Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3 2012: The Storm Surge of Decentralization


G.G. Bain Hey Mrs. Tambourine Woman New York, August 1913
"Suffragettes on way to Boston: 'suffrage caravan' campaign for women's voting rights"


Stoneleigh: Happy New Year from The Automatic Earth!








One of our consistent themes at TAE has been not expecting solutions to come from the top down. Existing centralized systems depend on dwindling tax revenues, which will dry up to a tremendous extent over the next few years as economic activity falls off a cliff and property prices plummet.

We have already seen cuts to services and increases in taxes and user fees, and we can expect a great deal more of that dynamic as central authorities emulate hypothermic bodies. In other words, they will cut off the circulation to the fingers and toes in order to preserve the body temperature of the core. This is, of course, a survival strategy, from the point of view of the core. But it does nothing good for the prospects of ordinary people, who represent the fingers and toes.

Centralized systems also depend on the political legitimacy that has been conferred upon them as a result of public trust in them to serve the common interest. This trust is rapidly breaking down in an ever-expanding list of places, as ordinary people realize that their interests have been betrayed in favour of the well connected.

Those who played fraudulent ponzi games with other people's money, and were in the best position to know what could result, have been bailed out time and time again, while the little guy has been told to expect more austerity measures. Protest is inevitable as political legitimacy fades. We are already seeing it spread like wildfire, which is exactly what one would expect given that human beings internalize, reflect and act on the emotions of others. Collective social mood that turns on a dime is very much part of what it means to be human.

The job of national and international politicians in contractionary times is typically to make a bad situation worse as expensively as possible, as they attempt to rescue the dying paradigm that has conveyed so much personal advantage in their direction. That paradigm is one of centralization - the accumulation of surpluses from a broad periphery at the centre of power.

However, the wealth conveyors of the past are breaking down, meaning that the periphery that can be drawn upon is shrinking. As the periphery shrinks, the remaining region within the grip of power can expect to be squeezed harder and harder. 'Twas ever thus. Rome did the same thing, squeezing the peasants for tithes until they abandoned their land and threw in their lot with the surrounding barbarians.

Even if politicians were informed of what is unfolding on their watch, understood it, and were minded to act in favour of the common man as a result (which is itself unlikely), there would be nothing they could do. They are too deeply embedded in a system which is thoroughly hostage to vested interests and characterized by an extreme inertia that would drastically limit their freedom of action.

Such systems cannot be responsive within the timeframe that would actually matter in a financial crisis, where the risk is cascading system failure, potentially in a short period of time. Everything they might do would be too complex, too expensive and too slow to do much good. If we expect top-down solutions we will be disappointed, and more to the point, we will be unprepared to face a period of rapid change. By the time we realize that the cavalry is not coming, it may well be too late to do anything useful.

This is disheartening only to the extent that we see no other way to address our predicament. Fortunately, other strategies exist beyond attempting to preserve the unpreservable. What we must do is to decentralize - to build parallel systems to deliver the most basic goods and services in ways that are simple, cheap and responsive to rapidly changing circumstance.

We will not, of course, be able to provide for the level of wants our societies were previously able to cater to, but we can provide the most basic necessities if we prepare in advance. The key aspect is to align our expectations with reality, because the essence of our psychological conundrum is our sense that business as usual is a non-negotiable state of affairs that must continue.

It will not continue because it cannot. Business as usual is only non-negotiable in the sense that reality will not negotiate, it will dictate, and we will have to live within its parameters.

There are many forms of decentralization - of opting out of the herd before it goes over the cliff. What they have in common is local resilience, a focus on local self-reliance and a thorough grounding in relationships of trust. As economies contract, so does the trust horizon.

Where there is no trust, systems cease to function effectively. Local initiatives work because they operate within the social space where trust still exists, and as they function, they reinforce those foundational relationships.

We need to be thinking in terms of local currencies, time banking (ie bartering skills), small transport networks, basic local healthcare, neighbourhood watch programs, adapting properties to multiple dwellings and permaculture initiatives that can rebuild soil fertility over time.

Also: rediscovery of local knowledge as to life conditions in the absence of current creature comforts, removing obstructive bylaws, small-scale food production free from structural dependencies on expensive and energy-intensive inputs, community power initiatives, communal water access, basic water treatment (like aid agencies employ in the third world), and perhaps intentional communities.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. There are many possibilities, and their relative importance will vary according to location and circumstances. So will their chance of success in a world that is path-dependent (ie where a society has collectively come from will shape how that society will respond to external stressors). The more we know about our region and our neighbours, the better our chances.

It is important to realize, however, that we are not going to be left in peace to do that which needs to be done. Solutions do not come from the top down, but interference does, because decentralization represents a threat to wealth concentration at the centre, and that is the goal of all human political systems.

Wealth is extracted from the periphery in favour of the centre, and the centre has an inexhaustible appetite. We are expected to pay our dues to that system, however onerous, not to try to reduce our own burden or that of our community. 

As the centre seeks continually to solve the problems raised by excess complexity with more complexity, it also raises the cost (in terms of money and resources) of doing everything it touches. The periphery is then expected to cover the cost of the regulation that makes its own existence more precarious.

That regulation may even make life so expensive and difficult that parts of the periphery are driven towards a very marginal existence or out of an area altogether. Cumbersome, impenetrable and poorly communicated regulations are a recipe for raising revenues through fines for non-compliance, therefore we can expect worse governance to be implemented in the interests of the centre.

Fines may be completely disproportionate to the scale of the 'offence'. Where such regulations are devised with no transparency or accountability, but plenty of discretion on behalf of enforcement personnel, they may also become an engine of corruption. This is a very common circumstance in many parts of the world.

I wanted to explore some examples of central authorities attempting to preserve wealth conveyance at the expense of attempts to adapt to a new reality, so that we might better understand what we are up against. See, for instance, the case of the desert dwellers of Los Angeles County, many of whom have been living self-reliant lives for decades.

They are being pursued by distant authorities for supposed nuisance violations, yet they are disturbing no one. Their 'crime' is the very self-sufficiency that allows them to exist independent of centralized systems, and therefore affordably. They are being told to connect to services such as mains power, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, or to destroy their own property and leave with nothing.





Local organic food initiatives are often more contentious. Industrial agriculture and food processing corporations are very powerful, to the point of having subverted regulatory mechanisms ostensibly geared towards the public good, but which now serve to safe-guard corporate profits and market share.

If groups of people are allowed to assert their independence by opting out of the corporate food machine, then they are less subject to external control, as well as ceasing to be profit providers. Organic agriculture therefore faces substantial regulatory barriers, and, increasingly, extreme over-reactions by central authorities.

See, by way of example, the case of Rawesome Foods in California. The cooperative had become a private club in order to be allowed to provide raw milk to those who choose to avoid the over-processed commercial variety. Nevertheless, they were subjected to a raid by armed police officers with guns drawn. Opting out of the system in order to share resources constitutes a threat, and that threat is being targeted.





Heavy-handed food regulation has descended on many small farmers in recent years. They face an uphill battle against the centralizing impulse. A regulatory regime that imposes huge costs on small operations makes it very difficult for them to compete. Some of the enforcement incidents are outrageous.

See for instance the film Farmageddon. Jim Puplava at Financial Sense Newshour did a Must Listen interview recently with its creator, which makes eye-opening listening to put it mildly. 

Simply put, it is getting more and more difficult to operate outside of the corporate structure, particularly in relation to food. As Joel Salatin observed in a classic article on the subject of organic farming - Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal.

That means it is also getting more and more difficult in some places to purchase healthy food, as opposed to industrial food-like substances genetically-modified, tainted with all manner of chemicals, stuffed with addictive fillers such as high-fructose corn syrup, and vastly over-processed. The option to eat simple, wholesome, unprocessed, unadulterated, nutritious food is being whittled away, ironically on health grounds, just as demand for real food is skyrocketing

It is also falling foul of spurious ordinances to protect the uniformity of neighbourhoods by defending them from vegetables growing where anyone can see them. Jail terms can be threatened for the crime of seeking seeking to be more independent. Occasionally the corporate world will explicitly complain that eating unprocessed food kills jobs, but it is more common to approach the issue tangentially rather than head on.

Although not yet a reality, direct taxation of home-produced food has been floated. Unfortunately this idea is all too plausible. States are indeed desperate for revenue, and the connections politicians have with large corporations gives them a direct incentive to protect the profit margins of those who feather their nests:

I heard a state legislator today on the radio talking about taxing home gardens that grow vegetables and other produce. This state is in serious economic trouble and they are looking at every possible source of revenue. The legislator stated that many home gardeners sell their produce at flea markets and do not pay any sales tax, that the produce grown even if not sold amounts to income and should be taxed.


In 2006, Britain was already contemplating taxing gardens, not yet for the vegetables they produce, but simply for the property tax revenue stream government could extract for any distinguishable positive feature of a property.

It is not that much of a stretch to imagine an attempt at taxing produce, although this would obviously be very difficult to enforce. Fortunately, there do exist places where the opposite approach is gaining a foothold. Long may they continue. And spread.

At an even more basic level, seed control threatens both independence and biodiversity:

Two thirds of the 1.2 billion poorest people in the world live in rural areas and are dependent on traditional agriculture. They do not have the financial means to buy commercially available seed or the input factors needed to cultivate them.

However, they often have long experience with, and a profound understanding of, local plant diversity within crops such as grains, potatoes, vegetables and fruit. By cultivating and developing these crops they are contributing to the preservation and development of global plant genetic diversity, which constitutes the basis for the world's food production.


Legislation ostensibly aimed at food safety is being written vaguely and broadly enough to confer unaccountable discretion on enforcement agencies already in a state of regulatory capture. The very necessary processes of seed saving from year to year, and seed banking, are well on the way to being criminalized, for the sake of protecting profit margins:

But now the effort is to take over the whole game, going after even these small sources of biodiversity - by simply defining seeds as food and then all farmers' affordable mechanisms for harvesting (collecting), sorting (seed cleaning) and storing (seed banking or saving) as too dirty to be safe for food.
 
Set the standard for "food safety" and certification high enough that no one can afford it and punish anyone who tries to save seed in ways that have worked fine for thousands of years, with a million dollar a day fine and/or ten years in prison, and presto, you have just criminalized seed banking.
 
The penalties are tremendous, the better to protect us from nothing dangerous whatsoever, but to make monopoly over seed absolutely absolute.

One is left with control over farmers, an end to seed exchanges, an end to organic seed companies, an end to university programs developing nice normal hybrids, and an end to democracy - reducing us to abject dependence on corporations for food and gratitude even for genetically engineered food and at any price.


On the other side of the Atlantic, EU seed control regulations are also making it difficult, and potentially expensive, to protect biodiversity:

[In February 2008], in France, the independent seed-saving and selling Association Kokopelli were fined €35,000 after being taken to court by corporate seed merchant Baumaux. Their crime was selling traditional and rare seed varieties which weren't on the official EU-approved list – and, therefore, illegal to sell – thus giving them an 'unfair trading advantage'.

As the European Commission met this week to prepare new legislation for seed control, due in 2009, which will further restrict the geographic movement and range of crop varieties, this ruling will set a dangerous precedent.

Kokopelli, the non-profit French group set up in 1999 to safeguard endangered seed strains, may be driven out of existence by the fine. Their focus is biodiversity, food security, and the development of sustainable organic agriculture and seed networks in the 'global south'.

They have created one of the largest independent collections in Europe – with over 2500 sorts of vegetable, flower and cereals. Other non-government seedbanks are held by large agro-industrial companies like Limagrain, Syngenta and Pioneer – and guess what their main interest is money rather than starving subsistence farmers.

You may think that in an era of mass extinction it would be a no-brainer that we need to protect biodiversity and the heritage of the crop varieties which have been build up over centuries… but no.

Since the 1970s, laws in the UK and Europe mean that to sell seeds, the strain needs to be registered – and everything else becomes 'outlaw' seeds, illegal to sell. In the UK it costs £300 per year to maintain the registration and £2000 to register a 'new' one – which all disadvantages smaller organisations.

Garden Organic in the UK run a Heritage Seed Library, and they get around the law by not selling 'outlaw' seeds, but getting individual gardeners to become 'seed guardians' who pass around seeds for free to other members of the Library. Unlike other seedbanks, seeds are not kept in cold storage, but are living species which are continually grown and allowed to adapt to new environmental factors.

Another law-busting approach is seed swaps – which in recent years have sprouted up and down the country. People freely share seeds for another year's growing – a co-operative way of maintaining genetic diversity.


Controlling the supply of necessities in order to generate monopoly profits is not new and is not limited to food. See for instance the erstwhile Bolivian water privatization that resulted in a requirement to obtain a permit even to capture rainwater. If access to affordable options is limited, people are forced to pay the rentiers their monopoly profits.

Collecting rainwater has been illegal in many western US states as well, since water rights are separate to property rights:

Like many Western states, Colorado employs a complicated system of water use known as prior allocation, which severs water rights from other property rights.

The system preserves an 80-year-old compact Colorado signed with other Western states (as well as a separate federal pact with Mexico) divvying up runoff from the Colorado River. It means you can buy a parcel of land in Colorado, but the right to any precipitation that falls on that land likely belongs to someone two houses over, two counties over, or even in another state.

It might also belong to a state or local government, but it probably doesn't belong to you. Under Colorado law, then, collecting rainwater or reusing "gray water" from bathtubs or washing machines violates the rights of someone who may not see that water for months.


The recent change to the law to allow small-scale rainwater collection is a belated improvement. Previously it was illegal even to sell rainwater collection equipment.

"I was so willing to go to jail for catching water on my roof and watering my garden," said Tom Bartels, a video producer here in southwestern Colorado, who has been illegally watering his vegetables and fruit trees from tanks attached to his gutters. "But now I'm not a criminal."


Ben Elton's brilliant (Must See) 1990 play Gasping explored the trend towards corporate control of necessities, and illustrated the point, taken to its logical conclusion:

Lockheart Industries are looking for a new product to make them huge sums of money. Their whizz-kid Philip comes up with the superb idea of designer air - Perrier for the lungs, in the form of their patent-pending Suck And Blow machine. For a while, all is well, and the machines are a huge success, as sales massively exceed all projections.

But greed forces up the price of air until the oxygen industry becomes privatised. And if you can't afford to pay, you have no right to live. Philip's conscience ultimately wins through at the end of the day, and he takes extreme measures to rectify everything he feels he has destroyed.


The need to move towards a decentralized future, and the hazards that may await the first movers who run into a brick wall of regulation, remind me of a British nature documentary called The Tides of Kirawira.

The scenario is that every year the great migratory herds of the Serengeti must cross seasonal rivers, but these rivers are populated with giant crocodiles. Every year the herd must cross, but it doesn't pay to be the first or only gazelle, zebra or wildebeest in the river. There is safety in numbers. Once the whole herd is on the move, the vast majority reaches the other side.





One line from this that strikes a chord in relation to the collusion between government and corporations to fleece the little guy is:

"The crocs work as a team. It's easier to tear chunks of flesh from the bone when someone is holding the other end."


Regulations against decentralization immobilize people for corporate interests to extract their pound of flesh. 

In this instance, we need to emulate the herd animals and cross the river all at once. This is our best hope of achieving a simpler, decentralized future that might be workable, unlike our current industrial paradigm. We are going to have to live without cheap energy and cheap credit because they are going away. Decentralization is the only real option we have, but if we are to achieve what we need to achieve, we need to mobilize on a large scale rather than take only a few tentative steps into the crocodile infested waters.







128 comments:

ciaoant1 said...

"If China," says Mr. Stapleton, M.P., to his constituents, "should become a great manufacturing country, I do not see how the manufacturing population of Europe could sustain the contest without descending to the level of their competitors." (Times, Sept. 3, 1873, p. 8.).

http://whataboutmarx.blogspot.com/2012/01/echoes-of-past-who-are-john-stapleton.html

ex VRWC said...

As we enter a 'political year' in the US, this song is riffing on Stoneleigh's point about legitimacy of the politicians:

Cash Stuffed Heads

Too strident?

pasttense said...

"According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 86 reported food poisoning outbreaks from raw milk between 1998 and 2008, resulting in 1,676 illnesses, 191 hospitalizations, and two deaths.

Raw milk is responsible for nearly three times more hospitalizations than any other foodborne disease outbreak, says Hannah Gould, Ph.D., senior epidemiologist with the CDC's Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch."
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/12/health/food-poisoning-protection-guide/index.html

jal said...

In an attempt to stay on the theme of the front page, I will give an update on my bean growing efforts.

This will be the 3rd planting season for my fava beans and my romano beans.

I have been saving the seeds that have produced the most beans from the pods and the largest beans.

fava beans

I have observed that if I plant seeds from pods that produced 6 beans then most of the following crop will produce pods with 5 beans.
So, I'm collecting seed from pods with more than 6 beans.

I planted rows every foot every 6 inch in a 10 by 20 plot. Seeds will produce multiple stalks. One seed produced 200 beans. I saved those seeds that produced 6+ beans for this year.

I had over 20 lbs of beans from my experiment. enough for one meal per week.

romano beans

I planted rows in a 10 by 10 plot. I used a star pattern. I used 2 rows of old drip lines from post at the edges of the plots and dried sunflower canes for the beans to climb. The canes are still good for next year.

The beans climbed to over 8 ft. and produced enough so that I can get a meal per week.

The soil is clay with mushroom compost mixed in it.

I got a lot of questions and interest from the other community gardeners. I'll be offering seed to those interested in trying to get an easy crop.

jal

risa bear said...

Undoubtedly the best article I will read this year. Complementary reading: _How the Irish Saved Civilization_ by Thomas Cahill. His description of the fall of Rome very much parallels what we are seeing here.

Frank said...

Ilargi,

I strongly recommend that raw milk be banned as a discussion topic. Without addressing anything else that Stoneleigh said, the regulators trying to stamp it out sincerely believe that they are doing God's work, while raw milk propronents believe equally sincerely that the regulators are taking orders straight from the devil.

Can we please not go there?

D said...

Pasttence might like to note that most Swiss cheese is made from raw milk e.g. Emmental and Gruyere. So is some French and Italian cheese. It is readily obtainable in the UK even in supermarkets.

I am very glad I do not live in the USA which with food does not seem to be "the land of the free" at all.

YesMaybe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YesMaybe said...

pasttense

Compare 191 hospitalizations and two deaths, over the span of ten years, to the various outbreaks listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foodborne_illness_outbreaks_in_the_United_States

Just some examples:
2008 salmonellosis: 208 hospitalizations.
2002 listeria: 7 deaths
1997 listeriosis: 14 deaths

Anyway, it seems raw milk is a controversial topic...

pigsnuggles said...

What is typically absent for discussions surrounding food safety is the issue of exposure to beneficial bacteria. The sad fact is that the more we try to purge our food system of so-called "bad" bacteria, the more we inevitably centralize and sterlize the system, which leads to more processed food, which leads to reduced bacterial diversity. As such, our bodies become increasingly susceptible to illness via food borne pathogens.

Our bodies are not blank slates; they are teeming with bacteria both beneficial and not, and the more we tip the scales in favor of the beneficial bacteria, the more resilient we become. Whether or not raw milk is the best way to effect this change is probably not a debate to have here.

Bryan McNett said...

>I strongly recommend that raw milk
>be banned as a discussion topic.

There should be a page that clearly lists all banned discussion topics. If memory serves me correctly:

raw milk
false flag operations after vietnam

kleymo said...

I greatly enjoyed my daily glasses of raw milk while living with my wife's parents outside of St. Petersburg in the mid-nineties.

A babushka had her own cow. My in-laws knew her well, and so had a "connection" for milk every day, no problem). In town everyone was not drinking the discusting stuff sold in the stores that was "local" and drinking the processed stuff from Finland and Estonia.

They had their own garden for berries in the summer, and canned everything in the winter. We had a root cellar for potatoes that they dug as soon as they had moved in in the early eighties at the end of the "Soviet renaissance."

Two pensioners were able to supplement the dietary needs of 5 adults and three small children, with the occasional meal by the freeloading American. No one had much money, by the way. It was the most freedom I have ever felt, though. No strong government was after you. On the other hand, law wasn't worth much (it isn't now, either).

As an aside, Russians do not fondly remember that time. It was very, very hard for those who did not die. Plenty of people did.

Chaos said...

re: raw milk.
The State of Texas has a raw milk certification program. Participants are forbidden to sell to any but the ultimate consumer, which in my case means about a 30 mile drive to pick some up. I consider it worth the trouble, even if taste is the only criterion. For health benefits, refer to Nina Planck, Real Food What to Eat and Why.

Nassim said...

In town everyone was not drinking the discusting stuff sold in the stores that was "local" and drinking the processed stuff from Finland and Estonia.

klymo,

Now, the processed stuff is made locally and is suspect. At least the foreign processed stuff was made to a certain standard. Russian standard officials are easily bribed. My wife, when she went there recently with the kids to see her parents got milk unprocessed and from a trusted local lady with one cow.

Sadly, the same thing is happening with radiation testing in the Bryansk Oblast (badly affected by Chernobyl). The stuff in the local market had to be tested and now that has all gone overboard.

Gravity said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhwWr0kqLEc&feature=related

Greenwood said...

The point of raising the food issues on the lead post was not about food, it was to highlight the utter over reaction by central authorities to any disobedience of their edicts, no matter how ill conceived or insane.

I simple visit by the health inspector informing the co-op of a food regulation violation should have been a sufficient starting point. Even a token shieriff's deputy could have come along for effect.

Instead the health department sent in a SWAT team, health goons if you will, to enforce a health regulation.

A taste of thuggery to come.

Imagine if your kid skipped school, a violation of the law for you as a parent by the way, and a TSA style SWAT team kicked in the door of your house to arrest you for this 'breach of the law'.

Over reaction? Not to the Central Command Goons Squad.

You're a terrible parent and citizen and deserve a fine and if it happens again, jail time.

That is the direction of things the Center wants to see the Periphery in.

The milk thing is a canary in the mine shaft, not an opening for another TAE 'food fight' commentary.

Have some finesse. The year is young.

~

Frank said...

Greenwood, that is indeed the normal procedure, for everything except raw milk. As I said, that is is crusade. The FDA really hates the stuff, and has convinced a (slim) majority of state health departments to go along.

Archie said...

@Greenwood

Exactly my thoughts. Thank you. Raw milk, homemade jelly beans, etc..... whatever. Gestapo tactics are still Gestapo tactics. That's the big picture take away I get from Stoneleigh's post. The sad thing is that the local officials, FDA reps and local FBI/Sherriffs/et al are just part of the rabble 1% to the elites. However, they are willing to accept whatever the elites determine is enough for them to carry out the "dirty" work.

It's all about solidarity and we (Amerikan society) have a long, long way to go before that reaches critical mass.

BTW, that Jim Pulpava interview is one of the most depressing things I've heard in a long time. Ugh!

Greenwood said...

Frank

do ya think if we stenciled Raw Milk on the back of Jaime Dimon's Armani that Attorney General Eric Placeholder would send a SWAT team after him?

Because I really hate him even more than raw milk ;>)

~

Lynford1933 said...

If you live in the US and you grow your own vegetables that the inspector lady is objecting to and you do not bow to her wishes, it could be considered a terrorist act. Things get worse from there.

progressivepopulist said...

I don't care if people want to eat raw cow turds. If buyer and producer are sharing in an un-coerced transaction that is their business. Does that mean I want raw milk sold along with pasteurized milk with no difference in labeling to distinguish the two? No.

By the same token I WOULD like to know if GMO products are going into the food that I buy (but the FDA hasn't seen fit to notify me of that kind of information). Mess with the DNA of my salmon filet? No problem. Serve me some product that has not been adequately inspected, processed, irradiated, packaged, etc? Big problem.

Banning the debate about selling raw milk? Silly.

Having a debate about whether raw milk should be allowed to be produced and sold? Even sillier.

lautturi said...

This might interest readers here, Chemistry of an Empire: the Last Roman Empress. It goes well with theme of the day, decentralization.

btraven said...

An extended interview with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges -- recommended viewing:

http://www.c-span.org/Events/In-Depth-with-Author-and-Journalist-Chris-Hedges/10737426679-1/

memphis said...

Lynford wrote:

If you live in the US and you grow your own vegetables that the inspector lady is objecting to and you do not bow to her wishes, it could be considered a terrorist act. Things get worse from there.

I keep a few chickens. Just love those brown eggs they lay. Depending on the time of year and the newness of the peepers, I sometimes have extras. Several years ago I would take a few dozen to the local feed store to sell--until I couldn't because all the eggs had to be "inspected." A couple dozen eggs wasn't worth the bother.

Wonder how they'll try to regulate hunting?

btraven said...

Excellent. Decentralization is our only hope for a better and more accountable tomorrow. No wonder TPTB will attack that notion, and the efforts to implement it.

Steve From Virginia said...

Tragic, 2 people died from drinking bad milk. I feel sorry for the people's families.

... between 1998 and 2008.

According to the census bureau there were 62.7 MILLION motor vehicle crashes in the United States from 2004 until 2010.

In those years there 255,000 highway deaths. Another 35 thousand or so died on US streets and highways in 2011.

http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.pdf

There were 58,178 Americans killed in the Vietnam war, added to 1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers and Southern Vietnamese fighting along side the Peoples Army of Vietnam. 2.0 million South Vietnam civilians were killed during this war which lasted from 1956 until 1975.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War_casualties

There were approximately 625,000 deaths of all military combatants in the US civil war from 1861 to 1865.

There were approximately 405,300 deaths of American service personnel during the Second World War froom 1941 to 1945.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

Highway deaths in any five year period would be the third greatest death rate in US history.

From 1899 to 2003 the total recorded deaths on the highway in the US is 3,240,140, more than all US wars added together. The highway death rate exceeded 30k in 1930. Highway deaths have never been less than 30k since 1945.

http://www.saferoads.org/federal/2004/TrafficFatalities1899-2003.pdf

Again, my condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones to tainted raw milk.

ogardener said...

Another day in the idiocracy.

What would Jesus do? Turn over the money changers tables once again?

It's patriotic to stop shopping.

Draft said...

Stoneleigh - I wonder what you make of the current COT reports about the Euro (I've seen an update of this as of yesterday showing the same spread). Commercial hedgers (insiders) are bullish and small traders are bearish. In the last several years as the chart shows, this setup has led to a strong rally in the Euro and with it the markets, and that this might happen soon, as in within the next couple of months.

What would be a possible way for this to play out that would be different this time? (Isn't the saying that "it's never different this time?")

Ian said...

'...I strongly recommend that raw milk
be banned as a discussion topic.
There should be a page that clearly lists all banned discussion topics. If memory serves me correctly:

raw milk
false flag operations after vietnam
---------------------
Yes, yes YES! Let's have PAGES of banned subjects.

This is sooooooo TAE.

(had my rant, Back to ZH. Over to the Terminators.
PS I had croc in an Adelaide restaurant a while ago. Delish. I hope it was the one that lunched on that poor steer in the vid. Oh! I also had steer at the same restaurant. Delish, too...Am I missing something here? Crocs...steers..ME...banks..ME...
gubermint...ME...Too much for my over-steered brain, I'll croc out now )

SecularAnimist said...

It case you guys didn't know - It's time to dismantle capitalism. We need to get it done in about decade.

Just thought everybody might want a heads up.

2011 will be remembered as a year of revolution, the beginning of the end for an unsustainable global system based on poverty, oppression, and violence In dozens of countries across the Arab world, people rose up against broken economies and oppressive regimes, toppling dictators and inspiring the world to action. Popular rejection of austerity measures and attacks on worker's rights brought millions to the streets in Greece, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Chile, Wisconsin and elsewhere.

By midsummer, murmurs of "occupying Wall Street” were stirring online, and on July 14th, we registered the domain occupywallst.org and began organizing. The first New York City General Assembly was held August 2nd and the Occupation of Liberty Square began on September 17th.

Fueled by anger at the growing disparities between rich and poor, frustrated by government policies that benefit a tiny elite at the expense of the majority, and tired of the establishment’s failure to address fundamental economic inequalities, OWS offered a new solution. We built a People’s Kitchen to feed thousands, opened a People’s Library, created safer spaces, and provided free shelter, bedding, medical care, and other necessities to anyone who needed them. While cynics demanded we elect leaders and make demands on politicians, we were busy creating alternatives to those very institutions. A revolution has been set in motion, and we cannot be stopped.


http://occupywallst.org/article/2011-year-revolt/

This has a good timeline of events

SecularAnimist said...

Decentralization is the only real option we have, but if we are to achieve what we need to achieve, we need to mobilize on a large scale rather than take only a few tentative steps into the crocodile infested waters.


Occupy Food
On December 4, 2011, farmers and activists from across the country joined the Occupy Wall Street Farmers March for "a celebration of community power to regain control over the most basic element to human well-being: food."

And

Willie Nelson wants you to occupy the food system.

Big ag needs to go

Skip Breakfast said...

I'm very glad Stoneleigh raised this inherent risk in the imminent unwind. I've been very wary of increasing bureaucratic cash grabs and disproportionate fines and penalties designed to sustain the "system". And it has dissuaded me from investing in a doomstead yet. I know there may be limited time to build self-sustainability, but I can't help but believe there will be huge grabs at cash from land-owners...especially if you actually have cash. Same with owning a car frankly. I think it will only take a small infraction to attract a huge penalty, if the system has figured out you're cash-rich. I guess it's another example of something else Stoneleigh warns about: the "cash-rich" will have to spend increasing energy preserving their wealth. Not only will criminals be gunning for them, but the system itself will undoubtedly try to extract as much cash as possible from those who have it. And frankly, I don't expect there will be much vocal defense of individual rights from the masses either, since the masses will be cash poor and quite happy to see the "wealthier" (if only by degree) fork over greater and greater portions of their wealth to support the system. The formerly wealthy (i.e., the middle class) will harbour huge resentment against anyone who has managed to preserve a modicum of the "old lifestyle". They'll want you to pay the piper as much as the piper himself.

scandia said...

It was with Stoneleigh's essay playing in my head that I walked into Scotiabank for the first time in 2012. The elves were busy over the holidays printing not cash but posters announcing fee increases. Jeez, a fee squeeze.
I left the bank but returned as I wanted to ask why the fee rise, a substantial one at that. I waited to take the seat in front of the customer service clerk and asked why the fees were raised. The reason given was all the banks are doing it and life in Canada is better than life in the Philipines. I tried to bring the clerk's consciousness back to my question. As she didn't know the answer I asked if perhaps the bank manager might know. Alas her job was to keep people like me out of the manager's office. I was given a glossy pamphlet on how to make a complaint. I perservered and said I am not making a complaint. I am asking for information/raison d'etre. So then I made my case for " the big squeeze " as in depositors are sqeezed on the interest earnings end and now on the fee to do business end. I asked her if this latest squeeze was to pay for the bailout of Euro banks. I asked her if this latest grab of depositors money is intended to eliminate depositors entirely? Does the banking system now have a direct access to our tax dollars therby not requiring a depositor base at all? I asked her , what with so many working for less if working at all, is this was the best time for Scotiabank to effect the squeeze?
I am discouraged with myself as I had intended not to " act out " when being squeezed. I lasted 3 days.

Skip Breakfast said...

I share your frustration scandia. I agree that banks are tightening their squeeze on our dollars even more, and I think it will ramp up exponentially. Get this, I was in a Westpac branch today (a large Australian-owned bank here in New Zealand). I asked about depositing US dollars. There is a $6 per month fee to let my US dollars sit in their account at 0% interest... no matter what the balance might be. Apparently, they don't really need any money, because they won't get mine if I have to pay a fee to have it sit there at 0%. Oh, but I could avoid the monthly fee if I opt to lock the US dollars into a 30 to 180 "term deposit" that pays me...wait for it...0%. Seriously, they think I should actually give them my real cash, lock it in so that I cannot withrdaw it, at the rate of 0%, and graciously they'll waive the $6/month fee! I was gobsmacked. Just to top it all off, they charge 1% of your total if you withdraw your US dollars in cash. But the part that takes the cake? They charge you 2% if you deposit your cash with them again! So taking out US cash out of your 0% US cash account costs you 3% if you ever want to put it back into their account. They must really, really not need any money.

Joe in NC said...

Squeeze on small–business credit lines:

BOA severing small-business credit lines

"The Charlotte, N.C., bank is demanding that these customers pay off their credit line balances all at once instead of making monthly payments. If they can't pay in full, they are being offered new repayment plans for as long as five years, but with far higher interest rates than their original credit lines had."

Why does this remind me of “teaser” rates for mortgages? Suppose the other banks fall in line and do the same? Or is this a non-event? If there is a pile-on, it could be a new credit squeeze trend - maybe call it “small-business rate reset”.

KD's post on this:
I Warned Small Businesses....

.

Greenwood said...

Depending on the speed of collapse, the irony of it would be going from a corporate food chain to almost no food chain.

Local food production is in the very unimpressive low single digit percentage of total food consumed in anything but rural areas in North America.

The whole 'local food' thing is definitely the right (and possibly the only) direction to take from the frankensteinian Monstersantos big corporate Ag but from my recent travels around, it is barely off the runway.

The 1% psychos have merely to clamp down on the fuel supply and the 'just in time' three day supermarket food supply that the vast majority depends on goes Poof!

Talk about crowd control.

Local food production should start with educating children where and how food comes about.
Most adults barely understand the whole process and in general, I find the vast majority of U.S. citizen to be down right hostile to understanding much of anything outside their immediate little daily routine. Look it the uphill battle of just convincing your own friends and relatives about the financial meltdown, forget trying to explain the utter corruption in the food chain.

There is an atmosphere of willful, deliberate ignorance in the US that I think of as anti-intellect. Not anti-intellectual, anti-intellect, as in just thinking through something to it's possible logically consequences.

It could be polluting the environment, or finance or unsustainable high energy food production.

The response is usually the same obstinate denial of dealing with Reality.

A nation of "I can't be out of money, I still have checks!!!"

~

Kate said...

@Jal

I'm interested in your bean seedlines. Anything we can do to keep seeds circulating and remaining under cultivation is a good thing. I'd be willing to trade for the few seeds I save from my own production or extras from boughten packets.

BTW, I did the math on your favas. 20#/52 weeks = more than 1/3#/week. A third of a pound of beans is an awfully big meal; I'd say that easily would feed two or three people. Or perhaps you're giving the weight of the beans before drying? 20# dried would be an impressive harvest. I've never managed near that much with other beans. Don't really mind since I mostly grow them for their ecosystem services.

Greenpa said...

Joe in NC said...

"The Charlotte, N.C., bank is demanding that these customers pay off their credit line balances all at once instead of making monthly payments. If they can't pay in full, they are being offered new repayment plans for as long as five years, but with far higher interest rates than their original credit lines had."

Charming. There IS a potential response: DON'T PAY ANOTHER DIME- old or new "agreement. And band together with others in the same boat.

The argument: contracts between two parties cannot be modified by one party alone. Sure, BOA will claim "hah, yes we can; it says so in the fine print" - but in fact- the fine print was a trick and an intentional deception; the business owners were enticed into the agreement with promises of easy money, and the fine print was made difficult to understand, on purpose. That's not legal; and that one has stuck in court before.

To a large extent, it doesn't HAVE to stick in court- imagine the backlash if 100 small business owners banded together- and pledged to pay not one dime at all, until the matter is resolved; and the agreements they'd based all their business decisions on are restored. And went to the courts and the press with it.

Pretty stinky behavior, which BOA will get away with- unless we fight back.

Greenpa said...

scandia- very gutsy! But I have to wonder if you got more aggravation than you gave. Awfully hard to fight through all the insulation they've set up.

I would have walked; immediately. Even not knowing what my other options are: "Ok, I'm out of here. Close all my accounts; give me all my money; right now. I will not do business with you anymore."

It feels good. I did exactly that when Sam's Club cut my credit line; I'd had a $5K business credit line for 10 years; never late, never over limit, never maxed out, currently running about 1K - and they cut it, to 1k. I was pissed. Made a pretty loud scene for the other customers to see. All the minions were unhappy; but also powerless. I handed them my card, and walked out- and got applause from a couple of onlookers.

And my life goes on. They think they've "got" you; and you'll put up with it. If they're right- it's not a good sign.

:-) Happy New Year, incidentally.

seychelles said...

Hope everyone zoomed in on this article,
one of the most inspiring/hopeful reads I've had in some time:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2072383/Eccentric-town-Todmorden-growing-ALL-veg.html

jal said...

@ Kate
So far, I don’t feel that I have any seeds that are “special”.
I need more selective trials to see if I end up with a better producing line of seeds.
There was one fava seed that produced 200 beans that could prove to be good. When I feel confident that the strain can be passed on, I will make it available.

@ SecularAnimist

If I may disagree by inserting one small fact before your time line.
2011 will be remember as the year that the masses communicated outside the main stream media with the use of the web and as a result people rose up against broken economies and oppressive regimes ... etc.

If you watched any of the Iowa coverage it is “in your face” obvious that the MSM does not want to talk about Ron Paul’s program and they are doing everything that they can to prevent the audience from hearing or thinking about his program.

( 1. Follow the constitution
2. the USA is bankrupt and must stop its spending and live within its revenues, and finally
3. bring the troops home and stop interfering in everyone else’s business.)

In case you did not follow the result in Iowa, Two lying dummies tied for first place.

Ron Paul came into second place.

( you heard it here first.)

Educating the ostrich is what will have the greatest impact on the future.

Karl is doing a persistent job of explaining the consequences of exponential growth, (compound interest), and leveraging.
Ron Paul is the closest thing to getting Karl's message to the masses.
jal

seychelles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seychelles said...

Sorry for the 12:41 technical glitch, which should have read:


SB's 1/4 7:54AM post sounds right on, IMO.

No doubt, the more physical cash you have, the more potential freedom you have. EG's recent cautions about asset-braggadocio are relevant when it comes to cash, too.

If you have your TD account linked to multiple bank/bank-like institutions, you can better stay under the cash radar by visiting them all on "cash-day" and systematically over time extract moderate amounts of physical money.

Once your TD account is set up, you can transfer banking/brokerage funds directly into C of I and do not have to wait around for the weekly Treasury auction.

MFG has been the final straw,leaving no doubt that our legal property rights can be violated at will by TPTB. I am closing out all my retirement accounts and transferring them to TD in the next couple of weeks.

Greenpa, ref your 1/4 11:05 comment

Of course you are right, but wouldn't the bank just invoke its arbitration clause? Most attorneys probably aren't willing to take cases on contingency these days...and the judicial system loves punitive asset-confiscation of trouble-makers....stresses the great importance of judging potential counterparties with a very steely eye.

Greenpa said...

sayshelly- "Of course you are right, but wouldn't the bank just invoke its arbitration clause?"

Sure they would, they'd also invoke George Washington and Genghis Khan. Let 'em.

Are there risks? Ask the Occupy folks who've been arrested/beaten. Sure. Options; cave, or don't. Surely you didn't think collapse would be painless? :-)

seychelles said...

GP read you loud and clear.

Have many battle scars in my OA from fighting the good fight, and of course,
invariably losing. We should pick our battles carefully and fight to win, not to be martyrs.

--- said...

This is a great edition - Stoneleigh, thanks for this roundup of information and links.

Farmageddon... wow. Sure, why not criminalize animals while they're at it?

I will never forget an NPR segment interviewing dairy farmers who lost their cattle after the mad cow disease (mostly hoax) in England. The woman said they knew each of their 200 dairy cattle by its moo, each had a name... and then they had to listen to the authorities shoot each of them one by one.

Beyond nightmares.

Or the BLM scam of destroying wild horse herds, which is nothing but a bureaucratic pork barrel operation.

Human race, listen up.

Ant Whisperer said...

@ Skip Breakfast

Highly recommend swapping from one of the Big 4 to a local credit union or community bank. I made the move last year and am delighted with both the service and transparency. Having said that, I'm not familiar with the longer term security of these 'alternative' institutions; input from other Aussies/Kiwis on their understanding of this would be welcomed!

Cheers,

Ant

el gallinazo said...

The new interview Jim Puplava does with Ann Barnhardt will blow your socks off. Hard to describe - you really just have to listen to it. But take a Valium or a long hit of Jack Daniels first. She certainly has expertise in the futures commodities markets.

http://www.financialsense.com/financial-sense-newshour/guest-expert/2012/01/04/ann-barnhardt/financial-house-of-cards

Skip Breakfast said...

@ Ant

I am actually not aware of any NZ credit unions. The entire system is completely dominated by (over-leveraged) Australian banks and it concerns me to no end. However, I'm relatively new to this country, so there may be credit unions I just haven't heard about yet. I would love to hear from other Kiwis trying to negotiate the system here. But it's a very small country in comparison to the US. So options may be both better and worse, depending on the circumstances.


@ el G

Yeah the Barnhardt interview does hit home (though I have railed and would continue to rail against that nutbar given the chance). But she's very articulate in her damning of the entire system...until she blames it all on the fact we haven't found jesus. Anyhow, scary indeed.

Ash said...

El G,

I couldn't get through more than half of that interview. What's the point of listening to her? The only thing of substance I heard was that MF Global fraudulently filed its ch.7 bankruptcy to help creditors, such as JPM, get their money ahead of clients/customers. Everything else was repeatedly calling people cowards for being in the market and talking about how we need to execute the high-level banksters (the former is a bit odd, since she only closed her "capital management" company in Fall 2011, after MFG went down).

I'm not gonna lie, her personality (and ignorance of Marxism) annoys me, so maybe I have some bias here. But now, after this second FSN interview, I really see no net benefit coming out of her gaining popularity and spreading her high-pitched message to others. At a certain point, the benefit of getting people out of the market is outweighed by the highly reactionary tone of her message, which may not be so bad just yet, but could easily escalate as things get worse.

If you tell me there are some good substantive points made by her in the second half (other than the entire system can blow up at any second and our leaders are psychopaths), then I will go ahead and listen to it. But I can't stand to listen to another 20 minutes of that just to find out for myself.

nss said...

Friends were building a straw/mud "garden structure" in their back yard. A building inspector arrived and asked nicely that they obtain a permit. After a long delay the permit was issued. Soon the inspector reappeared, with a second person..The friends feared the worst. But the inspector said, "Oh, this is just someone from another department. We don't have enough for everyone to do, so we're cross training!"

In my small town, population flatlined over the last decade, but municipal staffing went up by 40%. I told the mayor that it was time to return to a year 200 baseline, after all it worked just fine. "Oh, I couldn't do that!". She said. "It would mean people losing their jobs. As a result we have police hiding behind bushes near scholl playgrounds, waiting to ticket moms going 30 in the 25 mph school zone. Because that is all the crime we have.

I would be the first to endorse the idea that we are seeing a massive international conspiracy playing out, a war of the worlds between the corporate and human life forms. But many of our official problems come from overstaffing and the pressing need to look busy. The public sector is not only a bubble, it's a boil very much needing a good lancing.

Planning departments are brainwashed with a conceptual framework designed to create debt through mortgages, municipal bonds, securitized property holdings bought with borrowed capital. Not supporting growth of the debt edifice then is criminalized. There's a financial sector conspiracy propping up our land use paradigms.

Home gardening requires space that could otherwise be used -- to make multifamily housing. My planner told me so, as I defended my right to garden. He was deeply offended that my selfishness in wishing to create a living environment for multiple species would deprive future sales clerks in our local mall of an apartment location near a bus stop. He would have pulled a gun and shot me in the public interest, so convinced was he that his vision was a higher moral purpose for my property.

NightBlogger said...

Best TAE article I've ever read! Bravo. You hit the nail squarely on the head. The global elite seek to criminalize all acts of self-sufficiency geared toward becoming independent of a fascist corporate state.

Ant Whisperer said...

@ Skip Breakfast

Had a bit of a chuckle at your comment regarding over-leveraged Oz banks. Also, good luck finding something that works.

Ant

el gallinazo said...

Ash,

If I wanted to be my typical irritating self, I would simply remark that I find Christian women with guns exciting.

I also found much of what she said irritating. Referring to "Marxist, fascist Oligarchs" shows a certain lacking in her concepts of economic systems and philosophies of the 19th and 20th centuries. The only thing she may have said that may have been new **to you** was to tell grain farmers to store their grain on their own land, and not in commercial elevators. But your knowledge base is not typical of the average lurker on the commentariat.

Since she does have an inside understanding and great knowledgeability of how the commodities futures worked, I found her insistence on just how close the entire system was to complete collapse in terms of days interesting, and how that would effect standard bank accounts, which are legally less secure than the segregated accounts stolen by Corzine and JPMC. I also found her reasoning why the CME chose to stand back and break their fiduciary responsible to the clients of great interest.

But I am most interested in her as a social phenomenon and as a possible bell weather. I personally am easy with my feeling of alliance with the soft libertarian movement, people such as Charlie McGrath, and quite uneasy with the hard, right fringes, which she represents. I find veiled references to "a second American revolution" interesting as well. I also hear it from Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keeper movement, who incidentally is not a bigoted fanatic. The Oligarchs must keep control of the vast majority of the military. When the military stood down in East Germany, refused orders, and stayed on their bases, the Stasi and the political leaders had to go running for their rat holes. If people like Barnhardt can turn the Christian Right, always the powerful unwitting pawns of the financial Oligarchs, into a powerful force against them by exposing them for the ruthless, lawless mafia that they are, it will make our times even more interesting.

el gallinazo said...

Stoneleigh, another fantastic essay.

Also re Barnhardt

I know I used the word interesting too many times in my last comment, but still, that word must be used to categorize the simple fact that the Oligarchs in the MothaF Global high jinx appear to have declared war on the upper middle and the bottom of the upper class, that is, the petty nobility. Ash and Stoneleigh often state that most of the law is a simple codification of the privilege of the rulers. If MFG is the first thunderclap in the coming storm, then the Oligarchs may have displayed what some claim to be their shortsighted idiotic arrogance and greed by cutting off too much of their base support.

Joe in NC said...

Ash,

I think your criticism of El G (Barnhardt interview) was too harsh:
------------------
"repeatedly...talking about how we need to execute the high-level banksters (the former is a bit odd, since she only closed her "capital management" company in Fall 2011, after MFG went down)."

I'm not a psychologist, but this makes sense to me. I've never seen a person that recently quit a bad habit (smoking, drinking, etc.) that did not yammer on and on about the negative aspects of their former habit. Why would contemporary professional "capital management" be any different than any other bad habit. I think she was probably felt very quilty about doing what she was and is very relieved (and excited) to be out now.
-------------------
"I really see no net benefit coming out of her gaining popularity and spreading her high-pitched message to others."

I see benefit in her motivating people to move their money away from unsafe places and agree with El G's comment about "turning the Christian Right" - I think that would also be a benefit.
------------------
"highly reactionary tone of her message, which may not be so bad just yet, but could easily escalate as things get worse."

I may have missed it, but I don't remember hearing her tell people to go out and buy guns and explosives and use them on Wall Street or their local TBTF branch.
------------------

I didn't listen to the first interview (some of the descriptions of her in the comments here turned me off), but I'm glad I listened to this one.

El G's joking pre-listen "prescription" was a Valium or a long hit of Jack Daniels. I think you got this mixed up and took a couple of black beauties and washed 'em down with a Red Bull.

.

seychelles said...

Today's AB interview is certainly not boring. She is of course way off base when she asserts that all OWS wants is marijuana legalization and that the only way to moral behavior is through (Christian) religion. I wonder if she would have shut down her biz so abruptly and self-righteously if she was still paying off start up costs, instead of being qualified for membership in the rentier class?

Greenwood said...

"...a couple of black beauties and washed 'em down with a Red Bull."

Hey, that's my secret for cutting, splitting and stacking a cord of wood an hour.

For everyone else:

Whisky in a can ... eight shots for $5 to be sold in the United States

You've heard of Bread & Cirus

This is a variation: Guns & Whisky

~

Ash said...

Joe in NC,

I wasn't being harsh to El G. He and I are in agreement about most things, including this. I think she does have a lot of knowledge in her area of expertise and does provide a valuable service as a "social phenomenon", i.e. she provides a window into how many people will obnoxiously and hatefully react to the economic injustices occurring, so I don't think it's such a bad idea to post her interviews.

I just know that I, for one, won't be listening to them anymore, because I flat out don't like her - her perspective, her tone, her suggested "remedies" or what she stands for in general. Judging from what seychelles relayed about her Occupy views, I made a good decision to stop listening when I did, because that nonsense would have infuriated me. Instead, I will look to much more reasonable mediums, such as El G, to find out the few pieces of substance she may happen to produce.

Ash said...

That being said,

"I think she was probably felt very quilty about doing what she was and is very relieved (and excited) to be out now."

I'm sure there are plenty of psychological factors that make her think/feel the way she does. All I was saying is that she sounded like someone who had been crusading against corrupt and broken markets for years and years when she insisted repeatedly that everyone still participating is a pathetic piece of cowardly excrement (not in so many words). Alas, that's not her at all.

"I see benefit in her motivating people to move their money away from unsafe places and agree with El G's comment about "turning the Christian Right" - I think that would also be a benefit."

The key word before benefit was "net", meaning I think it's very debatable that the benefits of her rising popularity outweigh the costs.

"I may have missed it, but I don't remember hearing her tell people to go out and buy guns and explosives and use them on Wall Street or their local TBTF branch."

Most of her reactionary mindset was obvious from her tone. The "capital punishment" comments were understandable, but still a bit troubling - I'm not sure I want to find out who will be falling under her definition of "treason" a few years from now. And you don't need to explicitly call for violence to convey such a message.

"El G's joking pre-listen "prescription" was a Valium or a long hit of Jack Daniels. I think you got this mixed up and took a couple of black beauties and washed 'em down with a Red Bull."

I wish I had just met up with some Occupy people and smoked a bowl instead!

Nassim said...

... I asked about depositing US dollars [in NZ].

Skip Breakfast,

Some months ago, I tried to open a USD account in Melbourne with the big 4. NAB and Macquarie told me they don't have such a thing. I gave up and didn't try the others.

One funny thing, back in 1973, in London, a couple of us students were supposed to see the famous Sir Kenneth Keith of Hill Samuel (a merchant bank long since absorbed by Lloyds TSB) to discuss the business for our studies. On the due day, the notorious Slater Walker launched a takeover bid for Hill Samuel. Here is an article from that time. In 1975, Slater Walker went bust. I had a masters thesis to present in 1974 which was an analysis of 4 companies - 3 of which were from the Slater Walker stable. I wrote that all these companies (which were highly-rated by the London stock market) were doomed. My tutor persuaded me to put less emphatic conclusions and we had a big argument about it. Anyway, three of these companies went bust and the fourth was bought up for a song.

Jim Slater was unsuccessfully prosecuted and then started writing accounting and investment books. Later, he went back to his real expertise - selling shares worth nothing to credulous speculators. Unlike his previous ventures, Galahad Gold was very successful and the shareholders did not go bust. I suspect he was more surprised than anyone else.

Macquarie Bankused to be a 3-person offshoot called Hill Samuel Australia. Leverage is an amazing tool. :)

Joe in NC said...

Ash,

OK - there are a lot of things we all probably do not like about AB. I think there are a few good things about her too. I knew going into it that I should have my "super filter" engaged in my small brain. I respect your decision not to listen to another one of her interviews again if you find her that disgusting. I just thought your reply to El G was kinda strong.

.

el gallinazo said...

seychelles

I don't think AB was being hypocritical in her timing when she shut down her business. What she might have done if she were in debt is moot. I doubt she is in the rentier class. She made a comment in her first interview that she is fortunate being an expert in evaluating the exact value of livestock by physical inspection, and she intends to a make a living with that skill in the future. She really believed that she was doing her clients, primarily cattle and grain farmers, a service by helping them to hedge their assets. The MFG high jinx was the first time in the history of CME that clients got screwed by a brokerage and weren't made whole. Of course it was a doozy.

All that said, I don't have any fantasies of AB being an ideal spouse. She is a very angry person. And my new found "alliance" with the libertarian movement doesn't extend to views such as hers. All that said, she really has a dead bead on the oligarchical psychopaths.

Nassim said...

News that Kodak had started the preparations for a possible bankruptcy, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, wiped 28 per cent from its already-battered stock price yesterday. The shares ended the day at 47 cents, more than 90 per cent below their level of a year ago.

Kodak develops plans for bankruptcy

First Polaroid and now Kodak. Kodak was perfectly positioned to foresee and take advantage of the move to digital. What a shame.

Nassim said...

As many as 10,000 bankers at Royal Bank of Scotland face the prospect of losing their jobs, as the state-owned UK bank draws up detailed plans to retreat from investment banking.

RBS plan puts 10,000 jobs at risk

Better late than never, I suppose.

Skip Breakfast said...

@ Nighblogger

Yes, I agree, this is an excellent article. The topic of systemic financial vampirism through levies and penalties hasn't been addressed anywhere else I've seen, actually. In fact, we're already seeing it. I know a guy who is renovating his kitchen. House renovations require more permits and inspections than you can imagine here in New Zealand. Anyhow, he paid the fee to apply for his permit. It wasn't cheap. Something like $800. He got the call that his permit was approved and he could go pick it up. He arrived at the politburo to pick it up...and was told to fork over $5000 (five thousand!) please. That was the cost of the permit. The $800 was just the application! He was completely floored, and simply had no idea this was coming. Keep in mind this is to renovate a kitchen in his existing building.

I expect property taxes to go through the roof. And parking fines are already absurd, as the officers lurk around cars due to expire so they can put a $50 ticket under the wiper for failure to top up the $1 ticket. That seems like a criminal penalty to me. But we've accepted it so far. When will the system break? When will we en masse refuse to build with permits, and simply take matters into our own hands? Because if we don't all do it together, they will pick us off one by one (you will simply go to jail until you pay your penalty for not paying the original penalty to begin with). I fear that as we get sucked dry, we actually become weaker and anemic and less able to resist en masse. So we won't stand up for our neighbours and fellow citizens. We won't see the point when we've lost everything. That's my fear anyhow.

Skip Breakfast said...

Oh, and when I raise the issue of oppressive building permit fees here in New Zealand, most Kiwis defend it! We've been brainwashed to think we won't survive without the permit levy system, because everyone's house will fall down! When I mention we managed to build houses the stood for hundreds of years long before the idea of a permit was even invented, they fall utterly silent, as though it's the first time they've considered the notion. We have been tricked to think we NEED the system, and so we willingly pay for the unnecessary bloat. In fact, we need to take greater responsibility for our own dwellings and health and well-being, rather than fork over money to have someone take care of it for us.

Legendary Armor Rōnin said...

Re: Ann Barnhardt, this is from her latest post:

It is absolutely amazing to me, and frankly awful, that these interviews I do are so popular. Most interviews or radio programs I do wind up being the most popular (or top-three) for their respective program or host. ... Don't think for a second that I relish in any of this. The truth is, I find it very, very disturbing, as should all of you, that I, relatively insignificant me, am apparently one of the only people in Western Civilization who has the stones to simply state the OBVIOUS OBJECTIVE TRUTH. I am a minor cultural phenomenon because I basically say that one plus one equals two, and I can say it clearly and directly...

Really? So all a person need do in this culture to be some sort of a hero is be able to string three articulate sentences together which state the obvious? God help us. [...]

I'm cynical, but SURELY there must be SOMEONE ELSE who has a brain in their head and a pair in the bag who can speak proper English above a mumble besides me. Anyone? Anyone? My 15 minutes are surely winding down. Someone else is going to have to step up here.

She may be a little intense for some people's taste, but I find her to be monstrously charming.

Alexander Ac said...

Mish is very clearly afraid that Iranian oil embargo could lead to WWIII...

the long-term question is: Cold we ever avoid WW3?

Alex

Nassim said...

By some misguided thinking it is OK for the the US to block Iranian oil but not OK for Iran to defend itself or retaliate.

Alexander Ac,

Good short article. The whole affair brings to mind the way the USA, UK and the Netherlands waged economic war on Japan - by cutting its oil supply. The direct result was Pearl Harbour and the occupation of Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore, Burma and Indonesia.

Be prepared for unpleasant surprises - I cannot see China and Russia just standing aside. Russia does not want to be further encircled and China needs Iran's oil.

A Fall Guy said...

@ seychelles

Thank you for the Todmorden link. What an inspiring story of positive feedback in a community through sharing and trust.

@ SkipBreakfast

I fear that as we get sucked dry, we actually become weaker and anemic and less able to resist en masse.

I share your fear. Sadly, I think that is the plan. Keep the illusions of strength, wealth and freedom as long as possible, so the masses have as little of both when they finally awaken.

The daunting task is to seek antidotes: waking remedies to clear illusions, courage tinctures to stand up to power, and motivational salves to foster constructive actions.

Joel Caris said...

Thank you, Stoneleigh, for this post. There's a lot to chew on here. As a farmer and a raw milk drinker (have some in the fridge right now) I'm certainly aware of many of the insane laws and regulations surrounding food and the systemic corruption behind them. Yet, I hadn't really thought much about the idea that crushing regulations, fees, fines and so on would be coming down the pike as centralized authorities began to be challenged by necessary decentralization. Makes perfect sense, though.

The part of the article about resiliency and decentralization reminded me a lot of this fantastic post over at Feral Scholar, to which I wrote a response of my own focused on resilience and stealth infrastructure. Basically, we are going to need to build a lot of alternative infrastructure for living a low energy lifestyle and we need to do it soon. Gardens, gardens, gardens. Food production is going to be a huge issue, but I think it's one of the ones we're likely to be most successful at. It helps tremendously that there's already a fairly mature movement around local and organic food happening, even if it is still a tiny percentage of the overall food system.

At the farm I'm currently living on and worked for this summer, the head farmer is interested in getting a farm trust established in the area, seeding a bunch of new farmers, building out a local food system with a communal farm store in town, a commercial kitchen and other infrastructure, and eventually transitioning herself into growing seed for the area, the Oregon coast. She worries, as do I, about how much genetic diversity we've lost in the seed world. That's a huge potential issue in the future. We're going to need well-adapted seed, down to micro climates--and that's all going to be tied up with adjusting to climate change, as well. All of that's a real challenge and there isn't nearly enough being done around it.

Greenwood said...

"...Basically, we are going to need to build a lot of alternative infrastructure for living a low energy lifestyle and we need to do it soon. Gardens, gardens, gardens."

Funny how this makes no sense whatsoever to suburban 'professionals'.

Getting a critical mass of people who 'get it' in your area is the biggest impediment to a sane unwind procedure from terminal stage capitalist complexity.

It's as if anyone wanting to prepare in even modest ways has to do it clandestinely from the Building Code Enforcement Gestapo.

Front yard gardens in the 'Burbs', you must be a 'terra-ist' (pun intended)

Here's some sample psychopath logic:

Your preparations for a 'radically' different reality from the Present Ponzi indicate your obvious lack of faith in The System. This is disloyalty at best and treasonous conspiring at worst to undermine (highly selective) Law & Order. This dangerous lack of belief in Manipulated Reality could spread by example to otherwise contented citizens. The mere presence of a vegetable garden in your yard could incite panic in even the highly medicated 'happy pill' populous causing a serious public health issue.

As Chris Hedges pointed out in his dynamite c-span interview, get a complete set of George Orwell, and don't leave home without it.

~

Joe in NC said...

Ran across the following article while reading my version of the morning headlines (Links section at Naked Capitalism) and thought it may be of interest to the many folks at TAE that farm - particularly in the Bay Area of California, Central Valley or South Dakota:

"Zombie" Fly Parasite Killing Honeybees

Full Disclosure: I am not a farmer (yet?), so my apology in advance if this material is not very important, or "common knowledge" among farmers, or other.

.

seychelles said...

EG said

"...I don't have any fantasies of AB being an ideal spouse."

These considerations did not remotely enter my line of thought while listening to her interview with JP, whose deadpan interview style stimulates his guests to let it all hang out.

and EG also said

"She made a comment in her first interview that she is fortunate being an expert in evaluating the exact value of livestock by physical inspection..."

Sounds like uberwench lives! You gravitate to the hyperbolic, which resonates with all the contemporary parabolic, and this component of your distinctive style contributes to making your posts such (generally) endearing reads:)

In all seriousness, it would be instructive for you to flesh out your concept of what correct libertarianism would/should entail in our present situation. Big word handles like this can mean so many things to different people...

Joel Caris said...

Pigsnuggles,

I live on an off-the-grid farm in Oregon where we get our drinking water from a creek that runs through the property. It's pretty amazing in being a clean, above-ground drinking source. The water's run through a rock filter but otherwise untreated.

The head farmer here went to Thailand a couple years ago with friends. Over the course of their stay, everyone but her got sick. She's convinced it's because she drinks from the creek. It's clean, yes, but no doubt there are various critters in there who do a fine job of building up the immunity.

I tend to buy into her explanation. Yogurt, raw milk, other live-culture foods, even the occasional creek water--I think all of these are good for diversifying the fauna in our good old digestive tracks. Ingesting a solid amount of dirt helps as well, I'm convinced. The complete terror with which many people in this country approach anything that hasn't been sanitized, irradiated and wrapped in plastic is bizarre to me.

Glennjeff said...

Ann with Gun

Joel Caris said...

Greenwood,

I agree. I think that critical mass of people in a particular area is a big piece of it and it's hard to do. Lately, I've been explaining that the reason I'm living my life the way I am is because I think we're all going to be quite a bit poorer in the future and I'm looking to get ahead of the curve. That certainly isn't a complete explanation, but I think it's a fairly simple one that's easy for people to grasp. Of course, people often tend to think I'm somewhat insane for having this perspective. No doubt, if I told them that we'd all be richer in the future (just as soon as we get out of this pesky recession/depression thing we're in) most would be happy to agree and wouldn't bat an eye at the prediction.

That's a tough current to swim against when you're trying to build some resiliency in your life and community. Gotta keep swimming, though.

I'm hopeful that bureaucracies clinging to power won't devolve to the point of your psychopath logic scenario. It's hard enough trying to convince people we need to get to work without the government acting that harsh against any attempts to get out of the system. But it certainly could play out that way. If it does, that might be the point to try to find a nice, poor county with a decent sized town and a group of people who get it and make your go of it. I remember visiting a farm in a poor county in southern Oregon who were taking the gamble of breaking all kinds of building codes, knowing full well that the county simply didn't have the money to pay people to inspect. With any luck, that shortage of resources will help to keep governments in check.

Greenwood said...

She should have set her sights on something a little grander than 15 minutes of fame.

Ann of a Thousand Days

Nothing to lose your head over.

~

Frank said...

Joe in NC,

I'm a beekeeper, and that's news to me. The big question I see is why it has taken centuries for this fly, apparently native to North America, to start parasitizing honeybee. IIRC, the first honeybees came to Virginia in the 1630s, and I'd bet the Spanish took them to Mexico earlier than that. Even if the fly is a California-only native, I'd have expected Spanish (Mexican) bees there in the 18th century, and am utterly sure there were US East Coast bees there in the 19th.

I have a bazillion other questions of course, but it's not reasonable to expect a brief news article to answer them, and Snuffy, the only other TAE beekeeper I'm aware of, is not around.

jal said...

Where is the “herd”????
The herd has pulled $140B out of mutual funds last year.
I have not seen any numbers for what is happening in the hedge funds.
I expect that they will also show “a getting out of the market.”
The money managers of institutional money who have not been fired or layed off are going to be left playing with each other.
See,
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/retail-investors-pull-140-billion-equity-funds-2011-which-close-year-19-consecutive-outflows.

Did anyone catch this comment?
“... not helping things is the already noted implosion of refiner Petroplus which just announced that access to all of its credit lines has been suspended, sending the stock down 20%. Looks like it will be a long, cold winter for Europe ...”

I guess that the markets figured that cutting 3 money losing refineries would be bad for their cash flow and sold their shares. The logic does not make sense.
jal

cloudhidden said...

@ Joe in NC & Frank re zombi fly
We keep bees too....Pacific NW....have not seen or heard of this as yet. Tnx for heads-up

Ruben said...

re: bees

My bee community hadn't heard of this. There has been a spate of news articles on it, so I think it is a new finding.

As to why it took so long--the entomologist was interviewed on CBC. He said the fly usually parasitizes bumblebees and certain wasps. One could speculate the decline in bumblebees may be driving the fly to try new prey.

Greenwood said...

I hope Corzine at least used Celente's $600,000 pilfered account for matching gold plated Lawn Jockeys for the new digs.

On Eve of $41 Billion MF Global Bankruptcy Filing, Jon Corzine Was Château Shopping in France


~

Nassim said...

Those attempting to pressure Iran by increasing "tensions" and thus the price of oil have it precisely backwards. The one sure way to fatally destabilize the Iranian theocracy is to adjust the demand and supply of oil so the price plummets (as it did in December 2008) to $25/barrel, and stays there for at least six months.

Want to Put Iran Out of Business? Here's How (by Charles Hugh Smith)

He has it absolutely right and that is precisely why those dunces and psychopaths who can't stop salivating over the prospect of another war are not going to do it CHS' way.

jal said...

The main stream headlines are

“Cuts announced for defense spending”

Obama announced, “Cuts to defense spending will GROW at a SLOWER pace.”

SOMEONE FORGOT TO SAY THAT IT IS STILL UNSUSTAINABLE GROWTH.

Since there is no growth to taxation.
Since there is no growth to GDP.

Then I can only project,
Worst than a failing Greece structure.
but rather
Here comes a N. Korean military social structures.
jal

Frank said...

Nassim,

How about the reason not to do it his way is that his way involves crashing the world economy.

His claim is that Iran needs $40/bbl. That's less than half where the price has been for the last 18 months.

Even CHS doesn't claim that middle east peace would push the price under $40. For that he also calls for starting a world wide depression. He also doesn't explain how he will get Canada's private operators to keep producing after the price falls below their variable cost. Which in the tar sands is above $25.

The TAE received wisdom is that that depression is coming anyway. But that's a long way from causing it deliberately.

Joe in NC said...

Glenjeff,

Whoa! If El G looks at "Ann with Gun" while someone is around, they may feel compelled to ask him - is that a bananna in your pocket or are you just glad to see Ann with that gun? :-)

.

Ash said...

Here's an idea: how about we don't do anything to influence the economies and politics of other nations, or overthrow regimes that stand in our way of global imperial conquest. I know localization, protectionism and isolationism is such a quaint notion these days, but I can't imagine we can do no better than what CHS prescribed. If there's anyone who needs regime change, it's the Europeans and its US.

Joe in NC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe in NC said...

Ash,

Re: CHS post

Very good point...but perhaps a bit idealistic to imagine the US not getting involved in (or trying to influence) just about anything one way or another.

Made me think of the second stanza of Lennon's Imagine:

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

Ka said...

The TAE received wisdom is that that depression is coming anyway. But that's a long way from causing it deliberately.

Thing is, depression has been avoided so far by adding even more debt, meaning a worse depression later. So I don't see not adding even more of a burden on future generations as "causing [depression] deliberately".

Nassim said...

How about the reason not to do it his way is that his way involves crashing the world economy.

Frank,

When ordinary people are offered either "war and full employment" or "peace and depression", they usually choose the former. That is what Germany's Mr H did and the German people loved it (initially). The USSR's Mr S offered the choice "tyranny and full employment" or "anarchy and insecure employment", again the first was preferred.

It takes a degree of courage to accept that the game is up and that it is better to have a semi-controlled crash soon rather than the certainty of an uncontrolled crash a little later - plus a world war.

IMHO, Americans are so used to war being something that happens to others far away, or on TV, that they have become quite desensitised. If the USA had a "volunteer" army in 1968, they would have stayed in Vietnam for much longer. The fact that middle-class kids could end up there was why there were all these demonstrations and protests which speeded up the departure.

el gallinazo said...

Seychelles

"These considerations did not remotely enter my line of thought while listening to her interview with JP,"

Great minds don't always think alike which is one reason that I will pass on your remedial writing course offer. But thanks for the suggestions.

Also,

Really disappointed with CHS's last post. Didn't realize that he was such a foreign policy interventionist. If Obama listens to him about that $25 oil, I'll start looking for that Chevy Suburban I have always secretly craved. But I probably won't get much of a trade-in on a 110 cc motorcycle.

Nassim said...

Didn't realize that he was such a foreign policy interventionist.

el G,

I see, "intervention" means using less oil while starting a shooting war on the other side of the world is not "intervention" :)

William K. said...

The first link in my post will take you to the Total Household Credit numbers in Canada as of the end of November 2011 (as per the
Bank of Canada's web site).

In spite of the record household debt in this country it looks to me like the lending to (and the borrowing by) Canada's household sector is not slowing down one little bit.

If you want to see some real interesting numbers check out the Residential Mortgage Credit lending done by Canada's chartered banks over the last year.

If anyone is interested Canada's total business credit numbers as of the end of November 2011 can be accessed by clicking on the "business credit" link at the very top on the page.

http://credit.bank-banque-canada.ca/householdcredit


Follow Australia by privatizing CMHC

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/12/29/follow-australia-by-privatizing-cmhc/

Frank said...

Nassim, how about the alternative of just leaving Iran alone?

It looks to me that despite a decade of trying, the war party just cannot manage to get support for attacking Iran.

EricFortune said...

There's a great documentary on Decentralization and Localization called "The Economics of Happiness" here's a condensed TED Talk version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r06_F2FIKM

Ash said...

re: CHS

Frankly, I think he was just trying to make a very general point in a [not so] clever way, i.e. it's better to let debt deflation run its course rather than what our leaders are doing now, and could even make their alleged goals (pressuring Iran into abandoning pursuit of nuclear weapons) easier.

It's actually very difficult to know what would happen if one were to engineer an immediate deflationary crash. No doubt the consequences would be severe, and not just for Iran and Venezuela. If you couple that with debt forgiveness and wholesale restructuring of the banking system, as CHS suggests, then that may mitigate the damage.

However, as El G points out, extremely cheap oil is not necessarily what this species/planet needs right now, one of the reasons being it would stifle development of alternative energy projects. As someone who references Marx quite a bit, I'm surprised CHS didn't realize that his "plan" accomplishes nothing unless it dismantles the global- imperial institutions of fascist capitalism, which it doesn't.

Joe in NC said...

Chinese Government Plans to Cause Ten Percent More Rain By 2015

I'm ignorant on this subject matter...but it looks really interesting. Some "spirited" commentary follows the article. My instincts tell me the commenter "Aldrons Last Hope" may be on to something because he provides a bunch of links in his/her 1:37 pm post which I can't investigate today - back to the grind now....several meetings today so I'll try to check back tonight to see if one of the distinguished scientists here has researched cloud seeding and can guide me in the right direction.

.

Greenwood said...

The Sorcerers Apprentice of Global Weather Manipulation

If you think financial manipulation is dangerous, you haven't seen anything.

"….the noted atmospheric scientist Dr. Bernard Vonnegut (brother of novelist Kurt Vonnegut) is credited with discovering another method for "seeding" supercooled cloud water. Vonnegut accomplished his discovery at his desk, looking up information in a basic chemistry text and then tinkering with silver and iodide chemicals to produce silver iodide."


"…The crystallography of ice later played a role in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle."

Just look up 'ice-nine' for a sci-fi horror show experiment in manipulating weather that went very bad.

~

Greenwood said...

'ice-nine' is essentially what the suicide bankster psychopaths have unleashed on the global financial system.

It is about to freeze up into a single unmoving block from Dante's 9th circle.

~

Greenwood said...

A very interesting dilemma is being set up with weather manipulation.

You have a whole body a people denying that humans have phucked up the weather system with fossil fuel emissions and now a growing body of people who think humans not only can but should phuck up the weather system with artificial means.

It will complicate the debate on climate change to no end.

We haven't done it, Yes we have, No we haven't, hey let's try to do it on a grand scale anyway for Profit!

~

Only1saves said...

Cow excrement is being used for fertilizer. Soon the goberment will be taxing the crap out of cows!

Greenwood said...

Manipulating weather is an express train to war.

Manipulating weather, whether it works or not, sets up the dynamic for another country claiming you ruined their crops, by drought or deluge, and starved their children.

Guaranteed act of war.

Manipulate food commodity futures?

No problem, just cause a weather disaster to wipe out the crop.

After a while, no one will be able to separate fact from fiction.

It is an extension of putting an insurance policy on something and then causing it to fail for the payout, just like corporate financial fascism.

~

Bryan McNett said...

>Ash said...
>Here's an idea: how about we don't
>do anything to influence the
>economies and politics of other
>nations,

Ah, but if we didn't, then whoever else did would profit grandly, and use their profits as leverage to come influence our economy. It's the prisoner's dilemma.

--- said...

Greenwood,

If expatriates SOTB could talk...

You'd better believe the weather is a commodity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_derivative

and a weapon http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO409F.html

and as for this problematic ch-word which will attract paid trolls like flies if I were to type it, do you realize that the phenomena was "invented" almost three years ago by the current science advisor? http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=d97echlg1 and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/5128109/Shoot-pollution-particles-into-atmosphere-to-cool-Earth-says-Obama-adviser.html

Many labor under the delusion that all the scientists employed as geoengineers do nothing but sit around discussing things and publishing papers. I say they're busy making Holdren's dreams come true.

Lotta money in it. Just look up.

Bigelow said...

The Honeybee Decline Story: Neonicotinoid and Spinosad Insecticides which Harm Honeybee Central Nervous Systems

AllGood4All said...

Forgive me if someone already posted this link, but great article from The Guardian:

"'Just-in-time' business models put UK at greater risk in event of disasters, warns thinktank. Britain could only withstand a week of disruption after a major event before spiralling into chaos."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/06/just-in-time-business-model-disaster-risk?INTCMP=SRCH

--- said...

A primer for "plucking money from thin air"

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aK9BWCFSRPnM

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/forecast/2008-06-09-weather-derivative_N.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9757635

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/weather/files/WeatherRisk_CEO.pdf

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/weather/files/WT133_Weather_White_Paper_Final.pdf

There is no limit to how low some reptiles will go.

Ash said...

JHK waxes an epically comprehensive rant on the new year, for anyone who missed it earlier in the week like I did. One of my favorite parts:

"Turning to Japan....That sore beset kingdom is suffering all the blowback of modern times at once: the Godzilla syndrome up in Fukushima; a demographic collapse; an imminent bond crisis; the collapse of export market partners; and a long, agonizing death spiral of its banks. I stick by a prediction I tendered back in March, after the deadly tsunami: Japan will decisively opt for a return to pre-industrial civilization. Why not? The rest of the world will be dragged kicking and screaming to the same place. Let Japan get there first and enjoy the advantage of the early adapter - back to an economy of local, hand-made stuff, rigid social hierarchy, folkloric hijinks in whispering bamboo groves, silk robes, and frequent time outs for the tea ceremony."

2012 Forecast: Bang and Whimper

Bryan McNett said...

>Ash said...
>the Godzilla syndrome up in
>Fukushima

Try as I might, I can't buy the mainstream media's Fukushima story, mostly thanks to Jim Stone.

I was done in by the fact that no tsunami videos display any earthquake damage, despite the proximity of a 9.0 earthquake.

I sure would like someone to set me straight, because I'm very uncomfortable with conspiracy theories.

Energy News carries a lot of very bad news about Fukushima that you wouldn't otherwise assume is true.

Skip Breakfast said...

I think we've decided that we will wait to buy a doomstead until prices are such that we can survive financially if our food-producing property is confiscated outright. I know it sounds utterly paranoid. But I just feel like being tied to a piece of land makes us so vulnerable, as much as it is a critical food source. I think that some land is absolutely necessary, but not if it eats up more than 10% of our capital. Because if they dno't outright confiscate the land, they will simply increase property taxes and levies and fines to the point that they might as well take it! The only hope is people rise up together and refuse. I just think that anyone who owns their food-producing property outright will not be high on the list for protection by the greater populace. The greater populace will be without reliable food, will have no money, and will be in debt on their (sub)urban plot with barely enough room to grow some beans.

Frank said...

Ash, thanks for the pointer to JHK. He was at his scathing best, and managed not to go all 'Mish about unions' when discussing either arabs or the south.

Bryan McNett, Jim Stone's physics is blatantly out to lunch. That 44 mph he burrbles about is 64 ft/sec, or the result of 1/2 sec acceleration relative to the building at 4 Gs. The chart he mocks did not show any such thing. It showed rapid shaking back and forth, which meant acceleration northward, stop, southward, stop, repeat for several seconds, a very different thing.

Also, for a cherry on top, accelerating in the same direction at 4 Gs for 1/2 sec. would produce a ground displacement of 16 ft, at the end of that half sec, with no allowance for what happened during deceleration. Once again, the chart shows no such thing.

Whether or not the charts are cooked, the earthquake described by the charts would not have produced anything like the effects he claims it would have.

Less than a minute of physics 101 is all it takes to demonstrate that he so woefully misunderstands those charts that nothing else he says is likely to be correct except by sheer coincidence.

Bryan McNett said...

Frank, like you I'm pretty sure that Jim Stone is wrong about many things. Specifically, I wasn't impressed by those charts either.

The convincing part was the discussion about very low earthquake damage so close to the epicenter, and the inability of a "hydrogen explosion" to pulverize concrete walls many feet thick.

Nassim said...

Nassim, how about the alternative of just leaving Iran alone?

Frank,

That has always been my preference. I linked to CHS because that is the correct way to do it if one had to do it.

Back in November '81, while I was laid up in hospital after a car crash in Jordan, an Iranian lady friend came from London to visit me and stayed at Amman's Holiday Inn. She was joined at breakfast every morning by an American pilot who kept going on about how the "USA must bomb Iran" - quite oblivious to the fact that he was saying this to an Iranian person. I guess he was part of the military "aid" to Jordan. You see, they won't leave the place alone because it is like a pimple at the end of their nose - which they find irresistible. :)

They made so much money in Iran and had such a good time that they just can't get over "losing" it. The same applies in spades with the British who they displaced. During the Iranian revolution, when the shops in Tehran had no alcohol because the ones that did got burnt, I used to drive to an American military establishment at a suburb (almost next to Evin prison) where there was a bar. I would get beer by the case and put it in my car. There was no security that I could see and no one ever asked me for an ID, I guess it helps to have a white face. Outside, the sunlight was as piercing as it can only be at altitude (5000 feet) and inside it was almost black. The ladies serving were Vietnamese beauties in skirts with slits and the decor made one feel that one had stumbled into somehow into that part of the world. Graham Greene would have felt at home there.

I really don't understand this fascination with bombing places when it always ends with the people there hating them more than ever before.

Bryan McNett said...

>I really don't understand this
>fascination with bombing places when
>it always ends with the people there
>hating them more than ever before.

of course, the goal of bombing people is to subdue them and take their resources, not to make them like you?

Frank said...

I went to his simplified page, hoping to get more forest and fewer trees. I did, I now understand what he is claiming, but...

I don't like Israel either. However, every time he talked about either earthquakes or nuclear engineering I lost confidence in him.

-

Bryan McNett said...

>I don't like Israel either. However,
>every time he talked about either
>earthquakes or nuclear engineering I
>lost confidence in him.

The guy is looney, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everything
he says is wrong.


As for Israel, I see no proof
that this event is connected to
any particular political intrigue.

I wish Stone would avoid
jumping to such conclusions and
stick to the obvious evidence,
like the absence of earthquake
damage and the pulverized concrete
and mushroom cloud.

Thankfully he doesn't dwell on
the date of 3/11/11, which would
instantly close many minds.

Joe in NC said...

Greenwood,

Thank you for the education on weather manipulation. I especially enjoyed the 11:20 AM post. Scary? sure...but very, very logical to me.

I read What Is Organic? (Part 1) recently (don't know if it's already been posted here or if you may have seen it otherwise), and based on your earlier comments about local food production, I'd appreciate your opinion on this writing if you have the time.

And finally, I'd like to thank you for the following comment:

"The point of raising the food issues on the lead post was not about food, it was to highlight the utter over reaction by central authorities to any disobedience of their edicts, no matter how ill conceived or insane."

that got things back on the right track. :-)

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Nature Creek Farm said...

"According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 86 reported food poisoning outbreaks from raw milk between 1998 and 2008, resulting in 1,676 illnesses, 191 hospitalizations, and two deaths."

2 deaths. In 10 years. In Wisconsin alone last year (the Dairy State), there were 600 deaths from automobiles. Farmers that could make a decent living would be able to stay home and stay off the roads.

Joe in NC said...

I think there was some discussion about ZH and "honest reporting" in the comments from the previous post. This caught my eye this morning:

Is someone paying Zero Hedge to post propaganda?

"An ETF is a stock. It’s a piece of paper that says you own an interest in an entity that owns some physical silver. That paper can be borrowed, lent, hypothecated and re-hypothecated a million times, just like any other stock. So in ZH land, physical isn’t physical, paper is physical. Not all paper, only paper issued by one entity - Sprott."

snuffy said...

Joe in NC

Thank you for the heads up on the parasitic fly.Icky,twisty little bugger..

This was the first I had heard...and will bet that very few in the beekeeping community have heard of this nasty little critter.

It would explain a lot.

I had heard somewhere about a some bees ,when affected by some sicknesses,exiting the colony and flying as far from the hive as possible,before death.This would also explain part of the reason bees.As this parasite has been identified near my home This will be another headache to deal with.

...sigh...

We just got a handle on Varroa Destructor mites,by use of "hygienic"bees genes that destroy bee larva infected with the mite.

I spent around two grand on artificially inseminated Queens to get this genetic material in my bees.So far, I have found the "naturally bred" queens that I can buy that are "Hygienic" to have problems..Its a new attempt that hold promise to deal a permanent blow to Varroa mites.

Mankind's partnership with bees has had 3 major pests to deal with to my best knowledge .First it was Waxmoths,then tracheal mites,then
Varroa.There has always been diseases..but breeding resistant stock has proven to be the key to many of them.

I haven't got a clue on how they/we plan on dealing with this..I will attempt to collect any wandering night flying bees I encounter now.

Thank you once again joe.

Bee good,or
Bee careful


snuffy

Joe in NC said...
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Joe in NC said...

Snuffy,

I'm sincerely glad the bee/fly information was useful information for you.

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Re: my previous post on ZH/Sprott:

After reading the comments on this piece, I thought the following comment (from Jeanne d'Arc) was particularly interesting:

"KD raised the issue of ZH's domain here. Further to this, and Warren's post above, I can confirm that I looked into this issue last summer.

Although the Whois.net data is now sparse to say the least, ZH was less bashful last year. Indeed, the administrator was listed as one Ryan Larson. Now, this could of course be any old Ryan Larson, of which there are probably hundreds. Some spotty geek web designer, perhaps.

However, it is quite curious that the one Ryan Larson that I do know of is currently Head of Equity Trading at RBC and thus the principal underwriter of PSLV. Curious. Even more curious is that ZH changed the name of their administrator just after the PSLV launch. A cheeky 'nod and a wink', perhaps...? Or just a striking coincidence?

What is well established, however, is that the original 'Tyler Durden' is one Daniel Ivandjiiski, a former trader who was barred in 2008 by FINRA for insider trading (an open-and-shut case). Since then, the 'Tyler Durden' moniker has expanded to include several, perhaps tens of, other contributors, which is evident by the volume of articles published under the same name daily. Ivandjiiski is still very much at the forefront of the site, however, and the vision and tone of ZH is all his...

Finally, I think my bears article (thanks for the hat tip, Warren!) established pretty clearly that ZH had unethically promoted a private business (i.e. the silvergoldsilver online store, now closed). And the relationship between ZH and SGS (and the makers of the bears videos, whoever that might be (but it certainly ain't SGS...)) is far from transparent. Albert Dalal was heavily involved in the SGS site, although at least one other individual also supplies content. Dalal's Byzantine and unorthodox business dealings were also dealt with in the bears article."

Ilargi said...

New post up:






Death of an Institution: Desperate Mergers & Destructive Acquisitions






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Glennda said...

What a great post, thanks.

The ideas of decentralization and sustainability hit on what I've been thinking in regard to the Occupy movement. Here in Oakland the police have consistently cleared the plaza in front of city hall and the vigil comes back again and again. How can this be sustained?

What seems to be happening is that the multitude of different people and groups that support OO keep doing what they do best.

The vigil in the plaza in front of city hall continues and is mostly the Interfaith Committee and street people with nowhere else to go, even as riot police come in again and again.

And the committees keep meeting each Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun. There are connected actions around the Bay Area with something almost every weekend.

People seem to think that the Occupy movement is all empty rhetoric, but we closed the Oakland port twice in support of the longshoremen in WA, and have unveiled the violence of the powers-that-be. Not every action is supported by everyone, but that is the nature of decentralization and its power.

I'm currently writing up talking points for an action I'm not 99% in favor of, but that is a good exercise in itself. The best benefit of these working groups are the great people I've begun to network with, the value of working with like minded people.

The horizontal structure of Occupy fosters diversity and the strength of diversity in social movements is like the diversity in crops. The locally adapted variants will take root.

@Joe in NC
Thanks for the info on bees (and ZH) I may reconsider my bee project and my daily news sources.