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1
Geopolitics / 🌐 Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded
« on: Today at 12:40:37 AM »
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/15/roaming-charges-third-rail-roaded/



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Coal train. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

+ The Third Rail of American politics used to be social security. If you even suggested cutting it, your career was fried. But Clinton & Obama legitimized such talk. Now the Third Rail is Israel, where even mentioning its power over the Hill gets you the political death penalty.

+ What horrible thing is it that Ilhan Omar said? What sacred code did she transgress? In response to a Tweet by Glenn Greenwald about efforts by House Republicans to sanction Omar and Rep. Rhashida Tlaib over their rather mild critiques of the obsequious posture of the US Congress toward Israel, she Tweeted a line from a rap song (by Puff Daddy no less): “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”

+ It was the Tweet that launched a 1,000 condemnations. But what’s objectionable about it? Power on the Hill is exerted by money; the money to promote and the money to destroy. Money fuels the political ecosystem of Washington.

+ But why take Ilhan Omar’s word for the power of AIPAC, when you can get it straight from the horse’s mouth?

+ Or just take a look at the 20 top recipients of “Benjamins” (i.e.., $100 bills) from pro-Israel sources. (AIPAC is not a “PAC”, it exerts its power in other ways.)

Source: Open Secrets.

+ AIPAC’s role as the Hill’s most potent lobbying force didn’t escape the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which reports that the outfit raises more than $100 million each year, “which it spends on lobbying politicians for U.S. aid and sending members of Congress to Israel.”

+ Chelsea Clinton, who some are grooming to challenge AOC in 2020, was one of the first to slime Ilhan Omar. Chelsea witnessed firsthand the way the Israel lobby slapped around her mother after she was photographed hugging and kissing (on the cheeks) Yasser Arafat and his wife Suha in 1999. A few months later, the lobby later battered Hillary into returning $50,000 in campaign contributions from the American Muslim Alliance, a full year before the anti-Islamic hysteria following 9-11.

+ Nancy Pelosi followed suit, summoning the feisty young congresswoman from Minneapolis to her office and reading her the riot act. The speaker then issued a patronizing statement about how the Rep. Omar had learned her lesson and would  “use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.“

+ Donald Trump, who called on Rep. Omar to resign for pointing out something AIPAC openly brags about, speaking to a group of Jewish Republicans in 2015: “You’re not going to support me. You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.” (Then he greedily swiped up everything Sheldon Adelson put on the table.)

+ Even AOC got into the act.

Apologize for what? Why should AIPAC be treated any differently than any other lobby that throws its weight around on the Hill: NRA, Chemical Manufacturer’s Association, Chamber of Commerce, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Business Roundtable, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Ass…?

+ There was nothing “anti-Semitic” about Rep. Omar quip its “All about the Benjamins.” But as the spouse of a “birthright” member of the Society of Friends, the affront to the Honorable Dr. Franklin did strike me as rank anti-Quakerism…Call the SPLC!

+ Rep. Omar has needlessly apologized for pointing out the obvious about AIPAC’s stranglehold on the Hill. But the attacks on her have only escalated. How soon before there are calls for her to be deported or sent to Gitmo?

+ The backlash to Ilhan Omar proves her point.

+ If a critique of AIPAC’s undeniable influence over American politics in the Middle East is considered “anti-semitic,” what would you call the 24/7 hysteria over Russian bots and trolls, which had no discernible affect on US elections, except as fundraiser for DNC & ratings fuel for CNN?

+ There’s plenty of evidence that Israel supported Trump over HRC and used “active measures” to undermine Obama’s foreign policy during the transition (see Flynn/Kislyak calls on the UN vote). Imagine if HRC had spent past 2 years blaming Israel for Trump’s election?

+ Rep. Omar to Elliot Abrams: “Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide if you believed they were serving U.S. interests as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua?”

“I am not going to respond to that question,” Abrams said, perhaps prudently, given his previous experience giving testimony on these issues.

Then Omar drove the point home with finality.

Ilhan Omar: You were convicted of lying to Congress. I don’t see why this committee or the American people should believe anything you say.

Elliot Abrams: Can I respond?

Omar: That wasn’t a question.

+ In a mere week, Ilhan Omar has eclipsed AOC and Bernie Sanders as the most radical and courageous Member of Congress.

+ Ilhan Omar is barely 5-feet tall, but she’s slam-dunking on everyone this week! When CNN’s Manu Raja confront Omar about her tweet saying that Trump has “trafficked in hate” his whole life, she responded: “Are you serious? What is wrong with you? Yes, I tweeted and there’s a response. You can run that. Have a nice day.” Manu, you’ve just been posterized!

+ Stanley Cohen: “This is what the good old boys fear most about refugees.”

+ Can we at least get an accurate body count (40,000+), before opening night of the Elliott Abrams Redemption Tour?

+ Kate Magsaman, the VP for foreign policy at the Center for American Progress, a neoliberal think tank, who is aggressively defending Elliott Abrams, declares “neocon” to be an “anti-Semitic” term…this would probably come as a shock to those godfathers of the neocons, Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moinyhan–not to mention Irving Kristol, who claimed to have coined the term. (Magsamen would probably be at a desk in the State Department right now plotting some “humanitarian intervention” had HRC not blown a sure thing.)

+ Resistance© hero Max Boot (last seen shilling for the Iraq War) also rushed to the defense of Elliott Abrams, display his ignorance about the meaning of the term “ad hominem”…

+ For anyone who needs a bracing reminder of who Abrams is and the mass murders he abetted, read Mark Danner’s original account for the New Yorker of the El Mozote Massacre

+ For the past 25 years, the cover art for Danner’s exposé has been seared into my mind, probably the most haunting image ever to appear on the cover of The New Yorker. Many others apparently have not only forgotten the cover, but the massacre itself and the enablers and financiers of the central American death squads who perpetrated this and so many other atrocities, including Elliott Abrams.

+ Yes, that’s the Grim Reaper, team mascot at School of the Americas sporting events.

+ Caleb Maupin: “Elliott Abrams was MS-13 before MS-13 even started.” Indeed. The members of MS-13 are in a very real way Abrams’ progeny.

+ Donald Trump, arbiter of what is and isn’t anti-Semitism…

+ Netanyahu wasted no time in exposing the real purpose of the “Get Iran” conference in Poland.

Two hours later the nervous managers of Bibi’s Twitter feed changed “war with Iran” to the more nuanced “combating Iran.”

+ But, as the Jerusalem Post reported, the first Tweet contained an accurate translation of what Netanyahu actually said in Hebrew.

+ For some reason, the sight of Mike Pence and the Netanyahus signing the visitors register at the Ghetto Heroes Memorial in Warsaw  is just as distasteful as Bonzo’s trip to Bitburg

+ Trump is now bombing the hell out of Afghanistan, supposedly in an effort to make the Taliban more malleable to US demands in the ongoing “peace” talks. How many times did LBJ and Nixon use the same bloody strategy that did nothing more than pile up the body count?

+ From immigration lawyer Kristina McKibben: “Just learning ICE has detained my former client, a US citizen. The law is complex, but he’s been a citizen since birth. We proved this up to the court, and the judge terminated his proceedings. How many times does one have to prove citizenship in a lifetime?”

+ Remember during the 2018 campaign when Dems shouted “Defund ICE!” “No Money for the Wall!” “End Family Detentions!”? Instead, Trump gets Democratic Party to agree to increase funding for barriers, ICE and detentions at the border AND he gets his National Emergency, too. No concessions on DACA or separated children. Way to go, Chuck and Nancy! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for Venezuela. Viva la Resistance©!

+ Do the Democrats enter into every negotiation using the Missouri Compromise as their template for an ultimate resolution?

+ Pull the plug on “The Chuck and Nancy Show” before it has a chance to go into syndication.

+ Suzannah Lipscomb, historian of Tudor England: “In 1539, Henry VIII’s government issued an act giving royal proclamations the same status as statute. It was a legal way to act extra-legally – without Parliamentary approval – and has been argued to be the act of a tyrant. The news from America today reminds me of this.”

+ Assuming extra-constitutional executive powers in the name of a fake invasion in order to build a vanity project seems like an impeachable offense to me. Can we get a legal analysis from Cicero on this because, you know, the Democrats seem consumed with their own fantasies?

+ The executive powers Trump seized under his National Emergency gives new meaning to Executive Time.

+ During his loco rant declaring a National Emergency, Trump kept talking about “protection.” But according to Stormy, he doesn’t use any

+ If you’re going to steal money to build a wall, the Pentagon is a good place to rob. But Trump ought to lift it from the F-35 account–if only to see Bernie Sanders squeal about how Trump was endangering our national security…!

+ In a strange diversion, Trump hailed China’s use of the death penalty for drug dealers. Two 2 months ago, he signed the First Step Act which reduced prison sentences for drug dealers (and rightly so)…

+ One thing is clear from his Rose Garden appearance: Trump is the National Emergency.

+ Trump has done the nation a great service today with his National Emergency power grab by showing that all of the small-government, constitution-loving conservatives to be total frauds.

+ The Tweets that haunt…

+ And yet to his enduring shame, across 8 bleak years Obama didn’t even think about declaring a National Emergency on: catastrophic climate change, homelessness, gun violence, hunger, child poverty, declining life expectancy, rising extinction rates or racially-motivated police shootings…

+ Trump/Harris 2020?

“Kamala Harris once supported a city policy that required law enforcement to turn over undocumented juvenile immigrants to federal immigration authorities if they were arrested and suspected of committing a felony, regardless of whether they were convicted.”

+ Come back home, Barbara Lee! The world really is upside-down when a former Black Panther endorses a former prosecutor.

+ Amy Klobuchar is another hard-ass former prosecutor running president, although until Harris she makes no pretense of apologizing for her grim record

+ First there was Nancy and Chuck. Then Nancy and Reagan. Followed by Nancy and John Bolton. Now it’s Nancy and Ted Cruz. Who’s next on Nancy’s dance card? Newt? Hannity?

+ Happy Valentine’s Day, Pwogwessives!

+ Pelosi is taking some heat from the left for dismissively referring to AOC’s Green New Deal as “Green Dream or Whatever.” But is she wrong?

+ It’s looking more and more likely that the “Green New Deal” will include nuclear power. Has George Monbiot been lobbying AOC?

+ No hedging here.

+ No hedging here, either.

+ Tim Shorrock: “Pelosi is clearly useless on foreign policy. She has the arrogance to criticize Koreans trying to end a war that tore apart their country for 70 years, praises the attempted coup in Venezuela and has said jackshit on Elliot Abrams. She and her party leaders represent empire.”

+ ICE is employing forensic dentists to x-ray detainees to determine if they are “children”….

+ Trump is simply ignoring a congressional mandate that he certify that Saudi operations in Yemen are attempting to minimize civilian casualties. As long as MBS certifies it, it’s ok with Don…

+ Saudi minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, went one-on-one against Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation. He didn’t fare well…

Q: Where is Khashoggi’s body?
 Al-Jubeir: We don’t know

Q: What do you mean you don’t know?
 A: We have asked for evidence from Turkey

Q:  You are blaming Turkey?
 A: I’m blaming the murderers

Q: You have them in custody
 A: Yes

Q: They can’t tell you?
 A: We are investigating

+ In most mob cases, there’s no written evidence of conspiracy. But Trump’s so arrogant that he’s likely to have made his co-conspirators sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement which instructs them “not to talk about their conspiracy.”

+ State Senator Lynn Hutchings explains why she voted against a bill that would have abolished the death penalty in Wyoming, a state which hasn’t executed a prisoner since 1992:

The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and me. I’m grateful to him for our future hope because of this. Governments were instituted to execute justice. It it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.

Did the senator run this by Sister Helen Prejean?

+ Since 1991, CEO pay has increased by 465%, while the federal minimum wage for tipped workers has remained frozen at $2.13 per hour.

+ The real collusion between Putin and Trump can be found in the off-shore accounts where their money co-habitates along side $32 trillion from their other pals…

+ Wealth concentration in the US has risen to levels not seen since the 1920s

+ Creature From the BlackRock Swamp: Former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is joining the BlackRock Investment Institute, the investment analysis division of the giant hedge fund firm.

+ Bankruptcies among family farms have doubled since 2008, a crisis that is being exacerbated by Trump’s trade war with China…

+ The average tax refund is DOWN 8 percent. How’s that tax cut working out for you?

+ Alexa?
 Yes, Jeff?
 Cancel that NYC order.

+ Chicago says don’t come here…

+ This week Portland, Oregon became only the second city in the US (after San Francisco) to sever ties with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

+ But the flip-side of Hipsterville is that the Portland Police Department has a sordid history of tolerating racists and neo-Nazis in its own ranks, as we were reminded this week when Willamette Week reporter Katiee Shepard unearthed a cache of tender and solicitous emails between Lt. Jeff Niiya and Joey Gibson, leader of the ultra right Patriot Prayer group, which has held multiple rallies in Portland, which have often led to violent clashes with Antifa and other anti-racist groups. Gibson called his relationship with Lt. Niiya “sweet.” The Portland cops have tended to target Antifa counter-demonstrators for arrest with one officer noting the the Patriot Prayer gang was “much more mainstream” than Antifa.

+ In this photo from 1921, Portland’s mayor is third from the right, Portland’s police chief third from the left.

+ Support legalized marijuana (Gallup):

2012: 48%
 2016: 60%
 2018: 66%

+ According to numerous reports, John Robinson Block, the publisher of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette and pal of Donald Trump, went on a  drunken rampage last week through the paper’s newsroom randomly firing people and shouting that he wanted a picture of himself and his daughter demanded it run on the “front page of tomorrow’s paper,” as his crying daughter screamed, “Please, please Daddy, no!”

+ Are we sure about the parentage of Donny and Eric?

+ Every time you start to argue that the Hitler comparisons are overwrought, Trump (Trail of Tears) and his circle, Candace Owens, Stephen Miller, et al, let you down…

+ Darla Shine, wife of former FoxNews ex, now Trump communications czar Bill Shine, thinks people should contract measles instead of getting vaccinated. Darla should lead by example…

+ Meanwhile, the blame for the current measles epidemic, according to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, can be traced to, yes, Vladimir Putin and his band of internet pranksters…

+ FEMA administration William “Brock” Long quietly resigned this week after allegations over his unauthorized use of government vehicles. He should have been fired for the misery he exacerbated and prolonged in Puerto Rico.

+ FoxNews host Pete Hegseth claims he hasn’t washed his hands in 10 years because he doesn’t believe germs exist. No wonder he always has a shit-eating grin on his face.

+ Where would Members of Congress be without their staff?

+ Mike Pence, who spent his week in Poland posturing for war on Iran, walks around like he’s got a stick up his ass. Does Mother insert it every morning?

+ Boots Riley: “Viggo Mortensen was the only actor with a national platform to speak out against the bombing of Afghanistan post 9/11. He did it on the Tonight Show while the promotion for Lord of the Rings was happening. You didn’t see him promoting Lord of the Rings after that.”

+ When Southern Belles snap, from Scarlett O’Hara to Julie Edwards, who after being arrested by a black cop in Deland, Florida, ranted that “My friends in the KKK will burn your family.” …Do we  dare call it “Taraism“?

+ Senate Democrats who voted to confirm Bill Barr as AG: Doug Jones, Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema…Rand Paul was the lone dissenting vote from GOP.

+ Last year Stephen Martin (not the CounterPunch writer), owner of Prime Time Sports, was so irate about Colin Kaeperneck that he decided to pull all of the Nike merchandise from his Colorado-based store after the apparel company ran ads featuring the former quarterback. Six months later Prime Time Sports is headed for bankruptcy. If only Martin had removed the Nike gear in protest of the company’s exploitation of sweatshop labor, he could’ve at least shuttered his store’s doors with honor. Instead, ignominy…

+ It’s the middle of February and most of Oregon remains ensnarled in a condition of extreme drought.

+ Temps on the North Slope of Alaska were 30-50 degrees above “normal” last week…

+ Hot off the Doomed Planet News Wire: Oil production in Texas has shattered records set in the 1970s

+ At least 305 wolves were killed in Montana in 2017-18, nearly 36% of the entire population. Now a pair of bills offering bounties to encourage people to kill even more wolves.

+ A trail camera in southern Arizona captured a photo of “Lil Jefe,” a rare ocelot, which will be seriously endangered by Trump’s planned border wall. Roam safely, Little Man…

+ Predatory capitalism has been supplanted by sadistic capitalism.

+ The Westminster Dog Show, where Nazi science is still celebrated

+ The sheep rancher who killed this coyote and displayed her corpse on a post, shouted profanities at me while shaking a rather sharp-looking pitchfork in his hand, while I was taking this photo last Sunday afternoon near his barn outside Scott Mills, Oregon.

+ Alfred North Whitehead: “Philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato.

+ William Friedkin: “What an insult to award two of the most essential qualities of film making in the commercial breaks. This is a misguided act that robs the awards of whatever relevance remains. It’s now just a platform for commercials.”

+ Sonny Rollins: “America is deeply rooted in Negro culture; its colloquialisms, its humor, its music. How ironic that the Negro… who has exemplified the humanities in his very existence, is rewarded with inhumanity.” Notes for Freedom Suite, recorded this week in 1958.

+ A Writ of Complaint has been issued against the word “WEAPONIZED” for its toxifying effect on the common language. After thorough consideration and hearing no objections, the court has rendered a verdict in favor of the complainant. Off to the tumbrils!

Do You Know What I’m Talking About?

Sound Grammar

What I’m listening to this week…

Dancer in Nowhere by Miho Hazama (Sunnyside)

Goes West by William Tyler (Merge)

Purple House by Robben Ford (Earmusic)

Booked Up

What I’m reading this week…

Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America by Joe William Trotter, Jr. (U. of California Press)

Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life by Edith Hall (Penguin)

State Capture: How Conservative Activists, Big Businesses and Wealthy Donors Reshaped the American States–and the Nation by Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (Oxford)

Order Determines Content

Daniel Barenboim: “The French Revolution gave us three powerful ideas, or concepts: liberty, equality and fraternity. But these ideas are not only right in themselves, but they are so because they come in the proper order. You cannot have equality without liberty, and you certainly cannot have fraternity without equality. The importance of this I learnt from music, because music evolves in time, and therefore the order inevitably determines the content.”


2
Bad Newz for the Oz farmers...

Read in more detail at CNN

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/13/australia/cattle-crisis-australia-intl/index.html

RE

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/7m-ELa1r9L0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/7m-ELa1r9L0</a>

3
Doomsteading / RE Buys a BIG & EXPENSIVE new Prep
« on: February 12, 2019, 10:13:10 AM »
For a long time I have coveted having a Chest Freezer to store my long term Frozen Meat supply rather than the freezer compartment of my fridge.  The freezer is completely packed and there is no room for anything else.  In fact right now I am using the Great Outdoors of Alaska as an additional freezer for all the stuff I have bought for the Diner 7th Anniversary Dinner.  However, in about another month or so it will at least in theory start to warm up around here and this won't work.  So I decided to buy the Chest Freezer.  :icon_sunny:  Here is the model:


Now I wanted to buy a smaller one in the 3-5 cu ft range, 7 cu ft is just a ridiculous amount of freezer space.  I found some nice little units on smile.amazon.com (remember to designate Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation as your charity!) with Free Shipping since I am an Amazon Prime shopper.  :icon_sunny:  Around $180, good price.  Unfortunately, fucking Bezos and his "partner" retailers won't ship a fucking freezer to Alaska!  So I had to buy one the old fashioned way, at a retail Big Box appliance store.

So yesterday I took on excursion out of the digs with my CH (Cripple Helper) to go to Home Depot and buy a chest freezer.  The only one they had in stock was this 7 cu ft model, but I wanted my freezer NOW!  $280 plus $80 to deliver it to my digs and install it.  $360 all together, about double what I intended on spending, but you can't take it with you, right?  It is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, sometime between 6AM & 9PM.

This freezer has an enormous footprint for my little kitchen, and exactly how I will have them place it down is still something of a question mark.  But I think we can just about wedge it in at the end of my food preparation counter where I video the Cooking Zone episodes.  Hopefully.  I measured it out and it should make it with me still able to open the fridge and also get by it and into the kitchen proper.  I'll try to get some video of the installation.  :icon_sunny:

Can't wait to unpack my freezer and get some ROOM in there!  :icon_sunny:

RE

4


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Published on The Doomstead Diner February 12, 2019






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Today, February 12, 2019 marks the exact day the Diner was loaded to the internet by our erstwhile partner and Chief Software Architect Peter when he put it up for testing.  Actual ongoing full operation of the Diner didn't begin for another week or so though.  In any event, our Celebration of the continuing work of the Diner to educate people about the ongoing Collapse of Industrial Civilization is a continuing affair through February and today I will start by publishing one of my videos from the new Cooking Zone of the Diner, where we celebrate also the great cornucopia of food we here in Amerika are still able to acquire at reasonable prices, at least if we ourselves have not yet completely fallen off the cliff and are at least eligible for and receiving a SNAP Card, generously provided by JP Morgan Chase to their considerable profit from this progam.  The video up at the top of the page here is one of the first I made in this series, which has morphed and grown over the last month into…well…a MONSTER which is consuming a huge portion of my increasingly limited awake time. lol.  There are numerous other videos to view if you are a Foodie, available either on the Diner YouTube Channel or the new Reddit r/CookingZone channel.



When I began this journey investigating Collapse in 2007 after the collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns, by NO MEANS did I think that over a decade later I would still be writing on the internet and analyzing the causes and effects of a Civilization Collapse.  Nevertheless, here I still am, although not in the greatest shape physically or health speaking a decade later.  While the civilization around me collapses, my body is collapsing at an even greater rate of speed, although fast as things are going now since Trumpofsky was elected as POTUS, this is a tight race to the bottom.



The Diner has seen its ups and downs over the years since 2012 when it actually was launched after I had issues on my Reverse Engineering Yahoo Group with automated censorship by Yahoo Bots of some of my posting to that group, which was a small congenial group of people  including myself, Peter & Surly who remains together with me (after numerous fights and disagreements about…almost EVERYTHING! lol).  Just about all the other original Founding Fathers and Mothers of the Diner have drifted away over the years, although I catch some of them online occassionally Lurking and reading the posting.



The Diner itself in 2018 had its biggest year ever in terms of Page Hits to the Diner Forum, 11,528,568 of them to be exact.  That is more even than what I consider our Peak Years on the Diner in 2014-15 when there were numerous Blogs up on the net concerned with the topics of Collapse, and we did numerous interviews and round table discussions with other Collapse Pundits like Ugo Bardi, Gail Tverberg, Steve Ludlum, Jason Heppenstall, Nicole Foss, Tom Lewis and many others discussing the issues and progress of Collapse.  The Video discussions are in many cases still relevant today (especially to newbies to collapse) and are all still available to view on the Diner YouTube Channel.  Also still available for listening to are all the interviews (and RANTS! lol) on the Diner Soundcloud Channel with such notables as Guy McPherson, Dmitry Orlov, Paul Chefurka, Ray Jason, George Mobus, John Michael Greer and again, many others.  I will include here what I consider the very best of them, our interview with David Korowicz, the Irish Physicist who authored the paper "Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse" which is a concisely written paper much shorter than the typical Collapse tome like Joe Tainter's "The Collapse of Complex Societies"  and well worth the read.  However, while David is very concise with his written prose in an academic paper sort of way, not true when you talk to him.  lol.  David is an Irishman with the Gift of the Blarney, and he can TALK.  We went on for literally HOURS with this interview, which I actually did sitting in my car outside an Internet Cafe here on the Last Great Frontier of Alaska with Free Wi-Fi, while my co-host Monsta did his portion from his home in Jolly Old England.  If you haven't listened to this interview before, it is well worth a listen to now still.  You can listen while you are stuck in traffic on the morning commute or while you chop wood for your Doomstead.  Multi-tasking!






In the intervening years since then, many of the other bloggers and collapse pundits have either quit entirely or greatly reduced their output in terms of blogs/month and word count.  As for me, I "Keep on Truckin", which I intend to do until the Internet Goes Dark, I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond or the Men in Black show up in their Ford Escalades to escort me off to Gitmo.  Well, as long as my fingers still keyboard reasonably well and I can stay awake anyhow.  lol.



Parenthetically, unfortunately I am going to have to close off the comments on the WordPress blog at least temporarily due to a massive problem I am having with SPAM at the moment.  However, the Diner Forum where all the really good in-depth commentary generally occurs remains live and active and relatively SPAM free (crosses fingers).  You are welcome to drop in there to leave your commentary and hopefully become a regular Diner and join us in our daily discussions of Collapse issues.



For now, I will leave you with one more video from the Cooking Zone, which starts out as a video on preparing Mushrooms to go with your Steak dinner, but morphs by the end into a RANT against the Internet Trolls who seem to follow me wherever I land on the net.  The price of popularity I suppose.





5
Surveys / Collapse 2019 Survey: In the Words of the Kollapsniks
« on: February 10, 2019, 06:15:39 AM »
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   Published on The Doomstead Diner February 3, 2019



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   Discuss this article at the Surveys Table inside the Diner



    



   Survey still OPEN



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   We have begun the rather long and tedious process of digesting all the data accumulated in the 2019 Collapse Survey, which is to say the least COPIOUS.



   Of interest to me first here was what Kollapsniks themselves had to say about how they thought about all these things in the Open Answer question at the end.  For this type of question, you can't really do a Quantitative Analysis, it's a Qualitative  impression that you get from reading the answers.  I was interested to see who took the questions seriously, and who just wrote snarky comments?  What websites did they come from?  If you read through these comments, you can figure that out for yourself and it is no surprise to me at all of course. lol.  Still, there are quite a few worthwhile and thoughtful comments and thoughts sprinkled in between the snark.



   Here then, in the words of the Kollapsniks themselves is the story of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization as it will play out into the future.



    






   



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































            20. ​On what website did you find a link to the 2019 Collapse Survey?
         

            40. ​You may add your own comments and projections for Collapse in 2019 and beyond here
         

             
         

             
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Upcoming stair steps in the ongoing collapse: 2019 financial crisis, ~2025 global peak oil, ~2030 peak natural gas, ~2035 global average temperature anomaly of 1.5C.
         

            Truth Dig (Chris Hedges)
         

            Smoke weed everyday
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            People have the capacity to change things, but there's little hope that people will make meaningful change until things become visible on a level that directly impedes their day-to-day existence, at which point it'll probably be much too late. My main question is whether or not those who survive the collapse are able to build a new society that learns from the mistakes of ours.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            Keep up the good work in 2019, best wishes for happiness in the darkening clouds of collapse!
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            I have flown. It is not every year. Three times in my life return.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Things are not getting better. Things will only get worse and they're getting worse at a quicker pace. We, Humans world wide, are in trouble within the next 2-5 years.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            The spectrum of subversive activities against the American people continues. Television, newspaper, radio, and mainstream media online outlets are relentlessly skewing and twisting information a particular way. Our people will need to recognize the threats to their health are constant and on multiple fronts. Long term power outages, interrupted services, and contaminated foods will be an increasing challenge in everyday life in the future.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            We are a morally bankrupt society
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            You don't define or ask for a definition of what collapse is, in my opinion
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Slowly increasing collapse to 2025. Dramatic increase to 2030. Beginning of truly dire effects of climate change. Period of disease, violence starvation to 2070. Gradual adjustment to new circumstances. All varying in timeframe by area of the world.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            The future is the Left isn't stomped on: https://theamericansun.com/2018/12/16/pissearth-2025/
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Grab your ankles!
         

            Ugo Bardi's The Seneca Effect FB group
         

            The most practical, lowest-tech renewable energy technology wasn't even on your list! Add solar thermal and passive solar buildings, FFS.
         

            Facebook.
         

            I look forward to seeing the results.
         

            Feedly
         

            Civil war and dissolution of the USA. Diversity + Proximity = War.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            TPTP are trying to take us into a planned collapse in 2019 to bring in Chaos and implement their NWO. Trump is trying to stop them and with God's help, the Deep State will end up in jail. The Super Grand Solar Minimum starts in a couple years and will be worse than the Little Ice Age; it will be a trial of Mankind almost like that of the Dinosaurs.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Economic depression by 2020
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            I am an unemployed Ph.D. I have been seeking full time employment for over 6 years. I survive through a combination of low paid part time jobs and public assistance. The welfare system is dysfunctional. The government is corrupt and dysfunctional. American corporations are corrupt and dysfunctional. I do not hold out a lot of hope for the future of the U.S. This country will collapse like the Soviet Union. However, the American people, unaccustomed to real hardship and lacking a sense of communal cohesion, will not fare as well as Russia did when it collapsed. There will be violence and bloodshed. The elites may launch a nuclear war rather than risk potential revolution.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            big problems ahead
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Economic reset
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            You may have regional issues. But beyond open revolution things should stay fairly calm globally. Could be chaotic in localities.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            the human race is a virus
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            I believe it is impossible to guess when we will go extinct
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            I believe that progress on reducing starvation and malnutrition will be undone by famine and ecosystem collapse, particularly fish stocks. It may lead to mass migration in 5-10 years time.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Peak prosperity website
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Better have some preps
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Collapse is U.S. and Europe specific
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            bullshit
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            Your questions seem pretty biased towards "normal" people. Your ranking questions REALLY need a "stop here" option! Other questions sorely need an "other" option, such as #39, which I simply can't relate to — I have no investments, but can last indefinitely on the food I grow.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            I submitted part of the survey yesterday but got cut off in the middle due to accidentally hitting the "done" button. You should be able to tell which one it was by the similarity of the answer about nuclear. The POTUS candidates and the websites in the middle rankings will be different because I am unfamiliar with some of these and ranked highest and lowest by what I'd heard of.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Balkanization of the USA with local/regional civil unrest.
         

            face book link?
         

            Economic collapse seems inevitable but after a period of hardship with perhaps some chaos people will reorganize and be much more self sufficient.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            You don't understand the term net worth. The question above references cash reserves, not net worth.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            TV dinners are never a good choice
         

            economic undertow
         

            Severe depression in 2019. Followed by lack of recovery due to resource depletion followed by war.
         

            Our Finite World (Gail Tverberg)
         

            I believe initial collapse will be a financial one caused by  falling net energy. B. W. Hill has a believable model for one… or Dr. Morgan's SEEDS model. Broken supply chains, empty gas tanks and store shelves leading to a root hawg or die  Mad Max scenario. Get your sand rail and assless chaps ready now. Good luck…I need a drink.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

             
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            In the western world: lower living standards for most (taxes, food and energy costs), corresponding increase in petty crime (e.g. theft, trespass), more heavy-handed actions by state enforcers against the public, more corporate crimes and corruption without accountability. Cheers.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            Reason Colin Powell write-in is order is needed, and I don't think he's a puppet of the elite. (am dual citizen/Canada; in US as grandkids are here)
         

            Was sent a link
         

            I am honestly anticipating a more realistic "zombie apocalypse" in which some aggressive disease destroys the bulk of humanity. I'm betting on a mutated rabies or superflu.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            What source of energy can provide the needed met energy? If it’s not nuclear fission or fusion then it’s nothing.
         

            Economic Undertow (Steve Ludlum)
         

            They had it coming, they had it coming, all along. As you have been there, as you have seen it, we'll have all just done the same.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Most of the questions have a built-in assumption that collapse is a reality….that's not a good survey approach and skews questions and answers.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            A staircase of tipping points that we never recover from as things get progressively worse.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            12 years til apocalypse
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            Interesting too us focused as usual. Net worth question not enough categories.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Here's hoping for a better one. Question 24 has all of it happening at once; we're ranking in minutes and not years.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            collapse is 'things getting very bad for most people ' , more dystopia / hardship that the elites will be able to avoid.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            A continued slow decline. The markets look shakey but at too hard to predict on any short term absis.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            humans have raped the earth and all its creatures, what can I say…
         

            Our Finite World (Gail Tverberg)
         

            Most likely collapse will be slower than we suspect – my guess is collapse has already started (started in 2008) and will last 100+ years. I don't expect to retire though (I'm 31).
         

            Where is Economic Undertow?
         

            Impoverishing the masses is simply conservation by other means. Wish the Breeders would…. STOP! But it ain't gonna happen. Collapse will be sudden and suck. At that point – I quit! No more electricity – gas – hot water – sewer or water….. and I think people forgot…. the diseases from the past will ravage populations when the sewage system quits…. https://theplumber.com/plagues-epidemics/ And besides – where I live – Ra(t)cine WI – it's gangbangers, Section 8, Single Mothers, and overpaid/compensated and early retired Gubbermint workers. Low slave wage paying jobs – lots of potential workers – but none who want to work. Lots of homeless – and Illinois keeps sending up more Gangsters for us to arrest – incarcerate – and provide free room and board for – with mighty expensive prisoner guards. I can make it check to check – and I live cheap! As for the Fox-Scam – it's all a Politicians lie: https://concernedracinecountyresidentsjustsaynotofoxconn.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/will-foxconn-lift-up-se-wi-or-lead-to-its-collapse/
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Die off
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            Human slave labor?
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            Monetary system Collapse is the most immediate threat, but monetary reformers are raising awareness about the banks’ debt-based money supply creation monopoly, and the simple solution of debt-free money issuance that can prevent monetary Collapse. The nutjobs in Washington could start a nuclear war. The pharmaceutical-industrial complex is already setting the stage for mass disease via poisonous vaccines. The aquifers are being pumped dry so water will be in short supply even before we run short of oil for energy. Climate change is happening, but not from us emitting CO2. A solar or cosmic event could annihilate us, before any of the man-made catastrophes have a chance to do it. Meanwhile in China, the people are feeling prosperous and optimistic because they live in a rising society while we live in a declining society.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            It is a good time to be old(65). The insects are rare as are the migratory birds. My garden becomes less productive each year. Friends and family are dying of cancers and autoimmune diseases. The weather in South Carolina is bizarre. My hope is fading.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            In 2019, we'll see increasing global unrest, a massive global recession, a couple new conflicts overseas, and one or two catastrophic climate-related disasters.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            As Niels Bohr is credited with saying: Making predictions is hard, especially if they're about the future.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            yup
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Nuclear weapons in the hands of despots during tumultuous energy scarce times is IMO the highest impact risk, aside from the slow grinding flywheel effect from climate change
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            We are screwed.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Collapse unlikely in 2019 (absent nuclear war) but certain before 2050.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            The american centric aspect of this survey means a lot of it does not apply to my circumstances. I've seen on the doomstead site but needed to sign up to participate so I'm glad that Ugo posted it here.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Elect Sam Carana! http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Wish there were more opportunities for jobs to report on collapse or work to solve the problems. Also wish people would organize more and try to bring down the system that’s rapidly killing the natural world. This is the only planet we know that harbors life and were killing it.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Good luck, homo sapiens is fucked
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            I live on a small working farm and strive for self sufficiency daily. I have no debt and believe in hard assets, outside the Banksters as much as possible. My world view is Biblical. I'm a well armed clinger to quote the Petculent One.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            2025 to 2030 probable range in my opinion. Many steps to collapse takes time. See a succession of regional collapses with migration, much pain and suffering, starvation, disease and violence. Sorry.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            believe gradual but bumpy decline in living standards
         

            The Automatic Earth (Roel Mueller)
         

            The 1st world is in for a rude awakening,
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            I can't spend to much more time on projections for Collapse. I've run through pretty much all the scenarios I could over time, and the only thing of which I'm absolutely certain is that our current thermo-industrial civilisation is in ICU and about to flatline.

            I work with other people in my community to try and find ways to leave something to work with for the people who will inherit whatever is left. A Buddhist text suggests that bodhisattvas live always with "their own death hanging like a pendant on their forehead." While I wouldn't call myself a Buddhist…I try to do that.

         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Looks like we are in an early stage of this collaps. But I guess that we have to expect more and more chaos in the years ahed…
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Question 24 is hard to rank because the triggers are contingent and most of those things are interrelated. The kinds of problems we face are much easier to predict that the timing.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Humans may have pockets of life remaining after the climate destroys the ability to grow food but these will slowly decrease until there are no more people.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            I plan to eat stupid people when things get bad; The only truly renewable resource…
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            We won't have long – the many religious zealots, big business types, insane idiots, uneducated, stupids are making terrible decisions that will curtail the future for all of us all too soon.
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            REDUNDANCY is the only way to succeed in nature. The most resilient animals have a variety of ways to do the same thing (eg: omnivores, amphibians), whereas niche animals are done when the niche is gone. Humans may yet manage to build a bridge across this huge cavernous hole we've dug ourselves BUT only if we build into a new system the most REDUNDANT ways to do EVERYTHING all of the time, in every area of our lives.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            The collapse of global energy use is very likely to remove the danger of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Markets remain volatile. Downsizing continues in businesses and eventually (within a few years) in government at last. Housing equities will drop as millions upon millions of boomers' homes flood the market when they retire and debt-ridden millenials, sans children and/or spouses, can't afford them. War is inevitable somewhere as the MIC fights to keep their coffers full–one of these wars will eventually put us near a WW3 type decision. The FSoA need to quit poking the Bear–eventually it will have had enough and quit taking "the high road" and retaliate or join the fray. Weather will be as it has been for thousands of years, cold spells, warm spells, floods, fires, hurricanes– if the solar minimum is as "Grand" as some predict, it may get much colder and food shortages as well as diseases may become larger issues than currently.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Political, financial, social, cultural collapse is well under way as far as I can tell
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            Hopefully, the Deep State goes down to a crushing defeat in 2019 as TINVOWOOT
         

            Economic undertow
         

            I am hopeful that further financial chicanery can keep BAU going for a while longer. Once the jumbo conventional fields go into accelerated decline (likely 5-7% per annum), I think BAU is done.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            It can only go worse from here. Capitalism can't find a way out of the hole it has dug all of humanity into.
         

            Economic Undertow
         

            Collapse is slow and ongoing. Things will get worse in 2019 but it isn't the end yet. Would love to see more states legalize cannabis!
         

            Economic Undertow
         

            I expect a continued erosion and slide toward collapse.
         

            The Burning Platform
         

            2nd Great Depression is due. Followed by ww3. Non-nuclear conflict, until possibly its very end. New global order arises after. Sometime before 2100, another religious war – Christians et al. Vs sharia imposing Muslims.
         

            Face book link?
         

            Society will survive until the weather patterns change enough to significantly reduce world-wide food production. People who live off the land might be able to survive for hundreds of years.
         

            Our Finite World (Gail Tverberg)
         

            None
         

            Truth Dig (Chris Hedges)
         

            Collapse is now. Ongoing. I think Dimitry Orlov said- It's just not evenly distributed yet. There are NO solutions except individual adaptation. Our capacity for organization and consensus decreases daily. Those with the most invested in the ongoing omnicide also have the most guns, bombs, missiles, and the predisposition to use them, being straight up psychopaths. They will actively and effectively challenge any attempt to turn collapse around. There is no guaranteed strategy for survival.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Should be a rebound after first wave mass population drop collapse but worsening climate change will see a nuclear war
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            This shit is making me depressed
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            It's definitely tough for older Americans to find employment especially in high tech.
         

            Truth Dig (Chris Hedges)
         

            My main concern used to be environmental collapse, but the rapidity with which politics has replaced religion in the psyche of the average citizen of the "advanced nations" leads me to believe that something like a Holy War between the barely distinguishable factions of postmodern centrism may destroy large parts of the human race before total ecological collapse. I vacillate between fearing this outcome, and embracing a nuclear war premised on the narcissism of small differences as the only true hope for whatever remains of humanity in its wake. The most likely future that I can imagine is one that resembles the Black Mirror episode "Metalhead," in which automated systems of property defense have hunted mankind to extinction, and the last living human will die at the hands of machines in the name of the great god Property.
         

            Truth Dig (Chris Hedges)
         

            A great or lesser depopulation seems likely. A re imagining of our specie will be necessary in any case.
         

            https://www.economic-undertow.com/
         

            I take history is my model and note that even after the Roman empire had clearly failed and become something entirely different many people hadn't gotten the message. We may be in the same trajectory, yeah everything will eventually be different and poorer and even, by current standards, post apocolyptic but they won't know and I will be gone by at least a few decades.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            "…slowly, then all at once…"
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            everday feels hopeless and i struggle with suicidal thoughts knowing that i will most likely be collapse fodder.
         

            facefart
         

            I can't last indefinitely on savings but I have over 3 years of savings. 10+. I'm lucky, not smart, clever, or ruthless.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            See Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            This survey was way too American centric to bother trying to answer everything. And those ranking questions are impossible on phone.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Keep up the good work and the discussion. There's a lot to be said. I've gotten past the worst and try to live a life of excellence knowing that stuff is going to get worse, while I still invest and save and work hard toward a future that may not arrive, I also work toward self sufficiency and farming and prepping for whatever happens down the road.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            I think we will face hard times and a population decline, but my thinkings on collapse are inflected by reading works by the likes of Joanna Macy, Charles Eisenstein, and Bayo Akomolafe. That is, I believe there is emergence and renewal in crisis.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Question 27: There could be pockets of more advanced technology co-existing with much lower levels on average for quite some time. I expect something like a new feudalism to arise, perhaps with some legacy technology of an unpredictable nature. Question 39 doesn't have enough options. Who knows whether Social Security will be available in 20 years, and at my age anything (bad) can happen. I can't live, or last indefinitely, but at my age I don't have more than a couple decades left at best, and I can probably survive anything short of a major catastrophe for 20 year or more if I live that long and if my health holds out. (I'm old enough to retire, lucky enough to have a job, and too pessimistic to quit).

            I think I'm mostly in agreement with Michael Greer in my view of the future. In my opinion the date of collapse or substantial decline is totally indeterminate at this time. Probably very serious, probably irreversible problems will arise by 2050; most of the world will be in an extremely distressed state by 2100, but with a few pockets of some affluence remaining, and probably nothing like "total" collapse until 2200 or later. After that is anyone's guess. Depends on how many bad (or less likely good) decisions are made in the next 25 – 30 years, or whether there is nuclear war or a major pandemic. When things get bad enough those with enough to lose may allow change and probably have enough collective power to keep the human race going at a much lower technological level, though probably too little too late. Things are still salvageable, but we are quickly running out of time to make meaningful adjustments.

         

            Our Finite World (Gail Tverberg)
         

            Not in 2019 but it's effects will be visible for public in te fall 2019
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            Stop the growth of the world population …. immediately
         

            The Automatic Earth (Roel Mueller)
         

            Since you reference a large variety of blogs worldwide , you could be less US centric. eg regions.thanks for the blog list. The sorting function while cool was a PITA. I tried but it wasn't the the final I wwould have chosen.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            A long boring and slow collapse provided we do not nuke ourselves.



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



               Capitalism continues to push BAU for as long as the masses allow it.
            



                
            



               Basically, we run ourselves into the ground with hubris, and denialism.
            



                
            



               Things are bad in developing nations.
            



                
            



               For the developed world, things get truly crazy in the 2030's
            



            Doomstead Diner
         

            Too many mooks. They need to be exterminated. This will happen. Then we can go for the stars, our destiny.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            There is too much we don't know, how much accessable, affordable fossil resources are left?, will we bumble into nuclear war?, will we be overrun by illegal migrants?, will our crops soon fail leading to mass starvation?, will the ecosystem fail because we have destroyed too much of it?

            The oceans are dying, birds, whales & other sea life is being starved to death with bellies full of indigestable PLASTIC, the O2 level is declining even as the C02 & methane levels are rising, insects are a keystone species, I see very few insects or spiders any more & Swallows don't breed here any longer.

            We are in deep doo doo!



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



                
            



               (BTW, I don't have a TV, radio here is almost non existent, we only have a small, local news paper twice a week. The internet is my main source of "news". I have no debt, no loans, no morgage, no children BY CHOICE, no family, all debts are paid up each month. "Voting" for corrupt politicians in fake, rigged "elections" is a waste of time. )
            



                
            



               Americans are so dam IGNORANT & too many are STUPID, people here actually BELIEVE that there is an invisible "man" in the sky who "made" everything only 6000 years ago! No wonder we are doomed to collapse!
            



                
            



               There are too dam many of us & more are on the way, without affordable OIL, we will not be able to feed 7.6 billion humans & oil is going away & those who believe that oil dependent "renewables" can replace oil are IDIOTS!

               I wish they would stop pushing "renewables" as the solution to our overpopulation, energy, pollution & excessive demand delema, "renewables" are just another way to PROFIT from fossil resources.

               What is needed is #1. BAN ONE USE PLASTICS, take down most dams, FORCE a drastic reduction of the human population, forced birth control/sterilizations as needed,( you can't reason with believers.) a drastic reduction in our use of fossil resources (rationing) & the training of millions of organic farmers & farm workers, break up mega factory "farms", we need to stop eating fish, eat less meat & stop buying stuff we don't actually NEED, ban clear cutting of our forests, end hunting & trapping, ban meat eating pets except working animals like sled dogs & cats to keep down pests in the barn. The young need to relearn the old ways of living on the land in in ballence with nature & our resources.

            



                
            



               We will collapse & I do not expect us to reach that 10 billion, probably not even 8 billion, the few survivors if any, will have a tough time surviving in a world getting hotter each year with more droughts, more floods, more nasty weather of all stripes & diseases we can no longer treat or cure (diabetics are also doomed.) & with billions of desperate people migrating & struggling to survive any way they can.
            



                
            



               Got a recipe for "long pig" the new "sustainable" meat?
            



                
            



               Even worse than the stupidity & ignorance of most 'mericans are our stupid, greedy, IGNORANT RULERS who are still calling for more dam GROWTH!

               Growth is the problem not the solution.

            



            Reddit r/collapse
         

             
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

             
         

            Economicundertow
         

            Log-log power law makes prediction difficult and imprecise. Collages will happen, it's the size of the Avalanche that is uncertain!
         

            Economic Undertow
         

            Good survey but politics = irrelevant
         

            economic undertow
         

            likely to be a rolling worldwide collapse due to economic, cultural, climatic, environmental, social and black swan catastrophes in unknown order, likely happening simultaneously at the present time.
         

            Cassandra's Legacy (Ugo Bardi)
         

            http://www.lulu.com/shop/risa-bear/starvation-ridge/paperback/product-21383506.html
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            great survey!
         

            Doomstead Diner
         

            the decline of the Roman empire was not obvious at the time – historians will decide the actual collapse year – assuming any are left alive !
         

            surplus energy economics
         

            no comm
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Economic meltdown 2019~2020

            Societal collapse by 2040

         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            I think we'll see some widespread social unrest in the U.S., probably with protests, maybe some riots and some military or militarized police response to them. There will be more and more homeless people, and we may see a sharp uptick in deaths from suicide, overdose, exposure, and starvation/malnutrition. We'll also see more murders by extremists, probably against people of color. It's possible we'll see a whole region or city fall under martial law if something significant happens, like L.A. running out of potable water. I think it's unlikely we'll see a total breakdown of rule of law in 2019.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Collapse is slow and ruthless. The upper and middle classes must live on far less now or live on next to nothing in a few decades.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            short term societal collapse may lead to the freeing up of important resources which can lead to a technological rebound, that with optimal outcomes may see our survival in one form or another into the 22nd century. however this is unlikely
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get yourself into the parasitic ruling capitalist class so you can crush the dissenters with highly militarised police while you live luxuriously off the backbone of human suffering and misery.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            Nothing about diet or how much we are individually contributing (or not) to this mess? We'll see the rise of veganism as environmentally necessary, better for personal health and as the public comes around the obvious morality will creep into the spotlight. Still, this is all way too little, too late. But really, if you eat, drive, fly, have children, etc: what is your excuse and how do you excuse these evils while preaching any sort of moral high ground (ie: "I recycle but could never stop driving, that's taking it too far")
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            1) Interesting, but what's the point, really? 2) The survey questions and requests that allow for no "other response" are often too limited or leading.
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            bumpy ride up ahead, mainly politically and economically
         

            Doomstead Diner, but the link was bad so I accessed it from Economic Undertow
         

             
         

            Our Finite World (Gail Tverberg)
         

            Fun to speculate about, but unlikely that anyone will see it coming in the exact form it will take…
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            born to die world is a fuck yeeet
         

            Reddit r/collapse
         

            I'm afraid that a lot of people who have never really known true hardship, like starvation, is going to feel it these coming 20 years. That is going to kickstart a lot of other processes, like with everything else on earth.
         

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Environment / 🌳 Greenwashing the Climate Catastrophe
« on: February 09, 2019, 01:24:09 AM »
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/02/08/greenwashing-the-climate-catastrophe/

Greenwashing the Climate Catastrophe


HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

by KENN ORPHAN

At its core this is a system that is incapable of even beginning to address climate change or biospheric degeneration. Its principles are based upon the exploitation of the environment for the material gain of the ruling class, kept alive through institutions of repression and corporate state violence

    With capitalism in danger of falling apart (a rare, cryptically honest quote from Al Gore), and years of stagnant global economic growth now in a free fall, the Greta campaign must be understood for what it is. An elaborate distraction that has nothing to do with protecting the natural world, and everything to do with the manufacturing of consent. The required consent of the citizenry that will unlock the treasuries and public monies under the guise of climate protection.

    Cory Morningstar and Forest Palmer, from The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg For Consent: The House is on Fire & the 90 Trillion Dollar Rescue, 2019

    One might think that if someone were conscious enough to recognise that global ecology was compromised and that pollutants were destroying fresh water, and the land, and that global warming was quite possibly going to make huge swatches of land non arable you might think that person would look for solutions in a political frame. After all it was global capital that had brought mankind to this historic precipice. But instead, many if not nearly all the people I speak with, frame things in terms of personal responsibility. Stop driving big diesel SUVs, stop flying to Cabo for vacation, stop eating meat, etc-. But these same people tend to not criticize capitalism. Or, rather, they ask for a small non crony green capitalism. I guess this would mean green exploitation and green wars? For war is the engine of global capitalism today. Cutting across this are the various threads of the overpopulation theme. A convenient ideological adjustment that shifts blame to the poorest inhabitants of the planet.

    John Steppling, Trust Nothing, 2019

    The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.

    Noam Chomsky, The Common Good, 1998

    Modern business must have its finger continuously on the public pulse. It must understand the changes in the public mind and be prepared to interpret itself fairly and eloquently to changing opinion.

    ― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda, 1928


It is hard not to notice a stirring of consciousness regarding humanitys dire ecological predicament beginning to seep into the mainstream these days. How can it not? Year after year records are shattered. Month after month scientists continue to be shocked and demoralized by more and more evidence of rising seas, a climate careening into a chaotic and terrifying unknown, and countless species succumbing in a biosphere perpetually under siege. Even the corporate media which has been designed as a mouthpiece of capitalist interests cannot completely veil our collective crisis. Unsurprisingly, the ruling class has begun to react, not in a way that meaningfully addresses the death cult of the current socioeconomic order, but to ensure its survival albeit with a greener face. Their cynical approach to what is the biggest existential crisis of our age is using youthful optimism and justified outrage and terror to cloud their machinations.

Thunberg

One such prominent youth these days is Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish girl who delivered a rousing speech at the UN Climate Change Conference and before the worlds wealthiest at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Indeed, her speech was inspiring and I do not doubt her passion or honest devotion to climate activism for a minute, but to ignore the powerful machine looking to co-opt her message would be a grave mistake. For instance, Thunberg has been given interviews in the corporate press, has been endorsed by a tech start-up company (We Dont Have Time), and has been lauded by industry for promoting sustainable development.

Now certainly Thunberg is not the one manipulating any of these actors, and she should not face any kind of criticism for her part in addressing the greatest existential issue of our times. But it should be clear that most people who get interviews in the corporate media are generally not deemed to be a serious challenger to the status quo political/economic order. Corporate approved dissent is a form of censorship that gives the illusion of a lively debate, but essentially establishes a firm line in the sand when if comes to radically questioning or opposing the capitalist framework itself. And if finance companies are behind something we can be pretty sure that they are primarily in it for the money. In addition to this, the term sustainable development is a meaningless on a planet that is literally on the edge of a cliff, but under the dominant economic dictatorship of money the co-opted mainstream environmental movement has pumped out these tropes making them a form of collective social conditioning.

    The hell with sustainable developmentwe need honorable, necessary and ecologically positive work. Get rid of the idea that compulsive, chaotic, indiscriminate growth is the key to societal well-being.

And this ties into the notion of personal responsibility. Solutions to our environmental crisis have been reduced to life style changes which have also become the en vogue activism of the day. It is a line of thinking that is accepted and even endorsed by corporations, banks and neoliberal governments because it poses no real challenge to their power or their ongoing destructive practices. To the mainstream, tweaking ones lifestyle is all that is needed. Buy an electric vehicle or use a bicycle. Dont take a plane on your vacation. Buy reusable bags. Choose organic only. Go vegan. Buy reusable straws. While there is nothing wrong with doing these things in general, they must be understood as individual choices that are based on privilege and that have little impact in addressing urgent crisis our biosphere is facing right now.

What they do manage to do is deliver an added punishment on the poor and working class, people who are struggling to make ends meet. It places an unfair level of guilt on ordinary people whose impact on the environment is relatively negligible compared to the enormous destruction caused by the fossil fuel industry, mining companies, plastic and packaging production, shipping and the military industrial complex. Seldom (if ever) questioned are the basic foundations of the current economic order which is driving the decimation of the biosphere for the benefit of the wealthy Davos jet set.

It has in fact become only about sustainability despite the contradiction of sustaining a system that is at its core omnicidal. Corporations have been actively branding themselves with empty greenwashing euphemisms like green or earth friendly in the decades following the first Earth Day. It is as if our species were somehow alien visitors to this planet and being friendly to it was merely a diplomatic concern. Certainly a handful of corporations did in fact change some of their practices under public pressure and for the sake of image. Some of those changes had beneficial effects for certain species and areas. But the primary engine of capitalism that has led us to the brink of devastation is never questioned. It is sacrosanct.

With this in mind political solutions, like the Green New Deal, are being trotted out by democratic socialist and neoliberal politicians that merely cloak the problem, never identifying the root of it all: Capitalism. In fact, many of these policies are weak on protecting nature and are simply designed to keep capitalism afloat. At its core this is a system that is incapable of even beginning  to address climate change or biospheric degeneration. Its principles are based upon the exploitation of the environment for the material gain of the ruling class, kept alive through institutions of repression and corporate state violence. Under this rubric environmental causes may be soothed for some; but the poor and working class are continually battered and raped by industry and the corrupt governments that house and protect them. Indigenous peoples, who face the worst exploitation, continually see their lands desecrated and denuded by state policing factions at the behest of powerful corporations. And militarism, which is of course wedded to capitalism, ensures that all of this exploitation can continue and expand virtually unopposed by bourgeois society.

It may be a hard pill for many to swallow, but there are simply no viable answers to be found in Washington, or the hills of Hollywood, or the board rooms of Wall Street, or even at the United Nations which generally capitulates to the demands of the ruling class. They have molded each of these institutions, media industries and government bodies to fit their censorious narrative in order to suppress dissent against the current economic order, under which they so handsomely profit. And one would be wise to approach whatever they offer with great caution. After all, they have been labouring for years to dismember the commons, grow their inordinate wealth through plunder, and maintain their dominance through corruption, militarism and distraction. The sacredness of the public sphere has been defiled by the inviolable liturgy of free market dogma. And they have manufactured a culture of cruelty, devoid of character and predicated on colonization and the commodification and exploitation of everything and everyone that exists. In this way neoliberalism, the last and most ruthless stage of capitalism, has become the most elaborate and successful form of brainwashing and social control the world has ever known, convincing hundreds of millions of people of the absolute necessity of its economic tyranny and omnicidal madness.

But despite the machinations of the ruling class to obfuscate, infiltrate and co-opt movements, there remains a genuine longing for connection to the ever besieged living planet and solidarity with one another that transcends the indifferent and sadistic brutality of the capitalist order. This is especially true as capitalism begins to implode and the biosphere continues to degrade. Therefore the most coherent response to what we are witnessing will always come from ordinary people in community, especially the poor and especially indigenous peoples who are on the front lines of a war being waged by governments serving the interests of the wealthy ruling class and global capitalism. But we can be assured that anything that emanates from the halls of power will be merely another ploy to maintain their control and fill the coffers of the uber-rich at the expense of the rest of us and the living earth itself. And they have no problem using the innocent passion of a 16 year old girl to hide all of their crimes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  Kenn Orphan is an artist, sociologist, radical nature lover and weary, but committed activist. He can be reached at kennorphan.com.

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Published on The Doomstead Diner February 3, 2019






Discuss this article at the Diner Anniversary Table inside the Diner



 



Collapse 2019 Survey still OPEN!



Get your Opinion Counted before it Closes!



 



Visit the new Cooking Zone of the Doomstead Diner



 



Amazingly for many reasons, the Doomstead Diner Blog & Forum has been perking along here for 7 years this February, and in celebration we are holding a 2 week long Pahhhty.  For this party, I am Chief Cook & Bottlewasher, my role on the Diner Forum.



There is of course much I could write on the progress of Collapse through 2018 as I have witnessed it from my perch on the Last Great Frontier of Alaska, the ever escalating geopolitical conflits, the ever shrinking economic pie, the various climate related disasters that escalate in size and cost every year, the social problems of increased drug use and overdoses, the mass shootings…there is no shortage of Collapse topics to deal with in any given week.



Of all of them though, I don't think here in the FSoA (Fascist States of Amerika for those of you not familiar with my acronym) there is any better example of Collapse than the election of Donaditry Trumpovetsky and the ongoing political Clown Show going on in Washington, from Goobermint Shutdowns to Border Walls to trade disputes with the Chinese to Taxation disputes to the Student Debt Time Bomb… the list goes on and on here.



At the center of all this mayhem here in the FSoA is the POTUS who got elected not by a majority of the population but by a majority of the "Electoral College", a system devised originally by the "Founding Fathers" to prevent the lower classes from running amok, and since refined with a lot of gerrymandering of districts designed to make sure the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.  The Founding Fathers of course were the Aristocracy of the new "United States", they weren't the Indentured white servants, black slaves and certainly not the indigenous people, who were being exterminated as quick as possible.  Even to do that though, the rich have to co-opt at least some subset of the poor population to get elected, and the ones they use to do this are the poor white working class of Amerika, setting them against the other large population of poor people we have in this country, the Black, Brown, and Latino population.  The politics have morphed into politics of a racial divide rather than an economic divide setting one group against the other for their increasingly more meager slice of the great wealth pie that used to exist, but is now rapidly dwindling away with the supply of cheap fossil fuels.  In the words of Jay Gould:



Image result for jay gould quotes I can set one half of the working class



So, in my Cooking Video explaining how to properly Boil an Egg, I didn't do a send up of El Trumpo himself, but rather of the folks who voted him into office.  Hope you enjoy it, along with the many other foodie vids I am currently producing for the new Diner Cooking Zone show.  You will NOT enjoy it of course if you were one of the folks who actually DID vote for Trumpty-Dumpty. lol.  Perhaps though it may encourage you not to make the same stupid mistake twice.  One can only hope.





8
Maybe Hydro Power isn't so great as Renewable Energy after all?

RE

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/brazil-dam-collapse-video-shows-moment-dam-burst-190202173927014.html

Brazil dam collapse: New video shows moment of dam burst

The wave of mud is now moving towards a major river and may contaminate water supplies.

by Victoria Gatenby

Dramatic new video has been released showing the moment a dam burst in southeastern Brazil.

A week later, at least 115 people have been killed and hundreds are still missing and the wave of mud is making its way toward a major river.

Amid grief and recriminations, many worry about the future, with area dependent on a mine now swallowed by the mud.

9
Diner Anniversary Party Board / Diner 7th Anniversary Party
« on: February 01, 2019, 07:48:41 AM »
A sneak peak at the Lunch Menu, the Diner Signature Burger.  We serve it with Beef or Moose if you are a Meatosaurus, for Vegans it comes with a Veggie Burger and Tofu.  Either way, a SCRUMPTIOUS lunch to enjoy until SHTF Day arrives, and even after if you can get a hold of some of the ingredients either by growing yourself or by hunting and foraging for wild edible plants.

In this video today, we begin by prepping our Onions and Mushroom toppings.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/JfGfixxyT_8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/JfGfixxyT_8</a>

RE

10
The Diner Pantry / 🥘 The Cooking Zone
« on: January 29, 2019, 01:58:08 AM »
WTF is the matter with you Diners?  Exactly ONE Diner (Surly) came in with a guess on the Diner 7th Anniversary Dinner Menu.  Do you no longer have appetities?   You don't like to eat?  What?

With this post I am stating a new column, "The Cooking Zone".  Further celebration of the joys of eating & cooking food. :icon_sunny:

click to enlarge pic
Cripple Cook 1sm
Cripple Cook 1sm

Bonus Knife Video from the new show (need to redo with better lighting)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/qPbBBF5ypVU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/qPbBBF5ypVU</a>

Now, does somebody have at least as much nerve as Surly to make a fucking GUESS at the 7th Anniversary Dinner menu?  He didn't get it, but it was at least an intelligent guess.  Anybody else?  Buehler?

RE

11
Economics / 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« on: January 23, 2019, 01:14:24 AM »
Should have started this thread some time ago.  Well, better late than never, right?

Kickoff article below.

RE

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/01/22/oxfam-26-billionaires-control-as-much-wealth-as-poorest-half-of-humanity/

Oxfam: 26 billionaires control as much wealth as poorest half of humanity


HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.
Excerpted


As global elites gather at Davos
22 January 2019

As members of the worlds financial elite gather today in Davos, Switzerland, for the opening of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a new report by the UK-based charity Oxfam International has highlighted the vast accumulation of wealth at the heights of society, and the accelerating growth of social inequality.

The report showed that last year, the wealth of the worlds billionaires increased by $900 billion, or 12 percent, while 3.8 billion peoplehalf the worlds populationsaw their wealth decline by 11 percent.

Last year, the billionaires increased their wealth by $2.5 billion every day, while a millionaire moved into their ranks every two days.

In the decade since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, governments and financial authorities have imposed its full impact on the backs of the world working class, in the form of stagnant and lower wages and austerity programs that have gutted health and other social services, to name just some of its effects. Meanwhile, wealth has become ever more concentrated. Last year, just 26 people controlled as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people who comprise half the worlds population, compared to 43 people the year before.

Oxfam noted that just 1 percent of the $112 billion fortune accumulated by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, the worlds richest man, was equivalent to the entire health budget for Ethiopia, a nation of 105 million people.

The Oxfam report found that the top tax rate for the rich in the developed countries plunged from 62 percent in 1970 to 38 percent by 2013, and pointed to the tax cut introduced by US president Trump at the end of 2017, benefiting the wealthy and corporations.
Open for business! Brazils new head, Jair Bolsonaro, is attending the meeting of vultures at Davos, offering his country for plunder by the international elites that brought him to power.

In developing countries, the top personal tax rate is just 28 percent. In the UK and Brazil, the report found that the bottom 10 percent of the population paid a higher proportion of their income in tax than the top 10 percent.

Tax avoidance is rife. The report revealed that the super-rich were hiding $7.6 trillion from tax authorities, while corporations were holding large amounts of money offshore, depriving developing countries of $170 billion per year in revenue.

As a result, only 4 percent of all tax revenue came from the taxation of wealth.

The report noted that the rate of poverty reduction has halved since 2013, and that Extreme poverty is actually increasing in sub-Saharan Africa.
The top 26 billionaires own $1.4 trillion as much as 3.8 billion other people

It added that between 1980 and 2016, the poorest 50 percent of the worlds population received only 12 cents in every dollar of global income growth, while the top 1 percent captured 27 cents of every dollar.

A decade ago, the ruling elites annual meeting in Davos took place in the wake of the most severe economic and financial crisis, caused by the massive fraud and criminality of the worlds largest financial institutions.

But rather than being sent to jail, the malefactors of great wealth were bailed out. Over the next decade, they were provided with trillions of dollars of ultra-cheap money, enabling them to continue their wealth accumulation at an exponential rate.

According to a new report by Bloomberg, the wealth of the 12 richest Davos attendees soared by a combined $175 billion, as the overall wealth of the worlds billionaires grew, in the same period, from $3.4 trillion to $8.9 trillion.

The Bloomberg report highlights the details of this extraordinary growth:

    Mark Zuckerberg increased his wealth from $3 billion a decade ago to $55.6 billion, a rise of 1853 percent.
    Stephen Schwarzman, the head of the hedge fund Blackstone, has seen the assets of his firm rise from $95 billion at the end of 2008 to $457 billion, while his personal wealth has shot up from $2.1 billion to $10.1 billion, an increase of 486 percent.
    The media baron Rupert Murdoch has increased his wealth from $3.2 billion to $15.1 billion, a rise of 472 percent, while Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan, has enjoyed a 276 percent wealth increase, from $0.4 billion to $1.1 billion.

And the list goes on.

The strength, however, of the economic data produced by Oxfam, forms a stark contrast to its prescriptions for dealing with such extreme levels of social inequality. These centre on the development of what it calls a human economy, built on different principles from what it calls a growth economy.


A composite of worlds most notorious billionaires: Bezos, Gates, Buffet and Zuckerberg.

The human economy would provide health care, education and gender equality, and create the best conditions for shared wealth. It could be financed by raising taxes on the worlds wealthiest individuals and corporations, given that just a 0.5 percent increase in taxes on the richest individuals would raise enough money to educate the 262 million children, who currently dont receive an education, and provide health care that would save 3.3 million people from preventable deaths.

Oxfam, however, has been making such proposals for the past eight years, issuing warnings and calling for a policy switch. But to no avail. Every year the situation worsens, as Oxfam itself acknowledges, and at an accelerating rate.

The scourge of social inequality cannot be ended through futile appeals, made to the very powers that preside over the current system, to change course. They are no more capable of that, than the ancien regime in France, prior to the revolution of 1789, or the czarist autocracy in Russia, before 1917.

The only road to a genuine human economy is through the working class taking political power in the socialist revolution, thus ending the dictatorship of private profit and the financial markets. Only in this way can the vast resources created by the working class be utilised to meet the social needs of all.

This is the perspective that must now be advanced in the social and class struggles that are erupting around the worldfrom auto parts strikes in Mexico, the teachers strike in Los Angeles, to the huge struggles of the Indian working class. It requires the building of the world party of socialist revolution, to provide the necessary leadership.

Nick Beams
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Beams is a senior analyst/correspondent with wsws.org, an organisation affiliated with the Social Equality Party, a Marxian formation the author favors as an instrument for world social change.

12
Environment / ⛸️ -40F is FUCKING COLD!
« on: January 18, 2019, 06:56:22 PM »
We have our eye on this one. Not a good time to be in Ontario. I heard from Farmgal today. They are expecting 40below and beyond. I told her this is why I chose to stay close to an ocean.

-40F Below is FUCKING COLD!  I've never experienced -40F.  Coldest for me was one winter at a Gymnastics Meet in Fairbanks during the Ice Sculpture Festival.  -35F and that was damn cold, even with all my winter gear on where I look like Nanook of the North with every square inch of skin covered, including of course the Balaclave and Snow Goggles.  2 hours out looking at the Ice Sculptures and I was Done.  The Oil boys on the Slope will stay out for 4 hour shifts at -60F.  That is insane.  They do wear electric Boots and Gloves though.


RE

13
https://jembendell.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/hope-and-vision-in-the-face-of-collapse-the-4th-r-of-deep-adaptation/

The Deep Adaptation Retreat June in Greece
Hope and Vision in the Face of Collapse The 4th R of Deep Adaptation


Posted by jembendell on January 9, 2019

People need hope, Jem.
Its really important to have a vision of a better future, Jem

As someone who worked in environmental campaigning and then organizational change, I learned about the role of hope and vision in helping to align and motivate people. As someone who worked at the heart of political communications during the 2017 UK General Election campaign, Im also aware of the power of a positive narrative when told well, consistently and authentically. In my professional world of leadership and its development, hope and vision are recognized as key. I still teach such skills to senior executives in business, politics and civil society and am proud of the way they feel empowered in their purpose as a result.

But, but, but

Since my return to analysing climate science last year led me to conclude we face inevitable near-term societal collapse, where might we find any hope or vision?

The question used to be a quiet one, raised in private conversations. But since the unexpected impact of my paper on Deep Adaptation and the attention generated by the peaceful Extinction Rebellion protest movement, I am hearing it a lot. When faced with evidence of forthcoming collapse, people not only wonder about their personal need for hope and vision, but also what should be said to others whether fellow professionals, kids, parents or the general public. You may have read or heard people saying we must not give up hope or destroy anothers hope: that to lose hope would undermine action that might prevent catastrophic climate change. Or you may have heard people say that we need to be able to believe in a positive vision of how life could be, whether that is averting, living through or beyond a breakdown in our society due to climate chaos.

Right now, people are seeking to frame the future and the meaning of our activism on climate. So although I am still working things out for myself, perhaps unendingly, I want to share my current and provisional thoughts on the topic of hope and vision. In so doing, I will offer a new R to my framing of Deep Adaptation reconciliation and invite feedback on this and related ideas (in the comments below).

The subject of my following reflections is one that has been explored for millennia and across cultures. In comparison to that, my level of intellectual inquiry, experiential reflection and lived practice is a bit like a skin cell on the floor of a crowded temple. I feel some embarrassment writing about these things. But our current predicament means that none of us should postpone finding our provisional answers to existential questions, and we might help each other with that by sharing things in writing. So here goes

When exploring this matter, I recommend you do not follow people who say that people like me look at the world in an overly pessimistic or defeatist way. The suffering of this world today and to come, and in ourselves, is something to be witnessed, but, with intention, I am beginning to sense that we can feel and realize peace and happiness through it all. That will not happen through a desperate belief in stories of personal or collective salvation in this world or the next. Instead, we can turn away from frantic chatter or action, relax into our hearts, notice the impermanence of life, and let love for this momentary experience of life in all its flavours flood our being and shape our next steps. Expressing that aspiration in our words, actions and inactions may invite people who are fear-driven to put down their microphones for a time and join people living from love. It is with that sentiment I share the following ideas.

ON HOPE

If we say to a terminally ill person that they should not give up hope then that could become cruel. If by that we mean hope that they could survive, or that they could live while forgetting their situation, then it reflects unresolved and pathological fear of death. It suggests the person spend their last days in struggle and denial, rather than discovering what might matter after acceptance.

Im not saying the human race has a terminal diagnosis in the near term. But we do in the long-term. Many hominids have gone extinct and so will homo sapiens one day. When that will be is another question a difficult one, and I am not currently convinced of the arguments for near term human extinction. But I have concluded that our way of life has a terminal diagnosis. Because rain-fed agriculture will continue to breakdown over the next decade. Unless we immediately build massive irrigated greenhouses, and plan for compulsory plant-heavy diets and food rationing, we will see malnutrition in the West and resultant civil unrest, lawlessness and a breakdown in normal life.

One problem with hoping things will be OK is that it means we give up our agency. We assume someone will fix things. That is what some call passive hope. Meanwhile, any unrealistic hope steals possibility, by wasting the precious time we have to attempt to reduce harm and save humanity. So the problem with proponents of the hope that we can fix this is that it makes taboo the needed conversations about what to do given that we cant fix things. That is what we could call magical hope, as it often comes with an overt or implicit suggestion that we can make the reality evolve according to moments where we are choosing to hope (as an aside: if we are co-creating our reality through our consciousness then it is through every moment of attention, not just those moments when we choose to pull ourselves together and do some magical hoping). In distinction to passive hope some have called for an active hope where we drop mainstream or received ideas of hope and instead face what we think is reality and construct a new hope based on what we believe in. That is a powerful rethinking of what hope means, as it makes us realise that hope involves actions to make it real. But I dont think it is a sufficient reworking of the concept of hope. Because it can downplay whether we really think our actions will add up to the outcome we are actively hoping for. Instead, the emphasis is on intention, without being precise about the nature of intention, such as love, compassion, forgiveness, and so on. Therefore, people who speak of active hope may actually be practising magical hope, and avoiding either deeper inquiry into the intentions they value or into the implications of the futility of their actions.

In my work I have begun to invite people to explore what a radical hope may look like. In my Deep Adaptation paper, I explain how this was inspired in part by how some Native Americans responded to a realisation of the inevitability of the destruction of their way of life. Some elders decided that they had to let go of all their existing hopes and construct a new one that was possible. In comparison to their past way of life, this form of hope would seem more like a horror, but in comparison to complete annihilation, it was chosen by some tribes. Radical hope is a form of hope thats consciously chosen after denial. It is a form of hope that is empowered surrender to a situation. It accepts difficult realities about what is happening as well as ones capabilities to influence things, but still connects with deeper values and requires action to make it real.

To explore what a radical hope might be for humanity facing global breakdown, I realised it is useful to set aside discussing hope for a time and consider what I really believe in.

ON BELIEF

So we need to turn to the matter of belief. Yikes. Now I am really out of my depth. But please join me while I sink

Some spiritual perspectives on the oneness of oneself with the universe suggest that we have power to create our reality. That view has been misunderstood and deliberately marketed to people seeking ways to improve their lives. A more accurate insight from both wisdom traditions, contemporary physics, and current experience, is that we are co-creating our reality with others, the material and ineffable dimensions in ways that we can never fully comprehend through human thought and language. We each participate in shaping our experience of the world, but not autonomously of others or the world. Now, even with this perspective, it means that the current calamity facing humanity is one of our own mutual volition. Crikey. Why have we done this to ourselves?

Partly because what is happening, as painful as it is, is normal. Yes, the cosmic nature of things is that everything must go. Sure, we dont like death. It hurts. But death has always been the partner of life, not its enemy. Impermanence makes everything and everyone around us totally sacred and significant. It invites our heartfelt gratitude for all that we experience. Certainly, sensing a nearer end to my own life has meant the rebirth of my ability to love being alive. The tragedy of climate chaos is also an invitation to drop our illusions of permanence. Abundant life, coming and going, shows just what the cosmos can do. While some religious buildings might be nice, its our whole planet that is an altar for the adoration of the creative cosmos. We can worship it in all that we do, and all that we do not do.

Climate chaos can invite us to consider the life force of consciousness that came before material organic life. And to consider the way in which aspects of our conscious being will continue after our death. Also, the way our lives may affect a universal field of consciousness and thus the future of life in whatever forms. Indeed, perhaps consciousness has chosen to experience itself in our minds and bodies at this moment and time. How else would we come to exist?

Climate chaos invites us to bring all of that into our present awareness. It may be a shock. But it can wake us up to that impermanence so that things fall away to leave us with love, curiosity, play, compassion, and creativity. Upon reflection, I wondered whether in our heart of hearts we really do want this civilisation to continue more than anything; or even the human race to continue more than anything. I wondered if we want something else more than that. I wondered if we desire that our hearts bulge with love and we merge our consciousness with the all. And that we hope all other people might have the chance for the same experience. I wondered if in our hearts we want the planet to continue as a living organism more than we want our species to do so. I present these as musings, as Im not going to pretend I am certain about these views. I recommend reflecting on these questions and finding your own sense of things.

I particularly like how an Extinction Rebellion leader Skeena Rathor, expressed it in her speech on Westminster Bridge in London on Rebellion Day (November 17th 2018).

If we are honest with ourselves and look into our hearts deep interior, if we are honest from there then this isnt about saving humanity this is about our courage to love as we have never loved before Let us live now at the edge of our courage to love.

But dont take my word for it, or Skeenas. Rather, once you have explored what you really believe in, then stared back into the abyss of an imminent societal collapse, so you may be find a radical hope of your own.

A RADICAL HOPE OF RECONCILIATION

If you, like me, hope that through growing realisation of a coming collapse, more people will awaken to a deeper understanding of themselves and life, and live with love and compassion, then that is not an idle hope. Because it is not prediction. People respond in myriad ways when the shit hits the fan. There will be some horrible reactions. Indeed, there already are. Therefore, a radical hope of humanity awakening is one where we are actively engaged in it.

In my case, that feels like why I am putting out this blog, with my half-baked ideas on the cosmos, God and all that. Because my radical hope is that many more of us will begin to explore together publicly what spirituality and love are and can mean today.

To make this more explicit in the Deep Adaptation framework, I now propose a 4th R to the existing ones on Resilience, Relinquishment and Restoration. The original Deep Adaptation paper has been downloaded over 100,000 times. Like Skeena, people have told me it changed their life. What I have noticed is, however, that some people who report being woken up by that paper are now calling for anything to be done to stop collapse. That is, to attempt whatever draconian measures might cut emissions and drawdown carbon. I still think bold cuts and drawdown measures are essential. But that is not the focus of Deep Adaptation, which invites us to prepare for what is now inevitable. Therefore, to make that even more explicit, I propose a fourth question to guide our reflection on how to navigate our climate tragedy:

What could I make peace with to lessen suffering?

This question incorporates the idea of Reconciliation with ones death, including any difficulties and regrets in ones life, any anger towards existence itself (or God). It also invites reconciliation between peoples, genders, classes, generations, countries, religions and political persuasions. Because it is time to make our peace. Otherwise, without this inner deep adaptation to climate collapse we risk tearing each other apart and dying hellishly. My radical hope is that more of us work together to achieve this reconciliation, in all its forms, as a basis for the fuller deep adaptation agenda that I explain in my paper.

VISIONS WANTED

Unless you are a spiritual leader, then a hope for mass awakening and reconciliation does not sound very specific. It may not immediately seem to support straightforward campaign strategies or policy development! If we are to offer a vision where our radical hope of awakening is realised, then what would that look like? From my work as a Professor of Leadership, I know a vision is meant to be tangible, relatable, credible, and relevant to the problems faced. I would really like to see your own ideas on visions in the comments below (but I wont grade them 😉)

To whet your own imaginations, here is one idea

I envision seeing whole neighbourhoods and camps of people spontaneously singing and dancing together of their pure joy of experiencing all sensations of life, both during and between working together on useful tasks. Not because they are singing from habit, custom, obligation, or recreation, but because they are so connected to the wonder of experiencing life while serving life. I envision people feeling grateful they suddenly found there is time in their lives to sing, dance and connect with nature and each other. I envision this connection also supporting ways of production, sharing, consumption, and caring, that mean people are able to live happily with fewer resources and less certainty.

If that sounds hippy, then so be it. For me it is a highly aspirational, credible and relatable vision, one I can truly hope for and work towards. But please share your own visions below!

GETTING THERE

In the coming months and years there will be many views emerging on how to achieve change, for both cutting and drawing down emissions, as well as adapting to disruptive impacts of climate change. Some will argue for eco-socialist revolution to take over the key infrastructure, so we have the chance of everyone being fed, watered, housed and cared for as best as possible. Others will seek to harness the powers of the existing system, and turn to transnational corporations, financial institutions and international organisations. Others will continue to hope that elected representatives will be able to suddenly find within themselves the heart and boldness to act and the talent to explain sufficiently to their electorates to remain in power. Others will turn to their neighbours, local associations and local governments, to organise as best they can locally and regionally. I do not yet have a hope or vision in relation to any of those ideas, but welcome people exploring these and other ideas.

IMPOSSIBLE CONCLUSIONS

With this blog I intend to open up conversation on hope and vision rather than close it down. However, as it is a long blog, here is a summary

We can no longer stop disruptive climate change. We might be able to slow it. We can try to reduce the harm coming from it. We can explore how to live and die lovingly because of it. But all of that we can do because we have a faith or sense that this is the right way to be alive, not because it will work. Most calls for hope that Im hearing are from, or for, those fearful of living with death in their awareness. Thats typical, but also a recipe for discussion and action that is counter-productive to life, love and understanding. Which is exactly the opposite of the effect of those who say dont take away our hope. It is time to drop all hopes and visions that arise from an inability to accept impermanence and non-control, and instead describe a radical hope of how we respond in these times. I believe its possible and necessary, though mutual inquiry and support, for our fears, beliefs or certainties of collapse to be brought to a place of peaceful inner and outer resourcefulness. Ours is a time for reconciliation with mortality, nature and each other.

We can develop and share a vision of more of us experiencing the invitation to live lovingly, creatively, and truthfully, in acceptance of mortality and impermanence. After all, any other hope or vision were always a tactical delusion for temporary benefit. Ultimately, many more of us may come to see that we love love more than we love life. Hopefully before too much unnecessary suffering and destruction.

You can hear me in conversation about these topics here.


Discussing with Skeena and Gail of XR

14
Geopolitics / 🌎 Fascism Rising
« on: January 17, 2019, 03:09:48 AM »
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/01/16/sig-heil-is-just-around-the-corner/

Sig Heil is Just Around the Corner

BE SURE TO PASS THESE ARTICLES TO FRIENDS AND KIN. A LOT DEPENDS ON THIS. DO YOUR PART.

Dispatches from Phil Farruggio
Sig Heil is Just Around the Corner


An exact replay of history is not likely, but while specific failed actors leave the stage, class forces survive to enact the same drama another day.

In Joachim Fests fine biography of Adolf Hitler, aptly titled Hitler, we learn many things never before taught in our World History classes here. To delve into it now with the needed detail from this 700+ page masterpiece would be futile for me the columnist. There is just so much to digest and comprehend about this Austrian of little education and no professional calling who became the Fuhrer. Yet, throughout the book one cannot help but realize just how much the movers and shakers of our Amerikan empire copied tactics and outright propaganda from the Hitler gang. [In fact, the Nazis also copied the Anglo-American racists a great deal, particularly their eugenicist figures, including Sir Francis Galton and Ivy League-educated gentlemen anglo supremacists like Madison Grant.) (1)

The use of the term Fatherland to describe Germany rings so close to post 9/11 Amerikas choice of Homeland as in Homeland Security. Ever since 9/11 and our subsequent invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, each time there is a major sporting event they spread out the giant American flag and trot out the honor guard to sing our national anthem. The real connivance is how they always show us American GIs dressed in camouflage,  as if they just came from the battlefield. Check out the Nuremberg rallies and see the torchlight parades and honor guards with their brown or black shirts and swastikas throughout. This mania to salute soldiers who had no business being sent to the Middle East to invade, kill, be killed and occupy foreign lands is sadly congruent to what transpired with Germanys attacks and occupations of most of Europe. Yet, throughout history this is exactly what empires have done. Why should ours be any different?

Hitler was a masterful genius, who had the good fortune, after much manipulation and scheming, to become Chancellor at perhaps the eleventh hour . Fest explains in his book how the nationalist coalition (which the Nazis were part of) could have formed a legal blockade to thwart Hitlers plans. Yet, the fear of many from Germanys  right wing and centrist political parties , and even  some left of center ones like the Social Democrats ( forerunner of todays US Democratic party ) believed, as Hitler himself stated: One year of Bolshevism would destroy her ( Germany).  The interesting thing is how Hitler used phrases and ideals that many of our current right wing have ( copied ? ) been using: Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of racial and political life. He promised to eliminate class struggle and to restore traditions of honor. Sound familiar? Newly appointed Chancellor Adolf Hitler, soon after his ascension, travelled around Germany giving hundreds of Lets get to work speeches to German labor.  Sadly, as with the Nazi party in the early 1930s, working stiffs here in Florida, many with not a pot to piss in , voted for former Governor Rick Scott ( now, sadly, Senator Rick Scott) when he ran for re-election a few years ago with his slogan Lets Get to Work.

Why are we, as a nation, in such a sinking ship? Well, the propaganda has been nearly as masterful as that of Goebbels and his crew. We are a nation , as the late Gore Vidal aptly labeled us, at Perpetual War. We spend over 50% of our federal tax revenues on the military. We invaded Iraq in 2003 so as to fight them there so they dont come here. Remember that? Now it is ISIL or ISIS, who , like the original mujahedeen that became Bin Ladens Al Qaeda, Amerika financed and nurtured so as to fight one of our enemies. This writer has many acquaintances who consider themselves right wing. They sing that same song : Were Fighting them there so they dont come here. Will it ever end? We have states so broke and overloaded with needs that they now want to become legal bookmakers on sports betting. Why do you think Colorado and Washington originally allowed recreational marijuana, because they are so progressive minded? Come on, it is to raise tax revenues, and look how many other states are following suit.  Of course, this writer, who believes in the use of marijuana, would rather see that then legal bookmaking or the stupid lotteries, which attract mostly low income folks who could use that money for more important needs.

So, we have a nation filled with our citizens working dead end jobs for lousy pay, living in corporate owned and operated rental housing . Of course if they are lucky, they could find a home to rent from some independent predator landlord who bought it on the cheap when it was foreclosed or sold under financial desperation. Finally, here is how the movers and shakers of this Military Industrial Empire are even shrewder than the Nazi gang. What they did, successfully too, was create and maintain a Two Party, One Party system. They made sure that the two parties , as is the case in the UK, seem to be at each others throats and they are on some issues. We know the Democrats will trumpet a womans right to choose, and gay rights, and even a more liberal immigration policy. Yet, when it comes to the meat and potato issues that the empire feeds off of, like heavy military spending, bases worldwide, WMDs to the hilt, free reign for big banks, big oil, big Pharma and all BIG BUSINESS, there is little or no difference between the two parties. Look how  the Neocon led Democratic Party minions agreed with President Trump over his  Cruise Missile attack deep within Syria. Look how they all drank the Kool- Aid on blaming Assad and the Russians for that ( so called ? ) chemical attack. Herr Goebbels would be so proud of that sort of propaganda as this empire eats away at our nations soul. If all those working stiffs out there do not finally Get it and see through the illusions and propaganda Sig Heil!!!

PA Farruggio

Notes
(1) The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton, which originated in the 1880s. Galton studied the upper classes of Britain, and arrived at the conclusion that their social positions were due to a superior genetic makeup.[11] Early proponents of eugenics believed that, through selective breeding, the human species should direct its own evolution. They tended to believe in the genetic superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples; supported strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws; and supported the forcible sterilization of the poor, disabled and immoral.[12]Eugenics was also supported by African American intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Thomas Wyatt Turner, and many academics at Tuskegee University, Howard University, and Hampton University; however, they believed the best blacks were as good as the best whites and The Talented Tenth of all races should mix.[13] W. E. B. Du Bois believed only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the races heritage of moral iniquity.[13][14] (Source: Eugenics in the United StatesWikipedia)

In this crowd, Madison Grant deserves special attention, as he illustrates the contradictions we often find in distinguished thinkers. Madison Grant (November 19, 1865 May 30, 1937) was an American lawyer, writer, and zoologist known primarily for his work as a eugenicist and conservationist. As a eugenicist, Grant was responsible for one of the most notorious works of scientific racism, and played an active role in crafting strong immigration restriction and anti-miscegenation laws in the United States.  As a conservationist, Grant is credited with the saving of many different species of animals, founding many different environmental and philanthropicorganizations and developing much of the discipline of wildlife management.
(Source: Madison Grant, Wikipedia)


II

     Dust in the Wind
The fine 1960 film Inherit the Wind was more than just about the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee. Yes, it had as its focal point the law forbidding the teaching of evolution in schools. However, when one views this film, or reads the play it was developed from, one sees a doorway to totalitarianism. Added to that warning is the observation that many of us humans seem to need to be led. In the fictitious town of Hillsdale, Tennessee, the common folk were led by their religious leaders, who determined how they should not only act but think. When the great statesman and Christian scholar, Mathew Harrison Brady, comes to town to lead the prosecution of the case, he surpasses even their pastor in influencing  minds. During the trial, Bradys counterpart, attorney Henry Drummond for the defense, decides to put the right to think for oneself on the witness stand. The right to question authority, and yes, to dissent from it, is what was really on trial in that case.


Spencer Tracy (Drummond) questioning Brady (F. March), in the film version of the play Inherit the Wind. Henry Morganas judgeobserves the proceedings.

Sadly, very few of our contemporaries, our neighbors and our political and media celebrities can see that America has become nothing more than a cartoon!  Politics, advertising and consumerism, blended in with so called news and information from our mainstream media, has led the majority of us by the nose. Look at the boob tube and instead of muting the volume when commercials come on, watch and listen to them. Do the same when the politicians stand before the microphone, or when the pundits and phony journalists speak. What you will observe is how they all treat you as if you were either an adolescent, perhaps 12 years old, or a senile elderly person. There is no real intellectual flow from these people at all. The commercials for products and services always allude to how everyone selling something to us really cares for us. Ditto for the politicians and the pundits: They all care about us and our families. They all care for our troops and the peoples of the countries that we are destroying with our superior military force. They tell you to place yellow ribbons and flags all over the ying yang and simply ignore the fact that this military empire is bankrupting us all!

So, we have two evils, masquerading as political parties, controlling our nations political system. Well, not really controlling; shall we say they are navigating it for the super rich? Who are these super rich? Well, all one needs to do is see who is benefiting despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of us are not. Follow the age old adage and follow the money . As many small businesses either fold up or cut labor and services, see which companies and individuals are doing well during these tough times for the many for the benefit of the few. As the singer from the rock group Kansas declared, we working stiffs are becoming Dust in the wind.


Tribute to a Dedicated Activist

     Walt DeYoung, A lifetime of Caring Nuff Said!

As he lay in a hospice awaiting his next excursion as he would call it, Walt DeYoung has honored this writer with his presence for the past 15 years. Infirmed and using a walker, he still went about his street corner activism undaunted. The man has always been downright amazing!

To list his accomplishments as an activist would take too long and too much paper. Let me just say this: The man was out there marching for civil rights for our Afro American brothers and sisters during the Jim Crow early sixties in the still Dixie Maryland Eastern shore. He was out there in New Jersey as a labor activist leading protests and strikes in the 70s, with a mob contract on his head. No kidding! Walt, early on in the Vietnam War protests, was out there raising hell. He even was a bodyguard for MLKs widow at a Central Park anti war rally. He seemed to be everywhere! In the Minnesota area Walt stood with the American Indians in their protests of the environmental damages done by corporate malfeasance.

When this writer met Walt DeYoung  after the Bush/Cheney Cabal invaded Iraq, he was always the first to show up at meetings and protests. Always! He feared no one from the power structure, whether it be local or national. He stood in front of a city council meeting in Port Orange and shared his knowledge while lobbying for city run community vegetable gardens. He knew his thing, because he created one right next door to his home in New Smyrna Beach. What a guy!

Imagine if we could get some of our millennial young folks to become active in regards to this empire. Walt DeYoung always spoke to his younger peers about his lifelong experiences with empire etc. He never tired of Speaking Truth to Power wherever he went. As a topping to his cake of life Walt would have ended it best with his famous Nuff Said!  { Please note: Soon after this was written, Walt DeYoung, 89 years young, moved on to that higher place free from the **** of this Neo Fascist Amerika}

January 2019
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn, New York, longshoremen. He has been a freelance columnist since 2001, with more than 300 of his essays posted, besides The Greanville Post, on sites like Consortium News, Information Clearing House,  Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op-Ed News, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust., where he writes a great deal about the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has an internet interview show, Its the Empire Stupid with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net

15
Education / 🏫 STRIKE! - Teachers in Los Angeles want more than a raise
« on: January 15, 2019, 04:17:16 AM »
U-N-I-O-N!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/UGXW-PpVL7I" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/UGXW-PpVL7I</a>

"Which side are you on boys, which side are you on?"

RE

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/14/teachers-in-los-angeles-want-more-than-just-a-raise--heres-why-over-30000-are-on-strike-today-.html

Teachers in Los Angeles want more than a raisehere's why over 30,000 went on strike today
Abigail Hess   | @AbigailJHess
5 Hours Ago


Some of the more than 30,000 teachers in the Los Angeles public school system hold a rally at City Hall after going on strike in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 14, 2019.
REUTERS/Mike Blake
      
Over 30,000 teachers went on strike in Los Angeles County today. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) serves 640,000 students and is the second biggest school district in the country. The last time Los Angeles teachers went on strike was 1989.

The protest follows a string of successful teacher strikes across the country. Teachers in states like West Virginia and Oklahoma who are among the lowest paid educators in the country have organized and participated in strikes in order to advocate for higher wages and improved conditions for students.

Prior to negotiations, the average annual mean wage for a teacher was $45,240 in West Virginia and $42,460 in Oklahoma. After going on strike, teachers in both of these states received pay increases.

"What you're seeing with unions is real enthusiasm and a belief that you can actually be successful," Robert Bruno, professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois tells the Associated Press. "The educational sector is rife with deep grievance and frustration, but there's now a sense that you can actually win."

The annual mean wage for teachers in California is $74,940 and $75,000 in the LAUSD, and while teacher pay is a significant issue for protesting educators, the current teachers strike in Los Angeles is also about class size.
People march through the streets of downtown in the pouring rain during a United Teachers Los Angeles strike on January 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Teachers from the country's second-biggest school district have gone on strike after weeks of negotiations for more pay and smaller class sizes went nowhere.
Barbara Davidson/Getty Images
People march through the streets of downtown in the pouring rain during a United Teachers Los Angeles strike on January 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Teachers from the country's second-biggest school district have gone on strike after weeks of negotiations for more pay and smaller class sizes went nowhere.

On January 11th, the LAUSD offered United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the union organizing the strike, a proposal that included a 6 percent salary increase for teachers and promises to enforce a maximum class size of 39 students at secondary schools and increase the number of nurses, counselors and librarians at all schools.

UTLA called the proposal "woefully inadequate," arguing that the district is "hoarding" $1.86 billion in reserves that could be used to fund the union's requests, which include a 6.5 percent pay hike and smaller class sizes. The district maintains these reserves are needed to cover expenses like retiree benefits.

So on Monday, Los Angeles teachers and their supporters took to the uncharacteristically wet streets, many wearing red to represent the Red4Ed labor movement that has swept across the country. According to USA Today, strikers chanted "Hey hey! Ho ho! We're fighting to keep class size low!"

In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Alex Caputo-Pearl explains why class size was such an important issue for educators. "Class sizes often exceed 45 students in secondary schools; 35 students in upper elementary grades; and 25 students in lower elementary grades," he writes. "It is downright shameful that the richest state in the country ranks 43rd out of 50 when it comes to per-pupil spending."

Mike Finn, a special education teacher in Los Feliz, tells USA Today that he has 46 students in one composition class, and calls the conditions "unmanageable."

"I have watched class sizes go up and up," he says. "Everybody's talking class size."
Some of the more than 30,000 striking teachers in the Los Angeles public school system march after holding a rally at City Hall in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 14, 2019.
REUTERS/Mike Blake
Some of the more than 30,000 striking teachers in the Los Angeles public school system march after holding a rally at City Hall in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 14, 2019.

The strike has gained attention and support from progressive politicians.

"Very proud of L.A. public school teachers today for taking a stand. Teachers are the unsung heroes of American democracy. Today they're putting everything on the line so our nation's children can have a better shot," tweeted New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

"Los Angeles teachers work day in and day out to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders. I'm standing in solidarity with them as they strike for improved student conditions, such as smaller class sizes and more counselors and librarians," tweeted California Senator Kamala Harris.

"The eyes of the nation are watching, and educators ... all over the country have the backs of the educators in L.A.," Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said at the protest on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We need the conditions to ensure that every child gets the opportunity he or she or they deserve."

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