Monday, July 28, 2008


The US debt is now $9.5 trillion, or $31,500 for every man, woman & child in our country. This was as of April 2008, and I just read that we have another half billion now to add to it. I don't even know what 9 trillion means--all the dandelions in Sangamon County? in Illinois? It's so vast. Definitely not a number for someone whose household earns yearly $3000 per capita. Even 3000 is a huge number--all that wasted paper & the time it took to acquire it.

I wonder what our government would look like if it lived within its means. I imagine there'd be no war, much less military, much less pork, maybe even less money lost through the pentagon's red tape. Maybe we'd build places worth caring about rather than giant concrete boxes (tombs). Maybe they'd encourage us to garden instead of shop, and care about each other rather than watch tv.

I've been reading a great Curtis White book, The Spirit of Disobedience. I love it. It blew my mind, although I don't think I learned of any new concepts or ideas. It was great to see all in one place all the ideas that have been floating around my thinkisphere for daysmonthsyears now, all synthesized in one place with such frankness. Loved it. Felt like I had been to a really good sermon, and felt fired up & righteous. (But not that kind of righteous.)

We also listened to some sermons on YouTube from Brother James Howard Kunstler. That guy cracks me up with his snarky reality tunnel, his views on the car and modern architecture, the suburbs and our governments. I walked the streets of the city today thinking of myself in an outdoor room, and realizing walking when I felt comfortable and when I felt blech. Interesting research and experience. It's a quality of life issue I never much contemplated before.

It's hot in Illinois, but not really. Really it's July & it should be in the 90's every day, with 100 degrees every once in a while, just to make us really appreciate how cool 90 degrees feels. I have woken up wrapped in a blanket every morning this summer, except one. We got more rain last night. According to my cocorahs data collection efforts, it's rained about 33 inches this year, and our normal yearly average is about 37-38 inches. Everything is green and lush, the garden & the weeds. It's been crazy "abnormal" weather ever since I started gardening and paying attention. What gives? Is normal weather a hoax, or have we begun rapid climate destabilization like the scientists and economists are always raving about.

A lot of things are blooming right now, sunflowers (many kinds), rudbeckia, purple coneflowers & pale purple coneflowers, daisies, cilantro, squash, tomatoes (big, plump, and light green), milkweed (with its tremendously sweet almond smell), bee balm, nasturtiums, potatoes (will they ever be done so I can dig them up?), flaming pink hibiscus, dame's rocket, calendula, burdock, wild mustard, bachelor's buttons, day lilies, yarrow, tansy, chicory, woody nightshade, white clover, dianthus, cosmos, catmint, purple clover and a few unknowns. The few plums are turning orange, and I'm chomping at the bit for the tomatoes to turn red and the potatoes vines to die off. The squash still have not succumbed to what always kills them off, and a couple of volunteer spaghetti squash are hanging off the vines which have trellised themselves to the tomato cages. Talk about blessings!

We're (me & K) reading a novel called Victory Garden right now, set in world war 2 in a small town in Kansas. It's an interesting book, full of edumacation, but I enjoy being K's interpreter. No government spin when we're talking about bombing people or victory gardens and rationing. It's refreshing, though, to read of back when we were a tough people who could sacrifice willingly for our fellow human beings to have a little more comfort (for "our boys"). Now we're just encouraged to shop, putting our futures and a war or two on our credit cards. Our kids and grandkids won't mind!

I read on wiki that:
"As of April 2008, the total U.S. federal debt was approximately $9.5 trillion[2], about $31,600 per capita (that is, per U.S. resident). Of this amount, debt held by the public was roughly $5.3 trillion.[3] If, in addition, unfunded Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, etc. promises are added, this figure rises to a total of $59.1 trillion."

It seems that this is getting ridiculous. And when you get a ridiculous amount of debt, so ridiculous that it cannot ever be paid, what happens? It might be time for the Great Contraction, the down slide of the bell graph, the paying of the piper, the don't dish it out if you cain't take it economic reality. It seems as long as we have plastic in our wallets, we don't much care about what we're doing or why, and how it affects everyone and everything else in the world. We live in cities built for machines, and eat food produced by machines and chemicals. Screens educate and occupy the time of us and our children. Phillip K. Dick was a mad genius, and he said that the one thing that separates us from robots is that we have the ability to say no.

I planted my victory garden, and I have achieved victory for my spirit and soul, my family and community. I do not feel constrained or rutted in a depressed state. I feel nothing but hope and excitement for our future. No matter what the statistics of nation and climate, I know that living in a community is what brings me joy, being fully present in my daily life, spending time with people, rather than money with machines, communing with non-pavement. All these things enrich my life, make it worth living, in a place worth caring about.



a conscious life said...

carey, girl, you rock! you're writing is so prolific. i love this line - "It might be time for the Great Contraction, the down slide of the bell graph, the paying of the piper, the don't dish it out if you can't take it economic reality." I absolutely believe that the *Great Contraction* is what's going on right now! It's happened before, why shouldn't it happen again? Hell, it's happened throughout history, for as long as human existence. I believe that's how the great dynasties just disappeared.

I was talking to a good friend of mine a few weeks ago (you'd like her... she's one of my crunchy AP homeschool friends over here in D-Town) about the LOA and the media and the negativity that's spewed out of the boob-tube. I believe that the negative attitudes towards the economy are effecting the trends downward but I also believe that *God*... or whatever you want to call *him*... has said, "enough is enough, you've abused what I've given you, it's time to put on the breaks"...

I believe those that aren't doing what's necessary to minimize and be sustainable within our homes and community, will not fare this *Great Contraction* well.

Wishing you great blessings and prosperity in all it's forms! :)


sharqi said...

Thanks for the kind words. Empires have risen and fallen throughout history, and it doesn't take much looking at our country's pathetic state to see the party's over: overwhelming poverty for many Americans, our environment in ruins, our natural resources sold off long ago, our ineffectual leaders, and on and on. Our nation has become rigid, and we can't adapt when the feedback cycles make us aware that we need to do so.

I agree the negative outlooks on the economy are affecting the downturn. It makes me wonder, if the corporations control the media, why so much negativity? But then again, when stocks tumble, that makes them cheap to buy, for whomever still has change in their pocket.

I wonder why and who thought stocks were such a great thing. Obviously, the first named Depression didn't teach us anything. Whenever bubbles grow, they pop. It happens, and it should not be a surprise. The housing bubble has been going on indefinitely, blown out of proportion by the tech bubble of the prosperous 90's. And now, after all the money that SOMEONE made off it, the bubble has popped, and taxpayers are left forking over the dough to rescue banks that made horribly bad judgments, just to make some extra cash. It doesn't make any sense!

I'm glad I can adapt, and that adverse conditions do not get me down. It will take a lot of hope and vision, creativity and imagination to get us through.

Wishing you well, also, Lisa!