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I like the quote: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free" although I laughed more at the other quote.
I don't know what is worse, to falsely believe you are free, or the Cassandra's of the world that know they are not free, and are powerless to change the circumstances, let alone convince others of our situation. Isn't it not depressing to live in a society that is heading off a cliff, yet people are just worried about having a better seat on the train, disregarding the destination?


Seriously, this may be the most encouraging thing you've written--and I've been reading for a while. Thanks for the "sweeter" end note.

I am a little curious: Did you vote today anyway?


Very nice post.

You're right, focusing on important matters over which we're powerless can blind us to all the freedom we do have to make our lives and this world better. And the seemingly unstoppable movement of our world toward disaster can free us as well; with less to lose, we have more freedom to live some aspects of our lives without greed, sloth, or anger.

With an overly rational or scientific mind and a desire to see the true state of things, we can depress ourselves seeing the world as mundane & merely physical. Whilst hard times cause humanity's flaws to fester, they also nurture the beauty within the human spirit. Some of our greatest artistic and scientific achievements came during very dark periods. These trials that we'll all face as we bring the world crashing down around us can hopefully nurture a more full understanding of the deeper messages within our various faiths, and a greater appreciation for the world as a whole.

I don't know that it will help us or even our children very much, but we can always know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Robert Firth

Thank you for a thoughtful article. As for making ones life better, I made mine immeasurably better, simply by casting two votes. They were a left vote and a right vote, and I cast them for Singapore. I have now been happy, productive, and debt free for over 10 years, and will never look back.


It seems to me as a remote observer that your problems with the political system
are caused by the structure of that system.
For someone grown up on the Westminster system there does seem to be a
structural flaw in the US system.
To have the executive government not part of the parliament automatically puts
them at odds with each other.
When the government is formed from the members of the parliament then the
government cannot exist without the confidence and authority of the parliament.

When the prime minister as head of the government can be questioned every day
at question time, he has to mind his Ps & Qs.


As circumstances continue to deteriorate, as Mr. Cohen notes they will, we have in place a
completely disfunctional polity that is systemically incapable of responding in the public interest.
Post peak oil, the U.S. has the furthest to fall, owing to its massive reliance on imports, and its
completely oil dependent infrastructure.

My grandfather left Weimar Germany in 1924. As I reflect on this absurd and frightening election, I wonder if I should do the same.

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