Show time

My latest essay for The Good Men Project was published Tuesday, 30 April 2013. “Climate is a social justice issue” is linked here.

I was interviewed very briefly by Ted Simons on Arizona Horizon on Thursday, 2 May 2013. The interview is embedded below.

Watch Education Issues & Living off the Grid & Artist Lelija Roy on PBS. See more from Arizona Horizon.

I was interviewed by Adam Engel for Dissident Voice. The result is posted here.

The premiere showing of Mike Sosebee’s film, Somewhere in New Mexico before the End of Time, is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, 4 May 2013 on the campus of the University of Arizona. Description in the Tucson Citizen is here. Please spread the word about this event, and invite your friends via Facebook here.

Premiere poster

Sosebee’s film will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, 6 May 2013 in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Silver City, New Mexico (description in the Grant County Beat is here).


The two-posts-per-day rule is reinstated for this essay and all future essays in this space.

Comments 59

  • Wow, they really let that message sink in at the end, eh? Must have been a full 1.25 seconds before we were treated to Arizona Trivia about the Winged Victory statue that Cowboys used to shoot up atop the state capitol building, and then right on to a smiling lady and her landscape paintings. And winged victory is pretty much how we have viewed the world we live in: man conquers nature — yeah, we win! Yeah ?

    Maybe not so yeah. By the time most people realize what we’ve done
    to ourselves and all the other life forms, it may be too late to save them, and certainly too late to save us.

    Just after the film clip, we listened to a small pack of coyotes whooping it up a few hundred feet away, at the end of our meadow… eerie, hair-raising & beautiful, all at the same time. How sad that we’re taking them down with us. How sad that most people don’t know, don’t want to know, and wouldn’t believe it if they were told.

    Best wishes on the film premiere, Guy — maybe you and Mike can get more people to wake up and pay attention. Best wishes also to all the fine people who read and post here — may you all enjoy a peaceful spring, and may we all find little bits of beauty, wonder, calm and sanity in this turbulent world while we still can.

  • Guy, that was a very good TV interview. I think the amount of time was just right, because when you get into citing papers and supporting details it just doesn’t work on television. I’m AMAZED that a business show (even though it is PBS, it’s Arizona…) would have you on. Could you share with us how that came about?

    It’s freaking me out, listening to what you are saying and your apprehension and the presenter’s quasi-apprehension… what was going through my mind as I watched it was, “how do you go through this, knowing that it is all toxic?” The lights, the cameras, the makeup, the plastic set, the presenter’s atrocious tie…

    In an effort to become healthier, my husband and I began seeing a personal trainer. Her water cooler had styrofoam cups, and I had a physical reaction to seeing them (even though I’m surrounded as much unavoidable plastic as any other middle-class American, as well as my own small amount of “plastic of choice”). I’ve been reading some Thomas Hardy novels lately, and the portable, unbreakable, cup of that time was a cow’s horn. Ok, you can’t set it on a table, so you just drink what you need at the moment. Of course, cows today aren’t generally allowed to have horns, so there’s an opportunity missed. :-/

  • When the reporter asked are you optimistic, I would have said yes, because this means that couples deciding to have a baby will no longer have to worry about saving money for college.

  • Guy was excellent, as usual, and the reporter was fair and seemed like a nice person. But his hideous tie was probably causing many viewers to think that NTE may not be such a bad thing after all. I think those are supposed to be flowers, but to me they look more like gears tumbling from a broken machine. Very fitting.

  • Guy, that was a great interview. My favorite line was “I’m not depressed, but I’m a carrier, apparently.”. Love that! I think it fits me too. :-)

  • The master – the reptilian brain, non-rational & non-verbal, operating through emotions, aesthetics, ethics, morals and values has to be approached through appeals to them. Its chauffeur, the verbal and rational intellect, will receive but will disregard appeals through data, logic and rationality that do not conform with the master’s views.

    This has been understood by politicians, priests and peddlers since humans plied those trades. Since the tools of those trades lie outside the bounds of rational language, they have never been neatly organised within the scope of intellectual discussion.

    Yet folks like Adolf Hitler, Josef Goebbels, Edward Bernays, Mohandas Gandhi, Walt Disney, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, religious fundamentalists, advertising agencies and all those who successfully seek to acquire and keep a following have either mastered the art, made it a science, or both, of communicating with the master.

    (Incidentally, the master is located in the periaqueductal grey matter, and it is not, as was once thought, a left-brain & right-brain lateralisation; the speech area, however, is located in the left brain – for both receptive and motor speech – in 90% of right-dominant persons).

    Even on NBL the heated discussions about activism and resistance, left vs. right, etc. are just so many chauffeurs slinging intellectual arguments at each other, even when the masters have enough general agreement to be in the same choir.

    Those television hosts and their audiences are in a different paradigm altogether, way out of the realm NBL conversations.

  • My 13 year old son asked me: “What can be done?”

    Then he said: “What good is it to know if nothing can be done.”

    He got there much quicker than most, but he is not happy about having to ask the questions.

    “Can’t you just be happy with the way it is?” he says.

    That’s a hard one.

    I apologise for being this kind of father. His friends dads are altogether normal, doing the providing, safety, and socialisation roles. I’ve done some of that, but was as concerned about what is really going on.

    It is all up in the air. A decade from now and I am pretty sure we can talk about it with a better perspective.

  • You think you’re alive and safe, but you’re already dead. Everybody, you, him…everybody… you’re all fucking dead!
    — Sarah Connor

    Now we are all fucking dead;
    We thought we were safe, but instead,
    We’re all in doom’s queue,
    Which includes me and you,
    The person who’s reading this thread.

  • Good presentation Guy. Now, that bit about you not being depressed, but only a carrier, how true is that really?

  • Daniel, glad you liked the Utah Phillips song. First time I heard it it blew me away….soon we will face the kinds of conditions that made the miners carry a tin of morphine. We are so pampered, we won’t know how to begin to bear it…I understand fully your decision.

    OzMan I think your son is asking you to help him bear the knowledge you have given him. Perhaps you need to let go of thinking about all of this and make each day with him count. All we ever have from the moment of birth for sure is the moment we are in, it was always true that our lives, our futures, our dreams could be snatched away. NTE is really no different. Bigger, but still just mortality. All we have is moments. But your son has so many more potential moments to lose than you do. Perhaps you can use the knowledge of the pending limits to those moments to find the joys that may be possible in those moments. What else is there to do?
    Beginning and ending paragraphs below, full article at the link
    You Are The Hope — Paul Craig Roberts
    May 1, 2013
    Dear Readers:

    If there is hope, you are it. You are motivated to find truth. You can think outside the box. You can see through propaganda. You are the remnant with the common sense that once was a common American virtue. You come to this site, because you get explanations that are not agenda-driven, that are not BS, that are not right-wing or left-wing, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. You get explanations based on my lifetime of unique education and experience. Some of you are young enough to be equipped with the energy and courage to organize whatever resistance there may be to the Gestapo State that
    is descending on the United States of America….
    The US Constitution is the product of 900 years of human efforts to restrain brutal government and to make government subject to law. It only took Bush and Obama eleven years to get rid of it.

  • “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those that speak it.” -George Orwell.

  • Prediction for today: high of 73°F.
    Temp. recorded by me at 5:30 pm: 93° in the shade, 102° in the sun.

    High reported by the Weather Channel for today: 73°! Well, alrighty, then!

    It’s not my thermometers, I don’t think, as the low last night was supposed to be 39°F, and I recorded 31.5° and 34.5° in a couple of different points.

  • The local paper had th following article this past Thursday. I seem to recall telling folks that I thought there were fewer insects around and some people pooh-poohed… 

    Try it yourself: remember when you were a kid and you would turn over a rock and find at least 5-6 different kinds of creatures: pill bugs, earwigs, ants, worms, grubs, etc. Now if I turn over a rock I am lucky if I see one bug.

    New ‘Bird Atlas’ Documents Trends, Some ‘Disturbing’

    The Vermont Center for Eco­studies (VCE) recently released the Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont, the most complete assessment of birds ever assembled for the state.

    The 10-year project recruited hundreds of volunteers to catalog 202 bird species nesting in the state, identifying species at risk and others faring well.

    The book features a detailed account of every nesting species. It includes 208 photographs, 415 maps, 591 tables, and 215 graphs. VCE is donating atlases to 150 libraries across the state. Atlas results are also online.

    With support from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, VCE recruited 350 volunteers to search the state for breeding birds from 2003-07. Data analysis and production of the book continued until 2013.
    VCE is a private, non-profit group of research biologists specializing in wildlife conser­vation research. Federal funding and VCE’s private fundraising financed the field work and publication of the book.

    Trends Documented

    The atlas indicates that man­aged species gained ground, at least in part, as a result of human intervention. Of the 17 birds showing the greatest gains, nine regularly intersect the lives of people, either as protected species (osprey and bald eagle), at the bird feeder (Carolina wren and tufted titmouse), or as managed game species (mallard and wild turkey).

    On the other hand, grassland species declined since the first atlas project, reflecting national trends.

    Upland sandpipers and grass­hopper sparrows are nearly absent from the state, while vesper sparrow, eastern meadow­lark, and horned lark are breeding in fewer areas.

    American kestrel and bobolink remain fairly widespread in prop­er habitat, but their numbers are declining nonetheless.

    In Vermont, loss of farmland, coupled with intensification of haying, have contributed to drops in grassland birds. One notable exception to the loss of grassland birds was an increase in northern harriers.

    Worrisome Losses

    Aerial insectivores, birds that feed mostly on flying insects, such as nightjars, flycatchers, swifts, and swallows, showed disturbing population trends.

    Among 18 aerial insectivores, 13 species declined, and the re­mainder either gained population or remained relatively unchanged since the first atlas.

    The common nighthawk and whip-poor-will showed the most precipitous drops.

    Bank and cliff swallows, purple martin, olive-sided and yellow- bellied flycatchers, and chimney swift all showed declines since the first atlas.

    Unlike grassland species, aerial insectivores span a diversity of habitats, but a common cause for the population declines may be a drop in insect prey abundance. Additional concerns include mer­cury and other atmospheric toxins accumulating in insects, and loss of breeding and wintering habitat for some species.

    Successes, Too

    Wetland birds generally fared well since the first atlas. This is another diverse group, occupying forests and open wetlands, and ranging from pied-billed grebe to swamp sparrow.

    Among wetland species, more than three times as many species gained population as lost. Most species nesting in forested wet­lands (swamps) increased, sug­gesting some level of improve­ment in wetland quality in Ver­mont.

  • I hope I may be conceded a third post to give the link for the above story out of correctness, although it is behind a paywall:

    The article will become generally available net Thursday or Friday, but I reproduced all of its text.

  • Guy says: I was interviewed very briefly by Ted Simons on Arizona Horizon on Thursday, 2 May 2013.

    Five minutes in, the interviewer asks:

    Why Can’t We Adapt?

    With food gone, fresh water all tapped,
    Hope and stamina finally sapped,
    Heat which increases
    And nuclear pieces—
    There’s no way that we can adapt.

  • Now we are all fucking dead

    At one time in the Indian subcontinent it was exclusively the practice of the invaders from what is present-day Afghanistan & Iran: hence the custom of self-immolation of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres.

    Prediction for today: high of 73°F.
    Temp. recorded by me at 5:30 pm: 93° in the shade, 102° in the sun.

    High reported by the Weather Channel for today: 73°! Well, alrighty, then!

    Good. Yet another way to combat Global Warming. (Un)cook the books!

    Five minutes in, the interviewer asks:

    Why Can’t We Adapt?

    We could, and did: like from our lungfish ancestors to exclusive air-breathing with no gills. From our large-jawed, big-toothed hominid ancestors to soft, cooked food, small jaws and still-shrinking teeth. From our brachiating arboreal ancestors to upright bipedal locomotion. From the sweat of our brows to fossil-fuel power and air conditioning. From half a billion to seven.

    Takes time, though: takes time. The faster, the more drastic – without the opportunity to smooth the edges. And some backward adaptations are a lot harder. Like from seven to half (or much, much less). Harder does not mean optional, though. Nature Bats Last, and Nature bastes first (with fossil-fuels).

  • this is just to supply some closure to the Boston Marathon “drill”

    ‘Uncle Ruslan’ aided terrorists from CIA official’s home

    and the one in the next comment (to avoid the moderation)


    Another incredible coincidence?

    As more insights into the life and death of dead Boston Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev continues to unfold, based on the available evidence – it’s becoming more and more obvious that he was either an FBI and/or CIA informant (or both), who was chosen to be set up as a fall guy, or patsy for the Boston Bombings. In this instance, he would also have needed a “handler” – someone who could help to steer and influence his day-to-day decision making. That person could be someone was very close to him. This leak appeared on Brasscheck TV’s Facebook page a few days ago:

    “CONFIRMED: Katherine Russell (alleged bomber’s wife) is granddaughter of Richard Warren Russell, Skull and Bones member and entrepreneur in the energy industry.

    Russell’s obituary lists Warren King Russell II as son – and that’s Katherine’s emergency room doctor father.

    That means wife had family spook connections as well as husband Tamerlan (Uncle Rusla). And both had fast, dramatic and uncharacteristic conversions to a perverted form of Islam favored by the gangster family that runs Saudi Arabia and works hand in hand with our spooks.

    What does a massive coincidence like this mean?

    You tell me. All I can do is report the stuff no one else seems to be able to get around to. (Nice in-depth front page article today Washington Post on the “mystery” of Tamerlan that breathes a hint of none of this.)

    Katherine reportedly wanted to join the Peace Corps. Maybe she actually joined the agency the Peace Corps is a cover for…”

    Who is Katherine Russell?

    The CIA is well-known to be a family agency that includes “legacies” in extremely key, or sensitive positions. Katherine’s character in the Tsarnaev story should be looked at more closely, even if, for reasons still yet unknown, she is being completely ignored, and totally unchallenged by the mainstream media before today. Was she simply his doting wife, or the driving force behind his alleged jihadism – or was she merely keeping a close eye on him?

    It would be good for America to know more about Katherine Russell. Her mere presence in this story is an anomaly in itself – one which does not add up at all.

    When she is called on to do the talk show circuit, or when her book deal goes live – America will be listening very closely to her story for sure.

    (article goes on with much more on Uncle Ruslan)

  • Under the Obedience at Home column, we have more spook news (this one i had heard as rumor before, but with this it becomes absolute fact – well, unless . . .)

    The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are.

    Over the past couple days, cable news tabloid shows such as CNN’s Out Front with Erin Burnett have been excitingly focused on the possible involvement in the Boston Marathon attack of Katherine Russell, the 24-year-old American widow of the deceased suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As part of their relentless stream of leaks uncritically disseminated by our Adversarial Press Corps, anonymous government officials are claiming that they are now focused on telephone calls between Russell and Tsarnaev that took place both before and after the attack to determine if she had prior knowledge of the plot or participated in any way.

    On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could:

    BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

    CLEMENTE: “No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

    BURNETT: “So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

    CLEMENTE: “No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”

    “All of that stuff” – meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant – “is being captured as we speak”.

    On Thursday night, Clemente again appeared on CNN, this time with host Carol Costello, and she asked him about those remarks. He reiterated what he said the night before but added expressly that “all digital communications in the past” are recorded and stored:

    Let’s repeat that last part: “no digital communication is secure”, by which he means not that any communication is susceptible to government interception as it happens (although that is true), but far beyond that: all digital communications – meaning telephone calls, emails, online chats and the like – are automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the government after the fact. To describe that is to define what a ubiquitous, limitless Surveillance State is.

    There have been some previous indications that this is true. Former AT&T engineer Mark Klein revealed that AT&T and other telecoms had built a special network that allowed the National Security Agency full and unfettered access to data about the telephone calls and the content of email communications for all of their customers. Specifically, Klein explained “that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T” and that “contrary to the government’s depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists . . . much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic.” But his amazing revelations were mostly ignored and, when Congress retroactively immunized the nation’s telecom giants for their participation in the illegal Bush spying programs, Klein’s claims (by design) were prevented from being adjudicated in court.

    That every single telephone call is recorded and stored would also explain this extraordinary revelation by the Washington Post in 2010:

    Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.

    It would also help explain the revelations of former NSA official William Binney, who resigned from the agency in protest over its systemic spying on the domestic communications of US citizens, that the US government has “assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about US citizens with other US citizens” (which counts only communications transactions and not financial and other transactions), and that “the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want.”

    Despite the extreme secrecy behind which these surveillance programs operate, there have been periodic reports of serious abuse. Two Democratic Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, have been warning for years that Americans would be “stunned” to learn what the US government is doing in terms of secret surveillance.

    (read the rest of the article)

  • Kathy C

    I am with you on that advice.

    It is altogether a different thing however to negotiate the silly value embedding on my son done by his proximity to the rest of this society, both school and wider community(and the media).

    I moderated much of the media to a level I felt responsible, without being too restrictive.

    he has just grown out of wanting those restrictions, and that is fine. As always, the relationship is one of ever evolving love and responsibility. I admire him so much for his get-go. He just doesn’t want me in the same way as he once did. Given the future we know is coming, sometime soon in its devastation, I have had to hedge my bets in how I counsel for that future. I have to let the evidence prove itself, before any real respect or conversation is going to take place.

    Thanks for your advice. As you would expect, to me he is the best boy in this world, and much of the greater heartache I endure is because he is alive. I suspect I would still be able to feel the deep wound that this NTE represents, or is, without him being alive, but it certainly gets me up and 3 in the morning , getting my torch and bucket, and going over the road to collect kangaroo poo to mull the FUBAR over. (Handling the shit before it hits the fan..!)

    Do you have snow where you are?

    My capsicums are not taking the cold(4-6C) at night, they may not make it.



    I enjoyed the Sarah Connor line.

    My equal favourite is Dr Silberman explaining how dreams of the end of the world, and destruction, are just the mind’s way of dealing with a self in crisis…They are not real !

  • Ozman, I figured you knew and were already doing all that I suggested, but couldn’t help myself from saying it as I lack free will :) I am glad I am not in your position. I don’t know how well I would cope with have a dependent child in these times. Your son is lucky to have you even if he doesn’t know it yet, but I bet he does.

    Tom, good stuff

    Posted on another blog this AM Now a teacher cannot bring gardening and other tools to class because they are weapons.
    Somehow reminded me of this song and the vid someone matched to it. (of course by favorite musician David Rovics) More Gardens Song

    Gardens seems a good way to live until we can’t. Gardeners adapt. Until they can’t. Cool last few days but not freezing. Lots of rain but we are on a rise and our garden is stepped down (old cotton terracing)and well mulched so the rain is doing nothing but good out there. Doing well so far. Have to try to get my freezing and canning done before the heat and drought that usually hits. Heck who knows what will hit anymore…..

  • Ok, last one (is the two-comment rule back now?):

    221By Intellihub
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    The Government Is Planting Child Porn On Your Computer
    Thursday, May 2, 2013 15:42% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

    (Before It’s News)

    A new virus has been cataloged, and it appears to be planting and distributing child pornography files. Hackers? No. The government is planting child porn on your computer, or so an alert published today indicates.

    Cyber Security Spy Task Force
    by Amber Harrison
    American Live Wire
    May 2, 2013

    Before It’s News has interviewed a person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, that has been a victim of the virus implantation. The person was engaged in journalistic exposure of political corruption, and suddenly police appeared on his doorstep with a search warrant specifying a search for evidence of possessing and distributing child pornography. The story is a bit convoluted here, but basically the gentleman did a little more investigation and found rogue .exe files on his computer that appeared as normal emule sharing directories but contained “hundreds to thousands” of child pornography files. The potential whistleblower claims the virus was deliberately planted on his computer in order to stop his activity.

    The article surmises the Internet Crimes Against Children task force may be behind the virus planting, though why is unclear.

    Are You A Victim?

    According to a USWGO Virus Report:

    “I believe it was surrounded by comine.exe along with another exe file that had random characters so I don’t remember that file name since it had a certain kind of random characters and I believe it may have been in the TEMP folder.

    It came with three rogue P2P file sharing applications that were not stored in the usual file directories for programs or even portable programs. Those files are called ares.exe, emule.exe, and shareaza.exe. They share possibly illegal files and files with Trojans embedded without the computer owners permission despite invalid claims by law enforcement that no one can force a user to download and share files on P2P networks. When the user discovers them and attempts to shut down the program using process termination on Task Manager(taskmgr.exe) the rogue Trojan control program attempts to revive the operation of the rogue P2P programs and will fully operate within 3-5 seconds or even up to 10 seconds depending on processing speed from CPU. No matter how many times the user continues stopping the program it comes right back. When the user attempts to end the task then quickly remove the files even with certain software, the Trojan that controls the rogue programs seems to regenerate the rogue programs which continues to share and download illegal material which can get the user in trouble…”

    ESET Virus Radar has recognized the virus, and calls it Win32/MoliVampire. The short description indicates, “Win32/MoliVampire.A is a trojan which tries to download other malware from the Internet. Win32/MoliVampire.A may be spread via peer-to-peer networks.”

    The trojan contains an URL address. It tries to download a file from the address. Files are copied into a shared folder of various instant messengers and P2P applications, according to the description.

    In a hurried article posted on Before It’s News, a reporter emoted:

    So anyone whom receives this virus or variants of Trojans similar to this virus, is at risk of being accused of distributing and possessing child pornography then having the computers and family photos, videos, and other personal data taken away forever. Then will likely end up years in federal or state prison then receives a lifetime sex offender record, isn’t that just great!!!!!

    ICE Pads Their Stats

    Evidently, it isn’t only alternative-news journalists who are being targeted. According to a Facebook page supporting 17-year-old autistic youth Andrew Rose:

    “Operation Flicker was started By ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency]. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the second largest investigative agency in the federal government. Created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, “Operation Flicker” is part of Project Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including instances of sex tourism with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers, according to the agency. Unfortunately, due to the system being used to net these predators, many children are being exposed to the the same Child Porn they were trying to stop.”

    Apparently, in an effort to catch these dangerous internet predators, ICE attached child pornography images to .mp3 files on P2P sharing sites like LimeWire. Young Andrew Rose downloaded two songs that came with little surprise packages attached. Scandalously and shamefully, Andrew is actually being prosecuted. His lawyer, on the support page, stated:

    “The FBI and ICE are the ones who exposed Andrew Rose to Child Pornography ….. They were the Traffickers and became “That which they Seek.”

    What Can You Do?

    Computer users, especially those who use P2P file sharing programs and messaging, are encouraged to use ESET of McAfee virus scan/destroy software as both recognize the virus. It is noted that virus protection is not “bulletproof” with regard to this virus, and certainly will not protect against hidden attached files in normal sharing operations. If the government is planting child porn on your computer as some people have claimed, taking any and all steps possible to protect yourself and your family, including ceasing use of P2P applications, is advisable.

    The post The Government Is Planting Child Porn On Your Computer appeared first on

    Have a great day all!

  • KathyC & Tom, the appeal of analysis is projecting outcomes based on facts obscured by intrigue in an objective & dispassionate manner. What, for instance, does one do, if the opinions & articles written by PCR et al are no longer news, but simply affirmations?

    In the face of population overshoot, resource depletion & environmental degradation, the overt steps being taken by governments around the world to implement full spectrum security is not only obvious, but completely logical.

    In short, they are preparing for the outcome(s) predicted by Guy, but they clearly intend to retain control during the entire process. Being equipped with this information shouldn’t elicit shock, but rather grudging respect, if not outright admiration for such purposeful conduct.

    I’m not sure what PCR, Hedges and others are attempting to accomplish. Do they really think there is going to be some kind of democratic renaissance, a republican phoenix arising from the ashes of tyranny? The only reason self-governance arose in the first place was the development of firearms. What, do you think the ancien regime said, “Oh, my bad, we were wrong, sorry about that, here have a piece of pie?”

    So back to my original point: if you can see what’s occurring, how does one position themselves to benefit? In other words, to survive? (And please, don’t pester me with invented terms like ethics & morality – conventions developed as serf control mechanisms.) The ship is going down – they know it & we know it. Why get locked up in the brig while you can still admire the view from the deck?

  • “I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna get my kicks before this whole shit-house goes up in flames.”
    – Jim Morrison (played by Val Kilmar) in Oliver Stone’s The Doors, 1991

    “I don’t know what’s gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames”
    — Jim Morrison

    “This is the end,” Jim proclaims:
    “Break on through” from your usual games;
    Good advice from a Door,
    Since it’s not long before
    The whole shithouse goes up in flames.

    @ OzMan: Dr. Silberman is just perfect throughout (IMHO), but my absolute favorite quote is in T3 when the psychiatrist describes what he retroactively concludes must have been insanity when he saw the terminators doing impossible things during Sarah’s hospital escape in T2, getting progressively disturbed as he withdraws into the memory:

    “I know what it’s like to be in a hostage situation. I’ve been there myself. The fear, the adrenaline. You find yourself imagining things. Impossible things. Crazy things. Insane things. Take years to get over it.”

  • Tom, there really isn’t anything called privacy in America anymore. Between the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, we essentially live at the pleasure of the president.

    I will recommend a book called The Shadow Factory, but a Bamford, IIRC. He spent years unravelling what the NSA and the whole alphabet soup is doing and are capable of doing.

    B9K9, please don’t presume that all of us accept that ethics or morality are invented terms. When the Titanic was sinking, the band still played. People still engaged in acts of kindness. Some of us believe that doing those things are important because of who we want to be. Survival for its own sake simply doesn’t interest me.

  • B9K9, no one survives what is coming. In fact no one survives ever, they just survive to a certain age, longer than someone else, long enough to do xyz etc. So extinction is just everyone not surviving earlier than expected but not passing on any genes.

    We all die. We all decide what we want to do with our life before we die.

    Extinction is not much different. It just means that anything we do will not benefit or harm future humans after a certain date, but still we have that time between now and then to decide how to live our life.

    I plan to garden and raise chickens until I can’t. Some would rather end their days with some form of resistance. So when I post Paul Craig Roberts I do so for those who are thinking along those lines. I also do it because I enjoy his writing. After extinction nothing matters. Until then we do have to figure out what to do with our time eh? Passing on information and article is one of the things I do.

    As for morals, I have stated before two things remain IMO – don’t conceive another human who will have to die early and live through hard times, if you are fertile get yourself fixed before birth control is no longer available. And if you have people depending on you emotionally or physically, especially children, take their lives into consideration in whatever choices you make. That’s it. Not moral in the sense that some being will judge you, just moral from the standpoint of caring about others and not just yourself.

    I don’t care what you think of that. If I prevent one human who might have been born only to face what we all are dreading, I will feel I have done something worthwhile by my own standards.

  • invented terms like ethics & morality – conventions developed as serf control mechanisms.

    Indeed serf control, and in fact effective control in all persons but the hard core psychopaths (who usually graduate out of the serf stage). Control the master, who then controls the chauffeur.

    The terms were “invented” to describe (in the intellect’s frame of reference) phenomena of which the intellect has little comprehension and less control. At the intellectual level these are only shadows of something very real to the master. Like it or not, (and recognise it or not), the intellect remains subservient to that master.

    To relegate those phenomena to insignificance because they can only be intellectually catalogued as shadows is just another method for the chauffeur to deny its (and its master’s) impotence; an impotence stemming from the ineffectiveness of rationality, logic and data from one chauffeur to another chauffeur to have any effect on the other master.

  • please reinstate the 2 post per day rule

    U makes me sick

    Uvulva is a very not nice person – why can’t he just waste away on his own blog that nobody posts on? He has to make us all miserable here.

    please stifle U it would make this blog much more nice.

  • @ Melissa

    The two post rule is in effect, I asked for it to be lifted only on the last post. But please, let us not get into what makes each other sick……shall we.

  • Kathy C

    So I guess if you are a gardening teacher you are screwed ?

    May as well get those small children’s spade and bucket from the mart and teach on the beach, waiting for the tsunami that is already drawing back the water far in the distance, and which some say is already crashing over our liberties and the climate.

    Sand play may help us cope, and achieve some sense of agency in this world.

    If only we had Dibs to help us now.

    ‘Dibs in Search of Self’

    “Dibs in Search of Self is a story by clinical psychologist and author Virginia Axline published in 1964. It chronicles a series of play therapy sessions over a period of one year with an emotionally crippled boy who comes from a wealthy and highly educated family who, in spite of obvious signs that he is gifted, his mother and father perceive him as a “mental retarded”, because he presents abnormal social behavior: “Dibs” continuously isolates himself (shuns social contact), rarely speaks, physically lashes out at his parents, sister, caretakers, and classmates at school (hitting, kicking, biting, etc.), has homicidal ideation, and displays severe anti-social behavior; he is subsequently considered to be either retarded or possibly autistic by his teachers who cannot get him to participate in class.

    Dibs was the son of two well-educated parents, his father described as an “extremely intelligent scientist.” Virginia Axline uses Play Therapy, a methodology she helped to discover, design and test, in order to communicate with “Dibs”. Gradually, ‘Dibs’ is able to “break out of his silent world”, rehabilitated, and brought to normal social behaviors. “Dibs” was subsequently tested at the end of his therapy and was found to score in the extremely gifted range, with an IQ of 168, on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test.”

    I weep for all the Dibs who do not get to thrive.

  • @ melissa, pat,

    Here we are on a blog discussing the end of all life on Earth, and your major concern appears to be having a dig at me, and worrying about the 2 comment rule, which says something about your characters and priorities, no ? But I seem to recall you both despise and dislike Ward Churchill too, so I’m proud to be in such good company, ‘the people you love to hate’ ( along with Daniel of course ) :-) Blessings to you both ;-)

  • @wildwoman, the author is indeed James Bamford. I read “The Puzzle Palace” in the early 1980s and things looked bad back then, thirty years ago, when most people didn’t have computers and cell phones were the size of bricks, costing $4000 or some such figure.

    I believe that ethics and morals are, to a huge extent, situational and cultural inventions. I was just reading a local article about detained criminals who are so mentally compromised and violent that they should not be released into society, yet there aren’t legal means to keep them behind bars: you have to just wait until they harm someone else and then try to get them incarcerated again. There are “programs” which can monitor these folks in half-way houses or whatever, but some of the individuals require TWO-ON-ONE supervision at all times, and others require THREE-ON-ONE supervision. !!! That’s 24 people’s lives occupied with keeping ONE person from going off his nut and killing or raping someone, at a cost of $500,000 p.a. Since this cannot continue, resource-wise, it won’t.

    The “ethics” and “morals” of a small pre-historic tribe would have been to get rid of this bad actor once and for all and not shilly-shally around. I’m not an anthropologist but I can imagine that he would face banishment or would just get jumped on and beaten to death by the rest of the group.

    Modern American ethics/morals have evolved out of, not only the convenient industrial ideology of focusing on the individual’s desires at the expense of the group, but the LUXURY of having enough resources to allow that flavor of ethics to develop. When it comes down to surviving, though, individuals are going to be expendable and the well-being of the group will be foremost.

    I think that fooling ourselves about this is just another kind of protagonism/anthropocentric story-telling that feels good but is just not realistic.

  • Come on, everyone! We might have different opinions here. But can’t we all just get along? Afterall, we’re adults, here. Snap out of it, get a backbone, BE CIVIL, and act like an ADULT!!!!! Just step back for a moment and try to grasp what we’re blogging about… NTE!!!!!! None of our dialogue will matter in a short 20 to no more than 30 years (optimistically)!!!! Now… (clearing throat…) let us PLEASE proceed with civility…..

  • Mother Nature says “You want to be pigs? I can do pigs too.”

  • The pig story as an example of a wild species doing well, raises some questions about both the extinction rates of species and the death rates of humans. Guy continues to use the figure of 200 species a day going extinct. Shouldn’t we be seeing an a rather dramatic upward shift in those numbers every year if everything will be dead in 17 years? Especially when you consider there are at least 8 million and maybe as many as 100 million species. Also, human population continues to grow, yet we need about 400 million people a year to die in order to get to zero by 2030. I vaguely understand the biological idea of population overshoot where there is an inevitable population decline or crash and that the largest number of deaths occur at the very end. Does this mean all or most of the people die in year 17 or years 14-17? Maybe someone could post some links on this.

  • Ozman, yes we need to weep for the Dibs of the world, but some such kids have remarkable parent and are able to put their unique gifts to very good use. Temple Grandin for one A movie by the same name has been made and is excellent.

    You might ike The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. The author worked with people with disabilities and seems to do a good job of getting one to understand what being autistic feels like.

    Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this revelatory novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red-but not yellow or brown-foods and screams when he is touched. Strange as he may seem, other people are far more of a conundrum to him, for he lacks the intuitive “theory of mind” by which most of us sense what’s going on in other people’s heads. When his neighbor’s poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer. As the mystery leads him to the secrets of his parents’ broken marriage and then into an odyssey to find his place in the world, he must fall back on deductive logic to navigate the emotional complexities of a social world that remains a closed book to him. In the hands of first-time novelist Haddon, Christopher is a fascinating case study and, above all, a sympathetic boy: not closed off, as the stereotype would have it, but too open-overwhelmed by sensations, bereft of the filters through which normal people screen their surroundings. Christopher can only make sense of the chaos of stimuli by imposing arbitrary patterns (“4 yellow cars in a row made it a Black Day, which is a day when I don’t speak to anyone and sit on my own reading books and don’t eat my lunch and Take No Risks”). His literal-minded observations make for a kind of poetic sensibility and a poignant evocation of character. Though Christopher insists, “This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them,” the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice.

    I have added Dibs to my books to read list. Thanks.

    Dairyman – wild boar hunting has become quite popular around here. We don’t have them here but south of us they do. The man who we let hunt on our property mostly hunts wild pigs now. He gives us a portion of his kill and so now on top of deer meat we get wild hog. Its delicious (sows that is, not adult males). They hunt with dogs, when the dog gets a pig bayed they go in with knives to kill it. Even his teen age daughter has killed some. It apparently is VERY exciting I guess because it is more dangerous than hunting deer from a blind. We also get other things he hunts including once shark and once crocodile meat.

    But hogs have a heat problem, they don’t sweat or pant like a dog. So if they overheat they die. That is why the wallow in mud. So I think they will not survive the coming climate catastrophe.

  • Hey dave, welcome back! i have a 2 yr old Weimaraner (runt, just 50 lbs) which has a bad habit of eating MONEY found in pockets and on counter tops at night while we’re asleep. He’s is a tiny bit like those pigs you referred to and of which i was completely unaware. Thanks for the link.

    wildwoman – i’ll check out Shadow Factory and appreciate the recommend. Yeah, i’ve been watching over the years as privacy has gone down the drain of Homeland Security along with habeus corpus and now posse comitatus.

    Kathy C: i was at a small dinner party the other night and while everyone else is planning for some bright and rosy future i brought up dying trees everywhere and the possibility that we won’t be around much after the 2020s if things keep progressing as they are. Wow, was THAT a conversation killer. i was referred to as “nuts” and things went back to revelry and funny stories rather quickly. No body wants to hear it and probably won’t be convinced until it’s WAAAAAY too late.

    OzMan: That story reminded me of an old favorite, Flowers for Algernon. Not quite the same story but it too stuck with me.

    For all, a bit of pleasure reading:

    Jilly Ballistic and the New Aesthetic of Dissent

    Irreverence is a powerful tool, a tool that can combat the absurd and help you to stay sane when surrounded by absurdity. As one of the greatest minds of our time, Lewis Black once said: “Patriotism and religion are only good and only in balance if they have a sense of humor. And when they don’t, things go awry. All we have to do is look at our enemy” – he meant al-Qaeda – “that is a group that does not have a sense of humor. That’s what happens when you get all wrapped up in what you believe in and no one is going ‘haha,’ and then you’re screwed.”

    And even if we are screwed, at least we can laugh at ourselves, and that’s the first step to becoming unscrewed, right?

    Street artists in particular provide that mirror to reflect society’s absurdity back on itself. From Basquiat to Banksy, they provide those little messages hidden in plain sight that break the fourth wall of your day-to-day life and have the power to refocus your perspective, maybe help you look at advertising a different way or make you think a little bit more about whom the police are stopping to search and why. Even the simplest tag of a name on a wall becomes a sociopolitical statement, a reclaiming of private space for the public, an individual voice among the masses demanding to be noticed. When you add the guerilla factor of illegality to the equation, it is the boldness of the act of street art itself that has made it such a fertile ground for challenging social norms.

    (read the rest, pix included)

  • Lidia,

    Let me understand you. You have no self governance? No sense of right and wrong? Certainly those ideas are merely ideas, constructs, but to me, still helpful. If I get to be conscious at the moment of my death, I would like to feel like I lived a congruent life. That’s for me. Not because I’m afraid of hell or the big dog in the sky. Wouldn’t it be great to die feeling like overall, you did okay with your life? That’s all I’m shooting for, nothing huge. I care to some extent about American ethics and morality, but unfortunately, my own and my country’s have not meshed in quite some time.

    And while I do understand that there may be dangerous people being released from our profitable prison complex, most of the people being detained are not violent. Let’s remember that you can blow 11 people out of the water in the Gulf and not be charged with any crime at all. Just depends upon who is doing the killing.

    Tom, dude, what a buzzkill! I can totally picture THAT party! I can just picture people’s faces when you start talking about dead and dying trees. I’ve been there, brother. Whooo boy. Your invitations are about to drop big time, buddy. I’m sorry to get a smile out of your sad encounter with our fellow travellers on this planet, but I can so relate.

    Guy, I thought your interview went pretty well. It does surprise me that they had you on at all. What the hell is up with that? The guy in the tie seemed game, though. Did they offer any rationale when they booked you?

  • Due to activities surrounding the film showings, I’ve barely been able to keep up with moderation of your comments, much less responding to them. A couple people have asked why Ted Simons interviewed me, and here’s the short answer.

    Ted interviewed me slightly more than five years ago, shortly after this article appeared in Arizona’s biggest newspaper (2008 interview is embedded below). I was the final guest on his show that day, and he asked me to chat after the show. We chatted for about an hour, and he clearly found me interesting and newsworthy. When I asked to come back on his show a couple weeks ago, he responded affirmatively.

  • Tom, Tom, Tom, what are we going to do with you? Perhaps you will learn from this sorry experience and forgo further attempts at elucidating others as to our peculiar predicament.

    I went to a baseball game yesterday, and then watched a silly patriotic action movie afterwards at home. Trust me, it takes real talent to blend in & exhibit bonhomie whether in a corporate sky box (suite) or family room.

    However, for those who insist on getting at least one factual tidbit injected into a conversation, a sort of stealth shot-across-the-bow, then I find global oil consumption is both short & sweet.

    Global oil consumption is somewhere between 85-100bbl/day. So, you simply ask your irritant (perhaps someone chattering on cluelessly about xyz) how long 1 billion barrels will last @ current consumption rates. (You don’t even have to get into reserves v production, etc – just make it simple.)

    I can practically guarantee that they will be nowhere near 10 days – more like a couple of years. When you inform them that 1bbl will last 10 days, you will register your first shock. When you then follow up and ask how long a mega field of 500 billion barrels will last (again, don’t muddy the conversation with depletion rates, etc.), the light bulb will begin to go on: 5000 days, or approx 14 years.

    At that point, you can either snicker, pause & wait for effect, or simply walk away. In future gatherings, you can party along with the rest, but point being made, they will perceive you as a slightly dangerous person, one able to burst the collective happy bubble with a flicker of facts.

  • The crazy part is their talking about the end of the world as if it’s just another story on the news: “Up Next: the end of the world, your weekend forecast, and hockey scores.”

    Guy says: “There are consequences for the way we live.” And, TPTB have figured out a way to make others pay those consequences on their behalf, but “the time for honoring themselves will soon be at an end.”

    Guy says: “I am not depressed, but I’m a carrier.” as we all are, once Aware

    Tom, I appreciate your focus on TPTB and their capabilities – the sad part is that we pay the taxes that fund these operations – most of which we would not approve of. We pay taxes and then we let the govt use OUR money to enslave us, poison us, kill us… it’s insane.

    In the news this morning: “What is apparent now, however, is that law enforcement agencies are tightening their focus on the social media behavior of US teenagers – not just because young people often fit the profile of those who are vulnerable to radicalization, but also because the public appears to be more accepting of monitoring and surveillance aimed at preventing attacks, even at the risk of government overreach.”

    We are being prepared for slaughter.

  • pat

    You wrote:

    “We are being prepared for slaughter.”

    Can we broaden the envelope for the term ‘we’?

    If we do, it seems the slaughter has been well under way, what with the use of violence etc. in the creation of these empires many live in.
    So we includes all humans IMO.

    I understand your comment may have been referring to the USA, and not quibbling about that – in that context I agree. It is not going to go down well, and I will watch it on the nightly news here, with all the MSN spin about anti ‘anti-govt. protestors’ and ‘terrorists’ etc. Most know it is coming, just the right spark to it the touch paper.

    My own sense is it is because the USA economy cannot deliver the required profits for the world finance sectors parlour games any longer, and then it is a liability, not an asset. Liabilities, if they remain alive historically have had to pay their way, and slavery can come back in fashion very easily.

    It is looking like the Hunger Games coming on there.

    I pray for you guys, I really do, and I hope it does not come to that cliff.

  • This interview reminded me of a quote tacked up in my classroom in 10th grade: “For every problem there is a solution that is simple, easy, and wrong.”

  • The 2008 interview was very well done! The 2013 interview also went very well. Guy remains calm and factual, letting viewers know that this stuff is very real, there is no political agenda, and there is no bizarre self-destruction cult at work, ether. Ted Stevens did an admirable job, and its true that just giving voice to this crazy man who walks away from a great job to live in a mud hut is commendable.

    I used to be amazed whenever critics tried to attach a political agenda on environmental activists, who were simply stating the facts as we know them, and telling people the consequences of our (in)actions. What personal or political gain could possibly come from a collapse of the industrial economy, or NTE? Must be those rich lefties trying to make money on their solar and wind power investments…

    I’m no longer even surprised. There are just too many simple and entrenched people out there that just can not understand that one would act out of principal, instead of acting out of pocket — out of altruism instead of profit. The nut-job mouth-pieces that flood the air waves have some ailment or derangement that leads them to ascribe either a profit motive, a religious fanaticism, or some sort of evil motivation behind everything — maybe because that’s what they have, and the only power structure they respect (?) They are a product — at least here in the US — of the whole myth of the “American Dream”, and the religion of capitalism in which our society has been steeped for so long. Problem is, the whole shebang has been a big Ponzi scheme all along, and they just can’t deal with the fact that they’ve been duped.

    Guy’s leadership on all these related issues is to be commended. Nothing would make us look like stark raving lunatics more than a wildly gesticulating, red-faced & angry flag bearer, and that would give the drill-baby-drill crowd yet another issue to distract them from understanding the truth. By simply and calmly stating what we know to be true, we may be able to help the world’s people understand what is happening — and why. Some of us may elect to carry on and help spread the word, and others will retire into contemplative solitude, as we each see fit. Those who speak out would do well to emulate Guy’s approach of an informed, measured and reasonable tone, despite the sometimes overwhelming urge to do otherwise.

    There is ample reason for “great vengeance and furious anger” at what’s been done, and at our individual powerlessness in the face of it (thoughts of Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction just keep popping up for some reason…?), but where would we direct this anger, and what good would it do now? Is there some justice served by causing the intentional suffering of those whom we, here, now, declare are guilty of some egregious offense? Are we any more guiltless, having arrived here by hearing the waking call, and pulling out of the Matrix? Had we made only slightly different choices in our lives, might we be just beyond the hearing also? There are moments when I think about who I might like to grind into cat food (or maybe just feed ’em into a tree shredder a la Fargo…), but would it really serve any purpose? Maybe these violent thoughts are just a way of processing the losses, the frustration, and the abject failure of humanity to simply care for ourselves, much less care about others. Healthy thoughts? Maybe not, but if interrogated, I’d have to fess up, I’ve had ’em.

    I think Guy’s responses about the existence of Buddhist monks, and their relative paucity here in America says it very well. We are capable of grace, we’re just not very likely to see enough of it.

  • Shouldn’t we be seeing an a rather dramatic upward shift in those numbers every year if everything will be dead in 17 years?

    Yes, indeedy! That is the wonderful thing ’bout exponents. Reset the scales to make the hockey stick straight and it will again bend after a bit.

    Does this mean all or most of the people die in year 17 or years 14-17?

    The derivatives of position are velocity, acceleration, jerk, jounce, snap, crackle and pop. For example, acceleration is an increase in velocity by a fixed amount for each unit of time. Going faster by a certain amount every second. Jerk is an increase in the rate of acceleration every second (or other unit of time).

    Another way to look at it is a train rushing a granite wall at sixty miles an hour, sixty miles away. Its velocity does not decrease by one mile per hour for each mile travelled. All of its velocity decreases when it hits the granite wall. The decrease is more abrupt for the engine, and a bit more gentle for the caboose. Let’s hope we’re in the caboose.

    No body wants to hear it and probably won’t be convinced until it’s WAAAAAY too late.

    Until the cowcatcher begins to crumble.

    And when they don’t, things go awry. All we have to do is look at our enemy” – he meant al-Qaeda – “that is a group that does not have a sense of humor.

    And then there’s the Gestapo Homeland Security.

    It would seem autistics and psychopaths are at two ends of a spectrum. The former have no window into other’s minds; the latter are unaffected by what they see, but understand what’s going on and how to manipulate it. Sociopaths don’t have the social skills: they don’t understand or manipulate.

  • Hey, Guy,

    As a matter of “conscience”, lose the solar panels. Get to a home site with gravity water.

    Just my opinion…


  • yes, WE are ALL being prepared for slaughter. The notion that some indigenous tribes in Africa or Australia are somehow going to make it through collapse is, IMO, not very likely. My comment was, however, directed mostly at my fate as a citizen of the USA. And, by prepared, I meant “they” (TPTB) are getting ready for a meltdown.

    Seriously, it’s so hard to get a feel for WHEN and HOW. I mean, something could snap and we could be thrown into the middle of chaos quite quickly. Or, we can continue to drag along and slowly shrivel up and die…

    Hard to make plans with so much uncertainty.

    Hey, I have a question for the group. I know a lot of us have family scattered about and it’s real easy to communicate over the miles via cell phones and email. but, what do we do when SHTF? HAM radios won’t work without electricity – I guess you could have a solar powered HAM radio…

  • Pat, I worry all the time when my daughters are far away. They have traveled quite a bit and I’ve already had enough of those sobby help me long-distance phone calls that are so awful when you’re too far away to help. I’m in dread of the moment when one of them calls because the zombies are circling or the wildfire surrounds them. Even worse will be when the phones are down and I get no news at all.

    But I think we are so spoiled. When I was staying with my dad last summer on the Cape after his heart surgery I went to visit some of the old cemeteries and was startled to see how many tombstones said the person had drowned. People used to go to sea and frequently died there. When a family set off across the prairie in a wagon, it was with the expectation that they would never have word of the relatives and friends they left behind.

    I also think that in general modern western society has unrealistic expectations. Just the notion that the bad people and our bad culture that is driving everything to ruin is fixable if only we weren’t so consumer-oriented and competitive is based on a romanticized, sanitized version of the past. After I read about the Jamestown cannibalism I started looking into the subject and it’s not too hard to find out that cannibalism was widespread throughout the world in hunter-gathering tribes. I won’t put this comment into moderation with two links but wikipedia has a pretty good general section on cannibalism, tracing it from Neanderthal to modern remote tribes.

    And we’re not talking about respectful, regrettable odd incidents like the Essex and the Donner party, but rather engrained patterns of hideously violent massacres and horrific tortures. There are several books, and one of them – Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice by Garry Hogg – is full of first person accounts of explorers witnessing ritual torture, execution and consumption (not always in that order unfortunately.)

    For one specific example take the Anasazi. The long-running dispute as to whether or not they practiced cannibalism and were violent has been pretty well settled, and there are many documented instances among native Americans from the Iroquois to the Kwakiutl:

    “Until recently, because of a popular and ingrained perception that sedentary ancient cultures were peaceful, archaeologists have been reluctant to acknowledge that the Anasazi could have been violent. As University of Illinois anthropologist Lawrence Keeley argues in his 1996 book, War Before Civilization, experts have ignored evidence of warfare in preliterate or precontact societies.”

    “…That the Anasazi may have resorted to violence and cannibalism under stress is not entirely surprising. “Studies indicate that at least a third of the world’s cultures have practiced cannibalism associated with warfare or ritual or both,” says WashingtonStateUniversity researcher Lipe. “’Occasional incidents of ‘starvation cannibalism’ have probably occurred at some time in history in all cultures.’”

    Read more:

    I never had a very romanticized view of the past but I did harbor an assumption that our species made progress over time. Now I seriously doubt it. We have replaced slaves with oil, and outsourced our pollution, and sanitized state murder. I have no doubt that we will easily revert when those are not longer options. It seems to be “who we are”.

  • The Wall

    We’re going to smash into the wall,
    So no more trips to the mall;
    Nature’s protocol
    Will now uninstall
    Civilization and all.

    From all of the stuff that I read,
    We’ll be hitting the wall at full speed,
    Revved up to the max;
    So sit back and relax,
    It’s too late to stop and recede.

    Upon hitting the wall, we’ll say “D’oh!
    This ain’t very good,” although,
    It might be understood
    To be just as good
    As any other way to go.

  • A letter, seen on facebook:

    Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist,

    While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!


    The Opportunist

  • BtD: the LeBron of Limericks – absolutely astounding.

    B9K9: That’s almost exactly what my wife said after we left. i’m not to be in doomer mode when at any kind of gathering. In other words i have to keep it to myself. [of course talking about anything with perfect strangers is okay, just not relatives or friends] Good suggestion switching it to oil, which practically everyone “gets.”

    wildwoman: thanks for the smile. Yeah, i can drop a deuce in the punch bowl, can’t i? [can’t take me anywhere apparently]

    Brad: what a great idea! The modern equivalent of the guillotine! Instant human mulch!

    pat: yep, it’s WAAAAY worse than anyone can fathom.

    Guy: how did the opening of the movie go? Big turn-out? Is it going to be distributed?

  • So good to see you still at it, Guy.

    I have not posted here in many months. Lost my father to suicide last May — he was a Baby Boomer who’d long ago drank the kool-aid of success and materialism, and things got to be too much for him in the end: chronically ill wife, few or no friends, deep anger and resentment with how society turned out, an elusive retirement.

    I’ve spent the past year navigating separation from my wife, and now divorce. Soon I will no longer be a homeowner, but a renter again. Sometimes I am cool with that, even thankful; other times there is a nagging sense of failure and wasted effort.

    So many of my friends and family members are having hard times. The stresses of a collapsing society are to blame in large part, I imagine.

    I still watch the signs. This year there has been a surge in numbers of indigo buntings in south Mississippi. Butterfly and bee populations continue to decline here. Dogwoods are still dying off, continuing a trend I began to notice after Hurricane Katrina. Coyote and wild hog populations keep growing, despite active persecution from my fellow humans. I have not seen any of our speckled kingsnakes in a long time; they were once fairly common, even here in the city limits of my small Southern town.

    I hope I can continue to visit this site. Good to see Kathy and some of the old regulars are still around.

    I wish you all well.

  • Let me understand you. You have no self governance? No sense of right and wrong? Certainly those ideas are merely ideas, constructs, but to me, still helpful.

    I didn’t say that; I certainly do have self-governance. I said that morals and ethics are cultural and situational rather than absolute. What is right/wrong in one context may be different in another.

    If I get to be conscious at the moment of my death, I would like to feel like I lived a congruent life. … Wouldn’t it be great to die feeling like overall, you did okay with your life?

    I understand what you are saying, but I would have to ask “congruent to what?” When it was “congruent” for me to go to a good, expensive, school so that I could have a high-paying urban career, that was “congruent” at the time. Now I know differently and try to behave differently, but my context does not allow me to-for example-forego bathing or quit paying taxes or shut off my electricity. My life now is not “congruent” with my thinking. Which life is the better one to live?? It’s very hard to judge. Unless you are living within the sustainable budget allocated by the natural world, as explicated by Paul C., of 2-3k food calories plus 2-3k for extras, you are no more congruent than I am with our present knowledge.

    Notice that you used the phrase, “what I would like to think“. I understand what you would like to think. I would like to think that, too, but my perception is that that’s impossible.

    It “would be great” to be able to convince myself that my life has had some positive effect in the universe, but I just don’t believe that’s so, and I never have done so nor needed to do so. At my most ignorant, I assumed the world and myself to be on a neutral trajectory for all concerned. Now I’m aware of the degree to which my life has been extraordinarily damaging in many ways.

    With our present knowledge, the ethical decision is suicide. Since I am the caretaker for my elderly mom, that is not now—in my personal context of the moment—ethical. But I know that every trip to the grocery store in the car adds to the general species death toll including our own. To imply that we aren’t all hypocrites is a satisfying fiction to those who may feel less culpable for whatever reason, but we’re all culpable. We did what our human nature drives us to do, which is to be opportunists exploiting energy advantages. If you do something so simple as making a cup of tea, that’s more energy than you absolutely need to survive, but who among us is going to begrudge the next person a cup of tea? We’re not only continuing to make tea and cook food and wear clothing we didn’t make ourselves, as well as type away on our computers, drive to the store and so forth. If you can feel good about that being “congruent”, I’m not going to judge you; rather, I envy you. I envy my sister who thinks that Jesus is going to come and save her, because it makes her happy to think so.

    Let’s remember that you can blow 11 people out of the water in the Gulf and not be charged with any crime at all. Just depends upon who is doing the killing.

    Indeed! You are making my point for me, I think. You may have personally resisted the USA’s abject descent into constant spying and open torture on a material or perhaps just on an ideological level, but there are plenty of people for whom this has become moral and ethical: “we’ve got to kill them over there so they won’t kill us over here”. And anyway, such criminality and its fun-house-mirror games of “morality” aren’t such a new thing; they’ve always been with us. I happened to overhear an episode of “Antiques Roadshow” that my husband was watching just tonight. The daughter of one of the crew members of the Enola Gay had brought some sort of memorabilia to show and tell. The segment could not end without her saying how PROUD she was of her dad’s having been involved in killing hundreds of thousands of innocents and irradiating and poisoning the earth, basically just to see what would happen (the scientists at the time didn’t actually know, and feared that the entire earth might be destroyed by an uncontrolled radioactive chain reaction!!!). But she was proud! She was congruent, you know?

    Our violence and opportunism is always there, anyway,and we always find “moral” and “ethical” ways to rationalize it and enshrine it within our communities for the most part. I just see it as being how we are and am trying to live with my eyes as wide open as possible. When I go out in my car and buy the wood for my raised beds so that I can plant the seedlings I grew in my basement under a grow-light, I might congratulate myself… but I’m not being virtuous, instead opportunistic and self-serving when you peel away the layers, probably to a greater degree than the shmoes who just buy whatever’s on sale at the supermarket. That’s how I see it, wildwoman. No hard feelings, I hope.

  • Tom, if by “money” you mean that your dog eats coins (rather than paper bills) that could be an issue because the stomach acids will dissolve the metal and that could cause poisoning. Just saw something about a dog that ate a jar of pennies on the Internet, by chance. Hope your pooch is ok.

  • I’ve posted a new essay, courtesy of Carolyn Baker. It’s a response to Daniel Drumright’s essay, and it’s here.

  • Lidia

    You wrote:

    “…When I go out in my car and buy the wood for my raised beds so that I can plant the seedlings I grew in my basement under a grow-light, I might congratulate myself… but I’m not being virtuous, instead opportunistic and self-serving when you peel away the layers, probably to a greater degree than the shmoes who just buy whatever’s on sale at the supermarket….”

    Your confession is genuine and not quibbling about the issue you feel strongly about.

    However, you may be in some position to assist the said ‘shmoes’ when the supermarket is bare. That is a social, or communal strength you are exercising, at least latently. You may not share, or you may, but if you hadn’t done the growing of seedlings, and the planting and nurturing, you would be one of the shmoes – at a later stage looking for food.

    So your self serving is also a scalable service to others if you choose to. Your knowledge is also a very great public knowledge resource – again should you choose to share, later, when needed.

    The self interest you confess, is also taking the responsibility to not remain dependent when you may feel it is obvious that remaining a shmoe is turning away from a responsibility you can accommodate.

    These are not reasons to mitigate any guilt you may feel, they are just stating some ethical options you have in the near future, given you have done the work of getting self feeding of plants going, albeit on a local small scale, which is all we may have soon anyway.

    Praise to you for your ‘seeds in the cellar’ system.

    Good growing to you.


  • Hey Lidia, thanks for asking. Yeah he tore up a 20 and some ones (which my wife taped together, except for one small missing piece of a dollar) and is blissfully fine. It’s difficult to be angry at him because he’s so innocent and lovable. My pit-mix, when he was very young at the stuffing out a futon and thought rocks were to chew on (until he broke a tooth). He’s fine too – the older pack-mate and plaything for the younger pooch, they get along wonderfully.

  • Lidia,

    No hard feelings at all. I was just trying to understand what you were saying. I think we’re mostly on the same page, actually.
    Thanks for responding.