Monday, March 23, 2009

Be the Change


Did you see Obama on 60 Minutes Sunday? I must say that I like him. I like his family. I want to see his daughters playing on their new swing set. I am waiting for the dog. I love the fact that our First Lady is planting a vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House. I love having an articulate and calm person as President. He reminds me of a young Morgan Freeman, who I have really enjoyed portraying the President in movies such as “Deep Impact.” President Obama is so refreshing in so many ways, after eight years of the despicable Bush administration, and all his reptilian associates. I find him to be a welcome relief.

Except for the delusional part. You know, the delusion that we are ever going to get back to being “normal.” The economy will recover. Banks will be lending again to build more condos and buy more automobiles and get the latest gadget at the mall. The Sex in the City gals will be showing off their $400 high heels and displaying Victoria’s latest “secret.” We’ll once again be entreated to put a dream vacation on a credit card and drink beer with lime in it on some Caribbean beach.

We can go back to pretending that those happy and industrious Chinese workers are just thrilled to be manufacturing all our widgets and processing all the world’s toxic waste in their bare feet. The Tibetan glaciers that feed the major rivers of both India and China are not really melting. We can pretend that the TRILLIONS of dollars of debt that are being loaded on the backs of the U.S. taxpayers is somehow repayable – despite the soaring interest it relentlessly accumulates. We can pretend that the government now has our best interests at heart, despite the fact that Big Pharm and Big Agri-business and Big Finance are all intractably in place, and in the interests of “our safety,” they are going after small farmers and vitamin producers.

Move along, Citizen, nothing to look at here… just the same ol’ same ol’ military industrial complex gearing up in Afghanistan and those narco-dollars propping up Wall Street sociopaths. Except that it ain’t going to work this time. Having no sense of enough being enough, the greed mongers and barons of avarice have leveraged their way to total and unavoidable systemic collapse. By summer, I would wager that even those of us who have seen it coming will find it difficult to believe.

I keep flashing on those NFL players who drifted off in the cold seas after their fishing boat capsized. Formerly so strong and fit and in charge of their lives, it must have seemed utterly surreal and devastating to be helpless and drifting off with no help on the way. Those of us in life boats will be surrounded by cries for help. Those are the sounds that I am haunted by. The blathering from Washington is seeming ever more distant. It just doesn’t matter much anymore what they say. The elites are going to do what it is that they do. We simply have no power over it.

The rest of us are on our own. So, after years of harping on resource depletion and financial nymphomania, it is quite gratifying to see that some of us, at least, are making alternative plans. I want to know the details of how Belgium’s crust turns out, how Randy’s seeds and beer making is coming along, how Rockpickers and Oldensoul’s and ras’s gardens are growing. What sense is Ely making of things from his perspective in South America, or Singapore Guy in Asia? That is what is important to me now. Mrs. P’s raised beds, Montana’s little village and swimming hole. P’s plans to move, Jaque’s coping in L.A. And all the newbies and those who have not spoken yet. You are all more interesting to me than those bleating the same old moribund message of revitalizing Wally World.

To hell with all that. From now on, I want to concentrate mostly on what works for us and how it is going. We have gardens to grow, new ways to structure our lives, places to explore, ideas to try. Eventually, new ways of being will rise from the dung heap of this culture. Let us celebrate our victories and share our defeats. To that end, I am going to attempt to put pictures up on the blogsite and include our e-mail address on the home page so that our cyber-tribe can send pictures that we will post for us all to see. Last night I went to sleep thinking of the question that Belgium asked about why a drop of water holds a piece of wax paper so securely to the countertop. I woke up still obsessing about it after dreaming of an electronic universe inspired by a book I am reading that I never would have picked up if it had not been for the influence of Rockpicker. I am grateful and amazed at the influence that we have had on one another.

I’ll quit now and see if I can figure out how to post this message with a picture or two for starters of our place.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Disinformation and Disorientation

by freeacre

It seems the more I read the less I know.

Has the stock market bottomed out? Is this the beginning of a slow recovery leading to better times? Or, is it the sign of some sort of historical or computer generated Wave that will eventually lead to a total financial meltdown? Are we headed for inflation or deflation? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Many of the world leaders are meeting next week to talk over the banking crisis. Are we headed for one world currency? Has Hillary Clinton delivered a deal with China to back their investment in our Treasury Bonds with the promise of Eminent Domain on American real estate? (Real Estate like, say, the states of Hawaii and California…) Will regulations be instituted that will put a stop to the stupendous graft and fraud upon which the ruling class created money to line their pockets, while squeezing the workers who manufacture goods down to the bone?

How about our foreign policy? Are we going to cultivate a better relationship with Russia? There are signs that this may be so. On the other hand, we might be entering the end game of a years long KGB manipulation that ends with statues of Marx erected in our town squares.

Of course, that manipulation would be in competition with the Zionist conspiracy to run our government. Or, the Illuminati and Bilderberger schemes to turn us all into debt serfs and big Pharma zombies.

Or, will that pain-in-the-ass North Korea do some provocative space-related thing like fire off a missile at Japan or “run into” another one of our communications satellites. Or, will Israel be compelled by some weird Old Testament programming and just up and nuke Iran?

More likely, it seems to me, would be growing unrest in Mexico due to the collapse of their oil fields, increased power of the drug lords, and huge drop in money that they used to send to their families by working in the U.S. This could lead to some sort of limited war with Mexico. Some might perceive it to be just enough to very conveniently pump up our economy. Just think of all the jobs created by firing up all those FEMA camps and putting a lot of us to work being prison guards and ancillary goons. Not exactly the career choice I had in mind for my children, but…

Of course the numbnuts in Washington D.C. don’t grasp just how much of the population bedrock that those of Hispanic heritage are out here in the West. The blowback from this type of misadventure would probably be so destabilizing, that an all out Civil War would not be out of the question.

The chaos that follows would probably be a good time to introduce the biological weaponry that one or another of the international elites of the planet have in mind for the final solution to the over-population problem. Add pestilence and plague to famine and war, and you’ve got the wet dream of the fundamentalist’s Apocalypse. Hoo rah! Or, rather, Halleluiah!

What am I saying? I thought things were changing. Obama’s been elected. Bush and his evil minions are gone. They can’t even find jobs! The President speaks in compound sentences now, for God’s sake. The First Lady doesn’t look as if she’s been over-medicated with Prozak and kept in a closet. Jon Stewart is the king of the news. These are all good things, right?

This “correction” in the markets and re-adjustment of our economy to more sustainable practices will be beneficial in the long run. People are reaching out to each other and planting gardens and defining themselves less by what toys they buy or the latest plastic surgery intervention. Green energy projects, new infrastructure so bridges loaded with cars don’t drop into our rivers at rush hour, and additional grants for college educations is in the works.

We don’t have to look out from our minds through lenses tinted with our own fears anymore. Or, do we? I don’t know. I think one indicator that I am going to rely upon is what actually happens with those proposals in the congress that would restrict organic home gardening and farmers markets and, basically, hand over the control of our entire food supply to agribusiness consortiums.

That will be a basic test of reality for me. Then I think I will have a clearer idea of whether the sound of jackbooted thugs will arrive in my driveway someday or if it really is the dawn of the Age of Aquarius.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

We are posting another guest post by Belgium (also known as Spirit Across the Sea). In no way do we advocate insurrection. But, in the face of the swelling tide of states threatening to secede from the union, the thoughtful presentation of the subject of this post bears some discussion. And so, from Belgium:

The military version of the United States Oath of Allegiance
runs as follows:
I, {insert name here}, do solemnly swear, (or affirm), that I will
support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all
enemies, foreign and domestic as well as the left wing liberals; that I
will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this
obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of
evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the
office on which I am about to enter. So help me God. (Note that the
last line is not required to be said if the speaker has a personal or
moral objection)

I would like to start by looking at what a domestic enemy
means to the citizenry and also to agents of the administration.

If we follow the logic of the Oath then any person who
breaks allegiance with the constitution is an enemy of the
United States of America. The question now turns on what
is meant by the United States of America; is it the land; is
it the American citizenry or is it the apparatus of state? In
this sense it is obviously not the land. Of the other two
could it be either one or both? In fact, are they divisible or
are they one and the same? During the presidency of GW
Bush, many of the citizens felt that both he and Veep
Cheney had bypassed the Constitution so many times that
they in fact were enemies of the state and should be impeached.
Bush has called the Constitution “Just a damned piece of paper”,
thereby showing his complete disregard for it. Dennis Kucinich filed
a motion for impeachment but the leader of the house lost her resolve
and reneged on bringing the motion before the house.
Bush argued that since he had been democratically elected
as head of state, whatever he decided was what the
people wanted even if it was in contravention of the
Constitution. So a perceived enemy could not, in this case,
be tried by Constitutional means which leaves the question
of whether the Constitution has any validity. Is it an
anachronism of the past which is largely just window
dressing in today’s world or does it still have meaning and
for whom is it meaningful?

The Department of Defense (DoD), is Constitutionally
charged with defending the USA against its enemies.
Traditionally this has meant going overseas and fighting
wars but what if the enemy was perceived to be American
citizens? Well thankfully for Rummy, he was never placed
in the embarrassing position of having to take his mates at
the White House into custody. Is it possible to imagine a
future situation where food shortages within the USA
became so severe or where the financial or monetary
infrastructure collapsed so severely that the majority of the
citizenry rose up in a popular front, comprising everyone
from Communists to the Religious Right against the
established mechanism of government. What would be the
roll of the DoD in this particular case? Who would the
enemy be; the common people; the leaders who were
perceived as negligent or the captains of industry who if
push came to shove, could easily disperse into other

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Freier who is now a
visiting professor of Strategy, Policy and Risk Assessment
at the US Armies Peacekeeping and Stability Operations
Institute and a Senior Fellow in the International Security
Program at the Centre of Strategic and International
Studies has looked into this issue and produced a 36 page
report entitled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategy
Shocks in Defence Strategy Development.” This was
written in response to former Secretary Rumsfeld’s remark
(paraphrased) that “There are things we know we know;
things we know we don’t know and things we don’t know
we don’t know”. This report criticizes the DoD for only
providing plans for a military response to evolving
situations in foreign countries. Here is what he has to say
on the subject of what must be considered in the event of
an internal insurrection.

“Violent, Strategic Dislocation Inside the United States.

As a community, the defense establishment swears to protect and
defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. DoD’s
role in combating “domestic enemies” has never been thoughtfully
examined. Thus, there is perhaps no greater source
of strategic shock for DoD than operationalizing that component of the
oath of service in a widespread domestic emergency that entails rapid
dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the United States.
While likely not an immediate prospect, this is clearly a “Black Swan”
that merits some visibility inside DoD and the Department of Homeland
Security. To the extent events like this involve organized violence against local, state, and national authorities and exceed the capacity of
the former two to restore public order and protect vulnerable populations, DoD would be required to fill the gap. This is largely
uncharted strategic territory.
Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the
defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic
domestic order and human security. Deliberate employment of weapons
of mass destruction or other catastrophic capabilities, unforeseen
economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order,
purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health
emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters are all paths
to disruptive domestic shock.

An American government and defense establishment lulled into
complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to
rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to
address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home. Already
predisposed to defer to the primacy of civilian authorities in instances of
domestic security and divest all but the most extreme demands in areas
like civil support and consequence management, DoD might be forced
by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil
authorities to contain and
reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme
circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile
groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity,
an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a
multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.

A whole host of long-standing defence conventions would be severely
tested. Under these conditions and at their most violent extreme,
civilian authorities, on advice of the defense establishment, would need
to rapidly determine the parameters defining the legitimate use of
military force inside the United States. Further still, the whole concept of
conflict termination and/or transition to the primacy of civilian security
institutions would be uncharted ground. DoD is already challenged by
stabilization abroad. Imagine the challenges associated with doing so on
a massive scale at home.”

What he appears to be arguing is that the status quo must
be maintained for the benefit of those who are opposed to
the insurrection and to prevent a riled up citizenry from
getting their hands on nukes. I would suspect that these
are not the only reasons for considering such actions. It
does appear to provide an authoritarian solution without
addressing the causes of the unrest. Two further questions
arise here. How likely is such an event and is the proposed
response reasonable.

On the How Likely question, there is a growing tide of civil
unrest throughout Europe and Asia. Whilst isolated events
like the Tiananmen Square tank man and the Korean
farmer who shot himself at the WTO protest can be
dismissed as white noise, something annoying in the
background which does not affect major outcomes, there is
a general groundswell of unrest which taken collectively, is
becoming more difficult to ignore. Often the triggering
event has little to do with the release of tension which
follows making them almost impossible to predict. I will
wager that the Greek policeman who shot a 15 year old
youth earlier this month did not realize that his action
would spark a wave of anti-globalisation conflicts in Spain;
Denmark; Italy; France and Britain. These have largely
been quelled but it should be remembered that just
because you have managed to silence someone it doesn’t
mean that you have got them to agree with you.
Meanwhile, China is fighting fires on quite a few fronts. As
the US economy goes gradually down the pan, it is taking the
Chinese economy with it and factory closures are
depriving the workers of the little they already have. The
USA is largely quiet for the moment but with resentment
and anger mounting at the prospect of future generations
being put into hock in order to provide the banking class
with what they consider to be rightfully theirs and with
more and more Americans living like Palestinians as a
result, a dangerous head of steam is building in the boiler.

As to the reasonableness of a DoD response against its
own citizenry, I doubt if even the tech savvy portion of the
nation would know what to do with a nuke if they suddenly
found themselves in possession of one. On the wider issue,
of whether the military should be used to lock down its
own citizenry it should be recognised that this represents a
transition from a democracy to a dictatorship. The original
meaning may be as a temporary measure but temporary is
a very elastic word. I suppose that if such a thing were to
be seriously tried it would ultimately depend on how the
grunts collectively interpreted their Oath of Allegiance.

There may be an alternative, however which could make
the whole situation very much simpler – or more likely,
very much uglier. This is where states, individually and
collectively invoke Amendment X of the Constitution. There
are two parts to Amendment X. The first deals with the
division of responsibilities between the Federal Government
and the individual States; the other part deals with
individual states seceding from the Union or rather
dissolving the government in order to reconstitute it. The
Federal Government is supposed to control the borders;
the currency and the military, all of which it is currently
failing on, yet it has over time increased its power by
assuming responsibility for grey areas which fall between
the responsibility of the Government and the States.
Laissez faire attitudes by the individual States has allowed
the Federal Government to pass laws which are in direct
contravention of the tenth amendment. By saying “Enough
is enough”, the States are exercising their real power by
threatening to secede from the Union. If 2/3 (33) of the
states issue papers invoking amendment X they effectively
have the right to sack the government and if they so wish,
form a new constitution. If this were to happen it is likely
the old Constitution would be essentially retained but with
clear divisions of what is expressly allowed to Central
Government with no ambiguity or possibility of creeping
federalism. It is also likely that Congress would take back
its real power and become the force it is supposed to be
instead of the Muppet Show it has become.

Mainly as a result of fears over the imminent collapse of
the monetary and banking systems six states have filed
papers declaring their sovereignty since the Obama
administration took power, others have previously done it
and many others are proceeding with it. Here is the list:
The State of Washington (2009); New Hampshire (2009);
Montana (2009); Hawaii (2009); Michigan (2009); Arizona
(2008); Oklahoma (2008); Georgia (1996); California
(1994). Lined up and ready to go are: Colorado;
Pennsylvania; Arkansas; Idaho; Indiana; Alaska; Kansas;
Alabama; Nevada; Maine and Illinois. Wyoming and Mississippi
may also follow suit. This makes 9 definites, 11 in the process
and 2 possibles, making 22 in all. As well as
concerns over monetary and banking issues, many states
are rejecting federal intervention on issues such as the
National Guard; Posse Commentates and FEMA Prisons in
the events of rebellion, revolution or Civil Demonstration.
Arizona’s Sovereignty Bill further asserts their states right,
during martial law to recall servicemen to protect Arizona

The danger lies in the fact that the Federal Government
including the President are in fact representatives of others
who will in all probability resist any loss of powers. Some
States, like Arizona may recall troops to protect their state
whilst other troops may be called on to fight on behalf of
the Federal side. There will be confusion as each soldier

questions what his Oath of Allegiance means to him.
Meanwhile there will be no shortage of money to fund
Blackwater type mercenaries to support the Federal cause
against those who the Federal Government is charged to
represent and protect.

I am no clairvoyant or soothsayer and in no way can I
predict the future. All I can do is tell you of the way things
are shaping up. Things never go as predicted, there will be
many surprises along the way and you can be sure to
expect the unexpected.


Known Unknowns

Unrest in Europe,2933,465604,00.html

Unrest in China

Tenth Amendment