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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally posted by starry night View Post
    Me too. (Orlov scared the bejeezus out of me, but I am grateful for the wake up call!)

    I am also very grateful for Kunstlers wake up call, and his advocacy for New Urbanism. I live in one of the most car-centric locals in the US, I believe--I gave up on my political advocacy career when I discovered that the biggest lobby in the state was the road builders! And, not coincidentally, we also have very high pedestrian and bicycle mortality rates.

    Continuing my backstory: Even before I became aware of the collapse, I was drawn to community living. Palooka and I met in a mutual search for an intentional community, and we first lived together in a tiny tiny tiny community that we founded. I had an MA in Communication, focusing on Organizational, Group, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication, and had crashed and burned at the end of my coursework so did not pursue a PhD at that time.

    When I was able to study again, I wanted to learn more about intentional communities, and how to facilitate meetings in them. There was no academic route for this, so I built my own program, training with the experts in the intentional communities movement who, after 20-30 years in the field, were ready to pass on what they had learned to the next generation of facilitators. It was an amazing opportunity, and I am very grateful for it.

    I also got the chance to visit a lot of intentional communities in the US, mostly based on the co-housing model, mostly dealing with (white) middle-class problems. (back when there was one, LOL.) Still, people are people, and my trainers had a much broader background, so it gave me first hand experience with the kinds of things that seem to be common to at least this subgroup of humanity, and also *solutions* on the process level. Or rather, what are the best processes, the best practices, when it comes to finding solutions to the problems that inevitably come up when living intentionally, in community?

    Cause if anything is going to get done, it is going to get done by people, who are coming together from their own histories, positions, etc. have their own interests, points of view, triggers, deeply held beliefs, y'all know the drill!

    I learned a lot.

    Then came the realization of the end of the world as we know it: TEOTWAWKI (remember that acronym?)

    I became drawn to the question of okay, so how DO we rebuild, incorporating the social-emotional axis? And at the time I started the next phase of my journey, I was still pretty freaked out, so the question was, what if we have to do it on the fly? In a state of emergency, while we are on the move from one climate zone to another?

    That's when I got interested in "self-organizing" communities--as it was presented in the doomer/prepper discourse.

    So started to get training in Open Space facilitation, and also, in drawing on the deeper traditional/tribal models (we've been around for a long time!) which started to line up with my Spiritual process/development... and this is what I am working on, still. But that is for another thread.

    Back to Kunstler. So I am trying to sort out the point he is making. And I think it is important to tease out the role of the media, in all of this. And the messages. Which is, obviously, a whole lot of the work we are doing here at TOT. Sorting it all out!

    I want to understand what he is saying, and I also want to understand where he is coming from, as a person with his own "stuff," so to speak, to help me make sense of it. Methinks he is triggered. I know I was certainly triggered by some of what he said, and I had to go emote until I could come back and write something that wasn't just coming from my upsettedness, so to speak.

    Because I don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater, in terms of rejecting other points of view just because something somebody said pissed me off. I mean, I do that all the time momentarily, but my goal is to work through my stuff so I can "hear" again.

    Anywho, palooka is home, so I need to get off his laptop (the keyboard to my iPad is kaput) and come back to this later.
    That is a very interesting backstory indeed

    I am quite fascinated by collapse, since I grew up during one in the nineties, when the Soviet Empire imploded. Experiencing it first hand, as a child, gives you an entirely different perspective. It is not the end of the world, but it is the end of the world for some, mostly those that are inflexible and set in their ways. In my own country, the economic collapse of the nineties, played out pretty much like the Great Depression in the US, perhaps with less dire consequences.

    Still, there was mass unemployment, homelessness (which was unheard of during communist times), pensioners and formerly middle class people dumpster diving, an explosion in prostitution (you gotta feed your children somehow and that's one of the only ways during an economic collapse), a boom in organised crime (which again, was unheard of before), a lot of looting of state assets, Russian tanks beings sold for bottles of Vodka by the departing Red Army, juicy things like that.

    I often wonder if some people still have a rusting Mig-29s or maybe even a nuclear missile somewhere in their backyards. The death rate went through the roof (suicide, alcoholism, depression and stress-related ailments), whereas birth rates plummeted, not least due to a spike in abortion rates.


    Dmitry Orlov wrote about this extensively, which is why I really appreciate his perspective. I also see a lot of parallels with what is happening in the US and the UK currently, with Trump and Brexit. I have a feeling that both Brits and Americans might experience something akin to the Soviet Collapse, in the near future. The important thing to keep in mind is that mental preparation and flexibility is the key to survival.

    The people with the most to lose are usually the ones that take it the worst, especially middle-aged men in positions of power. That is why it is important not to cling to possessions, especially paper assets as they tend to weigh you down and pull you down with them. When you're swimming away from the sinking titanic, it is best not to hold on tight to your chest of gold, stocks and bonds. Better just let it go and find a lifeboat, that will take you to safety.

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  3. #32
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    Another economic collapse prediction from Dmitry Orlov. Note that these are roughly the same ones Peter Schiff made back in 2007, in His book Crash Proof. It Almost came true exactly as he predicted (and I remember it very vividly as I was living in Singapore at the time and the Lehman collapse affected a lot of people there. Many lost all of their life savings). however Hank Paulson's intervention brought the whole system back from the brink and for some reason it (the global financial system) still hasn't imploded. Nevertheless, Orlov's analysis is excellent as usual and well worth a read.


    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2018/1...ul-choice.html

    Humpty-Dumpty’s Fateful Choice


    According to the English nursery rhyme, “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.” It is often presented as a riddle, and children are prompted to guess that Humpty was an egg. This is, of course, the wrong answer: the right answer, as all up-to-date children should know, is that Dumpty is the US dollar.

    But back to the nursery rhyme: why would all of king’s men attempt to put together a broken egg, and why would horses be sent in to help? In fact, Dumpty was not an egg but a large cannon that accidentally fell from a castle wall during the English Civil War of 1642-49 and smashed into pieces. Another nursery rhyme, “Ring a ring o’ roses,” is about the Great Plague of 1665. Nursery rhymes aren’t about childish things; they are about serious things, like civil wars, pandemics… and currency collapses.

    One of the most impactful events of the early 21st century is its undoing as the world’s main reserve currency. Since many people will immediately demand to know when exactly this will happen, let me rush to supply them with the correct answer: this will happen early in the 21st century. As to how exactly it will happen—well, that’s the interesting part.

    How is the US dollar like Humpty Dumpty? It’s all in the nursery rhyme: it’s fragile, it’s going to fall and crack, and no amount of energy (“king’s horses”) or military power (“king’s men”) will be able to make it whole again. There is an additional dimension to this falling-off-the-wall business. Wall-sitting is not so common, but the term “fence-sitting” is often used to indicate indecision.

    This brings forth one important aspect of falling off a wall that we ignore at our peril: there are two ways to fall off a wall, and the decision as to which one is rarely without consequence. Walls and fences share a fundamental feature: they serve to separate the inside from the outside. Had Humpty fallen to the outside, the king’s men would have had to muster a sortie and sally forth, braving great dangers, to retrieve its mighty wreckage.

    What are the two sides of the wall from which the US dollar shall fall, and how are they different. We’ll get to that question in due course, but first we have to spell out some basics. In order for a currency to serve as a global reserve currency there has to be lots of it available. There are three basic ways that a country can proliferate its currency: by lending it into existence; by borrowing it into existence; and by printing it and just handing it out no strings attached.

    Lending it into existence is, of course, preferable: other countries then pay you interest, which you can reinvest in the project of making other countries pay you interest on your own money. But this only works if other countries absolutely must buy your currency in order to then use it to buy something they absolutely need, such as Saudi Arabian oil (which for a long time could only be purchased with US dollars, based on a deal between Saudi Arabia and the US). It also only works until lots of countries that you’ve bled dry start defaulting on their loans, leaving you with giant gaping holes in your banking system that can only be fixed by just printing money and stuffing it into those holes.

    The trick of making others pay you to use your money is nice, but it doesn’t always work, and then the alternative—to pay others to use your money—comes into play. This is most easily accomplished by running trade and budget deficits and papering them over by issuing government debt. The reason it doesn’t always work is simple: what were the Saudis supposed to do with all those dollars they were getting for their oil (other than squandering them on useless American weapons which they promptly buried in the sand)? Why, lend them back to the Americans, of course! For a while, this scheme, called “petrodollar recycling,” worked like a charm: Americans lent out dollars at a higher rate, then borrowed them back from the Saudis at a lower rate.

    But like all good things, this something-for-nothing scheme eventually stopped working. Trade and budget deficits grew into a truly gigantic pile of debt that had to keep growing all the time, and there just weren’t enough borrowers in the world who could be relied on to recycle all that money. Instead, the US has relied more and more on paying people to use its money—borrowing it into existence and paying others to use the US dollar, that is. The problem with doing this is that it eventually becomes impossible to keep the economy going because the capital it needs keeps getting eaten up by the ever-growing debt monster in the form of interest payments.

    The solution to this problem—since it’s your own currency and you do whatever you want—is to drop interest rates to zero and start lending money at zero percent interest. Now, suddenly, there are plenty of takers! This is not exactly the same as just printing money and handing it out, since there are strings attached: when the loans come due, they have to be either paid off (fat chance!) or rolled over into new loans, still at 0% interest, one would hope. But since the only ones who can belly up to the 0% feeding trough are major corporations and financial institutions, the free money doesn’t filter out to consumers and stimulate demand, making it a bad idea to invest it in anything productive.

    Instead, it is used to fuel speculative investments: companies inflate their share prices by buying up their own shares; financial institutions inflate real estate prices and other asset prices. This keeps federal dollars flowing and the financial system from collapsing. It also makes the rich feel even richer, but it is hardly a virtuous cycle for the economy as a whole: inflated asset prices for necessities such as housing depress consumer spending and shrink rather than grow the real economy of consumer goods and services. Nevertheless, you may currently be hearing lots of nonsensical statements such as the following: “…asset inflation has been the prime driver of growth in the developed world since the global financial crisis 10 years ago…” Look what a huge, beautiful economic tumor we grew by eating nothing but financial high-fructose corn syrup!

    But we didn’t need to wait for speculative investors to get nosebleeds from stratospherically inflated asset prices or for the consumer economy to crater from asset inflation-imposed austerity, because soon enough foreign debt buyers started politely asking about getting a bit more than 0% for their troubles. Interest rates on federal debt rates then had to move up in order for the market to absorb the new debt without hurting the value of US debt. The rates on US government borrowing are now above the magic 3% level at which things are thought to start unraveling.

    Beyond a certain point higher interest rates will trigger a recession/depression. But even if they don’t, foreign borrowers will eventually begin to realize that high interest rates are as bad as 0% interest rates if your creditor happens to be a deadbeat. We’ve been led down this garden path once before: prior to the Russian government’s default in 1998, interest rates on Russian government debt shot up to 100%. It was at that point that international investors decided that this wasn’t funny any more and walked away. Thus, there is no “right” level of interest rates to pick from while spiraling down into a debt hole.

    Are there any alternatives to spiraling down into a debt hole? Some possibilities were opened up in this regard with the election of Donald Trump. He has all of the macroeconomic intellectual acumen of a casino and hotel magnate cross-bred with a beauty pageant organizer and a reality show host—none at all—but his megalomaniacal character makes him incapable of sensing his intellectual limitations. Add to this the fact that he has been deprived of all avenues of action except for just a few: giving tax breaks to corporations and the ultra-rich; increasing defense spending; and imposing unilateral sanctions on anyone he doesn’t happen to like. The latter is turning out to be quite lethal with regard to the US dollar’s status as an international reserve currency. If one’s ability to use the US dollar in foreign exchange reserves or in international settlements can be impaired without warning based on presidential whim, then this makes the US dollar rather unattractive. This development has turbocharged the effort, already underway, to shift away from the US dollar in international trade.

    There are two effects to expect from this development. One is that the global demand for US dollars will drop as other countries find ways to trade with each other in their own currencies or using barter, bypassing the US dollar. The other that the supply of US dollars will increase, as foreign holders of US dollars unload their holdings. As a result, the US will not be able to continue borrowing internationally to continue to finance its gigantic trade and budget deficits. On the other hand, the US will be awash in dollars pouring in from abroad, and the US still has lots of assets to sell. We should expect much of the US to end up under new, foreign ownership. We should also expect anything that isn’t nailed down to be crated up and exported, much of it to China.

    What can we make of Humpty’s fateful choice? Should Dumpty topple head over heels or heels over head? By tipping forward, toward higher interest rates, Dumpty would keep free money rolling in, for the time being, while bankrupting the numerous corporations that are being kept out of bankruptcy by ultra-low interest rates, triggering a severe recession/depression and a full-blown financial collapse. By tipping backward and keeping interest rates low the dollar would fall in value, driving up inflation and making it difficult for the US to continue financing its deficits. Unable to either lend or borrow money into existence, it would be forced to resort to Plan C: just print dollars and hand them out, no strings attached. But this leads to hyperinflation and a full-blown financial collapse too.

    Perhaps Dumpty’s choice is just a matter of style, because the eventual result will be the same. Nor will it be a rational choice: the policymakers in the US have long given up on any realistic measures of such thing as unemployment rate, inflation or GDP growth. Their models might as well be based on tea leaves or goat entrails. But we should still be able to determine which way Dumpty got dumped by what we will observe first. If we see a deflationary collapse, Dumpty aimed high and fell backward; if we see an inflationary collapse, Dumpty aimed low and went head over heels.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.” It is often presented as a riddle, and children are prompted to guess that Humpty was an egg.
    Humpty Dumpty... Wasn't he a member here a while ago? No, wait...


    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  7. #34
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Humpty Dumpty... Wasn't he a member here a while ago? No, wait...


    Bhagwan Dumpy has ascended to a higher plane... He's selling Kool Aid at Dart Hatman's Blue Chicken stand... Not!

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    My brother might as well have forgotten the economic collapse. By the 11th month of Obama's presidency he was already blaming the situation on Obama even though it happened under Bush's watch.

    Cognitive dissonance is strong when people don't want to take responsibility.


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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    My brother might as well have forgotten the economic collapse. By the 11th month of Obama's presidency he was already blaming the situation on Obama even though it happened under Bush's watch.

    Cognitive dissonance is strong when people don't want to take responsibility.

    Or when they are being partisan bigots whose primary objective in life is to continue waging war on what they loathe.

    The US Republican vantage has always been "It's my way or the highway", and so they loathe everything that isn't "their way". From the Republican vantage, everything — and I do mean everything — is always the fault of "the libtards" [sic].

    It must be extremely blissful to have such a narrow mind. Life is so simple when there's only one thing you have to think about.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  13. #37
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Or when they are being partisan bigots whose primary objective in life is to continue waging war on what they loathe.

    The US Republican vantage has always been "It's my way or the highway", and so they loathe everything that isn't "their way". From the Republican vantage, everything — and I do mean everything — is always the fault of "the libtards" [sic].

    It must be extremely blissful to have such a narrow mind. Life is so simple when there's only one thing you have to think about.
    I'm afraid this simplistic narrow-mindedness is a worldwide phenomenon. Witness the thick skulls of Brexiteers (including cabinet ministers) who are incapable of grasping even the simplest truths about what Brexit actually means, let alone the complexities and fine minutiae that will define it. All they can do is shout shallow nationalistic slogans about "taking our country back". Orwell wrote about this very descriptively, but he probably didn't anticipate that the intellectual rot will spread to the very top of British government.

    I really have to write about this phenomenon of "blaming the other" in my own country, because it seems to be a harbinger of things to come elsewhere.

    We've had a problem with toxic Hungarian nationalism since at least the 1860s, when Austria came to a compromise (Ausgleich) with Hungary, allowing it Total control over one half of the Austro-Hungarian empire. At the time, Austria-Hungary was the second biggest country in Europe, after Russia, so it was a significant achievement.

    However, this was also the start of a very toxic form of Nationalism, not just in Austria-Hungary, but later in neighbouring countries, such as Germany and Italy. Modern Anti-Semitism and Zionism were both born in this Toxic environment, for different reasons, obviously. Anti-Semitism became so widespread that blaming Jews for any numbers of problems became a verb in itself.

    It is "Zsidózni" in Hungarian, the English Equivalent of which would be "to Jew", that is to blame Jews collectively for any number of problems that might occur either in your country's or your own personal life.

    This has now been largely replaced in Hungarian politics by the verb "Sorosozni" or "to Soros", which again means blaming George Soros (Soros György to us, after all, he is one of our own) for all manner of problems afflicting the country. I couldn't help but notice that blaming George Soros for absolutely everything has now spread to the US right and even the President started doing it.


    This is rather a contentious issue, but a case could be made that Soros has really just become code for Jews in general and anti-Sorosism is just a coded, covert form of anti-semitism.

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    Senior Member palooka's revenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post

    It must be extremely blissful to have such a narrow mind. Life is so simple when there's only one thing you have to think about.
    actually, many of them strike me more as miserable than anything else...

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    You're right about Soros. And it's a good explanation of why the same folks are so silent about all the other billionaire behind-the-scenes controllers.

    Look! Look over here! Rich Jew Billionaire! (Ignore those others behind the curtain!)

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    This is true, Soros does seem to be the preferred billionaire whipping boy. Of course by no means does that get him off the hook for the shit he pulls, though it does make me wonder why there seems to be very little research done on Right leaning billionaires like the Koch brothers, or Sheldon Aldelson for instance.

    As an aside however, and I can only speak for myself here, when I think of George Soros I don't think "that Jew George Soros". I seldom hear people make that distinction either, but then I also have no clue what they may be thinking.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

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    Quote Originally posted by Fred Steeves View Post
    This is true, Soros does seem to be the preferred billionaire whipping boy. Of course by no means does that get him off the hook for the shit he pulls, though it does make me wonder why there seems to be very little research done on Right leaning billionaires like the Koch brothers, or Sheldon Aldelson for instance.

    As an aside however, and I can only speak for myself here, when I think of George Soros I don't think "that Jew George Soros". I seldom hear people make that distinction either, but then I also have no clue what they may be thinking.
    there is no research done on Soros either...it's just propaganda...any research would reveal that he's just another human being...and very likely an anti-fascist.

    The Koch brothers on the hand have been well-documented as sick puppies...very much like the uberman Trump.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    It's a dog-whistle. People don't have to utter "jew", it's implied.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    It's a dog-whistle. People don't have to utter "jew", it's implied.
    Huh. So any time over the years I've mentioned Soros involvement in say, a color revolution, there have been people on the sidelines pointing at me and saying "look, Jew hater"?

    That reminds me of the same with Obama, where it was implied that for the white folk who really despised him it wasn't really about his past, who he was, what he was doing or the people around him, it was about the fact that they secretly despised seeing a black man in power.

    It seems to me this can be a subtle way of limiting criticism of certain people, or be dubbed a racist.

    Am I missing something here?

    .
    Last edited by Fred Steeves, 23rd October 2018 at 11:25.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Socrates

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    Quote Originally posted by Fred Steeves View Post
    Huh. So any time over the years I've mentioned Soros involvement in say, a color revolution, there have been people on the sidelines pointing at me and saying "look, Jew hater"?

    That reminds me of the same with Obama, where it was implied that for the white folk who really despised him it wasn't really about his past, who he was, what he was doing or the people around him, it was about the fact that they really despised seeing a black man in power.

    It seems to me this can be a subtle way of limiting criticism of certain people, or be dubbed a racist.

    Am I missing something here?

    .
    I think the Litmus test here is whether Jewish people themselves feel that anti-Soros propaganda (which is absolutely ubiquitous here in Hungary) is directed at them? Not all of them do, but quite a few feel unease about it and do wonder whether this is coded antisemitism. It is a difficult consideration to make, because the current leadership of Israel is also anti-Soros and good buddies with the likes of Orbán. So, when asked, anti-Soros propagandists automatically point to Netanyahu and his ilk to point out the Israelis are doing it too, therefore it can't be anti-semitic. That is certainly a very clever argument, but disingenuous at the same time. I think that parallels with classic anti-semitic propaganda are unmistakable and if it makes a large proportion of Jews uncomfortable, then it must have at least some hidden anti-semitic element to it.

    I am less familiar with social relations in the US, but to me, as an outsider, it seems that the vile hatred directed at Obama from the right, even though he was a decent human being and president, just reeks of racism. You never saw that sort of hatred towards Bill Clinton, even though he was a genuine scumbag.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    I am less familiar with social relations in the US, but to me, as an outsider, it seems that the vile hatred directed at Obama from the right, even though he was a decent human being and president, just reeks of racism. You never saw that sort of hatred towards Bill Clinton, even though he was a genuine scumbag.
    Well bear in mind Clinton's tenure was either pre internet, or very early internet. I doubt the whole world was watching then way they were by the time 2008 and beyond rolled around, so that's something to bear in mind. I was here, and trust me right wing talk radio for instance was every bit as seething at Clinton, as it was at Obama.

    Nobody was calling Obama a coke dealing rapist.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Socrates

  30. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Fred Steeves For This Useful Post:

    Aragorn (23rd October 2018), Chris (23rd October 2018), Dreamtimer (23rd October 2018), Elen (23rd October 2018), Wind (23rd October 2018)

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