RSS

Bricks in the wall

Thu, Jun 30, 2011

Uncategorized

The U.S. Department of Defense consumes 360,000 barrels of oil each day. Yet corporate Amerika wants you to conserve, no doubt to save the last drops for the military (to be used to secure more oil). We’re being fleeced, folks, and the fleecing continues unabated at all levels. Here’s a minor example of the fox guarding the financial chicken coop, but it’s hardly extraordinary.

As a result of runaway fossil-fuel consumption, the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere is still going up, even as the industrial economy is buried in a depression. We haven’t observed below-average temperatures on this planet for 25 years. Even high oil prices can’t keep a bad country down.

The response of the government and its sponsors at the Federal Reserve Bank remains unchanged: print money. Quantitative Easing (QE, i.e., printing money) has been a complete failure. But because Ben Bernanke has adopted levitating the stock markets as the Federal Reserve Bank’s prime directive, I’ve no doubt we’ll see QE 3, QE 4, and so on, right through to QE infinity until the U.S. dollar joins every other fiat currency in the dustbin of history. Alan Greenspan warned about the worthless paper certain to result from the ongoing Ponzi scheme, back in 2005.

The debt problem is as bad as they say. And probably worse than anybody is saying. Reducing U.S. debt causes the stock markets to fall profoundly. Increasing U.S. debt makes a dire predicament worse, but a missed payment on U.S. debt leads directly to junk status for the dollar, so Benny and the Inkjets will continue to print until the dollar is dead.

What are the options, after all? We’re on a train going over a cliff, and the cabin smells of natural gas. We can ride out the train wreck or jump out, sans parachutes. The banksters in charge have posed a third option: light a match. As economist Mish says, “Expect chaos.”

Every additional brick in the wall of civilization, placed there by the fascists in charge, has two profound consequences. First, each brick enriches the financially wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, even as economic collapse looms. Second, every brick further destroys the remnants of the living planet. Let’s kick Barack Obama — the American Gorbachev — out of the way so we can tear down this wall.

_____________

This essay is permalinked at Kick It Over and Plan B Economics.

_____________

Update: Please note the new CLASSIFIED ad under the tab, above

Be Sociable, Share!
, , , , , , ,

143 Responses to “Bricks in the wall”

  1. Ted Howard Says:

    Yep, as Lierre Keith has said in a number of talks, “if perople are alive 100 years from now they are going to ask what the fuck was wrong with us, that we didn’t fight like hell when the planet was going down…”

    As you’ve said before it’s time to tear down the wall, or die trying…

  2. Victor Says:

    We are indeed a suicidal civilisation. And there is no turning back now. But I would love to have one last satisfaction before the end. I would truly love to see a major country stand up proudly and default on its debts. Yes, I would love to watch the bankers go down all over the world before we finally hit the dirt. They say it would be an global economic catastrophe if someone defaulted and our lives would become miserable. I say, Bring it on! We’ll all go together.

  3. Robin Datta Says:

    Brief but sharp – to the point. That the vast herd labors complacently in ignorance – that’s what’s amazing.

  4. Victor Says:

    More unusual behaviour from our police:

    http://rt.com/usa/news/disabled-boy-hooper-jesse/

    Look at them the wrong way and you are in deep trouble. Like fire-ants they respond to a serious threat (a mentally disabled 17-year old trying to get to momma to help explain himself) in numbers.

    This is where fascism leads – to a government in bed with industry and a military/police structure inflated with their own sense of power over the now-worthless citizen – worthless because their votes no longer matter, their government has turned against them and they are looked upon as lower beings to be managed like cattle and knocked on the head if necessary from time to time to get their attention.

    I know. I know. In America, unlike the rest of the world, you don’t have to fear your police.

  5. Ted Howard Says:

    Sad that the neighbour who came out to tell police the kid was handicapped didn’t follow through, get the whole neighbourhood out to confront the police and call their bluff on their threat to arrest….imagine police either outnumbered by a neighbourhood in solidarity telling them to bugger off….or all walking straight up to the police and calling their bluff: “arrest us all, and we’ll sue the pants off you and make sure you all get fired….!”

    The really sad part is the neighbourhood was not strong enough as a community to do this…this definitely plays into a militarised police fascist system.
    Public rebillion is needed in the face of this bs!

  6. Victor Says:

    Ted

    Absolutely! The US populace (and British!) is so conditioned to passivity in the face of totalitarian challenge that they will surely lose their remaining freedoms before they realise what is happening. It is a real shame.

  7. Victor Says:

    So here you are – the look of the future for you “off-grid” enthusiasts!

    http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Injunction-end-month/story-12812676-detail/story.html

    You have to understand the insane red tape involving UK planning authorities to comprehend what is going on here. If you live and grow food on land designated as ‘agricultural’, you can be removed from the land. ‘Agricultural’ implies an agricultural business, not simply a farm.

  8. Kevin Moore Says:

    Guy

    ‘Alan Greenspan warned about the worthless paper certain to result from the ongoing Ponzi scheme, back in 2005.’

    Hasn’t every warning given over the past couple of centuries been ignored? Adams, Arrheius, Huxley, Orwell, Einstein, Hubbert, Eisenhower, Carson, Ehrlich, Meadows, Hansen to name a just few.

    Ted

    It’s still too early to try to tear down the wall. The empire will just annihilate you and carry on regardless. And the masses won’t even notice your effort to promote sanity, let alone appreciate it. They can’t: they’re still trapped in the web of deceit.

    I am increasingly convinced we will have to wait for most of the western world to have its own particular version of a New Orleans experience, a Christchurch experience, an Athens experience etc. before people will wake up.

    Victor

    Orwell saw it first.

  9. Victor Says:

    Orwell saw it first.

    Well, there goes my ego!

  10. Steven Earl Salmony Says:

    Peak oil, climate destabiliztion, peak soil, extreme poverty, peak everything…… so many pressing challenges and so much discussion. And yet, can we agree that a great number of professional societies, whose members possess appropriate expertise, have willfully rejected opportunities to openly discuss and then objectively report their critiques regarding extant science on human population dynamics? This monumental failure to assume responsibility and fulfill a “duty to warn” is a tragedy in the making, I suppose. Time after time population experts in particular, have consciously rejected overtures to sensibly discuss certain scientific research regarding the population dynamics of the human species and present findings, as is required of scientists.

  11. Christopher Says:

    Someone smarter than me (I disremember who — I read from so many disparate sources these days) said that revolutions do not typically occur in empires in decline. Too many are simply too busy trying to grab a piece of the shrinking pie while they can to organize.

    Perhaps that is why Americans, and the rest of the world under the yoke of industrial civilization, cannot or will not ‘rise up’ — they are just trying to stay alive. Given the ministrations of the sociopaths-in-charge, who can blame them?

  12. Christopher Says:

    Gerald Celente’s words often come to mind: “When people lose everything, and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”

    The problem here, I think, is that people are losing everything, but in perceived increments so small that they can condition themselves to it, without having to adjust all at once: the “boiling frog” example. The key here is the word “perceived.” Technology has allowed realities like ocean acidification, overpopulation, peak oil, and others to be perceived as simply “issues.” Only with the collapse of our complex technologies will issues become realities for the majority.

    Then they will lose it. By then, it will be too late for them; hopefully not for all life on the planet, though.

  13. Jb Says:

    Christopher: The ‘shrinking pie’ is from J.M. Greer’s current post at the The Archdruid Report.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-not-to-play-game_500.html

    I was just stunned by the second link in Guy’s post regarding the SEC. No wonder the SEC is just slapping people on the wrist with pitiful fines. But what do we do? If you decide to ‘not play the game’ you end up like that couple in the UK (thanks Victor for the link.) It’s heartbreaking and it worries me that we will see more examples of the Collective trying to maintain a failing society by punishing those who would lead us away from the fire.

    Thanks, Guy.

  14. navid Says:

    A revolution? We still have not felt enough pain –

    The vast majority of the population has no understanding of the financial issues, resource issues, or climate issues we face. They do not and cannot understand these complex issues well enough to even have an informed opinion.

    So maybe Huxley was right more than Orwell – “Amusing ourselves to death” Huxley vs Orwell

    http://www.newworldorderreport.com/News/tabid/266/ID/4421/Aldous-Huxley-versus-George-Orwell.aspx

    I’m not making excuses for anyone, I’m just trying to understand how this (collapse) can happen again, especially in this age of Super Duper Intelligence. We are civilization of adult-sized children playing with guns.

    As for Revolution – I would love to see it, but I think Celente is correct (h/t Christopher) about “when people lose everything…

    We still apparently think we have too much to lose. And besides, in the land of adult-sized children, no one knows how to live any other way.

    “the machine stops, the beer gets warm, the president can’t even get anyone on the phone…” Lame Deer (lame paraphrase of)

  15. navid Says:

    Oh good…

    “Evolution machine: Genetic engineering on fast forward”

    Say hello to the evolution machine. It can achieve in days what takes genetic engineers years. So far it is just a prototype, but if its proponents are to be believed, future versions could revolutionise biology, allowing us to evolve new organisms or rewrite whole genomes with ease. It might even transform humanity itself.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028181.700-evolution-machine-genetic-engineering-on-fast-forward.html?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg21028181.700

    I swear to hobs sometimes, we are like the Whale in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. When it materializes above a planet and just begins to recognize itself as a living thing – testing out its flippers, etc noticing the breeze…. as it is falling fast toward the planet below.

    I wonder if Marvin the Paranoid Android will be there to wallow in our *>Splat!<*.

  16. Jb Says:

    Another example of hypocracy that targets anyone willing to tell the truth: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/06/obama-has-finally-become-dick-cheney/241116/ H/T Jessie’s Cafe American

  17. john rember Says:

    Orwell’s relevant quote: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face–forever.”

    Orwell was not writing about 1984 or even 1948. He was writing about the fascist side of human nature, which he knew well from the Spanish Civil War and saw as only temporarily defeated at the end of WWII. He saw fascism as inevitable in a world characterized by militarism and scarcity and the kind of kill-the-enemy tribalism that party politics represents.

    Guy, is it even worth remarking that our military secures its supplies of oil at the expense of the rest of us? If you give someone a uniform, a weapon, and a group of comrades to bond with, and charge him with keeping order for the sake of God and country, you’ve got a person who will be among the bloody ones left standing in any bottleneck situation. The bad guys are going to win this one, because the thing that justifies brutal behavior is that your belief that you’re a good guy is being constantly reinforced by the unreal microcosm you inhabit. Believing you’re a good guy defending a few other good guys allows pulling the trigger on unarmed civilians, for example, and it has happened in this country with some regularity.

    Philip K. Dick carries this sort of thinking further than Orwell when he postulates that the culture itself operates as a great reptilian brain that provides the ultimate meaning [or lack of it] for all our lives. I recommend his novel Ubik for an analysis of consumer/corporate culture and its shabby end.

    As an aside, I have a friend in the construction industry in Sun Valley, and he reports working on panic rooms, vast storage rooms, fuel depots, electrical generation facilities and so on in and around the fortress-like luxury homes there. It’s risky to make generalizations from anecdotal evidence, but it seems to me that people with a great deal more power and resources–and paranoia–than the NBL community are discussing the same things that we discuss.

  18. Turboguy! Says:

    Victor/Ted, I find it both ironic and humorous that the two of you hate the police so much. Hate them until you need them, right? I have to ask, what form of order the two of you’d rather have? While I agree that the Law Enforcement has *WAY* lost sight of what it should be, and has become little more than a paramilitary force/illicit revenue gathering device, especially in large cities, what is a good alternative?

    Might Makes Right:
    Chaos? Personally I’m all for that. Everything around you instantly becomes mine, all mine. Got a problem with that? This 62 grain SS109 Armor Piercing, Full Metal Jacket says that you shouldn’t. Catch my drift? If they’re all gone tomorrow, might makes right. You really want that?

    “If I’m not violent, that guy won’t be eith…. AUUUGH HE’S SHOOTING!!!”
    Non-Violence? Good luck with that. A wise man once said: Those who give up their swords for plowshares invariably end up plowing for those who didn’t.

    Status Quo:
    Or we can keep the very, very imperfect system we’ve got now. The same one you now rely on for your existence. My gut feeling is that you simply don’t know *WHAT* you want, you just want it to be different and I can respect that. I hope the officers in question get sued to the bone and the department has to settle for a couple million. It would serve them right for pulling this. But don’t lump all of us into that category because of a few bad apples.

    Rebellion against the police? As in ARMED!?! I think you’d better wait for Defecation to hit Oscillation before you try that one. As Kevin pointed out so well, people haven’t yet felt enough pain, and they, for the most part, still support the police. You’d be erased and nobody would give two squirts of monkey urine about your violent passing. After an unlikely major collapse/catastrophe? Hey, knock yourself out, but I don’t think you’d like what you’d get in the end… (See “Might Makes Right.”)

    You see the problem is that the collapse is not only coming too slowly, but isn’t going to happen quickly enough. You’re not going to hear a small click and think to yourself, “Gee, the fecal matter just impacted the spinning air displacement unit!” It’s going to take years, and even then there’s still going to be too many societal norms and mores against you having your little brand of adventurism. You know, the whole, “You’re going to take care of those pesky cops.” kind of thing. You’d still run into the “You shoot my protectors, I’ll shoot you” mentality.

    Even in Greece it hasn’t gotten to the point the rioters have started shooting at the police, and they absolutely could. Sure they have all kinds of fun throwing rocks and the occasional Molotov, but the rioters are more interested in destroying the institutions rather than hurting the protectors, and RIGHTLY so! Well, some are, but they’re the local flavor of imbecile.

    Personally I think the Greek police should just walk the heck away and let the rioters wreck the institutions that have wrecked their economy. The police there are going to take just as much of a hit as everyone else.

    Victor, you talked about how you’d love to see a country actually default on it’s debts? How Tea Party of you. They’re the ones that are pushing the hardest for the debt limit to not be extended, which could very well cause the US to default, or have the possibility to. Have fun thinking about that. ;p

    Guy, right on the money… again. I was talking to a good friend of mine last night who pointed out that the ratio of debt to GDP is going to hit 100% within the next couple months if it already hasn’t. It’s totally unsustainable.

    I relate it to falling off a platform. If I take a spill off the porch, no problem, I dust myself off and go about my business. At this point, when this system crashes, we’re not looking at a small drop, we’re facing taking a header off a five story building! We *MIGHT* survive, but it’s REALLY gonna hurt if we do. All we’re doing is building story after story onto our building until it’ll become a skyscraper.

    When we hit, it’s not going to be pretty… It could be an economic perfect storm.

  19. john rember Says:

    I rest my case.

  20. Victor Says:

    TurboGuy

    Always entertaining to read your posts…and I sincerely mean that….you have a really good way with words….too bad you’re a cop…just kidding… :-)

    You have misinterpreted what I said, or what I meant. I hold the police in the highest regard. As you say, they, and they alone, protect us from very dark forces. If I were one of the Greek protesters, I would never throw a stone at a policeman. I would burn banks and government buildings with pleasure. But harm, a cop? No sir.

    My point is, and always is, that the police are charged with upholding the law and protecting the people. But under a fascist system, the law tends to change, or is at least “re-interpreted”, but the police don’t have the option of “re-interpreting”, so they must uphold the law as the government interprets it – generally, they have a job to do and they do it in most cases very professionally. But also under a fascist system, the police are given more leeway, I believe, to interpret the situation “on the ground”. The government tends to look the other way when a policeman abuses his responsibilities to the citizenry – and you must admit that there are police who abuse their responsibilities. I would be very disappointed in you if you didn’t see that.

    What I see is that as the USA (and Europe) turn more to the right, the police are given more choice. As a result many police still remain faithful to the constitution and protecting the citizens. But what you also see are trends within the police ranks to abuse. Increasing numbers of police find themselves taking out their anger and frustrations (and who of us do not have these in these trying days?) on the public. Not all police, but significantly growing numbers of them, in my opinion.

    Fascism indeed, again my opinion, encourages this. And therefore, more and more police officers join in the bloodbath. They are perhaps reprimanded, and perhaps even brought to trial, but rarely actually convicted under the fascist system.

    No, I am NOT anti-police. Never have been. Never will be. But I do not tolerate abuse of power. And the police are in a uniquely convenient position for that option.

    Keep professional, TurboGuy. Always remember who you serve and what you are protecting. Growing numbers of your brothers, unfortunately… don’t.

    Do not follow orders that go against your oath to protect the constitution and the people. Remember always to understand the difference between the government and the constitution. I believe there really is a difference, and if your government tells you to do something against the constitution, you have every right to disobey – Nuremberg established that precedent clearly.

  21. Kathy Says:

    Turboguy – some cops give other cops a bad name, but this sort of thing is becoming more frequent.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28447.htm

    “June 30, 2011 — DAYTON, Ohio (CN) – Dayton police “mistook” a mentally handicapped teenager’s speech impediment for “disrespect,” so they Tasered, pepper-sprayed and beat him and called for backup from “upward of 20 police officers” after the boy rode his bicycle home to ask his mother for help, the boy’s mom says.
    Pamela Ford says her “mentally challenged/handicapped” son Jesse Kersey, 17, was riding his bike near his Dayton home when Officer Willie Hooper stopped him and tried to talk to him.
    The mom says that “Prior to the incident described below, defendant Hooper knew Jesse and was aware that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped and a minor child.”
    Nonetheless, Ford says, Hooper “apparently took Jesse’s speech impediment for disrespect … [and] began yelling at Jesse and after Jesse attempted to communicate with him[.] Jesse, being a minor and mentally challenged/handicapped, turned and rode his bike back to his home in an attempt to ask his mother, Ford, to help him communicate with defendant Cooper,” according to the complaint in Montgomery County Court. On the way, the mom says, “A neighbor attempted to communicate with Officer Hooper about Jesse’s disabilities and was told to go back into his home, or he would be arrested.”
    As Ford opened her front door, she says, Hooper and co-defendant Officer John Howard, “fired their Tasers, striking Jesse in the back with both probes.”
    “Once inside the house, defendant Hooper and defendant Howard began to struggle with Jesse, who was standing against the back door with his hands up in front of his face, saying ‘Please quit, please quit.’ “On numerous occasions, Ford and a family friend, Christopher Peyton, informed Officer Hooper that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped, and that Jesse did not understand what was happening,” the complaint states. But the mom says the cops continued their assault: “Officer Howard utilized his Cap-Stun pepper spray and sprayed Jesse … [and] struck Jesse with a closed fist in the upper chest area.
    “Officer Howard utilized his ASP and repeatedly struck Jesse in the upper left side of his left thigh.
    “Back-up units were requested to Jesse’s house, wherein upward of 20 police officers from different jurisdictions were present.
    “At no point, even after being advised of Jesse’s mental challenge/handicap by Jesse’s family and numerous bystanders, did defendant Hooper, defendant Howard, or any other police officer present, attempt to communicate with Jesse or explain in terms he could understand as to why Jesse was being chased.
    “Jesse was handcuffed and hogtied before being placed in the back of a police cruiser.
    “Jesse was charged with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing official business.”

  22. Kathy Says:

    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.
    Friedrich von Schiller

    I am re-reading The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov. In the book a way to have “free” energy is found by exchange of materials (called an electron pump) between our universe and a para universe. However an individual on our side and another on the para side discover that the “free” bit has a catch and that both universes are in mortal danger but no one wants to listen. Who would want to give up free unlimited “clean” energy. The Schiller quote is early in the book which is good because I had forgotten the why of the title. But it seems to sum up our situation, yes?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gods_Themselves

  23. Robin Datta Says:

    The puissance of the state – every state – is at its kernel the retention of the option to initiate the use of force. Thhey morally acquiesce in this who condone the state and it’s agents.

  24. Robin Datta Says:

    That is its agents – chalk that one up to Steve Job’s spelling correction.

  25. Resa Says:

    I have to agree with John. People with a great deal more power and resources and [perhaps] paranoia than the NBL community discuss exactly what’s discussed here. Most have a plan. Not all involve violence.

    Regarding the police incident on the mentally-handicapped teenager. Some of the details (posted by Kathy) didn’t add up for me.

    I’ve witnessed episodes from a mentally-handicapped person within my family. This individual doesn’t have a speech impediment, but his 160 pounds is the equivalent of 500 when he goes irrational. It’s not always possible to recognize the trigger, at least at the time the episode is happening. Animals, incidently, do the same thing. A 500-pound cow can quickly become a 2000-pound monster if it perceives a threat.

    I did a quick google and came up with an article in the Dayton Daily News.

    The details from the mother’s perspective are largely as those posted by Kathy.

    The details in the police report (of course) differ.

    I don’t know which story is the truth. My guess is it’s a bit of both. It’s unfortunate a mentally-handicapped individual got caught in the middle, because yes, they don’t always understand what’s happening and while they’re attempting to sort it out they can be extremely dangerous. Yelling, screaming and others jumping into the fray only feeds the frenzy. It’s best to remain calm and not crowd, two tactics apparently not attempted in this case by mother, neighbor or police.

    **** following extrapolated from the Dayton Daily News, complete article here: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/lawsuit-over-tasing-on-handicapped-17-year-old-pits-differing-stories-1198231.html

    “According to the police incident report, Hooper first saw the boy, later identified as Kersey, riding his bike the wrong way down on Andrews Street. When Kersey spotted the police cruiser he started riding on the sidewalk. When Hooper yelled for Kersey to stop, the boy took off up St. Paul Avenue, dumping his bike in front of his house. Finding the front door locked, Kersey turned on Hooper, who had mounted the front porch to issue Kersey a bicycle citation, and began to struggle, according to the police report. “Kersey started swinging his arms at Officer Hooper and yelling in an unintelligible language,” according to the police report.

    An attempt to Tase the struggling boy, who was described as 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, was unsuccessful. Kersey’s mother opened the door and pulled her son in, at which point Hopper fired his Taser, hitting the 17-year-old in the back. The mother pulled out one of the probes, and Kersey fled through the house to the kitchen.

    Hooper attempted to take control of Kersey, but had to fight off his mother and later a family friend. It turned into a donnybrook in the kitchen as Hopper and Officer Howard, who arrived as backup, struggled to subdue Kersey, while keeping the mother and family friend out of the fray. At one point, dispatchers called for all officers in East Dayton to respond to the scene.

    Neither Tasing nor pepper spray were effective. Officers used physical strikes and baton strikes to the thigh to take Kersey to the ground and handcuff him. It took several officers to get Kersey to a police cruiser, at one point placing his feet in a hobble so he could no longer kick them.

    Kersey was taken to Grandview Hospital for treatment of his injuries. While there he spoke with Sgt. Roger Brown, who was investigating the use of force.

    According to Brown’s report, Kersey said “he was not sure why he ran from the officer, but believed he was scared. He stated he wanted to go home, and the officer would not let him.”

    Kersey was later released from the hospital and taken to the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center.

    After speaking with witnesses, reviewing the police reports, photographing the injuries, the report exonerated Hooper and Howard of any allegations of wrong-doing.

    The mother, who went by the name of Pamela Thompson at the time, was charged and convicted of resisting arrest and obstructing official business in Dayton Municipal Court. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended, and ordered to participate in an anger management program, according to court records. She was initially fined $100, plus $111 in court costs, which have not been paid.

    The family friend was convicted of resisting arrest, given a 90-day sentence with 78 days suspended. He also was fined, which has yet to be paid.”

  26. Kevin Moore Says:

    Victor.

    ‘My point is, and always is, that the police are charged with upholding the law and protecting the people’

    I have to disagree. The police are charged with protecting the financial-industrial-military empire, and all the corruption and inequity that go with it. As are the courts. The people are just ‘cattle’. As long as the cattle keep eating the grass and standing in line to be milked, no problem. The moment any decide that is not what they wnat, look out.

    I have read police reports that were fabrications and have witnessed police officers lying in court. It seems to part as much a part of the culture as the misreporting that goes on in mainstream so-called newspapers. (I prefer to describe them as propaganda outlets these days.)

    There is nothing new in any of this of course. The Ned Kelly story centres on the abuse of the local populace by the Victorian police.

    I agrree with John Rember : ‘the thing that justifies brutal behavior is that your belief that you’re a good guy is being constantly reinforced by the unreal microcosm you inhabit.’ But it seems to go further than that. So many people seem to get a tremedndous get kick out of exercising control over others.

    We’re back to the nature of evil again, which we discussed several months ago.

  27. Ed Says:

    JB, thanks for the link to ADR. I haven’t read it in a while but that was as good as it gets.

  28. Turboguy! Says:

    Kevin, you must witness the dregs of Police Officers because I don’t personally know one that would lie in court or fabricate “Facts” in a report.

    I do remember one guy, Brett, that would routinely violate Fourth Amendment and case law pertaining to vehicle searches. He lasted exactly eight months, then got sent packing, and I was relieved that he was fired. I could totally see bad case law with his name all over it, and with my luck, he’d have gotten me involved or mentioned in it somehow. Brett also had a nasty habit of over-utilizing his Taser, and if you went on a call with him, you knew, hands down, that no matter what you did, you were getting into a fight.

    In a department with well over 600 deputies, we had one that had no business being there, and we got rid of him ASAP. The bad apples are the distant exception rather than the rule. You just hear about it more because it’s sensational.

    I’ve seen departments with problems, MAJOR problems, even worked for one. Got out of there as soon as I found another job. One of the Lieutenants was trying to screw the dispatchers and would badmouth and make accusations at the significant others of those dispatchers if they were attached. He was married with a baby. Another Lieutenant got nailed for child molesting. Again, those are the exception rather than the rule.

    I did find one of your comments to be quite funny though: “I have to disagree. The police are charged with protecting the financial-industrial-military empire, and all the corruption and inequity that go with it. As are the courts.”

    Sometimes the things you write, I say, “Right on.” Then you say something downright silly like this and I’m left wondering what flavor the whiteout was today.

    When I nailed that guy driving drunk, going the wrong way down highway 35 at 75 MPH, which financial/industrial/military empire was I defending?

    How about the Piece of crap that was pushing strawberry flavored methamphetamine on schoolkids out on Stewart Park who was ALSO A LEVEL 3 SEX OFFENDER?

    What about the Hispanic male that beat his wife so bad that he actually avulsed his wife’s left breast, broke four ribs, dislocated her right ankle, and gave her a concussion so bad she was temporarily blind in one eye? Was I protecting the industrial/military corrupt complex when I had to fight that guy because he fought arrest?

    What about the insane mother who backhanded her seven year old daughter across the face so hard that she deviated the little girl’s septum to the point one of her nostrils was sealed off, then wouldn’t take her to the hospital so the little girl snuck there. Was I protecting the “Complex” when I arrested mom?

    Just because you, and I, have seen absolute piece of shit officers does NOT mean that we are all like that.

    And that protecting the Military/Industrial complex comment is just funny.

  29. Kevin Moore Says:

    Turbo Guy. You are very fortunate to live in a place where police corruption is so uncommon. It would take me about two hours to go through the examples of mendacity and corruption I have come across in my life. This is hardly the place.

    Regarding the protection of the financial-industrial-military complex, I ask you to look at the big picture, rather than what happens on the streets. Who clubs peaceful protesters over the head at G8 meetings? Who arrests people that hang banners telling the truth about climate change on coal burning power stations? Who shot and killed students who protested against the Vietnam War? Who protects war criminals like Blair and Bush and ensure they are not brought to justice?

    I see the police as just one component of a corrupt and evil system which keeps control of the general populace via violence (just as Derrick Jensen has pointed out) and is destroying the world. When police officers attack those who protest against the immorality and corruption of the system which is killing the planet -as they do- they become agents of destruction, and are essentailly working towards their own demise or that of their children. I put it to you that most laws were put in place for the benefit of elites, not ordinary people. Unlike morals, most laws are arbitrary.

    Just think what the world might be like if the British law requiring self-propelled vehicles to be preceded by a person carrying a red flag had not been repealed, and every other nation adopted a similar rule. No self-propelled vehicles travelling at more than walking speed. Wow!

    ‘When I nailed that guy driving drunk, going the wrong way down highway 35 at 75 MPH, which financial/industrial/military empire was I defending?

    I put it to you that you were unwittingly defending the motor vehicle manufacturers and oil companies percieved right to pollute and destroy the planet we live on, the alcohol manufacturers preceived right to intoxicate people for a profit, and the financiers who profit from all the activities (military component: the military intervention necessary to acquire cheap oil).

  30. Victor Says:

    Kevin/TurboGuy

    I feel like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof – you are both right.

    TurboGuy – cops are for the most part professional and are committed to protecting citizens, which they as individuals see as one of their prime functions.

    Kevin – cops are tools of the elite to keep us under control and to protect their interests in the community (as opposed to nationally and internationally where the military fits that role).

    You will always find the police protecting TPTB at peaceful demonstrations – they will cordon off demonstrators in areas far from the scene. Sometimes they even use wire fence enclosures to conatin the demonstrators and separate them from those they are protesting against. VERTY often the police will use agent provocateurs to incite crowd violence so that they then have an excuse for violently suppressing the protesters. They will also use crowd control methods that are questionable at best such as “kettling” or tear gas or equipment that produces extremely harmful levels of high pitched noise directed at the crowd, or individual pummelling of protesters.

    These actions are not meant to protect the citizenry. They are designed to break up the protest, plain and simple. As the world moves to the fascist right, these actions will become more common and more deadly. And you will find the police encouraged to use more and more harmful tactics against the people.

    In the USA, the government has built a national network of “detention centres” aimed at ultimately housing masses of people gathered from the anticipated civil unrest to come as a result of more and more government suppression. The police and the military (in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act will work together to round people up and confine them indefinitely in these camps.

    Will the police co-operate in sending their own people to these camps? Very likely. That is their job. They will be convinced by TPTB that they are protecting the peace. It matters not that the Constitution will have been effectively shredded by that time (actually, it already it – most people just don’t realise it yet!).

    So the question arises, TurboGuy – When it is your turn to lock your own people like us on NBL away in a detention centre for our “protection”, are you going to make the decision to do it? That is the question you will be faced with someday. I suspect most of your colleagues by that time will have little problem with it. Will you?

  31. Victor Says:

    Now for some entertainment. I have come across a couple of videos that I would be very interested in your opinions about. I would not normally bring this kind of subject up as I have very conflicting feelings about it, but well…here you are…. :-)

    Video 1 taken in London – July 2010 – this video is the 2nd part of three, the most interesting

    Video 2 taken in London – June 2011 – this is a composite of the same sighting from three different locations in London that day

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiZPdN4AhS4

    Video 3 taken in Australia where the person making the video, decides to use a UV filter to see if things are revealed that we normally would not see with the naked eye.

    Link to a couple of 300 year old drawings by Japanese contained in old books at that time (there are apparently many more of these). These links were sent to me by my new son-in-law who is a Japanese physicist working on the large Hadron Collider project in Europe.

    http://www.yaji-kita.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/uturobune01.png

    http://www.yaji-kita.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/nishio.jpg

    Part of the translation of these drawings indicates the woman is associated with the “sky ship”, carries some kind of object in her hand, is very beautiful and speaks a different language. At the end, the woman and the “sky ship” fly off.

    I would be most interested in your reactions to these videos and drawings. And what you think they might imply for our world today.

    :-)

  32. Kathy Says:

    The Stanford Prison Experiment well documents how giving power to one person over another person affects them.

    For one brief period right now we have citizens armed with movie cameras on their cell phones and are documenting the excessive use of force by many police.

    Unable to try Jon Burge for his actual crimes due to statue of limitations, he was finally brought to justice for perjury. His crime, torturing confessions out of the accused http://articles.cnn.com/2010-06-28/justice/illinois.police.torture_1_radiator-burns-jon-burge-torture?_s=PM:CRIME

    The success of the Innocence Project which has exonerated many accused of rape and murder by DNA evidence points to such forced confessions as being far more widespread than previously thought. A false confession means an actual criminal is still at large, something that does not seem to bother the police who force the confession.

    But as Kevin notes, the police and military are tools of the elite. One only has to note that those who have bilked the public of billions largely go free while the robbing of a 7/11 of $100 is a serious crime that results in lengthy incarceration.

    So those police who do not use excessive force, are honest and fair deserve our admiration, for they are going against the grain of human nature and the elite.

  33. Victor Says:

    Apparently, Peak Copper is already here!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43603254

  34. Librarian Says:

    Turboguy, if I may interject…

    I absolutely respect the police, when they do things like arrest someone raping his kid, or arrest the mugger who might otherwise beat up a sweet little old lady.

    However, Turboguy, I have a question for you.

    Do you think all police actions are justified just because they happen to wear an honorable badge?

    Do you, for example, think it is justified for 20 police officers to all mob a disabled 17-year-old because they didn’t like the way he talked?

    Is that considered an “acceptable sacrifice” as long as the police also keep protecting us from the vandals?

    In other words, what I’m asking you is, do “the ends justify the means” to you?

    Kevin and Victor didn’t ask you directly about the 20-police-officers-beating-up-teenager example because they got caught up in your argument about the police’s true purpose.

    My own question is different. I am asking, in essence, should police officers be given carte blanche to do whatever they please, including handcuffing a six-year-old girl for doodling on her desk, for example?

  35. Victor Says:

    Derrick Jensen –

    Premise Number 4

    Civilisation is based upon a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalised. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur, it is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

    Premise Number 5

    The PROPERTY of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the LIVES of those below. [emphasis mine] It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control – in everyday language, to make money – by destroying or taking the lives of those below. This is called production. If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below. This is called justice.

  36. Robin Datta Says:

    Every person rationalizes – at least to one’s own self – one’s actions to fit a moral (right & wrong) and ethical (good & bad) context. While an individual’s specific actions fall into these spectra, attention is easily distracted from the mantle of authority under which they operate. Every state reserves to itself (and only to itself) the right to initiate the use of force through its agents against peaceful non-compliers. Those who choose to carry that mantle, and those who condone carrying it are equally culpable in perpetuating this aberration.

  37. Victor Says:

    Derrick Jensen – again…

    Premise Number 11

    From the beginning, this culture – civilisation – has been a culture of occupation.

    Premise Number 12

    There are no rich people in the world, and there are no poor people. There are just people. The rich may have lots of green paper that many pretend are worth something – or their presumed riches may even be more abstract: numbers on hard drives at banks – and the poor may not. These “rich” claim they own land, and the “poor” are often denied the right to make that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.

    Premise Number 13

    Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.

    Premise Number 15

    Love does not imply pacifism.

  38. Kathy Says:

    Robin you wrote “Every state reserves to itself (and only to itself) the right to initiate the use of force through its agents against peaceful non-compliers. Those who choose to carry that mantle, and those who condone carrying it are equally culpable in perpetuating this aberration.”

    Exactly – for instance Bloody Sunday (the Selma one, although the Irish one would serve for illustration just as well).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVyySanZJ8M&feature=related

  39. Kathy Says:

    Increasingly we are hearing stories of police arresting people for the act of taking photos of them arresting people http://www.intomobile.com/2010/11/15/cops-arrest-iphone-video-phone/ I expect soon a law will be passed to forbid the filming of police in action.

  40. Victor Says:

    I expect soon a law will be passed to forbid the filming of police in action.

    That would be an unconstitutional law….but of course the Patriot is unconstitutional as well… ;-)

  41. Brutus Says:

    This discussion of power laws is interesting, but like so many issues that possess intrinsic nuance and complexity, I fear it may be fundamentally intractable and irresolvable. Yes, we need law and order to function as societies, but law and order enable hierarchical power complexes to emerge and dominate where chaos and anarchy keep things small and locally distributed. The ubiquity of force and corruption is true in both scales or realities, one must admit, but the really deleterious effects (and on balance, some truly great effects, too) tend to follow from complex, centralized social structures. Indeed, that’s our current predicament. Industrial society, with its many power structures dedicated to preserving themselves at all cost, have unwittingly incurred the ultimate cost: consumption of everything available to us in the biosphere, leading to collapse of the surprisingly delicate balance that keeps it all going. That ultimate cost is time-delayed, but we can all see the writing on the wall.

  42. Kathy Says:

    People begin to take things into their own hands – full story at http://www.southwestiowanews.com/articles/2011/07/02/council_bluffs/doc4e0e1b105613d735662740.txt
    LOVELAND – A Pottawattamie County levee was intentionally blown up Friday morning by an unidentified group of citizens.
    The county was aware previously that a group of citizens wanted to breach the levee to drain pooling water back into the river.
    Wilber said the citizens – who operate Vanmann No. 30 Levee – built the levee higher after seeing inundation maps from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May in an attempt to keep water out. But when a natural breach occurred in Harrison County on June 25, water began to pool behind the new fortified levee.
    The county was notified that a group of citizens wanted to breach the levee on June 26.
    Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Theulen met with the group that evening and informed them that they would likely need the permission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, before such an activity could take place.
    Wilber said Theulen also cautioned that any activity undertaken by them that affected the flow of water would be at their own risk should the lives and property of others be impacted.
    On Tuesday, the Iowa DNR determined that it did not have authority to regulate the levee and the Corps indicated Friday morning it had no authority to regulate the levee either since it was not a federal levee….Wilber said the Missouri River rose between 1- and 2-inches after the breach.

  43. Robin Datta Says:

    where chaos and anarchy keep things small and locally distributed.

    It is true only of chaos. With anarchy, the limits to size and locality are dictated by the availability of resources and technology. 

    The ubiquity of force and corruption is true in both scales or realities,

    Force is absent from anarchy: the only logical outcome of the universalization of the non aggression principle (the non-initiation of force) is anarchy.

    A lot of ignorant folks are unaware of the distinction between multiple small clashing oligarchies and anarchy. It is to be kept in mind that the puissance of every state rests on the rejection of the universality of the non-aggression principle: every state reserves for itself (and only for itself) the option to initiate force against peaceful non-compliers. Without that option, the laws of the state will be unenforceable. 

    Anarchy is community based on voluntary, non-coercive association of individuals. The absence of coercion removes the shelter for corruption. 

    Practical Anarchy

  44. Brutus Says:

    Robin Datta: Anarchy is community based on voluntary, non-coercive association of individuals. The absence of coercion removes the shelter for corruption.

    Dunno about this. In the absence of law or a government to enforce it, nature (human and otherwise) does not default to cooperation — at least not for long. As a theoretic construct, you can carve out anarchy as distinct from chaos, but I need more evidence than simply laying claim to something. Your link goes nowhere, BTW.

  45. Kathy Says:

    Brutus, Hunter-gatherers default mode is cooperation with the tribe because humans rarely survive long as singletons. We like wolves and chimps are tribal in nature. Since we are “civilized” hunter-gatherers (not having had enough time to evolve much in the 10,000 years since we gave up that life) I expect that our programs still call for cooperation in small groups. Because humans are varied in skills (keen eyesight, keen smell, dexterity, inventiveness) the tribe allows for the group to be more than the individuals and thus has a greater chance of prospering. But those skills can only be available to the tribe if there is cooperation.

  46. Kathy Says:

    (Reuters) – At 7:30 every morning, seven days a week, Omaha airport officials meet with contractors to talk about water — how high is it, and what is being done to keep it away from runways and other facilities.

    They talk about the levee protecting the airport’s 2,700 acres — and where the swollen Missouri River is in relation to the levee’s top. They talk de-watering wells, berms, sandbags, sandboils and sinkholes. And they talk weather, because a heavy rain could cause flash flooding on already saturated ground.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/02/us-flooding-airport-idUSTRE7611EH20110702

  47. Turboguy! Says:

    “Who clubs peaceful protesters over the head at G8 meetings? Who arrests people that hang banners telling the truth about climate change on coal burning power stations? Who shot and killed students who protested against the Vietnam War? Who protects war criminals like Blair and Bush and ensure they are not brought to justice?”

    And who throws hard heavy objects at both the police and those attending the meeting? The police have just as much a duty to protect the G8 scumbags as they do the populace. You think it’d be okay for the police to just turn aside and let an angry mob tear those people apart? Mob mentality is the best mentality, right? That mob would be TOTALLY benevolent when they got close to the summit members, or hanging the banners, etc. Besides, that’s known as vandalism of private property. Can I hang a great big Rush Limbaugh portrait on your house or place of business because I think it might bring economic ruin?

    No? Your hypocrisy astounds…

    I find it rather humorous that you’ve devoted so much of your time to the study of eeeevil police and how a teensy fraction of them are corrupt, and then have the audacity to call these protesters “Peaceful.” I had to work at that GOP protest in Saint Paul, in fact there’s pictures of me there in the newspaper. I assure you, those protesters were anything BUT peaceful. Though I will agree that a small fraction of the protesters were the imbeciles, and once the violence kicked off the peaceful protesters got out of Dodge, far too many got caught up in the mob mentality and went right along with the stupidity. You want to act like a human being and exercise your rights as a human? No problem. In fact I’ll go out of my way to make sure you’re able to. If you want to act like a feral animal, I’m going to come down on you like a hammer.

    What part of throwing rocks off from an overpass is peaceful? Burning cars after flipping them over? Smashing and looting stores? If that’s peaceful, I’d hate to see what it looks like when they get downright ornery.

    And you’d made quite the attempt to connect quite a few unconnected dots.

    G.W. Bush and Tony Blair are criminals? What are Fidel Castro, Hu Jintao, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Barack Obama? I don’t see people of your political corner rushing out to “Bring them to justice.” Quite the opposite. Especially in Hu Jintao, Zer0 (Obama) and Castro, two of whom are ACTUALLY guilty of crimes against humanity and one is ACTUALLY guilty of violating the “War Powers Act!”

    “I put it to you that most laws were put in place for the benefit of elites, not ordinary people. Unlike morals, most laws are arbitrary.”

    And I tend to AGREE with you! I use as much discretion as I possibly can in regards to doing my job.

    The VAST majority of laws are Mala Prohibitum and have no basis whatsoever on morals. And FYI: I totally disagree and refuse to enforce many of them. It’s what makes “Officer Discretion” such a beautiful thing. Pull a Mala En Se and we’ll have a problem.

    “I put it to you that you were unwittingly defending the motor vehicle manufacturers and oil companies percieved right to pollute and destroy the planet we live on, the alcohol manufacturers preceived right to intoxicate people for a profit, and the financiers who profit from all the activities.”

    Hmm… thought that one out didn’t you? :)

    I do find it rather odd that you’ll assign blame to the motor vehicle company, the oil company, and the alcohol manufacturer before you will with the person actually doing the driving. He chose to buy the car, buy the gas, and imbibe himself to the point of four times the legal BAC before getting behind the wheel and nearly murdering someone. What you did was the same as blaming spoons for making Rosie O’Donnnel fat when in reality, it was her own damned fault.

    Librarian: Read my post. I specifically talked about how I think the officers were specifically wrong in their actions regarding the 17 year old. However, I’m not going to pass judgement as I was not there and I’m only really seeing two sides to the story. One is missing, that being the truth.

    That said, the answer to your question is: Absolutely not! Officers that breach the public trust should be dealt with swiftly and with as much of the power of law as possible.

  48. Turboguy! Says:

    Victor, you said: “So the question arises, TurboGuy – When it is your turn to lock your own people like us on NBL away in a detention centre for our “protection”, are you going to make the decision to do it? That is the question you will be faced with someday. I suspect most of your colleagues by that time will have little problem with it. Will you?”

    My reply: Oh yeah, you guys and girls are going DOWN! Gonna serve HARD TIME!

    Now where’d I put my jackboots? :)

    If our country got to that point, you’d find that most police and military would side with you rather than against. The vast majority of police are far libertarian.

    I think that Kevin et al are getting police people confused with people working for Federal alphabet departments. Those guys and gals are so far removed from any semblance of reality that pulling what you described above wouldn’t even give them pause at what they were doing.

    We pretty regularly get newsletters and briefings from those “People” and we always end up scratching our collective heads and wondering what the heck they were thinking saying “THAT?” The Domestic Terrorist one in particular stuck in my craw for quite a while as it pretty much labeled 75% of all police the Domestic Terrorists the memo was warning us about.

  49. Victor Says:

    The Domestic Terrorist one in particular stuck in my craw for quite a while as it pretty much labeled 75% of all police the Domestic Terrorists the memo was warning us about.

    The domestic terrorists are the big banks, the energy companies, multi-nationals and the government. Plain and simple. It makes a few bad cops look like angels in comparison.

    You might laugh when I say that someday you might be ordered to put people like us in the camps (and I know it sounds silly), but I assure this is the direction things are ultimately headed.

  50. Brutus Says:

    Kathy: Hunter-gatherers default mode is cooperation with the tribe because humans rarely survive long as singletons. We like wolves and chimps are tribal in nature.

    Wha? Wolf packs and monkey troops are ruled by rigid pecking orders enforced by violent confrontation or the threat of it. When an alpha male finally loses power, another steps into the role. That pattern is repeated again and again among social animals. Chimps, BTW, are among the animals that practice cannibalism and infanticide.

    I can’t judge whether stating so flatly that HG culture defaults to cooperation is fact or mere argument. Most of the claims people make about HGs strike me as complete fabrication, and I’m certainly no expert. But based on what I’ve read (recommended Man on Earth a while back), among the few remaining HG and nomadic cultures, living conditions are often difficult and social constraints evolve to match — hardly the picture of voluntary cooperation. What it was truly like back in human prehistory involves considerable conjecture, but interspecies and tribal competition was by all evidence awfully fierce. Human tribalism is usually pejorative in its connotation for a reason.

    I’m happy to be proven wrong, but you’ll have to point me somewhere (as I have done). Until something more convincing appears, I won’t conflate division of labor with beneficent anarchism.

  51. Robin Datta Says:

    In the absence of law or a government to enforce it, nature (human and otherwise) does not default to cooperation — at least not for long.

    Everyday Anarchy

  52. Robin Datta Says:

    Your link goes nowhere, BTW.

    Practical Anarchy

  53. Kevin Moore Says:

    Brutus.

    Yes, there was undoubtedly a pecking order in all hunter-gatherer societies going right back to the splitting of the hominid line. But widespread cannibalism and infacticide within a group sound far fetched to me.

    For much of humanity’s existence there has been a struggle to keep children alive long enough for them to reproduce. A quote from Adam Smith: ‘It is not uncommon… in the Highlands of Scotland for a mother who has borne twenty children not to have two alive… In some places one half the children born die before they are four years of age; in many places before they are seven; and in almost all places before they are nine or ten. This great mortality, however, will every where be found chiefly among the children of the common people, who cannot afford to tend them with the same care as those of better station.’

    Would it have been very different for hunter-gatherers? I suspect not. To actively kill members of a small group would surely have been to reduce the number of gene carriers and reduce the survival chances of the whole group. Until someone can present a good argument to the contrary, I go with the idea that there was extreme co-operation within a group and extreme competition between groups (unless resources were plentiful).

    It is surely the temporary abundance of resources due to the exploitation of fossil fuels that has allowed both population overshoot and the general passivity we witness in ‘civilised’ societies.

  54. Kathy Says:

    Brutus, any wolf or chimp is free to run as a singleton. Bears do. Many species do. The fact that wolves and chimps accept the pecking order is because they evolved as a species that lives in tribes and cooperates on grooming, hunting, protection etc. Despite all the harassment by the alpha male or female, the wolf pack works as a unit in the hunt to the benefit of all. If it wasn’t a benefit I am sure there is nothing to stop a wolf from going on his or her own. If the alpha male or female had to enforce membership they would have a hard time being the incredibly coordinated group that they are when they hunt. I wasn’t arguing about whether or not there was hierarchy in cooperative groups, but just that those creatures that live in social groups do so because cooperation is beneficial to their species and therefore written into their genetic programs. Bears don’t need cooperation to propagate and do fine without it. Hunter-gatherers prospered in tribes or our ancestors would have not lived in tribes.

    Regarding pecking order, it is a false idea among chickens as it connotes a straight hierarchy. A picks on B picks on C. In fact sometimes with chickens A picks on B picks on C picks on A. Nor is it rigid over time. We have seen this noted by authors who REALLY observe chickens, rather than go with the accepted view, and we have seen it in our own flock over and over.

  55. Robin Datta Says:

    I can’t judge whether stating so flatly that HG culture defaults to cooperation is fact or mere argument.

    Hunter-gatherer Social and economic structure (Wikipedia):

    “Hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures”.

  56. Brutus Says:

    Kevin Moore: But widespread cannibalism and infacticide within a group sound far fetched to me.

    I’m not arguing for the practices having been widespread, but then, they don’t need to be to make my point. Their existence across time and species (their lack of exceptionalism) point to harshness of conditions that make widespread cooperation (if that’s the alternative) not so likely, in my view.

    Would it have been very different for hunter-gatherers? I suspect not. To actively kill members of a small group would surely have been to reduce the number of gene carriers and reduce the survival chances of the whole group.

    That’s precisely the opposite of what I’ve been taught about infanticide in particular, namely, that when resource scarcity threatens the group, infants were sacrificed instead of adults or older children.

    Humans don’t reproduce in litters like small mammals, or by the thousands like insects. We’re not evolved to produce maximum numbers of offspring from one set of parent to survive.

    Until someone can present a good argument to the contrary, I go with the idea that there was extreme co-operation within a group and extreme competition between groups (unless resources were plentiful).

    My skepticism runs counter to yours. I don’t doubt that under the right conditions, cooperation does in fact take place within a tribe, maybe even in less-than-optimal conditions. But as I recall, the very first European colonies in America (the closest Westerners have been to a state of nature in centuries) achieved group cohesion and cooperation under severe threat of expulsion and almost certain death, meaning it wasn’t cooperation at all. Further, evidence through history of genocides, resource wars, colonial occupations, hoarding, and simple thievery weigh in on my side. But this isn’t an argument I feel any need to win. I acknowledge your perspective.

  57. Guy McPherson Says:

    Please note the new classified ad in the tab above

  58. Guy McPherson Says:

    With respect to the discussion about law enforcement officials, John Cobin has a comment at Sovereign Man. Here’s an excerpt:

    “When is the last time you shook a policeman’s hand, appreciative of the good work he had done for you? I live in Chile and I just did so.”

    “In North America, I would never think of doing the same thing. Cops are to be feared there. They are not helpful allies in the fight against crime. A North American is more likely to be victimized by the police rather than helped by them.”

  59. Kathy Says:

    Brutus, expulsion was a punishment because cooperation was necessary for survival. If living alone was feasible and desirable then expulsion would be a gift not a punishment. The almost certain death is in fact the fate of most humans who do not cooperate with other humans for mutual benefit.

    You seem to think that cooperation is only cooperation if there is no incentive to cooperate. Yet inherent in the concept is that you cooperate for your own benefit and others cooperate with you for their own benefit. It is inherently coercive for any who can’t make it on their own. That fact does not change the reality that humans sharing talents and group efforts are quite successful.

    Humans even in civilizations, complete with coercive hierarchical structures, cooperate with other humans for mutual benefit. The cooperation often becomes weighted to benefit the elites more than the workers, but it is still cooperation.

    Employees cooperate with employers to produce a product. The fact that the returns are unfairly distributed does not mean cooperation was not occurring.

    Cooperation: an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit; joint action.

  60. Brutus Says:

    Ah, so everything that occurs in community — in the workplace, in HG tribes, in colonial America, in Soviet gulags — is an example of cooperation, whether voluntary or coercive by virtue of either hierarchical power structures or the mere struggle to survive. That’s similar to arguing that HG culture tended to be nonhierarchical and egalitarian. Well, duh, no one within an HG communities had enough personal property or power of coercion to be nonegalitarian, so it’s a tautology. And anything that occurs within a community is also tautologically cooperation no matter how one arrives at it. Nice.

    The spark for this disagreement came from Robin Datta’s use of the phrase “community based on voluntary, non-coercive association of individuals,” which I found optimistic with respect to anarchy. What do I expect to happen when the lights go out? Not cooperation, except perhaps by a very few foresighted planners who rightly regard it as the sole means of (mutual) survival. What I really expect is several generations (at least) of dog-eat-dog competition for the remaining scraps until some sort of new social order emerges, of there is anyone left. If a few people combine their efforts on the short or long term to outcompete the loners, I suppose you could call that cooperation, but only to the degree that it enables their plundering and pillaging, much like the Mongol hordes. That’s just dogs on the hunt, cooperating as in Richard Atttenborough’s African videologs, but not Robin Datta’s version of anarchy. Big deal.

    With respect to law enforcement, I’m extremely wary of ever interacting with any of them. Chicago PD has a bad history of cops using overweening force with scant provocation and then closing ranks to protect each other.

  61. sam Says:

    weather wise…

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/02/deadly-storms-rip-through-wis-minn/

    A sudden windstorm out of the east swept through Kenosha, Wis. on June 30, 2011. Several injuries were reported in Kenosha, where winds between 70 and 80 mph downed or damaged hundreds of trees and knocked out power to some 22,000 homes and businesses by early Friday, authorities said.

    SIREN, Wis. – Residents in Minnesota and Wisconsin cleaned up Saturday from a fierce storm whose powerful winds toppled trees that killed an 11-year-old girl and injured more than three dozen people.

    The storm Friday tore roofs off buildings, blew in garages and left thousands without power. Roads in western Wisconsin were blocked Saturday by fallen trees and debris.

    &…

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isPnbwrPqtB6hBMY6fS4E7sXaWBA?docId=1153856114db400e852dd95ea7b4e200

    (AP) – 2 hours ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — About 4,000 homes in the metropolitan Phoenix area are without power — and air-conditioning — on a record-shattering day of heat in one of the nation’s hottest cities.

    Phoenix hit a high temperature of 118 degrees on Saturday, topping a 10-year-old record of 116 degrees for the date.

    The National Weather Service say clouds from monsoon activity likely kept the area from reaching 120 degrees, but they say it’s still the city’s hottest day so far this year.

    The monsoon brought wind gusts that toppled power lines and knocked out electricity to homes in Phoenix suburbs.

  62. Victor Says:

    I believe that at the beginning in the aftermath of Collapse, and IF we survive as a species, there will be widespread violence and social chaos. There will be great cruelty, but there will also be great sacrifice. There will be communities formed for mutual protection and survival, some extremely hierarchical, others run by strong alpha males.

    There will be a mix, as there has always been a mix in human society.

    In HG tribes there was a mix – some HGs were led by alpha males, some by non-hierarchic, co-operative egalitarians, some by councils of elders, some by women councils. In some tribes, who practised birth control, sometimes children were killed for the benefit of the tribe. Sometimes the elderly were abandoned. Some tribes were competitive to the extreme, others agreed on territorial divisions. Some were war-like. Some were peaceful.

    It wasn’t one kind of society or the other. It was a mix throughout the world.

    But whatever the tribal structure, a consistent thread that seems to be present in all is the principle of banishment from the tribe for grievous crimes against the community. This was the equivalent of a death sentence but was the ultimate form of punishment as it carried with it the heavy shame of rejection by the tribe, a badge of dishonour feared more than death and a shame that was then carried by the person’s extended family. I believe that in some societies the immediate family was cast out with the offender, so the man, his wife and children might be excised from the tribe.

    These either/or scenarios being thrown around are all true and they are all false – that is, one or the other never applies across the global population of HGs.

    But one thing is always true – we are a social species – we form communities for protection and survival.

  63. Kevin Moore Says:

    Brutus/Kathy.

    Many interesting points have been made, and perhaps we have been at cross purposes at times. There probably is not much too much basic isagreement. What actually happens will clearly depend on cultural norms and the degree of stress and how long the stress continues. Easter Island is a classic case of overshoot and resource stress that went on for decades. There was cannibalism because there were competing tribes on the island.

    ‘when resource scarcity threatens the group, infants were sacrificed instead of adults or older children.’

    There is a well documented case of Japanese women being trapped in a cave (I think on Saipan) with an officer being instructed to kill their babies to prevent their cries being heard and the group being discovered. They complied with the order. Humans seem to be capable of almost anything under sufficient duress, including eating rats and mice.

    I don’t know if it is a myth: in times of famine natives of the extreme north supposedly worked though the family in the order: grandmother, grandfather, youngest child, next youngest etc. …. leaving till last those most likely to survive and reproduce. It fits the Selfish Gene argument that genes will do whatever is required to ensure the survival of some gene carriers if it is not possible for all gene carriers to survive.

    It is said that during the great Chinese famine of the 1960s the unwritten agreement was ‘I eat your child, you eat mine’. However, there seems to be only one documented case of cannibalism at that time. Most people seem to have starved together (co-operatively).

    Brutus, I don’t think your example of early colonists is very useful. The early colonists were not a group in the sense that hunter-gatherers were a group. Early colonist were mostly just a collection of individuals, with few if any genetic commonalities, who came together for the first time when they got on board a ship. I recently read that 80% of the first colonists of Jamestown died of starvation in the ‘hunger time’ of 1608-9.

    In a true HG group everyone is related to everyone else a degree and can pass on common gemes through the survival of others. That was not the case for the colonists.

    All I know for certain is that things will start to return to normal once we stop extracting and using fossil fuels.

    On the other hand, in ‘The Road’ the father sacrificed himself to ensure the son had hte best opportunity to survive (unlike the mother who gave up and committed suicide.

  64. Kathy Says:

    Brutus, You confused what I was saying. I am not talking about what is nice, what is desirable, what will happen in collapse when huge stresses are on the system. I was only addressing our default mode as a species. We are animals and we in the end do what our programs are designed for when we are in our natural environs. Civilization is not our natural environs. Yet cooperation still happens because it is part of our programming. Most chickens have had broodiness (the desire to sit on eggs) bred out of them by human selection, yet it still pops up even in breeds where it is bred out. They will sit on nothing once they have laid a full clutch of eggs if you have taken away their eggs and it takes a week of confinement with a rooster and no nest box to break the program and get them to start laying again. In some birds setting is part of the male program as well, and in others not. In the case of the cowbird setting is not part of their program, slipping eggs under other birds is. And the other birds feed the cowbird chicks because they have no program to detect it. If it is in their nest, hatched by them it is THEIR chick even if it isn’t.

    My argument is merely that our cooperation as humans IS forced even for H-G’s by our programs, as wolves hunt in packs by their programs, and bears are loners by their programs. It is not a matter of free will, which I don’t believe we have, but a matter of prospering for they type of animal that we are. If you want to call it something other than cooperation because it is forced by our genes, do so. Invent a word then. But it will remain what it is, a mode of existing in groups with shared work and benefit, even if unequal at times. Any humans that survive through the bottleneck will do so by working with other humans, even humans they may hate and who may get much more out of the cooperation than they do. Obviously they will not cooperate with some other humans as the bottleneck is a description of very few surviving long enough to pass on their genes. On the other side they will live in tribes, dividing tasks to the benefit of the group. The good tracker will track, the good spears-man will kill, the good plant identifier will select edible mushrooms, and the group will carry the mother will small child until the child can contribute to and extend the life of the group.

    And the bear will continue to hunt alone.

  65. Kathy Says:

    Perhaps an example of non cooperation will help illustrate how cooperative we are

    http://www.trivia-library.com/b/american-pacifist-corbett-bishop.htm

    THE PEACE LOVERS

    CORBETT BISHOP (1906–1961)

    His Person: American bookseller and legendary pacifist absolutist. Believed that conscription was slavery and war was contradictory to Christ’s teachings. Sentenced to prison for violating the draft law during W.W.II, he refused to cooperate in any way with the authorities. Would not move, feed, or clean himself while in the government’s custody. Had to be carried in and out of court by the FBI and force-fed by his jailers. Went a total of 426 days without taking food or water voluntarily during three separate prison terms. Won his own unconditional release five months after being returned to prison for parole violations. Pursued his resistance free of personal hostility or resentment. Called “a living symbol of freedom” by a pacifist journal.

  66. The REAL Dr. House Says:

    With respect to the discussion on law enforcement, in the U.S. 9/11 changed everything. With the passage of the Patriot Act and other such “laws”, all law enforcement personnel became charged with finding the next Osama Bin Laden. After all, we all know that he’s hiding right there among us!

    I’ve known quite a few law enforcement folks over the years – most of them are decent, upstanding people with families and hobbies and bills to pay, just like the rest of us. And up until 9/11 I never had a problem with any of them.

    Two cases in point: 1) About 2004 I and a friend were walking around outside the large medical complex where I worked. He was a budding photographer and wanted to take some pictures of all the interesting shapes made by the various buildings. It was a quiet Sunday and there really wasn’t anyone around so I could see no harm in it. We were stopped by the hospital police – these were fully armed and bonafide state police – and told that we couldn’t take pictures and had to leave the premises. When I pointed out that I had every right to be there and that the buildings were public property he still insisted that we not take pictures or he would confiscate my friend’s camera. The only explanation he would give was “security reasons”.

    The second incident occurred not long after the first. A large VA hospital was situated between my house and a nice city park where I liked to walk my dog. Several city streets ran through the property. Again, it was a Sunday afternoon and I was nowhere near any patient activity as I walked my dog on a lease down the sidewalk to go to the park. I was stopped by a VA police officer and instructed to leave the premises immediately as dogs weren’t allowed on VA property. (Again, I had the proper identification that showed I worked at that hospital.) I reminded him that I was simply walking my dog down a city-owned sidewalk to the park. He responded that the sidewalk was rented by the VA and therefore under his jurisdiction. So, when I replied that I would simply walk in the street, he made it clear that he would arrest me if I did anything other than turn around immediately. If I hadn’t been afraid of what he would do to my dog if I was arrested, I would have let him do so just so that I could see him fired and charged with false arrest. I also tend not to argue with someone holding a loaded gun.

    These are minor abuses, but they enforce the idea that today’s law enforcement has changed from one of protecting the average citizen to protecting the citizen by first protecting the state. All common sense seems to have faded away if there’s a chance that a “terrorist” might be found. The airline security process is a perfect example of this. Turboguy! mentions “officer discretion” – that’s great to have that option. Blindly executing orders or laws can lead to far greater problems. But it also can lead to abuses. I know that the overwhelming majority of the personnel in these positions would never abuse their power, but the difference is that now if they do, the patriot act or some other piece of the covert police state supports them in their decision and gives them cover. In the past, they had to hide their abuses – now they can do them openly.

    Ultimately, police officers are following the rules and policies of their respective departments. Those flow from the laws passed by the legislatures. Those flow from the corporate money now funding our elections. That money flows from our pockets and our tax dollars. It’s a big cluster fuck and we’re the ones on the receiving end.

    I’m confident that we will see a continued erosion of our freedoms. Little by little, they will be chipped away until none remain. It’s inevitable. The question is, will the current budding fascist state survive long enough to become a totalitarian regime before it collapses along with the rest of civilization?

  67. Gardengate Says:

    Guy,

    Thanks again for all the help in trying to network. Glad to see Mike and Karen’s ad on your Classifieds section. Give them our best and let them know if they’re ever in our neck of the woods to come see us. So far we’ve already had five contacts from your Classifieds and have a couple coming next week to stay a couple of days with us…good job.

    David & Elaine

  68. Kathy Says:

    Dr House, well put as usual!

  69. Steven Earl Salmony Says:

    In a world ruled by spin doctors and greed-mongers science occasionally appears as a clear and present danger.

  70. Michael Irving Says:

    Robin Datta,

    Other than in theory, where in the world is, or was, anarchy working as a system for the civil conduct of large groups of people?

    Michael Irving

  71. Frank Mezek Says:

    Crude Oil Finale

    TPTB played their final card with the release of oil from the strategic reserves of the world.The key point here is that Saudi Arabia signed off
    on this deal—something they would not have done,unless they were incapable of supplying the world’s need for light,sweet crude oil.

    This is tacit acknowlegement that Saudi Arabia can no. longer meet the need
    for crude oil—and if they cannot–who will?

    Crude had a long correction from a deeply over-bought position,but this
    retreat has brought crude back to it’s long term trend lines in both the
    spot(physical) and futures market,just in time for the summer driving season.

    Demand continues apace,while supply is getting tighter and tighter.

    In other words,there is nothing now to counter the inexorable rise in
    gasoline prices.The hurricane season is upon us and it’s forecast to be
    an active one.One bad hurricane in a vulnerable location such as the US
    Gulf coast,or one Black Swan event elsewhere,and it’s Katie bar the door.

    Double D

  72. the virgin terry Says:

    Kevin, you must witness the dregs of Police Officers because I don’t personally know one that would lie in court or fabricate “Facts” in a report. -turboguy!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testilying

    it’s not hard at all to discover voluminous documented cases of police brutality and corruption. for a good angle from a former insider, and a rollicking read as well, i recommend FROM COP TO CALL GIRL by norma jean almodovar. cops and prosecutors are among the dregs of society, in my opinion. for documented instances of prosecutorial abuse, read MEAN JUSTICE by edward humes. it’s absolutely amazing the shit law enforcement officials get away with, both behind the badge and in so-called courts of law. kevin is right, and turboguy is, well, a cop! and in this argument, victor wants to have it both ways, pointing out how police are to be feared, and then basically reneging on that to agree with turboguy! when the latter came to his profession’s defense.

    ‘For one brief period right now we have citizens armed with movie cameras on their cell phones and are documenting the excessive use of force by many police.’ -kathy

    this video documents the recent arrest of a rochester ny usa woman for videotaping a cop who made a traffic stop in front of her home. she was on her own property at the time. the charge against her was subsequently dropped. of course, nothing happened to the cop for this routine abuse of ‘authority’. one good thing about collapse will be the end of police state fascism in places like the orwellian ‘land of the free’. personally, i’ll take my chances with human nature under anarchy. under ‘law and order’, cops are to be feared and avoided by anyone who values freedom and justice. in the usa, cops and prosecutors are free to do just about anything they damn please in the ‘line of duty’. perhaps that’s what’s meant by the phrase ‘land of the free’.

    ‘The vast majority of police are far libertarian.’ -turboguy!

    on what planet? here on earth, how many sheople are locked up for victimless crimes by ‘far libertarian’ cops?

    i’ve fallen behind in this discussion, so this comment is only in response to some made over 24 hours ago.

  73. Victor Says:

    Frank

    If we make it to 2015, we will by that time be in need of about 1 Saudi Arabia of daily production. 2012 is looking to be an interesting year on so many fronts.

  74. Kevin Moore Says:

    Victor.

    ‘Could’. What a damned horrible word. It normally covers probability in the range below 0.0000000001% to around 30%, above which ‘could well’ kicks in. :)

    However, I do prefer ‘could’ to ‘sustainable development’.

  75. the virgin terry Says:

    good point, kevin, re. the orwellian manor in which subtle simple terms like ‘could’ are used to mislead those who are easily misled, and those who wish to be misled to avoid difficult surrealities.

  76. the virgin terry Says:

    didn’t carefully spell check that comment, thus missed correcting the obvious confused use of ‘manor’ for ‘manner’. u will have to excuse me at times for being annoyingly lazy and stupid. at least i hope u will, especially with the likes of turboguy! to consider! don’t want to get on his bad side any more than foolish necessity demands. it pays to keep at least in the far back of one’s mind that ‘free’ speech often comes with a price!

  77. Privileged Says:

    I had a discussion with TG about the police sometime back on this site. It really kicked off a spirited “dialog.” I can understand defending your profession because I did it all the time….though the attacks were very different. I guess I’m wondering what motivates someone to become a police officer? My guess is people come into it with misconceptions like any other profession. We have our ideals and theories and they are quickly dashed by a stark reality. As a former educator I can tell you that my intention was to have my students challenge the status quo, when in fact all I was doing in some cases was reinforcing it. Intent is BS and impact is everything as I quickly found out. So my feeling is that in many cases intentions are positive but in the end the job and it’s impact are unfortunately negative on the whole, simply because the whole is killing everything in it’s path and the job is to provide the opportunity for that destruction to continue. I feel the same way about our education system.

  78. Victor Says:

    We have a tendency to rationalise our actions and those of the community (town, country, profession) we belong to. It is a difficult thing to admit that there is a dark side to everything, and that the dark side might be much more pervasive than one would desire, even within yourself. The police are no exception to that – neither are teachers, or doctors, or scientists, or whatever group you care to name.

    The only person I know to exhibit no real weakness to shameful thoughts and acts is me….. :-)

  79. Victor Says:

    Kevin

    Good point. It’s rather like implying, “keep heating the oceans through your wasteful lifestyle, and there is a small chance you might melt all the ice in the world – but only a small chance….”

  80. Robin Datta Says:

    A person’s attitudes towards others – trust and faith in others, or skepticism – is forged in one’s formative years. It persists throughout one’s life. Collectively, it is reflected in the structure of society.
    The Bomb in the Brain

  81. Victor Says:

    TVT

    No profession is ALL bad or ALL good, and that applies to the police. But I will grant you that since 9/11, the police are to be avoided at all costs. Their power to interpret events at the scene give them immense advantage when human rights violations are considered. “We thought the suspect was armed.” “We thought he was going for a gun.” “He was resisting arrest” “It sounded like there was a crime in progress behind that door.”

    When people of a society begin feeling this way about their police, something has gone terribly wrong. It is a mathematical certainty that if an event becomes more commonly observed over time in random places, that there is a strong chance that its actual occurrence is far more pervasive across the population than a collection of isolated events. In recent years more and more cases of police abuse have been popping up all over the country – really all over the world. This is a pretty strong indicator in my mind of something going seriously wrong with the system. And you are correct, VT, the prosecutors are right in the thick of a thoroughly corrupted system that favours the rich over the poor, the privileged over the powerless, the haves or the have-nots.

    I know a man, an alcoholic, broke into a convenience food shop to get some food. The police found him on the floor next to the fridge eating a sandwich and thoroughly drunk. The “justice” system sent him to prison for 5 years.

    If he were rich that never would have been permitted in the system.

    Indeed, if he were rich, he could have stolen the economic life of his country, sucked the wealth out of the middle class, and be permitted to abuse those debtors he swindled.

    The rich are favoured more and more each year. The justice system is at the core of that criminal permissiveness.

  82. Robin Datta Says:

    Other than in theory, where in the world is, or was, anarchy working as a system for the civil conduct of large groups of people?

    It is working right here and right now:
    Everyday Anarchy

  83. Victor Says:

    Russian anarchists start war against rich people’s property

    http://rt.com/politics/start-war-rich-property/

    We are going to see this more and more. The rich are bringing it upon themselves through their senseless and selfish greed. Their homes and property will become the targets of vandalism and arson, their children kidnapped, and they will more and more have to hire the services of folks like TG! to protect them and their children. At some point their neighbourhoods will become subject to flash mobs who will over-run the security forces. People will begin tracking them, learning their habits, where they live and work, and causing trouble for them.

    You will have more organised and guerilla movements similar to Deep Green Resistance, coalitions of organisations working together through both violent and non-violent means to achieve their ends.

    When society breaks down through the rich’s greed and immorality, and as peak oil does its job, everyone will be threatened, even the rich. And I can’t honestly say that I have any compassion for them at all, as it was they who foisted the greedy, infinite-growth economy upon the world, made certain society was addicted to consumer goods, and promoted the destruction of the environment, over-population by employing fossil fuels to drive agriculture, and international social upheaval through their endless wars for resources.

    TurboGuy says these folks deserve protection as well as the common guy. It is a statement of the times we live in that I have to disagree.

  84. Robin Datta Says:

    Russian anarchists start war

    They are NOT anarchists. They are resorting to force, to coerce others. This makes them oligarchists.

  85. Victor Says:

    Robin

    Not the point of the article.

  86. Victor Says:

    Japanese Researchers Announce They Just Found The Mother Lode Of Rare Earth Metals In The Pacific Ocean

    http://www.businessinsider.com/gigantic-rare-earth-deposit-found-in-the-pacific-2011-7

    Quote:
    Extracting the deposits requires pumping up portions of the ocean floor. The rare-earth metals can be separated out in several hours. But carrying out such operations in international waters requires the approval of the International Seabed Authority, established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    The Japanese research team will apply to the authority to have the areas certified for mining. If approval is granted, they would be divvied up for development by different countries.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/gigantic-rare-earth-deposit-found-in-the-pacific-2011-7#ixzz1R7bcRNz0

    The French Polynesian Islands and Hawaii apparently have the centre of attention right now. More exploitation of the natural system coming our way, it seems.

  87. Nicole Says:

    The veneer of the “Everything is fine, just a little hiccup in business as usual” economic picture is starting to wear thin. Patches of honesty from some in positions of power can be heard percolating through the media if not every day then at least once a week. On 1st July, McKibben, a director of Reserve Bank of Australia said “the global economy is facing ‘a slow-motion train wreck’ with Greece only the first nation to be hit”. Later in the same speech he says, “Australia needed a sovereign wealth fund to store mining income while it lasted, ideally stored in a separate account for each taxpayer so the government could not raid it”. Is he actually suggesting that our government is not trustworthy?

    Full article can be found at http://www.businessday.com.au/business/global-train-wreck-coming-20110630-1gszi.html

  88. goritsas Says:

    Victor,

    “No profession is ALL bad or ALL good …”

    How moronic. Nuclear weapons designers? Partly good? What a load of crap. Nothing good whatsoever about a dude (or dudette) involved in that. Sorry, but you’re wrong, without equivocation. There are some professions, say WMD designers and developers, that are all bad, pure bad, and whose practitioners this world would be far better off without. I’m sure other posters here can come up with a multitude of others. For my purposes, one is more than enough.

  89. goritsas Says:

    Victor Says:

    “Robin

    “Not the point of the article.”

    Then what was the point of the article? Why label them as anarchists when, as Robin makes perfectly clear, they’re not actually anarchists?

  90. goritsas Says:

    The REAL Dr. House Says:

    “With respect to the discussion on law enforcement, in the U.S. 9/11 changed everything.”

    I wouldn’t agree with that at all. I think it began quite some time back, at least by 1980. I believe Ronald Reagan’s election was a manifestation of this tendency. It was clearly celebrated in the popular television programme “S.W.A.T.” The para-militarisation of “law enforcement” in the U.S. has been underway for decades. The WOT simply provided the rationale for expansion into new domains. Various forms of surveillance; expanded arrest and detention powers; reduced access to judicial review, and so on. This progression of increased police intervention in daily life with the concomitant destruction of civil freedoms under the various acts that make legal what was once illegal seems to be an unstoppable process. Woe is us.

  91. The REAL Dr. House Says:

    @Victor: And I can’t honestly say that I have any compassion for them at all, as it was they who foisted the greedy . . .

    For the most part I agree with the things you say, but I have to take exception with you on that statement. It is so easy to blame one group of people for all the ills of our world – particularly when it’s a group to which one doesn’t belong (presumably). But that’s a cop-out. All of us have contributed in our own way to furthering the madness known as industrial society. No one alive today is responsible for starting it, but each of has bought in to it at some point – at least a little bit. Those who haven’t aren’t on this blog because they don’t have a computer or even electricity. The only ones who are truly blameless are those who have renounced the modern world and are living simply off the land with zero carbon footprint.

    Even if one is doing as much as what he or she can to lessen the impact on the earth by growing their own food, riding a bike instead of driving a car, etc., but still using electricity, buying things in a modern store, or any of the other things that we do without thinking, then that person is still partly responsible for what’s happening in the world and must assume part of the blame for continuing the industrial economy.

    While I do agree that the “rich” are causing much more harm to the world than other groups and that their blatant displays of wealth such as mega-yachts, huge mansions, etc. are only serving to make them excellent targets when collapse is complete, I think it’s irresponsible of all us not to accept our own part in this mess.

    It might be easy to assume that “they” could use their vast resources to change things. But, I say that they can’t get off this merry-go-round any easier than anyone else. I certainly have more resources than my employees, and while I try to make choices that help all of us live better lives, if I want to keep having employees, then I must continue to buy into the system that’s destroying our planet. It’s madness but the other choice is to fire all my people, declare bankruptcy, and be homeless with no way of feeding myself or my family – possibly causing my employees to wind up in the same situation. Not a good choice in good times – certainly not a good one now.

    Why would it be any easier for the wealthy to change the world than it would be for say the middle class or the poor? The wealthy are where they are because the other classes agree to allow them to be wealthy by making purchases in their stores, watching their movies, smoking their cigarettes, buying their medicines, using their online search services, etc. Yes, the wealthy have worked to make the system work in their favor, but that doesn’t change the answer to my question.

    The other point that I would make is that “rich” is a relative term. Almost everyone in the U.S. is considered rich when compared to the average person in the slums of Haiti or Ethiopia. I’m sure that there are those who consider me to be rich. But from my perspective, I am definitely NOT rich! :-)

  92. Victor Says:

    goritsas: Nuclear weapons designers?

    I perhaps overstated a bit… :-)

    Didn’t intend to emotionally upset you so. I’ll try better next time.

  93. Victor Says:

    Then what was the point of the article?

    goritsas

    Anarchy has several definitions. The one that Robin adheres to is not considered the only one. As an example, the Oxford English Dictionary has the following definitions listed:

    1) a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of government or other controlling systems.
    2) a society or political system founded on the principles of anarchism

    And its thesaurus has the following listed as synonyms and antonyms:

    anarchy noun lawlessness, nihilism, mobocracy, revolution, insurrection, disorder, chaos, tumult, turmoil.

    -OPPOSITES government, order

    There is a big difference between “anarchy” as usually defined and used in the vernacular and which is defined above, and “anarchism” which is the belief system to which Robin ascribes which represents his (and others) beliefs as to what anarchism represents.

    The article is addressing anarchy, not anarchism. If you and Robin wish to disagree with the Oxford Dictionary, that’s fine, and certainly you can contact them and express your grievances, but until they change their definition of anarchy, that’s what I am going with.

  94. Victor Says:

    Dr. House

    Point taken. It IS easy to point fingers, and we each do have some degree of blame for where we are. I suppose my point (though poorly expressed) was that the rich have exploited generally held human weakness, the weakness that encourages us to buy into the greed machine and support it. It is they who using their wealth, and the power it brings to them, to set up the system.

    And you are so right – they are just as much caught up in the machinations as all us, just as much prisoners of the system, perhaps even more so than us.

    I stand corrected. Thanks for those good points.

  95. goritsas Says:

    Victor Says:

    “Didn’t intend to emotionally upset you so. I’ll try better next time.”

    That was one of the nicest pieces of deflection I’ve seen for a while. You admit to being wrong, almost, then blame me for it. As they say in the land of Blighty, you’re a wanker. Having said that, please, please, craic on. It’s lovely to witness.

  96. Victor Says:

    I wouldn’t agree with that at all. I think it began quite some time back, at least by 1980.

    Would have to essentially agree with statement. The move towards a police state happened much earlier than even Reagan, perhaps around the Eisenhower years following WWII and the rise of the military/industrial complex.

    But it was definitely accelerated after 9/11.

  97. Victor Says:

    goritsas

    Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?

    OK, I was wrong. In trying to make one point, I made a false and sweeping generalisation. My apologies for that.

  98. Robin Datta Says:

    but until they change their definition of anarchy, that’s what I am going with.

    “They” are not anarchists: they wittingly or unwittingly subscribe to the initiation of force against peaceful non-compliers.

  99. Victor Says:

    Robin

    That is your opinion, and I respect that. But it is not precisely the definition of anarchist, which may or may not imply violence. Also, see Oxford’s definition of anarchist and its related antonyms:

    anarchist noun nihilist, insurgent, agitator, subversive, terrorist, revolutionary, revolutionist, insurrectionist

    Again, your argument is with a dictionary, not me.