The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

On the good side. . . ground has been broken for a new organic garden on the White House lawn.  This undoubtedly is the most useful response of the government to the on-going financial collapse.  There’s been the typical sniping going on from the sideline commentariat, but what the heck, it is a garden, it is organic, there will be bees, it’s on the White House lawn, the First Family itself is involved with it.  Yeah, sure, a permaculture design for the entire site should be done, but it’s always best to start small. It gives everyone a good example to follow and we should, indeed, all follow this example.  Given the way things are going, we will need all the urban agriculture we can get, and then some.

On the bad side. . . so many choices. . . let’s settle on the “new” bank bailout recently announced.  This whole financial collapse looks more and more like a financial coup to me.  Clearly, the financial gangsters who so recklessly brought our entire system to this continuing brink of total disaster remain pretty much in charge on Capitol Hill.  Sure, a lot of populist trash talk is emanating from Congress and the White House, but that’s all it is.  Nothing substantive is happening that suggests that economic rationality is on its way.  We are all going to have to get used to being much poorer than we were, because the Wall Street gangsters remain in control of the government. 

Yes We Can — be forced by the Government to pay for the excesses of the financial sociopaths on Wall Streets.

Yes We Can — enter into a 10-20 year Greater Depression.

Yes We Can — pay the price of corruption, economic irrationality, and greed of our aristocrats.

If we don’t stand together against this, the future is bleak.  We stand together when we slash our consumption, take our money out of the big transcontinental banks, invest and spend our money in our local economies, plant gardens and grow local food systems, and refuse to listen to the lies of politicians and Wall Street sociopaths anymore.

And then there’s the ugly.  The Empire’s wars will go on.  We’re going to wind down the unjust war on the people on Iraq and ramp up the unjust war on the people of Afghanistan.  I sure wish, as I have noted before, that our political aristocrats would take the time to study history in greater depth and detail.  Afghanistan is historically referred to as the “graveyard of empire“, because time and time again, great empires have washed up against the people of that territory and been brought to defeat at often ruinous cost.

In 327 BC, Alexander the Great barely escaped with his life from his attempt to conquer Afghanistan.  The Mongols, who pretty much wiped everyone else off the map, had to make a deal with the Afghans.  In 1839, the British sent a huge army into Afghanstan.  Three years later, they were forced to withdraw from Kabul — and out of an army of 16,500 soldiers and civilians, only ONE PERSON made it back to Jalalabad, 110 miles away.  Here’s what Rudyard Kipling wrote about Afghanistan after similar disasters for the British in the 2nd Afghan War (1878-1881):

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains
and the women come out to cut up what remains
Jest roll to your rite an’ blowout your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

The Russians decided to try their hand in Afghanistan, invading in the late 1970s and installing their own government.  By 1985, their occupation army was at 120,000 and had killed a million civilians, but the Afghans fought on, liberally supplied by the US, China, and others. In 1989, they left. And shortly thereafter, the Soviet Empire collapsed onto the ash heap of history.

With our usual hubris, our political aristocrats think we can do better in the unjust war bidness.  But we will find, as all empires have before us, that the price of empire is national bankruptcy.  Indeed, it is likely that the trillion plus dollars we have spent on our recent unjust wars, and the half trillion we spend every year for other “defense” expenditures, are primary drivers of our present series of financial crises.  It is super politically incorrect to point this out however.  So no lessons are being learned, and damage is being done daily, and we continue to be a force of death and destruction in the world.

Actions have consequences, and we won’t like the results.

Now would be a good time to go into crisis mode to protect your family and household from the terrible consequences coming at us.  For a brief overview, see 20 resilient responses to troubled times, previously posted here and elsewhere.  For a more in depth household response, spend ten dollars and buy a PDF copy of Gatewood Urban Homestead: city living that meets the challenges of peak oil, climate instability, and economic irrationality. While it is site specific to my own situation here in OKC, you can learn a lot about what you need to do in your own homestead.  The page also includes links to free information about permaculture that you can download, print, and learn from.

 

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