Seeking refuge and reason in a world gone mad when “Just Following Orders” is akin to: “Heil Corporatocracy!”

by Sandra Long

Originally, this essay was intended to be a cozy, feel-good list of suggested activities to help make spending time with disparate individuals within our communities more mutually beneficial, satisfying, and productive. Indeed, the word “community” is rooted in the Latin words “munus” (the gift) and cum (together, among each other). Many peoples’ lives are already saturated with social contact. These associations are often surprisingly specialized. The bulk of your social network, for example, might consist of people with whom you have just one or two primary activities in common. Thus, technology powered by fossil fuels has allowed us the luxury of being finicky consumers of “specialized friendships.” I suspect generalized friends will make a comeback in the days ahead, so don’t burn your neighbors’ bridges.

Hitler was responsible for the deaths of perhaps 20 million people. What the heck does that have to do with community? Well, if history repeated itself today, and millions of lives were in jeopardy because of one misguided sociopathic idealist, everyone would hop online to sign the petition, and some would probably get creative and boycott his brand of cologne or sneakers, and make countless memes to get the whole world laughing in anger. But who would actually stop him? My first thought was that our tax dollar supported military or police force would protect us. But what if they were the ones carrying out the orders of mayhem? I don’t like to incur stupid or unnecessary personal risks any more than the next person; we value our own lives and security more than our neighbors — I’d say that is one of the big ugly truths that most people have in common. And the further from sight, the easier the suffering is to ignore.

Whether you’re a soldier, police officer, barista, or paper pusher, I can totally see how easy it would be to just carry out your duties and go home at the end of a hard day, pop in a movie, cozy up to a good book, and just be grateful for the good things that remain in your life. When you do not feel responsible for your actions this is surprisingly easy to do. Besides, if you quit, you’d be replaced within the week, no? So why not get the consumer rewards, and leave the guilty conscience to those giving the orders. It makes sense in a way, but it takes massive cooperation from individuals just like me and you to amass that kind of body count, and this remains true today, while technology has distanced us still further from our feelings of social responsibility.

The Corporatocracy, by externalizing the true costs of profit, has silently waged a War on Life — and they are winning. How do you fight a system that is Anti-Life? A system that does the hiring, the firing, the downsizing, tax collection, bailouts, and makes the rules that selectively address or choose to ignore the most relevant issues of our time. Hitler was like a fat bug, relatively speaking, he was easy to squash. But the enemy we face today is more like a river full of swimming salmon bombs. While the bombs are far more destructive than the bug, if you don’t recognize the inherent risks, you might just see an abundance of dinner and business opportunities within easy reach. We have built our societies on this river of risk. The slow ticking lulls us from cradle to grave into complacency with assumptions of safety, benevolence, and entitlements.

For more than 2 million years, humans lived on a durable pro-life planet. In the last few hundred years, the Earth has been mutilated into an anti-life Corporatocracy, a monocultural wasteland of unsustainability. The “too big to fail” governments and corporations of our time have taught us that money is a prerequisite to resources needed for survival. Every fertile corner, every fish and stream has been labeled a resource to be bought, sold, and defended from destitute trespassers. Animals are also considered resources, with the exception of a few humans.

Most humans, too, are resources, but a few are not. There is a hierarchical distinction in our valuation of human resources. Technically, the top 1% is not classified into the category of “resource” but rather privileged resource consumers. Their sacred paper entitles them to consume and weld power over all other resources on the planet, regardless of their physical and emotional aptitude or any prerequisite for sanity. They are rewarded for this privilege with our envy.

Meanwhile, you or someone you know could match another description: young, healthy, lively and bright, eager to learn, unwilling to fight, and very likely unemployed and strapped with school loans and consumer debt. This person is less than worthless; because “potential” does not buy food at the grocery store. Your 90-year-old comatose uncle might be worth many thousands of dollars a month in life support. But are we bitter? Yes, because living in harmony is not considered a valid life option. It says that we should take our place and that any old job is better than being worthless. It says that money gives you entitlement, the notion that freedom isn’t free, and our planet is just another resource waiting to be consumed by the humans with the most paper power.

So what is our biological value? What would be fair if there was such a thing as human equality? More than 3 billion people, roughly half the “wise” apes, are living on less than $2 each day. There are roughly 1,000 billionaires in the U.S., and 10 million millionaires. But as pointed out on Wikipedia, “It is common to limit questions of the world economy exclusively to human economic activity.”

Greed, like corruption, runs deep. Economic equality for 7 billion people by one estimate might tally roughly $8 each day. I think growing our own food, relying on community, borrowing things, and participating in a gift economy actually sounds like an improvement. It would be great for those of us who value our time more than the Corporatocracy says our time is worth. I have a dream that one day we will stop valuing one another according to our capacities to consume, and will begin a new Pro-Life Era. People who are benevolent enough not to reproduce themselves ought to be held in the highest regards, and if there are still hot showers in the future, these are the people who deserve them. The rest could do with a few more cold showers.

The enemy of these goals are numerous, but include those who profit from or contribute to ecosystem destruction, cutting corners, species extinction, perceived obsolescence, green house gases, overpopulation, factory farming, and consumerism, and pretty much everyone. We should just socialize the blame and get it over with. After all, the Corporatocracy is never going to take responsibility for giving us the orders to consume and pollute our planet. We come from a long line of bills, taxes, shopping, and inequality. While we weren’t personally asked if we thought it to be a good idea to gas, rape, mutilate, and otherwise exterminate life on this planet, chances are good we watched a few of the commercials selling the end products, and see that our homes are littered with the skeletal remains. Surely we deserve a little leeway, no? In court, ignorance of your actions only sets you free if you have a really good lawyer (yay for paper power!) or an extremely low IQ, and then only sometimes. Low IQ is of limited consolation for victims, particularly when those victims are now gone.

Many people long to escape the rat race. Who wouldn’t love to spend more time with their favorite people, or doing something that actually felt meaningful? Imagine if growing a garden, or reading a book was considered at least as valuable as earning a small paycheck at a fast food restaurant. These activities are far less destructive than the current model. The efforts of our lives would be far more satisfying without the thin veneer of coerced civility spurred by financial dependency. It would be more valuable to support each other with what we know and what we grow.

Without fossil fuels, following orders and being a corporate drone is no longer a valid life option. We need air, food, water, community. We do not need a “job” to defend the worth of our existence.

Building community and helping victims of the Corporatocracy is not for the faint of heart. Moving against the dominant paradigm is a dangerous task. Following orders and using your consumer power to make personal preparations while nature takes its course is probably the most common reaction to an insane situation. When Hitler was in full power, relatively few were willing to incur tremendous personal risks to help others. Those people did so primarily out of emotional attachment or a strong sense of morality. Resistance is not easy. From birth we are raised to obey our parents, police officers, teachers-pretty much everyone in an authority position. Our shared hierarchical worldviews ensure it will be emotionally and socially painful to resist those who are viewed by society as having legitimate power over us.

With Hitler, fortunately other nationalities didn’t buy into the notion that they needed to become Aryans to be of value. Unfortunately, in the Corporatocracy, that is exactly what has happened. If people can’t join the ranks of the wealthy through their own exploitative means, the dream is kept alive through the casinos, lotteries, inheritance, and pure dumb hope. Everyone wants to be a consumer: an organism that preys on other organisms. These tendencies are not particularly conducive to community building.

In anthropologist Colin Turnbull’s book The Mountain People, the focus of individuals within the tribe has become acquisition of food, to the extent community loses all meaning. Old people are cast off and left to starve, then young children are left behind. Breeding-aged pairs represented the strongest combination, however, even partners turned against one another when times were hard. As Pfeffer and Salancik note in The External Control of Organizations, “the key to organizational survival is the ability to acquire and maintain resources.” This means growing carrots and sharing the seeds, instead of competing for carrots and hiding the seeds.
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Sandra Long is a well-traveled psychology major currently attending the University of Arizona, where she is pursuing a thematic minor in quality of life planning. She is a toad-loving, harmony-seeking, herbal-tea-drinking observer of humanity who aspires to live near a hot spring, and grow her own carrots.
_______________

Guy will be visiting Michigan, again, in February 2012. I’m scheduled to speak in Traverse City on 11 February, and I’d like to spend the subsequent two weeks speaking and consulting for the usual fee (i.e., room, board, and transportation). Please let me know if you’d like to host my visit.

Comments 128

  • A very insightful post, thank you, Sandra Long.

    The current system, from top to bottom, is based on an unsustainable paradigm, and will therefore come to an end. As you suggest, it is prudent to step out of it to the extent possible before one is left bare when it ends.

  • Wow. This one hit me right between the eyes. I’m sitting here many thousands of miles away from my home, on a business trip during the holiday season, in a country where Americans are under great suspicion this week for allegedly encouraging political demonstrations, wondering why I am doing all this for a multi-national corporation to which I have given 40+ years of my life and which seemingly has less and less regard for my well-being each year. Time to do some serious thinking and making life-changing decisions, I think. Thanks for validating my mood and assuring me that I am not just in a pity-party mood.

  • Sorry this is off topic, but…….

    Victor,

    In an update to my previous note as the end of Guys last post, I just read that Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont, has offered a Constitutional Amendment today that would strike down corporate personhood. Of course he supports OWS. Who will listen?

    Michael Irving

  • The latest Financial Sense Newshour podcast revealing some of the workings at the heart of the Corporatocracy:

    K Street Documentary: The Best Government Money Can Buy?

  • Thanks for being open to new insight, Cathy!

    There is life outside the cube farm. Been there, done that, much happier on just 10% of the income!

  • http://sg.news.yahoo.com/photos/united-nations-security-personnel-escorts-u-youth-delegate-photo-120723733.html

    ‘Muzzling’ Abigail Borah and children everywhere when they speak truth to power cannot be allowed to stand. And yet it does stand. Perhaps change, change that allows the children to speak out and protect their birthright, will come to pass before it is too late for the human community to undo the desecration and damage that has been done by their greedmongering elders to their earthly home, the planetary home foolhardy elders are borrowing/stealing from them.

  • Sandra

    Thank you for your insights – excellent essay. I would remark, however, that as evil as Hitler was, he is a little girl dancing in a tutu compared to the international financial services cartel centred in New York and London. This is a true beast from hell that enslaves, tortures and kills people and their hopes on a global basis. Hitler would have prostrated himself in humility and admiration before them.

  • Who will listen?

    Michael Irving

    Firstly, I am impressed that you actually take the trouble to read prior posts and compare. Encourages me to be more consistent in what I say…. 😉

    Who will listen? Well, the choir, of course! The choir being the 99%. But the people who today actually count, who hold all the power and have all the money will not likely allow Bernie’s amendment to proceed. Congress, which is composed of very rich and powerful folks in their own right and who have deep connections to big business in their respective states, will in the end not bite the hand that feeds them.

    Enjoy the preaching. Just don’t get your hopes up that Bernie will succeed. The only way he could succeed is for a wall of American humanity to rise as one in anger screaming, “Enough is enough!”, and marching on Washington with pitchforks and torches. Millions of people in the streets looking for blood and satisfaction is a force nothing can stop, not even TurboGuy and his military cohort.

  • Victor, off topic
    Are you getting any of the bad weather hitting the north of the UK?

    http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16125967
    A fierce storm with winds of up to 165mph has battered northern parts of Britain, with people warned to stay indoors, schools forced to close and flights and rail links cancelled.

    Localised flooding has also caused major disruptions on roads – and more than 30,000 homes have been left without power.
    In North Yorkshire, a RAF helicopter plucked a couple to safety after their car was swept away in floodwaters near Aysgarth. They were flown to hospital with suspected hypothermia.
    A third person was also rescued from his car in a separate incident near the village of Gunnerside.
    Police have advised against all travel until at least 2am Friday, when winds are expected to ease.
    The Met Office earlier issued its strongest warning – a red alert – for winds in Scotland and warned parts of England and Wales to “be aware”, as temperatures were expected to drop and snowfall was predicted as far south as Birmingham.
    It said the Highland observing station at Glen Ogle reported a gust of 104mph at 11am. The Met Office later tweeted that a gust at the Aonach Mor ski area peaked at 137mph.

  • Kathy

    Yep…..though not around me, fortunately….lots of rain and winds yesterday eve but bright, calm and sunny right now….perfect December day!

  • superficial allegiance to their own districts or states

    Like votes and voters?…. 🙂 Every 4 or 6 years – “I have to deal with THEM again??”

  • Like votes and voters?….  Every 4 or 6 years – “I have to deal with THEM again??”

    Yes, indeed, quite superficial, as is explained in the podcast. 

  • Sorry. Those who “Followed Orders” will probably survive, like most drones in former communist countries and South America.

    History shows that the edge is always with those who issue the orders, and those who protect them.

  • @The only way he could succeed is for a wall of American humanity to rise as one in anger screaming, “Enough is enough!”, and marching on Washington with pitchforks and torches. Millions of people in the streets looking for blood and satisfaction is a force nothing can stop, not even TurboGuy and his military cohort.

    Victor. Have you ever heard about scalar weapons?

    A giant tsunami will develop in the Gulf of Chesapeake and swamp them, while the high and mighty (except for a few of them to show that ‘they also suffered’) would be far and away already.

  • Sandra Long,

    I appreciated, but did not like, your essay. I appreciated it, in the sense I appreciate the skill of my dentist, but that is not to say I like having him demonstrate his skills in my mouth.

    Among other things you said:
    “Building community and helping victims of the Corporatocracy is not for the faint of heart… Resistance is not easy… Our shared hierarchical worldviews ensure it will be emotionally and socially painful to resist those who are viewed by society as having legitimate power over us… Everyone wants to be a consumer… our homes are littered with the skeletal remains. These tendencies are not particularly conducive to community building…”

    Your parallel between the lack or resistance by non-Jewish Germans under the Nazis with all of us “consumers” was discomforting. I watched the movie “The Power of One” last night (based on the novel by Bryce Courtney) and it reminded me that complicity by white Afrikaners with apartheid could also have been used as an example to illustrate your point. Those of us (me included) who bemoan the destruction of our planet while continuing to drive our cars every day are as guilty of cowardice as were the “good Germans” who refused to resists the Nazis or the white South Africans who did little to oppose apartheid.

    How’s that for socializing guilt?

    Michael Irving

  • @Michael Irving:

    >Those of us (me included) who bemoan the destruction of our planet while continuing to drive our cars every day are as guilty of cowardice as were the “good Germans” who refused to resists the Nazis or the white South Africans who did little to oppose apartheid.

    Why would they oppose it if the alternative is loss of their power?

    It’s like someone asking to commit suicide.

    The Germans chose Hitler because the latter kept the standard of living up to what they had before the 20s Inflation and the depression. They blindly supported him until very late 1944, when worsening war conditions finally began to affect ethnic Germans.

  • But where ARE the rebels? Who is occupying a bioregion and not paying taxes, not using money, protecting the surrounding ecosystem, and living off what the land can provide? Anything less and you are contributing to the ongoing destruction. Pretty much the only people who fit that description are indigenous tribes who are most likely under assault and in extreme danger of being dispossessed so the corporate/government forces can finish destroying the last remaining wild lands for profit.

    In the USA, you will be arrested or shot if you attempt to live like an indigenous person. Just ask the Native Americans. The only successful dropouts are the dumpster divers who live off the refuse of this wasteful country. Not exactly a model for everyone to follow.

    Sandra’s essay hit’s the nail on the head in so many ways. But in the end it just leads me back to the same conclusion – the only thing we can really do is to wait for the inevitable collapse and then try to make the best of what remains. It would be great if Derrick Jensen and the Deep Green Resistance could pull the legs out from under the System, but I’m not convinced there are many people who would join that fight.

    —-

    PS – I think it’s time for a new devil. Hitler is getting pretty worn out. He was responsible for one of the most evil acts in history, but really, he wasn’t that much more evil than any government leader. He just took it farther than most.

  • Jaime Lopez,

    Exactly so, and I think that is Sandra’s point, both about the Germans and about us. They, the Germans, went along with anything Hitler did because he found a way to lift Germany out of the Depression. In other words, as long as their personal situation improved they were willing to look the other way. As Sandra points out, that is exactly what is happening in the modern first world. Looking at how the one percent keeps the rest of us in line is like looking into a time machine focused on the Roman bread and circuses. She further points out that resistance (or action in opposition) is really hard.

    Your comment (“Why would they oppose it if the alternative is loss of their power?
    It’s like someone asking to commit suicide.”) also speaks to just how difficult resistance is. Resisting the Corporatocracy here in America is not unlike a kind of suicide. As we see from Guy’s example, abandoning the norms of the middle class lifestyle (the good life depicted by the Corporatocracy’s propaganda) results in loss of money, status, employment, community, and relationships. Deciding to offer up that kind of resistance is to take a fearsome leap into the unknown. Not many are willing to make such a jump.

    So, does it require as much courage to resist the current Corporatocracy as a German needed to hide a Jewish family from the Nazis? Maybe not, but I submit that it requires the same kind of courage to make that decision.

    Michael Irving

  • Gingrich Calls For ‘Joint Operations’ With Israel To Attack Iran’s Nuclear Program
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29928.htm
    WWIII for sure if we elect Gingrich

  • Evolution Securities Warns Of “Total Carnage And Meltdown” As European Bank Sales Of CDS On European Sovereign Debt Soar
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/evolution-warns-total-carnage-and-meltdown-european-bank-sales-cds-european-sovereign-debt-soar
    While I don’t understand all the details this part I get
    At this point we would like to request a moment of silence for Europe (and thus America, which will promptly implode without its transatlantic counterpart) because it is now inevitable that AIG’s fate will be shared by Europe when (not if) global central banks finally lose control of European rates, which in turn will collapse.

    And once again, lest we be accused of hyperbole, here is Bloomberg, citing the head of fixed income at Evolution Securities

    “Some of this is trading rather than pure hedging,” said Gary Jenkins, head of fixed income at Evolution Securities Ltd. in London. “If European counties the size of France or Italy actually defaulted and triggered CDS, there would be total carnage and meltdown. It would be the end of the world, and at that stage it’s likely your counterparty would be the least of your worries.”

    At which point Tyler Durden suggests reading T. S. Elliot
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    But listening to Newt at the link above I think it could well end with a bang

    Guy’s prediction about lights out in 2012, literal lights out, looks more and more likely to be correct, in which case worrying about whether we are part of the problem because of our lifestyle will be the least of our worries, because lifestyle will become meaningless. We are heading into a future, perhaps quite soon, in which simply getting water and a meal will occupy our every minute, except when we are dodging bullets. IMHO that is. Oh forget the humble, IMO.

  • And then there is Pakistan/india

    Every now and again, one reads an editorial that stops the reader in his tracks.

    On 8 December, with the headline “War Inevitable To Tackle Indian Water Aggression,” Pakistan’s Urdu-language Nawa-e Waqt, issued such a screed.

    Nawa-e Waqt bluntly commented on India’s Kashmiri water polices and Islamabad’s failure up to now to stop New Delhi’s efforts to construct hydroelectric dams in Kashmir, “India should be forcibly prevented from constructing these dams. If it fails to constrain itself, we should not hesitate in launching nuclear war because there is no solution except this.”
    rest at http://oilprice.com/Geo-Politics/International/Pakistani-Editorial-Says-Nuclear-War-with-India-Inevitable-as-Water-Dispute-Continues.html

  • Victor said: “The only way he could succeed is for a wall of American humanity to rise as one in anger screaming, “Enough is enough!”, and marching on Washington with pitchforks and torches. Millions of people in the streets looking for blood and satisfaction is a force nothing can stop, not even TurboGuy and his military cohort.”

    ROFL! Are you going to lead that charge?

    Thanks for re-mentioning me Victor! I’ve been busy subjugating and oppressing. I’m sure you understand. 😉 We removed a particularly disgusting blight a few days ago. I did enjoy them howling about the First Amendment as if it somehow allows you to take up residence in a public space (Behind the Hennepin County Government Center which isn’t where they should be, I’d expect them to be at the Federal Reserve, but then again, I understand where the monetary policy is screwed up/made) and monopolize it as a squatter haven. Whatever, tents are gone, TB treated, Scabies and lice are probably still with them. Good riddance! They left nearly ten tons of shit laying everywhere and made the area look like a garbage dump while they were squatting. A few of them were still out there, but it’s going to hit -1 or so tonight. Weather solves OWS.

    I find it pretty ironic that you’re all kinds of happy to nasty talk me when I’ve been in and around the OWS crowd, getting to know them and their hilarious demands and political positions far more and longer than anyone other than the protesters, probably anyone here.

    I’m astounded that you keep referring to them as the 99% as if they somehow represent anything even remotely above 10%, much less 5%! I suppose that during the Revolutionary war it was only a paltry 15% revolting and look at what we got when we removed the yoke of European oppressive rule.

    That said, the OWS game is little more than a media movement anyway and getting violent would be a massive mistake as there’s still that nasty 40% or so that is armed and heartily disagrees with most of what OWS espouses, and the OWS crowd… well… aren’t. Get violent and they’ll vaporize any semblance of public support they claim to have, and will galvanize the rest of the U.S. public into absolute violent action against them.

    Now that the media’s all but given up on the OWS crowd, they’re simply not drawing the headlines anymore, the movement is pretty much dying if not already dead. They’re trying more and more stupid stunts trying to remain relevant, (Ooooohh! They shut down an episode of CSI! That’ll show the military/industrial complex! Grrrr!) but it’s over. Now’s the time they’re the most dangerous as they too are reading the writing on the wall. If you’re going to be around there, be careful. TB/Bedbugs/Scabies etc is pretty rampant, and the protesters are getting desperate. Permethrin your clothes before going down there will prevent most of that.

    I do have to point out that were the OWS people to get their wish in some alternate universe, they’d be the very second to get killed. Once you install a new power, that power can’t allow a bunch of revolutionaries to be in residence. Bad for keeping power. It’d be no different than what happened in Egypt and now we’re seeing it in Libya. Sharia Law is all kinds of fun, especially for women.

    Anyways, my fun with you aside, and I *REALLY* do have fun stirring you up, (Kathy and Princess too), I did want to point out an email I got from the Oathkeepers. Apparently our benevolent government has decided that anyone who might be storing food (Which includes me) is a terrorist. They’ve sent agents to some of the Mormon markets where people buy bulk, long term keepable food searching for customer lists. Reason: Unknown. But I’m sure they’re not doing anything good with it. They’re with the Federal Government and they’re here to help…

    http://www.oathkeepers.org

    It’s the current top story, though that will probably change.

    In particular Guy should give thought to whether or not he’s bought from a Mormon market as they’re looking to find out who’s got food stored up, and the Mormon markets are a fantastic place to whip up some SHTF supplies.

    Also I might not be “The Man” much longer if everything works out as I hope it does. I might have a new job. Better pay, no vest, no domestic abusers, and no more uncomfortable uniform.

  • Kathy said: Gingrich Calls For ‘Joint Operations’ With Israel To Attack Iran’s Nuclear Program
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29928.htm
    WWIII for sure if we elect Gingrich

    Derp?

    Care to explain that one?

    No, seriously, I would love to know what mental process deduced that preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weaponry would cause WWIII.

    And the Russians are actively stoking tensions in the area. They want a war to kick off there.

    Ten internets if you can figure out why.

    I’ll give you a hint: It’s something that Russia’s the second largest exporter of…

  • ‘History shows that the edge is always with those who issue the orders, and those who protect them.’ jaime lopez

    perhaps so, jaime, but history’s about to change. it will be demonstrated emphatically that those who issue orders, and those who protect these ‘authorities’, were insane. they are responsible for collapse, for desecrating and destroying gaia in the pursuit of what? temporal wealth and power? they are also responsible for making and enforcing laws which desecrate and destroy freedom (not so much their own, since they are generally ‘above the law’) for what? to enforce public ‘morality’? to get off on the drug of power, the power to compel others to live a certain way just to let them know who’s boss?

    it’s this desire to align oneself with power, the ‘establishment’, above all other considerations, that’s surreally disturbing, a contributing factor to how civilized industrialized sheople en masse are rushing over a cliff to economic/ecological collapse and possible extinction of humans along with most other species. lemmings, focused exclusively on attaining social status, blind to where the herd is heading.

  • I’ve been busy subjugating and oppressing.

    It does not require being busy. Most of the time, the threat alone is effective. They have the concurrence of the sheeple, because of the sheeple’s aversion to change. The sheeple’s aversion stems from their perception that the human livestock farmers’ actions are rooted in the farmers’ desire for the prosperity of the sheeple. 

    The concurrence acts as a force multiplier, but when the perception fades, it takes the concurrence with it: sheeple begin to see the people like TurboGuy for what they  really are: the electric cattle prods of the farmers. 

  • Turboguy, thanks for the humor. Always appreciate when you return with your fantastic jokes. You are just too funny.

  • OWS is only the first stirrings of a wider reaction to economic, political, and social collapse as we all ride the downslope of Hubbert’s Peak.

    We ain’t seen nothing yet. 2012 is going to be bloody.

  • TurboGuy….

    Well, I think you are right. The scum is being cleaned out of the parks and off the walks. The sanitation crews are busy cleaning up the remaining roaches, lice, bedbugs and rats left behind by the rabble. Peace is returning. All the cops have smiles on their faces – like satisfied pigs after a lustful meal (pigs DO smile, you know). It must feel nice after a successful day’s work. And you are correct – the media is turning to other more important issues than those of the 99%. All is returning to normal. Life in 1% land is good – really, really good.

    So you are in line for a new job? Congratulations! No longer uniformed, eh? Good work. What is it? Running the recently activated FEMA camps to get ready for the coming rampage of the masses? Or perhaps something closer to Janet Napolitano – like, perhaps, heading up a new division of TSA, The Strip Search Unit. They have had such success with 85 years of age grandmothers, people in wheelchairs and 5 year olds, they just couldn’t resist forming a whole new organisation to handle it. Or I suppose you could work in one of the modern torture hellholes run by the CIA in Romania and other friendly countries. Or if you are good with a weapon, you could be one of Obama’s assassins (I don’t think they have to wear uniforms). I guess there are just huge numbers of opportunities for someone with your skills!

    No, seriously, I would love to know what mental process deduced that preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weaponry would cause WWIII.

    Iran is developing nuclear weapons?? And where is the proof for that please? Perhaps they put it in the same place put the proof of Iraq’s nukes. I have yet to be presented ANY proof for that statement. And yet the US/UK/Israel are about to go to war over it – no doubt to protect us all. And if you think Iran is helpless and would not retaliate in the most devious and heinous ways throughout the world, you do not know Iranian history or what they are capable of – the US and its minions play poker, a game based on lies and deceit. Iran plays chess, a game of strategy and patience. Do not underestimate their capabilities – they are not Iraq, or Libya or any of the other weak countries they have destroyed. And they have very powerful friends who are not about to sit aside and let the Evil Empire have its way. Which takes us to Kathy’s remark, which was spot on – WWIII.

    And the Russians are actively stoking tensions in the area. They want a war to kick off there.

    So Russia wants a war there? I guess that is why they and China are the only major powers at the UN continually, daily, consistently speaking out for negotiation and diplomacy. And Iran, who has not invaded another country in over 300 years is also talking war, right? Of course, the US and the UK and Israel never talk of war. Their only concern is the protection of civilians, eh?

    And speaking of foreign intervention, which country has more than 722 military establishments spread throughout the known world? Russia? China? Iran?

    Which country spends more on ‘defence’ than the entire world combined? Russia? China? Iran?

    Which country has more biological weapons of mass destruction on the face of the planet? Russia? China? Iran? Iraq?

    Which country refuses to sign an anti-cluster bomb treaty?

    Which country refuses to sign a climate treaty to save the world from disastrous climate change?

    Which country is responsible for economically destroying the lives and livelihoods of countless millions of people in foreign lands, destroying their infrastructures, putting them into economic bondage and opening their internal markets for multi-national corporate rape of their resources – all to preserve its ‘interests’ and that of its rulers, the international corporations?

    Which country continues to insert covert operations into large numbers of countries to destabilise them politically?

    Which country has invaded more countries than any in the history of mankind?

    Which country in league with its partner in London has created more financial havoc in the world – ever?

    If Russia was the answer to any of the above questions, you fail.

    So all that war talk on the part of Russia has to do with oil? Naturally, the US and its energy giants have no such designs, right?

    Well anyway, good to have you back – things were getting a bit dull around here. And Kathy is right…we do enjoy your humour! Always good to hear from a person happy with their work and willing to spread the joy…. 🙂

  • We ain’t seen nothing yet. 2012 is going to be bloody.

    Christopher

    I’m afraid you just might be right. The only reason Americans haven’t yet come out onto the streets is because they really haven’t felt the pain yet that others have. The froggie effect might well wake them up next year. It promises to be a very painful year for many – even some of the 1%… 😉

  • Those Goldman Sachs boys always get in early on the best ideas!

    http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-trader-custom-fit-condoms-2011-12

  • Careful Victor, perhaps Turbo got a job as agent provocateur, going on web sites to stir people up so they can be seized and carted off to Gitmo.

    Unfortunately what Turbo doesn’t understand is that the people he defends don’t give a damn about him, he’s a pawn, someone the people who run the world laugh about – “look how we got this grunt to believe our lies and do our bidding!”

  • Victor, the information in your response to TurboGuy! was spot on. Thanks!

  • Victor,

    Sweet!

    Michael Irving

  • TurboGuy! I appreciate your perspective. I find that I rarely agree with you in word, but sometimes I think I do in spirit (if I’m reading between the lines accurately). It’s nice to have a different point of view from time to time to remind us there are different ways to look at the same problem.

    As to the OWS protests, I stated before that I think they have been an exercise in futility. Kathy’s points about their true motivation, I think are quite perceptive. But your total disdain for their right to protest in any way other than that “approved” by you and your bosses is pathetic and un-American. It’s quite telling with respect to your true thought processes.

    It’s ironic that in the same post you go on to share your concern about the constitution and the blatant efforts to repeal even our most basic rights – all in the name of “security”. I agree that we should be concerned and mad about that. As the ballot box doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore since no matter who we elect – R or D – they go right to work for the corporations, then perhaps we should protest! Maybe we should go to Washington and sit on the Mall until the powers that be pay attention. If enough us who are angry go, maybe we’ll even get on the nightly news! Maybe then the politicians will listen to us. . . . Oh wait – that sounds very much like OWS. But, you can’t do that; it’s impossible for a man to serve two masters. Take your pick TurboGuy! Who will you serve, Freedom or The Powers that Be looking to take away all freedom?

  • P.S. The above post was just a fun diversion for me. I suspect most regular readers here know that I’m quite “bearish” on our future. I see no realistic way that any of this is going to turn out well for humankind. We’re finished, and based on our actions of the last 150 years, I have to say “good riddance”. To use a well-worn metaphor, we’ve struck out and now it’s nature’s turn at bat.

  • As times get more difficult, particularly for those who have well paying jobs in finance, investments, etc. and their jobs disappear, attitudes and allegiances will change.
    Just look back one or two years to see the changes, foreseen and unforeseen. Yes, change you can believe in, is coming.

    Be patient, sit in that lawn chair with your cool drink next summer.

  • >Well, I think you are right. The scum is being cleaned out of the parks and off the walks. The sanitation crews are busy cleaning up the remaining roaches, lice, bedbugs and rats left behind by the rabble. Peace is returning. All the cops have smiles on their faces – like satisfied pigs after a lustful meal (pigs DO smile, you know). It must feel nice after a successful day’s work. And you are correct – the media is turning to other more important issues than those of the 99%

    Yes, and the cops will survive. Most of the 99% won’t.

    History never changes, because human nature will not change. I was born sickly so I was not strong enough to join those who are legally allowed to shoot people; only they will survive.

    Some of the 1% might suffer, but they are probably those who will belong to 0.99%. The 0.01% will be protected, to the kingdom come and beyond. After all, Sir Galahad is said to be descended from Jesus!

  • We’re finished, and based on our actions of the last 150 years, I have to say “good riddance”.

    TRDH

    Quite so. Though I must admit that I have led a relatively comfortable life as compared to most in the world, I do see the huge cost of that – perhaps too late in life to do anything of value to protest it, but still I see clearly what has happened. And I must say that I hope to live long enough into the collapse to witness the pain and the agony of the ruling elite as their system disintegrates before their eyes. Then I can rest in peace…. 🙂

  • Jaime

    I don’t think you have a proper understanding of what the stakes here are for the 1%. They live like they live because of the 99%. Indeed, they live because of the 99%. We build their houses, produce their goods, fight their wars, cure their diseases, feed them, clothe them, house them in comfort. They depend upon us for their very lives and comforts. If we go, all that goes with us. And they know that.

    They don’t want to kill us off, but they are diseased – they can’t help it – they have lost their empathy, their sense of balance, their souls. They can’t resist taking every last dime they can from the world – even if they kill off those who support them. And it takes billions of consumers/producers to maintain their technologically advanced world and the comforts of life – the very same billions they will be killing off in their greed.

    They might go down a bit slower than the rest of us, but in the end they all fall, they all lose everything.

  • @Victor:

    Remember Noah? When only he and his immediate family survived a cataclysm, he made his least favorite son Ham a slave, because he needed one.

    They don’t need all of the 99%. At most they need about 3% to 5%, the ‘essential’ personnel who are needed to do all these stuff for them, plus a few engineers to fix the machines.

    The world did fine on 1900 with 1/3 of the people alive. And at that time about 40% of them lived in the “Western World”, and the rest (with the exception of Japan, which was a quasi-western country by then and jumped into the colonial race by capturing Korea, Taiwan and parts of China) were either directly or indirectly under Western control.

    And that was before modern techs made most laborers obsolete.

    Also, because the 1% control most of remaining food, fuel, materiel and medical supply, there will be a few people who will fight for them to the end.

    On 1851, when the 99% of China rose up against the Manchus, which took less than 1% of the total population but owned most of the country, wealthy Chinese raised their troops to defend the Manchus, while ruthless Mongolian mercernaries were recruited to smash the rebellion. The west also helped. While the rebels were mostly Christians (albeit a bit distorted; it was led by someone claiming to be the younger brother of Jesus), the west wanted someone they could manipulate, not a strong and spiritual leader who could hinder their ways.

    So, the rebels were slaughtered; more than 30 million were killed, and the Manchus and Mongolians ruled for another 61 years.

    Similar things happened in Mexico. I don’t buy the power of the people; the 1% can recruit as much resources as they feel like and destroy the rest at their leisure.

  • Study: Greenland faces land crisis as global warming heats up
    A new study released Friday finds that Greenland has risen in recent years as the rate of ice melting has increased, a startling revelation that scientists attribute to global warming.

    Speaking at a conference on Friday, a team of scientists from Ohio State University said a network of 50 GPS stations measured the uplift as the ice loss, noting that the rate of ice loss has accelerated in southern Greenland by 100 billion tons. The study was lead by Ohio State University researcher Michael Bevi

    Read more: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/science/greenland-facing-crisis/#ixzz1gAfY93w8

  • The brutal logic of climate change http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-05-the-brutal-logic-of-climate-change

    This confirms what Guy has been saying. Sobering….

  • I’ve been busy elsewhere but when I return NBL I find there is always something ‘delicious’ to chew over and information to pass on to others.

  • About the mediacracy, a vital part of the corporatocracy,
    from the “End of Empire News” blog:

    Saturday Documentary! “Orwell Rolls In His Grave – The One Thing The Media Doesn’t Like To Talk About “

  • Victor: The IAEA report utterly contradicts your claim of lack of evidence. The report is pretty easy to find and Google is your friend.

    I don’t know if you understand what they’re doing over there in regards to their reactor, but that’s not a reactor designed to produce power.

    They’re spinning up centrifuges and refining nuclear material far beyond that necessary for power generation. There is one and one alone reason for centrifuging Uranium to that level: Bomb.

    A war with Iran wouldn’t last a week and they’d be out of the fight. I think you vastly underestimate U.S. Military might. You weren’t actually serious with that comment were you? Each and every U.S. Carrier battlegroup represents the world’s fourth or fifth largest Air Force. We have twelve of those.

    The rest of your questions are silly talking points, but I feel the need to refute them as you seem uninformed or are just being funny:

    [Victor]So Russia wants a war there? I guess that is why they and China are the only major powers at the UN continually, daily, consistently speaking out for negotiation and diplomacy. And Iran, who has not invaded another country in over 300 years is also talking war, right? Of course, the US and the UK and Israel never talk of war. Their only concern is the protection of civilians, eh?[/Victor]

    The US, UK, and Israel aren’t the ones talking about a holy war, killing the Iranians with holy fire, etc, are they? China and Russia are only protecting their interests. China gets much of their oil from Iran, and Russia wants a regional war to kick off there, killing two birds with one stone, those birds being the U.S. and China and they’d make a ton of Roubles in the process. WINNING!

    [victor]
    And speaking of foreign intervention, which country has more than 722 military establishments spread throughout the known world? Russia? China? Iran?
    [/victor]

    If Russia or China could, you don’t think they would? HAHAHAHAHAHHAH!!!!!!!! How many other countries did the USSR have in other countries before the fundamental failures with Socialism/Communism dragged it down? They’re still finding old nukes in those bases. China simply can’t. Logistically the strain on them would be a disaster. Speaking of China, I think they’re going to collapse here in the next year or so. Probably with Europe when that disastrous experiment goes sour.

    [Victor]
    Which country spends more on ‘defence’ than the entire world combined? Russia? China? Iran?
    [/Victor]

    This I can’t disagree with, but then again, I kind of like the America and world we had up until a few presidents ago… Imagine if we fell and the USSR didn’t. In the words of a good friend of mine who worked for the KGB in the USSR’s heyday when he talked on Barack Obama: “Socialism? You’re not going to like Socialism…” Considering you’re allowed to voice your distaste for the U.S. so vitriolically here, I think you’re benefiting from that as much as I am. When Haiti got pounded, did they cry for China or Russia or even the U.N. to come help them? Fuck no, they wanted the United States, and who showed up? Who *COULD* show up? I’ve been on ten times as many humanitarian missions than ones to war. Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Turkey, etc.

    [Victor]
    Which country has more biological weapons of mass destruction on the face of the planet? Russia? China? Iran? Iraq?
    [/Victor]

    I guess I don’t know what you’re getting at here… Iran and Iraq threw all kinds of nastiness at each other during their eight year dustup. Russia “Accidentally” let some of their stored and weaponized Smallpox get loose a while back and now the disease is turning up in Africa again.

    [Victor]
    Which country refuses to sign an anti-cluster bomb treaty?
    [/Victor]

    Russia *AND* China in addition to the U.S. Don’t be a dumbass. While I agree that the crap they leave behind in UXO’s really sucks, as they’re like dropping landmines that people stupidly pick up, or accidentally step on, they work great against massed enemy forces and vehicles.

    [Victor]
    Which country refuses to sign a climate treaty to save the world from disastrous climate change?
    [/Victor]

    LOL! A better question would be, “Which countries have signed various climate treaties and do not abide by them in the least?” Would you rather I told you to piss up a rope so you knew I wasn’t going to abide by it, or tell you I was, then be the world’s largest polluter by a factor of four?

    [Victor]
    Which country continues to insert covert operations into large numbers of countries to destabilise them politically?
    [/Victor]

    Good point, but I didn’t hear anything negative about regime change in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iran, North Korea, etc Ad Nauseum which was brought about through specific destabilization of rogue regimes.

    [Victor]
    Which country has invaded more countries than any in the history of mankind?
    [/Victor]

    Mongolia or Italy if we’re talking about the history of Humanity.

    [Victor]
    Which country in league with its partner in London has created more financial havoc in the world – ever?
    [/Victor]

    Pretty Specific. But I’d say that OPEC has had a far more detrimental effect on the World’s economy than the U.S. and U.K. combined.

    [Victor]
    If Russia was the answer to any of the above questions, you fail.
    [/Victor]

    How do I fail when you’re the one that didn’t check facts? If you’re going to throw out loaded questions, you’d better know what you’re talking about.

    Those sound like AWESOME choices for future employment, but you forgot the one I really wanted, and failed to get was stuntman. I was going to rename myself Turbo-Knievel and attempt to jump a steamroller over the OWS squatterville. I remain convinced that I could have cleared at least two or three inches no problem. Oh well… Such is life.

    Seriously though, I’ve been looking for a new job for a while now. I had a bad situation go worse a couple years ago. Found a guy sleeping in the Wally-World parking lot with a fifth of Jack and Vodka. I offered him to either come with me for a twelve hour hold where he’d get two hot and a cot and be able to leave, or leave the parking lot. He chose to come with me.

    Just before he was going to go into his personal cell he had to be searched, but went bananas and started swinging. During the fight we went down, me on top, and cracked his forehead on the floor, opening up a nasty gash above his right eye. As the good Doctor can attest, any headwound bleeds like the dickens, and a pool of blood started opening up on the floor. I got an ambulance to take him to the hospital, but during the time he was getting strapped in, he must have been saving the blood in his mouth, he spit in my face. It went in my eyes and I tasted it. He’s Hep C positive. While my chances were very, very low of contracting the disease, and I am still showing clean, that was pretty much the last straw.

    I’ll be an Avionics Technician. Full time. $38 an hour. More better.

    It’s good to be back, but I won’t be around for long. Early January and I’m off to a sandy beach where the beach extends about a hundred miles before you find ocean.

  • House, you’re reading between the lines is very astute. That’s all I’ll say on that as otherwise it’ll ruin half my fun, and goading people to be better, be it in word, action, or survival. (Even if I have to be the “Heel” to get them there. Being a boogeyman is more fun anyway)

    My issue isn’t with the protest, quite the opposite in fact. My disagreement is, instead, with their methods and they were doomed from the get-go because of it. Truth be told I agree with many of the quite literally thousand or so positions they’re espousing, (And they agree with much of the always vilified Tea Party strangely enough) but camping out in a park, or in my case a county courthouse lawn, isn’t the way to do it.

    Also it was a media driven movement anyway. We originally were going to treat them like you’d treat a three year old throwing a tantrum: Ignore them. But the media put their special spotlight on it and off we went. I remember specifically saying something along those lines, on this site I think, in regards to the Tea Party. That had the Left and Democrats just ignored them the Tea Party would have withered on the vine and been a non issue. The hoopla and media attention because of the hoopla was their biggest ally.

    If the OWS people wanted to protest the “Right Way” they’d have done it more like the way the “Tea Party” went about it and garner huge grassroot support, then start marching on Washington with one coherent idea. Instead they alienated the vast majority of American support by basically being stupid and shouting a huge number of ideas, be they good or not. The “Tea Party” was really good at hiding their kooks and wackos from the media spotlight. The OWS seems to push them to the forefront more often than not and that was their undoing. Allowing the media to take pictures of idiots taking a crap on police vehicles, talking about how you’re going to get violent if you don’t get your way, and being as belligerent as possible isn’t going to get you much in the way of support.

    My disdain isn’t for the message, it’s for the actors.

    On your last paragraph: I totally agree with you. 100% even!

    You said: “Maybe we should go to Washington and sit on the Mall until the powers that be pay attention. If enough us who are angry go, maybe we’ll even get on the nightly news! Maybe then the politicians will listen to us. . . . Oh wait – that sounds very much like OWS.”

    Hell yeah! Give them a Metatarsal/Phalanges to the Gonads for me too!

    But getting a bunch of people with disparate messages to erect tents out there and monopolize public areas with filth, garbage and feces isn’t going to make many friends.

    March every day for a month, and BEHAVE while you do it, and you’ll see support the likes of which God has never seen. One thing that has to be said about the Tea Party is that they behaved themselves unbelievably well.

  • Avionics? Google search:

    peak oil and aviation

  • TurboGuy

    On the issue of the anti-cluster bomb treaty, you got me on that one – the countries that produce/use cluster-bombs, including Israel, US, UK Russia and China (and others) refuse to sign that treaty, as well as the anti-landmine treaty. I stand corrected.

    I also stand corrected on the climate issue. China, India and the US have all been persistent in their refusal to limit CO2.

    But the overall point I was trying to make listing all these issues was that taken altogether, it does not present a positive view of America, not in the least. I’m not trying to give the impression that the US is the only country in the world that has evil designs either. Nearly all governments do – governments are the enemy of people everywhere. They use violence or the threat of violence to enforce their policies. But the US is the biggest and baddest of the bad, and they should be held accountable for the continuing pain they inflict upon humanity everywhere. Indeed, the real Evil Axis is the US/UK/Israel.

    Russia wants a regional war to kick off there

    Speaking of checking facts – ok, give me the facts. Where is the evidence that Russia wants to start a war in the Mid-East? You seem very sure of this, so you must have supporting data. I’ll be happy to consider it if you have it.

    Russia “Accidentally” let some of their stored and weaponized Smallpox get loose a while back and now the disease is turning up in Africa again.

    I can find no evidence of this. Could you please send me a link to it?

    If Russia or China could, you don’t think they would? HAHAHAHAHAHHAH!!!!!!!!

    The point is Russia and China have made a strategic decision to invest their resources primarily in economic development, not military development as the US has. They do not even attempt to place troops in foreign countries on a permanent basis. OK, I can’t confirm that they have NO troops anywhere in the world outside of their domestic bases, but it would not be anywhere near the level of the US. Haven’t you ever wondered just why the US HAS to have all these bases in all these countries? Don’t be naive.

    When Haiti got pounded, did they cry for China or Russia or even the U.N. to come help them?

    Yes, the US came with their troops. And look at all the help they have actually given since. The US has a long history of harsh economic repression in Haiti and always ready to step in when its corporate interests are threatened. You need to read your history a bit more carefully.

    Which country has invaded more countries than any in the history of mankind?

    Perhaps I miss-worded that one. Imperialism is more than sending armies into a foreign country to control it and its resources. It is about economic aggression as well. On the military/political side of things, I suggest you read William Blum’s excellent and detailed study of US military (both overt and covert) aggression since World War II, Killing Hope. On the economic from and as a study in the greater strategy used by the US in its attempt at world domination, I suggest you read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. In just these two volumes you should get a fairly comprehensive view of the REAL USA as the rest of the world sees it. You wonder why so many in the world hate America? In these pages you will see. [HINT: It is NOT because of the freedoms America enjoys.] You might also want to read Noam Chomsky’s truly fine Rogue States and his devastating treatise on the American Empire since WWII.

    There are so many others but it doesn’t sound like you read a lot, so these are for starters… 😉

    As for Iran, I will address that one in a follow-up post. It deserves separate attention.

    As for the freedom to be vitriolic towards America, don’t hold your breath on that one. As America proceeds deeper into a police state economy, your freedoms will disappear rapidly. The stage is being set. The new Defence Authorization Act just passed by the Senate will authorise dissenters to American government policy to be declared suspected terrorists or suspected of aiding terrorists, arrested by the military without warrant, and imprisoned indefinitely without trial or due process. When the President signs off on this, the country will start changing rapidly. Already FEMA camps are being readied. You are being betrayed as we speak.

    It is said that you can have Empire, or you can have democracy. But you cannot have both Empire AND democracy. It is a true statement, and Americans will experience the truth of it soon enough.

  • TurboGuy

    As for Iran, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists gives a very balanced assessment of the hype surrounding the latest IAEA report. You can see that here:

    http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/chain-reaction-how-the-media-has-misread-the-iaeas-report-iran

    As you will see in their analysis, both the 2007 NIE assessment and the latest IAEA report, as well as the previous IAEA report, are in substantial agreement. Most analysts familiar with the report agree that there “is nothing in the report that was not previously known by the governments of the major powers” — a nuclear Iran is “neither imminent nor inevitable.”

    And
    While it is clear that Iran’s continuing research on nuclear weapons is a serious concern for international security, there “has been no smoking gun when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons intentions.”

    Further, most agree [outside of the politically motivated scare-mongers] that even if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, they like everyone else who has developed the bomb, will not likely actually use it. Think real hard about this – if I have one or two nukes and my enemy has 20,000 nukes, do you seriously think I am going to use it?

    As for the production of enriched uranium, you are only half correct. The Iranians have not only enriched uranium to the 3% required for nuclear power, but have also enriched some to about 20%, the level required for medical and other civilian uses, a fact that Iran readily admits to. None has been enriched to the 90% level required for nukes.

    The IAEA Report and especially the hype [which you apparently believe without question] are devastated in the following assessments:

    Seymour Hersh: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Hersh-6-6-11.pdf

    Gareth Porter: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21994

    Muhammad Sahimi: http://antiwar.com/orig/sahimi.php?articleid=13559

    And in the face of all this evidence [or lack thereof!] saying otherwise, the US/UK/Israel Axis has for the past many years been manufacturing consent to invade Iran, an effort that has been largely successful in those countries, as evidenced by people such as yourself.

    Try reading something besides the corporate-owned American media for a change. You might find that it is a different world than your government handlers tell you…. 🙂

  • Curtis, thanks for the Tim Murray article. Nothing like a bit of cynical humor make a point.

  • TurboGuy

    P.S. re:Iran

    A war with Iran wouldn’t last a week and they’d be out of the fight. I think you vastly underestimate U.S. Military might.

    That statement says a lot about you and your masters who have altogether abandoned the concept of real diplomacy and reasonableness in favour of the principles of bullying and brute force. And that is almost exactly what they said about Iraq, a far weaker country who kept them pinned down for 10 years in a war effort that was supposed to be a) welcomed by the people of Iraq with flowers and candy, and 2) over in a matter of a few months [they were less optimistic than you, it appears].

    As usual, the macho military/police mind thinks only in terms of brute power. And they are nearly always wrong. And they never learn their lessons or their limits until it is too late.

    Unfortunately, it is the people of the world who usually end up suffering, not the macho types.

    The entire Iraq debacle was based wholly upon lies and deceit – and so is the Iran issue.

  • Curtis

    Loved the article.

  • TurboGuy

    P.P.S.

    You still fail.

  • Victor, over time I have noticed some inconsistencies in Turbo’s story line. Frankly I don’t think Turbo is a policeman or ever served in the military. I think Turbo is a bored guy or gal looking for someone to argue with.

    However on the topic of military might, the US has one big huge problem as pointed out in the article posted by Curtis. The problem is we can’t use the full measure of our nuclear might because we want the natural resources. If we destroy them or make a country so reactive that we can’t mine them, then we have a Pyrrhic Victory – we are mighty but incredibly vulnerable as we need the resources of the whole world to keep going. Thus we need intact countries to mine and intact supply routes to pipe or ship our resources to us. So we wage low level wars that go on for years and years and years despite our might.

    We are like the Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians.

  • Kathy

    So true about dependencies. Even for the other nuclear powers. It just does not make sense to destroy what is in our best interest to keep. And what you say also underpins my position that the elite are in the same boat with the populations they oppress – can’t do without them. And that concept is true for all of teh industrial civilisation – it can’t do without either the technology or the supporting population. It falls apart without huge numbers of people to support it.

  • Robin

    Excellent vid! Highly recommended.

  • Turboguy! What was your MOS?

  • The future without fossil fuels
    Of course nothing new (In the 5th century BC Plato complained that “the loss of timber had denuded the hills and plains surrounding Athens and caused massive soil erosion.”)
    Tajikistan: Energy Shortage Accelerates Deforestation
    Written by: EurasiaNet
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/11122011-tajikistan-energy-shortage-accelerates-deforestation/
    December 11, 2011

    “These hills used to be covered with trees in Soviet times,” says Umedjon Baburforov, gesturing to the bare slopes around his village of Yanchob, near Dushanbe. “Now there are none.”

    In the mountains of Tajikistan, summer is the season for collecting wood. Come winter, when many settlements throughout the country receive less than four hours of electricity per day from the state’s power grid, a wood stove becomes the main source of heating for many families. “We have to go further and further each year to find wood. We are planting more trees but they take a long time to grow,” explains Baburforov, 76.

  • This is one of the most informative blogs on the internet when you consider the breadth and depth of the discussion and included facts. Thanks everyone!

    Kathy, that link you provided to the article on global warming sparked an interesting discussion in our house last night. For those of you who haven’t read it, I recommend it. It underscores yet again just how desperate is our situation. It’s quite sobering.

    While the information isn’t new to the readers of this blog, the article demonstrates clearly that we have to reduce emissions drastically in just a few years in order to stop runaway GW. We are about to reach “peak” carbon in the atmosphere. Once there, any further carbon leads to multiple positive feedback mechanisms. Since carbon takes about 100 years to be washed out of the atmosphere, the idea that we can reduce emissions to pre-1980s levels or some other arbitrary year, is wrong. We have to reduce emissions to pre-industrial levels over the course of a few years and keep them there for at least 100 years.

    The test faced by the global community is similar to the “Kobayashi Maru” of Star Trek fame. (For the uninitiated, the Kobayashi Maru was a test for young starship officer trainees which had no solution.) There is no way out of the global warming test – no solution that we can see.

    The simple fact is that all of our problems – global warming, peak oil, habitat destruction, resource depletion – are rooted in the fact that there are 6.5 billion too many humans on the planet. Global warming cannot be solved with that amount of human population. But, the only way to reduce the population drastically is through war or disease, or both. The problems with that “solution” are many, but most germane to this discussion is that the industrial economy cannot survive with such a small number. And without the industrial economy and all the support mechanisms it provides, we can’t keep all the nuclear power plants and other chemical baddies from exploding, melting down, etc. leading to the destruction of all the other remaining life on the planet.

    The only other obvious “solution” is a variation on the same theme: end the industrial economy. Unfortunately, you get the same outcome.

    Short of someone inventing a way to suck carbon out of the atmosphere faster than we’re pumping it in, using a mechanism that doesn’t require more carbon being put into the atmosphere, then there is simply no workable solution to this problem.

    It is no wonder that the various power factions aren’t worried too much about tackling global warming. They likely see the same thing: there is no solution. With no solution to a problem, one might as well continue on in the most satisfying, comfortable manner.

  • TRDH – here is a follow up article by the same author – there is no solution of the problem facing humans (unless like the article Curtis posted, you think nuclear winter is a solution), but there is a solution for the planet’s problem with too many humans and the planet is getting ready to fix that.

    In my last post, I discussed a new peer-reviewed paper by climate scientists Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows. It paints a grim picture:

    The commonly accepted threshold of climate “safety,” 2 degrees C [3.6 degrees F] temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, is now properly considered extremely dangerous;
    even 2 degrees C is drifting out of reach, absent efforts of a scale and speed beyond anything currently proposed;
    our current trajectory is leading us toward 4 or 6 (or 8 or 10) degrees C, which we now know to be a potentially civilization-threatening disaster.
    Like I said, go ahead and pour yourself a stiff drink.

    So, what does this grim situation say about our current climate policy efforts? The paper also contains some important insights on that front. Here is how Anderson and Bows frame it:

    Over the past five years a wealth of analyses have described very different responses to what, at first sight, appears to be the same question: What emission-reduction profiles are compatible with avoiding “dangerous” climate change? However, on closer investigation, the difference in responses is related less to different interpretations of the science underpinning climate change and much more to differing assumptions related to five fundamental and contextual issues.

    (1) What delineates dangerous from acceptable climate change?
    (2) What risk of entering dangerous climate change is acceptable?
    (3) When is it reasonable to assume global emissions will peak?
    (4) What reduction rates in post-peak emissions is it reasonable to consider?
    (5) Can the primacy of economic growth be questioned in attempts to avoid dangerous climate change?
    Keep question (5) in mind. It is almost never raised explicitly in these discussions, but it turns out to be central to how we answer the other questions.

    Long story short, Anderson and Bows argue that we are systematically blowing smoke up our own asses. (Though, ahem, that’s probably not how they would put it.)
    rest at

    http://www.grist.org/climate-policy/2011-12-08-the-brutal-logic-of-climate-change-mitigation

  • If the United States does not invade the third world when it gets uppity, the united states becomes the third world.

    >Careful Victor, perhaps Turbo got a job as agent provocateur, going on web sites to stir people up so they can be seized and carted off to Gitmo.

    >Unfortunately what Turbo doesn’t understand is that the people he defends don’t give a damn about him, he’s a pawn, someone the people who run the world laugh about – “look how we got this grunt to believe our lies and do our bidding!”

    But being a grunt of the PTB actually increases one’s ‘inclusive fitness’.

  • Robin Datta: I’m in the Air Force and we don’t have what is known as a “M.O.S.” We have what’s called an AFSC. 3P071B.

    It seems that you require some remedial reading in history as well Vic!

    First and foremost, you’re confusing “War” with “Occupation.” Iraq’s warfighting ability ceased to function on about the third day, and was nonexistant later that week.

    The occupation, which I happen to agree with you was stupid, unnecessary, etc, is something totally different altogether. It’s been said that one guerrilla fighter can tie up and befuddle more than 100 occupying troops, and we see that is the case in both Iraq and Afghanistan, both when the Russians went down that path and now we.

    Victor said: “The point is Russia and China have made a strategic decision to invest their resources primarily in economic development, not military development as the US has. They do not even attempt to place troops in foreign countries on a permanent basis. OK, I can’t confirm that they have NO troops anywhere in the world outside of their domestic bases, but it would not be anywhere near the level of the US. Haven’t you ever wondered just why the US HAS to have all these bases in all these countries? Don’t be naive.”

    No Vic, the point is that they aren’t doing so and are focusing on their own economic systems because they *HAVE* to instead of putting bases in strategically important areas. Again, they simply do not have the logistical capability to do so, and so must focus on other priorities. Use your brain. If they had the ability to do so, they would. Russia, especially is threatening former Soviet republics.

    As for Iran not having people in other countries, what is Hezbollah or any number of their other proxies? Al Sadr? etc. They’re no different than the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion.

    Vic: “Yes, the US came with their troops. And look at all the help they have actually given since. The US has a long history of harsh economic repression in Haiti and always ready to step in when its corporate interests are threatened. You need to read your history a bit more carefully.”

    Laughable backtrack. But nice try. The U.S. also brought two aircraft carriers, both of which provided power to the city and enough clean drinking water for not only the troops, but the Haitians as well. I’m actually lost as to which corporate interest was threatened in Haiti after that earthquake…

    Vic: “Which country has invaded more countries than any in the history of mankind?

    Perhaps I miss-worded that one. Imperialism is more than sending armies into a foreign country to control it and its resources. It is about economic aggression as well.”

    No, you worded that exactly as you wanted to but didn’t get what you were expecting.

    Again, you’re backtracking because I correctly answered your loaded question. If you’re going to ask loaded questions, you’re the one who should have a basic, simple, understanding of what you’re asking, in this case: History. You didn’t, then started talking about the corporations, in their corporation buildings, being all corporation-ie! Quite honestly, I’m impressed that you spent that much time there with that backtrack. Admit that you were being haughty and asked a stupid question expecting a specific, predetermined reply and got the correct one instead. It seems that I’ve done a bit more reading in the subject than you have, no?

    On your last three paragraphs, you and I are in 100% agreement. Seriously, I totally agree with your opinions there and couldn’t have said it better myself! I, in particular, have been said to be a terrorist numerous times by this administration specifically. Firstly, I am a veteran, then I own firearms, then I have a Gadsden Flag on my bumper, I tend to vote for Ron Paul, and now I’ve got a storage of food. I might as well report myself to attackwatch…

    I hate to break it to you, but I found this near the top of the article you posted:

    Although Iran halted its comprehensive clandestine nuclear weaponization program in late 2003, it continues to pursue activities highly relevant to a nuclear weapons program.

    Near the bottom, in reference to the latest IAEA report:

    “The NIE left open the possibility that Iran could continue its weapons-relevant activities. With four years of additional perspective, the latest IAEA report gives greater detail on the weapons work that Iran did prior to 2003, then updates the available information on what lesser work occurred after 2003. The new activities included:

    Engaging in experimental research, after 2003, on hemispherical initiation of high explosives. – This is the prerequisite of the gun type
    Further validation, after 2006, of a neutron initiator design.
    Conducting modeling studies, in 2008 and 2009, that could determine the yield of a nuclear explosion.”

    If they’ve given a nuclear programme up, they sure seem to be interested in the technology needed to make a bomb, just add enriched Uranium.

    Do you think Iranian nuclear scientists would be dying daily, and their nuclear research assets keep blowing up if others didn’t know what was going on there? Ever give thought that intelligence agencies might know more than both of us do about this? That latest explosion in Isfahan had every marking of an Israeli covert operation.

    Kathy: I show inconsistencies? LOL. Ad Hominem doesn’t suit you sweetheart. You can do better.

    That said, since we’re playing this game, you strike me as someone that’s decided that you’re without worth and so believe that everything around you is lacking as well! Because of this you focus on your feelings of worthlessness like a laser beam, so much so that you’re nearly suicidal be it personal or macro. I’ve explained that I don’t think you are, but you can go on believing whatever errant belief you want.

    I am still waiting with bated breath for you, Kathy, to explain how an attack on Iran will be World War 3.

    We don’t have to use our nuclear arsenal. We are quite capable of taking care of Iran without any whatsoever, and you’re right that it’d be a pyrrhic victory. Nuclear war doesn’t decide who’s right, it only determines who’s left.

  • P.S. Victor, you fail at failing!

    :p

  • Independent policy researcher from Canada claims U.S. will start World War III with an attack on Iran

  • The Obama Administration’s strategy for re-election is to start wars, but if the US were to “attack Iran,” it would “end up in a World War III,” a political analyst has told Press TV.

    Edward Spannaus, editor of the weekly US-based news magazine Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), told our channel from Washington on Saturday that “his [US President Barack Obama’s] puppet masters, the people who pull his strings, do want war.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/208619.html

  • TG: I’m not your biggest fan, but thanks that was some very interesting reading. Agree or disagree, thanks to all of you.

  • TurboGuy: I have to echo Ed’s sentiment. Thank you. Agree or disagree, your comments are a breath of fresh air. You speak from your reality. And I mean that in a good way.

    It’s easy to eke out a third-party existence. She said. He said. They said. Entire books are written that way. It’s a whole lot tougher to do it in first person.

    Tomorrow I return to my Empire reality. Funny thing is I can find few parallels between “he said / she said / they said” and what I see. There’s a paradigm shift underway. It requires participation, however.

    And as for today … after almost two weeks of caked-in freezing fog with morning temperatures in the low 20s, there’s sunshine! The solar panels are kicking out 1700 W of juice. The woodstove is crackling. I thawed out a brisket, dug spuds and carrots and beets and onions and garlic out of the cache bins, and hacked off a couple stalks of Brussel sprouts and a half dozen kohlrabi from the garden. The house is warm and cheery with the fragrance of goulash. I’ll add a flatbread and a pear crisp later.

    It’s a good day.

    Except perhaps to the cows. They were less than enthusiastic to leave their warm barn when I kicked them out this morning.

    BTW: Although I am a 99 percenter, in no way did the actions of the OWS represent me. There are better ways to fight the system.

  • Guy:

    The referenced bill (S. 1867, approved through the Senate) is 926 pages long. Having a military authorized to arrest anyone for anything at anytime concerns me. Please direct me to the page/section of the bill that substantiates your “Police state Amerika in full blossom.”

    I’ve searched under “FEMA”, “military authorized”, “72” (for 72 hours), “KBR”, “National Quick Response Team”, “Federal Emergency”, “Federal Emergency Management Agency”, and “terrorist”.

    I would like to review the bill’s wording. Of course, I need to find the relevant section first. I’m coming up empty at the moment (AKA they did a damn good job of hiding it).

    I did find: “Sec. 515. Authority to order army reserve, navy reserve, marine corps reserve, and air force reserve to active duty to provide assistance in response to a major disaster or emergency.”

    Is that what you’re referring to?

    Or is it “Sec. 1604. Continuation as a permanent program and enhancement of activities of Task Force for Emergency Readiness pilot program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency”?

    Or is it “SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED
    FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.
    (a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
    (b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

    Your assistance in tracking down the relevant wording would be beneficial.

    Thanks.

  • Resa:

    Thanks for seeking clarification, and for referring directly to S. 1867 (all versions are here). Because the bill is (1) ginormous and (2) cloaked in language I fail to comprehend, I am relying on secondary sources. Consider, for example, Constitutional law expert Judge Andrew Napolitano, shown below.

    Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald concurs here, and Washington’s blog elaborates 2 December 2011 and 9 December 2011.

    Jon Stewart’s typically hilarious take follows, in two parts.

    Perhaps they’re all incorrect, and I’ve been led astray. That’s my hope, at any rate.

  • Thanks, Guy, for the additional third-party weblinks. However I am an educated, intelligent and literate individual with an independent mind. I’m loathe to follow the conjecture of others when I have the ability to come to my own conclusions. I agree that the bill is ginormous and bloated, but it is in English and English is my native tongue.

    Although I know where all the versions are, I’m only interested in the version that passed the Senate. That is the version with cloat. The others are of no practical importance other than fearmongering.

    I will keep reading.

  • Amreican Everyman: Sections as written

    But as noted in prior comments, Obama had the bill modified, the then the Udall amendment to undo the effect of the modification was defeated.

  • SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.

    (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.

    COVERED PERSONS
    (A) to be a member of, or part of, …….
    (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out, ….

    (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) -(this means that the laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions, would not apply: waterboarding, anyone? Also, disposition does not have to be pending: it’s in the slammer fer life, buddy). 

    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States. ( The requirements do not apply: they can be held without reason – GITMO –> GULAG ARCHIPELAGO). 

    HEIL AMERIKA!

  • Resa: the Big Kahuna:

    <SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.

    (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-
    (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.
    (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined–
    (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
    (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.
    (3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.
    (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
    (c) Implementation Procedures-
    (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall issue, and submit to Congress, procedures for implementing this section.
    (2) ELEMENTS- The procedures for implementing this section shall include, but not be limited to, procedures as follows:
    (A) Procedures designating the persons authorized to make determinations under subsection (a)(2) and the process by which such determinations are to be made.
    (B) Procedures providing that the requirement for military custody under subsection (a)(1) does not require the interruption of ongoing surveillance or intelligence gathering with regard to persons not already in the custody or control of the United States.
    (C) Procedures providing that a determination under subsection (a)(2) is not required to be implemented until after the conclusion of an interrogation session which is ongoing at the time the determination is made and does not require the interruption of any such ongoing session.
    (D) Procedures providing that the requirement for military custody under subsection (a)(1) does not apply when intelligence, law enforcement, or other government officials of the United States are granted access to an individual who remains in the custody of a third country.
    (E) Procedures providing that a certification of national security interests under subsection (a)(4) may be granted for the purpose of transferring a covered person from a third country if such a transfer is in the interest of the United States and could not otherwise be accomplished.
    (d) Effective Date- This section shall take effect on the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to persons described in subsection (a)(2) who are taken into the custody or brought under the control of the United States on or after that effective date.

    Enjoy! 😉

  • Resa, Turbo, I wonder what is the RIGHT WAY to protest the 1 percent. Is it to join the military and oppress the countries that have the resources the wealthy of the world need so they can accumulate millions and billions. Is it to become a police so you can protect their property. Just what is the RIGHT WAY? Join the Tea party funded by the Koch brothers who are part of the 1 %???? My complaints with OWS are not how they are doing things, I think they are doing quite well. My complaint is that they are too late, the pie is eaten and gone. There is nothing for them to win back from the psychopaths that run this country.

  • TurboGuy

    Ford the so-called US benevolence in Haiti, I suggest you read the history of US interference in Haiti for the last 200 years – how they have continuously supported oppressive regimes in favour of US corporations (as an example, the American Reynolds Mining Company with its monopoly on bauxite production)- sisal, sugar cane, copper, and bauxite. Also, very cheap labour benefiting the profits of multiple US manufacturing concerns – baseball equipment, clothing. This cheap labour offering around $1 per DAY for the average worker is producing clothes and other goods for American firms such a WalMart, K-Mart (are they still in business?), JC Penney, Disney, Haines, Dillards, and a host of others. This is big business, and the American government is protecting the interests of these corporations in Haiti.

    An excellent, and short (for your attention span) rendering of Haitian/American relations can be found here:

    http://www.isreview.org/issues/35/haiti_under_siege.shtml

    As for the so-called benevolent actions on the part of the US Government after the earthquake, you might want to take a look at the tone of the WikiLeaks releases concerning embassy communications there afterwards –

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jun2011/hait-j24.shtml

    Quote from above:
    On June 15, the whistleblower web site WikiLeaks began releasing US diplomatic cables from the period immediately following the devastating Haitian earthquake of January 2010. The cables, from among the 251,287 in WikiLeaks’ possession, provide important information on the machinations of US politicians, on their tight control over Haitian government functions, and about their drive to reopen Haiti to capitalist exploitation.

    WikiLeaks has reached an agreement with Haiti Liberté, a weekly paper and web site published by Haitian immigrants in the US, under which the paper has first access to the Haitian cables and also helps to post them on the WikiLeaks web site. Concurrently, The Nation is publishing English-language translations of the Haiti Liberté articles.

    Approximately 1,900 cables from the US embassy in Port-au-Prince will be released on WikiLeaks using this process. One hundred of them had been released as of June 22, including 36 about the earthquake, most written by then-Ambassador Kenneth Merten.

    The most damning section of the earthquake cables appears at the end of one written on February 1, 2010, with a section titled “The Gold Rush is On!” The “veritable free-for-all” of profit-seekers included a sales presentation given to Haitian President Rene Preval by retired general and former US presidential candidate Wesley Clark on a model of cheap housing that would supposedly shelter the poor from future earthquakes and hurricanes.

    AshBritt, Inc. was also anxious to get in on the “gold rush.” A US corporation with close ties to the Republican party, Ashbritt had already been accused by Broward County, Florida, of double-billing it more than $700,000 after Hurricane Wilma in 1999, and had earned a reputation for profiteering after Hurricane Katrina.

    There was nothing benevolent about what America did after they re-invaded Haiti is 2010 and took over their govt and made certain that no one else would profit from that catastrophe outside of American corporations.

  • TurboGuy

    Economic sanctions. Occupation. Invasion. Predatory capitalism. These are all acts of war. In our times, we have played Orwellian games of semantics to remove such meaning from these terms. So that heavy economic sanctions causing a people to suffer needlessly and to inflict damage on their economy and infrastructure is no longer considered war. Occupation of a country is no longer considered making war. Military invasion is not really war, per se, but the “protection of civilians” in times of instability.

    Predatory capitalism has for the most part replaced “war” as the most effective way of subjugating a people to Corporate power, removing their freedoms, raping their country of its natural resources, enslaving its people in cheap labour practices, and externalising costs to the people.

    In his excellent book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins admitted that predatory capitalism has replaced war as the preferred way of gaining access to a country and controlling its resources. This is WAR, TurboGuy – any way you look at it.

  • As for Russia and China, you can say all you want about what they would do if they could, but that is simply your opinion and not necessarily the truth at all. Both Russia and China have stated that in today’s world, economics is the way to gain power and to protect one’s interests most intelligently.

    In the end, the fact remains that it is the US that is putting all its resources into the military/industrial complex and expanding its military influence across the globe. No one else is doing that. No one. That one fact should be a pretty clear and obvious hint to you as to where we should look to control aggression in the world.

    But it doesn’t, does it!

  • Kathy

    ‘There is nothing for them to win back from the psychopaths that run this country.’

    I know it is little consolation but psychopaths are running most countries. Actually I have been describing them as psychotic sociopaths for a while.

    Here in NZ we have just had an ‘election’ – you, know, one of those corporation-media-orchestrated circuses in which none of the issues of the times ever gets mentioned and uninformed proles tick boxes to decide which gang of clowns and criminals will wield the wrecking ball.

    Well John Key, ex-currency speculator and lackey of Goldman Sachs is back in power with a reduced majority. Major policy is centred on selling state assets to speculators, supposedly to provide funds for ‘development’. Read corporate looting.

    The incredibly weak coalition that has a slim majority and no mandate will oversee the impoverishment of most NZers over the next three years if the political-economic system hangs together that long.

    Neddless to say, the majority of NZers are clueless how the system works and what will happen as fiat currencies unravel and oil depletion reaches a critical point.

    On the other hand, it’s far worse in Europe.

    For a long time I have been of the opinion that there will be no attack on Iran -after it’s been imminent for about 6 years but nothing ever happened. However, developments indicate the game really has moved to a much more dangerous phase in recent weeks, now that Russia has supposedly put a line in the sand with respect to Syria (remembering how Russia dealt with the US puppet Sackavilli in Georgia a few years ago). No ‘Operation Play Station’, as in Libya, this time round, it seems.

    I still have a gut feeling it is important for the elites to hold things together until after the London Olympics. Just how Cameron’s very unexpected ‘walking away from Europe’ stance will affect that is still anyone’s guess.

    One of the most intriguing recent developments was Iran bringing down a RQ-170 drone in near-perfect condition: there is speculation that it was done electronically, since a malfunction or impact would have resulted in a crash landing. Speculation abounds that the drones intact on-board computer systems wil provide Iran with important data relating to defence.

    2012 is going to ‘interesting’.

  • TurboGuy

    Iran:

    Both the IAEA AND the US’s own intelligence services have stated quite clearly as you can see in those article, that they can find no hard evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. Even in light of the known fact that Iran was building a device for the “hemispherical initiation of high explosives”, which is also used for the production of nanodiamonds for industrial use. The soviet scientists they consulted to help with this was a specialist in the production of nanodiamonds and had been for most of his career. Indeed, a former IAEA inspector, Robert Kelley, has repudiated the latest IAEA report on this issue, both about the role of the consultant and about the use of the device – http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MK22Ak02.html

    And the infamous laptop came from the Israeli Mossad – think about that.

    For their own protection these organisations have all made a statement to the effect “But we can’t prove they are not as well.”. If it turned out that Iran was indeed making a nuclear weapon, they each could point to that statement for cover. The statement is not meant, however, in any way to say that Iran is actually building a weapon, or even that it might be – only that they can not prove that it IS building a weapon.

    Yet, you and so many others have taken that statement completely out of context and are now talking about bombing that country just like you did with Iraq and for no more hard evidence.

    One of the most effective tools for disinformation and false accusation is to challenge some to prove a negative. It can’t be done. No one, even Iran, can prove that they are not building a nuclear weapon. The same technique was used against Iraq. Prove to us that you do not have Weapons of Mass Destruction. How were they supposed to do that? Impossible. They knew it was impossible, and the US and its lackeys knew it.

    But it is a great way to instil fear and doubt into the minds of the public who seem to have a problem with rational thinking. And that is what they are doing with Iran, manufacturing consent through fear.

    It is one of the great tragedies of our time, in my opinion, that people have lost their ability to rational thought and common sense. This above all makes them subject to the fear spread by the government and its military leaders to do what they want where they want to do it, even to the extent of destroying your Constitution and replacing it with what amounts to martial law.

    Too bad. But I suppose in the end it is simply another symptom of an over-populated world competing for resources and preparing itself unknowingly for general collapse.

  • Victor

    The NZ government is at war with the general populace. And the city/district councils are at war with their local populaces.

    However, these wars are being fought using deceit, propagnada and money scams in such a way that the bulk of the citizens are totally unware there is a war going on.

    Aldous Huxley warned of this condition in 1931 and again in (I think) 1962 … that people in western societies would become so dumbed-down they would be oblivious to practically everything except the withdrawal of ‘soma’.

  • Join the Tea party funded by the Koch brothers who are part of the 1 %????

    Kathy

    It has been said that the OWS message is not clear, whereas of the Tea party is – very clear, very concise. That is true, but not for reasons one would at first think. On the OWS side you have many people of different beliefs about solutions coming together under two basic tenants – wealth inequity and the political power of the 1%. If people would think about it, that IS the message of these folks, though when you talk to them you will hear hundreds of disparate solutions to those tenants. Their message needs to be cleaned up and communicated effectively.

    And that is where the Tea Party comes in. They too were extremely vague when they started. But when the Koch brothers took over, their organisation Americans for Prosperity, redirected their efforts and provided the funding and the right spin. So the clarity of the Tea party is not really down to them, but to the Koch brothers – it’s their message.

  • Kevin

    Indeed. This is truly a global phenomenon. Governments everywhere make use of the tremendous advances in human behavioural studies to exercise Orwellian control today. And it will get far worse the closer to Collapse we get.

  • TurboGuy

    BTW, I don’t believe you ever supplied me with that evidence on Russia’s intent in the Middle East for war, and for Russia’s release of smallpox into Africa.

    Could you please furnish those? Apologies if you supplied it and I missed over it.

  • One of the lice-infected, vagrant, low-life, good-for-nothing, rat-eating, faeces-throwing, dirty low life squatter, useful fool organisers of Occupy Washington makes a statement:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29950.htm

    Probably not even worth reading.

  • One of the most intriguing recent developments was Iran bringing down a RQ-170 drone in near-perfect condition: there is speculation that it was done electronically, since a malfunction or impact would have resulted in a crash landing. 

    http://market-ticker.org/post=198831“>Our Military Is THIS Stupid?

    From the link:
    A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.

    The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.

    No information being sent outside eh?  You mean like, for instance, the encryption key for the communications between the drone and the dude or dudette flying it so someone could steal the plane?

    I think we have to discard the claim that there has been no compromise of classified information being “leaked” as probably false (or worse) at this point and must instead assume that the entire drone command and control system — at best — has in fact been compromised.

  • Exactly Victor. Before the Koch brothers cleaned up the tea party a bit they were a scruffy bunch. I saw one sign that said “no socialized medicine, hands off my medicare”. The people I have met who speak favorably of the tea party they are politically uninformed and generally racists. These are people who love Reagan even though he destroyed the textile industry in the south that was the mainstay of our economy. They are impressionable and just bringing up such topics as Christmas, abortion, etc. and making racist hints is enough to cause them to vote against their own interests, over and over and over again. I respect the much more sophisticated OWS except that they continue the societal belief that the good times can go on forever, just put up a few windmills and solar panels. But they are clearly a more informed group, a more articulate group, and they don’t go to demonstrations with guns in their hip pockets. And they seem to fail to realize that Obama is more George Bush than George Bush – are they blind
    https://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/01/03/75694/guns-tea-party/
    Nearly 350 right-wing protestors crowded a New Mexico town’s busiest intersection yesterday to protest President Obama’s supposed anti-gun agenda and the “government takeover of our health care system.” While the event mostly looked like any other recent right-wing rally — complete with signs reading “replace the communists in DC” and “the sky is falling! A black man is president!” — what set this protest apart was that there “were plenty of handguns and rifles displayed.”
    The local Tea Party and a group called the Second Amendment Task Force (2ATF, a reference to the ATF, which enforces gun laws) encouraged people to bring guns to the event in Alamogordo, NM, in order to “put a positive light on gun ownership,” said 2ATF’s founder Dan Woodruff. While the two protests were technically separate, they were planned together for the same day in adjacent locations. Otero Tea Party Patriots coordinator Don Omey said he was “proud” of the gun-toters. “That’s what we need to turn some minds around,” Omey said. Under New Mexico law, it’s legal for anyone over the age of 19 to open-carry a holstered firearm in most public places.
    And while there was no violence during the event, one protestor wearing a Tea Party shirt said his loaded gun was a “very open threat” to anyone who might “try to take over the country completely as a socialist communist [state].” The New Mexico Independent attended the protest and put together a report on the event. Watch it:

    Apart from the obvious danger from introducing fire arms to a crowded, emotionally-charged environment, as Walt Rubel, the editor of the Las Cruces Sun-Times wrote in today’s paper, displaying guns at a rally is counter-productive to the protestors’ goals. “Nothing will ‘put a positive light on gun ownership’ quite like inviting every yahoo with a weapon in southern New Mexico to gather at the busiest intersection in Alamogordo and wave their firearms at the passing traffic,” he wrote.
    This was not the first right-wing protest to which people have brought guns or displayed offensive signs, but the hate-filled atmosphere at Tea Party rallies doesn’t seem to bother former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In a guest-column in the Des Moines Register on Friday he wrote, “every American who is not corrupted by the secular-socialist left should be a member of the Tea Party movement.”

  • Correction “And they seem to fail to realize that Obama is more George Bush than George Bush – are they blind” refers to the Tea Party not the OWS as would seem by my placement. Old brain, bad editing. 🙂 Although it must be said the left as a whole took altogether too long to understand that crucial fact.

  • Kathy

    The left were hoping against hope that Obama was different. They really counted on him to do some good things. Even before he took office I recall telling many of them that something was seriously wrong there. He came out of nowhere. He had no real history. He came out of Chicago politics. He gathered around him all the old Clinton crowd. Something was seriously amiss….

    And then he let Wall Street off the hook. And said let the past be past for the 9/11 issue and the criminal acts of the Bush administration. And I knew it was all a lie.

    But no one believed me. I was getting yelled at from every direction, almost like an enemy of the people uttering blasphemies.

  • Victor, I had exactly the same experience with my friends from the left – I knew something was wrong, and thought surely my friends could see that by the time he appointed his first cabinet. Some are still trying to defend him… So I am in a pickle. People on the left don’t want to hear the truth. People I know who lean right abuse him for being far left. They blame him for things they praised Bush for. So what do I say to them? Do I say, Yes I agree he is bad but he is bad because he is just the president you say you want, only you are too short sighted to see that, blinded by his skin color and party denomination into thinking he is something he is not. Or do I keep my mouth shut and just sound off here. Guess you know the answer to that.

  • As I wrote in October 2009: Where’s the left? Oh, that’s right: There is no left left in this country. They abandoned ship in the dead of night, back when it was Morning in America.

  • Guy, you are right – oops correct. 🙂