Episode-641- Listener Feedback 4-11-11 — 12 Comments

  1. Never been so mad in my life the whole gov shutdown was nothing but political grandstanding.Then to see everybody trying to take credit for it made me want to throw a brick at the tv.Jack i heard you talk a little about credit you wont believe this one of my coworkers won a $100.000 tax free scratch off he went and paid off his condo and bought a new truck spent around %75 and now is debt free.What got me is i heard all other coworkers trying to talk him into to keep making payments and not pay it off.I asked them are you really that addicted to credit.

  2. RE: Preppers seen as “cult” adherents

    The word “cult” is one of those words that (like the word “pornography”) cannot be defined. It’s just about impossible to nail the word down in such a way to as make it clearly cover one suspect area of human activity without unintentionally having your presumed take on the word overlap into many other perfectly legitimate spheres of behavior. I have tried to define it. My college professors have tried to define it. Various modern religious leaders have tried to define it. In the end, a lot of scholars have struggled for decades on how to define “cult,” and most (the honest ones, at least) admit to failure.

    Because the word “cult” defies exactitude, I hesitate to use is myself. And I take a dim view of anyone –especially any journalist– who tosses it around without offering many clarifications and caveats as far as exactly what they mean by it. (In this instance, it was written by one Jennifer Leigh Parker, and I hope she Googles her name and lands here at this web site.)

    To me, the safest way to employ the underlying concept that the root word suggests is to re-cast the word into an adjective such as “cult-like” or “cultic,” and even then I would use such labels with grave caution. But the noun itself is far too slippery for anyone to wield (especially journalists) without unintentionally vilifying untold masses of utterly innocent people.

    I suppose the only rational and responsible thing to do is to paraphrase the famous statement of Supreme Court Justice Stewart when he offered his findings on the issue of obscenity: “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.”

    To me –as far as what I think I can “see” whenever I believe my eyes are beholding a “cult”– most cults have several key earmarks. And there’s no way (in my outlook) that the prepper movement possesses even half of them.

    The choice of that news piece from CNBC to include the prepper movement in its already ill-defined treatment of “cults” was just plain stupid. (I read the article, Jack, and it was a piss-poor piece of schlock and I could do a much better job writing a “Ten Prophets of Doom” piece from my laptop.) And three things about the inclusion of preppers in that article REALLY bug me.

    The first thing about the news item that bugs me centers around the fact that while most journalists and their editors are very well-versed in just how difficult it is to define the word “pornography,” very few are even consciously aware of how hard it is to define to word “cult.” So on the one hand, most journalists and editors are very cautious and judicious about never employing the word “porn” in a situation where perhaps the questionable material is in fact a legitimate form of “art.” (And God forbid they should EVER malign a piece of art!) Yet on the other hand, they remain ignorant of religious matters outside of bookish, dry, (and slanted) studies of religion, and so they are not as cautious about their treatment of religious subjects and therefore less concerned about maligning religion (accidentally or intentionally).

    The second thing about that news item that bugs me is that the prepper movement is one devoid of religious elements. And yet a) most people who wrestle with defining the word “cult” agree that religion and spirituality are usually core aspects to a “cult,” and b) all the other leaders and movements that made the cut for that aticle were in fact over-the-top religious. But there is nothing overtly religious/spiritual about being a prepper. Some preppers incidentally hail from one faith or another, but there is no unifying faith between them, and faith is not even part of the discussions that transpire between different preppers. It’s not only possible but even common for a group of preppers who gather for a swap meet to include a Pentecostal, a Wiccan, a Mormon, a Druid, and an atheist. And they are all pretty much aware of each others’ diverse faiths, and they all make an effort to look past it and get on with business. So calling such inter-faith cooperation a “cult” is just bone-headed.

    The third thing that bugs me is what Jack pointed out in the podcast: the notion of being concerned about the electrical grid going down is cast as being inherently kooky. The issue of “likelihood” is in no way addressed by the article. Instead there is in that article an implied presumption of BAU, and the questioning of BAU is seen as suspect. And therefore preppers are seen as suspect while those who fail to plan are seen as the more acceptable members of society.

  3. wow I’m in a cult now!!! btw- i think shutting down the government every now & then might make us prioritize government expenditures more. People might think “wait- let’s focus on important stuff first… just in case we run out of money & have to shut down..” but i doubt anyone would learn…

  4. Jack,

    I would like to give you a firm handshake and a small token of appreciation before you leave Arlington for good. I would have just sent you an email but was afraid you would not get to it in time given the volume of email you receive. Is it possible to arrange a meeting sometime tomorrow evening (12 April)?

  5. I live in suburbs in Milwaukee, Wi. I have used oak leaves for compost and turn my clay soil to a nice dark garden soil. Only been doing this for 2yrs but no problems so far.

  6. Jack, I am a bit disappointed in how you approached the situation about the troops delayed payments. My views on our military are vastly different than yours and I understand where you are coming from, but I feel that would have been a good opportunity to stress the importance of prepping instead of lambasting about how our warrior caste must always get their gold.

  7. I found it humorous and then, of course, not-so-funny to hear the grand-standing about the potential government shut-down due to clowngress not approving the budget in-time. When I was in the Air Force, I worked in procurement/contracting.

    This was just an annual event. We were on the brink of not getting our paychecks EVERY – SINGLE – YEAR. Eventually, the (always bloated) budget got approved… late, and we all went on with life. NOTHING has changed, except we’re getting closer and closer to those fears becoming fulfilled.

    @IRO-BOT: The importance of prepping IS the show. If every single statement made during the show doesn’t satisfy the “Did this stress prepping?” check box, there IS this slight possibility that the statement is still relevant to this community.

    Warrior caste? Somebody’s spent too much time in the books, and needs to remember that this ‘warrior caste’ is made up of American men and women, yes… PEOPLE that are out there doing their job. One can assume that anyone doing their job entered into an agreement in which services would be performed in exchange for compensation.

    It’s particularly annoying that these honorable men and women are far away from home and family, under the guise of fighting for our freedom (I’m not getting started on why they’re REALLY there) and there’s even a QUESTION as to whether they will be paid or not. Again, there ISN’T a question… budget or no budget, our country is in the habit of getting things paid for whether it can afford it or not.

    So, Professor… Just don’t forget that perpetuating a label like ‘warrior caste’ is just one more way of separating ourselves from other HUMAN BEINGS, in a time when we should all be pulling together. There are enough forces out there trying (and succeeding) to divide us. Let’s not do their work for them.

  8. @Mike

    THANK YOU for properly slamming IRO-bot for me, with all the moving shit my personal energy reserves are low. Your response was BEAUTIFUL, thanks for the assist.

  9. I really don’t mean to slam anyone, publicly, even if they deserve it. Lord knows I’m far from Mister Perfect myself. I just get irritated, and sometimes fired-up when I hear that condescending “I’m disappointed…” like you somehow let them down when you expressed your opinion about something. WTF?! Get over it. Life is full of disappointment.
    Like most here, I got your back, Jack.
    Good luck with the rest of the move. I used to be a long-haul mover, and I used to tell my clients “I just do the heavy-lifting. You have the HARD part of the job. You get to figure out where to put it all when we get there!”

  10. Ok, so it’s perfectly acceptable to berate about those NY city dwellers and how they should prep. It ok to berate about eco-hippies. But the military is always off limits. Listen, my I’ll apologize, most of my ire came from a family member. Her husband serves, and she was crying about not being able to pay her bills, that was a post of facebook, from her new iPad. Then the half-dozen comments from everyone else about hard it was going to be and how their children would die without medical care. Jack says it’s dangerous to agree with all he says. But when it’s the military you disagree with him about, you’re a horrible person. I understand.

  11. @IRO-bot

    Get over yourself.

    First you called them a caste. Do you know what a caste is? It is something you are born into either a birthright or a birth limitation on your success. To use such a term with a VOLUNTEER solider is really foolish (that it the nicest way I can put it).

    Two unlike all the other assclown employees who are going to be told to stay home during a shut down the solider will be getting his ass shot off while not being paid. If you think this is acceptable, I don’t know what to say.

    Third for the love of God WHAT DID YOU DO, TUNE OUT THE ENTIRE END OF THE SEGMENT. You know the part where I said, “I wish all our military personnel had just told the government F you, shut it down”.

    The fact though that you called our soldiers a caste though must be in ignorance but tell me were you,

    1. Ignorant of the meaning of caste


    2. Ignorant to the voluntary nature of service of our military

    As for your family member she is right to be upset. You try living on what a solider makes with deployments compounding it and see how much of a reserve of funds you can create.

    No you are not a horrible person, get off your poor me bullshit but your opinion has no basis in reality because you have never served and don’t have a clue what the sacrifice to do so is.

    I am sure you are a fine person but by ignoring half of what I said and inferring that a private in the army is a socially stratified elite you fit the old saying my dad used to use when people said such things.

    My Dad’s famous quote was, “that guy talks like a man with a paper asshole”.