I lost my Wallet (and my Marbles)

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 12, 2015

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Discuss this artilcle at the Medicine & Health Table inside the Diner

Amongst the many problems you face when you have a Spinal Injury is that it starts to affect your Brain Functions in many ways. The higher up the spine the injury is, the more things get affected.  My problem is in the C4-C5 area of the cervical vertebrae in my neck.  Complete severing of the spinal chord in this area results in Quadraplegia.  I don't have that problem…YET!'s just compromised and being SQUEEZED, and this results in many physically debilitating problems.  You can lose muscle control in any area of your body, for me currently the biggest loss is in my right arm, but I have muscle weakness everywhere now as well.  Difficult to walk, difficult to get out of bed and so forth.

It also affects your appetite, and sense of Hunger.  I just about never feel Hungry and actually WANT to eat, I have to remember to feed myself every day.  I mainly keep eating because I still like (and can experience still) the taste of my favorite foods.  I love to cook, as readers of my SNAP Card Gourmet series know.  Also, I know I HAVE to eat if I want to stay alive, and I do for a while longer anyhow.  More on the reasons for that later here.

Your Bowel and Urinary functions are affected as well.  You can become completely incontinent.  Again, so far I am fortunate this has not occurred yet, but I do have what you call an "immediacy" issue, which is that as soon as I do feel the need to piss or shit, I have to get to the bathroom inside a minute or two or I will have an "accident", as my mom called it while I was being Toilet Trained.  I try not to venture too far from a bathroom because of this.

It affects your Hearing as well, you can get a symptom known as Tinnitis, which I have.  Described sometimes as "ringing in the ears", for me it is a constant High Pitched SQUEAL, that if I keep myself bizzy I can ignore, but it is always there.

Tinnitus (/tɪˈntəs/ or /ˈtɪnɪtəs/; from the Latin tinnītus "ringing") is the perception of sound within the human ear ("ringing of the ears") when no external sound is present. Despite the origin of the name, "ringing" is only one of many sounds the person may perceive.

Tinnitus is not a disease, but a condition that can result from a wide range of underlying causes. The most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss. Other causes include neurological damage (multiple sclerosis), ear infections, oxidative stress,[1] emotional stress,[2] foreign objects in the ear, nasal allergies that prevent (or induce) fluid drain, earwax build-up, and exposure to loud sounds. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines may cause tinnitus as well. Tinnitus may be an accompaniment of sensorineural hearing loss or congenital hearing loss, or it may be observed as a side effect of certain medications (ototoxic tinnitus).

There are two main types of tinnitus, subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus. Tinnitus is usually a subjective phenomenon, such that it cannot be objectively measured. The condition is often rated clinically on a simple scale from "slight" to "catastrophic" according to the difficulties it imposes, such as interference with sleep, quiet activities, and normal daily activities.[3] Subjective tinnitus has been also called "tinnitus aurium" "nonauditory" and "nonvibratory" tinnitus, objective tinnitus "pseudo-tinnitus" or "vibratory" tinnitus.

All of this I became aware of as I researched my injury, so I expected and understood it, and why it was occurring.  What I did not expect was how it would affect my higher cognitive functions, aka THINKING & MEMORY.

All those higher functions are ABOVE the injury to my spinal column, so in theory should not be affected.  But they are affected because of feedbacks through your nervous system, or lack of feedback.  I have become "forgetful", misplace things all the time now and cannot find them. I briefly lost my keys to my digs a couple of weeks ago, had to go out and make a replacement set (I had some copies fortunately), although I did turn up the original set a few days later.  I haven't lost my Wallet once in the last 30 years, but last week I did.  After fruitless searching for it, I bit the bullet and headed over to the DMV AGAIN to replace my Driver's License, and over to the Credit Union to cancel my Debit Cards and order new ones.  I'm still without the Debit Cards, that will take a couple of weeks probably before I have working ones again.  I got a Temporary License (good for 2 months), and now I wait for the permanent replacement to come in the mail as well.  The DMV here in Alaska doesn't issue Driver's License/ID out on the spot anymore, it has to go through Facial Recognition and Background Checks before you get your Full License, good for 6 years if you don't lose it, but anytime you do need to replace it you have to go through the same rigamarole.

Once you are without ID and a Bank Card in this society, you are totally screwed if you don't have Backup.  I'm fortunate I am a Doomer, so I have multiple backups on most things, in the case of the Driver's License I was able to use the last Temp License they issued me which had not yet expired.  Same with getting my new bank debit cards.  I also had my Passport and my Birth Certificate as well.  So I could more or less PROVE that I am ME to the Goobermint and the Banking system and get the process going of replacing the lost ID items.  Still haven't received them though, and I won't be resting EZ until they are once again in a NEW Wallet that certifies me as part of this society.

Meanwhile as I wait to get issued my New Cards, how am I surviving?  Again, fortunate I am a Doomer, so I have a Stash of Cash to use for purchases until I have some working Plastic again.  I have a PayPal account with digibit money in it also.  This is mainly just a temporary inconvenience for me, but it really does show how connected to and how dependent you are on the whole system all the time.

Now, to address a topic I brought up at the beginning of this article, is WTF am I trying to STAY ALIVE at all here now?  The world is a MESS, I am a MESS, just fucking end it all here and do a Bullet-Brain Meeting!

The main reason I don't do that is because I remain curious about how this bizness of Collapse will play itself out, and I continue to want to write on the topic until I absolutely cannot do that anymore.  We often run into the question of "What is the Purpose of Living?" on the Diner.  MY purpose for living these days is to be a Chronicler of Collapse.  In a sense I am fortunate in this regard, since now besides charting the Global Collapse, I also have opportunity to chart my own Personal Collapse as well.  I shall chronicle this in all its glory & gory detail as long as my keyboard fingers still work.  I won't QUIT, no matter what, no matter how awful my life gets.  I will go out fighting to the end. It's the Terminator in me.

What all of these experiences have driven home to me is the importance of having FRIENDS, which is where all your REAL WEALTH is truly stored.

In the case of my Spinal Injury, my FRIEND Agelbert on the Diner researched my problem and dug up a Study being done in Atlanta that I may qualify for, and so get the repair job done on the tab of the Pharma Companies that are sponsoring this study.  Without The Diner, this never would have occured.

In the case of my potential Homelessness prior to my trip to the Great Beyond, this also is unlikely to occur now.  I have offers from 2 more FRIENDS from the Diner who have offered me Shelter if things continue on their Southward Trend Line for me.

Anyone who says Blogging and the Internet are a waste of time and you can't really CONNECT with people this way are ABSOLUTELY, INCONTRAVERTABLY WRONG!  I probably won't last a whole lot longer (although I am pretty tough to kick off, so who knows there?), but today I am confident I won't die alone in some snowdrift in Alaska, I DO have FRIENDS who care about me.  They are my friends from the DINER!

MapI have met more truly compassionate and caring people on the Diner than I have ever encountered IRL.




The Year on Diner Soundcloud

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 5, 2015

Discuss this article at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

About a year after we started the Doomstead Diner Blog & Forum we decided to add some Audio interviews with “Collapse Starz”, including early on folks like Nicole Foss, Gail Tverberg, Guy McPherson, David Korowicz, George Mobus, Ugo Bardi, Steve Ludlum and many others.  You can find the full list of all our Podcasts on the DINER SOUNDCLOUD Channel, and we have a few new ones currently still under production. Coming Soon to a Laptop Near You, as I like to say.  LOL.

I personally have something of a history here, doing Pirate Radio in my youth in the 1970s.  This is where my Pump Up the Volume/Everybody Knows theme song by Leonard Cohen clip at the top comes from.  So it was not a big stretch for me to start doing some Audio as well as Blogging, actually it comes more naturally to me than Blogging does since it is interactive dialogue, which I prefer.


Several months after beginning the Interviews, I hit on the idea of turning my “Frostbite Falls Daily Rant” franchise into Audio as well.  The FFDR comes from my time Blogging on Jim Quinn’s website, The Burning Platform, where I would write a new Blog every other day or so, some of them quite long too!  LOL.  I wasn’t running a website then, so if I felt like writing for a few hours I would do that, and of course there is plenty in collapse to write about every day these days.

NumberOneWithABulletStarting the Audio Rants took the Diner out of the vast Sea of Small Blogs, rapidly jacking up the Alexa Ranking of the Diner from the +3,000,000 category to as high as 175,000 at one point.  Sadly, it has sunk since then, but not because the Diner isn’t growing in readership, Alexa changed the way they were accumulating the stats on the Diner.  Since the high point of Alexa Ranking when the Diner had around 1500 Page Hits/Day according to Google Analytics, it has more than doubled in circulation to around 3500 Page Hits/Day.  The Alexa method of Ranking websites has a lot of problems, mainly that the only people recorded are those who have an Alexa toolbar installed, and this then can be skewed by a few people who visit a site often and spend a lot of time there.  So it really wasn’t (and isn’t) an accurate indicator of how the Diner is doing overall.

In my never ending quest as a Stats Freak to keep tabs on the Diner progress, I look for stats that give me a better clue on this.  Page Hits on Google Analytics are certainly better than the Alexa Stats, but even with Page Hits it’s hard to determine how many people are just one time brief passers-by the Diner on the way to some other Final Destination, and how many stop in regularly for a meal.  The Soundcloud Stats we get from the Diner Podcasts are one of the best direct indicators we have of the Total Reach of the Diner and how many people are really engaged in the topics we discuss.

Now, there are some people who will only read the Blog and don’t like to Listen, so you miss counting those people with the Audio stats.  There are various reasons for this, many people simply don’t have the Bandwidth to spend listening, particularly in the 3rd World countries. Even if you have the bandwidth, if you are not a Native speaker of English and can just about parse the written version, you certainly will not be able to follow my Rants at the speed I talk at. Even so, the list of Most Played Tracks, Top Countries & Top Cities is quite impressive.

Here is the tally for the last 12 months on Soundcloud.  You get the Top 50 in any Category.

Most Played Tracks Top Countries Top Cities
Collapse Cafe – Nicole Foss(Energy) 3,360 plays United States 39,792 plays Toronto, Canada 707 plays
Collapse Cafe – Dmitry Orlov Part 1 (Ukraine and energy) 3,333 plays Canada 8,485 plays Burnaby, Canada 606 plays
Collapse Cafe – Dmitry Orlov part 2 (supply chains, population decline and community) 3,098 plays United Kingdom 5,358 plays Los Angeles, CA 526 plays
Collapse Cafe – Steve Ludlum Part 1 (Fundamentals) 1,314 plays Australia 2,391 plays Birmingham, United Kingdom 508 plays
ANTI-DOLLAR!!! 1,131 plays Czech Republic 2,003 plays Calgary, Canada 470 plays
Thrilla in Doomervilla: Extinction or Bottleneck? 1,100 plays New Zealand 1,109 plays Montréal, Canada 448 plays
Collapse Cafe – Thomas Lewis 999 plays Netherlands 986 plays Memphis, TN 428 plays
Collapse Cafe – Cli-Fi with Jim Laughter and Ugo Bardi 970 plays Germany 965 plays London, United Kingdom 378 plays
Parades: Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue 890 plays Thailand 875 plays Chicago, IL 370 plays
Extinction? Frostbite Falls Daily Rant #24- April 5, 2014 873 plays Sweden 609 plays Craig, AK 353 plays
Ebola: I See Dead People 2 845 plays Ireland 455 plays Denver, CO 313 plays
Conversation with Guy McPherson II 797 plays France 447 plays Seattle, WA 309 plays
The Black Albatross 743 plays South Africa 353 plays Vancouver, Canada 294 plays
SNAP to RIOT 2 in #ferguson 684 plays Finland 338 plays Monterey, CA 269 plays
SWISSIE CAPITULATION! 684 plays Mexico 316 plays Salt Lake City, UT 269 plays
Oil Crash!!! 668 plays Norway 313 plays San Francisco, CA 261 plays
COMETH DEFLATION! 637 plays Poland 292 plays Portland, OR 255 plays
WWIII Begins! FFDR #42-5/20/14 633 plays Spain 219 plays Victoria, Canada 251 plays
Collapse Cafe – Thomas Lewis Part 2 631 plays Switzerland 186 plays San Jose, CA 247 plays
Smokin’ Economista Crack 617 plays Brazil 166 plays Austin, TX 242 plays
Sinking Titanics: Euro, Yen & Oil 613 plays Denmark 153 plays Saint Louis, MO 232 plays
Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Arctic Oil & Hong Kong Riots 596 plays Belgium 150 plays Amsterdam, Netherlands 229 plays
Collapse Cafe – Steve Ludlum Part 3 585 plays Qatar 144 plays Brisbane, Australia 216 plays
Oil Crash 2 584 plays Austria 137 plays Albany, NY 215 plays
Collapse Cafe – Mark Garavan 573 plays Luxembourg 131 plays Hobart, Australia 188 plays
Demand Destruction 573 plays New Caledonia 124 plays Shepperton, United Kingdom 164 plays
SECESSION!!! Scotland to Texas to Alaska…AND BEYOND! 563 plays Russian Federation 114 plays Santa Monica, CA 150 plays
2014 New Years Special Edition Rant: End of the Beginning 559 plays Singapore 109 plays Auckland, New Zealand 150 plays
Collapse Cafe – Jason Heppenstall 555 plays Iceland 108 plays Thurmont, MD 144 plays
Collapse Cafe – Steve Ludlum Part 2 555 plays Italy 107 plays Omaha, NE 139 plays
Fukushima: The Gift that Keeps on Giving – FFDR 5/30/14 545 plays Ecuador 106 plays Phoenix, AZ 133 plays
Twilight In Amerika 539 plays Peru 93 plays Thunder Bay, Canada 132 plays
Cultural Stupidity: You Can’t Make This Shit Up 535 plays Portugal 91 plays Cedar Rapids, IA 131 plays
Ignorance Of History 517 plays Serbia 90 plays San Diego, CA 130 plays
Fining Putin 513 plays Japan 85 plays Winnipeg, Canada 127 plays
Ron Patterson Interview: Peak Oil 502 plays India 84 plays Harvard, IL 127 plays
Collective Insanity 502 plays Philippines 83 plays Kitchener, Canada 126 plays
Ebola: I See Dead People 3 495 plays Slovenia 78 plays Squamish, Canada 123 plays
Parade of Lies 481 plays Argentina 74 plays Pretoria, South Africa 121 plays
Bombs of Democracy: A Failure to Communicate 474 plays Bulgaria 62 plays Harrisburg, PA 121 plays
Pandora’s Box 472 plays Costa Rica 60 plays Boise, ID 120 plays
Financial WWIII-Frostbite Falls 4/17/14 472 plays Croatia 52 plays Sudbury, Canada 116 plays
Greek Souvlaki Redux 467 plays Romania 50 plays Wellington, New Zealand 111 plays
Competitive Currency Devaluation & Deflation 464 plays Korea, Republic of 46 plays Tucson, AZ 110 plays
Deflation Doom- Frostbite Falls Daily Rant #27- April 19, 2014 450 plays Turkey 45 plays Sydney, Australia 109 plays
SNAP to Riot in #ferguson 447 plays Estonia 42 plays Eau Claire, WI 108 plays
Greek Debt Chicken Game 445 plays Hong Kong 34 plays Belleville, Canada 107 plays
Technophilia 440 plays Greece 34 plays Mesa, AZ 107 plays
Ruble Run Insanity 437 plays Malaysia 27 plays Campbell River, Canada 107 plays
Japan Goes Full Retard 433 plays Indonesia 26 plays Santa Fe Springs, CA 105 plays
Other tracks 30,309 plays Other countries 1,505 plays Other cities 58,000 plays

Now, this is just the last 12 months of data.  The Top Listen Track of Nicole Foss actually has a total of more than 6000 Listens now.  That track is one of the first we recorded and goes back almost 2 years.  It got many of its Listens before this 12 month period began.


The Global Diners. Dots represent Cities checking in, many represent multiple readers and listeners.

As you might expect, the Top 4 Countries Listening are all the English Speaking ones, the FSoA, Canada, UK and Oz.  Interestingly though, the Czech Republic Tops the Kiwis in New Zealand for Listens.  We have a few Listeners in Mother Russia, but NONE in China.  Why not?  Well, if you have been following Our Finite World and Gail’s ongoing China Trip which I am helping her chronicle over there, you know why.  Gail can barely access the Internet, much less be listening to Audio over the net in China.  It’s simply not available, either Censored or the infrastructure isn’t there for it.  The way we get the posts up is she sends them to me in Email, and then I post them up under my Byline on OFW.  I’m an Author over there, so I can post and publish my own stuff on her blog.  Email you can do from China, but you cannot Edit a WordPress Blog from over there, this is Blocked.  We do have READERS in China though, this I get from our newest Stat Collection service, the Revolver Globe site. as the Cities go, what I find truly fascinating is that the largest Big Shities in the FSoA, NY Shity, Dallas-Fort Worth do not show up at ALL on the list! Even though the FSoA BY FAR is the largest Country with Listeners, the largest number of Listens from a single Shity is the Hosers in Toronto, Canada! Obviously, Doomers do not live in major FSoA Metros.  LOL.  OK, Los Angeles does have some Doomers.  The Water issues there gotta be hitting their consciousness by now.  Chicago too has some Doomers.  None from Detroit though, and NOBODY from Vegas, at least in the Top 50!  Have these folks not managed to notice the water level in Lake Mead?  What?

In discussions with Allan Stromfeldt Christensen of the From Filmers to Farmers blog, I mentioned to him that my estimate of the TOTAL number of people who visit ALL Collapse Websites was probably no more than 10,000 (now revised up to 20,000).  Anybody who is a regular Kollapsnik visits all of them, or as many as they can turn up, so Kunstler’s readers are Orlov’s readers are JMG’s readers etc.  These readers find their Favorite, and tend to spend most of their time online there, and usually only contribute to one or two commentariats, if they comment at all, and most do not.  A few of us Bloggers like Steve from Virginia from Economic Undertow and me ocassionally Poach the commentariat on other sites, but most of the other Bloggers don’t do that.  It’s time consuming, and you got enough to do with your own Blog.

In terms of Total Number of Collapse Bloggers, I estimated that number at under 100.  I do not count Financial Websites like Zero Hedge or even TBP in this, because these folks don’t recognize that its not just the Financial system imploding, the Whole Fucking Ball of Wax is going down here. I don’t include Geopolitical analysts like Tony Cartalucci from Land Destroyer either. In terms of Top Bloggers who recognize this, it’s less than 20 I think.  Chris Martenson I think recognizes it, though he soft pedals it some as a Financial Website.  A few of the Top Bloggers who recognize the implications of Collapse (although I don’t agree with many of their interpretations) are the following I can Identify, in no particular order:

Reverse Engineer (ME! :icon_sunny:)
Gail Tverberg
James Howard Kunstler
Dmitry Orlov
John Michael Greer
Guy McPherson
Albert Bates
Ugo Bardi
Steve Ludlum
Tom Lewis
Chris Martenson
X-Ray Mike

Other folks have been suggested as well, such as Carolyn Baker, Richard Heinberg, Tom Murphy, Morris Berman and others who are involved here, but not all really fit the category of “blogger” (Heinberg for instance is more Scientist than Blogger), not all blog too regularly if they do blog, and in any event are not generally on my Collapse Radar Screen.  If you have other Favorites who you think should be included here, drop it in the Comments below, along with Links to their Blogs!

There are other smaller Blogs and Bloggers, I’ve run into a few lately, td0s from Pray for Calamity, Allan Stromfeldt Christensen of the blog From Filmers to Farmers and of course my old friends William Hunter Duncan from Off the Grid in Minneapolis, Jason Heppenstall from 22 Billion Energy Slaves, Lucid Dreams from Epiphany Now and Gypsy Mama from The Butterchurn, but none of them are doing a whole lotta Blogging these days.  Then there are likely other ones I have not yet discovered, but I still think the total number is under 100.

In addition, there has been quite a bit of Burnout amongst long time Collapse Bloggers.  Nicole Foss hardly ever blogs anymore, Ilargi is doing the whole show on The Automatic Earth these days.  Matt Savinar is gone, Mike Ruppert is gone, Joe Bageant is gone, and many Commenters I know from the Peak Oil Forum are also gone now.  Recently departed from the Financial Blogosphere is Karl Denninger, who ran Market Ticker and Ticker Forum.

Many people have given up on trying to use the Internet to disseminate the information that never makes it out in the MSM, or is tortuously spun as Propaganda that is just a pack of endless Lies and Misinfomation.  Here on the Diner, we haven’t given up yet.  More people are waking up now, and the Collapse is becoming obvious enough now that only the most Deluded of Denialists cannot see it.  There is still time and room to inform more people of what us Old Timers already know, that the Age of Oil is coming to a close, and if you don’t prepare yourself at least Psychologically for this, you are not gonna make it through the Zero Point when TSHTF.



The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 5, 2014


Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

I’ve spent the better part of the last decade Blogging Collapse.  It’s the Gift that Keeps on Giving, not a day or week goes by that something ever more egregious occurs in the Global Theatre, there is NEVER a shortage of Collapse stories to write on or examine.  Right now for example, ongoing we have:

1- Ebola Rising


2- Hong Kong Occupy



3- Oil Prices Collapsing



5- Ruskie Sanctions

6- CA Drought those are just the relatively new ones!   Fukushima hasn’t stopped Nuke Puking into the Pacific, a few dozen new species go extinct every week and the number of people on SNAP Cards inexorably climbs while the number of people in the workforce inexorably declines.  The Greeks are about to Default (AGAIN!) too.

As a Blogger, you can randomly just pick one of the topics out of a hat and there is something to write about and examine on any given day.  With this explosion of collapse topics, you would think that this would translate to an explosion of Blogs and Bloggers writing about them, but the exact opposite is true.  The longer this goes on, the fewer people who write on them there are, and of those that do, the less often they publish.

Some of the folks I used to read regularly like Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) of The Automatic Earth almost never publish anything new.  Other folks like George Mobus of Question Everything have turned towards topics of a theoretical nature that interest them, but are only tangentially related to collapse if at all.

Here on the Diner, my fellow Bloggers Lucid Dreams of Epiphany Now and William Hunter Duncan of Off the Grid in Minneapolis just about never publish anymore, concerned more with their own daily lives than the Big Problems of the world.  Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves still publishes occassionally, but his Blogs come sporadically, maybe one a month.

Discussion in the commentary of some Blogs and on Forums is settled into a kind of formula for each place and is generally entirely predictable wherever you go, if you have been following collapse for any length of time anyhow.

Why is this?  It’s obviously not due to a shortage of topics, that is for sure.  The most obvious reasons to me are Collapse Overload TM on the part of the readers and commentariat, and Collapse Burnout TM on the part of the Bloggers.  It’s been going on so long now that anyone concerned with these topics has pretty much shot their wad on their own opinions and ideas and has read everything anyone else had to say about it, formed their own opinion on where it is going and what it means, and now is just living their life as best they can in the face of it.

For the most part this means finding or keeping a job and continuing to scratch out a living in the industrial economy.  Only a few people can afford to build their own Doomsteads © and try to become at least partially self-sufficient, and even that idea gets bollixed up by changing climate and precipitation patterns.  Diner Eddie who has a Doomstead © in Texas is quite aware that the progressing drought there makes that place likely unsustainable in the medium to long term. Collapse Overload TMCollapse Burnout TM in the long time Cognoscenti of Collapse TM is the more serious problem of Collapse Frustration TM.  For Doomophiles TM,  after years of jawboning Doom & Collapse on the net, the apparent inability to actually DO anything about it or even get the large majority of the population with their noses stuck in their I-Phones to even realize it is occurring leads many Doomers TM to throw up their hands and just give up!  Why bother talking about it or even DOING anything about it, because we are so seriously fucked here nothing makes a difference anyhow!

This is the meme over on Guy McPherson’s Nature Bats Last, where the Batters there have drawn the conclusion that not only are we economically fucked but we are all Doomed to Near Term Human Extinction by the now updated date of 2030.  Definitely, if we are all going to be extinct by 2030, there is not a whole lot of point to be blogging anymore, start working on your Bucket List instead!

The fact so many Bloggers have succumbed to Collapse Overload TMCollapse Burnout TM is actually a benefit for the Doomstead Diner ©, since newbies seeking out information about Collapse have fewer places to surf to on a daily basis these days, which translates to an ever rising Alexa Ranking for the Diner! Doom Surfers like the Diner so much they hang out for an amazing 17 Minutes a Day Time on Site now consuming Doom on the Diner! LOL. Most sites are lucky if they can keep short attention span readers on site for even 3 minutes! I personally battle the CO & CB Demons by sprinkling in some humor with the Doom, if you don’t look at the Lighter Side of Doom TM, you get Gloomy & Depressed and that makes it hard to keep going.

Besides Humor, the other way to battle against the Depressing Side of Doom is to NOT give in to the idea that everything is HOPELESS and there is nothing you can do, particularly if you are FRNs strapped without a lot of money to set up your own Doomstead ©.  There still are many strategies to explore, which is why we created the Non-Profit Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation, at  While a case can be made that Collapse is inevitable and things are not going to be improving as time goes by here, there is still plenty to work out in terms of how to deal with it as it does progress.  I don’t see it as worthwhile to capitulate here as of yet, while the situation looks pretty grim, it is always Darkest Before the Dawn, as the saying goes.  Visit with us on SUN to help workout the logistics of a BETTER TOMORROW TM

In any event, the fact so many folks concerned with Collapse have left the stage or just sing the periodic aria has left a huge GAP in Collapse Analysis on the net, and a GREAT OPPORTUNITY for the Diner!  At the very least, I have got every good Collapse & Doom Term & Slogan either Trademarked or Copyrighted here!  LOL.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.

This is not the time to GIVE UP!  So what if the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?  Are you going to let a few Dead Phytoplankton get you down?  How many people ever born get to live through the Collapse of their Civilization?  It’s like Winning the LOTTO!  Let’s get out there and grab this opportunity to build a BETTER TOMORROW TM

NOTHING IS OVER UNTIL WE DECIDE IT IS!’t miss the latest New Feature on the Diner Blog, Knarf’s Knewz!

Knewz Storiez Carefully Curated and Selected from around the Web by a Buddhist Monk filling you in on some of the less  well known Collapse Shenanigans.

Find the latest in Collapse Storiez in Knarf’s Knewz Widget on the Diner Blog!

Classic Rant Series: TSA Follies & Myths of Transportation Security

Constitutionally Hypocritical

Off the keyboards of RE & William Hunter Duncan

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 28, 2013


Discuss this article at the Guerrilla Internet Free Speech Table inside the Diner

When I began the Diner with Peter, Surly and a few other Founding Diners, my objective was not to just run my own Blog to Pontificate on Collapse, but to bring together and highlight the work of other Collapse Bloggers as well.  This sort of Blog is called a Compilation Blog, there are examples all over the net, Seeking Alpha is one, Peak Prosperity another, Zero Hedge perhaps the most famous and successful of all the Compilation Blogs.  My friend and ex-blogging partner Jim Quinn on The Burning Platform also runs a Compilation style Blog. have some very strict principles of Protocol I adhere to in Compiling Blogs on the Diner besides my own and those of other Native Diners, first one is I never Cross Post any blogger until I have had Email contact with them and received from them EXPLICIT permission to use their Blogs on the Diner.  Even if said Blogger has a Creative Commons Attribution license on their Blog (which basically says as long as you are not doing it for MONEY, it is OK to repost), I still ask first.  Just good Netiquette there.  I have some other Protocols I adhere to as well, main one as the Diners know is I am positively FANATIC about Free Speech in the Commentary with a No Ban, No Censorship Policy on Commentary here.  So even if a given Blogger deletes your commentary on their Blog, it will show up here if you post it to the parallel thread on the Diner.

Which brings me now to the reason I am writing this Blog (co-writing actually with WHD, my fellow Admin here on the Diner who will drop in here in a bit with his own inimitable style. LOL).  Recently WHD got in a pretty HOT debate over on Alt-Market, run by the Libertarian Defender of the Constitution Brandon Smith.  Brandon WAS a Cross Posted Blogger here a while back, officially approved by Brandon, but I STOPPED cross posting his Blogs for quite a few reasons.  Here is Brandon’s OK to repost on the Diner sent to my email back in February of 2012, right after we got the Diner off the ground:

February 27, 2012
You are more than welcome to reprint articles from Alt-Market, we only
ask that you link back to us the original source.  Thanks for your
interest in my writing, and I look forward to seeing how your new
website grows.

Brandon Smith

First reason I shit-canned Brandon as a Cross Blogger on the Diner was lack of Reciprocity.  Brandon’s Alt-Market is ALSO a Compilation Blog, he posts Blogs from numerous other sources on A-M all the time.   I don’t expect any Blogger I cross post who runs a Personal Blog to cross post articles from the Diner,  but if you run a Compilation Blog it is a I Scratch Your Back, You Scratch Mine kind of thing.  Jimbo on TBP and I do this all the time these days, I put up Blogs of his I think will play OK with Diner Readership; he puts up blogs of mine which he thinks will play OK with TBP readers.

Anyhow, after cross posting a few of Brandon’s Blogs, I sent him a couple of Links to Blogs I felt would fit OK on Alt-Market.  Economic stuff I write here along with discussing meta-topics like the Internet Censorship Issue and Free Speech Principles.  Not only did said blogs not go up on Alt-Market, I didn’t even get an acknowledgement to the Email that I sent them to him, or a rationale for why he would not publish them.

So I am a bit peeved here now at Brandon by this time, but I am still Cross Posting some of his Blogs on the nature of the Police State we live under, which is a subject of general Diner interest.  Since he is not Cross Posting any of my Blogs, I decide I will start dropping in on his Commentary to occasionally Plug the Diner, as I am wont to do on a few Blogs, notably Economic Undertow run by Steve from Virginia and Our Finite World run by Gail the Actuary, aka Gail Tverberg as well as Jim Quinn’s The Burning Platform of course.  I always embed my Plugs in a post which is to Topic of the given Blog I drop the comment on.  Here is a Sample of a Plug I just made over on OFW for our Podcasts, relating to the topic of Gail’s Recent Blog, which is Feedback Loops in Energy and the Economy:

Welcome Back Gail!

I’d like to let the OFWers know that we recently got up the first 2 of a 3 Part Series with David Korowicz of FEASTA, author of the paper Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse and more recently Catastrophic Shocks in Complex Socio-Economic Systems—a pandemic perspective on Diner Podcasts.

Many aspects of Systemic Feedback Loops in the Monetary System and Industrial Economy are discussed in these Podcasts. The final part will be released in the next week or two, after we get up a Podcast by John Michael Greer of The Archdruid Report as well as the last installment of the marathon Podcast with George Mobus of Question Everything. Upcoming also is another quite long one recently completed with Ugo Bardi of the Cassandra’s Legacy Blog.

Stop by the Diner OFWers to listen in on the latest in Collapse! :)


Gail has been very tolerant of my Plugging in the Commentary of OFW, and in return for that she got First Billing as one of our First Offsite Podcasts, and she has a great listenership there, well over 450 listens last I checked on her most successful Podcast, and 2nd only to Uber Doomer Guy McPherson over 800 Listens now.  Guy is the Secretariat of the Collapse Blogosphere with his Extinction theory.  You can’t get any Doomier than THAT!  LOL.

Here is another Plug I recently dropped on The Burning Platform in Jimbo’s awesome recent Feature Article, TRYING TO STAY SANE IN AN INSANE WORLD – PART 1

23rd July 2013 at 10:18 pm

Reverse Engineer says:

“The rule of law does not exist for the ruling class.”-JQ

It never has. The legal system is designed to keep Elite in power, not to protect J6P. It was like this when Woodrow Wilson admitted the country was ruled by a small group of Capitalist Industrialists. These folks have proceeded to steal the natural resource wealth of the continent and have been at the game at least since the Railroads began spreading their tentacles across the once pristine landscape in the 1820s-1830s. You will note about all those railroads went bust, the tycoons of the era walked away with the credit issued and the taxpayers were saddled with the debt, then as now. Capitalism began destroying the country in around 1830, and has more or less completed the job in slightly under 200 years.

The difference now is that globally there is insufficient stored energy that can be extracted at a cheap price, so these folks no longer can leverage up on it. They are quite finished here as it spins down.

I’ll cross post this probably on Wednesday.


Notice that the response is entirely to topic, even if my anti-Capitalist Spin runs counter to the Group Think on TBP.  I also advertise the fact I will cross post Jim’s Blog on the Diner. Anyhow, point is here it is You Scratch My Back, I Scratch Yours, and it tends to help all of us Collapse Bloggers when we cooperate in this way.

So now back to Mr. Lexington & Concord Brandon Smith here, what happens when I start showing up in the Commentary on Alt-Market?  He DELETES just about every last one of the posts I make there!  The posting is not Napalm, it is all to topic. You will see a Sample demonstrated further down in this article. I didn’t even Plug the Diner in every one!  So this does it for me, I NIX Brandon as a Cross Poster on the Diner and stop reading or commenting on his Piece of Shit Blog, I have plenty to do on my own fucking Blog anyhow! LOL.

So now you think the Story is OVER, right?  Nooooo.  You see, there are quite a few Bloggers on the Diner, I am not the only one.  One of them, William Hunter Duncan is also an ADMIN here on the Diner, though Brandon “Lexington & Concord” “Mr. Constitution” Smith does not know this.  The shit Brandon has been writing of late BUGS William, so finally HE drops in on Brandon’s Comment Stream to take him to task for his completely absurd arguments on Peak Oil and Energy, which have been utterly destroyed on just about every decent Energy related Blog, but Brandon goes on making the same old dumb ass arguments as ever that all of us in the Energy Blogosphere have dealt with Ad Infinitum for the last DECADE in some cases.

At this point, I will step back and let William take over describing the course of this Debate, and what went down before he himself ALSO finally got AXED by Brandon.  Take it away, William!


Thanks, RE

I am an American. I was Born on the Fourth of July. My mother is a radical Christian Constitutionalist, first generation immigrant. Naturally then, I have some affiliation with the Liberty, Patriot and Tea Party movements. I whole-heartedly agree that the Constitution has been eviscerated, that those in power in America seek to divide and conquer America, that they might continue to control the empire that the Republic has become. I agree with some core conservative tenets, that individual empowerment, individual sovereignty, is a core and necessary element to being human. I also agree that the Federal government, and government generally, is a means to consolidate and centralize power, for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, inevitably. That this Federal Government particularly will prove itself capable of ANYTHING, to maintain control, “to maintain the Union.”

That said, my affiliation with these conservative movements ends there. For an abundance of reasons, namely, that Western ideological exploitative command and control dominator attitudes toward the earth and people, are alive and well among so-called Liberty folk and Patriots, Tea Party etc. That they generally hate government but love Oligarchs; that it is not the abuse of power they object to, but mostly who is the one abusing it. That these movements are largely an extension of Christian “go forth and have dominion over the earth,” that there is no exploitation of the earth that is not sacred, provided it is for private benefit. That individual sovereignty means you can pollute the air or water or soil for everyone else, if it is a function of you exercising your liberty. That they hate government but don’t generally have a problem using government to terrorize cannabis users/growers, or sticking trans-vaginal ultrasound rods up women’s yoni’s in the name of protecting the unborn, or expelling Hispanics, demonizing Muslims, homosexuals, etc. Or their fetishization of weaponry.

Of particular concern is the turn of many of that (admittedly broad brush) crowd, in the direction of absolute denial that Humans are having anything like a detrimental effect on the biosphere: i.e. denial of Climate Change. For some Conservatives, disconnected as they are from the earth (like most Liberals), they have come to believe that peak oil, peak energy, peak growth, is a false narrative – which Brandon Smith says is meant to facilitate global governance and ultimately the deliberate killing of most of (conservative) humanity, by an elite Illuminati whomever. Now, I don’t discount that there are entrenched, nefarious interests driving this train called Progress. Nor do I discount the idea that said nefarious, entrenched interests might see that humanity is facing peak everything, and might take it upon themselves to initiate some apocalyptically hideous response, reducing our numbers. Denying outright though, that anything like climate change is even happening, many American conservatives reveal that they are at their core entirely captive to the mythologies of progress and growth that drive empire America, and they mostly just want to take the reign of it.

Brandon Smith is an excellent example of such disconnect, the fetishization of markets and the individual and the defilement of ecosystems (relationships) (while the Liberal fetishizes the collective – gov – at the expense of the earth.)  He also has a tendency toward cruel condescension, denouncing whole segments of the population as “stupid”, immature, etc. He also shows a propensity for manipulating the commentary on his website, to make himself look better. Which is all whatever, it’s just a blog – except maybe such tendencies might not be what you want in those exhorting you to armed confrontation with the Federal Government, i.e. the shooting and killing of your fellow Americans, your fellow humans. Sounds more to me like him making of himself a martyr or a messiah, willing to take others with him. Nevertheless, I do believe he believes the narrative,  “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” He is brilliant. In a very stiff, logical, absolutist way…(after all, the Feds are known to kill cult members – Waco – which this Liberty dude keeps calling anyone who acknowledges peak energy or climate change a cultist. LOL I call that daft – and dangerous.) Though I do say in fact, I do think he cares about people – or he wouldn’t be exhorting people to learn mechanical or craftsman skills, or gardening or the saving of heirloom seeds, etc.

So I like to drop into Alt-Market every once in awhile, like I have done at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, to stir things up a bit. My commentary gets expunged as often as not, at Alt-Market, just like it does on Huffpost. As always, you be your own judge about what you read, what you think. Difference here @ the Diner is, while we moderate the Forum, we don’t eliminate commentary. We let commentary speak for itself.

What follows is a conversation that took place between myself, Brandon Smith, and RE @ the Alt-Market, in the commentary to an article by, Brandon Smith, Get Ready For The Next Great Stock Market Exodus Several commentators had challenged Brandon on his ideas about Peak Oil. That is where I stepped in, four days after the article release, when few people were paying attention, and Brandon I judged, felt more free to debate with me rather than just expunge me, whom I judge he takes for Joe Schmo Idiot Tool. LOL

RE stepped in late and offered the last, perfectly innocuous comment. His comment and my last were EXPUNGED.


Peak Oil
written by William Hunter Duncan , July 16, 2013

Peak Oil is the point at which you have to keep the price of oil @ $100/brl to pay for all that hideously destructive fracking, tarsands, deep water activity, to maintain baseline supply. You either keep it at $100-ish, or noboby makes any money. Which also conspires to create demand destruction, which means a further increase in price hammers demand, while a collapse in price destroys the capacity of the industry to frack, etc.

Which, what is the real cost of pumping fracking fluids into the aquifers of half the nation, in the exploitation of oil and gas? How about having to gather water from the sky only, because the surface waters and below ground are all severely polluted – in a time of radically shifting climate patterns?

Votes: -1

Brandon Smith

written by Brandon Smith , July 16, 2013


And where is your evidence that fracking is now the primary source of oil production? Where is the lack of supply from the Middle East, or Russia, or Africa, for instance? What demand is not being met by standard oil production?

Again, where is the scarcity? For prices to rise based on scarcity, someone, somewhere, MUST have a demand for oil that is not being met. WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE? Show me on a map.

Why can no peak oil cultist answer this simple question? And why can no peak oil cultist fathom that perhaps, just perhaps, price increases are being caused by dollar devaluation, and that their entire religion of peak oil is based on a con designed to distract the masses away from hyperinflation?

Also, William, it is not surprising that you believe in the now debunked Climate Change con as well, since both Peak Oil and Global Warming were designed by globalist interests at the Club Of Rome in order to terrorize dupes like yourself with false environmentalism, and get you to go along with their agendas of population reduction and energy dominance.

Votes: +1


written by William Hunter Duncan , July 18, 2013

Dupe? Con artist? Cultist? Advocate for population reduction and energy dominance? How about you try flinging some more shit at me, to see if it sticks?

How about peak energy, then. Seven billion people adding 80 Million a year? If you want to persist with the fantasy of unlimited growth, go ahead. If you want to imagine oil is infinite, abiotic, whatever. Climate Change is Debunked! I’ll say again, as I’ve said before, I don’t think you give a damn about the health of the earth or it’s people.

I’d say you know jack about the Club of Rome, but whatever. As for fracking being our primary source, where’d you get such an idea that I would ever say such a thing? I said basically, if oil were unlimited like you seem to think, we wouldn’t have to be fracking above aquifers, gouging it out of the surface like they do in Alberta, or attempting to drill in the Arctic, or in ten thousand feet of water.

Finally, as for Peak Oil, it shouldn’t take a child to get that if you have a fixed amount of apples and oranges, sooner or later you are going to run out.

Votes: +1

Brandon Smith

written by Brandon Smith , July 19, 2013


You still haven’t answered my question, which tells me you don’t have the answer. And if you don’t have the answer to that very simple question, then your position on Peak Oil is essentially irrelevant.

Show me WHERE in the world demand for petroleum is not being met. Where?

Also, where is your proof that oil is a fixed resource? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the creation of oil is an Abiotic Process, a cycle like volcanoes and rain that functions perpetually. Old oil wells have been found replenished in the NE United States, and new wells are found yearly. Again, if you can’t back your position with facts, then you are basing it on pure faith and assumption. This is what a cultist does, or a child, not a logical adult thinker.

I care about REAL environmental issues, not fake issues created by a bunch of elitists seeking to frighten thick headed people into going along with their agenda. By blindly following the lies of Peak Oil and man-made Climate Change, YOU are hurting the Earth, because you are wasting your time and energies on false notions rather than legitimate issues. It’s sad.


Votes: +0


@ Brandon
written by William Hunter Duncan , July 21, 2013

Where in the world is a demand for oil not being met? How about Japan? How about the whole of Africa? Surely many of the people of Japan and Africa would appreciate more oil than they have access to. Not to mention the whole of Europe. You think the English wouldn’t like to find a Gwhar field under the Tower of London about now?

You might want to back your assertions that oil wells in the NE are refilling, with something resembling evidence. LOL. Abiotic! Anything like 85 million barrels a day, what humanity is using about now? If that’s the case WTF are we doing fracking, etc for?

As to your last paragraph, yeah, the end of easy oil and radical climate change isn’t anything like a legitimate issue. OK bubble boy.

As for those other serious issues, like the evisceration of the Constitution, or the increasingly police/facist State, or High Finance looting of the global economy, etc, there’s a lot more cross-over between you and me than that shit you flung in an earlier comment would suggest.

BTW, I do think you care about the earth and it’s people, or I wouldn’t bother. I just think you are getting carried away by your own BS.


Votes: -1

Brandon Smith

written by Brandon Smith , July 21, 2013


Where in Japan is demand not being met? Show me a specific example. Where in Africa? Where in Europe? Show me where specifically people in these countries are lined up for gasoline and not getting any. You clearly have little to no grasp of the concept of supply and demand.

And yes, petroleum has even been found on other planets, including the moon Titan:

Where did this oil come from? Dinosaurs? I think not. This is hard evidence that petroleum molecules are produced Abiotically. If you had ever done any research outside your own cultism, you would have already known this information.

And yes, older oil wells have been found replenished all over the world:

As far as climate change goes, show me the source data for NASA and the CRU’s experiments on global warming. Show me the proof that what they say about man-made global warming is true. You’ll never find the source data, because even after hundreds if not thousands of FOIA requests, climate “scientists” still refuse to release it to the public. Why would they be afraid to release their own data to the public for scrutiny unless it was all garbage?

Again, William, you have been duped. You’re no different than a 9/11 dupe, or a Federal Reserve dupe, or a Boston Bombing dupe. You continually refuse to answer my questions with any specifics, so I have to say that there is little purpose to discussing the matter with you further. If you are comfortable in your ignorance, then nothing can be done to help you.



Written by William Hunter Duncan, July 21, 2013

Isn’t this fun. I get to call you bubble boy, and you are game enough to let me, while then slinging that shit about me being a cultist and a dupe and ignorant. 🙂

I don’t understand demand? Are you telling me the Japanese wouldn’t be burning oil like mad if they could get it for $20/barrel? Humans would be burning 200 million barrels a day, more than twice what we are, if they could get it. Again, abiotic anything like 85 million barrels a day? I say your conception of demand is stiff and narrow, which is what I would expect from an absolutist.

I dont give a shit about the source data. What I care about are things like the fact that as the climate becomes increasingly variable and unstable from my perspective, the more hysterical the Liberty movement, conservative circles, Patriots become that climate change is entirely a hoax perpetrated by global government boogeymen. Infowars loves to rave that CO2 is Good For You! Well, not @ 400ppm, while they are cutting down rainforests to plant Monsanto soybean fields.

As for that last link, isnt it great that this one Swedish study proves that oil is abiotic, wells are replenishing – contrary to the, um, not-evidence apparently, that we are fracking, gouging and deep sea drilling as fast as we can just to stand still, aka the red queen syndrome.

As for 9/11, or the Fed, or the Boston Bombing, you want to list anything else I am not a dupe about?

Written by RE, July 21, 2013

However, you never answered my question. WHERE is this so called scarcity? Where is demand for oil not being met amply? If there is scarcity, then someone, somewhere, is not receiving the “dope” they desire, right? “-BS

Many places now are being triaged off the Oil Economy by Economic means. Greece, all the PIIGS Nations, Egypt etc.  Demand for gasoline is cratering in Europe, and it is in serious decline here as well.  Steve on Economic Undertow refers to this as “Conservation by Other Means”.  A barrel of Oil not consumed in Europe is one left for a bit more Happy Motoring for a few people here.

This is happening first at the periphery of the Industrial Economy, but is working its way inward at quite a rapid pace really.


RE back at the keyboard here.

Notice a few things about the comment stream there.  WHD’s first Comment is entirely to topic, and there also are no Plugs for the Diner.  Fortunately, since if WHD had copped to being a Diner Admin at the beginning, his first post would have been Expunged.

How does Brandon come back at WHD?  He NAPALMS him!  Calls him a “dupe”, “blind follower”, “cultist” etc, trigger words all over the place in his responses.  He doesn’t ever address the fact there is plenty of evidence of Oil Scarcity issues, it’s the whole reason the economic system has gone so outta whack here!  All you gotta do is spend a couple of days reading Steve from Virginia’s Blogs on Economic Undertow, and you’ll see the picture quite clearly, at least if you have any CFS* you will.

(CFS: Diner acronym for Common Fucking Sense)

It is at this point WHD drops a note on the Diner that this Napalm Contest is going down, so I decide to go back over there and Chip In my Opinion. 🙂 I know the post won’t stay up long, but I give it the old College Try by being 100% Rational, no Napalm, no Diner Plug.  Indeed, my post has a lifespan on Alt-Market measured in minutes, and this is at something like 9PM Mountain Time as I recall.  Brandon is on the Ball here!  LOL.  Said post was not in fact my last one, I made one more after Brandon Shit Canned it.

« Reply #468 on: July 22, 2013, 12:10:19 AM »

My recent post on Alt-Market, not long for this world over there but available in perpetuity here on the Diner!  LOL.RE

Quote from: RE

Heavy censorship hand you have there dude.

What ever happenned to Constitutional Guarantees of Free Speech?  Suspended on Alt-Market?

Anyhow, said post is up on the Diner @

Have a Nice Day.


Brandon Smith spouting Ideologically driven propaganda

Brandon Smith of Alt-Market spouting Ideologically driven Propaganda

So now you come to the crux of the matter here, WTF is Brandon Smith, Mr. Constitutional Protections & Rights doing the Joseph Goebbels thing and CENSORING everything I drop on as a comment on Alt-Market, and why does he Napalm WHD for pointing out the issues with Oil Fracking?  What nasty thing did I ever do to Brandon? My only relationship with him was to cross post some of his Blogs with his explicit permission to do so!  I never even got in a Napalm Contest on Alt-Market ONCE!  LOL.

The reason is that Brandon’s ideological box does not allow him to accept ideas of Climate Change or Energy Depletion, and he doesn’t want any of that “trash” polluting his website!  LOL.  His Solution is not to debate the points, but rather to either Napalm the poster as a Brainwashed Cult Moron, or failing success with that to Expunge the offending posts from the Alt-Market board!

The Irony of course here is beyond belief, this fellow who constantly writes about how our Constitutional Rights are being undermined himself cannot maintain the most BASIC of Freedoms on his website, that of Free Speech!  Imagine if Brandon was made Minister of Propaganda for the New Republic after the next battle at Lexington and Concord with the FBI, DHS and ATF, if he actually won that battle.  You think Brandon would let me keep the Diner up on the New Republic Net?  In a Pig’s Eye he would!  The dude can’t even leave up a post which points out the obvious Economic Effects of Demand Destruction!

Anyhow, the point of this exercise besides revealing the TRUTH about this particular case of Blogosphere Censorship by Ideologically Driven Blogger Propagandists is to make Blog Readers more aware of the fact that the Expunging of Critical Commentary by MANY Bloggers is systemic around the Collapse Blogosphere, Brandon is by no means the only one who does this.  In fact many if not most of them do.  I won’t name names here, but I have and will continue to do so inside the Diner any time one of my comments gets deleted.  Anytime I suspect a Blogger of this nefarious form of Propagandizing his point of view, I will Mirror the Posting on the Diner Forum before it goes up on the given Blog, Just In Case.  If this is being done to your posting, I invite you also to cross post your comments here, where they will NEVER be deleted, at least not until the boys in the Black Cadillac Escalades show up at the Cabin to ship me off to GITMO.

You want Constitutional Protection of Free Speech?  You GOT IT here on the Doomstead Diner.  It is the CODE OF THE DINERS!



Off the Keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 31, 2012

A Diner Archive Article

Discuss this article around the Kitchen Sink of the Diner

Today I am 55 Years Old.

There will be no Birthday Party for me, no Presents anymore.  Only my Mom still sent me Birthday Cards in these last years, but she passed into the Great Beyond last year.   I don’t have any children to remember my Birthday. Now each year just is marked by the August 31st Date which comes and goes, and I reflect on my Life in the Age of Oil during these days.

55 seems more Significant than most of the recent ones since the Big 5-0.  Mostly because of that Numerical Duplication of Numbers I suppose, a little like 666.  Also though because it pretty much represents 1/2 Century of Sentience here where I really was aware of the world around me.  I’ll write another one of these articles if I make it to 66 years, 6 Months, 6 weeks, 6 days, 6 Hours, 6 Minutes and 6 seconds old, if the Internet is still up and running and I am still walking the earth at that time and not entombed at GITMO being Waterboarded. LOL.

I do remember a few snippets of things from when I was 3-4 years old, I remember crashing my Tricycle into the back wall of the below ground Garage in our Brownstone in Hell’s Kitchen, riding down the ramp with No Brakes on a Tricycle.  I remember getting locked in to my Parent’s Bedroom when I tried to “fix” the door lock putting hardware in to an open slot not connected to anything.  I remember being enamored of Bozo the Clown in Cartoons on TV, but when mom got tickets to the Bozo the Clown TV Show and I met the Human Bozo greeting kids on the line to get into the Studio, I was scared to death of him and started crying and Mom hadda take me home.  $15 Tickets in 1960s money, 6 month Advance Ticket Purchase, pretty big deal there.

I don’t remember how I learned to read during this time, though I know I did because I was reading before my first day in Kindergarten.  I think it was from Picture Books my mom bought and my sister read to me at first, not sure though.  Still I was not reading anything of greater import than “Run, Spot, Run” at the time. LOL.

The real WAKE UP CALL in Sentience though came for me on November 22, 1963.  Recognize the date?  That was of course the day JFK was Gunned down in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald and who knows who else.  The WORLD STOPPED that day, they brough a Radio into the classroom, and everyone was Mourning.  When I got home from school, the Images were all over the B&W TV Set we had, with poor little John-John Kennedy standing bravely by Widow-Garbed Jacqueline Bouvier aka “Jackie” Kennedy later Jackie Onassis.  I identified with John-John, he was just about precisely my age at the time of course.  I  was actually 6 by then not 5, so the 55 identification of my Wake Up Call to reality exactly 1/2 Century later isn’t precise here.  Close enough though.

We were by then living in Brasil of course, not the FSofA, as I covered in Pump Up the Volume a little while back.  Brasil was essentially a Paradise for me, I learned Portuguese quickly because that is the age your linguistic brain is most flexible, and I quickly was translating for my Mom who never really learned it.  We lived a block off of Ipanema Beach, and I loved to body surf and became a very strong swimmer.  We had memberships to Private Clubs that the Banking, Military and State Department class ran and had access to; my best friend Timmy was son of the Ambassador to Brasil.  One of the Clubs had a full set of Diving Boards and Platforms right up to a full 10 meter platform I decided I hadda jump off of, I guess I was 7 by then.  My Mom let me do it, but ONLY if I would wear a Life Preserver Vest before jumping.  About the stupidest thing you can do really.  Why?

Well, soon as you hit the water, the bouyancy of the life preserver is pushing UP, whicle Gravity and Acceleration are taking you DOWN.  If you make the sad mistake of having your Tongue between your teeth when this happens, BLAM you chomp down on your tongue and in my case pratically bite it off.  BLOOD EVERYWHERE!  Think a scene from Jaws. Tongue hanging by a thread (fortunately I had a pretty large Gap between my two Front Teeth at the time), gotta get it sewed back in.  I remember that one pretty well. LOL.  On the good side, mom never made me wear a Life Preserver again after that, and I got pretty good at diving off the Platform before we left Brasil.

Anyhow, I messed around with a lot of sports during this time, Futbol (soccer) with the Favela Boys as well as the Swimming and Diving, great fun all around there.  I was however already an incipient Nerd and Voracious Reader.  I consumed the entire Hardy Boys, Tom Swift and Nancy Drew Series of books during these years, along with reading my Dad’s Subscription Magazines of Popular Mechanics, Pop Science and Scientific American.  My sister was 7 years older than me, and I started looking at her Math Textbooks and doing the problems in them.  I got very good at Science and Math concepts during this period.  All seemed quite entertaining to me at the time.  It had some unfortunate consequences though after we returned to the FSofA.

Shortly after enrolling in the 4th Grade and enrolling in a Public Skule in the NY Shity Schools system, I took my first Standardized IOWA Test.  OOPS I got EVERYTHING right on the test. LOL.  This is not supposed to happen, the tests are designed so that the typical student of the Grade Level being tested should only get half the questions correct, and if you get more than around 70% of them correct, the test isn’t valid really.  According to the test, I was reading at College Level and the Math was off the scale of the test.  So they let me have a go at the SAT in the 4th Grade.  As I recall I scored an 1100, pretty good for HS students.  So, I was IDENTIFIED.  Then began the NIGHTMARE of 3 years of Lab Rat experiments and endless Testing with the Shrinks as an “Intellectually Gifted Child” aka IGC.  Every Saturday for 3 years.   It did not end until I finally said NO MORE when I was around 13 or so.  I had it by then.

Anyhow, this still got me into Stuyvesant HS, the magnet school for Science and Math prodigies being run by the NY Shity school system of the era.  There I hung out with other first class nerds like Eric Lander and Francis Barany, while at the SAME time doing the Pirate Radio thing with my friend Randy from Brasil, and twice a year flying to Oz to hang with Dad the Pigman as part of the Divorce agreement.  It was needless to say a very confusing time for me overall.

Applying to College when I was 15, I had very poor advice all around, I should have followed a close friend of mine and gone for the 6 year Bio-Med program being run by the City University of NY at that time. Cheap subsidized education and you came out with an M.D. at the end of it.  I was advised though to make all my Aps to Ivy League Skules.  Nobody was taking into account my Dad wasn’t going to finance the Education.  I got a 1600 on my SATs this go round and was pretty much a shoe in everywhere.  Of the 5 College Aps I filled out, the only one which was not Ivy league was to the Air Force Academy.  I thought being a Jet Pilot or Astronaut would be REALLY COOL.  Plus, a Freeby Education there on the taxpayer dime.  The other  4 apps were to Harvard, Yale, Columbia and MIT. (MIT isn’t precisely Ivy League, but it is in the same Elite University clique).

The only REJECTION I got was from the Air Force Academy, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t academically or physically qualified, I was a couple of standard deviations above the mean in both areas at the time.  The reason was because at the time of enrollment for my first class, I would still have been 16, and 17 was the Minimum to enroll in the Military Academies at that time.

This pissed me off, so I wrote a letter to the admissions commitee after receiving my rejection letter lambasting them for taking less qualified applicants just because they were going to be at least 17 and I wasn’t  (only by a MONTH or so also!). It was some pretty good Napalm.  😀 LOL.

About a week later I got a phone call from the PENTAGON! LOL.  The letter had somehow made its way from the Air Force Academy admissions commitee over to Headquarters, and some General had been given the task of making a decision on whether to Wave the 17 Rule or not.  What I got from him in this Phone Call was that he had gone over it with the Military Lawyers, and there just was no way they could do this short of an Act of Congress, so he suggested I take the year off and reapply the following year.  I probably should have taken that suggestion also for some other reasons I will discuss in another RE History post, but it will make this article even more rambling then it already is.

Cannon’s Bar

After that followed my years at Columbia, one of those Ivory Tower Ivy league institutions where the various members of the Ruling Class get “educated”. Columbia was the cheapest for me to go to since I could live at home and Commute via Subway, which I did for the first year until I was earning enough in Work Study to afford the Dorms, and after that a shared Apartment over Barney Cannon’s Bar on 108th Street with two other Wild & Crazy dudes.   I went with what I was good at, Science and Math and floated around between the Physics, Chem, Bio and Math departments, settling mostly into the Basement of Havermeyer Hall in my Freshman Year as an “Elf”, my first Work-Study job.  See, by this time my Dad the Pigman and I were no longer on Speaking Terms, and even though relatively speaking an Ivy League education was not as expensive as it is now, I still was pretty short of cash to pay for it.  I had a couple of Scholarships, National Merit Scholarship from the PSAT, a Spelling Bee Scholarship I won early on as a 6th Grader and a Scholarship from the National Branch of the Unitarian Church, which I was dedicated into as an Infant.  I was the top Graduating Unitarian Student of that class  in the FSofA.  All together though, these Scholarships only covered about 1/2 of the Tuition, then there was still the Room & Board and Books.  I took out some Federally Insured College Loans to make up the difference, and Columbia guaranteed me some kind of Work-Study job.  They did not issue Academic Scholarships themselves.

Havermeyer Hall, Columbia University

The Basement of Havermeyer Hall was a fun place for Nerds, we all hung out there together and had Blackboard contests and messed around with every chemical known to man, you could order up anything really as an Elf.  The Elf “Job” was to mix  up Standard Solutions of various reagents used to teach Freshman Chem and Organic Chem, but nobody ever checked what you put on the Order List.  By my second year once I got into Orgo (my best subject), I got into synthesizing LSD not from Ergot as is the most common sysnthesis but from Psylocibin I was growing over in the Bio Lab.  🙂  I also blew up my lab station and nearly got fired for that one.  I was nitrating Toluene in what I thought was a “safe” manner, but it wasn’t quite like I pieced it out on paper.  Even a small amount of Tri-Nitro Toluene (TNT) is pretty damaging when it goes off unfortunately.  Fortunately on the other hand, the Head of the Lab Elfs at the time Miles was pretty sympathetic and he just gave me a stern warning at that time.  I escaped with only a few minor lacerations from the flying glassware. LOL. I did not get my job there renewed the following year though.  I got moved over to doing research on Radioimmunoassays at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, as I guess they figured I would be LESS dangerous working with Radioactive material than Organic Explosives. LOL.  On the plus side, this paid better than Elf Work.

Thus went the Early Years of RE’s Life in the Age of Oil, A Certified Brainiac by the Shrinks getting Educated along the way pretty well in Math and the Sciences, but only marginally well in History and the Social Science,s though at Columbia we were forced at the time to take a 2-year long course of Liberal Arts Core Curriculum called “Contemporary Civilizations” and “Humanities”.  In CC, you got to read all the Great Philosophers, starting out with Plato and his Wall Shadows and moving forward in History basically from there, with the focus mainly on 16th-19th Century Western philosophers like Machiavelli, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Karl Marx etc.  In said course you did not get anything of Eastern Philosophy, if you were interested in that stuff you had to take elective courses in the Asian Studies department.  You weren’t FORCED to take it, and if like me your courseload was maxed out with all the basic science courses and math courses, you just didn’t have time for that. You DEFINITELY got no education in ANY department about Native American culture, Polynesian Culture or Oz Aboriginal Culture, although I at least got some grasp of Paleolithic life since I took a couple of Anthropology courses in my Junior and Senior years. Even so, these courses never really addressed the Philosophy of such cultures, just their means of survival. As I recall now, my Freshman Year courseload looked like this:

Contemporary Civilizations I&II- 4 Credits
Calculus III-IV (I did AP Calc in HS so skipped Calc I-II in Freshman year) – 3 credits
Inorganic Chem I & II – 3 Credits
Chem Lab- 1 Credit (for an ungodly number of hours spent in the lab)
Physics with Calculus version-3 Credits
Biology 1&2- 3 Credits
Spanish 1&2 (foreign language requirement)-3 Credits

20 Credits!  Normal courseload is around 15-18 Credits for full time Semester based University education.  Sophomore year was basically the same, with Hum subbing for CC, Differential and Partial Differential Equations subbing for Calc, Orgo for Chem, Biochem and Cell Biology for Bio and Comp Sci (FORTRAN and BASIC programming) for Physics.So I really didn’t have time to study much else, at least in terms of “official” study anyhow.  My Illuminati Spawn Girlfriend of the time was a Polyglot Languages major who read Greek and Latin, so I got some post-coital information from her.  Notwithstanding that additional education, I left college with a brain chock full of science and math knowledge, but really only a smattering of knowledge or understanding about the progress of human history.  Certainly gained no understanding of the role of Money in society or how it is created either.  Although I didn’t take Economics in College, I know also the students in that department learned nothing of this either.  In fact, it was a source of great Entertainment for the Geeks in the Basement of Havermeyer Hall to make fun of the Economics department students and mess with their Bogus Math.  In an Economics math argument, anytime something doesn’t work right you add a Fudge Factor.  LOL.  So we would smoke some dope, drink some 95% Ethanol diluted with OJ or Jolt-Cola (all the Sugar and TWICE the Caffeine!), and then hit the blackboard creating new Economics “proofs” loaded with a variety of Fudge Factors like MsubR (Mistake Rate) and NsubC (Nonsense Constant). LOL.  This is HILARIOUS stuff to do for a math nerd when you are smoking dope and shit-faced drunk!  Sadly I think some of those weed inspired drunken “proofs” actually made it BACK to the Economics department and got used years later on Wall Street. LOL.

It wasn’t until after college when I went out to work on Wall Street as a Risk Analyst that I began to get some grasp of this stuff, but not even much there really because I was basically being used as a Human Computer to crunch a lot of numbers on a few dozen companies at any given time and make some projections for their MsubR and NsubC. LOL.  Which I think I did pretty well, considering at the time we didn’t even have basic Spreadsheet Programs like Lotus (the predecessor to Excel which the Big Gorilla ripped off) to work with, I hadda do it all on reams of Graph Paper using an early Scientific Calculator from Hewlett-Packard.  The IT departments of the time were filled with Mainframe Computers from IBM and NCR programmed with Punch Cards, and they were basically just big data storage mediums and tallying systems for the bazillion Transactions done each day by the TBTF Banks.  The Market itself was still running old fashioned Tickers and most of the trading was done physically on the floor of the NYSE.  HFT Trading Algorithms were still years away at this time.

Regardless of what sort of numbers I came up with though, it was about 50-50 as to whether what I suggested was a “Good Risk” would be invested in and what I saw as a “Bad Risk” was not invested in.  I discovered the whole game was POLITICAL, and that the Pump & Dump scheme was pursued on a regular basis.  There was HUGE amounts of Collusion here, at any Lunch in one of the local Wall Street area overpriced restaurants the upper level managers of 3 or 4 different Investment Banks would all be at the same table passing around information all the time.  Over a half dozen or so Martinis or 50 year old Glenfidditch Single Malt Scotch Whisky, everyone would leave the table and then all together proceed to drop $Millions$ in afternoon trading while still Six Sheets to the Wind on some of the dumbest and most risky ivestments you could dream possible.  Anyone who believes there has been a “Free Market” EVER is completely NUTS, Deluded, or someone who has benefitted from perpetuating this MYTH. It did not exist in the late 70s early 80s when I was on Wall Street, and I can assure you it did not exist in the 50s and 60s when my Dad the Pigman was making Bad Loans to South American countries either.  You can be quite sure it did not exist when Thomas Edison and Henry Ford set up their Electric Grid and Carz Production Lines, and it sure as HELL did not exist when the Robber Barrons were laying Railroad track across the FSofA in the 1800s on the backs of Slave Laborers from China and Ireland.  All of this has been manipulated over time to the benefit of the folks at the top running the show here.  “Free Market Capitalism” is complete MYTHOLOGY, it never existed at any time in any place.

Anyhow, I got sick of all this shit after a couple of years and dropped out of it, thus the reason I lived the rest of my life as a generally Middle Class Working Man sorta guy instead of becoming one of the Masters of the Universe.  I just wasn’t cut out for that; I particularly hated wearing a Suit and Tie also. LOL.

At the same time, even though I learned quickly enough how CORRUPT the whole game was, I still did not reflect on how the money came to be CREATED in the first place, or the collusion between Goobermint and the TBTF banks in directing how the money in society flowed out and who had access to it.  This understanding did not come until many years later, when in the aftermath of the failure of Bear Stearns I started reading up on all the information I had missed out on getting a typical “good education” in the Age of Oil.

In fact, if you go back to that time period, unless you absolutely LIVED at the New York Public Library Main Branch or haunted the Stacks of Low Library at Columbia, it was probably pretty close to impossible to find out about any of this stuff.  The advent of the Internet is what has made it possible for MANY people now to have caught up on it, and there are more all the time of course.  The fact the system is collapsing on itself motivates ever more people to understand the whys and wherefores, so now in 2012 it is not uncommon at all to run into MANY websites where the Commentariat all discusses the “Empire” and where Da Fed is roundly criticized as a vehicle for the Rich to stay Rich (and in fact get richer) while the Poor get Poorer.  EVERYBODY KNOWS!

Here on my 55th Birthday, EVERYBODY KNOWS.  Well, not really, only the “Everybodies” who haunt all these Blogs and Forums where such things are discussed on a Daily Basis, which represents a remarkably SMALL percentage of the population even in developed countries where practically everybody now has an Apple I-Phone with a 24/7 connection to the internet.  MOST of the people in these countries spend their Internet Time either Tweeting each other moaning about their impending Divorce or Shopping on Ebay or Surfing the Net for Pornography, they do NOT participate on Websites analysing the collapse of Industrial Civilization.  In 3rd world countries where most people have a hard time just working up $2/day to feed themselves and their kids, they definitely have little understanding of how all this came to pass, they just know they are Hurting and they gotta get RID of whoever the Local Leader is that they perceive as being at Fault for the problems they have.

My great HOPE for the Internet was that it could be a place where the Everybodies who DO know what is going on here could get together and begin to reach a consensus and DO something about it.  In my early years of participation on the Forum I was very hyped on this idea, until sadly of course I got BANNED from Peak Oil for not following the general Group Think of that website.  Undeterred, I jumped around through several other Collapse based Forums, most notably Market Ticker run by Karl Denninger and then The Burning Platform run by Jim Quinn.  Again after a while I got BANNED from both those Forums.

Still unflagging in my HOPES, I holed up on the Yahoo Groups in my Reverse Engineering Yahoo Group, where I collected a few other Misfits from a few other websites, and we pleasantly for the most part analyzed Industrial Civilization Collapse.  Wasn’t reaching many people of course, since I kept the Group PRIVATE/Members ONLY.  Still, we sorta reached a consensus there, and then eventually due to some CENSORSHIP issues Incoming from Yahoo Bots, my good friend Peter the Tech Wizard who set up the Diner here suggested we get ourselves off of Yahoo and head back out into the great wide Internet World of Collapse Blogging to present our ideas on how to cope with these problems, and hopefully, Save As Many As You Can.

Has this Adventure brought Consensus though?  Not at all, in fact even on the fairly straightforward idea of trying to mend some fences with The Burning Platform I could not get consensus here on the Diner, where I am the Chief Admin AND “Owner” of the site!  So here I am after leading a pretty eclectic Life in the Age of Oil; after 4 years of writing pretty much non-stop about the issues of collapse; after getting up Online close to the most PERFECT Blog/Forum you could have in its technical set-up; STILL unable to generate consensus and still unable to really get the MESSAGE out to all but a very tiny subset of the population as a whole.  So here on my 55th Birthday, I am not a Happy Puppy at all, in fact I am a very DISAPPOINTED Puppy.  So much time spent on this, now seems to me all like time spent Pissing in the Wind.

I always thought I had Endless Energy to keep pursuing this, no matter the obstacles, no matter the Trolls, no matter the Napalm.  I’ve seen them all, the Goobermint Trolls, the Industry Shills, the Nazis and the Kapitalista Ideologues and the Napalm Artists also.  I can deal with all of them, NO PROBLEMO there! LOL.  Anybody who thinks they can Troll with me or out Napalm me is in for a rude awakening. I keyboard very fast, endless cultural metaphors jumbled into my head to wield in a War of Words, plenty-o-education and the Google Search Engine available, IQ 3 standard deviations off the mean on the UPSIDE and I don’t have a wife or kids to worry about my time spent in internet battles. That is a LOT of Firepower in an Internet Debate, and you gotta be pretty good to stand up to it. I’ve met a few who could over the years also, and I do enjoy those battles the most. I’m a FIGHTER, not a PEACENIK. It is a Binary for me.  If you are With Me, let us find Consensus and Work Together. If you are Against Me, I will do my best to squash your ideas like a BUG.  I do not tolerate Nazis, I won’t make Compromises with them, but I will always confront them and face them down. Met MANY on the pages of Peak Oil, Market Ticker and TBP. I’ll go the full 9 yards and pull out ALL the stops when confronted with such scumbag ideas. I’ll rev up the rhetoric and rev up the keyboard fingers and go Thermonuclear if need be.  Done it MANY times already, and can do it again. Good vs. Evil in the Battle for All the Marbles.  That is How I See It.

What I cannot deal with though is watching as others I felt were COMMITTED to the same idea I am drop off the map and who do not stay with me in this fight.  Each and every person I brought into Reverse Engineering is a person of great value to me, who I spent many hours with discussing things, and when they leave, a Piece of Me goes with them.  I can only lose so many Pieces of Me before there is NO MORE of Me left to give here.  They leave for their own reasons, mostly I do not know what they are precisely, though I often blame myself for it when they do.  Regardless of the reason or whether it is my responsibility though, they still do leave sometimes, and it pains me every time it happens.  It sucks some of the life out of me.

Like the world which surrounds us, I am about OUTTA GAS now.  Outta ENERGY for this stuff.  If the Cold Fusion Cavalry or Renewable Energy for Bloggers doesn’t come riding in over the Hill here pretty soon, RE is DONE.  55 years old, 4 years of non-stop writing on collapse, Peripheral Artery Disease taking my legs out from under me, my Final Trip to the Great Beyond now well within sight, I just don’t have anything left now.  If I cannot build the Doomstead Diner and bring more people together to develop a good coherent means to at least handle what appears to be an oncoming extreme Die Off event for Homo Sapiens, then I am just Pissing in the Wind. Writing to no purpose other than to exorcise my own demons, which I really can never do until I cross the Great Divide.

That’s how It Goes.  Everybody Knows.


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