Death

No Season

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Published on Peak Surfer on April 10, 2016

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"They have given up their banana and avocado farm in Africa and hope to make a go of it in a land where they do not recognize the trees and have a bit of trouble understanding the local dialect."

 

  We are midway through #REX3 — a 10-day advanced permaculture design workshop with our friends Darren Doherty and Cliff Davis here in Southern Tennessee. The site this year is the newly acquired farm of an emigrant family in the rolling hills of Maury County, just about 20 miles from The Farm community.

For those not familiar with the changes going on in the southern regions of Africa, a bit of history might be helpful. The British took control of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806 in order to prevent it from being occupied by the French during the Napoleonic Wars. Dutch-speaking Afrikaners who had been there more than a century chaffed under British authority and didn’t like being forced to speak English, so they migrated inland and although the British recognized the independence of the South African Republic in 1852 and the Orange Free State in 1854, after gold was discovered the Empire returned and reclaimed those regions in the Boer Wars. A visitor from New Zealand described the typical Afrikaner Kraal of that era:

The Boer republics were sparsely populated and most farming communities lived in isolation, linked to each other by crude wagon trails. Following the custom of their forefathers, the Boers believed a farm should be at least 2400 hectares. Boer farms, even those tending livestock, often had no enclosures; the farmhouse would simply be surrounded by open pasture, a few fields of crops and maybe an orchard. The house itself would often be built from clay and usually consisted of two rooms with a thatched roof. The decorations within were modest and the clay floors were routinely smeared with a mixture of cow dung and water to reduce dust.

Of course, the large farms of the Afrikaners did not remain poor. Thanks to slave labor, many generations of farm toil, and the commerce of the British Empire, they grew to be some of the wealthiest and most productive in the world.

Afrikaner history, although now a distant past, was a thorn in the side of the later African anti-apartheid drives of the last century and animosities linger. For a very long time a small white minority had ruled cruelly, and now, finally, majority rule returned. What happened in nearby Zimbabwe is illustrative of what that can mean for the whites.

Like Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress in South Africa, in the white-ruled state of Rhodesia the opposition party ZANU was banned and its leader Robert Mugabe was imprisoned in 1964. In prison Mugabe taught English to his fellow prisoners and earned multiple graduate degrees by correspondence from the University of London. Freed in 1974, he went into exile in Zambia and Mozambique where he built the resistance movement. Later, with support of British negotiators, the new state of Zimbabwe was given majority rule and in 1980 it elected Mugabe, who has been president ever since and has no intended successors.

Mugabe worked to convince his country’s 200,000 whites, including 4,500 commercial farmers, to stay. Then, in 1982, Mugabe sent his North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to smash dissent. Over five years, an estimated 20,000 civilians were killed and many whites were dispossessed of their farms with no advance notice. In 2000 Mugabe rewrote the Zimbabwean constitution to expand the powers of the presidency and legitimize seizures of white-owned land. The country’s commercial farming collapsed, triggering years of hyperinflation and food shortages in a nation of impoverished billionaires.

In recent years the horrors inflicted by Mugabe have been so sadistic that we are left wondering whether he is demented by syphillis. And yet, through all of this, he enjoyed the support of the ANC in South Africa and has widespread approval in the continent. With the death of Mandela, South Africa has begun moving away from the policies of equanimity between races and it has become increasingly difficult for whites to attend universities and obtain professional employment. Which brings us to Tennessee.

The farm where our students are congregating this morning is a lifeboat for this old family of Dutch ancestry. They have given up their banana and avocado farm in Africa and hope to make a go of it in a land where they do not recognize the trees and have a bit of trouble understanding the local dialect. Back in South Africa are a number of relatives who look towards this young couple and their Tennessee farm as Noah’s Ark in event of a hard rain coming.

The REX advanced course “cuts to the chase” with farm design to assay what the needs are and what strategies will get this ark on a prosperous footing most rapidly. As the Regrarians website describes it:

In the world of workshops & courses there is nothing quite like the #Regrarians 10 day Integrated Farm Planning course or #REX. A carefully crafted distillation of the world’s greatest and most effective methodologies, the #REX is designed for nothing less than effective outcomes. People are participants, not ‘attendees’ or ‘students’ at a #REX, such is the integrity of the course model for its inclusive approach. Following the Regrarians already renowned & highly respected #RegrariansPlatform, the #REX follows a subject a day, building layer by practical layer for the real client and real enterprise that is the basis for this unique 10 day experience.

DAY 1 – Climate (90 minute sessions)
A – Client ‘Climate’ Briefing, Develop Holistic Goal/Concept, Terms of Reference
B – Atmospheric Climate retrieval & analysis, macro & micro climate factors
C – Legal ‘Climate’ retrieval & analysis, Municipal & State planning, other regulations
D – Climate Layer Exercise – Over 60 mins in small work-teams frame responses to the above and report to course findings in 10 mins each group (includes feedback)
E – Thermophyllic Composting Demonstration (scalable)

DAY 2 – Geography
A – Revision; Sandpit: Keyline Geography, Geometry & Applications
B – Assemble & Study Cadastral, Geology, Soil, Topographic, Planning & Mining Maps
C – GIS/GPS/Survey Applications & Technologies, Online GIS resources, Developing Effective Plans
D – Farm Walk ‘n’ Talk, Landscape Reading & Analysis, ‘Farmscape’ Analysis, Define Primary Land Unit & Land Component Boundaries, ‘Bullseye’ Demonstration

DAY 3 – Water
A – Revision; Examine & Overview of Existing Farm Water Systems, Farm Catchment
B – Earth Dam Construction & Water Harvesting Infrastructure – Design, Processes & Applications
C – Farm Irrigation Systems – Design, Applications & Installation
D – Water Layer – Over 90 mins (plus break time) develop farm water storage, harvesting
E – Water Layer Presentation & Feedback session + 10 mins each group for presentation & feedback

DAY 4 – Access
A – Revision; Examine & Overview of Existing Internal & External Farm Access
B – Access Earthworks Design, Engineering, Construction & Applications
C – Dam, Water Harvesting & Access Set Out Practicum: using Surveyor & DIY Instruments (RTK-GPS, Total Station, Transit & Laser Levels)
D – Access Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm access concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 5 – Forestry
A – Revision; Forestry Systems Applications: Shelterbelts, Alleys, Orchards, Avenues, Woodlands, Blocks, Riparian
B – Forestry Systems Design & Establishment Strategies
C – Forestry Systems Management & Utilisation
D – Forestry Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm forestry concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 6 – Buildings
A – Revision; Building Types & Technologies: Dwellings, Sheds, Yards & Portable Livestock
B – Building placement strategies, Existing Building Analysis & Retrofitting Options
C – Lucas Portable Sawmill Practicum + Broiler Shelter Construction
D – Building Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm building concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 7 – Fencing
A – Revision; Fencing Technologies, Applications & Costings
B – Fencing Placement – Land Components/Structures/Livestock systems
C – Fencing Installation Practicum – with local ‘Pro’ Fencer: Build end assemblies, ‘wires & pliers’, electric net fencing, tumblewheel
D – Fencing Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm fencing concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 8 – Soils
A – Revision, ‘5 Ingredients for Soil Formation’ – House Envelope & SilvoPastoral Applications
B – Farm Soil Classifications & Sample Analysis: Earth Building, Earthworks & Agricultural
C – Yeomans Keyline Plow ‘Pattern Cultivation’, Survey & Set Out
D – ‘Time Poor’ Farm Garden Practicum: No Dig/Wicking Beds; Keyline Plow Forestry &
Orchard Ground Preparation
E – Holistic Management Planned Grazing – Grazing Plan Practicum
 

DAY 9 – Economy
A – Revision; Farm Enterprise Planning: Comparing Enterprises, Market & Resource Analysis, Complementary Enterprise Options & Liaisons, Managing & Limits to Growth & Expectations
B – Farm Enterprise Management: ‘The Team’, Interns/WWOOFERS, Apprentices, Employees/SubContractors, Terms of Reference, Job Descriptions & Contracts
C – Economy Layer – Over 90 mins prepare a Farm Enterprise & Marketing Concept Plan
D – Economy Layer – Continued from Session C – 60 mins of Farm Enterprise & Marketing Concept Plan preparation then 10 mins per group presentation & feedback

DAY 10 – Energy
A – Revision; Farm Energy Conversion & Storage Systems: Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Biomass, BioDigestor, Wind, Hydro; Analysis of suitability & applications
B – Energy Layer – Over 60 minutes prepare an Farm Energy Concept Plan + 10 mins per group presentation & feedback
C – Farm Enterprise Development & Reporting; Client & Contractor Liaisons; Prioritising Works
D – Completed REX ‘Regrarians Platform’ Concept Plan Layer Analysis & Review – Client & Participant Feedback; ‘What’s Next?’; Presentations

Today we are on Day 7 – Fencing. Tomorrow we get to speak about biochar and carbon farming and are looking forward to that part.

As we walked the high ridges of this farm we happened upon an old cemetery, overgrown with vines, its raised crypts caving in, its carvings fading. We posted a photo of one stone on Instagram and someone was kind enough to provide the reference to the verse, which is by poet Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793-1835). It is called The Hour of Death.

Leaves have their time to fall
And flowers to wither at the north wind’s breath
And stars to set, but all
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, o Death

In many ways this family is lucky. They sensed the north wind’s breath and got out before the knock on the door in the night. They cashed in and took the value of their previous farm with them. All across Europe and the Middle East, changing climate and conflicts over dwindling resources — effects of the population bomb long ago forecast —  are sending waves of penniless and desperate refugees fleeing with nothing at all, just the clothes on their backs.

With the increase of global climate weirding we sometimes get the sense that we may be entering a time without reliable seasonality. There is only one name for that. Death.

In the end, there is no refuge. There is just this one blue marble in space. Either we begin to steward the land the way this workshop of Darren’s teaches, or it will heat up, dry out and support no one.

Alternatively, we can school ourselves with methodologies such as these and live on a garden planet once more, keeping our numbers and demands in harmony with her natural abundance.

Is it even a serious choice?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community in Death

Death-Rattlegc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on February 7, 2016

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"Denial is common among our kind of sapient apes and faith in the supernatural — angels, aliens, and economists — exposes our deeper fear of overdue reckonings."

 

 

 

 
When a person you know dies, a part of you must go too, like a thread being cut and a part of yourself unraveling. We are a weave of such threads, we two-leggeds, and our knits are a biochemical, emotional, electrical and microbial gestalt. We interweave with each other in ways that are seen and unseen, forming a fabric that we call, for lack of precision, "community."

We have been spending some winter months in recent years in a small village on the North coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. When we first arrived it was a not atypical coastal town with dirt streets and thatched or tin roofs. It is secure within one of Mexico's largest nature preserves, and it is here because the village pre-existed the reserve, so it was allowed to remain as long as it behaved, and then even when it didn't. Development has been very cruel to this region in recent years, has made it socially, economically and ecologically more fragile, and has set it up for a big fall in the not very distant future. 

We are much more comfortable wintering here than in the cold north, in Tennessee, or in touristy trendy spots like Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas or Playa del Carmen. Here we can find the quiet time we need to gather and sort our lost or jumbled thoughts, recover from our summer labors and travels and prepare for the work to come. We have written 5 books here and substantially contributed to at least twice that many more.

Before there was Cancún or the state of Quintana Roo, this had been just one more fishing village — a few hundred souls. It was known mainly for the quality of its hammocks and the beautiful seashells that washed up on its beaches. Because of its position along Cabo Catoche and the Straits of Cuba, it receives annual migrations of fish, birds, sea turtles and marine mammals and the biodiversity runs deep. The name of a nearby town is the Mayan word for manatee. The name for this place in Mayan is "black hole," a reference perhaps to the freshwater Yalahau cenote that for more than five centuries attracted whalers, pirates and explorers to refill their water casks. Among the older family lines you can recognize Russian, Nordic, Moorish, Maori and Portuguese lineages in facial hair, skin complexion, physical build and other features that are neither Yucatec nor Mestizo.

Here, where it is so full of life, is a strange place to think of death, but there come times when everyone needs to. Mexico has very different customs regarding death than its neighboring countries to the North. As Octavio Paz wrote in Labyrinth of Solitude:

"The Mexican … is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it. True, there is as much fear in his attitude as in that of others, but at least death is not hidden away: he looks at it face to face, with impatience, disdain or irony."

When Hernan Cortes conquered the region that is now Mexico City, his conquistadors noticed a local ritual of making offerings to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, Queen regnant of Mictlan, the underworld, ruling over the afterlife. In the Aztec codices, Mictecacihuatl is represented with a defleshed body, jaw agape to swallow the stars during the day. Cortes' priests were quick to link the Aztec rituals to the Catholic observances of All Hallows Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, just as they brilliantly connected the dark-skinned indigenous Madonna, the Virgin of Guadalupe, to the corn goddess, Chicomecoatl. Unlike the masses for the dead celebrated elsewhere, however, Dia de los Muertos is a happy occasion, with a carnivalesque atmosphere.

For the south of Mexico and in rural areas, death holds far greater social and cultural significance than in the north and large cities; families and communities may spend large parts of the year in smaller rituals and processions and it is not uncommon to find an altar in every home with images of the departed. The pre-Columbian concept of life and death was as part of a broader, never-ending cycle of existence, which dovetailed neatly with Christian and Asian traditions of veneration of the deceased, afterlife and reincarnation. In places and periods where unnatural death is a regular feature, as it was in much of Turtle Island after European contact and for 500 years, death becomes engrained as a cultural expression. As the artist Diego Rivera said in 1920: "If you look around my studio, you will see Deaths everywhere, Deaths of every size and color."

Our neighbor across the way on Calle Gonzalo Guerrero is Capitán Carmelo, a fisherman and whale shark diving guide. He is part of an old family in the town and an "abuelo" now, with grandchildren in their teens. A day ago his wife, Maria Coral de Sabatini, died and today the community laid her to rest. We are going to spend a few moments now describing that process, because it has a lot to say about the power of community, how it is built, how it is held, and how it passes between generations.

We started noticing Maria's cough a few years ago. She sort of shrugged it off, sitting as she did in her chair in front of her home every day, but we couldn't help but notice as it became deeper, more throaty and more painful. We suspected that because she and Carmelo neither drink nor smoke and neither does anyone else in their house, that it was not likely lung cancer but more probably tuberculosis. Her family simply called it las garras (the claws, or what we might call the grip). When we returned last year it had gotten so severe that she had lost a lot of weight and could not sit outside on dusty days. When we returned this year she was gone. We asked after her and Carmelo said she was in the hospital.

Then on Christmas she returned home. We asked her about her health and she said she lived day to day, “poca a poca,” little by little. We understood her to be dying. She had come to do that at home, among friends.

The knowledge that a person will die, combined with the uncertainty of not knowing when the event will happen, can be very stressful for family members and we witnessed this as the family drew together over the holidays. Then she seemed to recover, was up and about, and we were happy to see her walking to the corner store for eggs or fruit again, frail but smiling. The family dispersed again, the kids back to school, Carmelo and his son-in-law to fish each morning before sunrise.

A few days ago Maria's condition worsened and the family was pulled back together. Then one morning she suffered an arrest and the paramedics were summoned, followed by the police with the village pickup truck that doubles as an ambulance. We watched from our home and after an hour or so, the medics and police left and soon the village priest arrived.

Maria was given last rites by the priest and anointed with holy oil. If she was able, the priest heard her final confession, provided communion and offered absolution. Then began the vigil.

The vigil was attended mostly by immediate family, close neighbors and friends and lasted a day and a night, until Maria passed, peacefully, in her sleep. In the morning the family closed off the street and erected a tent. Chairs were brought and placed in a circle. A white coffin arrived, and Maria was bathed, dressed, and placed in it, on a pedestal in the front room of her home. For the next 24 hours, everyone who knew her came to pay their respects and say goodbye. They filed into the home and then out to the tent, where they sat, told stories, ate, sang. Musicians — different ones, separately and in groups — came with instruments, some several times. Choirs appeared and serenaded. Prayers were recited. Children came and sat with their elders or wandered in to stare at the body in the open coffin. Candles were lit. Elders were helped in, touched her, held her hand, said a prayer and were helped back out to the street. More candles were lit. More hymns, more prayers.

The wake continued through the night. A heavy rain fell, the heaviest of the winter so far. The songs got louder to drown the rain. Because Carmelo and Maria were teetotalers, there was no alcohol. This was a time for friends and family members to share memories of the past, to speak of their concerns for their own families, the village, the future. It is a moment when the fabric of the tribe is being woven. Lost threads are recovered. Wrongs are forgiven. Apologies are made. Expressions of friendship, kinship and love patch tears in the fabric. The children witness it all. This is part of their formative experience.

Maria was royalty. She bears the family name of José María Sabatini, for whom the annual fishing tournament is named. Her family, and the family of Carmelo, go back to the group that endured the great hurricane that swept away the original village on the Southwest point of the peninsula and made new islands there. They migrated their ejido southeast and built the village that is here now. There are a few names that appear most often in the cemetery that mark these families: Moguel, Ancona, Betancort, Avila, Nuñez, Rosado, Coral, Sabatini. Notice that these are not Mayan names and some are also not Spanish.

At sunrise a pickup truck fords the deep puddles and backs up to the house. The coffin and flowers are raised into the truck bed and the procession of mourners follows it at a walking pace to the church. There the coffin is unloaded, brought to the front of the nave and opened for viewing again. It is 8 am. Now the village gathers.

Capitan Carmelo is a vicar in the church and normally it would be his duty to prepare the way, usher the family to seats, read part of the scripture, and make the collection. Instead, he takes his position in the front row with his family while his fellow deacons, dressed in white, perform those functions. A choir forms at the vestry door and sings energetically at various points in the service. Loudspeakers in the nave make their small number seem larger than it is, but they sing in a style that is definitely homespun and authentic, not canned.
 

The cement angel motions the dead to hush up and sleep

Midway through, the town's power is lost, a not uncommon daily occurrence in this place. The priest does not even pause to acknowledge the loss. Lit through stained glass and with acapella choir, his mass does not miss a beat.

After communion, the pallbearers return to stand beside the coffin and Carmelo leans in to plant one last kiss on Maria before the lid comes down. It is a touching moment.

Then the coffin and flowers are carried back onto the bed of the pickup, which gets stuck turning around in the mud, and once unstuck, the long procession passes slowly through town and out to the cemetery in a light rain.

In Mexico it is said the dead return on certain days of the year. Those days they are remembered through special ceremonies. The body must be buried, not cremated, for their return to occur. Because we are on the sandy coast, the cemetery consists of aboveground vaults, cemented and tiled to protect from the sea. During Hurricane Wilma, the entire cemetery, and the town, went a meter or more under the waves and although the cemetery wall had to be repaired, relatively few of the vaults were badly damaged. Maria's family names, Coral and Sabatini, are on several of headstones.

Afterward, the mourners gather back in our street for a meal and reception. This is a time for levity, good food, and comforting those who are still dealing with their grief. Then, after two or more days awake, the family gets to sleep a short while and Maria Coral de Sabatini is gone but not forgotten.

The tent remains for the next 8 days, and each day there are visitors. Twice each day the front room of the house is filled with voices raised in hymn and the recitation of the rosary. On the final day, it is an all-night ceremony.

The cemetery is particularly poignant because this is a town that is built on the coral sand of a barrier island. The highest point of land is no more than 3 meters above the sea. Wetlands approach the edge of the cemetery and trash is being dumped there to fill the sinkholes. Some of that trash includes old monuments and broken crypts of the departed whose names have been forgotten, the marks on their stones and crosses rubbed out by time and salt air.

It might be denied by the government or wishful thinkers, but this is an entire town on death watch. The vigil begins every June, when it enters hurricane season, because one more Wilma could erase everything but the memories. Already regular tides that coincide with the moon are bringing seawater inland to places it has not reached in the memory of the elders. Many seawalls that were constructed after Wilma are now nearly obsolete. The population here continues to grow on the strength of tourism and Catholic fecundity, but where it will go when the town vanishes is anyone's guess. It is likely that many of these families could break apart. This is a community of place.

How long does it have? That's anyone's guess too. It could be a decade. Maybe two. Three seems unlikely, because both the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico are warming dramatically and molecular thermal expansion of the water, combined with the westerly currents at this latitude which dictate that sea level rise here will be stronger and faster than most other parts of the Earth. Southeastern Mexico, Galveston, New Orleans and Miami are on the front lines of climate change. Miami Beach, like here, has been sinking one inch each year, one foot every 12 years, and that is accelerating.

Some here believe that some supernatural event will spare this place its preordained fate. Denial is common among our kind of sapient apes and faith in the supernatural — angels, aliens, and economists — exposes our deeper fear of overdue reckonings. Still, not even the most hopeful provisions of The Paris Agreement can alter the fate of coastal cities and low islands now.

In the not-too-distant future the only way to visit Maria will be with a mask and snorkel. Unless the government decides to relocate everything, an unlikely prospect, she will still be here, and probably alongside Carmelo, when the rest of us have moved to higher ground. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Centuries and Seconds

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 4, 2015

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She was a yearling.  Not very large, maybe one hundred pounds I would guess, as I was able to easily hoist her body into the back of my Jeep.  Gauging by the blood leaking from her ears and mouth and lack of any other visible wounds, I assumed the car that killed her struck her in the head, possibly breaking her neck.  What I could not gauge was how long she had been lying dead on the side of the highway.  Her eyes were open and not yet eaten by birds, and her anus was also free of any infestation.  I chuckle to myself when I imagine the reaction more domesticated individuals might have if they knew that there are people like myself who assess the edibility of roadkill by the presence of uncorrupted eyes and assholes.  To be fair, I also took stock of the stiffness of her body and the lack of any immediately offensive odors emanating from it.  She was worth taking home for a greater look, anyway.

From a cross beam of the carport I anchored a carabiner, and I fastened another to the yearling’s hind legs so I could create a “z-rig” pulley system, effectively halving her weight so that I could hoist her body into the air and tie of the cordage without help from a second person.  My partner was going to come outside and watch the dressing so she could have a greater understanding of the process, and she bundled up our daughter too, who showed no fear or anxiety concerning the large animal hanging dead before her.  Gently, I explained that the deer had died, and I was going to harvest its meat for us to eat.  Not yet two, she stood looking at the yearling and said, “Deer, off.”

“Yes honey, the deer is off.”
“Deer, on?”
“She can’t be turned back on.  Once something dies, it cannot come back to life.  But her spirit and her flesh return to the Earth.”
“Deer, off.”
“Yes baby.”

The year is closing as we approach the winter solstice.  From the corners we inhabit, we watch the fallout from terrorist attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian war plan by the Turkish military.  Those who tally the climate statistics are telling us that 2015 is set to be the warmest year on record, globally.  South Africa grapples with drought, the rainforests of the Amazon are burning, and world leaders sent to negotiate climate deals are converging on a Paris conveniently locked down by security forces preventing mass demonstrations under emergency restrictions imposed due to the aforementioned terrorist attacks.  Not that it matters.  Floats and puppets are fun to look at, but only a complete restructuring of society could address the challenge of climate change, and that restructuring begins with erasing existing borders and property lines, canceling existing debts, dismantling industrial infrastructure, and of course, toppling the standing systems of power.  The puppets and street theater capable of such feats, I would love to see.  As I have previously stated (and my blog name continually hints at) I do not believe humans capable of achieving such goals, at least, not without a little help from our friends calamity and chaos.  The gatekeepers are just too well equipped to stave off conscious revolution.  If you want to get into the citadel, you will just have to wait until a tornado throws a bulldozer through the wall, or a plague kills most of the guards.

Until then we watch, we wait, and we endure.  We keep repeating the conventional wisdom of collapse; that which cannot be sustained, will not sustain.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it didn’t collapse in a day, either.  The collapse of a civilization is not one event, but the consummation of many events that eventually birth a catastrophe that overwhelms the ability of that civilization’s people to rebuild what has been destroyed, whether material or social.

Fast collapse and slow collapse are really the same thing, looked at from different vantage points.  What is built over centuries can end in seconds.

November 16, 1532.  Francisco Pizarro has one hundred and sixty eight men laying an ambush in the Inca city of Cajamarca.  Atahualpa, the emperor of the Inca empire, arrives for a meeting with the Spanish backed by an unarmed cadre of six thousand.  A friar and barely competent translator tell Atahualpa they are there, in essence, to bring the Inca into the fold of the Catholic church and the Spanish empire, and they offer him a bible as a seal of their truth.  As was to be expected, and likely, the intention of the Spanish, Atahualpa rejects what he is being offered. This rejection of the bible and the truth of the Catholic church gave the Spaniards what they considered to be legal grounds to attack the Inca who had amassed there. A century of empire with its conquest, expansion, and grandeur, could be said, to have ended in the following seconds.

Those seconds, however, were the ripe culmination of years of internal strife concerning who the rightful heir to the imperial throne was, a waning ability of the empire to effectively control far flung principalities, and a plague of smallpox brought to Mesoamerica by Europeans that advanced faster than conquistadors on horseback.  Political turmoil and disease were eating away at the Inca empire, and the Spanish arrived just in time to add the critical pressure necessary to break it. And they had guns.

History, of course, is complex, and the fall of the Inca empire extended beyond the massacre at Cajamarca, as Pizarro played disaffected Inca regions against the center, installed puppet emperors, and fought rebellions.  As the colonization of the Inca proceeded, European diseases continued to decimate the indigenous population as well. The Inca actually learned how to effectively defeat the advantage of firearms, but the viruses ravaging their insides were too much.

Depending on where we stand, we can focus on the centuries or the seconds.

If tomorrow the Dow Jones Industrial plummeted by seventy percentage points or NATO declared war on Russia, we would likely see those seconds as the critical break between the past and the future, the old world and the new.  But of course, years of maneuvering by humans and the consequences of those movements all came together to generate just the specific combination of factors required to outflank the established firewalls civilization has established to protect itself, and to outpace the efforts at rebuilding that are guaranteed in the aftermath of catastrophe.  Resource scarcity primarily in the sphere of fossil fuel energy, the manipulation of capital to the point of diminishing returns by the global ultra-wealthy, the decimation of ecosystems around the world; all have played their part in dressing the set for those critical seconds that seem to hang over us like a sword.

How does an organism die?  If you magnify the death of any given being, presumably you can find one second, one still frame in time that separates living from dying.  When we die of old age in the most quintessential of circumstances – our heads atop a fluffed down pillow as we lie repose in a king-sized bed replete with Egyptian cotton sheets and a mahogany headboard, family and adorers walling in our bedside and wishing us fair travels as we draw a final breath, smile, and say something childishly simple yet agonizingly profound – a critical second passes when our heart ceases to beat, electrical impulses in our brain fade, and we’re gone.  The room exhales. 

But we were dying for so long.  How many years had it been since our body’s ability to repair cellular breakdown was outpaced by the aging process?  We had peaked decades before.  From that point forward, despite every adventure, every new idea, every material acquisition, we were hurtling ever forward toward our imminent demise.  Our vision blurred, so a doctor prescribed us glasses.  Our heart stuttered, so we began taking pills.  Our mobility waned so we got a Hov-R-Round from the Scooter Store thanks to the endless advertisements targeted towards we septuagenarians aired on day time TV. We pressed on.

Our bodies contain countless living beings and units; cells, tissues, and bacteria that all comprise the whole of what we perceive as our self.  A veritable civilization that is born and advances through stages of growth and maturation until the energy necessary to maintain integrity is outpaced by diminishing returns.  We insert techno-fixes of every imaginable stripe to stem the twin tides of time and entropy, buying what time we can until the inevitable enters stage left to take us by the hand and demurley return us to the soil.

Civilizations are no different.  Shaped in centuries, defined in seconds, feeding the fertile soils of time.  Billions of human hands and minds carving, digging, screaming, warring, building, repairing, maintaining until it just isn’t enough and the center can no longer hold.  Hydraulic fracturing, negative interest rates, solar arrays and soyburgers all applied to patch the holes and to bail the bilge water.  Industrial civilization passed its peak decades ago, sometime around the time when women in skirts freely attended University in Kabul and the United States didn’t need to stand guard over Wahhabist Monarchs in the House of Saud in order to keep the game of growth afloat.  Selfie sticks and social media stock options are your glasses and nitroglycerin.  The internet is your Hov-R-Round.  Do not kid yourself into thinking this is a civilization still in the wild throws of maturation and bloom.  The billions of organisms that make this civilization possible are under threat, from phytoplankton to pollinating insects and carbon sequestering trees, all of whom feed the the billions of humans who swing hammers and pour concrete and fit pipes and string lines and who somehow, by some curse of the lottery of birth, drag themselves to the factories and cubicle farms day in and day out, all to keep this storm born Galleon afloat.  Shaped in so many of our precious seconds, defined in the roil of faceless centuries, feeding the fertile soils of time.

The car struck her head, I had guessed.  Her life probably ended quickly in a split second of sound and light.  Without any abrasions on the body, I assumed the meat would be well preserved by the cold evening air.  With only a beam of light to guide my hands under the dark of night, I gently separated her hide from her flesh, using light strokes of my knife to cut away at the membrane that held her skin to her flesh.  Something was wrong.  Her skin had a green tone in places around her ribs.  I cut away more, examining the muscle as I worked.   The green hue, almost an electric blue really, blotted here and there on her leg muscles, like watercolor oceans on an aging map.  Hoping the backstrap was untainted I continued to skin the deer, but it was hopeless.  On her left hind leg a subcutaneous tear in the protective membrane had likely allowed the passage of bacteria.  She must have been spun or thrown by the vehicle in some fashion that impacted her rear leg with a substantial force.

The meat was inedible.  I sighed in the night.  Fog from my mouth drifted upwards as I set my knife down, and lowered her body.  Walking beneath the stars I carried the yearling downhill, briars grabbing at my boots, twigs snapping underfoot.  I thanked her and apologized while burying her under a light blanket of leaves.  Coyotes, buzzards, someone would eat her.  Someone with an enviable array of gut flora.  I plodded and crunched my way home to wash the blood from my hands and wrists. The smell would last for days.

Survey: Which Currency Collapses First? Results: The Refugee Crisis

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 8, 2015

money-burning

Discuss the results at the Survey Table inside the Diner

As our Global Economic System spins downward here, one of the most important near-term questions is what money will work and for how long?

When the initial phase of the economic collapse got underway in 2008, numeous pundits including John Williams of Shadow Stats, the Tyler Durdens from Zero Hedge and Speedy Gonzalo Lira all predicted imminent Hyperinflation of the Dollar resulting from Quantitative Easing by Da Fed, which never occurred.

In recent weeks however, we have seen big moves in various currencies from around the world, mostly depreciating against the Almighty Dollar.  Even the Chinese removed the peg of the Yuan/Renminby to the Dollar and depreciated their currency, to attempt to remain competitive in the export market with other cheap labor countries. Venezuela's currency is rapidly approaching worthlessness, and the Brazilian Real is starting to look like their old Cruzeiros.  As far as the developing world is concerned, it's a Race to the Bottom these days.

Far as the individual is concerned though, it's important to know which currencies will fall in value fastest, and of course try to have savings in currencies which will last longest.  There are location problems with this of course, since say if you hold Swissies but live in Montana, it's unlikely the local Walmart will take your Swissies for a Can of Beans.  Even if you do believe the Chinese are going to Inherit the Earth, is holding Renminby a good idea?

What about the Precious Metals?  Will they be functional as currency once the last of the current Fiat regimes collapses?

Your opinions on these crucial questions of collapse are solicited in this week's Collapse SurveyTM.

TAKE THE CURRENCY COLLAPSE SURVEY HERE

survey-saysNow onto the results from last week's survey, The Refugee Crisis Survey!


The Refugee Crisis has been the HOT Topic in the world of Collapse over the last week.  Besides myself, Tom Lewis (Daily Impact), Jason Heppenstall (22 Billion Energy Slaves) and Jim Kunstler (Clusterfuck Nation) all weighed in on this topic, along with numerous other articles around the web, both from MSM and Alternative Media sources.

Here on the Diner, we identified this problem fairly early on in the Official Refugee Thread, begun by Eddie in May of 2015.  It has of course escalated substantially since then, and we chronicled the escalation over the last few months in that thread.

This month as it escalated, I got together with a few of my fellow Collapse Bloggers and Authors, Ugo Bardi (Resource Crisis), Steve Ludlum (Economic Undertow) and Norman Pagett (The End of More) to discuss this issue.

After that, I also Ranted on the Refugee Crisis, since there is so much insanity going on with it this makes for good Rant Material.

So this is the history to date of the Refugee Crisis, but what of the FUTURE?  What do Kollapsniks TM think will play out here, how and on what timeline?  So in additon to all the rest, I worked up a Refugee Crisis Survey to get some feedback and numbers on this one.

Here is how it plays out according to Kollapsniks TM.

Survey-refugee-1

Survey-refugee-1

If you were in charge on the Hungarian Border or Italian Beaches, what would be your First Choice for handling the Tsunami of Refugees from MENA?

  Build Refugee Camps and solicit Food Aid from the Red Cross Increase Taxes to send Food Aid to their home countries and set up Refugee Camps there Shoot on sight any Refugees entering your country, including Women and Children Mine and Fence all Borders including harbors and beaches Shut down the Interrail between European Countries Ship them back to where they came from as soon as they arrive (you pay the shipping with your taxes) Give them all a Free Ticket to Germany or Sweden Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 25
(32.05%)
11
(14.1%)
13
(16.67%)
1
(1.28%)
0
(0%)
10
(12.82%)
18
(23.08%)
8.2 78

http://www.profit-over-life.org/teachers_guide/images/germany/buchenwald_kz/buchenwald_crematorium_bones.jpg About 1/3rd of the respondents chose setting up Refugee Camps and soliciting aid from the Red Cross, which basically is the humane, traditional approach to this sort of situation.  However, when the numbers grow large, this methodology tends to break down pretty quickly.  In fact, it has broken down so quickly in Germany they shut down the borders in an attmept to control the problem, AND they are now housing at least some of the refugees at BUCHENWALD.  Yes, that's right, one of the most infamous of the Concentration Camps from WWII, along with Auschwitz and Teresenstadt, where at least one Czech Politician has suggested would be a good repository for these refugees.  What MESSAGE does this send, eh?

The next most popular idea was to give all the refugees a Free Ticket to Germany or Sweden, which definitely would be a cheaper alternative then trying to house all of them.  This might have worked through Monday, when the Krauts shut down the border with Austria.  They clearly are not going to keep taking all comers, and neither I suspect will Sweden.

The countries getting stuck with the refugees are those which simply do not have any real means to keep them out, Turkey currently has around 2 MILLION of them, and I'll bet Serbia is stacking up too.  These Refugee Camps are of course Terrorist Breeding Grounds, accidents waiting to happen.

OK, on to Q2, a Yes/No question on whether Fences and Walls can do anything to resolve this problem.  This is basically split right down the middle amongst Kollapsniks TM.

Survey-refugee-2

How long before Migration begins in earnest out of California to escape drought and water depletion?

  It has already begun. 1 year 3 years 5 years 10 years >10 years There will not be a migration out of California, water problems will be solved. Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 19
(24.68%)
5
(6.49%)
21
(27.27%)
14
(18.18%)
3
(3.9%)
3
(3.9%)
12
(15.58%)
6.95 77

Survey-refugee-3

Is Wall & Fence building, mining harbors and deploying military personel to secure borders going to have a significant effect in preventing or slowing migrations?

  Yes No Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 37
(48.05%)
40
(51.95%)
1.5 77

This is not a lot different than the Two Party problem of Repubtards vs Demodummies.  If you are anywhere near a 50-50 split, nothing gets done, no side has a clear majority and you get locked up in decision making on anything.  Anyone with a little MONEY can sway an election either way at the 50-50 line, you just need to buy a few votes or a few SCOTUS Judges.  See the Bush-Gore Election for this.

My opinion on whether Fences and Walls are a good solution?

hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

It's a waste of time and money, has never worked in the past and won't work now either.  You can't man them and staff them economically and they are way easier to knock down then they are to build in the first place.

Survey-refugee-4

How long before the migration problem overwhelms the capacity of Europe to protect its borders and North America to seal the southern border with Mexico?

  It has already been overwhelmed 1 year 5 years 10 years >10 years The ability to prevent migration will not be overwhelmed, migration can always be prevented if you build and staff your defenses properly. Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 36
(47.37%)
10
(13.16%)
14
(18.42%)
4
(5.26%)
5
(6.58%)
7
(9.21%)
10.95 76

Now onto the text responses!  This is where it really gets interesting, because you start to see the ideological mindset at work here in various groups and types of people. 🙂

Warning!  You may find some replies unpleasant!

What other option would you choose first to handle the Refugee problem?
Anyone who exhibits aggressive behavior is sent back
Arrest them and ship them home.
Autonomous drones. Put chemical weapons back on the table.
build refugee camps
Citizenship and Integration
Crucifixion sends a message that's hard to miss.
electric wire
encourage the USA to receive
with open arms the "huddled
masses"
Enlist aid from other countries to send to MENA home countries
Europe: Work out who can handle new immigrants best and how and be fair to all countries.
But mainly: All those Middle Eastern countries that are doing nothing to help their neighbours, like Saudi Arabia, need to start taking the brunt of the burden.
Find some agreement with other European countries to share the load more equally. Hire more people to process asylum requests.
Forced sterilization of all politicians and their families.
Give them guns and march them back to their own country
Highlight the actual problem that the USA is the real problem in the press, at the UN, the Vatican and every other outlet. Boycott US products.
Huge weapons tax on any manufacturer selling to the Middle East (like 50%)
I would start a infrastructure project, like updating and maintaining all the rail roads through labor (not just machines), and give every refugee a right to stay, with a small plot of land, if they volounteer for the work
In the longer term, quit interfering in foreign countries and making things worse.
Increase bombing in their home countries so you don't need to shoot them when they get to the new one.
Increase public awareness campaigns, try and get more people to donate to charities that support the refugee crisis, try to find jobs for some refugees
Increasing taxes for aid would be my second choice from the list.
It is irresponsible to just send them all to Germany or Sweden. The numbers of potential migrants from their home countries will never be depleted and so the "Tsunami" will never end (until Germany and Sweden are hellish shitholes)
Labor camps, get them fixing infrastructure.
lodge them in properties of value in excess of one million pounds sterling ,or European equivalent.
Make sure they knew that their was their was not sanctuary to be found for them in the poorer countries.
Poverty, injustice, over breeding, overpopulation, suffering, oppression, military rule, squalor, torture, terror, massacre: these ancient evils feed and breed on one another in synergistic symbiosis. To break the cycles of pain at least two new forces are required: social equity – and birth control. Population control. Our Hispanic neighbors are groping toward this discovery. If we truly wish to help them we must stop meddling in their domestic troubles and permit them to carry out the social, political, and moral revolution which is both necessary and inevitable.
Or if we must meddle, as we have always done, let us meddle for a change in a constructive way. Stop every campesino at our southern border, give him a handgun, a good rifle, and a case of ammunition, and send him home. He will know what to do with our gifts and good wishes. The people know who their enemies are.

 

 

 

 

Edward Abbey

Pressure the UN and EU to pick up the slack and help out.
Put them in China's Ghost Cities.
Refuse entry
Secure Western Syria with UN troops to include US & Russian. Take the fight to the Islamic state. Secure Syrians and Iraqis in there homeland.
Ship them back.
Shoot on sight, border mines
Short of actively trying to prevent war in their countries in the first place, instead of encouraging it to profit from arms sales and reduced labour costs in Europe (we could all see this coming years ago):

 

 

 

 

Build Refugee Camps and Increase Taxes (probably not necessary) for food Aid here.

Solve the problems in their home country
Stop attacking other countries
Stop bombing the bejesus out of their homes
Stop imperialistic wars and the consumption of fossil fuels.
stop the 'west' from funding the unrest. Tee heee…………….
when living creatures are caged together the become stressed and eat each other. You are right, this is a wicked problem. As we knock hard against limits things cannot end with enough for all.
Take out actors who are forcing people to migrate. Isis comes to mind.
There is no good option
try to lessen our government's involvement with generating rip-off of their country's resources.
Try to solicit clerks from other European countries to help with processing the refugees
UNCHR refugee camps close to home countries. Much cheaper and a chance to repatriate the refugees.
Use nuclear weapons on north Africa to kill as many as possible.
Warning shots.
Well, since we gave up completely, long ago, on logic-driven "social policy" and most governments are treating their populations like shit through the use of barbaric policing, there is no real option. We're doomed to unthinking policies and to being told what we will accept. Obviously MENA could function better, but privileged people have benefitted from shitty exploitative global policies, so now they apparently, deserve to have their lives disrupted (even tho they had no real say in these policies). Anyone, from here on out, with stupid ideas to exploit others in ways that severely disrupts a decent way of life, should be jailed in public squares where the rest of us can spit on them and poke them with sticks. However, at this point, we're doomed.
Wow what the fuck even is this survey.

 

Donald Trump has a platform of Deporting Migrants.  Can this platform be implemented, and if so how? (Text Response)
Being a non US citizen I am not up to date on the platform itself.
I can only see it ending in bodies though.
Building a wall
Don't know.
Donald Trump is an incoherent fuckwit.
Doubt it, too many leftie losers
Enforce existing laws. Most will self deport.
Use homeland security to hunt down and dump the rest in Mexico – regardless where they have come from.
First you have to enforce the laws already on the books.

 

 

 

 

The people who employ illegal migrants should be fines and imprisoned… the migrants will not come if their is nothing for them here.

Then start making the deportation stream line and efficient.

Give them back Califonia.
he is a twat
He will threaten them with his hair monster.
His ideas will not work.
I can only see this policy be executed on the condition that there is a false flag attack against the US that is blamed on Mexican terrorists. The attack would give cover for the mass deportation agenda that would never be acceptable to the majority of Americans.

 

 

 

 

The plight of millions of
Mexicans and Latinos being violently dispossessed of their property and liberty would not go unnoticed and something like a civil war could break out. With the massive amounts of jailed people combined with the ease of access to firearms, a radicalized resistance could quickly escalate into armed struggle on a huge scale.

A huge migration of dispossessed people within Mexico could be disruptive to their politics as usual.

I fear it would take a violent form, shipping migrants on huge boats, probably with mass casualties
I have no idea what Trump's plan is
I have no knowledge on the subject
I think that platform is unworkable mostly.
I've no idea. I'm not American so I don't know about this.
Illegal migrants should be repatriated to their homelands. Mexico uses the US as a means to get rid of its poor and criminal class. Anyone with a criminal record needs to be sent back immediately as a good start. Build prisons in Mexico and send all these criminals we are supporting back to where they came from. I has to be cheaper. Pretty expensive jobs program here in the US.
It can be implemented at the point of a gun. If enough people support the Donald the plan will be implemented, if not it will fail in a film at 11 extravaganza of tear gas riot police and screams of refugee lives matter.
It will impede an already broke and overloaded systems and increase collapse.
It will not be possible, there are too many migrants and attempts of deportation will result in violence.
No
No
no
No – he's blowing smoke
No, it cannot. There is too much political opposition in the United States to do anything of scale no matter your political party/ideology.
No, It's too late.
No, there are too many
No, there are too many migrants for that.
No.
No.
NO.
No. Congress would write and bill, make a law and then not fund it.
No. It is an exercise in absurdity.
No….he is a moron who thinks the presidency is about snapping his fingers and having others jump.

 

 

 

 

He would be very unhappy with reality… and if fact has no desire to actually be POTUS, he is currently just drumming up free publicity for his brand.

Not possible
Not really. The Southwest is 30% Latin. If they ever start voting, the Trumps of the world will be barbecued on a spit

 

 

 

 

Se habla Espanol, ya'll.

Probably not, and if it can, it's unethical and barbaric.
Sure. Those who survive will try again, but it can be done.
Trump's talking out his arse.
Wall
We are already deporting more under Obama than any past president. Can we realistically do more than that.
What's the platform.
Who.
With 11 million "illegal" imigrants, the horse is out of the barn
Yes, if they crossed the US, Mexico border, send them back.
Yes, secret police.
Yes, use of military to enforce border protection
How will Donald Trump handle internal migration problems from drought ravaged regions in the FSoA? (text response)
Again as an outsider, I cannot see it ending peacefully. My guess would be that it would be "managed' by some sort of terrible 'disaster' where the administration could the provide assistance to the 'survivors'
All he can do is give service. The cost of this is going to overwhelm the system.

 

 

 

 

Their is no solution to this except a large population reduction.

Bigger walls.
Blame somebody else
Brutality.
Concentration camps
Deport people back to the states they came from.
Deportion
Ditto question 5
Don't know.
Donald Trump AGAIN.!! FSoA pop will hold off migrating till they can get a good deal on the sale of their house; then it'll be too late cuz no one will be buying… That's when the hoards will finally migrate; with nothing. Then they'll be "the homeless" and we all know how we've come to treat "the homeless".
Dont know
Fail.
Give them a straw AND free transport to the Great Lakes
Going on Fox News and Blaming the victims.

 

 

 

 

and building a gold plated tower…

He can't, It's too much for him to figure out.
He might conquer Canada and open up homesteading there.
He will give speeches and after expressing two cents worth of sympathy he will tell them to get jobs.
He will invariably do something profoundly stupid that makes the problem vastly worse.
He will not address it
He will threaten then with his hair monster.
He won't need to
He won't, because he won't be elected. Even Americans aren't that heartless and stupid as to let him take office.
He'll run a solutions competition, and the winner will be a for-profit plan that will relocate millions of poor people into giant new suburb slums outside of exiting urban areas with more water resources. The slums will be built out of recycled steel shipping containers nicknamed Trumpholes.
His people will think of something.
I already mentioned that he is a twat
I don't believe he will be elected. Assuming he is elected, I do not know enough of his platform to give a worthwhile response.
I don't know
I have no knowledge on the subject
I think he will blame immigrants for taking the water and force them out.
just like everything else he does, by saving the rich at the expense of the poor, through violence if needed
lost in space
Non issue
Not a clue. Just following the 1986 regulations would help. California is destined to be a third world state in my opinion.
Not at all
nothing
Put them in camps.
Renounce the citizenship of all Hispanics and Blacks. Then implement 5.
Sell the sw refugees condos in trump towers
The same way the FSoA handles 92 million unemployed. Trailer parks hunger and rotten teeth.
Whatever it is, it will be H-U-U-U-U-GE!
Who.
Why don't you ask Donald.
You fired!
You know, I'm starting to think this poll isn't completely neutral.
If you were in charge, what policies would you put in place now to try and stem the tide of refugees all over the world? (text response)
Actively try to prevent war in their countries in the first place, instead of encouraging it to profit from arms sales. And actual regulation of multinationals that operate from my home country instead of pretending they do not exploit workers and people abroad (and at home).
As King of the World. Migration is a fact. It will happen as climate change begins to bite. Develop soft population growth controls and alter national boundaries/resource consumption to accomodate as many people as possible while working to decreace total population to a sustainable number through natural reductions. (Like this ever has a chance in hell of happening).
Best to provide aid to their homelands and keep people home and with their own cultures. This will become increasing difficult though since the financial system is running on fumes and is really broke.
Birth control for.the population forced sterilization of all elite and their families.
Birth reduction/control.

 

 

 

 

No new babies!!!

Call an emergency meeting of the UN, find a way in which the whole world pitches in.
Can't be done
Deport liberals
Deportations.
Development of autonomous drones. Scrap traditional warfare conventions. There will be no way for humans to stop what's coming. It's time to call in the heartless machines.
Don't stem it. People are getting killed and tortured. Build cheap housing for them, give them a tiny income, hire more police and schoolteachers to reduce the trouble they'll cause. Raise taxes to do all this. When natives complain that the refugees make life slightly harder for them, point out that asylum is a human right.
Drop money instead of bombs.
Educating women seems to be the best way to lower the birth rate. I'd try to educate and empower women in 3rd world countries.

 

 

 

 

Too little too late, though.

erect electric fences
Get all NATO nations together, invade the MIddle East, gain full control of the region and develop it.
I doubt it would take more than a few shots fired and people would be too afraid to try again.
I think the only way we can really stop the migration refugees is to go to the route of the problem. We know why refugees are fleeing their birthplace. Why don't we do anything. They should feel safe. We should end these wars rather than capitalize on them and start them. Ending the source of the conflict would be the only measure I feel would significantly make refugees want to stay in their country.
Another, harsher option would be to reduce the amount of pull factors that entice migrants and refugees. If we limited the amount of perks then surely less refugees would want to arrive in a country e.g. make them unable to have NHS covered healthcare until after a certain amount of time, make them unable to claim benefits until they have evidence that they have searched for a certain number of jobs in a certain period of time.
I would give every person a basic income, instead of other benefits and government programs, which would be enough for survival (adapted to each country's standard of living) and simple living
I wouldn't do this because refugees are human too and deserve to be somewhere safe. Just because they're not rich and powerful doesn't mean they don't deserve safety.
I'm so tempted to say "wholesale takeover of one part of Middle East so that we could set up a working country there, for refugees and aid them to create a better country" but that's pipe dreams. As long as ISIS and Boko Haram etc are operating, there will be refugees and crisis. The only solution is to end the vast imbalance of rich vs. poor – worldwide implementation of high taxation of the top 10%; no country providing "havens" – then we'd have the money to help those who need assistance setting up their lives in a peaceful place. The crisis is due to rich and powerful sucking up the funds to pay for their fun.
If I were "in charge" I would RESIGN IMMEDIATELY, and go spend the rest of the collapse in a suite in Las Vegas,play a fiddle for irony…and Bill the Koch Brothers for services rendered to pay for it all!
Immediately dismiss the neocon cabal orchestrating US foreign policy and bring charges for war crimes against the lot. If the Empire of Chaos would stop its continuous policy of divide-and-rule, the political dimension of the refugee crisis would be mitigated. The coming climate change aspects would, of course, not be.
IMPOSE strict food rationing on indigenous population. for travelers ,bring or grow your own or starve.Its going to happen anyway
International military action to make their homelands safe and foreign aid to keep them from starving. I would form a team of experts to figure out where refugees can go that would cause the least amount of disruption in host countries and which would piss off the smallest number of people.
It is too late.
World population needs to be reduced uniformly and by a large amount.
These issues are an obvious consequence of larger, overarching problems which have been known about for a long time.
We are unfortunate to live in these times.
My brain hurts when I think about it. Being a mother I am torn between wanting to nurture and save(if the numbers are not overwhelming, big if I know) versus getting the claws out to protect valuable resources for my kin. The level of pragmatic coolness with which I can speculate on 'solutions' is disquieting in a way.
No policies will help, too late.
no solution really, we are in overshoot phase
Nothing
Outlaw war.
Politics is about interest, but we could all be fairer and make sure that those don't play fair suffer because of it.
Put them in camps that provide 3 pots and a cot and nothing more.
Rapid culling of the human herd to <1B may provide a viable path for the remainder. Otherwise, economic and environmental conditions continue to deteriorate to the point of no return for all. So let's just cut to the chase and whack the vast majority of the proles. It's gonna happen anyway.
Renounce the UN Charter on Refugees.
Pass a law making it a death penalty offense to be an illegal immigrant – regardless of age or gender.
Rescind citizenship of ALL non Whites and Jews.
Declare ALL non Whites and Jews without citizenship to be illegal immigrants.
Implement the law without mercy, pity or compassion.
Self solving problem we are in massive population overshoot, ecological collapse, a warming planet.
Sink the boats
Sink the boats!
Stop bombing them and raping their natural resources.
Arrest the bankers and captains of the Military Industrial Complex.
stop Donald trump and idiocravy
Stop fucking coming over or you will be shot.
Stop imperialistic wars and the consumption of fossil fuels.
Stop the deliberate creation of failed states such as Iraq, Syria,Ukraine.
Who am I kidding. There is no steming this, we are all out of stems, no stems to be had, stemless.
Stop the MIC from ceeating refugees. Mandatory sterilization all women after 1 child. Restoration agriculture.
Stop the wars that's producing refugees in the first place. Someone smarter than me should be able to figure out how.
Stop US military everywhere and stop pressuring Russia.
There effectively is no way to stop people from trying to get to places that seem better than where they come from.

 

 

 

 

The only thing that can be done is resolve some of the military conflicts; its the only thing about which we have any control (climate change is probably no longer in out control for the short term, anyway).

Unfortunately, the conflicts continue tomultiply without any end in sight. The last round of interventionist policies of the early 2000s caused even more instability than the previous round of interventions in the mid 1990s.

Is there anyone that seriously thinks more intervention is going to solve the conflicts.

There is NO policy that can work now; world pops are too far into the destruction of what was. I certainly couldn't stop the current ripping apart of established, uniquely defined cultures and institutions, thereby forcing people to migrate. Nor could I force other uniquely defined functioning societies to accept overwhelming numbers of uniquely defined and foreign populations. Disrupting civilization ie social systems without rules except as defined by force of the now migrating hoards will always result in disorienting chaos and hostilities. Humans simply can't process, least of all assimilate drastic and dramatic demographic changes into everyday living. This is more of the typical shit started at "The Decider top" for private gains and paid for by the masses at "the bottom" by socializing the costs. Insulting thinking people who want some kind of orderly and comprehensive policies, by labeling them racists and xeno-phobes is only inciting anger. The human condition naturally resists chaos and fear of losing what's familiar. Inclusive empathy only stretches so far before people and systems break down. Another factor of decline and doom.
There is no solution.
Theres nothing that can be done.
Try to find a solution to the problems in their original homes so that there is no need for migration.
Walls. Military. Boarder Guards

OK, that is what the sample of Kollapsniks TM thinks about this problem.

What do I think about it?  Joe D asked this question when I dropped on the Survey:

I made the following point in a text box in the survey and would love to hear more from you directly…that being to get from 8B to 4B to 1B people on the planet in less than two generations means lots of people will die unnaturally.  And if this is not only probable but also potentially beneficial to the remainder, why do all of our conversations revolve around minimizing death rather than accepting its long term benefit to the survival of our species and planet?  I know it feels a little immoral, or at least a little amoral,  but isnt it the right thing? Isnt more death helpful to our long term survival?

Unfortunately, unnatural death is often ugly and sorted so it's easy to throw ideas which support it under the bus as disgusting barbarism. But maybe they are neither disgusting nor barbaric.  Rather they are necessary, practical, and inevitable.

The fact of the matter is this is a Wicked Problem.  It doesn't have a solution which is palatable to everyone, and the solutions that will be undertaken are all inherently unfair, chaotic etc.  The text answers given above are for the most part incredibly STUPID.  I do these things to try to get a feel for the pulse of J6P, but it is incredibly dissapointing when you actually take this pulse.

There is no way to equitably reduce a population of Homo Sap.  It's always a chaotic adventure.  The fact we are in such a massive overshoot situation now means the dowspin is going to be orders of magnitude greater in chaos than has ever come before.  the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming, and staying out of their path will take a lot of luck and planning.  Now would be a good time to get started if you have not already.

090901horsemen

 

Navigating the Blockchain: Drones, Droids and BitCoins

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on July 5, 2015

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A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


— Isaac Asimov, Runaround (1942)Barack Obama may be remembered for many things — becoming the first Hawaiian President of the United States, withdrawing allied forces from epic military disaster in the Muslim World, dismantling market moral hazard, and reopening Cuba to the mob — but his most lasting legacy may be still to come.

There is a revolution quietly taking shape in Air Force joystick cubicles near Las Vegas, in the Horn of Africa, the Tribal Territories of Pakistan, the DMZ of Korea, and in secret sites in Tel Aviv and Kiev. Autonomous Robot drones are evolving capability to select and execute targets of opportunity.   

The word robot comes from the Czech word robota meaning forced labor, and is generally attributed to a 1924 play by Karel Capek. The idea that men will build machines that may all too easily destroy their creators runs back through Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Greek mythology. We have a deeply engrained wariness of anything that might knock us out of our place as top-predator in the food chain. And yet, we ignore these death machines we are building, seeing nothing more threatening than a good movie script. 

The median response from Artificial Intelligence programmers when asked when AI-droids will have better processing power than humans is 2030. Put another way, the coming generations of flying robots that kill their human prey from 10,000 feet up will be smarter than people in about 15 years, barring total collapse of petroleum civilization, or maybe even because of it.

Removing Asimov's three laws from the kernel of killer robot CPUs is a death wish. Actually, Asimov wrote four laws. The fourth or zeroth law that outranked the others:

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.


Blockchain

 
 In the midst of the 2008 financial meltdown, the open source protocol for a public asset ledger called the blockchain was put forward. The core of this invention was the idea of decentralized consensus on a large scale, an app version of Occupy, if you will.

From the blockchain emerged BitCoin. BitCoin was modeled on the gold standard for valuing transportable wealth – there was a finite supply but it could be "mined" to enlarge what was available for transactions by users. New gold went to miners who solved mathematical problems. The Cyberpunk community extolled its virtues:

"Psychopathic tendencies as the side effect of extreme individuality can be brought into balance within a new social contract, enforced by Satoshi’s perfect market with its equilibrium of supply and demand. Characteristics that are often considered negative in society such as risk taking, calculated selfish acts and profit motives can now be channeled to serve a larger shared vision of a more free society.

 

***
 

"Instead of arms races and financial wars, with bitcoin the competition for solving a mathematical problem helps to achieve a global level security infrastructure. This new flow of currency has the potential to end financial apartheid and begin serving the unbanked and underbanked that have been excluded from the current financial system. It can free those who are restrained by rent-seekers and subjugated to financial colonization. Out of the torrents emerging through the massive hashing power, the torus of a new heart grows and with every beat expands our collective goodwill to flow throughout the entire network."


— Nozomi Hayase, Taming the Beast  

Anytime someone comes on to us like a Snake Oil salesman, we check to make sure we still have our wallet, even if that wallet is now an app on our wristwatch.

Actually, this exuberance is immediately suspect in the case of bitcoin because "free" coins will gravitate towards whomever has the most computing power, leaving a 99 percent of lesser power users to purchase from the 1 percent who get theirs for "free." This is not a paradigm shift, it merely shifts the elite class (temporarily) from banksters to any hackers with supercomputer access and an ability to pay the electric bill.

The top coin miners have a Red Queen problem. In the Queen’s race in Alice in Wonderland, everyone runs faster and faster and no-one gets ahead. In coin mining, more and more computing power is required to solve the mathematical problems. The software underpinning the network reacts to successful miners by elevating difficulty, so hackers add even more computing power, and so on. 

As this cycle speeds, it takes more datacenter CPU heat, and more cooling electricity, to mine a bitcoin. The computational power of the bitcoin mining network surpassed the world's top 500 supercomputers in 2013. On average, for every megawatt of electricity spent mining bitcoins, 0.65 tons (1300lbs) of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. Dave Carlson, founder of Megabigpower, a mining datacentre in Washington state, figures he spends 240 kWh and releases 312 lbs of CO2 for each coin he mines. Worldwide, bitcoin mining generates about 25 tons CO2 per hour, or 219,000 tons per year. This is not virtual CO2. This is real CO2.

Can the blockchain prevent HSBC’s illegal money laundering for Mexican drug cartels? No. It makes it easier. Nigeria is already becoming a blockchain haven for Citibank, with ambitions to colonize all of payments space. If it seems oddly ironic to speak of Nigeria as a colonial power, just remember how quick its entrepreneurs were to colonize and monetize spam.

Does Citibank have any compunction about employing the fastest available processing power to (a) game bitcoin mining; (b) replace devalued bitcoins with its own CitiCoin; and (c) unleash predatory trading algorithms from the blockchain that operate at warp speed or even employ quantum mechanics to execute trades before they are even imagined by the trading partners? 

The Cyberpunk response is that blockchain transparency will flush the bandit algorithms. But one man's bandit is another's freedom fighter, layering, spoofing, and generating wash trades. The sheriff (SEC, FIRA, FBI, or a State or US Attorney) is outgunned and doesn't usually want to do anything that might jeopardize his/her pension, or the party in power. 

In his White House War Room, The Commander-in-Chief is assured that if we don't do this first, our rivals will. And so we drift, towards unparalleled catastrophe.

Above, circling the heavens, are autonomous killer drones that keep getting smarter by the year. In a world where all things connected to the Internet are hackable, so too are they.

On Losing a Friend

Off the keyboard of MKing

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Published Inside the Diner on June 26, 2015

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In April, I lost my first friend.

We met in first grade, where a quick confrontation escalated into me getting my ass kicked. As sometimes can happen, I requited myself well enough for that initial respect to develop into friendship. Both of us far brighter than our circumstances and socio economic status might otherwise indicate. We lived 3 miles apart, as a crow flies or farm boys might walk through the forest. He was a farm boy since birth, by age 10 he had taught me how to trap raccoon and fox, I worked baling hay in the summer with his family, and as we aged we became more than just a team. We hunted the hills and valleys first with 22's, and later with long rifles. He taught me how to use a rifle and pistol, he loaned me the money for my first hogleg, a Ruger New Model Superblackhawk in 44 magnum. We walked the river valleys and ridges between our houses with hunting licenses attached to our jeans to make the weapons legal, each of us carrying the same pistol, and a long rifle, year round. Deer during the fall, groundhog year round, anything else that was worthy of a bullet in between times.

We played at being Clint Eastwood in the westerns with those single action revolvers, same with our lever action rifles. Holster to hammer back and hammer down, first round through paper plates. Or deer. It irritated him, but with practice came speed, and I was always the faster one. We wrestled and fought and cursed and lived some of the best years of our lives together. He would usually win the wrestling and fighting, he was always the stronger one.

There were no cars for us, or girls, just two young men being raised by single moms and learning as we went. How can one describe the security of being pushed into a corner, by animals or the two legged vermin that populate this world, and a quarter second after determining that bad things were going to happen and chambering that first round, and hearing the "click clack" of your best friend chambering a round a split second slower, and covering your back? I've been shot at by accident during deer season,and on purpose by grandma farmers who knew there were "those boys" skulking up in her woods. Birdshot going through the leaves of the tree you are hiding behind is an amazingly cool sound, as is the whizzing of bullet coming just a bit too close.

His father died during those elementary school years, a drunk who beat him, as opposed to my father, a drunk that killed. This was us, on that fateful night at the beginning of adulthood, just out of high school. Idiots with too much to drink, young men with weapons, a girl involved in some strange way I never understood. Does anything make much sense when drunks are doing the talking? When the smoke cleared that night, he went home to his family, safe and sound. I was arrested and went to jail. Others were less fortunate.  My 44 magnum was collected as evidence to be used against me later. He and I didn't have a scratch. Because I really was the faster one.

For the year before the trial, they sweated him. Right through the choosing of the jury, they sweated him. The local DA, state police, ATF and FBI even got involved at one point because of the rumors about "those" boys, and he never wavered. His story never changed, he held fast in the face of the threats and abuse, claims of complicity, right through the end. I'm not sure I could have done it, but he did. Because he really was the stronger one.

We never saw each other much after that night. He went on to represent his family in the US Navy, his only desire to fight on the same ship that his grandfather had during WWII. He succeeded in doing just that, in just the way he hoped during Gulf War 1. I cleared town and spent 2 years in school with the threat of a life ending jail sentence hanging over me…until that day that the case finally folded…one of life's shining moments, standing among a dozen cops when they hand you back your firearm, and you spin the cylinder to hear the wonderful whirring of the mechanism of a beautiful tool. And delighting in the fact that there wasn't anything they could do about it, as verifying they were returning your property in working condition is  a consequence of having been beaten in court by a teenager. Life changing events…and perhaps a history of arrogance begins…right…there.

His drinking, started before that fateful night, grew worse over the years. He got married, had two boys, and got divorced. Retired from the Navy, and went back home. I went to school and put the same effort into that as I had previously put into becoming a young man capable of living off the land in the Cabinet Mountains of Montana for a summer. I never went back home, because those hills and forests were no longer my home. There was another world out there, and I choose it. We both became pieces of our fathers, as his drinking progressed into something truly evil, and I had already proven to be just as lethal as mine.

I was in my car, driving across the country when I got the call that he had died. No mention in the paper as to why, but cirrhosis wouldn't be a surprise. I cried. We had kept in touch over the years, but not bumping into each other much. He took his time off from the Navy to go home, but my home had become a far bigger place, we just didn't cross paths much. I am not much of a religious man, seeing too clearly the evil that belief systems generate in the gullible. But for just a little while I hoped, and even perhaps prayed, that there really are alternate parallel universes out there. And that in one of them we were really the brothers we were meant to be. That I had kept him from starting in on the weed and booze, and maybe had followed him to the Navy to watch his back. Or he had followed me to college to watch mine. We could have lived a street apart from each other, reveling in our children, perhaps even teaching them some of the things that hillbillies learned the hard way, that the results of the bond we had might be passed down through the generations. But that isn't this universe, only the one I wish I could have been born into instead.

How does one man explain to others the feeling of security that exists, when chaos arrives, and there is screaming and uncertainty and violence? How do you teach calm, in the face of anger and hysteria? How do you KNOW that this hillbilly brother beside you will do exactly what you need done, in exactly the right way, at exactly the right moment?  Certainly military folks must breed that into their people, but we just had it naturally, built it ourselves, and I don't know if he achieved that feeling again during his part in the war, but I know I never did.

He went to his grave with my secrets. Just as I will go to mine with his. What is this called, in a world where we "friend" people on the internet? The very word cheapens what we had. I don't even know what we had, only that I may never feel it again, even with my son. But for those years through the end of high school, I had it, it was mine, and I never appreciated it as much as the instant it disappeared forever with his death.

I don't know what to call what we had. All I can do is use the same words that everyone does, and hope that the story explains what this word means to me, and the significance of what was lost.
 
He was my first friend.

LEGACY

logopodcastOff the microphone of RE

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on May 13, 2015

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Leaving-A-Legacy

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Snippet:

…Apologies for not getting out so many Rants lately, but as regular Diners know, I have been bizzily prepping up for my trip to the Great Beyond, which has required a whole lot of planning and noodling out. Lots of legal shit to deal with, as well as bureaucracy shit as well in the event I don't Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond TM as soon as I think I will. However, I have tidied up these problems now, so I can get back to the bizness of RANTING ON DOOM! 🙂

One thing you might be wondering on is precisely WHY it is that I care about what happens after I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond? It's all about a LEGACY, leaving something behind that shows you once walked the earth in corporeal form.

For most people, their Legacy comes in the form of the Children they had, who themselves may accomplish something in the course of their lives, or at least remember them for a while. However, Hermit/Monk types like myself don't have any children, so there is no legacy left there in the form of new Homo Sap Meat Packages who might remember you for a while…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

Complete Transcript of the Rant can be found HERE

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Thoughts on Death

Off the keyboard of Peter Michael Bauer

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Published on Urban Scout on August 19, 2014

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I think about death all the time. Mostly because I am a hypochondriac. I often think about the possibility of contracting some disease or parasite or virus from my rewilding activities. I spend restless nights psyching myself out reading pseudo-medical websites. What if I died from Raccoon Roundworm after picking up a roadkill and skinning it? I can already hear what this fear-mongering, death-fearing culture would say, “He shouldn’t have been touching dead animals. Serves him right.” It reminds me of the “Grizzly Man” who risked his life to befriend the grizzlies, only to be killed and eaten by one, years later.

I’m not sure if he actually said this, but a friend told me that the grizzly man had said, “I would be honored to end up as bear shit.” While I wouldn’t be honored to end up in a coma because of raccoon roundworm, there is a certain honor in a life of risk-taking for a greater cause, or for a life lived outside of safety, security, and comfort. Living a freer, exciting life requires taking risks. Rewilding requires taking certain risks in order to live life more fully, more free. It requires letting go of your fears, and in particular, the fear of death.

I don’t want to die, but I am not afraid of being dead. I am more afraid of never really having lived a really awesome life, doing the most I can for the future generations. It’s not so much that I’m afraid of being dead, but that I really just don’t want to die. In spite of life’s hardships, I really enjoy living. The fear around death that I have is in the act of dying itself; will it hurt? For how long? I don’t think I’ll care much after that part anyway. Although, I’ve been up close and personal to animals that I have killed for food. I’ve seen the life leave their eyes. I’ve heard their last screams. I think that I may fear being dead if I was dying.

I used to think pretty highly of myself. Like, if I die, who is going to bring rewilding to the world? This is very silly, since anyone living 100 years from now who is alive, with be rewilding in some capacity whether I die now or 50 years from now makes little difference. My words and actions make little difference in the whole of the world. I can try to convince people, but the real convincer is mother nature, who will force people to rewild or die. Even then, the positive feedback loops of climate change could wipe us all out, rewilder or no. But it is certain that *if* people are alive in 100, 200 years, 1000 years it will be because they began to rewild.

I’m pretty sure I will die as the collapse intensifies, if I even live to see it (get worse than it already is). My immune system is weak. I have many maladies that will be difficult to deal with (such as having IBS and a lack of toilet paper). I don’t dwell on this thought much though, because the future is completely uncertain. I could die in a car accident tomorrow. I could have a heart attack in my sleep tonight. I could have a brain aneurism before I finish this senteeeee………

Just kidding! Still here.

What I want is an honorable death. For example: to be torn apart by a pack of wolves would be more honorable than being hit by a car in downtown Portland. To slip and fall off a cliff in the wilds while scouting, hunting, foraging, or planting seeds would be more honorable than accidentally electrocuting myself in the shower. I want a wild death. I don’t care if it is a stupid mistake, it is was for rewilding. Of course, I don’t *want* to make any stupid mistakes, but I would rather it be a stupid mistake on the path of rewilding, than a stupid mistake of a domesticated, civilized nature like forgetting to look both ways before I cross the street or choking on a burger at a fast food restaurant.

I believe when I die I will go in the ground. I do not believe that my mind will carry on in an afterlife. I think that all the information stored in my brain, all my memories, experiences will die with my lifeless body. The energy that makes my heart beat today will transform into something else, much like my decomposing flesh. I think it is foolish to live for an afterlife. This is why I do not want to die. I live for my life, this life. I will rewild until I die. If there is a spirit, then I’ll continue to rewild in the afterlife.

• • •

I would like my after death rituals and customs to be more wild. When I die, I would like my body buried in the ground, not burnt, not in a coffin, and without any gross fluids injected into it. I don’t want to be in a cemetery. I don’t want a headstone. I want a tree to be planted in my honor. Preferably an Oak tree. This tree can act as a headstone. If that is not possible, I would like a “sky burial”. I would like my body to be placed high atop a mountain and eaten by vultures. My possessions should be donated to a rewilding cause. Those are the only wishes I can think of should I die before I get the chance to revise this list.

Here’s to long, healthy, happy life!

HOPE & SORROW – THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on August 26, 2014

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“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.” –

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World


When you drive the PA Turnpike for 7 hours you have a lot of time to think. Our trip to Altoona was bittersweet. My oldest son is beginning his senior year at Penn State. He has his whole life ahead of him. But you never know for sure. His best friend was killed in a car accident one year ago. That tragic event has changed him. He is more serious and introspective. He is searching for a deeper meaning to life. He has downloaded a number of books about spirituality this summer.

He is worried about getting a job after graduation. His degree in Information Technology doesn’t guarantee a job. No degree guarantees a job anymore. I hope he is able to land a decent job with a decent company. He won’t be burdened with any student loan debt. That’s my gift to him. He also understands what is going on in this country. He doesn’t trust the government or the police. He has a healthy skepticism about everything in the media. Driving in a car with me for two hours a day will do that to you.

On the interminable drive, I thought about my senior year in college. It was a great time. I shared an apartment off-campus with two buddies. I had my academics completely under control, so there was plenty of time for enjoying my final days of freedom with friends. There was softball, basketball, frat parties, concerts, and many nights of drinking. Our apartment was fairly big and perfect for parties. There were many interviews with accounting firms and many rejection letters. Our biggest most drunken party was the rejection letter burning party. There were so many rejection letters among the attendees that we achieved a huge bonfire in our yard.

I graduated from college in 1986 and I had hopes and dreams that seemed achievable. Jobs were plentiful. If you took the necessary steps (CPA, MBA), worked hard, and joined the right company, a successful career in finance was there for the taking. If you invested your money in the stock market consistently, dollar cost averaging would lead to a long-term nest egg. Monetary and fiscal policy was too abstract for someone trying to raise a family and build a successful career. Accounting manager, Treasurer, Controller, Strategic Planning – next stop CFO. Politics was uninteresting to me. Life was progressing nicely until the turn of the century.

Then 9/11 happened. Stock market crashes, Middle East wars, wars on terrorism, Patriot Act, feckless politicians, criminal bankers, Federal Reserve created bubbles and a career thrown off-track by a diversity queen CEO. Many hopes for my career, my country and my kids’ future were dashed as I turned 40. I’m not anything like the person I was in 2000. I’m far more serious and far less optimistic. My eyes have been opened and I don’t like what I see. The leadership of this country is corrupt, greedy, and implementing laws, regulations, and policies which will ultimately lead to the country’s demise. The majority of citizens are willfully ignorant of the financial peril we face, while allowing themselves to be distracted by modern day circuses and enslaved in debt by the financiers and their media propaganda arms. It is a mental struggle to get through each day knowing what lies ahead.

It seems the sorrow increases exponentially as fathers, babies, teenagers and friends die far too soon. I’ve witnessed the deaths of far too many friends and family over the last few years. The death of teenagers and babies is too much to bare. The deaths of fathers is understandable, but no less sad. And now the death of someone I’ve never met, but still considered a close friend, has me pondering the meaning of life. AWD was a few months younger than me. He worked out at the gym every day. He would bust my balls about being overweight. He would warn me that anger turned inward would lead to depression. He was a doctor, and he died at the age of 50. He didn’t know he was going to die. He was a prepper. He was taking steps to survive the coming storms. He was armed. He wanted a country where his young daughters could succeed. He railed against injustice on a daily basis. And in an instant he was gone. All the preparations and plans were for naught.

I haven’t slept well since I learned of his death on Saturday. I thought a lot about AWD during my drive. The rural views along the PA Turnpike on a bright sunny day were peaceful and idyllic. Farms dotted the countryside and the population was sparse. I thought these people would weather the coming storms much better than those living in the cities and suburbs. I’ve tried to prepare for an uncertain future, but if and when the storm hits, it will likely be all for naught. I’m still nothing but a rat in a cage. Most of us are in the same cage. Most of us have family obligations and don’t have the financial resources to just pick up and move to a safer place. And after seeing what happened to AWD, what does it really matter? We are only given a certain amount of time on this earth and you never know when that time will be up.

I can almost understand why the majority of Americans don’t bother with worrying about the future. We’re all dead in the end anyway. It is a selfish attitude, but if you are only going to be here for 80 years or less, then why not rack up debt, lease a new car every two years, live in a McMansion with a massive mortgage, accept every goodie offered by the politicians, and let future generations fend for themselves. But then you arrive at Altoona and pull into the apartment complex where your son is living his senior year.

As far as shitholes go, it was an OK shithole. He is sharing an 800 sq ft apartment with three other guys. It has one bathroom. We arrived at 12:30 on Sunday and they looked a little tired. It seems they had their first party of the year the night before and it went on until 5:30 am. One roommate immediately reminded me of Spiccoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He offered to make us some gnarly bacon and eggs. His other roommate was clean cut and well spoken. My son still has a Ron Paul 2012 magnet on his car and I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge Gadsden flag hanging on the living room wall. These are the millennials that give me hope.

Kevin and his friends are at the beginning of their adult lives. Their hopes and dreams haven’t been shattered. It isn’t 1986 anymore. They face much greater challenges, have far less opportunities, and will be left with the financial ruins created by their elders. This is why I could never become one of the mindless consuming zombie horde. The choice is between accepting the way things are and the way things should be. I cannot in good conscience stand idly by while a few evil psychopaths pillage this country and enslave us in the chains of debt at the point of a gun. I believe the next fifteen years will be a time of peril, when the country could be destroyed or saved. It pains me knowing that my kids will be at the forefront of this battle, but I’ll do everything I can to win the battle for liberty, freedom and a restoration of our Constitution.

I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth and I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I want my three boys to have a chance at a decent life. I can’t change the course of history, but I can try to be a better person, better husband, better father, and better citizen. I am deeply saddened by the death of my on-line sidekick AWD, but I’m still hopeful for my sons’ future, and I’m going to fight to my last breath to ensure that future. I can’t force others to fight to improve this universe, but I can try to improve my one small corner of that universe.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” Aldous Huxley

Totem Shift

Off the keyboard of Lucid Dreams

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Published on Epihany Now on March 2, 2014

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Jumping to the Grave
Around about the time I resigned from the Matrix I had a dream in which the fox came to me. He scampered out of the woods and made himself visible to me, and he looked me in the eyes to transfer his magic. To prepare my mind for entrance into a glitch which would allow me to mostly be left unhindered from the Matrix’s control. Fox imbues the magic of invisibility in plain site. I recognized him, and his teaching, and then he disappeared back into the woods, and I woke up. It was a dream vision. I dubbed our new home the “Fox Den” and gave the fox a pedestal at Epiphany Now. About a year after my resignation a real fox was delivered to the Fox Den, and her name was Pepper (but she went by Bo Beppa). She was born from domestic dog parents, but she was no dog, she was a fox. She was the most beautiful animal I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Diggin’ a fox hole
A couple of months ago I was digging in my yard, preparing a hole for a five gallon bucket full of table scraps. The area I dug in, behind a swale and berm, is the worst hard compacted clay SC has to offer. I was tired that day, and I just couldn’t get the hole to the proper dimensions. Pepper loved scrutinizing my holes. She got in the hole, laid down, flipped on her back, and looked up at me as if to say “this will do,” although I only know that in retrospect. I figured since she was enjoying the hole, and I wasn’t going to be dumping five gallons of table scraps in it, that I would just leave it for her. My wife and I had hypothesized that she was actually sleeping in a hole she had dug in my first hugel bed. She dug holes into all of my six hugel beds on a regular basis. So I thought maybe she liked the hole better than what she had dug. At any rate, I moved onto digging a new hole in a different place in the yard where the soil wasn’t quite so compact.
Around this same time I had a dream that I was throwing a boomerang in our yard. I’ve never thrown a boomerang before, and I had no idea what the dream meant, but I decided to go online and purchase a rang. Whatever the reason, I took to throwing boomerangs like I imagine birds enjoy their flight. It has become a meditation for me, and a spiritual practice. Boomerangs connect you to the sky and the wind. They teach you to be still and patient, especially when the wind is blowing too hard. Half of throwing a boomerang is ability to read the wind. If you want it to come back to you than you’ve got to first know which way the wind is blowing and how hard. Then you have to figure out how much layover, how hard to throw, which direction, how high of a release angle, and lastly you just have to get lucky (at least when the wind is blowing), and if all that is done properly the boomerang will come back to you.
We decided to get Pepper fixed around this time. She was right at a year old, and we didn’t want to breed another dog (I mean fox) because we have two kids and one pet is enough extra responsibility. Getting her spayed changed her psychology, or maybe it was just because I was in the fields throwing my boomerang and she wanted to get out of the fence with me. Whatever the case, she started escaping from our yard on a regular basis. She’d run off chasing field mice, or voles, or whatever else caught her noses attention. We live off of a pretty busy two lane road. About a quarter of a mile before our house the speed limit goes from 45 to 55, and people regularly travel 60 to 65 mph.  Knuckle heads will occasionally use that stretch as a temporary drag strip. It’s one of the most dangerous roads I’ve seen, and this is coming from an opinion informed by 6 years on a meat wagon. People get killed all of the time on this road, and near this house to boot.
I came home from an ecological design dig in Asheville NC that day. I was tired from moving large logs and Earth around for a massive hugelspiral construction we were creating. I got home and left our fence open. Pepper got out and got herself ran over on that road. The people across the street called the house, it was about 9 pm, and they asked “is your dog in the house?” No, I replied. “Well there’s a dog out here on the road that’s been run over, looks like it might be yours.” I put my clothes back on and went out to see about it. There was a large lifted 4X4 truck pulled over with a kid no older than 20 standing there with a dip in his mouth. “Over here.” He took me to where she lay dead on the side of the road. I was relieved to see that she was actually dead because I did not want to have to put her down to stop her suffering. She lay there in the ditch, with her tongue hanging out, and just a trickle of blood. Her skin was all in tact, which I still think is strange having been run over by a large truck. I picked her head up and sure enough her neck was broken. I offered my hand to the kid whom had run her over, and I said “it’s not your fault man.” He said “I know it’s not my fault,” got in his truck and sped off.
I carried her remains through the dark to that hole I had dug, placed her in it, got the shovel out of the bed of my truck, and committed her to the Earth. I cried a lot about Pepper for the next couple of days. I could still cry about her if I wanted to. In fact, weeks later, it’s still hard not to. It was more than just the lose of a beloved pet, it felt like a dark magic had descended on the Fox Den. It felt suspicious and as if some intentional evil had been done. It felt like I had lost some very important magic myself, as if something was trying to take it from me. I haven’t lost any magic, in fact, I have gained some. Pepper’s job was complete. The fox world vetted me, and she was the instrument. Pepper was sent to teach me the ways of the fox, so that I may study them and know them. I like to think that she knew her body would eternally rest in that hole we dug together. She’s there now, protecting the Fox Den always. I told our three year old son Ayden Zen that Bo Beppa was invisible now, that she is with us in spirit but that he would likely not see her again, and I took him to her grave to let him say good bye.
A new totem was to arrive shortly after the Fox was finished teaching me his, or her in this case, lesson. The robin showed up shortly after Pepper’s death. I was in the garden, meditating next to Pepper, and a Robin landed close to me. The robin looked at me, just as that fox had looked at me in my dream vision. Only now this was no dream, this was waking life. I walked over to the robin and he led me around the yard for a while, not letting me get closer than five feet. That robin just hung out with me for a while, beckoning me to listen to what it had to say, wondering if I would accept the next phase of my totem progression. “I’ve seen you throwing that boomerang,” robin said to me, “do you really want to know how to fly?” That was the question robin was asking me. Throwing that boomerang is like flying. Every time I throw it my spirit elates with the magical flight path and remains connected to it. It’s as if I’m flying there with it, and apparently the bird world has taken notice.
Around the same time all of this was happening our house burnt to the ground. We were renting the house, the only house my wife and I have ever owned, the one we brought Zen home to from the hospital after his birth.  We were renting the house to renters because I could not resign from the Matrix and afford the mortgage. New renters were moving in that night, and they set a box on the counter in the kitchen next to the stove top. The element got kicked on, and 25,000 gallons of water later the fire was out and the house was gone. Nobody was hurt. Allstate paid the mortgage off and wrote us a check for the remainder of the policy. The Phoenix is rising from those ashes, and it has sent robin to teach me the magic of flight.
Just before our house burned down I decided, uncharacteristically, that what I needed was to go to the local park by myself. I drove to the park, got out of my truck, stretched, and then started running (I hadn’t gone for a run in probably 7 years). It was spontaneous, and it was as if I was not in control of it. Why had I chosen to run in the park on that day? So I ran into the woods and onto a disc golf course. The path started to climb, and I had run about a mile at this point, and so I decided to walk a bit. Before I knew it I was walking along a creek, and so I sat down next to the creek to meditate. Something told me to go 20 yards to my right, up stream, and so I did, and there in the middle of the creek, a foot beneath the water, was a disc somebody had lost. I’ve never played disc golf, but I had always wanted to, so I started throwing the disc along the path of the course. Five holes later, and I was on the back nine of the course. I was kneeling down, looking for the next disc golf basket, trying to figure the course out. A man in his 70’s appeared with a very large dog. I was eyeballing them pretty hard (probably because of the size of the dog) and eventually the man asked me “are you security.” “No,” I said, and we sort of walked towards each other and started talking.
He reminded me of the cover of my copy of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie.  Permaculture came up, as did Bamboo. “I have bamboo,” the man said with elation. His dog’s name is Bodey. I have a cousin named Bodey, it’s not a common name, especially not for a dog, and so my attention was gotten. I had been drawn to bamboo shortly before this meeting. We swapped cell numbers and he invited me to come by his house to check out the bamboo he’d planted. A couple of months went by (in which all of the above story happened), and my wife had started regularly trying to get me to call the man from the park (Gary is his name). We were talking about installing a bamboo stand as a privacy screen, and so I had good reason to go pick his brain. Being Aspergian, however, it’s damn near impossible to get me to reach out to people via phone. Wendy was persistent, and eventually I gave in and called Gary.
So we packed up our family of four, and went to a man’s house whom I’d met only once several months ago. Our son Ayden Zen appears to be having difficulty with speech. Wendy thinks he may have a lisp (I just think it’s cause he’s 3 and a half). At any rate, Gary’s wife had written several books on phonetics…what is this synchronicity? Gary and I talked bamboo for a while and then he handed me a business card that he had gotten via his love of Bamboo for a near by company specializing in bamboo. I put the card in my wallet where it stayed for a couple of weeks.
I began researching bamboo online, and then I began digging a trench to create a bamboo island. The next client for my ecological design business is a female shaman, and she wants a living privacy hedge. I’m hopeful I can convince her that there is none better than bamboo for a privacy hedge. It creates a complete visual block within 4 years. It’s the fastest growing plant on planet earth. Wiki reports that bamboo has been recorded as growing 98 inches in 24 hours. This is nothing short of amazing, and science is still trying to figure out just how it’s possible for bamboo to achieve this phenomenal growth. At any rate, it’s apparently time for me to learn all things bamboo, and so I emailed the email address on that business card, and I asked if I could come pick their brains on all things bamboo. The business is run by a married couple. Their nursery is really not a nursery, but more of an experiment in bamboo prowess. I’ll have to pick this story up in the next installment here at Epiphany Now.
However, I’ll leave the story with this bit of synchronicity and numerology mystery. The day before I went to meet John I looked at the clock at 111, 222, and 444 pm, I never do that.  I usually catch it once where all the numbers are the same.  The bamboo business is actually located in the same county I moved from after resigning from the Matrix. The same county I worked EMS in for 6 years. In fact, my first EMS job, was actually working for the rescue squad that services the town the grove is in. That town’s not far from where our burnt down house resides. The same burnt down house that has that Phoenix rising from it’s ashes. We drove to the Bamboo Forest yesterday with Zen and Tribann, to tour it, to learn all things bamboo so that I can convince a shaman. We pulled up to the field just in front of this endearingly magical place on Earth, and there I met John and his beautiful wife. John has a scruffy beard, he’s from California, and he has Aspergers (if you don’t know, I’m from California and I have Aspergers). The day that would follow would prove to be amongst the most magical days of my life. I’ll tell that story next time.
Part of Bamboo Island

Death Part II: Suicide East of Eden

Off the keyboard of RE

Published on Reverse Engineering  January 2011

 

Discuss this article at the Frosbite Falls Insider Table Inside the Diner

I didn’t really cover Suicide in much detail in Part I, because it didn’t really fit the definition of the type of Death I was looking at, which was Death unwillingly forced on one person by another. However, if you look at the type of suicide you are talking about which is actually caused as a reaction to the behavior of others, kind of a deprivation of Spiritual Resources if you will, then it does fit the definition, so it should have been included. I’ll make an addendum to the post here to cover this.

When you say “take me out first” rather than last and reference the Donner Party, I am looking at that as a form of Suicide rather than Murder, since you basically are giving up your life without a fight, even though the actual taking of your life might come at the hand of another. You are “voluntarily” quitting the game, so to speak. In the case of the Donner Party, at least according to the legend anyhow, your self-sacrifice also is going to physically help feed the remaining members of the party via Cannibalism.

I put “voluntary” in quotations because its only voluntary in the sense that given the parameters you are faced with, you would choose death rather than live in a world of Wolf Packs and become one of the Wolves. However, the fact that the world did become that way forces you to make this choice on a philosophical level, so its not truly voluntary.

In point of fact, many people are already taking the Suicide Option Out. I’m not going to try to Google them all up, but in the last 3 years I have read stories about increasing Seppuku over in Japan around some traditional Mountain where people go to Walk themselves into the Great Beyond, and quite recently a story about increasing Suicide among FSofA War Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Theatres. Add to that the occasional individual suicide which has some facet that attracts the MSM to report it, like the Tunisian fellow who sparked the riots and collapsed Da Goobermint by Self-Immolation when his Fruit Stand was confiscated because he didn’t have a Goobermint Permit.

Suicide Bombers and Postals fall into a slightly different category, since in the course of quitting the game such a person takes a few others with him into the Great Beyond. So here you are both voluntarily ending your own life while also engaging in involuntarily ending the lives of some other folks. That puts you more in the Lone Wolf category. At least in this country so far, the Lone Wolves are still pretty rare, and individual Suicides are more common. However, over in the Middle East, Suicide Bombings occur on such a regular basis these days they may be approaching the numbers of individual Suicides in those countries. Hard to say since you never get any kind of valid statistics on any of these things, you just have to extrapolate based on anecdotal stories and consider what is likely to occur in such environments.

Another type of event is the Mass Suicide, which recently was reported over in India as many small farmers (the number exceeded 10,000 as I recall) facing ruin from debt problems committed suicide, I think that was in 2009. Going back to a prior era when there were vast problems in the society, you had Jim Jones Walking a whole bunch of his followers into the Great Beyond via Mass Suicide, and I would not be at all surprised to see a similar Cult Mass Suicide occur here as we spin down further, in fact I will be surprised if such a scenario does not occur.

The result here is that the “take me first” personal solution is bound to increase amongst those people who neither wish to fight nor have the means by which to further support themselves. This happens even among people who thought they had the means, when they lose all they had suddenly as a result of being defrauded or in a stock market crash, etc. That is the Falling Stockbrokers Syndrome. I catalogued a few of those back on Peak Oil back in 2008, a German Banker and an heir to a fortune pre-dating the French Revolution among them. Over here, there was a corporate executive in VA who either committed suicide or was offed by a squad of cleaners, and there was another Oil Sheik whose Glider mysteriously crashed. You always have to view some of those “suicides” with a jaundiced eye, because they might be clandestine murders.

Is Suicide a more Moral Choice than becoming a Wolf? I think that depends on the situation. In a hopeless situation where there are no external enemies to fight such as was the case for the Donner Party, Suicide is clearly the more moral choice than taking the life of another unwillingly in the party so that you yourself could live. However, in a case where your Tribe (at minimum Loved Ones, Family and Friends) might be Saved by taking the fight to the Enemy rather than committing Suicide, becoming a Wolf is the more Moral choice. If you succeed in doing that and give up your life to save loved ones and they do survive, you go out as a HERO. Everlasting Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven is your reward for that one.

For most people here in the Fascist States ofAmerica, most of us as of yet are not really faced with the same kind of deprivation and choices that folks in the Middle East are making on a daily basis. However, increasing numbers of people here are falling off the economic cliff as their 99 Week UE bennies expire, and while they might be able to survive on a SNAP Card in a Homeless Shelter, Suicide might seem to them a better choice than becoming a member of the Free Shit Army. This is a good question to ask yourself about what you would do if you lost everything and your only choices were to commit Suicide, become a Lone Wolf or accept Goobermint Aid and become a member of the Free Shit Army? I wonder how many people here would answer that question Honestly?

For myself, as long as it is functioning, my choice would be to become a member of the FSA. I don’t see a need to commit Suicide when there is still really plenty of food to go round here in the FSofA, and I don’t see the point in fighting an unwinnable battle as a Lone Wolf as long as the Conduits are still functioning, which they must be for SNAP cards to still be available. In my community, it would have to go even further, to the point I could not fish up enough to survive, or find some means to trade for what we harvest up here for my sustenance. Only at that point, once all other means have been exhausted would I make the choice between Suicide or becoming either a Pack Wolf or a Lone Wolf. I don’t know which one of those I would choose, its such an extreme situation that I do not know what my mind set would be at that point. To know what you would do when you have reached the End of your Rope, you really have to BE at the end of your rope.

In any event, like all the other forms of DEATH we are faced with here like Abortion, War and Starvation, Suicide is yet another one that will increase in its frequency during the spin down, regardless of whether we think suicide is a moral choice or not. In some Religious belief, Suicide is a Mortal Sin, and under no circumstances should you do it as it would condemn your Soul to Everlasting Damnation Burning in the Fires of Hell.  I do not subscribe to that idea. In certain situations, Suicide is a very valid choice, and in those situations if you choose it, you will not be Damned, you will go to Everlasting Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven.

See You on the Other Side.

RE

Follow Up Response to Stuck in New Jersey in this thread:

Stuck, on one keyboard hand you argue that I am advocating for a return to the Garden of Eden, but then on the other keyboard hand you argue that I advocate for a system which legitimizes Murder, which clearly is not Garden of Eden living. So which one is it here? You cannot argue both at the same time.

In my response to OS, I covered some of the inherent conflicts that come from Suicide in a resource constrained environment. Essentially, some people are FORCED into committing suicide, so you can turn this around and say that they did not truly commit Suicide, but were in fact Murdered by the society around them. Who do you pin the Murder on though? The entire population still alive after the person offs himself?

Tribal living in a resource constrained environment is clearly NOT the Garden of Eden. In fact it is quite a tough environment overall, but for the most part a more fair system with a more equitable distribution of power. People will still be people, there will still be arguments, there will still be violence. These things will not disappear, so it is not the Garden of Eden.

The two most difficult Moral Questions to resolve in this type of system come at the beginning and end stages of life. At the beginning stage of life, the Death comes from Abortion and/or Exposure. At the end stage of life, the Death comes from Suicide or Exposure also. Just like infants are sometimes left on a mountaintop to die and be consumed by Wolves, so also will the tribe sometimes pack up in the middle of the night and leave behind sleeping one of their Elderly members who slows them down on the trail and no longer can contribute hunting or gathering. Given I accept both of these as inevitable consequences of living in a resource constrained environment, I hardly see how you can argue that I am either “sugar coating” this or advocating for a return to the Garden of Eden. I am doing neither.

My hope would be that after a period of time passes and the population gets knocked down to whatever minima the resource constraints demand, the environment will begin to heal, there will be fewer resource constraints, and then the population begins to grow again. At this point the two most difficult Moral Questions of Infanticide and Elderly Suicide can be removed from the mix, to be substituted for by more careful reproductive control of some form, and not allowing the growth of the population to exceed the growth of the resource base on a Pay-as-you-Go basis. Given where we are at NOW however, with a population well into Overshoot resulting from the exploitation of the one-time “Gift” of the Thermodynamic Energy of Fossil Fuels and the fact that those fuels are in a depleting state relative to the size of the population, we are a long ways away from being able to convert to such a relatively benign form of maintaining a steady state population in balance with the available resources. This is why I
maintain that we will not get from here to there without a considerable amount of pain.

We will likely never be returning to the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden came some 70,000 years ago for the 10,000 Human Souls or 1000 Breeding Pairs that survived the cataclysmic bottleneck of the population of Homo Sapiens in the aftermath of the Toba Supervolcanic Eruption. Once the atmosphere cleared and the environment surrounding them healed itself, that Tribe had the entire surface of the Earth to expand onto, to “Go Forth and Multiply”, and they sure did that, to the tune of around 6.3B people living here now. There were no wars then, because if you were dissatisfied in your community and sought Freedom you could just walk a few miles to the next valley over and start your own little community. Then do it again, and again and again, until all these communities started bumping up against each other with nowhere left to go for the Freedom Seekers. The Garden of Eden lasted for quite some time, to around 5000 years ago when Agriculture began to suck resource out of the land faster than it could be replenished. Then of course and right up until today, all HELL broke loose with the endless War of the Haves and the Have Nots.

The general paradigm of Warfare amongst conflicting Tribes and incipient Civilizations developing from Agriculture began 5000 years ago as most of the surface of the Earth was populated by Homo Sapiens, but the End for Freedom Seekers did not come really until about 1000 years ago, when a few Polynesian Navigators plying the Pacific Ocean in Sail Rigged Canoes came upon the Big Island of Hawaii. That was the very LAST vestige of the Garden of Eden, a place with sufficient food resources devoid of any prior population of Homo Sapiens living there that had to be displaced by Warfare. Once that last space was taken up, the last 1000 years has been all about consolidation and one group of people becoming powerful enough to displace another group of people. Accessing the thermodynamic energy of fossil fuels gave one set of people vast advantage, and asymmetry developed in the aftermath of that. Industrial living VERY quickly became the only way to live anywhere, it really only took 200 or so years for this paradigm to overrun the earth. About ALL Hunter Gatherers disappeared through this period, and Agriculture itself became Industrialized. Thing is here, once the Fossil Fuels are unavailable, this 200 year experiment in Industrial Civilization will collapse in a Heartbeat in the grand scheme of 70,000 years since the Garden of Eden. It will not even take a Century for this collapse to occur. That is about 0.3% of the entire timeline since the Toba Bottleneck.

To return to the Garden of Eden, we literally would have to shrink back down in population size to 10,000 Human Souls and give Gaia 10,000 years to heal herself, and even I do not project that as likely. In the absence of a cataclysm on the order of Toba, Natural or Man Made, I do not see it likely that even with a massive Undershoot of population we would shrink down past 100M or so. There will be remaining tribes everywhere there is sufficient water and arable land or access to a fecund fishery. Those tribes will bump up against each other and there will be border wars. There will be no place for Freedom Seekers to go that both provide enough food in the environment and also are vacant of people. It is how those populations steward their environment and the principles upon which they base their community which will determine how Just they are and how successful. I maintain that the best means of doing that is to base the economy on Giving rather than Taking.

On the question of how you prevent those nasty Human Traits like Greed and Avarice from taking root and flourishing, the answer is Education. In childhood, these traits manifest themselves in children all the time. 3 year olds will grab a toy from another and say “MINE!”. Do not allow that behavior, Punish it quickly, it does not take much when a child is 3 years old to punish such behavior. Reward the child for Sharing and being generous. Do not reward Adults for Greedy behaviors, because children witness this and inculcate it into their developing brains as the way to be. Punish adults who take more than they need, Shun them to begin, if they don’t learn the lesson,  Hang ’em High.  Certainly do not put them up on a Pedestal on the pages of People Magazine or Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. You will never entirely wipe Greed out of course, but you can Squash it down through the Culture and the Education of children. This is a cultural decision it is within our power to make.

In our lifetimes, and in the lifetimes of generations yet unborn, it will not be possible to escape the consequences of Overshoot, and the pain that is to come as the population must shrink in size to come back into Balance with what Nature provides on a Pay-as-you-Go basis. The tough Moral Questions of Abortion, Suicide, Murder and War will all be a part of our collective lives. Death comes in many ways, and the Grim Reaper will have the Greatest Harvest of all time in this go round. Your only choices in this revolve around where you will park your butt and whether you will be a Sheeple or a Wolf when the Big Show Comes to a Theatre Near You. If you Run Away NOW, run away FAR, you might avoid the worst of these choices for the rest of your natural life. I am as far out as you can GET and still have a connection to the Internet. I HOPE to live out what is left of my life in relative Peace, but as it stands at the moment, unless I die relatively quickly, the Big Show will Come to my Theatre and force me to make my choice. I do not know right now what that choice will be, Suicide, Lone Wolf or Pack Wolf? I won’t go to the Great Beyond as a Sheeple though. I won’t know the answer to this question until I am at the End of my Rope, and I am not there yet.

Come the Horsemen.

See You on the Other Side.

RE

Death: Part I

Off the keyboard of RE

Published on Reverse Engineering on January 22, 2011

Discuss this article at the Frosbite Falls Insider Table inside the Diner

Note from RE:  Another series of articles from the archives of Reverse Engineering.  In this series I look at DEATH as it has played out historically, and  how it might play itself out again in a Neo-Tribal post-collapse paradignm.  I take an unexpurgated  look at taboo subjects like Infanticide, Suicide and Postal Mass Murders.  IOW, not an article for the Squeamish. Part II will be posted on the Blog as well,  the rest will appear in the Frostbite Falls Insider members Only board inside the Diner, along with all discussion of this series.

Tonight’s subject is DEATH. I am not talking nice Peaceful Death quietly in your own bed at night from Old Age, nor even more wilful forms of hastening your own death through Suicide or just bad habits like Smoking, Drinking or doing Drugs. Nor even death that comes from the vicissitudes of Nature, such as an Earthquake bringing the roof of your hut down on your head or naturally occurring diseases that run around the environment and periodically take out large numbers of the population. No, the type of DEATH that I am going to address here is the WILLFULLY CAUSED DEATH of OTHERS. This includes Death caused by War directly, Death caused by Abortion directly, and Death caused indirectly by controlling and making scarce the resources other people need to live. All these subjects have been topics of heated debate here lately, so I thought I would bring them all together and put in my usual 3000 word opinion on the disk. It is sure to be a highly popular opinion. NOT! Actually, this one may make the Top 10 of All Time Most HATED RE Posts, which is saying a lot for me 😉 Or it could be one of the Top 10 All Time Most LOVED RE Posts among some readers. Either way I am pretty sure the reactions will be extreme to one side or the other.

For all these forms of Death creation mentioned above, they get nearly universal opprobrium. The Moral Group Think tends to be that War is Evil, Abortion is Evil and Starving People is Evil. In the situation where there really is enough resource to go round, all these Death Creation mechanisms ARE Evil, but once resources are thin for the Population as a whole, any one of them can be less Evil than the alternative.

The simple example would be the case of the Small Tribe barely ekeing out an existence. There is only enough resource for say 10 people to live. A woman in the tribe gets pregnant. What are your REAL choices? One choice would be to Abort the child. Then you will not have another mouth to feed. Another choice would be to allow the child to be born, and ask or have “volunteer” an Elderly person in the tribe to Walk into the Great Beyond. Take that last Kayak trip out to Sea, give himself up to the Bear, climb to the top of Denali and Freeze to Death, whatever the choice. Given a Healthy Infant, the better choice is probably for the elderly person to Die, but of course until Born and demonstrating healthy and robust traits, you just don’t know if that life is more worthwhile for the survival of the Tribe than the Elderly person, who might still have a few good years left to pass on some knowledge. In this kind of scenario, you have to consider Exposure as another alternative instead of Abortion. Allow the child to be born, see how robust that child is, and if not sufficiently robust expose it on a mountaintop and leave it for the wolves. These ARE the kinds of choices that had to be made in the past, and all of you come from people who made those choices. As I see it, these choices are coming again to Homo Sapiens. They won’t be taken on willingly or easily, but they WILL happen.

Moral questions which are paramount in times of Surplus do not have the same meaning as they do in times of Deprivation. When the PURE SURVIVAL of the Tribe is in question, life or death of the individual is subsidiary to the survival of the TRIBE, which is the smallest economic unit possible for Homo Sapiens. We are Pack Animals basically, like Wolves that run in small groups. The transition to Agriculture socially changed most of us more to Herd animals like Sheep, though Packs of Wolves still move about among the Sheeple in our society. It’s the juxtaposition of these two basic forms of living among mammals in one species that is at the root of our social dilemma.

As we move forward through the Collapse of our society these two basic forms of mammalian social behavior will assert themselves, and for the most part the Sheeple will be slaughtered by the Wolves. Difference from the rest of Nature is that at any point Sheeple can BECOME Wolves, we aren’t specifically determined by nature to be one or the other as REAL Sheep and Wolves are, it is socially inculcated behavior in our case. Homo Sapiens “sheeple” DO become “wolves” when the society devolves. Gangs form up of former Sheeple, and the deep nature of Homo Sapiens as a Pack Animal reasserts itself. A Failed State like Somalia turns into a bunch of Pack Animal Pirates; a Failed State like Mexico turns into a bunch of Pack Animal Drug Cartels, a bunch of Towel Head farmers in Afghanistan turn into Al-Quaeda Terrorists, etc. In none of these cases do these folks hold onto the same kinds of Moral Restrictions that Sheeple do. Nor of course do the top of the food chain Wolves of Banksters hold onto the same set of moral restrictions or laws that their prey among the Sheeple do.

As a Sheeple, at any point you can become a Wolf. Some are already becoming Lone Wolves. Joe Stack was a Lone Wolf, so was Jared. Lone Wolves don’t last long, but Pack Wolves do, as long as there are Sheeple around to prey on. You have 3 basic choices, which are to be one of the Sheeple, to be a Lone Wolf, or to be a part of a Pack of Wolves. Only one of those 3 choices will allow your survival.

Once you revert to Tribes of Pack Animals, the same type of moral dilemmas that are faced by Sheeple in War are not relevant. It no longer is a question of Wolves slaughtering Sheep, but of Wolves fighting with Wolves. This is the stage we are moving into here now. For a long time it has been Sheep being slaughtered, but now the Sheep are starting to Pack Up and become Wolves, at least in places like Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mexico.

Once you understand that your only REAL choice is whether to get slaughtered as Sheeple or become a Wolf yourself, if you want to LIVE then you become a Wolf. I am reminded here of that scene in Terminator II where Arnold reaches out his hand and says to Linda Hamilton “Come with me if you want to LIVE!”. You are in a fight for survival, and you have to Pack Up with some other wolves to have any chance at all. Once you do, you TAKE NO PRISONERS.

The Wars we are pursuing in Afghanistan and Iraq are a manifestation of this phenomenon on the aggregate level of the Nation State. As a Culture, it is Kill or Be Killed between our society and the one controlling the resource of Oil that we need as a culture to survive. Morality isn’t a question in this war, as long as it is perceived that we MUST have OIL to survive. ANYTHING goes. Killing civilian children is nothing more really than exposing them on a mountain top because your society needs the resources those children would use, just it is done on a mass scale as is the nature of war in the industrial era. From this point of view, its not morally wrong, and that would be the Bryzhinski/Kissinger/Cheney model of morality. It’s just a Geopolitical Chess Game.

Where the Moral Flaw really exists is in the inequity of power distribution between the Packs of Wolves. In fact it’s not so much a moral flaw or problem as it is one of homoeostasis. When there is relatively equal power distribution between packs of wolves, they tend to kill each other off in equal numbers when fighting over a given territory. When one group of wolves comes up with Industrialization, the whole power distribution setup goes out of whack and the Wars are not even in casualties. I remember those Numbers from Vietnam that used to be published each night on the Network TV Newz programs. 2000 Vietcong DEAD, 20 US Marines Dead. No Balance there, and so the whole shebang goes out of Homoeostasis.

This is why the pictures JimQ puts up of Dead and Mutilated Children are so disturbing, because people sense the inherent inequity here in the battle. A Big High Tech War Machine going in and Dropping Death from Above on a bunch of simple Villagers in Afghanistan is not a very fair fight. Same bizness in Vietnam. Who was not disturbed by the image in Platoon of the grunts torching the little Vietnamese Village, which of course was the cinematic version of the Me Lai Massacre? No matter how you feel about Commies or Towel Heads, your basic sense of fairness makes such slaughter seem quite immoral, which of course it is in this situation.

Its not the same moral dilemma when a couple of relatively evenly matched Tribes decide to Duke it Out over a Watering Hole. In this case one of them might sneak up in the middle of the night on the other one, and kill off everyone from the opposing tribe, women and children included, although more often just the men are killed and the women and children are taken as slaves. While this is a rather gruesome process, its not inherently unfair and doesn’t have the same kind of moral stink about it.

Abortion has similar inequities in the modern world, because it is inequitably distributed among the poor. Like Military Power, Economic power is inequitably distributed here, so MOST of the growing organisms being vacuumed up from mommy’s tummy are of course the potential progeny of poor people, likely to be poor themselves and in a social welfare state members of the dependent class, respectfully referred to on the pages of TBP as the Free Shit Army. LOL.

All sorts of Eugenics arguments have been put forth to justify this type of inequitable distribution of abortion, which basically comes from the faulty assumption that because people are poor, they also are Feeble Minded. This is much more likely to be the EFFECT of being poor rather than the CAUSE of it. Poor diet, poor educational opportunities and a poor nurturing environment is a more likely culprit than genetic differences for creating feeble minded people in this demographic. In any event, George Bush is living PROOF that rich people can be just as Feeble Minded as any Poor Person. LOL.

In our current Global society, in truth there is still quite a bit of surplus, and if a means could be found for equitable distribution of the remaining resources, neither Abortion nor War would be necessary. Unfortunately for a whole host of reasons setting up an economic system which can do such a job of equitable distribution is an exceedingly difficult problem, one which has never been solved for large societies at the Nation State level. It probably is an insoluble problem at this level, which means that both War and Abortion are inevitable, along with the slower form of death distribution of the powerful over the less powerful, which is resource starvation.

The main mitigating factor here is that due to the deterioration of complex systems, which I call the Conduits, power distribution is going to be levelled as these Conduits fail. As that happens, more of the Sheeple all over the world will morph into Wolves. Its going to become a fight of Pack Animals against each other with more or less the same tools for making that fight once the Oil resource drops below a critical mass. We are still a ways away from that though, so in the initial stages here of this spin down there will be a lot of very unfair fights and asymmetric types of warfare engaged in. Techno War simply breeds more Terrorists, because you cannot fight a Drone Aircraft with Guided Missiles with Homemade Bombs. So you have to carry the homemade bombs to hotels and buses and marketplaces where the people who are supporting the Techno Army are engaged in their daily toils, bringing the War to their shores and their lives. This type of asymmetric battle is in full flower in the Middle East already, and of course, its Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You also. It already has in small scale with events like Joe Stack and Jared, along with numerous College Campus Postals over the last couple of years.

In the great Moral Question here of whether any of this Death is necessary, the fault mainly lies in the fact that there is inequitable power and wealth distribution, and so those who support continuation of such inequity are most at fault, and so most morally corrupt. However, people immersed in a society dependent on the automobile and industrialization don’t see that as corruption, and they aren’t willing to give it up either. It “enhances” their lives. It will only be given up when it is no longer possible to run the War Machine which makes such an asymmetry possible. No individual can fight this, it’s a pointless and unwinnable battle. This is why the Back to the Land Hippy movement of the 1960s and 1970s failed to gain traction. Only when the Conduits truly FAIL will it be possible to fight and WIN this battle, and that day is coming, if not in this generation then almost certainly in the next one.

So, for the foreseeable future, for the rest of your natural life walking the earth, what you can expect to see are many more revoltingly immoral applications of Death by the Powerful on the Less Powerful, punctuated by instances of equally revolting Terrorist bombings of Malls, Train Stations and of course inevitably Elementary Schools or Day Care Centers by the Less Powerful on the Powerful. Besides the gruesome Abortion Mills, there will be more instances of newborns left in garbage bags in dumpsters. Neil Young wrote about this back as far as 1980 in “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World

For myself, I see what is coming down the pipe here, and I report what I see. I don’t like the immoral wars of the powerful on the less powerful when in truth there is still plenty to go round. I don’t like the many dead babies that poverty creates in a world where there is still plenty. To be sure, real deprivation is coming when the Oil resource can no longer keep the Industrial Ag model producing copious amounts of food, but that day is not here YET. Right NOW, the reason people are Starving in Tunisia is because of poor wealth distribution and financial speculation in the Commodities market by people seeking to make a Profit on the misery of others. This is immoral and unjust, but it is an effect of Capitalism, where resources are privatized and artificial scarcity is induced to sieve wealth from one group of people to another. This is why I am so vehemently anti-Capitalist and find the whole system to be unjust and immoral. As someone who believes in Justice, I support the idea of Punishment and Retribution, and I understand why Marie Antoinette’s head went rolling like a Bowling Ball out in front of the Bastille. She was GUILTY, and she deserved what she got, as all people do who live in luxury while others starve.

Nobody should be forced to give away EVERYTHING they ever worked for, but there is a limit to what any individual really needs to keep for himself for some safety and security In any society, having a couple of years worth of food is a prudent measure and not unreasonable for an individual. In our economics here in Amerika, I wouldn’t even begrudge someone who had $100K worth of Gold Coins in his basement safe that measure of security. More than this though here in Amerika? To me sequestering that much wealth is socially destabilizing, and besides that you are likely to lose most if not all of it anyhow when the fiat goes south and most paper assets like stocks and bonds lose their monetary value. Better to give it away and help some friends and family who are hurting while the money is still good for something. That is what I have done. Nobody, not even Bill Gates can Save them ALL. You are also free to choose exactly WHO you would like to Save here, and most of us will choose Friends and Family rather than Strangers. Only AFTER you have helped all your friends and family and your own life is reasonably secured if you STILL have surplus does Noblesse Oblige come into play. It behooves you then to help Strangers also, because doing so will stabilize the society as a whole. If all people lived by these principles, then the Wars and the Abortions could be postponed, and the necessary die off could be spread out over a generation or more. Not gonna happen of course, but because it IS in theory possible, it makes the other choice of hoarding the wealth to be immoral.

To be truly Just, a Society must be based on GIVING rather than TAKING. This is possible, though only demonstrated in much smaller societies than those we have developed at the Nation State level over the last 5000 years. This is why some folks will maintain “It has ALWAYS been like this, and it ALWAYS will be like this.” Not true. Potlatch WAS a viable system, and it will be again, though likely not at population levels and with social structures we currently have extant. That is a failure of the complex system model more than anything else, not a failure of inherent human corruption. It will take the utter and complete destruction of this complex system for the inherent traits of Generosity of Spirit and Giving and Cooperation to once again reassert themselves as the governing behaviors in human society. That this destruction will involve pain beyond all measure is without question. Those who do survive this though must remember what CAUSED it, and never permit this Evil to spread again amongst the race of Homo Sapiens. The Greedy must be Exterminated with Extreme Predjudice. Bring in the Orkin Man, Exterminate the Cockroaches. With a Clean Kitchen, we can cook up a Better Tomorrow.

RE

Revelation

We have been engaged in many discussions here and on TAE lately regarding how the monetary system collapse will play out and our various philosphies on how this should be dealt with.  Embedded in this discussion is my interpretation of Revelation 18 from The Bible.

I have been engaged the last couple of days with debates inside the Diner and on TAE, and have not had time to write another feature.  Tonight I went back to look for an Oldie but Goodie, and Fortuna has it the very first one I turned up quotes that very passage from Revelation 18 also.  This post was written originally as one of my Frostbite Falls Daily Rants on The Burning Platform, directly after I received the news of the Death of my mother a little over a year ago now.

For those of you also currently involved in the Goodness Gracious! Great Wall’s on Fire! discussion on TAE, this post also has more of my thoughts on the value of Gold and Silver in a Collapse.  All in all, a fortuitous post for me to dig up tonight, and I am not sure it was coincidence that I found it as the very first one I turned up.

It was the Finger of God.

All that is written in there remains as true today as it was then.

RE

Discuss this article inside the Diner

You might have noticed its been more that the 2 days between the rants I usually do as max.  Reason is yesterday my Mom Passed into the Great Beyond.  I have been arranging to fly down to the lower 48 to attend the Funeral and tidying up stuff I have been procrastinating on before I leave, like my TAXES.  So I haven’t spent the usual time writing.  I do have the monetary analysis I wrote before I got the news of her Death which I will include in this rant after I write just a few of my feelings about this. Not sure when I will write the next rant.

My Mom was 82 on her Death, and the last few years were very difficult.  My sister bore the greatest burden for this, and to her credit she enabled my mom to avoid going into a Nursing Home, and she died in her own bed in her own place in her sleep.  Since she retired at 65, she has ben living on Social Security and a Pension from the CA Franchise Tax Board.  She had a couple of Cancers which required expensive operations to keep her going, and medications to control her BP and Heart issues. I am grateul for the extra years she got, my mom was always there for me, a big supporter even with all my odd choices.  I am very sad I will not see her again in this life, but I still do wonder what the purpose was for her to keep going these last 10 years or so, beyond the fact it made me happy to talk to her and reminisce with her about times gone by.

So now she is gone, along with my Dad the Pigman who Passed into the Great Beyond a couple of years ago.  Grandparents all long since gone, I am now Next Up in the Generational Trip to the Great Beyond, and by no means do I expect I will be making it to anywhere near 80.  Frankly, if I make it to 60 these days I will be surprised.

Mom’s Passing leaves me a whole new set of problems,because like me Mom watched her pennies and she left me yet ANOTHER tidy sum of Toilet Paper to deal with.  To most folks inheriting a bunch more money would probably seem to be a good thing, to me it just puts me in another quandary. How can I get rid of it in the best way here before it goes worthless?  I have enough money and preps already, I just don’t need any more, but now I have a whole LOT more to deal with.  Its times like this that make me REALLY hate money. I WISH the whole fucking concept never was invented.  It WAS though, and I am stuck with dealing with it.

I would of course give every PENNY of it just to see my Mom one more time, but not as she was in these last 10 years or so.  I want to see my mom again as she was when I was a child, a healthy young woman with all her faculties.  That will not happen in this life though.  I will see her again that way in the Great Beyond, when my turn comes to pass.  I believe that, and it comforts me to believe so.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.  We all live a while on this Planet, and Death comes to us all in the end, some sooner, some later, all the while you live your life is sacred.  But it cannot and does not ever last forever and as a species,we must insure the survival of the young here, not the old.  The Sanctity of Life is in our Species, not in the individual Lifespan.

At this point, my money will all go to my school.  I hope I can get rid of it fast enough to help the school grow.  It’s the only really important thing left for me now.  Everything I have accumulated, everything I have left to give, it all goes to the School.  I go in Peace with this idea.

RE

Although the most lively stories these days in the MSM are with respect to the ongoing Nip Nuke Apocalypse and the rapidly expanding War in the M.E., there are equally important things going on in the monetary system devolution, so I thought I would briefly touch on them here to stay abreast of the entire Collapse Picture.

As has been expected for a while, the Portuguese Goobermint is collapsing and their debt is being rapidly downgraded by the ratings agencies.  Besides the Portuguese, apparently also the Canadian Goobermint is in trouble.  What does it really mean though to say one of these Goobermints is “collapsing”.  At least so far, the Politicians in these countries aren’t being run outta town on a rail, and the structures of their Goobermints are sort of intact.  Just what is happening here is that these legislative bodies are losing the aility to govern effectively.  They are running out of money and slicing and dicing their budgets isn’t working to keep them solvent.

Because Goobermint tends to be a Whipping Boy for its inefficiency and profligacy, all these Goobermints are being BLAMED for the problems.  However, doesn’t it strike anyone as a slightly INCREDIBLE coincidence that virtually every Goobermint on the PLANET has the SAME problems at the SAME time here?  The problem does not lie with the Goobermints, it lies in the Monetary system they all depend on to function, and they mostly do not control it.

During the time of Credit Expansion prior to Peak Oil, the CBs could always keep expanding Credit, which of course means somebody else has to take on Debt to continue this expansion. This is how the money supply increases to match increasing population during a civilization expansion.   As the Private Sector began to slow in its debt accumulation and/or begins to default on the debt, the Public Sector in ALL countries has had to pick up the slack to keep those ever increasing GDP numbers coming out. Otherwise you get a monetary contraction and deflation. At the Critical Point of Peak Oil, all expansion of credit had to stop, including Goobermint expansion.  At least Credit & Debt that you might have a reasonable expectation of being paid off on anyhow.  With the collapse in the Private Sector of the Dot Com Bubble and then the RE Bubble, Goobermint has had to take on ever more debt to keep the ILLUSION of Growth continuing.  This has been the case since the mid to late 1990s, Jesse over on Café Americain has noted this as well.  For at least the last Decade, the Private Sector has not been creating enough new jobs to absorb all the working age people looking for jobs.  So Goobermints took up the slack, issuing still more Debt to be able to hire still more Goobermint Workers.  They could not raise enough money to do that through Taxation, because the Private Sector was already choking and not growing.

Goobermint Debt was considered a “safe” investment until the need to issue so much of it went hyperbolic.  So now, the CBs who CREATE the money to lend don’t even want to lend it to Goobermints anymore, and the only Goobermints with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of credit are those TBTF countries that are in a symbiotic relationship with the TBTF Banks.  The smaller countries are having Austerity Budgets rammed down their throats from the IMF to be eligible for any NEW loans to rollover their old ones, but they simply cannot afford to do it.

The FSofA currently is not really subject to this problem, because at least to fund Da Federal Goobermint, the Illuminati Cabal personified in Da Fed will print as much as needed for running this level of Goobermint.  The State and Local Goobermints are in a much bigger Pickle of course.  Like the smaller countries, these Goobermints are also going to rapidly become unable to govern their communities.

Despite the commodities speculation with Hot Money provided to the TBTF Banks, all across the board you are seeing a rapid DEFLATION of the credit system.  Money is not being loaned to Small Biz, nor is it being loaned to Small Goobermints.  As they fail, more people will be unemployed, reducing their purchasing power further, reducing tax receipts further.  This is DEFLATION.  If you just focus your nose on the Commodities Markets, you are going to jump up and down pointing to INFLATION, but this is not an accurate description of what is occurring here.  What is occurring is a credit collapse, now at the Nation State level in smaller economies.  Its going to take out of circulation more of the money individuals need to buy the commodities, and it will force another crash here in those prices as inventories build and they are hoarded by people with access to credit to buy them. That would be the Super Rich of course.

This action is the Backdrop to the more intensive Collapse scenarios being played out in Nippon and the M.E.  The BIS/Fed Cabal is committed at this point to providing Infinite Liquidity, and this is Levitating the Markets across the globe right now.  The problem here is that the marginal utility of this hyperbolic debt increase is NEGATIVE now, so all that is occurring as more debt is issued is that its value decreases.  Debt money is being POURED into Sinkholes in Japan to try to clean up the Tsunami Mess and into Military enforcement in the M.E. to try to maintain control.  Its going to crash the system, just it is impossible to say precisely when or how this crash will manifest itself.

The one thing you can say with reasonable certainty is that those in control of the monetary system will try to maintain value in the paper they issue.  So at some point here infinite printing will stop.  Infinite printing debases ALL the currencies and will crash the trade, which is the source of sieving wealth.  It seems unlikely to me that a complete crash would be engineered, because rebooting with an entirely new currency would be close to impossible.  Rather what seems likely is that the massive printing will continue until weaker currencies explode into hyperinflation, driving all remaining trade into the currencies left standing.  As I see it, the Yen and the Euro are the weakest of the major currencies right now.  The Yen because of the massive Debt to GDP ratio the Japanese have along with their Nuke problems; the Euro because it is a poorly designed currency to begin with based on a lot of nothing.  Once these currencies collapse, it will strengthen the Dollar, and then only after that will massive printing stop in the dollar, and deflationary collapse in this currency be allowed to occur.  This consolidates all the wealth into a single currency.  At this time, some revaluation of the Dollar might be undertaken, possibly trying to underpin the value with PMs.  That will be difficult to do, because the absolute value of the PMs themselves is in question when measured against energy resource.  What is a Gold Coin worth against a Gallon of Gas when you really need the Gas to get to work but it is very hard to come by?

Clearly in this environment of energy scarcity, the value of Gas relative to Gold will go up, but of course this quickly prices out of the Gas market virtually everyone, which makes keeping the whole infrastructure running of pumping oil and refining it unprofitable.  The Gas disappears from the market, and then you cannot buy it at ANY price, no matter how much Gold you have.

You get a similar problem with Food once the Gas disappears from the market.  Food production and distribution will decrease with the decreasing availability of Gas, so Food then starts to skyrocket in value relative to the Gold.  Again, you run into the problem that most people are priced out of buying food relative to Gold here, so even if the currency is based in PMs, they will have problems.  As with all the M.E. Countries right now where people live on $2/day, once the food scarcity problem moves its way into center, NO MONEY, PM based or otherwise will buy much food.  At this point in a monetary system collapse, only the Food itself holds real value.  This is why in the time of Babylon when their market collapsed that there were no buyers for Silver and Gold in the marketplace.  They likely had reached the Peak of their ability to provide food throughout their civilization, and as it disappeared from the marketplace everything else lost its value, INCLUDING the PMs.  A civilization expands so far based on its ability to engineer a Food Surplus, all other trades in the civilization are subservient to it.  Once you hit Food Deficit, the value of everything else falls to Zero almost immediately.  Let us review the critical passage from Revelation 18 on the Fall of Babylon to understand this better:

8Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

12The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

13And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

14And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

15The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

16And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

17For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

20Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Because our Civilization and our Food production and distribution schema is now GLOBAL, our increasing inability to provide enough food WORLDWIDE to all the people living on the planet is rendering everything else WORTHLESS.  All of the poorest nations on earth are getting hit first here, and they will take the hardest hit first in terms of die off. War, Humanitarian Crisis, call it what you will, the simple fact is that it is becoming impossible to produce the food in the quantities we did because it is impossible to keep upping the energy production to grow the food and distribute it.  So EVERY poor nation on Earth is starting to EXPLODE here in internal violence, because each one of those places has its Haves and Have Nots.  The Have Nots have nothing left to lose here, and unlike for the Hebrew Slaves in the time of Moses, for the most part they cannot all get together and walk away into the desert.  There is nowhere left to GO.

Here in the developed countries, we are not facing this yet, nor will we until the Oil flow to our refineries falls below a critical level.  If there is sufficient die off in the poor countries fast enough and the oil resources from those countries can be secured to move oil this way, it could put off the day we face this crisis a while longer. However, it seems unlikely that with so much disruption in the M.E. that we will be able to move that Oil out of there, so the disruption here will follow in fair short order.

For certain,the attempt is going to be made to drop in NATO “Peacekeepers” in places like Libya that still have some exportable Oil. Unlikely we will waste Peacekeeping forces on a country like Syria, which has no exportable Oil.  If our Peacekeepers are successful in Libya (and Saudi Arabia of course eventually), we might get a few more years here of Plenty in the Supermarkets. Not a whole lot of years though under any circumstances, and the fact that the monetary system UNDERPINNING, which is Food Surplus, is falling apart means that all the currently functioning money of any kind will fall worthless.

What is likely to replace this in the developed countries with still functioning Goobermints?  Some sort of Rationing is likely, as in the FSofA where the food market and the energy markets are controlled by a few corporations like Monsanto, Conagra, Krafft, Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, and British Petroleum, you will likely see a very explicit merger of Goobermint and Corporations in the Fascist Model.  For most places it will be early impossible to escape this model.  You have to be very far from the center of this to escape it, I hope I am far enough.  Small communities with good resources and hard working people may be able to make it through this maelstrom.  That is my great HOPE anyhow.

RE

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Event Update For 2019-05-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-05-16http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-05-15http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-05-14http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-05-13http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

What is your climate pawprint?"If US dogs had their own country it would be bigger than 200 other countries and likely be on [...]

Orellana's Robots"Climate scientists are now connecting the dots and starting to glimpse how a terra preta thera [...]

Can some nut unseat King Corn?"Acornucopia is sprouting under a tree near you."“I am partial to the peculiar and wholeso [...]

Cheddar and the Leafcutters"What can you do when geophysics outpaces evolution?"My personal ancestry has a major limb [...]

Pushing on to Venus"We need to stop our warming ways or there will be Hell to pay." I sometimes look back at [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

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

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

To fight climate change, you need to get the world off of fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

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

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

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

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

generalists (foxes) are far better at predictions than experts/specialists (hedgehogs): https://www. [...]

You have been reading too much peak oil literature. I think that coal is equally as important as oil [...]

The idea that we live in a simulation is not original to Elon, by the way. Hindu philosophy and myth [...]

You have a point there. I wonder if the Remainers developed a bioweapon that selectively culled Brex [...]

"Well I never! I wonder how they got in there! Melinda, you supervise the vaccine cooking. Do y [...]

Hi Steve. I recently found what I believe is a little gem, and I'm quite confident you'd a [...]

The Federal Reserve is thinking about capping yields? I don't know how long TPTB can keep this [...]

As some one who has spent years trying to figure out what the limits to growth are. let me say that [...]

Peak oil definitely happened for gods sake. Just because it isn't mad max right now is no indic [...]

@Volvo - KMO says he made some life choices he regrets. Not sure what they were. And I don't th [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

The creation of realistic gridded precipitation fields improves our understanding of the observed cl [...]

A recent article reviewed data on Great Salt Lake (Utah) and concluded falsely that climate changes, [...]

Stretching along the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, The Red River Valley (RRV) of the North h [...]

The idea of compact cities is attracting enthusiasts, and some have proposed sustainable options for [...]