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  • in reply to: El Gallinazo Surfaces: Off the Reservation #2757

    Jeeze, RE, I think you need to do a review of your ancient history.

    The bible does not come from oral history from 3000bc, where did you find that?

    Here is a student to student timeline I quickly googled and found. It has some inaccuracies, but not too bad. [They call 1000bc the end of the Stone Age where I would have called that late Bronze age.] I guess I was not clear that I meant Mediterranean coinage.

    At about 1200 B.C. in China, cowry shells became the first medium of exchange, or money. The cowry has served as money throughout history even to the middle of this century.
    First Metal Money
    China, in 1,000 B.C., produced mock cowry shells at the end of the Stone Age. They can be thought of as the original development of metal currency. In addition, tools made of metal, like knives and spades, were also used in China as money. From these models, we developed today’s round coins that we use daily. The Chinese coins were usually made out of base metals which had holes in them so that you could put the coins together to make a chain.
    At about 500 B.C., pieces of silver were the earliest coins. Eventually in time they took the appearance of today and were imprinted with numerous gods and emperors to mark their value. These coins were first shown in Lydia, or Turkey, during this time, but the methods were used over and over again, and further improved upon by the Greek, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires. Not like Chinese coins, which relied on base metals, these new coins were composed from scarce metals such as bronze, gold, and silver, which had a lot of intrinsic value.”

    Wikipedia is better for Money, but I think you mean “commodity money” which may be more of an accounting system. How could someone lug around quantities of barley?

    “Main article: History of money

    The use of barter-like methods may date back to at least 100,000 years ago, though there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter.[9] Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics and debt.[10][11] When barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or potential enemies.[12]

    Many cultures around the world eventually developed the use of commodity money. The shekel was originally a unit of weight, and referred to a specific weight of barley, which was used as currency.[13] The first usage of the term came from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC. Societies in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia used shell money – often, the shells of the money cowry (Cypraea moneta L. or C. annulus L.). According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins.[14] It is thought by modern scholars that these first stamped coins were minted around 650–600 BC.[15]”


    Thanks, Donner for starting a good thread.

    I have a friend that has been experimenting with various shapes for the aluminium foil covered back of the oven. I can’t begin to explain the shape of it, probably a parabola.

    For lazy people like me, I found a trick where you get a cheap sun shade for the windshield that is made of a foil type of thing – already made and ready to go. The only ingredient left is for me to actually use it.

    In reading the comments to your aritcle you linked to, I found some good discussion about making wine etc. Remined me of when I had several plum trees and made wine way back in the 70s. I’d like to try plum wine again and maybe mead.

    I once worked on an ethanol project at a biotech co in the 80s that was funded by Brazil. We determined that it wasn’t economically feasible back then with the energy in being greater than energy out. Since it was a private co. I expect that had to be researched over and over before people published and figured it out.

    One tack we tried was testing all kinds of yeasts from the UC Davis collection to try to find those with the largest yeild. Problem is that the yeast seemed to have been bred to max tolerance of ethanol and production, probably millenia ago.

    in reply to: El Gallinazo Surfaces: Off the Reservation #2754


    I beg to differ with you on the issue of MONEY. You say it is the root of all evil, but really it is the system of extraction of wealth from the “3rd” world and from wage slaves that is the problem.

    RE said:
    “The very SAME people who began it obviously no longer run it, but it is designed in such a way as to make sure that their Heirs do, both of the Genetic Kind and the Spiritual Kind. The SYTEM itself is the EVIL. The system is MONEY, and it is the ROOT of all Evil.”

    BTW your rants take on biblical language, were you a preacher in a previous lifetime?

    And – No, Money was only instituted in about 600 bc, but the “system” may be as old as war.

    I recommend David Graeber’s book, “Debt, the first 5000 years”.

    This work by David Graeber (who is known as one of the theorists of the OWS and anarchist movement) has some very insightful facts from history and anthropology showing that debt has been in existence for millennia and is based originally on not barter (of which there is no real evidence), but on the trade of favors. Money on the other hand rose from the need to pay soldiers who were not neighbors, but mercenaries who could not be counted on to return favors or debts. Before the invention of coin or cash, the first agrarian empires used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods.


    “For example, a compact fluorescent light bulb costs $5, but will normally save you more than $5 per year (depending on use) in electricity. ”

    One big problem with any fluorescent light bulb is the issue of recycling. These are mercury containing and should never go in the land fill trash. Some retail stores say they will take them; in my area of CA Home Depot says it will take them.

    A better newer technology is the LED, but the ones slated to be available will be $30 – 50 a pop. Enough to make cfl bulbs seem better.

    Another problem with cfl bulbs is if one breaks. Mercury can become an aerosol and breathing it should be avoided. You can find the very
    exacting instructions from the EPA for clean up. The article does say that this is an extremely careful clean up.

    Before Cleanup
    Have people and pets leave the room.
    Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
    Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
    Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
    stiff paper or cardboard;
    sticky tape;
    damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

    During Cleanup
    DO NOT VACUUM. Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
    Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
    Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.
    After Cleanup
    Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
    Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
    If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

    in reply to: When Money is Debt; Wealth is Poverty #2650

    Somehow I can’t get my head around the mechanism of how the interest and debt are called in.

    “However, If Mrs. Fed saw an opportunity to asset strip even more wealth, she would continue to issue even more debt money. This would make the first $20 debt easily payable and would tend to obfuscate the sheer insanity of borrowing money at interest from someone who could force one into default whenever it served the lender’s calculated interests. Of course, none of the actual dynamics have changed, they have just been concealed by complexity.”

    So how does it work that “someone … could force one into default whenever it served the lender’s calculated interests.”

    How does this forced default work? If you pay back $20.99, you would only owe $0.01. Wouldn’t the assests that back the 1cent be tiny? If not, then I’d want a clause that said that the “assets” backing the money borrowed would decrease as the debt is paid off. Or is everyone so over the barrel that the TPTB can make the 1 cent be backed by my house or car?

    in reply to: Meet Thanatos: Real Life Superhero #2649

    I applaude the activism of these Superhero/ines. Anything we can do to bring together people in the awareness of this broken system is to be applauded.

    However, I have a little voice that asks me a question. Wouldn’t a fishing line be a better gift than a fish?

    Course, the next question is: what form can that fishing line take?

    A individual vegetable garden? No? How about a community one? Or a community enterprise, an employee owned business? Could local governments take some local taxes and open a business to be run by its employees?

    in reply to: I'm hoping Nicole will have time to give her take #2524

    Having read the front page daily news here, I found an article on Japan’s reactors.

    March 28, 2012

    High radiation means delays in decommissioning crippled Fukushima reactors [Talk about an understatement. It was going to take 30 yrs to decommission, now what? A century? A millennia?]

    The decommissioning process at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant faces a further obstacle after Tokyo Electric Power Co. said radiation readings in the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor were at fatal levels on March 27.

    It said readings were detected as high as 72.9 sieverts per hour, which would be fatal to humans in the event of a leak.

    [They’re going to have to invent the technology to do the job.]

    in reply to: Austerity is Alive and Well in America #2523

    Hey Ash,

    Thanks for reminding me to go to the front page for the daily news. Those are really good, but with my book mark on the topics page I forget to go to the actual front page. Hmm, can a link be put in the Comments section or something? Just being lazy here. (And I for one like your writing style and approach to topics, but then I expect we have a similar political view point ; )

    This quote from one of the articles there seems good to plug into this conversation. From my perspective it looks like we have both inflation and deflation at once. With no job or money, the price of food goes up sky high. When there is no money, all prices are “inflated” for those who are locked out. Lost job = deflation, buying food with no money = inflation.

    “Feeding America Food banks have seen significant increases in the price of household staples like milk, which increased in price by nine percent in 2011, and peanut butter, which costs 38 percent more now than it did a year ago. Rising food prices also mean that healthy, nutritious food becomes further out of reach for many of the clients served by Feeding America, further increasing their reliance on food banks.”

    in reply to: I'm hoping Nicole will have time to give her take #2448

    This is very grim, Candace. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. How can I talk about this to my friends and family. I’m already the doomer and have started holding my tongue on so many issues.

    But… I’ll have to figure out a gentle way to bring it up. I don’t want to depress everyone totally when we can hardly do much about it. But being “forwarned is forarmed”. (Now how can we forarm for this kind of thing? The duck-and-cover routine I learned in grammer school is insufficient.)

    Can we insist that the US should make all resources available to help? Perhaps a letter to my Govenor of CA at the very least. Hmm. Any ideas anyone?

    in reply to: The Ultimate Grass-Roots Experiment #2243

    Thank you for the beautiful video.

    I’ve decided to step into my neighborhood co-ordination as a neighbor is stepping down. We will go to an (Earthquake) Prepardness workshop for inactive fizzled out neighborhood groups in 2 weeks. This may take some of my somewhat limited time (I still work with 2 jobs even though ‘retired’).

    I hope to share that video with whatever email list I end up with. I’ve also been slightly connected with the Transition town list and want to share it with them.

    Another place I’d like to see something like that is on the Occupy Oakland website. I don’t exactly know how I can arrange that, but having a vision of what to put in the place of our disfunctional and broke local cities and counties is high on my list of making the network and saftey net I expect we will need. Good food for thought on where to place the seed of that video.

    in reply to: Teju Cole: The White Savior Industrial Complex #2165

    MR said:
    “If it were not for the influence of Western Christian Missionaries they would still be running around with the heads of other tribal leaders on a stick. Do you really think that the Dutch went into the interior of each nation to collect slaves? Of course not, they were the hostages of tribal wars and would have been killed if they did not have a commercial value. The western world has done nothing but bring civilization to Africa.”

    Really now! Such stereotypes -” running around with the heads of other tribal leaders on a stick.” How about reading this Wikipedia article?

    If you read about the Yoruba culture from the area that is now Nigeria, Benin and Togo, you see a rich culture and religion that can be found in many US cities where the Yoruba diaspora spread. So these people “needed” missionaries to dress them up in western clothing to civilize them. What a laugh.

    In 1853, before the US Civil War, we get a comment about the Yoruba – “the most extraordinary republic in the world.”

    My guess is that the “internecine wars” were started from the slave trade which destabilized the whole region and necessitated the move to a ” fortified city”.

    Monarchies were a common form of government in Yorubaland, but they were not the only approach to government and social organization. The numerous Ijebu city-states to the west of Oyo and the Ẹgba communities, found in the forests below Ọyọ’s savanna region, were notable exceptions. These independent polities often elected an Ọba, though real political, legislative, and judicial powers resided with the Ogboni, a council of notable elders. The notion of the divine king was so important to the Yoruba, however, that it stayed with them in its various forms from their antiquity to the contemporary era.

    During the internecine wars of the 19th century, the Ijebu forced citizens of more than 150 Ẹgba and Owu communities to migrate to the fortified city of Abeokuta, where each quarter retained its own Ogboni council of civilian leaders, along with an Olorogun, or council of military leaders, and in some cases its own elected Obas or Baales. These independent councils then elected their most capable members to join a federal civilian and military council that represented the city as a whole.

    Commander Frederick Forbes, a representative of the British Crown writing an account of his visit to the city in an 1853 edition of the Church Military Intelligencer,[14] described Abẹokuta as having “four presidents”, and the system of government as having “840 principal rulers or ‘House of Lords,’ 2800 secondary chiefs or ‘House of Commons,’ 140 principal military ones and 280 secondary ones.”[citation needed] He described Abẹokuta and its system of government as “the most extraordinary republic in the world.”[citation needed]”.

    in reply to: The Death of the Entertainment Industry #2137

    One of the biggest hits to the movie and game markets has been free access to movies through hulu and some other on-line portals to all kinds of media. I just hook up my laptop with a cable to my big screen aka TV, when I watch an occasional movie or anime. I’ve not taken to this form of entertainment as I never had the time or money years ago when I was a single working mom. If this had existed in those years, I would likely have used it as a major form of entertainment for myself and my kids.

    Also free on-line games exist like Lord of the Rings game, along with numerous facebook games. These games seem to be one of the current places that foreign capital find to park investment money. Advertising through these sites can rake in substancial money.

    The internet has become my main source of news and entertainment, far more than magazines, newspapers or movies ever did.

    The real Cold Turkey moment will come when I can no longer go to my favorite blogs and news sites. I’ve actually become more of a news junkie, since I use the internet to find really good sources. Some people spend lots of time with online brousing or shopping; I use it like a gigantic library.

    People with high end phones can look up anything during a converstion and throw in what wikapedia says about a subject as the final say rather than people hashing out their own thoughts. I’ve been in conversations where some (younger) person says, “No looking up on your phone”, when they want a “real” conversation. Just looking things up can be a real discussion stopper.

    When the batteries stay uncharged and the lights go out then we’ll see the withdrawal symptons. Luckily I have a real brick and mortar Library just 3 blocks from my house. But even they have more become a place to use a free internet and computer to cruise the net. I hope they still have real books when the Library reopens from its remodling.

    in reply to: National Animal Identification System #2066

    Oops, the comments were so very long that I skimmed them and only now noticed that there was an update in 2011 that it had been signed into law. I will have to search for this as I can hardly believe that anyone would comply with the backyard part of it.

    Though I suppose if they wanted to be sure that the general public is breaking lots of silly laws this would be one way to do it. Then there would always be something to bust people for. I rather think that the war on drugs has been a way to get probablable cause searches going. Next it will be if someone reports clucking over an egg coming from my backyard.

    in reply to: National Animal Identification System #2064

    Interesting read, Swineherder.

    But just one thing. All of that article was from 2006. I can only imagine that with the financial meltdown only 2 years later that this plan was scrapped, if for nothing else economic reasons.

    I was appalled that it suggested that urban backyard farmers like me would have to register each hen I have. What a ridiculous waste of time.

    Thanks for the Sugarmountian Farms suggestion for reading.

    in reply to: Janet Napolitano Personifies US Myopia #2001


    I want to update this important post.

    Perhaps there was only the appearance of myopia. Here is the most recent develpment in this subject. TPTB are actually making plans “just in case” something bad happens. While it has frightening qualities of totalitarianism, this at least shows that they are also doomers too. Resiliance has to be local without long supply chains. They seem to be awakening that we have very little we can produce for ourselves. This falls very short of localization, but they seem to be aware that something is not quite right in Dodge.

    Here is a Libertarian who comments on it and brings up some good points.

    For some reason the fact that the Secretary of Defense is in charge of all water, makes me know that they know that the next wars may be not so much for oil as for water.

    in reply to: To Where Our Oppositional Culture Takes Us #1994

    “All the terminology in your post speaks to the idea of Ownership of the Earth. “Landed Well-Born” people? What is that? It means that because your father or his father grabbed a piece of Land, when you are born you are More Equal than others not so “well born”. Soon as you accept the idea of being “well born”, you accept inequity and you create the classes of Haves and Have Nots.”

    Actually the phrase, “Landed Well-Born” people, is the wordage of the ancient Greeks. They had a kind of Aristocracy, before the beginnings of their democratic populist political system.

    I agree that the institution of private property is a kind of theft from the commons. One of the big issues in the Occupy movement is whether “crimes against property” are violent, or should that only be reserved for “crimes against people”. Certainly the loss of the Commons was a giant step in the rise of capitalism.

    As far as debt is concerned, the book “Debt, the first 5000 years” by David Graeber (who is known as one of the main theorists of the OWS and anarchist movement.) has some very insightful facts from history and anthropology showing that debt has been in existence for millennia and is based originally on not barter but the trade of favors. Money on the other hand rose from the need to pay soldiers who were not neighbors, but mercenaries who could not be counted on to return favors.

    Gold was used during war to pay the mercenaries, while debt or credit was used during peace. Now we use credit to finance our wars, and wage/debt slaves to suffer through them.

    in reply to: Becoming the Bank #1991

    Ash said
    “The large banks are the untouchable source of funds behind almost every illegal (yet highly profitable) industry throughout the world, as well as activities that are technically legal, but still very destructive to society.”

    Ash – I think El G had it right about the TBTF banks, they are untouchable; they are Too-Big-To-Jail.

    RE said
    “We don’t need Perp Walks and Fines for Banksters, it does nothing to fix the problem. What we need is Torture and an excruciatingly Slow Trip into the Great Beyond.”

    RE – You would like the idea of the death penalty for corporate persons. In this plan a corporation could be held in limbo by the govt and any money it made collected by the govt, for lesser crimes. I guess being Nationalized would be the death penalty. If they are people, they should be allowed to pay the ultimate penalty. Though I suppose we could allow for some waterboarding, if you insist.

    Perhaps the best we can hope for is – if people get too angry at the Banks, it might be expedient for a political figure like the president to throw a Bankster to the wolves as a sop to OWS and Tea Party.

    But what would signal that point? What would constitute “too angry”?

    in reply to: To Where Our Oppositional Culture Takes Us #1990

    “Morris Berman, in his book Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline, delves into a very sensitive topic for most Americans. He asks the tough questions about the nature of American culture as it relates to various issues such as slavery, genocide, *the corruption of corporate and governing institutions*, systemic environmental destruction, imperial warmongering and economic decline.”

    *the corruption of corporate and governing institutions* – I’m just wondering when these were NOT corrupt.

    “As much as we would like to believe that we can evolve away from our opposition culture into one that is *more comfortable with itself*, it is difficult to ignore the momentum of our self-repeating history over a few centuries.”

    *more comfortable with itself* – Unfortunately our system of privilege and capitalism is only too *comfortable* with setting up an enemy to divert attention to.

    Ash, I think you answer this implied question with the article on the War Machine and its retailers, in “Becoming the Bank”. The war machine is highly profitable and can buy off the politicians and prosecutors. Besides the war machine can rid the population of the angry young men who could be a threat by conscripting them or throwing more of them in jail. Or those angry young people with no future might just be tempted by high paying sales jobs in the drug industry, and then throw them in jail to use as slave labor.

    The Oppositional culture demonizes the “enemy”and allows people to kill what they define as non-humans or animals. It removes any moral scruples a person might have about murder.

    RE said.
    “Overall, the Constitution is a Document designed to protect Private Property rights and enforce the dichotomy between the Haves and the Have Nots. There is a REASON only Property Owners had voting franchise rights under the Constitution you know.”

    This was exactly what went wrong with ancient Athens before Solon devised a cancelation of debts and the return of Athenians who had to sell themselves and family to slavery. They later instituted a lottery for serving on their Council of 500. It seems to be the first instance of a populist democracy at work. While it did not work all that well, it may well have been head and shoulders above letting the landed well-born and rich merchants literally enslave debtors.

    in reply to: Vanishing posts – troll hacker? #1804

    Thanks for the quick reply, Ash.

    Sorry to be an alarmist, but the scent of Cheryl in one of the threads, left me wondering.

    in reply to: Are You Going to Believe Your Masters or Your Lying Eyes? #1795

    So what’s up? now the copy for #1268 has vanished.

    Hacker troll? or malfunction in the first posts of threads? Is the system being worked on and I’m seeing a glitch?

    in reply to: Prediction is Very Hard, Especially About the Future #1793

    Waa happened to the original post #1303 ?????

    Have I gone blind or something?

    Did Cheryle turn into a hacker troll?

    Funny now that El G’s prediction of Isreal taking aim at Iran has proven to be spot on (see earlier posts), suddenly his post has vanished.

    I smell a conspiracy of some sort.

    in reply to: Shedding #1767

    Thank you for sharing what you’ve been doing, Fire Water

    Shedding mal-adaptive friends is a good part of making life better. Complainers went first from my life, then some of those who can’t bear to listen to my doomer prophecies. Now I share stories of gardening and the Occupy movement. Also the acquantences I see at Occupy actions and meetings are becoming friends I connect with more.

    I’d like to look at your Radical Self-Reliance a little differently. You say in your piece –

    “I have all the friends that I want, tight friends. Friends who have something to offer. As things change I find that doors are opening for me. People are coming to see me as an asset and I help them where I can.”

    For me the challenge is pulling together a network of “tight friends” who can help each other. Locally in Berkeley/Oakland CA there are Transition Towns and Time Banks in very rudimentary form. It all seems very chaotic at this point. Pehaps people like me are getting their personal gear (aka Urban doomstead) together and don’t have time at this point to ferret out the networks or forge them.

    I’m very intersted in what other places, city dwellers especially, are doing to build the local community structures we will need after the SHTF.

    in reply to: Athenians buy potatoes direct from farmers #1754

    I’ve started growing some of my own potatoes here on my Urban farm, such as it is so far. And my pullets are growing fast, so I hope for eggs in a couple of months. My daughter’s flock (some of which were going to come to me) of 4 are laying an egg a day each, so I get a few of hers. It’s a good thing she’s adopted the urban farm idea, since she got laid off Again. I think her hobby of raising chicks may be a winner for her.

    There is a local Berkeley crop swap that started up last year, that I hope to get some produce from it in swap for eggs later. I know it’s a small beginning, but I’ve started.

    There are also Farmers markets almost every week day, in my local 5 mile area. At those I can be more confident about there not being a huge residue of pesticides on the produce.

    The Greeks are a good model to watch for what works. But misery and necessity are the parents of invention. This thread again could go into a Food section here. (I never quite know where to post things, and this post about the Greeks got me going.)

    in reply to: Prediction is Very Hard, Especially About the Future #1752

    Back to the real topic of this post.
    Cuo bono? – This is the real question.

    It’s not just banks that control things, but also the transnational corporations that buy politicians and banksters. Buying a bank may just be part of international corpoate conglomerates that have many entities. It’s hard to know which way the power flows, when it’s under cover.

    Pepe Escobar at THE ROVING EYE at Asia Times is a fine analyst and has recent articles that touch on the Iran issue.

    Why Putin is driving Washington nuts
    By Pepe Escobar, Mar 9, 2012

    “A New World Order is a no-go for Washington’s top bogeyman, back-to-the-future Russian President Vladimir Putin. Good old-fashioned state sovereignty rules his world. The Putinator will be ultra tough on all fronts, from closer coordination with China, thwarting NATO bases in Afghanistan and ensuring Iran is not attacked, and all points in between.”

    War, Pipelineistan-style
    Pepe Escobar, Mar 16, 2012

    “United States Secretary of State Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton’s message to Pakistan was stark; try to go ahead with the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline, and we’re going to take you out financially.”

    As far as Iran goes, Pepe Escobar describes the coming axis of power with Iran trading with Pakistan, India, Russia and China in money that is not US dollars. I don’t know much about India and Pakistan, but the others seem to be State crony capitalisms.

    China has a financial/trade war with the US and it’s corporations. And while China may seem like they’ve swallowed the US neo-liberal free-trade model, they may really be playing the game of monopolizing the local Asian surplus army of labor. (Course the huge surplus of commercial ghost cities being built in China may sink their ship, unless those are just stock piles of materials to be used after the crash.) China may be the next center of the NWO, now that the US has gotten depleted by debt and a lack of low paid labor slaves.

    in reply to: Are You Going to Believe Your Masters or Your Lying Eyes? #1747

    Many thanks M111ark and El G for the mention of Damon Vrabel. I was finally able to find his blog. What an evening’s education!

    Then I realized that his last blog was on Jan. 8, 2011. A whole year ago. So what is he doing now? After all his good analysis of the “cartel” or old money banking system, he seemingly suddenly stops blogging, saying that it’s

    “4. Putting all blame on the top of the system is biased and psychologically immature. Labeling a group “all bad” is an example of splitting—a primitive defense mechanism we tend to use to maintain an illusion of “all good” for ourselves, our country, our political party, etc. Some of my articles and videos intentionally played the splitting game because the media is designed to exacerbate splits, so if I wanted to pursue media work, I needed to play the game. But splitting is very harmful to society, so I will no longer do it. Moreover, as stated in #2, almost everyone contributes to the system so blaming only the top would be disingenuous.”

    I’m seriously wondering about “almost everyone contributes to the system”. He seems to have despaired of convincing the bulk of our friends and neighbors of coming crash. Sure many or most are filled with MSM mis-info, but there is a germ of folks doing Urban Homesteading and focusing on going Local.

    The localized networks of people who garden, raise chickens etc and do time banks is what will give a few a chance to survive the hard times to come. As the crunch tightens my friends who can are helping our other friends by hiring them to help in their homes or small businesses. Now if I can think of a “business” that could hire lots of people to help other people survive, that would be the ticket.

    So maybe Vrabel is out doing interfaith work at his local Occupy movement group since he seems to have a moral theoretical frame for his work. Faith groups have historically helped feeding people etc. I hope so. If not then, that’s what I plan to do, along with things like a Jubilee and an anti-usury movement.

    in reply to: The Official Thread for Open Comments #1580

    Ahh, another urban legend gone bust.

    Well, I never wanted to test it, when we send out mail orders from my retail shop in Oakland. While I spent about 15 years on and off teaching biology and working in Bio-research, I was mostly in the ethanol and antibiotics side of research. So I guess I’m still prone to urban legends at heart.

    in reply to: The Official Thread for Open Comments #1545

    I’ve heard that plain popcorn without salt and of, course, no butter works very well. They say mice and rats won’t eat it plain.

    in reply to: The Official Thread for Open Comments #1457

    Thanks, RE

    I really appreciated that article on the Truth about OWS especially the parts about OO. So much of the MSM goes into fantasy land about the Occupy movement.

    I expect that May 1 is going to be very interesting. People are just getting thoughts about want different actions to do that day. Unions will do worker oriented strikes, others will Occupy the Hood etc etc. I expect there to be a very multifaceted bunch of actions, marches, statements and the police will probably be unable to comprehend a targetless or rather too many targes at once. In OO the police will cost the city huge amounts of $ and that will be blamed on the Occupiers. They can never examine themselves as to why they don’t just embarace this movement that is simiply not just fading away.

    in reply to: Greece Has Assembled a Coalition of the Willing #1445

    Next Ireland will have to stand up as the center of the EU storm with a referendum.

    I would love to see this expanded and analyzed here.

    in reply to: Uneconomic Growth: When Illth Trumps Wealth #1375

    This is a very important point.

    Why isn’t this trumpeted from the roof tops?

    Probably because this is not the diagnosis TPTB want to let us hear. If only our government had the public good in mind, instead of their individual re-elections. Why are our public servants doing their jobs? They should be fired. We need some wisdom in public office.

    The growth of the GDP is the opposite of the growth of the public good.

    Only a child is so short sighted that think they can grow forever.

    How about some growth in wisdom? How about planning ahead? How about some real adults in the government?

    How can we get this intelligent information more widely spread? Perhaps the Occupy Movement can be supplied with some short bites for signs at demonstrations. Maybe we should all send Daly’s articles to the White House or to our State governors.

    in reply to: Modern Myths that Destroy Humanity #1257

    Good topic, Ash.

    Your follow up comment shows a clear grasp of the techniques that TPTB (IMF etc.) use to trick countries into jumping on the band wagon of progress and prosperity, but for whom that is the question. TPTB, of course.

    Probably should post this on the earlier thread about prisons, but……

    the prison industrial complex is very real in this film. It was a fine documentary about conditions in the city of Philadelphia. The images of police beating a black man could have been from Oakland or any major US city. I found watching the short beating section of the film the most disturbing and haunting. It’s heart breaking to hear of young men who were sentenced at age 15 who have spent more than half their lives in prison. And the crowding is almost as bad in PA as in CA, though the photos of CA prisons with triple bunks in gymnasiums seems worse to me.

    Elaine Brown sang beautifully for us of young Black Panthers lost to violence and prison. I hope that is not in our future here for more young people. But they are already there, a huge lost generation of black men.

    There seems to be an accretion of groups that have been weak on their own, when they intersect with the Occupy movement they become strong, or so it appears. ‘Occupy4Prisoners’ has become a newer stronger development. The Occupy center is acting like the hub of a wheel.


    Angela Davis to Speak at Occupy4Prisoners Benefit – Grand Lake Theater, Oakland – Thursday, March 1, 2012 – 7:00 PM

    Angela Davis, Elaine Brown, and Barbara Becnel will speak about the prison industrial complex during the program accompanying the showing of the evening’s film. Statements of incarcerated people will also be featured, and will be read aloud by others.

    “Broken on All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration, and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S.” is a recently released documentary that takes us inside the prison system, exposing the racism and brutality at its core. The film features Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

    All proceeds benefit Occupy4Prisoners.

    in reply to: Modern Myths that Destroy Humanity #1205

    Some thoughts on growth

    “My how you’ve grown!” Can be a source of pride for parents and child alike. Somehow they take credit for a biological imperative, since we come into this world so undeveloped. I think those words get imprinted into our minds early and it becomes easy for us to automatically identify with growth as a positive.

    But when you get to a certain age, “My how you’ve grown!”, can be a source of dismay as clothes get too tight.

    When physical growth ceases humans grow mentally till about 25 for some brain functions, while wisdom can grow endlessly, unless we become inactive, then we can get in a rut.

    What if society and businesses, modeled on wisdom as a source of growth? How would we measure that? Not on the door frame with a pencil as a kid grows. What could be used to measure of wisdom-growth? Flexibility and the perspective of history?

    in reply to: Another Shot to the Bow of Fed Money Printing #1151

    Am I right in thinking that if the indicators are “good” for employment etc, the the Fed is barred from another QE?

    “the positive GDP revisions make it that much more likely that the Fed will be unable to launch another round of asset purchases before the U.S. elections are over in November.”

    And with out a good nudge the economy will sail down the drain? I guess it’s just hold your breath till after the electons. Then they will do any and everything to prop up the econ.

    in reply to: Blog/Forum Issues #1145

    Arrgh, when I posted something here at somepoint I must have wondered what would happen if I hit “Subscribe”.

    Hmm, now when I try to “UNsubscribe” I get this:

    You have entered information to an obsolete form from another session. Please verify that the user account is yours and please try again!

    I don’t get this.

    Beware the Subscribe button.

    in reply to: Democracy Rears It's Ugly Head… Again #1109

    I agree, Beguine.

    “Birdshak and scandia: this sounds like an interesting theme emerging on food. Perhaps it could be further developed in the Food section of Lifeboat? “

    I don’t have much writing time as I’m currently working on other projects, but an article on Urban Farming or Permaculture would be great to read and respond to.

    Urban Farming is rather a fad in the Oakland/Berkeley CA area. I expect to have laying chickens in a couple of months that my daughter is raising from chicks.

    Last year I put 3 raised beds in my driveway and had a tiny harvest of tomatoes last year due to very odd weather here, too dry and cool. Now with a dry warm spring with a bit of rain, I can start a few things. Already have ornamental cabbages of white and purple along the front sidewalk. Scandia, perhaps your neighbors won’t realize your odd plantings are food. Here the deer may be the biggest winners; I’m finding rather fewer plants than were here last week.

    Nasturtiums grow like weeds here. Not very tasty – the leaves are too peppery for my taste. I’ve never heard of the seeds being eaten. The flowers are actually very good in a salad along with borage flowers which is a 4 year annual weed in this climate. Borage – ‘Gerard recommended eating this herb in a salad for joy and said that a syrup made of the flowers “purgeth melancholy and quieteth the phreneticke and lunaticke person.” I may have just enough on the volunteer borage to make a cup of tea.

    in reply to: Our Depraved Future of Debt Slavery (Part III) #1107

    When anyone who flees the city goes to a doomstead to survive by “helping out”, they have become debt slaves. The Company store is the tried and true way to keep a serf enslaved.

    Just ask the girls that work for Foxcomm, and get to live in barracks and work for 14 hour days 6 or 7 days a week. But they get fed and are even able to send a penny back home. I suppose that’s why 18 young women attemped suicide and only 14 managed. I guess the other 4 will be in permanent servatude.

    If the govt. gives hand outs of food etc, they will expect a return. Or is debtors prison just the company farm? Comng to your city soon.

    Lol, no wonder my daughter doesn’t want to listen to me. However she has started to do urban chicken farming a bit. Soon I’ll have a flock.

    in reply to: Blog/Forum Issues #1044

    Just a suggestion – I’d like to see the author’s name up next to the subject name or title. It’s just that I’m used to that kind of format and would give obvious credit where it is due.

    Great new topics and info. The site is getting better and better by the day.’

    Thanks again for all the work that has obviously gone into this site.

    in reply to: German government wants Greece to leave Eurozone #1019

    That YouTube is pretty f….g hilarious with Closed Caption on.

    I had to laugh.

    in reply to: Peak Energy Animinated – "There's No Tomorrow" #981

    I too am very pleased and impressed by Ash’s articles here. Hats off to him.

    Keep up the great work, Ash !!!

    in reply to: Our Depraved Future of Debt Slavery (Part I) #937

    One more thing. A local Oakland theater that supports the Occupy movement will be showing this film on Mar. 1. I plan to be there and may review it here.

    This website has a fine preview of it. Telling it like it is.

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