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We havent had Pizza🍕4Lunch in a while, and for today's offering I am going with a Thick Crust Rectangular Sicilian Pizza🍕.

I'm not a fan of thick crust myself, I like the thin and crispy type.  But lots of Diners like this.  I do like the rectangular shape though, this is particularly good when you have a sleepover for the gymmies at the gym.  You can divide these  up into nice EZ to Eat squares as opposed to the triangles you get out of your round pizzas🍕.  A large one will get you 12-16 squares.  Gymmies love pizza🍕 too, a favorite kid food.  Also a good choice on a buffet table for a meeting for adults.


Sicilian Thick Crust Pizza🍕


World stocks stumble as US Treasury yields near 3%

    World stocks slipped on Monday as investors braced for a blizzard of earnings from the world's largest firms.
    Investors are also keeping a wary eye on U.S. bond yields as they approach peaks that have triggered market spasms in the past.
    In early New York trading, the 10-year yield was trading around 2.9950 percent.

Published 4 Hours Ago Updated 53 Mins Ago Reuters
Pro says there are three reasons 10-year is rising 
52 Mins Ago | 03:25

World stocks slipped on Monday ahead of a blizzard of earnings from the world's biggest firms and as wary investors watched U.S. bond yields approach peaks that have triggered market spasms in the past.

The on 10-year U.S. Treasurys hit its highest level since January 2014 at 2.99 percent, pushing the gap — or spread — to German bonds to the widest in 29 years and the dollar higher in the process.

Traders were also getting a global round of economic surveys that should show in the coming days if economic softness in the first quarter was just a passing phase linked to wintery weather and the Lunar New Year holidays in Asia.

Readings from Japan, France, and Germany were all relatively reassuring. Japan's PMI data firmed as output and domestic demand picked up, France got help from its services sector, while Germany came in above forecast despite weaker new orders numbers.

"It's a good reading, it's still encouraging," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, of the combined euro zone numbers, which he said pointed to quarterly GDP growth of 0.6 percent.

On the geopolitical front, there was plenty to digest too.

North Korea said on Saturday that it would immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests, scrap its nuclear test site and instead pursue peace and economic growth.

Talk of a trip by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to China, also fueled hopes that the recent trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies may be thawing.

Oil prices edged down in the cross-currents but were not far from their highest since late 2014. The market had wobbled on Friday when U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted criticism of OPEC's role in pushing up global prices, but quickly steadied.

Brent crude oil futures were off 20 cents at $73.83 per barrel, U.S. crude eased to $68.16. Aluminum prices leapt up again, though, to add to this month's 25 percent surge following U.S. sanctions on Russia's producer-giant Rusal.

"Underlying (oil market) sentiment is bullish," Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen. "And we have OPEC potentially trying to 'overtighten' the market."

In stock markets, MSCI's world index fell 0.25 percent after Asia shed 0.5 percent overnight and and Europe then slipped 0.2 percent as results from Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, disappointed and the rise in yields added pressure generally.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were also pointing to a lower start for Wall Street later.

More than 180 companies in the S&P 500 are due to report results this week, including Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, Boeing, and Chevron.
The 3 percent barrier

Of particular concern for U.S. analysts will be executives' views about their exposure to China, amid the recent worries about a trade war.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said on Saturday he might travel to Beijing, a move that could ease tensions between the two supersized economies.

"A trip is under consideration," Mnuchin said at a news conference during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington.

"I did meet with the Chinese here. The discussions were really more around the governor's actions at the PBOC (People's Bank of China) and certain actions they've announced in terms of opening some of their markets, which we very much encourage and appreciate."

Back in commodity markets, the spike in oil has driven up both market expectations of future inflation and long-term bond yields.

Yields on 10-year Treasurys are at the highest now since early 2014 and again threatening the hugely important 3 percent bulwark.

The last time yields neared this number in 2013 it rocked risk appetite and sent stocks sliding. It also came shortly before oil prices went on a mighty 75 percent tumble.

"Another $5/barrel increase in oil will be enough for U.S. 10-year yields to threaten 3 percent. Oil is now at the cusp of levels where higher prices will spark greater FX and broader asset market volatility," said Deutsche Bank's macro strategist, Alan Ruskin.

Traditionally the dollar had a slight negative correlation with oil, mostly because the dominant causation goes from dollar weakness to rising oil prices, he added.

"If oil helps push the 10-year yield into new terrain for this cycle, this will play at least mildly USD positive in a change of correlation."

Indeed, dealers cited widening yield differentials for the dollar's broad rally.

The gap with German bonds has touched the widest in almost three decades. On a spot basis shorter-term U.S. 2-year yields are testing 2.5 percent, which is the highest since 2008.

The greenback was last at 108.215 having broken through major resistance in the 107.90/108.00 zone, which has held solid since mid-February.

The dollar index powered up to 90.69, and further away from last week's low at 89.229.

The euro was easier at $1.2232, having repeatedly failed to break above $1.2400 in the last couple of weeks.

Investors are awaiting the European Central Bank's policy meeting on Thursday amid talk that policymakers feel it is still too early to announce a timetable for winding down its bond buying.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said on Friday he was confident that the inflation outlook has picked up, but uncertainties "warrant patience, persistence and prudence."

Doomsteading / Re: Catch-22 of the Doomsteader Paradox
« on: Today at 04:58:55 AM »
If you are concerned about security in terms of inviting the whole world to your Doomstead and passing out your physical address to everyone connected via the WWW, then you can institute a 2 step vetting process.

Step 1- Application Form

In Wordpress you can make a fillable form that will go to your email address, which the person filling out the form doesn't see.  You just make one with more fields for entries than your Contact form does.  Or you can make a pdf form the Doomer can download and fill out, then email back to you.  You can set up a separate email account on gmail for that.  Below are some sample questions you could ask to see if this is a person you would want to be visiting with:

When did you become aware of collapse and what brought you to it?

Have you read any books or papers about collapse topics?  If so which ones?

What bloggers do you follow on collapse topics?

Have you done anything so far to prepare for collapse and if so what?

Do you have any experience with permaculture or traditional farming?

Do you have any experience with hunting, fishing or gathering wild edible plants?

Do you have any experience with Herbal Remedes and alternative medicine?

Are you licensed in any health field? Trade field like Plumbing or Electrical?

Do  you have experience with Primitive Skills?

What is your age and gender?

Are you in good health and physical condition?

You may add any other information here


Step 2 - Live Skype Interview

Assuming you get back an interesting enough set of responses that make this person seem like someone worth visiting with, you go to Step 2, the Live Interview via Skype, with video.  Not long, 15-30 minutes will do.  Here you can ask more questions and also see body language and facial expressions.  Make a few jokes and see if the person laughs or at least gets it.  This will tell you a lot about a person.


Step 3 is optional and only for the totally paranoid.  After passing steps 1 & 2, you give the Workshop attendee the address of a coffee shop in the town closest to your Doomstead.  Have coffee with the Doomer, and if he still seems normal, you can lead him back to the Doomstead.  This is going a bit too far in paranoia though IMHO.

If you do this, one thing is for sure, you won't get a whole lot of people attending your workshops, so you won't be able to pay "famous" experts an honorarium to come and give lectures and do hands-on training.  Everybody would have to be volunteering.


It's Soup🍜4Breakfast Week on Special here at the Diner!

Soup🍜 was mentioned by Surly last week as something he could "live on".  And in fact if you go back to H-G days, besides roasting stuff over an open fire or burying with hot coals, making stews and soups🍜 was about the only form of cooking available to Homo Saps.  They didn't have the cookware we have available today before metallurgy.  You can however boil water in a leather bucket or even a leaf, because the water keeps the leather or leaf from reaching its oxidation temperature.  In this case it's a cabbage leaf.

So even before there were clay pots, soups could be made by adding what ingredients you had available inside the leaf and letting it simmer a while.  Impossible to know how far back in the mists of time this trick was discovered by Homo Saps, since no archaeological evidence would remain of that.

In modern Amerika, Soup🍜4Breakfast is not real popular, but around the world it is very common.  We'll start the week off with a very common one, Ramen Noodle Soup🍜 with Poached Eggs.  I really like this one because it is FABULOUS for Homeless SNAP Card Cooking!  :icon_sunny:  It only takes one pot from your mess kit (you don't need to use a leaf) .It's also one of the cheapest meals you can make and cooks up fast, 10 minutes and you are eating.  20 cents for a package of Ramen Noodles at Walmart, another 25 cents for the egg.  If you have some leftovers from last night, feel free to chop them up and add to this too! :icon_sunny:  The one below has some added mushrooms, scallions and pieces of chicken I think.


Ramen Noodles & Egg Soup


Fox in the Henhouse: Why Interest Rates Are Rising

The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, D.C. (AgnosticPreachersKid / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0)

On March 31 the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate for the sixth time in three years and signaled its intention to raise rates twice more in 2018, aiming for a Fed funds target of 3.5 percent by 2020. LIBOR (the London Interbank Offered Rate) has risen even faster than the Fed funds rate, up to 2.3 percent from just 0.3 percent 2 1/2 years ago. LIBOR is set in London by private agreement of the biggest banks, and the interest on $3.5 trillion globally is linked to it, including $1.2 trillion in consumer mortgages.

Alarmed commentators warn that global debt levels have reached $233 trillion, more than three times global GDP, and that much of that debt is at variable rates pegged either to the Fed’s interbank lending rate or to LIBOR. Raising rates further could push governments, businesses and homeowners over the edge. In its Global Financial Stability report in April 2017, the International Monetary Fund warned that projected interest rises could throw 22 percent of U.S. corporations into default.

Then there is the U.S. federal debt, which has more than doubled since the 2008 financial crisis, shooting up from $9.4 trillion in mid-2008 to over $21 trillion now. Adding to that debt burden, the Fed has announced it will be dumping its government bonds acquired through quantitative easing at the rate of $600 billion annually. It will sell $2.7 trillion in federal securities at the rate of $50 billion monthly beginning in October. Along with a government budget deficit of $1.2 trillion, that’s nearly $2 trillion in new government debt that will need financing annually.

If the Fed follows through with its plans, projections are that by 2027, U.S. taxpayers will owe $1 trillion annually just in interest on the federal debt. That is enough to fund President Trump’s original trillion-dollar infrastructure plan every year. And it is a direct transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy investors holding most of the bonds. Where will this money come from? Even crippling taxes, wholesale privatization of public assets and elimination of social services will not cover the bill.

With so much at stake, why is the Fed increasing interest rates and adding to government debt levels? Its proffered justifications don’t pass the smell test.

‘Faith-Based’ Monetary Policy

In setting interest rates, the Fed relies on a policy tool called the “Phillips curve,” which allegedly shows that as the economy nears full employment, prices rise. The presumption is that workers with good job prospects will demand higher wages, driving prices up. But the Phillips curve has proved virtually useless in predicting inflation, according to the Fed’s own data. Former Fed Chairman Janet Yellen has admitted that the data fail to support the thesis, and so has Fed Governor Lael Brainard. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari calls the continued reliance on the Phillips curve “faith-based” monetary policy. But the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which sets monetary policy, is undeterred.

“Full employment” is considered to be 4.7 percent unemployment. When unemployment drops below that, alarm bells sound and the Fed marches into action. The official unemployment figure ignores the great mass of discouraged unemployed who are no longer looking for work, and it includes people working part-time or well below capacity. But the Fed follows models and numbers, and as of this month, the official unemployment rate had dropped to 4.3 percent. Based on its Phillips curve projections, the FOMC is therefore taking steps to aggressively tighten the money supply.

The notion that shrinking the money supply will prevent inflation is based on another controversial model, the monetarist dictum that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon”: Inflation is always caused by “too much money chasing too few goods.” That can happen, and it is called “demand-pull” inflation. But much more common historically is “cost-push” inflation: Prices go up because producers’ costs go up. And a major producer cost is the cost of borrowing money. Merchants and manufacturers must borrow in order to pay wages before their products are sold, to build factories, buy equipment and expand. Rather than lowering price inflation, the predictable result of increased interest rates will be to drive consumer prices up, slowing markets and increasing unemployment—another Great Recession. Increasing interest rates is supposed to cool an “overheated” economy by slowing loan growth, but lending is not growing today. Economist Steve Keen has shown that at about 150 percent private debt to GDP, countries and their populations do not take on more debt. Rather, they pay down their debts, contracting the money supply. That is where we are now.

The Fed’s reliance on the Phillips curve does not withstand scrutiny. But rather than abandoning the model, the Fed cites “transitory factors” to explain away inconsistencies in the data. In a December 2017 article in The Hill, Tate Lacey observed that the Fed has been using this excuse since 2012, citing one “transitory factor” after another, from temporary movements in oil prices to declining import prices and dollar strength, to falling energy prices, to changes in wireless plans and prescription drugs. The excuse is wearing thin.

The Fed also claims that the effects of its monetary policies lag behind the reported data, making the current rate hikes necessary to prevent problems in the future. But as Lacey observes, GDP is not a lagging indicator, and it shows that the Fed’s policy is failing. Over the last two years, leading up to and continuing through the Fed’s tightening cycle, nominal GDP growth averaged just over 3 percent, while in the two previous years, nominal GDP grew at more than 4 percent. Thus “the most reliable indicator of the stance of monetary policy, nominal GDP, is already showing the contractionary impact of the Fed’s policy decisions,” says Lacey, “signaling that its plan will result in further monetary tightening, or worse, even recession.”

Follow the Money

If the Phillips curve, the inflation rate and loan growth don’t explain the push for higher interest rates, what does? The answer was suggested in an April 12 Bloomberg article by Yalman Onaran, titled “Surging LIBOR, Once a Red Flag, Is Now a Cash Machine for Banks.” He wrote:

    The largest U.S. lenders could each make at least $1 billion in additional pretax profit in 2018 from a jump in the London interbank offered rate for dollars, based on data disclosed by the companies. That’s because customers who take out loans are forced to pay more as Libor rises while the banks’ own cost of credit has mostly held steady.

During the 2008 crisis, high LIBOR rates meant capital markets were frozen, since the banks’ borrowing rates were too high for them to turn a profit. But U.S. banks are not dependent on the short-term overseas markets the way they were a decade ago. They are funding much of their operations through deposits, and the average rate paid by the largest U.S. banks on their deposits climbed only about 0.1 percent last year, despite a 0.75 percent rise in the Fed funds rate. Most banks don’t reveal how much of their lending is at variable rates or indexed to LIBOR, but Onaran comments:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, said in its 2017 annual report that $122 billion of wholesale loans were at variable rates. Assuming those were all indexed to Libor, the 1.19 percentage-point increase in the rate in the past year would mean $1.45 billion in additional income.

Raising the Fed funds rate can be the same sort of cash cow for U.S. banks. According to a December 2016 Wall Street Journal article titled “Banks’ Interest-Rate Dreams Coming True”:

    While struggling with ultralow interest rates, major banks have also been publishing regular updates on how well they would do if interest rates suddenly surged upward. … Bank of America … says a 1-percentage-point rise in short-term rates would add $3.29 billion. … [A] back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests an incremental $2.9 billion of extra pretax income in 2017, or 11.5% of the bank’s expected 2016 pretax profit. …

As observed in an April 12 article on Seeking Alpha:

    About half of mortgages are … adjusting rate mortgages [ARMs] with trigger points that allow for automatic rate increases, often at much more than the official rate rise. …

    One can see why the financial sector is keen for rate rises as they have mined the economy with exploding rate loans and need the consumer to get caught in the minefield.

    Even a modest rise in interest rates will send large flows of money to the banking sector. This will be cost-push inflationary as finance is a part of almost everything we do, and the cost of business and living will rise because of it for no gain.

Cost-push inflation will drive up the consumer price index, ostensibly justifying further increases in the interest rate, in a self-fulfilling prophecy in which the FOMC will say: “We tried—we just couldn’t keep up with the CPI.”

A Closer Look at the FOMC

The FOMC is composed of the Federal Reserve’s seven-member Board of Governors, the president of the New York Fed and four presidents from the other 11 Federal Reserve Banks on a rotating basis. All 12 Federal Reserve Banks are corporations, the stock of which is 100 percent owned by the banks in their districts; and New York is the district of Wall Street. The Board of Governors currently has four vacancies, leaving the member banks in majority control of the FOMC. Wall Street calls the shots, and Wall Street stands to make a bundle off rising interest rates.

The Federal Reserve calls itself independent, but it is independent only of government. It marches to the drums of the banks that are its private owners. To prevent another Great Recession or Great Depression, Congress needs to amend the Federal Reserve Act, nationalize the Fed and turn it into a public utility, one that is responsive to the needs of the public and the economy.


Challenges for Resolving Complex Conflicts

by Robert J. Burrowes / April 22nd, 2018

While conflict theories and resolution processes advanced dramatically during the second half of the 20th century, particularly thanks to the important work of several key scholars such as Professor Johan Galtung significant gaps remain in the conflict literature on how to deal with particular conflict configurations. Notably, these include the following four.

First, existing conflict theory does not adequately explain, emphasize and teach how to respond in those circumstances in which parties cannot be brought to the table to deeply consider a conflict and the measures necessary to resolve it. This particularly applies in cases where one or more parties is violently defending (often using a combination of direct and structural violence) substantial interrelated (material and non-material) interests. The conflict between China and Tibet over the Chinese-occupied Tibetan plateau, the many conflicts between western corporations and indigenous peoples over exploitation of the natural environment, and the conflict between the global elite and ‘ordinary’ people over resource allocation in the global economy are obvious examples of a vast number of conflicts in this category. As one of the rare conflict theorists who addresses this question, Galtung notes that structural violence ‘is not only evil, it is obstinate and must be fought’, and his preferred strategy is nonviolent revolution. But how?

Second, existing conflict theory does not explain how to respond in those circumstances in which one or more parties to the conflict are insane. The conflict between Israel and Palestine over Israeli-occupied Palestine classically illustrates this problem, particularly notable in the insanity of Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. But it is also readily illustrated by the insanity of the current political/military leadership in the USA and the insanity of the political, military and Buddhist leaders in Myanmar engaged in a genocidal assault on the Rohingya. For a brief discussion of the meaning and cause of this insanity see “The Global Elite is Insane Revisited“.

As an aside, there is little point deluding ourselves that insanity is not a problem or even ‘diplomatically’ not mentioning the insanity (if this is indeed the case) of certain parties in particular conflicts. The truth enables us to fully understand a conflict so that we can develop and implement a strategy to deal with all aspects of that truth. Any conflict strategy that fails to accurately identify and address all key aspects of the conflict, including the insanity of any of the parties, will virtually certainly fail.

Third, and more fundamentally, existing conflict theory does not take adequate account of the critical role that several unconscious emotions play in driving conflict in virtually all contexts, often preventing its resolution. This particularly applies in the case of (but is not limited to) suppressed terror, self-hatred and anger which are often unconsciously projected as fear of, hatred for and anger at an opponent or even an innocent third-party (essentially because this individual/group feels ‘safe’ to the person who is projecting).

While any significant ongoing conflict would illustrate this point adequately, the incredibly complex and interrelated conflicts being conducted in the Middle East, the prevalent Islamophobia in some western countries, and the conflicts over governance and exploitation of resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo are superlative examples. Ignoring suppressed (and projected) emotions can stymie conflict resolution in any context, interpersonally and geopolitically, and it does so frequently.

Fourth, existing conflict theory pays little attention to the extinction-causing conflict being ongoingly generated by human over-consumption in the finite planetary biosphere (and currently resulting in 200 species extinctions daily) which is sometimes inadequately identified as a conflict caused by capitalism’s drive for unending economic growth in a finite environment.

So what can we do?

Well, to begin, in all four categories of cases mentioned above, I would use Gandhian nonviolent strategy to compel violent opponents to participate in a conflict transformation process such as Galtung’s. Why nonviolent and why Gandhian? Nonviolent because our intention is to process the conflict to achieve a higher level of need satisfaction for all parties and violence against any or all participants is inconsistent with that intention. But Gandhian nonviolence because only Gandhi’s version of nonviolence has this conflict intention built into it.

‘But isn’t this nonviolent strategy simply coercion by another name?’ you might ask. Well, according to the Norwegian philosopher, Professor Arne Naess, it is not. In his view, if a change of will follows the scrutiny of norms in the context of new information while one is ‘in a state of full mental and bodily powers’, this is an act of personal freedom under optimal conditions. Naess highlights this point with the following example: Suppose that one person carries another against their will into the streets where there is a riot and, as a result of what they see, the carried person changes some of their attitudes and opinions. Was the change coerced? According to Naess, while the person was coerced into seeing something that caused the change, the change itself was not coerced. The distinction is important, Naess argues, because satyagraha (Gandhian nonviolent struggle)  is incompatible with changes of attitudes or opinions that are coerced.

To elaborate this point: Unlike other conceptions of nonviolence, Gandhi’s nonviolence is based on certain premises, including the importance of the truth, the sanctity and unity of all life, and the unity of means and end, so his strategy is always conducted within the framework of his desired political, social, economic and ecological vision for society as a whole and not limited to the purpose of any immediate campaign. It is for this reason that Gandhi’s approach to strategy is so important. He is always taking into account the ultimate end of all nonviolent struggle – a just, peaceful and ecologically sustainable society of self-realized human beings – not just the outcome of this campaign. He wants each campaign to contribute to the ultimate aim, not undermine vital elements of the long-term and overarching struggle to create a world without violence.

Consequently, given his conception of nonviolence, Gandhi’s intention is to reach a conflict outcome that recognizes the sanctity and unity of all life which, obviously, includes the lives (but also the physical and emotional well-being) of his opponents. His nonviolent strategy is designed to compel participation in a conflict process but not to impose his preferred outcome unilaterally. See Nonviolent Campaign Strategy and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

This can apply in the geopolitical context or in relation to ordinary individuals ‘merely’ participating in the violence of over-consumption. Using nonviolent strategy to campaign on the climate catastrophe or other environmental issues can include mobilizing individuals and communities to emulate Gandhi’s asceticism in a modest way by participating in the fifteen-year strategy outlined in “The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth” which he inspired.

But even if we can use nonviolent strategy effectively to get the conflicting parties together, the reality is that suppressed and projected emotions – particularly fear, self-hatred and anger as mentioned above – or even outright insanity on the part of one or more parties may still make efforts to effectively transform the conflict impossible. So for conflict resolution to occur, we need individuals who are willing and able to participate with at least minimal goodwill in designing a superior conflict outcome beneficial to everyone concerned.

Hence, I would do one more thing in connection with this process. Prior to, and then also in parallel with, the ‘formal’ conflict process, I would provide opportunities for all individuals engaged in the process (or otherwise critical to it because of their ‘background’ role, perhaps as a leader not personally present at the formal conflict process) to explore in a private setting with a skilled ‘nisteler’ (who is outside the conflict process), the unconscious emotions that are driving their particular approach to the conflict. The purpose of this nisteling is to allow each participant in the conflict process to bring a higher level of self-awareness to it.

I am not going to pretend that this would necessarily be possible, quick, easy or even work in every context. Insane individuals are obviously the last to know they have a psychological problem and the least likely to participate in a process designed to uncover and remove the roots of their insanity. However, those who are trapped in a dysfunctional psychological state short of insanity may be willing to avail themselves of the opportunity. In time, the value of this aspect of the conflict resolution process should become apparent, particularly because delusions and projections are exposed by the person themself (as an outcome of the expertise of the person nisteling).

Obviously, I am emphasizing the psychological aspects of the conflict process because my own considerable experience as a nonviolent activist together with my research convinces me that understanding violence requires an understanding of the psychology that drives it. If you are interested, you can read about the psychology of violence, including the 23 psychological characteristics in the emotional profile of archetype perpetrators of violence, in the documents “Why Violence?” and “Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice.”

Ideally, I would like to see the concept of nistelers operating prior to, and then parallel with, focused attention on the conflict itself normalized as an inherent part of the conflict resolution process. Clearly, we need teams of people equipped to perform this service, a challenge in itself in the short-term.

If, however, conflicting parties cannot be convinced to participate in this process with reasonable goodwill, we can always revert to using nonviolent strategy to compel them to do so. And, if all attempts to conduct a reasonable conflict process fail (particularly in a circumstance in which insanity is the cause of this failure), to impose a nonviolent solution which nevertheless takes account of the insane’s party’s legitimate needs. (Yes, on just that one detail, I diverge from Gandhi.)

Having stated that, however, I acknowledge that only a rare individual has the capacity to think, plan and act strategically in tackling a violent conflict nonviolently, so considerable education in nonviolent strategy will be necessary and is a priority.

Given what is at stake, however – a superior strategy for tackling and resolving violent geopolitical conflicts including those (such as the threat of nuclear war, the climate catastrophe and decimation of the biosphere) that threaten human extinction – any resources devoted to improving our capacity to deliver this outcome would be well spent.

Provided, of course, that reducing (and ultimately eliminating) violence and resolving conflict is your aim.

In addition to the above, I would do something else more generally (that is, outside the conflict process).

Given that dysfunctional parenting is ultimately responsible for the behaviour of those individuals who generate and perpetuate violent conflicts, I would encourage all parents to consider making “My Promise to Children” so that we start to produce a higher proportion of functional individuals who know how to powerfully resolve conflicts in their lives without resort to violence. If any parent feels unable to make this promise, then they have the option of tackling this problem at its source by “Putting Feelings First.”

If we do not dramatically and quickly improve our individual and collective capacity to resolve conflicts nonviolently, including when we are dealing with individuals who are insane, then one day relatively soon we will share the fate of those 200 species of life we drove to extinction today.

Science, Inventions & Techology / 🌍
« on: April 22, 2018, 11:46:27 PM »
Great new website demonstrating the impact on Earth of Homo Saps with visual animations of climate change, migration, ice melt, you name it.


EarthTime enables users to interact with visualizations of the Earth's transformation over time. Combining huge data sets with images captured by NASA satellites between 1984 and 2016, EarthTime brings to life patterns of natural change and human impact.


Users of EarthTime can view compelling animations accompanied by fact-based narratives from international experts. Drawing upon EarthTime's vast data library, the stories below are curated in honor of Earth Day 2018. Explore these stories to learn more about our collective impact on the planet.

Go to the website for all the graphics, too many to paste here.

Here's the teaser video though.

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>


Doomsteading / Re: Catch-22 of the Doomsteader Paradox
« on: April 22, 2018, 05:57:08 PM »
I thought I would toss in a couple youtube videos to give people a feel of scale.

This is the one I used to go to. Ex wife got it in the divorce though.

That is nothing in comparison to this one

Its more about the ability to rally a group around a common banner.  A shared identity. The ability to inspire and motivate. Im sure a few of you have read, Communities That Abide by Dmitry Orlov.  Mix the two ideas and you got a collapse community.

On my side of things, Im trying to do a solstice party up on our hill this year, That is too far ahead at the moment though. it is my way of rallying and inspiring people. My friend Mythos will dJ it. It will be small but I have to start somewhere. Maybe I will bill it as a post apocalyptic solstice. Try to get people to dress up

You need to learn how to Embed vids on the Diner.  Second button from the left on the second row of buttons on the menu above the text box.  Paste the Utoob embed code between the tags.

If you already have a Solstice Party planned, perhaps some other Diners can make it.  I can email Albert Bates (The Farm) and see if he will come up if he is not already booked.

To really make it successful though, the advertising for such things needs to happen much sooner.  People need to plan around it well in advance.

There lies the rub, though. Im not willing to throw up my address for any survivalist to find. How would we do this selectively. Like it or not, there are survivalists out there whos entire survival plan is based around theft. I have narrowly dodged a few of these already.  As it is, this is the first time we will be inviting outsiders onto the property. And that is only friends of friends.

Create an online application form to vet people who want ot attend.  That's not hard to do.


The Diner Pantry / 🐱 Doomstead Diner Dinner Special: 4/22/2018
« on: April 22, 2018, 05:54:56 PM »
It's Sunday and time for our last Doomer Dinner of the week.  I'm sure few Diners will miss the end of this week arriving for this dinner theme. ::)

We have run short of frogs, squirrels and rats, and it's time to put our trusty housecat Garfield under the knife.  Garfield was well fattened after years of eating Lasagna, but since we ran out of fixings for Lasagna has been losing weight and is very depressed too.  So we are putting him out of his misery to enjoy a Swiss Recipe for Cat🐱 Stew while there is still some meat left on his bones.  The Swiss are famous for their Cat🐱 Recipes.


Swiss Cat Stew

Doomsteading / Re: Catch-22 of the Doomsteader Paradox
« on: April 22, 2018, 05:23:08 PM »
I thought I would toss in a couple youtube videos to give people a feel of scale.

This is the one I used to go to. Ex wife got it in the divorce though.

That is nothing in comparison to this one

Its more about the ability to rally a group around a common banner.  A shared identity. The ability to inspire and motivate. Im sure a few of you have read, Communities That Abide by Dmitry Orlov.  Mix the two ideas and you got a collapse community.

On my side of things, Im trying to do a solstice party up on our hill this year, That is too far ahead at the moment though. it is my way of rallying and inspiring people. My friend Mythos will dJ it. It will be small but I have to start somewhere. Maybe I will bill it as a post apocalyptic solstice. Try to get people to dress up

You need to learn how to Embed vids on the Diner.  Second button from the left on the second row of buttons on the menu above the text box.  Paste the Utoob embed code between the tags.

If you already have a Solstice Party planned, perhaps some other Diners can make it.  I can email Albert Bates (The Farm) and see if he will come up if he is not already booked.

To really make it successful though, the advertising for such things needs to happen much sooner.  People need to plan around it well in advance.


Surly Newz / Re: Things That Make Me Say, "Dafuq?"
« on: April 22, 2018, 03:35:02 PM »
The military is the breeding ground for Nazis. Why is this a surprise? All good jack-booted thugs gotta get their first pair of jack-boots somewhere, and the military (especially the enlisted ranks) is a bastion of right-wing populism.

You take kids who join because they're nationalists, and then you make them part of the largest socialist organization in the world (the US military) where all their needs are met by the government (until they leave the military and it begins to break down, veterans bennies not being what they used to be).

Don't forget Boot Camp.

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Doomsteading / Re: Catch-22 of the Doomsteader Paradox
« on: April 22, 2018, 02:50:19 PM »
Well nobody would voluntarily assign themselves and their descendants the role of peasants into perpetuity. Gaining rank as you serve sounds like a working compromise for a society of equals. If they can earn their way out of the lowest levels call it feudalism light... I have no exposure to the SCA other than endless mentions in every single tech collapse sci fi series. Dies the fire by Stirling  and The Council wars by John Ringo come to mind. As to getting people to work after the SHTF you would control that through the only currencies that would mean anything; food and security. You work you eat, you work harder you eat better maybe become one who makes decisions...  Upset the social order and get cast out. It would take an immense stockpile and a selected minority of bully boys to keep it together until it establishes itself. Probably the exact same way it was done at the fall of rome. He who controlled the grain stores and could hold onto it became the defacto feudal lord. Hopefully you could hold on. If you can't maybe that is for the best. That is not the endpoint I see of course. I prefer an agriculture based model with access to technologies from the 19th century and some electricity. Hopefully some remaining government and laws. Meaningless musings of course. I must go repot the seedlings...

I would call it more of a Meritocracy than Feudalism.  Still doesn't answer the question though of how you value different types of contributions and what that earns you in terms of control over the Doomstead.

I do agree the strongest toughest gang will tend to become the next generation of Lords.  Which is why I advocate for putting together your gang now, before SHTF Day arrives.  If you are in a low population rural zone, I think 20 men, 20 women and a dozen or two kids of various ages would work.


Doomsteading / Re: Catch-22 of the Doomsteader Paradox
« on: April 22, 2018, 12:21:29 PM »
In the SCA, you rise up in social rank... based on the amount of SERVICE you have done for the group

That's not real Feudalism then.  In Feudalism, there was little to no social mobility.  Serfs could never become Nobles, short of a successful revolution which about never happened in the whole history of Feudalism.

However, the plan of doing Service if you don't have Money is the SUN plan.  The idea is to allow young folks with strong backs to earn their piece of the Doomstead through Sweat Equity.  To do that though, you actually have to have them there sweating before SHTF Day arrives.  Then exactly how much work earns you what?  I did this in terms of Voting shares, and you get so many per year depending on your contributions.  But how do you value comparative contributions?  Say you have a midwife on your Doomstead and she successfully delivers 3 healthy babies.   You also have Big John on the property.  Big John is 6'6 and weighs 245.  Nobody gives no lip to Big John.  He can dig post holes through granite and wrestle a full grown steer to the ground and hog tie it.  Who gets more votes and why is one of these people more valuable than the other?

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Doomsteading / Re: Catch-22 of the Doomsteader Paradox
« on: April 22, 2018, 11:59:22 AM »
I have been meaning to write a similar article. Ive made several attempts at community building an so far, non has worked. While away, we decided to rework how we are doing it. We are tossing our anarchist principles wich are getting in the way. I have been changing myself to try and figure out how to lead. Not my natural temperament. 

Its our first real nice day today so I dont want to go to deep into this today.

There already is a model of this today. One of my more unusual survival advices is...

If you can not form of join or build a survival group.... Join the Society of Creative Anachronism  or similar Renaissance group.

They practice the intricacies feudal societies... as play. And they form VERY strong bonds. I do have to visit them again soon.   

Well. Out into the sunshine I go

I have a brother who is a member of CE.  He is an expert at making old English longbows.  It is an organization that is intriguing from a 'Diners' point of view.  A group could be started which was more collapse based with emphasis on doing things the old fashioned way.  Such things as growing your own food.

That's why I made a Primitive Skills board.  However, we never have had enough Diners interested in that to get a group going with that theme.


Doomsteading / Re: Catch-22 of the Doomsteader Paradox
« on: April 22, 2018, 11:52:19 AM »
I checked. I showed up here five years ago last month. Lotta water under da bridge, since then.

Carry on and keep convocating.

My idea for a convocation this year was to do it around the Solstice.  I was hoping to drive the Al-Can with Brian at the end of May so I could have SaVANnah down there as my wheels and sleeping accommodation, but I don't feel up to the drive now.  I could still fly though, if I don't get worse.

Another idea I had was to have it up here and we could camp at my favorite spot on the Matanuska River and drive down to Kenai for some fishing and take a cruise for some whale watching.  Then up to Denali for some hiking.  I'll stay at the campsite and cook. lol.

Then since DB and C5 have shown up, maybe doing it at one of their places in the Great White North would be good.  SUN goes International!  lol.

Anyhow, if any of you Diners want to host one of our parties, let us know.  :icon_sunny:

Far as your Toothstead and your own Rugged Individualist personality goes, of course it is better to do something than do nothing.  But the thing is you just really don't know how much food you can grow to feed some number of pigs and chickens and goats, and then how many people they will feed.  How much in years you get decent rain, how much in the drought years?  You need to have some helpers and cultivate it.  You can't do it all yourself while drilling teeth for a living to support the place.  What about bringing in some WWOOFers?


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