Monthly Archives: June 2009

>Summer Nights

>For the record, that’s me on the right.

While Sandy and I enjoy these hot summer nights, posting here will be more erratic.

In the meantime, Billy Beck has the Endarkenment watch, Codrea and his two shops continue to be indispensable daily reads, and Sipsey Street steams in the summer.

To all of our readers and friends, our deepest thanks — both for your continued patronage and all of the encouragement you have provided over the years.

We’ll catch you at the malt shop, or, at worst, see you in September.

>Smith: Devolution — 20 Predictions

>A must-read from Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds, which begins:

***
As cities, counties and states default on their obligations and unemployment insurance runs out, devolution sets in.

While some see a collapse of society in our future, right now I see devolution, not revolution. Devolution is both the process of degeneration and the surrender of governmental powers from central authorities to local authorities.
Devolution will take many forms. The key driver behind devolution is simple: there’s not enough money to fund the status quo, so something has to be cut, axed, trimmed or devolved. Examples already abound: the number of school days in the year are reduced to shave expenses, two-times-a-week trash pickup is cut to once a week, etc.

The key constraint on devolution is also simple: the status quo power structure must be left intact. Nobody will willingly surrender their power, so devolution means services and front-end expenses will be cut in order to protect back-end administrative powers.

Thus public union bosses won’t be suffering any big cuts in pay or benefits, and neither will their municipal and state administration counterparts. (Of course there will be symbolic cuts for PR purposes, but nothing deep.) What will be cut is part-time librarians, custodians, county park staff, etc.–the powerless people who actually serve the public.

As the states run out of money, they will surrender some limited powers to local authorities as a mechanism for ridding their budgets of certain costs. As cities and counties go broke, then they will devolve some modest authority to non-profit groups or volunteers.

As laid off workers’ unemployment insurance runs out (yes, even the extensions run out as the states’ UI funds drain to zero) then their lifestyles devolve/degrade: first, eating out and vacations go, then new clothing, then the second car, then college, then the house, and so on.

Devolution is a painful process, but the State (all government at all levels) and the Plutocracy (owners of capital and productive assets) vastly prefer devolution to revolution because devolution doesn’t threaten the current status quo/Powers That Be at all.

Devolution depends on humanity’s innate ability to habituate to nearly anything. Thus humans somehow adapt to concentration camps, bitter cold, intolerable heat, mind-numbing work, etc., especially if the new environment is introduced over time in stages.

Thus the middle class household might actually respond with an anger deep and hot enough to become political if their middle-class lifestyle was taken away in one swoop. But devolution insures that the process is akin to the famous analogy of the boiled frog: if the temperature of the water is increased slowly enough, the frog never notices (or so the story goes) that he is being boiled alive.

The middle class household forced to sell everything and move (surreptitiously) into a storage locker or into an RV will feel a shock of recognition that all has been lost, and that perhaps forces beyond their own personal decisions might be at work: forces which benefitted from Federal bailouts, for instance, in a way they can never hope to. (That $150 billion transferred through AIG to Goldman Sachs would have funded a very large national unemployment insurance pool.)

But if their middle class life is taken away from them over time, in pieces, they will habituate to each loss without any political enlightenment; they have fully internalized the MSM propaganda (and recall the mass media is owned by less than 10 global corporations) that the “problem” is their own, not “the system’s.”

A revolution occurs when great numbers of people realize that the system benefits the Powers That Be, not the citizenry, despite the PTB’s constant assurances that this is the very best system on Earth.

So the surest way to secure one’s lofty privileges and powers is to convince the people who have lost everything that it’s all their own fault; if they were just smarter, possessed more degrees, had better judgment, weren’t hooked on anti-depressants, etc., then they would be jolly, wealthy, etc.

In a similar fashion, local government will attempt to manage the degeneration of their services in such a way that the public does not realize it’s being boiled. If the trains and buses all stopped running, people might be angry enough to turn off their TVs and demand some actual, real political change. But if services are slowly degraded over time, the public will sigh and habituate to it.

Meanwhile, the police chief, mayor, union bigwigs, et al. will be driving by in their chauffeured vehicles, making sure “the little people” are swallowing the devolution whole. The politicos’ Masters, the Plutocracy who fund their campaigns, will fill their coffers at election time as long as nothing rocks the boat. If the citizenry gets restive, then the politicos will find their funding drying up (Heaven forbid!).

Here are some random devolution predictions for the coming year or three. Many are already visible, so the “prediction” is simply a recognition of a rising trend.

1. Listings on craigslist announcing the selling/giving away of the entire contents of storage lockers will rise.

2. The number of people living in storage lockers “illegally” will rise.

3. Citizens with numerous outstanding traffic tickets will abandon their vehicles when “booted” (locked) by cities as the cars are worth less that the fines due. Cities will start auctioning/scrapping hundreds of abandoned vehicles…
***

Read the whole thing, and then pass it on.

Alea iacta est.

>Vanderboegh and Orwell Dope-Slap the "Passivists", Both Then and Now

>Go read this piece from Mike, please.

Money quote, from Orwell as cited in the essay:

***
…If [the advocates of passive resistance] imagine that one can somehow ‘overcome’ the German army by lying on one’s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen…
***

Sounds like the American “homeland”, circa summer 2009.

Worse will be better, ultimately, but the educational process will be agony.

Be ready.

>Starobin: Divided We Stand

>Please read this article from the 6/13 edition of the WSJ.

Sample:

***
…Imagine this instead: a devolution. Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society.

There might be an austere Republic of New England, with a natural strength in higher education and technology; a Caribbean-flavored city-state Republic of Greater Miami, with an anchor in the Latin American economy; and maybe even a Republic of Las Vegas with unfettered license to pursue its ambitions as a global gambling, entertainment and conventioneer destination. California? America’s broke, ill-governed and way-too-big nation-like state might be saved, truly saved, not by an emergency federal bailout, but by a merciful carve-up into a trio of republics that would rely on their own ingenuity in making their connections to the wider world. And while we’re at it, let’s make this project bi-national—economic logic suggests a natural multilingual combination between Greater San Diego and Mexico’s Northern Baja, and, to the Pacific north, between Seattle and Vancouver in a megaregion already dubbed “Cascadia” by economic cartographers.

Devolved America is a vision faithful both to certain postindustrial realities as well as to the pluralistic heart of the American political tradition—a tradition that has been betrayed by the creeping centralization of power in Washington over the decades but may yet reassert itself as an animating spirit for the future…
***

Interesting times, these.

>Orlov: Just Over the Horizon

>Take the time to read and digest Dmitry Orlov’s ‘Definancialisation, Deglobalisation, Relocalisation’ presentation, delivered last week at a conference in Dublin.

While one can bicker about some of Orlov’s specifics (e.g., I think that Collapse-driven distribution system disruptions will bring about many of the consequences of the ‘Peak Oil’ hypothesis even while large quantities of recoverable petroleum still exist), it would not be wise to dismiss his recommendations about managing the First Die-Off and its aftermath.

Integrate copious doses of Robb’s Global Guerrillas blog and its listing of other resources, execute on your plans, and most of your tribe might make it through to the other side.

Use the time remaining wisely.

>Quote of the Week

>Ein Schweizer, sieben Deutsche.

(One Swiss, seven Germans)

– Swiss citizens’ militia motto/individual objective, per Halbrook’s The Swiss and the Nazis

>Grigg: An American "Yezhovschina"?

>Above: The “Poisoned Dwarf” — Nikolai Yezhov, diminutive in stature, crippled in body and morals, was the intellectual architect and, as head of the NKVD, chief enforcer of Stalin’s Great Purge.

Read all of Will Grigg’s latest, but here’s a sample:

***
…The only politically acceptable hatred, therefore, is to hate the haters — those whose attitudes and opinions are irreconcilable with progressive prejudices. Where possible, efforts should be made to rehabilitate haters into useful members of the collective — useful, that is, if only as informants and teaching examples. But when dealing with authentically incorrigible haters — particularly those unwilling to confess that hatred is their genuine motivation — sterner measures may be necessary.

This was the logic — if that word applies — behind the political use of psychiatry in the Soviet Union: Only someone clinically deranged could hate socialism, and since such people were a danger to themselves and society, they had to be incarcerated in the psiushka (psychiatric gulag) and forcibly cured of their anti-social(ist) tendencies. The heroic former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky recounts his own experience in the Soviet psycho-gulag in his memoir, To Build a Castle.

The Soviet use of psychiatry was an outgrowth of the Regime’s longstanding policy of pre-emption: Threats to “stability” and “social order” had to be recognized and aborted before they reached maturity.

This concept was embedded in the Soviet Union’s Fundamental Principles of Penal Legislation, which identified the central mission of the state’s law enforcement apparatus (chiefly the Cheka or secret police, by whatever acronym it was later known) as that of identifying, and removing the threat of, “socially dangerous persons.”

This notion was encapsulated in Article 58 of the penal code, which served as the legal foundation for the Soviet regime’s perpetual war of terror against dissent…
***

Remember that phrase: “Threats to ‘stability’ and ‘social order’ had to be recognized and aborted before they reached maturity.”

There will be a test.

And there will be no exemptions, comrades.

>Training Photos

>Please review each of these photographs from Iran in this Boston.com collection.

There is at least one tactical lesson to be obtained from each.

Not that any of us here in America would ever have to worry about facing the enforcement apparatus of a totalitarian government bent on its own preservation and, not coincidentally, our complete submission.

We here in America are exceptional.

Just ask your neighbors.

>Reprint: Stockdale’s Paradox

>
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale, USN

>Pension? What Pension?

>In the very near future, millions of Americans are going to discover that on top of rising unemployment, devastating losses in their 401(k) retirement accounts, wage deflation, losses of 25% or more in their home values, and rising local/state/Federal taxes, the pension accounts on which they have been planning are somewhere between broke and seriously underfunded.

This article explains the problem.

This news aggregator keeps you up to date.

Don’t worry, though — MC Hammer and his family have a new reality show.

That — and reruns of “Dancing with the Stars” — will get you through.

Alea iacta est.

>Denninger: You Should Be Ashamed

>From Denninger:

Proud To Be American? You Should Be Ashamed

We have seen the largest looting operation in history perpetrated against The American People.

Over $5 trillion dollars in junk securities were marketed and sold. They had a real value of about $2 trillion dollars; the other $3 trillion, roughly, was pure fiction.

The banks created and sold these throughout the world, with the full knowledge and support of Congress, The Fed, and the banks themselves.

It was pure fraud.

Granting someone a “mortgage” based only on whether they can fog a mirror is proof positive of malfeasance, unless you disclose this fact to the buyers of these securities – a fact that was not disclosed until after the securities blew up.

Lenders, builders and others pressured appraisers to “hit the numbers” to support these fraudulent deals. Proof of that is found in the nearly-10-year-old Appraisers Petition bearing thousands of appraiser signatures.

That ratings were a “mistake”, either real or intentional, is a matter of now-known historical fact.

Americans have sat on their butts through all of this, allowed their 401ks and IRAs to be trashed, their supposed “home values” to be pumped and then destroyed, and their hopes, dreams, employment and house have all vanished into the ether of fraud.

When this came to light the banks went to Congress, and supported by The Fed’s intentional draining of liquidity to create an immediate “crisis”, they got a $700 billion bailout bill passed – one that you, your children and grandchildren, will have to pay for.

The government then passed another near-trillion-dollar “stimulus” bill claimed to hold unemployment to 8%. It did not, because it was yet another “papering over” of the fraud, but that bill your children and grandchildren, along with you, will also pay.

Your savings accounts and CDs now yield an effective zero.

Your credit card interest rates have gone from 11% to 29%, all so that the banks can keep granting ill-advised credit to people who can’t pay. Those who can pay – the rest of you – are being jacked for 30% a year in interest.

We have seen a few “tea parties” in which a few people showed up and which were immediately panned by “those in power” as “astroturf.”

Contrast with this.

A few days ago, Iran held an election. It is alleged that there was massive fraud. The current President claimed victory under less-than-clear circumstances.

The people said “hell no!” in this sort of demonstration:

That’s about 2 million people, out of 70 million population (roughly), or one in thirty-five Iranians in the entire nation who took to the streets to demand justice in a simple vote.

More strikingly, Tehran has a population of roughly 12 million; this means that one in six citizens of the city are standing in that crowd.

This, despite the fact that the government there has been shooting people, has arrested the opposition party and issued an order to burn the ballots so there can be no recount.

This, despite the fact that the Iranian population does not enjoy a Second Amendment, and thus is forced to fight a rogue government with makeshift molotov cocktails, rocks and clubs, should that rogue government choose to shoot.

And this was about an election. A President. One man.

In our nation we have literally had 1/3rd of our GDP – that is, 1/3rd of everything you worked for last year – stolen by a bunch of fraudsters with the explicit cooperation and assistance of the government.

We should be seeing 10 million Americans literally closing Washington DC with peaceful protest in the streets – making the entirety of the downtown inaccessible to vehicles and the normal conduct of business impossible, were Americans to display the same sort of anger over an insult vastly more serious than that served upon the Iranian people.

If one in six Americans had enough in America’s big cities, there would be one million people in the Streets of Chicago – enough to fill Chicago’s Loop from Lake Michigan to I-90/94 and from The Chicago River to beyond Soldier Field, rendering the city core impassable. (Roughly double the crowd that shows up for the 4th of July Fireworks, to put it in perspective. “Greater Chicagoland” has a population of ~7 million)

The same in NY City would result in a crowd of 3.3 million people.

Where are you America?

In America, if the government turns into a goon squad, you have the constitutionally-protected ability to shoot back. In Iran you have no such ability as the Iranian government has never recognized the unalienable rights as set forth in our Declaration.

So in Iran the population risks mass death to protest.

In America the population risks loss of some income since you’d have to cut work.

The Iranians take to the streets; we take to our couches and have another beer.

Grow a pair of balls America.

The people of Iran are putting us to shame.

PS: Those threats appear not to have been idle either:

BREAKING NEWS: AP photographer sees pro-government militia fire at protesters, killing at least 1
***

With a barely-detectable band of exceptions, my country has become a nation not of free men and women, but of Walter Mittys.

And thus it has richly earned — in spades — everything that is coming…

So be it.

>Vanderboegh: Of Civil Wars, Apaches, and "Trained Social Futurists"

> Vanderboegh responds to this load of fertilizer.

Go and read it all.

>Beck: The Essential Point

>

From Billy Beck:

“Why Do I Fight For 2A Rights?”

“Communism. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it. I will hate it until the end of my life.Most of you here say guns in the hands of people can defeat tyrants. Regardless of what you may hear from naysayers and firearms ‘hobbyists’ who will tell you AR’s and AK’s in civilian hands are no match for tanks and machine guns (I remember one such hobbyist posting this here on Calguns), I come before you to tell you that what you believe to be true it is true: on December 22nd 1989 me and thousands of my compatriots we did just that.We took up arms from the police forces who deserted their units, broke into the Patriotic Guards arms caches (some sort of communist reserve force), joined forces with a few Army units that refused to obey the order to fire upon the civilian population, kicked Ceausescu out of his palace and on Christmas Day 1989 shoot the bastard and his wife dead.”(.454 — Calguns.net)

I don’t like this whole line of thought. Nobody worth a damn does. That doesn’t mean, however, that it can be dismissed with a shrug.

I have more principled reasons for my stand on owning firearms, and I don’t care one whit in the world for the Second Amendment. It means nothing to me. My rights have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution, and when it dawns on people that it has finally been erased — the principal danger of all political premises posed as “social contracts” — my rights will still validly exist, even if I die defending them. I own firearms because I have a right to private property. That is the First Thing.

I spit on the chickenshits who cower before the might of the state in this context. I’ve said it before: by that logic, no RAF pilot would ever have taken off in the summer of 1940, because the odds against success were appalling.

This man knows what the Eloi of this country have never glimpsed. If it ever comes to the worst here, then the watchword is “toujours l’audace!”

(linktrain: Uncle, RNS)

>Fact

>When deterrence fails, conflict is inevitable.

– Anonymous

Read this piece from Vanderboegh and ask yourself how far will Erbe’s kind of thinking go — especially under this Administration and Congress, combined with the lowing mass of so-called “Americans”.

I know for a fact where it is going.

I’ve done the reading.

Stand.

>Beck: On The Pulse

>From Despair.com via Billy Beck.

>Weekend Reading: Basic Russian for Crash-Test Dummies

>From Brussels Journal, please take the time to read this essay and its series predecessors as linked at its end.

Sample:

***
…Raymond Kraft, [hat tip, Fjordman] has written that the Islamic movement has turned the civility of the Western peoples into a weapon against them. It has weaponized niceness, compassion and the fundamental decency of Western Civilization. “We have become too civilized to defeat our enemies, perhaps
too civilized to survive.” True, but it applies to much more than just Muslim colonization.

The questions this begs is, first, how could such insanity have taken hold in a civilization based on reason, and second, how could a “mental virus” alone produce this level of collective psychopathology, unmatched in the recorded history of mankind.

The answers require that we move on to the next Russian expression, kto kogo.

Kto kogo
, which means the same in several Slavic languages is “who whom.” Like in “who is ruling, dominating, doing in, controlling whom.” This was Lenin’s formula for instant clarity in politics.

The good intentions of the squishy West stem from biblical morality so mainstream that a sermon in a random Western church or synagogue sounds like induction into the Body Snatcher creed. There is the shame and sorrow for Nazism and Fascism, Colonialism and Slavery, centuries of poisonous anti-Semitism, copious internecine bloodshed in the name of the loving Jesus or xenophobic nationalism, exploitation of peasants, workers and women.

Contrition and restoration one can understand. But suicide?
***

Read the whole thing.

I have been struggling for the last few weeks as I have watched the Obamessiah and his minions prostrate themselves before a slavering world while at the same time dismantling, without any effective opposition, the supporting girders of our country.

His actions I expected.

The complete gap-mouthed passivity of my fellow Americans I did not expect.

This is not a game, people.

And we are well beyond the point where the upcoming farces of 2010 and 2012 will matter in any meaningful sense.

It’s about time to fold up this public tent and concentrate on working with those anti-Endarkenment forces within arm’s reach.

Even poor, enfeebled Moishe the Beadle knew when to change tactics.

Forward.

>Volk on Freedom

>Yet another reminder from Oleg.

>Three from Denninger

>Denninger skewers the Looter-in-Chief and his minions in these three must-read articles:

1.2 Million Jobs Promised, 0 Delivered

To China: Bite Me

More Stupidity: Obama/Chrysler

Folks, it’s really important to read and then think through these articles and their necessary implications.

What happens to a society, which is utterly dependent on government transfer payments, which are in turn utterly dependent on the continued credit from that society’s primary strategic competitior, who just happens to be the greatest mass-murdering government of all time?

76 million dead Chinese men, women, and children can tell you the correct answer.

Alea iacta est.

>Quote of the Week

>From a brief article at the Lew Rockwell site, as cited by an anonymous commenter:

What the common man longs for in this world, before and above all his other longings, is the simplest and most ignominious sort of peace- the peace of a trusty in a well-managed penitentiary. He is willing to sacrifice everything else to it. He puts it above his dignity and he puts it above his pride. Above all, he puts it above his liberty. The Fact, perhaps, explains his veneration for policemen, in all the forms they take- his belief that there is a mysterious sanctity in law, however absurd it may be in fact. A policeman is a charlatan who offers, in return for obedience, to protect him (a)from his superiors, (b)from his equals, and (c) from himself. This last service, under democracy, is commonly the most esteemed of them all. In the United States, at least theoretically, it is the only thing that keeps ice-wagon drivers, Y.M.C.A. secretaries, insurance collectors, and other such human camels from smoking opium, ruining themselves in the night clubs, and going to Palm Beach with Follies girls. It is a democratic invention. Here, though the common man is deceived, he starts from a sound premise: to wit, that liberty, is something too hot for his hands- or, as Nietzsche put it, too cold for his spine.

– H.L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy

>The Source of the Problem

>Read this essay from Rocky Frisco, via Bill St. Clair.

Then think about how best to keep your neighbor’s hands off you and your property.

Only by facing and accepting what has failed can we begin to consider what might work going forward.

Let’s win.

>A British Revolution?

>Read here, via Brits At Their Best via Wolf Howling.

Teaser:

***
…Is England on the verge of revolution?

To those who know this most peaceful of nations intimately, the question is bound to sound bizarre. Boasting attachment to the rule of law and democratic government, the English have not had a revolution since the 17th century.

Nevertheless, these days it is hard to be in the company of Englishmen without hearing talk of the need, indeed the imminence, of revolution…
***

Read the entries and embedded links, please.

Me? I’ll believe it when the first ten MPs, council jobsworths, or other members of the Turkey Army are defenestrated, impaled, garrotted, bludgeoned, or otherwise dispatched.

Heavens knows these wankers and their membership are beyond useless.

‘Rule, Brittania’, my aching keester.

>The Staff of Life

>Bill St. Clair points to an excellent article on making homegrown grains part of your self-sufficiency playbook.

What — you thought the People’s Glorious Five-Year Plan Tractor Commissariat was going to let counterrevolutionaries like you and your family have enough food to eat?

Better check your premises, tovarisch.

Man does not live by Lake City alone.

>Beck: Intensification

>Go and read Billy’s latest.

Then make sure you both know the correct answers to his questions, along with having both the will and a series of plans to deal with the inevitable consequences of those answers.

This is not a drill.

>Unplugged

>Well, that was refreshing.

An entire weekend unplugged, with no intarwebs lookin’ at all.

Even more behind on email.

Apologies to those who have been waiting for a response. I’ll be beavering away all day today.

In the interim, please take a look at the comments to this essay.

I’d like to hear more principled discussion on how the Republic 3.0 version should deal with predatory foreign regimes/ideologies.

The geographic and temporal chasms that North America enjoyed in the time of Washington’s “entangling alliances” admonition no longer exist.

So how does one maintain domestic freedom w/o becoming intolerably vulnerable to the world’s predators? I think the answer has a lot to do with the US military’s long-standing ability to remain subordinate to civilian control, but I truly want to hear from folks on both the problem and the solution.

Forward.