Conspiracy theories or conspiracy facts?

American writer Tracy Kidder points out: “In order to go on with our lives, we are always capable of making the ominous into the merely strange.” We ignore ominous warning signs at our own peril. But ignore them we will, and have. And we continue to call them strange, thus attempting to build a protective shell around our tender psyches, comforting ourselves with an amorphous web of blatant lies.

Daniel Ellsberg knows about conspiracies and ominous signs. As he says, “Secrets … can be kept reliably … for decades … even though they are known to thousands of insiders.” These include, for example, the conspiracy he exposed with the Pentagon Papers, as well as the CIA’s apparent assassination of JFK. Such conspiracies are particularly likely in a police state such as the United States where habeas corpus no longer exists and American citizens can be “legally” assassinated. Strategic assassination is just another step toward complete compliance of the citizenry.

In other words, conspiracy theories sometimes are fact. If opportunity, motive, and means are evident, don’t rule out conspiracy merely because you’ll be labeled a conspiracy theorist.

English philosopher Bertrand Russell put his own spin on the horrors of uncovering the truth via thought:

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.

Small wonder, then, most refuse to think. Thinking is hard, so the majority of Americans prefer television instead. Swimming against a profoundly strong cultural current is nearly impossible, especially when the resulting discomfort threatens our own privilege. And conspiracy theories certainly threaten the ill-founded notion of American exceptionalism.

False-flag terror attacks? Check.

American government agencies buying enough ammunition to kill every citizen five times? Check.

U.S. Supreme Court collaborating with the executive branch to increase corporate power? Check, since 1971 (at least).

Goldman Sachs defrauding its clients with the knowledge of the Securities and Exchange Commission? Check.

Civilian deaths from drones covered up? Check.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is dead, though most Americans refuse to acknowledge that truth. But the former U.S. Marine arrested for patriotic posts on Facebook knows. After his relatively innocuous posts, he was placed in a Stalin-like mental ward. Displaying the “wrong” political view warrants the same treatment. Apparently questioning 9/11 — an obvious inside job, as anybody paying the slightest attention has known for years — makes one crazy. Or a terrorist. Or both. And if you think 9/11 wasn’t an inside job — the evidence for which is overwhelming and physically undeniable — then you believe in coincidence but not the Laws of Thermodynamics.

When will your silence be met with incarceration, then torture, then early death? These United States are well down the road of tyranny, regardless the mantra of the mainstream.

Meanwhile, the man who campaigned on the closure of the torture facility at Guantanamo Bay recently signed a law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without trial. People keep telling me he’s our best hope. And maybe he is. But I cannot support evil, not in the name of lesser. So I won’t.

It’s not just America, of course. The West is a giant banana republic. Just ask Julian Assange.

Fortunately, the entire set of living arrangements known as industrial civilization hovers on the brink. Near-term collapse is inevitable.

How quickly can industrial civilization unwind? Last October, Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker warned banks they could collapse before Christmas of last year. And of course, collapse in Europe is absolutely inevitable. I suspect that would seriously influence the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

We’re one step from full-scale completion of a long, ongoing decline, as even the occasional Congressional Representative is willing to admit. The next step will be the big one. The monetary situation is direr than the Great Depression and, according to the World Bank, the economic recession ahead will be more severe than the 2008-2009 recession (the one that nearly terminated industrial civilization, according to Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S.). From an imperial perspective, the ongoing economic depression is good news because demand destruction is the only phenomenon keeping the omnicidal boat above water.

Unfortunately, collapse has come too late to save our sorry species. Greenland’s melting breaks the record four weeks before season’s end. Arctic sea ice likely will set a new record next week. Sea level will rise more than 15 cm (6″) annually in the first few years after 2015. In short, we’re done. Alas, it seems we were just getting started.

That our species is headed for near-term extinction is no excuse to throw in the towel. Resistance is fertile, and there is still plenty to fight for. Coming immediately to my mind: the living planet and freedom based in anarchy.


This essay is permalinked at UKIAH BLOG and Island Breath.

Comments 191

  • “Katrina would not have been a story if it were not for the levies breaking. The real story was not Katrina, but the levies”

    I’m pretty sure the residents of the MS gulf coast, which bore the brunt of Katrina, would not agree with you. Every mile of the MS coast was devastated, as were areas miles inland. The main-stream media would agree with you, however, because almost all their coverage was on New Orleans. Perhaps that’s what informed your opinion that the levies were the real story. Here is a link showing some of the devastation:

  • Some might like to view this link of Chalmers Johnson speaking about modern Americas demise, and some similarities with the fall of the Roman Empire, amongst some interesting side discussions, titled:
    DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay

    It was posted 2008, but still shows clear analysis.

  • Whoa whoa whoa, what the HELL?!

    I didn’t even MENTION George W. Bush! I just said sometimes we mistake foolish doings for evil ones, that’s all!

    Can’t a guy make a literary allusion to Black Beauty anymore? Jeez Louise…

  • Chalmers Johnson speaks about quite a lot of the things that Guy laments in this essay, in the main the loss of liberty to the power of military instrumentalities.

  • Librarian

    You keep making literary allusions, they are your say. Be the proverbial ducks back. To paraphrase Yoda:

    “Completely, Control the sandbox, no one does.”

  • Morocco Bama

    I see governments as corrupt, incompetent and self-serving. You see them, or at least the US government, as corrupt, clever and serving a higher authority. Who or what is this higher authority? How do you get to join? Can members of any race/nation join once they show sufficient contempt for ordinary people? Can you offer any evidence for any of this?

    If those who belong to the elite are so clever and powerful why are they destroying or allowing the destruction of the earth on which their lives too depend? Leading such privileged lives don’t they have more to lose than the rest of us?


    You lost me on this line:

    Directing awareness towards objects … but does nothing to approach the basis that sustains one in such explorations.

    What is “the basis that sustains one in such explorations”?

    The only solution to it is in oneself, by quieting the mind only objectless awareness remains, directed on itself.

    Why do I want to reach a state of objectless awareness? In such a state will the nature of reality become clear? Are you recommending a course in meditation?

  • Morocco “Hurricanes are natural events that should be cherished and welcomed….not ignored and/or mitigated.”

    Did anyone here say they weren’t natural. Please don’t take me or others as idiots. Of course if people didn’t build more and more on the coasts there wouldn’t be so much damage. Of course if levees hadn’t been built in the first place there would be more marsh shrubland which would take the brunt of the storm. Of course if there weren’t oil wells in the Gulf no one would have to shut them down and cut off production. Duh…. But the fact is there are hurricanes, there is huge infrastructure along the coast, there are oil rigs and wells and platforms, there is less swamps to absorb storms, there are more people etc. We are just trying to discuss what might happen given what is right now.

    I would love for there to be a largely unpopulated coast with no levees allowing for the silting and growth of swamps and shrubland and all the wonderful wildlife that used to inhabit them uninterrupted by oil rigs and ports. But that is not the situation today and therefore can we please discuss what is and might happen without lectures about hurricanes being natural?

    Issac might never rise above the level of a tropical storm, or in one estimate it might make a category 3 hurricane. I might hit anywhere along the gulf coast – hurricanes sometimes don’t follow expected paths. But the shut in oil production is real, and flow rates are as important as the amount of oil in the ground. The flow rate for US oil is temporarily down by 24%. Folks are talking about releasing from Strategic Oil Reserve. The price of oil is down some say because of that speculation. Whether Issac becomes anything like Katrina or is a big nothing, it is having an effect that is notable, but not because folks on NBL are discussing it.

  • Kathy C/TRDH,

    Looks like you are about to get really wet. Good luck!

    Michael Irving

  • Librarian you did assert that more evil is done in the world by stupid people than evil people. Since some people think G. Bush is stupid I recalled Parenti’s comments. I didn’t say that you were referring directly to G. Bush, just a commentary on one person that has been referred to as stupid but who is probably not a bit stupid and quite evil.

    Come on, a story from the novel Black Beauty does not prove anything in the real world. You have to to look at real people to determine that. If Hitler was stupid why did he last so long. If Hitler was stupid many of the people under him clearly were not and they accomplished quite a bit of evil. I reject your Hanlon’s Law as not matching up with reality. Kissinger – Evil or Stupid? Cheney = Evil or Stupid?

  • Yorchichan

    A state of objectless awareness is abandoning the witness position of consciousness, or better, understanding the illusion of ego witness as separation from reality. Authentic enlightenment is abiding as that objectless awareness. Anything ‘less’ than that is pure illusion of ego self.
    I follow the threads here pretty closely, and I can only assume this it is a line of discussion concerning the nature of reality. If so, and in that context, if one wishes to ‘handle the truth’, one must be willing to encounter some hitherto radical ideas and follow up on much older schools of esoteric thought, much of which was developed in the East many many centuries ago.
    I’m not presuming all of it is correct, btw.
    I have followed some of it because I was motivated to know the truth.
    I’m pretty satisfied with the path that has opened up while on that journey, but one has to be prepared to surrender many preconceptions along the way, not just intelectually either. That is one meaning of ‘wash up your spoon and bowl’. The practice of understanding is the main transformative agent of consciousness.

    Sometimes these things are easily grasped by the mind, and take years, if not liftomes to put into action. The mind is full of fear, and it can come to the foreground very quickly, but it is always there untill it is dealt with by counter egoic actions.

    Love is the primary counter egoic action. Ergo, that is why it is the hardest to enact ‘at will’. When you love without reservation you are destroyed and your ‘separation’ is revealed as and illusion. That illusion can decend upon your consciousness and reassert itself later, but the experience of love to the point of self forgetting, is equivalent to the moment of surrendering the witness position, or as RD puts it, objectless awareness.
    I find it useful to put whatever phrase I am unfamiliar with Robin Datta uses into an internet search engine and then I can decipher more if his/her messages, which has always been well worth it IMO.
    Hope that helps.

  • I just figured out that ‘Rehsab Thgir’ is ‘right basher’ in reverse. Is that the same as a left basher?

  • Yorchichan, If those who belong to the elite are so clever and powerful why are they destroying or allowing the destruction of the earth on which their lives too depend? Leading such privileged lives don’t they have more to lose than the rest of us?

    Just because someone is clever enough to be at the top of the industrial society heap doesn’t mean that they are smart enough to see the destructive results of this nightmare we’ve created. When one lives in modern day castles surrounded by sycophants, being in touch with reality is not a given. When one merely has to speak the word in order for lush gardens to be created out of deserts, it’s easy to imagine how a person might lose sight of the reality of climate change. Or when one can instruct a servant to get the jet ready so that a evening of fine dining can be enjoyed 1,000 miles away, it’s not hard to understand why that person might not understand the struggles of famine.

    This fits in well with Morocco Bama’s admonition against those living on the coasts with respect to hurricanes. Drive along A1A in Palm Beach county, Florida, and see the multi-million dollar, oceanfront mansions lined up like soldiers on parade on one side of the highway with multi-million dollar yachts in the intracoastal waterway on the other side of the highway. When hurricanes come, they don’t even bother boarding up. They just hop on their private jet and fly away to somewhere else. What do they care if one of their many homes is destroyed? That’s what insurance is for – and they don’t even have to worry dealing with that – that’s what lawyers are for.

    If you’ve had the misfortune of meeting many of the super wealthy, then you know that they really don’t care about anything other than themselves and, perhaps, their family. Their connection to reality is tenuous, at best. There is a reason why “let them eat cake” is attributed to Marie Antoinette.

  • Guy,

    “I cannot support evil, not in the name of lesser. So I won’t.”

    I think part of citizenship is voting. This is the dilemma for me right now. I know it is a measure of my moral cowardice. I hate that! As I’ve noted before here, I am a liberal of the first order on most things so it is easy for me to pick between the (possible/pretend) policies of Democrats and Republicans. Democrats more often do some/a few of the things I think government should be doing (helping workers, improving health care [I’m for Medicare for all], end the wars, care for the environment, etc, etc.). You know, all that touchy-feely stuff. I’m not discussing whether or not they actually get around to doing any of these things. But, given a choice between the two ideals I don’t have much trouble choosing and most (not all) of my votes have gone to Democrats.

    It is more difficult for me to pick between Stein and Obama. Why? Because voting for a third party (this has happened to me every time) is like throwing my vote away. Voting for Stein is reducing the threshold for the ascension of Romney to the Presidency by one vote. Voting for Stein increases the chances that Romney will be making the next appointments to the Supreme Court. So much for the lesser.

    My problem and choice then is between what is ideal and what is possible. Whether to “throw away” my vote in support of a third party and perhaps to allow the lesser evil to be subsumed by the greater. However, if not now, when?

    I’m reminded of the platform of the newly formed Republican party, barely six years old.
    “… 7. That the new dogma that the Constitution of its own force carries slavery into any or all of the territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself…
    8. …we deny the authority of congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.
    That we brand the recent re-opening of the African Slave Trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity, and a burning shame to our country and age, and we call upon congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic.”
    150 years ago a group stood up and said, “Enough!” Clearly, in terms of climate change, drone wars, NSA spying, assassination, Arctic oil drilling, et. al., we are again at place where the question is, “If not now, when?”
    Michael Irving

  • Morocco, where my mouth is if you will read my posts more carefully is that it is possible that Issac could be like Katrina. Could. I don’t believe I ever said that Issac was going to be the next Katrina. I posted an article from Zero Hedge that asked if it was going to be the next Katrina. I posted an article that said the rebuilt levees are not good. I posted an article that said Katrina was only a level 3. I posted a piece from Wunderground that said that one model put Issac at developing into a 3. I noted in my last comment I used the words might for where it would hit and for how strong it would be. I would be a fool to predict that Issac was going to be like Katrina.

    I posted what Zero Hedge said were the amounts of oil and gas shut in, rigs shut down. (Guy posted the same article a few comments down from mine). If Zero Hedge has the facts right those are real events regardless of what Issac turns out to be. I did not say how that would effect oil supplies as I don’t know exactly how close we are to having actual shortages. I noted that there was discussion about taking oil from the strategic oil reserves because there was and yahoo finance attributed the lower price of oil to those discussions.

    I post articles in my comments if I think they are of interest. I thought that the shutdown of rigs and lowering of output was of interest. Obviously the owners of those rigs thinks that Issac might amount to something. The title of the article was NOT mine, it was written by Tyler Durden and even he added a ? to it. Perhaps I failed to make that clear that the question about Issac being the new Katrina was Durden’s not mine. I think you need to take your arguments over to zero hedge since you are arguing against his articles title.

  • Morocco – please note this is information only. I am making no statement as to whether to rig owners are scaredy cats or wise operators. I am just reporting the state of the gulf oil per Rigzone

    Oil and gas operators on Monday continued to shut in production and evacuate workers from Gulf of Mexico production platforms and drilling rigs as they braced for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to make landfall Tuesday or Wednesday along the Gulf Coast as a hurricane.

    The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported Monday that 78.02 percent, or 1.076 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) have been shut in, while 48.13 percent, or approximately 2.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas production has been shut in.

    BSEE reported Monday personnel have been evacuated from 346 production platforms, or 58.05 percent, of the 596 manned platforms in the Gulf. Workers have also been evacuated from 41 rigs, or 53.9 percent, of the 76 rigs currently operating in the Gulf. The survey reflected information from 62 companies’ reports as of 11:30 a.m. Central Standard Time Monday.

    Total Percentage of GOM
    Platforms Evacuated 346 58.05%
    Rigs Evacuated 41 53.%
    Total Shut-in Percentage of GOM Production
    Oil, bopd Shut-in 1,076,642 78.02%
    Gas, MMcf/d Shut-in 2,165.94 48.13%
    While initial reports forecasted Isaac making landfall near Tampa, Fla., as a Category 1 hurricane, Isaac is now expected to make landfall further west in the Gulf, with forecast models predicting landfall anywhere from east of New Orleans to Beaumont, Texas.

  • Look, Kathy, I wasn’t attacking anyone.

    Hanlon’s Law does not say nobody does anything out of evil.

    It says that if it’s possible to decide that an action was either evil or stupid, you should go with stupid to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Hitler’s regime did not have that kind of ambiguity of possible motivations, so Hanlon’s Law doesn’t apply there.

    That’s all I really meant. I’m sorry if you felt I was stepping on your toes.

  • Morocco please note I am making no statement of whether this is worrisome or not, I am just showing what Dr. Jeff Masters is saying about the storm surge potential of Issac – since he thinks the levees are up to it he is not predicting another Katrina.

    Storm surge forecast for Isaac
    Storm surge is the primary damage threat from Isaac. Isaac is a huge storm, with tropical storm-force winds that extend out 205 miles from the center. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina at landfall had tropical storm-force winds that extended out 230 miles from its center. Isaac’s large size will enable it to set a large area of the ocean into motion, which will generate a large storm surge once the storm approaches land on the Gulf Coast. Water levels at Shell Beach, Louisiana, just east of New Orleans, were already elevated by 1′ this morning. Conversely, water levels have fallen by 2′ this morning at St. Petersburg, Florida, where strong offshore winds due to Isaac’s counter-clockwise circulation have carried water away from the coast. The latest 6:30 am EDT Integrated Kinetic Energy analysis from NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division put the destructive potential of Isaac’s winds near 0.6 on a scale of 0 to 6, but the destructive potential of Isaacs’s storm surge was 2.1 on a scale of 0 to 6. I expect this destructive potential will rise above 3 by time Isaac makes landfall, making Isaac’s storm surge similar to that generated by Category 2 Hurricane Gustav of 2008, which followed a path very similar to Isaac’s predicted path. Gustav brought a storm surge characteristic of a Category 1 hurricane to New Orleans: 9.5′ to Lake Borgne on the east side of the city. A higher Category 2-scale surge occurred along the south-central coast of Louisiana, and was 12.5′ high in Black Bay, forty miles southeast of New Orleans. Recent model runs indicate Isaac may slow down to a forward speed under 5 mph on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, close to the coast. If Isaac is just offshore at this time, the coasts of Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle will be exposed to a large storm surge with battering waves for two high tide cycles. This sort of extending pounding will be capable of delivering more damage than the storm surge of Hurricane Gustav of 2008.

    The affect of storm size and angle of approach on storm surge
    A 2008 paper by Irish et al., The influence of storm size on hurricane surge, found that large storms like Isaac are capable to delivering a 30% larger storm surge to the coast than a smaller storm with the same maximum wind speeds. The angle with which the storm hit the coast is important, too–a storm moving due north or slightly east of north will deliver a storm surge about 10% greater than a storm moving NNW or NW. Consult our Storm Surge pages for detailed information on what the risk is for the coast. I expect that Isaac’s storm surge will be about 30% higher than the typical surge one would expect based on the maximum wind speeds.

    Isaac’s storm surge will provide the first test of the newly-completed New Orleans levee system upgrade. In the wake of the disastrous storm surge flooding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Congress appropriated $14.5 billion to upgrade the New Orleans levee system to withstand a Category 3 hurricane storm surge. Katrina was a Category 3 storm at landfall, but the storm passed far enough to the east of the city that its storm surge was characteristic of a Category 1 – 2 storm at the places where the city’s flood walls and levees failed. The new flood defenses were only partially completed in time for the arrival of Hurricane Gustav in 2008, which hit Central Louisiana as a Category 2 storm. Gustav brought a storm surge characteristic of a Category 1 hurricane to New Orleans: 9.5′ to Lake Borgne on the east side of the city. Since that time, the imposing 2-mile long IHNC Flood Barrier has been completed to block off the funnel-shaped pair of canals on the east side of the city. I expect New Orleans’ new flood defenses will be able to hold back Isaac’s surge, but areas outside the levees are at risk of heavy storm surge damage.

  • Librarian, I think in personal relations “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” may at times be a better course of action – even if malice is behind the action. As Martin Luther said “put the best construction on everything” as an add on to the 9th commandment. However it can be dangerous to take that too far, for if you discount malice in people who are genuinely malicious they may figure you to be exploitable. I tend to give individuals the benefit of the doubt and then get exploited and then they discover I am not endlessly exploitable.

    However when it comes to powerful people I think you have to assume they wouldn’t be in power if they were stupid and thus you must attribute at the least bad values but most likely evil or malice to any actions that have bad results such as killing an American with a drone. Neither the president who ordered that nor the men controlling the drone were stupid.

    As for stupid, how do you know what is stupid and what is ignorant. They are not always the same. If stupid means lower intelligence, and ignorant means lack of proper training we cannot really know from the Black Beauty story which was true of the man but I would bet on ignorant not stupid.

    Is this man in the story stupid? Malicious? Greedy? Ignorant?
    Mr Nicholas Skinner – A ruthless cab horse owner who charges a high fee for renting cab horses. As a result the only way the drivers who rent his horse can make money is by overworking the horse, usually by whipping the horse to make it move even when tired. When Beauty collapses from overwork Skinner plans to send Beauty to a knacker but a farrier convinces him to rest Beauty and sell him at a horse fair. Seedy Sam used to rent horses from him.

    We are overusing antibiotics and breeding for ourselves antibiotic resistant bacteria. I hardly think the Drs. or Vets who overuse them are stupid or ignorant. Yet most would not call them evil or operating out of malice. Yet money is probably one of the motivators for their behavior.

    Hanlon’s law is too narrow for the range of what humans do and are I think. By the way you might want to read and add to your library Craig Dilworth “Too Smart for our Own Good”. Whether you disagree or agree with him it is thought provoking.

  • What is “the basis that sustains one in such explorations”?

    The awareness that is the witness of all thoughts and all the states of the mind. 

    Why do I want to reach a state of objectless awareness? In such a state will the nature of reality become clear? Are you recommending a course in meditation?

    I do not know why. Clarity has an object – the thing that is clear. There is no end to such contemplations, musings and ruminations. Meditation is only one of many methods. Husking rice could be one option. 

    Hui Neng was an illiterate who sought instruction in the monastery of the Fifth Patriarch (of Zen Buddhism) and was assigned not to a study group, but to the kitchen, to husk rice. The Fifth Patriarch asked the students to compose a stanza to show their understanding of the teachings. The lead student’s stanza was to the effect: The Mind is a bright mirror that reflects the world. We must strive to keep it free of dust.

    The Fifth Patriarch commended this and told all the students to recite it, but in private told that student to try again. Hui Neng heard the stanza recited by students, and had one of the staff write a stanza on the bulletin board to the effect: Since the Mind is Nothingness where can dust alight?

    When the Fifth Patriarch read this, he enquired as to the author. He the secretly transmitted the Patriarchy to Hui Neng and instructed him to leave immediately because his life was in peril.

  • To vote is to give one’s moral sanction to the only basis of the puissance of the state: enforcement by the threat to initiate coercive force against even peaceful non-compliers. One has to avert one’s eyes from the gun to maintain a charade of morality, or turn away from the voting booth. 

  • Nicholas Skinner’s actions CAN’T adequately be explained by stupidity, he benefits too much from what he does. So Hanlon’s Law doesn’t apply to him.

    Likewise, if people in power’s actions can’t adequately be explained by stupidity, then yes, I agree that they’re malicious, and Hanlon’s Law doesn’t apply to them either.

  • Robin Datta

    You wrote:

    ‘He the secretly transmitted the Patriarchy to Hui Neng’.

    What was transmitted, the Patriarchy? Was it only information transmitted or was it ‘understanding’ in an esoteric sense? Or a level of realisation? Can you elaborate on this please?

  • MO, I have had no difficulty following your arguments about hurricanes and their part in the scheme of Nature. I grew up in MS, and I know firsthand the power of Nature, as it were. What I find difficult is your declaring that there would not have been a story without the failing levies. That’s your opinion. I also know that people learn to take hurricanes in stride. I agree that people living on the coast are taking chances, and I understand that relying on levies to hold back nature is ridiculous (in New Orleans). I think that all man-made intrusions on nature should be dismantled,and nature should be allowed to take its course (which of course it will, eventually.)

    My much ballyhooed hand wringing and jumping up and down (sorry to nauseate you) is because I have friends and family who have been impacted by hurricanes from MS, AL, LA, and TX. That would include me, even though I didn’t live on the coast. Most of them don’t live on the coast, either. I understand you celebrate the deaths of all those people as just part of nature doing her thing; I don’t. I know we have population overshoot and something needs to happen to stop and reverse that (too much medical intervention?). I just cannot be happy about the people who are killed or left homeless and more due to a hurricane. By the way, if you think hurricanes are so unimportant, why do you capitalize it?

  • What was transmitted, the Patriarchy? Was it only information transmitted or was it ‘understanding’ in an esoteric sense? Or a level of realisation? Can you elaborate on this please?

    Understanding would involve the one who understands, the understanding and what is understood.

    There are plenty of descriptive narratives of the episode.  The Wikipedia entry:

    Hui Neng

    “Hongren then passed the robe and begging bowl as a symbol of the Dharma Seal of Sudden Enlightenment to Huineng.”

  • Realization also involves the realiser, the realising and that what is realised.

  • ‘Oil to Hit $100, but Experts Say Sell the Rally’

    Looks almost a cert soon.

    ‘Dominic Schnider, Head Commodity Research at UBS Wealth Management, agrees it is “highly likely” that oil prices will touch $100, but adds that the move is likely “short-term.”… I don’t expect a lot of real damage to infrastructure (in the oil fields) … things have been modernized, oil rigs have been the replaced and the new ones will be able to withstand such storms,” he said.’

    For what it’s wrth, an insider and all.

  • ‘U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market’

    Who would have thought…

    ‘Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress….Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals….A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — to purchase American weapons at record levels.’

    What can one say, the writing is on the wall.

  • Robin

    Thanks for your continued patience and I actually understood everything you wrote last time. Thank goodness you are not recommending a course in meditation. I might have felt obliged to do it!


    Thanks also for trying to explain to me about enlightenment. I don’t agree with you that love is the primary counter egoic action. At least I don’t appreciate why it should be so more than any other emotion strongly felt. Isn’t the fear you strive to free yourself from a large part of love? After all, you never love someone or something more than when you feel you are about to lose them/it. Also, non-human animals don’t feel love without reservation and yet they lack ego.

    Morocco Bama and TRDH

    I believe that those in power are not clever. Obviously they are of above average intelligence and they have intelligent people working for them, but I do not think they are not amongst the most intelligent people. They have achieved their positions due to their social skills and ruthless desire for power more than due to intelligence.

    Interesting what you wrote, TRDH, about meeting the super wealthy. I did once meet my Member of Parliament to ask for help and my experience was exactly as you describe. He didn’t give a damn about my problem. Fortunately for me I was friends with someone in the MP’s party involved in selection of candidates. As soon as possible deselection was mentioned to the MP, he couldn’t do enough to help me. As you wrote, these guys don’t care about anyone but themselves.

    Michael Irving

    I doubt that in the history of all elections in all states any election has ever been decided by just one vote, so every individual vote you have ever cast has made no difference to the outcome and has been a wasted vote. IMHO you should vote for whatever candidate or party (I’m not sure how these things work in the US) you would most like to get elected. Only by every individual doing so do the people get the government they most desire (within the restrictions of the voting system).

  • Nature is up to bat and looks like game over for us.

    Pole shifts are cyclic occurrences on the Earth and the cycles are natural. This is something that happens to the Earth naturally through cosmic cycles that happen like clockwork when looked at from the perspective of celestial events. There are clearly two cosmic events that are about to change the world as we know it. Either or both will result in pole shifts.

    The Mayans were master calendar makers and were taught by ETs about time and space. Shortly after the pole shift earth will be passing through what they called the dark rift.

    On the winter solstice in 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years(Milky Way is one of billions of galaxies in the observable universe. The Galaxy has special significance to humanity as it is the home galaxy of the planet Earth). This special alignment means that the usual energy that typically streams to Earth from the black hole in the center of the Milky Way will be disrupted on 12/21/12 2012 at 11:11 p.m. Universal Time. The end of the Maya calendar is known as the end of the Great Cycle which is 26,000 years long.

    The Coming Pole Shift

    Nibiru…? The Movie – Planet X Revealed

    Two Suns video

    Nibiru and the Avebury Manor crop circles

    Expansion of the Sun video

    Earth Under Fire

    Knowing – the movie

    Pole Shift & Military Preparations

    Doomsday 2012 playlist

  • Yorchichan, I doubt that in the history of all elections in all states any election has ever been decided by just one vote,

    This happened in a town about 25 miles from us . . .

    November 11, 2006 (AP) — Randy Wooten figured he’d get at least one vote in his bid for mayor of this town of 80 people even if it was just his own.

    He didn’t. Now he has to decide whether to file a formal protest.

    Wooten got the news from his wife, Roxanne, who went to City Hall on Wednesday to see the election results.

    “She saw my name with zero votes by it. She came home and asked me if I had voted for myself or not. I told her I did,” said Wooten, owner of a local bar.

    However, Poinsett County results reported Wednesday showed incumbent William H. Wood with 18 votes, challenger Ronnie Chatman with 18 votes and Wooten with zero.
    “I had at least eight or nine people who said they voted for me, so something is wrong with this picture,” Wooten said.

    Poinsett County Election Commissioner Junaway Payne said the issue had been discussed but no action taken yet.

    “It’s our understanding from talking with the secretary of state’s office that a court order would have to be obtained in order to open the machine and check the totals,” Payne said. “The votes were cast on an electronic voting machine, but paper ballots were available.” [Note that courts have always ruled that the voting machines are proprietary and cannot be examined. It is difficult to overstate the frustration.]

    A November 28 runoff is scheduled to decide the mayor’s race.

    “It’s just very hard to understand,” Wooten said.


    And now for the rest of the story. It turns out that after all the national news media arrived and Wooten and others were questioned more pointedly, he didn’t vote for himself after all, nor did his wife or “friends”. :-)

  • Yorchichan

    Animals have ego, why else would they fight to survive?
    I was referring to self transcending love, which reveals the true nature of the heart. The fear is of the mind, but no stratergy to remediate or eradicate fear will accomplish the ‘no suffering’ experience. The suffering is self created, and only by ego release can the enlightened existance be.
    Endless explainations are not fruitful, I can only vouch for the veracity of the bowl and spoon cleaning as a tried and tested ‘way’, but as a metaphore of course.

  • Yorchichan, TDRH – yep an election in our County for Commissioner was decided by one vote too. It was a good vote. (the loser took the matter to court but lost) Had it gone the other way the reinstatement of our town would never have happened because that one vote gave us 4 Commissioners we could talk to out of 6 instead of 3. Thus the 1 vote in the election gave us 1 vote in the Commission. Whether reinstating our town will turn out to be good or not is to be seen, but given looming collapse it probably doesn’t matter. Still we hicks in our little town of under 200 won against the forces aligned with the richest and most powerful man in the county thanks to one vote – until I saw your post TDRH I had forgotten about that particular election and what it meant to us.

  • TRDH and Kathy C

    I meant in presidential elections, in which I believe the party with the largest vote in a state gets all the electoral college votes from that state. Surely with the large number of voters involved the result for any state has never been decided by just one vote?

    Sorry for not making myself clear.

  • Yorchichan, I figured you were talking about larger scale elections, but your post prompted that memory in me and I always thought it was a funny story. Sort of made your point, actually.

    As to your question, has a pretty good rundown on the subject, of a sorts:

  • Yorchichan, ah yes well in Alabama my vote in presidential campaigns is futile of course. I thought I wasn’t going to vote or was going to write in, but Romney and Ryan are convincing me to vote democratic just as a protest.

    And like Dr. House the one vote issue reminded me of the story from our neck of the woods and the personal implication of that vote (in a different district from us) made for us :)

  • Now how about that: another hurricane is due to hit New Orleans on the anniversary of Katrina. Hope those new pumps and levees work.

    In other fun news: we can all feel safer now that our fine, upstanding, strictly by-the-book, “watching out for your safety” employees of Homeland Security are on the job.

    Some Homeland Security Department employees have found creative ways to supplement their government salary.

    A Citizen and Immigration Services worker charged $1,500 to approve citizenship applications. A Customs and Border Patrol agent collected $5,000 to smuggle 30 undocumented aliens across the border. Another officer received $10,000 to let a car filled with 1,700 pounds of marijuana through a port of entry into the United States.

    An annual summary from Homeland Security’s inspector general said the department initiated 1,389 investigations into internal matters, leading to 318 arrests and 260 convictions of DHS employees. In 2011, the auditor — which describes itself as “the principal agency within the department with the authority to investigate employee corruption” — found instances of bribery, child pornography and “nonconsensual sexual contact” with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees among the crimes DHS staff allegedly committed.

    The investigations resulted in fines, restitutions and administrative cost savings of more than $45 million, the report said. Many of the employees face significant prison sentences in addition to termination from their positions. (there’s more)

    In some unsurprising, and i’m sure widely known to everyone here, Arctic Sea ice is at the lowest point ever. Somehow i think we’ll be revisiting this again next year to break the record again, and in the following years until it’s gone.

  • Per EIA
    Gulf of Mexico federal offshore oil production accounts for 23 percent of total U.S. crude oil production and federal offshore natural gas production in the Gulf accounts for 7 percent of total U.S. dry production. Over 40 percent of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf coast, as well as 30 percent of total U.S. natural gas processing plant capacity.
    Per Rigzone
    Seventy-eight percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production and almost half of U.S. Gulf natural gas production has been shut in

    If my math is right that means 18% of US oil production is shut in (.78 * 23)

    While it looks like Isaac is only going to be a Cat 1, it seems clear that the oil industry figures it is less expensive to shut down rigs than to keep them running and manned.

  • I notice that no one on NBL has yet mentioned the looming “sequestration” in the U.S. budget debacle (or if so, I’ve missed it). It’s possible that this may be the “black swan” that leads to rapid collapse, assuming it doesn’t happen sooner. Certainly for those of us who receive payments from Medicare/Medicaid, it’s something that’s definitely on our radar.

    The following is a month or two old, but still pertinent –

    Uncertainty surrounding the conditions of sequestration has been a force unto itself. With the threat of $1.2 trillion in cuts on the horizon, hiring in the contracting world is slowing and actions are becoming more deliberate as companies brace themselves for uncertainty. Although details of the cuts have not been made clear, sequestration impact at defense and civilian agencies are expected to be similar: . . .

    Acting Director Jeff Zients testified on August 1st before the Armed Services Committee that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be prepared to implement sequestration. At the same time, Zients has been quoted as saying that, “Sequestration, by design, is bad policy,” and that, “No amount of planning will mitigate the damaging effects.” The nuances of numerous government programs and the variations in their funding add to the complexity. In his testimony, Zients noted that, “some programs are seasonal, so more spending might be up front, in which case you need to save up front,’ and similarly that, “some might be backend-loaded, in which case the money’s going to come out of the later months of the fiscal year.”

  • “And, it’s MB, not MO.”


  • MB, I said, “I understand you celebrate the deaths of all those people as just part of nature doing her thing; I don’t.”

    You are correct that this was my assumption; I clearly was not correct. At least when I consider what you wrote in rebuttal.

    Could it be that we are on the same page but just don’t know it?

  • MB, “I don’t want to see people suffer and die, but it appears to me the media does, otherwise, it would lose its purpose.”

    You are so correct!!!

  • Update on Arctic sea ice by Paul Beckwith of University of Ottawa
    Predicts 50% chance of sea ice vanishing by 2015
    If you don’t have time to look at all the slides page down to the last one and note the feedback loops and especially the one in red.

  • Anyone seen or read any Thom Hartmann?
    ‘Threshold – The Crisis of Western Culture’.

  • I actually understood everything you wrote last time.

    Good. That indicates an awareness of the meaning of Right Action and Right Effort two of the aspects of the Noble (“Aryan”) Eightfold Path, also incorporated into the Way of Action (Karma Yoga). Whether it be husking rice, chopping wood, carrying water, or washing a spoon and bowl, it involves being free of the sense of agency, the idea that “I am doing such and such”. This in turn involves non- attachment, absence of a sense of personal attraction or aversion – to be distinguished from callous indifference. From this comes a non-attachment to the results of the action: action because it is perceived as appropriate rather than motivated by the desire for its results.  Even most of what is called “love” is really a manifestation of attachment, and is responsible for the adverse experiences associated with “love”. 

  • Just from viewing some 10 -20 min utube it is apparent that Thom Hartmann has chronicled the post Reagan/Thatcher/Howard era of destroying the middle classes in western Democracies, precicely because the middle class evokes a greater participation in democracy by yhe people. Another bit of the puzzle falls into place.

    How to turn it around though?
    Perhaps only in collapse, will Fascism be negated.

  • 2 Suns & Mawson Station, Antarctica?

    Deadliest Profession! Trails of Dead Astronomy Teams

    The Matrix – What is Real

    “Exelon has informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it is withdrawing its Early Site Permit application for a new nuclear construction project in Texas. The continuing plunge of natural gas prices, economic conditions, market instability, and public resistance has made the nuclear industry uneconomical now, and for the foreseeable future.”

  • i think all classes (but especially the ultra-rich, 1%, psychopaths who somehow “own” everything – and of course misuse it all) must go and that if there are to be any survivors of this bottleneck cooperation and equality will have to be the case or it just won’t work. Once 85 – 90% of humanity is gone, the rest are going to have to figure this out real quick or it’ll become Mad Max world or everyone will just perish (because nobody can do it all by themselves).

  • Morocco Bama

    There is rarely a post here where you do not assume the high ground of opinion. To be fair I have some memory of you explaining your views and squaring with others when challenged, however, it appears no one has posted a view you can’t counter. That, IMO, is not constructive, but merely egocentric, notwithstanding evidence and discussion of POV.

    With regard to Thom Hartmann, his crituque may not be entirely unique, but who’s is, and regardless to an answer to that, what does it matter that there are plenty like him.
    He is pointing out, amongst other things that in several incarnations an emerging ‘middle class’ was largly responsable for some political, social and environmental dissent and call to reign in aspects of elitism directing almost every aspect of Empire.
    That doesn’t seem to be good enough for you.
    An analysis of why the Reagan/Thatcher/Howard era’s deliberate
    disempowerment of the middle classes such as Hartmann’s may not deliver the Empire collapse many demand to ‘stitch in time save nine’ the biosphere, but it is necessary to understand the travesty that is now unfolding and backs onto Guy’s last essay concerning the deliberate destruction of higher education.
    Let’s not forget the title of the type of reform instigated by Reagan/Thatcher/Howard – it was and still is called ‘Economic Rationalism’.
    Even single mums with small children are squeezed to work themselves back to Dickensian times, to quantify their previously zero economic contribution to ‘the economy’, forgetting it is a culture instead.
    I raise the issue of your approaching dominance of the high ground on this discussion forum, because it has become tiresome IMO, and you do make very worthy points and put up equally interesting links, but the smugness, that smacks of a highly drilled academic who has played the smack the tutorial group around to show them you are ahead by miles game, and that IMO feels less like equality, and more like competition.
    I put links up to share.
    Comment and differing views is expected and very liberating. I am a bit player and have learned a lot from all who have posted, especially Kathy C and the regulars, yourself included.
    Your point about the middle classes being “the bulwark and accelerator of Industrial Civilization” I take as accurate, but at the critical years after the protest movements what transpired for say middle class North America was a whole lot of attack at many fronts that was designed to suck the power from that public concern for these issues. As a political ploy it has worked, and diverted a lot of minds to self interest, like making an eager capitalst from every home owner, rather than continue in the reform movements that came from those times. That ” bulwark and accelerator of Industrial Civilization” was in the process of turning to more radical ways of living, like communal sharing and engagement in spiritual movements like bhagwan rajneesh. Cults were whitwashed deliberatly by destablising and making scapegoats of communities likw Wako. In deliberate ways ‘the Middle class’ has been herded back into the grosest of consumer patterns, and you criticise that, but do not acknowledge that there is little alternatives to a population that has its pillars of change smashed by big money.
    Ignorane in ‘the middle classes’ is what it is, but it is fruitless, and a wellnigh meaningless response to have contempt for those still blinded by some well researched and well funded 100 years or so of sophisticated phsychology that is used against their best interests.
    Who is responsible for their own awareness level?
    Only those who know themselves, IMO.
    The others are yet to become so, and it is better IMO to assist as many on that path as one can, rather than chuckle and smirk at the ignorance, and obvious powerlessness of so many disenfranchised people, who otherwise want to do a minimum of damage to their world as possible. short of holding one’s breath, my sense is that many are overburdened with the challenge, because it has been derailed by big money, while most large political parties are in on the scam.

    I also have to disagree with, ‘so if we know that Industrial Civilization is the culprit, which of course we do..’. The culprit is better described as an attitude to the biosphere, that has arisen in part by the manufacturing and duplicating of that hyperrational valuation of the biosphere. Industrial Civilisation is a systemic manifestation of a relatively homogenious collective belief system most of us can see has some powerful interests pushing it on people.

  • To stray into a contemporary metaphore, it seems clear to me that the original first two movies in the Alien series describe the process of turning humans into aliens, and the primary act that completes the process, after implantation by the face hanger is the expolsion of the heart area, so necessary for a creature that uses every aspect of its environment to replicate and survive. All potential for humanity is gone and compassion has no vessil to express itself. Simmilar to the cockroach like vassils in the Empire in Star wars, or the all too familiar armoured riot squads deployed to suppress civil dissent today, the humanity is gone and the machine takes over.
    No one be surprised when outbreaks of some very deadly disease are reported when civil unrest is rife and TPTB judge the game needs to move into phase 2. We will know the real expendables by who lives and who does not.

  • That should have read…’the explosion of the heart area’, apols.

  • Tom

    You wrote:’…cooperation and equality will have to be the case.’
    I hear you, and I agree.

    Off topic …

    I have some evidence that the recent spate of walabies and kangaroos seen in our area may be populations displaced from neighbouring estate suburb clearing, down on the plains, some 90 km away. I will be chasing up some of the park rangers about their take on that.

  • “Could it be that we are on the same page but just don’t know it?”

    That sounds like a good theme for a future thread.

    “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

    -George Bernard Shaw

  • About the middle class allowing this to happen…

    We sometimes derisively refer to the general public as “sheep” or “cows” etc. This is usually when we are angry and frustrated about our situation.

    But if we put aside the emotions I think that analogy is still very accurate. We see “herd” behavior all over the place. “Popular Mass Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” chronicles some of the past misadventures of human herds.

    When the cows or sheep are lead down a path to be sheered, I do not blame them. And I know they are powerless over their fate.

    I’d recommend the following tune to be played at the funeral service for the Middle Class of the herd.

    (note- please do not read into this any contempt, anger, etc – just “is”…)

  • Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away
    Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
    You better watch out
    There may be dogs about
    I’ve looked over Jordan and I have seen
    Things are not what they seem.

    What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real
    Meek and obedient you follow the leader
    Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel
    What a surprise!
    A look of terminal shock in your eyes
    Now things are really what they seem
    No, this is no bad dream.

    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
    He makes me down to lie
    Through pastures green he leadeth me the silent waters by
    With bright knives he releaseth my soul
    He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
    He converteth me to lamb cutlets
    For lo,m he hath great power and great hunger
    When cometh the day we lowly ones
    Through quiet reflection and great dedication
    Master the art of karate
    Lo, we shall rise up
    And then we’ll make the bugger’s eyes water.

    Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers
    March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

    Have you heard the news?
    The dogs are dead!
    You better stay home
    And do as you’re told
    Get out of the road if you want to grow old.

  • Morocco – honestly, that was not intended for you or anyone in particular.

    I have not been following this conversation closely, I was just skimming through the posts. A couple of things caught my attention and and I just shared my “belly’s” response as it popped into my mind. I gave No thought of the consequences… ;)

    I apologize for the distraction.

  • Morocco Bama

    You wrote:

    ‘This is the second time you have attempted to censor my view.’

    In truth, I am unable to understand your stated views of contempt for others. I don’t intend to berate ‘you’, but question why you see a need for ‘bashing’ classes of people, like ‘middle classes’, or ‘consumer junkies’ for enacting poor choices that have been circumscribed by big money and TPTB.
    Perhaps I should have asked why you hold that view, and in that sense I apologise if I confused the view you expressed and you.

  • Morocco – no harm, no foul!

    “I am Animal!” ; 0

    Pink Floyd’s Animals – the sound track for the last 40 years and the next 40?


    Breath after Breath we carry this mortal coil… safe for tomorrow ???

    (part of this is in portuguese, I think. I don’t undrestand a word of it… just the sound of the words is “medicinal” for me – out goes the pain and frustration, in comes some vague hope ; )

    (and that is enough self-absorbed nonsense from me for today)


    Breath After Breath
    Ama! Danca!

    Every day I wake up in this room
    And I don’t know
    Where I come from,
    Where I’m going to
    Then I hear the voice

    Senhora musa da paz
    Me abraca
    Me carrega no teu andor

    Dormir no colo da dor
    Amiga, arrasa!
    A tua mao desenhou
    O sonho na areia
    Agora, entrega de vez
    Meu rumo
    E vida

    From where I stand
    The truth isn’t black and white
    Alone we live and die
    We love and fight
    Breath after breath
    We carry this mortal coil
    Safe for tomorrow

    Do I dare
    Oh do I dare
    Follow through the goorsteps
    My whole body hears
    Beating on my heart like a feather
    Beating of a moment til I disappear

    Diga uma palavra alegre
    Manda um recado
    Que seja agoca
    Faz o mundo ficar novo
    E dancar no colo do tal de amor

    From where I stand
    The truth isn’t black and white
    Alone we live and die
    We love and fight
    Breath after breath
    We carry this mortal coil
    Safe for tomorrow

    Circles in sand are washed out into the sea
    Just as we slip on through to eternity
    Breath after breath
    We carry this mortal coil
    Safe for tomorrow

    Diga uma palavra, cara
    Bem alegre
    Corre, manda logo um recado
    Me abraca
    Faz um clima doce
    Me arrepia!
    Chega de sufocol
    Me poe louco!
    Me faz diamante
    Teu amante
    Danca ao som do vento
    Me ensina
    Basta de sufoco
    Nao faz jogo…

    A flame of love is burning
    The song is of the planets
    Oh whooooooo
    The dance is to the rhythm of the rain
    Where everyone is coming from
    Is coming to

    And birth is just a
    Breath after breath

  • A significant consideration about the rise of the middle class is that a degree of literacy, numeracy and abstract mentalisation has been deemed necessary to enable more complex aspects of Empire work to take place. It has been a problem for TPTB that those forms of widespread education, when performed well, also lead to critical thinking and considderable radical questioning and dissent. The post 1970s dumbing down of education, and distraction through entertainments, and encouragement into debt, and now fear wholesale, show how TPTB have attempted to deal with the dissent.
    The poor have always had minimum power, the rich, with some individual exception, see no need to protest, and it is the Middle Class, from which even an illusory sense of security enables some dissent and criticism of Empire.
    IMO it is not a return to the blind middle class that Hartmann and others are calling for or lamenting, but the level of mental and emotional stability, and perhaps moderate intellegence that allows for dissent based on rational analysis of the global problems.

    In the Occupy movements in recent times, and in economic analysis by people like Elizabeth Warren, the clear strategy of TPTB is to impoverish the vast majority of the previous generations of the middle class, who will still need to eat and get mortgages, and buy their energy from central suppliers, and receive a poor education, and pay for health services and water. The consumption train will continue, but the social competition, insecurity and unhappiness, and ill health will expand.
    And the dissent will be less rational and more herd like.

    I do not advocate a return to the uncritical consumer aspects of the middle class, however, to overemphasise the ignorance and lack of crtical thinking as a characteristic of the middle class is to not recognise that it has been white-anted and the earlier cohorts were more inependent in mind. (Many still went to the casino, blinded by the bribes of easy retirement and such I’ll admit.)
    The plan seems to be the 99% are a working underclass, but are able to afford McMansions?

    In this situation with very dire prospects I say reform and transform where possible, and let the collapse come when it will, yes very soon, to save the planet.

    For what its worth Moroc, no one would want you to hold your tongue on any of this stuff, least of all me.

  • Morocco Bama

    Perhaps it is not a fair thing to ask here why anyone has a particular opinion, so I’ll leave it at that.

    …And my appointment was made well before this lifetime.

    No solutions to the problems we face here, just documenting them I guess.

  • For anyone who needs a little inspiration, of sorts

    Titled: “One of the most courageous things you will ever see on a running track ! In my opinion “.

  • Who needs conspiracies.

    Look at this, In Broad Daylight. The gov has not a single thread is on his body.

    Remote Alaska to stockpile food, just in case

    …Gov. Sean Parnell worries a major earthquake or volcanic eruption could leave the state’s 720,000 residents stranded and cut off from food and supply lines…


    REALLY ?!?!?!

    All of the sudden he is worried about earthquakes and volcanoes ?!?!?!

    If it wasn’t so serious, it would be hilarious.

    I must say though that this is the first and only instance of a state government doing something that suggests they at least recognize we are living under “emergency” conditions – even if the general population is completely asleep and unaware, there is at least one “leader” who is at least trying to act responsibly.

    too many suits asleep everywhere else it seems.

  • Navid, yes looks like smart action for false reason.

    My friend in the hog industry continues to tell me that they are getting beyond nervous about having enough feed at any price for the herds. Liquidation of cattle, dairy cow and pig herds continues which drives meat prices down at the same time feed prices are up. Look for more farmers going out of business.

  • Yorchichan,

    There have been a number of elections that have ended with a coin toss. You are right, that is not the case with the president. However, the principle of the importance of each vote is borne out in practice.

    All that aside, your comment is welcome but it really does not end my dilemma. In recent US history the pro-Nader vote in 2000 is an example (according to some people) of what happens when too many people vote their conscience. What did they get for their effort? I guess they still get to say, “I didn’t vote for either one of the corporate stooges.” The winning Republicans got a couple of wars and a loss of individual freedom at home. The Democrats got to ride into power on the backlash to Bush & Co. and completely remake the country. Oooops! Well, it does look like we are getting the government we most desire (or deserve).

    Michael Irving

  • Kathy,

    “they are getting beyond nervous”

    It reminds me of the Lame Deer quote:

    ” …the machine stops and they are helpless…”

    Oh well. I’m sure we are worried about nothing. Right now everything is perfectly fine, the sun is shining today, the county fair begins today, and… and… we have plenty of time… besides, any problems will always be someone else’s, or someone else will have prepared for them, I think. I am pretty sure tomorrow will be exactly the same as today.

  • Man, you guys stay busy — and logged in all the time. I had a couple responsive comments but have forgotten them now that the comments thread has grown to about 12 times the length of the subject post, which as usual quickly fell away from being the topic of discussion.

    Regarding the true (if hidden) motivations of the criminal elite or the criminally complacent middle class, that’s a fool’s errand, IMO, and leads nowhere. Motivations inhere to individuals, but once individuals are aggregated into classes, behaviors that spring observably from their unique prerogatives (I like the bit about amplifying effects empowering the 1%) vs. the utter desolation of any individual’s powerlessness in the face of such collective forces, well, let’s just say it no longer makes sense to speak in terms of motivation. The same is true of the mob, a headless beast without guiding force that cannot be channeled, or for that matter, demographics and large swings in cultural and social history.

    And that, too, points to the power of abstraction. To participate meaningfully in the world as it now exists requires ignoring the underlying meaninglessness and pointlessness of it all and committing on some level to the charades of fiat money, fame, glamour, and cachet in a mutually reinforcing dance of idiots. The media reinforces it incessantly. Has anyone else noticed that the stories we tell ourselves, whether via the movies or the endless cycles of political racehorse baiting, are getting more and more disconnected from reality? Superheroes are everywhere, yet they’re all fundamentally impotent in the reality we actually inhabit. But we nevertheless commit to this escapism, as though the world has so few breathless wonders we can’t tolerate living without our illusions.

  • Navid “I am pretty sure tomorrow will be exactly the same as today.” Yep that is usually a safe bet thus humans are programmed to expect that. But more and more today and tomorrow are less and less like each other. I have taken to watching departures from normal highs. This year many parts of the country have been yoyoing all over the place. I think that on some level this has to be making people nervous without knowing what is making them nervous. The weather has become weird and changeable in noticeable ways and this contradicts the program that says tomorrow will be much like today.

  • Kathy C: I’ve looked at that link from Paul Beckwith, doctoral student at University of Ottawa in climatology. He predicts loss of all Arctic sea ice by 30 September of THIS YEAR.

    This is extremely serious. The last slide in the set tells us what he thinks the implications are.

    I’ve had two faculty here so far have a look at this and both of them told me that it looks very bad, but that the data was not in their area. I’ve sent it to two more and we’ll see what they say.

  • Morocco Bama

    The clip from God Bless America was rather good. Keep the recommendations coming.


    After a repeat viewing this week of Limitless (my favourite movie from last year), I’ve suddenly developed an interest in “smart drugs”. Anybody know if they work? TRDH, know anything about “modafinil”? With it’s help maybe I can infiltrate the elite. At worst, I should be able
    to make an on-topic post. ;)

  • Yorchichan

    ‘Now children, today I wanna talk to you m..bout something called drurgs. That’s right, drurgs. Now remember children, drurgs are bayd, take drurgs ya become bayd…’,

    just remember, it was only a movie!

  • BC Nurse – thanks, I will look forward to what you report. I Whole lot of discussion going on about things that are going to be irrelevant if we lose Acrtic Sea Ice this summer. It is increasingly looking like it will vanish this decade for sure.

    I keep getting articles from industry publications from my friend in the hog industry. The corn and soy situation has them in panic mode. Herds of pigs, cattle and dairy cows are being sold off which will depress the meat prices, which will drive those farmers out of business. Even if future years were better it takes time to rebuild an animal herd if everyone else has sold off too. Animals reproduce at a given rate, not at a rate the market calls for. He told me feeder pigs (newly weaned piglets) are now selling for $10 each. A sow can produce 25 in a year. So you have to feed, house and care for each sow for a return of $250. And feed prices are rising. Sorry if I already wrote this but there seems to be a (unconscious?) conspiracy not to talk about how bad the food situation is this year.

    Someone started a saying that is probably pretty accurate “we are 9 meals away from anarchy”, meaning 3 days without any food and all hell breaks loose. I doubt the person who wrote that meant Guy’s meaning of anarchy.

  • If Guy waits some longer with a new entry, this one might reach a 500 comments.

    Conspiracy theories. I think the only existing conspiracy is the fact of calling all those partly covered up crimes – conspiracy theories.

    To come to the point: The covering up is a crime in itself.

  • Morocco “I don’t think it’s irrelevant to discuss the inter-workings of the System that has led to that predicament.”

    Unfortunately once you are in a food predicament you can’t do anything about it until the next crop comes in. Crops don’t grow on the hot air of endless discussions.

    You can’t eat words, discussions, ideas, you eat food.

    Don’t matter, the way things are progressing on the climate front even Guy’s possible salvation of the planet and our species via early collapse of industrial civilization seems highly unlikely. In fact the climate is in charge now and looks set to both collapse industrial civilization in the near future AND take out that pesky species homo sapiens.

    In fact after reading Dilworth’s “Too Smart for our Own Good” this all seems inevitable from the moment homo became sapiens.

    I have often thought I spend too much time discussing irrelevant things here on NBL (increasingly everything is irrelevant) But luckily you and Oz man came along so I can look better by comparison :)

  • Morocco Bama

    Agreeing with you feels good. I agree that discussing what actually went wrong in some details is worthwhile. I also agree in principle with Kathy C that much will be ‘less’ relevent when TSHTF, and her comment about 9 meals away from anarchy is spot on.


    Much of this discussion is really concerning death in the background. Some have asked what does anything matter if we are certain of the inevitability of the collapse, and the human, and other life forms tragedy. That is like facing one’s own mortality, inflected through a larger collective prism. But it is still mortality, and it is not a pointless exercise. What is it all about for us individually?
    In earlier times when entering a Buddhist order the first considderation one studies is that of death and mortality. Not to get one down, but to live subsequently on the realisation that the bodymind will pass, that it is inevitable. That is counter to the ego intention, and serves to better orient a spiritual beginner to the path.

    When I contemplate this comming catastrophe one aspect of my response is to attempt to survive, and assist family and neighbours as well.
    Others have written no one survives, and that is a great reminder that you get a brief strut and then you’re away. I recall Hamlet speaking to the skull of Yorik, the previous court jester, and he asks, ‘where are your jibes now?’ What was it all for?
    I am not going to be stupid enough to attempt answers to these questions here, but the end game of Homo Sapiens, which hangs in the balance over all that we put up here, should awaken us to the full and great situation life offers just now.
    I have my own reasons to struggle in a collapse to survive, most probably deluded, but there you have it. Others say they don’t wish to be around.
    I’m motivated to ask why are we posting here now we know the near term FUBAR situation?
    I’ll be honest and write that reviewing information from clued up people about the environmental readings are a factor, but I also want to have the two way and more on what others feel has made this happen.

    Guy has sent out a message and in some way or other ‘we’ have responded.
    I confess to sometimes unhealthy levels of anger and fury at the way the ‘actors of Empire’ have done this shit. Notwithstandig that I also feel some strenght and support in my attemps to do something creative and life affirming in the face of this inevitability we ‘know’, or have strong evidence is coming.

    Some neighbours have a new baby, as I mentioned to Kathy C a post ago. That is a beautiful and horrible thing to me. My brother at 52 is soon to have his frist child, and I feel the same ambivalence when I contemplate that new life.
    There are so many unknowns I find it better to concentrate on living as much as possible, and increasingly, in ways that rely less and less on the things that will fall away in a collapse.
    I’m hosting the first of monthly community readings and storytelling nights tomorrow night. I suspect no one will come, and not even my wife will be there, for some reason.
    See how it goes, that seems to be my affirmation for daily living in these times now. See how it goes.

  • Kathy C
    I like the way you give complements. Keep em coming gal.

  • Yorchichan, your question was probably hypothetical, but I thought I’d provide a little insight anyway. :-)

    Modafinil, aka Provigil, is a drug used primarily for narcolepsy but is also sometimes used for obstructive sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, and fatigue related to multiple sclerosis (those are the “indicated” uses). Some doctors use it off-label to treat ADHD even though it’s not in the same class as other ADHD drugs.

    As to the “smart drug” question, many, many students today are on ADHD meds. When they’re young say 5-10 years old, it’s primarily because they won’t behave in class. When they’re older including adolescence it’s because they can’t stay focused.

    For many of those students, the only way they are getting through school is with those drugs.

    Parents aren’t allowed to discipline their children anymore apparently. The way many of these kids speak to their parents astonishes me. A 14 year old boy in my clinic told his mother to “fuck off” the other day when she said something he didn’t like. She just looked at me embarrassed and said, “see, I can’t get him to behave since he’s been off his meds”. If I had said something like that to one of my parents, my life might have ended at that point. Yet I hear that and more almost every day from children as young as 8 or 9.

    Compounding the problem are all the electronic stimulants that young people are dealing with. From texting, to cell phones, to video games, to TV, to the internet, it’s no wonder at all that the young can not stay focused. TV commercials are excellent analogs to our ever attention-deficited population. No image stays on the screen for more than a second or two.

    In some ways, this phenomenon should not be surprising at all to regular readers of NBL. It seems to be a logical progression of the ever-increasing complexity of industrial society and our separation from the basics of surviving in nature.

    So, look for more and more children and adults to be on ADHD meds in the future (assuming BAU).

  • Here is perhaps a more relevant topic for discussion, ie one that we will face soon and in which we can exercise choice.

    If you have created some way of surviving longer when things collapse (stores of food and supplies, gardens, livestock) what will you/should you do when those who have not done so come to beg or take your supplies or take over the farm you have worked hard to create?

  • With thanks for the vigorous discussion, I’ve posted a new essay. It’s here.

  • Kathy

    “I am pretty sure tomorrow will be exactly the same as today.” Yep that is usually a safe bet thus humans are programmed to expect that.

    Yes, I take the blue pill daily – but it seems to be losing it’s potency… wears off early in the day ; )


    “making people nervous without knowing what is making them nervous.”

    I have noticed that too lately. Not just the weather, just a creeping unease in general. It is worrisome… fear and anger mixed with confusion can lead to a lot of collateral damage.

  • Morocco Bama

    You wrote:

    “So, if the goal is satire, which is often the case for me, it’s redundant, because reality is already a satire. Shit, now I’m redundant, hypocritical and an asshole….and probably a long list of other things”

    All too human….

  • ‘Parents aren’t allowed to discipline their children anymore apparently. The way many of these kids speak to their parents astonishes me. A 14 year old boy in my clinic told his mother to “fuck off” the other day ‘

    for what it’s worth (2 cents?), imo a lot of parents are so clueless, fucked up, and hypocritical themselves, it’s no wonder their kids are disrespectful. competent loving parents will naturally command respect, don’t u think? the way i see it, whenever there’s trouble in any group, it generally begins with whoever is nominally in charge, not the underlings.

  • Excellent, new essay’s been posted, so I can post off-topic again without feeling guilty (if anyone’s still reading).

    OzMan and TRDH

    No need to worry about me and drugs. I’m the sort of person who would think long and hard even about drinking a cup of coffee. After watching Limitless, I was curious enough to do a google search on “real life NZT-48” and that was the first time I learned of “smart drugs”. Reviews for modafinil were favourable and I wondered if anyone could give me a little more insider knowledge before I took the plunge and purchased some. It’s FDA approved so how dangerous can it be? LOL.

    I’m well aware that no drug in existence could work even 10% as well as the fictional NZT-48, but if modafinil works even a little, I could have potential use for it. I expect that if I purchase some I’ll try it once, not like the side effects, and either bin it or give it away. Happens to me every time. Every drug has benefits and drawbacks, but I’ve yet to find one where the benefits are large enough and drawbacks small enough for me to want to use it even infrequently. Not easy to improve upon nature, which has had billions of years to perfect it’s own version of reality.

    Morocco Bama

    Watched God Bless America last night. Quite good. Certainly in top 3 new movies I’ve seen this year (the other two being Chronicle and Brave ,which had the advantage of being on the big screen). The GBA imdb rating is about right. Difference between God Bless America and Antichrist was that I actually cared about the characters. Once lost a job in eerily similar circumstances to Frank and I feel the same way about contemporary culture as, clearly, do many NBLers.


    Glad you’re OK.

  • From Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg, You know you are a conspiracy theorist if … you answer yes to any 5 of the 32 questions on this list.

  • Do we have an opportunity to unite? I am and should be afraid. Food prices go up for no reason. Gas prices go up and then down regularly. Keeps us off balance doesn’t it? Take something away, then give a little back.. In ‘Night’ be Elly Weisel most Jews did not see what was coming. Things were so slowly taken away it was difficult to notice. AND what can we do besides notice what is being taken away? I wish I didn’t see what is happening.

  • I never thought I would see my hometown, Decatur, IL, mentioned on “Nature Bats Last,” although I am not surprised. It was the site of racial hostilities in the early 20th century (the black part of town was burned to the ground, and life there is still lived in highly racialized terms), it was ground zero for the last big union struggle in the U.S. in the mid-90s (the workers lost), the water is so poisoned by agribusiness runoff that pregnant and nursing women are regularly advised not to drink the tap water, the high school I attended is built on a sinkhole (what a metaphor), and, of course, the majority of its citizens are God-fearing, flag-waving, jingoistic morons.

    Someday I will weigh in with more substantive, but for now I had to say something about good old Decatur!

  • Recently one of my four sisters tried to convince me to vote for Barack Obama as “the better of two evils” in November. I told her that I regard Obama as a war monger, not only because of his continuance of the US/NATO occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, but also because of Obama’s bellicose rhetoric toward Libya and Syria, and his command decisions to attack Libya and Syria with US/NATO mercenaries and munitions. Madame Clinton is also a war monger.

    My sister warned that the Republicans might take away Social Security, Medicare, and abortion rights, and she said that we should therefore vote for Obama as “the better of two evils.”

    I told her that the wealthy, elitist Mafiosi who actually rule the USA have designed the Republican and the Democrat Parties to run a “good cop/bad cop” scam on the voters (particularly the Liberal voters) by forcing us to choose between “the better of two evils.” For me, the fact that the USA is slaughtering innocent people by the thousands in foreign countries trumps anything that the US government might give to, or withhold from, the domestic US population.

    I do not wish to give my approval (with my vote) to the murderous Republican/Democrat foreign policy in exchange for the table-crumbs the US government gives to us. I do not want to accept their manipulative Welfare in exchange for their aggressive warfare. That’s the bargain that murderous Mafia Dons always strike with their families and the thugs who do their dirty work.

  • Correction to my previous comment: “I do not want to accept their manipulative Welfare in exchange for tolerating their aggressive warfare.”

  • After hearing Mr. McPherson in Louisville KY recently it appears that if we want to “try anything but what we are doing now” in the face of ‘certain extinction’ with but a ‘very small possibility of survival’ opening one’s mind to new technology that appears to PERHAPS be able to turn around the hydro-carbon based energy infrastructure and have indications of even plasma-based alchemical processes, would be a no-brainer. I just heard only solar power and wind (only ‘proven’ alt-energy sources) and reduce our over-consumption behavior (granted). As many following Mr. McPherson know, this probably won’t cut it. Certainly it will not reverse the GHG emissions already in the atmosphere. Why not take the chance and look into The Thrive Movement (Foster Gamble)- a very comprehensive effort to apply solutions to critical problems, Nassimm Haramein, John Bedini’s work, Tom Bearden, Walter Russell, and Nikola Tesla; (Sterling Allan) is tracking many promising new inventions, including cold fusion/LENR (it’s not dead as proported). What do you have to loose? An old paradigm of physics? Small price to pay to help save a world. We need ALL solutions is what I am hearing from Mr. McPherson. I agree.