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Warning signs of the next stage of collapse. by the48thronin on Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:09 am
So those of you who know me, know I am a truck owner driver. My wife and I each own and drive a truck with our own trailer. We are independent, but have an "agent" who chooses "with" us which and books our loads from the people who are trying to book the truck. He gets our signed contracts for each load before we go to pick up the load and negotiates all details of pay insurance requirements etc. He also does the credit checks on customers and decides which will have to pay in advance and which have the credit to pay after delivery instead of before delivery. We do not move households, only industrial, museum, government loads. The customer I am working for now is a years long steady customer who booked the load suddenly this morning when he realized I was empty in the area.

Tonight I am sitting half loaded in a ghost town, a 10 block by 20 block office complex. I am in Irvine California.


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Mexico: A black swan in the making? by Jack on Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:28 pm
From FM 3-24/MCWP 3-33.5:

1-33. Phase II, strategic stalemate, begins with overt guerrilla warfare as the correlation of forces approaches equilibrium. In a rural-based insurgency, guerrillas normally operate from a relatively secure base area in insurgent-controlled territory. In an urban-based insurgency, guerrillas operate clandestinely, using a cellular organization. In the political arena, the movement concentrates on undermining the people’s support of the government and further expanding areas of control. Subversive activities can take the form of clandestine radio broadcasts, newspapers, and pamphlets that openly challenge the control and legitimacy of the established authority. As the populace loses faith in the established authority the people may decide to actively resist it. During this phase, a counterstate may begin to emerge to fill gaps in governance that the host-nation (HN) government is unwilling or unable to address.

Let's take a l...

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The fragile system by Jack on Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:03 pm
Is our civilization fragile or robust? Within this question lies the central problem of peak oil as well as other challenges. If robust, then damage and problems are unlikely to create systemic collapse. If fragile, then a single breakdown could propagate like the break lines in a pane of glass.

In the past, we've seen evidence of remarkable endurance. The various European countries faced enormous hardships during the wars, and yet continued as functional societies. Likewise, Japanese society did not fail despite a pair of nuclear strikes. And we can observe other societies that endure a variety of privations.

On the other side, we might note the systemic breakdown in New Orleans post Katrina. Likewise, a decline in housing prices seems to have cascaded into a global economic crisis - one which may not yet be fully resolved. These may suggest that American society, at least, has some vulnerability.

Perhaps long-term abundance and national affluence leads to weakness among part...

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Physical Fitness by smallpoxgirl on Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:04 pm
At the beginning of this year I was just about to turn 35, and I was almost 200 pounds overweight. In my mid thirties I'm starting to come to terms with the idea that if I don't start taking care of my body, it may not be around to take care of me. I started a combination of diet and exercise around the beginning of February. So far I've lost 85 pounds, and I'm maintaining a pretty steady rate of just over 3 pounds of weight loss per week. I feel great. I'm not hungry. Life is good. The best part is that, unlike prior attempts I've made at weight loss, this really feels more like a lifestyle change rather than a "diet" per se.

I've become a huge fan of Crossfit. Crossfit began as a local thing in Northern California back in the early 90's. Around 2000 they started a website where they post the workout of the day (WOD) and various videos of how to do the different excercises. Since then it's taken off like wild fire and become a grassroots movement with thousands of...

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Confusion reigns by Jack on Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:29 pm
Do you ever observe things that make you stop, wonder what universe you're in, and conclude you're not in Kansas anymore? I do that, perhaps too often.

Today, I talked with two people in a seriously upscale neighborhood (houses from $500,000 up to $10,000,000 and more) who were trying to get estimates done for some work. One was for landscaping, and the other was for a burglar alarm. Neither one could get companies to even give them an estimate - and they're both nice folks, so it isn't a matter of attitude. If we're in a bad economy, if people are hurting for work or business - why on Earth can't people even get an estimate on some work they want done? Curious.

Another person I talked to manages a restaurant. He can't get people to show up on time consistently, and they won't do the various tasks they're supposed to do. The applicants and employees are simply not willing to do they job for which they are paid. In a bad economy? With high unemployment? Curious.

And still another...

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