Tags: collapse

"The Green Frog Skin" by John (Fire) Lame Deer

"The Green Frog Skin – that’s what I call the dollar bill. In our attitude towards it lies the biggest difference between the Indians and the whites. My grandparents grew up in an Indian world without money. Just before the Custer battle the white soldiers had received their pay. Their pockets were full of green paper and they had no place to spend it. What were their last thoughts as an Indian bullet or arrow hit them? I guess they were thinking of all that money going to waste, of not having had a chance to enjoy it, of a bunch of dumb savages getting their paws on that hard-earned pay. That must have hurt them more than the arrow between their ribs.

The close hand-to-hand fighting, with a thousand horses gally-hooting all over the place, had covered the battlefield with an enormous cloud of dust, and in it the green frog skins of the soldiers were whirling around like snowflakes in a blizzard. Now, what did the Indians do with all that money? They gave it to their children to play with, to fold those strange bits of coloured paper into all kinds of shapes, making into toy buffalo and horses. Somebody was enjoying that money after all.

The books tell of one soldier who survived. He got away, but he went crazy and some women watched him from a distance as he killed himself. The writers always say that he must have been afraid of being captured and tortured, but that’s all wrong. Can’t you see it? There he is, bellied down in a gully, watching what is going on. He sees the kids playing with the money, tearing it up, the women using it to fire up some dried buffalo chips to cook on, the men lighting their pipes with green frog skins, but mostly all those beautiful dollar bills floating away with the dust and the wind. It’s this sight that drove the poor soldier crazy. He’s clutching his head, hollering, ‘Goddam, Jesus Christ Almighty, look at them dumb, stupid, red sons of bitches wasting all that dough!’ He watches till he can’t stand it any longer, and then he blows his brains out with a six-shooter. It would make a great scene in a movie, but it would take an Indian mind to get the point."

- John (Fire) Lame Deer, "Seeker of Visions"

The World Does Not End

Sometimes I dream about the Land I actually live on, the inner side of it, or eternal vision of it. I look for the Land as it was/is before settlement in 1864. The creeks and willows and sagebrush and chokecherries and buffalo and wolves. I look at the mountains with their genii locii in them, and places on the landscape with "differences" and beings that claim certain areas. There are pathways and trails these beings travel even today. There is a small hill nearby with all kinds of activity, which is connected to the mountains here.
Mount Helena is one of the guardian hills/home of a genius loci. The town here loves this mountain, unfortunately sometimes loving it destructively.

Using both inner vision and scientific knowledge of the area's geology, I get flashes of the Ice Age carving the high places and sending the tendrils of creeks from the meltwater into the river, and long before that the oozing volcanics of the Oligocene and Cretaceous and the mountain-building, and inland seas, and long long before that the Great Sea which made most of the sedimentary rocks, and back to the very beginning, more than a billion years ago.

And sometimes, you can even get a little bit of what will come, not just the decline and contraction of our present civilization and the herders and nomads to come, and the ruins of things I know now, but the changes beyond that.

There is no end of the world, not until the Sun itself dies. People die, civilizations die, species come to their end, but new people are born, new societies develop, and new species evolve and fill emptied niches. Don't be afraid, it all transforms and continues as it ever has :-)

The Way to Humanity and Survival

‎"Those who held on to pre-modern beliefs, such as Native Americans, who structured themselves around a communal life and self-sacrifice rather than hoarding and wage exploitation, could not be accommodated within the ethic of capitalist exploitation, the cult of the self and the lust for imperial expansion. The prosaic was pitted against the allegorical. And as we race toward the collapse of the planet’s ecosystem we must restore this older vision of life if we are to survive.

The war on the Native Americans, like the wars waged by colonialists around the globe, was waged to eradicate not only a people but a competing ethic. The older form of human community was antithetical and hostile to capitalism, the primacy of the technological state and the demands of empire. ...Rebuilding this older vision of community, one based on cooperation rather than exploitation, will be as important to our survival as changing our patterns of consumption, growing food locally and ending our dependence on fossil fuels. "

Chris Hedges: Welcome to the Asylum - Truthdig
The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. - 2012/04/30

A comment on one of Orlov's posts is instructive:

"I agree with you that political change is impossible through the sort of gesturing that typifies slacktivism and the ritual of the peaceful demonstration. However, I believe that there is likewise considerable danger in sitting back and withdrawing from all activities of dissent.
The danger here lies in learned helplessness. One can argue quite reasonably, as you have done in such an engaging manner, that efforts to challenge social structure should be reserved for a more opportune time. Unfortunately, the actual practice of non-involvement in one's surroundings leads to a state of inertia that remains unchanged even when the opportunity to act meaningfully presents itself. Like a caged lion that loses the spark in its eyes as the years of captivity drag on, our seated Buddha becomes rooted in place if he does not periodically get up to use his legs!

This dilemma begs a solution: how does one keep the ability to disobey authority alive in oneself while staying out of battles that cannot be won? The internal dialogue of the obstinate captive is one approach: "Just N more years. I shall will myself to wait it out, and I will come out the other side intact." However, this solution is doomed to failure if undertaken in isolation. Positive affirmation alone is not sufficient to preserve a fighting spirit in the face of forced stasis.

My proposal for a solution harkens back to that ancient and venerable Russian art of 'pofigism', or not giving a flying fuck. Contrary to what one may think on approaching the concept initially, not giving a fuck is a very active process! It takes conscious effort and no small battle against personal anxieties to start ignoring social mores that are past their expiration date and to contravene rules that can no longer be enforced. Engaging in carefully thought out activities of asset reclamation, self-care and general indifference can not only bring about positive material and health benefits, but will also keep the mind acclimatized to dissent.

So, pick up some tricks from parkour to help you get from point A to point B. See if you can take a day off work without consequence. Pick up a piece of furniture that is in the process of getting discarded. Use the time you save for yourself, and do remember to take some deep breaths! Explore the boundaries of the system and find out just how much you can get away with. Doing some or all of these things will initially provoke anxiety in rule-abiding individuals. This anxiety will decrease with time, leaving you better prepared to fend for yourself when the time comes, and generally better off regardless.

People overestimate the change they are capable of producing in the geopolitical sphere, but consistently underestimate the change they can produce in themselves and their immediate social surroundings. We serve the greatest insult to the system enslaving us by simply refusing its claim of ownership on our concept of our surroundings. Those close to you take notice of how you live your life, and will begin flipping it the same bird in good time. Working ideas have a way of spreading."


"Last autumn, though, crew members aboard several ships reported seeing, for the first time, patches of sea that appeared to be bubbling, and initial tests indicated that the bubbles were methane. This was a source of some concern, since methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, there’s a great deal of it trapped in formerly frozen sediments in the Arctic, and the risk of massive methane releases from the polar regions has played a substantial role in the last decade or so of discussions of the risks of global warming. ...Fast forward to this spring. After yet another unseasonably warm Arctic winter, Russian scientists are busy studying the methane releases reported last fall, and initial reports – well, let’s understate things considerably and call them “rather troubling.” Areas of open water up to a kilometer across are fizzing with methane, a condition that one experienced Arctic researcher, Dr. Igor Semiletov, described as completely unprecedented. "
The Archdruid Report: Seascape With Methane Plumes

Bellum omnium contra omnes

From Morris Berman's blog, "Dark Ages America":

Sorokin’s predictions for this end-game scenario (remember, he’s writing this nearly seventy-five years ago) were as follows: 1. The boundary between true and false, and beautiful and ugly, will erode. Conscience will disappear in favor of special interest groups. Force and fraud will become the norm; might will become right, and brutality rampant. It will be a bellum omnium contra omnes, and the family will disintegrate as well. “The home will become a mere overnight parking place.”... (http://morrisberman.blogspot.com/2012/04/pitirim-sorokin_28.html)

‎"...Status hominum naturalis antequam in societatem coiretur Bellum fuerit; neque hoc simpliciter, sed bellum omnium in omnes.--"The natural state of men, before they entered into society, was a mere war, and that not simply, but a war of all men against all men."-Thomas Hobbes, "Libertas"


"In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." - Leviathan XIII "Chapter XIII.: Of the Natural Condition of Mankind As Concerning Their Felicity, and Misery.", Leviathan

Justice and the Sin of Sodom

I watched "Gasland" yesterday and was horrified at what frakking is doing to our water. What Chief Seattle said is coming true: we are defecating in our own beds and will one night suffocate in our own waste.

By the way, there are five sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance:

(1) Wilful murder - the blood of Abel, [Gen. 4:10]

(2) The sin of the Sodomites, [Gen. 18:20; 19:13]

(3) The cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, [Ex. 3:7-10]

(4) The cry of the foreigner, the widow and the orphan, [Ex. 20:20-22] and

(5) Injustice to the wage earner. [Deut. 24:14-5; Jas. 5:4]

Seems like the candidates who claim to be true to Christianity haven't made their positions clear on any of these, except for #2 of course.

But, since it is one of the sins that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, it is worth learning what Jewish tradition teaches about the sin of Sodom: http://www.iwgonline.org/docs/sodom.html

‎"This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it." (Ezekiel 16:46-50 ). Sound familiar?

Post-Peak Oil Helena, a Short and a Long view

I could do without TV ok as long as I have the Internet. No TV or Internet would be tough. I am a Philistine. I like TV. I enjoy it. I like seeing what is happening all over the world. I could do without it, because I have, but I like it.

Now not having a car out here in Montana. Well, here in Helena there really isn't any public transportation. Not that people don't try. We just don't have the population density (although when the town started, we had streetcars on two routes!) We have a dial-a-ride minimum capacity bus that mainly moves around the elderly and the disabled. If you are patient and have a few days to spare to work out arrangements with them, you can get to most places you want to go within the city limits of this very small city.

Some younger and some older and fitter folks are bicycle enthusiasts, both city and trail, though we usually have a couple accidents every month and a death or two every year from collisions with autos and trucks. Of course most of those same folks use autos to go to the store or if they want to get out of the town limits or during the really cold icy times of the year. It's at least 90 miles over mountain highways to get to the next sizeable town, and if you want to go in between, say to a friend's or your ranch, you are SOL.

There's no passenger rail service. You would have to ride a Greyhound-type bus service that runs once a day from Helena to Great Falls (last I checked anyways) then wait a couple hours, then bus up to Big Sandy where the Amtrak connects Chicago and Seattle, and wait a few hours there too, if you want to see the wider world.

If you live outside city limits, including the valley where the city is located, or you are going hunting or fishing, well, most places hereabouts you can't get to without a car, unless you have a string of pack animals and a few weeks to spare.

As time goes on, and the economics and fuel changes, I speculate on what will happen around here.

-Some people will consolidate closer and within town. Property values within town, a 6 or so mile radius, will go up. Bicycles will be joined by tricycles and cargo-cycles. There is a business opportunity there for deep pockets and long range vision. They might even get streetcars going again, either pulled by horses (we had lots of horse and buggy rentals here 100 years ago) or run by electric power from the dams about 25 miles away. Downtown Helena, having a hard time finding tenants, will revive.

-People far away on ranches, 20 miles or more away, will return to living most their life on ranches, herding their livestock to the railheads. Only going into town on urgent business or to get supplies every month or two by wagon or pulling a tarp off an old pickup using ethanol they distilled themselves on rutted trails. The rich folk and celebrities who don't really ranch but just hire others to ranch for them and play rancher, they will have to make up their minds to get real, or go home to the cities they came from (if there is any decent place to return to). Their UPS and Fed-Ex vans driving 60 miles round trip to bring them their luxury goods will stop coming.

-The people in between the city limits and the ranches, they also will have to make up their minds. Some will migrate into town and scuffle with everyone else over living space. Some will go to outlying ranches if they have that sort of individual temperament. There will be a lot of empty houses in this "no-man's land" of suburbia, some becoming shelters for the very poor or those with no options, some becoming cattlesheds or storage barns, and that no-man's land that is irrigable and has suitable soil (not a lot of it is, though most can be some kind of haying country) could become farms, gardens, orchards. Of course the water table is lower now, and the weather more chaotic, and the snowpack undependable (and will get more so). The far-sighted should look at crops being grown in the southwest areas, and start experimenting and developing local hybrids.

But before we get there, there will be a lot of social chaos and stresses, violence and drugs of choice, in periods/cycles of readjustment over the next 20-50 years. Some will only relinquish TV and fast food and cars under the same condition as we would relinquish our guns...when you pry them from our cold dead hands. Migrants will come and others will go. And life will go on in some form or fashion. Looking even further down the road, a hundred or more years away, I think the Rocky Mountain states will eventually end up in some form of nomadic pastoralism like in Mongolia or Afghanistan, because that is the kind of country we have, high dry and cold. Of course climate is hard to predict, through nomadic pastoralism is a time-honored way of making a living from a hard-bitten land.

But if the caldera under Yellowstone goes, all bets are off of course :-)

Meme: Weird Sounds In the Earth and Sky Around the World

Over the last couple of weeks I have been noticing a new meme/phenomena being commented on, weird sounds being reported from all around the world. This post is an ongoing collection of comments/vids, along with my own observations and thoughts at the end.

(DL) "...someone else suggested that it might be tectonic plate movement noises due to the release of pressure in the arctic due to the melting ice sheets... interesting..."

(JH) "http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8566281/Tiny-village-is-latest-victim-of-the-The-hum.html
Tiny village is latest victim of the 'The hum' - Telegraph
It is a mysterious sound on the very edge of perception that has driven thousands of people around the world to distraction."

(DL) "There's loads more here: http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/what-are-they-mysterious-unexplained-noises-now-being-reported-across-the-globe/"

What are they? Mysterious unexplained noises now being reported across the globe
Posted on January 17, 2012
January 17, 2012 – World – A series of unexplained noises are being reported across the globe and the frequency of these events appear to be increasing. The sounds range in description from “bizarre and creepy” to “industrial and mechanical.” The sounds appear to be omni-directional and seem to have no single traced source of origin or horizontal source of degree graduation- leaving one with the impression they are coming from directly overhead or directly underneath the earth. The videos below are reports of the unexplained acoustic phenomenon. Are these sounds omens of an impending disaster, or the deep-churching in the Earth an indication the lithosphere is becoming unsettled, mistpouffers, or something else? You decide. – The Extinction Protocol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mistpouffers are unexplained reports that sound like a cannon or a sonic boom. They have been heard in many waterfront communities around the world such as the banks of the river Ganges in India, the East Coast and inland Finger Lakes of the United States, as well as areas of the North Sea, Japan and Italy; and sometimes away from water. Names (according to area) are:
Bangladesh: Barisal Guns
Italy: "brontidi" or "marinas"
Japan: "uminari"
Netherlands and Belgium: "mistpoeffers"
Philippines: "retumbos"
United States: "Guns of the Seneca" around Seneca Lake & Cayuga Lake, Seneca guns in the Southeast US, and "Moodus noises" in lower Connecticut valley.
elsewhere: "fog guns"
They have been reported from: on an Adriatic island in 1824; Western Australia & Victoria in Australia; Belgium; frequently on calm summer days in the Bay of Fundy, Canada; Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland; Scotland; Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick & Cedar Keys, Florida & Franklinville, New York in 1896 & in northern Georgia in the United States....Their sound has been described as being like distant but inordinately loud thunder while no clouds are in the sky large enough to generate lightning. Those familiar with the sound of cannon fire say the sound is nearly identical. The booms occasionally cause shock waves that rattle plates. Early white settlers in North America were told by the native Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) that the booms were the sound of the Great Spirit continuing his work of shaping the earth. [emphasis mine] ...One explanation for why they are usually heard near water is that inland communities are often too noisy to hear these booms. Their origin has not been positively identified. They have been explained as:
Meteors entering the atmosphere.
Gas escaping from vents in the Earth's surface.
With lakes, natural gas from decaying vegetation trapped beneath the lake bottoms suddenly bursting forth. This is plausible, since Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake are two large and deep lakes.
Explosive release of less volatile gases generated as limestone decays in underwater caves.
Military aircraft (though it cannot explain occurrences of the phenomenon which predate supersonic flight).
In some cases, they have been associated with earthquakes.
In the US state of North Carolina, that they are the sound of pieces of the continental shelf falling off into the Atlantic abyss[citation needed]
A recent explanation is that the noise is very distant thunder which has been focussed anomalously as it travelled through the upper atmosphere: see link #1 below, including for cases of anomalous transmission of sounds of man-made explosions.
Underwater caves collapsing, and the air rapidly rising to the surface.
Some people claim that it might be produced by extraterrestrial activity.[citation needed]
Firearms being discharged. " (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistpouffers)

An interesting list of unexplained sounds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unexplained_sounds
An interesting list of unexplained booms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unexplained_booms

(JH) "Mysterious Universe cover the sounds in their latest episode: http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2012/01/episode-702-mysterious-universe/ ...Episode 702 – Mysterious Universe (mysteriousuniverse.org) ...Reports of bizarre sky sounds and roars dominate the headlines this week with videos and audio recordings coming in from all over the world. We also"

(LF) "Very weird. Nothing like that here in Montana [yet]. Maybe these are all edited tomfoolery, I haven't heard anything like it, but it's a very interesting meme in that case."

Colorado, USA: "Unexplained noise recorded in Colorado by two hikers in August, 2011 some time before the 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck the state." They sound like drums in the earth to me. (0:37)

Windsor, Ontario: "Mysterious noise and rumbling reported in Windsor, On – compiled August 2011 by The Windsor Star" (4:39)

Mexico: "This incident was recorded in Mexico January 12-14, 2012 and is unexplained" (2:45)

Costa Rica: "This incident was reported of a unusual noise heard throughout Costa Rica on January 9, 2012" (2:45)

Cumbria, England:

Kiev, Ukraine:

South France:

Isle of Wight:

Taipei, Taiwan

Kota Samarahan, Malaysia: "This incident occurred on January 11, 2012 in Malaysia. The sound is heard for three hours and the noise appears every three seconds from 3 am until dawn. The second incident occurred on the morning of January 12, 2012, the sound is heard for three hours and the noise that appears every three seconds from 3 am until dawn. This audio is successfully captured by one of the people of Kota Samarahan in Malaysia." (0:30) A comment says it is also heard in Samarahan, Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Another comment: "i went to kota samarahan to verify this strange occurance or rather sound a few days ago. Amongst the people i interviewed were old times...middle aged men, and most confirmed having heard the sound , something like some dude snoring...but the sound was real loud....this is real ......not a hoax....."

Worldwide: Various sounds heard worldwide (14:59)

The uploader of the Cumbria sounds, YonOtto, uploaded this video where he says he debunks the Manitoba sound as a ripoff of the Kiev sounds...which are in return a ripoff of a sound from a video game. YonOtto maintains his Cumbria sounds are genuine. He is quite frustrated and uses lots of expletives in his frustration. (5:08)

More sources:


Anyways, this is what I have synthesized:


1. Weird unexplained noises in the earth and sky have been going on since at least the 1700s, and probably even before, as indigenous people have traditions about them, such as the Iroquois

2. Some of these noises likely are associated with geophysical-tectonic activity, such as earthquakes.

3. Others are atmospheric distortions of distant thunder, air exchanges from caverns and mines, etc.

4. Some might be associated with anthropogenic activity such as subterranean drilling and construction (as for road or rail tunnels, military construction, etc.) or the HAARP technology (an issue that would warrant its own post!)


5. These various phenomena, whatever or whichever they may be, are lumped together as one phenomenon-meme by people with umbrella theories of apocalyptic scenarios (Mayan prophecies of 2012, government conspiracies and HAARP, etc.) because this is part of human culture, "the end of the world" (see John Michael Greer's book 'Apocalypse Not' for an exploration of this cultural meme, since at least Biblical times)

6. The final layer of this meme is exploited by the Internet, both by conspiracy-prophecy folks, and more mischievously by folks who use sound-editing software, videos and videogames, actual videos of real mystery sounds, to mix and create their own mystery sound videos for their own locale to "join in the fun" and be practical jokers to fool people for amusement.

Certainly there are BOTH vids of real sounds and certainly there are hoax vids being passed around the Internet. The hoaxsters just confuse the situation. The average person watches a few of these curiously or skeptically, then either becomes a "believer" or a "cynic" according to their own disposition/experience (though I would say a cynic is a believer who got burned too often and too badly!)

The end of the world meme is fundamental to our cultural mythology and so it will return again and again in one form or another. When the world doesn't end in December of 2012, there will soon be another proposed date further down the road. And those hoaxsters are just another daimonic face of the Trickster, who will also always be with us.

The earth is indeed going through physical changes...
    but it always has
. Such changes are considered either as gradualism or catastrophism...history shows us it is some of both. Sometimes these changes are gradual and even imperceptible in the human lifespan (erosion, climate change, landform change, etc.), but occasionally there are great events or catastrophes (tsunamis, meteor strikes, volcanic eruptions) that affect a region or more rarely even the world. As horrible as this can be (the ends of the Permian and the Cretaceous were quite horrible) this too is part of natural existence.

The weird noise meme along with the catastrophic extinction events, are all summed up in that quote by the native Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) "that the booms were the sound of the Great Spirit continuing his work of shaping the earth." As the Cheyenne say, Creation is ongoing.

A Dream in 1984

This is going to sound weird, but... When I was 24 I had a dream. It was 1984, the night before Reagan's reelection. Someone, spirit or an angel maybe, told me in that dream that we now knew what Reagonomics was about, how "trickle down" really worked. And the way we voted, if greed won out, then our fate was self-chosen. The U.S. would decline, we would collapse from hubris and greed. But that just as evil would increase in the society as a whole, it would be an opportunity for each of us AS INDIVIDUALS to stand up against it. And that as the natural world was destroyed, then also magic would return to be available to counter that destruction too. But it was just a dream. And then Reagan won, and we had chosen.

The End of the World

These religions that look for the end of the world...what "spirituality" finds satisfaction in the destruction of the world? Even the earth and sky doesn't last forever...which is what makes life so very precious.

Yes, this is the time we are on this earth, and really, the end of the world meme... when we die, it is the end of the world anyway (for us anyways ;-) So do your work, live the day you are given, drink the sweet nectar of each day's blossom like a honeybee at its sacred task.

It is a good day to die, the Lakota said, not in a way of self-destruction, but a recognition that today is a sacred day, a moment in time of perfection, that all the good things in life are here and now, at this very moment.

And so from Marcus Aurelius to Epictetus, again Stoicism being misread as some dour self-denial, but no, it is the recognition of the sufficiency and perfection of the moment, clear-eyed, cognizant of death, memento mori. Ethics and the way of the impeccable warrior as perfection, as in the movie "Gladiator." Or as Cat Stevens sang in his best song:

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You're only dancin' on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dads best jeans
Denim blue, faded up to the sky
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will
(you know they never will)
And the patches make the goodbye harder still.

Oh very young what will you leave us this time
There'll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see a better day
Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you ride the great white bird into heaven
And though you want to last forever
You know you never will
(you know you never will)
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still.

Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you ride, oh, oooh

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You're only dancin' on this earth for a short while
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time