The Church of Youth in Asia

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 26, 2017

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A couple of weeks ago while surfing on r/collapse, I ran into another one of those comments that really bugs me in the collapse blogosphere, that we (as in all Homo Saps) deserve to die because we are all responsible for destroying the ecosystem.   I also got in a dispute with one of the mods who had deleted one of my comments because I included in it the tag line from the Church of Euthanasia, "Save the Planet.  Kill Yourself.".  Over on Nature Bats Last when I participated in that commentariat there was another misanthrope Pat who used this tag line to close all his posts, until Dr. McStinktion finally told him to stop because it made it look like he encouraged suicide.  At this time he also put up a bunch of suicide hotlines on the sidebar as well, because of course his message tends to attract depressed and suicidal people.

Anyhow, I decided to put up a Selfie Post titled The Church of Euthanasia on r/collapse to address this topic, and below you will find the OP as well as a selection from the comment stream;  If you want to read all the comments, follow the link to the thread on Reddit r/collapse.

Following the excerpt from the comment stream, I'll look at another misanthropic group out there, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

OP by RE

One of the things that bugs me most on collapse websites is the rampant misanthropy you find in some people, who will often spout off on how Homo Sap DESERVES to die and they can't wait for it to happen. According to this logic, "we" as in everybody living on the planet are all equally and collectively responsible, so it would be better if we all were dead, the sooner the better.

I'm sorry, I'm not taking responsibility for the collective mistakes of mankind and giving myself the Death Penalty for this.

However, there actually was a CHURCH OF EUTHANASIA which sported the tagline, "Save the Planet. Kill Yourself."

On September 13, 1993, motorists driving on the Massachusetts Turnpike witnessed an unusual sight: A highway billboard for the Museum of Science in Boston had been covered by a ten-foot-by-ten-foot black banner with the words "Save the Planet—Kill Yourself" painted in white.

Taken to it's logical conclusion, this is where misanthropy leads to. Hating all people because you think they are all collectively responsible for the state of the planet and all should be dead as soon as possible is what gets this type of behavior going. It's just plain wrong.


From Wobinidan

You haven't really explained what's wrong about it other than you don't like it. I don't hold those views that you describe, my utopia is an earth that lives within its means, not one littered with corpses.

However, it's hard not to feel a little misanthropy when observing the incredible damage we are doing to the planet in the name of vanity. Every skyscraper is a middle finger to the ecosystem that made us possible. With that in mind, I can see the appeal of removing humans from earth.

But I wouldn't kill myself because a poster told me to. Unless there were boobs on it.












From RE






If you need an explanation of why it is wrong, you already are off the deep end. Get real. Advocating self-extinction either by killing yourself or not procreating exhibits an ungodly amount of self-hatred for your own species. If you are that deep down the Rabbit Hole, you are beyond salvation.


I will publish a full article on this Rabbit Hole next week on the Diner.







From Toktomi

Apparently you do not see any options other than "to help extinction" or to "try to survive the Zero Point".

I don't even understand what "survive the Zero Point" means, but I do understand that virtually no dichotomy can withstand close scrutiny despite my extensive experience in using vegetative dichotomous keys for identifying plant species.

I would suggest that maybe there is a bit more to this issue that what you have distilled it down to. For example, it is not necessarily misanthropic to believe that humans in possession of virtually unlimited energy occupy the niche of parasite of the Earth's biosphere which opens up a whole set of complexities to the issue that you have not addressed.

It appears to me that you are focusing on one small subset of all possible cognitive positions regarding this issue in order to draw an overarching, broad brush conclusion.

I don't know. It just seems like there is a lot more that could be said before arriving at "It's just plain wrong." Perhaps, you could start at the beginning and credibly establish what you describe as "rampant misanthropy" and corroborate and quantify your assertion that people "often spout off" about how "Homo Sap DESERVES to die".

Well, it's rather obvious, I suppose, that I don't see what you see and apparently I am not alone.

I will offer one last thought before shutting my yappy rambling face. While I agree with the abstract notion that it is not logical for anyone to accept responsibility for the collective mistakes of humanity, I don't find it threatening. The one thing among humanity that I find threatening is the act of declaring oneself to be in possession of truth or the inability to conclude a discourse with an admission of the possibility of being wrong. "The illusion of knowledge is at the root of all conflict." [a self-quote]

And, yes, I could be, and most likely am, wrong.


From RE

I don't even understand what "survive the Zero Point" means

It refers to the discontinuity of a mathematical function. Right now we are experiencing exponential growth. At some point this function will break and there will be a population crash. The goal here is to survive this crash to begin the process of rebuilding the planet.

In terms of what my focus is, it's to keep on living (not myself, the species). That is the opposite of people who think the human race deserves to go extinct. What is so difficult to understand about that?

Finally, I don't find anything "threatening" about the idea of accepting collective responsibility, I merely said I wouldn't be a part of it. If you want accept collective responsibility for destroying the planet, feel free, be my guest. It makes no sense to me, but apparently it does to you.







From Goocy

According to this logic, "we" as in everybody living on the planet are all equally and collectively responsible […]

This is an excellent point. The world's richest 10% of the population emit 50% of all carbon, while the poorer half is responsible for just 10%. I'm not spelling out the conclusions to euthanasia, but killing yourself definitely doesn't make much sense in light of this data.







From RE

If you want to talk gross generalizations, you can't go further than this. Blame the ENTIRE SPECIES! "We're ALL ROTTEN! There are NO good people who deserve to live!"

It's just ridiculous. The self-hatred involved here is just astounding.







From Goocy

This also extends to the anti-breeding sentiment around here. Not reproducing is a form of collective suicide.

And I don't hate myself enough to play that game. I'm making an active effort to keep my carbon footprint below the limits of sustainability. So I'll have one child (below replacement, and within the carrying capacity of my own land) and refuse to feel guilty about that.







From RE

In terms of not breeding, that is actually the technique that the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement promotes, not killing yourself. That one belongs to the Church of Euthanasia, I attributed that tag line incorrectly originally.

However, they do amount to the same thing in the end, which is to extinguish the species purposefully because you think "we" are all so horrible. We're all Cockroaches in need of Extermination, etc.

No, we're not all bad people, there are good people. Unfortunately, we do have a lot of bad people running the show, because the system selects for that. We need to eliminate the system and eliminate the bad people, the cockroaches that infest our collective kitchen.

Bring on the Orkin Man!







From Nick16

To be fair, many of us would probably be dead for a long time if euthanasia was legal. The uncertainty of suicide, the prospect of suffering, and the pain and lack of comprehension from one's social circles, can weigh more than the hatred for our species. If death was guaranteed with a single, painless injection, and without any of the stigmas related to suicide, the story would be different, and an unprecedented number of humans would no longer walk the earth.

Personally, if euthanasia was legal, I would decide to die even if we weren't collapsing; I find my biological urges too tiresome and the prospect of an ever deteriorating body is too taxing on my psyche.







From RE

Well, if there was a Youth in Asia clinic on every street corner along with Ads promoting it on TV and Tweets regularly hitting your cell phone promoting it, I'm sure it would be quite popular.

Text to Mom:

Hey Mom! Won't be home for Dinner tonight! I have an appointment at the Youth in Asia clinic after Soccer practice. You can give my steak to Fido.


Now, compared to the Church of Euthanasia, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement looks positively benign.  They don't ask for people currently walking the Earth to commit Seppuku, just don't reproduce.  Which means for the most part people stop fucking, although the VEHM has Sodomy as one of their basic principles for getting this extinction job done.  What do you think the likelihood is that all 7.3B people currently ambulatory will choose to stop having children?  What is the likelihood you could forcibly sterilize all of them?  What is the likelihood you could pass out enough free condoms which never fail to everybody?  Your chances of winning the LOTTO twice in a row are better than this.  It's just ludicrous and it's not gonna happen.

In reality of course, anti-natalism is just as misanthropic as euthanasia is, the only difference here is you put off the final extinguishing of the human race into the next generation, and YOU get to live out your life, at least until you descend into a Children of Men scenario.

At least in that dystopian scenario, the lack of fertility arrived spontaneously and mysteriously, but the outcome of trying to do this purposefully likely would not be much different.  The HOPELESSNESS involved here gives people very little reason to stick to any kind of social norms, so you just end up with a big conflagration.

Now, this is not to say I am not in favor of limiting reproduction somewhat if possible, clearly if we want to achieve some kind of sustainable situation for Homo Sap, I certainly am in full support of this idea.  Exponential Growth on a Finite Planet just is not possible.  However, you can't achieve this by sterilizing everyone and nobody procreating anymore.  If you could somehow do it, that amounts to a Species Wide Seppuku, and is no different than the Church of Euthanasia, just it delays it out of your lifetime.

The general belief system in both the case of the Church of Euthanasia and the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement is that Homo Saps are BAD SPECIES, and EVERYBODY who is a member of this species should DIE!  At least the CoE people are a bit more ehtical in this and put this extinction into your own lifetime rather than your unborn children, but they both are nihilistic concepts and approaches.  They also demonstrate an astounding level of self-hatred and self-contempt.

So what DO we need to do to reduce the population in a manner consistent with survival of the species?  NOTHING!  The problem takes care of itself through the 4 Horsmen of the Apocalypse!  Famine, Pestilence, War & Death will reduce the population of Homo Sap without any direction from anyone.

In general, when the 4 Horsemen come a-calling, the weakest in the population are culled first, the elderly and infrim and infants who cannot be supported by the population or are most susceptible to disease..  The poorest are used for Cannon Fodder in the Wars as well, and then the Richest are strung up by their Gonads or filled full of lead in a Ruskie Basement like Nicholas & Alexandra Romanoff in the Bolshevik Revolution.

We all gotta go sometime.

The thing is, unlike everyone commitng mass suicide a-la Jonestown, some people are left alive here, and they are mostly of healthy breeding age, so you get a reboot after the culling is done with.

Sadly, because of the depth of the Overshoot and the degree of degradation to the environment, this particular culling event is likely to be the largest ever in gross numbers for Homo Saps.

Just because MANY people will die though doesn't mean EVERYBODY will die, at least not in the near term anyhow.  So the objective for the individual who wishes to live and see his or her children live also is to position yourself as best as possible for the coflagrations to come.  That is no EZ task of course, and besides planning will take a good deal of LUCK as well.  Percentage aren't good here, particularly not for residents of the Big Shities.So if there is any way you can do it, the time to GTFO of Dodge is NOW.  Better a Day Early than a Minute too Late.

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 18

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Published on The Doomstead Diner March 23, 2017


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Losing her beloved husband of 20 years was rough for Kellie.  Watching as the man she loved so much descend into depression and alcoholism after losing his job as a middle manager for a tool and die factory where he worked his way up in the ranks over the years of their marriage was incredibaly depressing.  The factory was moved to Mexico, and all the local workers were laid off.  To make ends meet, Kellie had to go to work as a low paid cashier at Walmart, and their son Kenny himself not yet out of High School contributed as well, doing work cutting lawns.  Her dearly departed husband Max had secured a job as a night manager at the same Walmart, but his unhappiness in the position and his fate was evident every day, as he drank himself into a stupor and chain smoked Camel Straights.  They did make ends meet though, until he died from a massive coronary while in an argument with the day shift Supervising Manager.

When Max died, Kellie could no longer meet the payments on the mortgage to their McHovel, but fortunately there was still some decent equity in it and she was able to unload it and take around $60,000 out of it after the Banksters took their cut of the pie and the tax man took his.  She gave half to Kenny, and dropped the other half in her own Credit Union account as a buffer against ending up Homeless and Freezing to Death on the Streets of Missoula, MT.

Kellie was also fortunate her older brother Kyle had become a successful Dentist in Spokane, and not only offered her free rent in his Guest House on his McMansion property, but also a job as Receptionist and Records Clerk in his Dental Office, located in a strip mall in a lower middle class suburb of Spokane.  Kyle's 3 grown children were sprinkled all over the FSoA pursuing a variety of careers, and besides his main work as a Dentist Kyle pursued a variety of hobbies, Beekeeping, Gardening and running a grid tied Solar PV 36V system for his McMansion and to charge up his Tesla Model X EV that he used to commute to work at the Dental Office from the Gated community where his McMansion was located.  Kyle's wife Alicia worked as the Office Manager and Bookkeeper, so all 3 travelled together to work in the Tesla, making for an efficient commute for 3 people, relatively speaking next to all the solo drivers in ICE vehicles they had to combat in traffic every day anyhow.

Kyle also loved dogs, and had as companions a huge Labrador Retriever named Scooby Doo as well as a Siberian Husky named Balto, and his wife Alicia's dog Blood, who was a West Highland White Terrier..  All the dogs were purebred Males, and periodically Kyle would rent them out for breeding purposes with other owners of females of the same pedigree, pocketing the stud fee.  It was one of the many small biznesses he ran besides his Dental office although it wasn't too profitable, mainly a labor of love and a way to keep the dogs from going nuts unless he had them castrated, which he could not bring himself to do.

Kyle's wife Alicia and sister Kellie had become even closer friends once she moved to Spokane than they had been over the years, and often they would all have dinner together at the McMansion, or Kyle would spring for a dinner out at one of the fine restaraunts or music bars in downtown Spokane, where he would generally vent on the load of taxation which was driving him out of bizness.

"It's fucking INSANE!  The goddamn Corporations and Billionaires pay NO TAXES, and meanwhile the fucking Goobermint is soaking me for every dime of profit we make drilling teeth!  Dental insurance is a fucking joke, and the patients can't afford the Root Canals and Caps, and now they're all flying to Mexico to get it done cheaper there!  They get a Mexican Beach Vacation in the process, and it's STILL cheaper there!  I can't even sell the fucking bizness to a young Dentist, because they are too broke from the student loans they took out to get a Dental license from the ADA!  I gotta buy a new fucking Xray machine every 5 years because new and zippier models come out and I gotta compete with the Dr. Joneses in the next strip mall over!  Before I even have the last Xray machine paid off! "

"Calm down,sweety." Alicia advised, patting his hand gently.  "You're going to get a heart attack if you keep this up.  Why don't you order a nice bottle of Pinot Noir and mellow out a little here?"

"Yea Kyle, mom and dad always were telling you to put a lid on it when you started ranting, I remember that when you were in High School and I was in kindergarten.", Kellie added.

Kyle sighed.  "Yea, OK.  I gotta get my mind off this shit."

Kyle flagged down the wine steward and ordered a bottle of 2007 Willakenzie Estate Pinot Noir Terres Basses from the Willamette Valley in Oregon for $120, which was a good deal more than the $50/bottle he paid for it by the case to store in his Wine Cellar.  However, for a fine dining extablishment like the Wild Sage Bistro, the markup on the wine wasn't too bad. "Anybody got anything else to talk about?"

Kellie decided it was a good time to bring up a concern and desire she had for some time since leaving Missoula. "Well, I was wondering if you guys might want to take a long weekend trip with me over to Missoula to visit Kenny?  I haven't seen him in over a year, and even though we talk on the phone every so often and exchange emails, I would like to see how he is doing.  He's still living his TEOTWAWKI Collapse Prepper obsession and living out of his Stealth Van.  He says he bought some land by Lolo National Forest and is building on it, but I still worry about that lifestyle and what he is doing.  It's just so odd.  Nothing I could ever say would get him to go to college, even though he could have had a full scholarship anywhere.  He got a perfect score on his SAT's you know and had a 4.0 GPA in High School.", Kellie said proudly.

"Kenny was always a really bright kid." Kyle recalled. "He sure did grow some amazing Ganga with his hydroponics setup!  That was some of the best shit I ever took a Bong Hit off of!", Kyle laughed.  "He does need some Bizness lessons though, I would have paid him double what he charged me for that shit!"

"So how about we take a trip there next month for maybe 4-5 days or so?  We can add some hours during the week so we don't sacrifice too much income from being away from the Dental Office.", Kellie suggested.

"That's a good idea Kellie.", Alicia replied. "We could go to 7PM instead of 5PM and make up the hours and not reduce the income.  I would like to see Kenny too and how he is living.  That business of living out of his van really seems extreme. I thought you said he was making good money in his landscaping bizness?"

"Well, he was doing pretty good with it when I left, so I think he probably still is, but it's not really a money problem for Kenny.  He probably could afford to rent an apartment or even buy a small house on a mortgage, but he's a "kollapsnik" as he calls himself.  He's been that way ever since Junior High.  He's convinced Industrial Civilization will collapse in the near future and is obsessed with preparing for that.  So he spends his money on what he calls 'preps' instead of on living a normal life."

"Oh that's just nonsense!" Alicia exclaimed.  "We just have some economic problems right now, it's a business cycle problem.  Elon Musk is developing new batteries and soon he will have a colony on Mars as well!  All this talk about civilization collapse is just ridiculous.", Alicia said in a huff, rolling her eyes.

"Well, I'm not so sure Kenny is wrong, sweetie.", Kyle replied to his wife. "It's not just the economic situation, as bad as it is.  There are a lot of Climate and Environmental problems ongoing as well.  I haven't had any problem with my Honeybees so far, but some of my friends in the Beekeeper community have lost their hives.  Without the pollinators working full blast, we'll have a lot of problems keeping enough food growing for the 7.3B People currently walking the earth.  The weather around here is getting really erratic also, first we had drought and now we are getting inundated by atmospheric rivers in the atmosphere full of moisture dropping buckets of rain down all the time.  Makes growing my raised beds in the back yard very difficult!  Your own sister is still cleaning up from the last flood in Seattle too!"

"Floods happen all the time!", Alicia retorted. "That's why you buy Flood Insurance!  President Trump and many others say that we do not have a climate change problem!"

The difference of opinion over climate change problems and environmental issues was a sore spot that Kyle and Alicia had argued about on quite a few occassions, along with having some differing political views and voting for different candidates, but mostly they were able to get over these differences because their love for each other was so strong.  Still, it did get difficult periodically.

Kellie interjected to stop this arguement between her Brother and Sister-in-Law from getting out of control.

"Well, whether climate is the problem or the economy is the problem,I still think it would be nice to go visit with Kenny and see how he is doing!  Last time I talked to him he said he made a new friend near where he bought his land, and he has a new girlfriend too!  I would like to meet her for sure!"

Alicia relaxed and let go of the Climate Change debate, which always bugged her.  Even though subconsciously she was aware it was ongoing, it was something she just couldn't allow herself to believe.  She enjoyed her life too much as a former chauffer for her 3 kids, playing bridge twice a week with the other upper class moms she had known for 20 years and shopping regularly at Nordstrom.

"Yea, it would be a good change of pace from the usual vacation to Hawaii in any case." Alicia responded.  "We could do it over Memorial Day Weekend and add a couple of days to that on either side."

"Yea, that sounds like a good time.", Kyle agreed, sipping some more Pinot Noir while he munched out on the Rack of Lamb with Cabernet Sauce,  Asparagus Hollandaise and Garlic Mashed Potatoes he had ordered for dinner.

"Great! It's a plan, as long as it will work for Kenny anyhow." Kellie replied happily, munching out herself on the Lobster and Clam stuffed Fillet of Sole, Spinach Souffle and Loaded Baked Potato she had ordered for dinner.  I'll send Kenny an email tonight and see if we can get it finalized.

After finishing dinner with some Ecuadorian Espresso and Chocolate Mousse, the 3 headed back out into the parking lot and jumped in the Tesla for the drive back to the McMansion. By the time dinner was finished, the traffic had abated and they made it home in half the time it took during the morning rush hour commute.  Kyle plugged the Tesla into his fast charger for an overnight top off of juice, then went inside with Alicia to throw a DVD on the 70" Samsung OLED Big Screen TV before bed time.  It was Alicia's turn to pick the movie, and she picked one of her favorite Chick Flicks, "When Harry Met Sally".

Kellie headed for the guest house and settled down in front of her laptop to fire off an email to Kenny.

"Hey Kenny!  How's it going?  Haven't heard from you in over a week!

Listen, I was talking with Kyle and Alicia, and we were thinking of coming for a visit over the Memorial Day Weekend.  Would this be a good time for you?

What kind of gear do we need to bring?  Do we need Tents and Sleeping Bags?"

Kenny's Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphone buzzed in the bottom pocket of his cargo shorts just as he was pulling in to one of his favorite Stealth Parking spots in Missoula, a lot for Joe's Auto Body Shop whose owner Joe he cut grass for and who gave him permission to park there at night, as long as he was out before the shop opened at 7AM.  Joe had even given him keys to the shop so he could use the bathroom at night if he needed to.  As good as this arrangement was, he still didn't use it every night, because the Gestapo would catch on too easily.  Staying under the Gestapo radar and moving around between spots was an important aspect of Stealth Van living.

Reading the email on the smart phone, Kenny elected to get parked and settled in for the night, then fire up his All-in-One Dell Desktop unit to write a response to his mom.  Keyboarding on the Dell which he had accessorized with a state of the art Razer Gaming Keyboard was much quicker than working the virtual thumboard on the Galaxy Mega screen, which was better than the tiny ones on IPhones but still not very good.  It was even better than the voice to text recognition program on the Samsung, which often got words wrong and he had to go back and fix them manually, slowing things down considerably in SMS Text communication.

Once he got the van parked in an open spot between a Hummer with a crunched front quarter panel and a Mercedes that had been rear ended, Kenny sat down at his desk behind the driver cockpit in the comfortable Italian Leather Executive Office Chair his father had picked up at the final auction when his Tool & Die factory was moved to Mexico.  His father had sat in that chair before him for nearly a decade once he moved from the factory floor into management.  By the time he got it, the upholstery and leather were pretty shot, but Kenny bought all new foam and new leather and reupholstered it himself, so it was pretty much as good as new.  He made some adaptations to the base so it would stay locked in place while he was driving around, but could be quickly released once parked to be able to slide on the casters and swivel around.

Kenny's desk and the rest of the interior of the Stealth Van were constructed mostly from Bamboo, which he got in Barter trade from an old Japanese Bamboo Master working outside of Missoula, in return for interning with him and assisting in the harvesting of the Bamboo.  Kenny was also learning to play the Shakuhachi Flute, which was a relaxing way to spend many evenings by himself in the van.

"Hey Mom!  Sorry for not getting in touch this week.  Things have been really bizzy here with a lot of changes going on for me.  I am working together with my new friend Karl and his daughter Karen and my friend from High School Kirsten to get our properties ready for SHTF Day and setting up a SUN Community here.

You and Kyle and Alicia are more than welcome to come for a visit!  You don't need to bring tents, we have plenty of them and I will set up my F-Dome for all of us also, and we can also spend a lot of time at Karl's place, which is a PALACE for Kollapsniks like us.  You might want to bring your own sleeping bags and pads though, and backpacks if you want to go hiking with us into the National Park.

I'll let Karl know we are having a Convocation over the Memorial Day weekend and that you guys will be coming in.  Email me when you have a firm date for arrival.  I know you haven't figured out how to use GPG4USB encryption yet, so I will meet you in Missoula and we can drive to the Doomstead together.

Can't wait to see you!  I miss you a lot.



Down the Collapse Rabbit Hole

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 19, 2017

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Once you start digging into Collapse and its various ramifications and possible scenarios, you descend into an enormous Rabbit Hole, and it's one most people don't even want to contemplate at all. As a result, no matter what evidence you care to provide, how good your Power Point Presentation is or how many scientists, economists and social pundits (Bloggers) you Interview, what you mostly get back are Blank Stares, followed swiftly by Denial and various ideas of Techno-Triumphalism & Cornucopianism.  The Sheeple just don't WANT to believe that the dream they were sold of endless progress, endless growth and an eventual and inevitable destiny of Colonizing the Universe with Homo Sap Meat Packages is not our Ultimate Destiny. They definitely do not want to acknowledge that a Collapse of this Dream is likely to occur within their own lifetimes.

So, if you have explored the Rabbit Hole some, with this group (the majority) of people, you have virtually no chance of getting through to them at all, you're just banging your head up against a brick wall.  But what about the people who have become to one extent or another aware of collapse (and there are more of them all the time)?

These people (who I refer to as Kollapsniks) come in quite a few different flavors, and have widely divergent views on what trajectory the collapse will take, and what they see as the most likely outcome.  These divergences of opinion lead to disputes within the Kollapse Kommunity, which given it is pretty small to begin with means what you get out of it are a lot of tiny splinter groups which all argue with each other, even more than they argue with the dominant Techno-Triumphalism spin!

Amongst the Kollapsniks though, you run the gamut from those who believe in Renewable Energy as a long term savior after a period of economic collapse, all the way to those who believe in a Near Term Human Extinction, currently predicted for as soon as 2026 by Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last, aka "Dr. McSerpent" or "Dr. McStinksion" here on the Diner.  There are a few different flavors of Kollapsnik between these extremes though, so for today's essay I will detail some of them that I have run across during my travels down the Rabbit Hole over the last decade.  I will work my way from the "least kollapsy" to the "most kollapsy", more or less in order although there are variations here to consider in the

#1- Renewables Kollapsnik (RK)- RKs acknowledge that the fossil fuel economy is destined for death, but feel it is still possible for an econonomy based on renewables to substitute for it, and moreover keep a significant portion of the current 7.3B people on the planet alive utilizing those renewables, along with other techniques like Permaculture, Hydroponics, etc.  Wind power and Solar PV are the most prominently featured forms of the RK future scenario, although other forms of renewable energy like wave and tidal power from the oceans and geothermal from global hotspot are also featured occassionally.  There are also some who feel that Nuclear techologies such as Thorium can provide clean power, or we might even invent Cold Fusion in the Nick of Time!

#2-Long Emergency Kollapsnik (LEK)- "Long Emergency" is James Howard Kunstler's of Clustefuck Nation's term, John Michael Greer from The Archdruid Report calls this "Slow Catabolic Collapse".  In both cases, it's more or less the "slow boiling frog" theory of collapse, which has it that we will gradually descend as more and more things become dysfunctional, but there really won't be a "definable moment" where the observer could say "THIS is where the collapse began!".  How long this Long Emergency actually IS before what we are accustomed to now and what our final outcome might be differs from one afficionado of this theory to another, some put the Slow Catabolic Collapse over as short as a 20 year time span, others go for 100 or even 1000 years on this.  Rome did not Collapse in a Day, of course, so this is the Historian's Eye view of thigs.

#3- Fossil Fuels Can Last Kollapsnik (FFCLK) – The FFLCLK sees that the overall FF economy can't last long term, either for economic reasons or climate reasons, or both.  However, the FFCLK believes there are enough FFs that can still be pumped up at positive enough EROEI to transition us into the #1 RK paradigm.  FFCLKs tend to ignore the ongoing and increasing problems with climate disruption, as well as ongoing pollution problems, and just focus on how much FF energy they believe is still accessible and can be used to power the industrial civilization and keep feeding the 7.3B Homo Saps infesting the planet. #4- Amish Kollapsnik (AK)  – AKs generally believe we can retrace back to around an early 18th Century level of techology, pre-steam engine.  This is based on animal labor and often permaculture as well.  It's a sort of Agrarian-Utopia vision.  Sometimes they acknowledge for this to even be possible at all you would need a massive dieoff of Homo Sap population, others contend that if everybody did it and performed Best Practices in terms of raising food and stewarding the land, we could in fact feed all 7.3B people currently walking the earth, and perhaps even more than that.  AKs are often "off grid" Boomers who retired (collecting a Pension and or Investment) and own their own Doomstead, although there are younger ones from the GenX demographic also.  Few Millenials are loaded with enough FRNs to buy their own Doomstead, they go out WWOOFING if they have this philosophy.  This basically means being a slave for Room & Board on the Doomstead of some Boomer.

#5- Fast Systemic Cross Contagion Kollapsnik (FSCCK) – The FFCCK is an afficionado of the work of David Korowicz, the Irish Theoretical Physicist who analyzed the various dependencies we have in our currently very complex system, along with the inability to backtrack on much of it because the prior systems we depended on have been for the most part disassembled. This is the "irreversibility" concept. For instance, you can't instantly go back to animal labor on the farms, because most of the horses were ground up for dog food in the early part of the 20th Century.  To re-breed up enough of them to do all the work necessary that tractors currently do would take a generation at least, and then all those horses would need to be fed too!  This makes the AK scenario look pretty bad, at least for keeping 7.3B Homo Saps above ground anyhow. #7- Mad Max Kollapsnik (MMK) – The MMK sees a massive dystopian world of the future coming down the pipe in fair short order, so also fits into the #5 category.  Besides Mad Max, this also includes other dystopian films like Children of Men and The Road.  You can think of it as "Zombies Gone Wild", and Cannibalism is the main cuisine here during this period. The general outcome of this period is #9 Extinction, although some MMKs might buy into #8 Stone Age, as long as the neo-cavemen are allowed to eat each other in a sustainable fashion.  Long Pig. "It's what's for dinner." lol.

#8- Stone Age Kollapsnik (SAK) –The SAK doesn't think we will even be able to keep smelting metal long term, both because of energy depletion as well as depletion of the feedstock mineral ores and ability to mine them up.  This leads to mostly a Hunter-Gather type of society and technology, or quite simple horticulture rather than what we currently think of as agriculture.  The paradigm clearly cannot support the current 7.3B people, so a dieoff of Homo Sap is required for this paradigm to work at all, if it can work.  Precisely how that dieoff will go down is not too certain, nor how long it will take to play out too certain either.  The long term for this though if it does play out this way is that eventually small tribes of people establish themselves on portions of the remaining good arable land on the earth surface at a decent enough AGT to survive a global climate change regimen that brings the AGT up a high as +10C from the current average.

#9- Near Term Human Extinction Kollpasnik (NTHEK) – The NTHEK sees the entire situation we are engulfed in as utterly HOPELESS, nothing can be done to save Homo Sap at this point, and probably most of the other higher life forms on the planet besides maybe the Tardigrades.  Doing any kind of preparation for the world to come besides being psychologically prepared to die is a waste of time.  You are in Hospice care now with Terminal Cancer, and you have only 9 years left to live, so you should  live them Excellently in the Hospice Care Facility for the soon to be Extinct Homo Saps, playing Bridge and Chess and maybe even fucking if you can still get an erection. lol.  This is of course something of a dead end (sic).  The main conversation amongst the NTHEKs is about how awful Homo Saps are and how they deserve to die ASAP.  IOW, as a group they tend to be highly misanthropic and highly nihilistic.  Very depressing folks to be around for too long, it can make YOU want to commit suicide to "Save the Planet. Kill Yourself", as is the credo of the Church of Euthanasia.  This Church really should not exst at all on this side of the Great Beyond, because if the folks running this show were all the least bit honest, they would have ALREADY slit their wrists!


OK!  Now that we have some kind of taxonomy and defintions for various flavors of Kollapsnik, what can we deduce from this?  Well, first there is tons of crossover between various areas, for instance you could be a slow kollapsnik who believes in an Amish end game, or a fast kollapsnik who does.  Those are not mutually exclusive categories.  Similarly, Mad Max might only last a short time, or could go on for centuries or even millenia! You can't KNOW the future for sure here, you can only speculate on what it might be.

Here is where the real problem lies in terms of getting any kind of cooperation between members of the collapse community goes is concerned, which is that despite a lack of concrete evidence which could "prove" any of these scenarios as even being the most likely outcome much less the ONLY possible outcome, each kollapsnik is so convinced of his own model he/she is not real willing to consider any of the other ones as a realistic possibility, unless it is pretty close to his/her main model. This is particularly true the more extreme the viewpoint, with the folks who believe in Near Term Human Extinction being the most fanatical and calling everyone else a denialist and deluded fool.  Rather difficult to have a civil conversation with these folks. Besides your favorite Kollapsnik flavor, another area of profound disagreement is how many people will be left standing after the collapse and how many people could the earth actually support in a sustainable fashion? These numbers go anywhere from Zero of the NTHEK up even past the current 7.3B people here now by some extremely optimistic cornucopians.  For most kollapsniks though it's somewhere between those two numbers, and a popular one often thrown around comes off the Georgia Guidestones, which call for a reduction down to 500M Homo Saps.  Others are more optimistic in the 2-3B range, although it is kind of hard to call anyone who thinks 4-5B people will die in the near future an optimist.  It's also hard to imagine year in and year out of the massive death toll you would need to accomplish this in even 20 years.  It completely dwarfs the entire death toll from WWII including the Holocaust EVERY YEAR, for 20 straight years!

There are some pundits who make a statistical argument on this, saying that if we just lowered the birth rate by a couple of percentage points and the death rate went up by a couple of percent, we would get all the dieoff we need to reduce population in 50 years or so.  That might be true, but it seems unlikely to me that this is how it will play out.  I expect large scale famines to occur periodically either from climate change or wars or both, and those famines will take out large chunks of the population in one quick bite.  Mostly in the 3rd World to begin with, but eventually moving to 1st World countries too.  Somalia seems to be experiencing both the climate and war problem as far as feeding their population right now.

Contemplating how Goobermints will respond, how they will fail and what might take their place also provides another taxonomy amongst the Kollapsniks, and numerous areas of disagreement among them which usually end up in a Napalm Contest. lol.  Here are few popular scenarios pitched out by Kollapsniks, in no particular order.

#A- A One World Fascist Goobermint will evolve with a single worldwide currency, usually figured to be the SDRs that the Bank for International Settlements created out of a basket of other currencies including Precious Metals.  This will be an Orwellian Police State, with anyone who is not a member of the current Elite used as Tax Slaves to maintain their power and privilege.

#B- A neo-Feudalist model will emerge, with a breakup of large nation-states into Regions controlled by individual Warlords and their armies. Once again in this scenario, Slavery is the generally accepted economic model for most of the population besides the Elite.  The main difference from #1 is you might exchange one set of Uber-Meisters (UM) for another, and the total territory one UM controls is smaller than the full globe in size.  Various UMs will be in a perpetual state of War with neighbors fighting over resources.  It more or less corresponds to Mad Max, although with a little more order imposed by the Warlords, not complete anarchy of small gangs. #C- A large scale Communist/Socialist Model will emerge, Nationalizing everything from Food Production and Distribution to the Banking System, to Health Care, Housing and Transportation.  Everyone will be employed by the State and paid by the State.  This is the Nightmare scenario for the entire alt-right Collapse Blogger coalition, from Jim Quinn on The Burning Patform to the Tyler Durdens on Zero Hedge.

#D- Massive breakdown on the large scale will develop many smaller Tribes of people without any real type of Central Goobermint at all.  Sometimes this is looked at as a kind of No Goobermint Libertarian-Anarchist Utopia where each of these individual groups functions autonomously on their own patch of land.  Other folks vew this result as a Mad Max type of anarchy where there is no law and most of the day is spent raping, pillaging and murdering others.

#E- No Goobermint –  Because everyone is Dead.  That's the NTHEK POV.

Now, except for #1 and #5, the Goobermint solution to collapse doesn't have to be the same everywhere and probably won't be.  So you might have some neighborhoods running a neo-Feudal model, some running a Commie model and some running a Tribal model.  It depends a lot where in the timeline you are, the further out you go the less likely the larger organizations of Goobermint are possible and the more likely you will have smaller tribal models.  It also depends on population density, places with higher density are more likely to be in the neo-Feudal or Commie models, low density locations Tribal.

That's more or less a full overview of the current taxonomy in the Collapse Blogosphere, although I'm sure there are more distinctions that could be made.  These are the main camps though, and differences between the outlook between them is what drives all the arguments (AKA: Napalm Contests) that go on in various commentariats and between bloggers.  Kollapsniks tend to be very passionately attached to their particular POV, and no amount of debate will change their minds once set into one of these viewpoints.  The arguments between the people with different POVs also become predictable and repetitive if you have been around the collapse blogosphere long enough.

For my own POV, I am a #8C long term and lean toward Fast Collapse but with a period of Scavenging that lasts maybe 100-200 years before Homo Sap is back to near-complete Stona Age.  There might be some basic smelting of metal for things like axles, knives, axes and scythes, but none of the complex manufactured and machined items we are used buying at Home Depot.

Just because we'll likely have simpler tools and a more "primitive" style of living doesnt mean we can't retain a lot of knowledge and have a culturally rich society.  We can still have music, we can still have literature, we can still contemplate the universe and do mathematics.  We can enjoy the spectacle and chronicle the history as the Beauty of Nature is Reborn over the millenia, and Mother Earth recovers from the devastation of the Age of Oil.  At least the few survivors will be able to do that anyhow.  I do not expect to be one of them.  I will however observe it from my Perch in the Great Beyond, as today I observe it from my digs on the Last Great Frontier.

New Bacon is Born!

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 18, 2017

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Diner Eddie is the proud new Papa of a dozen or so new Mangalitsa Piggies on his Doomstead.  Well, adopted father anyhow, we don't think he is the biological father.  At least so far they aren't sporting bushy mustaches anyhow. lol.

Diners look forward to the Bacon with Eggs from the Chicken Coop of Lucid Dreams and Gypsy Mama, and Ham Smoked by RE for Dinner at the next convocation!

Cigars all around to the Diners!



A Time of Seven Generations

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 16, 2017

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I am going to put off publishing another chapter of How I Survived Collapse for another week to publish instead this compilation article from posts made Inside the Diner on the topic of developing self-sufficiency.  We had a lively discussion on this topic this week, and I would like to share it while it is still fresh. We discussed what self-sufficiency really means, and what that entails both short and long term.  Many different opinions were expressed on this topic, in terms of what is or is not possible and what the long term outcome will be from the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

Most of the Diners do not buy into the concept of a Near Term Human Extinction, so the debate is not about whether all Homo Saps will be dead in 10 years or even a 100 years.  It's about what technologies we might or might not be able to maintain through this time period, and what are the most important things to be learning now both for the near term of a likely "Scavenging Civilization" which operates by taking many of the materials leftover from the Age of Oil and fixing and repurposing  them, to the longer term after those materials have mostly rusted away and been turned to rubble.

There is a wide variety of opinion on this topic, from some Diners who believe it is possible a high tech society like our own can be maintained for a much smaller population; to some who think that we can be sustainable at a 17th Century level of technology (pre-Steam Engine); to those like myself who believe the only truly sustainable society utilizes only Stone Age technology.

Below you find a selection of the posting made to this thread. It comes from only the first page of this thread, which is now at 4 pages long and climbing. For a complete reading, I suggest going to the thread itself, which is open for non-members to read.  If you wish to contribute your thoughts to this thread, you will need to register on the Forum and become an official Diner.

Now, on to the 7 Generations debate! 🙂



From RE:

Over on Knarf's Knewz in a link post about the Black Rose Anarchist Party, JDW put up a couple of quotes from Bill Mollison about becoming Producers rather than Consumers, with the implication that this was the real productive form of Anarchy to be undertaken.

In this one, Bill asserts that if just 10%of the people of the world undertook this form of self-sufficiency, we could feed the world.  I'm assuming he means doing it without Industrial Fertilizers as well.  Not sure how he felt about big combines, harvesters, tractors and so forth though.

My first question here for this thread is whether this is really true?  Could 10% of the population feed everyone else, all 7.3B people currently walking the earth?

Next question is that of self-sufficiency to begin with.  Before you can feed 9 other people, you need to feed yourself of course.  Is anyone really self-sufficient enough to feed himself?

In all my years of talking with various Doomsteaders with various levels of prepping and various sized properties, not ONE of them has ever said to me, "I am 100% Self Sufficient with Food Production".  Most of the time, they give me a number somewhere between 25% & 50%.  "But I am working toward being fully self-sufficient, and hope to get there in 5 years".  Or some timeline anyhow.

Now, if they have NOT achieved 100% self-sufficiency in food, then if/when TSHTF, they're still gonna starve to death, just a bit slower than the folks who are 0% self-sufficient.  If you're only getting 50% of the daily calories, protein and vitamins you need to live, you are gonna die!  So anything less than 100%, you are also going extinct.

This is only the question of self-sufficiency on your food production ability given the tools you buy to do this stuff.  Even if those tools are just horse drawn plows and the tack necessary for strapping them up, most if not all people including the Amish BUY this stuff, they don't make it themselves.  It does wear out of course, but if you are well prepped with spares and so forth AND are food self sufficient, now you may have got up to 20 years, but the next generation of your kids growing up on the farm are not going to be able to buy this stuff, so then they will go extinct.  No farming tools, no farming.

So of course, this is why we at SUN☼ always talk about the importance of Community, in order to have some people who know how to MAKE tools necessary for farming, as well as those who USE the tools to do the farming.  This sort of community really doesn't exist AFAIK*, except perhaps in some Amish communities.  However, even they buy most of their tools from the industrial economy, the only ones they make themselves are the ones the industrial ecoomy doesn't make any more.

So, the whole idea of becoming self-sufficient in time for the Collapse of Industrial Civilization seems like a tough goal to achieve.

Going back in history of course, there certainly were people who were entirely self sufficient, but they were all Stone Age Hunter-Gatherers.  Once the transition was made to Agriculture and Metallurgy to do that with, self-sufficiency was lost.  Even the Pioneers weren't really self-sufficient, they brought with them tools and implements with which to get started, mostly shipped over from Europe at the beginning until forges and blacksmith shops were built on the East Coast and mining operations began to get iron ore and coal locally.  Then they traded the food they grew using these great tools to get new tools when they needed them.

Now, moving into the future here,the likelihood of being able to acquire coal and iron ore to make new tools seems quite small moving say 100 years down the line.  For those of us alive today, not an issue, we probaly can scavenge a lot of material and repurpose for a while, like taking sheet metal off carz and using it to sheath a plowshare, or sharpening to make a Scythe.  But by the 100 year mark, all that old metal will be rusted and brittle and not useful anymore for making such tools.

So eventually of course, returning to full self-sufficiency means returning to H-G and Stone Tools.  It ALSO means getting to that point within about 100 years.

Now, on the upside here, the population is likely to decline quite a bit over that century time span, making H-G living theoretically possible again.  However, within that time span, those who don't know how to knap stone tools, hunt in primitive fashion will have to acquire those skills if they don't have them already.  How will they do that if you as Patriarch/Matriarch of this group of intrepid Survivors of Collapse aren't spending at least some of your prep time on gaining Primitive Skills?  Who will teach them if they grew up as farmers with tools to do farming made of metal, but no longer have metal to work with?

I would like to hear Diner Opinions on many of the issues I brought up in this post.  Can a farmer be completely self sufficient?  Are any, even the poorest subsistence farming Indian farmers self-sufficient?  Could you continue farming (or permaculturing) with no metal tools?  Do you think spending some prepping time on gaining primitive skills is necessary, or a waste of time?  If not a waste of time, how much time should be spent on this so you will have the knowledge to pass on to children and grandchildren?

I am hoping to get enough responses to this post to make a Diner Compilation article out of the thread, so post up!


*AFAIK- as far as I know


From Lucid Dreams

I think going back to stone tools is a bit of a stretch RE.

A good quality hand tool made of metal and wood can be used for lifetimes pending it is cared for.  Metal that is kept clean and dry does not rust.  The tools they sell at the big box stores are mostly shit that don't even last one lifetime.  There is plenty of metal to scavenge for a long time to come.  Take a modern day dumpster for instance.  How long would it take one of those things to rust back into the Earth?  So going back to stone tools is not going to be necessary. 

As far as the self sufficient farmer myth goes, that's a load of bollix.  No such thing, and there never has been.  It's theoretically possible, and I'm sure some people have done it.  I think you could survive pending you had enough hands and the weather helped you (which is unlikely these days). 

The best templates we have are the current ecovilliages, and as far as I know none of them are 100% self sufficient.  If they were 100% self sufficient, then they would not need money would they?  Of course one could argue that it's just easier to buy the stuff you need, like fencing for instance, if you have the money.  In the absence of money a lot of things could be accomplished in other ways. 

The "self sufficient farmer" is not a reality.  That farmer needs farm hands.  I think then you can produce a human diet that could keep people reasonably healthy.  The Easter Islanders did it, and so did the Vikings, and so did many other peoples before our time.  The best answers I've seen to our problems comes from Permaculture.  Permaculture has aggregated a lot of knowledge under it's umbrella, and it provides a system of design principles to help in the thinking process. 

I have no doubt that if the money was made available a Permaculture system could keep a lot of people alive and healthy.  If the goobermint were to throw billions of digibits at Permaculture like they do for the MIC, then we would have an excellent chance at saving a lot more than as many as we can.  Restoration agriculture combined with the biointensive methods from the Ecology Action folks and a strong emphasis on bamboo culture would create a very stable system of food, fuel, fiber, and medicine production.  It is possible to manage these systems sustainably and therefore provide self-sufficiency, but that sufficiency is really provided by community. 

The cabin in the woods is a farce.  It will take community to survive.  It will take a community with rules and a chain of command, and it will likely be very similar to feudalism due to necessity because nobody in goobermint is addressing any of this.  All of our "leaders" are asleep at the switch, incompetent, blind, and servicing BAU for their own personal interests.  Nobody in goobermint is taking any of our once problems, now predicaments, seriously. 

Restoration agriculture takes time.  We are talking about trees and land that's been mostly denuded of topsoil.  That topsoil has to be regrown, and that takes time.  It takes lots of time.  It can be done relatively quickly biointensively, but it still takes time.  Years.  Most nut trees take 20, 30 years to mature and produce nuts.  Orchards take years to mature.  None of these systems will mature in much less than 10 years.  I'd say 20 years is more likely how much time you need to get mature Permaculture systems in place that would be capable of supporting a large population. 

It's simply too late in the game to save all 7.5 billion of us.  If we had a Manhattan Project level event that got going with Permaculture in the driver seat today, then we might be able to save half of the current population.  That's just my guess. 


From Eddie:

Metal tools are not going away. They were around before modern BAU, and they'll persist afterward, in my opinion. They will become extremely expensive. Things like plows and hand tools will be very precious when they have to be hand made out of dead cars, though.

Food is tricky. I know a big family with everyone working the fields can be self sufficient, because that's the way it used to be. As in LARGELY self-sufficient, 90% or better. You always need some things. Salt, seeds, sugar, etc.

Transition is the hardest part. You can't go from BAU to self-sufficient overnight. I would expect a fast collapse to create a serious famine.

The best case would be if you can get some of your protein from hunting or fishing, and some food from gathering. People in low population areas would have an advantage there, of course.

Very few people are in a position to even try living self-sufficiently. It would be a huge stretch to assume I could get there in time, even with my modest preps to tide me over. If BAU continues until I reach retirement status, I'll be able to get better at it. Otherwise, I'll have to wing it when push comes to shove. Won't be at all easy. I know that.


From RE:

As I said to LD, not going away in this generation or even the next one in all likelihood.  But in your grandchildren's generation, where will they get the coal and iron ore to smelt the metal and fabricate new tools?  There sure won't be Home Depots to buy them at. I am looking 100-200 years out in time here.

If they cannot fabricate new metal tools, then how do they keep farming/permaculturing?  Can you do this without metal tools?  ???  :icon_scratch: If so, how?

If you postulate in the generation of your grandchildren that metal tools will NOT be available for them to use, then don't you need to prep them up for that time by teaching them stone tool knapping?  How else will they learn it? Maybe they will figure it out on their own, but would it not be better to pass this knowledge down so they are prepped and ready for this day?  How can you pass such knowledge down if you do not have it yourself?



From K-Dog:

Making metal tools?  Is there an APP for that?  Metal shop, wood shop, home economics?  High schools don't bother with such things anymore do they?

As time's arrow shoots forward the social direction moves more and more away from self sufficiency and self reliance.  This will mean mass death as soon as the wheels can't turn from lack of cheap oil.  There is no way around it and those who imagine themselves self sufficient will be pulled down in the social quagmire of those who are not.


From JD Wheeler:

The best templates we have are the current ecovilliages, and as far as I know none of them are 100% self sufficient.  If they were 100% self sufficient, then they would not need money would they?  Of course one could argue that it's just easier to buy the stuff you need, like fencing for instance, if you have the money.  In the absence of money a lot of things could be accomplished in other ways. 


Are you familiar with Gaviotas?

They are fairly well isolated from the rest of the world, so they probably do come close to providing 100% of their needs. If you count net impact and consider the 1.5 million trees they've replanted, they might be over 100%.


From JD Wheeler:

In this one, Bill asserts that if just 10%of the people of the world undertook this form of self-sufficiency, we could feed the world.  I'm assuming he means doing it without Industrial Fertilizers as well.  Not sure how he felt about big combines, harvesters, tractors and so forth though.

My first question here for this thread is whether this is really true?  Could 10% of the population feed everyone else, all 7.3B people currently walking the earth?


I've addressed this before as Permaculture's Dirty Little Secret.  I agree with Bill Mollison's assessment that using permaculture methods, 10% of the population could GROW enough food to feed 100% of the population; they could not, however, HARVEST enough food to feed everyone.  Even on my little blackberry patches, well over 50% of the berries go unharvested, even by the birds!  Permaculture's Dirty Little Secret is that, after you have set the systems up, 90% of the work is harvesting.


From David B.

My first thought would be that the iron age did not start with the fossil fuel age but ran on charcoal made from wood.  The roman legions had iron swords, tools, armour all forged on biomass.  The plows of the middle ages were mostly wood but the leading edges were iron.  All before the first piece of coal left the mine.  Huge collapse sure but iron is here to stay.

Bucket List

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 12, 2017

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Seems like there is some new Anniversary or significant date arriving almost monthly these days.  We had the New Year's Recap of the events of 2016 to review, then the 5 Year Anniversary of the founding of the Doomstead Diner.  Upcoming in August is my 60th Birthday, which is a miraculous longevity for me given the way I lived my life and all the Close Encounters with the Grim Reaper I had along the way.  I never figured to make it past 50.  However, on all occasions to date, the Finger of God stepped in and kept me above ground level walking the Earth for another day to see another Sunrise.

This month marks another Anniversary, my second full year in Retirement. In fact it was on the Ides of March that I walked out the doors of a gymnastics school as a coach for the last time.

Beware the Ides of March

I got to retire early because I became disabled after taking a fall at work and injuring my neck.  Resultant from that are physical issues too numerous to mention, which preclude things like hiking the Bush here in Alaska, circumnavigating the Globe in a Sailboat or even retiring on a Golf Course in Florida to play a round of golf every day. lol.  My retirement such as it is consists mainly of puttering around my digs and writing about Collapse here on the Diner.  So it's not exactly the retirement of my dreams from my youth, when I hoped to be retired by 50, buy a nice 36' or so yacht and sail the various playgrounds of yachties, from the Greek Islands to the Bahamas and the South Pacific.  I never got that dream, at least not long term.  I did have a few good sailing adventures of a couple of weeks at a time in my younger days though. Today, even if I did get the dream, it's not so dreamy anymore to be living the Yachty life.   You have the dangers of kidnapping by Pirates, as one German couple found out for the second time this year.  You have increasingly bad weather with rogue waves around that can take out a small boat in the blink of an eye.  The Greek Islands are not the place they were when I sailed them in the 1980s, now they are piled up with Syrian refugees.  South Pacific Islands are sinking under rising ocean waters and are battered regularly by Super Typhoons.  So maybe it's better I didn't get that dream after all, at least in terms of living a bit longer anyhow.

Besides that though, I don't really have much of a "Bucket List" of things I always wanted to do but never got a chance to do.  In terms of travel, I saw all of Europe, most of South America, the South Pacific Islands and Australia.  Never got to China or to Africa, but never really had the desire to see either of those places.  Today, I DEFINITELY would not want to travel to either one, in China you are lucky if the air is clean enough to breathe on a given day and in Africa your lucky not to contract Ebola or have your head lopped off with a machete.  Besides, are there any Lions or Elephants even left there to see on Safari?  I can watch a nice National Geographic documentary on You Tube from the 1970s and see Africa as it once was, I don't want to see it as it now is.  Besides it's fucking HOT in Africa, and I hate hot weather.

Speaking of not wanting to see things as they now are, another place I don't want to go is back to NY Shity to see my old neighborhoods and haunting grounds.  My old neighborhood of Flushing, Queens isn't even recognizable in pictures I Google up.  The great clubs I frequented like CBGBs and Max's Kansas City are all long gone, and even if they still existed I wouldn't want to be an old guy wandering around a music den stuffed with 20-somethings these days with the type of music that is popular now.  Everybody pierced up and tatoos from head to toe is just repulsive.  OK, I am sounding like Jimmy Kunstler now so I'll get off this topic. LOL.

So besides Travel, what are other things retirees put on their Bucket Lists?  Great Adventures doing something EXCITING!  Well, first off I would need to be healthy and not a cripple to do these things, but once again assume I was healthy. Do I want to jump out of an airplane with a parachute?  No, unless forced to do that because the plane is crashing, that is just a fucking stupid thing to do.  Do I want to climb Mt. Everest or K-2?  Another fucking stupid thing to do, they don't call it the DEATH ZONE up there for nothing you know.  Most of the lesser adventures like White Water Rafting or hunting for Bear I already did, so they are not on a Bucket List of things I never did but want to still do.

Bottom line here is I have no Bucket List at all, and I'm quite happy to be living peacefully in my digs, keyboarding Collapse on the Diner.  I have all the Food, Beer and Smokes I consume every day that I need, and the place is warm and cozy.  At least most of the time anyhow, except when the heat went out during the cold snap we had a couple of weeks ago anyhow. lol.  However, that was fixed inside a day by the maintenance man, and it never actually got below 49F in the digs, so I was in no danger of freezing to death at the time.  It was just a little uncomfortable.  I usually keep the heat down fairly low anyway, since I like it colder and it keeps my heating bill down too.  However, 49 and dropping is just a little too cold.  Low 60s is good for wandering around the digs in Flannel Pajamas or sweats, wearing some nice warm slippers. So even though being disabled is no fun, I don't feel like I missed out on anything because of it, but what I did get out of it was EARLY RETIREMENT! I am now at 2 years and still running without having to work, getting up each day to do mainly as I please, with the exception of having the continuing headache of litigating my SS-WC Case and making trips to the doctors as necessary.  Fortunately there seems to be no major life threatening problem at the moment, just the continuing annoyances.  My keyboard fingers still work fine though, and I think I have most of my marbles left so my prose comes out OK when I keyboard.  At least most of the feedback seems to indicate that anyhow in the blog commentariat, although I do get criticized for being nuts on the forum by a few people. lol.  So I am doing what I enjoy doing, I got no boss over me telling me what to do, I don't even have to get out of my Flannel Pajamas most days!  Only if I need to go on a Prep Run to pick up some Food or Beer do I need to get semi-decent in street clothes!

Getting to this point was not EZ though, for the first 7 months of this retirement I had no income and had to live off my savings, which fortunately I had enough of so I did not end up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska. More than half of the people in the FSoA could not have negotiated such a lengthy time with no income, most could not even make it for a month. So I was anxious and worried for this whole time, and anxious and worried is even worse than physical pain and disabiity, so that was not a great time in my retirement.  However, once my SS came through and then I won my WC Case and then got my Early Retirement Pension from the Union I worked for rolling in, my financial worries dissipated for the most part, although like with all people concerned about the financial end of collapse, that money is pretty ephemeral.  The money in the Credit Union Account could disappear any day the Credit Union or the whole financial system fails.  My Union Pension could disappear when the Pension Fund goes bankrupt.  My SS Bennies could disappear when SS goes tits up.  I do have enough food preps to keep going for a good year or so if/when all that occurs though, and at this point in my relatively long and crippled life, all I really want to live long enough to see is the collapse of the system that I was unhappy with for the entire time I walked the earth in this iteration in this corporeal host.  When the system goes down, I will go down with it, along with many others.  So it goes in a Civilization Collapse. The thing for me is, despite being a cripple now and not having the most dreamy of retirements, at least I GOT one, and now 2 years running!  As we move forward in collapse, retirement will be a thing of the past for all people, you will have to work in one sense or another until the day you die.  If it goes tribal and you are well respected as an Elder in the tribe, you may be supported by the tribe as a person who settles disputes and who advises on where to hunt, or where to plant crops etc, but that's still work, intellectual and social work.  If you are a useless hunk of old meat, one day you will wake up and the rest of the tribe has taken off on the move and left you behind.  Also as it spins down on the other end of the lifespan, many infants will be left exposed on moutaintops if the tribe cannot afford to support them or they are too deformed.  Or they will be dropped in a dumpster or garbage can. Dieoff of a Civilization is not a pretty thing to contemplate, but nevertheless these are things you need to grasp hold of if you are to be one of those few who can make it through the Zero Point.

I cherish my days of retirement, despite my disabilites.  I was lucky in when I was born and where I was born and to who I was born.  I walked the earth for near 60 years now, and got to see and do many things that most others who walked the earth never did.  Few if any who follow me will get to do all that either, and certainly not in the kind of world I was living in before it was totally consumed by industrial civilization.  If I had one wish that could have been granted, it would be to have been born 10-20 years earlier than I was, and been pushing 80 now instead of 60 and lived through the times Leonard Cohen did before he bought his ticket to the Great Beyond this year at 82.  I wish I was old enough to have been there in the Summer of Love in Haight-Ashbury.  I wish I had made it to Woodstock, but I was only 12 and my plans to run away from Summer Camp to go there were derailed.  I wish I had been on the bus with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, I wish I had been there to hear Allen Ginsburg read his poetry in some seedy Greenwich Village bar.  Alas, I was born a bit too late for all of that, but I did get to experience a whole lot that came after it, so I am grateful for that.

For the current generation of 20-somethings, these are the "good old days", assuming they live long enough to wistfully remember them.  As good old days go though, they are not so good for most of them stuck in dead end jobs as Starbucks Barristas or Fast Food workers or Checkout Clerks at Walmart.  They don't have health care insurance and they'll never get any time in retirement, crippled or not.  They will have a heck of an adventure in trying to stay alive though, and hopefully a few of them will manage to do that.

Now I will close this nostalgic post, because I need to change out of my Flannel Pajamas and go buy some beer on my mailbox money and craft a new letter to SS to try to find out WTF is going on with my case, and then Medicaid to see if I can get my damn ID card so I can find a new Primary Care Physician since my old one retired on Dec 31st and couldn't find a young doctor to take over his client list and practice.  This shit occupies my time in retirement, along with writing about the Collapse of Industrial Civilization on the Doomstead Diner.  Who could ask for a better retirement than that?

RE Medical Collapse Update

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 10, 2017

Mat-Su Health Services Clinic

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I am taking this week off from How I Survived Collapse for a Special Update on my Medical Issues, if anyone cares. lol.

This seemed like a good week to do this for a couple of reasons.  First, the whole Health Care shit is back in the newz since the Repugnants in charge of Da Goobermint are trying to dismantle Obamacare. Second, March marks the 2nd Anniversary since I left work and retired on disability and I haven't done an update on this stuff on the Blog in quite a while, although I do regularly update to my Diary inside the Diner on a restricted board (non-members can't see it).  That's where most of this article comes from, so regular Diners have read it already.

The back story to this set of posts is my Primary Care physician retired on New Year's  Day, and at the same time my old Obamacare Med Insurance expired.  In applying again to the website, it came back that now I am eligible for Medicaid.  Which is good, since the old insurance company that I had for the last two years pullled out of Obamacare.  Not so good because Medicaid is thoroughly fouled up, under-staffed  and under-funded, and like every other Goobermint agency is about impossible to contact by phone or email.  You can try snail mailing them, but often never get a reply.

That should catch the Blog Readers/Lurkers up enough to understand this week's Diary of the Collapse of my Health.



It finally came! (the Interview phone call from Medicaid) They actually called only 5 minutes late or so.  :icon_sunny:

Now, the letter I got stated that I could call them anytime BEFORE the scheduled interview to get it done earlier.  So, every day over the last 2 weeks I have called the phone number they list, and every day regardless of the time I call I get Voicemail.  So each time dutifully I leave my name, case number and phone number and ask them to get back to me ASAP because I am a dying cripple in need of medical attention, in the most pitiful voice I can muster up, and I am a good impressionist!  (check out my Winston Churchill impressions in my rants!  :icon_mrgreen: )

Does anyone EVER pick up the phone?  No.  Does anyone EVER return a Voicemail?  No.  Are any emails listed anywhere to send inquiries to?  No.  Do you ever get back any answers in a Snail Mail?  Sometimes, after a month or so.

OK, so now the Big Interview, which mainly amounted to me giving the usual verification of my SS#, Birthday and address.  Then we get into WTF have I not received an ID card so I can go to the fucking doctor?  According to the drone, I AM on Medicaid, and a card SHOULD have been sent to me by an automated system. But it wasn't.  So I then tell him I want whoever was responsible for NOT sending my card and jeopardizing my life to be held accountable.  He tells me nobody is responsible, it is an AUTOMATED system  So then I tell him I want the IT guys who programmed the system to send me a personal apology for putting my life in danger by screwing up their fucking code! He says he doesn't know who to contact to do that.  I tell him to make the request to his manager and send it up the line to the Chief of Medicaid in Alaska. LOL.

I am a real fun guy for Goobermint Apparatchiks when I finally do get these drones on the line.  :icon_mrgreen:

Now, with a certain amount of luck, MAYBE I get my Medicaid Cards in the mail in the next week.  If not, I will make an appointment at a Docs office anyhow, and when I get there tell them I am covered by Medicaid and THEY should contact the Medicaid office.  If they refuse me treatment, I will note this and sue the living shit out of them at a later date, if I am still alive.

Also, in September after 2 years on SSDI, I am supposed to be eleigible for Medicaire, but then this changes the Medicaid arrangement and I need to fill out a new application for THAT!  So I told the drone to send me this application along with the ID cards that were supposed to be sent to me by malfunctioning robots before.

Now, all this may make you think this was a Bad Newz Day for RE, but NOOOO, this was a GOOD NEWZ Day!  :icon_sunny:  At least I got a drone on the phone live to vent my spleen on and let him know how ineffectual and what a worthless piece of shit his agency is and how they are screwing over good hard working people who gave their entire lives to supporting the Industrial Economy and War Machine that supports it.

After I finish with my SS-WC case battle, I will be filing a Class Action Lawsuit for all Amerikans for $10T against the Federal Goobermint for Dereliction of Duty and Incompetence, and I will litigate it myself if I can't find a Scum Sucking Bottom Feeder Lawyer who will take the case!


————- New Doc appt 3PM tomorrow!   :icon_sunny:

I decided since I was told on the phone in my "interview" that I AM covered by Medicaid, despite the fact I still have no ID card to show that I would make an appt this week, assuming I could find a Doc that will even take Medicaid patients.  I will give them my SS # and they can send the bill to Medicaid.  In this case, for a simple Doc visit, the bill shouldn't be more than$200-300 or so and if I end up with the bill in the end, not a biggie.

So I went to the list given to me by my now retired Primary Care Physician and started making phone calls to get an appt.  The first two, no luck, they won't take any Medicaid patients.  Third one though is a clinic and they didn't even ask the question about what my coverage was.  Bad newz there was they said the first opening was not until April for an appt.  But then I put on my most pitiful Disabled Guy voice and act I could muster up, and the receptionist bimbo got me an appt for tomorrow.   :icon_sunny:

Current issues are not too bad, just the bowel issues and also a persistent ITCH on my back and shoulders, which I do not think is related to the neck injury, though it might be.  Also would like to have the Toe that had the nail removed looked at to see how it is doing.  Swelling in the lower legs is down and walking not painful right now, although any distance is a problem.  Gotta go real slow when I walk around the grocery store buying preps.  Can't use the Ewz yet because the bike path to 3 Bears is still iced over. I don't like scooters that the stores provide at all, so I walk it instead, albeit very slowly.  It's good exercise and helps blood flow.

The main thing here with this visit is to get established with a new Primary Care Physician, so that if/when I DO get a real serious issue crop up, I have somebody who knows my medical history and can get me referred in to some Pro from Dover who handles that type of issue.  I'm waiting for the Big C to show up in my Lungs of course, I figure that is the one that will eventually kill me, if the Zombies don't get me first.

I will report on the latest Doc Visit tomorrow after I get back to the Digs.



Good Newz!

I got in to see a Nurse Practitioner at the Mat-Su Health Services Clinic, which is now going to be my Primary Care facility.  It' s non-profit, one stop shop for Medical, Dental and Behavioral Health (Shrinks).  They take Medicaid!   :icon_sunny:

First thing was, they called me at 8AM to see if I could come in at 11:30 instead of the originally scheduled 3:30.  I happened to be awake, so I said OK.

So I tooke a nap until 10:30, then got into a cleaner set of clothes and headed out the door.  Bad newz here, slipped through the door was ANOTHER notice of an Inspection by the Management Gestapo!  Fortunately the place is not such a mess as it was last time and I probably could get it spruced up on my own, but I'll still call in the Pro Maids for a new cleansing. Apparently these inspections will now be held QUARTERLY!  That's ridiculous.  I then stopped off at my mailbox, and by another Finger of God moment, my Medicaid information was in the Mailbox! Not on a card though, it was a letter which had my ID number on it, but it still worked both at the clinic and the pharmacy later.

The place is very clean and nicely appointed, and there were only a couple of people in the waiting room.  After filling out the usual paperwork, after about 5 minutes I was seen by an intake clerk who got all my basic information into the computer.  Then back out to the lobby to wait another15 minutes, and then the Nurse called me in.  VERY low waiting time!

The Nurse did her usual job, taking down my recollections of my medical history and checking my vital signs.  Then she left and I waited around another 10 minutes and the NP showed up.  She was a nice enough woman overall, but I'd like to see a few different ones at the place if possible.  She took more medical history, and then we got into my specific problems for this visit, which is the persistent ITCH on my back & shoulders, and also have a look at how the toe with the toenail I got removed on New Years Day is doing.

After looking into my eyes and ears with the light and stethoscoping me, looking at my back she said it doesn't look like bug bites, and she thinks it might be a yeast infection.  She gave me a scrip for pills to take that may clear it up.  Get this though, it's exactly TWO pills, and I'm supposed to take one this week and another next week if it hasn't cleared up.  Tiny pills too, even smaller than a Tylenol capsule.  That must be some freaking powerful shit!

She also said some OTC Benadryl might help relieve the itch, so I picked up some of that too in my stop at the pharmacy.

Then we moved down to my feet, and after getting the bandage off she said the toe seemed to be healing OK, but I do probably have athlete's foot fungus there.  Fungi are having a field day feasting on RE!  So I gotta start hitting them with more OTC stuff like Lotrimin.  She also said she would try to get me an appointment with a Podiatrist, because sometimes if referred by an MD or NP, medicaid will cover it.  When I called the Foot Doc, they told me they didn't accept Medicaid, so that's when I went to the ER instead to have my toe fixed up.

I actually was able to get a price out of them for first visit, $300.  In this case, it was refreshingly priced pretty fairly.  I got over 2 hours of direct attention from the NP and the RN.  That's a fair price, unlike most of the offices where the doc goes running around from patient to patient, and if you see him for 15 minutes out of the hour you are doing good.  At my Neurosurgeon Pro from Dover's office, after the first visit I never even got to see the Great Man himself, just his PA, and her for only 15 minutes maybe.  Then the charge for these visits around double this one for $600 each.

I didn't have to pay any money though, the bill gets sent straight to Medicaid and the Taxpayer.  :icon_sunny:

After that I headed over to Wally World since it was on the way home and did some prep shopping, then stopped at 3 Bears to pick up my prescription.  The NP did not give me a paper scrip, they do it all electronically now, you pick your Pharmacy and it should be ready when you get there.  Mine was not however.

They needed my new Insurance Info (Medicaid) in order to fill the scrip.  I figured the info would be sent by the Clinic, so I left my letter from Medicaid in the car.  I figured wrong.  So I had to trudge back out to the car and go get it.   Then after they got the info into their computer, they finally started working on my scrip, for TWO pills.  This took about a half an hour because the Pharmacist Bean Counter was backed up with other orders.  I bided my time surfing the Diner and other sites for Collapse Newz, so not a lot different from home, except no BEER! lol.

Upon returning home pretty exhausted around 5PM (for me this is a very energetic and long day) I took my one anti-fungal super drug pill for the week, and a benadryl, and sprayed my feet with Lotrimin.  3 hours later, itch is still there, but not as bad and I haven't scratched it in the last hour.  NP told me to try to resist scratching, which usually makes things worse (which I know), but of course with a bad enough itch you just CAN'T resist scratching it.  Makes you wonder how Cows and other animals that get bitten by innumerable bugs tolerate the itches?  Any animal that CAN scratch, does scratch.  Cats, Dogs, Monkeys all scratch.  Also, what do other animals do when they get a Fungal Infection?  They can't go the Vet and get some super drug to cure it if they are wild animals.  How do they survive not being consumed by fungi?  ???  :icon_scratch:

Anyhow, at least now I know I got Med COVERAGE so if some big emergency crops up I can go to the Doc and not work up too big a tab.  Since the clinic now has a Dentista office upstairs I can use that too for the few teeth left in my mouth, and I believe Medicaid covers dentistry too (far as the Patient is concerned, the Dentist may not get paid though. lol).  I don't think they will do a full set of implants on Medicaid, but they probably will pay for a new set of dentures that maybe fit better and are more comfortable.

I don't think I will visit their Mental Health clinic though, even if Medicaid will pay for it.  I don't want to Depress any Shrinks explaining Doom to them and have them join the Nihilists and Misanthropes on NBL.  I would feel bad about that.  :icon_mrgreen:


Paranthetically, prior to this Coda, this article came in at PRECISELY 2525 Words.  Must be a Symbol.


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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 5, 2017

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I ran across a chart on Bloomberg which is perhaps the best demonstration to date that the Oil Economy is in Full On Collapse mode now.  The chart is of Oil Inventory in storage, and covers the last 35 years since 1982 of Oil Inventory in the FSoA, and is the Header Pic for this article.

Do you note the Hockey Stick nature of this graph?  For 35 years until 2014, Oil Inventories were kept within a very narrow range.  Supply & Demand were kept in balance by the folks in control of both the extraction of Oil and the production of money.  A more or less steady "growth" rate of the entire system was maintained, as oil output and population increased, the money supply increased in tandem with it, a couple of percentage points ahead which provided return on investment for those in charge of creating the money in the first place.  For everyone else, this appeared as Inflation as the cost of housing, food and just about everything else besides techological gizmos kept spiralling upward.

However, even through all the recessions through the 1980s to today, Oil Inventories always stayed inside this narrow range.  That includes the Great Recession following the 2008 Financial Crisis.  Something CHANGED in 2014 though, and my good friend Steve Ludlum of Economic Undertow pegged it to the month more than 2 years in advance with his "Triangle of Doom".  What changed at this time was that the cost of extracting oil went higher than the price the customers could afford to burn it at.  The price crashed, from over $100/bbl down to $40/bbl or so.

Charts by Steve Ludlum of Economic Undertow

August 2012 Prediction

April 2015 Reality

At this price, virtually nobody extracting oil makes a profit.  A few folks like the Saudis still have Legacy fields they can extract oil at a profit at $20/bbl, but across the whole of Saudi ARAMCO their costs are a good deal higher than that.  Here in Amerika, the Frackers may have got their extraction costs down to $60/bbl in some of their better fields, but they're still not making a profit at $50/bbl.  Just not bleeding money quite so fast,and if they are TBTF, then Wall Street keeps rolling over their loans to keep them floating another day.  This is better in the short term than having to write down $Billions$ in losses, which then would make the bank itself insolvent.

So what has occured here in the Oil Trading market since 2014?  Well, Oil Traders keep holding back selling until they can make a profit.  But in the $50 range they mostly can't, so the oil stays in a tank somewhere while they wait for the price to go back up, but it doesn't.  Meanwhile, the Extractors of Oil all around the world keep extracting, because they have to do that to pay their bills.  Crude keeps piling up because Konsumers refuse to burn the shit fast enough, because they can't AFFORD to burn it faster!

Until they lower the price DRASTICALLY, the glut will continue to accumulate.  Eventually here, they will run OUT of tanks to store this shit in, and it does cost money every day to keep the Oil you bought at one price stored in a tank somewhere to sell on another later date at the higher price you hope for.  NOBODY wants to "buy high, sell low"!  That's a recipe for Bankruptcy of course.  So they keep the oil in the tanks, and they keep filling up more and more.

Oil Tanker Parking Lot off Singapore

Inevitably, a LIQUIDATION SALE has to come here.  There is not endless room for storage of this stuff above ground, and besides that it's expensive to store all that oil. Whoever owns it is bleeding red ink as long as they hold onto it.

Now, whenever you read any of the Oil pundits, they will tell you the reason for the glut is either OPEC members cheating on their quotas, Iranians bringing more Oil online or FSoA shale frackers drilling more wells.  But is the total global production really up all that much?  No, in fact it's been going down since it peaked in August of 2015.  So if it's not the supply going up, why the glut?


Because they massage the figures everywhere else in the economy to show "growth" and nobody wants to admit being in a recession, Oil inventory keeps growing.  This figure you can't massage (well not too much), because the stuff is a physical quantity that has to be stored in…something.  So they have to know where they are going to put it.

Oil is a Global Commodity, in which the FSoA is among the largest consumers but it's not the only consumer.  Europe as a whole consumes a lot, China consumes a lot also.  All the consumption is not Happy Motoring either, a lot of it is industrial consumption.  Globally in aggregate, if the economy was truly growing we would be consuming more Oil, not less.

Sometimes when I make the Demand Argument with respect to both the price and the glut, critics will tell me, "But RE, the traffic is just as bad as ever and everybody in my neighborhood is still driving gas guzzling SUVs!".  Well, that may be true in your neighborhood, but in somebody's neighborhood somewhere it's definitely NOT true.

My best guess is most of the reduction in demand is coming from southern Europe, where they have been in severe recession for years now.  This is probably also bleeding into the Chinese manufacturing sector with declining demand for their toys.  So then they use less Oil in the manufacturing process.

With a declining amount of total production, along with a Hockey Stick graph of skyrocketing inventory, the only answer can be declining global demand for Oil.  In order to get the demand up, they have to drop the price down.  But they're already losing money at the current price in the $50 range.  So the traders keep hanging on for the day the demand will magically rebound here and the consumers will step back up to the pump and pay the prices they need to make a profit.  There is however no reason at the moment to believe that the consumers will magically get more money to pay more for the oil, they already have trouble paying for it at the price it is selling for now.

Unlike the magical world of Money where you can conjure as many digibits as you want out of thin air and which takes virtually no room to store inside a laptop, Oil is a physical commodity which must be burned to have value.  If it's not burned as fast as it is pumped, then it's going to lose value.  The traders don't want to recognize the loss of value though, because they will take a serious bath.  A bloodbath.  They don't have to take the write down though until they actually sell the stuff.  So they don't sell, they keep it stored on a tanker somewhere and pay the daily storage fees out of more borrowed money, which the banks keep lending them because they will go tits up when the traders they lent money to go tits up. No matter how much money they lend to keep storing the Oil though, eventually they're going to run out of room.  Then EVERYBODY will HAVE to stop pumping Oil until they work through the glut.  Given there is double the normal inventory, this could take a little while.  Can any Oil Producing nation go even a week without the revenue from their Oil?

This condition of extreme glut has to break, and the only way to break it is a major reduction in the price.  When that comes, there will be carnage all across the energy and banking industries.  I don't know how long before the last storage tank and VLCC tanker will be full up, but I can't imagine it is too far off.  The End Game Approaches.

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 17

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 3, 2017

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Karl called Karen and told her about the plans for the weekend, although he didn't mention that Kenny would be bringing along Kirsten for further work on the Lean-To and Funicular Railway and cable system to move materials and game meat up and down the mountain.  He wasn't entirely sure Kirsten was even going to come, so he didn't want to set off any kind of firestorm before it actually occured.  He could tell Karen and Kenny were attracted to each other, and he definitely did not want to be in the middle of that!  Handling his own love life had been tough enough, and basically he had been a miserable failure at it so trying to help anyone else with this existential problem was just a bad idea he had to stay out of.

Hearing the news from Karl that a weekend getaway at the Lean-To was planned, she got a couple of the other waitresses at Quinn's to cover her shifts and packed up a Backpack for a full camping trip.  She even threw in an Inflatable Kayak into her trunk in case they hit some paddleable waters.  Inflatables were no good for whitewater, but they were fine on flat water lakes and a good workout.  Early Friday Morning, Huckleberry jumped in the backseat of the 2004 Ford Escort for the drive to Karl's Doomstead, which took about an hour in good weather on the highway doing around 60mph and then the back roads after that averaging around 30.  For the last bit, you couldn't do more than 15 or so unless you wanted to completely ruin the suspension on a Ford Escort 2WD.  Karl's big ass Chevy 4WD pickup and suburban could negotiate it around 30, but the Ford would be a pile of junk on the road inside a mile at that speed.  Found On Road Dead.

Cruising into Karl's Doomstead location, Kirsten saw Karl walking down the trail from the Earthship past the goats and horses which were out grazing in the fenced in pasture. His security systems had announced her arrival when she turned up the last logging road before getting to his own private road and driveway in. Huckleberry  jumped out of the car and went running across the field to say hello to her new friends Mr. Ed and Quick Draw.

"Hey Dad!  Great to see you again!" Karen exclaimed planting a big kiss on Karl's weathered cheek.  Karl flushed with joy, it was wonderful to have his daughter with him again.

"Kenny's not here yet?  When do you expect him?  I'm itching to get out on the trail!",  Karen inquired not seeing Kenny's Van and Trailer Rig on the property.

"Kenny's already up at the Lean-To.  He hiked in there from one of the public parking lots on the other side of the forest."

"Oh yea?  How come?" Karen asked.

"He brought a friend with him, and we want to vet her a  little more before bringing her here to the Doomstead", Karl replied.

"Kenny's got a girlfriend?".  Karen's heart sunk as she was hoping to get a little closer with Kenny over the weekend.

"Well, I'm not sure she's his girlfriend.  They knew each other in High School but only recently met each other again. So I think they are just friends."

This brightened Karen's attitude a lot, although she was now kicking herself for not inviting Kenny to sleep with her the prior weekend.  The early bird catches the worm!

"Well then, let's get going!" Karen said, pulling her backpack out of the car, as well as two small doggie pack panniers to strap on Huckleberry so she could carry her own food in, as well as a big beef bone to knaw on over the 3 day camping trip.

Karl and Karen got the saddles out of the barn area of the earthship and whistled over Mr.Ed and Quickdraw to get them saddled up and get the two travois attached.  Karl had materials he needed to bring along for the building project, plus there was some stuff in Kenny's van they would need to fetch as well.  Over the rough terrain off trail in Lolo National Forest, wheeled trailers and carriages just wouldn't work, and travois were the best way for hauling materials around.

It was still fairly early and the ride went pretty quickly, and as they neared the base of the mountain for the final climb up to the Lean-To, Karen could smell bacon frying and coffee perking.  She unloaded her own pack and headed up the hill to meet up with Kenny and her new competition, Kirsten.  Karl stayed at the bottom of the hill unpacking the travois, since he wanted to take as few trips up as possible to save his arthritic knees.  The young folks could do the heavy hauling.

"Hi Kenny! Hi Kirsten!" Karen greeted them.  Karl had informed her of Kirsten's name during the ride over to the Lean-To.  Karen was surprised at how small Kirsten was, maybe not even 5' tall.  She had strawberry blond hair, green eyes and freckles on her nose, and Karen simply towered over her.  Compared to her C cup size breasts, Kirsten appeared to be flat as a board.  The two young women could not have been more physically different.  Small as she was though, Karen couldn't help but notice how muscular she was, some kind of athlete for sure.  Given her small size, probably a gymnast Karen concluded.

"Hey Karen!  Great to see you!  We have breakfast almost ready.  Where's Karl?" Kenny asked.

"He's down at the base unloading the travois.  We have to go down and drag the stuff up, dad's knees aren't up to the task."

"We can do that after breakfast." Kirsten chirped up.  "I'll go down and get him."

"Oh, you don't need to do that, I'll call him on the walkie-talkie." Karen replied, pulling the Motorola FRS Radio from out of her backpack.

Kirsten laughed.  "I keep forgetting you guys are all preppers and have all this kind of gear."  Kirsten eyed Karen carefully, as well as Kenny's reaction as she came into the campsite.  There was clearly an attraction between them, so there was definitely competition there.  She was glad she had zipped together their sleeping bags the night before to make the beast with two backs before going to sleep and then again in the morning when they woke up.  Was Kenny sleeping with Karen also, she wondered?

Karl came trudging up the mountain after getting the call on the walkie-talkie from Karen, and his mouth watered at the smell of the frying bacon and coffee perking over the open fire.  Kenny had brought along his folding Coleman camping grate to do most of the cooking this way, he only brought his Jetboil butane powered lightweight hiking stove in case they did an overnight higher up the mountain looking for Big Horn Sheep trails and droppings, so they would know where to hunt once the hunting season was open.

While the bacon was frying, Kenny pulled out an onion and green pepper from his knapsack and started dicing it up for an omelette, and Karl gave him a block of goat cheese to add to that, as well as a tomato from his raised beds.  He handed Karen a couple of potatoes from his Potato Towers that he had previously done a quick precook in the microwave before leaving.  He and Kenny had the breakfast preplanned with all the fixings.

"Can you dice these up to make some home fries in the skillet Karen?" he requested.

"Sure dad.  I'll add some of Kenny's onion to that too."

"You preppers certainly know how to live well out on the trail." Kirsten commented as she sipped the Morrocan coffee that Kenny had ground up earlier with his hand cranked coffee grinder.  "I always think of preppers as Survivalist types who rough it, like Bear Grylls or something."

"Bear Grylls is a fucking media fake." Karl huffed. "For real survivalist type living, you need to go to Cody Lunden.  However, for now there is no reason not to live in comfort while we still can." Karl continued.  "There will be plenty of time to rough it in the future."

"Too true." Kenny agreed.  "Besides, if we overnight further up the mountain tonight or tomorrow night, we'll be eating Freeze Dried Mountain House Beef Stroganoff, which is pretty good for freeze dried food but its still freeze dried.  Here at the base camp, we can eat like Kings!"

"Oh I'm definitely up for going up the mountain!  I already spotted some good faces to do some free climbing.", Kirsten said excitedly.

"So you're a rock climber, Kirsten?  I would have pegged you for a gymnast at your size and build."

"I started as a gymnast, did that into my teens.  I still do gymnastics for fun though."  Kirsten put down her coffee cup and did a Stalder Press to Handstand on the log she was sitting on, then did a Pike Press down and an immediate Standing Full Twisting Back Tuck off the log and onto the ground, seemingly effortlessly.  "See?", she smiled, enjoying doing some showing off in front of Kenny.

Not only Kenny was impressed, Karen and Karl also nearly dropped their coffees watching the ease with which Kirsten puled off these stunts.

"Wow!  That's amazing Kirsten!" Karen exclaimed.

"Anyhow, I got into rock climbing later because my gymnastics career kind of stalled out at Level 9, I wasn't getting any new tricks.  The gym I went to wasn't really high level, and I didn't want to leave home to go train at an Elite gym.  So I switched over to rock climbing.  This happens a lot in gymnastics because there aren't many high level gyms around, and also gymnasts often stall out because of fears or they get too tall.  I didn't have any problems with fear or getting tall though." Kirsten laughed.  "Do you do any sports Karen?  You look to be pretty strong."

"Yes, I do White Water and Flat Water Kayaking and Triathalon. I also played Volleyball in college, where being tall helps a lot.  I was a Spiker. I'm more of an endurance athlete type though." she replied.

"What about you Kenny?  Any sports in your background?", Karen asked.

"Martial Arts, Archery and Fencing." Kenny replied.  "I got into them in Junior High when I became a Kollapsnik.  I have black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Aikido.  I'm also an expert marksman in both Pistol and Rifle.  I also spend an hour every morning at the Fitness Club pumping iron.  Also chop a lot of wood and dig a lot of holes." Kenny said with a laugh.

"Sadly, my sporting days are mostly over," Karl remarked wistfully, "although I'm a pretty good marksman myself and I'm quite proficient with an Atl-Atl and sling as well, and Staff fighting." he remarked, pulling a sling out of his pocket and picking up a nice roundish rock.  "See that rock over there?" he asked pointing to a rock about the size of a jack rabbit 30 yards away.  Then with a quick motion the rock was loaded into the pouch of the sling and it circled quickly  over his head and with a motion not unlike a baseball pitcher but with a much longer lever arm, and the rock flew out of the sling and hit the larger rock just about dead center.

"Wow Karl!  That's really good!", Kenny exclaimed.  "I've messed around with slings but no way could I hit a target that small so far away."

"Lotta years of practice, Kenny." Karl replied, proud that he had some skill he could still show off.

"I'd also really like to learn to use an Atl-Atl.  You'll have to teach me.", Kenny added.

"What's an 'Atl-Atl' ", Kirsten asked.

"It's a spear throwing device.  It increases the range and speed at which you can throw a
 spear, similar in the way the sling  increases the range and speed at which you can throw a rock.  It increases the lenght of the lever arm in the throwing motion." Karl replied.

"Oh! That sounds really cool!  I'd like to learn how to use one of those." Kirsten said with her usual bubbly enthusiasm.

"Me too dad!" Karen added.

"Sure.  I'll teach all of you.  We can do sling and Atl-Atl training on camping trips.  Great way to pass the time if you don't have other projects to do."  Karl was glad he had a bunch of interested Millenials he could pass this knowledge and skill onto before buying his Ticket to the Great Beyond.

Finishing up breakfast and doing cleanup on the cookware and dishes, everyone was well packed with calories to begin the day's work of a Kollapsnik Prepper.

"So what are we doing today?  Climbing?", Kirsten asked hopefully.

"No, we'll go climbing and exploring tomorrow." Kenny replied. "Today we're going to start work on a Funicular Railway and Cable System to more easily get materials up the slope from base camp and then get game meat back down to where we can get it over to Karl's place with his horses."

"You have horses Karl?" Kirsten inquired.  "I love horseback riding!" she effervesced.

"Maybe we can go for a ride together later Kirsten.  Kenny doesn't ride.", Karen responded.  Despite her sense of a competition for Kenny's affections, Kirsten bubbly nature was quite engaging and she was starting to like her quite a bit.

"I don't know how to ride YET!", Kenny said indignantly, feeling a bit left out.  "That's another thing on the list of stuff to learn this summer!"

"Oh, no problem Kenny, I'll be happy to teach you!" Karen remarked, now finding an opening to get some alone time with Kenny.

Like Karen, Kirsten was beginning to like her quite a bit as well, although this offer to teach Kenny horseback riding gave her a pang of jealousy.  She might be planning other lessons in other kinds of riding for Kenny also.

"Well, before anyone does any riding, we need to get the materials we brought up the mountain." Karl said. "I'll finish the cleanup here from breakfast while you 3 get that job done."

"Sounds like a plan, Karl." Kenny replied. "Let's go ladies!" Kenny said with a smile.

They unloaded their backpacks to have room to carry up the tools and hardware Karl had brought, which with 3 of them working did not take very long.  Although Karen and Kenny were much larger than Kirsten, she was much faster climbing up and down the slope and made 3 trips in the time it took them to make two.  So in all they brought up pretty much the same amount each, working up a decent sweat doing it.

"That went pretty fast!" Karl remarked. "So where do we get started?"

"There's still hardware I bought this week at Home Depot in my trailer Karl.  I figured you and Karen would ride the horses over there to get the stuff, but since Kirsten also rides, they can go together to get the stuff.  You and I can stay here and start cutting down some saplings to make rails with.  You did bring some axes and saws, right?"

"Yup, sure did." Karl replied, nodding his head.  "I've got a couple of hand axes, camping saws and my Dewalt Cordless Electric Chainsaw as well.  It's much quieter than my gas models, so less chance of anyone hearing us and reporting us to the Rangers.  Less powerful of course, but plenty strong enough to buzz through 2" diameter saplings with a quick swipe."

"OK, we'll get going then.  Kirsten, can you navigate us back to the lot where Kenny parked the Van?", Karen asked.

"Ummm, not sure about that…", Kirsten replied.

"No issues.  Here's my GPS.  It has the route we took here stored and the location of the van as well.", Kenny said, handing her the GPS.

Karen and Kirsten headed down the hill to where Mr. Ed and Quickdraw were tied to a couple of trees, with Karen mounting Mr. Ed since he was a slightly larger horse than Quickdraw and Kirsten mounting the smaller horse.  She still was a good deal below the saddle height, but mounted as quickly as Karen with a quick jump and pull on the pommel on the Western Saddle..  Getting up high off the ground with a jump was something she trained how to do from the age of 5.

For the early part of the ride until getting to the trails, they went at a slow walking speed, but then were able to trot for much of the rest of the ride with the travois empty and light. They were able to cover the 8 miles to the van relatively quickly.    On the way back with the travois loaded, they would have to go at a slow walk so it would take longer.  They wouldn't be making it back until quite close to lunchtime.

The two young women settled in for the ride and rode side by side to chat as much as they could, although often spots were narrow or only passable in one place, so they had to ride single file.  The main subjects of the chat were, collapse, prepping, and of course, Kenny.  Although most curious about the last one and Kirsten's relationship with him, Karen saved that until they had more time to get to know each other and hit the less charged topics first.

"So Kirsten, how long have you been interested in Collapse issues?"

"mmm, pretty recently after taking some Ecology courses in college.  One of my professors was pretty convinced we're going to have a major ecological collapse and a possible Near Term Human Extinction.  How about you?"

"Really just since I got together with my dad, Karl.  I didn't even know he was my dad until last winter my mom told me right before she died.  I just got together with him a couple of weeks ago and he's been giving me the crash course, including reading assignments on the Doomstead Diner.", Karen said with a laugh.

"That's an interesting coincidence.  Kenny also gives me reading assignments on the Diner.", Kirsten replied.

That gave Karen the opening she needed.

"Yea, they are both "Lurkers" on the Diner.  So, how long have you known Kenny?", Karen asked in as neutral a voice as she could muster up.

Kirsten suspected Karen was probing her on her relationship with Kenny, but she wasn't even sure of it herself and certainly wasn't the type of girl to "kiss and tell".

"Oh, I knew him in High School.  Well, more accurately I knew OF him.  He was considered a character and nerd and kind of a nut case, going on rants about collapse over the lunch table.  A couple of weeks ago though I saw him at a local hangout, and since I got interested in collapse I decided to go talk to him and pick his brain.  He talked my ear off.", Kirsten said, rolling her eyes.  "It was really interesting though.  He's a fountain of information on the topic."

"Hmmmm, that's another interesting coincidence.", Karen mused. "That's around the same time I got together with Karl."

"Must be Karma.", Kirsten replied.

Amerikan Constipation

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on February 26, 2017

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For those of you who do not like to listen to old guys rant about their medical issues, or who find discussions of such issues that relate to your alimentary canal and excretory functions unpleasant, you probably want to skip over the introduction to this article.  lol.  HERE is a link which will bypass this for you so you can focus on the more social argument I will make down the line here. lol. For most of my life until this point, I have never had much problem with CONSTIPATION.  As in being so blocked up with hard shit I couldn't push it out my ass.  I have had a few occasions over the course of my life where it was HARD to take a shit, but I always was able to press the turd out of my ass if I pushed hard enough.  I had many MORE problems with DIARRHEA over the years, particularly when I was regularly eating in Truck Stops and would periodically get mild Tomane Poisoning from the Haute Cuisine offered up at the Buffet..  Also my penchant for Mexican foods that are hot and spicy also led to quite a few episodes of diarrhea.

My first engagement with a real constipation problem came directly after my neck operation, because the types of drugs they use to knock you out also cause your alimentary canal muscles to stop working so good.  So for two days after the operation I couldn't take a shit.  They wouldn't release me from the hospital before I took a shit either, as well as pissed out my bladder which also was blocking up and not doing its job right of getting the waste out of my body.  In fact, I had a nice young Nurse try to stick a catheter up my dick to drain the bladder.  They asked me if I would prefer a Male Nurse to do this job,and I said no, a Female is fine.  She wasn't able to get the catheter all the way into my bladder though, so they gave me a reprieve for another few hours and I pissed some.  Fortunately, finally on Day 2 I both took a really good shit and pissed out about a quart of urine, so I got released. On returning home, I had a prescription for a "stool softener" to help me with shitting in the early days after the operation.  I took it for about a week, but the shit was coming out OK so I stopped taking it before I ran out, I had enough for 2 weeks.  All was pretty copacetic, except that I did have an "immediacy" problem, which still exists.  In this problem, it is neither constipation or diarrhea, it's that when you get the URGE and Nature Calls, if you don't make it to a toilet bowl inside like 30 seconds, you will shit or piss your pants.  So I am always concerned these days on how close a bathroom is and how fast I can get to it.  I know where all the main public bathrooms are in the stores I shop at.  So as of yet, I haven't had a real bad "accident" although a couple of minor ones.  I am loathe to buy myself Depends "Adult Diapers", it's just so pitiful I can't do it.

Anyhow, I am doing more or less OK with my excretory functions until last week.  Last week I started to get somewhat constipated, but was still able to press out some small turds.  I figured the problem would resolve itself, it always had before and I never had to buy any Laxatives to help me out on this issue.

But then, over the weekend it got worse.  I would get the URGE, run to the toilet and drop my pants as fast as I could, sit on the toilet and PRESS!  But nothing came out the back end of my anus.  However, the pressing relieved the urge, and I could once again return to the keyboard to do Diner tasks.  Full of even MORE SHIT than I usually am! LOL. This started occurring more regularly though, to the point every 2 hours or so the urge would come, rinse and repeat for the whole weekend with nothing exiting my anus.  What was occurring here?

Well, every time I got one of these urges, more shit material was moving down from my small intestine to my large intestine, and every time I did this pushing, all that was occurring was that the PLUG OF HARD SHIT was getting bigger and even harder to push out.  So now I am starting to worry my bowels will EXPLODE! But I am still not in pain yet, just uncomfortable.

On Monday, I resolve to go over to 3 Bears and hit the OTC (Over the Counter) Drug Aisle to buy whatever they are selling to help you shit. I couldn't find the leftover stool softening pills I had from the operation. I buy two different kinds of laxatives, one that softens stool and the other that draws water into your bowels, and then also Mineral Oil which lubricates the shit on the way out the door.  This is nasty stuff to have to drink.  This should hopefully be enough to resolve my problem without going to the Emergency Room with no Insurance in place yet, I hope.

But, after about half the day, still no shit coming out of my anus and I am getting bad cramps and pain in my lower abdomen.  Now I figure I am going to HAVE to go to the Emergency Room to have them clean out my ass! Except at the moment I still do not have my medical insurance issues worked out, although I am supposed to have an interview with Medicaid by March 3rd to resolve this problem. But then, I get another urge to sit on the toilet and can FEEL this HUGE plug of shit just holding it all back, and I decide I will be MY OWN PROCTOLOGIST!  I dig into my Preps and find my package of latex gloves (I'm not allergic), slip one on my good left hand and then go about the task of DIGGING the shit out of my asshole with my middle finger!

The first two scoops break up the big plug,then a couple of more scoops get some more semi-solid stuff out, and then POOF the rest of the shit blows out my ass like an Elon Musk Rocket!  It came out so fast I am lucky I was not propelled into low earth orbit, if not in fact out of the Solar System on a Journey to a habitable exoplanet!  Talk about RELIEF! LOL.

This self-proctology saved me a good $200 EZ at the Emergency Room, and until the Medicaid issue is resolved this would have been on my tab.  Self-proctology saved either me or the taxpayers $200! 🙂

So, OK, what does this all have to do with our general social problems?  Well you see, our POTUS Trumpty Dumpty is like that big plug of shit keeping me from getting rid of the rest of the shit in my body.  When you have a Shit Plug this bad, OTC Pharmaceuticals alone are not enough to clear it out!  You need to physically get IN there and clear the shit out of the canal!  Shit mining your asshole is ESSENTIAL!  Even amateurs can do this, you don't need to go to Med Skule and spend $200K getting a Sheepskin for Asshole Mining for Turds either! In the interim since I wrote this article, a new (old) issue has made it back into the Newz, the problem of Transgender shitting and pissing.  Going back to when Obama-sama was POTUS, he made it legal for Transgender students to use whichever bathroom in school the kid wants to use, "Boys" or "Girls", depending on which group he/she self-identifies with regardless of the actual plumbing equipment supplied by nature. His Trumpness has now rescinded this law, and now once again people with cocks are supposed to use the "Boys" room and people with cunts are supposed to use the "Girls" room.

The thing is, both shitting and pissing cross ALL Gender barriers, racial and ethnic barriers too!  EVERYBODY HAS TO PISS AND SHIT!  Every day too if you are not constipated!  Why do we need separate facitilies for doing this excretion task?  You want some privacy while you strain to get the turd out of your ass, you go in the little stall with the Porcelain God, lock the door on the stall and SQUEEZE as hard as you can, hopefully not moaning so loud it disturbs the Wa of the shitters in the other stalls next to you.  Does it matter if this is Boy-Shit or Girl-Shit?  Can you tell the difference between turds even with an Electron Microscope?  No, you can't,  Boy-Shit and Girl Shit are completely indistiguishable!

Inside the Diner, I announced the beginning of a new (Bowel) Movement, the One Bathroom Movement, or OBM in Diner Acronym Language (DAL).

I am starting a New Movement, the One Bathroom Movement, or OBM.

The OBM advocates for One Bathroom for ALL People, regardless of Race, Personal Plumbing Equipment, Ethnicity, Wealth or Gender Identity.

The OBM states that ALL People Piss and Shit, and when they need to do so are entitled to use ANY public facility with a commode that will flush the shit to the nearest Sewage Treatment Plant.

The One Bathroom Movement is Catholic, in the original sense of the word as "Universal".  It brings together ALL Homo Saps who piss and shit, which is of course all of them.  Pissing and Shitting is something we can all rally around and agree on!  We all HAVE to do it!  It's not a fucking OPTION!  Muslim Illegal Immigrants shit, and so does Donald Trump!  Nancy Pelosi shits too!  Even Kim Kardashian shits, although her turds supposedly smell better than the average turd.

The One Bathroom Movement will be organizing a March on Washington on April 1st, 2017 to declare our independence and freedom to shit where we need to, when we need to.  We hope all shitters will join us in this protest, and surround the White House with a Million Shitter Army!

Be there or be square, and Bring Your Own Toilet Paper! (BYOTP) Besides the fact you can't tell the difference between Boy-Shit and Girl-Shit is the fact once it does hopefully exit your anus without too much strain, it all goes to the same fucking place, the local sewage treatment plant, transported by formerly clean and potable water but now in need of some decontamination before it is dropped back in the local river so when the next folks downstream get it, they don't have to do too much purification or flouridation and chlorination to make the water potable for their population,before they ALSO flush their shit down the toilet with the purified water.  Does something seem stupid to you with this system?  It does to me.

It also is fucking stupid to have separate shitting facitlies for people, regardless of race or gender.  You don't need separate toilet facilities for Boys and Girls any more than you need them for Blacks and Whites.  Everyone is doing EXACTLY the SAME THING!  Pissing and Shitting, aka excreting!  ALL animals do it!!

Getting back to the Political allegory here, Trumpty-Dumpty is a bad shit plug, but of course all of CONgress is one big shit plug too!  We're not going to solve our political problems until we don the latex gloves, get in there and start digging out the shit!  There is NO clean way to do this job!  When you have this much shit piled up and compressed, you can't even compost it anymore or press it out by normal means!  You need to blow it out your ass at hypersonic speed, into the stratosphere at least or preferably to another dimension of the space-time continuum! The Amerikan Political system has a REALLY BAD case of constipation.  The shit has been plugging up in there at least since Lyndon Baines Johnson & Tricky Dick Nixon, although really it goes all the way back to George Washington!  For 100s of years, little pieces of shit have been populating the CONgress, writing new laws which stay in the bowels of the law code basically forever, even long after the CONgress critter who wrote the law is dead.  We are in desperate need of a National Laxative and Proctologists who will invade the National Asshole in Washington and dig this shit out of there!  Otherwise, the shit will explode out of the National Intestines while still encased in the body, and kill it!

If we cannot find enough trained professional Proctologists who will do this job, then all of us Amateur Proctologists will need to do the Shit Mining in Washington.  Don your Latex Gloves and get Fingering!

Below, some new lyrics to Carly Simon's "Anticipation". icon_mrgreen


Constipation (Sing to the Tune of Anticipation by Carly Simon)

We can never know about the shits to come
But we drop them in the toilet anyway
And I wonder if I can poop it out anyhow?
Or just wait to shit another sunny day?

Constipation, Constipation
Is making me blocked
Is making my shit like hardened rocks

And I tell you how soft my stools used to be
And how easy to exit my anus it was for me
But I pushed my hardest all last night
When I was squeezing my ass with all my might

Constipation, Constipation
Is making me blocked
Is making my shit like hardened rocks

And tomorrow my bowels might EXPLODE
I'm no prophet, I just need to drop a load
So I'll try to empty my bowels right now
And stay on the toilet, because that's the safest place to be.


How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 16

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Published on The Doomstead Diner February 24, 2017

Discuss this story at the Collapse Narratives Table inside the Diner

PM Stream on the Doomstead Diner Forum Private Message Channel (PM) between Kenny & RE


Greetings RE!

I have been a lurker on the Diner almost since you began it in 2012.  I am a regular reader, and get many of my ideas from your website.

Currently, together with a friend we have a large property in the lower 48 we would like to get a SUN☼ Community going on when TSHTF.  However, we are highly concerned about security and about simply inviting people to the place now, which would make it too widely known.  We estimate our possible carrying capacity for our land to be about 200 people, although it could be substantially more since the properties are adjacent to a large National Forest.

Do you have any suggestions on how we might find some people, but not necessarily give them the location of the Doomstead at this time?



Greetings to you also KK!

5 years is a long time to Lurk!  Better late than never though.

Balancing the need for maintaining security and anonymity while at the same time developing a community is pretty tough nut.  Let me ponder on this for a night.  Right now, how many people know about the property?"


Right now just 3 of us.  Me, an older guy and his daughter.  He's a kind of hermit and has been around here since the 70s.  He's a lurker on the Diner also.  Paranoid about security so he doesn't post to websites, just reads them.  I use anonymous proxy servers.  None of us have any real close friends, but both me and Karen do know quite a few people from back in "civilization".  I still work back there, and just come out on the weekends in my Stealth Van & Trailer to prep up my property.  I glommed that idea from the Diner. 🙂


Cool!  I'd love to see some pics of your rig!

What's your money situation like?  Do you have enough to prepare for such a large community when TSHTF?


We're pretty OK for money, Karl has more than me but even with that I don't think we could build everything for so many people just on our own.


OK, that's enough for tonight, I'm going to have to ponder on this to work up a plan.  I'll PM you tomorrow.


OK, sounds good.



OK, I think I have a plan.

You are going to need 3 Levels for potential community members, with different levels of clearance.

Level 1:  The people you vet and REALLY trust, who you could bring to your doomstead now to help build things before TSHTF.

Level 2:  People who you pretty much trust to at least have your email addy and phone number, and who you can tell that you have a doomstead, and if things get bad they should get in touch with you.

Level 3:  People you trust least, but might be helpful to have, especially if your total numbers in Level 1 and Level 2 are not sufficient to protect and defend your doomstead.  These folks you should have their phone number and in a SHTF scenario send them a text with the lat/lon of a meeting point somewhere away from your property and told to bring an FRS Radio for further information when they get there.  They should have specific times when you will be in range to contact them via the FRS.  You can also set up a website on free WordPress space where they can go for information, with a password to get in to members only area.

Of course, if the internet goes dark before the L3 people are contacted, the website won't work.  However I think in most situations we'll know things are going south with at least a few days before the web is out for good.  L2 people will need the cell phone network still operational, that should last a bit longer.  If it is safe enough and you know their physical location, you might go out looking for them, if you have some means of transportation.


That sounds like a pretty good plan RE!  I will run it by Karl and Karen next weekend and see what they think.


Hope it works out OK.  Hey, besides taking some shots of your Stealth Van setup, could you take some pics of your doomstead and what you guys are setting up?  I'd love to blog about it.  You can keep all the location information anonymous and no pictures of your faces or other identifying information.  People should know that there are SUN Communities that are being set up.


I'll ask Karl about that too.  As long as there is no identifying information, I don't see why it would be a problem.


Also, we should make some plans for SUN Communities and independent Doomsteads to stay in touch after TSHTF.  I've got a shortwave setup here, do you have shortwave?


Karl has a shortwave.  I'll get his call sign and we can decide on frequencies to check.  Also exchange Public Keys for GPG4USB encryption and some verbal passphrases.


Uggh.  I keep screwing up with that.  Don't use my current Public Key.  I need to make a new one.  I will send it to you next time we talk.


OK, sounds good, I will contact you again next week after I speak with Karl and Karen.


Great!  Talk to you next week!  Hasta la Pasta!


Kenny copy/pasted the PM chats with RE into an encrypted file on his smart phone, so he could go over the ideas in detail with Karl & Karen the following weekend.

Otherwise, it was back to the grind of mowing lawns on his Zero Turn Mower for the week, finding spots to park the Stealth Van for the night that wouldn't be rousted by the Gestapo, and shopping at Home Depot for all the gear necessary to start construction of the Funicular Railway and Cable System to move gear up the mountain and game meat back down.  It was a long list of stuff, and each time he read through it he realized something was missing.

On Wednesday, his smart phone rang, and he jumped.  His phone almost never rang, only occassional calls from clients with some emergency like a downed tree poking its way through the rooftop of the McMansion.  An evening call after bizness hours almost never came.  It was Kirsten.

"Hi Kenny!  It's Kirsten!  I was wondering if we are still on for going camping and climbing this weekend?  My last class ends at 4 o'clock tomorrow, and I am free after that for the whole weekend.  I have been looking forward to this since we got together last week so I hope you are still up for it!", Kirsten said in her most perky and attractive voice she could muster up.

Hearing her voice and enthusiasm on the smart phone, Kenny's close friend inside his Levi Strauss jeans got uncomfortably active, and there was no way he was going to resist this time.  Besides,he had formulated a plan with Karl to bring Kirsten up to the Lean-To instead of to one of their own Doomsteads, so this aspect was relatively risk-free now.

The bigger risk though is how this would play with Karen, who he also was very attracted to?  He had pulled up on YouTube a music vid of "Do you ever have to make up your mind" by John Sebastian and the Lovin' Spoonful that Karl had referenced in their chat on this issue, and he was stuck in exactly this predicament.  However, there was no course of action on this other than to face down the problem and try to deal with it.  While he felt up to the challenge of dealing with Collapse, he was not so sure he could deal with the challenge of dealing with two attractive women in the same place at the same time.  However, when collapse finally comes, they would both be in the community, so he figured that he might as well work out the problem beforehand if possible.

Thursday afternoon arrived, Kenny finished his last lawn mowing job and headed back for his storage unit to exchange out his Landscaping Gear for his Camping Gear in the enclosed trailer with the heavy duty Master Locks to secure his possessions.  He hit the Fitness club for a workout and showered, and put on fresh clothes for picking up Kirsten at her dorm room on campus.  One of the things he had learned was that generally women were not attracted to stinky guys and it was a good idea to be clean and neat if you wanted to get laid.

As he neared the Missoula campus of Montana State University,  Kenny fired off a text to Kirsten over the SMS network to let Kirsten know he was on the way, and upon arriving found her already out on the sidewalk with her backpack and gear bag, dressed attractively in cut off jean shorts and a halter top, as it was an exceptionally warm spring day for Missoula, with temps in the 80s Farenheit.  April had warmed up considerably over the last few years.

Kenny got out of the van to greet her, and help her get her gear into the trailer.

"Hey Kirsten! Great to see you again." Kenny greeted her with, trying to keep his Johnson from stiffening too much, since driving with a Woody was not very comfortable.  "We can put your gear in the trailer with all my stuff."

"It's great to see you again Kenny!" Kirsten replied enthusiastically and gave Kenny a big hug, her chest pressing up against his chest.  This was unfortunate for Kenny, since now Mr. Johnson was straining the seams on his Levi Strauss Jeans, purchased ON SALE at Walmart for $15 and sewn up by child labor in India, and Kenny was not sure these jeans could take the pressure.  The Zipper could easily give way! Quality Control in Indian clothing factories is not that reliable.  It was a real test of Indian clothing manufacturing. Fortunately, the seams were double stitched and held firm against the pressure and the zipper was a well manufactured one that was imported to India from a top Zipper factory in Brazil.

Kenny opened the rear door of the trailer for Kirsten to throw her bags into, and Kirstens eyes opened wide when she looked inside the trailer.  It was just STACKED with preps, although neatly arranged on shelving purchased at Home Depot and fitted neatly into the trailer.

"Good Grief Kenny!  We're just going for a weekend camping trip!", Kirsten exclaimed as she saw the gobs of preps that Kenny had stacked in the trailer.

Kenny laughed.  "Kirsten, you know I am a Doomer Prepper. I never go anywhere without enough Preps to keep me going for at least a year in case TSHTF while I am on the road.  I don't wanna get caught with my pants down at the critical moment.  I've been at this since I was in Junior High, and I am NOT going to be caught out when TSHTF!  So I am always fully prepped up for the long haul.

Kirsten shook her head.  Kenny was totally serious about his prepping, and it was INCREDIBLE!  But of course, she had only seen the trailer so far.  It was still tough for her to grasp that all of Industrial Civilization was coming to a close.

"Well, at least I know I am going camping with the right guy if Civilization Collapses over the weekend!" Kirsten replied with a giggle.  "So, where are we going?"

"I built a Lean-To in Lolo National Forest.  Well, actually I built it with a friend and fellow Prepper, and he'll probably meet us there.  There's a mountain across from it where Big Horn Sheep cruise, and I'm going to go after one in the next hunting season.  Lots of good spots for some rock climbing there too if you are of a mind to do that.", Kenny replied.

"Oh, that sounds TERRIFIC Kenny!  I can't wait to see the Lean-To!", Kirsten effused.

After getting her gear loaded in the trailer, Kenny fired up the big V-8 motor in the Dodge RAM Van and got rolling on the road to one of the parking lots surrounding Lolo National Forest, and threw on a playlist of some of his favorite tunes stored on his Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphone for music background on the ride.  It was mostly stuff his mom had ‪played over and over in his childhood from the 70s & 80s, from rock bands like Queen, Jethro Tull, Heart and Metallica.

After arriving at the parking lot, Kenny and Kirsten strapped on their backpacks and filled their water bottles for the hike in, which was pretty long from the closest parking lot, about 8 miles.  The last part of it there was no trail for, so had to be guided via GPS.

Kenny was astonished at Kirsten's speed on the trail, he had trouble keeping up with her.  Despite her small size, she was amazingly physically fit and coordinated, and nimbly traversed obstacles on the trail that slowed him down.  Her pack was not as loaded down as his own with gear, but it was still quite substantial in size and from behind her (which he usually was), all you could see was the lower 2/3rds of her legs.  He was disapointed her butt was not visible, it would have made the hike much more enjoyable.

They broke for lunch a little past the halfway point, a meal of Freeze Dried Mountain House Lasagna cooked up quickly with Kenny's Jetboil butane fired lightweight cooking stove, and once reinforced with more good calories, finished the hike off trail and up the mountain to where the Lean-To was located.  Upon arrival, Kirsten was flabberghasted.

"Good grief Kenny, this isn't a 'Lean-To'!  It's a freaking PALACE!"

Kenny laughed.  "Yea, that's really my friend Karl's work, not mine.  I built a pretty rudimentary one last year, but Karl snuck up here earlier in the spring and spruced it up to his specifications.  Karl goes first class in all his prepping work, if Karl does it, it's the best that can be done.  He's a pretty old guy and has been at this game since the 1970's."

"Wow!  That's a long time to wait for TEOTWAWKI!" Kirsten remarked, using a term she learned from Kenny in their first conversation over dinner.  "When will he get here?"

"Sometime tomorrow I think.  His daughter Karen should be coming also.  She's really nice, I think you'll like her.", Kenny said hopefully.

The mention of another female coming got Kirsten's antennae up.

"Are you friends with Karen too?", she asked.

"Sure, she's really nice!  Pretty new to prepping though.  Karl didn't even know she was his daughter until recently."

Kirsten tried to read Kenny to see if she could discern if there was more to "really nice" than he let on.  It was impossible to determine.

"Well, at least we have the Lean-To to ourselves for tonight.", she said with a sly smile.

The Blame Game

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on February19, 2017

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As our economy spins down, our climate deteriorates, our geopolitical system descends into chaos and warfare, placing BLAME for this sad state of affairs is a popular thing to do amongst Bloggers and people who comment on blogs.  This Blame Placing works its way down from the very large to the very small.  In this article, I will cover the way various Pundits and Commenters in the Collapse Blogosphere like to place blame for the ongoing Collapse of Industrial Civilization.


This is the biggest subset, as in all of Humanity.  The reason for our self-destruction is all of us, and Human Nature.  Because "we" are all to blame, we also all deserve to DIE.  As soon as possible too, since if we all die fast enough, maybe some other furry animals and trees will get to live!  This is the argument you get most often on blogs like Nature Bats Last.  It's the Nihilist/Misanthrope argument.


This reduces the subset to a smaller group of people, those who as gross cultures took the most advantage the earliest from the accessing of the fossil fuel energy resource.  Once that was accomplished, these cultures went on a centuries long tear subjugating other cultures all over the world, from the First Nations people in the FSoA to the Villagers in Me Lai in Vietnam and the residents of Allepo in Syria today.


This is very popular amongst the Millenial crowd, although there is a lot of self-directed guilt by the Boomers themselves as being responsible for this mess.  The meme here is that Boomers created the wasteful, consumerist culture we live in and today live high on the hog while the younger generation suffers and their future is ruined.


This is the spin you get on the alt-right type of website, where the population of the underclass is painted as lazy and stupid and sucking wealth from the "good productive" members of the society who still have jobs.  This  remains a popular blaming meme, but is beginning to fail as more of the people who used to blame these folks themselves fall off the economic cliff.  To paraphrase Martin Niemholler, "First they came for the Blacks. I did not speak for them. Then they came for the Mexicans.  I did not speak for them.  Then they came for the Water Protectors trying to stop the Oil Pipeline under the Missouri River.  I did not speak for them.  When they came for me, nobody was left to speak for me".


The argument here is that these nations are the aggressors, while the Western Iluminati counties are just trying to defend "Freedom & Democracy" globally.  Which by any measure is a complete crock of shit.  By no means are the folks running China or Mother Russia very nice, warm and friendly people, but you can't really place the blame on them for this clusterfuck.  Mostly, they have been behind the Eight Ball and just reacting all along the way.  As things really spin up here, Vlad the Impaler is being painted as the Big Bad Guy, but he's just a creation of the whole system, and no different than the people who are running NATO, th EU or the FSoA.  Well, you could make the case he is doing better at it, since his popularity ratings are consistently higher than those of EU heads of state. lol.


This blame paradigm puts our problems on the shoulders of those who have reaped the most profit from the system, the .01% of the population that controls the banking system, most means of production and most of the land mass of the earth.  The folks who today fly around in Private Jets to go to conferences at Bilderberg in Switzerland.  AKA, The Masters of the Universe or Illuminati.


This blame placing goes on the back of Fiat Money, and generally those who do this blaming are Gold Bugs.  The idea being here if we had just stayed on a Gold Standard for money, our economic system would not have run amok.  The CBs are blamed for the problems whether they print money or don't print money.  If they print money, it devalues and you get inflation in something, somewhere.  If they don't print money, you get a loss of "liquidity" and deflation.  Either one screws with the purchasing power of the average J6P.


In this case, because the MSM has been brainwashing us with Bernay's style Propaganda for so long, people don't know the Truth (with a capital T), and as a result have been hoodwinked by the .01% that controls this media.  So it's a corollary of the Illuminati argument.  The media is also blamed for being "lefty" or "liberal", another popular group to receive blame, particularly from the Alt-Right folks mentioned above.


A very popular meme amongst the fans of Capitalism as an economic system. Socialism or Communism according to them were big failures, and all the people receiving some sort of social welfare benefit are a drain on the society.  Lefties also like to kill unborn babies and want to steal money from good hard working citizens through taxation and give it to lazy, unproductive citizens.


Righties are blamed for being war mongering, selfish and greedy people only looking out for themselves.  By and large, righties have more money than lefties, and the righties feel they deserve their money and the lefties are thieves trying to steal it from them.  Righties also tend to be fairly intolerant of any group other than themselves, mainly White European descendents.  They also tend to believe abortion is murder and women should be forced to have babies they don't want or can't support.  They definitely think LGBTQ people are perverts in need of a shrink at least, if not being jailed for moral turpitude.


Corporatism is a fairly new word, which fans of Capitalism invented to try and make a distinction between the Big Corporations they hate and the Small Bizman they love.  Corporations get blamed from both sides of the Lefty-Righty divide for just about everything, from screwing up our economic system to screwing up the environment to stealing resources from poor people…you name it, if it is Evil the corporations are responsible for it!


A very popular meme, as long as it is somebody ELSE'S Religion you are blaming.  Atheists blame all religions for the woes of the world.  Christians blame the Muslims, Muslims blame the Christians, and everybody blames the Jews. lol.  Buddhists don't get much blame, because if a Buddhist falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Druids occassionally get blamed, because they wear silly costumes and have long beards full of yesterday's lunch menu particles. Panentheists like me don't get much blame, because first of all there are vanishingly small number of Panentheists around and just about nobody else even understands what they are and how Panentheism differs from Pantheism.


Goobermint is the favorite Blame Punching Bag of the Alt-Right, Tea Party & Libertarian type folks who believe in the "Free Market", "Property Rights", "Deregulation", etc etc etc.  Goobermint is blamed for getting in the way of bizness, encroaching on Freedom and Liberty, waging wars, being inefficient and wasteful of money, being loaded with imbecilic politicians, and most of all, TAXING too much!


OK!  There's a brief rundown of many of the forms of blame you run across around the Collapse Blogosphere. It's not complete, for instance Vegans blame Carnivores for eating meat, and Permaculturists blame Industrial Ag for running an unsustainable food production paradigm.  Pedestrians and Cyclists blame Car drivers for wasting gas and running them off the road. etc, etc, etc.  Everybody's got an axe to grind on someone or something else.

Now, the issue is, what in this litany of things to blame is worthwhile to consider in terms of it being True or not as the underlying cause of the problems we face?  I'm not going to make a Value Judgement on that in this article for the most part (it would take too long and this article is already long enough), if you have read my work for long enough you know where I place most of the blame.

I will take issue with the "Blame Generalists" though, the folks at the top of the list who blame ALL of Humanity for our problems!  That is ridiculous though, because if you blame everyone, you blame no one.  HTF is a Kalahari Bushman responsible for this mess?  He has the same "Human Nature" you do or Lloyd Blankfein does, but he hardly caused the same damage as either you or Lloyd did.  He did cause some of course, but what you have to do is determine LEVELS of blame.  Who caused the MOST damage?  Who was MOST responsible?  Who had the MOST control?  Who was relatively Powerless and who had Power to change the direction of society at any given point in history?

Also pointless is to blame entire generations of people, because all generations have been part of one long continuous slide, basically from the time we invented Agriculture to today.  I never had any say in the choice from moving from Nomadic Hunter-Gatherer living to sedentary Ag livingor Industrial living, so HTF is that MY fault?  I'm not going to take the blame for that.  I'm also not going to take blame for being born a White Male, nor will I take blame for the folks running the country I live in dropping the Death From Above on Syria either.  I DEFINITELY will not take the blame for The Donald being elected POTUS or the fucking stupid Executive Orders he pitches out either.

Then you have the issue of whether it is worthwhile to try and assign blame at all?  Individuals, even entire classes of people get blamed, and often enough that blame is incorrectly applied, so does that mean we stop placing blame entirely because it's "not productive"?  I can't place blame on DAPL for trying to run a pipeine under the Missouri River? I can't blame them for setting Attack Dogs on the Water Protectors?  I can't place blame on Lloyd Blankfein for being a greedy scumbag?  It's unproductive of me to blame The Donald and all the people who voted for him for being idiots?  What?

Basically, somebody has to be held accountable for the actions taken as a society, and saying "We ALL are to Blame" is completely ridiculous, because we are NOT all to blame, at least not in equal amounts anyhow.  The amount of blame you shoulder depends on how much control you had over the direction the society took.  Most of us had virtually ZERO power even just during the time period we were alive, and we certainly had no power whatsoever over what came before the date of your birth.  You're stuck with the society you are born into unless you have enough power to change it, and few do.

However, unless SOMEBODY is held accountable for the poor choices, you can't change the direction of the ship, the Titanic will sail into the Iceberg.  The very FIRST thing you must do to change the direction of the society is get RID of the people in command of the ship who are sending it into the iceberg. To do that, you have to place some BLAME here, and blaming all the passengers on the Titanic for being passengers is just plain stupid.  There IS Blame to be assigned here, it must be assigned and then there must be Punishment assigned as well.  Otherwise, the same shit keeps happening.

Our society in aggregate has become like Parents who never will spank their children or even rebuke them in any significant way.  Kids pick up on this pretty quick, and generally by the time they hit Junior High they feel INVINCIBLE!  The Teachers are POWERLESS to punish them for misbehavior or disrupting the class learning.  In fact, often the TEACHER is blamed for the problem, both by the parents and by the school administrators.  All sorts of totally useless forms of punishment like Detention are dropped on, which actually punishes the teacher as much as the student, since now you have to spend an hour or two extra after the school day is over to monitor this detention, and you have the same behavior problems to deal with in the detention room as you had in the classroom!  So your daily torture as a teacher is just extended here with this method.

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 15

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Published on The Doomstead Diner February 16, 2017


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Karl woke up early, and set about his usual routine of collecting chicken eggs, milking the goats and watering his raised beds, then headed inside for a shower and to brew the morning coffee.  The sound of the water running in the bathroom and the jostling around in the kitchen awakened Karen, and she followed Karl after he finished the morning cleanup, and took his humanure out to the compost pile, covering it with wood chips, straw and leaves to let it ferment.  Although he had a flush toilet and a septic system installed, he hardly ever used it, not wanting to waste the precious nutrients and fertilizer contained in his own excrement.  He had installed the septic and toilet early on in building the earthship, before he had learned all the techniques of Permaculture and how to compost your own waste to recycle it, but had hardly used it over the last decade.

Karen observed Karl taking out his morning poop and emulated him, shitting into the clean bucket that Karl had left next to the flush toilet after taking his own waste to the compost pile.  The bucket had a nice Camping Toilet seat on it and was quite as comfortable to poop in as a normal toilet.  Actually even more comfortable since the squatting position was closer to the normal position Homo Saps who do not use toilets take in defecating.   Kenny heard Karl and Karen trudging over to the composting area, and took his own bucket of shit from the van, and then walked down to the stream to give the bucket a rinse out before putting it back in the van, in it's storage compartment beneath the bed with his 1 gallon piss jug.  Rather than taking a shower as Karl and Karen had, Kenny took a Sponge Bath utilizing water from one of the two 5 gallon water containers he always kept topped off in the van.  One container held non-potable "grey water" which he usually got from the streams in the area and was used for washing purposes, and the other contained his drinking water, which he generally got from the Missoula City water system, filling Up a gallon jug every so often when using a public bathroom in a convenience store, of at the Fitness Center where he worked out in the mornings.  He also had a water filtration and purifying system, including a small distiller he could use to distill otherwise impotable water if he had to.  That generally had not been necessary so far for him though, through the last winter he simply melted snow for drinking water.  The streams in the area also were generally quite clean and free of pollutants or bacteria, and just boiling some water from them was good enough to make it potable.

Kenny wandered up the hill to the house after getting dressed, and found Karl and Karen busy getting breakfast ready in the Kitchen.  He poured himself a cup of black coffee, nicely brewed from the fresh coffee beans he had brought with him from the gourmet roaster in Missoula.  It was WAY better than Maxwell House!  Kenny was not looking forward to the day when good coffee was no longer available!  How would he manage to get going in the morning?  This aspect of the future was not something he liked to contemplate, it might be better just to be BBQed up by Zombies!

"I've got to head back to my place after breakfast, I have the Sunday afternoon shift at Quinn's." Karen said.

"Why don't you cut back on your hours at Quinn's and spend more time out here?  Karl asked.  He was really enjoying having Karen's company.  "Huckleberry really seems to like the place and all the extra space to roam around, plus she seems to have made friends with Mr. Ed and Quick Draw." he added as an enticement.

Karen frowned, thinking.  "I don't know dad.  I'm not sure I am ready to be a full time doomer yet.  Plus, most of my friends are at Quinn's, and if we are going to get a community together I need to spend time with them."

Karl nodded his head, slightly disappointed.  "Yea, that's true.  Having the condo in Lolo is also good to maintain so probably just a couple of visits a week on days off is the best plan until we have a SHTF scenario."

"I'll make sure to get days off on the weekends so I can be here when Kenny comes." Karen said, smiling at Kenny.

Kenny smiled back, looking forward to getting to know Karen better and working with her.  Her engineering knowledge would come in very handy with many of the projects he was hoping to build.  The only problem was Kirsten, he couldn't stop thinking about her either!  The female companionship thing was getting complicated, and Kenny could almost see why Karl had chosen the life of a Solitary Man.  Almost.  His close companion behind the zipper of his Levi Strauss jeans argued otherwise.

After doing the dishes and getting her bag packed, Karen got Huckleberry into the back seat of the Ford Escort and headed back out to Civilzation in Lolo.  Not that Lolo was much of a town of course, but it still ran on grid electricity and had a local grocery store, and the drive on State Highway 93 wasn't far to the Walmart Supercenter either.  She was still adjusting to the idea that all the conveniences she had taken for granted growing up were going to disappear, although neither Kenny nor Karl could put a precise finger on the date, nor even could RE on the Diner.  The more she read though, the more convinced she became that these folks were right, and things would probably start to deteriorate faster with the election of The Donald as POTUS. She had been a strong Bernie Sanders supporter during the primaries, and was devastated when the nomination was stolen from him by the criminal Clinton Gang.  Besides all the economic and climate problems she was becoming aware of, Global Thermonuclear War seemed a strong possibility also with a clown like Trump in the White House.

Once the goodbyes were said, Kenny and Karl waved to Karen as she headed out the private road and back to civilization and they walked back toward the Earthship to get ready for a day of prepping.

"So, what kind of plans have you got for today Kenny?  We can't really do much more work on getting the Cable System and Funicular Railroad set up until you pick up more hardware next week at Home Depot in Missoula."

"I have a couple of projects to do over on my property I brought some supplies for starting.  I want to put together a picnic table that is more permanent for outdoor eating than the folding table we had breakfast on last week, for one thing."

"That shouldn't take long between the two of us if you have all the materials, maybe a couple of hours." Karl replied.

"Probably not." Kenny agreed.  "Although staining it and coating it with linseed oil and polyurethane will need to be done over the next couple of weekends.  I also have a bigger project to start on, I want to excavate and build a Walipini Greenhouse on the property as well."

"How big a Walipini were you planning on excavating?" Karl inquired.

"I was thinking about 20' by 60' " Kenny replied.

"That is a fucking BIG hole to dig Kenny!" Karl laughed.

"Yea, I figured to dig it out would take me most of the summer, doing a little each weekend."

"Fuck that idea." Karl replied.  "I'll rent a Daiwoo Back Hoe and Front End Loader and we'll get the excavation done in a weekend, no problem.", Karl proposed.

Kenny laughed.  "Yea that certainly would speed things up!  I didn't really consider doing that because first off I didn't want to spend the money on the rental, and second I've never used one of those monster machines."

Karl waved his hand in the air.  "The money is nothing.  A weekend rental for a Back Hoe costs maybe $1000 the most, and I think I can get one maybe for free from a contractor in Lolo who built a lot of the cabins up here.  I own several of them and had them built as rentals and for sale over the years.  He'll probably let me use one for a Moose Roast or some Venison."

"Well as long as you drive it Karl, I'm certainly good with that!", Kenny laughed.

Karl threw a few of his own tools into Kenny's trailer, and they made the drive over to Kenny's property via the logging roads.

"It sure would be nice if we could take a more direct route from your property over to mine." Kenny observed.  "We gotta drive over 20 miles here, but your place is really less than 5 miles away as the crow flies."

"Yea, it would be nice to have such a road, but tough in practice to do. There are 3 other privately owned properties between here and your place, and we would need permission from all of them to build a road, or even just cut a decent trail.  I know the people who own these properties, at least I have talked with them a few times.  They are well to do Dentists and Doctors mostly who would not be amenable to a road being build on "their property".  Isolationists mostly who just like to have their own hunting land and a nice summer cabin to vacation with the family."

Kevin sighed and nodded in acceptance.  "Yes, most of the people who actually still have enough money to make preps and buy land still buy into the old memes, and wish to 'go it alone', not working together with others to 'Build a Better Tomorrow', as RE often says in his Tag Lines.  You and me are rare breeds I think, unfortunately, thinking about the fate of others as we plan for ourselves.  Most people brought up in the acquisition culture of the Industrial Civilization cannot grasp this, and desperately hold onto their meme of Private Ownership of property."

"A direct road isn't really necessary right now though, the surrounding roads are not too bad, although the road up to your property is not being maintained these days.  In the future, after TSHTF, we can maybe build a more direct route. It would be a big project in any event to even make it passable for my Polaris Ranger EV.  We would need to build a couple of bridges and do quite a bit of earth moving too."  Karl concluded.

Construction of the Picnic Table went pretty quickly, just a matter of bolting together the 2X4s for the most part for the table top and benches, just using the stock 8' length for both.  About the only thing the least bit tricky was cutting the 45 degree angles for the X-pattern legs, which just took a quick line from a protractor to do.

After finishing the table, Karl and Kenny took a walk around the property looking for the best spot to excavate the Walipini.  Kenny used the opportunity of the exploration to bring up Kirsten.

"Karl, I have a little problem.  On Friday before I drove up this weekend I met someone who I know from High School.  We are supposed to go camping next weekend together and I am not sure if I should bring her to my property or not. Karen is also supposed to be coming up next weekend and I want to see her too."

Karl let out a belly laugh.  "Did you ever have to make up your mind?", he said, quoting the title of an old song from the Lovin' Spoonful written by John Sebastian Kenny had never heard.  "Man am I glad I left that shit behind, it can drive you insane."

Keny nodded. "No shit.  First in High School I couldn't get a date to save my life, now there seem to be females everywhere.  It's driving me nuts."

"No worries Kenny, you only have about another 40 years or so of being driven crazy by this problem." Karl said with a grin. "Once you hit your 60s it calms down some, although some guys never escape it."

"Only 40 more years to go?  Shit, we'll probably be extinct by then!  I'll never get any peace!" Kenny said semi-sarcastically.

"Life sucks, and then you die.", Karl remarked philosophically.  "Far as it goes, I'd love to see you hook up with Karen, but far be it from me to get in the middle of anyone else's love life, that's even worse than managing your own.  You'll have to figure that one out for yourself."

"Gee, thanks Karl, you're a fountain of wisdom." Kenny remarked sarcastically.  "What about the other problem though, should I bring her up here, or maybe just go over to Lolo National Forest and do some camping there without telling her about the property?"

Karl gave this some thought for a bit as they reached a nice portion of the property that had a slope facing to the south for excavating the Walipini.

"Probably not a good idea yet to bring her over here, until you are more sure of where you are going with it.  You could bring her to the Lean-To though, and Karen and I can meet you there.  Then you can really experience torture trying to make up your mind." Karl remarked.

"Great!  Another fucking pearl of wisdom from the wise Guru! Kenny remarked with an eye roll.

Karl pursed his lips. "Personally, I think it would be rather humorous."

"For YOU maybe!" Kenny replied.

Karl shrugged.  "It's your problem, not my problem.  Now, what do you think of this spot for the Walipini?  Good southern exposure, nice slope to cut into."

Kenny let go of the discussion about the females.  Karl was obvious not going to be of any help, and actually seemed to enjoy his suffering.  He vowed to himself to get revenge on Karl for this someday.  He'd find a female to sic on Karl to invite to the community!  He couldn't be as immune to the attraction as he made himself out to be!  That would serve him right!  Kenny satisfied himself with this nefarious plan and got back to discussing the Walipini.

"Yea, this looks pretty good, although it's a lot of trees to cut down.", Kenny remarked with sadness.

Karl shrugged.  "The trees are no more permanent than you or me, and someday after we're gone new ones will grow in their place, or maybe they won't if the climate change gets bad enough.  Meanwhile, if we're going to grow enough food beyond what we can hunt and gather out of Lolo for a full community of people, we're going to need more than just my raised beds and greenhouse garden."

Kenny nodded in understanding.  "Yea, that's true.  Sure will be plenty of wood for the next couple of years for cooking and heating and campfires.  Lotta wood splitting to do."

"No worries on the splitting Kenny, I have a Champion Hydraulic Wood Splitter for this.  I quit on splitting with an axe and wedges when I hit 60."

Kenny still had trouble believing Karl was 66.  Other than his complaints about arthritis in his knees, he was even bigger and more robust than his daughter, maybe 6'3" and 220 lbs.  He looked to Kenny to be in his mid 50s.

"A hydraulic splitter will certainly make that job easier.", Kenny remarked.  "We'll need to get it over here though to get the job done."

"No problem there, I can drag it over with the pickup, it's on wheels.  Once we cut the trees into sections, Mr Ed and Quick Draw can pull them over to the splitter back in your campsite area."

"That works.", Kenny replied.  It was getting late in the day and the sun was beginning to set, so the two friends walked back to the campsite to get in Kenny's van and head back over to Karl's place for dinner of some Smoked Trout from Karl's freezer, honey glazed peas and carrots from his garden and from his bee hives and butter from the goat's milk.  They spent a couple of hours surfing the internet for Doom Newz, beginining with the Doomstead Diner, where the regulars were all napalming each other as usual.  They spent time together composing up a PM to to send to RE once Kenny got back to Missoula and could use an anonyomous connection to the internet.

"Greetings RE!

I have been a lurker on the Diner almost since you began it in 2012.  I am a regular reader, and get many of my ideas from your website.

Currently, together with a friend we have a large property in the lower 48 we would like to get a SUN☼ Community going on when TSHTF.  However, we are highly concerned about security and about simply inviting people to the place now, which would make it too widely known.  We estimate our possible carrying capacity for our land to be about 200 people, although it could be substantially more since the properties are adjacent to a large National Forest.

Do you have any suggestions on how we might find some people, but not necessarily give them the location of the Doomstead at this time?


Brazil & the Bloodied BRICS

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on February 12, 2017

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Just going back a few years, the "BRICS" were all the rage as the next great Superpower conglomeration.  BRICS stood for Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa.

3 of them Brazil, India and South Africa also fit in the category of "Emerging Markets", and EMs were where all the Hot Money was flowing for investment during the period, seeking high yields and return on investment.

What could be more perfect, right?  Great resource availability and populations willing to work at low wages to supply industrial products to the world!  Not to mention Russia & China as large military powers with the capability of making a good fight with the FSoA if challenged!  Even if they don't have the aircraft carriers the FSoA has, they have Nuke ICBMs, and they have cruise missiles capable of sending any FSoA Carrier Group to the bottom of Davey Jones Locker.  The Chinese field a 1 Million Man Standing Army.  Lotta potential Boots on the Ground there!

So a lot of betting went down that this group of Nation-States was going to make a serious challenge to the European and Anglo-Amerikan hegemony over the industrial economy, not to mention the Bankstering system which runs it. Even to this day, you have some pundits like Pepe Escobar claiming the Chinese are going to build a "New Silk Road" that will bring the BRICS to ascendancy as the inheritors of the failed policies of the Western Europeans and Anglo-Amerikans.

Unfortunately, something went wrong along the way here, and precisely the opposite has occured or is occuring as I write this article.  What fucked up in the BRICS master plan?

To begin with, it was a typical financialized bubble.  Beyond that, you have countries here with Goobermints that are corrupt beyond belief, it's possible they are all more corrupt than the FSoA Goobermint, although of course that is hard to imagine.  To top it all off, you have the issue that even if said countries have energy resources left like Brazil and Russia do, you have populations that cannot afford to buy those energy resources and retire the debts incurred by the extractors of the energy. India already jumped off the cliff with the demonetization of the biggest Rupee notes by His Modiness, which sent the entire economy into a tailspin.  Not to mention the fact it further impoverished already impoverished people, and as bad as their farmer suicide problem was before this, one has to figure it has been worse since.  A VAST number of Indians have no bank account, or even Goobermint ID.  For them, it's entirely a Cash Economy, and no Cash, no Economy.

This of course does not even touch on the Climate and Environment problems the Indians have, or their Energy problems or population overshoot problems.  Then they have the constant battle with the Pakistanis, so overall the place is a complete fucking mess.  They may even start exchanging Nukes with the Pakis, since they both got 'em

Moving down to South Africa, they probably have the worst problems with drought of any of the BRICS, although Brazil is not doing too well with this problem either.  Besides that is the perpetual racial divide problem of South Africa and the fact that its entire economy is a mineral resource extraction economy, and globally nobody is paying much for resources, because the Konsumers of the resources are running out of money to buy them with.  Well, except for the filthy rich who are still buying some Diamonds at Tiffany's, but unfortunately there aren't enough filthy rich to fund an entire economy this way.  Tiffany's isn't doing too good either, they just fired their CEO.

Doing slightly better than these two locations are the Middle Kingdom of China and Mother Russia, but not by all that much plus Newz doesn't really escape well from either Nation-State, so you can't be entirely sure of WTF is going on there.  In Mother Russia, one of Vlad the Impaler's political opponents recently went to the Great Beyond, apparently resultant from Poisoning.  Another one, Alexander Navalny who was a Blogger so I like him 🙂 was convicted of some kind of felony so is no longer eligible to run against Vlad to run Mother Russia. He was probably the only opponent of Vlad who stood some chance of beating him, at least in popular voting.  The Ruskies do have some cheap Oil left though, and their population is not too large given the land mass available there.  On the other hand they have NATO troops massing on their borders, not a good sign.

Of all the BRICS, the Chinese have weathered the storm the best so far, but by no means does this presage a rosy future for them.  In fact the Chinese are TOAST, and are in worse shape than everyone in the BRICS except perhaps the Indians.  Reason of course is Population Overshoot, but by no means is that their only problem.  They've blown a Credit Bubble that makes the one Da Fed blew up look like Child's Balloon next to the Hindenburg.  Forget about not drinking the water, half of it is not even fit for human contact!  You can't walk outside in Beijing without at least a surgical mask on, but really you need a full blown activated charcoal gas mask or better yet a SCUBA tank.  This is not a recipe for a bright future for the Chinese.

However, of all the BRICS, the one in the WORST shape right now and is clearly exeriencing a FAST COLLAPSE is Brazil.  Their economy is in complete collapse, corruption is systemic and now they are losing control of the social structure as well.

In the state of Espirito Santo which borders on the state of Rio de Janeiro which is home to the city of Rio, Corcovado (the big Christ statue on the mountain) and numerous Favelas (slums), the Military Police recently went on strike because…they weren't getting PAID!  Big fucking surprise, who is going to work at anything if you don't get your paycheck at the end of the week?

Problem for these cops of course is that just like under Amerikan Law, Strikes of "publicly essential personnel" are ILLEGAL!  So even if you're not getting paid, you're supposed to KEEP WORKING!  Does this sound like SLAVERY to you?  It does to me.

Since these cops are MILITARY cops, one suspects they can't even quit either until whenever their enlistment in the military runs out.  Not that they would quit anyhow, because in all likelihood there are no other jobs for them to take in the neighborhood.  So they got a bit creative here on this one, and instead of the cops themselves not showing up for work, their families went out and blockaded the stations, so the cops could not go out on patrol.  Of course, they had the option of possibly Arresting their own families for "obstruction of justice", but who is going to go out and arrest their own wives, kids, fathers and mothers, or shoot them?  Not gonna happen. So in the wake of this absence of cops on the streets of Vitoria (the capital of Espirito Santo), the population at large took the opportunity to go an a rampage of looting, raping and killing.  There is of course a large population of people living the criminal life in Brazil, because there are no opportunties for them in the "legitimate" world.  They deal drugs, they steal, they kill people.  It's like Chicago on Steroids and much larger.  Its not like everyone is a criminal, but without a police presence, it's "Criminals Gone Wild".

So Da Goobernator of Espirito Santo asks for help from Da Federal Gobermint, and they promise to do "watever it takes" to restore order and send in the Military to replace the cops on the streets.  Except how many do they send in?  A Big 200 soldiers to police a city of 2M people!  That is 1 for every 10,000.  Even only 1% of those 10K are criminals, that is still a 100:1 ratio!  However, in this situation it's probably more than 1%, since many normally law abiding type citizens will take the opportunity to go loot the local grocery or Iphone store.

Normally, they put out on the street 1800 cops, so to do the same job you would need around the same number of soldiers.  So now you have to pay the soldiers instead of the cops, and Da Federal Goobermint of Brazil is in no better position to do that than the states are, they are BROKE also!

Even if they could field enough paid soldiers to go in there to restore order, Vitoria and Espirito Santo as a whole is a relatively small state in Brazil.  What happens when the same thing occurs in Rio De Janeiro or Sao Paolo or Brasilia?  Sao Paolo has something like 20M people now, that by itself is an order of magnitude larger than Vitoria.  What is to stop this from spreading to Sao Paolo?  They are broke too, and besides that running short on water and the money to run their sewage treatment plants, garbage collection etc.  It's not just cops not getting their paychecks, just about all the public workers are seeing wages withheld because Da Goobermint doesn't have the money to pay them.

Unlike the FSoA (also broke), the Brazilleiros cannot just issue infinite debt and have it recognized as worth anything.  They have gone through NUMEROUS periods of Hyperinflation, and they are trying to avoid that problem with "austerity", but austerity means people either are paid to little to live on or not paid at all.  Jobs are cut, pensions are cut and you get a downhill spiral as people have no money to spend in the economy.  They can't afford to buy enough food to feed their kids.  At this point, they get desperate, and take desperate measures.  That is what the cops in Espirito Santo are doing. The problem here of course is that like many other resource based economies, the Brazilleiros are running short on resources people around the globe can afford to buy at the prices they cost to extract.  There are some big oil fields in deep water off the coast of Brazil, but their own state company of Petrobras is broke, and oil majors like Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are not going to put up debt money to drill these fields, because there is no profit in it.  These companies are already bleeding red ink on properties they are drilling here in the FSoA, and beyond that there is an oil GLUT due to collapsing demand around the world.  So the Brazilians will not be saved by the Oil underneath the ocean floor surrounding them.

It's only a matter of time before the chaos in Espirito Santo spreads to the rest of Brazil.  How much time?  Then from there it spreads to other SA countries dependent on resource exports, and the chaos grows.  Then it makes it to Mexico, then it migrates across the border to the FSoA.  How long will that take?  Timeline, Timeline, Timeline.  Like Location, Location, Location in the world of Real Estate, that's always the question, not what the final outcome is.

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 14

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Published on The Doomstead Diner February 8, 2017

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Waiting for the bus out of town in Portland was nerve racking for Kensoto, but buying the ticket went smoothly and the clerk only glanced at the fake driver's license that Kim had forged, using an Atlanta address and the Georgia format.  The license wouldn't do him any good if he was driving and pulled over by a Trooper and it was checked against the Georgia database, but for typical tasks like buying bus tickets, beer or a cheap motel room, it was just fine.

Once on the bus, he blended in well, most of the other passengers were either Black or Latino, with just a few White Trash sprinkled in.  Bus travel was the main transport for the underclass, particularly for undocumented migrants.  Once in Los Angeles, he once again had a wait for the next bus heading for Denver, and after buying his ticket he elected not to wait in the Bus Station, where he might be accosted by a Gestapo agent.  He left the station and took a local bus over to a movie theater to catch a film, and then to a Wendy's for a meal.  He headed back to the bus station about 20 minutes before the bus was due to depart, and once again had no issues.  Listening to the news reports on the Radio, there was nothing about the shootings in Missoula on the National Newz as of yet, so he began to calm down and was able to get some shut-eye on the bus to Denver.

From there it was on to Indianapolis, then Pittsburgh and finally on to Atlanta.  He was pretty exhausted after all the days of travel trying to sleep in the bus seats, but dragged himself over to a library where he finally turned on his secure smartphone and laptop to get on the internet and fire off an encrypted message to Kim via the Iceland server that he had made it to Atlanta safely.  Kim fired back a message with a couple of names and addresses of relatives that Kensoto's parents had furnished him, and let him know there was ongoing investigation of the shoot-em-up, but so far the Terminators had not been rousted.

Rather than calling his relatives looking like a disheveled mess, even though it was slightly risky Kensoto elected to take a Bates Motel Room in a Motel 6 where Tom Burdett had left the light on for him, and a few cockroaches also.  Still, the bed was fairly comfortable and did not seem to be infested with bed bugs, and he needed a good night's sleep and a shower.  He stopped at Walmart on the way to the motel and bought a couple of changes of clothes and an airline size carry-on Wheely bag to supplement the small Bugout Bag Backpack he had travelled with.

After checking in, Kensoto took a quick shower and changed into one of the fresh sets of clothes purchased at Walmart.  Then over to the Bates Motel laundry to wash the clothes he had been sleeping in for the last week, which were pretty stinky by this point.  While the clothes were in the washer, he took a walk across the street to the Popeye's Fried Chicken and bought a 5 piece Spicy Chicken Tenders dinner with  a side of Red Bean & Rice and 2 Jalapeno Peppers and a large Coke as takeout.  Returning back to the motel and almost getting run over by a bus trying to cross the 4 lane secondary road, he dropped off his food in the room and then went over to the laudry room to shift his clothes into the dryer, depositing another dozen Quarters into the slots to get that running.

Returning back to his room, Kensoto flipped on the TV to see if he could find anything to watch while consuming the Popeye's meal, but after futiley punching through more than 100 channels, the best he could do was an Infomercial on Weight Loss featuring some skinny girls doing Yoga.  So he left it on that while eating, then went back to collect his now industrially cleaned and dried clothing and folded it then packed it into the recently purchased wheely bag from Walmart, so it would be ready to go the following morning.

Morning came and he felt reasonably refreshed after a shower and a couple of cups of pretty thin Motel 6 Coffee.  Prior to Check Out at Noon from the Motel 6, he gave his cousin Mohammed a call, to see if they could get together.

"Mohammed!  Guess who?" Kensoto asked when Mohammed answered the call on his Iphone.  Kensoto hadn't seen Mohammed since grade school in West Africa, so he wasn't entirely sure he would remember him.

"No idea.  Who?", Mohammed inquired suspiciously.  The caller did know his name though, so it probably wasn't a Bot Call.

"It's Kensoto!  Your cousin!  I'm in Atlanta!"

"Kensoto?  Really?  I thought you were in Montana, at least that is what my mom & dad told me."

"It's a long story.  Can you meet me this evening for dinner?"

"Sure!  Why don't you come over to the house?  Mom & Dad would love to see you!"

"Uhhh, no not yet." Kensoto said carefully.  "I have some stuff to talk over with you first."

Mohammed sensed immediately that Kensoto was in some trouble.  "Trouble" was a regular feature of life for everyone in the West African community in Atlanta.

"Oh, OK.  I work in the warehouse district here as a Lumper.  I did 2 years at the Community College to get all my pre-requisites for a major in Nursing Science and maintained a 4.0 average, but there is a 2 year waiting list to matriculate into the Nursing Major.  So I am living at home with my parents for now and just taking what jobs I can get. There's a Bar & Grill near here called Casey's that serves up a decent steak.  Is 6PM OK?  Do you want the address?"

"6 is good.  I will find it on the Internet, I don't need the address.  I'll see you tonight".

"OK, sounds good." Mohammed replied.

Although it would have been easier to just have Mohammed text him the address, Kensoto wanted as little information stored on servers and his smart phone as possible.  Although the audio was likely recorded and stored, it was more difficult to search with bots.  Besides that, as of yet neither he nor Mohammed appeared to be on any Radar over the shootings in Missoula.  So it still seemed pretty safe to communicate this way, although once he got together with Mohammed he would advise him on how to send encrypted mesages over the SMS network using GPG4USB 256 bit encoding.

After checking out of the Bates Motel, Kensoto killed time until dinner by heading over to the Public Library and signing on to their Wi-Fi with his secure laptop.  Searching on Google revealed that Casey's was on the other side of town and would take at least an hour to get there on the bus system.  He still was not too encumbered with gear though, just his Bugout Bag Backpack and the recently purchased Wheely Bag for additional clothing.

Kensoto made it to Casey's just a little late, there had been a considerable amount of traffic and the bus trip went slower than he had expected. He was used to Missoula traffic and distances, and Atlanta was another bear entirely, so his estimates of time were off.  When he finally made it to Casey's around 20 minutes late, Mohammed recognized him immediately and waved him over to his table, where he was passing the time sipping on a 24 oz Sam Adams Boston Lager from the tap and an appetizer of Fried Onion Rings.

"Damn Kensoto, I thought you were NEVER going to get here!  It's great to see you!"

"Great to see you too, Mohammed", Kensoto said with a genuine smile of relief, giving his cousin a big hug.  "It's been a trial.  I could really use a beer here."

The two cousins sat down at the table, and Kensoto ordered a Foster's Lager from the tap, and munched out on one of the Onion Rings on the stand on the table.

"So WTF is going on Kensoto?  Why all the secrecy?

"Big shit went down in my neighborhood, I got caught in the crossfire.  I had to GTFO of Dodge in a hurry.  I just was in the wrong place at the wrong time, on the way to meeting up with my friends.  There was a big shooting match between two gangs and I got hit by a stray bullet.  I'm down here laying low until it hopefully dies down.  I'm not implicated at all as of yet."

"Shit, that is bad." Mohammed nodded.  "How long are you going to stay down here for?"

"Hopefully only a month or two.  I have enough money to get by.  Not sure what I am going to do for housing yet though."

Mohammed pondered for a bit.  "Well, it's probably not a good idea to come stay with us.  If you do get implicated, they'll be checking into all your relatives, and we all came over at the same time."

"Yea, I thought of that.  That's why I didn't want to meet at your parent's place.  My phone is pretty safe, the account is anonymous, but it's still a good idea to use encryption in all communications.  Do you know how to use GPG4USB 256 bit encryption?"

"Uhhh, no.  I've never had anything that serious I was worried about being read."

Kensoto took some time to explain how Public and Private Keys work, and then how to install the software on his computer for encrypting messages.  They ordered a couple of NY Strip Steaks and Potato Skins for dinner while working out their communications protocols.

Finishing off his steak, Mohammed got back to the housing problem.

"It's probably OK for you to come over to stay the night at our place.  If you get implicated later and somebody sees you, we can just say you stopped in but we haven't seen you since.  I'll call some friends tonight to see if I can find someone you can Couch Surf with.  If you can contribute to the rent, it will be easier."

"I can easily contribute $500/mo for a good spot to sleep for at least the next 2 months", Kensoto replied.

"Oh, that's a lot.  I don't think so much will be necessary just for a couch spot.  $200 is probably enough."

"Important here is not to reveal my real identity.  My forged Georgia Driver's License says my name is Ibrahim, not Kensoto.  You should always refer to me as Ibrahim now, not Kensoto with anyone.", Kensoto advised.

"Yes, understood 'Ibrahim'.", Mohammed said with a wink.

With the plans settled for the evening, they ordered desert, Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream, and Kensoto picked up the whole tab courtesy of the cash the Terminators dropped on him to make his escape from Missoula and the clusterfuck of the shootings at the 7-11.

After dinner they headed back to Mohammed's parent's house, where he had set up in the basement and his parents were providing him with free rent.  Upon arriving, Mohammed's mother's eyes lit up in happiness.

"Kensoto!  You made it!  Your mom called me and told us what happened. You are welcome to stay with us as long as you need to."

"No mom, Kensoto and I talked about this already.  It's not safe for him or for us to stay here.  This will be one of the first places the Gestapo come looking for Kensoto if he gets implicated in the shootings.  I am going to find some friends he can couch surf with for the time being."

Adding to this security precaution, Kensoto gave more advice.

"Also, don't talk with my parents anymore on your cell phone.  Let's just communicate through the secure channels that Kim has set up for this.  No emails either."

"OK, I guess that is a good idea." Mohammed's mom replied. "This is so tragic!" she said, bursting into tears.

"Well, hopefully it is temporary and this will blow over in a couple of months." Kensoto replied, felling guilty he had worried her so much.

"Yes, I' sure it will.", she replied without much conviction, but managing a weak smile.  "Meanwhile, are you hungry?", she asked.

"Oh no, Mohammed and I went out to dinner.  I'm stuffed.  Looking forward to a good breakfast though tomorrow morning!  I've eaten enough Egg McMuffins for the last week to last a lifetime!", Kensoto declared with a laugh.

"I will make the best breakfast EVER tomorrow morning Kensoto.", Mohammed's mom promised with a smile.

Kensoto and Mohammed headed downstairs to the basement of the McMansion where Mohammed had his digs, and lit up some Ganga to mellow out.  Then Mohammed began calling friends to find a couch for Kensoto to sleep on, while Kensoto played Grand Theft Auto V on the X-Box on the Big Screen OLED TV Mohammed got hot from one of his lumper friends at the warehouse.  After about the 5th phone call and Kensoto had blown away a few dozen bad guys on GTA5, Mohammed finally located a couch at a reasonable price of $300/mo with 5 other guys in a McHovel across town on the wrong side of the tracks renting out at $1500/mo, less utilities.

"I'm going to need some transportation to get around town, Mohammed.  Can we stop by Walmart tomorrow before you drop me off to pick up a bicycle and bike trailer?" Kensoto asked.

"Yea sure.  We'll need to get up pretty early though, because I need to be on the docks at 8am if I am going to get at least 2 truckloads to unload for the day.  I'll tell mom we'll need breakfast for 6am."

Mohammed headed upstairs to inform his mom on the early wake up call time, and Kensoto rolled one more splif for the night before sack time.  The two cousins shared some memories of childhood in West Africa, and recounted some of their experiences since making the migration to the FSoA, then hit the hay for another sunrise in the morning, and new adventures in their lives.


Collapse Days of Our Lives

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on February 5, 2017


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In my New Year's recap article I covered the recent accomplishments on the Diner in terms of growing the readership base, as well as other notable activities like the SUN Convocation held down in Inman, SC in conjunction with their Harvest Day Festival.

This month marks an even more notable date, it is the 5th Anniversary of the Doomstead Diner Blog & Forum.  Keeping a blog going this long on the topics of collapse and trying to stay fresh with new material every day to read is something of a chore, although for me it has the benefit of keeping me bizzy and keeping my mind active.

Many of the other Bloggers I used to cross post are either not active at all anymore, or they post very rarely.  For instance, the last blog from Tom Lewis of the Daily Impact was in October of 2016.  The last blog Steve Ludlum published on Economic Undertow was a month ago in December 2016 (update: Steve just posted a blog!) and same for Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves.  Ugo Bardi of Cassandra's Legacy still publishes regularly at least once a week and so does Albert Bates of Peak Surfer.

I also dropped some folks from the list of those I will cross post, either because of disagreements  with them or simply because their posting has become so repetitive.  The disagreements for the most part come over the question of Near Term Human Extinction, and the degree to which some bloggers have now joined with Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last on the Hopelessness & Despair Bandwagon.  There also are some bloggers as well as people in the commentariat who have become so obsessed with the Climate aspect of collapse it's all they will talk about to the exclusion of all other areas of collapse we have to deal with, most notably Economics, Energy and Geopolitics.

While the climate issue is no doubt quite bad and getting worse, in reality even with very rapid change accelerating up, it's not the proximal problem we have to face.  Our economic system is so unstable at this point it could literally collapse any day, and the length of time it takes for it to go completely down the toilet could be measured in days or even hours.  While climate may certainly be a more serious problem in 5 or 10 years, it's not that way right now.

Similarly, Geopolitical tensions are at an all time high as Nationalist (Fascist) politicians like Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders and Frauke Petry gain further power, and tensions between NATO and Russia and the FSoA and China become more extreme by the day.  A Global Thermonuclear War is not out of the question as starting up any day either, particularly since there are some neo-con jackasses in the FSoA Goobermint who think such a thing is winnable.  If they start pitching out the Nukes, Sea Level Rise is going to be among the last of your worries.

Looked at as a Health problem, it's like having 3 diseases all at the same time, you have a slowly developing cancer tumor, you have pneumonia and you have a faulty valve in your heart.  The cancer will take a while to kill you, but the pneumonia will get you first if you don't get rid of it, and until you get rid of that you can't go in for the heart valve operation you need to keep your ticker working.  Only once the two proximal problems are resolved is the cancer really an issue.

So here on the Diner in my own blogging, I still mainly focus on the Economic issues which are what brought me into blogging collapse in the first place.  Surly mainly focuses on Geopolitical issues, as you can see in his Yearly recap article this year.  We also have other Native Diner Bloggers such as Eddie, Monsta, Palloy, Geoff Chia and K-dog who have their own issues they focus on, from the Stock Market and Investment to Standing Rock, Cyber Security and Tiny Homes.  In fact the one area we do not cover that regularly on the Blog is the Climate issue, because that issue is being beaten to death on so many other blogs.  That is not to say that Climate is not a regular topic for discussion Inside the Diner on the Forum, it most certainly is.

Another issue with respect to Climate Change is really at this point there is not much the individual can do to prevent it.  In fact it is unlikely even entire Goobermints could prevent it at this point, even if they all worked together in concert, and that's not going to happen.  What the individual CAN DO though is to prepare for Climate Change, in general by moving away from neighborhoods most subject to the worst problems like Drought and regular Flooding events in coastal areas coming from the combination of sea level rise and more active and volatile weather systems.  You can also work on becoming more food self sufficient, using techniques like Hydroponics and Aquaculture which are water and fertilizer conservative and more resistant to climate change than typical outdoor agriculture.

If you are a Religious Believer in Near Term Human Extinction, the tendency is toward inaction, because, why bother?  In your mind, EVERYBODY is gonna DIE anyhow, and doing all these things at best only gets you a couple of extra years, and do you want to live when everyone around you is dieing?

First of all, without a Crystal Ball you can't really make an absolute prediction on how long it will take before the climate is so bad everywhere that ZERO Homo Saps can survive on the Planet.  In the super rapid worst case scenarios of positive feedback loops that Guy McPherson pitches out, he's got everybody dead by 2025 now, which is HIGHLY unlikely.  More reasonable fast extinction scenarios are in the 50-100 year range, and if it takes that long and you want to see a few extra sunrises, it's a wise idea to begin planning for this now.

It's also not guaranteed that NOBODY can survive ANYWHERE, even with a Global Average Temperature rise of 10C, which is about as hot as it ever gets on Earth no matter how much CO2 is up in the atmosphere.  In all the prior 5 Extinction Level Events not ALL forms of life were killed off, if they were we would not be here today and I would not be keyboarding out this blog post. lol.  Who is to say that some Homo Sap cannot survive a higher AGT regime, particularly if they move to higher latitudes and altitudes?  Granted, it may not be many, but it's still not extinction until every last member of the species is DEAD.

On other 5 Year Anniversary topics, the Diner has seen many changes and ups and downs over the years, with the first Peak Readership coming in 2014, but now beginning to grow again.  The membership of regular Diners also fluctuates quite a bit, with various Diners taking periodic "Walkabouts" when they get too fed up with other Diners or discussing Collapse on a daily basis gets too depressing for them.  I don't have the luxury of going Walkabout, since besides blogging I do most of the daily management tasks on the Diner and I also pay the Diner bills.  So when I lose patience with other Diners I basically just gotta deal with it, as long as I want to keep this chronicle of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization going anyhow.

Which leads to the question of DO I want to do that?  There have been a couple of times in the last year I really became completely fed up with nonsense being pitched out across the forum pages and the behavior of some Diners.  I ended up Banning a Diner permanently, something I never hoped I would have to do.  I had other Diners I value as friends both in cyberspace and IRL getting pissed off at ME for stuff I said and opinions I hold.  There's a lot of fatigue involved here, and besides that just about everything has been discussed, analyzed and talked to death over a 5 year timespan.  I have 100s of blogs up and detailed my economic theories at great length.  I can usually still find things to write about though, I started a Collapse Novel How I Survived the Collapse as one means to have more to write each week.  Fiction is inexhaustible, as long as you have a decent imagination anyhow.

A couple of months ago after one disagreement I determined that I would close down the Diner Forum on the 5th Anniversary, and just run the Blog to publish the HISC Novel, and maybe any non-fiction of late breaking Collapse Newz that was big enough to merit attention.  These days, there's only around 10-15 regular Diners posting up on the forum and it's never been that huge, even at the peak of Diner Readership in 2014.  Forums appear to have been supplanted by Social Media like Facepalm and Twitshit as the Go-To places for people to chat with friends and not so friends interested in similar topics to themselves.  I don't like either one of those platforms, so I wouldn't switch over to them in any case.

So if I did shut down the forum, I really would not have any place to go chat about collapse and write my own little diary of stuff that happens to me but really isn't worthy of a full blog.  Like my recent problems with my car batteries and with the heat going out in my digs (although that might actually be worthy of a full blog).  For the Diners who still do participate on the forum also, it becomes kind of habitual to see what's up, and we trade Newz Links all the time on the newz channels, although not nearly as much anymore as we used to when we had some prolific Newz Linkers like Knarf, the Buddhist Monk participating.  Still, the newz articles that are dropped on are usually very well selected and not ones I may have run across during my own web surfing time.  So I get additional information and perspectives on collapse this way.

For Newz Links now I also run the r/globalcollapse Sub-Reddit, and I participate regularly on the larger collapse sub, r/collapse.  However, as discussion platforms go, Reddit isn't much better than Facepalm, and it's definitely no substitute for the kind of intelligent and in depth discussion we still occassionally engage in Inside the Diner on the Forum.

So after considering all of this, I changed my mind and I will keep the Diner Forum running along with the Blog.  For the Diners who still do drop in regularly, it's still a great place to catch up on the latest Collapse Events and to do some bickering. lol.

5 Years is a pretty good run for a blog, especially one where you try to have something new up each day and write yourself at least once a week.  In the old days, TV Series used to have an average lifespan of around 3-5 years, although you got a few like Gunsmoke and MASH that ran for 20 years.  On the Daily level, it's more like a Soap Opera, which had to be a real grind for both the writers and the actors.  Days of Our Lives has run continuously nearly every day since 1965!  That's over a half a century!

The Diner of course is unlikely to last 45 more years.  I definitely won't last 45 more years anyhow, and the Internet itself unlikely to last 45 more years.  In the meantime though, Collapse Days of Our Lives is renewed for another season at the URL

The Diner Show Must Go On!

Thanks again to all the Diners who have helped make the Diner what it is…

#1 for Doom on the Net! 🙂

RE Superstar of Doom

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 13

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Published on The Doomstead Diner February 2, 2017

Discuss this story at the Collapse Narratives Table inside the Diner

Karl & Karen got Mr. Ed and Quick Draw saddled up, and Kenny attached the custom trailer that Karl had built for the ZEV off road scooter, throwing in some supplies and tools he had brought with him in his own trailer.

While he had built the original structure of the Lean-To out of all local and natural materials and stone tools he made himself, Kenny wasn't a slave to being a primitivist rewilder.  Mainly he was just practicing his skills.  He decided he would finish it off with the help of Industrial tools and products, purchased at Home Depot.  As long as the place was there and up and running, it only made CFS (Common Fucking Sense) to use the stuff while he could still get it.  Making lashings out of strips of bark worked fine, but Zip Ties would be a lot faster!  Hacking down a sapling with a stone axe wasn't that hard, but it would go faster, easier and neater using his Li-I battery powered Ryobi Reciprocating Saw, Circular Saw and Drill.  Those went in the trailer too, along with some extra batteries, a few assorted hand tools and some hardware.

Kenny pulled the ZEV up next to the paddock, and Karl and Karen soon joined him mounted on Mr. Ed and Quick Draw.  Both were sturdy quarter horses bred for work and pulling loads rather than great speed.  Huckleberry had been running back and forth between Quick Draw and Mr. Ed the whole time they were saddling up, and the animals had quickly become fast friends.  Huckleberry decided quickly that both horses were clearly friends of Karen, and so needed her protection too. Huckleberry would not let anyone threaten Karen or her friends, if they did, they would see the other side of Huckleberry, the MEAN side that would take no prisoners.  She would protect them as though they were her own puppies, and any assailants would regret the day they were ever born when the jaws of the big Siberian Husky closed around the soft neck and sent them to the Great Beyond.

"OK! Let's get on the Trail!", Karl said gleefully.  He couldn't wait to see Kenny's reaction when he saw the improvements he had made to the Lean-To.  Also, just the experience of being out on a beautiful spring day in the Montana Mountains on Mr. Ed together with his DAUGHTER (he still had trouble believing this) and a Prepper and fellow Diner Lurker was enough to make him positively gleeful.  He could almost forget that Industrial Civilization was collapsing all around them and all days in the future would not be so wonderful as this one.  However, he was alive at this moment, not in the future, and this day was one he would store in his memory bank to help make it through the tough days coming down the pipe.

Kenny pulled out his Magellan GPS to plot out the route to the lean-to, but Karl waved him off.

"No need for the GPS Kenny, I know how to get there from here.  I know that location you pointed out on Google Earth."

Kenny shook his head in disbelief.  Karl knew the territory so well that one look at Google Earth and he knew how to get there, without a GPS or even using a compass?

"You can guide from here to there without a GPS or even a compass Karl?  That's amazing!"

"I've been living up here for 40 years Kenny.  There isn't a square inch of this territory I haven't walked or ridden over at some point, and that spot is a regular one for me.  It's a great position for spotting Big Horn, you chose it well."

Kenny flushed with pride at the compliment from Karl.  He had hiked around quite a while to find that spot, which both had good visibility for around 270 degrees and enough dwarf size trees to give the Lean-to some protection from the wind.  He crossed his fingers that the structure was still up, there had been some decent T-storms since he last visited it, and it would be depressing and a lot of work to reconstruct if it was knocked down.  Not to mention embarassing in front of Karen, who was starting to get his hormones flowing as he looked at her sitting comfortably and in control of Quick Draw.  Quick Draw was a magnificent specimen of the American Quarter Horse breed, standing over 16 hands tall and weighing close to half a ton.  Karen herself was close to 6 feet tall and her years of whitewater kayaking gave her an upper body physique that most men could only dream of having, powerful shoulders and biceps that rippled with the muscle sinew.  While Quick Draw was a great quarter horse though, Karen was even MORE appealing!

Karl had been a little dishonest with Kenny, in reality he probably could not have routed there without GPS or compass had he not spent a few weeks travelling back and forth there every day to spruce up the Lean-To.  But he wanted to surprise Kenny with that, and he also didn't want to waste time with the stupid routing of the GPS, which didn't account for terrain features that the ZEV off road scooter could handle, or even some spots the horses could not traverse.  He had to ride the route several times before he could find a decent enough trail where he could get within 500 vertical feet of the lean-to on Mr. Ed pulling a travois.  Those last 500' were the toughest for Karl, his knees were not too happy about climbing these days.

Karl led the Convoy across the back country, although Huckleberry often went scooting out in front to make sure the trail was clear of other predators, doing Recon for the patrol.  Kenny had some trouble riding the scooter slow enough to stay behind the horses, and occassionally had to drop his feet down and slide them along the dirt and grass to keep balanced.   While the scooter had nice knobby tires that gave good traction, it really wasn't designed or capable of making transitions over big obstacles, high grades or cliff faces or even streams with water depth much over 6".  Like all wheeled vehicles, they are only really functional on flat ground, preferably with Roads designed for their travel.  Thus in really mountainous areas, wheeled vehicles never were developed, even after the development of metallurgy necessary for durable wheels, hubs and axles.

What did strike Kenny as curious was that the trail Karl was guiding them on appeared to be somewhat worn, like it had been travelled somewhat regularly by animals or people.  He periodically checked his GPS, and while it was not on the direct route suggested by the Magellan, it was weaving in and out around it pretty closely.  Why was there such a trail from Karl's Doomstead to the lean-to?  Kenny concluded this must be because Karl himself travelled this route, he had said that he had been to the spot before.

Karl and Karen were able to ride the horses closer than Kenny to the lean to, and Karen was able to make it up there easily before Karl, who trudged up the slope slowly, his knees aching every step of the way.  Kenny had almost a 1/2 mile to traverse on foot after parking the scooter and was well behind them, but almost caught up to Karl on his way up the slope because Karl's progress was so slow on this last stretch up.

Kenny reached the campsite sweating fairly profusely, as he had run most of the last half mile with a 50 lb pack of tools and batteries on his back and then climbed upward as fast as he could to catch up with Karl.  When he reached the campsite, he was SHOCKED.  Not only had his lean to not been knocked down, it wasn't even the lean-to he built!  It had solid posts driven into the ground, and it had a thatched roof impermeable to rain.  The walls had been mudded and were virtually impenetrable to wind.  There was a Wind Shield and Break in front of the fire ring to prevent smoke from blowing into the lean-to.  There were two meat drying racks leaning against the interior wall of the lean-to ready for use by the fire to dry freshly butchered meat!

Kenny was briefly confused, but then it quickly dawned on him.

"Karl!  You did this!  When did you get up here, when did you find it?"

Karl laughed.  "Hell, I watched you build it to begin with!  I was right over there, watching through my Zeiss Binoculars and Nikon Spotting Scope." Karl informed Kenny, pointing across to his own mountain, just a mile away on the back side.  After you packed up your camp earlier this spring, I came up here to spruce it up as a gift."

The gratitude and depth of friendship for Karl he felt on hearing this was enormous, tempered only by the fact it worried him how easily Karl was able to watch him without himself ever knowing of Karl's presence.  While having a friend and fellow Diner around was a big positive, getting used to the fact that trying to stay completely invisible was impossible was a bit difficult.

Kenny inspected the reconstructed lean-to and shrugged his shoulders.  "Well, I guess I pulled all the tools up the hill for nothing.  This fucking thing is solid as a rock."

"Actually no, there is quite a bit more we can do to improve this." Karl replied.  "Getting stuff up and down from this perch is quite the pain in the ass, especially with bad knees. I had a hell of a time getting the bigger posts up here, I had to use some pullies and block and tackle and it was still a hell of a workout.  Packing down a few hundred pounds of meat might be a bit easier, but not much."

"So what are you suggesting dad?" Karen asked, her engineer brain working furiously.

"Well, I thought we might try to construct a more permanent system than the pulleys I used, sort of like a cable car maybe, or a funicular railroad.  Just not sure how to lay it out and hook it up yet, or which would be the better choice.", Karl replied.

Karen's sparkling blue eyes lit up like they were on fire.  "YES!  We could build that" she said eyeing the terrain.  " I think a 2 part system would work.  We can lay some track for a funicular railroad up that stretch over there…" she said, pointing at the steep part from where the horses were, "…then we could run cable back to where Kenny parked the bike."

"What if the Rangers find it?" Kenny brought up.  "This is National Park Land, not our land."

"Highly unlikely the rangers find it, all the public trails they patrol are on the other side of the park.  However, it is possible that some of the other hunters who use this part of the park will run across it, although there are not too many of them and I know most of them."

"We still need to disguise it well though." Karen remarked.

"We should make the arrangement portable and disassemblable." Kenny suggested.  "We can cut saplings to use as rails and stack them along with brush along the route, and place them down when we need them.  We can string the cable only when we are using it, long as we have the attatchment points fixed."

"Yea, that would work." Karen said.  "We just need to clear the route for the funicular railroad and identify the trees we will use to fix attachment points for the cable system."

With a new project to undertake, Karl, Kenny and Karen began to scope out the route and begin the clearing for the railroad.  Karen got the route laid out, and Kenny went down the slope to find decent size saplings to use for rails, cutting them down to uniform 8' lengths and dragging them back up the hill.  Karl busied himself on the bottom part of the slope back to the ZEV to figure out a cable route that would work, which unfortunately had a couple of pretty large Western Red Cedars that would need to be worked around in some fashion.  Either they had to be cut down, or the cable would have to have a couple of joints in it.

"I don't think cutting them down is a good idea at this point Karl.  It would make it too obvious we have disturbed the forest.  Removing the stumps or grinding them down out here would be about impossible." Kenny said once informed of the problem.

"Kenny is right." Karen observed.  "We'll just have to cable in sections and transfer loads across the connections.  It will slow it down some, but still be a hell of a lot faster than packing shit up and down the slope."

By sunset all three were pretty exhausted, and they got back on the trail to Karl's doomstead.  Not much of the railroad and cable system had been constructed, there was still a lot of work to be done there, and a good deal of hardware would be necessary to purchase at Home Depot.  Over dinner of BBQ Moose Ribs and Baked Potatoes from Karl's Potato Towers slathered in Goat Butter and sprinkled with Bear Bacon Bits, they composed a shopping list for hardware that Kenny would purchase at Home Depot the following week.  Kenny would have purchased all the materials himelf with his JP Morgan Chase Debit Card from his bizness account and taken the tax deduction for the pruchases, but Karl would not agree to that and handed Kenny 5 Benjamins from his safe to help with the prepping.  Advantage in going all cash on this was there would be no record of the purchases or who made them.

Karl was most beat after dinner and around 10 pm excused hiself to hit the hay.  Kenny and Karen seemed to like each other too, so maybe there was a romance possible for them, Karl thought?  Best to leave the young folks to themselves to work this stuff out, and step out of the way.

"Damn, that was a hell of a day and a lot of fun!" Karen remarked to Kenny as they sat on the couch in front of the fireplace.  "Doomerism isn't all that depressing when you are working and planning!"

Kenny laughed.  "Yea I discovered that when I was in Junior High.  Life goes on, until it doesn't anymore.  That happens to everyone, regardless of a collapse.  You have to live your life for the now, and do the best you can to plan for your future, whatever it might be.  I have no control over what went on here before I was born, and I don't know what will happen after I die either.  For right now though, things are in a pretty pitiful state, so to me the best thing to do is to spend my energy getting ready for worse times to come."

Karen's rapid exposure to the world of doomers between her father, Kenny and the material she had so far read on the Doomstead Diner was pretty overwhelming, and despite her urge to flirt more with Kenny and invite him to sleep with her, she resisted.  She definitely didn't want Karl to think she was a slut who would sleep with any guy she met for sure!

"I'm pretty beat Kenny, and I have to work at Quinn's tomorrow.  I'm going to turn in." Karen said, finishing the last of a Rum and Coke.

"OK Karen, sleep tight.  See you in the morning for breakfast!" Kenny replied.  He was very attracted to Karen and wanted to make a pass at her, but he still was thinking about Kirsten too.  It was so much easier in High School when he barely dated at all, now he had two females bouncing inside his hormone driven brain, and they both seemed lovely and luscious, although in different ways.  It wasn't easy getting too sleep as headed out to the van for the night's rest.  As he drifted off to sleep, his final thoughts were the old saw, "Women.  Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em."

The Last Supper

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on January 29, 2017

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Fast Collapse vs Slow Collapse is always a topic for discussion Inside the Diner.  Which one you believe will occur affects many things in how you prep yourself up to try and survive the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

I myself am in the Fast Collapse Camp, I think at some point we will hit an Inflexion where the problems with the monetary system cannot be papered over, and the TBTF Banks WILL actually FAIL!  I remain amazed how really SMART the smartest guys in the room are here to have kept this system operational from 2008 to this day with such Kludges as Quantitative Easing, Zero Interest (ZIRP), Negative Interest (NIRP) and so forth.  Truly AMAZING smoke & mirrors going on here!  Backed up with a ton of Accounting Fraud, it has served to keep BAU ongoing in at least the central countries such as the FSoA, Germany and China.  Places like Greece and Italy and Spain, not doing so good, but still sorta treading water.  Places like Venezuela and Egypt, already in the Deep Doo-Doo of Collapse.

Unfortunately I can't make a good prediction of when the "Oh Shit!" moment will come for the FSoA, or even more specifically my neighborhood in Alaska.  I'm not even sure if the moment will come before I kick the bucket for more pedestrian reasons of bad health.  But, if I AM still alive the day the ATMs Go Dark or the day a Nuke lights up New York Shity, I decided I should plan for my Last Supper.

I am in no shape to survive in a Post-Collapse world.  While I have plenty of preps to survive for quite some time, once the shit goes down I'll end up giving them away, lest they be taken from me by force.  There will be kids right in my own little complex without food, and I would rather see them eating the preps than eat them myself.  I don't have much of an appetite these days anyhow.

Still, even with an ultra-rapid collapse scenario other than something like an earthquake or eruption of the Mt. Redoubt Volcano taking me out nearly instantaneously, I figure I'll have at least a day or two before everyone is going berzerk and running out of food in their own pantries.  So I am planning for this, with gourmet meals to eat those last couple of days worthy of a Michelin Guide 5 Star restaraunt.  Whether I can actually eat the meals more than a few bites is another question entirely, but I'll enjoy cooking them up anyhow. This TEOTWAWKI planning idea is actually pretty old for me, going back to 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed I bought a bottle of 50 Year Old Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which I still have so it is almost 60 years old now!  Cost a fucking fortune. So I have Quality Booze for after dinner, but I never actually drink hard liquor while eating dinner.  So I need to pick up some quality wine for the Last Supper, which I haven't done yet.  One of the Diners recently recommended some wines, I'll have to go look and see if they are available at the local Brown Jug. I'm generally partial to a Pinot Noir or a Cabernet if I drink wine with Dinner, which I don't generally do unless out at a really expensive restaurant like the Crow's Nest which sits atop the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage.  It's about the only really quality restaraunt I've found in Alaska since I moved here a decade ago.  In New York Shity when I lived there, there were many, including the one I was a Sous Chef at for a couple of years, Capsuto Freres.  Capsuto bit the dust after Sandy rolled into town and shut down that neighborhood for several months, close to a full year actually.  Some Asian style restaraunt opened up in the location after the cleanup.  Really top shelf restaraunts are always super expensive, you can't get out of there without spending Triple Digits, especially when you order a bottle of wine with dinner.

I'll also want some real good Clean Spring Water to wash down the food with, so I need to pick up a few bottles of expensive water, not the cheap filtered stuff at $1/Gallon from Walmart. In addition to your Wine, it's always good to have some pure spring water on ice to cleanse the palate for the next bite of some different part of the meal, so the taste sensation is not confused.  I'll have to remember to freeze some ice cubes up from the expensive water as soon as TFHTF so that they'll freeze up within a day and be ready to drop in a fine Glass Tumbler for cooling the Spring Water for the Last Supper.

What got me started thinking about this meal was that about a week ago I was on a Prep Run to 3 Bears, the local Food Warehouse/Grocery store which is less than a half mile from my front door.  They have the best Meat selection of all the large groceries around here at the best prices.  The rest of their stuff is not such good prices, you do much better on canned and frozen foods at Safeway or Kroger, or even Walmart if you wish to sink that low on the food chain. Walking along the fridge cabinet for Beef, I spied ON SALE Fillet Mignon PRIME beef, beautifully marbled at the astoundingly low price of $6.99/lb!  I don't think I even can REMEMBER the last time I spent less than $10/lb for a Fillet, and usually not Prime but Choice by the USDA rating for this stuff.  I never buy Select meats, its like chewing leather and not enough fat embeded to give a real good flavor.  So I bought a full almost 3 lb package of these fillets for around $18.  Fact of the matter is these days my appetite is so depressed if I can get through even 1/4 lb of meat at a single sitting that is doing good, so this package is probably good for me for at least a full week of eating Fillet Mignon every night the week after TSHTF.

At first I thought I would cook at least one of them immediately, but then I changed my mind and came up with the plan for the Last Supper and vacuum sealed them and wedged them into my already overstuffed and packed freezer to wait for the Judgement Day.  Assuming I have time for more than just one or two Last Suppers, there are also numerous Rib Eye steaks and T-Bones in there to consume as well, but I figure to give most of those away to the kids in the neighborhood now.  If I can even make it through eating the Fillets I'll be doing good.

So I got the Meat part of the Last Supper in the bag here, which is Prime Fillet Mignon.  To go with it, I plan to make a Cabernet Sauce and encrust the steak with peppercorns, and then have fresh sauteed mushrooms in garlic butter with that.  However, I can't buy the fresh mushrooms in advance here not knowing precisely when TS will HTF.  So as with getting the Spring Water Ice into the Freezer on SHTF Day, I'm going to have to go on a Final Prep Run to pick up the fresh ingredients for the Last Supper. One thing I can pick up in advance though is some Shellfish to go with the Fillet for a Surf & Turf.  I had my first Surf & Turf meal at the Palm restaraunt in NY Shity, shortly after returning from Brazil and also shortly after my parents got divorced.  It was I think the one grand fancy meal my Pigman dad treated me to after the divorce, after that he just took me to Tad's Steakhouse for a cheap grilled sirloin.  Besides the Filet the platter had on it a massive Maine Lobster Tail as well, with of course the requisite drawn butter and fresh sliced lemon.  I'm not sure right now if I want to go with Lobster Tails in the freezer or instead Alaska King Crab.  In both cases lately, I haven't been impressed with either the texture or flavor of either of these expensive Shellfish, which are coming in around $20/lb around here these days.  But I have great memories of both Lobster meals and King Crab Meals, many of which came not at real classy restaraunts, but budget places like Red Lobster and also cooking them myself, sometimes at Clambakes by burying them, sometimes at home throwing a LIVE Maine Lobster into the pot and listening to it squeal, which was not actually the lobster making the noise but air escaping from under the shell as it heated up and the lobster turned bright red.  No live Maine lobsters available around here now though, if I go with lobster for the shellfish part of the Surf & Turf it will need to be a Frozen Tail, likely as tasteless as the King Crab legs seem to be these days also.  Tasteless or not though, I will close my eyes and remember back to all those wonderful Surf & Turf meals I had over the years and it will taste just fine.  The main problem at the moment is finding room in my freezer to fit either Lobster Tails OR King Crab Legs.  It's currently stuffed to the MAX!  So they may need to be a last minute purchase on SHTF Day.

With the Fillet and the Shellfish, Wine and Spring Water now in place for the Last Supper, I start to need to think about Side Dishes.  Definitely a last minute item is the Veggie dish to go with the meal, and for this I will go with Fresh Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce.  I may keep some frozen asaparagus in the freezer as a backup, if I can find room for that too.  Asparagus was my favorite veggie when I was a kid, and unlike many kids I actually LIKED most veggies.  Out of a can though, most veggies are total crap, including Asparagus.  Too soggy, no real good texture left once canned.  Pees are OK out of a can and Beans also, and corn kernels.  Not too much else though.  

For my carbos, I am torn between doing a twiced baked potato with bacon bits & cheddar cheese and sour cream topper, or Feijon, Rice & Black Beans that was the staple of all meals while I was a kid in Brazil.  If I have two nights of Last Suppers, I'll do one of each.

The Main course should look something like this:

Prior to the main meal though, I'm going to need some other courses to really fill this thing out as a grand Last Supper.  I'll need a Salad of course to begin the meal, for this I will go with my favorite Greek Salad with Tomatoes and Olives and lots of Feta Cheese crumbles over it.  I'll need an Antipasto also, with good Italian Hard Salami, Provolone Cheese, Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella balls marinated with Sun Dried Tomatoes.  Then also a Head of fresh garlic roasted in Extra Virgin Olive Oil as well.  I'll also need a bowl of soup, for this I will go with Jewish Penicillin, a nice bowl of Chicken Soup with two big fluffy Matzoh Balls in it, as well as plenty of celery and diced carrots.

For Desert, I'll brew up some fresh Arabica Coffee beans, and add to that some Bailey's Irish Cream, and a slice of NY style Cheesecake, perhaps with some fresh Strawberries.  I'll have to get that at the Bakery though as I am not a terrific Baker, and my cheescake never comes out quite how I like it.  I've never figured out the secret to getting a nice fluffy cheesecake, it always comes out too dense no matter what recipe I use.

Of course to get all these ingredients for the Last Supper on SHTF Day, I'm going to need to get out to the grocery store early with my CASH FRNs from inside the mattress Bank of Sealy, then back to the digs to bolt the front door while I do my cooking to keep the Zombies out until I can at least have a few bites before I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.

Could I possibly eat such a meal these days, with all those courses and mass quantity of food?  Hell no, I'd be stuffed before I even finished the soup & salad, much less getting to the main course!  But I can fantasize about it, and remember all those great meals I both ate and cooked up in the past.  I can also cook it still, even if I can't manage to eat all of it, and I can put the Leftovers in my fridge for the Zombies to consume the day AFTER TSHTF!

After Dinner and consuming the bottle of Pinot Noir, I'll crack open the 50 year old bottle of Glenlivet and pour it straight over the rocks of the frozen expensive bottled spring water and open up a fresh pack of Cancerettes to go with it. Then I will sit down at my new Dell All-in-One Computer with the Big Screen Monitor, and keyboard out my last post on the Diner.

What is on your SHTF Day, Last Supper, Bucket List Menu?

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 12

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Published on The Doomstead Diner January 27, 2017

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Karen's anticipation of spending the day with her biological father at last kept her from getting to sleep the night before, and then she popped out of bed early at 7AM, despite the fact Karl wasn't coming until 10.

There was always a lot of speculation around Quinn's as to what Karl really did for a living, whenever he was asked he would just reply, "I'm a financial advisor".  Karen's mom Maggie had shared the exploits of their trip to Las Vegas and all the money Karl won at the Black Jack tables, so there was a good deal of speculation he was a professional gambler, or had been in the past.  Others speculated he was a Billionaire Recluse like Howard Hughes.  Whatever he was, he never seemed to be short of money to spend at Quinn's, and he always was driving really nice pickup trucks or motorcycles, before he got into the electric scooters.

Karen took her dog Huckleberry out for a run to work out some of the nerves and keep the big Siberian Husky in shape.  Huckleberry was a great dog her mom got her for her 16th birthday, and Maggie looked after her while Karen was in college at UoW.  Now at 7 years old she was in her prime, and gave Maggie a real run for her money when they were out on the trail together.  Huckleberry was faster in a sprint, but Maggie had more endurance and could wear her down on a long enough run.  Huckleberry also wasted a lot of energy, often sprinting ahead then doubling back, or running off trail to investigate whatever seemed interesting to investigate.

Despite the cool weather of an early spring morning in the Montana mountains, by the time they got back to Karen's duplex condo in Lolo that Maggie had left to her, she was covered in sweat and Huckleberry was panting hard.  She took a nice long shower, and then made her usual breakfast of french bread and cheese, two hardboiled eggs and thinly sliced nova scotia smoked salmon with capers on top. Huckleberry got her favorite dog food meal, Taste of the Wild Southwest Prairie, and Karen wondered about whether Karl would want Huckleberry along for the visit?  She had forgetten to mention her, and it was a little late to ask now.  If not, she could leave Huckleberry out in the small yard out behind the duplex in her doghouse.  Huckleberry was used to this, as she often had to spend time alone in the yard by herself, both while Maggie was at work and then now Karen.  Huckleberry had trouble figuring out what happened to Maggie, although she knew that Maggie was sick and had stayed by her bedside until she passed into the Great Beyond.  It was the only death of a loved one Huckleberry had ever seen though, so it was hard to figure out why Maggie wasn't there the next day and never came back.  Karen was very familiar though even though she hadn't seen her too often while in college, but she remembered well playing with her when she was a puppy.  So the adustment wasn't that hard, and after a month or so Huckleberry settled back into her old routines, other than the fact she got a lot more running and exercise in with Karen than she had with Maggie.  That was a lot of fun.

Promptly at 10 AM, Karl pulled up in front of the condo, driving an enormous nearly brand new 2017 Chevy Suburban, loaded with all the latest and greatest electronic gizmos like wi-fi and bluetooth as well as gps and a backing camera system.  Tacked on the front steel protective grate was a 12,000 lb Warn winch and air compressor as well.

"Jeez Karl, that car is a BEAST!" Karen remarked coming out front to greet him.  "I thought you only drive electric vehicles?  I would have figured you for a Tesla."

"Nah,  If you want some real power, you gotta go with an internal combustion engine.  My two wheelers are all electric now and I have some small electric work vehicles, but for carting stuff back and forth to my place I've got this and a Chevy C4500 Kodiak pickup truck.  I figured this would be a nicer ride since the Kodiak is a couple of years old and a little beat up now.  Still smells brand new!" Karl said with a smile.  "So you got any gear you want to bring along."

"Yeah, I have a bag packed with some stuff.  I was wondering though, would it be OK to bring along my dog Huckleberry?  Do you like dogs?" Karen asked.

"Oh sure, I love animals.  I've got chickens and goats and a couple of horses. A couple of outside cats too Felix and Garfield who periodically show up. No dog right now, my Labrador Scooby Doo died a couple of years ago and I haven't got a new one yet.  He was around for 15 years and I haven't been able to replace him yet.  Maybe this year though…"

"Wow Karl, that's quite a menagerie!" Karen exclaimed.  "I'll go in and get my bag and some stuff for Huckleberry.  Be back out in a jiffy!"

Karen returned quickly with a small daypack and Huckleberry who followed along right on her heel with no leash.  Huckleberry eyed the Suburban somewhat suspiciously, it was way bigger than the Ford Escort that Karen drove.  However, when Karen pointed in the back and ordered "IN", Huckleberry made the jump up into the rear compartment.  "Good Grief, this car is even bigger than my doghouse!" Huckleberry though in amazement.

"Do you have a leash for Huckleberry?" Karl asked as they got in the front seat of the Suburban.

"Yea, its in my bag but I don't think I'll need to put it on her.  Shes a good dog and doesn't run off.  Although, she hasn't been around chickens and goats, so no telling there."

"So Karl, when was the last time you had anyone come out to your place?"  Nobody at Quinn's has ever been there, even my mom never got out there.  She said when you guys were together that you either bought a cabin at Quinn's or stayed at her place."

"Oh, it's been a long time Karen, I had a friend with a cabin nearby who came over while he was living near me, but he moved up to Canada after 9-11.  Before that even longer, right after I moved to the property in the 1970s one of my cousins came to visit.  She wasn't too impressed and thought I was off my rocker.", Karl laughed.  "Never came back.  It wasn't as well built up as it is now though.  Hope it doesn't put you off the way it did her."

"Oh, I'm sure it's beautiful Karl.", Karen replied, silently wondering to herself what the place was really like.  Maybe it was some kind of Underground Bunker?  Karl was well known by everyone at Quinn's to be a Doomer preparing for TEOTWAWKI, or "The End of the World as We Know It".

Still, if he had chickens and goats and horses, the whole thing couldn't be underground, Karen reasoned to herself.  Keeping all those animals underground was a mind boggling idea, although the engineer in her started to calculate how much space would be needed and how to power it all up.

"So how big is it Karl?  Like how many acres?"

"Oh, it's pretty big." Karl replied, declining to put numbers to it specifically.

Karen laughed.  "Karl everybody at Quinnl's knows THAT!  Could you be a little more specific?"

Karl smiled.  "You'll see."


As Karl finally brought the Suburban to a halt, Karen remarked, "You are right Karl.  This would have been tough to find, even with a GPS."

Getting out of the car and looking around, she could see some raised beds and potato towers, and some split rail fencing with a pasture and some goats &  mangalitsa pigs nosing around, but at first did not spy either Karl's house or the barn.  Maybe he did live underground after all?"

"So Karl, where do you actually live?  You got some kind of Bunker or something?"

Karl laughed.  "No not quite, only about half undergound.  It's an Earthship, and its built into the side of the mountain.  You can't really see it from this angle.  Follow me around the fence here.

Walking around the fence line, at first Karen saw nothing, but then focusing her eyes as they came around about 90 degrees from where they parked, she spied it.  Built in to the side of the mountain with all glass facing to the south was what looked to be a Hobbit House on steroids, it appeared to be around 200' long with windows popping out of the ground in various places, and no real idea how deep into the mountainside it had been cut.

"Good grief Karl, that place is HUGE!"

"Oh, it's not that big." Karl replied.  "It only goes in about 30' at the deepest and part of it serves as a barn for the horses and goats and a chicken coop. Then some storage areas for preps."

Karen shook her head in disbelief.  Not only was the Earthip immense despite Karl's downplaying it, looking around the pasture and counting in the driveway, there had to be at least 50 acres, if not 100.

"You must have 50 acres at least here Karl." she said.

"Oh no, more than that." Karl pointed up the mountain behind the Earthship.  "See up there?  That's mine too."

Up the slope of the mountain about 1000 feet Karen could see what he was pointing at.  There was a large solar Array and 4 large commercial grade Wind Turbines on Towers.  Karen's eyes opened wide.

"You own all of that?" she asked incredulously.

"Oh yes, everything on this side of the mountain and down the other too.  It's Karl's Mountain.  At least that's what the property deeds say while BAU holds up and I can pay the taxes on it anyhow."

"So all the folks at Quinn's who speculated you're some kind of eccentric billionaire were right?"

"Oh hell no, not that loaded.  Not sure what the whole portfolio is worth these days, and some of it is not too liquid either, like the land itself.  Maybe $100M."

"Well, that's still fucking rich Karl!".

"Nah, I'm just Upper Middle Class.  You gotta have at least $10B these days to be considered rich."

"Yea, right.", Karen remarked, rolling her eyes.

"Come on inside, lemme show you around the place." Karl said.  He was feeling much better now, since Karen was clearly impressed with the place.  Living the kind of isolated life he did, he didn't really feel all that rich, although he knew by the numbers that he was.  Mainly he just felt like he had done pretty well financially over the years.

Walking inside and looking at the polished wood floors and sparkling clean kitchen all lit up by the big windows, it looked like a showpiece from Better Homes & Gardens.  Karen took pride in keeping her Duplex clean and neat, but this took it to a whole new level.

"You're a great housekeeper Karl!  Not too many single men are so tidy!"

"Uh, yea, sometimes." Karl coughed. His knees were still sore from the hours spent scrubbing the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.

"Would you like a snack or something to drink?"

"I had a pretty big breakfast this morning, not too hungry yet. A cup of coffee would be nice though if you have some."

"Oh sure, I'll brew some right up.  It's just Maxwell House, I don't get into town much to buy fresh coffe beans."

"Maxwell House is fine Karl, I'm not too picky." Karen laughed.  "Mind if I check out the rest of the house while you make the coffee?"

"Sure." Karl replied.  "Make yourself at home. My home is your home."  The words spilled out of his mouth almost without conscious thought, and the warmth he felt as he said them was something he had never before experienced in his life.

"Uhhh, well, is it OK for me to start calling you "Dad", instead of Karl?" Karen asked nervously.

Karl felt the joy in his heart overflowing, and the tears of that joy followed closely behind.

"Yes Karen, that's OK if you want to.  It's going to take me a while to get used to that though."


Bye, Bye Pastrami on Rye

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Published on The Doomstead Diner January 22, 2017

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On New Year's Eve of 2016, the Carnegie Delicatessen in NY Shity closed it's doors for the final time.  There will be no more Hot Pastrami sandwiches on Rye Bread served at the Carnegie anymore. 🙁 Back in 2012 when the Doomstead Diner first opened its doors, the Stage Delicatessen closed down.  In 2004, the other main iconic Jewish Deli of NY Shity Ratner's on Delancey Street closed its doors.  I frequented all these Jewish Delicatessens in my years living in NY Shity, and the Carnegie closing marks the last of the truly great ones I know of. OK, wait, Katz's is still open for bizness, but their Pastrami was not as good as Carnegie or Stage.

There were many other lesser known ones, in fact right by my old High School of Stuyvesant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan there was a small one I often had lunch at, which served up a GREAT Potato Knish for about 50 cents at the time if I recall.  Their Pastrami wasn't near as good as the Pastrami you got at the Stage or the Carnegie though.

There were many other Jewish Delis sprinkled around NY Shity in those years as well, mainly in the various Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.  There were some good ones in Forest Hills as I recall, though I can't remember their names anymore.  Usually they were just named after the founder of the Deli, like "Feynman's Delicatessen" or "Murray's Delicatessen" etc.

My TOP 10 favorite Jewish Foods from the era were: (more or less in order)

1- Hot Pastrami on Rye Bread
2- Matzoh Ball Soup
3- Bagel shmeared with Cream Cheese and Lox
4- Matzoh Meal Latkes (Pancakes)
5- Potato Knish
6- Chicken Liver Pate
7- Beef Tongue Sandwich on Rye
8- Kosher Hot Dog
9- Whole Smoked Whitefish Chubs
10- Potato Latkes (Pancakes)

Fortunately for me since I know how to cook quite well, I can reproduce most of these dishes fairly well to this day, but I don't do it because my appetite is so depressed and you have to make them in large quantities.  To make a good Pastrami, you need to smoke up a full brisket of beef, and I couldn't eat that much meat in a month these days, by which time it goes bad unless frozen, and after freezing a lot of the flavor is lost.  You really want to eat this stuff RIGHT after you finish cooking it, which is why Delis developed to begin with.  While one person or even a small family can't finish a whole beef brisket in one meal (except for total PIGS!), if you have even just 20 or 30 people stop in your Deli for Lunch, you can easily go through a few briskets for the day.  Dropping into a Deli for a Lunch of Matzoh Ball Soup and a Hot Pastrami on Rye was an EXTREME culinary pleasure, and at the time not all that expensive although more expensive than a Slice of Mushroom Pizza at the local Storefront Italian Pizzeria.  There you could get a slice of freshly baked Pizza for around 25 cents and a Minestrone Soup for another 25 cents.  In my neighborhood of Flushing, Queens, during my years there from age 10 to 16 there were 3 main groups of 1st or 2nd generation Immigrants, Italians, Jews and Irish.  The Italians and the Jews served up the FOOD, the Irish ran all the BARS and served up the BOOZE. lol.  In the later years the Chinese and various other Asian groups began arriving, and lots of Chinese Take Out restaraunts popped up. Jewish Delis aren't the only restaraunts I frequented in NY Shity during my salad years there in the 70s and 80s now Outta Biz, even some top end Steakhouses like Smith & Wollensky are gone to the Great Beyond.  They bit the dust in 2016.  This is in NY Shity, home to Wall Street with some traders and executives still taking home outrageous salaries and big bonuses.  Why can't a high end restaraunt like this make a go of it in that market?

Well, you gotta understand the restaurant biz to begin with here, it always depends on VOLUME.  You need to keep all your tables filled all the time, and there also needs to be a quite large difference between the cost of the food you cook up and what you charge to the customers in order to meet all the overhead, which is quite large especially in NY Shity.  The restaurant bizness is extremely labor intensive, and labor costs are high even if you pay all the workers Min Wage.  You can't pay decent chefs Min Wage though, so the better the food, the higher the costs get driven up.

NY Shity commercial rents have shot through the ROOF in the last decade to begin with.  Then the cost of the food ingredients also went up rapidly.  Then, despite the fact there are a FEW Banksters making gobs of money, MOST of the population doesn't have all that much to spend on Lunch.  So the efffect is the restaurant keeps raising it's prices in order to meet the overhead which drives away more of their regular customers then making it uneconomic to cook up a half dozen beef briskets each day to make Pastrami out of.  Not selling enough Pastrami then, said Deli ends up going outta biz. The same thing is true for a high end steakhouse like Smith & Wollensky, and really the only types of restaraunts currently surviving are either Fast Food (FF acronym, like the Fossil Fuels they are made from) which operate with low quality food served at high volume and low prices, or medium level chains like say Olive Garden which serve medium quality food at medium prices and ALSO have access to DEBT money to subsidize losing money operations.  Small independents from either end of the spectrum are squashed out because they don't have access to the debt that allows a large chain to keep going even when it also is losing money.

It's a sorry state of affairs of course, and the fact that the typical Lunch menu for a worker has devolved from a nice juicy Hot Pastrami sandwich to a Big Mac is a very depressing state of affairs, although also a good symbol for the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

Great Pastrami came at the PINNACLE of Industrial Civilization, probably around the mid 1960s to 1970s.  There was certainly good pastrami around before that though, going back to the 1920s probably.  The Good Pastrami also lasted until the early 2000s, when it started to disappear.  Fabulous Pastrami at Great Jewish Delis had about an 80 year lifespan available to the average J6P around NY Shity, basically tracing the Age of Oil. The Death of Great Pastrami came due to the economics of producing it and serving it up in Delis.  At the beginning, the rents in NY Shity were cheap for a small deli operator, but over the years they rose into the stratosphere.  While a few Wall Street Pigmen make gobs of money, except for a very few high end restaurants you can't base your bizness on them.  There's just not enough of them who will buy a Hot Pastrami Sandwich for lunch on a daily basis.

As the rents skyrocketed, so did the cost of buying a Pastrami Sandwich at places like the Stage & Carnegie Delicatessens.  Even when I left NY Shity back in the 90s, a lunch at one of those places was coming in around $10, maybe a bit more.  This was no longer a meal for the average J6P.  I don't know what the Final Price on the menu was for a Pastrami on Rye when the Carnegie Delicatessen closed its doors for the last time on Dec 31st, 2016, but I suspect it was in the $20 range.

With these kind of prices, where the average J6P in NYC goes for lunch is not to a Jewish Deli for Pastrami, but to Mickey D's for a Big Mac, Fries & a Coke, a meal which itself is coming in close to $10 these days!  It also obviously lacks the terrific flavor and texture of well prepared Pastrami, and all the workers in that FF joint are being paid minimum wage.  The whole category of a well paid chef is ELIMINATED!  In fact, the push is on to eliminate even the low paid cooks who dutifully drop the frozen french fries into the deep fryer with robots that can do the job more reliably 24/7 with no coffee breaks! Nobody seems to know where the folks who BUY Lunch from the Robots will get the money to do this though, as they are automated out of a job.  There are suggestions out there of a guaranteed "Universal Basic Income", sort of Welfare on Steroids, but nobody knows how to implement such a thing without it destroying incentive to work at all or without creating an endless cycle of price inflation.  The folks who have the monopoly over Money Creation are also unlikely to just give the money away to anybody except other members of their own club as they currently do all the time, so a Universal Basic Income seems an unlikely outcome here.  Whatever that nominal amount of money is, it most certainly would not buy a nice thick and juicy Pastrami on Rye sandwich, and probably not even a Big Mac, Fries and a Coke!  Maybe the money will buy some thin gruel poured over a slice of Wonder Bread?

I will leave you for this episode of Dayz of Our Kollapse Lives with a song parody.  Sing to the Tune of "American Pie" by Don Maclean.


A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step

I can't remember if I cried
When I read the Carnegie Deli died
But something touched me deep inside
The day the Pastrami Died

So bye, bye Pastrami on Rye
Drove my Chevy to the Deli but the Deli was Fried
And them good ole boys were eating a Big Mac & Fries
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in latkes and gefilte fish?
Can Bagels save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to eat real slow?

Well, I know that you're in love with Bagels
Cause I saw you eating them at the tables
You shmeared on the creame cheese and lox
and danced on the table in just your socks

I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the Pastrami Died

I started singing,  bye, bye Pastrami on Rye
Drove my Chevy to the Deli but the Deli was Fried
And them good ole boys were eating a Big Mac & Fries
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Now for 5 years we've been watching doom
Diners observing all the oncoming gloom
But that's not how it used to be
Until JFK rode in the limousine
Next to Jackie the pill cap Queen
Promising the death of the Land of the Free

Oh, and while JFK was looking down
LBJ stole his thorny crown
Vietnam was escalated
While bigger lies were being created

And while Liddy hit the Watergate
Nixon pitched the gold out of the gate
And we sang dirges for our fate
The day the money died

We were singing,  bye, bye Pastrami on Rye
Drove my Chevy to the Deli but the Deli was Fried
And them good ole boys were eating a Big Mac & Fries
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

[Verse 3]
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off to a Doomer Shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The Diners tried for a forward pass
With RE on the sidelines in a cast

Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While the Diners played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

Cause the Diners tried to take the field
The Illuminati refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the Pastrami Died?

We started singing,  bye, bye Pastrami on Rye
Drove my Chevy to the Deli but the Deli was Fried
And them good ole boys were eating a Big Mac & Fries
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

[Verse 4]
Oh, and there we were all in the Diner
Eating Doom meals that couldn't be finer
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil's only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that RE spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw RE laughing with delight
The day the Pastrami Died

He started singing,  bye, bye Pastrami on Rye
Drove my Chevy to the Deli but the Deli was Fried
And them good ole boys were eating a Big Mac & Fries
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

I met a Troll who made page views
And he pitched out all his happy news
But it was bullshit and he was sent away
I went down to the convenience store
Where I bought my gas for years before
But the clerk told me there was no gas left today

And in the streets, the Zombies screamed
The Doomers cried and the Cornucopians dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The internet was all broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the Pastrami Died

And they were singing,  bye, bye Pastrami on Rye
Drove my Chevy to the Deli but the Deli was Fried
And them good ole boys were eating a Big Mac & Fries
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

They were singing,  bye, bye Pastrami on Rye
Drove my Chevy to the Deli but the Deli was Fried
And them good ole boys were eating a Big Mac & Fries
And singin' this'll be the day that I die

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Kushner and Trump: Taped At Secret Trump Tower Meetings With Russians? March 3rd, Donald Trump ... car companies have been renowned for decades ...

Keep that Python Defense Fast Hatchet handy PY!  You don't want to end up like this guy!CHOP CHOP CHOP!RE[... Philosophy of Decline and Collapse2017 March 27by Ian Wels...

Peruvians still swimming.I wonder if they will count all the cholera deaths in the next year in with the 96 so far tallied?    Best part comes at the end:QuoteInternational aid has begun to arrive, with the United State...

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Oh the wicked web we weave..... [...]

Kushner and Trump: Taped At Secret Trump Tower Mee [...]

DOOMSTEADDINER.COMI have pointed the old Doomstead [...]

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Agelbert NOTE: The Koch Brothers will SELL the ref [...]

Robert Reich : The Resistance Report March 27, 201 [...]

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 Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez [...]

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About this ReportIn its Corporate Responsibility R [...]

2017-03-26 - Brazil handing over the Amazon rainfo [...]

Second State In Less Than A Month Challenges Fed, [...]

Health Freedom Victory: How a Small Supplement Com [...]

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Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Standard Issue Incompetence - More Evidence of Imperial Decay (Time for Fight or Flight?) By Cogniti [...]

By Cognitive Dissonance   de·lu·sion·al dəˈlo͞oZH(ə)nəl/ adjective: delusional Characterized by or h [...]

By Cognitive Dissonance Back in the days of sword and sail, warships mounted heavy cannon on their d [...]

This issue of my Patreon Newsletter is open to the public. Please enjoy the article. (I now have a P [...]

By Cognitive Dissonance   I just installed a brand spanking new mailbox here at the homestead, the t [...]

Event Update For 2017-03-27 Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-03-26 Th [...]

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The sounds of the Romanian countryside, unleashed by Fanfare Ciocărlia for twenty years and counting [...]

Fanfare Ciocărlia's lead vocalists (and trumpet players) Radulescu Lazar and Costică "Cima [...]

When I finally made the first steps to end my abstention after more than ten years in the "musi [...]

All digital reproductions are equally made with zeroes and ones, although some zeroes and ones are m [...]

The appearance of the music industry's various formats, plotted along M. King Hubbert's 19 [...]

Daily Doom Photo



  • Peak Surfer
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Rescuing Los Angeles"How can we use our hard wiring to communicate to the herd that it is time to veer off from a r [...]

Wetiko"When we visited Los Angeles, what we were seeing was not so much a collective neurosis as a co [...]

The Sheer Wall"A system that places monetary value on products and services but places little value on their [...]

Climate Ecoforestry"Want to leap the social barrier to cool living? Behold: a stargate."  In 2008 we asked Fr [...]

Cicero and the Summer of 45"Happiness, Cicero said, is not dependent on things that pleasure the body, but on pleasures of [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

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In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Democracy and politics would be messy business even if all participants were saints. But America doe [...]

A new book argues that, in order to survive climate change and peak oil, the global money economy ne [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

"I don’t feel the need to Abilify …" Seems all the doctors here have a "Medicate firs [...]

Very good points.And simplicity is a virtue as long as we don't overdo it. I don't see how [...]

To get into my simpler mentality: if "green tech" will save us, why is it that: (A) nowher [...]

it would get a bit monotonous on your own. i talk to myself too much as it is [...]

I love it! Suggestion for #13. Have a party in your garden at least once a month and come up with so [...]

elmar`s global “Magic Dozen” for the twilight years: and the garden party 1. be friendly and in good [...]

I believe the system breaks by 20 dollars a barrel and that is exactly where we are headed. The syst [...]

Steve, you can shut down this blog now: [...]

Ivan Illich's Energy and Equity, written in 1973, sounds more relevant every passing day. It is [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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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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Collapse Fiction

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Technical Journals

Climate is one of the single most important factors affecting watershed ecosystems and water resourc [...]

Municipalities are important actors in the field of local climate change adaptation. Stakeholders ne [...]

The Global Climate Model (GCM) run at a coarse spatial resolution cannot be directly used for climat [...]

The present study presents a brief discussion regarding the evolution of meteorology from the sixtee [...]