If I consider my L.A. neighborhood a typical Gallup poll focus group and extrapolate from what my San Fernando Valley neighbors foresee, --- my polls indicate that 75% of the western world believes that the current system is going to collapse catastrophically.

I live in Reseda, an attractive suburban Mexican ghetto 22 miles to the north of Hell-a. My neighbors, many of them Mayan descendants tell me their legends say all calendars down there only went to 2012. What did ancient shamans know that we don't?

To the north by 2 miles is Cal State Northridge University where intellectuals, astronomers and scientists predict the end coming with the return of Planet   Niburu which will rip through our solar system in 2019 and nary a Spielberg hero or Ronnie Reagan StarWars to save us.

They also foresee the Caldera in Yellowstone, 50 x 70 miles wide, exploding into a super volcano, clouding over the planet for a decade. Why is because it blows every 600,000 years and we're on that mark today and it is coming to life again.

The Christian religious singing in Baptist churches around me see End Times, Armageddon, the Ascension ahead, predicted for when Babylon falls and Israel destroys the whole world. Well, heck that's here now, this week!

My hippie poet, wannabe screenwriter, artist pals from L.A. predict the coming of Mad Max the Postman in their unsold screenplays featuring alternately a frozen future and global warming that turns Canada into a papaya zone.

Polling my contacts, it would seem that the giant fickle finger of fate has written THE END into modern urban legend. ADIOS EARTH is just around the corner but what's weird is that ordinary folks can see what's coming better than the Bush cabal in D.C. or the NYTIMES.

Lupe, my lawnmower repair man's wife sees it pretty well. "We're in a global depression which makes the 30's look like "Lives of the Rich and Famous." It's been 15 years. Pharaoh's bad years were only seven. Maybe itís just a 'correction', a much-needed stagflationary period the way toothlessness, thick waistline and gray hair are visual signs to breeders to back off. This bottomless black hole lasting since the late 80's is not just a replay of the 30's depression. That one could culminate in and be ended by the all-time WPA program, WWII. If wars come in the same size of depressions, we're going to NEED all out nuclear war to fix this mierda."

I continue to poll believing that intuition is one of the physical laws of even the most material universe. An ex-online investor tells me ruefully, "CEOs are bandits; they lie, steal, embezzle from the company, pump up the stock value with lies; there are no more earnings for people who invest in companies, itís just sheeple being ripped off of shekels by shylocks." Oh, that's good. I nod, smiling, pencil scribbling. 'Democracy and the long arm of the Law must monitor globalism but they can't because global business is beyond the reach of local sheriffs. It's gone international."

My college ecologist pal says the same thing. "Ecologically filthy and illegal here, is do-able, there. Think Bhopal" He makes his hands into a church. "Petroleum in the air gives us global warming, ozone depletion. Waste dropped in the ocean gives algae-depletion, toxic seas again no algae so no air. Then add in rampant deforestation you get  oxygen stats dropping each year. Plantary suffocation escalating causes cancer  cuz where oxygen isn't, cancer IS). " I nod, scribbling. "Jacques Cousteau said no matter what we did now, the sea was already a dead duck." Hmmm. I intone. Isnít it odd that the word eau is in his surname? What are the chances?

My friend the impressionist painter was certain that the lack of water was next. "The Planet will become a desert like the Sahara which before the French colonial peanut farming was a fragrant green land." I make a note to research antique maps and colonial agricultural practices of the Gauls at Google. "By 2025 demand for water will be 50% greater than the global fresh water supply." I frown, perplexed. "You mean water isnít endless? Like subterranean lakes? And all that melting snow?" My ecologist buff pal shakes his head and sighs mournfully. "the world will be barren sand, think sand." I note that for an amateur futurist, it's odd my last name is Sands.

So panicky, right away I gotta check with my real expert, the vitamin clerk at the healthfood store. A bright light in a sea of sorrow. He told me not to worry about any of that stuff; a tidal wave of cancer was going to finish humanity off first. Heavy metals in the air and on the surfaces of all plants we eat are an armageddon all their own.ĒBees wonít pollinize, theyíre all dying. That means we get no food.  FARMERS donít know their job anymore. Transnationals own the ass of all the agricultural colleges. Growers are taught to spray petroleum based pesticides on all crops, switch the genes of Frankenstein plants to make them unlike life itself. Not to mention what they do to the soil with chemical fertilizers?? FERGETABOUT IT. Worst, then consumers nuke it to eat it rearranging molecules! Our collective ignorance and hindsight will be bring about the end of life. 25% loss of global topsoil in the last 50 years, the damage to food sources with pervasive pesticide pollution, even in the flesh of all animals we eat, along with huge amounts of anti-biotics we shoot in our meat (as the animals fed fat-producing abnormal diets become targets for plagues. ) An exponentially growing human population, the eve of the 6 billionth child being born and 2 billion of those people dependent on industrially created nitrogen fertilizers for their food. Thatís a cliff cantilevered out over a precipice that everybody is blithely walking on." Wow. I go. Wow and I stumble out of the healthfood store bottles anti-oxidants and Vit C and liver-purifiers like angelica herb in bags which I go home to consume with Britta water cuz what's coming out of the faucet is recycled from sewage according to local papers, and the stuff coming out of 25c machines is even filthier.

I get home and see my neighbor AnaMaria mowing her brand new lawn. She has trained for a dozen different lines of work and is still jobless with cancer and no medical coverage. All of my latino barrio denizens seem to know firsthand about JOB depletion. The world should create 30 million jobs per year for the next 50 years to employ the growing population and our downsizing transnationals just aren't doing so. People can't afford the expensive toys being made and are simply sharpening old lawnmower blades or putting new heads on old gaskets to use their old chevvies. But that isn't the reason some of my neighbors all ride bicycles to work. It's because the DMV wants a few hundred a year for fees and demands you spend a thousand a year insurance per car! A family of four will pay 4k a year just for insurance. DMV fees bring to nearly 5k. And the whole family has entry level jobs flipping burgers at McDonalds or cleaning houses as maids. What do they eat on? Or do they eat Top Ramen with boiled mice? If so, who'll pay for their gargantuan health care?

I take my car to Jose the mechanic for gaskets and hear from him that there's oil production peak scheduled for about 2005 and a rumor we won't be able to drive those old cars with their old gaskets after that cutoff point. No gas, no wheels! Jose offers me a great Kawasaki he just got in payment for some gaskets he put in another client's aging car. I stick to my unregistered, unsmogged 83 Honda cuz it gets me to the grocery and back using streets the cops aren't found on so why insure it at a thousand a year, and why smog this ancient tub which only can be achieved with regular and costly rebuilding of the motor? Why register it with the higher than ever fees of the Calif DMV? A car worth 300$ gets l00$ registration fee? ARE THEY NUTS? Got no driver's license anyway because you need a tagged, legal car to take the driving test. How does this ancient woman living on 340$ social security pension, (I never worked, I raised 4 babies as a single hippie mother in the sixties,) so no food money. How would I even pay for gas to drive an  illegal car to the DMV to get my every four year driving test? WHY DO ANY OF IT? The end is coming. WHO NEEDS a legal car and as I don't fly, why do I need a driver's license photo ID?

I drive only a few blocks to get food. I go to my fav Chinese fish market to find bags of frozen pollock fillets, were .89c now costs $1.39 an lb. I learn from Wang that the loss of all ocean fisheries is imminent. Every one of the seven seas has been ruthlessly overfished by those trawling barges with freezer holds the size of modern cities that stop in port twice a year to dump. I ask Wang where all his fish comes from. Every bit from Korea, he smiles. Hmmmm Does Chinese tea make teeth that shade of ochre? Or is it three week old mackerel?

At home  I fry the mackerel in sliced onions, as it's a very dark flavored fish which is why it's dirt cheap. While it cooks, I scan the headlines of the local valley paper. On front page --genocide, three stories: Israelis in their streets, tourists in Bali, Jewish vacation hotels in Kenya. I wonder at the increasing number of genocidal civil wars in third world countries where a Muslim underclass achieves getback by firebombing tourism sites. Maybe they're mad at their king who has l8 gold palaces. But then I remember all the third world incursionism since my activist days in CISPES in places like Timor, Rwanda, Indonesia, Mexico, Guatemala, where US trained and sponsored government death squads who killed entire villages under the rubric of fighting guerillas, but really done so the beaner soldiers could sell the oil rich land to U.S. Oil companies when they finally arrived. Maybe they're mad at us.

In Timor a third of the population was murdered in a change of rulers. Same kind of event as Iraq. After U.N. soldiers leave, a U.S. supported 'monkey' always shows up, ( called a POPULARLY SUPPORTED candidate but one wonders.) Some little unknown ascends the throne ---seemingly just released from some dungeon where the former regime had him but the legend they create for him has such pathos. Authored in Fairfax county mebbe?

Last, and I do have to mention this one as a possible End Times Scenario. We have our own fascist Republican oligarch-oriented White House enacting anti-constitutional laws, suspending all human services so they can afford 160 billion dollars (so far) for Afghanistan and Iraq wars, enraging a third of the planet as we take their oil and colonized their countries. And these are people who can achieve gitback with BOXCUTTERS!

So OKAY, we got terrorism, plague, volcanoes, war, military puppets suppressing their own people because we instruct them to do so ---that was just ONE hand.

On the other five fingers, there are still some more plagues. Mad Cow disease and tuberculosis exist in the meat supply, so that all burger is Russian Roulette. The collapsed immune systems in modern city dwellers, chronic fatigue in teens requiring crack or Starbucks medication. A cancer pandemic, killer flus, crib death, a generation of oldsters going with maybe Alzheimers but more possibly MadCow. Babies with Attention deficit syndrome, autism, leukemia, brain tumors, asthma, allergies most of that from forced vaccinations. Hmmmm. Not enough fingers on that hand!

Okay, we'll use your hand. Then comes, the AIDS thing, 2 million dead in USA, 20 million infected with AIDS in Africa, a million children there orphaned, (many of them with the disease). Everywhere in the world, there's a a 20 year drop in life expectancy stats due to AIDS. Oddly, thereís a similar drop in life expectancy in Russia without much AIDS. Probably the steady diet of vodka. Maybe the lack of an alt religion offering HOPE (since Marxism dropped off the map.) Maybe swacked athiests is a new health group.

Then, did I forget, the antibiotic resistant bacterial strains to all kinds of diseases, tuberculosis, veneral diseases and this after scarcely 75 years of using penicillin. You'd think bacteria would be more canny. They're like damn terrorists using boxcutters to bring down jets.

Then, the rapidly expanding underclass in all the "advanced" countries, many illegal immigrants, their wily crime waves, fearless bank robberies, identity theft. Triple the jail population of other, saner days.

Subliminally, Joe average Citizen takes note of every detail of the changing landscape, even apprehending in his bottomfeeder way, the wildly speculative economy up on the macrocosm, the global scale mayhem in the boardrooms with an overvalued stock market bringing the world economy to the brink of a major, planetary depression with endemic joblessness and much of this aggravated by this whole ENRON MCI business showing us of what fragility are the constructs man creates for himself. What happened to the simplicity of the old marketplace where you could examine the fish, smell it and pay for it with a copper penny. No one taxed the fisherman or licensed the highway home at a thousand a year to driver. And you rode your horse home, a vehicle which ate free, roadside weeds not Ethyl gasoline.

We have traded the fresh smelling fish and the horse it rode in on for a "faith and trust system" riddled with corruption, rendered increasing brittle by the greed of our masters and their white collar crime. When we list those crimes, we must include moving the factory away from union workers to the site where slaves live in the third world, as a kind of corporate crime. CEO's who remove the human factor in the name of "productivity" and "competitiveness" are no better than muggers.

We have heard the prophecy of Karl Marx that mega-mergers would consolidate power in fewer and fewer hands which inevitably would become more wilful, self interested therefor corrupt, making an already brittle system even more so as nobody can find a job and buy all the merchandise languishing at the factories. So the oligarch's greed makes him into a retrovirus that will destroy its own host body.

Last but not least, the muscular hand of the ultimate retrovirus, an invisible, central Stepfather bank, (the IMF) squeezing every starving third world child into productivity to pay off loan debt with slave labor at below bottom market, non-union salaries. Throw in a dash of child labor. And hey, a few first world countries, doing the same damn thing only they pounce on kids when they're 16, so that no kid gets an education, the only way to assure a prosperous future, free of gangs of little lost boy terrorists who end up filling jails.

But who of us can't start working at age 16? Every parent owes our soul to the company store! Massah runs a slave plantation. All the definitions are there. There's no tenure or pension safety. No health care. No soybeans growing on our fences so we could at least make tofu. Anyway, everyone I know is afraid of a shimmering white jello that has all the amino acids, therefore replaces meat. It's "icky". Well kiddies, that's why soy sauce was invented!

So instead, we're all buying overpriced fast food or supermarket food and are all a paycheck away from an empty larder if not homelessness and utter famine. The day our credit card won't pay for the steak and canned soup, we sure won't have soy beans in the garden!

Every one of these "problems" has to be considered serious. Together they will be devastating. If the wave crests, --what am I saying....if the trough deepens and persists, life in the average racially mixed city could become hazardous. People need to have prepared ---with alternatives.

We are in the position of having to create a global "emergency preparedness plan". And failing a global plan, what's your family's personal plan? Do they have a fence for beans or a vacation cottage 50 miles from a population center with a fruit and nut orchard, outhouse and clean, uncontaminated water source? A solar generator? Some grain, beans, some seed? Some grape vines? NO? WHY NOT? Cuz you were out spending on movies, DVD, VHS, SUV, DMV, not hearing the waterfall up ahead?

Gad! We are either feckless, fearless or in total denial! It's real easy to slip into habitually not listening to warnings, to inner voices, while we persist in comfortable habit! Hey I do it. I drink coffee knowing my pancreas turned coal black in the seventies. Why are we ostriches with heads in holes? Arenít higher life forms supposed to be intuitive? Instinctual? Anticipate? Learn from history? Educate themselves? Think clearly?

I understand why that's hard. How can we do any of that when we have to ride a bicycle twenty miles to college, or to flip burgers at age 16 or clean someone's house all day for 40$, or when we eat a pesticide loaded banana and nuke a prefab Madcow burger and breathe ozone laden air and repeatedly dose ourselves with black java beans? Who can function with things as they are?

Let Hell happen. As the Spanish say, 'que mas da?' The soul will endure and find another solar system if ours goes up in smoke.

Could revolt even be possible with the energy levels we have here? In some countries, people who have nothing to live for  find causes to die for, but we seem to live in a lala land of perpetual springtime hopes combined with physical lethargy and mental suspended disbelief.

At least that's what it seems like when I poll the people in my little palm studded valley to the north of Hell-A where there isn't one civic activism group in sight.


Anita Sands  Hernandez acted in films and TV until she went  vacationed in Mexico and met Mr Hernandez. Her four children, born in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, were later raised in Hollywood where  Anita used the now defunct AFDC/welfare system and  stretched her budget by doing astrology for show folk doing astrology for Courtney Love, Yogi Bhajan and the daughter of one of the founders of the CIA as well as dozens of Hollywood stars. She keeps cats, wonders if they could live on tofu and writes on holism, couch potato activism and EATING FOR CHEAP. She grows salad in a Reseda garden and makes her own guava jam.