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July 9, 2024 Readings

July 9, 2024 Readings

The meme that is destroying Western civilisation Part V–Steve Keen

Food Ecomodernism And The Emptying Of Politics, Part 1–Chris Smaje

Global News Round-up: Let them Eat Bugs–Robert Malone

After Leftist Lobbying, German Bank Kills AfD Donation Account–Armageddon Prose

Weak Data Says a Recession Has Already Started, Let’s Now Discuss When – MishTalk

Corporate Media Is An Unreliable Narrator–Matt Orsagh

This Civilization Is Not Interested In Saving Itself–The Honest Sorcerer

OMG Haaretz Is Hamas Propaganda Now! – by Caitlin Johnstone 

Alaska’s top-heavy glaciers are approaching an irreversible tipping point–Bethan Davies

‘I had to downgrade my life’ – US workers in debt to buy groceries–BBC News

The Public Cost of Private Science–Nautil.us

No Reform or Leader Is Going to Save the Status Quo–We’re On Our Own–Charles Hugh Smith

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS – The Burning Platform

It’s All MMT: The Fraud Of ‘Monetary Policy’ | ZeroHedge

Master Class On Strategic Organised Resistance: Class 1–Collapse Curriculum

From Prosecutor to Censor: Barbara McQuade’s Call to Erode Free Speech–Reclaim The Net

100 Miles South Of Salt Lake City, A New Type Of Off-Grid Community | ZeroHedge

US Farmers Hoard Corn Like It’s 1988 | ZeroHedge

Our Crisis of Competence

Our Crisis of Competence

If this is what passes for competence while we cheerlead “the Roaring 20s”, then our delusion has reached “what looks like a permanently high plateau.”

That America is mired in a crisis of competence appears to be yet another issue that can’t be addressed directly as it might upset the narrative control that all is well and everything is getting better in every way, every day.

And so we sugarcoat the incompetence, the endless delays, the sclerosis and the decline in quality and functionality as if these are all signs of rude, vibrant health rather than signs of systemic decline and decay.

Relatively straightforward infrastructure projects now face years or even a decade of delays / zero real-world progress. I can name several projects in my county where the environmental impact studies and various governmental reports have consumed six years, during which the harbor remains closed, the roads are unpaved gravel, the park is closed and the bridge is awaiting repairs.

When the public rightly complains of years of inaction and foot-dragging, local officials throw up their hands in frustration as all the necessary approvals and funding must wind their way through the impenetrable thickets of state and federal agencies, a leisurely process over which they have no control.

As for the private sector, I’ve often detailed the immense, systemic decline in the quality of everything from the ingredients in packaged food to “stainless steel”, as well as the equally immense burden of unpaid “shadow work” demanded of us all just to manage the complexity thickets generated by “progress.”

Stainless Steal (February 26, 2023)

The “Crapification” of the U.S. Economy Is Now Complete (February 9, 2022)

Digital Service Dumpster Fires and Shadow Work (February 14, 2024)

Is Anyone Else’s Life as Stupidly Complicated by Digital “Shadow Work” as Mine Is? (May 22, 2024)

If AI Is So Great, Why Is Managing the Digital Realm Eating Us Alive? (March 1, 2024)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Living on Uneasy Street

Living on Uneasy Street

It’s nice to anticipate sunny weather, but it’s a good idea to carry an umbrella just in case the forecasts prove overly optimistic.

Yes, the market will rally if World War III didn’t start last night. The market will also rally if World War III does start, because the Federal Reserve will surely lower interest rates.

We chuckle uneasily at gallows humor here on Uneasy Street because we’re still required to maintain an upbeat veneer of endlessly cheerful optimism even as we sense that the forces currently in play are beyond the control of individuals or groups, no matter how powerful they may be, and that these forces will follow a course to an end no one can predict with any degree of upbeat confidence.

Back when we lived on Easy Street, things were getting better for everyone in varying degrees and the ladder of social mobility was available to all: anyone could improve their prospects by putting in the effort.

Fortunes were being minted, lists of reasons to be optimistic proliferated like overfed rabbits and spots of bother ran off the road on their own, requiring nothing of us.

Life on Uneasy Street is, well, different. The lists of reasons to be optimistic are still everywhere, but they now ring hollow, as those conjuring the lists sound increasingly frantic: come on, people, get with the program, it’s all gonna be wunnerful, AI, AI, AI, Roaring 20s, blah blah blah.

The only true believers are those paid to shill the optimism by those seeking to maximize their profits via selling the sizzle rather than the actual steak. The entire exercise of trying to convince us that we still live on Easy Street is simply more evidence that Easy Street is a figment of imagination.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Staving Off Revolution

Staving Off Revolution

If the leadership chooses happy-story PR and toothless reforms for show in the hopes it will all blow over, these subterfuges have the potential to push dissatisfaction beyond the point of control.

Whatever else we might say or think about the leadership class, they tend to have a keen sense of self-preservation. The ability to issue optimistic visions of sunshine and unicorns with a straight face is valuable, to be sure, but so is the ability to sense that the BS is no longer working and something must be done to stave off a potentially career-ending collapse of confidence.

As a general rule, the ability to maintain a delusional confidence that it’s all going to work out just fine tends to end very poorly for the leadership class. However sincerely it may be uttered, let them eat brioche doesn’t resolve the extreme asymmetries that generate revolutionary disorder. Something more is required, something that either reduces the asymmetries of wealth and power or gives the appearance of doing so.

Staving off revolution requires some action that benefits those for whom the status quo is no longer working. While borrowing and distributing “free money” works for awhile, this profligacy generates its own destabilizing dynamics, and so eventually reducing the asymmetries of wealth and power requires the leadership to take a chunk out of the perquisites and spoils of the financial elite.

Since the leadership class is either beholden to the financial elite or has dual membership in both clubs, the leaders are quickly declared “traitors to their class” even as they are acting to stave off the overthrow of the predatory financial elite that pushed asymmetries to destabilizing extremes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXII–Government: Constantly Forsaking Our Ecological Systems to Chase the Perpetual Growth Chalice

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXII

December 7, 2022 (original posting date)

Chitchen Itza, Mexico. (1986) Photo by author.

Government: Constantly Forsaking Our Ecological Systems to Chase the Perpetual Growth Chalice

Todays’ contemplation has been prompted by the usual shenanigans of government. In this case, the government of my home province of Ontario, Canada.

As regular readers of my posts are acutely aware, I have a strong belief that the primary guiding principle/motivation of our ruling caste is the control/expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems that provide their revenue streams and thus positions of power and prestige. Everything they touch is leveraged towards this goal.

Not surprisingly, the political elite within this caste always twist/market their actions/policies that serve to meet the above principle as a social service for the masses because regardless of their power/influence they continue to require the ‘support’ of the hoi polloi so as to avoid revolution/overthrow (they are, after all, hugely outnumbered and depend upon the non-elite for their labour and taxes). If the masses were ever to come to the realisation that our governments are, for all intents and purposes, little more than criminal organisations using their positions and power to funnel wealth from national ‘treasuries’ to their families and ‘friends’, and create legislation that strengthens this corruption, the reaction could be, well, who knows…history suggests it doesn’t end well for some of the elite.

As archaeologist Joseph Tainter points out in The Collapse of Complex Societies, the activities surrounding legitimising the status quo power/wealth structures is common in any society in order for the political system to survive. While coercion can ensure some compliance, it is a more costly approach than moral validity. States tend to focus on a symbolic and scared ‘centre’ (necessarily independent of its various territorial parts), which is why they always have an official religion, linking leadership to the supernatural (which helps unify different groups/regions). This need for such religious integration, however, recedes — although not the sense of the scared — once other avenues for retaining power exist. In modern nation states, this ‘sacred’ has become ‘government’; an organisational structure whose existence and necessity is rarely questioned.

It is for the reason of enhancing/maintaining government legitimacy that domestic populations are constantly exposed to persuasive narratives that paint its sociopolitical ‘leaders’ as beneficent servants of the people — thank you narrative control managers (especially the legacy media) for this. This recurring phenomenon rings true throughout time and regardless of the form of government.

Back to the target of this contemplation…

My provincial government has recently opened up a bit of a hornet’s nest around the expansion of housing upon significantly ecologically-sensitive lands of the Oak Ridges Moraine[1] that had been ‘protected’ from such exploitation since 2005 by a legislative act of our provincial parliament[2]. The narratives around the ‘protection’ of this area are interesting to peruse[3].

There has been a flurry of media articles and social media posts revealing the cronyism between the current government and certain landowners that stand to profit handsomely from this policy shift[4] — many of whom purchased the land in question in just the past few years. And while these revelations are interesting and serve to confirm my bias regarding the ruling caste, this is not what I wish to focus upon.

I want to talk a bit about the Overton Window[5] or ‘controlled opposition[6]’ that I have noticed in my province around this issue and the related notion of growth, especially population growth and its concomitant impact on the environment and ecological systems.

Virtually every article and citizen comment I’ve read around this issue responds in a relatively tightly closed worldview that assumes a few things, particularly that growth is not only beneficial but must and will occur. Since it is good and will continue, the ‘debate’ becomes one of urban sprawl verses densification.

It would be best, the argument goes, for the environment and ecological systems if we were avoid expanding into this ‘Greenbelt’ and to contain our growth within tightly-packed urban centres. This perspective is heralded far and wide but especially by so-called environmentally-minded groups/individuals.

For example, the Greenbelt Foundation — an “organization solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous” — argues that “Growing in more compact ways, relying more on intensifying existing urban areas and creating dense, mixed-use new communities can reduce long-term financial commitments and ensure better fiscal health now and for generations to come.”[7]

None realise that increasing density does not necessarily equate to environmental soundness since it is the numbers of people that leads to the most significant drawdown of finite resources, not necessarily how they are distributed — particularly in ‘advanced’ economies where consumption is significantly higher than other economies. Yes, small and walkable communities do tend to show a decrease in certain resource needs but one cannot keep packing more and more people into tight spaces and argue the environment and ecological systems are ‘saved’ in such a scenario.

The many cons of densification are ignored. Such as the ‘heat island effect’ that increases energy consumption, the increased economic activity and consumption that tends to accompany dense urban centres, and traffic congestion that can cause emissions increases — to say little about the social pathologies and negative health impacts found in higher density settlements, such as the increased prevalence of anxiety/depression or the speed with which epidemics can spread[8].

Nowhere does one read a challenge to the very foundation of this interpretive lens that growth is good and inevitable. Nowhere is a discussion of halting growth or, God forbid, reversing it (i.e., degrowth). Growth MUST continue, and this pertains to both economic and population growth.

Growth is of course a leverage point for our ruling caste. It is used, in my opinion, to continue to expand the wealth-generation and -extractions systems but also, and perhaps more importantly, to maintain the Ponzi-like nature of our financial/economic systems. It is, however, as are all policies/actions, marketed as the means to ensure our prosperity.

Here I am reminded of a passage from Donella Meadows’s text Thinking in Systems: A Primer (2008):

…a clear leverage point: growth. Not only population growth, but economic growth. Growth has costs as well as benefits, and we typically don’t count the costs — among which are poverty and hunger, environmental destruction and so on — the whole list of problems we are trying to solve with growth! What is needed is much slower growth, very different kinds of growth, and in some cases no growth or negative growth. The world leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth as the answer to all problems, but they’re pushing with all their might in the wrong direction. …leverage points frequently are not intuitive. Or if they are, we too often use them backward, systematically worsening whatever problems we are trying to solve.”

The thinking outlined above by Meadows regarding negative growth and pushing in the wrong direction is completely foreign to the discussions I am witnessing on the expansion into Ontario’s ‘Greenbelt’. None dare challenge the mythical narrative that growth is good and inevitable. Such out-of-the-box thinking is not allowed. If such a thought is shared, the speaker is marginalised or ignored by most.

This is particularly so if one enters the kryptonite-like morass that is population growth in ‘advanced’ economies where such growth is ensured by skimming people from other countries — spun as a social service to the world’s needy — but is really about keeping the financial/economic Ponzi from collapsing because domestic populations are not reproducing fast enough[9].

And here I am reminded of another text passage, this time by Noam Chomsky in The Common Good (1998)[10]:

“In general, the mainstream media [everyone] all make certain basic assumptions, like the necessity of maintaining a welfare state for the rich. Within that framework, there’s some room for differences of opinion, and it’s entirely possible that the major media are toward the liberal end of that range. In fact, in a well-designed propaganda system, that’s exactly where they should be. The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” ~Noam Chomsky

This appears to be the crux of the matter when it comes to many issues. The ruling caste, with the help of the mainstream media and others, circumscribe the range of the debate. This provides cover for the ultimate endgame — in the issue over the Greenbelt expansion it is the accommodation of population expansion through the construction of millions of homes (and it matters not whether these are on ecologically-sensitive lands or not in the long run) from which the ruling caste will undoubtedly make billions of dollars in profits…while the finite resources necessary to support this growth become more rare and costly to extract/process, and the environment and ecological systems upon which we depend continue to experience disruption and destruction.

We are continually fed a mythical narrative about growth and then set to debate and argue each other over how to accommodate it while ignoring the only way that might help to mitigate — at least marginally — our ecological overshoot predicament: degrowth.

[1] See this, this, this, and/or this.

[2] See this.

[3] See this, this, and/or this.

[4] See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and/or this.

[5] See this, this, and/or this.

[6] See this, this, and/or this.

[7] See this.

[8] See this, this, and/or this.

[9] See this, this, this,

[10] Hat tip to Erik Michaels who reminded me of this passage in his latest writing, that I highly recommend.

What Happens When There’s Nobody Left to Save Us?

What Happens When There’s Nobody Left to Save Us?

Passively waiting for centralized powers to “save us” from their own excesses is not a solution.

It’s no exaggeration to say that our way of life depends on somebody somewhere saving us from the excesses that are the bedrock of our way of life. What excesses, you ask? There are none. This is true in one sense: all the excesses have been normalized by previous “saves”: whenever the bedrock excesses threaten to collapse under their own weight, the Federal Reserve or the Federal government rush in to save us from the excesses they’ve created.

Stripped of artifice, the bedrock excess that has been completely normalized is to goose consumption by borrowing from future earnings and resources. As long as growth is eternal, this works great: we can always pay more interest on ever-expanding debt with future earnings because those will be inevitably be even larger than the interest due.

Creating money out of thin air is another mechanism that achieves the same goal: goosing consumption via boosting the value of assets to generate a “wealth effect” that lifts all boats. This is also predicated on the eternal expansion of earnings, so wage earners can afford to consume as new money ceaselessly devalues the purchasing power of existing money (what we call inflation).

The problem is these “saves” only work if the interest rate is eternally near-zero and the costs of production are eternally declining: as long as it costs almost nothing to borrow more money into existence and production costs continue to drop, enabling consumers to afford more goodies even as the purchasing power of their wages declines, then all is well.
…click on the above link to read the rest…

How We Fail: Framing the Problem to be Fixable with an Existing Solution

How We Fail: Framing the Problem to be Fixable with an Existing Solution

We say we want solutions, but we actually want a specific subset of solutions: those that already meet with our approval. 

The possibility that none of these pre-approved solutions will actually resolve the problem is rejected because we are wedded to the solutions that we want to work.

The sources of our resistance to admitting that our solution is now the problem are self-evident: holding fast to an ideological certainty gives us inner security, as it provides a simplified, easy-to-grasp frame of reference, an explanation of how the world works and a wellspring of our identity.

Our ideological certainties also serve as our moral compass: we believe what we believe because it is correct and therefore the best guide to solving all problems faced by humanity.

If we frame all problems ideologically (i.e. politically), then there is always an ideological “solution” to every problem.

If we frame all problems as solvable with technology, then there is always a technological “solution” to every problem.

If we frame all problems as solvable with finance, then there is always a financial “solution” to every problem.

In each of these cases, we’re starting with the solution and then framing the problem so it aligns with our solution.  This is not actually problem-solving, and so the solutions–all blunt instruments–fail to actually resolve the complex, knotty problems generated by dynamic open systems with interconnected feedback loops.

Self-interest also plays a role, of course, as self-interest is core to human nature, along with an innate desire to serve the best interests of our family, group, tribe, neighborhood, community enterprise, class and nation. That we prefer solutions that maintain or enhance our current financial and social position in the status quo is no surprise.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXIX–Geopolitics: It’s About Wealth Extraction and Generation For the Ruling Class

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXIX

October 2, 2022 (original posting date)

Chitchen Itza, Mexico (1986). Photo by author.

Geopolitics: It’s About Wealth Extraction and Generation For the Ruling Class

My very short contemplation today is my comment on an article that was posted in a Facebook group (Peak Oil) that I belong to. It is preceded by some additional thoughts as we stumble into our uncertain and unknowable future where I firmly believe ‘collapse’ of some nature is unavoidable.

At this particular juncture in time it is looking increasingly likely that a world war is just around the corner. In fact, there’s good evidence to suggest this has already begun — we’re simply absent the ‘official’ declaration of it.

I would additionally argue that such geopolitical events expedite our decline precipitously with their significant drawdown of resources. In fact, with our population growth and penchant for chasing the infinite growth chalice, global imperialism is one of those relatively recent human tendencies speeding up our decline.

Recognising this, we must keep in mind that our agency in these events is as close to zero as one can get. The sociopolitical system is far too ‘invested’ in status quo structures (i.e., power, wealth) to affect any shift in our trajectory. All that we can do is ‘hope’ sane heads prevail but realise that this is increasingly unlikely; in fact, I would contend the possibility of this is as close to zero as one can get as well.

What to do? Continue to prepare our families/communities for the inevitable decline caused by our ecological overshoot — a predicament that has no ‘solution’. Relocalise as much of the ‘necessities’ of life as is possible. Procurement of potable water. Food production. Regional shelter needs. And do this with the realisation that our complex, energy-dependent technologies will increasingly and eventually be little more than paperweights.

And, finally, be aware of the psychological consequences all of this will have on ourselves and those around us. Uncertainty and chaos will reign and many will struggle greatly with these. Be as understanding and ‘calm’ as you possibly can. Control what you can control and try to let the rest just go.

With the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines dramatically impacting the geopolitical game being played in Europe this past week, an interesting article by Gold, Goats, ‘n Guns’ Tom Luongo laid out his view on who might be responsible for this act of sabotage. It is his contention that a faction of our ruling elite (generally termed ‘globalists’ for their desire to rule over a world void of national borders) are very likely behind this as they have the most to gain from the chaos it helps to exacerbate.

My comment:

I leave nothing out of the realm of possibility when it comes to the world’s ruling elite. They leverage any and every crisis (actually, everything; it doesn’t need to be an actual crisis) to meet their primary motivation: control/expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems that provide their revenue streams and thus their positions of power and prestige. All else is of secondary/tertiary concern and even they are leveraged to meet their first motivation. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Such manipulation has been an evil presence in human complex societies from the get go, once differential access to resource surpluses arose and one could wield power/influence over others because of our tendency to defer/obey authority. There seems to be no ‘safe’ way out of this particular predicament of our own making.

What If There Are No Solutions?

What If There Are No Solutions?

The unencumbered realist concludes that there are no solutions within a status quo structure that is itself the problem.

Realists who question received wisdom and conclude the status quo is untenable are quickly labeled pessimists because the zeitgeist expects a solution is always at hand–preferably a technocratic one that requires zero sacrifice and doesn’t upset the status quo apple cart.

Realists ask “what if” without selecting the “solution” first. The conventional approach is to select the “answer/solution” first and then design the question and cherry-pick the evidence to support the pre-selected “solution.”

What if all the status quo “solutions” don’t actually address the real problems? This line of inquiry is strictly verboten, for there must be a solution that solves everything in one fell swoop.

Examples of this approach abound: a one-size fits all solution that resolves all the systemic problems by itself. All we have to do is implement it.

Replacing fiat currencies is one example that I have explored:

You Want Truly “Sound Money”? A Thought Experiment

Contrarian Thoughts on the Petro-Yuan and Gold-Backed Currencies

I’ve also explored how real change works: it takes many years (or even decades) of sacrifices and high costs with none of the immediate payoff we now expect as a birthright. Real change pits those benefiting from the status quo against those finally grasp that the status quo is the problem, not the solution, and these political/social battles are endless and brutal because any gains come at somebody else’s expense.

The Forgotten History of the 1970s

The 1970s: From Rotting Carcasses Floating in the River to Kayak Races

…click on the above link to read the rest…

I Used to Be Disgusted, Now I’m Just Tired

I Used to Be Disgusted, Now I’m Just Tired

The midterm elections, the “most important elections of our lifetimes,” are over. Whoever won, it wasn’t really going to change much. Today’s system is simply too deeply entrenched.

While the much-touted differences between America’s political parties get obsessive, hysterical attention, the sameness of Imperial corruption, waste and squalor regardless of who’s in power gets little notice.

Scrape away the differences — mostly in domestic and cultural issues — and we see the dead hand of Imperial Corruption is on the tiller.

The core of Imperial Corruption is the disconnect between the nation’s ideals of representational democracy and open markets and the sordid reality: elites serve their interests by corrupting both democracy and open markets.

Elites Against Democracy

Unfettered democracy and markets cannot be controlled by a tiny, self-serving elite. Stripped of corruption, democracy and markets are free-for-alls that are constantly evolving. This open-ended dynamism is the beating heart of both democracy and open markets.

But the dynamic adaptive churn of unfettered representative democracy and open markets are anathema to insiders, vested interests and elites. Each has gained asymmetric power by subverting democracy and markets to serve their private interests. They’ve destroyed the system’s natural dynamism.

When “competition” has been reduced to two telecoms, two healthcare insurers, two pork processors, etc., the system has been stripped of adaptability and resilience.

Democracy has been replaced by an auction of political power to the highest bidder.

Everything’s Up for Grabs

It rewards cronies and devotes all its resources not to solving the nation’s problems but to whipping up conflagrations of divisiveness and partisan hysteria that wash away the middle ground where problems can actually be addressed.

This crippling of the nation’s ability to actually solve difficult problems serves the interests of self-serving elites whose sole interest is accumulating personal wealth and power.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Ministry of Manipulation: No Wonder Trust and Credibility Have Been Lost

Ministry of Manipulation: No Wonder Trust and Credibility Have Been Lost

Now that every financial game in America has been rigged to benefit the few at the expense of the many, trust and credibility has evaporated like an ice cube on a summer day in Death Valley.

Here is America in a nutshell: we no longer solve problems, we manipulate the narrative and then declare the problem has been solved. Actually solving problems is difficult and generally requires sacrifices that are proportionate to one’s wealth and power. But since America’s elite are no longer willing to sacrifice any of their vast power for the common good, sacrifice is out in America unless it can be dumped on wage earners. But unfortunately for America’s elite, four decades of hidden-by-manipulation sacrifices have stripmined average wage earners, and so they no longer have anything left to sacrifice.

Enter the Ministry of Manipulation, which adjusts the visible bits to align with the narrative that the problem has been fixed and the status quo is godlike in its technocratic powers. All this manipulation doesn’t actually solve the problems, it simply hides the decay behind gamed statistics, financial trickery and glossy PR. The problems fester until they break through the manipulated gloss and the public witnesses the breakdown of all the systems that were presented as rock-solid and forever.

Let’s take three core fields of manipulation: cost of living, Social Security and the stock market bubble. Each is a key signifier of the status quo functioning as advertised, and so manipulating them to fit the narrative is the elite’s prime directive. Goodness knows what would happen if people were exposed to the unmanipulated reality, but it wouldn’t be good for America’s self-serving power elite.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The System Isn’t There To Protect Us From Criminals, It’s To Protect Criminals From Us

The System Isn’t There To Protect Us From Criminals, It’s To Protect Criminals From Us

Listen to a reading of this article:

Iraq war architect Donald Rumsfeld has died. Not in a prison cell in The Hague, not murdered by bombs or bullets, but peacefully in his home, surrounded by loved ones, a week and a half shy of his 89th birthday.

The imperial media are giving their fallen master a king’s tribute, with headlines describing the psychopathic war criminal as “a cunning leader“, “a man of honor and conviction“, or simply as “Former defense secretary at helm of Iraq, Afghanistan wars“.

The cancerous Washington Post, who just the other day mocked the life of the late antiwar hero Mike Gravel with an obituary branding him the “gadfly senator from Alaska with flair for the theatrical,” describes the child killer Rumsfeld as the “influential but controversial Bush defense secretary” in its headline about his death. 

The New York Times wasn’t much better. Take the headline “Mike Gravel, Unconventional Two-Term Alaska Senator, Dies at 91 — He made headlines by fighting for an oil pipeline and reading the Pentagon Papers aloud. After 25 years of obscurity, he re-emerged with a quixotic presidential campaign.” Compare this to the headline “Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Secretary During Iraq War, Is Dead at 88 — Mr. Rumsfeld, who served four presidents, oversaw a war that many said should never have been fought. But he said the removal of Saddam Hussein had ‘created a more stable and secure world.’”

There’s been criticism as well, of course; online sentiments about Rumsfeld’s death have not been nearly as worshipful and hagiographic as they’ve been toward other disgusting war whores like John McCain…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Space Colonization Is A Capitalist Perception Management Op

Space Colonization Is A Capitalist Perception Management Op

Listen to this article:

The world’s two wealthiest people are fighting over the moon, which just says so much about where our species is at right now.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are in a dispute with NASA over whose private space exploration corporation will get the $2.9 billion US government contract to return to the moon. I gleaned this annoying piece of information by way of an obnoxiously sycophantic Atlantic puff piece titled “Elon Musk Is Maybe, Actually, Strangely, Going to Do This Mars Thing”, subtitled “From his private Cape Canaveral, the billionaire is manifesting his own interplanetary reality—whatever the cost.”

The mainstream press cannot get enough of these two unfathomably wealthy plutocrats and their outspoken ambition to colonize space, with Musk advocating Mars colonization and Bezos preferring to ship us all offworld to live in giant Amazon space tubes. They love it for the same reason they love war and status quo politicians: it fits in beautifully with the capitalist world order.

Space colonization is largely a capitalist perception management op promoted by the likes of Musk and Bezos to strengthen the narrative that it’s okay to continue the world-raping global capitalist principle of infinite growth on a finite world because we can escape the catastrophic ecological consequences of that paradigm by fleeing to space.

“Ecocidal capitalism is fine, we’ll just go to space before it kills us!” is the message we’re all meant to absorb. And too many do. A large obstacle to waking people up to the existential crises we are facing as a species is the blind faith that technology will save us from the consequences of our mass-scale behavior, and therefore we don’t need to change. Which suits the world’s richest men perfectly.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Seven Countries In Five Years: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Seven Countries In Five Years: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Part of the problem is that the most influential voices are people for whom the status quo has worked out well. Celebrities. Politicians. Pundits. Plutocrats. Meanwhile those who’ve been crushed by existing systems are voiceless. This creates the illusion that those systems work.


People often (correctly) cite General Wesley Clark’s famous “seven countries in five years” statement to show how evil the drivers of the US empire are, but I also like to use it to show what dumb, incompetent failmeisters they are. They really thought they’d be able to topple all those countries in five years. Nineteen years later and they’re still flailing. Don’t be intimidated by these assholes.

Humanity is more than capable of standing up to these sick fucks. They overestimate themselves and underestimate the rest of us. We shouldn’t do the same. A lot of people talk about elite manipulators like they’re these unstoppable, god-like forces when nothing could be further from the truth.

Our species is in its current situation because a few primates without functioning empathy centers got a little more clever than the other primates. That’s it. There are still vast forces in our universe and within each of us that can slap the empire away like a sand castle under a tsunami. They’re little kids riding a temporary wave through a universe that they do not understand. There are changes and upheavals coming that they won’t be able to control any more than a hang glider in a tornado.

Everyone with an ear to the ground has a suspicion that the elite manipulators are up to something big, but just because they’re planning something doesn’t mean they will succeed. There are forces bubbling to the surface right now which their sociopathic little minds cannot anticipate.

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This Is How It Ends: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

This Is How It Ends: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

While the Federal Reserve and the Billionaire Class push the stock market to new highs to promote a false facade of prosperity, everyday life will fall apart.
How will the status quo collapse? An open conflict–a civil war, an insurrection, a coup–appeals to our affection for drama, but the more likely reality is a decidedly undramatic dissolution in which all the elements of our way of life we reckoned were solid and permanent simply melt into air, to borrow Marx’s trenchant phrase.
In other words, Rome won’t be sacked by Barbarians, or ignite in an insurrectionary conflagration–everything will simply stop working as those burdened with the impossible task of keeping a failed system glued together simply walk away.
If we examine the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Western Roman Empire, we can trace the eventual collapse to the sudden psychological shift from an assumption of permanence that found expression in denial (Rome can’t fall, it’s eternal…) or in the universal belief that life was unchanging and so everything was forever.
This psychological state was replaced by a shocked awareness that what was unimaginable, “impossible”–systemic collapse–was not only entirely possible, it was happening in real time. This change in consciousness arose in individuals in differing ways and velocities, but eventually everyone accepted that some adaptation was now necessary.
Correspondent R.J. and I have been discussing the consequences of the sharp decline in the value of labor which is painfully obvious in the chart below and the many other charts depicting the declining purchasing power of wages and the skimming of the majority of the economic gains by the top 0.1%.
In effect, it no longer pays to work beyond the bare minimum needed to survive as all the value generated by labor above this minimum is either skimmed by the Bezos, Buffetts, Gates, Zuckerbergs et al. or it’s paid in higher taxes to the government.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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