Far off in the usual cacophony of background noise, there is the dark rumbling sound of Empire. Amidst the hustle and bustle and the sound of money, the strident noise of capitalism at work, there is an ominous guttural rumbling, a deep, dark groaning sound of a tortured planet and it’s human and non-human habitation. And it’s getting louder every day.
In case you need more convincing, and you can afford the gas, you might want to think about attending the Petrocollapse Conference October 5, 2005 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Now that Katrina is downwind somewhere, we are dealing with the “after-action” reports coming from the damaged areas. Many of these reports simply do not match up with the widely circulated rumors and “facts” that we all heard.
First off, it’s probable we will never know the whole truth concerning what actually happened, how many deaths there were and what the individual experiences were “really” like. The after-action reports are rather different then what we heard or read about before – they are downplaying, rather dramatically, the number of dead, the number of rapes, the cases of violence, etc., and this “good news” is making a fair number of people angry.
I’ve not written much lately. Been doing a lot of work around the place and a lot of thinking. I’m getting more disillusioned then ever about the survival of the human species. There seems to be an incredible lack of common sense and clear thinking permeating (and preempting) every so-called “crisis”. It’s like a plague that is jumping from one person to the next, affecting reason and logic, sanity and sane thinking.
As usual, the American reaction to Hurricane Rita was a knee-jerk over-reaction, which has already caused the death of 24 elderly people when the bus they were riding in blew up. What is it about Americans that causes us to react so stupidly in the face of crisis? It wasn’t always this way. The Texas coast is NOT New Orleans with its levies and below-sea level urban sprawl. Yet the panic set it – the wind and the rain was coming and a mass evacuation was ordered. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
The gun confiscation from private citizens in New Orleans has been stopped by the Court – but this was another knee-jerk by over-zealous authorities who once again, thought they were “protecting” people by disarming them (illegally) and leaving them prey for the predators.
What’s going on? Have we become so stupid to have fled common sense? It’s not just the so-called “authorities” (who obviously aren’t authorities on anything), but people too have become incurably blind to reason and clear thinking.
The March on Washington is still on, with the same level of hope and expectations as all other Washington marches — zip. I’ve never participated in a march, although I did attend a protest once. It didn’t do any good then either and I learned my lesson. I’m not aware that such actions ever do any good.
But something needs to be done, so I support any effort to stop the Washington juggernaught, but is this even possible? I think this statement sums it up nicely –
“On numerous occasions over the last nine years the Court has wanted to simply wash its hands of Interior and its iniquities once and for all. But doing so,” he concluded, “would constitute an announcement that negligence and incompetence in government are beyond judicial remedy.”
The only remedy that remains for Americans (including the grossly disenfranchised Native Americans, as noted above) is to overthrow this present government.
Not many blog updates lately, been busy getting my own little “sustainable acreage” built. I’m also doing a lot of work on the website, having to learn CSS and Dreamweaver at the same time. If you’ve noticed the site has been broken, my apologies. Seems like you can’t “fix” something only to break it (and learn what you’re doing wrong in the process). So right now, my time is being spent on the website upgrade that I’m finding necessary. That plus clearing new ground for a large greenhouse is taking priority. I’ll post interesting stuff as I find it or you can make a contribution if you like to firstname.lastname@example.org ~Survival Acres~
I spotted this – and posted it in its entirety.
G’ Day All.
So World War III has begun, and I’m in the bad country. Our President is totally F’ing mad, he and his millennial dispensationalist raptureists backers are trying to fulfill an ancient religious prophecy about an all-destroying battle between good and evil, and the most powerful propaganda industry in history is strangely backing him up, pretending he’s sane and reasonable, leading Americans on a cult of global-scale murder-suicide that may very well leave our country in ruins. How did we come to this?
Bush is already being set up as the scapegoat, like Hitler before him, so Americans can pretend we’re all good people who just got a bad ruler by some fluke and we were “only doing our jobs” or “we didn’t know.” But nobody is born with an urge to conquer and exterminate, with an active resistance to empathy, with an inability to psychologically adapt. People like this are made, and in a healthy society they’re seldom made and never given influence. In America we crank them out by the millions and tend to make them our leaders and congress critters. Wishful-thinking lefties say the American people are against this war, but I don’t see it. I see every part of the government and every large business going along with the war, and I see a majority of people who either actively support it, or refuse to give any attention to politics, or secretly feel good about “their” side ruling the world and are happy that they don’t have to admit it, happy the system is set up so they can benefit from brutality just by continuing to behave normally, whatever that term may mean.
I’m about to generalize and simplify and exaggerate, and before I start I want to remind everyone that “America” has many meanings, and that you can go to any town in geographical America and find people who are aware, intelligent, ethical, compassionate, and courageous. But on the whole, the reason the USA is now waging aggressive murderous wars that threaten to keep escalating until we burn out and implode, is that we are a nation of cowards.
You can see it everywhere if you look — in the American military attacking only impoverished countries that can’t defend themselves, in the way American rulers see all physical opposition not as people fairly fighting back but as scary mythologized “terrorists,” in the way Americans overreact to this magical beast, by buying up duct tape to seal windows against imagined chemical attacks, or shutting down whole airports because of some small percieved danger or uncertainty. You can see it in the “zero tolerance” fad where school kids are expelled or arrested for harmless toy weapons or t-shirts bearing political slogans, in our dominant media’s obsession with one-in-a-million unpredictable murders of higher class people, and in the disjunction between the growing fashion of militaristic nationalism, and enlistment in the military, which is not growing by any objective standard.
You can see it in Americans’ hunger for calling each other “courageous” and “heroic,” their bumper stickers with an American flag and the wishful slogan “These colors don’t run,” and their righteous fury at anyone who contradicts this orthodoxy, like comedian Bill Maher who was forced to apologize for noticing that it takes courage to crash an airplane into a building and no courage to launch a cruise missile. You can see it in their bizarre habit of crediting “courage” to people merely for having some scary disease, or the way they made the 9/11 firefighters and police “heroes” just for doing their normal jobs in that mythologized context. Think it through: If it’s heroic for someone to become a firefighter, and do what a firefighter does and run into burning buildings and save people, that means the other-than-heroic way of being, the benchmark against which Americans measure heroism, the condition Americans consider normal, would be for America to not have any firefighters because everyone is too afraid.
And where they call cowardice normal, and normal behavior heroic, Americans often condemn real courage as cowardice or stupidity or irresponsibility, reacting with scorn to protesters who get attacked by police, to people who get arrested for not cooperating with useless and degrading searches and questionings, to journalists and politicians and entertainers who lose their jobs for speaking forbidden opinions and truths.
That’s the way we think over here. People here mouth motivational platitudes like “Failure is not an option” or “There is no try” (which they’ve misunderstood), because they’re so cautious that they won’t do anything unless it’s so easy and predictable that they can will the outcome. They say “You create your own reality” because they’ve been given so many advantages that they haven’t noticed that they share reality with billions of other perspectives who want different things, with whom they have to compromise. Our higher classes are full of spoiled petty emperors who always get their way and gradually veer off into solipsistic madness.
It would not be precise to call Americans “lazy.” They work longer hours at their crappy jobs than anyone in the industrialized world and they’re perversely proud of it. They work more because they’re afraid to say no to their bosses, or because they think frantic labor is the morally righteous requirement to rise above being an unsuccessful nobody, which horrifies them to their bones. They get repetitive strain injury and chronic fatigue syndrome because they think slowing down or taking a break makes them weak. Americans will do any amount of physical work to avoid doing the emotional work of accepting “failure,” of looking inferior, of losing status.
A few years ago in a restaurant where I was enjoying a solitary dinner, a man began choking. Without giving any sign of distress, he got up, went into the bathroom, and quietly died. If Americans were consistent they’d put up a statue of this man, who succeeded where so many others have failed, in following to the letter the American rule that you do not under any circumstances show weakness.
The core American fear is the fear of looking bad — to others but most especially to themselves. A normal American will not run to catch a bus, especially not if there’s a chance of still missing it. Many Americans don’t like to turn their car headlights on when another driver is looking. Americans hate to admit changing their minds — if they do change, they’ll pretend it was always that way. Americans always lock their houses and apartments, but their fear of being robbed is not a fear of having to repurchase a few material possessions, but a fear of feeling “violated,” a fear of losing absolute control (which doesn’t exist)of their owned space, a feeling that the intruder has somehow gotten the better of them.
All of this has a profound effect on American politics. Some have tried to excuse ordinary Americans from guilt by saying our news media lie and distort and conceal, which is true to an extent that Americans cannot see and non-Americans cannot imagine, but it’s no excuse. Forbidden information and excluded perspectives are all over the internet, and in countless books by dissident authors like Claire Wolf, but 95% of Americans will not go to these sources, because they’re afraid.
To begin with, they’re afraid of uncertainty, of information whose truth is not backed up by a strong authority, of accepting a fact that might turn out to be false and make them look stupid. After that they’re afraid of having their comfortable reality pulled out from under them, afraid of changing their minds, afraid of finding out they’ve been fooled, afraid of the responsibility that comes with understanding. And most of all, Americans are afraid to care.
Everyone knows how few Americans vote. This can be partly explained by observing that both Democrats and Republicans support global corporate rule, obscene military spending, and squeezing every drop of blood from people and the earth, that the public political spectacle is like a dull satanic game show about trivial psychodrama issues, and that nobody will vote for the fringe parties because it’s the American way to never get off your ass and do anything unless you’re sure you’re going to win. But it goes deeper.
In one of P.J. O’Rourke’s books, he visits an American housing project and describes the overwhelming apathy (which he blames on the welfare state), the way the occupants trash their own living space and leave it in filthy disrepair. He contrasts this with his visit to Beirut during the Israeli invasion, where people in seemingly much worse conditions still added little touches of love and care to their bombed-out hovels.
A few years ago when I was watching the gathering of petition signatures outside a supermarket (for a very popular initiative du jour), I noticed that a proportion of people not only didn’t care about the petition, but clearly didn’t care about anything, that they were just going through the motions waiting to die. I believe this is the same phenomenon that is seen in people (humans and nonhumans) rescued from the worst abuses ever devised. In America, underneath all the food and toys, obscuring the openings to escape or resist, is a giant torture camp, producing a range of psychic maiming from people so alone and broken that they refuse to ever try or care again, to people so painfully enslaved that they will look only through the eyes of the master, to people so alienated from life that they jealously destroy it everywhere.
I have explored this world and escaped barely alive into the hidden democracy of Underground America, of Ghost America, and this is my report. They call the torture system by many names, “opportunity” or “success” or “the American dream.” Key components are called “individualism” and “competition.” It’s implemented through social isolation, brilliantly executed commercial advertising, and games and classrooms and workplaces that punish honesty and reward calculating selfishness. Yes, there are many messages about love and cooperation, about feelings being more important than money, but here, conveniently, the propaganda is badly done, stilted and preachy, and Americans cynically rebel.
All this together means that the ideal American lacks any healthy social relationships, that our only relations with other living beings are domination or submission or zero-sum competition, that our only way to sense any meaning in our lives is to grasp greedily for scarce fabrications: money, toys, tokens of status, shallow pleasures, coolness, respectability, fame, victory — or to associate ourselves with some symbol that has these attributes. That’s why Americans cheer their local sports teams, and worship their omnipotent sky father deity, or the latest movie star or pop diva du jour, and display their national logo. That’s why they will convince themselves of the nobility and goodness of their bombing of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, North Korea, France, California??? That’s why they lack class consciousness, why the poorer classes sympathize with the rich and not with their own interests. That’s why they are devastated by defeat or failure. Because Americans lack any emotional grounding in anything real, they must be “winners” or associate with a winner or they will be empty, annihilated. And their definition of “winner” requires a loser.
Nothing I’ve described here is unique to America of course. In fact the whole world has it, and America is only so deeply sick because it’s so dominating — and so dominating because it’s so sick. It goes back thousands of years, and in America it goes back to a group of colonists called the Puritans, the Taliban of the 1600’s, who came here to practice religious repression because the English church was not restrictive enough. This embryo fed for centuries on the natural abundance of a continent, on the blood of its natives, on the forced labor of generations of voluntary and involuntary immigrants, and now it is grown bloated and ravenous, addicted to ever-increasing portions of the fruits of its domination: insulation and control, making it ever more ignorant and inflexible, ever more willing to bully and less able to bully with skill or awareness.
Bush and company represents mainstream America. They do not represent the deviant liberating America of Bart Simpson and Alice Cooper and fart jokes and train hopping and Ghost life styles, and twinkies cool nor does he represent the principled bookish America of the Constitution and independent newspapers and citizen activism. But these are not yet and no longer mainstream America — they are marginal America. Bush is the ultimate representative of the United States of SUV’s and clearcuts and billboards and viagra and oil wells and skyscrapers and dioxin and religious mania and televangelists spouting that same insane mantra of religious superiority and the Superbowl and atomic bombs. And I mean “ultimate” in the correct sense, implying “last.” George W. Bush is the pride and the fall, he’s a doomed people’s champion in a ritual as old as history.
History is shorter than time, and I’d like to see human beings outgrow our mental illness of the binge and purge of great empires, before it kills us all. Maybe this time we’ll come close enough to dying to get a really good scare. What if Hitler in his bunker, or Napoleon retreating from Moscow, had controlled 10,000 nuclear weapons and the madness to use them. Remember, world, that America is more afraid of you than you are of it; and somehow all of us, the other countries and the other Americas, need to persuade Bush’s America to put the gun down. If we fail to solve this peacefully, if World War III escalates until other countries bomb America and occupy it and prosecute its leaders in trials to establish their own exclusive right to judge and rule, then those countries are walking the same path to destruction and death. We don’t want to do this all over again, do we?
Perhaps I am wrong, but with all the news on a existing and soon-to-be critical energy crisis – where is the emphasis on abandoning the false gods of economic growth?
I see no evidence (yet) that this is occurring. It is as if this is the only “solution” even being considered, yet it leads to a never ending race of resource extraction and population expansion with a finish line of absolute disaster.
Should we continue to expect more from Government? Steve Hill writing for Truthout thinks so. Arguing in support of “better” government, Steve says –
The better conclusion is that government, done correctly, really has an indispensable role to play. An efficient and effective government can improve our lives, whether in times of crisis or over the long haul.
I think he’s dead wrong.
I’ve read where the levy that broke and flooded New Orleans was simply a failure, or was struck by a barge and there are even rumors that it was deliberate. Today, I read this:
EXPLOSIVE RESIDUE FOUND ON FAILED LEVEE DEBRIS!
Ruptured New Orleans Levee had help failing
By: Hal Turner September 9, 2005 3:36 PM EDT
NOTE: This story has been UPDATED as of Saturday, September 10, 2005 @ 11:40 PM EDT The updated info is incorporated into the story and appears in bold type
New Orleans, LA — Divers inspecting the ruptured levee walls surrounding New Orleans found something that piqued their interest: Burn marks on underwater debris chunks from the broken levee wall!