Daily Digest

Daily Digest 9/20 - Layoff Worries Increase, Euro Leaders Flex Muscle, Will Tokyo Be Evacuated Due To Radiation?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 9:46 AM
  • Obama, Jobs And The G.O.P.
  • Worry About a New Wave of Layoffs
  • The Corporate Bank Run Has Started: Siemens Pulls €500 Million From A French Bank, Redeposits Direct With ECB
  • European Leaders Flex Muscle
  • New Fields May Propel Americas to Top of Oil Companies’ Lists
  • The Carbon War
  • Activists Claim Parts Of Tokyo Are More Radioactive Than Chernobyl
  • Will Tokyo Be Evacuated Due To Fukushima Radiation?
  • Crash Course DVDOwn the Crash Course Special Edition Set with Presenter’s Pack (NTSC or PAL)

Economy

Obama, Jobs And The G.O.P. (jdargis)

It’s not that the Republican approach is popular: one recent Bloomberg poll found that forty-five per cent of those surveyed think congressional Republicans are responsible for the gridlock in Washington. But it seems to be working: for the past year and a half, the Party has consistently gone for a do-nothing approach and voters have consistently rewarded it.

Worry About a New Wave of Layoffs (jdargis)

Job growth halted entirely in the nation last month. And as Europe’s debt crisis acts as a drag on global growth and Washington debates another jobs bill, the possibility of a second recession is increasing in the United States along with the prospects of corresponding layoffs. Mr. Myricks’s tale of pain the second time around, economists fear, could become all too familiar.

The Corporate Bank Run Has Started: Siemens Pulls €500 Million From A French Bank, Redeposits Direct With ECB (pinecarr)

In a shocking representation of just how bad things are in Europe, the FT reports that major European industrial concern Siemens, pulled €500 million form a large French bank, which is not BNP and leaves just [SocGen|Credit Agricole] and deposited the money straight to the ECB. The implications of this are quite stunning, as it means that even European companies now refuse to work directly with their own banks, and somehow the ECB has become a direct lender/cash holder of only resort to private non-financial institutions!

European Leaders Flex Muscle (pinecarr)

The activism of Merkel and Sarkozy should come as no surprise. French and German banks are the largest holders of Greek debt. The leaders' primary mission therefore is to protect the interests of their own financial behemoths. As a secondary concern, European financial interests are looking to slow the rate by which depositors are withdrawing funds from Greek banks. There is increasing panic that if Greece withdraws (or is expelled) from the Eurozone, euro-based deposits in Greek banks would then become transformed into drachma-based deposits. These of course would likely be substantially devalued. The actions this week bought time for the Franco-German and Greek banks until major Greek debt rollovers in October and November. But they did not solve the massive, underlying problems, not just in Greece, but in many other indebted nations in the Eurozone.

Energy

New Fields May Propel Americas to Top of Oil Companies’ Lists (jdargis)

For the first time in decades, the emerging prize of global energy may be the Americas, where Western oil companies are refocusing their gaze in a rush to explore clusters of coveted oil fields.

The Carbon War (TG)

For nearly a decade Australian political leaders have been at war over the best way to tackle climate change. Former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull was the first casualty. He lost his job because he supported a price on carbon. The former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was next to go, after his polls collapsed when he dropped his plan to put a price on carbon. Now Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces an electoral revolt led by activists who say she doesn't have a mandate to introduce a carbon tax. And Opposition leader Tony Abbott is supporting this "people's revolt", hoping to force an early election.

Environment

Activists Claim Parts Of Tokyo Are More Radioactive Than Chernobyl (Mr. Fri)

Al-Jazeera talked to some of the volunteers who are digging for radiation samples in supposed hot spots around the city (via Infowars). Blogger Kouta Kinoshita claims to have recorded radiation samples that are higher than areas of Chernobyl that were evacuated. Other activists point out that birth defects occurred in areas around Chernobyl that the government said were safe.

Will Tokyo Be Evacuated Due To Fukushima Radiation? (June C.)

The need to evacuate parts of the sprawling capital of 35 million may have once seemed an incredible prospect but some experts say the possibility can no longer be ignored.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

73 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Poet
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Employees Say They Faced Brutal Heat At Amazon Warehouse

This is the price of free shipping from Amazon.com...

Inside Amazon's Warehouse
"Workers said they were forced to endure brutal heat inside the sprawling warehouse and were pushed to work at a pace many could not sustain. Employees were frequently reprimanded regarding their productivity and threatened with termination, workers said. The consequences of not meeting work expectations were regularly on display, as employees lost their jobs and got escorted out of the warehouse. Such sights encouraged some workers to conceal pain and push through injury lest they get fired as well, workers said. During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn't quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time."
http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-17/news/mc-allentown-amazon-complaints...

Cheaper to hire paramedics and get replacement sweatshop workers than install air conditioning, I guess... Wonder who pays for the hospitalization and ambulance rides: Amazon, the temporary labor company, the worker, the hospital or ambulance service in unpaid bills, or the government?

"The supply of temporary workers keeps Amazon's warehouse fully staffed without the expense of a permanent workforce that expects raises and good benefits. Using temporary employees in general also helps reduce the prospect that employees will organize a union that pushes for better treatment because the employees are in constant flux, labor experts say. And Amazon limits its liability for workers' compensation and unemployment insurance because most of the workers don't work for Amazon, they work for the temp agency."

Whatever happened to treating employees as human beings with hearts and souls, rather than replaceable meat cogs in a machine?

Poet

 

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treemagnet
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amazon

As bad as that is, and it is - lets face it, this would be kind and humane in other parts of the world.  The same world that makes things cheaper than we do, and are rewarded by a consumer purchase, usually ours.  I guess I'm a bit jaded.  Where I work, people talk quality, etc. but reward price.  All day, every day.  So is Amazon the bad guy, the consumer - by creating "demand", the worker - for tolerating such treatment, OSHA/regs, global trade, poverty?  Only way to answer is succinctly and confidently is to make a decision in a vacuum since whatever logic or thought process used usually can't or won't work in the real world. 

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heffe
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Reward price counters cost efficiency
treemagnet wrote:

As bad as that is, and it is - lets face it, this would be kind and humane in other parts of the world.  The same world that makes things cheaper than we do, and are rewarded by a consumer purchase, usually ours.  I guess I'm a bit jaded.  Where I work, people talk quality, etc. but reward price.  All day, every day.  So is Amazon the bad guy, the consumer - by creating "demand", the worker - for tolerating such treatment, OSHA/regs, global trade, poverty?  Only way to answer is succinctly and confidently is to make a decision in a vacuum since whatever logic or thought process used usually can't or won't work in the real world. 

 

Whatever happened to treating employees as human beings with hearts and souls, rather than replaceable meat cogs in a machine?

Poet

This surprises me, not that a company would exploit the labor of its employees but rather that questions like yours are still being asked.

Child labor laws in the early 20th century?  Sinclairs' 'The Jungle'?  Chinese workers and the conditions they submit to so that we can have cheaper goods? 

It is part of the modus operandi of our contemporary market system. We are forced to fight each other for an artificial, scarce, debt based currency that is outdated. For a business to maintain cost efficiency and make a profit, hence survive, they have to make cuts in the costs of either human lives or the environment, usually both. Its not that business, or corporations are bad for doing so, they are just playing by the rules of a game which demands exploitation of environment and humans.  Its why again I refer to our contemporary monetary-market system as a cancer eating away out our lives and the planet.  

Whats really sad is that the faults of our actions are tied to belief; we can't fathom alternative currencies or even alternative economies, so we ignore, ridicule, and fight them with almost religious fervor.  

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Poet
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Amazon.com Brutal Exploitation
heffe wrote:

This surprises me, not that a company would exploit the labor of its employees but rather that questions like yours are still being asked.

I ask because this is supposed to be Amazon.com. Y'know, the fun, great company. The darling of the Dot Com bubble that managed to survive and thrive. Many people, including me, have purchased hundreds of dollars worth of merchandize via Amazon.com over the years.

I guess I thought Amazon.com was an exception, just as there are some good companies out there that still treat their employees rather decently (like the one I work at).

Y'know, the shining example companies unlike Apple or Nike or those companies in China or Mexico, etc. that one expects will exploit soul-crushing labor.

Heck, even PeakProsperity.com is part of the Amazon affiliate program.

Poet

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slavery and human trafficking
heffe wrote:
treemagnet wrote:

As bad as that is, and it is - lets face it, this would be kind and humane in other parts of the world.  The same world that makes things cheaper than we do, and are rewarded by a consumer purchase, usually ours.  I guess I'm a bit jaded.  Where I work, people talk quality, etc. but reward price.  All day, every day.  So is Amazon the bad guy, the consumer - by creating "demand", the worker - for tolerating such treatment, OSHA/regs, global trade, poverty?  Only way to answer is succinctly and confidently is to make a decision in a vacuum since whatever logic or thought process used usually can't or won't work in the real world. 

 

Whatever happened to treating employees as human beings with hearts and souls, rather than replaceable meat cogs in a machine?

Poet

This surprises me, not that a company would exploit the labor of its employees but rather that questions like yours are still being asked.

Child labor laws in the early 20th century?  Sinclairs' 'The Jungle'?  Chinese workers and the conditions they submit to so that we can have cheaper goods? 

It is part of the modus operandi of our contemporary market system. We are forced to fight each other for an artificial, scarce, debt based currency that is outdated. For a business to maintain cost efficiency and make a profit, hence survive, they have to make cuts in the costs of either human lives or the environment, usually both. Its not that business, or corporations are bad for doing so, they are just playing by the rules of a game which demands exploitation of environment and humans.  Its why again I refer to our contemporary monetary-market system as a cancer eating away out our lives and the planet.  

Whats really sad is that the faults of our actions are tied to belief; we can't fathom alternative currencies or even alternative economies, so we ignore, ridicule, and fight them with almost religious fervor.  

Recently I received the following compliance request from one of our customers. It's amazing that something like this would even be needed in this day and age. This legislation is yet another sign of the fundamental failure of our monetary system. And what a bandaid solution this is anyway. If I were really were trafficking slaves, do you think I would have any moral hesitation to falsely sign this document?

 

 

"Recently the State of California passed new legislation (the California

Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 – S.B. 657) which requires

retailers and manufacturers who do business in California to disclose the

steps they are taking to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from the

supply and distribution chains for the products they sell. In case you have

not heard about or had a chance to review the new legislation, we have

enclosed a brief recap of the new law and its requirements. The new law

takes effect January 1, 2012, so we are contacting you in advance in order

to make sure we have the information  needed from

your company to comply with this new law.

We are asking you, as a supplier, to certify to us on

the document below that the materials used in the products we purchase

from your company comply with existing local and federal laws regarding

slavery and human trafficking in the country or countries in which you are

doing business.

We would appreciate getting your response back at your earliest

convenience. Even though the new law does not take effect until January

2012, we have several customers requesting responses much earlier. It is

important that we receive your response no later than October 31, 2011."

 

 

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treemagnet
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your surprise

We don't need alternative economies, currencies and the like.  Its a lesson in the perils and evils of a fractional reserve banking system predicated on a reliance of ever exanding credit/debt.  Thats it.  Pure, plain, and simple.  Capitalism is the only system that works.  What doesn't work is a Federal Reserve structure that attempts to allocate societal resources.  It also means that like it or not boring economic crap that puts folks to sleep is of utmost importance since the effects of these policies/politics are no doubt cumulative, and need to be placed higher on our current societies priorities and love of ESPN.  You sound like a nice person, but we're way past nice people doing the right things here.  In the case study you presented, a righteous person doing the right thing will be summarily fired and replaced.  The fork in the road was in 1913 at Jekyl Island with the creation of the Federal Reserve - it is the keystone.  As far as you being incredulous about my audacity to not immediate agree with you, well...it'd be boring if we all agreed.

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maceves
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Borders was nice

 Borders here just closed because it couldn't compete with Amazon.com,  It was a nice little place with a coffee shop.  My son had gigs there playing his guitar from time to time and my kids liked studying there.  Now there is only one good bookstore left in town.  I hate the mental image of the Amazon warehouse.

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ewilkerson
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Chris

You know how many times we have heard that certain fields will come to the rescue.  Certainly, these fields are much more expensive to develop, but I would love to hear Chris's ananlysis.  He is normally able to come up with the true figures.

Ernest

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Capitalism is the only system that works
treemagnet wrote:

Capitalism is the only system that works.  What doesn't work is a Federal Reserve structure that attempts to allocate societal resources.

Umm, right. Capitalism has been working beautifully. There are certainly great problems with the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking, but even if you somehow correct, or do away with those issues, the monetary system has many inherent flaws:

  • Infinite growth paradigm
  • profit motive distorts values
  • cyclical consumption - need people to consume more to create more jobs to create more consumption, etc.
  • wasteful production - incentive to build inferior products, product duplication, planned obsolescence, continual and wasteful product upgrades (see Story of Stuff)
  • Competition 
  • scarcity-based - instead of abundance-based
  • wealth disparity
  • Nature vs. Nurture -   reinforces the “culturally-created self” (separateness, money-motivated, competitive, self-interested, scarcity-driven, mindlessly consumptive, aberrent behavior, man-is-inherently-evil) and doesn't allow for our natural humanity to emerge (man-is-inherently-good, internally motivated, collaborative,  oneness, etc.)

  • Technological Unemployment -  jobs will continue to be replaced by technology, but our economy is dependent upon jobs

  • Detached from nature and resources - actually thrives off of scarce resources and environmental destruction

  • Basic requirements of life for all citizens - Capitalism hasn't been doing a very good job in recognizing the global commons, or providing for the basic needs of all humans — clean water, healthy food, energy, clean air, shelter, education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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heffe
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Response to treemagnet

We don't need alternative economies, currencies and the like.  Its a lesson in the perils and evils of a fractional reserve banking system predicated on a reliance of ever exanding credit/debt.  Thats it.  Pure, plain, and simple. 

All too often we try and equate extremely complex processes into simple statements. For me to lift my arm takes thousands if not, millions of processes to occur; an economic/banking system is far more complex. Economic strategies which include fractional reserve banking, are a fault of everyone, which includes all the millions of loans occuring everyday, along with what led to the development of fractional reserve lending practices. There was sound reasoning for the 1/10 reserve regulations when it was put into place, and had occured long before fiat currency hit the US. 

However, the real issue is how an exchange commodity (money) is created; all money, whether through commercial banks lending at fractional reserve, or through the Federal Reserve purchasing Treasury Bonds, is created through debt. Many will claim a gold standard will solve everything, but there are numerous consequences of that disposition as well, like continual deflationary cycles and environmental destruction from prospectors.

Capitalism is the only system that works.  What doesn't work is a Federal Reserve structure that attempts to allocate societal resources. 

 Im not trying to be harsh when I say this, but the phrase  'capitalism is the only system that works' is starting to have a religious connotation behind it. I define a religious mindset as "a set belief, in which one refuses to accept opposing views, and reacts toward opposers with highly emotional, and irrational thought processes". The terms communism, capitalism and socialism seemed to have lost relevancy in their original meaning, and are now used to sway opinion and confirm ones belief/identity. 

Communism, as defined by Marx (a classless, stateless, moneyless society) is the oldest known system to the human species, as we have spent over 500,000 years of our hominid history in egalitarian, hunter gatherer societies. A technological advanced communism has yet to exist, as China is extremely capitalist (monetary-market economics), even though we wrongfully refer to them as Communism due to their undemocratically elected gov't. Of course many will argue that planned economies have tried and failed, but few will actually delve into the various processes that took place, not to mention, what these 'planned economies' were and how they relate to the term communism.

Really all attempts at planned economies were monetary-market economies (capitalism) being managed by top-down governments. I prefer to use the terms 'state-owned capitalism' for communism, 'state-regulated capitalism' for socialism, and 'state purchased capitalism' for......capitalism. Mussolini himself stated that Fascism should be called Corporaticism as its a mutual relationship between the gov't and large companies.

It also means that like it or not boring economic crap that puts folks to sleep is of utmost importance since the effects of these policies/politics are no doubt cumulative, and need to be placed higher on our current societies priorities and love of ESPN.  You sound like a nice person, but we're way past nice people doing the right things here.  In the case study you presented, a righteous person doing the right thing will be summarily fired and replaced.  The fork in the road was in 1913 at Jekyl Island with the creation of the Federal Reserve - it is the keystone.  As far as you being incredulous about my audacity to not immediate agree with you, well...it'd be boring if we all agreed.

I agree with you!!   No but seriously, having opposing views is crucial to further understanding. Thats why I appreciate the falsifiability of science (if done objectively without $ incentive), in that it allows for an emergent system that takes in opposing views, tests them, researches them, evaluates the findings and allows the evidence at hand to dicate our conclusions (which will change as our understandings change too). As far as the claim that the Federal Reserve is the sole institution to blame, as I said earlier there is far more to the story then a centralized, private interest bank.  I do agree that the 'boring economic crap' needs to become commonplace knowledge; in my view its the only route towards true positive change.

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Capitalism might work

Capitalism might work perfectly, if we didn't have a government picking the winners and losers to meet some predetermined agenda, and if there wasn't such a thing as too big to fail.

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out of context

 trwiley,

Umm, wrong.  Capitalism has been running perfectly....in the same way a machine not maintained will fail, and our machine needs an out-of-frame overhaul.  Capitalism is a societal device that largely reflects the true spirit of the operator.  People and politics are to blame.  Your list includes the failings of people, not a clean capitalistic trade where both parties feel good about the transaction.  Go back and watch CM crash course, specifically inflation inflection points - your list of grievances against capitalism is so full of tangents to my earlier point I just don't know where to start, so I won't. 

Also, why not suggest an alternative?  Should I begin some rant about how you clearly are in favor of bartering because its one of the possibilities you didn't chisel on, so clearly you're a fan of barter, right? 

So, if you don't understand why the creation of the fed was the wrong path in that forked road, I urge you to once again, watch the full crash course regarding that topic as well.  Have you watched the full course?  Doesn't seem like it, though your opinions (and you've got some) are still yours.  For good measure, go read "confessions of an economic hitman", that book alone will show you how you're seeing the ugly results of mans self interest and assigning them to capitalism. 

So there, I've given you ample material to tear apart, generalize, misquote, contextualize, and generally do what you please.  Have fun, its late and I'm tired and going to bed.  Knock yourself out.

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no barter, no monetary exchange, no inherent self-interest
treemagnet wrote:

 

Also, why not suggest an alternative?  Should I begin some rant about how you clearly are in favor of bartering because its one of the possibilities you didn't chisel on, so clearly you're a fan of barter, right? 

No barter, no credit, no monetary exchange of any kind. It's called a resource based economy.

treemagnet wrote:

 

 For good measure, go read "confessions of an economic hitman", that book alone will show you how you're seeing the ugly results of mans self interest and assigning them to capitalism. 

Confessions of an Economic Hitman was written by John Perkins, who was featured in the movie Zeitgeist Addendum, which proposes the idea of a world without money. And the fact that John Perkins himself has risen out of being an economic hitman to become a great, caring author and activist contradicts your argument that man is inherently evil and self-interested.  

Please watch Zeitgeist Addendum and Zeitgeist Moving Forward about a future without money that's very possible. There are more and more people around the world waking up to this possibility. And as far as I can see, it is the only way to avoid the dark and destructive future that surely awaits us if we hang on to our monetary paradigm.

Any solutions aimed at "Ending the Fed", bringing back the Gold Standard, nailing the bankers on Wall street, limiting government, limiting corporate influence in politics, etc. are all steps in the right direction, but are ultimately peicemeal, bandaid solutions to the most fundamental problem of all...the monetary system itself. 

 

 

 

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Damnthematrix
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no inherent self-interest
trwiley wrote:

Any solutions aimed at "Ending the Fed", bringing back the Gold Standard, nailing the bankers on Wall street, limiting government, limiting corporate influence in politics, etc. are all steps in the right direction, but are ultimately piecemeal, bandaid solutions to the most fundamental problem of all...the monetary system itself. 

I agree.  And you left out growth and greed.

Moaning about how we ended up with the "wrong" kind of capitalism is meaningless, we've got what we've got, and it was CAPITALISTS who put us in this mess.  Greedy Capitalists who were never happy with their lot, wanting more, ever more....  causing growth, which on a finite planet is utterly unsustainable.

So, we need a brand new ism, one that involves no growth, no debt, and I think no more money than what is already printed.  But I for one am not holding my breath, the ship's going down, and whoever had the insight of wearing floaties will decide the future ism well beyond my life time......

Mike

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twisting

trwiley -

If you don't think self interest is part of man, you're just batshit crazy - period.  Perkins book makes that perfectly clear - again I see you take the life and times of Perkins himself and his evolution and personal journey into supposed goodness and graciousness - maybe he is, maybe he isn't - and hold it up as proof to support your point.  One man can change therefore mankind can as well.   I too enjoy logical fallacies, but I'm calling you on it - respectfully.  I bet we both believe that the goal of any "system" is on the surface to direct resources, provide a measure of fairness, and a clear structure of order, and more for sure.  And the only way to accomplish any societal change must come from authorized consent.  But power and control are the goals - power and control.  Currently we have the "brilliant amateur" Obama pushing for, among other things, obamacare, net neutrality, the fairness doctrine, "restorative justice", and more.  Power and control.

Vote for Ron Paul.

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heffe
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True Self Interest vs. Narrow sighted self interest
treemagnet wrote:

trwiley -

If you don't think self interest is part of man, you're just batshit crazy - period.  Perkins book makes that perfectly clear - again I see you take the life and times of Perkins himself and his evolution and personal journey into supposed goodness and graciousness - maybe he is, maybe he isn't - and hold it up as proof to support your point.  One man can change therefore mankind can as well.   I too enjoy logical fallacies, but I'm calling you on it - respectfully.  I bet we both believe that the goal of any "system" is on the surface to direct resources, provide a measure of fairness, and a clear structure of order, and more for sure.  And the only way to accomplish any societal change must come from authorized consent.  But power and control are the goals - power and control.  Currently we have the "brilliant amateur" Obama pushing for, among other things, obamacare, net neutrality, the fairness doctrine, "restorative justice", and more.  Power and control.

Vote for Ron Paul.

Self Interest is an odd term that people like to throw around.  What's interesting is that most people would assume that self interest meant 'only acting in ways that benefits oneself'.   If we really looked at 'self interest', it would be extremely outwardly focused. I dont want to be a millionaire in a land of beggars, and creating a castle to protect my wealth wont make my life any better. What makes our lives better is the unified, collaborative spirit of mankind, which may be more akin to 'human nature' than competition.

That's why I am here, thats why trwiley and derekrawson are here promoting alternative directions; because we recognize that true self interest would seek to make the world better.

And if Ron Paul was president, he would foolishly set the $ to a gold standard, sending several hundred million people on the streets as deflationary contraction eliminates jobs and access to resources. Just as in the 1st depression, people will be starving, and farmers will be dumping their milk to raise the price of their goods (the most backwards economic system imaginable)

Your claims that the only way to change society is through authorized consent is again, overgeneralizing an incredibly complex situation (over-generalization fallacy). I never had to authorized consent to seek alternatives and learn the fundamentals of monetary-market economies. All I had to do is recognize that the current system is failing, learn methodologies on critical, objective analysis, and seek out alternatives.  As more people start embracing this approach to problem solving, change will become more evident by the day. (which it has for me, as I see more articles on technological unemployment and alternative economic systems than ever before)

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No gold standard in 1930s
heffe wrote:

Just as in the 1st depression, people will be starving, and farmers will be dumping their milk to raise the price of their goods (the most backwards economic system imaginable)

The reason farmers (actually a cartel of farmers) dumped milk was because prices were falling, as they should when there is too much supply and not enough demand for a product.  Milk production outgrew need, probably much of it during the roaring twenties when too much of many things were produced.   The end result - a bust that must take place to balance the economy.

Perhaps you should look at the root cause of the depression - too much money printing by the banks creating high inflation and bubbles just as we see today. This will always result in a reduced standard of living until the balances are corrected,  goods are priced appropriately, and malinvestments are liquidated.

I'm sure we shall see the same results again.  And yes, you will always have business cycles.  The Fed was supposedly set up to reduce the effect, but instead it amplifies the business cycle and blows bubbles in the economy.  If the Fed worked as it's supposed to during boom cycles, the fed would significantly tightened money and slow down the economy so that in bad times it could do the reverse.  However, since government nor big business what that tightening ever, we get larger swings instead.

The gold standard, while not perfect, keeps monetary inflation under control.  So you get a nice sound currency and just have to live with business cycles.  Also, you seem to think we had a gold standard in the 1930s, sorry, no, the federal reserve was printing away and blowing up the money supply causing the roaring 20's.  We can see this in the devaluation of the dollar in 1933 when Roosevelt confiscated gold and revalued the dollar.  That had to be done because the US no longer had the gold to back the number of dollars that had been printed.  Then we continued another 40 years, til Nixon was forced to do the same thing.

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Damnthematrix wrote: So, we
Damnthematrix wrote:

So, we need a brand new ism, one that involves no growth, no debt, and I think no more money than what is already printed.  But I for one am not holding my breath, the ship's going down, and whoever had the insight of wearing floaties will decide the future ism well beyond my life time......

"Mikeism" or "Damnthematrixism"???

I'd sign up for it.

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Damnthematrix
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flattery will get you everywhere
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:
Damnthematrix wrote:

So, we need a brand new ism, one that involves no growth, no debt, and I think no more money than what is already printed.  But I for one am not holding my breath, the ship's going down, and whoever had the insight of wearing floaties will decide the future ism well beyond my life time......

"Mikeism" or "Damnthematrixism"???

I'd sign up for it.

I'm flattered DIAP.....  but "Damnthematrixism" is too much of a mouthfull, and "Mikeism" is too close to Marxism!

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doorwarrior
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Posts: 166
Damnthematrix wrote:   So,
Damnthematrix wrote:

 

So, we need a brand new ism, one that involves no growth, no debt, and I think no more money than what is already printed.  But I for one am not holding my breath, the ship's going down, and whoever had the insight of wearing floaties will decide the future ism well beyond my life time......

 

 

"Mikeism" or "Damnthematrixism"???

I'd sign up for it.

How about realism. This is essence where we stand today. Everyone is playing moot court about what will save the world, except the world is crashing and burning around us. I for one am putting the floaties on my family and friends, living a sustainable lifestyle and not caring one bit what happens in those overpopulated pits of hell called cities. 

 You all can keep arguing though, I really enjoy the sideshow.

Rich

 

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heffe
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Realism, Federal Reserve, and Gold Standards
doorwarrior wrote:

How about realism. This is essence where we stand today. Everyone is playing moot court about what will save the world, except the world is crashing and burning around us. I for one am putting the floaties on my family and friends, living a sustainable lifestyle and not caring one bit what happens in those overpopulated pits of hell called cities. 

 You all can keep arguing though, I really enjoy the sideshow.

Rich  

What a great term, considering how everyone has their own perception of reality.  So is your 'realism' better than 'trying to save the world'?

I've stocked up plenty, but all the while I 'realized' something over and over again.  Self preparation is a joke.  Im not against having the means to do so, but realistically, the odds are stacked up against you regardless.  If society has crumbled to the point of reliance on your stocked up food supplies, there are going to be millions of starving individuals wanting what you have, and they'll get it too.

Living out in the country doesnt help much, it may offer some time, but after a while, you'll be ambushed and your goods taken. There are simply too many people out there for this to go over like a nasty storm. Its going to be a decades long process that will destroy all of our lives.  That's why I've combined my self preparation with social contributions, ones that I feel will help us pull through. Mostly its education. The more people understand our economies, the less likely we make the same mistakes.

I'm sure we shall see the same results again. And yes, you will always have business cycles. The Fed was supposedly set up to reduce the effect, but instead it amplifies the business cycle and blows bubbles in the economy. If the Fed worked as it's supposed to during boom cycles, the fed would significantly tightened money and slow down the economy so that in bad times it could do the reverse. However, since government nor big business what that tightening ever, we get larger swings instead.

The gold standard, while not perfect, keeps monetary inflation under control. So you get a nice sound currency and just have to live with business cycles. Also, you seem to think we had a gold standard in the 1930s, sorry, no, the federal reserve was printing away and blowing up the money supply causing the roaring 20's. We can see this in the devaluation of the dollar in 1933 when Roosevelt confiscated gold and revalued the dollar. That had to be done because the US no longer had the gold to back the number of dollars that had been printed. Then we continued another 40 years, til Nixon was forced to do the same thing

Thank you rhare, your post was a great illuminator of the many failings of the monetary-market system. 

1) Business Cycles - expansion and contraction of money flow, and depending on the technology and culture at the time, these expansions/contractions get manipulated in every way possible to enhance profits. That includes purchasing gov't for elite interest, hence, the billions of bailouts for too big to fail. There's also advertising to further consumerism, and the need to create artificial scarcity to ensure profitability, hence oil conglomerate ownership of car battery patents. And what about monopolies? Collusion or conglomerates or monopolies, they're all the same, profiting moves that receive big rewards. Monetary-market economics and exploitation go hand in hand.

2) Gold Standard -  A gold based currency is not a great alternative.  There is constant deflationary spirals (which was one reason for its abandonment) environmental degradation from prospectors, as well as, large debt overloads due to the scarcity based currency being in short supply, facilitating the need for loans, revamping the fractional reserve policy all over again.  Centralized currencies, kept in scarce supply, will create fuedal type societies, with 99% of the populous poor and underemployed, while the remaining 1% own the resources and sell those resources to the majority.  A better alternative currency in my opinion would be energy certificates, which can be locally produced currencies based on well defined energy properties such as watteage and ampereage. They reflect the base resource of our economies, therefore prohibit inflation or deflation, and can be globally accepted as they arent reflective of a countries debt but energy accounting units.

3) The old issue of growth is still at hand within any form of monetary economics, as is technological unemployment. Growth is how we attain wealth for more individuals to live a better life within the monetary frame of mind. A steady state monetary economy would probably resemble 3rd world countries in Africa, with a few groups controlling the majority of resources, while a majority of people die in squaller. Growth is being combated by technology; servers are being replaced with iPads, the car you drive, the computer you use, were all created via automation. Monetary economies cannot function in a system where the means of production no longer require human employment. Of course, automation will never replace every job we do, but what happens when 30%-50% of jobs are obsolete due to technology?

4) So let me get this straight, due to over-production, it is reasonable to throw away perfectly good milk? Im sure there were plenty of able bodied individuals in need of nourishment, but of course, if its the invisible hand making demand meet supply its all good right?  What about all the produce that grocery stores throw away because its sat too long? Makes perfect sense to throw that away too! Sure there are plenty of people who need this food but due to our unshakeable faith in monetary-market economics, we gladly throw almost half of all food produced for human consumption away. Wouldn't be profitable to give it away!  Almost as if money/profit was the anti-christ.

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doorwarrior
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What a great term,

What a great term, considering how everyone has their own perception of reality.  So is your 'realism' better than 'trying to save the world'?

Your right here, I was just being glib. I don't see any way you get enough people to agree on the "solution" regardless of what that may be. I do applaud peoples effort to make the world a better place and maybe something better will come out of the ashes of this monstrosity our forefathers have left us.

I've stocked up plenty, but all the while I 'realized' something over and over again.  Self preparation is a joke.  Im not against having the means to do so, but realistically, the odds are stacked up against you regardless.  If society has crumbled to the point of reliance on your stocked up food supplies, there are going to be millions of starving individuals wanting what you have, and they'll get it too.

Here is where we disagree. I still am not sure how much society will crumble or how much will be lost over what period of time. I do know that in a slow slide I we will better off living a sustainable lifestyle away from the moras of current big city society. If I have to dip into my supplies it will give me the time to increase my harvest without straving and become 100% self suffecient, this counts my neighbors and local trade. As of now we buy very little of our food at supermarkets. If society does crumble all the way those millions you spoke of will thin themselves out long before they get out of the city or to where I am. They will also have to go through many miles of people like me that will not tolerate them very much.

I do agree with you about social contributions, I just do it at a local level and don't care a whit about the macro.

Rich

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energy-backed currency
heffe wrote:

A better alternative currency in my opinion would be energy certificates which can be locally produced currencies based on well defined energy properties such as watteage and ampereage.

Very interesting.  Chris M. has suggested the same thing himself.  Although I believe he has imagined, for practical purposes, currency representing energy equivalents of tangible energy resources including coal and oil.  After all, how can a foreign creditor demand immediate physical delivery of a decade's worth of wind power?

The idea of a currency backed by energy is interesting.  But I'm not sure that it avoids the problems you mentioned, including the periods of very high unemployment and the repeated and increasingly violent deflationary collapses which plagued the economy in the 19th century.  Why?  Because just like gold there is a limited supply of energy, and boding more ill for deflation, it is going to be in decreasing supply in future years.

Gold or oil, what's the difference?  After all, gold is really just a proxy for the energy and effort required to get it out of the ground.

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rhare
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I don't believe you were illuminated....

I suspect we will never agree, you seem to have this "conspiracy" type mentality in your viewpoints, while I simply see the current situation as the natural outcome from human behavior in the environment that was provided.  I would prefer we change the environment and rules so that the natural behavior of humans (self interest) is balanced by the natural behavior of others.  I view interference by governments to regulate morality and behavior as always resulting in am unsustainable and out of balance situations like we see today in our monetary, financial and energy systems.

heffe wrote:

1) Business Cycles - expansion and contraction of money flow, and depending on the technology and culture at the time, these expansions/contractions get manipulated in every way possible to enhance profits.

I was referring to the natural cycle of saving/consumption that occurs and is generally reflected in the cost of capital.  As savings builds up, the cost of capital drops (interest rates lower), then as savings are drawn down, the cost of capital (interest rates) will rise to reflect a scarcity.  This is a natural ebb and flow that occurs.  Central banks manipulate the interest rate distorting the cost of capital resulting in bad investments based on the incorrect pricing of the capital.  With a sound currency, this is much less likely to occur.

heffe wrote:

2) Gold Standard -  A gold based currency is not a great alternative. 

Sure it is, so are many other things.  You have completely missed the point of competing currencies.  If you have competition in currencies, if a currency is manipulated, treated badly, or becomes unavailable, with competing currencies the populace is free to choose another.  It's only when governments force citizens to use a specific currency do you have the problems you describe.  That applies to gold, dollars, or your energy certificates.

heffe wrote:

4) So let me get this straight, due to over-production, it is reasonable to throw away perfectly good milk?

Yes, because at some point, the cost will get low enough it is not worth the price to transport, deal with regulations, or spend time getting it ready for market.  At some point, it's better to cut your losses, and yes, that may mean throwing out something that is perfectly good.  While you pretend to be indignant about that scenario, I'm sure you make similar choices everyday in deciding what is the best use of your time and money.

heffe wrote:

A better alternative currency in my opinion would be energy certificates, which can be locally produced currencies based on well defined energy properties such as watteage and ampereage.

...

and can be globally accepted as they arent reflective of a countries debt but energy accounting units.

Good luck with that.  One of the requirements for money is that it has value.  An energy certificate does not have value.  It is simply a promise just like the dollar.  However, I believe you should be able to try out your currency on a level playing field and compete with other currencies.

 

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heffe
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Disagreement is Good for both parties!

@Matrix

I hear what your saying about local contributions. There's too much to consider with the macro level events, so its more realistic to approach matters from the ground up. However, we can never forget the macro is part of the micro. If Japan wants to haphazardly build nuclear power plants you might think, 'go ahead, doesn't bother me', until radiation from one of those plants becomes evident in your locality. We are all connected, and until this reality becomes mainstream thought, we will continue acting in self destructive ways.

@ jrf29

The thing about energy vs gold is that energy is continually shining down on the planet, whereas gold is much more finite. If every city was using a combination of solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal, and biomass, along with underutilized energy extraction methods like thermal couplers built within housing, this would allow us to create a currency in abundance, that is still relative to our base commodity, and overcomes the scarcity, debt based systems tied to fiat and gold currencies. Instead of the motive centered on a precious metal, we focus on extracting more energy (of which there is lots of energy hitting the planet) we just have to figure out how to extract it more efficiently.

I suspect we will never agree, you seem to have this "conspiracy" type mentality in your viewpoints, while I simply see the current situation as the natural outcome from human behavior in the environment that was provided. I would prefer we change the environment and rules so that the natural behavior of humans (self interest) is balanced by the natural behavior of others. I view interference by governments to regulate morality and behavior as always resulting in am unsustainable and out of balance situations like we see today in our monetary, financial and energy systems.

Oh come on, disagreement aint bad!

Im not sure if you are implying this, but I dont support 'interference by governments to regulate morality and behavior'. Government is backwards, and government wouldn't need to exist if our world wasnt centered around monetary-market economics. A regulating entity only needs to exist when the economic strategy creates the tendencies for destructive behaviors in the first place.   A scarcity based currency with private interest groups competing against each other for profit is what produces exploitation, division, crime and most the ailments of contemporary society. The only reason child labor laws were created in the 1st place was due to the tendency to exploit underage workers for profit. Its just following cost efficiency, exploitation of either humans or the environment, and the belief that its the govts' fault is ridiculous.

Yes, the beaurucratic, legislatitive govt of today's world is highly corrupt, inefficient, and causes a great deal of harm, but somehow equating that reality with the idea that 'less regulated, free markets' would somehow provide our goal is almost frightening.  Imagine no child labor laws, no protections against the environment, we'd be dead already.  If the economic model we adhere to was a car, its like we blame the 'mechanic' (govt) for not being able to efficiently regulate its invalid, faulty base methologies.

Central banks manipulate the interest rate distorting the cost of capital resulting in bad investments based on the incorrect pricing of the capital. With a sound currency, this is much less likely to occur.

'Cost of capital' still gets manipulated within gold based currencies, as there is still fractional reserve lending and centralized banks affecting interest rates. I agree that a sound currency system is needed, but the scarcity based gold standards do not solve any problems. It is a regression into old tactics that had many problems, what we need is novel, alternative currencies like EAU's or even Bitcoin's. Something that can be locally produced, and tied to physical resources that are in abundance.  

Sure it is, so are many other things. You have completely missed the point of competing currencies. If you have competition in currencies, if a currency is manipulated, treated badly, or becomes unavailable, with competing currencies the populace is free to choose another. It's only when governments force citizens to use a specific currency do you have the problems you describe. That applies to gold, dollars, or your energy certificates.

Freedom to choose currencies is great, but the phrase 'its only when govt forces.....do you have the problems' fails to address the modus operandi of market economics. Yes having gov't tyranny is bad, but Im referring to the private sector of our economies. Growth is still demanded within monetary-market economies, as thats how we increase wealth to more of the populous. Exploitation, division, and ecological degradation are still existent within monetary economies, regardless of their approximation to a 'free market'.  My promotion of energy certificates doesn't mean I view market economics as favorable, Im only seeking alternatives rather than holding attachments to prior beliefs.

Yes, because at some point, the cost will get low enough it is not worth the price to transport, deal with regulations, or spend time getting it ready for market. At some point, it's better to cut your losses, and yes, that may mean throwing out something that is perfectly good. While you pretend to be indignant about that scenario, I'm sure you make similar choices everyday in deciding what is the best use of your time and money

Lets not consider grocery stores that blatently throw their produce away, even though there's hungry individuals willing to pick the produce up, costing the store nothing. Then there's the 'deal with regulations' rhetoric I hear over and over again. Yes regulations are used in various manners, some that benefit us as consumers, others that benefits corporations, again its missing the point of why the regulating entity even exists in the first place.  

And regarding my use of time and money, you are absolutely correct! I have to make cuts to maintain cost efficiency!! Thats been the whole point of my discussion with you!!! Its how money interacts with our human motivations along with the natural environment that promote the waseful, greedy, destructive behaviors that plague our world!!  Basically, maintainance of cost efficiency = costs to society/environment!

Good luck with that. One of the requirements for money is that it has value. An energy certificate does not have value. It is simply a promise just like the dollar. However, I believe you should be able to try out your currency on a level playing field and compete with other currencies

Hmm.....the value of the money we use today is based on debt.  Why is it too hard for an energy value to be tied to a currency?  Instead of a $1 bill, you'd have 1 EC. Instead of having a certain amount of gold tied to each dollar, we'd have a set amount of energy tied to each dollar. If you wanted to redeem your tender for energy you can, and that could be energy in the form of food, goods, or even electricity. The greatest aspect is that we could produce the currency in abundance (granted we are extracting energy abundance), and every community can produce the credits, eliminating centralized creation.

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Let's try again....
heffe wrote:

A scarcity based currency with private interest groups competing against each other for profit is what produces exploitation, division, crime and most the ailments of contemporary society. The only reason child labor laws were created in the 1st place was due to the tendency to exploit underage workers for profit. Its just following cost efficiency, exploitation of either humans or the environment, and the belief that its the govts' fault is ridiculous.

No - currency exists to allocate scarce resources to the most appropriate desired use, based on the value placed on it in terms of human labor. Currency is simply the way we measure that value.

heffe wrote:

but I dont support 'interference by governments to regulate morality and behavior'.

You sure seem to be contradicting yourself with this:

heffe wrote:

Yes, the beaurucratic, legislatitive govt of today's world is highly corrupt, inefficient, and causes a great deal of harm, but somehow equating that reality with the idea that 'less regulated, free markets' would somehow provide our goal is almost frightening.  Imagine no child labor laws, no protections against the environment, we'd be dead already. 

Child labor did not exist as an exploitation.  Children work in many countries because if they don't they starve because there is not enough earned by the parent to support the kids without them working.  It's only in countries that have excess on the scale we do that that is not required.  However, as we loose our energy slave, many more children and people who don't work today will be working just to survive.

heffe wrote:

'Cost of capital' still gets manipulated within gold based currencies, as there is still fractional reserve lending and centralized banks affecting interest rates.

If you have this, you don't have a gold standard.  You don't have sound money.  This is why you must allow competition between currencies so that when one becomes less desirable the population can change.  Don't get me wrong, I think you can absolutely have fractional reserve banking with gold, but then you have depositors investing, not saving.  With a gold standard or simply a gold currency, you can simply hold onto the currency and not have it lent by a bank and it's won't grow, but it's purchasing power will be maintained.

heffe wrote:

Something that can be locally produced, and tied to physical resources that are in abundance. 

Did you watch the Crash Course?  The problem is we have a need to allocate scarce resources to the most desired outcome.  We don't have abundance...  If you tie a currency to an abundant resource then you are just baking in inflation - just like the dollar - it's abundant and being printed quite quickly.  The only problem you have is not being in the inner circle to get access to it.

heffe wrote:

Growth is still demanded within monetary-market economies, as thats how we increase wealth to more of the populous. Exploitation, division, and ecological degradation are still existent within monetary economies, regardless of their approximation to a 'free market'. 

Again, you seem to be making money out as the problem.  It's not.... the core problem is dwindling resources and certainly less available per person.  This means we will not be growing wealth as long as populations continue to increase.  We need currencies that reflect the growing value of resources.  

heffe wrote:

stores that blatently throw their produce away, even though there's hungry individuals willing to pick the produce up, costing the store nothing.

You are absolutely wrong here.  Grocery stores throw away produce and other products that have degraded beyond what they can sale.   While a starving person would be more than happy to take it and eat it versus starving, the store can't give it away because of the legal ramifications set up by that "government" to protect us.  So if you really want to blame someone for this problem, blame the courts or governments who would rather allow a person to starve versus feeding them food that might make them sick.  This is a perfect example of regulation and government involvement to "save us" that's probably doing more harm than good.

heffe wrote:

Thats been the whole point of my discussion with you!!! Its how money interacts with our human motivations along with the natural environment that promote the waseful, greedy, destructive behaviors that plague our world!!  Basically, maintainance of cost efficiency = costs to society/environment!

Again you seem to not understand the scarcity of resources is what causes the problems, not money.  Money simply reflects the scarcity of resources as the cost of products.  Now in our current system where we manipulate the value of money, we have lost the measuring stick. 

heffe wrote:

Instead of a $1 bill, you'd have 1 EC. Instead of having a certain amount of gold tied to each dollar, we'd have a set amount of energy tied to each dollar. If you wanted to redeem your tender for energy you can, and that could be energy in the form of food, goods, or even electricity. The greatest aspect is that we could produce the currency in abundance (granted we are extracting energy abundance), and every community can produce the credits, eliminating centralized creation.

You really don't seem to get it.  Gold is simply a measure of the value of scarce resources.  It's is a measuring stick that remains relatively constant.  It doesn't increase or decrease over time, that way when a resource becomes less available the price will go up.  As it becomes more available the price goes down.  Gold stays constant. 

What your proposing is as energy is produced you issue new ECs.  So that means you have a constantly inflating currency that looses value over time.  Because once the energy is created and used it's gone.  The currency has no backing.

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Ready
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Posts: 917
Mad Max stealing our preps

 

doorwarrior wrote:

If society does crumble all the way those millions you spoke of will thin themselves out long before they get out of the city or to where I am. They will also have to go through many miles of people like me that will not tolerate them very much.

 

I recently got this in an email. I have not fact checked it yet, but the premise is true regardless if the numbers are right or not.

The further away from the cities you get, the harder it will be for mutant zombie bikers to freely take what they want.

email wrote:

 

After the Japanese decimated our fleet in Pearl Harbor Dec 7, 1941, They could have sent their troop ships and carriers directly to California To finish what they started. The prediction from our Chief of Staff was we would not be able to stop a Massive invasion until they reached the Mississippi River . Remember, we had a 2 million man army and war ships…... All fighting the Germans. So, why did they not invade? After the war, the remaining Japanese generals and admirals were asked that question. Their answer…...They know that almost every home had guns and the Americans knew how to use them.. The world's largest army....

 

 

America 's hunters! I had never thought about this.... A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and Arrived at a striking conclusion: There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin .. Allow me to restate that number. Over the last several months, Wisconsin 's hunters became the eighth Largest army in the world. More men under arms than in Iran .. More than in France and Germany combined. These men deployed to the woods of a single American state to hunt With firearms, and no one was killed. That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan 's 700,000 hunters All of whom have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally Establishes the fact that the hunters of those four states alone Would comprise the largest army in the world.

   

Anyone who has spent enough time in "the hills" to gain community there knows what this email is talking about. I'm way more scared of Mother Nature than some punks from the city.

 

 

 

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Damnthematrix
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Economics Debunked

Economics Debunked: Chapter Two for Sixth Graders

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/09/economics-debunked-chapter-two-for-sixth-graders.html

Readers gave high marks to Andrew Dittmer’s summary of a dense but very important paper by Claudio Borio and Piti Disyatat of the BIS and asked if he could produce more of the same.

While Andrew, a recent PhD in mathematics, has assigned himself some truly unpleasant tasks, like reading every bank lobbying document he could get his hands on to see what their defenses of their privileged role amounted to, he has yet to produce any output from these endeavors that are ready for public consumption.

However, I thought readers might enjoy one of Andrew’s older works. He e-mailed me right after I started working on ECONNED. Our conversation went something like this:

Andrew: I am a Ph.D. student in mathematics at Harvard. I have found your blog to be terribly interesting while trying to make sense of the way in which the global economic architecture is evolving, or devolving as the case may be.

I should finish my doctorate in a month, assuming nothing goes terribly wrong. I would be very happy to help you with your book in whatever ways are useful for you. In particular, I would definitely be able to review and comment in a fairly minute and exacting way on chapters of your book.

Me: That is a very kind offer, thanks! What is your dissertation on, BTW? And are you doing theoretical or applied math?

Andrew: Theoretical math

Me: [inwardly] Holy shit, this is one of the smartest people in the country!

It turns out that Andrew did indeed provide detailed commentary on the logic of all the chapters, as well as the thread of the argument across the book after it was drafted (something few editors do). Chapter 2 was the most daunting chapter, in that it is a fundamental critique of economics from a methodological standpoint. Every time I though I had a draft nailed, I’d get extensive feedback from Steve Waldman and Andrew, with the net result that I’d go back and start from close to scratch. This happened eight times and I was clearly losing patience.

Andrew, recognizing that I was starting to lose it (writing an ambitious book in six months was rather deranged, and all the revisions were adding a lot of added pressure) suggested how to restructure the chapter in the form of a lesson guide for sixth graders (as mentioned earlier, Andrew taught six and seventh graders math in the Cambridge public schools on the side). It was useful and also provided some badly needed comic relief.

Those of you who have read ECONNED may recognize the parallels (I adopted his outline in large measure). I am confident readers who have not read the book will still enjoy his rendition.

* * * * * (HISTORY)

Once upon a time, about a hundred years ago, economics was different from how it is today. Many famous people had thought about economics, including Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, and others. Economics was not a perfect science, and lots of people who thought about economics disagreed. But in the last century, economists started to agree about two things: economics should become as mathematical as it possibly could, and politicians should listen to economists.

Economics at the time was not a very mathematical science, at least compared to the way it is today. Economists used to write articles with very few equations, or even without any equations at all. When did economists start to use math more? The beginnings might have been toward the end of the 1800′s, with some economists named Jevons, Menger, and Walras. But a person who was particularly important was Paul Samuelson. He comes into the story later.

In the 1920′s and 1930′s, there lived a great economist named John Maynard Keynes who came up with new ideas about economics. Many people thought that they made a lot of sense because they seemed to explain how governments had managed to get their countries out of the Great Depression. Politicians began to listen to economists more and more.

Someone named Lorie Tarshis went to Keynes’ classes, took notes, and made a book out of it. The name of the book was “Elements of Economics.” It was published in 1947. Back then, there were people who thought that communist spies were everywhere. Some of these people, including William F. Buckley, decided that Tarshis’ book was also part of a communist plot, and started saying so very loudly to as many people as they could find. Many colleges became afraid to use “Elements of Economics” as a textbook.

Meanwhile, Paul Samuelson was writing his dissertation, and he saw how angry the people had gotten with Tarshis. He decided to make it so his dissertation could not be attacked in the same way. So he did three things, writing very “carefully and lawyer like.” First, he changed Keynes’ ideas a little bit so that in Samuelson’s version of them, they said that corporations in the capitalist system would always give everybody a job as long as the government and labor unions didn’t bother the corporations. That made corporations happy with him, so that they didn’t think people should call him a communist. Second, he called his ideas “neoclassical synthesis Keynesianism.” That made other economists think that he wasn’t changing their ideas very much, so they were more happy to support him. Third, he wrote all of his arguments up in mathematical form. Now why would he want to write up his ideas as mathematical arguments?

Well, for one thing, a lot of people don’t understand complicated math, so he could automatically win arguments with someone who didn’t understand math. Even the people who went around calling people communists couldn’t call him a communist if they didn’t understand the math he was doing. There was another reason, too. Samuelson could turn problems that economists used to argue about into equations. Then he would solve the equations and the argument would be over. [Lucas quote]

Samuelson’s book was called “Foundations of Economic Analysis.” It was published in 1947, and it became a big success. Nobody told Samuelson that he was a communist. Other economists started to use mathematical models more.

Later on, in the 1950′s, two economists named Arrow and Debreu made a simplified mathematical model of the economy, and proved that in their model, there would never be a time when people wanted to buy something and nobody would sell it to them. Economists thought that this was very exciting. Now they used math even more.

Nowadays, most papers on economics have equations in them. All economists have to be able to talk about their ideas using mathematical models and statistics, or other economists won’t respect them. This is part of what is called being able to “think like an economist.” It is a special ability that you can only learn by going to graduate school in economics. A professor named David Colander surveyed economics graduate students to find out which of seven factors were most important in order for them to succeed in graduate school. The top three factors all had to do with being good at math. The least important factor was having “a thorough knowledge of the economy.”

So learning how to “think like an economist” is very important, because if you don’t do it, then no matter how well you understand the actual economy, economists still won’t take your arguments seriously.

Have these changes made economics a better science, or a worse science?

* * * * * (CRITICISM OF AXIOMATIC MODELS)

Samuelson, by using mathematics, was able to win arguments and make sure people liked him, especially the more important people. Other economists followed his example. How did Samuelson use mathematics to become successful? The first thing he did, if you remember, was that he made sure that his economics would say that corporations would make sure people had jobs, and so corporations were good. So his first technique was to make sure that his economics said things that people would like. But that doesn’t seem to make sense. Isn’t the point of mathematics that in math, things are either right or wrong?

Actually, the way that things work in math is that first, you make ASSUMPTIONS, and then you figure out from the assumptions whether things are right or wrong. So the way that you use a mathematical argument to say things that people will like is that you change the assumptions until they make it so the answers are answers that people like.

[At this point the kids become angry. "That's stupid, " they say. "It sounds like they're going in circles." The responsible teacher at this point tries to avoid being too political with his or her young audience, and tries to make vague excuses for the economists. However, the teacher can't help recognizing that the students sort of have a point.]

Even though economists were supposed to be using mathematics so that they wouldn’t have to argue any more, it doesn’t seem to help much if they can still get any answer they want by just changing their assumptions around. For example, [insert McCloskey quote about the A'/C'-theorem].

That means one way to figure out whether mainstream economics makes sense is to see what the assumptions are, and to try to decide whether those assumptions make sense. For example, what were Samuelson’s assumptions? What were Arrow and Debreu’s assumptions?

Samuelson had one big assumption, that economists call ergodicity.

[Teacher pauses to give kids time to stumble over the word.]

When they say ergodicity, they mean that no matter what happens in the world, in the end, everything will reach a point whether things stop changing. That point is called the “equilibrium.” At the equilibrium, everyone will end up with a certain amount of money. The amount of money that everybody gets at the equilibrium depends on how talented they are, and not on anything that happened before. So if you rob a bank, it won’t matter because when you get to the equilibrium, if you’re stupid, you will still have the same amount of money you would have had if you didn’t rob the bank.

[A kid with disciplinary issues mutters, "This is bullshit. Why do we have to learn this?" Other kids ignore him and try to take notes.]

What’s more, at the equilibrium point, everyone will have a job, everyone will have lots of stuff, and no one will feel like there is any way that America could be a better country.

[Eyes glaze over.]

Actually, what’s kind of funny is that in physics, if there are three stars or planets and gravity pulls them around, what do you think happens? They end up going into orbits around each other. But their orbits will be different if they start out in different places. So it would be kind of weird if an economy with millions of people doing all sorts of complicated things always ended up in the same way, if three planets can end up in all sorts of different ways depending on where they start moving from. But who knows? Maybe the economists are right about ergodicity.

It’s actually even weirder than that. Because in physics, Poincaré figured out one hundred years ago that even if you know where the planets start out, if you’re wrong about how far apart two planets are by even an inch, then as time goes on, the orbits that you think the planets will go on will start to get more and more wrong, until there comes a point when the orbits you thought the planets were going to settle on are totally different from the way that the planets are actually traveling. So it’s really hard to predict what will happen even to three planets, if you try to look far enough into the future. But who knows? Maybe economists are right about ergodicity, and in an economy if you measure things carefully enough and are clever enough, you can figure out exactly what will happen to the economy for the next one hundred years.

Then there were Arrow and Debreu, who proved that in their model people who wanted to buy something would always be able to find someone who would sell it to them. They had assumptions, too. They assumed ergodicity, like Samuelson, but they also assumed other things. They assumed that everybody in the world knows everything about everything that is being sold all over the world. Also that you know the odds of whether it will rain on a Tuesday in a thousand years. This is called “perfect information.”

Some people who don’t think like economists have made fun of economists for making unrealistic assumptions like these. Those people seem to think that if economics is based on assumptions like these, that maybe aren’t true, then economics must not be a useful science. But these people don’t know that in 1953, Milton Friedman destroyed all of their arguments with a magical “get-out-of-reality-free card.” When you play this card, it makes it so you’re not allowed to make fun of economists for basing their theories on assumptions that aren’t true.

Friedman said that if you could use a theory to describe the world correctly, it didn’t matter if your assumptions weren’t true. Actually, it was even better if they weren’t true, because that would mean that your theory was very, very clever!

That means to decide if standard economics makes sense, we need to see whether it says things that are true, and we shouldn’t pay attention to whether or not the assumptions are true. For example, economists say it’s bad to pay the people with the worst jobs more money

[Kids snap out of their stupor. "What?" a kid asks, dazed.]

because if you do, then the people who give the poor people jobs will fire some of them. A couple of economists named Card and Krueger tried to test the theory and they announced that the theory was wrong, and you could pay poor people more money and have it be a good thing. Other economists saw that if Card and Krueger were right, then standard economics had to be wrong, and they went into shock. They were sure that Card and Krueger had to be wrong somehow.

[One kid asks, "But wait. I thought that Friedman said that the assumptions of the theory weren't important, just whether it was true in real life. If it wasn't true in real life, then it was a bad theory, right?" Teacher tells the kid to wait, there isn't much time left in class and there are a lot of other things left to discuss.]

Some of them tested what happened when you gave poor people more money and said that no, the theory was right after all. Other ones tested it too and said that Card and Krueger were right and the other economists were wrong. So even though Friedman’s magic get-out-of-reality-free card sounds like a cool thing, it’s actually really hard for economists to use it in real life.

But even though the card might not really work, mostly people don’t argue with economists and so they still use their theories and “think like economists.” “Thinking like economists” is kind of like looking at the world with 3-D glasses. When you’re watching a 3-D movie, it makes it so that you see really neat things. When you’re not watching a 3-D movie, then everything looks red and blue and kind of weird. But economists still like wearing their 3-D glasses.

When economists look at the world through their 3-D glasses, they see it as having “ergodicity.” Remember what that means? It means that if you just leave corporations alone and help them to do what they want faster, the world will, all by itself, become a happy place. You don’t need to stop them from doing anything they want to do, or try to make them wear seatbelts. Just help them to drive as fast as possible. It also means that economists can figure out what the economy is going to do, and you can trust them.

For example, economists have invented computer programs called “DSGE models” that they use to predict the future. Because of ergodicity, the DSGE models say that nothing bad will happen to the economy unless something crazy happens, like the people in the Middle East not wanting to sell us any more oil or Martians attacking the earth.

Another example is that some of the big banks invented really complicated things that were sort of like money, but sort of not like money. Those things are called “derivatives.” The big banks liked the derivatives because they were sure they could make a lot of real money from them. Some other people who weren’t economists thought that derivatives might be dangerous. Those people thought that if things in the economy went faster, they might also break more easily. But because of ergodicity, economists were sure that since derivatives helped corporations do things that they want to do faster, the derivatives would be good. So the economists made it so nobody paid attention to the people who said derivatives were dangerous, and the big banks got to make all of the derivatives they wanted to.

Later, the derivatives helped to make trouble in the economy. That’s why some of your parents lost their jobs. The big banks who made all the money from the derivatives had trouble too and were almost destroyed, but the government gave them more money so that nothing bad would happen to them. Meanwhile, the government won’t let people find out what it did with the money it gave to the banks. It says that the details need to be kept secret by a group of bankers and economists called the Federal Reserve. The people on the Federal Reserve think like economists and so it’s okay for them to know the secret.

* * * * * (OTHER APPROACHES TO ECONOMICS)

There have been some people who don’t like the economics that starts with assumptions and then tries to do math with the assumptions. [you could cite Blaug here] Some of these people have tried to make other kinds of economics.

Some people tried to make a kind of economics that is called “systems dynamics.” In this economics, you pretend like the economy is a really big machine, and sometimes parts of it can go crazy or break. Some people liked this kind of economics, including some of the people who said that derivatives were dangerous. But economists mostly don’t like this kind of economics, so they don’t use it.

One day, some economists noticed that if you’re playing cards, if you peek at someone else’s hand, then you’ll probably win more than someone who doesn’t peek. That’s because you know your cards and their cards and they only know their own cards. The economists who noticed this called it “asymmetric information.” Since economists before that assumed “perfect information,” so everybody playing cards knows everybody else’s cards, they were amazed at how smart these economists were and gave them Nobel Prizes.

Another day, some economists noticed that sometimes people are stupid and do things that waste money. They made a theory about this called “behavioral economics.” Since economists before that assumed “perfect information,” [and rational expectations] or in other words, people know everything that is happening everywhere in the world and always do whatever makes the most money, they were amazed at how smart these economists were and gave them Nobel Prizes.

There were also some economists who noticed that if you give another kid your lunch and tell him to hold it for you until lunch, he might eat your chocolate bar and then tell you that someone stole it. Their theory is called the “principal/agent dilemma.” This theory also seemed very new and exciting to other economists.

When people started making fun of economics because economists hadn’t realized that there was going to be an economic crisis, some economists like Eichengreen and Rodrik told those people that they were wrong and economists could have been able to know that there was going to be a crisis. Eichengreen and Rodrik said that the only problem was that economists hadn’t used the new theories like asymmetric information, behavioral economics, and principal/agent theory, but economists would remember and use them next time.

But since all of the new theories are different from the old economics, what usually happens is that economists use only one of them at a time. If they got rid of the old economics completely, then other economists who like the old economics would be angry at them or not pay attention to them. So they use the old economics and then add on a little bit of the new economics and hope that it works. An economist named Peter Dorman said that if the old economics is like a big giant, then each thing that is wrong about the old economics is like a wound that blood is pouring out of. Each new kind of economics is like a band-aid that economists try to put on one of the wounds, but they can’t put band-aids on all of the wounds at the same time. So the giant lumbers forward, blood spurts out of him all over the place, and nothing changes. Gruesome, huh?

Some economists have tried to use a lot less theories and mostly just figure out what is actually going on in the world. This kind of economics is called “empirical research.” For example, when Card and Krueger tried to figure out what would happen if you paid more money to people with crappy jobs, that was empirical research.

But when they did it, a whole lot of people got angry with them and disagreed. So it can end up being pretty hard to tell what is going on in the world.

There are a few reasons why this is true. For one thing, the way economists usually try to find out what is going on is by looking at some numbers or graphs and trying to find a pattern. But the numbers might not be right. And what happens if someone wants to study something and they can’t find any numbers to study it with? For example, some economics students decided they wanted to find out if the trouble with the economy had to do with making it so companies that try to get people to buy houses didn’t have to follow as many rules. But those companies wouldn’t give them any of the numbers they needed to find out if their idea was right. So the economics students gave up. They didn’t have to give up – they could have talked to people who bought houses and interviewed them and things like that. But it would have been more work and other economists might have thought that they were weird to use interviews instead of numbers. So instead they gave up.

This is kind of like the story about a drunk guy who loses his keys and walks over to the street light and looks under it. Somebody asks him why he’s looking under the light when he probably lost them some other place. He says that it’s dark in the other places so it’s hard to look there. Do you see the connection with the economics students who wanted to study houses? They couldn’t find the numbers that made it easy to look at their problem, so they stopped looking.

[In fact, the connection between the joke and the problems with the mortgage lender deregulation research is the one idea here that is abstract enough that it would be tricky to explain to sixth graders.]

Another problem is that if you look at enough graphs, you’ll eventually find one with a pattern just by chance. This is bad, because it might not be a real pattern. It might just be an accident. If you take a fake pattern and make people think that it’s a real pattern, that’s called “overfitting the data.” It’s kind of like cheating.

If you don’t want to cheat and overfit, there are some ways to make it more likely that you’re finding a real pattern and not a fake pattern. If you find a pattern one year, you can look at another year, or another place, and see if there is the same pattern. This is called “cross-validation.”

Even though it’s a good idea to do cross-validation, a lot of economists don’t do it. A couple of people named Gerber and Malhotra did detective work on economics papers, and they found out that lots of economists were probably overfitting. They couldn’t tell who was doing it, just that a lot of people were doing it. If you’re an economist, you want to have a good job, and to get a good job, it helps to find patterns and write papers describing the patterns to other people. So some economists maybe wanted to get a better job and so they overfitted so they could find more patterns.

* * * * * (STATUS AND FUTURE OF ECONOMICS)

Economics seems to be in a lot of trouble right now. The old economics has problems, and the new kinds of economics have problems too. Some economists have even given up studying the economy and now study things like speed-dating and violence in movies.

A guy named Thomas Kuhn said that when people make a science, they keep using it as long as they can. Sometimes they can tell the science isn’t working very well. This is called the “late-paradigm” stage. It sort of means that the old science has become sick. Even then, people will only stop using the old science when someone invents a new better science AND when all of the professors who liked the old science get old and die.

It looks like economics is in a “late-paradigm” stage. But people don’t have a new better economics, so people still keep using the old economics. What are some things that should happen?

(1) Economists should be honest about when they don’t know what will happen in the future so that people don’t rely on them in ways that they shouldn’t.
(2) Economists should admit that in economies some people want some things to happen and other people want other things to happen. They should be honest about what kind of world they want to live in, and not pretend like they know how to find a world in which everybody will be overjoyed.
(3) Economists should work less at trying to find reasons not to listen to people, and try harder to learn about the economy, even from theories that they don’t like, methods like interviews that don’t involve numbers, and from the ideas of people who are not economists.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2220
too many zombie movies
Ready wrote:

 

doorwarrior wrote:

If society does crumble all the way those millions you spoke of will thin themselves out long before they get out of the city or to where I am. They will also have to go through many miles of people like me that will not tolerate them very much.

 

I recently got this in an email. I have not fact checked it yet, but the premise is true regardless if the numbers are right or not.

The further away from the cities you get, the harder it will be for mutant zombie bikers to freely take what they want.

email wrote:

 

After the Japanese decimated our fleet in Pearl Harbor Dec 7, 1941, They could have sent their troop ships and carriers directly to California To finish what they started. The prediction from our Chief of Staff was we would not be able to stop a Massive invasion until they reached the Mississippi River . Remember, we had a 2 million man army and war ships…... All fighting the Germans. So, why did they not invade? After the war, the remaining Japanese generals and admirals were asked that question. Their answer…...They know that almost every home had guns and the Americans knew how to use them.. The world's largest army....

 

 

America 's hunters! I had never thought about this.... A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and Arrived at a striking conclusion: There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin .. Allow me to restate that number. Over the last several months, Wisconsin 's hunters became the eighth Largest army in the world. More men under arms than in Iran .. More than in France and Germany combined. These men deployed to the woods of a single American state to hunt With firearms, and no one was killed. That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan 's 700,000 hunters All of whom have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally Establishes the fact that the hunters of those four states alone Would comprise the largest army in the world.

   

Anyone who has spent enough time in "the hills" to gain community there knows what this email is talking about. I'm way more scared of Mother Nature than some punks from the city.

 

I couldn't agree more.  Heffe seems to have watched too many zombie movies.  Obviously, these hordes of millions will be well organized (not), well armed (not if they're coming from NYC), robust (not after walking miles, not eating, and running out of water), be able to smell your food from miles away (even some of them don't even know that food comes in forms other than boxed or canned and I'm serious about this), know exactly which households have stored wealth and where (although they'd be most likely to home in on the fanciest houses that are the least likely to have what they want), find the rubes in the sticks to be isolated and easy pickings (not), etc., etc.

It's always amusing to me that on rare occasions when inmates escape from prison in our area, they usually wind up surrendering to anyone who comes along (including little old ladies) after being bruised and battered by wandering through thick brush, exhausted by getting bogged down in swamps, scared from listening to the coyotes and wolves howling and strange noises in the woods at night, bled dry and itching like crazy from hordes of mosquitoes and black flies, starved, thirsty or on their way to developing bad GI problems from drinking contaminated water, and in at least 3 of the seasons, darned near frozen to death from the rain, sleet, or snow.  Yep, they're a force to be reckoned with, I'll tell you, ready to flay at the drop of a hat.

Maybe, heffe should read about the winter war and see what a small group of pissed off Finns functioning largely in a rural environment did to the Soviet army (including a Finnish sniper who took out over 500 Soviets).  And he thinks a group of miscreants from the city are going to overwhelm the folks around here?  I don't think so.

 

As an aside, regarding the e-mail above, it's a bit inaccurate.  Other than a few scattered Americans who joined the RAF or other foreign units and the merchant marine, American men were not yet engaged in fighting the Germans.  Also, it was Yamamoto who is claimed to have made some comment about a gun hiding behind every blade of glass but that comment has never been historically confirmed to my knowledge.

 

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earthwise
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Posts: 846
Bring on the zombies

 

heffe's horrific visions of zombies rolling through the countryside devouring our food stockpiles while us defenseless preppers lie bleeding to death is one more thing he's wrong about and severly underestimates the degree of preparedness one typically undertakes.

In addition to food and energy stockpiles and production capacity, I have five firearms ranging from handguns, shotguns, assault rifles and plenty of ammo. If things are bad enough that zombies are swarming, then my daughter and son-in-law will take shelter here at my BOL. He is more heavily armed than I and has taught my daughter how to shoot (gawd I love that guy). My next neighbor has two twenty-something sons and is heavily armed. The next neighbor over is recently retired military who still works under DOD contract in 'sensitive' undertakings. This guy is observant and cautious, sketchy almost to the point of paranoia, and as a hobby makes ghilley suits and paints/camoflages his weapons for every imaginable terrain.

Also, a buddy Harry Constance, upon observing food and farm animals being grown, photovoltaic system, a well and other improvements was prompted to remark :

"Looks like your gittin' ready for something"

"Yep" I said.

A pause, then: "Well,..... if you need help settin' up your perimeter, just let me know"

He's coming over on Sunday.

 

If I had to choose being in a well armed BOL with food, water, shelter and energy or among a starving throng emminating from a decimated city....well, I pretty much did.

 

 

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Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Zombie checklist items....

ao, earthwise -

Add this to your Zombie checklist (if you haven't already done so)

Also some good info here:

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ao
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anti-flaying personnel
earthwise wrote:

"Looks like your gittin' ready for something"

"Yep" I said.

A pause, then: "Well,..... if you need help settin' up your perimeter, just let me know"

LOL.  Judging from his record, I think the rest of you might find it interesting to gather up some lawn chairs, have an ample supply of cold beer on hand, and watch old Harry in action when the would-be flayers come calling.  Claymores anyone?

ao's picture
ao
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Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote: ao,
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

ao, earthwise -

Add this to your Zombie checklist (if you haven't already done so)

Also some good info here:

LOL.

Question: Does Zeke have zombies that specialize in flaying?  I'm interested in renting one to practice anti-flaying tactics. 

earthwise's picture
earthwise
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ao wrote: earthwise
ao wrote:
earthwise wrote:

"Looks like your gittin' ready for something"

"Yep" I said.

A pause, then: "Well,..... if you need help settin' up your perimeter, just let me know"

LOL.  Judging from his record, I think the rest of you might find it interesting to gather up some lawn chairs, have an ample supply of cold beer on hand, and watch old Harry in action when the would-be flayers come calling.  Claymores anyone?

Actually, he's expressed a fondness for punji pits rather than claymores. Taste-of-their-own-medicine type thing from what I could gather. Sustainable too.

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
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Posts: 1636
"We're Prepared!!!"

Heffe,

Have you ever considered that there are plenty of zombies also wandering about, even inside sites such as these? Everyone has agreement on preparation for sure. Buy guns and ammo' and train with them. Learn how to self sustain and preserve, store and survive. But what - after all of that - if you were still kiled by a marauding clan of bandits, even if you were prepared? What if many of the brightest writers here - no matter how prepared or knowledgeable - wind up dead?

"Surely, it couldn't happen", they say, " we're prepared!"

So much history over these past years about large countries like -- oh I don't know -- Argentina and Russia collapsing into chaos - and with all the signs writ large right across the map of the United States - and sites such as these yelling at the top of their voices to prepare prepare prepare - the U.S. population is mostly sitting on their hands.

So lets all prepare. Good isn't it? We can't give up, and must resolve to be positive over this rising global crisis. Be good, Up, resolute, resourceful, good-natured and a real pal. Makes ya feel all f***ing warm inside doesn't it?

"High Five!!!"

But what if these are also zombies -- you know -- running around making themselves useful, but really running and spinning on the spot, and often-times actually going backward faster than they ever went forward, trying to learn how to adapt to a future they've only read about?

What then?

Like you, I wonder quite what 22 million people living within a 65 mile radius of central London are going to do? Where they are going, and in what direction dependent on the wind? Over what time-scale? And are they all going to be a smiling bunch of happy campers, singing "These are a few of my favourite things" at the top of their voices?

How about the population of New York including the Metropolitan Statistical area? Back in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated a population of over 19 million,  Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA nearly 13 million, and Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI MSA almost 10 million. Happy Campers?

No ...

So there is risk then, wherever we are - even in amongst us - of zombies. It just depends on your take over what certainty stops a trickle running down ya leg, right?

Here's the facts

Ferfal came to PeakProsperity.com back in June, and delivered : -

Argentina: A Case Study in How An Economy Collapses

Funny how short human memory is when it comes to attacking a new voice in the midst, unless of course its Ferfal.

How about Dmitri Orlov? Lots of people jumping for joy with his take over Russia, and how the U.S appears to be mirroring collapse somewhat. Below, you can watch the talk or read the lecture notes. Some surprises in store then, what with the differences in infrastructure in Russia, compared to the U.S., such as public transport, tight communities, low house-ownership - meaning no eviction - short gas pipes and electric cables, and of course cheap bread as a fairly guaranteed commodity throughout the collapse.

The live lecture of Confronting Collapse: Best Practices.

The lecture notes of Confronting Collapse: Best Practices.

I'm not saying I'm p***ed off any, but, ya know ...

Paul

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Ready
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Posts: 917
Dear Paul,

Those that can, do.

Those that can't, come on forums such as these and postulate.

You fancy yourself a teacher of men. There's a saying for that in America too. Do you know what it is? Have you ever lived in rural America for many years, enough to build a community? If not, I suggest you may have no idea what we are talking about, yet presume to lecture. Hmmm.

I could die tomorrow, zombie hoards or not. My legacy will be the resilency of my family and friends. I am at peace with that.  It is not a measure of my preps that allows me to say this.

As far as the whole Zombie label, I started that as a bit of levity that was obviously lost on folks like you and heffe that are so entrenched in your thinking it can only be assumed it is an attack on your position. Surely a learned fella like yourself has read "Lights Out" by halffast and got the MZB reference. With as many book references as you throw around, I'll bet there is nothing you haven't read. Doesn't leave much time for actual worldly experience, but to each his own. You have as much right to follow your philosophical path as I have to follow mine in the real world, and I don't hold a grudge so long as you don't presume to lecture me about my path. In the US, folks call that uppity.

As I clearly said, and stand by 100%, I am far more fearful of mother nature than any 2 legged being walking this planet. Preps or no preps. I understand not everyone can say that, and are always looking over their shoulder for the next boogieman. Being situationally aware and fearful are 2 totally different things. I suggest the former.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
...

Ready,

Someone should alert the moderator to your post... as an example of how to deal with the self-important, myopic and inequitus of the rather vocal and aggressive minority around here who's vision of the future includes only things that can be solved by TZM.

Cheers, and FWIW, the real value of character and skill will be readily apparent when it's needed.

Aaron

doorwarrior's picture
doorwarrior
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Posts: 166
Ready wrote: I could die

Ready wrote:

I could die tomorrow, zombie hoards or not. My legacy will be the resilency of my family and friends. I am at peace with that.  It is not a measure of my preps that allows me to say this.

+1

Rich

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Johnny Oxygen
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Posts: 1443
On the true spirit of the prepper.

From Jeremiah Johnson

 

Bear Claw: "You've come far pilgrim.

Jereimiah Johnson: "Feels like far."

Bear Claw: "Were it worth the trouble?"

Jereimiah Johnson: "Huh? What trouble?"

 

 

 

 

ao's picture
ao
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Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
the strangest zombies never look in a mirror
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Heffe,

Have you ever considered that there are plenty of zombies also wandering about, even inside sites such as these? Everyone has agreement on preparation for sure. Buy guns and ammo' and train with them. Learn how to self sustain and preserve, store and survive. But what - after all of that - if you were still kiled by a marauding clan of bandits, even if you were prepared? What if many of the brightest writers here - no matter how prepared or knowledgeable - wind up dead?

"Surely, it couldn't happen", they say, " we're prepared!"

So much history over these past years about large countries like -- oh I don't know -- Argentina and Russia collapsing into chaos - and with all the signs writ large right across the map of the United States - and sites such as these yelling at the top of their voices to prepare prepare prepare - the U.S. population is mostly sitting on their hands.

So lets all prepare. Good isn't it? We can't give up, and must resolve to be positive over this rising global crisis. Be good, Up, resolute, resourceful, good-natured and a real pal. Makes ya feel all f***ing warm inside doesn't it?

"High Five!!!"

But what if these are also zombies -- you know -- running around making themselves useful, but really running and spinning on the spot, and often-times actually going backward faster than they ever went forward, trying to learn how to adapt to a future they've only read about?

What then?

Like you, I wonder quite what 22 million people living within a 65 mile radius of central London are going to do? Where they are going, and in what direction dependent on the wind? Over what time-scale? And are they all going to be a smiling bunch of happy campers, singing "These are a few of my favourite things" at the top of their voices?

How about the population of New York including the Metropolitan Statistical area? Back in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated a population of over 19 million,  Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA nearly 13 million, and Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI MSA almost 10 million. Happy Campers?

No ...

So there is risk then, wherever we are - even in amongst us - of zombies. It just depends on your take over what certainty stops a trickle running down ya leg, right?

Here's the facts

Ferfal came to PeakProsperity.com back in June, and delivered : -

Argentina: A Case Study in How An Economy Collapses

Funny how short human memory is when it comes to attacking a new voice in the midst, unless of course its Ferfal.

How about Dmitri Orlov? Lots of people jumping for joy with his take over Russia, and how the U.S appears to be mirroring collapse somewhat. Below, you can watch the talk or read the lecture notes. Some surprises in store then, what with the differences in infrastructure in Russia, compared to the U.S., such as public transport, tight communities, low house-ownership - meaning no eviction - short gas pipes and electric cables, and of course cheap bread as a fairly guaranteed commodity throughout the collapse.

The live lecture of Confronting Collapse: Best Practices.

The lecture notes of Confronting Collapse: Best Practices.

I'm not saying I'm p***ed off any, but, ya know ...

Paul

Paul,

You tend to get riled rather easily.  May I suggest Zen meditation (which should be allowable here since it has been largely secular)?  It's been of benefit to warriors and others for many hundreds of years and even the antithesis of a warrior would benefit.  Once you get over the fear of death, you can live life more fully.

And guess what ... Ferfal and Orlov are still around.  But everyone has to die sometime including the hard core leftist, communist praising, negatively mired, deluded zombies who spend their days viewing endless videos aspiring to some never achieved semblance of proxy intellectualism by virtue of media over-exposure who would howl the loudest if they ever actually had to live under the kind of oppression they have been deceived into glorifying to others.  Those zombies, for some peculiar reason, seem to spend more time talking and less time doing and thereby will be more likely to experience the fate they had expected would befall others rather than themselves.  They also have a recurrent propensity to scurry around, desperately trying to "buddy up" which would almost be laughable in its frenzy if it wasn't so terribly sad.  They are the same zombies that deceptively would appear to eschew violence but, when their back gets up, they have been know to resort to spewing profanity and threatening vile and violent acts.  What a strange lot they are!  I wonder how these zombies will act when the pressure is really on when they seem to be right at the edge when it's not. 

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Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1982
ao and Ready?

+1 and thank you for stating so succincly what I was thinking.

But may I humbly suggest the full quote. Aristotle once said, “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” Those who spend their time expounding political OPINIONS are not teachers so much as they are editorialists. There is nothing wrong with that, per se. But opinions are not actionable knowledge.

In my humble opinion, the teachers of actionable knowledge on this site are highlighted in the "What Should I Do?" posts.

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Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1636
Dear Ready
Ready wrote:

Those that can, do.

Those that can't, come on forums such as these and postulate.

As you have prescribed, subscribed and have postulated for an equal time as I, plus one day.

Ready wrote:

You fancy yourself a teacher of men. There's a saying for that in America too. Do you know what it is? Have you ever lived in rural America for many years, enough to build a community? If not, I suggest you may have no idea what we are talking about, yet presume to lecture. Hmmm.

With words such as may and presume, there is a lack of certainty that there is some chance that I have.

Ready wrote:

I could die tomorrow, zombie hoards or not. My legacy will be the resilency of my family and friends. I am at peace with that.  It is not a measure of my preps that allows me to say this.

I have comfort in that, as I do for the members of your community of friends and family.

Ready wrote:

As far as the whole Zombie label, I started that as a bit of levity that was obviously lost on folks like you and heffe that are so entrenched in your thinking it can only be assumed it is an attack on your position.

As surely as the entrenchment of your own position that you would consider I or Heffe entrenched, which in itself is arrogant.

Ready wrote:

Surely a learned fella like yourself has read "Lights Out" by halffast and got the MZB reference.

I hadn't until this weekend, so I found a copy online and read it in a few hours.

Ready wrote:

With as many book references as you throw around, I'll bet there is nothing you haven't read.

I've read plenty, and I understand plenty, but it doesn't begin to mean I've read everything.

Ready wrote:

Doesn't leave much time for actual worldly experience, but to each his own.

It is better to have aquired enough knowledge to know that ones path is neither clouded by assumption, nor lacks objectivity to the task at hand. Neither does it mean that it lacks a bearing on being practical and a do'er.

Ready wrote:

You have as much right to follow your philosophical path as I have to follow mine in the real world, and I don't hold a grudge so long as you don't presume to lecture me about my path.

I don't presume to lecture you as an individual at all. In fact, you, from reading of your experiences here for almost three years are the least person that I would consider lecturing. Whatever word I would use in fact, it certaintly wouldn't be lecture, as this is dishamonious, as you are aware.

Ready wrote:

In the US, folks call that uppity.

To the rest of the world, much of them assume that the United States is uppity.

Ready wrote:

As I clearly said, and stand by 100%, I am far more fearful of mother nature than any 2 legged being walking this planet.

To this in the short term, I fully disagree.

Ready wrote:

Preps or no preps.

With preps the advantages remain slim, but in your favour.

Ready wrote:

I understand not everyone can say that, and are always looking over their shoulder for the next boogieman. Being situationally aware and fearful are 2 totally different things. I suggest the former.

And as for this, again I clarify. Nothing that I have written in this forum of any merrit in these past years has been without the foundational benefit of the Crash Course. In all, its tenet is the strongest bond to this forum.

With every new member that enters this forum, I hope I can pride you on the benefit of offering reasoning to your actions as ambassador to it - treating those who are new and green - to the awareness of a submerged and highly effectual level of internal politics, infecting it from a stance through a small group of users here, who use spiteful tactics to ensure to it that many maintain a level of ignorance within the forum that suits their agenda.

As I was offered to be a party of this group, and chose not to be a member, I have been systematically attacked, as are any new members outside the wishes of this group, by use of a means to aid in their demise by attacking their stance on any subject that suits, to the point where it is near pointless writing here - I am nothing if not tenacious however.

The whole point of posting what I did was not to attack you as a very well established and highly regarded member of this forum, since in general you are not one of the culprits, and are simply a pawn - with what came after your post as a perfect example.

I stand by what I have written. From my summise, there are less than 2% of people in the United States who are now aware of what is happening in regard to the 3E's; or something close.

In my mind, less than three out of a hundred of that 2% are actually doing exactly what you are doing - though of course the number is slowly growing.

Of that combined six to seven million aware, I'll be brave and say that 20% are doing something toward food independence, but bearly a single percent have almost succeeded to the point of under 50% fossil fuel input so far.

With bravery in command then, but a million out of a population of three-hundred-and-eleven million have something toward a state of sustainability in place at this time.

If I'm 100% out in my guestimation, there are two million, with 100% out on that next figure, four million.

Arguably then, one three-hundred-and-eleventh of the United States are on some kind of track, in a country running out of valuable time, and you are arguing about the use of the word Zombie ...

From this post, I doubt you've learned anything new - you've been here far too long. However, someone may do, and they'll search out your threads and start prepping with your highly skilled and useful support. Therefore, I have my use in this forum it seems - as does Heffe, if you happened to read all 48 of his posts so far ...

Paul

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Dear Aaron
Alpha Mike wrote:

Ready,

Someone should alert the moderator to your post... as an example of how to deal with the self-important, myopic and inequitus of the rather vocal and aggressive minority around here who's vision of the future includes only things that can be solved by TZM.

Cheers, and FWIW, the real value of character and skill will be readily apparent when it's needed.

Aaron

Thankyou. I fully agree with your stance, and believe him to have the way-with-all in making a bright future ahead for all who happen on his path. It takes a great deal of character to write such a post as Ready, and I have the utmost respect for his coin of phrase, positive outlook and nature.

If there were someone as close as he is to you, I would find great support and knowledge from such a base of humanity. Unfortunately, since I am so far away, I have yet to find an equal to that benefit, and for that I have admiration for your luck ...

Cheers!

Paul

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Ready
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Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
In reply

Well, Paul

<delete>

<delete>

<delete>

 

This exhcange is without merit. Please allow me to excuse myself from the dinner table so I can meet with some friends for desert.

Farewell

 

JO - Thx for that, it was perfect. I'll be watching that whole movie now if the opportunity presents itself.

ao, you and I have never really directly communicated, so how did you get inside my head?

Rich, I've read your posts, and hope to read more. I welcome people with your backgroud, resolve, and level head into my community with open arms. Wish we were closer, but if you ever trek thru Missouri, please look me up.

Safewrite, I'll make a note of that quote and it's source. I didn't realize it was a quote at all, just thought it was a saying. Learn something new every day.

AM - I think I was just called your pawn. Or maybe it was ao's. No matter, implying I take marching orders from you (or even take our precious time to communicate about such things as how to respond to people like Paul on these forums) was worth a belly laugh, so I guess Paul does have value after all. Hope you are doing well over there and still plan to rotate home on schedule. It's been a few years, you wouldn't even recognize the farm. The coyotes and bobcats are waiting for your return. There was even a cougar killed by a farmer on 30 miles from me last month. I doubt we would be so lucky as to run across another tho.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Paul

I think if more were to have some exposure to the types of accomplishments made by guys like Ready, there would be a decoupling from "ideology", which is in and of itself, not a tool for tangible progress, and more of an emphasis on creating results.

This isn't a dig at anyone - it's a word of respect towards the "do'ers".

That said, your statement:

Quote:

With every new member that enters this forum, I hope I can pride you on the benefit of offering reasoning to your actions as ambassador to it - treating those who are new and green - to the awareness of a submerged and highly effectual level of internal politics, infecting it from a stance through a small group of users here, who use spiteful tactics to ensure to it that many maintain a level of ignorance within the forum that suits their agenda.

As I was offered to be a party of this group, and chose not to be a member, I have been systematically attacked, as are any new members outside the wishes of this group, by use of a means to aid in their demise by attacking their stance on any subject that suits, to the point where it is near pointless writing here - I am nothing if not tenacious however.

Your assertions:
1. Are unfounded. Like any politically and culturally hetrogenous group, like minds tend to group. Don't deny that you're a member of an equally sized, devisive group with goals of underminding political notions just as real as your projected, phantom enemies.

2. Unsubstantiated. All I see in this post is more hyperbolic languaged designed to deter people from the topic at hand. I have to ask, what purpose does this serve?

3. Wrought with Paranoia. No one has "systematically attacked anyone. You've been called on nonsense like this, as have other members, who use these forums to push their own agendas. If you can find me *one* instance of an "agenda" being pushed, by a vicious cabal, I'll eat my hat. What you've mistakenly interpreted as an "agenda" is commonly known as a contrary opinion.

We hear you, but I suspect this cabal is more interested in results than fluffy language.

Ready,
I'm pretty sure anyone who knows either of us knows we're not schemers, order takers or anything of the sort. Last we talked, it was hunting, and I'm definitely looking foward to returning to the States here on time. Once things settle a bit, I'd love to make the trip back out that way and see how things have progressed. I sound like a broken record, but your farm is the "ideal" in my opinion.

Cheers,

Aaron

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Dear ao,
ao wrote:

Paul,

You tend to get riled rather easily.  May I suggest Zen meditation (which should be allowable here since it has been largely secular)?  It's been of benefit to warriors and others for many hundreds of years and even the antithesis of a warrior would benefit.  Once you get over the fear of death, you can live life more fully.

And guess what ... Ferfal and Orlov are still around.  But everyone has to die sometime including the hard core leftist, communist praising, negatively mired, deluded zombies who spend their days viewing endless videos aspiring to some never achieved semblance of proxy intellectualism by virtue of media over-exposure who would howl the loudest if they ever actually had to live under the kind of oppression they have been deceived into glorifying to others.  Those zombies, for some peculiar reason, seem to spend more time talking and less time doing and thereby will be more likely to experience the fate they had expected would befall others rather than themselves.  They also have a recurrent propensity to scurry around, desperately trying to "buddy up" which would almost be laughable in its frenzy if it wasn't so terribly sad.  They are the same zombies that deceptively would appear to eschew violence but, when their back gets up, they have been know to resort to spewing profanity and threatening vile and violent acts.  What a strange lot they are!  I wonder how these zombies will act when the pressure is really on when they seem to be right at the edge when it's not. 

My apologies but I cannot consider Zen meditation as an answer to my prayers if you yourself have difficulty balancing what harboured anger is welled within you as practitioner - over such trifle' as ideology - worse still that you find so much pleasure in twisting facts out of all sense of justice.

Many would quote the Ukraine from the 1950's from your stance, stating that fairly 8 million starved through Stalin's imposed famine. But as ideologies go, the western ideology is going to have a far greater number of deaths caused by famine due to its imposition.

Lets watch, shall we?

Ready offered a book up earlier called Lightsout by halffast. In it you'll find that Mr Davis - as well as advercating the Protestant faith - has no interest in a democracy within his enclave, with himself as master over decision-making as the final word.

It sounds fishy!

Does this mean that Ready is therefore leaning more toward being a 'Pinko'? I'd question your stance on trusting him now, since that would mean everything he writes here has no benefit anymore, what with being marred with such an insult to the faithful worthy of all things American.

There again, Johny Oxygen put up a clip from Jeremiah Johnson, where the character Bear Claw was played by Will Geer. Will was blacklisted in the McCarthy era, and a fully-fledged member of the Communist Party of the United States. In later years he was Grandpa Walton in the Waltons, which must make you feel dirty inside that you made your erstwhile offspring sit before the tube on friday nights to get some lessons in humble.

Anyway, to me that needs Johnny to go on the Forum blacklist too!

So where will you be now? You'll have to thank your Zen master that at least you don't press the ignore button on everyone here, cause if you did, there'd be nothing to do but stare at short lists of ignored and blocked.

On similar grounds, I hope to God you find the future offers some semblance of a democracy - something unlike the plutocracy of the States and the UK at this time - with honoured people sitting about the entire time simply writing back-and-forth with smart answers to even dumber questions - just like Ready was saying we shouldn't do.

There's a small chance however, of minor blood leakage from nose, eye, ear or mouth - possibly all four - if we continued this kind of pointless for any time longer, as, your agression will become so hightened - you'll become so right - that even Musolini would blush ...

Paul

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Thankyou Ready, With you,

Thankyou Ready,

With you, I'm doing the same ...

Paul

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Dear Aaron

That would be a difficulty, since the thread you tried to destroy has been cleaned up, and your offensive language deleted - ideologically or otherwise. Though I am pleased that you have gained a calmer and more modulated aproach to your writing here,  with the imposed - and self-imposed - break from the forum over this past month.

May I - with humbleness - again ask that you refrain from adding your two of what ever denomination is to hand - dependent on where you are in the world - and I will do the same?

Cheers!

Paul

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Nah

Paul,

No, and my attitude hasn't changed.
You're being a jerk, and you're being called out on it.
You cannot, "with humblness" ask anything, Ricky Bobby. Just because you say "with humbleness" doesn't mean you can say whatever you want. It *amazes* me that this forum has put up with your snideness for as long as it has, and I'm sure that's the primary reason you stay here - the managements tolerance for your trolling. Same to your compadres.

As to the nature of my "offensive" language, I meant offense, and hope it was taken.
True to my word and action, I'll persist in taking this offense to any and all who'd be so bold as to insult broad swaths of people by presenting opinion as if it were fact. In fact, it does me a deal of cathartic good to challenge you, and XRM's pedantic, myopic and self-important clamoring. The insideousness of your tactics, the passive aggressive nature of your posts and the hideous mischaracterizations you've made time and time again are enough to detract not only from the forum, but from the individuals, like myself, who choose to engage you in coversation.

In short, we are all worse off for having conversations like this.Cheers,

Aaron

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