Food Insecurity

Off the keyboard of RE

Jupiter Moons Time  00:30

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on May 1, 2016

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It was announced recently that some 500,000 to 1,000,000 or so Amerikans currently receiving SNAP Card bennies are in danger of having their monthly allotment of food CUT OFF.  If you are between 18 & 50 years old with no dependent children, are able bodied and capable of some kind of work but you have no job paying any money, you get to STARVE.  Here in the Land of Good & Plenty where the Golden Corral will serve up all you can stuff your face with if you can just come up with the $15 Entrance Fee to the Palace of Fat People.

From the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities:

More than 500,000 and as many as 1 million of the nation’s poorest people will be cut off SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) over the course of 2016, due to the return in many areas of a three-month limit on SNAP benefits for unemployed adults aged 18-49 who aren’t disabled or raising minor children.  These individuals will lose […] Continue Reading…

RE & Steve Collapse Update 2

Off the cameras and microphones of RE & Steve from Virginia

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 27, 2016

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In our latest installment of the Collapse Update Report, Steve and me cover Energy Industry Bankruptcies, Mass Shootings & Suicides and trying to resolve monetary and fiscal problems utilizing Gold as Money.

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Debt: The Key Factor Connecting Energy and the Economy

Off the keyboard of Gail Tverberg

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Published on the Our Finite World on May 2, 2016

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There are many who believe that the use of energy is critical to the growth of the economy. In fact, I am among these people. The thing that is not as apparent is that growth in energy consumption is dependent on the growth of debt. Both energy and debt have characteristics that are close to “magic” with respect to the growth of the economy. Economic growth can only take place when growing debt (or a very close substitute, such as company stock) is available to enable the use of energy products.

The reason why debt is important is because energy products enable the creation of many kinds of capital goods, and these goods are often bought with debt. Commercial examples would include metal tools, factories, refineries, pipelines, electricity generation plants, electricity transmission lines, schools, hospitals, roads, gold coins, and commercial vehicles. Consumers also benefit because energy products allow the production of houses and apartments, automobiles, busses, and passenger trains. In a sense, the creation of these capital goods is one form of […] Continue Reading…

The Legacy

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on May 1, 2016

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"I am feeling pain for you, Mr. President. We didn’t use to have drone strikes on outdoor restaurants in countries we are not at war with."

 

 

  Last night was the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner, the eighth and final #WHCD for @POTUS Barack Obama. While it is ostensibly a celebrity roast of the sitting president, it is almost always kept very tame. Host Larry Wilmore had a few awkward moments of silence and boos when he quipped:

"And I have to admit it’s not easy to follow the president, man. You got some jokes. Mr. President. The president’s funny. Stay in your lane, man. You don’t see me going around president-ing all the time, right? I don’t go around passing health care, and signing executive orders pardoning turkeys … not closing Guantanamo. Oh wait, maybe I did do that.

"But I have to say, it’s great, it looks like you’re really enjoying your last year of the presidency. Saw you hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. That […] Continue Reading…

Trump, the Unavoidable

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on May 2, 2016

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Is Political Polarization Destroying Democracy?

 

 

 

Image from Pew Research Center. The increasing polarization of the US electorate has destroyed all the previous certitudes in politics, generating the unavoidable rise of Donald Trump.

 

 

The hurricane named Donald Trump has taken everyone by surprise by going against all the established rules in politics. So far, candidates were always trying hard to avoid taking extreme positions; aiming for the center of the political spectrum was seen as the way to win, and it worked. But Trump has taken exactly the opposite strategy, always aiming to positions that not long ago would have been seen as extreme and even unspeakable. But he is having success. How can that be?

 

For everything that exists, there must be reasons for it to exist, and this universal rule must be valid also for Donald Trump. And, indeed, the rise of Trump should be seen not only as having reasons to exist, but even as unavoidable. Let me try to explain why.

In 1929, Harold Hotelling developed a model of spatial competition among firms that […] Continue Reading…

Send Out the Clowns

 From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation May 2, 2016

 

In this decade of maximum peril, a prankish God delivers two maximally detested candidates to lead the faltering nation as events run ahead of all the convenient narratives. For instance: the idea that Republican “insiders” can block Trump’s path to the nomination. The insiders may be phantoms after all. For instance, the loathsome Koch brothers have already made their move onto Hillary’s side of the game-board. Trump won’t miss their campaign contributions for a New York minute (while Hillary might find a way to stuff the cash into some Cayman Islands lock-box of the Clinton Foundation).

Events played right into Trump’s smallish hands last week when protesters outside a Donald rally in Costa Mesa, CA, waved Mexican flags and placards calling for the reestablishment of Aztlán del Norte. Kind of proves his point about illegal immigration, don’t it? Trump also supposedly blundered in saying that Hillary had only “the women’s card” left to play in her donkey trot to the election. I’m not so sure he’s wrong about that — though the indignometer needle danced through the red-line after he said it.

Has it come to […] Continue Reading…

Checkmate

Off the keyboard of tdOs

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Published on Pray for Calamity on May 2, 2016

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Streams of sunlight find every break in the tree canopy and beam downward, electrifying the dry leaf litter that covers the ground. Our steps are slow. My daughter is twenty five pounds and the hiking pack I carry her in is probably another five which makes the up and down slopes a significant physical endeavor. Staring always at the ground near my feet, the grays and browns flecked with green and lavender make a Renoir of the forest floor, and somewhere in that morass of color there are morel mushrooms. There must be.

We take a break on a shady hillside and my daughter walks about learning the world with her mother close behind. Bear cone sprouts in abundance from nearby oak roots tricking my eye for a quick moment, making me think I have stumbled onto a mushroom bonanza. Early settlers called it Squaw Root due to the fact that the native women used it medicinally for various menopausal or hemorhagic reasons. I prefer its other name. Bear cone doesn’t care what we […] Continue Reading…

The Days After Tomorrow: Introduction

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on April 25, 2016

Making dinner without a microwave, as they did in Cahokia Mounds, Illinois, 800 years ago (when the city was larger than London)? Maybe. But living without greed? Priceless. Maybe we should ask. (Photo by Cahokia Mounds Museum Society)

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Apres Nous le Deluge. And Then What?

Opinion is divided about what la Marquise de Pompadour meant, when she said (perhaps to her lover Louis XV), “Apres nous, le deluge [After us, the crash].” It was either, “You know, we’re making a really big mess of things, and everything is probably going to go to hell after we’re gone.” Or, on the other hand, she may have meant, “So what? We’re going to be gone. Where’s the cake?”

Among people who believe that the Industrial Age has started to come crashing down around our ears, there is a roughly similar divide: between those who see nothing after le deluge but extinction of the human race; and those who think some of us will survive. But then what?

In my conversations about the possibilities of starting over, about ordering life to […] Continue Reading…

Hillarism

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on April 24, 2016

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"The Irish Water crisis, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, offshore tax-avoidance havens, the collapse of ecosystems, Occupy Hong Kong, Australian greedy banks, and the rise of Donald Trump link to a single bad gene in our political DNA."

 

It is the political silly season, although these days it never seems to be otherwise. Delma Rouseff, Brazil’s heroic anti-establishment, anti-corruption President, has been impeached by the lower house on (dubious) charges of corruption, but the former, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called it more accurately a "coup d’état.”

Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned after it was revealed he owned an offshore company with his wife to channel millions of kroner. British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted he owned shares in a Bahamas-based trust up until 2010. In Malta, protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the same tax-avoidance activities.

Scores of countries will hold national elections in 2016. In January, Portugal elected Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, former leader of the […] Continue Reading…

The Fall, and Further Fall, of Broadcast Journalism

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on April 26, 2016

Get into a dignified line of work, he says. Go into TV journalism, and you’ll never have to be harassed or humiliated like, you know, a hedge fund guy. (Photo by Vito Fun/Flickr)

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Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, we were young, and journalists. We thought of ourselves as initiates in a brotherhood (which it was, mostly, then, the sisters came later), followers of a calling, and most importantly members of a profession.

A profession, according to the dictionary, is an occupation “that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification.” We were never big on the “formal qualification” part — although we had to have an FCC licence to put our hands on the controls of a broadcasting station — but we did train. For many years I spent hours each week being grilled on the word choices in my scripts (Lewis, have you no idea of the difference between continuous and continual?”) and my pronunciation of them (“Lewis, I did not hear any sub-guttural value in that initial […] Continue Reading…

Sabotage

Off the keyboard of William T. Hathaway

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 28, 2016

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Here at the Diner we're discussing the Collapse of Industrial Civilization from a variety of perspectives: survivalists, socialists, anarchists, and wildists share their approaches to the future. The following interview presents an anarchist view.

 

Saboteur

An interview with a domestic insurgent

 

From the book

RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War

By William T. Hathaway

 

I first met the man we'll call Trucker in 1970 at a rally against the Vietnam War. Our demo was going to start on the Berkeley campus and continue with a march down Telegraph Avenue. This was shortly after the National Guard and police had murdered six demonstrators at Kent State and Jackson State, so the mood was extremely tense. The Berkeley city government had denied us a permit to march and called in police reinforcements from Oakland. The Oakland cops had a reputation for brutality (based on their treatment of the black population), and we were expecting an ugly and possibly violent confrontation. Out of fear, many people decided not to march, but others of us argued that marching was now more […] Continue Reading…

The Empire of Chaos Strikes Back

From the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Brazilian Coupmeisters: Minister Moreira Franco, Vice President Michel Temer, and President Eduardo Cunha

Originally published in Strategic Culture on April 26, 2016

 

Soon after the impeachment motion against President Dilma Rousseff was approved in the Brazilian Congress by what I chose to call Hybrid War hyenas, President-in-Waiting Michel «Brutus» Temer, one of the coup’s articulators, dispatched a senator to Washington as special paperboy to deliver the news on the coup in progress. The senator in question was not on an official mission for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Brutus Temer was alarmed by global media reaction, which is increasingly interpreting what he’s doing – allied with Brutus Two, notoriously corrupt head of the lower house Eduardo Cunha – for what it is: a coup. 

The senator’s mission was allegedly to launch a PR offensive to counter the coup narrative, which is, according to Brutus One, «demoralizing Brazilian institutions».

Nonsense. The paperboy senator was sent to tell the US State Department that everything is proceeding according to plan.

In Washington, the paperboy senator mumbled, «we will explain that Brazil is not a banana republic». Well, it was not, but now, thanks to the Hybrid War hyenas, it is.

When you have a man […] Continue Reading…

In 1 Out Of Every 5 American Families, Nobody Has A Job

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The Economic Collapse on April 24, 2016

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If nobody is working in one out of every five U.S. families, then how in the world can the unemployment rate be close to 5 percent as the Obama administration keeps insisting? The truth, of course, is that the U.S. economy is in far worse condition than we are being told. Last week, I discussed the fact that the Federal Reserve has found that 47 percent of all Americans would not be able to come up with $400 for an unexpected visit to the emergency room without borrowing it or selling something. But Barack Obama and his minions never bring up that number. Nor do they ever bring up the fact that 20 percent of all families in America are completely unemployed. The following comes directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics…

In 2015, the share of families with an employed member was 80.3 percent, up by 0.2 percentage point from 2014. The likelihood of having an employed family member rose in 2015 for Black families (from 76.4 percent to 77.7 percent) and […] Continue Reading…

The Awful Lull

From the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation April 25, 2016

 

Spring unfolds at last in all its loveliness and Hillary sits back in repose like the matriarch of toads with a clear path to her toadstool throne, having swallowed the mouse-king Sanders. (She forgets that there are millions more mice under the thatched grass, including new mouse-kings awaiting.) And Trump with his bullfrog smile now casts his baleful eye on the two remaining gnats circling his lily pad. Yes, this magical week when the world bursts into leaf and flower, the life of our nation seems like a fairy tale.

Weeks from now when we’re used to the mild air and the greened world, going coatless and care-free, is when the storms of summer strike and the life of the nation turns from fairy tale to horror comic. Both Clinton and Trump are perfect representatives of the nascent forces moving towards some kind of civil war in comic book America.

Clinton perfectly embodies the fortress of the status quo, including especially her praetorian guard of black ghetto grandmothers, giving Hillary the false appearance of some sort of righteousness when, really, she has nothing to offer the […] Continue Reading…

A Buddhist Farm Pictorial Essay

Off the keyboard of Knarf

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Published on Open Mind on April 16, 2016

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One of our regular Diners Knarf recently started a Blog for his Buddhist Monastery called Open Mind.  He shared with us on the Diner Forum some of the pictures taken on their farm, which are quite beautiful and I asked him if I could share them with the Diner Readers.  He was cool with this, so here you have a photo essay of the farm of a bunch of Buddhist Monks currently operating down in the Lower 48.

A wonderful vision of a more peaceful life working together with nature, which really you do not need to be a Buddhist to enjoy.  You do howeer need to learn cooperatively and in peace with others if you are to do so. -RE

Here are some pics of our farm.

Homestead hogs in portable pens till a garden plot.

 

Handmade footbridge over intermittent stream.

 

Three-point farm implements.

 

This garage was used as a filling station in the 1920s.

 

Reversible garden frames to keep critters from disturbing seedlings.

 

Yellow groove bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata).

 

Farm cat rests in the shade.

 

Compost pile.

 

A green insect we thought might be […] Continue Reading…

Van Dweller Gypsy Prepper Community ©

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 24, 2016

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One of the most common debates amongs people who are collapse aware is determining when it is actually time to GTFO of Dodge, aka move away from the big shities and out to a less populated area to begin the process of trying to live off the land once again.

There are numerous obstacles to doing this for many if not most people.  First off is the up front expense of buying your own "Doomstead", a patch of land somewhere out in the boonies with a livable domicile of some type on it.  If you are just able to afford your regular rent in the apartemnt near your job, where are you going to get the money to buy a doomstead?  This option is generally only open to the 1% of the population earning $250K and up.

The second financial problem is that any area that is remote enough to be considered viable as a doomstead also has near zero in the way of job possibilities, so if you give up your job inside […] Continue Reading…

We are Bacteria in a Petri Dish

Off the keyboard of Jacopo Simonetta

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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on April 21, 2016

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The world industrial system as bacteria in a Petri dish

In a previous post, I speculated that a thermodynamic system such our industrial economy is completely dependent from its “outside”. As it grows and incorporates this “outside”, it is obliged to store high entropy inside itself. Possibly, the epidemic diffusion of riots in the very heart of the global system is an indicator of this predicament. Here, I will try to discuss another aspect of the same topic: the fact that, apparently, we are unable to do anything to avoid global collapse despite our deep knowledge of Natural laws and our incredibly powerful technical means.

 

 

 

 

40 years after the publication of “Limits to Growth”, we discover that we have been just following the trajectory of the "base case scenario" of the book; business as usual, and with a disturbing accuracy level. In fact, in the intentions of the authors, the BAU scenario was not a forecast, but just one scenario among others, useful to analyse how the system works and changes. But the […] Continue Reading…

O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

Off the keyboard of Thomas Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on April 18, 2016

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“Mr. Lewis, where art thou?” writes Daniel Reich. “Been reading your blog for years now and it looks as though you have abandoned your post so to speak. Been a fan ever since I read Tribulation  A book that gave me comfort gained from knowing that I wasn’t alone. I think you know what I mean. Please come back, Mr. Lewis. Let us bear witness to the unraveling together.”

First let me offer an apology to you, Mr. Reich, and to all the other regular readers of The Daily Impact. All seven of you. It is not polite to cut off an ongoing conversation without explanation, and I should have handled my absence with more respect for you. I shall try to explain.

Remember the old joke that asks, “How do you immobilize a centipede?” and answers, “By asking him which foot he leads with.”  A similar thing applies to writers. How do you block them completely? Ask them “What is the point of writing this?” Whether administered by a malevolent onlooker or by […] Continue Reading…

Eating Trees

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on April 10, 2016

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"The Far-East traditional pharmacopeia is filled with remedies made from humble saprophytes on the forest floor."
 

 

 

Toko Hosoya, 8 Bored Mushroom People, Solo Exhibition

Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do  was not our first book — it was our fourth — but it was the first time our publisher at The Farm, the Book Publishing Company, asked us along on their annual junket to one of the world’s most lavish trade shows.

The venue for the American Booksellers Association that year was Las Vegas, and we traveled in the company of several other Farm authors, including Stephen Gaskin, who was actually there as part of an Electric Kool-Aid reunion outing, with Random House fronting the tab for a picture-perfect replica of Further, the Merry Prankster bus. (In November 2005 the original 1964 Further was dragged out of the swamp with a tractor and now resides in a warehouse at Kesey's farm in Oregon, alongside the 1990 Further).
 

Bill Walton

That 1990 weekend was the first time in more than 20 years […] Continue Reading…

Open letter to Doctors for the Environment Australia

Off the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 21, 2016

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In the USA and especially Hollywood, "DEA" stands for drug enforcement agency and conjures up images of trigger happy feds in helmets and flak jackets carrying M16s. In my world, DEA stands for "Doctors for the Environment Australia" which conjures up images of kindly, well meaning physicians who unfortunately do not fully realise the enormity of the planetary predicaments we face, nor fully understand exactly what can and cannot be done about them.

 

Open letter to Doctors for the Environment Australia

Geoffrey Chia, MBBS, MRCP, FRACP. April 2016

Dear Colleagues,

I attended your DEA conference in Brisbane on 17 April 2016 as a non-member delegate. I agree with the broad philosophy of DEA, that failure to care for our environment is causing adverse public health consequences worldwide and we need to take appropriate action. Unfortunately that is about as far as it goes. I have utmost respect for you as fellow medical professionals, but I beg to differ with the DEA's official position regarding the current state of the planet and the actions we ought to […] Continue Reading…

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RE Economics

Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Welcome to the Hotel California Mushroom Farm

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