it, and get on a crash cash-only diet so that when the rest of the country finally chases that last reality check, we’re already there to lead the way.

In a really sane world, a lot of these buildings would go straight to demolition-and-salvage -- except that it costs money to do that, and who exactly right now will make a market for used cinder blocks and aluminum window sashes? I expect these places to become squats for the desperate homeless.


Why isn't this a perfectly reasonable "solution" for all the overbuilding from 2000-2008? Destroying perfectly good (well, ok, not "perfectly good", but at least short-term serviceable) seems like a stupid waste to me. Kind of like the scene in the Grapes of Wrath where the farmers are destroying perfectly good food to prop up food prices while the Joads watch and starve.

>A period of time equal to six-months, named in honor of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

But Tom was finally vindicated when Iraq stabilized and Arianna had to bite his nutsack.

How is it that we're finding ourselves atop the Ponzi pyramid about to topple? It's very tempting to try and find the bastards who did it to us, but it seems to me the sad truth is we all did it to ourselves. We conveniently forgot (or haven't learned) that in a world constrained by finite resources, the economy is a zero-sum game, meaning that for someone to gain someone else must lose. So our leaders (just about in every country no matter what particular -ism they believed or preached) rigged the game to postpone the inevitable outcome. And all of us bought into this idea that if we each try to maximize our own personal gain, we'll win the game in the long run. As Adam Smith told us, the "invisible hand" will sort things out. Well, it seems to me that the inevitable outcome is we all must lose now in some way (drastic decline in the standard of living, or more and more pollution, more climate change, etc.) It would seem to me that our policymakers need to level with us so all of us (reds and blues and everyone in between) can wind the game down without the breakdown in the basic underpinnings of a civilized society: law and order, due process, rule of law, some level of fairness, an orderly economy providing at least the basics, etc.) Jim's prescription that 1/3 of us must die isn't an inevitable outcome, it's worth the effor to try and avoid it thru political and economic sanity. Hmm, what to do, what to do...

Insanity Shelter said: "But Tom was finally vindicated when Iraq stabilized..."

It is not stable. Election workers are being killed, kidnapped, and people are expecting the overthrow of an elected government.

Iraq needs... hmmmm... maybe six more months to defeat the terrorists.

FROM TODAY'S NEWS:
The British ambassador to Iraq, John Jenkins, asserted that even a military coup d'etat is not out of the question. According to The National, a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates:

"A warning by the British ambassador to Iraq that a military coup was still a 'real possibility' in Baghdad has set off swirling rumours of conspiracy, and been met with wildly divergent reactions, some accusing him of scaremongering, others hoping it is a prophecy that will come true.

"John Jenkins told the Chilcot inquiry in London on Friday that democracy was far from assured in Iraq and the military could still overthrow an elected government."

"How do we construct a humane and livable future at a much lower level of production and consumption?"

Some thoughts from Ran:

"My answer is, you can't do shit. And I'm a woo-woo optimist. I think that beneath all events is an invisible Flow that is intelligent and loving. I think that any human system that goes out of balance with human nature, or with other life on Earth, is doomed to fail. I think that in all possible futures, dandelions will grow through ruined Wal-Mart parking lots. But within this optimism, I see room for epic catastrophes. And some catastrophes are now so far along that "what can I do to stop it" is the wrong question, and the right question is "what can I do to survive it, to help others survive it, to minimize suffering and prepare for recovery?"

Find a landbase and build the topsoil; plant fruit trees and vegetable gardens; learn to forage and hunt and repair stuff; learn uncommon useful skills; make local friends; work to make your city and region more sustainable and resilient; make friends in other regions in case you have to move; gradually shift more of your activities and dependencies out of the money economy; break your addictions; get healthy; spend your money on tools and skills and long-keeping food; meditate; exercise your intuition. This is not meant to be a complete list, but a list of examples of the kind of thing you should be doing. The title of my talk was "Weeds through Pavement", because when pavement turns to forest, the pavement does not turn green and put down roots -- plants crack the pavement and grow through it. So do that."

http://ranprieur.com/zines/cweip1.html

Hello from Furlough Land. Knowing I had to take a furlough today, I went out with some mates last night and got drunk. They are smart people and I am somewhat persuasive, but, nonetheless, they were convinced that our dark days were over now that George W. Bush is gone.

I told them about bankrupt states, the $700 trillion worldwide derivatives market, the coming commcercial real estate dive, etc., but they said financial reform can't happen, so, basically, we shouldn't pursue it.

Everything will work out, they said. It always has.

And, most of all, they wouldn't even consider the possibility that President Barack Obama has the power to do anything about our corrupt Ponzi economy.

They wouldn't acknowledge that he has inherent powers to bust up monopolies or throw bankers in jail for fraud.

Only Congress is to blame, they said.

There still are some punch drinkers out there among the 20-something crowd. Hence the lack of young progressive protesters.

I am a loyal Monday morning reader of you Jim and I appreciate your efforts involved in trying to put together something new every week. I do wish you would not insist on arbitrary time lines and arbitrary numbers geared to predicting some strongly felt opinion of yours and I have brought this up before but I guess that is the way you are put together and if you see some particular gloomy statistic or circumstance you will be compelled to look for an endpoint at which said circumstance will augur in. But I say Jim, give it up and keep working on your painting and your novel.The Nikkei was unsustainable in the 1980s and sho nuff it finally collapsed but it took a while to kill it and it never did return. Nor did our own home grown NASDAQ. Keep in mind, most of us are your choir. Today's quote that we are $1.50 from economic ruin when oil crosses some mythical $85 is simply silly and it doesn't matter where and how you cooked up that number. That there will be a region where the price of crude or coal or carbon caps that will limit economic activity goes without saying, but saying there is a particular price point at which our silly sprawling consumptive diabetically obese economy will hit the fan is an unknown. That it will hit the fan is a virtual certainty assumed by all of us choir members but the WHEN of it all is up for grabs. Who woulda thunk that Japan could have plummeted so far and borrowed so much building bridges to nowheresville piling on heaps and gobs of government debt decade after decade with no cheap energy resources whatever and yet still remain standing, sort of. All societies that embark on debt and credit binges ending in bubbles eventually pop and go poof and so of course will we. But will it be in 6 months as you say, or 6 years or 6 minutes is the great unknown and it really doesn't matter when . It doesn't matter if Rubin and Summers and Geithner get fired or replaced or canonized or whether Barak Obanker gets the Nobel Prize or the booby prize or the medal of freedom. They are all the ingredients in a big stinky turd stew and even the best Panglossian chef wont be able to fix it. Now please just turn off that internet and get back to the World made by Hand part two. Your choir is waiting.

Greetings All:

I saw James' play,The Big Slide in Rochester last Saturday. A pefect setting a recycled,old building,in a falling city center with single digit temperatures. The play began slow for me, but soon the I was swept into the drama by the story and actors. It is worse than any Stephen King book,the horrors you present had me thinking. How can we feed, heat water, and sewer just are old city of Rochester, not even the burbs? When I mention your writings,warnings and ideas to change to my burb leaders and even our fire dept 1/2 volunteers, 1/2 paid,they look confused,not to worry the chief and commissioners say,its getting better.

It doesn't matter how high gas prices rise Americans will never stop their driving habits. They would rather walk away from their houses, give up their grocery money, even stop smoking but never would they get off their lazy asses and find alternative ways of travel.

I would agree with you Jim that something big is about to happen this year that will bring this country to its knees with a big bitch slap.

JHK wrote:
"These are the things that trouble my mind at three o'clock in the morning when the wind rises and things bang around spookily. Gird your loins out there for a savage season or two."

which for some reason reminded me of what Thomas Jefferson wrote:
"Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."

"There still are some punch drinkers out there among the 20-something crowd. Hence the lack of young progressive protesters."

Of course there is a lack of young progressive protesters: unemployment checks keep showing up (and not bouncing.)

If Detroit, Michigan is any accurate gauge of public opinion, then the American public has yet to fully grasp the gravity of the problem. On the same day that WJR radio radio announced that America's trade deficit with China ballooned by 20% in December, the local broadcast media was inundated with reports of the American economy's "return from the dead" between Black Friday and Christmas and glowing coverage of General Motors' exciting new product lineup at the North American International Auto Show. The implications were clear: America and GM were headed for better days and that there would be plenty of opportunities for those who had prepared themselves for the leaner, meaner American economy of the 21st century. I've even heard reports in the media that America's ballooning trade deficit with the Chi-Coms is more solid proof that the American economy is headed in the right direction. Maybe somebody here can explain exactly "how" we're headed in the right direction.

Wow! From insulting people for these same ideas to promoting them, in less than a year.

Maybe the world really is changing for the better...

Well now - fear is a great motivator.
When nothing else seems to work, perhaps we can wring a little consequence out of terror, that good old common sense seems incapable of accomplishing.

Not the international retrofitted kind, mind you - nothing to do with AK 47's or body-bombs, no...
Just the nagging little buzz behind the left eardrums of the nation, that all is indeed not well with whatever masterminded plan that might actually be guiding domestic events.

Jim's blog every Monday on my work computer is like a refreshing pail of ice water to clear out the weekend cobwebs...just in case I got too complacent.

I suppose the financial shenanigans of the past twelvemonth was a handy little diversion necessary to distract the population away from worrying why the cost of a gallon of gas was an issue in the first place.

Though some can't think beyond their next paycheck (providing they're lucky enough to earn one) I heartily agree - that wakeup calls loom around every corner. It truly is a head-spinning circus, with far more than just three rings.
Too much sorrow...that the pure sensibilty of house prices dropping to what is realistically affordable for "real" incomes - might just kill the RE market altogether.
(and that's just the discount 57th flavor of the week)

Commercial real estate? Our little burg is drowning in empty offices and store fronts. Way over built and over priced.

I sometimes muse over what it would take to convert our automobile centric town to a walkable community with convenient rail transit. Then I realize how much it would cost to re-lay out the town to accept rail and compress the county's human occupation to a walkable city. Would be nice when oil is $120/bbl. Until then, nobody will move on the idea and when the crisis is in full bloom, there won't be any money. Well, there isn't any money for that even now. It's been wasted on far flung subdivisions and empty office space. Not to mention all the roads and pipes to connect it to everything else.

Looks like even the small towns are in deep do-do when gasoline is rationed down to a couple of gallons per person per week. So many of them have grown up where there is nothing to sustain the inhabitants. In our case, we're 6500' above sea level. Growing seasons are short and water is a constant problem. It would grow worse if we were to attempt to feed ourselves locally. The Anasazi could feed themselves only when the weather cooperated. Maybe with draft animals we could do better. Maybe. Of course, nothing will be attempted until it's probably too late.

Jim,

Thanks for all the excellent web links at the top of the post. Lots of excellent reading/opinion there, regardless of your specific disposition on the world's current economic ills. I'm particularly amused/concerned by the opinions expressed by The Baseline Scenario, coming as they do from an economist of such high repute (Simon Johnson).

One thing's for sure, whether it's six months or six years, this thing's gonna end badly for almost all of us. Even the ultra-rich who have precipitated all this mess will likely regret it in the final accounting. But, perhaps, it's none other than Bush XLI's idiot son who put it best and most succinctly (or at least most famously and recently): "In the long run, we'll all be dead."

Gotta hand it to the stupid MF. He had his moments.

Cinder blocks and aluminum window sashes can be used for building raised bed vegetable gardens in the suburbs. The cinder blocks aren't the best because they can leech into the soil, but in a pinch, they will work.

These materials can also be used for temporary shelters.

So Jim has a viable niche, is an eloquent man and deserves it all for his effort and understanding.

Economists worldwide, are experiencing plenty of attention but it seems clear enough that there are two attitude; pro or counter. Where are the lateral thinkers, the type that history showed us, existed?

All watching either the pro or con television shows, reading their respective blogs, and succumbing to an almost digital bit environment of on or off?

I follow this blog to gain some insight (yes), into how our European and Irish fellows may react to any particular crises, and its weird but Jim can predict how they react - the very same way.

So Jim is counter, the ahem...establishment is pro the same ahem.. countermechanisms. Oddly, some universal agreement may help, for once.

When and where the real de-leveraging may ultimately sit, remains a game of bluff, ignorance, insight, time and suitable suckers.

The bluffers, whether they are in Real Estate (sales, where you must believe your rubbish), bankers with a small "b" and a similar ideology, or government with a small "g" and a penchant for loose language; must be isolated as bull dirtyworders. In brief; the b.s. must be de-leveraged first for any population to even begin to understand their predicament.

Oddly again, as Jim knows on the East of the Atlantic, is that the people must firstly understand what b.s. is, before that can be de-leveraged. In Ireland though, an eloquent spin is regarded as truth, in a similar way that folklore perpetuates.

Not so curiously though, is that Jim needs a T.V. channel and eventually, the people may see the mid ground, formely known as sense and not polar opposition??

"In the long run, we'll all be dead."
===========================

I don't know if "W" spoke the above words but, if so, he was (almost) quoting John Maynard Keynes who is credited with saying "In the long run we're all dead."

I agree with JHK. the situation seems hopeless because it is hopeless. It has been that way for a very long time.

Fortunately the world is not about money, the economy, technology, civilization or humankind:

http://www.flickr.com/dmathew1

The Earth is a living planet and it will stay a living planet. The economy can go straight to hell.

I've waited all this time for the economy to collapse and can wait for another six months. The Earth is going to be under new management soon, and the sooner it occurs the better.

There is one, and only one, plague upon the Eaeth: humankind.

The Universe undoubtedly will become a better place once humankind is finished exterminating itself. Such a sad, miserable, destructive, violent, shortsighted animal should never gain dominance over a beautiful, flourishing, living planet.

Qshtick,

Yeah, you're right, and why else would young "W" say it, if it hadn't been said more famously already first? That was his particular brand of genius/foolishness, no?

He was a loser, but he was the quintisential AMERICAN loser. One who was borne from so much; but, who, in the end, DELIVERED so little. Inspite of that fact, rising to the heights that only his aristocratic heritage might imply, young "W" overcame all obstacles that were duly removed before him, to "duly" and "rightfully" claim what was his.

Sorry for the revery.

To pursue a comment from PeakInterest last week a little further, I offer the following.

Peak's strategy is to keep a year's worth of calorically-dense dry goods on hand at all times, in the apartment, so that no one knows it's there. Ostensibly a garden would be a "welcome to my handiwork; take all you want" kind of arrangement.

But part of the value of a permaculture food forest is that it doesn't LOOK like a garden. Western anthropologists when studying indigenous food systems completely overlooked the bulk of the calories on hand, and grossly underestimated the population carrying capacity of these systems. Only recently have western scientists begun to admit that.

The implications are vast. Instead of a native genocide in the US estimated at one million or so individuals, we could be talking about 18 to possibly 50 million, or more, wiped out by European arrival in the new world.

No wonder literature like this doesn't get a lot of air time in our culture.

I'll include the link to Toby Hemenway's article on the subject again, if anyone wants to understand more about this fascinating research:

http://www.patternliteracy.com/beyondwilderness.html

It's good to have long-term dry good supplies on hand, no doubt, but they do run out. If you can, I highly recommend adopting a permacultural mindset and building a food forest around you.

Then you can choose who you let in on your "little" secret.

Cheers,
Tripp

Not to mention, Cash, our prorogued parliament - I wonder what the REAL story is with that withour very own Bush Lite PM.

Someday I want to visit Tikopia, which you remind me of when you mention permaculture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikopia

Tikopia sounds like quite a place. Even the shape of the island seems made up.

You're right though. Permaculture is nearly as different from business-as-usual in the US as Tikopia would be. The idea that it's just another gardening methodology misses the point entirely. As I've said before, the garden is just a metaphor. Permaculture is a toolbox for navigating energy descent, and reacquainting ourselves with our ecosystem, based on a contractionary mental paradigm. I'm not sure it can be fully grasped academically. At least that's been my experience.

There's a lot to overcome though. Tikopians are horticulturalists, living in balance with their surroundings. Island ecology is the only thing they've ever known. Americans are just now beginning to realize that resources are limited on their global island. We've punished every other species and tribe en route to maxxing out our ecosystem, and suddenly find ourselves shocked that there are limits we can't manipulate further.

Agriculture, on the other hand, by its very nature promotes hoarding, steady erosion of fertility, concentration of power, and a need to acquire virgin land (conflict and genocide). Agriculture IS the growth economy. This day has been inevitable since we settled down with our hoes and grain seed.

How fundamentally we must change in order to survive in a world of limited resources! Long-range, centralized, industrial agriculture isn't dying. AGRICULTURE is dying.

Write a country song about THAT!

I haven't been around here for that long.

"The Earth is going to be under new management soon, and the sooner it occurs the better."

The Powers That Were are just hired hands placed over us to bring us to repentance [changed mind]. The Sovereign has never changed.

The Fall of Man was the invention of tools and fire. Without these, we would have stayed naked and just eaten fruits. No overpopulation, no war, no atom bombs, no Stalin, no Obama-not nothing. Evolution has been one long Devolution or should I say devil-ution? Australopithecus was an animal and therefore the perfect man. Down with intelligence! We have to go back! Start slouching and swinging your arms as you walk. Start climbing for pete's sake! Learn to eat bananas with your toes. Buy a chimp and mate with it. Devolve into Glory!

I apologize to everyone I'm boring the shit out of on the subject of hyphens but I beg your understanding and indulgence just a little longer. I've got an OCD about certain things and I literally can't sleep nights if I don't get them resolved.

In the instant case, I am being driven bats by Vlad who very often improperly uses a dash (-) to signal a pause to the reader but because he leaves no space before and after the dash it looks exactly like a hyphenated word and causes the reader to mis-read the sentence. The reader gets several words past the dash before he realizes the sentence is not making any sense. Then he goes back and instead of reading the two words connected by the dash as a hyphenated word he mentally enters the proper pause and all of a sudden the sentence makes sense.

I will take the time with a person like Vlad, trying to fix a little foible, where with someone else like, say, Asia I will try but quickly give up because Asia and Vlad are two entirely different types of animals. Vlad is much more of a scholar and I think actually gives a shit about the way he presents his arguments while Asia takes a certain pride informing us, effectively, that he got his high school diploma out of a box of Cracker Jacks. Asia's presentations are so rife with bad habits that one hardly knows where to start and will only draw the upright middle-fingered FU anyway.

Sooooo ... if you read, say, the NYT and pay attention to hyphenated words you realize that they are numerous and always presented with a dash between two words and with no spaces. Here are some examples from today's paper:

same-store sales
prime-time show
late-night line-up
behind-the-scenes bickering
family-friendly theater

On the other hand the NYT will set off and emphasize a particular phrase by using extra long dash marks that are not available on a standard keyboard. The closest approximation is to use two dashes like this: --

Following is a sentence I extracted from The Street.com which contains both hyphenated words and a phrase set off with the double dash for emphasis:

"On the technical front, divergences, such as lagging financials and poor-performing small-cap indices, have been routinely corrected -- overbought oscillators be damned."

Whereas, Vlad might employ a dash as follows:

"If Qiz Dik thinks I'm going to change the way I write to help him sleep better-well he shouldn't hold his breath."

Vlad, consider this my final appeal.

Certainly a remarkable achievent, but paradise? Many Westerners have been decieved by the superficial egalitarianism of Polynesia when they see a whole village sitting down together at a feast. But if someone was even to accidently touch the Chief's head, traditionally he would be clubbed to death.

This population control is enabled by great discipline enforced by a rigid social hierarchy. Cannibalism, war, and infanticide played a role too. And they see themselves as superior to the neighboring Melanesians. They probably are too.

Trip, you gotta look at the shit too. Don't just take the good stuff and use it to bash Westerners. There has been more than enough of that by you people. Ever have someone break up with you for someone else? And in the process, compare all your bad points to all the good points of the new person? Out loud, to you and even in the presence of other people? Was it fair? How did it make you feel? That's what you and your cohort are addicted to doing to the Whites.

Ok that clarifies your last post. I didn't get what the two little lines meant. I've got to say though, this is going to be a struggle. The two lines just don't feel right. Somehow they are lacking the immediacey of the honest dash. Thus used, the hypen becomes like the yell or kiai of karate--concentrating the force, bringing the body, mind, and ki together allowing the karateka to break bones and perforate organs. But at the same time, I can see the merit of your disgruntlement. I dislike many small sentences. And the comma doesn't quite seem right for what I feel or am trying to do. Perhaps it's just a matter of getting used to the look of the two little lines. And the one line with spaces on both sides looks even odder. Too much space. I use the colon and the semi-colon, but they don't create the pregnant pause. Anyway, thanks for the feed back.

One reason we may have longer than six months is that we have a competent president. Obama is the most effective president ever.

"In his first year in office, President Obama did better even than legendary arm-twister Lyndon Johnson in winning congressional votes on issues where he took a position, a Congressional Quarterly study finds.

The new CQ study gives Obama a higher mark than any other president since it began scoring presidential success rates in Congress more than five decades ago. And that was in a year where Obama tackled how to deal with Afghanistan, Iraq, an expanding terrorist threat, the economic crisis and battles over health care.

when you look at the votes of 2009 in which Obama made his preference clear, his success rate was unprecedented, according to John Cranford of Congressional Quarterly.

"His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate. That's an extraordinary number," Cranford says.

The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953.

Cranford notes that George W. Bush's score hit the high 80s in 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But Obama surpassed them all, Cranford says."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122436116

Harry Reid said the Obama was a light skinned Negro who didn't have a Negro accent unless he wanted to use one. And that people would vote for him who wouldn't for a more typical Black.

What is racist about any of this? Remember, to be racist or prejudiced, something has to be untrue. So before you call something and someone racist, you have to establish invalidity. So, Obama is a light skined Negro. Check. He doesn't have a Negro accent. Check. Unless he wants to use one? Don't know about that but it's not racist. People would vote for him who wouldn't vote for a dark skinned Negro? That's a judgement call, but probably true if you add onto that the typical Black attitude. Even liberals admitted Obama was different in being non confrontational with Whites. The last thing is Reid's use of the term Negro--which is out of fashion. But is this racist? So might the term Black be tomorrow. And remember, as far as predicting who Whites would vote for, Reid wasn't condoning it, he was just predicting. If you can't do this kind of prognostication, you wont get elected in America.

Clinton's words to Kennedy were far closer to the edge in my book. Saying that Kennedy was only supporting Obama because he was Black is the exact truth. But who is Clinton, the great Panderer, to complain? He just didn't like it in this case because it was causing him and Hillary alot of grief. But making other Whites suffer and sacrafice for Blacks--well he was really into that wasn't he? Classic White Liberal, like Judge Garrity who took his kid out of public school to avoid busing. When asked to explain his hypocrisy, he said, when I'm here, I'm a Judge, when I'm at home, I'm a father.

From reading one of Jared Diamond's books (it was either Guns, Germs and Steel or Collapse), I recall that the Tikopians once had pigs on the island, but killed them all off because they damaged the permaculture system. That displays some pretty insightful decision making and long term planning. I hope the United States can manifest the same level of thought.

...redistribute income? How do you propose to go about that? Isn't that what the Health Care bill
in congress does? But I don't think you ment Health Care. Do you really think your world will be better ("happier") if the income of all Americans were redistributed by the goverment so that you would get MORE than you make now?
You know what? WTSHTF,you will be eaten by cannibals. Now that is redistribution.


Indeed, why is it that the financial media
almost NEVER mention: 1) The fact that almost
every state is in debt, many virtually bankrupt,
and 2) The next round of mortgage rate resets
are going to be largely from PRIME borrowers,
not the way, way subprime "liar loan" borrowers
that imploded in 2008.

Sometimes I have issues with Jim but for every
issue I have, he fingers a sore spot that you
won't even hear commentary about on Bloomberg
or Fox Biz. He also fingers the fact that there's
almost NO private activity ... it's all government
funding.

I teach at a college and our classes are losing
a HUGE chunk of H1B workers because they're laid
off and cannot remotely find work in the 2 month
window they're given.

Personally, I made the "mistake" of not investing
at Dow 6500. I don't envy the gamblers who are
riding high at Dow 10,600 because, well, these
buzzards have found their carrion most untasty
in TWO crashes within the last decade. When will
the bastards EVER learn.

This is a capital preservation market, not a
capital appreciation market. And even preservation is an Olympian feat unless you
time the coming hyperinflation really well.
There's every chance of a debt deflation this
year which could scare a lot of "real asset"
holders who sell out ... just before the mother
of all resource shortages.

Many investors make ungracious boasts about their
timing and acumen. With all due (dis)respect to
these "geniuses", virtually all investment
strategies at this time look like a Vegas-style
guess. It's hardly worth the time. Better
think of how you're going to get your food,
medicine, and heating oil.

We're not too far away from the "clusterfuck"
long written about by Jim. I don't see the
point in guessing whether it's going to be in
2013 or 2017. Mostly, folks seem to be more
interested in the exactitude of their prediction
rather than the sheer FACT of a degree of
privation never experienced in a hundred years.

E.

I'm now watching the movie "Platoon".

It's hard to imagine looking back on The Vietnam War with nostalgia, but....

In "NAM", everyone was either a "GOOK", a "DINK", a "GRUNT", or a "CHEESE DICK". Simpler times....

Confucius was once asked by a student what is most important to the stability of a country. He replied that 3 things are important: (1) a strong army; (2) enough food; and (3) the people's confidence in the system (legitimacy).

Of these, he said that the most important is the people's belief in the system (legitimacy). Without this, he said, the government will collapse.

Thanks for the input Tripp. Having those staples on hand is simply a way for me to feed myself and probably a few others the short term during a worst case scenario. I know it is ultimately unviable for long term sustainability, but I am taking the area I live in into consideration.

I live about an hour outside Detroit, and we have had occasional home invasions in the countryside over the years by perpetrators from Detroit. In a worst case scenario, I have to believe that type of thing is going to scale up exponentially. Everyone I know that owns property lives within a few miles of an interstate highway. Growing a garden in this area may be unviable at first due to security considerations.

I've read a little on permaculture and biointensive techniques on the net, and I find it really interesting, but I can't seem to find anything specific that shows you how to get a basic, sustainable system set up. If you know of any resources that feature something like that, please pass it along.

I do know that a three sisters type system was commonly used by native Americans. They planted corn, pole beans, and squash in a mound. The pole beans stabilized the corn, and the squash provided ground cover to hold in moisture, or so I have read. I'm hoping to put in a mound or two this year if I can find someone who will let me use a bit of their land.

Free land and free labor are a great way to get a country off to a fast start. You almost can't help but be successful.


And what you need to do about it is make preparations to board your lifeboat or energyark:
http://energyark.blogspot.com

Vlad's use, or misuse, of the dash is really just the surface of the problem, a problem that has arisen because of the historical lack of support for the true dash on the Web.

The problem is acute in the US. The typographical convention in the US is to use an extra-long dash (called an em-dash) with no spaces on either side. When copy that has been properly typeset is "repurposed" on the net, the em-dashes often revert to hyphens and what was a parenthetical phrase set off by dashes becomes an abomination of wrongly hyphenated words.

The British convention – using a shorter en-dash set off with spaces on either side – has proved to be better.

Note that the preceding sentence contains two en-dashes. These special characters are supported on this blog.

Or maybe not. Friggin' HTML.

Squish-dik sez:

"Vlad, consider this my final appeal.."

He along with the rest of us will consider this your final appeal. Now----S-H-U-T----T-H-E---F-U-C-K---U-P---, you fucking M-O-R-O-N.

David Matthews said: "The Earth is a living planet and it will stay a living planet. The economy can go straight to hell."

I am tired of all this adulation of the earth. The earth will not stay a living planet.

The earth will eventually become a cold, dead, dark piece of dust devoid of any living thing, including the much touted cockroaches and rats.

This will happen because life on earth is dependent on the sun, and the sun is not eternal either.

The Sun will die when it completely runs out of fuel. Before that, it will run out of hydrogen and switch to helium fusion. This will make it become a red giant that may well engulf the Earth. The Sun is too small to progress beyond burning helium. It will eventually shrink to a white dwarf.

Don't fret about this too much, though. It won't happen for a long, long time. The Milky Way will collide with Andromeda before our sun goes into the red giant phase. That will destroy not only our solar system but big chunks of the galaxy. Time frame for these events: Milky Way/Andromeda collision in 3 billion years, sun becomes a red giant in 4-5 billion years.

It is best to just enjoy the precious life we have and stop all killing of other human beings in the name of God, Allah, Manifest Destiny, or any other foolish notion that enters our heads.

"...to be racist or prejudiced, something has to be untrue."

Don't you mean unconsidered or unaccepted? If I were prejudiced about Audis it may be because I have always bought American automobiles. They may be fine cars, but I don't buy them for completely different reasons. I could be even more discerning and by only Chevrolets. Perhaps I have nothing against any other brand name, I just prefer a Chevy. This does not make me evil, or obligated to drive another type of vehicle.

Have you heard about the new Ford trucks? They have the tail-pipe running through the tail-gate. Makes it nice when you are pushing them down the highway in the winter.

And what about, I'll never buy another new car! Or, I'll never buy another car? Prejudice? - nope.

{for the record: I have been planting fruit and nut trees for 6 years}

“This event pulled the lid off something that we who work in the sector know well but no one talks about: That many Italian economic realities are based on the exploitation of low-cost foreign labor, living in subhuman conditions, without human rights,” said Flavio Di Giacomo, the spokesman for the International Organization for Migration in Italy.

The workers live in “semi-slavery,” added Mr. Di Giacomo, who said, “It’s shameful that this is happening in the heart of Italy.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/world/europe/11italy.html

"the hypen becomes like the yell or kiai of karate"
========================

No Vlad -- preceisely the opposite. It is the pause that turns the words which follow it into a karate yell or a slam dunk. And BTW, I see you have started using the double dash, but still improperly. Whether you use a double or single dash you need a space before and after the dash(s) as in my first sentence above. Also, read the NY Times. They are very rigorous in applying standards and I think you'll see they are using dashes in the manner I describe. They have thought long and hard about such things and are not doing it just for the hell of it.

Well for the sake of argument, I'm pretending that Liberals really care about the Truth. So, assuming that, they have to really work to prove racism--not just assert it to crush people as they do now. So if I say that Blacks are HIV positive far more often that Whites, they have no right to just call me a racist as is their wont. They have to prove me wrong--which they can't because it's true. All I've ever asked if for an open mind. That in itself will defeat the Left.

So because of this, racism is a nonsense word, a boogie or shiboleth, no real relation to its dictionary meaning. It really is liberal swear word to the effect of: Shut up. Shut up or else. And if you are well connected like Reid or Clinton, you can get away with it. Michael Steele is correct in this, but he wants to tighten the system up so no White person can get away whereas decent people want to throw the whole thing away at this point. Neither Steele or Obama have any problem with minority racism agaisnt Whites.

Wisewebwoman: Probably just political gamesmanship to shut down the Afghan detainee issue in parliament. I don't think the detainee issue has a lot of traction in the Canuck electorate. I think most people are like that friend of Craig Oliver who asked whether Canuck soldiers tortured detainees. The answer was no, it was the Afghan police. Well then replied Craig's friend, I don't give a good god damn. One recent poll claimed that the huge majority of us are indifferent to the issue. Also, I don't think the Libs really give a shit about Afghan detainees, this is also just crass partisan politics on their part.

Anyway, I think Harper has character deformities that are really off-putting but being like Bush isn't one of them so I never saw him as Bush lite.

I think the majority of Conservatives, ex-Reformers and their supporters are well to the left of Hilary Clinton never mind Bush. Canadian conservatism has some parallels with US conservatism but I think it has different roots and there are issues that US conservatives get steamed about that are mostly non-issues here. The reverse is also true. I think that one big thing that characterizes Red states and US conservatism - religiosity- has no parallel in Canadian conservatism, neither in rural/small town East nor West. So much for Canadian politics.

The rich, especially those making their living on Wall Street, portray themselves as being so much smarter than the rest of us. Well, what I can't figure out is if the rich are so smart why are they destroying their own economic life support system?

Like: do they seriously think that offshoring American industry to China so that slave labour can sell to unemployed American factory workers is a viable business model?

The Chinese probably can't believe their luck. They see these stupid white men bringing them technical know how and industrial capacity which they can then steal away. So they do the smart thing and steal. Nothing like a free lunch.

So the rich here move US industrial capacity and give it to China. Does anybody seriously think that the US can support 10 nuclear armed carrier battle groups, dozens of submarines, hundreds of ships and a 1.5 million man military with no manufacturing capacity? Who will the rich then turn to for protection? The military indusrial complex which they gave away to China?

Or do the rich actually think that the money that Greenspan and his lap dog Bernanke printed actually represents real wealth? What rich people will find out soon enough is that the US dollar, which they expend so much time trying to steal from us and from one another, is fools gold. So now they're piling into real gold. Another bubble. But in the end you can't eat gold and gold doesn't produce anything. So the rich are screwing themselves again. I'm not just pissing on the American moneyed class. The rich folks here in Canada are just as stupid.

The rich are in a capitalist infrastructure. They have to behave the way the infrastructure shapes them, just as we drive because public transportation was destroyed and billions were spent to build highways instead.

Maybe they see that it won't work longterm, maybe they don't. If they portray themselves as smarter, I do not accept that as fact.

The point I was trying to make is that everyone will go along doing the same thing as long as possible, especially if life is sweet.

I believe that I will be laid off at work, as soon as management is ready to do so.

Do I quit now? Hell, no.

I will work as long as I can, in order to be able to pay the bills and buy necessities.

Just because I can foresee that it won't last doesn't mean that I won't carry on as long as possible.

NPR used to be good, now NPR is more like CNN, MSM.

"So, assuming that, they have to really work to prove racism--not just assert it to crush people as they do now."

If you insist on honesty you become a fanatic to liars and other subjective ANALists.

http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/censorshipnewswithviews.htm

is the US vs the world?

"Perhaps the most troubling buzz in the air this first month of 2010 are rumors of coming food shortages due to widespread crop failures around the world in the harvest seasons of 2009"

-yet-

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-12/grains-soybeans-plunge-on-record-u-s-crop-slowing-exports.html

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Grain prices plunged in Chicago after the U.S. said farmers harvested record corn and soybean crops, and that wheat inventories surged because of slumping demand and rising supply.

Try on the net using the term " Squarefoot Gardening". There are many well written books telling how to set up small very productive organic gardens. Barnes&Noble has a bunch. You can also build them on rollerized pallets that will allow them to be moved to more secure spots during periods of darkness. Don't forget one of any survivalist gardeners favorite tools,the Remington 870 12ga. Shotgun. Get a Deer Slug barrel,it has rifle sights for easy target acquisition and when used with deer slugs gives you 150yd stand-off. And don't forget to pick-up at least 2 or 3 cases of deer slugs. Don't waste time on buckshot. 8 pieces of buckshot will easily be trumped by a 1oz lead slug ! Especially when you are engaging at ranges beyond 30 yards. When it falls apart it will happen fast. IF your not somewhat ready it could be too late. The coming situation, should it happen will be a time when having seriously cold resolve will be what gets you and yours through. I live on a farm 50 miles SW of Detroit and 5 miles N of Toledo. Be Prepared and good luck.

The hypen is the visual representation of the pause. No points there. But thanx for the further correction on the spacing. We are getting very small here folks, but is the infinite to be found in the very small as well as the very large? We are exploring the mind of man here. His three main passions: money, sex, and grammar. He's "all set" as far the first. He has lost most of his interest in the second. Ah, but the last...!!!! The best is yet to be...Whaddya say folks - let's help him by letting him help us.

"The best is yet to be...Whaddya say folks - let's help him by letting him help us."
========================

Now you're talkin!!

Well said, Cash.

The truly smart are the ones making new arrangements for a new way of living right now. And the more novel the better.

"I am tired of all this adulation of the earth. The earth will not stay a living planet."

I'm going to side with David Mathews on this one. In any sort of fathomable human mental construct, the Earth will live on quite beautifully for many ages to come, with or without us. The only thing that will keep us around to enjoy it for a while longer is a fundamental shift in our relationship with it.

Hey Peak,
I grow the 3 sisters in my garden. Well, actually 5 sisters. Like the Anasazi I add cleomes and amaranth for insectary purposes. Amaranth also produces an alternative, gluten-free grain if you need one. I just like the taste added to my bread and pasta.

Good books for hands-on setup are "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway (also check out his brilliant writing at www.patternliteracy.com), and "Earth User's Guide to Permaculture" by Rosemary Marrow.

You know that Detroit is rapidly filling in with gardens and urban farms, right? Detroit, of all places, a model for urban sustainability...

Sounds like you have plenty of good ideas!

It requires a deep understanding of your supply chain to kill off your bacon. I'm not sure I'm that dedicated.

In contrast, I had a kid stop by my garden last summer who asked me why I had chickens. I told him because I liked fresh eggs. He responded with his best 8-ish year old digusted face, "you eat eggs from chickens??"

We're in a lot of trouble, aren't we?

Yes, a whole peck of trouble. Doctors in Germany are seeing children who don't know how to walk backwards, so out of touch are these mites with negotiating the three-dimensional world that you and I learned by climbing trees (increasingly forbidden) and walking to school.

"Trip[p], you gotta look at the shit too. Don't just take the good stuff and use it to bash Westerners."

Occasionally you have interesting things to say. This is not one of those occasions.

I'm sure there are drawbacks to living under any system, but I see clearly the bulk of planetary ills arising from expansionary agrarian culture.

You don't have to agree obviously.

One thing that I think gets missed in all this, is that as we slowly (hopefully slowly) become a less affluent nation, the ubiquity of concentrated, portable wealth - gold coins, fed notes, jewelry - will disappear. Theft arises from the ability to take something from someone that is quick and easy to make off with, and that is valuable enough to make it worth your trouble.

If your wealth is in your soil fertility, or in the bumper crops of apricots raining down on your garden, or in the black walnut timber grove on the back 40, as was the case before agriculture, there is no theft. I've lost one iris and handful of raspberries in my gardening career.

Oh, and a Gary Fisher mountain bike. Talk about "portable!"

KCRW ...stands for College Radio Workshop

NOW IT MEANS...ruth seymores israeli lobby

What are the best gardening / farming websites?
i see that newzealanders now are 10% of missouris dairy industry..land in Missu is 1/15 that of pasture in NZ.

have you read ' Plunder'
How a city in cali went bankrupt because 80% of its $ went to police and fire etc?

"Well, what I can't figure out is if the rich are so smart why are they destroying their own economic life support system?"

Why did the bankers take on so much risk? Because it was in their self-interest to do so. By increasing leverage — that is, by making risky investments with borrowed money — banks could increase their short-term profits. And these short-term profits, in turn, were reflected in immense personal bonuses for bank executives. If the concentration of risk in the banking sector increased the danger of a systemwide financial meltdown, well, that wasn’t the bankers’ problem. Banks were hugely profitable as long as housing prices were going up — banks and investment houses accounted for more than a third of total U.S. profits as the bubble was inflating — but was brought to the edge of collapse once the bubble burst. It took U.S. government socialism on an immense scale, initiated by the Repulicans and confirmed by the Democrats, and the promise of even more socialism if needed, to pull the bankers back from the brink of the bankruptcy which laissez faire capitalism is supposed to permit. But it didn't work that way. To save the myth of capitalism, the government had to save the banks, through socialism. So we have welfare for the rich and a simultaneous attack on "entitlement" programs for the poor. Government support for the poor is "socialism." Government support for bankers is an issue of national security.

blame that bitch Margie Mead...see
'The dark side of man' for a great critque of her.

white liberals re write history. and the ford foundation gave a grant to ' day laborer theatre'
reminds me of the rockefellers financing the Bolshoi ballet as stalin was busy killing off 20 million. The rockefellers helped put a pretty face on the USSR as they palnned their plunder of china and the USSR...so much for communism..its still the golden rule
he whos got the gold k=makes the rules!

"What are the best gardening / farming websites?
i see that newzealanders now are 10% of missouris dairy industry..land in Missu is 1/15 that of pasture in NZ."

Not to beat a dead horse but NZ owes its success in large part to 30 years of permacultural thought.

It originated in Australia, but the biggest names in the movement will tell you that NZ is the role model...

Thank you Mr. Purple. Being in California I point this out all the time. And, if people go to the URL you gave, they'll see that, other than Texas & Georgia, it's the blue states that pay the bills and the red states that are the freeloaders.* If Calif got just 95% back on each dollar paid there would be no fiscal crisis (not that it would be spent wisely, of course!).

Another California anomaly: the land of surburban sprawl & car depedency is #2 for trains after the NE Corridor (5 mil vs 10 mil passengers) which says just too much about the state of rail travel in the U.S.

In any case, The Long Emergency continues for us all.

*not counting banksters and the war machine!

"If your wealth is in your soil fertility, ... there is no theft."

If only it were so. Have you ever watched "Seven Samurai"? Your labor what's actually stolen from you in most cases, whether it's your money or your possessions. The only way to have nothing to steal is to have no return on your labor (in addition to owning nothing)...

Ahh, the trains. I traveled by train extensively in Japan and Switzerland. It's like air travel in the old days -- walk up to the gate, no humiliating and wasteful security checks, trains arrive and leave on time. Yeah, they get crowded in Japan at times, but there are worse things in life... It should be mandatory for High School students to travel to Europe or Japan so they can learn there are other ways to inhabit the landscape (to use JHK's phrase) and travel thru it...

Earth Day 1970

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years (1985 - 2000) unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
• New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Stanford's Paul Ehrlich announces that the sky is falling.
“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson

Another excellent blog by the Most Reverend Kunstler and The Church of Reality-based Thinking. JHK has always had a way of cutting through the bull and pointing out the obvious in the most direct language. Don't you find it perplexing that the "ruling class" has yet to grasp the laws of thermodynamics as they apply to the global economy? Hasn't anybody told Ben Bernacke about entropy? What's really weird is how the free-market, capitalist economy is following virtually the same path as the old, hated centrally-planned, command-driven Communist model circa 1990. Go figure.

Diogen,
Your comments are still deeply ingrained in the linear timeline of agrarian culture. Birth, school, adolescence, marriage, career, retirement, death. Always make sure you save enough for that ever-looming rainy day.

Horticultural societies don't think this way. They live within a cyclical abundance provided by an intimate and respectful relationship with their ecosystem. There is no hoarding, no concentration of wealth, "economy," if there is such a thing, is based on gifting, and the untimely death of 2 or 3 people is a major skirmish.

I'm not suggesting that we are heading toward a pre-indutrial world. I'm suggesting that we are heading toward a pre-agrarian world. Not just a shift to simpler ways, but a completely different paradigm.

To compare that to the samurai is to miss the point by roughly ten millenia.

"The Milky Way will collide with Andromeda before our sun goes into the red giant phase. That will destroy not only our solar system but big chunks of the galaxy."

I would say more, but this video does a much better job (and has Felicia Day in it):
http://scienceblips.dailyradar.com/story/behind-the-scenes-when-galaxies-collide/tweets/?p=7

Think about it. Haven't you ever wondered how on earth tribal foraging populations could still exist in this day and age? Why don't they catch up with the times?

Simple. Because their way is better. At least for long-term survival. They work far less; consume virtually nothing compared to us; enjoy roughly flat social hierarchies with direct access to what little leadership exists; they have a deep spiritual connection with the landscape and typically subscribe to a pantheistic worldview that animates and deifies everything around them; and they have an immense amount of time to dedicate to art, philosophy, and music.

Why do we assume that a lack of drive-thru chili cheese fries and land-grant universities makes them inferior?

"have you read ' Plunder'"

Not yet, but it is on my list. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has heard about it.

"It requires a deep understanding of your supply chain to kill off your bacon. I'm not sure I'm that dedicated."

I'm in agreement on both counts. Fortunately, where I live (California) wild/feral boars do quite well (and the state doesn't place many restrictions on hunting them. Of course, even if it did, there would b no money to enforce said restrictions, so...)

"We're in a lot of trouble, aren't we?"

Yup. Even if the kid is a vegan. And he probably isn't.

Tripp: And "tribal foraging populations" have such long lifespans and great medical care and such nice teeth.

Eventually a rise in natural remedies will spread among whomever is left, perhaps slowing de-population in a world without modern drugs. The all-purpose response at this point is "get ready for a bumpy ride."

"It should be mandatory for High School students to travel to Europe or Japan so they can learn there are other ways to inhabit the landscape (to use JHK's phrase) and travel thru it..."

I would add another mandatory activity for high school students:
A year of hard physical labor. Ditch digging, picking crops, busting rock, etc. (No exceptions. In a wheelchair? Your arms still work: start cranking that winch!)

Actually Puzzler,
If you study archaeological records, the shift from foraging to agrarian populations 10,000 years ago is earmarked by significant decline in lifespan, height, and dental health.

Our advantage today is fossil fuel-derived, and we're mostly zombies on drugs anyway.

Personally, I think we will only experience a bumpy ride if we continue to buy into our culture's deep-seated superiority complex.

Sadly, that seems to be the trend...

And which part of our great medical system are you referring to?

The massive increase in diabetes, cancer, or AIDS?

Or maybe you were referring to American mental health?

The unbelievable hubris embedded in the argument that our way of life is superior, in spite of its unsustainability, forms the crux of my argument.

The very survival of those tribal foraging populations, that never bothered us in any way, is being threatened by our insatiable appetite for more - more technology, more pills, more years of life with which to consume their unimportant existence, and we have the nerve to sit here and make fun of their teeth.

I'm embarrassed.


But Jeremy ... even the boy who cried "wolf"
was eventually correct and then no one listened
to him.

And that's the situation we have today. The
oil "crisis" of the 1970s was manufactured.
This one is real. Lake Mead is down EIGHTY
FEET in the last handful of years. How long
can Las Vegas and Phoenix survive now that
the Colorado doesn't even make it to the sea?
These aren't "hypotheses". These are supported
by hard metrics.

I'd be the first one to support your point of
view if you actually had facts to negate the
doomsayers. Your form of argument is basically
"The doomsayers have been wrong until now so
they're ALWAYS going to be wrong". That is
sophistry of the highest order.


Eleuthero


Why should business news be any different
than the cheerleading that's been going on
since the March low? Endless oil, eh??
Then why is Cantarell's own estimate of
their depletion rate at 17% per annum?
They'll be dry as the proverbial bone in
three years and there goes 40% of Mexican
GDP and a good hunk of our imports.

I've noticed, Jeremy, that you can't really
fight your own intellectual battles with your
own arguments so you either quote "gurus" who
support your own position or you just make fun
of those who advance arguments without using
DATA to negate them.

Please DO TELL ... where's that "endless oil"
going to come from?? You must know some aliens
because prosaic earthly Petroleum Engineers
know that Deffeyes was right in calling the
USA peak (almost to the month) and more modern
engineers accept Peak Oil with a shoulder shrug.


Eleuthero

"another mandatory activity for high school students: A year of hard physical labor"

Excellent idea (and they can use the money earned to travel :) Let's see, they could build sidewalks along all streets and roads so humans can walk/bike with dignity and safety; they could re-forest damaged ecosystems; lean to grow, harvest and process food; dismantle abandoned strip-malls and build solar greenhouses with the salvaged materials. And plant Tripp's food forests. This may happen in our lifetime when fossil energy becomes too expensive...

Well, tribal foraging populations were involved in constant warfare with neighboring tribes, defending their territory and/or foraging on other tribes' lands, since their survival was predicated to their control/access to the land. I seriously doubt the notion that agriculture was the primary factor transforming peaceful hunters/gatherers into warring aggressors. I like the idea of peaceful foraging, don't get me wrong, but the Malthusian facts aren't conducive to the idea...

Trippticket replied to diogen: "Your comments are still deeply ingrained in the linear timeline of agrarian culture. Birth, school, adolescence, marriage, career, retirement, death. Always make sure you save enough for that ever-looming rainy day.

Horticultural societies don't think this way. They live within a cyclical abundance provided by an intimate and respectful relationship with their ecosystem".

Very nice comment, Trippticket.

My own inability to understand its truth is a measure of just how far we have traveled toward a rationalized linear society where money is more important than community and ecological relationships.

The recovery of such is one of the positive aspects of the Long Emergency.

Thanks, Asoka!

It's definitely taken a steady progression of "a-ha moments" to begin thinking within a new/ancient paradigm. Long way to go still.

It's a good place to be though, that much I can say.

I'd love the help with the food forests! (Actually the idea in general seems solid to me.)

As for agrarian vs. horticultural societies, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. I value your commentary too much to travel any farther down that divergent road.

Can I offer an essay in exchange? (If you haven't already read it...)

http://www.patternliteracy.com/beyondwilderness.html

Tripp out.

James,

In addition to the AIG and Geithner conspiracy to hide the counterparty payoffs from the SEC and the public, no doubt, a real criminal action, the SEC has allowed AIG to keep secret who those counterparty members are until 2018, from what I have recently read.

2010 is likely to be a make or break year for Obama. Either he has to rise tall and high this year and begin showing he can demand real change in this country without caving into the financial crime syndicate bosses' orders, as well as realize that the reason we are hated in the world is because we demand change from others through the barrel of a gun, and drone aircraft (not because of our freedoms), or he will go up in flames like a Burning Man effigy.

It seems that Obama is nothing more than the Manchurian President and has no courage. He is just a flappin' jaw.

this is clear with his actions to go forward with his cockamamie TSA plan for full body scanning. He is just distracting Americans from the bad news.

He is a spineless photo-op.

http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

Actually this is the essay I had in mind:

http://www.patternliteracy.com/sustag.html

But when things didn't work out, they starved. They had no surplus. Surplus is especially necessary outside the tropics. Until people discovered grains, foods that would keep, they had to stay in the tropics. There was no lebensraum. That's where the cannibalism, infanticide, and constant warfare come in. But those are just minor inconviences, right?

The ancient Indians of California might have been horticulturists, but they knew a good thing when they saw it. The oak groves show signs of heavy fighting: arrowheads and arrowheads in bodies. The locals obviously were willing to fight for the acorns, which keep for a year or so. They used to bury them in stone vaults.

Once a surplus is created, not everyone had to be gardening, gathering, and hunting. There was room for specialization in the arts and rituals. This was the begining of civilization with all its joys and problems. And you seem to think it was all a mistake.

All I'm saying Trip is to honor the journey that got us here. And we wont really be going back to they way these people were. We just know too much. It's going to be more like a spiral than a circle. We are on a higher level because of all we've been through and now know. Sure, let's learn from them, but not glorify them. Most of these peope who are left would probably give up that way of life in New York second if they could get a flat screen tv and a used car. They don't know, how could they? Yes they know how to work with Nature, but they don't appreciate Nature the way we do. They are too close to it. They are it. Ascence has made our hearts grow fonder. Some of us anyway.

Nor all of these people were hyper religious. But as to ones that were or are: don't assume that it's automatically a great thing. If you deify everything, you may be terrified of everything. I saw a great clip on TV about an Amazon Tribe that converted to Christianity. Before that they had "worshiped" birds as emissaries of the spirits. It didn't serve them very well. They kept going out to hunt and having to come right back because they'd see an inauspicious bird. The chief said Christianity was better. The other religion didn't work because there were "too may birds".

Vlad said: "The chief said Christianity was better. The other religion didn't work because there were "too may birds"."

Christianity had a good run but the US Christian majority is suffering from a crisis of doctrine, due to its Calvinist roots.

Calvinists have had a BIG influence on America, especially with the great Puritan migration of the 1630s. 10,000s of Calvinists came over when Jamestown was still just a village. That, with the Dutch Calvinists at New Amsterdam, (NYC), the Scotch and Scotch Irish Presbyterians, and the French Huguenots, Calvinism has had a dominant influence on the USA.

According to Calvinist doctrine God loves the rich and hates the poor, that's why the rich are rich and the poor are poor. We despise and fear our poor and grovel before the rich (get ahead by kissing ass!)

The second major tenant of Calvinism is, "God loves winners and hates losers".

We Americans have always won our wars, so God is on our side. But in Vietnam we lost, which caused a crisis in the US Christian community; fear and paranoia! God was not on our side in Vietnam! How do we know God is on our side now?! Maybe God was never on our side! Maybe God does not exist, but rather we've been kidding ourselves all this time!

A crisis of doctrine. Time to move on from Christianity.

You're right. Agriculture supports far more people than horticulture just as horticulture supports far more than hunter gathering by itself. So the wars of Agricultural Socities were huge and even reminscient of the 20th Century. Post Classical Europe as well as other Socities learned to limit war to Aristocrats. Modern Warfare has become the same all out affair that the was found in the ancient Middle East with whole populations being put to the sword.

And the Hunter Gathers? Very small warfare for very small socities. But constant. The Aboriginees of Austalia were very warlike. The goal was not only territory and women, but meat. They ate each other. Read it and weep Trip.

Yes it all came from Boas. He had dozens of disciples who then had dozens each. In an amazingly short time they took over American Anthropology and made in Politically Correct. To take an Anthropology class now is just to be indoctrinated.

Margaret Meade was sent out on a mission by her handler Boas. He told her to portray Tahiti as a paradise of sexual freedom infinitely superior to the uptight goyim of America. Oh yes, Boas was Jewish. Oh yes. Needless to say, her research has proved utterly worthless. She found was she was told to find, nothing more and nothing less.

Well, I certainly think the journey constitutes reality to a larger degree than the destination does. We can't go back, therefore we must celebrate all that we are and have been, learn from our mistakes, and push on toward a higher ideal.

I can't help but come back to the idea that a way of life that can't be sustained is, in the end, an inferior way of life. No matter how many flat screen TVs one might have accumulated in the process. When the electricity goes out, a TV is the worst kind of useless junk. Glorious, for a stolen season, no doubt, but as is always the case, life outside of nature's balance can end only one way.

I'm also moved to consider quantum physics as a corrolary in this case. That the observed is affected by the observer. We talk about native Americans warring with each other, but to be fair, European observers were simultaneously flooding the continent, driving eastern tribes west, into the food forests of other nations.

How should they react to this unwelcome change? This anamolous behavior from their neighbors?

"That's where the cannibalism, infanticide, and constant warfare come in. But those are just minor inconviences [sic], right?"

Compare them to planetary deforestation driving increased drought, desertification to the tune of 75 sq mi/day, mass genocide, the hypoxic anihilation of major estuaries, and the sixth mass extinction in the geologic record, and suddenly a little cannibalism seems like damn neighborly behavior.

There's a lot to consider in this question. Some of our most fundamental patterns of inhabiting the landscape need to be scrutinized. Horticulturalists have rarely known famine. Their numbers are small, their food is far more diverse, and they are very mobile. And they still exist today, despite a wholesale lack of western medicine and methods. That fact alone should bring honor to them.

In agrarian society, on the other hand, famine was a regular visitor. It wasn't uncommon to suffer 10-25 country-wide famines per century, even in affluent cultures. Only the fossil fuel subsidy pushed agriculture into fail-safe mode. Temporarily. But along with the surplus necessary to conquer that nagging food issue came immense power. Power that has steadily concentrated into fewer and fewer hands as we go. The central bankers and a cadre of oil men are just about all that's left.

That's agriculture. And that's capitalism. Both beating a trail together toward disaster.

Vlad said: "Margaret Meade was sent out on a mission by her handler Boas. He told her to portray Tahiti as a paradise of sexual freedom infinitely superior to the uptight goyim of America."

Vlad, I think you are misrepresenting Mead a bit. If you read her book, Coming of Age in Samoa (1949 edition), in chapter 11 you will find her discussion of "girls in conflict" who did not fit the dominant pattern. Mead did not attempt to cover up the problems young people had. She was quite frank about it.

"A crisis of doctrine. Time to move on from Christianity."

Don't you mean, Time to move on from Calvinism? This is what you just described. You just highlighted man-made doctrines and passed them off as christian doctrines.

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G K Chesyerton - Chapter 5, What's Wrong With The World, 1910

"And the Hunter Gathers? Very small warfare for very small socities. But constant. The Aboriginees of Austalia were very warlike. The goal was not only territory and women, but meat. They ate each other. Read it and weep Trip[p]."

Vlad, even if this is true, and I doubt that it is, they still didn't consume their ability to sustain themselves on the planet. There's an enormous difference. The Australian aborigines suffered the same fate as the Cherokee and Iroquois. They were fatally over-run by European agriculturalists.

Outsourcing our destruction does nothing but promote ignorance upon cowardice.

""The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

No, it has been tried, over and over and over again (there are over 300 Christian denominations) and it has yielded repression, guilt, and genocide of millions.

Jesus provided the example, violently overturning the tables of the moneychangers and knocking down the chairs of those selling pigeons. (Matthew 21:12) Rage and violence.

The guy had an anger management problem, cursing a fig tree because it didn't have fruit out of season. Irrationality, rage, and violence.

Jesus has inspired violence all throughout history because he is a black and white kind of guy, a completely egoistic Jew, a false messiah: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

Jesus said, "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16)... and he produced violence.

Dead Can Dance said it best:

Severance...
the birds of leaving call to us
yet here we stand endowed with the fear of flight

Overland...
the winds of change consume the land
while we remain in the shadow of summers now past

When all the leaves have fallen
and turned to dust will we remain entrenched within our ways?

Indifference...
the plague what moves throughout this land
Omen signs in the shapes of things to come.

Tomorrow's child is the only child

re: http://www.patternliteracy.com/sustag.html

Thanks for the link Trip, interesting.
I agree with your angle that the observer effect played a role in many cases. Although I don't think that agriculture marked the beggining of human violence and aggression, it doubtlessly intensified it. Agriculture was an inevitable step for humans because of the species reasoning power, curiosity and an instinct for accumulating.
Yeah, it had lots of unfortunate side-effects which were also probably inevitable. But I just don't think that horticultural societies were models of peace and tranquility, given human nature. BTW, I don't mind you or anyone disagreeing with me, I don't hold anything approaching the Universal Truth :) I stumbled on this blog and comments recently, and I'm very impressed by the diversity and originality of opinions expressed here (with the exception of one person who seems to derive some sort of satisfaction from hurling insults at other posters)... Back to horticulture, we should be aware of the Fallacy of Composition -- what may work well for a few individuals would not necessarily work well for a larger group. Although I do think that the Industrial Agriculture will collapse or drastically decline in the future, agriculture will not be replaced by other forms of food production. Although the link you provided was interesting, I just don't believe that Sustainable Agriculture is an oxymoron. I grew up in a town where most homes were on 1-3 acres of land, and most people grew up to 90% of the calories they consumed, they only purchased grain products (flour, bread, etc.), salt, sugar, spices (we did forage in the nearby woods for mushrooms, berries, and hazelnuts). Our little farm/orchard was cultivated since the village was formed, and possibly before then as well, I'd guess since 11th century. The soil was still unbelievable, rich alluvium many feet deep. There was no such thing as throwing anything away, all organic matter was composted and returned to the soil. We never-ever used any manufactured fertilizers or additives (although for 1-2 years in the 1960's my father discovered DDT, but fortunately he discontinued it quickly). The potatoes were planted and harvested using a horse-pulled plow and human labor (that would be ME, my father and grandfather). We had 20+ fruit trees in rows, potatoes growing between the rows of trees, and large vegetable gardens. We preserved about 80% of the produce, sold the rest at farmers markets. My point is the soil was productive after centuries of cultivation, probably as good or maybe even better than at any point in the past. Sustainable agriculture? I think so.

p.s. to the previous post. We did purchase some chicken feed, mostly grains (I think it was wheat, rye, oats and barley). The chickens were our source of protein (eggs and meat). And we also bought milk from neighbors and made cheese. Again, my point is that small-scale sustainable agriculture was the way of life, and my village with other surrounding smaller villages produced surpluses every year which were sold locally and in the large city 20 miles away.
Having said that, I'm going to try some of your permaculture ideas (incl. 5 sisters :)

asoka-his-pants sez:

"Time to move on from Christianity."

You go right ahead, asoka-your-pants. Keep on movin' bro. Move on now. No stopping. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.00.

(there are over 300 Christian denominations)

No, there are three hundred denominations that call themselves christian. If they were not separating themselves from others over personal interpretations of religious teachings they would not be denominated.

Your interpretations of Jesus' activities perfectly illustrate process. The scriptures do not say Jesus had "an anger management problem". In fact most of us come to the conclusion that He had tremendous self-control and acted in a very deliberate manner, on every occasion.

It is the belief you represent, which conflicts with many of His teachings, separating you from fellowship with christians, which, of course, may be your intent. This is how religions {denominations} get started.

You make some good points. But I differ with you on some things.

You're right in that bankers and moneyed classes did what they did out of self interest. But I would argue that the system of incentives that encouraged their behaviour was their own creation.

For the longest time the ponzi-like system the moneyed classes created has had the surface shine of legality and legitimacy backed by the full force and might of the Government of the United States. Institutionalized theft in other words.

You say: "Government support for bankers is an issue of national security."

You are correct: the military-industrial complex defends the interests of the moneyed class. But the Chinese now possess, on their own soil, courtesy of the US moneyed class, the industrial complex upon which the US military depends.

Think of the absurdity. The Chinese are financing the military budget of their rivals. How long can THAT last? Can the US moneyed class now look to the Chinese elite for protection? At best they end up as errands boys for the butchers in Beijing. How long before they end up as their victims? So how brilliant is Wall Street?

And, Messianicdruid, I also think that the system created by the rich to steal money will have the effect of devaluing what they are trying to steal. The moneyed classes wanted easy money courtesy of the Fed. But with Bernanke turning the crank the Fed is creating dollars like there's no tomorrow. So what good will the billions do if they only buy a few loaves of bread?

The rich scare the hell out of me. Wall Street and other financial capitals are populated by grotesques that stop at nothing. These mindless, deranged, deformed monstrosities are not "smart". They are a nightmare. They wreck companies, societies, countries and entire world economies and think nothing of it and destroy themselves in the process.

The Chinese must be rubbing their hands with glee. They must be thinking the time of the West is over. So now who gives the orders? Now its the turn of the Asian Man.

Trippticket has the right idea. Grow your own food.

messianicdruid, it is becoming clear that christianity is really what you define it to be, scripture be damned.

If I come into your space and start overturning tables and knocking over chairs, and then I go into your garden and start cursing your trees for not having fruit out of season, I'm pretty sure you might think I have an anger management problem.

Asoka, Christianity did induce people to at least acknowledge (if not practice in all cases) many humanistic ideas. The ruling elites used Christianity to promote their usual goals (wealth, power, etc.) with devastating consequences, but given human need for a belief system, there's probably no good alternative which is at its heart as humanistic as Christianity. Some may argue with the meaning of "humanistic", what i mean is a set of values that most people would like practiced toward them.
Other alternatives have been tried (various
-isms) with equally or greater devastating consequences... So, unless you can see something I don't, essential Christianity probably remains our best chance for a fair and just social order, the never-solved problem is how to organize and conduct it though, and interprest it in a way which is consistent with science and contemporary human consciousness... Your ideas?

Cash, you too make some good points. But "The Chinese must be rubbing their hands with glee" probably isn't true. Their national capital is invested in the dollar- and euro-denominated obligations which may rapidly lose value, as well as industrial capacity that #1 depends on diminishing fossil fuels, #2 is in over-capacity and #3 depends on the rest of the world buying their "stuff" (a very precarious position). They are also in deep trouble, especially since they have to feed, house and keep from rioting 1.3+ billion people on a land which is experiencing desertification as a result of the climate change.

So who do you figure goes down the crapper first, the US or China?

"...it is becoming clear that christianity is really what you define it to be"

If it was what I define it to be then we could have an argument, and another denomination.

It is not my purpose to add to the chaos of man-made religion. It is my purpose to get all of us to lay down OUR versions of right and wrong and subscribe to HIS version of right and wrong. Until we do this things will only devolve further into "hell on earth".

I am simply asking you to be honest about who you are quoting and who's views you are representing since I can tell you are not aware of what Jesus "is all about".

Another example of your ignorance, "If I come into your space". Do you really think the temple belonged to the moneychangers and people who sold doves? Who's temple was it, really?

"And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."

While I agree with so much of what I'm reading here, I'm surprised at the lack of commentary on the smelliest turd on the plate - the harsh reality of everything we consume/use (food, energy, TAXES) costing more; while everything we own (houses, stocks/bonds, etc.) becoming worth less! This scenario is inevitable and puts us in uncharted waters for dealing with it. We live in a society of victims and everyone will be clamoring for government to do something about it (again), but what can they do? Nobody will be buying their Treasuries, bailouts and stimulus will be recognised for what they are - a waste of money that only buys time, and there's nowhere to go with the interest rate.
On the plus side, we will pull out of this several years from now, and all the whiners that want instant gratification from everybody all the time will have suffered the most (just ask 'em!). The best-prepared will suffer the least (duh!) but they weren't "buy guns and grow food" types - the worst case scenarios never become reality. Everybody that has bet against America, from Hitler on down, has lost - well, except John Paulson - and this coming period of ugliness will be more painful than others but the calls for the demise of the USA are premature.

"So who do you figure goes down the crapper first, the US or China?"

Mongolia. If I were Chinese, I'd have a Barbarosa plan for Mongolia.

Another question is what do you mean by "down the crapper"? Unlike a lot of visitors here, I don't believe there will be a "collapse". For most people, especially those with kids and grandkids, societal "failure is not an option", to borrow a line from Appolo 13. Yeah, we may have to live without ipods and gamestations and big TVs and reastuarant meals, and things may become dicey financially, but I don't think the pillars of civilizzation will collapse. I take a lot of what JHK says as possibilities, but not likelyhoods.

A couple of articles from the United Kingdom newspapers that may be of interest to some of your readers...reproduced shamelessly without the permission of the authors:

Nine meals from anarchy

By Andrew Simms, The Guardian, Jan 12th 2010
A cold snap shows how fragile our supply of food and fuel is. We need a more sustainable system
• Comments (140)
'Man has lost the capacity to foresee and forestall," wrote Albert Schweitzer. A colossal banking crisis and a big freeze in the middle of what was meant to be a mild winter don't encourage confidence to the contrary.
Reassurance is fine as long as it's well founded. And in the midst of fears about gas supplies and the panic buying of food Gordon Brown is hardly likely to scream that we are all doomed. It is, after all, his job to tell us that all will be well. But will it? People were shocked at the scale of social breakdown when Hurricane Katrina revealed a long-term, creeping erosion of civic resilience. Are we just waking up to the fact that several wrong turns have left our essential supplies much more vulnerable than they need to be?
In 2004 Britain ceased to be able to meet its energy needs domestically. Since then our dependence on imports, particularly of natural gas, has risen dramatically. The situation can only worsen as gas is subject to the same iron law of depletion as oil, and its moment of peak production lags not far behind.
Similarly, Britain's ability to feed itself has been in long-term decline, and food prices are reportedly rising in the cold spell. It was only two years ago that droughts in Australia caused a crisis in world grain supplies; in April 2008 food crises affected at least 37 countries and there were related riots in many. As climate change and volatile oil prices destabilise global agriculture, we are becoming more dependent on food and energy imports just as the geopolitics of both make it less likely that the world will generously meet our needs.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the fuel protests, when supermarket bosses sat with ministers and civil servants in Whitehall warning that there were just three days of food left. We were, in effect, nine meals from anarchy. Suddenly, the apocalyptic visions of novelists and film-makers seemed less preposterous. Civilisation's veneer may be much thinner than we like to think.
Part of the problem lies in the infrastructure that emerges from a market system focused on narrow cost savings. The result is easily disrupted just-in-time supermarket food supply lines, and a risky assumption that anything we need can easily be bought on global markets. The latter becomes problematic when in response to global shortages, governments around the world understandably choose to meet their domestic needs first. In Britain, not only are our strategic fuel reserves low by international comparison, our strategic food reserves are history.
One response to the vulnerability revealed in 2008 has been the rise of the so-called land grab. Several wealthy countries and companies have targeted up to 20m hectares of productive farmland in poor countries for acquisition and control. In Madagascar, public outcry led to the government's fall.
As a child I was quietly haunted by Doris Lessing's book The Memoirs of a Survivor. Society had broken down, and people were on the move, displaced amid an increasingly brutal disorder. The presiding government was useless but just about able to "adjust itself to events, while pretending probably even to itself that it initiated them".
Events are revealing that many of the things we take for granted, like bank accounts, fuel and food, are vulnerable. If we value civilisation, the litmus test for economic success should not be short-term profitability, but resilience in the face of climatic extremes and resource shortages. When Gordon Brown meets Cobra, the civil contingencies committee, this week, item one should be the transition to a more sustainable food and energy system.

Nine meals from anarchy - how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
By Rosie Boycott
Last updated at 1:41 AM on 07th June 2008
The phrase 'nine meals from anarchy' sounds more like the title of a bad Hollywood movie than any genuine threat.
But that was the expression coined by Lord Cameron of Dillington, a farmer who was the first head of the Countryside Agency - the quango set up by Tony Blair in the days when he pretended to care about the countryside - to describe just how perilous Britain's food supply actually is.
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Crisis: Britain's food supply is in peril
Long before many others, Cameron saw the potential of a real food crisis striking not just the poor of the Third World, but us, here in Britain, in the 21st Century.
The scenario goes like this. Imagine a sudden shutdown of oil supplies; a sudden collapse in the petrol that streams steadily through the pumps and so into the engines of the lorries which deliver our food around the country, stocking up the supermarket shelves as soon as any item runs out.
If the trucks stopped moving, we'd start to worry and we'd head out to the shops, cking up our larders. By the end of Day One, if there was still no petrol, the shelves would be looking pretty thin. Imagine, then, Day Two: your fourth, fifth and sixth meal. We'd be in a panic. Day three: still no petrol.
What then? With hunger pangs kicking in, and no notion of how long it might take for the supermarkets to restock, how long before those who hadn't stocked up began stealing from their neighbours? Or looting what they could get their hands on?
There might be 11 million gardeners in Britain, but your delicious summer peas won't go far when your kids are hungry and the baked beans have run out.
It was Lord Cameron's estimation that it would take just nine meals - three full days without food on supermarket shelves - before law and order started to break down, and British streets descended into chaos.
A far-fetched warning for a First World nation like Britain? Hardly. Because that's exactly what happened in the U.S. in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. People looted in order to feed themselves and their families.
If a similar tragedy was to befall Britain, we are fooling ourselves if we imagine we would not witness similar scenes of crime and disorder.
Well, today Britain is facing a very real crisis. Granted, it is not the threat of a sudden, terrifying phenomenon such as the hurricane that struck New Orleans. But in its capacity to cause widespread hardship and deprivation nationwide, it is every bit as daunting.
Oil prices are spiralling - $120 a barrel this week, up 23 per cent since the start of the year - and the cost is being felt not only by drivers but by each and every one of us who has seen our food bills soaring.
This week, the British Retail Consortium revealed that food price inflation had risen to 6 per cent - the highest figure since comparable records began - and up from 4.7 per cent in April and 4.1 per cent in March.
At its most basic, the reasons for this food inflation are twofold: increasing demand (particularly in the emerging economies of India and China) and spiralling production costs.
The former had been predicted for years, but the latter is more unexpected.
Conventional wisdom had it that in an age of mechanisation, the cost of producing the food that we eat would decrease as technology found new ways of improving yields and minimising labour costs. But there was a problem that hadn't been factored in. Production methods are now such that 95 per cent of all the food we eat in the world today is oil-dependent.
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As oil prices have risen, so has the cost of food

The 'black gold' is embedded in our complex global food systems, in its fertilisers, the mechanisation necessary for its production, its transportation and its packaging.
For example, to farm a single cow and deliver it to market requires the equivalent of six barrels of oil - enough to drive a car from New York to LA.
Unbelievable? One analysis of the fodder pellets which are fed to the vast majority of beef cows to supplement their grazing found that they were made up of ingredients that had originated in six different countries. Think of the fuel required to transport that lot around the world.
Now factor in the the diesel used by the farm vehicles, the carbon footprint of chemical fertilisers used by most nonorganic beef farms and the energy required to transport a cow to the abattoir and process it. The total oil requirement soon adds up.
And so as oil prices have risen, so too has the cost of food - and I'm afraid it's only set to get worse. The age of cheap food is at an end - and it will impact not only on our supermarket bills, but on the whole economy.
Fifty years ago, food represented around 30 per cent of the average household budget, whereas nowadays it is nearer to 9 per cent.
In other words, cheap food has not only helped keep inflation down, it also allowed the postwar consumer boom to flourish.
With our most basic and necessary commodity - the food on our plates - costing proportionally less every decade, we had plenty of free capital to spend on luxuries: flat-screen TVs; the holidays abroad; the home improvements and extensions that so many of us have acquired.
That's all set to change in a major way. A new era of austerity is approaching, and we are illpreparedfor its scale and effect. As a farmer myself, who runs a smallholding in Somerset, I was one of the first to detect the winds of change, as the prices for my animal feed rose.
This time last year, it cost me around £7.50 a month to feed one of my pigs. Today, as wheat prices nudge upwards towards £180 a ton, that figure is closer to £15 a month.
Over the past year, wheat prices have doubled, leading not only to increases in the price of bread, but also to demonstrations by pig farmers like me who are going out of business just as fast as you can fry your bacon.
And while wheat farmers might be having a brief moment of glory in the sunshine of rising prices as the world competes for rapidly decreasing supplies, the crisis is hitting home in ways that I certainly never expected to see in my lifetime.
In a report published on Thursday, 18 charities found that many disabled people and poorer pensioners are having to go short of food in order to pay for home care or simple things such as transport to their local day care centre.
Sue Bott, director of the National Centre for Independent Living, said: 'The shocking reality is that people are being forced to choose between eating properly and using vital care services.' So much for our civilised society.
It's not just a matter of cost, either, but of real shortages. In the U.S., supplies of rice are so low that retail giant WalMart has been rationing the amount any one customer can buy.
Is that a prospect that now lies ahead of us - a life of rationing similar to the one my parents lived in the years immediately following the war, when we eked out tiny rations of orange juice, and a banana was an almost unheard of treat?
If so, how will a nation that has grown accustomed to having what it wants, when it wants, cope? We are no more used to real deprivation than we are to the pandemic diseases that claimed so many British lives a century or so ago.
Yet the truly shocking fact is that the Government has made no plans at all to prepare for this possibility. Indeed, it has utterly failed to address the vital issues surrounding our food supplies and security.
For years, experts who warned that the combined impact of climate change and oil depletion would converge and plunge food supplies into crisis have been ignored.
John Krebs, former chair of the Food Standards Authority (FSA), told me recently that not only was the issue not even considered, it was laughed at when anyone dared suggest that a country so apparently bountiful as ours could one day find itself facing a food shortage. But Britain, as an island nation, is particularly vulnerable. We have not been self-sufficient in food since the late 18th century, but the situation is rapidly worsening.
In 1995, 27 per cent of UK food was imported. By 2006 it was 37 per cent. The situation is obviously more critical in cities: London imports more than 80 per cent and a food shortage would hit the capital the hardest.
The situation is worsened, of course, by the fact that we are having to compete for supplies on the global market with many more nations than ever before.
For centuries, the typical Chinese diet consisted of rice and vegetables, but as the Chinese pour into the newly emerging cities, so their diets are changing. In 1962, the average Chinese ate just 4kg of meat per year: by 2005 that figure was 60kg and rising.
The result has placed huge pressure not only on prices, but on natural resources required to cope with this increased demand.
It is not simply that we do not have enough land to grow the grain to feed the animals which in turn feed us. In the past two decades, pressure on our natural resources has increased to a level which many experts fear has become unsustainable.
For example, in the U.S., the use of hydrocarbon pesticides has increased 33 times as farmers sought to increase production and yet, as soil structures weaken due to over-use and mono-crop cultivation, more crops are being lost to pests every year.
The world has a finite supply of fresh water too, yet 70 per cent of all freshwater is used for agriculture, often horribly wastefully.
For example, it takes four litres of water to grow a single Kenyan green bean stem which we in Britain import by the ton - and this is from an officially ' water-stressed' country. And that's before we factor in climate change, which many believe will render great swathes of land infertile.
Certainly, intensive farming methods are only adding to the problem: according to the UN, animal farming now accounts for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, due to forest clearances and the methane emitted by cattle.
The net result is a looming crisis of which soaring oil prices could simply be the starting gun.
In this regard, the dominance of the supermarkets in British food retailing contributes massively to our vulnerability. Rising energy prices have an immediate impact on many of the food giants' common practices.
Their reliance on diesel trucks for 'Just in time delivery' and ' warehousing on wheels'; their endless plastic packaging and their transportation of processed foods and raw materials around the world means that our supermarkets have been hit doubly hard by the high oil price.
(How much longer, I wonder, will the seafood business Young's of Scotland find it economic to fly prawns to Thailand to be cleaned and de-shelled, before flying them back to Scotland for packaging)?
During the fuel protests of September 2000, we caught a glimpse of how even the supply of basic foodstuffs are dependent on oil: Justin King, the CEO of Sainsbury, warned Blair that we would be 'out of food' within 'days not weeks' if the protests continued.
Today, we stand on the brink of a longer-term problem. In the words of Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University, London: 'We are sleep-walking into a crisis.'
Yet even now, the Government has not woken up to the immediacy of the problem. Indeed, it doesn't even have a coherent means of taking control of the situation. Food, and its related issues, currently straddles no fewer than 19 different ministries.
When I questioned Joan Ruddock about whether the Government would change its policy about allowing pig farmers to feed their animals swill made from left-over food scraps (a practice banned after the food-and-mouth outbreak) she replied that she couldn't answer the question because it fell under the jurisdiction of a different department.
This is madness. Food, along with shelter and safety, is one of our most basic needs. Professor Lang believes that nothing short of a radical change in our diets - away from meat and towards vegetables and grains - will solve the problem long term.
But in the meantime, alarm bells should be going off all over Westminster about the scale and impact of the impending food crisis.
Suddenly, that warning of being 'nine meals from anarchy' no longer seems


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1024833/Nine-meals-anarchy--Britain-facing-real-food-crisis.html#ixzz0cWH4lfTD

"These mindless, deranged, deformed monstrosities are not "smart". They are a nightmare. They wreck companies, societies, countries and entire world economies and think nothing of it and destroy themselves in the process."

I was describing what we got, not what we wanted.
I'm not defending it in any way, just anwsering the question.

This is what happens when the people reject God as King and choose others gods {rulemakers} over them. We are reaping the fruits {the bitter dregs} of rebellion {doing it our way - think SINatra} and will repent {change our minds}. Hopefully very soon.

I too incline to support the "gradual slide" faction. "A long and bumpy downhill ride" seems to me a good description of the way it's been playing out, thus far anyway (though we'd better prepare to admit we were wrong if we suddenly go off a cliff). In any case, it seems to me that if we admit that it's a fact that over half the oil which was once in the ground is gone, and that the less-than-half still there is the portion hardest to get at and most costly to process, then surely, sooner or later, a situation resembling The Long Emergency is bound to develop.
The Winding Down of the Automobile Age ; if this were the only aspect of it, I wouldnt be all that concerned ; it seems to me we would find ways to adjust, and probably be happier and healthier for it. Scarier by far is the prospect of the nationwide electronic grid ending up smashed to bits, leaving huge patches of the country without power. WATER and HEAT : if we cant guarantee most of the population access to these two things, then we really will be heading toward a new Dark Ages. I'm all in favor of wind farms and solar collectors to the fullest extent possible, but as Mr Kunstler continues to remind us, they are very imperfect technologies, and he's probably right in saying that they cant possibly provide the flow of juice in the quantities to which we've become accustomed. Which points toward the troubling option of nuclear power. I say it with great misgivings, but I'm afraid its the one thing we already know how to do. And as the energy situation deteriorates, the public clamor for nuclear will become irresistible. And who can blame them? Nobody wants to be parched and freezing. the great short-term hazard is that (assuming there is even time to do it) nuclear plants will go up hastily and without due regard to safety. And then, of course, the more of these things there are, the greater the odds that one will eventually go kerflooey. And then there's the long-term problem of where to go with the waste product. It seems to be an abiding characteristic of us humans, as a collective, that we never take action on any impending problem until it reaches the crisis stage. Scientists have been warning us, and ever more shrill-ly, about climate change for forty-plus years now. Ditto for resource depletion. But any time serious measures are proposed, those who stand to see a dent in their profits have sent forth their hired loudmouths, armed with clever little sneers about "tree huggers", etc. IN the same way, if we went nuclear on a big enough scale to rescue our comfortable lives for a few more generations, I imagine we'd ignore the waste storage problem, and dismiss the warners as a bunch of Cassandras, until things got to the stage where something absolutely HAD to be done.

You seem to be blaming the victims - by calling them victims.

We live in a very complex society. Sometimes I marvel at how very complex, and how well everything works most of the time.

The ones that make it work, the running water, the abundant food supply, the sewers and the electricity, everything that makes life in America safe and comfortable, they don't get paid much, but in return for working all our lives, the societal contract promises that we can retire in comfort. And that no one will starve to death, or die for lack of emergency medical care.

The financial sector, the banks, the insurance companies, the real estate speculators, they suck profits from the rest of us. They are not productive. They are getting greedier and greedier, and now they want to break the social contract and let people die.

Why would you blame those who do productive labor for not being prepared?

There is no reason that we can't continue to provide the necessities for everyone. We can't continue to strip and destroy the Earth for unnecessary goods, but food, water and shelter should be part of living in our complex society.

The megabanks should fail, the very rich should get productive jobs, but this gleeful anticipation of ordinary people losing their jobs, houses, marriages, etc.- I don't get it.

"The best-prepared will suffer the least (duh!) but they weren't "buy guns and grow food" types - the worst case scenarios never become reality."

While I certainly appreciate your optimism, there are fundamental differences between the permaculture community and the survivalists. The first is that it's a community. I've actually never been among a more creative, informed, and proactive group of people in my life. I'm humbled daily by the synergistic cooperation that eminates from the international permaculture community.

As we speak, the permaculture community is assembling a relief team to send to Haiti (as they did in 2003), both for short-term emergency care, and long-term rehabilitation of the landscape and culture. I'd be happy to meet one survivalist working on the same.

Secondly, survivalists build bunkers, hoard supplies, and target practice. I doubt many permies even own guns except to hunt for food, their gardens are always open to visitors as models of what can be, and they understand that real food multiplies, it isn't divided.

Thirdly, once built and ready, survivalists go about their business in the old economy, ever-ready for TSTHTF, so they can dash off to their hidey hole in the knick of time, to toast themselves on their foresight, and polish their weapon. Quite to the contrary, permaculturists aren't waiting. They've happily changed the way they live, are daily improving/collaborating on their methods, and actually ENJOY life within a new paradigm.

And they can't wait for others to come along.

One is permanent and procreative at its core, and the other is temporary and destructive. Two exponents of cultural systems we've been discussing at length this week.

Permies aren't planning for a worst-case scenario. They are laying the groundwork for a best. Big difference....

Dio, maybe it's your definition of "agriculture" that is causing the confusion. Your family's system sounds a lot like horticulture to me. Growing potatoes between fruit trees? Recycling every scrap of organic material?

If you had hunted pheasants instead of feeding grain to chickens I think you'd be the complete package.

I never thought that I would ever hear the name of my beloved state and "Nirvana" used in the same sentence.

Great, it was semantics then :) Excellent compare/contrast between survivalists and permaculturalists...

"They are getting greedier and greedier"

It would be the function of *well-regulated* Capitalism to restrain those who hold economic power from abusing it. Self-interest is an irresistible motivator, so no surprise that the "greedy" have taken advantage of the situation. Even though many people doubt these days that Capitalism can fulfill the human aspirations for an economically fair system, there's no alternative that's better (I don't know a thing about the economics of Trip's horticultural societies). So, our best chance is to get back to the WELL-REGULATED kind of Capitalism where the profit motive is used to allocate resources efficiently instead of raping the people, the planet and the resources. Cash got it right that the elites should not be permitted to self-destruct and take the rest of us with them.

Hi, Jackbo.

The "troubling" option of nuclear power is indeed all we have, and the only really troubling thing about it is how ridiculously overstated are the supposed dangers.

No civilian has ever died as a result of a civlian nuclear power plant operated in the United States, Canada, or Western Europe. Three Mile Island is worst case as far as accidents for a conventional, old-fashioned light water reactor go. Chernobyl was worst case for a reactor that was intrinsically unsafe and outdated from the outset, lacking even a containment structure, and that would never have been built here.

So much cannot be said for the safety of coal, gas, and hydroelectric. People who favor hydro as a "renewable" should look at the record for hydro dams, for this is the most dangerous form of power generation there is, because of its capacity to produce immense, immediate disasters. We have lost over 1000 people to dam failures in the U.S. in the past 80-odd years, and given that one of the two most dangerous dams in the country is a 700' high mega-monster on the Colorado that came within inches of breaching in 1983, we could be looking at a much larger death toll as we lose our ability to maintain these structures to reasonable safety standards, as the price of liquid fuels makes it financially impossible. The Colorado Plumbing system is a massive maintenance liability to U.S. taxpayers, and it has moreover encouraged the movement of tens of millions of people into habitats that will be unlivable when we can no longer provide water for them at a reasonable cost.

If nuclear had anything like the body count attributable to coal (mining disasters, pollution disasters) or gas generation, or, God forbid, that caused by autos on our highways every year, we'd have long since shut down every nuke in North America, Europe, and Japan.

Yet even the body count from large-scale hydro is tiny relative to the random death on a mass scale that we will most surely experience if we lose our access to electrical power, clean municipal water, and emergency services.

messsiancdruid sez (to askoa-his-pants)

"It is the belief you represent, which conflicts with many of His teachings, separating you from fellowship with christians, which, of course, may be your intent. This is how religions {denominations} get started."

Asoka his pants is a complete moron. He was exposed to what he describes as a bunch of nut jobs that called themselves Christians. Hence, in his world, all Christians are bad. It would be no different if he hung out with a bunch of red headed rapists and walked away claiming all redheads are no good. He is a moron and as a moron chants the mantra of a moron. We should expect no less.

To further expose asoka-his-pants bias and prejudice against Christians, he has on occasion warned against lumping all Muslims in with Muslim extremists. In other words, he is making the claim that not all Muslims are bad, Yet all Christians (according to asoka-his-pants) are bad and that road (Christianity) should be abandoned. Well guess what, asoka-your-self? Guess which religious institution will be the first to enter Haiti and administer aid and life giving support? Of course they will be tripping over you (not) who will already be at the scene hepin' out. Un, huh.

The technique is working perfectly. The idea that there is no normalcy -- the idea that everything is falling apart at the seams - or is it? is being subtly spread by the corrupt mass media: the fake snitches or jailhouse informants to the world. One has to realize that "divide and conquer" is being taken to the extreme: to divide and conquer each one of us separately -- our togetherness as families or societies or countries is being taken apart at the seams. They never stop; they never sleep; they never pause to reflect upon their programming.

messianicdruid said: "...since I can tell you are not aware of what Jesus "is all about"

I quoted you chapter and verse what Jesus is all about: "I am the way, the truth, the life, and no one gets to the Father except through me."

It is pretty clear Jesus is a roadblock, an egoist setting up obstacles for people to reach God.

Today we have christians saying Haiti is being punished for its "pact with the devil"... and hundreds of thousands of christians believe this.

By the way, which "version" is "HIS" version?

I have visited and studied with a goodly portion of the 300 denominations and they are tried to convince me their version was "the true version" while others were in error, deluded, false prophets, etc., if not downright evil.

I've read several versions of the Christian Holy Bible and they are all pornographic, with depictions of all kinds of barbarism, a lot of it committed by God, and the christian god's insistence that we are fallen sinners who must repent.

Clap trap stuff people like OEO are gullible enough to believe.

"If you had hunted pheasants"
If we all hunted pheasants for our regular diet, the pheasants would be hunted out of existence in 6 months, don't you think? Fallacy of composition... :)

"[s]He is a moron and as a moron chants the mantra of a moron. We should expect no less." Thanks for warning us about you. You pick personal vendettas rather than ever stating something of your own philosophy other than divisiveness, you're phonier than the fakest 3-dollar-bill. Who cares who the fack is "first" in Haiti giving aid to the victims of the same earthquake they caused to happen? "christianity" is based upon a set of parables that are fifth-hand rewrites of much earlier writings of oohoohooh PAGAN beliefs which can be proved unlike the fake baby stories in the so called bible. Your purposeful un-knowingness has no place in informed debate. Moron.

not mommy said: "Guess which religious institution will be the first to enter Haiti and administer aid and life giving support?"

Far as I know the first to arrive to provide aid were employees at Oxfam Canada, Care Canada, World Vision Canada, Plan Canada and Save the Children ... all Christian employees, paid employees, getting paid in dollars, while at the same time securing their place in heaven like the good politicians they are. Good PR, more converts.

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. And they certainly expect to be rewarded in heaven for the "good works" they do.

What were they doing for Haiti last week, before the earthquake? They were attacking Haiti's religion.

"The government said they are going to turn the country entirely to voodoo. The Christians say we are going to turn the country totally to the Lord Jesus Christ," said Jean Berthony Paul, founder of Mission Evangelique du Nord D'Haiti.

Haitian voodoo? Christian voodoo? Missionaries and Christian "service workers" are politicians, the mafia of the soul.


"while everything we own (houses, stocks/bonds, etc.) becoming worth less!"

Less in some ways. The roof over my head keeps the rain out whether it is worth $1,000,000 or $10,000.

Don't hunt pheasants, hunt non-migratory geese (the kind that Captain Sully's plane had a problem with.)

thank you for the information. i dont have the knowledge resources at hand to dispute what you're telling me, and i surely hope you are right.

"If we all hunted pheasants for our regular diet, the pheasants would be hunted out of existence in 6 months, don't you think? Fallacy of composition... :) "

For sure, now that we've used the fossil fuel subsidy and centralized agriculture to expand into gigantic populations. If we had lived in ecosystem-appropriate ways from the beginning pheasants might be a delicacy on all of our tables.

Remember also that the idea of "luxury" (say, pheasant for dinner) has been completely laid to rest by our system (or has been driven into the realm of the absurd). We drive anywhere we feel like, eat our favorite cut of meat (and it's possible to ONLY eat our favorite cut) when we want, drink beer every weekend, and mail order wives from Russia if we don't have the social grace to acquire one the old-fashioned way.

There's not a whole lot about the way modern agrarians live that is based in any sort of long-term reality.

Does that mean I think a bunch of us have to die? No, but I think we have to get serious about making it work on a different scale if we are to avoid it. Like you growing up, I kill every chicken I eat, right here in the middle of town. That makes chicken a luxury pretty quickly, and a meal to be celebrated, and extended, not grabbed through the car window, breaded and dunked in bbq sauce on the way to a shoe sale.

I like your idea of Fallacy of Composition. I just don't think it's going to ease the pain much when the McNuggets run out;)

'Soka is up to his old tricks again -- stirrin up shit. Apparently some of you (Mommy? Messiah?) have forgotten Safire's Rule #4 -- don't react to an outrageous post with outrage (I paraphrase). I can just picture Asoka pushin back from his 'puter with a shit eatin grin on his face sayin "got to 'em."

"So, our best chance is to get back to the WELL-REGULATED kind of Capitalism where the profit motive is used to allocate resources efficiently instead of raping the people, the planet and the resources."

OK, I'm just going to pull a South Park and call 'Shenanigans!' on the whole idea that there IS such a thing as harmless capitalism...

Laura, you're absolutely right about nuclear energy. We may very well have to resort to more nuclear plants whether we or our environmentalist buddies like them or not. I was reading today that Saskatchewan has lots and lots of uranium and Canada is certainly a lot friendlier than our so-called allies in the Middle East. Mainland China is currently planning to build scores of nuclear power plants. I don't know if that is such a good thing since they seem to have some problems with safety issues (lead in toys and toxic pet food) but they may be at the point where they see no other viable alternatives. The only problem is that it can take up to 20 years to build a nuclear power plant and you have to have the financial resources to pay for them. We might be able to pull it off now with borrowed money but that option might not be available 5 or 10 years from now. Thanks for putting the nuclear option on the table. So many folks have a pathological fear of even discussing the issue. It seems somewhat ironic that nuclear power might be the last great hope for this country since it has had no much bad press.

"Less in some ways. The roof over my head keeps the rain out whether it is worth $1,000,000 or $10,000."

Well said, Mista Poiple. Even the enlightened commenters on this blog still regularly buy into the idea that things were ever really worth what the moneychangers said they were worth.

If you timed that donkey ride well, good, spend it, go see the world while you can, maybe visit a few horticultural societies and ask them for some tips on responsible living. Tikopia maybe! If not, it was a fleeting apparition anyway. That'll prove itself soon enough.

(Case in point: We may be moving to Macon, GA, this year, and we already have our choice of fixer homes with large yards for under 10k. Never bought a house with my tax return before.)

after the tragedy in Haiti give thanks if yr not there.however ' they' are here. 1 in 3 or 4 haitians is in usa.
and the population there is exploding with the us as a ' stop gap' for the corrupt govt.

Haiti's population was estimated at 6,867,995 in July 2000, showing a growth rate of 1.39 percent and a total rise of 36 percent since the last official census of 1982, when the population stood at 5,053,792

Read more: Haiti - Location and size, Population, Dependencies, Capital:, Monetary unit:, Chief exports:, Chief imports:, Gross domestic product: http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Americas/Haiti.html#ixzz0cXbAxkTp

I agree with the eminent JHK..its china..they are running out of water and countries to overtake!
a friend who went says its horrible there..even the parts the ' official' tour go to..
no trees...mao had a thing for cutting them down..no butterflys...soil like chalk....

I meant to answer something you posted weeks ago here, the week that this site didnt work well.
something bout a priest and some feminazis...maybe ill get around to it. if i can find the words.

the book i mentioned TDSOM is a real hoot , the way he takes on miss mead. he who spent so many years in africa studying apes!

"call 'Shenanigans!' on the whole idea that there IS such a thing as harmless capitalism..."

What kind of -ism offers an alternative better than a Capitalism with a human face in your view?

It's easy to understand why Christians sometimes get knocked around a little (~40 seconds):

http://gawker.com/5447408/pat-robertson-thousands-died-because-haitians-slaves-swore-a-pact-with-the-devil-for-their-freedom

Seriously, Pat? God hurled a hurricane at hedonistic New Orleans, and now an earthquake at the voodoo witch-doctors? What a meanie!

"What kind of -ism offers an alternative better than a Capitalism with a human face in your view?"

Don't have a clue. But it's kind of like voting for Bush in '04. MAYBE Kerry's a suck-ass failure junkie, but we already know for sure that Bush is.

Honestly, I think that energy descent and permanent economic contraction will present novel conditions that will stimulate biodiversity and cooperation on never-before-seen scales. Because that's what always happens in natural ecosystems. And I don't think humans are exceptional. Just my view.

Will any of the eastern countries like China, Russia or Korea help Haiti?

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/jan/13/legislators-consider-legalizing-marijuana-v-decrim/

Post-apocalyptic careers are getting off the ground in Washington state. It may not be the OLDEST profession, but it sure is the stupidest to waste so much money on.

Besides, we gotta make sure there's enough money in the budget to keep those streets swept and washed, and the million or so night-lights on for all the crybabies...

Hi Dolan,

Yes, China is building nuclear as well as coal-fired plants, probably too many and too quickly, in addition to the monster dams they've thrown up- in spite of having suffered, in the 70s, the worst dam disaster ever to occur in the world to this date, that killed north of 50,000 people. (Some say as many as 200,000).

India is doing much better, for India is going full bore in the development of the thorium fuel cycle, which not only could extend the fuel cycle for hundreds of years, but produces almost no waste, can be scaled for small installations as well as large in that you can use one of the smallish reactors or cluster them together for greater power production. The reactors are permanently sealed and can be hauled on a truck, and employ a vastly different and intrinsically vastly safer technology that even the Generation III light water plants that we're planning now. They are designed to be assembled at a factory, using fewer expensive skill sets than the big light-water reactors.

American nuke technology began to lag in the 70s. You'll notice that France, the world leader now, embraced standardization of design many years ago. This lowers costs vastly and shortens construction time significantly as parts are "stock" and can be easily obtained. Meanwhile, our Generation 2 plants were custom-designed for each utility, making parts hard to obtain and very costly, and causing massive delays. We are now embracing standardization, which can speed up the process of obtaining regulatory clearances substantially, and get plants built and online much more quickly than in the past. Remember that the Gen 1 and 2 plants were built when this was a nascent technology.

Unfortunately, though every nuke technology was invented here, we've let others develop them while our utilities cling to outdated ways. The AP-1000s, which are what are being planned here, are very advanced and safe light water reactors, but they are still more expensive than the thorium reactors would be upon being produced. India is not waiting for us to put our stamp of approval on this great technology, but are going full bore. We're too complacent here, and too invested in old technologies, so there is a lot of resistance among players in the industry- utilities and fuel producers- to changing the current platform.

I believe that we will soon develop the thorium technology, but we will be late to the table and will be scrambling to catch up with both demand and with new developments in the technology.

Wow! The current ongoing events in Haiti really make you wonder what we in the U.S. would do if, in addition to our many other various and sundry woes of the moment, we experienced our long overdue west coast earthquake in any of the major coastal population centers.

I was living in SoCal for the '94 Northridge quake, which was just a pup, comparatively speaking. Earthquakes are particularly deceptive and nasty as natural disasters go, causing as they often do, an inordinately large amount of long term infrastructure damage in relation to short term casualty figures (even accepting that those can be substantial as well), which, unfortunately, is often the determining factor in allocating relief dollars.

The world's response to this disaster will surely be a case study for our collective ability/willingness to respond to the needs of the poor and the needy in the face of our recent and ongoing finacial crises.

If you rank the countries in the world by how much money they give to charitable assistance as a percentage of GNI, the USA comes in 23rd.

By the amount of money given as a percentage of their gross national income. [Latest figures are from 2006]. The USA gives less foreign aid or "official development assistance" than 22 other countries. The list is as follows:

* 1. Sweden - 1.02%
* 2. Norway - 0.89%
* 3. Luxembourg - 0.84%
* 4. Netherlands - 0.81%
* 5. Denmark - 0.8%
* 6. Ireland - 0.54%
* 7. United Kingdom - 0.51%
* 8. Belgium - 0.5%
* 9. Austria - 0.47%
* 10. France - 0.47%
* 11. Finland- 0.4%
* 12. Switzerland - 0.39%
* 13. Germany - 0.36%
* 14. Spain - 0.32%
* 15. Australia - 0.3%
* 16. Canada - 0.29%
* 17. Iceland - 0.27%
* 18. New Zealand - 0.27%
* 19. Japan - 0.25%
* 20. Portugal - 0.21%
* 21. Italy - 0.2%
* 22. Turkey - 0.18%
* 23. United States - 0.18%
* 24. Greece - 0.17%
* 25. Hungary - 0.13%
* 26. Czech Republic - 0.12%
* 27. Slovakia - 0.1%
* 28. Poland - 0.09%
* 29. South Korea - 0.05%
* 30. Thailand - 0.04%

Tripp said: "...we gotta make sure there's enough money in the budget to keep those streets swept and washed..."

Tripp, the good news is the USA is rich. And Republicans and Democrats love to spend money. They are all about to vote to spend $708 BILLION dollars for WAR.

The USA is flush with money. And just you watch... all those Republicans talking about the horrors of deficit spending will gladly vote YES for $708 BILLION for war.

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $ 33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of
a record $ 708 billion for the Defense Department next year, a request that could be an especially hard sell to some of the administration's Democratic allies.

No "gleeful anticipation" here Wage. I must be a lousy communicator because Simple Man will do just fine in the mess ahead. He buys a house to live in it, not impress everyone. He lives within his means. 'Tis the households with 6 figure incomes, summer homes, SUVs, and McMansions that are the instant gratification whiners about to figure out how to make do with less. You ever worked luxury retail?
But it is interesting how you interpreted my post...

I'm enjoying reading about you Permies and I have no doubts whatsoever that there isn't a single instant gratification whiner in the whole lot of ya! My vision of "buy guns and grow food" probably looks like Vlad sitting on his front porch taking target practice at critters pretending they're somebody not white stealing his corn.

I was looking for a David Korten quote about capitalism, in the beginning of his book, The Great Turning, which I recommend to you if you are unable to visualize anything but regulated capitalism. It was something about capitalism being a great machine which chews up the landscape, producing tons of shiny gadgets and leaving megatons of waste.

I couldn't find it, but try this.

http://www.alternet.org/story/39789/

No, I don't think capitalism can be regulated. I think that they're proving it now.

As Marx said, "if new accumulation meets with difficulties in its employment, through a lack of spheres for investment, i.e., due to a surplus in the branches of production and an over-supply of loan capital, this plethora of loanable money-capital merely shows the limitations of capitalist production. The subsequent credit swindle proves that no real obstacle stands in the way of the employment of this surplus-capital".

So here's Marx pointing out 150 years ago that capital will break any laws if more profits can be made from speculation than investment.

And here, in this century, the talking heads gravely tell us that a return to Glass-Stegall will make everything all right again.

And you seem to believe it. I don't

OK, maybe I'm just used to assuming that people are looking forward to the breakdown.

I live within my means now. But if I lose my job, I have to go into what I call "poverty mode".

Been there, done that. Don't like it.

Never worked luxury retail. But I saw a bumper sticker I liked

"Show me someone with a deep contempt for all humankind and I'll show you someone who works retail"

Pretty funny. But it works for ER nursing also.

Agreed. I'm also guilty of assuming that others know what I already assume to be true. Capitalism, at least as its currently defined and practiced, is a cancer on humanity, that because of the very same social factors that propogated Soviet Communism long past its usefullness, continues to persist.

Unfortunately, since American style capitalism has no intellectual counterweight (other than regulation), we're stuck with the worst of all worlds; an aggressively self-destructive worldview with no foreseeable "savior" in sight. Cancer is indeed the applicable metaphor, with appropriately radical treatments in order as well.

Asoka,

LOL! REST ASSURED we're number one in ANY category of military spending though.

Color us MILITANT, whether Dem or Rep!

Yep, now we're on the same page! The three worst things to work on in this world:
Their kids
Themselves
Their house
Ask any teacher, doctor, or contractor :)
Seriously, I can't help but think the difficulties ahead could be diminished substantially if our gov't would STOP PANDERING TO WALL STREET! Every damn word is carefully tailored to please financial markets. "Bubbles" Bernanke is blowing us another doozy on the NYSE and he should know better! The coming implosion might actually occur in JHK's 6 month guess, but whenever it comes will start the nasty leg downward that scares me more than this first one.

"Tripp, the good news is the USA is rich. And Republicans and Democrats love to spend money. They are all about to vote to spend $708 BILLION dollars for WAR."

Ah, thank god, man. And here I thought we were going to let the underwear bomber get the best of us.

(I take back what I said about being embarrassed by Puzzler's comments on foraging cultures. THIS is embarrassing.)

Tripp, here's a good bumper sticker for you (if you have a bumper :) PERPETRATE PHOTOSYNTHESIS


Wage, imperialism and corporatism aren't necessary companions of regulated capitalism. Capitalism that Marx dissected was brutal and ruthless and responsible for the birth of communism (a much greater evil). Churchill quipped that democracy is the worst form of gov't except for all others, and the same is true of capitalism, there's just not a better alternative. Look at Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, maybe Switzerland as well, this is what i call well-regulated capitalism. "Earth Community" is an appealing concept, but there's a long way from a well-intentioned theory to the harsh reality of economics and politics which must deal with such inconvenient aspects of human nature as greed, stupidity, selfishness, myopia, materialism, irresponsibility, recklessness, selfishness, ignorance, arrogance, etc etc etc... Just my opinion, no more :)

"... must deal with such inconvenient aspects of human nature as greed, stupidity, selfishness, myopia, materialism, irresponsibility, recklessness, selfishness, ignorance, arrogance, ..."
========================

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind. GG

From late last week: millions of women burned at the stake as witches. It never happened Trip. Over the three hundred years the Catholic and Protestant inquistions lasted, a few thousand people were put to death, about equally men and women as far we know. And almost all of them were Christians from deviant sects. The whole thing is Feminist Hysteria, just like the Super Sunday Beatings they rave about. This particular one comes from the Wicca branch of Feminism. The scholars of Wicca, such as Starhawk and Margot Adler, have tried to reign it in, but to no avial. These kind of people don't read much - not even their own stuff. And more to the point, they want to believe the worst about Christianity and Men. So they do.

I have nothing against them. I certainly don't think they're devil worshipers. I went to a few circles when I was younger and enjoyed the ceremonies. But they're just not very serious thinkers on the whole.

"... must deal with such inconvenient aspects of human nature as greed, stupidity, selfishness, myopia, materialism, irresponsibility, recklessness, selfishness, ignorance, arrogance, ..."
========================

..... and ..... and ..... what the hell -- why not one more ..... selfishness.

I hold that every conscious act of man was done for selfish motives.

diogen,

Don't make the mistake of equating democracy with capitalism as most Americans do. They're not even remotely the same, although we, as Americans, routinely assume they are. Democracy is a (still somewhat contested) form of government, while capitalism is a (still MUCH MORE contested) form of political economics. While the jury might be in on the former, it's MOST CERTAINLY NOT on the latter.

Permies are Premies: babes in the woods. Like the little child who covers her eyes and thinks that you can't see her either, they think that because they have no guns no one with guns will hurt them. Like drunks who think that everyone likes them. Like the Politically Correct, who think that only Whites are bad. Well just like the Quakers are likely to end up as serfs to the Philledelphia Gangs, Trip and his gang are likely to end up as serfs too. Not Trip though - he's gonna be the overseer. And the poor guy thinks He has nothing worth taking. But he does - Himself. And he plans to proudly advertise his expertise right outside his house.

As Mr Kunstler showed in his novel, people are going to need protection. And if they fail to protect themselves, they are going to have to pay someone else to do it. And if they neglect that - well someone will be along to take charge of the situation.

Vlad, I'm not sure I understand. Is killing only thousands, as in only thousands of deviant women who deserved the Church's retribution, or thousands, as in the maximum number of natives killed on the continent by opposing foraging cultures before European arrival, dismissable or not?

There seems to be some confusion.

I don't remember, perhaps it was my brother Drago who also posts under this name. He is Jaego's Cousin as am I. It sounds good. I always remember what the Organutan said to Charlton Heston: don't go down that beach, you're not going to like what you see. But he did go down and he did see: the Statue of Liberty buried up to her chest. Truly the Forbiden Zone was a paradise and the DemocRATS and REPULSicans have turned it into a Wasteland.z

Abe Lincoln (the giant killer) agreed with you. He once walked back a mile to help a beetle that was stranded on its back. He denied it was altuism at all, but that the sight had been bothering him for that whole mile. So can we agree that charity is just selfishness disguised? And that no man but does his own pleasure. But one man's pleasure is murder and another's is service.

When you begin to descend from the great energy mountain in earnest I'd love to chat. Too many clouds at the top for a clear view.

What I'm saying will make sense one day. Until then, I'm kinda glad that it doesn't.

Yeah I don't understand either. I was talking about your assertion that Christianity killed a million women on the charge of withchcraft. If you wish to admit you were wrong on that, I will accept. If you wish to discuss these other things, I will accept. But I will not accept you trying to mix them together to avoid an admission that you were wrong about the former.

"So can we agree that charity is just selfishness disguised? And that no man but does his own pleasure. But one man's pleasure is murder and another's is service."

THIS, Vlad, is interesting.

Vlad said: "Well just like the Quakers are likely to end up as serfs to the Philledelphia Gangs..."

Not so likely, Vlad. Do you know the history of Quakers? King George couldn't get them to take off their hats in court or swear oaths of allegiance in England. Due to the Quaker Act of 1662, Quakers ended up in prison.

The Quakers migrated to America looking for religious freedom. Puritan persecution led to Quaker Margaret Dyer being hanged by the Puritans in 1660. Other Quakers were persecuted by the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and ended up in prison.

Their books were burned in America, and most of their property was confiscated. They were imprisoned in terrible conditions, deprived of food and even light. Were it not for somebody smuggling food to them, they might have starved in their cell. They were eventually deported.

From 1755-1776, the Quakers worked at freeing slaves, and became the first western organization in history to ban slaveholding. For helping slaves escape Quakers ended up in prison.

Militaries around the world for centuries have not been able to get the Quakers to take up arms and kill people in time of war. For insisting on their status as conscientious objectors to war, Quakers ended up in prison.

I don't think the Philadelphia gangs have a snowball's chance in hell to force Quakers to do anything the Quakers don't want to do.

"Tripp, here's a good bumper sticker for you (if you have a bumper :) PERPETRATE PHOTOSYNTHESIS"

Surely I'm not normal for thinking that you questioning my possession of a car is a compliment!

I do have one, for the moment. A '96 Toyota Camry with 185k miles on it. Probably my last vehicle. Although I'd trade it in for a pickup if it weren't so damned reliable. I could really use a pickup. And I would definitely put that bumper sticker on it!

See? Your unwillingness to commune with me because I'm not like you or don't believe everything you believe, is the Serpent in the Garden. It would ruin your tikopia utopia even if the men with guns didn't come. You would become them in time - if only with clubs.

Or to put it another way: I caught you in an error. A genltleman would have accepted that or even thanked me for increasing his knowledge. But you want to thought of as Omniscient. And what is this but the poisonous fruit of the Tree of Knowledge?

Dude, sorry to spoil your party but we'll all be long dead before your vision of Paradise comes around. Unless you're 2 now and live to be 102...
Civilization is too resilient for a decay that soon. Pass the punchbowl!
But I'll give you the nod on skills like protecting what's yours in the face of danger - the world is getting nuttier every decade. Something tells me nobody's gonna be messin' with your still......

Vlad said: "It would ruin your tikopia utopia even if the men with guns didn't come. You would become them in time - if only with clubs."

Vlad, this is your projection, probably based on your assumption about human nature that dictates that violence is inevitable and utopia is impossible.

Utopias are not impossible and have existed throughout history on small scales. The fact of their existence on small scales means someday they may be possible on large scales.

And I am sure, as a gentleman, you would welcome the arrival of a sane, rational, and nonviolent humanity.

You probably desire such a utopia in your fantasy white separatist nation. You probably do not desire white nationalists to be killing other white nationalists in your separatist white nation.

Why do you feel the need to dump on Tripp's permaculture dream? Tripp is offering an ample vision addressing all facets of human endeavor ... and that visionary effort is valuable ... even if we are a couple of centuries away from making it a reality for 9 billion people.

I don't actually believe in the poisonous fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge" so meeting in the middle on this one's a bit tough. Never met a bit of knowledge I didn't appreciate assimilating.

And I certainly don't see myself as superior, just as occupying a different position on the timeline. DOWNHILL of you actually. Beneath you, if you will.

And who said I was a gentleman?

The truth about Obama's birth certificate (including photos)

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

Thank you, Asoka. Surely we all desire peace and good health. Even the ones of us who incessantly conjure the opposite.

You are welcome, Tripp. I really enjoy your comments and admire your knowledge of permaculture, which is a subject I am only beginning to realize is much more vast than "gardening" in its implications for human survival and its ability to change the human scarcity mindset.

I think people desire peace, good health, and a good education for their children, so the children may realize their desires.

Of course, there are some who would negate all that and say the really important thing is whether or not you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, that this world is but a veil of tears, that we are sinners and we must repent.

Well, I am coming to believe we must repent for our damaging agricultural ways ... that we have sinned against nature and repent [have a change of mind] and embrace permaculture as a way of life.

Cormac McCarthy's The Road is the more accurate prediction and beautifully written my a master writer. He has been writing novels for a long time about the North American experience, its violence and poison for the world.

It isn't going to be World Made By Hand, it is going to be desolation row with people becoming cannibals.

They will keep lying til the last believer has been conned. This slows it down, which is good.It gives others who are not in denial more time to recover and plan. The believers are the ones who will be caught, and these are always the ones who are caught. You lie to yourself and you pay the price. Don't worry about everyone else. The ship is going down. Have you learned to swim yet?

Go read Stalking the Wild Asparagus. Learn what is good to eat in the wild. Donot store and hoard or you will lose it or become a target. Solzhenitsyn says at the end of The First Circle that if you have something then share it and consume before someone steals it.I figure he knew as he lived through hell.

Permaculture is great but difficult and time consuming. Be sure that is the way you want to go.

No utopias please. Don't even think that way. It's false and screws with your thinking clearly.

Read Bernard-Henri Levy's Left in Dark Times on that subject if you still long for it.

Best gardening farming website is:

http://www.landinstitute.com

Wes Jackson started it. He was Rodale's inspiration. Perennial grains, long horn cattle, etc. If you want I'll meet you there at next year's fall weekend celebration of the harvest.

The Quakers in Philly are now corrupted like everyone else. They are very wealthy.

abbeybrooks, I am absolutely positive!

And my nephew, who is a biologist, is equally enthusiastic and he is very dedicated, very intelligent, and very determined to make permaculture work.

I am finding permaculture ties in perfectly with my passion for adobe/earthen buildings. These are all wonderful discoveries.

My idea for a poster/bumper sticker:

PERMACULTURE SCALES

http://www.globalonenessproject.org/videos/permaculture101

That's the Sufi interpretation of charity.

Not corrupt. Comfortable, yes. The joke goes like this:

The Quakers came to the USA to do good, and they did very well indeed.

They still have the basic testimonies of simplicity, harmony, community, and equality.

You can stay in the darkness, abbeysbooks, with Bernard-Henri Levy's Left in Dark Times. I am heading toward the light of permacultural utopia.

Christians have always blamed disasters on sinning or not worshipping God faithfully.

They blamed themselves for Deerfield 1704 when the massacre was done by the French and Indians in one of those wars.

It is a long tradition for not observing God's laws. To rant against it today is just not to understand its history.

"It is a long tradition for not observing God's laws. To rant against it today is just not to understand its history."

Yes, in human history there has never been such a destructive religion as Christianity, which single-handedly wiped out 15 million inhabitants of the Americas with their violence and their disease.

Hitler's Christianity wiped out millions more.

Hitler wrote: "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.."

They always invoke God to do their murder.

Christian preachers even insist the United States is a Christian nation! "One nation, under God" they proclaim. Yet their actions are despicable.

Ignoring "thou shalt not kill" and spending $708 BILLION DOLLARS on "defense" all the good Christian congresspersons vote for it.

Muslim nations have nuclear weapons. The Jewish nation has nuclear weapons. Christians are the only people on earth, in the entire history of humanity, who have used atomic weapons against other human beings, wiping out women, children, elderly, everyone.

Only the Christians have used nuclear weapons to burn human beings alive. Of course, Christians have a long tradition of burning people alive.

Many, if not most, of the Christian murderers in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, those Christian USA soldiers, accepted Jesus into their hearts and were baptized at some point in their lives. Yet they willingly go kill others.

And those Christians who don't engage in physical violence, those who follow HIS version of Christianity (whatever that is), still insist on man's fallen, sinful nature, on the need to repent and accept Jesus.

Christians thereby creating a sense of inferiority, submissiveness to authority, guilt, repression of the body, condemnation of homosexuality (Christians condemn the homosexual act of love between two human beings), Christians condemn homosexual marriage (the act of two persons wanting to commit to loving each other for life), Christians are anti-life, pro-heaven.

Christianity is an abomination, a nightmare that has destroyed civilizations (which, of course, Christians did not recognize or appreciate as civilizations, forcing their own doctrine down people's throats)

Christianity has produced horror and terrorism and genocide on a scale unimaginable. Ye shall know them by their fruits, indeed.

"I hold that every conscious act of man was done for selfish motives."

Every? Except those motivated by generosity, altruism, kindness, love, goodwill, conscience, sacrifice and other things that humanize us.

"greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good. Greed is right"

It's not a matter of good or bad, it's a fact of reality, and therefore any economic system having any hope of efficiency and fairness must provide a regulatory mechanism to manage it. If it doesn't, it becomes a tyranny by those with excess of greed and ruthlessness.

"I could really use a pickup".

We solved the problem of needing a pickup truck by getting 2 smal trailers from Harbor Freight, a 4'x8' and 4'x4' for a couple of hundred bucks.
With a bit of salvage lumber to build up the sides, they are actually more practical than a pickup truck, because I use my little car that gets 35+ MPG to only tow the trailers when I need to haul stuff like compost, mulch, firewood, woodchips, or 50 volunteer pumpkins.

asoka-his-pants sez:

"If you rank the countries in the world by how much money they give to charitable assistance as a percentage of GNI, the USA comes in 23rd."

Ooops. I guess we better not include the aircraft carrier and hospital ship that are steaming towards Haiti as I type this. Nor the c-140 transport planes loaded with life supporting goods that have already landed at Haiti's main airport and will continue to do so for weeks to come. Yeah, asoka-your-pants the USA really is a selfish country. We really need to step things up. We aren't doing anywhere near our "fair share."

Good luck, Jeremy, but I'm afraid you're wasting your time. If you _did_ come up with some specifics about why their confident predictions of doom are wrong, they'd most likely just accuse you of "techno-triumphalism" and say that anyway they were just talking in metaphors. It's a belief system characterized neither by intellectual coherence nor by sheer utility, but they sure get defensive if you challenge it! What's even more of a head-scratcher is that they _claim_ to be talking about reality, and how it's going to catch up with all us scoffers Real Soon Now and boy-won't-we-be-sorry.

In fact, it's probable that in a couple of decades _World Made by Hand_ will look as quaint, and as clueless, as those examples you've cited.

"I could really use a pickup." -Tripp

Diogen,
Yep, I did almost the same (Harbor-Freight-ishly) with the half-ton 4x8. I'm still cogitating on a 4'x4' or "so" for dragging firewood thru the forest.

As a matter of self-interest, I highly recommend loading up on hand tools and motorized tools (if you're planning on generating your own electricity) from the Chinese. They're well-made and unbelievably cheap at the moment! (I've used and busted a LOT of hand tools in my time, so I do speak from experience. ;o) )

Man, I sure am gonna miss the chainsaw; it's a really amazing piece of advanced technology. I hope they'll be making fuel for some years yet, until such time as we can get our "hand-and-mule" wood-harvesting skills down to some semblance of efficiency. Will I pay an exorbitant price for [rationed] gasoline? You bet, the work-energy that's packed therein will finally cost what it's worth. (I think that the horrifying WASTE of hydrocarbons in the short-sighted pursuit of profit is what has pissed me off the most about this whole period of history. I've always lived pretty "close to the bone" and was taught not to be wasteful of resources of any kind... so I've been kinda dismayed most of my life! lol)

Oh, yeah... get a cheap trailer for the time being. Well worth it! :o)

Hi everyone, I don't have anything specific to discuss today, but I wanted to offer a few opinions and observations.

First, I would like to say that I find myself returning here because the quality of the discussion is very high. I often find myself closely examining my own convictions due to the thoughtful, well reasoned arguments that are posted here. Often those arguments are for ideas I am in disagreement with, but no less well presented for that. I like it when someone can make a good case for something I heartily disagree with.

The discussion of Christianity has been of particular interest to me, as I was raised in a home where my brothers and I were compelled to read the Bible for an hour every day after school by our mother. I don't attend church, and I find myself uncomfortable around many Christians because they thoughtlessly interpret scripture as they are taught to by their particular denomination. Christianity is supposed to be about pursuing a personal relationship with Christ, not conforming to the ideology of your denomination. The message, I think, often gets drowned in the dogma.

I've been doing some reading on permaculture for the last couple days (thanks for the info Tripp), and it seems more viable and sustainable than agriculture as it is widely practiced today. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the specific how-to information and best practices have to be gleaned from an overwhelming current of neo-hippie pacifist ideology. I even tried watching a few videos on youtube which were mostly really bad folk music and crazy dancing with more of the same ideology heaped on for good measure. I understand that permaculture emerged from this type of ideology, but in order for it to be taken seriously and implemented on a useful scale, it needs to be presented as a science, and deservedly so.

Before I draw the ire of any pacifists in here, I would like to say that I am not opposed to pacifist ideology in general. The problem lies in that anytime you have resources, specifically in a crisis scenario, you are a target. Those resources may be your food forest, or your bunker filled with survival gear. If a crisis does indeed take place, the best opportunity for a better world to emerge from it is for thoughtful, rational people (like those in this forum) to survive long enough to exchange ideas and come to a stable compromise.

Finally, I would like to opine that the innate sustainablity of horticultural societies might derive from their unfettered access to their leadership. The Wall Street crowd probably perceives the current conditions as a sort of utopia, outcry from the fading middle class notwithstanding. Would these conditions prevail if America were a direct democracy? The founding fathers are supposed to have crafted a representative democracy to insulate the state from the inherent volatility present in direct democracies, like Athens. Is it possible that they might have done so for other, less noble reasons?

Just a few thoughts.

Ozone, all good thoughts. Regarding "Man, I sure am gonna miss the chainsaw" -- my Stihl sure does take the pain out of cutting firewood. However, I once borrowed a friend's electric chainsaw, and although it didn't have the power of the gasoline one, it did a decent job on smaller-diameter trunks (under 12"). Yeah, not as portable as gasoline, but either the batteries/inverter or a long extention cord should work for limited cutting. Love handtools too, but I'm 53 and my various musculo-skeletal body parts (like shoulders, knees and elbows) are getting rusty and/or painful, not sure how much longer I'll be able to handle heavy tools. The heaviest tools my 22+ sons use are iPod and iPhone, so not much help there. My stepsons' skiing injuries may be a show-stopper for them, so I'm counting on electricity!!!! Viva Helium, Uranium and Plutonium!

May I make a suggestion regarding man's nature and how a future of diminishing goods might affect behavior? Watch the unfolding events in Haiti. For while some of the immediate needs will be met in the next few weeks, Haiti has been so ravaged it will take years to get back to the dismal place the country occupied just a few short days ago. What transpires in the next few weeks may be a peek into a future of peaks.

not mommy said: "...c-140 transport planes loaded with life supporting goods that have already landed at Haiti's main airport."

And then not mommy says:
"What transpires in the next few weeks may be a peek into a future of peaks."

Finally not mommy says something I can agree with.

Yes, Obama acted within minutes, in less time it took Bush to read "My Pet Goat". Turns out he doesn't just give good speech, he takes decisive action. Glad to see you are on board with throwing money at a problem.

And, YES, what is happening now is proof of the goodness of human nature. From Iceland to Cuba the world community didn't just say "tough shit, you're on your own". They didn't think "Haiti is weak now, we can go loot it".

What we are witnessing is proof that humans can act in solidarity with other humans. So, as not mommy says: "Watch the unfolding events in Haiti."

Now, if only the USA would stop intercepting Haitian immigrants to turn them back.

Now, if only the USA would stop arresting Haitian immigrants to imprison them in ICE prisons and allow them to languish there and die there.

ICE, now admits 107 immigrants died in ICE custody since October 2003, but for years the deaths went uncounted in the public record.

"Every? Except those motivated by generosity, altruism, kindness, love, goodwill, conscience, sacrifice and other things that humanize us."
=====================

Yes Dio -- especially generosity, altruism, kindness, etc. You need to examine your motivations one level deeper. Why do you want to be loving and kind etc? -- because there is something in it for you even if it just makes you feel good.

"Aid is a necessary but delicate affair; some forms of aid can produce dependency, facilitate further inequities in a society, destroy or impair
cultural values, decrease the yields of the environment, upset balanced nutritional habits, or actually destroy sustainable local ecologies or agricultural systems."

Bill Mollison - Permaculture Design Manual

As I've come to grips with the shortcomings of agricultural societies, my own culture, I've also withdrawn my long-standing support for Heifer International. I always believed they were doing the best of work among the best of organizations, but now I'm not so sure. Perhaps we've hastened our demise by molding the remaining horticultural societies in our own agricultural image.

I think we should be very careful about what we think of as "aid." Although I agree that a rapidly-deployed C-140 (130?) full of emergency gear and supplies is a noble thing, pretty much across the board.

"because there is something in it for you "

Yes, at times. Using this reasoning you might say that Mother Theresa was rather selfish because her good deeds were motivated by her desire to go to Heaven and have an everlasting life of joy next to Christ.

However, I also believe that humans are capable of pure altruism and generosity, motivated by genuine desire to help others, save their lives, relieve their pain, sometimes at a risk or detriment to themselves. I won't cite any examples here, if you don't agree with this notion you'll simply say it's anecdotal or attribute it to other motivations. OK, a few examples: soldiers in wartimes taking bullets, blocking grenades or landmines with their bodies to save their buddies (nothing in it for themselves other than pain and death); civilians in wartimes giving shelter or otherwise saving wounded soldiers of either side (or persecuted civilians) at a great risk to themselves or their families. These are just a few, I know of many others which I believe were motivated by un-selfish altruism. Which is a distinguishing feature of Homo Sapiens, don't you think?

In most cases, human motivation is too complex for selfish/altruistic dichotomy, I think.

Qshtik cynically said: "Why do you want to be loving and kind etc? -- because there is something in it for you even if it just makes you feel good."

Oh, really? So, when that soldier throws himself on a live grenade to save his buddies, or a firefighter enters a burning house at great personal risk, they are doing those things because there is "something in it" for them, or, because it makes them "feel good"?

Come on, Qshtik, why do you have such a negative view of human nature?

Why don't you see the millions of acts of kindness and selflessness committed every day?

Are you watching FOX news regularly by any chance? That could cultivate an attitude that it is really all about greed and personal aggrandizement.

Our Father, who art in heaven, forgive Q, for he knows not what he is saying.

And be sure to remember Safire's fourth rule.

For what it's worth, I think my Stihl chainsaw is probably the most useful tool ever invented. I will save whatever gasoline I have available to me to benefit from its incredible power.

"And, YES, what is happening now is proof of the goodness of human nature. From Iceland to Cuba the world community didn't just say "tough shit, you're on your own". They didn't think "Haiti is weak now, we can go loot it"."

This, in spite of worsening economic hardship at home in their respective countries.

Yes, the ass-raping should begin any minute now...

not mommy said: "Watch the unfolding events in Haiti."

Good idea. While you are morbidly rubber-necking tragedy in Haiti, Democrats in congress can get health care reform passed for 30 million Americans.

As Naomi Klein said in her book, SHOCK DOCTRINE, a crisis should never go to waste.

"I understand that permaculture emerged from this type of ideology, but in order for it to be taken seriously and implemented on a useful scale, it needs to be presented as a science, and deservedly so."

There are really two permacultures on the planet. The scientific, yet deeply connected to Earth, version, intended by its founders and represented by the bulk of the work going on. And the woo-woos spinning in circles and making YouTube videos. I'm an ecologist, not an astrologer.

Please don't miss the cereal in the chaff.

Might I suggest a few decent YouTube videos?

(fairly long)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFjFG24BeX8

Here's one that JHK would like:

(7 minutes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTYe8WloF1U&feature=related

The famous "Greening the Desert" video:

(5 minutes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk

I agree that we should do everything possible to help Haitians now.
But "aid" is frequently not a good thing, Asoka.
Yesterday on Democracy Now, someone pointed out that Haiti was food self sufficient 30 years ago, but 30 years of "aid" has left them dependent on imports, to the point where they were eating mud earlier this year.
John Perkins points out that US aid to foreign countries is usually to the benefit of the ruling class, and frequently the money never leaves the US, going to Betchel and such to build giant projects that never benefit the poor, frequently hurt the poor directly ( by flooding their lands or throwing them off the land), but the poor always pay the bill.
Diogen, capitalism is not sustainable, even if regulated, because it always has to grow or die. The profits must come from elsewhere, either foreign markets or debt, because they are not created within the system.
Capitalism doesn't just make what we need and then stop. It always wants more. And capitalists want more profits, usually from cheaper labor.
If we are to live within our means, we can't continue with this economic system.
I'm not saying that we will find a way to live sustainably on the Earth in peace with each other.
It's just as possible that we won't.
But if we don't we'll destroy many more species along with ourselves. (Already in progress)_

Here are the loving Christians commenting on the earthquake in Haiti.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rElMVoZ-vQ

Left and right both seem to agree that the moneyed class is in charge of passing legislation friendly to its own financial interests, and that concern for the general populace is roughly zero.

I think it's telling that Nancy Pelosi's top 10 campaign contributors for the 2010 election cycle are all big pharma companies.

Tell me again who benefits from "health" reform?

Wage, I agree that the growth model of economic prosperity is fataly flawed, however I don't think growth is an exclusive feature of capitalism, Socialist economies of Eastern Europe and elsewhere were also growth-oriented, as were pre-modern economies of feudal societies.

Profits are simply a return on any investment (e.g. your labor). As long as no one and no resource gets exploited, profits are a healthy thing. If I put up a PV panel on my house (solar panel) which cost a certain amount of energy to manufacture and deliver/install, but it produces more energy in return over its lifetime, this is profit! You get a profit on your own labor every day, it's a difference between what it costs you to work and what your employer pays you. Profit is a measure of efficiency, there's no intrinsic evil in it. Profits are obscene only when they exploit people or Nature or are destructive in other ways (war, theft, etc.) I disagree with you respectfully; I find your postings to be very thoughtful, articulate and insightful (even if I don't completely agree with them), and always interesting to read.

"The profits must come from elsewhere, either foreign markets or debt, because they are not created within the system"

Not necessarily. A guy or gal who invented, say, lever or pulley was able to accomplish more work in a given unit of time, receiving more pay during that unit of time than before, therefore realizing greater profit on his labor.

Even Marxists had to generate profits (while calling them by a different name) in order to have a viable enterprise to finance all those Gulag concentration camps and prisons and their murderous government...

"Good idea. While you are morbidly rubber-necking tragedy in Haiti, Democrats in congress can get health care reform passed for 30 million Americans."

Sorry dick-weed. That ship sailed. People actually are paying attention. ( I know the corrupt Dimotwatts wanted to hide from view any and all details of this fiasco but it ain't workin'.)

Do you have any idea how your public crack-up is progressing, asoka-your-pants? One day you state your desire to see Obama tried for war crimes. The next day he is your hero again. You are so totally conflicted that your previous ramblings are beginning to sound almost intelligent. What a fucking goof.

"Christians are the only people on earth, in the entire history of humanity, who have used atomic weapons against other human beings, wiping out women, children, elderly, everyone."

Without joining the brawl over religion, I would like to add that my family holds a rather notorious place in the history of the A-bomb. My last name is Tibbetts. As in Paul Tibbetts. The pilot of the Enola Gay.

Perhaps this fact has something to do with my deep need to make amends for my culture's foolishness, with my relentless quest for environmental belonging, and my absolute NEED, really, to trust other humans to be good people. Because I descend from a monstrous lineage in more ways than most.

I don't care if dropping those 2 bombs spared a lot of our boys. They shouldn't have been dropped, not by good people. The industrial world possesses enough nuclear weaponry to destroy the planet a couple hundred times over. Wouldn't once be sufficient?

Just who the hell do we think we are?

"Here are the loving Christians commenting on the earthquake in Haiti."

Hey fucktard, since when did Rush become any kind of Christian commentator? And even if he claimed he was, he isn't. And Pat Robertson? Please. Two individuals and you wish to indict all Christians? Pretty open-minded of you. (What a surprise.)

"Just who the hell do we think we are?"

Obviously you think yourself some sort of monster, descended from monsters. That would be the same as a current generation German who had Nazis in their past feeling guilt. It is pointless and undeserved.

As for Japan, I guess they could have always opted not to side with fucking Hilter and attack us without warning. I mean that cause and affect thingy is such an inconvenience when confronting the truth.

"I don't care if dropping those 2 bombs spared a lot of our boys."

Hmm. Interesting. You seem to have remorse regarding the "... women, children, elderly, everyone..." of Japan but don't care about the sparing of "a lot of our boys." Quite strange.

"One day you state your desire to see Obama tried for war crimes. The next day he is your hero again. You are so totally conflicted ..."
========================

Conflicted? What conflicted? This is no problem for Richard Weed -- He is large; He contains multitudes. (As Q scratches his head and mumbles "Whatever the fuck that means.")

"Now, if only the USA would stop intercepting Haitian immigrants to turn them back."

Yeah, come one come all. No rules. Come and get it.

"Now, if only the USA would stop arresting Haitian immigrants to imprison them in ICE prisons and allow them to languish there and die there." (See above comment.)

Now if asoka-his-pants could refrain from being a moronic twit.

Diogen, You ask what does "down the crapper" mean?

Truth is, we're as blind in 2010 as they were in 1910. If you had told people in 1910 what would happen between 1914 and 1918 and between 1939 and 1945 nobody would have believed it.

But given our apparent will to commit collective economic and financial suicide I think we should be prepared to see N. America turn into a very sorry, poverty stricken place.

When the city of Rome was sacked in 410 AD it had been 800 years since it was last looted by barbarians. The event was a terrible shock. It would have been something akin to the shock people would have felt if Nazi soldiers took London in 1941 and were seen swaggering around Buckingham Palace. The last time it was invaded was in the year 1066.

I think we are facing something as shocking as the sack of Rome was to the people of the time. When the aqueducts were destroyed Rome had no water and was abandoned. Who could have guessed at that outcome? However it is we go "down the crapper" I think it will come as a total surprise. We will look back on the ruins we leave behind much as people abandoning Rome looked back on their old houses and marketplaces.

Can we avert disaster? Maybe, but I think we, as a herd, are determined to go over the edge of the cliff. Personally I'm not hopeful.

"Socialist economies of Eastern Europe and elsewhere were also growth-oriented, as were pre-modern economies of feudal societies."

To me it's a question of semantics and viewpoint again.

In the larger energetics trend, ANY economic system to date was based on growth, because that's the energetic reality in which we live. Human success, if we can call it that, is a product of what Nature provides, not the other way around. In any ecosystem experiencing energetic growth, say tapping a large oil field, or an old decaying redwood crashing down on the forest floor, competition among aggressive individuals ensues. Weedy pioneer species capture and occupy the site and establish an oligarchy with limited diversity represented.

In an ecosystem of steady or declining energy supply (e.g. a post-peak oil scenario), new relationships form, biodiversity increases, and novel synergies with emergent properties manifest themselves. In other words, what lies ahead is completely unknown to us. We can't just choose from our existing bag of tricks the system that has tickled our fancy the most so far. (And I don't think Nature will let us choose capitalism.)

Socialism or communism might actually work brilliantly in an age of declining energy. We just don't know. Any attempt to use these systems in the past was probably premature, and greed-driven, like any other growth system, therefore it was a disaster in the end. But most likely, we will govern our behavior by some truly novel system, that might not even be based on the idea of "economy."

Nature bases her wealth on connectivity, resilience, and species richness, and sometimes less is indeed more.

But we can be sure that however we organize our activity, it will be at a much, much smaller scale. So if my village were to choose a novel version of communism, that doesn't affect you Mommy, or Q, or Vlad. I don't think we have to be concerned with how the next watershed over manages their daily affairs. We just have to connect and commune with our neighbors, and find a way to meet each others' needs. Ultimately.

But I'm enjoying this discussion while it's available!

You either agree with the Christian Rush Limbaugh or you don't.

not mommy, do you agree with Limbaugh's statement?

"the religious left in this country hates and despises the God of Christianity and Catholicism and whatever else. They despise it because they fear it, because it's a threat, because that God has moral absolutes. That God has right and wrong, that God doesn't deal in nuance, that God doesn't deal in gray area, that God says, 'This is right and that is wrong." -- Rush Limbaugh

Interesting. I suspect not mommy is on Rush Limbaugh's side and agrees with Limbaugh's statement, yet is now trying to distance himself from Limbaugh. Interesting.

By the way "that God" said: THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

Even if you, slimy linguist not mommy, choose to translate kill to mean murder, the incineration of thousands of people with atomic weapons is mass murder. And you defend the use of atomic weapons in WWII. Interesting.

You know you can go to hell for that sin? First thing God is going to say to you on Judgement Day is: KILL MEANS KILL, EXACTLY AS I SAID IT IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, FUCKTARD. WHAT PART OF "THOU SHALT NOT KILL" DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

"That's the Sufi interpretation of charity."

What is? There was a lot of noise in the comments, and I don't know which one you're referring to.

And I posted a reply to you late last week. Don't know if you saw it.

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

"You know you can go to hell for that sin? First thing God is going to say to you on Judgement Day is: KILL MEANS KILL, EXACTLY AS I SAID IT IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, FUCKTARD. WHAT PART OF "THOU SHALT NOT KILL" DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?"

And how would that be possible, asoka-yourself? Have you forgotten? There is no God. There is no hell. Ten commandments? Don't you mean the ten suggestions. (And you are now using the term, FUCKTARD? Wow, man thats really bad karma. Bad zen.) The crack-up continues.

"not mommy, do you agree with Limbaugh's statement?"

""the religious left in this country hates and despises the God of Christianity and Catholicism and whatever else. They despise it because they fear it..."

I believe the above quote asoka-your-pants. You are living proof of it.

"PERMACULTURE SCALES"

I like it. I wish you and your nephew the best as you explore what is, for me, the most hopeful solution we have. Your low-energy building techniques are very much a part of the whole. I've been a cob fan for about 6 years now.

Others will find it too. And it's OK if they don't call it 'permaculture' ;) So long as they find it, eh?

I would say that your lineage is no more monstrous than anybody else's.

Besides, what would you have done if you were Harry Truman? The Japanese Army had been on a years long rampage of rape and murder all through Asia, not to mention what they did at Pearl Harbour. They killed and wounded millions. My own father in law was wounded by them. So do you back off? Do you let the rape/murder spree go on?

I've read that the Japanese Army in 1945 was basically intact on the Japanese main islands even after all the mayhem on the Pacific Islands and in China, S.E Asia etc.

I've read that it would have been absolute butchery if the US invaded the main Japanese Islands. There were high ranking US officers opposed to an invasion because of the cost in lives. So what was Harry to do?

Also, the Japanese were working on an atomic bomb. Would you want to take the risk that they actually finish one or two of them? Then what?

It's too bad about the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There's been a lot of regret about that. But what about the millions the Japanese killed? You never hear a word about them, least of all from the Japanese.

In the end the Japanese learned the hard way about the cost of making war on their neighbours. They got up in 1945 and realized that their own country was a shambles with millions of their compadres dead and wounded. And we haven't heard a peep from them since.

not mommy said: "Have you forgotten? There is no God. There is no hell."

No you are a blasphemer. And a hypocrite.

And just to give myself some more bad karma, the crack up continues, moron.

You do crack me up, though. You are good entertainment value.

cash said: "Do you let the rape/murder spree go on?"

Hello? The babies in Nagasaki, the pregnant women in Hiroshima, the disabled, the infirm, none of them were on a rape/murder spree. Using nuclear weapons on civilian populations is terrorism.

The way you are talking is exactly the mentality of a Bin Laden. The people in the Twin Towers were not occupying "holy land" but Bin Laden thought it prudent to murder 3,000 people to get the US troops out of Saudi Arabia. It worked.

Bin Laden indicated, after getting Bush's attention on 9/11, that terrorist attacks would continue until the troops were withdrawn from Bin Laden's Saudi Arabian "holy land."

There have been no more Twin Tower type attacks since U.S. officials transferred control of portions of Prince Sultan Air Base to Saudi officials at a ceremony on August 26, 2003 (the base had been home to about 60,000 US personnel over time).

So Bin Laden's terror worked just like the USA bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki worked... does that justify mass murder?

Does the fact that "it worked" make Bin Laden's killing of 3,000 Americans justified?

"No you are a blasphemer. And a hypocrite."

And you are a MORON. I was batting back to you, your beliefs. No heaven, no hell no god. Yet you like to point out to people of faith that if they don't do such and thus they will pay. Why should you care when you believe there is no god? I mean people aren't really going to pay for their sins, asoka-yourself, because if there is no god there is no sin.

"And just to give myself some more bad karma, the crack up continues, moron."

We know the crack-up continues. Your postings are proof positive.

(Hey. after Obama's trial for war crimes should we insist he give back his Nobel Peace Prize? I mean this has got to be a fucking first and I'm not certain of the protocol. Just wondering?)

asoka-himself sez:

"There have been no more Twin Tower type attacks..."

No fucking shit, Sherlock. Bush carried the war to the FUCKTARDS. Now that the bed-wetter in chief has tried to deny that terrorism is still an issue we are seeing the preambles of a twin-tower type scenario on the horizon. It will be a miracle if a similar event does not take place with the gang of panty-wastes currently calling the shots. Time will tell.

Yes Hello.

You didn't answer the question: Do you let the rape/murder spree go on? And I heard no condemnation from you of rape and murder by the Japanese.

Let's put it another way. If you were Chinese or let's say Filipino and living in terror of Japanese troops what would you want Harry Truman to do? Because the Japanese weren't renowned for their humanitarian impulses. They raped and murdered without blinking an eye.

You didn't answer the other question. The Japanese were working on a atomic bomb. What if they actually succeeded? Could you imagine that? If you were Harry Truman would you take that chance?

So in practical fact what does Harry do? I'd be interested to hear what you would do if you were him. So try answering the question.

"Socialism or communism might actually work brilliantly in an age of declining energy"

Trip, depends on your meaning of "work". These political systems do not value either the human rights or the Nature. Environmental destruction perpetrated by almost every socialist/communist gov't was mind-boggling, far greater than any environmental damage done by any "capitalist" enterprise. In my travels in several socialist/communist countries I saw such utterly desperate environmental hell as I have not seen anywhere in the Western world, trust me on this one.

So, what you and Mommy are basically saying is that it's OK to build and use a nuclear bomb, so long as you have the good sense to be American when you do so.

Thanks for clearing that up.

So Dio, did you actually READ my comment? Or did you just scan it for something you didn't like?

One other thing.

I've heard that the Japanese War Cabinet was divided on the issue of surrendering even after the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the idea being how many of these weapons could U.S. possibly possess? Some of them figured they had a decent chance of either coming to a negotiated peace with the US or beating the US Army if they invaded given that the Japanese army was still a force to be reckoned with.

So you know what decided the issue? According to one account it was the declaration of war by the Soviets on Japan. Apparently the prospect of a drunken Red Army doing to Japan what it had done to the German army and German civilians,especially women,really put fear into the Japanese Emperor.

The Japanese apparently knew that Americans had qualms about sacrificing human lives for the sake of victory but they also knew the Soviets had none. If the Soviets invaded they could expect the worst. Better to surrender than take that risk.

cash said: "Do you let the rape/murder spree go on? And I heard no condemnation from you of rape and murder by the Japanese."

I absolutely condemn the rape/murder spree by the Japanese.

And now that you have given me presidential powers, I am immediately ordering all work on nuclear weapons be halted. The Manhattan Project will stop, effective immediately. Such weapons are inherently immoral and have no place in an American arsenal.

Once again, the Japanese could have been good little girls and boys and sat the war out. They did not. There were consequences for their actions.

"Such weapons are inherently immoral and have no place in an American arsenal."

Except they are a part of our arsenal. (Once again, reality rears its ugly head.) And why are they? Because others now have them in their arsenals. And one would have to be as moronic and naive as asoka-his-pants to dismantle our weapons which for over 50 years have successfully served as a deterrent.

"So, what you and Mommy are basically saying is that it's OK to build and use a nuclear bomb, so long as you have the good sense to be American when you do so."

No, FUCKTARD. It WAS ok to use one. And since it was used the horrific consequences were such that it has not been necessary to use one again. You have to put it in historical context. I know thats hard to do (even though your evil predecessor was the guy who dropped it and you will most likely burn in hell for his actions) but arm chair quarterbacks need not apply.

Yeah, that's precisely why Iceland, Costa Rica, Leichtenstein, and a host of other countries get invaded all the time. No A-bombs.

Although it's more likely because they have no A-holes.

Fucktard. Right. That's not a game I play.

Later, dude.

asoka-himself sez:

"I absolutely condemn the rape/murder spree by the Japanese."

Wow, now thats a really brave stance to take. You da' he-man, asoka-your-pants.

"Although it's more likely because they have no A-holes."

Come on dude. Haven't you ever read any of the liner notes of a Bjork cd. Try and get a clue.

I'm confused again, Mommy. Who had the first A-bomb in their arsenal? In other words, who STARTED this mess?

I know cause and effect can get tricky, but this just seems willful.

"Come on dude. Haven't you ever read any of the liner notes of a Bjork cd. Try and get a clue."

I haven't rocked out to any Bjork lately, no, but I'm guessing a little teen angst will call down the thunder on those despicable Icelanders any day now? Am I way off?

"I'm confused again, Mommy. Who had the first A-bomb in their arsenal? "

Thankfully the U.S. However, we used the talents of some former Germans (Einstein) and knew full well that the Germans were working night and day to develop one of their own. Once again, think context. Try not and play, "lets pretend" and wish a cum-buy-ah world was one in which we live. We do not. What is...is. What was...was. You can wish reality away but you will only end up in asoka-his-pants world. Not a particularly relevant place to be.

"I haven't rocked out to any Bjork lately..."

No shit. That is because it is an impossibility to "rock out" to Bjork.

Mommy, what does seem clear to me is that you and your ilk can't get enough rape, theft, murder, and hate. It's practically all you can talk about. I'm well aware of the fact that we live in a dark place. Every comment you utter reminds me of that. Not just you either. Cash sometimes, Vlad most of the time, Q, when he's not busy playing grammar police, and so on.

This may be hard for you, but it's people like you that create discord. Your people, in whatever skin color, are the bombers, the terrorists, the usurpers. You can't separate yourself from them when you spew hatred and violence all the time. Do you honestly feel that folks like me are a threat?

You CAN create another kind of world. I'm doing it. I don't like paying taxes, so I stopped making money and found another way to live. I don't like chemicals and medicine in my food, so I grow all of my own, or know the people who do. I don't see the bulk of modern medicine as useful, so I develop my own. I don't like big corporate behavior, so I don't buy their shit. I tend to my convictions. If we all did that, we could forget about the darkness you seem to honor.

But occassionally I let myself get swept back into your ugly little world. I need to work on that.

Good day, sir.

"but arm chair quarterbacks need not apply"
=============================

Although I am very much in agreement with your views in this latest skirmish, I would like our side to keep it's metaphors straight -- let's go either with arm-chair generals or monday-morning quarterbacks. You pick.

not mommy said: "You can wish reality away but you will only end up in asoka-his-pants world. Not a particularly relevant place to be."

You are wrong here, though it is not your fault since you don't know much about my world.

In my world there are no invisible beings to worship, no fear of punishment, no guilt, no original sin. Just folks enjoying life. Dancing, singing, meditating, and having fun.

In my world there are no invisible holy spirits who rape women to give birth to a Son of an Invisible Being, who then has to be accepted as a Savior to guarantee going to an invisible place after death (John 3:16). That is the loony tunes belief system Christians subscribe to.

I prefer my kum bay ya world. It has been a relevant place for me for six decades. My world is full of laughter (and some suffering), but the suffering is shared and mitigated by unconditional love, and mitigated by gratitude for nature, by wonder, by gratefulness to be alive.

I do enjoy your posts, not mommy. Keep replying.

One Republican candidate's response to Haiti:

The communications director for California Republican Senate candidate Chuck DeVore tweeted on Thursday that America, the world and even charity organizations should immediately leave the island once immediate and limited recovery is done.

"[T]he best thing the int'l community can do is tend the wounded, bury the dead, and then LEAVE. That includes all UN and charity"

Compassionate conservative non-interventionist ideology in action.

not mommy said: "You can wish reality away but you will only end up in asoka-his-pants world. Not a particularly relevant place to be."

Yes, when I visit my family in the midwest, I am again reminded of reality.

Monster truck competitions, NASCAR, basketball, pro-wrestling, and all the other "realities" of my family members who are chained to the glittering shadows of celebrity culture, the spectacle of the arena and the airwaves, the lies of advertising, the endless personal dramas, many invented, that have become the staple of news, celebrity gossip, new-age mysticism and pop psychology.

In my world I have no money, just happiness. You are right that my world is irrelevant.

I am irrelevant to this military-industrial-corporate-consumer culture dedicated to death ... because I refused to play along. I refused to be inducted into the armed forces. I did not go into the engineering career path to work for defense contractors like my fellow high school graduates did. I did get a mortgage and buy a McMansion in the suburbs. I simplified my life to earn so little money so as not to have to pay taxes to the war machine.

All that opened other vistas and opportunities not related to money. I discovered happiness does not depend on having a lot of money. But I guess places like Costa Rica and Colombia have already proved that scientifically.

correction: I did NOT get a mortgage and buy a McMansion in the suburbs.

"Although I am very much in agreement with your views in this latest skirmish, I would like our side to keep it's metaphors straight"

Our side. As long as we see the world as polarized and divisive there will be conflict. That's the part you guys don't understand. We don't WANT to oppose you. But it seems like you say things expressly for that purpose. You don't want peace. You NEED an enemy. I don't think you'd know what to do if there wasn't someone to fight.

But you're right. The unknown future is a very dark place. Because you guys reinforce that darkness every day.

And somehow I'm the heathen.

"Now, if only the USA would stop intercepting Haitian immigrants to turn them back."

Why? So that the rest of Haiti is insulated from the consequences of overpopulation? Time to get some birth control and family planning going there as a follow-on to the humanitarian relief. Though I am not holding my breath on that, it would require (mostly) white liberals to tell a bunch of black people not to have so many kids.

Hahahah

as of 20? years ago the USA had 1/4 of haitians here..there arent many jobs there.
if you look at wiki/web THE POPULATION INCREASED BY 30% FROM ONE CENSUS TO THE NEXT.

Tripp said: "And somehow I'm the heathen."

Tripp, you should also be careful about being too happy because you will be labeled as cracked or on drugs or a cornucopian innocent or out of touch with "reality"... etc. or, like Q, simply not believe it at all and call it disingenuous or some other big word.

I think heathens have gotten a bad rap. The original meaning of the word "heathen" (from Germanic languages) is a non-christian pagan...

There is nothing wrong with being a pagan, nothing wrong with holding polytheistic beliefs (or no beliefs at all). I don't understand how heathen came to become some kind of insult.

Where is it in the constitution that the poor in the USA should give $ to the rich in power in other countries?
i knew someone who knew a woman who liked to travel thru Tonga...the king there loves disasters
because the redcross etc sends him $$$$.

"I don't care if dropping those 2 bombs spared a lot of our boys. They shouldn't have been dropped, not by good people."

You should read about the alternative: Operations Downfall and Coronet. Supposedly, MacArthur was a little disturbed by the potential outcome of the plans for invasion and pacification of Japan, to the extent that he wondered if Japanese would become a dead language.

And if you're upset about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you should be equally troubled by what happened to Tokyo, Hamburg and Dresden. Oh, wait, those were conventional (incendiary) bombings...

Grief is the result of war, whether killing is done by a bronze-tipped spear or thermonuclear plasma. Trying to single out a particular form of killing is at best semantics and at worst delusional.

General Sherman understood: “War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”

There was a third path: allow them to surrender without occpying them. They were willing to do this and give up China. Why do we feel we have to occupy every Country and try to transform them into our own image? Remember, we invaded Japan to begin with and forced them to trade. Before that, they were isolationist.

FDR's Campaign promised peace - even as he make preparations for war. He cut off the Japanese supply of gasoline - backing them into a corner. And when the Japanese Fleet approached Hawaii, he did not try to intercept it.

So is it all over now? We think so, but some of the Japanese Elite think outherwise. They think in terms of decades and centuries, remember. Some of them feel that we owe them a Holocausted City or two. But it probably wont be necessary: we obviously aren't going to be around long enough to suffer this delayed revenge. In fact, some of the Japanese mourn our coming demise in their cool, distant Oriental Way.

"you and your ilk"
===================

If you look up the word "ilk" in (or at) Dictionary.com you will find no mention of the fact that it is used today, almost exclusively, in a pejorative sense. I find that odd and I just might speak to their lexicographers about it.

Another word frequently used in a negative sense is "crowd" as in "the Bush/Chaney crowd" or "the right-to-carry-guns crowd."

And when someone spews a lot of negativism and ends with "Good day, sir," we all understand quite clearly just how insincere these polite words really are. One almost longs for Mommy's gloves-off style.

I agree with that: it's the scale that determines whether a system has the possibility of being humane or not. Small scale free enterprise where the owner or entrepreneur is known by his community is a world away from Corporate Capitalism. The problem is one of desire: a man makes one store a success, he wants another one and so on. Before you know it, you're on the road back to where we are now. But this is what Wage doesn't get: the same egotism is at work in Socialism and Communist Bureacracies. They just can't be as open about their personal ambition and have to cloak in Ideology. And they start from a more unhealty place to begin with, namely a large anonymous collectivity where people are stymied in their life force.

The modern coutries that have worked the best are small Northern European ones, that although they have large institutions, never gave up their community focus. Tragically, that is failing now as evidenced by Icelandic Banksters and Finland's Fall into the politics of Third World Replacement. Three percent of Finland is now non Finnish. It's will double in no time. The attacks on women and old men have already begun by Somali Youths. It's part of their "culture".

And Obama won a Peace Prize, right before he increased the military budget by 50%.

What about this aren't we understanding? The elites lie, and manipulate the population, allowing our sons and daughters to die so they can increase the value of their stock.

Cash and Mommy assume that because I'm an environmentalist, I'm anti-conservative. No sir, I'm anti-politics. The Dems screw things up just as badly. Because the difference between the two is marginal. When the elite need a Dem for regulation they install a Dem. When they need a 'Pub for de-regulation they install a 'Pub. Surely we're not still under some delusion that this is a democracy. I mean, who exactly was Barack Obama 5 years ago?

War has never been about protecting ideology. It's always about resources, or religion. The fact that the US grew to be the world's largest economy last century, while participating in the most wars, should lend credence to that idea.

That's why I find it very fortunate that we have reached this junction of human existence. Growth is over. Things aren't going to behave the same way anymore. The old paradigm has been cut off, is being dragged to the door, and will be tossed out on its ear for acting like a scoundrel.

What happens next is anyone's guess. But I bet it won't be as ugly as a lot of us think.

And Vlad, I owe you an apology for being snooty last night.

Correct on all accounts.

The Quakers were able to survive as pacifists because they relied on non Pacifist groups for the police and soldier functions. The English and Germans kept order in Pennsylvania and the Scots-Irish immigrants went right out into the Hills and became the Indian Fighters. Pacifists cannot survive by themselves and thus can be considered parasites. The first thing the average pacifist does when in trouble is call a policeman - a proffesional warrior in other words. Individual pacifists may be heroic and suffer for their faith as you alluded to. And the guilt they feel because they're parasites,lead many of them to risk their lives in WW1 and 2 as ambulance personal in wars they did not agree with, in itself a conflict in the pacifist community.

If some White was about to kill your friend Je$$ie Jack$on and you were right beside him, would you just stand by and let it happen? If yes, you're a piece of shit. If no, you're a hypocrite. Choose.

Hey Trip, where's your personal dark side? Why, it's right over here - you projected it onto us. Why don't you take it back and own it? I guarante you that unless you have done the alchemy of higher growth, that "dark side" will have elements of value and necessity; like the capacity to defend your family and community when the time comes. Pacifism for the most part, is a short circuit of the spritual process, lets call it Asokean Pacifism for short. Your complete aversion to shit is a sign of your imbalance from a Jungian point of view. You haven't deadened yourself and become a sacharine good boy - the worst case of all. You are in touch with alot of your passion. But you have projected your anger onto Straight, Right, White Males. We are the demons in your personal theology. Take it back, we don't want it. And you're going to need it dude. Really.

What if he just thinks Jessie Jackson is a dick?

Do they not take care to invest in a socially conscious way? Or are you just saying that they're consumer oriented like everyone else?

You're thinking like a Patriot again, careful, that may get you sent to a camp someday soon. Just wait: they going to make Haiti an unofficial 51st State. We are going to get millions more of these peeps. "Our" Blacks don't like them and neither do the contolers of Florida, the Right Wing Cubans. Probably for the best - it will increase the rate of America's Fall - which favors White Patriots. The longer it takes, the fewer our numbers will be relative to their's. So worse is better. Bring em' on. There's nothing for them here, but come, come anyway.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere is also the only Black Country in the Western Hemisphere. Conincidence? Sure it is.

He doesn't. A few months ago he raved, I know Jessie Jackson, I am somebody.

You can't make up some of the crazy things this guy says. He's unique, I'll give him that.

Thank you for the apology. A sincere apology is very rare in this or any other dark material world.

Never had much use for saccharin, Vlad. All-natural boy, remember?

Real food doesn't leave your mind confused about which right white male-run corporate industry is going to take you to the cleaners next.

I expect more from you than the ol' "I'm rubber; you're glue" defense.

"Grief is the result of war, whether killing is done by a bronze-tipped spear or thermonuclear plasma. Trying to single out a particular form of killing is at best semantics and at worst delusional."

You really think that fighting and killing one man with a spear for stealing the food meant to keep your family alive, and dropping a thermonuclear device on a city full of women, children, gardeners, poets, musicians, philosophers..., is the same thing?

Mark me down for delusional.

Ok, surrender without occupation was a possible course of action. But without occupying them how do you know they stopped work on their nuclear weapons? Japan as well as Germany was working on a nuke.

And then what if you find out subsequently, let's say a few years later, that they have been working on a nuke or already have one. What do you do then?

I think Japanese militarism was deeply ingrained and I can't imagine that their lust to fight, kill or die for their Emperor washed away right after the cessation of hostilities in 1945. So how do you keep them from resurrecting into military aggressors like Germany did in the 1930s?

I'm not sure that Truman took the best course of action by dropping nukes and occupying Japan. But I don't think that it was an easy decision and I don't think that the USA was the evil power that so many people in the US and outside the US think it was. Many people say the US is the only country to have used nukes. The point being what exactly?

As Mommy says historical context is everything. The US didn't do it for fun but only after expending many thousands of American lives and while faced with the prospect of expending many thousands more. So I'm not so eager to condemn Truman or the men who dropped the bomb. For his own reasons Trippticket feels a heavy load of guilt over this. I feel sorry for him. I don't think he should.

I saw on TV an American veteran of the war with Japan recount his experience in the Pacific. He said the idea of taking human life repelled him. But one day a Japanese aircraft strafed him and his buddies. His close friend got killed and the only thing he could find was the man's shoe. He says that as the Japanese plane did one last low flying circle he saw the pilot grinning. That infuriated him. He said that after that day he made it his business to kill Japanese. What I'm saying it's easy to judge from the safety of our armchairs but how many of us on CFN had the experience of that vet seeing his friend die. Someone should ask that vet or men like him what Truman should have done. It would be interesting to hear their perspective seeing as they were the ones doing the fighting. Or ask former POWs who were living in fear and starving to death in Japanese POW camps. Or maybe a modern soldier like a veteran of Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan (someone who has been in combat).

"Or are you just saying that they're consumer oriented like everyone else?"
========================

Her words could not have been more straight forward. She believes the same as 9 out of 10 people at this site. I'll paraphrase: no one ever came by wealth honestly.

Tripp said "I bet it won't be as ugly as a lot of us think."

It depends on how steep the slide is and how big the bumps are along the way. Ironically I think it will be utlimately less ugly if there are some sharp, brief bumps soon, for example store shelves sporadically empty for a few days, gas lines on and off, etc. That might break more people out the trance they're in, hopefully to simplify their lives.

P.S.: I think my prior crack about earlier people's teeth perhaps didn't make the point I was trying for. I spend more time talking with people than on line and sometime forget that this sort of communication here doesn't handle nuance, sarcasm, lacks facial expressions, etc. Far from making fun of people's teeth or claiming we have perfect health or health care, I was speaking to the future availability of health and dental care. We'd be wise to include medical and dental equipment, supplies, and people with these skills and knowledge in our new gatherings, whether that's your valley or Vlad's bunker. Minor accidents or dental problems can turn very serious or fatal without proper treatment.
---------------------------
I admire the purposeful directions you are taking with your life. However I'm concerned with your naive assumptions that the correctness of your world will protect you from evil that does exist in the real world. If a hungry band comes to your eden you probably won't get a chance to discuss philosophy. Fortunately much of permaculture appears to be weeds so you'll be left with that. One-to-one with a desperate, hungry person you might have a chance to convert/enlist them. But if you're within a tankful of gas (300 miles) of a major metropolitan area, you may have many more visitors "shopping" for groceries.

My family has taken many steps toward sustainable living, so if things go your way we'll be ready. But we'll also be ready for other directions or detours on the way -- that's real sustainability.

"So Dio, did you actually READ my comment?"

Actually, I did Trip, and found it thoughtful and relevant and interesting. However, I only felt compelled to respond to your unrealistic, in my opinion, view of socialism and communism. I happen to have had first-hand experiences in the Soviet Union and its subjected vassal states, and I feel very strongly that no other socio-economic system is more macabre, evil, dehumanizing and sinister than socialism/communism. American militarism, which I oppose, is downright benign, cuddly and lovable when compared to the perversity of communism/socialism.
Perhaps I misunderstood you though, and if I did I apologize for the tirade :)

Wow, Tripp, I am so impressed by you. Well, I was before, but especially now. I had read that Paul Tibbet never felt bad about incinerating all those people. But you do.

I am also a happy person. And people have warned me about it for years. I remember my high school friend telling me the Cat Stevens song reminded her of me. How I thought I could get by just on a smile. And yet, here I am, years later, still smiling. And most people are nice to me.

Japan was ready to surrender. The US wanted to drop the bomb to show the USSR what it had, to scare the Russkies. You can oppose Hiroshima and also Tokyo.

My Dad was actually fighting the Japanese on Guam when they dropped the bombs. He says that he was happy at first, but when they dropped the second one he thought "Why?"

If my Dad could question the morality of the atomic bomb while his life was on the line (or so they told him), Americans ought to be able to face up 60 years later.

Diogen, I disagree with your definition of profit. Profit is what the owner makes after paying the labor. It doesn't come from working. It comes from owning.

There are cultures that have lived for centuries in harmony with nature. There are tribes right now still clinging to existence in the Amazon and New Guinea. And the timber and energy corporations are out to get them.

They don't have a chance unless we overthrow the capitalist system and learn to live within our planetary means.

He never felt any remorse. Some of these guys would admire that. On the other hand, the rest of his crew lost it. Went nuts. Guess I'm making up for some of Paul's missing guilt now, whether I should be doing that to myself or not.

Not really a conscious choice on my part.

Fortunately for the last of the foraging cultures, and the remnant horticultural societies, I think energy descent has begun in earnest. And since industrial cultures just don't function without growth, they have natural law on their side from here on out!

Glad you're happy too! I think it beats the hell out of the alternative.

Dio,
I apologize for being so abrasive. My point was that I don't think we can predict what a contractionary paradigm will mean for us, since we have no experience with it, and that communism/socialism couldn't have been done correctly because they are not growth systems. How they behave in a descent scenario might be unrecognizable.

Although I agree that their performance would have to be radically different to be desirable. I just happen to believe that radical change is afoot. Not that I'm promoting them; I'm just open to significant behavioral innovation.

Puzzler, I agree that few significant jolts in the near future would seriously help the situation.

And I have the same issue with my sense of humor being missed in e-format. My bad.

My perspective on the world has changed radically in the last year following what I can only describe as a mental paradigm shift when permaculture really sank in. I have to hope that that experience wasn't isolated, and that others will experience the same as planetary energetic shifts do their thing.

Mr. Purple tried to say: "...whether killing is done by a bronze-tipped spear or thermonuclear plasma. Trying to single out a particular form of killing is at best semantics and at worst delusional."

A bronze-tipped spear can be selective about who is killed, choosing a combatant and ignoring a non-combatant, but has no capacity to kill 200,000 at once. A nuclear device can kill hundreds of thousands in minutes.

A bronze-tip spear can miss its target and fail to kill anyone. A nuclear device will kill 100% of the time.

A nuclear weapon is not selective. It destroys combatants and non-combatants alike with no discrimination. A spear can be selective.

Nuclear weapons also produce genetic effects which linger for generations, causing birth defects and deformities. Spears do not.

A nuclear device can kill all parts of a family in minutes, regardless of where the neighborhood they live. A spear can only kill locally and is much slower.

A nuclear device can, through its force, kill the inhabitants of a building and annihilate the building as well. A spear does not.

A nuclear device can incinerate some people instantly and leave others to die an agonizing, painful, slow death. A spear does not.

A bronze-tip spear does not have the capacity to generate long-term climate change. A nuclear explosion can bring about a "nuclear winter" which changes climate patterns negatively.

To single out nuclear weapons as immoral is neither semantics nor delusional. There are qualitative differences in weapons which make nuclear weapons ethically distinct from spears and guns, and even from incendiary bombs.

None of the conventional weapons continue to affect the unborn a generation later, and why should the unborn of the next generation pay for the stupidity of militaries in this generation? Why should the entire life of a newborn be ruined when the newborn is born years after the ink on the surrender papers has dried?

vlad said: "If some White was about to kill your friend Je$$ie Jack$on and you were right beside him, would you just stand by and let it happen? If yes, you're a piece of shit. If no, you're a hypocrite. Choose."

Such an appetizing array of choices!

Seriously, Vlad, can you only think of those two alternatives? Do you live in such a black and white world?

"I had read that Paul Tibbet never felt bad about incinerating all those people. But you do."
========================

Well of course he does Wage. Hell, ever since I discovered that I have a second cousin on my mom's side who is gay and his first name begins with the letter E (get it? Enola Gay) I have been bummed out about the nuking of Japan.

Vlad said: "The first thing the average pacifist does when in trouble is call a policeman - a proffesional warrior in other words."

Vlad, militaries are trained to kill people and break things. Soldiers are professional warriors who want to kill others. "Make some son of a bitch die for his country" as Patton said.

Police are trained to preserve peace without killing and prevent things from being broken, to arrest those who break things. Police are professional peacekeepers who want to preserve life.

There is no hypocrisy at all for a Quaker to call the police department.

You're on fire tonight, Asoka!

Thanks, Tripp. Truth is Qshtik is right that I sometimes exaggerate things. I was a bit over the top on my making fun of Christians. I know and love many Christians, and many are doing good work.

I apologize if I have offended anyone by making fun of their chosen belief system.

Changing the subject to adobe and earthen construction:

Iran has lots of traditional adobe houses with domed and arched roofs that are built to ancient traditional standards.

Iran also has lots of engineered concrete buildings buildings that are built to modern engineering standards.

And, Iran has lots of earthquakes.

Guess which class of sructures has held up better to Iranian earthquakes.

Turns out you are a lot safer in a traditional dirt house than in an engineered concrete structure.

But I'm guessing some of the charity going to Haiti will be to be used to hire experts to design well-engineered structures to specified standards using engineered materials that meet engineering standards.

Local corrupt officials will siphon off a part of that money, see that rebuilding funds are steered to corrupt croney local construction companies, who will do everything in their power to evade the standards by paying off corrupt building inspectors.

The slums will be rebuilt (at least in part) to a higher standard than current non-standard shacks construction. World's TV cameras will go in a show pictures of smiling officials standing beside sturdy-looking public houses that have a distinctly modern look (i.e. old-style Soviet apartment blocks).

TV cameras will not show pictures of corrupt officials' and corrupt businessmens' new houses built with stolen money. The world will smile and feel so good about its charity and the good works the charity paid for.

"Many people say the US is the only country to have used nukes. The point being what exactly?"

I really have a hard time with this question, man. How can we miss the point to this? It means we're the only mother fuckers on the planet to have dropped an instrument of war so devilish as to deform the next generation of children and alter the weather. Not to mention poison and retard the entire landscape for years to come.

It's not the same thing as a Patriot missile, or a Sidewinder. And definitely not the same thing as a bronze-tipped spear.

I know you see it as a lesser-of-evils situation, but how? I'm just blown away that this is an OK thing to have done. Not only OK, but admirable!

Q said: "He is large; He contains multitudes. (As Q scratches his head and mumbles "Whatever the fuck that means.")

I am surprised a graduate of St. Joseph's does not understand the lines of one of America's greatest poets, Walt Whitman.

Actually, I think you do understand and are just being "disingenuous"

:)

"I apologize if I have offended anyone by making fun of their chosen belief system."

He said, "Blessed is he, whosoever is not offended in me." You were "making fun" of Jesus' character, not anything we chose to believe. It is you that was acting offended.

Ok, I'll give you that one, but what about the other? What do you do when there are no police and it's either fight or be killed - or let your loved ones be killed? Most pacifists will be terrified and do nothing and the try to do something when it's too late. As Gandhi said of his own people - most of the Hindus adopt pacifism because they're cowards. He went to the Pathans, a warrior people - they could practice non-violence because they were willing to be hurt and to even to die. That I respect although it's not my vision. I prefer the warrior saints. A modern version: an order of nuns were being raped and assaulted by Hindus in India. The studied karate under a Muslim Karate Teacher. He taught them to use their crucifix as a kobu stick.

We must be willing to become instruments of Divine Retribution. Why should we allow Evil to triumph? Someone has to fight them - if not us, who? Yes, monks and religous can be exempted, but you? Me? Why should someone else do our dirty work?

I'm familiar with the superior seismic performance of traditional earthen structures. Funny, isn't it? Centuries of engineering "improvements" and a termite mound handles an earthquake better. (Not to mention doesn't require heat or air.)

And it's not just construction either. There's a pattern that emerges when we start looking.

Take medicine as a parallel. We assume, because western medicine is fancy, and expensive, and requires years of training to certify, that it is BETTER medicine. Why wouldn't we? This is just how the world works! Right?

I'm sure the arguments are already being formulated, but the bulk of drugs, even today, is derived from plants. Except that scientists have isolated the so-called "active ingredient" from the background noise, amplified it, and standardized it. Handy thing to have done. But once again, we've taken things out of context. Just because concentrated acetylsalicylic acid gets rid of a headache faster, doesn't make it better MEDICINE than the white willow from which it was derived. Better for that one purpose, at that one moment in time, perhaps, but better medicine? Not likely.

Nature had all this stuff worked out long before we started messing around in the lab. In the garden I can assemble a collection of plants that do different community tasks - make mulch, fix nitrogen, mine minerals - and provide them with favorable conditions, improve the soil with humus, water, and wave my magic wand, but a cohesive community doesn't coalesce until Nature selects the right pieces and builds the right connections, for the specific conditions on-site. After that, the system takes care of itself. And the best part is, Nature can do this with a nearly infinite array of organisms from all the kingdoms of life, introduced to the system in a variety of ways! There is no "correct" way to plant a food forest. No prescriptions. The cookie cutter is not a permaculture tool. There are patterns, but there are as many variations as there are gardeners.

DuPont and Monsanto will never duplicate that feat, no matter how many PhDs and MDs they have on-staff. No matter how many chemicals they derive, or genes they splice. No way, no how, not in a million years.

But modern humans don't seem to get that. We lament the loss of our "advanced" medicine, our fertilizers, our mobility, and our high tech construction equipment. And we postpone, out of fear, the far deeper satisfaction and connection of living in the garden.

Thank you for your kind comments messianicdruid.

Jesus was my main early influence. Jesus liberated me from the Babylon war machine. I love Jesus and Jesus loves me. I have been criticized and persecuted for my relationship with Jesus, but I don't care what they may say, I don't care what they may do, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah, I don't care what they may know, I don't care where they may go, Jesus ... , he's my friend. He took me by the hand, led me far from this land. He is in my heart always. Jesus taught me how to pray, Jesus sustained me in my dark night of the soul. Jesus taught me that love is the answer, love toward those who love me and those who despise me and my Jesus-inspired pacifism /anarchism. Jesus gave me the freedom to move far beyond Jesus and embrace the whole world.


By the way, Dio, thanks for the advice about the small trailer. Great idea!

Another idea I came up with was buying a share of a neighbor's truck for some agreed upon price, for some agreed upon usage.

But your idea is probably better.

Actually I like your idea better Tripp, to time share. Reminds me of six friends who shared milk from a cow to make yogurt.

So post WW2, "we" have gone all over the place selling the nuclear secret and materials either openly or to spies from differnt countries. Now a dozen or more countries have it. So now the genie is out of the bottle and he will kill again. And our response to this thing we have done? Why it gives us, the New World Order, a pretext to conquer the whole world to stop them from using what "we" gave them. And of course one of the biggest arsenals, Israel's, is taboo to talk about. They're Jews. They're so good - even though they have threatened to take out Europe if things don't go their way. So if "we" want to to conquer the world for peace, let's start there. In that case, I think the initiative would be dropped very quickly.

Given all this, it's obvious that the right answer was never to produce the bomb to begin with. Anything else just devolves to the above scenario. The suffering caused by the two bombs was incredible, one as bad as that of the fire bombing of Dresden, and in cases of radiation sickness, a horribly lingering one. But worse than all this is what will come in the future. And any Peace that comes from the New World Order will be the Peace of Death.

Strafing? In Dresden, an unarmed city, the crowds ran for the lake to escape the flames. The British planes flew low and cut them down. Yes, it's hard to judge after the fact, but we have to. I conclude that it was a mistake because of the long term consequences to world. Thus I escape the trap of trying to balance Japanese Lives against American Lives. Japanese and German behavior during the war was abominable, so was American and British. You just hear alot more about the former for obvious reasons.

"Watch the unfolding events in Haiti.... What transpires in the next few weeks may be a peek into a future of peaks."

The social meltdown has already started:

Gangs Armed With Machetes Loot Port-Au-Prince
http://wcbstv.com/national/haiti.earthquake.haiti.2.1427143.html

No sighting reported of the Lord Humungus... yet.

"Cormac McCarthy's The Road is the more accurate prediction and beautifully written my a master writer. He has been writing novels for a long time about the North American experience, its violence and poison for the world."

Yeah, it's a brilliant book, no doubt about it. It's probably the first novel in the post-apocalyptic genre to rise to the status of great literature. "On The Beach" and "Alas Babylon" are genre classics but they're not quite Classics, period. "The Road" is one for the Ages.

To my mind TR forms a loose trilogy with McCarthy's other recent books, "Blood Meridian" and "No Country For Old Men". NCFOM is a snapshot of the pre-apocalypse, as the social fabric unravels, and the barbarians begin to come over the border. BM takes us into a hell of tribal warfare and out-of-control banditry which is likely to be one of the stages of The Collapse if it actually happens.

"It isn't going to be World Made By Hand, it is going to be desolation row with people becoming cannibals."

Yes and no. I do think cannibalism is likely if there's widespread hunger. What's the ethical difference between cannibalism and murdering for most of the reasons that criminals kill for?
If anything, a cannibal who kills out of honest hunger would probably be morally superior to the idiot who murder for spite or drug money. Having said that though, remember TR is very much a worst case scenario. It depicts the aftermath, not merely of social and political collapse, but of an ecological catastrophe as well. Farming, gardening, hunting, and gathering are all impossible in the world of TR. With any luck, we will not have to deal with anything quite that bad.

"I apologize if I have offended anyone by making fun of their chosen belief system."
===========================

How many times have we seen in movies and even in real life where the clever trial lawyer asks the defendant or witness a question and words it in a way he knows will draw an objection and the objection will be sustained by the judge but -- so what -- the point was to plant those words in the minds of the jury??

This is the oft repeated tactic of Asoka -- say the outrageous today and apologize for it tomorrow. Is it possible that I and Not Mommy are the only ones to fully grasp Asoka's insincerity??

Well, Asoka has said that he is many things and also that he is nothing, or a nobody.

These are both wise statements, in my view, and have a distinct pathos.

I think passion is a better explanation than "insincerity".

You make some good points.

You say: "Given all this, it's obvious that the right answer was never to produce the bomb to begin with."

I agree. However, the Germans and the Japanese were both working on nukes. What I've read is that the Germans were first off the mark in 1938 with a nuclear reaction.

Given these facts, if you had been an American leader at the time what would you have done?

I take your point about nuclear proliferation. And I too believe in non-interference in other countries' affairs. The development of the bomb was evil.

But given what was happening at the time in the 1940s (historical context) I'm just not eager to condemn Roosevelt or Truman. What I've read is that the final death toll of WW2 was around 60 million. Can you imagine being being an American leader at the time and having to deal with that?

A point on my own bias: I look at the US as an outsider. I've worked for a US based multinational much of my life and gotten to know a multitude of Americans. I've travelled throughout the US and visited the US head office numerous times. I have many relatives in the US. My overall impression of the US and individual Americans is that they are basically well meaning if often misguided.(My view of the assholes on Wall Street is not so good.) I just have trouble seeing the US as a bloodthirsty all conquering evil empire (like the Romans or the Nazis).

Anyway Vlad maybe we just have to disagree on this one.

"Jesus gave me the freedom to move far beyond Jesus and embrace the whole world."

Jesus embraced the whole world {obtained the treasure in the field by buying the whole field: hint = the field is the world}, but NOT the world's system. This discussion is about the world's system {political, religious, economic} being dismantled. The time is at hand.

http://www.thelarrys.blogspot.com/

The Germans started this mess.

What I've read is that in 1938 they succeeded in starting the first manmade nuclear reaction. They were working on a nuclear device. It was a question of defeating them before they succeeded in creating a weapon.

The Japanese were also working on nuclear weapons. When Japan surrendered in 1945 the head of their nuclear program told an underling that they had failed Japan and therefore have to commit suicide. The underling told him to go ahead and commit suicide, as far as he was concerned this war is over. (Never too late for some common sense.)

Good sermon Jim. The content of the web links referenced go a long way to document the substnace of your contentions.

Current political theatrics are being played out to audiences across the globe, not just the US.

Worth noting, China apparently almost embarrassed over being positioned to call the shots and avoid most of the downside of the "crisis" -err rip-off.

Worth noting - the nature of the psychological facades - both internalized and externalized by our leadership - and how, when and where they will come tumbling down.

As history has shown - the "markets" really are - all about confidence and with so many know-it-alls
such as yourself heckling from the sidelines, it isn't unlikely that sooner than later one or more of the actors will start blowing their lines and bring the entire audience's "suspension of belief" to a crashing, knee-jerking end.

I doubt that the "adjustable rate" re-debiting convulsions that cause some to scribble up new financial obligation notes will be the mechanism to bring the play to a halt. But I concur that some sort "derivative-based" horse-play will finally spill some of the punch from the bowl and big-time party players will touch of a brawl that forces many players to show their cards.

Whether or not this will require any loins to be girded it the crux of the Clusterfuck.......

You're reading too much into what I said.

Lesser of evils? yes

good thing to do? no

admirable? no.

I just wouldn't want to be in Harry Truman's shoes having to decide what to do.

I've read that The US Army estimated a death toll of 1 million between US soldiers and Japanese soldiers and civilians if it became necessary to invade Japan to convince them to quit.

From what I've read, the Japanese Army was still largely intact on the main Japanese Islands and itching for a fight.

This was my reply to asoka:

So if you had been Harry Truman what would you have done? I've heard that the Japanese War Cabinet was divided on the issue of surrendering even after the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the idea being how many of these weapons could U.S. possibly possess? Some of them figured they had a decent chance of either coming to a negotiated peace with the US or beating the US Army if they invaded given that the Japanese army was still a force to be reckoned with.

So you know what decided the issue? According to one account it was the declaration of war by the Soviets on Japan. Apparently the prospect of a drunken Red Army doing to Japan what it had done to the German army and German civilians,especially women,really put fear into the Japanese Emperor.

The Japanese apparently knew that Americans had qualms about sacrificing human lives for the sake of victory but they also knew the Soviets had none. If the Soviets invaded they could expect the worst. Better to surrender than take that risk.

So Tripp, I think you have a good heart, but the Japanese killed, wounded and raped tens of millions of people in Asia and they had to be stopped. So what to do?

Not to be sarcastic but they weren't about to stop if Truman smiled, bowed and asked nicely.

I don't assume you are anti-conservative. People call me a conservative. I'm not conservative in the sense that an American would recognize nor in the sense that a Canuck would recognize. To me Conservatism is about incremental change and I'm not about that at all. I won't bore you about Canuck politics and the Reform movement in Canada (which I supported and which has nothing whatever to do with Ross Perot) and their ideas about change but they weren't about Conservatism either.

Cant find the post that contains:
Yesterday on Democracy Now, someone pointed out that Haiti was food self sufficient 30 years ago, but 30 years of "aid" has left them dependent on imports, to the point where they were eating mud earlier this year.
O Yes..in haiti its called ' miami rice'..it was danny glover on magrets show.

But remember haiti even with fla. being a stop gap for the 'teeming UNWASHED masses' still grows by30% in 2? decades, not counting the millions of haitians here.
a friend in miami says haitains have ruined miami..' they smell so, cant get into a cab, they are the cab drivers'
indeed emmas unwashed masses.

I appreciate your candor, Cash. And I am pretty familiar with the paradoxical nature of where we all find ourselves today. It is, after all, unprecedented.

I usually prefer to use my own words, but in this case I want to quote a personal hero, David Holmgren, the co-originator of permaculture, to present a new way of thinking on the matter:

THE PARADOX OF THE RADICAL AND THE CONSERVATIVE

As energy availability peaks, it is slowing the rate of change in many ways. The change of direction from growth to contraction, from materialistic to more spiritual values, is so fundamental that it will turn the world on its head. Our experience of this shift is likely to be one of incomprehensible and chaotic change - that is, an acceleration of what we are experiencing now! Think of being in a speedboat as it accelerates; it lifts and bounces on the waves. After a while, we get used to the speed and the exhiliration, but making a tight 180-degree turn intensifies the thrill, even if we slow down in the process of the turn.

This presents a structural paradox about the change from material growth to contraction, which is inherent in permaculture, and more broadly, in the counterculture and radical movements.

Radical and revolutionary ideas suggest the need for change from some stable norm, a break with tradition and the established ways. However, when the norm is itself one of continuous and radical change and the new idea relates to durability, permanence, persistence, and sustainability, we have a contradiction in terms and ways of being. The conservative is the radical, and the radical advocates a new conservatism. This paradox underlies much of the confusion of current environmental and political debates. The term "conservationist" epitomises this paradox.

......

When an adolescent sense of immortality and values of speed, novelty and endless growth define a whole civilisation, I think we are close to its demise and the birth of a new cultural paradigm. Watch it slowly unfold.

I love reading Jim's stuff. I've showed up here every Monday (or so) for the past year to see what's on his mind.

But I'd like to present a counter-point to his suburban wreckage, by the afore-mentioned David Holmgren (who, by the way is in his mid-50s in this video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTYe8WloF1U

Cheers!

"She believes the same as 9 out of 10 people at this site. I'll paraphrase: no one ever came by wealth honestly."

I don't think that's a fair assessment, Q. As far as cultural norms go, lots of people make money in honest ways. Some of them genuinely honest, and others honest according to our current societal standards.

I think a lot of us question this perception in ways that are deeper than you're allowing for. Was the invention of MONEY ethical for starters? Does agriculture inherently promote hoarding and expansion? Does material wealth have any correlation to "success" as a human being?

Don't be too quick to slap a dismissive label on these folks.

"I don't think that's a fair assessment, Q."
======================

Tripp, you have completely misunderstood what I said. It is she -- Abbey (and the other 9 out of 10) -- who believe this -- not me.

Blacks into NASCAR - really? Or are you just jivin' again?

Oh and btw, nearly all Religions make the destinction between killing and murder, not just Christianity. Jainism might be an exception. Maybe.

Your guilt is a very Christian. Indeed Politcal Correctness is an unholy mixture of Marxism and Worldly, Distorted Christianity. The next step is psychological: what does the PC do with the guilt. Why, he or she projects onto other Whites as if to say, "See I'm a good one, not like those nasty Murderers." This process in on-going. The PC is never finally absolved of their original sin of being White. So continuous efforts of appeasment, walking on egg shells with minorities, affirmative action, grants, loans, welfare and of course, denounciation of other Whites - all must continue.

The effect of all this? The minorities are emboldened to attack us and feel self righteous in doing so. Liberals taught Blacks to hate us. Thus, Political Correctness is a false religion and its long term effects are criminal. Besides countless rapes and murders of Whites, it encourage the worst in Blacks and Browns: self rigtheousness, laziness, and the whole culture of victimization and entitlement.

The whole thing is unspeakably evil.

Get rid of Capitalism? What a silly notion!
We rich folks have been around since the invention of coinage. We are not going away!
Money is such a convenient way to enslave you
poor people. We will continue to steal the
wealth of your tribes as we always have.
You are powerless to prevent it.

Oh, and don't go trying permaculture or
adobe construction because I have instituted building codes to prevent such nonsense from cutting into my contracting operations. I can't have substandard housing or waste-water not properly treated in my municipality. I have
succeeded in codifying the do-it-yourselfers out
of existence to increase my profitability of
course.

You lower classes get such wild ideas in your
heads sometimes; but you know,I really enjoy
sneaking a peak at these comments. Such a
daring diversity of opinion presented here.
My wealthy friends would just kill me (literally!)
if they knew I was fraternising with you at all.

"I think passion is a better explanation than "insincerity"."
========================

Marty, as far as I can tell, Asoka has a passion for four things:

* welfare statism
* pacificism
* inconsistency
* the disingenuous apology

Vlad said: "Blacks into NASCAR - really? Or are you just jivin' again?"

http://autos.blackvoices.com/2009/07/13/randy-moss-nascar/

The face of NASCAR is changing and becoming more diverse.

Vlad said: "Liberals taught Blacks to hate us."

Yeah, we loved our white slave masters, and the whippings, and lynchings, and raping of our women, and separation of our family members... we just loved it.

Then those damn Liberals came along and starting asking questions, making us doubt our love, turning our love into hate. Damn yankees.

Q said: "Marty, as far as I can tell, Asoka has a passion for four things..."

Nice try, Q, but the list is much longer than that. It's just that I restrain myself here.

Wow! No, Q, I was NOT talking about you. Surely that was obvious enough to everyone else.

"We will continue to steal the
wealth of your tribes as we always have.
You are powerless to prevent it."

Man, you guys are sweatin' harder than a $3 hooker in church on Easter Sunday. I didn't know we were quite that far along.

That makes my day...

"This process in on-going. The PC is never finally absolved of their original sin of being White."

Vlad....what?

oligarch says: "You lower classes get such wild ideas in your heads sometimes; but you know,I really enjoy sneaking a peak at these comments. Such a daring diversity of opinion presented here.
My wealthy friends would just kill me (literally!)
if they knew I was fraternising with you at all."

You are always welcome to hobnob with us poor folk, oligarch. I have never been rich, but I have read about the difficulties rich people face.

There is so much fear about what the market might do, what those damn unions might do, or that others are going to take what you have... and so much disillusion that having so much did not bring happiness, resulting in so much alcoholism, drug abuse, FOX News, boredom, etc.

I know it must be difficult being rich, so I am happy you are sneaking a peak and enjoying the comments. Just don't get caught by your wealthy friends!

"Her words could not have been more straight forward. She believes the same as 9 out of 10 people at this site. I'll paraphrase: no one ever came by wealth honestly."

Do you want to thank Oligarch for anihilating your point now, or really take the time to build up the appropriate amount of saliva for such a deserving kiss?

This year will be fine. Helicopter Ben Bernanke will just keep creating as much phantom money as is needed to keep the system going. As long as unemployment stays high, inflation will remain under control.
It always takes longer for any system to fail than we think it will. The fact that a lot of other countries are actually worse off than we are, is to our great benefit. The dollar being the reserve currency, allows us to live beyond our means for decades. Look at Japan! They have way more government debt than we do.
Yes, eventually everything will collapse. But, that could take another 15 years. Meanwhile, the unemployment checks and food stamps will continue to go out, so as to prevent civil unrest.
I may even have to push back my peak oil crisis starting date from 2015 to after 2020, if Iraq can meet their stated goal of exporting 12,000,000 barrels of oil a day within 6 years. And we should note all the money suddenly going into natural gas. Exxon didn't buy XTO Energy for nothing. They know CNG or GTL will become the future crude oil supplement for transportation. Check out Shell's Pearl gas-to-liquid plant in Qatar.
I see Frankenstimulus (Stimulus II) sometime in the summer. Watch for a commercial real estate bailout for the billionaire CRE owners. Kind of like, a TARP for rich families. They will still get to collect the rent from the surplus shopping centers, concrete condos, and office buildings, but you will get the bill. They will call it Commercial Real Asset Protection, CRAP. Well, maybe not.

Ode to the Obama Regime

This little piggy went to market...
This little piggy stayed home...
This little piggy had roast beef...
This little piggy had none...

And this little piggy went weeeeeeee...
All the way home....

Bill Simpson said: "Yes, eventually everything will collapse. But, that could take another 15 years."

I think the collapse will take about 50 years, extrapolating from the annual oil production decline.

Peak does not equal "no oil", just less and less and less... that is why it is called the Long Emergency. Just as we didn't ramp up to peak production in 15 years, we won't ramp down in 15 years either.

And you are right that other energy sources will soften the landing.

Collapse? More like 50 years.

Bill Simpson said: "I may even have to push back my peak oil crisis starting date from 2015 to after 2020, if Iraq can meet their stated goal of exporting 12,000,000 barrels of oil a day within 6 years."

That's a pretty optimistic view of Iraq's oil industry, but other than that your assessment of the peak oil crisis is pretty realistic.

However, we'll see supply interruptions long before then -- from terrorist attacks (an oil tanker sunk in a choke point or tanker/pipeline terminal), global geo-politics, increased demand, etc.

Love your CRAP stimulus -- commercial real estate is the gorilla the public doesn't talk about. Also, we're past the peak of Subprime mortgage resets, but just starting up a peak of just as big Option ARM mortgage resets through 2010 and most of 2011.

I'm probably sticking my neck out farther than its credentials, but I disagree with both Bill Simpson's and Asoka's estimates, and here's why:

Capitalism is a GROWTH system. Our banks don't work without growth. Insurance doesn't work without growth. Hell, AGRICULTURE doesn't work very well without growth. And government has never set a precendent for being able to do so either.

The only reason any of this is still working is because of invented money shoveled into these industries. But we can't keep inventing money forever without triggering hyperinflation.

When they say "too big to fail," they're not just talking about banks. They're talking about the entire system. That's why there has been no substantive debate in Washington about bailout money. But now that real growth is over, the only question remaining is 'how long can they keep the juggling pins up in the air?'

Asoka's right, the fact that there is plenty of energy left out there is completely beside the point. The peaking event is all that matters. The easy half is gone. That's why I don't have a problem talking about the end of capitalism. Because as of May 2005 (roughly) the entire concept has been on life support. Four years at least already.

There won't be any "overthrowing of capitalism"; we won't "stick it to the man"; and no revolution will be televised, because there won't be one. The man is finished. Capitalism should be discussed in the past tense now. The conservative commentors (and others) on this blog recognize that the federal government is now a socialist entity. They just (erroneously) think it's the Dems' fault, when it's actually the "fault" of energetics laws. Hiring Obama didn't change that, and hiring Palin and a Republican Congress in '12 won't change that either. I almost WANT that to happen just to prove it.

So when people like Oligarch stop by (and they will come more and more often I'm sure) to make their sad pleas for us to return to our consumptive ways or face the consequences, I can feel sorry for them for their complete lack of understanding of the laws of Nature.

So, how long then? Who knows. But I don't think we'll have to wait past 2015 to see some pretty significant restructuring in daily life.

Again, I may be over-stepping my training in the economics department, but economics is really just a subset of ecosystem energetics, and that I know about.

"the conservative commentors (and others) on this blog recognize that the federal government is now a socialist entity. They just (erroneously) think it's the Dems' fault, when it's actually the "fault" of energetics laws. Hiring Obama didn't change that, and hiring Palin and a Republican Congress in '12 won't change that either."

THAT is sheer Truth. The converse is that the System remains a militarist entity even under the control of (ostensible) "Leftists". As long as the US is dependent on 20 million bpd of mostly foreign oil, no US governing regime has any choice except to be interventionist. JHK talked about that in "Long Emergency" and he was dead right.

"So when people like Oligarch stop by (and they will come more and more often I'm sure) to make their sad pleas"

You took Oligarch seriously? I thought his post was a reasonably good satire on overclass values. He let it down a bit at the end when he alluded to being killed. I think our Lords and Masters do kill occasionally here at home, but they take great care not to be obvious about it. A few indiscreet posts buys a ruling class dissenter a public shaming, not assassination.

I wondered if that was satire. I'm a little thick sometimes.

Oiligarch, if you're reading this, nice one.

My guestimate comes from an article in the Energy Bulletin by Dmitry Orlov called "The Slope of Dysfunction" (aka, The Long Emergency)

http://www.energybulletin.net/node/49363

"global crude oil (and natural gas condensate) production will rise to a lofty peak sometime soon, and then drift down gently, over several decades, until, by the year 2050 or some other distant date, less than half as much oil will be produced globally."

That is 40 years to reach the half way point of production. At that point it probably won't matter how many more years until the remaining half the oil is gone.

Still, that gives the techno-triumphalists and the permaculture tribe 40 years.

"I wondered if that was satire."
======================

Of course it was satire. How could you possibly not see that? Now, don't you feel a wee bit foolish for asking me: "Do you want to thank Oligarch for anihilating your point now"?

And further ... in your 4:34PM reply to me you said "Wow! No, Q, I was NOT talking about you. Surely that was obvious enough to everyone else." Well, if it was obvious, please point out to me any comment from anyone else that confirms your contention that you were not talking about me.

Let me make my point clear -- I perceive that the vast majority commenting at this blog are contemptuous of anyone who has acquired wealth and are certain that wealth can only be acquired through dishonesty. I -- emphatically -- am not among that vast majority.

Bill Simpson,

Agreed. You've nailed the gist (the gism if you will) of it.

Question? How can it be so hard for so many to see and ask so little? I've often asked that question myself, only to fall asleep waiting for an answer. Granted, I like to sleep, but still...

Jimini

Asoka,

Collapse won't take 50 years however, if for no other reason than the worldwide post WW II generation retirement will precipitate it WELL before then. Absent that, this might all be (barely) survivable, if we were extremely lucky.

Add in the predictable wild cards that we've seen already (Haiti), and you get the picture...

I'm no wide-eyed optimist mind you, but I'm no eternal pessimist either...

Collapse is just a reasonable future expectation in my view.

Where we go from there is anybody's guess.

Jimini

Asoka, I guess you didn't read the Orlov article on Peak Oil you linked to. You obviously don't understand what he said.

Orlov said "by the year 2050 or some other distant date, less than half as much oil will be produced globally." He's talking about the production RATE, as in barrels per day/month/year, NOT that we've used half the oil.

The whole concept of Peak Oil is that the production RATE has peaked and will fall, as production becomes more difficult and expensive. We've already extracted the easy stuff.

Get a copy of Peak Oil for Dummies and study it -- until then you're not qualified to offer an opinion on the subject.

"Let me make my point clear -- I perceive that the vast majority commenting at this blog are contemptuous of anyone who has acquired wealth and are certain that wealth can only be acquired through dishonesty. I -- emphatically -- am not among that vast majority."

Are you sure that's a proper use of the double hyphen? Wouldn't all caps work better there?

You keep repeating yourself like it's supposed to convince the 9 out of 10 decent people commenting on this blog to change their minds about rampant and obvious corruption in our system. We heard you, and now we'd like to move on to something important. My original post actually acquiesced somewhat to your protest; you won't get that from me again.

But while we're clearing up the apparently abundant confusion, I don't honestly care what you perceive or don't perceive, hoss. I haven't seen one meaningful thought eminate from your moniker.

I think I'll start calling you "meta-Q". Yeah, the guy who comments on the commenters, but never has anything fresh to add to the conversation. Kind of like a sidekick, or the second sportscaster.

And no, I don't feel the slightest bit foolish for making an honest mistake in the context of original thought. Not that you won't dwell on it, and try to milk it for all it's worth.

So much for all that forgiveness shit, eh, Asoka? You make my case for me.

When will Blacks forgive Whites and stop being obsessed with skin color? Never.

So Blacks are now free to act stupid too, just great. Not that you care - all you care about is that something White is being taken away from Whites. Well the owners better watch it or they'll lose their base just the Republican Party has. How could they be so stupid as to put someone like Michael Steele in? So pathetic, just blindly apeing the Democrats as if their strategies are going to work for Republicans.

You really don't know? You must have graduated a long time ago - or you're blocking things out again. It's standard doctrine: all Whites are intrinsically racist and therefore, evil. Since they are born White and can't cease to be White, it's intrinsic and takes the place of original sin in the PC Religion. All the poor beggars can do is devote themselves to repentence even though they can never really be forgiven (unlike Christianity). You seem to be down with the program even though you don't consciously realize it. The best programming is unconscious after all. Anyway, if you need more clarification, ask Asoka. He's a priest in that religon.

Haiti is turning into another Katrina. Why don't the Blacks have their own Whites to help them? Because they massacred the last remaining Whites long ago. Thus they condemned themselves to the Darkness of Negritude unrelieved by the light of the White Mind.

And the Liberal Do Gooders are busy rescueing other White Liberals - is anyone surprised? It was always about them - the Blacks and the Browns are just the raw materials used for their self generated apotheosis; just a means to an end. The lovely Diane Sawyer is exhausting herself so she can appear exhausted on TV - this is the greatest role of her life. They should have a Oscar for News Casters. Petty beyond belief, oh depth of superficiality. But lovely...reminds me of Meryll Streep and also one of my uncles' wife.

Again I say: don't do the Long Emergency near Blacks. Watch and learn how they fall apart during crisis. The violence has already begun. Does anyone believe that Whites couldn't do better? And East Asians better yet again?

Vlad, you are really funny tonight!

Did the article about a Black buying a NASCAR franchise not agree with you? Black owners in NASCAR doesn't fit your image of NASCAR?

You continue to say Blacks are racists and Whites are racist. Obama is half Black and half White. Does that make him doubly racist?

I forgive you though, especially now that you've given me the title of priest. Won't be long before we have another Black pope.

We are superior people who can excel in anything we choose, even NASCAR, ice hockey, and swimming.

Asoka,

Sort of on the times. Remember that there are four other phenomena happening - the Earth continues to lose atmosphere at about 0.05% per century that isn't replaced by normal geothermal processes. The sun is also growing hotter as it ages, which will accelerate this process. The earth's rotation is slowing as the moon slowly moves away, bleeding away rotational momentum and as the core and mantle begin to cool and solidify due to the diminishing presence of U238 in the core.

What that means is that Earth will have lost have of its oceans by 1.5B years from now and be completely dry by 2.5B years. The first collision with Andromeda will take place in about 2.5B years from now as well, but it's unlikely that there will be any observers on earth to see it. It's possible in that event that the earth/sun system will be flung far into or out of our current position, though that particular collision will be a "near miss" - the galactic cores will remain intact, though where we are in the interstitial between the arms may get distored dramatically.

He nova will occur around 4.5B years from now. My suspicion is that the shock wave from that will be sufficient to send the Earth into a strongly elliptical or even hyperbolic orbit rather than getting absorbed by the sun, though it'll irradiate the planet either way (while the temperature there will be very high, even for a red giant the particle density will be low enough that the aggregate temperature will still be only a few tens of degrees above 0K).

Of course, by then, the Earth will also have very little angular momentum left, so it's possible that you'd have a fringe of perhaps a few hundred miles just on the other side of the penumbral shadow that would be temperate enough for life (assuming you could find liquid water).

The cores of the Milky Way and Andromeda will continue in a spiral orbit, and the second collision, about 6.5B to 7B years out will end up being pretty much dead on, causing the aggregate to become an irregular galaxy for a few billion years until angular momentum and galactic magnetic fields caused it to respiral. Of course by then, the Earth (assuming it survived immolation) will likely have either been flung into the intergalactic void, thrown into the core, or possibly ended up in a highly erratic orbit around some other star system.

At which point, concerns about inept governments, venal bankers and imminent resource shortages will have long since been rendered moot. Still, it's fun to consider.

Contrary to Vlad's opinion, I don't male bash much, but NASCAR pushes me over. What a waste of oil!

I don't care what color they are, I'll be glad to see it go.

I walked by the waiting room of my ER with a man and a woman and a roar went up from the room. I remarked that someone must have made a touchdown, and they said, no, it was NASCAR, not football.

Ooh, I said, a car went around the track one more time. How exciting!

The woman cracked up and the man gave me a dirty look.

Please don't bother to testify about all the women you know who like NASCAR. I know that.

But it's mostly a man thing.

Testimony from a white guy trapped in New Orleans by Katrina. They were in a hotel and had enough money to charter buses to pick them up. Guess who looted them? Not the black victims of Katrina. FEMA did. Those $25,000 buses were worth more than any bottled water "looted" by thirsty folks. But the corporate media never made that point, did it?

http://www.gcmonitor.org/article.php?id=346

Wage,

I won't talk to you about women NASCAR fans, but did you know there are women NASCAR drivers, too?

Agreed that the sport is a waste of oil. I would like to have some stats on how much oil is used in a NASCAR race and compare it with how much oil is used in the constant overflights of jets from a nearby naval air training station.

asoka-his-pants sez:

"In my world there are no invisible beings to worship, no fear of punishment, no guilt, no original sin."

Uh huh. Thats why it is only your world. Because the real world must deal with the consequences of the dippity-doo-dahs (aka: asoka-his-pants) of the world.

Your "no fear of punishment" is the wish of all criminal elements. "I'll do as I wish" because I can. Because no one will stand in my way. Think Mexican drug cartels and Al Queda as groups that love your little "no fear of punishment".

No guilt? Not a problem. When one has no conscience or moral groundings one has no guilt. Think, Adolph Hilter, Joseph Stalin, Mao, Ted Bundy, asoka-his-pants (I mean you stated so in your own posting) etc. etc.

No original sin? Elvis Costello covered that about 30 years ago in his song "I'm Not Angry", when he declared, "There's no such thing as an original sin."

asoka-his-pants sez:

"In my world I have no money, just happiness."

Then he sez:

"I discovered happiness does not depend on having a lot of money."

Now which path is it to happiness? No money or not having a lot of money? I mean do you think you could get your own, self generated facts straight within two paragraphs of each other? Are you this retarded?

Vlad, I get that you're obsessed with political correctness. You talk about it more than all the liberal commenters on this blog put together. Must be a hobby of yours.

Vlad says (regularly something to this tune):

"Why don't the Blacks have their own Whites to help them?"

"Thus they condemned themselves to the Darkness of Negritude unrelieved by the light of the White Mind."

"the Blacks and the Browns are just the raw materials used for their self generated apotheosis"

"Does anyone believe that Whites couldn't do better?"

If this is the opposite of "political correctness," mark me down in the PC column.

Helicopter Ben

you win 100 points!!!! I like that!!!!
what about helicopter pilot obbama?

Asoka, I don't know how much oil your particular air base uses, but I know the the US military uses half of all oil in the world.

I agree that it's more of a waste than NASCAR. Can't I hate both of them? Yes, I can. I contain multitudes.

Did you read the link I posted on the aftermath of Katrina? It's pretty eyeopening.


Haitis a mess any way you slice things. Noam Chomsky blamed clinton for much of it. does anyone know what its population density is? Tokyos is 15,000 per square mile.

See, that's the difference between notmommy and others.

He uses piddly criminals for examples.

Committing crimes without fear of punishment? What about George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield, and Blackwater? Not to mention Barack Obama, Timoty Geitner and Congress.

We're talking international war crimes, mass murder, torture, thievery on a mass scale and destruction of the environment all must share.

And you're focused on a few drug running criminals, supported, by the way, by the US ruling class, who picks the warlords they support and prosecutes the rest, in Mexico as in Afghanistan

"We're talking international war crimes, mass murder, torture, thievery on a mass scale.."

No, you're talking this silly shit. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield indeed. Try not to be such a moronic FUCKTARD. (I know its hard but TRY.)

"He uses piddly criminals for examples."

Ah...HItler, Mao, Stalin? Petty criminals? In your world possibly.

"Haitis a mess any way you slice things. Noam Chomsky blamed clinton for much of it."

You can blame any fucking person you want..while you are filling out a check to help the Hatians. Fuck blame. There are innocents in need of help. Pitch-in or STFU.

Oh, yeah. I forgot the biggest difference.

notmommy's preferred method of discourse is to hurl insults and obscenities.

And it's pretty tiring.

Mommy, are you a cutter? You seem like someone who might wear one of those metal cilices, and tighten it when you're commenting?

It wouldn't surprise me if Clinton was to blame. Although I heard him on the radio listing what was most desparately needed for relief in Haiti. Must be trying to make up for his earlier actions.

Is that how it works?

Speaking of Chomsky, "Manufacturing Consent" has been on my to-read list for years. I've tried, but I can't do it. The man is just dry milk toast. In 4 attempts I haven't made it through the first chapter...

Asoka,
Here's a video a permie friend of mine did of his visit to Cobville in Oregon. This is part 1 of 2. Haven't seen part 2 yet. Will forward it on when it comes out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qzX1jUWa_s

Cheers!

Haiti was a mess a long time before Clinton came along, or for that matter, even the infamous Duvalier regime- remember "Papa Doc" Duvalier" and his successor, "Baby Doc"?

But it doesn't matter why it's a mess, it needs emergency assistance this minute and as much as possible.

And for what it's worth, the Haitian people are displaying a lot more self-control and civility under the circumstances than I would expect anybody to, who couldn't get water, shelter, food, medical assistance, or sleep, and who was surrounded by collapsed buildings and the smell of corpses all about. They are not yet rioting, and they are trying to pull through with the minimum of violence and disorder, even though they've lost their civil infrastructure completely.

This is surprising, considering the way middle class Americans behave at overcrowded public events when the logistics go bad (out of beer, transportation delayed, whatever). I have watched presumably civilized, well-educated white folk molt into lunacy because they couldn't squeeze onto the bus bound for the parking lot 10 blocks away, at the VP fair in St. Louis, and watched similar folk act like rabid animals at events like the Chicago taste, where a visiting relative made me go one year.

Oh Man, my irony meter zoomed off the scale and exploded this morning.

Ex-Prez Bush was asked to head up (with Bill Clinton) the Haiti relief. Not senior Bush, but the more recent one, you know he of "you're doing a great job Brownie" fame.

The people of New Orleans have got to be saying WTF.

I imagine Bush put in more time already on Haiti than he did on New Orleans.

My parents never bought ANYHTHING on credit except for their home. They were always "cash" people who knew the value of saving & not wasting money. The thing is, almost all of those born in their generation (the 1920's & 30's) seemed to be similarly minded. I remember the surprise that my father got when he wanted to rent an RV back in 1972 for a trip out west. The company required a credit card! Now my father was an IBM R&D engineer, and made a good living, but had never had a credit card in his life, and was astounded that his good name & cash wasn't enough to rent the RV. Grudgingly, he got a credit card from his bank, but very much under protest.

What I don't understand is why virtually every generation to follow his, threw out the notion of living on a predominently cash basis in preference of huge debts, merely to own lots & lots of "toys".

" I know the the US military uses half of all oil in the world". Easy does it Wage.

I imagine the fact that the US defense budget is almost as much as the combined defense budgets of the rest of the Earth is a bit off putting for you (as it is me); however; a quick internet search reveals that the US DoD consumes about 2% of the petroleum energy consumed by the USA per day. Given that the USA consumes about 25% of the total world out put then the US military consumes about 400,000 barrels of oil per day or about 0.5% of an average of about 80 million barrels of total world output per day. You may have run across statements to the effect that the US DoD is the "single" largest consumer of oil on the Earth, which while true do not lead to the conclusion that it uses half of the world's oil output per given time period. SNAFU

How exciting, hobnobbing with the riff raff again. I have a few minutes between my polo game and my tennis lesson to exchange a few pleasantries with you CF people.

Satire? You can't be serious... Houses out of what? Corn cobs? Wasn't that what you said?
"Cob"? Also, weeds in the yard? Corn cobs?
Weeds? Is this all the Hippie intelligentsia can come up with in the way of "progressive ideology".

Oil? Yes, I own all the oil, coal and gas. I own
all the Banks and the Government too. You must understand that there are really two different Americas. There is the version that I sell you, or at least my shill does. Then there is the America that I own. No offense, but you are all working for me.

Me and my minions have already managed to... How does Mr K put it, "the biggest misinvestment in the history of the planet" ...siphon off vast trillions of cyber-cash. We've no intention of stopping until there is nothing but an over-heated husk of a planet left. We don't care.

Why should we? Domination is so much fun!
It's so exciting to profit from endless wars, waste and destruction. Who cares about tomorrow; I want it all now! It's all mine anyway, isn't that what the Bible says?

Oh look at the time! My how I've rambled. Can't
keep the tennis instructor waiting. Satire?
Ha! I can't imagine where you would get that idea.


Not swimming, Soak. Unlike Ivory Soap, Blacks sink like stones. Heavy Bones - one of the things that help them excel in Football. You can't have everything. Be content with a Pope and some rap stars. But no swimming, mathematicians, scientists, etc.

Are you are a guy? Does that make me gay?

What you said earlier in the week: My Dad was a Policeman then a Spy. Then she marrried a farmer...

You are suffering from gender disorientation which you also project onto others.
Or perhaps you just have a delightfully ambiguous writing style. We could get Qhstk to help you shape up or you could let me make you a millionaire.

The Truth this time: Are your eyes Blue or Brown?

Also as regards property: are you against it completely, as in all "All property is theft" or are you just against it in terms of Industry? Commies have different answers depending on the stage of the revolution. At the begining of Bolshevik takeover, people had to share their apartments with strangers and give up their farms. I assume you don't mean this. But where do you draw the line on what is too much?

The liberal commentators, like you, don't have to talk about it - they are it. Political Correctness is the giant, 800 pound, pink gorrila in the room who increasingly, controls Society. It is an obscenity which everyone pretends they don't see, but you can tell that they do because their eyes dart past it. You see it and you serve but pretend you don't because that's what it wants.

Dude, you're a nematode.

Uh o. I see Vlad Drakula's jaundiced eye turning
my way.

Oops, no crucifix (atheist) but I've plenty of
wooden stakes around here somewhere.

"Dude, you're a nematode."

Sounds great. At least nematodes serve a constructive purpose in the life cycle.

Wait... There is something written on the outside
of this tomb. Let me remove some of these spider webs. Hmmm... "Here lies Vlad the crypto --eugenicist troglodyte" Now let's enter: wooden stake and hammer in hand. Careful now, open the
coffin slowly... Empty. Must be out tonight feeding on poisonous ideological nightmares.

Once you get past 200 comments in here, it's like staying in a neighborhood bar too long. The regulars, who at first greeted you politely, get all liquored up and hormonal. Like Vlad (or Jaego, as he introduced himself weeks back), who's all big and strong, but is strangely hair-triggered by the faint whiff of what he perceives of as the biggest bully of all -- political correctness.

If someone asking you to open up your mind in a way that does not justify your luck-of-the-draw identity threatens you so much, well, I'm not gonna dance with you at the jukebox.

Do Chicago Whites use dead bodies are barracades? Or do White Disaster Victims shoot at the people trying to help them? The New Orleans Blacks did, maybe because the rescurers were all Whites? Did the Tsunami Victims of South and Southeast Asia attack the White Victims? Only th Blacks, Laura, only the Blacks. Look into your heart - you know the Truth. You only defend them because that's what you've been conditioned to do. You think you'll be a bad person if you don't. But underneath all that, YOU KNOW. How could anyone who has lived in Chicago not?

Aw shucks (Miss)Dorie don't you go gettin worried too much about ol Vlad much none. He's a cagey
ol critter who's quick on the draw when he's riled. The cowboys here in the cyber saloon like
takin pot shots at im, rancles im but he gives as
good as he gits. You caint dance with im nohow
cause he's gots a peg leg thets kinda gamey et times an that there jukebox ain't worked in ages.

Much obliged by your chivalry.

Run Dorie! They's startin to smash each other over they's heads with heavy ideological chairs in that thar saloon! Ol Vlads gone crazy with that racialistic dawgma of hiz. Gawd hep us!

Wage, I read your Katrina article. Just mind-boggling. After watching the permaculture community (one of many) pour aid into Haiti as fast as could be organized for the last few days, the "official response" after Katrina, witnessed by these 2 paramedics, was nothing short of monstrous.

My pregnant wife didn't take too kindly to me offering my services in Haiti (I'm a wilderness first aid responder)...maybe I can go later for ecological rehabilitation...hope things are going better there than they did in New Orleans. We'll have to limit our contribution to a tent, a couple gallons of honey, and a 50 lb. sack of rice for the moment. There are rare occassions when I wish I still made lots of money.

Any o you crawfish that ain't been 86'd from thu after-hours parlais know anything about geoengineering? As in weather control?

Vlad, Hitler and Stalin both showed us what white people are capable of doing to other white people. So did your namesake, Vlad the Impaler, who made the Nazis look almost benign compared. YES,we white people will use other white folks' bodies as barricades were it to come to that, though our cruelties to the living pretty far exceed anything we could ever do to an already-dead body.

I agree that you are usually safer with your own kind, people who look like you, when times get tough, but I won't automatically trust anybody because he or she is white.

No race has a monopoly on cruelty and irrationality and stupidity, and there are very few people outside my family and small circle of friends who I'd trust with my life were we to spiral into collapse. In such an eventuality I would tend to treat all outsiders, no matter what they looked like, with equal distrust until they proved themselves trustworthy.

Laura said: "I agree that you are usually safer with your own kind, people who look like you..."

Actually you are not safer with your own kind. If you look at the homicide statistics from the Uniform Crime Report (last year with complete statistics is 2008) and look at the number of white victims of homicide and the race of the offenders you find this:

White victims .... 3,643

White offenders .... 3,036

Black offenders .... 504

The same is true of Black homicide victims. The vast majority of the offenders are Black, just as in the vast majority of White homicides the offenders are White.

Black victims .... 3,024

Black offenders .... 2,722

White offenders .... 230

SOURCE: Expanded Homicide Data Table 6, Crime in the United States, 2008

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_06.html

Conclusion: You are not safer among your own.

Wage, great article on Katrina. Straight away I thought of an essay by Ran Prieur: What We Learned From Katrina

http://ranprieur.com/essays/katrina.html

Take especial note of Point 2 in the essay:

"2. Ordinary people are competent and decent when you strip away the system and the stupid roles it requires us to play. A catastrophe is a huge opportunity for us to learn to help each other as equals, for people suddenly free of jobs and cars and television to rediscover their aliveness, to come together and build something beautiful.

This will not be permitted."

"Conclusion: You are not safer among your own."
==========================

A typical Asoka horseshit piece of sophistry. An eighth grade debater could rip apart the conclusion Asoka draws from these numbers in 2 minutes or less.

Q, have at it.

Do you dispute the FBI reports. Homicides are pretty conclusive evidence. Cadavers and all.

Most white homicide is committed by whites.
Most black homicide is committed by blacks.

Instead of calling that a "horseshit piece of sophistry", why not make a substantive comment backed up by evidence for a change?

No shit. Come on, Meta-Q. Straighten us poor deluded sophists out. If an 8th grader could do it, surely you can.

Some pictures starting to come in from our folks on the ground in Haiti:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aidg/

More as I get them.

One more item on Asoka's racial profile: What color is almost every serial killer? Serial rapist?

If you guessed white, you win the prize! Black and brown are just as capable of commiting crimes as whites of course, but white folks almost always seem to be responsible for the sick shit.

That's not being politically correct, (for those who think that argument just somehow negates reason), that's just how it is.

Same with the retarded "blame America first" vomit. If there's a real reason to blame America first (and there so often is), then that ought to be discussed in an adult format. Blaming America is a perfectly reasonable response when it's AMERICA'S fault! If it's not then PROVE it! You know, with logic and statistics.

Partisan slogans and insults are the last refuge of scoundrels.

Thank you, Laura for your considerate response - you are a reasonable Liberal. I don't trust anyone SOLELY on the basis of their skin either - my prejudices or pre-judgements are far more nuanced than that. For example, I'd rather have a group of East Asian guys walking behind me at night than Whites - East Asians are far more peaceful as a whole when it comes to crime. But I wouldn't want to be trapped during the Long Emergency in an East Asian Community - they wouldn't share. And if they had to, they'd take what I had to survive.

Vlad Tepes was a great patriot honored to this day in Romainia. Again and again he crushed the Turkish Invaders who were foolish enough to challenge him on his own ground. Yes, a bit of a psychopath to be sure, but so was FDR and Churchill; Mao and Pol Pol; Idi Dada and Mugabe.

Blacks are only 13% of the population yet they kill just as many or more than Whites do. Even at 13 percent, they kill more than twice as many Whites than Whites do Blacks. Yes, Blacks kill more Blacks than they do Whites. But that's because they're local. If you live with Blacks, you'll be local too. And since most homicide is done by young males, if you live someplace with alot of young Blacks, your chances get even slimmer.

Based on the simple figures Asoka cites, Blacks are more than 7 times as dangerous as Whites. This is more extreme than the usal five times as cited by most White Nationalists.

Most statistics are skewed against Whites in that Hispanic Perpetrators are lumped in as White but Hispanic Victims are given their own category.

While we're on the subject: recently both Iranian and Arab Americans have come out against being called White. They want their own designations. If being Whites was a privledge, why would they do this? No folks, ordinary Whites are being persecuted and the Muslims know it very well and want no part of it.

Yes the Elites are either White or Jewish. But those Whites have totally disavowed and betrayed us. We are not in the same boat as them in any way. Yet our enemies use this to persecute us in terms of ideology, hiring, admissions, set asides, small business loans etc. We are being squeezed to death in vice between the Pale Rich and Dark Poor. We will not survive as the middle class if this continues.

Don't be afraid to speak the Truth: you are retired and they can do nothing to you now. Sure we have free speech in this country - it's what happens after you speak that's the problem. So they usual policy is to wait until you have no position anymore and then tell the Truth. Senator Hollings spoke out against the Jewish Dominance in our Foreign Policy - a couple of weeks before his retirement. No wonder we're becoming slaves with heroes like this as leaders. And truth be told, you can't get elected to Federal Office without Jewish Money.

The Tenure System in the Unviersities was created to fight this tendency, but very few are brave enough to use it this way. For most, it's just job securty, nothing more.

"Q, have at it .... Instead of calling that a "horseshit piece of sophistry"
====================

The data you Google-jockyed does not apply to the appropriate time period, namely, as Laura defined it, "when times get tough" (some future time). And also we have no definition of what constitutes times getting tough. Rather, the data is from 2006 which presumably are "normal times."

During normal times 13.8% of White victims were killed by Blacks (i.e. 504/3643=.138) and 7.6% of Black victims were killed by Whites (i.e. 230/3024=.076).

Lets say life as we know it in 2010 here in the U.S. falls apart in a way that every reasonable person would define as "times getting tough" -- total societal breakdown, looting, burning, riot, violent gangs, and every morsel of food in Tripp's garden and every supermarket, farm or garden across the land is stolen or destroyed, by whomever.

Say then that after the 2010 homicide data is known we learn that the first data point (White victims killed by Blacks) increased from 13.8% to 20% and the second data point (Black victims killed by Whites) increased from 7.6% to 11%. This would confirm Laura's statement that "you are usually safer with your own kind." If the 2010 percentages were both = to or "you are not safer with your own kind." And if both percentages did not move in the same direction, either up or down, then no sure conclusion could be drawn as to whether Laura or Asoka was right.

Whatever the case, we can not know the correct answer based on 2006 data and Asoka's pretending you can is the very definition of sophistry: A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument.

I'll concede one thing: the part about the eighth grader in under 2 minutes. It takes a full grown adult about 15 mins.

We know from Katrina that Blacks will shit all over themselves while waiting for someone to come help them. And also indulge in looting, murder, and rape. A group of White British students were caught in the Stadium and they were threatened continuously by Blacks. The young men built a barricade of chairs to protect themselves and the girls.

Contrast all this with the stoic dignity that the people of South and Southeast Asia met their disaster. No assaults, no rapes, no looting that I heard of. No attacks against the thousands of White Tourist who got caught up in it - they were helped along with everyone else. I think partly their strength and goodness came from being traditional and rural people. Truly vice grows in the Cities and has reached an apogee in modern life. Thus I believe they behaved better than most modern Whites would have - we who have lost our tradition of neighborliness, our Christianity, and our self sufficiency. But rural American Whites show all these qualities when faced with blizzards, tornadoes, or hurricanes. At least among themselves.

"= to or" should be "= to or less than."

Let me just fix the whole friggin sentence which should read:

"If the 2010 percentages were both = to or less than the 2006 percentages then Asoka's statement that "you are not safer with your own kind" would be correct."

I've read the British student's account of his ordeal a couple times. I've also read accounts of whites taking pot shots at blacks at the time, using the chaos as an opportunity to do what they've been itching to do.

Neither bodes well for the future.

The news out of Katrina neatly encapsulates the "credibility gap" problem in reportage that emerges again and again whenever a major event that involves blacks takes place: on one hand, insistence that reports of blacks' misbehavior are exaggerated or false, and, on the other hand, information disseminated outside the MSM that offers evidence that the horror stories are true.

Frankly, I don't know what the hell to believe. I wasn't there.

Vlad said: "Yes, Blacks kill more Blacks than they do Whites. But that's because they're local."

Thanks, Vlad, for confirming my point. The same is true with Whites.

Which was my whole point in responding to Laura: you are not more safe among your own.

Nice try, Q. You want to shift the argument to future data not known, instead of dealing with the data we have. From 2001 to 2006 life times "did get tough" to use your words. You can't invalidate my data so easily.

And Vlad, I am not talking about who commits more murders or who has a higher murder rate, so all the White on Black, and Black on White stuff you cite is irrelevant. We are talking about the statistics for homicide "among your own", i.e., White on White murder and Black on Black murder. The numbers are irrefutable. More murders are committed by "your own" than by other races.

No, no Asoka, you don't get off the hook quite so easily ... even though I'm trying to watch the Jets game.

Laura made a statement and you disagreed with it. Her statement had to do with some future time "when times get tough." You pulled out old data from 2006 (normal times) which showed, indeed, that more Blacks were killed by Blacks and more Whites by Whites. That 2006 data becomes the base from which change is measured if and when new conditions (tough times) arrive. And BTW, it only makes sense that homicides occur most often within members of a mostly homogeneous community. Like a pissed off white guy kills his white haridan wife. A black gang member in Harlem kills a black guy from a different gang over turf, etc.

But that's the normal state (the base). What happens when conditions change, when times get tough, when the shit hits the fan. Then people are driven out of their normal patterns, out of their normal homogeneous groupings and, potentially, the homicide percentages change. Laura speculates, no doubt intuitively, "that you are usually safer with your own kind, people who look like you, when times get tough." If I may put words in her mouth - Laura guesses that if Blacks were responsible for 7.6% of Whites killed in 2006 Blacks will be responsible for a significantly higher percentage when times get tough. Likewise, of course, for Whites killing Blacks.

Whether deliberately (you are, after all, a Slimy Eel) or through ignorance, you have drawn a conclusion that has the appearance of truth but is, in fact, fallacious. That's sophistry. What we're concerned with and discussing is how things might change within or between racial groups "when things get tough." I don't know the answer to that and neither do you but my guess is that Laura is right -- we'd be safer with our own kind.

"you have drawn a conclusion that has the appearance of truth but is, in fact, fallacious. That's sophistry."

No, Meta-Q, that's one definition of Sophistry. In ancient Greece, where the term originated, the sophists were teachers of philosophy and rhetoric. Sophistes literally means "wisest." Not that you didn't intend the prior, more modern interpretation.

Aside from the typical name-calling the conservative commentors here almost always engage in, I thought this was a halfway reasonable argument.

Albeit based on complete conjecture, which doesn't APPEAR to be supported by current trends in criminal statistics.

Oh, and I figured out a way you can get on my scientific nerves with a routine grammar error. Keep using data as a singular word...

Q said: "And BTW, it only makes sense that homicides occur most often within members of a mostly homogeneous community."

Thank you. Now both you and Vlad have confirmed my basic point, which the crime statistics also validate.

OK, now the Jets have won. They have beaten the Colts, the Bengals, and the Chargers. There are no teams with better records than those teams, but the Jets have been victorious over all three. You want to tangle with me over that "sophistry", too?

Please show me within the referenced comment where I've used data as a singular.

OK, I'm glad we've got this issue all squared away and that you've finally agreed that you're a slimy eel, an asshole AND a frequent practitioner of sophistry. Thank you and good night.

Stalk the wild asparagus. And learn to eat weeds and mushrooms. Squirrels? Do you have a squirrel dog like my Dolly?

It's an eye opening book. Keep trying.

Who commits the most murders and murder rate doesn't matter in deciding which community is safer? You are truly ridiculous. Qshtik is being very nice to you by focusing on your verbal logic and not the overall numbers - not because he likes you but probably because he doesn't want to openly accept the White Nationalist conclusions that inevitably follow from comprehending the data. I'll grant you this though: White Communities are safer for both Whites and Blacks than Black Communities. So Blacks are safer among "other people" - Whites that is. But that may change during the Long Emergency. It definitely will if Blacks get out of line as they are so wont to do.

I know what you're saying - there's alot we'll never know about what happened. But we know enough to conclude that Blacks acted atrociously -shooting at rescuers, raiding nursing homes for drugs, rapes, etc. And we know that in some neighborhoods, Whites defended themselves. There are rumours of one or two deaths from this but nothing substantial. The bigggest incident was when a crowd of Blacks were trying to cross a bridge into White community and were ordered back at gunpoint. Apparently, the community had suffered looting from a previous crowd of Blacks and was in no mood for a repeat performance. Black Refugees could justly complain about this. But as always, Innocent Blacks suffer from the true perceptions created by the misdeeds of their bretheren. And such treatment confirms to them that Whites are all Racists and that they deserve what they get. And thus the wheel of karma turns. All one can do is play his part. When the time comes, I hope you are willing to defend yourself against marauders as did these men.

As for the rest of Black Complaints - stuff and nonsense. The White Parishes to the East were hit even harder and had just as high a death toll. They don't accuse the goverment of trying to kill them. And the vast majority of the rescuers were White. Amidst the cries of racism, did you hear any of the Blacks thanking their White Rescuers? Me neither.

And of course the Goverment tried to disarm the citizenry just when people needed to be armed. I mean, talk about ominous tendencies! And liberals say that confiscation is a just a paranoid fantasy.

Of course smart people did know that this was a disaster waiting to happen. And yes, the best neighborhoods in New Orleans "just happen" to be on higher ground. If rich people lived right next to old inadequate levees, something may well have been done a long time ago. Classism perhaps, not racism. And part of the general decay of our Civilization - always making money by building new things, never taking care of the infrastructure we already have. Maintainance is so boring.

I went to a lecture Noam Chomsky gave at my university years ago. Made it through that. Barely. Interesting mind. Too bad his demeanor (and writing style) makes Ben Stein seem like a tweeker. But I'll try again one of these days. My to-read list is officially 90 books strong, and every time I knock one out I end up with 5 new ones...surely Manufacturing Consent will resurface at some point though.

"The data you Google-jockyed does not apply..."

(The data...DO not apply...)

"Rather, the data is from 2006 which..."

(Rather, the data ARE from...)

"Say then that after the 2010 homicide data is known..."

And so on. 'Datum' is the singular. It's one of the most often missed usages in the language. Don't feel too bad though. Mostly just a bunch of science dorks like me point it out.

In an effort to be unbiased, Wage earlier used 'media' in the singular. If I'm going to nitpick, I should nitpick both sides. Therefore this will be the last time I do it to either.

Wage said:
"But the corporate media never made that point, did it?"

Did THEY? you mean.

Media is, media talks...

Should be media are, media talk...

Data and media are both commonly misused plural words. And that's all I have to say about it.

Qshtik said: "Thank you and good night"

When someone spews a lot of negativism and ends with "Thank you and good night" we all understand quite clearly just how insincere these polite words really are. --Qshtik on the attack

"Maintainance is so boring."

I realize you're being sarcastic, but maintenance is a concept that is heavily promoted in permaculture as one of the very best ways to reduce consumptive impact. Even the idea of maintaining an older conventionally-built house as a preferable sustainability practice over building a new, energy-efficient one. Or maintaining an older car that gets mediocre gas mileage instead of purchasing a new Prius (the manufacture of which is loaded with environmental impact).

Goes hand-in-hand with Kunstler's idea that the end of Happy Motoring has nothing to do with a car's power source. Electric cars aren't going to help. The bulk of the energy budget is spent before the first Btu or watt is used to propel the vehicle.

But proper maintenance doesn't exactly make an economy spin 'round, now does it?

"When someone spews a lot of negativism and ends with "Thank you and good night" we all understand quite clearly just how insincere these polite words really are"

Asoka, you read my mind...

rtretetfdgdfg

Definition of: soph·ist·ry
Pronunciation: \ˈsä-fə-strē\

Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 : subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation
2 : sophism 1

Soak sez: we all understand quite clearly just how insincere these polite words really are.

Tripp sez: Asoka, you read my mind...
===========================

Q repies: Correct on all accounts.

"rtretetfdgdfg"
================

A framed sign over the Rathskeller (Sp?) Bar, Yale campus area, New Haven, CT, circa 1971 read
"iitywimwybmad"

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

SOPHISTRY

The type of learning characteristic of the ancient Sophists.

1837 J. W. DONALDSON Theat. Grks. (1849) 97 Euripides was nursed in the lap of sophistry.

The original meaning of sophistry was not pejorative.

In the second half of the 5th century BC, particularly at Athens, "sophist" came to denote a class of itinerant intellectuals who taught courses in "excellence" or "virtue," speculated about the nature of language and culture and employed rhetoric to achieve their purposes, generally to persuade or convince others.

The original meaning of sophistry was not pejorative.

Interesting comments. Thank you. I kinda disagree with the leaving part, though. I think those who stayed with supplies were probably better off. And people were not allowed to evacuate on foot from New Orleans. I'm guessing bicycles would not have been allowed either. It was a car or nothing. Triage by wealth.

An Amtrak employee told me that Amtrak had trains ready to evacuate people. She said they had all coach cars, no sleepers, in order to hold more people. And the employees had put a bottle of water, a pillow and a blanket at each seat for the evacuees. FEMA told them NO.

Martin Hayes said: ""I think passion is a better explanation..."

You know the Greeks didn't write obituaries, they only asked one question after a man died,

‘Did he have passion?’

Movie quote from: Serendipity (2001)

Week after week people here speculate about how Americans will react to massive unemployment and loss of living standards.

Then we get Vlad dissing Black people.

Hey. As a demographic, black people have been the vanguard of the long emergency. As a group, they have more poverty and more unemployment, more police oppression, etc. The deindustrialization of America hit them first. Not counting Condeleeza Rice and Barack Obama, of course.

So black communities have already been there, done that. And the murder rate is lower than any speculation about future white societal breakdown that we indulge in weekly.

I think I have some knowledge about murder, since I see victims and perpetrators in my job. (Trip, now I'm self conscious about grammar.)

Murder is mostly someone pissing someone else off, enough that one person grabs a weapon and attacks.

White people love to indulge in rape, torture and kill fantasies, which they project onto black people, although, of course, sick serial killers are usually white.

Most murders, though, are just people who have been together enough to annoy the hell out of each other.

So, of course, it's going to be people of the same race, usually.

Aaahh, even though I'm self conscious, I still said murders, instead of murderers.

Thanks to Martin Hayes, for showing me Ran Prieur's website.

Here's to those who glorify Europeans and the white race-

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/01/11/the-holocaust-we-will-not-see

From http://www.juancole.com

MLK: The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment

We live in an even more regimented society than the 1950s and early 1960s. We live in a society where protests can be confined to 'protest zones,' where peaceful protest or critical comment can place activists and journalists on a no-fly list (while the authorities still seem routinely to overlook actual terrorists), where our electronic mail is routinely snooped into by agents of the federal government, where civil disobedience is being redefined as material support to terrorism. On the occasion of Martin Luther King Day, it is worth remembering Dr. King's speech at Western Michigan University on December 18, 1963, in which he called for an international society of misfits who would dare challenge the injustices in the prevailing order.

The passage quoted below is about conformism and about the attempt of Establishment social scientists to create conformism as the social norm (a tendency that went further in the Soviet Union but was also present in the US).

Today, we are told by the Republican minority that is holding the country hostage in the Senate that we are maladjusted if we object to 37 million Americans not being covered by health care. We are maladjusted if we want to see banks regulated. We are maladjusted if we want a graduated income tax so that the richest, with their billions in bonuses, pay more for government social services from which they and their corporations benefit. We are maladjusted if we object to escalating the war in Afghanistan or to covert drone assassinations in Pakistan or to starting a whole new war in Yemen. We are maladjusted if we object to racially profiling Arabs and Arab-Americans. We are maladjusted if we object to mountain top removal coal mining, or, indeed, if we object to destroying the world with the burning of coal in general. We are maladjusted if we won't disfigure our shorelines with oil rigs. We are maladjusted if we support choice for women or marriage for gays. (It is not that Dr. King, a man of his own era, would have necessarily supported all these causes in his own day, but that they are causes analagous to and growing out of the ones he did embrace).

I don't disagree with you. At least not yet (more on that later). I picked up what you said on this page, that whites are now caught in a vice between ruthless elites (which happen to have a white face) and the disaffected below, which, increasingly, and ironically, is made up of whites who still haven't connected the dots by working out that their usefulness is at an end and that they are therefore expendable but who nevertheless go "ra, ra" and make a big deal come election time, and those of another color persuasion, who think that the white trash who live next door are somehow complicit in their oppression, and who voted for Obama or anyone else who could kick their ass.

As you said elsewhere, so the wheel of karma turns. I would put it differently: such are the discontents of Empire.

South Africa is perhaps a better example of what you're driving at than the US. The whites there are now caught in the invidious position of having to adapt to the (racist) demands of the new black elite, many of whom are morally inferior to the people they presume to lead (if such a thing is possible), while at the same time having to fend off the demands and threats of ordinary blacks who think that whites own them a living and who in any case intend to take everything worth taking whether whites give them permission or not. All the blame for these developments can be laid at the feet of whites.

Why? Education. The only self-justification for Empire that I can think of that is worth a damn is that it has a moral obligation to bring education to those who are without it, yet what did the South African whites do? Withheld it. Black don't need it, they said. Let them be hewers of wood and fetchers of water.

Question: why haven't South African whites worked out yet that it's over? The civilization that put them there has been in a crisis of confidence since 1918. It's endgame.

Where you and I part ways, Vlad, is that you think, on the evidence of your comments, that hierarchy is Man's natural estate, and that if it weren't for some wrong turn, Marxism, say, that we'd be okay. God in His Heaven, all's right with the world, just so long as the white man is giving the orders.

It's no good looking for some over-arching conspiracy, "race replacement", say, to explain away why whites are in the fix they're in.

We blew it. It's that simple. We blew it because we didn't see, because it was too convenient not to see, that this civilization would eat itself. It came for the Jews and the blacks. Now it's come for you.

DeeJones:

Could you please contact me if you find the time and feel so inclined?

I would love to begin gathering information for a potential move to Central America, and I see that you have already gone through the process. It could be of great use to me to find out about the basics of the process and the pitfalls to avoid as I consider making a big move.

I would greatly appreciate any time you could give me: mattbirt at gmail . com

Regards.

DeeJones:

Could you please contact me if you find the time and feel so inclined?

I would love to begin gathering information for a potential move to Central America, and I see that you have already gone through the process. It could be of great use to me to find out about the basics of the process and the pitfalls to avoid as I consider making a big move.

I would greatly appreciate any time you could give me: mattbirt at gmail . com

Regards.

Sorry for the duplicate comments. Computer/user malfunction.

Asia, there are 11,300,000 sites that popped up when I entered "Organic Gardening" is my search engine. Take your pick. www.remington.com is a great place to look at tools to protect your garden.

You can reach me: phil49267ataoldotcom

Phil

My Net Net:
1950's to 2005 - increasing prosperity for most Americans
2005 to ? - decreasing prosperity for more and more Americans

Massachusetts is like California and New York.

Public sector employees are retiring at 45 after only 20 years work on 80% of their final salary and with gold plated health benefits for life.

This simply cannot go on! Of course when you try and address this the vested interests talk about the weak and old having their services cut. It's not true of course.

I acknowledge the facts of the ongoing demise.... yet peak oil? or peak greed? How can you say we have reached peak oil when so much that has been discovered has not been harvested????? seems like peak greed to me with the same/similar consequenses..... thoughts?

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