Tuesday, December 9, 2008

PAYING THE PRICE

by Murph

AAAARG, No Don’t ask me to give up ANYTHING. What are you some damned communist? GOOD MORNING AMERICA!!
Geez!, Ok, got that off my chest.
Again I have the quandary about what to talk about today. I read a vast amount of information every week on the web and in books and publications and find it interesting and sometimes instructive in the analysis of what is happening to all of us. I don’t have the specialized economic information to offer more than generalized assessments and wonder just how much I really understand of what I do read. However, I can drag out one bit of conclusion about it all; we are now going to pay the price for our extravagances. Nothing new about that statement, we have all been saying the same thing in different ways for a long time now. We have been warned over and over again since the 1970’s that a time of reckoning was coming. The Old Testament was full of warnings about excessive living. Interestingly, few of the warnings seemed to apply to the elites of the time, but we may now be coming into the time where even they will have to pay a penalty for their excesses. Whether the very top of the heap end up paying a significant price remains yet to be seen.

That our government has been lying to us about what it was doing, the state of the country economically and other assorted pieces of information, is now blatantly obvious. But don’t just blame our favorite scapegoat, the Bush administration. This has been going on since before the civil war. It has just been raised to a fine art by the Rove/Cheney partnership. Never underestimate the gullibility of the general population (that’s all of us) to lies and broken promises.

At this time, the nation appears to be in the grip of Obamaism, the great hope for making things ‘right’ again, of course let’s not get too specific about just what is ‘right’ anyway. So far, the statements about economic strategy for the next administration appear cloudy and do not seem to address the basics of our rather dire economic problems, namely, what to do about a society that has been run on excessive credit and the manipulation to transfer more wealth into fewer hands and impoverishing greater and greater numbers of people at an accelerating rate. At least Obama has the guts to say that things are going to get worse before they get better. But just what is the strategy to take us back to some shadow of affluence and ‘good living’? Considering the energy levels needed to do this, it sure appears unlikely to me. Obama is proposing a giant government works project, reminiscent of the CCC of the depression years of the 30’s. To what end? If we don’t have the cheap energy to run our society available any longer, just what is the advantage to repairing roads and bridges and tunnels? That massive a project alone will mean that the government will have to go even deeper in debt. To just pay the interest for that amount of borrowing, taxes will have to go up dramatically, and guess who will be hit the hardest by that. It all has to be paid for somewhere down the line and I doubt that Obama’s charm is going to convince the mega wealthy to pony up for it. Already the screaming has started about the tax and spend liberal administration coming to town.

Presently, the news about the overseas shipping being virtually shut down because of lack of lines of credit bodes very badly for us peons. Packing of food for sale to the public appears to be heavily threatened. Where are all the cans made for food packing made anyway? It appears from some articles it is overseas. Where will the financing come from to go to alternative food packing? So, unless that problem is solved, that means that grocery stores aren’t going to have much in canned food. Although considering the quality of canned food, maybe a good thing.

Due to the economic globalization, every single system for sustaining a population everywhere is entwined with every other country. That makes the whole system very sensitive to disruptions in just about any commodity anywhere. Add in the “just in time delivery of money and commodities” and we have a recipe for economic and food disaster. If Obama and his crew have any real solution for all of this will be interesting to see. I doubt it though. I think we have now come to more unsolvable problems than can be adjusted for at any level on a global or even national scale. Obama is at least openly admitting that the problem is far greater and with far greater impact than anything the Bush administration has come out with. I would however fault him for also hinting that some miraculous policy will pull us out and be back to our posh lifestyles sometime in the future. The population needs to be told that going back to our extravagant lifestyle is not physically possible, the resources are simply not there. We are going to have to change the way we live big time.

Where we live, there is a pretty substantial proportion of retirees. I haven’t heard much talk about an optimistic near future. And yet, few are downsizing, getting rid of the gas guzzlers and lowering their comfort levels and preparing to furnish much of their basic necessities themselves. A few are. Every person and family is going to have to take a serious look at what seems to be going on around them and decide on just how much preparation they are willing to make based on the information they can find. In our area, just providing a basic diet is a challenge, and takes time to learn. If you ain't doing it now, it may be too damned late. Success and failure are determined by persistence and a learning curve that takes time. Considering that the depression era of soup lines is substituted today by food stamps, (nearly 10% of the American population now) a strong push for victory gardens may be an absolute necessity for a very large amount of our population. Of course, with 2/3 of our population living in coastal cities, this is going to be a stretch for most people. Hah! Who says we’re not in a depression right now? Geez! They finally came out and admitted that we have been in a recession for a year now. In another year maybe they can admit we are in a depression.

Our involvement in the local politics and our fight with the county has elevated considerably my observation that the cards are stacked very high against citizens. We are constantly trying to decipher and understand the stacks of legal documents pertaining to just one issue. I know damned well that is primarily to cloud the issue and not make it easily understood. It is only that we are not working a steady job that we can even attempt to understand the documents and their ramifications. The multiple layers of bureaucracy, laws, legal opinions and general bull shit is phenomenal. It also takes considerable amount of money to fight unjust laws. So, in our case, we have to engage in constant fund raising for attorney fees. It took us a full year for 3 of us trying to understand a 2 inch thick USGS study to understand how much wool the county pulled over our collective eyes and the consequent lies that they came out with. During the last election cycle, we at least got rid of one of the county commissioners running for reelection. What the new one will be like is open for observation. At least one more to go. A real arrogant bastard is next and Freeacre declares she will spend the rest of her life getting him out of office.

Oh yes, a price must be paid on so many fronts. I would imagine that the people reading this in their many scattered communities would be amazed at the roadblocks put up by officialdom to citizen participation in the government. I have come to the conclusion that the only thing they really understand is the same tactics they use against us, brute force. Well, when their bill comes due, it may be a whole bunch more violent than they planned on.

43 comments:

Jacques de Beaufort said...

It's sort of staggering how complex and densely ramified all these limiting, self-limiting, self-organizing, chaotic, stochastic, and organic economic ecologies have been revealed to be.

I found a great link on LAOTC news today:
Worse than the Great Depression

There is one snag, at least for rich countries such as the United States, Western Europe and Japan. If the world becomes more equal more quickly than it becomes richer, then living standards in rich countries must decline. If the world were suddenly to achieve equal income levels between countries without a significant increase in output, US living standards would fall by over three quarters.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/JL10Dj02.html

Anonymous said...

Here's something that kinda shocked me a tad when I read it a week or so ago. And my first thought was -what does this guy know that no one else is telling us (besides those of us on the internets)?

"SLC mayor wants green rules in black and white

The Salt Lake Tribune

A progressive push

Salt Lake City is striving to become the first U.S. city with a comprehensive sustainability ordinance. The effort, in the middle of three phases, will include a rewrite of city codes to address everything from installing solar panels and energy-efficient windows to adding trees and urban gardens.
Here are the areas under review that could be overhauled as early as February:
* Water quality and conservation.
* Alternative energy.
* Mobility and transportation
* Urban forestry.
* Housing accessibil- ity and diversity.
* Community health and safety.
* Food production and nutrition.
* Recycling and waste reduction.
* Open space, parks and trails.
* Climate change and air pollution.
* Environmental ordinances

Humming light rail, a fleet fit with hybrids and a passion to preserve open space.
Salt Lake City has long walked its environmental talk. But to be a truly green city, Mayor Ralph Becker's team is using its black pen to cut the red tape.
Marking the first major overhaul since the mid-90s, capital planners are rewriting the city's code book to help ensure sustainability for generations to come.
That includes everything from helping owners of historical homes replace single-pane windows or add solar panels to allowing public gardens where residents can sell backyard produce from their front stoop. In the name of urban forestry, the city may even start planting trees in homeowners' front yards.
"It's an entire rewrite of the city code to see where we are shooting ourselves in the foot and where we can be more progressive," says Jennifer Bruno, a policy analyst for the City Council.
The so-called sustainability project also purges outdated ordinances that now seem laughable, albeit quaint. For instance, who knew city rules still account for "night soil" to dump bed pans? Or what about "clinkers" for disposing hot coals?
"There's stuff that really needs to be cleaned up," shrugs Vicki Bennett, the city's director of sustainability.
But besides taking the white-out to antiquated rules, the
capital is looking at state-of-the-art measures to go green.
Colorado-based Clarion Associates, which has national and international experience, was retained for $100,000. Local expertise will come from consultants Bear West Co. and Fehr & Peers.
Already, the team has highlighted 10 areas - from alternative energy and air pollution to food production and nutrition - to improve the quality of life for future generations.
"It's kind of reshaping the way we look at our city ordinances and our policies," says Becker, who characterized the enterprise as fast but appropriately sensitive. "We are the first city in the country to have a comprehensive sustainability ordinance."
During the next month, city leaders will identify weaknesses and opportunities in existing codes, which will be presented at open houses by year's end. The first-year mayor hopes to complete the rewrite by February.
Bennett says some rules can be tweaked, reworked or thrown out. She hopes to solve "barriers and impediments" to the creation of a more walkable and livable community.
Some highlights: Provide incentives for transit-oriented development, place large recycle containers in office buildings, and identify south-facing structures for solar access.
Bennett hopes to spur urban gardens by making it legal to sell backyard produce in front yards.
"Make that a right that they could have a small-home business," she explains.
She points to talk from the pioneer era that people were told they needed two fruit trees to boost the food supply as the valley was settled. "Wouldn't it be neat if we had that much fresh fruit."
Some changes - such as the promotion of xeriscaping and the new streamside ordinance to protect natural streams - already are done.
But environmental safeguards could go further, including an aggressive policy to provide front-yard trees for willing homeowners.
"Trees would flourish there," says Bennett, noting few cities employ the practice. "It really is state-of-the-art to do that."
The challenge, officials concede, is upgrading codes in historical districts without compromising the character or value of classic structures. Bennett says existing restrictions across the Avenues and Marmalade to Central City and Harvard-Yale could be negotiated.
Right now, Bruno notes some owners must secure new construction permits if they want to install an energy-efficient heating or cooling system that accounts for more than 50 percent of the building's value. A rewrite could erase such red tape.
Becker, an urban planner by trade, is confident a balance can be met.
"There needs to be a sensitivity to historic neighborhoods and historic homes," the mayor says. "But I don't see that as being incompatible with sustainability."

"We are the first city in the country to have a comprehensive sustainability ordinance."
-Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker

Hmmmmmm...... maybe I'll stick it out here in Mormon HQ.

Dude

Jacques de Beaufort said...

mormons are required by church law to have an extra years supply of food stored away

they are more than ready for the sh$^%# storm

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

I wonder if Obama has a new deal he hasn’t mentioned to anyone yet?

If ‘we’ know the level of the impending financial crisis then so does Obama, he is not stupid so how can he keep talking up the situation? From one of the recent video links that was put up, Clinton was faced with a budget deficit which made him reverse his manifesto plans even to the extent of legally ditching Roosevelt’s new deal. We already know this present situation is much worse than Clinton faced and the Obama logic does not compute. In fact he was elected on charisma without revealing any of the details. Another month and the reality of the situation will set in with the nation.

Salt Lake City is a quirk and can be tolerated but if the idea were to catch on then expect the big foot to come down. Sustainability for the masses is not what is desired by some.

RAS said...

I think Obama's new CCC is designed to do the same thing the first one did, first and foremost: keep people working and eating. Some of the older folks I've talked with say they survived only because of jobs with the CCC or WPA.

It's actually over 10% of the U.S. population on food stamps now. The pop is 305 million, and 31.5 million are on food stamps, according to the numbers that finally came out. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE4B28CB20081203?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

Belgium, Obama is walking a very fine line. If he tells too much he will cause a panic. If he doesn't tell enough, he looks like a glassy-eyed optimist. I don't envy the man. I think he won the biggest booby prize in history.

Here's a rather scary story: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/swat-team.htm

freeacre said...

Thanks, Dude, for posting that comprehensive sustainable plan that SLC has come up with. Who woulda thunk it? Guess I'll have to take a second look at that shithead, Mit Romney! Nahhh... anyway, I sent it to our guys who are working with long term planning around here.
"Long term planning" I must admit, is becoming a term that I write with some sense of irony. If the guys at Halfpasthuman (see Urban Survival today) are right in their projections, there could be an earthquake or two real soon that may just put a major kink into a lot of people's long term plans. I think that we should be aware that the grid could go down anytime with a disaster of one sort or another. That would leave us unable to pass the cyber talking stick.
I don't know how long this can go on. If it ends suddenly, I hope that we have given each other enough of our hearts and minds that we can keep within and use to sustain us when the music dies.
Starting now, things are getting rough. Hopefully, after the shit hits the fan and the craziness reaches a crescendo, then fades, some of us will be left with a better reality. One without compound interest, planned obsolescence, factory farms, fractional reserves, corporate personhood, and all the evils that we live with daily.
I think the trick is to not wait for these events to come from the outside. Our freedom will only come from the inside. Freedom is an inside job.

murph said...

Jacques,

Oh yeh, the layers and layers designed to be an advantage to a few and to keep the rest of us in bondage.

It's true that a complete egalitarianism world wide would sure lower every country's citizens level of living in the western world. In fact, even the most basic advancement of every person in the world can't happen. There simply is not enough resources for 6.8 billion people. Like a refrigerator in every home. Simply can't be done. There is not enough agricultural land to adequately feed 6.8 billion people. I find that articles conclusion to be overly optimistic.

murph said...

Dude,

Read up on Mormon philosophy and tolerance, and historical perspectives. Might change your mind.

I had read that article too. Interesting but I fear ineffectual.

murph said...

Belgium,

The question concerning the Mormons is just how conservative or right wing ideology do they operate under. Yes, some attributes of the sect that is perhaps enviable, but every sect has some good parts. Their history is not squeaky clean. I'm quite unsure just how they would fare under a complete collapse and general population knowing they had large stores of food.

murph said...

Ras,

Yup, my dad benefited much from the WPA. It helped to keep his family going. I figure that is also how Obama is seeing it. However, how's he gonna pay for it?

Dave said...

You know, all these self-proclaimed “leaders” are the same: clueless, sound-bite driven, unimaginative, and capable only of running on auto-pilot. They mouth the platitudes they think will sell, their eyes fixated on the gold ring that they wish to snare for themselves.

If Mr. “O” wishes to achieve real change, change that will better our country, he ought to recruit some imaginative people to figure out how to encourage the formation of sustainable, grassroots commerce, while slowly shrinking the government. Let the massive, centrally planned infrastructure fall into disuse and disrepair, accept that smaller is better, and pave the way for people to come up with their own solutions.

This, of course, will never happen because it is 180 degrees opposed to the goal of government, which is to become bigger and more powerful. All of Mr. “O”’s proposals so far are strongly inclined toward the latter, and so are all of the people he’s appointed to his administration.

Dave
http://daveeriqat.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Dave,

You mean people like Mr. Brzezinski. I can’t yet decide if he is running the show or if it is a case of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Time will tell, as it always does.

Anonymous said...

Well, Murph, I have an idea that when TSHTF, the Mormons might get an inkling to do a Mountain Meadows Massacre -part Two on our heathen asses. But then again, in SLC proper, it's only 40% LDS so the bastards are in for a major figtht. Plus, they all have 5 to 6 kids each so how violent they get when Mad Max becomes the norm, I don't know. They're such lemmings 'n stuff -like deer in headlights....

Dude

Anonymous said...

Freeacre; I checked the Urban Survival website just now, the 10th, and could not find much reference to the earthquake event. Can you point me to specific quote? I have a friend here who is leaving for Ca. today. She has a "job" in Malibu.

-rockpicker

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Freeacre said “Freedom is an inside job”, so here is my latest contribution. I am downsizing my apartment, only moving about 400 yards away from a relatively expensive private apartment to one owned by the local authority. We are going from two bedrooms down to one and although the new rent is not fixed in Euros and cents we have been told that it will be in the region of 20% of our present rent. Not only that but it is being completely renovated, new water system; electric wiring; bathroom, kitchen and ceramic floor tiles on about 50% of the ground area. It is on the ground floor which means we get the use of part of the communal grassy area in the back. Pity is that I can’t dig it up to plant veggies, things are not that bad here yet. We have been optimistically on the list for years but it was persistance with the local council and Chris’s illness which tipped the balance. Anyway moving time is sometime in January. As you can imagine things are pretty hectic around here right now. The hard thing is throwing out all the things that you never use but you can’t live your life without. The secret is to think small and bite the bullet. Incidentally, there will be room for visitors; you can always make that one work.

Jacques – Murph,

The object of the layers of the onion is to surround people in non-essential business.
The way many cults work is to encourage and ensnare those who are susceptible to the message that, that particular cult is promoting, bring the candidate in, give them a quick meaningless promotion so they have something to protect and then surround them in business so they don’t have time to question their position and if they do then you can always question their loyalty, then, bit by bit you take their money off them. Fighting government is a variation on this but for them the over-excessive business is an essential part of making the problem go away. Non corundum illigitiimous! (Don’t let the bastards grind you down).

freeacre said...

Gee, Rockpicker, I would cut and paste the 12/09 and 12/10 Urban Survival quote from Half Past Human on the possible earthquakes, but I don't think that is Kosher to do. But, damn near half of what G. Ure writes today ("Watchful Wednesday") is quoting the Time Monks. It's pretty hard to decipher, but the gist of it is that somewhere close to this Saturday through Jan. 10, there will be two earthquakes that will be real strong and destructive somewhere within the 32 to 36 degree parallels. Like, Kashmir in Pakistan, and just south of San Francisco, or in the New Madrid area, like Kansas, Tennessee, Missouri, or some such places.
A shout out to Palooka, as my access to halfpasthuman reports seem to have expired. You got any additional info?

freeacre said...

Congrats, Belgium, on the move! I sympathize on the downsizing details. It just about killed us to move from a 5 bedroom, 1,700 sq. ft. home to a 805 sq ft. trailer. We've got 3 outbuildings and a garage full of stuff and still whine about things that we gave up. Jeez.
Today, just for fun, I am going to make homemade English Muffins. Are English Muffins really English, Belgium, of is that more bullshit that we are taught? They are those flat muffins with lots of air holes in them that you pull apart and put butter and jam on....

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Freeacre,

I do believe those you describe are English although the word ‘muffins’ seems to apply to different things, but why ask me, I spent half my life believing that a chest of drawers was invented in Chester.

Anonymous said...

rp and fa... as fa sez, check today's entry and yesterday and monday's. several direct quotes from reports citing the coming of these events. what he's quoted is most of what is in part 5 of the current run published last saturday and highlights from previous reports as far back as 9 months ago. the latter especially in today's entry. thus, the "twins" have been on the radar for some time now.

the prediction is for twin events of high mag, one of which is located 32 - 36 lat. north? south? take yer pick. data doesn't specify. also doesn't specify where along this 32-36.... its a long way around the globe. but there are several clues that could narrow the field. like shortages. LA does fall within that lat as well as at least half the central valley that produces much of our winter food supply. AND the sutan sea area has been id-ed by others as "building" and "very vulnerable" for some time now. several faults emanating outward from the sultan area northward as well as westward. see jim berkland's forum, especially frank condon's category.

it takes water to grow food right? and for much of the valley (not to mention the densely populated urban areas), water is imported. last week ure printed an analysis of the 32 - 36 lat area of california sent in by a reader. here's the cut 'n paste....


Week To Quakes?

Since the predictive linguistics have these 'twin quakes' coming up (window opens in a week temporally) a great email from a well-versed reader on some of the things Californians might want to ponder:

"George, As you know California has had three great earthquakes in the last 150 years. Two have occurred on the San Andreas fault. Both were mammoth; 1906 San Francisco quake 7.7-8.2 and the 1857 Ft. Tejon quake 7.9-8.1. A major quake occurs on the San Andreas fault on average every 140 years......so we're overdue by 10 years.

I'll list 4 scenarios within the 32-36 N. Latitudes.

1. Colorado River/All American Canal: Western U.S. bread basket for winter vegetables is the Imperial valley/Mexicali. The San Andreas ends near the Salton Sea and the San Jacinto fault begins on the Westside of the Salton sea and extends southward to the Gulf of California. A larger quake here could rupture open the Gulf of California allowing a channel of water to move in through Mexico and merger with the Salton Sea. There is a 100 mile from Indio to the Mexican border that is below sea level. A smaller quake would disrupt waterways including the All American canal, the largest irrigation canal in the world creating significant damage to the crops. It would take a huge rupture to force water inland not likely but faintly possible.

Most of So Cal water is imported; LA aqueduct from Owens Valley, California aqueduct from the state water project and the Colorado River aqueduct. All three aqueducts cross the San Andreas fault. The great fear is not transpiration disruption but unavailable water.

2. The Colorado River aqueduct parallels the San Andreas fault separated by a distance of 1-5 miles from Coachella Valley west to Banning about 40 miles. After crossing the fault near Banning in Riverside County the water is deposited in Lake Mathews for distribution throughout LA, Orange and San Diego counties. A good size quake here would produce water disruptions and shutdowns.

3. Half of all Southern California water usages comes from the California aqueduct. The California aqueduct transports water 450 miles from Sacramento River delta to Los Angeles. The California aqueduct crosses the San Andreas fault through Cajon pass north of San Bernardino. The water is then distributed through all of So Cal. The San Andreas fault passes through Northern LA county on the north of the San Gabriel mountains. Unfortunately that is where the California aqueduct is located. The aqueduct is tucked in next to the San Andreas fault for about 35 miles. At this point the aqueduct heads Northwest to tie in with the Los Angeles aqueduct while the fault maintains a more westerly direction lifting to 4,000ft as the fault precedes through Ft. Tejon. A Ft.Tejon type quake with similar magnitude would more than likely result in equipment failure and cracks/leakage along miles of the canal.

4. San Luis Dam: The California aqueduct parallels the San Andreas fault along the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley for 170 miles......separated by 10/30 miles. The water is stored in the San Luis reservoir/lake. The reservoir is a huge man made lake supported by the San Luis Dam. The Dam is 25 miles east of the San Andreas fault. 20 miles west of San Luis Dam is the city of Hollister....."earthquake capital of the U.S." Southwest of Hollister only a few miles west of the San Andreas fault is the "salad capital of the world" the Salinas Valley. A major quake in this area could create major/minor agricultural shortages but a significant crack in the Dam could be a disaster..... the damage would be relative to the amount of water stored in the lake. Right now the dams in the Sierras are holding little water.

5. Bay area slips: A large bay area quake off the Hayward fault causes sea water to rush into the shipping channels of the Sacramento Delta flooding thousands of acres, busting levies and mixing seawater with fertile soil.

(end reader comment)

george's end note....

Again, we hope to be wrong on the quakes, or that they happen in areas where there's no impact, but we should know in about two weeks whether we're right or wrong...We don't know, for example if the 32-36 latitude band is north or south, and even if north, that could still cover the New Madrid region. Dramamine ready? Stand by to cue the 'dancing mountains'.

end george.

not saying thats what's coming but, damn!!! that analysis is chilling!!!! as i say, this area has been cited by others, including mainstream science, as building and very vulnerable. if any of those zones takes a big hit that takes out the water and transportation infrastructure the impact could be devastating to an entire nation... especially in winter. all we need to get knocked on our collective asses bigtime is one major event like this. its likely coming in some form from some where. we are vulnerable on many fronts. this is just one of them.... p

Anonymous said...

We are in unbelievable trouble. The latest news is unbelievably grim, but is still receiving scant attention.

Tipping points on our climate have already passed, with centuries of suffering ahead. Nothing else even comes close to the significance of this event.

Our financial woes are paltry in comparison. We'll "pay the price" alright, multiple human generations will suffer if we even survive. ~Survival Acres~

freeacre said...

Dave,
I share your disgust with our political landscape, although I'd much rather listen to Obama than Bush or McLame. Citizen involvement in government is a set up for exhaustion and frustration. Even if you win one thing, they screw you with ten others. The levels of bureaucracy are just numbing after awhile.
That's why I am going to check out the Grange. It is an old-fashioned rural organization that has secret passwords and hand signs, and organizes things to help the community. The one here is contemplating organizing a Farmers Market. I'd like to have them consider a Trading Post as well. Bet they could do it without all the stupid licenses and codes and dumbassed rules that the county would require.
Good to hear from you, Survival Acres! The climate change tipping points that you refer to on the website are so frightening and so out of our control, that I simply get paralyzed when I think of it. Don't know whether to "shit or go blind," as my father would say. If the science is correct, then it's too late now to avoid a severe die off as temperatures inexorably rise and the oceans die. All the more reason to live more intensely while we are here, I'd say. I don't want to be a zombie no matter what.

Anonymous said...

re survival acres... is that you robert? read your latest blog entry and i encourage all here to go read it... http://survivalacres.com/wordpress/

you won't find many analysies of the current state of the human condition like this and i fully expect robert to take his own advice and.... move on. at least to the extent of his point that, its damned challenging to hang on-line and take action too. besides, you've heard it all already so what are you waiting for? iow, hanging on his site or any site including this one can be a diversion. and a way to play out our own personal issues. i know its been that way for me. which is not to say there's no value here or at robert's site or wherever else we've been hangin. though he may mean it literally, i take his words... move on... metaphorically. somewhere in between is a balance point for each of us.

in the meantime i can't tell you how grateful i am to have sites like this one and robert's. sadly, i've not spent much time at his having just recently picked it up on radar. but this one has been a touchstone... a connection upon which i can feel that, if i'm crazy, i'm in damn good company!! nice warm campfire too!!!

robert talks alot about polarization in this entry and i would agree with him... its everywhere, its everywhere. in my view, this is not a fluk or twist of fate. its engrained in the energies that we are. it has an original cause and it has a solution albeit both are illusive to say the least. its just that we're at a point where the pendulum has moved so far from the balance point that life itself hangs in the balance.

fortunatley, in my view at least, there is such a thing as the greater cosmic forces seeking balance and they are interviening. its just that... well, its not going to be pretty. the state of the energies cannot be ignored or made moot even by greater forces. it is what it is and there is only one way to the future and that is through the back door into the past.

and i agree with him... the polarization is played like a drum. triggered into the various extreems that are the ideologies, interpretations, judgements, imprints, frozen pov's and so on of the masses. in short, we're being fed upon. but whatever they are for each of us they are our own personal ideaologies, interpretations, judgements, imprints, and so on and thus, are our responsibility to deal with. you can lead a squirrel to a nut but you can't make him pick it up. unless he's a squirrel eh. hell, all ya gotta do is show him a nut and he becomes what he is already. playing out that imprint that manifests as gathering nuts. he is what he is. unless he changes at the imprint level. thats our challenge.

but he's just a squirrel? can't think for himself? make choices? well how bout this... the other day liz started something on the stove and set the timer. meantime she got side-tracked and ended up in the ?? room downstairs (i can't think what they call this hobby... damn, i'm getting senile. but she's very good at it whatever it is) working on christmas cards. completly sidetracked and forgetting (surprize, i'm not alone!) all about the stove is on. blackie cat came down raising hell... a tactic he employs when he wants a smackeral and his bowl is empty. so liz heads upstairs with blackie hot on her heals. when she gets to the top of the stairs she hears the timer goin off and heads straight for the stove just in time to beat flash point! blackie doesn't stop at his bowl. he walks right past it and stops only long enough to look at liz, look at the stove, look back at liz and then heads straight outside through his catdoor. probably to chase squirrels eh!

i was particularly taken with robert's closing paragraphs....

".... I’m working on my robotedness, trying to deprogram my pyschotronic mind and figure out what it means to be human again.

I was once human too, just like you. When I was a small child, wondering at the marvelous beauty of the world and astounded by the things I touched, tasted, smelled and seen. Life was a joy, an experience to be relished, renewed each and every day as a wonderful gift.

But over time, the numbness and indifference of the world took hold in me too, as I aged and gained experience and dealt with the reality of the indifferent and uncaring world, killing off the joy and appreciation of being alive. I slowly became “one of them”, the mindless, unthinking, uncaring and indifferent zombies that occupy our planet by the billions today, raping and being raped daily, pillaging and plundering whatever we wanted, never caring, never interested, never even really living. Just going through the motions of life on a well-worn “life” track programmed into my brain by people I had never even met.

And then something happened. I awoke with a start, realizing that I was finally and truly awake to something I had only faintly sensed the existence of before. Maybe it was a fault in the software, or maybe it happened because of the hard fall I took, or maybe because I threw my television away for a entire decade, but something jarred me awake and I came awake with a start, shocked at what I seen, and even what I myself had become.

And I’m very glad this happened. I rejected the fame and fortune of my past and became this person that I am today. I am awake, but only just barely alive. Struggling to make my own existence in this world that is hell-bent on destroying me and “my kind”, which hates us with a passionate hatred for all things living and alive.

It is the same hatred that created civilization and the domination of the planet, forcing humans into subservient slavery and miserable existence. It is a deep and abiding hatred for what I have come to understand as being.

You see, I’m still polarized and I know it. I can’t help it still, knowing that those that identify with me are the same way themselves. We’re seeking a better world, a world that we were not born into. This is a world that we are not likely to ever see either. But we still believe in its future existence someday. I suspect that this is the only reason we yet live, holding onto a faint hope despite all the evidence that contradicts this, that this dream world will exist someday, for somebody.

And this is what I think makes us human in the end. We may yet still be robots on the outside, forcing ourselves to go through this life as we must, but inside, we hold onto the dream that we are really not this ‘person’, programmed to be these artificial fabricated creatures with no minds, no thoughts and no life that we are today.

We even know that we hold little hope to become truly human again, but we know that if the human race survives this present day folly and destruction of our planet, somebody might. Someday.

And I think they deserve that chance.

And it is up to us to give it to them.

By any and all means possible.

And this is how we will become alive again. Human."



amen robert. in chaoots... p

RAS said...

Murph, to begin with I expect he'll pay for it the same way they're paying for everything else: deficit spending. If that fails, there are other options. Issue a new currency, commander things. Not pretty -but nothing is going to be pretty for a while.

This time is not going to be pretty. It is going to be dark and hard. A lot of bad things are going to happen. But, this must happen. There is no way to avoid it. The whirlwind has been sown and must be reaped. To everything there is a season/And a time for every purpose under heaven. (I'm not Christian but there is a small amount of wisdom in the Bible.) A Reckoning must happen. I hope that centuries from now, when the darkness has passed, the ones that live will have built something better and will look at the past with horror.

To paraphrase Tolkien, we can not decide what times we live in -we can only decide what to do with the time we have been given. Everything we do to help ourselves, another person or creature, every small act of kindness we can do, changes in the world in some way. And that, in the end, may be the best legacy we can give the future.

Dave said...

freeacre,

How funny that you are making english muffins. The other day I was at the store and saw some and though how delicious they'd be with butter. Mmm...

But they were so expensive in the store so I didn't buy them and I thought I'd try to make them myself.

Do you have a recipe you can share?

Dave
http://daveeriqat.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

p. you lost me in one or two places probably because I had not read Survival Acres but what you said made broad sense and I have to agree with your conclusions. b

Anonymous said...

One way governments may attempt to pay up is through coordinated currency devaluation. Just add a few zeros and presto, debts are gone! Jubilee! This is the equivalent of poaching nest eggs, but there will be a great temptation to do it. There have been several mainstream articles in the last week illustrating the benefits... here is one such article from forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/finance/investingideas/2008/12/09/dollar-devaluation-gold-pf-ii-in_fb_1209soapbox_inl.html

Now is definitely a good time to get one's shit together, and to find help wherever you may. Personally I have found mormons to be most helpful in providing information about food storage and home security.

One guy I know went out of his way when I asked him for help. He knows I am an athiest and yet he never once tried to proselytize to me. I think they get that out of their system during their missionary rite of passage when they ride around on bicycles ringing doorbells.

The rest of the yuppies and drones around here have been about as useful as tits on a bull.

anazuzo

Anonymous said...

My wife and I got married over two years ago and since then, we've become "fat, dumb and happy." And because of that, my wife wants to loose some weight. Sure, it would be great if she lost some weight, looked a little sexier 'n stuff, but, I didn't say anything like that, of course. In fact, I'd rather she keep it on. I think we're all gonna get a lot skinnier in the not-too-distant-future and who knows, the more weight we have, the longer we might hang out. So, I think I'll just have an extra serving -of everything this holiday season. Especially beer.

Dude

freeacre said...

Dave, et al,

ENGLISH MUFFINS (Bread machine recipe that I didn't use a bread machine for since I misplaced the frigging mixing paddle. But, they turned out good, anyway....)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups non-fat milk (powdered milk is fine) Warm it up.
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teas. salt
2 3/4 teas, bread machine yeast

some cornmeal for sprinkling

Put in bread machine in the normal order and set on the "dough' setting. Or, by hand, mix the salt and flour in one bowl. Mix the warm wet stuff with the yeast in another bowl, then combine. Knead till it gets elastic and smooth. Let rise to double in warm place.

Then, once raised, turn out on cutting board sprinkled with some corn meal. Roll out 1/2" thick rectangle. Cut rounds with a 3" cookie cutter or a glass. Combine and roll out the trimmings.

Preheat an electric griddle to 350-375. Or heat a cast iron griddle until water dances on it. Lightly grease the surface.

Place several muffins on the griddle and cook them about 10 minutes on each side, until they are quite brown. They will puff up. Remove and set on a rack to cool.

These actually turned out quite tasty for a first effort. I ended up making a dinner out of some of them by toasting them, then putting on a couple of poached eggs, then some homemade cheese sauce (white sauce plus grated cheese). Some garden peas on the side, and val la! Bon appetite! Time consuming, but cheap and yummy on a cold day.

RAS said...

What will we do?

What will we do
When the last car dies
And the last bus runs out of fuel?
When the last phone goes dead
And the last radio crackles and falls silent?
When the last tv flickers off
And the last dvd is broken?
When the grid goes down
And all the distractions end?
Perhaps, perhaps, we shall leave
Our stifling, confining, limiting abodes
And go across the hall or the dead concrete jungle
To knock on a neighbor’s door
Perhaps we shall say ‘Hi, how are you?
I do not know you, but maybe we could sit and chat?’
Perhaps the neighbor will say ‘I suppose,
But I was just about to have dinner. It’s just rice,
But at least it’s something.’
And maybe we shall say ‘I have some beans,
How about we eat together?’
Then perhaps we shall sit and talk and dine together
And watch our children play, who have never met
Then perhaps we shall start to realize
How bad the old world was
And start to build something new
Together.

freeacre said...

Once again, I am brought to tears. I sure hope you are right, Little Darlin'. I sure hope so.

Dave said...

Thanks for the recipe, freeacre,

I'm going to give it a try.

Dave
http://daveeriqat.wordpress.com/

RAS said...

FA, I'm fine. I'm (mostly) over the crud and am even at work tonight. Sometimes I just get the urge to write bad poetry.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Ras, there is nothing bad about writing from the heart - wonderful

Anonymous said...

I found this to be am interesting read...

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/personal-story-by-a-lawyer-from-a-previous-asset-bubble-can-we-learn-from-the-past-and-how-will-the-housing-decline-impact-you/

Ely

murph said...

Ely,

Indeed it is an interesting read. My how things change, and yet stay the same.

freeacre said...

What do you guys think about the bailouts? To me, for openers, I believe that they are unconstitutional. I don't think it's in the constitution that you can just take taxpayers money and give it away by the billions (or trillions) to some people or entities or countries or banks or mobs or whatever and not even tell us who it is going to, unto the 3rd and 4th generations. Is it??
And, as for the automakers, same kind of thing. If we give them money, they are just going to lay off a shitload of workers anyway. They are going to expand their operations in Brazil. Once again, our money goes to the rich and breaks the backs of the working class. Why not give vouchers for American cars to the citizens. The citizens can then turn in the vouchers for a (tax free) American car of their choice; the automakers would take in the money and stay in business; and the workers would have a job to do. At least we'd all get a car out of it.
And, with the other bailout, why not give the citizens each a credit of 25,000 or so that they could use to pay off their credit cards. The banks would get the payments, but the people would become debt free. At least we'd be gaining something.
It might not be unconstitutional for the country to give an advance to their own citizenry. I don't know. But, nobody is even asking the question.
Or, if the gov't won't give the citizens vouchers for cars, why should we give the car makers anything? The oil companies should be bailing them out. After all, that is the market for the oil that they have been making windfall profits on until now. They could do it in a heartbeat.
This whole thing is a total clusterfuck, and I am feeling like p's squirrel. They've got us by the nuts, alright.

freeacre said...

OK, I am a squirrel and a moron. If we all got new cars, we'd just be driving more with these dumbassed gas guzzlers, raising the CO2 level, and killing the oceans even faster. AAAUUUUGHHH!!!!

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Freeacre,

Great idea,how about giving American workers vouchers for any form of gasoline driven motorised transport of less than 1000cc. It could include a car, a Harley, a quad bike or anything so long it was US Manufactured. Then people would only use their gas guzzlers for really important dates.

mrs p said...

How about the U.S. becoming the largest manufacturer of solar panels instead of Saudi Arabia? hmmm what do they know?

How about an immediate ban on all "petrol based" pesticides and chemical fertilizers. There's some oil we don't need!

How about giving everyone a voucher for retrofitting their auto for solar panels and LED lighting to be charged at charging stations run by the sun? Or take all the money being pilfered to the fat cats in the Auto industry, banks, et al and provide solar panel incentives to all existing housing and make it mandatory for new housing. How about asking counties to stop building beyond their available water provisions? The Mcmansion housing builders should be required to build rain collecting water tanks! Freeacres car giveaway could be replacing our current clunkers for solar run vehicles! Give the money to the people who need it most! The big 3 are destined to meltdown they dug their hole a long time ago.

hello & cheers to all, cold day and about to pour buckets here. Peace, love and hot chocolate, mrsp

Anonymous said...

To Climb High One Must Begin Low

Religious organizations become as fixed and as rigid as the thoughts of those who belong to them. Life is a constant change, a continual becoming, a ceaseless revolution, and because an organization can never be pliable, it stands in the way of change; it becomes reactionary to protect itself. The search for truth is individual, not congregational. To commune with the real there must be aloneness, not isolation, but freedom from all influence and opinion. Organizations of thought inevitably become hindrances to thought.

As you yourself are aware, the greed for power is almost inexhaustible in a so-called spiritual organization; this greed is covered over by all kinds of sweet and official-sounding words, but the canker of avariciousness, pride and antagonism is nourished and shared. From this grow conflict, intolerance, sectarianism, and other ugly manifestations.

Would it not be wiser to have small informed groups of twenty or twenty-five persons, without dues or membership, meeting where it is convenient to discuss gently the approach to reality? To prevent any group from becoming exclusive, each member could from time to time encourage and perhaps join another small group; thus, it would be extensive, not narrow and parochial.

To climb high one must begin low. Out of this small beginning one may help to create a more sane and happy world.

In gratitude to

The Book of Life

freeacre said...

Sounds about right to me, anonymous. That's kinda what we do here, at least some of the time.
aho

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Were you guys aware that Canada doesn’t have a government or parliament at the moment. The Queen of England has suspended it – you did read that right. Here is Webster Tarporley talking about it with my least favourite web celebrity Alex Jones. There are two 11 min videos and the interesting thing so far as you Americans are concerned come at 9’ 25” in the first and 9’ 40” in the second.

stoney13 said...

Belgium,

Yea, Yea, American cars! Maybe if the American car company would build something like the Mini Cooper, (And I mean the old Austins, not the fancy BMWs) they wouldn't be in the tank!

Of course some of the blame is on the American Car Market, who would never by something as simple, small and fun as a Mini Cooper!

I like the new Zed cars they're building in England, with the Suzuki Hyabusa engines in them! 0-to-60 MPH in less than three seconds, and fifty plus miles to the gallon? What's not to love?!

Also, I move that fuel mileage, and not engine displacement be the deciding factor as to what would be acceptable.

The US Automobile Manufacturers CAN build some outstanding stuff! All they have to do is get some young blood in there, to shake the place up a little bit! Kind of like the Scion Boys did at Toyota!