Oct 312006
 

I have long pondered the mechanics of survival required in today’s world. There is a primitive movement afoot that seeks to unlearn these mechanics, or at least be set free (if only temporarily). While I can admire their ardour, I can’t respect their position entirely. Mostly because it romanticizes the reality of living primitively. It’s not easy, in fact, it’s darned hard.

I’ve spent most of my life in the woods, and am very comfortable and unafraid in the wild. I find that being in the wilderness ‘releases’ a part of me that has suppressed when living in the modern world. Hunting for example, is something that I’ve done for decades. Tracking or even trapping animals is also something that I’ve past enjoyed. I no longer trap though, because I find absolutely no need for it. And if I hunt, I only hunt what I fully intend to eat.

This is the time of year when I will hunt again, killing a large game animal for food. I’m not particularly picky and I don’t trophy hunt. I don’t enjoy the killing either, but rather the experience of being in a natural environment and engaging my skills against another animal, who is far better adapted to the woods then I am.

But I get to unwind, forget entirely about everything else for a short time. This is in fact, a large part of the experience itself – not the hunt, not the kill or the pursuit, but simply clearing the mind entirely of this modern world.

I would have to say that this is by far the most enjoyable part of hunting. Camping for the sheer pleasure of it comes close, so does fishing. Whether still hunting or stalking, fishing a stream or a river, or hiking around and simply enjoying all the scenery, the sights, the sounds and the smells, the mind clears from the daily fog of living and the senses sharpen, if only slightly.

I spend a lot of time in the woods for this reason. At this time of year, I go for long walks just to “blow out the cobwebs”. I avoid other people at all costs, because I have absolutely no interest in engaging in a conversation or injuring my woods experience.

I’ve been lost before, and it is indeed a frightening experience. Keeping your cool will save your life and it did mine. It only lasted for about half a day, but certainly long enough to make me concerned. However, in retrospect, I gave a lot of thought to survival and how “I” would fare in a survival situation. Primitivists also do this, learning exactly how they might learn to live off the land and survive.

Herein lies the dichotomy. Survival living in the modern world requires a varied set of skills and abilities, not unlike survival in the primitive or natural world. However, they only cross paths mostly on theoretical level. Knowing how to light your gas stove or the smell of leaking gas is not the same thing as lighting a fire in the woods, or following the smell of smoke back to camp. Survival living requires far more elemental skills that need to be practiced in order for your to be competent – modern living does not.

Knowing where the meat is found in the supermarket is not the same things as knowing how to kill your own food. But knowing how to cook your food isn’t that much different then knowing how to cook it in the wild. Some skills will be transferable, but not that many.

Competence is simply not required in the modern world. Anybody can live here. If your incompetent, you can still manage to survive quite well. And there is always nearly someone else or entire agencies designated to take care of you. But modern living is of course, much more then that. Modern living requires of you a great many things, primarly your time, your allegience, your subscription to a host of modern paradigms and your efforts and energies.

In exchange for all of that, you get the privilege to pay for the right to live. Modern living isn’t free, and you are required to participate in all of it’s demands in order to survive. This is a rather unfair exchange. You are required, even demanded to participate in an unfair, inequal exchange of self in order to survive. But in reality, this unfair exchange is required so that other people may survive. The interconnectedness of the modern world has created this level of dependency.
Primitive living on the other hand, is mcuh more direct and equal, exhanging exactly what you input for what you receive. It’s a one on one ratio of returns. This then is the most democratic form of living there ever was. Nothing else even comes close.

On the other hand, the modern world requires exploitation of the individual, subjugating entire continents of populations to provide the “living requirements” for distant nations. And even these requirements aren’t real, they are artificial fabrications of greed and consumption for the most part. But importantly, the basic requirements of water, food, clothing, shelter and even safety aren’t free like they once were. They are bought and paid for by every citizen of the modern world through their time, effort and exchange, but nowhere near on an equal exchange for all citizens. The inequalities this modern system has created are monumental (and worthy of entirely different blog post).

This then, is the attraction of primitive living on an social / economic perspective. The directly proportional exchange of effort for one’s livelihood and daily survival. Yet how realistic is this today?

In my opinion, not very. Few people could survive long in a daily survival situation due to many factors, such as environmental damage and degradation, overpopulation, species depletion, pollution, disease, injury and sickness. This is exactly why mankind has sought to distance himself from primitive living, so that he could avoid these things.

In exchange for that, the aforementioned inequalities were created. These are entirely artificial, manmade constructs. Theoretically at least, they need not exist.

While I am not advocating one style of living versus another, I am simply trying to point out that the “exchange” as it were, or the trade-offs between one method of living versus another is not without certain benefits. Both have advantages, and both have serious disadvantages. The problem(s) lies between the two.

Neither is entirely preferable, since both have distinctive disadvantages. Agriculture led to the population explosion and the resulting destruction of the Earth’s resources, including the enslaving economic systems, gigantic cartels and corporations and resulting pollution. Primitive living on the other hand does not afford very many people or any of the cures and comforts of the modern world, but was the only truly balanced living mankind has ever known.

Even so, what has long been needed was a reasonable balance betwixt the two. Mankinds desire to rule nature and insulate himself from it’s ravages created another even more severe ravaging, this time by man himself, the results of which we are witnesses to today.

But the issue of survival, by whatever chosen means, is becoming more and more acute as the planetary destruction swings wildly out of our (presumed) control, making our future and even present survival increasingly doubtful. Can we simply revert to primitive living as the answer? I think not.

The “answer” as it were, is to revert “back” to some point where we have previously been. Others perceive the answer as some sort of future techno-fix that will solve our energy problems, pollution, food production and environmental manmade disasters. Personally, I don’t see either option as being feasible. I think it’s too late for either one. The news reports on the environmental, species and planetary disasters now looming large over our heads tells me that.

Mankind may yet survive his follies – and then again, he may not. He is a resiliant animal, but it’s quite possible he’s gone too far this time. I won’t be around to see it and neither will any of you.

In the meanwhile, learning survival skills (even modern ones) is still a requirement. The unequal and unfair exchange required of modern survival will go on, until it finally collapses (hopefully) and then the primitive survival skills will carry that generation through (maybe) until the whole sordid process repeats itself.

I wish it could be another way. I wish we could find the ecological balance for humans in a natural world, but in all probability, it’s far too late for that. But this does not seem to be the desire of mankind, although we are certainly capable of it. This cognative dissonance between “life” and “living” will probably consume mankind for as long as he does manage to survive (somehow) on this planet.

Oct 312006
 

This is worth reading, revealing how serious global climate change really is. Right now, 1/20th of the world’s population is at risk from rising sea levels and melting glaciers. That’s a gigantic number.

Not that it is any surprise to me, but I very often (almost always) find worthy news on offshore websites. The US, one of the worlds worst polluters and energy consumers, refuses to address these issues on a significant level.

It’s nearly too late, according to Stern, to avoid global catastrophe. When you consider that the rise in greenhouse gases is accelerating very rapidly, it is extremely doubtful that such a unmitigated disaster can be avoided.

So, while the world burns, we here in the US are being ‘infotained’ to death with another (s)election cycle that won’t change anything.

Across the world, environmental groups hailed the report as the beginning of a new era on climate change, but the White House maintained an ominous silence.

Sigh. The insanity of it all is rather sickening. Inept, evil, corrupt ‘leaders’ are fast-tracking the planet into a spiral of death and destruction.

And most Americans APPROVE, continually giving their credence and support to a depraved system of exploitation and greed. Disgusting.

“EARTH: The planet of the profane profiteering on the (suffering) poor – home to pervasive self-serving dementia and meticulous myopia of, by and for the manipulation of the masses – currently infested with inveterate cultures of private splendor and public squalor, worshipping personal comfort at the expense of public and planetary well-being. ” M. R. McMurtry, 1994 (written upon last return from Africa)

Oct 312006
 

Military blogs are being silenced

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, NO INFORMATION MAY BE PLACED ON WEBSITES THAT ARE READILY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC UNLESS IT HAS BEEN REVIEWED FOR SECURITY CONCERNS AND APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MEMORANDUM *WEB SITE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES,* DECEMBER 7, 1998 (HTTP://WWW.DEFENSELINK.MIL/WEBMASTERS/) AND, AS APPLICABLE, DOD INSTRUCTION (DODI) 5230.29, *SECURITY AND POLICY REVIEW OF DOD INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC RELEASE.

And this is interesting:

According to Editor and Publisher, the number of reporters embedded in military units has dropped from 770 at the height of the conflict to just nine today.

The Iraqi occupation is just ‘old news’ to our deceitful media. This is rather amazing, since so many American actually approve of killing (everything). The culture of death that permeats much of American society and thinking is now second nature to entire segments of our population. War is peace, domination is democracy. The cognative dissonance this creates has resulted in the evil side winning and hundreds of thousands of needless deaths.

The Pentagon launches a 24 hour Net news service to spread more lies and disinformation.

A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit will “develop messages” for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to “correct the record”.

A spokesman said the unit would monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ “surrogates”, or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.

Obviously, the truth no longer matters. Fixing the “message” around whatever they want us to believe isn’t new. This is exactly what was done to launch the Iraqi war. The decline in the American media to report the unvarnished truth has now morphed into a military operation.

Oct 302006
 

Saddam Hussein is reported to have accepted the American ultimatums, but was prevented by the Bush Administration from doing so.  So now we have thousands of dead Americans, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi’s with no end in sight.

I don’t dare ask if it can get any worse.  I already know the answer.

Oct 302006
 

I found this amusing on one hand, and sobering on the next. The perceived “need” to police a protest reveals the nature of America’s police state. The amusing part of course is the protestors didn’t show up. Passing out neighborhood leaflets is probably a far more effective method anyway and it negates the police state trying suppress public dissent. Hoorah!

But all is not well in Amerika. The police state attacks again, this time at school. Why do they “need” to practice such drills in the first place? These questions are never asked or answered adequately.

From the Wayne Madsen Report:

October 25, 2006 — FBI trains its own civilian “Stasi” force. Across the United States, private citizens have been deputized to “assist” the FBI in counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence activities. They are graduates of the little-known FBI Citizens Academies, 25 training academies across the United States that have trained citizens in firearms use, collection and preservation of physical evidence, FBI organization, communications, counter-intelligence operations, and drug enforcement. Participants in the program must obtain a security clearance, be a recognized business, civic, religious, or community leader, be 21 years of age with no prior felony conviction, and live or work within the jurisdiction of a participating FBI field office. FBI civilian academy graduates work closely with state and local police.

Started in 1993 at the Phoenix Field Office, FBI Citizens Academies now exist in Albany (NY), Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia (SC), Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Newark (NJ), Omaha, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.

The FBI is looking for a few good snitches.

FBI Citizens Academies train their students in the use of the following weapons: 357 Magnum Smith and Wesson revolver; Glock model 22; MP-5 10mm; the U.S. military standard .223 M4 carbine; Glock Model 23; Glock Model 27; and the 12-gauge Remington shotgun.

Oct 302006
 

This blog has only has a handful of readers, which are probably as well informed as any. Even if that is the case and only a few people read this message, I’m going to issue a warning regarding the November 7th mid-term elections.

An incredible amount of spin and hubris is already being hyped up by the Bush Administration (and the dipshit himself) and the MSM regarding the “election”. We are already being warned that Hugo Chavez is behind some of the Democratic “swing”. This truly unbelievable bullshit story is being spun up by the White House to try and lay “blame” for their failures.

Moreover, we’re already hearing multiple stories of voter “purgings” and rigged election machines and the same old bullshit from the Bush Administration that if you don’t vote Republican, you’re voting for terrorism.

Like past elections, voter fraud is running rampant. Expect much more of this and their reported stories post-election.

I’ll make this plain as day – if you do choose (as is your right) to vote, for Republicans, you are most certainly going to be choosing to vote for more terrorism and more business as usual. We must never forget that it was the neo-cons that created 9/11, the evidence is now overwhelming that the US government was behind the World Trade Center attacks (89% now believe there was a massive coverup). The blame lies with Dick Cheney as the mastermind.

And if you choose to vote Democrat, you will also be choosing business as usual. Our cowardly Congress hasn’t the spine to do diddly squat (regardless of the party majority) about all the evil deeds and malfeasance behind done daily now by our government. They are the problem. They gave that monster in chief everything he wanted – two illegal wars, a failed investigative commission on 9/11, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, torture, rendition, 665,000 dead civilians, over 6,000 dead Americans, 50,000 injured and maimed, – they gave him everything, utterly failing to reign in this out of control Administration one iota.

The power exercised by the Bush Administration will not be relenquished easily – no matter what the outcome is of the (s)election. It is a lie to believe the paid politicians can save America or Americans. They can facilitate our freedoms and our way of life and even easier, take it all away at the stroke of a pen. But they cannot “make us free”.

Freedom will either beat in the heart of every American breast, or it won’t. Freedom cannot be bought or sold, legislated or regulated. This is exactly what is happening in Iraq, as the Iraqi freedom fighters are repelling the occupiers. They refuse to submit to American domination and authority. We can relabel this and them anything we want – insurgents, terrorists, democracy, or even “liberation”, but it’s plain as day that the people there do no want our brand of “liberation”. They want their country back from the American terrorists.

And so should Americans. We need to take our country back from the neo-con fascist terrorists. Our political leadership has become so corrupt, so evil and so dastardly in deed that they have openly committed open warfare against Americans, killing thousands of them on national television. The ink wasn’t even dry on the Military Commissions Act, permitting torture and rendition against Americans, when Bush signed into law the suspension of Posse Comitatus with the John Warner Defense Authorization Act.

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is “martial law.”

Their can be only one possible reason for this new legislation. And lest we forget, the Congress and the Democratic party are complicit to these evils. A new (s)election won’t change anything.

Sure, this blog is supposed to be about sustainable living and common sense and I’d love to getting back to those issues, but how sustainable is it really going to be when you’re living under martial law and tyranny? When any American can be dragged from his home in broad daylight under the color of law and put into an internment camp or tortured? When the American Congress does absolutely NOTHING to stop what is going on?

We can document the collapse, the failing environment, global warming and other natural disasters and ecological trigger points forever, but to what end? If politicians are ignoring these factors and they are actively conspiring to destroy YOU, what should our response actually be?

There are only two possible reponses, ancient as humanity itself. Fight or flight.

Fight these rotten bastards tooth and nail, or pack your bags and get the hell out of town. But falling victim (again and again and again) that the s(election) cycle will somehow pull the magical rabbit out the hat and fix our problems is a fools game. We are long past the point where democracy works. We are long past the point where voting works. We are now at the point where tyranny is working quite well and about to get much, much worse.

The warning of Novemeber 7th is exactly this: expect nothing but more of the same. Lies, coverup, hyperbole, hubris, media spin, complicity, obsfucation, fabrication, failed investigations, more death, more torture, more needless waste of human lives and even more ominious legislation designed to destroy YOU.

Don’t expect any salvation, any hope or any “fixes”. You can expect a huge amount of time, money and effort will be spent trying to solve these problems, but I wouldn’t expect any resolution at all.

If there is (ever) going to be any resolution, it won’t be done by an election.

Oct 282006
 

This is an exact quote:

In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President’s ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007” (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a “public emergency” and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to “suppress public disorder.”

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is “martial law.”

This is also a violation of Posse Comitatus, but hey, since when did the law matter?

The historic and ominous re-writing of the Insurrection Act, accomplished in the dead of night, which gives Bush the legal authority to declare martial law, is now an accomplished fact.

It has become clear in recent months that a critical mass of the American people have seen through the lies of the Bush administration; with the president’s polls at an historic low, growing resistance to the war Iraq, and the Democrats likely to take back the Congress in mid-term elections, the Bush administration is on the ropes. And so it is particularly worrying that President Bush has seen fit, at this juncture to, in effect, declare himself dictator.

Oct 272006
 

Image of the world’s largest digging machine. Now we can do it faster.

Still missing in all the dialogue, decisions and directions being taken by humans, is the now blatantly obvious need to slow down, scale down and step back.  Use less, build less, grow less.  This is the only path to sustainability and human survival (which is now highly doubtful).
The continued “advancement” of human civilization is absolutely destroying the planet, faster and faster.  Gigantic machines, space warfare and our consumer society aside, the real problem is us and our repeated failure to understand the human role in the global ecosystems.

It’s not to build, brand and buy as fast as possible, but to learn to coexist.  Clearly, this is something we don’t even understand. Since we cannot even live with each other, we’re not going to be able to live with other beings either, and thus we go, raping and plundering, destroying whatever we touch and wondering why it all turns to dust before our eyes.