RescueInk: Bikers for Abused Animals

Posted: August 26th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Anthropology | No Comments »

file this one under aaaawwwwww

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/nyregion/thecity/24pet.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

And a slideshow!

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/08/22/nyregion/082408-Petnap_index.html 24pet03_190.jpg


Survivalists not so silly any more. let’s join.

Posted: July 31st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Anthropology | 2 Comments »

Massive Economic Disaster Seems Possible — Will Survivalists Get the Last Laugh?

By Scott Thill, AlterNet. Posted July 26, 2008.

With multiple crises on the horizon, survivalist views don’t seem as marginal as they did before.

They used to be paranoid preparation nuts who built bomb shelters for a place to duck and cover during nuclear dustups with communist heathens, but their tangled roots go back to the Great Depression for a reason. If you want to get sociological about it, survivalism started out as a response to economic catastrophe. And now, with a cratering stock market, a housing meltdown that has devalued everything in sight, and skyrocketing prices for food, gas and pretty much everything else, survivalists are preparing for — and are prepared for — the rerun. In fact, they may be the only people in America feeling good about the prospects of a major crash.

And the interesting thing about the once-fringe movement at this moment in history is that survivalism has now gone green — at least in theory.

From peak oil and food crises all the way to catastrophic payback from that bitch Mother Earth, there are more reasons to hide than ever. Conventional society as we know it is already undergoing some disastrous transformations. Ask anyone ducking fires in California, floods in the Midwest or bullets in Baghdad. Maybe it didn’t make sense to run for the hills, stockpile water and food, grow your own vegetables and drugs, or unplug from consumerism back when America’s budget surplus still existed, its armies weren’t burning up all the nation’s revenue and its infrastructure wasn’t being outsourced to a globalized work force.

But those days are gone, daddy, gone.

What’s coming up is weirder. Author, social critic and overall hilarious dude James Kunstler tackled that weirdness, otherwise known as an incoming post-oil dystopia, in his recent novel, World Made by Hand, which has since become one of a handful of survivalist classics. And as Kunstler sees it, whether you are talking about gun nuts or green pioneers, at least you are talking.

"At least they’re aware that we’ve entered the early innings of what could easily become a very disruptive period of our history," the Clusterfuck Nation columnist explains. "Most of them are responding constructively rather than just defensively. They’re much more interested in gardening and animal husbandry than firearms."

Not that the gun nuts have gone away. Their ranks have just diversified.

"The gun nuts have been on the scene longer than the peak oil argument has been in play," he adds. "They were initially preoccupied with Big Government and its accompanying narrative fantasy of fascist oppression, which is why they adopted a fascist tone themselves. But peak-oil survivalists are different from the Ruby Ridge generation. They don’t think that a bolt-hole in the woods is a very promising strategy. We have no idea at this point what the level of social cohesion or disorder may be, but if the rural areas, especially the agricultural centers, become too lawless for farming, then we’ll be in pretty severe trouble because there will be nothing for us to eat."

That’s not on the to-do list of author and SurvivalBlog owner James Rawles, who has been getting asked more and more questions by a mainstream press finally waking to the consequences of disaster capitalism, climate crisis and the hyperreal dream of bottomless consumption. He has fielded questions from the New York Times, and he has taken an online beating from conscientious pubs like Grist, but he hasn’t gone Hollywood. The times, which are a-changin’, have caught up to him.

"There is greater interest in preparedness these days because the fragility of our economy, lengthening chains of supply and the complexity of the technological infrastructure have become apparent to a broader cross section of the populace," Rawles wrote to me via e-mail (but only after asking how many unique monthly visitors AlterNet commanded). "All parties concerned may not realize it, but the left-of-center greens calling for local economies and encouraging farmers markets have a tremendous amount in common with John Birchers decrying globalist bankers and gun owners complaining about their constitutional rights. At the core, for all of them, is the recognition that big, entrenched, centralized power structures are not the answer. They are, in fact, the problem."

Fair enough. But that broad brush fails to recognize the complexities of the very community it is purporting to try to establish. Indeed, difference is what survivalists seem to be running from, whether it is historically the difference between blacks and whites, secularists and true believers, or simply the haves and have-nots. It is that latter crowd that the survivalists seem most worried about. Their separation from society at large is arguably a retreat from community rather than a striving toward it.

"I’d say that survivalism is indeed a celebration of community," Rawles asserts. "It is the embodiment of America’s traditional can-do spirit of self-reliance that settled the frontier."

But that’s also a generalization, especially when one considers that the word "settled" is a coded reduction for a "near-genocidal wipeout of the frontier’s native populations," most if not all of whom were perfecting a survivalist ethic by maximizing their skill sets and living in symbiosis with the land that provided them what they needed in food, tools and medicine. In fact, those settlements would have been hard-pressed to exist without what Rawles earlier described as a "centralized power structure," known as the expansionist United States government and its military, paving the road forward. Each self-reliant mythology carries within it grains of complicity in the community at large, which is a fancy way of saying there’s nowhere to run, baby, nowhere to hide.

This is especially true today in our hyperreal, hyperconsuming 21st century, where survivalism has become more of a gadget fantasy than an earnest grasp for community.

"It seems a natural human impulse that we are hard-wired to follow as circumstances require," Kunstler says, "although it is constrained by social and cultural conditioning. To some degree, in our consumer culture, survivalism is related to the gear fetishism you see in popular magazines that purport to be about sporting adventures, but are really about acquiring snazzy equipment. America in 2008 has become a cartoon culture of Hollywood violence that promotes grandiose power fantasies of hyper-individualism and vigilante justice. Add guns and economic hardship, and spice it up with ethnic grievances, and the recipe is not very appetizing."

This future cultural, environmental and geopolitical miasma is where the survivalist and the mainstream converge in agreement. Both camps, pardon the pun, are convinced that we’re screwed down the road.

"The next Great Depression will be a tremendous leveler," Rawles prophesies. "If anything, life in the 22nd century will more closely resemble the 19th century than the 20th century. Sadly, the 21st century will probably be remembered as the time of the Great Die-Off."

"I don’t consider it a total wipeout," Kunstler counters. "It’s a very big change, but people are resilient and resourceful. Look, imagine if you were a person who had survived the Second World War in Europe, and you were walking around Berlin in the spring of 1946, a year after the end of the war. A once-magnificent city has been reduced to rubble. Your culture is lying in ashes. Yet, people pick up and rebuild."

That is, if they’re sticking together. If they’re scattered and fending for themselves, and taking armed retreat defense tips from SurvivalBlog, that makes rebuilding a bit more complicated. Which, in the end, is where survivalism is most ambiguous. Is it a growing population of forward-looking realists who are smartly preparing for the die-off brought on by climate crisis and economic collapse, so they can pick up themselves and their people, and rebuild with that "can-do" spirit, as Rawles calls it? Or are they simply gadget-fascinated fundamentalists afraid of change and challenge, so afraid that they’d rather hide and hoard than join the fight?

The jury is still out. But, according to Rawles, it will soon have its diversity mirrored by survivalism’s changing demographic.

"I think that in the next couple of decades," he explains, "we will witness the formation of some remarkable intentional communities that will feature some unlikely bedfellows: anarchists and Ayn Rand readers, Mennonites and gun enthusiasts, Luddites and techno-geeks, fundamentalist Christians and Gaia worshippers, tree huggers and horse wranglers. We welcome them all. Because the threats are clearly manifold: peak oil, derivatives meltdowns, pandemics, food shortages, market collapses, terrorism, state-sponsored global war and more. In a situation this precarious, I believe that it is remarkably naive to think that mere geographical isolation will be sufficient to shelter communities from the predation of evildoers." paranoid_survivalist_bar.gif (21.90 K) survivalist_nerd.gif


Former NASA dude: Alien Contact Covered Up

Posted: July 25th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Anthropology | No Comments »

from fox:

Former NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr. Edgar Mitchell — a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission — claims aliens exist.

He says extraterrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions — but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview in Birmingham, England, that sources in the federal government who had had contact with aliens described the beings as "little people who look strange to us."

He said supposedly real-life ET’s were similar to the traditional image of a "small gray" — short, slight frame, large eyes and large head.

Mitchell also claimed human technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as the aliens’ and "had they been hostile," he warned "we would be been gone by now."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,390161,00.html

a longer article:

FORMER NASA astronaut and moonwalker Dr Edgar Mitchell – a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission – has stunningly claimed aliens do exist.

And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions – but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as ‘little people who look strange to us.’

He said supposedly real-life ET’s were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and "had they been hostile", he warned "we would be been gone by now".

Dr Mitchell, along with with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, holds the record for the longest ever moon walk, at nine hours and 17 minutes following their 1971 mission.

"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real," Dr Mitchell said.

"It’s been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it’s leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it.

"I’ve been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes – we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it’s been happening quite a bit."

Dr Mitchell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics claimed Roswell was real and similar alien visits continue to be investigated.

He told the astonished Kerrang! radio host Nick Margerrison: "This is really starting to open up. I think we’re headed for real disclosure and some serious organisations are moving in that direction."

Mr Margerrison said: "I thought I’d stumbled on some sort of astronaut humour but he was absolutely serious that aliens are definitely out there and there’s no debating it."

Officials from NASA, however, were quick to play the comments down.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe.

‘Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue.’

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,,24069817-5001021,00.html

and here’s where you can hear him:

http://www.kerrangradio.co.uk/Article.asp?id=804160&spid= aliens.jpg


“she’s probably lying in a gutter somewhere”

Posted: July 11th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Anthropology | 1 Comment »

don’t you love people who make fun of others who have problems with drugs? well now those people can feel even douchier than everybody knows they are, except that self-righteousness innoculates against feelings of douchebaggery. that was my nasty comment for the day.

bitch, i’m exploring for resources!

…[H]is research raises the question of whether people suffering from ADHD and conditions related to it, such as addiction, are misfits coping with a genetic legacy that was useful in the evolutionary past, but is now damaging. As society continues to diverge from that evolutionary past, the economic and social consequences of being such a misfit may become increasingly important.

link posted so you can go to original and read citations if you like, along with the economist article.

http://jezebel.com/5017243/whos-sabotaging-your-relationships-it-could-be-darwin-but-youre-probably-too-distracted-to-care

http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11529402

apparently genes that contribute to ADHD, alcoholism, and eating disorders were possibly more adaptive for our nomadic ancestors. since we are their relatively recent descendents, these genes haven’t been weeded out yet, and may contribute to the difficulties that some of us have faced/are currently fighting.

but hey, go ahead and talk your dehumanizing shit if it makes you feel better :)

me and my hunter-gatherer genes will survive when everything goes to shit and we have to roam the countryside searching for food.

from the economist:
Among the nomads, who wander around northern Kenya herding cattle, camels, sheep and goats, those with 7R were better nourished than those without. The opposite was true of their settled relations: those with 7R were worse nourished than those without it. [this paragraph gives me humorous thoughts of a tribe of ADD people looking for food but being distracted by butterflies and leaves and grass swaying and stuff.]

now thoughts…should i post this on myspace for douchebags to see? or just ignore the existence of douchebags? douchebag2.jpg (104.72 K) douchebag_32667.jpg


A Weekend With America’s Premiere Pro-White Group

Posted: July 8th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Anthropology | No Comments »

oh yes, they are out there. and they make me want to do violent things to them.

Surviving a Weekend with America’s Premiere Pro-White Activist Group

By Gabriel Thompson, AlterNet. Posted July 4, 2008.

Meet the Council of Conservative Citizens — a group that offers a biblical defense of slavery and laments the surivival of African babies.

In late June, two days after temporarily relocating to Alabama, I’m seated in the conference room of a hotel in the town of Sheffield, in the northwest section of the state. I’ve come to the region to do research for a book about Latino immigrants in the U.S. South — where their population is growing fastest — and how they are (or aren’t) being welcomed. After arriving in my motel and dealing with the initial pangs of homesickness, I stumble across an online posting for the annual meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens, to be held 20 miles from where I am staying. I know that the right-wing group is the reincarnation of the White Citizens’ Council — formed to fight integration after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision — and that it takes a hard line against immigration. Without any other plans, I decide to show up.

One of the first people I hear speak is an elderly man named Drue Lackey. I read from the program that he will discuss "Civil Rights in Alabama." Standing behind the podium in front of a group of 75 people, with a head of soft white hair that resembles two cumulus clouds, he begins with a caveat. "There are some things I can’t talk about because the statute of limitations hasn’t run out yet," he says.

As Lackey introduces himself, I realize that I’ve actually seen his face before — and you probably have, too. He’s the white police officer who fingerprinted Rosa Parks in Montgomery after her arrest, an iconic image of the Civil Rights Movement. He spent 22 years in law enforcement, retiring as the chief of police for Montgomery in 1970, and recently self-published a book about the period. He tells us a story about the violence that rocked the city.

In reaction to the boycott, Lackey explains, whites had firebombed four churches and the homes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy. While Lackey was investigating one of the incidents, he noticed a car slowly driving by. "This is something that for some reason criminals like to do, to revisit the scene of the crime," he says. His police instincts were correct: He pulled the car over and won a confession from the men, who led him to a stash of explosives that they were planning to use in the future.

"Now, we had an all-white jury on that case," he continues. "They deliberated for 45 minutes, and they returned a ‘not guilty’ verdict on all counts." The people sitting at my table, whose name tags identify them as being from Missouri, start to clap. Others join in, some standing, until the room fills with applause.

Lackey looks heartened by the response. He explains that one of the reasons he wrote his book was to tell the "other side" of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In his rendering, "The communist Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to an elderly, feeble man," and "Martin ‘Lootin’ King was a traitor to his country." Presumably the only journalist in the room, I take my notes nervously, expecting someone to chase me out of this movement-building meeting.

I have no need to worry. Over the two-day conference, I hear a number of wildly racist claims, and no one seems to mind that I’m writing them all down. "We’re witnessing the demise of the greatest race in the history of the world," thunders Paul Fromm, who I’ll later learn is Canada’s leading white supremacist. A speaker named Joel LeFever argues that the recent "pro-sodomite marriage" ruling in California can be traced back to the disastrous legalization of mixed-race marriages. Roan Garcia-Quintana, a Cuban American who is quick to point out that his ancestors are originally from Spain, laments the "invasion of aliens" from Mexico who "bring diseases and don’t know how to use the toilet." I’ve spent some time with the far-right crowd, but this is the first time I’ve heard someone posit that Mexicans haven’t figured out how to use the john.

What’s shocking to me, as the day goes on, isn’t just that this white power group has allowed me entrance after I’ve identified myself as a writer — it’s the presence of a politician. Alabama state Sen. Charles Bishop participates in the conference; his rant about the critical need to reject "Mohammed Obama" is followed by a presentation that gives a biblical defense of slavery. As speakers compete to see who can make the most incendiary remarks, I keep waiting for someone to take offense. In my mind, that moment was most likely to occur during a creepy talk by a Croatian immigrant, Tomislav Sunic, who says that he has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He starts off by expressing delight that "we are all Europeans here in the room." (Not entirely true: three African American females on the hotel staff serve the group a buffet lunch).

"We lost a substantial part of our best genes" in World War II, he says, blaming the lack of information about the annihilation of Germans on the Jewish-controlled media. "Jews are fully integrated but not assimilated," he says, then plays coy. "But I’m not going to speculate about that." A few people chuckle knowingly. He ends on what he calls an "optimistic" note. "In Paris you have French Jews and French Arabs fighting, so whites are out of the loop. I don’t mind if they whack each other, because what do I care about them? I care about preserving our gene pool." Behind his cagey eyes I sense the desire to abandon all restraint and end the speech by leading the group in Sieg Heils, but instead he looks out at the audience, by now standing and clapping enthusiastically, and breaks into a grin.

**********

Even though I’ve written a lot about immigration, I’ve never paid much attention to open racists. In fact, before attending the conference, I’d never even met one. I know that much of the hysteria about "Mexicans bringing leprosy" and of an "illegal alien crime wave" are racist, and inaccurate, but people making those remarks usually try to put on a veneer of scholarship, to carefully calibrate their remarks. This is different. Indeed, the speakers’ passion to express their racist views often get in the way of their coherence, as nearly everyone finds it difficult to stick to their stated topics. For example, Fromm is supposed to talk about "Immigration"; a more accurate title would be something like "Let the Blacks Die."

"By 2060, whites will constitute less than 10 percent of world’s population," he laments. "We think of blacks as being very prolific, but they’re mostly in Africa. And while they might normally have 10 kids, nine of them usually end up dying. So along came well-meaning white Christians," he says, his voice adopting a mocking tone, "and you have a Kenyan woman with eight kids and all of them survive." I wonder if people understand exactly what he’s saying, and look around my table. The middle-aged woman across from me, no doubt a Christian, is nodding gravely at the crisis of African babies surviving.

Sunic, the obvious Nazi, is supposed to speak about "Political Correctness," but he hardly mentions the term. Instead, he launches into a discussion about the need to learn about things like the Jewish-Communist plot "even if you’re not into, uh, some heavy-duty book reading." The only presenter who adheres to his stated topic is Dr. Gary Roper, whose theme is "Antebellum Slavery." Though he argues that, from a Christian perspective, slavery in the South was a perfectly moral institution, he does at least talk about slavery.

The most unintentionally comical part of the conference involves dealing with the media. CCC National Field Coordinator Bill Lord — who was an organizer with the original White Citizens’ Council — stresses the importance of choosing your words carefully when around strangers, using a personal example. "The Southern Poverty Law Center once said that they heard me say ‘Martin Luther Coon,’" he told them. He waited for the laughter to die down. "Now, does that sound like something I would say?" Amidst the renewed laughter he repeats the need to be diligent so that the media doesn’t inadvertently overhear your words. I sit in the middle of the group, notebook and pen in hand, and write his message down. To be fair, others at my table are taking notes as well, so I suppose I blend in — this is a skills-building workshop, after all.

**********

Do groups like the CCC matter? I like to think that they don’t, but I am also surprised that 75 people showed up, from states that included South Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, New York and Mississippi. They actually had 150 people at last year’s conference in Greenville, S.C. They reportedly have 20,000 subscribers to their newspaper, and according to their website, they have chapters in 21 states. But I’m willing to bet that a number of those chapters consist of one or two men spending most of their time on the internet, passing racist emails back and forth loaded with indignant exclamation points.

What’s remarkable about the group isn’t so much its numbers, but that many Southern politicians actually listen to them. In 1998, the Washington Post revealed that then-Senator Bob Barr of Georgia and then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had both spoken at CCC meetings. According to CCC’s newspaper, the Citizen Informer, Lott told the group that "the people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let’s take it in the right direction, and our children will be the beneficiaries."

When asked about the CCC’s racist orientation by the Post, Lott’s spokesperson said the senator had "no firsthand knowledge" about the group. It was later discovered, however, that Lott had met with the CCC numerous times and that an uncle and cousin were both members. Having now sat through two days of their meetings — where indeed many people echoed Lott’s concerns about their children and the direction of the country as it becomes less white — it’s hard to imagine missing the fact that these people are … umm … racists.

But although many politicians backed off from the CCC in the wake of the published reports about Barr and Lott, a number of local politicians — like Alabama state Sen. Charles Bishop, who I hear speak — still participate in their functions. In 2004, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that since 2000, 26 elected officials had met with the CCC, most from the state of Mississippi. These included its current governor, Haley Barbour, a number of state officials and a member of the state’s Supreme Court. Elected officials from Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina have also spoken to the group.

The group’s mission has evolved as the demographics of the South change, and the influx of Mexican and Central American immigrants has drawn at least some of the members to the conference. "Where I’m from, there are now more Mexicans than niggers," one older man from Alabama tells me. The implication is clear enough: There’s a new target in town. In fact, nearly everyone I talk to mentions the imaginary Reconquista plot whereby immigrating Mexicans are motivated by a desire to recapture the Southwest. "They’re not coming to be good little immigrants, they’re coming to take over!" thunders Fromm, a little man himself.

But though they’re concerned about immigrants from south of the South, at the moment there’s another equally grave concern: the upcoming election. While Barack Obama has been subject to a whispering campaign, those whispers begin somewhere as shouts — and that somewhere is in places like the CCC’s annual meeting.

"There’s an election coming up, and no matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you better pay attention to what’s going on," Bishop says at the conclusion of his remarks. At this, the crowd murmurs. "We got a young man running for president. Don’t make no difference whether he’s black, white or yellow. But I have a problem with his ideology, with the things he believes in. Obama for president. I can’t even say that. This is a great turning point. ‘Mohammed’ Obama, is that right?"

"Hussein," the crowd calls out.

"That is something we just can’t afford in this country," Bishop says. "My grandkids can’t afford it. If you care about your grandkids’ rights, then this is the election. If the Hispanics and the blacks get together, ladies and gentlemen, we’ll do what we’re told. Now I know that McCain isn’t as conservative as we’d like –"

"He isn’t a conservative at all!" someone yells.

"You got that right!" adds another.

"But he can be our salvation," continues Bishop, clearly upset at the interruption.

"It’s time for you to stop talking," shouts an angry voice.

By now Bishop is livid. "Well, don’t come crying to me when you get your tails beat and have to say, ‘Yessuh, Mr. Obama.’"

As Bishop walks out and the African American staff begins to clean up the mess left by the CCC, I ask one of the men sitting near me what he thinks about Obama. "O-ba-ma," he repeats, momentarily lost in thought. "What’s wrong with a country that allows someone named Obama to run for president?" He shakes his head and sighs. "That’s not a European name." rosa_parks_fingerprint.jpg


2012 anyone?

Posted: December 5th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Anthropology | 10 Comments »


Mayan Calendar

Posted: December 4th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Anthropology | 6 Comments »

It’s a little long (5 1/2 hrs)but it is interesting.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6681910439634411366&q=mayan+calendar&total=538&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=3