Freedom

Anonymous Million Mask March

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/OZJwSjor4hM/0.jpgKnowledge is Free

We are Anonymous

We are Legion

We do not Forgive

We do not Forget

Expect Us

 

November 5th Million Mask March

 

The Internet of Things

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The Economic Collapse on March 1, 2015

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A Dystopian Nightmare Where Everyone And Everything Will Be Monitored On The Internet

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Biometric-Security-Cartoon-By-Welleman.jpgCan you imagine a world where your home, your vehicles, your appliances and every single electronic device that you own is constantly connected to the Internet?  This is not some grand vision that is being planned for some day in the future.  This is something that is being systematically implemented right now.  In 2015, we already have “smart homes”, vehicles that talk to one another, refrigerators that are connected to the Internet, and televisions that spy on us.  Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and that opens up some wonderful possibilities.  But there is also a downside.  What if we rapidly reach a point where one must be connected to the Internet in order to function in society?  Will there come a day when we can’t even do basic things such as buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without it?  And what about the potential for government abuse?  Could an “Internet of Things” create a dystopian nightmare where everyone and everything will be constantly monitored and tracked by the government?  That is something to think about.

Today, the Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that it is hard to remember how we ever survived without it.  And with each passing year, the number of devices connected to the Internet continues to grow at an exponential rate.  If you have never heard of the “Internet of Things” before, here is a little bit about it from Wikipedia

Things, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. Current market examples include smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize wifi for remote monitoring.

But there is also a dark side to the Internet of Things.  Security is a huge issue, and when that security is compromised the consequences can be absolutely horrifying.  Just consider the following example

It is a strange series of events that link two Armenian software engineers; a Shenzen, China-based webcam company; two sets of new parents in the U.S.; and an unknown creep who likes to hack baby monitors to yell obscenities at children. “Wake up, you little ****,” the hacker screamed at the top of his digital lungs last summer when a two-year-old in Houston wouldn’t stir; she happened to be deaf. A year later, a baby monitor hacker struck again yelling obscenities at a 10-month-old in Ohio.

Both families were using an Internet-connected baby monitor made by China-based Foscam. The hacker took advantage of a weakness in the camera’s software design that U.S.-based Armenian computer engineers revealed at a security conference in Amsterdam last April.

The Internet allows us to reach into the outside world from inside our homes, but it also allows the reverse to take place as well.

Do we really want to make ourselves that vulnerable?

Sadly, we live at a time when people don’t really stop to consider the downside to our exploding technological capabilities.

In fact, there are many people that are extremely eager to connect themselves to the Internet of Things.

In Sweden, there are dozens of people that have willingly had microchips implanted under the skin.  They call themselves “bio-hackers”, and they embrace what they see as the coming merger between humanity and technology.  The following is what one of the founders of a Sweden based bio-hacking community had to say during one recent interview

“The technology is already happening,” says Hannes Sjoblad, one of the founders of BioNyfiken. “We are seeing a fast-growing community of people experimenting with chip implants, which allow users to quickly and easily perform a variety of everyday tasks, such as allowing access to buildings, unlocking personal devices without PIN codes and enabling read access to various types of stored data.

“I consider the take-off of this technology as another important interface-moment in the history of human-computer interaction, similar to the launches of the first windows desktop or the first touch screen. Identification by touch is innate for humans. PIN codes and passwords are not natural. And every additional device that we have to carry around to identify ourselves, be it a key fob or a swipe card, is just another item that clutters our lives.”

And of course this is happening in the United States as well

In America, a dedicated amateur community — the “biohackers” or “grinders” — has been experimenting with implantable technology for several years. Amal Graafstra, a 38-year-old programmer and self-styled “adventure technologist”, has been inserting various types of radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips into the soft flesh between his thumbs and index fingers since 2005. The chips can be read by scanners that Graafstra has installed on the doors of his house, and also on his laptop, which gives him access with a swipe of his hand without the need for keys or passwords.

But you don’t have to have a microchip implant in order to be a part of the Internet of Things.

In fact, there are a whole host of “wearable technologies” that are currently being developed for our society.

For instance, have you heard about “OnStar for the Body” yet?  It will enable medical personnel to constantly monitor your health wherever you are…

Smart, cheaper and point-of-care sensors, such as those being developed for the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, will further enable the ‘Digital Checkup’ from anywhere. The world of ‘Quantified Self’ and ‘Quantified Health’ will lead to a new generation of wearable technologies partnered with Artificial Intelligence that will help decipher and make this information actionable.

And this ‘actionability’ is key. We hear the term Big Data used in various contexts; when applied to health information it will likely be the smart integration of massive data sets from the ‘Internet of things’ with the small data about your activity, mood, and other information. When properly filtered, this data set can give insights on a macro level – population health – and micro – ‘OnStar for the Body‘ with a personalized ‘check engine light’ to help identify individual problems before they further develop into expensive, difficult-to-treat or fatal conditions.

If that sounded creepy to you, this next item will probably blow you away.

According to one survey, approximately one-fourth of all professionals in the 18 to 50-year-old age bracket would like to directly connect their brains to the Internet…

According to a survey by tech giant Cisco Systems, about a fourth of professionals ages 18 to 50 would leap at the chance to get a surgical brain implant that allowed them to instantly link their thoughts to the Internet.

The study was conducted on 3,700 adults working in white-collar jobs in 15 countries.

“Assuming a company invented a brain implant that made the World Wide Web instantly accessible to their thoughts, roughly one-quarter would move forward with the operation,” the study found.

In the end, they are not going to have to force most of us to get connected to the Internet of Things.

Most of us will do it eagerly.

But most people will never even stop to consider the potential for abuse.

An Internet of Things could potentially give governments all over the world the ability to continually monitor and track the activities of everyone under their power all of the time.

If you do not think that this could ever happen, perhaps you should consider the words of former CIA director David Petraeus

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing”

Are you starting to get the picture?

They plan to use the Internet of Things to spy on all of us.

But we just can’t help ourselves.  Our society has a love affair with new technology.  And some of the things that are being developed right now are beyond what most of us ever dreamed was possible.

For example, Microsoft has just released a new promotional video featuring 3D holograms, smart surfaces, next-generation wearable technologies, and “fluid mobility”…

The elaborate, highly produced video shows jaw-dropping technologies like a SCUBA mask that annotates the sea with 3D holograms, a multipart bracelet that joins together to become a communications device, and interactive, flexible displays that automatically “rehydrate” with information specific to the people using them.

This video from Microsoft was posted on YouTube, and I have shared it below…

So what do you think about all of this?

The Paradox Inherent in Any Slave Nation Revolution

Off the keyboard of Cognitive Dissonance

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Published on Two ice Floes on February 7, 2015

Che-Revolution

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

How exactly do you cook a nutritious meal if all you have are spoiled ingredients? The answer depends upon your definition of nutritious and who is eating the meal……and, of course, your level of hunger and growing desperation. It is telling how much less discerning we become when the hunger pains boom in our belly and our mind becomes ever more focused on the single minded obsession of relieving our pain rather than pursuing our pleasure. Although at some point down the slippery slope relieving our pain is pursuing our pleasure.

If I carefully tend my garden, making certain the soil is thoroughly turned and pulverized, the seeds and seedlings properly planted, the area fertilized, weeded and watered and yet my garden’s yield is poor year after year after year, at what point do I begin to question the basis for my assumptions? And clearly there is an assumption of a better yield if I continue to do the same thing and expect different results.

Perhaps the soil is too acidic or alkaline, the area in shadow too long or the crop selection not suited for the soil or geographic location. The issue might be any or all of the above, or it might be something entirely different. Only a fearless and thorough examination of both the garden and gardener will reveal the systemic faults, and thereby the remedies to be employed.

It is a common belief in the West that revolution, at least when ‘successful’ (which usually means a forced change in leadership) produces reasonably good outcomes for the population at large. I contend this is wishful thinking and a deliberately seeded misnomer designed to obscure and conceal the ugly recognition that most often the new boss is quite similar in method and madness to the old boss. Change via revolution should not be conflated with better, nor should it be assumed better is the inevitable outcome.

The paradox of revolution springs from one central source, albeit a source widely dispersed and with many reverberations. Even if the revolutionaries wear white hats and are genuinely interested in fomenting ‘good’ change, with ‘good’ usually understood to mean ridding the country/region of the parasitic leaches and sociopaths along with the madmen at the top, changing the patsies throughout the governmental power structure doesn’t root out the sociopaths embedded within the country’s elite, essentially the King’s court along with several of the King’s men.

Since the King serves at the pleasure of his court, killing the King does little if anything to root out the source of real power in the country or region. Like tics dug in deep under a dog’s fur and attached directly to the economic blood supply, the established power base must either be thoroughly dislodged, thereby risking utter economic collapse, or a deal made to accommodate their continuing presence in order to enable the newly crowned King time to organize and govern.

Regardless of whether or not damage was done to the infrastructure and overall economy during the revolution, the new leadership often opts to cut a deal with the existing elite in order to quickly consolidate power and demonstrate to the population some sort of progress towards restoration of commerce and an increased standard of living. This very act of questionably necessary compromise and accommodation means the ‘good’ imagined by the revolutionaries has already been sidetrack and subverted, though by how much remains to be seen.

Liberty - CleanLady Liberty – A controlling mind meme

These issues are further compounded since the global elite do not respect national boundaries in the same manner you and I are forced to do. Money’ is fungible and convertible and quickly moved by those who possess both large quantities and international financial contacts. This means the elite can apply significant external pressure using a variety of means to compel the revolutionaries to concede on many business regulations, tax concessions and the selling of national assets if they wish to receive external assistance from the blood sucking tics.

Basically the economic hit-men are sent in and the revolutionaries are read the riot act. Play international ball or we will take your ball (and possibly your country) away. Facing Hobson’s Choice, either they dislodge the elite and become the next Cuba or North Korea, isolated from most of civilization and it’s economic and financial opportunities, or they join the ranks of the corrupt and in the process profit handsomely from their hard labors ‘liberating’ the downtrodden. It is easy to see how this self serving decision can be rationalized away.

This scenario doesn’t even take into consideration that in all likelihood the revolutionaries already hitched their wagon to a group of elites (internal or external, it doesn’t really matter) during the early stages of the uprising in order to gain military and financial assistance. That bill comes due immediately upon demand, thereby assuring the economic hit-men easy access to the top. In most cases the tics are already deeply embedded within the revolution.

This brings us to an important corollary to my theorem. With a global and local population thoroughly conditioned with the slave mentality of respect, or just plain fear, for self declared (elite) authority along with severe generational Stockholm Syndrome, even before the revolution begins to take hold the revolutionaries quickly realize in order to win the population over, or simply to neutralize it, they must employ the exact same herding and bullying techniques as the present, and soon to be previous, status quo leadership uses to control the native population.

Essentially the vast majority of the existing population is already suffering to one degree or another under the present day rule. And they are doing nothing to free themselves from their oppressed condition. Other than the very small minority who will join the rebellion when hope surfaces with the insurgency, the majority will remain either neutral (meaning frozen in fear glued to their propaganda mind control devices) or will rise to defend their shepherd……or at the very least their meal ticket. The ultimate enemy of a revolution is not the oppressive government it is attempting to overthrow, but the general population it is trying to ‘free‘.

This virtually assures if and when the revolution ‘succeeds’ the new boss will appear quite similar to the old boss, since it is nearly impossible to resist using an extremely effective herding technique once the revolution has gained control of the civilian population using the very same techniques. While some of the citizens will welcome the leadership change, for they labor under the mistaken belief good times are just around the corner, for the most part the recently elevated revolutionary King will face a suspicious and even hostile civilian population, especially if the controlling propaganda memes are interrupted by the recent regime change.

All the more reason to ruthlessly quell dissent and consolidate power by making deals with the elite devil(s) while using strong arm tactics on the general population, something the slave mentality will generally applaud as needed and necessary to ‘restore law and order and make the streets safe’. Ultimately a population conditioned to believe only a higher authority can save them from themselves will beg for an authority, any authority, to fill the vacuum left behind when the last figure head authority was deposed.

While over the ages there have been hundreds of slightly different permutations of the above scenario endlessly played out as one after another revolution rises up only to quickly fizzle out, assuring an endless stream of sociopath patsies rotating through the halls of power, the basic blueprint rarely changes regardless of the social, economic or technological ‘progress’ achieved.

Civil War Cannon - CleanThe Blueprint for Slavery – Killing each other to benefit the master.

As disturbing as this concept might be for those minds who consider themselves free, we still live, work and play under a form of slave plantation organization. No – the US is not fundamentally different, though this is most certainly the controlling meme, one of outstanding exceptionalism. What makes the US unique (or at least first) is the rousing success the embedded tics had in developing the next iteration of the slave plantation system, one where the slaves were given limited freedom of choice in exchange for greater participation and productivity. Even now this experiment is coming to a close as the profits dwindle……and with them the slave’s choices. In a sociopath’s world, nothing assures eventual collapse more than unparalleled success.

The biggest difference between the slave toiling away on a 19th century Deep South cotton plantation and the modern ‘educated’ self determining ‘free’ debt addled office, factory or service worker is the degree of mobility, living standard, and belief in our own freedom. Not to mention our rock solid belief in the ‘guarantee’ of our basic ‘human’ (slave) rights. Ever wonder who exactly is making, and supposedly fulfilling, that guarantee?

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”Wolfgang von Goethe

I am fairly certain the prior statements will elicit either violent emotional triggering in rebuttal (denial is often the first line of cognitive defense) or a quiet calm as the slave mind quickly overcomes the sudden rise of cognitive dissonance by differentiating itself from the rest of the herd……as it always does in order to tolerate its captivity. Ironically the latter self subterfuge is the favorite refuge of those of us who consider ourselves awake and aware.

From a practical point of view, while the modern slave enjoys many ‘benefits’ only dreamed of by the slaves of the Deep South, the ‘benefits’ enjoyed by the elite modern slave master which are derived from the exponentially higher productivity of the modern slave far exceeds any concessions the master has made to the slave. Concessions I might add that can, will and are being quickly rescinded.

Even though “We the People” believe our selves already free, and the level of technology salted throughout our modern lives tend to confirm our delusional thinking, this technology also serves as the robust chain that binds us to our plantation. The massive and still growing global surveillance state (not just in the USA but throughout the world both East and West) assures the controlling elite not only the means to track and eavesdrop, but to implant the latest mind controlling memes and narratives directly into our minds. Upgrades and updates are just a finger swipe away. The endless variety of news and information sources available at our fingertips virtually assures each of us will be told exactly what we wish to hear, see and think.

With the mind of the master now firmly implanted in our pocket or purse, the concept of revolution can be quickly derailed or co-opted among the great unwashed masses. While this doesn’t dissuade the truly disaffected from pushing back at the margins, it does severely limit the number of minds willing to be freed from the controlling matrix. A conditioned mind always returns to its core dependency for affirmation and confirmation of the correctness of its debased state.

It can be competently and convincingly argued, at least when dealing with a mind willing and able to see all sides of the issue, that far from being free and independent, the modern wage slave is far more indentured to his or her servitude than at any other time in history. What this means is that any revolution, in addition to all the issues outlined above, has a much steeper hill to climb than ever before if it is to eventually ‘succeed’.

Just as enlightening to recognize is one simple fact. Similar to the situation where unless all the head lice are removed at the same time, the infestation continues, so too if the sociopaths are not removed in mass globally with one fell swoop of civil uprising, the infestation continues. While the controlling sociopaths share the same self survival impulse as we mere mortals, they do not share our propensity to live and let live. Therefore they will quickly and efficiently sacrifice fellow elite sociopaths in order to sate the blood thirsty mobs, thereby assuring (or at a minimum prolonging) their continued control of the slave nation.

Because the general population lives within the fiction of the controlling meme, meaning the mostly false narrative deeply embedded within our minds of what is real and what is not, as long as the changing of the guard produced by revolution remains within the controlling mind meme narrative nothing really changes for the slave population other than in the most superficial manner. Instead of a ration of 20 units of chocolate each day I have been assured a raise to 100 units of chocolate per week. Thus even when the sociopaths lose they still win.

Chocolate - CleanI got my raise. Who wants to barter?

After hundreds, even thousands, of years of failed revolutions and endless rounds of rotating sociopath leaders, maybe it is time to question the very premise of ‘revolution’ and what exactly is happening here. Since you and I cannot force change upon the world with the snap of our fingers, the only path out of this paradox is to break free from the controlling meme and recognize our own participation in, and endorsement of, the slave plantation state.

This is not to say attempting to protect ourselves from the manipulated herd or the layers of well armed muscle surrounding the sociopath leaders is pointless and futile. Nor should we passively let go when the gathering tide is tugging at our feet. But to blindly assume any response from you or me is either doomed to fail (for example assuming you can’t fight city hall) or expected to succeed (such as being armed and awake in the redoubt) and all points in-between, is at this point utter insanity on our part. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is – well, you know – insane.

To assume I and millions of others can unravel thousands of years of social conditioning and manipulation in mere months or even years if only we were to do ‘something’ is the very definition of self delusion, serving only to set myself and others up for eventual failure. The source of my urgent impulse to action, which usually consists of little more than high frequency vibrating in place similar to a deer in the headlights (an extremely unhealthy state of affairs I might add) is an at times irrational fear for my ‘self’ once my eyes have glimpsed first light and begin to recognize the layers of (self) deceit and treachery which encompasses the modern slave state.

When this is combined with an often falsely perceived close proximity to the soon-to-be mad-as-hell hungry hoards when first light is involuntarily thrust upon them, this bitter cocktail goads my mind into believing something must be done right now or all is lost later. With the brain now effectively short circuited and disconnected, and the body operating solely on fear induced adrenaline, hence the high frequency vibration, we become our own personalized sub sect of the mindless masses. And right there my friend is the ultimate source of history’s rhyme, the co-opted revolutionary mind leading the forever blind.

The dirty little secret dear reader is glaringly obvious once accepted; this ‘belief’ that we must fight fire with fire, that lines must be draw – this far and no further, that time is of the essence and the end is so near, is part and parcel of the overall controlling mind meme. To paraphrase the Architect as he spoke with Neo, “You think you are the first, but you are not. There is a long line behind you and an even longer line ahead.”

There is an unbalanced equation inherent (more accurately described as deliberately implanted) in our programming which results in a tragically poor yield to our endless revolutions. It might be the soil or the crops, the light or the gardener. Then again it might not. The only apparent choices available to us are a product of the controlling meme and are patently false unless they are recognized for what they are. Only our acknowledgement and full acceptance that we willing participated in this macabre dance can invalidate the false choices and open new doors. Either we create our own reality or we exist as subjects of theirs.

To deny these basic and self evident truths is to deny us our ultimate freedom, the freedom from self. This is the source of our power and the elite know this, thus the reason they are so desperate to ramp up their subjugation and control. Their power is simply our power brilliantly co-opted, and all we need do to take it back is snap our fingers and they are suddenly naked and exposed. I love the smell of elite desperation in the morning.

This is not false hope, but rather obvious truth. However, unless “We the Individual” can overcome and surpass our thoroughly conditioned and manipulated ‘self’, the game will never change other than at the most local of levels and for the shortest periods of time. There is a reason we rats are always caught in the trap. When we finally ask of our ‘self’ the only pertinent question that matters – why do I continue to play the fool in the slave master’s game – then we can begin to recognize the only path out of this maze is to be found when we finally look within.

I Should Have Been Dead Before I Graduated High School In 1970

Off the keyboard of Stuck in New Jersey

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Published on The Burning Platform on November 13, 2014

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

Paul Simon sang — “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school it’s a wonder I can think at all. And though my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none I can read the writing on the wall.”

I’m not exaggerating when I say my high school years were the worst four years of my life. Most everything I needed to learn I learned in kindergarten, picked up a thing or two as late as 8th grade, but I didn’t learn Jack Shit in grades 9 through 12. I had few friends. It was so bad, as you will see in the pictures below, not even Da Gooberment tried to protect me!

What they tried to teach me was mostly a Big Pile Of Bullshit.  Here, let Pete Seeger ‘splain it to you in under two minutes.

 

It’s not that I wanted a lot of government protection. Eddie Billian (actual name), a wannabe jockfuk,  picked on me almost every single day.  I used to daydream about cutting off his hands in shop class.  I would have been happy if they let me get away with just that, a Justifiable Amputation. Even after all these years … Eddie, if you’re reading this just know that if I ever run into you, I’m going to kick you in the fuck.

Unfortunately, we now have laws governing ………. everything.  Laws we couldn’t even have imagined back in my day.  Somewhere along the line we gave up our right to choose even simple things, and allowed the government to impose their standards upon us. As you read this, just ask yourself one question: —–“When will we tell the government we would rather die, than continue to be their mindless slaves?”

WHEN did we say, “To hell with this?”

We need to REVIVE this attitude!

OK, let’s get started.

“Be careful, Stucky, that can put your eye out!”

That was the extent of the warning my mom gave me. Back in my day, there were well over 200 activities that could put your eye out! But, virtually none that could kill you. How much fun can a game be if there isn’t at least a small chance of death?

So, the kids on our block played an interesting version; each of us would get one jart and at the same we’d throw it straight up in the air as high as we could, and then we’d dodge the incoming hail of plastic and steel … the idea being to wait to dodge the missile until the very last possible second. One time a jart buried itself into Angelo Falcone’s foot, and he started to cry when blood oozed through his white Converse sneakers …. not because it hurt, but because his father was gonna kill him for messing up his sneakers!

It’s been shown that the business end of a jart can land with a force of several thousand pounds of pressure per square inch. Seriously. We Boomers may have ruined America, but we surely weren’t pussies.

By my own estimate, I believe jarts were thrown about 138.4 Billion times by 1987. In April 1987, seven-year-old Michelle Snow was killed by a lawn dart thrown by one of her brothers’ playmates in the backyard of their home in Riverside, California. She should have ducked. Previously, only two other children died. So, 138.4 Billion throws … 3 dead … do the math. Mr. Snow went on a crusade and by 1989 Congress banned jarts, again, but this time forever.

In one respect, I suppose it’s nice that in America one person can still make a difference. On the other hand, one person gets their way almost always at the expense of thousands of others. Isn’t this tyranny by the few?

In the news today the town of Westminster, MA (pop: 7,000) banned the sale of any and all tobacco products ….. a decision made by a THREE MEMBER Board Of Health. Three people who don’t give a damn that the overwhelming majority of the town does not support this action. Why …. that’s almost as bad as 317 million Americans being ruled by 535 criminals in Congress.

 

should be dead (1)

Back in my day, it seemed like everyone smoked. Watch an old episode of Perry Mason; Perry and Paul Drake smoked constantly … murderers smoked while murdering. Doctors smoked while delivering babies. You could smoke in a supermarket, in an airplane, or any restaurant. Teachers smoked. Students smoked in the bathroom. Doctors smoked Lucky Strikes. Even Father Joseph at my Catholic school, St Peter’s, smoked while greeting Sunday parishioners.

Asking “Mind if I light up?” was a mere formality. No one dared say, “No!” for fear of being labeled a pussy. Smokers smoked and there was zero lack of concern for those who didn’t smoke. Smokers weren’t forced outside …. non-smokers were! Those were the good old days of ‘IN YOUR FACE!’. It was a world full of adults who didn’t have anxiety attacks over a thousand different “safety” issues.

 

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Whether riding a bike, or roller skating, or skateboarding …. NO ONE wore a helmet. If you did, your social life would have been over, kaput, finito … an outcast, destined for humiliation and abuse … especially in gym class. There were only two groups that wore helmets; football players and the mentally retarded. (Our own poster, bb, wore a helmet … and he wasn’t a football player.)

 

should be dead (2)

My dad’s first two cars didn’t have seat-belts. My first car, a 1958 Pontiac Chieftain, didn’t have seat-belts. When we did get cars with seat-belts, we didn’t wear them. They were a pain in the ass. Belts were made to hold up your pants, not bind you up in a seat. Child seats? Never heard of them. When we brought my new baby sister home from the hospital, my mom just threw her in the back seat … with me. I did put a Teddy Bear on the edge of the seat to keep her from falling off.

Sure, I’ll agree that seat-belts save lives. But, that’s not the point. It should be a PERSONAL decision … not one forced upon you. Besides, the gooberment doesn’t give a rats ass about your life …. otherwise they wouldn’t have sent 100,000+ young men to their deaths in various adventurous wars since WWII. Nosiree. “Click-it or ticket” is all about extracting more money from your wallet into theirs.

 

should be dead (4)

 In case you didn’t read the ad … you must;

“Tanfastic lets the sunshine in.  It’s not loaded up with sunburn protection like old folks and kids want.  Tanfastic’s for you 15-to-25 year olds who can take the sun.  Especially if you want to get superdark.  Superfast.”

Got that? Back in my day we did NOT try to BLOCK the sun. Oh, no!! The goal was to AMPLIFY the sun’s rays. Get dark, baby .. real, real dark!! Screw that sun-screen shit. The only people who went the sunscreen route were those with medical conditions … like, albinos. My sister (I swear!) used to smear herself with butter. Other women (like, Nancy Pelosi) used Crisco. I swear that’s true. Back then few ever asked, “What could go wrong?” If it feels good, do it, and being a Darkie felt reeeeal good.

 

should be dead (5)

Sadly, that’s the world we live in today. I’ve seen parents hook up their children with what looks like a dog leash. A few weeks ago we went out to eat with Ms. Freud’s son and family. It was a nice day, so we ate outside in the patio area. As it so happened her grandson, Andrew, wandered off …. a few feet behind another table … when his mommie started freaking the fuck out … “WHERE’S ANDREW!! WHERE’S ANDREW!!!!!!”. It was so goddamn embarrassing, you have no idea.

During summer vacation from school, somewhere around 9AM I would proudly announce, “I’m going out to play!” Mom’s only response, “You better be home by dinner!” …. which was 6PM. Yeah, nine hours of unsupervised activity. Oh, you should know … I lived in Newark, NJ. I would wander literally MILES from home … either to Weequahic Park (a two mile walk), or to my best friend’s house in Irvington (a five mile bike ride … no helmet). Sometimes my dad would take me shopping to the lumber yard, hardware store, etc., and if I was a pain in the ass, meaning, I’d pester him to buy me shit, well … he would just leave me in the car once we arrived at the destination. Sometimes that happened during 100 degree weather. BOTH my parents would have been arrested, dozens of times, in today’s environment. I think it was Pogo who said, “We have met the enemy, and it’s us.”

 

should be dead (3)

That’s what my dad said when he was teaching me to ride a bicycle, and I was doing just fine, and then the sumvabitch let go, and then I freaked out, and then I fell, and then I scraped my elbow and hand badly enough to draw blood, and then I cried, and then yeah he said “Quit being a baby!”, and then mom came running and spit (yes, spit) in a hanky and then tied it around my arm with her kerchief (yes, kerchief), and then I got my (then) skinny ass back on the bike and then learned to ride it THAT very day. Our “first aid” kit consisted of Band-Aids and a bottle of iodine.

See the kid in the picture? He’s about to have his nuts rammed by a goat. See the adults? They think that’s funny as shit. We were tough back then.

 

“mm-mm Good! Crap food builds strong bones!!”

Do you know the nutritional value of white bread? I’ll tell you. Less than zero. In other words, eating it actually extracts needed minerals and vitamins from your body. Wilson’s Mor was originally named Wilson’s Moron … cuz you gotta be a retard to eat it; pig’s head, snout, cheek meat, and even tongue. Their motto is “everything but the squeal” Yummy!!

As a child, I did not know one single adult, ever, who was concerned about getting this or that vitamin, or this or that mineral … except in commercials. We ate some of the crappiest “food” ever invented. Yet, we survived, and even thrived.

Compare yesteryear to Moochelle’s Mandated gooberment lunch. Below is a picture taken earlier this week by Darrel Bunch, a senior at Haskell High School in Oklahoma.   WTF???

haskellschoollunch

 

And Lastly …

There were no homos in the Boy Scouts

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  It was better that way. And that’s all I have to say about that.

BREAD, CIRCUSES & BOMBS – DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE – PART TWO

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on November 9, 2014

Discuss this article at the History Table inside the Diner

In Part One of this article I discussed the similarities between the Roman Empire and the American Empire at a high level. In this article I’ll delve into some specific similarities and rhymes between the fall of the Roman Empire and our modern day empire of debt, decay and decline. I’ll address our expansive level of bread and circuses and how defects in our human nature lead to people willingly sacrificing their liberty for promises of safety and security. All empires decline due to the same human failings and ours is no exception. If anything, ours will be far more spectacular and rapid due to our extreme level of hubris, arrogance, willful ignorance and warlike preference for dealing with foreign powers.

It seems there were a few visionary thinkers in the late 1950s who foresaw the dire course our former Republic was setting. Their writings were a prophecy and a warning. There was still time to change course and avoid the pitfalls that led to the Roman Empire collapse. In Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley warned against allowing a few amoral men using propaganda, scientific advancements, technology, brainwashing, and economics to control and manipulate a willfully ignorant populace into a dystopian dictatorship. The Soviet and Chinese dictatorships of the late 1950s are long gone, but Huxley foresaw how modern propaganda techniques would be used by the state to drown the masses in a sea of triviality, irrelevance, and consumerism.

“In their propaganda today’s dictators rely for the most part on repetition, suppression and rationaliza­tion — the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the suppression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationaliza­tion of passions which may be used in the interests of the Party or the State. As the art and science of manip­ulation come to be better understood, the dictators of the future will doubtless learn to combine these tech­niques with the non-stop distractions which, in the West, are now threatening to drown in a sea of irrele­vance the rational propaganda essential to the mainten­ance of individual liberty and the survival of demo­cratic institutions.”

Another man of vision was President Dwight D. Eisenhower. As someone who understood the military industrial complex and the world of politics and power, he knew the danger of allowing the arms industry to dictate the foreign policy of the country. Maintaining a military empire bankrupted Rome and it is bankrupting the American empire. Eisenhower’s warning was unheeded.

“We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.”

When I was researching the similarities between the fall of the Roman Empire and our American Empire fall in progress, I stumbled across an essay written in 1956 by Ben Moreell called Of Bread and Circuses  

Toxic Bread, iGadgets, Circuses, & Zoloft

“The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of the games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease. The moral decay of the people was not caused by the doles and the games. These merely provided a measure of their degradation. Things that were originally good had become perverted and, as Shakespeare reminds us, ‘Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.’”Ben Moreell – 1956 – Of Bread and Circuses

There is nothing inherently evil about food, iPhones, professional sports, television, computers, music or medicine. Human beings need food to sustain them, entertainment to provide relaxation and diversion from their daily labors, and medicine to alleviate illness and prolong their lives. Only when the people allow themselves to be lured into servitude by malevolent purveyors of bread and circuses does the perversion of seemingly harmless things begin to fester and overwhelm a nation with the fetid stench of decay and decadence. The moral degeneration of the American populace, like the Roman people before them, happened slowly over time as they sold their liberty, freedom, and self-respect for full bellies, an endless array of modern day distractions, and promises from their highly educated rulers they would be taken care of and protected from all threats to their well-being, whether foreign, domestic, physical, mental, or social.

It did not happen all at once. It happened gradually over time. We allowed the weaker facets of our human nature to succumb to the pleasurable promises of a minority of power seeking manipulative men who always attempt to control and influence the majority because they believe they are wiser and deserving of riches, glory and supremacy. The greediest, most arrogant, ambitious and well educated amongst us tend to rise to the top in all societies. As Ben Franklin stated, only a virtuous people can keep sociopaths from gaining control of our political, economic and financial systems and perverting a republic built upon a foundation of free markets, liberty, and self-sufficiency.

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”Benjamin Franklin

Historian Tacitus noted, as Rome became more and more corrupt, the number of laws grew rapidly. The Roman aristocracy, through corruption and thievery achieved lofty status in Roman society. Senators and wealthy knights engaged in extensive practices of conspicuous consumption, creating palatial town houses and monumental “art villas” to demonstrate their high rank in society. The peasants sank into poverty, while being satiated with bread and circuses. And it was all done legally, just as it is being done legally today by our beloved aristocracy and their minions.

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Tacitus – The Annals of Imperial Rome

Has the proliferation of laws, rules, and regulations over the last century made us freer, safer and less corrupt?

The virtue of the American people has dissipated rapidly over the last century through their willful ignorance, laziness, apathy, vanity, greed and covetousness, while the true ruling power has consciously and intelligently manipulated the masses without them being aware they were being molded, controlled, dominated and influenced by Ivy League educated men of no conscious, empathy, or sense of decency. The paragraph below, written in 1928 by Edward Bernays, reveals the true nature of our “democracy” and our real masters:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays – Propaganda

Bernays and his disciples believed the American citizenry nothing more than a herd of irrational animals that needed to be led by enlightened despots like him and other highly educated wealthy men who knew what was best in a democratic society. The term propaganda developed negative connotations after some Germans used it so effectively during the 1930s, so modern American despots changed the term to public relations. It’s all about the message. As media tools have become more technologically advanced and the study of human psychology perfected, the members of the invisible government have achieved their goal of governing, molding, and pulling the wires that control the public mind in a way that enriches them and their benefactors while satisfying the base needs of the masses and keeping them distracted with trivialities, technological wonders, and a myriad of bogeyman threats. These men have contempt for the common man. They have contempt for the U.S. Constitution. They have contempt for free markets. And they have control of our country.

Needs, Wants & Desires

The concept of bread and circuses ties closely to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory. The ruling class realizes the masses must be kept fed, clothed and housed or revolution would ensue. The human needs documented by Maslow were satisfied or not satisfied by humans prior to the 20th century. Once the ruling class gained control of the monetary system through their jurisdiction over the Federal Reserve and the fiscal system through their manipulation of taxes and spending, they were able to bribe the masses with their own money. The rise of the welfare state has not reduced poverty or boosted the standard of living of the poor. It has enslaved tens of millions at the basic human needs level. Once those in power had successfully bribed the masses with bread (SNAP), shelter (subsidized housing), subsistence (unemployment compensation & welfare), security (Social Security) and safety (Medicare, Medicaid), it was only necessary to keep them distracted with circuses to efficiently teach them to love their servitude.

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” – Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

abraham-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs1.preview.jpg

The invisible governing authorities don’t want the masses to actually satisfy their psychological and self-fulfillment needs. The last thing they want is an educated, aware, critical thinking, independent, courageous, self-reliant, civic minded populace questioning the motivations of their keepers. This is where the corporate fascists who control the mass media propaganda machine and the sickcare industrial complex have combined forces to create a painless concentration camp of prisoners enjoying their servitude and happy to sacrifice their liberty for perceived safety. An uneducated, obese, sickly, depressed, overly-medicated populace is not a threat to the ruling class. They have been conditioned and pharmacologically sedated to such an extent the governing class feels indestructible, displaying arrogance and hubris in dangerous doses.

“There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it.” – Aldous Huxley

The concept of voluntary servitude has been a constant theme across the ages as most people want to be led, told what to do, and will not question or contest those in authority. Liberty and freedom require effort, sacrifice, honor and a people with a strong moral character. The Roman people succumbed to tyranny by abandoning their liberty to despots for a full belly and grand spectacles. The American people have succumbed to modern day banker, billionaire and politician oligarchs for a belly full of toxic corporate processed food, cable HDTV with 600 stations, iGadgets, a never ending supply of cheap Chinese produced crap at big box retail stores, Facebook, Twitter, 24 hour drive thru Dunkin Donuts joints, and an endless array of professional sporting events, all paid for with an infinite supply of cheap consumer debt from the Wall Street fraud machine. We live in a warfare/welfare surveillance state built on a foundation of debt, consumerism, and delusion, with no tears. We’ve learned to love our servitude.

French philosopher Etienne de La Boetie captured the degradation of the once noble Roman people five centuries ago, and his words ring true today as the American people have foolishly relinquished their liberty to a corporate aristocracy that has bankrupted the nation, debased the currency, pillaged the middle class and set in motion an irreversible decline of the empire.

“Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books. Roman tyrants invented a further refinement. They often provided the city wards with feasts to cajole the rabble, always more readily tempted by the pleasure of eating than by anything else.

The most intelligent and understanding amongst them would not have quit his soup bowl to recover the liberty of the Republic of Plato. Tyrants would distribute largess, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, ‘Long live the King!’ The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them.” – Etienne de La Boétie – Discourse on Voluntary Servitude – 1548

We are fools to not realize the governing authorities who benevolently distribute bread and entitlements to the masses have already taken the money at gunpoint from the people, while syphoning off their cut, favoring their courtesans and taking away our liberties and freedoms. H.L. Mencken, who could match de La Boetie in contempt for the ignorant masses and corrupt politicians, understood our democracy was destined for the trash heap of history.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” – H.L. Mencken – Notes on Democracy

In Part Three of this article I will address how the creation of the Federal Reserve has led to a century of currency debasement, mindless consumption and endless warfare, while impoverishing the masses and setting in motion the dynamics of empire collapse.

During An Ebola Pandemic All Of Your Rights Would Essentially Be Meaningless

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The Economic Collapse on October 2, 2014

plague

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Prison Fence - Public DomainIf there is a major Ebola pandemic in America, all of the liberties and the freedoms that you currently enjoy would be gone.  If government officials believe that you have the virus, federal law allows them to round you up and detain you “for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary.”  In addition, the CDC already has the authority to quarantine healthy Americans if they reasonably believe that they may become sick.  During an outbreak, the government can force you to remain isolated in your own home, or the government may forcibly take you to a treatment facility, a tent city, a sports stadium, an old military base or a camp.  You would not have any choice in the matter.  And you would be forced to endure any medical procedure mandated by the government.  That includes shots, vaccines and the drawing of blood.  During such a scenario, you can scream about your “rights” all that you want, but it won’t do any good.

In case you are tempted to think that I am making this up, I want you to read what federal law actually says.  The following is 42 U.S.C. 264(d).  I have added bold for emphasis…

(1) Regulations prescribed under this section may provide for the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease in a qualifying stage and (A) to be moving or about to move from a State to another State; or (B) to be a probable source of infection to individuals who, while infected with such disease in a qualifying stage, will be moving from a State to another State. Such regulations may provide that if upon examination any such individual is found to be infected, he may be detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary. For purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia.

(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “qualifying stage”, with respect to a communicable disease, means that such disease—

(A) is in a communicable stage; or

(B) is in a precommunicable stage, if the disease would be likely to cause a public health emergency if transmitted to other individuals.

In addition, as I discussed above, the CDC already has the authority to isolate people that are not sick to see if they do become sick.  The following is what the CDC website says about this…

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

On a very basic level, we are already starting to see this happen in Texas.  Obviously Thomas Eric Duncan has already been “isolated”, and now his family has been placed under mandatory quarantine and ordered not to leave their home for 21 days

Texas health officials have placed the Dallas family of a Liberian national infected with Ebola under quarantine and ordered them not to leave their home or have any contact with outsiders for 21 days without approval of the local or state health department.

The “control order” also requires the family of Thomas Eric Duncan to be available to provide blood samples and agree to any testing required by public health officials. Officials said Thursday that the four or five family members could face criminal charges for violating the order, which was delivered to them in writing Wednesday evening.

Police have been stationed at the apartment complex to ensure residents’ safety, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told a news briefing Thursday afternoon.

If we could all just stay in our homes during a national Ebola emergency, that wouldn’t be so bad.

But if thousands (or even millions) of cases start popping up it simply will not be possible for law enforcement authorities to monitor so many homes.

This is a point that Mike Adams of Natural News made exceptionally well…

When just one family is suspected of carrying Ebola, they can be easily monitored in a “volunteer home isolation” scenario. But what happens when it’s 100 families? 500? 1,000? At that point, there aren’t enough state or federal workers to keep an eye on these people, and the quarantine effort will almost certainly shift to forced relocation into quarantine camps.

Those camps will, of course, be called something nice-sounding like “Community Health Centers.” No one in government or media will call them camps, even though they are camps. The word “camp” brings up echoes of “concentration camps” and the government definitely wants to avoid that association.

If one particular town or city is hit especially hard with the virus, there is a likelihood of the entire town being quarantined. No one in, no one out. Everybody will be ordered to “shelter in place” in their own homes for at least 21 days while health workers wearing hazmat suits go door to door, identifying Ebola victims and “relocating” them to the “Community Health Centers.”

If that sounds like “martial law” to you, that is because it would essentially be martial law.

For the moment, public health authorities are pledging that nothing like this will ever happen because they have everything completely under control.

Others are not so sure.

For example, on Thursday a doctor from Missouri named Gil Mobley checked in for a flight at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport dressed in a mask, goggles, gloves, boots and a protective white jumpsuit.  On the back of the jumpsuit, he had written the following words:  “CDC is lying!”

Mobley believes that we are not being told the truth about the spread of Ebola.  And he is convinced that as Ebola continues to spread exponentially, that we will eventually “be importing clusters of Ebola on a daily basis”

“Once this disease consumes every third world country, as surely it will, because they lack the same basic infrastructure as Sierra Leone and Liberia, at that point, we will be importing clusters of Ebola on a daily basis,” Mobley predicted. “That will overwhelm any advanced country’s ability to contain the clusters in isolation and quarantine. That spells bad news.”

Mobley, a Medical College of Georgia graduate who had an overnight layover after flying to Atlanta from Guatemala on Wednesday, said that he feels that the CDC is “asleep at the wheel” when it comes to screening passengers arriving in the United States from other countries.

“Yesterday, I came through international customs at the Atlanta airport,” the doctor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The only question they asked arriving passengers is if they had tobacco or alcohol.”

Earlier on Thursday, there were reports of people being tested for Ebola in Hawaii, Kentucky and Utah.  None of those tests has produced a confirmed case of Ebola as I write this article.

Many Americans are still treating this Ebola crisis as if it was just one big joke.

But Ebola is no joking matter.  This is a very, very serious disease.

Just consider the experience of one British health worker that witnessed a young brother and sister both die one day apart

‘The next morning I came in and saw him lying as I had left him, on the bed.

‘He wasn’t breathing. I remember going up to him and looking at his face, his lips were drawn back in a grimace, and his eyes were vacant, lying in a pool of his own diarrhea.

‘I lifted his hand to try, just to confirm things and his whole body turned rigid and cold.

‘I put him in a body bag as his sister looked on.

‘She seemed more baffled than anything, not really understanding what was happening. I carried his corpse outside with the others.

‘The little girl, she deteriorated the next day. Overnight, the following night she had intravenous fluids and the line came out and she bled.

‘I came in the following morning and she was covered in blood. She still had a very puzzled expression on her face and she wasn’t breathing.

‘So I put her in a bag and left her next to her brother. She was a beautiful little girl.’

Hopefully our medical authorities are correct and this virus will not spread easily in this country.

But at this point even some of our top politicians are wondering if we are truly getting accurate information.  For example, check out what U.S. Senator Rand Paul had to say on the Laura Ingraham Show just recently…

“I really think that it is being dominated by political correctness and I think because of political correctness we’re not really making sound, rational, scientific decisions on this.” Paul said referring to statements issued by the CDC last week that assured there was little risk of an outbreak occurring in the US.

“We should not underestimate the transmissibility of this,” said Paul, a doctor himself, adding that medical workers have been contracting the virus even though they are taking precautions and covering themselves with gowns and masks.

My suspicion is that it’s a lot more transmissible than that if people who are taking every precaution are getting it. There are people getting it who simply helped people get in or out of a taxicab.” Paul said.

Let’s pray that this crisis fizzles out, because if it doesn’t, we could truly be looking at the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.

And along with countless numbers of people getting sick and dying, we would also have to deal with government-imposed medical martial law.

The stakes are extremely high, and so let us hope that this crisis does not escalate any further.

A Sea Gypsy Reverie

Off the keyboard of Ray Jason

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Published on The Sea Gypsy Philosopher on May 26, 2014

AVENTURA

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ray-at-new-transmissionWhat a sweet, sublime awakening! Three of Mother Ocean’s timeless clocks gently stirred me from sleep. First, the boat shifted as the tide switched direction. Then the sun nudged just high enough to peek into one of AVENTURA’s portholes. And finally, a flock of wild parrots boisterously flew over the bay, swapping gossip and recipes.

I lay on my back wondering if the ship’s geckos were smiling as joyously as me. Probably not, since they were unaware of how happily emancipated I felt. Unlike so many of my fellow humans, I was not a slave to the Tyranny of Frenzy. The dictators of Speed and Stuff did not control me.

My plan had been to start a new essay this morning on some political or economic issue that was troubling me. But then I heard … the laughter in the mango tree. Three small cayucos were pulled up onto the beach of the little island where I was anchored. There were many tiny, one-tree islands in my neighborhood, but those all featured tall, skinny palm trees. But this one boasted an enormous mango tree. And today it had five giggling interlopers.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f1/Paul_Gauguin_128.jpgUp in the branches were two boys and a girl. They would vigorously shake the limbs trying to dislodge some of the ripe fruit. Down below a girl and a boy raced around with empty rice bags trying to catch the falling mangoes. After half an hour, the rice sacks were almost full and the kids came down from the tree. Then the five of them leaned their backs against their cayucos, stretched their bare feet into the water and savored a Spring-time feast. The scene was so pure and idyllic that I could visualize Gauguin reaching for his easel and brushes.

*******

That cinched it. There would be no meditations on serious societal problems this day. Instead, I would allow my slow, simple life in the Banana Latitudes to sweep me where it might.

I finished enjoying my Tarzan Tea, which is the water from a young coconut which I slice open with my machete. For years my body had been telling me that this was a supremely healthy drink, but I recently learned something that verified that even more. During World War II in the South Pacific, the naval doctors would often run low on surgical blood. When this occurred, they would mix coconut water with the plasma so that they could stretch out their supply.

Feeling refreshed and energized, I decided to go for a leisurely morning swim. Before doing so, I scanned the lagoon carefully. Even here in the Archipelago of Bliss there are hazards and nuisances. But no jellyfish were visible, so I dove in enthusiastically.

My fondness for physical exercise is not motivated primarily by vanity. Certainly, I won’t deny that I try to look my best, but there are other more important factors that inspire me. For one thing, it is the only health insurance that I can afford. It helps me sleep soundly and deeply. Physical exertion actually does release endorphins into your bloodstream that increase pleasure and happiness. It amuses and flabbergasts people, who are about my same age, to see me skipping rope like Rocky and doing one-armed push-ups. I still abide by the wisdom in the old Greek ideal of a strong mind in a strong body. But perhaps most importantly, it connects me to my more physical, feral ancestors, who appreciated on a visceral level what lithe, strong, quick, and smart animals they were.

And of all the forms of exercise, swimming is the most connected to Nature. When you do yoga or lift weights or sprint, you never feel like you are IN the air. But when you swim, you are unmistakably IN the water. You are immersed in Nature – both metaphorically and literally.

After the relaxing swim, I pulled myself up into my dinghy and noticed that the children and the cayucos had gone. Because the sun had not yet warmed the solar shower, my fresh water rinse was chilly but invigorating. I rested on the cabin top for a few minutes – iguana-style – using the sun and the breeze as my towel.

When I stepped back into the cockpit, a heart-warming surprise awaited me. The children had left a large, plump mango for me. Aside from its wonderful taste, it is also such a beautiful fruit, with its blend of red, yellow and green imitating half of the rainbow. Soon I was feasting on delicious eggs that I had recently bought from some nearby ex-pats. They call their hens “free range jungle chickens.” I accompanied this with juicy mango slices and some fresh squeezed o.j. and a spot of rum. Sunday brunch at the Ritz could not be more sublime than this.

Soon my contentment was so profound, that it felt like I could almost physically absorb the mellowness of this day and of this sea gypsy life. I moved up under the shade awning behind the mast, and was lazily savoring whatever meandered by in the sea and in the sky and in my head. That simple act of mango kindness from the children, reminded me of my enduring belief in the goodness and generosity of the human spirit.

*******

Most of my readers – and the majority of you are distant strangers who I will never meet – know very little about me. That is not an accident. I have deliberately revealed very little about my past. Indeed, the biography here at my blog is only 23 words long. This is not because I have something to hide. Instead, it is because I wish for my thinking and writing to stand alone on their own merit.

But having just said that, there was a chapter in my life that is very relevant to this particular essay/reverie. Believe it or not, I made my living for many years as a street juggler. For over 25 years I was one of the top street performers in San Francisco. One of the highlights of those decades was when I managed to “juggle my way around the world.” I left the Golden Gate with a backpack, a small duffel bag full of tricks and $4,000. After circling the globe, I returned to San Francisco 254 days later with $4,400. I had completely financed the trip by passing my hat in many amazing and exotic locales.

The gift of the humble mango had triggered a flood of memories from that journey. In particular, it reminded me of two of the profound lessons from that vagabond year. The first is that, indeed, we are one human family. And the second is that authentic freedom is precious and rare amongst that human family.

When sitting for my Political Science degree in college, I had some impassioned arguments with my professors about conflict in the world. My belief was that ordinary people everywhere could get along fine with each other. They shared common basic concerns such as: Could they support their families? Were all of their loved ones healthy? Did they have work that was fulfilling and not too exhausting? Was the household joyous most of the time? And did their children’s future appear even brighter than their own?

My conviction was that these normal people did not care that much about the color of your skin or the country of your birth or whether you worshipped the correct god – or even any god. These types of animosities were almost always incited by political and religious leaders. There are no historical instances in which a nation suddenly woke up one morning and decided to attack another country. This type of bloodlust insanity has to be carefully and maliciously cultivated by despicable tyrants.

http://www.thebocasbreeze.com/moxiepix/b3_313.jpgMy around the world trip proved the correctness of my college conviction that my professors had dismissed so flippantly as “just an idealistic theory.” My little juggling act opened doors of friendship and understanding wherever I traveled. And it decisively confirmed my belief in the basic kindness and decency of humanity.

My second revelation on that journey was that the vast majority of people in this world are utterly enslaved by the accident of their birth. Most of the wonderful strangers smiling and laughing in my audiences would never have the opportunity to experience the many joys that had already blessed my trip. They would never view a Van Gogh masterpiece in Amsterdam or ride the Trans-Siberian Railway or stand on the Great Wall of China. In fact, most of them would never travel more than a few hundred miles from where they were born. The tragic unfairness of this wounded me in a very deep place. How did our human societies become so distorted that everyone could not have an equal opportunity to expand their horizons and revel in the magical wonders of our pale blue planet? Why could we not have “humans without borders?”

******

Realizing that I had involuntarily veered off into “heavy thinking,” I went down to the galley and cut up some ingredients for a ceviche. I squeezed in the lime juice and placed it in the fridge, where it would be ready upon my return. It was time to go visit the neighbors. My camera, binoculars and a bottle of water went into my daypack; and off I went for a row.

I peeked into thick mangroves trying to find a tri-color heron that flew past yesterday. I drifted over the reef waiting to see how long it would take the fish to seek the shade of my little dinghy. And I scouted some tall jungle trees looking for the nest of the golden-tailed weaver birds whose distinctive call greeted me each day.

The hours idled by so seamlessly that it startled me to notice that the horizon was beginning to turn saffron, as the sun slid into the west. I began rowing back towards AVENTURA, eagerly anticipating the tasty ceviche. But when I was only about 20 yards from home, I abruptly changed course and headed for the beach on Mango Island. That’s because I suddenly realized that it had been far too long since I had climbed up a tree – and shaken out some luscious fruit.

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Sea Gypsy Freedom

Off the keyboard of Ray Jason

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Published on The Sea Gypsy Philosopher on April 13, 2014

ray-at-new-transmissionIt was a moment of pure, transcendent bliss. AVENTURA had just cleared some treacherous, shallow reefs south of Jamaica. As I studied my chart, it suddenly dawned on me that now there was nothing but open Caribbean water between my lovely sailboat and a cornucopia of enchanting destinations.
I could select the beautiful and historic walled city of Cartagena. Or perhaps the stunning San Blas islands with their feisty Kuna Indians, who never fell to European conquest. Maybe a visit to the magical Rio Chagres was in order. It is a jungle wonderland where the howler monkeys outnumber the humans. Or possibly I should set my course for the undiscovered jewel of the Caribbean – Bocas del Toro. But then again, maybe I should sail west to the turquoise, fish-lush waters of Belize.
Pondering these exquisite choices reinforced my belief that there is no freer way to live than the sea gypsy path. Since I didn’t want to waste my fresh stash of Jamaican limes, I made myself a tall gin and tonic. Then I retired to the foredeck with my clipboard. Feeling utterly at peace – with the sails pulling and the wind-vane steering – I decided to inventory the many forms of freedom that wandering the Wide Waters bequeaths me.
·

FREEDOM FROM FRENZY – The usual speed for AVENTURA is around five knots, which is only about twice as fast as someone out walking their dog. This allows me to leisurely observe and enjoy my surroundings. The adjoining world is not reduced to a frenetic blur, it is a panorama to examine and savor. I love the fact that my sailboat is such an organic part of nature. It is enmeshed within its rules and constraints. In the same way that you never see a turtle driving a jet-ski, you never see a boat like mine traveling at 50 knots. This magisterial pace is also vital for someone with a philosophical inclination. That’s because Speed is the arch-enemy of contemplation.
· FREEDOM FROM A BRAVE NEW 1984 WORLD – The two classic dystopian novels of the Twentieth Century proposed very different approaches that governments might use to impose tyranny. In Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD, the authorities used entertainment and drugs to enslave the people so effortlessly that they didn’t even notice their bondage. But in Orwell’s 1984, the rulers used gruesome “boot on the neck” totalitarianism to subdue and neuter the people. They combined a vicious secret police force with an inescapable surveillance grid.
I contend that the evolving, low-grade tyranny that is so evident in the USA combines BOTH of these tactics. The populace is sedated and dumbed-down with a 24/7 kaleidoscope of escapist media that prevents them from noticing the erosion of their freedoms. Simultaneously, the State is militarizing police forces and installing a surveillance dome that is all-pervasive. Orwell would be shocked at how thoroughly the Overlords can monitor the modern citizen. Out here in the sea gypsy world, I am invulnerable to their electro-techno seductions and much less visible to their all-peeping eyes.
· FREEDOM FROM HUMILIATING DEPENDENCY – Self-reliance is mandatory for the ocean sailor. You can’t call a plumber a thousand miles from land. But not only is being able to fix that leaking toilet vital – it is also extremely invigorating. Being a “minor master” of one’s seagoing domicile is deeply empowering in a modern world overflowing with incompetency.
· FREEDOM TO EMBRACE MY WILD, FERAL, ANCESTRAL SELF – The Western techno-industrial paradigm has decimated almost all of the indigenous cultures on our planet. There are only about 85 native tribes still surviving in the deserts, jungles and Arctic snow fields. But even though civilized people view them as savages, they see themselves as self-reliant human animals who can attend to their complete life needs. On the other hand they are amused by our deadly dependencies, and they think of us as domesticated animals – like sheep or cows. By spending much of my time in un-peopled places, I can reconnect with my lost feral self. When I whack open a coconut with my machete and savor my Tarzan Tea or greet the sunrise with a blast from my conch shell or stop my boat in the far ocean to swim in miles-deep water, these are not just symbolic gestures. They are steppingstones along a path to greater freedom and back to the wisdom of the wild.
· FREEDOM FROM THE FEAR OF COLLAPSE – When I first started cruising many years ago, there was no such thing as Peak Oil or derivatives or methane venting. But as our Energy, Economic and Ecological mega-systems have become overwhelmed, the specter of a major societal unraveling is a genuine possibility. Fortunately, a well-equipped ocean-worthy sailboat is probably the best survival module there is. I have discussed this belief thoroughly at my various “Sea Gypsy Tribe” essays that can be easily scrolled down to here on my blog. So when I finish this essay, I will sleep soundly knowing that AVENTURA can handle almost any catastrophe that the world might present to us.
· FREEDOM FROM “WORKER BEE EDUCATION” – The actual goal of state-sponsored, industrial-model education is not to inspire the love of knowledge into students. Instead, it is designed to teach them just enough so that they can operate the machines that are needed to keep the system functioning. The prevailing educational template does not just discourage critical thinking, it suffocates it. That’s because too much careful inquiry would reveal a system that is founded upon injustice and exploitation. But the children that I see around me in the sea gypsy community, who are being home-schooled by their parents, are full of curiosity and creativity. They are learning about Nature and other cultures not from documentaries but from direct contact. The normal inquisitiveness and originality that comes with childhood is not suppressed – it is supported.
· FREEDOM FROM SUPPORTING IMPERIAL GOVERNMENTS – In my ideal world, there are no borders. And as a symbol of that vision, I fly the Earth Flag aboard AVENTURA. It also permits me to show no allegiance to my birth country, the USA, which has become such a malevolent force on the planet. I am not referring to the bulk of its people, who are largely decent, caring humans, but to its political, corporate and military Overlords who wreak havoc and death around the world. And to those foreigners who claim that I SHOULD ridicule the average American because they keep electing such soul-less leaders, I submit that the system is now so corrupted that voting or protesting no longer offer any genuine hope for change.
· FREEDOM FROM AN UN-CULTURE WHERE “OUR STUFF” DEFINES US – Most of my friends suspect that my lifelong simplicity has been involuntary rather than voluntary. They believe that if I had applied myself better I could have been successful and wealthy. But much of it has actually been conscious and deliberate. It began when I first read this sentence by Thoreau: “A man is rich in direct proportion to the number of things that he can live without.” That inspired me to judge the worth of a person not based on their “stuff” but on their non-material qualities such as intelligence, kindness and humor. Such a non-conformist perspective means that I am dramatically out of step with the dominant culture. Fortunately, by living close to Nature in my small boat, I can avoid a disposable un-culture that is addicted to “the latest and greatest.” My sextant could have been used by mariners 200 years ago – and it could be used by future sailors 200 years from now.
· FREEDOM FROM “WORST-CASE EVIL” – It is fairly indisputable that those who control our world are greedy, arrogant, selfish power freaks. But there seem to be credible insiders and whistleblowers who maintain that the people in charge are even beyond hideous – that they are genuinely diabolical and evil. My genuine hope is that this is not the case. But if it is so, what better way to escape their web, than to wander about the seldom visited coasts and the vast ocean expanses of our wild, wet planet.

The sun had now vacated my longitude in the Caribbean, and so I decided to go below and cook my dinner. But the remembrance of that Thoreau quote about voluntary simplicity, inspired me to dig out my little folder of what I call “road quotes.” I had collected them during my long ago hitch-hiking days on the Asphalt Seas. I freshened up my gin and tonic, and settled in to renew my acquaintance with these memorable quotations. About halfway through them, I came across one that I had forgotten. It is by Albert Camus, and it is so relevant to the subject of this essay that I was both stunned and delighted. Allow me to share it with you:

“The only way to deal with an un-free world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

Fourth Turning: The People versus Big Brother

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on March 13, 2014

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.” 

– Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

“In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”Frank Church on Meet the Press regarding the NSA – 1975

Ever since Edward Snowden burst onto the worldwide stage in June 2013, I’ve been wondering how he fits into the fabric of this ongoing Fourth Turning. This period of Crisis that arrives like clockwork, 60 to 70 years after the end of the previous Fourth Turning (Civil War – 66 years after American Revolution, Great Depression/World War II – 64 years after Civil War, Global Financial Crisis – 62 years after World War II), arrived in September 2008 with the Federal Reserve created collapse of the global financial system. We are now five and a half years into this Fourth Turning, with its climax not likely until the late-2020’s. At this point in previous Fourth Turnings a regeneracy had unified sides in their cause and a grey champion or champions (Ben Franklin/Samuel Adams, Lincoln/Davis, FDR) had stepped forward to lead. Thus far, no one from the Prophet generation has been able to unify the nation and create a sense of common civic purpose. Societal trust continues to implode, as faith in political, financial, corporate, and religious institutions spirals downward. There is no sign of a unifying regeneracy on the horizon.

The core elements of this Fourth Turning continue to propel this Crisis: debt, civic decay, global disorder. Central bankers, politicians, and government bureaucrats have been able to fashion the illusion of recovery and return to normalcy, but their “solutions” are nothing more than smoke and mirrors exacerbating the next bloodier violent stage of this Fourth Turning. The emergencies will become increasingly dire, triggering unforeseen reactions and unintended consequences. The civic fabric of our society will be torn asunder.

In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

Debt

The core crisis element of debt is far worse than it was at the outset of this Crisis in September 2008. The National Debt has risen from $9.7 trillion to $17.5 trillion, an 80% increase in five and half years. It took 215 years for the country to accumulate as much debt as it has accumulated since the start of this Crisis. We continue to add $2.8 billion a day to the National debt, and the president declares it is time for this austerity to end. The total unfunded liabilities of the Federal government for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, government pensions and now Obamacare exceeds $200 trillion and is mathematically impossible to honor. Corporate debt stands at an all-time high. Margin debt is at record levels, as faith in the Federal Reserve’s ability to levitate the stock market borders on delusional. Consumer debt has reached new heights, as the government doles out subprime auto loans to deadbeats and subprime student loans to future University of Phoenix Einsteins. Global debt has surged by 40% since 2008 to over $100 trillion, as central bankers have attempted to cure a disease caused by debt with more debt.

All of this debt accumulation is compliments of Bernanke/Yellen and the Federal Reserve, who have produced this new debt bubble with their zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing that has driven their balance sheet from $935 billion of mostly Treasury bonds in September 2008 to $4.2 trillion of toxic mortgage garbage acquired from their owners – the insolvent Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks. This entire house of cards is reliant upon permanently low interest rates, the faith of foreigners in our lies, and trust in Ivy League educated economists captured by Wall Street. This debt laden house of cards sits atop hundreds of trillions of derivatives of mass destruction used by the Wall Street casinos to generate “riskless” profits. When, not if, a trigger ignites this explosive concoction of debt, the collapse will be epic and the violent phase of this Fourth Turning will commence.

Civic Decay

The core crisis element of civic decay is evident everywhere you turn. Our failed public educational system is responsible for much of the civic decay, as a highly educated critical thinking populace is our only defense against a small cabal of bankers and billionaires acquiring unwarranted influence and control over our country. Our children have been taught how to feel and to believe government propaganda. The atrocious educational system is not a mistake. It has been designed and manipulated by your owners to produce the results they desire, as explained bluntly by George Carlin.

“There’s a reason that education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it. Be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the big, wealthy, business interests that control all things and make the big decisions. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest.”

The urban ghettos become more dangerous and uninhabitable by the day. The inner cities are crumbling under the weight of welfare spending and declining tax revenues. The very welfare policies begun fifty years ago to alleviate poverty have hopelessly enslaved the poor and ignorant in permanent squalor and destitution. The four decade old drug war has done nothing to reduce the use of drugs. It has benefited the corporate prison industry, as millions have been thrown into prison for minor drug offenses. Meanwhile, millions more have been legally addicted to drugs peddled by the corporate healthcare complex. The culture warriors and advocates of new rights for every special interest group continue their never ending battles which receive an inordinate amount of publicity from the corporate media. Class warfare is simmering and being inflamed by politicians pushing their particular agendas. Violence provoked by race and religion is growing by the day. The fault lines are visible and the imminent financial earthquake will push distress levels beyond the breaking point. Once the EBT cards stop working, all hell will break loose. Three days of panic will empty grocery store shelves and the National Guard will be called out to try and restore control.

Global Disorder

The core crisis element of global disorder is evident everywhere you turn. The false flag revolution in the Ukraine, initiated by the U.S. and EU in order to blunt Russia’s control of natural gas to Europe, has the potential to erupt into a full blown shooting war at any moment. The attempt by Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. to overthrow the Syrian dictator in order to run a natural gas pipeline across their land into Europe was blunted by Russia. Iraq is roiled in a civil war, after the U.S. invaded, occupied and destabilized the country. After 12 years of occupation, Afghanistan is more dysfunctional and dangerous than it was before the U.S. saved them from the evil Taliban. Unrest, violent protests, and brutal measures by rulers continue in Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Venezuela, Bahrain, Brazil, and throughout Africa. American predator drones roam the skies of the world murdering suspected terrorists. The European Union is insolvent, with Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal propped up with newly created debt. Austerity for the people and prosperity for the bankers is creating tremendous distress and tension across the continent. A global volcanic eruption is in the offing.

It is clear to me the American Empire is in terminal decline. Hubris, delusion, corruption, foolish disregard for future generations and endless foreign follies have set in motion a chain of events that will lead to a cascading sequence of debt defaults, mass poverty, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation or deflation, depending on the actions of feckless bankers and politicians. There is no avoiding the tragic outcome brought on by decades of bad choices and a century of allowing private banking interests to control our currency. The “emergency” QE and ZIRP responses by the Federal Reserve to the Federal Reserve created 2008 financial collapse continue, even though the propaganda peddled by the Deep State tries to convince the public we have fully recovered. This grand fraud cannot go on forever. Ponzi schemes no longer work once you run out of dupes. With societal trust levels approaching all-time lows and foreign countries beginning to understand they are the dupes, another global financial crisis is a lock.

The Snowden Factor

With ten to fifteen years likely remaining in this Fourth Turning Crisis, people familiar with generational turnings can’t help but ponder what will happen next. Linear thinkers, who constitute the majority, mistakenly believe things will magically return to normal and we’ll continue our never ending forward human progress. Their ignorance of history and generational turnings that recur like the four seasons will bite them in the ass. We are being flung forward across the vast chaos of time and our existing social order will be transformed beyond recognition into something far better or far worse. The actual events over the coming decade are unknowable in advance, but the mood and reactions of the generational archetypes to these events are predictable. The actions of individuals will matter during this Fourth Turning. The majority are trapped in their propaganda induced, techno distracted stupor of willful ignorance. It will take a minority of liberty minded individuals, who honor the principles of the U.S. Constitution and are willing to sacrifice their lives, to prevail in the coming struggle.

Despite fog engulfing the path of future events, we know they will be propelled by debt, civic decay, and global disorder. Finding a unifying grey champion figure seems unlikely at this point. I believe the revelations by Edward Snowden have set the course for future events during this Fourth Turning. The choices of private citizens, like Snowden, Assange, and Manning, have made a difference. The choices we all make over the next ten years will make a difference. A battle for the soul of this country is underway. The Deep State is firmly ingrained, controlling the financial, political and educational systems, while using their vast wealth to perpetuate endless war, and domination of the media to manipulate the masses with propaganda and triviality. They are powerful and malevolent. They will not relinquish their supremacy and wealth willingly.

Snowden has revealed the evil intent of the ruling class and their willingness to trash the Constitution in their psychopathic pursuit of mammon. The mass surveillance of the entire population, locking down of an entire city in pursuit of two teenagers, military training exercises in major metropolitan areas, militarization of local police forces by DHS, crushing peaceful demonstrations with brute force, attempting to restrict and confiscate guns, molesting innocent airline passengers, executive orders utilized on a regular basis by the president, and treating all citizens like suspects has set the stage for the coming conflict. Strauss & Howe warned that history has shown armed conflict is always a major ingredient during a Fourth Turning.

“History offers even more sobering warnings: Armed confrontation usually occurs around the climax of Crisis. If there is confrontation, it is likely to lead to war. This could be any kind of war – class war, sectional war, war against global anarchists or terrorists, or superpower war. If there is war, it is likely to culminate in total war, fought until the losing side has been rendered nil – its will broken, territory taken, and leaders captured.” The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe -1997

It appears to me the Deep State is preparing for armed conflict with the people. Why else would they be utilizing Big Brother methods of surveillance, militarization of police forces  and Gestapo like tactics of intimidation to control the masses? This doesn’t happen in a democratic republic where private individuals are supposed to know everything done by public government servants, not vice versa. They know the cheap, easy to access energy resources are essentially depleted. They know the system they have built upon a foundation of cheap energy and cheap debt is unsustainable and will crash in the near future. They know their fiat currency scheme is failing.They know it is going to come crashing down.  

They know America and the world will plunge into an era of depression, violence, and war. They also know they want to retain their wealth, power and control. There is no possibility the existing establishment can be purged through the ballot box. It’s a one party Big Brother system that provides the illusion of choice to the Proles. Like it or not, the only way this country can cast off the shackles of the banking, corporate, fascist elites, and the government surveillance state is through an armed revolution. The alternative is to allow an authoritarian regime, on par with Hitler, Stalin and Mao, to rise from the ashes of our financial collapse. This is a distinct possibility, given the ignorance and helplessness of most Americans after decades of government education and propaganda.       

The average mentally asleep American cannot conceive of armed conflict within the borders of the U.S. War, violence and dead bodies are something they see on their 52 inch HDTVs while gobbling chicken wings and cheetos in their Barcalounger. We’ve allowed a banking cartel and their central bank puppets to warp and deform our financial system into a hideous façade, sold to the masses as free market capitalism. We’ve allowed corporate interests to capture our political system through bribery and corruption.

We’ve allowed the rise of a surveillance state that has stripped us of our privacy, freedom, liberty and individuality in a futile pursuit of safety and security. We’ve allowed a military industrial complex to exercise undue influence in Washington DC, leading to endless undeclared wars designed to enrich the arms makers. We’ve allowed the corporate media and the government education complex to use propaganda, misinformation and social engineering techniques to dumb down the masses and make them compliant consumers. These delusions will be shattered when our financial and economic system no longer functions. The end is approaching rapidly and very few see it coming.

Glory or Ruin?

The scenario I envision is a collapse of our debt saturated financial system, with a domino effect of corporate, personal, and governmental defaults, exacerbated by the trillions of currency, interest rate, and stock derivatives. Global stock markets will crash. Trillions in paper wealth will evaporate into thin air. The Greater Depression will gain a choke-hold around the world. Mass bankruptcies, unemployment and poverty will sweep across the land. The social safety net will tear under the weight of un-payable entitlements. Riots and unrest will breakout in urban areas. Armed citizens in rural areas will begin to assemble in small units. The police and National Guard will be unable to regain control. The military will be called on to suppress any and all resistance to the Federal government. This act of war will spur further resistance from liberty minded armed patriots. The new American Revolution will have begun. Leaders will arise in the name of freedom. Regional and local bands of fighters will use guerilla tactics to defeat a slow top heavy military dependent upon technology and vast quantities of oil. A dictatorial regime may assume power on a Federal level. A breakup of the nation into regional states is a distinct possibility.

With the American Empire crumbling from within, our international influence will wane. With China also in the midst of a Fourth Turning, their debt bubble will burst and social unrest will explode into civil war. Global disorder, wars, terrorism, and financial collapse will lead to a dramatic decrease in oil production, further sinking the world into depression. The tensions caused by worldwide recession will lead to the rise of authoritarian regimes and global warfare. With “advances” in technological warfare and the proliferation of nuclear warheads, this scenario has the potential to end life on earth as we know it. The modern world could be set back into the stone-age with the push of a button. There are no guarantees of a happy ending for humanity.

The outcome of this Fourth Turning is dependent upon the actions of a minority of critical thinking Americans who decide to act. No one can avoid the trials and tribulations that lie ahead. We will be faced with immense challenges. Courage and sacrifice will be required in large doses. Elders will need to lead and millennials will need to carry a heavy load, doing most of the dying. The very survival of our society hangs in the balance. Edward Snowden has provided an example of the sacrifice required during this Fourth Turning. How we respond and the choices we make over the next decade will determine whether this Fourth Turning will result in glory or ruin for our nation.

 

“Eventually, all of America’s lesser problems will combine into one giant problem. The very survival of the society will feel at stake, as leaders lead and people follow. The emergent society may be something better, a nation that sustains its Framers’ visions with a robust new pride. Or it may be something unspeakably worse. The Fourth Turning will be a time of glory or ruin.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

Click these links to read the first two parts of this three part series:

Do No Evil Google – Censor & Snitch for the State

Google, China, the NSA and the Fourth Turning

Sailing Away from Insaneistan

Off the keyboard of Ray Jason
Graphics Edited by RE

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Published on The Sea Gypsy Philosopher on September 22, 2013

Discuss this article at the Seasteading Table inside the Diner

Indio_boy_coconut_and_chicken

http://oceanleadership.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/6125731.bin_.jpgMy new neighbors seem to like me. This is quite lovely – because they are dolphins. And it is even more wondrous because they are a mother and her child. Today is the fourth morning in a row that they swam a lazy circle around my boat.

Each day I greet the sunrise with an enthusiastic blast from my conch shell. It connects me with my post-civilized, feral self. It also seems to amuse the nearby creatures of the sea and the sky. No people are disturbed, because I am the only human animal in the vicinity. More importantly, it attracts the mom and her baby dolphin. They arrive just after I serenade the sun with my tribal horn.

Yesterday, the little Indio boy who sells me fresh coconuts from his tiny cayuco, also brought along a live chicken. Although he offered her at a good price, I declined. But I did buy some of her eggs. Their yolks are so intensely orange that they match the morning sun nudging above the hazy horizon. They are tasty and nutritious and perfect with my Tarzan Tea. That’s my name for the water from the young coconut that I open with my machete.

http://www.concierge.com/images/destinations/destinationguide/latinamerica/costarica/costarica_033p.jpgI call my neighborhood the Archipelago of Bliss. It bequeaths me immense joy – mostly because it is totally removed from the “real world.” As I sit here with my notepad and pen, I am completely severed from anything modern, and totally immersed in many things primal. Everything around me is ancient and elemental. This same type of flora and fauna has been here for over 100,000 years. The mangroves, the howler monkeys, the birds in the shallows – all preceded any human presence.

I call my slow simple life, the Way of RATAWI. That is an acronym I created which stands for Reading and Thinking and WritingInspirationally. My day revolves around those axis pursuits. Interspersed with them, are swimming, rowing, exploring, healthy eating and observing my neighbors – be they animals, clouds or planets.

When I need supplies or fellowship, it takes only a few hours to sail back to a little town abundant with eccentric characters – sailors, backpackers and surfers. Usually, about a week of visiting friends, replenishing my cupboards and emailing out essays is sufficient. Then I head back out to whichever vacant anchorage suits my fancy.

*******

Needless to say, most modern people would find this sort of existence … terrifying! The lack of around-the-clock stimulation and incessant electronic connectivity would be barely survivable. Even my friends, who seemingly find merit in my life path, are probably troubled by it on some level. “I mean, come on, Ray, this sea gypsy stuff is fine for a while, but isn’t it time you came home?”

http://llwproductions.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/pepper-spraying-cop-john-pike-spraying-statue-of-liberty-in-planet-of-the-apes.jpgWhen I respond to such well-intentioned counsel by explaining that my life is blissfully happy and meaningful, they chalk it up to my lifelong, unrepentant romanticism. But it is not my romantic disposition that inspires me to surrender to the embrace of nature. On the contrary, it is my capacity for perceiving reality that keeps me out here wandering the Wide Waters.

My exile from “The Great Frenzy” bequeaths me a much clearer perspective on it. If you stand a foot away from the Statue of Liberty you will not see it as well as you would from 100 yards away. Because they are so close to it, my friends cannot perceive how degraded the USA has become. Yet from afar, it is so obvious that I now jokingly refer to it as Insaneistan!

*******

Although many react to this tragic decline with anger, my response is sadness. The founding documents of the United States are so brilliantly enlightened, that they almost take one’s breath away. As someone who is aware of more than just the whitewashed version of U.S. history, I realize that from the very beginning we did not live up to many of the principles in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. (Slavery and Native American genocide are the obvious examples.) But the concept of government of, by and for the People, was such an improvement over rule by monarchs or mullahs, that it deserves the utmost admiration.

And there were periods when America did seem to be that inspirational Beacon on the Hill. We had citizen legislators rather than professional politicians. We got things done of genuine value to the planet, such as the Panama Canal. And we interceded to subdue vicious tyrants, as in WWII.

But shortly after our greatest triumph, the seeds of our tragic demise were sown. When the evil of Hitler was vanquished, we did not dismantle our war machine as we had done after WWI. Instead the Military Industrial Complex made its gruesome entrance onto the global stage. An enormous secret alliance of military and industrial and financial and espionage beasts spawned a lurid Leviathan that needs to engorge itself on Perpetual War in order to survive. President Eisenhower warned us about this monster in his farewell address, but his message went unheeded.

http://cloudfront-media.reason.com/mc/_external/2013_07/we-are-all-criminals-heritage.jpg?h=336&w=225As a result, money and madness wormed their way into the American body politic like devouring parasites. Now we are controlled and manipulated by “career politicians.” We no longer build canals; instead we sell high-tech weapons of death and mutilation. And rather than playing the role of schoolyard monitor to the world, we have become its most feared and hated bully.

This is not just personal opinion; this is verifiable fact. Most of the members of Congress are not schoolteachers or shop owners. They are multi-millionaires, who enrich themselves even further once they are in office. In a Republic, elected officials are supposed to represent the needs and interests of the people. Here is a short list of things that our government has imposed upon us in recent decades. I bet that neither you, nor anyone you know, asked for any of these.

  • More than a dozen separate spy agencies, who can’t seem to communicate with each other, but who have no problem invading every aspect of anybody’s personal life – including phone calls, emails, online purchases etc.
  • Economic and monetary policies that enrich Wall Street and the obscenely wealthy, while destroying Main Street and the middle class.
  • The militarization of local police forces. With tanks and battlefield equipment, they look like Galactic Storm-troopers rather than friendly neighborhood cops. Is the police mandate still to protect the citizens and solve crimes, or are they “gearing up” for expected mass social uprisings?

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  • An Imperial foreign policy with over 700 military bases blanketing the planet in more than 110 countries. Our “statesmen” claim that this global presence is in our national interest, and enhances our safety. But only a fool fails to see that this over-reach is spawning new terrorists every day, which actually decreases our security.
  • The perpetual misallocation of money and mind-power on the development of ever more horrific weapons of needless destruction. The litany seems endless, because it IS ENDLESS! Atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, neutron bombs, napalm, agent orange, chemical weapons, depleted uranium, white phosphorus, biological weapons and drones. And now the DARPA maniacs are working on robot soldiers, weapons in space, and cyber combat.
  • The privatization of prisons. By making incarceration a “growth industry” they have incentivized the imprisonment of our sons, daughters and neighbors. And what kind of heinous criminals are we being protected from? Mostly drug users and minor dealers. The prison industrial complex is a shameful, hideous racket.

Now that I have shared this little “government in action” sampler with you, I’ll repeat my question from a few paragraphs ago: “Did you, or anyone you know, ask for any of these things?”

*******

http://americandigest.org/aconsumer.jpgUnfortunately it is not just politics that has declined so shockingly in the U.S. It is society as a whole – what I term the “Un-culture.” America has become a nation of obese, dumbed-down, television addicts, who live vicariously through a galaxy of the most vapid, self-absorbed “stars.”

The average person spends an enormous amount of their time fixated on their Smartphone. They sit on a bus texting their 347 cyber “friends” while being unable to make a new real friend in the seat beside them – because that person is buried in their iPhone43.

The movie industry, which both shapes and reflects the public consciousness, can no longer make a film about the complex joys and sorrows of actual people. Instead, they spew out preposterous comic book superhero fantasies that grotesquely distort the true human condition. This produces a population of dangerous male adults with violent juvenile values.

To highlight how sad and ludicrous daily existence in the USA has become, here are some of the categories in which America leads the world:

  • Obesity
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Lawyers
  • Murders
  • Adults who believe in angels
  • Incarcerated citizens
  • Laws
  • Mental illness
  • Fast food consumption
  • Rapes
  • Military spending
  • TV viewing
  • Prescription drugs
  • Arms sales to foreign countries
  • Divorce
  • National debt
  • Plastic surgery procedures

Hopefully, you are a lot less inclined to chant “We’re # 1” or “U-S-A” after seeing that list. Although I jokingly refer to it as Insaneistan, it should be clear from my synopsis that the situation in the USA is not funny at all. It used to be wonderful in so many ways, but now it has deteriorated so profoundly that it is just a sad, tragic caricature of its former greatness.

*******

It’s twilight now; and I’ve added a touch of rum to my Tarzan Tea. I chuckle while pondering whether this is to avoid melancholy or to embrace it. A black-crowned night heron glides by, and the kind words of my friends revisit me. “I mean, come on, Ray, this sea gypsy stuff is fine for a while, but isn’t it time that you came home?” Fortunately, I AM HOME! And even though my neighbors may be dolphins and egrets and spotted eagle rays, our world is sweet and genuine and enduring.

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Red, White & Doom

Off the keyboard of Gypsy Mama

Published on The Butterchurn on July 4, 2013

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Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

Here we are.  Another American Fourth of July.  Another reason for awkward family “get togethers”.  Another chance to throw some RBGH onto the grill.  A free pass to pollute the air with mini fires in a tube.  A chance to increase your chances to visit the ER and hang with drunk drivers, reckless rednecks missing limbs and victims of circumstance.

America

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I have never truly enjoyed this holiday.  Now…it would be easy to call me Un- American and to tell me that if I don’t like it, then get tha’ fuck OUT!  I wouldn’t say I’m UnAmerican…just a little sickened by how our country operates.  The 4th of July only adds to that sickness.

Over the past few months I’ve had the American experience of visiting BOTH of the “BUY and Large” bulk corporation outlets:  Sam’s and Costco.  My Father in law took my family and I to Costco to stock up on dry goods for our pantry.  My Mother in law later took us to Sam’s to do the same. Both in laws have memberships to these super stores.  We tailed them in and broke into the super secret bulk buying club.  I felt a twinge inside my stomach to be one of the many supporters of the super club.  I always wish that I could buy ONLY locally…but unfortunately, in today’s society, that is not an easy feat.  So, there I was…inside the beast.

Inside each of these stores, I saw fireworks for sale…in bulk.  The cheapest bulk buy for fireworks could be purchased for a mere $500.  Now…what does this say about our culture?  Americans will spend  money on explosives to show their “love” of this country.  They will spend enough on the mega fireworks pack for it to be profitable for the bulk-o-rama store to keep in stock.  They will celebrate being “Free”…but do they really have their eyes opened to what this country has REALLY become?  Will they ever see that they are only under the illusion of free?  Will winds of change blow through in my lifetime or the lifetimes of our children?

To add further stress to this little disagreement that I have with our country’s mindset…My family is having a little southern “get together” today at my Mama’s house (yes: “Mama”).  I received notice of this “celebration” via a Facebook event invite. If I go, I’ll get to eat some unhappy cow meat and baked beans.  I’ll get to listen to awkward sexual jokes from my Mama’s redneck boyfriend, Rick James (no shit, that is REALLY his name.  REALLY.)  I’ll miss the pleasure of being oogled by his drunken redneck ass.  I’ll be deprived of my Mother showing love in the only way she knows how:  by buying shit and giving it/feeding it to me.  I’ll miss having to chase my toddler around the yard adjacent to a busy road…without help.  *sigh.  Family issues, dude.  The holidays always remind me of the dysfunction surrounding ours.  The dysfunction that somehow only I can see…and that makes me a snobbish, big headed prude.

So why bother?  Why should I show up to this last minute planned, Facebook invited event?  Because I feel obligated? Because I hope that MAYBE something will be different this time?  I imagine that PERHAPS I’ll be able to finally unleash my internal fury over how many issues I have to deal with because of my Mother ONTO my mother?  Really tell her how I feel for once?

I feel as if my family doesn’t even know who I am anymore.  This is a valid concern, as I rarely ever see them.  Birthdays and holidays are usually a given…but why?  Why should we pretend that we are a caring family unit?  Why must we mope along and get together and play nice?  How much longer will I be able to play nice?

Will we ever be able to sit around and talk about things that I feel really matter?  Can we discuss our country’s failing future this Fourth of July?  Perhaps discuss how corporations are genetically altering our food and causing cancer in our bodies?  Maybe come up with a plan for a family reserve of food that we have grown together?  Can we talk about how our country has allowed the American lifestyle to be almost completely dependent on petroleum products, oil, corn and pre-packaging? Dreams.

I have held onto hope for far too long that my family, particularly my Mother, will ever be able to change her backwards ways.  I have worked for a few years now to erase the damage that I feel she has passed on to me throughout my childhood and now into my adulthood.  Now that I have children, the urge to purge is becoming more and more powerful.  Will I allow my children to be around someone I feel has influenced me for worse?  Over HOT DOGS?  When will it end?

As for America…go ahead, play-play along.  Shoot your fireworks, drink too much beer, cook some poisoned meat and CELEBRATE!  Pretend while you still can.  Maybe I will join you, or maybe I will be the one who pisses in your potato chips with words of warning.  Where does the line of sight end for people like me?

I hold onto the hope that sits on the horizon.  The hope that one day I will find myself surrounded with people who believe the same things I do about our future. Perhaps one Fourth of July, I won’t have to worry about feeling obligated to celebrate a false freedom.  Perhaps I will be the definition of FREE that I feel is true.  Hopefully there will be others who will awaken to this new sense of freedom…and we will celebrate with fire pits cooking fresh caught fish and newly culled chicken vs. fireworks offering a few seconds of visual pleasure and a garbage bag full of ageless waste.

So…from all this, I ask you the question:  What is your definition of freedom for the future?

I view freedom as living in a community on a piece of property that we own together.  A piece of property that is immune from peering eyes, zombie takeovers and yearly fees.  I envision freedom as a chance to live off of the land in a home that is unique to the hands of the community’s building talents.  Freedom is a chance for every day to involve a bit of gardening, a touch of laughter, and a smiling demeanor, all welcomed by the morning dew.

The perfect day of freedom would include the silence of clothes drying on the clothesline, sunlight brushing our shoulders, vegetables gathered in a basket, and air flowing through an open window to an empty earthen structure.

The perfect night of freedom would be surrounded by friends, nourishment and a nearby play tent filled with sleeping children…all dreaming of tomorrow’s adventure.

Independence Day…it is coming, but it is not today.

Big Brother has ARRIVED!

Off the keyboard of Steve Lendman

Published on the Steven Lendman Blog on May 1, 2013

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

Institutionalized Spying on Americans

Big Brother no longer is fiction. It hasn’t been for some time. It’s official US policy. According to ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program director Barry Steinhardt:

“Given the capabilities of today’s technology, the only thing protecting us from a full-fledged surveillance society are the legal and political institutions we have inherited as Americans.”

“Unfortunately, the September 11 attacks have led some to embrace the fallacy that weakening the Constitution will strengthen America.”

Manufactured national security threats matter more than fundamental freedoms. Domestic spying is institutionalized.

Anyone can be monitored for any reason or none at all. Privacy rights are lost. Patriot Act legislation authorized unchecked government surveillance powers.

Financial, medical and other personal information can be accessed freely. So-called “sneak and peak” searches may be conducted through “delayed notice” warrants, roving wiretaps, email tracking, and Internet and cell phone use.

The FBI, CIA, NSA, and Pentagon spy domestically. So do state and local agencies. Spies “R” us defines US policy. America is a total surveillance society. It’s unsafe to live in. Everyone is suspect unless proved otherwise.

The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed warrantless spying. It passed with little debate. On Sunday, December 30, 2012 Obama signed it into law. Doing so largely went unnoticed.

These type disturbing measures usually slip below the radar. Weekends and holiday period enactments conceal blows to freedom. Warrantless spying became law for another five years.

Phone calls, emails, and other communications may be monitored secretly without court authorization. Probable cause isn’t needed. So-called “foreign intelligence information” is sought. Virtually anything qualifies. Vague language is all-embracing.

Months after 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans lawlessly. Sweeping surveillance followed without court-approved warrants.

Doing so violates core constitutional protections. Major US telecommunications companies are involved. They have been since 9/11. Things now are worse than then.

On April 29, Russia Today (RT) headlined “Spy, or pay up: FBI-backed bill would fine US firms for refusing wiretaps.” A day earlier Washington Post article was cited.

It headlined “Panel seeks to fine tech companies for noncompliance with wiretap orders,” saying:

“A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former US officials familiar with the effort.”

At issue is alleged FBI concerns about “Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals.”

FBI spying is longstanding. So are other lawless practices. Throughout its history, the agency operated within and outside the law.

J. Edgar Hoover ran it from 1924 – 1972. He waged war on communists, anti-war, human and civil rights activists, the American Indian Movement, Black Panther Party, and other groups challenging rogue state policies.

He ordered agents to infiltrate, disrupt, sabotage, and destroy them. Anyone advocating ethnic justice and racial emancipation, as well as economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines became vulnerable.

Post-9/11, FBI abuses escalated. Intrusive surveillance tools now target ordinary Americans. Unchecked authority and other abusive practices are widespread. America’s war on terror matters most.

Disturbing tactics include greater physical surveillance, commercial database data retrieval, paid informants infiltrating groups (or targeting individuals) on false pretenses, and letting covert unidentified agents conduct “pretext” interviews for information.

Muslims are America’s target of choice. So are anti-war and social justice activists. A gloves off, no-holds barred approach is followed. Virtually anything is fair game. Innocent people are vulnerable.

The Patriot Act authorized so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). FBI agents take full advantage. They do so by demanding personal customer records from ISPs, financial institutions, credit companies, and other sources without prior court approval.

The FBI wants more. According to the Washington Post, it wants companies failing to heed wiretap orders penalized.

In February 2011, then FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told House Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee members about a “Going Dark” problem.

She explained the agency’s inability to access comprehensive “communications and related data.” She claimed a “public safety” threat when critical information is missed.

In March 2013, current FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann addressed an American Bar Association discussion. He did so on legal challenges new technologies pose, saying:

“We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’ Other countries have that. Most people assume that’s what you’re getting when you go to a court.”

Under current law, Internet communications companies can refuse to comply with court-ordered wiretaps. They can claim no practical way to do so.

Proposed legislation would change things. It would force companies to rebuild their capability to allow government monitoring.

Weissmann calls doing so a “top priority.” Proposed legislation is being drafted. It’s an extension of the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

It grants federal authorities sweeping surveillance powers. Doing so lets them spy on Americans more intrusively.

CALEA originally applied only to digital telephone networks. It forced telephone companies to redesign their network architectures to make wiretapping easier.

In 2005, online communications were added. Broadband providers had to rebuild their networks accordingly.

At issue was permitting access to Internet “phone calls” through VOIP applications, as well as online “conversations” by instant messaging programs.

Law enforcement wiretapping is longstanding. Existing laws permit tapping phone or online communications regardless of what programs or protocols are used.

Industry largely cooperates. Digital age surveillance is easier than authorities claim. They want greater ease than currently permitted. Expanding CALEA is overkill. Doing so enhances police state powers.

The FBI cites its “tappability principle.” It does so to justify its demands. It claims whatever is legally searchable sometimes should be physically searchable all times.

Applied to phone and Internet communications, it would require designing phones and computers with built-in bugs. Doing so would elevate surveillance powers. Everyone could be spied on at all times. Private communications no longer would exist.

Expanding CALEA is the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps software companies are next. Enhanced legislative authority may force them to create surveillance-ready programs. Doing so may compromise innovation.

Applying phone system rules to software development and online communications assures trouble. What’s longstanding policy for one compromises innovation for the others. It also more greatly undermines freedom.

Police state powers are enhanced. Companies are forced to comply. Under draft legislation, courts could levy fines. Judicial inquiries could impose additional ones. After 90 days, unpaid amounts would double daily.

According to Center for Democracy and Technology senior counsel Greg Nojeim:

“This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs. They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act.”

Former federal prosecutor Michael Sussman added:

“Today, if you’re a tech company that’s created a new and popular way to communicate, it’s only a matter of time before the FBI shows up with a court order to read or hear some conversation.”

“If the data can help solve crimes, the government will be interested.”

In 2010, after its networks were hacked, Google began emails and text messages end-to-end encryption. Facebook followed suit.

Doing so compromises FBI monitoring. Agency officials want enhanced CALEA authorization permitting it.

They claim doing so only extends current law to new technologies. It requires phone and online companies to allow wiretapping.

It’s much more than that. It elevates mass surveillance to a dangerously higher level. It’s another step toward full-blown tyranny.

On April 29, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) headlined “Feds Push for Backdoor Wiretap Capabilities.”

According to CDT Senior Staff Technologist Joe Hall:

“A wiretapping mandate is a vulnerability mandate. The unintended consequences of this proposal are profound.”

“At the very time when the nation is concerned about cybersecurity, the FBI proposal has the potential to make our communications less secure.”

“Once you build a wiretap capability into products and services, the bad guys will find a way to use it.”

CDT President Leslie Harris added:

“What the FBI is proposing sounds benign, but it comes with such onerous penalties that it would force developers to seek pre-approval from the FBI.”

“No one is going to want to face fines that double every day, so they will go to the FBI and work it out in advance, diverting resources, slowing innovation, and resulting in less secure products.”

“The sad irony,” said Hall, “is that this is likely to be ineffective. Building a communications tool today is a homework project for undergraduates.”

“So much is based on open source and can be readily customized. Criminals and other bad actors will simply use homemade communication services based offshore, making them even harder to monitor.”

Media scholar/critic/activist Robert McChesney told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners how Internet freedom has been compromised.

His important new book “Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy” explains what should concern everyone.

“The corporate media sector (did) everything in its immense power to limit (its) openness and egalitarianism…., he said.”

“….corporate and state surreptitious monitoring of Internet users” compromises fundamental freedoms.

Doing so is “inimical to much of the democratic potential of digital communication.”

Internet freedom depends on “arrest(ing) the forces that promote inequality, monopoly, hypercommercialism, corruption, depoliticization, and stagnation.”

It requires ending mass surveillance powers. It’s about restoring lost democratic principles. America’s heading the wrong way. It’s perilously close to ending freedom altogether.

Islands of Freedom II: The Big Island of FREEDOM

Off the keyboard of RE

Published Originally on Reverse Engineering on October 31, 2011

Discuss this article at the Frostbite Falls Daily Rant inside the Diner

Note from RE:  Inside the Diner, the Hot Topic of the Day is the Foxstead Project, an “IRL” versionsome of the dedicated Diners are pursuing to find a WAY OUT of the Matrix, a bit of FREEDOM in a World where this commodity reached its PEAK long ago, long before Peak Oil became an issue.

Diners are not the First Freedom Seekers, nor do I suspect we will be the last.  Here in this article, I took a look at some Freedom Seekers from a Mullenia ago, amongst the last to find true FREEDOM on the Earth.

Those of you who have read my posting for a while know I like the Sail paradigm, some of you may have even read some of my paeans to the Polynesians who first colonized the Big Island of Hawaii around 1000 AD. This was a remarkable accomplishment for a Stone Age culture. They learned to navigate the High Seas without instruments even as rudimentary as a Sextant. They did it in Boats they built with Stone Tools. The culture that colonized Hawaii was the same one that colonized New Zealand, the Society Islands, the Marquesas Islands and Rapa Nui (Easter Island). All these folks were able to understand their languages, though they were not precisely the same over time. They did not just make the trip Once by Luck; they made these trips many times over the centuries.

Much of this seems near Miraculous to me. I’ve done a decent amount of woodworking, but most of it with Power Tools. Even the Hand Tools I used were all made of Metal, and the wood I worked with milled already into easily usable planks and 2x4s. Putting it together, I have metal screws and a variety of bonding materials, all courtesy of the chemical plants DuPont runs. How these folks managed to take raw trees and cut them up into planks with stone tools, then bore holes into them with Bone Awls and sew them together with sinew and then waterproof the whole bizness is beyond me. Yet of course they did manage it, the evidence is quite overwhelming that they did.

All the while these folks were engaged in this task, Europe was in the middle of the Dark Ages, Vlad the Impaler was running roughshod over Transylvania and the Vikings were raiding coastal towns and Monasteries from the North Sea right down to Portugal.

So in my mind’s eye, I tend to see the Polynesians of 1000AD having it far better than their counterparts over in Europe, but did they really? What was driving the Polynesians to make these long voyages fraught with danger? Answer would be two things, need for expansion with growing population and the search for FREEDOM.

Hawaii when it finally did get colonized eventually became a Monarchy of sorts, besides that a terrifically Inbred one. Brothers married Sisters, that sort of thing. By the time Cook arrived in the 1500s, the stratification of Hawaiian culture was pretty complete.

The tendency of ALL cultures of Homo Sapiens is to become stratified over time with Haves and Have Not’s, I suspect this was even true of the Native cultures of the Pacific Northwest which engaged in Potlatch. If you don’t get born into the right family in the right circumstances, you’re not “born equal”. About the only time “all men are created equal” is right at the BEGINNING of any cultural
development and expansion, the beginning of the Ponzi so to speak.

In NO society of Homo Sapiens, and none really that I can think of in the Mammalian Kingdom is there not stratification of some sort, Alpha Males getting all the Reproductive Rights, that sort of thing. it seems from the biological and sociological evidence that a truly egalitarian system is not possible to run. Hell, even on the Insect level you have your “Queen Bees” and “Worker Bees”.

This is in essence the battle being waged now by the 99%, which is to overthrow the stratification in this society because it has become too onerous and not beneficial to the community at large. However, even if successful in overthrowing TPTB, they are likely to create the very same kind of stratified system all over again, as it seems to be biologically determinate. You can’t really have an egalitarian system except at the very smallest level, and even then for only short period of time until the society grows and matures in its structures.

One would think living on limited size islands for decades if not centuries, the people living there would have grasped the concept that their population size had to be limited. Also you wonder just why the vast majority of people would accept Inbred Kings and Queens as their Rulers and provide for them a very good standard of living relative to the population as a whole, JUST because they were “Born to Rule”? My only answer to this is it must in some way be hard wired into the DNA of all Animals and Insects, though it does not seem to be true for Plants.

So the real CHALLENGE for Homo Sapiens in this iteration of the cycle seems to be the need to develop a NEW species, to EVOLVE beyond such a hard wiring of stratification of society. Clearly a difficult thing to do, it’s certainly never been done far as I know in the last iteration of the cycle. I have no idea how such a thing might occur, given the fact there are always biological discrepancies between individuals which give some the ability to take advantage of others. In a purely basic physical scenario, the Biggest and the Strongest make the best Hunters, that allows them to rule over the less Big and less Strong. In a complex society dependent more on intellectual abilities, it allows the Really Smart to rule over the Less Smart. Both types of organization lead to you Haves and Have Not’s and the eventual conflict which arises when the population grows past the point where the local resources are sufficient to keep the have not’s properly fed.

Perhaps there is no solution to this other than Boom-Bust cycles such as we have undergone so many times in the past and are undergoing once again now. Rumour has it according to Population experts that on Oct 31st we will cross the 7B threshold in Population of Homo Sapiens living on the face of the Earth. A remarkable achievement in many ways for Homo Sapiens as Top of the Food Chain in this system. Nevertheless, clearly not a SUSTAINABLE achievement, one can only guess at the day this Number will begin to FALL instead of RISE, but I have little doubt that day is Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.

For myself, I grew up in the Age of Oil at the very END of this Ponzi. Little Freedom left even when I was born in 1957, quite a bit less by the time I understood some Politics in the late 1960s, still less in my middle years in the 1980s, far less now and getting less all the time here. I miss the Freedom, and my life has been one of moving ever outward to find it, but unlike the Freedom Seeking Polynesians  who first found the Big Island of Hawaii, there really is not anywhere left to GO anymore. At least nowhere to go you could live anything but the most marginal of subsistence existence. The first Polynesians to find the Big Island of Hawaii lived anything BUT a marginal existence, they were SURROUNDED by Bounty relative to the few people who managed to Navigate their way there in ocean going catamaran rigged canoes.

Over time though, the Bounty disappeared and the society stratified. I would not have been a happy man in Hawaii of 1500 right before Cook arrived ashore to bring Smallpox to those Islands. The only time I EVER could have been “happy” was if I had arrived to those shores FIRST, when all was Pristine and Clean, when ALL on my Sailboat arrived as equals, when there was more than enough for ALL of us to be happy and content. Sadly of course, the very LAST day that ever happened on the face of the Earth WAS the day that Ocean Going Canoe arrived at those shore, for before that, every other place on the face of the earth already had some other Homo Sapiens living there.

As it stands now, this iteration of the cycle is about OVER, we stand at the culmination of 6000 years of power and wealth consolidation and social stratification, and all the earth is now OWNED and OCCUPIED. This will not remain the case in perpetuity however. Whether by cause of Nature and the Cosmos or whether by the Hand of Man himself, this iteration of the cycle is coming to a close now. We will RESET and begin again, or we will be no more, in one case there will be few left to begin again, in the other none.

I for one hope for the former case to be true, because if so then some day in the far distant future, once more some Navigator will see in the distance a Volcano erupting, and guide his Canoe toward that fiery light. It will be a NEW Island over that Hotspot in the Pacific Ocean, and beside it there will be other Islands all Pristine and Clean, the ONLY place TRUE FREEDOM ever exists, for ever so brief a time. My Spirit will find that Navigator and that Canoe sometime in the far distant future, I am certain of it. It is where I BELONG.

RE

Bayman Beachfront Blues

Off the keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Frankenstorm Table inside the Diner

 

As most people are aware by now,  most of the damage caused by Sandy came along the shoreline due to an impressive Storm Surge over a very long stretch of coast, one of the most densely populated coastlines on any continent.

Numerous iconographic Beachfronts were hit, the Boardwalk in Atlantic City basically destroyed and I suspect the newly renovated Coney Island Amusement Park did not fare much better.  The beach in the Rockaways where I made Sand Castles as a kid was hit hard, and many homes and biznesses in this aging beachfront community were simply washed out to sea.

Sandy didn’t just hit the poor and the middle class though, she was equally destructive of the multi-million dollar Mansions in the Hamptons where the Masters of the Universe go to play each weekend, sutffing themselves with Canapes and 500 year old bottles of Pinot Noir while they stuff the noses of Ford Models with coke prior to doing Channel Stuffing they practice on the Stock Market during the week.

Although there is no Beach on the Southern Tip of Manhattan Island, it’s not much more above sea level than the typical Beach is and also went under water for several hours, long enough to fill some Subway Stations and Tunnels with seawater, along with the basement Safes of some Securities firms holding $trillions$ in Stock Certificates in them, with some estimates putting the value of this Toilet Paper in the $36T range.

Hindsight is always 20-20 Vision of course, and after the fact here all the talk is about how to Build it Bigger and Better for Next Time, robust enough to fend off the worst that Mother Nature can throw out.

In terms of Large Public Works Projects, some impressive ones are being bandied about.  One is to build a huge underwater Seawall around lower Manhattan and the Port of NY/NJ that would deflect most of the energy of a storm surge.  Said Seawall would have some breaks in it that Tanker Ships could pass through.

This of course is similar to the Dykes built around the Netherlands holding back the Sea there, and overall on the engineering level this is some pretty impressive stuff for sure.  In the Dutch case though, the Dykes were built up over many Centuries of time and the marshy areas which were reclaimed were not very deep.  Although I am sure with modern heavy equipment, lots of Fuel and GOBS of Money the Army Corps of Bozos probably could build something like this it sure would not happen overnight, even if they do Print new Debt Money to do it.  The estimate on cost I read for this brainstorm is around $6B, but I am sure that estimate is made with the assumption Oil stays at $100/barrel for the decade it would take to complete it.

Thing is here, while this might prevent the worst Storm Surge from overrunning Wall Street, the deflected water is going to go somewhere, likely the Jersey shore to the left and the Brooklyn shore to the right.  So they will end up WORSE off after it gets built.

Another somewhat more reasonable Infrastructure Improvement I read about was to put Storm Doors on all the vulnerable Subway entrances and Air Vents and create “plugs” or “corks” to stuff in the ends of tunnels which exit into low lying areas.  Apparently Bangkok has such a system in place which allowed their subway system to keep running even during the regular and heavy flooding events they have been subject to the last few years.

Again though, nobody really explains where all the MONEY is going to come from to make all these improvements or how it would ever be paid off if you issue Debt to do it.  In the case of the Subway improvements, how high do you have to hike the Fare the Straphangers pay to actually pay this stuff off and then maintain it?  The subway system is ALREADY subsidized heavily, by you guessed it BROKE Goobermint.  The reason the system never gets Upgrades is BECAUSE it doesn’t pay for itself already.

Although little Newz is trickling out from the devastated Beachfront communities along the Jersey Shore and Long island, the pictures alone tell you that the rebuild costs are Unimaginable, and Goobernator Chris Christie has already said it will be “a long time” before these communities get their lights back on.  He should have added, “if ever”.

So, SHOULD people actually be LIVING so close to the shore in such vulnerable spots to the destructive Power of Mother Nature?  On the surface Common Sense says no, but there are many reasons why MOST of the population of Homo Sapiens does in fact live close to the shore.

First off, going right back to Ancient Civilizations which first used Boats for fishing and then trade, a large portion of the population has always made its living from the Sea.  So you naturally get towns and cities forming up at locations where boats can port up in relative safety, and in fact the Port of NY/NJ is one of the best protected harbors in the whole world on a geographic level.  That is WHY the Dutch dropped the settlement in New Amsterdam at the bottom of Manhattan Island.

Prior to the Railroads, once you got interior to a land mass to any great degree, any trade goods from other places became quite scarce and expensive.  Evne once you HAVE Railroads though, you need to have substantial numbers of people at the terminal end near the Seaport.  Still, you probably could organize it so only a Skeleton Crew of people are at the shoreline, and most of the people are far enough inland that they won’t get nailed with a Storm Surge.

The problem here is that people LIKE the Ocean.  they like swimming in it, surfing on it, tanning on the beach and Ogling the Girls in their Bikinis also.  Recreation is BIG BIZNESS, and there are Seaside Resorts in just about every Country and Island in the WORLD, and Seaside Communities that grow up around them to service the Tourist trade.  For some places like Hawaii, this Recreational tourist Trade is pretty much the only real economic driver they have, you just don’t earn all that much FOREX growing Pineapples and Macadamia Nuts.

Even for pitiful and aging Seaside Communities like Atlantic City, the Boardwalk and the Beaches are what set it apart from the Indian Reservation Casinos and Las Vegas.  In terms of Tax Revenue, it was a main source for New Jersey and that revenue is not coming back anytime too soon, and not until NJ spends a small fortune to do a rebuild.  Can they ever recoup what the spend in Taxation of a refurbished Atlantic City?  Highly unlikely of course.

Probably the most important econonomic driver for our Industrial Societies centered along the coastlines are all the Refineries and offload points for Tankers carrying the Crude from underneath the Desert Sands of Saudi Arabia and off the shore of Brazil and Venezuela.  The VLCC Super Tankers require specialized deepwater ports like the LOOP to function, and moving heavy unrefined crude through pipelines from them is costly on EROEI.  The closer you can make the Refinery to the offload point for the crude, the more profitable it is.   So you have many FSofA refineries near the shores of Lousiana and Texas, and on the Jersey shore also.  You need workers for those refineries who live nearby them, and again communities sprout up in vulnerable locations.

Trying to move all this infrastructure away from the shorelines is an impossibility as long as you want to maintain this sort of Industrialized culture, and overall most people who live inside such societies want them to continue onward as they have known them.  They want Lights On in their McMansions, they want Running Water in their Toilets.  They want the I-pads, Plasma TVs and SUVs too, but they at LEAST EXPECT that they can live in a heated home with running water.

While it does appear that the NY Shity Subway System has been brought back online for the most part, underplayed in NEWz Reports to date is just how much OTHER infrastructure has not been brought back yet.  As the Major Financial Hub of the Empire, Wall Street is the first one to consider on the Economic Loss level here.  Even though CONedison has brought Power back to Lower Manhattan, MANY Coomercial and Residential Skyscrapers can’t accept that power.  Why?  Because their basements were not hardenned against such a massive Flooding even tlike the Subways are, and most of their Electrics and Heating mechanisms are housed in their BASEMENTS, which in many if not most cases WERE Flooded Floor to Ceiling.  These include buildings like 125 Maiden Land &  55 Water Street, which houses offices for companies like S&P and services like UNICEF and Planned Parenthood:

At 125 Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan, a 17-story building not far from the East River, a disaster recovery company official involved with work on the building said that it would be months before it could reopen. Like many other buildings in the vicinity, he said, it was flooded and would need new transformers, boilers and other equipment.

Tenants include the United States Fund for UNICEF and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

 

At 55 Water Street, where Standard & Poor’s has offices, the “restricted use” sign listed “severe flooding in basement, no fire alarm, no power, damaged face brick at loading dock.”

On Sunday night, water gushed from hoses that snaked inside the shuttered towers. Workers scrubbed and mopped lobbies.

Brookfield Office Properties, which operates One New York Plaza near Battery Park, where Morgan Stanley is a tenant, estimated that it would be three to six weeks before the building reopens.

These towers are not all strictly Bizness either, some are residential, often housing Eledrly people:

Many of the residential buildings in Lower Manhattan without heat house significant populations of elderly people, including Smith/Vladeck Houses and Southbridge Towers, a Mitchell-Lama building, according to Julie Menin, former chairwoman of Community Board 1.

A rapid Cleanup for many of these buildings is unlikely, because besides the damage to the electrical and heating systems, they also  have been contaminated with Oil and Gas Seepage from Sunken Carz:

Because cars and other vehicles were submerged, gasoline, oil and other chemicals poisoned the waters that entered the buildings. As a result, the buildings themselves will have to undergo special cleanups before people are allowed in. These cleanups could take weeks.

Precisely where the Management Companies for these buildings is getting the MONEY to do this Cleanup remains unclear.  Also unclear is whether Commercial or Residential Tenants inthese buildings will continue to pay Rent/Mortgages on spaces they can’t Work or Live in.

Larger companies in NY Shity have Multiple Office Spaces distributed through many Towers, so these companies are no doubt shuffling people around to some other spaces they have “doubling up”.  For the smaller companies though, they have to quickly find alternate locations to workout of, or else go Outta Biz.

So beginning with Wall Street on the Economic Level, you have huge hits here in 3 areas, Clean Up cost,  Insurance Liability and Payout and Lost Tax Revenue.  Those spaces don;t come cheap, and there are a lot of them “underwater” here now, around 400 large buildings in this Nabe “Yellow Tagged” by the Department of Buildings as Unsafe.

While Individually  not as costly, the AGGREGATE cost of all the Residential and Comercial Real Estate that went Underwater on Long Island and the Jersey Shore, along with the Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island Real Estate is likely much GREATER than even the cost of Out-of-Service Wall Street buildings.  An important factor to consider is how many people will continue to Pay Mortgages on housing and commercial structures which either no longer EXIST, or have been declared so Unsafe as to be Uninhabitable now.  Would YOU keep paying your mortgage on a McMansion so damaged you cannot live in it anymore?  Many if not most of these folks will eventually here walk away from these Properties.

Calculating the precise total here of lost revenue, lost taxes and cleanup costs is basically impossible at this point, and true Numbers as they come in will certainly never be reported.  The $50B “estimate” for damage here is a crock of shit, it is WAY higher than that, even NOT taking into account the possibility of $Trillions$ in Securities being “lost” in some Basement Safes.

One thing you can be certain of as the Money to Rebuild is distributed out, it will NOT be distributed out to the Individual Homeowners and Small Bizmen who lost their homes and livelihoods here.  The Money will be distributed out to Well Connected Corporations, Big Bizmen & Contractors with good Political Connections who get Cleanup work.  A bit of this will Trickle Down to J6P Construciton Worker who has been UE for a while and now will have Cleanup work for a few months, but once done those jobs will disappear as fast as they appeared here.  Those New Jobs are more than balanced out by the many people who LOSE their jobs here because their workplaces no longer EXIST at all, or the companies they work for are not on the Gravy Train to get the Big Loans to “rebuild”.

What many people on the Jersey Shore and Long Island just found out is that you CAN’T expect that Electric Power and Heat for your Biz or Domicile will remain in place, just as a whole bunch of people found that out when NOLA got hit by Katrina.  If you are not Well Connected enough to get the Big Money Handouts from Da Federal Goobermint to “rebuild” you are basically SOL here.  I am quite SURE S&P will be floated a $100M or $1B Loan from Helicopter Ben to repair THEIR Building, I seriously DOUBT  Emilio or Mohammed gets a $100K loan to repair his Bodega.

So across the board here, we at the very LEAST are looking at a version of Jimmy Kunstler’s Long Emergency, and incremental Spin Down of the quality of life for MANY formerly Middle Class people in the NY Shity Nabe.  Staten Island is QUINTESSENTIAL “Middle Class” Working Man territory in NY Shity, probably half the NYPD, Sanitation Department and NYs Bravest Firefighters live on Staten Island.  These are not “Welfare Leechfucks”, they were hard working people who bought into the Amerikan Dream, now turned Amerikan Nightmare.  Now they ALSO are the Underclass, and will be left Hung Out to Dry as the Big Money is passed out to Big Corporations in the Capitalist system to “rebuild”.So it has always been here in the FSofA, since Alexander Hamilton openned the First Bank of the FSofA, since Andrew Jackson tried to “Kill” the Second Bank of the FSofA and since Paul Warburg and Nelson Aldrich SUCCEEDED in resurrecting said Banking System for the Illumati on Christmas Eve of 1913 with the passing of the Federal Reserve Act after Secret Meetings on Jekyll Island.  Anyone who believes that “Freedom” & “Dmocracy” have EVER existed inside the borders of the FSofA is seriously deluded, victim of 300 years of solid and continuos BRAIN WASHING.

The thing is, once the Coastal Shities fail, the Interior Shitieshere in the FSoA will also FAIL,  though not necessarily from the direct attacks of Mother Nature from Hurricanes and rising Sea levels with bigger Storm surges.  They will fail as the energy supplies they need to operate fail to reach them from the coastline.  They will fail as the huge ports which service the Container Ships are damaged and destroyed by Mother Nature.

Here in Alaska the Port of Anchorage is aging and decaying, it hasn’t been rebuilt or even maintained all that well since the Big Quake in ’64.  Next decent quake we get there, it’s all rubble and I seriously doubt will be rebuilt.

The small Fishing Boats and Kayaks will last a while longer though, and people will still live and work near the Sea, from which ALL LIFE comes, until the Sea itself has life no more.  A dangerous place to be for sure as Mother Earth becomes more Geologically and Atmospherically unstable, you never know if you picked the WRONG day to go out Dip Netting the Kings when the run and a Tsunami comes your way here on the Ring of Fire.

If you do see the tide run out real fast though, drop the dip net, drop the fish and RUN LIKE HELL for the High Ground.  At least it slopes up pretty quick here in most places and you can get up 30 meters pretty quick.  Not so true on Long Island, where you gotta get inside a good mile from the shoreline to be up more than a few feet above Sea Level.

Anyhow, you can second guess all you like all the people who lived once on the Jersey Shore and in Coney Island and Rockaway Beach and on Fire Island too, but who will live there no more even if they did escape with their lives this time.  While you are at it, you might also second guess all the folks who live in Tornado Alley on the Texahoma border.  Not to mention all the folks who live in the Flood Plain of the Mighty Mississippi.  Not to mention all those folks living on top of the San Andreas Fault or in range of Sparks from tinder dry Forests in New Mexico and Colorado.  Wherever you are, eventually the Odds catch up with you, and you never know the day the Big Show will Come to a Theatre Near You.  The odds don’t appear to be improving here either, apparently 500 year floods now arrive 2 or 3 times a decade, and we get a new “Freak” event all the time like “Derechos”, “Haboobs” and “Frankenstorms”.

Perhaps the most IMPORTANT Second Guessing to be done here is WRT the Nuke Plants distributed out worldwide in ALL of these vulnerable locations.  Nuke Plants need a HUGE amount of Water for cooling, so they are always nearby major rivers or near the coast.  The cities and Ag Land these Nuke Plants provide energy for quite often are over geological fault lines and/or subject to drought or flooding.  There is nowhere “safe” to put something that has toxins that will last for Millenia, on a Millenial Timescale just about EVERY neighborhood gets hit with some kind of major disaster.

All Nuke Plants need to be Decommissioned, and all the spent fuel collected and sequestered off where it can do the least damage, perhaps in Antarctica or perhaps by sinking it into a subduction zone around the Marianas Trench, but it MUST be moved BEFORE, not AFTER the disaster strikes.

Will we have to sacrifice the Lights and the Flush toilets?  Most probably so, but at least perhaps then we will survive as a species and eventually come up with some better ways to manage the resources of the Planet we live on, and which gives us ALL life.  Its the only one we got, and we ain’t making out to any Exoplanets anytime too soon either.

RE

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Going Cashless

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