Daily Digest

Daily Digest - July 18

Sunday, July 18, 2010, 10:26 AM
  • Strapped Families Feeling Financial Pain
  • It’s the End of the World As We Know It
  • Three Interesting Interviews on King World News
  • Roads to Ruin: Towns Rip Up the Pavement
  • Mauldn: The Debt Supercycle
  • When Kings And Princes Grow Old
  • The New Doom
  • Police Could Lose 'Up To 60,000 Officers'
  • Wall Street And Peak Oil
  • Peak Phosphorus
  • Revolution: The Right Kind And The Wrong Kind
  • The 50-Year Farm Bill
  • After Oil Spills, Hidden Damage Can Last for Years
  • The Ways Of The Force

Economy

Strapped Families Feeling Financial Pain (Terry)

Families are hurting more now than at the height of the global financial crisis, revealing they are drastically cutting back on spending because of fears about debt, savings and the Gillard Government's economic management.

In more than 630 interviews conducted in marginal electorates around Australia, the majority of voters said they felt the economy was volatile.

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (Ilene)

How does one decrease the cost of labor in America? Well first, you have to bust the unions. Check. Then you have to create a pressing need for people to work – perhaps give them easy access to credit and then get them to go so deeply into debt that they will have to work until they die to pay them off. Check.

Three Interesting Interviews on King World News (Davos)

Both John Williams and Ted Butler make sense to me, since they talk about areas in which I have experience and adequate knowledge for a probability.

I do not know enough or have enough data to have an informed opinion on what Matt Simmons is saying. It is hard to believe that the government could be so incompetent to take the risks that he outlines. It should be relatively easy for the US Navy to lead an effort to ascertain if some of the things that he says is true.

Roads to Ruin: Towns Rip Up the Pavement (cmartenson)

In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Alabama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as "poor man's pavement." Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel.

Mauldn: The Debt Supercycle (JRB)

The end of the Debt Supercycle does not have to mean calamity for each country, depending on how far down the road they are. Yes, if you are Greece your choices are between very, very bad and disastrous. Japan is a bug in search of a windshield. Each country has its own dynamics. 

When Kings And Princes Grow Old (cmartenson)

Imagine that the United Kingdom was an absolute monarchy known as Windsor Britain. Imagine that Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, had dozens of brothers, scores of sons and hundreds of cousins, and that the broader House of Windsor numbered thousands of lesser princes and princesses. Imagine further that all these royals pocketed fat state stipends, with many holding lifelong fiefs as government ministers, department heads, regimental commanders or provincial governors, with no parliament to hold them in check. Now imagine how sporting these princely chaps would be when the throne fell vacant, if the only written rule was a vague stipulation that the next in line should be the “best qualified” among all the Windsor princes.

This is roughly how things look in Saudi Arabia, a family enterprise run the old-fashioned way.

The New Doom (cmartenson)

Last week, not very far from the hedge fund manager's ranch, the billionaire John Malone gave a little-noticed interview to The Wall Street Journal from Allen & Co.'s annual Sun Valley conference. Asked about the biggest risks to Liberty, his media conglomerate, Mr. Malone said his concern was this country's survival. "We have a retreat that's right on the Quebec border. We own 18 miles on the border, so we can cross. Anytime we want to, we can get away."

His wife is more concerned: She's already moved her personal cash to Australia and Canada. "She wants to have a place to go," said Mr. Malone, No. 400 on this year's Forbes list of the richest people in the world, "if things blow up here."

Police Could Lose 'Up To 60,000 Officers' (cmartenson)

Up to 60,000 police officer jobs could be lost in the next five years as the government seeks to eliminate the national debt, according to research published today.

The figure is the worst-case scenario in a range of possible outcomes examined by Jane's Police Review magazine after the Treasury told government departments to prepare for cuts of up to 40%.

Energy

Wall Street And Peak Oil (cmartenson)

Is it really possible that oil traders, investors and analysts haven’t heard of peak oil? Or that they have decided to ignore it altogether?

Environment

Peak Phosphorus (cmartenson)

The Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, led by Swedish and Australian scientists, estimates that the world’s readily available phosphorus supplies will be inadequate to meet agricultural demand within 30 to 40 years. Others predict shortages sooner or later. All seem to agree that phosphorus price increases seen recently on global markets will recur, and that they will likely hit farmers in the developing world hardest.

“Our current use of phosphorus is not sustainable,” says James Elser, an Arizona State University ecologist and cofounder of the newly launched Sustainable P Initiative on that campus.

Revolution: The Right Kind And The Wrong Kind (cmartenson)

An appropriate revolution is one that is relevant to what is actually needed in the light of human and planetary evolution. It is not primarily political but rather informed by what the earth community is asking for. For example, the earth is not asking for more efficient and accessible healthcare. Rather, it is asking that humans live in such conscious intimacy with the earth that nearly all of humanity's diseases and injuries are prevented as a result of that relationship.

The 50-Year Farm Bill (cmartenson)

Across the farmlands of the U.S. and the world, climate change overshadows an ecological and cultural crisis of unequaled scale: soil erosion, loss of wild biodiversity, poisoned land and water, salinization, expanding dead zones, and the demise of rural communities. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) concludes that agriculture is the “largest threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function of any single human activity.”1 Up to 40 percent of global croplands are experiencing soil erosion, reduced fertility, or overgrazing.2 It is likely that agricultural acreage worldwide will expand over the next two to three decades, especially as the human population increases to eight to 10 billion people. The same thing that drives climate change helps drive the agricultural crisis—cheap fossil fuel.

After Oil Spills, Hidden Damage Can Last for Years (jdargis)

Every oil spill is different, but the thread that unites these disparate scenes is a growing scientific awareness of the persistent damage that spills can do — and of just how long oil can linger in the environment, hidden in out-of-the-way spots.

The Ways Of The Force (cmartenson)

A garden bed, to begin with, is a device for collecting energy from the sun by way of the elegant biochemical dance of photosynthesis. Follow a ray of sunlight from the thermonuclear cauldron of the sun, across 93 million miles of hard vacuum and a few dozen miles of atmosphere, until it falls on the garden bed.



Around half the sunlight reflects off the plants, which is why the leaves look bright green to you instead of flat black; most of the rest is used by the plants to draw water up from the ground into their stems and leaves, and expel it into the air; a few per cent is caught by chloroplasts – tiny green disks inside the cells of every green plant, descended from blue-green algae that were engulfed but not destroyed by some ancestral single-celled plant maybe two billion years ago – and used to turn water and carbon dioxide into sugars, which are rich in chemical energy and power the complex cascade of processes we call life.

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]

24 Comments

DRHolden's picture
DRHolden
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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

The Doom Factor is high.  This fall and 2011 do not look good, at least for anyone who owns anything, or owes money to anyone, or needs to eat or drink, or breathe...

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ao
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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

With regards to The New Doom article, I find it interesting that Malone is prepped for getting out of Dodge if the need arises.  From this type of response, it's obvious he's more concerned about his survival than he is about the country's survival.  I'm surprised he would make this kind of statement publicly, however.  Makes one wonder what the story behind the story is.

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Debate over the theory of biological petroleum origin

Chris,

Is there someting in this debate over the contending theories of oil origins (fossil vs. abiotic)?  When I consider  track records of science and various human beliefs over thousands of years, it seems like we can't just ignore this alternative theory which says oil is abiotic in origin.   The abiogenic hypothesis argues that petroleum was formed from deep carbon deposits, perhaps dating to the formation of the Earth.  I read this wiki article about this theory, but this topic seems to be beyond my ability to assess the validity of the presented information.

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

Thanks,

presentmoment

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

60,000 cops laid off ?  The article is about the UK, but it would be nice if it happened here !

 Here's a list of the local cops we have here:  ( Those I know of.....no doubt I've missed some I don't even know about.... )

1. City cops.....including every little hamlet of any size.  One "city" of a few hundred people has it's own police/revenue deptment that funds much of the other "city" government.  Put up a speed camera on a 4 lane highway they annexed into the "city" ( it's nowhere near "down town" ) and got $250,000 in 3 months.

2. County cops...lots and lots and lots of them.

3. State Highway Patrol

4. FBI

5. TVA  ( Tennessee Valley Authority....a public utility ) started their own police force a few years ago.

6. TWRA ( Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency).....what used to be known as "the game warden"...now they patrol lakes, looking for boating violations ( like expired registration ), write traffic tickets ( anywhere.....not just the woods )....and compete with the TVA cops for "clients" on the TVA lakes.

7.US Forest Service cops.  Used to be, Forest Service folks did forest work....now you drive by the HQ, and there is a fleet of SUV's with light bars, and K-9 units....

8. BATF.....because you can't have tax free alcohol, and people swaping guns around......

9. University police......local university has a whole force of it's own.....all sworn county officers with full arrest power.

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Re: Debate over the theory of biological petroleum origin

presentmoment: re abiotic oil

simple methane is ubiquitous, so while its certainly possible that some geologic activity could produce complex hydrocarbons, there's still no evidence that any of the oil we are currently extracting is of abiotic origin; none of the people who work in the field buy into that old soviet era theory; & even when petrogeologists talk of "old oil", they are still speaking of oil with origins in the early carboniferous era...

even if, as you say, we cant afford to ignore the possibilty that abiotic deposits exist, a pascal's wager dictates that we plan for the end of easy oil as we have lived with it...

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

Here is a good followup article to Carolyn Baker's Revolution: The Right Kind And The Wrong Kind  CM pointed out above. http://rkmdocs.blogspot.com/2010/03/localism.html

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

Revolution: The Right Kind and the wrong kind redefines the word naive. It ignores basic human nature. Sounds good but won't happen.

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Re: The New Doom

John Malone does not appear too intelligent...I'm not sure I would take his world view as valid.

He does not appear concerned about privacy...the Idaho / Canadian Border is only 45 miles long.

 

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I Love My Children. I Hate My Life.

There's been some buzz around a recent article in New York magazine titled, All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting. The cover of the publication shows a mother holding her baby with the cover line, I Love My Children. I Hate My Life.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/16/2955221.htm?site=thedrum

The author Jennifer Senior (a mother herself) explores a wide range of research on parenting and reports that it overwhelmingly supports the view that parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases, are less so.

She writes about the changing views of childhood in Western society, arguing that before urbanisation, children delivered their parents an economic advantage that's no longer evident:

"If you had a farm, they toiled alongside you to maintain its upkeep; if you had a family business, the kids helped mind the store. But ... as we gained in prosperity, childhood came increasingly to be viewed as a protected, privileged time, and once college degrees became essential to getting ahead, children became not only a great expense but subjects to be sculpted, stimulated, instructed, groomed ... kids in short went from being our staffs to being our bosses."

Unsurprisingly, the article's been controversial. The Atlantic's response was titled, Parenting Makes People Miserable. What Else is New? In the blogosphere, some writers asked why all the happy parents aren't speaking up. Christian bloggers argued the original article was an alarming sign of the times. In response to some other recent articles about the downsides of parenting, Australian blogger Mia Freedman invited her readers to share what they love about having children.

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18
TNdancer wrote:

60,000 cops laid off ?  The article is about the UK, but it would be nice if it happened here !

 Here's a list of the local cops we have here:  ( Those I know of.....no doubt I've missed some I don't even know about.... )

1. City cops.....including every little hamlet of any size.  One "city" of a few hundred people has it's own police/revenue deptment that funds much of the other "city" government.  Put up a speed camera on a 4 lane highway they annexed into the "city" ( it's nowhere near "down town" ) and got $250,000 in 3 months.

2. County cops...lots and lots and lots of them.

3. State Highway Patrol

4. FBI

5. TVA  ( Tennessee Valley Authority....a public utility ) started their own police force a few years ago.

6. TWRA ( Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency).....what used to be known as "the game warden"...now they patrol lakes, looking for boating violations ( like expired registration ), write traffic tickets ( anywhere.....not just the woods )....and compete with the TVA cops for "clients" on the TVA lakes.

7.US Forest Service cops.  Used to be, Forest Service folks did forest work....now you drive by the HQ, and there is a fleet of SUV's with light bars, and K-9 units....

8. BATF.....because you can't have tax free alcohol, and people swaping guns around......

9. University police......local university has a whole force of it's own.....all sworn county officers with full arrest power.

Amen,

I live in a town of 350,000.  We got our very own APC three years ago.  We had borrowed the one from the next town twice in three years and obviously we needed our very own.  Cost 315,000.  Maintenance - who knows.  Time wasted playing with the thing under the guise of "training" - immense, I am sure.  We have used it once in three years that I am aware of and in that incident it was used improperly and the bad guy escaped the scene in his car.

It is really an obscene waste of tax dollars.

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18
MarkM wrote:
TNdancer wrote:

60,000 cops laid off ?  The article is about the UK, but it would be nice if it happened here !

 Here's a list of the local cops we have here:  ( Those I know of.....no doubt I've missed some I don't even know about.... )

1. City cops.....including every little hamlet of any size.  One "city" of a few hundred people has it's own police/revenue deptment that funds much of the other "city" government.  Put up a speed camera on a 4 lane highway they annexed into the "city" ( it's nowhere near "down town" ) and got $250,000 in 3 months.

2. County cops...lots and lots and lots of them.

3. State Highway Patrol

4. FBI

5. TVA  ( Tennessee Valley Authority....a public utility ) started their own police force a few years ago.

6. TWRA ( Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency).....what used to be known as "the game warden"...now they patrol lakes, looking for boating violations ( like expired registration ), write traffic tickets ( anywhere.....not just the woods )....and compete with the TVA cops for "clients" on the TVA lakes.

7.US Forest Service cops.  Used to be, Forest Service folks did forest work....now you drive by the HQ, and there is a fleet of SUV's with light bars, and K-9 units....

8. BATF.....because you can't have tax free alcohol, and people swaping guns around......

9. University police......local university has a whole force of it's own.....all sworn county officers with full arrest power.

Amen,

I live in a town of 350,000.  We got our very own APC three years ago.  We had borrowed the one from the next town twice in three years and obviously we needed our very own.  Cost 315,000.  Maintenance - who knows.  Time wasted playing with the thing under the guise of "training" - immense, I am sure.  We have used it once in three years that I am aware of and in that incident it was used improperly and the bad guy escaped the scene in his car.

It is really an obscene waste of tax dollars.

TNdancer,

I couldn't agree with you more.  When I drove in to work one morning on my 5 1/2 mile commute and my radar detector lit up half a dozen times, it was quite evident we have way too many cops.  Four times when I've needed them over the years (twice to report DUIs and twice to report thefts), they were useless.  The state police are well trained and effective but many of the locals ... well, let's just say they shouldn't be cops.  If you want protection, get a gun and learn how to use it because if you need help quickly, most likely, it won't arrive on time if you're counting on the police.

MarkM,

That's amazing about the APC!  So what happens when some criminals take it out with Molotovs or an IED like in Mexico?  Do they get a stand-off attack helicopter next?  I agree that it's an incredible waste!

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V
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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

Well the R word makes it onto the front page of the site. It has been brought to you by the only person who could bring it and not get busted.

I happen to agree with coolpajim. That article was a pipe dream and when pipes are outlawed only outlaws will have pipes. I am sure the Mexican drug cartels that are now in control of a good portion of the US SW are onboard with the appropriate revolution plan. As are the Bloods and the Crips and  dog knows how many other gangs there are out there. I am sure all the corporations are down with an appropriate revolution. I can just see it now " Revolt at Wal Mart it is made in the USA"

I know Jamie Dimon, Larry Summers, Timmy, Ben, Loyd and all the other Wall Street gangsters and banksters are all ready for a major reset where we take back the country from them.

Sheesh whatever it is Ms. Baker is smoking I am glad I gave it up a long time ago. Is there any way to get some Orlov or Celente or Kunstler to her?

I just wonder if Jefferson and the boys considered the revolution they bet their lives on appropriate. 

V

ps A little Gil Scott Heron, dated but appropriate. There is a longer version on youtube featuring Ron Paul.

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Revolution: The Right Kind
coolpajim wrote:

Revolution: The Right Kind and the wrong kind redefines the word naive. It ignores basic human nature. 

I would have to respectfully disagree with this take on the article. What redefines the word naive for me is:

  1. To entertain the thought, even for a millisecond, that the political process is the answer to anything. 
  2. To think that social and/or political revolt (aka the wrong kind of revolution) will do anything but make our problems larger and more difficult to address.
  3. To think that we are, as human beings, somehow special, different, superior to, inferior to, or otherwise separate from that which we label "the world around us".

Needless to say, I wholeheartedly agree with the author's definition of the right kind of revolution. Though if she wanted to be faithful to her point, she should have left the political component out of her argument.

Thanks for the dig Dr. M, I enjoyed the read.

Jeff

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

"[T]he earth is not asking for more efficient and accessible healthcare. Rather, it is asking that humans live in such conscious intimacy with the earth that nearly all of humanity's diseases and injuries are prevented as a result of that relationship."

Say what?  I will avoid even tackling the softball nonsense in this article (such as the personification of a planet).  Rather, I will simply point out that the Neanderthals did not become extinct because of their failure to live in concious intimacy with the earth, and doubtless penicillin would have assisted in a contrary outcome.  I doubt that author can even see the earth from where she is.  Naive ain't in it.

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Re: Revolution: The Right Kind
JAG wrote:
  1. To entertain the thought, even for a millisecond, that the political process is the answer to anything. 
  2. To think that social and/or political revolt (aka the wrong kind of revolution) will do anything but make our problems larger and more difficult to address.
  3. To think that we are, as human beings, somehow special, different, superior to, inferior to, or otherwise separate from that which we label "the world around us".

1. On any level of human interaction, whether it be a couple, a family, or a community, there will always be a political process of sorts..

2. It's funny that in giving examples of revolutions, she neglects one of the most transformative revolutions in human history, the American Revolution.  Also, I can tell you this ... her de facto advocacy of an earth worship of sorts, regardless of any modern and sophisticated twist, will ultimately fail just as such practices have failed in the past. 

3. Uh ... although not separate, we are very, very different and special.   

 

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

Revolution: The Right Kind And The Wrong Kind, this article reminds me of these creatures,

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

Revolution: The Right Kind And The Wrong Kind, this article reminds me of these creatures,

 

Ludicrous. Thank god i tried that kind of nonsense when i was in my teens. It`s so pitiful to see grownups devoid of any dignity behave like absolute jerks. 

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18
gregroberts wrote:

Revolution: The Right Kind And The Wrong Kind, this article reminds me of these creatures,

ROFLMAO!!!!!

Did they morn the plant that they killed for smoke?

What about the plants that died for that vegetable platter they ate at the cafeteria?

Too funny.

Where do you find this stuff Greg? 

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60.000 Cops

I had to ponder this article for awhile to think about some of the ramifications. I seem to remember that Clinton put 100,000 cops on the streets. So in essence we still have a net gain of 40,000 since he was prez.

First I think Obama will need to propose a major job training program. Or more accurately a job RE training program. I shudder to think what 60,000 cops out of work, who are trained to use force with and with out weapons to subdue alleged perps, will be qualified to do. We may see a surge in enlistment and re- enlistment in the armed services. We may also see a lot of recruitment by private paramilitary companies which the US increasingly is using to fight our non wars.

Secondly and I think this is a remote outcome but possible, Posse Comitatus ( or more accurately what is left of it) will go the way of Glass Steagall. We could see US soldiers being used as peacekeepers in our own country.

V

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An Answer to Baker's Critics

I often see people on this site tout the virtues of gold as a store of wealth. I find it fascinating that people can proclaim the value of an inert shiny metal while deriding people who treasure a livable planet and the things which provide for life here.

Were you aware that the Mediterranean basin was once covered in forests, from the Atlantic to past the Tigris and Euphrates, extending down well into what is now called the Sahara? The demise of these forests occurred simultaneously with the rise of the first large cities (Source Man and the Mediterranean Forest: A History of Resource Depletion by J.V. Thirgood). Do you know what passenger pigeons would be? Did you know they used to darken the entire sky in places in the U.S. for days for a time during their migration? How many are left?

Many people in the online community who are becoming awake to our mutual crisis are convinced things in our society started going down hill around 1914 on some east coast island because of a few greedy bankers. That was also the year the last recorded passenger pigeon was shot dead.

I may be a hippy, and therefore subhuman, and unentitled to a respected opinion; but I cannot countanance the destructive mindset of willful dominion over the living earth. It's killing her (I reserve my right to mourn). And if we don't pursue a revolution in conciousness to include a consideration of her needs, Then We Are Doomed.

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

Greg,

I going out right now to seek repentance for all those weeds I so mercilessly slaughtered in my garden and for those rocks I so callously cast aside without any thought as to their well being or future.  Please tell me where I can sign up to join the Earth Wackadoodles.  I wish to start a fund for orphaned baby trees. 

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Re: Daily Digest - July 18

It is my understanding that religious comments are not appreciated on this site so I will refrain from making such a blatant reference. However, I will state that the article on "Revolution: The right kind and the wrong kind" is a strong statement on Pantheism. It is every bit as religious as a statement on fundamental Christianity.

Worship of the earth has been around since Cain and Abel. It should be rejected once again.

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Re: An Answer to Baker's Critics
jhelge wrote:

I often see people on this site tout the virtues of gold as a store of wealth. I find it fascinating that people can proclaim the value of an inert shiny metal while deriding people who treasure a livable planet and the things which provide for life here.

***

I may be a hippy, and therefore subhuman, and unentitled to a respected opinion; but I cannot countanance the destructive mindset of willful dominion over the living earth. It's killing her (I reserve my right to mourn). And if we don't pursue a revolution in conciousness to include a consideration of her needs, Then We Are Doomed.

Greetings, jhelge.  You are certainly entitled to a respected opinion, hippy or no.  More so than many other places, this community is specifically concerned about the environment which is, after all, one of Dr. Martenson's 3Es.  And gold won't be a store of wealth if there are no people, certainly. 

The article is receiving such round derision because it is full of the sort of misinformed nonsense often written by people who go on the occasional dayhike and perceive they have some meaningful connection to the earth themselves as a result.  I suspect the author has never exposed herself to any endeavor that would teach her some fundamental lessons about how careless the earth really is regarding life.  Homo sapiens didn't evolve the brains we did because Mother Earth is some benevolent life-affirming deity.  Our brains allow us to deal with the absolute truth that "she" will drop you in a second for the next great thing.  Not far from this author's logic is the logic of those who embrace earthquakes, famine, and collapse to "heal" the planet (so long as those things don't happen to them, of course, as the enlightened priesthood). 

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Re: An Answer to Baker's Critics

 

 

I Second that.

 

Another one of those unreflected views is that of the silly interpretation of the so called karmic reaction,

which basically says that people who suffer in this world do so because they broke universal laws in their previous life.

 

In essence this means, that the psychopathic dictator in this life who is sending hundreds of thousands of people to their graves, 

Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot,  Nixon, Lyndon B.Johnson, Chrustchow, Ceausescu, Idi Amin, Reza Pahlevi, Pinochet,  and you may continue with whatever emphasis your systemic upbringing allows you to, are basically doing Gods work because all these people obviously were suffering and dying in this world because they did bad in their previous lives.

I could´nt think of a more fascist philosophy in the name of the universe.

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