Friday, January 31, 2014

empire part 4

EMPIRE PART 4

All the neat stuff that kings get to do, from building armies to gain and hold land and irrigation systems to grow food from the desert to coining money for foreign trade for items unavailable locally, there is a small cost and a big gain. Over time of course the costs rise and the benefits shrink, but that is just the cost of having an empire. You run out of wood and your armies suffer defeats and you just had a famine. Well, growing pains and no one ever said this stuff was without problems. You need a money system for trade, you need a centralize hydraulic system for a growing population. You need clerks to keep records for taxes and property deeds and you need courts to keep the squabbling to a minimum and police ( or, soldiers diverted from the field to police ) to enforce the courts edicts because while, yes, that is all there to protect the government from its citizens, it also is a net gain to the masses or they never would have gone along with the whole program.

*

But because no empire can expand on a sustainable basis ( anyone that tried would be defeated by a neighbor who mined their principle resources rather than skimmed the interest off, so to speak- there is always the need to draw down the water table, grow more than the soil can take, chop down too many trees and hurry up the mining extraction and fish catch ) eventually you run into problems. You start running out of critical items and you have weather problems and you suffer setbacks. You have no choice but to start cannibalizing the body of your empire, just as a starving body uses up all the fat and then has to move on to muscle. All empires are doomed the day they are born just because they must grow to survive and you can’t grow indefinitely in a steady state system. ALL empires destroy their soil and silt up their harbors and mine all their ores and chop down the trees on the hills. The only difference between now and then is one of scale ( “we”-several nations sharing power- now have a global empire and any spot capable of feeding us or fueling us is to the point they are ripping the carpet off the floor in the once beautiful McMansion ).

*

Any damn fool spewing nuggets of mental drivel on how if we just did this or that or the other we could save ourselves, from voting them out of office or abolishing corporations or staging peaceful rebellions have their collective heads so far up their asses they can’t reach daylight in time to save themselves. First, empires don’t voluntarily abolish themselves. And second and far more importantly, empires MUST continue on their course for the population to survive. In the long run, the population is doomed, just like the empire itself ( they are one and the same ). The very systems dragging down the empire are what is feeding the population at their current levels. Any change in the system will starve far more right away. It is really that simple.

END SERIES

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

empire part 3

EMPIRE PART 3

When you bring a knife to a gunfight, all is not necessarily lost. If you are smart, skilled and lucky, sometimes you can be victorious. Not that I’d like to try that myself, but my point is that even if some of the time small scale success is possible in the long run most people most of the time are going to lose the fight. Similarly, you can sometimes in some instances defeat an agricultural army with your band of hunters, but don’t count on it and they will all be battles won in a war you lose. Because it isn’t necessarily the food that wins the war but the food that feeds far more people that wins the war. Agricultural was the first force multiplier in organized war ( or, the first multiplier that allowed the rise of organized war ). It was MORE food to feed MORE warriors that also fed MORE farmers and MORE workers that assembled the tools for mass warfare. If you had Ug the hunter who was tough and brave and big and a mighty hunter, he was no match for two scared scrawny mediocre soldiers who kept being replaced as they fell.

*

So, obviously, here you have a really neato system of government. You have few of the disadvantages of hunting/gathering and all the perks of a food surplus you get to control. Overpopulation goes from a threat that might decimate the tribe to a virtue of strategic advantage. The less capable still have a place in society, unlike in the more Darwinist environment you just abandoned. Even if the food quality was reduced, you had more of a steady supply for longer periods ( not infallible, of course, but better ). Remember now, I’m talking about the advantages on a macro level, not a micro one. The lowly swinging dingus out there eating gruel and kowtowing to the mighty king had a suck ass time of it. You never get a free lunch and the price you paid for a more steady supply of food ( and, one presumes, a safer supply as the reasons you had to give up hunting in the first place ) was re-engineering the environment away from which we had evolved. We no longer left behind our environment impacts but wallowed in them. We no longer ate good food but pale substitutes. We no longer had a say in our future as we went from an egalitarian existence to a slave society. We no longer lived by staying in good physical shape but took up a sedentary existence ( you still worked hard, but you didn’t do the same kind of labor the body was made for ). But the macro effects overrode all that. If you didn’t engage on the treadmill of the new agricultural empire building, you were defeated and assimilated. And while it was okay to enslave your own tribesmen, it certainly wasn’t okay for the leaders of the tribe to be enslaved by others! So the race was on to grow and centralize and out-breed and out-fight and out-produce food surpluses against your competing tribes. Tomorrow, the environmental cost of empire and the inevitability of a continuation of empire building after our current collapse.

END

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

empire part 2

EMPIRES PART 2

Since so much, almost all really, of our history as a species is random ass guesswork, I’d like to advance my own pet theory and call it fact just like everyone else does. Man has always been combative and most pivotal events can be attributed to this. I’d like to take a new look at the start of the Agricultural Age. You can put forth hundreds of guesses as to the cause and no can say it’s wrong. They can argue as to the probabilities of any said theory being correct, but really nobody knows with any certainty. My favorite to date has been climate change- probably caused by Al Gores ancestors riding around in the equivalent of SUV’s such as elephant pulled chariots warning the people to stop burning so much wood for cooking- upsetting the vegetation that fed the giant herds. Since man had populated up to the limits of his food source-mastodon burgers- the shrinking herds shrunk his food supply.

*

Now I’m beginning to wonder how probable that is. Was it perhaps something else altogether? Perhaps some smart military theorist figured out that agriculture bestowed a strategic value. Rather than taking up so much time culling the weak unable to hunt, worrying about limiting population to the carrying capacity of the land, why not just put the weaker, non-warriors, to working the farm and encourage breeding- a favorite government dictate to be sure since nobody likes infanticide if its their own kid and everybody loves practicing making the little crap blowing machines? Best of all, you can quickly kick the ass of all those hunter gatherers and turn that fertile grassland into cropland. The hunters who turned to herding domesticated animals could produce from otherwise un-farmable land and provide meat and fiber. As an agricultural lord you certainly had far less quality of people or food, but since quantity has a quality all its own this was a desirable trade-off.

*

Even if this theory is total balderdash- and I’m not claiming it to be infallible- it really doesn’t matter since once we began the Agricultural Revolution there was no going back to hunting and gathering except in areas so remote and inhospitable ( usually defined by rainfall and fertile soil ) that it was a marginal activity and had zero impact globally ( except as pulp fiction fodder which helped the publishing industry and that probably barely registered in GDP figures ). The absolutely only way to return to our ancestral activity of procuring food would be for an asteroid to hit and wipe out 99.9% of humanity. And even then, it wouldn’t last very long since farming conveys an obvious military advantage. Once the Genie is out of the bottle you can’t stuff his unwilling ass back in.

*

More Tomorrow

END

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

natural order of empire

NATURAL ORDER OF EMPIRE

Empires can be a lot smaller than our current ( but already chipped away at and soon to be defunct if for no other reason financial ) globe spanning PetroDollar Pax-Americana. They contract or expand as allowed ( the Mongols most likely contracted not because of political infighting or religion- no religion keeps money and power away from rulers but exactly the opposite- but because they reached the limits of grazing which their military relied ). So when I say empires are the natural order of things, you can also think about smaller units such as the Italian city-states or even Greece and not necessarily huge sprawling areas like the Ottoman or Rome empire. The meaning I’m looking for is more along the lines of “centralizing, hierarchical structures”, but of course “empires” is an all inclusive word letting everyone know that your small political unit grows through conquest until it collapses through resource depletion, financial and military overreach.

*

But let’s start at the beginning. Man, as in mankind as a species for those idiots castrated by politically correctness and unable to fathom the neutrality of the word as originally used, is a predator. Not a few crazy bastards like vicious homicidal maniacs or Green Berets, although I might be repeating myself, but every last swinging dingus amongst us. Even women, far less physical by nature and inclination but fully capable of the violence of the largest male if given the correct tools and motivation, and the meek and mild are predators of a different ilk. All mankind as a species is a predator to the highest evolutionary order. Man evolved on the African savanna and his evolution was extraordinary. By the simple act of being able to outrun any animal, not in bursts of speed but by out distancing, even a horse, because of our ability to shed heat by sweating, we became and remain the Alpha Hunter. And when you take the best hunter around who also has both an evolving bran ( the reptilian remnants suggest we have come quit far ) and opposable thumbs, man was destined to be the top species by an exponential margin.

*

So, here you have a species that has got quite the chip on his shoulder. He is Billy Bad Ass. Even the weakest members crippled by disease ( up to a certain point-the worst are lion bate ) or less physically endowed can by cooperation with the group be devastating to all other predators ( to the point that the more dangerous were turned into sporting targets as in bulls and bears ). With an outlook like that, is it going to be any wonder that man takes particular delight in going beyond simple animal predators and turns his eye towards other groups of humans? You know those poor bastard Neanderthals, because of whatever defect as compared to modern man they had, never stood a chance. And other tribes, because we are rather territorial ( a survival trait ), are naturally a competing predator and must be eliminated for our own survival ( and because, hey, let’s admit it, killing unworthy males and enriching our stagnating gene pool with fresh females turned out to be highly rewarding and bunches of fun ).

*

More tomorrow.

END

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Monday, January 27, 2014

california dreaming

CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Apropos to not much except regionalism, I highly recommend “Marching As To War” by Justin Watson. It claims to be post-apocalypse but I would claim it to be militia porn ( and a very fine specimen of the genre ). Think of it as Hillbilly Joan Of Ark. For all those AR worshiping, Tommy Tactical Mall Ninjas who think spraying lead at a superior numbered foe is the way to win a revolution, read this book about a clan of warriors who fights the smart way. Okay, on to California as a bellwether state. California has always led the way- of course, mainly in a bad way. Build a bubble on a scarce non-renewable reswource, they did it with gold. Fight against nature to grow crops in a desert- California. Steal water on a huge scale-California. Use illegal immigrants to grow the economy, grow the world’s ninth largest economy by suckling on the federal teet and mining the soil and leading with a real estate bubble. Colonize surrounding poor rural states by sending conquering waves of retirees to swarm the voting booths. De-manufacture the economy with a “service” economy built on hype and wishful thinking-Hollywood. Run a bloated government on debt ( I’m not sure if Reagan got this idea from his tenure as Governor or the state copied their favorite adopted son ).

*

California knows a thing or two about municipal bankruptcies. Not that they beat the rustbelt areas, but they are leading the way trying to get as many of them failing in a row. They are darn good at paving over farmland- again, not the first for the idea, but first in eliminating an economic sector by doing so. First in Suburbia Nation, first in 100% car dependency. They started the fast food way of life. Its retirement fund for civil servant pensioners had a big hand in the derivatives cookie jar- perhaps the biggest globally. Now, with so many problems, you would think that back in 2009 or so that with its forty billion dollar deficit the state itself would have already been bankrupt. It is, technically. But more along the lines of “can’t even operate day to day”. But there it is, still treading water in lead shoes and kicking the can down the road. Without any proof whatsoever, I’d like to suggest that despite the dog and pony show the feds put on years ago, they are in fact bailing out the state so it doesn’t implode. The Federal Reserve Bank has sent money to foreign countries by the dozens, and to even more we don’t know about yet ( what they want you to “discover” is the slight of hand covering up much larger actions ). It isn’t because the Fed Bank loves Ecuador or whoever- it is because the banks that comprise The Bank are so exposed to the derivatives market that one failing anywhere drags down the whole thing ( the surviving banks are just as exposed as the ones that failed- sometimes with AT LEAST fifty to one equity holding. If 2% of their derivative bets don’t pay up, if the bet is reneged on, their entire equity is wiped out ). I’m thinking that the California real estate market is such a bet. Just look at the still much too high valuations. Watch California. That is your canary in the coal mine.

END

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Friday, January 24, 2014

outlaw swarm

OUTLAW SWARM

I’m about to be swarmed by outlaws ( in-laws, out-laws, outlaws-get it? ). The stepdaughter and assorted mutant followers on are now officially without other options and must move up and squat with yours truly. Now, I love the gal almost as much as I do my biological daughter ( obviously a different sort of love, but it is there on a different level ) but she is one humping mess, let me tell you what. All I’m asking after providing shelter and enough equipment to get started on their camping adventure is to be left alone, and I’m wagering even that simple request will prove far too onerous for her mental capacities. Obviously, these are the things you just have to put up when you have baggage like a wife, but it also presents other complications. Like having to feed the bastards come the Obamacalypse. They are eating on food stamps now, and eating better than me, but as sure as sweet Baby Jesus’ Daddy made little green apples there is going to be a cut-back there sooner rather than later and then I’ll have five oxygen wasters trying to eat off my dime. And THEN the true collapse will happen and I’ll have depleted stocks and mutinous dangerous passengers aboard the USS Bison.

*

Good gravy, I understand that only the worthy are tested. But when do I get to graduate? I’m happy this happened now, while I have time to prepare, but that doesn’t make things much easier. My old default plan was that my family, scattered far and wide, were goners come the collapse. That sucked- it is my family. But they all make more than me ( except my new and continuing student daughter ) and all choose to live normally. They don’t prep, and I can’t load up my armored car with Ma Deuce atop and go rescue them. Now the problem is coming to me. Which is why I scoffed a bit at the novel “Tribes” and the food situation. I penciled this out a week ago. Two adults, stepdaughter and boyfriend. A three year old, two year old and newborn. If everyone eats on reduced rations, that is still three people equivalent to feed. $525 for bucketed up wheat for one years worth. That is not enough but only bare minimum. That is what I need just to ensure they don’t eat my own food. I have one Skittles Eater with his grimy paw out for extra money this year for the Health Tax, and now wanna-be Skittle Eaters moving in with me with their paws out who I have to bribe to not murder me as I sleep. The danger is usually within. I can’t even have them buy rice and flour on their food stamps to finance their own storage food as I believe the purchases are monitored and recorded ( under the excuse of looking for fraud ) and would just bring the authorities to my door come confiscation time. Well, there goes the tax refund this year.

END

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*
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

tribes-book review

TRIBES-BOOK REVIEW

“Tribes ( Joshua )” is the third book by John Wilson ( note to aspiring authors: if you pick a common name as your non de plume please at least put a middle initial in there to par down the search engine results ) and I’m going to admit right off the bat that it is the weakest of the trilogy. HOWEVER, before you get your panties in a bunch, having said that, with a lot of authors a bad ( or, really, not as good as the rest ) book is still better than a heck of a lot of other crap out there. Some authors, on a bad hair day after the wife has kicked them to the couch, with a hangover and suffering from hemorrhoids, still turn out better crap than their competitors turn out their best efforts. Wilson is one of those. He takes subjects hacked to death and breaths new life into them. He took the “father and son on a roadtrip to hell” and made a great debut novel ( Joshua ). He made a great effort at getting into the head of the bad guys in “Traveler ( Joshua )” and although it fell on its face at the end there is no denying it was by far a much better attempt at it than anyone else had done. Now, in “Tribes ( Joshua )”, he tackles the “idiots holed up in suburbia” theme and does a pretty decent job at looking at it from a different angle.

*

My problem with the book wasn’t that it was bad. It was well written and I devoured it all yesterday on my half work day. It was just that a whole lot didn’t happen. I definitely recommend it if you have already tried one of his other ones and liked those, but as a stand-alone I’m afraid it might turn you away. As part of a trilogy, it was just fine. Right near the end, the assault on the compound-the tactics used by the attackers- alone makes the book worth reading as that idea is something I’d wager none of has thought of and is brilliant ( I won’t tell you what it is ). But looking at it as a regular reader might, one who has little money and less tolerance for anything less than perfection in their fiction, you need to heed the above cautions. I do think we need to encourage the author to keep writing, and since this book was free to me and I want to blaze the trail, I’m going to go ahead and buy another copy myself just to put my money where my mouth is.

*

The main thing I did have an issue with in the story was the food sharing. Four preppers had enough to keep fifty people alive for a year. This was really pushing the boundaries of the probable. Both because what are the odds? And the number of calories keeping them alive would be low and it presupposes a LOT of kitchens had a lot of regular canned goods in them. It is just doable, if you cut calories for kids and women, but it also sidesteps reality by stretching things a smidge. Hey, I’m not bitching. I have no solution to keeping large groups fed, and I certainly can’t write fiction well. I’m just observing the weak points.

END

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*
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Homesteading For $3k Book, Top 20 Survivalist Fiction, Land In Elko, Blog Book, Lord Bison
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*
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By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

crap meter

CRAP METER

I usually love most of everything Kunstler has to write ( I even re-read his Too Much Magic a few weeks ago. I think I’ve read The Long Emergency at least three times ). But yesterday was just beyond embarrassing for both of us. He was really showing his ass ( a Southernism I’m sure he would simply die for, him being so evenhanded and unemotional when it comes to judging his colonial neighbors ). I think his whole point was to show the Cult Of Violence our culture is, although I’m not sure why he thinks this is anything new to ours or anybody else’s way of raising boys. I’m really beginning to think he never got out much as a child ( or now ) and his mother was a bit overprotective. Talking about tattoos, a subject guaranteed to get him wound up at the slightest hint, he eluded to the culture of prisons being emulated, them went on to state, I’m paraphrasing, “a recent subject has been Political Prisoners. While the drug laws could be modified, I think all prisoners are psychopaths”. First off, this is not a recent discussion. I was ranting about it in the 80’s and it was old hat then. And secondly, only a closeted hermit cloistered in an ivory tower thinks that all laws are just and only the guilty are in jail and that if you are there you deserve it because our wonderful fair federal government never screwed anybody and they are only protecting the public against Very Bad Men.

*

Can Kunstler show me where in the Constitution it allows the FedGov to outlaw drugs? It was my understanding that this document set down the duties the federal government was allowed to undertake, and those not listed were left to the States individually ( or the People ). No? Hmmm. I guess he doesn’t really want to go there, because once you undertake that bit of logic, you go all the way back to the birth of Yankee Imperialism when Lincoln et all abolished States rights and transferred all governing authority to the feds. And it’s a bit sad he can’t step out of his role of East Coast Banker Elite Apologist because how the current power structure started and evolved has a bit to do with how the future is going to unfold. But set aside the drug users as political prisoner meme and think about other groups. Consensual sex with a seventeen year old will land you in jail in some places. That is a psychopath justly incarcerated to protect society? How about assisted suicide with the terminally ill? That will get you arrested and convicted, yet you are certainly not a psychopath for helping a loved one end their suffering. Your only crime was taking profit from some of our rulers. After a slew of Black convicts being freed after DNA testing, one has to wonder how many innocents are framed for crimes ( because it was easier than actually working to catch the real perpetrator and it made political hay for some ) simply because of their race. To some degree this is a political crime as the racial war manifests itself. I could go on and on, but I’m not paid anywhere near as well as Kunstler. No political prisoners? Only the guilty are locked up? On this one, my Cup Of Crap Meter is set on Full And Overflowing.

END

The Old Bison Blog on CD
Over five years of work and nearly two million words of pure brilliance. Here is the link to order:
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*
Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page. You can purchase anything, not just the linked item. Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire. As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  For those that can’t get the ads because they are blocked by your software, just PayPal me occasionally or buy me something from my Amazon Wish List once a year.
*

My books available on thumb drive:



Homesteading For $3k Book, Top 20 Survivalist Fiction, Land In Elko, Blog Book, Lord Bison
*
If my Blogger page ever goes down, I will start to post at my regular web site:
www.BisonPress.com
*
My books on PDF available at
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*
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

lazy evolution

LAZY EVOLUTION

There are certain cultures where being a slacking lazy bastard is considered a good thing. As long as you do The One Thing well, the rest of the time you are expected- or at least there is no stigma attached to- do pretty much nothing at all. A modern example is of course the ghetto dweller, where the only thing motivating energy expenditure is gaming the system. Far less jaundiced in the public eye is the Southern California surfer culture. As long as you master riding the waves, the rest of your life can be dedicated to doing as little as possible. There is of course a Zen-like undertone of escaping wage slavery as beneficial to freeing up your inner harmony. It’s a bit hard to master the sport AND hold down a cubical for the required eight hours of corporate servitude and that might have a lot to do with it, or it might just be the only culture which escaped materialism from the 60’s. I’m not sure myself, never having had the desire to stand on a piece of fiberglass nearly naked, achieving atmospheric escape velocity and having only a sense of balance keeping me from being sandpapered on coral or being delivered into the hungry maw of Jaws.

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After the Protestants sailed over here and made a good show of genocide to clear the woods into farmland just like Baby Jesus instructed us to, we have been descendents of some pretty uptight, broom up ass, no fun mother humpers. We try to have as little joy alive as possible, possibly in the belief that this suffering will pave the way into Heaven where, presumably, we won’t have any fun at all but at least Lucifer isn’t giving us hot lava enemas and shoving pitchforks up the heated orifice. Now, I’m all for hard work, myself. It’s one of those traits that actually stuck from childhood. I can’t seem to help myself. And, yes, it probably makes me a bit uptight myself. But please bear this in mind. A strong work ethnic is only possible with an energy surplus available. Why did the Protestants work their fingers to the bone when a few hundred years previously the medieval serfs were doing as little as possible ( one of the religious grievances of the new cult were that the Catholic Church had a hell of a lot of religious holiday’s in which the landowners had to feed these slackers for free. And not just gruel but real food. Quite the expense! )? Energy surplus. There was an aspect of reform in all this, where the newly emerging political class was depriving the old elites of their power ( this, not the different dogma’s, was the source of such bloody conflict ), but the underlying source was the ability, through colonialism and decreased population, to have a new surplus. This was, just like the American Revolution, a fight over a new resource base.

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In historical terms, except for ascending empires, the norm is energy scarcity and laziness is/was a evolutionary necessity. It is thought to be the source of most evils, now. But now is an energy surplus. Expect the cultural norm to return to the codification of expected laziness. Even now, although it won’t “take” because of our 400 years of surplus, the elites are trying to lower our place on the food chain, pushing vegetarianism to reduce our animal product consumption. This is an artificial construct and won’t last, but one day soon, probably on a grassroots scale, we won’t have much choice and do exactly this.

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