Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Meet the Chechens

Americans tend to be rather bad at geography, and often find out that a country exists, and where it is on the world map, only after their troops invade it. That's how it used to be; now that America is too broke even to pay their own air traffic controllers, never mind stage military invasions, the moment of discovery will occur when people from some country or other come over and settle scores by attacking Americans. What goes around comes around. America's latest voyage of geographic discovery has taken it to Chechnya, where, following the collapse of the USSR, unbeknownst to most Americans, their government offered covert support to “pro-independence forces,” “separatists,” “insurgents,” “terrorists,” or whatever the increasingly tongue-tied US State Department decides to call them next.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Rationale behind the Boston Psy-ops

Boston on Friday, April 19, 2013
Update: promoting a good bit from the comments. Thanks, Kevin.

Deep in the Heart of Middle America...

Q: I’ve been hearing things about a... “recent development.”

A: Yeah, bit of a jolt, this one. Heard on the grapevine, it’s these Chechens, heard of ’em? Well, they’ve taken over, massacred the entire 113th Congress and took over Homeland Security to boot. Saw the footage of Capital Hill. Gawd, what a mess. But ah... personally I don’t see anything to be concerned about. I mean, really, they can’t be any worse than the last bunch. Give the lads a chance, that’s what I say. That’s what America’s all about, right? A place where you can get ahead. Show a bit of initiative, innovation; give it a go. And I’ll tell you something else. From what I hear these guys are pretty solid on family values, ya know? And guns? They’re not against guns. Now I can prove that... So well, that’s what I say... I can’t really see a problem here....

Q: what about Obama, the President. Did he say anything?

A: Well ah, yeah he made an announcement. Something like “weapons of war have no place on our streets.” He said something... honestly I can’t really recall much of this. I know he said something but... ah...

Q: Yeah, right.

An interesting thing happened in Boston. Not the explosions that killed several people and maimed many more—such gruesome events happen with some regularity in more and more parts of the world—but what happened afterwards. Under the thinnest of pretenses, Boston was placed under martial law, with heavily armed troops patrolling the streets, pointing machine guns at civilians who dared so much as to look out their windows.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

REVIEW—The Five Stages of Collapse by Dmitry Orlov

The writing of this book was a rotten job, but it was absolutely necessary. If someone had to do it, I am very glad that it was Dmitry Orlov. Without his wit, alacrity and experience, the task of beating the horse of the Cartesian approach to understanding our dying world to death would have resulted in something unbearably maddening, dry and uninspiring. In this book he sneaks some LOLROF side-splitters in when you least expect them. One gathers from Orlov’s painstaking efforts, the futility of looking to outdated constructs and philosophies for understanding and relief from a crisis that demands complete innovation and inspiration.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Organizational Stupidity is Behind the Boston Marathon Disaster


Friday update: America's enemies are probably feeling encouraged this morning: apparently all it takes to destroy it (through bankruptcy) is some small number of pressure cookers loaded with explosive and shrapnel. Each such event produces a stunningly ridiculous amount of police activity costing millions, if not billions, of dollars. It would be interesting to find out how many billions of economic damage per pressure cooker it is.

People are asking me what I think of the two Chechen/Daghestani kids who have been accused of causing the explosions, and, upon finding out that they are hunted men, decided to go out in a blaze of glory by holding up a convenience store, carjacking an SUV and arranging to have a shootout with the police. Well, since they probably thought the alternative was something like being force-fed at Guantanamo for the rest of their lives, that might be seen as a rational choice. Such behavior, as well as the fact that they had semiautomatic weapons and hand grenades on hand, is also in keeping with the Chechen/Daghestani ethos, which is resistant of accepting any external authority. Based on what I hear of their antics, it seems like they weren't trying to flee; they just wanted to “die well.” As to whether they were responsible or complicit in the bombings—I simply don't know. My only source of information is what is leaking out through the media, and at this point I have to treat all of it as hearsay, rumor, fabrication and/or idle speculation. Not that I think that there is a conspiracy, mind you—just some nonsense cooked up by people who are under a lot of pressure to look like they know what they are talking about.

Please keep in mind that terrorism is an insignificant source of accidental death in the US (unlike, say, Iraq, where there were 50 killed on Marathon Day alone). The main sources of accidental death in the US are cars, guns and doctors.

I was in Boston when it happened, but nowhere near the event: I was across the harbor, in the boatyard, painting a boat, when I heard the news on the radio. Yesterday I walked past the “crime scene,” as it is being called, which was crawling with police and national guard troops, as if there was anything there for them to do. Later I met a friend, and, over a beer, he pointed out a very obvious reason for why the disaster took place.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Understanding Organizational Stupidity

Shintaro Kago
Is it morning in America again, or is the bubble that is the American economy about to pop (again), this time perhaps tipping it into full-blown collapse in five stages with symphonic accompaniment and fireworks? A country blowing itself up is quite a sight to behold, and it makes us wonder about lots of things. For instance, it makes us wonder whether the people who are doing the blowing up happen to be criminals. (Sure, they may be in a manner of speaking—as a moral judgment passed on the powerful by the powerless—but since none of them are likely to see the inside of a jail cell or even a courtroom any time soon, the point is moot. Let's be sure to hunt them down once they try to run and hide, though.) But at a much more basic and fundamental level, a better question to ask is this one:

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Five Stages Of Collapse reviewed By Carolyn Baker

Many of us who have been researching collapse for a decade or more repeatedly use the word in writing, speaking, and daily conversation, but few of us have the opportunity to define it with such precision or personal experience as one finds in Dmitry Orlov’s forthcoming book Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors Toolkit (New Society Publishers, 281 pages). I first heard of Dmitry when I was writing for From The Wilderness in 2005 after FTW published “Post-Soviet Lessons For A Post-American Century,” one of Orlov’s first articles in the United States naming our predicament and likely outcome.

Since then I have been a huge fan of Dmitry’s work, and I must concur with Richard Heinberg who says, “Even if I believed collapse were impossible I’d still read everything Dmitry Orlov writes: he’s that entertaining.” Incisive articulation of reality tempered with irrepressible humor and sarcasm define his writing style and not only compel us to stay with what some describe as a “dark Russian perspective,” but reveal a man who has found a way to live with what is so and navigate it with buoyant humanity.

2013 Second Annual Age of Limits Conference

[Guest post from Orren. I’ll be there. Hope you can make it.]

Thursday May 23 through Monday May 24
The Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary, Artemas, Pennsylvania

Dedicated to the pioneering work of Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows and their epochal 1972 report The Limits to Growth.

Hello! Orren Whiddon here with a reminder of what we are planning for this years 2013 Age of Limits conference, and our new Sustainable Life Skills Intensive.

• This year we have extended Age of Limits to a full three days of content, beginning Thursday evening May 23rd and ending Monday Noon May 27th. With this expanded schedule we will not have to “double-book” two presentations at the same time, allowing for for 1½ hour major presentations each day. In between we will host numerous one hour workshop and networking opportunities, expanding the time available to continue the conversation—person to person, face to face.

Friday, April 05, 2013

KunstlerCast #223: Rappin’ with Dmitry Orlov

James Howard Kunstler raps with Dmitry Orlov, author of Reinventing Collapse and the forthcoming new book, The Five Stages of Collapse. We delve into some heretofore unpublicized details of Mr. Orlov’s personal history as a young émigré from the old Soviet Union in the 1970s, and his journeys back to Russia (both Soviet and post-Soviet) since then.

Listen to it here.

Direct Download: KunstlerCast_223.mp3

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Interview on Voice America Business Matters with Jay Taylor

Jay and I discuss how the USA is following in the footsteps of the USSR, how financial collapse is progressing, how the various stages of collapse relate and what's in my new book. You can listen to it here or download the mp3 here.
In this week's episode of the radio program, Ellen Hodgson Brown and Dmitry Orlov discuss the continuing collapse of western society thanks to the parasitic behavior of our banking establishment.

With outright confiscation of depositor money in Cyprus, parasitic elite is no longer robbing us in the night through the hidden tax of inflation but now robs people through outright confiscation of deposits. How long yet before Robert Prechter's next “dark age” arrives? Orlov gives us an idea of which of the five Stages of Collapse the U.S. is now in, as he compares our demise to that of the former Soviet Union's collapse.

The Untrustworthy and the Trustful

Aaron Jasinski
[This is an excerpt from The Five Stages of Collapse which seems quite topical given the new banking rules being set down in Europe and the US, according to which your bank deposits will no longer be guaranteed. With the precedent being set in Cyprus, bank deposits are being turned into unsecured loans, and when the bank folds you might get some bank stock, which you may or may not be able to sell, or you might get nothing at all. Now that large cash transactions and stockpiles are illegal, bank deposits liable to evaporate without notice, and gold likely to be re-regulated and re-confiscated before too long, what's your plan for opposing financial tyranny? I believe that before you can hatch any such plan, you must first decide: Who do you trust?]

Within a modern, highly financialized economy, most interactions are impersonal, based on purchase and sale within a market system. If you are the loser in any one transaction, it is your fault, because you chose to deal with people you had no particular reason to trust, and therefore it is your mistake. If the swindle is not illegal, you have no legal recourse. You can, of course, complain to a few friends, perhaps even blog or tweet about it, but then, in a market economy, more of a stigma attaches to being swindled than to swindling, and most people are reticent when it comes to telling the whole world that they let someone take advantage of them.