Open Thread – Well, Maybe
Probably a good time for another open thread.
I’ve seen a lot of outrageous hatred being spewed forth in the last 48 hours, unbelievable levels of all kinds. This does not bode well for this country I’m afraid, because it will in all probability, spill forth causing all kinds of collateral damage. Just bear that in mind.
We all know that people can be unbelievably stupid. The (s)Election has brought out the real crazies, who are spewing forth vitriol in ever increasing waves of black hatred. What is bizarre is their claims are either entirely made up or simply grossly inaccurate, which tells me that what they are really afraid of is something else altogether.
I’m not jubilant, but I am just glad McInsane and his crazy sidekick were sent packing. I’m still voting for collapse, as it is the only solution that there will ever be. If the Demoncrats use their new found power to do something “bad”, fine. Let’s get this show on the road anyway.
The danger here is that we keep falling for the view that things are supposed to improve. That will never happen, it is a sheer illusion of imaginary nature manufactured by uninformed minds. They cannot improve, not under any president or conditions. They can only get progressively worse because we have long since embarked on a non-sustainable, illogical path for all of human civilization.
All that can happen is we exchange one view or leader for another and thereby delude ourselves that things are somehow “better”. But are they really? This is a logical contradiction, because we will have had to rob from someplace or something to effectively pay for something else. This exchange means somebody or something has to pay for our alleged “improvements”. Whether it is the environment (always) or a people (us or some other nation) or an institution (built up, or torn down), all we’re doing is arranging the deck chairs ostentatiously in our favor and ALWAYS at the expense of something else. But we will not have improved anything, the fate of the human race remains exactly as it was before.
Because we won’t make the real changes that are necessary and redesign our very civilization and how we live on this planet, how we treat each other and how we go about making our existence without destroying the place, we will have changed exactly NOTHING except our own illusions.
This is the fallacy that billions of people are still falling for and why trust in politicians is plain stupid from the get-go. Governments cannot save us or even rescue us. They govern by sheer force (coercion). They allege to “lead”, but where? The notion that we can continue down these unsustainable pathways that we have now worn down to the bedrock is insane. But that is exactly where they propose to continue to “lead”, making illusionary promises of change and reform that is nothing more then arranging the deck chairs yet again.
Every four years in America we go through this mass psychosis that alleges to make the world a better place. And every four years it doesn’t happen. There is a definition for this behavior, it’s called insanity.
“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who Is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.”. – H. L. Mencken
Those that accept the status quo are the bulk of the population that can rightly be called insane, because they can see nothing beyond their own illusions. They believe in the lies of the deck chairs.
It’s quite clear that the mass of humanity is in fact clinically insane. Our four-year insanity cycle is on spin-wash right now. Don’t fall for it, because the hysteria can be dangerous.
19 thoughts on “Open Thread – Well, Maybe”
Let’s get this show on the road.
Mominer. I thought about that too.
I dunno the answer.
YES I DO >!!! Prep !!!
It’s all an illusion.
I agree with Admin, though, the current system is unsustainable and unless it is radically deconstructed and reconstructed we will face collapse sooner or later.
Still, collapse will not be a pretty thing, even for those who prepared – not unless, at its worst, you’re willing to shoot your neighbor, friend, or loved one to survive. That is not something I would wish on anyone.
Remember too, that many of the advantages of modern life such as pharamceuticals or painkillers will be sorely missed when they’re gone (think of Civil War triage). Not fun….
Life is tough enough today much less wishing it would get worse.
“…about 100 years ago, unregulated hunting wiped out deer in Kansas. Small populations gradually increased as wildlife conservation came into practice during the 20th century. In northeastern Kansas, however, deer were still rare 50 years ago….”
In the event of sudden collapse, you can expect that all edible wildlife in North America would be hunted to extinction over a very short period of time.
Another reason to be careful what you wish for….
Read the article. I’m not sure how believable it is because the article, written prior to the election, appears to repeat rightwing talking points of “socialist” and “redistributionist” Democrats. It also states that Democrats are interesting in â€œmandating equality.â€
Here are some inflammatory sentences from the article that show a clear editorial slant:
* Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workersâ’ personal retirement accountsâ€¦.â€
*”Should Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency, congressional Democrats might have stronger support for their â€˜spreading the wealthâ’ agenda.”
*”The majority of witness testimony during recent hearings before the House Committee on Education and Labor showed that congressional Democrats intend to address income and wealth inequality through redistribution.”
In between the lines, one finds that the committee simply listened to a plan by a professor at the New School to reform 401K plans. Those who own 401Ks receive tax breaks for individual investments in these plans. Sometimes these plans come with an employer match. Business owners receive advantages if their employers participate, which allows them to receive even larger tax breaks, and as the article points out, those with the most money (the owners) receive the largest tax breaks. Additionally, owners can write off their investments in these plans, making the tax benefits even greater for them.
The plan reported on is but one plan the committee appears to be reviewing (several conservative plans are discussed near the end of the article â€“ including leaving the 401K program as is), but understand, no law has been crafted and we all know that legislation has a long road to go to get to the presidentâ’s desk. I can assure you that there will be no confiscation of 401K plans, and that these plans will be â€œgrandfatheredâ€ into any future plan, if any, that may be developed.
The New School is a left-leaning academic institution. It is quite an anomaly. So much of our university system is controlled by the government and DOD spending that few professors can actually share alternative ideas such as national savings plans. The proposed plan would simply replace the 401K with a new type of program that would require mandatory savings and investments in less risky securities like treasuries that guarantee a fixed rate of interest. Theoretically, as with Social Security, you would not receive large returns on your investments but you would not lose your nest egg (principal).
I personally don’t like the plan, but given that many have seen their 401Ks evaporate in the recent financial meltdown, I can see why an alternative like this might be proposed. The idea is simply to provide a guaranteed return on your investment vs. where we are now, which is forcing you to invest in an increasingly risky stock market and putting your nest egg (principal) at risk.
Iâ’m not sure what kind of plan you have, but my 401K forces me into a set number of mutual funds that supposedly cover the universe of assets. But everyoneâ’s nest egg (principal) has shrunk, following the 40% loss of value in the market. Think of it this way â€“ every asset in America has fallen in value, so even those with diversified portfolios have seen principal fall.
Remember the Crash Course presentation by Chris Martenson? Martenson makes clear that we are forced to invest in riskier investments and put our nest eggs at risk simply to maintain the value of our savings. This is because of the built-in assumptions of inflation and growth implicit in large government deficits and personal debt. This plan is simply one proposal to try to minimize that risk. Keep in mind that the goal of any â€œretirement planâ€ is to keep seniors solvent in their final years of life. No one wants to see starving old people on the street.
The proposed plan has several glaring weaknesses. The most glaring is that the government cannot be trusted to keep its hands off these funds. It has already raided the Social Security fund and now, instead of having a surplus capable of providing a steady retirement stipend, we are being told we must work longer and accept reduced benefits. Much of this is because the Social Security fund has been used to finance U.S. wars and the military-industrial complex. You donâ’t see this reported in the news at all. In fact it is covered up. If this raiding had not occurred, run up primarily by so-called conservative presidents (whom the author of the article no doubt supported), the national debt would be much larger. The Concord Coalition suggests the true national debt is closer to $30 trillion than $12 trillion ($10 trillion of this debt was run up under three so-called conservative Republican presidents â€“ Reagan, Bush 1, and now Bush 2). And the recent $1.5 trillion bailout to banks and auto companies was proposed by Bush 2 and his treasury secretary and fed chairman. Yes, the Democrats acquiesced, but they did not propose this plan. And we or our heirs are on the hook to pay it back.
No retirement plan can ever be perfect. And there will be no â€œconfiscationâ€ of 401Ks. However, the 401K plan was developed in the 80s to deal with the loss of pensions. Remember, before that time, companies set aside savings for retirees in the form of pensions. This system began to fail in the 80s as companies either raided their pensions (like the government has raided Social Security) or eliminated them or did away with the concept of â€œcompanyâ€ employees by firing and laying them off before they became â€œvested.â€ 401Ks were offered as a benefit to replace pensions, but employees were told they would accept market risk for their nest eggs. Companies supported these plans because it meant they no longer had to provide retirement funds for their employees.
Using 401K funds to invest in the stock market was fine as long as it was going up, but now, with a 40% decline in just six months, people are hurting, especially those close to retirement.
You should also understand that all the money you set aside in the original 401Ks will be subject to tax when you withdraw it and if you withdraw it early (prior to 59 I believe), you will pay staggering penalties on top of that. So the current system is far from perfect.
Finally, I believe all ideas should always be evaluated without fear. Using words such as â€œconfiscate,â€ â€œmandatory equality,â€ â€œredistribution,â€ etc., is simply adding a propaganda term into the discussion.
Full text here: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Text-Obamas-remarks/story.aspx?guid=%7B5D6F283F%2DC377%2D4DB6%2DAD78%2D001D2C3FA4A7%7D
I always try to vote for smart, and now we really have smart covered. The problem is that there is not enough glue of any sort to put our “Humpty” back together. Humpty Dumpty is the perfect metaphor for this age. When all the kings horses and men finally recognize they can’t put it back together again, then we need smart leadership. Are we up to it though?
I believe nothing will work, even when we get re-focused. We have a perfect storm of tipping points, and a perfect storm of delusional memes. At least our young now seem engaged. I didn’t expect to see that. They needed to get off their asses.
Mass Brain Washing 101.
Glad I still have my aluminum foil hat.
The TV says “stay tuned for more programming”.
The sheeple say “OH- OK…”
In fact, I kind of feel sorry for Obama to inherit the Bush-caused-deficit, the Pacific Ocean Floating Garbage Dump, two disastrous wars, and too much else to even enumerate.
Since we’re open thread, has anyone else recently had new electric meters installed by their electric company–meters which can be “read” by the company remotely? Years ago when we lived in a big city, we had gas meters of this nature, but they were only “readable” from the street.
These new electric meters have a small “window” that appears to have a dark opaque cover reminiscent of those on many printers. If I look very closely I can see inside the meter through this “window”. Am I being too paranoid to think that there could be a camera lens incorporated here? Sure the “reading” might be gotten through this window, but what else can cross that pane, and is it two-way? Meter reading out, JPEG in?
Another thing is we have finally unfortunately joined nearly everyone else in being assigned new street addresses which replace our rural route, box # addresses. They tell us it’s for 911 use, and that could be true, but isn’t it really so that our physical location can be more easily pinpointed? They said we have to mark our new address on our mailbox, so I’m thinking black letters would look nice on our black mailbox.
One last tidbit of paranoia….isn’t dubya a little to eager and compliant to help Obama? I mean, really now, he actually signed an Executive Order creating some sort of Transition Team Council or some such name. How difficult can transition be from one idiot to one thinker? I guess I’m still wondering if dubya wants to have an extremely close working relationship with Obama between now and Jan. 20 as it would make it easier for a hit.
freeacre – I’ve been wanting to “congratulate you” for your commentary above.
I totally agree with you. The ethical choice is to change ourselves instead of the world around us. It must start there.
And it takes a great deal of courage to say “I’ve had enough” and check out of this world with dignity. I feel exactly the same way, I hope I can walk off into the forest and die in peace when my time comes. No sense in being hooked up to tubes and drips and draining off the inheritance.
I don’t know if this generation will ever redeem itself, I think that is highly doubtful, but maybe some of us could.
A request for an “International declaration against unsustainable salmon farming sent to United Nations”
I’d say that Bush is being “helpful” to Obama to avoid facing charges. He and Cheney are both on record favoring a problem-free transition.
On another point, Bush appears to be irrelevant before his time, despite the corporate media fawning over him choking up in a talk to some government employees. I found it most interesting that Medevev (sp?) called Obama to discuss the missle shield. While the corporate media wants to make this into some sort of challenge, I believe the Russians are simply telling Obama that a new arms race is in no one’s interest. Seems we could certainly sacrifice the ridiculous Star Wars, based on unproven and unreliable technology, and with its outrageous cost, to prevent that from happening. It’s not hard to envision the elimination of such a program and instead the funding of a national grid that would enable renewable power to flood the nation. Wishful thinking?
Regards the renumbering of your street, I would say it’s for pinpointing your location – whether for mail service, gps location, 911, etc. I doubt, however, there is any surveillance attached to it.
I actually want my electric company to install one of those RF meters on my meter box. I’m sick of them driving back to my house and actually getting out of their truck and walking to the back to take a reading. Not only is this a waste of gas, it permits first person surveillance. With an RF meter, I can secure my gate.
Ah, Brave New World, eh?