An Auto Bailout that would Work by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Dale’s blog post
The Mountain Sentinel
Dec. 25, 2008

After much bickering and sensational threats, the auto industry got their bailout. Of course this bailout is limited in scope and there is still a chance the big three might fold. But for now the auto execs can go on with business as usual, while promising to pare down union pay and benefits until they match nonunion pay. And the UAW is actually going along with this. The auto workers deserve a real union.

The auto unions should be fighting hard to unionize nonunion plants in the United States and around the world. If Barrack Obama would stand behind his word to support strong unions, he would fight the Republicans in Congress to help make this happen. But he will not, and the unions will timidly accept the cuts for the greater good of keeping the auto industries open and keeping their workers employed.

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Seeing through the Myths by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Dale’s blog post
The Mountain Sentinel
Nov 1, 2008

* Introduction
* The War on Terror
* The Surge and Decline of Oil Prices
* The Bailout
* Election 2008

Introduction

US democracy and free market capitalism are nothing more than myths. These myths were drilled into us in public school, and are constantly reinforced by the mass media. Yet events in the past year make it plain these are myths. If we would be willing to take off our blinders and look around us with our own eyes, we would see quite plainly what a cruel deception we suffer under.

Everything the public believes about this country is at best a myth that long ago diverged from reality. At worst it is a malicious hoax, perpetrated to keep the public from understanding what is really happening. The lies we live with have less real value than the credit bubble and derivatives.

We live in a democracy. The US stands for freedom. The US constitution. Trickle down economics. Free market capitalism. The war on terror. Walmart is a great place to shop.

It is tempting to say the system we live in is broken and needs fixing. But it is not broken. It is working just as intended. The writers of our constitution did not want a working democracy; that is why they gave us a republic. And that is why the public resisted accepting this bill of goods.

The resistance continued right up into the middle of the last century. Recently, while listening to some old ’78s recorded in the 1920s and 30s, I noted a strong antigovernment theme. These were recordings of old time music, fiddle tunes and string bands — the forerunners of bluegrass. Some of these tracks contained dialog, and without exception, the participants had a strong dislike for government and big business, and only a mild tolerance for organized religion. These recordings emulated the distrust of the general population.

Somehow, between the 1930s and the present day, this distrust was converted into blind patriotism. It is interesting that the 1930s marked the true rise of the mass media, with the advent of talking movies and the spread of the radio. By this time, public relations had become an important industry, exceeding the expectations of Edward L. Bernays. One of the major goals of public relations was to transform the US public from informed citizens to hungry consumers. In this it has been wildly successful.

As Neal Stephenson says in his book Snow Crash, in the majority we have become an oral culture. We obtain our information from oral sources, television and movies, recorded music and video games. If you are reading this little essay, then you are among a minority of US citizens that actively reads, and reads for more than simple pleasure.

Every so often, events betray the myths we accept as reality, demonstrating just how false they are. The past year seems to be rife with such events. Yet the mass media has excelled in promoting denial. When the media cannot maintain their willful denial any longer, then they hammer together a very quick analysis, being careful to frame it in such a way that our fundamental myths are not seriously questioned. And then it is on to a commercial break and the next entertaining bit of informational overload.

So let us take a moment to look at just a couple of the events during this past year that put the lie to our most cherished myths. But first a brief word about the War on Terror, which is itself one of the ugliest myths.

The War on Terror

The myth is that we are engaged in a war with terror. When our decision makers discuss this war, their only disagreement concerns how it is conducted. None of them question the basic rationale for a war. So it is up to those of us who see the false premises behind this war to speak up at every chance.

Terrorism cannot be solved by war. War is State terror. War only begets more terrorism. Whenever a military power takes the offensive and invades other lands, it is always pursuing a war of conquest and imperialism. That is the purpose of warfare. There are no exceptions. When one military power invades a foreign country in response to the incursion of another military power, the two powers are engaged in a contest of imperialism. Nothing more.

Waging war on terrorists only exacerbates the problem of terrorism, leading to the birth of more terrorists. In this sense, waging a war on terror is self-perpetuating. We have entered the Orwellian era of war without end. War will never solve the problem of terrorism. Elevating terrorism to a cause for war merely gives the terrorists the platform they desire.

Terrorists are criminals, not soldiers. Even our military and our President understand that, with their refusal to grant detainees prisoner of war status. Terrorists should be captured and prosecuted in courts of law.

Beyond this we need to resolve the root cause of terrorism, which is oppression. Terrorists and suicide bombers may be deluded by religious extremism, but their basic motivation is desperation. People embrace terrorism because they have been oppressed to the extremity and they see no other way to strike back.

To end terrorism, we need to end repression. We need to go into the areas where terrorists are recruited and resolve the oppression from which the local population despairs. Yet this will never happen because the system we live under thrives on the oppression of other people. So to end terrorism, we must reform our system. Or, since I do not believe we can reform a system which is functioning as intended, we must scrap this system and replace it with something more just and egalitarian.

Instead of solving terrorism, it has been used as an excuse to strengthen global imperialism — ostensibly US imperialism, but in actuality corporate imperialism. The big winners in the war on terror are the defense industries, the corporations that are privatizing the logistics of war (Halliburton), and the oil companies. The War on Terror has served as a vehicle for transferring the wealth of this country to the military-industrial complex, when this wealth could have been used to heal the root causes of terrorism and build a more just and egalitarian system for all.

So much for the myth of the War on Terror.

The Surge and Decline of Oil Prices

All year I have been saying the surge in oil prices was not the result of peak oil. It was the result of market speculation. As such, it is a phenomenon of our economic system. As the real estate bubble burst, investors pulled their money out of real estate backed securities and pumped it into commodities. As a result, the price of oil surged to record highs, along with the price of gold, rice, grain and other commodities.

In late summer, we reached a point where investors felt commodity prices could not sustain their skyrocketing values much longer. Consumption was declining and the economy was falling into a recession. At the same time, the market crash promised that once powerful market entities would soon be available for pennies on the dollar. So investors sold off commodities and banked their profits in bonds while they waited for likely victims.

For consumers, we see a market that is gyrating wildly. By midsummer, the public was having trouble making ends meet as skyrocketing gasoline and diesel prices drove everything else up. In some cases, people could not even afford to go to work.

Now gasoline prices have tumbled to half of what they were only a few months ago. Yet there has been no major change in oil production. There is a lot of talk about price gouging among the oil companies and gas stations. And no doubt some gouging has occurred. The oil majors are reporting the biggest profits ever — profit margins have climbed into the stratosphere. But the major factor that doubled oil prices over the summer and that is now causing prices to deflate is market speculation.

This is the way the market works. And as such it betrays a basic myth of the market. Economists, investors and businesspeople like to think the market will provide for everyone. It will not. The market is a mindless machination driven by greed and gluttony. By its very nature, it will enrich a few by impoverishing the multitudes. In this year, the market has mugged the public to transfer the wealth of this country into the hands of the elite. In time, the middle class will find they no longer exist as such.

The problem here is that the market is working just as intended. And if nothing is done about it, then this summer will only be a dress rehearsal for what will happen in a few years, as oil production begins an irreversible decline. Instead of investing in relocalization and mass transportation, money will go to enrich market speculators and oil executives while everyone else suffers.

The rise and fall of oil prices in the past several months have betrayed the myth of market capitalism as the most equitable economic system for all.

The Bailout

The bailout was a give away and a coup. The remaining wealth of the US is being given to a handful of financiers with no strings attached. Instead of using this wealth to help rebuild the economy, these financiers will use it to consolidate their position by buying out smaller banks. The United States government has become an oligarchy, governed by the rich, and the public is being burdened with insurmountable debt.

What I want to focus on here is how the bailout was enacted. But first let me pose a question I have been unable to answer so far. If the federal government will use this bailout to assume the bad debts of our banking system, will the collection of these debts become a federal responsibility? If so, this bailout could constitute an end run around the bankruptcy laws, which do not apply to federal debt. I have been unable to clarify this point in my own research, nor has anyone else been able to answer this question for me: will mortgages and credit cards become federal debts, exempt from bankruptcy?

If anyone can clarify this for me, I would appreciate it.

Anyway, on to the subject at hand. The bailout package was proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson and was passed by Congress after being padded with a lot of pork. The bailout grants Paulson unquestionable powers to take taxpayer funds and pass them out to his rich banking cronies. It constitutes an economic coup, and an open invitation to rob the remaining — and future — wealth of this country.

The public was overwhelmingly against this bailout. The House of Representatives, which held the first vote on this package, was deluged with calls from angry voters. Fearing a backlash in the upcoming election, the Representatives buckled under the outcry and voted down the bailout by a small margin.

The package was then modified before being voted on by the Senate. The basics of the bailout were not changed much. Instead a number of pork barrel projects were tacked onto the bill to provide incentives for Representatives to change their vote. Ignoring the public outcry, the Senate passed the bill and sent it back to the House. Having made a token stand for their constituents, the House changed their vote and passed the measure.

Many view this as a failure of democracy. In actuality, our government functioned just as the framers of the constitution intended. In so doing, it pointed out the lie behind the myth of US democracy.

The framers of the constitution were worried about the voice of the people. They wanted to ensure the elite would be served above all others. And so they designed the famous checks and balances of the US constitution. The checks were largely placed upon the will of the public, while the balance favored the designs of the elite.

The House of Representatives is the branch of federal government in which the general public has the greatest voice. It is also intentionally the weakest branch of government. Representatives must be reelected every two years. Likewise, the number of Representatives allowed to each state is based upon the state’s population. Thus, when the public speaks, the House is more likely to listen.

Unfortunately, the House is weak and generally follows the lead of the Senate — as intended by the framers of the constitution. Senators are well insulated from the voting public; more so even than the President. There are only two Senators for each state, meaning that Senators answer to a larger population base, which gives each of their constituents a smaller voice. Furthermore, Senators serve six year terms, and these terms are staggered so that no more than a third of the Senate is ever up for reelection. Even if there was a popular movement in an election year to replace all incumbents, it would only change a minority of the Senate. And by the time those new faces came up for reelection, they will have been largely inculcated into the system.

This is how the framing fathers insulated our government from the populace. And since that time, our elected officials have become even more insular. Now their primary constituency is the lobbyists, foremost of which is the banking industry, weapons manufacturers, insurance and drug companies, and Aipac, the Israeli lobby.

The United States has never been a functioning democracy. Our government operates just as the framing fathers intended. The voice of the people is restrained, while the voice of the elite is amplified.

We should not be shocked by the passage of the bail out. Instead we should use it as a lesson on the myth of US democracy.

Election 2008

We are having a one party election this year. We have two main candidates, but on most of the major issues they have the same position. Both of them support the War on Terror. Both of them support the bailout. Both of them mouth platitudes about energy independence without seeing any need for regulating the energy market, conservation, or relocalization.

Whichever candidate is elected, our country will continue along the same course. The wealth we could use to build a sustainable, egalitarian and just society, stimulating the economy and solving the problems of terrorism, war, pollution, resource depletion, starvation and poverty, will instead be given to the elite while the rest of us are further burdened with debt.

The upcoming election will resolve none of this. Instead it will serve to perpetuate the myth of US democracy and free market capitalism, while robbing us of any chance to solve these problems and build a real democracy, and bequeathing to us an impoverished future.

That is why I refuse to vote for either of the major candidates. If I vote, I will write in Nader for President, knowing that it is only a protest vote. And that is why I encourage direct action to tear this system down and replace it with something saner.

see

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Ralph Nader & The Two Party Dictatorship + Nader takes questions on C-Span

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

McCain-John

Palin-Sarah

Obama-Barack

Stuff the Bankers by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Dale’s blog post
Sept 29, 2008

I’ll parse as few words as possible. We don’t need this bailout. The economy will not crash if Congress doesn’t pass it. What is more, the bailout itself could sink the economy.

No economists were consulted about this bailout. No one knows where Paulson came up with the $700 billion figure. Investor Marc Faber, who is considered a reliable judge of these things, believes the actual amount of the bailout necessary will be closer to $5 trillion.

Every economist worth his or her credentials has gone on record against this bailout. Nobody has offered any details on what they want to do with this money. The best we can figure is that Paulson intends on giving extravagant Christmas presents to all his banking buddies.

So how’s this for a bailout package. We use this $700 billion to develop a reliable mass transit system throughout the country, and to rebuild our communities so they can go back to being more self-sufficient. That means relocalizing production and agriculture, and placing the necessary markets within walking distance. And while we’re at it, we can refurbish our homes for energy efficiency.

Now I haven’t run the figures on all this, but I am willing to bet it will not cost $700 billion. And all of this retooling would actually provide jobs and stimulate local economies, instead of swelling some financiers’ pockets.

Unfortunately, between the war debt and the bailouts, we are wasting any chance we might have to do something positive for the people of this country. Our future security is being mortgaged to pay off a pack of thieves.

This amounts to a banker’s coup on the US government and the taxpaying public. As a part of this legislation, the financial institutions which benefit from this bailout will become agents of the government. According to the most popular definition, that is fascism.

The $700 billion bailout will cost every man, woman and child in this country $2,000. My nephew’s newborn daughter will be indebted before she is even a month old. And if the true amount of the bailout is actually $5 trillion, then the amount owed by every man woman and child in this country will jump to $14,000. A family of four will accrue $56,000 of debt in order to pay off the imbeciles who got us into this mess in the first place.

And with all that, the bailout will not solve the problem. It may delay disaster for a few months, but the fall will be even harder when it does come. The next swing of the pendulum could bring down our entire country. So what would happen if the US was placed into receivership?

It is too late to stop the bailout. But we can make damn sure our politicians know how we feel about it. I sure as hell will not vote for anyone who supports this bill — including presidential candidates.

Anyone for a tax rebellion?

see

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Eat Your Cats and Dogs by Joel S. Hirschhorn

FINALLY Someone Said “No” by Richard C. Cook

Ron Paul: You’re Going To Destroy A Worldwide Economy!

Exclusive: Resolving the Wall Street Financial Crisis: Monetary Reform

Black Monday? Global Investors vote “No” on Paulson’s Bailout

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Rejects $700 Billion Bailout

Ralph Nader: Wall Street toppled

Smell the Roses by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Updated: note from Dale, see below

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Dale’s blog post

Suicidal Tendencies

6/27/08 (www.mountainsentinel.com) Why does it seem that every time the price of gas goes up, motorists respond by driving faster? Is it some misguided belief that if they reach their destination quicker, they will use less gas? Or are rising prices and desperation invoking some lemming-like instinct to use up our energy resources as quickly as possible, accelerating global climate instability as we make a mad rush toward oblivion. Slouching toward Bethlehem could not be farther from the truth, we are racing toward it.

Back in the 1970s, when US oil production peaked and started to decline, sparking the oil shocks of that decade, the government responded through gas rationing, lowering the speed limit to 55, and a host of other measures designed to spur energy conservation. Then Reagan came along and denial and conspicuous consumption were elevated to patriotic duties.

Now, as oil prices aim for the stratosphere, there is no talk of rationing, or even slowing down. But wait, someone is trying to start a grassroots movement to spur motorists to drive more sensibly and save. And the person who is spearheading this effort is none other than Jay Hanson, the man who established the dieoff.com website that first woke up most people to the idea of peak oil in the late 1990s and shortly after the turn of the century.

Green Slow Moving Machine

Jay Hanson now maintains a blog urging people to make a difference simply by slowing down. Greenslowmovingvehicle.com makes a very good argument for the savings that accrue from simply driving a little slower. I urge everyone to visit this site and consider taking an active roll on the slow movement. The site draws a lot of its information from government studies that deserve to be loudly trumpeted.

graph
from http://www.feuleconomy.gov

All vehicles achieve their optimum gas mileage at speeds between 50 and 60 miles per gallon. And as gasoline prices climb above $4/gallon, we are talking about a substantial saving here. The rule of thumb is that for each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, you are paying an additional 30 cents per gallon. That is cumulative. In other words, if you are driving 75 mph, then you are paying an additional 90 cents per gallon.

Driving faster than 60 mph reduces fuel economy due to a number of factors. The energy necessary to overcome rolling resistance of the tires and other frictional effects within the mechanics of the car increases directly with velocity. The power required to drive the pumps in the vehicle increases with the square of velocity, and the energy required to overcome wind resistance increases as the cube of velocity. So as your speed increases, the amount of energy necessary to drive the vehicle increases many times over. A more detailed explanation can be found at the How Stuff Works website (What speed should I drive to get maximum fuel efficiency?)

Some folks seem to think that new vehicles are designed to drive faster. The EPA regularly calculates data on fuel economy. The following table is based upon their data. It shows that for all vehicles, maximum fuel economy is achieved at speeds around 55 mph. Data from real road driving tends to be lower than EPA data, so your fuel economy is likely to be less than that listed in the studies.

Model

40 mph

50 mph

60 mph

mpg

mpg

mpg

sub-compact

35

36

29

compact

28

30

27

midsize

21

22

20

van

15

17

13

luxury

13

14

12

table from http://www.greenslowmovingvehicle.com/
data from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/data.htm

So it really does pay to slow down and drive between 55 and 60 mph. Just think of it as a fun way to mess with people’s heads and save money. While all those irate leadfoots are zooming past you, keep in mind the money they are throwing away with their need for speed (not to mention the extra pollution they are adding to the atmosphere, and their race towards energy impoverishment).

Other Money Saving Tips

AC vs Rolling Down Windows
There have been a lot of arguments over which is more energy efficient, using AC or rolling down the windows. Consumer Report’s auto-test department finds that AC use will reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by up to 10%, at speeds below 45 mph. However, at speeds over 45 mph, wind drag becomes a major factor, decreasing fuel economy by 10% and more. So in the city, roll down the windows, and on the expressway turn on the AC. (Source: http://www.bankra
te.com/brm/news/auto/20050804a1.asp)

Reduce Vehicle Weight
Every 100 pounds of load reduces your fuel economy by up to 2%. Lighten up.
(Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml)

Avoid Idling
Idling reduces fuel economy to zero. The larger the engine, the more gas that is wasted. Modern vehicles do not require warming up. So when you are caught in a traffic jam or waiting for a long train to pass, stop your engine.
(Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml & http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/auto/fuel-efficient/4.asp)

Avoid Rapid Acceleration and Excessive Braking
Try to drive as smoothly as possible. Resist the urge to stomp on the gas when the light turns green. Conversely, do not ride the brake. These bad habits can lower your fuel economy by up to 33% on the freeway, and 5% around town.
(Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml)

Don’t Drive
Avoid making unnecessary trips. Walk and bicycle whenever possible.

There are other ways to improve your fuel economy. Generally speaking, drive sensibly, be a smooth driver, avoid rush hour and combine trips. Using cruise control on the freeway tends to save on gas. Also, when you use overdrive gear your car’s engine speed is reduced, at a savings.

If you were CEO of Exxon/Mobile

If you were the CEO of Exxon/Mobile and you knew that within the decade oil production was going to head into an irreversible decline while the price of production would inexorably climb, what would you do today? Well, you might drive up the price of oil now to maximize your profits before the decline. Then you could milk as much money out of the market as possible and be in an optimum position once the decline does begin.

Now I’m not saying oil prices are being manipulated for the reason stated above. However, given the coming peak and decline of oil production, the current situation fits the best scenario for maximizing company profits. You can bet oil executives and investors are not complaining about the current price of oil.

What we are seeing, whether intentional or not, is an economy being primed for collapse. The Fed is flooding the market with dollars. Most of the traditional ways to invest this excess money are currently unappealing. So investors are pouring all of this funny money into oil and other goods (such as grains). As a result, prices are skyrocketing and the wealth of the world is being quickly transferred from the majority to the elite minority.

Every time you purchase a gallon of gasoline or a loaf of bread, you hasten this transfer of wealth, giving your hard-earned money to those who are already glutted with their own fortunes. Likewise, every time income taxes are lowered or adjusted and sales taxes are raised, it aids this transfer of wealth.

Gas prices are currently $4/gallon and nearly $5/gallon for diesel. By the end of summer, gasoline is expected to cost $6/gallon — possible even $7. And if we go to war with Iran, we could very quickly see $10/gallon or higher.

We are approaching a currently unknown limit that will bring our country to a halt. When people can no longer afford to drive to work and truckers have to park their rigs and walk away from them, our civilization will be crushed overnight.

And those who are currently reaping the profits do not seem to care. When the smoke clears, they will have transferred the country’s wealth — if not the world’s — to their own personal accounts. And they will then be able to pick up what is left for pennies on the dollar.

Something has to be done about oil speculation. However, if new regulations simply act to roll back the price of oil, they will do us a disservice in the long run. The price of gasoline should probably be $4/gallon right now, but half of that should go toward developing a decent mass transit system, before declining oil production really does hit us. We need to prepare. We need mass transit. We need to redevelop our railways, and we need to restructure our communities so that work, school and food are only a walk away. We need to redesign our food distribution system so that most of the food we eat is produced within 100 miles of our home.

Instead, the money necessary to prepare for the future is being given to profiteers.

The Smell the Roses Revolt

To paraphrase the late Utah Phillips, in an oil-based civilization, walking and riding bicycles are revolutionary acts.

There is no profit to be made from conservation. There is no profit to be had from slowing down and smelling the roses. That is why our leaders want us to go on consuming as much as possible. Hurry to work, hurry to the store, and use those credit cards to keep everything running smoothly. Be sure to buy the latest cellphoneipodblackberry and use it as much as possible. And when it becomes obsolete next year, dispose of it and buy the latest model.

Remember, consumption is your patriotic duty. Going into debt is your patriotic duty. Drive as fast as possible with your flag decals on the bumper. When reality starts to feel a little uncomfortable, grab a beer, turn on the TV and do a little home shopping.

But if you should desire a saner, healthier and more fulfilling world, then slow down. Or better yet, park the car and go for a walk. And please take the time to smell the roses.

***

Updated:

It is with some embarrassment that I must state Fulton “Jay” Hanson of greenslowmovingvehicle.com and Jay Hanson of dieoff.com are two different people. There was some confusion about identities, and I was too busy to clear this up for myself, so I simply accepted the word of others.

In any case, the advice on driving slower is no less valid. I still urge everyone to take an interest in slowing down.

Dale Allen Pfeiffer

***

photos by me

Stolen Peony, Rose and Columbine in a Beer Can

Lilacs

Day Lilies

***
see

Legendary Folk Musician, Activist Utah Phillips, 1935-2008 + Direct Action (vid)

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement Part One

Where should I Go? by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Dale’s blog post
June 18, 2008

Foreword

The following article originally appeared in The Mountain Sentinel two years ago. Currently there are a number of people making panicky statements that everyone needs to relocate. To present a fair assessment of the idea and to help calm people down, I have decided to reprint this article for free.

Since this article was written, my family has moved from Appalachian Kentucky to Evansville, Indiana. Evansville is not a haven of preparedness. It will face many problems as we enter an age of energy depletion and impoverishment. Our reason for moving here is that we have a lot of family in this area, and family can be a far more important resource than any other.

My daughter is in public schools now. While she does battle with the authoritarian rigidity, patriotic propaganda and religious zealotry that plague the public schools, she is at least making friends.

For my part, when I can spare a little time from working on novels and short stories, or playing the fiddle and the banjo, I do a little work with the local sustainability group, and the food co-op.

As this article asserts, there is no place in North America that is ideally prepared for the joint crises of resource depletion, environmental destruction and economic impoverishment that now loom before us. Relocation is an option, but for many people it is not the best option — perhaps for most people.

The Delusion of Survivalism

Many people have asked me where they should go to survive the end of the oil age. People asking this question generally fall into one of two groups, those who believe that civilization will disintegrate into lawless chaos where former neighbors will be preying upon each other and hordes of murderous starving bandits will swarm out of the cities to feed on the suburbs. The other group are those who see things breaking down, but not to the point where they must seek to defend themselves against every stranger. These people want to find a community and/or a farm where they can become self-reliant.

I will address the total breakdown group first. If there is a total breakdown of civilization and we are left with neighbors preying upon neighbors, then there is no place you can go. Whatever remote mountain hideaway you sneak off to, in this scenario you will have to deal with pillagers out to take what little you have. Anywhere you go, there are already people there.

In this day and age, the only places you can go to hide away are lacking in human population because they are so inhospitable. There are so few people there because it is so difficult to live there. And the few people who already live there probably meet that ecosystem’s limited carrying capacity for human beings.

As someone who has lived alone in the wilderness, I have to ask you: do you really want to be a hermit. Do you want to spend your entire day struggling for the basic necessities? Can you make your own clothing, build and maintain your own weapons, grow, forage and hunt enough food to feed yourself, lay in a sufficient store of fuel to keep you from freezing in the winter? The list goes on and on. Sure, you can survive off what you forage and hunt, make clothes and blankets out of hides, and live in a debris hut; but do you really want to?

Stop romanticizing about the myth of the rugged individualist. It is just that: a myth. Almost all of the rugged individualists I have met were maladjusted misanthropes who would likely have been institutionalized if they had lived among others. This is not to say that I have not known many sane and balanced mountainmen and mountainwomen. But the sane ones do not live in total isolation, however limited their interaction might be, they are part of a community.

Consider indigenous peoples throughout the world. They are not rugged individualists. They all belong to tribes. Their sense of identity is closely linked to the community of which they are a part. It is their family and their safety net. They could not imagine trying to make it on their own and would wonder why anyone would ever want to do such a thing. When they are taken out of their tribal setting and placed in modern civilization, they are lost without their community.

The pioneers were not rugged individualists. They knew that community was the key to their survival. They worked together to build their community, plant and harvest their crops and provide everyone within their community with the necessities of life. It was only with difficulty that their sense of community was squashed by the modern industrialized community and the centralized state.

Let’s get this straight. The myth of the rugged individualist is extolled by the dominant socioeconomic system because it helps cover up the atomization of society, and it leaves the disillusioned and disenfranchised uninclined to work together towards an alternative.

And where did you ever get the idea that you will have to fight your neighbors for survival, or that the cities will unleash hordes of desperate degenerates to pillage the countryside? This is an unlikely scenario. Sure there might be a rise in crime if the established order breaks down, or there might not. In large part, this depends on us.

When we look at examples of collapse, we do not see much real change in the crime rate. In a socioeconomic collapse, here does seem to be a relationship between the crime rate and the strength of community. The more tightly knit the community is, the lower the rise in crime, and vice versa.

During the Great Depression, people helped each other. Though they may have little to share, they did share it. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, people helped each other. Even in North Korea, people helped each other — though they were terribly repressed by there government.

The counter-argument is that this is a different situation. There will be no recovery, and in the US people are atomized, selfish and overly competitive. We are no longer predisposed to help each other, and there is very little sense of community left. Where people were once loyal to their community, they are now loyal to their company. And if that company closes its doors to them, they will do whatever it takes to survive.

My answer to that is Argentina. The people there were highly atomized and terrorized. More so, even, than people in the US. Decades of experience taught them not to concern themselves about their neighbors; to look out only for themselves. But when the Argentine economy collapsed, the people banded together to create one of our best examples of how people can respond positively on a grassroots level to a collapse. For details on this, I refer you to my article Coping with Collapse; Examples from Argentina in the The Mountain Sentinel, Vol. 1 No. 1.

The scenario that the collapse of the dominant socioeconomic system will result in a dog eat dog situation is another myth. This myth most likely evolved from the misconceptions of social Darwinists. It is reinforced by the fear mongering of the US news media which portrays our communities as dangerous places full of murderers, rapists and thieves. And it is fleshed out by our entertainment media (that is our manufactured perception of reality) that thrives on cop shows and violence.

We are taught that it is a dog eat dog world, where you must always watch out for the other guy, and where the successful businessman is he who reads The Art of War. Then we internalize the perception of crime and violence that we are fed daily by our media. It is no wonder that we wind up projecting our own fears and insecurities onto the world around us, believing that the collapse of the dominant system will leave us fighting each other for our very survival.

Hog wash.

Where to Go

Okay, we have done away with the myths of survivalism. Now to address the second group: those who worry that their community is not prepared for the collapse of the dominant system and who are honestly wondering what to do and where to go. Let’s start off by stating that there is no place that is fully prepared for the collapse. There are a few places where a portion of the citizens in aware of the approaching problem and are beginning to prepare for it, but these places are at present very few and would be quickly overrun if we all headed there. As of this writing, most communities are unprepared and very few people are even aware of the pending problem. So, for the most part, you can forget about moving into a community where people are already aware of the problem and are actively addressing it.

Now, where should you live? There are four choices: wilderness, rural, urban and suburban. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks; except for suburban, which has most of the drawbacks of both rural and urban with few benefits.

If you are living in a wilderness area, you will want to become completely self-sufficient and you might want to hide your location as well. We have already discussed wilderness living somewhat in the section above. It still presents a viable option, which would probably be best pursued if a group of likeminded people move to the wilderness to establish their own community. The difficulties in doing so would be very similar to the difficulties encountered by the first settlers who came the North America, but would be further complicated by the fact that the remaining wilderness areas are largely inhospitable areas that cannot sustain too many people.

If you are living in a rural area, then you will want to become a family farmer living as part of a farming community. A farmer’s life can be a hard life, but it is not without its rewards. One major benefit of being a farmer is that, so long as you can hold onto your land, you will have food. Bear in mind, farming is not something you just decide to do. Even if you have the right skills and a knowledge of farming, it will take some years of preparation, trial and error before you have gained enough experience to even begin becoming a self-sufficient farmer. Perhaps your greatest resource will be the advice of the experienced farmers who are your neighbors.

If you are in an urban area, you will want to organize your community so that you can survive with the cooperation of your community. You will want to establish community gardens, and self-sufficient utilities such as water and sewage. And you will need to form an agricultural cooperative with outlying farmers, to help supply your community with the food you cannot grow.

It is those living in the suburbs who would be wisest to pull up stakes and move to one of the other three areas. Suburbanites are too widely scattered to build any sort of functioning community, yet too concentrated to feed themselves by farming. If most of the residents of a suburb move away, the few remaining might be able to plow up all of the lawns and become farmers, but they will be lacking the support communities that are already established in rural areas. The worst off of the suburbanites will be those who live in trailer parks, closely followed by those who live in condos. There are simply too many people in these locations and the living quarters simply won’t be viable without heating,  electricity, water or sewage treatment.

Do You really Want to Move?

If you move, you will be the new kid on the block. Even in wilderness areas, there are residents who will look on you as the new-comer. You may always be the outsider. And if things become difficult, you may be persecuted simply because are new.

If things have become difficult before you even begin to consider your move, then you probably won’t be welcome anyplace else. Communities struggling to survive are not going to welcome the displaced.

If you move too far away, you will have to contend with cultural and language differences. These differences will mark you and serve to keep you apart. If you move to a small town in the south and do not join a church, then you are likely to remain isolated. If you are moving as little as 300 miles south or north of your current latitude, you will likely find yourself in a different climate. Though you may have been an experienced gardener in your former home, you will have to learn what to grow in your new location and when to plant it.

Stop and think for a moment. If you have been living in your present location for several years, then you know what is around you. If you need something, you know where to go to find it. And you know what neighborhoods to avoid. You have a network of friends and acquaintances. You know where the local farmer’s market is, where the food co-ops are, and where you can find community activists with whom you can work. And, though you might not realize it, you probably know where to go to fish, to hunt, to forage.

In your new location, you will know none of that. If times are already getting hard when you make your move, then you will be at a distinct disadvantage.

Although the idea of moving might have some appeal — certainly, the grass is always greener — do you really want to move? You need to decide whether it would be preferable to move to a new and unknown community, or to help organize the community where you are already at home. Instead of asking “Where should I go?”, you should be asking “Where do I want to live?” And, if you honestly consider all of the possibilities and important factors, your answer might be to stay right where you are and get more involved in your local community.

Speaking from Experience

Early in the year 2001, we had a family catastrophe that forced me to leave my position, pull up stakes and move. All of our savings was used up paying for medical and legal expenses. With what little we had left, we had to find a new home in an area where I could find no employment in the field for which I was trained. We wound up buying a trailer in a mobile home park, and went to work as a substitute teacher until I could make enough money as a journalist and author to leave that job.

We lived in that trailer park until summer of 2005. Although we were grateful to have a roof over our heads, the neighborhood was bad and the trailer was too small. Our yard was a small lot composed of shaded sand and acidic soil. We couldn’t grow anything on the little land we did have. From the beginning, we knew that we would have to get out of this trailer park, preferably before the economy went sour.

In summer of 2005, we did make a move, all the way from Michigan down to Kentucky. The major factor in choosing the location was the proximity to relatives in southern Indiana and Tennessee. The price of real estate and the affordability of a mortgage were also major factors. There were other factors that I won’t get into here. In hindsight, although we now have more room, a better yard and a much safer neighborhood, the move has not placed us in a much better position.

The town we live in, as it turns out, is a dead town that has been overtaken not by suburbs but by suburbanites. While it looks like a small town, and it has a local government (indeed, it is the county seat), it is not a functional town in the sense that the residents meet all of their needs locally. We drive 20 miles to do our grocery shopping, and 60 miles to do any major shopping, or to reach the only decent food co-op in the area. Most of the people who live in this town make a 20 to 60 mile drive to work every day. When the price of gasoline climbs over $4.00 per gallon, people around here are going to have a very difficult time carrying on with their lifestyles.

We are very isolated in this community. We are not church-going people, and so there is no social interaction with our neighbors. We have been invited to attend a couple of the local churches, and though we have been tempted to go simply for the socialization, we can’t bring ourselves to actually do so. We have started attending services at the Unitarian Universalist church 20 miles away, but none of the other members reside in our area.

Our daughter, who is now 14, has no friends. When we first moved here, we sent her to public schools. Though we quickly found that the local schools were 3 years behind the schools she attended up in Michigan, we kept her in the school so that she could make friends. She did meet a couple of girls who were friendly, she did not socialize with them outside of school because we did not attend their church. Other kids teased her because she was different. In the end, we started home schooling her. We have found her one friend, who subsequently moved 40 miles away. And it is mainly to provide her with social activity that we began attending the Unitarian church.

Last summer we planted a large garden, but most of it failed because of the heat. We did get a good crop of green beans, a fair crop of carrots and a few tomatoes, but everything else failed, including corn, squash (zucchini, summer and acorn squash), cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas. We have since learned that down here peas should be planted early in the spring, while cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower should be planted at the beginning of September. But nobody down here did well with their gardens this summer. It was too wet in the spring and again in at the end of summer, while midsummer was much too hot and dry. And fall has struck hard and cold this year, so fall/winter crops are suffering as well.

Michigan had a lot of state land where I could hunt, forage and simply enjoy nature. And there were any number of lakes up there for fishing, not to mention the Great Lakes. Because it was largely settled before becoming a state, Kentucky has very little open state land. It is mostly private land and some national forest. There are some rivers down here, but I don’t know that I would eat anything out of them, even if I knew where to fish them. And there are a few small manmade trout ponds where you can pay to fish in a puddle so small I would have a tendency to caste right over the water and hit the guy on the far shore. I wouldn’t know where to hunt around here or where to forage. And half of the plant I normally forage for — such as cattail or boneset — are comparatively hard to find around here.

No doubt, if I had grown up in Kentucky, none of this would be a problem. I would know where to hunt and forage, or I would know who to ask permission to hunt and forage on their land. And we would be recognized members of the community. But, as it is, it was a mistake to move here, and now my hope is to get out of here before things fall apart. I wish that somebody had given me the advice I have tried to pass along in this essay, and I wish that I would have listened to it.

Dealing with Gasoline Prices by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Dandelion Salad

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
http://www.mountainsentinel.com
June 8, 2008

Why prices are rising, what isn’t being done about it, and what it means for you

The Genie

What is going on?

Oil prices surge to $100 per barrel, $120, $130, with no end in sight. And analysts are now talking about $200 per barrel by the end of summer.

Gasoline prices have reached $4 per gallon in the US. And now they are saying we may see $6 per gallon by summer’s end. Some analysts are saying gasoline prices will eventually reach $12 to $15 per gallon.

What is going on? Is this peak oil with a vengeance?

Yes and no.

There are three reasons why oil prices are skyrocketing, and peak oil is only indirectly involved.

The peak oil gene is out of the bottle, at least so far as investors are concerned. They only have a partial understanding of peak oil, but it is enough for market speculation to drive prices out of sight.

Oil production has not peaked. It is constrained and it can no longer keep up with growing world demand, but it has not peaked yet, so far as we can tell.

World oil production is approaching peak. It is no longer increasing as it once did. What is perhaps more important, there is no more spare capacity left in the system. At $130 per barrel any spare capacity has already been put into production. That is why Saudi Arabia has politely refused Bush’s request that they increase production. They are pumping everything they can.

Simply the specter of peak oil is enough to fuel market speculation, making a few people very rich while the rest of us must empty our pockets at the gasoline pumps.

On top of this, we have the devaluation of the US dollar. The petrodollar has become the Frankenstein monster, and now it is running amok.

What we are seeing is nothing less than the failure of the free market. And without intervention, the failure of the free market will make a shambles of the world economy and lead to massive impoverishment and even starvation.

…continued

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Our Masters, Ourselves By Dale Allen Pfeiffer (Fascism)

Dandelion Salad

By Dale Allen Pfeiffer
Speaking Truth to Power
Wednesday, 31 October 2007

We are all armed with monkey wrenches, it is time to use them. It is time to take back our power and to realize that we, ourselves, are our own masters. And let us never delegate that power or that responsibility again.

Corrupt beyond Redemption

Those of us living in the US live in a fascist system, right now, today. We live in a system where powerful corporations call the shots, both nationally and globally. They do this beneath a façade of democracy, a façade that has grown exceedingly thin. And every day they come closer and closer to allowing this façade to drop.

It should be quite plain by now that our government does not heed the public mandate. They have not stopped the war in Iraq, they have not moved to impeach Bush and Cheney, they refuse to discuss a working solution to global warming, and they will do nothing about outsourcing, capital flight and impoverishment of the US working class.

Yet activists in the peace, environmental and labor movements continue to lobby the government for change. We are content to wait until the next presidential election and replace the incumbents of one crooked party with the candidates of another crooked party. Yet no election is going to make the slightest bit of difference in solving the problems with which we are faced.

Our politicians are bought off. Most of them are members of the privileged class to start with, and once they leave office they will go to work for the very firms they should now be attempting to regulate. The move to privatize has reached critical mass; we have sold off our infrastructure and our vital government services to corporations – worse than sold, we have handed these things over while promising to subsidize their ownership with taxpayer’s dollars. The privatization mania has gone to the point that we have now largely privatized our military and police services to private firms whose first loyalty is clearly not to the US public.

The building of a fascist system within the façade of democracy has been in progress for a long time. It can be traced back to the days of the Great Depression and even further. The move towards fascism accelerated in the 1970s and particularly in the 1980s. Privatization, outsourcing, labor and environmental deregulation, mergers and in particular media monopolies have all been tools in producing this transformation. Global trade agreements consolidated fascist power throughout the world, while formalizing the supremacy of international corporations over federal governments.

By the turn of the century, the advance of fascism had reached the point that corporations and political lackeys in the Bush administration could act with impunity, openly trashing the US Constitution and the Geneva Conventions while making jokes about it. What previous administrations used to do in secret, the Bush administration does in the open, and then grants itself immunity from future prosecution.

And now Bush has granted himself the power to abrogate the constitution and suspend elections through the declaration of martial law. He can do this for any perceived threat, whether it involves terrorism, economic crisis, environmental catastrophe, or social upheaval. Soon even the trappings of democracy will become unnecessary, and the US public will find themselves living in a repressive police state without any of the freedoms and protections from abuse that we have for so long taken for granted.

None of our elected officials wish to repair these breeches in our governmental system. Instead, they are all lining up to profit from them. Instead of taking up the public mandate, they are vying with each other to feed at the corporate troughs and assume the mantle of fascist dictator.

Continued…

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The Crash is a Good Thing? By Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Dandelion Salad

By Dale Allen Pfeiffer
Speaking Truth to Power
MOUNTAIN SENTINEL
Monday, 01 October 2007

“If people don’t start thinking for themselves and preparing, then we will follow the scenario our leaders have mapped out for us.”–Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Freefall

Since Bernanke cut interest rates last Tuesday (Sept. 25th), the already weak dollar has gone into a tail spin. Bernanke’s banker friends complained that they did not have enough money to cover their obligations and Bernanke responded by revving up the presses and printing up a slew of fresh funny money. In doing this he ignored the rest of the world, which was hoping that he would show some backbone and stand firm in support of the dollar. So now, everywhere you look, the dollar is losing its value against other currencies.

The Saudi’s unpegged their currency from the dollar for the first time since the oil dollar was established. They had no choice; it would have been suicide for them to follow Bernanke’s move. And elsewhere, other countries will have to follow suit or the US will drag them down. Japan is scrambling for shore.

Not long after the cut in interest rates, the dollar passed a key point against the Euro when it surpassed 1.41 dollars to one Euro. Since then the value of the dollar has continued to drop. The US dollar has been dropping against the Euro since January 2003. It now worth less than 59% of the value it had four years ago. At this point a dollar crash is nearly inevitable. US dollars may soon have as little value as confederate dollars.

For many years we have depended on foreign investors to support our economy by stockpiling our currency. These foreign investors cannot hold onto their dollars for much longer. Already they have lost over 40% of their investment. They will have to cut their losses and divest. This has already started to happen, and as the sell-off accelerates the dollar will find itself in a freefall which will quickly leave it a worthless currency. A massive sell-out could see the dollar losing as much as 90% of its value within days.

Snake Oil

You would not know any of this from the major news networks. They are trying to tell us that the drop in the dollar is actually a good thing. They reason that foreign consumers will flock to the US to buy devalued goods. This is a load of crap, and they know it.

US goods will not devalue. There are very few goods that are wholly US-made today. Most are at least partially manufactured offshore. Because of that, US goods will not devalue, they will simply go up in price. Soon, US consumers will find that their dollars can only purchase half of what they currently buy. And this ratio will worsen as the dollar continues to plunge. Once this crash is complete, US consumers will learn that they have lost everything. They will find that their salaries, their pensions, their health insurance coverage, everything is worthless.

So why is the media trying to sell us this lie? Simply to keep up consumer confidence. If US consumers understood what was really happening, there would be a panic. The truth could cause a run on the banks. Along with foreign investment, consumer spending is the only other pillar supporting the US economy. Consumer spending has already become sluggish. If the reality of our situation were understood, US consumer spending would quickly crumble.

The smart money is already fleeing the US market. It is diversifying into precious metals and a host of other currencies. It is quietly moving outside of the US. This migration has been going on for years, but now it is beginning to speed up. Yet, while this flight is going on, they want the general public to remain unalarmed. The smart money is trying to make its exit before a stampede blocks the fire doors. There were only so many lifeboats on the Titanic and the first class passengers were evacuated before anyone else was allowed out of steerage.

Continued…

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In Case Of Martial Law, Break Glass By Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Dandelion Salad

By Dale Allen Pfeiffer
Speaking Truth to Power
Monday, 17 September 2007

Reprinted from MOUNTAIN SENTINEL

Bush now has the ability to declare martial law at his own discretion, and in so doing dissolve the other branches of government, throw out the constitution, and suspend elections. He appropriated the right to do this largely by executive order. He can declare martial law whenever he deems there is sufficient cause; cause being an act of terrorism, an economic crisis, an act of war, civil unrest, or a natural catastrophe. For more information about the executive orders and legislation granting Bush these rights, please watch the short video at mountainsnetinel.com What we chose to ignore (video; executive orders), or visit the US Martial Law Timeline.

Hard as it might be to believe, there is a very real possibility that Bush will exercise these rights before his term ends. All he needs is an excuse. At present, the economy is on the verge of collapse, the Iraqi Occupation is going badly no matter what Bush and his chosen generals say, energy supplies are unable to keep pace with demand, disapproval of the Bush administration is growing, and Bush wants to attack Iran and so complete his Middle East conquest. He has all the reason in the world to declare martial law. All he lacks is a sufficient excuse.

Many people who follow the news are worried that Bush will declare martial law sometime in the months ahead. If natural crises prove insufficient, they are afraid that he will stage another 9/11. The current economic climate is very similar to the climate at the time of 9/11, though the present brewing economic hurricane will be much worse than the dot.com bust. The economic crises we currently face could very well result in bank closings, the crash of the US dollar, and the impoverishment of a large segment of the US population. What is more, with peak oil and the dawn of a new era of energy depletion it is unlikely that we will be able resuscitate our economy once the collapse is complete.

In the past couple weeks, we have heard about nuclear weapons being “mistakenly” shipped across the country onboard B-52 bombers. These weapons, which have a very limited capacity, were accidentally shipped to one of the bases that coincidentally functions as a staging grounds for the Middle East. While it is possible that these weapons were intended to be used for tactical strikes against Iran, I think it more likely that they were going to be used on US troops in Iraq, or perhaps even citizens within the US. A nuclear terrorism attack would clear the way for an immediate attack on Iran and provide a sufficient excuse to declare martial law within the US. (See Was a Covert Attempt to Bomb Iran with Nuclear Weapons foiled by a Military Leak? By Michael E. Salla, M.A., Ph.D.)

This sounds far-fetched and paranoid, doesn’t it? Well, word is circulating around Wall Street that billions in put options were made at the end of August. Put options are short term bets that a corporation will do poorly. From the number and size of these puts, some big players are betting that the stock market is going to take a major fall before the end of September. The last time there was a move in put options this large was just prior to 9/11.
(See Dispelling the ‘Bin Laden’ Options Trades By Steven Smith and Aaron L. Task, ‘Bin Laden’ Options Trades Have Wall Street Whispering, and $4.5b bet on another 9/11 within 4 weeks)

Whether or not there are plans to stage another terrorist event, the fact remains that Bush has cleared a path towards establishing a dictatorship within the US. Given Bush and Cheney’s psychological profiles, it is unlikely that this pathway was cleared for altruistic purposes, and it seems equally unlikely that they will not now take advantage of it. Nor did Bush clear this pathway for some future president. Bush and Cheney are both far too selfish and egotistical for that. So it is likely that Bush will walk this path sometime before the next election.

Now the question arises, what will we do if Bush declares martial law and usurps our government?

What to Do

Should Bush declare martial law, life in this country will quickly become untenable for a great many of us. Halliburton subsidiaries are currently building internment camps to house detainees. The first sweep will pick up radicals and known dissenters, along with Blacks and Hispanics. Successive sweeps will capture more disruptive minorities, along with any newly vocal critics.

Knowing this, my first impulse was to head for the woods and disappear in the event of martial law. Yet this would not solve the problem. And I would have to hide forever, while my family and friends suffered the consequences. Hiding is not an option; the only recourse is to fight back.

The establishment of martial law and dictatorship depends on a majority of the public going on with their daily lives as usual. They cannot arrest everyone; they cannot even arrest a sizable portion of the population should they all decide to resist in solidarity. Therefore, the key to defending our country against martial law and dictatorship lies in massive resistance and solidarity.

If martial law is declared we must, each of us, tell everyone we know that the US government has been overthrown. Everyone must know that it is time for each of us to stand up and resist. Do not go to work, do not go to school. That is what they want us to do. Far from complying, it is our duty to rise up for freedom and justice. Our forefathers and foremothers would be ashamed of us if we did anything less.

Simply refusing to serve is not enough. Nor is a march through downtown an adequate response. Short-term protests will be dismissed as soon as they end. Nor is any resistor safe so long as he or she remains at home. We must rally, for safety and power. And we must stay together until the dictatorship is toppled and martial law is ended.

Rallying

There are a few possible targets for rallying. Progressive communities such as college towns would be relatively safe places to rally, and might attract large numbers of people supported by the local community. Yet for greatest effect, rallies should target seats of government and finance. The most effective targets would be state capitals, Wall Street, and Washington DC. For those desiring an even more confrontational approach, you could rally at military bases and National Guard armories. Bear in mind that these military targets have the greatest potential for bloodshed.

It would be best to plan rallying locations ahead of time. There is no telling how disrupted communications might be after martial law is declared. If the internet is still functioning, that would be great. But do not plan on it.

Print up flyers explaining what is taking place and what needs to be done about it. Tell people that it is their duty to resist. Let them know where they can rally to protest. If need be, drive down the street with banners and/or megaphones.

Above all, make it clear that these rallies will not end until the coup leaders have been arrested and martial law has ended. Ceasing our efforts before our goals are achieved is simply not an option. What is more, we will all be safer if we stay together. They cannot pick us off separately; they will have to deal with us en masse.

Breaking Hard

We should be prepared for the worst. It is likely that they will try to break our rallies with force. Stand fast and be prepared. It would be wise to learn how to improvise body armor, procure helmets with safety visors, and gas masks. First aid stations should be established at all rallies.

Above all, resist any impulse towards violence. Violence will achieve nothing, but will provide them with an excuse to crack down. The violent overthrow of government by the masses simply isn’t possible in this day and age, nor is it desirable. Our strength lies in our solidarity and our ability to bring the machine to a screeching halt. When we resort to violence, we have compromised our strength and made ourselves weak.

Appeal to the police and the National Guard that you are the citizens they were hired to serve and protect. Help them to understand what has happened. It may be that many of them will side with you.

If the military does attack, stand firm, but be prepared to give up ground and reform elsewhere. Do not simply scatter and give up. In the face of a military advance, pass along word of a secondary rallying point. And send an advance team to secure that area and prepare.

Remember, martial law and the establishment of dictatorship will only succeed if we let it. Know that if you do nothing as martial law is declared and nothing as they come for your neighbors, then the day will arrive when they come for you. Or you will be left to answer for what has happened while you were looking the other way and going on with your own life.

We, the people, have the power, and never let us forget that.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

see:

What we chose to ignore (video; executive orders)

Was a Covert Attempt to Bomb Iran with Nuclear Weapons foiled by a Military Leak? By Michael E. Salla, M.A., Ph.D.

Dispelling the ‘Bin Laden’ Options Trades By Steven Smith and Aaron L. Task