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TransAtlantic Kabuki

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Published on The Doomstead Diner October 20, 2019

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Across the Collapse Blogosphere, you'll repeatedly run into the acronym "SHTF".  There's even at least two blogs titled with the acronym,  SHTF Plan  &  SHTF Blog .  I'm sure there are others, but those two make it into the Top 15 of "Survivalist" Blogs.  Here on the Diner on an economic level we often discuss "SHTF Day".  It's the day the ATMs go down or the liquidity dries up in the ovenright interbank lending market or the stock market drops 5000 points in a day, that sort of thing.  Total MAYHEM ensues after such an event of course, which would be a watershed and marker as we move inexorably down the Collapse Highway.  The Stock Market crash of 1929 was such an event, and for those of you interested in comparison of what occured 90 years ago to the week to today, this is a good documentary recently produced (there are of course many of them).

Image result for cats on roller coaster gif A single SHTF Day may or may not occur along the road here, and it may or may not be proximally an economic event, though whatever does set things off for a faster ride down the Roller Coaster Hill has as its underpinning economics.  It might be somebody pitching a Nuke at somebody else they have disagreements with; it may be a 9.0 shaker sending half of Los Angeles into the Pacific Ocean; it might be the entire grid of the FSoA being knocked out by one disgruntled teenage Hacker living in mom's basement, WTF knows there what the trigger might be?

On the Geopolitical level though, this week,for the Anglo-American Empire on both sides of the Pond, this can be described as nothing less than SHTF Week.  Two Kabuki theaters are playing themselves out, one in Parliament in Jolly Old England, the other here in the FSoA in CONgress.  Boris Johnson (BoJo) tried to ramrod his latest tweaks to the Brexit Deal through Parliament, and like Theresa May before him, it got pretty well shot down.  So Parliament is once again swimming in a pool of deep shit, and the coming week before the All Hallow's Eve deadline  to exit the EU stage left should be quite the hoot.  Don't miss the updates on this clusterfuck here Inside the Diner.

Not to be outdone by the Brits, the Clown-in-Chief and his Minions are staging a Clown Show that is non-pareil in Amerikan History, by more measures than even I thought imaginable.  I mean, I've been following the antics of The Donald since I was a Freshman at Columbia and always knew (and repeatedly said here on the Diner) that he was a Train Wreck waiting to happen, and happen it did this week.  It is of course something of a slow-motion train wreck, and this whole Kabuki has numerous acts to follow this week's opening salvo.  El Trumpo had a "meltdown" in his most recent meeting with Pelosicrat, Repugnants are jumping ship all over the place due to his withdrawal of troops from Syria and abandonment of the Kurds, and most entertaining of all, Rudolf the Red-Faced ex-Mayor of the Big Apple is currently under investigation by both the FBI and the SDNY for innumerable transgressions and obviously thoroughly illegal activities with respect to Ukraine-gate.  Beyond THAT, Rudy-Kazooty has now gone DESAPARECIDO, and dropped off the face of the Earth with no appearances on FAUX Newz and no Tweets either, for I think about the last 72 hours!  I have speculated inside the Diner that he may have gone the way of Jimmy Hoffa, although I don't think he is buried under the Astroturf at Giant Stadium.  He may be wearing Cement Galoshes though and doing some Deep Diving at the bottom of the East River. lol.

He may turn up here at some point, but if ever there was a "Smoking Gun" in a corruption investigation, Rudi is IT in this one.  Just as John Mitchell was the Smoking Gun in the original "-gate" conspiracy of Watergate, Giulani is the same kind of lynchpin here, connecting Trumpovetsky to the various other lower level money conduits from Mother Russia into the Trump campaign, and also more than likely his various failing biznesses which need the constant infusion of debt to keep running.  Make no mistake about it, El Trumpo is PWNED by Vlad the Impaler, and when he no longer proves to be an asset but rather a liability, Putin will cut him loose too.

So, as we move forward into the NEXT week of Kabuki here on this side of the pond, the main question for the week is, "Where's Rudi?"

Image result for rudy giuliani missing

Setting the Stone on the Collapse of Industrial Civilization: The Christening

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 29, 2019

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I've been feeling pretty under the weather for the last couple of weeks, with very low energy to do any writing.  It's unfortunate since there is so MUCH to write about these days in the World of Collapse  The Trumpovetsky Impeachment grows ever more bizzare each day with new revelations, new inquiries, new subpoenas and new comedy.  The Tweeter-in-Chief digs himself an ever deeper hole, and Repugnant Rats are jumping ship all over the place.  At this point impeachment articles are pretty certain to be brought, to be followed by a trial in the Senate.  Whether enough Repugnant Senators will vote his Trumpness out of the Oval Office remains to be seen.  It all depends on public opinion, and whether the 20 or so Senators up for reelection in 2020 consider Orange Julius to be too much of a liability to support anymore.

Starring also this week in the Reality TV show is El Presidente's personal lawyer, Rudolf the Red Faced ex-mayor of the Big Apple.  The videos of Rudi going ballistic in interviews are truly insane and more farcical than any Cold Open tha SNL has ever done.  He is of course now himself under investigation, and his employer isn't even sure he's still his attorney.  Guaranteed, Trumpofsky will attempt to throw

 

 

Rudi under the bus at some point here.

The list of "officials" who have either quit or been fired from their White House jobs keeps growing, and Whistleblowers are growing like Mushrooms on a cool damp morning in Kennett Square, PA.

There's still more action going on across the Pond , where BoJo continues to fight for his political life over the possible (but unlikely) so-called "No Deal" Brexit, which would be a complete economic clusterfuck and turn what's left of the European banking system into mincemeat.  More likely here is a capitulation by BoJo with another "kick-the-can" delay and further negotiations with Brussels, also sure to go nowhere.  Everybody is completely sick of this Kabuki theater, but nobody can come up with a workable compromise solution, because well…THERE ISN'T ONE!  You can't fix Collapse.

There was tons more worth writing about this week, from the Extinction Rebellion global demonstrations to the Blackouts in California affecting the Big Shities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.  This time around the Wildfires have hit in highly populated areas, and PG & E is trying to limit their liability by shutting off the power.  They're already dead broke of course and will get further sued for not keeping up with maintenance on the grid.

Anyhow though these topics all deserve blogs of their own, I don't have the energy to write them right now.  What I did do was produce the video I made a month or so ago on my trip to the lower 48 to plant the SUN Monument on its Eternal Resting Place in the North Greenlawn Cemetery in Springfield, MO.  In this video, you'll find out WHY the SUN Monument exists and what its purpose and rationale is.  It took a terrifically long time to complete and I'm just glad I stayed above ground long enough to get it DONE.  So with that final statement that should last long after the internet goes dark, hopefully whoever survives the maelstrom to come will know something about what went wrong here on Planet Earth and have a signpost with instructions on how NOT to make the same mistakes over again.  You're all invited to the Funeral when I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.  You can't miss it, nothing else remotely like it in the cemetery.

Collapse is in full swing now, we're on the way down the first big hill on the roller coaster, and we're riding off the rails on the Crazy Train.

OPEN LETTER TO GRETA THUNBERG

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on October 6, 2019

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by Geoffrey Chia, October 2019

Dear Ms Thunberg,

It is with some hesitation I pen this letter. If you ever read this, which is unlikely, it may seem but one more of numerous missives from complete strangers who feel entitled to write to you or about you because of your recent meteoric rise to fame. If you never read this, which is more likely, then what is the point of this letter? Hence I admit I write this more as a catharsis for myself (as has been the case for most of my articles) than as a means of communication. I do however hope and believe this note may also be of some value to others who may chance upon it.

Let me begin by congratulating you on your plain spoken address to the UN climate action summit last month, expressing your contempt for the empty words and meaningless gestures of hypocritical adults who either claim to address climate change but do nothing, or blatantly deny scientific reality to line their own hip pockets. Your powerful words and emotions thoroughly shamed all adults, myself included. I could not hold back the tears from my eyes apprehending your pain and anger while also wondering: what can we do to alleviate the distress of this young person and billions of children around the world like her? How can we offer you realistic hope? My honest answer, as someone who has studied the sciences regarding (un)sustainability for two decades now, is there is little to nothing I can offer. All I can offer you is an apology. If you peruse my articles on the web over the years, you will see that all my efforts to strive for state or national policy change and to fight against the fossil fool fraudsters have amounted to nothing whatsoever. A big fat zero. So why should you bother listening to me, a miserable failure? Perhaps because, quite apart from learning about successes, it may be even more instructional for you to learn from failures. And I am a failure.

You said that Asperger's syndrome was your super power. What a good description. Before your worldwide rise to fame, before today, now that every man, woman and dog tries to sidle up to you and garner a piece of your celebrity, I suspect you experienced social isolation. Your analytical brain enabled you to perceive crucial scientific Truths with crystal clarity, which the unintelligent deluded majority could not or would not see. As a result you found it difficult or impossible to hold meaningful conversations with so-called “normal” people. As someone who experienced the same, I personally found comfort in the words of Krishnamurti:

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society"

and Terence McKenna: "The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation".

What do those quotes mean? They mean that you, Greta, represent the new improved Humanity version 2.0, I would describe you as a "super-sane" person. More about that later.

At the tender age of fifteen you struck a lonely figure sitting in solitude outside the Swedish Parliament in all weathers, surely pondering why none of your peers comprehended the existential crises that humanity faced, wondering why they did not join you in the most important struggle of our time, at that time. No longer. You have since opened the eyes of your generation and sparked a revolution among the young. I reckon your IQ is far above the 99th percentile for age. You have a logical mind which is receptive to facts and rejects lies: it cuts through bullshit like a hot knife through butter. You schooled yourself in the science of climate change which in recent years has accelerated beyond the worst expectations.

But far more important than your intelligence is your unshakeable moral compass. Stand firm Greta! Hold your ground! Dig your heels in and remain true to your principles! There are no end to the number of odious slimeballs in Right Wingnut Land who would like to destroy you, to see you stumble, to tear you down. You are a strong person Greta, you can stare them down, you can prevail! The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. You will be seen by future generations (if there are any future generations) to be firmly on the right side of history. You will be mentioned in the same breath as icons such as Rosa Parks.

There will be times when it all seems too much, too difficult, too overwhelming for a young girl to bear, especially when you may feel that all the world's expectations rest on your shoulders. You are still a child. It is not your personal responsibility to "save the world", it was the responsibility of older generations who not only abrogated their duty but cynically chose to accelerate the planetary destruction for a paltry few pieces of silver. Nature be damned, indigenous people be damned, minorities be damned, poor people be damned, children be damned. Who gives a shit. You know who I mean: people like Trump, Bolsonaro, Joko Widodo et al. So-called national leaders. It would be a mistake however to think that such individuals are the root cause and the only cause of our problems. They are merely the figureheads and ventriloquist dummies of shadier puppet masters who control the military-industrial-corporate complex: media magnates such as Rupert Murdoch, fossil fools such as Gina Rinehart and the Koch brothers1, Wall Street bankers, Arms manufacturers, the NRA, big Agrichemical businesses…the list goes on. Those nefarious power brokers have installed their political puppets into high office either by direct coups or by perverting the mechanisms of democracy. They have been incredibly effective in their use of propaganda to persuade the reptile brained majority to vote self serving psychopaths into positions of power. Psychopaths who work against the interests of ordinary people in favour of the filthy rich. Hence whether we like it or not, one major cause of our planetary devastation is the appalling gormlessness of the easily manipulated sheeple. To misquote PT Barnum, it turns out that you can actually fool most of the people all of the time2. Hoodwinking the lame brained majority3 is all that is required to pervert democracy. Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, found that out more than a hundred years ago. A tiny percentage of people however can seldom or never be fooled. Super-sane critically thinking people such as yourself.

This brings us to the question of mental health. One Pox News useful idiot of the establishment recently accused you of being mentally ill, when in reality it was he who was without doubt a stark raving mad lunatic. I say this not just as a means of venting my spleen but as a qualified medical practitioner. It is my professional diagnosis regarding that person and those of his ilk. To justify such a comment we need to get back to basic medical definitions, which you will find in my article about the nature of mental health: http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2015/03/21/thinking-about-thinking/ which proves conclusively that your detractor meets the definition of being mentally diseased (having a mindset divorced from reality which is harmful to human wellbeing). You, on the other hand, going by the criteria described in that document, can be described as a super-sane person. You are not “normal” Greta, you are better than normal. And that, as you have already discovered, is to be celebrated. This is not flattery, this is a solid medical diagnosis arrived at by objective analysis of your words and behaviour.

Some Right Wingnut Australian jackasses such as Scott Morrison, Maurice Newman, Alan Jones and Andrew the Dolt have written or spoken complete rubbish and made outrageously unforgivable statements, told utter lies, about you. I refuse to give oxygen to their toxic claptrap by repeating any of it. At best, a jackass like Morrison can be described as a scientifically illiterate, sneering, condescending prick. At worst, a jackass like Andrew the Dolt, cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq, notorious racist and global warming denier can justifiably be described as a disgusting piece of shit, which however I am reluctant to do because that would be a grave insult to disgusting pieces of shit. I would not want to offend shit by comparing it with Andrew the Dolt.

Whether you choose to respond to such execrable scumbags, and how you choose to respond, is for you to decide in consultation with those you trust. I for one cannot abide the egregious lies spouted by self serving psychopaths going unanswered nor entertain the idea of those sanctimonious hypocrites getting away with their bullshit. I have been accused of using “intemperate” language in the past (which I still do), the argument (invariably coming from quisling establishment cowards and fossil fool collaborators) being that my harsh language detracts from the science based messages4. I disagree. We need to use BOTH unassailable logic and relentless denigration of those psychopaths. The science deniers hammer us with nasty invective, all of which is provably false. I do not believe in turning the other cheek, I believe in hammering them back with nasty invective which is all provably true. Withering ridicule to expose the untenable position of those scumbags is the only real weapon we have and I choose to wield it to maximum effect. It is not slander or libel if the accusations you make are demonstrably fact based and by the strictest of dictionary definitions, correct. You, Greta, on the other hand, being in the public spotlight, may prefer to use less caustic language and maintain the laudable poise and mature demeanour you have exhibited so far. I must congratulate you on that.

You are lucky to have enlightened and supportive parents. It will frequently be necessary to retreat into the fold of your family, to shun the spotlights, to gain counsel from those you trust and love and to recharge your batteries. There may be media hounds or even well meaning people incessantly pounding on your door to either provoke you to put a foot wrong or to seek some words of wisdom. Either way, you owe them nothing. You have a right not to respond. You owe it to yourself to have some quiet time to regroup your thoughts and rest your mind. There will be those who try to get you to say or do certain things to serve their own hidden agendas5. They will try to manipulate you with empty flattery and offer all manner of privileges and enticements, even millions of dollars, which they reckon you will not be able to refuse. They think that everybody has their (monetary) price. They will try to corrupt you and shortly thereafter will pounce on you and portray you to the world as a hypocrite. They will try to damage you psychologically. They are the well cashed up hitmen (and women) of the fossil fools and other sordid interests. Do not fall into their traps. Be very careful about what you are offered, especially anything which seems too good to be true. YOU must be the one to decide where, when and what you will say and what you will do, as you have done exceedingly well so far. You must be the architect of your own destiny. Accordingly you may find the following useful: http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2019/06/29/open-letter-to-extinction-rebellion/

Alternatively you may wish to spend most of your time keeping up the pressure on older folks, many of whom are not self serving psychopaths, to fulfil their duties to this planet and to younger generations. That being the case, please keep your expectations low. Much of your psychic anguish at present is because of shattered hopes, dreams and aspirations. Buddhist philosophy informs us that suffering is mainly caused by unfulfilled desires. Anger and depression follow from your expectations of a better future being demolished. It will be impossible for most people in the world to avoid a bleak future no matter what they do. Lowering expectations will go a long way to minimise psychological trauma. If you anticipate a bad outcome, you will be mentally prepared and less traumatised if it does happen. On the other hand you will be pleasantly surprised if it does not.

Be thankful for whatever remaining Nature we have left today (soon to disappear) and take time off to enjoy it. Wildlife watching, hiking through a National Park, sailing on a scenic lake (during our increasingly narrower windows of stable weather): whatever takes your fancy.

Greta, everyone knows you never sought celebrity and anyone who accuses you of such is simply a duplicitous dirtbag. However celebrity found you. With your new found fame, many folks around the world, especially young people, hang on to your every word. If you decide right now that you have had enough and wish to retreat back into obscurity and the security of your family permanently, nobody can fault you for that. You have already earned your place in history as a major force in the fight for social and environmental justice and human survival on this planet. On the other hand, your talents for critical thinking and articulate, honest speech at this young age suggest that your potential to shape the thoughts and actions of others around the world is huge. You may just be getting started and you yourself may be wondering: where to from here? I cannot advise you regarding that, but allow me to cite the names of some people I consider far wiser, far better and far braver than the miserable failure that I am. If you are able to seek them out for counsel, either to meet in person or to engage in video conversations, that will be to your great advantage. Get them on speed dial! This brief list consists mostly of strong women who can be good role models and mentors for you:

Arundhati Roy – Booker prize winning author and fearless champion of the poor, downtrodden and disenfranchised

Dr Vandana Shiva – scientist and physicist who chose to spend most of her life as an environmental and social justice warrior

Nicole Foss – multidisciplinary expert, especially when explaining the relationships between energy, the economy and finance

Alice Friedemann – Energy expert, especially with regard to EROEI

Abby Martin – fearless journalist exposing the international war crimes of the US empire and their Zionist nuclear armed ally (note: opposing the crimes of the State of Israel is NOT the same as opposing the Israeli people and is certainly NOT the same as being anti-Semitic)

US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard – who has an impeccable public service and military record and is now one of the strongest voices for world peace

Christopher Hedges – fearless journalist exposing the domestic crimes of the US empire (now a defacto Fascist oligarchy/kleptocracy) perpetrated against its own people.

In conclusion I would like to quote Chris Hedges who said, I do not fight Fascists because I think I can win. I fight Fascists because they are Fascists.

 

Footnotes:

  1. David Koch may be dead (and good riddance to him) but his toxic legacy lives on

  2. Using lies to justify the invasion of Iraq “worked”, so what the heck, why not use more lies to justify the bombing of Iran? Only this time, sane people realise it could easily escalate to global thermonuclear war, a far more immediate risk of extinction than global warming. That is certainly the concern of the Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Anyone who denies or downplays this risk is either a profound fool or a despicable mouthpiece of the US chickenshit armchair warmongering Neoconartists (or both): http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2019/07/31/second-open-letter-to-extinction-rebellion/

  3. This majority are kept lame brained by the intentional underfunding of public education, particularly in the USA. On the other hand, being "well" educated is no guarantee of wisdom. Example: earlier this year I had a "discussion" with a Cardiologist from a Northern Queensland city who I used to respect. Always well groomed and well spoken and undoubtedly a good medical practitioner, he turned out to be an abject fool in other matters. Somehow the conversation turned to climate change, to which he stated, "I am not a climate denier but… surely there is some substance to the alternative skeptical views expressed in the media?" (language warning: if someone says they are not a climate denier but…, you can be damned sure they are in fact a climate denier). I then offered to provide him scientific references, including good summaries from John Cook's skeptical science website, utterly demolishing all of the "alternative views" of the climate deniers, however he point blank refused further information. I said that giving credence to the deniers was equivalent to saying, "some people say the earth is round, some say it is flat, therefore giving credence to both sides, we must conclude the earth must be oval". Wrong. The science shows the earth is round (specifically an oblate spheroid) and any other points of view are simply wrong. He then accused me of being an extremist and the "discussion" deteriorated thereafter. That was a perfect example of an educated fool, all the more to be condemned because he had the intellectual capacity to understand the science but utterly rejected the scientific information because it threatened his fossil fueled luxuries.

  4. I am on record as having called former Federal Minister for Industry Ian MacFarlane (another climate science denier) an "impenetrably stupid coal company stooge". I retract not one word of what I wrote. MacFarlane went on to say that he intended to extract every single molecule of coal seam gas from under Australia. After his government jobs he was appointed as chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council, continuing to promote coal and CSG extraction and further inflating his bank balance. Talk about the corrupt revolving door. I was also criticised in the past by some fake environmental activists for my essay "The Brisbane Institute is a Brisbane Prostitute" and once again I retract not one word of what I wrote. http://econintersect.com/pages/opinion/opinion.php?post=201907312355

  5. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/30/veritable-uprising-or-the-faux-real-thing-greta-and-climate-activism-in-a-wilderness-of-projections/

G. Chia, Oct 2019

Setting the Stone on the Collapse of Industrial Civilization

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 29, 2019

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More than many weeks that I have spent observing the Collapse of Industrial Civilization, this week (and the weeks before too!) have proven to be above and beyond merely awful, they have been downright DISASTEROUS!  The decent into Dante's 7th Circle of HELL began more or less with the latest in Climate Disasters, the FLATTENING of Grand Bahama by Hurricane Dorian, a massive Cat 5 Hurricane that hovered over the islands for a couple of days with sustained winds of 185 MPH.  This place will not be a Tourista Destination again for a very long time, if ever before the planes stop flying there.

Image result for greta thunberg Following up on this climate disaster, we had the further emergence and promotion of Greta of Stockholm, the 16 year old modern Joan of Arc who is battling with the Big Boys on Twitter over Climate Change, including the biggest Twit-Shit blowhard of them all, the Denier-in-Chief, Donalditry Trumpovetsky.  So far, Greta hasn't Blinked, which is of course not unusual for somebody diagnosed as Autistic, which she likely is.  So in the Battle of DSM V Diagnoses on Twitter, so far Greta's Autism is Trumping Donalditry's Megalomania, Narcissism and Misogyny.  Greta clearly has a HUGE promotion machine behind her, but for the Climate folks this is an excellent Propaganda Maneuver.  Nothing sells better than a cute girl in the Ad Biz.  Nobody listens to what your typical academic dweeb Scientist has to say on this subject, but drop a cute autistic 16 year old in front of the UN General Assembly, and everybody all of a sudden takes notice!  Isn't that special?

As big as the Climate action was over the last few weeks though, it pales in comparison to what is going on both in Geopolitics and in Economics, two of the main fronts we focus on here on the Doomstead Diner.  As Sam Mitchell of Collapse Chronicles and I discussed in our recent conversation (which BTW took place quite some time before all this action arose), although longer term the Climate problem is the greater Existential Threat we face here trying to survive on Planet Earth, there are more proximal problems which threaten our existence also percolating, and if we can't resolve them there will be plenty of Dead People filling up the Cemeteries even before the oceans swallow up Miami Beach, Hong Kong, the City of London and Wall Street.

First up on the Geopolitical Hit Parade is the buffoonery ongoing with Brexit across the pond in Jolly Old England.  As it currently looks, BoJo is likely to get a No Confidence vote in Parliament, possibly paving the way for the Socialist  Jeremy Corbin who heads up the Brit Labour Party to ocuppy 10 Downing Street as a Caretaker Prime Minister while they delay Brext still further (aka, Kick-the-Can).  A comparison here would be like Trumpofsky being kicked out and replaced by Pelosi to run the country on this side of the Hurricane filled Atlantic Basin.  Assuming he does get the nod as the new, new PM for a while AND the Eurocrat Globalists in Brussels agree to yet another extension, this gets followed up by another new,New, NEW election in the UK, along with ANOTHER referendum on Brexit.  If you haven't figured this out by now, referendums are quite meaningless.  Once you Check In to a Union like this, you can't Check Out.  Well, you can Check Out, bu you can Never Leave.  It's the Hotel California on the pollitical level.

Nobody in power really gives a Flying Fuck about what the Plebes want or don't want, this is just part of the sham and window dressing of "Democracy", which works OK when there are plenty of resources around and everyone (including the poor) are reasonably well-fed with roofs over their heads.  It doesn't work so great though when the resources run thin and segments of the population start getting cut off from the Bennies of being part of a large political structure like this.  When this occurs, the Rich want to maintain their perks and privilege inside the society, and the Poor want to…SURVIVE.  Poor folks mainly will accept their fate as long as they have full bellies, but once they start going hungry they tend to get a little tired of Marie Antoinette munching on Cake in Versailles while they can't afford the bread at the local bakery.  This level of existential problem hasn't really hit yet in force in the Western Industrial Economies, but is already playing itself out in many of the peripheral countries in Africa, South & Central Amerika and SE Asia.  It will arrive on the shores of OECD countries though in due time.

Crossing back over the pond to the Political Kabuki Theater ongoing with Trumpty-Dumpty here in the FSoA, it's starting to look like the Dumbkopf-in-Chief has at last crossed a Bridge Too Far.  Even his base of foaming at the mouth neo-Nazi supporters have a tough time swallowing the bullshit he was trying to pull off in Ukraine, trying to get some good dirt on his perceived main Political rival of Uncle Joe Biden, who of course also does take time off between his Senior Moments to do a few shady deals, this time involving his son wheeling & dealing in Ukraine.  Uncle Joe is rapidly losing credibility amongst Demodopes who have considered him the most "Electable" candidate and the best Knight in Shining Armor to take on the Black Knight of Trumpovetsky.

Recent polls have Bankster Slayer Elizabeth Warren as the candidate for the Demodopes most popular, particularly in the early primary/caucus states she appears to have Moe Mentum, the 6'11" Power Forward First Round draft choice of all political candidates, it's even more valuable than money, although you do need plenty of FRNs to sprinkle around on the media to keep that momentum up.  It's still up in the air as to how well Liz will do given her quasi "Socialist" agenda, but the further Trupovetsky shoves his foot and leg and penis down his mouth, the greater the probability Liz gains more traction.  The rule with Trumpovetsky is to give him a lot of rope, because he is certain to hang himself with it.  The oncoming parade of witnesses to appear in front of CONgress looks to be the best Kabuki yet this side of the pond, easily rivaling the Brit Brexit show and perhaps surpassing it in hilarity, though that would be hard to do.  Watching a bunch of Eton educated Stiff Upper Lip Brits convulse on the floor of Parliament is a tough act to follow.  lol.

More than all of those late breaking Collapse Storiez though is the ongoing MELTDOWN of the Fed Repo Market.  It is getting some coverage in MSM financial websites, but overall most Amerikans aren't the least bit aware or concerned with this clusterfuck.  I've been writing on this and covering the progress Inside the Diner,  and of all the vectors for Collapse threatening our civilization RIGHT NOW, this one holds the most potential for creating extreme havoc of them all.  Sorry Greta, as important as your issues are, this bullshit is going to hit hard long before we drown under rising Sea Levels.  Here's one response I wrote to one of the Diners trying to explain in a reasonably short post WTF is going on here:

When Da Fed does QE, it doesn't just sprinkle free money around and get nothing in return for it.  They don't make unsecured loans, you have to trade good collateral for the freshly printed FRNs.  What is "good collateral"?  Loans made to credit-worthy customers.  But what happens when there aren't enough credit worthy customers out there to make loans to?  What happens when the collateral they do have is non-performing loans (NPLs)?

What happens is what the BoJ does, which is the CB buys the Bonds issued by Da Goobermint directly.  This finances Goobermint spending, but it doesn't make money for the banks, which are in the bizness of making loans to make money,  If banks aren't making money making loans, how do they make money?  By using the cash they do have speculating in equities.  But what happens when everybody is expecting a stock crash?  They all want to get out of stocks,  but they can't sell them without driving forward the crash.  So they try to take out more short term loans to cover the shortfall in expected earnings.  If everybody is doing this, you get a liquidity crisis, which is what they got at the moment.

Da Fed is TRYING to push more money into the system to ease this crisis, but apparently even $75B/daily isn't enough to do the trick.  If they can't inject more cash into the system, you'll get a liquidity lock-up, which is very Bad Newz  for everybody, right down to J6P.  That's the kind of thing which makes all the ATMs go down at the same time.

For some more detail, Max Keiser's most recent Keiser Report video outlines the problem in more detail (I'm not ripping off Max here, I got my analysis up before he published his.  However, he does flesh it out more completely.):

The BIG QUESTION here of course is precisely WHO is going Tits Up on a financial level, and whoever(s) it is has to be a very big financial institution(s).  Like with Lehman though, we won't know who it is until the traders are walking out of the building leaving their Bloomberg terminals behind, hopefully wiping their hard drives clean and boxing up incriminating evidence to set a Bonfire with in the backyard of the suburban McMansion they occupy on Long Island or Germany or Britain or wherever the fuck this shit is currently centered.

I was asked still another question Inside the Diner asking for some kind pf prediction on what is likely to occur here.  Making these sort of predictions is a dangerous game, but I decided to take a flyer and speculate on this one:

Thanks again RE. This was a good video about repo (until he lost me on bitcoin). The question becomes is a bankruptcy of Deutsche Bank going to bring down the entire dollar fiat money system or just give us a GREAT depression OR the collapse of civilization?? Tell me oh wise one. :icon_scratch:
AJ

That is really on the outside limits of Nostradamus prognostication.  I will do a reach on this, but don't get on my case if I don't have it precisely correct.  I'm not even sure yet that it's Deutche Bank that is getting the run yet.  It might actually be a run on multiple banks.

However, let us look at the case where it is JUST D-Bank getting hit on here.  DB is VERY big, with counter-party relationships with all the other TBTF Banks, aka JP Morgan Chase, Goldman etc.  So if DB goes BK, they're gonna carve up whatever assets they have (not too many I am sure) and divvy them up in some way to keep the counter parties from ALSO going BK.  This is what as known as Financial Cross Contagion.  See David Korowicz for more detail on this phenomenon.

Now, the issue here is that whatever is left in the vault of DB isn't NEAR enough to cover the derivatives they wrote, essentially insurance policies on BKs of various institutions and goobermints.  To make up the shortfall here, SOMEBODY (Da Fed, Da ECB etc) will have to step in and cover those losses, elsewise the capital structure of those banks also collapses.  Then you have your "Great Depression" scenario.  See the collapse of Credite Anstaldt (Austrian Bank) prior to the GD to understand how this works.

I *think* the "smartest guys in the room" are quite aware of this, hell fucking Ben Bernanke made his career on looking at this stuff.  So I do not think they are unprepared for it entirely, but then again it's different now than the financial system in place when the GD Collapse of the banking system went down.  The amounts of notional money and complex financial instruments is much larger, and really NOBODY knows how big they actually are.

So to try and answer your question, it's a fucking SHIT STORM waiting to happen.  If it does cross over to the counter parties, then yes it is the absolute end of this monetary system, and HELL will follow.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
 


RE

Finally to tidy up here, you might be wondering WHY I headed up this article with a snippet from my recent trip down to the Lower 48 to plant the SUN Monument (also my Tombstone) in the middle of Flyover Country in Springfield, MO.  If you are familiar with my Gonzo take on all this shit, you probably grasp that it is a metaphor of Collapse and of Resurrection as well.  While the Civilization around me is collapsing, I too am collapsing.  It was my goal to get this final statement planted for the rest of Eternity before, in the words of Leonard Cohen…

Take one last look at this Sacred Heart

Before it Blows

Everybody Knows

I got it done before I finally have another meeting with the Grim Reaper that he wins instead of me.  That will happen of course, the Reaper always wins in the end.  But he can't destroy my stone tablet, at least not without a decent amount of explosives.

Collapse Chronicles meets the Doomstead Diner

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 22, 2019

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Sam Mitchell of Collapse Chronicles

Image result for sam mitchell collapse chronicles I know Diner Fans are Chomping at the Bit awating the vids from the SUN Monument Placement Ceremony on it's Eternal Resting Place in the center of Flyover Country, Springfield, Missouri.  However, you will have to wait another week for that, at least.  As usual, other more Time-Sensitive artciles or vids have jumped the queue here, and for this line-cutter it's an interview I did with Sam Mitchell of the YouTube Channel Vlog  COLLAPSE CHRONICLES.  For a change, I am not doing the interview, I am the "Intervieweed".  In this episode, we talk about Economics, Climate Change & Extinction, all pretty popular topics amongst Kollapsniks of course. 🙂

Besides that, except for you Grizzled Veterans of the Diner who already know this stuff, included as a BONUS is the short version History of the Doomstead Diner, how it came to be and WHY it exists at all?  Although some of Sam's listenership on Collapse Chronicles are familiar with the Diner, many are relative Newbies to the Collapse Blogosphere, so this was a great opportunity to reach a new audience for the daily offerings, discussion & debate on the Doomstead Diner.  Our full History is recounted (Cliff Notes Version) during this interview, going all the way back in Mr. Peabody's WAYBAC Machine to my Doomer Beginnings living down in the (former) Tropical Paradise of Brazil in the 1960s.

Image result for greta thunberg We also cover the Collapse Vectors & Outcomes that may evolve over time, as well as whether or not EXTINCTION is the main thing you have to worry about right now?  What are the Proximal Causes?  What is the Timeline?  Will EVERYBODY die?  What does Greta Thunberg think?  Will we all be SAVED by a modern day Joan of Arc?  Or like her 16 year old historical counterpart, will she end up Burned at the Stake?

It's all speculation of course, nobody really can have the answer to these questions,  particularly since this is an Unprecedented Event.  Although there have been numerous Civilization Collapse Events throughout Human Hitory, none has ever been completely GLOBAL in its effects; none has ever had the participation of 7.6B Homo Sap Meat Packages involved simultaneously; and none has placed the Existential Peril of the possible ANNIHILIATION of ALL LIFE ON EARTH as a possible outcome.  Not just "Human Life", but ALL LIFE.  Are we singing the Swan Song for life on Planet Earth, and for all we really KNOW, all the Universe?

Neither Sam nor me (or Greta!) has the answers to these questions, but we do try to frame the questions to make them as accessible as possible to think about.  It's a lot to ponder on, probably the greatest conundrum to face Homo Sap since we dropped down from the trees to overrun & overpopulate the surface of the Earth.  In just a couple of 100 Thousand Years since becoming "Sapient" (as in relatively modern human anatomy), our own Biomass has effectively squashed out innumerable species, as we progressively moved through agriculture, metallurgy, ceramics and ultimately, Industrialization.  Will we now become responsible for our own Extinction as well?  Is there any road out left?  If there is, how many can come through to the other side of the Zero Point?  How Many can be Saved? icon_scratch

 

SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

 

Coming Next Week for Sunday Brunch

(hopefully…)

Placing the SUN Monument

Responding to Collapse, Part 11: coping with power outages, the basics

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Published on The Easiest Person to Fool on August 25, 2019

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Storm moving in off Lake Huron, August 2019

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In my last post I talked about some of the problems with using "for profit" companies to provide infrastructure services and went on to look at how one major part of our infrastructure—the power grid—is likely to gradually fail over the coming years. I ended up looking at the effects of power outages, but ran out of space to cover how you can mitigate those effects and what your community can do to cope when it finally finds itself permanently isolated from the grid. I'll start talking about that today, but it looks like it's going to take three or four posts to cover this subject in the detail it deserves.

If you're following or considering following the suggestions I've been making in this series of posts, you're probably receptive to the idea of making preparations for collapse—possibly quite eager to get at it. The endgame here is the end of industrial civilization, with the grid shut down completely and the wells, mines, farms and factories it supports no longer running. So, you might think it would be a good idea to just dive in right now and go off grid.

In general, though, when preparing for any of the effects of collapse, it is important to remember kollapsniks like me have a pretty bad track record when it comes to attaching dates to our predictions. So the shape of your preparations should be such as to not squander your resources and leave you broke or in debt when the apocalypse doesn't happen a week from Tuesday. Ideally your preparations should enhance your life as BAU (business as usual) continues to gradually wind down, as well as making it possible to get by when BAU is finally gone. Which may be quite a way down the road as yet.

When most people talk about going off grid, they are talking not about doing without electricity but about generating some of their own, in order to maintain a certain level of modernity in their lifestyle. To do this requires access to two things: an energy source or sources and technology that can convert that energy into electricity. It is also helpful to be able to store the electricity you generate if your energy source is intermittent.

Today's consumer society makes energy sources, generating equipment and batteries readily available. This, unfortunately, will involve a significant upfront investment, the electricity you produce is likely to be more expensive than the electricity you can buy from the grid, and you won't have really gained any long term degree of independence from BAU. If you can afford it, this may be one way of setting up to weather power outages with a good degree of comfort and convenience. I suspect, though, that many of my readers are not wealthy enough to spend many thousands of dollars on an off grid power system.

It is probably true that at some point, as grid power increases in cost and decreases in reliability, home generated power becomes a winner. But at that point you'd also like to become much more independent of BAU, so a different approach will be required, and whether you can arrange to have electricity at all without relying on BAU for fuel, equipment or spare parts is a serious question. Which I'll get into in a post just a little way down the road.

But first, let's get back to the issue of coping with power outages. The effects of such outages, especially longer ones, are so far reaching that it is overwhelming to think of coping with them all. So I'll just concentrate on the most immediately impactful: lighting, cooking, refrigeration, food, water, sewage, heating, cooling, communications and transportation. Not necessarily in that order.

I'm going to divide the rest of this into four sections, each of which deals with a different sort of response to the challenge of power outages, roughly speaking in increasing order of expense and personal commitment. The first of those sections will be covered in the rest of this post and the final three in my next few posts.

I am assuming that many of my readers are convinced enough of the inevitability of collapse that they already have or are seriously considering moving to a remote small town and are eager to do some preparation, but they may be limited in their financial resources and practical skills. Sections 1 and 2 will cater to those limits.

1) Short Outages, minimal response

In the case of short outages, you can simply do without for a few hours, and experience little more than minor inconvenience. Indeed, the most important technique I can recommend for coping with any of the effects of collapse is to be ready to cheerfully accept some loss of comfort and convenience.

Around here, minor outages used to last from 2 to 4 hours. Now it's more like 4 to 8 hours, which is almost entirely due to power companies trying to save money on staffing. Most of us have lived through a few of these, especially in rural areas where power is distributed via overhead lines strung on wooden poles. This is, realistically, part of living in an industrial civilization—the cost of eliminating all outages would be too high.

So kick back, read a book and wait for the power to come on. Of course, if the power is still off after sunset that book is going to be hard to read, and it sure would be nice to have a flashlight and/or some candles. A little more thought and you'll soon realize that there are a few things that aren't terribly expensive and which would make short power outages much less of a nuisance.

Even people who don't accept the "collapse narrative" will benefit from some basic preparation of this sort. At this point (August 2019) all the resources of BAU are still available to consumers, so everything you'll need can be had very easily.

Lighting

Flashlights and batteries

In the short run, the lost of electric lighting is one of the main things to prepare for and also one of the easiest. You don't want to be stumbling around in the dark as you do the things you'll want to do to cope with an outage. And once that's out of the way, you're going to find it pretty boring without all the electronic entertainment you're used to. It takes light even to enjoy books and board games. At this basic level, you'll use flashlights and/or candles to provide light.

Flashlights have improved a lot in the last few years. LEDs have replaced incandescent bulbs, increasing battery life and making flashlights much sturdier. These days the best batteries have a shelf life of around 10 years, so that you can leave your flashlight sitting on a shelf for along time and not end up with dead batteries or a corroded mess. And I guess if you plan on using a flashlight a lot, one with rechargeable batteries would be a good idea. One useful variation on that idea is a flashlight with rechargeable batteries and a built in hand cranked generator.

In emergency situations, a flashlight is especially handy when you need to move around in the dark. They also don't present a fire hazard the way candles do.

In the photo on the right are the flashlights found around our house and car, all of which were purchased at Canadian Tire. (Canadian tire is a chain of automotive/hardware/houseware/sports and garden stores here in Canada. If you live outside Canada don't know what you are missing.) At the back is a worklight that takes 4 AA cells and produces a startling amount of light for along time. Comes with a hook to hang it by and magnets in the base to stick to any iron or steel surface. In the middle is a Garrity handcranked flashlight. Thirty seconds of vugorous cranking gives you 3 to 5 minutes of light, depending on how dim you're willing to let it get before cranking it up again. At the front on the left is the Maglite single AAA flashlight that I carry on my keychain. Put out 47 lumens. Second from the left at the front is the Maglite 2 AA flashlight that we keep in the glove box of our car. Puts out 97 lumens. On the front right is a cheap 3 AAA flashlight that only puts out 60 lumens.

Candles and holders, matches and lighter

Candles are good too, especially as a stationary source of illumination. Unfortunately most candles don't come with built in holders and being tall and skinny, don't stand up very well on their own. So it is a good idea to have a few candle holders around the house, sized to fit whatever kind of candle you keep in stock. In the front right of the photo to the right is a tea light, which comes with a built in holder and doesn't take up much space. Useful in emergency bags.

Since candles don't light themselves, you'll need matches or a lighter of some sort. Nobody smokes in our family, so the lighter we have is made for lighting barbeques, but works fine for lighting candles and our woodstove as well. The long nose keeps you hand back a bit from whatever you're trying to light.

Water

Water storage in the cold room at our house

Water is your next most urgent need. And while the municipal water supply or your own pressure system may continue to supply enough water for drinking and washing for a short period, it is wise to have a few gallons of potable water stored away. It is usually recommended that you have one gallon per person per day just for drink and washing.

Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does not need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers. Non-chlorinated water should be treated with bleach. Add 8 drops of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) for every 4 litres (one gallon) of water. More details can be found here and here.

I'm not, by the way suggesting you go out and get a few cases of bottled water in single use 500 ml plastic bottles. First off, if you can't drink your tap water, you're living in the wrong place. Second, bottled water is an expense you should avoid. Third, those bottles are a serious waste problem. If you're strapped for cash, save food grade plastic containers that you would otherwise throw out, wash them and use them to store water. Things like 2 litre beverage bottles, juice bottles, and so forth. And if you can afford a relatively small investment, you can easily get sturdy purpose built water bottles that hold 20 litres (5 gallons) and have a built in spigot. In the photo above there is also a blue 2.5 gallon water container from Canadian Tire that we use when travelling.

Our 60 gallon
electric water heater

Another source of water is your water heater which probably holds 40 or 60 gallons of potable water. If it's never been flushed then the water at the bottom, which will come out first, will probably be rusty. The drain valve is also probably very close to the floor, and you likely need a screwdriver or wrench to operate that valve. Best to check this out in advance and make sure you have the required tools and a pan that will fit under the valve to catch the water. In any case it's also a good idea to flush your water tank annually.

Sewage

Safe handling of human waste is an important public health issue. And when you gotta go, you gotta go—it really is an emergency. Even during a short power outage, the odds are that someone in your home will need to use the facilities.

You probably have a flush toilet hooked up to a septic tank and weeping bed or to municipal sewers. The septic tank and weeping bed is likely gravity fed, so it is OK to use the toilet even when the power is off. Municipal sewers may be gravity fed, but it is likely that some parts of town are downhill from the sewage processing plant and rely on electrically powered pumps to make things flow in the right direction. I live in such a location and the town used to show up with a vacuum truck during outages and use it to make sure that our sewers didn't back up. Recently they installed some upgrades, including backup generators for critical sewage pumps. It wouldn't hurt to check into the situation in your town.

Your toilet is good for one flush using the water in its tank. If you've made no other preparations, you need to make the most of that flush, and not waste it when there is nothing more than urine in the bowl. Then you need to be looking for a source of flushing water, which you can just pour into the bowl to make the toilet flush. Many sources of water that you wouldn't want to drink are fine for flushing a toilet. The rusty water from the bottom of your water heater is certainly OK, as is rain water and surface water from streams and ponds. A five gallon (20 litre) bucket is useful to have if you are reduced to scrounging flush water from such sources.

Emergency bucket toilet
with waste bags

People like me, who grew up on farms and have spent some time in the bush, are not above finding a secluded spot outdoors to urinate, and in a pinch even to defecate. Though it is important to realize that feces are a health hazard to other people using the area. This brings us to the idea of emergency toilets which you can put together quickly. Here are several good articles on the subject:
How to create an emergency toilet
Make and use an emergency toilet

Amazon will be glad to sell you a bucket, seat, lid and waste bags, all ready to go. Or you can buy just the seat, lid and waste bags, and supply your own bucket.
Portable Toilet Bucket with Seat and Lid Attachment

I would recommend having one of those emergency bucket toilets on hand. I don't have one because I have a Jenkins style sawdust toilet made up and ready to go for emergency use. These are often called composting toilets, but only because when the bucket gets full you can dump it in your compost pile. The legality of doing that with human waste varies from place to place, so it is best to be discreet.

Food and Cooking

During short outages you can either go hungry for a few hours (it won't kill you) or have some food on hand that can be eaten without cooking.

Refrigeration

Your concern here will be that food in your refrigerator don't spoil and frozen food in your freezer doesn't thaw.

Food in your refrigerator should be OK for up to about 4 hours provided you don't open the door too often and let the cold air out. If you freezer is full, food should be safe in it for about 48 hours, 24 hours if it is half full. If your freezer isn't full, it is a good idea keep some ice in it for increased thermal mass. I use several jugs of water, which freeze after they are put in the freezer. It might also be a good idea to open the door of your refrigerator just once and put in a jug or two of ice from your freezer.

Some good advice on keeping food safe during an emergency can be found here.

Frozen food that still has ice crystals and feels cold is usually safe to refreeze. Frozen food that has thawed out, and food that normally requires refrigeration, and has been above 40 degrees F. for more than 2 hours, should be discarded.

Heating and Cooling

If you've chosen your location carefully, you should be able to get by without air conditioning, and just suffer through the few hottest days in summer. Shade and ventilation will help, as will moving heat generating activities like cooking outdoors. And believe it or not, if you stay out of air conditioned spaces for a few days, you will get used to the heat. Try to take it easy though, until you've adapted.

Here's some good advice on how to stay comfortable and safe during hot weather.

The same careful choice of location will, unfortunately, put you in some pretty cold weather in the winter. If your home is well insulated and well sealed it shouldn't cool things off more than a few degrees during a short outage.

But just in case things get worse than that, here's some good advice on keeping warm in a winter weather emergency. The basic idea is to limit the spaces you're trying to heat, and whenever possible to heat humans, not spaces.

Communications

Handcranked and battery operated radios

You may want to call the power company to let them know about the outage and to contact family and friends to see if they need help. Your cell phone, if it is charged up, will probably work through a short outage as will your land line phone. But if your landline phone is a cordless one, it won't work unless there is power to the base station, so get at least one old fashioned directly wired phone and make sure it works if it is not connected to a power source.

A battery operated radio is also a good idea, for both information and entertainment. The handcranked radio on the left (a Grundig FR-200) in the photo to the right inlcudes a flashlight and receives AM, FM and 2 shortwave bandsworks. It work off 3 AA cells as well as the buildin rechargable battery. Sadly, the quality of the souond is poor, and it doesn;t discriminate between closely adjacent stations very well. The small Sony boom box onthe right takes 6 D cells and works just fine off them or 120VAC. The sound quality is great and it plays cassette tapes and CDs as well as AM and FM radio.

Transportation

Personally, I would advise staying off the roads during a short outage. Traffic lights aren't likely to be working and those who are on the roads may be panicky and not thinking straight. But just in case you do have to go somewhere, it's a good idea to keep your fuel tank at least half full. That's a good idea in any case, really.

Miscellaneous

If you work at home using a computer losing unsaved work in the event of a power outage can be expensive. Of course a laptop with a good battery will allow you to save your work before shutting down. If, like me, you are still using a desktop computer, a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is a really good idea.

When the power comes back on the voltage is likely to be quite low due to heavy loading. This can cause problems for voltage sensitive equipment like motors and electronics. You can do your part to help with this problem by turning off heavy loads such as your electric furnace or baseboard heaters in cold weather or air conditioners in hot weather, and also your water heater, stove and clothes dryer. And to be safe, disconnect sensitive equipment like refrigerators, freezers, computers and televisions.

In Closing

You can make these few, simple preparations even if you're living in an apartment where you can't make big changes to the infrastructure. And it won't cost you very much, either. Everyone should have these basics under control.

But I would guess that along with a few short outages the immediate future holds the possibility of one or more substantially longer outages, which will do much to change our complacent attitudes and render us eager to be more prepared.

In my next post I'll cover a higher level of preparation, still achievable on a tight budget and still relying on BAU for supplies and equipment, but suited to coping with longer and more frequent outages.


Links to the rest of this series of posts, Preparing for (Responding to) Collapse:

Nothing but the Dead & Dying in my Little Alaska Community

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 15, 2019

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Regular readers of the Diner Forum are well aware of my most recent Jet Setting, Fossil Fuel Burning trip down to the Lower 48 to witness and Christen the SUN Monument on it's Eternal Resting Place in Springfield, MO, where I will join it buried beneath when I have my Final Meeting with the Grim Reaper and buy my Ticket to the Great Beyond.  To date, I have been able to battle him off on all the occasions he has knocked on my front door, but win he will in the bye & bye.  Nobody keeps the Reaper at bay forever, and I weaken still more with each of these battles.  My time left walking the Earth as a corporeal Meat Package grows shorter all the time.

As per the usual on these trips, I shot a good deal of video and fully intended this week to publish one of them on the Placement of the Monument, which took a full 2 years to finally come to fruition after many delays and frustrations along the way.  Unfortunately in many respects though, here in my Low Income Federally Subsidized Tax Credit housing community, we had another incident accompanied by yet another visit from the Alaska State Troopers, along with a few other First Responder types like the EMTs and Fire Department, followed shortly thereafter by the Coroner as well as Animal Control.  About the only agency that did not show up for this one was Child Protective Services, although we get more than our share of visits from them as well here in this community.

Just prior to leaving for the Lower 48 on this latest Adventure, while preparing one of my Food Give-Aways in what I call the "Potlatch Parking Lot" or "Cripple Cart Cafe", I spoke about the non-stop Parade we have here of the various agencies who get 911 calls that there is something amiss ongoing, and shortly thereafter they arrive complete with the sirens and flashing lights.  Due to the nature of this type of socio-economic community,  we experience all the worst aspects of a decaying industrial culture on a far more regular basis than the typical middle or upper middle class suburban McMansion type community.

Subsequent to the Property Manager moving out of that apartment, right before I left for the Great Tombstone Adventure, they did in fact rent this unit to another woman, who I met briefly before leaving.  She seemed nice enough, although I admit to being disappointed that I would lose my additional spot under the carport, which not only expanded the Cripple Cart Cafe but I also could drop my other car under during the winter and keep the snow off of it.  Regularly sweeping snow off of the car during Alaska winters is not fun even if you're healthy, if you're a cripple it's a positive nightmare.

Returning about 10 days later here to the Last Great Frontier in the wee hours of Monday morning, I was thoroughly exhausted from my return trip through TSA, over the jets and through the airports to the Last Great Frontier we go.  So I crashed and slept through most of Monday, not leaving my cave.  Tuesday I did venture outside and ran into a guy entering my neighboring cave and asked him if he was moving in.  He said he was "thinking about it".  If he was just thinking about it, how did he have a key?  The property manager always accompanies prospective tenants.  I didn't know at the time the woman I had met prior to my trip actually had been approved and had rented the apartment.  I didn't really consider this at the time though.

I didn't see any more of this gentleman again, nor did I see the woman who actually had rented the place on Tuesday, but then on Wednesday while I was cooking up some Salmon for lunch with my front door open, a State Trooper showed up at my door (which I leave open during the day to keep the inside smoke level down and let in the fresh air full of smoke from the Alaska Wildfires).  He inquired of me whether I had seen my neighbor who had not been heard from by her boyfriend who apparently works up on the Slope (the North Slope of Alaska, where the Oil is).  I told him I hadn't seen her since returning from my trip, and only saw her once before that before she rented the place.  At this moment another Trooper opens the front door and comes OUT from inside.  He got in through the back door, which had been left open.  He told Trooper 1 (and me standing next to him) the place stunk from Gas and they had a "10-79".  That's the code for a bomb threat.  What I did not know at this time was they also had a 10-54, a possible Dead Body with the likelihood of a 10-56, a Suicide.

I learned quite a bit more through the course of the day as the Police Tape went up in front of my digs and there was a parade of various other members of the State Troopers, specifically Homicide Detectives who spent the next 9 hours or so dusting this abode and collecting evidence.  Although this was an apparent suicide with the gas left on and numerous empty prescription drug bottles and alcohol bottles on the floor, there were some timeline issues here which just did not add up.  I could figure that out and I'm not even a fucking Detective.

Later a friend of hers showed up after they pulled his phone number off her cell phone, and he had apparently spoken to her the day before and she met 2 guys and a woman out shopping and they were over visiting with her.  This is where the timeline is fishy.  When did the cops get the original phone call reporting her missing?  When was her actual tiime of death?  Had rigor mortis set in yet?  I don't have answers to those questions and probably never will, that's what coroners do for a living and unless there's a trial and you go to hear the evidence, you never find out this stuff.

Up at the top of the article, you'll find the first video I shot during the day as  the investigation into this death was beginning.  Below here is the last video, of the corpse being wheeled out of the apartment in a Yellow Body Bag and then into a nicely equipped Medical Examiner's truck, powered of course by oil.

 

So now we get to the real meat of this story, which is WHY?  Why in this tiny little complex of maybe 100 Units do we CONSTANTLY have some nasty shit going down worthy of nightly visits from the local Gestapo?  Although we have *only* had 3 dead people so far since I have been living in this spot (about the last 5 years), we get regular visits from the EMTs for ODs or Seizures related to drug or alcohol abuse.  Among the married folks and those just living with someone else we get regular Domestic Violence problems.  For those with kids, there are regular visits from Child Protective Services on reports of Neglect or Abuse.  For the Old & Disabled (I am one of those), there are regular calls for an ambulance to take them over to the ER for one issue or another.  I fortunately have not yet had to call 911 for that, but I did have one occasion to call 911 and get the EMTs over due to this problem:

I don't have a "Life Alert" amulet swinging from my neck, but most of the time I DO keep my cell phone on my person, so I can call 911.  On this particular occasion I did not, but I was able to reach it fortunately.  Had I not been able to, I very well might have died simply because I don't get visitors (I'm a hermit mostly, or I was then anyhow) and I was just plain STUCK.  I fell backwards on my office chair while editing an article for the Diner and leaning it back too far so over I went.   I couldn't even get into the "baby crawl" position on my knees which at least some of the time I can hoist myself back up to my feet from.  Fortunately I had left my door unlocked, the paramedics were able to get in easily and then hoist me back to my feet and fix the office chair.  I was however laying on the floor there for a good 30 minutes before they arrived contemplating this rather ignominious way to die.  They wanted to take me to hospital, but I was fine and declined the invitation, though I had to sign forms saying I declined their kind offer. lol.

So the reason here that you get all these problems in this type of complex is a combination of the low socio-economics and the general bad health of the people who live in such places, along with MOST IMPORTANT, a lack of money!  It's the lack of money that precipitates the Domestic problems; it's the lack of money which prevents the Old & Disabled from getting the regular assistance they need; it's the lack of money which begets the Domestic Violence as roommates and married argue about money; it's lack of money which begets the drug & alcohol problems as the people try to self-medicate their problems away.  A place like this is the last stop on the road to homelessness, which of course is even worse.

Finally, if you watch the videos you may be put off by my flippant attitude towards all this tragedy.  I know many Kollapsniks are put off because they don't think I'm "serious" enough about the End of Industrial Civilization and the possible Near Term Human Extinction which could follow that, but probably won't.  First of all, as Shakespeare knew well, Comedy & Tragedy are flip sides of the same coin of human existence.  In this case beyond that, I live amongst these people, I don't look at it as an outsider.  This is my little community.  Nobody but the Dead & Dying here.

C5 Vs Hurricane Dorian

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 11, 2019

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C5 Vs Hurricane Dorian (Updated)

2B 2 colour

(Updated at the bottom)

To Be or not To Be. That is the Question…..No, Seriously.

I asked myself that question, one stormy evening, tangled in some roots with my head stuck under water. While considering just relaxing and breathing in the water, I said to myself, “This is exactly how my second X-wife expected me to die. There is no way in hell I am going to give her that satisfaction”.

That was the added incentive to push harder, one last time… then I was sucked down the river…..

OK. There might have been alcohol involved.

Dorian is about to hit us dead on… but only as a Category 1.(edit. Just upgraded to Category 2 and they have pulled linesmen off the roads) I thought I would put up a quick post before the internet kicks out.

I only had to do ONE storm prep after strapping everything down. I went out and got beer. In the line up, I said, “Hurricane beer. I am a boy scout. Be prepared. Who knows when you will be open again”.

Fear not. Its for after. I expect some sleep deprivation. All that needs to be done is a shower and a nap. I’m just killing time till the main event.

MrsC5 got an Email from relatives worried about us. She replied, “Seriously? I’m married to the ultimate survivalist guy. We’ll be fine”.

I have faced the severe elements before and am generally awed by the forces of nature. Last time I was being smacked in the face by gale force winds (water really hurts at that speed) I determined, next time, I want a full face helmet. We almost didn’t make it home that day. I determined, next time, a chainsaw is a must. I may tell all these stories… some other time.

Quick tip. I like the combination of a Gortex jacket, UNDER a rubberized jacket, Neither is good enough on its own for supper soakers.

That said, I’ve never had this much infrastructure to worry about before. It’s ruining the buzz a bit. I expect there to be damage.

I’ll try to add more on super storms another time. Maybe in the post game report. I figure I will be busy for a while.

Either way, This sits on the table at the moment, 6 steps from the bed.

2b 4

TTFN.

 

(Update)

We’re fine. That was quite the blow. When we got up in the first light to asses the damage, we were left dumbfounded that there was none. Even things I expected to be torn apart were still right there. Part of it was angles of blow but I think it has more to do with that we have regular big blows up here  so anything that would have got damaged has already blown away. That, and because I am me, so I think about winds long in advance and have covered most of it..

If it had gone up to a Cat-3 (which WILL happen soon enough) the damage would have been heavy. There is nothing new in my mind that I must solve right away, learned from this. I have the same list of things to keep working on… that will only happens as I get around to it and hopefully it is in time. There is only so much I can achieve as one man.

One of our friends near by lost their barn. A home in the region burn down because their generator started a fire. Irony.

75% of Nova Scotia and 80% of PEI lost power.

I was left thinking, “White People Problems”.

Our power and internet was down for 4 days. The solar system covered it quite nicely. No food lost from the fridge or freezer. I’ll get around to cleaning the carbs in our generator one of these years. (facepalm)

It was the lack of internet that was the big problem. We were jonesing. I have become so dependent on the internet in such a short time. It keeps me sane. Who says it’s not addictive. I think it would be easier to face that day when you know the internet will never be on again, than to go through, “Is it on yet….Is it on yet….is it on yet”.

We power watched the first two seasons of ‘A Handmaidens Tale’. I deeply recommend watching that… as a homework assignment. Over the last 6 months, I have been thinking to myself, “I feel like I am living in an episode of The Handmaidens Tale”… yet I had been avoiding watching it. The world has been too serious and I generally like my dystopian sci fi to be a distraction from the world. Not a daily news training manual. If you haven’t watched it, do so.

We lost our corn. No biggy. It was a bad harvest anyhow. We lost the majority of the apples. No biggy. We weren’t doing anything with them this year. It will become a problem for our local deer supply though. Not enough ripening time for them to store up on sugars later into the fall….

But you can see here the issue for the future. Food security issues. Regular storms means crop loss. If you are depending on that for survival….. you better start thinking about it and adjusting what and how you grow now. Bahama is facing NO FOOD HARVEST.

That’s all for now but I will go deeper into that some other time…

And a pleasant distraction from reality.

Tap. Tap. Is this thing on?……No, seriously. Do I have power?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C5’s Shipping Container Home… of Dooooom

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 6, 2019

can 5

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C5’s Shipping Container Home… of Dooooom

 

With your (I think I am officially burnt out) Host, Category5.

We are just being hit by a tropical cyclone, here in Nova Scotia, so this is a good time to crash and burn and return to the keyboard for a couple of days. Everything is as battened down as merits. I’ll run out to the container when it really gets downpoury to look for leaks in the mud room, eves troughs and windows. The container, itself,  will have no problems

It’s still not done but I think we can officially unveil this years experiment, here at the Dark Green Mountain Survival RESEARCH Centre. What an expensive, exhausting and wild ride it has been. The dizzying highs. The depressing lows. The creamy middles.

Yes, I dropped off the earth for a while. I wrote and then erased a few articles, that though correct, I decided were not helpfull. I stopped communicating with friends, relatives, allies and other blog sites.(Dont worry. I’m not mad at anyone) I had just reached official burn out on typing. More so, I just had to focus my will entirely on the project at hand. The heat was making the project much more difficult. That was basically a three month heat wave with few days of reprieve. It was the humidity that forced up the (feels like) temps up into the 30’s most days.  Broke 40 one day. As they say, its not the heat. Its the humidity. I’m just not physically acclimatized to those temps.

Lets start with a bonus read. I was saving it for a different article but might as well drop it in here. A new druid catastrophist worth pointing out.  https://abeautifulresistance.org/site/2019/8/12/bloodor-soil-fascism-leftism-and-the-coming-food-crises

Personal blogwise, in spite of pulling back, I reached last years reader counts by mid August.

Now, many of you know I have had a fascination with the use of shipping containers for housing. I’ve written about such things since my first article here and, lets see if I can find  the big article on the subject. Here it is.

https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/shacks-shelters-and-shipping-containers-survival-advice-from-the-caribbean-epsisode-i/

chattel job 2

cleans up well

pay back

I’m using those photos for intellectual perspective. There is a lot yuppy (pretty, expensive and overly complicated, shipping container homes you can ogle on the internet or Youtube. They are trying to turn  shipping containers into a modern McMansion with all the amenities…. but crammed into a small space.

I, on the other hand, was just trying to figure out how to keep things as simple as possible. Basically, a cabin in the woods that was just meant to keep you from dying from exposure. That you wouldn’t freeze to death the first winter. No running water. You would have to haul it. No plumbing. You would have to dump it. No expensive septic system. You would have to compost it. No electrical wiring. You would have to generate and ration it. No refrigeration. You only get refrigeration during the cold months unless you come up with creative, pre-industrial solutions.

Basicly, ALL the lessons I had learned while living in a school bus, which was just a rolling, off grid cabin.

I’m sort of surprised how much this container home reminds me of this simple housing from the Andes.

challenging farm 4 cchallenging farm 6 c

One again, for perspective, thats two homes in a row. The grand parents lived in the back building. A family of four plus a new baby lived in this one. I was invited to visit the bones of this families ancestors, many of whom had died in conflicts to keep and hold this little plot of land on the edge of a precipice.

tough farm 2 c

I shake my head at reading what I wrote, ” that next summers big job for me will be to put up a simple shipping container home as quickly and cheaply as possible.”

I am reminded of two of my C5 Rules.

C5 Rule of Survival- There is a big difference between “Knowing” in the biblical sense and “Knowing” in the porn sense.

and..

C5 Rule of Survival- Any essential survival project will cost twice as much and take three times as long.

It still needs to to be painted and I will still be tinkering up till the winter but at this point, you can get the whole idea and a person would be able to jump right in and live in it as is.

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Dining area view.

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View from the seating area/ hide-a-bed for guests.

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Looks nice and spacious in it’s open concept. FYI. If someone wants a bit of bedroom or changing privacy, the screen can be pulled across. Its made from a couple of recycled closet doors with extra hinges added to turn it into a folding screen.

As you can see, the walls were simply spray foamed. I was going for simple, speed and cost reduction.

In doing so, I can officially say,… This experiment was a FAIL.

In saying it was a fail, what I mean is that I failed in my intention, which was to make housing, fast, simple and CHEAP.

We are into this for about 10 thousand dollars. (canadian dollars adjusted to 2019 dollar value. You can work that out if you are in other countries or reading this at a latter date) And that would be outside of the costs many poorer youngsters could come up with, considering most minimum wage earners cant come up with 500$ for an emergency. Part of the reason for me doing this is that I GET THAT. I really do. If you are struggling just to survive in a “functioning” economy,  surviving or escaping a non functioning economy….. that’s just not available, to those that would be most motivated and dedicated to doing so. They have got you by the short and curlies. They have MADE you a slave. Wage slavery. Keep slaving or die.

That there is 3 thousand dollars of spray foam, for 2 inches, almost doubling the cost of the initial container

can 15

As I mentioned before, this was my “practice container”. The one I observed, experimented with and made mistakes on. My point being, if you live in a cold climate, I see no other option than to use foam. It wont be an option. Condensation on metal would turn it into a mold factory. I’ll explain that latter but lets not ruin the buzz.

Lets continue the tour.

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This is the view from the seat just under the big window. Originally, I intended this container to be a barn. But it seemed a shame to waste this view. Plus we figured out the importance of having other people share the land with us. It was win-win. We need people and people need land.

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It’s nice and private back here for people to do what they wish without worrying about us staring at them.

Now, lets head into the mud room. A better word for it would be, the wet room. To keep moister out of the main room, things that create a lot of moisture are done out here.

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As I mentioned, there is no running water. Water needs to be carried. We are going old school here. I put in a shower stall here simply because I was able to scavenge one. A person could use a solar shower bag or heat the water over the wood stove during the winter, or go real old school and sponge bath. I will probably lend this item from our own emergency back up shower until the occupant works out what washing system they want to go with.

IMG_1131IMG_1135

Pump to get wet. Soap up. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. This uses very little water… which is important if you are hauling water. We will add  roof rain catchment soon. This is suitable for washing or dishes. In the same way, dishes are done in a couple canning pots. Water can be heated on the stove. Afterwards, it is simply carried and dumped down the hill where plants will compost it naturally. These are the very simple systems I used, living in the bus. If an occupant wants to upgrade to more advanced systems, I leave that to them. Example. An outdoor sauna would be a HUGE upgrade to getting warm and clean over the winter. Build if desired. I remember using saunas in the back country fondly. Never been that clean before. Let me explain. Add this to your survival knowledge, Adapters tool kit. The experience bush guys would haul around a tin woodstove as they traveled. They had learned that they could not count on working showers from the company. Too much to go wrong with complex systems. First thing to happen when a camp was set up was the real folky bush types would wander off by the river and whip up a simple shack with some planks for seats, and surround the stove with rocks. At the end of the day, cold, wet and dirty, people would retreat to the sauna to warm their core. They had one of the oldschool, back pack, firefighting water pumps. (My pump shower was just an upgrade to this. I learned it there. First hand KNOWLEDGE that I now share with you. This is my Kung Fu, Grasshoppers) They would spray the stove and heated rocks and this would turn the place into a heated steam bath. Your body would sweat, not just removing dirt but dead skin. Then you would soap up. Then you use the pump to spray off. The real tough folks would jump in the glacial fed river after. No need to though. The pump was good enough.

If you were horrified of the idea of public nakedness (with members of the opposite sex included) you got over it real quick… after a week or two without a shower, dirt, sweat, bug spray, damp and cold. Slipping into the shear luxury of that shack changed my life. It’s one of the reasons I am a lot more comfortable with my bod. I don’t shame easily.

Now, most north amerikaners don’t think of bathing as socializing time. It’s pretty normal in other parts of the world. Its where you got caught up with others days events. It’s a bit vulnerable being around other naked people. You learned social boundaries. You learned the DISCIPLINE of not staring at girls titties. This playes out into the clothed world as well… because I learned to look a woman in the face instead of ogling her cleavage.  They notice. FYI, no one got judgy if someone continued to wear a “bathing” suit or underwear. No one cared.

It only ever got uncomfortable once. This barbiesque bimbet came in and was being overly flirtatious. I think she was only there to show off her perfect tits or get back at daddy in some way. The regulars tried to ignore her. The trust and vulnerability bond was being broken. It would take her a while to earn that trust back.

And that’s the naked truth, from C5.

Wait. I got more on that subject. We’ve had German friends and noticed germans are much more used to this. That includes their kids. Not a big thing. This seemed odd to me because of that heavy Protestant Reformation influenced, proper and uptight german nature. But they seem fine with public nudity. I wonder if it dates back to the Roman occupation. Romans were known for putting in irrigation infrastructure, like bath houses, for  sanitation and health and this was considered bringing civilization to the unwashed barbarian masses.

I think us canadians (and other colonial invaders) inherited this taboo squeamishness from the british…  and I suppose, catholic  spanish farther south. Just guessing.

But this gets me to the next C5 Rule.

C5 Rule of Survival/ Adaptation- Hippies had all the right solutions… for all the wrong reasons.

Yup!

Most of my BEST survival/adapter skills were learned from idealistic, genteel  hippy folks. I was comfortable being around them… even when they might have been uncomfortable being around a less than genteel me. I just like people that are brave enough to throw on a back pack and set themselves adrift into a hostile universe… simply because, anywhere, including death, is better than BAU, Here. I’ve met a lot of real life, Chris McCandless types. I made up the title, “End Of The World People” to describe this type of personality. What I mean by this is,  if the world ends, it’s not going to make much difference to them. They already adjusted their expectations as to what life in a world of diminishing returns would be like. That, and you find them at the ends of the world. You find a lot of them in BC or the west coast, because it was just impossible to get any further away from Europe (or their parents) without getting wet.

I lived in a school bus, for chistmas crotch cooties sake. That should be a dead give away as to who I learned better survivalist advice from.

Look. Who is the better Survivor you want to take advice from. Someone who can survive on a bag of falafel mix and and a bag of weed and thinks sleeping on a couch is luxurious but would prefer a tent and is basically happy with his or her life most of the time….. or some angry right wing death squad enthusiast from the burbs that cant survive without a job and flush toilets, that blames his failure at life on “Lllibrrrals”, said with a snarl.

Somehow, there is a lot of fully indoctrinated hatred against hippy types that I just don’t get.

Sure. They are annoying and judgey at times.

But when I contrast them to the big guys lifting weights, and all these years later are still trying to win the approvals of their Daddies and other men….

Wwwway more annoying and judgey. 10 times the annoying and judgey.

If only they could just see themselves and suddenly realize just how incredibly GAY they are acting………I wouldn’t have to be The Annoying And Judgey person all the time… that I seem to have become.

Lets work that out into a mathematical formula.

Hippies=annoying and judgey x Hippy Haters= annoying and judgey x 10 = Me. The King Fucking Kong of annoying and judgey.

It’s a god damned, self reinforcing feedback loop past it’s tipping point… like the fires and ice melt happening in the arctic.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. You have got to be one Cowardly piece of human shit to be threatened by hippies. If you fantasize about, or worse, act out violence against someone that wasn’t even thinking about punching you back, you are fully lacking INTEGRITY. You have a complete lack of personal HONOR.

By Honor, I mean, until recently, any MAN understood one of his primary jobs in life was to champion the week. To give others a helping hand up. To look out for the “little guy”. It’s part of our self defining story. Self sacrifice and service.

Seriously. You only had One Job. How did we fuck that up so badly. It’s a sign of Social Collapse.

Speaking of walking, talking, human shaped fecal matter….

….breaking social taboos and poop related waist disposal…

This is a rather large step up from the waist disposal I used in the bus. This comes from MrsC5 and she has used this system, even living in the city. Even in our home where we have perfectly good drinking water to flush our problems away with. Buduptup. We just moved ours out to the container and will make another. The simplest of composting toilets. I’ll explain.

can, the other can

I’ve seen lots of talk of the horrors of sewage during disasters from preppers. They come up with lots complicated, store bought contraptions with chemicals or plastic bags. They are way over thinking it. Sawdust. Bucket. Toilet seat. After you have done your business, put some sawdust over it and close the lid. The sawdust absorbs odors

As a bonus, its future plant food once it has composted for about three years. It needs a bit longer to cook but the worms and bugs love breaking it down. There is plenty for you to look up on the subject online. The term you are looking up is “Humanure”. Its actually, urine, not poop, that is the real odor producer. I seem to recall Mythos and Logos put forest floor leaves and debris into their composting toilet… but don’t quote me on that.

That’s the tour. Still more to do.

Lets talk about shipping containers. Things I have learned along the way.

Preppers and homesteaders have had an interest in shipping containers for a long time. Preppers, because of the hopes they could bury it as a fallout shelter. That myth is still around in spite of all the failures in doing so. I learned this the hard way. My most monumental FAIL! Its my most embarrassing mistake and will be there to remind me, every time I walk past it. Luckily, it wasn’t a shipping container. I tried to wedge the aluminum cube van we mover here with into the side of a hill to be used as a cold storage. What a huge waist of an aluminum building that would have lasted forever. The pressure of the dirt just crushed it in… from the sides. I learned that land is filled with water… and it flows. The bigger issue would be, water, lack of drying time and abrasive minerals in the soil… it would rust out in no time. Next, there isnt metal  fully surrounding it. The floor is only oiled plywood. Now someone who just cant let go of the idea will say, “Pour concrete” around it”. They miss the logic because of previous investment. If you are going to the trouble of making a concrete, underground  structure… why bother putting and expensive and very handy container inside of it. It seems much smarter to just put the container on top of  the concrete bunker you just made . That way, you hide your hidey hole while still having a perfectly good container to cover the entrance, while storing stuff.

The next big issue was… they are a lot more expensive than I was led to believe. I kept hearing a thousand dollars. Ya, right. Maybe in the 80s. The practice container out there cost us 3700$ (canadian, adjusted to 2012), 700$ for delivery on a roll out truck from 2 hours drive away, 100$ for the two railway ties it was placed on, 300$ for the gravel placed under it to level  the ground and about 150$ extra in excavator time that was already here for another project.

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Ah, the days when we still had money. Every dollar bites now.

Now, this one was a fairly good quality container. We got it from a company that fixes them up, repairing damage, then flips them. This is much better steel than other containers. Wait. I’ll run out to the new container for the info since I noticed its written on it.

I’m back. Nope. It was painted over but the sticker reads “To be repaired with Corten Steel”. These were made to be used over and over while beaten, crunched, dented and repaired. Its much stronger than the, much more expensive, but prettier, single use containers. Those are made with much cheaper steel.

Don’t get me started. That word, right there, is everything wrong with our society and why we are so fucked and why I have so little hope for humanity. “Single use” and “Shipping Container” in the same description. What the fuck is wrong with us. All the ecological destruction, all the strip mining, all the coal fired steel plants and using our atmosphere as a giant toilet, all the wars and murders and suffering for oil, all the toxic chemicals flowing into our waterways, soooo….. let me get this strait, we can ship a bunch of disposable plastic stuff and future toxic electronic E-Waste, from the Other Side of the Planet… ONE TIME…so that we get budget shopping from US Monopolies (even in cana’duh) that destroy small businesses, our own economy, keeping  us forced to drive to wage slave jobs that we hate, while transferring all wealth to a few billionaires that have more wealth and power than any king in history.

Shame we are going to take a perfectly functional, self balancing and regulating, rather rare planet ecology with us.

I said, “Dont get me started” but I did. I better stop before I get onto my next rant about anyone that ever uses the term “The Chinese”… like they are all one big sinister amorphous blob human. I had a lot of assorted asian friends growing up.  OK. Lets get back on track.

During the 2015 commodities crash , as in steel prices dropped into the basement (plus a major shipping empire went bancrupt at the same time because of it) , we did observe container coming onto the market in the 2500$ range. I wish we had grabbed one then. We snoozed. We losed. Its back up in price now.

Now, We did talk to one individual that had got several, much cheaper containers. It’s a bit complicated, which is why we didn’t pursue it. I’ll pass it along for those that have more time than money. This person had friends that worked the docks so he got the call when auctions were happening. He was able to get them in the thousand dollar range. But to do so, he had to rent one of the large roll off trucks… because they needed to be removed right away. That required being a tractor trailer driver. Not helpful to most. If you have the time though, you can make phone calls to find those companies and make those connections to find the times and places and build relationships with a container moving company to see if you can work a deal to move SeaCans as soon as you win a bid. I’m just sharing that if it’s useful and you are willing to jump through all those hoops.

That practice container was in good condition. There is still a few rust spots I need to get to around the doors. (its week spot) Here is a couple shots from Barbados. I’ll add, if you live by the ocean, where salt is in the air, that is going to rust metal faster. You will have to paint and re paint often. Taring the roof would be a big help. I may do that to mine at some point.

rust 1

and here. This one was obviously left on the ground at some point.

rust 2

and this here is a problem area on our own container that I must keep watch of. Water and bacteria accumulate her. Over time, that will work into the paint. We will wash the mold off that occasionally as preventative maintenance.

edge

We were going to paint this container but decided not to. That brown coat was special paint designed to handle sea water… sooo…. we’re just going to stick with that. MrsC5 will track down a can of that stuff for any, grind and touch up spots.

Now, this new container we were able to get for three thousand. But dont count on finding that price. It’s a 9ft high container and they are much more expensive.

white whale 1

I am in total denial that I have to get to this next. I pictured that I would be well into this one by now. I’m soo burnt out on the practice container that isnt finished yet… that I am wondering if I will even get to it next year. We’ll see.

This one is in a lot rougher shape and is going to take a lot more work, grinding out rust, pounding out bends, maybe some welding (a skill that I dont have) then the added expense of a paint job. We only got it for that price because the guy that sold us the previous container had retired but had one last one to get rid of from the lot where it was stored and he accepted MrsC5’s offer of 3000$ in cash. It was the highest we were willing to invest from our retirement funds.

Now lets get back to the practicals of a container and what I have observed from years of just staring at it and living with this beast.

First off, its just a thin metal box so that also means its basically… a solar cooker. In the summer, even with the doors open, its too hot to be in there. Metal is conductive. That means heat radiates into it and holds it there. At night the heat conducts back out. No insulating whatsoever. Its not as big problem in hot countries because they add ventilated shade roofs.

complicated

They are attached on by welding on these.

attached

This secures your roof on…but you can see the problem here. The weld spot changes the metal temper and starts a potential rust spot if you don’t repaint professionally. The roof  metal is the most valuable part. Don’t fuck with it. I put the stove pipe through the side as well as bolting the eaves on from the side, to not disturb the roof.

This is a lesson learned from living in Vans, Camper trailers, a motor home, and eventually, my buses. There were a few. Motor homes rot quickly because of all the little gaps around corners and roof vents. Its almost impossible to keep water out. That was the advantage of the bus that had that glorious, curved steal roof that shed all water. By necessity,  I had to cut some holes to put in a roof vent to let heat out. Every time it was warm inside and cold outside, though… condensation would gather on the vent… and drip down on me. Good thing I didn’t put it above the bed… or a sky roof so I could sleep under the stars. That would have been a disaster.

Which gets back to the shipping container. Its also one big condenser.

If you live in a cool climate, that means, if it is cool outside and heated inside, oxygen and hydrogen will recombine back into water at that metal convection point. Then mold will grow in that water. Good thing I didn’t insulate.

Snark. I did. At least I started.

can 17

I got as far as one wall… then I abrupt stopped. It was clear as day that this was just not going to work at all. The container build promptly went on hold for several years after that. It looked like it was just going to be barn or storage shed again after that. Hard to get happy again after that one.

That might explain why I had mold issues in my bus once I hyper insulated it with pink insulation.

I have learned all the hard lessons for you.

It was still a kick ass storage shed and perfect for storing the winters worth of animal feed. No rat or mouse would ever be digging into here. And its not like it would ever burn down, crush under snow load or blow down in a wind storm. All issues I worry about with the near useless barn next to our house. At some point, it’s got to go. It’s a huge, flying embers magnet. Not great when wild fires are raging around the planet as we speak. Sucks to be right all the time…..well almost.

On hold as it was, I just couldn’t give up on this project though and doom it to the accumulating failed experiments list. Here’s why. In spite of all the delusional science deniers, those fires are coming. Those super storms are coming. People are coming. Hunger is coming.

No embers are blowing into that container. It can handle snow load. Most snow just blows right off it. Its low profile is pretty wind resistant (one of the reasons I didn’t want to ad a roof to be blown off). Its also a good wind break, protecting the main house and solar system.  And hunger means, food production and security requires many hands and eyes. Accepting that, I only really had the option of giving up entirely… or getting back to work and sticking with the original vision.

I chatted with a number of edu’micated preppers back when I was starting this project. One of them rightly pointed out that it would be cheaper to just build a traditional building of the same size. A building needs to breath or it will just be a mold factory….. and, if you are just building a traditional framed house INSIDE the container, whats the point of the container?

Rather good points. Sort of like my description  of why not to bury a shipping container surrounded by concrete.

But my reason was still about the fires and super storms…. and the mice. Let me explain. When living in a cabin on Cortez Island, back in my 20s, I got hired for the day to help tear apart a cottage. First thing that happened while pulling the roof and wall boards out, was I was rained on by moldy insulation… and an equal weight in rat shit. And me without a mask. Plague anyone?  It was a toxic stew. They just loved living in those walls and chew up everything (especially the electrical wiring) while soaking the whole place with piss. They had destroyed the house. But another force was at play. Modern houses only survive if they are being lived in. The moment you don’t keep it heated, the walls mold and rot, as does the wood. If the roof isn’t monitored and maintained, a simple leak starts a cascading collapse of the entire building. Once it starts, you  pretty much, have to rebuild the entire thing. That also happened to my bus when I walked away from it for a winter. I wanted a home that could be left empty for years without it falling apart and be mice or rat free, ready to be re-inhabited.

Either way, I believe we have all that now. We solved the problem with home insulating foam. More so, after living with this container, if you live in a cold climate, I see no other option than to use foam, even if it is only a small layer that’s only purpose is to stop that metal/ heat/ cold convection. Do whatever you want after that. Its the missing link, and unfortunately it’s pricey. A wood stove will suck up any additional moisture in the air. In our home, we have to keep a kettle on the stove just so it doesn’t get too dry in the house over the winter.

Speaking of wood stoves in a container. I learned another lesson the hard way. When I put the first stove in there and fired it… The place slowly filled with smoke and I had to open everything to air it out. I thought there was something wrong with the stove or draft. Silly me. A container is almost air tight. Therefore there was no draft to pull the smoke up the chimney. To keep burning, it would have been pulling air back down the chimney at the same time. Soooo…… you will have to put an air intake hole right next to the stove. And I will put a carbon monoxide alarm in there. There is a reason pot bellied stoves are also referred to as “Hippy Killers”.

A few other “Mistakes” I made during my “Getting through the learning curve”.

It took a few years for the ground to settle and may continue to do so with freeze, thaw cycles. It started to lean a bit. Remember this classic photo? She’s lopsided. I mean the container. Not MrsC5. She is pretty symmetrical. Budupt tup. Not always balanced… but that would be the pot calling the kettle, something or the other.

Walkies doc 2

The issue was corrected with a 2-ton bottle jack and carefully placed boulders.  I deeply recommend the jack.

So. I mentioned I had failed in my goal. I wanted housing cheap, simple and fast. OK. I blew it on the cheap part. It’s double what I had hoped. It wasn’t fast for me…. BUT repeating it, now that all the lessons have been learned, will be much faster.

I’m presenting this idea for the person that has bought some cheap land somewhere and wants a quick structure on it that they can retreat to if necessary. Container. Add door and windows. Add wood stove. Spray foam. Skirt the space underneath. Done. Move on to the next job. It’s technically considered a mobile structure. If anyone asks, its a workshop or shed.

Lessons learned? I think, next build, I will still frame it and add walls over it. This will, of course, increase the cost. I’ll chew that over for a while.

Before I go, lets talk about what I have learned about the foam… besides it being expensive. It is the best insulator by far. It is fine with the stove but I added cement board behind it that wont burn and will add a metal screen/ reflector in-between the stove and cement board. I took a piece of the foam and lit it on fire. As I had been told, It did burn for a bit but put itself out. My guess is that there is some type of fire retardant in it. There is a bit of a crust on the foam after spraying. That is what I was going for. It’s still not as hard as I was hoping for though. So, it will still be necessary to not ding up the walls. Next step is to paint. Paint must be WATER BASED. You MUST NOT USE OIL BASED PAINT as this will cause a chemical reaction that will destroy the entire thing and turn it into a sticky, never setting mess that must all be ripped out. Unfortunately, painting must be done with a paint sprayer. A roller wont work as it will pull right off. Now I need to go buy a spray gun… that I am only ever going to use once. Oh Joy. More consumer waist.

Now the confession. I am pissed at the spray contractor, after all that time and money. There is not a consistent surface over the entire thing. It was sloppy around the windows, and around the back window, it was all bulbousy. At the moment, I am at a loss as to how to fix this… but you know me. Ill work it out. I’ve had to walk away from the whole project for a week just for my temper to cool down. Luckily, I am a stoic fellow who can detach and say, “It is what it is. It will do”. In some ways it has a Flintstones feel… and left to my own devices, I would totally decorate it that way, with the tattered leopard spot curtains, caveman furniture,  change my name to Fred Flintstone and bill it as Fred and Wilma’s Love Shack, then make our money back by renting it out for romantic encounters through AirBnB.

“Bam. Bam…. Bam Bam Bam!

“Hey! You kids. Don’t dings the walls with the head board!”

There is so many places I could go with that…..

I guess its best if I just leave interior decorating to the tastes of the occupants.

Well, I have been working on this post for four days, the storm has long past and i guess I should stop avoiding it and get back to finishing that big steel home.

I hope this helps anyone considering a container home.

 

But wait! There’s more…

 

 

I know it’s a, Hale Mary, Spray and Pray, Long Shot…

But before we start reaching out in other directions, I thought I would start here with my readership base and say…

“O.K. Who wants to live here?” Who wants to test their metal? Who has been thinking to themselves, “I don’t what to stay where I am. I don’t see a future, a livable future here. I cant afford land and a home on my own….And what I really want more than anything else is to live like that. I want to be part of what C5 and MrsC5 are doing”.

Yes. I Understand it’s a long shot. But I know there are other folks like me out there. Its just a question of how to find them.

Now, I understand, 99.9 percent of you are going, “Nooope. Not up to taking on that challenge”. But here is where you can help me out. Someone here might be thinking, “I know somebody that wants this” or, “I know a place to re-post this where the right people would be found”.

I have a little confession to make. Many people that have been reading me for a while will understand I am a long sighted fellow. Ive done many posts where the only reason was to prepare the ground for where all those posts come together.

Two and a half years, 90 articles and 50 thousand views, many more views on other sites, was all to leading up to This One Moment.

 

It was intentional from the very start. It was to find that small handful of people like myself. I exposed myself thoroughly to the world, both the good side and the bad… as a long shot gamble. That it would teach and motivate others was just its second purpose. But this was it’s secret purpose. Sneaky me

We have tried to bring people together here before. We succeeded but in each case they were the wrong people. We had burnt out from talking to hundreds of people and having our hearts broken over and over. It’s one of the reasons we started this blog down in South America. We were taking a break from it all to lick our wounds and formulate a new plan.

I wanted, next attempt, that someone considering the idea, could read all about us and understand exactly WHY we are doing this. Only then can they make an honest decision about if they want to be part of it. Keep in mind though, that we are probably not as interesting in person.

Here is the arrangement. It will cost you a measly 100$ per month rent. I’ll explain why after. Your part of the arrangement is that you are here as a house and animal sitter any time we are away, at which point, you would pay nothing. That could be from over night to a week away, to the two months we plan to be away this winter… or even up to a year if we get some wild plan in our head. You would move into our main house at that point and can take advantage of the amenities. You would manage the solar system, keep the wood stove going so the pipes, food and animals don’t freeze and manage any problems that come up. You would be responsible for any extra electrical costs or internet during these times. You are responsible for your own firewood.

One of the reasons I am doing this is to, sort of, pay it forward. Ive had some rough times in life. Now I am on top of the world. I wanted to set up a situation here, that is everything I would have given anything to find back then, but couldn’t. A piece of land and simple housing, where I could be close to the natural world, but wouldn’t have to work my entire life to pay, simply, for the right to be in that spot.

Back to that 100$ part. The problem with saying free is that people might treat this as if it had no value. We were even warned about presenting the low cost of 100$. This only works if you understand that what I am presenting is priceless, a once in a lifetime opportunity, you will never find something like this again… and Know It.

MrsC5 had said, “I’m only comfortable with this arrangement if the person understands, their responsibility is to pay it forward”.

As in, pay it forward to the next folks we bring in, some other youngster that needs help, or even back to us when we need help, which we will at some point.

It’s not charity. You will have some responsibilities here.

Earn it.

Its best if you don’t think about it in the traditional landlord arrangement. You are not renting the container home. You are more renting access to the 110 acres of land here… and joining a group. A MAG or mutual assistance group. As life gets rougher in the future, that will become more necessary. We watch each others back… and back each others play.

Speaking of which, if you are more comfortable bringing in your own RV, we can facilitate that as well. Same arrangement. Same price. That might even be helpful to bringing in the next person. Any person that has ever tried to rent a place for an RV will know just how valuable what we are offering is. You cant get a tenting spot in a camp ground, surrounded by other people for that price, let alone a quiet place with a view and access to firewood to be cut and garden space and a place to build stuff.

At this point someone may say, “Hey! That”s not fair!” and you have got to work that out before coming here and not be putting that on us. We’ve already had this happen with one couple we invited here. He said, “There is nothing fair about any of this. We live in a (None of your business) and you live on the hill in a house with electricity and running water….”. This left me going, What the fuck! They were talking about us behind our back, complaining about how wrong everything we doing was and encouraging resentments amoungst our social network… against us. There was some serious mental health issues going on there that we missed. I cant let that happen again.

This isnt the place to do everything right. This is the place to have the freedom to experiment with things, do everything wrong… and learn from it. That’s the point of The Dark Green Mountain Survival RESEARCH Centre

This round, we still maintain control for the sake of stewarding the land and keeping it together as a whole. If you have things that you want to experiment with or build. Most times, I am going to say, “Have at’er” even if I think it is going to fail. As long as it doesn’t leave us a mess you abandon and we are stuck cleaning up. Occasionally we may say no because we already know what the land can or cant do from experience or know what will draw us too much “Heat”.

Speaking of which, The main thing I ask here is, “Don’t draw Heat here”. Don’t bring problems here. We are just far enough off the road that most people don’t even know if we are here or not. Lets keep it that way. Lets not give local busybodies or authorities the reason to think something suspicious is going on here and they need to put their foot down.

It has been my intension, from the start, to not go full market price. What I want, more than anything, is that the person can get themselves financialy ahead of the game with whatever employment they are doing. That they are not poreing all their money into rent or mortgage exploitation. I want them to use any savings into things that secure their future and makes them secure…in the face of ecconomic collapse. Food storage. Tools, A reliable, ecconomical vehicle. Animals. Savings. ETC. The more secure they are, the stronger we are as a group.

Now, we have been though this before, reaching out to others and we have been amazed just how much it is like internet dating. It’s exhausting.  It’s a good analogy though. We are dating to explore who we are going to share our lives with. Then there is the emotional highs. “Is this the one?” Then the emotional lows. “I invested al lot of time. Why wont they they return my email?” And the whole rejection thing. Or feeling bad about being the person that has to reject. Its an emotional roller coaster. Sure, you get access to hundreds of people. You also get to experience heart break a hundred times as fast.

As I said, we have faced this before. Don’t freak out if we don’t reply… or not reply fast enough. I hate typing recently and am not looking forward to doing it all again. It takes a lot of my time. In the same way, we will do our best not to lose it and send, “That was rude, you asshat. Fuck you. I hope you die” replies. It may happen. That’s the nature of the internet. It’s easy to be offended because you cant read the persons face and too easy to snap back because there is little chance you will be punched in the face for your reply. It’s the nature of the beast we are all learning to navigate.

Do me a favor though. If you are just an internet shopper, Looky Lew,  with an, “I’ll nibble, please tell me more, I’ll hear your sales pitch”… Please Don’t. We will be exhausted talking to people… to the exact level as building that container home or other projects. In the same way, we are trying to create something from nothing.

Only contact us if you are thinking, “That’s awesome. It’s exactly what I want to do. Lets see if we can make it work. If not, I understand. I wont string you along as well”.

Be warned. We may cyber stock you. We may, maybe, make you jump through some security hoops to check you out. We need to get to know you. We wont tell you exactly where we are.

FWI. Yes, we are in Nova Scotia, Canada, And No, We will not help you Immigrate. Only for Canadians, dual citizens or landed immigrants.  Nothing personal. I know I am read around the world. We are just stretched as to how much we can help.

Lets continue. We are near the North Shore. 10 Min drive to the ocean. About 20 min drive from Tatamagouche. Around two hours to Halifax or Moncton. We are not as out in the bush as it first appears. We found the middle ground in a secret, neglected enclave.

I think it best if I write a better description page that only those interested read, off this blog. That may take a while as we are still busy. It may come accoss as a form letter. Last time, we kept typing the same responses over and over and waisting our time. I hope not to do that this time.

Here is the bad news. There is little in the way of employment here. What there is is usually in the summer, based around cottagers and a trickle of tourism. It’s bad timing in posting this. If you have any Trades skills, there are many old folks that need Handy Man jobs done. I joke, it’s the land of newly weds and nearly deads… but without the newly weds. Before anyone asks, as others have, there is not a lot of great dating options. You would have to reach outside the locals. Still, a number of young British Columbians and Torontonians have been showing up into the area lately that realised they found a secret enclave that isn’t cool but might be cool… in ten years… if they make it so. In spite of that this is about surviving Climate Chaos. The irony being, you will need a reliable vehicle… until that day comes when we all say, “It’s all bicycling from here. I hope we have enough food stored up to get through a winter once we are snowed in”.

I think that is enough to get started. Here is how this will work. Just like when I did the contest, I will leave the comments section open. You will send me an E-mail address but when WordPress sends me a notice to say, Accept or Reject comment, I’ll hit the Reject button so no one but me sees that adress. Think of it as the first trust building exercise. If I was to violate that trust, you can tell everyone on the internet that I am a con. I checked recently and so far no one has complained about me. That’s amazing considering how easily people get triggered and use the internet to lash out. Once I get your Email, I will erase it and contact you via  a separate g-mail or MrsC5 might contact you via Yahoo and we can go from there. Tell us plenty about yourself or we might not respond. “Sup. I wanna enter your Can” is just not worth replying to. Remember, Internet dating… “I like long walks on the beach and back rubs…snark… I spend too much time on the computer, please don’t search my browser history, like beer and get through the long winter playing video games.”

What we learned the first time we tried this is that we are not looking for the person with the best credentials. If we are sharing our land, we want to do it with someone we just like and enjoy partying with, when friends come over and the social side of humanity is to be shared and enjoyed.

With Red Green in mind, “I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together”.

I better hit Publish before I lose my nerve… and we will see how this goes. It’s all an Experiment… here at the Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre.

If you are receiving this Broadcast, WE… are  The Rebel Alliance.


 

If you enjoyed this article or learned something new… go to the top of the page and hit, Giving Just The Tip. Always good for a chuckle and there is a paypal link. Donations go to roof metal, nails and screws and the occasional odd item worth experimenting with. We don’t have sponsors or sell anything. I’m not collecting your addresses and will never contact you to promote something. I’m just not that tech savvy. I wont spend anything on hookers and blow or stock buy back options. This is pretty much ALL I do. “I only had one job”. This is it.

Bonus read- https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/why-did-people-build-houses-just-leak-heat-out.html

(edit, a day latter. Darn. I wish I had caught this in time. I’ll add it in anyhow)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock of Ages 2: Travelogue

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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 1, 2019

The Fun of Flying

Discuss this article at the SUN Table inside the Diner

 

Regular readers of the Diner Forum know I am currently out of state from the Last Great Frontier of Alaska on another one of my Cripple Cart Jet-Setting Adventures related to the SUN☼ Monument, which by no coincidence is also my Tombstone.  I'll be writing a full article and producing a video just about that aspect of this trip after I get home, but for today I'll just fill in the readers and viewers with other aspects of this trip I am trying to accomplish.

It's also no coincidence where the Final Resting Place for the rest of Eternity is for the SUN☼ Monument, it's dead center of Flyover Country in the FSoA, Springfield, MO.  This because it's where my few remaining family members live, and it's where my mom died and was buried.  So I bought a plot there for myself after my accident, figuring it wasn't going to be long before I was pushing up daisies myself.

SUN☼ represents everything I have stood for over my time as an observer of Collapse, which goes back basically to 2007 or so.  In 2013, I founded a Non-profit 501c3 corporation to try and fulffil the goals I would like to see achieved, to "Build a Better Tomorrow" for whatever Homo Saps manage to survive the crash of this civilization, and to "Save As Many As You Can" of the creatures (including but not limited to Homo Saps) currently inhabiting the planet.

It has been a slog and slow going with this Mission, and due to my less-than-perfect health (lol), it's unlikely that I can see this project through to completion.  Even if I was in perfect health though, it would be unlikely because rebuilding after this civilization crash will take many generations, so I wanted to leave behind a message that would last as long as possible.  Of all the media you have to work with, none lasts longer than stone.  The oldest writing we have is on stone tablets, so what better place to put down the message and the principles than my Tombstone?  I used the best and hardest Granite I could get, and had the stones carved in China and here for the final engravings.  Of course, it wasn't easy to boil down the millions of words I have written to what I could fit on a Tombstone, but I think I hit the important points.

I'll write more and have more video on the SUN☼ Monument Project after I get back to the Last Great Frontier, but that wasn't the only thing this trip was about.  Since I am living through my own personal form of collapse, I have a lot of things I want to tie up the loose ends on before I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.  The videos which follow here are a few snippets from the trip so far, negotiating the plane flights with my Cripple Cart, getting my Jeep which has been sitting in a storage unit for 12 years running and gettng a new & improved system for trailering all my stuff while traveling so I am not constantly having crashes and having to jury rig the contraption throughout the traveling, which believe you me gets old very fast. lol.

So this is a travelogue of this adventure, but not like your normal travelogue vids of picturesque places to visit.  About the most picturesque place in this set is the Bates Motel I am staying at, a Motel 6 where Tom Burdett left the light on for me. 🙂  It's all unedited stuff, I don't have time or energy to do any editing or make any title pages or wipes and other transitions right now.  I do think they are kind of fun to watch though, and mostly not too long.

More coming after I get home.

A half empty jet

Touring the Bates Motel

Trying to start a Jeep after 12 years in a storage unit

Creating the new & improved Cripple Cart trailer rig hookup

A well equipped Shop.  Don't Collapse without one.

 

This Week In Doom Sept. 1, 2019: Rat Bastards


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
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                                                            Anthony Freda

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on September 1, 2019

“This country was born on violenceViolence is as American as cherry pie."  –H. Rap Brown


I awoke this morning to see what news had broken and found this:

10 injured in shooting after high school football game in Alabama

At least 10 teenagers were injured when a shooting broke out after a high school football game in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday night, authorities said. Nine of the victims suffered gunshot wounds.

Well, it's Alabama, and it's FOOTBAW, so thus perhaps reason enough. But I'm old enough to remember going to high school football games without fearing for my life.

"Why are the young people bringing this type of violence to public events?" Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste asked in a news conference Friday. "They're bringing their beefs that they have with each other in their neighborhoods and they're putting other people in harm's way."

Let's not forget the exortations by Trump to do that very thing.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump encouraged a crowd of supporters Monday to "knock the hell" out of anyone who looked like they might throw fruits and vegetables at him, and promised to pay the legal fees for anyone who took him up on his suggestion.

Even though Trump bade his supporters to practice rough justice, some will find it hard to lay the pervasive strain of American violence at his feet. Aside from giving aid and succor to violent white nationalists, and voice to the prion disease that afflicts his most rabid supporters, that is. Back to the news:

At least 5 dead after more than 20 shot as gunman targets random victims in Odessa area

At least five people died after more than 20 people were shot Saturday when a gunman hijacked a postal truck and began shooting randomly in the Odessa area of West Texas, authorities say.

At least three law enforcement officers — a state trooper, an Odessa police officer and a Midland police officer — were among those shot. They were in stable condition Saturday night, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Another weekend, another shooting. Or two. Sandy Hook, Charleston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, El Paso, Dayton, Virginia Beach, and now in Texas. Again.

American history is written in blood. American violence has its roots in the wars of extermination fought against native peoples, chattel  slavery that built the wealth of a planter class (the enforcement for which was enshrined in the Second Amendment), wars against one another expanding the "frontier" (who doesn't love a good western?) and now the endless economic competition of all against all. We have normalized the mass slaughter of our fellow citizens to the extent that weekend mass shootings barely raise an eyebrow. Even though 90 per cent of our fellow citizens (and gun owners) welcome mandatory background checks for gun purchases, the NRA and its hireling legislators (aslosh in laundered rubles) won't allow such a bill to come to a vote.  

Meanwhile, out here in flyover country, where tariffs bite, where soybeans molder in silos, where Joe Sixpack and his wife both work two jobs to make ends meet, where minimum wage doesn't cover the rent anywhere in the country, the stresses mount.


“No small part of this ugly barbarization has been due to sheer physical congestion: a diagnosis now partly confirmed with scientific experiments with rats – for when they are placed in equally congested quarters, they exhibit the same symptoms of stress, alienation, hostility, sexual perversion, parental incompetence, and rabid violence that we now find in the Megalopolis.”

 ― Lewis Mumford,  The City in History


Rats in a box. We all know that under enough stress, rodents turn on one another. We know this because scientists tested and measured this phenomenon, back in the day when the earth was still a sphere and science counted for something. Ethologist John B. Calhoun studied population density and its effects on behavior, and coined the term "behavioral sink" to describe the collapse in behavior which resulted from overcrowding. Over a number of years, Calhoun conducted over-population experiments on Norway rats and mice.

In his 1962 study, Calhoun described the behavior of the rodents:

Many [female rats] were unable to carry pregnancy to full term or to survive delivery of their litters if they did… Among the males the behavior disturbances ranged from sexual deviation to cannibalism and from frenetic overactivity to a pathological withdrawal from which individuals would emerge to eat, drink and move about only when other members of the community were asleep. The social organization of the animals showed equal disruption. …

The common source of these disturbances became most dramatically apparent in the populations of our first series of three experiments, in which we observed the development of what we called a behavioral sink. The animals would crowd together in greatest number in one of the four interconnecting pens in which the colony was maintained…as a result extreme population densities developed in the pen adopted for eating, leaving the others with sparse populations.

… In the experiments in which the behavioral sink developed, infant mortality ran as high as 96 percent among the most disoriented groups in the population.

As the rat population grew to 2200 rodents in what was described as a "rat utopia," they subsequently exhibited abnormal, often destructive behaviors. By the 600th day, the population was on its way to extinction. Calhoun himself saw the fate of the rodent population as a metaphor for the potential fate of man. Now rats aren't people, although as we will see, some people are rats. 



Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist, Arrives in N.Y. With a Message for Trump

Greta Thunberg’s Slow Boat to New York

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, arrived in New York City via an emission-free sailboat trip to dramatize her message for the urgency for state actors to take climate change seriously. She gives a speech next month at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. This at a time when

the Amazon rain forest was on fire; glaciers were calving into the sea; Tropical Storm Dorian was gathering strength in the Caribbean; scientists were trying to artificially inseminate the last two northern white rhinos on earth; there was lead in the water in Newark. The Endangered Species Act had been gutted, and the E.P.A. had announced new protections not for air or water but for marine diesel engines.

Thunberg arrived without the benefit of any official delegation or ceremony. She stepped off her boat and onto a floating dock, climbed a ramp to a stage, and faced rows of news cameras and handheld phones transmitting the arrival of the symbol of global climate resistance. She has been cheered by supporters, fellow climate activists, and mocked by critics. I promised you rats.


Misogyny, meet hypocrisy: Climate deniers go after AOC, Greta Thunberg with sexist attacks

Even though officialdom may have greeted Thunberg with a yawn, the alt-right was certainly paying attention. Climate change does not seem to present as a gendered issue, but leave it to conservatives to inject sexism into their generalized contempt for anything not "blood and soil." This week the right-wing Media Research Center tweeted out a video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., addressing the need for rapid decarbonization to prevent catastrophic environmental changes. The video, labeled "Shallow Thoughts" and backed by treacly music, is supposed to be read as an indictment of Ocasio-Cortez's intelligence.

Fail. It's clear the Media Research Center doesn't expect its conservative audience to actually listen to what AOC is saying (which is actually cogent, despite the treacle), and instead write her off as an airhead. But AOC is a social media adept, and in a bit of social media jujitsu, tweeted out the video herself, stealing a march on the MRC. And in a nice bit of trolling, thanked MRC for helping spread her message. 

Slate had it thus:

Earlier this week, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out a warm welcome to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, who arrived in New York Wednesday for a speech at the United Nations.

Unfortunately, Thunberg was also greeted by a wave of misogynist nastiness, largely coming from allegedly grown men in both Europe and the United States. The attacks on Thunberg were in the same vein as those on Ocasio-Cortez, accusing her of being too stupid to know what she's talking about and denying that her voice is one worth honoring. A writer for the conservative Washington Examiner claimed that Thunberg is a victim of "child abuse" and that her mother "pimps their kid out," explicitly drawing a line between forced sex work and climate activism. 

As usual with the alt-right gaggle of Goebbels cosplayers, it's all about "owning the libs." Uh-huh. AOC and Thunberg both appear to be energized by opposition. But the main reason that climate-change deniers so readily turn to misogyny is that otherwise, they got nuthin'. The scientific evidence is in, and it's black and white: the climate crisis is real, and mostly caused by human activity. Their moral position is even more tenuous, since their options–doing nothing, or increasing greenhouse gas output — will harm not just future generations, but innocents around the world currently enduring extreme weather events like Hurricane Dorian or a burning Amazon.

So right wing trollboys have to rely on personal attacks aimed at environmental activists, dragging the debate away from evidence and into a rat's nest of culture war resentments.


Yet for all of the above, the article that spurred the direction of this week's rats-under-stress rant was this one, just in time for back-to-school.

Instead of school supplies, this year I’m shopping for a bulletproof backpack 

Judi Zirin speaks for an entire generation of American parents, who have to deal with issues that frankly never occurred to previous generations of parents planning back-to-school:

I have always loved the end of summer’s lazy promise of infinite possibility, the late August back to school buzz of limitless potential. Instead of shopping for school supplies and first day of school outfits, though, I’m online looking at Kevlar hoodies and bulletproof backpacks. This year, I’m not worried my kid won’t fit in – I’m praying he won’t be carried out.

After so many school shootings, I’m scared. Scared of what happens when that student who seems a little off or angry or cruel, whose parents don’t notice or take it seriously, whose issues the school is “dealing with”, finds access to a gun. Terrified because I know I can’t protect my child – and the government won’t. Confused because these students need help and not stigma, and it’s oddly the guns who have the stronger lobby.

Perhaps the greatest indictment future generations will level at our own is our unwillingness to protect our own children in the face of an intransigent NRA and its Russian money-trough. Nearly every American industry and product is subject to civil liability as a check on the irresponsibility of manufacturers and sellers—but not the gun industry. Congress made sure of that: when it passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005, they exempted the gun industry from nearly all lawsuits, leaving families of gun violence victims without recourse.

Thus do the NRA and their hirelings insure a steady supply of child human sacrifices to Moloch each year. And Moloch remains hungry.

And we have the nerve to call the human sacrifice of the Mayans and Aztecs barbaric.

 


Short takes:

Here's a summary of doom-related news that moved this week.

Take the land’: President Trump wants a border wall. He wants it black. And he wants it by Election Day.

Trump is so eager to complete hundreds of miles of border fence ahead of the 2020 presidential election that he has directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules, according to current and former officials involved with the project.

He also has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get the barriers built quickly, those officials said.

The world in flames

Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm

Who they Are; they have names, faces, addresses, families…

Steve Schwarzman, a Top Financier of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, Is a Driving Force Behind Amazon Deforestation

TWO BRAZILIAN FIRMS owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention. 

Brazil Says It Will Reject $22 Million in Amazon Aid Pledged at G7

Because Boisonaro.

2019 to be ‘worst-ever year’ for wildfires in Siberia and ‘only rain can now extinguish flames’

The New Trail of Tears: How climate change is forcing the relocation of species, including our own

In 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, designed to appropriate to the United States lands occupied by aboriginal Americans… the result of this land grab and ethnic cleansing was the Trail of Tears, a highway of the dispossessed, en route from their homelands to less favorable situations away from the population centers of the European-Americans and their recently created nation. Those with the means self-deported; those who moved late moved in large numbers and suffered terrible losses.

Nearly two centuries later, we face the prospect of forced relocations on a scale that is difficult to fathom. This New Trail of Tears will involve humans on every inhabited continent, and it will impact countless other species as well. This time, the driving force is all humanity, agents of climate change through our greenhouse gas emissions.

Author Brian Stewart notes that sea level rise, coupled with more violent storms powered by the warmer atmosphere, will have a profound impact on coastal areas. The dispossessed will place great stress on the remaining livable space, competition for such livable space will be fierce, and may become extinction traps for some. Note this with certainty:

Barriers to movement, both inadvertent and intentional, can be death sentences to those migrating.

It will be a piquant irony if those who are among the most ardent warriors against the dispossessed today find themselves on the other side of a razor wire fence tomorrow.

World’s largest permafrost river dries to a record low

Indonesia picks site for new capital as Jakarta sinks

Purdue Pharma in talks over multibillion-dollar deal to settle more than 2,000 opioid lawsuits

What sounds equitable at first blush may prove to be a multi-billion dollar dodge on the part of the Sacklers:

The Sackler family, which grew into one of the nation’s wealthiest dynasties through sales of the widely abused painkiller OxyContin, could emerge from a legal settlement under negotiation with its personal fortunes largely intact, according to an analysis reviewed by The Washington Post and people familiar with the discussions.

All the Sacklers want is what any of us would want: to be left alone in our Fortress of Insolence counting our billions.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

This Week in Doom August 26, 2019: The Lyin’ King


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on August 25, 2019

“The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.” 
― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


Madness occasionally asserts itself on the world stage.

"The Madness of King George" is a stage and film production about Britain's George III, known through history as "the mad king who lost America." George III was king of Great Britain during some of the nation’s most challenging and tumultuous years, including those of the American Revolution. By accounts he was a dutiful, steady monarch who guided Britain through the French revolution and later Napoleon's rise and fall.  In 1788, illness brought on his mental breakdown, but he briefly recovered for a time. His later escalating bouts of insanity led Parliament to pass a Regency Act, by which the fate of the empire devolved to his oldest son, Prince George. This young man was faced with the unenviable position of having to govern according to the increasingly erratic whims of his batty father. It is thought by some that George's erraric behavior had its roots in disease, but this assessment is by no means unanimous.

Do a search for, "the Madness of King Donald" and you'll find a number of articles speculating that the so-called Leader of the Free World appears to be batshit crazy, a speculation not necessarily recent, but brought into sharp relief by statements that the Burnt-umber Buffoon made this week. The record is filled with what appears to be Trumpian signs of cognitive disorder, pre-dementia or even sheer delirium, whether it is the series of incoherent tweets, the ranting and unhinged raving at media briefings, or taking off on rabbit-hole tangents at public rallies to the applause and adoration of his bobblehead followers.

Some might think that such speculation is baldly partisan, and as a nearly-bald partisan I might agree. But the level of barking-mad, batshit-crazy reached a fever pitch this week…

King Lear is one of our most popular exemplars of power and madness. Like Trump, Lear is susceptible to the flattery of daughters, who fawningly profess their love, and Lear rewards them in kind. His youngest daughter, Cordelia, does not play that game, and is disinherited by her erratic and petulant father. They are eventually reconciled, but the peace comes too late in the arc of the story for it to end in anything but tragedy. It is too soon to know whether Lear and Trump equate, but the tragedy that unfolds is more for the American people than a mad king.

The madness of King Donald: is Trump really losing his mind?

So people are actively asking this question. The problem is that those people are not among his ironclad supporters, who still believe every word he says. The fact that Trump's penchant for pathological lying is now under being examined in the context of his sanity is explained away as, "fake news." 

If Rick Reilly’s new book Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump is anything to go by, Trump “cheats like a mafia accountant”.

Among many eye-catching anecdotes, he cites caddies at a New York golf club nicknaming Trump “Pelé”, after the Brazilian soccer legend, because of the president’s habit of kicking his ball out of the rough and up the fairway to win at all costs.

Increasingly, mental health experts have been getting increasingly vocal in crossing that Rubicon known as the "Goldwater Rule," enacted by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 to avoid armchair diagnoses by mental health pros expressing their own political biases in psychiatric terms. This was enacted in the wake of the 1964 presidential campaign between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, in reaction to a magazine survey of psychiatrists which attempted to question Barry Goldwater’s mental fitness.

[I]t is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement”

Yet for all that,  some are calling for an examination to assess whether Trump is actually losing his mind.



TRUMP DECLARES HIMSELF “KING OF ISRAEL,” THE “SECOND COMING OF GOD

The president is sick of “disloyal” American Jews, who apparently don’t know what’s good for them or how to properly vote. But “Jewish people in Israel love him,” according to the crazed conspiracy theorist Trump quoted on Twitter.

It all started with a classic Trump humblebrag. “Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words,” Trump said before quoting something the evangelical Christian Root had said.

“President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world … and the Jewish people in Israel love him … like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God,” the quote said.

Root, who lives in Las Vegas, says he founded the Republican Jewish Coalition chapter in Nevada. He had also previously been hired by Sheldon Adelson (the casino magnate and a major funder of the RJC and Republican candidates along with Jewish causes,)to write a column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal after buying the newspaper in 2015. Root is also the author of the book “Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America,” also published in that year.

Wayne Allyn Root—a self-described “Jew turned evangelical Christian”—is an unhinged conspiracy theorist who believes the 2017 Las Vegas shooting was a “coordinated Muslim terror attack” by ISIS and that George Soros paid actors to stage the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that included Nazi chants like “Jews will not replace us.”

Quoting Wayne Allyn Root is quite a feat. For the non-initiate, Root has been snout-to-rear end with trump for years. Root, the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2008, announced a devoted (and some moight say slavish) support for the failed businessman nearly as soon as Trump announced he was running in June 2015.

As Charlie Pierce observed,

(The last time "King of the Jews" trended, things did not end well.) 

Trump, incredibly, seems to believe that he’s going to win over Jewish voters by telling them they don’t know what’s good for them. Perhaps he's been influenced by the fact that Jews went for Hillary Clinton. in 2016. 

Biographer Tony Schwartz, who ghost-wrote Trump’s The Art of the Deal puts it, the fact that most of us are “constrained by the truth” gives Trump a “strange advantage” through his complete disregard for it. It certainly works with his supporters, as he polls at a consistent 90 per cent approval among republicans…

Many news organizations have attempted to document the number of trump lies, which by now number over 12,000 such misstatementsDonald Trump has lied an average of 13 times a day since becoming president, one analysis finds. This body of vile work has become a fact-checking chore for journalists and an alternative reality for his supporters. According to a Slate article, one in six Americans believe what he says no matter what he says.

Between the day of his inauguration (Jan. 20, 2017) and Aug. 5, 2019, Trump has made 12,019 statements that were either false or misleading, according to the Washington Post. While that averages out to 13 such statements a day since Trump assumed office, the number has increased recently. Since April 26, when Trump made his 10,000th false or misleading statement, he has averaged 20 such statements every day, or one every 72 minutes.

One example breaking this week was this Pied Piper fantasy: 

Trump said doctors left operating rooms to greet him after mass shootings. Hospitals in Dayton and El Paso say that’s not true.

Speaking to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn on Wednesday, President Trump claimed he was warmly welcomed at hospitals in the wake of recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, and intimated that surgeons had even deserted their patients to meet him.

“The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms,” Trump said. “There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor. You couldn’t even walk on it.”

But the hospitals he visited say that isn’t what happened — and that doctors would never pause surgery to greet the president.


The "Chosen One" says he wanted to give himself the medal of honor but his staff talked him out of it.

“That was a big day, Medal of Honor. Nothing like the Medal of Honor,” he continued. “I wanted one, but they told me I don't qualify, Woody. I said, 'Can I give it to myself anyway?' They said, 'I don't think that's a good idea.'” 💡 

Amid scattered chuckles, Trump concluded: “Great, great people. These are great, great men and women that get congressional Medal of Honor. Thank you, Woody.”

The president’s assessment that he should receive the nation’s highest award for acts of military valor followed his statement earlier Wednesday afternoon that he is “the chosen one” in relation to his administration’s trade conflict with China — a proclamation he turned to the sky to deliver. 

Trump never served in the military and was granted five draft deferments — four for college and one for bone spurs in his heel.


Why does Trump continue to lie, with the lies becoming more baroque and more frequent? Salon offers one theory:

One possible explanation for the increase in the number of Trump's lies is that as the president has continued to lie with relative political impunity, he has grown desensitized to the instinctive reluctance most people feel about saying that which they know to be severely exaggerated or flat-out untrue.

People become inured to lies in the same way they do to perfume or medications. Whatever you may think of him, Trump has been a shatterer of norms, an upender of precedent, a flouter of both law and established procedure. Our collective purchase on reality may just be another norm shattered, There are true believers, those who think his continual gaffes, lies and blunders are part of a grand plan, like the Q-Anon people who believe that Trump and Robert Mueller are collaborating on a plan to take down the "deep state" and the pedo ring being run out of the non-existent basement of Comet Pizza by Hillary Clinton.

Trump's real effect is to exact a massive toll on us all, in terms of time, attention and energy stolen from decent souls obliged to pay attention to rage tweets, helicopter-wash press gaggles, and on-again, off-again policy pronouncements. "Trump fatigue syndrome" is a real thing, and perhaps the point; while most of us find ourselves mentally and spiritually exhausted by the serial idiocy of the Tweeter-in-Chief, and turn away from the news in disgust, the better for his appointed foxes to loot every henhouse.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Etiology of a Doomer: Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboards, microphones & cameras of RE & Jason Heppenstall

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 18, 2019

 

Audio Only:

 

(audio-only MP3 provided in case you want to multi-task and listen while sitting in traffic on the way to work in your cubicle or digging post holes for your fencing on the Doomstead or kneeling by the throne and Praying to the Porcelain God.  mp3 Audio can be downloaded from Diner Soundcloud.)

 

Discuss this Video at the Collapse Morning Wake-Up Call Table Inside the Diner

 

Recent discussions with Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves have mainly centered around Geopolitics, specifically the Brexit issue that has kept the UK in thrall for over 3 years now, culminating at the moment with the rise to power of Boris "BoJo" Johnson as Prime Minister and the threat of a "No Deal" exit from the European Union.  That supposed "deadline" falls on Halloween, October 31st, slightly over 2 months away.  One has to suspect of course that they will find a way once again to kick the can down the collapse higway rather than deal with the inevitable blowback and mayhem such a move will cause.  The EU is like the Hotel California, "You can check out, but you can never leave".

In this episode of the Collapse Cafe however, we turn back the clock to have a better look at how Hepp got from where he was before becoming "Collapse Aware" to where he is now, a serious Doomer living in Cornwall in the Southwest corner of Jolly Old England.  All of us who write on Collapse Issues here in the Blogosphere have some story to tell about what brought us to this type of outlook and attitude, and the story Hepp has to tell is quite interesting.  My own story will be coming up also in the near future, I recently got interviewed by Sam Mitchell of Collapse Chronicles to fill in his listeners on the reasons for which the Doomstead Diner exists here in cyberspace.

On a technical level for this broadcast, right now I am completely SWAMPED with things I have to do to prepare my crippled ass for another Jet Setting adventure down to the Lower 48, this time to be present for the placement of the SUN Monument on its Eternal Resting Place in Springfield, MO, more or less dead center of what is now called the FSoA (Fascist States of Amerika) and used to be called Turtle Island by the original Homo Sap inhabitants of this patch of the earth.  Besides that, over the past couple of months I have had a lot going on personally with getting my Food Truck program going and the global Collapse Newz has really accelerated as of late as well.

The entire prior paragraph is basically an EXCUSE for the way I am publishing this interview, it's a single un-edited take off one of the cameras I was running during this interview, along with the line feed I get off Skype.  I just haven't had the time or energy over the last couple of months to edit and splice together all the different camera angles and the line feed to make a perky visual for this one.  I didn't even cut out the section in the middle of the recording where one of my cameras goes blooey and I gotta fix it.  It's only a couple of minutes, you can fast forward through it or if you want to be entertained by technical bullshit and watching a cripple go fix his camera, you can watch that too. lol.  Or you can just listen to the audio as a Podcast from Diner Soundcloud and forget watching the video at all.  Your choice on this one.  If you elect just the audio, you can download that as an .mp3 and listen while you do the Fall Harvest from your Doom Garden or sit in traffic in your car on the way to your current job in Industrial Civilization, if you still have one.

See you again next week from the Lower 48 with the Mobile Diner Office I will set up in a Missouri Motel 6 (aka "Bates Motel"), where Tom Burdett has left the light on for me. 🙂  That is assuming I can negotiate my Cripple Cart and trailer through the TSA examination and then on and off 3 planes through 4 airports to get there.  It's a full 24 hours of travel time from the time I leave on Tuesday night at 10:30PM in a Cripple Cab and theoretically arrive at Springfield-Branson International Airport to be picked up by another Cripple Cab at 11:50PM on Wednesday night.  If you thought plane travel was rough as an ambulatory Homo Sap, you should try it sometime as a Cripple.  It's Dante's 7th Circle of Hell. lol.

 

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Waiting For Eggs

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on August 22, 2019

Discuss this article at the Refugees & Migration Table inside the Diner

 

She sipped coffee, her voice made little ripples in her cup

' How long are we going to wait here

He looked up from his phone

' Don't worry, it is just going to be a bit longer today. The kitchen is short-staffed

' Why's that, how do you know?

' The Guatemalans did not show up for work today and they only have one Mexican

' Oh, that's right. Trump's immigration raids are today. But how do you know they only have one Mexican?

' All the others Mexicans have cleaning services and do yardwork now. Being here a while they know what pays. More lucrative I imagine and ICE does not work nights so much. People are going to leave a floor waxer alone. Guatemalans are still in the kitchen. They are more recent in getting here

' Why did Trump tell everyone about what he was going to do. Has that happened before?

' Separating children in families of refugees has a really long history. The Romans did it to the Visigoths when the Visigoths were driven into the empire by Huns. There were two and a half million Visigoth youth spread across the empire and held hostage, something like that. When the Visigoth uprising started they were all killed

' Stop that. You always do that. I was talking about Trump. Pay attention

' I figure Trump puts the news out to wave his law enforcement finger. They are all criminals don't you know. 'Drug dealers, criminals, rapists' that is what Trump says. Convincing people the raids are going after criminals instead of brown people trying to eat; that is Trump being Trump. Trump with PR smarter than he himself, his trademark

Trump gets pre-approval for his raids by saying he goes after criminals and those who are here illegally, who become criminals by definition. I had a hard time finding any news about how many people are coming across the border a month. All we get is propaganda. Details they do not want us to know. Bloomberg was the worst, total spin and inhumanity.

' Some of them are criminal, they need to go

' About 100,000 a month now. Gangs are rampant in El Salvador and many people from there flee from violence. It is easy to twist all Salvadorians as being violent instead of most being actual victims of violence. Mainstream media does not even need a Trump to do that

' Any group of 100,000 people are going to have some bad eggs. I'd like to have mine. You said Guatemalans

' Yes, most are from Honduras and Guatemala. The area is called the Northern Triangle of Central America. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The area is experiencing a horrible drought which has been going on for several years now. It is climate change doing its thing. Most of the refugees from Honduras and Guatemala say they come north because they have nothing to eat. Malnourished with starving kids. Under American law coming here that way is an illegal act. So is talking about climate change

' That is horrible

' Yes it is

This Week in Doom August 18, 2019

That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
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                                                                                                                                                                             Anthony Freda

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on August 18, 2019

“We're facing mass starvation in the next 10 years,  social collapse and the possible extinction of the human race. It couldn't be worse. So that situation has come about over 30 years of failure– failure by the elites, failure by the governments, and failure by campaigners….The public Is now aware that the elites are taking them to their death!”  

–Roger Hallam


Long before there was a Doomstead Diner, long before 9-11, there was Milton William Cooper. Cooper was the greatest conspiracist of this generation and a man you may not have heard of. His book Behold A Pale Horse  was an underground sensation and the ur-source for many later conspiracy theorists. Cooper's "Hour of the Time" radio program was also broadcast on short wave, circulated and downloaded long before podcasts existed. Cooper was right about many things, wrong about others, Yet he predicted future events and trends accurately, and knew that by telling the truth, TPTB would come for him. Which they did.

Behold A Pale Horse is what's called a "prison book" because it's one of the most read books in prison, passed from hand to hand until the spines break. This book is kept behind shelves in bookstores because it is also one of the most stolen books in history. More than any other single influence, encountering this book led me to distrust the so-called "official story," and which eventually put me on a path to the Diner.

I'm currently reading Cooper's biography, Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America,  by Mark Jacobson. Cooper was a complicated man with a mercurial temper; he was also a black-helicopter paranoid who provided some of the ideology for the right-wing militia movement and mother's milk for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and many others like him. From thre flyleaf:

"We are living in a time of unprecedented distrust in America: Faith in the government is at an all-time low, and political groups on both sides of the aisle are able to tout preposterous conspiracy theories as gospel, without much opposition. "Fake news" is the order of the day…  A former U.S. naval intelligence worker, Milton William Cooper published his manifesto Behold a Pale Horse in 1991. Since then it has gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, becoming the number-one bestseller in the American prison system.

Decades before QAnon, false flags, “crisis actors” and Alex Jones, there was William Cooper. Some call Cooper the father of the so-called Patriot movement and the spiritual godfather to the Alex Joneses and QAnons of the world. My politics could not be farther frm those people, but Cooper had some deep insight into the sickness of our times. Every story we treat on this week has running through it the pervasive and overwhelming lack of trust that afflicts our times, which Cooper, however great his flaws, pointed out early and repeatedly.

An unpleasant alcoholic and perhaps bi-polar to boot, Cooper died in a shootout with Apache County, AZ police in 2001, one month after September 11, the same year in which he had predicted the coming catastrophe. He leaves a complicated legacy, but the distrust of "official stories" he advanced permeates the following stories. Here's this week in doom.


Autopsy finds broken bones in Jeffrey Epstein’s neck, deepening questions around his death

On August 15, an autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein suffered multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings. This raised questions regarding the mystery about the circumstances around his death. Specifically, his hyoid bone was broken,

"…which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

The office of New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, completed an autopsy of Epstein’s body Sunday… Asked about the neck injuries, Sampson said in a statement that no single factor in an autopsy can alone provide a conclusive answer about what happened."

Nevertheless, the ME presented findings that Epstein's death was a suicide. Fair enough, except that according to some anecdotal sources, Epstein couldn't empty a bag of garbage without staff help, so one can consider how he was able to "hang himself" from the top bunk on a room with seven foot ceilings, yet somehow sustain injuries consistent with strangulation. His cellmate, a former state trooper, was supposedly excused from his cell. Epstein's brother has supposedly ID'd the body, an identification as relaibler as the location of JFK's brain.

And Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy concluded with there medical examiner declaring his death was a suicide by hanging. So see, written evidence. Conclusions. Case closed. No need for a messy and troublesome murder investigation, the results of which might outrage the proles before the entire matter disappears down the memory hole.

Medical examiner rules Epstein death a suicide by hanging

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement that she made the suicide determination “after careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings.”

Sampson’s announcement came as a Justice Department official told The Associated Press that some prison staffers believed to have relevant information aren’t cooperating with investigators.

Epstein’s lawyers said they were “not satisfied” with Sampson’s conclusions and that they would conduct their own investigation, including seeking to obtain any video of the area around Epstein’s cell from the time leading to his death.

Uh-huh. Nothing to see here citizen: move along.

Cover Up? Epstein Shipped $100K Cement Mixer To 'Pedo Island' Weeks Before Crushing Exposé

Approximately three weeks before a series of damning articles hit in the Miami Herald, Jeffrey Epstein paid up front to have a $100,000 cement mixer express-shipped to his infamous Little St. James 'pedo island' at great expense, according to the Daily Mail

The pedophile, who was found dead by apparent suicide on Saturday while awaiting trial for sex trafficking, got the Carmix 5.5 XL self loading concrete mixer delivered to Little St. James on November 7 last year.

Epstein was in such a hurry that he paid for the machine up front so it would arrive sooner – even though it meant being responsible if it got damaged in transit.

Three weeks later the Miami Herald published a series of articles called 'Perversion of Justice' on November 28, which eventually led to Epstein being arrested in July.

Shipping experts told DailyMailTV that the possibility that it was 'used to literally cover up evidence cannot be discounted'. 

Zero Hedge notes that 

On Monday, the FBI and NYPD raided Little St. James island last week, packing up evidence, although videos reveal some of it had already been moved prior to the raid. Perhaps they should have raided the island the same day he was arrested?

Who Protected Epstein for Decades, and Why?

One might well ask the above question, as did the redoubtable Charles Hugh Smith. Smith notes, " 'Epstein was an intelligence asset' is just a tissue-thin cover for a much more destructive reality: those at the top of the American state have no moral compass at all."

The rot goes much deeper. As Smith poses the question, he gestures at an answer:

There are several explanations floating around for the why: those in power enjoyed their diabolically exploitive visits to Lolita Island and wanted to continue their criminal gratifications.

The second explanation is that Epstein was a spy for a "friendly" foreign intelligence agency and therefore off-limits. ("Friendly" is in quotes because when it comes to intelligence, one's "friends" can do more damage than one's worst enemies.) 

Let's say this turns out to be true. Wouldn't the NSA, CIA and FBI know of Epstein's activities and connections to a foreign intelligence service? Of course they would. So at a minimum, we can infer the NSA, CIA and FBI enabled Epstein's operation to continue for some benefit, perhaps relating to "honeypot" blackmail and control of "assets," unwilling or willing.

Explaining the wrist-slap sentence of a decade ago and the subsequent promotions, praise and honors for the enablers. The entire Epstein affair, roping in as it did royals, presidents and high rollers of every sort, feeds the narrative that you can't believe anything the government says.

…corruption and debauchery undermine the legitimacy of the state, and so doing nothing while Epstein et al. gratified the desires of the rich and powerful for degenerate debauchery was treasonous: the American state will collapse not from military conflict but from moral decay, and every individual who enabled (or made use of) that moral decay is guilty of treason.

The Epstein affair and the "official stories" that will emerge therefrom will arrive pre-disbelieved. No one will trust the word of any official source. We've already seen speculation that Epstein was switched out in the wee small hours and a dead body was left behind. And even if the cadaver is Epstein's, no part of the official story accounts for the shrieking reportedly heard from his cell. Such widespread cynicism fits like a hand in glove the agenda of those with a 50-year plan to make people despise government so that they will no longer see it as the guarantor of last resort for their rights. It serves the agenda of those who wish to shrink the size of government so that they can drown it in a bathtub. And of Tangerine Twitler, who wants to blame Bill Clinton or Obama for his own sins of commission..

If you want to be fully read in on all matters Epstein, I strongly recommend following Mint Press' Whitney Webb. She connects the dots. Which is difficult, because if you read this, the roots of Epstein's touch a Mossad blackmail op reaching back decades…

Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal


The picture painted by the evidence is not that of a direct Epstein tie to a single intelligence agency, but a of a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.


Cooking the Arctic

We know everything we need to know about the climate crises and the causes, but, in the face of all the warning signs, are pressing the accelerator to the floor. It's almost as if the one percent who possess bunkers, hired security and all the money siphoned from working people over the last 40 years (ever since Dutch declared "Morning in America") were intent on exterminating the proles while waiting out the maelstrom in air conditioned bunkers. It is abundantly self-evident that we we know what is happening and know what needs to be done, but refuse to do it because to do might cost some oil company profits. Here are some stories that moved this week.

Governments are failing to understand global catastrophic risks and need to take urgent action

A report published this week by Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) today release a new report on what governments can do to understand and inform policy around these risks, which could threaten the global population. It is straightforward and decidedly unpretty, unless your take is that "threaten(ing) the global population" is the point of current policy. Nothing else makes sense.

The likelihood that a global catastrophe will occur in the next 20 years is uncertain, say the researchers, but the potential severity means that national governments have a responsibility to their citizens to manage these types of risks.

Des Browne, former UK Secretary of State for Defence, said: “National governments struggle with understanding and developing policy for the elimination or mitigation of extreme risks, including global catastrophic risks. Effective policies may compel fundamental structural reform of political systems, but we do not need, nor do we have the time, to wait for such change.

Governments must sufficiently understand the risks to design mitigation, preparation and response measures. But political systems often do not provide sufficient incentives for policy-makers to think about emerging or long-term issues, especially where vested interests and tough trade-offs are at play.

Hat tip to knarf for this Letter to the Future:

Scientists bid farewell to the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change…

Scientists say they are bidding farewell to Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change, in a funeral of sorts.
Researchers will gather Sunday in Borgarfjörður, Iceland, to memorialize Okjökull, known as Ok for short, after it lost its status as a glacier in 2014. The inscription, titled "A letter to the future," on the monument paints a bleak picture.
"Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and know what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it," the plaque reads in English and Icelandic.

Greenland's ice sheet just lost 11 billion tons of ice — in one day

After months of record temperatures, scientists say Greenland's ice sheet experienced its biggest melt of the summer on Thursday, losing 11 billion tons of surface ice to the ocean — equivalent to 4.4 million Olympic swimming pools. 

Greenland's ice sheet usually melts during the summer, but the melt season typically begins around the end of May; this year it began at the start. It has been melting "persistently" over the past four months, which have recorded all time temperature highs…

Greenland's ice sheet is the second biggest in the world and this season's ice melt has already contributed around half a millimeter to global sea levels. It comes in a summer where the Arctic has experienced "unprecedented" wildfires, which scientists say have been facilitated by high temperatures.

A Weather Station Above the Arctic Circle Hit 94.6 Degrees Fahrenheit

 Amid the hottest month in recorded history, some records still stand out as absolutely jaw dropping. That’s definitely true of a measurement made in the Arctic this July.

According to data released in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) monthly climate analysis, a weather station in Sweden north of the Arctic Circle hit a stunning 94.6 Fahrenheit (34.8 degrees Celsius) last month. As an isolated data point, it would be shocking. But coupled with a host of other maladies, from no sea ice within 125 miles of Alaska to the unruly fires ravaging Siberia, it’s an exclamation point on the climate crisis.

The North Atlantic ocean current, which warms northern Europe, may be slowing

A stubborn blue spot of cool ocean temperatures stands out like the proverbial sore thumb in a recent NASA image of the warming world – a circle of cool blue on a planet increasingly shaded in hot red.

A region of the North Atlantic south of Greenland has experienced some of its coldest temperatures on record in recent years, a cooling unprecedented in the past thousand years. What explains that anomaly?

Climatologist Michael Mann of Penn State University, in this month’s “This is Not Cool” video, explains that this phenomenon may be an indication that the North Atlantic current, part of a larger global ocean circulation, is slowing down.


After reading the above cluster of related climate change articles, a reasonable person has little option. other than to conclude what one of the founders of Extinction Rebellion ,Roger Hallam, has concluded:

"The Public Is Now Aware That the Elites Are Taking Them To Their Death!" 
Roger Hallam's BBC interview

This interview would have never seen the light of day in the US. They'd have Tucker Carlsoned this segment quicker than you could say Rutger Bregman, and would have had Hallam's children murdered before letting this see the light of day. The interviewer for BBC HardTalk is Stephen Sackur, a choice Asshat Elite prostitute who does his Ken Dilanian best to discredit his guest and marginalize his POV. His guest Roger Hallam, one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion, is simply not having any of Sackur's marginalizations, and insists on telling the truth as it is, rather than the way the elites want it massaged.

Excerpt:

Stephen Sackur: So on the science there's no disagreement but are you saying that groups like Greenpeace and many many others have fundamentally failed in their mission to convince the world that things need to change?

Roger Hallam: Yes.  We fundamentally failed. I mean I failed, other activists have failed, campaigners have failed, we've all failed. The fact of
the matter is were facing mass starvation in the next 10 years,  social collapse and the possible extinction of the human race. It couldn't be worse. So that situation has come about over 30 years of failure failure by the elites, failure by the governments, and failure by 
campaigners. 

Stephen Sackur: Your message is entirely about failure, it's about negativity. It is in a way I suppose a howl of rage and despair.

Roger Hallam: That's right it is and you think that is a message that the people of the world and the political leaders of the world are going to respond to ,yes and the reason why is because when people go through depression and rage they come out and decide to do things- Extinction Rebellion is the most successful climate change movement in the UK…

  



5 questions about Donald Trump's interest in buying Greenland, answered

Amid the speculation and disbelief about Trump's trial balloon about buying Greenland, one might wonder why a US President would want to purchase an island that is 80% covered by an ice sheet, and where fewer than 60,000 people live?

The first is because Greenland is widely believed to be hugely rich in natural resources — including iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, gold, rare earth elements, uranium and oil. And much of it is currently untapped, due to the fact that, well, 80% of the country is covered by an ice sheet. But due to global warming, that ice sheet is melting rapidly — this summer NASA scientists observed two of the largest melts in the history of Greenland — and that erosion of the ice sheet is expected to make the mining of Greenland's natural resources more doable.

The second is for geopolitical reasons. The United States already has a foothold in the country — Thule Air Base- and, as The Wall Street Journal, which broke the Greenland purchase story, notes:

"Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it includes a radar station that is part of a U.S. ballistic missile early-warning system. The base is also used by the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command."

In actuality the idea is not as insane as the ravings of an unhinged lunatic might make it seem. In 1946, Truman's Secretary of State broached the idea with the Danish foreign minister at a United Nations meeting in New York to no avail. And almost 100 years before that, Secretary of State William Seward — he of the "Seward's Folly" purchase of Alaska — apparently looked into buying Greenland from the Danes. Likewise, no sale.


China Readies 'Giant Forks' To Subdue Hong Kong Protesters

Hong Kong protesters may be in for an electrifying experience after Chinese riot police were pictured training with 'terrifying giant fork devices' designed to subdue humans and pin them to the ground, according to the Mirror

While unconfirmed, the 8-foot poles with U-shaped prongs are believed to be able to deliver an electric shock.

The protests, now in their 11th week, have been alternating between the streets, subways, and airports of Hong Kong. While largely peaceful, there is a growing contingent of activists using violence and property destruction to protest the government, resulting in police tear gassings and beatings. 

On Thursday, AFP published photos showing more military buildup unfolding in Shenzen. The photos revealed what Reuters reports are hundreds of members of the People's Armed Police, a pro-regime paramilitary organization, carrying out military exercises in a stadium in Shenzen. They could be preparing to carry out demonstrations of its own in Hong Kong.

On Saturday, businesses shuttered their doors and windows in anticipation of more mayhem, however cloudy skies put an early damper on the demonstrations. 

 


 Short Takes

Since we're already over 3000 words, I'll just leave you with the assorted stories and links I collected over the week for you to follow for your amusement.

Trump officials worry warming could hurt the grid

Power Grid Chaos Jolts Texas On Friday, Energy Costs Triple Amid Heat Wave

What could possibly go wrong?

Trump to Endangered Species: Drop Dead

Every now and then in the hellacious 24-hour news cycle that is the Trump presidency, there comes a story that is so absurd and yet utterly predictable it stops me in my tracks. This is one of those stories.

Dangerous Lake Erie Algal Bloom Is Now Eight Times the Size of Cleveland

Arctic sea ice loaded with microplastics

At first glance, it looks like hard candy laced with flecks of fake fruit, or a third grader's art project confected from recycled debris. In reality, it's a sliver of Arctic Ocean sea ice riddled with microplastics, extracted by scientists from deep inside an ice block that likely drifted southward past Greenland into Canada's increasingly navigable Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans…

NC Town Rejects Solar Farm Amid Worries It Would "Suck Up All The Energy From The Sun"

You can't make this stuff up.

Exposed: State Department Official Posted in Nazi Charlottesville Chats

‘Fattest president since Taft’: Anthony Scaramucci’s Twitter account suspended after he calls out Trump

A Newsweek journalist discovered that "MAGA" means "sucker" in Nigerian

Study Finds Rise In 'Doomsday Prepping' Due To Mainstream American 'Culture Of Fear'

Climate crisis reducing land’s ability to sustain humanity, says IPCC


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone.

Systems Science in Collapse: An interview with George Mobus

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 18, 2019

 

Audio Only:

 

(audio-only MP3 provided in case you want to multi-task and listen while sitting in traffic on the way to work in your cubicle or digging post holes for your fencing on the Doomstead or kneeling by the throne and Praying to the Porcelain God.  mp3 Audio can be downloaded from Diner Soundcloud.)

 

Discuss this Video at the Collapse Morning Wake-Up Call Table Inside the Diner

 

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Image result for system science george mobus A few weeks ago I had a great conversation with George Mobus, the university academic famous for his work in Systems Science.  George is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, spending his time writing still more books on this subject and the topics relating to Collapse in general.  He also still maintains the blog Question Everything, although these days he only puts out 4 blogs a year, on the Summer & Winter Solstices and on the Spring & Fall Equinoxes.

George also appeared on the original Collapse Cafe we produced a few years ago, discussing topics of Sapience, Evolution and Eugenics in July of 2013.

Coincidently directly following this discussion I traveled down to Seattle on other bizness and George, K-Dog of the blog Chasing the Squirrel and myself had a great Kollapsnik Dinner at the Buffet of the Emerald Queen Casino.  I'm not supposed to reveal what anybody ate at this meal since it's probably not Politically Correct for Kollapsniks. lol.  Conspicuous Consumption of food is of course not a Sustainable System.  However, as long as somebody is going to eat it, it might as well be me!  If you are not familiar with K-Dog, here's a recent interview with him done by Sam Mitchell:

Getting the interview with George up on the Diner took so long because so much else has been ongoing with me personally as well as in the world of Collapse in general.  Besides that I had video problems with my cameras, and trying to edit together the good footage was a nightmare I finally quit on.  So the Utoob "video" for this one is just a still picture screenshot from my line feed.  It's really a Podcast, not a Vidcast in this case.

You can read further about George's theories on Sapience in his new book, available in pdf for a FREE download.  I love free. 🙂

A Theory of Sapience: Using Systems Science to Understand the Nature of Wisdom and the Human Mind

 

| May 16, 2019 | 1 Comment

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File: Download

Media Type: Book – Recent

Author(s): George Mobus

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Humanity faces what can only be called existential threats created by its own hands. We have cleverly built advanced cultures that use extreme amounts of energy to make life easy (at least for some) and that energy, for the last several hundred years, has come from carbon-based fossil fuels. Now we sit on the precipice of a calamity for ourselves and many other species as well.

Why?

If human beings are so clever, why have we not learned to moderate our activities, to consume only in proportion to what the Earth system can sustain in terms of resources and waste removal? We have gained the knowledge to understand what is happening and what we need to do. But we don’t do it in a timely way to avert devastation. What is wrong with us?

The answer to this question is surprising. Society is not wise in its choices – the collective decisions of humans – because individuals are not wise in theirs. And that is because wisdom, the tacit knowledge that develops in human minds through experiences, is lacking in the majority of humans. Most humans do not develop wisdom adequate to deal with the complexities of the modern world. As a result they make choices not based on rational long-range thinking about consequences or how those consequences interact systemically. They tend to look only at short-term gains in their own selfish wellbeing.

This book reports on investigations into the underlying causes of the lack of wisdom in average people. Sapience is the set of nascent mental competencies, situated in the human brain, that make us human. Sapience is the basis of higher-order consciousness experienced by humans. It is linked with the emergence of the language facility and our ability to work in symbols. It is the reason that we can think about future states of the world, especially those that may be different from the current and past states we have experienced. It is the product of a remarkable evolutionary process that produced hyper-social animals with sufficient cleverness to invent tools, languages, symbols, even art. We invented agriculture to help bring stability into our living world and reduce uncertainty in our access to resources. But, we had only just crossed the threshold to sapient thinking.

We need to evolve further.

Sapience is the product of brain structures and functions that set the human species, Homo sapiens, apart from the rest of the animal world. It represents a major leap forward in the evolution of the Universe. It contributed to tremendous boosts in our general intelligence and creativity. It provided the basis for morality and concerns for the wellbeing of others. But, even so, it was just a beginning. It does not go far enough in terms of providing individual minds with the ability to grasp the larger and deeper meanings of their choices and actions.

This book explores the nature and evolution of sapience as it is found in human beings today using systems science. It explores the psychological implications of having some capacity for developing wisdom in one’s life but not enough capacity to fully grasp the big picture of the human condition, and thus, make tragic errors in judgements. It attempts to answer the question of why we are in this predicament. 

George as usual has many interesting observations and opinions regarding Collapse and where we are headed.  They are different in many ways than what you read from other pundits discussing the subjects, and we are in good agreement about most of them.  I hope you enjoy listening to the discussion as much as I enjoyed having it with him.

Image result for system science george mobus

Responding to Collapse, Part 10: the future of the power grid

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Published on The Easiest Person to Fool on July 17, 2019

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In this series of posts I've been advising my readers that moving to a small town remote from large population centres, in an area that can supply the basic necessities of water, food and firewood, is a prudent way of coping with the ongoing collapse of BAU (Business as Usual). With the caveat that some advance preparation will be needed to ensure successful use of those resources.

 

 

In the next few posts in this series, we'll look at some of the details of how BAU will collapse and how you can prepare to weather that collapse. In the immediate future infrastructure breakdowns will get more frequent and longer until finally it's no longer practical to rely on BAU for the necessities of life. It seems to me that supplies of electrical power, diesel fuel and money will be at the heart of many of the troubles that lie ahead, so I'll concentrate on those areas.

And while I'll mainly be talking about infrastructure breakdowns we should remember that interruptions of service can occur for a couple of other reasons.

The first has to do with the way our economy is organized and how we choose to provide vital services such as power, water, sewers, housing, food, communications, transportation, education, health care and so forth.

Today most of the world's nations are capitalistic, with a distinct neo-liberal flavour. Under such conditions, companies are operated to make a profit and other goals, such as the public good, are strictly secondary. So when a "for profit" company finds its business becoming less profitable they must find ways to increase their charges or to supply less for the same fees or to quit supplying customers in less profitable areas altogether. And if they don't do those things they will either be bought out by companies that will, or they'll suffer bankruptcy. If there doesn't appear to be much chance that another company could make a good profit in the same business then it will never be reestablished. And if the public was relying on that company to provide vital services, then we are just out of luck.

Of course there are other ways of organizing an economy, and in particular other ways of setting up companies to provide infrastructure services. But the argument is often made that for profit companies operating in a free market are more efficient. I would question if there has ever been any such thing as a free market, and whether it would function as predicted in any case. Efficiency in this case is defined as the amount of return on share holders' investments, and has nothing to do with providing a high quality and reliable service to your customers.

But perhaps we should set all that aside in order to focus on the really critical thing, which is the difference between the way such companies work in growing economies versus contracting economies. In a growing economy it is relatively easy to make a profit and do so while supplying a service for the public good. But when the economy begins to contract that becomes more and more difficult for "for profit" companies.

Governments can set up non-profit organizations whose primary goal is to provide services for the public good and they are likely to last longer in a contracting economy. In my experience, contrary to typical capitalist propaganda, they can also be quite efficient. But as the economy contracts so will tax revenues and eventually governments will have to cut back on the services they provide. With good planning though, they can do this in a controlled manner with lots of advanced warning, and give people time to adapt to the situation.

As the economy gets even weaker, co-operatives organized by the people who need the services hold considerable promise. I'll have more to say about this over the next few posts.

The second thing is that if you rely on BAU to make a living, you will find that your own economic circumstances are declining. When you can no longer afford the services you have come to rely on, you'll have find ways to provide them for yourself, and in the process learn how to get by with less, like it or not.

I can consume along with the best of them, and there are certainly all kinds of things that it would be useful to have as we try to become more self reliant. But don't worry too much if you can't afford some of the shiny toys I'll be mentioning in future posts. As well trained consumers we may feel that buying things must be the solution to the problems that face us, but it isn't. Actually, there is no solution to the fix the world is in at the moment, and the best we can do is adapt to the changing conditions. Part of that is learning to get by while consuming less. This is hard for me and I'll bet it's hard for you too. That's why I talked first about preparing by become part of your new community (in posts 7 and 8 of this series), rather that the less important preparations that involve accumulating "stuff".

Back 2012, when I started this blog, the authorities recommended that you be prepared to weather emergencies lasting for as long as three days (72 hours). They were basically saying, "don't rely on us to be there immediately—it may take as long as 72 hours before help arrives." In the meantime, this has been changed to two weeks in some areas. Is emergency response capability declining, or are they expecting more lengthy and severe emergencies? I suspect both. Of course serious "preppers" are laughing at this—they'd recommend that you have supplies on hand for a year or two. I don't disagree, but you have to start somewhere. And as collapse deepens those longer intervals to prepare for will come to seem more reasonable.


Power Outages

Power outages will probably be the most frequent infrastructure failure you'll have to cope with. Short outages have relatively minor impacts, but because electricity is at the heart of so much that goes on in modern civilization, as outages stretch out they start to effect more and more things.

Eventually, it seems very likely that the power grid in many, if not most, areas will cease to function. I encounter two different responses to this idea. Many people cannot conceive that their 24 hour a day, essentially infinite supply of power could every come to an end. Others are fixated on the idea of a sudden and hard crash which will bring the whole of industrial civilization to an end, including the power grid.

I'm somewhere in between, holding what I think is a more detailed and nuanced opinion. Most of the rest of this post is going to be spent talking about how the slow decline of the power grid will go, leaving the responses I would recommend for the next post.

Power outages can be as simple as a utility pole getting knocked over during a traffic accident, to as complex as the grid failures that happened in northeastern North America in 1965 and 2003. And to take it even further, EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) from nuclear weapons or coronal mass ejections (solar flares) can do huge damage to electrical girds which may be very hard to recover from. But I think some of the most common and serious problems with the grid will come from three specific areas:

  • The first is equipment failure due to age and/or lack of maintenance, aggravated by overloads such as air conditioning load during summer heat waves. As the economy continues to contract power companies are going to find themselves short of capital and less able to invest in their own systems, leaving those systems more susceptible to failure. /li>
  • The second will be damage due to storms that are growing more frequent and more intense due to climate change—things like high winds, tornados and ice storms in particular. Lengthy outages will happen when there are widespread weather related problems combined with shortages of spare parts and limited manpower to install them. Those latter two problems will come mainly from cash strapped utilities trying to save money.
  • The third is sabotage. The grid is very exposed to a saboteur who knows what he is doing, and because of its geographically diffuse nature, very hard to secure. As collapse intensifies, there will be increased civil unrest—more angry people looking for easy targets that symbolize the establishment. The grid is certainly one such target.

Of course, these concerns apply to the grid as it exists today, using conventional generation. It seems there is going to be a serious attempt to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy, primarily solar and wind. Those who are pushing for a "Green New Deal" are telling people that we can use wind and solar to replace fossil fuels, and that in the process more jobs will be created and we'll actually end up more prosperous. This is a very unrealistic dream and just off the top of my head I can think of four serious problems with it:

  1. What solar and wind produce is electricity. But electricity supplies only 18 to 20% of our current energy use. Most of the rest comes directly from coal, oil and natural gas, and those fuels are used in ways that will be difficult, if not outright impossible, to replace with electricity.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The main issue is that a battery is not nearly as effective a way to store energy as a tank of diesel fuel. And there are definite physical limitations on how much better batteries can get— we can probably improve them by a factor of two, but that's about it. Despite what we keep hearing in the news, it simply isn't practical to use batteries to power airplanes or long distance heavy transport by road, rail or sea. The quantity of batteries needed, and the size and weight of those batteries, is the problem.

    There are many industrial processes that use coal or natural gas for heat. Replacing those fuels with electricity may be theoretically possible but we haven't, for the most part, even started to develop ways to do so, much less begun to implement them.

  2. Phasing out fossil fuels would require using renewables to supply much larger quantities of electricity than we are currently using. But there are fundamental problems with using renewables to produce even part of the comparatively small amount of electricity we use now.

    One aspect of running a power grid that the general public is largely unaware of is that generation must be matched exactly to the load. Since load is something the grid operator cannot control to any great extent, generation that is "dispatchable"—that can be turned on and off on demand and ramped up and down as required—is very important. Conventional generation is dispatchable to varying degrees but renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are intermittent and for the most part not under the control of the grid operator—the very opposite of dispatchable. As such, renewables only exacerbate the problems of running a grid, especially given the lack of feasible large scale storage technologies. Yes, I know there are a number of storage technologies available but none of them are economical to use on the scale that would be required for use in a power grid with intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

    The concept of a "smart grid" which gives greater control of both generation and load offers hope of addressing these problems to some minor degree, but only at the price of adding complexity to the system. And adding complexity never increases reliability.

  3. The immediate reason for switching away from fossil fuels is to reduce the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere in order to combat climate change. But no one seems to be thinking of the carbon footprint of switching away from carbon. The switchover to renewables would be a massive undertaking powered mainly by fossil fuels, and the amount of CO2 being released would greatly increase during that effort.

    Much of this construction effort would also require large quantities of steel and concrete. Making steel and concrete involves the release of CO2, regardless of where the energy comes from—it's inherent to the chemistry of the processes involved.

    So it is by no means obvious that we can get off fossil fuels and onto renewables without creating an even worse climate crisis that the one we are currently facing.

  4. Renewables have a very low EROEI (energy returned on energy invested). A high EROEI is essential to the functioning of a modern industrial economy–money is just accounting, energy is really what makes the economy go. Any country which adds a large quantity of renewables to its energy mix will lower its overall average EROEI, making it more difficult to support a growing economy and a high tech industrial society. So even if we could somehow manage to switch over entirely to renewables, we'd have trouble sustaining a high enough level of technology to maintain and repair solar and wind generation facilities. And replacing them when they wear out would be a real stretch. Switching to renewables is something we might be able to do once, but then we'd be in big trouble.

 

All this is of course based on not having to change our lifestyles, not having to accept a lower level of prosperity and consumption. Indeed one frequently hears people talking about increasing economic growth in order to bring the poor parts of the world up to our level of consumption. It is clear to me that this is not going to happen and that what we really need to do is reduce our levels of consumption down to what can be supported without fossil fuels, using local, sustainable, low tech renewables. It is also clear to me that we will not do this voluntarily, that the majority of our efforts will go into maintaining business as usual regardless of the consequences.

Give all these factors time to work and it will become difficult to continue running the power grid as a whole. Some parts of the gird will simply quit working. Others that have proved unreliable, which place the grid as a whole at risk, will eventually have to be excluded from the grid. These islands will grow until the grid as we know it falls apart.

There will be a few areas where generating equipment will continue to function for a long time and will be able to supply local load. Again, the matching generation and load will be a problem since most such generation comes in large chunks and is a long way from large amounts of load. The most hopeful situations are small hydro (water) powered generators, which can be run at less than full capacity and adjust quickly to match varying loads.

Anyway, it seems clear that we can indeed expect more frequent and longer power outages. But what are the effects of these outages, and what can we do to mitigate them?


The effects of power outages

When the power goes out, you lose the lights, heat, cooling, cooking equipment, refrigeration and so forth in your own home. Even most oil, gas and wood heating systems rely on electricity for control, ignition and circulating fans. Then there are all the services that comes to you from outside your home, that you rely on to just work, but which need electricity to do that.

In general, the most critical services run off batteries which are kept fully charged as long as the power is on. When the power goes out, these services keep right on running as if nothing had happened, at least until the batteries are discharged. The batteries for the controls in power stations are rated for eight hours. The batteries in cell phone towers are rated for two to four hours.

Everything I'm finding on the internet says that the central switching stations for land line telephone service should keep working even during long power outages, which implies both batteries and backup generators. I have some doubts about this, and I'll be keeping an eye out for more detailed information.

Many slightly less critical services have generators that start automatically with only a brief interruption when the power goes out and run as long as there is fuel (usually diesel fuel) in the tank. If arrangements have been made to refill that tank, then this can go on for quite a long time.

Even less critical services than these can have a portable generator hooked up to them if need be. This would include facilities operating on battery power, if the power is off so long that the batteries need to be recharged.

Most service stations don't have backup power so you likely won't be able to get fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane) while the power is off. During long outages the many supply chains that are powered by gasoline and/or diesel fuel will be in trouble.

Natural gas pipelines have to be pressurized to keep to gas flowing through them. Some of the pumps used to do this are powered by natural gas, some by electricity. And I suspect that at least some of the controls for the gas powered pumps are electrical. So your natural gas supply, at least in some areas, will be compromised during electrical outages.

The pumps in municipal water and sewage systems need electrical power too. Some may have backup generators, but not all. If you live on a farm or in a very small town, your toilet is likely gravity feed into a septic system and weeping bed, and will work as long as you have water to flush them. Or perhaps you have already set up a composting toilet which requires no power at all. Your water supply is probably from you own well, with a pump driven by an electric motor that uses 240V AC (if you are in North America). Even if you have a generator, you may need an electrician to help you hook it up to that motor.

Refrigeration of food in grocery stores and pharmaceuticals in pharmacies and hospitals will be jeopardized. Fortunately our local hospital does have a backup generator.

Radio and TV can be important sources of information during emergencies. But you will likely find that only a very few of your local stations are set up to keep broadcasting during power outages.

It would also be great if internet service could continue during power outages. I understand it some areas it does, but we get our internet through the local cable TV company, and even short outages to their facilities knock out our internet connection and our cable TV service, even if the power is still on at our place. Your situation may be different—I hope so.

Oddly, or so it seems to me, most traffic lights aren't backed up in any way and stop working when the power is off.

ATMs won't be working, nor the systems that allows us to pay for things by credit and debit cards. Even if you do have cash in hand, you may find many retail outlets are unable to sell you anything when their cash registers and product code scanners aren't working. Many of them may just lock their doors for the duration of the outage.

Not all of them, though—I was quite impressed during a recent outage when I saw the guy behind the counter at a nearby convenience store beavering away with a cash box, battery operated calculator and a notebook to record sales in. It can be done, but one hopes the prices are marked clearly on items rather than encoded in UPCs. This is an example of an individual (or maybe his manager) taking the situation in hand and keeping things working rather than sitting back and letting them fall apart.

No doubt I am missing many of the potential effects of long power outages, but I think this gives you the flavour of what you'll be facing. Next time I'll talk about how you can mitigate the effects of power outages, both short and long, and what your community can do to cope when it finally finds itself permanently isolated from the grid.


Links to the rest of this series of posts, Preparing for (Responding to) Collapse:

 

Living at the Edge of Poverty

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 11, 2019

Discuss this article at the Psychology Table inside the Diner

 

Did you ever wonder what it's like to live at the Edge of Poverty in modern Amerika?  What IS the "Edge of Poverty"?

It's the spot the Working Poor are in, the folks who make MinWage or barely above it and the folks living on fixed income Mailbox Money of Social Security.  They haven't quite completely fallen off the economic cliff, they're not Homeless People (yet!), but they are generally 1 or 2 paychecks away from that.  They live in the kind of housing I live in, federally subsidized tax credit apartment complexes that developers put up to get some tax breaks.  The rents on these places are fixed to your income and number of dependents, and they come in around 30% lower in my neighborhood than the open market housing.  To qualify for it, you have to do a full disclosure every year of how much money you make, what your assets are, blah blah blah.

I qualify for such housing because I live on the edge of poverty although I am not in my own estimation really poor.  I mean really, I'm flying down to the lower 48 AGAIN at the end of this month for yet another of my Tombstone Adventures! lol.  How do I do it?  Well to be really abstruse, I do it the way really rich people do it.  But I am not really rich and I do live on a monthly mailbox money allotment that puts me just to the north of the poverty line by a few thousand FRNs.  I'm real good at living on low amounts of income, the trick there is obvious, limit your expenses.  If you watch my SNAP Card Gourmet series on how to eat well on a SNAP Card allotment, you know what I mean.  I do not have a SNAP Card myself, although I do qualify for one of those too.  But I don't need it so I don't apply for one.  I already got more food than I can give away in the Potlatch Parking Lot. lol.

Unless you live inside this kind of milieu, you really have no clue how it goes with the social psychology of the situation.  The folks who live this life are always under non-stop psychological pressure about MONEY.  There is never enough of it around and their marriages suffer for this.  Domestic Violence of various kinds is quite common.  Various levels of dysfunction abound, particularly in the area of child rearing.  Even if they aren't downright abusive, they're often neglectful and they also often don't have a real good concept of child psychology.  I taught thousands of kids over my lifetime, and once you figure it out it's not that hard to keep a kid in line, but here you have parents who are completely clueless on this.  They themselves mostly had poor parenting and it perpetuates itself generation after generation.

This last week has been a Banner Week for all these problems, in my Potlatch Parking Lot we have had a visit every fucking night from the Alaska State Troopers for some domestic calamity.  2 people were carted off to the jailhouse, one kid was pulled by Child Protective Services, one resident made the incredibly stupid move of throwing a punch at a cop and then another one got carted off on a stretcher raving and screaming.  Either she was going into withdrawal or she had ODed on fentanyl or meth, or maybe it was alcohol withdrawal.  WTF knows?  lol.

These folks aren't strangers to me, I see them every day and I share my food with them.  It's not an abstract problem for me, not somebody else's problem, not an academic question.  It is fucking REALITY for me.  You know what Robin Williams said about reality, right?

Image result for reality is for those who can't handle drugs

The sad reality here is that this situation isn't an anomaly, it's common and I would bet it is the normal state of affairs in just about every low income housing community in Industrial Civilization, not just in the FSoA.  It's a massive dysfunction in the social organism that has evolved from industrialization and capitalism.  It's also not going to get better, it's just going to get worse as things spin down further in this collapse.

On the bright side, as an observer of Collapse, I have Box Seats on the 50 Yard Line.  It's all going on right outside my front door, every night.

A Bugout Machine Gets a New Home

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 4, 2019

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Longtime Diner readers know my enthusiasm for "Bugout Machines" which come in many different configurations and varieties.  They can be as simple as your Car or Bicycle, but can also get pretty big and complex like RVs and Sailboats.  All though have one thing in common: Their purpose is to help you GTFO of Dodge when Collapse knocks on your doorstep in your neighborhood.

Like all other plans to handle the ongoing Collapse of Industrial Civilization, all Bugout Machines and all Bugout Plans have their deficiencies, many of them quite easily identifiable.  All of these deficiencies though tend to work on different timelines than a total Collapse does.  The idea here is to have a good Near Term Survival Tool that can help you negotiate your way through the early stages of a Collapse.

Image result for canary in the coal mine Depending on your situation and budget, your Bugout Machine can go anyhwhere from a Used Bike & Trailer combo up to a Big Ass RV or Sailboat if you are Filthy Rich.  Hell, it could even get bigger than that if you are Jeff Bozos and buy one of the Airbus A380s or Boeing 747s being currently retired by the airlines because these huge fuel guzzling flying behemoths aren't economic to fly or maintain.  Their demise is one of the early Canaries in the Coal Mine signaling the demise of the aviation industry.

As bugout machines go, my Tioga was a pretty good one, not only did it provide you the means to GTFO of Dodge if necessary, it also provided a home and an insurance policy against ending up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska.  For that reason alone, Tioga gave me Peace of Mind worth every penny I paid for her, which was quite reasonable, just $5000.  An old RV of course, but reasonably well maintained with very low mileage on the engine.  If we happened to get a Wildfire which consumed my current digs (we get them all the time around here these days), I would have a place to live while looking for a new more permanent dwelling.  Although, I could live in Tioga permanently, I lived in a vehicle with a Cabin smaller than that one, the Freightliner I drove for 7 years across every last mile of the Eisenhower Interstate, consuming lord only knows how many 1000s of gallons of diesel.

However for me, Tioga had major deficiencies also, even before I became a Cripple.  First major one was HORRENDOUS gas mileage.  On a good day, on flat ground and open highway, Tioga got about 8 mpg.  They were not terrifically concerned with optimizing fuel efficiency when this model was built back in the Jurassic Period of the 1980s.  I was honest with the buyer about this fuel guzzling habit of this vehicle, and he was quite aware of it to begin with anyhow.

Second issue was its size and obviousness.  The damn thing is just too fucking BIG to park on a city street and sleep unmolested by the local Gestapo for the night.  It also sleeps 6, and I am just one lone Monast who needs a roof over his head and some better protection than a tent from REAL bears when sleeping at night out in the Alaska bush.

So about a year ago I replaced Tioga with SaVANnah, my new Bugout Machine, a raised roof full size 8 cylinder Ford Econoline van also purchased for $5000, but a decade newer circa 1999.  Between getting still sicker last year and having a new replacement vehicle to at least temporarily escape a local Collapse, it was time to sell Tioga.  However, it ain't easy to sell a 30 year old RV that currently is not running to anybody except a DIY guy who can fix it up himself.  It took a while to find one of those guys, who is the son of a friend of a friend. lol.  Friday he came over to look at Tioga in the storage unit, we agreed on a price of $1500 for her, and Saturday he came back over with another DIY friend of his to see if they could get it running and drive it outta there and back home to get a full refurbishing job and use to follow around his Musician son during the summer Tourista season to the various venues he goes to play at.

The video above is a record of this transfer of ownership of Tioga to a new owner who can use it and who will treat it with loving care.  I am glad to see she got such a good new owner and did not yet have to be sent to the Land of Away in an automotive junkyard somewhere.  I had considered that option just to get rid of the cost of the storage unit.

Now, many of you of course will be unhappy that this ICE powered vehicle is still out on the roads burning gas, and unhappy as well that I still own not just SaVANnah, but also a Ford Explorer 4WD SUV, circa 2002.  Do I not know that these vehicles emit copious amounts of CO2 and are helping to further broil the planet?  Of COURSE I know that!  I however live inside industrial civilization and I need devices to get around a neighorhood without much to speak of in the way of decent Public Transportation.  I also drive these vehicles as little as possible, I do have alternative smaller, lighter EV powered vehicles to use for many things that most people will use their cars for.  I am actively working to develop them and make them still better and more functional, not just for Cripples like me, but for everyone!  Way cheaper than a Tesla, and you actually CAN charge these things up with a reasonable size solar PV array.  You can follow all the developments on this project on the Diner YouTube Channel, CollapseCafe.com.

I am trying to keep off a Dogsled for as long as I can here.

Second open letter to Extinction Rebellion

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on August 1, 2019

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Dear Rupert Read and Extinction Rebels,

Irrespective of any differences of opinion regarding the severity of climate change we may have, I would like to point out the following facts about a more imminent threat of immediate extinction:

  • Global thermonuclear war will cause more abrupt and more immediate extinction and therefore represents the most urgent threat to us by far. The undeniable science regarding this has been incontrovertibly outlined by Dr Steven Starr in his papers and presentations.

  • The bulletin of atomic scientists pointed out that we face the greatest risk of nuclear war right now, even worse than during the cold war.

  • The worst flashpoint today that poses the gravest risk is the contrived US confrontation with Iran, aided and abetted by their lapdog poodle, "Great" Britain*.

  • The USA unilaterally reneged on the JCPOA, a treaty which according to all non-US signatories and even according to the CIA itself was effectively containing Iran's nuclear ambitions. The US are now using slander, libel and outrageous provocations such as economic warfare against Iran to try to trigger war, in acts reminiscent of the Gulf of Tonkin false flag.

  • Russia and China have both pledged unconditional support to defend Iran and have signed a security treaty courtesy of their SCO. They will respond to any bombing of Iran by sinking the US aircraft carrier fleet, which can easily escalate to outright nuclear war.

  • Boris Johnson, as UK PM, is only slightly less deranged than Trump. He will undoubtedly bring his documented (in audio recordings!) volatile unstable confrontational domestic behaviour into UK politics and like any wannabe fascist, will capitalise on ethnic and racial divisions to sow discord and promote himself as the bulwark against "the other", especially those foul Iranians, to make Britain "great" again*

It stands to reason therefore if extinction rebellion wish to rebel against the greatest imminent threat of immediate extinction, you must picket the US embassy in London NOW with placards "HANDS OFF IRAN"

If you do not address this issue then the climate becomes irrelevant.

Yours Faithfully

Geoffrey Chia

*Few people know that the name "Great" Britain comes from the French "Grande Bretagne", a term used to distinguish larger Bretagne (the British Isles) from smaller Bretagne, also known by Anglos as Brittany, which is part of France.

further reading (satirical gallows humour):  http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2019/02/07/my-alien-revelation/

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