I would like to pause this investigation for a moment to discuss a matter possibly related to it.
The world recently suffered a great loss, when it lost Aaron Swartz to suicide?
Aaron was like a beacon of shinning light in a mostly gray and foreboding world. He was highly intelligent and principled. He made all of our lives brighter. He was in the forefront of the fight to keep the internet a place of openness and honesty rather than let it become a closed tool, only beneficial to powerful interests such as the mass media now is.
Aaron was directly responsible for helping create the RSS newsfeed standard that caused document 1, referred to in the investigation, linked to at the top of this article, to be discovered.
We do not know for sure who first discovered the existence of this document. However it happened, the discovery was a massive win for internet openness and freedom. Whoever that person was would need to have a deep understanding of how and where information is stored on the internet. Also of how information is indexed for easy retrieval.
Aaron was that type of individual. He also had the intent to serve Truth and Justice, particularly on the Internet.
If I had to pick just one person capable of making such a discovery I would pick Aaron.
The events at Sandy Hook likely attracted his attention. He would then start researching on the internet to find the truth, using the needed tools, which he was intimately familiar with.
RSS feeds, the standards of which he helped put in place, allow search engines to report news items created on the internet, about important events, almost instantly. Being an expert on how RSS feeds function, and where the records that such feeds create are stored, he then likely started to search through those records to see what he could find.
Aaron likely discovered the RSS feed record the Arlington Schools Website sent out that announced, rightly or wrongly, that the horrendous events at Sandy Hook School occurred on December 10th, 2012, 4 days before they actually happened on December 14th 2012. Discovering the RSS record would have allowed Aaron to find the Google cache record displayed as evidence in our investigation, with only one click.
In the normal course of events it is highly unlikely anyone would ever have found that cache record. Only the RSS record would publicly show it existed. To initially find the record directly in the cache would require someone knowing the document’s exact URL and name. If no one knew of the documents existence, they could not know what to look for.
Whoever the person was that first found the document in Google’s cache, we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude. I strongly suspect Aaron was actually the one to discover that record at Google. He likely paid for that discovery with his life.
With that highly likely possibility in mind I would like to dedicate this Investigation to Aaron. Whether or not he was the one who first found this record, his efforts in developing RSS feeds were instrumental in their being discovered.
We all owe it to Aaron to make sure that his efforts to make the world a better place were not in vain. We must continue the struggle he was engaged in, and attempt to build upon his efforts, until the world is a place of justice and honor such as he attempted to create.
This investigation would not be taking place without principled people like Aaron struggling to protect everyone’s rights.
Aaron, Thank you.
HOW TWO GOOGLE CACHE RECORDS WITH PUBLISHED DATES PREDATING THE EVENTS AT SANDY HOOK SCHOOL CAME INTO BEING.
I will refer to 3 images in this document that show the anomalies in the Google cache records of The Arlington School’s News Items.
Document 1 is an image of a google cache record showing a published Date of Dec 10, 2012 which states Google recorded it on Dec 18, 2012.
The url below used to access the page imaged below – it now returns a 404 page error. Anyone that has copies of the image please keep it safe.
it could also be accessed from
by selecting to view the page.
It now returns….
Your search – inurl:http://www.arlingtonlocalschools.com/news/2012/12/10/talking-with-your-child-about … – did not match any documents. Reset search tools
DOCUMENT 2 below is an image of a google cache record showing a published Date of Dec 13, 2012 which states Google recorded it on Jan 12, 2013.
As of this writing, January 25, 6:21pm PT it is still available at the url below.
DOCUMENT 3 is an image of a google search return to a document Published Date of December 13, 2013 the same as in Document 2.
The link to this page has been disappeared by google as of today.
I am going to explain to you in this article how those document came to appear on the internet on the Published Dates shown, December 10, 2012 and December 13, 2012. I will also explain how the search return came into being.
In order to do this I am going to ask you to suspend disbelief so you can follow the timeline explaining the documents.
Events like 9/11 have demonstrated that news items about them appear almost instantly after such events. Many are complex documents that would be impossible to create in that short a period of time. If someone is preparing a false flag the most effective period to introduce your desired interpretation of the event is immediately after the event while people are still in shock. In order to meet a tight deadline there are many trusted people working in the background preparing documents and then sitting and waiting to pull the trigger and make them public the moment the event is planned to occur. These people are scattered all over and working off their own script with a time to make their information public.
CMI (Crisis Management Inc) which had author permissions on The Arlington School Website as a contractor to upload Their material to the website as needed. They could upload, create links to their material, and publish news announcements all from their own offices without anyone from the School being involved.
The School shootings that took place in sandy Hook on December 14, 2012, were originally planned to happen on December 10, 2012.
If you check on a calendar you will see Dec 10 was a Monday and a school day so the event could have been planned for that date.
DECEMBER 10, 2012
Everyone involved with media media material had the material prepared referring to the Date Dec 10, 2012.
On December 10, 2012 someone at CMI was waiting to pull the trigger and publish the news item (Document 1) and related documents such as the pdf the news item announces.
For some reason the event was called off at the last moment.
Everyone planned to submit material was frantically called to NOT submit their material.
The message for some reason didn’t get through to CMI in time and they submitted the pdf, created the link to it, and published the news item shown in Document 1 .
The other anomalous documents predating Dec 14, 2012 that appeared all over the internet originated the same way.
Because of a technicality (RSS Feed) that is explained by the developer of the program that manages the Arlington Schools site a record of the document immediately left the site and was submitted to people hooked up to the feed as well as to google which published the item for availability in their search engine. (see document 3)
Google took the opportunity while going to the site to capture the thumbnail of the page seen on the right of document 2 to also put it into their cache database.
In the Technical Discuss Thread at http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/sandy-hook-phony-documents-open-thread/#comment-164225
Jeremy the developer of the software SpireCMS which the School uses to manage their website stated
“JEREMY… When a news item is created in our system, it is pushed out via an RSS feed and, Google has it indexed usually under 24 hours.”
The above means the article could be found on the google search engine on that date and also in their cache shown in Document 1.
The search record was scrubbed by google for this Dec 10, 2012 item, but events that took place on Dec 13, 2012 caused an identical entry to be made only with a published date of December 13th. I’m not sure why it wasn’t scrubbed by Google before today. It is shown in (document 3)
DECEMBER 13, 2012
The Sandy Hook Shooting event was rescheduled to this date and was again scrubbed. It Was a Thursday, also a viable date.
It was again scrubbed for some reason.
CMI again did not get the word to not publish in time.
They published the news item again but this time with a published Date of Dec 13, 2012 causing another RSS submission creating (document 3) and also a second cache record (document 2)
Jeremy stated above “Google has it indexed usually under 24 hours” which means (document 1) would originally have shown either “as it appeared on 10 Dec 2012 or possibly 11 Dec 2012.”
The December 13, 2012 (document 2) would originally have shown either “as it appeared on 13 Dec 2012 or possibly 14 Dec 2012.”
No one in the loop realized there was an RSS feed on the news items at Arlington School and that the 2 pages (document 1 &2) where recorded in the google cache.
AFTER DECEMBER 14
Some bright internet users discovered the cache records predating the actual events and all hell broke loose.
The people behind the false flag frantically tried to cover up these incriminating cache records and the search return.
For technical reasons too complex to explain here it was impossible to erase the records.
Publicly removing the cache document after they were found would also be suspicious.
As a temporary fix someone authorized by google edited the records as below.
(Document 1) which first read “as it appeared on 10 Dec 2012 or possibly 11 Dec 2012 was changed to read 18 Dec 2012.”, a date after the events of December 14th. This document was still suspicious but at least is showed it was recorded after the event it announced.
(Document 2) which first read “as it appeared on 13 Dec 2012 was changed to read “as it appeared on 12 Jan 2013.”, a date after the events of December 14th. This document was still suspicious but at least is showed it was recorded after the event it announced.
To make these changes at google would take no more than about two minutes. All that needed to be done is to select the records in the database and edit the field that holds the date google recorded the record.
JANUARY 25 2013
Today google decided that the evidence implicating them in these events very getting to dangerous to leave available and removed them from public view even though that looks very suspicious.
This happened because I stated publicly that it is impossible for a document published with an RSS feed request to google could take 30 days as shown in (Document 2) and 8 days as shown in (Document 1) after the developer publicly stated at http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/sandy-hook-phony-documents-open-thread/#comment-164225
“JEREMY… When a news item is created in our system, it is pushed out via an RSS feed and, Google has it indexed usually under 24 hours.”
There is an enormous amount of corroborating evidence that I described before at Fellowship of the Minds.
If you find the information above compelling enough to look further, and if I survive to tell about it, this discussion will be continued.
That google is currently scrubbing the evidence does not bode well for those publicly explaining it. Although google can hide the incriminating evidence from the public, they cannot remove the internal traces from their servers. We who made screencaptures and didn’t clear our browser histories have evidence they existed to the last date we accessed it. Guard that information well.
I am going to stop here to let you consider what I said.
Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Heros of the Revolution table inside the Diner
A LOOONNNNGGG time ago during the Napster controversy and procesutions being undertaken by the Music Recording Industry,Iwrote an article deconstructing Copyright Law over Intellectual Property called Clan of the Copyright Bear. It is republished here on the Diner from original publication on one of my Yahoo Groups from back in the 90s.
Suicide Murder of Aaron Swartz, a Computer Geek GENIUS who was attempting to Liberate Information on the net for public consumption has brought this issue back up to the Front Agenda in the current War on Liberty being prosecuted by TPTB on the rest of the world. Far as TPTB are concerned, they OWN all Information, not limited to just Music and Video, but really all the way to the Human Genome and ever idea ever Published anywhere on the Net.
By no means did the battle end with Napster of course, Digital Copyright Protection schemes have been pursued ever more vigorously, with Apple now overtaking even the Big Gorilla of Microsoft in this arena. Microsoft was mainly concerned with vigorously prosecuting anyone who Bootlegged their programs or Op Systems, but never concerned themselves much with content. So for most people, the attempt by Microsoft to fence in their programs didn;t affect them all that much.
Apple on the other hand is by all means possible trying to make it IMPOSSIBLE to copy information or move from platform to platform without going THROUGH Apple on the Cloud. Trying to get music onto your I-phone is a particular pain in the ass, you can’t just copy/paste the MP3 files, you gotta use I-tunes software to do this, and in my case at least they wanted me to register my Iphone on the Apple website AND drop a Credit Card number on, even though I wasn’t buying anything new.
I am sure many of you who have Apple Iphones and Ipads have noted that there is NO SLOT for and external memory card of ANY type, and not only that, no USB port either to stick in a Jump Drive or connect to an external CD-ROM reader. Pretty much the ONLY way to get anything INTO your I-Shit is to download it off the net, or in the case of videos, shoot it yourself with the I-Shit machine. If you do that and try to get it OFF the I-shit machine and it is a Big File, you pretty much cannot do that either, when you try to upload it to the web you get messages that the file is too big. There probably is some means of using Bluetooth links to another machine to do this, but I haven’t found the software for this and besides none of my older computers are Bluetooth enabled.
So for myself, I am completely SOURED on Apple Tablet/Smartphone products now, and will never buy another one of them.
On the other hand, I ALSO have a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, which is basically a Design Rip-off of the I-pad but not near so locked up as the I-pad is, preventing you from moving content on and off the machine. The Galaxy DOES have an external memory card slot, it accepts MicroSD cards, which now come up to 64 GB in size. It is still not easy to move stuff around on the Galaxy, but it is possible.
This is also an issue as far as eBooks are concerned. A Tablet is the Ideal Reader for such books, I have the smaller 7″ model of the Galaxy which fits in the Breast Pocket of any Blazer or overcoat, or into the leg pockets of Cargo Pants. Anytime I am sitting bored waiting on a line or in a restaurant eating, I can yank it out of my pocket and do some reading. However, I have to have CONTENT on it to read, and if I was to D/L by the Book, I could spend a fortune getting just a few books to read. I have however found a few websites which permit UNLIMITED downloads of such material, so what I am now doing for so long as this remains possible is to store such material on MicroSD cards, which I can later plug into the Galaxy for essentially ENDLESS reading material, far more than I could read in what remains of my lifetime.
Not only .pdf or .epub text style books are available either for this, you can download Audio Books as well, to play while you are driving the SUV in Traffic to Work or on your way to Walmart or to pick up the kids. Issue with these books is their huge size, 500MB and more each, so if you were to store them on an Ipad for instance with no external memory card, MAX you might be able to store on say a 32GB Ipad would be around 64 Audio Books, and then no room for your own Vids or anything else. With the Samsung on theo other hand, the number of Audio Books, Movies etc, anything highly compsuptive of Memory is only limited by your Pocket Book in terms of how many Memory Cards you can afford to buy. These days on Sale, and 8GB MicroSD card goes around $10, so you can store around 16 Audio Books on each. For pdf style Books, obviously the numbers are much greater, average size for these is around 3-5MB. At the OUTSIDE of 5MB each average, the 8 GB card will store 1600 Books! Many of these books, like for instance Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” which I have are over 3000 pages in length! So essentially, even on one small card, you can have more reading material than you are likely to be able to read in the rest of your life, at least as long as you can fill them up for free (or nearly so). You can’t do that on an Ipad though.
On a Monetization level, the big problem all along the way for computing has been the fact that a few Major Corporations like Microsoft and Apple have been consistently trying to prevent copying of material, which in the past was quite easy to do on a computer through the Copy/Paste system. Tablets however make such copy/pasting much more difficult, even if possible at all, so in terms of trying to collect and store information, it is still better done on a Laptop and then LATER transferred to your tablet simply for Reference or Reading. How long you will be able to do this for is an Open Question. It is clear that the hardware manufacturers are moving away from fully functional Laptops available to the retail consumer to essentially “Dumb Terminal” Tablets which are mainly only good for surfing the web, and hopefully from the POV of those running the show, SHOPPING, as just about every App you drop on encourages you to BUY something else.
The fact you can Copy information so easily isn’t just bad for the Corporations running the show here on a Monetization level, it clearly SUCKS for the Individual Writer, Musician or Programmer who wishes to control his Intellectual Property, which in many cases might have taken YEARS of that person’s life to produce. EZ example there, Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” I mentioned before. If everyone can simply copy/paste this to their hard drive as soon as Edward Publishes, HTF can Edward make any MONEY off of it? He can’t, unless Access to the material is only through the Web and copying off the web is made impossible, which it can be or nearly so except for real good Hackers.
The IT people have more or less solved this problem for themselves by making ever fewer Programs you can install on your Hard Drive fully functional, instead they only provide these programs on the “Cloud”, and to use the program which really resides only on their own server, you have to pay Monthly Membership fees. Not only the Program only exist on their server though, often same is true of all your DATA as well. It is not easy to export data from most of these cloud programs. WordPress and SMF software I use are good examples of that. It sure would be nice if WP provided a Button I could hit on my Admin Screen and Download all the Blogs I have written to my hard drive, but they haven’t done such a thing. Nor can I easily Download all the Commentary inside the Diner on the SMF software either. To do either in total, I have to go to the Server on which these files are stored, and copy the entire files. I can’t read them though unless my machine is equipped with SQL Database software, mighty expensive and dificult stuff to install and work with. The only way for me to catalogue such material on my own hard drive is to tediously copy/paste and store material as it comes in, or as I go back and individually read through the archives. I do it sometimes, but mostly I don’t, and so the only place this information exists is on the server I contract for on a Monthly Basis.
For the more typical Writer or Musician or Videographer though who is producing the CONTENT, it has been far less possible to protect this content and still make it Avaialable for Reading/Listening/Watching. Anytime you download a book or music or video, the digital information is THERE on your hard drive, and should be possible to Save onto some media. To prevent that, the copying software of your computer is limited, but of course good hackers can work around that even if J6P can’t. At least that is true on a fully functional laptop, less true on Tablets which are limited in what anybody can do on the internal op system.
Is this good or bad though? It SEEMS bad from the POV of the creator/inventor of some Intellectual Property on the Monetary Level, because if people CAN freely Copy your Ideas this way, YOU can’t make any MONEY! So what then is the INCENTIVE to CREATE, if you cannot make MONEY from it? If you can’t PROTECT your ideas and Make Money from them, why bother to have any ideas at all?
For Aaron Swartz, he simply wanted to Liberate Ideas that essentially were already paid for by Public Tax Dollars anyhow. However, the people who CONTROL those ideas and information don’t WANT it liberated this way; they want to continue to SELL it and extract more PROFIT from it. This is not really different from the Ownership of Land, in the sense that if you OWN the Land, you can continue to extract profit from each new year of Crops it produces, until of course the Land is depleted, or the Climate changes and drought hits. Ownership of any kind of Property, including Intellectual Property, allows anyone who “Owns” it to continue to extract a rent from everyone else who needs it or uses it, for so long as they can control that Ownership.
Just like Monetizing the Land through Property Ownership though, Monetizing Intellectual Property creates classes of Haves and Have Nots, of Renters and Rentiers. It is a form of Intellectual Feudaism. IMHO, NOBODY can “own” the land we all are dependent on; nor can anybody “own” ideas which once they are out there belong to all. Nobody comes up with new ideas without Standing on the Shoulders of Giants that came before them. It is the product of the totality of the Human Existence on Earth.
Here on the Diner, its all Free for the taking here, I foot the bill and it is my Gift, for whatever it might truly be worth. To be able to Give this way, obviously I gotta have other sources of income to Pay Da Bills. If you DEPEND on your Intellectual Property rather than your daily work for your income, you will seek to protect it and prevent others from copying it without paying you for it. That is the motivator behind the Patent/Copyright laws, and that is why Adam Swartz was so hounded, and then Murdered. What he was doing upset the very foundation of the Property Ownership society the Illuminati built up here over lo these many Millenia.
For as long as Money remains the meme here, to all Musicians, I say to you, be Paid for your performance, your Concerts. Not endlessly for your Recordings. To Writers I say be paid for your Lectures and for discussion of your ideas, but not endlessly for your Books. To filmakers I say be paid for the First showing in the Theatres on the Big Screen, but not for every DVD made from your movie. You should be paid SOMETHING for Ideas of Value which others read/lsten or watch as long as Money is the meme, but ENDLESSLY? No. It devalues real work, and it is counterproductive to the free flow of information.
For what it is worth, I walk the walk I talk. I take no money for what I write, nor will I ever. Perhaps it is not worth much anyhow, but I sure put in plenty-o-time writing it and even at Minimum Wage, it would come to quite a bit of change these days. LOL.
Off the keyboard of RE
Published originally on the Doomstead Diner on January 12, 2013
Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner
If you are the kind of person who worries about Inflation and read the pages of Zero Hedge, there’s a good chance a few days ago reading through the article summaries on the Home Page you had to take a trip to the Throne Room and kneel down and Pray to the Porcelain God while Heaving the Technicolor Yawn.
Let me begin this article by pasting in a few of the synopses from Jan 7th, which came nearly one right after another describing the various and sundry Monetary “experiments” being undertaken by the Bank of Japan (BoJ), the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the Swiss National Bank(SNB) the European Central Bank (ECB), and of course that Central Bank we all Love to Hate here in the FSofA, Da Fed(FRB). Not all these main CBs are covered in these articles, but they are sufficient to detect a pattern forming up.
Submitted by Tyler Durdenon 01/07/2013 – 22:03
Just when we thought America would be alone in crossing into the montary twilight zone where so many Keynesian lunatics have gone before, and where trillion dollar platinum coins fall from the sky right onto the heads of all those who have not even the faintest understanding of money creation, here comes Japan:
ASO: JAPAN TO BUY ESM BONDS
ASO SAYS JAPAN TO BUY ESM BONDS USING FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES
ASO: ESM PURCHASES WILL HELP TO STABILIZE YEN
For those who have forgotten, the E in ESM stands for European (the S for Stability), not Japanese (Stability). Otherwise it would be, er… well, JSM. Keynesian at that. But yes – Japan will now proceed to “stabilize” itself by monetizing European debt. Because its own JPY 1 quadrillion in debt was not enough.
Submitted by Tyler Durdenon 01/07/2013 – 19:58
Bloomberg is out after hours with news that was expected by many, but which was yet to be formalized, until now: namely that following today’s flurry of contntious nomination by Obama, the latest and greatest is about to be unveiled – Jack Lew, Obama’s current chief of staff, is likely days away from being announced as Tim Geithner’s replacement as the new Treasury Secretary of the United States. In other words, Jack will be the point person whom the people who truly run the Treasury, the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, chaired by JPM’s Matt Zames (who just happens to also now run the notorious JPM Chief Investment Office which uses excess deposits to gamble – yes, you really can’t make this up) and Goldman’s Ashok Varadhan, global head of dollar-rate products and FX trading for North America (recently buying a $16 million pad at 15 CPW) will demand action from.
Submitted by Tyler Durdenon 01/07/2013 – 19:19
As loathed as we are to say “we told you so,” but we did and sure enough eKathimerini is reporting this evening that: thanks to the ‘voluntary’ haircuts the Greek banks were force-fed via the latest buyback scheme and the political uncertainty causing non-performing loans (NPLs) to rise (in a magically unknowable way), they will need significantly more ‘capital’ to plug their increasingly leaky boats. The original Blackrock report from a year did not foresee a rise in NPLs (which Ernst & Young now estimates stands at 24% of all loans) and the buyback dramatically reduces the expected profitability of the banks as it removes critical interest payments that would have been due. Whocouldanode? Well, plenty of people who did not just buy-in blindly to the promise of future hockey-stick returns to growth. Expectations are now for the Greek bank recap to be over EUR30bn.
Eooowwwchhh! Reading this stuff, you get the sinking feeling that Monopoly Money is pouring off the Printing Press at Warp Drive Speeds, and in a fashion you would be correct in believing that. The Nipponese are clearly in the Deep Doo Doo, their Export Market is collapsing, the “Off” switch on “cheap” Nuke Power currently remains off (though the new Goobermint intends of firing them up again); the Greeks are a Black Hole of Debt the ECB and various and sundry Financial Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) like the ESM keep funding with more fictitious money, and of course Da Fed remains busy in Financing the FSofA War Machine through an exponentially growing Federal Deficit, while at the same time expanding it’s “Balance Sheet” in order to buy absolutely WORTHLESS collateral from the TBTF Banks to keep them from going under this week.
Trying to look at what EVERY CB is doing here to Monetize Debt is an exercise in futility, the rest of the post would be filled with Graphs up the Wazoo here. As it is, just looking at FSofA Debt Monetization and Population Issues has more graphs than I like to jack into one article. I’m a Big Picture Pontificator, not an Actuary or CPA, so inundating the reader with endless Graphology of the Exponential Function in action is not my Stock in Trade. I’m a decent enough mathematician, but I am also perfectly aware that throwing out endless numbers for most people makes their eyes Glaze Over, so I try not to do that.
However, it is necessary in going forward with this post to look at what actually is occurring on the Monetary level, at least here in the FSofA utilizing Da Fed as the Example. It’s no different for the BoJ,the ECB, the SNB or the PBoC, and in fact since Da Fed produces the WORLD RE$ERVE CURRENCY of the DOLLAR, this best represents what is occurring on a global scale with the monetary system.
Let’s begin with the expansion of the Balance Sheet of Da Fed. This BS expands as Da Fed purchases Trash for Cash. TBTF Banks unload worthless MBS, CDOs, Soveriegn Bonds, Securitized Student Loans and Baseball Cards (the ONLY thing in this list of real value)
As you can see, the FRB Balance sheet shot to the Moon in 2008, when in order to keep the Financial System from Imploding, Da Fed when on a Buying Spree of Junk Assets on the books of these banks they could not unload to anybody else for Cash, which everybody was short of at the time. Does this really mean Da Fed “printed money” here for this stuff that wasn’t already in existence? Not really, becuase these ‘assets” represented money that was already trading around in the system anyhow, Da Fed just traded FRNs for the collateral, providing more liquidity in the system. Actual Dollars in Circulation, the M1 Money Supply didn’t change all THAT much, certainly not as much as what the above fairly TERRIFYING Graph would indicate.
Not that it still isn’t terrifying to see this vast expansion of Da Fed BS, it still is because it is indicative of the fact the regular Credit Market was in catastrophic failure mode so the assets were transferred off of Private Balance sheets onto Da Fed Public one, even though all this accomplishes is moving insolvency from one place to another. In the end when the system does implode (it will), it really doesn’t matter who goes broke FIRST here because everybody will go broke. The Banksters weren’t ever going to be able to pay off their Bad Bets, nor will the Taxpayer be able to do it. Broke is Broke when distributed over an entire system like this.
The next graph shows the ALSO TERRIFYING expansion of the Federal Deficit, not coincidentally occurring at precisely the same point in time, 2008-9, when Da Fed Balance sheet went Ballistic.
Why is the Federal Deficit ballooning here at the same time? Because with Private Credit drying up for lack of Creditworthy Borrowers in the Private Sector, in order to keep the system from imploding on this level, Da Goobermint steps in as the Borrower here, basically borrowing money on its own account to do the numerous Bailouts of failing institutional lenders. This again serves the purpose of providing liquidity and keeping Zombie Banks as the Walking Dead a while longer, but it is still not really putting money into a system that wasn’t already there, just in other forms in the “Shadow Banking” system. This is unaccounted for money, and nobody really knows how much of it is out there even now, estimates run as high as Quadrillions. All that is happenning in this case is that some of that sloshing pool of fictitious money is being moved to the Public balance sheet, in dribs and drabs as parts of the system continue to fail.
So now what we have to do is to drop back from the gross debt being pitched around here and look at the components of the Money Supply to see how they are doing. Below is the graph of the FSofA Monetary Aggregates, divied up into M1, M2 and M3 forms of “Money” that circulate and/or get parked as Savings or Investment in something.
The part of this graph that concerns the Main Street Economy and J6P is mainly down in Blue at the Bottom of the graph. That’s the actual Cash FRNs floating around out there and digibits in your Checking Account. As you can see, it has increased substantially since around 1980, but nowhere near the vast increase through the other components of the Money Supply, half of which were such a small component of the total supply in 1970 they don’t even show up on the graph. This is where most of the “Money” is floating around, and it is mainly held in large Corporate Accounts, Pension Funds etc, in theory there as a balance sheet number, but in realty not there at all. This is the most fictitious of the fictitious money. “Other Checkable Deposits” I believe represents Reserves the TBTF Banks have on deposit at Da Fed, my good friend and fellow Macro Economist Steve from Virginia from Economic Undertow will correct me if I am wrong on this.
Although the increasing muber of FRNs and digibits is causing some inflation, particularly in Food prices now which are also being pressed on the Supply End due to drought, overall cost per capita doesn’t expand that rapidly (at least not at an HI pace until there is a currency collapse of the Dollar), because this Main Street Economy money is distributed out over many more people than it was in 1970. First the graph of US Population expansion over the time period in question.
As you can see, since 1970 the FSofA has seen a roughly 50% increase in population size from the 200M neighborhood to the 300M neighborhood, so what FRNs there are out there for J6P to earn are spread over more people. All else being equal, if the number of FRNs don’t increase at the same rate the population size does, each person will have fewer of them, which would be of course highly deflationary for Prices. Fewer people would have say $5 for a 1 lb Ribeye Steak at Safeway, so to sell the same number of ribeyes, Safeway would have to lower the price to what the new normal was, in this case a 50% decrease in available cash per capita of consumers of Ribeyes, so the price would have to drop to probably around $3/lb to keep selling the Ribeyes.
Obviously no such thing has happenned, the price keeps going up, but not as fast as you might think it would if you look at the top graphs in the Fed balance Sheet and Federal Deficit graphs. More money is out there, but sprinkled out over many more people than it was in 1970, and not just here in the FSofA either. The vast increase in total money supply mostly is NOT distributed out either, it remains “in reserve” at Da Fed on accounts of the TBTF Banks.
This because with increasing Globalization of trade along with the fact the Dollar has served as World Reserve currency through the time period has meant many of these Dollars are now sprinkled across the WHOLE WORLD, often used as black market currency in many highly populous nations that are unable for one reason or another to run a viable currency system of their own. So Dollars now aren’t spread through just the FSofA population, but across the whole WORLD population in one form or another.
So this leads us to look at the Global Population Graph for the time period, yet another TERRIFYING graph.
Here you can see especially if you look at Asia since around 1950, the Global Population has more than Doubled, and where have many Dollars been spent to buy stuff? From Asia of course, Japanese Carz and Electronics, Chinese Plastic Toys etc. Since the FSofA has had a Trade Deficit since at least the 1970s, a constant outflow of Dollars produced has made it into the hands and savings accounts of literally Billions of Asians, when looked at across the aggregate scale anyhow. In reality, most of said dollars are just in a few hands, not ALL Asians have gobs of FRNs stuffed in the Bank of Sealy.
Any given INDIVIDUAL in China doesn’t have gobs of FRNs to spend to buy a Ribeye steak, in fact most have far fewer than even the most imoverished Amerikans living on Food Stamps. The result is that instead of getting an HI in the price of Ribeyes, what yoou mostly get is Demand Destruction as margins are compressed and the actual price a Cattle wholesaler can get is pressed down by the inability of most people to afford to buy the Ribeyes.
The same Bizness of course is occurring with Gasoline (Petrol for the Eurotrash), so instead of HI in Gas, actually prices have now once again DECLINED here in Alaska to BELOW what I paid for it when I first got up here 7 years ago. It has been above that price for most of those years, but across the board the Demand Destruction is taking hold on this, and despite no increase in total production of Liquid Fuels (see Monsta666 Energy I&II articles), the prices are getting pushed back down again. Mainly probably attributable to cratering demand for Gasoline in Eurotrashland, now Double digit Unemployment throughout the PIIGS countries and working its way into France also.
To conclude here in this portion of the running Kick the Can Game in Debt Monetization Economics, despite some outrageously BIG numbers and some really TERRIFYING graphs is really just spreding its way across the entire global monetary system, but because all the CBs are currently engaged in the same process of trying to provide liquidity to an illiquid market, the RELATIVE VALUATIONS between the currencies are not yet changing that much. Euro’s will spike up or down on a given day dependent on the Newz, same with Yen, same with the Dollar itself of course. Everytime they do spike though, the OTHER CBs in the system react to it, genrally themselves ALSO adding more liquidity. Absolute Numbers go up, Relative Values don’t change all that much, at least they have not YET.
Eventually, somebody’s currency will crack here in a Crisis of Confidence, forcing a run out of that currency. Remains to be seen who is the FIRST to go down the Toilet, but it most CERTAINLY will not be the Dollar. It is too big and too much of the current system is dependent on valuations made in Dollars. the much more likely candidates are the Euro or the Yen. These are the currencies most at risk right now for an HI event, not the Dollar.
In terms of actual Purchasing Power for all these currencies with respect to Oil & Food (closely related clearly), all are destined for terminal decline as the resource base declines and the Cheap Oil dwindles in availability. What counteracts that on the gross scale is Demand Destruction, and that can occur a lot faster than actual resource depletion does. It is moving at an INCREDIBLY rapid pace in Eurotrashland right now.
I had Chartist Friend From Pittsburgh do a curvilinear wave analysis of this graph, and as I suspected, the resistance line is well broken and demand for Oil Products in Europe is likely to hit new lows as we move into 2014. How LOW will it GO by 2014? 13K BPD seems like a very good bet to me. This represents around a 20% decline off Peak Demand in Europe for Oil, while at the SAME time the population there has increased substantially. Obviously, per capita consumption of Oil is on a steady downward slope there already, and this is nothing if not highly deflationary all around. Thus of course the massive Unemployment problems the Eurotrash are immerssed in already.
Where will the Demand Slack be taken up? Will it be in China or South America or Africa, in the “growing” economies of the developing world, or will it be in the last place to lose Credi to buy the Oil, likely the FSofA, home of the Printing Press of the Dollar and Home Base for the Big Ass Military? One thing is for certain, TPTB cannot allow the Demand to Crater entirely, because when it does (it will eventually of course), the entire monetary system they depend on to maintain power goes with it. The ULTIMATE demand side solution for this is full on WAR, and that of course is liekly to come down the pipe in the bye and bye.
Time will tell, but until the whole Geopolitical equation plays itself out, my bet is that no debt monetization undertaken by Da Fed will spark an HI in the Dollar during this period. There are too many other weaker players in the same game. The “Game” still has a few rounds to go in terms of competitive devaluations of the Major Currencies by each of the respective Central Banks, along with still more rounds of Austerity and Demand Destruction being embarked on by more Central Players, including France, Germany, and of course the FSofA.
Off the Keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner
T’was the night before Christmas, when across all the seas
Not a Doomer was stirring, not even RE.
The False Flags were in the MSM all over the place,
While Politicians mumbled their words of disgrace.
The Diners were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of Mad Max danced in their heads
WHD in his Red Afro Wig, and I in my hat
Had just settled in to watch Civilization go splat.
When out on the internet there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the Laptop to see what was the matter.
Over to Google I flew like some birds,
To type in Apocalypse and other Keywords.
The news on the net was like new fallen snow,
Flakes of disaster everywhere I would go.
Off with my wandering keyboard fingers I went to visit
Zero Hedge, Survival.com and 8 blowhard Collapse Pundits
The news was so bad I surfed ever faster,
searching wide to find the cause of disaster.
More rapid than Assault Rifle gunfire the news came on in,
Of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and all Human Sins.
Now Kunstler! Now Orlov! Now, McPherson and even Jim Quinn!
On Ruppert! On Gail! On, on Denninger and Steve from Virgin!
To TEOTWAWKI as we head for a mighty big fall!
Now Dash away, Dash Away! Dash away from it all!
As Mall Signs and Rooftops before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
Every keyboard was flying, calls of the end came everywhere
The Doomosphere was just chock full of despair.
And then in a twinkling, I read on the net
Illuminati across the Globe were begining to Sweat.
Bond spreads were wide, Futures were down,
Derivatives and CDOs were beginning to drown.
Gold bugs were Frantic, piles of Maple Leafs high to the sky,
While at Safeway and Walmart not a Twinkie to buy!
Preppers were loading their Glocks full of Lead,
Hoping to be the last of the Doomers left dead.
Permaculture raised beds and hydroponics were secured,
as Industrialization’s Ills could not be cured.
Heirloom Seeds in Nitrogen vaccuum packs were stored,
Ground floor windows were covered with 2×4 boards.
In Central Park all the OWSers set tents on the Grass,
the showdown with the NYPD would now come to pass.
The truckers rolled in and the Hell’s Angels too,
then the Longshoremen came in from out of the blue.
In CONgress the budget went over the Cliff,
while Obama said, “Hey, what’s the diff?
My Man Benny has the Inkjets all ready!”
No worries folks, the economy will stay steady.
In Brussels at the IMF the Eurocrats fumbled,
playing violins as the Euro crumbled.
In Japan the Sushi was glowing,
While Abe made sure those Yen kept on flowing.
In MENA the Drone Aircraft were flying,
with Women and Children doing most of the dying.
In the Straights of Hormuz Mines were placed to counter the Drones,
So all the tankers and carriers would be sent to Davey Jones.
In China the economy was rocking,
Ghost Cities and Bridges to Nowhere filled up their stockings.
Foxconn workers off factory rooftops went jumping,
While the Iphones out of the factory kept pumping.
The situation was dire, the whole world was on fire.
Everyone everywhere all caught in the mire.
The whole human race so utterly lost,
Happy Motoring and Industrialization exacting a terrible cost.
RE sprang to his keyboard to give the Diners some HOPE,
even though the world seems at the end of its rope.
They heard him exclaim, ‘ere the Internet went out of sight,
“Happy christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!”
Merry Christmas Diners!
“Violence is as American as cherry pie.” –H. Rap Brown
A personal reflection on yesterday’s events by Surly1. Discuss this article here.
This past summer, my daughter came over for dinner one summer night and brought a friend to meet. She made it clear her guest was not “that” sort of friend, but a person of value nonetheless. “Nathan” (not his real name) was a slight young man, with shoulder length hair and a bespectacled, quiet manner.
Nathan and I spent much of the evening in pleasant conversation, albeit I strained to hear much of his part of it. When he spoke, which wasn’t often, you had to listen intently: his words barely reverberated in a quiet room. He was a young man of unfinished dreams. He was interested in ideas. He was intensely curious. He spoke of going to St. John’s College in Annapolis, to pursue a curriculum based on the great books. He was the best man at a wedding that I photographed, for two other friends of my daughters’. Yet whether it was his own struggle with sexual ambiguity, or his relationship with his father, or a lack of the ability to dance to the music of the spheres, we will never know.
Before Thanksgiving of this year, Nathan took his own life.
Last weekend, the neighbor told me about the daughter of neighbors up the street (not known to me) who had likewise committed suicide.
Stories of the suicide of young people are all too frequent, and always deeply troubling. Every community, every news cycle, every day brings us a news about premature death stalks young people. And then, the news of December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut. We’re told that the shooter was intelligent, nerdy, a Goth, remote, autistic. We’re told he had Asberger’s. We’re told he might’ve suffered from a personality disorder. We’re told investigators seek the motives of this young man, who took his own life after shooting 28 people. We sit mesmerized by the blue light of evening talk programs and watch mental health professionals infer motives from the shooter’s reported actions, this in the absence of any other evidence. Sock puppet politicians gravely intone they are “shocked and saddened” by the days events, (a trope which should earn the next utterer a blow to the head with a seven-pound hammer.) We are told by that God did not protect the Connecticut shooting victims because prayer has been banned in schools. (This mouth breathing opportunist apparently went to the “never let a good crisis go to waste” school of public relations.) We are told that we have to have a big, principled discussion about gun control, as if that might actually be permitted to happen by Wayne LaPierre.
We are told repeatedly what to think. Never are we invited to ask questions. We never ask about the quality of life in the schools or in this rapidly declining country. We never discuss the future prospects of a generation. We never challenge our spending priorities. We never debate why we can spend billions overseas, most of it routed to the pockets of transnational corporations, but we can’t afford to build bridges or schools at home. And, most of all, we never discuss the irony of a Nobel Peace Prize winner dealing death from above via drones and a private kill list.
“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.” — D.H. Lawrence
The unwelcome convergence of suicides close to home with yesterday’s news has led some of us who still retain a capacity for outrage to wonder aloud, “what the hell is going on here?”
And then you realize that none of this matters.
Screams over the intercom, 28 dead. Another violent rampage. Dozens of shattered families. This on the heels of another shooting earlier in the week in Oregon, and right before police in Bartlesville, Oklahoma arrested an 18-year-old high school student who was planning a school-shooting massacre plot.
A road man for the Lords of Karma might observe the bitter harvest of a culture steeped and marinated in violence. Others might cite our moral vacuity. Had we any sense of history, or capacity to consider more than the next quarter’s earnings, we would behold a culture which, in the space of a generation, has embraced both torture and drone bombing of civilians as “business as usual.” (All justifiable in the name of the “war on terror”, citizen. Get used to it.) Others will, like clockwork, cite the absence the absence of God and the Bible. Others will cite the need for new gun laws. All will have a point.
None will examine the bloody, beating Heart of Darkness that is this rapacious, flesh eating capitalist monster that devours all in its path. Having taken homeowners’ houses, dreams and lives (Google the story of Norman Rousseau), we have now begun to devour our children. What better symbol for the end game of the financialization of all aspects of human endeavor, in which human beings are turned into “head count” and “human resources,” and hopes and dreams into profits and losses.
Can there be a more to-the-point indictment of the utter soullessness and moral bankruptcy of the American enterprise?
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
–William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 1 Scene 2
So much search for motive. We will not soon know the motives of this, or any shooter. What far shore of mind must a human being inhabit to take the life of another? And these incidences are happening more frequently. How many data plots do we need on our collective cognitive map to understand that there is something very wrong here, that goes beyond one or two disturbed teens? The rate of people killed by guns in the US is 19.5 times higher than similar high-income countries in the world. In the last 30 years since 1982, America has mourned at least 61 mass murders. There have been 27 such events–27– since Columbine.
In Virginia, we survived the slaughter at Virginia Tech several years ago. The good citizens of the Commonwealth were left to try to puzzle out that latest act of wanton violence that led to 33 deaths and many more injuries. The ensuing conversations led to a conclusion of mental disturbance on the part of the shooter, a period of solemn mourning, and a good week a discussion of the proper role of guns in the society, after which the issue was shelved, per usual. There was some discussion about the shooter being a “collector of injustices,” an assessment which may have come closer to the truth then the FBI might have realized.
If mass murder and suicide is the symptom, perhaps the disease needs a name. Authors such as Paul Levy and Jack D. Forbes have explored a psychological disease observed by indigenous peoples informing self-destructive behavior on the part of European-based peoples. Some call it wetiko, others “malignant egophrenia.”
Indigenous people have been tracking the same “psychic”virus that I call malignant egophrenia for many centuries and calling it “wetiko,” a Cree term which refers to a diabolically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others. Professor Forbes, who was one of the founders of the Native American movement during the early sixties, says, “Tragically, the history of the world for the past 2,000 years is, in great part, the story of the epidemiology of the wetiko disease.” Wetiko/malignant egophrenia is a “psychosis” in the true sense of the word as being a “sickness of the soul or spirit.” Though calling it by different names, Forbes and I are both pointing at the same illness of the psyche, soul and spirit that has been at the root of humanity’s inhumanity to itself.
Wetiko/malignant egophrenia is a disease of civilization, or lack thereof. To quote Forbes, “To a considerable degree, the development of the wetiko disease corresponds to the rise of what Europeans choose to call civilization. This is no mere coincidence.”[vi] The unsustainable nature of industrial civilization is based on, and increasingly requires violence to maintain itself. Genuine “civilization,” in essence, means not killing people. Referring to the lack of “civility” in modern society, Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilization and responded by saying, “I think it would be a good idea.” It makes sense that native people would know about malignant egophrenia, as they were both oppressed by, but weren’t, at least initially, under the “curse” of modern civilization. Being under the sway of modern civilization can feel like something foreign to our nature is being imposed upon us, as if we are living in an occupied land. Modern civilization suffers from the overly one-sided dominance of the rational, intellectual mind, a one-sidedness that seemingly dis-connects us from nature, from empathy, and from ourselves. Due to its disassociation from the whole, wetiko is a disturber of the peace of humanity and the natural world, a sickness which spawns aggression and is capable of inciting violence amongst living beings. The wetiko virus is the root cause of the inhumanity in human nature, or shall we say, our seemingly inhuman nature. This “psychic virus,” a “bug” in “the system,” in-forms and animates the madness of so-called civilization, which, in a self-perpetuating feedback loop feeds the madness within ourselves.
Whether new age or old, literature informs us of the danger within. As we wage slaves scrape a living from the gears of the machine, in order to earn the privilege of additional consumption of things we don’t need, we often rub up against that within us that stops us from expressing our full potential and whatever creative genius might lie within. Is that “herd think,” that groupthink that enlists us in endless cooperation, and co-optation, and that leads us to a slaughter? It may be that these shooters are merely a physical manifestation of the psychic horrors that are embedded in our morally bankrupt culture.
“We have a companion for life…We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The predator is our lord and master.” Don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda
There are echoes of this in the Bible as well. The Gospel of John refers to the devil as “the ruler of this world” (14:30; 16:11), and Paul speaks of Satan as “the god of this world” (Cor. 4:4). The Gnostic Gospel of Phillip, talking about the root of evil that lies within all of us, makes the similar point that unless this evil is recognized, “It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive.” (II, 3, 83.5-30)
Many chafe at the lessons of biblical Christianity. Yes only the blind and deaf could possibly fail to see the existence and the works of capital E Evil in the world. If evil exists, good must logically exist as well. If the devil exists, and his existence can be inferred from his works, then God must exist.
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
— Revelation 6:1-2˄ NIV
So we continue to search for answers. But that search will be in vain as long as we fail to acknowledge the reality and the consequences of this way of life, a dreamscape of horror inseparable from our ego and our own inner being. The wetiko “cannibal” culture is destroying us; as we militarize and financial lives, extract the last drop of oil, poison the aquifers and eat food manufactured by pesticide companies, the wave of suicides and shootings remind us of the culture of death that invests all of us. Our young people are being sacrificed to Mammon at an escalating rate: several dozen this week alone. Mammon is hungry. What we fail to realize is that we are offering our own children up for sacrifice. There is no difference between “theirs” and “mine.”
In Revelation, we are told that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are released after the Lamb of God opens the first four of the seven seals on the scroll in God’s right hand. This action summons forth four beings on white, red, black, and pale horses symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, which visit a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment. Perhaps the shooters in these serial killings constitute a Fifth Horseman, a herald of sorts, announcing the coming of the promised Four, and the End of Days.
If wetiko is baked into our beings as a legacy, stemming from the “original sin” of agriculture and “dominion over all things,” then our challenge, and our work, will be to determine what it is that we do about it. Which is hte work of this website. It is quite clear that we are almost out of time.
Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner
Discussions in the Panarchy & One-t0-the-Many thread inside the Diner brought up an old topic, Categories of Doom which paint various different pictures for the Future of Homo Sapiens on Earth, if the species has one at all that lasts past Mid-Century or so. Just about every Doomer out there has carved out for themselves the Projected Future they either think will occur or would like to occur. In essence, this is Science Fiction, because none of us really KNOW how it is going to play itself out, you just extrapolate on trends and ideas you have to try to imagine the Future.
Going back to my writings on The Burning Platform blogging with Jim Quinn, in my Frosbite Falls Daily Rant I developed a basic breakdown between the two most prevalent Doomer Types writing in the Collapse Blogosphere, Full Doomers and Doom Liters. To get an idea of the differing attitudes these two groups have on the crucial questions of collapse, I created a comparative table.
|Dollar & Monetary System||We can fix the monetary system and rehabilitate the Dollar if we STOP PRINTING, feed Helicopter Ben to the Lions, Slash Spending, allow TBTF Banks to FAIL, Incarcerate the Criminal Banksters and use Precious Metals to underpin the currency.||The monetary system cannot be rehabilitated by any means, there will be a complete collapse of ALL Fiat money and financial instruments and commerce will for quite some time be mainly Barter. PMs will only retain value in areas where there is a surplus of basic commodities.|
|Inflation, Hyper-Inflation, Deflation, Stagflation, DICK UP YOUR ASSFLATION||WTF CARES ANYMORE? WE ARE TOAST NO MATTER HOW IT COLLAPSES.AGREEMENT||WTF CARES ANYMORE? WE ARE TOAST NO MATTER HOW IT COLLAPSES.AGREEMENT|
|Energy||To resolve our Energy problems, we must IMMEDIATELY begin building more Nukes, Drill Baby Drill for more Local Oil and build more Hydro Plants and Wind Farms, and eventually pick up the slack from lost energy from Imported Oil sources.||Lost Energy from depleted Oil is Irreplaceable and it is far too late to stop an extensive Power Down throughout society which will halt most of our Transportation methods and bring down the Electrical Grid. Our only choice is to prepare for a Low Energy footprint in the future.|
|Goobermint||We can fix Da Goobermint if we Vote Out all the scumbag CONgress Critters and replace them with Honest Politicians who cannot be Bought who all demonstrate the Wisdom of the Founding Fathers and abide by the Constitution. Said new Goobermint will be made much smaller with fewer Regulations and less Taxation, allowing Commerce to revive as the Free Market takes over.||Da Goobermint is inherently unfixable and corrupt and cannot be rehabilitated via the Ballot Box. Only a Revolution can remove the current power structure, and the results of a Revolution will likely bring a new Goobermint as bad or WORSE than the current one. The failure of the monetary sytem and energy systems will eventually render all large scale Goobermints unable to function, with the power vacuum filled by local Warlords and Dictators in most places.|
|Jobs||We must stop the offshoring of Productive Jobs and rebuild our Manufacturing Base in order to build an export based Mercantilist economy with a Trade Surplus.||The Industrial Model is FINISHED, even if we could rebuild Factories here in the FSofA, we wouldn’t have the Oil to run them anyhow, and there won’t be anyone here or abroad who could afford the products we build with them anyhow, because of the upward spiraling cost of energy measured in EROEI.|
|Immigration||We must Seal the Borders and deport all Illegal Aliens and get FSofA Citizens to work at all the scut jobs at below Minimum Wage they currently fill to reduce Unemployment and reduce the liabilities of Aliens who are soaking up free Medical Care in the Emergency Rooms of our Hospitals.||We can TRY to seal the borders and deport the Illegal Aliens, but they will just be replaced by more home grown Citizens who are falling off the economic cliff and will be just as big a drain on the Medical System. Besides that, at least on the Border with Mejico, it will likely create an ever growing Shooting War with a Tsunami of Wetbacks seeking to escape an even worse situation in Mejico.|
|Imperialism & Foreign Wars||We must STOP trying to be the World’s Policeman, bring all our Boys & Girls HOME and reduce the outrageous COST of maintaining the Big Ass Military.||As soon as we STOP running all our Imperialist adventures, we will basically be CUT OFF from the Foreign Oil still making its way across the Sea Lanes to our Refineries. We also will crash just about the only type of “productive” thing we build here anymore, which are the Weapons of War and we will bring back a whole new crew of people to put on the Unemployment line.|
|Free Shit Army & 30 Blocks of Squalor||We must end all transfer payments, all Welfare, Social Security and Medicaire which are all unfunded Liabilities we cannot afford. Former Welfare recipients will be FORCED to go back to work and become Productive Citizens rather than Useless Eaters. Old Folks will rely on their Savings and their Extended Families to take care of them in their dotage.||The minute we knock down all these social support mechanisms is the minute we turn into Egypt or Libya or all the rest of the 3rd World countries where the people with Nothing Left to Lose go BERSERK. We don’t HAVE jobs these people could do, even if they were qualified to do any job, which they are not for the most part. Most Old Folks have no savings, and the Extended Family died back in the 1950s for the most part. The Medical Industry as a whole would COLLAPSE without Goobermint input, putting the Doctors, Nurses and Medical Records folks on the UE lines also.|
|China will succeed long term because they are net creditors, have most of the Industrial infrastructure and have more Science and Math geniuses studying at Elite Universities.||China is TOAST because of outrageous Population Overshoot, a depleted Water Supply, insufficient arable land and insufficient local supplies of remaining Fossil Fuel energy.|
|Boomers should be EXTERMINATED||Pigmen should be EXTERMINATED|
While this table provides a good basic understanding of the differing perspectives you see in the Doom-o-Sphere, it doesn’t break down a couple of other important categories you see all the time on the net now, the Cornucopians who have confidence our Civilization will be salvaged and perpetuated at least, if not go on to Star Trekking the Universe through Technological Innovation and new Renewable Sources of Energy. Nor does it cover the Uber-Doomers, who believe we are on the road to an Extinction Level Event rivaling the Permian Extinction which occurred 282 Million Years Ago.
Even those additional Categories though do not express the great range of ideas for the Projected Future of Homo Sapiens if this turns out NOT to be an ELE. There are many more of these Sub-Categories, and in this post I am going to identify a few of them, along with their attributes and some of their main proponents here on the web in a few cases.
I will start with the main category of Cornucopians, those who have the most positive outlook on the Future for Homo Sapiens. They fall into 2 main Sub-Categories, Techno-Utopians and Amish-Fusion Utopians.
Techno-Utopians or Jetsons
The TU Sub-Group includes those who believe forms of Conventional Nuclear Energy such as Thorium Fission Reactors can be applied to resolve the energy problem, along with those who believe various forms of Renewable Energy might be applied to do the same thing. There are other more speculative TUs who consider the possibilities of Fusion Power or Zero-Point Energy as arriving in time to salvage Industrial Civilization. This group is also nicknamed Jetsons.
The AFU Sub-Group genrally covers the Greenies in the Transition Towns movement. You can see this represented well on the pages of Transition Voice, edited by Erik & Lindsay Curren. The AFU Model incorporates many “Green” forms of Renewable Energy collection such as Wind and Hydro together with small towns that overall use a localized form of Agriculture more or less on the 18th Century model. Industries such as Clothing Production as well as Food Production are all Local, but we also still maintain the high technology of the Internet and Computers and Communications.
Doom Lite is the next Major Category, probably the largest one overall in terms of numbers amongst Doomers, though they may still be outnumbered by Cornucopians. There is quite a bit of crossover between Doom Lite and Cornucopians, they tend to differ most in terms of their views on the Politics, Economics and Overshoot/Die-Off questions. Under the Doom Lite category you find the Brave New Worlders, Rail & Sailers and Transition Townies.
Brave New Worlders
BNWs have one of the most depressing views of the Future, the Fascist Boot Stomping on the Face of Humanity FOREVER view. They include a vast variety of Conspiracy Theorists who believe Illuminati/Zionist/Aliens or some variant will enslave most of the Human Population, chip everybody with Tracking Implants and run the world in perpetuity as a Satanic Playground. You could place this subgroup under Full Doom also, but since it supposes that the Ubermeisters will retain a high level of technology and standard of living for themselves while the remaining population lives in squalor, it is not really Full Doom. You don’t find many Bloggers that are BNWs, but MANY commenters. Quasi-Diner PO1 shows up periodically on the Diner to express BNW viewpoints, El Gallinazo here also. On Peak Oil I ran into a BNW Plubius and Flash expressed this viewpoint often on TBP. My fellow Admins on the Diner Surly and Peter also express BNW viewpoints periodically.
Rail & Sailers
R&S folks have a more Upbeat view than the BNWs do of Doom Lite. They crossover quite a bit with the Cornucopian Amish-Fusion crowd, the main difference is that R&S Lite Doomers do realize that these technologies cannot support the current 7 Billion ambulant Homo Sapiens and that a significant Die Off event will need to take place before this can work again. In this paradigm, a smaller population close to the numbers that existed around the early 19th Century will reinvent the world of Sail and Rail transportation, with the best off of them living somewhat like the Founding Fathers who wrote the FSofA Constitution lived. I would put Jimmy Kunstler, Dmitri Orlov and Steve from Virginia from Economic Undertow into this category
TTs crossover with R&S, just the focus is different for TTs. These Doom Liters look for a future of many small Independent and Self-Sufficient communities, where all Food Prodcution and Manufacturing is Local, done by Craftsmen rather than in large factories. Assuming all production can be made Local, they don’t really need the Rail or the Sail to make the paradigm work. Again, Lindsay and Erik Curren on Transition Voice are prime examples of TTs, so you can view them either as Cornucopians or Doom Liters. They aren’t real clear where they stand on the Die-Off question, basically they prefer not to cnosider it on their blogthemselves for the most part. Though they do Publish Guy McPherson so they aren’t unaware of Die Off scenarios.
The TT Model represents a Utopian Verision of the Feudal Town v 2.0 with an Upgrade to the 21st Century, with Blacksmiths and Cobblers and Weavers in a small town surrounded by Small Farms with the Farmers trading their Produce for the Manufactured Goods the Townie Craftsmen produce in a self-contained and independent economy.
I break down Full Doomers into 4 Main Sub-categories Eloi-Morlock Techno Slavers, Mad Maxers, Pharoahs and Flintstones. All FDs have in common that they see a VAST knockdown of the population of Homo Sapiens by at least 90% of current population if not more. All though also stop short of predicting an Extinction Level Event, which is the provincce of the Uber Doomer crowd. There aren’t any Major Bloggers who are FD, the closest probably is Gail from Our Finite World, but in her articles she publishes on MSM websites she always stops short of predicting FD, it is only inside the Commentary of her own Blog you can glean that Gail is FD. There are numerous smaller bloggers who are FD, Peter Michael Bauer from Urban Scout is one, I am another one. The Survivalists also provide FD perspectives, and some of them have pretty successful blogs like John Wesley Rawlings, and actually these days Brandon Smith of Alt-Market appears to fit this category also.
This subcategory represents BNWs on Steroids. These folks figure that the Illuminati/Zionist/Aliens are ENGINEERING purposefully a Massive Die-off by the prescription of the Georgia Guidestones, knocking down the population of Homo Sapiens to around 500M Human Souls they will enslave in perpetuity. The Category Title comes from H.G. Wells Time Machine, where you had creepy and disgusting Morlocks raping sweet innocent Weenas every time they exited from their Underground Bunkers. There aren’t many major Bloggers in this category, though with his Debt Slavery ideas in the past, Ashvin Pandurangi of The Automatic Earth (who also contributes here as a Diner) might have been categorized this way. More recently he fits into the Uber Doomer Sub-Category of Fundies though.
MMs are ubiquitous in the Doomer Blogosphere, they are all the Survivalists like John Wesley Rawlings who prognosticate a future filled with Zombies and Cannibals and Rambo-like Survivalists battling it out with them with Ar-15s, RPGs, IEDs, Poison Darts, Tiger Traps…you name it here. LOL. The Children of Men all battle it out in the Thunderdome for the Final Control over a post-Apocalyptic Civilization. It is none to clear in this scenario how anybody actually makes it out ALIVE, so you could call it a Lead Up to Uber Doom rather than Full Doom, but I dropped it in here under the FD category on the wild assumption a few Raging Maniacs and Warlords could manage to survive the Zero Point.
The Pharoah Sub-Group is kind of an extension of the Illuminati/Zionist/Alien paradigm Reverse Engineered back past Feudalism to Ancient Egyptian society. In this case, you have full tilt Agrarian Slaves working the land while a few Pharoahs live a pretty good life comparatively to their Slaves, but there is virtually no technology around that makes it all that much different other than the fact they are better fed and have to work less.
Primitivists or Flintones
The Flintstones Sub-Group of Full Doomers are those folks who see an inexorable spin down of the few remaining Homo Sapiens to Paleolithic living standards. Stone Age technology for the most part, some Horticulture/Permaculture but no mass Agriculture and remarkabley few Homo Sapiens wandering the Earth, perhaps 1 Million or so at most if a decent portion of the Earth is not Poisoned by Nukes and Climate Change doesn’t completely wipe out current Ecosystems. Again, no major Bloggers in this category, though there are some theoreticians like Richard Duncan who proposed the original Olduvai Hypothesis back in the 90s. Minor Bloggers I know of in this category are Peter Michael Bauer and myself.
The final Main Category of Uber Doomers I break down to Eco-Doomers, 4 Horsemen, and Fundies. They all kind of overlap, just the Focus of each group is different.
This sub-category focuses on the Climatic Changes which most of them believe are resultant from the increasing Carbon Dioxide content of the atmosphere, which they also generally attribute to he burning of Fossil Fuels over the last 2 Centuries for the most part. Said EDs believe we have already passed an IRREVERSIBLE TIPPING POINT toward Global Warming that will render just about all life on earth above the level of the Tardigrades to be unsustainable. A COMPLETE COLLAPSE of the Ecosystem is IMMINENT, inside the next Century at the outside, perhaps less time left than that befor we are ALL DEAD. Chief Blogosphere proponent of this idea would be Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last..
This sub-category of focuses on the varying ways Homo Sapiens are Engineering their own Extinction through the Biblical methods of Famine, Plague, War & DEATH. If you think that we are all going to the Great Beyond resultant from Global Thermonuclear War, Pandemics of Bird Flu, Crop Failures due to Drought or Floods or just distribution problems of the Herding of mass numbers of the Impoverished into Death Camps for Recycling in the Human Waste Reprocessing Facility in San Antonio, you fit the sub-category of a 4 Horseman.
These Uber Doomers look to the Bible as the main source for prediction of the Final Solution for Evil on Earth, mainly Christian Deonominations but there are some others also who Fundamentally believe that God will take retribution on the Sins of Humanity, take a few True Believers into Everlasting Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven and send everybody else to Everlasting Torment Burning in the Fire and Brimstone of HELL. Various scenarios are painted of Angels and Demons descending from Heaven to go Mano-a-Mano here on Earth, and the end result is none to good for ANYBODY who wasn’t a True Believer before TSHTF. You can find this viewpoint on many Christian Fundy websites, and as mentioned previously, Ashvin Pandurangi of The Automatic Earth and Picturing Christ now subscribes to this general rubric as defined by the Biblical Prophets.
Handicapping the End Game
Once you have all these Categories and Sub-Categories defined, you can first decide which one best suits your personality and belief structure, then you can go looking for websites and books which bolster this POV. I can assure you, whichever one you pick you will be able to find some scientist or historian or anthropologist with research to back it up and make it sound credible. Even the Fundies hire up Scientists to “prove” the Biblical Apocalypse and Second Coming of Christ scenario is literal truth.
Once you have carved out your Niche in Doomer Space, you can go out to various Blogs and Forums like the Diner here and discuss TEOTWAWKI as a card-carrying Doomer with the rest of the Doomers haunting such places. The goal of course is to figure out which one of these Sci-Fi Scenarios will work out to be the REAL FUTURE? Which one is MOST LIKELY? Based on this, how do you PLAN, and how should you Hedge against alternatative scenarios in the event the outcome you predict as most likely doesn’t win the Apocalypse Horse Race?
Of course as new evidence comes in and circumstances evolve the Odds change, but right now RE the Alaska Doom Bookie handicaps the 4 Major Categories with the following odds:
Cornucopia 10:1 Doom Lite 5:1
Full Doom 2:1 Uber Doom 5:1
This is ideal odds-making which doesn’t leave any Vigorish for the House, so if I was really Bookmaking this I would jigger the odds a bit so I couldn’t lose. In my Odds, there is a 50% likelihood for the Full Doom outcome, 20% each for Doom Lite and Uber Doom, and 10% for Cornucopian.
Breaking down the Odds inside the Full Doom Category is a bit harder. You also have to deal with Timelines on this one, since I sure don’t think we will be going Flintstones Overnight here. The fastest track to Flintstones would incorporate a period of Mad Max, which COULD occur close to overnight with failure of JIT food delivery to the Big Shities. Slower tracks to Flinstones come with the other FD categories which could persist quite a while, and if any of the Doom Lite scenarios gain some traction then Flintstones is probably a long way off. However, over a timeline say a century or two long, I’d bet on Flintstones as most likely Final Outcome.
Since none of us will live THAT long though, you might consider it a better bet to Hedge for one of the other scenarios before heading out into the Bush to go the Full Primitive. Perhaps prepare yourself to be a good Apparatchik of the Fascist State, or learn techniques for managing large scale Feudal Farms with Animal and Human Labor. Old Horseman who Dines with us occassionally seems to hedge in this direction mostly.
On the Independence level however, if you can prepare yourself for Rewilding and you can get yourself to a sufficiently REMOTE area to do it, it provides the best level of overall personal security. I support this paradigm most in my writings, although I am fully aware that trying to make a go of it out in the wilderness anywhere it still exists is a very low survival percentage endeavor for most people. Low as it is though, it is likely quite a bit higher survival percentage than anyone caught inside the Big Shities the Day After JIT collapses. Wait a day too long to make your Bugout, it’s going to be Dog Eat Dog in those places. Or really more explicitly stated, Human Eats Human. A situation you definitely want to avoid if you possibly can.
Anyhow, Best of Luck to all the Diners with their choices and paradigms to negotiate the ZERO POINT, the End of Industrial Civilization and the Age of Oil, TEOTWAWKI.
Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Frostbite Falls Insider Table inside the Diner
Recently Diner Phillip Farruggio put up an article Sins of the Empire here on the Diner expressing his dismay at the inexorable collapse of the Public Library system he grew up with, and came to love for the vast amount of information and knowledge it brought to him from his earliest years. Pretty much since Homo Sapiens began the Civilization Journey, the collection of Knoweldge into Libraries has been of inestimable value in making it possible for those Civilizations to continue onward. The fact that our Library system is now in terminal decay is probably as good a Canary in the Coal Mine as any to let the Collapse Watcher know that our Civilization also is now bound for the Dustbin of History.
The best known destruction of Knowledge gathered from Antiquity came with the Burning of the Great Library of Alexandria, which at its Peak of Knowledge Base probably contained near 1 Million Scrolls of inestimable length gathered throughout the Ancient World. From Wikipedia:
The Royal Library of Alexandria, or Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was the largest and most significant library of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The library was conceived and opened either during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (323–283 BC) or during the reign of his son Ptolemy II (283–246 BC).
Plutarch (AD 46–120) wrote that during his visit to Alexandria in 48 BC Julius Caesar accidentally burned the library down when he set fire to his own ships to frustrate Achillas‘ attempt to limit his ability to communicate by sea. After its destruction, scholars used a “daughter library” in a temple known as the Serapeum, located in another part of the city.
Intended both as a commemoration and an emulation of the original, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2002 near the site of the old library.
In his seminal PBS Documentary and Book Cosmos, Carl Sagan expressed as his First Choice of places he would go visit if he had Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine would have been the Great Library at Alexandria before it got Torched.
In this segment of Cosmos, Carl points toward tantalizing evidence that Aristarchus of Samothrace developed a Heliocentric Theory of the Solar System long before Copernicus, just none of the Math involved in deducing this structure exists anymore. How did he come up with that theory? Far as we know, these Ancients had no Telescopes, nor did they have the Calculus either. How did they make their Observations, how did they do their Calculations to come up with these results?
Diner William Hunter Duncan speculated in Phillip’s thread that perhaps in this great destruction of Collected Knowledge, the evidence of still earlier Civilizations such as Atlantis may have been destroyed as well.
Watching that video from Carl Sagan, I’m reminded that I’m pretty well certain there was an advanced sea-faring culture existing before the great flood, before the so-called rise of agriculture. I believe there were maps in that library that detailed the geography of Antarctica, before it was covered by ice. I think it was a culture that mastered Science and Magic, and what little evidence existed of it, the worshippers of OMOG wiped away, in their mandate to wipe away all non-OMOG sanctioned knowledge. It is something of a bitter irony then, that we would know nothing of the Classical era of Greece and Rome if not for the OMOG inspired mendicants, the transcribers of books among the Men of God.
If the trajectory plays out like it appears it will, ten thousand years from now, people will know as little about us as we do about “Atlantis.”
Did the Great Library at Alexandria contain evidence of the Lost Civilization of Atlantis? Perhaps it did, but it is something we will never know. All we do know for sure is that a VAST amount of collected knowledge was lost in the destruction of this Library, and it took Millenia for some of it to be rediscovered or reinvented. Essentially with the loss of such vast amounts of collected knowledge, on an Intellectual level it marks the End of a Civilization.
It is worthwhile to note here that the primary dates involved in the destruction of this Great Library came RIGHT around the same time Jesus Christ hit the scene spreading His Gospel. Clearly at this Period in Human History, there was tremendous Dislocation going on, much as there is today. A part of that dislocation is the destruction of collected knowledge in Libraries, which can occur quite RAPIDLY. Although it appears that the TOTAL DESTRUCTION of the Alexandria Library did not occur in a single Burning, given the great changes underway during the rule of Julius Caesar, it is fair to surmise that a great portion of this destruction of knowledge took place in 48BC, quite near to the date of the birth of Jesus Christ:
Ancient and modern sources identify four possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria: Julius Caesar‘s fire in the Alexandrian War, in 48 BC; the attack of Aurelian in 270 – 275 AD; the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in AD 391; and the Muslim conquest in 642 AD or thereafter
The fact that the Destruction of the Greatest Library of the Ancient World was DESTROYED at precisely the same Era in History that The Greatest Story Ever Told began its Journey is either a Coincidence of Epic Proportions, or else the two phenomenon are related, and I would say the latter case would appear to be the more likely one.
Without Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine it is impossible to know in absolute terms the level of Dislocation the Civilization ruled by Rome was undergoing in the Century from 50BC to 50AD, but the fact that you had this level of knowledge destruction AND the rise of a new Prophet at the same indicates to me that there was tremendous upheaval, of the sort we appear to be coming into now. The fact said Prophet “arrived” on the scene shortly after the Library Burning can be seen as indicative of how such Collapses play themselves out on the psycho-social level. When all you knew and held to be TRUE is destroyed, it opens the door for a new way of thinking and Charismatic Leaders of all sorts can arise in such times.
Is the destruction of the Great Lbrary at Alexandria the ONLY instance in Antiquity we have some knowledge of? No, another one was recorded as well in the first years of Writing, the Collapse of the Tower of Babel. In this one as Legend Goes, after the Tower Collapsed, the people dispersed, many different languages arose and nobody could communicate with each other anymore. Was the “Language” these stories were speaking of really Verbal or Written Words, or was it MATHEMATICS & MONEY?
In a thread I began way back in October of 2008 on Peak Oil, I discussed the ramifications of the destruction of that other Ancient Historical Information plant, the Tower of Babel:
by ReverseEngineer » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:17 am
Reviewing as I have been Ancient History for parallels with what we see going on today, one Ancient Civilization collapse I always had trouble understanding and believing now is coming more clear to me as a parable. That would be the Fall Of Babylon and the destruction of the Tower of Babel.
From Wikepedia:According to the biblical account, Babel was a city that united humanity, all speaking a single language and migrating from the east; it was the home city of the great king Nimrod, and the first city to be built after the Great Flood. The people decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have “its top in the heavens.” However, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship and praise of God, but was dedicated to the glory of man, with a motive of making a ‘name’ for the builders “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’” – Genesis 11:4. God seeing what the people were doing, gave each person a different language to confuse them and scattered the people throughout the earth.
Now first off in my old analysis, just how could a Tower falling down instantly render people unable to communicate with each other? This seems impossible if you take it at face value as describing verbal language, but what if you take it to mean a Reserve Currency to which all things are linked in their value?
What happens when the Dollar loses its meaning entirely? Then ALL the traders can’t talk to each other anymore, it about instantly renders it impossible to communicate in the world of trade.
The first obvious parallel here would be the Crashing Down of the World Trade Center in NYC, a “tower so immense it would have its top in the Heavens”. However, the more important tower that is crashing down is the intricately connected system of world markets. Its rapidly becoming apparent that traders cannot talk to each other in a common language, and so international trade is grinding to a halt. Now each country has “a different language to confuse them and scattered the people throughout the earth.” We are of course all scatterred, and each individual locale now has to come up with its own monetary language to begin trading internally again. The Confusion here is clearly apparent as well.
Some very interesting tidbits in this story that have some relevance to today’s Tower of Babel collapse:
The building of the Tower was meant to bid defiance not only to God, but also to Abraham, who exhorted the builders to reverence. The passage mentions that the builders spoke sharp words against God, not cited in the Bible, saying that once every 1,656 years, heaven tottered so that the water poured down upon the earth, therefore they would support it by columns that there might not be another deluge.
If you Google up the collapse of the Roman Empire, it actually occured in 352 AD (2008-1656=352) when the Empire fractured between Constantinius II and Magnentius.
Coincidence? Perhaps. However, that is one pretty big coincidence if you ask me. Interesting how the Geopolitics seem to replay themselves on the interval of every 1656 years.
The collapse of the Mesopotamian Civilization is SYMBOLIZED by the Collapse of the Tower of Babel, much as the Collapse of the Roman Republic and it’s transformation to Empire is symbolized by the Burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. Informational or Economic, essentially they represent the same things, CENTRALIZED SYSTEMS of Knowledge which essentially were no longer WORKING. Lots of collected information, but its COMPLEXITY for the given time period was too much for that Civilization to support anymore. It takes vast ENERGY to support Complexity, that is basic Thermodynamics and on a social level well documented by Joseph Tainter as well.
In the original discussion on this topic in the Collapse of an Economic Tower of Babel Thread on the Peak Oil Forum, we discussed how this played out on an Economic Level for Rome, as besides destroying their Cultural and Intellectual heritage, they also debased and destroyed their Monetary System as well:
Ayame wrote:Yes indeed. In the ‘Collapse of Complex Socities’ there is a detailed analysis of the collapse of the roman empire and the end was not pretty. When the empire first began expanding the roman citizen started out with not having to pay any taxes because of all the booty they were pillaging from conquered nations. However, at the end roman citizens were forced to sell their children in order to pay their taxes. The government was bankrupt through monetary debasement. Most romans openly welcomed the invading barbarians because of the liberation they would bring from the overwhelming taxes of the empire.
Assuming you take this model as applicable to what we see today, it brings up the question of the way the actual mechanics of currency debasement will function insofar as our military and social structures are concerned.
Mixing base metals with Silver in Roman coinage would be the equivalent of Ben firing up the digital printing press in our own civilzation. So at some point here if the analogy holds true, the currency won’t be sufficient to pay the army. My question to the members here would be just how long they think the military will hold up in unified form as the currency debasement works its way through the various levels of the economy?
In Roman times, I think this took quite some time to happen, certainly at least decades, possibly to a few hundred years depending on when you want to pin down the actual Fall of the Empire. However, the Romans did not have computers, the internet or the instantaneous transmission of digital wealth either.
How long before a Solider’s Paycheck in today’s Empire is no longer sufficient to feed the soldier’s family, and then no longer sufficient to feed the soldier himself? Clearly Iceland is going down VERY rapidly, I don’t think the Juggernaut that is the US goes down that fast, but neither do I think the system holds up decades or longer.
How long does it take for the military to cease to function as a unified force?
I think you can see here how these two phenomenon, that of Information Destruction and that of Monetary System Collapse both work together in Synergy as a Civilization approaches its Collapse Phase, and BOTH indicators are apparent here and now, both in the progressive currency debasement being undertaken by the Central Banks in order to perpetuate a failing system, as well as the inexorable destruction of the Public Library system Phlllip Farrugio wrote about here on the Diner.
In many respects, you can make analogies between the Tower of Babel Collapse and the Collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. This represented the physical destruction of an edifice constructed specifically for the purpose of Centralizing and Directing World Trade, and in the aftermath of that destruction there has been progressive and inexorable unwinding of the Monetary System it was built to represent. However, the collapse of those Towers did not result in an Instantaneous Monetary System Collapse, this is Ongoing. Likely also true is that when the Original Tower of Babel collapsed, it took years if not Generations for all of its effects to reverberate through that Civilization.
Pops wrote:Sorry for crapping on your thread RE, now I owe you an actual reply.
I’ll take the military question, since the US outspends the rest of the world combined on it’s military and since the most basic function of a government is to protect the borders I think it will be a very long time before the military will cease to function.Not to say we will always be the predominate force, Portugal, Spain, Briton all had their time at the top and eventually overreached. We may be approaching or at our peak as well, as we run out of land to plunder – just as they did.
My guess our military will take either of two courses as the budget shrinks; either less technology (more boots and less bandwidth) or more (fewer boots and more UAVs and joysticks) depending on the mood of the public and the tactics of whoever the enemy.Who knows, soldiers may someday again be expected to cook their own food and clean their own latrines.
Apology accepted, no hard feelings.
Agreed, the US by far outspends the rest of the world on the military infrastructure, and I would certainly postulate at the moment has by far the best military out there in training and equipment. Same could be said of Rome of course.
Also, I would consider it likely that as the economy spins downward and we get further problems related to the society basically coming apart at the seams that still more of the scarce resources will be thrown at the military to try to keep it together.
The problem I see besides currency debasement is an absolute numbers problem. We have X number of Professional soldiers, a good part of that crew currently deployed in what have to be considered losing theatres of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Very high price to project out that much military force that far.
As TPTB perceive more and more local problems, they seek to ignore Posse Comitas and deploy soldiers here on the home turf, but unless they conscript up and train in a mighty big hurry, they are short numbers even to resolve potential rioting in a city like Atlanta, much less handle multiple problems in multiple cities.
Any newby soldiers they do conscript up and hand Rifles to are not the professionally Brainwashed soldiers they might need to fire willy nilly on a crowd of protesters. About guaranteed these units are not well logistically supplied also, if what happenned to the National Guard units around Houston after Ike hit is any indicator.
With tax receipts falling like a stone, with the Federal Government now placed in the position of not only bailing out private banks but also STATES that don’t have money for their budgets, for just how long can Ben just print up fiat money to pay for more soldiers to keep order here?
I fail to see how even the best trained and best equipped military to ever walk the face of the earth holds together once the results of the currency debasement really take hold. How long does that process TAKE?
Best case scenario, I think MAYBE 2-3 years? Just a guess though. I’m wondering if anyone could try an analysis of the military economics relative to the projected tax receipts and the effects of non-stop printing of fiat money? You would have to have access to more numbers than I know where to find on the net, if they are available at all. However some here seem to have a real fine ability to dig up these sort of numbers.
BOY WAS I WRONG! LOL. At least on the Timeline level anyhow, the general prognosis remains correct. This thread went down on Peak Oil in 2008 at the HEIGHT of the Crash at that time, in fact the very month that Hank the Skank Paulson was pitching DOOM at CONgress if they didn’t let him fire off the BAZOOKA. 4 years later, Da Military is still getting Paid with Da Dollars by Da Goobermint, and said Dollars are STILL buying Oil!
Can we now look at the progress here to make some better estimations on Timelines? Is there a relationship between the Information Destruction and Monetary Collapse that can help us?
The Burning of the Great Library at Alexandria was essentially an OVERNIGHT event, at least the portion that was burned by Julius Caesar anyhow. This apparently just preceeded the arrival of Jesus Christ on the scene, which would likely occur when the Civilization had reached its greatest stress point. This is just interpreting the arrival of Christ as a Social Phenomena rather than a Trancendental one of the arrival of the Son of God on Earth.
Does the gradual defunding and Closure of our Paper Book Public Libraries signify an overnight event? No, this is just a gradual deterioration of the system, and could go on for a long time. The Main Branch of the NYC Public Library system remains Open, and so does the Library of Congress and so do the Stacks at Low Library on the Campus of Columbia University, my Alma Mater. So you still do have these vast repositories of Knowledge bound up on Paper that remain in existence, and at least so far nobody has set the Torch to them.
However, are these Paper Book Libraries REALLY where the Store of Information is held that keeps this Civilization running now? No, they are not. The place where most of this stuff is stored now is in Virtual Space, in Digital form on Computers and Hard Drives all over the world, all connected up into a Network we know as the INTERNET, or the World Wide Web.
Unlike the Books now sprinkled around in many Libraries in many places which cannot be destroyed all at once in a Fire like in the Alexandria Library Fire, the Internet can go down as fast or even faster than that Library did. In fact it can crash at the Speed of Light, or very close to it.
The vast quantity of knowledge now searchable with the Google Search engine all essentially DISAPPEARS as soon as Google goes offline, or just limits what you can search down, which in fact they already do. The vast video library now available on You Tube (where I pulled the Cosmos and Tainter videos from) becomes unavailable as soon as Bandwidth gets limited, which it will in the not too distant future because the costs both in monetary terms and energy terms for providing so much bandwidth to so many people are unaffordable, and of course have been financed up on irredeemable debt.
Bad as the loss of any of that is as far as free access to the Information running this Civilization goes though, it doesn’t have the rapid destructive effect that will occur when (not if) the Super Computers running the Trading Bourses all over the world like the NYSE and the Hang Sei and Nikkei lose their ability to communicate trades all over the Globe instantaneously. If there is any Definable Moment at which you could say our Civilization will Collapse, it is the MOMENT the Internet Goes Dark for Financial trading.
Insofar as the VALUE of all this information is concerned, generally speaking most people believe that More Knowledge is Better. My fellow Diner Admin and Author Surly wrote the following in the Coming Attractions to this article I posted in the Frosbite Falls Daily Rant here on the Diner:
IMO, this was one of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity. The fire probably set the course of human development back 1000 years, at least.
God only knows what was lost.-Surly
Indeed this is true, the destruction of all that knowledge likely DID “set us back” a Millenia. If it is true that Aristarchus had a well established theory of a Heliocentric Solar System, Copernicus, Galileo et all did not establish that again for in fact 1500 years later or so.
However, had we NOT been so “set back”, if the Mathemeticians of that era had come upon the Calculus, if the Scientists of that era had come upon the principles of Thermodynamics etc, the Industrial Revolution might have arrived in 100AD, not 1750AD. The world might have already been an Industrial Sewer by 400AD, not 2012AD. In fact the Greeks DID have a form of “Steam Engine”, a metal globe filled with water and ports on it to allow the steam to escape, which made the Globe Spin. It was invented by Heron of, yes, Alexandria, who lived between 10AD and 70AD. PRECISELY the time of Christ, PRECISELY the time the Civilization got stopped in its tracks from developing further along these lines.
The Greeks, Egyptians and Romans just never applied this Steam Engine to do real Work, it was just a Toy. In the descent into the Dark Ages, this stuff was Lost and not Found again until the late 1600s. From Wiki:
The first practical steam-powered “engine” was a water pump, developed in 1698 by Thomas Savery. It used a vacuum to raise water from below, then used steam pressure to raise it higher. Small engines were effective though larger models were problematic. They proved only to have a limited lift height and were prone to boiler explosions. It received some use in mines and pumping stations.
The first commercially successful engine was the atmospheric engine, invented by Thomas Newcomen around 1712. It made use of technologies discovered by Savery and Papin. Newcomen’s engine was relatively inefficient, and in most cases was used for pumping water. It worked by creating a partial vacuum by condensing steam in a cylinder. It was employed for draining mine workings at depths hitherto impossible, and also for providing a reusable water supply for driving waterwheels at factories sited away from a suitable “head”. Water that had passed over the wheel was pumped back up into a storage reservoir above the wheel.
The really BIG JUMP though with Steam Power came with James Watt, who built a steam engine practical for application to Factory Work around 1770 or so. The rest of the Sad History of Industrialization proceeds from there of course, and took around 250 or so years to get us to the point we are today, in vast Overshoot of the Population and a seriously Depleted and Poisoned Environment unlikely to be able to support the current 7B Homo Sapiens walking the Earth right now much longer. Not to mention a whole lot of other Higher Organisms currently taking the Trip to the Great Beyond right along with us, like the Coral in the Great Barrier Reef of Oz, now 50% destroyed in just the last 27 years.
Had the Great Library at Alexandria NOT been destroyed; had the Scientists like Aristarchus and Heron been able to continue their work and research, in principle there is no reason why exactly the same Trajectory Industrialization followed from 1750 to today would not have occurred 2000 years ago. In which case in all likelihood most of us alive right now would never have been Born at all, and if we were Born we would be living in the same kind of Post-Apocalyptic SEWER that our surviving Grandchildren will likely inherit in the next Century or two.
Given this sequence of events, can you really say it is TRUE that “More Knowledge is Better” or that all our Libraries and all this Knowledge really served us all that well, or was very good for the Planet we live on?
Insofar as the Knowledge we have accumulated here over the Millenia currently stored as Digibits on the Internet, how much of that Knowledge is really WORTH saving? Do we really want to preserve the Knowledge of how to Fission Uranium and create Atomic Bombs? Do we really want to preserve knowledge of how to Genetically Modify food, and create Hybrid Crops that do not Breed True? Has being so SMART really been very good for us or this Planet?
I do not wish to see the Internet Go Dark anymore than Phillip Farruggio wishes to see his Local Branch of the NYC Public Library closed. I too value the Knowledge I have access to, and value the time I spent in more traditional Libraries as well as my time spent Googling the vast store of knowledge here on the internet. Given where all this Knowledge has led our Civilization though, I am not so sure that it’s preservation and retention is something we should be striving for.
Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner
In what seems to me at times like another life entirely, I reflect back on my years growing up in the Age of Oil. I wrote some about this in Pump Up the Volume and more about a later period in my life as an Over the Road Trucker. Still to come at some future date the Pigman Years on Wall Street, the School Teaching Years and so forth, and I still have more Chapters to write on the Over the Road years.
For today though, I am going to review experiences I had travelling around Europe in the summer after my HS Graduation. I graduated HS at the age of 16, On the Edge of 17. Skipped a couple of years through the period, moving back from Brazil I was placed up a year enrolling in the NY Shity Public School system, then in Junior High I went into the 2 Year “Special Progress” program they had which allowed you to do the normal 3 Years of JHS in 2 years.
Besides being chronologically pretty young on HS graduation, I also was physiologically pretty young. I looked probably about age 13-14 when I was travelling around Europe with a Backpack on the Interrail system. I shaved about once a week at the time to give you a clue as to where my morphology was at the time.
Anyhow, in the 2 years prior to HS graduation I took on summer jobs to save money for my Journey and also for the Hewlett Packard HP-35 Scientific Calculator I coveted to replace my Trusty Slide Rule. Actually ended up with an HP-45, which came out JIT for my Freshman Year of College at Columbia. Cost about half my Summer Earnings, and really I would have done fine with just a Slide Rule, but just HAD to have that cool piece of technology.
In the Summer after my Sophomore Year I worked in a Shower Curtain Factory in the Garment District of NYC, before all this shit was moved over to China. I was actually an Illegal Child Laborer that summer, because I was not old enough for Working Papers until the end of the summer on my Birthday. Nice Irony that the Son of a Chase Manhattan Pigman Bankster would be a Sweatshop Worker, at least for one summer, eh? LOL.
Anyhow, this was a Mom & Pop “Factory” which really just took up one floor of an old Warehouse, employed about 4 Hispanic and Chinese ladies Sewing the Curtains and ME putting the Grommet Holes and Grommets into the top of the Shower curtain. I worked at an entirely mechanical station where I would depress a floor pedal with my foot to cut the holes, then put Grommets into them and use another mechanical machine to squish the grommet halves together, the final completion of the Shower Curtain before Shipment out.
Needless to say, this was EXCEEDINGLY boring work, and by the end of the second week I was about ready to blow my brains out, except at the time I did not own a Gun. LOL. HTF anyone works these sort of Factory Assembly Line Job for a LIFETIME is beyond me. Over in China today, Foxconn Workers commit Seppuku on a Daily Basis, and I am not surprised in the least by that one.
Fortunately I had a friend from HS who had not been able to land a Summer Job, and I handed this job off to him and became the Shipping Clerk. This was WAY more interesting, I got to not only Fold the Shower Curtains Neatly, but also Tape the Package Closed, Label and Address it and Stamp it with the appropriate postage for its weight. Numerous tasks of a High Level of RESPONSIBILITY! LOL. Joking of course, but compared to stomping your foot over and over again making holes in the top of a Shower Curtain, this was positively INTERESTING stuff. LOL. Plus I was earning like $3/hr Minimum Wage and tucking it away in my savings account for my Journey and the Cool Calculator I wanted.
Despite the excruciating BOREDOM of this Summer of Work (my first experience in the “working” world), I somehow made it through without committing Seppuku and at the end had a few hundred DOLLARS in my Bank Account. My OWN MONEY!
The next Summer, I got my first Job on Wall Street, age 15. Courtesy of Dad the Pigman and his friend who was CEO of Merrill Lynch at the time. I was dropped into the Accounts Receivable Department at a Desk with an Adding Machine, and each morning a Pile of Checks would be dropped on my desk, and my Job was to punch them all into the Adding Machine and run a Tape to tally them up. You had to do this at least Twice and come up with the same result both times; if the results were different you had to go back through the tape to find the error, even if it was just 1 Penny. Then you had to run a new tape and get it all RIGHT. If you made a mistake on this one, Rinse and Repeat. Before you could turn in your work you had to have 2 perfectly clean tapes with exactly the same result on them.
Well, this also is Mind-Numbingly BORING stuff, and at the time I wasn’t all that great on a 10-Key Pad. So first off I was SLOW compared all the pro clerks whose fingers just FLEW over the 10-Key. Second, I generally sucked at this and made mistakes, and the typical Clerk in that sea of desks (no Cubicles at that time) could run 10 Tapes in the time it took me to run 1. However, I was put there by the CEO, so nobody complained how bad I was, and they were paying me just slightly over the minimum wage by $1. This however was better than Shower Curtain salary, and I found it marginally COOL at this time to put on a Collar Shirt and Tie each morning for something other than Church or a Wedding.
So in two summers of real “Work”, I managed to save somewhere in the negihborhood of $1500-2000 or so, including Birthday Money and Christmas Money and so forth. $350 1970s dollars of this went to buy my HP-45 Calculator, the rest I earmarked for my Big Trip to Europe! A similar Calculator to that HP can now be purchased for around $50 2012 dollars at Walmart.
First deal was to get over there as CHEAP as possible, and at the time a Brit by the name of Freddie Laker started Laker Airlines, run on the same principles of Greyhound Bus Lines, no Reservations you bought your Ticket at the Door and hopped on the Plane. The price of this ticket I recall was around $150 at the time.
Second Big Expense was the Railpass. I could have bought a 2nd Class Eurail Pass similar to the Interrail Pass the Eurotrash had access to, but I was advised to buy the 1st Class one, because you generally got several seats empty and could stretch out to sleep lifting up the armrests. This was a good Investment and worth the extra $200 or so I paid for a 6-week Railpass. Total cost I recall was $350 or so.
So all in all, the travel cost to get there and the cost of the railpass knocked off about $500 from the Savings, leaving me slightly over $1000 for 8 weeks in Europe. My Plan was to spend the First and Last Weeks in Jolly Old England around London so I didn’t need the Railpass for that. So Weekly Budget was around $125, about $18/day. If I spent $10 on a Hostel bed for the night, that left $8 to Eat with. However, while the Railpass was Active, I took mainly Night Trains and slept aboard the trains, saving money on Hostels this way. Also, when in the South of France and in Spain, I slept on the Beaches periodically with other wandering Eurotrash Teens and some Amerikan ones also. So actual Budget was probably closer to $25/day on days I did not buy a Hostel bed.
By the standards of the Eurotrash Teens Interrailing, I was positively LOADED with money, many of them had NO MONEY with them and just played their Guitars on the Streets to get Daily Change to eat with. Many of the girls would sleep with you just for a meal and a few bottles of beer.
The first girl I got involved with I did NOT get to sleep with, she was an “Older Woman” Brit Girl around 25. I met her on a London Bus 2 days after I got to London and she invited me to stay at her “Flat”. She was kind of Motherly and was surprised to see what looked to her like a 13 year old boy travelling around with a Backpack. She heard my “Amerikan Accent” talking to the Fare Collector on the Bus and started a conversation with me. Anyhow, she saved me several days of Hostels even though she refused my overtures for Nookie. LOL.
From there at the end of the Week I Activated my Railpass and got on a Hovercraft over to France, also covered with the First Class Eurail Pass. It also covered Ferries to Greece and Ireland, it was an incredible Bargain.
Arriving in Paris I walked around for a while navigating with a Map I picked up at the train station and a little Book I had which listed all the Hostels, restaurants etc that Students could go to on the cheap. However, the first two Hostels I hit were DUMPS, plus the Desk people in both places were RUDE beyond belief, and that is coming from a New York Shity boy quite used to Rude People. LOL. I stayed one night in Paris and headed for the Train Station in the morning, Destination SCANDINAVIA!
Like most 16 year old boys, the Numero Uno thing on my mind was SEX! I wasn’t travelling around Europe to absorb the Culture or eat Foreign Cuisine, I wanted to GET LAID! LOL. A few years before I headed to Europe the film “I am Curious, Yellow” had been released in the FSoA, it was a Swedish Produced X-Rated Film, the first such film I ever saw. Produced in 1967, but I don’t think it made it to the FSoA until the early 70s. At least I didn’t see it until the 70s, I am sure I was at least 13 or 14 when I saw it. The film convinced me Swedish Girls would jump into the sack at the drop of a hat. LOL.
Anyhow, arriving in Stockholm with a Roll of Quarters in my Pants (LOL), I was disappointed to find out that there weren’t too many Swedish girls running around Naked and besides that Stockholm was ridiculously EXPENSIVE. Even the Hostel was expensive and the restaurants were ridiculous. So once again I spent one night in Stockholm, then headed back to take the train to…AMSTERDAM!
Amsterdam was (and still is I think) famous for its Red Light District, where State Sanctioned Prostitution is Legal. Also plenty of DRUGS floating around Amsterdam at that time, it was the Hashish Capital of Northern Europe I think. There was also VERY cheap Hostelling available in Amsterdam, I stayed on a Barge in a Canal that charged $5/night. It was so cheap and entertaining I stayed in Amsterdam a whole Week, going to Dance Clubs, Smoking Hash at night on the Barge with the Eurotrash and even wandering the Red Light District to Buy some SEX. I never did though because first off the $50 the Pros were charging was Outta Budget, and second they just did not seem very appealing to me sitting in their Windows in Garter Belts and so forth.
I DID finally get laid in Amsterdam though, but NOT by Eurotrash, Dutch Prostitutes or Swedish Girls, but by another Amerikan! Met her in a Club, invited her back to my dive on the Barge and did the horizontal bop after Bonging several bowls of Hash with her! However, she ditched me after 2 days for somebody else. She was in Europe to do the same thing I was, collect Notches on her Gunbelt, without having her “reputation” sullied at home.
I did learn in Amsterdam though that the best ACTION was down in the South in Spain, Italy and Greece and that’s where all the Hot Topless Girls were to be found on the beaches also! So after getting Ditched by the Yank Slut it was off for the long Train Ride down south, and I elected to go to Greece first since I was nearing Midway in the Adventure. This was the furthest to get to and required a Ferry Ride from Brindisi in Italy over to Igoumenitsa in Greece as I recall.
Greece was really cool from the traditional Tourista viewpoint, checking out the Acropolis and Parthenon and so forth, the Food was cheap and great also but I didn’t meet any GIRLS there. Also, apparently the best places to Vacation in Greece were on the Greek Islands, and to get to them you had to have a Yacht for the most part. I went down to one of the Yacht Clubs to see about hooking on as Crew since I know how to Sail, and a Kraut dude with a really NICE 50′ Beneteau Yacht was agreeable to my crewing for him. Just when he made a pass at me after a few drinks I got the picture on that one and elected not to go for that cruise. Turned out to be a good choice since had I taken that cruise I would have missed meeting Ingrid later in Nice.
So I did not see much of Greece on this trip, it wasn’t until a cupla years later when I leased a Yacht with some friends that I got to Cruise the Greek Islands, which really were marvelous in those days and might still even be. The Plumbing was Crude to non-existent and many of the Tavernas cooked over open flame BBQs, but all the fish, feta cheese, olives, lamb chops and produce were Local so in theory they could still be OK. 35 years later though much has changed, so probably not.
So, it was back to the Port at Igoumenitsa to catch the Ferry back to Brindisi, where I met a Finnish couple, a Guy & Girl travelling together, quite common also of course. I’ll change some names here to maintain Anon some, call them Jensen and Janna. I met Jensen first, I was playing Chess against myself waiting for the Ferry and he asked me if I would like to Play some with him. This before the days you had laptop computers or I-Pads to play against of course. I had a little Pocket Magnetic Set I played on with me, and it was a pretty good conversation starter on all the Plane Rides and Train Rides I took. Almost always found a Chess Player in Europe.
Jensen was pretty good too, and he was funny in a Dour sort of way as well. We were playing for about an hour when Janna showed up, and OMFG she was STUNNING. I was IN LOVE with her the minute I saw her. Jesse’s Girl though. I was DETERMINED though I would get into Janna’s Pants, and after three days travelling with them I did. Unfortunately by day 5 Jensen figured this out, we got in a Fistfight, Janna was crying and pleading with Jensen telling him she was SORRY and I felt like a complete ASSHOLE, which of course I WAS! So I split off from Janna and Jensen in Italy after about 5 days of the Adventure of trying to STEAL another guy’s Girlfriend.
In Italy the first city I hit to check out after the split was Rome, and I did the Tourist thing checking out the Vatican and Michaelangelo’s artwork and so forth. I wasn’t looking for Nookie for a couple of days there, the experience with Janna and Jensen had made me feel very GUILTY and STUPID. But of course, being On the Edge of Seventeen and all by day 3 I was once again HUNTING for BABES! That is how it GOES when you are a Male On the Edge of Seventeen. Everybody Knows.
Nothing real good turned up in Rome, so it was back on the Interrail to head for Nice in the South of France this time, where I had been told the Beaches were PACKED with Topless Girls, which in fact was TRUE! On one of those Beaches I AT LAST met my Swedish Girl, again for anonymity purposes I will change the name here to Ingrid. I invited her to come with me to Venice, where I promised a Swell Hotel Room and she AGREED to come! She was with her Sister Ilsa though who had promised Parents back in Sweden to watch out for her, so she hadda come also. I was playing the part of Filthy Rich Amerikan Boy and really had done pretty well conserving my money for the first few weeks in Europe, so I felt I could AFFORD to buy a Swell Hotel Room for a few days.
On the train to Venice is where we met Torsten, the Danish Dude I spoke about in Jason Happenstall’s thread about Denmark. I visited with Torsten a few years later on another trip and got to see the Immaculate City of Copenhagen. Torsten and Ilsa Hit it Off, so now we were nicely Coupled Up by the time we arrived in Venice.
Upon arrival in Venice, we went a-walking around to find a Hotel Room, and came upon a Bed & Breakfast down an Alley that was pretty non-descript from the front, with an Old Italian Lady who managed it. She gave us a big bright SMILE when we came in, and asked how long we would like to stay. I said a Week, and her Smile got even BIGGER. LOL. It was $50/night, but $300 for the Week. She took us upstairs to the second floor and showed us the room. It was all OLD furniture, I mean REALLY OLD. The Bed where all the Banging went on was a four poster that probably was 100 years old at least. Lord Only Knows how many people Banged on that Bed over the Decades/Centuries. LOL. Despite the Age, it was all IMMACULATE. It had one Window which was Floor to Ceiling, and openning it it was right over a Main Canal with a FABULOUS view of this part of Venice. Had a tiny Balcony as well, though not really big enough to do anything but stand on.
Anyhow, I sure wish I could have stayed in that Bed & Breakfast FOREVER with Ingrid, but sadly I did not have an endless Deep Pocket plus I also had to start working my way back to Jolly Old England because my Railpass only had 6 weeks on it, and I already had used up about 4-5 of them. So sadly with tears in my eyes, I bid adieu to my Swedish Amour and began my journey back to England, with my Stash of Cash now seriously Depleted. In fact, I had barely more than the cost of the $150 Ticket on Freddie Laker’s Air Bus necessary to make it back to the FSofA after this adventure. I spent FREELY buying us great dinners in Venice and plenty of nice bottles of Italian Wine as well, so there was just about nothing left for me to eat on for the trip back. Weeks of work in the Shower Curtain Factory and pounding the 10-Key at Merrill Lynch were spent in that one wonderful week. I bought Baguettes and Cheese at Grocery Stores, slept on the trains and in the train stations for the 3-4 days it took me to get back to London. I lived on the approximately $2/day the typical 3rd Worlder lives on now, except in 1970s Dollars which bought substantially more then. I also had the Pre-Paid Railpass as well of course.
I had hoped to be able to crash again with the Brit Mommy type who befriended me when I arrived in London, but she apparently was not in town or busy when I got back. I called her twice the first day and never got an answer, this in the days before Answering Machines and Voicemail. She probably was on Vacation or just not home.
The REASON I called her was this:
All the Students and other Cheap Travellers who had come over to Eurotrashland through the Summer all converged on London at the end of the summer in the last week before the Colleges reopenned for the Fall Semester here in the FSoA. Freddie was only running a few planes, and they could not handle so many passengers all at once. The rest of the Airline Tickets were double or triple his price. So THE BIG QUEUE formed along the Thames river, hundreds if not thousands of young Amerikans seeking to get BACK to the FSoA all at once on the cheap flights of Freddie Laker. It took DAYS of waiting in this Queue, which was very informal really, Freddy did not organize it, we did.
Along the Thames River, hundreds of Shanty shacks were set up by Students with No Tents with them. They were constructed from Plastic, Pallets, Scrap Wood, old newspapers and Boxes from Grocery stores. The average wait was 2-3 days in the queue. I have Googled to find Pictures of this time, but apparently either nobody ever put them up or else Google won’t find them. The Entrepreneurs walked the line Hawking T-shirts which read “Better Laker than Never” and “‘Sooner or Laker“. Not a lot different than an OWS encampment, just not as nice with commercially produced Tents and Tarps.
Unlike my less well prepped neighbors, I DID have a Tent, and an Air Matress too! This made me a VERY popular guy amongst the Ladies, even more Popular than the guys who had some Hash to smoke. So the 3 Days I spent on the Big Queue on the Thames River were actually a lot of FUN and I would have stayed longer except I was 100% OUT OF CASH even for Food so I hadda get home. Besides, Freshman Orientation at Columbia was starting in around 2 or 3 days.
Now, in a conversation a while back with Diner Karpatok, I mentioned that I was “Serially Monogamous” and did not Indiscriminately Bang a lot of Coeds in College. This story of course belies that claim, but the Eurail Adventure was an anomaly and only represents 8 weeks out of my whole life. In total during that 2 months I think I banged 5 different girls, which was more than in all my years of College. That was what all the Teens and 20s Interrailing were DOING! It was the whole reason for making these Journeys. It represented a form of Coming of Age in the Age of Oil over in Europe.
Is there anything else which makes this Article “Peak Oil” and “Collapse” related? Not on the surface of course, it’s just more Autobio off my keyboard so the readers get a better Picture of the guy who writes all the DOOM on the pages of the Doomstead Diner. But in subtext there is much related to these themes.
First off, the Cheap Airfare which got me over to Europe in the first place is among the first thing that is going to dissappear here, and horny HS Graduates here who want to go traipsing around Europe looking for I Am Curious Yellow Swedish Girls will not be doing this much longer. The Swedish Girls themselves won’t be travelling around doing this either in Spain and Greece, where they are likely to get caught up in a Riot. Many people all travelling around willy-nilly being “Tourists” is going the way of the Dinosaur here, and will not return anytime too soon.
The next relationship is the Eurail system itself, probably the most comprehensive Inter-City Mass Transit system anywhere in the entire world. Because of it, if any neighborhood can survive to maintain an Industrialized lifestyle for a while WITHOUT Carz, it is in Europe. Only though for as long as they can keep those Trains running, and the Rail system in Eurotrashland has ALWAYS been Goobermint Subsidized, never paid for itself in any way. It’s pretty hard to imagine how the Greek and Spanish Goobermints are going to be able to afford to subsidize their portions of the Network here pretty soon. Not to mention the Tres Gran Vitesse.
Beyond the Financial problem of running that rail system is the Energy problem. Even though they mostly do not use Oil or Gas like Carz do for their energy input, its going to become harder and harder for all these countries to get enough Coal and/or Nat Gas to provide enough Electricity to keep them running. Its unlikely anyone will build anymore Nukes there for Electricity Generation, and you can’t push Big Trains around with Windmills. So even though the Rail System might run a few more years than the Carz/Trucks system, its longer term sustainability likelihood is equally small. Besides, without Touristas zipping around on these Trains to Gawk at Old Buildings, eat in 5-Star Restaurants or Bang Swedish Girls, such Inter-City transport does not have a whole lot of Utility. The main thing the rail system might be used for as long as it can be maintained would be to move FOOD around Europe and keep the population somewhat fed.. Except probem there would be that each Country doesn’t really have much Surplus Food to ship to any other country, particularly not once the Tractors run Outta Gas.
The Europeans were the first to Industrialize with the Steam Engine used at first mainly to pump water out of Coal Mines so more Coal could be Mined to provide Energy for said Steam Engines, in a “Virtuous Economic Cycle” for so long as there was Plenty-o-Cheap Coal to mine anyhow. In Fitting Irony here, it also appears the Europeans are going to be the First of the major Industrialized societies to fall off this Energy and Economic Cliff, and we can continue here to watch them as the Canary in the Coal Mine for what will eventually Cross the Pond and come down here as well.
How LONG will it take for this to Cross the Pond? This remains an unanswered question, but it doesn’t seem to me like it will be all that long here. It seems to me that this Journey, the Journey to the End of the Age of Oil is…wait for it…
…Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.
Off the Diner Keyboards
Discuss this article around the Kitchen Sink of the Diner
|Occasionally a thread inside the Diner strikes a chord with many Diners, as is the case with the recent thread, Futile or Not, Here I Come begun by Diner Buzzard.For many of us who have been examining the Collapse for a long time, a sense of Frustration and Fatigue has set in as we wait for and expect a Collapse to occur which is more definable than just the slow deterioration of the “Long Emergency” described by Jim Kunstler. For some, their participation in discussions about Peak Oil and its ramifications goes back to 2004-2005, when the PeakOil.com and LATOC Forums began. For others, their expectations of a Collapse have been with them as far back as the 1960s and 1970s. For myself, I mostly woke up to oncoming collapse with the failure of Bear Stearns in 2007, although the Katrina disaster in NOLA was probably my real wake up call.While we appear closer than ever now to true collapse of the Monetary System and Industrial Civilization, the fact it has not yet occurred systemically through all societies brings with it a sense of Futility in perpetually rehashing the same topics. Early Forums like Peak Oil and LATOC are either very quiet now or out of publication entirely in the case of LATOC.Is there still value in discussing this collapse, when there really is not much thatcan be done to stop it? How many times can you predict the Sky Will Fall with other Chicken Littles but never see the Sky Fall, just lower the Cloud Ceiling some?A few Diners weighed in with their thoughts on these issues, and I present a selection of them here for both Veteran Kollapsniks and Rookies alike to consider. To read all the thoughts of the Diners, visit the Futile or Not, Here I Come thread ongoing around the Kitchen Sink of the Doomstead Diner.RE|
I’m a reader here. In fact I’m basically a reader everywhere. I am neither brilliant nor inspired. Any comments which I could make would be amateur at best. However, I do read a lot- and I get impressions. While reading back and forth in the barbeque section (I’m obviously running low on good literature) I got the sense of fatigue in those who were posting. Perhaps this is only a mirror of myself because I have been admittedly tired of the whole mess recently. [You know, the whole collapse mess?]
Although my participation has been mostly lacking, I have followed several forums for some years- in fact since the yahoo lists. So most of the posters I run into are familiar to me from ROE, Dieoff, Peakoil, LATOC etc. What I am sensing is a sort of ‘collapse fatigue’ which shows in subtle ways. Interestingly also I have watched the development of online personalities and opinions over the years. Much of it, I believe can be attributed to a maturity and wisdom grown from years of experience in the individual’s search for knowledge and truth. I know that the journey has taken me to places which I never could have predicted.
Frankly, I’m tired. Part of it could be a growing impatience, like sitting in the theater as a kid with your tub of popcorn waiting for the movie to begin. And let’s face it. I’m not getting any younger. Seventy doesn’t look that far away any more. (I can’t believe that I even wrote that). Nothing earth shaking here. I’m just curious as to what others are feeling when you strip away all of the intellectual issues and probing questions of the day. I know that I find myself backing out of ‘acceptance’ into depression again. That’s depressing. I get up and do it again- amen. Most of you are veterans of the truth wars. Is it any easier than it was ten years ago? How is the cynicism quotient?
Golden Oxen wrote:
“Frankly, I’m tired. Part of it could be a growing impatience, like sitting in the theater as a kid with your tub of popcorn waiting for the movie to begin. And let’s face it. I’m not getting any younger. Seventy doesn’t look that far away any more. (I can’t believe that I even wrote that). Nothing earth shaking here. I’m just curious as to what others are feeling when you strip away all of the intellectual issues and probing questions of the day. I know that I find myself backing out of ‘acceptance’ into depression again. That’s depressing. I get up and do it again- amen. Most of you are veterans of the truth wars. Is it any easier than it was ten years ago? How is the cynicism quotient?”
Hi Buzzard, Tired and depressed from the whole ball of wax myself. Starting to understand why Peter, my favorite poster at DD has walked away. The more I learn here, which I tell myself is a good thing, how can learning be considered a bad thing, the more depressed I get. We are in real friggin mess, with no way out it seems, and all this seems to accomplishing very little except pointing out how bad it really is. The petty fights and bullshit don’t help either.
OWS was the only thing I have seen lately which energized me and filled me with some hope, but that has ended on a very sour and depressing note as well. Guess that’s why we hang out at the Diner. Nice to hear from you. GO
Collapse Fatigue is pandemic across the Collapse Blogosphere these days. It probably should get its own listing in the DSM-IV right next to PTSD.
The two Biggest Collapse boards in the first generation were PeakOil and LATOC. LATOC is gone completely as Matt Savinar took it offline. PeakOil has withered away and gets less daily action than we get here in the Diner.
The early and most original Bloggers like Dmitri Orlov and Jimmy Kunstler more or less have made Collapse their Bizness, and both websites are mainly venues to promote their Books and Speaking Engagements. Both are still very creative writers, but they also both recycle the same themes over and over again. Neither participates much in discussion even over on their own Blog Commentariats.
For me, Collapse remains an intriguing and ever changing sea of information to digest, and really MOST of the world still is not even AWARE of it. The Collapse Fatigue phenomenon mostly exists among people who have been aware of peak oil since at least 2007, some since as far back as 2000.
Like many Kollapsniks who have been waiting for the Sky to Fall, part of me wishes that it would just FALL already so we can get on with the next stage, whatever that might be, bad as it is likely to be. However, for anyone who has NOT yet fallen off the Economic Cliff, its a GOOD thing that Extend & Pretend has worked as long as it has. Here on the Diner, we have several people who hope for 6mo-2years more time to get their Plans/Doomsteads ready.
I guess the best way to explain how I feel about Collapse and how I avoid Collapse Fatigue is to follow Ty Webb’s advice in Caddyshack, in this case rather than “Be the Ball”, it’s “Be the Collapse”. It remains the most IMPORTANT topic of our time, and regardless how Old you might be there is still much to be learned here.
So I keep thinking about it and writing about it and discussing it with others here on the Diner. Even recycling old material is important because Newbies are always Waking Up here, more all the time. Us Old Timers should be around to fill in the Newbies and…
Save as Many as You Can
Water Weasel wrote:
and RE, it is very hard reading the news anymore when you start to see what’s going on. It’s tough to say, but, if you’re not at least a little bit depressed, you’re not paying attention. I don’t know how you can get to “acceptance” when all the time things are getting worse. I won’t say the “f” word. (*cough*futile*cough*)
I’m just curious as to what others are feeling when you strip away all of the intellectual issues and probing questions of the day
I’m feeling like I need to stock up on beer and pretzels, ’cause this is going to be the biggest train-wreck you ever did see.
I have no idea how it’s going to go down. I can only hope that I have enough of an edge to make it through the first wave. Probably not, but in that case, I take solace in living a middle-class 21st century American life, at least for a while, which is better than most humans who ever lived. I’ll continue to be a good person, and I’ll continue to try to make things better, and I hope that’s still worth something.
For me, Collapse remains an intriguing and ever changing sea of information to digest, and really MOST of the world still is not even AWARE of it.
This is really mind-boggling isn’t it? There’s some meat here that hasn’t been explored. Futilitist is interested in sociology. Maybe he could lead this thread.
But, yeah, when you see the assault on the biosphere, that we depend on for our economy as well as our very life, it’s hard not to wish for it to stop, now, no matter how hard it might be. And it looks to me like it will stop, eventually. It’s like pulling off a Band-Aid, slow, or in one go? I prefer in one go. Let’s get it over with!
But, I do love my currently comfy lifestyle, with a job and food and all. It’s a tough call.
The story of the making of this movie is well worth watching.
My face: “Heavy hitter, the Dalai Lama…”
“… he said, on my deathbed I would receive total consciousness.
So I got that goin’ for me.”
Quote from: WaterWeasel on Today at 01:52:42 AM
For me, Collapse remains an intriguing and ever changing sea of information to digest, and really MOST of the world still is not even AWARE of it.
This is really mind-boggling isn’t it? There’s some meat here that hasn’t been explored. Futilitist is interested in sociology. Maybe he could lead this thread.
In fact it was Futilitist’s comments which prompted this thread. I didn’t address him personally because my question was more general, a smokey malaise which had settled over me.
I am fond of telling people that I have it easy because I am old enough that I will be dead before the shit really hits the fan. I have lived an interesting and eventful life. I won’t check out thinking that I have been particularly robbed of anything. I tell people that I pity those younger who stand to live through the full monty. What will their lives be like? What I tell people sounds good. It sounds right… And it is a lie. In fact, I am jealous of the young. I am so intrigued and curious about the future that I am beginning to think that I will miss it.
I guess that is why Greer gets under my skin. I don’t want to hear ‘Catabolic Collapse’. Doesn’t he realize that we need to get on with it so that I can see what happens? It is also why “Tipping Point” resonated with me instantly. If what he says is true then it could all come down tomorrow. Now we’re talking. And… aside from my selfish desire to see how it all turns out, I also subscribe to the ‘remove the band-aide’ quickly school of collapse. It just makes sense. As Jensen says. The sooner it comes down the less the planet suffers damage from human’s hubris and greed.
I suspect the reason most of us are here is because wandering through this mansion of darkness we have noticed a room where the lights are still on. Even though it seems to me at this point that the same arguments and information gets recycled over and over, at least the truth will set you free (or piss you off, whatever the case will be).
Quote from: buzzard on Today at 04:26:04 AM
I am fond of telling people that I have it easy because I am old enough that I will be dead before the shit really hits the fan. I have lived an interesting and eventful life. I won’t check out thinking that I have been particularly robbed of anything. I tell people that I pity those younger who stand to live through the full monty. What will their lives be like? What I tell people sounds good. It sounds right… And it is a lie. In fact, I am jealous of the young. I am so intrigued and curious about the future that I am beginning to think that I will miss it.
With this paragraph BY ITSELF you undermined your own initial argument that you are not a thinker who has something to say. You clearly do. I think you just have spent more time reading than most and have not felt it necessary to express your own opinions, Now you do. All to the good there.
I feel much the same in the sense that I had it good, if it all goes to hell in a handbasket tomorrow I lived a pretty good life in the Age of Oil. I certainly already lived longer than the average H-G lives, if you make it to 50 in that type of life you are OLD.
I am NOT nearly so old as some here though, I am pretty sure some of our Gold Bugs are well into their 70s actually. LOL. These folks have little to worry about, they don’t have all that much time left under the best of circumstances.
The folks who really got stuff to deal with are those in their 30s and 40s, particularly if they have dependent children. However, few of that demographic are here on the Diner as of yet. Mostly Old Dudes and some younger unmarrieds, though there are a few here with kids also.
In one sese, it would be EXCITING to be young again and preparing for the world as it is to be. I also am in a sense JEALOUS of younger folks, I WISH I was 30-something again with all my physical strength and speed to go out into the Bush and make my go of it there. What an ADVENTURE!
In reality though, I HAD my Adventure already, it was the adventure of a life lived in the culminating years of the Age of Oil. It was a FUN adventure. I lived a pretty good life, and I learned a lot. What else are you here for anyhow, besides eating and breathing? You learn stuff. Then you pass on what you learned to the Young ‘uns. That is the course of life, eh?
Now we have a bit of time left here to chat up on the internet how to negotiate the most amazing spin down of Human Civilization in all of recorded History. Us Old Folks won’t be around too much longer, but we still can pass on some knowledge and observe the end, until at last we each buy our Final Ticket to the Great Beyond.
…Read the rest with the Diners around the Kitchen Sink of the Doomstead Diner
Off the Surly keyboard
Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner
A Year of Occupy
The following article is a look back at a Year of Occupy from someone who has been an active participant. While noting the history of the movement in a rough way, it draws primarily upon the writer’s firsthand experience with the local manifestations of Occupy. The local movement started in a series of meetings last September in Norfolk, VA, and burst into full bloom on October 6 of last year. What remains of the local group is planning an anniversary event for October 6 of this year. Any omissions, mischaracterizations, mis-statement of facts, bowdlerizations, calumnies, disinformation or misdemeanors are the responsibility of the author alone, who is striving mightily herein to NOT live up to his nom-de-plume.
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness, and our ability to tell our own stories…” – ~Arundhati Roy
Arab Spring, American Fall
It will be a year ago this weekend that a group called Occupy Wall Street made an encampment at Zuccotti Park and captured the imagination of the world. The largest collective national protest in 40 years inspired other Occupy camps to spring up like mushrooms after a summer rain across the FSA in imitation and tribute. Many were inspired by visitors to Zuccotti, who came like pilgrims to look, march, participate, and understand. In the space of just a few weeks the repressed and frustrated found their voice, and expressed it in “mad as hell” Howard Beale moments across the country.
Also inspired in part by Egyptian mass protests in Tahrir Square, Occupy protesters put forward the main issues of social and economic inequality, corporate greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government—particularly from the financial services sector. The OWS slogan, “We are the 99%,” addresses the growing income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. Lack of justice on the part of Justice Departments was also an issue, as the Feds failed to prosecute those who had brought about a global crisis of monetary insolvency. (Far better, it would seem, for the attorney general to focus on free speech demonstrators and whistleblowers.)
Protesters were forced out of Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011, with a coordinated raid on other Occupy camps following on shortly thereafter. While there have been unsuccessful attempts to re-occupy the original location, protesters have turned their focus on occupying banks, corporate headquarters, board meetings, college and university campuses, along with Wall Street itself.
So what has Occupy achieved?
Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out
It’s fair to say that occupy has changed the conversation. Within the space of a year, we tend to forget how in a country deeply resistant to notions of class, where everyone is” middle class”, the development of any sort of class consciousness is quite remarkable. Most Americans find it difficult to stomach the sight of the 1% being bailed out and then earning obscene profits while they, or their family, friends, and neighbors, are looking for work without success.
The escalating income inequality evident from the 30 year class war begun under the Reagan Administration against the working people of the US reached its apex at the presence of Occupy. Phrases like “The 99%,” “the 1%,” changed the national conversation and the prevailing narrative forever. Occupy’s mission was to expose how the 1% are controlling our fates through the financialization of all aspects of economic and political life. The evidence is abundant: the middle class is drowning in loans, student debt, fraudulent mortgages, and a democracy being sold to the highest bidder, all while our environment is turned into yet another toxic asset, and those assets which we hold in common are sold off to the highest bidder as well.
November saw a coordinated attack on camps all across the country. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was one who admitted to being on the phone with the Department of Homeland Security. It seems clear that Homeland Security orchestrated a coordinated set of attacks led locally by increasingly militarized local police departments. Armed with budgets swollen by several years of homeland security grants coupled with outright gifts of military and paramilitary gear, local police decided to move on Occupy encampments such as the one in Norfolk, clad in full riot gear and tearing down tents with paramilitary zeal. What had been cordial relations between occupiers and the police quickly became hostile in an astonishing fashion.
Occupiers were arrested; trumped up charges brought, later dismissed in court.. As with the attack on Zuccotti, the assaults on the camps were often staged at hours where they would attract the least attention. And where the local press ran a story, the thrust of the story was predictably on the side of “take a bath and get a job.”
What is interesting is the timing of these attacks on the camps. During the month of October, as camps were beginning across the country, much of the effort concentrated on a quotation mark move your money” effort, asking people to move their accounts from the large banks to smaller, community banks or credit unions. The move your money day was November 6. By some estimates Bank of America lost $4 billion of deposits in the month of October as a result of this effort. More people moved gtheir bank accounts in the month of October than had moved in all of 2010. Shortly afterwards that the coordinated assault on the camps began.
These attacks created new memes. New York Mayor Bloomberg got to claim that he controlled his” own private army”, the 7th largest in the world.
And in another show of disproportionate force on the West coast, Lieut. John Pike became famous as “pepper spray man” as he was photographed employing blinding pepper spray on sitting, peaceful protesters at the University of California Davis. (In one small scrap of justice, it should be noted that Lieut. Pike and UC Davis have parted company as of this past summer.)
Much as been made about Occupy being non-political. The easy peg on which to hang Occupy is as the lefty counterpart to the Tea Party. Yet Occupy has never been embraced by the Democrats, and with good reason. Most Occupiers distrust Democrats as fully as they do Republicans.
Given the Democratic party’s reliance on campaign contributions from the very sources the Occupy movement opposed, along with its support of bailouts for the financial sector, the Dems were never going to give their full backing to the Occupy movement unless the movement became a viable force politically. Any astute political observer knew the Democratic establishment would not work to achieve the goals of the Occupy movement, particularly at the national level. Hillary Rodham Clinton raised nearly $20 million from Wall Street when she was a senator. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has received more than $5 million from the same sources since 2007, and Barack Obama received more than $15 million from the investment industry during the 2008 election cycle. This year, the Democratic National Committee has raised more than $10 million from the securities and investment community, the same people against which Occupy takes to the streets.
Some wanted the Occupy movement needed to put forth its own slate of candidates in primaries and local races — as the tea party began doing in 2008 when it became disillusioned with Republicans — to either replace the Democrats who wouldn’t support their positions or to force incumbent Democrats to adopt the views of the movement. Of course the teahadis were subsidized by the Koch Brothers and other reactionaries as useful minions able to advance their far-right agenda.
Of course, the Occupy movement could not offer its own candidates or alternatives because it never offered a clear, coherent vision or plan of action. Those who wished to turn Occupy into a co-optable political movement asserted that abstract ideas and clever slogans had to give way to concrete proposals and electoral agendas.
Like the people at the heart of the Egyptian revolution, those spearheading the Occupy movement were the youth, the intellectuals and academics, people with lofty ideals but with little practical experience in governing. Without a mechanism to turn ideals into policy, many would say Occupy is simply spinning its wheels.
A Winter of Discontent
The violent crackdown on peaceful dissent, and the relative brutality of police tactics, especially when confronted with peaceful protesters, became an issue of concern for Occupiers as much as it was ignored in the mainstream media. The mainstream media had hung Occupy on the news peg of the “black bloc anarchists,” whose presence among occupiers is almost always synonymous with infiltrators, either of the Homeland Security or the local police variety. (It became an article of faith among our local Occupy groups that anybody exhorting other people to violence head de facto identified himself as an infiltrator, pink hair or not. And, although I can’t prove this, I believe to this day that our local Occupies were rotten with them.)
The escalating criminalization of dissent has gone hand-in-hand with an increasingly ubiquitous surveillance society. In the wake of the PATRIOT act, we have become complacent, and have watched silently as cameras become ubiquitous at the same time that our rights to privacy are diminished. Even the recent case in which a New York judge has ruled that Twitter must give the court three months worth of tweets from a user in a pending case involving an Occupy Wall Street protester is yet another chilling trend. The freedom for corporations to act as persons increases, while the freedom for private individuals to act likewise diminishes. And the power of government to abet the aims of corporations, while inhibiting the aims of individuals continues unchecked.
As Aaron Cynic has said,
Plenty of people might dismiss connecting these requests and other instances that highlight targeted suppression of dissent as mere paranoia. Such tactics have a chilling effect on legitimate dissent, and the efforts by multiple law enforcement agencies to question, detain and arrest activists of varying stripes points to a much more dangerous world. More than a decade ago, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said that when it came to dissent in troubled times, Americans should “watch what they say and what they do.” Rhetoric like Fleischer’s and quick quips today from politicians like “if you’re not doing anything illegal, you shouldn’t be worried” shows an increasing acceptance of the criminalization of dissent, and points towards a disturbing future.
Such rhetoric is now become the norm.
It in spite of the increased emphasis on security Occupy groups remained active in supporting a variety of demonstrations and movements. Throughout the winter and early spring, our local groups supported actions protesting NDAA, the prospect of war with Iran, staged a very successful Mayday action in coordination with many other Occupy groups throughout the country, and had a very successful statewide General Assembly in Roanoke. A dedicated and committed core of volunteers kept the flame alive over months.
Circular firing squad
Occupy polity is messy. Decisions in this leaderless organization are made by the Gen. assembly which consists of all those people who identify with the local occupy organization, who gather together to share announcements, to deliberate on proposals initiated by workgroups, and to otherwise mount the virtual soapbox and share what is on their hearts. A general assembly is not a Rotary breakfast. The advantages of the leaderless group are obvious: it is far less easy to co-opt or decapitate. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to get things done. One or a few individuals with agendas can derail the work of the group.
There is also a great deal of concern about co-optation. During this past summer we saw the schism between OWS and the 99% Declaration, which was another group that sprung up from OWS but split with them along fault lines of concern. The Adbusters people, for example, attacked the 99% Declaration as the product of “the same cabal of old world thinkers who blunted the possibility of revolution for decades.” Not surprisingly, the 99% Declaration was led by a former lawyer for Goldman Sachs. It’s ironic that having given birth to the notion of “the 99%,” Occupy finds subsequent movements eager to use the 99% moniker and elbow the originators out of the way, often to achieve political objectives. The truth is that many occupiers are disgusted with both political parties, including this writer. I hold with Gore Vidal who, in 1970, observed that “the Democrats and Republicans are the left and right wings of the Property Party.”
What has happened locally, especially in Norfolk, is that many of the original founders of the local Occupy movement, many of whom were Ron Paul libertarians, fell away from the movement, either from disaffection with what seemed to them to be a progressive left agenda, or for Occupy’s refusal to endorse any party or candidate. In any event, those people are gone and their energy is missed.
Without camps around which to coalesce, the survival of local Occupies becomes challenging. It is made even more so by the impact of marginal personalities, group dysfunction, selfishness, jealousies, and gossip, and all of the other many human frailties to which most of us are all too prone. Locally, one person who is a garden-variety bully, has disrupted the proceedings of two Occupy groups (and is now working on a third) with lurid tales of intrigue, lost love, and defamation of character. Moreover, in an organization that resists being an organization, and which behaves far more like an affinity group, affinities get strained by gossip, whispering campaigns, he-said-she-said, and the sort of thing one might have thought best left behind in high school.
On a personal note, I can be depended upon to utter one phrase in most situations: “Be who you say you are; do what you say you’re going to do.” It is both galling and frustrating to have the work of a group be hijacked by somebody’s failure to execute. But what do we do, dock their pay?
The future of Occupy depends solely upon the ability of local groups to generate and maintain enthusiasm for the cause. As noted above, it is very difficult to sustain enthusiasm in the absence of a campsite. Many municipalities have gone out of their way to make it difficult for occupied groups to camp by passing ordinances restricting camping within city limits, etc.
Our colleagues in Occupy Roanoke have a different and productive example. They enjoy good relations with the local police and are in good odor with the local press. They are well funded, fully fuctional, and smart.
One of the ongoing conundrums of Occupy is that in order to realize “a better world is possible,” we have to behave in different ways, and we are ill trained to do so. Few have the vision and discipline necessary to set aside personal agenda and ego. Raised in a culture of craven materialism, where every transaction and relationship is financialized, in a culture that elevates the Cult of the Individual, “competition” is normal. We are marinated in the values we wish to change. It is cooperation, and self-sacrifice, and putting the other first, that is essential. Some might call it servant leadership. A communitarian spirit is a concept so alien and foreign to most of us that it might as well be Martian.
As Thom Hartmann has said in The Last Days of Ancient Sunlight, and in a different context, “We need new stories.”
It may be that the Occupy moment has come and gone. The changes in the prevailing economic narrative remain. What we do about them is anybody’s guess, but in an era where the PATRIOT act has been amplified by the National Defense Authorization Act, enhanced crackdowns on whistleblowers and troublemakers, greatly enhanced surveillance, the use of drones, a militarized police, and at this writing, a Middle East in flames, it remains to be seen what happens next.
For my part, I can say that as a result of Occupy, I have met some of the finest and most remarkable people who it has ever been my pleasure to meet. I have built associations with other activists working on causes which for which we share a commitment. And in a quite unforeseen development, I even met the woman with whom I now share a home and a life, which came as an unbidden blessing.
So much good has come from Occupy, and whatever good that may yet come will be a result of the collective effort of all of us. Herein lies the challenge:
“The obvious point is that most social activists look constantly to the state for solutions to social problems. This point bears labouring, because the orientation of most social action groups tends to reinforce state power. This applies to most antiwar action too. Many of the goals and methods of peace movements have been oriented around action by the state, such as appealing to state elites and advocating neutralism and unilateralism. Indeed, peace movements spend a lot of effort debating which demand to make on the state: nuclear freeze, unilateral or multilateral disarmament, nuclear-free zones, or removal of military bases. By appealing to the state, activists indirectly strengthen the roots of many social problems, the problem of war in particular…” ~ Brian Martin, ‘Uprooting War’
Off the keyboard of A.G. Gelbert
This being 9/11, I’ve decided to let the Diners in on some knowledge I have as a former air traffic controller that convinced me it was an inside job within a day or so of the event. The tip-off for me was the Pentagon.
I aired this knowledge on the Huffington Post years later (I think it was in 2005) when she finally couldn’t censor comments on it because an article was written on the subject by some movie star or writer (AFTER Arianna had denied Jesse Ventura the freedom to write on 9/11 at hufpo). An army of Hasbara assholes were out in force (you could tell they were A. not Americans by their writing and B. They had all these cartoon character avatars). I took one of them apart piece by piece and he ended up asking me where I lived.
I got a little more aggressive in my comments and, of course, they were censored.
So what do I know? Washington D.C. is wall to wall radar AND is a prohibited area. That means you fly in and out of Reagan International on a VERY specific route along the Potomac (River route). The “excuse” that the Tracon (tower radar approach control) was “out of communication” with the “outside world” was the most outlandish piece of bullshit I have ever heard. Remember, THAT was the reason given for them not communicating with the Air Force to scramble jets (in this case jets were ALREADY in the air being sent to the wrong areas).
Potomac Tracon (terminal radar approach control) controls the approach of all aircraft coming into Reagan International and several other area major airports. Potomac Tracon is 33 miles west southwest of Reagan and the Pentagon. There is no way in God’s good Earth that ANY lack of communications occurred between them and Reagan Tower. There are about SIX levels of redundancy in communications from several transmitters on dedicated frequencies, back up transmitters and receivers on each frequency to fiber optic land lines that provide voice and remote radar data from the overlaying artcc (enroute radar traffic control center 10,000 feet and above) to satellite feed backups for everything. There are multiple lines to various Air Force Bases around with INDEPENDENT systems for a fail safe operation in case of nuclear missile attack.
Washington Center was tracking the aircraft headed for the DC area. The false generated targets from NORAD exercises is total bullshit because NORAD doesn’t work airplanes! Air traffic controllers work airplanes! And we know damned good and well what a computer generated false target looks like. I trained people and ran the target generator scenarios myself as a training department instructor during the late 70s. Now they’ve got LCD displays and then we had CRT (cathode ray tube) round scopes but the radar and computer operation to translate a primary (no transponder to give altitude data) target to a data bock with speed and direction has not changed. I could NOT, as an instructor generating targets to make my students sweat, generate those targets onto an active display. All training targets have a “T” on the data block anyway. NO ONE in atc was confused due to “exercises”.
Back to 9/11, the twin towers had been hit and every atc facility and their mothers knew that aircraft had hit (at the management level within minutes – less than 15). At the controller level, you can be sure the people in Washington Center were told by controllers from Boston center and New York center that some hijackings were in progress BEFORE the planes hit the towers. Next you have this primary target (no transponder to give altitude data – just some moving object that provides a radar return above 50 mph) headed towards the DC prohibited area. Immediately Washington Center tells Potomac Tracon who, in turn, tells Reagan Tower. This must be done because no altitude info is available so you don’t know who’s airspace this NORDO (NO RADIO) potential hijack is going to violate in the capital.
But here’s the kicker. We HAD TO routinely save two weeks of radar tracking data with a 100% accurate record of air traffic movements in case a loss of separation standards had occurred (known in atc parlance as a “deal” that you could get disciplined and possibly fired for). Controllers don’t report “deals” unless they can’t avoid it unless it was a near mid-air collision, the pilots saw each other and are screaming bloody murder. Again, the guy/gal on position normally is not being monitored by a sup so they cross their fingers. The pilots land and call the facility or wait a few days to do it. Sometimes they don’t bother. If they do, your sup tells the training department to pull the voice tapes (also saved for two weeks) and the radar data to see if you went below minimum separation standards. You, the controller, are required to write up a statement summarizing the events. The controller knows his goose is cooked here so he doesn’t dare lie.
When the “aircraft” that hit the pentagon performed it’s impossible maneuver of a descending 360 degree spiraling turn at around 500 mph the tower radar recorded the track and the speed, Potomac Tracon recorded the track and the speed and Washington center recorded the track and the speed. The paltry visuals the Pentagon released of a MISSLE striking the pentagon was blatantly obvious to me. I’m very experienced in seeing planes fly near buildings; they move MUCH slower than that. It was a missile. All they had to to in ATC was look at those radar tracking tapes. A missile has 1,000 mph or greater velocity. The thing that hit the Pentagon was moving a lot faster than 500 mph. It’s on the radar data. If the data from THREE INDEPENDENT ATC FACILITIES was destroyed, that is undeniable proof that Donald Rumsfeld and Cheney ran an inside job, PERIOD. Guess what? When I mentioned the radar data on hufpo the Hasbara dude asked where I lived.
But there is more. A B767 is, as you know, is an airplane. Airplanes have a limitation in flight. The turning radius is a function of the bank angle and speed. That means that the faster you go, the steeper you need to bank the airplane in order to keep your turn radius, as in a 500 mph jet, from being several miles in radius (if you are turning 360 degrees as was the case on 9/11). Missles are not airplanes and don’t have this problem because they use vectored thrust, not bank angle, to control turning radius. The 360 degree banked turn the alleged B767 executed in a descending spiral to smack the Pentagon was NOT possible for a B767 at that speed due to the stresses the required bank angle would have on the aircraft (look ma, no wings!).
In any aircraft from a piper cub to a B747, when you exceed 60 degrees of banked turn, you are oulling 2 Gs plus on the entire aircraft structure. Above 60 degrees, the Gs increase exponentially. Aerobatic aircraft require plus or minus 6 G strength for FAA certification. Commercial jet liners lose their wings (B767 max allowed plus 2.5 Gs and minus 1.0 G to avoid structural damage) trying to keep a 70 or 80 degree bank angle at 500 mph in a descending spiral needed to cover the track the government says was traversed to smack the Pentagon. Only a missile or a fighter aircraft with a missile ready to fire could do that.
As a matter of fact you COULD beef up the wings of a B767 DRONE to do this maneuver (the only possible scenario in the second twin tower strike due to speed and turn rate). However, at the Pentagon, the hole was too small. It was a missile.
Off the Keyboard of RE
Discuss this article around the Kitchen Sink of the Diner
Today I am 55 Years Old.
There will be no Birthday Party for me, no Presents anymore. Only my Mom still sent me Birthday Cards in these last years, but she passed into the Great Beyond last year. I don’t have any children to remember my Birthday. Now each year just is marked by the August 31st Date which comes and goes, and I reflect on my Life in the Age of Oil during these days.
55 seems more Significant than most of the recent ones since the Big 5-0. Mostly because of that Numerical Duplication of Numbers I suppose, a little like 666. Also though because it pretty much represents 1/2 Century of Sentience here where I really was aware of the world around me. I’ll write another one of these articles if I make it to 66 years, 6 Months, 6 weeks, 6 days, 6 Hours, 6 Minutes and 6 seconds old, if the Internet is still up and running and I am still walking the earth at that time and not entombed at GITMO being Waterboarded. LOL.
I do remember a few snippets of things from when I was 3-4 years old, I remember crashing my Tricycle into the back wall of the below ground Garage in our Brownstone in Hell’s Kitchen, riding down the ramp with No Brakes on a Tricycle. I remember getting locked in to my Parent’s Bedroom when I tried to “fix” the door lock putting hardware in to an open slot not connected to anything. I remember being enamored of Bozo the Clown in Cartoons on TV, but when mom got tickets to the Bozo the Clown TV Show and I met the Human Bozo greeting kids on the line to get into the Studio, I was scared to death of him and started crying and Mom hadda take me home. $15 Tickets in 1960s money, 6 month Advance Ticket Purchase, pretty big deal there.
I don’t remember how I learned to read during this time, though I know I did because I was reading before my first day in Kindergarten. I think it was from Picture Books my mom bought and my sister read to me at first, not sure though. Still I was not reading anything of greater import than “Run, Spot, Run” at the time. LOL.
The real WAKE UP CALL in Sentience though came for me on November 22, 1963. Recognize the date? That was of course the day JFK was Gunned down in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald and who knows who else. The WORLD STOPPED that day, they brough a Radio into the classroom, and everyone was Mourning. When I got home from school, the Images were all over the B&W TV Set we had, with poor little John-John Kennedy standing bravely by Widow-Garbed Jacqueline Bouvier aka “Jackie” Kennedy later Jackie Onassis. I identified with John-John, he was just about precisely my age at the time of course. I was actually 6 by then not 5, so the 55 identification of my Wake Up Call to reality exactly 1/2 Century later isn’t precise here. Close enough though.
We were by then living in Brasil of course, not the FSofA, as I covered in Pump Up the Volume a little while back. Brasil was essentially a Paradise for me, I learned Portuguese quickly because that is the age your linguistic brain is most flexible, and I quickly was translating for my Mom who never really learned it. We lived a block off of Ipanema Beach, and I loved to body surf and became a very strong swimmer. We had memberships to Private Clubs that the Banking, Military and State Department class ran and had access to; my best friend Timmy was son of the Ambassador to Brasil. One of the Clubs had a full set of Diving Boards and Platforms right up to a full 10 meter platform I decided I hadda jump off of, I guess I was 7 by then. My Mom let me do it, but ONLY if I would wear a Life Preserver Vest before jumping. About the stupidest thing you can do really. Why?
Well, soon as you hit the water, the bouyancy of the life preserver is pushing UP, whicle Gravity and Acceleration are taking you DOWN. If you make the sad mistake of having your Tongue between your teeth when this happens, BLAM you chomp down on your tongue and in my case pratically bite it off. BLOOD EVERYWHERE! Think a scene from Jaws. Tongue hanging by a thread (fortunately I had a pretty large Gap between my two Front Teeth at the time), gotta get it sewed back in. I remember that one pretty well. LOL. On the good side, mom never made me wear a Life Preserver again after that, and I got pretty good at diving off the Platform before we left Brasil.
Anyhow, I messed around with a lot of sports during this time, Futbol (soccer) with the Favela Boys as well as the Swimming and Diving, great fun all around there. I was however already an incipient Nerd and Voracious Reader. I consumed the entire Hardy Boys, Tom Swift and Nancy Drew Series of books during these years, along with reading my Dad’s Subscription Magazines of Popular Mechanics, Pop Science and Scientific American. My sister was 7 years older than me, and I started looking at her Math Textbooks and doing the problems in them. I got very good at Science and Math concepts during this period. All seemed quite entertaining to me at the time. It had some unfortunate consequences though after we returned to the FSofA.
Shortly after enrolling in the 4th Grade and enrolling in a Public Skule in the NY Shity Schools system, I took my first Standardized IOWA Test. OOPS I got EVERYTHING right on the test. LOL. This is not supposed to happen, the tests are designed so that the typical student of the Grade Level being tested should only get half the questions correct, and if you get more than around 70% of them correct, the test isn’t valid really. According to the test, I was reading at College Level and the Math was off the scale of the test. So they let me have a go at the SAT in the 4th Grade. As I recall I scored an 1100, pretty good for HS students. So, I was IDENTIFIED. Then began the NIGHTMARE of 3 years of Lab Rat experiments and endless Testing with the Shrinks as an ”Intellectually Gifted Child” aka IGC. Every Saturday for 3 years. It did not end until I finally said NO MORE when I was around 13 or so. I had it by then.
Anyhow, this still got me into Stuyvesant HS, the magnet school for Science and Math prodigies being run by the NY Shity school system of the era. There I hung out with other first class nerds like Eric Lander and Francis Barany, while at the SAME time doing the Pirate Radio thing with my friend Randy from Brasil, and twice a year flying to Oz to hang with Dad the Pigman as part of the Divorce agreement. It was needless to say a very confusing time for me overall.
Applying to College when I was 15, I had very poor advice all around, I should have followed a close friend of mine and gone for the 6 year Bio-Med program being run by the City University of NY at that time. Cheap subsidized education and you came out with an M.D. at the end of it. I was advised though to make all my Aps to Ivy League Skules. Nobody was taking into account my Dad wasn’t going to finance the Education. I got a 1600 on my SATs this go round and was pretty much a shoe in everywhere. Of the 5 College Aps I filled out, the only one which was not Ivy league was to the Air Force Academy. I thought being a Jet Pilot or Astronaut would be REALLY COOL. Plus, a Freeby Education there on the taxpayer dime. The other 4 apps were to Harvard, Yale, Columbia and MIT. (MIT isn’t precisely Ivy League, but it is in the same Elite University clique).
The only REJECTION I got was from the Air Force Academy, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t academically or physically qualified, I was a couple of standard deviations above the mean in both areas at the time. The reason was because at the time of enrollment for my first class, I would still have been 16, and 17 was the Minimum to enroll in the Military Academies at that time.
This pissed me off, so I wrote a letter to the admissions commitee after receiving my rejection letter lambasting them for taking less qualified applicants just because they were going to be at least 17 and I wasn’t (only by a MONTH or so also!). It was some pretty good Napalm. LOL.
About a week later I got a phone call from the PENTAGON! LOL. The letter had somehow made its way from the Air Force Academy admissions commitee over to Headquarters, and some General had been given the task of making a decision on whether to Wave the 17 Rule or not. What I got from him in this Phone Call was that he had gone over it with the Military Lawyers, and there just was no way they could do this short of an Act of Congress, so he suggested I take the year off and reapply the following year. I probably should have taken that suggestion also for some other reasons I will discuss in another RE History post, but it will make this article even more rambling then it already is.
After that followed my years at Columbia, one of those Ivory Tower Ivy league institutions where the various members of the Ruling Class get “educated”. Columbia was the cheapest for me to go to since I could live at home and Commute via Subway, which I did for the first year until I was earning enough in Work Study to afford the Dorms, and after that a shared Apartment over Barney Cannon’s Bar on 108th Street with two other Wild & Crazy dudes. I went with what I was good at, Science and Math and floated around between the Physics, Chem, Bio and Math departments, settling mostly into the Basement of Havermeyer Hall in my Freshman Year as an “Elf”, my first Work-Study job. See, by this time my Dad the Pigman and I were no longer on Speaking Terms, and even though relatively speaking an Ivy League education was not as expensive as it is now, I still was pretty short of cash to pay for it. I had a couple of Scholarships, National Merit Scholarship from the PSAT, a Spelling Bee Scholarship I won early on as a 6th Grader and a Scholarship from the National Branch of the Unitarian Church, which I was dedicated into as an Infant. I was the top Graduating Unitarian Student of that class in the FSofA. All together though, these Scholarships only covered about 1/2 of the Tuition, then there was still the Room & Board and Books. I took out some Federally Insured College Loans to make up the difference, and Columbia guaranteed me some kind of Work-Study job. They did not issue Academic Scholarships themselves.
The Basement of Havermeyer Hall was a fun place for Nerds, we all hung out there together and had Blackboard contests and messed around with every chemical known to man, you could order up anything really as an Elf. The Elf “Job” was to mix up Standard Solutions of various reagents used to teach Freshman Chem and Organic Chem, but nobody ever checked what you put on the Order List. By my second year once I got into Orgo (my best subject), I got into synthesizing LSD not from Ergot as is the most common sysnthesis but from Psylocibin I was growing over in the Bio Lab. I also blew up my lab station and nearly got fired for that one. I was nitrating Toluene in what I thought was a “safe” manner, but it wasn’t quite like I pieced it out on paper. Even a small amount of Tri-Nitro Toluene (TNT) is pretty damaging when it goes off unfortunately. Fortunately on the other hand, the Head of the Lab Elfs at the time Miles was pretty sympathetic and he just gave me a stern warning at that time. I escaped with only a few minor lacerations from the flying glassware. LOL. I did not get my job there renewed the following year though. I got moved over to doing research on Radioimmunoassays at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, as I guess they figured I would be LESS dangerous working with Radioactive material than Organic Explosives. LOL. On the plus side, this paid better than Elf Work.
Thus went the Early Years of RE’s Life in the Age of Oil, A Certified Brainiac by the Shrinks getting Educated along the way pretty well in Math and the Sciences, but only marginally well in History and the Social Science,s though at Columbia we were forced at the time to take a 2-year long course of Liberal Arts Core Curriculum called “Contemporary Civilizations” and “Humanities”. In CC, you got to read all the Great Philosophers, starting out with Plato and his Wall Shadows and moving forward in History basically from there, with the focus mainly on 16th-19th Century Western philosophers like Machiavelli, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Karl Marx etc. In said course you did not get anything of Eastern Philosophy, if you were interested in that stuff you had to take elective courses in the Asian Studies department. You weren’t FORCED to take it, and if like me your courseload was maxed out with all the basic science courses and math courses, you just didn’t have time for that. You DEFINITELY got no education in ANY department about Native American culture, Polynesian Culture or Oz Aboriginal Culture, although I at least got some grasp of Paleolithic life since I took a couple of Anthropology courses in my Junior and Senior years. Even so, these courses never really addressed the Philosophy of such cultures, just their means of survival. As I recall now, my Freshman Year courseload looked like this:
Contemporary Civilizations I&II- 4 Credits
Calculus III-IV (I did AP Calc in HS so skipped Calc I-II in Freshman year) – 3 credits
Inorganic Chem I & II – 3 Credits
Chem Lab- 1 Credit (for an ungodly number of hours spent in the lab)
Physics with Calculus version-3 Credits
Biology 1&2- 3 Credits
Spanish 1&2 (foreign language requirement)-3 Credits
20 Credits! Normal courseload is around 15-18 Credits for full time Semester based University education. Sophomore year was basically the same, with Hum subbing for CC, Differential and Partial Differential Equations subbing for Calc, Orgo for Chem, Biochem and Cell Biology for Bio and Comp Sci (FORTRAN and BASIC programming) for Physics.So I really didn’t have time to study much else, at least in terms of “official” study anyhow. My Illuminati Spawn Girlfriend of the time was a Polyglot Languages major who read Greek and Latin, so I got some post-coital information from her. Notwithstanding that additional education, I left college with a brain chock full of science and math knowledge, but really only a smattering of knowledge or understanding about the progress of human history. Certainly gained no understanding of the role of Money in society or how it is created either. Although I didn’t take Economics in College, I know also the students in that department learned nothing of this either. In fact, it was a source of great Entertainment for the Geeks in the Basement of Havermeyer Hall to make fun of the Economics department students and mess with their Bogus Math. In an Economics math argument, anytime something doesn’t work right you add a Fudge Factor. LOL. So we would smoke some dope, drink some 95% Ethanol diluted with OJ or Jolt-Cola (all the Sugar and TWICE the Caffeine!), and then hit the blackboard creating new Economics “proofs” loaded with a variety of Fudge Factors like MsubR (Mistake Rate) and NsubC (Nonsense Constant). LOL. This is HILARIOUS stuff to do for a math nerd when you are smoking dope and shit-faced drunk! Sadly I think some of those weed inspired drunken “proofs” actually made it BACK to the Economics department and got used years later on Wall Street. LOL.
It wasn’t until after college when I went out to work on Wall Street as a Risk Analyst that I began to get some grasp of this stuff, but not even much there really because I was basically being used as a Human Computer to crunch a lot of numbers on a few dozen companies at any given time and make some projections for their MsubR and NsubC. LOL. Which I think I did pretty well, considering at the time we didn’t even have basic Spreadsheet Programs like Lotus (the predecessor to Excel which the Big Gorilla ripped off) to work with, I hadda do it all on reams of Graph Paper using an early Scientific Calculator from Hewlett-Packard. The IT departments of the time were filled with Mainframe Computers from IBM and NCR programmed with Punch Cards, and they were basically just big data storage mediums and tallying systems for the bazillion Transactions done each day by the TBTF Banks. The Market itself was still running old fashioned Tickers and most of the trading was done physically on the floor of the NYSE. HFT Trading Algorithms were still years away at this time.
Regardless of what sort of numbers I came up with though, it was about 50-50 as to whether what I suggested was a “Good Risk” would be invested in and what I saw as a “Bad Risk” was not invested in. I discovered the whole game was POLITICAL, and that the Pump & Dump scheme was pursued on a regular basis. There was HUGE amounts of Collusion here, at any Lunch in one of the local Wall Street area overpriced restaurants the upper level managers of 3 or 4 different Investment Banks would all be at the same table passing around information all the time. Over a half dozen or so Martinis or 50 year old Glenfidditch Single Malt Scotch Whisky, everyone would leave the table and then all together proceed to drop $Millions$ in afternoon trading while still Six Sheets to the Wind on some of the dumbest and most risky ivestments you could dream possible. Anyone who believes there has been a “Free Market” EVER is completely NUTS, Deluded, or someone who has benefitted from perpetuating this MYTH. It did not exist in the late 70s early 80s when I was on Wall Street, and I can assure you it did not exist in the 50s and 60s when my Dad the Pigman was making Bad Loans to South American countries either. You can be quite sure it did not exist when Thomas Edison and Henry Ford set up their Electric Grid and Carz Production Lines, and it sure as HELL did not exist when the Robber Barrons were laying Railroad track across the FSofA in the 1800s on the backs of Slave Laborers from China and Ireland. All of this has been manipulated over time to the benefit of the folks at the top running the show here. “Free Market Capitalism” is complete MYTHOLOGY, it never existed at any time in any place.
Anyhow, I got sick of all this shit after a couple of years and dropped out of it, thus the reason I lived the rest of my life as a generally Middle Class Working Man sorta guy instead of becoming one of the Masters of the Universe. I just wasn’t cut out for that; I particularly hated wearing a Suit and Tie also. LOL.
At the same time, even though I learned quickly enough how CORRUPT the whole game was, I still did not reflect on how the money came to be CREATED in the first place, or the collusion between Goobermint and the TBTF banks in directing how the money in society flowed out and who had access to it. This understanding did not come until many years later, when in the aftermath of the failure of Bear Stearns I started reading up on all the information I had missed out on getting a typical “good education” in the Age of Oil.
In fact, if you go back to that time period, unless you absolutely LIVED at the New York Public Library Main Branch or haunted the Stacks of Low Library at Columbia, it was probably pretty close to impossible to find out about any of this stuff. The advent of the Internet is what has made it possible for MANY people now to have caught up on it, and there are more all the time of course. The fact the system is collapsing on itself motivates ever more people to understand the whys and wherefores, so now in 2012 it is not uncommon at all to run into MANY websites where the Commentariat all discusses the “Empire” and where Da Fed is roundly criticized as a vehicle for the Rich to stay Rich (and in fact get richer) while the Poor get Poorer. EVERYBODY KNOWS!
Here on my 55th Birthday, EVERYBODY KNOWS. Well, not really, only the “Everybodies” who haunt all these Blogs and Forums where such things are discussed on a Daily Basis, which represents a remarkably SMALL percentage of the population even in developed countries where practically everybody now has an Apple I-Phone with a 24/7 connection to the internet. MOST of the people in these countries spend their Internet Time either Tweeting each other moaning about their impending Divorce or Shopping on Ebay or Surfing the Net for Pornography, they do NOT participate on Websites analysing the collapse of Industrial Civilization. In 3rd world countries where most people have a hard time just working up $2/day to feed themselves and their kids, they definitely have little understanding of how all this came to pass, they just know they are Hurting and they gotta get RID of whoever the Local Leader is that they perceive as being at Fault for the problems they have.
My great HOPE for the Internet was that it could be a place where the Everybodies who DO know what is going on here could get together and begin to reach a consensus and DO something about it. In my early years of participation on the PeakOil.com Forum I was very hyped on this idea, until sadly of course I got BANNED from Peak Oil for not following the general Group Think of that website. Undeterred, I jumped around through several other Collapse based Forums, most notably Market Ticker run by Karl Denninger and then The Burning Platform run by Jim Quinn. Again after a while I got BANNED from both those Forums.
Still unflagging in my HOPES, I holed up on the Yahoo Groups in my Reverse Engineering Yahoo Group, where I collected a few other Misfits from a few other websites, and we pleasantly for the most part analyzed Industrial Civilization Collapse. Wasn’t reaching many people of course, since I kept the Group PRIVATE/Members ONLY. Still, we sorta reached a consensus there, and then eventually due to some CENSORSHIP issues Incoming from Yahoo Bots, my good friend Peter the Tech Wizard who set up the Diner here suggested we get ourselves off of Yahoo and head back out into the great wide Internet World of Collapse Blogging to present our ideas on how to cope with these problems, and hopefully, Save As Many As You Can.
Has this Adventure brought Consensus though? Not at all, in fact even on the fairly straightforward idea of trying to mend some fences with The Burning Platform I could not get consensus here on the Diner, where I am the Chief Admin AND “Owner” of the site! So here I am after leading a pretty eclectic Life in the Age of Oil; after 4 years of writing pretty much non-stop about the issues of collapse; after getting up Online close to the most PERFECT Blog/Forum you could have in its technical set-up; STILL unable to generate consensus and still unable to really get the MESSAGE out to all but a very tiny subset of the population as a whole. So here on my 55th Birthday, I am not a Happy Puppy at all, in fact I am a very DISAPPOINTED Puppy. So much time spent on this, now seems to me all like time spent Pissing in the Wind.
I always thought I had Endless Energy to keep pursuing this, no matter the obstacles, no matter the Trolls, no matter the Napalm. I’ve seen them all, the Goobermint Trolls, the Industry Shills, the Nazis and the Kapitalista Ideologues and the Napalm Artists also. I can deal with all of them, NO PROBLEMO there! LOL. Anybody who thinks they can Troll with me or out Napalm me is in for a rude awakening. I keyboard very fast, endless cultural metaphors jumbled into my head to wield in a War of Words, plenty-o-education and the Google Search Engine available, IQ 3 standard deviations off the mean on the UPSIDE and I don’t have a wife or kids to worry about my time spent in internet battles. That is a LOT of Firepower in an Internet Debate, and you gotta be pretty good to stand up to it. I’ve met a few who could over the years also, and I do enjoy those battles the most. I’m a FIGHTER, not a PEACENIK. It is a Binary for me. If you are With Me, let us find Consensus and Work Together. If you are Against Me, I will do my best to squash your ideas like a BUG. I do not tolerate Nazis, I won’t make Compromises with them, but I will always confront them and face them down. Met MANY on the pages of Peak Oil, Market Ticker and TBP. I’ll go the full 9 yards and pull out ALL the stops when confronted with such scumbag ideas. I’ll rev up the rhetoric and rev up the keyboard fingers and go Thermonuclear if need be. Done it MANY times already, and can do it again. Good vs. Evil in the Battle for All the Marbles. That is How I See It.
What I cannot deal with though is watching as others I felt were COMMITTED to the same idea I am drop off the map and who do not stay with me in this fight. Each and every person I brought into Reverse Engineering is a person of great value to me, who I spent many hours with discussing things, and when they leave, a Piece of Me goes with them. I can only lose so many Pieces of Me before there is NO MORE of Me left to give here. They leave for their own reasons, mostly I do not know what they are precisely, though I often blame myself for it when they do. Regardless of the reason or whether it is my responsibility though, they still do leave sometimes, and it pains me every time it happens. It sucks some of the life out of me.
Like the world which surrounds us, I am about OUTTA GAS now. Outta ENERGY for this stuff. If the Cold Fusion Cavalry or Renewable Energy for Bloggers doesn’t come riding in over the Hill here pretty soon, RE is DONE. 55 years old, 4 years of non-stop writing on collapse, Peripheral Artery Disease taking my legs out from under me, my Final Trip to the Great Beyond now well within sight, I just don’t have anything left now. If I cannot build the Doomstead Diner and bring more people together to develop a good coherent means to at least handle what appears to be an oncoming extreme Die Off event for Homo Sapiens, then I am just Pissing in the Wind. Writing to no purpose other than to exorcise my own demons, which I really can never do until I cross the Great Divide.
That’s how It Goes. Everybody Knows.
Off the Keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner
Along with most of the rest of the Financial Bloggers out there, I make it a daily practice to scan the articles being posted on Zero Hedge. the Tyler Durdens have a plethora of contacts in the World of Wall Street, so they are often the Blog that Breaks Big Newz first.
I no longer read the commentary there, and to be honest most of the time don’t even read the articles either, because mostly they fall into the category of Helicopter Ben/Super Mario Draghi bashing or Gold Bitchez! articles. You pretty much know the spin that will come off the pages of any Tyler Durden article.
In the case of a recent article, Tyler quoted from Diapason’s Sean Corrigan and the whole excerpt was on the Home Page of Zero Hedge to read under the title of The Circular Logic And Prayer Tactics Of Draghi Queens, Sinomaniacs, And Other Orwellians
“Companies in the steel sector should be prepared for a long-term depression,” Zhang Changfu, secretary-general of the CISA, told media earlier.
Strange then, that the official data for July suggest that Chinese steel outout hit a new, all-time high of 61.7M tonnes during the month, the YoY increase making up no less than 99% of the entire global increment over the year. Why on earth would this be?
Chalk it up to moral hazard – specifically, the same zombifying belief shared by the whole motley crew of Sinomaniacs, Draghi queens, and QEasers everywhere; that bad news equals good; that, in true Orwellian fashion, ‘Weakness Is Strength’ – that any shortfall in voluntary demand will elicit a large enough crank of the printing press handle that the glut will soon be removed from the market and so obviate the need to undertake any painful restructuring, or to quit the business and release scarce resources for use by those with a genuinely viable business plan.
Back in metal-bashing business, Wang Lei, the head of a Shandong ore trading company, bemoaned the current adversity, telling Caixin:
“If you had iron ore [last year], you could hold it for a couple months and then sell it and earn $20 to $30 per ton easily. We bought ore for about $135 per ton, but no one will take it, even if we try to sell it at a loss.”
Wang and his friends apprear to have drawn a deangerous lesson from the events of 2008-9 though. As he told the magazine, Wang remembers watching the value of his company’s inventories decline rapidly in 2008 until the price bottomed at US$60 per ton the following year.
When the ore prices fell, he reminisced, he and his fellow trades were not pessimistic because they correctly assumed that the Chinese government would step in with an economic stimulus to offset the crisis and so revive demand. Sure enough, as the boom progressed, prices soared, reaching close to $200 a tonne in 2010, a level they revisited some 18 months ago, before policy began to tighten and the long slide to sub-$100 began.
So, once bailed out, always bailed out seems to be the guiding inference. Meantime, close your eyes and pray.
Why do I find this particular snippet interesting? The reason is that embedded in this is how the whole Industrial paradigm got funded in the first place, and why the same old tricks aren’t working now.
The whole Industrial Revolution got funded by a few people who hold the power to issue essentially Infinite Credit. Ever wonder where Henry Ford got the money to build his first Model T plants with his novel Production Line method? Henry had gone BANKRUPT not once, but at least TWICE before he got Ford Motor Company off the ground making Affordable Carz. Some websites put his Bankruptcies as high as 5 before getting Rolling.
In 1893, Henry Ford was the chief engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company. Within nine years, Ford had built his first automobile, named the Quadricycle, and started the Detroit Automobile Company. A gifted engineer, Ford focused heavily on the mechanics of his auto, and completely ignored the idea of marketing his invention. Ford’s first product failed to capture the public’s attention, and Ford was forced to leave his company and file bankruptcy. One year later, Ford started the Ford Motor Company and designed a car that broke the land-speed record. In 1908, Ford released the Model-T to an eagerly awaiting public, and changed the face of American industry.
Filed Bankruptcy when his first automotive company failed. His second automotive company failed also. In June 1903, at the age of 40, he created a third company, the Ford Motor Company, with a cash investment of $28,000.00
He also apparently was nearly outta cash AGAIN before he started selling some Model Ts. One suspects though had he gone BK again, he would have drummed up some more money AGAIN from “Investors”.
WTF was investing in this guy and why, after failing before? Notice who Hank worked for as Chief Engineer? The Edison Illuminating Company. Basically the same folks who backed Edison were backing Henry Ford. Who backed Edison?
Edison General Electric
Edison’s businesses in Schenectady grew quickly. He moved his underground tube company to Schenectady. But Edison’s businesses were struggling financially. His decision to stick to direct current hindered the success of his electrical and lighting companies. Electric lighting was still expensive, affordable only by the wealthy. Despite widespread interest, it was not available to the average person.
In 1889, Edison’s chief financial backer, J.P. Morgan, had concerns about the operation of Edison’s businesses. He worked with some of Edison’s financial associates, including Samuel Insull, and created the Edison General Electric Company, a merger of Edison’s lighting and electric companies, which included the Edison Electric Light Company, Edison Lamp Works, and Edison Machine Works.
Unsurprisingly, J.P. Morgan was the primary backer, but all the Big Money names of the era were involved, the Vanderbilts, Astors, and of course the Rockefellers as well. these are the folks who had the Open Tap to Unlimited Credit, which really was coming from over in Europe at the time.
Notice also that just like Henry Ford, Edison’s Electric Bizness ALSO had financial problems early on, yet he never went completely Outta Biz either. Electricity remained available only for the Wealthy, it was not an every J6P sorta thing in those days powering Refrigerators and Plasma TVs.
Our Industrialist friends however were enamored of the Progress involved here, and with the spigot of Unlimited Credit available to them, BY GOLLY they were gonna MAKE IT WORK!
How to make it work though? If J6P doesn’t have the MONEY to buy the Expensive Electricity, you can’t sell it to him. So you first gotta make the Electricity CHEAP enough to buy, and that takes CHEAP ENERGY. Fortunately for said Industrialists of the era, they HAD a source of Cheap Energy, the Oil coming a bubblin’ up from Jed Clampett’s farm, which Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller handed Jed enough money to move to Beverly Hills while he pumped Jed’s old farm dry for its Oil.
Still though, even pricing out this Oil dirt cheap, unless J6P had money to buy it with he wasn’t going to be buying the Thomas’ Electricity OR Hank’s Carz! So now you gotta get Money to the Customers, but of course you don’t GIVE it away, you LOAN it out. Who do you loan this money to, and where do you get it from?
First and foremost, you loan the money to Goobermints to build roads and build an electric grid. You create the money on a Balance Sheet the moment Da Goobermint signs up to Build these Improvements for J6P. The Money begins to Trickle out to J6P as he gets employed building the new roads and wiring up all the McMansions for Electric Lights.
You also loan out the money to other Brainy Entrepreneurs who come up with novel ways to use the Electricity, like Wireless Radios and TVs; and also novel ways to use the Carz, like Fast Food Drive Ins and Shopping Malls. Everybody LOVES this stuff! They are also Happy because there are new Jobs in the Industrial Economy and if they are smart guys like Henry Ford they can get an Engineering Degree and hop on the High Paid Gravy Train also!
Reminder here, Henry Ford is ALSO the guy who said this with respect to our Monetary system:
It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. Henry Ford
Interesting of course that someone who was the most direct benficiary of this corrupt system of Cronyism would make such a statement. Essentially Hank had a line of virtually unlimited credit, and by virtue of the Limited Liability Corporation the losses taken on his first two Bankruptcies were not borne by Investors like JP Morgan, who did the old Pump and Dump with the stock and were out from under the loss well before his first companies tanked. Your more average dummy financial speculator of the time took the losses, and of course with them came the various Financial Panics of the era.
The KEY to getting this all matched up and Rolling Along was to marry the Cheap Energy to a Centrally Controlled money distribution system, and this of course was the genesis of the Federal Reserve Bank, which most everyone knows now isn’t Federal or goverment at all, but rather a Privately Owned consortium by the TBTF Banks, the same ones JP Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Mellon founded, all with direct connections to European Banks run by the Rothschilds and Warburgs.
Thus began the real ramping up of the Debt of the Industrial Revolution, and speculative Money flew out the door, unfortunately a whole lot faster than the whole system could absorb all the new production and faster than jobs could be created for people to them have money to buy the products. That whole specualtive bubble came crashing down a little over 16 years after the founding of the Federal Reserve with the Great Depression.
Again here, the Bath is not taken by the Industrialists who made the Loans and undewrote the Stock issues in the first place for these Boondoggles, the bath is taken by Goobermints that put up Power systems they could not pay for, which then got repoed and Privatized. Edison Electric was NEVER a money making Bizness, it always got subsidized in some way on the backs of the Taxpayers to keep it running. Since the Taxpayers never could really afford it, Goobermints kept on taking on more and more debt to keep the system running. They have been rolling over and refinancing this debt for over a Century now.
The story of the Automobile is not a whole lot different than that, although in this case rather than many local municipalities putting up small Electric Grids they could not pay for, in the aftermath of WWII the Eisenhower Interstate Project was undertaken, the single Largest Public Works Project ever undertaken inthe History of Mankind. Bigger than the Colossus of Rhodes, bigger than the Pyramids of Egypt, Bigger than even the Great Wall(s) of China built over Centuries of time. Where do you suppose the Money for that came from? Taxes? No Sirree Bob, the Interstate was Financed on Debt through a new Goobermint Special Purpose Vehicle, the Highway Trust Fund.
The United States Highway Trust Fund is a transportation fund which receives money from a federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel and related excise taxes. It currently has three accounts, the Highway Account which funds road construction, a smaller ‘Mass Transit Account’ which supports mass transit and also a ‘Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund’. It was established 1956 to finance the United States Interstate Highway System and certain other roads. The Mass Transit Fund was created in 1982. The federal tax on motor fuels yielded $28.2 billion in 2006. In 2008 the fund required an additional $8 billion from general taxation due to reduced receipts from fuel tax in order to meet its obligations.
So here, on the expectations of the Revenue it would generate from Gas and Diesel burning in taxes over these new Roads, billions of new dollars are created out of thin air to establish this “Trust Fund”, which sorta remained solvent up until 2008, when reduced Tax income and rising maintenance costs finally crossed over and the Fund could not service its own debt.
Who did the Interstate Highway REALLY benefit? The Industrial Monopolists who built the Carz and owned the Oil production and refining facilities of course. The more people you got to consume the Oil faster, the Richer you got, and boy did they EVER get Rich! J6P of course is completely clueless about how this all got financed up, as Henry Ford said if he actually DID have a clue there would have been a Revolution quite some time back here.
The Debt Financing of Industrialization was not of course just limited to the Electric Grid and the Interstate Highways, just about as big a Boondoggle was undertaken to finance the Biggest War Machine ever built, which I refer to as the BAM or Big Ass Military. Billions upon Billions of Dollars of Debt Money created to finance corporations like General Electric, Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas to build ever more powerful and expensive War machines of all sorts. Concurrent with that expenditure was the expense of Large Public Works Projects like the NASA Space Program, which did a lot of the basic research into Rocket & Jet engines that power Supersonic Fighter Jets and Electronics systems that run the Fly-by-Wire systems necessary to control such aircraft. Still more debt money went into the Super Conducting Super Colliders in the effort to develop the Holy Grail of the industrialist, unlimited Cheap Energy from Fusion Power. With Fusion, the Jetson’s Futre was ASSURED, and they gambled very BIG MONEY on that idea. Those SCSCs don’t come cheap. Sadly of course, 40 years after reading my first articles about the Promise of Fusion Power on the Pages of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics we aren’t really any closer to it now than we were then.
Industrialists have always held out the Jetsons future for general consumption as Inevitable Progress. It’s everywhere in Pop Culture and Media, from Star Trek and Star Wars right back to the early Scifi of Jules Verne. Probably 90% of people inside the Industrial World really do believe this stuff is inevitable and we are just going through a temporary Economic Glitch here. The Mars Landings, the “Discovery” of new Exo-Planets, all the Science Newz you read every day is designed to reinforce that belief in the inevitability of Progress and the Techno-Future.
Industrialists close to the Credit Spigot like Richard Branson even try to Live Out these dreams, with their own Private Spaceships, financed of course on Debt on the idea they will get tons of people involved in Space Tourism on Virgin Milky Way Spaceships. or they will be Mining Asteroids for Mineral or Jupiter for Methane or other such Pie in the Sky nonsense.
What all these folks remain Willfully Blind to is the fact that not only do we not have sufficient Energy to Conquer the Final Frontier, we really do not even have enough just to maintain all the systems build over the last century on gobs of debt money. The Debt is coming due, and it can’t be Rolled Over anymore because the Growth has STOPPED, regardless of what massaged GDP statistics say. Money creation right from the Get–Go in the time of John D. Rockefeller has been tied to Energy production, and as long as Energy production (or rather extraction is the better term) kept increasing, the Debt Money kept on flowing outward. Long as you had the Inside Track on any new technology, you could always invest and Pump & Dump it for a profit. This of course was what the whole Dot Com Bubble was all about, and you see the last gasp of this type of action with the Facepalm and PoopOn IPOs.
Really though, those in charge of Credit Creation now are less concerned with Investing in any New Biznesses than they are in trying to figure out where and how to sequester their money in “safe” inestments like USTs and Gold, either of which are very productive enterprises which create any Jobs of course. The same priniciples of vast expansion of Debt which came in the runnup to and aftermath of WWII can’t work this time, because the cheap energy that Debt was issued to buy does not exist anymore. All the cheap stuff has been converted to CO2 molecules floating around willy nilly in the atmosphere doing nobody any good at all, and quite possibly doing a lot of harm as well. Only EXPENSIVE energy remains, and a world of increasingly impoverished people cannot afford it, and they aren’t “credit worthy” either.
Few in the Industrialized world want to see the Gravy Train end here, certainly not the Elite running the show so they keep trying the same old straategies that worked before, but they aren’t WORKING. Well, at least not to fix the general problem they aren’t working; they are working pretty good to transfer the last of the reamining wealth into their grubby little hands though. For the most part though, that wealth is ephemeral, and there really are not any “safe havens” to sequester this stuff anymore. In the Bye and Bye, it will all collapse, possibly quite suddenly given how fast HFT programs run these days.
Industrialization was the equvalent of a Harvard Keg Party, run pretty much by the same Harvard Frat Boys that ran the Keg Parties themselves in Hahvahd Yahd. The problem here is they are Outta Beer to sell at a price 90% of the population can afford to buy, and you just cannot scale down this type of infrastructure too much before it all collapses. Even if you are a Pigman with enough Bonus Money to buy a Lamborghini, its not gonna last too long driving on pothole ridden streets. Hell, they don;t last long on well paved streets! LOL.
Until the population as a whole grasps how they were taken for a ride here though, and as long as this population itself continues to hold onto the dreams of a techno future that will never come, those in control of the credit creation Biz will continue pulling rabbits out of the hat here to keep it going one week, one day, one hour longer, until at last it can go no more.
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.
Off the Keyboard of RE
Discuss this Articlcle at the Geological and Cosmological Events Table inside the Diner
What causes a person to become a DOOMER? When did you receive your Wake Up Call that Industrial Civilization was on a Runaway Train headed for Derailment over the Olduvai Gorge?
Inside the Diner, I generally identify my Wake Up Call as coming with the Failure of Bear Stearns in 2007. It was in the aftermath of that I began researching the Economic issues, which then led me to the Energy issues and then the Population issues. It was during this period I joine the PeakOil.com Forum and became acquainted with concepts like EROEI, and various theories of collapse from people like Joseph Tainter, Richard Duncan and Dmitry Orlov.
Recent activity inside the Diner along with the fact Tropical Storm Isaac is now bearing down on Florida and after that into the GOM has caused me to go back to a Yahoo Group I was running when Katrina made Landfall in NOLA in 2005. I had numerous friends at or near Ground Zero when Katrina hit, and the discussions that we pursued before, dering and int he aftermath of that catastrophe ran into the hundreds if not thousands of posts. I now realize it was not Bear Stearns that took me down the Doomer Highway to begin with, it was KATRINA.
In the interest of maintaining the anonymity of all involved in that posting, I cannot open up that Group for general reading. I can however go back in there and Copy/Paste what was written and strip out any identifying material regarding the posters. I believe much of what was written in that series of discussions is instructive on the nature of collapse, not just as it applied to one Big Shity at Ground Zero in 2005, but to the catastrophe now facing ALL of us who depend on the Conduits of Industrial Life around the globe.
Inside the Diner, I will publish over the next few months as much of this material as I can in the Katrina Chronicles thread. Here below are the very FIRST posts made as Katrina was bearing down on NOLA. Follow the rest inside the Doomstead Diner.
Off the Keyboard of RE
Discuss this Article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner
In his article The Orkin Man: Which Side Are You On, my fellow Admin here on the Diner Surly detailed his POV on how the Battle Lines shape up, along with all the excesses that result when Humanity resorts to violence as a means to resolve its problems, which basically amount to the inability we have shown over the last few millenia to share the resources of Mother Earth in some equitable fashion. At least inside Western and Asian Ag societies through this period anyhow that has been the case. My rebuttal to that article came in Unforgiven.
Which Side are You On? is a Miner’s Folk song which comes from the early years of Coal Mining in the FSofA, and in his post Surly details the Battle of Blair Mountain, in which Striking Miners were violently squashed down by the FSofA Military. Same Military which later would squash down the Bonus Army during the Great Depression on the shores of the Potomac River around Washington.
Of course we are now set up for very much the same type of Confrontations again, and in those Mass Battles between J6P armed with Hunting Rifles and the Military armed to the TEETH with everything from LRAD to AR-15s to Apache Helicopter Gunships, getting into this sort of melee with TPTB is pretty much a LOSING PROPOSITION, on this topic Surly and I are in Full Agreement.
Now, there are numerous suggestions/ideas/philosophies discussed every day inside the Diner regarding how best to proceed given the vast Force Differential between TPTB and J6P. Among them are Peaceful Protest and Withdrawal of Consent as Alternatives to Massed Violent Confrontation, but something of a Middle Ground does exist here in the form of the Assymetric Warfare of Anonymous. Diner A.G. Gelbert and I recently had an exchange on this topic inside the Diner which I will include here below.
Besides this tangent though, another very important Moral Question was broached, which is the CHOICE we all have to make in one sense or another as to which side of this Battle we will line up on, besides HOW we might fight it. By ENLISTING in the Military rather than waiting to be Conscripted, you can have a better choice of Jobs which have higher survival percentage, and possibly lower Suicide Rates also, though that is not clear at the moment.
The choices that existed during the Vietnam Era are less possible these days. Likelihood would be now if you managed to cross the Hoser Border to the Great White North they would Conscript you up into THEIR Division of the Big Ass Military. Swimming the Rio Grande in a Reverse Wetbacking Escape Attempt doesn’t seem like a bright idea either, you would be Dodging Bullets in the ongoing “Drug War”, and as Peter has mentioned inside the diner, Gringos are likely to be Targets for this stuff pretty soon down there.
So the questions are many here. HOW to negotiate this Shitstorm, HOW best to make a fight if you choose to do so, WHICH side to Line Up with in the Battle for All the Marbles? Or perhaps you still do try to run away, RUN AWAY FAR, RUN AWAY FAST? To WHERE do you RUN then? If you have a Sailboat, do you point it towards Pitcairn Island and join the Inbred Descendants of Fletcher Christian and the rest of the Bounty Mutineers and improve their Genetic Diversity? This does not seem a fabulous alternatie either, even if you can pull it off.
If you decide to hit the Streets in Massed Peaceful Protest, linking Arms and singing “We Shall Overcome”, how long do you last out there when the Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets and LRAD come out? If you go the route of the Miners from Blair Mountain and show up with your Hunting Rifles, how long do you last when the Apache Helicopter Gunships arrive to bring Death From Above? If you try to make the Fight Anon, how LONG can you stay Anon, and WHAT can you actually accomplish in such an Asymmetric battle?
If you decide SURVIVAL is your Imperative and you VOLUNTARILY join the Army of Darkness, HOW do you LIVE with yourself after that?
Morton’s Forks abound here, many CHOICES to be made, NONE of them very good, but perhaps some a bit better than others.
The discussion from inside the Diner looks at these questions in some detail, so let us review it here:
RE” Become Anonymous”
Impossible RE. It cannot be done anymore.
I tried to make an anonymous contribution with my pay pal account last month and it cannot be done.
Definitely know the Pay Pal problem. When we did that BRAZOS Fundraiser for WHD, I tried to make an Anon Contribution by purchasing a Visa Gift Card for Cash at Safeway and using that to make the online contribution. No go, Pay Pal would not take that card number. In the end I snail mailed the card to WHD. Not anonymous to him, but at least Da Goobermint doesn’t have a record of my donation.
Cash FRNs remain pretty much the last Anon form of Money. If you have Gold for instance, if you sell it to a Gold dealer for some Cash, anything over I think $600 has to be individually reported to Da Goobermint.
Remaining truly Anon on the net can only be done by very accomplished Hackers using proxy servers, and they have to be at least as good as the Spooks who try to track them down.
Far as Travel goes, you can’t do Anon in a Car of course, they have to be registered. You can still get around Anon on a Bicycle and even some of the lower end Mopeds.
Obviously Air travel can’t be done Anon, and even though I haven’t done it I am pretty sure you have to show Identification to buy an Intercity Bus Ticket nowadays. I recently took a ride on the Alaska Railroad and you get your Ticket with your Name printed on it, not Transferrable. However, I didn’t have to show any ID for it, we bought the tickets in bulk and just provided a Manifest to the Railroad ticket office. Any names could have been on it. No idea what the situation is on Amtrak down in the Lower 48.
With all the gobs of Security Cameras in stores and on City streets now wired into the Net, and Gobs of storage space along with facial recognition software, in theory at least you probably could be watched 24/7 as long as you are outside your McMansion.
Inside, the Cameras are still sorta “voluntary” on your Computer or Tablet, but these probably can be hacked into and turned on without your knowledge anytime you have the computer switched on. Malware stored in the computer could do that even if you are not Online, then upload the recorded video whenever you sign on. Probably advisable if there is a camera front and back on the Laptop to tape a piece of cardboard over it.
To escape all of this, really you have to drop out of the industrial economy altogether and go rewilding in remote areas. The situation promises to get ever worse until the Grid and the Net Collapse.
There are a few things you can still do proactively. One is to do your own Data Encryption of your emails and so forth. 256 bit data encryption is very powerful, and as long as the software is clean without back doors it can’t be broken even by Supercomputers. You can check the software for backdoors also, at least a decent programmer can because it is not that complex, its just a mathematical algorithm based on Public and Private Keys and prime Numbers.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if I created a Forum on the Diner which was all Encrypted, and only Diners with the Keys could unencrypt it? Likely I suppose it would get the Diner shut down in no time.
Anyhow, I do agree with you, remaining TRULY Anon with respect to Da Goobermint is about impossible nowadays. However, you can still try to avoid becoming “Famous” like Julian Assange. Wikileaks got too Big releasing lots of embarrassing Documents, and Julian was the Face of Wiki. Julian hadda be taken out. Now he is a Battle for his LIFE, he has already lost the battle for his FREEDOM. He is already under a form of House Arrest in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
We Diners are small fry, a bunch of mostly Old Guys and some UE young ones who complain to each other daily about the loss of Freedom and the destruction of our Planet. We pose no Threat to TPTB at this point, and none of us are Famous. So we are allowed at this point to chat as we will, with probably some Spook checking us out every so often for a good laugh while checking the Site Stats. The Black Escalades don’t show up until you get Big like Wiki and Famous like Julian.
We got a long way to go before that happens, and the Grid and Net will likely fail before we do. Until then, Hard Harry here will WRITE HARD and…wait for it…
PUMP UP THE VOLUME ON THE DOOMSTEAD DINER!
*Disclaimer: Like Christian Slater I haven’t aged well and don’t look too much like that anymore. However, here on the net or on Radio for that matter nobody can see what you look like, so you look like what the Mind’s Eye Pictures. That’s the Picture I hold in my head when I am not looking in the Mirror to get hammerred with the real picture of the Toll life has taken on me in the Age of Oil.
Air Force Intelligence The nature of our job is so secret that we do not know what we are doing
I kid you not!
RE, Back when I joined the nasty guard to avoid a bullet in Nam I was an Intelligence Operations Specialist.
That is a remarkable Coinkidink AB. In many prior discussions (with Ross in particular), I have mentioned that one of the better Survival Techniques in a time of Fascism is to JOIN the Fascist Army VOLUNTARILY, and among the safest positions if you are good with Numbers is to get into the Intelligence Department. Logistics also is not too bad.
At least until the Full On War with the Chinese gets rolling and Carrier Groups start heading for Davey Jones Locker En Masse, the Navy is better than the Army. The LAST thing you want to get stuck with is as Grunt Infantry in the Army or the Marines.
A 4 year College Degree is a great help also, you go in as an Officer right off the bat. At least you used to, maybe not anymore though.
Of course, the problem with any of this is in the “Which Side are You On?” area. No matter what you do or how safe your paticular job is, once in there you are fighting as a Soldier of the Illuminati. That is a tough Moral Quandary Pill to swallow for most of us nowadays who grasp what is going on now.
Even us Old Fogeys may end up forced to make this choice. As the Young Grunts are sent off to the Killing Fields, Retired Auto Workers will be called in to man up to the Production Line for Tanks and APCs. Old Bloggers will be asked to Write Propaganda to help the War Effort. Write it and you get a Paycheck from Da Goobermint. Don’t write it, at best you Starve. Write AGAINST it, you get a One Way Ticket to the Human Waste Reprocessing Facility in San Antonio to be reformulated into MREs for the Troops as soon as they break your Anon and Track You Down.
In the end, just about all of us are likely to have to decide Which Side We Are On and whther to try to Fight it from the Outside or Survive it from the Inside. The Avoidance Tactic is likely to be quite difficult to undertake.
The other day Surly1 posted that DARPA plan to make a pack of humanoid robots. I made some gallows humor out of it but I subsequently read that suicides last month broke all the records in the US military. People just don’t want to do the empire thing at the grunt level any more. It’s getting to them so the reptiles on top are thinking of outsourcing humans to machines. As WHD said, it won’t work; robots are devilishly complex, break down easily in battle dusty situations and, last but not least, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander (see Iran and the super duper secret drone they got their dibs on). It seems the people on top fear us more every day. That fear is driving them nuts. Buying all that ammo? WTF!!?
CFS has left the building of the Gooberment.
I’ll dig up the military suicides article if you want to read it.
There are no single solutions that will work for every person in every place. Circumstances are different for different people, priorities differ, moral and ethical philosphies differ. All we really can do here is to identify the CHOICES that lay before us all as this spin down proceeds, and in fact gathers speed now. In terms of PREPARATION though, nothing is more IMPORTANT than preparing your MIND for what is to come here. More important than #10 Cans of Mountain House Food, more important than Solar PV Cells and Batteries, more important even than Guns & Ammo. Because if you have not considered it carefully, if you have not played it through in your head, chances are very good no matter how good your Physical Preps are, you will PANIC, and you will not Stay the Course you have thought through here
For this REASON, the Doomstead Diner is here on the Net. Psychological PREPARATION for the Greatest CHALLENGE to face Homo Sapiens since Toba went Ballistic 75,000 years ago. No time for DENIAL anymore. NOW is the time to GET READY, and GET TOUGH. Because when the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.
Off the keyboard of William Hunter Duncan
First published @ Off The Grid In Minneapolis
Discuss this at the Geological & Cosmological Events Table inside the Diner
No new news to make for Job Search Part 3 yet, so I though I might delve into the meaning of it ALL, if you will. A new hypothesis has me thinking about that – it’s called Geotectonic Ocean Heat Transfer, put forth by RE, the main Admin at the website Doomstead Diner.
The last twenty years, earthquake and volcanic activity has been on the rise, markedly. If you know anything about the exponential function and how that relates to the currency, to population, to resource extraction and use, well, if you look at a graph of aggregate, global earthquake activity the last 40 years, you see a similar growth curve.
That’s strange, don’t you think? It’s one thing to point to carbon emissions, or oil use, or water extraction, and say we have caused that. But when you realize one sizable earthquake might contain the energy equivalent of a few dozen or hundred nuclear bombs, and there are thousands upon thousands of quakes every year, it is beyond absurd to say humans have caused that (unless you are willing to attribute sentience to Gaia, the earth, in which case she might be supremely pissed off, at the aggregate behavior of her arrogant offspring, and has decided to shake things up a bit?)
What is so striking about this hypothesis, is that most earthquake and volcanic activity takes place below the sea, which, as it turns out, is warming faster than the atmosphere. The ocean is one giant heat sink, and it is simply wrong to suggest heating thin air would in turn heat dense water faster than the air is being heated. It does not appear there is any increase in solar output, that might be a contributing factor to the warming oceans. Instead, the hypothesis goes, it is increased tectonic activity below the sea, that is contributing not just to the warming oceans, but consequently, to climate change.
Notice in these graphs, how the early nineties saw a radical increase in earthquake strength overall, and heat content in the oceans. That would seem to contradict the standard model of climate change, which is called Anthropogenic. To date, about 98% of climate scientists are certain humans are to blame, with our burning of fossil fuels in the rampant way that we do. The other 2% are generally fundamentalist Christians who cannot believe, and paid-for corporate shills who won’t. The problem of course is, anytime 98% of any group believe the same thing, when that thing is of great import, that’s called orthodoxy; getting the orthodox to accept or even entertain anything, however factual, that might suggest a flaw in the core belief, is damn near impossible (see aforementioned Christians.)
The Geotectonic Ocean Heat Transfer hypothesis does not in fact contradict ACC (Anthropocentric Climate Change). Whatever is happening to the climate, we are certainly exacerbating that. There is nothing particularly healthy for the biosphere, polluting it the way we do, and what isn’t healthy for the biosphere isn’t healthy for the biological entity known as people, whatever the propaganda says about this glorious Age. Civilization as we know it is economically beneficial to a small number of humans, disastrous for the majority, and catastrophic for life generally. There isn’t any question at all, approaching the 400 ppb number, of carbon molecules in the atmosphere, we are helping to heat up the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. But there is clearly something else going on.
RE suggests, as our solar system is passing through the plane of the ecliptic of the Milky Way, from above the plane to below the plane, the nearer we are to the plane, the more we are bombarded with neutrinos flowing from the center of the galaxy, which is putting a strain on all the interstellar bodies – the other planets and the sun.
Whatever the cause, every celestial body in the solar system has been in upheaval the last several decades, as evidenced by this video from David Wilcock. I consider David a charlatan extraordinaire, but he is an excellent compiler of curious data. I don’t support what he is saying in the beginning of this piece, or necessarily his judgement about what ALL of it means, but these two links he alludes to (and a third I added), and the other evidence in the video of the changes ongoing throughout the solar system, do lend credence to RE’s hypothesis:
Whatever the cause, it is certainly a paradigmatic shift to say that climate change is being caused by changes within the earth, particularly when you are suggesting the driver of that is something coming from outside the heliosphere. Because if that is the case, well, it would seem to suggest we are fucked, if the increase in tectonic activity continues. We’ve grown accustomed to the idea of continuity. Not just here in America the last seventy years, with the ever growing economy, but over all, the last 10,000 years. We are told, that when the ice from the last ice age finally melted, the climate settled into a nice calm groove, we started planting seeds, and it’s been all progress on this (climatically) stable planet ever since. RE suggests the heating of the oceans will mean more moisture in the air, ever more rains, and ever more cloud cover, until the earth is shrouded and things cool down. That of course would lead to another ice age, and very great difficulties unknown in recent memory, for a higher mammal called Homo sapien. As in, population bottleneck. That likely has happened before, when the Toba volcano in the south pacific blew it’s top, 70,000 years ago, shrouding the skies with particulate, blocking the sun and reducing the population of Homo sapien to an estimated 1000 breeding pairs. So it’s not like that is without precedent.
But that could never happen to us, right? Because we have conquered nature, right? If there’s a more orthodox belief than that, it’s hard to imagine.
The Geotectonic Ocean Heat Transfer hypothesis may seem like just another doom and gloom scenario, to add to the bucket full bearing down on us at this point. But I don’t think so. I think it’s the best news I’ve heard in awhile. How can that be? Well, I’ve never made much of a secret that I think this universe is divine, which is to say, imbued with energy and conscious intent, throughout. Hearing that the earth is acting up tectonically, that the whole solar system is in upheaval, at the same time the human exponential growth curve has reached it’s peak, at the same time our financial markets seem on the cusp of collapse, at the same time we seem to be on the verge of global war for the last of the oil, at the same time the Mayan’s cyclical 5,126 long count calendar comes to an end/beginning (5000 years ago we gathered in cities and started writing, 10,000 years ago we started planting seeds) well, it’s just another profound layer of mysteriousness. Radical changes are afoot, clearly, on every level. And in light of that, the industrial age begins too look less like a terrible mistake leading inevitably to the extinction of life on planet earth, and more like the necessary growing pains, that we might become aware of the changes that are happening to the entire solar system, and so, prepare ourselves for what is coming. How we do that, I don’t know, other than to look at it and be honest. To train our consciousness there. To face it. That we might choose to live more humbly, more harmoniously, on this beautiful planet.
We aren’t really doing that of course. More, we are doing whatever we can not to face the radical changes all around us, like this video posted on my Facebook news feed, described by the poster as THIS IS WHAT THE INTERNET WAS MADE FOR.
Gut the resources of the earth to make a washing machine designed with forced obsolescence to break down in less than ten years, but to be destroyed instead for pleasure by some idiot bright enough to heft a rock.
Perhaps it’s best to give up on any meaning, in the way of conspicuous affluence and “disposable” income? Or, find this the most propitious of times, to be AWAKE and ALIVE, to BE in a way that is MEANINGFUL, as if we are at the cusp of a transformation unlike anything humanity has ever known?
BTW – I keep forgetting to mention, one of my readers sent me a great documentary Once Upon A Time In Knoxville I highly recommend. A great story of the waste based culture of our time, and what some are doing about it.
Off the Keyboard of RE
Recently Diner EndIsNigh introduced a couple of additional Collapse Blogs to the Diner Blogroll, the Dark Mountain Project and Thoreau Farm. This follows directly on the heels of a Feature here on the Diner from Urban Scout Peter Bauer, a compilation of his recent efforts in Rewilding, the idea of learning the basic skills of survival practiced by neolithic and paleolithic age Homo Sapiens as means to survival in the projected post-Industrial age Apocalypse.
What is clear here is that the number of people concerning themselves with Industrial Civilization Collapse is quite rapidly on the increase, this is no longer a “Wingnut” idea in the Blogosphere, in fact it is getting downright Mainstream these days. Ph.D Academic types all weighing in with their perceptions of the oncoming DOOM. Many if not most of these Bloggers though tend to hold onto the concept that through Green Technologies and other Technofixes in the Energy and Food departments, after a period of some struggle we will reformulate the Civilization and operate with more or less the same kind of Toys we have now. If not Oil Powered Carz, we will have Electric powered ones. We’ll still use Money, we’ll still have Globalism, and in fact it will get ever worse as the Police State grows out of control and every aspect of our lives and freedoms are dictated from Above by a small cabal of the Uber Rich. That is one commonly held perspective anyhow.
The other fairly common perspective comes from the Greenies who look forward to a future of Renewable energy led by Solar, Wind, Geothermal and Hydro power while most of the population goes Back to the Land Whole Earth Catalogue style and lives pleasant bucolic lives as Modern Amish with Smart Phones.
Then of course in the Pantheon of Doomer Bloggers you have the Uber Doomers like Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last, who are convinced we are on the cusp of an Extinction Level Event more or less the scale of the Permian Extinction. I personally find it hard to buy into that, for the simple reason it is SO HOPELESS there really is not anything left to talk about. If it is a LOCK that we have so damaged the planet or the planet is changing as a result of Cosmological factors that NOBODY will survive, about the only thing left to discuss is how best to Party Hearty here until the Sword of Damocles drops down.
There is however a smaller group of Bloggers now messing around in this mix, those who have GIVEN UP on “Green Renewable Technology”, GIVEN UP on trying to reform the Economic system we have been running through the Fossil Fuel Era and talk more and more about reverting, or REVERSE ENGINEERING back to older technlogies and ways of living, in some cases right back to Paleolithic levels. Rewilders like Urban Scout Peter Bauer take this about as far as you can currently go with the idea, but you do also have many more people who are looking back to 18th Century Farming practices and then others considering Neolithic era practices as well. The Paleolithic Doomers are overall a pretty small subset of all Doomers at the moment, but they are out there for sure.
I’ve had many discussions with Steve from Virginia of Economic Undertow on these topics, overall he seems to fit in to the category of neo-Amish Doomers who consider the 17th-19th Century idealized style of Ag living to be a sustainable one overall. In his paradigm, the H-G Lifestyle is “Obsolete”, but he clearly does not consider the Horse Drawn Plow and “self-sufficient” small town of Craftsmen like Blacksmiths and Carpenters and Weavers and Shoemakers to be AS Obsolete. Idealized as it was in the Paintings of Monet, this seems like the style of living we should Target for to Steve.
So you really do have quite a wide variety of CHOICE here once you take the leap into the world of Collapse Theory and Doom Blogs as to what Paradigm you think is most likely to occur once the current system FAILS, or in the case of some paradigms does NOT FAIL. You can find Justifications for any viewpont from a Jetsons Future; to a Fascist Techno Brave New World vision of a Boot Stamping on a Human Face FOREVER; to Placid and Bucolic neo-Amish Farmers utilizing Little Dutch Boy style Windmills; to Stone Age Hunter Gatherers making Buckskin Clothing; right up to Coming to Grips with an Inevitable Spin Downwhere the Oceans Acidify, the Phytoplankton all die and all Higher Life Forms above some Plant Life and the Tardigrades go the way of the Dinosaur in a rapid and massive Permian Style Extinction Level Event!
Who do YOU want to Line Up with here, what is YOUR preferred Doom Scenario? This appears to me to be divided primarily by Personality Type, with generally Optimistic People falling either into the Techno-Jetsons camp or the Greeny Renewable Energy Camp while generally Pessimistic People fall into either the Stone Age Camp or Extinction Camp. Fence sitters seem to go with the the Neo-Amish Permaculture Farming idea settling on the 17th-19th Century living paradigm as a sustainable one to shoot for here.
There are many Variations to these general Categories of course, with all sorts of Political and Economic Organizations that go anywhere from total Globalist Illuminati Control in a Neo Feudal paradigm to complete Anarchists who favor no Goobermint whatsoever and then Economic ideas which go anywhere from using GOLD as Money to concepts of using non-Debt Fiat which might have a Demurrage attached to pure Barter. On a Macro-Economic level, you have a LARGE contingent of people (pretty much the entire Zero Hedge Commentariat of Piglets) who figure if we go to some mythical “Free Market Capitalism” where Goobermint stops Regulating and TAXING Entrepreneurs and cancels ALL Social Welfare Bennies and Fires EVERY Goobermint Worker we can get out of DEBT, right up to Full-On Socialist and Commie Reds who would like to se Da Goobermint Nationalize just about everything. Of course also, let us not forget the non-stop and perpetual debate between the Inflationistas and Deflationatos on which way the Currency Collapse is going to play itself out.
Then on a Geopolitical Level you have your Neo-Con Militarists who figure the best Solution is to Glaze Over all of MENA with Nukes and follow the “Powell Doctrine” of OVERWHELMING FORCE, to Pacificist/Isolationists who figure we should close every Military Base outside the contiguous borders of the FSoA while of course ALSO enforcing Posse Comitas to prevent any Military we DO have stationed in Bases here from engaging Actions to repress dissent here inside the FSofA. At this point of course if you actually are Maintaining an Army, these guys are all sitting around twiddling their thumbs on the Taxpayer Dime since they really are doing NOTHING except accassionally burning up a lot of Jet Fuel doing Test Flights of the latest Hardware from McDonnell-Douglas and General Electric.
As if all that was not enough, you have an AMAZING pantheon of Religious and Philosophical Theories and Belief Structures underpinning anybody’s Global Take on the Big Picture on ALL of this. This goes from Fundamentalist Christian ideas that all of this is related to the battle between God & Satan; to UFO Alien Conspiracy Theorists who attribute this to Reptilian Aliens; to Tao Zen Masters who are sure the problem is related to the fact nobody grasps the Meaning of Koans and are just too SLOW to Snatch the Pebble from the Grasshopper’s Hand; to Josey Walesists who figure if we just BLOW AWAY all the Bad Guys things will be just FINE! LOL.
Now,if you have any sense whatsoever of Mathematics and Permutations and realize any given Individual can mix up ALL of these ideas (and many more, I left out a LOT here for the sake of brevity), the number of Combinations exceeds all the current population of Planet Earth, and probably exceeds the number of ALL Sentient Beings who ever conptemplated these question EVER to walk the Earth right back to the Day After Toba went Ballistic 75,000 Years Ago!
You think any 2 people will ever manage to AGREE on EVERYTHING here? This will NEVER happen of course, and this leads us to the Problem of finding your “Home” on the Internet to hash out all these problems with other Sentient Beings like yourself. Some quite a bit less Sentient than others of course. LOL. Just about no matter what Blog or Forum you travel to as you Surf the Web in Search of the Truth about Collapse, you will find some Blogger who agrees with your perspective on some Core Issues, but anytime you dig deep enough with anybody else, you will find Areas of Disagreement. This is not just limited to the Blogger Hosting the Website, it extends into the Commentariat of the Website also.
You have a coupleof choices here once you find yourself in Conflict with the Blogger or the Group Think of the Commentariat on any Blog of Forum. One choice is to Muzzle Yourself when you find yourself in too much conflict with the Host or the Group Think. That is the most Common Choice, followed closely by those in the Commentariat who might venture one or two Contrarian posts but who then retreat into Lurkerville on the website once Bombarded either by the Blogger running the show or the Commentariat immersed in the Groupthink of that Blog. The least common choice but the one which Bugs most Bloggers the most is the Persistent “Troll”, a Commenter who repeatedly shows up in the discussion thread followinganyBlog Article to pursue his Own Agenda which often is in Direct Conflict with the spin the Blogger is trying to pursue on his Blog. Trolls aren’t all that common, but the few there are always annoy the heck out of a Blogger, and the common choice there is to BAN the Troll for his Trolling.
The effect of this of course is to further Homogenize any Blog and the commentary to such a point the Commentariat become Yes-Men of the Blogger, all FANS who hold very similar POVs to the Blogger, though of course never precisely identical but these Commenters never pursue ideas deeply enough to get into conflict with the Blogger in the first place.
Possibly the BEST example of Group Think and how Homogenous it all gets comes from the pages of Zero Hedge, one of the BIGGEST Doomer Blogs if not the outright biggest of all. How many times have you read the One Line Comment on ZH, “Gold, Bitchez!”? If you don’t Buy the Concept that Possessible Gold is the BEST Hedge against losing all your “Wealth” in a Monetary System Collapse on ZH, you will just get HAMMERRED by dozens of “Gold Bitchez” from every Quasi-Sentient Commenter who frequents Zero Hedge. Similarly, if you don’t Buy the Concept that “Free Market Capitalism” is the Cat’s Pajamas of Economic Systems, you will ALSO get Hammered by the vast number of Piglets inhabiting the Cesspool of the Zero Hedge Commentariat.
ZH of course is still one of the best Informational Blogs on the Economic End out there in the Collapse Blogosphere, compiling many articles from across the Web as well as those of the Tyler Durdens.In fact, I have used it as a Model for the Diner in this regard, in addition to Featuring the Native Diner Bloggers (including myself), I Cross Post numerous articles from other Bloggers on the Web as well. However, you absolutely can get NOWHERE in the Commentary of ZH, as a Reader,a typical Commenter or even a Troll. The Half-Life on any comment you make is simply too short over there because so many articles are posted each day, and besides that every thread is so SWAMPED with commentary anything you write gets lost so fast even YOU will have trouble finding it a day later unless you Boomark it. So I do not Comment on ZH too often, though I have been a member there since my Peak Oil years, nearly from the beginning of ZH when Marla was still around and Robot Trader put all the Girly Pics up all the time. My Handle there is Rogue Economist, the first “RE” Handle I used on Peak Oil. For the reason I hardly ever post up there, I have never been BANNED from ZH for Trolling. LOL.
Not true of course on numerous other smaller Blogs and Forums, where before we Openned the Diner for Bizness I could best be described as a “Troll on Steroids”. Not running my OWN Blog in those years, I would drop into the Commentary of different Bloggers and often make Comments quite near the length of this Article. LOL. Arguments and ATTACKS from other members of the Commentariat or the Host Blogger just got me MORE motivated to write still MORE stuff. This Behavior in the end resulted of course in my being BANNED from numerous Collapse Blogs and Forums.
Anyhow, I am drifting a bit off topic, and besides I have covered my history of being Banned and Censored from OPBs in quite a few other articles here already. In setting up this article, what I tried to do was demonstrate the extreme variation in perspectives you get when looking at Civilization Collapse. Once you WAKE UP and become AWARE this is underway, any THINKING person wants to KNOW MORE because obviously the more you know and the better you understand what is going on, the better chance you have to Prep Up for it and possibly be able to negotiate it somehow.
You CAN get a variety of Perspectives by dropping a variety of different Collapse Blogs into your Bookmarks and reading them all Daily, but in terms of trying to get DISCUSSION going where a variety of perspectives are all represented with Fair & Equitable Treatment in the Blogosphere is concerned, it happens just about as Often in the Blogsphere as it happens on 60 Minutes or Oprah or Faux Newz, which is about Next to NEVER. I have personal experience with the Producers of Oprah’s show editing material from a program I was running to cast the worst possible spin on it, going way back in time here but it infuses my DISGUST with all people in the Newz and Information Dissemination Bizness who will Edit, Censor and Reformat what other people do, write or say in order to Pitch their Own Agenda.
Here on the Diner, I am making an effort which at the moment is marginally successful at trying to overcome this problem. It is successful from my end because to Date I have yet to BAN or CENSOR anyone who posts on the Diner Forum or who pursues their Own Agenda, be it Christian Fundamentalism, Reptilian Alien Conspiracy or Hitler Revisionism. I don’t even censor people who call me out as an arrogant and bombastic ASSHOLE either! LOL.
Where the Philosophy appears to be UNSUCCESSFUL is in trying to get other Bloggers who have Contrarian Viewpoints to my own to actually engage in DISCUSSION of the ideas! In fact, even trying to get the average Commenter here to discuss issues sorta goes in Fits & Starts.
For a Contrarian like myself with an EXTREME case of Keyboard Diahreah, this is VERY frustrating. I read something somebody else writes, I wanna explore it. I wanna hash it out from my perspective. However, as soon as I begin to challenge in detail any concept the Blog Author holds dear or the Commentariat accept as Group Think, I end up getting BANNED or Censored. Most recent occurences of this phenomenon for me were on The Automatic Earth run by Ilargi and the Economic Undertow run by Steve from Virginia. To be honest, insofar as I know in neither case have I been BANNED from either Blog, I have simply chosen to stop participating in the Commentary because both Bloggers CENSORED one of my comments. If I persisted as I have done many times in the past, I would eventually get the Axe anyhow, so I now QUIT before I can be FIRED from the Commentariat. LOL.
As I wrote in a Cacophony of Pundits and Commentariat, while there is much Information being disseminated across Cyberspace in the Blogosphere, there is little real DEBATE of the ideas that goes on. Everybody, Bloggers and Commenters alike talk AT each other or PAST each other rather than TO each other. While perhaps we all are successful to some degree in getting Information OUT that the MSM does not, there still is no real good SYNTHESIS of all these vast difference in ideas about Economics, Geopolitics, Energy, Environment, Conspiracy, Religion or any of the other Main Topics you run across on every Collapse Blog you Surf to. The commentariat evolves to a point where it just represents people who have the same general spin as the Blogger who Admins the site within only a few Degrees of Freedom around Core Ideas. Veer too far off the Beaten Path inside the Commentariat of ANY Blog or Forum at all, eventually you meet the Fate RE met so many times already, you get BANNED.
Individual Bloggers like Steve from Virginia who runs Economic Undertow or Ilargi who runs The Automatic Earth maintain it is their RIGHT as the Proprietor of their Blog to Edit,Censor or BAN anyone in the commentariat they deem as a “Troll” counteproductive to the SPIN they are trying to send out across Cyberpace. How is that DIFFERENT from Rupert Murdoch making sure only Stories HE wants promoted on the pages of Global Mail or Faux Newz? The ONLY difference is one of Scale, the Automatic Earth and Economic Undertow don’t have the Readership Rup’s Rags have, but they both do essentially the same thing. They only present opposing opinions insofar as they have answers for them. Beyond that, they simply never get Published or they get Censored.
Here on the Diner, I have tried to avoid this problem and promote real debate of ideas with the NO BAN, NO CENSORSHIP Policy, but I cannot claim it to be a Real Success Story so far .It works in Fits & Starts, but overall so far what I see is that despite the fact I do not Censor or Ban, Commenters and even other Moderators tend to retreat into Lurkerville after a while if their general Spin and take on the Collapse does not match my own within a few Degrees of Freedom. Really, of the Original 14 Founding Fathers & Mothers of the Doomstead Diner who came from the Reverse Engineering Yahoo Group only Surly maintains a continued Active and Strong Presence on the board here. One by One since we moved to the Mansion that Peter Built, those 14 Founding Fathers & Mothers have dropped into Lurkerville. These were all people who were highyl ACTIVE inside the small Yahoo Group of Reverse Engineering ,but once we made the move to the Doomstead Diner onebyone they descended into Lurkerville, or disappeared altogether.
I Blame Myself for this problem mostly, I think it occurs because in this environment I dominate it too much. On Reverse Engineering, it was just a small message board and even though I ran it everyone had equal Access to express their thoughts. That is not so TRUE on the Diner for a few reasons. First of course because there is the Split between the Blog and the Forum. Because of that, not ALL Posting is Equal, stuff that goes on the Blog is MORE Equal.
I do WANT people to write more Blog Articles, but mostly they do not do that. They don’t Keyboard so fast as I do; they don’t really want to spend their time doing that. They have families and other priorities I do not have. So nobody really will do that except a few others like myself. Certainly as far as the original 14 members from Reverse Engineering are concerned, I would publish anything the wrote onthe Blog if they asked me to, but overall they do not do that. They are not Bloggers, never wanted to be a Blogger. In all Honesty, I never wanted to be a Blogger EITHER, but I AM one nonetheless. I write endlessly, and that is what makesa person a Blogger. If you cannot STOP YOURSELF from writing and you have access to the Internet, you Blog It.
In anuy event, the whole dynamic has overall succeeded insofar as Delivering the Message of DOOM is concerned to more people, the Diner is nothing if not a Raging Success in terms of increasing page Hits and increasing membership over the last 6 months of its Infancy.
At the same time though, I worry about Core Members who disappear from the pages of the Diner, and Reverse Engineering before that. One from Reverse Engineering I have lost contact with is Toby, a Briliant Brit I had many long discussions with on Resource Based Economies and Demurrage Money.
Then more recently is Nobody, a regular on Reverse Engineering and one of the few Females who would drop in with the Testosterone Crowd who made a couple of Brief Appearances here on the Diner after we got it going, but who now is somewhere Out There in Lurkerville doing who KNOWS What?
Ross also has disappeared, Karpatok has disappeared and Jb makes only Brief Cameo Appearances here on the Diner these days. Ashvin aka Watson who for a couple of months was ALL OVER the pages of the Diner as well as his Home The Automatic Earth is also MIA here. Ashvin actually exceeded my own hours logged on to DD, but he no longer surfs this way anymore, at least not signed in anyhow.
Finally, most troubling for me personally is my Co-Founder of the Doomstead Diner, Peter. I have known Peter for a long time on the Net, since we first met up on Market Ticker in around 2009 I think it was. Peter and I spent many hours at the keyboard on Reverse Engineering discussing Conspiracy Theories, Hydroponics and Philosophy of Life in general. Far as the Net goes, I consider him one of my closest Cyber Friends, the only one in the same category is Surly, who Thank God so far remains a very Active Presence here on the Diner.
I ask myself the Question of WHY some folks will participate Actively on a Forum like the Diner, and then after a while Drift Away? Sometimes after just a couple of months of heavy participation like Watson, sometimes after YEARS of time hashing out Collapse with me on the net like Peter.
In part I suppose it is because feel they gain all they can gain from such participation after a while, and no longer wish to put in the time involved in staying Active on a board. I think also at least in Peter’s case that he became frustrated by the negative reactions to someof his Conspiracy Theory, and also became disenchanted with the entire idea of trying to make any impact over the Internet. I imagine him these days focused on building his Hydroponics system out further, and perhaps moving to his Hermitage in Wallace Bay as well. No time really for him to be on the net , no reason for it either. People don’t seem to LISTEN anyhow, so what’s the POINT?
In the end though, I blame myself for this. I am not an easy guy to hang around with for long, I am very Confrontational and besides that I have some very extreme POVs. Besides that, I am all over the pages of the Diner all the time letting an Ego Bigger than the Known Universe LOOSE all the time and this likely gets on people’s NERVES after a while, if it doesn’t right from the Get-Go.
So at the moment it appears to me that besides being DOOMED by everything surrounding me, I am DOOMING MYSELF at the same time, driving off the people I care about because I am just such a big fucking ASSHOLE! A sad situation indeed, because I just AM this way, I can’t help but confront people all the time and I can’t help but keep writing about what I see as a very UGLY outcome for the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.
So it Goes I Suppose, when you Write what Everybody Knows.
Off the Keyboard of RE
In the Waste Based Society series Part I & Part II, I detailed many of the reasons why it behooves those in control of the resources of the earth to pursue such practices as Planned Obsolescence and R&D as a means to create ever more dependence on Control Conduits themselves ever more dependent on Energy Extraction from Earth resources. For the most part, this Energy comes from NON-RENEWABLE Fossil Fuel sources, becoming ever more expensive to extract from the Earth. If indeed we were able to develop RENEWABLE sources of energy to continue the paradigm, then also Industrialized Society might be a sustainable model. Diner A.G. Gelbert often makes the case that such Renewable Sources of Energy are within grasp, and he also contributed to the Waste Based Society series in Part III. I do not agree with him, but he makes a good case for this idea.
However, what neither of us really covered in that series is what DRIVES the Industrialization Paradigm to BEGIN with. Steve from Virginia who publishes Economic Undertow, one of our Cross Posting Bloggers on the Diner often posits that the choice to live the Industrialized Life is a FASHION choice.
From Steve’s Debt-o-Nomics Part III:
– The productive sector isn’t productive, this is so generally by design. Production answers the dictates of fashion and nothing else. The production enterprises are supported by borrowing. Finance provides enterprise profits, to ‘entrepreneurs’ who are shills. Finance provides essential initial capital without which enterprises cannot be born. Finance provides required enterprise cash flow when it is not natively available. Fashionable enterprises which have no hope of gaining a productive return are supported entirely by borrowing over extended period. Given fashion demand — for supersonic jet fighters, for instance — tens of trillions in any currency can be borrowed without end.
Bombarded as we are by all the Propaganda to buy Automobiles, GINSU Knives and Salad Shooters, every last person in the Industrialized World buys this paradigm because it is Fashionable to do so. Certainly true is it IS much more Fashionable to live this way than to live as a Kalahari Bushman feeding off Grubs, Lizards and Roots in the Kalahari Desert. Crap, the KBs don’t even have Wireless Internet or I-phones! Talk about being Out of Fashion! A KB is like a Beatnik showing up at Andy Warhol’s Factory or a Hippie showing up at Phillips Exeter, Andover or Choate! You just do not FIT IN with the crowd there Dude! Get With the Program!
However, is it REALLY true there as in we are immersed in this Industrial Civilization as simply a FASHION choice? Not at all. In reality, Industrialization is the outgrowth of the Will to Power as a Sentient Species evolves, first just attempting to SURVIVE in a Hostile World where many other species view you as FOOD.
In the beginning, without TOOLS, incipient Homo Sapiens was little more than a modern Chimpanzee. As such, said Great Ape was quite vulnerable to other Predators running around the Savannah once we dropped down out of the Trees to try to make a go of it out there on the Plains, where lots of FOOD for us was available. We are talking Africa of course here, with a wonderful variety of Predators running around. Lions and Tigers with Big Teeth and Big Claws of course. Cheetahs that can run a whole lot faster than the typical small child can run. Pack Animals like Hyenas that will Gang Up on you. Very tough environment overall for a two legged creature with no Claws and no Big Teeth to make a go of it. Not too big either, and for a lot of time there was Mega Fauna around MUCH bigger and stronger than we ever have been. Bears 12 feet tall, that sort of thing.
Given our apparent Weakness relative to the other Predators out there, you would figure that we couldn’t make it. Except we did, for two reasons mainly. Our Hands with their Opposable Thumbs, and our VERY BIG Brains relative to all the rest of those other predators. Smart suckers who figured out how to use TOOLS to lever up an ADVANTAGE over all the rest of them. Just some Rocks and Sticks at first, but always Improving on these Weapons. Spears came along, then Atlatls, then Bow and Arrow. Death at a DISTANCE, something no other Animal in the whole Kingdom can accomplish. For a Lion to make a Kill of a Wildebeest for example, it has to actually JUMP it and sink in the Claws and the Teeth. Wildebeests are not without their own defense here, that got some nice Horns to GORE with, and they can KICK mighty hard with legs strong enough to run that kind of weight around the Savannah. Lion makes Mistake ONE in his attack, he is likely to be STOMPED in a big hurry. A swift Kick to the Ribs cracking a half a dozen of them and puncturing a lung, Lion is TOAST. So it is a relatively Even-Steven Battle between the Wildebeests and the Lions, and a Balance is achieved in the ecosystem, though it varies from year to year in cycles between Predator and Prey. Lions being no complete dummies of course try to prey on either old or young or sick or injured Wildebeests rather than the tough suckers in their reproductive Prime years, but Wildebeests gather together to PROTECT AND DEFEND their weak ones. they are at the Center of the Herd, the tough guys run the Perimeter. Only if a Lion manages to catch a weak one outside this perimeter does he make the EZ Kill. Otherwise, if he is Hungry he HAS to take on a Tough Guy. A relatively even battle most of the time in that situation.
No such danger in preying on a Wildebeest for Homo Sapiens armed with an Atlatl and Spear though. From 20 yards away, HS can easy hurl a spear with an Atlatl so hard and fast even equipped with a roughly hewn Stone Point on it the spear will penetrate toughest Hide and go clear through the unfortunate Wildebeest before it ever knew it was even coming. Not only that, Brainy Homo Sapiens figures out how to Enlist the Assistance of a whole other Species, the Canines. They become Good Buddies, and work together. The Dogs run down the Wildebeests chasing them right into a fucking Ambush, traps laid to break their legs as they run, whatever. HS is now SUPREME KILLER out there, no other higher level Animal can stand up to his tools, his dogs and his SMARTS. Eventually he also enlists the aid of Horses, which allow him to run down all but the very fastest and nimble of other creatures as well.
Once this level is achieved, HS now begins to expand over the whole Globe with the Hunter Gatherer paradigm, knocking down just about all the slow and lumbering Mega Fauna as they go. Quickly enough by Geologic Standards, HS comes to completely dominate the entire Planet as an HG, actually migrating all the way from origins in Africa right down to the tip of South America by around 15,000 BC or so, after recovering from the Toba Supervolcanic Eruption which likely knocked down Human Population to around 10,000 Human Souls or 1000 Breeding Pairs approximately 75,000 years ago.
It is at this point that the Weapons once used just for Hunting purposes against other species become turned on each other. Why?
Essentially because the H-G paradigm takes a LOT of territory to support a relatively small number of HS, but HS was now reproducing faster than this amount of territory could support, so each group or Tribe of HS is now in COMPETITION with each other for territory. So now the Tribes of HS begin to use their weapons on EACH OTHER, in the attempt to gain or retain their territory. We are now Full UP as can be on Planet Earth for H-G style living, which began to decline probably around 10,000BC or so except for a few areas we were real late in making it to, like the Big Island of Hawaii, the very last pristine environment of good size H-Gs found and colonized around 1000AD.
Despite the fact a form of Warfare has now begun between tribes of Homo Sapiens, it’s mostly a pretty Level Playing Field, all armed with similar Weapons and similar Numbers. We essentially maintain a fairly steady-state in the environment through this period as well, and our numbers Level Out to just what the environment will support in terms of our numbers on a sustainable level.
This all CHANGES again on one Fateful Day when some Homo Sapiens somewhere probably in the Fertile Crescent around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers grasps that many of the veggie foods he eats grow well in his Latrine and Garbage Dumps. He realizes the SEEDS grow well in these well Fertilized locations. AGRICULTURE IS BORN!
This REVOLUTION completely changes the balance in nature for Homo Sapiens, both with respect to the rest of the animal kingdom as well as with respect to other HS stilll living the H-G life. Ag allows for a group of HS to reproduce even FASTER, remain sedentary on a given plot of land and then develop out of the excess population a Class of Warriors, aka an ARMY. The job of the Army is to protect the area already taken for Ag, and also to rid the surrounding neighborhood of H-Gs so that land also can be converted to Ag. Even without better Weapons, the Ag CIVILIZATIONS now developing start to overwhelm the H-Gs just by virtue of greater Numbers. Then it gets still WORSE for the H-Gs. Why?
Reason, now that the Ags have lots of people and no need for all of them to be involved in food collection, they have time to mess around with their Big Brains and they develop METALLURGY! Their new Bronze Pointed Weapons are better than the Stone Age weapons of the remaining H-Gs. Same Metal stuff also makes Ag more productive as well. Now the Ags are basically STEAMROLLING over the H-Gs just in the Bronze Age, but it gets still WORSE when the Iron Age hits.
But of course, the Ag Civililizations themselves start running up against each other here, now fielding some Big Ass Militaries to go up against each other in Full On Warfare we have become all too familiar with over the last few millenia. Again though, for the most part they all are armed with similar weaponry and something of a Balance is achieved with respect to each other, but we are now out of balance with Nature as a whole because Ag is pushing out of existence many other species and also soaking up resource faster than it gets replenished. Desertification begins in some of the areas earliest transformed to the Ag paradigm, the Middle East in particular there. We also run up against another Limiting Factor to further Exponential Growth at this time, the “Beasts of the Earth” in the form of PESTILENCE, or disease vectors.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
By around the 1300s, because of increasing population density as well as the practice of keeping so many Domesticated Animals in such close proximity with so many Homo Sapiens, a whole HOST of diseases begin to appear knocking down vast SWATHS of population every time one of these PLAGUES crop up. At this time, the HS population more or less stabilizes again at around 500M Human Souls walking the Earth at any given time, JUST prior to the NEXT REVOLUTION, application of Thermodynamics to Metallurgy which results in FIREARMS. AKA, Guns and Cannon. This preceeds the full on Industrial Revolution by a couple of centuries, but Tips the Balance of competition between the Ag societies towards the ones that made use of this Weaponry FIRST, the Europeans who made the Scientific Discoveries. Together with Sail and Navigation technology this set of discoveries now allows this Civilization to begin overwhelming all the other Ag Societies. The understanding of Thermodynamics leads then to the Steam Engine, from there to the Internal Combustion Engine, and thereafter it is another Total ROUT as the Europeans proceed to waltz all over the world in the colonial era from about 1750 through to 1900 or so.
The process results in Mechanized Warfare which really got underway with WWI, though you can see its beginnings in the War of Southern Secession (aka the Civil War) here in the FSofA . Finally after WWII, the powerful Industrialists are pretty much in control of the entire World, and they have built a HUGE Industrial Plant to build the Weapons of War, but now that they are in control of everything, unless they can put these Factories to other uses, they are malinvestment that will not pay off anymore. To make them continue to pay off, the Bomb Plants are turned into Fertilizer Plants, the Tank Factories are turned into Sports Car factories. The Green Revolution and the Mall Culture is BORN! Here in the FSofA, biggest WINNER after WWII, credit flows out fast and furious as Levittowns are built for the Victorious GIs to come Home and Breed Up the Boomer Generation. Over in Eurotrashland, the Losing Krauts are handed the Marshall Plan to allow them to rebuild what was destroyed of their Industrial Infrastructure, with the SAME folks who owned them before the War STILL in control of them! Together, the Anglo-American Illuminati and the Teutonic Illuminati join forces to turn the world into the Konsumer Paradise of Strip Malls and Ring Roads and Suburban Subdivisions all run on the OIL they now control worldwide, making themselves RICHER THAN GOD, far more wealthy and powerful than any Pharaoh or Chinese Emperor ever was, and really we do not even know who most of them ARE at all.
Industrialization did not arrive because it was FASHIONABLE, nor does it hang around because of that either. It evolved from the Will to Power, a gradual accretion of knowledge over many millenia which first allowed Homo Sapiens just to survive and prosper in a Hostile World where other Predators were Out to Get Him, and then allowed one group of H-S to dominate and squash out of existence other groups.
Where does the EVIL crop up in all this stuff? Tough question to answer, but IMHO it comes once one group becomes vastly more powerful than another group. At this point the Playing Field is no longer LEVEL, and one group can exercise POWER over another group willy-nilly without Consequence to themselves, at least on this side of the Great Divide anyhow. Once nasty consequence to your actions is removed, Evil begins to grow inside the Individual and inside the Society Unchecked. Today, for the top .01%, there are NO nasty consequences to THEM for their actions, only nasty consequences for EVERYBODY ELSE. So they have essentially become completely CONSUMED by Evil at this point.
I still hold out the HOPE that Homo Sapiens can make it through this trial, where Evil has now become so dominant a force in society. If we are to do that, there must be CONSEQUENCES for Acts of Evil. It is up to the GOOD people of the Earth to step up to the Plate now and administer the consequences, or suffer the results of leaving Evil to run amok unchecked in our society.
off the keyboard of RE
I am going to leave the Over The Road series here briefly to cover another portion of my Life in the Age of Oil, which in many respects has much more to do with the Doomstead Diner than my years driving OTR does.
In fact, this period of my life began very early, around the age of 6 years old in Rio de Janeiro on Rua Joachim Nabuco right off of Ipanema Beach. That was where I lived from the age of 5 to 9 years old while my Dad (the Pigman) who worked as a Vice President for Chase Manhattan Bank (predecessor before numerous Mergers & Acquisitions since to become JP Morgan Chase, the Bank currently headed up by Jamie Dimon and still of course primarily owned by the Rockefellers) was acquiring small Brazilian Banks for Chase and also making innumerable Bad Loans to the rest of South America.
Living also on Rua Jaochim Nabuco was a boy named Randy, the son of a fellow who was working for the United Nations as a Fisherie Expert. I’m going to be vague here about these names but if you read through the references later in this article you probably can figure out who I am talking about. The names are in the Newz in the Public Record.
In fact it is pretty likely Randy’s Dad was really working for the CIA, not the UN and I think in those days practically EVERYBODY who lived on Rua Jaochim Nabuco was either a Rockefeller Bankster Apparatchik, FSofA Military, State Department Diplomat, or UN/CIA. From my POV at the time, the Military Brats and State Department kids had it best, they had access to “PX Priviledges”. This meant they could get hold of things like Cheerios otherwise unavailable in the Brazil of the Era.
ALL of the children of these folks went to the same School, “Escola Americana”, run under the auspices of the United Nations. Randy was 3 years older than I was, but we became friends riding on the same bus to school. He was Legally Blind, which impacted tremendously on his life in many ways. One of them was that he became very interested in the Music of the era. At Escola Americana, he actually got his first”DJ”position over the Loudspeaker system of the school in his Middle School years,after I had left Brazil. Before I left though, we spent many days playing the records of the 1960s era Folksingers like Phil Ochs and early Rockers like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in his apartment. Randy also had an old style Reel-to-Reel tape deck to edit music and sound effects and record us. In those days to edit you physically cut and spliced the tape. No digital computers and software to do the job for you.. He barely could see, but whether he was Splicing Tape or Soldering Circuit Boards, Randi would work with the stuff right up to his NOSE, and he was very meticulous. His Gadgets always worked,although he took hours and days often to complete the work.
I lost touch with Randy for a couple of years after that when my parents divorced and I moved back to live in NY Shity, eventually ending up in a McMansion in Flushing, Queens of NY Shity my Mom got as part of the Divorce settlement. That was the House I lived in until I went off to the dormitories of Columbia University. By a sort of Coinkidink though, Randy’s UN/CIA Dad got transferred to NY Shity and bought another Queens McMansion no more than Mile from the one I was esconsed in. It was an easy Bike Ride away for an 11 year old by that time. Randy was then around 14, and was not adjusting well to Public HS in NY Shity. He eventually dropped out.
How Randy spent his time after Dropping out of NY Shity HS was in working in his CIA Dad’s Basement building a Pirate Radio Station. I cannot possibly detail all the battles he had with both his parents over these years, but in the end he mainly won them. He got to the point of setting up a Radio Tower in the backyard, and “WQLB” was born! Later to be renamed Stereo 9, then later an “RNI” afffiliate. It operated at the bottom end of the FM Frequency Band at 88.9 Mhz. Power was such it covered most of Queens when switched on.
By the time Randy got his station Operational, I was around 13 years old. On weekends, I would go over his house, and late at night we would switch on the Transmitter and begin to Broadcast Illegally far as the FCC was concerned. The image you see of the Audio Board in the Pump Up the Volume video is the spitting image of the Audio Board we used at the time. Professional Analog Mixing Boards of this type in that period ran into the thousands of dollars, Randy put his together from Radio Shack parts for less than $100 I think. He was really a fucking GENIUS with this stuff.
My On Air Alias during this period was “Stony Stevenson”, and I did a regular 3 hour show on Saturday Nights from Midnight to 3AM. Played Folky Protest Songs from Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan and lambasted the Nixon Administration of the era. I did that as a 13 Year Old Boy! My voice had already broken and was pretty close to what it is now, very basso profundo. You really could not know from listening I was just 13. I had a nice Fan Club too. Sadly, never got laid by any Groupies, but ego got massaged nicely on air over the Phone Calls we took. Amazing thing in that era was we could actually take said Phone Calls, and the FCC Nincompoops were so dumb and disorganized they could not find us right off the bat.
Anyhow, we were not the ONLY Pirate Radio Station operating in NY Shity at the time, a bigger one was being operated by a fellow Allan and his friend Joseph Paul in Yonkers. We eventually got together and became loosely “affiliated” in a Pirate Radio “Network”. There were many battles though though this period and falling outs between the priniciples. I fell out of this group once I went off to Columbia, a couple of years earlier than normal at the age of 16. Skipped a couple of years through the system of education over the years.
Allan in particular did not stop his Obsession with Pirate Radio and Free Speech though, and neither did Randy. Allan went so far as to buy a WRECK of a cargo ship he named the “Sarah” sitting in a dock in the Boston Harbor. He bought this ship for I think it was $500. It was a good 100′ at the waterline I am pretty sure. Nothing on it worked. The guy who sold it to him I think did it just to get the Docking Fees off his books. He never thought the thing would sail again. Allan fixed EVERYTHING, including the fucking engines. He was an even BIGGER Electronics and Mechanical Wizard than Randy was. He also put up a tower on it to broadcast from, and finally did get the thing Off Shore of Long Island to Broadcast. The FCC of course did shut him down in short order though.
This whole deal was modelled after a similar Pirate Radio adventure undertaken over in Eurotrashland which persisted a bit longer, Radio North Sea International. In the end though, “Pirate Radio”, which was the effort by a few mostly pretty young individuals to take back control over the Conduit of the airwaves without going through Goobermint Channels was pretty well squashed out by the late 1980s.
Here is a short history from one of the principals in the Radio New York Internation Offshore Pirate Radio adventure:
|1987 was a strange year for Brooklyn pirate radio station WHOT. The FCC had paid us a visit in November of 1985 (we didn’t let them in), and we never heard another peep from them. The threat seemed like a distant memory due to the lack of any further noise from our friends at the Commission. At the same time, WHOT was exploding. Listenership kept growing in leaps and bounds, and each show seemed like it was more fun than the last one. We had really honed the “WHOT Sound” – a little bit of everything for everyone. Music, talk, comedy, jingles, reverb and punchy, killer audio. It was infectious to everyone involved – both for us AND the listeners.Spring was around the corner when we were first approached by Allan Weiner with a proposal. Allan had operated several New England-based pirates in the 70s and 80s, and Hank and Jim had known him for many years. He was about to embark on a project of epic proportions called Radio NewYork International – “RNI” for short, as a tribute to the old Radio Northsea International.“RNI” would be the first U.S. attempt to broadcast in the same manner as the legendary European pirates: on a ship, off the coast, in international waters – out of the reach of the FCC. Allan felt that the heart of RNI’s staff should be made up of current pirate operators, and he wanted us to be a big part of it. After giving the project much thought, we decided to do it – if for no other reason, for the adventure. Allan worked towards smoothing over the “pirate disagreements” of the previous year and managed to get most of the New York area pirates on board.The idea sounded crazy, but it also sounded like it could be great. Allan secured an old Japanese fishing trawler to house RNI and turned it into “The Radioship Sarah”, installing transmitters on AM, FM, short wave and even long wave. I wondered if he could actually pull it off…he certainly seemed serious about it.RNI’s eventual goal was to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a variety of programming. The core of the staff would be “the WHOT Good Guys” along with other pirates – Randi Steele (who had been running Stereo Nine FM as “Ed Armstrong”) was named Operations Manager and eventually others like Johnny Lightning of WJPL, along with a non-defined cadre of spurious pirate folk that came and went throughout the project.Also along for the project was Ivan Jefferies, a WHOT listener who had recently started doing some guest appearances on the air with us, bringing his twisted syntax and genuine good humor to the shows, as well as lending his classic radio expertise to various “special segments”.As RNI neared completion, Hank and I put our lives on hold and traveled up to Boston to help, where The Sarah was being readied for its journey. The studio and transmitters were now in working order, but the ship itself needed a LOT of readying and sprucing up. We spent a large chunk of the early summer sanding, stripping, sweeping and painting. Meanwhile, Jim was in Brooklyn keeping WHOT on the air. Coming into June, the air was thick with anticipation as we closed on the target day to set sail for the waters off Long Island (where RNI would make its home). At night, Hank and I would lay out on the deck and wonder…how will people react? Will the news media cover it? Will people even listen to it?I had never worked so hard on something that wasn’t an actual “job” in my life. As the sail date neared, Hank went back to Brooklyn to take care of some of his personal stuff AND help Jim give WHOT a proper “sign off”. I had already decided to take the summer off and be a bum, so I stayed in Boston to work on the ship with Allan. Those days were rough. I remember hauling two-ton anchor chain in the hot July sun and thinking, “boy, I’m dying…I hope this is gonna be worth it…”.Hank returned to Boston on July 18th with Jim, Ivan and a few other friends that were expected to participate in RNI once it was on the air. That weekend, The Sarah played host to a who’s-who of the New York and New England pirate radio scene, and a party atmosphere permeated the ship’s studio and transmitter room as everyone looked around in amazement…sitting behind the board, fiddling with the knobs and getting themselves familiar with the setup. It was really gonna happen, and everyone was excited! We even shot some video to record the historic moment.On the overcast morning of July 20, 1987, Allan, Hank, Ivan and I left the ‘dirty water’ of Boston’s Charles River and set sail for the waters off the coast of New York City. It was time for RNI to turn the world (and all our lives) upside down. The Sarah had no working engines to sail on it’s own power, so it had to be towed out by this huge towing ship called The Munzer. When we reached the desired destination, we dropped the world’s biggest (10,000 pound) anchor and that ridiculously big anchor chain, and the Munzer was gone, headed back to Boston. We had reached the point of no return!Allan had secured a small Liberty Launch boat to be used as a shuttle / supply boat for going back and forth from The Sarah to shore. Hank and I jumped on it and returned to Brooklyn to prepare for whatever sort of press reaction RNI would get once the broadcasts started. At the start, each broadcast would be six hours – from 6PM to Midnight – carried simultaneously on FOUR frequencies: 1620 AM, 103.1 FM, 6240 SW as well as an experimental transmission on Long Wave. Allan fired up all the transmitters on the night of July 23rd and played some announcer-free music, just to see if everything was still in working order. RNI’s first ACTUAL test transmission took place the night of July 24th, featuring Allan and Ivan. Hank and I sat on the stoop of his house with a GE Superadio and our hearts skipped a beat when the dead carrier was broken at 6PM ET by an RNI promo followed by “Come Sail Away” by Styx. RNI was actually on the air! The media reaction was immediate and tremendous – WAY more than I had expected from just the first night of broadcasting!The following days were spent entertaining members of the press, who came out in droves. The nights were spent broadcasting. Randi and Ivan did a special midday show for the benefit of the assembled media on the 25th, and Allan and Ivan did another six-hour “test” program that evening. On the third day (July 26th) the FCC finally decided to show up. It was mid-afternoon when the Coast Guard pulled up next to The Sarah with several FCC agents in tow. They boarded the ship, looked around, handed some legal papers to Allan and left – but not before promising they’d be back. Since the ship WAS in international waters, we truly felt we were not breaking any laws. To make this point, RNI kept on broadcasting that very evening, with another 6PM test show from Randi Steele and a post-midnight show from Ivan.While this was all going on, WHOT was still broadcasting (around RNI’s shows) so we could say a proper “farewell” to the HOT listeners. We assumed the launch of RNI would mean the end for all land-based pirates for an unforeseen amount of time, so we wanted to say goodbye in a way fitting of The HOT One – loudly, over three nights. We told the listeners to “watch the news, read the papers – we’ll be back”. Both the print and broadcast media were already covering RNI at saturation level, so we knew the listeners would connect the dots and make the connection eventually.Hank and Jim hit the RNI airwaves with another six-hour test show the evening of July 27th (the plan was to continue with the 6PM to Midnight schedule until launching full 24-hour broadcasts on August 1). As luck would have it, this was at the moment that the press coverage was reaching it’s height. Everyone was running around trying to take it all in, while at the same time worrying about what the FCC’s next move would be. I was busy working the phones like a madman and preparing to do MY first show, which was scheduled for the next evening on the 28th.Instead, July 28, 1987 would become a day that would live in underground radio infamy…|
Allan went on to buy a small Radio Station with a License from the FCC in Maine. I don’t know what happenned to him after that. I also lost touch with Randy many years ago, last I heard he had moved up to around Bethel, NY near the old Woodstock Festival site. I had no participation in Pirate Radio after around 1978 or so. I missed being Arrested on the Sarah with Randy and Allan and Joseph Paul, although I did have the chance to go out with them, which sadly I turned down. Hadda be the experience of a Lifetime. My life had gone in another direction by then though.
When the film Pump Up the Volume came out, it was Jaw Dropping for me. So much of that story came from what we did in the 70s it was incredible. I am pretty sure whoever wrote that had contact with Allan and Joseph Paul at least, if not Randy also.
Pirate Radio had many similarities to today’s Blogosphere, though it was even more “edgy” since much of it was explicitly Illegal, at least under administrative laws. In fact, the FCC rarely successfully prosecuted any Pirates, and the smaller ones generally had such sparse listenership it wasn’t worth the expense to try to track them down. Certainly the dramatization in the film Pump Up the Volume is Hollywood Fiction, but it was a fun movie nonetheless, especially for anyone who was involved in Pirate Radio of the era.
Pirates were fighting very much the same battle against Corporate Control of the Media then that Bloggers fight against the MSM now. At the time, Clear Channel Communications was busy buying up every Radio Station in the country with the same packaged Playlists and syndicated Jocks like Casey Casem and Talk Show Hosts like Don Imus. Alternative music only made it onto some College Stations and the Pirates. Far as Newz Commenters on the radio in any way deviating from the Konsumerist Message, they became nonexistent and are so to this day.
The internet has changed this dynamic again, with the Podcasts, the Livestreams, the You Tube Channels and of course the Blogosphere. We do have a chance here again to get the Message Out. I am glad here as I near the end of my years walking the Earth to do once again what I did in my youth so many years ago now in a short career as a Pirate Radio Disk Jockey and Talk Show Host. I once again have the chance to….
PUMP UP THE VOLUME ON THE DOOMSTEAD DINER!