Barbarians at the Gates

They failed. The poorly named, Super Committee.  Duh! Just what the Dublin odds makers predicted. As well as we predicted, of course, as well as most of America. It was just a ruse played by a dozen charlatans, pretending to ‘care’ for The People. Right. Care for The People??  Since when? The People are never at the center of concern for politicians.  Rather, it’s the next election, the next large campaign contributor.

We The People are merely the pawn in some Grand Scheme of power. I have come to the firm conclusion that this 230 year-old experiment in democracy has failed. Miserably. And, even more pathetic is the realization that it cannot be fixed. The partisan divide is now a canyon and no bridge can connect to two sides.

I was discussing this point with two of my college roommates the other day and each of us came to this exact same conclusion.”It’s hopeless,” said one of them. “Agreed,” replied the other. Hopeless.

So I asked, “What’s the next step?” Protecting your family was the response. Look out for your children and grandchildren, because things are going to get much worse. One of them, the history major, said, “Read the fall of the Roman Empire to see how this all plays out.”

I said at the deepest part of our common despair, “Maybe the Occupy Movement?” We agreed that this may be the only hope of moving any agenda forward.

Imagine, we’ve come to this point: the barbarians at the gates as a remedy.

Yet, surely, not barbarians, but, rather,  The People longing to be free.

 

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69 thoughts on “Barbarians at the Gates

  1. Hello All,
    It is well noted that no civilization is only three meals away from “Total Anarchy.” Should the current economic conditions world wide, and the United States is not immune, get any worse and people see their children going hungry…..all Hell Will Break Loose! Historical events to this affect that have happened before will surely happen again.

  2. The majority vote these clowns in based on outright lies, and when the clowns screw up they blame others. But that’s not the worst part; the clown base actually believe the new set of lies. They say they’re insulted when called an LIV, but they’re either too dumb or too lazy (or both) to take the time and effort to learn the facts.

  3. That was a very interesting post, going from despair to hope. We are 2 months into the evolving phenomena of the Occupy Movement in the USA but, what is happening in America is part of what is happening world wide.
    I have often referred to collective intelligence, we have the tools to realize a collective intelligence, the means to evolve and do it better and faster than those who refuse to recognize change.
    I just read a piece on a recent poll which stated that those who watch and believe FOX news are less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all. Here’s the link:
    http://thinkprogress.org/media/2011/11/22/374174/poll-fox-news-leaves-viewers-less-informed-than-those-who-dont-watch-any-news/

    I also saw Mitt Romneys first actual campaign video in which a statement by John McCain is deliberately wrongfully attributed to Barack Obama in an attempt to manipulate opinion. When it was pointed out to his staff, they admitted that that was exactly what they were trying to do. Lie and cheat right out of the gate…the last resort is their first resort.

    So, I congratulate ThinkProgress in producing an alternative totally honest campaign video for Mitt. Using his own words to illustrate his real positions, what ever they are:http://youtu.be/sjJorv8HBU4

    1. Is anybody else feeling like being bad? I’m sitting here fantasizing about the reactions if those links were posted on some other blogs.

      UPDATE: I’ve been strangely checking in on Occupy Toledo as if they were my own children. Unfortunately they had to break camp yesterday because the severe Ohio Winter is fast approaching. I couldn’t be prouder of them; they had some unusual obstacles to overcome, but they rode them out just fine.

      1. I’m feeling a little guilty that I did not go down there before they broke up. I read in today’s paper that Steve Miller was a large part of the effort. I know Steve very well and I know that he will be back because he fights tirelessly for justice.

        I use to do that [fight tirelessly] but now I get tired of the apathy and resistance from the LIV’s. The task of educating them exhausts me. I lost much of my spirit back in the cold winter of 2002-2003 standing on street corners with my NO WAR signs and being harasses and spat upon by the ‘good and patriotic’ Americans who thought that Saddam was bin Laden.

    2. MD, what is interesting I made my comment below without first looking at
      the comments…I was just responding to MR’s post, and then I checked the
      other comments. I too make reference of MR’s move from “despair to
      hope.” I also noticed that we both used the word “tools”, but in different
      context. Maybe we can convince, MR, not to “cut and run.”

      1. from despair to hope, that’s what we do every day. Mudrake isn’t going anywhere…this dude’s in it for the long haul! Our democracy isn’t dead, but we are all participating in and experiencing the phenomena of the evolutionary bottle neck….
        Things change, shit happens…not everyone makes it through, but we will survive!

  4. Talk about f***ing lies to the LIV’s. A posse blog has videos of Toledo that are untrue and/or a twisting of the truth. Oh, did I mention I’m barred from posting there again?

    1. No you are not. Why would you spread a lie like that. You may post there, as long as you don’t lie. But I guess reading your lies here that you must lie everywhere.

    2. Here’s the “barring” post:

      Jeff,

      Go away.

      “In the 80’s the party elected what I consider the worst President in U.S. History. Yes I did vote for him; twice.”

      Are you actually attempting to say Reagan is the worst President in U.S. history? While claiming to be a Republican? Again, I think you missed your meds.

      If you can’t be reasonable, please quit leaving your drivel here.

      1. Nope. It was more like a denial from Blogger reading: “Your current account (email account) does not have access to view this page. ”

        Pops up on Common Sense too when I try to post there.

        1. That’s not possible, Jeffio. I don’t have the skills to exclude you and only you from posting. Did you miss your meds again?

  5. you should become a follower of Occupy Toledo on facebook. there is a lot of energy, creativity and ideas. just because it is winter and the physical part of “occupy” obviously is not possible, it is not going away. i live in France, but I participate in their dialogues from time to time.
    I’m sure you have seen some of the images that have sprung from the University of California Pepper Spray incident. The fat strolling sociopath cop, Lt. Pike has become a meme…
    On Sunday, I independently created a photoshop piece based on the Seurat Painting, La Grande Jatte, with the Lt. Pike strolling with his pepper spray blasting the seated serene people in the painting in the face. I posted it on face book and then my blog. The next morning, my niece in Seattle sent it to me as well as a friend in NYC, not knowing that I was the artist. At the same time, it seems hundreds of people started working with this image, the creative flow just keeps on going on. Every time I check this site, there are more and more images:

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/casually-pepper-spray-everything-cop/photos?sort=views

    I just saw a version of my piece refined by another photoshop artist, where they took the figure of the cop and did a pointillist filter on it…same exact composition, but even more sophisticated integration into the impressionist Seurat painting. Nobody seems to be claiming authorship of any of the work, which is pretty cool, it even becomes more of a collective hive mentality phenomena. There is a wonderful version of an old woodcut engraving of the Boston Massacre with Lt. Pike integrated with his pepper blaster in perfect wood cut style.

    Occupy Toledo has found indoor accommodations to evolve in. It’s not going away, but evolving and we all are part of it.

    1. You know, it’s really kind of funny. I’m always saying I learn from blogs and have at times adjusted my opinion. This is another example. The first time you posted about Occupy Toledo, I thought….well, it wasn’t very nice. But after learning more, I’ve actually become a supporter. Cool.

    2. Microdot- that was a great Seurat photoshop piece; congratulations on your creative artistic political satire. The rent-a-cop clearly enjoyed his power. Reminds me of the Ottawa Hills, OH rent-a-cop who shot and paralyzed a biker because he had the power to do so. He’s in jail and the small village is out several millions of dollars.

      Agencies out to know that people applying for rent-a-cop positions probably failed getting a regular police job and are therefore tainted in some way.

  6. MR writes the following; “The People are never at the center of concern for politicians. Rather, it’s the next election, the next large campaign contributor.

    We The People are merely the pawn in some Grand Scheme of power.”

    ” I have come to the firm conclusion that this 230 year-old experiment in democracy has failed. Miserably. And, even more pathetic is the realization that it cannot be fixed”

    “I was discussing this point with two of my college roommates the other day and each of us came to this exact same conclusion.”It’s hopeless,” said one of them. “Agreed,” replied the other. Hopeless.”

    “One of them, the history major, said, “Read the fall of the Roman Empire to see how this all plays out.”

    First, let me respond to the above quote about the Roman Empire. My friend,
    there is no comparison between the power of the Roman Empire and that
    of the United States. The Roman Empire was built on slavery, and slavery
    is a losing economic system. Slavery within the Italian Peninsula, and a host
    of slave states. Rome’s wealth, my friend, was not from homeland
    manufacturing, but from ruinous tribute from the slave states from the Eastern
    Mediterranean to the British Isles. That wealth was used to build Circuses,
    triumphant arches, Imperial estates, the Colosseum, and, of course, a huge
    roman army to keep the provinces in subjection. I am sick and tired, my
    friend, of so called historians using Edward Gibbons’ “Decline and Fall of
    the Roman Empire to draw a parallel to the United States. It is just an
    “out” to those that want to believe the situation is, as you write, “hopeless.”
    NONSENSE!
    Now, let me address your first three lines of quotes above. In all humility, just wake up and smell the roses. I have presented vote after vote of your
    Congresswoman Kaptur and her betrayal of the American Dream. In all
    due respect, my friend, by continuing to support Kaptur and not use the
    tools that this “miserable” Constitutional government is providing lets the very
    people that have caused us to be on downward slope. You have the tools
    to make a change. You are not a LIV but a HIV. For our children and
    grandchildren and their descendants to have the “blessing of liberty”, we
    can’t use such words as “miserably, pathetic, failure, cannot be fixed, no
    bridge, and despair. This is nothing but negativism.

    Then, with all that negativism, at the end, you begin to suggest, it seems,
    that the occupy movement may be a way. Peaceful demonstration, my
    friend, one of those tools I mentioned above that our Constitution gives
    us. And, of course, the other,is removing every member of Congress.
    Why are you so intent on maintaining the same people who have put you
    in this negative frame of mind? We cannot leave such negativism to our
    posterity. Sure we have problems. We are a big country, and so our
    problems are big and takes HIV to solve.

  7. I am sick and tired, my friend, of so called historians using Edward Gibbons’ “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to draw a parallel to the United States.

    There is no parallel at all? Which of the following might you consider valid parallels between Rome, 400 AD and the US, 2011?

    210 Reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire
    Source: A. Demandt, Der Fall Roms (1984) 695
    See also: Karl Galinsky in Classical and Modern Interactions (1992) 53-73.

    1.

    Abolition of gods
    2.

    Abolition of rights
    3.

    Absence of character
    4.

    Absolutism
    5.

    Agrarian question
    6.

    Agrarian slavery
    7.

    Anarchy
    8.

    Anti-Germanism
    9.

    Apathy
    10.

    Aristocracy
    11.

    Asceticism
    12.

    Attack of the Germans
    13.

    Attack of the Huns
    14.

    Attack of riding nomads
    15.

    Backwardness in science
    16.

    Bankruptcy
    17.

    Barbarization
    18.

    Bastardization
    19.

    Blockage of land by large landholders
    20.

    Blood poisoning
    21.

    Bolshevization
    22.

    Bread and circuses
    23.

    Bureaucracy
    24.

    Byzantinism
    25.

    Capillarite sociale
    26.

    Capitalism
    27.

    Capitals, change of
    28.

    Caste system
    29.

    Celibacy
    30.

    Centralization
    31.

    Childlessness
    32.

    Christianity
    33.

    Citizenship, granting of
    34.

    Civil war
    35.

    Climatic deterioration
    36.

    Communism
    37.

    Complacency
    38.

    Concatenation of misfortunes
    39.

    Conservatism
    40.

    Corruption
    41.

    Cosmopolitanism
    42.

    Crisis of legitimacy
    43.

    Culinary excess
    44.

    Cultural neurosis
    45.

    Decentralization
    46.

    Decline of Nordic character
    47.

    Decline of the cities
    48.

    Decline of the Italian population
    49.

    Deforestation
    50.

    Degeneration
    51.

    Degeneration of the intellect
    52.

    Demoralization
    53.

    Depletion of mineral resources
    54.

    Despotism
    55.

    Destruction of environment
    56.

    Destruction of peasantry
    57.

    Destruction of political process
    58.

    Destruction of Roman influence
    59.

    Devastation
    60.

    Differences in wealth
    61.

    Disarmament
    62.

    Disillusion with stated
    63.

    Division of empire
    64.

    Division of labor
    65.

    Earthquakes
    66.

    Egoism
    67.

    Egoism of the state
    68.

    Emancipation of slaves
    69.

    Enervation
    70.

    Epidemics
    71.

    Equal rights, granting of
    72.

    Eradication of the best
    73.

    Escapism
    74.

    Ethnic dissolution
    75.

    Excessive aging of population
    76.

    Excessive civilization
    77.

    Excessive culture
    78.

    Excessive foreign infiltration
    79.

    Excessive freedom
    80.

    Excessive urbanization
    81.

    Expansion
    82.

    Exploitation
    83.

    Fear of life
    84.

    Female emancipation
    85.

    Feudalization
    86.

    Fiscalism
    87.

    Gladiatorial system
    88.

    Gluttony
    89.

    Gout
    90.

    Hedonism
    91.

    Hellenization
    92.

    Heresy
    93.

    Homosexuality
    94.

    Hothouse culture
    95.

    Hubris
    96.

    Hypothermia
    97.

    Immoderate greatness
    98.

    Imperialism
    99.

    Impotence
    100.

    Impoverishment
    101.

    Imprudent policy toward buffer states
    102.

    Inadequate educational system
    103.

    Indifference
    104.

    Individualism
    105.

    Indoctrination
    106.

    Inertia
    107.

    Inflation
    108.

    Intellectualism
    109.

    Integration, weakness of
    110.

    Irrationality
    111.

    Jewish influence
    112.

    Lack of leadership
    113.

    Lack of male dignity
    114.

    Lack of military recruits
    115.

    Lack of orderly imperial succession
    116.

    Lack of qualified workers
    117.

    Lack of rainfall
    118.

    Lack of religiousness
    119.

    Lack of seriousness
    120.

    Large landed properties
    121.

    Lead poisoning
    122.

    Lethargy
    123.

    Leveling, cultural
    124.

    Leveling, social
    125.

    Loss of army discipline
    126.

    Loss of authority
    127.

    Loss of energy
    128.

    Loss of instincts
    129.

    Loss of population
    130.

    Luxury
    131.

    Malaria
    132.

    Marriages if convenience
    133.

    Mercenary system
    134.

    Mercury damage
    135.

    Militarism
    136.

    Monetary economy
    137.

    Monetary greed
    138.

    Money, shortage of
    139.

    Moral decline
    140.

    Moral idealism
    141.

    Moral materialism
    142.

    Mystery religions
    143.

    Nationalism of Rome’s subjects
    144.

    Negative selection
    145.

    Orientalization
    146.

    Outflow of gold
    147.

    Over refinement
    148.

    Pacifism
    149.

    Paralysis of will
    150.

    Paralyzation
    151.

    Parasitism
    152.

    Particularism
    153.

    Pauperism
    154.

    Plagues
    155.

    Pleasure seeking
    156.

    Plutocracy
    157.

    Polytheism
    158.

    Population pressure
    159.

    Precociousness
    160.

    Professional army
    161.

    Proletarization
    162.

    Prosperity
    163.

    Prostitution
    164.

    Psychoses
    165.

    Public baths
    166.

    Racial degeneration
    167.

    Racial discrimination
    168.

    Racial suicide
    169.

    Rationalism
    170.

    Refusal of military service
    171.

    Religious struggles and schisms
    172.

    Rentier mentality
    173.

    Resignation
    174.

    Restriction to profession
    175.

    Restriction to the land
    176.

    Rhetoric
    177.

    Rise of uneducated masses
    178.

    Romantic attitudes to peace
    179.

    Ruin of middle class
    180.

    Rule of the world
    181.

    Semieducation
    182.

    Sensuality
    183.

    Servility
    184.

    Sexuality
    185.

    Shamelessness
    186.

    Shifting of trade routes
    187.

    Slavery
    188.

    Slavic attacks
    189.

    Socialism (of the state)
    190.

    Soil erosion
    191.

    Soil exhaustion
    192.

    Spiritual barbarism
    193.

    Stagnation
    194.

    Stoicism
    195.

    Stress
    196.

    Structural weakness
    197.

    Superstition
    198.

    Taxation, pressure of
    199.

    Terrorism
    200.

    Tiredness of life
    201.

    Totalitarianism
    202.

    Treason
    203.

    Tristesse
    204.

    Two-front war
    205.

    Underdevelopment
    206.

    Useless eaters
    207.

    Usurpation of all powers by the state
    208.

    Vain gloriousness
    209.

    Villa economy
    210.

    Vulgarization

  8. In the book, Der Fall Roms, A. Demandt suggests the military was a growing problem in the Empire.

    Demandt noted that the Roman army was ‘protected’ in the late Roman period and that an increasing number of Roman citizens evaded service in the army, which had already been recruited in the early imperial mercenaries.

    Isn’t it interesting that our all-volunteer Army reflects merely 1% of our population while the other 99% [interesting number, eh?] are unconcerned with and do not participate in our national defense?

    In last night’s GOP debate, we saw most of the contenders cling to the big, Cold War military idea of bloated Defense budget and military intervention around the world. Only Huntsman and Paul differed, Huntsman quite strongly.

    Huntsman excoriated front-runner Romney when Romney tried to use the spurious ‘cut and run’ canard on Afghanistan; then he reminded the audience of how our Commanders-in-Chief fell into the arms of the Pentagon in the Vietnam idiocy.

    Who was ‘running’ the Roman army back in 400 AD? Valentinian III, the 6-year-old child. Some Commander-in-chief! Who told Valentinian III what to do?

    Who told GW Bush what to do?

  9. I have to admit, these last cooments by mudrake on his post are worthy of an entire doctoral thesis. Wonderful…I would say brilliant, but it would be hyperbolic on my part.
    Intellectually justifying what I see as a major part of the crux of the crisis of being a member of the dominant specie of mega fauna with the most mega brains on this lonely planet….

  10. Last week, during a City of Toledo Council Meeting, two people were arrested for breaking a nonexistent law (see today’s Blade). At her arraignment, the girl was crying. Her bail was set at $10,000 (seems a bit high) and she indicated she couldn’t pay it. Does anyone know if she has been bailed out yet?

  11. on the other hand, I am getting info about the young girl NON is inquiring about now…I will let you know asap….

  12. Mud, you sly devil you! I just read two of the posse blogs you posted on. On the first one they’re all calling you a racist for criticizing Cain. Then on the other one, they’re all complaining that they get called racist every time they criticize Obama. Do ya think they noticed?

    And I’ve got a question. When do you think China will get nuclear capabilities?

    Oh, one more question. If a flat tax, say something like 9-9-9 percent, is not regressive on the poor, does that mean it’s progressive? You know, the opposite of how the U.S. taxes now.

    Just a minute, before I forget. I’m not privy to information in Libya, so what’s going on there? Oh, now I remember; I saw some Presidential candidate answer the question on TV: 9-9-9

    1. NON- thanks for noticing. My MO is merely to drop bits of truth and/or quotations here and there and see if any of them sprout. Of course, at the zoo, it doesn’t take too much red meat to get the entire Carnivore house growling.

  13. Talking about protest and the effect of protest: I don’t know if it even makes waves in the USA, but yesterday there were violent battles with the French CRS Police and anti nuclear activists in the North of France. The activists actually destroyed train lines in a pitched battle. I’m posting the video on my blog later today.
    The protest focuses on the last shipment of German nuclear waste that was processed in French and is being shipped back to Germany. Germany has phased out it’s dependence on nuclear power. This was because of years of social action raising awareness of the German government and the realization that this was pragmatic futuristic wisdom.
    The protests in France are to raise the awareness of the French to what is occurring in Germany. If you take time to understand and look at what Germany is doing actively to shift it’s energy deenendence away from nuclear and fossil fuels, you will see the most progressive and aggressive program on the planet. They are now leading the world in Green Energy created jobs. The system they are creating has grown exponentially in its feasiblity targets. Basically, they are creating a grid that takes electric power from a number of different renewable sources. The grid is a storage system, but the storage of electric power now is not very efficient. So, there is another grid which is a gas storage system. The excess electrical power is being used to generate bio gas from a number of different sources. The efficiency of storing the energy as bio gas jumps dramatically to 70%. This gas goes into the nations energy grid and is being used now to generate more power and for industry.
    This is the future. America is being left in the dust. France is beginning to realize that they are losing out on what will be the energy growth of Europe.
    But why was Germany impelled to make this radical leap forward? Because of the tireless energy of the Green Movement in protesting and militantly educating the public. They raised the awareness and created the conditions for the big leap forward that Germany is taking.
    OWS, in its diverse activities has embraced the German Green energy.
    One little step at a time, we will drag the rest of the world into the future.

  14. If you take time to understand and look at what Germany is doing actively to shift it’s energy dependence away from nuclear and fossil fuels, you will see the most progressive and aggressive program on the planet.

    My, my, how futuristic.

    Sigh.

    So here we are in the U.S. with a paleolithic political party pandering to the wishes of the coal, oil and gas companies. Which means, of course, that we are fossil fuel dependent until enough Americans wake up or become educated to how that tether our nation to the 20th century.

    Sadly, the $$$ and the slick TV advertising [and the political donations] will create such a smog that The People will be blinded for many, many years. We Americans are such easy targets of propaganda.

  15. Yes I agree, and make that political parties, but the operative phrase “enough Americans wake up or become educated”.
    As I reiterate, it is one step at a time and the steps get incrementally bigger and more rapid. The progression of anti nuclear technology and green energy in Germany seemed like a concept that could not be feasible until late into the 21st century…they were talking 2075. But now, in the space of a few short years, that goal has become a very obtainable 2022 and could happen a lot faster.
    Of course, this threatens the paleolithic and primitive economic structure of the rest of the world, but Germany and China and yes, the State of California will make it an economic imperative that the rest of the world will have to participate in for sheer survival. Things always
    change in spite of the big “what ever”” factor….

  16. “fossil fuel dependent ”

    BTW, there was a post from you, MR, that extolled the use of wind power.

    My question is, are eagles expedient? With the few windmills generating
    power in use now, 10 eagles a month are being killed by windmill blades.
    What happens as we significantly increase windmills? No environmental
    impact, eh?

  17. Germany, China and California of course represent the biggest economic machines on the planet. If California can be considered a separate economic entity in the sense of being more Pacific rim that “American” then it stands to reason that we should not look at the Republic in a unified sense. We seem to be a union of separate economies, some going forward and some going backwards. The total effect in America is the creation of inertia as a whole, but in reality, some sectors are really dynamic in a world sense. A good example is the State of Pennsylvania…one of the most backwards industrially damaged states in the Union, but on the other hand, Pittsburgh has become one of the greenest, most progressive cities in the country.

    1. We seem to be a union of separate economies, some going forward and some going backwards.

      Indeed we are a ‘union’ of separate economies as well as separate values. Of course, one finds that in Germany as well as , I’d imagine, in France. Here in the U.S. as you well know, The South has always been a region that tends to operate on its own set of ideals, values and beliefs. That Civil War [War of Northern Aggression] is still stuck in their craw- the audacity of northerners to ‘ruin’ their way of life. If one adds the blanket of bible-ism, that region has little resemblance to we who live in northern Ohio and Michigan- except for the hillbillies that migrated here from Kentucky and West Virginia.

      Our ‘union’ is becoming less and less strong with each passing year due to the divisiveness of political idealism. The covenant that helped establish The Northwest [Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota], the Land Ordinance of 1785 as well as the Northwest Ordinance of 1789, seems to have been totally foreign to the ‘interests’ of the southern states. The very fact that the Federal Government ‘seized’ such a large territory surely would be anathema to most southern legislators today. The prohibition of slavery therein would naturally have been outrageous to the southern ladies and gentlemen. And the demand to create public schools in each of the townships is, today, totally foreign to many living in the former confederate states.

      Given the history of both regions, The South and The Northwest, is it any wonder why the values of each region are often in direct conflict? Take the concept of unions, for example. Most if not all of the southern states are ‘free work states’ whereas here in the Northwest, union membership is commonly held as a way of life. The recent Ohio vote [SB 5] indicates the value that Ohio places in union membership. Naturally, corporations fled this area to avoid paying living wages [union wages] and many settled in the South. Others jumped to Mexico to get bottom of the barrel workers.

      So, Microdot, our union is not as strong as our patriotic songs and parades suggest and clearly not as strong as the Founding Fathers hoped. Thanks for bringing the topic to our attention.

    2. I believe, MD, the United States is still ranked as the No. 1 economy in the
      world. China will pass us in this decade, but as of today the U.S. remains
      in first place. In addition, despite the loss of manufacturing, I believe the
      U.S. is still the No. 1 manufacturing nation in the world.

      I asked a question some where down below about “drift”. It seems to me
      our government is drifting, not “inert”. In addition, while you mention,
      California, California is losing manufacturing businesses and general
      business because of its high tax rates.

      1. SIZE OF ECONOMIES:
        U.S.: 14 trillion dollars
        CHINA: 6 trillion dollars

        * All numbers are approximate

  18. Hello All,
    I want to start by saying, “Happy Thanksgiving” to all and to add the note that I really enjoy the conversations of the SANE and REASONABLE minds that can be found on this site.

    I would also take this time to say that we do make a difference. I give the example of Microdot who did a posting by modifying a classic painting then had his own image sent back to him with the honor title of “Image of the Day. I have always told Microdot that when it comes to his artwork and satirical wit, he is the best.

    Even in the least basic bottom line, the voice of sanity and reason needs to be projected.

  19. RE: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

    Gibbon merely presented an early interpretation on the fall of Rome. His
    multi-volume work is significant for a couple of reasons. It encouraged
    a “modern” approach in studying Rome, and, secondly, it was important for historiography and research.

    Gibbon’s main thesis was that Christianity caused the fall of Rome. Now,
    I can appreciate, M_R, with your current attitude about Christianity why
    Gibbon can appeal to you. However, I think that Gibbon’s is not correct
    in his interpretation. The acceptance of Christianity became an
    underpining of the Roman political structure. Rome was already in
    decline before Constantine accepted Christianity. There are more
    plausible reasons for the fall.

    By developing a thesis that Christianity was the reason for the fall of Rome,
    Gibbon developed the modern concept of seeking out the primary
    sources for historical interpretation. Until the time of Gibbon, any written
    history was based on secondary sources. Because of that insistence
    on original sources, Gibbon has earned the reputation as the first modern
    historian. However, that doesn’t mean that his interpretation is the gospel.
    Indeed, most historians today reject his thesis, and one reason is that he
    used only original sources that justifed his interpretation. The general
    interpretation now seems to be that Rome fell because of economic
    and military reasons.

    1. Which of the 200+ ideas above might be tangentially related to the U.S. other than Christianity and the destruction of pagan gods and sacred sites?

  20. I don’t have the time to list the points again, my friend. However, let me
    take probably one listed, but i’m not going back up and purusing the list again, lol..

    I think a similiarity is in agriculture. In agriculture Rome developed the
    latifundia system. It destroyed the small farmers and forced people into
    the cities and slavery. We have moved in the same direction over the last
    75 years. I wrote a comment about this not long ago as a way to increase
    our production for a world economy. Today, there are, I think, five
    conglomerates that control American agriculture. Two are Cargill and
    ADM, can’t recall the other three. These five companies control crop
    and live meat production in the United States. They have destroyed the
    family farm operation.

    1. They haven’t destroyed family farm operation, we (our elected officials) allowed them to destroy it.

  21. Monsanto said that it would allow farmers to continue to grow its hugely popular Roundup Ready 1 soybeans even after the patent protecting the technology expires in 2014.

    The letter countered a widespread impression in the agriculture business that Monsanto planned to force farmers and seed companies to migrate to a successor product called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, which will remain under patent and is more expensive. Then just follow the dollars.

  22. Sorry this is what the posting was supposed to say above.

    Hello Uptheflag,
    Ones that come to my mind are Monsanto, Tyson, Perdue….I lot of chickens are grown here on the Delmarva Peninsula and a lot of local farmers are subservient to these companies. There is a chicken processing plant in the town of Hurlock that also includes another area with corn grain towers. These two businesses are constantly bought and sold by all five mentioned companies. They are bought and sold for among themselves for tax benefits deferment and depreciation write offs…..all being subsidized by middle class tax payers.

    At a local Quick Shop in town where the farmers and other business men hang out first thing in the morning before starting work, I hear the farmers complain about Monsanto where they buy the “Roundup” pesticide resistant corn and soybean seeds for (let’s say for argument $10.00) per bushel but only get paid $7.00 per bushel when they harvest the corn or soybeans. Of course because Monsanto has the patent on the genetically altered corn and soybeans, you cannot hold back part of your harvest for seed crop for the next year. You have to purchase from Monsanto their next years planting seeds.

    I then ask them what are they doing to change this situation? Everything falls silent. I then ask what farmers used to do before Monsanto genetically altered the corn and soybeans making them subservient to Monsanto? The reply was they grew (what is now called) Legacy corn and soybeans. I follow up with the next obvious question of why don’t you go back to planting this corn and soybean seeds? Once again everything goes quite.

    About now the conversation then turns to how President Obama is screwing up the county and we have to get him out of there. This is where I just smile and walk away to go about my business.

    Point of interest:
    Monsanto said that it would allow farmers to continue to grow its hugely popular Roundup Ready 1 soybeans even after the patent protecting the technology expires in 2014. The letter countered a widespread impression in the agriculture business that Monsanto planned to force farmers and seed companies to migrate to a successor product called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, which will remain under patent and is more expensive.

    I would also interject to watch out and see what Congressman or Senator speaks out in 2013 for the need of legislation so companies have the patents extended under the pretence as, “Good for the American Economy.”

    1. Thanks, Engineer…It’s good to have your comments. I will be visiting
      NYC around Christman…Might you be in the neighborhood?

  23. Here is additional info on United States Agriculture.
    Excerpted from The Encyclopedia of the Nations:


    American agriculture is marked by several trends. The first is the continuing decline of small family farms. Since 1979, 300,000 small farms have disappeared in the United States, and since 1946 the number of people employed in agriculture has been cut in half. Increasingly, large companies such as Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM) have come to dominate American agriculture. In 2000, ADM had worldwide sales of $12.9 billion. In the beef industry, 4 firms control 80 percent of the U.S. market. Almost 91 percent of U.S. farms are considered to be small (less than 1,000 acres). Large farms (more than 1,000 acres) made up just 9 percent of farms but received 51 percent of total agricultural revenues in 2000. The second trend is the increasing productivity of the sector. Agricultural production in the United States has increased by an average of 5 percent each year since 1990. The third trend is the growth in both exports and imports. In 1998 total agricultural exports were $60.5 billion. That same year, total imports were $48.9 billion. The fourth and final trend is the loss of agricultural subsidies . Some of these subsidies are in the form of outright payments in exchange for farmers not growing certain crops and are provided to keep the price of crops high. Since the early 1990s, Congress has gradually reduced these subsidies. However, support and aid for certain types of farmers, including tobacco farmers, continues. After declining to a low point of $9 billion in 1997, government spending on agriculture increased to $23 billion in 1999 and $38.4 billion in 2000. The increases mainly came from emergency aid to farmers because of natural disasters during these 2 years.

    About 40 percent of the land in the United States is used for agriculture of some form, including livestock grazing. This includes 431.1 million acres of cropland, 396.9 million acres of pasture, and 71.5 million acres of forests. In 1998, the total crop output of the United States was 489,976,030 metric tons with a value of $102.14 billion. The largest single crop was corn, which accounted for more than half of the nation’s crop output with 247,882,000 metric tons. The second largest crop was soybeans with 74,598,000 metric tons. Wheat is third with 69,327,000 metric tons. Other major crops include sugar cane, sugar beets, potatoes, bananas, and coffee. Tobacco also provides substantial cash returns, although yields are small when compared with many other crops. Total animal output in 1998 was $94.19 billion while forestry products, including timber, totaled $24.68 billion. Of the total American livestock, there were 101.2 million head of cattle, 56.2 million pigs, 8.3 million sheep, 6.15 million horses and 1.5 billion chicken. The remaining livestock includes a variety of species such as bison, turkeys, and geese.”

    So, M_R, what do u think about the future of U.S. Ag? How can Ag help
    our foreign balance of payments and put Americans to work? You have
    some background in Ag.

    Read more: United States of America Agriculture, Information about Agriculture in United States of America http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Americas/United-States-of-America-AGRICULTURE.html#ixzz1efrDKjDE

  24. Points…I did not say that that the USA was not the worlds largest single economy. I did try to make the point that California represented a huge growing economy and that the unified idea of an Amnerican economy might be misleading in the context of seeing America as regions.
    UTF, I wrote about wind power and of course, one of the worlds largest producers of wind generated electricity is Northern Texas. Of course the technology used is Danish. The Danes are the worlds foremost producer of wind turbines and Texas is one of their best customers.
    Dis I say that there was no environmental impact from the use of wind turbines? The impact of wind turbines on bird populations is often brought up as a tactic to cast environmental concerns as somehow hypocritical by it’s critic, but you know as well I do, that this is not logical.
    The over all benefits of non polluting free energy out weigh any of your “concern” for eagles…which even more so, are used because of the patriotic and manipulative emotional symbolism.
    But, in the case of Germany and Europe, most of the turbines are off shore, but the threat to birds is a problem which is being addressed in design and technology even now. Everything has an impact, the impact is relative and the evolving technology deals with lessening the impact. What you think of a wind turbine design of 20 years ago is fixed in your mind, but forms and technological efficiency has progressed at a incrementally faster rate. The newest designs are horizontal screw oriented and have housings which created concentrated air currents inside the turbine. When these are perfected on a large scale, the “birdy” problem will be moot.
    But, to focus on the impact of wind generators is missing the point. The German research is not just wind. It is a multi disciplined technological approach. Tidal, geothermal, solar and hydro are all actively a part of the solution. Spend a few hours on the net reading about what is really happening there and the rapid progress being made in all of these fields. I guarantee you will find it rewarding and inspiring.

    1. California used to be the 5th largest economy in the World, now it has slipped to 7th place. Still pretty impressive. I do remember many of the pollution improvements to automobiles are a result of California regulations.

      And aren’t bird kills pretty small in the big picture? I bet many times over are killed by cars & trucks. And how many die from pollution created by other energy sources?

      And combining the last two comments, didn’t the widespread use of wind power in California lead to wind power coming to Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan?

      (I just love this blog. I learn from people I disagree with sometimes.)

  25. read about how the surplus electricity is converted into gas for energy storage. read about algae powered gas generation. there is no “one solution” there are many and we are making them more efficient and discovering even more possibilities all the time.

  26. News Headline Today: “S&P downgrades Belgium to AA on funding pressures

    (About same population as State of Ohio)

    I seem to recall someone mentioning Belgium as an example of financial success. I only mention this because I use success stories to hang on to hope that there is a chance for the United States to recover.

    1. The good thing about Belgium in comparison to Ohio is that they don’t have a large population of people stuck in the 5th century like we do here.

  27. AFTERTHOUGHT: When I posted the size of the U.S. economy versus the size of China’s economy, I thought it might be wrong. No, (unlike some other blogs) the facts were correct. However, even though China is a distant second to the United States economy, taken as a whole, the European economy is slightly larger than the US. economy. I guess that’s why it is so important to watch what’s going on over there.

    In case you’re interested in this type of thing, here’s the link:
    http://www.economywatch.com/economic-statistics/country/

  28. Sepp quote of the day (he’s referring to Thanksgiving and President Obama):
    “There is a reason why America is the only country that has this holiday…”

    (Shhh….don’t tell the Canadians!)

    1. # Brazil, Dia Nacional de Acao de Gracas, 4th Thursday of November.

      # British Isles, Lammas Day, a harvest festival.

      # Canada, Thanksgiving Day or Fete de Grace, or Harvest home Festival, 2nd Monday in October.

      # Germany, Erntedankfest, 1st Sunday in October.

      # Israel, Sukkot, the 5th day after Yom Kippur.

      # Japan, Labor Thanksgiving Day, November 23.

      # Korea, Chusok, 15th day of the eighth lunar month of the traditional Korean calendar.

      # Liberia, Thanksgiving Day, 1st Thursday in November.

      # Switzerland, The Federal Day of Thanks, Penance, and Prayer, 3rd Sunday in September.

      Poor LIV, Sepp.

      By the way, thanks to FDR for nationalizing a permanent Thanksgiving Day.

      1. Wrong, Mud. FDR did not make Thanksgiving a national holiday. He changed it from the last Thursday in November to the third Thursday in November in 1939. After two years of mass confusion, he changed it back. Where do you do your fact checking?

  29. Hah, I mentioned the statistics about the Belgium economy and the irony that they have not been able to form a real government for the last year….You know, that Walloon thing….

  30. Les Pauvres Francais! We don’t really have a Thanksgiving day here. The closest equivalent I can think of, and to be fair, the French have more than their share of holidays, is All Saints Day, Nov.1st. Not a sports day, not a happy day, everyone goes back to their family villages and homes and meets in the graveyards. There are real family reunion type dinners….and of course it is an excuse for the tradition of the 4 day weekend, but is a sombre serious occasion. Until the commercialization of Holidays like Christmas, it was the biggest holiday of the year. It is a day of remembrance and honoring who you are and where you came from.

    1. I wish we had a holiday like that. Seems only a few people in my family care about where or who we came from. One of my biggest regrets in life is that I didn’t ask more questions before my older relatives passed away.

      (I do like pointing out to people that my very own grandmother, born and raised right here in Ohio, wasn’t allowed to vote when she turned 21 because she was a woman.)

  31. OFF TOPIC: Mud, I’ve been reading what you’ve posted on a posse blog. It seems they bar, then unbar a person depending on how bad they start to look when facts are supported. They remind me of schoolyard sissies who sucker punch someone, then run and hide behind the teacher’s skirt.

    As evidenced on this blog, educated people aren’t afraid of facts. I for one don’t mind if another has an opposing opinion, I’m just curious as to how they came to that conclusion. If the statement is supported by verifiable facts, I’ll accept about it.

    That CS person claims he’s a history major. Then why does he feel the need to make stuff up? TGP thinks Reagan was the best President ever, but not based on the facts of Reagan’s Presidency. If you don’t think “lock-step” like them, they will either call you names or bar you from posting. Why do they bother having blogs if all they want to hear is from people like them (misinformed or otherwise)? And they claim to be former military men; since when do MEN resort to juvenile name calling?

    I guess the most baffling thing is that they support ideas that will actually screw them and their children. So what if you don’t care about yourself, but don’t proclaim how much you love you children when you’re sowing a dark future for them.

  32. STATEMENT: Good. I’m GLAD they failed, now Bush’s ridiculous tax cuts for the wealthy will expire.
    QUESTION: Why the hell was this syupid committee ever formed in the first place? Aren’t we paying 538 representatives and senators upwards of $174,000 EACH to sit down and negotiate a settlement and budget that is supposedly to be good for the whike country?
    I WANT A GODDAM REFUND!

    1. You and me both. I think the committee idea was just a ploy to move the arguments into 2012 just in time for the Presidential campaign.

      Think back four years. Obama was running against Clinton in the Democrat primaries. A Republican really didn’t stand a chance so the Presidential race was really between these two. Clinton was way ahead until Obama started talking about “change”. Change the he could not make happen. I really thought who would fall for false promises by a politician. Then a whole bunch of people’s votes for Clinton were thrown out (Florida & Michigan for starters).

      Guess who was watching? Have you ever seen anything like the current slate of Republican candidates? They are on TV once a week making outrageous claims. And guess what? There are actually people believing this crap. Really, a 9-9-9 flat tax plan? Really, cut Medicare but not Medicaid? Really, eliminate the EPA because Global Warming is a myth? And how come when I was a kid, separation of church and state was a good thing? Is there a SINGLE Republican candidate that doesn’t scare the hell out you? Would you ever guess in your wildest dreams that one of them could possibly be our next President?

      (Has anyone else noticed that even Sepp appears as a better candidate than what the Republicans have now?)

      Now I’m really depressed.

  33. NON writes:

    They remind me of schoolyard sissies who sucker punch someone, then run and hide behind the teacher’s skirt.

    Why not? It is obvious that they are afraid of the truth spoiling their high-five party.

    Why do they bother having blogs if all they want to hear is from people like them (misinformed or otherwise)?

    I believe it is gang-like behavior as I posted here some weeks ago.

    And they claim to be former military men; since when do MEN resort to juvenile name calling?

    ‘Claim to be’ is the important term here. Who knows for sure? Who knows anything about the people on a blog?

    I guess the most baffling thing is that they support ideas that will actually screw them and their children.

    They have been thoroughly brainwashed by the professional propagandists who ply the airwaves. They don’t call them ‘professional’ for nothing.

    1. Thanks. It wouldn’t make too much difference whether you posted the link or not because there is an entirely parallel and unequal set of ‘facts’ in that other bubble universe.

    2. Jesus, Jeff.

      Indonesia is home to several of the most radical Islamic schools in Southeast Asia, some with alleged terrorist links. But Solichin, who proudly pointed to a photo of a young Barry Obama, as he was known, said his school is not one of them.

      Well that settles it. Solichin says his school wasn’t a radical terrorist training camp. We should all just believe him, right?

      Pathetic.

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