ADRIFT AT SEA

78 comments

Posted on 18th February 2013 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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 “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

 

The big story this past week, besides the annual State of the Delusion speech by Barack “It won’t add a cent to the deficit” Obama, was the fate of the passengers on the Carnival Triumph as their skyscraper sized ship was left adrift at sea for days without power. This 900 foot long, 100,000 ton goliath is one of the largest passenger cruise liners in the world, carrying 3,400 passengers and 1,100 crew members in luxurious splendor through warm Gulf of Mexico seas to sun drenched exotic isles. These ships are practically floating countries, with passengers treated to an endless American buffet of never ending quantities of bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, waffles, pizza, cheesecake, soda, beer and the rum drink of the day. It’s as if all 3,400 passengers have a SNAP card with no limit. There are retail stores, restaurants, bars, ice skating rinks, movie theaters, showplaces, and staff waiting on you hand and foot. No cash changes hands. You charge everything to your room number and then just pay with one of your 13 credit cards at the conclusion of your voyage into debt. Then you pay 18% interest on the 25 Funky Monkeys you consumed for the next 14 years. Cruising captures the essence of America as we traverse our voyage to hell.

The ordeal at sea of the Carnival Triumph and the leadership displayed by the Carnival management and executive officers is a microcosm of our declining empire. The $420 million Carnival Triumph was put into service in 1999 and has run continuously for the last fourteen years, with only periodic dry dock maintenance. These massive ships are replenished within hours of docking and depart within twelve hours of dumping their 3,400 passengers back onshore. The CEO and top management of Carnival care only about ROI and whether their stock options are vested. Their goal is to bilk the passengers out of as much cash as possible, while paying their foreign slave labor crew members as little as possible. The ships are registered in foreign countries for tax purposes and the crew members are mostly from third world countries. Carnival executives and shipboard officers have a history of recklessness, mismanagement, and willingness to endanger its passengers in its greedy thirst for short term profits. Ask the families of the 32 passengers killed in the sinking of the Costa Concordia.

   

The engine room fire that disabled the Triumph was not an isolated instance. This was the fourth engine room fire on a Carnival owned ship resulting in a loss of power, the others being the Tropicale in 1999, the Carnival Splendor in 2010, and the Costa Allegra in 2012. The Carnival Triumph should not have been at sea. It had been plagued with mechanical problems for weeks prior to the engine fire. Voluntarily taking the ship out of service would have hurt the 1st quarter earnings per share of this public company, therefore the leadership of Carnival told the engineers to patch it up and get it back out on the seas. Two weeks prior to the engine room fire the Carnival Triumph experienced propulsion issues that caused it to be five hours late returning to its Galveston home port on January 28, 2013 and delaying the ship’s departure for its next cruise until 8:00 pm that night. The ship departed, but the problems had not been fixed. The Associate Press reported a story about that cruise that provides a different assessment than the public relations drivel released the corporate office:

An email informed Debbi Smedley and other passengers that the propulsion problem would prevent them from docking at two ports. “Due to the limited cruising speed, our itinerary will be impacted. Depending on the progress of the repairs, we will either visit Progreso or Cozumel,” stated the email, signed by Vicky Rey, vice president of guest services. Smedley said the ship was in poor condition overall. During her five-day cruise, a water line broke in the hallway ceiling near her cabin, and a separate sewer line broke outside the main dining hall, she said. Metal was protruding from handrails on the staircases, and the elevators often did not work. Rather than docking in Progreso for only a few hours as planned, the ship stayed in the port for two days, and cruise workers repeatedly told passengers they were waiting for parts to fix a mechanical problem, according to Smedley.

Carnival’s public relations machine then admitted to an electrical problem with the ship’s alternator in the last voyage before the fire, but claimed it was repaired. What they didn’t reveal is that it was a Coast Guard inspection that revealed there was a short in the high voltage connection box of one of the ships generators causing damage to cables within the connection box. A directive with a compliance due date of February 27, 2013 was issued following the inspection requiring that “the condition of the ship and its equipment shall be maintained to conform with the regulations to ensure that the ship in all respects will remain fit to proceed to sea without danger to the ship or persons on board.” The Coast Guard Marine Information Safety and Law Enforcement System showed that this deficiency remained unresolved at the time of the subsequent fire and loss of power while at sea on February 10. So you have a company PR maggot lying and you have another useless Department of Homeland Security branch not enforcing regulations that are supposed to protect passengers. This is par for the course in our corporate fascist states of America today.

Shit Happens

George: Aha. Aha. Could it be because you don’t want him to know that you have a friend who pees in the shower, is that it?!

Elaine: No, that’s not it!

George: Oh, I think it is! I think that’s exactly what it is!

Elaine: Why couldn’t you just wait?

George: I was there! I saw a drain!

Elaine: Since when is a drain a toilet?!

George: It’s all pipes! What’s the difference?!

 

George Costanza would have enjoyed sailing on the Carnival Triumph as passengers were left to piss in showers and shit in red plastic bags for days. It finally became socially acceptable to pee in the shower. Most of the ship’s electrical power went down after the engine room fire, causing extensive breakdowns of vital shipboard mechanical systems, including taking out sanitary systems. Passengers reported sewage sloshing around in hallways, flooded rooms and trouble getting enough to eat. Passengers waited in line for three hours to get a lousy hot dog. On the lower decks sewage came up through the shower drain, pooling in the sinks and flowing into the hallways. The allegory of the poor people on the lower decks being inundated with feces and living in wretched conditions, while the rich people living in luxury on the upper decks are blissfully ignorant of the fate of their fellow passengers is so easy to apply to our society in this day and age. The 1% glory in their stock market gains, while 20% of U.S. households are on food stamps.

These direct quotes from passengers and pictures taken onboard this voyage from hell provide a taste of what our future portends:  

“We have to urinate in the shower. They’ve been passed out plastic bags to go to the bathroom. There was fecal matter all over the floor.”

“They’re walking around in a lot of urine and fecal matter, and the sewers are backing up.”

“The sanitation situation was gross and the stench was awful.”

“Just imagine the filth. People were doing crazy things and going to the bathroom in sinks and showers.”

“A lot of people were crying and freaking out.”

“We are trapped aboard a floating petri dish without power, air conditioning, or fresh water.”

“It’s degrading. Demoralizing, and then they want to insult us by giving us $500″

 Disgust: Guests were being forced to defecate into plastic bags and place it outside their rooms as toilets on board the Triumph backed up following the electrical failure Foul: Passengers on board the Carnival Triumph reported that floors were being flooded with raw sewage from overflowing bathrooms

 Where's my charger: After days without power a generator was airlifted unto the ship today and many people took the opportunity to charge their phones

After reading a number of articles describing what happened before, during and after the engine fire aboard the Carnival Triumph, the parallels between this Ship of Horrors and our Ship of State become self-evident. You have the CEO and top executives of Carnival only concerned about their wealth, power and control of the company. Rather than thinking long term and making decisions that might be detrimental to their short term quarterly earnings, but insure the long –term financial health and reputation of the company, their decision was driven by their true masters on Wall Street. Instead of taking the ship off-line to make vital repairs and  necessary investments, they just papered over signs of an imminent disaster and turned to public relations spin and propaganda as there preferred course of action. When disaster “suddenly” struck, the management and executive officers were unprepared, slow to react, and more concerned with their reputations than about the health, safety and welfare of the passengers. Much more could have been done to alleviate the misery of the 3,400 passengers. Carnival could have had a large generator helicoptered onto the deck and used to produce enough electricity to run some lights, ventilation, refrigeration and toilets. It appears that this ship had two engine rooms and only one was damaged by fire. They could have restarted the undamaged engine room and would have had enough power for most normal functions in the cabins of the ship, and probably some capability to propel the ship towards port. The disgraceful lack of urgency and refusal of top management to attempt every possible solution to this crisis is a lesson to be learned by passengers and citizens alike. They don’t care about you.

 

Rev. Wendell Gill’s experience onboard the Triumph provides a glimpse into our future. He immediately recognized the leadership of the ship was non-existent and it would be up to people helping people if they were to make it through the ordeal:

“What you had was a tale of two ships. You seldom saw a deck officer. I never saw the captain. Some of the people in the upper areas had plenty of air, but down below, it was unlivable. It was like a sauna of sewage. It was the people on the boat that saved Carnival. In an adverse situation, most people will rise to help — that’s just the human spirit.”  

Reverend Gill and his wife noticed that no one from Carnival was stepping up to help the elderly and sick get around. The Gills, along with other concerned passengers, decided to take matters into their own hands, carting mattresses and bedding up from the lower decks. They witnessed the worst side of human nature in the inaction of Carnival leadership, along with some people becoming drunk, disorderly and fighting over food. But they also witnessed people coming together under difficult circumstances, with many in the upper cabins sharing their space with those from the lower uninhabitable decks. The passengers created their own shanty town of tents on deck and in the cooler hallways. The vast majority of people acted like decent human beings. Kindness, sharing, and helping one another won the day. This voyage through hell is a precursor of what lies ahead for everyone in this country. When vital systems fail, the lights go out, and your beloved government leaders are nowhere to be found, how will you fare? Don’t count on someone from the government to lead when we are set adrift in a sea of chaos created by them. The politicians, bankers and bureaucrats will be scrambling to save themselves. Your family, friends, and neighbors will be the only people you can rely on. Your caring government doesn’t really care about you.

Cruisin for a Bruisin      

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” Friedrich Nietzsche

 

The similarities between the horrific voyage of the Carnival Triumph and the tragic voyage of the dysfunctional ship of state we call America are many. We have a ruling class consisting of the President, Congress, Judiciary, Central bankers, Media titans, and goliath corporation CEOs who care not for the citizens of this country. You are ignorant peasants in their eyes. They only care about maintaining and expanding their wealth, control and power through the complete capture of our financial markets, political system and media propaganda to the masses. The health and welfare of the peasants isn’t even on their radar screen. The ruling class steering this ship of fools have no interest in the truth or the best long –term interests of the country. The vast majority of the passengers on this impaired listing ship prefers to believe the propaganda and lies spewed by the captain and his minions. They prefer the illusion of safety and security to the truth about the real condition of this ship. When the engines of this ship come to a grinding halt, their illusions will be shattered. Big government will come up small when it counts. The government propaganda and public relations will be revealed as nothing but hot putrid air and fecal matter.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon 

Speaking of fecal matter, President Obama’s State of the Union address, which was watched by 33 million (down from 52 million in 2009) believers, was a perfect reflection of the thinking that led to the Carnival Triumph disaster. The reality facing the country is: $220 trillion of unfunded entitlement liabilities; a $16.5 trillion national debt; annual deficits exceeding $1 trillion; 48 million citizens on food stamps; 11 million people on SSDI; a true unemployment rate of 23%; true inflation exceeding 5%; record high gasoline prices; 0% interest rates for senior citizen savers; free money for criminal bankers provided by their sugar daddy Bernanke; not one criminal prosecution of a Wall Street executive for the greatest financial fraud in history; a war department that spends $1 trillion per year and fights undeclared wars around the world; a chief executive that invokes dictatorial executive orders to murder Americans with his fleet of predator drones and imprison citizens indefinitely without charges; and a bureaucratic nightmare called Obamacare that will drive up deficits, drive up healthcare costs for every family, enrich the healthcare industrial complex, drive doctors into retirement, and drive small businesses into bankruptcy.

Rather than deal with this reality, Obama chose the Carnival Cruise Line method of public relations, misinformation, denial and delusion. He has embraced the Big Lie concept as if he had created it. With a straight face he proposes “investments” in infrastructure, new jobs programs, new education initiatives, more green energy projects, pollution control schemes, bailing out more underwater mortgages, and raising the minimum wage, all done for the children – and it won’t add one cent to the deficit. Instead of leveling with the American people and explaining the dire economic issues confronting our nation that require sacrifice, reality based thinking, and tough choices, we got more platitudes, class warfare, divide and conquer, phantom spending cuts, disingenuous twisting of the truth, intellectual dishonesty and fuzzy math. Public relations spin created by Madison Avenue maggots and pronounced grandly by corrupt puppet politician hacks will not prevent the catastrophic engine failure that will leave this country adrift in a sea of its own feces.

Our cruise of illusions and delusions is headed for troubled water. The math challenged citizens on this ship have been enjoying the 24 hour pizza buffet without the labor required to pay for the bounty. When your leaders boldly lie and tell you we don’t have a spending problem, refer to proposed spending increases as “investments”, and hail $1.6 trillion of spending cuts that did not happen, you’ve got a ship that will be signaling SOS in the imminent future. Both political parties are laughable in their blathering about spending cuts as Bush and his Republican cronies drove spending from $1.9 trillion in 2001 to $3.0 trillion in 2008 with their unfunded wars, unfunded new entitlements (Medicare Part D), Wall Street bailouts, and creation of police state agencies (DHS); while Obama and his Democrat co-conspirators have driven spending up to $3.8 trillion in four years with new unfunded entitlements (Obamacare), expansion of warfare in the Middle East (they sit on top of “our” oil), $800 billion stimulus handouts, $60 billion hurricane relief pork handed out for $25 billion of uninsured losses, and bailing out banks, auto companies, homeowners, and other gamblers who took undo risks and lost to the tune of hundreds of billions. Politicians and the inhabitants of this country have forgotten there are consequences to their actions and inactions.

Carnival Cruise Line is trying to buy off the passengers with refunds and $500 bribes to keep them quiet and sedated, while protecting their continued hundreds of millions in profits and million dollar bonuses for their executives. The ruling class in the United States has bought off the American people with entitlement promises that can’t possibly be honored, food stamps, SSDI, tax rebates, homebuyer tax credits, loan modification programs, Cash for Clunkers, payroll tax cuts, $1 trillion of taxpayer financed student loans, taxpayer financed subprime auto loans, and a myriad of other handouts designed to keep the masses sedated, while the ruling class continues to pillage the national wealth. It’s as if the entire country has been charging their food, drinks, excursions, and purchases to their room number and the bill has reached $16.5 trillion, rising by $3 billion per day. This voyage is reaching an end and the bill is coming due. The engine is on fire but the captain is telling us all is well. Eventually, everyone will know the captain lied.         

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows

 

survival seed vault

78 Comments
  1. BUCKHED says:

    I never had the desire to go on a floating Pig Trough.

    Jim the parallels you mentioned were spot on….In the community were my farm is we’ll do fine when the SHTF..

    The folks in that area have been there for generations as have my family ( since 1820, in the Carolina’s since 1710 ) . Most are prepared and all have skills beyond the skills that they apply at work.

    18th February 2013 at 12:38 pm

  2. Eddie says:

    Nice analogy, admin. If the impact of the unsustainable course the country is on was as obvious as the problems at Carnival, we’d probably have a lot more interest in politics. It’s a clear case of the shit hitting the fun.

    I’ve taken two cruises out of Galveston on Carnival in the past. It’s been a while, but our experience was quite decent. My guess is that revenue is down and spending on maintenance is being denied by the corporate higher-ups.

    Cruise ship companies were supposed to have a lock on profits because of demographics….I’m guessing old people who have to live on cat food don’t take cruises, though.

    I remember sailing in the Caribean on a sailboat and seeing those huge cruise ships at night. They look like little floating island cities, all lit up with generator produced electricity, probably burning hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel for every mile they travel. I wonder how Peak Oil is going to affect their business model.

    18th February 2013 at 12:39 pm

  3. sangell says:

    I’ve been following this Carnival cruise on the Houston Chronicle since it began as the ship was supposed to return to Galveston. That ship was not fit to go to sea and Carnival knew it but they had it booked solid for the next few months so clearly the plan was just to keep things patched together on the fly and to hell with passenger safety.

    It was obvious from the Costa Concordia disaster that Carnival allows reckless operation of its vessels and this incident shows they have learned nothing. They came withing a few hundred feet of losing thousands of lives with the Concordia and had Triumph been dead in the water during hurricane season that ship could have been lost too.

    Hadn’t thought of the ship of state metaphor but its a good one. We have the same reckless behavior in those charged with running our financial and fiscal policies and, like Carnival, only luck has kept them from a catastrophe here too.l

    18th February 2013 at 12:43 pm

  4. Goy Paloi says:

    Carnival owned by a jew so none of these tourists will see any reimbursement. If they persist, they’ll be prosecuted for antisemitism. Goy Paloi how stupid can you be??

    18th February 2013 at 12:53 pm

  5. AWD says:

    That’s pretty close to the shit hitting the fan. Perfect analogy. Great comparison and writing. People fighting over food (see Greece), general lawlessness, feces and urine everywhere will be the least of our worries.

    We’re on a cruise ship to hell, with Obama as captain. Most people didn’t choose him and can do nothing about him, but we are all going to suffer when he crashes this country into an iceberg. We’re already on fire, but for some reason nobody can smell the smoke. I’m prepared for anything, unlike the 3400 hapless people that showed up for the sloth and gluttony fest cruise. Great research and pictures. I love the useless idiots trying to get their devices charged back up. Clueless dipshits.

    18th February 2013 at 12:55 pm

  6. Roger S says:

    I WAS IN THE POOL……..I WAS IN THE POOL !!!

    18th February 2013 at 12:56 pm

  7. AWD says:

    Why Don’t People See

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/18/2013 10:03 -0500

    Via Monty Pelerin’s World,

    I meet people that still believe that the world is fine. They believe things like:

    The US government has plenty of money.
    Government cares for its citizens.
    The economy cannot crash.
    We are not in a recession (Depression).
    The lives of their children will be better than their own.
    The government can continue to print money to fund promises they cannot afford.

    Despite these untenable beliefs, these are not stupid people. Many are professionals who do quite well — doctors, lawyers, dentists, college professors, etc. They are not zombies, our walking dead, have no idea about what is happening around them no less the way things work in an economy, society or the world. It is our educated who should care yet seem to be oblivious to what lies ahead.

    It is not that others have not presented the information as much as these people refuse to acknowledge the implications. Are they all too busy? Are they idiot savants who are geniuses in their fields but not very smart away from it? Warnings come from many sources and from many different perspectives, yet they do not seem to penetrate the minds of those most capable of effecting change.

    From a self-interest standpoint, this productive group should be the most concerned. After all, they are ground zero for the Socialist schemes that are destroying society. They are the ones that will be crushed in the redistribution dreams of our political class. Will they awaken too late? Or, will many of them just withdraw their productivity by retiring early, emigrating, etc.?

    I don’t have answers to these questions, but I do know that this professional class is about to become prey for our predatory State. And, when that happens, they will hurt but not nearly as much as the rest of us.

    18th February 2013 at 12:57 pm

  8. Guest Post: Adrift at Sea | Thought FTW says:

    [...] Source: Jim Quinn [...]

    18th February 2013 at 1:13 pm

  9. Gayle says:

    Admin

    You have a gift for the extended metaphor. This is a great piece that succinctly describes our current dilemma.in a way only an imbecile could not grasp.

    18th February 2013 at 1:18 pm

  10. David says:

    My only cruise experience was a “Carnival” one. I would not do it again even if it were free. Truly a bilge water operation.

    18th February 2013 at 1:22 pm

  11. Stucky says:

    I don’t like this article at all.

    There is absolutely nothing to disagree with.

    “Great article, Jim!” … “Nice job!” … “Great writing”, blah blah blah. Is that what you want? When in the fuck are you gonna grow some balls and write something controversial? Where we can call each other names and levy threats. LIke the good old days.

    Fucken A. Nice article.

    18th February 2013 at 2:02 pm

  12. sensetti says:

    Thanks Admin, spot on as always .

    18th February 2013 at 2:03 pm

  13. Administrator says:

    I owe the idea for this article to Avalon. Our newspaper had a story about how the passengers helped each other get through the ordeal and she suggested I write an article with that theme. I may have taken it on a different course than her original idea, but I did work in some of the positive aspects of people helping each other.

    18th February 2013 at 2:06 pm

  14. Steve Hogan says:

    I’ve been on a couple of cruises and generally enjoyed myself, but the average traveler was a fat, disgusting slob – the stereotypical Ugly American in bermuda shorts and flip flops. They would gorge themselves at the buffets, as if eating a mountain of food would make it all worthwhile. Pretty repulsive.

    I can confirm that the wait staff was almost to a person from the Third World. They were some of the most gracious people I’ve ever met, but they worked like slaves. I actually felt sorry for these people, especially when you consider that their predicament was better than the alternative!

    18th February 2013 at 2:06 pm

  15. AWD says:

    3400 lawyers were waiting on the pier for the Carnival Triumph to arrive.

    18th February 2013 at 2:07 pm

  16. AWD says:

    Carnival Triumph disaster compared to The Hunger Games
    Posted by fandomnet on February 15, 2013

    The Hunger Games has become a common pop-culture reference, which really shows how the series has worked its way into daily life. Sometimes, however, the connotation is really negative — such as in this case, where the people stranded aboard the Carnival Triumph compared the experience to The Hunger Games:

    “Passenger Kendall Jenkins, a 24-year-old self-employed property manager from Houston, Texas said conditions on board the ship were ‘like the Hunger Games’ as guests looked out for themselves and hoarded food.”

    18th February 2013 at 2:12 pm

  17. WendyAnnonymous says:

    My question to all these people who keep saying, “Americans think nothing is wrong” is : What on earth are you expecting as an indication that Americans do know something is wrong? I am a middle class worker and I know the ship is sinking, but right now I’m still making money and still have a job. What do I do about the boat sinking that will make you know I “acknowledge” something is wrong? Quitting my job would be stupid, so I continue to do that. I am stockpiling food, and other things to get through an economic collapse, including silver and arms…but I am certainly not going to tell the world about it, so you aren’t going to know I’m doing that. You think we are clueless and just living life like normal when quietly, many (MANY!) are trying to prepare without drawing attention on themselves.

    18th February 2013 at 2:17 pm

  18. Administrator says:

    Wendy

    You aren’t the many. There are 315 million people in this country and only a fraction are preparing for what lies ahead.

    18th February 2013 at 2:25 pm

  19. Olga says:

    I had my book club read Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” for February. For most it was the first time they had heard anything like it – but at least they had their eyes opened a bit. Now all I have to do is get them to realize this same oligarchical, .01% psychopaths who consider the CIA and military their “staff” put there to assist in strip mining the earth of its wealth for their own .01% personal use are the same monsters seen on the nightly news.

    One of the more significant discussions from the book was the recognition of the “Left’s” desire to charge in, confront and stop the human rights abuses – but never with the associated goal of “following the money” to see who and what are benefiting from the abuse. I thought that was revelatory.

    18th February 2013 at 2:55 pm

  20. Stucky says:

    Another analogy. Those passengers weren’t very creative in addressing their problems.

    You’re on a fucking boat. How hard is it to whip out your dick and piss in the ocean? Or, if you’re unfortunate enough to be of the double-X chromosome variety, to hang that booty over the edge?

    18th February 2013 at 2:58 pm

  21. BUCKHED says:

    AWD……Obama is the captain…unfortunately CONgress is Gillighan.

    18th February 2013 at 3:03 pm

  22. Susan H says:

    Fantastic article. One of the best I have read in a long while about the reality of our current time.

    18th February 2013 at 3:07 pm

  23. Stucky says:

    Here’s another analogy. Those phat phuck Boomers on that cruise are mostly all A BUNCH OF PUSSIES !!!!!!!!!

    The only people I respect are the ones that got drunk. You’re stranded. On a boat. In the middle of a large body of water. With not a goddamnthing to do. What better time is there to get drunk??? Fuck the tea totalers.

    Yea. And I’ve been reading all over the internet (cuz I no longer watch MSM cable horseshit) about the trials, tribulations, and “horrors” …… yes, HORRORS!!!!! …. these phat phuck pansies “endured”. Oh, cry me a goddamn river about waiting “four hours for a hot dog”. You pussified phat phuck elite pansies wouldn’t starve if you went 30 days without food … in fact, you MIGHT actually become a normal weight. Goddamn whiners and complainers.

    127272_600.jpg

    18th February 2013 at 3:15 pm

  24. Stucky says:

    “Obama is the captain” ——– Buckhed

    Carnival Obama
    127270_600.jpg

    “CONgress is Gillighan” ——– Buckhed

    Even Gilligan doesn’t want a piece of that Richard Cranium
    127170_600.jpg

    18th February 2013 at 3:20 pm

  25. IndenturedServant says:

    @Wendy, I think many Americans do realize that something is wrong but they cannot quantify it so they just plod along trusting that shit will get better. They continue to believe the lies of the MSM so they don’t have a real sense of alarm.

    There are many who are quietly prepping but not enough. Not enough by a long shot! Sounds like you are already doing what you can. The only thing left to do is find ways to accelerate your preps and educate those you trust.
    I_S

    18th February 2013 at 3:26 pm

  26. AWD says:

    From what I’ve seen, most of the people on the cruise (and on every cruise, well almost every American for that matter) could stand to go without food for days, if not weeks.

    18th February 2013 at 3:36 pm

  27. ARIZONA says:

    BEING stranded on that cruze liner for 6 months would be better then what the LORD has been showing me whats about to happen,WE’RE going to have every pissed off nation in the south central americas,europe and asia on us shortly..and judging by whats going on,YOU GUYS had better be more then ready or you won’t make it anyway…THE best thing you can have going for you is living in the mountains and have really good weapons,twice the amount of ammo you think your going to need and enough dryed food and a way to filter your water,and a really good location to hide at,if you think your farm or house will work ,they’ll find you and it will be over for you and your family,THE LORD SAID america is going into captivity……….and get away from any large city NOW……….a gang can walk 100 miles in a week,after that there screwed,and they won’t go into the mountains after you, PAGE 3 special forces manual,never chase the enemy into the mountains,good advice…………….

    18th February 2013 at 4:19 pm

  28. Guest Post: Adrift At Sea | Financial Fall says:

    [...] Submitted by Jim Quinn of Burning Platform blog, [...]

    18th February 2013 at 4:21 pm

  29. Guest Post: Adrift At Sea » A Taoistmonk's Life says:

    [...] Submitted by Jim Quinn of Burning Platform blog, [...]

    18th February 2013 at 4:24 pm

  30. ARIZONA says:

    I almost forgot,as nibiru approches the weather is going to get crazer and crazer till the pole shift happens,so make sure you can get underground,it will be good protection from drones anyway,and obama does intend to use them on americans,THIS will not be a game,it will be as serious as a heart attack,you must be getting ready NOW………….AND not near any valcanos,during the approch of nibiru a lot of them will erupt,like yellowstone,400 miles minuim,south or north,NOT east,and NOT WEST either,look over the country real well,before moving there,but no matter what ,DO IT NOW,and if by chance your captured,DON’T TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST,they have poison in them and will cause a DNA change you won’t like……….snake DNA is in them………one push of a button from a satilite and within a year you will not look human anymore,do not take it…..theres no snake people in heaven……………………….

    18th February 2013 at 4:42 pm

  31. Jeebus, Son of God says:

    I once told ARIZONA to stop wacking off 8 times a day.

    Other than that, I didn’t “tell” him jack shit. I like surprising you all.

    Trust me on that.

    18th February 2013 at 4:44 pm

  32. Francois says:

    I think that a brief mention of the new Boeing airliner near-catastrophe is appropriate here! What if those battery fires had taken place midway between LAX and Auckland ? Once again, total catastrophe was barely avoided? But if we/they are playing Russian Roulette, remember that there are only so many empty chambers ion that pistol. I wonder if a significant investigation by an outside entity into the Boeing 787 would reveal not only incompetence, but worse.

    18th February 2013 at 4:47 pm

  33. Stephen says:

    A very interesting analogy. I believe the “pirates” who have captured the good ship America, need to be held to account. Otherwise this once great ship will be no more. Here is some info:
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-true-state-of-union.html
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2013/02/who-are-we.html
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2012/12/are-we-seeing-institutionalized.html

    18th February 2013 at 5:09 pm

  34. SwingForce says:

    Good God, Jim, you’re on fire. Tell it like it is.

    18th February 2013 at 5:21 pm

  35. llpoh says:

    Perhaps the first lesson my father ever taught me, as he said 1) it would hold me in good stead throughout my life if I but remember it (I have), and 2) it was applicable to a great many life situations (he was right), is “Shit flows downhill”. My old man was smart as hell.

    So when I book a hotel, I try to be on an upper floor. If I were to ever book a cruise (I would rather gouge my eyes out with a fork or hit my testicles with a hammer), I would indeed book an upper deck.

    It is always best to avoid being downhill, no matter the circumstances. If you cannot afford to be uphill, then do not go. Cheap seats are cheap for a reason. I would rather a first class picnic in the local park, with nice wine, a nice steak, etc., than take a budget holiday to anywhere on earth. Always be uphill, no matter what it is you are doing.

    Shit-flows-downhill.jpg

    18th February 2013 at 5:34 pm

  36. Scott says:

    Thanks for the info. The MSM shill Scott Pelley is pushing the line that the only problem was fuel leak. Pathetic.

    18th February 2013 at 7:03 pm

  37. Administrator says:

    David Pierre is in a foaming at the mouth frenzy over on ZH, spewing out hatred and vitriol because I won’t respond to his drivel. It’s hysterical to witness the mind of a demented yellow bellied American traitor sheep fucker. I picture him in his dark dungeon like basement with models of the twin towers and Building 7 and toy airplanes reanacting the planes hitting the towers and screaming “pull it” as he jerks off. There are pictures of me all over the wall as he throws his own feces at them, laughing diabolically.

    What a sad pitiful excuse for a human being.

    He even copy and pasted Stuck’s comment about Boomers onto ZH. He is a nutjob to third power.

    18th February 2013 at 7:25 pm

  38. Novista says:

    Thanks, Avalon and Jim

    WendyAnnonymous

    OK, good point re yourself and those you know. Ask yourself what percentage of people were ready for Hurricane Sandy.

    18th February 2013 at 7:25 pm

  39. Eddie says:

    llpoh

    I was onboard with your “upper floor” system until one morning in 2006 when an earthquake hit Honolulu while I was making coffee in my room on the 23rd floor of the Waikkiki Hilton.. Now I look for the beachfront bungalows to rent and just listen for the tsunami warnings.

    Those veranda cabins on cruise ships are definitely the way to go, though. I hate sleeping below decks. I think I went down with the ship in a past life.

    18th February 2013 at 7:31 pm

  40. llpoh says:

    Eddie – if that hotel goes down, those on the first floor will be marginally flatter than those on the 23rd.

    18th February 2013 at 7:36 pm

  41. Jack Sarfatti says:

    If I were on the Jury I would award huge damages for pain and suffering for the passengers idiots though they are to take such a mindless voyage. Suckers born every moment. It’s a P.T. Barnum world. Moral of the Story: When booking passage on The Titanic it pays to go First Class. ;-)
    ref: Ship of Fools, The Grateful Dead.

    18th February 2013 at 7:37 pm

  42. Whatta says:

    Read your essay on ZH, had to comment….

    …it is one of the best posts EVER on ZH in my opinion.

    Great job.

    18th February 2013 at 7:37 pm

  43. llpoh says:

    Admin – unfortunately, he was not the only idiot posting. Oh well, on the whole the article was very well received, as it should have been. DP is totally out of his mind. I am beginning to feel sorry for him – if he were a dog you would put him down as an act of kindness.

    18th February 2013 at 7:46 pm

  44. ‘When vital systems fail, the lights go out, and your beloved government leaders are nowhere to be found, how will you fare?’ – Adrift At Sea | Don't Tread On Me says:

    [...] ADRIFT AT SEA [...]

    18th February 2013 at 7:52 pm

  45. matt says:

    Great piece Admin, I have never taken a cruise and I doubt I ever will now.
    I am glad you didn’t take DP’s bait on ZH. He sounds like a complete tool, WTF is his problem anyway?

    18th February 2013 at 8:05 pm

  46. Me No Likey says:

    “When vital systems fail, the lights go out, and your beloved government leaders are nowhere to be found, how will you fare?”

    You know, I don’t really give a damn how I’ll fare. I had a serious illness at age 38 that had me losing control of my body while dying a little each day for about a year and a half until I was two months away from death. So fuck death. And anything it can do to me. A vastly more important question for me personally is who will I help when the vital systems fail?

    I was thinking this very morning about how much this blog and others liked it had changed my life, saved my life, by waking me up in every way from the matrix. I know you know what I’m talking about. I felt a huge responsibility to pass it on.

    So today when a stranger needed help pushing his truck out of rush hour traffic I did it without thinking. I really did save his ass. No, I’m not patting myself on the back. I’m saying those of us who have benefited by the selflessness of those who write the truth while the Ministry of Propaganda spews lies have a responsibility to take actions that support our communities, however small, each and every day.

    Because of this blog, and others like it, I’m quitting my corporate job year after next am going to *start* by working with homeless youth. Where I go from there only life will tell. Who knows? The lights and vital systems might have gone out by then and I may have to just go help people. What the fuck else am I gonna do? Piss life away by worrying about how I’ll fare? I would rather die than do that.

    Thank you for being here.

    18th February 2013 at 8:16 pm

  47. Stucky says:

    Well, I went to ZH to see what was being said.

    That low class sheep fucker, David Pierre, edited my comments. I would seriously love the opportunity to meet this faggot face-to-face, and deliver some Stucky love to his face. Admin, arrange it if you can.

    Meanwhile, there were many positive comments on the article. Nice.

    However, there also many conspiracy comments. Of course, DP tried to turn it into a 9-11 debate. Somehow the Titanic and JFK conspiracies came up. And that’s only reading 3 pages of comments. I couldn’t stomach any more. IF I ever go back again —- they do post interesting stories from good writers, it seem —– I will certainly never again read the comments section. Too many fucking nutjobs on that site.

    18th February 2013 at 9:03 pm

  48. Administrator says:

    Stuck

    DP is a seriously demented nutjob with a sub 70 IQ.

    He’ll be copying and pasting your comment onto ZH as he continues to stalk TBP with his warped sense of reality.

    Can you imagine what his imbred spawn look like?

    18th February 2013 at 9:13 pm

  49. BiggTmofo says:

    Great article JQ connecting a floating broken ship to our current problems today. I will be anxious to see if any good post mortem reports come out as a result of this fuck up. My father was in the Navy and to him a checklist to make sure everything works is vital. If the CO neglects preventive maintenance then his ass is on the chopping block. I have three cousins who are alums of the Merchant Marine academy and would love to hear their thoughts as to the preventive maintenance and operation of the vessel. I should not be surprised that fucking up is the norm for corporate management. But back to why was not a backup generator available and why was not a backup engine power available? It’s absolutely vital to pump sewage out when you have over 3000 folks on board. Again I am not an expert so I don’t have the answers but there has to be a better way. I get that corners are cut and lying is the norm but I don’t have to like it. Might think twice before taking a cruise as they are designed to suck you dry and expand your waist.

    18th February 2013 at 9:59 pm

  50. chupacabra says:

    what i want to know is who are the 4 nutjobs giving AZ the thumbs up? niburu? reptile people? they are not real, Arizona. although i can say that you are going back into captivity once the men in white can make out your coordinates, please keep posting…

    18th February 2013 at 9:59 pm

  51. Doug says:

    I loved your post! You’ve written it with real brilliance. I’ve added your site to my bookmarks and hope to check in again soon.

    Thanks very much. You are appreciated.
    Doug

    18th February 2013 at 10:07 pm

  52. George Tirebiter says:

    Jim,
    A good analogy as per your usual skill.
    Why is “Let them eat cake” rolling through my mind?
    The capital vampires know that they have to keep their victims satiated with just enough bread and circuses to keep them from becoming too restless.
    These same vampires have systematically drained the lifeblood of the US including the infrastructure of the country, just like the vampires that own the Carnivore cruise line.
    The vast majority of the ‘Third Chimp’ troupe has evolved only far enough to focus its attention on me/my/mine, which for better or worse, will continue to steer things as they have been since civilization began.
    Surfs Up!!!

    19th February 2013 at 12:06 am

  53. chupacabra says:

    Stucky – “You’re on a fucking boat. How hard is it to whip out your dick and piss in the ocean? Or, if you’re unfortunate enough to be of the double-X chromosome variety, to hang that booty over the edge?” thet move sounds like a good olympic event candidate.

    i just saw a funny pic of a girl falling backward off a fence. the booty must’ve weighted more than her upper body.

    19th February 2013 at 12:25 am

  54. Stucky says:

    chupacabra

    Indeed, there are some risks.
    439b7533-8487-4449-b685-66b06709be17.jpg

    Admin practicing in his driveway.
    Guy-Pissing-in-Gas-Tank.jpg

    A bad cruise suddenly becomes more enjoyable.
    21.jpg

    19th February 2013 at 12:42 am

  55. MagenD says:

    Hey, that last pic looks like my ex wife……though she usually shows her teeth when she smiles…… Oh, yea ——- bout the Triumph. Look at the bright side —- maybe all the passengers were OB-1-KENYAOBI voters on their presidential victory cruise… a free ride paid for by wellfare checks and hotdogs for foodstamps….

    19th February 2013 at 3:09 am

  56. MagenD says:

    And Article dead-on. Just another Harbinger (like the gulf oil rig)?!!! When the Captain of your ship (Obama and company) make merry in Gods storms as though the ship were “Unsinkable”, expect an iceburg!!!!

    19th February 2013 at 3:43 am

  57. Mick says:

    Great description of the problem (with the usual blindspot of observation that there is no law, and no sovereignty because there is no Constitution when the republic has been Usurped by an illegal putative President) without describing how to regain the republic, and take back our country from the criminals whom have captured it.
    Barack Hussein Obama (that IS his middle name) is a foreign agent domestic enemy sitting in the WH playing with his favorite toys– the drones. He was born British of a British subject father, and is therefore ineligible, (not a natural born Citizen), no matter if born on the Oval Office desk. Here is US law, with respect to that definition (and which JQ refuses to even consider— like I made it up):

    “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners”. Minor v. Happersett, 88 US 162, 167

    Barack Obama’s foreign father makes him ineligible— if found so, and the people wake up, all of the bills, executive orders, and appointments of the Usurper become null and void. The Treason committed by Congress and protected by the useful idiot media would become apparent. the curtain would be pulled back on the Wizard Central banker criminals behind the curtain. Yet JQ refuses to make the most important subject of all part of his talented scribbles. Why? Supposedly he must think that it is nit picking (like obeying the security requirement for the highest office in the land is “nit picky”— like it’s somehow not fair). Or, like others, he thinks that the Usurper is another in a long line of puppets. However this is a particularly destructive puppet, one which destroys any semblance of law, because when the President, whom is the executor of the law is illegal, then there is no law! What other reason would there be to muscle in an illegal President? Seen any bankers go to jail? Obama is the poster child for whom the founders did not allow to be President— the British subject son of a British subject Kenyan father, raised and immersed is a hotbed of anti-American thought, and steeped in a caustic worldview gleaned from Communists, Islamists, Black Nationalist, and Alinskyan Community organizing. Barack Hussein Obama is EXACTLY whom the founders were preventing from the Presidency. See Federalist 68– Obama is not a “creature of our own” because his father was an “improper ascendant” (IMPROPER ANCESTOR).

    Yet JQ is demure to all of that. To him Obama is an affable fellow in over his head and no worse than any other puppet, when in fact Obama represents the death of the Republic. Why this blindspot? Is JQ a coward, and told to shut up, or is he a steam vent purposefully planted to provide a relief valve to the disgruntled public? Is he just not that smart? Is he afraid of the ramifications of the Obamanation exposed and rioting in protection of their master? Were his parents not US Citizens when he was born, and feels it unfair that he is not an eligible natural born Citizen (I see this a lot)?
    The point is that the way back is directly in front of us, and JQ refuses to take that path of exposing the true treason. Of course he will attack me as some sort of loon, without refuting anything that I have cited— I have given you all proof that Obama is a Usurper.

    19th February 2013 at 5:15 am

  58. flash says:

    @ Mick…if only we just had one of those “limited government ” native spawned Republican Americans in the Whitehouse , things would be different, budgets would balanced, rule of law would be enforced and rainbows and rubies would spew from the anus of all America….give it a rest asshole.

    admin- damn well done.It should be obvious to even a maroon as thick as Mick that not only is the Republican party a shitpile of useless self-serving asswipes , but that the party of Greedy Old Pilferers along with its partner in crime , the party of Devious Nefarious Crooks has been and currently is complicit in the ongoing destruction of what is left this representative-less Republic

    Just wait till this two party system of ravenous jackals dig their grimy pays into reworked the founding document of this nation…cuz’ they’re so good at following the rule of law as set forth in the original US Constitution ….

    http://freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2013/02/stop-compact-for-america-con-con.html
    “The new Compact for America (CFA) Initiative has an ambitious plan for getting 38 states to pass their legislation this year in time for holding a constitutional convention in Dallas on July 4, 2013. As of February 6, CFA reported that CFA bills have been drafted or introduced in four states: Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, and New Mexico. They also reported that the following seven states are getting close to introducing a CFA bill: Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. Even if your state is not in this list, chances are good that you’ll have a CFA bill introduced in your state sometime soon”

    BTW, this may be a dumb question , but how are the views of Obamalama’s speech quantified?
    33 million call in to say they watched Sir Pimpkins spew lies and nonsense in lieu of the State of this Union assessment?

    “President Obama’s State of the Union address, which was watched by 33 million (down from 52 million in 2009) believers”

    19th February 2013 at 6:58 am

  59. Mick says:

    Of course “Flash” does not have the capacity to understand or even refute the fact that Obama is not eligible— as if it doesn’t matter. I am not a Republican, as belief in either “team” is anathema to the constructs of the republic. The Republicans have their own ineligible candidates , starting with McCain, and leading to Santorum, Rubio and Jindal. They are ALL committing treason Obama is the endgame of the NWO— he is what ends the Republic— if the Presdient– who is the executor of the laws , is illegal, then there is no law—- Is it that hard to understand?

    19th February 2013 at 7:17 am

  60. Tuesday Morning Links | Iacono Research says:

    [...] Finance and the American poor – Economist The Chinese tourists are coming! – Fortune Adrift at sea – The Burning [...]

    19th February 2013 at 8:14 am

  61. flash says:

    Mick says:Of course “Flash” does not have the capacity to understand or even refute the fact that Obama is not eligible—

    And what’s more Mick, I don’t even give a fuck.The asshats in DC are no more representative of my principles and values than the asshats in China so why the fuck would I care where either group of criminals were born?

    Give it a rest booger eater.

    19th February 2013 at 8:32 am

  62. Stucky says:

    “The point is that the way back is directly in front of us, and JQ refuses to take that path of exposing the true treason. ” ———– Mick

    Mick, you are probably correct. Obama is more than likely not a natural born citizen. And I have a sneaking suspiscion that both flash and Admin may believe the same, or at least lean towards that idea.

    However, where I (and probably, they) differ from you is —- it just doesn’t fucking matter.

    Understand this; it’s water under the bridge. The time has passed. There is no fucking way under the sun that anything can or will be done about it. ZERO chance. You bring it up … why? To maybe impeach this POS POTUS? I got news for ya. The peeps had a HUGE chance to do that already. It was called “an election”. No one gave a fuck. Obama won.

    Admin is a wise warrior. He picks his battles. Battles that can be won. You might want to do likewise.

    19th February 2013 at 8:42 am

  63. Stucky says:

    I posted one of the sweetest pieces of ass EVER posted here on TBP — while remaining within SSS’s strict nudity guidelines — and it get’s a thumbs down?

    Who is the fucking homo here??????

    llpoh? AWD? flash? Come out of the closet whoever you are, fag boy.

    19th February 2013 at 8:47 am

  64. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @Stucky – “Mick, you are probably correct. Obama is more than likely not a natural born citizen. And I have a sneaking suspiscion that both flash and Admin may believe the same, or at least lean towards that idea.

    However, where I (and probably, they) differ from you is —- it just doesn’t fucking matter.”

    Posting just to say that I agree with Stucky on this point, it truly doesn’t matter at this point.

    19th February 2013 at 9:02 am

  65. flash says:

    @ Stuck

    Check with SSS as to whether or not there’s an ass-crack clause in the SSS’ TBP nudity guidelines.

    I’m thinkin’ there is, but not sure.

    19th February 2013 at 9:10 am

  66. flash says:

    Micky …I so solly. If only we the multicultural diverse and gender confused can become better educated and brilliantly so, we might begin to share the same principles, goals and values for the greater good as to begin to elect only those of like-minded persuasion.

    We must come together Mick…..if only for the chirren!

    http://judgybitch.com/2013/02/18/her-iq-is-higher-than-einsteins-what-does-she-care-about-her-nails-fake-tanning-and-her-hair-lady-genius-in-action/
    He is 15 years old and his name is Jack Andraka. He built a particle accelerator in his basement, and it sits next to his brother’s homemade furnace, which can reach temperatures hot enough to melt steel.

    19th February 2013 at 9:21 am

  67. Administrator says:

    flash

    Only two guidelines on TBP:

    1. No nipples – SSS rule

    2. No David Pierre – JQ rule

    19th February 2013 at 9:24 am

  68. ADRIFT AT SEA | Liberty Hall says:

    [...] by Jim Quinn, The Burning Platform: [...]

    19th February 2013 at 9:52 am

  69. Mary Malone says:

    We just came back from a long weekend in Manhattan Beach. I got tell ya, if I didn’t know the world as we know it was about to end, I would never be aware the world was about to end.

    Beaches and restaurants packed. Sun shining, surfers surfing. Idyllic.

    It’s like there a lot of places in America. Everything appears SO normal. It’s America and it appears to be working.

    Jim’s article really captures how quickly the worm will turn. Those passengers did not have a clue about what was in store. Not an inkling until the waste starting pouring thru the floors, ceilings and walls. What a nightmare.

    There has to be a way to enjoy whatever is beautiful and good before the USS America capsizes. Wish I knew how.

    19th February 2013 at 10:24 am

  70. Capt. Schettino says:

    It is all the fault of bad navigation charts!

    19th February 2013 at 11:43 am

  71. jbw says:

    No doubt from NOW ON to be called ‘Barn-i-val Poos Lines’….

    19th February 2013 at 1:59 pm

  72. richarde breveglieri says:

    A great article…what a truth….just before WWII over in France around the last part of 1939 when most governments and many people knew something evil was going to happen …Paris France experiencied the greatest few months of partying in the history of that country…money and boze kept the party going right up to the start of the war and invasion of their country…The French generals would dine out at the best restraunts in Paris while they decided what to do with the defence of their country……we are in that stage ourselves now…confusion and childish people are the curse that the Almighty has given to us as our leaders play war games and monopoly with our lives and just as your article states nobody and nobody in the power positions in our country gives a hoot ar all.. first colapse will be the financial…then the political …..and finally the religious phonies who have been robbing the poor and destitute in this country for years…

    19th February 2013 at 6:53 pm

  73. Links 157-Bible Resources and Studies | Cindy's Zone 2 says:

    [...] No Gold in the Treasury. Financial System, At Some Point, It Blows « Financial Survival Network ADRIFT AT SEA « The Burning Platform Retail Apocalypse: Why Are Major Retail Chains All Over America [...]

    20th February 2013 at 5:29 am

  74. michaelj007 says:

    WOW! I’ve been somewhat hesitant to give into the notion that the entire system- economic, education, financial, military, judicial, etc- is rigged, then I saw this (link below). Boldface corporate cronyism. I can only imagine how quickly the education system will drop its pants once the student loan bubble implodes.

    http://discussions.sun-sentinel.com/20/soflanews/sfl-fau-to-name-stadium-after-prison-company-geo-group-20130219/10

    Admin- I think this story is right up your alley.

    20th February 2013 at 10:18 am

  75. SSS says:

    Stucky, AWD, and flash

    Your ass crack photos are a helluva lot better than the yucky ones which appear in the People of Wal Mart series. Good grief, what a gross-out some of those pics are.

    You may proceed as your good taste guides you.

    20th February 2013 at 12:21 pm

  76. Linus Huber says:

    I still am able to remember certain events taking place during my childhood and value those episodes, simply due to the fact that they stayed in my memory like for ever and, therefore, they must have made a great impression onto my still developing personality. It is not a matter of assessing those experiences in themselves but to consider their significance in how they influenced my future conduct as adult. It also explains the notion that changes in the individual’s behaviour take place in a very slow motion as we were exposed to past principles during the years when our personality was formed.

    Monday was the most important work day in my father’s working life. Furnished with a substantial amount of cash he went early morning between 3 and 5 a.m. on his way to collect all those calves he purchased the previous week by driving from farmstead to farmstead in order arrive with the fully loaded truck at the marketplace by latest 8 a.m. As earlier as better, as the purchasing agents of slaughter houses and feeding operators may otherwise have covered their needs already. Of course, his long experience and net work was helpful to him, nevertheless, a minor doubt seemed to always remain, as he had to work hard to arrive at the present situation in his life when he dared the first step into independence after having worked as a simply employee at the train station where, beyond other duties, he was assigned to attend the station’s large weighing scale and consequently was able to establish some contacts within and knowledge of the cattle trade. He was fully aware that the wellbeing of his 6 children and wife at home depended on his success. His irregular anxiety attacks during the prior evening often produced a relentless itching sensation on the bottom of his feet and he treated those symptoms with the rigorous employment of a rather rough cloth-brush.

    These episodes signify the fact that risk taking can produce a great deal of stress and is quite an unpleasant experience for an individual. However, the question we have to ask ourselves is whether such experiences prove to have a positive longterm effect on the individual person as well as on society at large or whether we should try to prevent such occurrence (e.g. by issuing a government program that guarantees the purchase of all cattle reaching the market). Although the individual detests stress, different studies prove that stress changes the individual’s behaviour in as far as the individual strives to reduce risk which will enhance the values of sustainability, responsibility and accountability. In addition, it is a rather questionable theory that when we redistribute risk to the public domain that the individual person will experience less stress as his attention will shift to other areas of potential sources of stress. In actuality, it is human nature that requires and is looking for challenges as we otherwise will suffer a slow death. This aspect is best demonstrated by the fact that people exposed to a life-changing experiences, e.g. end of one’s career or the death of one’s partner, often fall into a sluggish, dull and depressive state as the stimulating effects of challenges and stress are lacking. In other words, the anguish experienced due to a risky and challenging situation produces in itself a positive outcome for the individual person.

    The next question, we should ask ourselves, considers the effect on society when the insecurities are reduced from the individual and therefore the costs of such measures redistributed to society at large and how this will effect the individual’s behaviour in such a society. It is hardly refutable that the above listed qualities of risk-averse behaviour (sustainability, responsibility, accountability) will be effected in the opposite direction. The knowledge of such reflexivity is much better developed in scientists than in today’s economists as they are much better equipped to evaluate the impact of manipulative action on a living organism as compared to a mainly mathematical approach taken by economists that emphasises mechanical and physical attributes. To further the comprehension for the word “reflexivity”, let me use an example that fits well into our time period.

    I seldom am sick, however, whenever an non-life-threatening illness befalls me, I will investigate the potential sources of the symptoms in the internet on my own. In my own capacity, I evaluate the most probable cause of my discomfort and consult people close to me for further advice. Thereafter, I make my own decision on how to treat the sickness, which often means that I simply do nothing and let the body do its job while it is trained to increase its capacity of resistance at the same time. At other times I will visit a trusted pharmacist, discuss the best and most cost-effective medication for the purpose, administer it and the matter has been brought to its conclusion. Of course, unforeseen difficulties may arise, but this is possible as well, when I use the advice of a trained medical doctor. However, the the important aspect of this example lays in the fact that I take full responsibility, assuming the full risk, instead of delegating it. Unfortunately, this procedure of dealing with one’s minor illnesses is not possible in most Western countries, as the health insurance will reject any costs occurred from such behaviour and/or the medication will not be available without a prescription by a approved practitioner of the medical profession. Under the circumstances that the individual would be forced to cover medical expenses from his own pocket (no health insurance), the number of visits to the physicians office may drop by 50% and result in a major reduction in this increasing share of economic activity as well as increase sustainability and personal responsibility. I, therefore, can conclude that the present system produces the wrong incentives by delegating self-reliance and risk to the grey area of the general public and the rules therefore undermine the sustainability of the system as a whole, a fact that produces negative consequences for society. The example is not chosen to criticise present health policies but simply to show the longterm effects on the individual’s behaviour and to demonstrate the meaning of reflexivity. Just as an aside, I did not even mention the enormous administrative costs that arise from a managed system.

    “He never cashed in his cheque” were my father’s words. I was unable to recognise whether he considered this to be a delightful or dissatisfying fact as the sound of those spoken words projected a sense of apprehensiveness. Shortly prior to this day, my father was involved in a court case in which the seller of some pigs filed a lawsuit. After having sold those pigs to my father concluding the deal with a handshake and after the completion delivery, the seller felt the agreed price too low and felt cheated, resulting in him taking legal action. In the cattle trade it was/is a common feature to seal a deal with a handshake without the use of any documentation. The seller lost his case in the court and had to pay for the costs of the court proceedings of both parties. The original payment in the form of a cheque, however, never took place as the seller did not present the cheque to the bank. After some deliberation I concluded that the seller’s lack of claiming his dues must have been the result of one of the following reasonings. Perhaps, during a burst of temper, he tore the cheque into pieces and was now too proud to ask for a newly issued cheque. Maybe, the seller believed that he did not have the right to claim payment as part of the court’s decision in that this represented part of the punishment in his eyes. Perhaps, he wanted to demonstrate his disdain by refusing any payment from a contemptible person as my father must have appeared to him by that time. Whatever the reason might have been, all of them show a deeply rooted sense of personal responsibility and concomitant respectability. The court must have arrived at the conclusion that my father did not deceive the seller and the deal, therefore, was valid. In consequence, the seller was forced to scrutinise his own honesty and probably felt embarrassed and accused of dishonourable conduct. When comparing this behavioural pattern with today’s commonly applied conduct we certainly are able to recognise a change in the behavioural model. Honour, respectability, tradition and honesty have lost in weight in today’s world where often nothing but the figure on the bottom line counts. The ease of commerce, that depended on mutual trust, has been replaced by countless clauses and provisions based on an extensive regulatory frame work. Within this context, we now should ask ourselves whether, under the present development of increasing regulation, we arrived at a more just, honest and rule of law observing environment in our society or whether the feeling of real justice (not formal law observance) and legal certainty has been undermined. I do not want to rate the changes but simply state that, under the influence of the numerous regulatory measures, personal responsibility and values like honour and respectability have declined. Respectable and responsible behaviour cannot be decreed by laws but are human values that define us as humans. As more and more aspects of social interaction are regulated, the more the human’s inherent need of respectability and personal responsibility is reduced as those aspects of ensuring a coherent social order have been delegated to the rule makers. This represents another example of reflexivity.

    In the attempt to reduce the risk of the individual member of society, we have created many systems and regulations. The management and enforcement of these rules take a huge administrative effort and we created or expanded corresponding institutions. Like society, an institution is better regarded as a living organism and one should avoid to view them simply in terms of their function. From nature we know that an organism tries to grow and, when under attack, will defend itself. It is rather easy to comprehend this aspect as it is obvious that each employee within such an organisation will act to enhance his job security by expanding his/her sphere of influence. It is a normal human behaviour and should be considered a positive trait in itself. However, this behaviour of an institution’s members may entail negative implications for society at large in its interaction with the increasing size of the regulatory frame work. It acts like a booster to the above development and more and more rules become institutionalised resulting in reduced flexibility and sustainability of the overall system in the long term. The idea to eliminate every risk by centrally planned measures produces increasingly difficulties with sustainability and vitality for the whole system. With the reduction of personal liberty, qualities like self reliance, personal responsibility, accountability, community spirit, empathy, respectability and many other important values for a well functioning society are weakened. Those human qualities are replaced by the struggle to influence the rules themselves and to find ways to profit from existing rules and this simply due to the fact that we have delegated the responsibility for a smoothly functioning social order away from the individual. Honourable and respectable behaviour has lost its importance and simply the rules decide. Those who feel disadvantaged by the rules, try to change them in their favour (generally an option reserved for the elite) or, like probably the most of us, fall into a state of resignation. For economic reasons rules and laws are increasingly irrelevant (bending or disregard of constitutional law and reinterpretation of laws that violate the spirit they were written in) to the decision makers as they project the seemingly overwhelming important task of saving the system, while ignoring the fact that the system is damaged by exactly those actions of increased arbitrariness and insecurity that may inflict much larger wounds to the fabric of society than a temporary set-back in economic growth.

    “This is a real man” my father exclaimed when the buyer of my, due to an motorcycle accident, recently deceased brother’s apartment in Zürich paid with a bundle of bills in cash. I was no more a child but still the sound and dynamics of those spoken words were filled with conviction and produced an lasting imprint on me. It was not simply the fact that my father admired the buyers ability to pay in cash but an air of respectability was transferred to the buyer. There are numerous sayings that glorify the meaning of cash money. My father’s perspective, as well as the viewpoint of many others of his generation, was probably formed in the difficult years after 1929 and he stuck to his conviction even in view of empirical evidence that proved the incorrectness of that notion since the middle of the last century at the very least since money in whatever form including cash lost purchasing power, no matter what currency one looks at. It represents a behavioural pattern that has been etched on his mind for good.

    Most people of that generation are probably not alive anymore today or have hardly any direct influence on today’s events. When discussing the matter of money with young people, I often get an unambiguous reply that I do not have a clue about the meaning of money in today’s world and that a currency’s function is simply a means for payment. Numerous economists have developed abstruse ideas and theories as well and sneer at the idea of sound money. It was in 2001, when I purchased a new vehicle in Singapore (due to high taxes a rather expensive endeavour) and when, after completion of negotiations, I explained that I plan to pay in cash and therefore an additional cash-payment discount should apply, the salesman was close to cancelling the agreed transaction. The reason for this notion was the fact that the salesman was counting on earning an additional commission when getting a credit agreement signed which in my case did obviously cease to apply. At that time already, I was wondering what type of implication this kind of incentive system will take on social values and which kind of values will be promoted as well as which ones weakened as a consequence. The value system of a society can never be contemplated in isolation because when one type of value increases some other value must lose in degree of relative importance. It can never be a moot objective to investigate the origins of changes in society’s value scale.

    The power of suggestion plays an important role in the field of psychology for the purpose of changing the subject’s self-image. This insight is applied in the area of education as well as when raising a child in order to promote a desired mode of conduct. The behaviour of society at large as well as the individual’s behaviour within society can be modified over time in applying the same principle. Each law or regulation exerts an influence on at least two levels. In one way, the desired improvement in terms of quality of life is achieved for a part of the population and in another way, due to the adaptive capabilities of organisms, a minor change in one’s behavioural mode can be registered. The changed pattern of behaviour can itself be divided into two areas, namely into the area of the rules affecting the individual’s action directly and into the area where the new rules have an implied impact on the individual’s self-image as member of said society. As higher the regulatory density the lower will be the level of personal responsibility and accountability, self-reliance, honourable and respectful attitudes, individual freedom and other factors essential for a successful society.

    The effectiveness of a taken measure on the behavioural pattern of the individuals within a society is strongest when all members are subjected to the measure on a continuous basis to produce a maximum impact on the self-image. There hardly is any other system created by humans that outweighs its influence on people’s self-image and the social order to a greater degree than money. Money is omnipresent, used daily by everyone and everywhere, measures economical success and contributes decisive to the self-image of an individual. The influence of this medium on a currency area’s people is not limited to monetary and economic aspects only but, on the basis of its overwhelming relevance, affects the intangible values within the concerned society. The attributes of a currency that rests mainly on the monetary policies of the respective Central Bank, therefore are of enormous societal significance.

    Without exception, Central Banks the world over pursue a policy of currency devaluation. It actually is surprising that not even one exception to the rule exists and all of the currencies presently in use are devalued, especially when viewed from a longterm perspective. Some devalue faster others slower but all of them are subjected to debasement. Is this a natural phenomena and an inherent trait of a currency or is it man-made? Upon closer inspection we, of course, can detect that a deliberate manipulation takes place by sacrificing the currencies value for arriving at short term economically favourable outcomes. In other words, the property rights of the currency owner is violated in order to achieve a statistically measurable and therefore quantitative improvement of economic performance. Growth, however, is measurable in quantitative terms only unable to assess the quality of that growth (e.g. by evaluating factors of sustainability). It is not difficult to conclude that economic growth arrived at by manipulative monetary policy will produce negative results for society that are not directly measurable but, over time, will influence society in a negative way. Hereinafter I like to explain some of those negative consequences which should be evaluated in context with the above explanations of reflexivity to arrive at a comprehensive picture of the jigsaw puzzle.

    We just explained that the manipulation of currencies (persistent longterm devaluation) violates the property rights of the holders of currency. When the currency is devalued, the corresponding loss of purchasing power of the currency holder of let us say 20% in 10 years does not evaporate but someone else within the currency area has benefited correspondingly. In general, those net in-debted in currency terms reaped those benefits. It simply is a wealth transfer and society has been conditioned to consider this aspect in their behaviour as normal. The real result is an environment that enhances the volume of credit creation and benefits the financial sector as the net currency debtor benefits without corresponding effort and is able to register a profit, even after the deduction of the costs of the financial transaction. In spirit this situation does violate the property rights stated in most constitutions and consequently undermines the spirit of the rule of law.

    The partial expropriation of the currency holder’s purchasing power produces some additional side effects in that money turns to adopting more of the attributes attached to possessions than property. E.g. we can possess a car without being the owner of that car. This is best demonstrated when comparing a rented car to a car owned by the driver. Do we behave in exactly the same manner when the car is owned or rented? Some drivers may have those qualities and not act differently at all. Nevertheless, the sentiment of care and sustainable maintenance for a rented item are limited. Ownership does not simply has benefits but entails the obligation to take care of the item in question on a sustainable basis. When property rights are weakened, people are being conditioned over time to think in a short term and unsustainable way. When this way of thinking is practiced by a small number of the population only, the effect on society will probably be negligible. However, when on the basis of conditioning over many decades an ever increasing percentage of the population is changing their behaviour in the described direction, there will be damaging consequences for society in that short term thinking and unsustainable behaviour will be entrenched in the system.

    Another effect is the culture of immediate gratification that is expressed by the wish to possess an item today and now without saving first for it. One prefers to in-debt oneself than to exercise patience and forbearance and to budget responsibly. This development leads to a behaviour that undermines the value of sustainability. The concept that one has to first work hard to arrive at a certain level of living standard is weakened. However, living on credit, to use a popular expression, is promoted. Today and now is more important than the uncertain future that is no more calculable. The consumer and throw-away society is born.

    The behaviour toward risk changes also in that the risk increasingly is transferred away from the risk taker to society at large. This development did not start with the bail-outs in 2008 but reached its temporary climax in that eventful year. Such a constellation increases the preparedness to run high risks and undermines the virtue of diligence, a necessary requirement for sustainable development. The relief from negative consequences of risk taking undermines the virtuous values indispensable to a successful and free society like diligence, responsibility, accountability and honesty.

    As money will be worthless in the long run, people focus more on tangibles to escape the value deterioration of the currency. The idea to save your nest egg or for some future emergency in the form of a simple savings account is frowned upon and is being replaced by investments in tangible assets. This enhances a materialistic ideology in which ethical principles and other values important for a smoothly running society lose their significance. It feeds the notion of mistrust towards decision makers (no one likes to be manipulated) and produces tendencies of individualism with a reduction of empathy towards other members of society.

    The economic well-being of the population depends increasingly on growth that is based on the devaluation of the currency and the high power concentration with the monetary authorities is elevated to a degree that they must feel like pontiffs. Incrementally it becomes unavoidable to disguise the non-existent sustainability and the game of perception management starts. As the population clings to the status quo, the proclamations of the decision makers are desperately received and accepted with enthusiasm, although those claims are contradicting logical thoughts. Respectability, honesty, responsibility, accountability and sustainability are replaced by a culture of lies and deception.

    Another aspect of the reduction in property rights is the fact that actually theft is being legalised. The consequential undermining of the rule of law reduces the protection of personal freedom. Of course, some aspects of personal freedom must be limited, but outside the spectrum of those aspects, the rules of the state should mainly aim at protecting the personal freedom and consequently the associated personal responsibility and similar positive traits that enhance a smoothly functioning social order. I do place central banks to the functions of government despite the fact that they do enjoy formal independence. Each intervention, regulation and manipulation must be evaluated on its longterm effect on the value scale of society. These are not measurable aspects but qualitative values. As economists are trained in measurable changes, this kind of analysis that includes psychological effects is alien to them.

    In order to conclude my short essay, I would like to give you, dear reader, a way to remind yourself of the above contents: When you manipulate people like lab rats, do not wonder, when increasingly they will adopt the attributes of a rat (conditioning). Or in other words, who devalues money, devalues humaneness.

    23rd February 2013 at 7:20 pm

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