Thursday, February 25, 2010



By Murph

It appears that more citizens in a relatively short time frame are finding their breaking points. Joe Stack is the most recent in the news. It leads me to wonder how many more have reached a breaking point and done something extreme, but it didn’t make the news.

We also seem to be anticipating some big event to come at us with much speculation as to what that event might be. Personally, I want that ‘big event’ to get here so we can figure out what our next direction should be. At least a bit more transparency in events would be a relief from the lies and denial I see surrounding our lives.

I’d like to talk about this a bit and would be interested in other peoples’ take on it.

In my life, I have observed that “breaking points” are very individualistic. Whether a person commits some very “anti social” act out of frustration, fear, or just plain old ego trip is not predictable. It appears from what I have read that Joseph Stack had been putting up with what he considered a real imposition with the IRS for a very long time. His breaking point was not easily reached. Interestingly, we just watched a movie, “Law Abiding Citizen,” that portrayed a man snapping as the result of a horrid miscarriage of justice. “Falling Down,” with Michael Douglas is another one. Life imitating art or art imitating life? It seems the movies often reflect the memes people are living with or carrying around in their heads.

Go to a watering hole for the commoners and you will see breaking points that are almost instantaneous and over what many of us might consider trivial, aided by alcohol of course.

I suppose the civilized restriction on taking action on a breaking point has some value, hopefully suppressing the trivial. Those that never seem to reach the point of fighting back, even under extreme duress, are labeled wimps etc. Thus leading to things like the high school bully who can’t seem to stop the abuse or agitation until the wimp does take action. Remember Columbine? This is usually accompanied by a lot of “collateral damage.” “Going postal” is a phrase we use to describe when a person has had enough and vents his rage and goes down in a hail of bullets.

Also notice how the popular news media treats such cases, consensus being that they had to have severe personality disorders to go to such extremes, in other words, they were crazy, in need of help. The are “loners,” “disgruntled employees,” “fanatics,” “cultists,” or the ever more popular, “terrorists.” Not citizens. Never citizens. In conjunction, notice how when the PTB engage in violent acts that it is always justified, but if citizens do, its vilified.

I also wonder how many instances involve the breaking points of the elites. Shakespeare and the Greek Tragedy examined some of these. Since the winners write their own histories, they are called “Freedom Fighters,” “Founding Fathers,” and “patriots,” or “heroes.” Gods, even.

I suspect that we have little control over the personal breaking point that is one aspect of each individual personality. I do think that we have control over what action we take. The question is - is it justified to deliberately take it out on someone who is innocent of your misery?

This brings up another question in my mind. What do you do when your breaking point has been reached and you have zero access to the ones responsible? If your breaking point is when your house is repossessed, and you have no access to the CEO of the mortgage company or the bank, who do you confront or take action against? Those under the decision making elite of the company are just minions doing their jobs. Does “just doing your job” release you from responsibility? The Nuremburg trials said, “ no it doesn’t.” In the instance of Stack, are the people that died in his extreme action to be held responsible for their working for an odious government bureaucracy? How about insurance companies? Banks? Stock brokers?

At this blog and permeating web writing is the concept of the “sheeple”, the wimps who will do anything to keep their status quo and not question or challenge those in power. I suspect that for most of these people, they just haven’t had their breaking point exceeded. I wonder what they will do when that point is reached. I further suspect that this year we are going to have an answer to that, and I think that is what the elites are afraid of - what will the herd actually do? Personally, I think they might be counting on it, just to show us the superior firepower they have.

While I am on this subject of the mass population not having reached their breaking point, take a look at Matt Taibbi’s new article in Rolling Stone, March 4 issue. His article outlines how we have been scammed out of another bunch of billions of dollars by the banks, Goldman Sachs being the leader. When is the population’s tolerance for this going to reach the limit? If/when that point is reached, what will be the actions and consequences?

For myself, I don’t yet feel like my line in the sand has been breached. Of course, I am living under peculiar circumstances in relation to most people in this country. I’m not paying taxes to the federal government, don’t have a mortgage, don’t owe a bunch of money, and am living in a very supportive relatively small community in the Northwest and trying our best to live sustainably. That represents-what?- about 10% of the people in this country? Maybe even less.

It seems like this is being deliberately orchestrated, pushing folks to the breaking point. I suppose when that point is reached where a sizable amount of the people go on the rampage, then the elites will turn lose their dogs, the jackbooted thugs disguised as FEMA teams, national guard, police and FBI terrorist searchers. For that is what they will be labeled, “terrorists”. Of course, it is possible that the inevitable declaring of martial law and the militarization of society may just back fire big time. The stage has been set and all that’s needed is the spark, the final indignity against people who have nothing left to lose, and a forced takeover of everything that is not controlled now. And, like our revolutionary war, only a minority of people will scream “I’ve had enough and I ain’t gonna take it anymore” and mean it. In a plutocracy, the state has to marginalize, delegitimize and suppress forceful dissent for its own benefit to perpetuate its policies of raping and looting.

Outcomes of any large direct action are always up for grabs. There are never any clear winners but rather negotiated compromises and settlements. Remember the French revolution? One more ascension of the power hungry and control freaks pictured with his hand in his vest. I ponder how this will play out this time around for I most surely think we shall see some really big changes coming, if not government incompetence, then some huge world wide calamity that will make Haiti appear inconsequential. I have to chuckle at what I will not see, what the tribal story tellers have to say about it all, or what a historian far in the future will say about this period of history. If I were to live long enough to be a historian or story teller, my version would be very different from what I hear in stories today.

Speaking on ‘breaking points’ on the macro level, take a read of this analysis; He has a rather immense contempt for those that are deliberately voiding our constitution and lays out how revolutions and suppression are dealt with. You might want to check out Joe Bageant’s latest piece as well.

Sunday morning and listened to some of the blather on TV news and commentaries. Between the “Obama is going to drive our country into a socialist nightmare” and the “Obama is doing what needs to be done and a fine job of it” talking heads, I feel vaguely sick at my stomach. Is it remnants of the flue or an emotional rejection of what I am hearing? Then there is the “think positive” crowd with their ever annoying mantra that they use to rationalize everything. It all serves the man.

One of the big personal questions for each of us is going to be: when the SHTF and masses of people reach a flash point and rebel, what are we personally going to do? Avoid the conflicts as best we can, participate, deny the consequences, lend support to what side, or what? For me, I have reached the age where active rebellion would be futile, I ain’t got the mojo anymore. That’s why we have chosen a path of resistance to the greater commodity culture, and prefer acts of generosity. What about you?

Of course, as Freeacre cautions, if your answer is “right here and right now, Mother****er!” it would be prudent for you and for us not to blab it on the blogsite. No need to attract the drones to the campfire…

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rough Week

Sky Collapses On The Passamari
by Rockpicker

Winter sky drapes the land, like a canopy
dropped by unseen hands upon a cage.
Farm ground blurs between houses
at an imprecise place, over the creek,
beyond my neighbors' spruce. Past
what we can see spreads
the topography of an uncertain age.
Fence posts pitch and lose themselves
in fog, like stick men heading off
to evening chores, or the dutiful poor
marched off to kill the poor in forgettable wars.
What I took for granted and thought I knew
when sunbeams slanted through
transparent pain, seems now
untenable and untrue. Still, rockslides
and dying forests loom, like deficits
we must assume in this obscuring air.
The looted vault gapes it's open mouth.
Herefords steaming under willows birth
their calves. The little town rubs
its knees beside a flame and tunes
its set for a prompted reassurance.
I kick the empty streets in muffled gloom.
I bounce solid hopeful notes off walls
of unsold homes. Kept birds balance
in dim rooms, each night, a new deception.
With sky this low it can't be clear,
the honest and naive are always tools.
On the Passamari, the dog star fluxes, red
to green, whether occluded or seen.

by freeacre

It’s been a rough week. I thought I’d begin with Rockpicker’s latest exquisite poem, which captures so beautifully, the “muffled gloom” that is so apparent. It’s like he has a way of looking at things as if through a mental kaleidoscope and is able share a glimpse of things from his eyes. The Passamari, by the way, is the Shoshone word for the Ruby River in Montana. I looked it up.

With Murph so sick with some hellspawn virus, I could have won a gold medal if there was an Olympic category for racing back and forth rinsing and returning barf buckets. But, we were not alone in having life get in the way of our blog posting. Charles Hugh Smith was late due to the death of his friend’s mother. And, Nina, lost her dog to a mountain lion, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies. But, although personal tragedies and difficulties may have put off folding the laundry, vacuuming the house, or scouring the tub, as well as delaying postings on the web, it’s nothing compared to the dysfunction of the government.

The ruthless partisanship between the Republicans and Democrats seems to be eclipsed only by the corrupting influence of lobbyists and the arrogance of Wall St. and the central banks. Barely noticed between the entertaining coverage of the Olympics is the inability of the government to govern. The Republican overseers seem to be totally indifferent to the suffering of the tax-paying masses, despite their lip service to the “Tea Partiers.” They vote as one against anything and everything, even extensions of unemployment insurance just to spite the Dems. So what if the people starve, live in tent cities, college grads and young families move back in with their parents, careers are destroyed, 401Ks are lost, half of the children are qualifying for food stamps? They continue to boviate their litany of never-ending trademark campaign messages of disinformation, character assassination and misdirection as if the election never happened. The worse everything gets, the better for them. On to the next election and it’s millions of dollars … let’s focus on Sarah Palin and Glen Beck, shall we? How about joining in and working to reduce the deficit that you are continually complaining about? Ahhh….. no. I didn’t think so.

And, then there are the Democrats. This disappointing collection of numbnuts still mouth the words of their idealistic intentions to help people with health care, jobs, education, peace, etc. etc. But, they are still unable to deliver a single thing, having been bought off or intimidated by the same K Street swine that rule the Republicans. Sweet Mother of God! They remind me of the despicable Muscular Dystrophy campaigns with Jerry Lewis. Ever since I can remember, Jerry Lewis has been hauling out some poor crippled kid and begging for money to make him walk again. And, year after year, people send in their money – and forty years later, muscular dystrophy is worse and audits find that the majority of the money is siphoned off the top. What a frigging rip.

It’s gotten so bad that even the senators are bailing. Republicans and Democrats are refusing to even run next time, pretty much admitting that they’d rather pound salt than serve in the houses of corruption and ineptitude that the U.S. Congress has become. Three thousand more banks are on the brink of failure, according to Elizabeth Warren, one of the very few courageous voices in the government. The L.A. Times is predicting four million new foreclosures this year. That will, of course, drive the prices of homes down even further, putting even more mortgages “underwater.” The next bubble of commercial real estate is beginning to burst, the billions of toxic derivatives have yet to be dealt with, and now China is dumping our Treasuries. Many of our states are on the brink of bankruptcy. Oh, yeah, and the European Union is looking about as attractive as a bouquet of elbows. Despite the delusional rally of the stock market this week, I’d say this is the year that the wheels come off the financial cart.

But, then, it’s only money, right? Well, no, it’s debt servitude, ill health, homelessness, desperation, lost lives. But, in the end, if it wipes out the globalism that has relentlessly driven the working class into the ground by having us all conform to the lowest common peasant denominator, it might get their boots off our backs. Whose boots? The scum-sucking rich bastard financial criminal overlords, that’s whose.

But, it will take more than the collapse of the digital money house of cards to remove the misanthropic stranglehold on the productive class. The rich bastard parasites (RBP’s) are backed up by the intelligence services, the military, and FEMA. When the television programming and the commercials no longer are enough to funnel the populace into the feed lots, then they’ll call out the goon squads.

But, you know what? I have a strong feeling that’s when they are going to lose. What’s going to happen when we all start painting ourselves blue?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What Keeps Us Going?

This is some smoked salmon that we recently made for a treat. Scrumptious, if I do say so myself...

by freeacre

Things that Keep Us Going…

It’s Superbowl Sunday, and I’ve got things to do. Now, I know it’s maybe silly, maybe banal, maybe atrocious in many ways. But, I’ve watched the progression of the teams all season, and I appreciate both teams. I think this will be a good Superbowl because no matter which team wins, I’ll be happy for them. And, I can be happy for the other team because they did, after all, make it to the Superbowl – and that ain’t just hay.

Watching the NFL on Sundays is one of my guilty pleasures, I guess. It’s not socially or intellectually redeemable, but it is such a departure from what I am usually focused on that it just feels good. Sometimes one needs a break from the doom-o-sphere. Perhaps “I can be happy” is the operative point here.

Despite the distinct possibility (or fact) that we are in the midst of economic, political, social, ecological, and cultural collapse, something keeps us getting up and putting on our shoes in the morning. A new person made a comment on the last post. McZilla. He said he was concentrating on “what he can do.” Good point. There comes a point when the litany of deterioration and threat to everything we hold dear becomes absolutely overwhelming. So, what keeps us from wrapping our lips around the muzzle of a gun? What keeps us here?

Little things, silly things, big things – I’d like some testimony. I make edible treats. Popcorn, smoked salmon, fresh bread, fruit pies. Preparing them and serving them to the Murphman and friends gives me pleasure. Murph has to put his shoes on in the morning to go out and free the chickens and feed the rabbits. It doesn’t matter if the Supreme Court just destroyed the Constitution or not. The rabbits need to eat and they need fresh water. We go to the Grange every third Tuesday evening. We are the assistant Stewards, so we need to hold up the goofy Sheppard’s staffs and bring a dish to pass. It’s a commitment. What are you doing today that lends itself to going on and finding joy or inspiration or meaning?

What are you committed to? What fills your boat? What do you turn to when the times are dark and the future looks grim? I know all of us here reach out to each other and share our thoughts. We sing our songs quietly together as we throw another log on the fire. I see Nina painting more beautiful paintings displayed on her blogsite. Rockpicker shares his incredible poems. Hot Springs Wizard sends amazing pictures of his rock decorations in the wilderness around his home.

So, I thought it might be nice to take a little time and focus at least briefly on what makes us happy or what keeps us going through these stressful times. Feel free, naturally, to keep us abreast of whatever else is going on or that you have on your mind. I do not, after all, want to be focused on peanut butter cookies, if a mile long alien ship lands with 500,000 reptilians aboard…then again, maybe I do.

Here's a little blueberry pie for you. I made it last week, and it was yummy...