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    From Afghanistan to Wokeistan

    The long war comes home
    by mememonkey

    Saturday, September 11, 2021, 11:10 PM

Written by Peter Smith

Idiocracy, Evil Cabal or Foreign Intrigue?

It is difficult to accurately parse how much of the spiraling dysfunction and gross incompetence that is currently on display within our institutional and governmental entities can be attributed to ‘natural causes’  such as bureaucratic bloat or the organic outgrowth of  “Civilizational Decline,” versus what one could reasonably assign to malign intent or deliberate “enemy action,” be that by a “shadowy cabal,”  foreign power(s), or domestic enemies. Or, as is more likely in this hyper-complex global environment, a multifactoral often dynamic combination of all of the above elements.

The Long View

The latest debacle – the rapid collapse of our puppet government in Kabul and the resulting botched and humiliating withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan – marked the official loss of this ignominious twenty year war.  Leaving aside the tragic cost in human life and suffering, the price tag of this 2.3 trillion (net of CIA opium sales) boondoggle is a testament to the immense scale of structural corruption and self-dealing by the congressional military industrial complex. Such epic dysfunction can certainly be attributed to the organic consequences and processes of the decline of Empire and serves as a textbook example of the “Senility of the Elites.”  This conceptual turn of phrase was eloquently elucidated by John Michael Greer in his seminal 2014 essay Dark Age America: the Senility of the Elites, which captures the dynamic of structural incompetence as a function of mediocrity and self-perpetuating conformity of thought and “problem solving” within aging and sclerotic institutions.  While the term “Senility of the Elites” is mostly metaphorical, it is not hard to see its literal implications when witnessing the glaring cognitive decline of Biden and the less frequent but no less obvious gaps of competence on both sides of our Octogenarian-heavy elite “leadership.”

“…Every group of social primates has an inner core of members who have more access to the resources controlled by the group, and more influence over the decisions made by the group, than other members.  How individuals enter that core and maintain themselves there against their rivals varies from one set of social primates to another—baboons settle such matters with threat displays backed up with violence, church ladies do the same thing with social maneuvering and gossip, and so on—but the effect is the same: a few enter the inner core, the rest are excluded from it. That process, many times amplified, gives rise to the ruling elite of a civilization.” – John Michael Greer

Still, despite the obvious structural dysfunction plaguing the decision-making in Washington, the level of  tactical incompetence displayed in the withdrawal and evacuation of Afghanistan was so stupendously awful with elements of timing and sequencing diametrically opposite to military best practices as to give credence to the theory that it amounts to intentional sabotage.

But to what end?  Cui Bono?  There are many entities both foreign and domestic that benefit.  China, Russia, Iran – even EU Integrationists such as Macron with his push for an independent EU military force – are among the international entities that benefit geo-strategically and economically from America’s humiliating denouement in Afghanistan.

Certainly, there is likewise no shortage of political rivals and agendas domestically in the cutthroat byzantine world of DC politics that could stand to gain from Biden’s humiliation in what from all appearances will likely prove to ultimately be a mortal political wound.

The Manchurian Candidate?

Despite the reflexive popularity with the Conservative Right to pin Biden’s moves on his past “Association” with China, I would not look to subterfuge from China in this instance.  It is true that they have motive, and a history of successfully compromising corrupt members of our political class, including the “Big Guy” himself.  However, the rewards of amplifying what was already an inevitable defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan don’t nearly justify the risks of actual tampering.

To the extent that he ever was, Biden is effectively burnt as an “asset” given the exposure that he received during the election cycle and the hard security re-pivot to Asia underway.  Moreover, the Biden Administration’s decision to follow through with Trump’s original initiative to withdraw troops has all the hallmarks of being motivated by self-interested domestic political considerations, positioning for midterm elections in a cynical effort to co-opt the populist peace vote and shore up their legislative control.   At least until such time as they’ve structurally altered the electoral system to achieve an unassailable permanent “Democratic” majority.

China’s actions regarding Afghanistan have been overt, consisting of fostering diplomatic relations with the Taliban and neighboring states in preparation for the US’ inevitable withdrawal and a post-US Central Asian order.  In addition to the windfall of strategic and economic benefits that a cooperative alliance with the Taliban brings them, they are motivated to use their increased Central Asian influence to check importation of radical Jihadists to their gas-rich, far-northwest autonomous region of Xinjiang.

This is congruent with their cultural and historical emphasis on long horizon decision making and their demonstrated strategic MO which, like that of Russia, has been consistent in avoiding and minimizing risks of direct confrontation with the US, with its potential for escalation outside of all but their immediate sphere of territorial and critical “Red Line” interests.

Simply put, they are content to let the US and its flailing machinery of empire continue to score “own goals” while they run out the clock and continue to make steady, incremental progress winning geopolitical hearts and minds with diplomacy, economic, technological, and military aid initiatives.

This is not to say that they are a benevolent force for good! The CCP is as inherently good as you might imagine any totalitarian State might be.  Or, that they are not engaged in a major power competition (war) with the US across a full spectrum of domains.  They clearly are.  It simply means that any assessment of their culpability for an alleged behavior or potential future actions (Taiwan invasion) in the geopolitical sphere needs to reconcile with a realistic cost-benefit risk analysis that makes sense from their demonstrated cautious long-term strategic perspective.

In addition to China, I would rule out any of the other non-empire aligned foreign interests as having significantly influenced the withdrawal debacle – for the simple fact such parties lack the levers of power and influence that would extend deep enough into the intelligence and military command apparatus that control events on the ground in a theater like Afghanistan.

There is however a class of ‘suspect’ that does have those levers of power and influence at that operational level.  Not coincidentally, they are the same cast of characters which brought us the original invasion of Afghanistan and the rest of the “Global War on Terror.”  I speak, of course, of the Neocons, whose influence and presence in the permanent bureaucracy (Deep State) of our governing institutions – particularly within the CIA, State Department and Pentagon – remains a pervasive cancer on the body politic.

It is worth noting that most of the dysfunction on display in Biden’s withdrawal debacle could be attributed to intelligence and communication “failures.”  As bad as it was, the tactical withdrawal plan, timeline, and sequence was predicated on grossly incorrect assumptions about the staying power and motivation of the Afghan army and government in Kabul.  It is clear that both political and military leaders were operating from an information deficit which led to the cascading failures and resulting chaos.  The operative question is whether that intelligence deficit was, in part, intentional.

If there was “sabotage” or malign intent amplifying and exacerbating the manifest incompetence that is so evident, it would most likely be the aforementioned Deep State elements who are responsible.  Either in the hopes of derailing the withdrawal, or at a minimum, to set a “Disaster Precedent” to handicap Biden and stymie future withdrawals from Iraq and Syria by him or any future successor who might be so inclined.

There is certainly a history of these same Deep State elements obstructing Trump’s efforts to end occupations and withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.  There is a litany of evidence of them slow walking or directly ignoring orders, concealing actual troop counts, leaking “faked” intelligence reports (Russian Bounties), etc.

What is evident now is that these elements within Biden’s State Department leaked embarrassing memos that discredit Biden and Blinken’s evacuation narrative and the CIA News Network (CNN) itself – along with other stalwarts of the establishment media – have broken rank with Biden on the issue.  That tells us that there are some “philosophical differences” between the administration and the National Security State and special interests that actually run things.  Not coincidentally, given the make up of Biden’s team, we saw similar frictions when Obama pushed back against the “security” agenda and pushed through the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).  It is also notable that, even before the blood was dry on Biden’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, he received a visit from Israel’s new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, who “..wanted assurances that the US will not withdraw its remaining forces from Iraq and Syria and would support Israel fully if it should choose to attack Iran.”  Watching this unfolding dynamic and how it resolves will be very telling.

Regardless of palace intrigues and even without the humiliation component, the loss in Afghanistan is hugely significant. It is the first major retrenchment from the keystone occupation of the ostensible “Global War on Terror.”  But in reality, it marks the likely beginning of the end for “American Global Dominance.”  It is analogous to losing a valuable chess piece positioned in the center of the board – or in this case, a country that is central to the most strategic position of  “The Great Game”—the ongoing struggle for world dominance by securing control of Mackinder’s “World Island,”  the strategically and economically critical  population and resource rich land mass of Eurasia.  Given the  strategic significance of its location, it is no coincidence that Afghanistan is known as the Graveyard of Empires.

The humiliating way that the West retreated from Afghanistan compounded the loss and amplified that signal to friends and foes alike, no doubt hastening the inevitable realignments that will flow from here.  Saudi Arabia was busy signing a military cooperation agreement with Russia on Aug 23rd, even as the chaotic retreat unfolded.  The first of what is a now a trickle, but will over time turn into a flood of similar events for an empire in decline.

In Part 2, we will explore the international rise of woke fascism and examine the emergence of the National Security State and Totalitarianism in the West, including its relationship to the events of 9/11 and the Pandemic.

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84 Comments

  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 6:27am

    #1
    Aquila Virtue

    Aquila Virtue

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 03 2021

    Posts: 23

    10

    Lost Republic

    The republic is lost. As we are witnessing national wide looting by « ruling class » and special interest groups, the situation will grow more chaotic until we have civil war in almost everywhere in western countries. New factions have to emerge and will have to reorganize around sound principles and a new constitution. That appears to be the only way to get rid of all this corruption.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 7:36am

    #2

    Rector

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 07 2010

    Posts: 411

    16

    Excellent

    I agree with the content, but feel more obligated to point out the quality and idea density of the writing.  Excellent work and an excellent choice of articles.

    Rector

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 8:19am

    #3

    Tycer

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Apr 26 2009

    Posts: 279

    5

    Dmitry Kofinas

    Nice! Thanks 🙏🏼
    I’ve been following Afghanistan. I enjoyed Scott Horton’s Fool’s Errand.
    Dmitry Kofinas’ last three interviews 205,206,207 were fantastic! Laurel Miller, Johnathan Schroden, and Daniel Markey respectively. https://hiddenforces.io/

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 9:10am

    #4
    LBL

    LBL

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Apr 11 2020

    Posts: 430

    5

    LBL said:

    Covid19 is the Sh-tshow you Ordered.

    58  years of Psychopathology at the highest levels of the US government.

     

    One of the key insights Americans can have is that:

    Israel can murder Americans with Complete Impunity, as occurred in the case of the USS Liberty incident, in 1967.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident

     

    American Rachel Corrie learned more about that, in 2003.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Corrie

     

    History Professor Ariel Toaff spent many years of his life, at a University in Israel, studying a single case of Blood Passover.

    His book "Blood Passover" is the result.

    Dr. Toaff writes about the case of "Saint Simon". Simon was a 2 year old Gentile child of a Christian family.  He was kidnapped, drained of his blood (per Jewish custom, the blood has to be from a living person), and dismembered.

    Didn't get much time to be a Saint.

    To appease the family, the child was made a literal Saint in some Christian church.

    http://BloodPassover.com

     

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 10:49am

    #5
    MariaDWhite

    MariaDWhite

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 10 2020

    Posts: 26

    6

    And this is of interest to preppers because...?

    I always thought that this site was about helping people to deal with the consequences of the inevitable decline that we'd see as a consequence of reaching the limits to growth in our country and/or civilization. Whether that would manifest mainly as peak oil, climate change, another resource crisis, supply chain issues, a pandemic, the events described in Revelation showing up in all their glory, or something else wasn't clear.

    Now, if you really believe that there is a real crisis, you do one of these things:

    1. Prepare

    2. Help others to prepare

    3. Run and do whatever you think needs doing because the time to act is now.

    What you don't do at all, if you believe there is a real crisis, is hang around and discuss issues going on far away.

    What's going on, people? It would have been more honest to bring the site down for a while than this.

    And by the way, I think I'm doing (2) because I've done (1) as much as I can, and as for (3), at this point in time, I really don't know what's the best course of action.

     

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:03am

    agnes xyz

    agnes xyz

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Dec 21 2020

    Posts: 193

    3

    Agree with Maria

    Exactly and more.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:03am

    #7

    SagerXX

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 698

    18

    Reply to MariaD

    Articles like this can clarify thinking for those of us well into the prepping journey (ie, "Holy moley, this convinces me it's time to head to my bug out location!"), but for those who are only beginning it might steel their resolve and get them to shorten their timelines, and for those who are only just awakening, it might quicken that process.

    For me, who's been about the prepping journey a decade-plus, this article is one more noodge to give up my small business and make the shift to farming out in the jungle.  To each their own journey!

    VIVA -- Sager

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:13am

    #8
    richard ward

    richard ward

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 03 2021

    Posts: 33

    2

    fluff

    Too much fluff in this part 1. Found it hard to read. Now is not the time to write a novel.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:14am

    ckessel

    ckessel

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 226

    23

    And this is of interest to preppers because...

    Because we care about improving our understanding of the changes we are facing.

    This applies to the macro issues unfolding in the world and the micro issues about what is happening in our garden. This site is about information and it needs to and does provide that for a wide spectrum of individuals.

    Fortunately we still have a choice about what we want to read and if an article is not of interest then you can move on without penalty.

    Marie, Your comment:

    " It would have been more honest to bring the site down for a while than this."

    in my opinion is a clear attempt at gaslighting and ignores any interests other than your own, which by the way, are not clear to me.

    Coop

     

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:15am

    westcoastjan

    westcoastjan

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 1099

    10

    Revising your list

    @Maria, PP is all about the things you say. But for people to prepare and plan they must first understand why it is necessary, and be able to assess their risks & feasible options based on their unique situations. I would say most all of the long time members are well prepared and many are actively helping others - part of that is by sharing expertise and wisdom. So to that end I would suggest your list be amended to this:

    1. Understand (well) that which is relevant to your life
    2. Prepare
    3. Help others
    4. Keep abreast of new & ever involving information to know whether running is even an option, and if not, what does one need to do to survive and hopefully even thrive while staying put.

    You are relatively new here. One of the reasons some of us have the time to discuss is because we have already done all the preparing and are by and large in maintenance mode, adjusting as we learn new info. Our knowledge basis is ever growing in response to the ever evolving nature of our worlds. Core prepping remains the same, but individual situations and risks do not. Thus the need for ongoing discussions to share info that may be of benefit to others.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:17am

    Kathy

    Kathy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Feb 21 2020

    Posts: 530

    11

    Kathy said:

    The issues in Afghanistan do effects me and the way in which I prepare if only just emotionally.

    How much do I put faith in the government, the active military, the retired military, the ability or desire of the federal government to “provide for the common defense?”

    I’m prepared for a natural disaster.  I’m not prepared for the UN or Capitol Police rolling through town.  I’m not prepared to lose all the microchips out of Taiwan.  I’m not prepared to look the service member who lost is wife and family because he had to do one more tour in Afghanistan in the eye and tritely say, “thank you for your service.”  And although I remember the Iran hostage crisis I am not prepared for Afghanistan hostage crisis that seems to be on the horizon and will likely include women and children.

    Helping my neighbor buy ten pounds of rice isn’t going to address my lack of emotional preparedness.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:33am

    Netlej

    Netlej

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Dec 09 2020

    Posts: 345

    7

    First you need to understand what and why you are prepping.

    MDW - It is critically important that we get as many people to understand as much as possible about what is going on leading up to collapse.

    Without enough people onboard and prepping for collapse all the prepping in the world will not help you.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 11:36am

    #13
    jandeligans

    jandeligans

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 21 2011

    Posts: 28

    31

    Action needed now against the vaccine mandate

    I think it is valuable to look behind the curtain always and take note of things that could be coming. I appreciate Chris' look at possibilities. And I trust that this site will not stop there but will support and encourage appropriate action in the now. There is one very immediate very important one and that is Biden's call for vaccine mandates. Those of us who are not affected by it should none the less join in a massive protest. I do not want a precedent set that the government can dictate personal health decisions. So my request to all of you who do not want mandates but are in a job where it is being threatened - form groups of protestors. Invite the vaccinated to join the group (many do not like the forced regimen) and also outside people to help fund and support you. Let your employer know that you will walk out of your job. Let them know you will boycott their business. Prepare to do it. Biden truly threw down a gauntlet with his ridiculous legal requirement to vaccinate all the unwilling. The answer should be not just no but HELL NO! If just 10% of people walk off their jobs the economy would take a huge hit and I think weak old Joe et al will back down. This needs to be the message everywhere. I will not conform. Be like Joe Rogan. No hate to anyone - just the firm message that I will not be another one of your sheep. I have a right to determine my own medical decisions period. I am not the cause of your breakthrough infection - Pfizer is the cause. You were lied to. The vaccines are not safe and not even effective. So all the people who do not want to be vaccinated need to take a stand but also all of us not affected need to support them. PS I did get the vaccine - 2x Pfizer. After a month I had a hemorrhagic stroke. No history or related history. I thought I had died and will never forget that experience. So it's been proven to my satisfaction that the vaccine is not safe. Not effective. Not free in any sense of that word.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 12:33pm

    cray1380

    cray1380

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 14 2020

    Posts: 10

    1

    cray1380 said:

    Yes.  Thank you Maria. There is such a flood of information available to sift through and impossible to keep up with.  This one is not worth the time.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 1:17pm

    Steven Kelso

    Steven Kelso

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Aug 22 2018

    Posts: 256

    13

    Big Picture Orientation

    Chris just talked about the importance of orientation.
    Some of us have been at this awhile and we're not really reacting to these developments emotionally. We are cool and collected. We can suss-out the big picture stuff, because we've already done the Kubler-Ross tap-dance to the worst case scenario outcomes....like a decade ago.

    In fact, we've been waiting for this moment our entire lives.
    We are the leaders we have been waiting for.

    While everyone else is frightened, we stand with steadfast resolve and servant leadership. If you watched the Crash Course (and please tell me you have watched the Crash Course...) then you will know that humans are evolved to see things like a charging lion, and then have a flight or fight response. Humans don't have a flight or fight response to concepts that are temporally distant. The adrenaline doesn't start pumping in fear of climate change or desertification. Chris talks about the existential threat of the exponential function. This is high-level fabric of reality stuff.

    I mean, what if I told you that all of the problems we have today started 15,000 years ago?
    It's true. Yet, it's so far removed, temporally from our level of thinking that we can't see it.

    It's easy to run from a charging lion or a flash flood. It's not so easy to run from the emergent complex systems that is being referenced here.

    P.S. Mememonkey is a legend. And this is exactly the high-level conversations that I want to see at Peak Propsperity. Thank you, Mememonkey.

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 2:00pm

    #16

    000

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 321

    6

    The View of Greg Palast

    "Please, on this September 11, for one day, will you take those virtue-signaling signs off your lawn, to respect those gay Afghans who will be thrown from roofs, the women executed for singing a song or worse, presenting the news."

    My own Forever War: Afghanistan and 9-11

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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 4:56pm

    #17

    000

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 321

    2

    A Larger Perspective Is Required





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  • Sun, Sep 12, 2021 - 8:02pm

    #18
    Netlej

    Netlej

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Dec 09 2020

    Posts: 345

    4

    A simple thought experiment to help understand why WAR.

    Lets just say that a trend takes off where countries who’s economies have been heavily suppressed through various foreign policy actions find their way clear and begin to build and grow.

    China as an example has brought several hundred million or more people out of poverty and their middle class is growing by leaps and bounds. Vietnam is expanding their economy rapidly but still maintaining socialism. Indonesia in general is growing and structuring themselves for broad economic prosperity. Much of Asia has the potential to grow their economies and increase living standards which is the stated goal coming from all leaders.

    Latin America, South and Central, is poised for another socialist revolution and with Imperial US taking several blows to its hegemony this one might just stick.

    Russia and most of the formerly soviet states have enormous potential for growth and a young population itching to realize it. Russia has 6 of the top fastest growing cities in the world China also.

    So lets just say that over the next 5 years or so 3 or 4 BILLION people begin to prosper and begin to increase their consumption accordingly. Even a modest increase in global consumption represents a ten fold increase in the consumption of natural resources. This in a world where all the easy pickings of natural resources have been exhausted and we are now scraping the bottom of the oceans for resources. Every single strategic resource is 10 to 100 times more difficult to produce than it was 50 years ago. The waste stream from current and legacy production has already brought us to the brink of global destruction. The degree of environmental destruction that this kind of exponential growth in demand would represent would be absolutely catastrophic and would accelerate total collapse to a matter of years.

    Not to mention that all of the military exploits of the last 100 + years have been about securing resources, unfettered access to resources for our corporations and perhaps most important of all and not talked about by ANYONE is DEMAND DESTRUCTION. Making sure that nobody else uses OUR resources. We do this in several ways such as financially, sanctions, and when everything else fails “bomb them back to the Stone Age”.

    Quite a predicament the US finds itself in. They can not possibly allow such rampant growth or it means the end of “the American way of life”. They do allow it and we all go down in a flaming caldron of sheite.

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 1:45am

    #19
    XZBD2

    XZBD2

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 15 2020

    Posts: 68

    7

    Why I think geopolitics and the Afghanistan story are important to "preppers"

    I happen to like Charles Eisenstein's framing that we are between stories as inconvenient facts, that Chris's crash course is so good at pointing out, have destroyed the old narrative and thus we find ourselves looking for a new guiding story to live by.  The "great reset" is one such story, but I suspect this community and ones like it can create a better story.  Using permaculture principles to guide us, the first stage is what I've found to be the most uncomfortable step of sitting back and observing what is going on rather than jumping into your "brilliant" solution as that usually fails in some unexpected way.  (Note: I've also learned this lesson from working with the Biomimicry Guild, as with pretty much any problem nature has already figured out a solution or ten and if you take the time to quiet your mind  you can often observe an answer right in front of you . )   Way to go FLCCC!

    Thus I feel it is worth taking the time and observing what is going on in the world and how it is impacting our local, it will be different for everyone, which is great, as each will come up with different solutions and by synthesizing those solutions we can generate a more representative story.  For those familiar with Joseph Campbell or Micheal Meade's work often that synthesis, which has to take into account such non quantifiable factors such as love and spirituality is not literally true in the scientific sense, but reaches a much deeper lasting truth such as found in the ancient myths.  I believe this to be one of the key problems with our current story in that things that aren't quantitative we have no way to value their importance in our economy or our education for that matter.  This is one of the many reasons I'm so excited that Evie is now helping lead the community.  The wonderful poems are a nice example.

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 7:06am

    #20
    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 786

    23

    Why this Big Picture matters (response to comment 5)

    I am frequently amazed at the "solutions" to current problems that I hear from younger-than-me adults who were never taught American or world history. At times they literally cannot hear the echoes of the words they use bouncing through the channels of time. It reveals the "misundereducation" that has helped weaken the American character and sense of purpose, to our and the world's loss. We definitely need to look out more.

    Back in my seminary days I studied Islam at the internationally recognized Macdonald Institute at Hartford Seminary. I read the key works of one of the early jihadist theoreticians, the well-regarded scholar Qutb, a brilliant man who knew both Islam and the West directly. He revived the idea of a vanguard, ascetic Islamic religious warrior class who would lead Islam forward into its past glory. He wrote that the West would lose to Islam because we have no spiritual strength. Our spiritual faith, he said in the 1960s, has died, and so we have no significant cause to propel us in any meaningful engagement. We have no reason to live, he opined, and so we are afraid to die, and that is our weakness.

    No one in the West paid him any mind in his heyday. We were on a roll that we thought would last forever, and we were still steeped in the vestiges of the post-WWII "boosterism" that taught (with significant help from the Rotary Club) that if you can't say anything nice about America and business, don't say anything at all. After all, "the business of America is business."

    Line up that sentiment next to Qutb's analysis. There's the last 60 years in nuce.

    Next to our historical myopia is an underappreciation of the emergent contemporary global context. People who fail to see the connection of events on the ground in the Middle East or Southeast Asia to immediate, near-term, or coming problems in the U.S. and Western Europe are mind-blinded to the preparations they need to make; preparations both material and emotional-mental. One can't prepare for what one can't see. And you can't fight with your eyes closed.

    What does the brand new Saudi military compact with Russia have to do with the West's supply of oil and gasoline? Or with the petrodollar? Why does it matter to Canadians that China has domesticated the Taliban, and whether they will remain on the leash? And, why does China care about Afghanistan anyhow?

    U.S. Americans, in particular, are among the most smug and myopic of people in the world. Just Saturday night I was gathered with a small group around an evening fire when the talk turned briefly to our retreat from Afghanistan. What no one else entertained was the notion that the U.S. didn't withdraw, but got ejected from Afghanistan; or that we are being steadily ejected from the Middle East altogether. And the world. Today, we cannot reliably stand against China short of using nuclear weapons, and that fact has already eclipsed our authority in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. Now Russia has a burgeoning military port north of Israel on the Mediterranean, and has the stated intent to be a "presence" on those waters. The U.S. will steadily withdraw.

    I was smugly assured Saturday eve that "the U.S. will shine. Money talks." Which indicates a supreme ignorance of monetary policy on top of the rest of the arrogant ignorance on display.

    The U.S. is an empire in decline. Our last presidential election demonstrated it. Never mind the corruption of the vote itself - the choice was between a demonstrably senile old and corrupt political hack who vaguely wanders off in both speech and place (rather like U.S. policy), and a backwards-gazing businessman who thinks America's future is her past (rather like U.S. citizens). The average American willfully believes the official lies that assure them we'll get everything back to normal soon - because to acknowledge the state of the country and the world is nothing short of terrifying; terrifying because they have not looked up past their daytime cubicle walls and nighttime television programming (and it is programming) in their entire adult lives.

    As we fade, two trajectories open themselves to us. One is the risk of the Thucydides Trap at the international level. Nuclear war is the risk there. The other is the risk of declining into domestic authoritarian senescence. Both of those are present independent of the Davos crowd's global resource management plan, which - let's face it - is at heart a CCP resource management plan that looks uncomfortably akin to North Korea. Both risks are real.

    If, as now seems likely, China wins the battle for the Middle East (with Russia participating in a secondary, regionalized role), this will in fact be the Chinese Century. It will be a less friendly, less peaceful, less free planet. Chinese norms and values will replace American and Western classical liberalism. The Americas will be considered an outlying region of barbarians whose resources are the only value justifying bothering with us; bothering will mean increasing hegemony over us - a process already well underway through Chinese funding and financing across the Americas, including within U.S. government, education, industry, research, land and resource acquisition, and the purchase of bureaucrats and politicians (all the way up to Biden himself).

    On the flip side, both will pass. Not soon, and not easily. I see two possible trajectories that offer interim landing places and that might lead to a better outcome. Neither is guaranteed. One is to own and work land, holistically with an eye to land resilience. We who pursue that direction have at least the probability of keeping food on the table, a roof over our heads, and some degree of autonomy in countries that become steadily less free. I won't be surprised if we see the Biden Administration lock Americans in place. If the case can be made that Covid is resurging with winter, that might happen soon. Where you're locked down will matter. If you're where you can at least supplement your diet by what you produce yourself, you'll have a better chance of thriving. If you're in a city you're in trouble, I think.

    The other trajectory is bitcoin, because it is the one alternative to the immanent arrival of Central Bank Digital Currencies that will allow those who have it to keep personal finances out of the hands of governments and Central Banks. Those who have it will have a better chance of engaging in grey or black market transactions for necessary goods and services; they will even be able to take it with them if they move about or emigrate, without needing to secure anything physical that can be confiscated. But beyond such defensive elements, it is the one form of money that can thwart, or at least undermine, the power of governments to impose Chinese style social credit scoring and money restrictions. Can it be shut off? I know many on PP believe it can, but I don't think so, as someone deeply in the space who has examined that question a lot. It can be outlawed, and the on-off ramps can be controlled or shut off, but bitcoin itself cannot be shut off and already there are P2P means of converting digital bitcoin into goods or other forms of money - even in China after it formally shut down cryptos.

    I think bitcoin becomes the currency and the symbol of resistance and revolution in the near future. And that, in my opinion, is its true emergent value. I could be wrong, just as I could be wrong in thinking that developing land into production can secure my family from future hunger, homelessness, and constant under-the-thumb governance. But we each have to choose, first, whether to act or remain passive. If to act, then what basic paths we will build out in the short time remaining, with an eye to maximizing resilience against seen and unforeseen future dynamics.

    We want to see as much as we can - which is why understanding international events really matters. The broader our response to what we can see, the more robust our infrastructure can become, which improves our ability to weather the unforeseen.

    No one's done preparing and building. Too many have not started, and don't want to see what monster has already come over the horizon.

    On a very immediate, practical note, there are 5 foods you need to grow to supply yourself with all the nutrients and protein the human body needs. They are: flour corn, beans, winter squash, potatoes, and eggs. If you're starting out, master those and learn how to produce them in steadily improving soil, because the richer the soil is in microscopic life, the richer in nutrition will be the food you eat from it - therefore, the more robust your health and vitality. For growing corn, beans, and squash, study the Three Sisters intercropping system. They complement each other, and can be grown on the same ground - should be, in fact.

    These 5 foods are your renewable emergency food supply. Learn how to propagate season two's crop from season one's. And if chickens are out of the question, double up on your potato production - potatoes grown in healthy soil have as much protein as eggs; you can live off of potatoes (as the Irish peasants knew).

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 10:06am

    #21
    richard ward

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    surprised no one is talking about Saudi 9/11 news

    I'm really surprised no one is talking about how they just said Saudi was involved in 9/11. Their timing is impeccable.  I wonder how they are going to use this because they wouldn't  come out and say that if they didn't have a plan for that.

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 12:12pm

    Peggy

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    Peggy said:

    You forgot to factor in the wild card in all this:

    Major climate change. Its happening exponentially... For example: what happens if there are huge hail storms in July in the mid-west and the wheat crop is wiped out? Two years in a row? (That feeds a good part of the world).

    Or the Kessler Syndrome actually happens and no more satellites...

    We're heading towards social collapse in our not too distant future.

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 12:25pm

    #23
    LBL

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    LBL said:

    >>>  I'm really surprised no one is talking about how they just said Saudi was involved in 9/11. Their timing is impeccable.  I wonder how they are going to use this because they wouldn't  come out and say that if they didn't have a plan for that.

    Obviously it needs to be talked about.  The lies in the official US gov conspiracy theory about 9-11 just keep piling up.

    Senator Al Franken has publicly stated, in writing, that he and former Mayor Koch knew not to go to work at the WTC on 9-11.

    That's a little different than the San Francisco Chronicle having a small article the week of 9-11, saying that California politician Willie Brown got a phone call warning him not to fly.

     

    As far as the very minor information release about the Saudi's, that is a very tiny piece of the story. What they released was highly redacted.

    I think it is in the category of "throwing them a bone". Biden's unique gift for the families of the Deceased, related to the politics of Biden speaking on the day of 9-11.

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 1:18pm

    brushhog

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    Well said VT

    Basically hit the nail on the head and summed up our entire global situation very succinctly. Half way through I was thinking; 'OK another "we're screwed" post with no practical solution', then you provided two solid avenues. Excellent.

    The only thing I disagree with is your recommendation to produce flour. Processing wheat into flour is extremely labor intensive without a thresher and unless you can find an antique and recondition it, you wont find much available to the small producer. Threshing can be done by hand with sticks or flails, wheat can be separated from chaff manually, then wheat can later be ground into flour but thats alot of labor for a little return. Corn can do everything wheat can do and is alot less labor intensive.

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 4:10pm

    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

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    You missed the point

    VT never said anything about wheat. A closer reading would reveal he said flour corn.

    Good to know you agree with him

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 4:29pm

    Canuck21

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    What kind of beans?

    What kind of beans?

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 4:42pm

    Mohammed Mast

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    VT

    Your intro with Islam seems gratuitous. If you had studied Islam you would know that Jihad is not what people think. It is a spiritual battle. Just like Christianity, Islam has been twisted to further particular ends. I would hazard a guess that more wars have been fought in the name of Jesus than any other reason. Let's not forget the Crusades. The animosity towards Islam by Christians has been in existence since the beginning.   The wars Mohammed fought were spiritual battles. They were similar to the battles fought in the Mahabharata. Krishna (an Avatar just as was Jesus and Mohammed) enjoins Arjuna to kill his brothers as "they are already dead".

    As for your options, it is not surprising that number one would be to hunker down and homestead. Of course this has wide appeal here. There are other options which don't get much attention here. One is to be nomadic. The world is a big place. Evolutionary biology demonstrates that flexibility and adaptation are key components of a survival strategy. Being anchored to one place makes you an easy target.

    Of course should things go way south your fellow citizens will be of major concern. I remember the blackout of the mid 60's. Should a scenario like that happen for an extended period of time people will leave the cities in search of whatever they need and if you have it well? Then of course there is the government our good buddy.

    There was a person here who I struck up a friendship with who bought a very big boat with the intention of providing for his family in the event it became necessary. He no longer posts here.  Then of course there is Galt's Gulch.

    As far as your food recommendations I would not put too much emphasis on potatoes. As the Irish found out that can lead to a very bad outcome. I would and do put my emphasis on sweet potatoes. They have been called the single most nutritious food on the planet. Squash has lots of issues with bugs . I don't grow it.  It does keep well. I would add shitakes to the mix. They are medicine as well as food and easy to grow.

    As for your assessment of China, yes it is definitely the China century. Empires usually last 2-3 hundred years. the US is long in the tooth. It is now hollowing itself out and all that will be left will be a nuclear shell. China will take Taiwan and the US will sit and watch it happen. The US has no real allies anymore. China is playing the long game. Unfortunately there is a very large number of people who believe in the myth of Amerika. It is beat into their heads in school and it is the dominant narrative. At the local university right at the end of the anthem jets fly over the stadium and everybody cheers. Almost every aspect of Amerikaan life is linked to patriotism and the military.

    China is just sitting there watching gleefully as the US implodes. The only real question is how long before we are wearing those hideous green outfits with those red stars on them.

    Of course Bitcoin is the answer for anyone awake enough to ask the question but this site is not the place to have that discussion. Pity that.

     

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 4:46pm

    YZ_from_Katy_TX

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    YZ_from_Katy_TX said:

    Good summary. Thank you VTGothic for the advise.

    Just wanted to add for anyone allergic to potatoes (or anyone else too): consider Moringa tree instead of potatoes (or as addition). If the climate allows, it is a great addition to any garden. Easy to grow and is growing fast. All parts of the tree are edible and lots of benefits.

    Moringa Tree

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 6:49pm

    brushhog

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    brushhog said:

    Actually there are alot of discussions here about bitcoin. You'll find that people here are open to all sorts of topics as long as they are presented respectfully. A snot-nosed delivery of any topic will generally meet with a cool reception.

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  • Mon, Sep 13, 2021 - 9:16pm

    #30
    Chris Martenson

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    The Why

    Why do I intently study geopolitics?  Because we are 7.8 billion people on a finite planet still entirely enmeshed within a debt-based fiat money system that demands infinite exponential growth as a precondition for not crashing horribly.

    Because I have near-complete faith in humans' desire to avoid being the one taking the losses in any arrangement, I trust that geopolitics provides me great clues as to what’s really happening along that plotline.

    The fact of the matter is that the manner in which the US “withdrew” from Afghanistan is a huge ‘tell’ along those lines.  It was a complete disaster and humiliation for the US and somebody wanted it that way.

    Mememonkey has already explained the ways in which China and even Russia benefited enormously from that decision, but it bears digging into a little bit because they had inside help on that project.

    If you know anything about military logistics, every single item is tagged, tracked and signed for.  Nothing is ever left behind unless someone signed a piece of paper saying to do that.  Think the Army just up and left 16,035 night visions goggles because some grunt forgot to pack them up?

    Even Gen 3 civilian optics are ~$10 grand a set, so even if the US military was kitted out with those and didn’t overpay, they left behind $1.6 billion of easily packed and transported night vision gear.

    No, nobody in the field made that decision.  Somebody above them signed a piece of paper saying to do that.  And somebody above them signed too.  And them too. And on and on up the chain.  The only people authorized to sign away equipment like that are at the very top of the food chain in DC.

    When you find those persons you will find out “who wanted it this way.”  Who wanted to help China and to humiliate the US.  It really shouldn’t be very difficult to suss out who that is.  The list is rather small.

    But make no mistake.  It happened.

    So now let’s circle all the way back around.  If I believe, and I do, that the world is on the precipice of a massive resource problem, and I also hold it to be true that the next few decades will be defined by those countries having the best access to the remaining resources, what does the hasty, humiliating US retreat from a country we held for 20 years tell me?

    It says “the end game is drawing to a close.”  These are the final days before a new world order is installed.  There will be relative winners and losers.  The winners?  Those will be countries better positioned to access those resources and or/ whose internal expectations are aligned with reality.

    The losers?  Those countries that lived too far beyond their means for too long, and who are shot through with corruption and cannot even manage to fashion a decent argument around how to conduct a non-insane policy of public health, let alone a sophisticated plan to gently transition to a lower consumption future.

    All of which explains why everyone should be preparing. With a very serious urgency.  You live in a system that is either (a) expanding or (b) collapsing.

    That’s why I study geopolitics.  It helps to keep me focused.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 1:13am

    Narmada

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    Russia and China are not the beneficiaries....instead they have a big responsibility

    There are so many comments about Russia & China being the beneficiaries but it is not true. My father was an Indian Army officer and my grandfather a freedom fighter so I grew up learning regional history and geopolitics from a very young age. The messiest geopolitics situation in the region has the hands of Anglo-American Neo-cons. Their greed and arrogance has no limits.

    David E. Martin gave a very good talk on why 86 Billion $$ worth weapons were left there.





    . The neocons did it. They had done it in Vietnam. And also in many other places. Companies supplying weapons are the real winners here because they get to sell more weapons. $86 Billion worth military weapons in the hands of people who have been destroyed economically makes the whole region unstable. China, Iran, Qatar & Russia are actively stepping in to help with the humanitarian crisis while US military is sending drone and killing children in the name of preventing imminent attack. Why does the rest of the world have to tolerate this hubris? The Neocons didn't go there to find terrorists or liberate women, They went in because Taliban had put a stop to the Opium business that CIA was running. The British destroyed China by getting their citizens addicted to Opium. The western looting of Russia when the USSR collapsed reminded me of the stories of British looting in India. Sooner or later, rest of the world has to smarten up, unite and defeat these globalists. The news about Russia & China in the western media is mostly propaganda. If we can't trust the media with COVID news or events in the US, can we really trust them with China & Russia news?

     

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 2:39am

    AndrewOregon

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    Making weapons (and selling them to us) is one of the few industries we have left

    Narmada,

    Good rebuttal to Chris wonderings. I saw a good piece which said the whole purpose of the A. war was not revenge, although it was sold the the people that way. It was to sell and use up armament. So leaving there seals that deal.

    I don't know the "answer" to the military gear being left, but certainly the two views, yours and Chris' have something in common:

    Empire end-of-times indicator, by stupidly burning the very essence of production and technology to keep the economy warm (Like burning your socks when lost in a snow storm). So in a way it is the perfect contemporary companion of the "captured health agency sh-tshow." This one is burning lives to keep a certain (favored) part of the economy going. More government $ thrown on the fire. The propaganda seems to be failing on the shot, while it wasn't even attempted on the abandoned war gear. More indications of a failing state.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 5:37am

    Friedrichs_teeth

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    Friedrichs_teeth said:

    For the Canadians, the moringa tree needs to come inside in the winter. Or so the article I read said.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 5:39am

    Hladini

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    Not mere preppers

    PP is not, per se, a prepping site. It's an information site.  Before the break up and many years ago, I  found the news feeds interesting because PP posted articles in direct contradiction to the Crash Course.  Although when I joined PP IS when I began prepping, I did not even really know the term and was taking actions based on the information from PP, and other sources.  What I love about PP is the actionable information.

    How those actions manifest will vary from individual to individual.  Everyone has a role to play, for some that role may  not be prepping.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 5:56am

    Hladini

    Hladini

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    Reply to Saggar

    OMG, me too!  I am soooo done with litigation.  I cannot take it anymore.  I am ready  to be a homesteader and a handy lady's helper (have a female friend who is a handy lady).  I'm tired of calling the shots and telling people what to do.

    Not to mention, what is going on in the macro is sooooooo  much more  important than dealing with extremely  dysfunctional people and their dysfunctional representatives.  We are living through unprecedented history making events in real time, and the shocks just keep coming.

    I'm also ready to becoming a card carrying Hare Krsna again.  For the first time in more than 20 years, I  went out on Harinama yesterday (congregational singing of the Holy Name in public).  Governor Desantis was speaking with the LEO's, Firefighers, and City/County employees who are now under the new vax mandate.

    It was interesting.  The venue changed at the last minute from a public space 15 minutes away to a private space 40 minutes away and in the boondocks.  Our little crew thought, 'did we make a mistake?'.  No we did not.  For over an hour, cars passed our table and our crew of three singing Hare Krsna.  We had the transcendental table and the mundane.  One with spiritual literature and one with all my many print outs of studies, law suits, and everything Covid.

    The governor's car stopped right in front of our table, while we were singing away and read our sign:  "Thank You Governor Desantis"  Later I gave an inscribed Bhagavad Gita to one of his assistants, who promised she would give to the governor.

    The funniest exchange was three old geezers who drove a golf cart up to the corner right across from us.  When I motioned to approach them with some books and cookies, one elderly gentleman shook his head no and said, "I'm a Southern Baptist." When I replied, "That's  OK, we're on the same side."  I got a wonderful expression of surprise from him, in a good way.

    Yesterday was a good day.

     

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 6:04am

    Hladini

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    Reply to Jande

    It may be a better strategy  to let them fire you, rather than walking off the job.  Only time will tell if these vaccine mandates will be legitimized or de-legitimized by  the US Supreme court.  In the mean time, I would say better to fight it out in the courts.  The USSC came down on the right side of the church closures, holding it was unconstitutional.  There's a chance the  vaccine mandates will be held unlawful and maybe, just maybe the 1905 USSC case (can't remember the name) holding it was legal to mandate a vaccine will be overturned.  One can only hope.  The difference in the cases is that in 1905 case, the alternative to the vaccine was to pay a $5 fine.  This time it's different.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 6:17am

    brushhog

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    Seems like a back door arming of the Taliban

    It certainly seems like somebody wants the Taliban well armed without appearing to be overtly responsible.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 6:21am

    RandomMike

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    Arming the Taliban keeps the wars going

    Keeps the momentum going, military industrial complex would starve!

    Nobody wants to do the Dwight thing!

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 6:39am

    Hladini

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    VT Gothic Rocks

    Well said (cups clapping on table).  Great farming tip.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 6:40am

    Hladini

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    What they won't say.........

    is how Israel was involved.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 6:58am

    Hladini

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    Suspicious Observers dot org

    Peggy, you are absolutely right. We are in for some kind of climate change but it's coming from the sun and the galactic sheet, not the humans.  I wish it were the humans!  Human impact is nothing compared to the collosal sun.

    Logical people will attempt to make sense of unfolding events.  When unfolding events are completely illogical, that means some information is categorically missing.  I've come to a working conclusion there is something much, much bigger afoot.

    The following is a link to an organization worth following.  Lots of science, a daily report on solar and space weather, reports on anomolies (important to watch for), and the main man, Ben, goes to bat against NASA and the IPCC.   Yeah, no denying we got climate change, but the why we got climate change is the literal elephantine Sun sitting in the room.

    Which kinda ties into this new normal:  Keep everybody distracted and all eyes completely off the target.  Looking at the Covid policies under the lense of a severe climate shock starts to make a little more sense.  I'm thinking the real story of climate change is the magnetic excursion.

    Ergo, the disaster series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvjJqIXYT1w&list=PLHSoxioQtwZcVLEJjpywllxdsEfJjoOQ3

     

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 7:08am

    Hladini

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    Replying to Narmada

    Yes, the "who gains" directly  leads to the military industrial complex.   Thanks for posting.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 8:00am

    #43
    Chris Martenson

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    I'll just leave this here...

    Also, China now has a new set of pipeline routes to Turkmenistan, which is the real prize.  Perhaps this explains the surprise Feb-21 visit the Taliban paid to Turkmenistan offering their future support to secure the safety of pipelines running from Turkmenistan:

    Since the launch of the Central Asia-China pipeline in 2009, Turkmenistan has pumped 290 billion cubic meters of gas to China. But whereas it was once predicted that the Beijing-funded pipeline would be carrying 65 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas annually by 2020, the entire route still only has capacity for 55 billion cubic meters per annum, and both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also use the pipeline.

    Considering Turkmenistan has the fourth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world – an estimated 19.5 trillion cubic meters, nearly 10 percent of the world’s total – current export figures nowhere near reflect its potential.

    (Source)

    It was very forward-looking of the Taliban to offer such support way back in February.

    🙂

    Do not underestimate the critical importance of all the war-torn countries that have been otherwise unable to descend on their resources like locusts these past couple of decades.  Their resources are now of absolutely vital strategic importance.  That the US couldn't conceive of anything other than to squat violently atop them for 20 years shows just how ideologically screwed up it has become.

    China has no such blinkers on, possibly the result of not allowing lawyers, bartenders, community organizers, conservative (in name only) partisan hacks, and social justice warriors to clog up their vital leadership positions.  Instead, they have a preponderance of highly educated people all throughout their leadership structure.

    Further, they have placed an emphasis on those people getting their educations in the very countries they are now subtly, and effectively, competing against.  How many US lawmakers do you suppose were strategically sent off to be educated in Chinese universities?

    I'll bet that number is zero.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 8:54am

    Dontknownothin

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    Drag China into the quagmire

    Objectively, Afghanistan is a quagmire for all who touch it. The Chinese too will discover this in short order. None of the tribes are so unified that one order from the Taliban high command will overrule their local interests. Like every people who have had their culture stripped down to the distilled essence of their identity by fifty years of continuous warfare, the Afghan people are not so enamored by the Chinese, their wealth, the opportunities, or their culture as to allow too much exploitation from the new overlords to dominate them.

    The Chinese have a very brusque way of dealing with lesser cultures, and my guess is they will get lured in by the resources, assert themselves too vigorously, and slowly dragged into a quagmire of their own. The Afghans negotiate terms with blood and violence, if the Chinese think they are going to fool the Afghan people, and that the Afghans will simply accept their terms, they will be mistaken. Afghan snipers are very good. Their mortar fire is very accurate. Their IED's are very effective. And their intelligence network is very broad. They know every face that comes into their towns and they know every helicopter coming or going fron the FOBs and airbases in their country. They are a people totally shaped by warfare and guerilla tactics. And the Chinese have a very bad reputation among most of their neighboring countries.

    I think this goes poorly for China very quickly, and then their pride gets in the way. First mining engineers go missing. Then they send guard forces, then those security personnel start getting sniped, then they garrison troops, then the IED's, then the escalation continues to its inevitable outcome. I think this goes very badly for the Chinese.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 9:20am

    Narmada

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    Regional resources & Chinese strategy

    Afghanistan mineral resources belong to Afghani people. They need to decide which resource they will use/sell and to whom. They may choose to keep most of it in the ground rather than extract and destroy. They may choose to mine some to get out of the economic hole they are in. Wouldn't they prefer to trade with people who are friendly that those who occupy with the militaries?. China saw the success Singapore had under Premier Lee Kwan Yew and adopted the long range approach. He provided the Chinese leaders a lot of guidance in the earlier years. Singapore has been sponsoring their students to study around the world for years. China's OBOR initiative is a fantastic  regional initiative. Taliban offering help to secure the oil pipelines is excellent regional cooperation. Imagine if US military decided to destroy the pipeline and thus their main source of revenue.

    Also, as far as Afghanistan is concerned, there is one thing about the Pashtoon people that most people do not know - These are freedom loving people with indomitable spirits. Nobody can suppress them for long.

    Most war-torn countries are in that state due to western neocon interference (Remember Libya was one of the most prosperous nations in Africa. What state is it in today?? These neocons also have controlling stake in most industries including pharma. These are the only people that the world needs to subdue.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 10:43am

    Dontknownothin

    Dontknownothin

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    7

    Inaccurate Characterization

    The soviets started assassinating and asserting themselves in Afghanistan as early as the 1960's and the country quickly decended into civil war. The Pakistanis and Iranians have had constant influence in the country and have asserted themselves plenty without pushback. None of this started because "Western Influences" pushed Afghanistan toward war. It was a thriving and hopeful region before the Soviets began their push for warm water ports on the Indian Ocean.

    The Chinese do not go into any nation respectfully. Though they don't roll tanks through the streets, they are singularly focused on whatever their objective is and human rights and dignity are trampled if they don't align with their goals. They do find whatever leverage they can in the resident population and exploit it, but the Afghans, and the Taliban generally are more concerned with being left alone than whatever China has to offer. Money is only so important to a nation with no remaining infrastructure and no strong leadership.

    Yes, the Afghans are VERY independent people, freedom loving is a stretch given the religious prohibitions they impose, but their culture is very proud and fervent in their beliefs and traditions. No outsider, regardless of how delicately they tread, will assert their aims without agitating the locals.

    US troops did not abuse the Afghans, and regularly displayed their humanity. Which is why so few troops actually died over there. The soviets were not so delicate, and the Afghans definitely made them pay for it. No engagement in that country is by accident. The Afghans are careful and patient people, but now they have weapons and training we couldn't widely provide in the 1980's, and with Iran next door, and China salivating at the opportunity, and central Asia proving resource rich and sparsely populated, I think the long term goal of the US was to provide a direction to relieve political pressure from China and put them on the doorstep of their ally, Iran.

    But China is no gentle diplomat. They have thousands of years of history proving their military incompetence and top down mismanagement, so that may be the caution many mistake for diplomacy. It is a nation of 1.3 billion people and the majority of the wars it has won, have only been against itself. Even their effort to take over Vietnam in the 1970's led to a catastrophic defeat. The sent human waves after Americans in Korea and they lost millions. They starved to death by hundreds of millions in the 1950's and the people passively accepted their fate. Their culture is fundamentally docile, but their leadership has always been agressive and dominant. They strain every relationship with every country they interact with because of this false bravado. They couldn't even take Taiwan back. They couldn't bully the Philipines out of the South China Sea. They crumbled before the Japanese. They had to build a massive wall to prevent a small population of mountain people from invading their lands. The only people they are able to conquer are places weaker and more docile than THEY are. Uighurs and Tibetan monks. This is not the record of a nation capable of global dominance. But the machismo of the CCP certainly puts them on track to repeat the many many many completely embarassing and foolish endeavors they have already engaged in.

    Afghanistan will be no different. But it doesn't matter to the west, we'll get the minerals through trade, and China will do the work of extracting them by force. Thus begins the next Afghan war.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 12:10pm

    Netlej

    Netlej

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    Lentils not beans.

    Lentils take a fraction of the energy to cook than beans.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 12:25pm

    Netlej

    Netlej

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    Got to chuckle.

    Dontknownothing - You certainly live up to your handle. Although proper english would be 'anything'.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 1:05pm

    herewego

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    Thanks VTGothic & questions.

    Much appreciate the long view.  I'm in Canada but that doesn't change much.  Two questions:

    - Does the rapid decline of positive EROEI fossil fuel sources change what you see in the big picture?

    - Can you still recommend flour corn as a crop even on a tiny (1/10 acre) holding? I grow very little corn because it takes a lot of space for the yield.  Is there a good open-pollinated variety you can recommend for zone 5?  Other comments?

    To be clear, I can grow TONS of food on my tiny homestead, and could have chickens if I lose my job and can be home to care for them properly.  But every homesteading decision is defined first by space considerations.

    Thanks!

    Susan

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 2:20pm

    Jason

    Jason

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    Jason said:

    Two Questions Chris:
    1) Shouldn't it be $160M for the goggles?
    2) I was under the impression that the military hardware left behind was the compiled assets of the Afghan army that the US had supplied and trained the Afghan National Army to use to maintain peace as part of our 20 year nation building efforts.  Is this not the same gear?  And if it is - should we have taken it back?

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 3:45pm

    VTGothic

    VTGothic

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    On Islam and Potatoes (for MM)

    Hey, MM,

    Nice to see you commenting again!

    About Islam: It was Qutb, not me, who (re)purposed jihad as an outer battle, although he definitely thought that the vanguard warrior had to win the inner jihad first. Thus the asceticism. He was not alone (nor first) in his thinking, but he did a superb job of developing and 'regularizing' that line of thought and, so, of energizing a generation of demoralized Muslim youth across the Middle Eastern and North African Islam-dominant societies - only a few of those newly energized youth became soldiers of the vanguard. They, Qutb said, formed the tip of the Muslim spear.

    I don't think Islam as a religion necessarily promotes militaristic jihad any more than I think Christianity as a religion necessarily promotes crusades - ancient or modern. My point in bringing Islam into the conversation is to recognize that Islamic faith (however mis-shaped you or I might think it is in its militaristic form) is a primary motivat0r of the Taliban front-line fighter. Any fighter of any religion in any era who thinks he is fighting for God fights harder and sacrifices more and more readily. That was Qutb's point: believers are not afraid to die if they believe it is for God; and people of weak or no faith are far less willing to die, or even suffer very greatly for very long for something as paltry as a "state" that does not, itself, seek to embody and uphold God's Will. Thus, he said, the Allah-obedient warrior would defeat the Western soldier who pays only lip-service to his Christian faith's demands.

    Seems to me he got it about right. You might disagree. But events have been developing more in line with his expectation than contrary to it.

    You can argue he's wrong about Islam or its meaning, but he inspired thousands. And his views, moderated and adapted over time, help shape and fuel the anti-colonialism of the Middle East.

    I don't think that it is irrelevant that as the U.S. is withdrawing from the world and sliding into internal disarray, our sense of shared social/cultural meaning and our expressions of coherent private meaning are fracturing, too. I don't think the correlation is spurious. I think our faith views have a profound impact on our meta-narratives, hence what we notice, what we value, what we're willing to do, and what we will tolerate (as the Covid death cult shows).

    As for the potato: The bulk of Irish (mostly Catholic) peasants lived partially on potatoes for some 200 years before the Famine, and almost solely in the final 50-100 years. Weather and, esp. blight, were major causes for the failure of the crops. The decline of genetic variability contributed to the potato's susceptibility, too. Happily, I don't have to subject myself to any of that to incorporate potatoes in my diet or grow them as an essential food.

    Sweet potatoes, btw, contain just 2-3% protein on average; potatoes run 4-6%, akin to eggs at the higher value - encouraged by healthy soil. If I'm growing emergency provisions, I want to maximize what I get from my work. As much as I love sweet potatoes, the potato beats the sweet potato for that purpose.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 3:45pm

    Jane B

    Jane B

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    Facebook Reply

    This type of reply seems to be the norm on FB and other social media. Why don't you reply intelligently with what you refute rather than a meaningless insult?

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 3:53pm

    schooner

    schooner

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    4

    tectonic plate shift

    back in the 70,s when i was in the Navy i took a course at the University of Hawaii. The instructor was instrumental in the construction USNavy bathyscapes. I remember a comment where he stated that tectonic plate shifts can raise or lower sea level. We certainly never hear about that during global warming discussions. Aloha

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 4:15pm

    #54
    Doug

    Doug

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    There seems to be many misconceptions here about Afghanistan

    1.  Everyone is talking about the Afghans as if they were a homogeneous whole, not the many different ethnic groups that have traditionally been ruled by warlords and have engaged in constant internecine warfare forever.  The Pashtoons are by far the largest of those groups, but even they are not a majority.

    2. Yes, the Afghans defeated the Russians, but were being badly beaten until the US stepped in and started supplying the Mujahideen with supplies and weapons.  The Russians met the same problem that the US did, they let the Afghan military pretty much run the show.  And, just like against the US, the military fell apart and largely switched sides when it became obvious the money flow was coming to an end and massive corruption with it.  For a quick primer on the Russian defeat in Afghanistan, watch the movie Charlie Wilson's War.  Not only is it pretty accurate, but with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ned Beatty, it's a really good movie.

    3. China - China is not running around defeating anyone militarily, they are trading with nations all over the world and acquiring the resources they want and need.  In return, they are usually building infrastructure the locals need and providing education to help third world nations advance into the 21st century.  It's a two way street.  Everyone benefits.  Although it is true that the Chinese are not always benevolent, they aren't running around starting brushfire wars all over the world either.

    The Chinese military is being expanded rapidly, which is a big concern in the South China Sea, but not much beyond that.  The Indian Ocean is still open international waters.  The US still rules there as it does in all other oceans.

    4. Military hardware - If you look at what the US left there, it is only useful in a ground war.  The US has no intention to go in on the ground again, that's where the Afghans have the advantage.  The airplanes and helicopters are vulnerable to all sorts of weapons.  They are landlocked and don't have any sea power.  We didn't leave them any F-16s, F-35s, B1s or any other serious military aircraft.  They are vulnerable to any carrier and land based aircraft stationed around the Persian Gulf.

    IOW, we didn't get out a minute too soon.  I won't argue with anyone who says the way we left was something of a disaster, but leave we should have, long ago.  Unfortunately for the Afghans, particularly the women, we are leaving behind a humanitarian disaster.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 4:49pm

    wschwartz

    wschwartz

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    4

    Inspired

    Geopolitical discussion is a opportunity for motivation . A team without motivation is beaten before it steps on the field .
    On the practical side just wanted to share my wheat growing experience that ended with a beautiful loaf of bread . Planted ( red winter wheat from Heath- food store ) two fields 3ox30 each in oct ( south central Pennsylvania) harvested in following July . Used a hand saw to cut the stalks , dried in a barn . Used a small electric chipper to thresh then sifted with screen. Seed stored in chicken feed bags . Used a nutra bullet blended to grind to flower . We used a no knead bread recipe for our bread the last 3 years . Yes it was labor intensive but that is a relative concept . For me it’s doable with three people in the labor department.
    cheers

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 5:07pm

    Netlej

    Netlej

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    Netlej said:

    JaneB - If you read all of the other comments in this thread you will see that virtually everything that dkn said is wrong which happens often with his/her comments. I will no longer take the time to refute.

    P.S. I never had facebook and I never will.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 5:18pm

    VTGothic

    VTGothic

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    5

    On Oil and Corn (for herewego)

    @herewego,

    1. Oil. I understand the EROEI problem, but even so I don't think oil is going anywhere. It might become too expensive for us peasants, but it will remain the essential workhorse of industry until we siphon up the last drop. We need it for its high density energy to work iron and power the truly big machines. I certainly don't think China's going to wean off of it; nor Russia. Russia's trying to finish its Nordstream pipeline into Western Europe, and will probably get it as the European countries buck the U.S. opposition, and pivot east. Afghanistan is a part of the pipeline running from China to the Middle East to Europe - soon, now, to be within China's field of hegemony. Even Canada wanted a pipeline through the U.S. to Houston - thwarted by the U.S.'s self-damaging folly. Oil's here for a long time, yet. And, btw, already built wells have an acceptable (if lower than the historic) EROEI; it's within the newer and proposed extractions that we clock increasingly problematic returns on energy investment.

    2. Corn. If you're going to select kernels to save for the next year's planting (and you should), you need at least 100 corn plants to maintain the genetic diversity of corn. So, at least a 10 x 10 foot plot of land, with seeds set at 1 foot separation. That's the minimum spacing; a 15 x 15 foot space will allow 18" between plants in all directions; you don't need more than that. 15" is my happy space. Then harvest kernels from the healthiest cob on each plant, yielding seed from 100 ears of corn.

    Whether you can grow enough flour corn to meet your needs for a year depends on how much cornbread, muffins, johnnycakes, etc. you'll eat. Grow a plot and see how long it lasts, esp. in place of wheat, as an experiment. But, really, any additional homegrown supply will help as food becomes more spotty and more expensive.

    Keep in mind you can grow your dry beans and winter squash on the same plot as the corn. Plant drying beans between corn stalks when the stalks are about a foot high; bush beans will grow happily below the stalks' leaves, and climbing beans will use the corn for support. The bean roots will fix nitrogen in the soil, and the corn's a heavy feeder, so that's a good synergy. Plant winter squash between rows at the same time you plant the corn. The vines will grow out to cover the soil, preventing dry soil - thus reducing water use, and reducing weed pressure by reducing sunlight at the soil level. Corn doesn't like weeds, they're both grasses and compete for nutrients at the same soil depth - weeds usually win. Heritage breeds of corn are more competitive, more robust in varying growing conditions, and contain better nutrient profiles.

    3. The Three Sisters. When beans, corn, and squash are eaten together you get the full complement of amino acids that, together, make up protein. (Hence, the "Three Sisters" concept.) Such vegetable-based protein can supplement for or replace meat. So if meat's in short supply, it can be used more as a condiment or side dish with beans, corn, and squash dishes (look up traditional succotash recipes). In an emergency/survival scenario that's a nice fallback. You'll also get the starch (ie, glucose) of the squash, and if you add potatoes into your daily menu, you'll get plenty of minerals (eat the whole potato, the skin has essential nutrients), along with additional protein and starches. If you can add eggs, you increase your protein and overall nutrient diversity.

    4. Resources. My Five Core Foods recommendation comes from biologist and plant breeder Carol Deppe, out of her book, "The Resilient Gardner: Food Production and Self-reliance in Uncertain Times." She has other good resource books, too, including one on how to save seeds selectively to breed food plants for productivity, nutrient content, and taste in your unique growing niche. (The results are termed "landrace" vegetables.)

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 5:43pm

    Netlej

    Netlej

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    4

    Russia in Afg...

    Throughout the 60's and 70's Afghanistan was a modern secular socialist country where women were free to do whatever they wanted. During this period they were partnering with the Soviet Union through trade and otherwise. Russia was instrumental in the modernization providing experts and resources for growth and expansion. Afgan people say Russia built roads, electric plants, canals, hospitals, schools, etc. and America blew most of it up. By the way America never rebuilt even 10% of what they destroyed.

    The US could not stand this so they trained and supported the most radical fundamentalist in the region, who hated modern Afg. Mujahadeen and others, and had them attack the gov. Russia stepped in to support Afg. Gov. Talaban wanted all foreigners out of Afg. and so joined the fight too.

    Historically Afg. has been moving toward a modern society with womens rights twice now. First time was in the 1800's and the British were worried that emancipation might spread to India and challange british rule so they empowered the extremist to overthrow the gov. The British were also worried about USSR influence in Afg. back then so it was a go. However the British were defeated. This did throw Afg. Gov into a major clusterphuck for the next 40 years or so. The second time was when the US empowered the extremest in the late 70's to 80's.

    Afghanistan can not catch a break. BTW the Taliban have never supported extremest in the region. When they ruled in the late 80's to 90's they were the worst enemy of mujahadeen, Al qaeda, and several other orgs. They do traditionally adhere to Sharia Law but they can be flexible and moderate and most important they now know that if they are they can rebuild the country and keep foreign influence out.

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 5:54pm

    Acorn Endeavors

    Acorn Endeavors

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    1

    Acorn Endeavors said:

    Great dish to use 2 of the 3 sisters (and you could serve some nice black beans or pinto beans on the side).

    New Mexican Calabacitas

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 8:36pm

    Narmada

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    4

    History of the Afghan debacle and China tensions

    Before I respond to DKN’s msg, I want to state my position.  I have deep respect for the ordinary citizens in the western world. I have lived in the US for a long time and have cultivated deep friendships over the years. But I am very concerned about the machinations of the Western Billionaire Kleptocracy which has it’s parasitic tentacles in every area of western life as well as every country where it can loot. Their policy is either divide and conquer or point everybody to an external enemy while looting silently on the side. The real battle is not West vs Russia/China/Afghanistan/Iran – It’s common people vs these wealthy parasitic entities.

    Also, my knowledge of China comes from traveling regularly to China/nearby Asian countries over 5 yrs followed by an Expat assignment in Shanghai.

    The Afghan occupation agenda started way before the Soviet landed there. It has it roots in Mackinder’s Hearland theory of the 19th century which the British Imperialist embraced as they planned their global conquest. The gist of the theory is:

    “Whoever rules East Europe, will rule Heartland,

    Whoever rules the Heartland, will rule the World Island.”

    Whoever rules the World Island, will rule the world.”

    And they started meddling in the region. Later US/NATO joined the party.  The rest of the world has enough of their antics. When Soviet Union collapsed, the CIA gleefully decided to loot and start color revolutions wherever they could. They started meddling in China too. Tiananmen square event was instigated by the Western powers and reporting was mostly false. China had made mistakes in the prior years  during the cultural revolution but they learnt fast.  As they started growing in power, the western powers wanted to control them but China is having none of it. China/Russia and other Asian countries started Shanghai Cooperation Organization for mutual security, political and economical organization. This is a big checkmate to the Western powers.

    While they are handling these Powers there, we need to unite and get the control back to the people in Community, Education, Health, Financial markets, Big tech alternatives and local economy.

    Here is something positive from China that we can emulate:





     

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 9:24pm

    Stph

    Stph

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    Inaccurate Characterization (#46) (PHENOMENAL essay!)

    That was a phenomenal essay!  You really tilted my world view with this piece; with regard to Afghanistan, yes, but particularly with respect to China.

    I don't know enough about the subject to even attempt to rebut anything you wrote.  I thought I knew enough; but now I think I don't!   That is a complement!  I don't know that what you wrote is necessarily undisputed, much less correct. But I do know that I can't dispute what you wrote and, again, you gave me a new perspective I have never heard of, much less considered, before.  Thank you!

    So, is it safe to conclude you feel the danger of China "taking over the world" is overstated?  That would be a relief.   Not many reliefs in this world, right now, so it would be really nice to have one less thing to be seriously concerned about!

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 9:47pm

    #62
    davefairtex

    davefairtex

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    Joined: Sep 03 2008

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    6

    a few questions

    Narmada-

    It was instructive to see you summarize Mao's cultural revolution (and all the people that passed away during this time) as "making mistakes."  Are you sure that is where you want to leave it?

    Related: are you living in Shanghai right now?

    Also: did you use a VPN during your time in Shanghai?  If so, which VPN did you find most effective?

    I get the sense that the western elites ARE incredibly jealous of the CCP's social credit system, and they definitely want to institute it here.  So we'll get our very own version of China here in the West, if things continue down the path.  What do you think of that possibility?

    Can you tell us all about your experience with the CCP's social credit system, and how helpful that is to the people in society?

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 9:56pm

    #63

    Jim H

    Status: Bronze Member

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    5

    Oh Dave....

    You are so suspicious all the time.  China is actually like heaven.. just watch a few more videos and you will understand.  How could this be bad?





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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 9:57pm

    Stph

    Stph

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    Re: "And this is of interest to preppers because...? (#5)"

    I think it has relevance to your remaining open loop, your "(3)"

    "as for (3), at this point in time, I really don't know what's the best course of action."

    You can't know what the best course of action is, nor even make a solid guess, until you understand the nature and direction of the threat.  If the nature of the threat is merely bad government, that is very different from enemies domestic...which is, in turn, very different from enemies foreign.  If it is bad government, we should try to reform it -- not escalate nor flee.  If it is enemies domestic, you should consider escalation or flight.  If it is enemies foreign, well perhaps supporting another war is a good idea.  So MOTIVE comes into scope.  If you don't have MOTIVE correct, you will likely either act in the wrong direction or with the wrong MAGNITUDE.  Which means, in this case, pretty much all your preparations may be worse than useless.

    I'm not trying to praise the article, nor to say you are somehow wrong in your dislike.  But "means, MOTIVE, and opportunity" have long been recognized as the distinguishing fingerprints of an "accident" case worthy of deeper investigation.

    I am not the author of this article, but I suggest every one get clear on the importance of not being "gas lit" and -- if there is a premeditated "crime" (that's an absolutely *critical* question for appropriate action) -- getting really, really clear logically about the "motive".

    I personally have only very recently become completely convinced we are not victims of a "mistake".   Then, after much consideration,   I was forced to conclude the usual suspects of "money" and "power" are woefully inadequate as motive, given the global scope and twisted plot of this dystopian sf story we are being forced to react to.  That has undone pretty much all (not quite all, but pretty much all) of my local "prepping" I have been doing for the last 20 years.  I don't like to face that conclusion, as it means a lot of my effort was wasted (again, not all).  But staying in Germany was really the wrong decision of those in Germany who didn't get "means, motive, and opportunity" right.

    Respectfully,

    -S

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  • Tue, Sep 14, 2021 - 10:41pm

    Narmada

    Narmada

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    Narmada said:

    Dave,

    Mao's cultural revolution, gang of four, famine created one of the biggest tragedies but I don't want to keep pointing at their mistakes. We made equally big mistakes in India. World Bank lent money to India with the condition that Indra Gandhi had to implement mass sterilization of women during Emergency. She was used by the west for implementing some of the nastiest policies. Nobody is making noise about India right now because while most countries face demographic winter, India doesn't have that problem. They need the Indians as tech workers (right word is digital laborers).

    I lived in Shanghai in 2010. The workplace VPN was enough for me. I could access nearly all the sites that I wanted to.

    When I visited different cities even by bus, govt official checked the passports. The current social credit system was not in place. Western Elites have always been about surveillance and control. They don't need inspiration from China. Similar to the one child policy, it will take 15-20yrs for the real effects of social credit system to show up. It will be a global fight to curtail it.

    I do like a few things that the CCP did in the recent months:

    1) Preventing their big-tech from sharing data outside the country.

    2) Crackdown on the actors, celebrity fan culture and effeminate behavior of actors.

    3) Restricting video gaming time for children and forcing online education companies to become non-profit.

    4) Reducing work hours for employees.

    I wish Indian government also did something similar. We have the same problems. (Celebrity fan culture issue hasn't grown to the same proportion)

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  • Wed, Sep 15, 2021 - 4:50am

    Poet

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 983

    2

    Poet said:

    I think the comment by VTGothic is a better assessment than most.

    Sad to say, Bitcoin requires massive amounts of electricity and a global Internet. Things you can barter with, and some precious metals, and things and tools you have on you and skills you have in your head, those may be more valuable.

    Also, don’t forget drought tolerant, disease resistant pulses as a cover crop, for forage, and for food.

    Poet

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  • Wed, Sep 15, 2021 - 6:32am

    #67
    davefairtex

    davefairtex

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    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 2776

    5

    absolute power

    Glad to hear you know about the "biggest tragedy" which earlier you referred to as "a mistake."   This "biggest tragedy" (which apparently we shouldn't dwell on for too long) was an emergent property of an absolute dictatorship and a philosophy which says "the Elites know best."  And when they just make shit up all on their own, and it has horrific consequences, the elites do not suffer in the slightest.  Mao didn't suffer at all.  In fact, he's been rehabilitated, better than ever.  Statues, temples, etc.

    Has this government (dictatorship) and philosophy ("elites know best") changed in China, do you think?  I heard Xi talk about a "long march" a year or so ago.  Who does that sound like, again?

    https://www.pop.org/a-once-and-future-tragedy-indias-sterilization-campaign-39-years-later/

    June 24, 2014. 39 years ago today, Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, received the power to rule by decree from the Indian president. She immediately declared a state of emergency, suspending numerous civil liberties. This freed her government to forcibly sterilize millions of Indian men and women in the 21 months that followed.

    So it sounds like - in India, and China, and let's not forget Nazi Germany, when people have absolute power (seemingly independent of race, religion, and culture), they often really misuse it, and it can lead to some pretty horrific outcomes.

    When you have absolute power, you can arrange things to make it easy for your group to do well, and you can imprison or kill all who disagree.  This seems to be the case in China.  It is also the case in the US, but to a lesser extent.   It turns out, degree really does matter.   At least to the people that live under the regime.

    I get the sense that China of 11 years ago under Hu Jintao was a very different place than it is now under Xi.  You are fortunate to have lived in China during the good times.

    I agree that Western Elites (and the CCP) - really elites everywhere - have been about surveillance and control.  Just that in the West we have been able to keep them more in check.  Not totally and less so every day.  But if you notice, you don't need a VPN to access sites around the world in Western countries.  You did need a VPN to do this when you were in China.  Why do you think that is?

    So I take it you're not in favor of the CCP social credit system?  Is there anything the people can do to stop the CCP from implementing it ever more strictly?  What's the "feedback process" from the Chinese people to the CCP?  My sense is, if you engage in "feedback" in China, you're tossed in prison for at least 7 years for "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble."

    As for the things that the CCP did in recent months - well there's the seizing of Hong Kong.  That's a plus.  It keeps those Hong Kongers from getting uppity and electing the people they want to govern them.

    I get the sense you believe the CCP is a good model going forward of how to properly govern a country.  (please correct me if I'm wrong there).   I view it as very good luck that there hasn't been a Mao-rerun (minus the lab-leaked virus, of course) under the current ruler Xi.

    Power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    CCP appears to have absolute power.  Hmm.

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  • Wed, Sep 15, 2021 - 10:19am

    #68
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    Really?

    Are we actually going to argue about the CCP, in this day and age? Mao killed how many of his own people to install the communist dictatorship? Estimates range from about 50 MILLION to upward of 100 MILLION. Let that sink in. 50 MILLION human beings...fathers, sons, mothers, daughters. Wiped off the face of the earth for communism.

    Mao made Adolf Hitler look like nothing. The only person in the history of the world who may have killed as many people was Stalin in his communist revolution. Why do communist revolution result in so many people dying? Because anyone who objects or resists is murdered. All that is left are those who are too afraid or too indoctrinated to ever resist. And thats what you still have in China today.

    Chinese people can't own land, can't criticize their government publicly, hell they're not even suppose to be on the internet thats why you need a VPN. China is a monstrous shit-hole, born in atrocity, that crushes the human spirit. I cant believe anyone in their right mind would even suggest that anyone should look to China in any regard other than pity.

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  • Wed, Sep 15, 2021 - 8:32pm

    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

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    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 1463

    0

    VT

    I understand who said what about Islam. As I said religion has been interpreted and misinterpreted through history for a variety of reasons. It seems gratuitous to me since you neglected to give a full picture of jihad. Of course you were just thinking of your narrative. I get it. That said you were also unconsciously feeding the Islamophobia that is in vogue at the moment among a certain class of , shall he be kind and say "misinformed" Amerikaans.

    My research does not support the nutritional advantages you ascribe to potatoes. This plus the fact that they are nightshades makes them less appealing as a staple. But hey it's your garden and your body.

    I am btw not "back". I am watching the videos as they are very informative and scan the posts. Most of them are not worth the bandwidth , but you seem to always offer perspectives of interest. My time is extremely limited and choose not to engage in wasteful and fruitless endeavors. At one time I thought it would be useful to discuss crypto here. Unfortunately virtually every post was hijacked by analog trolls who kept repeating the same tired FUD over and over again. I should have known better and followed Mark Rees out the door.

    The complete lack of interest or discussion from the site owner/owners? is very telling. What do you think would happen if the owner would to begin an honest exploration and discussion here? If he promoted crypto like gold how many new adopters would there be? There are tons of followers here. Could be in the thousands.

    Anyway nice to catch up with you. Off to important things. BTW Raoul Pal has a new series on Real Vision all about ceypto. Well worth it.

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  • Wed, Sep 15, 2021 - 9:58pm

    #70

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2736

    4

    Don’t resign! Make them fire you. Then sue.

    https://nypost.com/2021/09/15/army-officer-resigns-over-bidens-tyrannical-vaccine-mandate/amp/

    A high-ranking US Army officer has resigned and given up his pension after almost 20 years of service because of what he called President Biden’s “unethical, immoral and tyrannical” vaccine mandate.

    Lt. Col. Paul Douglas Hague said in a resignation letter tweeted by his wife, Katie Phipps Hague, that he was resigning from his 19-year career primarily because of the Pentagon requirement that all US military members be jabbed by mid-September.…

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 1:32am

    Canuckian

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    Canuckian said:

    China is a monstrous shit-hole, born in atrocity, that crushes the human spirit.

    Actually, I don't think that's very fair. I have a bunch of Chinese friends at work and they're nice, fun people. Some of them openly talk down about the CCP. As much as governments may try to crush the human spirit, they do not succeed, and that's a good thing.

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 2:13am

    Narmada

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    Missing Context

    Dave,

    Please understand the context of my comments. I rarely write comments because time is a constraint for me. I have a full-time job and I am pursuing studies fulltime.

    This time, I felt compelled to respond to Chris’s msg because this bias against Chinese and Russians has gone out of control thanks to the mainstream propaganda. The inventory of weapons Chris published is not complete. It doesn’t list the number of landmines buried in the country – trust me there are plenty. Let’s pray that they get all the International help they need to get back on their feet. There is no need to add fuel to the fire and create more mistrust.

    My second response was again to Chris’s msg where he share the US geological survey about $ 1Trillion worth mineral deposits. Henry Kissinger created a document NSSM 200 in the 70s with the focus on everything that needed to be done to control the population in resource rich countries. Using that, West created havoc in nearly every continent. West has to stop eyeing the wealth of other countries. There is plenty in the West for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed. Let’s check that greed. China is paying for the resources they need and helping other countries it turn.

    My response to DKN was to provide the real historical context for the Afghan situation.  I didn’t say much about China because to get the full picture one has to go to events that started two centuries ago. Before Mao’s communism, there was a bigger tragedy – Century of humiliation when the Eight Nation Alliance destroyed China and forced them to cede or lease Hongkong, Macau, Taiwan, Dalian, Jiaozhou Bay, Manchuria, Sakhalin and some others.  I feel terrible that British used few thousand Indian soldiers in this massacre. It happened when British was ruling India and had recruited locals in the troops. I962 Sino-India war was instigated by the British and last year’s drama was again the cabal instigating it.

    Events of this nature create intergenerational trauma. As long as trauma remains in the body, they will keep making mistakes. My prayer is that they get to keep their territories without interference from others and have the space to heal themselves.

    As for VPN, for corporate work we have a mandate to use VPN in any country we are in including US. And one is allowed to use laptop for personal work during International travel and Expat assignments. Surveillance question is lot more tricky. Cyber Warfare requires Cyber Surveillance. Indian Govt is also struggling with defining boundaries and we are making plenty of mistakes. Other countries are facing the same dilemma.

    We have a choice to focus on other’s weakness or work on ours. The first one reduces our power and second one builds our power. My generation of Indians had the privilege of growing up with very inspiring songs. I am sharing it below as it  helps in seeing the world in a different light. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

    This will be my last comment since School and homeworks have started 🙂

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 2:44am

    #73
    davefairtex

    davefairtex

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    4

    still about absolute power

    Thanks for your response, but you wrote a lot of words, none of which addressed my central point: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    And Xi has absolute power.  And that will corrupt him - and those who support him - absolutely.

    In such situations, hoping that the latest dictator (Xi, Mao, Hitler, or Endira - during your emergency) will be benevolent "this time" ... appears to be a triumph of hope over experience.

    Moral of the story: if you want to avoid mass death, avoid dictatorships and Oligarchies too.  This group includes the much-beloved CCP (a combination dictatorship-Oligarchy), whose mistakes (oopsie!) ended up killing tens of millions.  A "century of humiliation" 100 years ago does NOT justify what Mao did in the 60s to his own people.

    What sorts of mass death will Oligarchy-Dictator Xi engage in?  Perhaps we're seeing this unfold right now.  I seem to recall him banning domestic travel out of Wuhan, but permitting international flights, back in early 2020.  And of course there's Xinjiang, and the "organs on demand" industry too.

    Seriously.  Avoid dictatorships.  And Oligarchy too.  Because - power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Common people need to have a strong "feedback mechanism" to government and oligarchy which will result in a check to their power.

    Otherwise ... the common people end up with mass death.

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 9:36am

    #74
    Hohhot

    Hohhot

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    Joined: Mar 12 2020

    Posts: 310

    5

    Life on the mainland is dicey right now

    China is a universe unto itself.  India is as well to a lesser fashion in my opinion.

    Things are radically different in China now than in 2010. If you were a Foreigner then, you could move about with relative ease as long as you kept your nose clean and didn't flash cash. Xi arrived and began to flex around 2012-13. All kinds of oppressive policies came into play.

    From people on the ground in C 2021, some natives, other foreigners (married to nationals) things are like Mao 2.0. No public transport or shopping without two vaccine doses, a health pass that's green, and a high enough social credit score. Be deficit in any of the categories and no freedom for you.

    The grasslands and farmlands are being fenced off to be "rented"  to farmers.  No livestock for personal use.  Most land owners have been relocated to the cities. Conditions were so bad for migrant workers in 2011, they stopped coming to the cities. Now there's still poor souls sent overseas to work for the CCP on Belt and Road projects. Their passports are held so they can't leave, the bosses with hold their pay until they return to C, and the locals refuse them access to medical care or schools for the kids.

    Remember the Middle Kingdom believes they have the right to control the world through the Confucian "eldest rules" premise. As the longest current continuous civilization, they are destined to win in their minds.  Lots of people so they can take a strategic hit and lose a few million and be fine. They are long game players.

    Despite all this, the country is swimming in debt, the social structure is teetering, and the average person isn't happy about their life.  The possible war scenario allows expansion of territories and annexation of assets.  Quicker than the Belt and Road traps. With no social safety nets, the elderly tsunami of one grandchild for 4 grandparents and 2 parents is already causing problems. The endless system of bribes requires the pooling of the family's assets just to give one kid an education, a job, and an apartment.

    If you have Chinese friends who've been born in a Westernized nation, they aren't typical of the thinking/behavior on the mainland. If they came over as teens or early 20's, they'll love the freedoms of the Western life, but will be different people when they go back. Part of it is the familial duty, other parts are the need to conform due to the power of local CCP, police, etc. to throw you into a black jail for no reason from which few return intact.

    If you've not seen their channels try laowhy86 or serpentza.  Both are Caucasian males who lived in China and married Chinese women. They've now relocated to the USA due to antagonism from CCP. They loved the country, but talk about all the changes and why they had to flee.

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 10:10am

    Mots

    Mots

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    Mainland China

    HohHot
    Are you reporting personal observations from living on the mainland?
    You state "the average person isn't happy about their life" in China but that is not my observation.  My observation from this year is very different from yours, as the average person in the cities of mainland China is very happy with removal of corruption and increased prospects, having moved into the middle class.  I noticed a bifurcation of attitudes between visiting/returning Chinese from America and those on the mainland, with respect to surveillance and other things that you mentioned. Also, I note that movement of people is now highly controlled in many countries and not just China.

    I have seen the videos from the English teachers whom you cite and who returned from China after the immigration status of English teachers changed (dropped...they explained this in an older video wherein they also explained how they did extensive news reporting within the extreme Western provinces, and some guys back East west ballistic on them).  I note in this context that Japan used to have many English teachers here as well during the bubble period (late 1980s) but had to go home when their services were not in such big demand.  Case in point is that private cram schools have been abolished after the CCP decided that people were spending too much money and time seeking special status and did not like what happened to S Korea in this context.  It seems that the CCP has been working hard to get the world to go the way they want, and another case in point is that many of the basic chips designed/manufactured/and then sold in the West to build out the internet of things are so complicated and unknown to American engineers that the basic operations (outside of published software operations) generally are opaque.  Things are really, really changing and China seems to hold the keys.  It is important to understand China, in all aspects, even if it means traveling there during these perilous times.

    A lot of roads lead to China nowadays, since they have become the new hegemon, and I look forward to hearing CMs observations on this subject.  It is very important to understand this hegemon.  It will be interesting to debate the tradeoff or quandary of how the these major changes may be responses to a world that is shifting from exponential growth back to stationary phase "growth."  As for me, I fear the dark ages and am convinced that we must create our own locally made and distributed energy, food, etc. to survive and thrive.

    I probably will not respond to blow back from my comments.  I really want to see data, facts, and not slander.

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 10:24am

    Mike from Jersey

    Mike from Jersey

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    Replying to Mainland China (#75)

    Mots,

    No blowback here.

    I have traveled in China, lived with Chinese families and continue to have connections in China.

    What you have posted is simply accurate.

    And like yourself, I am not going to reply to blowback. I know what I know from personal observation. I am not going to argue about it any more than I would argue with someone who tells me that taking Ivermectin will land me in the hospital.

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 1:01pm

    #77
    davefairtex

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    describing the elephant

    As a nation, geo-strategically, China is resource-poor, and it has a bunch of nations as neighbors that don't particularly like it (Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Russia), some of them reasonably powerful.  It isn't a historical naval power, all of its "wealth" and resources comes from seaborne commerce, and if the US Navy stops patrolling the sea lanes, it is really unclear how China will both protect its exports, and obtain resources.  Pax Americana is what allows China to prosper.

    I don't get the sense that China does a lot of innovation.  Except for surveillance gear, I mean.   Innovation requires independent thought.  Mostly, the CCP doesn't seem to like that sort of thing too much.  (Japan also falls into this category.  They're great at optimizing manufacturing processes and improving quality, but they don't seem to invent many new things.)  Have I missed some major mainlander innovations?  Note: "making things cheaper" isn't innovation.

    In terms of chips, my understanding is that Taiwan produces the chips - at least the latest gen chips.  China's chip-making ability is several generations old.  Again, my understanding.  China does assembly, not chip manufacturing.  When Trump cut off Huawei, it was a really big deal since the mainland didn't have the tech to produce the latest generation chipsets.

    My sense from my friends in Hong Kong: they aren't happy.  Neither are my friends in Taiwan.  Neither group wants to live under CCP rule.  If the closest people (who are ethnically Chinese - some of whom can even speak the same language) don't really like the CCP very much, what does that say?

    And my mainlander friend - he seems really unhappy.  Almost like he's in prison.  Can't talk the way he used to be able to talk, at least not in public.  He's totally changed - and things have just grown progressively worse as the years pass.  Just 4 years ago things were totally different.  But I only have one datapoint.

    The pandemic will (I'm guessing) cause a debt bubble pop.  No idea how China will handle it.  I'm guessing there will be a certain amount of capital flight.

    And of course my understanding is that the CCP is a totally authoritarian government.  If any of you (Mots, Mike) can tell me how ordinary Chinese people can offer "feedback" to the government without getting thrown in prison for 7 years, I'd love to hear how they did it.  Definitely the US is moving closer to the CCP ("insurrectionists") - but we aren't quite there yet.  Not quite.  Is moving in that direction a good idea?  I don't think so.  Do you?

    And of course there's the Xinjiang camps, and the "organs on demand" which gives you a sense as to what the "limits to power" are on the CCP itself.  There don't seem to be any.  You may be ok with this.  I am not.

    I definitely believe that the Western Oligarchs are insanely jealous of the grip the CCP has over its own population, and they are sparing no expense to move the US into that same model.

    I don't think that's a good thing, I think it is a bad thing.  A disaster, at least for the common people.

    Please let me know if you think my comments, which may disagree with your worldview, are "blowback."  Even better - let me know if I've said anything that's factually inaccurate.

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 2:18pm

    Netlej

    Netlej

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    You got it wrong on China

    From all that I read and hear I believe you are wrong about china. 90% of the animosity toward China from its neighbors has been instilled by the US. They either need to oppose China or the US will oppose them. Most of those countries are already dealing heavily with CHina. Even Taiwan is anxious to deal with china it is only the logistics as to how and how much that is.

    China has quite a bit of resources and Russia, Chinas neighbor, has Massive resources that they are more than happy to sell/trade with CHina. The perceived resource constraints/demand around China comes from the fact that they make EVERYTHING for the rest of the world. The resources China acquires is then shipped around the world and becomes the necessary resources of the world. By the way they pay fair market value for most of those raw resources as opposed to....

    I communicate often with many in China and just about all of them appreciate the people over profit mentality over the Western way. Any in CHina or Hong Kong who complain about CHina are those who want to get rich and want no impediments to that single minded goal.

    Please listen to anything Michael Hudson has to say on the subject as he is the authority. Here is a short but sweet refute of pretty much all of what you just wrote Dave; Starts at 15:00

    https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/534465-security-industry-profits-attack-september11/

     

     

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 4:48pm

    Susan7

    Susan7

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    Posts: 210

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    Susan7 said:

    Ahhh, wonderful China, with its people over profits mentality. Along with show trials that land Christians in prison for decades, Uyghurs who get to enjoy their non-material lives in a camp atmosphere, Falun Gong who are allowed the privilege of providing organs to the Party faithful and anyone else with money, and those pesky Tibetans, can’t forget them. Yes, a wonderful vision of the future…..

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 5:12pm

    GarethWarren

    GarethWarren

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    Posts: 53

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    GarethWarren said:

    I hear a completely different message from China, and they are not friends with Taiwan - they recently cancelled all travel there just before the covid flu broke out inadvertently doing them a favour.

    Their nine-dash link practically claims Philippine beaches and generally guarantees a large alliance against them, very classy too how Chinese officials were gloating over the nuclear attack on Japan...  In conclusion the CCP are not nice people.

    I'd recommend watching ADVChina if you want to learn about them, there's a lot of info that rarely gets on the msm.

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 6:14pm

    #81
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    Joined: Oct 06 2015

    Posts: 860

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    brushhog said:

    Yes people are so important in China that they can't be allowed to vote for who runs their country and they can't own land. Discouraged from using the internet because they might get their own ideas like deciding which God to worship [ besides the CCP, of course ].

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  • Thu, Sep 16, 2021 - 7:02pm

    Mots

    Mots

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    Posts: 516

    3

    describing the elephant

    0Thanks Dave

    I will mostly just address the one point that as a professional patent attorney for 25 years for US, and Japan I am best experienced with.
    If you try to get a patent in the US the biggest obstacle is if someone else already invented it.  This is called "prior art."

    For some years now the largest amount of prior art in most fields is in Chinese because the Chinese invented first.  My patent searcher friends complain about this. Even in my own work, most prior art references be it in biochemistry or electronics, is from China.
    For most fields of technology, Chinese are already leading, number one, pole position, however you want to state it.  I said "most" because in the smallest size transistor field, a variety of countries (US for tool making, Taiwan, Korea for manufacturing) are leading in the challenging 5G area.  As a result China has imported (I have read as many as 5000) advanced chipmaking engineers from Taiwan late last year.

    The Japanese are extremely creative.  The most important invention from Japan in recent years was the blue LED light, which made possible white light LEDs that replaced fluorescent bulbs.  This was invented in the countryside of Japan.
    Another one, is ivermectin. In this context I point out that invention is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.  A friend of mine in Kyoto (with others who left a big corp to establish their own start up there) invented an advanced optic imaging chip (now used in some cell phones).  They had to go to mainland China (not Taiwan) to get it manufactured.  The most difficult and challenging technologies tend to be in manufacturing from one viewpoint.  The Japanese are the world experts in the resins and packaging chemistries for mounting and assembling advanced chips.  This is why apple iphones could not be made after the Fukushima melt down, which closed a specialty manufacturer (based on new technology in plastics) in N. Japan.

    I was a research scientist in the research labs of a large company in Japan for 4 years in Osaka before becoming a patent attorney, working for Japanese companies.  After working for a similar sized R&D location (a few hundred PhDs) in the US prior to that, I was able to make direct comparisons.  During my 1000`s of conversations and many research meetings, I found that the researchers in Japan are just as innovative if not more so than in America. And, now that the US patent system has been re-formatted to screw inventors and favor international corps, and the Japanese greatly improved their system to reward small inventors (in response to encourage more inventors of things like blue LEDs), new ideas are not being held back in Japan like they used to be.  A few times I got harassed on ferries by people who learned that I am a patent attorney and wanted to tell me about their own invention so they can get a patent.  Some of these are amazing (a true fundamental alloy of iron with copper that does not rust, but is very conductive and magnetic, for example).  Rather, it is the American inventors that need to keep their ideas to themselves or get ripped off more easily. I have seen this change.  Further, the Chinese are dramatically improving their patent system as well, mostly by increasing the ability to sue and collect large damages but also by providing funds for patenting, and opening branch patent offices in technology parks.

    I know of Chinese engineers who were offered a job in Japan but refused because their standard of living in coastal mainland China is so much better.  I have rolled up my sleeves and worked alongside Chinese engineers, who surprised me with their quick understanding of things.  In fact, for both Japan and China, it is easier for me to explain complicated technology to someone who "gets it" easily, despite language difficulties (a simple drawing suffices).   Maybe because the education system is better, I really do not know.  It is true that IBM/Intel/Samsung etc. have sunk tens of billions into advanced lithography technologies and that the Chinese are catching up.  But for other chips in the internet of things, there are fantastic new products coming out of Shenzhen, which is a hot bed of innov0ation, that goes well beyond the cell phone app writing that dominates Silicon Valley.

    Dave, I dont have a dog in this argument-fight and do not really care to convince people PRO! or CON! on this stuff.  Believe it or dont.  What difference does it make?

    I need to focus on my own technology.  I am working privately on radio and hope to discuss that topic next year when I have something useful and filed at the Japanese patent office.  Meanwhile, if you or anyone else would like to build/use/market large scale lighting systems that very simply and cheaply provides very high EROI renewable energy lights during the daytime for offices/garages/stores send me a PM and I will send you a short powerpoint.  The powerpoint (and related patent applications) have much stuff that is not described in my book "Take Back The Power!" that some people here kindly looked up on amazon (can read first section for free there).

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  • Fri, Sep 17, 2021 - 12:03am

    #83
    davefairtex

    davefairtex

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    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 2776

    2

    corrected

    Thanks Mots.  I stand corrected on both Chinese and Japanese inventors.  You as a patent attorney would have a good view into this particular dynamic.  I do wonder: how is it that a system (Japan!) that revolves around the concept "the nail that stands up gets pounded down" nevertheless manages to generate independent thought.  Clearly the human spirit finds a way.  I enjoyed my time in Japan - lived and worked there for about 4 months - although it was a few decades ago.

    China as a nation remains relatively resource-poor (that's the reason for belt-and-road), and surrounded by nations that have a pre-US-CIA-influence "concern" about the country.  Namely Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Russia, and India.  Each one of these places have fought wars with, or been invaded/occupied by China, in the not-so-distant past.  The US (by contrast) has a big ocean between the rest of the world.  It is a naval power, while China is not.  Not sure how China - which relies on trade for its prosperity - will keep all that prosperity going, without "someone" protecting the sea lanes.  Maybe they'll invent a Navy?  They'll have to.  Maybe the CCP will run the new international order?  That's sure food for thought.

    My friends in Taiwan are not members of the Oligarchy.  They just want to be able to vote for their government.  Which they can now, finally, do.  I think they want to keep it that way.  Same with my friends in Hong Kong.  If you can tell me how mainlanders give meaningful "feedback" to Xi that doesn't land them in prison, I'm still waiting to hear what that process looks like.  He is dictator for life.  And the PLA has all the guns.

    The sum total of all your guys objections to my post: "Dave!  The CCP Is a BENEVOLENT dictatorship!  They are WISE dictators."

    Being a student of history, I don't trust they will remain benevolent.   I tend to focus on the word "dictatorship" much more than the word "benevolent."

    The CCP is the place where the rest of the world is headed.  I believe it is instructive to see what their model is about: strict limitations on what you can say, how you can act, where you can go, what you can do.  Sounds like their patent law is improving, so that's a plus.  Now do that for speech, and travel, and prayer, and all the rest.  Or maybe - just keep your head down, and hope they don't do to you what they did to "effeminate actors."  Sorry girly-boys, you're out, no more career for you!  Why?  Oh, because we woke up one morning and decided to do this.  Just because.  We know best.  Sucks to be you, doesn't it?  Time to man up!  Because we said so.

    That's where things are headed.  Oligarchy-dictatorship wakes up one morning, and decides everyone needs the shot.  Why?  Well, because!  We know best.  Sucks to be you, unvaxxed scumbag.  Take the shot or else - off to the camps.

    How's that forced-vaccination campaign going in China?  I'm guessing - pretty well.  What the CCP wants, the CCP gets.

    "Benevolent" dictatorships - aren't.  And the US and the rest of the West is for sure heading in this direction.  CCP is already there.

    How does this sort of thing usually play out in human history, again?  Hitler definitely rebuilt Germany following WW1.  Lots of prosperity.  Mussolini got those trains to (finally!) run on time.  And it was all fun and games, unless...you had to wear the yellow star, or the pink triangle, or you weren't of the proper racial purity, etc, etc.  Or you said something bad about the Nazi party.  And the camps, of course.

    Benevolent Dictators - aren't.  The common people need a "feedback mechanism" for leadership.  The alternative is always: Arbeit Mach Frei.  Dictators gonna dictate.  Will we remember this in time?

    I hope so.

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  • Sat, Sep 18, 2021 - 9:03am

    #84
    Doug

    Doug

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1566

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    CCP

    "Not sure how China - which relies on trade for its prosperity - will keep all that prosperity going, without "someone" protecting the sea lanes.  Maybe they'll invent a Navy?"

    China has a rapidly growing navy.  But, they are still a distant second or third to the US Navy.  As I noted earlier, so far the Chinese navy is only relevant in the South China Sea, which is one of the globe's most important trade routes.  The US Navy is the key determinate in keeping the South China Sea open to trade.  The main threat to that is China itself.  So, between China and the US, the South China Sea should remain wide open for Chinese trade for the foreseeable future.

    The only other real choke points for international sea trade are the strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, the strait of Gibraltar and the Panama Canal.  They all remain wide open at this point in time.

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