The Rhyme Of History Calls…

The whole thing is well worth the read. I’m only going to quote parts of it so as to encourage folks to “hit the link”. The case is made, and rather well, that the arc of history is once again rhyming with itself and we can likely see our future in a Roman past. I’m pretty sure he’s got some truth in it. The one missing bit is China. I see no exterior force of Globalists and no exterior force of an equally massive Empire working to subvert from within. To the extent those forces change things, we may yet escape The Wheel turning…

OTOH, I don’t know enough about that particular point in Roman history to say if there were some larger external party who is just not mentioned in this essay. I do know that at various times the Celts, Germans and Goths of various sorts caused Rome grief, occasionally even sacking Rome. But the timeline needs aligning.

https://www.lotuseaters.com/remember-the-gracchi-21-01-21

Remember the Gracchi
B.B. Dade
Published 21st Jan at 10:00 am

What if I told you that the political situation, as it is unfolding in the United States, has happened before – in another time and place? What if I told you that it has, in fact, happened a great many times before, all over the world, and in shockingly similar circumstances? It is playing out with eerily familiar tones, almost as though the actors themselves have little agency left and the merciless and invisible hand of history is now holding the reigns and cracking the whip independently of any further human intervention.
[…]
Allow me to tell you a story. The story of a rich kid who entered politics as a populist, entered office against the odds using a touch of strong rhetoric, tried to reform the establishment on behalf of the greater good of the people, but was demonised, hounded, and eventually destroyed by an entrenched and vicious deep state that simply could not abide.

A long time ago, in a republic far, far away (from Washington) there once was a man named Tiberius Gracchus. This Tiberius Gracchus lived in a time before Caesar and Augustus, before Marius and Sulla, before the near-endless succession of military rulers of Rome, in a time when the mechanisms of republican government were firmly established and seemed to function well. For centuries the popular assembly and the senate had conducted their business, with the occasional veto from the tribunes of the people, and had enjoyed a period of phenomenal growth in every possible metric.

Perhaps that growth was too prolific, some historians have noted, for Rome’s system of government began to creak under the weight of its newly acquired wealth and power. The scope for corruption increased and so too did the opportunity for cartels and cabals to develop, most notably in the realm of land distribution. In Tiberius Gracchus’ lifetime, the most pressing issue was that the common Roman had been largely dispossessed by monopolistic senatorial landholders who refused to allow legal reform to redress the concerns of the average smallholder and had replaced their labour with newly acquired foreign slaves.

Tiberius was a fair-minded and noble soul, the ancient historian Plutarch tells us, and felt compelled to tackle this issue when he gained the hitherto relatively junior office of Tribune. This venerable and sacrosanct position held a power to veto any decision of the government on behalf of the people, in order to avoid their complete political negation. But its powers had fallen into disuse and were not expected to be exercised to their full capacity; until Tiberius Gracchus.

Gracchus used the powers of his office to legally block the ruling elites, the senatorial class, from expanding and cementing their cartels. He proposed legislation that would, in fact, benefit the broad citizenry, and when immensely powerful political interests arrayed against him, he attempted to legally frustrate them and block their path.

[…] Tiberius Gracchus was very much attempting to drain Rome’s swamp. Both men were accused of wanting to be a king, and despite a groundswell of popular support, they were also met with a wall of hostility from a deep state committed at all costs to remove them from office.

[…]the senators and their retainers resorted to force. They simply gathered a mob, over-powered their opponents in a naked display of desperation, and clubbed Tiberius to death before throwing the resulting sack of bones into the river Tiber.

Trump can probably expect a less violent cancellation, retiring to Mar-a-Lago and endless rounds of golf, I imagine. But the spirit with which he and Tiberius Gracchus were thwarted are exactly the same. The spirit of contempt for populist sentiment among an entrenched ruling class. The near-hysterical need to silence and baffle the authentic voice of a long-ignored underclass. A type of political and social revenge whose repercussions far outlast the careers of anyone involved at the time. A spirit of malevolence which is sure to bring in its wake yet further cycles of resentment and reaction.

What happened next in the great story of Rome’s republic may serve as a vague guide to how things might pan out in the United States over the next few presidential races. In Rome’s case, the Gracchi family were not finished in their attempt to champion the grievances of the exploited and ignored. All good Roman history nerds will be well aware that Tiberius had a little brother, Gaius, who subsequently, and at first reluctantly, took up the cause.
[…]

I wonder who will live out the role of a modern-day American Gaius Gracchus. Giuliani? Tucker? Not Palin, surely? … Whoever it is, they will be facing incredible odds.

Yet the forces unleashed by the Gracchi could never be contained again. Their arguments could not be unsaid, could not be unheard. Their political journeys were short, yet they set the stage for hundreds of years.
They set in motion a series of events which killed the republic and ushered in an age of military rule. Their little corner of history echoes through the ages, like a beacon of forewarning, screaming out to anyone who will listen: ‘Remember, remember the Gracchi!”

I doubt our “cover” of this song will take hundreds of years to play out. Things move much more swiftly now. But the same dynamic of things said that can not be un-heard or things seen that can not be un-seen persists.

Will we end up under a Military Rule? Will we end up an Empire, not a Republic? That’s just asking which way the Rhyme is bent, how true to the original is the ‘cover’of it.

I only learned that use of the word “cover” about 15 years ago from my Son. He’s a pretty good musician, I’m not. In the music world, a “cover” of a song is the same (or very similar) song done by someone other than the original artist. It may be a common word to all of you, now, but was new to me, then. So for anyone else who might be a bit baffled by it, that’s what it means.

Then the other issue is the atonal background beat of Marx, Lenin, and the Communist Manifesto that did not exist then, interpreted by China as a pentatonic inharmonious undertone to the western scale of 8 notes of freedoms, liberties, rights, and tolerance. Will that cacophony overwhelm the original score?

So we are now firmly on this roller coaster, the lift is ratcha ratcha ratcheting us up to the top of the plunge, and soon enough will find out where the tracks lead on the other side. Or if they are there at all…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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57 Responses to The Rhyme Of History Calls…

  1. Jim Masterson says:

    Mussolini tried to revived the grander of Rome. One of the things he did was plaster the SPQR acronym everywhere. You can still see it in Rome today–it’s on manhole covers for instance. I still remember some of my high school Latin. SPQR stands for Senatus Populusque Romanus, or The Senate and the People of Rome. Notice that the Senate placed themselves first–ahead of the people.

    Jim

  2. Tonyb says:

    Very nice story.

    This is spooky. My nearest city is Exeter home of the Met office which still has a large part of its Roman walls so I am very interested in roman history and was reading about gracchus just yesterday. This rift between the peasant and the land owner and other classes played out at various times Over hundreds of years

    The schism really came with Augustus ( Octavian) who after defeating his great rival and seizing Egypt , which made him fabulously rich, became enormously popular with all strata of roman life as he had in effect brought an end to the civil war and more to the point spent billions on The
    Peasant from Games to land, banquets to parades.

    However he was very crafty and realised the brakes on his power in the form of the senate and the popularity of the existing System enjoyed by landowners and others who has a vote.

    he managed to become the empires first emperor by pretending he was doing everything for the ordinary people including doling out land and accepting the position of tribune. So he had managed to gather all the reins of power and the senate was in effect emasculated and democracy was sidelined

    What lessons that sets for America in silencing critics by denying them a voice and setting up a cancel culture I will leave others to decide.

    Tonyb

  3. Your story set me thinking. Rome at the time had a fairly vestigial democracy with power held by the elite and the plebs mostly confined to bursts of power when their tribune asserted himself.

    It reminds me a bit of 18th century England where those who could vote was very limited and there were many ‘rotten boroughs.’

    So democracy in America in the 21st Century is very much more broadly practised than Rome or 18th century England with all sort of checks and balances.

    I think Biden judging by his record is fairly middle of the road, but the democrats seem to have acquired a substantial left wing who tend to be intolerant of other peoples opinions and are a heartbeat away from Power in the form of Kamala Harris.

    They are the ones who need watching as they have been empowered by the rioting last year and a worrying young woke generation who never having known the Cold war and rarely understand history, seem to think Socialism is a good idea and that the only correct opinion is the one they hold.

    tonyb

  4. cdquarles says:

    Biden most certainly is not middle of the road. He is a figurehead and his record is abysmal, mostly. The US media is, functionally, state run; just not formally as such. There isn’t much difference between it and the old Russian Pravda. The rest of the world most certainly does not get anything near the truth about life here.
    Personal Liberty

    No Maximum
    Left Right
    Does anyone really think that the “Democrat” party is really in the middle of that? /rhetorical

    Reminder: liberty is bounded. It is not “license” nor “anything goes”. My rights end where another person’s rights begin. All rights derive from the reality that all humans are equal under He That Is, whether you want to accept that premise or not. We want to be equal before the law; and any law that does not comport to He That Is law and the derived law of Nature isn’t law. We can argue about where the bounds should be, but that there are bounds shouldn’t be argued. The corporation known as government needs bounds as much as any other human corporation, if not more.

  5. David A says:

    Biden was chosen to speak to old guard democrats who buy the MSM fully. He has zero real power. The Obama wing of the democratic party of thieves chose Biden and Kamala.

    However I am not without hope. McConnell put President Trump on a two month leash under threat of impeachment. I expect him to be relatively subdued until that is done one way or the other. Then my guess is he will come back as canadaite Trump, or as a media news investor in some format.

    Most Americans can not unsee the corruptions Trump revealed. The democrats will be convincing millions of others independents and Democrats that wavered even a little bit, that Trump was right.

    I think the long term outcome of this may be determined on creating fair elections.

  6. Jim Masterson says:

    @David A

    >>
    I think the long term outcome of this may be determined on creating fair elections.
    <<

    Hope springs eternal; and eternal springs have more bounce. It’s all wishful thinking, I’m afraid.

    Jim

  7. M Simon says:

    Empires rise until they become unprofitable. Thermodynamics rules.

    Rumors are that China has reached a state where a dollar invested returns less than a dollar. They have to expand or die (acceptance of tyranny in exchange for increasing prosperity),. Which means they have to die. Which means smaller States. Reduce at least one layer of overhead. Federal. Governments get closer to the people.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Some interesting back story bits here (and I’m going to other sources after this one so no worries about wiki, OK?)

    “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius_Gracchus”

    Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus was born in 163 or 162 BC, being “not yet thirty” at his death. He belonged to the highest aristocracy of the Roman Republic: his identically named father came from one of Rome’s leading plebeian families, and had been a consul, while his patrician mother, Cornelia, was the daughter of the renowned general Scipio Africanus, the hero of the Second Punic War.

    So a Rich Kid of stature…

    He was also a pretty good soldier and there were ongoing battles / wars with the Numantines in Hispania. So a parallel of sorts with the U.S. ongoing battles in the Middle East et. al.

    Roman Land Crisis
    Rome’s internal political situation was not peaceful. In the last hundred years, there had been several wars. Since legionaries were required to serve in a complete campaign, no matter how long it was, soldiers often left their farms in the hands of wives and children. Small farms in this situation often went bankrupt and were bought up by the wealthy upper class, forming huge private estates called latifundia.

    Shades of the dying of the American Family Farm and the rise of Billy Gates as largest land holder despite having zero farming history…

    Furthermore, some lands ended up being taken by the state in war, both in Italy and elsewhere. After the war was over, much of this conquered land would then be sold to or rented to various members of the populace. Much of this land was given to only a few farmers who then had large amounts of land that were more profitable than the smaller farms. The farmers with large farms had their land worked by slaves and did not do the work themselves, unlike landowners with smaller farms.

    Rather like the rich agro-corporations wanting lots of imported cheap labor today…

    According to Plutarch, “when Tiberius on his way to Numantia passed through Etruria and found the country almost depopulated and its husbandmen and shepherds imported barbarian slaves, he first conceived the policy which was to be the source of countless ills to himself and to his brother.”

    I re-visited my old home town about 2 years ago. I’ll not go out of my way to return. What had been a kind of Norman Rockwell world, or maybe a slightly advanced Mayberry RFD, had instead turned into a place nearly unrecognized. The High School was the same, but the street out front was covered end to end with painted graffiti. Something that would not have been tolerated before.

    The “locals” still had some familiar old line farm families and such, but a major shift had happened in the “middle class” and below. Throughout the Central Valley farm areas of California, a new sub-class has been imported. Poor Mexicans (and others from further south), often illegal immigrants with bondage of fear of discovery. Different from the Mexican Kids I grew up with. They were “Americans in the process of becomming”, these new folks were more “Mexicans looking to get something”. More gang and gang-wanna-be style and less Americans-with-backstory.

    Spanish was more used in the gas station store and the whole town just felt a bit ‘rougher’. Much of the middle class had left. (Me among them. My whole family moved away. Me to The Silicon Valley Boom. 2 sisters to Nevada now as retired tax refugees. One moved to Sacramento to work in government, soon also looking at other places to be.) Instead of a clean and tidy middle class town, it was more a few very rich families and their labor pool plus support structure.

    In places the prior life still shone. Churches still stand. Some businesses are clean and nicely run. But a lot of the prior world is clearly in decay. The Farmers Market is gone entirely. (Really it was a fruit and vegetable stand / store. An outdoor supermarket for plant products with local produce.) Some older repair and garage businesses are now empty old building decaying or collecting ‘street art’. Several Name Businesses are just gone. The FORD Dealership, for example. Staple for generations. Probably done in by cheaper prices in the “big city” 15 miles away. Far away in 1950. Just next door now. I’d guess ‘the kid’ (who I went to school with) did not want or care about Daddy’s business. It is still a recoverable town. It could still reverse course, and might.

    But the trend is toward Rural Ghetto…

    When the soldiers returned from the legions, they had nowhere to go, so they went to Rome to join the thousands of unemployed who roamed the city. As only men who owned property were allowed to enroll in the army, the number of men eligible for army duty was therefore shrinking; and hence the military power of Rome. Plutarch noted, “Then the poor, who had been ejected from their land, no longer showed themselves eager for military service, and neglected the bringing up of children, so that soon all Italy was conscious of a dearth of freemen, and was filled with gangs of foreign slaves, by whose aid the rich cultivated their estates, from which they had driven away the free citizens.”

    Again, odd similarity. The American Middle Class is now “neglecting the bringing up of children” and increasingly my home town is populated by “gangs of foreign” workers “by whose aid the rich cultivated their estates”.

    I suspect something similar is afoot in Europe and the UK.

    In 133 BC Tiberius was elected tribune of the people. Soon he started to legislate on the matter of the homeless legionaries. Speaking before a crowd at the Rostra, Tiberius said, “The wild beasts that roam over Italy have their dens, each has a place of repose and refuge. But the men who fight and die for Italy enjoy nothing but the air and light; without house or home they wander about with their wives and children.”

    Interesting that loss of land disqualified from military service. You’d think the PTB then would have noticed that was A Bad Thing and that giving more land to more guys would get them a bigger army to use… But I guess raw greed outweighs ‘enlightened self interest’.

    Further down, we have an echo of the pass my bill or I’ll “Shut down the government” of today:

    These actions violated Octavius’ right of sacrosanctity and worried Tiberius’ supporters, and so instead of moving to depose him, Tiberius commenced to use his veto on daily ceremonial rites in which Tribunes were asked if they would allow for key public buildings, for example the markets and the temples, to be opened. In this way he effectively shut down the entire city of Rome, including all businesses, trade and production, until the Senate and the Assembly passed the laws.

    So holding the government budget hostage to a vote is a very old practice…

    We also have the same dynamic of Senate (Congress) vs Tiberius (Trump) and them using all the dirt they can in the process. Then ‘executive orders’ to flank. Followed by claims he wanted to be monarch or king.

    […]
    the Senate, and the Senate and conservatives took every opportunity to hamper, delay and slander Tiberius.
    However, late in 133 BC, king Attalus III of Pergamon died and left his entire fortune (including the whole kingdom of Pergamon) to Rome. Tiberius saw his chance and immediately used his tribunician powers to allocate the fortune to fund the new law. This was a direct attack on Senatorial power, since the Senate was traditionally responsible for the management of the treasury and for decisions regarding overseas affairs. The opposition of the Senate to Tiberius Gracchus’ policies increased. Quintus Pompeius addressed the Senate and said that he “was a neighbour of Tiberius, and therefore knew that Eudemus of Pergamon had presented Tiberius with a royal diadem and a purple robe, believing that he was going to be king in Rome.” Pompeius’s fears were reflective of a growing number of senators who were afraid that Tiberius was claiming too much power for himself. They feared that Tiberius was seeking to become King of Rome, a loathed office which had been dismantled with the ousting of the Tarquins and the establishment of the Republic. Such fears tipped the Senate from hatred and paranoia into committing the first outright bloodshed in Republican politics.

    There’s even an analogue of the Capitol Troubles complete with infiltration by False Flag types and more:

    […]
    Tiberius continued to plead with the people, lamenting that he feared for his safety and that of his family, and moved them so much that many camped outside his house to ensure his protection.

    When the people assembled on the Capitol,
    Tiberius set out, despite many inauspicious omens. While the tribes were being assembled, a skirmish broke out on the outskirts of the crowd as Tiberius’ supporters were attempting to block a group of his opponents from entering into the area to mingle about. A sympathetic senator, Fulvius Flaccus, was able to make his way to Tiberius to warn him that the Senate was seated and plotting to kill him, having armed slaves and their men since they could not convince the consul to do the deed. Tiberius’ men then armed themselves with clubs and staves, prepared to meet any violence in kind.

    Curiouser and curiouser… Now, though, the ‘killing’ is as a political extermination of character and right to run for office.

    So where do things go after the Lion is deposed?

    Note that Nasica in the following was Pontifex Maximus and the leader of the mob against Tiberius.

    […]
    This, according to Plutarch, was the first outbreak of civil strife in Rome.

    Following the massacre, many of Tiberius’ supporters were sent into exile without a trial, while others were arrested and executed, including being sewn up in a bag with poisonous vipers. The Senate attempted to mollify the people by allowing the agrarian law to go into effect and a vote to replace Tiberius on the commission; the job fell to Publius Crassus, father-in-law of Tiberius’ brother Gaius. When threatened with impeachment, Nasica was reassigned to Asia to remove him from the city. The people made no attempt to conceal their hatred of him, accosting him publicly, cursing him and calling him a tyrant. Nasica wandered, despised and outcast, until he died shortly later near Pergamum. Even Scipio Africanus the Younger, who had formerly enjoyed the love of the people, incurred their wrath when he said he disapproved of Tiberius’ politics, and was thereafter frequently interrupted when giving speeches, causing him to only lash out more at them.

    So one can presume that Usurper Biden, Kamel-a, the DNC et. al. along with the RINOs who voted against Trump can look forward to a rocky road ahead of them… Civil disruptions and all.

    OTOH, it looks like the opposition leadership could well also suffer:

    Gracchus Babeuf
    The French revolutionary François-Noël Babeuf took up the name “Gracchus Babeuf” in conscious emulation of the Roman brothers, and published a newspaper, Le tribun du peuple (“the tribune of the people”). Ultimately he, like them, met a violent end.

    I can almost hear the DNC and RINOs and Globalists shouting in unison:

    “But this time is DIFFERENT!… This time for sure!”…

  9. M Simon says:

    Jim Masterson says:
    23 January 2021 at 8:33 pm

    You have to wonder why DC needs 10K troops (about a Division) for another 20 days. What was it with Deputizing so many of them?

    Why is impeachment of Trump such an immediate priority? Don’t they have to get Biden’s picks installed?

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @M. Simon:

    In any Coup, the Coup Plotters are paranoid as they know they did a Coup. Inevitably they want to get rapid control of the military acknowledged and then use them to defend, protect and support the mandates of the illegitimate government to give then the aura of legitimacy.

    It just looks really really tacky… and folks know what it means…

    But as power comes from the guns, those grasping after power want a major show of all the guns they control.

    They also know they must, in some way, decapitate and diffuse the opposition. They know it accounts for the majority and fear that majority having leadership to organize it. They must move to incapacitate it in some way.

    The legitimately elected know the people are with them, so don’t bother with that show of force bit.

  11. another ian says:

    History but not that far back

    “Mencken’s Forecast ”

    https://realclimatescience.com/2021/01/menckens-forecast/

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/presidential-documents/executive-orders

    Joe Biden issued 9 executive orders between 2021 and 2021.

    2021 EO 13985 – EO 13993 9

    So there’s that…

  13. Jim Masterson says:

    @E.M.Smith

    >>
    The legitimately elected know the people are with them, so don’t bother with that show of force bit.
    <<

    It’s probably not all the people. Maybe it’s a majority of the people. That’s still a lot of people against you–as Trump found out.

    Jim

  14. another ian says:

    J M

    Including fate

    “AWKWARD: After Inauguration Bidens Were Locked Out of White House – They Fired Trump Butler and No One Was There to Open the Doors

    The Clown show continues. The Daily Mail reported that the Bidens were locked out of the White House on Inauguration day. President Trump’s butler was fired hours before the inauguration and no one was there to open the door.
    The Daily Mail reported on another embarrassing gaffe at the Biden Inauguration. No one showed up for the Biden’s Inauguration other than soldiers, media and politicians. This showed what millions believe: Biden stole the 2020 election. The embarrassing day turned into more of a clown show as the Bidens approached the White House.

    Joe and Jill Biden walked through the gates and up to the front doors, only to find the doors wouldn’t open.

    This was reportedly because the incoming administration had fired President Trump’s butler hours before and the butler was the one to greet guests to the White House.’

    https://joannenova.com.au/2021/01/capitol-hill-police-officer-sicknick-who-died-was-fine-on-the-night-of-the-capitol-hill-riot/#comment-2400332

    Worrying about those nuke keys yet?

  15. another ian says:

    FWIW

    “WILL THE WAGES OF DEMOCRAT SIN SPELL THE END OF AMERICA?”

    https://richardsonpost.com/howellwoltz/20284/will-the-wages-of-democrat-sin-spell-the-end-of-america/

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    I think the answer to that is “Already Has.”

    Democracy ended at the moment that the Machines took over the voting and installed Usurper Biden.

    Demo – people
    Mecho – machines

    Mechocracy?

  17. philjourdan says:

    I agree with the premise. Except for one thing. The UNITED STATES of America (capitalization intended) was founded on a unique principal. It does not inoculate it from the cancer that beset the rest of the world. It only means it had a different origin, root, upbringing.

    History will tell us if that means a diddly damn.

  18. David A says:

    E.M. says “Different from the Mexican Kids I grew up with. They were “Americans in the process of becomming”, these new folks were more “Mexicans looking to get something”. More gang and gang-wanna-be style and less Americans-with-backstory.”

    Hummm?, where do you think the 14 k ICE detainees will fit that Biden apparently just ordered to be released. ( Insanity, and apparently just an unconditional blanket release of all ICE detainees)

    At Jim M, I stated…
    >>
    I think the long term outcome of this may be determined on creating fair elections.
    <<

    It was not an expression of hope. It was an analytical viewpoint that, sans fair elections, there is no hope for restoring our nation.

    Fair elections plus free speech must become the number one priorities for real Americans. It is that simple at this point.

  19. London Calling says:

    > Demo – people
    > Mecho – machines
    >
    > Mechocracy?

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5218456/

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @London Calling:

    OMG! i LOVE Red Dwarf but never saw that episode. (Only got sporadic episodes due to work when it was on here, and then never found a reliable re-runj site after).

    Golly, I’m really happy to know my mind runs in the same gutter as theirs! ;-)

  21. The True Nolan says:

    Well, all this speculation about Rome and the US has had an effect on my home life. Last night my wife and I started re-watching the old BBC series “I Claudius”. Looks like my evenings will be booked solid for a while…

    By the way, yes, obviously, history rhymes — a bit here, a bit there. In some ways the current trend of the US also mirrors not the fall of Rome, but the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire. Great Britain was Rome; the US is the offspring, the Eastern Roman Empire. The ERE did great for most of a thousand years by strict enforcement of sound money, but once the coinage began to be adulterated, things fell apart and they eventually were conquered by the Ottomans. One could make a good argument that the financial ruin of the US was the logical outcome of Nixon’s 1971 “temporary” closing of the gold window. When counterfeiting becomes government policy it is only a matter of time before the market us unable (or unwilling) to assign reasonable allocation of capital resources.

  22. H.R. says:

    The True Nolan writes in part: ” One could make a good argument that the financial ruin of the US was the logical outcome of Nixon’s 1971 “temporary” closing of the gold window. When counterfeiting becomes government policy it is only a matter of time before the market us unable (or unwilling) to assign reasonable allocation of capital resources.”

    Earlier, I threw out that I thought the stock market would do well for a while and then crash and burn. I also thought that ruinous inflation was on the horizon.

    So you see eventual financial ruin for the U.S. and perhaps the World, as did I, and I asked about what to do to protect oneself. E.M. responded with “land, real estate” as likely what the big boys are doing. I believe Bill Gates is the largest landholder in the U.S. I could be wrong about that, but he is way up there at the top.

    The thing is, the PTB can take your land if they want to. They can just make property taxes so onerous, that after a while, even if one owns property free and clear, the owner has to default and either the gubbmint or a Whale acquires your property. Real estate isn’t safe in a hostile government environment, and even more so when government doesn’t bother with the niceties and just comes in and seizes it.

    Then there’s the taking by regulation. How many restaurants and small businesses have gone under in the past year due to nonsensical muuuuh-COVID regulations? All of those closures are available for a song and the Tenor is warming up in the wings. Who ya gonna complain to, the gubbmint?

    Anyhow. I’m not seeing real estate as being safe under the commies.

  23. “Great Britain was Rome; the US is the offspring, the Eastern Roman Empire”

    Excellent analogy. There was the Pax romana, Pax Britannica and Pax Americana, in which people wanted to emulate the citizens of those countries by way of trade, education, protection and culture.

    Pax Americana has been crumbling for much of this century. Trump instinctively saw this with MAGA. Bearing in mind how fractured the world is and the rise of China and how divided America is and how indebted, I am afraid Pax Americana is likely finished and the west will be harassed by its emboldened enemies and decline, as happened with Byzantium
    tonyb

  24. The True Nolan says:

    @ H.R. “I’m not seeing real estate as being safe under the commies.”

    Safe under the commies? No, but then again, NOTHING is really “safe” under the commies. There is only “relatively safe when compared to something else.” In comparison, property is almost certainly safer than Treasury Bonds or Mutual Funds, and deep rural property is (in my opinion) much safer than urban property. Perhaps the safest bet is a current passport and a blue water, live aboard sailboat docked in a coastal harbor — but that is not a practical choice for most families, couples, or even most single men.

    About 20 years ago a circle of friends and I began seriously discussing the parallels between the US and the Roman Empire. There was some disagreement about a prudent plan for the future (which is ALWAYS the case when you have multiple bright people discussing a complex subject!) but my personal opinion was this: “Where is the best place to be when Rome falls? NOT in Rome. Maybe Capri, or for the adventurous, Iberia.” In other words, someplace civilized, but not TOO civilized. So now I am living in a rather poor but very rural area with conservative traditional values and a strong community ethos. I make an effort to be a good neighbor. I think that in any time of unrest, the very BEST investments to make are in family, friends, and neighbors. It doesn’t hurt to know the Mayor and the local Sheriff either, and in my small town, I can walk to the City Court house and into the Mayor’s office unannounced. Or into the County Courthouse and see the local Judge. And there is no metal detector at either one. Rural areas have been hit hard by the same factors that hit urban areas — but the cultural and racial demographics make this area much less prone to problems. (Sorry! I like diversity as much as the next guy, but during difficult economic times, diversity is NOT our strength. Unity works much better.) And around here, even the poor people usually have enough land and knowledge to supplement their food with a garden. I am learning. Speaking of which, I just got a new tractor last week! Normally, you can order a tractor and attachments and get them in a couple of weeks. This order took four months. Nothing special about the tractor, but production, parts, attachments, shipping, etc. — all of them delayed and backordered. It would have taken even longer but I swapped out a few things for other options. Almost ALL small scale farm supplies are backordered or sell out quickly. Even small tools and things like screws and nails are getting a bit spotty. Need seeds? Order them now.

    My opinion? Don’t waste time and effort on possibilities which are on the far end of the probability curve, especially for those of us who are gray haired. We are several decades past Mad Max and Rambo. Do try to move away from the more densely populated areas to those with more food, water and elbow room. No, there are no Olive Gardens and you can’t get a good NY style bagel, but the people are polite, the air is clean, and there are a lot of wonderful benefits.

  25. The True Nolan says:

    @ climatereason “Bearing in mind how fractured the world is and the rise of China and how divided America is and how indebted”

    I am more worried about the indebted part than I am about the fractured part. There is no practical way to pay off the US debt. For one thing, no one, NO ONE, really even knows what it is. All we can say for certain is that is a LOT more than we have in our collective pockets.

    Warning! I am about to go into extreme paranoia, conspiracy, wacko theorist land. Avert your gaze any weak of heart!

    For about 40 years the US has been creating vast sums of money from nothing, and then trading all those digital ones and zeros to other nations, especially China, (did I say ESPECIALLY China?) for real stuff, produced by the real sweat and labor of real people. In essence, we in the US have been exporting our monetary inflation overseas, so that the American public can get their daily dose of cheap consumer goods in spite of having pay scales, jobs, factories and technology disappear. So, why would the Chinese people do such a thing? It is not a new theory that a lot of Federal land has been set aside as security for Chinese debt. Whether it is true or not I cannot say. But sometimes I wonder whether one aspect of the current pandemic panic is as a way to institute medical tyranny in the US. That could become a tool for reducing population so that when the Chinese finally take possession of their pledged security, there is not so much resistance form the people of the US. Is that too paranoid an idea? Would our politicians balk at doing something that monstrous? As Lilly Tomlin used to say, “No matter how cynical I get, I just can’t keep up!”

  26. Tonyb says:

    Yes, your last bit is too paranoid.

    As for land being pledged, that may be possible as belt and road has meant the Chinese has acquired much property and land when their client colony has been unable to pay back the loan for infrastructure .

    Some 12 major ports in Europe are owned or run by the Chinese but they own much more in Africa. I think it was on wuwt a few days ago someone mentioned china owns American rare earths. Out govts and the people are much keener on gettng stuff cheap than in realising That cheap stuff comes at a price.in other words there is no such thing as a free lunch

  27. H.R. says:

    @The True Nolan re a practical response to a commie takeover:

    I like what you’ve done and I like what you’ve outlined.

    I know you’ve been paying half-attention, so you know the Mrs. and I have a home on wheels and a 4×4 heavy duty pickup to move where the ‘woke’ ain’t. I guess I’m quasi-prepared for a few years of U.S. decline. It may be enough to get me to my final rest.

    Now I just need to get currency (gold, silver, gems, and trade goods) to buy the necessities that keep the travel trailer humming.

    Our two little ankle-biter dogs are nearing the end of their life. Time to get a couple of Mastiff/Rottweiler mixes so we can sleep in relative peace at night.

    The gubbmint may have an order to collect taxes from me, but they have to serve it after getting past a couple of very large, very mean, and very hungry dogs 😜

    Like two guys being chased by a bear, you just have to be faster than the next guy. You don’t have to be the World Champion sprinter. If he has a wooden leg and you only have arthritis, you’re golden.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Ha! Was just filing out name and email to post and had this thought: We’ve got a slew of the poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free (surprise! It’s the same ol’ same ol’) coming up to the Continental U.S. from Central and South America for all of the ‘Free’ goodies the commie/Dems have promised for their votes. So I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of Americans figured out that they should buy a motor home or travel trailer and head to Central and South America to the nearly abandoned towns and villages whose people have left for the U.S. I guess if you don’t bother the local drug cartels, they won’t bother you………….. maybe.

    The next few years will be interesting.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    So now I’m thinking that I should sell everything, convert to pesos or some such and move to Central or South America. Hmmmmmm… A nice home, servants that I don’t have now, a cook and the best food…. That’s one way to avoid the coming Commie-cide.

    Oh, and I can hire a kid to keep my rocking chair going. “Hey, kid. can you pick it up a bit? Here’s an extra 10 centavos.” 😜

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @H.R.:

    I’m thinking a nice empty bit of useless dirt surrounded by a bamboo “garden” of timber bamboo (4 inch thick stems, 40 feet tall, plant a 1 foot wide strip with ‘creeper;’ not runner type and it will expand about 6 inches each way per year. 4 years it’s 5 feet wide), with big gate. Set a bunch of cinderblocks in the dirt and let grass grow in them so it doesn’t look like a pavement slab.

    All the google maps and satellite photos will show empty dirt, so uninteresting, but during the Ah Shit, you pull in and toss a green tarp over the truck and trailer…

  29. London Calling says:

    Red Dwarf took a much-needed long break after series 8; Mechocracy is from one of the 3-and-a-bit new series. Unlike the other specials since the “end” of the original series they’re properly good Red Dwarf – I highly recommend setting aside a few hours with some wicked-strength lager, your favourite curry, and a few dozen popadums. If you can’t source them Over There (the series, not the popadums – can’t help with those) drop me an email and I’ll point you in the right direction.

  30. The True Nolan says:

    @ Tonyb: “Yes, your last bit is too paranoid.”

    That makes me feel better. I just hope I don’t have to get a second opinion in a couple of years!

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    @London Calling:

    Didn’t know Red Dwarf had returned. I’ll have to explore the ROKU and see if it knows how to get it…

  32. Borepatch says:

    Mike Duncan, who did the podcast The History Of Rome also wrote a book about the Gracchi and the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic:

    The Storm Before The Storm. Recommended.

    His podcast episode on Tiberius Gracchus is here. Also recommended.

  33. gallopingcamel says:

    Highly thought provoking.

    The Gracchi and the Trumps may serve “We The People” but in the end populism will be crushed by the ruling elites.

  34. M Simon says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    23 January 2021 at 9:06 pm

    A show of force by the coup plotters? Trump originally asked/authorized the troops to DC. He also invited a crowd on the 6th. An essential element in consolidating the coup.

    Stuff keeps not adding up according to what I thought I used to know.

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    @M. Simon:

    Not all things “add up” in human actions. IF you look for inconsistencies to justify “a plot” of some sort, you will ALWAYS find them. People have incomplete information and “evidence” is often tainted. People make mistakes. But if you ask “Can there be an ordinary explanation”, you will much more often find the truth.

    Like photo perspective changing apparent size in photos.

    Like optical effects making a normal light in the sky look like a Space Craft (I’ve seen 3 or so of these, all then clearly resolving to various “not a moving light but stars-with-fast-moving-clouds” or distant light reflecting off angled car window, etc.)

    Or like Trump calling supporters to be in the Capitol to ‘show support’ then calling in The Guard when it turns into something he does not expect (IMHO due to a plan by Agent Provocateurs organized by Soros and the DNC coup plotters to make it violent).

    Action then instigation and reaction with imperfect information is more than enough to explain events.

    So Trump calls in the Guard to make sure a small insurgent action doesn’t turn out to be a big one. He’s got a few hundred ‘rioters’ but 1/4 million or so potential ones IFF he believes the news (and likely the TLAs whispering in his ear…).

    THEN, after the Congress gets stampeded to Biden, with the coup nearly BUT NOT COMPLETELY wrapped up, the D.C. Swamp Management calls in MORE troops (Trump did not). Why? IMHO most likely simply because they know they are committing crimes and running a coup and are afraid. They believed their own B.S. about the 70 Million “Deplorables” with most of the guns. At that moment, the Marxist Doctrine says that a “Reactionary Force” will come to depose them, so they must put it down with military force. They are afraid.

    All it takes to explain the large number of troops in D.C., is awareness that it IS a Marxist Soft Coup, that they know they stole the vote, and that they believe in their Marxist indoctrination of a cadre of “Reactionaries” coming. All it takes to explain Trump initially calling for the Guard is that he have poor information and doesn’t know that it was a False Flag led event by a very small group at the Capitol Building, that he not know 99.9% of everyone there was not involved and thought it a Very Bad Thing for that small group to have done.

  36. M Simon says:

    The True Nolan says:
    24 January 2021 at 9:06 pm

    There is no practical way to pay off Chinese debt. Investments in Chinese infrastructure have a negative return.

  37. M Simon says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    26 January 2021 at 4:01 pm

    And then you have things like ball lightning that for a long time were thought to be observer error. I saw an example up close and personal when it was thought to be “not real”. About 5 ft in diameter. During a lightning storm. The out door grounded with a knife switch 1/4 wave 40 meter antenna took a hit. It was round and glowed ionized copper green. I backed away slowly and it followed slowly and then dissipated. If I had told you that in the not real era I would have been branded a nut job.

    Biden is writing up EOs like he doesn’t have much time. Why? Spreading Her Wings could finish the job.

    I’m currently in “A Wilderness of Mirrors” state of mind. What is real? Who is trust worthy? I don’t trust any report. Why do they want me to believe that? What is the value to them of that belief? Out of this, I’m trying to build a coherent reality.

  38. M Simon says:

    https://earthsky.org/earth/ball-lightning-lightning-atmosphere-earth-optik
    Ball lightning is one of the best-known natural phenomena that few have seen. Until recent years, most scientists remained skeptical about ball lightning; it seemed more myth than reality. Nowadays, ball lightning’s street cred among scientists is stronger, but it’s still the case that most of the images you see online purporting to be ball lightning are just over-exposed images of ordinary lightning. In fact, no expert we asked could point us to an actual image of ball lightning in nature. What is ball lightning? Since the time of the early Greeks, there’ve been reports of small balls of bright plasma-like light moving over the ground and then vanishing. The explanation still eludes scientists for the most part, although various explanations have now been offered. And now there is a potential new answer, based on previous research, to this baffling mystery.
    ===========

    The explanation they propose does not match with my experience of a plasma ball. Also the ball made my hair stand on end. It felt like it was highly charged. I definitely backed away (it was indoors – I was living in a 40 ft geodesic dome at the time. ).

  39. The True Nolan says:

    @M Simon: I have never seen ball lightning myself, but have spoken to multiple witnesses. Once had to repair a mainframe and about 8 or 10 various computers networked to it. Witnesses told me that a stroke of lightning had come through the front door and arced from the first computer to the next to the next to the next and fried the mainframe upstairs in a separate room at the same time. Simultaneous with that a ball lightning appeared inside the location, traveled to the back of the building, made a right angle turn, went a bit farther and then disappeared. I do not remember if it made a noise.

    You may be interested in the Brown Mountain Lights. Not sure if they are related to ball lightning, but they seem to be tied in with solar activities and geomagnetic storms.
    http://brownmountainlights.com/

  40. “I was living in a 40 ft geodesic dome at the time. )” as you do…..

  41. M Simon says:

    Isn’t Joe supposed to have a Marine helicopter and guards?

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EsyoHZWXMAENC0I?format=jpg

    Trump did when he was President.

  42. M Simon says:

    Try searching “joe biden takes helicopter” and limit the search to the last week. Lots of Trump pictures come up. No Biden pics. That is odd.

  43. M Simon says:

    M Simon says:
    28 January 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Was from 2016. So still no recent photos.

  44. M Simon says:

    From the inauguration

  45. philjourdan says:

    Biden cannot walk and chew gum! Comon Man! Give the idiot a break.

  46. beng135 says:

    Thanks, great post & discussion. Shared w/as many as I could.

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    @London Calling:

    Found the Dave channel on the Kodi box. It wants me to set up an account to get access and I might do that. For now I’m going to see if there’s an anonymous option hiding out there somewhere…. But IF I need an account, I can set up a pseudonym and email for it…

  48. YMMV says:

    Biden: I need a body double.
    Kamala: No you don’t.

  49. YMMV says:

    E.M.Smith: “I re-visited my old home town about 2 years ago. I’ll not go out of my way to return. What had been a kind of Norman Rockwell world, or maybe a slightly advanced Mayberry RFD, had instead turned into a place nearly unrecognized.”

    You can’t go home again. Because it doesn’t exist anymore. That applies almost everywhere, California, Europe,… “But a lot of the prior world is clearly in decay. ”

    Things fall apart. Thermodynamics. MAGA was a good idea, but it didn’t have much chance.

  50. M Simon says:

    MAGA was a good idea, but it didn’t have much chance.

    The whole world is revolting against Central Bankers
    https://t.me/SimonSaidSomething/58
    Protests against the Central-Banks-Dictatorship continue!

    Wall street protester today:

    “They want us to bail them out, they want Janet Yellen to make phone calls for them, they want to shut down trading. Are you kidding me?”

  51. jim2 says:

    M. Simon – was it you who set up a mobile hot spot? I don’t have a phone plan with any of the providers. I assume you did. If not, how did you get the SIM card?

  52. Tonyb says:

    “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
    ― L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

  53. YMMV says:

    I love the Go-Between quote.

    Here is another:

    As an Ancient Mariner of a sort, I want to hold the doubters with my skinny hand, fix them with a glittering eye, and say, “I have been to a place where none of you have ever been, where none of you can ever go. It is the past. I spent decades there and I can say, you don’t have the slightest idea.”

    from Paul Theroux, “On the plain of snakes: A Mexican Journey”

    That is a very interesting book. Some of the readers here may like it. Paul Theroux used to write travel books. He would go to exotic places and have adventures. But now he is old and mostly retired, but still with an itch. So he went to Mexico, driving alone in his own car, figuring he is too old for anybody to bother about. But he did have an adventure, and lived to tell.

    First he drives the whole US/Mexico border, popping back and forth at all the crossings, chatting with people. And taking notes, keeping a journal. That would make him a journalist. Not quite to the point of publishing his diary though. His particular interest is the poor people of Mexico who have gone to the US illegally and those who want to. He wants to ask them why, how they did it, how it worked out for them. He avoids the criminal types. But speaking of criminals, he does cover the devastation. His book reinforces my opinion that if you haven’t seen Mexico yet, you have missed your chance, but maybe his book is enough. After the near the border part, he goes deep into Mexico. He finds friendly people and extreme poverty.

  54. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jim2:

    When I bought my mobile hot spots, I also bought activation and that got the SIM card.

    Walmart – burner no account prepaid – Device was activated with the plan bought, no SIM card (very old G2 type).

    Walmart – burner no account T-Mobile prepaid. Sim card was in the device IIRC and activated via the purchased minutes card. G3 device. Re-activated a year or two later via a visit TO T-Mobile who put in a new SIM card and signed me up for an account I didn’t really want as I’d specifically asked how to just restart it with OTC Cards… But OhWell.

    T-Mobile a year or three later going to activate AGAIN. Bought a new G4 device as it was being offered on an almost free basis with a ‘new account’. SIM card from T-Mobile and yet another “new” account… (Now expired again as I used this thing like once a year on a trip and / or when the House internet failed once for over a week).

    Also note that places like Best Buy will sell all sorts of SIM cards for different services that ought to work in your device, maybe. About $1 each. SIM cards if not in use just get canceled and become useless after about 1 year… Bit of a PITA if you want one of these “for emergencies” and that arrives in month 14 of “drawer time”… as I learned.

    Basically, where you buy the hotspot, or the service plan, ought to be able to take care of the SIM card (unless it is the local pharmacy where the clerk barely knows how to ring up the sale…)

  55. p.g.sharrow says:

    It appears that China’s CCP is celebrating the Biden/Harris presidency:
    https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6227755789001
    The Nationalist and American military have been war gaming for the collapse of the CCP ala USSR.and the need to help China reconstitute a new government.

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