A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes

I will first confess, mea culpa, that I’m always doubtful when I see headlines that say “Collapse Imminent.”  I’ve seen them every other week since I have lived in the US.  I’ve come to the conclusion that anticipating collapse is an American past time. Perhaps because we are aware of how much we have, and how well we live.  Perhaps it’s a sense of “this can’t go on.”

On the other hand nations do collapse, and I lived through a controlled, slow collapse where the statistics looked much worse than the real world facts. (Except for the violence, which looked much much worse on the street than was reported.)

The thing is none of these nations in collapse ever publishes this sort of thing.  Oh, maybe in very small and very regional press, but not naturally.  It’s rather whispered from person to person, and you just sort of kind of end up hoarding dollars, or gold, or something.

What I mean to say is that we have a VERY different culture and way of looking at things from countries who have collapsed in the past, which makes things hard to gauge.

BTW for those who think that genetics are the be all, end all of a country’s success, I’ll point out that Brazil has an awful lot of Britishers, Germans and Italians… maybe not the same proportion as the US, but enough to play with.  However, their culture is like others that came from Rome, and that means it is bound by internal rules and beliefs that make it perpetually the country of the future.  (That never comes.)  I’m sure a great part of what we’re seeing in Venezuela is also Latin culture in play.

However, I’ll admit our own country is giving me chills.  There’s a lot of ruin in a country, but we’re afflicted with a political class determined to ruin us.  Somehow we stopped hanging traitors and started electing them to political office instead.  I don’t think that’s an improvement.

Mind you, I still think that our collapse will be slow…  Which is why I have hope.

My hope is in the ways America is great, which is not the ways our government thinks we’re great.  It’s that we are a nation with a high proportion of Odds, and our culture still gives enough leeway to the “different” that we can try and do new and unexpected things.

I will grant you the new tech is only halfway through replacing the old.  As we’ve found to our own chagrin this election cycle, traditional media still holds a lot of sway.

But it no longer has it all its own way.  In the same way traditional publishers still hold a lot of sway, but Indie is coming up nicely.  And let me tell you guys, without fracking and the price oil wars we’d al be increasingly worse off.

I’m sure — not being an expert I can’t be specific — there are many other industries on the verge of this type of change.

You could say — runs — we’re the change we’ve been waiting for.  And it’s not what our elites expected.  Not at all.

They thought they had us bound and gagged for deliver to our foes.  I’m not going to lie to you and say things won’t get worse, but as long as it’s not sudden, we can fight the rising tide.

Participate in, promote and create disruptive industries.  We’re the underfunded rebels against an overarching and feckless establishment.  The only way we win is by hitting them where they don’t expect: in the tech and in the economy.

Put your shoulders to it and push.  The American people isn’t finished.  The American political class needs to be.

 

 

187 responses to “A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes

  1. Curious domain for a collapse, Eminent.

  2. Agreed – given a slow process, we can route around.

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    I don’t remember how many times I’ve heard about the “forthcoming collapse of the US”. 😦

  4. -eyes Orvan for a moment then backs away, outside of carping range.-

    Do we only ‘carp’ here, or has anyone imported the peanuts from that Irish bar?

    • Traditionally here it’s carp via enhanced trebuchet, but in certain dire circumstances relativistic velocity peanuts could be resorted to.

      • Jeff Gauch

        Do not put peanuts in the particle accelerator, even if you’re really jonesing for some peanut butter. Trust me.

    • This doesn’t answer your question, but I think now would be a good time to admit that I’ve been secretly doing genetic experiments to see if I can create tiny carp. My experiments so far have been unsuccessful, and I’m running out of free time, so I might have to publish my findings so far, and let someone else pick up the research.

      What use would tiny carp be, do you ask? I figure that these things would be great for carpette bombing.

      • Anyone coming to Denver comicon can get a tiny little carp from me — at least if they stop by the wordfire booth.

      • Goldfish are tiny carp. So are minnows.

        • I knew that about goldfish. I did not know it about minnows.

          • When I was a kid, I had a book on different kinds of fishes, and that’s where I found that tidbit.

          • I didn’t know that about goldfish or minnows. Had I known, it would have made things a lot simpler!

            (1) When my family had a garter snake to feed, we would get some goldfish, and put them in the tank with the turtles. It took a little while to realize that the goldfish were disappearing at a faster rate than we were feeding them to the snake: it turned out that the turtles would eat the goldfish, but they could only sneak up on them in the dark…

            I had assumed that turtles wouldn’t eat carpettes; had I known that they have been happily eating little carps all along, I wouldn’t have put them in the same tank as the turtles!

            (2) Had I known that goldfish and minnows were little carps, I wouldn’t have started my research in the first place.

            Sigh. I guess this is what happens when a mathematician takes it upon himself to attempt genetic engineering…

  5. Professor Badness

    We do what we can to prepare, but I worry. I’m diabetic, (insulin dependent) and if that supply gets cut off, I’ll be dead in a matter of months. Of course, all I need are interruptions of a few weeks at a time to keep me alive, but effectively crippled. Not a pleasant thought.
    This makes me so grateful that Colorado allows the sale of Insulin over the counter. I can build up at least a little surplus.

    • How long does insulin keep?

      • Professor Badness

        That is an interesting question. The expiration dates on the bottles are for only a couple of months, but the bottles I have accrued in the past have worked for up to a year later.
        Discussing it with a friend who is a diabetes nurse educator, bottled insulin can be kept at room temperature until the expiration date, but will last longer when refrigerated.
        It’s just like expiration dates on food. Storage temperatures, transportation conditions and the individual batch of insulin can affect how long the insulin will last, and how effectively it will perform when used.

        • Some drugs shouldn’t be refrigerated, according to their makers. There’s an optimum storage temperature, something like 50 or 60 Fahrenheit. You can buy the coolers online.

        • If you had to go there, go to the early research on animal insulin for Type 1. I recall a line from a novel (Footfall?) where a character said he could last a long time given access to a herd of sheep.

          [Mulls to self on the synthesis of warfarin…]

          • Willow bark = asprin. Judging the relative effects of asprin and warfarin, you’d probably be sipping the stuff constantly. (Dad’s on both.)

            • Must research this. We’re pretty high altitude, but there might be willows in a river canyon a few miles away. (We get aspen and some leafy bushes, but beyond that it’s pine and juniper.) OTOH, it might be practical to get and stash a large quantity of aspirin Just In Case.

              • Asprin smells of vinegar when it goes off. Nitroglycerine (for those of you with bad hearts) smells of VICTORY when it goes off. (I know napalm in the morning, but nitro is nitro just like a good cigar is a smoke).

      • depends if its refrigerated or not.

      • Seems to me I remember seeing that they have a new one on the market that is good for a long time at room temperature. It comes in an injector that can meter out different doses, and keeps some number of doses in it, but I can’t remember how many.

        • I wondered because I have learned that the vaccines and antibiotics I use on the farm can be good for much, much longer than the expiration dates on the bottles. I learned that from my veterinarian!

          Anyway, I am in the process of hoarding antibiotics for treating my animals if they get infections – the government has decided that non-veterinarians (farmers) will no longer be able to purchase them after the end of this year because the giant agribusinesses overuse antibiotics.

          This means that I’ll have to drive a goat 30 miles to the vet if I have one who has foot rot or pneumonia or joint ill – and pay for the vet visit and buy the antibiotic from the vet.

          Because, you know, the government knows best.

          • I’ll bet that if things go downhill enough, veterinary supplies will hit the black market in a big way.

            • Yes. I think you are correct. And I wonder if part of the government’s pulling antibiotics off the list of drugs that farmers can purchase is perhaps an acknowledgement of that fact.

              I’m trying so hard to not be a conspiracy theorist. I really am!

          • I’ve done volunteer work a few times for a charity my girlfriend got involved in. One time, we were collecting expired medications from hospitals and doctor’s offices. These were then either shipped overseas for use in the third world, or taken to animal shelters for their use.

            It seems obvious to me that expiration dates are fairly conservative.

            • I tend to view expiration dates as being similar to the “wash, rinse, repeat” instructions on shampoo bottles. Just a way to get you to buy more product than you need.

    • There will be black market insulin…

      • Professor Badness

        I’m a librarian. I won’t be able to afford anything on the black market. Especially since I quit my job with the DOC.

          • Professor Badness

            Of course, in a slow decline, how long will public services like libraries continue?
            I’m not sure. But I have some contingencies.

            • My Argentine friend was ecstatic when she was finally hired full time at a government hospital. Only government jobs are secure when the powers that be there periodically trash the economy.

      • One of the Pournelle/Niven novels discusses improvised insulin. “Lucifer’s Hammer?”

      • There’s a tremendous semi-public community of dopers who make their own drugs. They congregate online and drive the DEA to fits of carpet-chewing freak-out.

        Anything they come up with, the EPA tries to outlaw… without outlawing similar, legal drugs or chemicals. And then they went after “precursor” chemicals, and then presursors to precursors, and precursors to precursors to precursors, then to chasing their tails like a pack of dogs…

        Anyway, there are lots of people out there who will invest in a sizeable amount of equipment and education to get high. When its their lives at stake… the processes for synthetic insulin are known. And for that matter, the old natural kind can still be made if you can source some cow or pig pancreases.

    • sabrinachase

      You might want to look into this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Saxl She survived WWII in Shanghai as a Type I diabetic by making her own insulin (and for others in a similar situation). With modern tech, it might be possible to do it on your own if needed.

    • Seeing the effect exercise has on my blood sugar has done more to keep me doing it than anything (even if that wasn’t what inspired this latest round).

      I’m not full blown dependent thought just sugars aren’t controllable without it. Doc says if I lose 50 lbs I probably won’t need it. Hopefully I can do that before the collapse.

      The wife, however, is steroid dependent due to Addison’s. At least those keep and push come to shove I’m not above getting all several pharmacies have by hook or by crook if we’re looking at long term interruptions.

      • Professor Badness

        Due to lack of funds/job in the past, I have previously cut my insulin consumption to a quarter, decreasing carbohydrate consumption and increasing exercise, (doing curls in the car as I commuted, wearing a forty pound chainmail weight vest under my shirt, etc.)
        I lost twenty pounds. but I kept my sugars where they needed to be.

      • I was diagnosed as borderline diabetic (type II) a few years ago. After six months the doc cut my Metformin dose in half, and stopped it six months after that.

        Dropping 40 pounds, in addition to changing diet, seems to have made most of the difference. I keep checking blood glucose regularly, and really do have to keep on the changed lifestyle regime. The above, and the very bad example of one grandmother, help keep one motivated.

        • Just started using metformin. As a preventative measure, officially. Currently the only drug being tested with FDA approval as a longevity drug. Waiting for the results to be published. Able to convince my docor because both siblings, father and GF had/have diabetes. Unless the good Lord has other plans, I’m planning on living longer then average.

        • Started metformin for PCOS recently and good lord, I’m losing weight because it makes me want to vomit. Here’s hoping we can find a way to get me off it, too.

    • Joe Wooten

      A sheep a week keeps the diabetes meek…..

    • I have read that insulin CAN be made at home. I don’t know the details, you would have to google it. Since I am not diabetic myself, I haven’t gotten around to reading about the details.

      My mother is diabetic, but we’ve gotten it (mostly) under control with diet. Her doctor, and the doctors of a few friends who are also diabetic, keep saying to eat whatever they want, and use meds to control it. That has always seemed like a VERY bad idea to me. If something were to happen to disrupt supply, my mother would be fine. My friend (who is rather overly fond of parfait, even for a non-diabetic as far as I’m concerned) will be in serious trouble.

      • Professor Badness

        “eat whatever they want, and use meds to control it”

        That sounds like a very irresponsible medical practitioner to me. I’ll have to look into homemade insulin. I have to assume it is not recombinant DNA origin, but doesn’t that just leave animal insulin?
        I’ll have to research.

      • “Eat what you want and control it with meds…” sounds like the advice my sister-in-law’s mother went with. It did not serve her well.

        One of my wife’s previous physicians, when it came up that both he and I were type II, commented that the potato, wheat, and white rice were forever off his table. And being Chinese, he missed the rice the most. But not as much as he’d miss a foot, his vision, etc. in the future.

  6. I’ve come to the conclusion that anticipating collapse is an American past time.

    YES. THIS.

    And if we keep it up long enough it may just one day be true.

  7. I don’t worry too much about a total collapse, barring the SMOD or some big event like it. What I do worry about more is a slow decay due to the burden of the Regulatory State stifling the creativity or turning it into unwanted channels.

    The divisions created by the current misadministration might end up causing some localized riots when the freebies some have been getting the last 8 years get cut off. Mostly they will burn down their own areas though, as usual.

    • And that worry makes perfect sense.

      • When you’re ready, there’s always this (works better than trying to nuke all the zombies):

        Philippians 4:4-9 (ESV)

        Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

        Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

        • Dawn Dreams

          :Reads setnaffa’s comments, and a deep breath naturally follows: Ah, some of my favorite verses.

    • People want to burn down their own neighborhoods who am I to stop them.

      What I want to stop the rebuilding of their neighborhoods that they burned on my dime.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Insert comment about HUD and section 8 housing in the suburbs.

        • Until the density of HUD hits the tipping point (at which point money flight occurs despite HUD’s efforts) in properly civilized states property owners will use their right of self-defense in most cases to limit such burning to those rentals.

          In uncivilized states that disarm their citizens? Well, you choose to stay someplace that had voted to allow your robbery whenever criminals got around to it until criminals got around to it.

      • I wouldn’t be against them rebuilding their own neighborhoods. I oppose somebody else doing it for them.

  8. c4c

  9. I saw an Eminent Collapse once on the news when our local cardinal fell over, although technically that was an Eminence Collapse.

    • Fine, I’ll fix the d*mn typo. Happy?

      • If we didn’t keep you straight just think how your reputation would suffer.
        Oh goodie, fish for dinner.
        Old smelly fish.

        • Old carp-inna-boot again? I thought we fixed the problem with that supplier? “Discarding sabots,” indeed. *shakes head*

          • Randy Wilde

            Old carp-inna-boot again?

            “Discarding sabots,” indeed.

            I’m confused. Are we talking about boots or sabots? And why are they being discarded?

            • “Are we talking about boots or sabots?”

              Yes! (if serious, pun. bad pun. baaaaad pun.)

              “And why are they being discarded?”

              Larger surface area for propellant gasses to affect, stabilization of the compressed projectile as it travels down the bore, better muzzle velocity and impact, but if you don’t discard them after they’ve served their use, aerodynamic drag will negatively affect downrange performance. *grin*

              • FlyingMike

                When you throw away wooden shoes, you run faster.

                OK, the other thing that the sabot helps is in modern smoothbore tank cannon, the projectiles are long and pointy and narrow and have fins for stabilization, and one thing fins do not agree with is rattling down the bore of a tank main gun at ridiculous velocities. If safely encased in a sabot, sized to snugly fit in the guns bore, that sabot can drop away after the round leaves the barrel leaving the fins all nice and shiny and able to accurately keep the round stabilized as it proceeds to its target.

                • Randy Wilde

                  When you throw away wooden shoes, you run faster.

                  Finally, an answer that makes sense. 😉

        • My reputation, Iago, my reputation!

        • Oh goodie, fish for dinner.
          Old smelly fish.

          Would that be the carp diem?

      • Stephen J.

        Hey, all you had to say was that the mistake was in the original; I have a low enough opinion of modern media’s copy-editing skills that I would have bought that without a moment’s hesitation.

        You clearly have not learned one of the vital public relations skills — if possible, always blame any mistakes you can’t hide on somebody your audience is already likely to dislike. 😉

        • Actually it was. I’d seen one just before writing this and they made the mistake, which is why I just slipped into it. BUT all the same… it was my typo.

          • Ah, you do typographically what I tend to do orally, which is mimic the patterns of whatever I’ve just been most recently exposed to. The last time I was on vacation in Scotland I had to fight like heck not to start speaking with a cod-Scottish accent, as I was afraid people would think I was trying to make fun of them.

            • Birthday girl

              I have this problem, too. I used to take business trips to a place in the South, then return home in the north with a southernized accent, precipitating much mockery among my co-workers. Sigh … I can’t help it …

              • Birthday girl, what are you talking about? Nobody in the South has an accent. Why y’all spread that lie is beyond me.

              • And I! I’ve had people ask me (on occasion, shortly after I’ve moved to a new region) if I’m doing it on purpose to try to fit in. Uh, no. NOT picking up on the local accent is the hard part for me.

            • YES. I have to be very careful what I read while writing, because vocabulary and sentence rhythm transfer.

  10. I think this is where I insert my regular harping on knowing how to fix and patch up things and having spares ready. If we shift to more black market and/or barter that has value. It will also make lean times easier because you’ll lose less due to shorter lifespans.

    • I need to stock up on spares that can’t be fixed with a hammer, wire, pop cans or soup cans, twine and duct tape. Those don’t work too well on electronics.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      I was always struck by a throwaway comment in one of Stirling’s Emberverse books to the effect of “Foxfire books had become worth their weight in gold – or, more practically, worth a horse and a few farm tools”.

      • Yep…and they are on quality paper as well.

        My favorite is preppers with all their info on their iPad.

        • The Other Sean

          It does seem like some durable hardcopy would be essential in a real collapse scenario.

        • I run into those far too often. Their idea of “collapse” usually comes out to something like “going back to dial-up internet.”

          At least half of the time, further questioning reveals they have placed at least some of their money in gold. When I ask where they put the gold, 100% of the time I’m told it’s secure in the vault of the place they bought it from. Somewhere on the internet…

          The mind, she boggle.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          I actually have to reeaaaallly watch that tendency in myself. The compromise I’ve worked out is to download/sample the book in question, then buy hard copy if I think it’d be a useful addition.

          Speaking of, I’ve become addicted to a gardening writer called David the Good, who is 1) informative; 2) published by the rabid puppy himself and 3) hysterically funny. The quick-and-dirty-start guide begins with “if you are plucking this book from the burning zombie-riddled ruins of the cul-de-sac, here’s what you do…” Just putting it out there for anybody who’s interested, because as a novice gardener I’ve been Quite Impressed.

          • Shiney. I’ve been tempted but haven’t bought. I’ll combine it with Peter’s new Western.

            • SheSellsSeashells

              FWIW, the composting one is (or was) on Kindle Unlimited and will give you a good idea of the general approach and information level. “Grow or Die” is a much more generalized book, but they’ve both been pretty useful to me.

    • My welders are limited to availability of electricity and compressed gases. I know the theory of hammer welding over a forge, but unless they discover a cure for arthritis that will remain theoretical for me…

      “Beat it, beat it
      take your steel and heat it…”

      • For the kind of collapse I consider probable you will just have to scheduling your welding around the brown/blackouts. You’ll also probably be doing more stick and flux core for the gas issue. My welder is only flux core and was very, very cheap then warrenty voided to fix a couple of design flaws due to it being so cheap. At some point when I own a house a real setup will come but for a carport I didn’t want to risk the equipment. If I need more than cheesy flux core I’ll rent a welder.

        That said, if we do see regular brown/black outs a good store of JB Weld, a large air tank you keep at capacity when you have juice, and a good pneumatic angle grinder would probably be a good investment.

      • You could make your own thermite while you still have access to aluminum cans and electricity (rust will certainly not be hard to find during the collapse)…

  11. freddie_mac

    The American people isn’t finished. The American political class needs to be.

    I do think that we need to get rid of the professional politician and start (or possibly return to) having people who are in the political sector for a short period of time (2-4yrs?) and then return to the private sector. So many of the problems we’re dealing with are the result of an entrenched political and bureaucratic class that is focused on its own survival.

    • Runs into the problem of dealing with the bureaucracies – if politicians come and go, but civil servants are there for a career, who ends up in charge?

      • Professor Badness

        Exactly!

      • Right now we have the worst of both worlds: permanent pols and a bureaucracy that does what it wants.

        • And, worst of worst, a culture of sullen apathy on the part of voters (“my vote don’t count and they’re all crooks anyway”); real, non-fantasy corruption amongst the political class, a large section of those engaged in the process screaming “burn it all down” (in effect), and a “gimme” class that has not the will nor the constitution to lift one finger to feed themselves when they can get another to *take* what they want at gunpoint, without fear of prosecution, because they *are* the government.

          Tradition is stronger than law. Should any of these trends become tradition, I worry.

          Fortunately, *we* have traditions, too. With longer, nobler, fiercer histories than those above. Self reliance. Hard work. Charity. Responsibility. Faith. Honor. I’d like to see those great things in our history taught again, so those lessons hard won aren’t forgotten. We don’t need “safe spaces” or a week of lessons on “privilege” or “gender identity.” We need Farmer Bunce. We need patriots and statesmen worthy of the term, who work to preserve and protect the security and rights of the individual citizens, not those simply seeking personal power with political office as their chosen route.

    • Joe Wooten

      THIS!!!!!

    • What we need to do is radically reduce the size and reach of the federal government in general. To merely constitutional levels. If the feds didn’t have the overweening power they do currently, who was elected President wouldn’t be such a big concern.

      This is why I push for an Article V amending convention; the federal government will never voluntarily reduce its control over our society and our lives. It will have to be imposed on them from the outside. A state-called convention is the only constitutional (and probably the only non-violent) means to do so. And I’m not going to engage in debate on this, to keep our hostess only mildly annoyed with me. 🙂

      • The only issue I have with that idea is that far too many Americans are perfectly fine with the size of government, and don’t care if it gets even bigger. I’m not sure anyone could predict just what a convention would do.

        • As Wooten said – THIS! The wolves will gut it and the sheep will let them.
          We have a fine Constitution, we just don’t use it.

    • In the old days the “political class” operated almost entirely in the dark. Most citizens had no practical way to tell what their representatives and the bureaucracy were doing. Theoretically the newspapers would tell you, but in practice they were part of the same political class.

      Now… you can be as informed as you have time for, straight from the .gov.

      We still haven’t seen how that will play out in the long run, but the “media” part of the political class has lost most of its credibility.

  12. It’s clear to me that music is rapidly going independent (and. boy, does the industry hate that) and film might well be next. Whollyodd will hold onto the prestige for a while, but with the theater to disc cycle shortened to a (very) few months, there really isn’t much to distinguish a Big Name Fillum from direct -to-video.

    It’s going to get interesting.

    • Let’s hope so. Small scale movies can be done and are getting done already while big extravaganza special effects movies are still pretty damn expensive to make, but computers are getting better and while the effects people can do in their home equipment are not as good as what a big Hollywood studio can pay for those home brewed effects are still already way better than what the studios sold 20 years ago.

      So I would not be all that surprised if some indie group managed a serious hit – even in some genre which requires plenty of CGI, although of course something like a traditional thriller might be easier – pretty soon, and will not use it only as a way to get into the old system but as a way to start something permanent outside of that (so far the few hits there have been seem to have been one offs, usually because at least some of the key people get hired to work in the old systems). Discoverability is probably one of the bigger problems, but if those movies become common enough that problem should be solved by the people who make them and like to watch them too sooner rather than later.

      • You mean something like Axanar?

        • Dawn Dreams

          YESSSSS! (At least, I’m hoping so. Now that the lawsuit is being dropped, we can find out.)

      • There’s a PhD dissertation for somebody in the effect on popular music of advances in technology.

        Example: sometime in the late 1970’s mixing boards got cheap enough that any garage band with one member who was the son of, say, a successful dentist, could afforda quality of mixing equipment unheard of just a few years earlier.

        Consequently most of the pop music of the 1980’s was so clear you could tell what each instrument was doing…even if it wasn’t worth knowing.

        Grundge was a reaction to that. And so on, and on.

        Earlier, the capabilities of microphones and recording equipment drove a lot of what was ‘popular’. People whose voices ‘fit’ the equipment got a boost.

        Howard Goodall has touched on some of this in his BBC documentaries, but mostly tangentally.

        I see much the same thing happening in video in the next few decades.

  13. I wonder if the fascination/fixation with collapse goes back to the influence of the Separatists in the colonial period. There’s a strong strain of “if you don’t behave, the Most High is going to be angry because we are supposed to be a good example” that got picked up in US “civil religion” that the 1860-65 mess also carried forward. If the US doesn’t live up to what it is supposed to be (for various definitions), then some power will punish it, be that power divine or secular (BLM, OWS, “the underprivileged,” Allah, G-d). So even though most residents of the US don’t follow Separatist religious beliefs consciously, the Jeremiad and the thought that “things are getting bad/ will get bad because we/someone in the country is/are/were bad” lingers.

    I’m not saying my thoughts very well today, so I apologize for any confusion. Post-exam-composition and post-formatting brain failure. (MS Word “improvements” delendae sunt.)

    • the people who threaten us with collapse because we’re not “a biblical nation” — yeah, they’ve always been with us. The never explain why other nations aren’t puddles on the floor.

      • Professor Badness

        Though, the general lack of altruism, civic mindedness, thrift and humility that are usually promoted in most main stream religions, does not help.

      • Such people honestly see the US as the new Israel and thus Americans as the new Jews. God punished the Jews for turning away from him much more than other nations precisely because they were his Chosen. If you think Americans are the new Chosen People then they carry the expectation of correct behavior and punishment for not doing so just as their predecessors did.

        • Actually, it’s something more, and can be distilled into two questions:

          1. Does God judge all nations, Gentiles along with Jews?
          2. Has God ever done so?

          This is rather contentious and I’ll discuss it at my own digs. Probably not this evening: For one thing I have a headache, and for another, I want to finish an essay in my journal about objective reality (the way things actually are) verses perceived reality, and how that impacts recorded accounts and opinions – including my own. The point is that the concept of God judging nations is deeper than it might seem.

      • The folks who do that aren’t getting it from the Bible… 😉

  14. Collapse? For who? There were lots and lots of people with good jobs and government positions who never experienced the Great Depression. If the nation has a ‘collapse’ who will feel it?
    Somebody who has a bunch of businesses and a house in Spain and a condo in Switzerland? Yeah…I bet his numbers will just be just terrible. But he’ll never miss a meal. He may not have his usual winter vacation or have to buy a Beemer instead of a Bentley next year…
    Joe six-pack with the middle manager position who is in an underwater mortgage, has a low mileage lease on a piece of crap Malibu and $15k in credit card debt is screwed…

    • I’d argue that your “Joe Six-Pack” is already screwed. No collapse needed to totally disrupt their life – only one unscheduled expense could trigger a debt avalanche.

      Much as I think he’s way, way, over the top (and insufferably smug about his choices and lifestyle), I think that “Mr Money Mustache” at the blog of the same name is right in describing that sort of debt load as a “hair on fire emergency”. That much debt is a sign that you should cut voluntary expenses to the bone while trying to reduce it – and the economic fragility that it brings – as rapidly as possible.

      I’ve seen news stories that claim that an appallingly high percentage of people, even among those that earn above the national median income, don’t have the funds on hand to handle a single unexpected $400 expense (very minor accident, blown tires, etc) without significant hardship. If that’s the case, even a very minor economic hiccup – much less than a full “collapse” – could wreak havoc. Expect to see lots of “Hoovervilles” popping up, but the better prepared would mostly tighten their belts and go on.

      A full collapse, on the other hand, has the potential to reduce people who *did* save and invest to the same state of insolvency – companies going out of business, banks insolvent, currency devaluations a la Weimar Republic . . . At that point, we’d be *lucky* if the disruption is just economic and political.

      • Five years ago we were debt-free. Then my wife got sick.

        The deductibles and co-pays were enough that we probably won’t live long enough to pay those bills off, even if nothing else happens.

        • My sympathies.

          Unfortunately, unless you’re worth high multiples of millions it’s impossible to be completely safe from this sort of setback. Even if you have been saving regularly and living below your means, absorbing expenses on the order of years or decades of gross income is a huge obstacle to overcome.

          What’s frightening is the number of people who are susceptible to much less uncommon, and less expensive, setbacks. I don’t see how you can reasonably prepare for a case like your wife’s illness. But for anyone earning more than minimum wage a blown tire shouldn’t have to mean weeks of subsisting on ramen and water.

  15. This will fit here about as well as anywhere else. Patrick Frey has started a Facebook group called The Constitutional Vanguard, which is a group devoted to promoting the principles of the Constitution, liberty, and the free market. To be able to join it you have to sign up for his email list at:

    http://patterico.com/become-a-member-of-the-constitutional-vanguard/

  16. The increase in societal anxiety is a reflection of a guilty conscience within a culture that senses that it is living on borrowed time. Politicians purchase votes with phantom money from a population that increasingly has become addicted to “free-lunch” handouts. Fear of collapse is the wrong interpretation. The longer we go without breaking this cycle, the deeper the hole gets, and the harder it will be to climb out.

    • But that anxiety has been with us, as far as I can tell, 200 years.

      • Personally, I think the collapse talk is fed, to a large extent, by the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives dim awareness that they are slipping. The LIRPs were riding high after Nixon resigned, and all it got them was four years of Jimmy Carter. After eight years of Ronald Reagan and then four of Reagan lite they had quite a head of steam, and it got them Bill “my pants have fallen and I can’t pull them up” Clinton. They still rhapsodize over the sonofabitch, but I think they are at least dimly aware that Clinton was mostly show and stall. Then eight years of Bush (who they despised, because he wouldn’t roll over for they transparent attempt to steal the election) followed by an economic collapse that they can blame on Bush only so long as nobody looks at it too closely. Finally, Obama, the First Black President, who is ostentatiously incompetent. And now the best they have is a shrill bitch who, should she win, ought to be served with impeachment papers while she’s taking the oath of office.

        All this time they have been losing ground in areas they thought were sewed up. Circa 1972, they ( and pretty much everybody else) thought that in a decade or so, handguns would be illegal in most states. Oops. They thought that their lock on the Media would continue to work forever, and instead it has become steadily more blatant, and less effective. It isn’t useless. Yet.

        Their world IS falling apart. THEIR world.

        I’m not convinced that we should care, save to the extent that they can drag us down with them.

      • Perhaps you’re right and its just the internet that makes it seem more pronounced in modern times. Regardless, its not healthy for any nation’s political class to seduce it’s citizenry into a dependency addiction. What happens when the well runs dry and no one remembers how to produce for themselves again? I guess we will get some insight into this by watching events unfold in Venezuela.

        • Of course it’s not healthy, but it’s what every political class ever has done. Or at least since Louis XIV and the birth of the modern state.
          Venezuela had other issues and was full-on socialist. IF we elect Bernie, then yeah.
          IF Bernie is nominated, then I vote trump, then come home and get sloshed.

          • As someone planning voting Trump I think getting sloshed before voting will make pulling the lever much easier.

            • LOL. I wonder how many crooked xs there will be on the hand ballots.
              Or notes on the side saying “I’m trying to vote for that sonofabitch Trump, but I am seeing double checkboxes.”

              • Randy Wilde

                I was told that I should change my voter registration to No Party Preference so I could vote for Sanders in the CA Democrat primary.

                I found a clip on the internet that demonstrates how I would have to get to the polling place to vote for a socialist, even under those circumstances:

  17. The problem is, like it or not, that we are allowing a flood of immigrants into this country, immigrants who will not accept our ways, who will not acclimatize, who will not become Americans.
    Remember the boat people? The town I now live in became know as ‘Rancho Cambodia’ because of them. Rampant VIOLENT gangs who murdered and killed and even made it on live national TV with their violent murderous actions.
    It took twenty years for that to settle out, and you were talking less than a million people. Now we have the government bringing in tens of millions of people, many of whom are from violent areas, and settling them in ‘middle America.’
    Those people are all going to revolt, or their children are. We will see unrest and violence like we never have before. Because it has happened every – single – time in the past we have done this. Every Single Time. Only in those times we brought in small numbers.
    Now we have brought in huge numbers. Enough that the people who founded and formed this country are quickly becoming a minority. And while some may applaud that, remember, it is that minority who invented and developed almost everything in the world today. Who gave us the civilization that we have in the world today, who did everything that mattered in the world today.
    All of these new people come from third world hellholes that have not been stable in the last thousand years, much less the last one hundred. And they’re not coming here looking for stability, they’re here either looking for a handout, or to spread their own particular brand of crazy.
    And our government is backing these people 100 percent, by helping them to come here, and then by giving them massive handouts, as they become a drain on the system.
    It’s pure Cloward–Piven. The government is working hard to destabilize itself. So it’s already started to succeed. The only thing that might stop it, is if we stop all immigration, like we have in the past, for a while, and start deporting the undesirables back to the hellholes from which they came.

    Otherwise, it’s going to be Rancho Cambodia all over the USA.

    • They’re not yet that many millions. If you’re talking Mexicans, these numbers are GROSSLY inflated. If you’re talking Arabs, I don’t know what the current plan is, but if things start to slide, the “integrate or die” is going to be very clear to everyone, even people like me.
      Hard times and all that.

      • Somalis in Minneapolis?

        • We got boatloads of Hmong, as well. How these tropical folk adapt amazes me. I was born here, and after just a few years in the tropics, it took me a looong time to reacclimatize

      • No, they’re not inflated. Come to California, the Mexicans, illegal Mexicans, are now a sizeable portion of the population. They’re everywhere. They don’t even bother to hide it. And they vote.

    • FlyingMike

      Yeah, the mass unrest and violence across the US that happened after the major influx of “huddled masses” immigrants from Europe and Asia in the last century were really horrible. Oh wait, there weren’t any.

      Note there was a widespread and generally parentally enforced expectation that the Italians and Irish and Poles (and out here in CA, the Chinese and Japanese) and so on would darn well acculturate and integrate and “become American,” as documented by many first hand accounts of the children of immigrants, and that is undeniably less widespread today (though ask any current child of modern Chinese or Indian immigrants if their parents cut them any slack – those kids are expected to outperfom).

      But “Every. Single. Time.” not so much.

      • You need to study history more. Because what you are saying didn’t happen, did happen.
        With the Europeans, it didn’t happen as much, because they had a lot more in common culture-wise. Also back then, when the Chinese or the Irish, or someone similar acted up, all of the established people would simply ride in and wipe them out, or at least kill enough of them to put them back in their place.

        Again, for more recently, remember the boat people. It happened. Your lack of knowledge about history isn’t going to stop it from repeating.

  18. We’re not really that quarrelsome, are we? *looks up-thread at carp-n-boot combo* Eh, never mind, forget that I asked.

  19. FlyingMike

    You know, this time I think we should collapse UPWARD.

    With modern tech and the wide spread of knowledge that has happened in spite of the school system, any collapse of central authority could remove a lot of the impediments to technological progress, so a collapse that didn’t go too far too rapidly could enable a blossoming of entrepreneurship and innovation. If we were to see the productive become unencumbered by the governmental roadblocks that have stifled the US economy since the 1970s, the general tide might actually rise instead of plummeting downward in the absence of the guidance of our betters.

    Obviously doing this as the result of a planned deregulation effort would be a lot better, but hey, why look on the bleak side. In some areas the greenies and luddites will hold local sway, but in others not so much, and in those places where less interference and busybodying happes, I’d expect things to be economically quite zoomy.

  20. CombatMissionary

    Arriba la Reagan Revolucion!
    La muerte a los socialistas desgraciadas!

    Oh, yeah, and one other thing: don’t make puppies sad. 😉

  21. The one thing we freedom loving people really really need is our own non-government controlled currency.

    Bitcoin is an example of the sort of thing we need, but it has a bunch of issues that mean we should probably look for something else. The primary issues with Bitcoin and it’s relatives are that they have a limited total number of coins and the blockchain means they are pseudonymous not anonymous. Eventually someone with enough compute power (i.e. the government) can tie together the various records and figure out who they belong to.

    • Bitcoin was started solely as a scam. It was made to make the creators rich with easy money, as they got all the ‘easy’ money up front, and then got people dumb enough to except it.
      It’s worse than fiat money.

  22. Meanwhile, in Europe (which may come apart, at least the EU-ocracy, as more governments say ‘up yours and the horse you rode in on’): http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/05/24/eu-vows-use-new-powers-block-elected-far-right-populists-power/

    • Oh my. That could turn quite nasty.

    • Sigh. I’ll point out as much as I hate the “right wing in Europe” if they do this, it will be setting fire to the world.

      • No if…they are already after Poland. I can’t see them stopping there.

        • See, this is evidence we’re being WRITTEN as a novel, I mean. WHY must it ALWAYS start in Poland?

          • Excellent alcohol and a nice central location?

          • Like the Ukraine/Galicia, they have the bad luck to be flat and convenient as a pass through from there to other there? I have a suspicion that if you could go back and find out what the pre-Indo-Europeans called what is now Poland, Hungary and Ukraine, it would translate “oh fark, here they come again.”

            • No I have to see if I can construct said name using the PIE roots dictonary and name some flat place in a D&D world that.

          • Elder Herr: Will you stop talking about the war?
            Basil: Me! You started it!
            Elder Herr: We did not start it!
            Basil: Yes you did — you invaded Poland.

          • They were the first with the balls to elect a “right-wing” nationalist government in the EU? That is almost certainly related to them being where it started last time.

            • Poland and Hungary. The Czechs are not “right wing” but they are also locking their borders to “immigrants.” Croatia is trying to, Serbia has, IIRC.

      • Sarah, I know you have family there, as do many of the others here, and that there are many good and decent people in Europe.

        That said, this is a bed decades in the making. Pretty much anyone could have seen this coming decades ago, and nobody tried seriously to stop it until very recently. If Europe goes through another convulsion of blood and fire, I likely won’t shed a tear.

        • I wrote a story about it, when the EU coalesced. No one would buy my “pessimistic” view. Meh.

          • Do you have it handy to post?

            (jonesing for litcrack? me? nah…)

          • Heck, in 1992 I wasn’t nearly as well versed in European history and culture as I am now, and I thought then that there was no way an EU would work.

          • I’ve got a story percolating about a bunch of Americans caught up in one of the valleys in Styria or Carinthia when “something” happens and how they sort of take over and set up a little enclave. 30 years later when someone from the big city finally goes to see what’s up . . .

    • not going to end well…

  23. kenashimame

    c4c

  24. inadamsfall

    Amen, Sister Sarah. You apes wanna live forever? Etc. Etc.