Friday, March 26, 2010

The Rabbit Hole of Hate




another beautiful creation from Hot Springs Wizard


freeacre

Sometimes, I have to admit, I feel pretty smug about how I knew the real estate crash was going to happen. I knew that if I got a re-finance loan, I had three years to pay off my bills, re-model my home, and sell it for a profit before the crash. I was tipped off way in advance by Mike Ruppert’s “From the Wilderness” and Matt Savinar’s “Life After the Oil Crash.” We not only read these sites. We were convinced. We took action. And, I am glad that we did. We have gone on to be guided by “Urban Survival,” “Of Two Minds,” “Survival Acres,” “Comrade Simba,” “Cryptogon,” etc. and now we are enriched by our tribal blogs as well.

But, I don’t feel so smug anymore. It’s getting pretty weird out there. I find myself negotiating the different alternative information sites as if I were walking a path salted with land mines. It used to be that one could turn to alternative sites and read one rant after another exposing how dimwitted, galling, manipulative, greedy, or otherwise heinous George Bush and his henchmen were. He was a third generation Nazi, a member of the Skull and Bones, cocaine-tooting, playboy, alcoholic, loser who happened to be President of the United States. And Carl Rove, “His Brain,” was a slimy, but clever, master-manipulator who had orchestrated the take-over of the military and Washington by rapture-driven, born-again, sheep with the IQ of a pet rock, over the last 30 years. And, Darth Chaney – don’t get me started. All that seemed to be pretty well documented and verifiable. We wondered if an election was going to be allowed at all, given that the last two had been stolen. We wondered if we were going to be rounded up and thrown into FEMA camps if we resisted getting chipped or if our firearms were confiscated. Oil had peaked. The trucks delivering food would be out of gas any day now. The electrical grid was deteriorating. We stocked up on batteries, kerosene lamps, solar radios, alternative heating, three years of firewood, and Amish dipper for the well, in case the pump goes out.

I’m glad that we have all this stuff. But, something is off. Timing, for one thing. The economic and real estate crash is happening, for sure. But, the Overseers keep coming up with new ways to prop it up and allow at least the fa├žade of business-as-usual to continue. There are tent cities on the outskirts of most metropolitan areas. But, people continue to bet that “things are turning around.” I thought the lights would be out by now. But, it keeps on keepin’ on, and that is getting on my nerves. And another thing - the alternative sites are more shrill than ever.

Now that the cretinous Bush regime is out and Obama is in, the same, if not worse, screeds are being written about Obama on sites like Rense, Steve Quayle, or Truthseeker. He’s a fake, a phony, a Muslim, a closet Jew, a homo, a minion of Israel/Bilderberger/Illuminati, etc. They’re labeling him everything but what it seems they really can’t stand – he’s semi-black. Half black, raised by white relatives in Hawaii. But, even that level of black seems to be too much to bear for these racist fucks. Or, are they anti-Semite fucks? I object to the brutal policies of Israel, too. But, the vehemence with which many of these stories are written, the innuendo and the paranoia, belies the hatred that used to be reserved for the Ku Klux Klan literature of the 50’s. All that’s missing are pictures of pawn shop symbols and big noses. If they ever finish hating blacks and Jews, they’ll turn to the Muslims, Mexicans, or women’s libbers. There is no end to it.

Everywhere I turn there are just jaw-dropping, disgusting pieces that I avert my eyes from. I go to Huffington Post to see what the mainstream is doing and I see headlines about the size of Tiger Wood’s penis or Lady GaGa’s I-don’t’-know-what, political wankers, bulging underpants, or some hideous, tasteless abomination that somehow passes as “news” or “pop” culture. I go for news and it feels like I landed at Hustler Magazine. WTF?

You go to even straighter sites, like MSMBC or ABC or CBS, and it’s all a despicable corporate love-fest. You can hardly get more than a few headlines, since you spend all your time watching drug commercials and dodging flash ads about belly fat. It’s all about selling you something, or inducing some false sense of pride that makes you feel good about being a corporatist, errr Repubican, uh, American. They take it for granted that we all hang out at The Mall, work in some cubicle, and never miss an episode of American Idol (which I have never actually seen).

So, why do I keep turning to the internet? Good question. Let me assure you that my own irony has not escaped me. After all, I take some measure of pride in the fact that over the years, I have honed insults to the neo-cons and Overlords into a quasi art form. But, now I wonder if I am becoming part of the problem. I wonder if any of the fringe sites would ever be able to recognize good things when they see them. Or, maybe stop thinking in terms of good and bad, but rather, asking “What is the goal? And how do we get there? That way, maybe we could disagree without deciding that one of us should be rotting in hell. Could we maybe work out a few things?

How much is evil and how much is just simply wrong or in error? Wrong can be persuaded. Wrong can be taught. Wrong can be forgiven. Wrong can change. Wrong can be disagreed with, but also worked with. Wrongs can be healed. Evil, it seems to me, is not human. Evil is systemic, ruthless, without compassion, unable to be reasoned with and cannot be fought that same way that one can fight a person. Like Ran Prier said, “evil is like a forest fire.” You don’t petition it, you don’t lay down in front of it to get it to change its course.

Somehow we need to be able to tell the two apart. When we can’t tell the difference, we end up seeing evil everywhere. And, when one sees evil everywhere, they become afraid. And, when they become afraid, they become more susceptible to evil, even a minion of evil. And, then they bring on what it is that they fear.

The metaphysicians teach that these are days of transition. From the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, a procession of the equinoxes. The End Times, the Apocalypse. The Hopis, the Hindus, the Aborigines, the Taoists, the Egyptians, the Mayans – all have predictions of the end of days that will lead to something new. But, the Evil Ones, the Satanists, the Reptilians, the Corporatist vampires, the Money or Power driven Zombie Overlords as well as the hate-filled wing nuts would have it all end in debt, death and dissolution - because they have never been really free and alive in the first place.

It does seem to be shaping up as camps of good and evil. Yes, there is going to be struggle and loss and shortage and challenge and hard times. But, we can learn and help and protect and save and build and innovate and transform. The others are going to want to hate and kill and maim and intimidate and dominate. I believe that we as human beings are blessed with a natural capacity to discern light from dark, love from fear or hate. Our whole body is a receptor. Our minds can be confused. But, our bodies know. We can feel it if we cultivate the sensitivity to it.

So, I, for one, intend to work on becoming adept at recognizing hateful and fear-filled perspectives and agendas and avoid them. I am intending to throw what is left of my life’s energy into recognizing the good, the helpful, the productive, the caring, the comforting, the strong, the creative in the challenges before us. Let’s face it - we are all going to die. But, until then, we need to decide how we are going to live. This intention doesn’t mean that I will never get angry. Far from it. Anger can be good. It’s hatred that I’m having a problem with.

I am reminded of the line by Bob Dylan, “ Some say don’t hate nothin’ at all, except hatred.” When you hate, you keep whatever it is stuck in the same spot. If you forgive, you allow it to turn into something else. Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning that which is wrong. It doesn’t mean being complicit, or denying, or allowing it to continue. It means setting yourself free from fear and allows for the possibility of transformation. In humans, it is one of our greatest powers. We just don’t quite get it yet. But, I am allowing for the possibility that maybe we will.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Sun or the Son?


Recent photo of sun from space weather .com.

By freeacre

I was hoping for another coherent post, but this one might not prove to be it. Ras provided one last week. I have every confidence that Belgium will write a post pretty soon, and his are consistently thoughtful and well-documented. The Murphman usually cranks out something coherent. But this week he has been going to a blank page, sitting there - and nothing but empty thought bubbles are appearing above his head. So, then he switches over to Solitaire. He seems to be suffering from severe writer’s block.

It’s not that nothing is going on. Rather, it’s that too much is going on. We’ve got local politics, county politics, and national politics. Big issues like Health Care that are going to affect us all coming down to the wire. Taxes, refunds delayed, proposed regulations of the banking cartel, continuing real estate collapse and job loss, possible war with Iran in the works, and now flooding that follows the unusually high snowfalls in much of the country. But, is this what is grabbing my attention. No, not really.

Instead, I find myself perseverating on this dumbass e-mail I received from a neighbor telling me that if I consider myself a “real American,” I’ll be all concerned that we battle the forces that want to delete “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and while we are at it, defend the “in God We Trust” slogan on our money. Oh, yeah, and the message begins with a picture of “God” in the form of Jesus looking like a radiant man from Norway. She also sends me smug videos of Middle Eastern people getting blown up by our latest military weaponry, and does not seem to find any irony there. I wish there were a supplement one could take for “irony deficiency anemia.” I’d send her a lifetime supply.

And, since when is Jesus God, anyway? When I went to Lutheran confirmation classes back in the day, we were taught that one thing that all Christians adhere to is the Nicene Creed which, as I recall, begins, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His Only Son……” Get that? God, the Creator and His Son – Jesus. Now, it’s Jesus who is God. What ever happened to the Trinity? Has the State of Texas been re-writing the Bible, too? Have we dropped God from the Trinity like Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, was dropped from the Founding Fathers in the revisionist public school history books? “Move along, Citizen. Nothing to see here….”

Oh, and speaking of religion, how about the story of the pedophile Catholic priests that keeps metastasizing in country after country? It’s just outrageous. The Church seems to be the main institution that supports and abets the molestation of children on a systemic level. And, they continue to get away with it generation after generation. Why aren’t these perps in jail? Perhaps it is because the ones who hold power in the world are also in on the program. It’s almost too dark for me to get my mind around. Cognitive dissonance begins to kick in, and I find myself suddenly devoted to anything else other than betrayal. I daydream of an asteroid direct hit on the Vatican. Can’t help it.

I find myself turning to spaceweather.com and the USGS earthquake sites twenty times a day for updates. I have read and re-read Clif High of Halfpasthuman’s report on the current “Sun Sickness” (http://www.halfpasthuman.com/MegaSunSpotCycle.pdf) as well as his latest Shape of Things to Come. I have also returned to Geryl’s site How to Survive 2012.com that is based on his rigorous investigation of the Mayan Long Count.
So, while my neighbor is intent on keeping “under God” in the pledge of allegiance, I am looking heaven-ward for divine intervention in the shape of thunderbolts of the Gods or a 7,000 ft. tsunami wave. Go figure.

I’ve seen some great documentaries this year like “Blue Gold – the New Water Wars,” “The Blue Cove,” “Food, Inc.,” “Farmer John,” etc, but the one that is haunting me most is “Symbols of an Alien Sky.” The discussion towards the end of the previous post included the sense of an idea sinking in - a moment of clarity that seems fleeting sometimes. I experienced one of those last night as I watched another good BBC nature documentary, “Nature’s Most Amazing Events.” It showed in gorgeous detail, the effect that the seasonal changes of the sun have on the food supply in the Pacific Ocean. It showed the suffering of the sea lions as they endured a harsh winter and waited for spring. Humpback whales going six months without food, then heading for Alaska and the plankton bloom that the sun would initiate in the Spring. The Sun awaking life in the oceans – plankton, little critters, then herring, and then sea lions, birds, dolphins, whales – all totally dependent on the energy generated by the Sun to provide sustenance, which it does in abundance.

As I watched the ocean turning green with life, I remembered that “Symbols” taught that all the original Gods were planets or suns. Suddenly the idea did not seem so far-fetched. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a god that was tangible and who actually did something, rather than a stupid slogan on a coin or a story that one had to take “on faith.” How about a Sun of immense size and power who arrives every morning and brings light, warmth, and life to this planet? And, if there is an electronic connection between all the bodies in the heavens, and if there is sentience as well (as quantum theory seems to be indicating), then it is not such a leap, after all, that the Sun might just be the Son after all.

Is this coherent? I don’t’ know. But, something seems to be settling in my mind that makes things seem to make sense to me in a way that they have never done before.
aho

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Hidden Crisis



time to stock up..

by ras, our youngest tribal sister. Thanks, ras!




Right now everyone is talking about the economy. The economy this, the economy that. The economy sucks, and we’re all screwed. That’s the short version of a long story. More and more people are losing their jobs and homes. Things are grim and only going to get worse.
Collapse is happening. It’s a fact, not a theory, not something your grandchildren will see in the future. It is happening now. Yes, it is happening slowly –but happening nonetheless. John Michael Greer likes to point out that a young girl about to get married when the French Revolution started would have been a grandmother when France finally stabilized decades later. The collapse of a society is measured in decades, at best; the collapse of a civilization in lifetimes. Now is the twilight hour, the golden moment between the day and the night when you know the end is coming but can still do something about it. Not to stop it - no, for what is coming is inevitable, but to cushion the blow and protect yourselves and your family.
The collapse of a society or civilization generally occurs in a series of crises. The first crisis in the current collapse was the 1970s oil crisis. I want you to note two things about this crisis: first, it occurred only years after 1970, which may be considered the peak of western civilization as measured by energy output and other factors; second, I was not yet born when this crisis occurred. I wasn’t born until 1983, and I’m old enough to have children in 5th grade. Think about that for a moment. This means the collapse of western civilization has now been going on for two and a half generations.
The second crisis began in 2001 when the events of 9/11 were used as an excuse to make a naked grab for the dwindling oil reserves of the Middle East. That crisis is still simmering, as the underlying cause of it was Peak Oil –and PO must still be dealt with. The third crisis began with the economic meltdown of 2008 and is still going on. Most of the jobs that are being lost now will never come back. Most of those unemployed now may never have another formal job. The longer you are unemployed, the harder it is to get hired. Companies assume that something is wrong with you. So these poor people (of which I am one, in a lot of ways) are going to have to either provide self-employment and/or migrate into the informal economy.
Many more crises are on the horizon: water, energy, climate change. Here I want to focus on a crisis that is occurring now but has not yet burst into the public eye and is getting very little attention. That crisis is food and food production. Those of us who read sites like this on a regular basis have been aware of the impending crisis for some time, but I think it is time to step back and take a long look at what is happening and where we are going.
Let’s start with the 2009 harvest. Officially, we had a bumper year. The USDA reports bumper harvests of every crop. Unofficially, the harvest sucked –and is still not completed in some areas. Here’s one, slightly dated, map of areas declared disasters due to the harvest: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EZMGVwURo3M/SyrprCwQNvI/AAAAAAAACMU/M62Tivs9_6c/s1600-h/US_Declared_Disaster_Secretary+&+President_Finalv2-732348.PNG
Would you like something a little more up to date? Click here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EZMGVwURo3M/SyrprCwQNvI/AAAAAAAACMU/M62Tivs9_6c/s1600-h/US_Declared_Disaster_Secretary+&+President_Finalv2-732348.PNG Notice that EVERY county in Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas has been declared a disaster –and all but one county in Georgia and Louisiana. The rest of the country isn’t much better off. (Click on each state to see the map.)
And yet, despite all of this, the U.S. had a record crop this year? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m officially going to call bullshit on this one. Yeah, I said it. Meanwhile, the number of people on food stamps in the U.S. hit another record high in December: 39 million. (Full story here: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worldbiz/archives/2010/03/06/2003467306) The numbers are steadily growing. And remember, in some states it is extremely hard to get food assistance. How many people are going hungry but unable to get help?
So the U.S. had a bad harvest year. What about the rest of the world? Australia has lowered its crop forecast again due to droughts and flooding in various provinces. Asia did not do well either; rice and other crops had a rough harvest. Right now, all of this is leading mostly to higher prices. This in itself is a crisis for the billions of people who live on the edge of starvation or who are almost there. Here’s a good article about the problems in India: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/86d6533e-15e3-11df-b65b-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1
But the problems go deeper than this. Remember, the world has no stockpiles anymore. So at some point when the harvest isn’t adequate, no matter how much you raise the price, you are just going to be…out. What happens then? Prices will rise to the stratosphere well before then, and more people will go hungry, but when we do run out what happens? It probably won’t be this year, and probably not in this country –the U.S. still grows far more than it needs, and would undoubtedly use its buying power to steal food from poorer nations if need be to keep its own citizens fed, but what about the other countries? There’s an old saying I’m sure everyone is familiar with: any society is only three meal-less days away from revolution. I have the sinking feeling that statement is going to be tested again in the next few years.
Nor is the crisis likely to get any better this year. We’ve lost more farmers. They’re not making any money. They have to make enough to pay the bills, after all. Then there’s the little issue of credit. The way farming works these days, most farmers have to borrow money to pay for seeds, fertilizers, etc, which they then pay back at the end of the season out of the harvest proceeds. Some farmers weren’t able to get enough credit last year to plant enough, and a lot more weren’t able to pay back their loans at the end of the year. This year the credit crisis has gotten even worse. How many farmers won’t be able to plant at all, or be forced to plant drastically reduced amounts? Add in the uncertainty of weather, especially in these days of global weirding introduced by climate change, and we may have another recipe for disaster.
For the final bit of proof, if any is needed, go down to the local grocery store. Take a look at sizes and prices. The former has gone down while the latter has gone up. Considerably up. A year and a half a go you could get a can of chicken noodle soup for $0.50. Now that same can is $1.00. On sale. Flour has doubled in price in the past year. Doubled. So have eggs. (I buy mine from a local farm, but keep an eye on them just the same.) The organic milk we buy recently went up by $0.20 in a week. Prices are climbing dramatically.
All this adds up to an oncoming catastrophe. There’s nothing we can do to stop it. Some people will say “if only every just became a vegetarian…”. That isn’t going to happen. You know it, and I know it. Furthermore, given the number of people in the world, it would no longer be enough. We can’t control the weather. We can’t control the politicians. All we can do is try to protect our own and as many other people as we can. Given the way things are trending, that means storing and growing as much of your own food as possible, and giving as much to the local food bank as possible. Things are only going to get rougher from here on in.

P.S. For one more in-depth look at the food crisis, check out this article: http://www.marketskeptics.com/2009/12/2010-food-crisis-for-dummies.html